CLARION LEDGER – Ad hits Jim Hood over Hurricane Katrina insurance claims. Is it true?

A new radio ad alleges Attorney General Jim Hood and a “gang of trial lawyers” have made life worse for Mississippi Gulf Coast homeowners by pursuing lawsuits over Hurricane Katrina insurance claims.

Hood, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate this year, said the ads are false. The recent lawsuits against insurance companies, he said, were because they refused to pay out claims they owed to “Mississippians in crisis” — and the state ultimately covered them instead…

…The radio spot is paid for by a pro-business group called the Mississippi Civil Justice Alliance, and appears to be the first major third-party attack ad in what promises to be a heated gubernatorial race. It argues insurance claims from the 2005 storm should be distant history. But trial lawyers working for Hood’s office are “turning back the clock to fill their pockets with millions” of dollars in settlement cash from insurance companies.

“With Jim Hood’s plan, all the money goes to the government and trial lawyers,” the ad says. “Trial lawyers can grab 25 percent of the anticipated multi-million dollar scheme. And the homeowners? Not a dime. All you get is higher insurance rates.”

This is misleading, Hood said. The state filed a dozen lawsuits against insurance companies in recent years, alleging they had wrongfully refused to cover wind damage claims in many cases. The state filled the gap after the storm, covering more than $2 billion in damages to more than 25,000 homeowners with federal Katrina recovery money.

NEWSMS – Unemployment rates holds steady at 4.9%

Mississippi’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.9% from March to April, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

The rate remains at the third lowest level of unemployment ever recorded in Mississippi, and the rate has now been below 5.0% for nineteen months in a row.

The April 2019 rate is one-tenth of a percentage point higher than a year ago in April 2018, when the rate was 4.8%.

Governor’s Rural Health Care Task Force holds first meeting

 

CLARION LEDGER – How Mississippi lawmakers gave $1.5 million of education money to Weight Watchers

See the source imageTeachers across the state shed pounds thanks to Weight Watchers courses paid mostly with state education money.

But the biggest loser?

Mississippi taxpayers.

Lawmakers gave Weight Watchers about $300,000 a year from 2011 to 2016, but documents from the Mississippi Department of Education show the voucher program at times needed about half that amount — or less — to operate.

Weight Watchers never appeared in any education funding bills and never had a contract with the state of Mississippi.

Investiture ceremony for Judge Cory Wilson set for May 20

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An investiture ceremony will be held for Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Cory Wilson on May 20 at 4 p.m. in the Supreme Court En Banc Courtroom at the Gartin Justice Building, 450 High Street in Jackson.

Gov. Phil Bryant, who appointed Judge Wilson to the Court of Appeals, will speak. Other guest speakers will include Jackson attorney Michael T. Dawkins and former Hinds County Circuit Judge Robert L. Gibbs.

Supreme Court Justice David M. Ishee will administer the ceremonial oath of office. Judge Wilson was sworn in on Feb. 15. It is traditional to hold an investiture at a later date.

Former Court of Appeals Judge James H. Herring will recognize public officials in attendance. Mississippi Bar President-elect Amanda Tollison will introduce the Governor. Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Virginia Carlton will preside over the ceremony.

Sen. Hyde-Smith speaks to Drug Court grads