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Dispatch special report: School's outside catering under investigation

Posted 12/14/2013 in Columbus & Lowndes County

For five years, the Columbus Municipal School District, through the use of its food service contractor, Aramark, has operated an outside catering service providing food for private events, often at a loss to the district. A veteran school superintendent calls the practice, "highly unusual."


Entergy-ITC deal canceled due to regulatory issues

Posted 12/14/2013 in State

Entergy Corp. and ITC Holdings Corp. have called off plans to spin off Entergy's electric transmission business and merge it into ITC, because the deal failed to get regulatory approval.



Miss. hospital does its first pancreas transplant

Posted 12/14/2013 in State

Doctors at the University of Mississippi Medical Center have performed the facility's first pancreas transplant in a 49-year-old diabetes patient who also received a kidney during the procedure.



State appeals political spending law ruling

Posted 12/14/2013 in State

JACKSON -- Attorney General Jim Hood has appealed a federal judge's ruling that part of Mississippi's campaign finance law creates an unconstitutional burden for people or groups that spend at least $200 to support or oppose a ballot initiative.



Prospects for budget legislation solid in Senate

Posted 12/14/2013 in National

One day after winning lopsided House approval, bipartisan legislation to ease across-the-board spending cuts and reduce economy-rattling budget brinkmanship appears likely to command the 60 votes necessary to clear the Senate, officials in both parties said Friday.


MUW graduates its first PhD class

Posted 12/14/2013 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Ty Walton never imagined a career in nursing. But, after working in the field for more than a decade, she knows that it was meant to be.

Near tragedy led EMCC grad to new career

Posted 12/14/2013 in Area

Courtney Rigdon's family ties have made her an honorary East Mississippi Community College Lion her entire life. But she didn't officially join the pride until her father was nearly crushed to death in an ATV accident in 2006.

Wicker urges MSU grads to contribute

Posted 12/14/2013 in Starkville & Oktibbeha County

U.S. Sen. Roger F. Wicker told Mississippi State fall graduates Saturday that big things are expected from them, but that important contributions to society don't always come with public acclaim.

Coloring book features Ted Cruz

Posted 12/13/2013 in National

He's known for coloring outside the lines in the staid U.S. Senate. Now children large and small can color in U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. Just in time for the holidays, St. Louis publisher Really Big Coloring Books Inc. is offering a coloring and activity book featuring the Texas tea party darling.


Bullock leaving as Bryant spokesman

Posted 12/13/2013 in State

Mick Bullock, the spokesman for Gov. Phil Bryant, is leaving to become communications director of the National Conference of State Legislatures.


Last of 'Columbus Six' armed robbers sentenced

Posted 12/13/2013 in Columbus & Lowndes County

The six men arrested following the 2011 armed robbery of a Columbus woman inside her Sandpiper Apartment Complex home have been sentenced to a combined 114 years behind bars, according to Lowndes County Circuit Court documents.

KiOR inches near deal for Columbus II

Posted 12/13/2013 in Columbus & Lowndes County

KiOR's plan to build a second refinery in Columbus is closer to being a done deal. Lowndes County Port Authority director John Hardy said the Texas-based alternative fuel refinery has hired engineering firm Neel-Schaffer to survey some land officials could potentially purchase from the county to locate a second plant.

Wassail Fest, parade set for weekend

Posted 12/13/2013 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Come rain or shine, the shows will go on this weekend. Main Street Columbus director Barbara Bigelow said this morning that plans for the rescheduled Downtown Wassail Fest and the Columbus Christmas Parade will go on despite the weather.

Indiana man rides horse across country to raise funds for rescue operation

Posted 12/13/2013 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Josh Campbell rode "Cojak" into Columbus on Wednesday shortly after noon. The man and his horse had been traveling for 35 days. They started their journey in Elizabeth, Ind., and are headed to Roswell, N.M. -- a 2,800-mile trek that Campbell expects to complete by the end of April.


Defense bill aims to address sexual assault crisis

Posted 12/13/2013 in National

A comprehensive defense policy bill that aims to deal with the epidemic of sexual assault in the military is heading to the Senate, where it could get slowed by Republican outrage over majority Democrats' limits on GOP power.


Jennings wins new trial on rape charge

Posted 12/13/2013 in Columbus & Lowndes County

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a new trial for Toney Jennings, who was convicted in 2011 of statutory rape in Lowndes County.

BSP extends property lease, moves in equipment

Posted 12/13/2013 in Starkville & Oktibbeha County

BSP Filing Solutions has extended a lease with Starkville for production space at Airport Road's South Hangar from two to five years, Oktibbeha County economic development representative Joey Deason confirmed Thursday.


Study: Medicaid expansion would spur Miss. economy

Posted 12/13/2013 in State

Mississippi is losing billions of dollars in potential economic activity because state leaders, so far, have chosen not to extend Medicaid to hundreds of thousands more people, a nonprofit group said a report Thursday.



C Spire to acquire Alabama communication firm

Posted 12/13/2013 in State

C Spire has announced plans to acquire Callis Communications, which provides cloud-based unified communications as a service for businesses.



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