Pass Christian school principal named Milken Educator

Dr. Robyn Killebrew, principal of Pass Christian High School, was awarded a Milken Educator Award, which carries with it an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize and national recognition. Killebrew is the only Milken Educator Award winner from Mississippi this year, and she is one of 44 honorees for 2017-2018. Read more about Killebrew’s award here.

Search continues for head of Achievement School District

The search for a superintendent to lead the newly created state Achievement School District continues, state Superintendent of Education Carey Wright told Board of Education members Thursday. After interviewing several candidates, the state education department will re-post the job in hopes of generating more interest. In October 2017, the Achievement School District Task Force recommended Noxubee County and Humphreys County school districts as candidates, but the education board decided at its December meeting to delay the decision until a superintendent was in place. The board delayed that decision again on Thursday. Scheduled to begin operations in the 2018-19 school year, the district would help transform persistently failing schools, according to a state law establishing the district.

Free admission to Two Mississippi Museums this weekend

Admission to the newly opened Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History will be free this Saturday through Tuesday. To honor the National Day of Racial Healing, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is sponsoring the free admission to the museums, which opened Dec. 9 with a historic celebration attended by Myrlie Evers, the widow of slain Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers, and President Donald Trump. For the free admission days, the museums will be open regular hours, which are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Tuesday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museums are closed every Monday.

Survey says: Mississippians want a state lottery

Nearly 70% of Mississippi voters favor creating a state lottery with a majority saying that lottery revenue should be devoted to public schools, according to a new Millsaps College-Chism Strategies State of the State Survey. “The State of the State Survey finds that although voters are concerned about the state’s current direction, there are several clear-cut policy priorities that may help improve their perceptions of state government and the Legislature,” said Dr. Nathan R. Shrader, assistant professor of political science at Millsaps. “These priorities include immense support for creating a state lottery and the need to address very tangible problems like infrastructure and the lack of accessible, affordable health care. In addition to these things, we learned from this survey that several key state officials such as Delbert Hosemann and Lynn Fitch are quite popular with the voters and should be taken seriously as potential candidates for higher office.”

Responses about road and bridge repairs revealed contradictions. While nearly a quarter of all respondents ranked infrastructure improvements as their top policy priority, just 38% favor increasing the state’s gasoline tax to finance the repairs.

Scott Waller named Economic Council president, CEO

Scott Waller has been selected as president and CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council by the group’s board of directors. Waller, who has been associated with MEC for more than 11 years, has served as interim president and CEO for the past eight months, following the retirement of CEO Blake Wilson. “I look forward to working with business and community leaders as well as our elected officials across Mississippi to continue to grow our state’s economic competitiveness,” Waller said. As executive vice president and COO of MEC, Waller devised and deployed a comprehensive advocacy plan. Prior to joining MEC, Waller was a journalist, including stints as business editor of The Clarion-Ledger and owner and editor of the Madison County Journal.

MUW president resigns

Mississippi University for Women President Jim Borsig will leave the school in June. Borsig, who is in his sixth year at the Columbus school, did not specify his reasons for stepping down, but he and his wife expect to relocate to Maine. Here is the complete story from The Daily Journal.  

State flag flies for first time at Tupelo police department

After more than a year, a banner commemorating the state’s bicentennial anniversary has been removed from the city of Tupelo’s recently built police department headquarters and Mississippi’s state flag with its controversial symbol of the Confederacy now flies over the new building for the first time, The Daily Journal reported. Read the story here. Follow Mississippi Today’s recent state flag coverage:

‘Mississippi Made:’ Artists answer Stennis’ call to take on state flag

State flag lawsuit hits end of the road at U.S. Supreme Court

State flag goes up, down and back up Ocean Springs flagpoles

Holland no longer suffering from dementia

The 2018 session of the Mississippi Legislature opened Tuesday with Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, proclaiming he was a beneficiary of “a Mississippi rising” and no longer was suffering from dementia, The Daily Journal reported. Read the story here. Read Mississippi Today’s coverage of Holland:

Rep. Steve Holland: ‘I’m going to fight as long as I’ve got’

Rep. Holland reveals dementia diagnosis

Gulfport has special election Tuesday to fill vacant Senate seat

Three candidates are vying Tuesday for a state Senate seat left vacant by Sean Tindell, who was appointed to the Mississippi Court of Appeals earlier this year. The district in question mostly serves the city of Gulfport, and voters will choose between Dan Carr, a Baptist youth pastor; Joel Carter, a real estate developer; and Ron Meyers, an event planner. Special legislative elections are technically nonpartisan under state law, but a look at campaign finance reports hint at a candidate’s political leanings in any given race. Carter raised by far the most cash for the race – $165,000, including a $75,000 loan from Carter himself. His finance report shows donations from conservative elected officials, Coast business moguls, and Jackson political action committees.