BP settlement, milestone for some victims, a setback for others

Denise Spivacke Haralson and her husband, Larry, figured that they almost had their money. They had settled Mr. Haralson’s claims against BP for the losses he suffered as a construction worker in the economic slump after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Crowd lobbies at Miss. Capitol against small loan rate bill

A small crowd gathered at the Capitol today to speak against a bill that would nearly triple the maximum interest rate on small loans.

Under House Bill 1396, finance companies could charge 99 percent interest on loans under $1,500. Mississippi law currently allows companies to charge up to 36 percent on loans of up to $1,000.

Charter schools not affordable

The problem with charter schools, particularly charter schools not limited to failing school districts, is that Mississippi simply cannot afford them.

Private school enrollment is not publicly tracked, but the 2010 American Community Survey estimates that Mississippi has 60,000 K-12 students enrolled in private schools.

These are students who presently do not receive public funding for their schooling because, for whatever reason, their families have chosen not to send them to public school.

Two years after the oil spill, Gulf Coast residents dealing with legal and health issues

It was two years ago today the Deepwater Horizon exploded, killing 11 people and spewing more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Now, a federal judge in New Orleans is considering a proposed settlement that will require BP to pay nearly eight-Billion-dollars. MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports thousands of Mississippi residents are eligible for the settlement that will cover loss of income and medical claims.

Feinberg made few mistakes, but 10,000 Gulf oil spill claimants shortchanged, audit says

Former BP claims czar Kenneth Feinberg sufficiently paid or properly denied more than 98 percent of the 574,000 claimants who sought compensation for Gulf oil spill-related losses, according to an analysis by an independent auditor. BDO Consulting, a New York firm hired by the U.S. Justice Department in December to review Feinberg's Gulf Coast Claims Facility, said the massive undertaking to pay for the spill's economic damages was not error-free, but provided a "foundation for future claims facilities."

Charges against parent dropped

GREENVILLE — Four misdemeanor charges against Rita F. Morgan, the parent arrested Dec. 20 for an altercation with Greenville Public School District Police Officer LeShaun McWright, were dismissed in municipal court on Wednesday.

Morgan was charged with disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, failure to comply with a request and simple assault.

Morgan said she is glad the ordeal is over.

“I lost so many nights of sleep, and I was ashamed or scared at times to even go out in public since all of this happened,” said Morgan, wiping tears from her eyes.

Mississippi Center for Justice Honors Stephen J. Pollak

The Mississippi Center for Justice is delighted that Stephen J. Pollak joined us as our 2012 Mississippi on the Potomac honoree. His distinguished career reflects a lifelong commitment to public service.

Dialogue needed to quell HIV fears

Today is national HIV testing day, and there us no better time than today to find out your HIV status. Mississippi has the sixth highest rate of HIV in the nation in 2009, and there are nearly 10,000 people who are living with HIV in the state today, according to figures from the Mississippi State Department of Health. However, these 10,000 people are only the ones who are aware of their HIV-positive status; there are many who have contracted HIV, but have never been tested for it.

State GOP vow to help repeal health care law

WASHINGTON — Mississippi's Republican lawmakers vowed Thursday to join GOP leaders in an effort to repeal the nation's health care law - despite a Supreme Court ruling to keep it in place.

"Only a full repeal of this overreaching law will allow Americans to receive the care that they need, from the doctors that they choose, at a cost that they can afford," said 3rd District Rep. Gregg Harper.

Twenty-six states, including Mississippi, challenged the law's constitutionality.