FOX BUSINESS – Mississippi Gov. closes more than 100 bridges for repair

DAILY JOURNAL – No bridge solution in sight

For the second straight legislative session, Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves failed to agree on a long-term infrastructure funding plan. Negotiations between the two Republican leaders broke down earlier this year over Reeves’ insistence that cities and counties match state dollars that would help them repair their locally owned roads and bridges.

Gunn, R-Clinton, has brought forward a plan that would raise the state’s 18.4 cent fuel tax, but eliminate the 4 percent individual income tax bracket. Democrats argued that plan would simply redistribute current revenues the state is already spending and wouldn’t solve any long-term infrastructure problems.

Bryant has said he would consider a special legislative session to address the crisis, but not until Gunn and his Senate counterpart, Reeves, strike an agreement.

US Senators Wicker, Hyde-Smith wants to prohibit federal funds from going to abortion providers


CLARION LEDGER – Hinds County Judge Bill Skinner not seeking reelection

Hinds County Youth Court Judge William L. “Bill” Skinner isn’t seeking reelection.

Skinner announced his decision Wednesday not to seek reelection to the Hinds County  judge post he has held for 12 years.

CLARION LEDGER – Sid Salter: Will Cindy Hyde-Smith or Chris McDaniel win Trump’s support?

So McDaniel’s political Gordian Knot is rather tight. If he continues as he has this week to make the support of Donald Trump the benchmark for success in his Senate campaign, he’s one Trump endorsement of Hyde-Smith away from significantly stalled momentum.

And while forecasting what Trump will or won’t do is nearly impossible, it’s clear that there is a track record to follow. Hyde-Smith co-chaired the Trump campaign’s national Agriculture Advisory Committee. She was invited to White House meetings with Trump’s U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue and Pence on agriculture and tax reform issues.

As Mississippi’s successor to Thad Cochran, Hyde-Smith has already voted to support the Trump White House, most recently on a Senate rules change to move the president’s judicial nominees along.

In the 2016 presidential race, McDaniel was late to the party in supporting Trump after going all in to back Texas U.S Sen. Ted Cruz. Untying himself from his past Trump opposition – already solidly documented by Republican Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker – is a political knot that would have given Alexander pause.

WDAM – Congressman Palazzo wants closure to Russia investigation

“We believe it’s become a witch hunt and it’s a witch hunt we believe needs to stop,” Palazzo said. “I’m in full support of calling for another special counsel to actually look into is the Department of Justice. Were they part of this conspiracy to take down President Trump? I think the American people need to know, so that we can have trust in our highest law enforcement agency in our nation.”

Palazzo said the American people lost trust in the Mueller investigation thus dividing the country. He expressed that he wanted the investigation brought to a close.

VICKSBURG POST – North Carolina company to put plant in Vicksburg

A North Carolina lumber company is investing $2 million in Warren County to build a manufacturing plant that will create 50 jobs.

Gov. Phil Bryant Thursday afternoon announced Industrial Wood Products of Climax, North Carolina, is opening a plant in Vicksburg at 169 Magnolia Road off U.S. 61 South. The property was previously owned by Warren County and sold in June.

MISSISSIPPI MATTERS – Cities and counties have given $23 million to non-profit organizations since 2009

In the last decade, the Mississippi Legislature has authorized more than $23 million in contributions to non-profit organizations from cities and counties.

To provide funds to a non-profit organization as a donation or for activities such as Head Start (pre-kindergarten programs), community development, museums, economic development councils and medical clinics, a city or a county needs to get a local and private bill passed by the Legislature and approved by Gov. Phil Bryant.

After the bill’s passage into law, the county board of supervisors or city board of aldermen can then appropriate the money.

While most of the contributions are benign, there are some transparency issues. Once the city or county provides the donation to the non-profit, either annually or a one-time contribution, the money is no longer subject to public records laws.


WDAM – Palazzo presents commemorative books to Vietnam veterans

More than a dozen Vietnam War veterans from the Hattiesburg area received a special gift from Congressman Steven Palazzo Wednesday morning.

They each received a free copy of “A Time to Honor,” which is a book commemorating the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the War in Vietnam. It features stories representing all states and all branches of service. Palazzo presented the books at Hattiesburg’s VFW Post 3036.

“They served and sacrificed, some more than others and as well as their families,” Palazzo said. “We need to thank them and thank them dearly.”