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STARKVILLE — Speaking to the Delta Council annual meeting in Cleveland recently, United Parcel Service Chairman and CEO David Abney — a Mississippi Delta native who leads the world’s largest package delivery company — strongly advocated for increases in both federal and state fuel taxes to f…

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OXFORD — Two or three unrelated questions that cause me to wonder:

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When it comes to the debate over whether a massive pumping project in the South Delta is both financially and environmentally responsible, people on both sides of the argument throw out numbers to make their case.

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McCOMB — The debate over abortion has been making plenty of news. State legislatures opposed to it, including Alabama’s and Mississippi’s, have passed restrictive laws in search of a court case to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling. And pressure from Democratic presidential candidates who favor…

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MADISON — Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves appears headed for a promotion. He’s the front-runner to be elected Mississippi’s next governor this fall.

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JACKSON — I have been working on just the right words to say to the four or five people who call me every day and say, “I received a call from this number.”

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STARKVILLE — In what would be his final studio album, the inimitable Mississippi blues legend B.B. King in 2008 covered the 1927 Bessie Smith classic “Backwater Blues” in a style that made the heartbreaking tune all his own: “I climbed up on the high lonely hill/ Oh, I climbed up on the high…

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OXFORD — The Daily Journal of Tupelo, in observance of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, printed reproductions of four front pages from 1944 in a special section of this year’s June 6 edition.

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There’s only one way that Mississippi is going to be able to raise the revenue it will take to sufficiently fix its deteriorating roads and bridges.

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MERIDIAN — Important issues in the Republican primary for governor are getting short shrift.

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STARKVILLE — A Democratic New Jersey congressman recently vented his contempt for so-called “moocher states” like Mississippi that receive more money from the federal government than they send back to Washington in the form of taxes.

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MADISON — Thursday will be the 75th anniversary of D-Day, one of the most decisive days in history.

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RIDGELAND — In March 1996, I took three social work students from Mississippi Valley State University to Washington. There they spent three days learning and practicing the art of congressional lobbying under the tutelage of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Concurrent with …

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Suresh Chawla says he got a personal insight recently as to why his alma mater, Millsaps College, is struggling with enrollment.

MERIDIAN — “What was once a country of disparate places that converged towards prosperity is now a country of places drifting further apart,” reports the bipartisan Economic Innovation Group. Rural areas are the most impacted.

NORTH CARROLLTON — Growing up in Carroll County brings back many memories of years gone by. As far as the Southern political scene, it’s memories of Black Hawk every four years during the county and state elections.

OXFORD — I couldn’t help but note the irony of pleas by two city officials — 55 years apart — to curtail bad publicity in McComb.

JACKSON — The federal Department of Justice just released a scathing report on Alabama’s prisons. The same could be said of Mississippi’s prisons.

COLUMBIA — Before Brown v. Board of Education ordered desegregation of public schools, before Emmett Till’s murder woke up the nation, before the Freedom Riders drew attention to conditions for black people in the South, before the Voting Rights Act guaranteed everyone equal access to the po…

STARKVILLE — As noted more often than this writer cares to remember, the fact is that public health care for Mississippi’s poor, working poor, uninsured or underinsured is an expense that will ultimately be borne by the taxpayers.

OXFORD — Back in the days when daily newspapers published free obituaries, reporters assigned to write them sometimes jokingly complained about retired farmers.

JACKSON — Drive through parts of Jackson where Bill Waller Jr. grew up and still lives or even through parts of south Madison County, and it is not unusual to see signs touting his campaign for governor.

LAWRENCE, Kan. — In August of 1955, Emmett Till was lynched in the Mississippi Delta. The 14-year-old African American reportedly whistled at a white woman, violating the racial norms of the Jim Crow South. For this supposed infraction, he was abducted, tortured, shot and dropped in a river …

MERIDIAN — So, my conservative friends, what is the ideological difference between a tax subsidy for the wealthy and a financial subsidy for the poor?

STARKVILLE — How big an impact does forestry make on Mississippi’s economy? For the last six years, the Mississippi State University Extension Service says that forestry contributed more than a billion dollars annually, with an estimated value of $1.2 billion in 2018 alone. Behind poultry, f…

OXFORD — An Associated Press article and picture in the newspaper the other day got me to reflecting on my experiences with the Speed Graphic camera.

A couple of years ago, the Mississippi Legislature enacted by the hardest some changes to how government entities in this state purchase goods and services.

MERIDIAN — Reckon conservatives will listen when two conservative, pro-capitalism columnists say health care is a big issue in Mississippi?

STARKVILLE — Only Walmart/Sam’s employs more people in Mississippi than does Ingalls Shipbuilding at about 12,500 employees. But Ingalls and other shipbuilders pay significantly better than Walmart.

JACKSON — Tiger Woods’ miraculous comeback last month at the Masters seemed like destiny. That’s because it was.

Last Saturday, when Beth Stevens was biking atop the levee from Humphrey Highway to the Greenwood-Leflore Airport, she was bowled over by the undisturbed natural beauty around her.

JACKSON — Did you know that Mississippi has a law on the books that allows licensing boards to suspend or revoke your professional license if you default on your student loans?

MERIDIAN — Mississippi politicians running for re-election or higher office are out, about and on social media touting how good things are and how they helped make things that way.

STARKVILLE — There were some justifiable fears in the late 1950s and early 1960s — threats such as polio, global thermonuclear war or the president appearing on TV to talk about anything. If he did, you could forget about TV for the night on either of the channels that were available to us (…

Within the span of two weeks I received a Facebook friend request from a dead person and solicitations for advice and money from both major political parties.

Whether you deplore the way the Mississippi Legislature currently operates or you rejoice in its works, change is needed. The status quo makes no sense.

STARKVILLE — I often wrote over the course of 35 years about public health care finance with a level of personal engagement that reminds me today much of a walk through a really fine zoo. The exhibits were intriguing, yes, but I could certainly lose interest quickly and move on to another topic.

JACKSON — In their recent session, Mississippi lawmakers passed legislation designed to tackle the state’s sky-high incarceration rate.

OXFORD — Current gambling news, including closing of another casino in Tunica, legal sports betting and plans for a Mississippi lottery, remind me of a lesson I was taught when I was a kid.

COLUMBIA — The era of Facebook profiting madly off the trashiest, most libelous gossip it can show to its users could be coming to an end thanks to a government — not ours here in America — finally showing some backbone against the tech giants rapidly destroying our culture.

STARKVILLE — My active observations of Mississippi statewide elections stretch back to the 1970s. What remains fascinating to me is how little the issues have changed since those days.

This latest journalistic fad of digging into old high school and college yearbooks on politicians and others in the public eye will eventually pass.

JACKSON — Minutes before the 2019 legislative session recently ended, Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, went to the presiding officer’s podium in the Senate chamber to whisper to Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves that he wanted to take a point of personal privilege.

RIDGELAND — Michele Tackett of Hattiesburg spent 11 years in active addiction to opioids. She found sobriety and a new life three years ago through the medication Suboxone, one form of opioid substitution therapy known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

MERIDIAN — First a correction. Last week I wrote there are 13 candidates for governor; instead there are 14. I left out Constitution Party candidate Bob Hickingbottom. My apologies.

STARKVILLE — During a briefing on immigration and border security in Calexico, California, last week, President Donald Trump held fast to his steady contention that the U.S. immigration system was overburdened as he continued to push for a southern border wall and tighter security to combat …

OXFORD — As centrist politics diminishes across the nation, could Mississippi find itself with a moderate in the governor’s office next year?

The Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, a relatively new creation led by veteran journalist Jerry Mitchell, missed the bigger story.

JACKSON — It’s not often I am completely blown away by something I didn’t know about, but that’s exactly what happened when I spent an afternoon with leaders of Canopy Children’s Solutions.

STARKVILLE — I have distinct memories of two memorable, inimitable figures from the civil rights era in Mississippi whose lives and experiences are featured in two books published by the University Press of Mississippi.

JACKSON — Far too many candidates for office, Republicans and Democrats, believe long-term prosperity can be achieved from increased government spending and centralized programs and plans. But the evidence doesn’t support such claims, no matter how passionately or eloquently the campaigner insists.