Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hattiesburg High Cuts Dropout Rate in Half

Congratulations to Dr. Annie Wimbish and the rest of Hattiesburg Public Schools for cutting their dropout rate by more than half. Hattiesburg’s dropout rate fell from 27.8 percent to 11.2 percent.

While the state’s dropout rate increased, Hattiesburg can be proud of their school system for such a great achievement.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lindsey Smith Releases CD

I'm going to break away from politics for a moment.

If you're looking for something new to listen to, check out Hattiesburg folk and indie rock singer/songwriter Lindsey Smith's new CD on Garage Band and soon on iTunes (make sure you check the spelling of the name when you search).

Lindsey's an incredibly talented piano player and vocalist who I've had the privilege of working with and calling a friend for six years. There's a distinct, natural edge to her voice that will remind you a lot of Norah Jones and Fiona Apple.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Governor Signs Meal Plan Bill

Yesterday, Governor Barbour approved HB 856, which would make all prepaid portions of student meal plans exempt from sales tax. This goes into effect immediately and should provide some relief to students in making their meal plans last longer.

13th Check for Hattiesburg Police/Fire Retirees Heads to Governor

Yesterday, the House and Senate approved HB 1778, which would allow a 13th check to be made to retired Hattiesburg police officers and firemen. The 13th check equates to a cost of living increase.

Councilman Dave Ware pushed this on the local level, and it passed 3-0. It then had to come to the legislature for approval in the form of a Local & Private bill.

No Agreement Yet On Cigarette Tax

Last night, negotiations broke down again between the House and Senate on the cigarette tax. The latest House offer was 75 total cents on the cigarette tax (57-cent increase). The Senate held at 64 total cents (46-cent increase).

Today was suppose to be the day we recessed for a month. However, the lack of a cigarette tax compromise, coupled with the fact that the traditional last-day tomato plants placed on everyone's desk, are not promising signs that today is the last day.