Stories for August 2017

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Thursday, August 31

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Trump Administration Slashes Funds for Health Care Sign-Ups

Affirming its disdain for "Obamacare," the Trump administration on Thursday announced sharp cuts in programs promoting health care enrollment under the Affordable Care Act for next year.

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A Torn Trump Still Weighing Fate of Young Immigrants

With a deadline looming, President Donald Trump remains torn over the fate of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children — a decision that will draw fury no matter what he decides.

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JPS Audit Released: District at Risk for 'Emergency' Declaration

The fate of Jackson Public Schools is in the hands of a few statewide commission and board members.

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In Tit for Tat, US Tells Russia to Close Post in San Fran

In an escalating tit-for-tat, the United States forced Russia on Thursday to shutter its consulate in San Francisco and scale back its diplomatic presence in Washington and New York, as relations between the two former Cold War foes continued to unravel.

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Rescuers Start Block-by-Block Search of Flooded Houston

Rescuers began a block-by-block search of tens of thousands of Houston homes Thursday, pounding on doors and shouting as they looked for anyone—alive or dead—who might have been left behind in Harvey's fetid floodwaters, which have now heavily damaged more than 37,000 homes and destroyed nearly 7,000 statewide.

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First Lady Ebony Lumumba Urges Provine Students to Bring 'Serious Change'

Jackson first lady Ebony Lumumba spoke to Provine seniors on Wednesday morning, encouraging them to pursue their further education and prepare to be the change agents in the world.

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Fats, Grease Aggravating City's Water, Sewer Cleanup Efforts

Jacksonians and businesses are contributing to the city's water and sewage problems by pouring fats, oil and greases down drainage pipes, consultants from Burns and McDonnell told the Jackson City Council during a work session Monday.

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Paula Van Every

Photographer Paula Van Every spent the past 18 months taking pictures of water birds nesting beneath the reservoir dam, and Mississippi Museum of Natural Science visitors will soon have a chance to see behind her lens.

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Conerly Trophy Hopefuls 2017

This year’s race for the Conerly Trophy should be as wide open as ever.

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Fewer Houston Residents Had Flood Insurance Before Harvey

Houston's population is growing quickly, but when Harvey hit last weekend there were far fewer homes and other properties in the area with flood insurance than just five years ago, according to an Associated Press investigation.

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Source: Grand Jury Hears from Lobbyist in Trump Tower Chat

A grand jury used by Special Counsel Robert Mueller has heard secret testimony from a Russian-American lobbyist who attended a June 2016 meeting with President Donald Trump's eldest son, The Associated Press has learned.

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Federal Judge Blocks Texas' Tough 'Sanctuary Cities' Law

A federal judge late Wednesday temporarily blocked most of Texas' tough new "sanctuary cities" law that would have let police officers ask people during routine stops whether they're in the U.S. legally and threatened sheriffs with jail time for not cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

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EPA Grants Fuel Waivers for Gulf Coast, Southeastern States

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued emergency waivers allowing states from Maryland to Texas to ignore some clean-air requirements for gasoline. The move is intended to ensure an adequate fuel supply despite disruptions caused by Harvey.

Wednesday, August 30

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House GOP Eyeing $1B Disaster Funds Cut to Finance Wall

President Donald Trump is promising billions to help Texas rebuild from Harvey-caused epic flooding, but his Republican allies in the House are looking at cutting almost $1 billion from disaster accounts to help finance the president's border wall.

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City Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Former Mayor

Mississippi's largest city is settling a sexual harassment lawsuit against a former mayor.

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All Hands on Deck: Showing Up for Childhood Literacy in Mississippi

Almost two-thirds of American children cannot read proficiently at the beginning of the fourth grade, the benchmark used in most public schools. That means that those children are unable to interpret and apply what they read.

The Slate

Finally, college football returns all around the country this week. It is also the final week of the NFL preseason, and most teams will be cutting their rosters from 90 players to 53 players.

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Making Afterschool Programs Work

Operation Shoestring Program Director Amber May says that an equitable education is a basic right for everyone.

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A Two-Heart Society

Husband-and-wife music duo Teneia Sanders-Eichelberger and Ben Eichelberger have kept themselves busy over the past few years, between making Jackson their new base of operations in late 2015 and performing around the country.

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Fighting an Old War

While Russia and Confederate statues deserve media coverage, they are also easy targets that don't challenge the corporate state.

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Prison Beds Not Based on Reading Scores, But ...

Educational deficiencies, especially when coupled with poverty or trauma, do increase the risk of crime later. It's important, though, to break down the various pieces of the puzzle to find solutions and not put all effort, and blame, into the reading basket.

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Dear Confederates, Leave My Heritage Alone!

Mississippi's history is one of beauty and blood; music and malevolence; literature and lamentation. We can't ignore the ugly parts; those stains don't wash out. But we sure as hell don't have to build monuments to them—literal or ideological.

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Infrastructure Funding Could Include Tax Increases

Mississippi senators met in Jackson last week to explore ways to raise more money for the state's deteriorating infrastructure, The move seemed to contradict their leader, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, and his insistence that he will not raise taxes.

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DJP ‘Whistleblower’ Indicted for Five Felonies for Allegedly Forging Checks

The former Downtown Jackson Partners secretary who blew the proverbial whistle on her boss, Ben Allen, may end up guilty of more felonies than her former employer for "intentionally" methodically forging checks on DJP's account, the indictment says.

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Davis IB Program Helps Kindergartners Shine on Exam

Principal Kathleen Grigsby has a reason to be proud: Kindergarteners at Davis IB Elementary in downtown Jackson scored in the top 10 of all schools in the state on the kindergarten readiness assessment for the second year in a row.

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Lumumba Administration Growing: Hatcher, Kumar, Williams Join City's Team

The new mayor of the capital city took office on July 3, along with the slightly reconfigured Jackson City Council. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, 34, announced his first wave of appointees three days later at his first city council meeting as mayor.

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America, We Sink or Swim Together

As Houston and surrounding cities drowned, Trump was pushing the bigotry that fueled his rise to power. Meantime, America was proving our inherent greatness, despite the incessant efforts by certain leaders to trump it and force us to distrust and despise each other.

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Mary Evelyn Brown

Licensed psychologist Mary Evelyn Brown says she was a sophomore in college when she took her first psychology course and realized her deep love of both science and the relationships between people.

Tuesday, August 29

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U.S. Supreme Court Asks Mississippi Governor to Defend Confederate Emblem in Flag

The U.S. Supreme Court is asking attorneys for Mississippi's governor to file arguments defending the Confederate battle emblem on the state flag.

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Houston Drainage Grid 'So Obsolete It's Just Unbelievable'

Houston's system of bayous and reservoirs was built to drain a tabletop-flat city prone to heavy rains. But its Depression-era design is no match for the stresses brought by explosive development and ever-wetter storms.

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No Action on Black History Marker Near Confederate Statue

Supervisors in one Mississippi county are delaying a decision on residents' request to put a black history monument near a Confederate statue outside the local courthouse.

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LGBTQ-Affirming Churches Should Be Celebrated, Not Demonized

"There is no inside or outside, but one community in which we are all sisters and brothers."

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Israeli Leader's Settlement Vow Complicates Trump's Task

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's vow to never evacuate Jewish settlements from occupied land drew outrage Tuesday from Palestinians and complicated matters for the Trump administration's would-be peace envoys as they try to restart talks.

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Two Dams and Levee Overflow, Adding to Houston Floodwater

A pair of 70-year-old reservoir dams that protect downtown Houston and a levee in a suburban subdivision began overflowing Tuesday, adding to the rising floodwaters from Harvey that have crippled the area after five consecutive days of rain that set a new U.S. record for rainfall for a tropical system.

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Analysis: Pressure Rises on Pension Fund to Seek More Money

An outside adviser is telling Mississippi's public pension system that it should change its accounting policies in a way that would sharply increase required contributions to keep the system solvent over the long run, adding to financial pressure on the Public Employees Retirement System.

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Envy Salon & Spa, Mother's Kitchen & Catering, and Yiayia's Greek Kitchen

Tiffany Hathorn, owner of Nail Envy Salon in the Regions Plaza building downtown, held a grand opening for her new business, Envy Life Nutrition Club on Aug. 17.

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NFL Making $40 Million Available for Medical Research

A year after the NFL pledged $100 million in support of independent medical research and engineering advancements, a huge chunk of that soon will be awarded to such research, primarily dedicated to neuroscience.

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Candie Simmons

The Ole Miss Alumni Association will present Candie L. Simmons, who is the senior vice president and regional marketing director for Regions Financial Corporation in Jackson, with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award as part of Homecoming 2017.

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Amid Harvey Floods, Houston Chief Worries 'How Many Bodies?'

Hurricane Harvey is unfolding on an epic scale, with the nation's fourth-largest city mostly paralyzed by the storm that has parked itself over the Gulf Coast. With nearly 2 more feet (61 centimeters) of rain expected on top of the 30-plus inches (76 centimeters) in some places, authorities worried the worst might be yet to come.

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In a First, North Korea Fires Missile Over Japan in Aggressive Test

In a first, North Korea on Tuesday fired a ballistic missile designed to carry a nuclear payload that flew over Japan and splashed into the northern Pacific Ocean, officials said.

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Southern Miss Trying to Win 2 Straight vs. Kentucky

Southern Mississippi defensive back Picasso Nelson knows what it feels like to watch Kentucky's offense embarrass the Golden Eagles' secondary.

Monday, August 28

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State Recovers $11 Million in Audit by Medicaid Division, Attorney General

Auditors working in the Mississippi Division of Medicaid and the attorney general's office recovered more than $11 million in improper payments and claims for fiscal-year 2017 after analyzing medical claims paid out to health-care providers across the state.

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Emmett Till

Sixty-two years ago, white men in the Mississippi Delta brutally murdered Emmett Till in a horrific lynching that is often cited as a catalyst for launching the Civil Rights Movement in the South.

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Speak Up, Speak Out Against Injustice

The fight carries on, and our fight is for justice. We seek justice for Emmett Till.

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Best of Jackson: Home Improvement

This year's Best Plumber winner, Buford Plumbing, has done a lot more than unclog a drain or two for the Jackson metro area.

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This Is It, Kid: This is America

"For the last decade, the two parties have been huffing their fumes, and social media makes the conflicts between the two polarized. The reality is carved in stone: America ain’t changing. In today’s social climate, we need to accept that there are two Americas."

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ACLU: Trump Giving Police Grenade Launchers, Bayonets and Other Military Equipment

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that President Donald Trump will issue an executive order today allowing the federal government to give police departments certain military equipment—such as grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons, and armored vehicles—through the Department of Defense 1033 program and other federal programs.

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Trump Rolling Back Limits on Military Gear for Police

President Donald Trump will revive a program that provides local police departments with surplus military equipment such as high-caliber weapons and grenade launchers, despite past concerns that armored vehicles and other gear were inflaming confrontations with protesters.

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Trump Tells Mattis to Indefinitely Ban Transgender Recruits

President Donald Trump on Friday directed the Pentagon to extend indefinitely a ban on transgender individuals joining the military, but he appeared to leave open the possibility of allowing some already in uniform to remain.

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Trump Pardons Ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio Over Federal Conviction

President Donald Trump spared former Sheriff Joe Arpaio a possible jail sentence on Friday by pardoning the recent federal conviction stemming from his immigration patrols, reversing what critics saw as a long-awaited comeuppance for a lawman who escaped accountability for headline-grabbing tactics during his tenure as metropolitan Phoenix's top law enforcer.

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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, August 27

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Thousands In Houston Area Request Help in Wake of Harvey, Convention Center Now a Shelter

HOUSTON (AP) — Rescuers answered hundreds of desperate calls for help Sunday as floodwaters from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey rose high enough to begin filling second-story homes, and authorities urged stranded families to seek refuge on their rooftops.

Saturday, August 26

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Deadline Extended for Settlement on Mississippi Power Rates

Regulators and Mississippi Power Co. are getting more time to settle differences over how much money customers should pay for a power plant.

Friday, August 25

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Trump Pardons Sheriff Joe Arpaio

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has pardoned former sheriff Joe Arpaio following his conviction for intentionally disobeying a judge's order in an immigration case.

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Tight Budget Puts Some Mississippi Highway Projects on Hold

The Mississippi Department of Transportation is delaying work on several highway expansion projects because of a tight state budget.

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Trump Setting New Records for Low Presidential Approval

Donald Trump came into office as the most unpopular new president in the history of modern polling. Things have not improved.

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Pentagon Expects to Soon Ban Recruiting Transgender People

The Pentagon expects to renew a ban on transgender individuals joining the military and to consider circumstances in which some currently serving transgender troops could remain in uniform, officials said Friday.

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JPS Enrollment Numbers Down as Registration Deadline Approaches

Jackson Public Schools has 25,135 students registered or in process of registering, but the district has 27,707 students eligible to register for the 2017-2018 school year, interim Superintendent Freddrick Murray told the JPS Board of Trustees last night.

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Drum Majors for Academic Excellence, Vietnam Reflections and MUW Nursing Program

Jackson State University's Development Foundation has launched a campaign called "J5 Drum Majors for Academic Excellence" to help the university generate $1 million within four years for endowed scholarships.

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Gene Murphy

On Aug. 16, long-time Hinds Community College head coach Gene Murphy announced that he has decided to step down.

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GOP Discord Might Not Bode Well for Raising Debt Ceiling

Fanning the flames of GOP discord, President Donald Trump is accusing Republican congressional leaders of botching efforts to avoid an unprecedented default on the national debt.

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RNC to Vote on Condemning, but Some Roll Eyes

Still cleaning up after President Donald Trump's comments about a deadly protest in Virginia, the Republican National Committee is headed toward adoption of a resolution condemning white supremacists.

Jackson Schedules Water Main Repair

The City of Jackson has scheduled a water main repair for [900 - 1399] High Street

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Bullets and Books: Shoppers Get Discounts in Mississippi

Shoppers in Mississippi can save money this weekend based on some constitutional rights.

Thursday, August 24

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City in Mississippi Considers Moving Confederate Statue

A century-old Confederate monument could be moved from a city hall in Mississippi.

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US Interior Chief Says He Won't Eliminate Protected Lands

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced Thursday he won't seek to eliminate any national monuments carved from the wilderness and oceans by past presidents. But he said he will press to change some boundaries and left open the possibility of allowing drilling, mining or other industries on some of the land.

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'Long Live Wonder' (and Robots) at Upcoming Mississippi Science Fest

The LeFleur Museum District—the Mississippi Children's Museum, Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum, Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum—are collaborating on the Mississippi Science Festival, which will celebrate science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

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Mississippi Shipyard to Fix Destroyer Hit in June Collision

A U.S. Navy destroyer damaged in a June collision that killed seven sailors will be repaired at a Mississippi shipyard, the Navy announced Wednesday.

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Seth Power

Singer-songwriter Seth Power may plan on putting down roots in the songwriter's Mecca, Nashville, in the near future, but for now, he says that Brandon, Miss., is his home base, and that's not a bad thing.

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Charlottesville Reschedules 'Community Recovery' Town Hall

Charlottesville residents will get a chance this weekend to talk with city officials about a white nationalist rally earlier this month that devolved into deadly violence.

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EPA Taps Alabama Business Lobbyist to Lead Southeast Region

A business lobbyist and ex-environmental regulator has been tapped as the new regional administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection office that oversees eight Southeastern states.

Wednesday, August 23

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JFP College Football Preview 2017

It's that time of year once again when I lock myself away in a room and relive last college football season while preparing for the current one. Each year my hair gets grayer, and my predictions get worse.

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JFP College Football Preview 2017: University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

Year one of the Jay Hopson era was frustrating. USM opened the season with a major comeback victory over the University of Kentucky only to commit three turnovers in a loss to Troy University.

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JFP College Football Preview 2017: Jackson State University Tigers

The Tony Hughes era got off to a rough start, with Jackson State beginning the season on a three-game losing streak.

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Violence in Charlottesville Leads to Soul-Searching at ACLU

Faced with an angry backlash for defending white supremacists' right to march in Charlottesville, the American Civil Liberties Union is confronting a feeling among some of its members that was once considered heresy: Maybe some speech isn't worth defending.

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JFP College Football Preview 2017: Mississippi State University Bulldogs

While a good academic progress rate got Mississippi State into a bowl game, the team left wins on the table last season.

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JFP College Football Preview 2017: University of Mississippi Rebels

Last season didn't go as planned for the University of Mississippi.

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Mayor, Police Chief Address Poverty-Crime Connection, Solutions Going Forward

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and Jackson Police Department Chief Lee Vance are working to increase the number of JPD police officers as well as implementing additional solutions to crime in the capital city.

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Charlottesville Covers Confederate Statue with Black Shroud

Workers in Charlottesville shrouded a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in black on Wednesday, a move intended to symbolize the city's mourning for a woman killed while protesting a violent white nationalist rally earlier this month.

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JFP College Football Preview 2017: The Smalls

Last season, the Belhaven Blazers won just two games, but one of those game was against rival Millsaps College in the season opener. Belhaven then lost eight games in a row before beating Howard Payne University.

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Republican Party Dismantling Mississippi’s Public Health System

Mississippi has quickly become an excellent case study of how a public health system is nearly decimated when a poor state gives its revenue to the rich.

The Slate

The NFL preseason is in its third week, and every team's starters are playing a good portion of the games. College football starts next week for most teams, but there are a few matchups this weekend.

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Floating to Creativity

Because floatation therapy is designed to let an individual enter a deep state of relaxation, Jason and Jina Daniels think the practice can help artists boost their creativity.

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Address Poverty With Understanding, Compassion

For low-income families, Internet access and a stable living environment—let alone an address—to keep things like birth certificates safe aren't a given; they're a privilege that many families in poverty cannot afford.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'More Monuments'

Celebrating the progress the country has made with erecting "more monuments" completely ignores the fact that white supremacy is exactly what has preserved Confederate statues and inspires those that rally around them in the first place.

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Stand Up for Their Rights

Mr. Announcement: "In the ghetto criminal-justice system, the people are represented by members of the newly established Ghetto Science Community Peace Keeping Unit."

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Some Parents Left Behind on Child Care

Deloris Suel knows and works with employed parents who can no longer receive financial support for child care due to clerical reasons like not having the same address on their driver's license as where they currently live.

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White America’s Overdue Leap of Faith

Many white people want to just "move on." They'll shudder dismissively if you challenge the myths, preferring to leave the statues and flag and true history alone because it's just "dredging up the past."

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Malik Heath

It is easy to see why Malik Heath's teammates and coaches compare him to Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and Atlanta Falcons wide-out Julio Jones. His body control and ability to lock the ball in his hands is similar to those stars.

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Trump Revisits His Charlottesville Comments in Angry Speech

President Donald Trump opened his political rally in Phoenix with calls for unity and an assertion that "our movement is about love." Then he erupted in anger.

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Store-to-Freezer Sustainable Eating Tips

Farm-to-table is a noble concept, but registered dietitian nutritionist Felicia Stoler says what goes on inside your home is as important as what happens at farms and food manufacturing facilities.

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Regulators, Utility Split on Mississippi Power Plant Rates

Regulators and Mississippi Power Co. disagree over how much money the company should get for the functioning portion of its Kemper County power plant.

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State School Districts Get ‘Baseline’ Reprieve, for Now

The Mississippi Board of Education approved a new baseline for state test scores last week that will affect what grade the schools and districts earn in the school's accountability ranking system.

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Creating a Culture

Music and worship have been intertwined topics for Chris Quilala, one of the primary vocalists and leaders of the band Jesus Culture, for most of his life.

Tuesday, August 22

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Trump Returns to Immigration Issue with Arizona Visit, Rally

Fresh off a speech on Afghanistan that moved him in a different direction than many of his core voters, President Donald Trump is highlighting his pledge to combat illegal immigration by heading to a Marine Corps base along the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday and inspecting a Predator drone used to patrol the region.

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Talking Back to Gov. Bryant: Flag Needs to Change with White Support

Actor and activist Aunjanue Ellis talked back to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant today to denounce his refusal to back changing the state flag to one without a symbol of the Confederacy.

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Aplos Coming to Highland Village, CARA Dog Days of Summer and Mission First

General Manager Steven O'Neill and Executive Chef Alex Eaton of The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen are preparing to launch a new Mediterranean "fast fine dining" restaurant called Aplos at Highland Village in early 2018.

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Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman will receive the SAG Life Achievement Award at next year's Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony.

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'A Primal Experience': Americans Dazzled by Solar Eclipse

The stars came out in the middle of the day, zoo animals ran in agitated circles, crickets chirped, birds fell silent and a chilly darkness settled upon the land Monday as the U.S. witnessed its first full-blown, coast-to-coast solar eclipse since World War I.

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Trump Vows Continued Fight in Afghanistan; Reversing Stance

President Donald Trump's plan to end the stalemate in America's longest war and eliminate Afghanistan's rising extremist threat involves sending up to 3,900 additional U.S. forces, senior officials said Tuesday. The first deployments could take place within days.

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Coal CEO Expected Trump Help, but Administration Said No

The Trump administration has rejected a coal industry push to win a rarely used emergency order protecting coal-fired power plants, a decision contrary to what one coal executive said the president personally promised him.

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One Mississippi County is Asked to Move Confederate Statue

One county in Mississippi could consider moving a Confederate monument off of its courthouse lawn.

Monday, August 21

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Charlottesville and the Mississippi Flag

"It is time to bring down that flag."

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Trump Returns to Arizona and a Chaotic Political Landscape

Donald Trump was just a few weeks into his candidacy in 2015 when came to Phoenix for a speech that ended up being a bigger moment in his campaign than most people realized at the time.

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Barcelona Fugitive Shot Dead Outside City Wearing Bomb Belt

A man thought to be the driver in the Barcelona van attack was shot dead by Spanish police Monday after authorities announced he also was suspected of killing the owner of a hijacked getaway car. The fugitive was wearing a bomb belt, authorities said.

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Historic Eclipse Turns Day into Night Across the US

Millions of Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses Monday as the moon blotted out the sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century.

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Report: LGBT Men Need Quality Sexual Health Standards in Jackson, Beyond

LGBT men have limited access to quality sexual health care, a new report finds. In the capital city, it is an especially serious problem: The Jackson metro has the fourth-highest rate of HIV diagnosis per 100,000 residents among the nation's metropolitan areas, with about 40 percent of LGBT men infected with HIV here in 2014.

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Will Brooks

Graphic designer Will Brooks sits under the giant inflatable donut behind his desk in his North Midtown Arts Center studio, talking about the creative community he's found in the neighborhood.

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Big Ben Bell Falls Silent in London for Repairs Until 2021

After more than 150 years as Britain's most famous timekeeper, London's Big Ben bell fell silent Monday for four years of repair work that will keep it quiet on all but a few special occasions.

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Pope: Rights of Migrants Trump National Security Concerns

Pope Francis on Monday urged countries to greatly improve their welcome to migrants and stop collective expulsions, saying migrants' dignity and right to protection trumps national security concerns.

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Massive Counterprotest Upstages Boston 'Free Speech Rally'

Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans in a public rejection of white nationalism upstaged a small group in Boston that planned a "free speech rally" a week after a violent clash rocked Virginia and reverberated across the U.S.

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Analysis: State Symbols Don't Have to Go on the Ballot

Defenders of the Confederate battle emblem on the Mississippi flag have a ready-made argument that was handed to them nearly a generation ago by lawmakers who didn't want to deal with the politically volatile issue of redesigning the banner.

Saturday, August 19

Rule and Budget Push Mental Health Agency to Shift Workers

Mississippi's mental health department will begin handing off some direct care workers to regional mental health centers as part of an effort to cut its budget and comply with a federal mandate.

Friday, August 18

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Charlottesville Mayor Calls for Swift Removal of Lee Statue

The mayor of Charlottesville on Friday called for an emergency meeting of state lawmakers to confirm the city's right to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, saying recent clashes over race and the Confederacy had turned "equestrian statues into lightning rods."

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Choose Your Own Lit-venture

Mississippi is known as one of the nation’s literary capitals, so it should come as no surprise that the Mississippi Book Festival brings such a big stable of literary talent each year.

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Dak Prescott to Young People: Believe in Yourself Through It All

Dak Prescott chooses not to worry about things he can't control. He stays focused on the task in front of him, he says, controlling only what he can. When the 24-year-old is not studying film or on the field, he likes to get lost in NCAA football on PlayStation 3 to take his mind off the game.

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This Week in Higher Education

The Association of American Colleges & Universities recently selected Millsaps College as a site for one of the organization's new Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers, which are part of an initiative with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to engage and empower campus and community stakeholders to break down racial hierarchies and create a positive narrative about race in the community.

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Strategist Steve Bannon Leaves Trump's Turbulent White House

Steve Bannon, a forceful but divisive presence in President Donald Trump's White House, is leaving.

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Lillian Cooley

Lillian Naomi McKinney Cooley, who served as vice president of business development for her family's vocational training and management consulting firm, Systems Consultants Associates, Inc., died Friday, July 28, at the age of 84.

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Jefferson Davis Estate Offered as New Home for Monuments

The final home of the president of the Confederacy is being offered as a new home for Confederate monuments.

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Mississippi Supreme Court Suspends Judge for Misconduct

A judge in Mississippi will be suspended for ordering a man to serve six months in a county work center on a case that was appealed and resolved nearly 20 years prior.

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Eleven of 55 Arrested by ICE Pleaded Guilty or Awaiting Hearing

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 11 foreigners in Mississippi who have since admitted to violating a federal act or await a plea hearing.

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After Charlottesville, Colleges Brace for More Hate Attacks

At college campuses, far-right extremist groups have found fertile ground to spread their messages and attract new followers.

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Tillerson Condemns Hate Speech, Says Bigotry is Un-American

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday condemned hate speech and bigotry as un-American and antithetical to the values on which the U.S. was founded and promotes abroad. He also lamented a lack of diversity in the U.S. diplomatic corps and pledged to increase minority hiring.

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Trump Defends Confederate Statues, Berates His Critics

With prominent Republicans openly questioning his competence and moral leadership, President Donald Trump burrowed deeper into the racially charged debate over Confederate memorials and lashed out at members of his own party in the latest controversy to engulf his presidency.

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Police: Attacks in Spain Are Linked, Took Long Time to Plan

The back-to-back vehicle attacks in Barcelona and a nearby resort had been planned for a long time by an Islamic terrorist cell—and could have been far deadlier had its base not been destroyed by an apparently accidental explosion this week, Spanish officials said Friday.

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Civil Rights Marker Honors Challenge to Library Segregation

Mississippi has dedicated a new historical marker honoring African-American students who challenged segregation at a public library in 1961.

Thursday, August 17

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Attacker Drives Van into Barcelona Crowd; 12 Dead, 80 Hurt

A white van jumped up onto a sidewalk and sped down a pedestrian zone Thursday in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district, swerving from side to side as it plowed into tourists and residents. Authorities said 12 people were killed and 80 were wounded, 15 of them seriously, in what they called a terror attack.

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The Confederate Problem

I've said it before, and I will say it again and again, as many times as I have to: The Confederate symbol represents bigotry, racism and hatred. This is not an opinion. This is a fact.

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Lenorris Footman

Lenorris Footman signed with the Braves in 2013 after graduating from Jefferson County High School in Monticello, Fla., where he led his team to the 2011 1A State Football Championship.

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Mississippi, Jackson Students Make Gains on State Tests in Most Areas

On the whole, Mississippi students improved on their state testing this year in both mathematics and English language arts, newly released results from the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program, or MAAP, show.

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Tech Companies Banishing Extremists After Charlottesville

In the wake of the deadly clash at a white-nationalist rally last weekend in Virginia, major companies such as Google, Facebook and PayPal are banishing a growing cadre of extremist groups and individuals for violating service terms.

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Trump Decries Monument Removals, 'History Ripped Apart'

President Donald Trump bitingly decried the rising movement to pull down monuments to Confederate icons Thursday, declaring the nation is seeing "the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart."

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Mississippi Holds on to State Flag with Confederate Symbol

White supremacists waved the Confederate battle flag amid weekend violence in Virginia, prompting critics to say Mississippi should remove the symbol from its state banner.

Wednesday, August 16

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Republican Leaders Dance Around Trump Remarks

One after another, the nation's most powerful Republicans responded to President Donald Trump's extraordinary remarks about white supremacists. Yet few mentioned the president.

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Federal Court: Arkansas Can Block Planned Parenthood Money

A federal appeals court panel ruled Wednesday that Arkansas can block Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, two years after the state ended its contract with the group over videos secretly recorded by an anti-abortion group.

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R&B Back in Action

In its fourth year, 2016, the Jackson Rhythm & Blues Festival moved from its former home at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum to the Jackson Convention Complex downtown. As it turned out, however, transforming the open-air festival into a three-floor indoor experience wasn't such a big deal.

The Slate

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will have to work twice as hard to avoid a sophomore slump after the recent suspension of running back Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott has a chance to become a top quarterback in the league if he can keep the Cowboys winning.

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Mayor Lumumba Releases Statement on Charlottesville Rally, State Flag

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba released a statement on Wednesday, August 16, condemning the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville over the weekend.

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Mississippi Says It Has Execution Drugs Amid Secrecy Fight

Mississippi prison officials have obtained new supplies of execution drugs, which could allow the state to carry out lethal injections after some other drugs expired, they said in court papers.

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Where to Find What You Need

School can be fun to shop for, and luckily, Jackson has great local businesses where you can find them while avoiding chains. Try these for staples.

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Jackson’s Best Music Venues

Going to watch a local band can be a fun way to occupy your time, and with Jackson's roots in music, it's no surprise that we have many venues, including this year's winners Best of Jackson winners and finalists.

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Stay Stress Free

As you head into college, upcoming homework assignments and finals are inevitable, but even though the work is unavoidable, the accompanying stress doesn't have to be.

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Under Pressure, Trump Disbands Business Advisory Councils

With corporate chieftains fleeing, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday he is ending a pair of advisory business councils in the latest fallout over his remarks about the Charlottesville protests.

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Confederate Monuments Removed Overnight in Baltimore

Confederate monuments in Baltimore were quietly removed and hauled away on trucks in darkness early Wednesday, days after a violent white nationalist rally in Virginia that was sparked by plans to take down a similar statue there.

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How to Survive College

College can be both difficult and easy, depending on what you do. For this year's Jackpedia issue, we've gathered some tips to survive college.

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No Special Session to Take Rebel Symbol Off Mississippi Flag

A spokesman says Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant won't call legislators back to the Capitol to consider removing the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag.

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Poor is a Choice? Think Again.

Gov. William Winter was correct when he said: "The only road out of poverty runs past the schoolhouse door." This still rings true today; it is no secret that the poorest schools in Mississippi have the lowest graduation rates.

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State’s Longest-Sitting Death Row Inmate Challenges Death Penalty Drug

The Mississippi Supreme Court has sentenced Richard Jordan to death four times, but with the help of his lawyers, he continues to challenge the state's death penalty method.

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Moving Beyond Suspension: Changing the Discipline Climate in Jackson Schools

JPS administrators recognize that out-of-school suspension is not the way to change school climates district-wide, and Margrit Wallace, the JPS chief academic officer in the student academic and behavioral support department, is working to move the district towards restorative justice practices, which could eventually include dialogue circles in the classroom.

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Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson says her love to serve fuels her drive to give back to others, whether it's in her community or at her school.

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Loving in the Face of Hate

In a recent exchange on social media, a white woman criticized me. I'm assuming she tagged me as a racist because I stated that it is impossible for black people to even be racist against whites.

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Only One ‘Side’ in Fight Against White Supremacy

No quest for justice, equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all will "replace" people of any race or ethnicity, although some statues may well end up in a museum for people who want to view, honor or study them.

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Eating Out on a Student Budget

Eating out on a college budget or even just a small one can be difficult, but this year's Best of Jackson winners and finalists for Meal Under $10 are good, affordable options.

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Welcome to (All of) Jackson

With this being the start of a new school year, a lot of newcomers will be arriving in Jackson, some of whom already have an unfair notion of what they think this area is like and what it has to offer. Like me, they may not land in Jackson proper, but rather than either side shutting the door, I urge you to open it wider.

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Mississippi Degree Completion Effort Launches Website

Mississippi officials have launched a new website to encourage people to complete partially-finished college degrees.

Tuesday, August 15

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Combative Trump Insists Anew: Virginia Blame 'On Both Sides'

A combative President Donald Trump insisted Tuesday "there is blame on both sides" for the deadly violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, appearing to once again equate the actions of white supremacist groups and those protesting them.

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Trump Signs Order to Speed Infrastructure Construction

President Donald Trump says he's signing a new executive order "streamlining" the federal permitting process to speed up construction of transportation, water and other infrastructure projects without harming the environment.

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Racial Politics Haunt GOP in the Trump Era

The statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, was the focus of an emotional debate in the state's Republican primary election weeks before it became a flashpoint in the nation's struggle over race.

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Business Leaders Quit Trump Panel; He Hits Back Hard

President Donald Trump on Tuesday ripped into the four business leaders who resigned from his White House jobs panel—the latest sign that corporate America's romance with Trump is faltering—after his equivocal response to violence by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Trump Says 'We'll See' What Happens to His Top Strategist

President Donald Trump won't say whether he plans to keep Steve Bannon, a top adviser and key campaign strategist, in the White House.

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City Could Restart Its Debate Over Confederate-Themed Flag

A Mississippi city could restart an argument over flying the state flag with the Confederate battle emblem that critics see as racist.

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UPDATED: Rep. Thompson, Speaker Gunn: Remove Confederate Emblems on Mississippi Flag

Today, U.S. Representative Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02) calls for the removal of all confederate monuments and emblems in the United States Capitol and on the Mississippi state flag.

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Mississippi Again Moves to Rejigger School Rating System

A year after a bruising debate over how Mississippi's schools should be rated, education officials are doing it all again.

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Trump Comments Please, Anger, Then Please Hate Group Leaders

White nationalists have been parsing President Donald Trump's words since a deadly attack at a Virginia rally over the weekend. A day after the president called them "criminals and thugs," some seemed quite pleased Tuesday when Trump angrily pivoted back to his initial response and spread out the blame.

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AG Hood Settles $2.5 Million Epps Scandal Claim

Attorney General Jim Hood settled his office's claims against Global Tel*Link Corp. for $2.5 million today. The corporation is one of 12 that Hood has pursued legally in connection to the former Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections Christopher Epps' scandal.

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Debra Mays-Jackson

Jackson State University named Debra Mays-Jackson its chief of staff for JSU President William Bynum Jr. on July 24.

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Mississippi Photographers at Fischer Galleries, Kendra Scott and Jackson Eye Associates

Fischer Galleries, in conjunction with Lemuria Books, will host opening receptions and book signings for two famous Mississippi photographers on Thursday, Aug. 17, and Friday, Aug. 18.

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Alabama Senate Race Tests Trump, McConnell Reach

Alabama's Republicans and Democrats were casting ballots Tuesday to select party nominees in the closely watched race for the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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Korean Leaders, US Open Door to Diplomacy in Nuclear Crisis

North Korea's military on Tuesday presented leader Kim Jong Un with plans to launch missiles into waters near Guam and "wring the windpipes of the Yankees," even as both Koreas and the United States signaled their willingness to avert a deepening crisis, with each suggesting a path toward negotiations.

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Furor Over Charlottesville Follows Trump Home to Manhattan

President Donald Trump is back in the New York skyscraper that bears his name as the furor over his reaction to race-fueled clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend shows few signs of dying down.

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Protesters Topple Confederate Statue in North Carolina

Protesters in North Carolina toppled a nearly century-old statue of a Confederate soldier Monday at a rally against racism.

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Swift Justice: Jury Takes Taylor's Side in Groping Lawsuit

Four years after Taylor Swift tried to handle her groping allegation against a radio station DJ quietly, the pop superstar got a very public victory Monday with a jury's verdict that she hoped would inspire other women.

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Deadly Rally Accelerates Removal of Confederate Statues

The deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, is fueling another re-evaluation of Confederate statues in cities across the nation, accelerating their removal in much the same way that a 2015 mass shooting by a white supremacist renewed pressure to take down the Confederate flag from public property.

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Asked to Serve, Some CEOs Say No More to Trump

First it was the leader of a major U.S. pharmaceutical, then the CEO of an athletic gear company, and before the day had ended, the chief executive of a $170 billion tech giant. Three of the nation's top executives resigned from a federal panel created years ago to advise the U.S. president.

Monday, August 14

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Trump Names Hate Groups, Denouncing Charlottesville Violence

Under relentless pressure, President Donald Trump on Monday named and condemned "repugnant" hate groups and declared that "racism is evil" in a far more forceful statement than he'd made earlier after deadly, race-fueled weekend clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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White Nationalists: Charlottesville Just a Beginning

Emboldened and proclaiming victory after a bloody weekend in Virginia, white nationalists are planning more demonstrations to promote their agenda following the violence that left a woman dead and dozens injured.

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Mars or Bust: Stennis Center Testing Rockets for Mission to Red Planet

Mississippi is integral in getting NASA spacecrafts—and eventually astronauts—to Mars. NASA engineers and scientists at the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County on the Gulf Coast completed their fourth test of the RS-25 engine, which they plan to use on the Space Launch System deep-space rocket.

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Todd Grantham

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen has hired veteran defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, hoping the 50-year-old can help provide a quick turnaround. The Bulldogs gave up nearly 32 points per game last season, which ranked next to last in the Southeastern Conference.

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Exec Resigns from President's Council, and Trump Lashes Out

President Donald Trump lashed out at the CEO of the nation's third-largest pharmaceutical company after he resigned from a federal advisory council, citing the president's failure to explicitly rebuke the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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UPDATED: Mississippi Officials Condemn White Nationalist Violence

Some Mississippi officials are denouncing white nationalist violence that killed one person and injured several others during the weekend in Virginia.

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Pressure Mounts on Trump to Address Race-Fueled Clash

President Donald Trump is facing pressure from both sides of the aisle for him to explicitly condemn white supremacists and hate groups involved in deadly, race-fueled clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Protests, Vigils Around US Decry White Supremacist Rally

Protesters decrying hatred and racism converged around the country on Sunday, saying they felt compelled to counteract the white supremacist rally that spiraled into deadly violence in Virginia.

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White House Scrambles to Explain Trump's Response to Clashes

The White House scrambled Sunday to elaborate on President Donald Trump's response to deadly, race-fueled clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, as he came under bipartisan scolding for not clearly condemning white supremacists and other hate groups immediately after the altercations.

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Texas Senate OKs Restricting Insurance Coverage for Abortion

The Republican-controlled Texas Senate backed a plan Saturday night to restrict insurance coverage for abortions, over the objections of opponents who expressed concern it could force some women to make heart-wrenching choices because no exceptions will be made in cases of rape and incest.

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Advocates Stage First Big Texas Protest Against Border Wall

Hundreds of protesters wearing white and chanting in English and Spanish marched Saturday in Texas' first major protest against a border wall, crossing the earthen Rio Grande levee where President Donald Trump's administration wants to build part of the first phase.

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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, August 13

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Man Accused of Ramming Protesters Was Photographed with Racist Group

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The driver of a car accused of crashing into a crowd protesting a white supremacist rally in Virginia had been photographed hours earlier carrying the emblem of one of the hate groups that organized the "take America back" campaign.

Saturday, August 12

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Trump Deflects Blame for Pro-White Rally, Condemns 'Many Sides' For Violence

BEDMINSTER, N.J. (AP) — President Donald Trump on Saturday blamed "many sides" for the violent clashes between protesters and white supremacists in Virginia and contended that the "hatred and bigotry" broadcast across the country had taken root long before his political ascendancy.

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Helicopter Crash Linked, Rally Organizer Disavows Violence, Driver Arrested

Officials say the deaths of two people in a helicopter crash near Charlottesville, Virginia, have been linked to a violent white nationalist rally earlier in the day.

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Southern Miss Tries to Maintain Momentum with New Quarterback

Southern Mississippi rebounded from one of the most dismal periods in program history with back-to-back winning seasons in 2015 and '16.

Friday, August 11

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NYC Billionaire Suggests Black NY Senator is Worse than KKK

A billionaire hedge fund manager has apologized for an online post saying that a black New York state senator has "done more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood" because of her support for teachers unions.

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Rebel Yell: Southern Nationalists Again Crying 'Secede'

As 21st century activists seek to topple monuments to the 19th century Confederate rebellion, some white Southerners are again advocating for what the Confederates tried and failed to do: secede from the Union.

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Hinds County School Bond Measure Draws Lawmakers' Support

Mississippians who live in the Hinds County School District lines, including Bolton, Byram, Edwards, Raymond, Terry and Utica, will vote to approve or disapprove a bond issue for their public schools on Tuesday, Aug. 15.

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Brandi Herrington

Brandi Herrington, who is a science teacher at Armstrong Middle School in Starkville, and her mom, Deborah Duncan, who is a retired high-school science teacher, say they have always been creative and artsy, so they decided to start Dunkington Art & Jewelry in April 2016.

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Trump Warns US 'Locked and Loaded' as North Readies Missiles

President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that the U.S. military is "locked and loaded" if North Korea acts "unwisely," escalating an exchange of threats between the nuclear-armed nations.

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Trump-McConnell Feud Does Little to Jumpstart Stalled Agenda

President Donald Trump has spent much of the week feuding with his top Senate partner, suggesting that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell might have to rethink his future if he doesn't deliver on the president's agenda of health care, taxes and infrastructure.

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Poll: Most Say Time to End Effort to Repeal Obama Health Law

Message to President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans: It's time to make the Obama health care law more effective. Stop trying to scuttle it. That's the resounding word from a national poll released Friday by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

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School Choice Program Raises Questions About Accountability

More than a third of U.S. states have created school voucher programs that bypass thorny constitutional and political issues by turning them over to nonprofits that rely primarily on businesses to fund them.

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Coal Mine Layoffs Latest Fallout at Kemper Power Plant

The company that supplies lignite coal to Mississippi Power Co.'s Kemper County power plant says it will lay off 75 workers at the mine.

Thursday, August 10

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A Sterling Closer, Failed Maury Povich Quip Closed Out Hinds DA Smith's Second Trial

The mostly female and predominately black jury raised their hands Tuesday evening to confirm that they unanimously had decided that Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith was not guilty of any of the three counts the State of Mississippi had brought against him.

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Democrats, Republicans Honor Robert Clark's 'Striving and Working' Legacy

In the midst of Mississippi's turbulent reckoning with the Civil Rights Movement, Holmes County residents elected Robert G. Clark to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1967. He was the first African American to serve in the Legislature since Reconstruction.

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Sean Payton

Saints head coach Sean Payton came to New Orleans at one of the lowest points in the franchise's history.

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North Korea Details Plan to Fire Missile Salvo Toward Guam

North Korea has announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers. If carried out, it would be the North's most provocative missile launch to date.

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Trump Escalates Feud with Senate GOP Leader Over Health Care

President Donald Trump resumed his taunts of his party's Senate leader on Thursday, expressing disbelief that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell couldn't persuade a Republican majority to pass a health care bill.

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Study: Trump Actions Trigger Health Premium Hikes for 2018

The Trump administration's own actions are triggering double-digit premium increases on individual health insurance policies purchased by many consumers, a nonpartisan study has found.

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AP Interview: DeVos Says She Didn't Decry Racism Enough

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Wednesday distanced herself from her comment earlier this year about the nation's historically black colleges and universities being pioneers of school choice, saying that in the past "there were no choices" for African-Americans in higher education.

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FBI Agents Searched Former Trump Campaign Chair's Home

FBI agents looking for financial documents have searched one of the homes of President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, whose past foreign political work has been swept into the investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election. A Manafort spokesman confirmed the search Wednesday.

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GOP Senator Suggests Brain Tumor Affected McCain Vote

Sen. Ron Johnson suggested that fellow Republican Sen. John McCain's brain tumor and the after-midnight timing of the vote were factors in the Arizona lawmaker's decisive vote against the GOP health care bill.

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Former Ole Miss Coach Nutt's Lawsuit vs. School Dismissed

Former Mississippi coach Houston Nutt's civil lawsuit against the school and its athletics foundation has been dismissed by a federal judge.

Wednesday, August 9

The Slate

The second week of August brings the first full week of preseason NFL games. Every team is in action this week with plenty of games on to fill the long void of football.

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Down Home at Da Shak Grill

Frederick Terry, who is the owner and chef at Da Shak Grill in Bryam, started learning how to cook around the age of 16.

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Sen. McDaniel’s Loyalties

It appears that Mississippi Sen. Chris McDaniel has decided to endorse the view that those deserving of support and by implication, rights, are only "white christian males."

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We Must Treat All Addiction, Addicts the Same

If addiction truly is an illness, like so many lawmakers are now saying, it is time to take a look at how we're treating potential addicts serving decades-long sentences behind bars right here within our state lines.

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Congress, Preserve the Special Rule for Model Aircraft

These days, drones are everywhere—in the news, on television and in the skies above Mississippi. This summer, especially, many people will be flying recreational unmanned aircraft, often referred to as "drones," for the first time.

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The Case Against the Hinds DA: A Long-Running Hinds County Whodunit Ends

Jackson has been enveloped in a seemingly ripe "whodunit" case involving Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith since 2011.

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Get Flustered

For the members of Palm Desert, Calif.-based quartet The Flusters, music has not only been a matter of creating art but also of brotherhood, formed through shared influences and almost three years together on the road.

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Keeping Art in Mind

On the last Wednesday of each month at the Mississippi Museum of Art, participants in one of the museum's classes paint colorful swirls and patterns in an effort to, in a sense, jog their memory.

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Stuck Behind Bars, Waiting for Mental Care

Judges in Mississippi have few options when sentencing men and women who need mental-health care but have also committed a crime.

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Jackson Airport Lawsuit Weakened, But Still On

The legal fight over who controls the Jackson airport continues outside the courtroom for now after U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves dismissed three of the city of Jackson's initial claims this July.

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From Opioids to Heroin Addiction, Addressing the Epidemic in Mississippi

Heroin was involved in 24.0 percent (35 cases) of all opioid-related overdose death in 2015, data from the Mississippi Department of Health show. John Dowdy, director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, says the amount of heroin in Mississippi has increased significantly.

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Merc B. Williams

Merc B. Williams, a Jackson comedian and event host, has spent the past year co-hosting "The Roundtable" podcast, which connects Jacksonians from all walks of life to talk about local goings-on, sports, politics and a variety of other topics.

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Let’s Talk About Violence, Then Take Action

It's a problem when all cops are stereotyped, but it's also wrong that more law enforcement won't speak out publicly like that about bad cops and, too often, will defend violent actions.

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Trump Touts Nuke Strength as Tillerson Urges Calm on North Korea

President Donald Trump declared the U.S. nuclear arsenal "far stronger and more powerful than ever before," even as his top diplomat was working to calm the North Korea crisis and insisting there wasn't "any imminent threat."

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Another High Court Justice Will Run Mississippi Foster Care

One former state supreme court justice is leaving his post running Mississippi's foster care system, but another justice will leave the court to take over.

Tuesday, August 8

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Jury Finds Hinds DA 'Not Guilty,' Hood Looks to Smith's Next Trial

A jury found Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith "not guilty" on three counts for hindering the prosecution of Christopher Butler.

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Trump Blasts NK Over New Report About Its Nuclear Weapons

President Donald Trump warned North Korea that it could face "fire and fury" after a new report Tuesday said U.S. intelligence believes Pyongyang has successfully produced a nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.

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Draft US Report Says Extreme Storms Driven by Climate Change

Directly contradicting President Donald Trump, a draft report produced by 13 federal agencies concludes that the United States is already feeling the negative impacts of climate change, with a stark increase in the frequency of heat waves, heavy rains and other extreme weather over the last four decades.

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Experts: Lives at Risk if No Sleep Tests for Train Engineers

U.S. officials are abandoning plans to require sleep apnea screening for truck drivers and train engineers, a decision that safety experts say puts millions of lives at risk.

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Marines Eye Plan to Put Women in West Coast Combat Training

The U.S. Marine Corps for the first time is eyeing a plan to let women attend what has been male-only combat training in Southern California, as officials work to quash recurring problems with sexism and other bad behavior among Marines, according to Marine Corps officials.

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Fired Engineer Sues, Saying Utility Retaliated Against Him

A fired engineer at a now-aborted Mississippi Power Co. plant sued the utility's parent company Tuesday, saying an order to reinstate him is being ignored.

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Monogram Hut, GJAC Mural, Kellogg Grant to International Museum of Muslim Cultures and Dependable Source Corp.

The Monogram Hut, which is a monogramming and embroidery business, opened at the Outlets of Mississippi on Wednesday, Aug. 2.

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Report: Mississippi Moms Need More Workforce Training and Child Care

A new policy report from the Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative shows that single, working mothers in Mississippi make far less than other types of families and still have to pay for child care.

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Matt Luke

Ole Miss interim head coach Matt Luke's straightforward approach to discipline could be a window in how he'll run the team this season.

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APNewsBreak: Dems Seek Federal Payments to Trump Business

As President Donald Trump spends much of August at his New Jersey golf club, Democratic lawmakers are making a new push for information about how much money the federal government is spending at his for-profit properties.

Monday, August 7

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Witness for Hinds DA Helps State’s Case Against Him, Confirms ‘Hindering’

One of the witnesses called to help Smith actually ended up confirming that he probably did what the State is accusing him of doing—hindering the prosecution of Christopher Butler for white-collar mail-fraud charges.

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Sengoku Souls

The most enlightening part of “Nioh” is how plainly it presents what elevates its spiritual predecessor. It’s gameplay, pure and simple: the balancing act of punch and counterpunch, the careful tracking of health and stamina, the thrill of risk and reward inherent in every lingering combo, all stacked against the asymmetrical odds of each encounter.

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Hinds DA's Motive Doesn't Matter in Conspiracy Case, State Argues in Court

The State of Mississippi rested its case against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith Friday, bringing the first week of his second trial to a close, even as the jury had to stay sequestered through the weekend at the Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond.

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Federal Agency Seeks Penalties Against Mississippi Lender

A federal agency wants more penalties against a Mississippi payday lender, asking a federal judge to order the company and its owner to pay $8.3 million.

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Black Lawmakers Ask U.S. Supreme Court to Hear State Flag Case

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including civil-rights leader Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Mississippi attorney Carlos Moore's state flag case.

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Ronnie the Rhino

On Friday, Aug. 4, the Jackson Zoo announced that its almost-45-year-old rhino, Ronnie, passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 2.

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Chicago Files Federal Lawsuit Over Sanctuary Cities Threat

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has taken his fight against President Donald Trump's immigration policies to court, with Chicago becoming one of the first cities Monday to sue the government over what many U.S. cities argue are illegal bids to withhold public safety grants from so-called sanctuary cities.

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Pence Slams Report on Possible 2020 Presidential Groundwork

Vice President Mike Pence has pushed back against a news report suggesting he is laying groundwork for a possible presidential bid in 2020 if President Donald Trump does not run.

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UN Imposes Tough New Sanctions on North Korea

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions Saturday to punish North Korea for its escalating nuclear and missile programs including a ban on coal and other exports worth over $1 billion—a huge bite in its total exports, valued at $3 billion last year.

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UAW Defiant in Mississippi Loss as Union Opponents Celebrate

Supporters of the United Auto Workers say they're not giving up their fight to unionize a Nissan auto assembly plant in Mississippi after a stinging defeat, even as UAW opponents say Friday's loss proves workers don't want the union.

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Analysis: Top Mississippians Back Private Flood Insurance

Mississippi's top insurance regulator and its only Democratic congressman are both ready to cede some of the federal flood insurance market to private insurers.

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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, August 4

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New Medical School Dedicated in Mississippi

Physician-starved Mississippi can expect more doctors, more room for medical training simulations and a permanent home some once-scattered resources because of a new building at University of Mississippi School of Medicine, school leaders said Friday.

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Westin Hotel Opens in Downtown Jackson

The Westin Hotel in downtown Jackson officially opened on Thursday, Aug. 3, when city, county and state leaders gathered to cut the ribbon to the entrance of the new 203-room property located on South Congress Street across from the federal court building.

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Nissan Workers in Mississippi Vote on Whether to Unionize

Workers at a Nissan auto assembly plant in Mississippi are voting on whether they want the United Auto Workers union to bargain for them.

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Adding Comedy to the Bill

Tonight, Aug. 4, at The Hideaway, Elton Pope, who is the chief executive officer of event company Carpe Diem Management, LLC, will present the "Made in Mississippi Comedy Tour," which will feature eight comedians from the Magnolia State.

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Sessions Vows Crackdown on Leaks of Classified Information

Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledged on Friday to rein in government leaks that he said undermine American security, taking an aggressive public stand after being called weak on the matter by President Donald Trump.

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Flynn Files New Financial Form Reporting Ties to Data Firm

President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, is revealing a brief advisory role with a firm related to a controversial data analysis company that aided the Trump campaign, The Associated Press has learned.

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Lydia Mathis

Belhaven University junior Lydia Mathis recently spent five weeks in northern Iraq working to combat some of the lasting effects of terrorism through dance.

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Trump Whips Up Supporters Against Russia Probe

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is using a grand jury in Washington as part of an investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, a person familiar with the probe says.

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Congress Recessing, Leaving Much Undone, Tensions with Trump

Lawmakers have scattered for their summer recess, leaving behind a slim record of achievements and a steaming President Donald Trump. The president is angry about what the Republican-led Congress couldn't do—repeal Obamacare—as well as one of the few things it did: approve a Russia sanctions bill he detests.

Thursday, August 3

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Military Scrambles for Transgender Policy After Trump Tweets

President Donald Trump's tweets declaring transgender people unwelcome in the armed forces have plunged the Pentagon into a legal and moral quagmire, sparking a flurry of meetings to devise a new policy that could lead to hundreds of service members being discharged.

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Sessions Cracks Down on Cities Over Immigration Enforcement

Attorney General Jeff Sessions took new steps Thursday to punish cities he believes are not cooperating with federal immigration agents in a move that was met with bewilderment by local officials who said they did not know why they were being singled out.

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Newly Discovered Footage Changing Focus of Hinds DA's Trial

The second trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith for trying to hinder the prosecution of Christopher Butler is different from his first trial earlier this year in at least one significant way. Recently discovered surveillance video footage from the home of Butler weakens one of Smith's primary defenses for his actions to help Butler.

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Opioid Task Force Releases Recommendations

The Governor's Opioid and Heroin Study Task Force released its recommendations Wednesday, Aug. 3, to help Mississippi curb the number of overdoses and death that the opioid epidemic is causing.

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Donald Driver

Wide receiver Donald Driver is without question one of the greatest athletes in the history of Alcorn State University. Even though he played just three season for the Braves, he still ranks in the top 10 in the school's history in receiving yards and touchdowns.

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Top Dem Seeks Documents from Flynn Business Partner

The top Democrat on a House oversight committee has asked a business partner of the Trump administration's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, for documents detailing Flynn's foreign contacts and security clearance, according to a letter released Thursday.

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Justice Denies Broad Move Against College Affirmative Action

The Justice Department said Wednesday it had no broad plans to investigate whether college and university admission programs discriminate against students based on race, seeking to defray worries that a job posting signaled an effort to reverse course on affirmative action.

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No Lie, Says Sanders: Trump Got Praise from Mexico, Scouts

Two phone calls described by President Donald Trump that didn't actually happen represent the latest chapter in a long-running series of disputes revolving around the president's rocky relationship with facts.

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Witness Says Video Key to Prosecutor's Case Wasn't Altered

A witness Wednesday refuted claims that someone tampered with a video recording key to a criminal case against the prosecutor in Mississippi's largest county.

Wednesday, August 2

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Boy Scouts: Top Leaders Didn't Call Trump to Praise Speech

Faced with a firm denial from the Boy Scouts, the White House on Wednesday corrected President Donald Trump's claim in an interview that the head of the youth group called him to heap praise on a politically aggressive speech Trump delivered at the Scouts' national jamboree.

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US Plans Trade Probe Over China's Demands for Tech Transfers

Frustrated over China's inability to pressure North Korea over its nuclear program, the Trump administration is weighing plans to punish China for failing to crack down on intellectual property thefts and forcing U.S. and foreign companies to share their technology in return for access to the vast Chinese market.

The Slate

It is great to see The Slate start and end with football. Next week will have plenty of NFL action, as the rest of the league kicks off its preseason schedule.

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School Supply Lists

It's that time again. Here are the school supplies for Jackson Public Schools' grades kindergarten through fifth.

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JPS Need to Know

Jackson Public Schools start back on Aug. 8. JPS has compiled a handy back-to-school guide on its website, Jackson.k12.ms.us. Here are some of the things parents and students should know for this year.

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Learning Outside the Classroom

Education is important to a child's well-being. While classrooms provide a great setting for learning, Jackson has a lot of opportunities for kids to learn outside of a classroom. Here is some of what's happening over the next couple of months.

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The Importance of Sports Physicals

High-school athletics is a big part of our local culture, and the possibility of a young athlete not being able to participate can be devastating to some teenagers and their families.

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Sam Mooney: Finding His Way

Like many performers, pop and soul artist Sam Mooney was infatuated with music from a young age. However, the connection wasn't instant.

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Nissan: At the Union Crossroads

Poor ol' Mississippi, so poor it can't even keep its roads paved and bridges repaired, has thus far spent $1.3 billion on taxpayer subsidies to keep Nissan in Canton. Nissan is a $38.4 billion company. Carlos Ghosn earns $10 million a year and has a net worth of $100 million.

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Cheers to Bipartisan Common Sense

Both in Congress and on a state level, bipartisanship is critical to ensure that all Americans and Mississippians have access to affordable health care regardless of their ZIP code, income, race or family status.

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Keeping Insurance Rates Stable, Despite Congressional Interference

Even with the Affordable Care Act intact, Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney is still concerned for Mississippians with certain plans that would see rate increases in 2018, despite the ACA's fate.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Don't Be Too Nice'

At a New York event last week meant to bring awareness to MS-13 gang activities and his administration's efforts to eliminate criminal cartels, President Donald Trump encouraged officers to not be too gentle with criminals.

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PETA: Lumumba Setting Positive Example

In response to "Dear Pam: Stay in Your Lane" by Laurie Bertram Roberts, I think that by accepting Pamela Anderson's invitation to eat vegan meals, Mayor Lumumba is setting a positive example for Jackson residents and everyone else who wants to eat healthy, help animals and protect the environment.

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Editorial Awards Encouraging for Our 15th Anniversary

Real solutions to violent crime start with understanding how we got to where we are—what's systemic about the problem—and what the best practices are for interrupting violence and setting young people on a better path with the full support of responsible and invested adults in their community.

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Council Unanimously Approves Lumumba’s First JPS Appointee, Returning a Quorum to the Board

The Jackson City Council unanimously approved Letitia Simmons Johnson to serve as the Ward 2 member of the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees at its meeting Tuesday morning.

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GOP Plan to Slash Legal Immigration Wins Trump's Support

President Donald Trump has embraced legislation that would dramatically reduce legal immigration and shift the nation toward a system that prioritizes merit and skills over family ties.

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Hindering Justice? DA Smith Back on Trial

The second trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith kicked off at 9:03 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, with a jury of seven women and five men who did not seem all that happy to be there.

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Medicaid Fraud Solutions: Two Ways

State Auditor Stacey Pickering is driving a bi-partisan approach to Medicaid fraud that stands in stark contrast to legislation the Republican supermajority in the Mississippi Legislature passed this past session.

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Regulators Seek More Utility Work for Mississippi Companies

Mississippi regulators have finalized an effort to push utilities to do more to hire locally based companies.

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Daniel Berry

Jackson native Daniel Berry says he has always been interested in the engineering behind fast cars such as the ones in Formula 1 and IndyCar racing. It was working on a go-kart that sparked his curiosity for racing and made him want to test his driving skills.

Tuesday, August 1

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Senate Confirms Christopher Wray, Trump's Choice for FBI

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Christopher Wray to lead the FBI, replacing James Comey, who was abruptly fired by President Donald Trump amid the investigation into Russia meddling in last year's presidential election.

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GOP Shows Signs of Reaching Out to Democrats on Health Care

Republicans showed signs Tuesday of reaching out to Democrats for a joint if modest effort to buttress health insurance markets, four days after the GOP effort to unilaterally uproot and reshape the Obama health care law crumpled in the Senate.

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Kushner Says Trump Campaign Was Too Dysfunctional to Collude

President Donald Trump's son-in-law told a group of congressional interns that the Trump campaign couldn't have colluded with Russia because the team was too dysfunctional and disorganized to coordinate with a foreign government.

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Mississippi Physician's Sentencing on Prison Bribery Delayed

Sentencing has been delayed until at least September for a physician who pleaded guilty in May to bribing Mississippi's former corrections commissioner.

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Jackson Airport Lands $5 Million Federal Grant

The Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers Airport received a federal grant this week to complete necessary improvements to the airport's runway.

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BRAVO! Remodeling, Jesse Houston at Fine & Dandy, Two Sister's Closes and Rankin on the Move

Jesse Houston, a well-known Jackson chef who helped the late Craig Noone open Parlor Market and most recently served as the executive chef at Saltine Oyster Bar, will now serve as culinary director and acting executive chef of Fine & Dandy.

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Sarah Campbell

Author Sarah Campbell likes to combine her love for words, children and science in her books and seeks to spark kids' interest in the world of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

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Lawsuit Alleges Fox News Coordinated with White House on False Seth Rich Story

An investigator who worked on the Seth Rich case claims Fox News fabricated quotes implicating the murdered Democratic National Committee staffer in the WikiLeaks scandal and coordinated with the Trump administration as it worked on the story.

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Trump on Tricky Legal Ground with 'Obamacare' Threat

President Donald Trump's threat to stop billions of dollars in government payments to insurers and force the collapse of "Obamacare" could put the government in a tricky legal situation.

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Kelly Wins Praise Across the Aisle, but Bigger Task is Ahead

Tapped to bring order to a chaotic West Wing, John Kelly began to make his mark immediately on Monday, ousting newly appointed communications director Anthony Scaramucci and revising a dysfunctional command structure that has bred warring factions.

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Mississippi Schools and Libraries Can Apply for Free Books

Mississippi libraries can apply for free books through the Library of Congress Surplus Books Program.

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Judge Again Rejects Bail for 1 of 3 Charged in Boy's Death

A Mississippi judge is still denying bail to one of three teenagers charged with capital murder in the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy.

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Confederate Emblem Protested Outside Legislative Conference

The Confederate battle emblem on the Mississippi flag is prompting public protests and private discussions about race relations at a Southern legislative meeting.