Hancock County’s Newest Red Headed Step Child

Yesterday the Sun Herald asked a very interesting question:

How did the Bay mayor’s son get hired for $115K at Hancock jail? It’s complicated ~ Paul Hampton

Of course when an AG’s opinion is issued and is then rescinded everyone has to get in on the act:

AG’s office rescinds negative opinion, Hancock jail clinic back in business ~ Cassandra Favre

Lost in the story of Hancock County’s newest whipping boy is how the jail went from having its own medical staff to contracting with Health Assurance, LLC under the previous Sups and Sheriff, a company that was involved in passing out bribes in the Chris Epps MDOC scandal to Quality Correction Health Care, Inc. the company that took over for Health Assurance, LLC and now back to its own staff. That story is at least somewhat interesting.

If Casey Favre were unqualified to handle his new job, like former Hancock County Library Executive Director Courtney Thomas, who told some gigantic whoppers in at least one public meeting about her qualifications, I guess we’d be riled up here at Slabbed but since he is a health care professional, it must be his last name alone that has earned him the media’s ire. Worse yet, from a clusterf*ck perspective Favre doesn’t even have the race card to play. That said the Board of Sups could have done a much better job handling this whole deal.

The AG’s opinion at the center of this latest dust up is presented below: Continue reading “Hancock County’s Newest Red Headed Step Child”

Other Voices | Lana Noonan: Bay Waveland Schools Lag in Four Year Graduation Rates

According to the Mississippi Department of Education “Four Year Graduation Rates” determine the high school completion status four years after students enter 9th grade for the first time.

In February of this year (2018) the State released the Four Year Graduation Rates for students who have been tracked since 2013-14 school year and expected to graduate this year (2018).

Here are the rankings of the 12 Coast School Districts from No. 1 to No. 12 achievement status for keeping students in school, and helping them achieve a high school diploma.

FOUR YEAR GRADUATION RATES OF COAST SCHOOL DISTRICTS

NO. 1 OCEAN SPRINGS—90.7%
NO. 2. JACKSON COUNTY–89.1%
NO. 3. GULFPORT——–87.6%
NO. 4. PASCAGOULA——87.3%
NO. 5. LONG BEACH——87.2%
NO. 6. PASS CHRISTIAN- 87.1%
NO. 7 POPLARVILLE—–86.7%
NO. 8 HARRISON COUNTY-85.5%
NO. 9 BILOXI———-83.2%
NO. 10 HANCOCK COUNTY–82.8%
NO. 11 BAY-WAVELAND—-81.6%
NO. 12 MOSS POINT——70.4%

I was concerned enough with the status of our two elementary schools in the Bay-Waveland District with North Bay rated a “C” campus, and Waveland a “D” by the State Department of Education.

When I read this report on the State Department website, it was heart sinking.

Our new Superintendent has her work cut out for her. We have spent a lot of tax payer dollars on brick, mortar, sod, bleachers, scoreboards, and asphalt, legal fees, and high end administrative salaries in the last four years–in the millions. Continue reading “Other Voices | Lana Noonan: Bay Waveland Schools Lag in Four Year Graduation Rates”

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Adelson and Murdoch

Posted on May 21, 2018

If it was a boxing match, they’d stop it. Two Jewish octogenarians, Sheldon Adelson and Rupert Murdoch, are beating the jack crap out of decades of American policy and tradition that has had the US pursuing peace as a first option, keeping commitments, and supporting those that have supported us.

In its place, Adelson and Murdoch are substituting an Israel-centric screw our-real allies, no peace with any mideast country without Israel’s permission “policy” that makes the US position in the world a shadow of what presidents of both parties have created and maintained since World War ll.

But Adelson and Murdoch are not President you say. Trump is. True, but without Adelson and Murdoch, Trump cannot survive. Tump knows it and Adelson and Murdoch know it. They are in the catbird seat. They’ve turned Trump into their useful idiot.

First, lets be clear on who is an ally and who isn’t. Scripture tells us, “no greater love hath a man than he lay down his life for his friends.” If Scripture is not your cup of tea, try common sense. Those who will fight and die for you are your allies those who won’t aren’t. The proposition speaks for itself.

When we were hit on 9/11 our allies joined us as we pursued the perpetrators in Afghanistan. Twenty nine countries put troops on the ground and suffered fatalities helping us. Major contributions were made by the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, New Zealand, and Australia. Even little Belgium had troops on the ground and lost a soldier. Jordan, an Arab country, lost two. Unknown to most, even Iran helped us right after 9/11 laying the foundation for our installing Hamid Karzai as Afghanistan president.

As usual, Israel was of no help. Since the country’s formation in 1948, Israel has received more money from the US than any other country and has never put a soldier at risk with us. Israel’s excuse for non-participation is that the Arabs would be upset if the Jewish state were to join in battle with or against them. Continue Reading…….

Cancer in the Locker Room Part Two: Ellis Anderson out at Bay Historical Preservation….

Ms. Anderson broke the news she was discharged yesterday morning via Facebook:

It was getting on to 11pm when the council came out of an executive session. No video was running and only myself and three other people were present when they reconvened. They approved the minutes and then Larry Smith said he wanted to make a motion.

I’m paraphrasing, but it was something to the effect of “I make a motion that we discharge Ellis Anderson from the Historic Preservation Commission.” There was no discussion or reason given. I wasn’t asked to speak.

Gary Knoblock was out of the room, but Smith, Gene Hoffman, Buddy Zimmerman and Josh Desalvo voted yes. Doug Seal and Jeff Reed voted no.

After the meeting adjourned, I asked for some explanation. The mayor and Josh DeSalvo mentioned a possible lawsuit brought on by something I’d done on behalf of HPC. I pointed out that I’d only been carrying out an action discussed and voted on unanimously by the HPC at our last meeting. I wasn’t even chairing that meeting. I’d heard no complaints, nor had anyone contacted me to let me know there was an issue.

Sources in Bay City Government not authorized to speak with the media indicated to Slabbed weeks ago that Ms. Anderson became time limited after Mississippi Archives and History issued the stop work order on the P. J. Coffee Shop, which Slabbed covered back in March. The issue boiled down as follows: Continue reading “Cancer in the Locker Room Part Two: Ellis Anderson out at Bay Historical Preservation….”

The Crickets are Chirping, An Open Letter to Phil Bryant

May 8, 2018

Mrs. Lana Noonan
Waveland, Mississippi 39576

Governor Phil Bryant
P. O. Box 139
Jackson, Mississippi 39205

Dear Governor Bryant:

I reviewed the Opportunity Zone Map for Hancock County, which was released to the press on April 23, and as a citizen of Waveland, was very surprised to see my city’s struggling downtown business district “carved” out of the zone eligible for the Federal tax abatements to attract investors to our area.

My first reaction was, “who could do this to us?!” It was a surprising and disappointing revelation to learn through the U. S. Department of the Treasury representative, Jeff Merkowitz, that it was, in fact, our own Governor who selected and nominated the eligible census tracts within our state for designation as Qualified Opportunity Zones.

The purpose of my letter is to ask you, as the person who made this decision, what criteria you used to determine that our entire neighboring city of Bay St. Louis, including their already thriving downtown area, and highway corridor, was entitled to be an Opportunity Zone, and downtown Waveland was not.

Considering the requirement of 20% of citizens living at poverty level, and no one making over 80% of the median income, this conclusion of yours is an enigma to me and many others. Continue reading “The Crickets are Chirping, An Open Letter to Phil Bryant”

And they “sniffed the reeking buns of Angel acted like it was cocaine”……

Stealing a post title from 2011, Slabbed is going to tell you the story you won’t hear in the local media about the new Opportunity Zones, which made the news this past week locally. For those so interested in catching up, the Sea Coast Echo ran this press release based account of the Hancock County designation along with a picture of the smiling Bill Cork of Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission. Likewise WLOX ran a similar story plus acted the part of cheerleader in an editorial which was completely devoid of substance. But first here is the reaction from our local politicos as recounted by those media outlets linked above:

Blaine LaFontaine, president of the Hancock County Board of Supervisors, said, “We are grateful not one, but two census tracts in Hancock County were selected for this opportunity. We hope that private investment and incentives will help provide long-term investments to decrease poverty and increase per capita incomes in our community.”

Here LaFontaine correctly repeats the theory behind the program as did Bill Cork in his remarks. Here is some more reaction:

Waveland Mayor Mike Smith said, “Waveland is very excited to be a part of the opportunity zone which offers tax relief to investors. It will be the shot in the arm that our community needs to spur development and create very needed jobs.”

Glenn McCullough Jr., executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, said global companies know the advantages of the state’s productive workforce coupled with our superior business climate. “By adding Qualified Opportunity Zones, investing in Mississippi becomes an even more logical business decision for companies looking to locate or expand in our state,” he said.

As we read those last two remarks everyone began to giggle behind the scenes here at Slabbed. Here in Mississippi the MDA is more well known for its multi-million dollar boondoggles and by linking the tax relief Opportunity Zones offers investors with job creation both Mayor Smith and McCullough stepped out in a big way because there is no such linkage between jobs and investment in the program. In fact one naturally wonders if Mayor Smith actually saw the map of the designated area because Waveland was largely EXCLUDED from it. Here is a screen capture of the map of the local Opportunity Zone area: Continue reading “And they “sniffed the reeking buns of Angel acted like it was cocaine”……”

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: “Jew Haters” and Other Words to Kill Debate

Posted on April 26, 2018

“Jew Haters.” Nasty language, right? Absolutely.

But it can get worse. How about “Jew hating anti-semite?” The double-whammy. That’s the language that came out of the mouth of Morton Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America.

Klein directed that language at Barack Obama. Obama’s offense in Klein’s addled mind? In 2016, then President Obama had abstained on a UN Security Council vote that criticized Israel for expanding settlements in the Israeli occupied West Bank. The measure passed 14-0. One would have to assume that Klein’s opinion of the leaders of the 14 countries that voted to criticize Israel, including Theresa May of the UK, was something worse than a “Jew hating anti-semite”… whatever that might be.

How about charging someone with “betrayal and anti-semitism?” Sounds like a pretty nasty individual that would warrant that description. It happens to be the language used by Menachem Begin, former Prime Minister of Israel, to describe President Ronald Reagan.

Ronald Reagan, for Pete’s sake…are you kidding me?

What could Reagan, of all people, have done to incur the wrath of the Prime Minster of a country, Israel, that, at that time and now, is the recipient of the lion’s share of US Foreign Aid? Reagan wanted to do what American Presidents are supposed to do…manage the foreign policy of the USA.

Specifically, Reagan wanted to take a step towards normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia by selling unarmed advanced radar equipped aircraft called AWACS to the Saudis. To close the deal, Reagan had to win a vote in the US Senate. Continue Reading……

Brawling Prosecutors Visit the Coast???

I was greeted with a tip on my first day back from a long four day weekend in the North Georgia Mountains that Mississippi’s Prosecutors do not just fight crime, they evidently fight each other with last week’s brawl spilling out onto the Golden Nugget’s gaming floor. According to Slabbed’s sources it started with a Prosecutor from North East Mississippi and went down hill from there.

The Prosecutor Training Division of the Attorney General’s Office identifies, develops and implements training and resource programs for prosecutors within the State of Mississippi and their supporting personnel. In addition, this Division monitors criminal law as it develops in our State Legislature and alerts District Attorneys, City and County Attorneys, Youth Court Prosecutors and Special Assistant Attorneys General. Two major conferences and several customized training classes each year provide prosecutors with resources and information that are needed to help prosecutors protect the rights of our citizens who are victimized.

The 2018 Spring Prosecutors Conference offers Prosecutors twelve hours of continuing legal education, including one hour of ethics.

Speaking of how this started, word has filtered out in the legal community:

Sounds like someone got handsy after taking in the nice salt air down on the coast. In any event, anyone wanting to share everything they know about the fighting prosecutors is highly encouraged to do so in comments. For my friends in the media, I have been told arrests were made by the Biloxi PD so there is certainly a documentary public record on the incident.