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Magnolia Mornings: March 20, 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. MS Dept. of Education announces state finalists for 2024 Administrator of the Year, Teacher of the Year

On Tuesday, the Mississippi Department of Education announced the finalists for the 2024 Mississippi Administrator of the Year and the 2024 Mississippi Teacher of the Year. The winners will receive a $5,000 stipend, with the Teacher of the Year moving on to represent Mississippi in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

The finalist for Administrator of the Year are:

  • Leigh Stanford, Amory School District
  • Dr. Sara Harper, Jackson Public School District
  • Anita Wansley, Lauderdale County School District
  • Annabeth Bates, Lamar County School District

The Teacher of the Year finalists are:

  • Melanie Counts, Lowndes County School District
  • Tamla Hughes, Natchez-Adams School District
  • Shauna Waters, Lauderdale County School District
  • Amelia Landers, Lamar County School District

2. Richard’s awarded Jackson garbage contract

Richard's Disposal trash truck in City of JacksonRichard's Disposal trash truck in City of Jackson
A Richard’s Disposal rear loading trash truck rolls through a downtown Jackson, Miss., neighborhood on Oct. 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File – Copyright 2022.)

The Jackson City Council finally has a garbage contract. However, the council approved the contract without trash carts, an issue that must be negotiated between the city and the company.

On Tuesday, the City Council voted 4-3 for a 6-year garbage collection contract with Richard’s Disposal, Mayor Chokwe Lumumba’s original choice when the saga began nearly 2 years ago.

The Council chose Richard’s over the lowest bidder, NCS. Lumumba said NCS did not meet the qualifications set forth in the RFP.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. White House, Congressional leaders reach spending agreement

(Photo from the White House)

The White House and Congressional leaders have reportedly agreed on the final set of spending bills with a Friday deadline looming, avoiding a potential government shutdown as long as both chambers can move the legislation in a timely manner.

President Joe Biden announced the agreement on Tuesday, saying in a statement that the House and Senate are now working to finalize a package that can quickly be brought to the floor. He said he would sign it immediately once it reaches his desk.

The spending package will fund the Departments of Defense, Labor, Health and other agencies.

“Overall, the two spending packages provide about a 3% boost for defense, while keeping nondefense spending roughly flat with the year before. That’s in keeping with an agreement that former Speaker Kevin McCarthy worked out with the White House, which restricted spending for two years and suspended the debt ceiling into January 2025 so the federal government could continue paying its bills,” the AP reported.

2. Netanyahu pushing ahead with Rafah ground invasion over Biden concerns

Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo from Israeli Government Press Office)

According to the New York Times, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel brushed aside disagreement with the Biden administration over a planned ground invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, saying Tuesday that his government would press ahead despite pleas for restraint from the United States and key allies.

“I made it as clear as possible to the president that we are determined to complete the elimination of these battalions in Rafah, and there is no way to do this without a ground incursion,” Mr. Netanyahu said, as NYT reported.

NYT noted that the “United States has expressed increasing concern over civilian deaths in Gaza, but Mr. Netanyahu emphasized on Tuesday that he and Mr. Biden remained on the same page about the main objectives of the war.”

Sports & Entertainment

1. Ole Miss pulls away late for the win over Southern Miss

(Photo from OleMissBSB on X)

Ole Miss and Southern Miss met in Pearl at Trustmark Park on Tuesday for the first of two games the teams will play this season.

The Golden Eagles led 3-2 until the bottom of the 6th inning when the Rebels put up 2 runs and then added 2 runs in each of the next two innings, closing out the game with an 8-3 win.

Ole Miss is now 16-6 on the year while Southern Miss is 14-7.

The Rebels will travel to No. 5 Tennessee this weekend. The Golden Eagles will head over to Georgia Southern.

2. Miss. State has big 5th inning to take the win over Memphis

(Photo from HailStateBB on X)

The Mississippi State Bulldogs hosted the Memphis Tigers on Tuesday in what started out as a close game.

However, the Bulldogs’ bats woke up in the 5th inning, putting up 7 runs and then adding 7 more in the last three frames to take the win over the Tigers by a score of 17-9.

Mississippi State is now 16-6 on the season. They will travel to No. 7 Texas A&M for this weekend’s series.

3. Shuckers announce season promotional schedule

(Photo from Shuckers website)

The Biloxi Shuckers have officially announced their full promotional schedule ahead of the 2024 season, which begins in Biloxi on Friday, April 5 against the Montgomery Biscuits.

The Shuckers recently announced their daily promotions, which include fan favorites such as Fireworks Fridays, Thirsty Thursday, T-Shirt Tuesday and Military Wednesday. The Shuckers will also host Bark in the Park for select Wednesday home games in addition to Shuck Yeah Saturday, Fun Day Sunday and Brew Crew Tuesday. Kids can also run the bases after every game presented by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi.

The team says the promotional schedule is highlighted by multiple giveaways, including a silicone wine glass in celebration of Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 12. For Front 9 Night on Saturday, April 20, fans can receive a special Shuckers golf towel. The Shuckers will also celebrate Jackson Chourio, the franchise’s single-season leader in RBI, with a specialty bobblehead for Hispanic Heritage Night on Saturday, September 14.

The full 2024 promotional schedule can be found here.

Markets & Business

1. National Realtors settlement could be a gamechanger

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reports that the National Association of Realtors settled legal claims that the real-estate industry conspired to keep commissions artificially high, adding that the settlement will likely change how much of a home sale’s price will find its way into an agent’s hands.

“The NAR deal, which goes into effect this summer, could hit agents who represent home buyers particularly hard because it could reduce their commissions and dent demand for buyers’ agents altogether, said Stephen Brobeck, senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America,” WSJ reports. “It could spawn new payment models, such as flat-fee structures where buyers’ agents charge by the hour or for a specific menu of services.”

2. Nvidia stock on the rise

CNBC reports that Nvidia stock rose 2% on Tuesday afternoon, recovering from an earlier dip after CEO Jensen Huang said in an analyst meeting that the company expects to increase its share of the $250 billion data center market.

Huang announced the company’s new generation of AI chips and a new AI platform on Monday. The estimated cost per chip is $30,000 to $40,000.

“Huang announced the new chips on Monday at Nvidia’s developer conference in San Jose, California, touting them as even more powerful processors than the current generation of Hopper graphics processing units, which have been highly sought after for running large AI models. The first Blackwell chip is the GB200 and will ship later this year,” CNBC reported.

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

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