Home - Breaking News, Events, Things-To-Do, Dining, Nightlife


Magnolia Mornings: February 21, 2024

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune.

  • Important state and national stories, market and business news, sports and entertainment, delivered in quick-hit fashion to start your day informed.

In Mississippi

1. Thompsons seeks briefing from NTSB on Jackson gas home explosions

Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS 2)

Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS 2) is requesting a briefing related to the ongoing investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board into recent natural gas home explosions in Jackson.

The first explosion happened at a home on Bristol Boulevard where one person died on January 24th. Days later, a second explosion occurred on Shalimar Drive. That fire spread to a neighboring home. No fatalities were reported in the second incident.

In a statement on Tuesday, Thompson is seeking answers as to the safety of the community and the measures being taken to prevent future tragedies.

“I have formally requested an in-person briefing to thoroughly examine the circumstances surrounding these alarming natural gas explosions and to determine whether they could have been prevented,” Congressman Thompson said. “The safety and well-being of our communities are paramount, and it is imperative that we take these incidents seriously. The potential risks posed by natural gas cannot be understated, and we must ensure that all necessary measures are in place to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.”

2. JSU hosting Spring Career Expo

Jackson State University is hosting its Spring 2024 Career Expo this week. The event is scheduled to take place at the Walter Payton Center on Thursday, February 22nd from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Designed to familiarize all JSU students with various professions and career fields, this event facilitates face-to-face interactions with private and public representatives. By engaging directly with industry experts, attendees can glean firsthand insights into potential career trajectories and the essential skills needed to thrive in their chosen fields.

The list of registered organizations and employers attending the event touches nearly every sector of the economy.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Biden outraising Trump

The New York Times is reporting that Democratic President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign ended January with nearly $56 million cash on hand. Former President Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner, had about $30 million available at the end of the month in his campaign, the NYT reported.

“Mr. Biden appears to have gained an edge in part because the Democratic Party apparatus, and its fund-raising might, have quickly unified behind him in what is expected to be the most expensive presidential race ever,” NYT notes. “Mr. Trump, even as he seeks to bring the Republican Party fully on board with his renomination, faces significant questions about the political and financial impact of his many legal troubles.”

Both candidates “are raising money through joint fund-raising committees, which do not have to file reports until April. These committees often transfer funds to the campaigns, to pay salaries and buy advertising time. Without those numbers, the candidates’ total financial picture is not entirely clear.”

2. U.S. vetoes U.N. proposal to call for Israeli cease-fire in Gaza

The United States has vetoed a proposal at the United Nations Security Council that called for a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, saying that a cessation of hostilities without securing the release of hostages in Hamas’s captivity would only prolong the conflict, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Council that proposals akin to the one advanced by Algeria on Tuesday aren’t conducive to a sustainable peace and would instead empower Hamas and deprive Israelis and Palestinians of the ‘security, dignity and freedom’ they desire,” WSJ reported.Expand article logo

Expand article logo

The U.S. veto vote was the lone vote against the proposal.

Sports & Entertainment

Southern Miss’ Mazza named Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week

(Photo from Southern Miss Athletics)

Southern Miss junior right-hander Niko Mazza from Madison collected the initial Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week honor for the 2024 season on Tuesday, USM Athletics announced.

Southern Miss says Mazza gave the Golden Eagles their 11th straight opening day victory after going went 5 1/3 strong innings in a 4-1 decision over Marist. He spaced out surrendering four hits, including just one double, and did not surrender a run. His pitching total also included fanning eight to go along with no walks, while also retiring seven batters in a row at one point and five at another. The Golden Eagle starter finished with 85 pitches of which 56 were for strikes.

Markets & Business

1. Mortgage rates rise after latest inflation data

Business Insider reports that mortgage rates jumped up last week following the release of some hotter-than-expected inflation data. Analyst say it’s possible that the Federal Reserve could keep the federal funds rate higher for longer, which would likely keep mortgage rates elevated as well. 

“Currently, average 30-year mortgage rates are around 30 basis points up from January’s average, according to Zillow data,” BI reported. “Mortgage rates are expected to go down this year, but they likely won’t start falling until we get more data showing that inflation is continuing to slow. Once it looks clearer that inflation is coming down to the Fed’s 2% target, mortgage rates should ease.”

2. Biden Admin. announces $1.2 billion in student loan forgiveness

The Biden Administration has announced that 153,000 borrowers covering $1.2 billion are eligible to have their debts forgiven if they are enrolled in the SAVE plan.

As CBS News reports, those who are eligible have been enrolled in repayment plans for at least 10 years and originally borrowed $12,000 or less for college, the Education Department said. For every $1,000 borrowed above $12,000, a borrower can receive forgiveness after an additional year of payments, the department added. 

According to the statement from the Administration, borrowers do not need to take any action. Servicers will process the forgiveness and borrowers will see their loans forgiven in their accounts in the coming days.

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Read original article by clicking here.

Local Dining Stream

Things To Do

Related articles