Stories for April 2017

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Friday, April 28

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Jackson State to Award Degrees to Nearly 1,000 Students

CBS News correspondent DeMarco Morgan and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy will speak to Jackson State University graduates.

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Poll: Lumumba Leads in Mayor's Race; Graham, Horhn Battle for Second Position

A newly released poll conducted by Millsaps College and Chism Strategies reveals a highly competitive mayoral race. Jackson voters head to the polls on Tuesday, May 2 for the Democratic primary election to determine which of the leading candidates advances to the runoff in two weeks.

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Gambling in Mississippi: State in Top 5 for Addiction, First for Related Arrests

Mississippi sees the most gambling-related arrests and is in the top five states in the country for gambling addiction, a recent study from WalletHub found.

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Mississippi Justices Uphold Contempt Sanction Against Lawyer

The Mississippi Supreme Court says a lower court judge acted correctly last year when the judge ruled that a lawyer was in criminal contempt of court.

Thursday, April 27

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JFP Q&A: Ward 6 Candidate Ernest E. Slaughter, Sr. (Democrat)

Ernest E. Slaughter, Sr., 50, is running for the open Ward 6 city council seat in 2017.

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Working Families Party Endorses Lumumba for Mayor, Calling Him 'Inspiring'

A national group that supports raising the minimum wage, increasing public-school funding and reforming policing practices endorsed Chokwe Antar Lumumba today for Jackson mayor, calling him "inspiring."

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Questions as Mississippi Seeks to Tax Online Lodging Rentals

Mississippi's tax collector wants to make sure people renting rooms or vacation properties online pay sales and lodging taxes.

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Alexis Silkwood

Performing at a high level in college sports is no easy task. It is even harder knowing that, at the same time, your future in the sport is in the balance.

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Trump Says US Won't Leave NAFTA, for Now

President Donald Trump said he has told the leaders of Mexico and Canada that he will not pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement at this time, but could still withdraw if he concludes a renegotiated pact is not "a fair deal for all."

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Mississippi Gov Has Not Set Full Agenda for Special Session

A spokesman says Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has not completed the agenda for a special legislative session, but the top issue will be finishing the budget.

Wednesday, April 26

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JFP Q&A: Ward 5 candidate Patty Patterson (Democrat)

Patty Patterson, 54, is running for the open Ward 5 city council seat in 2017.

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Out of the Shadows: Ronnie Crudup Jr. Brings Youth, Business to Forefront

Many Jacksonians did not know Ronnie Crudup Jr. before he announced as a candidate for mayor.

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JFP Q&A: Ward 4 candidate Mary McClendon (Democrat)

Mary McClendon, 59, is running for the Ward 4 city council seat in 2017.

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Look Ahead But Stay Present in the Jackson Mayor’s Race

As I look back on the many years I spent living in the city of Jackson, romanticism sometimes begins to set in.

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Vetoing Criminal Reforms Shortsighted, Dangerous

Whether it was due to a "mistake" or a poison pill inserted at the last hour, Gov. Phil Bryant vetoed House Bill 1033 last week after both houses passed the criminal-justice reform measure unanimously.

Inequitable Education

This legislative session, Mississippi lawmakers went backwards on equity for school funding. They not only underfunded MAEP, but they took millions from that program and gave it to "successful" schools.

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Getting Ready for the ‘Mother of All Bombs’

Mr. Announcement: "Ghetto Science Public Affairs Network television presents coverage of Clubb Chicken Wing's Emergency Preparedness and Strategic Planning Hot Wing Happy Hour. Your moderator for this session is Congressman Smokey 'Robinson' McBride."

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Where the Pearl River Flows

Environmental groups and downstream communities in Louisiana and Mississippi are keeping a sharp eye on any proposed levee or lake project in Jackson, such as the current "One Lake" strategy, due to potential impacts of damming water further south.

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Shifting the Power to Regulate Nurses, Barbers, More

Melony Armstrong did not want to cut hair; she wanted to braid hair in her own shop. She believed that the time and money spent on beauty school would be useless for what she wanted to do, she says now.

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City of Jackson Primaries: May 2, 2017

On Tuesday, May 2, Jacksonians will cast their votes in mayoral and council primaries.

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Gate Debate Rankles City Council, Again

Distressed residents from the Villages of Northpointe in far northeast Jackson gathered at the Jackson City Council meeting on April 18 to address Councilman President Tyrone Hendrix on his lack of support for a gating ordinance that has dawdled for about a year due to concerns ranging from neighborhood unfairness, to safety challenges, to charges of "intentional segregation."

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JFP Endorsement: Chokwe A. Lumumba for Jackson Mayor

Chokwe Antar Lumumba's strong national presence will bring recognition and resources from outside Jackson to help raise our stature as a progressive and creative capital city that appeals to young people and innovators.

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Mississippi Governor Sets Special Session to Start June 5

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant is calling Mississippi legislators into special session starting June 5.

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'Jackson': Exploring Reproductive Health in Mississippi

In June 2012, Maisie Crow came across a story on the website Jezebel about Mississippi's House Bill 1390, which newly elected Gov. Phil Bryant had signed into law that April.

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The Weeks: ‘Easy’ Writers

It's been four years since Jackson-native rock act The Weeks released a true follow-up to their 2013 album, "Dear Bo Jackson," although the band has been far from quiet.

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Kira Cummings

Artist Kira Cummings pulls out several wire insects with wings made of colorful beads. To make them, she says she takes a big piece of wire and wraps it around a frame many times, and then adds the beads.

Tuesday, April 25

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JFP Q&A: Ward 6 candidate Lee A. Bernard Jr. (Democrat)

Lee A. Bernard Jr., 66, is running for the open Ward city council seat in 2017 to replace retiring Councilman Tyrone Hendrix.

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JFP Q&A: Ward 6 candidate Shabaka K. Harrison (Democrat)

Shabaka K. Harrison, 28, is running for the open Ward 6 city council seat in 2017 to replace retiring Councilman Tyrone Hendrix.

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UPDATED: Lumumba Files Campaign Report, Third Behind Horhn, Graham in Donations

On a major campaign filing date, Mississippi Sen. John Horhn leads, so far, in donations with upwards of $200,000 in donations to date, although he has spent much of it.

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JFP Q&A: Ward 7 candidate LaDarion Ammons (Democrat)

LaDarion Ammons, 25, is running for the open Ward 7 city council seat in 2017 to replace retiring Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon.

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Trump Relies on Executive Orders That He Criticized Obama For Using

In an email blast to reporters on Tuesday, the White House touted the sheer volume of orders as evidence that "Trump has accomplished more in his 100 days than any other President since Franklin Roosevelt." The White House has defended the use of executive orders as necessary to accomplish the speedy solutions it says the American people elected Trump to enact.

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JFP Q&A: Ward 6 candidate Jonathan Cottrell (Democrat)

Jonathan Cottrell, 29, is running for the Ward 6 city council seat in 2017.

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JFP Q&A: Ward 2 candidate Melvin Priester Jr. (incumbent, Democrat)

Read Ward 2 Councilman Melvin Priester Jr.'s answer to the 2017 JFP City Council Questionnaire.

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Federal Judge Blocks Trump's Order To Stop Funding 'Sanctuary Cities'

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday blocked any attempt by the Trump administration to withhold funding from "sanctuary cities" that do not cooperate with U.S. immigration officials, saying the president has no authority to attach new conditions to federal spending.

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Jackson Primary Voter Turnout May Be 'Disappointing,' Secretary of State Says

Jacksonians will go to the polls in a week to vote in the primary mayoral and city council elections, and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said he's "disappointed" so far with what appears could be a low voter turnout.

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Social Hour at BRAVO! and 2017 Spring Webinar Series

On May 2, BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar will launch its Social Hour, which will feature a special food-and-drink menu for customers seated in the restaurant's lounge or on the patio from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and until 9 p.m. on Sundays.

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Yohance Myles

For actor Yohance Myles, "confidence in your faith and dreams" are the winning factors, he says, and not location.

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Another Mississippi City, Biloxi, Lowers Confederate-Themed Flag

Biloxi, a Gulf Coast city that relies heavily on tourism, is joining several other local governments in abandoning the Mississippi flag because it contains the Confederate battle emblem.

Monday, April 24

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Sexually Transmitted Infection Rates High in Mississippi, Despite Declines

Despite declines in recent years, Mississippi still has some of the highest STI rates in the country, data from the Centers for Disease Control show.

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MSU to Lead Major Drone Research Project for US Government

Mississippi State University officials say the school will lead a major research and development project involving drones.

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Markel Crawford

Mississippi has added graduate transfer guard Markel Crawford, who should bolster the Rebels' backcourt next season.

Saturday, April 22

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Attorneys General to Trump: Don't Cut Drug Treatment Funds

The top government lawyers from 19 states are telling President Donald Trump and the Republican leaders of Congress not to pass health insurance changes that would stop the flow of federal drug treatment money.

Friday, April 21

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Generational Feud Roils Mayoral Forum

A seemingly innocent mayoral candidate forum quickly turned into a brutal debate between mayoral candidates Robert Graham and attorney Chokwe Antar Lumumba last night.

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'Spoiled' Criminal Justice Reform Bill Dies After Governor's Veto

Individuals would not be locked up for being financially unable to pay fines, and nonviolent offenders could get parole sooner under a bipartisan bill both the House and the Senate unanimously passed this session. But, Gov. Phil Bryant vetoed it.

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Friendship Ball Honors Pamela D.C. Junior, Robert Luckett

This year, the Friendship Ball, which recognizes two individuals each year who have worked to improve race relations Jackson in their professional and personal lives, will honor Pamela D.C. Junior and Robert Luckett.

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Some on Mississippi School Board Seek to Run New District

Some members of Mississippi's state Board of Education want direct control over a statewide school district that will take charge of faltering local schools and districts.

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Judge Suspended Over Threatening to Use Gun in Courtroom

A Mississippi judge will be suspended without pay for 30 days and have to pay a fine for threatening to use a gun against a defendant in his courtroom.

Thursday, April 20

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Deportations Devastating to Children of Immigrants, Stoking Fear and Altering Daily Life

The 6-year-old's father was facing deportation, so the little boy took the stand to defend his daddy in an immigration court in Louisiana.

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Mississippi Schools Raise Tuition Again After Budget Cuts

Mississippi's eight public universities are raising tuition by an average of 6.6 percent next fall, saying state budget cuts require them to raise more revenue from students.

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Caroline Seitz

The University of Georgia only scored 13 runs combined in its three-game softball series against Mississippi State University last weekend. Meanwhile, MSU senior Caroline Seitz drove in 14 runs by herself against Georgia.

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Secretary of State Updates Mississippi Business Info Website

A state official says he is providing detailed market information to people thinking of starting a business in Mississippi.

Wednesday, April 19

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Bill O'Reilly Out at Fox News Channel After 20 Years

Fox News Channel's parent company fired Bill O'Reilly on Wednesday following an investigation into harassment allegations, bringing a stunning end to cable television news' most popular program and one that came to define the bravado of his network over 20 years.

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The Days of Deejays

As an artist who came up in the early-2000s hip-hop scene and still performs today, New York native Sam Zornow, whom fans know as DJ Shiftee, has experienced two different eras of deejaying.

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Through the Keyhole

The keyhole garden is a great option for those of us with small backyards or small budgets.

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Bottles and Bubbles: 2017 Wine Tasting

It's the 2017 Spring Food issue, which means one thing: JFP staffers gathered together to try some more wine.

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Downtown's Sweet Restoration

The JFP recently talked to Elizabeth Augustine over the phone about her journey to Sugar Ray's, the business itself and its place in the landscape of a changing downtown Jackson.

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How Gov. Phil Bryant Is Hurting Mississippi

In my personal journey in the fight for fairness, equality and progress, I have come to a stark conclusion: Gov. Phil Bryant is single-handedly preventing our state from progressing and moving forward.

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Much Ado About Flooding: How 'One Lake' Could Change the Pearl River

People like to settle near rivers due to their need for water, good soil and potential food sources a river can provide, not to mention recreation. Still, it is important to remember that flooding is a natural part of a life of a river, Ben Emanuel of the American Rivers Association says.

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To My Unborn Daughter

I'm here to remind you of the truth. Warriors flow through your veins—brown women who integrated schools, survived Jim Crow. Slavery and Manifest Destiny are a part of your DNA.

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Where the City’s Sidewalk Begins: Real Solutions

What does Jackson need? The most often griped-about, joked-about and discussed surface-level fix in this city are potholes.

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Alyssa Bryant

At 12 years old, Alyssa Bryant got sick, and it was two more years before doctors diagnosed her with Crohn's Disease. After years in and out of hospitals, she decided to take her health into her own hands at age 19.

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Fire Marshal Distributes 300 Free Smoke Alarms

The Mississippi insurance commissioner is distributing about 300 smoke alarms in an effort to reduce fire deaths.

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Beer: If It Looks Good, Drink It

I've always loved this particular phrase from "Bizarre Foods" host Andrew Zimmern: "If it looks good, eat it."

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Revealing ‘Rigoletto’

The latest production from the Mississippi Opera, "Rigoletto," may be a recognizable name even for people who aren't versed in the classics.

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Stop Summer Learning Loss with Structured Programs

In a recent conversation with a patient, she inquired about what the best scenario for her children would be during summer vacation.

Tuesday, April 18

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UPDATED: Teens Quiz Mayor Hopefuls on Crime, Sidewalks and Myths About Youth

Five teenagers of the Mississippi Youth Media Project challenged seven mayoral candidates during Jackson's first Youth Mayoral Forum held at Provine High School Monday evening.

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Sweet & Sauer, Innovate Mississippi, Fondren Renaissance and Else School of Management

Lauren Rhoades, a Denver native and owner of Sweet & Sauer, is hosting a grand opening for Sweet & Sauer Fermentation Kitchen on Thursday, April 27, at The Hatch in Midtown from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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Officer Allen "Junior" Harper

Recently, the City of Jackson, Presidential Hills Neighborhood and the Jackson State University family celebrated the homegoing of a wonderful police officer, neighbor and Tiger. Officer Allen Harper passed away recently after suffering injuries from an accident when a car pulled in front of him while he was riding his motorcycle.

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Mississippi Congressmen Decline Forum Invites

The Mississippi congressional delegation will not attend public forums set up by constituents in Northeast Mississippi.

Monday, April 17

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Jackson Plans to Pursue New Orleans Pelicans NBA Team

The City of Jackson will submit a formal letter of intent to the National Basketball Association to pursue a development-league affiliate for the New Orleans Pelicans today.

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JPS Teenagers to Question Mayoral Candidates at YMP-PTA Forum Today

Teenagers will take center stage at Jackson's first Youth Mayoral Forum on Monday, April 17, in the Provine High School auditorium.

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Analysis: Leaders Say Reducing State Budget Meets GOP Goal

There has been plenty of hand-wringing about the Mississippi budget the past several months, with Republican Gov. Phil Bryant making multiple rounds of cuts because tax collections fell short of expectations.

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Noah Barbieri

Millsaps College says one of its students has been named a Truman Scholar.

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10 Local Stories of the Week

There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them.

Friday, April 14

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Seatbelts Now Required for All in Cars, Bryant Signs Trooper School Funding

Starting in July if you're riding in a car in Mississippi, seatbelts are required for everyone in the vehicle. But previously, state law only required those passengers in the front seat to wear seatbelts.

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George Bey

Millsaps College professor of anthropology George Bey excitedly points to his computer screen as he explains the intricacies of a recent advancement in archeological technology called Light Detection and Ranging, or LiDAR.

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Mississippi High Court: Execution Plans Can be Kept Secret

Mississippi does not have to publicly disclose details of how it carries out executions, the state's highest court ruled Thursday.

Thursday, April 13

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U.S. Sen. Wicker Says 1,500 Syrians Died from Chemical Attacks During War, More from Barrel Bombs

Mississippi's junior U.S. senator, Roger Wicker, says President Donald Trump acted in accordance with the Constitution when he ordered missile air strikes on a Syrian air base last Thursday—but that hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died from chemical and barrel-bomb attacks in recent years in a conflict he calls "complicated."

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Amy Carroll-Denley

Soon, the Gulf South Conference will honor one of the greatest women's basketball players in Delta State University history, Amy Carroll-Denley, who is among five new inductees in the 2017 GSC Hall of Fame class.

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Russia Vetoes UN Resolution to Condemn Syria Chemical Attack

Russia vetoed a Western-backed U.N. resolution Wednesday that would have condemned the reported use of chemical weapons in a town in northern Syria and demanded a speedy investigation into the attack that killed nearly 90 people.

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Judge Cuts Fine to $20,000 for Man Convicted in Bribery Case

A businessman who bribed Mississippi's former prisons chief will only have to pay a $20,000 fine, not the $150,000 originally imposed, after he testified Wednesday that his debts outweigh his assets.

Wednesday, April 12

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Hopping Down the Local Food Trail

If you don't want to cook Easter lunch or dinner this year (or if you need treats), why not eat and shop local? Here is your guide to Easter Sunday on April 16.

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‘One Lake’ Can’t Outsmart Nature

A new Pearl River dam and lake raise huge concerns for the short and long term: lots of lights and lots of traffic; new flooding downstream in Mississippi and Louisiana; and negative impacts to industry, wildlife, air and water quality, Gulf fisheries, recreation and public health.

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State Testing Presents Bigger Equity Question

The Third Grade Reading Gate certainly serves a statewide purpose: to weed out and ideally save those kids who never learn how to read. But what if catching them isn't enough?

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The Myth of the Welfare Queen

I am old enough to remember the promise of welfare reform in the '90s. I recall quite well the nasty rhetoric used to shred our social safety net.

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The Revolving Third-grade Gate

Thousands of Mississippi's third graders will sit in front of computers later this month to take the statewide reading test, but the eyes of teachers and administrators at Finch Elementary School will be intensely focused on a dozen students at this Wilkinson County school.

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State’s College Students Face Financial Aid Crunch

Allen Coon will lose one of his state scholarships, thanks to the Mississippi Legislature cutting over $1 million from state financial aid during the session that ended last month.

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A Mayor's Story: Tony Yarber on His Past Mistakes and Evolving Vision

Mayor Tony Yarber is different this time around. During his first run for the job vacated when Mayor Chokwe Lumumba died in 2014, a bunch of urgent business suits surrounded and handled him amid a certain amount of arrogant campaign chaos.

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Vernon Hartley Sr.

Vernon Hartley Sr., an environmentalist and community activist who has served as a Jackson Municipal Airport Authority commissioner since 2014, traveled to Hong Kong on March 8 to serve as a liaison on behalf of the Airports Council International of North America's 35th annual World Environment Standing Committee.

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What We’re Looking for in a Mayor

With the mayoral primary just a few weeks away, we've been discussing our JFP endorsement possibilities; we haven't yet chosen a candidate, but we've been talking about the criteria.

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The Highs and Low Ends

Iconic hip-hop act A Tribe Called Quest surprised many longtime listeners in late 2015 when the group seemingly began ramping up for a full return.

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Family Ties, Trials and Tickles

William "Peppy" Biddy, a Mississippi University for Women theater professor, is the guest director for New Stage Theatre's regional premiere of Durang's 2013 Tony Award-winning comedy "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," which opens April 18.

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Wicker Praises End of Partisan Filibuster on Judicial Seats

Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi is praising fellow Republicans for blocking Democrats' ability to filibuster judicial nominations — a move that led to confirmation of Neal Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tuesday, April 11

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Welty Library Opens New Tech Lab, Will Offer Free Classes

Local job seekers may benefit from several upgrades to the Eudora Welty Library in downtown Jackson, including a new technology learning lab, 44 new computers and a freshly painted autism resource center.

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Woodrow Wilson Place, Thimblepress, Estelle Wine Bar and CU at the Zoo

When the Westin Jackson hotel opens in August 2017, it will be bringing a new restaurant to downtown Jackson with it: Estelle Wine Bar & Bistro.

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Dr. Brian Kogon

In January, Dr. Brian Kogon, his wife and three kids moved to Jackson from Atlanta after he joined the University of Mississippi Medical Center as the new chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery.

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Nissan Faces More Labor Law Charges at Mississippi Plant

The National Labor Relations Board is leveling new charges that Nissan Motor Co. and a contract worker agency at Nissan's Mississippi plant are violating workers' rights.

Monday, April 10

Judge Again Finds Discrimination in Texas' Voter ID Law

A judge ruled for a second time Monday that Texas' strict voter ID law was intentionally crafted to discriminate against minorities, which follows another court finding evidence of racial gerrymandering in how Republican lawmakers drew the state's election maps.

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Official: Russia Knew in Advance of Syrian Chemical Attack

The United States has concluded Russia knew in advance of Syria's chemical weapons attack last week, a senior U.S. official said Monday.

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JSU President Search Advances, Interviews to Begin Soon

The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning board has narrowed its pool of candidates for the future president of Jackson State University.

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Shea Patterson

Shea Patterson had a three-game, crash course as Mississippi's quarterback in November after senior starter Chad Kelly went down with a knee injury.

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Mississippi-Based Trustmark Closes Purchase of Alabama Bank

Mississippi-based Trustmark Corp. has completed its purchase of Alabama-based Reliance Bank for $23.7 million in cash.

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Analysis: Someone Might Want a Trial in Epps Bribery Case

None of the people accused of bribing former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps have gone to trial. Yet. But Dr. Carl Reddix might be ready to risk it.

Sunday, April 9

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Crossroads Film Festival Rewards Several Mississippi Filmmakers, Students

The 2017 Crossroads Film Festival honored winning films, including several by Mississippi filmmakers.

Friday, April 7

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Six Mississippians Get Voting Rights Back

Six Mississippians await the governor's signature in order to get their right to vote in the state restored.

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Raoul Peck

Haitian native Raoul Peck has amassed a variety of careers in his 63 years, including stints as the minister of culture for the Haitian government, a New York City taxi driver, a journalist and photographer, and now, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker.

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Physician Seeks Dismissal of Prison Contract Bribery Case

A physician accused of bribing Mississippi's former prisons chief says charges against him should be dismissed because prosecutors can't prove the corrections official did anything to improperly influence prison medical contracts awarded to the doctor's company.

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US Strike on Syria is Widely Praised, but Angers Russia

World leaders rallied around the United States after it launched a missile strike early Friday on a Syrian air base in response to this week's chemical attack, while Russia condemned the move as "aggression" and suspended crucial coordination with Washington in Syria's congested skies.

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Congressman Seeks to Stop Deportation of Outspoken Immigrant

A Mississippi congressman is trying to prevent deportation of an immigrant who spoke out against President Donald Trump's policies.

Thursday, April 6

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Fifth Circuit to Decide if HB 1523 Is 'State-sponsored Discrimination'

The rights of LGBT Mississippians were in the balance Monday as attorneys from Mississippi and beyond faced off in Texas over whether House Bill 1523, the "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act," should become law in the state or if it is what one judge referred to as "state-sponsored discrimination."

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Mother, Leaders Call for Autism Therapy Expansion

Chelsea McKinley knows what it's like to deal with the challenges of autism, namely accessing services and support she needs. She has three sons, all of whom have been diagnosed with various forms of nonverbal autism.

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Disney's 'Dream' in Jackson

Parents, children and general fans of the "House of Mouse" will see quite a few stories at the Jackson production of "Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream," which takes place at the Mississippi Coliseum from today, April 6, through April 9.

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House Intel Committee Chair Steps Away from Russia Probe

The chairman of the House intelligence committee announced Thursday he is temporarily stepping aside from the panel's probe into Russian meddling in last year's presidential election.

Wednesday, April 5

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What Spells Success From the 2017 Legislative Session

Success in a legislative session means different things to different people.

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Bayou Corne Won't Sink Away, Forgotten

The potent combination of striking visuals, indelible personalities and compelling narrative make the feature documentary, "Forgotten Bayou," one to remember.

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A Story of Survival at Parchman

Though "The Parchman Ordeal: The Untold Story" is not a feel-good film, it is a must-see film. It will leave you horrified and slightly sick to your stomach.

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Legacy of a Blues Legend

While blues music has a lot of better-known legends, musicians such as Mississippi Fred McDowell quietly helped to shape the genre into what know today.

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Tinkering Life Away

"Tinker" is a somewhat sappy film told on two levels, as the protagonist Lenny Hale (Todd Barnett) looks for happiness and purpose in his life.

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A Wonder-Filled Life

Director Justin Gaar's latest documentary short, "Curse of the Man Who Sees UFOs," looks much further than its title may suggest.

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A Welcoming Place

The "All Are Welcome Here" campaign began around the Mississippi Gulf Coast after the passage of House Bill 1523, also called the "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act."

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A Timely Tale

At a time when issues such as law enforcement's treatment of people of color are at the forefront of social discussions, films such as "On Time" can play a crucial role in highlighting what's wrong.

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Exploring Love and Loss

Friendship and loss in the face of illness and death find a poignant voice in Shayna Connelly's short narrative, "Gardening at Night."

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The First Modern President

The U.S. has had many important presidents, but one that doesn't always come up in the conversation is Ulysses S. Grant. The student film "The Legacy of Ulysses S. Grant" explores Grant's importance in the history of the U.S., including his years in the Civil War, his presidential tenure and life after his presidency.

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A Thankless Job

Airport baggage screeners have an important position that is not only thankless but also, on occasion, outright despised. In German filmmaker Florian Heinzen-Ziob's dramatic short film "For Your Own Safety," he puts a face to that station through the story of Jonas, a senior bag-checker who follows security guidelines to the letter.

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Love With a Guarantee

We've all had the thought, "What if?" when it comes to romance. In the short film, "The Five Wives & Lives of Melvyn Pfferberg," director and lead actor Damian Samuels brings this question to light in a whimsical fantasy-comedy.

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Before the Swarm

In "A Swarm Come April," director Mary McDade Casteele tells the story of a small religious, cultish community that's preparing for a springtime plague, using scenery, aesthetics and costume not unlike M. Night Shymalan's "The Village."

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Raising the Steaks

It's a classic tale of politics, power struggles and savory revenge, albeit in an unexpected setting. Writer-director Felipe da Fonseca Peroni's aptly named short film, "Brazilian Steakhouse," follows Rodney, who is the butt of the joke as a garlic-bread server at a steakhouse named Gauchao.

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2017 Crossroads Film Festival: Lights, Camera, Inaction

For its modest size, Mississippi has an illustrious history in its contribution to the arts. From authors Richard Wright and William Faulkner to musicians Elvis Presley, B.B. King and now hip-hop artists Rae Sremmurd, the state has long exported cultural value.

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Bill Minor: Mississippi’s Eyes and Ears

Bill Minor wrote with authority. He had been a frontlines warrior ever since his first big story in Mississippi, the funeral of ranting, racist U.S. Sen. Theodore Bilbo.

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State Budget Cuts Mean Dramatic Job Loss

For the most part, Republicans are not apologizing for their "small government" priorities to legislating, even if it means health needs and equitable education suffer. Shrinking the size of government as a philosophy, however, has another natural outcome: the loss of vital jobs.

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The Enduring Legacy of Emmett Till

When the news broke that Carolyn Bryant Donham—the white woman infamously at the center of the murder of Emmett Till—admitted to lying in court during the 1955 trial of her husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, public outrage exploded.

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Trump Removes Bannon from National Security Council

President Donald Trump has removed chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council, reversing an earlier, controversial decision to give Bannon access to the high-level meetings.

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Special Session Ahead for Unfinished Business

A bi-partisan attempt to fund road and bridge repair, as well as Mississippi's top attorney's legal budget, stalled in a last-hour fight between the two houses in the Capitol last week.

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Rains Bring Flood Control Front of Mind; 'One Lake' Promised as Solution

The reality and unpredictability of the mighty Pearl waters bring the issue of long-delayed and debated flood control back front of mind in the metro, as the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District, commonly call the Levee Board, prepares to unveil specifics of its "One Lake" plan to dredge and widen parts of the Pearl.

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The 2017 Legislature’s Lasting Effects on Mississippians

The raucous legislative session ended a few days early on March 29 with several successful bills headed to Gov. Phil Bryant for signature, but without budgets in place for the state's transportation needs or to fund the attorney general's office.

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Don’t Cut the Creative Industries

A ton of art mediums can provide a different point of view, from painting something in an unfamiliar style, to getting low to the ground and capturing that perfect photo, to telling other people's stories.

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Wade Acuff

Growing up in Avon, Miss., Wade Acuff loved to draw. During his high-school years while determining what career path he would take, he did not shy away from his creative roots. Instead, he decided that he would make a career out of his passion.

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Underground 119 Is Back

For all of Mississippi's storied blues history, Michael Rejebian can't pinpoint many destinations for live blues in downtown Jackson, which has been his home for the past decade.

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Audit Finds Explicit Material on School-Issued Computers

A review by the Mississippi auditor's office found pornography and other explicit material on computers that some public schools issued to middle school and high school students.

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Jazz Fest Fellowship

Hitting the "big 1-0" is a significant milestone for any annual event, which is why Raphael Semmes and Tripp Douglas wanted to do something spectacular for the 10th anniversary of the Township Jazz Festival, which takes place Saturday, April 8, in the Township at Colony Park in Ridgeland.

Tuesday, April 4

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Charter School Funding Case Before Hinds County Judge

A group of parents with children in Jackson Public Schools challenged Mississippi's funding mechanism in the state's charter-school law in summer 2016, and this morning Hinds County Chancery Court Judge Dewayne Thomas heard oral arguments from several attorneys in the case.

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Latrice Rogers

The Mississippi Small Business Association named Latrice Rogers, a Brandon resident and owner of Goddess Lengths Virgin Hair Bar, as the recipient of the 2017 SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award last week.

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Jackson State University and Mississippi Children's Museum

Today, the Mississippi Children's Museum announced the naming of the Gertrude C. Ford Literacy Garden, a 13,000-square-foot outdoor gallery that first opened in the summer of 2014.

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National Weather Service Issues Pearl River Flood Warning

As it pertains to flood history, this crest compares to a previous crest of 31.6 feet on February 6, 2016. At 32.0 feet, impact may cause water to affect businesses on South President and South Farish Streets as well as flooding on Sidney Street.

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Attorneys General from 8 States, D.C. to Meet in Virginia

Attorneys general from eight states and the District of Columbia planning to meet in Virginia to discuss technology and emerging threats.

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Mississippi Power: Another Month, Another $99M for Kemper

Mississippi Power Co. says it needs one more month and another $99 million to finish its $7.2 billion Kemper County power plant.

Monday, April 3

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Ray Mabus

A former Mississippi governor, a journalist, and a lawyer who helped strike down a Mississippi law that protected religious objections to same-sex marriage will receive honorary degrees from Millsaps College.

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Mississippi State Women Come Up Short of Miracle NCAA Finish

The Mississippi State miracle finished a little short. Two days after ending four-time defending national champion UConn's record 111-game winning streak, the Bulldogs lost 67-55 to SEC rival South Carolina in the women's NCAA Tournament championship game Sunday night.

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Mississippi LGBT Law Being Argued in Federal Appeals Court

A federal appeals court is hearing arguments about a Mississippi law that would let merchants and government employees cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples.

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10 Local Stories of the Week

There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them.

Sunday, April 2

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Gov. Bryant Proclaims 2017 'Confederate Heritage Month' at Last Minute

This year, Gov. Phil Bryant waited until the last hour to sign the 2017 proclamation declaring April 2017 as "Confederate Heritage Month." He signed it March 31.

Saturday, April 1

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Court Won't Revive Suit Over Confederate-Themed State Flag

A federal appeals court has blocked an African-American attorney's effort to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the Mississippi state flag. He says he'll take the case to the Supreme Court.