Magnolia Mornings: May 30, 2024

Important state and national stories, market and business news, sports and entertainment, delivered in quick-hit fashion

In Mississippi

1. PRCC recognizes distinguished alumni

Alumni, community partners, and current faculty and staff of Pearl River Community College recently gathered to honor this year’s recipients of the school’s Alumni Awards. The Alumni Association and Development Foundation hosted the evening at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg. The award winners were:

  • Young Alumnus of the Year: Representative Jansen Owen 
  • Alumnus of the Year: Karen Ladner Moore 
  • Distinguished Service Award: Alton Pierce 
  • Outstanding Partnership: AccelerateMS 
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Gale Harris 

2. Former Rankin Co. Tax Collector clerk pleads guilty to embezzlement

Brittney Phillips, a former clerk at the Rankin County Tax Collector’s Office, has pleaded guilty to embezzlement, according to the State Auditor’s office. Phillips was arrested in November 2023.

Phillips is guilty of embezzling cash from the Rankin County Tax Collector’s Office by not registering car tags and taking the cash payments. She was served with a $36,583.47 demand at the time of her arrest.

Phillips was prosecuted by the Rankin County District Attorney’s Office and was sentenced to 10 years, six years suspended, four years to serve and five years of supervised probation.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Three states key to Biden’s re-election chances

The New York Times reports that President Joe Biden has trailed in national and battleground state polls for months while his approval ratings are among the lowest on record for a first-term president. Yet, the race is still pretty close.

NYT reports that while former President Donald Trump leads most polls in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin but the race is close in all three states.

“If Mr. Biden won those battleground states, he’d probably be re-elected as president. They would combine to give him exactly 270 electoral college votes provided he held everywhere he won by six percentage points or more in 2020. That means he could lose all of Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio and so on, and still win,” NYT notes.

2. Trump considering Musk for an advisory role?

The Wall Street Journal reports that former President Donald Trump is considering Elon Musk for a possible advisory role for the Tesla leader should the presumptive Republican nominee reclaim the White House.

“The role hasn’t been fully hammered out and might not happen, people familiar with the talks said, but the two men discussed ways to give Musk formal input and influence over policies related to border security and the economy, both issues on which Musk has grown more vocal,” WSJ reported.

WSJ reports that Trump has told Musk he wants to find a way to get him more involved if he wins in November.

Sports & Entertainment

1. Kiffin, Ole Miss head out on DeadSoxy Rebel Road Trip

Ole Miss Athletics has announced that beginning on Monday, the DeadSoxy Rebel Road Trip returns with seven June meetings featuring Head Football Coach Lane Kiffin and other Ole Miss coaches and university leaders visiting fans throughout the region.

After postponements of several events in April, the 12th annual caravan will now include forthcoming stops in Hattiesburg (June 3), Memphis (June 4), Dallas (June 5), Biloxi (June 6), Jackson (June 11), Nashville (June 12) and Corinth (June 13).

All meetings are evening events. For tickets and details, visit rebelroadtrip.com.

DeadSoxy is a Dallas-based premium sock brand founded by Ole Miss Alum, Jason Simmons. They have partnered with The Grove Collective to develop a unique NIL contribution model that benefits both student-athletes and customers.

2. Shuckers, M-Braves struggling early in season

Mississippi’s two minor league baseball teams continue to struggle early in the 2024 season.

The Biloxi Shuckers are sitting in last place in the Southern League South standings with a record of 18-29.

The Mississippi Braves aren’t much better, currently just ahead of the Shuckers in the standings with a 22-24 record.

Markets & Business

According to CNBC, a top McDonald’s executive is weighing in on claims that the company has jacked up its prices.

“Joe Erlinger, president of McDonald’s USA, said in an open letter Wednesday that the average price of McDonald’s menu items is up around 40% since 2019. The breakdown comes in response to claims on social media from House Republicans, among others, that the fast-food company upped prices by more than 100%,” CNBC reported.

CNBC noted that Erlinger said the average price of a Big Mac meal today is $9.29, up 27% from $7.29 in 2019. The price for a 10-piece McNuggets meal is up 28% over the same period, and the price of medium french fries increased 44%.

— Article credit to the staff of the Magnolia Tribune


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