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Magnolia Mornings: May 23, 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. JSU renovations on tap with $23 million in state appropriations

(Photo: Aron Smith/University Communications)

Jackson State University (JSU) is set to receive $23 million in state appropriations for repairing and renovating campus facilities and expanding residential spaces. 

A portion of the appropriation will be used to complete the renovations at JSU’s McAllister-Whiteside Hall, a women’s residence hall. The building has been offline since 2021, but once finished it will provide an additional 300 beds to accommodate students.

JSU President Marcus Thompson noted that the funds would also help support water resources and water infrastructure for vital campus buildings. 

2. Ocean Springs eyes $56 million hotel, retail project

WLOX reports that the city of Ocean Springs approved a new hotel funding project this week.

“Construction may soon be underway on the corner of Government Street and Pine Drive. The Board of Aldermen passed the vote to create a TIF district for a Curio Line Hotel and Conference Center,” WLOX reported. “The $56 million dollar project includes a restaurant, retail stores, 108 rooms along with the creation of 100 new jobs.”

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Ohio leaving Biden off the ballot?

(Photo: The White House, Wikicommons)

As reported by the New York Times, the Ohio General Assembly adjourned on Wednesday without addressing an issue that the state’s top elections official said would prevent President Biden from being placed on the ballot there.

“Frank LaRose, the Republican secretary of state, has said that he plans to exclude Mr. Biden from the ballot because he will be officially nominated after a deadline for certifying presidential nominees on the ballot,” NYT reported. “This is usually a minor procedural issue, and states have almost always offered a quick solution to ensure that major presidential candidates remain on the ballot.”

NYT goes on to note that the “Biden campaign is considering suing the state in order to ensure Mr. Biden is on the ballot, while also searching for some other way to resolve the issue without moving the date of the nominating convention.”

2. Haley says she’s voting for Trump, calls Biden a catastrophe

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, in Peterborough, N.H. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

After a bitter Republican presidential primary fight, Nikki Haley now says she will be voting for former President Donald Trump.

Haley said that while Trump had not been “perfect” on foreign policy and other issues, Democratic President Joe Biden has been a “catastrophe.”

“So, I will be voting for Trump,” Haley said.

Haley is a former South Carolina Governor and served as U.N. Ambassador during the Trump Administration.

Sports & Entertainment

1. Southern Miss wins Sun Belt Tournament opener

(Photo from Southern Miss Athletics)

Southern Miss defeated Coastal Carolina 5-0 on Wednesday in their opening game of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in Montgomery, Alabama.

Coastal only mustered three hits after Southern Miss’ Billy Oldham hurled 7 shutout innings. It was the first scoring shutout for USM this season. All of the Golden Eagles runs came in the bottom of the 8th inning.

The Golden Eagles, now 38-18 on the year, advance in the winner’s bracket and will face Troy on Thursday at 4pm.

2. Husjak stays hot for Mississippi State, Bulldogs get past Texas A&M

(Photo from Mississippi State Athletics)

The lore of Connor Husjak continued for Mississippi State on Wednesday night as he came through with a clutch hit to give the Bulldogs the lead over Texas A&M in the 9th inning after hitting a walk-off homerun to send Ole Miss home the night before.

The Bulldogs, now 38-19, went on to defeat the Aggies in the SEC Tournament game 5-3.

Mississippi State is back for their third game in the conference tournament, playing Vanderbilt on Thursday at 8pm.

Markets & Business

1. Gas prices lower as Memorial Day approaches

Prices at the pump are edging lower ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. As the Wall Street Journal reports, a slow-but-steady decline pushed the average U.S. cost of regular gasoline to $3.58 a gallon last week, according to federal data, down from $3.67 about a month earlier. 

“Regional fuel prices often move independently based on factors such as storms, taxes and refinery maintenance. Over the past month, however, gas stations monitored by AAA have lowered prices or held them steady in all but six U.S. states. Motorists in Las Vegas, the Phoenix area and Sacramento, Calif., are seeing some of the steepest cuts,” WSJ reported.

2. AI chip maker fuels stock futures on Thursday

CNBC reports that Nasdaq-100 futures rose Thursday as Wall Street assessed the latest quarterly results from AI chip maker Nvidia.

“Nasdaq-100 futures jumped 1.1%, while S&P 500 futures added 0.6%. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 59 points, or 0.2%,” CNBC reported. “Chipmaker and artificial intelligence darling Nvidia added 6% in premarket trading, sending shares above $1,000, after posting stronger-than-expected fiscal first-quarter results and announcing a 10-for-1 stock split.”

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

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