Stories for April 2005


Saturday, April 30

C-L: JPD chief frustrated crime still top issue

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

Friday, April 29

Matador Records News

Brightblack. Matador Records is pleased to herald the signing of one of America's most unique new bands, Northern California (via Alabama)'s Brightblack, the duo of Nabob (aka Nathan Shineywater) and Rachel Hughes (Rabob).

Clarion-Ledger on Mayoral Fashion

The Clarion-Ledger today gets in touch with the real issues of the mayoral face: fashion. Yes, friends, it's a whole piece about how they dress, and the Ledge uses the word "kick-butt" in print:

Allman Brothers & Lynyrd Skynyrd in Jxn

May 15, Sunday, Jackson Coliseum - Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Tickets are On sale Now at Be-Bop Record Shops and Ticketmaster. The Allman's play last.

One Jail's Tale

In The Deep South rape charges unearth a system in disarray by Jim Mulvaney

Thursday, April 28

Benzos release debut CD

their shows have always sold out. Demos have been in high demand. Their breathtaking sound has naturally conjured a frenzy of love for them within their local scene. Their sound is one of a kind: A Drum and bass foundation that has evolved into a rock odyssey. Euphoric. experimental. And quite beautiful. The Stage is now set for Benzos to release their debut to the world.....

Planet Weekly: Fear and Voting In Jackson

And he is alleging that Republicans are trying to "steal" the Democratic primary:

"Nick Bridger" writes a good column this week about the whole fearmongering phenomenon in Jackson, and how candidates are trying to play politics based on fear.

Wednesday, April 27

PROFILE: Harvey Johnson

ht>Incumbent Aims to Finish What He's Started by Adam Lynch

Wake-Up Call For Repubs?

On April 20 House Speaker Billy McCoy swore in Rep.-elect J. Shaun Walley, 28, of Leakesville. Walley represents District 105, consisting of parts of Greene, Perry, Wayne, George and Forrest Counties. Walley ran against Republican Paul D. Walley, of Richton (no relation) after Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Rep. Randy "Bubba" Pierce Feb. 25 to fill the unexpired term of Chancery Judge Glenn Barlow, who retired. Some Democrats complained that Pierce was chosen because Barbour sought to cut Democratic influence in the only state legislative body dominated by the party.

[Wine] Sweet, Strong, Intimidating Port

It's sweet. It's strong. It's intimidating. It's port. I can imagine that for most people, looking at a port list in a restaurant is the equivalent of attempting to read an ancient Chinese document. What exactly is port? What does it taste like? And why would I want it? Port has a very long history in the world. Because of its heightened levels of sugar and alcohol, which act almost as preservatives for the wine, Port can age for years and years and can withstand the elements much better than regular still wine. The Founding Fathers enjoyed lots and lots of port, as it was much, much more likely to make the long, hard journey by ship from Europe to America without spoiling.

Taboo Be Damned

"Hedwig and the Angry Inch" is not the average community theater play. It's not exactly "Steel Magnolias" or "Oklahoma!" Instead, the characters in this glam-rock cult musical deal with personal issues that most people would never imagine dreaming about. This sexually-charged rock musical is about a man literally finding his other half, his female side. And it's coming to Jackson this weekend—April 27-29—at Hal & Mal's, 7:30 p.m.

[Kamikaze] The Choice Is Yours

Come election time, there's always a slew of PSAs—on both TV and radio—stressing the importance of voting. Each time, this election is more important than the last. "Vote or Die" is the new mantra. Even I, during the last presidential election, urged readers to vote "no matter who you vote for."

Libby Walden

As I entered the room, I couldn't help but stop and stare at my surroundings. The room itself was ordinary with diminutive stadium seating and a piano in the corner. The trophies and plaques screamed integrity and determination. At that moment that I realized this woman's calling.

JFP Interview: Annell Smith - Woman With A Mission

April 27, 2005 Annell Vaugh Smith is the elusive third Democratic contender for mayor—a determined woman who is showing up for candidate forums and just answering questions without a lot of fanfare. Smith has lived in Jackson since she was a teenager and had been a working mother and grandmother for many years before she qualified for disability benefits. It's from this perspective that she feels she can better serve the poor and disabled, as she believes that the city does not effectively execute its services to them.

Campaign Finance Reports In for Primary

Thursday, 5:28 p.m.: We are posting full campaign-finance reports—of both contributions and disbursements—for both Frank Melton and Harvey Johnson. Here are Melton's reports; Johnson's take up a lot more pages, but we have them and are scanning right now. Keep an eye right here; all the reports will be up shortly. Melton's Contributions

Community Policing Is Working Here

During the weeks leading up to the 2005 city elections, we've heard a lot about "community policing"—the mayor's preferred approach to fighting crime—and whether or not it is working. As someone who has participated in community policing since November 2003, I have a pretty good perspective on its effectiveness in Jackson. I am a Fondren resident and currently volunteer my time as the moderator for Precinct 4 Community Oriented Policing (COPS). I can tell you that it is indeed having a positive effect on crime in Jackson—and on the "perception" that crime is out of our control.

JFP Makes ‘Election Man' Today; Cover Auctioned

Election Watch: Ward 6 - Of Diaper Changes and Spicy Words

April 27, 2005 Tempers didn't exactly flare at an April 18 forum for Ward 6 candidates, but words did get spicy in more than one instance. Democratic candidate Von Anderson, 27, faces Democratic incumbent Marshand Crisler, 36, who has held the seat for one term. The forum, hosted by the League of Women Voters at Forest Hill High School, was an hour-long affair before a relatively sedate crowd of about 100. Anderson said he was running because politicians, like dirty diapers, sometimes "needed changing."

Election Watch: Ward 7 Heats Up

April 27, 2005 Ward 7 Democratic incumbent Margaret Barrett Simon will be facing two other contenders in the upcoming May 3 primaries, and neither of them are particularly new to politics. Minister Dr. Leon Horne Sr. and Jackson International Airport sky captain George Foster have been frequent faces in the chambers of Jackson's City Hall, and both are known for making biting speeches before the council. They brought their big ideas with them to the April 25 forum at Rowan Middle School, the final forum before the primaries.

Eric Stringfellow: Stretch run could determine outcome in hotly contested mayoral race

Eric Stringfellow writes at the Clarion-Ledger:

C-L: Poll shows Melton leading in mayoral race

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

Friends for a Cause / Relay for Life

Each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times.

Friends for A Cause will have a booth at the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life on April 29 at Lefleurs Park. The booth will be open from 5:00 p.m. until 12:00 a.m. It is a fun-filled overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs for the Society.

C-L: Melton leading money race

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

PDFs Campaign Finance Reports for Melton, Johnson

See a list of campaign contributions and disbursements here.

WAPT 16: Mayor's Campaign Chief Puts Best Face On New Poll Results

WAPT 16 reports:

JACKSON, Miss. -- Incumbent Mayor Harvey Johnson appears to be in a political slide exactly a week from the Democratic primary.

WLBT 3: Campaign Advertising Saturates Market

WLBT 3 reports:

The countdown is on until Tuesday's election. In the remaining days, it's likely Jackson's mayoral candidates will push hard to reach voters through advertising.

WLBT 3: Mayoral Race Draws Big Donors

WLBT 3 reports:

Campaign contirbutions for Jackson mayoral candidates are reaching the $1 million mark.

Planet Weekly: Harvey Vs. Frank: Two Views

Jen Barker writes at the Planet Weekly:

Submit Your Band for the Disc Makers Music World Series

Disc Makers Launches Southeast Independent Music World Series, Atlanta is the new host site for 2005's premier indie showcase. Disc Makers, the nation's leading independent CD manufacturer, is kicking off the latest installment of the Independent Music World Series (IMWS). The premier music showcase series for independent musicians in the country is back to crown one independent Southeast act as the Grand Prize Winner at the showcase finals to take place at Atlanta's Velvet Underground at the Hard Rock Café on Thursday, August 18th. The show will feature the top six independent acts, as selected by Billboard Magazine, showcasing and competing for a Grand Prize of over $35,000 in music gear and prizes.

Tuesday, April 26

The Sound and Fury of 'Perception'

Ponder these statements for a moment: "There is too much crime in Jackson." "The perception of crime is worse than the reality."

WAPT 16: Poll Shows Crime Should Be Mayor's Top Priority

WAPT 16 reports:

When asked which issues would most influence their vote in the mayoral election, a majority of voters, 43 percent, said crime and public safety.

Monday, April 25

"Paper Tigers," The Ceasars

Sweden's Caesars have received the RIAA Digital Gold Award for over 100,000 digital downloads of their track "Jerk It Out". The RIAA Digital Gold Award Program was started in August 2004. The track is currently heating up the Pop and Modern Rock radio airwaves across the country, and the video has been added at added at VH1, MTV2, and MTVU. You can catch them perform "Jerk It Out" on Late Night With Conan O'Brien on June 16. Earlier this year, "Jerk It Out" was used in the wildly successful iPod shuffle TV ad campaign and hit the iTunes Top 10 list.

Sunday, April 24

C-L: Voters will weigh candidates' leadership, business sense

In economic development, mayors are as critical as bankers in making things happen.

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

C-L: Housing issue emerges in Jackson mayoral race

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

David Hampton: Must choice be governance ‘or' glitter for mayor – not both?

Style vs. substance seems to be choice politicians offer these days.

David Hampton at the Clarion-Ledger writes:

Friday, April 22

[Music] From Nedelle's Mouth

On the phone, she sounds faint, almost muted. I have to turn up my volume just to hear her. But this must only be a bad connection because on her latest album, "From the Lion's Mouth," Nedelle is anything but faint and muted.

[Fraiser] What's a Northsider to Do?

Recently, instead of hearing, "I really do hate/love your columns in the Northside Sun," I've been hearing, "What's your take on the Jackson mayoral election?" That's apparently on everyone's minds, nowadays, but readers have taken some devilish delight in asking my opinion because of my past articles in support of Harvey Johnson's police chief, Robert Moore, and my myriad of columns praising Frank Melton's "Bottom Line" commentaries over the years. Well, dear reader, you asked for it, so here it is:

C-L: Mayoral debate at JSU canceled

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

Thursday, April 21

Barbour Signs Ten Commandments Bill

[verbatim statement] April 21, 2005—Governor Haley Barbour yesterday signed Senate Bill 2486, that authorizes the display of "In God We Trust," the Ten Commandments, and the Beatitudes at public buildings and property in Mississippi. "When I went to Yazoo High, we started each day with prayer and a Ten Commandments monument stood right outside the front door, on the grounds of our school," said Governor Barbour. "Those were good things back then, and they would be good things today."

"Any City," Pilot Scott Tracy

Start with an eccentric Pop/Punk jam of The Pixies and The Rapture, then ferociously mix in high energy tracks that blend the New Wave of Talking Heads, Ladytron, The Cars, Gary Numan, Futureheads and Servotron. All this comes across shockingly new, fresh and flat out fun. Pilot Scott Tracy features former members of The Causey Way, Servotron and Man Or Astroman, and is available on Alternative Tentacles. Highly recommended. -- Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

"22-20's," 22-20's

Here in the Deep South we are use to a variety of debut bands being influenced by the Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters high-energy juke/jam rock and roll aspect of the Blues Explosion. Much of today's North Miss. Allstars and Widespread Panic's party vibe owes a debt to classic British bands like the Rolling Stones and Cream for introducing the music of Black America to the white watercolor of the '60s. I'm talking about Muddy's "Got My Mojo Working" and a Doors "L.A. Woman" juke. When bands like the White Stripes express some bluesy roots they can sometimes seem shallow and contrived. The U.K. has always had a knack for maintaining the visceral and primal intensity of rock and roll, and somehow reinventing it, like it was the first time you heard the Doors, the Stones, Iggy Pop, and your favorite surf band. Their name comes from Delta bluesman Skip James' 22-20 Blues. Ladies, gentlemen and Astralwerkers, I give you the 22-20's, and rock and roll. -- Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

"Prisoners of Love: 1985-2003," Yo La Tengo

Matador Records has released two versions of this career retrospective of one of today's most prolific indie-pop bands. The 2-disc set is a great 26-song introduction of Yo Le Tengo's pre and post Matador hits. We recommend the limited edition 3-disc set, which includes 16 rarities (86-02), alternate versions, the My Bloody Valentine remix of "Autumn Sweater," and hip liner notes. It's a nice way to hear, in one listen, the 20-year progression and different stages of the band's evolution. -- Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

"Set Yourself on Fire," Stars

Based in Montreal and Toronto, Stars wowed fans all over the world with 2003's "Heart"- this is after having won critical acclaim with 2001's "Nightsongs." Their combination of heartfelt lyrics- sung by both male and female vocalists, draped over live instrumentation and electronically generated sonic accents, has endeared them in the hearts of many. Just when fans and critics didn't think that "Heart" could be topped, they defy all expectations with their latest release. "Set Yourself on Fire" is a bit more focused on live instrumentation [guitars and drums] than the previous 2 albums, which only showcases their talent all the more. As for the lyrics, it almost seems as though a human would be incapable of writing such ridiculously beautiful words. This is a stunning recording and a best of 2005'er. -- Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

"Florida," Diplo

Born in Mississippi, raised in Florida and now living in Philly, Diplo has released his debut on Big Dada records in the U.K. A globetrotter extraordinaire, he is also very adept at combining the various experiences and elements of his childhood into wonderfully engaging suite of music. Described as "a fried-out booty shaking hip hop psych rock epic," "Florida" is primarily instrumental but does have some vocals from Jamaican super-star Vybz Cartel as well P.E.A.C.E. Beam yourself aboard the mothership of swampy funk lusciousness. -- Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

Wednesday, April 20

[Barbour] Education Funding Going Up, Not Down

April 12, 2005 You may not know it, but some people say that if you favor giving our public schools a 4% increase in funding to serve the same number of students as last year, you are against public education. If this sounds a little confusing - join the club. According to some editorial writers, Mississippi schools are on the verge of total collapse because of education funding "cuts." Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.

Planet Weekly: Blogging the Mayor

Alan Lange's mayoral Web site is written up in the Planet Weekly this week. It's interesting that quite a bit of time is spent trying to show that Lange is not part of anyone's campaign staff:

Houston, We Have A Problem

As soon as the Best of Jackson 2005 issue was put to bed, the JFP turned our attention to the upcoming city elections. My personal mayoral bias was that Harvey Johnson Jr. had done a pretty good job as mayor, certainly in the last four years; our readers thought so, too. They had voted him Best Elected Official and Most Under-Appreciated Jacksonian in the Best of Jackson awards—largely, I suspect because his long-term visions had started coming to fruition in the last couple years, and because he has embraced the emerging diverse, determined creative class here. It didn't hurt any that crime was falling and private investment was returning to Jackson.

Unions vs. Harvey Johnson

April 20, 2005 Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. gave a smile when International Association of Fire Fighters President Harold Schaitberger signed a proposed labor agreement April 11 in City Hall. With the chambers filled with about 100 local and national firefighters, both Johnson and City Council lavished praise upon the agreement.

Mayoral Forum: ‘Acting Like Teenagers'

April 20, 2005 An April 14 candidate forum hosted by the Jackson Association of Neighborhoods was bereft of Democratic mayoral candidate Frank Melton. Melton was to have joined incumbent Harvey Johnson Jr., and challenger Annell Smith at the forum in the Jackson Medical Mall's commnity room, but Johnson had arranged for business owner and friend James Covington to stand in from 6:30 p.m. until Johnson could arrive at 7 p.m. Melton walked out minutes after his own arrival at about 6:40 p.m., however, saying he did not want to be near Johnson's temporary stand-in.

Ward 5: Business And Flood Control, Please

April 20, 2005 The sound system may not have been spiffy, but Ward 5 Democratic candidates for City Council didn't have a hard time conveying their messages at an April 11 forum at Provine High School. Hosted by the League of Women Voters, candidates had barely an hour to sort out the issues driving them to seek the council seat. Lanier High School teacher Bettye K. Dagner Cook faces former state worker Chris Gray, retired school Principal Charles Tillman, 72, substitute teacher Charles Alexander, self-employed Carl "Moses" Rankin, 47, and business owner, Kesha Evans, 30. Evans ran for a Jackson City council seat in 2001.

Cheers To The Memories

I have great memories of Capitol Street when it was lined with restaurants, shops and hotels, people bustling on the sidewalks, cars cruising the thoroughfare. One of those restaurants was Primos, next door to the then First National Bank building. I remember eating my first veal cutlet there while on a ninth-grade art class field trip, to the best of my knowledge seated in an upstairs dining area sort of like a balcony. Tres chic to my young, impressionable mind.

[Gospel] Thee Every Hour

Jackson is becoming a major hub for contemporary gospel music. Known for blues, jazz and quartet gospel music, Jackson is being earmarked as a place for some of the nation's top gospel singers to perform live in concert while promoting and touring.

[Music] Marlow's Magic

Jacksonians, here's your chance to witness a cutting-edge 21st-century multi-media presentation in tandem with a late-1930s musical work based upon an early 13th-century manuscript made up of more than 1000 poems and songs—the "Carmina Burana." Make an appointment with yourself to be at Thalia Mara Hall, 601-974-1422, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Who's Afraid of Peter's Wolf?

If you are looking for a way to introduce your children to fine music, go to Belhaven College on May 1. The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Puppetry Arts Theatre will present "Peter and the Wolf." Peter Zaplatel, artistic director at Puppet Arts Theatre, describes the show as "an intro to classical music for children."

In Living Color: Step Into Loft Living

Loft living is a growing trend in Jackson, just as it is in other metropolitan areas around the country, as people look for creative, alternative living spaces in former commercial locations in and around downtown. And these lookers aren't just artists; they are professionals, couples, singles, even some married-with-children types. They like open spaces, eclectic décor and a certain do-it-yourself charm.

...But Is It Affordable?

The images in this spread show that downtown living is exciting, creative and cutting edge. But with all of the renovation and construction, will there be room for everyone who wants to live downtown? That is, will there be affordable housing?

[Kamikaze] Look Inside The Matrix

I had the honor of speaking on a panel recently at Tougaloo College to discuss sexual imagery in hip-hop. It was apropos because my last column spoke to a similar issue. It was a spirited debate to say the least, and one that made me want to even go deeper into this controversy.

[Stiggers] Not Even A Cadillac

Readin' Rain-Bro is brought to you by the Let Me Hold Five Dollars National Bank Emergency Aid Fund and the Cootie McBride Help the Financially Challenged Debt Consolidation Centers of America.

Dolphus Weary

Dr. Dolphus Weary, 58, has devoted his life to "Christian community development" in Mississippi. He began serving as the executive director of Mission Mississippi in 1998 and was named president in 2005. Having already earned a bachelor's degree in biology, a master's degree in Christian education, an additional master's in Christian education administration, Weary recently decided to earn his doctorate at Reformed Theological Seminary. Weary, a native of Mendenhall, says his current job is "totally outside the character of what I wanted to do" as a young man.

Lott to Chair Hearing on Amtrak's Future

[statement/verbatim] April 20, 2005–U.S. Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, chairman of the U.S. Senate Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Subcommittee, will conduct a hearing Thursday morning on the future of America's National Railroad Passenger Corporation–Amtrak.

ACLU Mississippi Meeting

The ACLU of Mississippi "Reproductive Freedom Project Coalition Meeting," April 25th (Anniversary of the March for Women's Lives!) Jackson City Hall, City Council Chambers,

Mayoral Debate: Cheap Talk and Sound Bites

Read full story here.

"The Needle was Travelling," Tarwater

Alex Slawson & Herman Snell

Tarwater is the project of Berliners Bernd Jestram and Ronald Lippok [also in To Rococo Rot] whose primary output has been that of scoring motion pictures- in Germany at least. However, their proper music releases have proven utterly spellbinding in that they teeter on the edge between live instrumental pieces and electronica, with Jestram's detached vocals floating over the ambient soundscapes like a Teutonic Lou Reed. Their best albums, 1998's "Silur" and 2000's "Animals, Suns and Atoms," were at the forefront of a German music movement, the likes of which had not been seen since the heyday of krautrock. Their newest, "The Needle was Travelling," is similar to their last album [2002's "Dwellers on the Threshold"] in that there are several standout tracks surrounded by pleasant filler. This, in and of itself is not so bad, but considering their earlier efforts, one wishes that Tarwater could tap back into their previous fountain of musical genius.

"Government Commissions: BBC Sessions 1996-2003," Mogwai

Alex Slawson & Herman Snell

Scotland's ground-shaking instrumental indie-rockers Mogwai have just released a collection of BBC Sessions spanning 8 years. While not as intense as their actual concert performances, these "live" sessions do give fans a taste of what they are like in an impromptu setting. The 10 tracks were taken from the albums "Come on Die Young," "Happy Songs for Happy People," "Rock Action," "Ten Rapid," "Young Team" and the "4 Satin" EP, providing a nice overview of their career thus far. Nicely produced and sequenced by BBC producers, this will certainly satiate the desire for "new" material just a bit longer.

Tuesday, April 19

C-L: City-county relations key issue

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

C-L: Voters' minds not changed by debate

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

Eric Stringfellow: Dem ticket's mayoral race needs leader to stand up

Eric Stringfellow at the Clarion-Ledger writes:

WLBT 3 - Johnson, Melton Speak at Forum

WLBT 3 reports:

Tuesday Mayor Harvey Johnson and Frank Melton spoke out at an election forum, voicing their very different views of Jackson.

Monday, April 18

C-L: Foes clash on crime, jobs

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

WLBT 3 - Crime A Major Issue in the Ward 6 Race

WLBT 3 reports:

Ward six council candidates answered questions from voters and shared their take on the issues during a debate Monday night.

Sunday, April 17

C-L: Mayoral campaign advertising

The Clarion-Ledger here:

C-L: Mayoral ad blitz hits city's airwaves

The CLarion-Ledger reports:

WLBT 3 - Johnson, Melton Face Off in Debate

WLBT 3 reports:

Three days after their first ill-fated debate, Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson and Democratic challenger Frank Melton took to the stage in a battle for votes.

Friday, April 15

Mayor Johnson Weekly Newsletter 4/15

Mayor Johnson and Fire Fighters Union Sign Agreement. Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr. and General President Harold A. Schaitberger of the International Association of Fire Fighters signed a proposed labor agreement, Tuesday, April 11, 2005. The proposed agreement will go before the City Council for consideration in a week. Mayor Johnson was the first Jackson Mayor to recognize the fire fighters union in 1998. This historic signing will mark the first time the City of Jackson executive branch and International Association of Fire Fighters have a proposed formal labor agreement. "This is a great act of good faith on the part of the IAFF and the city of Jackson," said Mayor Johnson. "I look forward to the long relationship we intend to have with the union." The International Association of Fire Fighters, headquartered in Washington, DC, is the 15th largest union among the 58 national unions that make up the AFL-CIO. The IAFF represents more than 267,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect 80 percent of the nation's population. More than 2,900 affiliates and their members protect nearly 6,000 communities in every state in the U.S. and in Canada. The IAFF is one of the most active lobbying organizations in Washington; its Political Action Committee, FIREPAC, is in the top 1 percent of all PACs, ranking in the top 25 among more than 4,500 registered committees. The IAFF has experienced 35 consecutive years of membership growth and is in the top five fastest-growing unions in the AFL-CIO. Siwell Road Improvement Project Gets Started

C_L: Johnson runs late, Melton leaves candidates' forum

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

The JacksonChannel: Mayoral Debate Takes Strange Turn

The JacksonChannel reports:

C-L: Buzz before the vote: Crime

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

Film: The Corporation

Documentaries were once content to simply inspire viewers to look at life from inside another person's skin or shed light on a neglected issue. But today's documentaries aren't content just to make you think. They want you to act: to vote, to protest, to change your way of living.

"Guero," Beck

After 2002's "Sea Change" many Beck fans were completely confused as to who made the album because it was completely different from previous hits such as "Loser," "Devil's Haircut" and "Sexx Laws." "Guero" brings listeners back to the original Beck in terms of lyrics—an assortment of random words and lines meshed together that can be interpreted into a million different meanings or nothing at all.

No Mexico

While the humor-impaired NFL removed "gay" from its list of words that can't be printed on the back of one of its official jerseys, this week it added "Mexico" to that list, reports. A number of fans of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick have attempted to order his Falcons No. 7 jersey with "Mexico" on the back because a lawsuit alleging Vick infected a woman with herpes refers to Vick with the alias "Ron Mexico." All of the jersey requests have been rejected, and anyone looking to order the personalized jersey is now met with: "The personalization entered cannot be accepted."

Thursday, April 14

C-L: Chief: Felonies down 7% in Jackson

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

Tyler Connection An Issue for Candidate

The Tyler (Texas) Morning Telegraph reports on Frank Melton's homestead issues.

Emmerich Weighs Pros and Cons of Johnson and Melton

As a newspaperman and an American, I don't think there's anything more exciting and fulfilling than having a front-row seat to a no-holds-barred, tough, vigorous political race. The Jackson mayoral race is shaping up to be one of the most exciting local races I've ever witnessed. May the best man win.

Planet Weekly: [Melton Is] Rep in Dem's Clothing

A Planet Weekly columnist this week endorses Mayor Johnson and rips Frank Melton and some of his supporters:

Melton Walks Out of Mayoral Forum

Read full report here.

Wednesday, April 13

Blame the Music: Mayor Talks to Hip-Hop Coalition

April 13, 2005 The gap between the generations gets wider with each passing decade. Looking to bridge the gulf between gurus and grandpas, Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr., spoke with the Mississippi Artists and Producers Coalition (MAP) April 5, at the Birdland Café on Farish Street. MAP, a union of rappers, singers, producers, entertainment lawyers and other media personalities, had a volley of questions to toss to the mayor.

As the Capitol Turns

This year, the lawmakers at Mississippi's Capitol have had time to do great things such as reforming the juvenile-justice system and settling some Medicaid issues. They have also spent many hours rubbing elbows with B.B. King and Faith Hill, criticizing Jim Barksdale's offer of $50 million for education (Gov. Haley Barbour's chief of staff called it a "bribe"), naming a state reptile and declaring that the Magnolia state does not need new streams of revenue—especially in the form of a tobacco tax.

Fairy Tale Fun

The 19th Annual Puppetry Jam Performing Arts Festival for Children combines all the necessary ingredients for some proper fun on April 14-15 at the Ag Museum—a fairy tale, puppets, rhythm, dance, storytellers, a clown, and the chance to make your own puppet.

ISSUE: Crime—Fear of a Dangerous City

April 14, 2005 As the municipal elections roll through the city, one of the most repeated questions bombarding candidates concerns the issue of crime. Jackson, say some residents, has a disproportionately high rate of it. Joe Lauderdale, owner of Sunbelt Sealings Inc., and Jackson resident of 35 years, is one of those residents. "They say the numbers are good, but I say they're still bad," Lauderdale said.

[Fashion] Cheap Chic

I like clothes. I will admit it. I like everything about them. Long, short, thin, heavy, swirling, striped—you name it, I've probably worn it, the good, the bad and the ugly. My small dorm closet is overflowing with linens, laces, silks, worn cottons and maybe even a few polyesters. I like to think of it as an art, a hobby. Running my fingers over the sleeves of various colors, patterns, textures hanging along a row of racks is euphoric. But the shopping climate in Jackson can be hard on your pocketbook; not everyone can afford our hippest boutiques.

Mayor Takes the Gloves Off

April 13, 2005 Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. pulled no punches against the campaign of political adversary Frank Melton at a conversation in the home of a Belhaven supporter last week. Until recently, Johnson has spent the election playing defense, lauding his record with various city achievements. But rankled by recent rumors, Johnson veered from the high road on the evening of April 7.

[Chick] The Official Vetting

Back in my soccer mom days, I battled an addiction that my friends found somewhat disturbing. They'd beg me, plead with me even, to partake in moderation, to just put it away for a day and to find the true root of my problem. One friend now admits she even entertained the idea of staging a girlfriend intervention, a la Charlotte and her Rabbit on "Sex and the City." But praise the Lord, it blew up in time to save me from the Betty.

[Stiggers] Broke on a Fixed Income

G-SPAN (Ghetto-Science Public Affairs Network) proudly presents our premiere bootleg broadcast of the Ghetto Science Team's Financially Challenged Economic Summit 2005, with keynote speaker Grandma Pookie.

Gus and David Abron

Need a snow cone? Hot dog? Nachos? A newspaper or a bottle of water? Gus and David Abron, a couple of charming guys, are there for you in the Jackson Medical Mall Thad Cochran Center. In fact, they were the mall's first vendors when it opened in 1996.

"Make Me Wiser," DayBreakDown

Oxford-based DayBreakDown, after over a year and a half of relentless touring in legendary live shows have released a fantastic record, "Make Me Wiser" on Dirt Road Records. Folks familiar with DayBreakDown's Southern Rock jam based live performances will recognize the signature guitar, keyboard, drums and bass instrumentation, but will be pleasantly surprised by the taut and concise arrangements. While their live sets feature plenty of room for jams and solos, "Make Me Wiser" seems, as the title suggests, to recognize the virtue of restraint and crisp song writing. Several band members write songs; while the influences are certainly varied, the respective compositions of Eric Carlton (keyboards), Patrick McClary (lead guitar/vocals) and Reid Stone (rhythm guitar/vocals) are all relatively straightforward, lyrically honest tunes that make your lower chassis want to move. John Patrick's bass playing and Tyler Rayburn's drumming solidify an excellent rhythm section that experiments with time signatures and dynamics in a refreshing way. While the band conjures the Allman Brothers, Little Feet and Government Mule, they do it in a way that is new and somewhat grittier. "Make Me Wiser" is the band's debut album, but it sounds like a band that's been together a decade, surely a benefit of the band's relentless touring schedule. -- by Eric Stracener

City Election Buzz

"The Bravery," The Bravery

The explosive debut of this British New Wave electro-rock is a must for any fan of the stunning debut's of Interpol, Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, The Stills, The Strokes, Stellastar, The Rapture, or Bloc Party. Like their counterparts, they combine the high energy and best catchy elements of '80s New Wave like Duran Duran, early Cure and Echo and the Bunnymen and add a modern dance-post-punk esthetic. Their sold out shows have polled them best new band in the U.K. and along with Bloc Party, are the best and latest fuel driving the storm of '80s New Wave influenced rock. -- Herman Snell & Alex Slawson

Orley Hood: This isn't just an election; it's a war

Orley Hood writes in the Clarion Ledger:

Statistics, and Damn Statistics

Read full story here.

Would the REAL Democrat ...

April 13, 2005 Democratic Mayoral candidates Annell Smith and incumbent Harvey Johnson Jr. met at an April 9 forum hosted by the Mississippi Democratic Club in the historic Woodworth Chapel of Tougaloo College. Democratic candidate Frank Melton avoided the forum, originally claiming bias of one of the moderators. He later canceled his appearance, asserting "scheduling conflicts."

Jackson ministers endorse Mayor Harvey Johnson

Tuesday, April 12

Dinosaur Jr. Coming Soon!

Praise the Guitar Gods, Dinosaur Jr. is back – in their original lineup! Here are the dates for a Dinosaur Jr. Reunion Tour, in conjuction with the Reissue of "Dinosaur," "Bug," and "You're Living All Over Me." The albums were initially released on the Homestead and SST labels, but haven't seen much action outside of the used record store circuit in some time. Dinosaur Jr. leader J Mascis continues to be a underdog hero, as does bass player Lou Barlow (who went on to form Sebadoh). THE ORIGINAL DINOSAUR JR. ANNOUNCE U.S. SUMMER TOUR DATES...

Symphony Orchestra Intimate Series this Sunday

The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra 2004-2005 Intimate Classics Chamber Series concludes this Sunday, April 17, with "Afternoon Spring Musicale." Beginning at 2:30 p.m. at Briarwood Presbyterian Church, the musical selections on the program have all been chosen by the musicians who will play them. Highlights of the program include:

Roots/Soul Music Fest in New Orleans

The soul origins of Detroit, Houston and L.A. set to explode onstage at New Orleans' Mid City Rock'n'Bowl. Ponderosa Stomp is more than an insane two-night roots music festival between Jazz Fest weekends at a bowling alley in New Orleans -- though it certainly is that. It is the only festival to actively scout out and reclaim the careers of first generation practitioners of blues, R&B, rockabilly, garage rock and swamp pop.

C-L: Fire union agreement to be signed by mayor

The Clarion Ledger reports:

Monday, April 11

WLBT 3 - Voting Record Of Mayoral Candidate Challenged

WLBT 3 reports:

Jackson Mayoral candidate Frank Melton is responding to a series of challenges on his character.

Devi's Fortune, by Adrienne Hearn

Fortunes abound with a very smart and talented group of young women who sing and dance as Devi and the Devastators under their new label Fortune Entertainment. I had the pleasure of meeting some of these fabulous young people at their studio, Southern Sound Recordings. As I sat down with them, Devi, the CEO and lead singer of the group, as well as a dancer, smiles, "This is the room where all the creativity happens. I like this room."

WAPT 16 - Democratic Mayoral Candidates Spar At Forum

WAPT 16 reports:

JACKSON, Miss. -- Two Democratic candidates in the race for mayor shared a podium this weekend, but not without some tough criticism.

[Sawyer] Poverty, Lies, And Feeding Tubes

The Terri Schiavo debacle has turned into the surrogate of caring about life. It seems as if one advocates for the removal Mrs. Schiavo's feeding tube, then it is they who are violating the sanctity of life—it is they who are killing an innocent disabled woman. Just recently, we saw another surrogate issue—homosexual civil unions—become the centerpiece of the Republican Party's 2004 agenda. This wedge issue drove evangelical Christians to the polls in order to prevent the so-called systematic dismantling of the American family by the granting of gay civil unions.

Sunday, April 10

Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray's Heavy Trash

Yep Roc Records to release the duo's self-titled debut on 4/19/05. THERE IS A SECRET PLACE where even the best-intentioned rockabilly explorations are scarred by dirty guitars, bad dreams, and lust gone wrong...Where murder ballads rub up against filthy R&B and frantic rock'n'roll...Where country ruminations drip with echo and sadness... This is where SPENCER and VERTA-RAY fermented their very souls and gave birth to HEAVY TRASH, the perfect soundtrack for boozy all-night throw downs, pettin' parties and psychedelic fright shows.

Kraftwerk Spring Tour & Live CD

Astralwerks is thrilled to announce the release of Kraftwerk's first-ever official live recording, entitled Minimum Maximum, on June 7th, as well as a series of live dates. Kraftwerk is considered one of the most influential bands in pop history. In a career spanning more than 35 years, the German electro pioneers have been endlessly saluted and mimicked by each new generation of innovators. In the 1970s, the post-punk futurists professed their devotion. In the 1980s & 90s, the leading lights of Chicago house along with Detroit and Euro-techno paid homage. Possibly the most sampled band on the planet, their music continues to inspire.

Eric Stringfellow: Why back candidate who does not vote?

Eric Stringfellow writes in the Clarion Ledger:

C-L: 2 mayoral candidates speak at forum

The Clarion-Ledge reports:

Saturday, April 9

WLBT 3 - Mayoral Candidates Square Off

WLBT 3 reports:

Is Frank Melton a Republican in disguise? Is the city of Jackson in trouble under the Johnson administration? Those were just some of the issues and insults raised Saturday as the candidates for mayor of Jackson spoke up.

Friday, April 8

Mayor Johnson Weekly Newsletter 4/8

Battlefield Baseball League

Mayor Announces Two Housing Initiatives this Week. Mayor Johnson had the pleasure of sharing the details for two new Employer Assisted Housing Initiatives this week that will benefit employees of five medical centers and three institutions of higher learning right here in Jackson. The first program is with the Jackson Medical Education District (JMED) participating institutions, Jackson Medical Mall Foundation and Jackson State University. The program was initiated by Jackson's Office of Housing and Development in partnership with Fannie Mae. The program will provide down payment assistance to qualified JMED employees. The seven JMED institutions employ some 14,000 people. The second program is with Jackson State University. The Workforce Home Benefit Initiative will provide the university's 1,400 faculty and staff members a variety of important home buying resources, including special loan products with flexible features for JSU employees, financial literacy/homebuyer education and new or renovated homes built near worksites. This initiative was a partnership between Freddie Mac, Trustmark Bank, Jackson State and the City of Jackson. Department of Parks and Recreation is Gearing Up for Summer with Great Programs

Sen. Thad Cochran Key to Democracy ‘Integrity'

A alert/verbatim: During the next few weeks, the integrity of our democracy might well lie in the hands of Mississippi voters. The radical Republican bid to seize absolute power to appoint extreme judges (using a parliamentary maneuver known as the "nuclear option") is nearing a final showdown in the Senate. Democrats are standing united, but to win we must secure at least 6 votes from moderate Republicans. In the end, it will all probably come down to one final swing vote—and that vote may well come from Senator Thad Cochran.

[Kamikaze] Don't Blame Nelly

My condolences go out to rap mega-star Nelly and his immediate family. In case you haven't heard, Nelly's sister, 31-year-old Jackie Donahue, lost her battle with leukemia recently. What a lot of people don't know is that Nelly spent a lot of his time trying simply to save his sister's life. As some families can attest, fighting leukemia, or any other terminal illness, is not cheap. Luckily for Nelly, the blessings of the music industry allowed him the means to start the Jes Us 4 Jackie Foundation. His fame and fortune helped shine light on the condition of his sister and those like her.

Thursday, April 7

"LCD Soundsystem," LCD Soundsystem

Alex Slawson & Herman Snell

The DFA collective continues to imbue the underground with some of the most innovative and fun music around. LCD Soundsystem is certainly no exception, as their debut self-titled LP literally gyrates with dance punk/disco/funk/new wave tension. Think of a nasally congested Mark E. Smith [The Fall] or a cranked up Jim Carroll ["People who Died"] barking out sublime lyrics over sounds of The Fall versus a "funky" Underworld covering Brian Eno, John Lennon and Dead or Alive. Like many of their DFA label mates, LCD Soundsystem have taken the familiar elements of the late 70's and early 80's and molded them into a unique soundtrack for the 21st Century. This is a very fun listen and best of 2005 contender.

"Silent Alarm," Bloc Party

-- Herman Snell & Alex Slawson

With a bevy of EP's and 12-inch singles under their belt over the past year, Bloc Party unleash their scorching debut album. This is crisp and manic British post punk, hook laden guitar party rock, and indie dance punk taken to the highest level of pop musicianship. Their intense and tight shifting tempos are inspired by The Pixies, Wire, Radiohead ["The Bends," "My Iron Lung"], Adorable and early Cure. They elicit the primal energy found on last year's debut from Franz Ferdinand, The Bravery, or The Futureheads - in spades. This is perhaps the most powerful debut since Vice Records label mates The Stills and Interpol's "Turn on the Bright Lights," and is easily a best of contender for 2005. Bloc Party performs in New Orleans at One-Eyed Jacks (old Shim Sham) on Fri., June 10. 615 Toulouse St., 504-569-8361

C-L: Texas to review Melton's exemption

The Clarion Ledger reports:

Wednesday, April 6

C-L: Melton touts plan to end blight

The Clarion Ledger reports:

[Scott] In Search of Five Stars

Recently Mobil reported its five-star properties in the United States. Noticeably absent was any property in Mississippi. Filled with indignation for my home state, I decided to investigate.

[Music] The Legacy of 16

What could an English choir known as The Sixteen have in common with a 1996 Buick LeSabre? For starters, they'll both be in Jackson on April 7, the choir under the auspices of the Mississippi Academy of Ancient Music and the car driven by little ole me. And they're both blessings for me.

[Jacktown] Taking The Gloves Off

Everyone and their mother has discussed the recent face-to-face boxing match between T.I. and Lil Flip. To make matters worse, T.I. recently appeared on Atlanta's 107.9 and confirmed that a physical confrontation took place. As farfetched as this whole scenario appears, a videotape of the event also exists. Who won? Let's just say Lil Flip may want to go the LL Cool J route and take some karate lessons.

Seeing Red: A Review of ‘Morning Sun'

The physical and psychological grievances of 20th century revolutionary China form the potent backbone of "Morning Sun," a stunning reflective documentary about life under the drastic social reforms of leader Mao Zedong. The film, an engaging history lesson (via the use of newsreel footage) as well as an emotional human-interest piece (through present-day interviews with those who grew up during the revolution), will certainly leave no viewer unaffected.

One Enchanted April

Jacksonians who enjoy a good play have a full menu of options during April. There's a musical comedy at Millsaps, children's theater at New Stage and an adult musical comedy and a new twist on William Shakespeare, out in Clinton.

Not Even A Game: A Review of "Gran Turismo 4"

Image Courtesy of Sony

I've always enjoyed racing games. They're fast-paced and easy to get into. The environments and cars are often beautiful, and they lack much of the baggage that other games have. But in spite of all this, racing seems to have a worse "good game" to "bad game" ratio than any other genre. And, why is that? No innovation perhaps? What makes "Gran Turismo 4" different from "Gran Turismo 3"? Or "Need for Speed 3" different from "Need for Speed 2"? There are a few graphical updates and a couple new cars. And if that's really all you need, feel free to shell out $50 left and right for each boring new clone. People tend to buy the newest racing game regardless of what's been added, so … the developers don't add anything.

Artist At Work: Jumpin' Joosy

When Josh Hailey, 24, shows me around his Fondren Corner studio, he is literally dancing. Be-bopping to the tune of his own infectious excitement, Hailey is more than an artist. He is a photographer-turned-carpenter, a ceramicist-turned-caterer. As he bounces from piece to piece, explaining the work he put into each one, there is one thing Hailey definitely is – passion incarnate.

The Elephant In The Classroom

The governor and his loyal cabal of "Stepford senators" seem to believe that Mississippians are stupid. And they sure want to keep us that way.

Chokwe Lumumba Is Getting A Raw Deal

There is a pattern in America's ill treatment of those who have something to say, particularly those who are perceived as having "too much" to say. This pattern is made evident in America's treatment of activists ranging from politicians to attorneys, educators to unionists. Activists stand out and apart from the passive, the silent, the voiceless, the fearful because they are at once active demanding attention in the face of oppression. From divine resources, they draw energy and strength to push toward and forward in the name of freedom and justice.

‘Highway 80 Day' In Jackson

April 6, 2005 Democratic mayoral candidate Frank Melton announced at a March 31 catfish rally at Howard Wilson Kia on Highway 80 that, as mayor, he would be paying more attention to what he calls the "Forgotten Commercial Corridor." The highway, once a main artery connecting Jackson with Meridian and Vicksburg, began a slow decay in the 1970s and is now considered by Melton and many residents to be a blighted area.

Victory for HIV Inmates

On March 31, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerry A. Davis ended a 15-year-long lawsuit between the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) over the treatment of HIV-positive inmates. Judge Davis' federal court order demanded an end to all sanctioned discrimination against prisoners with HIV/AIDS banned from participation in community-work programs because of their illness.

Angela Graves

It's obvious—Angela Graves is 6 feet tall with a megawatt smile book-ended by deep dimples. It's not obvious, unless you're standing outside her classroom listening, that she's one of the lucky ones. Eyes sparkling, Graves will tell anyone she's right where she should be—teaching eighth graders at a middle school—the Ramp Up reading literacy program at Morrison Academic Advancement Center, where I am the librarian. She has been at Morrison all five years that she's been a certified teacher.

"Frankly Speaking," April 6, 2005 (Melton's newsletter)

Melton's new campaign newsletter is out. Of particular interest:

‘Stepford Senators' Hold Education Hostage

Not one person at the Capitol can remember a Mississippi legislative session ending without a budget. Well, once again the 2005 Legislature might be producing another famous legislative first for the Magnolia state.

[Stiggers] Sista Church Hat of The Greater Vegetarian Church

It's time for your Bonqweesha On-The-Scene Report. Sitting in for Bonqweesha Jones is Sista Church Hat of the Greater Vegetarian Church, International.

Tuesday, April 5

[McCoy] The Clock Is Ticking

The House of Representatives remains very disappointed that there has been no compromise on the budget for the fiscal year 2006. We pledge to remain here as long as there is hope to reach such a compromise, but obviously time is running out. Here at this late hour, Gov. Barbour and the State Senate have proposed that his economic development package be revived. However, there are time limitations facing us taht in the opinion of the House of Representatives do not allow serious consideration of such a massive, wide-ranging proposal.

Dems Challenge Melton's Residency

ht>This story will appear in the print edition of the Jackson Free Press on Wednesday. by Adam Lynch

Attack Of The Soccer Robots ... Yawn

Scientists are working to build robots that can beat a team of humans in soccer. Soccer, schmoccer, let's see the tin men play baseball.

WLBT 3 - Melton's Residency Dividing Democrats

WLBT 3 reports:

Frank Melton's candidacy for mayor is being challenged by members of the Democratic Executive Committee in Jackson. Now Jackson democrats are accusing their fellow party members of candidate allegiance and favortism.

WLBT 3 - Questions of Candidacy Spark Reaction

WLBT 3 reports:

Tuesday, candidates reacted strongly to a challenge of Frank Melton's eligibility to be a candidate for mayor.

WLBT 3 - Ministers Endorse Harvey Johnson Jr. For Mayor

WLBT reports:

A group of Jackson ministers is throwing it's support behind Harvey Johnson for mayor.

WLBT 3 - Attorney General To Give Opinion In Frank Melton's Candidacy

WLBT 3 reports:

Frank Melton's candidacy for mayor is being challenged by members of the Democratic Executive Committee in Jackson.

Urgent: Last Call for Education Funding

[verbatim from Nancy Loome] According to a report in today's Clarion Ledger, Senate Appropriations Chair Jack Gordon implied to the full Senate that other state agencies, specifically colleges and universities, must be shortchanged in order to fully fund the MAEP. THIS IS NOT THE POSITION OF THE COALITION, nor is it the position of other education supporters. Here's what you can do right now....

Fischerspooner's "Odyssey" Out Now

"Odyssey," the long-awaited follow-up to NYC art-pop duo Fischerspooner's groundbreaking debut, #1, is out now, April 5th worldwide. Odyssey, so named for the emotional and artistic journey it took to make, is a vast musical leap forward. Inspired musically by classic and psychedelic rock, the familiar Fischerspooner sound is now suffused with analog sounds, live instruments and a lush new ambience. Like the albums that inspired it, Odyssey is a bona fide headphone record, layered with hidden nuances that reward the close listener. For Odyssey, Fischerspooner's Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner recruited a list of contributors that includes hit songwriter Linda Perry, music and visual artist David Byrne, French producer Mirwais, pre-eminent intellectual Susan Sontag, producer Tony Hoffer, and others. Due to overwhelming response from Radio 1, KCRW, KROQ and DJ's and clubs around the globe, Capitol Records has commercially released a remix 12" of lead single "Just Let Go" featuring mixes by Thin White Duke (aka Jacques Lu Cont) and Tommie Sunshine, out now.

Monday, April 4

Change Ahead for Downtown Jxn Nightlife

The Martin's Lounge owners have decided they would like a change in the music coming through there, so long time indie booker guru Robert Arender has left Martin's in search of a new Jackson venue wanting to take on what Jacksonians have come to expect from his booking. Robert has booked the upcoming Radar Brothers show at George Steet Grocery, and is said to start work there this week. Be on the look out.

Salter: Mississippi NOT Throwing Money at Education

Clarion-Ledger columnist Sid Salter again pulled no punches in his Sunday column about funding of public education. Importantly, he shot down the funding myths being spread by the governor and his agents in the Senate. Sid, again, gets the columnist's gold star for this column:

Clarion-Ledger's Metro-State Election Archive

Here's where the Ledge is collecting the multitudes of stories they've done to date on the Jackson City Elections. Note that the room is pretty empty so far. You'd think that being that Jackson deserves its own Crime Watch link on the Web site of a statewide newspaper (which seems to have moved off the front page at least), you'd think we'd get our own archive of city election coverage. There's some OK stuff there about the Council races, but I keep wondering when they're going to cover the mayoral election. WOW.

Monday Alert: Help Save Education Funding

[verbatim from Coalition for Children and Public Education]: Please try one more time to effect some positive outcome for education funding through phone calls. I know you've called already, but please call again today. WE DO NOT WANT TO GO TO SPECIAL SESSION. The outcome of a special session will almost surely be worse than that of a regular session. Please call 5 to 10 people and ask that they each call 4 or 5 people to spread the word that calls need to go out today. Be sure you, all those you call, and all those they call phone your Senator, the LT. Governor and Sen. Little. If your senator is among the 30 who voted against the Bryan Amendment, please make sure to call him or her. Those 30 senators and their phone numbers are listed below.

Melton Supporters Get Defensive

Read blog thread here.

Dems Challenge Melton's Qualifications

Read full report here.

A Blanket of Love: The JFP Interview With Tougaloo President Beverly Hogan

Tougaloo College's name is a Choctaw word that means where two streams cross, Dr. Beverly Hogan, 53, told me as we sat in her office, talking about her alma mater, which she now leads as its first female president.

Cheers, y'all

A Texas legislator has filed a bill that would ban booty shaking by high school cheerleaders. He's missing the point, Slate's Bryan Curtis writes. Also: Why doesn't baseball have cheerleaders?

In God He Trusts: The JFP Interview With Jim Wallis

Jim Wallis isn't your typical evangelical. Imagine Jimmy Carter, but scratch the accent. Thirty years ago, he founded Sojourners magazine, which covers issues on faith, politics and culture. In his time as editor, he has become a Christian force for activism, peace, and justice throughout our country and across the globe. Rev. Wallis has, according to his biography, "led more than 250 town meetings, bringing together pastors, civic and business leaders, and elected officials in the cause of social justice and moral politics."

Sunday, April 3

JFP Writers to Blog about Mayoral Candidates

Saturday, April 2

Motorola County Limits

March 30, 2005 A resolution to a public-safety communications problem, proposed by Jackson Police Chief Robert Moore and Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr., was shot down at the Hinds County Emergency 911 Council meeting on March 23. The resolution, earlier introduced at the March 22 Jackson City Council meeting, endorsed the upgrade of the city's public-safety communication system from an analog system to a digital system. It was also intended to address communication incompatibility issues between the county and the city.

Mayor Johnson Weekly Newsletter 4/2

Thirty-three fire recruits graduated today, after having completed a twelve-week training program at the Jackson Fire Training Academy. The graduates were presented their badges, diplomas and assignments at the ceremony. "Firefighters are often in perilous situations," said Mayor Johnson. "Fighting fires, working accident scenes, or when they are called upon to help in rescue situations, they are often in harm's way. They put their lives on the line, and never hesitate when called upon, no matter what the dangers may be." The Jackson Fire Department maintains a level-3 insurance rating, the best rating of any fire department in the state. Capital City Convention Center Commission Appointees Take Oath. Appointees of the Capital City Convention Center Commission were sworn in Monday afternoon. Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James Graves administered the oath. The Commission had its first official meeting just minutes after the swearing-in ceremony. Smith Wills Stadium Has New Turf! Monday, Mayor Johnson unveiled Smith Wills Stadium new Sprint Turf. This project installed infield and outfield turf to cover a total of 110,000 square feet. "This new state-of-the-art turf has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for Smith Wills Stadium, and we are quite pleased with the new uses this facility can now accommodate for the citizens of Jackson," said Mayor Johnson. "The turf enhances the stadium's marketability by truly enabling it to be a multipurpose facility able to be used for concerts, all types of sporting events (football, soccer, tennis, softball and baseball) and other endless possibilities." Mayor's Community-Wide Ward Meeting

Friday, April 1

NewStandard: Age Discrimination Law Gains Strength

The NewStandard reports:

C-L: Registration Time Running Out for Vote

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

WLBT: Crime on Hwy. 80 Gets Political

WLBT responded to Frank Melton's press conference on Highway 80 with this story:

[Johnson] Things Are Happening on Highway 80

Willy Mason /Decemberists in Birmingham & N.O.

RELEASED ON VIRGIN UK FEBRUARY 21 2005, WHERE THE HUMANS EAT, WILLY MASON'S DEBUT, IS ABOUT TO GO GOLD IN ENGLAND. Currently in the Top 40 on the UK's record sales charts and on the verge of going gold, Where the Humans Eat has been wowing British audiences for months. With overseas accolades pouring down on this small-town Martha's Vineyard native, young Willy Mason is a wonder boy poised for a long, fruitful and important career. As he gears up to tour the US this summer, we can easily envision him climbing even greater heights.

Salter Takes on Taxation Myths; Barbour Responds

Update: Pasted below (in the comments) is a statement from Barbour, in minutes ago, about his take on the state's "budget myths." Enjoy.

Democratic Club to Host Mayoral Forum - April 9