ICE: 55 arrested at Mississippi restaurants

Immigration arrests of at least 55 people this week at central Mississippi eating establishments resulted from an investigation launched more than a year ago, officials say. Fifty-five people were arrested this week after United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials executed federal criminal search warrants at eight different restaurants in Flowood, Meridian and Pearl, ICE officials said. ICE spokesman Thomas Byrd said Thursday that warrants served on Wednesday are related to an investigation that began more than one year ago. He would not specify the violations being investigated. At least three of the locations were Ichiban restaurants located in Flowood and Pearl.

Heritage Trust protects Historic Tax Credit

The Mississippi Heritage Trust is leading a grassroots advocacy effort to protect a federal historic tax credit program in anticipation of tax reform under President Donald Trump’s new administration. The nonprofit organization last week announced that all six members of Mississippi’s Congressional delegation have expressed their support for the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act. Preserving and improving the national policy via the tax credit act, which was referred to the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means this month, is a priority for the Mississippi group and other nonprofits around the nation. The Federal Historic Tax Credit encourages private investment in the rehabilitation of historic buildings by allowing owners to receive 20% of their qualified rehabilitation expenses as credit against their personal income tax obligation.  When combined with the state historic tax credit (25%), the two often motivate developers to choose to save historic places where new construction (without the credits) is often cheaper. Mississippi’s historic tax credit program was renewed in July.

Hattiesburg, Petal residents can dispose of tornado waste

Mississippi residents affected by the Jan. 21 tornado outbreak near Hattiesburg and Petal now have a way to safely dispose of toxic and hazardous items damaged in the storm. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality this week will collect damaged household hazardous wastes, major appliances and electronic waste from Forrest, Lamar, and Perry Counties residents. Department officials will collect these items on Friday, Feb. 10 and Saturday, Feb.

Kemper power plant delayed again

On the day Mississippi Power Co. was scheduled to start commercial operation of its Kemper County energy facility, another month’s delay was announced. The utility, a unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co., revealed the setback in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday, the latest in a series of missed projected deadlines. The plant, which is running on natural gas, was supposed to go into full operation running on synthesis gas, also known as syngas, by May 2014. It is now scheduled for completion by Feb.