Stories for May 2017

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Wednesday, May 31

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Bynum Named Jackson State President Despite Opposition

College Board trustees are naming William Bynum as the next president of Jackson State University despite opposition from some students and alumni.

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Dylan Goes Eclectic

Operation Shoestring, a Jackson-based nonprofit organization that focuses on providing for the educational, cultural and social needs of children, is incorporating the music of Bob Dylan in its upcoming fundraiser for its summer programs.

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Lizz Winstead

When writer, producer and comedian Lizz Winstead visited Jackson in 2015, she wasn't in town for a stand-up show or filming a segment for "The Daily Show," which she co-created, or working on any of the other media projects that she's been involved with over the years.

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The Candidates for Jackson Mayor: Vote June 6, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Jackson doesn't have a mayor, yet, despite Chokwe Antar Lumumba's impressive Democratic primary victory in an overwhelmingly Democratic city. He still must defeat several other candidates on June 6.

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The ‘Good Samaritan’ Pizza Guy Runs for Mayor

Kenneth Swarts pulls out his big, white binder that he calls his "playbook" and begins to show off his vibrant campaign signs. He crafted the small signs from leftover Pizza Hut brownie boxes and his laminating machine, similar to the button on his shirt.

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I Refuse to Be a Victim

Right now, I'm scared. I see children getting shot and three other only slightly larger children arrested for the crime, and I know that for the last five years, the state Legislature has been crippling or cutting any program designed to help them from the budget.

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New City Administration Must Be Smart on Crime

Interpersonal violence, much like the shooting spree allegedly spurred from domestic violence that left eight people dead in Lincoln County last weekend, is responsible for a huge amount of violent crime that police cannot stop.

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A Small, But Tangible, Impact on Teacher Shortages

Timothy Leake is a long way from home. He moved to Mississippi right after he graduated from Yale University in 2015. Leake studied math at Yale, but by the end of his time there, he decided he really wanted to learn how to teach. The Mississippi Teacher Corps provided the perfect opportunity.

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State Guts Firefighting Forestry Jobs

Fifty foresters with "boots on the ground" to fight wildfires all over Mississippi on almost 19.8 million acres will lose their jobs come July 1. The layoffs come after the state Legislature cut the Mississippi Forestry Commission budget by almost 16 percent in the past session.

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Briarwood Pool in New, Uncharted Waters

Wilson Carroll helped form the Friends of the Briarwood Pool, the nonprofit now charged with the pool's operations. The YMCA formerly operated the Briarwood Pool. Phil Eide, another founder of the nonprofit, said the jurisdictional transition has been successful.

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Let’s Elect Lumumba on June 6 and Get Organized

I've had a number of great conversations recently with local business people who are curious to see where our city is headed now that the primary is behind us, and it appears that Chokwe Antar Lumumba, who surprised many by winning the primary outright, will be our next mayor.

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Hannah Lawrence

Hannah Lawrence says she had a normal childhood up until the age of 13. She made good grades and loved to play sports such as soccer. Then, a bout with viral encephalitis left her with scar tissue on her brain.

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College Board Faces Resistance Over Choice for JSU President

Some Jackson State University alumni and faculty are fighting William Bynum's nomination to become the president of Mississippi's largest historically black university.

Tuesday, May 30

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UPDATED: Hinds DA Out on Bond for Domestic Violence, Stalking, Robbery Charges

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith is facing two domestic-violence misdemeanor charges and two felony charges: one for aggravated stalking and another for robbery.

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Long Live the King: Kingston Frazier's Short and Powerful Life

Although it seemed to be a sorrowful day, hope penetrated the eyes and hearts of those who attended the celebration of little Kingston Frazier.

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Miss. Teen: He 'Loved Me Enough to Take Some Bullets for Me'

It was after midnight when a gunman burst into the living room of a southern Mississippi home where young people were playing video games.

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Tori Bowie

The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is set to honor sprinter Tori Bowie and pole-vaulter Sam Kendricks with a meet and greet from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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White House Communications Director Resigns Amid Tensions

A top White House communications staffer has resigned as President Donald Trump considers a major staff overhaul.

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Merkel Warns Against 'Simple Answers' After Trump Meetings

Chancellor Angela Merkel cautioned Monday against seeking "simple answers" to complex global issues, a day after suggesting that Europe's relationship with the U.S. had shifted significantly following NATO and G-7 meetings with President Donald Trump that produced disappointing results.

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Kelly Defends Plan for Russia Back Channel as a 'Good Thing'

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is defending an alleged effort by top White House adviser Jared Kushner to create back-channel communications with Russia as a "good thing," while the Trump administration sought to quell mounting questions over secret ties to the Kremlin.

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Trump Lashes Out at Leaks, Considers Staff Upheaval

President Donald Trump is assailing internal leaks as he considers an overhaul of his White House staff and grapples with a burgeoning crisis involving alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign.

Monday, May 29

Relative 'Devastated' After Shooting Kills 8 in Mississippi

Head in hands, his voice strained, Vincent Mitchell sat outside his little yellow home and tried to make sense of how a family dispute led to a rampage that killed eight people, including the deputy who tried to keep them safe.

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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, May 26

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Rep. Oliver Sued for 'LYNCHED' Post As Calls for His Resignation Increase

The Grenada, Miss.-based attorney who sued Gov. Phil Bryant over the Confederate flag in the canton of the Mississippi state flag is now targeting Rep. Karl Oliver, R-Winona, whose calls for lynching over removal of Confederate statues last week made national headlines.

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Brent Rooker

The day after the regular season ended, Monday, May 22, turned out to be a great day for Mississippi State University first baseman Brent Rooker. He is in the midst of one of the greatest offensive seasons in the history of college baseball in our state.

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Lawyer Says Kushner Willing to Cooperate with Investigators

President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is willing to cooperate with federal investigators looking into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, his attorney said.

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New Mississippi Law Blocks 1 Appeal Over Death Penalty Drug

The Mississippi Supreme Court has blocked a death row inmate's appeal over the state's planned use of a lethal-injection drug.

Thursday, May 25

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Appeals Court Deals Blow to Trump Administration Travel Ban

President Donald Trump's revised travel ban "speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination," a federal appeals court said Thursday in ruling against the ban that targets six Muslim-majority countries.

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Like the DA Trying to Protect Him, Butler Trial Ends in a Mistrial

Another trial tangentially related to District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith has ended in a mistrial. The man the district attorney went to trial late last year for trying to protect just got his own hung jury.

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Black Leaders Boycott over State Flag, as Outrage at Karl Oliver Lingers

Most Republican leaders have distanced themselves from Rep. Karl Oliver, R-Winona, who made national headlines for a Facebook post that called for the lynching of leaders in Louisiana who support the removal of Confederate monuments, but the fight to change the state flag continues.

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Zack Shannon

Delta State University junior first-baseman Zack Shannon didn't win the 2017 Ferriss Trophy, but he will get an opportunity that the other finalists might not get. Shannon and his teammates have a chance to win a national championship in the Division II Men's College World Series.

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23 Million More Uninsured with GOP Health Bill, Analysts Say

The health care bill Republicans recently pushed through the House would leave 23 million more Americans without insurance and confront others who have costly medical conditions with coverage that could prove unaffordable, Congress' official budget analysts said Wednesday.

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Trump Vows to Crackdown on Leaks, Chastises NATO

President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to crack down on leaks that prompted Manchester police to withhold information from the United States about the investigation into this week's bombing. He also chastised NATO leaders for not paying their fair share to protect the long-standing alliance.

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Governor Signs Protections for Confederate, Other Monuments

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday signed into law sweeping protections for Confederate and other long-standing monuments, a move that comes as some Southern cities remove Confederate monuments from public grounds.

Wednesday, May 24

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Former Mississippi Prison Chief Sentenced to Nearly 20 Years

Christopher Epps once called himself the "tallest hog at the trough," but he was cut down to size Wednesday when a judge sentenced Mississippi's former corrections commissioner to nearly 20 years in prison for crimes connected to more than $1.4 million in bribes.

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Brighten Your Backyard on a Budget

It's easy to feel the start of the season when you have a colorful outdoor space for entertaining and relaxing.

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Spirits of Summer

Summer is a time for relaxing and having fun with friends and family. These cocktails are perfect additions to the party. It's time to take a deep breath and enjoy the long, anticipated summer days.

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Crustacean for All Occasions

Nothing says summer in Mississippi like seafood, but there are plenty of options for getting your shrimp and crab fix without a hefty price tag. Here are a few simple yet tasty recipes to try out this season.

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Picnicking for ‘Jubilee’

Margaret Walker Center Director Robert Luckett says that it is remarkable that author and poet Margaret Walker, who was an African American woman, chose to live her life in Jackson, a place that treated people of color and women much more harshly at the time.

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Kingston’s Death: The Tragedy It Is

I can't speak for Kingston Frazier's mama, but I know what it's like to be a black single mama who's judged because your child was a victim of a crime.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Lynched'

Rep. Karl Oliver demonstrated how little progress, ideologically at least, has been made since the Civil Rights Movement in some communities and how those similar attitudes still permeate the Legislature, leading to inequitable policy and, now, calls for violence. It's inexcusable.

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Letter to a Young Mother

Dear Ebony, I don't know you, but I know you. You are me. You are my sister, my aunt, my friend. You are every woman, every mother who just wanted what was best for her child.

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Time to End Free Passes for Racist Lawmakers

Leaders can feign disgust at Rep. Karl Oliver's words, but their cozy relationship with racial rhetoric and symbols emboldened him and may lead to the violence he encouraged. It is time to stop this game now.

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Top Dollar Pawn Shop Lives for Another Day

Tramaury Barnes walked into Top Dollar Pawn on West Street at about 10 a.m. on April 24, 2017, to retrieve his AR-12 he had pawned.

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Suing for Fully Funded Education

The fight to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program continues in the courtroom, as two Democrats filed a lawsuit against the governor, the state fiscal officer, the Mississippi Department of Education and the state treasurer.

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When Children Can’t See: Vision Problems Can Lead to Failing

Vision to Learn, a Los Angeles-based foundation that aims to screen all children for eyesight problems, has partnered with Jackson Public Schools to screen nearly 27,000 students in the district.

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Facing the Mirror, From Kingston Frazier to Karl Oliver

Little Kingston Frazier is our mirror. The brutal murder of this 6-year-old in Jackson last week reflected the absolute best and the abhorrent worst of our community.

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Elvis Has Entered the Building

The Tony Award-winning musical "Million Dollar Quartet" comes to New Stage Theatre on May 30 to present a piece of rock history.

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Celebrating Pop Culture and Cosplay

Mississippi Comic Con returns to the Mississippi Trade Mart on Friday, June 24, and Saturday, June 25, for its fourth year of bringing vendors, artists, fan groups and guests together in celebration of pop culture.

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On the Road Again

Summer is the ideal time to hit the road and explore little-known spots in our fascinating state. Here are a few places that make for great and quick road trips. All of these are two hours or less from Jackson.

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Paul Bonds

Paul Bonds, who owns local coffee roaster and retailer BeanFruit Coffee, says he grew up hating coffee until a single cup changed his perspective.

Tuesday, May 23

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ACLU of Mississippi Calls for Investigation into Rep. Karl Oliver's Past

The ACLU of Mississippi has called on Gov. Phil Bryant, House Speaker Philip Gunn and the House Ethics Committee to investigate whether Rep. Karl Oliver's statement was a breach of Code of Ethics or House rules.

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Black Caucus: White Rep Should Resign Over Lynch Comment

Black lawmakers in Mississippi are demanding the resignation of a white colleague who said Louisiana leaders should be lynched for removing Confederate monuments.

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Four Black Moms Sue State for Denying 'Uniform System of Free Public Schools'

Four mothers with children in majority-black school districts and schools rated "D" or "F" are accusing the State of Mississippi of violating a law requiring "uniform system of free public schools."

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Derek Emerson Purchases Parlor Market, Grillehouse Ribbon Cutting and Seafood R’evolution Tapas Menu

Derek Emerson, who owns Walker’s Drive-In, Local 463 Urban Kitchen and CAET Wine Bar, will begin making preparations this week to purchase downtown Jackson restaurant Parlor Market.

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Tim Martin

For Tim Martin, pursuing a career in public education did not always seem a likely career path, but it's one that he says has become a lifelong passion.

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Gunn: Lottery Debate Not Expected During Special Session

Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn says he does not expect legislators to debate the creation of a state lottery during a special session next month.

Monday, May 22

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Families Explode in Emotion Over Child Murder Charges, Rumors Dispelled

Four families were distraught today as Judge Bruce McKinley denied bond to Byron McBride Jr.; Dwan Wakefield and D’Allen Washington, charging them with capital murder for the kidnapping and murder of 6-year-old Kingston Frazier early last Thursday.

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Mississippi Valley's Bynum Named 'Preferred Candidate' for Jackson State Top Role

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning announced today the selection of Dr. William B. Bynum as the preferred candidate for President of Jackson State University. Dr. Bynum currently serves as President of Mississippi Valley State University.

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Speaker Strips Karl Oliver of Vice-Chairmanship After ‘Lynched’ Facebook Post

House Speaker Philip Gunn stripped Rep. Karl Oliver, R-Winona, of his vice-chairmanship today after Oliver’s Facebook post Saturday, which said those supporting the removal of Confederate monuments in Louisiana “should be LYNCHED!”

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Fallen Confederate Monuments Could Find New Home at Beauvoir on Coast

As the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee came down Friday afternoon in New Orleans—along with three other Confederate monuments in the city including Jefferson Davis—the future of the monuments did not seem to be much of a conversation.

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Rep. Karl Oliver's Lynching Call Turns Spotlight to Mississippi Statues

When Rep. Karl Oliver decided to take to Facebook Saturday night to vent his anger over the Confederate statues coming off public property in Louisiana, he ignited a firestorm over his call for the kind of terrorism the Old South is still known for: lynching.

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Kaitlin Lee

The University of Mississippi's surprise run to the title featured phenomenal pitching from the Rebel's Kaitlin Lee. In four games, she gave up just three runs in four games, with opposing teams struggling to put their offenses together to score runs.

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APNewsBreak: Source Says Flynn to Invoke 5th Amendment

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will invoke his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination as he notifies a Senate panel that he won't hand over documents in the probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

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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, May 21

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UPDATED: State Rep. Karl Oliver Calls for Lynching Over Statues, Later Apologizes

Rep. Karl Oliver posted on Facebook that those taking down Confederate statues "should be LYNCHED!" He later apologized, but many are calling for his resignation.

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Sheriff Victor Mason: Stop Spreading 'Vicious' Rumors in Kingston Frazier Tragedy

Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason is addressing the rampant rumors around the murder of 6-year-old Kingston Frazier last week, which were fueled by an early report that the baby wasn't reported missing until an hour after the abduction, which apparently was not true.

Friday, May 19

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Amazing Grace: On Tragic Day in Jackson, JPD Honors Fallen Officers

On the same day that tragedy struck Jackson with the brutal murder of 6-year-old Kingston Frazier, members of the Jackson Police Department and family members came together in downtown Jackson to honor fallen officers.

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Kaye Phillips

Kaye Phillips says she did not know what to think when a stranger at the post office kept staring at her. The woman eventually pointed to her bag, which was branded with the title of the book that Phillips worked on, and said, in a pointed tone, "'Nasty Women Project,' what is that?"

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Police: 3 Men Stole Car, Killed 6-Year-Old in Back Seat

Three young Mississippi men were arrested hours after a 6-year-old boy was found shot dead in his mother's stolen car and the suspects will be charged with capital murder, authorities said.

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Search for New Jackson State President Continues

Trustees are still looking for a new president for Jackson State University.

Thursday, May 18

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Former Gov. Musgrove in Court: Law Requires State to Fund MAEP

The fight to fully fund the state's education funding formula had its day in the Mississippi Supreme Court on Wednesday. Former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove told the court that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program must be fully funded in order to follow state law as it is written.

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Company Sued in Prison Bribery Scheme to Pay State $2M

A company that made drug testing cups involved in Mississippi's prison bribery scandal will pay the state $2 million.

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Former FBI Director Mueller to Lead Trump-Russia Probe

Robert Mueller has been given sweeping power to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, an acknowledgment of growing public demands to place the politically charged inquiry into the hands of an outside investigator with bipartisan respect.

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Trump Assails 'Witch Hunt' After Naming of Special Counsel

President Donald Trump lashed out at the appointment of a special counsel to investigate allegations that his campaign collaborated with Russia to sway the 2016 election, tweeting Thursday that it is "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

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Mississippi Supreme Court Hears Appeal Over School Funding

Former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove is telling the Mississippi Supreme Court that justices should hold lawmakers to their word to spend a certain amount on schools.

Wednesday, May 17

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Jason Wells’ GOP Dream: First Mayor, Then President

The Republican nominee for Jackson mayor, Jason Wells, 34, has returned to the polls once again in hope of successfully finding what he desires in life, a political office.

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You Are Invited ...

Alicia Stapleton, who also goes by Cookie, says she likes to use real embellishments for the wedding invitations she designs such as a small starfish for a destination wedding, or a piece of lace and a cameo pendant for a classically themed wedding.

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Flywalker’s Next Steps

The track, "ctrlaltdelete.", is just the latest of many that Jackson producer Darrin Givens, known to fans as Flywalker, has put out on online music communities such as SoundCloud. It is primed for an up-and-coming rapper to record over it, and that's kind of the idea.

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The Democratic Old Guard

In March, when Bernie Sanders stood on the podium at the "March on Mississippi" in Canton and told the crowd that "the eyes of the country and the eyes of the world are on you," thousands cheered.

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Pointing Fingers Won’t Help Mental Health Crisis

Mississippi's mental-health care problems are not secrets, and yet only when the DOJ sues the state and after speaking with some community advocates does the governor start talking about community-based services.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'No Crisis'

Gov. Phil Bryant railed against the media three separate times while speaking at the Mental Health Summit at the Jackson Hilton last week.

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A Health-Care Oligarchy

"The politicians are diligent, persistent and determined to establish a health-care oligarchy. The tables are tilted toward the rich, and the game is rigged against the poor."

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The Battle for Children’s Mental Health in Mississippi

Lisa Fuller, a Mississippi mother of two in Madison, stood up at the Children's Mental Health Summit at the Jackson Hilton on May 12 to explain her laborious journey of finding care and support for her two daughters: one who has high-functioning autism and the other who has anxiety and depression disorders.

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Incoming, Hopeful City Leaders Pledge to Help Rebuild Jackson

Concerned citizens and members of religious institutions gathered last week in the Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church in south Jackson to ask the Democratic nominee for Jackson mayor, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, and several presumptive city-council candidates to pledge to help rebuild Jackson.

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Developer Expanding Farish District Housing

Clusters of affordable housing units line the blocks directly west of Greenwood Cemetery, in the heart of the Farish Street Historic District. Their Easter-egg hues stand out starkly in contrast to a few burnt-out and blighted homes and vacant lots around them.

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Tasha Rollins

I used to think Jackson is boring—and it's not," Tasha Rollins says. She has seen Jackson change as she grew up, but she says that it still has that kind of small-town vibe that she's grown to love.

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Holy Smokers, Batman!

Mike Flannes, a member of the Holy Smokers, describes one of their many dishes: a marinated smoked pork tenderloin stuffed with boudin sausage, wrapped in bacon, with a raspberry chipotle sauce and gouda cheese grits. "Are you getting hungry yet?" he asks.

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Oh, The Places I May Go

It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat from south Jackson or a Republican from Rankin County. We can all agree that the city needs help.

Tuesday, May 16

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Ward 6 Candidates Meet Today in Runoff; Polls Close at 7 p.m. Tonight

Today is the municipal primary run-off that will determine whether Rev. Ernest Slaughter or Rev. Aaron Banks will become the new Ward 6 city councilman, replacing Tyrone Hendrix, who left to take a position with the Mississippi Association of Educators.

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AG Office Needs $1.72 Million to Pay for Mental-Health Litigation Next Year

Attorney General Jim Hood asked Gov. Phil Bryant to address his budget bill in the special session, so far scheduled for June 5 with no specifics set, as well as to ask the Legislature to add more funding to litigate the state's mental-health litigation with the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Estelle Names Executive Chef, Utica Community Meeting and Millsaps Hosting Education Consortium

The Westin Jackson hotel, which is scheduled to open in early August, recently named chef Matthew Kajdan as the executive chef of the hotel's restaurant, Estelle Wine Bar & Bistro.

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Taylor Hughes

Southern University, the No. 4 seed out of the West Division, shocked Alcorn State University, the No. 1 seed out of the East, on the opening day of the 2017 SWAC Softball Tournament.

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Supreme Court Order Unlikely to Deter Voting Restrictions

The Supreme Court's refusal to breathe new life into North Carolina's sweeping voter identification law might be just a temporary victory for civil rights groups.

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Trump Claims 'Absolute Right' to Share Info with Russia

President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed the authority to share "facts pertaining to terrorism" and airline safety with Russia, saying in a pair of tweets he has "an absolute right" as president to do so.

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Coast Man Gets 49 Years for Anti-Transgender Hate Crime Killing of Sex Partner

A Mississippi man received a 49-year prison sentence Monday for the first-ever conviction on federal hate crime charges arising from the murder of a transgender woman.

Monday, May 15

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Mississippi NAACP: Move NCAA Softball Tourney from Ole Miss Due to State Flag

Mississippi NAACP is requesting the NCAA continue its opposition to symbols of racial hatred and expand its ban to all NCAA sanctioned events and relocate the Softball Regional Tournament at the University of Mississippi on Friday, May 19, 2017.

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Man Indicted for Teen's Death Cites Self-Defense, Castle Doctrine in Lawsuit Response

Wayne Parish, the man a Hinds County grand jury indicted for the killing of 17-year-old Charles McDonald Jr. last winter, is denying that he shot the teenage.

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Michael Jackson

An early morning accident has claimed the lives of two people, including former NFL player Michael Jackson.

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Torch-Wielding Group Protests Confederate Statue Removal

A group that included a well-known white nationalist carried torches and chanted "you will not replace us" at a weekend protest in Virginia over plans to remove a monument of a Confederate general.

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Lawmakers Urge Trump to Avoid Picking a Partisan for FBI Job

As President Donald Trump considers a replacement for fired FBI Director James Comey, lawmakers are urging the president to steer clear of appointing any politicians.

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Court Likely to Question if Trump's Travel Ban Discriminates

SEATTLE (AP) — For the second time in a week, government lawyers will try to persuade a federal appeals court to reinstate President Donald Trump's revised travel ban — and once again, they can expect plenty of questions Monday about whether it was designed to discriminate against Muslims.

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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, May 12

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Rep. Bennie Thompson Speaks on 'Trumpcare,' Reasons for Comey Firing

The American Health Care Act is a bad bill for Mississippians, U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said at a town hall at Cardozo Middle School in Jackson Thursday night.

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UPDATED: Judge Blocks Mississippi Shutdown of Payday Lender

A judge blocked Mississippi officials from forcing one of the state's largest payday lenders to close.

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Trump Warns Comey: Better Hope There Are No 'Tapes' of Talks

President Donald Trump, in a warning to his fired FBI director, said Friday that James Comey had better hope there are no "tapes" of their conversations. Trump's tweet came the morning after he asserted Comey had told him three times that he wasn't under FBI investigation.

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Trump Lawyers Push Back Against Russia Ties in Letter

Lawyers for President Donald Trump said Friday that a review of his last 10 years of tax returns did not reflect "any income of any type from Russian sources," but the letter included exceptions related to previously cited income generated from a beauty pageant and sale of a Florida estate.

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US Prosecutors Told to Push for More, Harsher Punishments

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is directing federal prosecutors to pursue the most serious charges possible against the vast majority of suspects, a reversal of Obama-era policies that is sure to send more people to prison and for much longer terms.

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Trump Threatens to Cancel Briefings for 'Sake of Accuracy'

President Donald Trump lashed out in a series of tweets Friday morning amid a firestorm over the abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey, defending the shifting narrative and timeline his administration has offered for the decision.

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Mississippi Court: Judges Booted for Misconduct Gone Forever

The Mississippi Supreme Court says that once a judge has been ordered from office because of misconduct, that person can never again hold the same judicial post.

Thursday, May 11

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Lumumba Files Finance Address Supplement, GOP Nominee Wells Unaware of Need to File

The Democratic nominee for Jackson mayor has filed a supplement listing missing campaign-donor addresses, while the GOP nominee says he didn't know he had to disclose the information.

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Two Reverends Battle in Ward 6 Runoff

Two reverends, Aaron Banks and Ernest Slaughter, who are the only Jackson City Council candidates who are competing in the May 16 run-off, each tried to convince a large crowd at the Metrocenter Mall Tuesday night that he should serve Ward 6.

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Diana Howell

After graduating from Mississippi State University with her bachelor's degree in liberal arts, Diana Howell, then Diana Palmerton, and her soon-to-be husband, John Howell, moved to Jackson In 1991 and got involved with local theaters.

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Nearly $74K Paid in Legal Fees in Mississippi Election Spat

The Mississippi public has paid nearly $74,000 to defend legislators in a federal lawsuit by voters who say they were disenfranchised in a state House race that went to a tiebreaker and was later flipped, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.

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July 25 Election Set to Fill Vacancy in Mississippi House

Gov. Phil Bryant has set a special election to fill a vacancy in the Mississippi House.

Wednesday, May 10

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Murder and ‘The Golden Girls’

With the Mississippi Murder Mysteries' production of "Murder is Golden," the acting company brings together two concepts that one would not expect to hear in the same sentence: murder mystery dinner theater and "The Golden Girls."

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Grace Askew: A New Warpath

The Americana realm will be well represented in this year's Stray At Home Art & Music Festival on May 13. The music lineup features nationally known singer-songwriters Marc Scibilia, Joe Pug and Zach Williams of the Lone Bellow, as well as local bluegrass band the Delta Mountain Boys.

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Celebrate Moms Locally

Your mom may sometimes tell you, "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it." But this Mother's Day, why not take your mom out for a day on the town? Let the Jackson Free Press be your guide.

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JPS Hires Consultant, Facing Corrective Deadlines

The Jackson Public School District has a lot of work to do ahead of the June 30 deadline set for some improvements outlined in its Corrective Action Plan, which the district needs to complete to keep its accreditation and avoid a state takeover.

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How ‘Trumpcare’ Could Hurt Mississippians

The U.S. House of Representatives made good on President Donald Trump's campaign promise of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act last week, but the legislation could have dire impacts for Mississippi, a Republican leader says.

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A ‘State of Siege’ in Madison County?

Khadafy and Quinnetta Manning are two of the 10 black Madison County residents suing the county and Sheriff Randall Tucker in a federal class-action lawsuit the ACLU of Mississippi filed this week.

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Making of a Landslide: Chokwe A. Lumumba and a Changing Jackson

Primary night wasn't supposed to end that way. Chokwe Antar Lumumba could not possibly beat nine Democratic opponents outright and avoid a run-off. Here's why he did.

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Onward and Upward

Our new mayor deserves the infusion of the collective genius of all who are part of our city. This genius cannot be parked along the sidelines of stagnation. This genius cannot afford to wait on an invitation to the table of progress. Neither can it wait on political expedience.

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Address Racial Bias in Policing Now, Not Later

Discriminatory policing has always been a reality in Mississippi, where too many cops have long enforced deeply held racial stereotypes. The excuse from many people is that, well, more black people commit crime.

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One Mayoral Candidate’s Journey

My experience with running for mayor of Jackson was tremendous. I met so many great people that I probably would have never come across had I not jumped in with both feet.

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Doers, Builders, Creators: Let’s Get Organized

I've been saying it for a hot minute about Jackson, and particularly about creatives, professionals and local business interests in Jackson—we need to get organized.

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Emily Jones Caraway

For the last six years, Jackson native Emily Jones Caraway, 34, has been a single mom to her son, Holden Caraway, who is currently 10.

Tuesday, May 9

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Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey

President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey Tuesday, saying it was necessary to restore "public trust and confidence" in the nation's top law enforcement agency following several tumultuous months.

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Study: Mostly African American Inmates Serve Life Sentences in Mississippi

A new study from the Sentencing Project found that inmates serving life or virtual life (50-plus years) sentences in the United States are predominantly and disproportionately African Americans. Mississippi's prison system is no exception.

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Jackson Cash & Carry, Doe's Eat Place and Baptist Health Merger

Greg Price, who owns grocery store Jackson Cash & Carry with his brother, Chester Price, recently partnered with Hope Credit Union and Hope Enterprise Corporation to move the business from 1204 W. Capitol St. to 3520 Terry Road.

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Patti Gandy

The Mississippi College School of Law awarded Patti Gandy, who is the founding director of the Mission First Legal Aid Office in Jackson, with the school's Community Spirit Award during the annual MC Law Alumni Dinner on April 27.

Monday, May 8

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Lawsuit: Madison County Sheriff Targeting Black People with 'Top-Down Program'

Ten black Madison County residents joined the ACLU of Mississippi this morning to announce a new federal class-action lawsuit against Madison County and Sheriff Randall Tucker.

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Analysis: Improved Revenue a Counterpoint to Credit Worries

Getting better or getting worse? That's the question Mississippi leaders are debating after the third major credit rating agency warned last week that it was concerned about weakness in state finances and the overall economy.

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Biscuit the Blue Duiker

The Hattiesburg Zoo has an itty bitty baby boy—a one-pound African antelope called a blue duiker (DY-ker).

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Thank a Teacher Today, and Every Day

I often say that teachers are the people who make the magic happen for students in the classroom.

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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, May 5

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Special Session Could Consider Road, Bridge Funding, If Speaker Gunn Gets His Way

House Speaker Philip Gunn's staff revealed proposals to get more funding to roads and bridges—which they hope to be included in a special session Gov. Phil Bryant called for June.

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LeeMarcus Boyd

University of Southern Mississippi junior shortstop LeeMarcus Boyd is making big strides with his bat at the right time of year. The regular season is winding down, and he is currently on a seven-game hitting streak.

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Mississippi Capitol Celebrated as National Historic Landmark

Mississippi officials are celebrating the designation of the state Capitol as a National Historic Landmark.

Thursday, May 4

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Trump Celebrates Health Vote Win with Jubilant Republicans: 'I'm President!'

Declaring it "an unbelievable victory," President Donald Trump delayed his first trip home to New York as president to celebrate House passage of legislation undoing much of former President Barack Obama's health law, a top campaign promise and a long-sought GOP goal.

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AHCA Would Result in More Uninsured, Costlier Coverage in the South

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the current healthcare legislation proposed by Congress—the American Health Care Act, or AHCA—would cause 24 million people to lose health insurance coverage by 2026.

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UPDATED: Solar Power: A Mississippian's Guide

Attorney General Jim Hood is helping Mississippians considering using solar power learn the costs and benefits of choosing the alternative power source.

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Theresa Starkey

In May 2016 when professor Theresa Starkey and 400 to 600 Oxford Pride Weekend marchers turned the corner on University Avenue and South Lamar Boulevard in Oxford, Miss., she says that she could not believe her eyes.

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Group Studying Lottery Starts Meeting in Mississippi

Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn said weeks ago that he would form a group to study the pros and cons of starting a state lottery. As the group met for the first time Wednesday, Gunn repeated his opposition to the game of chance.

Wednesday, May 3

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Amazing Teens 2017

A major part of our mission at the Jackson Free Press is to celebrate youth in the Jackson metro area. These 13 teens plus this week's Jacksonian are part of how we achieve that.

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‘Victory Is Mine’: Lumumba Landslide Win Defies Conventional Wisdom, Polls

Chokwe Antar Lumumba likely claimed the Jackson mayor’s seat, winning the Democratic primary by a landslide against other candidates, drawing more than twice the votes as the second-place candidate.

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Behind Vicksburg’s Blues

If you have made your way over for one of Vicksburg's many concerts, festivals and shows in recent years, the odds are good that you've crossed paths with Shirley Waring, one of the people charged with preserving the city's musical heritage.

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The Sweet and the Sauer

The day before the grand opening of Sweet & Sauer's fermentation kitchen at The Hatch in midtown Jackson, Lauren Rhoades was in her kitchen, preparing ingredients for her fermented mustard.

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Taking the Leap, Finally

As of April 28, I no longer have to clock in for someone else. I am my own boss. I am the chief operating officer for the Kundi Compound, a collective creative computer co-op right in the heart of midtown.

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To Fix Schools, Fix the Leadership

Until we figure out a way to give every school district a top-notch superintendent, every school a competent principal, and every classroom a qualified teacher, we will not improve the system.

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It’s Time to Start Talking About Equity in Education

Legislative Republicans gave themselves pats on the back this session for funding the School Recognition Program, which rewards teachers primarily in "A" and "B" schools around the state with salary supplements. The program totals more than $20 million in funds from the Mississippi Department of Education's budget.

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How All Can Help Teenagers Graduate

Graduation is the most important time for seniors. This is the beginning of the transition from high school to college, and the transition from being told you are just a kid to being told you are an adult.

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Voices of Our Youth: Encouraging Diversity

Following are winning entries in Elmore & Peterson Law Firm's "Encouraging Diversity—Voices of Our Youth" creative competition for students, which the Jackson Free Press co-sponsored.

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Trump’s Proposed HUD Cuts Costly to City, State

Due to federal budget cuts President Donald Trump is pushing, Mississippi faces the loss of funds for rehabbing crumbling buildings, economic-development projects, youth services, and repairing streets and drainage problems.

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Rewarding of the Fittest Schools: #MSLeg Robs Poor Schools to Reward Richer Ones

At the end of a school day and an exhausting period of state testing, four Clinton Public School District teachers looked tired but content as they crowded into a tiny conference room.

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Mental Illness: Behind Bars and Beyond

Locking up people suffering from mental illnesses is an endless, fruitless cycle—unless a person can access the services and (in some cases) treatment needed to live their lives in the most integrated setting possible.

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Next Mayor Must Lead on Preventing Youth Crime

As I type, the polls for the mayoral primaries are still open, and the outcome is uncertain. What I do know is that Jackson must adopt a new attitude when it comes to "fighting crime," regardless of who wins.

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Joshua Mannery

Murrah High School senior and Student Body President Joshua Mannery, 17, is both a scholar and an activist.

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Black Lawmakers Set Boycott Over Confederate Emblem on Flag

In part of a sweeping debate about the public display of Confederate symbols across the South, some black legislators in Mississippi say they are boycotting a regional meeting that their own state is hosting this summer, to protest the rebel emblem on the state flag.

Tuesday, May 2

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Mississippi GOP Shoots Out 'Shameful' Email About Chokwe Lumumba, Candidate Responds

Last night, the Mississippi GOP sent out an apparently-worried email about the possibility of Chokwe Antar Lumumba winning the capital city's mayor's race.

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Hosemann: Turnout in Jackson Elections Low, Mayoral Run-off Would Be 'Miracle'

Today is the primary election for Jacksonians to determine who will be the next mayor and council members of the city—or at least decide the top two candidates in each race to head to a run-off election in two weeks.

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The Kundi Compound, Curious George at the Children's Museum, Stanton Optical and The Hair Factory

Community activists and Jackson Free Press contributors Funmi "Queen" Franklin and Brad "Kamikaze" Franklin held a grand opening for the Kundi Compound, a small-business incubator in midtown, on Monday, May 1.

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Robbie Fisher

Recently, Jackson-area filmmaker Robbie Fisher's film, "A Mississippi Love Story," which follows the journey of couple Eddie and Justin Outlaw, won Best Direction at the New York Premiere Film Festival.

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Physician Accused of Bribing Prison Chief to Plead Guilty

A physician accused of bribing Mississippi's former corrections commissioner plans to plead guilty Wednesday, court records say.

Monday, May 1

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Trump Makes Puzzling Claim About Andrew Jackson, Civil War

President Donald Trump made puzzling claims about Andrew Jackson and the Civil War in an interview, suggesting he was uncertain about the origin of the conflict while claiming that Jackson was upset about a war that started 16 years after his death.

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On May Day, Honoring Workers Who Die on the Job, and a Call for Reform

Advocates for workers' rights, including the Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights and the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, gathered at the Mississippi Capitol on Friday, April 28, to honor those who died on the job and organize for reforms in the state.

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Evan Engram

The New York Giants got a tight end and a deep threat in one package in the NFL draft. In another move to revive their anemic offense, the Giants selected speedy Mississippi tight end Evan Engram with the 23rd pick overall Thursday.

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Analysis: Annual Report Dives Deep into Mississippi Finances

The new Mississippi Comprehensive Annual Financial Report has a chart that shows who is in charge of state government.