Stories for October 2017

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Tuesday, October 31

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Eight Killed by New York Motorist in 'Cowardly Act of Terror'

A man in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and bicyclists along a busy bike path near the World Trade Center memorial Tuesday, killing at least eight and injuring 11 others in what the mayor called "a particularly cowardly act of terror."

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David McDowell

David McDowell says that he took up the position of the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence's policy coordinator in September after his mentor, MCADV interim president and former Mississippi Democratic Trust Executive Director Brandon Jones, inspired him to get involved in the cause.

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T J's Ice Cream Parlour, Waitr Jackson, Eastover Market, and Lenny's Sub Shop

South Jackson native Thomas Jones opened his new business, T J's Ice Cream Parlour, on Oct. 10.

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Hinds DA Replaces Attorney Reeves—Who Still Has the Gun

An "overwhelmed" Rankin County judge has delayed Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith's trial for charges of two counts of domestic violence and aggravated stalking and robbery until Jan. 29, 2018.

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Another of Mississippi's Dry Counties Could Legalize Alcohol

Another of Mississippi's dwindling band of entirely dry counties could go wet. Clarke County, which has long prohibited the sale of alcohol, could legalize it in November.

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Lawmakers to Trump: Leave Mueller Alone

Democrats—and a few Republicans—in Congress have a clear message for President Donald Trump: Don't mess with Robert Mueller.

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Trump Blasts Former Aide at Center of Russia Probe as 'Liar'

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that a former campaign aide thrust into the center of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe "has already proven to be a liar."

Monday, October 30

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US Court Bars Trump from Reversing Transgender Troops Policy

A federal judge in Washington on Monday barred President Donald Trump's administration from excluding transgender people from military service.

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Mississippi Same-Sex Marriage Case Moving Ahead with HB 1523 Now Law

Legal challenges to the anti-LGBT House Bill 1523 will continue, as U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves has lifted the stay on the 2014 lawsuit that sought to force the State of Mississippi to recognize same-sex marriages and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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Confederate Emblem Causes Unequal Treatment, Attorneys Argue

Attorneys say in written arguments to the U.S. Supreme Court that the Confederate battle emblem on the Mississippi flag is "an official endorsement of white supremacy" and lower courts were wrong to block a lawsuit challenging the flag.

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Ryan Armour

Ryan Armour's final round at the Sanderson Farms Championship was downright boring, which was exactly the plan.

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AP Sources: DeVos May Only Partly Forgive Some Student Loans

The Education Department is considering only partially forgiving federal loans for students defrauded by for-profit colleges, according to department officials, abandoning the Obama administration's policy of erasing that debt.

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Most Texans Kneel During Anthem After Owner's Comments

All but 10 members of the Houston Texans took a knee during the national anthem Sunday, as the vast majority of the team protested the owner's "inmates running the prison" comment.

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Trump Comes Ahead with Fresh Criticism of Russia Inquiry

President Donald Trump expressed renewed frustration Sunday over the investigations into alleged ties between his campaign associates and Russian government officials, saying on Twitter that the "facts are pouring out" about links to Russia by his former presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.

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Manafort, Gates Indicted in First Charges from Russia Probe

President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and a former Manafort business associate, Rick Gates, were indicted Monday on felony charges of conspiracy against the United States, acting as an unregistered foreign agent, and several other financial counts involving tens of millions of dollars routed through offshore accounts.

Friday, October 27

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Report: Mississippi's Black Children Face More Barriers Than White Kids

Mississippi is one of the worst states for black children, despite having the highest population of them in the country. Black children in Mississippi face health, educational and poverty-related barriers that hinder their opportunities later in life, the new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found.

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Millsaps Global Climate Action Conference, JSU Visually Impaired Program and Education Policy Fellowship

Millsaps College will host a one-day conference called "Global Climate Action: Sustainable investment in Germany and the United States" in partnership with the Atlanta-based German Consulate and the Ecologic Institute U.S. on Thursday, Nov. 2, in the campus' Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex.

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Jenni Sivils

Jenni Sivils, a Eufaula, Ala., native, says that she has always been creative and a lover of funky art. During her free time, she pours her passion into her home-based businesses, a floral service called The Prickly Hippie and a bakery called Three Peacocks Cakery.

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Doctor Noted for Role in Mississippi Beach Desegregation

The National Register of Historic Places now includes the office of an African-American physician who faced arrests and violence as he led a nearly decade-long effort to desegregate beaches on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Thursday, October 26

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Former Bryant Chief of Staff is New Mississippi GOP Chairman

Gov. Phil Bryant's former chief of staff is the new chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party.

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UPDATED: Lumumba, Bryant Unveil JPS Commission with W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba today confirmed and expounded on the rumor that people and organizations have worked behind the scenes to develop a "third option" for Jackson Public Schools.

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Fox Gives Heavy Coverage to Weinstein, Little to O'Reilly

Bill O'Reilly and Harvey Weinstein are the celebrity faces of sexual harassment in 2017. But on Fox News Channel, O'Reilly's former home, the Hollywood mogul's fall has gotten far more coverage.

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Jackson Police, Fire and At-Will Employees No Longer Must Live in City

Police officers, firefighters and at-will employees making less than $40,000 a year no longer must live inside the city limits after the Jackson City Council lifted the requirement in its Tuesday night meeting.

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Gov. Bryant Wants Vote on State Flag; Taggart Says It Must Change

New messages about the Mississippi flag flowed out of the annual Hobnob Mississippi event this year with the governor revealing that he wants citizens to vote on it again and a prominent Republican saying that changing the flag is about much more than what is good for business in the state.

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Lafayette Stribling

Legendary basketball coach Lafayette Stribling decided on Oct. 31, 2012, that 55 years of coaching basketball was enough and retired.

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Retired Mississippi Sheriff Faces Evidence Tampering Charge

A retired Mississippi sheriff's deputy faces a federal evidence tampering charge, accused of planting a wooden baton next to the body of a man he shot to death in 2013.

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Mississippi to Resume Teaching 'To Kill A Mockingbird'

A Mississippi school district will resume teaching "To Kill A Mockingbird" after the book was pulled from a junior high reading list.

Wednesday, October 25

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Bannon's War Exposes GOP Donor Divisions

Steve Bannon's war on the GOP establishment has caught the party's most powerful donors in the crossfire.

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White House Welcomes Senate Vote Killing Consumer Rule

The White House is welcoming a congressional measure killing the ability of millions of Americans to band together to sue bank or credit card companies to resolve financial disputes in a major win for Wall Street.

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ACLU: Teen at Center of Immigration Case Has Abortion

An immigrant teen in federal custody who was seeking an abortion over the Trump administration's objections had the procedure Wednesday after a U.S. appeals court ruled in her favor, her lawyers said.

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Fats Domino Dies at 89; Gave Rock Music a New Orleans Flavor

Fats Domino, the amiable rock 'n' roll pioneer whose steady, pounding piano and easy baritone helped change popular music while honoring the traditions of the Crescent City, has died. He was 89.

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Gov. Phil Bryant Confirms Third Option for Jackson Public Schools

Gov. Phil Bryant confirmed this morning that he is working with several organizations as well as the Mississippi Department of Education to find a third option to revitalize the state's second-largest school district beyond leaving it under Jackson Public Schools' control or allowing the State to run it.

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Popular Costumes

This year, Google News Lab created Freighgeist, which pulls the top 500 Halloween costume searches in the U.S. With location input, it even lets users search for the top costumes in their area.

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A Hub for Innovation

Chamber music, in the minds of many, belongs in a stuffy and insular world, where players just rehearse and rehash the same classical pieces within university recital halls. On Friday, Oct. 27, Hub New Music aims to change a few minds.

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Spooky and Local

There's plenty of spooky Halloween events going on in the Jackson Metro this year. Here are just a few of them.

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Saved for a Reason: The Fight to End Domestic Violence

The Mississippi Department of Health tracks interpersonal violence in the state, and in fiscal-year 2015, law-enforcement officers responded to 10,411 calls related to domestic violence, the annual report from the Office Against Personal Violence shows.

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OPINION: The Work of Overcoming Abuse

"Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth."

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EDITORIAL: State Lawmakers Must Support Abuse Victims

Domestic and interpersonal abuse, especially violence against women, are systemic and national in scope, but some clear policy and program solutions would make Mississippi safer and better for women.

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COMMENTARY: Reinsert Value Back Into Journalism

In 2004, the now-deceased Mississippi journalist Bill Minor gave an assessment of his profession. Among its problems, he said, was that too many of his colleagues would rather play "go along, get along" than risk the consequences of the truth.

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Two Ways to Take Over a School District

If Gov. Phil Bryant does not agree to a rumored-but-still-quiet deal with the Jackson mayor and a large philanthropic foundation to provide a third option, Jackson Public Schools will face one of two options for the Mississippi Board of Education—and the state—to take over the district.

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Hinds DA Facing Different Kind of Trial for Alleged Abuse, Stalking in Rankin County

In the last year, Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith has avoided a conviction in two trials for hindering prosecution in Hinds County that would have forced him from office as the area's top prosecutor, and probably gotten him disbarred.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: One Small, Honest Voice After #MeToo

Maybe you weren't bullied, but as a woman, you've probably been told to make yourself smaller and to fit the mold society created for you.

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Gerald Mumford: ‘I’m Running on Integrity’

Candidate Gerald Mumford, 39, is currently a Jackson Municipal Court judge and runs his own law firm offering services in personal injury, premises liability, criminal law, family law and civil rights cases.

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Reva Lewis

Odd Humans Art & Apparel creator Reva Lewis' designs draw from a variety of themes, with influences of horror and the macabre, nature and science fiction present in many of her pieces.

Tuesday, October 24

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Lumumba's 'Radical' 100 Days: Cooperatives, Crime ... and an NFL Team?

Standing on the sunny side of Jackson City Hall, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba reflected on his first 100 days in office this morning, focusing on economic development and crime, with his transition team and other city officials surrounding him.

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Lily Rain, MDA Ambassador's Program, Cantina Laredo and Pho Huong

Lily Rain, a Houston-based clothing, accessories and home decor retailer, recently held a grand opening for its first Mississippi location in on Oct. 14.

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Dawes

Dawes may seem like an instant success story for the millions of supporters who have followed the California folk-rock band since its first release, "North Hills," in 2009. However, for bassist Wylie Gelber, who dropped out of high school to join the band's first incarnation, Simon Dawes, it was something of a last-ditch effort—one that has turned into a full-fledged career.

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Tillerson Review to Confirm Rohingya 'Ethnic Cleansing'

U.S. officials are preparing a recommendation for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to declare that "ethnic cleansing" is occurring against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims. That assessment would raise pressure on the Trump administration and U.S. lawmakers to consider new sanctions on a country that had been lauded for its democratic transition.

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Trump's Refugee Ban Ends, New Screening Rules Coming

President Donald Trump's four-month worldwide ban on refugees ended Tuesday, officials said, as his administration prepared to unveil tougher new screening procedures.

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Trump, Corker Engage in War of Words Ahead of Senate Lunch

In a remarkable Republican war of words, President Donald Trump declared Tuesday that Republican Sen. Bob Corker "couldn't get elected dog catcher," and the senator fired back that Trump was "utterly untruthful" and debasing the nation.

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Mississippi Superintendent Says Purchasing Methods Improve

Mississippi's state superintendent of education says her department is tightening accounting and purchasing procedures, weeks after it was accused of illegally issuing some contracts without taking bids.

Monday, October 23

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Mississippi High Court Undercuts MAEP: School Formula Is Not a Mandate

The state's highest court says the Legislature does not have to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, ruling against 21 public-school districts that sued the state for underfunding MAEP from 2010 to 2015.

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NAACP Names New Leader for More Active Future

The NAACP turned to an insider Saturday to help bring the nation's oldest civil rights organization back to prominence.

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Hunter Evans

While the competitive atmosphere of the restaurant scene in New York City may intimidate some, Lou's Full-Serv Chef de Cuisine Hunter Evans did not shy away from it.

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Politics on Display as Letterman Receives Mark Twain Prize

David Letterman was never known as a particularly political comedian, preferring a detached irony-drenched tone that favored the surreal and silly over topical humor. But there was an unmistakable political tint to much of Sunday night's ceremony to present Letterman with the Mark Twain award for American humor.

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Senate Presses Ahead on $36.5B Disaster Relief Package

The Senate is pushing ahead on a $36.5 billion hurricane relief package that would give Puerto Rico a much-needed infusion of cash.

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About Two Dozen NFL Players Protested During Anthems Sunday

Days after the NFL declined to change its rule on the national anthem, about two dozen players protested around the league Sunday.

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Trump Voting Commission Criticized for Lack of Transparency

President Donald Trump's advisory commission on election integrity has integrity questions of its own—with some of its own members raising concerns about its openness.

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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.

Saturday, October 21

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House Speaker Puts Toyota Leader on Mississippi School Board

House Speaker Philip Gunn on Friday named Sean Suggs of Saltillo, vice president of manufacturing at the Toyota Motor Co. plant in Blue Springs, to the state Board of Education.

Friday, October 20

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Governor to Court: State Flag Doesn't Violate Rights as Marriage Bans Did

Offending black citizens is not enough to block the Mississippi flag, attorneys for Gov. Phil Bryant argued to the U.S. Supreme Court this week; they must instead show that the flag caused discrimination in order for a court to declare it unconstitutional.

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"A Place for All People" at JSU, Tougaloo NASA Research and "Intersections of Gender and Place" at MUW

Mississippi University for Women is hosting "Intersections of Gender and Place," an art exhibition that focuses on women artists in the South whose work relates to gender issues and southern culture.

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Marquis Haynes

The Vanderbilt University offensive line could not do much against University of Mississippi defensive end Marquis Haynes on Saturday, Oct. 14. The Jacksonville, Fla., native lived in the Commodores' backfield on nearly every offensive snap.

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Mississippi Supreme Court: School Budget Formula is Not Binding

The Mississippi Legislature does not have an obligation to fully fund a school budget formula that was put into law two decades ago, the state Supreme Court said Thursday in upholding a ruling from a lower court.

Thursday, October 19

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Amid Hotel Flap, Fondren Labeled a Top ‘Endangered Historic Place’ in State

Fondren is now on the list of the “10 Most Endangered Historic Places in Mississippi," just as developers of a new hotel anger neighbors for demolishing the house the neighborhood is named after.

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Bush Condemns Trump-Era America: 'Bigotry Seems Emboldened'

Former President George W. Bush on Thursday denounced bigotry in Trump-era American politics, warning that the rise of "nativism," isolationism and conspiracy theories have clouded the nation's true identity.

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Lawyers: Courts Correctly Rejected Confederate Flag Lawsuit

Attorneys for the Mississippi governor say two levels of federal courts have been correct in blocking a lawsuit that challenges the Confederate battle emblem on the state flag.

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UPDATED: JPS Draws Expected 'F' in MDE District, School Grades Released Today

The Mississippi Department of Education released the 2017 accountability rankings of all schools and districts in the state this morning. Seventy percent of the state's schools are performing at "C" grade or higher. Nine districts received an "F" grade, including Jackson Public Schools.

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Hinds DA Seeks to Block Abuse, Drug Testimony As Trial Moves Forward

The Mississippi Supreme Court denied Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith's appeal this morning.

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Stephen Johnston

Making movies was not necessarily part of the planned career trajectory for "Same Kind of Different as Me" Executive Producer Stephen Johnston.

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Under Fire, Trump Defends Call to Soldier's Grieving Family

President Donald Trump emphatically rejected claims Wednesday that he was disrespectful to the grieving family of a slain soldier, as the firestorm he ignited over his assertions of empathy for American service members spread into a third contentious day. "I have proof," he insisted.

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Sessions Defends Comey Firing, Dodges Questions on Trump

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday strongly defended President Donald Trump's firing of James Comey, linking the FBI director's abrupt dismissal to his handling of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation.

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Gov. Bryant Still Skeptical on Takeover of Jackson Public Schools

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant again on Wednesday voiced skepticism about allowing the state to take over the capital city's public school district.

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Trustees Express Uncertainty About Hospital Borrowing

College Board trustees are considering a plan for the University of Mississippi Medical Center to borrow $132 million to finance a $180 million expansion of its children's hospital.

Wednesday, October 18

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From Jefferson Davis to Barack Obama: Jackson Elementary School Gets a New Name

One of Mississippi's top-performing elementary schools, Davis Magnet IB Elementary School, has changed its name to Barack Obama Magnet IB Elementary School.

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Steamy, Southern Summer Nights

With Mississippi celebrating its 200th birthday this year, New Stage Theatre is paying tribute to one of the state's renowned authors, Tennessee Williams, with its production of "Baby Doll."

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Artists to Watch

Arabella Landrum may only be a junior at Sumrall High School in Sumrall, Miss., but she has already achieved something that many other musicians won't in a lifetime: She opened for a Grammy Award-winning country artist Deana Carter on Sept. 23 in Livingston.

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OPINION: 'One Lake’ A Triumph of Cronyism?

Flood-control alternatives, including the "One Lake" project for the Pearl River, have been out of the spotlight and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' technical review for nearly four years since scoping meetings in fall 2013.

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Mississippi: Listen to the ‘Me, Too’ Chorus

Women should not have to post on social media to bring awareness to the harassment, assault and abuse that half of the world's population endures daily.

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Men: Stop the Harassment

The journey from being shamed about a stranger commenting on my ass at 16 to being worried about its continual definition of who I am at 40 is one that is familiar to most women.

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Family of Slain Sergeant Says Trump Showed 'Disrespect'

The mother of an Army sergeant killed in Niger said Wednesday that President Donald Trump, in a call offering condolences, showed "disrespect" to the soldier's loved ones as they drove to the airport to meet his body.

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Attorney General: DA Smith Is 'Mistaken' In Appeal to State Supreme Court

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's office says Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith is "mistaken" about claims that the attorney general "exceeded the scope of his authority" by prosecuting Smith in Rankin County when the district attorney there did not explicitly ask for their assistance.

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A Teenager, a Gun and a Chance for Innocence

The Remington 700 Model is the subject of several class-action lawsuits against the firearms manufacturer due to a faulty trigger, which can discharge on its own.

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The Six-Word Musical Death Sentence

For me personally, I know, like nearly every white man who ever picked up a guitar hath known, that being a singer-songwriter does not make me one in a million. If anything, it puts me closer to "a million in a million."

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Music Videos, Evolved

The popularity of watching music videos on TV channels such as MTV and CMT has waned over the years, but the format has not lost its impact on consumers and the music industry as a whole.

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The Edison Walthall Rises Again

The Edison Walthall Hotel is the place of legends, bar fights between powerful men and lots of stories its walls could tell, but it has sat empty now since it closed in 2010.

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A Tipping Point for ‘Threatened’ Jackson Zoo

If the Jackson Zoo were a species, it would be considered "threatened" on the extinction scale.

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Cochran's Illness Shows Risks to GOP Leaders of Aging Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Republicans coping with a razor-thin majority in the Senate as they try pushing a partisan agenda are running smack into another complication—the sheer age and health issues of some senators.

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Tindell Takes Appeals Court Oath; Senate Election is Set

A former state senator is joining the Mississippi Court of Appeals, and a special election has been set to fill his legislative seat.

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Silas

Rapper Silas Stapleton, whom fans know as just Silas, says he never imagined the amount of attention that would come from his debut solo album, 2016's "The Day I Died."

Tuesday, October 17

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CORRECTED: Supreme Court Has Not Denied DA Smith's Appeal

The Mississippi Supreme Court denied Robert Shuler Smith's appeal to vacate his charges for abusing a former girlfriend before his trial starts in Rankin County later this month.

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Judge in Hawaii Blocks Latest Version of Trump's Travel Ban

A federal judge in Hawaii blocked the Trump administration Tuesday from enforcing its latest travel ban, just hours before it was set to take effect.

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Senators Reach Deal on Resuming Payments to Health Insurers

Key senators reached a breakthrough deal Tuesday on resuming federal payments to health insurers that President Donald Trump has blocked. Insurers had warned that unless the money is quickly restored, premiums will go up.

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Trump Warns 'I Fight Back' After McCain Hits Foreign Policy

President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned Sen. John McCain that "I fight back" after McCain questioned "half-baked, spurious nationalism" in America's foreign policy.

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Newly Released Documents Show the Asbestos Trail in Fondren

The day after developers of a new Hilton hotel suddenly started demolishing structures on a two-acre site in the heart of Fondren, asbestos inspector Ryan Galfetti showed up unannounced after the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality received a complaint that asbestos may be present in the structures and the new piles of debris.

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JPS Keeps Accreditation for Now as 18 Districts Go on Probation

The Commission on School Accreditation approved the 2017 accountability grades of JPS schools and districts at its meeting Tuesday morning, as well as recommended that 18 school districts in the state go on probation for accreditation violations.

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'Chopped' Screening, Innovate Mississippi Technology Innovation Conference, Sonny's BBQ and Unique_Kreations

Mississippi Museum of Art's chef and culinary curator Nick Wallace recently competed on Food Network's "Chopped: Alton's Challenge," which will air tonight at 9 p.m.

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D.E. Magee Jr.

Delors Edgar Magee Jr., a Jackson ophthalmologist and former board member and president of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, died Wednesday, Sept. 27, at his family's home in New Orleans. He was 80 years old.

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Drug Czar Nominee Tom Marino Pulls His Name from Consideration

Rep. Tom Marino, President Donald Trump's nominee to be the nation's drug czar, is withdrawing from consideration following reports that he played a key role in weakening the federal government's authority to stop companies from distributing opioids.

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Mississippi, Nutt Say They've Reached Lawsuit Settlement

The University of Mississippi and former football coach Houston Nutt say they have reached an agreement to resolve Nutt's lawsuit against the school.

Monday, October 16

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Jury Deadlocks in Trial Over Burning Death in Mississippi

A Mississippi judge declared a mistrial Monday in the burning death of a woman who emerged from a wooded area looking like a "zombie," mortally injured and struggling to tell firefighters who did it.

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Hinds DA Smith's Supreme Court Appeal Delays Rankin County Trial

A Rankin County judge today delayed the trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith for aggravated stalking, robbery, and two counts of domestic violence, all involving an ex-girlfriend pending his effort to stop the trial.

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JPS Faces Big Week as Governor's Takeover Decision Looms

As Jackson Public Schools officials and administrators work to meet deadlines set in their 2016 corrective action plan, Gov. Phil Bryant could decide to take away local control of the district this week.

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Nick Fitzgerald

After a bye week and two straight blowout losses on the road to ranked opponents, Mississippi State retook control of the narrative of its season with 35-10 victory over BYU on Saturday.

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GOP Sen. Thad Cochran Grappling With Illness

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran is continuing to grapple with a urinary tract infection that has delayed a planned return to Washington, his office announced on Monday.

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Collins: Trump Should Back Effort to Resume Health Subsidy

A key moderate Republican is urging President Donald Trump to support a bipartisan Senate effort to reinstate insurer payments, calling his move to halt the subsidies an immediate threat to millions of Americans who could now face rising premiums and lost health care coverage.

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Army Sgt. Bergdahl Pleading Guilty to Desertion, Misbehavior

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl told a military judge on Monday that he's pleading guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

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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, October 13

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JPD's First Woman SWAT Officer: 'I'm Not Intimidated'

The Jackson Police Department made history Thursday by inducting the first female member of to its SWAT team since its inception in 1971.

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JSU Photography Exhibit, MSU Entrepreneurship Research Honor and UMMC Telehealth Center of Excellence

Jackson State University is partnering with WJSU and the Mississippi Museum of Art to present "The Beauty of Cancer," a photography exhibit that features 20 breast-cancer survivors in various stages of treatment.

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Mike Hurst

Mike Hurst was sworn in Tuesday in Jackson as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi by U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan.

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Tillerson: Trump Will Scorn but Not Bolt from Iran Nuke Deal

President Donald Trump will say Friday the Iran nuclear deal is no longer in America's national security interests, but he won't withdraw from the landmark 2015 accord or immediately re-impose sanctions against Tehran, according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, other U.S. officials and outside advisers to the administration.

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Trump to Issue Stop-Payment Order on Health Care Subsidies

In a brash move likely to roil insurance markets, President Donald Trump will "immediately" halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law he has been trying to unravel for months.

Thursday, October 12

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Senator: It's Wrong to Punish High School Players for Anthem Kneeling

A Mississippi lawmaker says he is "appalled" that some high school football players are being punished for kneeling during the national anthem.

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Black Parents Sue Over White Teacher's Hanging Remark

Parents of a former student are suing a central Mississippi school district, alleging a racially biased comment by a white substitute teacher about their black son being hanged.

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Welty Library Set to Re-open Monday

The Eudora Welty Library in downtown Jackson will reopen on Monday, after state and city officials inspected the building today, determining the first floor is safe for patrons.

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Ryan Blames High-Tax States as GOP Lawmakers Balk on Plan

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday lambasted high-tax states like California, New York and New Jersey, arguing the rest of the country is "propping up profligate, big-government states" even as they pay billions more in taxes than they receive in return from the federal government.

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US, Israel to Exit UN Agency Over Alleged Anti-Israel Bias

The United States announced Thursday it is pulling out of the U.N.'s educational, scientific and cultural agency because of what Washington sees as its anti-Israel bias and a need for "fundamental reform" in the agency.

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HB 1523 Becomes Law Amid Outcry, U.S. Supreme Court Asked to Appeal

The "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination" Act is state law in Mississippi, after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request of plaintiffs in the Barber v. Bryant lawsuit to block it while they appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Maren Morris

For some in the music industry, there is no clearer evidence that times have changed than country artist Maren Morris.

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Transportation Head Calls Out Legislature for Not Funding Roads, Bridges

Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall did not mince words at the Stennis Capitol Press Forum Monday, calling out Mississippi lawmakers' inaction on funding the state's infrastructure.

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Calling It a Beginning, Trump Signs Health Care Order

President Donald Trump directed his administration Thursday to rewrite federal rules so consumers can have wider access to health insurance plans featuring lower premiums.

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AP-NORC Poll: Americans Blame Wild Weather on Global Warming

After hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria blitzed the nation, most Americans think weather disasters are getting more severe and see global warming's fingerprints.

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Trump Lashes Out as Puerto Rico as House Weighs Aid Package

President Donald Trump lashed out at hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico on Thursday, insisting that federal help will be limited and blaming the U.S. territory for its financial struggles.

Wednesday, October 11

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Republicans Blame Senate GOP for Stalled Washington Agenda

The White House, hard-right conservatives and House GOP lawmakers all directed their ire at the Senate GOP this week amid the escalating feud between President Donald Trump and Republican Sen. Bob Corker.

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OPINION: Remembering the Lessons of the 1917 Revolution

One hundred years ago, the Bolshevik Revolution, which began in February 1917, reached its apex in October 1917 when the party met and voted to overthrow the inept and floundering provisional government.

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It’s Time to Act to Prevent Gun Deaths

If any state needs common-sense gun laws, it is Mississippi. With lawmakers and Americans questioning what to do after the Las Vegas shooting, Mississippians should examine the widespread gun violence here in the state.

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Women's Health Docs Say Trump Ignores Birth Control Science

The Trump administration's new birth control rule is raising questions among some women's health experts, who say it overlooks known benefits of contraception while selectively citing data that raise doubts about effectiveness and safety.

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Where Mississippi's U.S. Lawmakers Stand on Gun Laws, Rights

In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, the Jackson Free Press assembled details on the gun-related legislation that Mississippi lawmakers in Washington have supported or co-sponsored, as well as how much gun-rights groups have donated to them.

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JPS Students: ‘Takeover’ Could Empty Schools, Fill Jails

State of Mississippi takeover of Jackson Public Schools could be devastating to young people, a group of JPS students told reporters outside City Hall Monday.

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Beyond Mississippi’s Dark Days of Judicial Injustice

On Sept. 27, Mississippi justices, lawyers and law students celebrated the state judicial branch's 200th birthday, along with U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who visited Jackson for the occasion.

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Fighting for the Right to Vote

Mississippi state law on who gets to vote after serving time in MDOC's custody appears rather arbitrary. Twenty-two disenfranchising crimes are listed in a 2009 attorney general's opinion that clarifies the law. These crimes range from embezzlement and felony bad check to murder and rape.

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From Trump to Weinstein: ‘This Way of Treating Women Ends Now’

Hell week for women started with Donald Trump telling employers they can cherry-pick access to birth control out of women employees' health insurance. It ended with a long line of Hollywood women collectively revealing mega-producer Harvey Weinstein's apparent habit of, um, "indiscretions."

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Kristy Johnson

For Kristy Johnson, the current Miss Black Mississippi U.S.A., pageants are an opportunity to inspire change.

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After Brutal Two-Game Stretch, Ole Miss Looking for Answers

Ole Miss, which outscored Auburn 20-9 after halftime, is eager to pounce on even the slightest hint of momentum after three straight losses.

Tuesday, October 10

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US Supreme Court is Asked to Block Mississippi LGBT Law

Advocates of same-sex marriage are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a new Mississippi law that lets government workers and business people cite their own religious objections to refuse services to LGBT people.

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Waiting for the DA: Smith Seven Hours Late to Face Rankin County Judge

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith was nearly seven hours late Monday to his pre-trial court date for two domestic-violence charges, an aggravated stalking charge, and a robbery charge he faces in Rankin County for allegedly attacking Christie Edwards.

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The Place, MCM Arts Competition, Fuse.Cloud, Jackson Comprehensive Treatment Center and Miskelly Expansion

Event venue The Place at Harbour Crossing launched with a ribbon cutting and open house on Sept. 14.

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Elizabeth Carr

Attorney Elizabeth Carr says she didn't think anyone was paying attention to how much time and effort she puts into helping people who come into her firm, Southern Capital Title, so she was excited when she found out that someone anonymously nominated her to be a Tougaloo College "Forty Under 40" honoree.

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1,000 Leads Later, Authorities Still Stumped by Vegas Gunman

More than a week after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history investigators are stumped about the key question: What led a 64-year-old high-stakes gambler to kill 58 people and wound hundreds of others at a country music concert?

Monday, October 9

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HB 1523: Mississippi's Extreme Attack on LGBT Rights

The insidious power of a law like this is that it casts a long shadow over public life, forcing someone to assess whether they will be treated fairly and respectfully in situations from the crisis of an emergency room to an anniversary dinner at a restaurant to a child’s classroom

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Wind-Whipped Wildfires Sweep into California Wine Country

More than a dozen wildfires whipped by powerful winds swept through California wine country Monday, destroying at least 1,500 homes and businesses and sending an estimated 20,000 people on a headlong flight to safety through smoke and flames.

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Mental Health Task Force Aims to Improve Services, Including for the Accused

Attorney General Jim Hood is tackling problems in Mississippi's mental-health system to make it easier for people to get treatment and to improve the commitment process, he said last week.

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Nate Marches Across US East Coast, Dumping Heavy Rains

Nate slogged its way up the northeastern U.S. on Monday, dumping heavy rains and bringing gusty winds to inland states as a tropical depression less than two days after it roared ashore in Mississippi and Louisiana as a hurricane.

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Lenorris Footman

Lenorris Footman had a hand in three touchdowns, De'Lance Turner rushed for 169 yards and Alcorn State cruised by Alabama State 24-10 on Thursday night.

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White House to Order Health Care Alternatives

The White House is finalizing an executive order that would expand health plans offered by associations to allow individuals to pool together and buy insurance outside their states, a unilateral move that follows failed efforts by Congress to overhaul the health care system.

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Scott Pruitt to Terminate Obama's Climate Plan

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Monday that he will sign a new rule overriding the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

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Trump Lists Demands on Immigration in Exchange for DACA

President Donald Trump has told congressional leaders that his hard-line immigration priorities must be enacted in exchange for extending protection from deportation to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants, many of whom were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Saturday, October 7

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Hurricane Nate Closing in on Mississippi

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hurricane Nate came ashore on a sparsely populated area at the mouth of the Mississippi River on Saturday and closed in on Mississippi, pelting the central Gulf Coast region with strong winds and heavy rains.

Friday, October 6

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America’s Gun Culture: 'How Many More Must Die?'

Let's send our politicians a message; and if they are not willing to create the change that we demand, then we will create the change at the next ballot box.

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Mississippi, Louisiana Declare Emergency Ahead of Tropical Storm Nate

Tropical Storm Nate gained force as it sped toward Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula Friday after drenching Central America in rain that was blamed for at least 21 deaths. Forecasters said it was likely to reach the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane over the weekend.

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Welty Library Building Closure ‘Devastating’

The Eudora Welty Library building is closed off to the public after the state fire marshal closed it Oct. 5 due to several violations of fire and life safety standards after the office conducted an investigation on Oct. 4. It is unclear at this point when the building will re-open.

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Awards and Research at UMMC and JSU

The National Science Foundation awarded Jackson State University researchers $350,000 through its Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research fund to support untested, high-risk exploratory research.

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Fannie Lou Hamer

Mississippi-born civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer is being commemorated Friday on what would have been her 100th birthday.

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Mississippi Now Collecting Lodging Tax from Online Services Such as Airbnb

Mississippi's tax collector is now collecting sales and lodging taxes from people renting rooms or vacation properties online.

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Birth Control: Trump Expands Opt-Out for Workplace Insurance

President Donald Trump is allowing more employers to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women by claiming religious or moral objections, issuing new rules Friday that take another step in rolling back the Obama health care law.

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Trump Religious Objection Order Upends LGBT Protections

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling federal agencies to do as much as possible to accommodate people who have religious objections to LGBT rights.

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Trump, During Photo Shoot, Talks of 'Calm Before the Storm'

President Donald Trump delivered a foreboding message Thursday night, telling reporters as he posed for photos with his senior military leaders that this might be "the calm before the storm."

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Immigration Principles Could Create Problems for DACA Plan

The Trump administration is finalizing the details of a set of immigration principles that could upend efforts to come up with a permanent fix for the status of young immigrants who came to the country illegally as children.

Thursday, October 5

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Welty Library Closes Due to Fire Violations

The Eudora Welty Library in downtown Jackson closed this evening after a state fire marshal inspection on Wednesday, Oct. 4, revealed several violations of fire and life safety standards.

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Rep. Bomgar, Businessmen: DACA Has 'Huge Economic Benefit'

A diverse panel of local business owners, a Republican state legislator and an economics professor at Jackson State University all agreed that immigrants on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program have a positive impact on the American economy.

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Report: Jackson Airport Economic Impact More Than $1 Billion

The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority's total monetary impact in 2016 on the five surrounding counties—Hinds, Rankin, Madison, Simpson and Copiah—is valued at $1.19 billion, a Jackson State University study found.

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Dennis Allen

New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen left London, England, with fonder memories than his last trip in 2014.

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Republican Wins Mississippi House Seat in Special Election

An open seat in the Mississippi House remains in Republican control after a special election to replace a representative who became the mayor of Hattiesburg.

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Some in GOP Open to Banning Gun Accessory Used in Vegas

Senior congressional Republicans say they are open to considering legislation banning "bump stocks" like the shooter in Las Vegas apparently used to make semi-automatic rifles perform more like fully automatic weapons.

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House GOP Eyes Budget Passage That is Key to Tax Debate

Republicans are focused on cutting taxes instead of deficits as they look to power a $4.1 billion budget plan through the House on Thursday.

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Former Court Clerk in Pearl Accused of Stealing $200,000

A former court clerk in Mississippi faces a felony embezzlement charge after being accused by state Auditor Stacey Pickering of stealing nearly $200,000.

Wednesday, October 4

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Warm Up This Fall

If you're looking for a good way to warm up and caffeinate yourself, turn to this year's Best of Jackson winners for Best Place to Get Coffee.

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Eventful Eating

Be sure not to miss these tasty events coming up this weekend.

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The District's 'Classy Burger Joint'

When Ray-Scott Miller saw the plans for The District at Eastover, he knew immediately that the space called for a certain type of restaurant: a "classy burger joint."

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Clockwork Gun Violence

It's like clockwork, at this point. There's a deadly shooting in this country, followed by an ocean of "thoughts and prayers," then a debate over whether more gun control is needed, then not a damn thing done.

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Mississippi Lawmakers, Lead on Health Care

Congress let the Children's Health Insurance Program, which insures kids who come from low-income families but are not eligible for Medicaid, expire last week. Now lawmakers are scrambling to renew the program, established in 1997 with bi-partisan support.

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HB 1523 Becomes Law Tuesday, Oct. 10, After 5th Circuit Denied Stay

The "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act" will become state law on Tuesday, Oct. 10, after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied attorneys' request to prevent the law from taking effect while they petition the U.S. Supreme Court.

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AP-NORC Poll: Low Marks for Trump's Puerto Rico Response

Americans are more likely to disapprove than approve of President Donald Trump's handling of the Puerto Rico hurricane relief effort.

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Tillerson Never Wanted Out, Dodges Trump 'Moron' Report

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared Wednesday he never considered abandoning his job as President Donald Trump's top diplomat, disputing what he called "erroneous" reports that he wanted to resign earlier this year. He was less emphatic on whether he called the president a "moron," pointedly dodging all questions on the matter.

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Love and the Lavender Pen

The shooting at Orlando nightclub Pulse in June 2016 was a shock to Chris Verdugo, as it was to members of the LGBT community and supporters around the country. However, for the Florida native, it was also a call to make a change.

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A Voice for the Oppressed

It's distressing yet important to acknowledge that in this country, oppressed people have no voice. Though we yell and scream for attention and assistance, our voices don't travel beyond our network and our community.

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JPS: In the Midst of an ‘Unprecedented’ Situation

When the Mississippi Board of Education recommended a takeover of Jackson Public Schools, the district was almost finished implementing a corrective action plan that the department of education approved in December 2016.

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New Head: ‘Public Works a Contact Sport’

The City of Jackson has a new director of public works to deal with ongoing infrastructure issues, including always-present potholes.

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Iran Deal's Future May hinge on Face-Saving Fix for Trump

The future of the Iran nuclear deal may hinge on a face-saving fix for President Donald Trump so he doesn't have to recertify the Islamic republic's compliance every 90 days, according to U.S. officials.

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Las Vegas Gunman's Girlfriend Returns to US for Questioning

The Las Vegas gunman's girlfriend returned to the U.S. overnight after a weekslong trip abroad and was met by investigators seeking to question her for clues to what drove Stephen Paddock to slaughter 59 people from his high-rise hotel suite.

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Fighting the Good Fight for Jackson

Jackson is filled with locally owned businesses and restaurants. A lot of people in outer counties want to see the city fail. They want to move the capital away from the cool, urban center of great food, music, art and culture that is Jackson.

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Sarah Stripp

Stripp knew she wanted to work at Springboard to Opportunities after she heard Chief Executive Officer Dr. Aisha Nyandoro speak about the nonprofit organization's mission to help families who live in low-income residences.

Tuesday, October 3

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Fondren Hotel Demolition Restarted After Asbestos Found, Green Ghost Building Gone

As of today, the long-time building housing Que Sera Sera restaurant, and more recently Green Ghost Tacos, is a pile of rubble, and the State is assuring nervous residents that multiple demolitions in the two-acre plot in the heart of the Fondren business district have not created an asbestos problem.

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HB 1523 Creates a Dark and Dismal Cloud Over Mississippi

I am a proud gay man who will always be a product of Mississippi. Once again, I offer this statement simply to show my support for Mississippi's LGBT community and its incredible allies.

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Federal Judge Revives Same-Sex Marriage Case After 5th Circuit's HB 1523 Hearing Denial

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves wasted no time in reviving the original case that sought to legalize same-sex marriage in Mississippi, after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a full panel hearing in the case against House Bill 1523 last week.

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JPS Set to Begin $2.5 Million School Renovations to Wingfield, Brinkley, Murrah, Forest Hill

Students at Wingfield High School and Brinkley Middle School will see renovations and improvements to their facilities in the coming months after both the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees and the Jackson City Council approved the district to issue a limited loan of no more than $2.5 million.

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CHIP in Limbo: 79,000 Mississippi Kids Could Lose Health Insurance

The U.S. Congress quietly let the Children's Health Insurance Program, initially authorized in 1997, expire last week, leaving more than 79,000 Mississippi children at risk for losing their health insurance.

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Taste of West Jackson Winners and C Spire Tech Movement

Common Ground Covenant Church hosted its second annual Taste of West Jackson event on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Claiborne Park, where local restaurants and chefs submitted dishes for the event's West Jackson Food Competition.

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Jason Gibson

For gospel artist and producer Jason Gibson, music has been a lifelong pursuit. The Jackson native grew up in a musical family, and as a child, he learned to play the drums, acoustic guitar, piano, trombone and trumpet.

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Trump in Puerto Rico, Lauds Administration's Relief Effort

On the ground in Puerto Rico nearly two weeks after a hurricane ravaged the island, President Donald Trump heaped praise Tuesday on his administration's relief workers and, more selectively, Puerto Rican officials after earlier dismissing critics of the federal response as "politically motivated ingrates."

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GOP Leader Says NRA-Backed Bill Shelved Indefinitely

House Republican leaders called for unity and prayer after the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, but offered no new legislation to tighten gun laws and said a bill to ease regulations on gun silencers would be shelved indefinitely.

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Einstein Proof: Nobel Winners Find Ripples in the Universe

Three U.S.-based scientists won the Nobel Physics Prize on Tuesday for detecting faint ripples flying through the universe—the gravitational waves predicted a century ago by Albert Einstein that provide a new understanding of the universe.

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Tom Petty, Down-to-Earth Rock Superstar, Dies at 66

Tom Petty, an old-fashioned rock superstar and everyman who drew upon the Byrds, the Beatles and other bands he worshipped as a boy and produced new classics such as "Free Fallin,'" "Refugee" and "American Girl," has died. He was 66.

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Mississippi Jurist Should Fill Appellate Seat, Senators Say

Mississippi's two Republican U.S. senators say they are working with President Donald Trump's administration to fill a seat on a federal appeals court with someone from the state.

Monday, October 2

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Supreme Court Term Begins With Case of Workers' Rights

The Supreme Court opened a high-profile term Monday with a case about employees' rights that could affect an estimated 25 million workers.

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Poll: Mississippi Flag Losing Favor; White Voters Still Oppose Change

A new poll shows that 49 percent of Mississippians favor the current state flag, signaling the first time a majority of state residents does not support the banner.

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HB 1523 May Become Law This Week; Plaintiffs Asking Supreme Court to Hear Case

House Bill 1523, the law Gov. Phil Bryant signed that can allow Mississippians acting on their religious beliefs to discriminate against LGBT citizens, is set to become state law this Friday—unless the 5th Circuit U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides differently.

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"Yes" Side Wins Catalonia Independence Vote Marred by Chaos

Catalonia's regional government declared a landslide win for the "yes" side in a disputed referendum on independence from Spain that degenerated into mayhem Sunday, with more than 800 people injured as riot police attacked peaceful protesters and unarmed civilians trying to cast their ballots.

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Sniper in High-Rise Hotel Kills at Least 58 in Las Vegas

A gunman perched on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel-casino unleashed a hail of bullets on an outdoor country music festival below, killing at least 58 people as tens of thousands of concertgoers screamed and ran for their lives, officials said Monday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.