Stories for December 2007


Monday, December 31

Happy New Year! Resolution, Lesson Learned?

Happy new year, all. The JFP office is closed today, which may be the first time ever we've been closed on a business day. (We've often been open on holidays!) But the staff deserves a rest before this crazy legislative session kicks off! And don't worry: We put the legislative preview to bed Friday, so the paper is on its regular schedule.

Sunday, December 30

1957 vs. 2007: How Times Have Changed!

SCHOOL - 1957 vs. 2007

Got this emailed to me from a college classmate. Obviously something circulating on the internet..thought Id share and get your thoughts...Add a few if you come up with any..Lets keep the list going..

Saturday, December 29

Bulldogs Ring Up Liberty Bowl Victory

Mississippi State used a ball-hawking defense and a last-minute burst of offense to defeat Central Florida, 10-3, Saturday in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn. A Liberty Bowl-record crowd of 63,000-plus saw the Bulldogs win in their first bowl game since 2000.

Friday, December 28

What a Moe-Ron

Mike "Yuck Yuck" Huckabee is, sadly, starting to sound more like George W. Bush every time he opens his mouth:

Resolve to Write! 2008 Classes Forming Now.

Happy new year, all. And be sure to express yourself in 2008.

Sign up now for my 2008 creative non-fiction writing classes. The next round starts Jan. 3, and I have still have a couple slots in that class (until I hear from all you gift-certificate recipients!). Yes, I do gift certificates year-round (sold one today to a mother buying the class for her daughter), and you can use those anything throughout the year. You can see details about upcoming classes here, as well as costs, etc. In 2008, we will start meeting in the brand-new JFP classroom next to the JFP offices (or, as Doctor S likes to say, in the "JFP tower") here in Fondren. Please e-mail me at class (a) jacksonfreepress (dot) com to get on the class mailing list for updates.

Kamikaze, Guests to Examine Women's Views of 2007

Dec. 28, 2007—Today at noon, Kamikaze will guest host Radio JFP on WLEZ (103.7 FM). His guests will be singer/songwriter Laurel Isbister and JFP operations manager Ronni Mott. They will discuss the news and events of 2007 from a women's perspective. WLEZ shows stream live here.

Thursday, December 27

Chandler Video Stirring JFD Pot

The Jackson Fire Department is shaking over a tape that firefighters claim Assistant Chief Todd Chandler helped make back in the 1990s. The video features what Local 87 Union President Capt. Brandon Falcon describes as Chandler ridiculing black recruits. The video allegedly shows Chandler, wearing a jacket with his name on it, speaking in a broken caricature of the black dialect, while a white superior—allegedly retired firefighter Ken Daniels—corrects his melodramatically moronic behavior.

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated in Pakistan

Bhutto was leading an opposition rally to George Bush's buddy, Pervez Musharraf. Read the New York Times story here. Read her obituary here:

Wednesday, December 26

Virgin Adventures

I am sunburned, exhausted and very full because I just got back from the U.S. Virgin Islands. I think the number of meals I ate was greater than the hours of sleep I got, but it's all good. That's what rum … I mean coffee … was for.

New Year's Eve Events

930 Blues Café's New Year's Eve Bash featuring Rick Lawson, "The Baby of the Blues." Call 601-948-3344 for more info.

Eco-Resolutions to Live By

This year, my New Year's resolutions are a bit different than before. Rather than an endless, open-ended laundry list of all of my perceived personal flaws that I need to change in 2008—but probably won't get around to—I made a list of 12 specific actions I will take next year, one per month, in the name of helping to preserve the environment.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College football, Arizona State vs. Texas in Holiday Bowl (7 p.m., ESPN): Two of college's top "also-rans" meet in one of the best non-BCS bowls.

Candy Cain

"I shipped off a pig to Hot Springs earlier this week. I shipped off mermaids to Montgomery. … That was huge. I shipped off crosses to Biloxi," Candy Cain. A prolific and versatile visual artist, Cain was born in Jackson 49 years ago, and has been gracing the walls of our offices and homes with her artwork for almost as long. And, yes, that is her real name.

Let's Talk About Sex, for Real

The times of neglecting to talk to kids about sex has ended. It used to be OK for adults to be silent about the issue. Good kids were just supposed to magically figure it out. The young women that didn't figure it out were quietly whisked away to "grandma's house," where they would eventually give birth to their babies and hand them off to "deserving" parents. They would return home, only to receive disapproving stares from their mothers every day for the rest of their lives. Not once, of course, did society think to blame those silent parents.

No More Overtime; Recio Pay Dropped

Jackson Police Chief Malcolm McMillin says he has limited overtime to special-event staffing only.

Fire Department Recruits Flunk

The 2007 Jackson Fire Department recruit class has hit another obstacle. Almost half the graduating class, 10 out of 23, failed a field delivery test administered by the state fire academy. Recruits who failed the field delivery test may now opt for the state-certified minimum standards test.

City Faces More Budget Woes?

The Jackson City Council agreed to transfer $250,000 in forfeited drug money to the police department's budget in a Dec. 18 meeting. The money will finance uniforms, generators for precincts, police gear and an attorney who will provide legal representation "directly to the police department," according to Administration Director Rick Hill.

[Hutchinson] America Loves to Hate Sharpton

The FBI warned Al Sharpton that an unspecified, dangerous substance may have been mailed to his National Action Network office in New York. The only thing really remarkable about the warning was that it came from the FBI. For months, Sharpton has bitterly complained that he has been receiving a steady stream of hate mail and death threats, and has repeatedly told local law enforcement and the FBI about the threats. He questioned just how seriously they took them. This time the FBI apparently took the substance threat serious enough to warn him.

Melton, Resolve to Be Mayor

The recent dust-up over the Jackson Public School Board is yet another reminder that Mayor Frank Melton remains focused on petty political maneuvering at the expense of a business-like approach to city government. Citizens would like him to get about the business of running the city and stop his game-playing, personal vendettas, and financial servicing of his friends and family. The era of Melton treating this job as if he'd been elected court jester instead of mayor has got to come to an end this year.

[Sue Doh Nem] Straight in 2008

Mr. Announcement: "It's the Holiday Celebration Choir Cantata, sponsored by the Gripe, Moan and Complain Support Groups of America and the Let Me Hold Five Dollars National Bank. We close the cantata with selections from the GMC Community Choir and the LMHFD Third Shift Praise Team."

[Hightower] Letter to American Airlines

You frequent fliers will call me a fool for even thinking that I could reason with the CEO of a major airline. You're right—I couldn't even reach him.

[Al-Thaibani] Eye From The East

Growing impatient, her teacher walked down the hall to a first-grade classroom and requested me. I did not know what was going on. When the teacher asked me to read the word, the scene was clear. She wanted to show the girl that I, a first-grade student, could read the word that she, a third-grader, could not.

Most Intriguing Jacksonians 2007

<b>Josh Hailey</b>

If Ron Chane is the king of Fondren, then photographer/ceramicist Josh Hailey, 26, has got to be its crown prince. An avid supporter of Fondren (his studio is located in the Fondren Corner building), Hailey's work can be seen in homes and businesses all over town. His photography has graced the pages of the Jackson Free Press throughout the years, including his crazy, quirky Halloween shots in the premier Fly issue. Hailey has a unique style, often donning costume-like dress to ARTmixes (we recently saw him wearing a blue and red-sequined bolero cape, a black matador's hat and larger-than-life brown sunglasses, and he wore skintight gold lamé to the Best of Jackson party last year), and once you meet him, it's easy to become quick friends—chances are, you're friends in the Facebook realm already.

2007 - 08 College Hoops Preview

Uncertainty hangs over Mississippi's Big Four men's basketball teams like a death cloud over a doomed city in some lurid pulp novel. Are the Rebels and Eagles really that good? Or are the Tigers and Bulldogs really that bad?

2007 Timeline

If you're looking for weirdness, Jackson, Miss, is your place. Where else can you find a mayor who can destroy private property with a jury's blessing? Here in Jackson, we don't piddle about with exhaustive searches for a decent police chief—we just snap up the county sheriff to do the job. Need some legal troubles? Try some of our state's most successful lawyers—we've got plenty.

Toyota Building Eco-Friendly Plant in Mississippi

[verbatim release from governor's office] Toyota Motor Corp.'s designation of its Mississippi plant as a worldwide model of environmentally-friendly operations is a dramatic statement of confidence in the Mississippi project, Governor Haley Barbour said today. "Toyota has designated its Blue Springs plant as a model that will emphasize the importance of nature in creating production sites that harmonize with their natural surroundings," Governor Barbour said. "This puts Toyota and Mississippi on the leading edge of a totally new concept in building automotive manufacturing plants that can truly live in harmony with the environment and local community."

Friday, December 21

Mayor Rattles Councilwoman's Cage

Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon said Mayor Frank Melton rattled her cage this morning on the way to a special council meeting. Barrett-Simon told the Jackson Free Press that Melton's vehicle pulled up behind her car as she drove to a 10 a.m. special meeting on city payroll and claims. Barrett-Simon said Melton's car pulled "up to the bumper" before sounding off its police-issue horn, reportedly shaking Barrett-Simon's car while she drove.

WJTV Digital to run ‘Retro' Content

According to a press release the Retro Television Network announced today that it would be broadcast on WJTV's digital signal. (Digital signals allow local networks to broadcast multiple channels in the same amount of spectrum that used to be reserved for a single analog channel.)

Bah Humbug Update

Fa la la la la.

On an earlier post, I talked about hearing from the inside that The Clarion-Ledger not giving bonuses this year and how staffers are disenchanted as a result. Well, it's bleaker than we thought. I didn't know that the "bonuses" are not cash—they are gift certificates. Last year, they were $60 each, I'm told. This year, the Ledger staffers get nothing. No gift certificate. No Christmas party. Nothing. Meantime, the coffee drinkers there have to pay $10 a month to partake in office coffee—and the publisher is getting new hardwood floors installed.

FCC Approves Media Cross-Ownership

Sure, you could try to maintain your CorporateDaily(TM) hegemony in a market like Jackson by locking up free distribution points in exclusive contracts. Or, you could turn to a variety of non-daily products, including forced circulation papers you toss in people's yards or send to their mailbox regardless of their interest in your product. You might even paper the sidewalks with half-assed competitors to your competitors...cookie-cutter print manifestations of your print partnerships in sites like and

Wednesday, December 19

Kamikaze and Matt Allen on Radio JFP Friday

Rapper Kamikaze and attorney Matt Allen will join Todd Stauffer on Radio JFP this Friday, Dec. 21, to discuss a new group of "young progressive minds" they have formed. Tune in at noon to WLEZ FM 103.7 FM or listen to a live feed here. An audio file will be posted here later that day.

[Fly] Hail To The Pumpkin

During the holidays, treat your sweet tooth with pumpkin. Pumpkin is low in calories, and high in potassium, beta carotene, iron, fiber, and vitamins C and E. If you're feeling ambitious, ditch the canned pumpkin and cook up a fresh pumpkin from your local grocery or farmer's market. Be sure to pick a small pumpkin, since larger pumpkins are tough and generally not suitable for eating.

[Fly] The Bird and Its Sidekick

Roasted turkey and corn bread dressing are to Mississippi holidays what Brett Favre is to the Green Bay Packers.

[Fly] Setting The Table

Last year, you watched in horror as Great Aunt Petunia criticized everything about your cousin's table, from the linen to the placement of the dessert fork. Well, Petunia's on the way to your house this year, so it's time for a brief refresher course.

[Fly] Beginner's Guide To Wine

When it comes to wine, a little knowledge goes a long way. You can get a nice white for under $10, but stick to $15 an up for reds. Here are some other wine basics to get you started:

[Fly] It's The Food

Christmas dinner was the holiday event to be forgotten. Not that my mother wasn't a fabulous cook or that she didn't put out a fine spread. No, it was the event to be forgotten because of everything else that was happening. Forgotten in the awe of a tree that magically appeared on Christmas Eve, replete with silver ornaments for the look of a snow-covered pine; we'd eat our Christmas dinner faster than any other meal of the year so that we could dash back to our treasures by the magic tree.

Breaking The Fast

As luck would have it, Lunch Lady's favorite meal is, in fact, breakfast. This cruel twist of fate has unfortunately led to some problems in Jackson, where she has not been able to find the wealth of omelets, pancakes and French toast that her previous hometowns had readily available. As a result, several breakfasts have passed by unnoticed. Going to large, national chains and settling for uncreative representations of these favorite treats—plain buttermilk pancakes with dry scrambled eggs and various permutations of pork renderings—are hardly the breakfast inspiration Lunch Lady thought she'd find when she moved down South two years ago.

Sherr-ief, Please Scoop the Poop

OK, that's it. We just saw the Fondren deputy-horse in our parking lot, and as adorable as he is, we are really tired of the trail of poop that he is leaving behind in this, the best walking community in the city. It's in the parking lot in front of our building, and it is lining the parking lot leading up to Jerusalem Cafe. I stepped in it last week near Lenny's.

Tobie Tomlinson

"Being a shooter," Sgt. Tobie Tomlinson says, "allows for focus." Tomlinson, 35, knows a thing or two about focus. A service rifle shooter with the Army Marksmanship Unit, based in Fort Benning, Ga., he spends half the year training for and competing in national shooting competitions, and the other half teaching marksmanship to new soldiers. He captained the AMU's 2006 and 2007 championship rifle teams and, in 1995, won the individual National Service Rifle Championship.

Shop Local and Support Jackson's Best

I find myself, every year, getting in a certain mood around the holiday season. Yes, there are fattening goodies in the JFP break room—every single day—which will hopefully also put me in the mood to hit the YMCA more often.

Ed Peters Demands Legal Fees from City

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton's assurance that he would be covering court costs in his April 2007 felony trial did not apply to his co-defendants, judging by a Nov. 30 letter submitted to the Hinds County Circuit Clerk's office. Melton's old felony indictments resurfaced late November when Former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters submitted a motion for allocation of attorney's fees to the clerk and city attorneys. Peters is demanding payments of $15,000 apiece for attorneys Robert Shuler Smith (Hinds County district attorney-elect) and Winston Thompson for their representation of Melton's bodyguards Michael Recio and Marcus Wright.

From Talking Smack to Talking SWAC

When Jackson State went to Birmingham, Ala., last week to play Grambling State in the SWAC Championship Game, it was a week of firsts for the Tigers.

Junior League Eyes Lefleur's Park

The Junior League of Jackson wants to build a children's museum on 4.3 acres of state parkland, but opponents say the construction will irrevocably damage the park.

Spoon-feeding the FBI?

This week's City Council agenda contained an order confirming Mayor Frank Melton's appointment of Millsaps professor Bill Brister to the Jackson Public School Board of Trustees. If confirmed, Brister will replace board member Jonathan Larkin.

[Sue Doh Nem] Questions and Consequences Later

Kunta 'Rahsheed X' Toby: "Welcome to the Bootleg Underground Ghetto Independent Film Festival's 'Pitch a Film Idea' session. You have three minutes to pitch your film idea to me."

Vol. 6, No. 14

<b><em>Liberal or Conservative?</b></em>

Yours is a liberal or "progressive," if you prefer, publication. That is your prerogative. But James L. Dickerson's "Liberal or Conservative? The Home Test" column (Vol. 6, No. 12) strains credulity.

[Dickerson] A FedEx Christmas Story

Mackey Wright was on his way to Toys R Us on County Line Road, where he planned to shop for a Christmas present for his son, when he saw something in the road that didn't belong there—a FedEx package.

Lifting Them From The Streets: The Young People's Project

The sound of gunshots hung heavily in the air on Sept. 14, 2007, as people began to cautiously trickle out of their homes on Rutledge Avenue in west Jackson. Just off the road, a blue Chevrolet Impala had crashed into a tree, a bullet hole roughly carved into the driver's side door. The lifeless body of 24-year-old Christopher Adagbonyin lay inside his girlfriend's car, killed by a bullet to his head.

'It's Hard On Us'

At first reluctant to talk, a dark-skinned 60-something man stands outside his white FEMA trailer. Waving around his cigarette, he begins to open up to the young people on camera. A native of New Orleans and second-line expert, he explains to the young videographer that his home in New Orleans didn't flood at first. "The water was only about that deep to my second step," he says, gesturing to half-way down his forearm." Not concerned with any threat of flooding, he and a buddy walked down the street to grab some beers.

Just in: Teneia Sanders at Fenian's TONIGHT

Singer/songwriter Teneia Sanders—a JFP and Chick Ball favorite—is back home for the holiday and will perform tonight (Wednesday, Dec. 19) at Fenian's starting at 9 p.m. No cover. This will be BIG fun, and if you haven't seen Teneia, trust us on this.

This Is Why Some Republicans and Talk-show Hosts are Hypocrites…WOW!

Start paying attention to who the strongest pro-war pundits are...Some us them are quick to hide behing their faux cloak off patriotism, while never actually being willing to DO anything or have anyone in their family DO anything. If they're so ready to fight, let's give em all a gun and send em to Iraq. Hell, lets send em to the border and see how tough they really are. TELL ME THIS DOESNT MAKE YOU THINK!!

Tuesday, December 18

Wooten Apparent Winner Over Reeves ... Again

As the Jackson Free Press went to the printer Tuesday night, Democrat Adrienne Wooten was poised to win the re-vote election demanded by District 71 incumbent Rep. John Reeves. If Wooten wins, it will be another vote to keep House Speaker Billy McCoy in place, as Reeves had pledged in a campaign letter after the general election that he would vote against McCoy if he was re-elected.

At Least One Teen Killed in Brandon Car Wreck

At least one student from University Christian School has been killed in a one-car crash in Rankin County, and another is in critical condition at University Medical Center, sources say. The students were in a white Chevrolet Trailblazer on Scenic Drive that was traveling at a high rate of speed when it ran off the road and then flipped. A third student also went to UMC, but the injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Rep. John Reeves Pledges to Help Unseat Billy McCoy

Rep. John Reeves, who is fighting in a re-vote today to take back his seat from challenger Adrienne Wooten, sent a letter to Republicans (PDF, 185 KB), asking for their support and vowing to help unseat House Speaker Billy McCoy if re-elected. The House convenes at the beginning of the session to hold a tally on the new speaker, who then assigns chairmanships and decides the political tone of the House. Gov. Haley Barbour and his supporters have targeted McCoy's seat because he is viewed as too progressive.

Gospel Greats Salute Latasha Norman Wednesday, Dec. 19

From a press release: A gospel concert is being held Dec. 19 in memory of slain Jackson State University student Latasha Norman. Special guests include The Williams Brothers, The Canton Spirituals, The Mississippi Mass Choir, Paul Porter from the Christianaires, The Jackson Southernaires, the Rev. Joe A. Washington and the Gabrieltone, The Curry Family, The Gospel Melodies, The Wonderful Travelers and The Chosen Aires. Doors open at 6 p.m. at the Old Sam's (Wal-Mart) Building, 590 Raymond Road, in Jackson. The show is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10. The proceeds are going to the Norman family, according to organizers. For more details on the gospel concert, contact Vincent Grizzell at (601)573-0628 or Charles James at (678) 523-7412.

Monday, December 17

District 71 Re-Vote on for Tuesday

An attorney for Adrienne Wooten, the candidate who won the House District 71 race by about 200 votes, said her Republican opponent John Reeves had yet to prove his case for a re-vote, even as Wooten's supporters pressed to spread awareness about the Dec. 18 re-vote. "No voters came forward saying they had been deprived of the right to vote. … There are irregularities in every election, some confusion in every election. If we base the decision of a revote on some confusion on the voters' part then we're going to be re-voting in every election," Wooten's attorney Carlton Reeves told the Jackson Free Press.

URGENT: Vote TUESDAY in District 71 Re-Vote

If you live in District 71, please remember to go to the polls Tuesday to vote in the re-vote between Adrienne Wooten and John Reeves. Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in these locations: Baker Elementary School, Oak Forest Elementary School, Victory AME Zion Church and Lakeshore Baptist Church. Pass the word.

Saturday, December 15

Tigers Take SWAC

Jimmy Oliver threw three touchdown passes to lead Jackson State to a 42-31 victory over Grambling in the SWAC Championship. The Tigers won their first SWAC title since 1996.

Friday, December 14

how to travel for the holidays

'Tis the season to travel to visit far-flung family and friends. With a little planning, it isn't hard to keep your holiday visits smooth and stress-free. Here's how.


High school basketball (Murrah at Brandon (girls 6 p.m./boys 7:30 p.m., Brandon): The Mustangs close out 2007 against the Bulldogs. It's another one of those city-suburb showdowns.

JFP Radio Takes Day Off

Tune in next week!

We'd planned to have a follow-up to the Farish Street discussion that's been going on for a few weeks, but all the principals are out of town or tied up today and early deadlines for the holidays are squeezing us here at the JFP for the next few weeks. So, I'm going to call this a wash and we'll take the day off.

Clarion-Ledger Drops Southern Miss Beat?

Fa la la la la.

Isn't this special? is reporting that The Clarion-Ledger is dropping their Southern Miss sports beat. That's interesting news considering that the Ledger supposedly relies on its sports beat to keep readers, as the rest of the paper goes to pot. Also, staffers over there are complaining that they're not getting Christmas bonuses for the first time this year—and that the publisher is getting a new hardwood floor put in his office, creating lots of construction noise.

Thursday, December 13

BREAKING: Supreme Court Reinstates Re-vote

The Mississippi Supreme Court has granted Rep. John Reeves' emergency petition and reversed Hinds County Judge Winston Kidd, who ruled earlier in the week that the re-vote in the election between Adrienne Wooten and Reeves in District 71 was canceled. Writing for the Court, Justice Oliver E. Diaz Jr. vacated Kidd's Writ of Mandamus and Writ of Prohibition: "[T]he re-vote should be allowed to proceed as directed by the Hinds County Election Commission." The Court denied requests by both sides for oral argument, and said it will issue an opinion "in due course."

Taxpayers Covering Recio and Wright Attorney's Fees?

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton's assurance that he would be covering court costs in his April 2007 felony trial did not apply to his co-defendants, judging by a Nov. 30 letter submitted to the Hinds County Circuit Clerk's office. Former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters submitted a motion for allocation of attorney's fees to the clerk's office and city attorneys, demanding payments of $15,000 apiece for attorneys Robert Shuler Smith and Winston Thompson for their representation of Melton's bodyguards Michael Recio and Marcus Wright.

Lounge and Croon with the JFP Dec. 13 and 14

Join the JFP for the monthly Lounge Thursday night, from 7 to 10 p.m., in Hal & Mal's non-smoking Oyster Bar–come chat and fellowship with other creative Jacksonians. Free admission and munchies. Then on Friday, join Todd and Donna back at Hal & Mal's for Southern Fried Karaoke after the Dirty Santa Pub Quiz (it starts at 8 p.m. and costs $5 to play). The karaoke mics should go live around 10 p.m. Free.

Ike Turner Dead at Age 76

We all know Ike Turner as the infamously abusive ex-husband of Tina Turner. Ike, a Clarksdale native, was a musician and songwriter who worked with the likes of B.B. King and the Rolling Stones.

Wednesday, December 12

Are Dirty Birds Coming After Croom?

The Tupelo newspaper asked Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom about a story listing as a possible candidate for the Atlanta Falcons job.

Let's Go Bowling

Here's a handy guide to the college football bowl games from YMSWWC. The Liberty Bowl analysis is spot on: "More cowbell."

Melton Attempts to Remove JPS Superintendent

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton's efforts to remove Superintendent Earl Watkins before his contract completion date could cost Jackson Public Schools big money, according to some board members.

Have Crustaceans, Will Drink

For years, I found myself scoffing at California Chardonnay: too oaky, too buttery, too over the top. Even as I became interested in whites, the Rieslings and Sauvignon Blancs drew me in, but I always passed on the most popular of the white grapes. Perhaps it was the need to be different, ordering Petite Sirah when everyone else at the table ordered Merlot or Chardonnay. It certainly wasn't that I didn't have access. Every restaurant has a Chardonnay on its wine list. Trust me—I served plenty of it at the two where I worked, especially to women eating salads.

Gwendolyn Magee

Gwendolyn Magee, 64, first started making quilts in 1989 during a six-week quiltmaking class at a local Jackson quilt store that no longer exists. She only planned to make a quilt for each of her two daughters before they went to college, but by the time she finished their quilts, she was hooked. "Eventually, I really started becoming dissatisfied with just taking a pattern and following it, making things that were just pretty," Magee says. She wanted to make quilts with more meaning, and she tapped into her roots as an African American growing up in segregated High Point, N.C., for her inspiration.

Protecting God's Green Acre

I didn't go to church Sunday, but I did recycle. It wasn't until after dark when Todd and I made our twice-weekly (thrice lately as we've been moving into a new place) foray to the alley behind the Rainbow Coop. We love doing this. We started and recycling years ago in Colorado Springs, where we would stop off at the microbrewery next to the recycle plant and get a refill of our "growler" of amber beer.

Spend It to Make It

At the level of countries, economics can be a crapshoot, with future predictions playing as much of a role as hindsight. Micro-economics, the kind where you have to balance a checkbook and pay your electric bill to keep the heat on, are easier to understand. You have to spend less than you have coming in—or that's the goal, in any case. All the experts will tell you that it's far better to save money than go into debt for major purchases and life events such as college, marriage or starting a business.

Reeves Plans to Challenge Ruling

Republican District 71 incumbent Rep. John Reeves said he will appeal a Hinds County Circuit Court decision to the Mississippi Supreme Court. Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Winston Kidd granted a writ of mandamus Tuesday to Democratic District 71 winner Adrienne Wooten, compelling the Hinds County Election Commission to certify the results of the Nov. 6 election and declare Wooten the winner.

Police Have Suspect in 'Miracle' Shooting

Hinds County Sheriff and interim Jackson Police Chief Malcolm McMillin has named convicted felon Michael Allen as the suspect in the Dec. 1 shooting of Jackson business owner Donnie Register. Register, owner of The Antique Market in Fondren, made national headlines, shielding his head from a bullet allegedly fired by Allen. The bullet ricocheted off Register's wedding band and sent fragments into his hand and neck, potentially saving him from a fatal head wound.

Melton Targets Talk Back

Photos by Dennis Sweet & Adam Lynch

Jackson attorney Dennis Sweet and Jackson business owner Charlotte Reeves are striking back against what they described as Jackson Mayor Frank Melton's attempt to sway public opinion in civil lawsuits filed against him and the city. Melton made hard allegations against plaintiffs who are suing him and the city for civil rights violations last week.

Crossing the 'T' In 'Melton

Sheriff Malcolm McMillin was confirmed this week in his new role as part-time chief of police for Jackson. From what we know of McMillin, we like him, and there is word already that morale may be improving in the Jackson Police Department as a result of his leadership. We hope that continues to be the case, and we'll monitor it to the best of our abilities.

[Sue Doh Nem] A Brainwashed State of Christmas

Nurse Tootie McBride: "This holiday season I want to provide encouragement for the hopeless, jobless, broke and stressed out individual who feels like ending this year with a bang or two. I want to reason with you for a moment. I hope that I'm able to relieve your troubled state of being.

[Kamikaze] Blame It On Hip-Hop ... Again

I ran across a column last week from Foxsports columnist Jason Whitlock. He had some interesting comments on the death of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor.

[Hutchinson] Rising Latino Numbers, Rising Black Fears

Last month, a small but vocal group of black Los Angeles community activists turned up at City Hall to blast Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other Latino elected officials for their tight-lipped silence about the federal crackdown on terrorist Latino street gang, Florencia 13. The gang's arsenal of mayhem included murders, assaults and intimidation against blacks in South L.A. Though the protestors were few in number, many blacks privately cheered their finger pointing at Latino leaders for not speaking out.

[‘Tis The Season] You're Getting Warmer

The Kyoto Accord began the race to halt global warming. On its 10th anniversary, why are we barely past the starting gate?

[Tis the Season] Greening the Classroom

Saving energy can be less about saving the environment and more about sparing a dollar for some government agencies. School districts, which rarely have money to burn, are currently moving ahead with massive energy-saving projects across the nation.

[‘Tis The Season] Building Green

I recently drove down to Hattiesburg to meet with architect James Polk in a tiny storefront office with a cement floor, spring green walls, and architectural posters and models covering every available surface. Polk is the architect designing Lily Valley, a walkable eco-community centered around a European-style town square, with energy-efficient homes in walking distance of a school, concert hall, bakery, grocery, art galleries, shops and restaurants. Plenty of green space will surround the buildings.

What YOU can do about global warming

The Kyoto Treaty is important, but the solution to global warming starts at home. Every small change helps. There are simple changes you can incorporate into your life.

[‘Tis The Season] The View From Kyoto

Kyoto in December 1997 was festive. I was there as an observer for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, working in tandem with a journalist reporting for Salon.

[Fly] How to Stock a Bar

If you have a couple of grand in disposable income, stocking a full bar can suck up all of that in a heartbeat. For most of us though, that's pretty unrealistic, and unless you're into the whole dinner-party, entertaining-the-boss scene, the "bar" usually means what our closest friends like to drink. That can mean anything from a six-pack in the fridge and vodka in the freezer, to a bottle of Jack, and some cheap tequila complete with salt for the Margarita glasses.

Should a Woman Be Pardoned for Killing Her Abuser?

That's the question the Salon "Broadsheet" (a blog for women—get it?) is asking on the topic of self-defense in domestic violence. The post starts:

Just Days Left to Vote in Best of Jackson - Until Dec. 15

OK, all, the voting in the JFP's 6th Annual Best of Jackson reader's choice awards closes Saturday at midnight CST. If you're voting online, do it before then. If you're mailing a ballot, it's got to be postmarked by Dec. 15. So stop your procrastinating, and get 'er done.

You were born in December if…

1. You are given a Christmas/birthday gift.

2. You are often told that you will get a birthday gift sometime after Christmas because the person is broke. Then, the person forgets to give you the gift.

more fly gifts

Only 13 days until Christmas. How much have you crossed off of your Christmas shopping list? I've suggested charities. I've suggested memberships. Now how about the truly do-it-yourself?

Time to Put Duckworth Rumors to Bed

A JFP investigation is showing that those accusations were false.

You may have seen some of the back-and-forth over the last week between Othor Cain and me and others about accusations he made on Ben Allen's WLEZ-FM radio show, then on this Web site and on his own blog and WMPR radio show that downtown developer Ted Duckworth taking HUD money to put low-income housing in buildings he's developing, but not putting in the housing.

Tuesday, December 11

WHAT'S THIS?!?: Kaze Back on the Kim Wade Show Today at 5pm

It's one day and one day only folks! Come one come all. Kim and Kaz saddle up for one more ride today(Tuesday) at 5pm to talk again about Farish St. and downtown development. the "ban" has been lifted due to the importance of this issue. and PLEASE dont call in with any George Bush questions LOL....No seriously. don't :-)

Reeves Plans to Challenge Election Ruling

Republican District 71 incumbent legislator John Reeves said he will appeal a Hinds County Circuit Court decision to the Mississippi Supreme Court. Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Winston Kidd granted a writ of mandamus Tuesday to Democratic District 71 winner Adrienne Wooten, compelling the Hinds County Election Commission to certify the results of the Nov. 6 election and acknowledge Wooten as the winner.

Judge Kidd Rules Against John Reeves

Judge Winston Kidd has just ruled that the election results in the District 71 race between Adrienne Wooten and incumbent John Reeves should be certified, and that no special election need occur. Reeves was challenging Wooten's win due to voting irregularities.

The Clarion-Ledger ‘Forgot' Dee-Moore Case

OK, Ledger, at least be honest in your assessment of "cold case" efforts in this country. You may have done some good work in the past when you used to care a little about being a newspaper, and you deserve credit for that. However, today's editorial is extremely disingenuous and revisionist. You write today:

Monday, December 10

give a gift of fresh air and sunshine

What else can you give for Christmas besides more stuff? Get in the spirit of togetherness with gifts of a shared experience. Gift cards and memberships are a good start. Give a gift of fresh air and sunshine with a membership to one of Jackson's fine outdoor attractions.

Henry Phillips' Bond Set for $200,000

Hinds County Judge William Barnett has set a $200,000 bond for Henry Phillips, who police say have admitted shooting his ex-girlfriend Doris Shavers, in the head. According to The Clarion-Ledger, Barnett has sent the case to a grand jury for "possible indictment." In the case of Heather Spencer, profiled by the JFP along with Doris Shavers, the man accused of murder is in jail without bond.

Council to Vote on Police Chief Today

The Jackson City Council is holding a confirmation vote today at 2 p.m. on Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin as Jackson's next police chief even as some Council members are complaining that the mayor has not provided adequate documentation for the appointment.

Sunday, December 9

Vote in JFP Best of Jackson Poll Until Friday, Dec. 15

Remember: Time is running out. Get those ballots in! Vote here.

Friday, December 7

The C.I.A. Tape Affair

This controvery is taking on a huge life on the blogosphere. Read a round-up.

Police Have Suspect in ‘Miracle' Shooting

Hinds County Sheriff and interim Jackson Police Chief Malcolm McMillin named convicted felon Michael Allen as the suspect in the Dec. 1 shooting of Jackson business owner Donnie Register. Register, owner of The Antique Market in Fondren, made national headlines, shielding his head from a bullet allegedly fired by Allen. The bullet ricocheted off Register's wedding band and sent fragments into his hand and neck, potentially saving him from a fatal head wound.

43 Events Today; 50 Events Saturday; Holiday Events Mania

If you're looking for exciting things to do this weekend, holiday or not, the new JFP events calendar is packed full of daily events, and categories of stuff to do from holiday to shopping to literary. You'll also find extensive gallery listings and movie times over there.

Kamikaze on Radio JFP Today at Noon

Kamikaze will join Todd Stauffer and Donna Ladd today at noon on WLEZ to discuss the slow pace of Farish Street development.

Wake Up and Give to the Salvation Army

If you have any questions, send an email to webmaster-at-wakeupjackson-dot-org.

Wake Up Jackson Civic Association is participating in The Salvation Army's Online Red Kettle program. Go here to drop some change in our virtual kettle. The fundraising goal is $500.

Wednesday, December 5

Melton Hits Back With More Allegations

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton made hard allegations (PDF, 464 KB) against plaintiffs suing him and the city for civil rights violations this morning, from Albert "Batman" Donelson to Charlotte Reeves. "I'm not trying to taint the jury," Melton insisted. "These are things that I want to come up in a civil trial. We have a lot more latitude in civil court, and these are not allegations. These are facts, and I'm prepared to go forward."

Big Dawg Croom SEC Coach of the Year

Mississippi State released a statement an hour ago about this well-deserved honor for Coach Sylvester Croom:

Carlton Reeves

"I believe in the rule of law and in using it to achieve justice across the board," Carlton Reeves says.

D.I. Your Own Damn Self

One of my favorite responses to the Katrina crisis was a headline—from The Onion, I think—about a man who had decided to just drive a semi-trailer full of ice down to the Coast his own damn self, considering how poorly the Bush administration was responding to people in need.

'Dreary Climate for Women'

The murder of Jackson State University student Latasha Norman, 20, marks the third death of a woman allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend in the Jackson area since September. Domestic-abuse counselors say the string of murders mirrors a statewide trend in incidents of abuse.

Airport Commission Under Axe?

Mississippi Department of Transportation Executive Director Larry "Butch" Brown asked the Jackson City Council and Jackson Mayor Frank Melton Tuesday to pull the city's membership from the Airport Parkway Commission. The decision, if approved by the council, would dissolve the commission, which is dependent upon equal participation from the cities of Flowood, Jackson and Pearl to remain viable. MDOT devised the commission as a means to build a parkway linking downtown Jackson to the airport in Rankin County, empowering it to do the environmental and planning studies and oversee land acquisition for right of way. Brown said the project would cost about $400 million.

Communities In Schools

When a 9-year-old third-grade student at Walton Elementary told her teacher that she wanted to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest, her teacher gave her an option. Because the girl did not complete assignments and often disrupted class, the teacher told the young girl she had to behave in class or not participate in the contest. With encouragement and one-on-one talks with Communities In Schools tutors, the student placed third in the essay contest and became a better student, paying more attention in class and being less disruptive.

Hate-Crimes Grossly Under-Reported

There were no hate crimes in Mississippi in 2005 or 2006, according to the most recent FBI statistics. Nationwide, say the stats, hate crimes rose 7.8 percent in '06, with 7,722 incidents.

District 71 Winner Fights Re-Vote

House District 71 winner Adrienne Wooten asked the Hinds County Circuit Court to order the Hinds County Election Commission to reverse its decision to hold a revote, and to certify her as the winner of the Nov. 6 election.

Scruggs' Indictment Shaking State

Attorney Paul Minor is serving 11 years in federal prison for paying off campaign loans for a Democratic Mississippi Supreme Court judge. Guaranteeing loans to the campaigns of supreme court justices was once common practice, and Minor accused the FBI of not prosecuting fellow Gulf Coast attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs for "doing the same thing." Unlike Minor, Scruggs gave campaign money to Republicans like his brother-in-law Sen. Trent Lott.

Words Do Hurt

"Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you." Any child who's been the object of hateful, hurtful words knows down deep that it's a lie. Words can hurt, can damage, can, in fact, leave psychic scars that may never heal.

[Fly] Green This

Welcome to our festive holiday Fly issue. Jump in to get ideas for your green Christmas shopping list and tips on how to catch your friends up on your life. Learn how to make your own beeswax candles or hack an old scarf. Get inspired by wacky holiday trees. Drool over DIY gingerbread houses. And don't forget to visit our Fly blog for more fun and funky holiday ideas. Enjoy!

[Sue Doh Nem] A Financially Challenged Holiday

Brother Hustle (singing): "Ohhhhhhhhhh, the economy has become so frightening, while gasoline prices are steadily climbing. Crime, apathy and poverty plague the poor. I'll just hustle, hustle and hustle!

[Fly] Mind Your Own Beeswax

Beeswax candles have a soft, creamy color and subtle sweet smell. A few simple additives can enhance the hue and aroma of your candles if you desire. Add a few drops of almond extract or peppermint oil, or perhaps a handful of old coffee beans for more scent. Add blue food coloring to make Hanukkah candles or red, black and green for Kwanzaa.

No. 39, December 5

<b><em>Selective Justice</b></em>

The Department of Justice case against Ike Brown and the Noxubee County Democratic Executive Committee definitively shows racism, but it's quite unlike what has been reported by The Clarion-Ledger and Sid Salter.

[Fly] The House That Maggie Built

Almost anyone can construct a graham cracker holiday home and load it with sugary frosting and candies. But if you're feeling a bit more adventurous this year, try making a gingerbread house from (almost) scratch. The preparation and construction takes a couple of hours, but when your friends and family members are salivating over the finished product, you'll be overwhelmed with pride—and hunger!

[Dickerson] Liberal or Conservative? The Home Test

I was talking to a friend the other day, and he asked me why Mississippians are always on the wrong side of every issue.

[Fly] Make Your Own Gournet Dog Treats

Most of us love our dogs enough to consider them a member of the family, so why not bake for them as if they were?

[Fly] Holiday Giving: How To Tip

All year long, many of the people who make our lives livable work in relative anonymity: the mail carriers, the garbage people, the newspaper delivery guy. Others—like the folks who do our hair and care for our kids—we see frequently, but could hardly call "intimates." We want to give them a little something extra during the holidays, but what and how much?

[Fly] Write A Cool Holiday Letter

You know those awful, boring, photocopied letters with hokey snowmen that fall out of your Christmas cards from friends and relatives each year? Yeah, those.

[Fly] Up And Away

Holiday playlists stuck on shuffle, and the thought of braving mall madness with its manufactured cheer, can be enough to make you want to fly far, far, away. So go already.

[Fly] Reinventing The Scarf

*Download Lizbeth Von Lush's Scarf Template* (3.6 MB .PDF)

Bucking the Trend

Do you have any idea how much weight the average American gains between Halloween and the New Year? Neither does Lunch Lady. But she does know that if you're expected (and expecting) to get fat anyway, you might as well live it up in style between now and the time you make your New Year's resolutions. Fine dining, cocktails and decadent sweet treats ought to do the trick—and you've only got four weeks to squeeze it all in. Put on something slinky while it still fits, and let's get started.

how to simplify your gift list

Christmas shopping can be difficult, especially if your list is full of people who already have it all. This year, keep it simple by giving charitable gifts that will help make the world a better place and won't take up valuable space in the attic.

Charlie Ross Running for Congress

No surprise, but an e-mail just came from Charlie Ross confirming that he is running for Chip Pickering's congressional seat. The verbatim e-mail is posted at StateDesk.

Tune In to WLEZ TODAY 5pm..Ben Allen, Othor, and Kaze on Farish St.

Hope you guys tune in...This will be a continuation of sorts from the "web-sparring" that went on last week here on the JFP site. Refer back to last week's editorial. Othor, Ben, and myself got into a spirited debate on Farish and all of downtown that we will resume today on the air. Listen up 103.7fm

Tuesday, December 4

Saved by the Ring

Donnie Register, the Fondren business owner whose wedding ring deflected a bullet flying toward his head during an armed robbery, was featured on Good Morning America's "Around the Watercooler" segment today.

Brad Pitt Fronts ‘Make It Right' NOLA

Cool site features designs and information about the Make It Right (MIR) project for New Orleans. Architects were tasked with the goal of making low-income housing for the 9th Ward; the designs can't cost more than $150,000 to build (supposedly the foundation will help with financing to make $150k "affordable" in NOLA), have to include a porch, 3 bedrooms, modern green technology and most of the designs are made to withstand another storm (or otherwise ride it out, like one house that floats). The project is fronted by Brad Pitt, who donated $5 million and has been raising money and awareness for it.

Nowhere to Sit: The Trent Lott Porch Story

A stirring documentary about Trent Lott's porch in Pascagoula after Katrina. I laughed, I cried. (Actually, I mostly just giggled a little bit. The rest of the 23/6 site has some funnier stuff, like the SwiftKids.)

Monday, December 3

green your own christmas tree

Every year when I was growing up, the moment we ate the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers, we three kids started to pester my parents to put up our Christmas tree. Usually the deal was that we could put up the Christmas tree once we had raked the entire backyard. Now, this wasn't just any backyard. It was huge. And full of big, leaf-dropping trees. So raking the backyard could easily take a whole day or a whole weekend. And if the wind started blowing or we started jumping in the piles, we quickly found ourselves back at the starting line. So Christmas tree time usually didn't come until mid-December.

Bulldogs At Liberty

Mississippi State is headed for the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. The Bulldogs will play Central Florida, champion of C-USA, on Dec. 29 at 3:30 p.m. ESPN will televise the game. The Liberty apparently badly wanted MSU, which helped set an attendance record in its previous appearance at the game in 1991. The game will also be an easy trip for most bowl-starved Bulldogs fans. State has appeared in the postseason since 2000.

Clarion-Ledger Back in Neshoba County

Cheers to The Clarion-Ledger for going back on its statements that Edgar Ray Killen—and then James Ford Seale—were going to be the end of the line for investigating old civil rights murders. We'd heard that Jerry Mitchell was back in Neshoba County looking at Billy Wayne Posey's role in the 1964 murders of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner, and we applaud him for doing it. The Clarion-Ledger, and Mitchell, have spent way too much time in recent years saying that the investigations of old cases were "over," as we've pointed out numerous times. That newspaper has been sitting on files for years in these cold cases; it's time that they put a lot of energy into bringing more information forward. It should not be up to The Clarion-Ledger decide when it's "over"; as long as one civil rights murderer is still alive, it should not be over. For more info on the "last" case rhetoric, Dredging Up the Past: Why Mississippians Must Tell Our Own Stories.

Memorial Service for Latasha Norman

Norman's memorial service will be at the Rose Embly McCoy Auditorium on the main JSU campus.

Jackson State University is hosting a memorial service at noon today (Monday, Dec. 3) for murdered student Latasha Norman. Police found Norman, a 20-year-old accounting major from Greenville, dead Thursday. She had been missing for more than two weeks. Her ex-boyfriend, Stanley Cole, is in jail without bond. Norman reported on Oct. 9 that he had punched her in a parking lot in Pearl, but he was not arrested for that incident until Nov. 15, two days after Norman was reported missing. When he showed up for his hearing on Nov. 29 for that incident, police took him in for questioning. He reportedly led them to her body.

Tuesday, Dec. 4 – Center for Violence Prevention Christmas Gala

Help fight domestic abuse at a Christmas Gala to benefit The Center for Violence Prevention, which provides programs, housing and services to victims of domestic violence. Heavy hors d'oevres; cocktail/business attire. The JFP is a silver sponsor. Sponsorships still available, and items needed for a silent auction. Bon Ami, Maywood Mart, 220 East Northside Drive, Suite 230, $50, starts at 6 p.m.

Events Coming Out Our JFP Ears! Send 2008 Dates Now ...

Be sure to check out the JFP's new online events calendar (just remember for the most comprehensive events listings in central Mississippi. And while you're there, click on the categories to the right for full listings of, say, holiday events, JFP sponsored events or even big local shopping events.

Is It So Difficult to Imagine, Ledger?

The Clarion-Ledger has an editorial today crediting Acting Chief-Sheriff Malcolm McMillin with dealing with the Latasha Norman case quickly and effectively, which seems a bit forced (they must have also heard that he may well not have enough Council votes for confirmation), but we don't have a problem throwing kudos their way. We'd probably hold out until we know more about how the investigation was initially handled. But the part about the Ledger editorial that perplexes is the following. First they write:

Sunday, December 2

Delta Blues Update


Saturday, December 1

Tease photo

This is a test post

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