State Auditor Shad White has returned close to $53-thousand to MS taxpayers over the past month. $25-thousand was recovered in the case of Chris Smith, the former Director of Accounting and Finance at the MS Board of Animal Health. Investigators say he paid personal bills using a government procurement card. The principal loss has been repaid, and Smith will also have to pay interest and the investigative cost of the case. Since his appointment in July of last year, State Auditor White has issued demands for nearly $3.5-million in stolen or misspent public money on behalf of MS taxpayers. Once it's recovered, the money is returned to the agency/county of entity it belongs to.
Teachers' groups are hoping the Mississippi Senate will be more generous the second time around. A bill that's been amended in the House to give teachers a four thousand dollar pay raise over two years is headed back for the Senate's consideration. That's four times as much money as senators initially offered. Kelly Riley with Mississippi Professional Educators says even with that raise, the state's teachers would still be paid less than the southeastern average. Teachers had blasted the original one thousand dollar proposal, calling it a slap in the face.
Upwards of 250 new full-time jobs will be created in Hattiesburg over the next two years with the planned expansion of Kohler Engines. The announcement came yesterday from Governor Phil Bryant. He says the project will include the leasing of an additional 300-thousand-square-feet of space in Forrest County Industrial Park. Kohler has been producing engines in Hattiesburg for the past two decades, with the expansion tied to the consolidation of manufacturing operations from a plant in Wisconsin.
There are reports that U.S. pilots have been complaining about the Boeing 737 MAX jetliners for months. The Dallas Morning News reports one captain called the flight manual "inadequate and almost criminally insufficient." Most nations around the world grounded all Boeing 737 MAX flights on Tuesday because of safety concerns after the second deadly crash in just over four months.
The black boxes recovered from Sunday's deadly plane crash in Ethiopia could be sent to another country for examination. The head of Ethiopian Airlines told CNN today that instead of sending them to the U.S. to be analyzed they may be shipped to a country in Europe. He said a decision will be made in the interest of speed. Flight 302 went down shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board. It was the second deadly crash of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane since October. A number of nations have now grounded the aircraft. The U.S. has not followed suit.
A group of young Jewish Millenials is asking their peers to leave the Democratic party. They have launched a grass roots effort called Jexodus. The Jexodus website says they are tired of living in bondage to leftist politics. According to the site, they "reject the hypocrisy, anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism of the rising far-left." In urging young people to leave the party, they say they'd "rather spend forty years wandering in the desert than belong to a party that welcomes Jew-haters."