Takeover Postponed: Greenwood schools given until October 15, Superintendent says “I am not a bully.”

Mississippi votes not to take control of Greenwood schools

Mississippi’s Commission on School Accreditation on Thursday voted not to take over the Greenwood School District.

Instead, in a 12-0 vote, the commission decided to give the district until Oct. 15 to address issues in a critical report earlier this month from the Mississippi Department of Education.

The department will do a follow-up audit after that date and report back to the commission.

The report alleged Greenwood was reporting inaccurate information on employee pay and job descriptions. It also accused school board members of making decisions in illegal closed meetings and interfering in daily school operations. The document also questioned $29,000 in federal money spent on parental involvement.

A takeover would have resulted in the ouster of Supt. Montrell Greene and the school board and the appointment of a conservator to run the district.

Thursday’s meeting lasted more than two hours and attracted a large crowd of both supporters and opponents of the district’s current administration.

“I am not a bully,” Greene told the commission in response to the audit findings. “I am here to help boys and girls.”

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Ingalls’ Gulfport Composite Center of Excellence ends operations and 400 jobs.

Ingalls in Gulfport closes

It was a rare scene on Thursday at Ingalls in Gulfport workers walking out, after their shifts to see a nearly empty parking lot. It’s a drastic change from a place that was once packed with hundreds of employees. For many workers it’s their final day on the property and a bittersweet one at that.

“It’s just like a big family, everybody’s really nice. We’ve known, as soon as they ship the unit out that it was going to be all over. They are going to keep us in maintenance until the 22 of August. Helping clean up and get the yard ready to shut it down,” said Michael Staggs.

Staggs is hoping a job will open up for him at Ingalls in Pascagoula, but he has a plan B, just in case.

“I’ve already talked to the fellows at Halter and I’m welcome to come over there, if I have to. I may, if I can’t get in at Ingalls,” said Staggs.

According to Ingalls, just over 400 employees were impacted by the closing. A portion of those employees have transferred to the Pascagoula location. The Harrison County Economic Development Commission says they aren’t worried about other big industries in the county leaving anytime soon.

“I think Ingalls would have been here forever, if it wasn’t that the Navy and Department of Defense changed the product. They went from composite back to steel, which made this particular location, not in need for them right now. But you look at our other industries, they aren’t going anywhere,” said Harrison County Economic Development Commission Interim Executive Director Bill Hessell.

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U.S. Senate passes transportation funding bill.

Politico: The Senate has cleared, 81-13, an $11 billion bill to keep highway and transit programs funded through May, acting quickly following House passage of the bill earlier Thursday. Tonight’s vote heads off the possibility of states having federal money for transportation projects throttled starting tomorrow.

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PENDER: Gunn addresses ‘800-pound gorilla under Neshoba pavilion’

BY: Geoff Pender

State House Speaker Philip Gunn said a political party is a lot like a marriage, and it’s time for the state GOP to kiss and make up.

In what many Neshoba County Fair goers praised as a heck of a stump speech, Gunn on Thursday said he wanted to address “the 800-pound gorilla under the pavilion, the divide that appears to exist in the Republican Party over the U.S. Senate race.”

Gunn had the audience laughing as he recounted disagreements he and his wife have had – such as when he comes home late for dinner or throws all the decorative pillows off the bed.

He admitted he once told his wife, “She was acting like her mother,” which he said didn’t go over well.

But, he said, they always work through disagreements, and their marriage is stronger for it.

Gunn said if the state GOP doesn’t work through the establishment vs. tea party divide from the bitter Thad Cochran-Chris McDaniel battle, “Then that’s when the disintegration begins. That’s when the wound festers.”

“Labels only serve to divide us and tear us apart,” Gunn said. “… We cannot allow this infighting to derail our mission.”


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Joe Nosef politely tells Missouri GOP Chairman to butt out of Mississippi primary.

MS GOP Chair Slams Missouri GOP’s Call To Investigate Runoff Ads

The chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party panned a call from his counterpart in Missouri to appoint a committee to investigate “racially divisive ads” targeting Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) in the primary runoff election against incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran.

Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef called the idea a “publicity stunt.”

In an email to TPM, Nosef said the idea, by Missouri Republican Party Chairman Ed Martin, was “not a serious or logical suggestion.”

“Any objective person has to understand that right now, as we in Mississippi both anticipate a potential election challenge and attempt to prepare for the general election at the same time, no good would come out of taking time and resources to ‘investigate’ some advertisements that apparently were done during part of the runoff campaigning,” he said.

Earlier in the week, Martin sent letters to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and other RNC members arguing that a special committee should be appointed to investigate the ads, which connected McDaniel to a supporter who had reported connections to the Ku Klux Klan. The ads also suggested that voting for McDaniel in the runoff election for U.S. Senate might result in cuts to crucial government programs.

That spurred Martin to call for an investigation.

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Politico: House won’t vote on border bill.

House Republicans will not vote on their $659 million border bill because of a lack of support, according to sources.

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McDaniel Campaign Says RNC Rules Prohibit Cochran as Nominee

Republican Chris McDaniel’s legal team announced today that the Mississippi Republican Party is prohibited from recognizing Thad Cochran as their nominee for U.S. Senate in accordance with the rules of the Republican National Committee (RNC). The state party is bound by the rules adopted by the RNC at their 2012 National Convention in Tampa Florida.

“Thad Cochran’s acceptance of the nomination requires him to accept the 30,000 to 40,000 Democrat votes he received on June 24th,” Mitch Tyner said, “Accepting the nomination under such circumstances clearly disqualifies Sen. Cochran from eligibility as the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from the Mississippi,” he concluded.

Rule 11(b) states:
“No state Republican Party rule or state law shall be observed that allows persons who have participated or are participating in the selection of any nominee of a party other than the Republican Party, including, but not limited to, through the use of a multiparty primary or similar type ballot, to participate in the selection of a nominee of the Republican Party for that general election. No person nominated in violation of this rule shall be recognized by the Republican National Committee as the nominee of the Republican Party from that state.”

Thad Cochran lost Republican votes in the runoff and made up the difference with Democrat votes. Senator Cochran himself announced and executed his plan in complete dereliction of the rules adopted by the Republican National Committee. Henry Barbour, who ran the pro-Cochran super PAC largely responsible for the strategy, served on the RNC at the time these rules were instituted to prevent party raiding. Barbour’s PAC and Cochran’s campaign paid for the incendiary radio ads that specifically targeted Democrats to cast a one-time vote in the Republican primary for Thad Cochran without any regard for the rules Barbour helped pass in 2012.

McDaniel for Senate Press Release

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