Magnolia Mornings: April 19, 2024 – Enterprise-Tocsin

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

In Mississippi

1. Six K-6th grade teachers named state-level finalists for 2023-24 Presidential Awards

Six K-6th grade Mississippi teachers have been named 2023-24 state-level finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The PAEMST program is the nation’s highest honor for teachers of mathematics, science, technology, engineering and computer science education.

Two of these teachers will be selected for the PAEMST award. National honorees receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, recognition at a White House ceremony, and the opportunity to provide input on policies to improve science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science education.

The three mathematics finalists are: Sara Broadbent of Petal Upper Elementary, Cassandra Johnson-Hudson of McLaurin Elementary in Rankin County, and Shonda Pummel of Camden Elementary in Madison.

The three science finalists are: Julie Chase in the Choctaw County School District, Kreissa Reed of Neshoba Central Elementary School in Neshoba Central, and Dr. Diane Smith of Wells APAC in Jackson.

2. Former Beulah pleads guilty to embezzlement

Bertha Thomas, the former Mayor of Beulah, has pled guilty to embezzlement of tax disbursements issued to the town by the Bolivar County Tax Collector, the State Auditor’s office announced on Thursday.

Thomas was arrested by agents in February 2024 and served with a $12,573.42 demand letter. Her sentencing is being handled by the Bolivar County Circuit Court. 

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Israel carries out limited strike against Iran

Fox News reports that Israel carried out limited strikes in Iran early Friday in retaliation for Tehran firing a barrage of missiles and drones at Israel last Saturday.

“A well-placed military source has told Fox News that the strike was ‘limited.’ Sources familiar said the U.S. was not involved and there was pre-notification to the U.S. from the Israelis,” Fox News reported.

Fox News confirmed there have been explosions in Iran’s Isfahan province, which is where Natanz, one of Iran’s nuclear facilities, is located. 

2. U.S., Britain impose sanctions on Iran in response to Israel attack

The New York Times is reporting that the United States and Britain on Thursday imposed new sanctions on Iranian military leaders and weapons manufacturers to punish Tehran for its missile and drone attack on Israel last weekend.

The two counties have “implored Israeli officials not to retaliate too strongly and set off a wider war.”

“White House officials said the sanctions were aimed at disrupting Iran’s ability to produce the unmanned aerial vehicles that its military used to attack Israel by cutting off global financial transactions with companies and individuals involved in building them. The sanctions will also try to block exports by Iran’s steel industry that bring Tehran billions of dollars in revenue, they said,” as reported by NYT.

Sports & Entertainment

Southern Miss unveils “Camp Shelby” uniforms

Southern Miss baseball will salute the Camp Shelby All-Stars of World War II by donning commemorative jerseys on Sunday, April 21, as part of the teams Military Appreciation Weekend.

Southern Miss Athletics released a statement saying they are offering free tickets to Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field for members of the military, both active and retired, and a discounted rate for immediate family members while supplies last for Sunday’s game.

Markets & Business

1. Home sales drop in March

CNBC reported on Thursday that sales of previously owned homes dropped 4.3% in March compared with February, to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 4.19 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“Sales were 3.7% lower than in March 2023. This came after a big jump in sales in February. Rising mortgage rates are likely the cause of the slowdown,” CNBC reported. “This sales count is based on closings from contracts likely signed in January and February. Mortgage rates stayed lower in January, in the mid 6% range on the popular 30-year fixed loan. They then shot higher in February.”

2. Biard named Neel-Schaffer Senior Regional Accountant

Neel-Schaffer announced the appointment of Misty Biard as a new Senior Regional Accountant based in the firm’s headquarters office in Jackson on Wednesday.

Biard has a comprehensive background in accounting and management, including extensive experience with Deltek financial software, a leading industry tool that enhances project management and accounting solutions.

The company said her appointment is a testament to Neel-Schaffer’s commitment to excellence and strategic growth. \

— Article credit to staff of the Magnolia Tribune


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