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Magnolia Mornings: June 21, 2024
Magnolia Mornings: June 21, 2024

Important state and national news, market and business news, sports and entertainment, presented quickly

In Mississippi

1. First case of West Nile virus confirmed in Rankin County in 2024

The Mississippi State Department of Health has confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus in Mississippi this year in Rankin County. West Nile virus is transmitted primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito.

As MSDH noted, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 out of 10 people infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms. About 1 in 5 infected people develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.

According to MSDH, summer is the best time for mosquitoes to breed and spread diseases such as West Nile virus. Although the risk of a healthy person contracting West Nile virus from a mosquito bite is very low, MSDH says everyone must take precautions.

2. JSU offers student loan repayment assistance for teachers

Jackson State University (JSU) on Thursday announced a new Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) to address the teacher shortage in Mississippi.

According to the new program, the LRAP will help teachers repay federal student loans, private alternative loans, and parent PLUS loans if their income is less than $45,000 after graduation. JSU is the first HBCU to implement such an initiative.

Beginning in the fall, the program will be available free of charge to all student teachers, as well as other freshmen and transfer students (as determined by the Jackson State University Office of Admissions).

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Trump raised more donations than Biden for the second month in a row

The New York Times reports that former President Donald Trump (R) raised more money than President Joe Biden (D) in May for the second month in a row, outraising his successor by about $81 million in the last two months.

“In May, Biden’s campaign and its joint effort with the Democratic National Committee brought in $85 million, compared to $141 million for Trump and the Republican National Committee, the two campaigns said. In April, the Trump team also brought in $25 million more than the Biden team,” the NYT reported.

The NYT also found that for the first time, Trump’s main campaign committee had more cash on hand than Biden’s: $116.5 million versus $91.6 million.

2. Record number of students in special programs

More children in America than ever before qualify for special education, but schools are struggling to find enough teachers to meet their needs, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“In 2022-2023, a record 7.5 million students received special education services in U.S. schools, including children with autism, speech impairments and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. That’s 15.2% of the public school student population, compared with less than 13% a decade earlier, the latest federal data show,” the WSJ reported.

The WSJ notes that factors contributing to this increase include disruptions caused by the pandemic, increasing demand for services from parents due to decreasing stigma around special education, and the increase in autism diagnoses.

Sports and entertainment

1. Dart for Heisman?

Ole Miss Athletics highlighted that On3 ranked its top five Heisman Trophy candidates from the Southeastern Conference, placing Rebel quarterback Jaxson Dart at No. 4 behind Georgia’s Carson Beck, Texas’ Quinn Ewers and Alabama’s Jalen Milroe.

“In a potentially wide open race, Dart is one of the best ‘dark picks’ to be the starting quarterback for a top-10 team looking to have its best season in school history — one year after its best season in school history,” wrote On3’s Jesse Simonton. “If Dart can lead the Rebels to the College Football Playoff, then with Lane Kiffin’s offense, he should easily have the stats to be seriously considered for the award.”

2. Cowan named Southern Miss women’s golf coach

Southern Miss has a new women’s golf coach. Southern Miss athletic director Jeremy McClain announced Wednesday the hiring of Colton Cowan as head women’s golf coach.

According to Southern Miss, Cowan comes to Hattiesburg after spending the past three seasons as head coach of the men’s and women’s golf teams at Henderson State. During his time in Arkadelphia, Cowan led the Reddies to six Great American Conference Championships on both the men’s and women’s sides. He also helped both teams to three consecutive NCAA DII Regionals, the women’s team to three consecutive NCAA DII National Championships and led the men’s team to its first NCAA DII National Championships in the 2023-24 season. The women’s team finished ninth, third and sixth in the nation each of the past three seasons — it also won the NCAA DII Central Regional Tournament three straight seasons. The men’s team finished 12th in the nation this season. In total, Henderson State won 23 regular season tournaments under his guidance.

Markets & Business

1. Greenville and Hazlehurst receive grants from T-Mobile Hometown

On Thursday, T-Mobile announced the latest 25 recipients of the Hometown Grant, representing 300 communities in 47 states. The company says each of the recipients will receive up to $50,000 in funding from T-Mobile to spur local development projects that improve communities, such as building handicap-accessible playgrounds, starting small business initiatives and beautifying downtown areas.

Two communities were selected in Mississippi.

In Greenville, T-Mobile’s grant will help establish the Delta Entrepreneurial Corridor, which aims to support over 300 small businesses by providing business planning resources, financial literacy programs and more.

In Hazlehurst, the company’s grant will help build a new playground in the heart of the town with accessible, state-of-the-art play equipment to provide a safe and fun place for children.

2. New application for nonprofit organizations in Mississippi

In Mississippi, a new report must be filed for nonprofit organizations.

According to the Secretary of State’s Office, House Bill (HB) 1344 of the 2024 legislative session, signed by the Governor, requires all nonprofit organizations to file an annual report with the Secretary of State beginning July 1, 2024. Reports will be available beginning January 1, 2025, and must be filed no later than May 15 of each calendar year.

There is no cost associated with this report. Failure to submit this report will result in administrative termination.

The annual reporting requirement applies to all nonprofit corporations registered with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office and is separate from the annual registration as a charity. If you are a nonprofit corporation that also solicits donations in the state of Mississippi, you must file both reports each year.

— Courtesy of the Magnolia Tribune Editors —

By Aurora