Ed Darling, who was previously executive editor and general manager of The Duncan Banner in Oklahoma for 10 years, has been named publisher of The Banner. He most recently was editor and publisher of The Madison County Journal in Ridgeland… Former Clarion-Ledger reporter Chris Joyner as has been hired by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as watchdog correspondent.

Open meetings bill passes Senate

Public bodies in Mississippi may face more scrutiny over closed meetings under legislation pending at the Capitol.

Under Senate Bill 2289, which passed the floor 31-15 on Thursday, individuals who willfully violate the state Open Meetings Act could face fines up to $1,000.


Matt Killebrew has been named publisher of The Clarksdale Press Register, succeeding Jay Strasner. Killebrew, who has been working in medical device services in Memphis, is a former reporter and graphic designer in the newspaper industry and a Tennessee native… John Lindsey, a longtime newspaper sales consultant through his Phoenix-based Lindsey and Associates, has joined Journal Publishing as training and development manager for the company’s Tupelo daily and regional weekly newspapers.

Bada-boom! Ethics lambastes two boards

The state Ethics Commission on Friday issued two opinions condemning Boards of Supervisors in Hinds and Lauderdale counties for conducting the public’s business in private. Though the maximum fine that can be imposed for such violations is a paltry $100, Ethics and sunshine advocates, including MPA and the Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information, are diligently pushing for tougher laws that would increase that fine to up to $1000.

“Unless we get something done on this we’re going to have more and more instances where elected officials take advantage of the loop holes,” said Rep. Rita Martinson, a Democrat who is the bill’s principal author in the House. “We have to hold people more responsible and they need to know what the law is.”

Experts complain that not only is the $100 fine to small to deter such actions, but that it penalizes the taxpayer instead of the guilty party since the fine is levied against the board on which they serve and not the individual.