Stories for July 2007


Tuesday, July 31

Hear DA Faye Peterson on Radio JFP

District Attorney Faye Peterson appeared on Radio JFP on WLEZ-FM last Friday. The audio of the show, which focused on criticisms of the D.A., is available here. Click to listen to the show.

Monday, July 30

Dumb S*** Rebel Without a Clue

Yes, that's what a troll just called me on another thread before it was deleted.

Party Surprises Former Councilman Ben Allen

Supporters of former city Councilman Ben Allen gathered tonight at Bravo! restaurant for a surprise party to honor him for his service. Secretary of state candidate Delbert Hosemann was a primary organizer, and Bravo! owner Jeff Good opened his restaurant specially for the occasion. More details to come Tuesday.

Obeying the Sign Ordinance

I wonder how many Jacksonians know that it is unlawful to post signs on utility poles. Are City Council members exempt?

Sunday, July 29

A-1 Pallets Silent Protest at City Hall on Tuesday, July 31, from 9 AM to 10 AM

Thanks to everyone who participated in the last protest.

We'll be in front of City Hall from 9 AM to 10 AM. If possible, please sit in on the City Council meeting afterwards since A-1 Pallets is on the agenda. I'll have some signs with me if you need one.

Reporters Committee Urges ABA to Reject Access Limit

[verbatim] July 26, 2007 -- The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press urges the American Bar Association to reject proposed resolutions that would drastically limit public access to criminal justice system records. The measures would violate the First Amendment and state public disclosure laws and roll back the presumption of openness in law enforcement and judicial records.

Friday, July 27

DA Candidate Michelle Purvis on the Kim Wade show TODAY 5pm 1180am

the number is 601 366 in with questions.

FYI..Michelle Purvis is gonna be our guest on the Kim Wade show today...Should be a lively discussion if nothing else!!! Please tune in. 1180am at 5:06 pm. TODAY

John Arthur Eaves' Speech at the Neshoba County Fair

[verbatim] I'm John Eaves, and I am running for Governor because I believe it is time for a new day in Mississippi. I am tired of hearing our leaders tell the people of Mississippi to lower their expectations. I have seen far too many broken schools and witnessed our neighbors stuck in FEMA trailers along the coast for too long. And I'm sick and tired of Mississippi always being last in jobs, healthcare, poverty, and education and then hearing our leaders say, "What do you expect?" Well, I expect a whole lot more, and I believe Mississippians deserve much, much better. And so I am running for Governor to declare that this era of low expectations is over and a new day is dawning in Mississippi.

Thursday, July 26

DA Faye Peterson on Radio JFP Friday at Noon

District Attorney Faye Peterson is the guest this Friday, July 27, at noon on Radio JFP on WLEZ. Listen at 103.7 FM, or hear the stream live at The JFP will record the show and link it here later that day. Please feel free to post questions here that you would like us to ask Peterson during the show. Candidate Michele Purvis previously appeared on the show (hear the audio and read a long discussion thread here), and Robert S. Smith was invited to appear last week, but could not make it. The JFP also moderated a Q&A session with the three candidates recently at Schimmel's. Hear the audio here.

Toyota Supplier to Locate In Mississippi

[verbatim from Gov. Haley Barbour] (JACKSON, Mississippi) – Governor Haley Barbour said today Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd. (TAB) will build a $180 million plant in North Mississippi, becoming the first announced supplier to Toyota's new auto assembly plant in Blue Springs. TAB officials made the decision public in Japan overnight.

It's Official: The Ledger Thinks Readers Are Stupid

In an editorial today, we learn just what The Clarion-Ledger edit-boys really think of their readers, in and outside the city:

Wednesday, July 25

Your Friendly Neighborhood Thai House

At the new Thai House, the food is exotic and elegantly showcased in a venue awash in muted color, exposed brick and imported furniture. But there is something beyond the ambiance. Perhaps it's the warmth of the proprietors or the comfort of a steaming cup of Tomkha, but in the midst of spicy food, Eastern music and hand-carved teakwood, the Thai House offers the familiarity of a diner, but the cuisine is almost certainly better than that local greasy-spoon.

A Saintly Return

New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister has told local fans that the Saints' desire to return to Jackson this week for training camp at Millsaps College was based on two things: conditioning and karma.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Golf, MGA Match Play Championships (7 a.m., Hattiesburg): Canebreak Country Club is the site of the four-day event. Don't forget your mashie.

John Kellogg

John Kellogg, 21, says he has a skewed sense of normalcy. Currently in his last year at Millsaps College, majoring in psychology with a focus on human services, the Shreveport, La., native is full of stories about his interactions with the homeless. Kellogg is currently an intern at Stewpot Community Services working to organize a summer food drive, and Jerome, a homeless man who frequents Stewpot, often accompanies him on trips to donation sites. "We've distributed about 350 boxes to different places throughout the city," says Kellogg, "and we listen to a lot of blues on the rides."

Hello, and Goodbye

I've never been great at goodbyes. When I meet people I dig, I want them around. But I've learned that a life filled with interesting experiences and people does mean, sometimes, saying goodbye. Since I've been in the weekly newspaper business, I've figured out that putting out a dynamic, fresh newspaper means embracing change, even when it makes one a tad grumpy.

Off To The Woods

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton is off to the woods of Jefferson Davis County with about 40 young men this week.

Pallet Ping-Pong

Photos by Adam Lynch & Jaro Vacek

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton is continuing the war with A-1 Pallet Company this week, saying he will move ahead with the proposed demolition of the company despite a strengthened restraining order against the city.

A Boon for Fire Safety

In a special meeting on Tuesday, July 24, the Jackson City Council voted 4-0 (Ward 2 Councilman Leslie McLemore was absent) to approve a contract authorizing Jackson Mayor Frank Melton to exercise a contract between the Jackson Fire Academy and Mississippi State Fire Academy to secure materials and modules to improve testing scores of the city academy.

Bringing Nature Back to Gardening

Akia Chabot fits in nowhere, yet everywhere. The Australian native, with his master's in Environmental Management, teaches the natural poetry of permaculture with his wife, Rebecca, a Mississippi native who sports a Ph.D. in Ecology. The two will be offering courses on permaculture, starting Aug. 4, at their home in Vicksburg.

Delay Political?

Last week, four city council members voted to delay a zoning change for a major development initiative near the Jackson Medical Mall, with Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes leading the vote. His concern is drainage—which, it seems, the city has already addressed. Previously, Stokes complained that he didn't like that Livingston Village would be a gated community.

[Stiggers] Le Tour de Ghetto

Bart Starr-Child: "Welcome to the fourth annual low-power television broadcast of the Tour de Ghetto bicycle race. I'm Bart, your token Caucasian announcer for the Ghetto Science Team Sports Network. Providing the colored commentary is Ike "On a Bike" of Village Ghetto Land Tours and Courier Services.

[Kamikaze] Mississippi on the World Stage

There comes those undeniable moments in a man's life when doubt—even fear––can set in. One of those moments when, despite experience and confidence, you're not ready for the unexpected. As I get ready to embark on my first overseas tour, I'm frantically running around making sure that I tie all loose ends and put things in order.

[Grayson] Don't Bash Immigrants

Some Americans believe that this country has grown out of its oppressive past and into a unified nation. For some, racism no longer exists, and everybody has their fair shot at living the "American Dream". Many people seem to believe that everyone has equal opportunities in this country.

The DA Game: A Trial Of Three

Photos by Adam Lynch & Cheree Franco

While some Hinds County electoral positions can go for years without challenge, the district attorney's office is routinely on the chopping block, and it's no different this year. Incumbent Faye Peterson is facing two Democratic challengers in the primaries, with no Republican wishful-thinker waiting in the wings for the November general election. The primaries, however, are fight enough. Former Special Assistant to the City Attorney Michele Purvis and defense lawyer Robert Shuler Smith are lining up to take a whack at Peterson, and their timing is seemingly perfect.

Robert And Michele And ... Edna?

District Attorney candidate Robert Shuler Smith has taken an interesting journey to his current spot on the primary ballot. Smith said at a July Jackson 2000 forum at Schimmel's restaurant that he is in the race because former District Attorney Ed Peters asked him to run two years ago.

Tuesday, July 24

Transcript: 2007 JFP Interview with DA Faye Peterson

Interview by Adam Lynch

In 1997, when I started working at the public defender's office, I got hired when they were trying to create this drug court prosecution thing, because drug cases were lingering on the dockets, they were not a priority, so they hired two ADAs, two public defenders to work on drug cases. Then, a few years later, they began the treatment aspect of the drug court program. When I became DA in 2001, the human aspect of the program had been in place maybe about two years. It was kind of struggling, but I liked the concept, because it gave people the opportunity for treatment under a court order.

Transcript: JFP Interview with DA Candidate Michele Purvis

Interview by Adam Lynch

Mt. Olive, and I'm not a Jackson resident. I live in Clinton. I've lived in Clinton about three years.

Transcript: JFP Interview with DA Candidate Robert Smith

Interview by Adam Lynch

How old are you?I'm 36.

A-1 Pallets Silent Protest Friday, July 27, from 10 AM to 12 PM

PROTEST THEME: "Leave A-1 Pallets Alone"

We will be on Mill St near A-1 Pallets. We will remain on the sidewalk and not stand on private property. If you wish to participate, please feel free to join in and bring a picket sign. Signs should says things that are related to the cause. No name calling, profanity or other personal attacks. I will have a few signs already made if you need one. I suggest coming 30 minutes early so we can all start together and on time.

Monday, July 23

Jackson 2000: ‘DA Q&A' Audio

Better late than never, here's the audio from the Q&A with Hinds D.A. candidates Robert Schuler Smith, Michele Purvis and incumbent Faye Peterson at a lunchtime program at Schimmel's Restaurant that was put on by Jackson 2000.

Sunday, July 22

Was Goliath all that?

My pastor's focus on Goliath this morning got me to thinking about his description of the infamous "giant" and how his interpretation applies to some of the things I've seen the JFP deal with.

Tammy Faye Messner loses battle with cancer

Messner passed away Friday morning. She was 65.

Friday, July 20

UPDATED: Mayor's Summer Youth Camp Schedule

Update: Here's a PDF of the liability and media releases that parents had to sign in order to send their kids to Melton's camp this week.

Oh My God!!! Is Hip Hop Gonna Be blamed for Everything??

Oh Brother....(sigh) This is an excerpt from

Earlier this week on Bill O'Reilly's daily Fox News show, the O'Reilly Factor, the Humane Society blamed DMX, Jay-Z and hip-hop for promoting dog-fighting culture in America. Recently, NFL player Michael Vick, quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly participating in a dog-fighting ring. Surprisingly, John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues for the Humane Society, drew a connection between Vick's case and hip-hop. "The growth in dog fighting has been largely fueled by some elements in the popular culture, specifically some rap videos," Goodwin told O'Reilly. "For example, there is a rapper named DMX. He has a CD named Grand Champ. There is a big pit-bull on the cover and the booklet that comes with the CD describes a champion as a three time winner of dogfights. There is Jay-Z, who had a music video called "99 Problems." The unedited version had scenes of him handling a dog in a dog fighting pit."

JFP Radio on WLEZ - Noon Friday

Download the show: JFP 7/20/07

Tune in today at noon for the return of Radio JFP on WLEZ, 103.7 FM, or listen online at live at noon. The show will be podcast later if you miss it.

ARTICLE: Nigerian elected first Black mayor in Ireland

Congratulations to Rotimi Adebari, the first black mayor of Portlaoise, Ireland.

Thursday, July 19

Lott Votes Against Child Healthcare Expansion

This from the NYTimes this afternoon:

Wednesday, July 18

Is Ron Mexico One Sick Puppy?

Amazing SportsBlog readers have already started talking about Falcons QB Michael Vick's indictment Tuesday on a federal conspiracy charge related to alleged dogfighting. The Smoking Gun provides the complete indictment with all its disgusting details.

Abused Girls Sue State

The top administrator of Columbia Training School directly ordered that girls be shackled at the ankles for as long as a month, in violation of state policy and federal law, and at least one male guard sexually abused a female student, with staff then ignoring complaints about the abuse.

Nashville Chicken Feathers

Nashville has always, and will forever be, the country music capital of the world. Even though I had never been there before, I knew this was true as soon as I arrived on Interstate 40 from Memphis. Signs sprinkled with music notes welcomed me to the "Music Highway," and no matter how often I scrolled through the radio stations, the only music mixing with the air conditioning was country.

So Many Reasons for Riesling

When I first began drinking wine, I dived right in to big, fat reds: Cabernet, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and the like. Whites weren't on my radar; I thought they were beneath a real wine drinker. Little did I know. … Then I found Riesling. That elegant, versatile grape brought me back from the dark side. My first experience with Riesling was sweet, but it can also be made off-dry or bone dry, as well as in a sparkling version.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Pro baseball, Jacksonville at Mississippi (7 p.m., Trustmark Park, Pearl, 930 AM): Get your drink on and watch the M-Braves face the Suns. … Semipro baseball, Mississippi Semipro Tournament (schedule TBA, Smith-Wills Stadium, Jackson): If you think you've seen everything in baseball, you should see this. Continues through Monday.

Jannie Johnson

Jannie Johnson teaches children in the same one-room Madison County schoolhouse that her grandfather built 85 years ago. Inspired by her late father, herb doctor Seth Ballard Sr., and the philosophy engraved on his tombstone—"do right and go straight"—Johnson decided to meet a need: to ensure that neighborhood kids received education despite segregation.

‘Lower Lake': A Good First Step

Frankly, I was a little surprised to hear the news this week that the Rankin-Hinds Pearl Flood and Drainage Control District has selected a new flood-control plan for the Pearl River called the "Lower Lake" plan. The plan is very much a compromise solution in a battle that has waged for nearly 30 years over flood control on the Pearl River. And it's a plan that may be a solid step toward success.

Primary Decides Winner in District 26

Senate District 26 is a sprawling giant compared to neighboring Districts 27 and 28. It swaggers over the northern and western portions of the capital city and expands as far west as Bolton and Edwards. It's a largely rural district, but has urban pockets filled with people who love their politics.

Council Delays $75 Million Project

In a startling development, four council members voted to withhold a decision approving a $75 million construction project in Ward 3, even though the delay could put the project at risk.

'Nobody's Puppet'

Candidates for the Hinds County District Attorney's office spoke at a Jackson 2000 forum at Schimmel's last week, taking questions from audience members.

Party at Melton's House

The Jackson Free Press broke the story online July 11 that Jackson Mayor Frank Melton was planning a Friday-the-13th fund raiser at his home for sheriff's candidate and city spokesman Tyrone Lewis.

Civil Rights and the Blues

The ACLU of Mississippi is having its annual membership meeting at the 930 Blues Cafe, on North Congress Street, on Friday, July 20, at 6 p.m. The ACLU will honor Jackson Advocate Publisher Charles Tisdale and exonerated Parchman inmate Cedric Willis, who spent 12 years in prison after a botched trial.

This Election, Demand Real Answers

Every election season, in the few weeks leading up to a major vote, the Jackson Free Press gets a front-row seat for the way candidates tend to run for office in this state. We hear very little from the candidates in the months before the election, and then about three weeks before the big day, everyone crowds the dance floor like bridesmaids lining up to catch the bouquet.

[Stiggers] A Terrible Thing

Brotha Hustle: "Welcome to the grand opening of the United Ghetto Science University, Vocational School and Community College Fund headquarters, located at the new Clubb Chicken Wing business complex.

No. 35, July 18

<b><em>I'm Not Jealous</b></em>

So, I am at home tonight and, from another room, my husband yells, "I love Donna Ladd!" Just earlier he informed me that the latest Jackson Free Press contained the article, "The Mayor and His Women" (Editor's Note, July 12-18, 2007). Am I jealous because of this outburst? No, I am thankful to Donna, once again, for reporting and explaining the ridiculous state of affairs in which we find ourselves.

[Mott] The Business of Bliss

I can't tell you the plot of the 1,453rd episode of "Law & Order" I watched last night. I can't tell you about most of the TV I've watched because I usually don't commit too many brain cells.

Mal Tiempo, Buenas Caras (Bad Times, Good Faces)

Photos by Cheree Franco and Matt Saldaña

José Bacallao stares into a boarded-up restaurant on the edge of a Highway 90 strip mall in Waveland, a tiny town in southwestern Mississippi that was the epicenter of one of the strongest, and deadliest, hurricanes in United States history. Nearly two years ago, Hurricane Katrina destroyed everything inside the building, along with a great stretch of the Mississippi Coast and New Orleans. The only evidence that the bare, gray building was once the site of Las Palmas, the traditional Cuban restaurant Bacallao opened two years before the storm hit, is a poster taped inside the glass door. On it, a dancing Cuban woman in a Tropicana nightclub dress swings her hips and shakes a pair of maracas, a bright flower perched in her hair.

Amnesty For Gang Bangers?

During the recent national debate over the since-failed Senate immigration bill, pundits like conservative talk-radio host Kim Wade misrepresented the compromise bill as an "amnesty" for illegal immigrants. Partly because of this misrepresentation, many American citizens disparaged undocumented immigrants like Guadalupe Silva who demanded both human rights and a recognition of their rebuilding efforts.

NYT: Mississippi Ruling a ‘Racial Split'?

The New York Times has a piece today called "In Mississippi, Ruling Is Seen as a Racial Split" (photograted by none other than one of the JFP's star photogs, Kate Medley):

Serving the Blues

What is the problem with food manufacturers? This morning I checked out the daily email from one of my favorite green Web sites and the subject was energy drinks. "Oh, goody," I thought. Yesterday was a 13-hour day, and I can use some energy this morning.

Tuesday, July 17

ARTICLE: Morgan crowned Miss Mississippi 2007

Kimberly Morgan, Miss Heritage, is the second African American in history to receive the honor. The first was Toni Seawright in 1987.

UPDATE: Taylor's Mom—‘Kids Will Be Kids'

The mother of a 17-year-old housemate of Mayor Frank Melton excoriated* the county today at a press conference in front of the Hinds County Courthouse. Youth Court* ordered that Taylor be re-arrested earlier today on armed carjacking charges after Youth Court mistakenly released him earlier this year.

Ledger Edit-Boyz on ‘the Peter Principle'

If I were the gentlemen over on The Clarion-Ledger's editorial board, I don't think I'd be talking publicly about the problem of incompetence at the tops of organizations. Just sayin'. Here's the beginning of their editorial today on the topic; Do the edit-boyz really not see the passive-ridden irony here!?!

BREAKING: Michael Taylor Back in Jail

Sheriff Malcolm McMillin told the Jackson Free Press this morning that a young friend of Mayor Frank Melton is again on the way to the Hinds County Jail in Raymond. Michael Taylor, who hid from authorities in Melton's home for more than a year after being charged in a 2005 business robbery, is back in the system after being subpoenaed to answer questions about alleged drug use in the jail.

Monday, July 16

UPDATED: Levee Board Approves ‘One Lake' Plan, Not ‘Two'

Members of the Rankin-Hinds Pearl Flood and Drainage Control District held a press conference this afternoon at the Mississippi TelCom Center, where chairman Billy Orr announced that the District has selected a flood control plan for Metro Jackson, called the "Lower Lake" plan. The plan will incorporate nearly all the levees recommended in the Comprehensive Levee Plan that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers created in the mid-1990s, but adds a weir to the Pearl River just south of I-20, causing the Pearl to flood and form a single lake from I-20 to just north of Lakeland Drive, across from downtown Jackson.

Sunday, July 15

Make Your Own Pet Food

Ever since the pet food recall, I've been worried about what my cat, Sunshine, and my mom's dog, Midnight, have been eating. I've been reading labels to avoid anything with gravy so I can avoid wheat gluten, and even if there is no gravy, I still read the can to see if there is wheat gluten in it. I decided to buy a dog food recipe e-book so that I can make my own safe-to-eat vittles.

Protect Yourself From Auto Burglary

Why am I typing this at 4:30 AM? My sister called and said that someone broke into her van and stole her car radio. Before you say, "I'm leaving Jackson," listen closely.

Friday, July 13

Jackson Developer Nervous over Council Vote

Update July 16, 2007: The zoning committee of the Jackson City Council today voted to delay a $75 million development by the Jackson Medical Mall. People over the project fear the 30-day delay could essentially kill the project. Councilmen Leslie McLemore, Kenneth Stokes, Frank Bluntson and Charles Tillman voted to hold the project. Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon disagreed.

Thursday, July 12

Painfully Pretty

Beauty can be dangerous for a clumsy girl who is willing to sacrifice a few moments of comfort for beauty.

Wake Up Jackson Silent Protest - POSTPONED

We will be standing on Mill Street near A-1 Pallets with protest signs beginning at 10 AM. Please feel free to join us. We'll probably be there for a couple of hours depending on the weather, etc.

The Guest Worker Gaffe

In my first immigration column on JackBlog -- a posting that unleashed a lengthy, and at times hateful, dialogue about immigration -- I had initially intended to discuss one aspect of the proposed (and since failed) immigration reform bill: the guest worker program. The Southern Poverty Law Center released an in-depth report on that program, which many have compared to modern-day slavery, on the eve of the bill's failure. The report sheds some light on one of the darkest aspects of the bill, and helps explain why some -- who were not virulently anti-immigrant -- were actually against many of the bill's provisions.

Pat Fordice has died.

I'm waiting for more info, but I just saw the announcement on WJTV. I'll get back to you.


Wednesday, July 11

The Mayor and His Women

It bugged the hell out of me when I got an e-mailed press release from Police Chief Shirlene Anderson's office late on July 3 with this subject line: "Chief Shirlene Andersons wants citizens to have a happy and safe Fourth of July Holiday… ."

Taylor and the Law: Together Again

Hinds County District Attorney Faye Peterson has told the Jackson Free Press that a 17-year-old companion of Mayor Frank Melton needs to post a $250,000 bond in order to avoid returning to jail. Hinds County Youth Court released Michael Taylor, 17, on May 29 due to an administrative error, the D.A. said.

Michael Taylor Timeline

Dec. 4, 2005: Allegedly commits armed robbery of Headliners Barber Shop with Fredrica Brunson—also known as Jermaine Butler.

Auditor's Race: Lawyers vs. Accountants?

State Auditor Phil Bryant is leaving a vacuum in the auditor's office that three Democrats are fighting to fill.

New Jail, New Costs

The Hinds County Board of Supervisors walked out without a decision on the size of a new jail this morning. Supervisors are tossing around the idea of a proposed regional jail housing 200 state inmates, as opposed to a jail capable of housing 300 prisoners.

Only If It's One Way

On Tuesday, June 26, Mayor Frank Melton entertained Gov. Nguyen Van Cuong of the Hung Yen Province of Vietnam, and thought it fitting that the visiting diplomat should have dinner at Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant in Flowood.

Another Reprieve for Pallets

The Jackson Historic Preservation Commission voted Tuesday to save A-1 Pallets on Mill Street from city wrecking balls.

A Loud Voice Silenced

Jackson Advocate owner and publisher Charles Tisdale died July 7* after complications with diabetes. Tisdale, 80, fell into a coma during a routine dialysis at the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Veterans Affairs Medical Center and was on life support until family members removed him.

Rambling Into Year 3

The eve of the two-year anniversary of Mayor Frank Melton's mayorship was emblematic of Melton's time in office. On July 3, the mayor sat in on a council sharply divided between independents and Melton loyalists and unleashed a round of apologies, threats, ramblings and fiery allegations at the Jackson Public School system.

C-L: This Political Cycle, Try Actual Reporting

We know that asking The Clarion-Ledger not to cover the upcoming primary like it was going to be held in Louisiana Downs is like asking a Palmetto bug to stay off the porch on a warm, rainy Mississippi night. But we have to try.

[Stiggers] Eatin' Green with Rev. Vegan

Mr. Announcement: "Welcome to 'Planting Seeds of Thought' with Rev. Vegan of the Vegetarian Church International. This program is brought to you by Scooter Libby's Freedom Juice: If it says 'Libby' on the label, you're pardoned and free to go! Ghetto Science Radio presents the vegetarian preacher, Rev. I.M. Vegan."

No. 34, July 12

<b><em>Overturning Brown</b></em>

The U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling makes one shudder at what else might be coming for minorities and women. It was the enforcement of school integration under the Johnson administration that set off white riots and murders generating the revulsion that resulted in passage of the Civil Rights Voting Act. Of course, it also resulted in the peculiar educational landscape of Mississippi, dominated by private academies and starved of funds for public education.

[Isbister] What About Women Musicians?

As I left my office June 15, I had a heavy heart. Everyone was getting ready for Jubilee!JAM—the barricades were going up and parking had been a nightmare for two days.

Stop Supporting Abuse, Governor

Patrick Gregory, DHM, sent the following letter to Gov. Haley Barbour on July 2, 2007.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Pro football, Toronto at Calgary (6 p.m., CSS): See how our neighbors to the north do it in the Canadian Football League. Former Ole Miss running back John Avery plays for Toronto.

Dashed Dreams

The NBA Draft was held in New York City a couple of weeks ago and was televised, as all professional sports drafts are these days, on ESPN. I found myself compelled to watch—not to see players' dreams of glory and riches become fulfilled by signing contracts with NBA teams, but rather to watch them plummet to the no-man's land of the second round. My target for a draft-day upset this year was Duke's Josh McRoberts.

The Road Trip Issue

For some, a vacation just isn't a vacation unless they get on a plane, take a cab to a resort and spend their days baking at the pool. Putting aside the fact that I am the whitest human being on the planet—I turn a brilliant shade of cooked-crab red after 30 minutes in the sun—and bathing suits are my mortal enemies, that just sounds boring. Give me a good car, a good map and a convivial, adventurous traveling companion any time.

The Road Trip Issue: Sidebar Stories

<b><em>Traveling with Munchkins</b></em>

You know it's coming, and you know that once it starts, it may never end. It's the dreaded, "Are we there yet?" whine coming from the back seat. There are things you can do to keep your precious darlings occupied on a car trip. All it takes is some strategic planning and packing. Here are a few tips from and the AOL travel Web site:

BREAKING: Invite Suggests Melton Fundraiser for Sheriff Candidate

A document (PDF, 40 KB) received via fax by the Jackson Free Press makes it appear that Jackson Mayor Frank Melton is planning a fundraiser at his home for Hinds County Sheriff candidate and city spokesman Tyrone Lewis.

Purvis: ‘Melton Did Not Put Me in the Race'

Jackson 2000 held a district attorney candidate forum today at noon at Schimmel's. The Jackson Free Press moderated, asking questions provided by audience members. We will have a full report on the event later today, and with any luck, a podcast of all of the comments. Meantime, here is a press statement candidate Michele Purvis sent out this morning, stating that Melton did not ask her to run. It is important to note that she blames the district attorney for putting that information out there. To our knowledge, the D.A. has not initiated those statements, which she denied doing at the forum, although Sheriff Malcolm McMillin told Adam Lynch last week that Melton has put up the two Democrats running against him, as well as the district attorney. Here is Purvis' statement:

Monday, July 9

Police Chief's Work-Camp Plans Under Fire

The Jackson City Council today requested that Police Chief Shirlene Anderson remove some Beasley Road property from her list of candidates for a misdemeanor work camp. The property currently houses Ekklesia Christian Academy, and three council members said they had suffered a barrage of calls from angry city residents saying a work camp at the Beasley Road location does not fit in with the surrounding neighborhood. Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin attended the 10 a.m. special council meeting regarding the work camp, and called the city's drive to push a work camp, "unnecessary."

Rob in Stereo: I Like Everything!

You're out at a bar on Saturday and start talking to a smart, funny and good-looking girl. You go back and forth discussing your favorite movies, authors and television shows. You like "Star Wars"; she likes "When Harry Met Sally." You like Hunter Thompson; she likes Charles Dickens. You like "The Sopranos"; she likes "My Super Sweet Sixteen." You laugh at the obvious gap in your tastes but don't for a second think it will affect your budding relationship. Then you ask her what music she likes.

OK, Class: What's Wrong with THIS Story?

You get two points for every problem you can point out with this little ditty in The Clarion-Ledger about all the shootings that have been happening "near" Hamps. Have fun and read closely.

Sunday, July 8

Short Political Quiz

...and I do mean SHORT. Check it out.

My results:

Saturday, July 7

Wake Up Jackson Blog Contest

If you would like a free bumper sticker, keep reading.

There is an entry on the

Friday, July 6

The Ledger's Co-Dependency with Frank Melton

One wonders where The Clarion-Ledger edit-boyz came up with this lead to their editorial berating their mayor for doing, pretty much, exactly what he indicated he would do during the campaign:

Rudy: What a Hypocrite

So now the man who ran an entire crime-fighting plan with gun control at its base is now a "strict constructionist" when it comes to the Second Amendment. You know what I always say: Never trust anyboddy who brags about being a strict constructionist. That's second only to: Never trust a mind who tells his wife he's divorcing her on TV. Link.

BREAKING: Taylor Headed Back to Jail?

Sources inside Hinds County say a 17-year-old companion of Mayor Frank Melton may need to turn himself back in to Hinds County authorities due to an administrative error regarding his failure to post bond.

Save the 4 Letter Words for the Afterparty

A stylish and sophisticated image can be shattered with bad manners and a potty-mouth.


Thursday, July 5

BREAKING: McMillin Requests Subpoena for Michael Taylor

Melton inadvertently got his 17-year-old live-in companion subpoenaed before a 2nd District grand jury this morning.

Melton: ‘I'm An Expert Swimmer and All That ..."

A hasty council vote to select a new president delivered predictable results last Tuesday, as two deeply divided factions squared off against one another. The meeting also featured a mayor who apologized, threatened, cajoled, rambled and alleged that two of the young men who live in his own house had affairs with their Jackson Public Schools teachers.

Still Need Your Help…Czech Republic Trip Approaches

Greetings all, Just back from a whirlwind few weeks in D.C., Atlanta, and soon to be New Orleans and Ohio attending conferences, doing shows,and fundraising. Our big trip to the Czech Republic is fast approaching and we're short of our goal. We're lacking about $2800 and we need you...JFP readers to help us make this dream tour a reality. Responses have been disappointing from the hometeam but here's the chance to make up. We have until the last week in July to make the grade please..PLEASE contact Jaro Varek at 601 212 8956 or at [e-mail missing] to send in your donations. Don't make me start calling out you regulars LOL!

Wednesday, July 4

Beyond Bizarre

I was recently reminded of a dinner incident from when I was a kid. My mother, her friend Bill and I went to eat at my grandparents' house. In the middle of dinner, my Papaw noticed that Bill was cutting his English peas in half before he ate them and asked why. Bill looked up and slowly replied, "Sir, that way they won't roll off my fork."

A Boy and His Mailbox

In "Glorious Mail," Mississippi natives J.D. Evermore and co-writer/co-producer Alice Walker tell the story of Cesar Nutley Willingham IV, an antiques dealer, community theater actor and flamboyantly green-eyeshadowed homosexual from Sinnaville, Miss. Willingham's good friend and artist, Kymeleon Cockerham, has given him a special birthday present: a mailbox.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Pro baseball, Chattanooga at Mississippi (7 p.m., Trustmark Park, Pearl, 930 AM): It's Thirsty Thursday at the yard, and all 16-ounce beverages are $1. And the first 1,000 fans receive T-shirts bearing the likeness of former M-Braves worthy Jeff Francouer.

Robert Walters

Like a performer on stage, Robert Walters, 24, spent the last school year entertaining and engaging students in his U.S. government class. A first-year teacher at Lanier High School, he is passionate about civics and young enough to relate that passion to his students.

The Other Ridgeway Incident

This week, I will begin a journey across the hemispheres to Auckland, New Zealand. I am moving for reasons that begin with my parents' departure for Auckland nine months ago and end with a baby in California, but I'll spare you the several pages I would need to explain.

Three Candidates Vying for Ward 1

Three Ward 1 residents are jumping up to replace former Council President Ben Allen, since the councilman retired over health issues June 22. Allen abruptly resigned his post days after reporting chest pains, saying his doctor had advised him to reduce his stress level.

Campbell Takes on Fleming

Rep. Erik Fleming, 42, is defending his seat against challenger Kimberly Campbell in the District 72 Demo-cratic primary this year. Fleming has held the post since 1999, and he said he has too many things to finish to leave.

Back to the Past?

Spanking could be on its way back to Jackson Public Schools if some board members have their way.

Dealing Racism in the Immigration Game

WJNT talk radio host Kim Wade, inflamed by Sen. Trent Lott's support of an immigration compromise bill that failed last Thursday, partnered with NumbersUSA—a self-described "immigration-reduction organization"—to deliver a signed petition against immigration reform to Lott's Jackson office on June 19. On June 28, 53 U.S. senators successfully voted to halt any reconsideration of the bill.

Alert the Media: Council Agrees

The Jackson City Council at least temporarily agreed on something when they voted Monday to confirm three mayoral picks for top city positions. Council members Frank Bluntson, Charles Tillman, Kenneth Stokes and Margaret Barrett-Simon voted to confirm Assistant Chief Vernon Hughes as fire chief in a 4-to-0 vote, with Marshand Crisler abstaining.

Living Wage Protest at Clinton Wal-Mart

Several grass-roots organizations joined together on Tuesday in front of the Clinton Wal-Mart on Highway 80 to rally in support of a living wage. The group, comprised of members of the People's Freedom Caravan, protested against low wages and a lack of health coverage for Wal-Mart employees.

The 50-State Strategy Should Include Us

A poll recently conducted by the New York Times, CBS and MTV showed that Americans aged 17-29 lean toward the political left. The poll found that 54 percent of young Americans plan to vote for a Democrat for president in 2008, and, overall, that age group gives President Bush a 28 percent approval rating.

[Stiggers] Captain Cutback Strikes Again

Mr. Announcement: "He's faster than a job outsourced overseas, more powerful than a mass firing, able to leap over a crowd of disgruntled, downsized middle-class workers in a single bound. Look, in the board room! It's a callous CEO! It's a pink slip! No, it's Captain Cutback and his sidekick Price Gouger.

No. 33, July 3

<b><em>A Smoke-Free Jackson?</b></em>

Starkville, Tupelo, Oxford, Hattiesburg and, most recently, Ridgeland have done it. They've all passed smoke-free workplace laws that include restaurants and bars, and have thus taken a stand for the health of their communities. My question is: When will Jackson strengthen its smoke-free ordinance to be in line with other cities?

[Mott] Some People Talkin'

Brian Johnson, Matt Saldaña and I passed the pages of "We Are Family"—last week's cover story about Shirley Beach's journey from racism—between us last week, proofing and correcting them. Brian read them first, then passed the pages to Matt as he finished, and then Matt passed them on to me. Donna watched us all, inserting telling facts as we went, calling Shirley Beach to get just one more question answered, hovering like a new mother while we "doctors" corrected and polished and made it fit. What a story.

A New Sheriff In Town?

Photos by Brian Johnson, Roy Adkins, Nate Glenn, Darren Schwindaman, and Jaro Vacek

Sheriff Malcolm McMillin is familiar with opposition, having faced it and triumphed in repeated elections since he was first elected sheriff of Hinds County 16 years ago.

Tuesday, July 3

Placebo Xtended Play

With a storied ten-year history, the darkly romantic and musically adventurous PLACEBO (Brian Molko – vocals and guitar, Stefan Olsdal – bass, and Steve Hewitt – drums) has grown into one of the biggest and best international rock bands on the globe influencing such young bands as My Chemical Romance, Panic! At The Disco, AFI and Aiden. They have collaborated with David Bowie, Michael Stipe, Robert Smith, and Frank Black and headlined festivals all over Europe, South East Asia, and South America. Their most recent album, Meds, is described by the band as a back-to-basics project with the elemental feeling of a first album. Following the path paved by their previous million selling albums, Meds went Top 10 in 21 countries and reached No. 1 status in France, Mexico, Austria, Greece, Chile, Switzerland, and Belgium.

‘Chief Shirlene Andersons (sic) wants citizens ...

... to have a happy and safe Fourth of July Holiday ...'

No, that's not a typo, at least not on our part. The chief's office sent that e-mail with that exact subject line today. Here's the rest of the e-mail, verbatim:

Rob In Stereo

You're out at a bar on Saturday and start talking to a smart, funny and good-looking girl. You go back and forth discussing your favorite movies, authors and television shows. You like "Star Wars"; she likes "When Harry Met Sally." You like Hunter Thompson; she likes Charles Dickens. You like "The Sopranos"; she likes "My Super Sweet Sixteen." You laugh at the obvious gap in your tastes but don't for a second think it will affect your budding relationship. Then you ask her what music she likes.

Revival time

Football fever is heating up in Mississippi. Soon thousands of fans of the Big Three will converge on Jackson for an athletic equivalent of the church revivals that used to be a summertime staple in the South. Unlike those events, most of the attendees at the college events will be hanging on the speakers' every word.

Where have the Mississippi Democrats gone?

Mississippi leads the list - or is at the bottom - on many national statistics.

Our educational system lends many of our young people to opt out of graduation for a life on the streets or perpetual poverty.

BREAKING: Council Splits 3-3 Over President Pick

This morning, the Jackson City Council split into predictable factions over who to appoint as Council President to take the place of Ward 1 Councilman Ben Allen, who stepped down June 22, citing health issues. On one side were unwavering supporters of Mayor Frank Melton—Frank Bluntson, Charles Tillman and Kenneth Stokes—who voted to promote Bluntson, a long-time friend of Melton, into the president's seat. On the other side were Margaret Barrett-Simon, Marshand Crisler and Leslie McLemore, who voted for McLemore to take over the presidency. The McLemore faction consists of consistent critics of Melton, who they believe is putting the city at risk of lawsuits and other legal actions with his actions and policies.

First-Half Champs M-Braves to Host All-Star Game in Pearl

The Mississippi Braves seem to have come of age as a franchise this season. In the Class AA club's third season in Pearl since moving from Greenville, S.C., the M-Braves won the Southern League South Division first-half championship, the team's first title in Mississippi.

Monday, July 2

City's War on Sex Toys Is Back

Just when you thought that the Jackson Police Department isn't up to the challenge posed by escalating crime, they prove you wrong. Per The Clarion-Ledger tonight:

Charles Tisdale: RIP

From WAPT:

JACKSON, Miss. -- Jackson civil rights leader Charles Tisdale is in critical condition and on life support at a local hospital, officials confirmed Monday.

A New Sheriff? JFP Interview with Malcolm McMillin

My opposition in this race, their mantra is, "It's time for a change." Not that I've done a bad job, but that it's time for a change, just a change in the leadership. He hasn't said anything that he would do any differently, except that he would try to get along better with the board of supervisors. I've said in the past that I might even step down if it meant seeing him actually get along with the supervisors, just to see him try.

A New Sheriff? JFP Interview with Tyrone Lewis

I come from a family of six kids—two sisters, three brothers. And my mother and father still live, and still reside in this neighborhood I grew up in. I had a good childhood.

A New Sheriff? JFP Interview with Lester Williams

In 1990 I transferred over to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. There I was primarily assigned to the DEA and the FBI on their task force, working in major investigations. During that time at the MBN I served as Commander of the Capital City Metro Narcotics Unit. That was between 1990 to 2004. I started out at the MBN working the motel/hotel and airport drug interdictions, but because of the quantities of drugs we were seizing and the currency, it often led into other major investigations, which resulted in me being assigned to the DEA or FBI task force for much of that time.

A New Sheriff? JFP Interview with Henry Grigsby

I do a little garden work, farming, and I haul a little timber. I live in Utica, out on Morrison Road. I've been a Hinds County resident for 24 years.

Bush Commutes Libby's Prison Sentence

My, isn't this predictable? One wonders what goodies Libby has in his safety-deposit box, eh?

Council Confirms Three Melton Appointments

Jackson City Council voted to confirm three mayoral picks for top city positions this morning. Council members Frank Bluntson, Charles Tillman, Kennneth Stokes, Margaret Barrett-Simon and Marshand Crisler voted to confirm Assistant Chief Vernon Hughes as fire chief with a 4-to-0 vote with Crisler abstaining.

This is a poem?

Welfare Poem

While using a search engine, I saw a "poem" on an e-zine where the owner of the site says that he or she is not the author. Well, I'll give the person some credit for that. It sounds like the poem came from an e-mail that has probably been circulating for years. You can't get more anti-immigration than this - as far as I know, anyway. And now, for your reading pleasure:

Wake Up Jackson Meeting Sunday, July 8

I look forward to seeing you.

There will be an informal meeting on Sunday, July 8th, at the Metrocenter Food Court from 3:00 to 5:00. This will give members a chance to get to know each other, and interested parties can ask questions or make suggestions. I will also be handing out business cards that you can give to friends and neighbors.

Sunday, July 1

The Jackpedia Reader Question of the Week

Here's this week's Question o' the Week:

Starting this week, the JFP is going to ask readers to help us with a question of the week for Jackpedia, the new collaborative wiki about Jackson. Your efforts will help us compile a special print edition of the JFP that will, in turn, collect all the coolest stuff going on in and around Jackson in one issue.