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Friday, 11/08

Air date 11/08/13
Segment 1:
The former director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, his son and others are scheduled to be in federal court this morning after being indicted on federal charges, including conspiring to use the agency's money to buy property in which some of them had a financial interest.  Five former employees of the agency have also been indicted on state charges after an investigation revealed possible misspending of public money. Mississippi State Auditor Stacey Pickering says his office is also seeking to recover the funds involved.  Pickering spoke with MPB's Evelina Burnett.
New leadership at the Department of Marine Resources says they're fully cooperating with the investigation, and eager to see a resolution.  Agency spokesperson Melissa Scallon offered a statement.
Segment 2:
Once again, Mississippi trails the nation in standardized testing in public schools.  The results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) were released yesterday and while Mississippi showed small gains, there remains a wide gap between the state's 4th and 8th grade math and reading scores and the rest of the country.  Like many lawmakers and education advocates Joyce Helmick, President of the Mississippi Association of Educators believes the states new common core standards in math and language arts will continue to help bolster academic success in the state. 
To assess the report, we turn to Ann Foster with the education advocacy organization, Parents for Public Schools.  Foster says any improvement to Mississippi's scores is minimal...
In more Education News:
The Rankin County School District is getting more than a million dollars in "past-due" royalties from an oil-and-gas company.  The money was uncovered  during an audit by the Secretary of State's Office which found failed to reimburse the district for natural resources gathered from public lands. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says most school districts don't have the resources to police oil-and -gas companies payments.
Segment 3:
Ingalls Shipbuilding, the state’s largest private employer, is opening a new training facility in Pascagoula. The facility will train future and current shipbuilders in 14 different crafts, such as welding, electrical and pipe-fitting. Company president Irwin Edenzon says 15-hundred of the company’s 12,000 workers are graduates of the apprentice school.  Edenzon says Ingalls is looking to hire another one-thousand workers in 2014.  He spoke with our Evelina Burnett.

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