Stories for May 2007


Thursday, May 31

Parking Battle in Fondren

Businesses in Fondren are skirmishing over limited parking space in the area. Managers and owners of businesses in Fondren Corner say the owners of Lenny's Sub Shop, on the other side of Fondren Place, are cracking down on Fondren Corner patrons who use Lenny's parking.

Supreme Court Denies Green Motion

The Mississippi Supreme Court denied a motion from Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Tomie Green regarding sanctions against attorneys for Mayor Frank Melton, chief among them former Mayor Dale Danks.

Long-Time Clarksdalians Open New Retaurant and Blues Club

For years it has been a dream of Clarksdalians Charles Ledbetter and Tommy "Baby Boy" Strider to operate a local restaurant and blues club. On June 11th, these 2 life long friends will see this dream come true. "We both really believe in Clarksdale and the revitalization that's going on downtown. It seems like the right time to do it, and we can hardly wait to open the doors," said Ledbetter. "Besides, we're both blues lovers, and we love to eat."

City Directors Get Legal Training

The city of Jackson's department directors got legal training from State Auditor Phil Bryant's office yesterday.

Lou Dobbs: American Bigot

A few comments on my last blog about immigration made my heart pound with indignation in a way that felt oddly familiar. Was it the Jackson 2020-- a group dedicated to racial reconciliation-- meeting I attended where one woman described how illegal Puerto Ricans had "destroyed" her hometown in Massachusetts? (I had to laugh, because Puerto Ricans are legal U.S. citizens.) Was it that flare of hatred I have seen in people's eyes when they asked why Latinos didn't learn English? (As I commented on that blog-- it's certainly not out of spite. In fact, it would only willingly be out of stupidity. Not knowing English is a severe handicap, no matter where you live in the States.) It might have been both of these things, but more than anything it was the feeling I get whenever I see Lou Dobb's face, wrought with affected concern, on T.V.

Wednesday, May 30

A Letter to Caller Number One

"Why don't y'all just leave him alone?" The passion in the caller's voice was alarming. "He's an old man. Just leave him be. Let sleeping dogs lie." When I heard these words back in February, I stepped away from the sink where I was washing dishes and stood in front of my television, with suds dripping down onto my feet and the hardwood floors below. The anonymous caller was ranting to the hotline of a local news station, and the "old man" was James Ford Seale.

Seale the 'Last' Case? We Doubt It.

To fill space this weekend in The Clarion-Ledger's package on the James Ford Seale case, reporter Jerry Mitchell returned to a well from which he has drunk in the past with a story headlined "Seale Case Could Be Last of Its Kind." The article is a thinly disguised prognostication that seems to pander to a perceived demographic of readers who are "tired" of civil rights cases being brought to trial. But the article flies in the face of evidence that both the federal government and Mississippians intend to prosecute any of these old civil rights cases when the facts of the case warrant it.

This Won't Stay in Vegas

My honey and I flew off to Sin City to tie the connubial knot last week. Maybe I have had too much sun (a six-hour golf lesson in the desert will do it), but I have enjoyed being overwhelmed with casinos, contracts and individuals. The whole thing has been a learning experience, even a life lesson. There have been hostile cab drivers, inhospitable hospitality managers and pushy timeshare sales reps. But there have also been genuinely joyful strangers handing out $20 bills after hitting a jackpot, gushing couples walking down the Strip in myriad—but awesomely Vegas—wedding attire, and a host of our close family members living it up with the glee of children.

Cyber Wine

When I first became obsessed with learning all I could about wine, I subscribed to Wine Spectator, the premier publication on wines in the U.S. The problem was that I hardly read it, and when I did, I was often annoyed. The articles seemed to assume that the reader had unlimited funds to purchase futures of Bordeaux, dine at extravagant restaurants and invest in separate glassware for the many grape varieties. Sometimes, Wine Spectator is like a private men's club that requires a secret knock to enter. Granted, some of the wines on their "Top 100" are affordable. However, you can't always get those wines, which can make the list frustrating.

Transmitting Reflections

Roy Adkins and Jerri Sherer are familiar figures in the Jackson art scene. These talented artists, also a married couple, have opened their studio, Light and Glass, in the Old Capitol Green District (which is being redeveloped) on South Commerce Street.

Flat World, Deep Game

When reviewing a game like "Super Paper Mario," it's difficult to avoid comparing it to its predecessors. "SPM" is technically the sequel to the two "Paper Mario" games released on the N64 and Gamecube, which were loose continuations of "Super Mario RPG," a Square-made Super Nintendo gem. Despite this, "Super Paper Mario" is a whole new game, sharing only some of the elements of the original "trilogy." It's still a solid title, but the changes may be a bit much for a fan expecting the same kind of game.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Pro baseball, Mississippi Braves at Chattanooga (6:15 p.m., Chattanooga, Tenn., 930 AM): The M-Braves continue their series in the mountains. Don't miss the diorama, guys.

[Viewpoint] Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia

In the days since Rev. Jerry Falwell died, much has been written about his influence on politics, but relatively little has been written about his hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia—that is, his "fear of the number 666," a number the Book of Revelation calls "the mark of the beast."

Budget Crisis Deepens

The Jackson City Council voted this week in a special meeting to reduce the pay of two rejected department heads to their salaries before they were promoted to interim heads. Meanwhile, State Auditor Phil Bryant has begun an informal review of the city budget.

Battle for the Library

Phtoto by Roy Adkins

The Mississippi Center for Justice has made clear its desire to occupy the old library on 301 N. State Street. The group is offering to pay more than the appraised market value for the building, which has been heavily vandalized in the last few years, and the non-profit said in a press statement that it will not seek its exemption from property taxes if it comes to own the property.

‘Secret Hold' on Open Government Act

No Damages Against Melton

A Lauderdale County Circuit Court jury voted unanimously last Friday that former Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director Frank Melton should not have to pay damages after leaking a memo falsely incriminating two former MBN agents.

Greenwood Cop Trial Delayed a Year

U.S. Magistrate Judge Eugene Bogen has set July 7, 2008, as the trial date for the $2 million assault and battery and wrongful imprisonment suit against Greenwood Law Enforcement Trainee Casey Wiggins. Security cameras captured Wiggins twice pulling a gun on James Marshall, an unarmed 17-year-old, in a Greenwood High School teacher's lounge and crowded hallway last December.

Goodbye, Mrs. Chaney

It took 41 years, but Fannie Lee Chaney lived to see her home state mete out a degree of justice for the murder of her son, James Chaney, on Father's Day, 1964. She was born Fannie Lee Roberth on a farm in a community called Sand Flats near Meridian. She married Ben Chaney in 1940, had a daughter, Barbara, the next year, and then gave birth to James Earl Chaney on May 30, 1943, as recounted in the book "We Are Not Afraid."

[Stiggers] Stuck Like Chuck

Taaqweema Jenkins: "This is a Ghetto Science Team Television Network pre-Memorial Day news flash. In the wake of the gas price increase, The Sausage Sandwich Sisters (International Electric Slide Ambassadors for World Peace and Rent Money) will have a Memorial Day Electric Slide Protest Rally for World Peace and Gas Money. Here to speak on behalf of the Sausage Sandwich Sisters is Mo'tel Williams, super producer and board member of the Hair Did University Cold Wave, Pomade and Jheri Curl Council."

[Kamikaze] Tomorrow's Storms

As I sat and watched Fox News a few Sundays back, I had a moment of clarity.

Palm Intros ‘Foleo' Mobile Companion to Treo

Palm Inc. today announced the Foleo, a "mobile companion" designed to work with a Treo. The Foleo has a 10-inch screen and "full-sized" keyboard for answering e-mail received on your Treo, viewing attachments, surfing websites using the Treo's Internet connection and viewing photos taken with the Treo. The device communicates with the Treo via Bluetooth and can use either the phone for an Internet connection or its own built-in WiFi receiver. It's got Dataviz Documents-to-Go built in, so you can edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents that you receive as attachments via your Treo Versamail account or via other e-mail such as Gmail and Yahoo! mail.

Ladd: Why the Past Is Not Past

Read JFP Editor Donna's Ladd's cover essay this week about why Mississippians must continue "dredging up" the past—regardless of what the national, or local, media think about it.

Dredging Up the Past: Why Mississippians Must Tell Our Own Stories

It was warm under the mammoth magnolia tree on the north side of the Neshoba County Courthouse, just yards from where the Confederate soldier stood on his marble pedestal until a storm knocked him over and broke his arm off a few years back.

Tuesday, May 29

The Campaign Against BET: Is it too late for change?

While Black America continues the dialogue regarding the portryal of Black women in the media, I am concerned that we need to start taking action to support our opinions.

BREAKING: Ellis Hearing Officer Recuses

Charles McClelland recused himself as hearing officer from the Jackson Public Schools administrative termination hearing for Chastain Principal Michael Ellis this morning.

Monday, May 28

"Wake Up Jackson!" - Phase II

More features have been added to the official Web site, and I will meet with the members for the first time in June.

Women in Hip-Hop Speak Out: A Good Read

In light of the roundtable discussion at the Jackson Medical Mall on Tuesday. Thought Id bone up a bit.. As Im sure to have my a-- handed to me LOL, I was doing a little research and came across this interesting tidbit. It seems that some women in the hip-hop community feel as if they were left out of Oprah's town-hall discussion recently. Actually what I realized is that in all of this we have yet to really hear from the women who work at the labels or work directly in the business... and the female artists that do hiphop. And I haveto say I agree with many points they make here. I guess coming from folks who actually DO this music and better understand the biz, the points are clearer. Enjoy and discuss:

James Ford Seale Trial to Begin Wednesday

The federal kidnapping and conspiracy trial of former Klansman James Ford Seale is now set to begin Wednesday, May 30, with jury selection in a federal courtroom in Jackson. Seale is accused of kidnapping Charles Moore and Henry Dee, who were beaten and tortured by the Klan, and then dumped into an offshoot of the Mississippi River, prosecutors believe. The Jackson Free Press helped revive interest in the case in July 2005 by traveling back to Franklin County with Thomas Moore, the brother of Charles Moore, and a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. filmmaker, where the team discovered that Seale was still alive from two sources. That information helped convinced U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton to jumpstart the investigation, leading to indictments in January 2007. A full archive of the JFP's coverage of this case and other Klan activity in the area is available on the JFP's Road to Meadville blog. JFP reporters will be blogging daily about the trial on the same blog. The JFP's July 2005 original award-winning story about Moore's journey home, "I Want Justice, Too" is available here.

Saturday, May 26

SEC Tournament: Vandy KOs Ole Miss

Ole Miss won't be playing in the SEC Tournament championship game for a third straight year. Vanderbilt beat Ole Miss 7-6 in 10 innings on Saturday night, knocking the Rebels out of the tournament. Earlier Saturday, Vandy beat Ole Miss 13-1. The Commodores had to beat the Rebels twice on Saturday to advance to the title game.

SEC Watch: That's A Big Hog

From DEADSPIN: Meet Malcolm Sheppard, defensive tackle for the Arkansas Razorbacks. According to Loser with Socks, that's Malcolm one year ago, and Malcolm today (photo below). There have been instances in the past where fans of a rival team will photoshop a picture to make it look like a guy is 'roiding. Or maybe Malcolm just spends hours and hours every day in the weight room. I don't know. It could be perfectly natural. But damn.

College Baseball: USM Sent Home

Tulane knocked Southern Miss out of the CUSA Tournament on Friday by beating the Golden Eagles 6-2.

Friday, May 25

JFP on WLEZ Podcast Posted

Not my best work on the sound board and songs, but some interesting stuff about all the news that's fit to blog, plus an interview with principals from New Stage about Hank Williams: Lost Highway.

No Damages Against Melton

A Lauderdale County Circuit Court jury voted unanimously Friday that former Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director Frank Melton should not have to pay damages after leaking a memo falsely incriminating two former MBN agents. Questions Barbour's ‘Mississippi Miracle' today has a "hard look" into the job that Haley Barbour has done with Katrina recovery. Some interesting stuff in there, particularly about how slowly some of the non-casino counties are recovering, as well as some of the national emergency relief legislation that has been blocked by Republicans and now by the Bush veto.

ARTICLE: Jamaica's First Rastafarian Beauty Queen heads to be Miss Universe

When you hear the words "Miss Universe", do you picture a dark-skinned woman with waist-length dreadlocks? If not, Zahra Redwood is hoping to change all that at the Miss Universe Pageant Monday, May 28 at 8 PM on NBC.

Thursday, May 24

College Baseball: Ole Miss Wins; MSU, USM lose

Ole Miss scored five runs in the first inning and then held on for a 6-3 victory over Tennessee on the second day of the SEC Tournament at Hoover, Ala. The Rebels will get Friday off. They play next on Saturday.

Council Majority Fears Illegal Transfers

A majority of the City Council held a press conference today explaining their recent votes of no confidence in City Attorney Sarah O'Reilly-Evans and to withhold pay from two city employees.

MCJ Wants to Buy Old "White" Library in Downtown

[verbatim release] Mississippi Center for Justice Ready to Invest in Downtown Jackson - The Mississippi Center for Justice recently presented to city officials a proposal to purchase the old library building on State Street, site of the historic "read-in" by nine Tougaloo College students during the Civil Rights Movement.

Fashion, Freedom, and Feminism

Can feminists wear micro-minis and still be taken seriously?

The word feminist, as I understand it, describes a woman who believes in the right to make decisions about her life as an individual, not as a certain sex. To me, feminism can mean choosing to be a married woman staying home with five kids while her husband works, just as much as it can mean a woman who chooses not to have children and focus on a career. There are also many women who choose a life somewhere in the middle. The point is that it is all about choice. I choose to work and be home for my son at night, and I choose to get married. I also choose to wear very short skirts. Why does this make some women so angry?

Mardi Gras Closed

The Clarion-Ledger is reporting confirmation of something that has been pretty clear for the last month or so -- Mardi Gras, the downtown restaurant and club, is closing its doors. It's available for lease or sale.

Wednesday, May 23

CUSA Tournament: Eagles Win

Southern Miss scored six runs in the seventh inning and rallied for a 9-5 victory over Alabama-Birmingham Wednesday in the first round of the CUSA Tournament. The Golden Eagles play host East Carolina on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Drinking Wine with a Vulcan

Photos by Caroline Lacy

"You don't seem like the Trekkie type," people say. I suppose they are referring to my lack of computer skills or that I would much rather shop instead of argue over which "Star Trek" series had the best captain. I guess it's obvious to a life-long Trekkie that I have only been a fan for a relatively short time. It was only seven years ago since I saw an entire episode. I remember it well: I was 24, single and knocked up. I had moved back in with my mother and alcoholic stepfather on a horse farm in Athens, Ala. The only places to shop were Wal-Mart and Goodie's. I was in hell. I spent most of my time alone, hiding in my room, doing everything I could to avoid interaction with my stepfather in case the rum and Coke flipped on his meanie switch.

Ron Mills

If you've ever gotten frustrated spending 20 minutes of your lunch break looking for a parking spot in Fondren, then "Captain" Ron Mills is your man.

With A Good Intention

People come up and thank me all the time for being "daring." Or "courageous." Or "fearless." No, the Jackson Free Press is not particularly daring or courageous (although admittedly we can be a bit fearless now and then). We're just trying to do our job the best we can. Sometimes we succeed better than others. But "daring"? Not really. Unless you mean willing to risk angering an advertiser or a reader when we tell an unpopular truth.

BREAKING: Board Rejects Firefighter Examination

The Mississippi State Minimum Standards Board voted down a critical exam for the city of Jackson's class of firefighters today, saying the city had broken a standard rule while administering the Candidate Physical Ability Test.

Shish Your Kebabs

Recently, my husband and I went to a local Mediterranean restaurant with several friends. It was late, and everyone was starving, so we ordered an appetizer plate. As we passed plates and pita bread, words like "falafel," "hummus," and "zakeeki sauce" flew back and forth across the table. For just a moment, I leaned back in my chair and pondered how international we all sounded. Do young friends in Turkey gather together on Friday nights to try out pizza, burgers and diet Coke?

The Bitter Hooker

If you suddenly find yourself overtaken by a creepy feeling while drinking at George Street Grocery, it may be more than the alcohol affecting you. It might be the establishment's resident ghost, the Bitter Hooker.

So Cynical I Could Cry

Like Vincent Van Gogh and Jackson Pollack, few recognized the artistic genius of Hiram "Hank" Williams while he was alive. He was only 29 when he died in 1953, on his way to a gig in Canton, Ohio. Williams was a hell-raiser and a lover, an introvert with a keen sense of humor and his share of vices.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College baseball, Mississippi State and Ole Miss in SEC Tournament (times, opponents TBA, Hoover, Ala., CSS/620 AM/97.3 FM): Since they played each other in the first round on Wednesday, one of these teams will be in an elimination game. … Southern Miss in CUSA Tournament (time, opponent TBA, Greenville, N.C.) The Golden Eagles play in the second round.

A Hidden Tax Increase?

State Reps. George Flaggs, D-Vicksburg, and Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, are asking Gov. Haley Barbour to call a special session to address the state's rising college tuition costs.

Melton Budget 'Smoke and Mirrors'

The City Council cut short a budget session last week after the Melton administration failed to present detailed budget revisions.

The War on A-1

City code enforcement performed a site inspection of A-1 Pallets on Mill Street last week, one day after Municipal Judge Melvin Priester signed a search and inspection warrant for the business.

Open Season on George Dale

Anonymous opponents of Insurance Commissioner George Dale are circulating annual lobbyist's reports that show Dale's attorney, Greg Copeland, is a well-paid lobbyist for the insurance industry.

No Confidence in City Attorney

As the JFP goes to press, City Council is set to hold a vote of no confidence in City Attorney Sarah O'Reilly-Evans at the May 22 council meeting. Council members Margaret Barrett-Simon, Leslie McLemore, Marshand Crisler and Council President Ben Allen sponsored the resolution.

The Crime: May 2, 1964

The last time Mazie Moore ever saw her boy, 19-year-old son Charles, he was standing in front of Dillon's gas station on Main Street in Meadville, trying to thumb a ride with his friend, Henry Dee, also 19. Mazie had gotten a ride to the doctor and figured she would pick them up when she came back by there.

Proposed Work Program a Bust

This week, the U.S. Senate is considering comprehensive immigration reform that includes the creation of a new temporary worker program.

[Stiggers] Ghetto-Made

Bonqweesha Jones: "It's your favorite on-the-scene reporter, giving you the 411 on the low down faster than you can say 'War Czar!' I'm here with Bruh Sylvester, the controversial Christmas Missin' Toe artist, to talk about his new art exhibit titled 'Ghetto Dada Drama.'

No. 31, May 23 - 30

<b><em>All the Metro Dead</b></em>

Never again. With these words, the world community reacted to the Holocaust and all the horrors associated with it. With these words, the world community proclaimed its resolve to prevent those types of horrors from ever hap-pening again.

[Viewpoint] My Mississippi Delta

Being born in the Bolivar County hospital on a sweltering day in August is just about my chief claim to credibility as a writer. I was raised in the Mississippi Delta, which seems to produce writers and artists in staggering numbers. I have many ideas as to why this is true, but I've refused to write about the Delta much, because my feelings toward it run deep and very conflicted. There is great disparity in the Delta between the "haves" and the "have nots," although often it's only about who owns the seeds.

The Klansmen Bound: 43 Years Later, James Ford Seale Faces Justice

Photos by Matt Saldaña and Kate Medley

Shuffling behind a young black woman in an identical orange jumpsuit, James Ford Seale entered the fourth-floor courtroom of the James O. Eastland Federal Building in Jackson on Feb. 22 with shackles hanging loosely around his waist and ankles, and his hands cuffed in front of him. The 71-year-old retired cropduster from Roxie, Miss., wore thin wire glasses, orange sandals and thick white socks. The words "Madison County Jail" were printed across his slight, but well-postured back. He stood no taller than 5'8" and looked to weigh about 125 pounds, but he showed traces of his muscular past with a thick neck that recalled his open-collared mug shot from 1964—the year he was arrested and released weeks later for the murders of two black teenagers in Franklin County.

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To: Chick Ball Volunteers, Donors, Entertainers, and Supporters

Thank you for all your hard work that resulted in the "best-ever" Chick Ball. Donna and her gang at the Free Press have truly outdone themselves this year. These ladies have raised over $7000 for us up to this point, and the money is still coming in. Thank you also to every business and individual who donated an item for auction or raffle and to the entertainers who kept us mesmerized all evening. All these wonderful items and talent made the night even more special!

City Council Votes 'No Confidence' on City Attorney

City Council cast a vote of no-confidence in City Attorney Sarah O'Reilly-Evans at the May 22 council meeting, saying O'Reilly-Evans acts as if she works for the mayor rather than the city. "I've heard you say you work exclusively for the executive branch, and I know that's not the way state law has set that up," Councilman Marshand Crisler said to O'Reilly-Evans.

What's Wrong with Women?

The full blog entry nearly brought me to tears. An excerpt:

Joss Whedon, creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", has posted a blog entry about hatred of women, connecting the dots between "honor" killings of women and Hollywood glamorization of violence.

Tuesday, May 22

BREAKING: City Council Withholds Pay

The Jackson City Council voted Tuesday to freeze the pay for two high-ranking city employees, Assistant Chief Administration Officer Charles Melvin and Assistant Fire Chief Todd Chandler. The council voted 4-3 to amend the city's payroll and hold the pay to two employees that they say are employed illegally.

The Klansman Bound: The Crime

The last time Mazie Moore ever saw her boy, 19-year-old son Charles, he was standing in front of Dillon's gas station on Main Street in Meadville, trying to thumb a ride with his friend, Henry Dee, also 19. Mazie had gotten a ride to the doctor and figured she would pick them up when she came back by there.

The Klansman Bound: The Road to Justice (A Timeline)

Klansmen kidnap Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee, two African American teenagers in Meadville, Miss., beat them at gunpoint in a Mississippi national forest, and forcibly throw them into a backwater of the Mississippi River to die.

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt

"Anxiety Disorders can be Debilitating." The headline, from The Clarion-Ledger a few weeks ago, speaks volumes about the way we live our lives. Fear stops us in our tracks, making us into the proverbial deer in the headlights. Fear, whether in politics, medicine, marketing or media, can be crazy making. Pick up a paper, turn on a TV, go to the Internet; wherever you turn, someone is trying to scare you. Why? Because it works.

A Deal with el Diablo: The Immigration Bill's Dirty Fine Print

Much of this country's legislative history is built on compromise. Indeed, deal making among lawmakers has contributed to a robust, if sometimes flawed, system of American democracy. One of the most famous compromises in American history, the Missouri Compromise of 1820, delayed civil war but allowed human bondage to persist at a time when England, France and Argentina had already abolished slavery. In the immigration deal announced last week-- a dire example of the shortcomings of compromise--U.S. senators have proposed allowing the modern equivalent of indentured servitude, in the form of a temporary worker program, to persist in the 21st Century.

JPS Board Stalls on ‘Larkin-Gate' Contract

Members of the Jackson Public School board and City Council are delaying crucial votes in connection with a contract dispute over the school board's $150 million bond.

Asked to Tour/Perform in the Czech Republic: Need Your Help

Greetings all, Im blessed to have been asked to come perform in the Czech Republic later this summer on waht is being billed the 2007 Crunk Tour. Southern/crunk music has become huge overseas and as part of their annual HipHop Kemp Festival in Prague myself, DJ Phinaprint, Tony B., and a few other artists have been asked to come tour the country for a month. Last year Skipp Coon was the featured artist thanks to photographer extraordinare Jaro Varek and his overseas connects. Im honored and excited as I just applied for my passport today.

Monday, May 21

Busted: They like us! Er, no, they don't ...

Google Blogs Alert for: "jackson free press"

So a Google alert just popped up showing that the Mississippi Press Association had picked the thread on their sleepy blog about Gannett's Goliath distribution scheme as one of their "favorite posts" of the last year. I clicked over to take a peek and, poof!, it was already gone. Snicker. Betcha someone worried that the Ledger boyz would complain. And there is nothin' like corporate complainin'. Here's the post they ix-nayed. And here's the alert:

Melton in Meridian Courtroom, Again

Read the original breaking JFP story here. Ramping Up for Elections

And we're off ... !

The JFP's new statewide political site,, is starting to ramp up after a few months of beta bug testing (yes, it's faster now). We have a new political intern, Kate Royals of Millsaps College, who is loading up the site with candidate Web sites for statewide offices, as well as local county offices, as well as posting campaign and other state political news near daily. So head over to click to candidate sites, as well as comment on political races.

Non-White Population Grows in Mississippi

The Commercial Appeal is reporting:

Don't just dress to impress, dress to express

Wearing the wrong outfit makes me feel like someone else

I loved meeting so many interesting people at the chick ball. There were many outfits to be admired. I changed my mind about the dress I bought to wear that night at the last minute. I was determined to wear something pink which is a bit out of character for me. Several days before the chick ball, after searching all over town for something pink I actually liked, I found a short, pink, pleated skirt which immediately make me think of Audrey Hepburn and couldn't think of a better person to represent girlieness, especially with my love of old movies. I even bought some hair extensions so I could put my hair up in a huge Hepburn bun right on top of my head. I got the whole ensemble together and tried it on several times. It was cute. It was stylish. It was pink, but it just didn't feel right. I just can't wear pink, at least not that much of it. I don't fel like a grown-up. I could be wearing a hot pink stripper thong and still just feel unsophisticated. I couldn't do it. It just wasn't me. I'm much more Betty Page than I am Audery hepburn. So, out of time for shopping, I dug through the dep recesses of my closet and found a dress I bought months ago from Hudon's for 5 bucks. It was a bit snug at the time, but I bought it as a weight-loss motivator and it must have worked. I hesitantly tried it on, not wanting to be dissappointed, but lo and behold, it looked fabulous. I instantly felt gorgeous, sexy, and all grown up. This was definitely the dress. I called my boyfriend and said,"You know how I dragged you all over the place for days shopping for that perfect pink outfit you bought for me? Well, I changed my mind?" Being the incredible guy that he is and who knows me well enough to understand my intense love for fashion, was not upset at all. In fact, he even made sure we looked great together by picking out a suit that complemented my dress. I doubt he would have done that if I had worn pink though.I should have known not to try to force myself into a look. It never works. Style is not what you wear, it's how you wear it.

Sunday, May 20

How to Stir Up 'Holy Mischief'

"Speaking of Faith" had an amazing interview with young Christian Shane Clayborne this morning. I wasn't familiar with his work, or his book, but he was just breathtaking. The Tennessee native is a "new monastic," so to speak, and looks like a hippy. He grew up very conservative, but has turned away from the religious right (and criticizes the left as well for abandoning the important messages of faith). Long story short, he and a group of young people started a community in one of Philadelphia's (Pa.) poor neighborhoods after college, and are leading a "Simple Way" movement of getting back to what Christianity really is about—love and helping people. Really wonderful. Visit their Web site here. And go up read up on the "Speaking of Faith" interview with him and listen to it here.

Friday, May 18

SWAC Tournament: JSU Loses

Pack up the bats and balls, Jackson State's baseball season is over. The Tigers lost twice on Friday in the SWAC Tournament at Smith-Wills Stadium. Southern's 19-10 victory knocked the Tigers out of the tournament. Earlier, Prairie View pounded JSU 14-3. Southern also beat Alcorn State 11-3 on Friday.

Families to Replace Marker for Dee, Moore

Over at, C.W. is reporting about a memorial service to be held in Meadville on Memorial Day. The families of Henry Dee and Charles Moore will replace the memorial that Thomas Moore originally put up there on our original trip in July 2005, then had replaced a few months later after it was torn down (which Kate Medley and I covered and helped facilitate on Thomas' behalf then). That sign was torn down in January 2007 after the indictments were announced.

Watch "Dumped on Skid Row" on 60 Minutes Sunday, 5/20

From NAMI:

Are some Los Angeles hospitals simply throwing homeless patients out on the street after discharging them, literally dumping them on Skid Row -- even if they come from other places in Los Angeles and are in no condition to fend for themselves? While there have been allegations of hospital dumping for years, people only started paying attention recently, after several shelters installed special cameras on the street to try to capture the practice. Anderson Cooper's investigation will air this Sunday, May 20, on 60 MINUTES (7PM ET/PT on CBS). Check local listings to confirm.

Judge Denies Contractor on School Bond

Hinds County Chancery Court Judge Denise Owens denied a motion for a temporary restraining order against the Jackson Public School District this afternoon. Jackson business Integrated Management Services PA filed the order yesterday, trying to halt a Monday JPS board meeting. The board is likely to choose an IMS competitor to manage its $150 million bond at that meeting.

JFP Chick Ball Raises $7,000 for Domestic Abuse Victims

A preliminary count shows that the 3rd annual JFP Chick Ball raised just over $7,000 for the Center for Violence Prevention in Pearl. This amount was raised through direct donations, a $5 cover charge, $5 raffle tickets for 25 door-prize packages donated by local businesses, the sale of t-shirts purchased by the Jackson alumni chapter of Delta Sigma Theater sorority and a silent auction of art by dozens of artists and prize packages donated by businesses. Those prizes included diamond earrings donated by Carter Jewelers. The amount raised surpassed the total of the first two Chick Balls, which together raised about $5,000 for the center.

DA Candidate Michele Purvis on Radio JFP Friday

DA candidate Michele Purvis will be the guest on Radio JFP on WLEZ (103.7 FM) Friday at noon. You can also listen to the stream here.

Thursday, May 17

SWAC Tournament: JSU Wins Again

Jackson State moved into the semifinals of the SWAC Tournament with a 13-1 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Thursday. The loss ended the Delta Devils' season. JSU plays Prairie View on Friday at 11 a.m. If the Tigers win, they advance to the championship game on Saturday. If the Tigers lose, they play at 6:30 p.m. Friday against the winner of the Alcorn State-Southern game (2 p.m., Friday). The Braves beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 9-2 on Thursday.

Pigeons and Other Violations at A-1 Pallets

City code enforcement performed a site inspection of A-1 Pallets on Mill Street this morning, one day after Municipal Judge Melvin Priester signed a search and inspection warrant for the business.

3rd Annual JFP Chick Ball - Raised $7,000!

May 18 Update: The Chick Ball raised just at $7,000 for the Center for Violence Prevention!

Plan your outfits now for the JFP's 3rd Annual JFP Chick Ball on Thursday, May 17, in Hal & Mal's Red Room. This one will be the biggest Chick Ball, yet, with a full grrl-music line-up, an art auction, and lots of surprises. Starting this year, we'll be crowning the Diva of Bling (wear your shiniest outfit to compete) and choosing our Official Arm Candy, so guys, dress your best! Only $5 cover/$10 to qualify for door prizes.

Of Chick Balls and Big-Mouthed Women

Frank Melton called me a "big mouth" on Councilman Ben Allen's radio show Friday. Sitting in my bedroom listening as Todd showered, I couldn't help but laugh. Heartily. Loudly. You know, in that big-mouthed kind of way that scares people who fear strong women.

BONUS: Kaze's Hip Hop Hater of the Week: The R.N.C.

Yet another reason not to vote Republican....just kidding..not really LOL. Read

This from In a report just released today, the Republican National Convention had members of the hiphop community spied upon before their 2004 National convention in New York. Ironaically, one fo the names on their "list" was Alicia Keys? Whaaaa? Alicia Keys. Is she an undecover radical and not telling us? And of course officials tried to block the documents from becoming public but were forced to release the information. Ive told my colleagues for a long time that there are forces being set up to "watch" our moves. Officials have become increasingly leery of rappers and the power they wield to change politics. We are being watched. Unfortunately with the wirch hunt going on now, It gives more credence to their spying. and more lawful rappers will again get caught up in the wide net that they cast.

Wednesday, May 16

SWAC Tournament: JSU Wins

Jackson State defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 3-2 Wednesday in the first round of the SWAC Tournament at Smith-Wills Stadium. The Tigers will play Mississippi Valley State (a 10-0 loser to Prairie View) on Thursday at noon. Meanwhile, Southern defeated Alcorn State 2-1 on Tuesday. The Braves play Pine Bluff on Thursday at 8 a.m. You can find tournament Internet broadcasts and game recaps here.

BREAKING: Melton Budget 'Smoke and Mirrors'

The City Council cut short a budget session today after the Melton administration failed to present detailed budget revisions.

Get Wet On The Okatoma

As the sorority sisters from the University of Southern Mississippi began crashing through the rapid known as "the chute" on the Okatoma Creek, the guys in our Scout troop took notice.

The Yin and Yang of Health

Photos by Ronni Mott

Needles. The mere word reminds me of my last blood test when a clumsy nurse poked for a vein in my right arm, gave up and poked around some more in the left arm until she hit a vein. Not only was it jaw-clenchingly painful, I had bruises on both arms for two weeks.

Does It Hurt?

It's the first question people have about acupuncture, and I'm no exception. But you gotta do what you gotta do for a story, right? So, putting my fear aside, I booked a consultation with Jerusha DeGroote.

[Music] Chompin' At The Bit

Mckinney "WorkHorse" Williams Jr. has plenty to rap about. With an easy-going voice, the West Jackson native doesn't give you 16 bars of nursery rhymes. Instead, he conveys stories of what he has witnessed in the capitol city. "I got so much music in me that I literally dream songs," Workhorse writes on his MySpace blog. His mixtape "In the Future Volume II" is available at BeBop.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College baseball, Southern Miss at Houston (7 p.m., Houston, CSTV): USM begins its final C-USA series of the season and Golden Eagle fans finally get a chance to see their heroes on TV. Sort of. … Ole Miss at Arkansas (7 p.m., Fayetteville, 97.3 FM): The Rebels go to the Ozarks in danger of missing the SEC Tournament. … Pro baseball, Tennessee at Mississippi (7 p.m., Pearl, 930 AM): The M-Braves open a homestand against the Smokies. Is it still legal to call a team the Smokies?

Heather Wagner

Heather Wagner credits her mother, Jane Philo, with inspiring her career in victims' rights law. Now retired, Philo spent 23 years working with victims of domestic violence in Biloxi, and Wagner saw the results of abuse first hand. "When she came and picked me up from school, that's where I went, to the shelter," she says.

MySpace Sex Fiends

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, along with seven other state attorney generals, signed a letter Monday demanding that MySpace provide a list of sex offenders who use the online social networking site and explain the steps the company will take to alert both law enforcement officials and potential victims. In October 2006, Wired magazine published an article revealing that it had identified 744 sex offenders who use MySpace. However, the search could not identify sex offenders who either had not registered for sex crimes or used false information in their MySpace accounts.

Police Assaulted Boy, Mother Says

A Jackson mother alleges that a JPD officer threw her child against a police car and gave his face a cut that required 11 stitches.

Stiffing the Help

The Hattiesburg American reported last week that the Department of Labor is investigating a Jackson business owned by Rosemary Barbour, wife of Hinds County Supervisor Charles Barbour, a nephew of Gov. Haley Barbour.

Death Trailers

Recent Environmental Protection Agency testing of FEMA trailers reveals higher average levels of formaldehyde than was originally found by Sierra Club testing last year. EPA testing showed unventilated trailers were 12 times the EPA limit, and that even if the trailers were fully ventilated, toxic levels in the trailers would still be three times the EPA limits.

Transforming Lives

Domestic violence affects one in three women in their lifetimes, according to the Family Violence Prevention Fund. The staff at the Center for Violence Prevention is trying to quell the national and statewide epidemic of violence against women, particularly in the metro area, by transforming the lives of the women who come to them.

[Grayson] Our Way Of Life

When I was 16 years old, my friends talked me into going to a local teen dance club. I begged my grandmother to approve, and we were off. I spent all evening getting dolled up for my first club appearance. When we pulled up to the club, I was nervous, but the music was blasting, the line was long, and I was ready to dance. When we finally made it inside, I was a little nervous but excited nonetheless.

Step Up, Ledger

If you read the JFP's account of the Mayor Melton's "open" meeting with department heads this week (page 6), and then you read the Clarion-Ledger's online account posted Monday, you would have thought our reporters were at two different meetings.

[Stiggers] It's A Mad Crunchie World

Mr. Announcement: "Gasoline climbs to $3 per gallon. American soldiers remain in limbo and at war. Frustrated males go on shooting rampages. The chemical called melamine contaminates our food supply of pork, chicken and fish. Amidst all of this uncertainty, American consumers still make routine midday pilgrimages to fast-food restaurants.

[Kamikaze] A Weapon For ‘Rage'

My most heartfelt thanks goes out to the controversial rock band Rage Against The Machine. Why, you ask? Simply because, if but for a moment, they've taken a little pressure off us poor rappers. We can take a break from being America's whipping boys as the rock world takes some heat in this crazy freedom-of-speech debate. It also speaks to the leverage that musicians and entertainers hold when it come to politics.

No. 30, May 17 - 23

<b><em>Register Guns, Ban Some</b></em>

The shooting crisis at Virginia Tech has once again sparked the debate over gun control. The Second Amendment speaks of a "well-regulated militia." The National Guard and Coast Guard have replaced the need for a state militia. Their weapons are tightly controlled and safeguarded.

Que Sera Sadilla

My mom is amazing at any number of things. She can speak and/or read seven different languages, many of them dead. She can sing louder than a whole church full of people and turn any and all of my problems around so that they are obviously anyone's fault but mine. She can write a flawlessly grammatical sentence that fills an entire double-spaced page, and she is emotionally and financially supportive when her flailing, liberal-arts educated daughters are having life crises (as we are wont to do).

From Point A to You

What a deflated party balloon it was—filling up an online shopping cart only to get a denial: "Do not pass GO, do not collect your wine." At some point, you've probably made the same sad discovery I did several years ago: wineries cannot ship to individuals residing in Mississippi. Well, not legally anyway. Prohibition still exists in this state, at least when it comes to the issue of direct shipping for wine.

Still I Rise

Photos by Josh Hailey

Rosalind Roy, a 46-year-old Jackson native known as Roz, bubbles with energy. Her vigor emanates from her like an invisible vapor—it will either infect you or make you feel guilty that you aren't more exuberant. She talks a lot and will interrupt herself to tell you that, but she's also a selective conversationalist. "I can feel people's spirits," she says. "I'm always going to be nice to people, but some people you can just tell … your spirit doesn't connect with them."

New Interpol Drops July 10

Fresh from their blistering headlining performance at Coachella, Interpol gear up to release their third studio album, Our Love To Admire, out July 10th on Capitol Records. Produced by Interpol and Rich Costey and recorded in New York City at Electric Lady and The Magic Shop Studios, this album, their first for Capitol Records, is the band's most engrossing and accomplished work to date.

Air It Out

"We've told people they can air those trailers out," Paulison said.

FEMA really is the gift that keeps on giving, isn't it? Witness the deep concern of FEMA Director David Paulison about formaldehyde contamination of FEMA trailers on the Gulf Coast:

The City Hall Shuffle

Some council members learned for the first time Tuesday that rejected Parks and Recreation Director Charles Melvin is still making almost as much as he was as interim head of the department.

Yolanda Denise King, 1955-2007

The eldest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Coretta Scott King, passed away Tuesday night in Santa Monica, California. She was 51.

Tuesday, May 15

Staying Focused

I hope that people aren't getting tired of hearing the familiar stories about teenage mothers and their struggles. Statistics show that teenage pregnancy in America is higher than in any other developed nation. And while the overall rate has declined since 1990, African American females have a higher rate than other ethnic groups. As I was searching the Web for some "inspiration," I found this story helpful.

Kaze's Hip-Hop Hater of the Week: Ebony Magazine

Here we go again folks. America just can't seem to do anything without going to the absolute extreme. As I expected the en-vogue pursuit to clean up objectionable lyrics is going to turn into an all out witch hunt. One where ALL of hiphop is going to suffer for the crusading of a few. Instead of eliminating the language that we all agree must progress. You've given hiphop haters worldwide a reason to try and eliminate the genre altogether. And poor Ludacris, probably one of the more docile of all the "language" culprits gets screwed again. Being removed from the 'Black Father's" edition of Ebony Magazine (June isseue). bumped for pretty boy boris Kudjoe. Now ladies won't be mad at all..but as a rapper Im steaming again. Is Ludacris not a good father? IS Ebony just going with the flow?

Monday, May 14

Melton Orders Demolition Blitz

Mayor Frank Melton told department heads he wants a serious re-commitment to house demolition and downtown development in Jackson at a meeting held before members of the press today.

Sunday, May 13

Who I "was", Who I "am", and Who I want to "become"

It's funny how things have a way of happening at just the right time. How things are said at just the right moment. How your point is explained so clearly when you were just having the hardest time putting it to words. I came across this piece at just as I got through trying to tell a couple folks I know this past Sunday what respect and loyalty meant to me...a hiphop artist. I hope those two read this because it better explains what I can't say. I forget the woman's name but her editorial hit home...Enjoy.

Bling, Bling, Baby! Carter's Jewelers Donates Diamond Hoops

It gets better by the minute. Ching, ching.

Carter's Jewelers just called out of the blue to donate diamond hoop earrings worth $700 for the silent auction Thursday night. Needless to say, Carter's is now a Queen Level sponsor of the Chick Ball. Also, photographer Jennifer Carter walked in today with three gift certificates for photography sessions worth $500 apiece. Jennifer is our latest Diva Level sponsor. We also heard from District Attorney Faye Peterson who is donating $100 in hard, green moolah.

Chick Ball to Honor Attorney General, Domestic Violence Unit

[Verbatim release] The Jackson Free Press and the JFP Chick Ball organizers and sponsors announce that Attorney General Jim Hood's Domestic Violence Prevention Unit, headed by Assistant Attorney General Heather Wagner, will receive the Chick Ball's first "Hero of the Year Award" at this year's event on Thursday, May 17, 2007, at the Red Room at Hal & Mal's in Jackson. Wagner will be present to receive the award

Saturday, May 12

Where's My Jetpack?

Fun piece in (on?) Salon today lamenting the lack of a truly futuristic future here in what is now the present. (You follow?) People who know me know that I'm saying this stuff all the time. I really expected more future to be here once we got into the 2000s; it's nearly halfway through 2007, dammit, and we haven't found a single monolith, much less began planning a rescue mission to Jupiter in order to save the first Jupiter mission that went awry in 2001. (In Buck Rogers, when I was a kid, the "last of the deep-space probes" actually left Earth in 1987.)

How to Donate to the Chick Ball

We're getting calls from individuals (and political candidates) who want to donate money to the Chick Ball, and thus the Center for Violence Prevention. You can make checks out directly to the Center for Violence Prevention and either drop them by the JFP office or bring them Thursday night to the Chick Ball. If you want to donate art, door prizes or munchies for the food sponsor table, call Ronni Mott at 601.362.6121 ext. 0, or just drop by the office 9 to 6. 2727 Old Canton Road, Suite 224. (Please drop donations by 2 p.m. Thursday. After that, you need to bring items/checks directly to the Red Room.)

Friday, May 11

Red Hot Tamales and Kool-Aid Pickles

Here are two wide-eyed articles, by New York reporters, about enigmatic Delta dishes: the Kool-Aid Dill by John T. Edge of the New York Times and the Red-Hot, Pork-Stuffed, Corn-Wrapped, Blues-Flavored Enigma by Colby Buzzell of Esquire. To their credit, both writers go beyond food review to tackle Delta-relevant subjects, such as race. When Buzzell asks two black men sitting outside Bud's Snack Bar in Tunica, enjoying "a lunchtime Busch tall can," about the origin of tamales in Mississippi, one passionately refutes the author's research that Mexicans had introduced the dish to Mississippians: "Our people! Black people! They did, and did it with a shook, a corn shuck. That's the way we did and my mama used to did it," he says. Edge, ironically, takes a less edgy, but somehow awkwardly professorial, approach to the demographics of Kool-Aid pickle consumers: "The pickles have been spotted as far afield as Dallas and St. Louis, but their cult is thickest in the Delta region, among the black majority population. In the Delta, where they fetch between 50 cents and a dollar, Kool-Aid pickles have earned valued space next to such beloved snacks as pickled eggs and pigs' feet at community fairs, convenience stores and filling stations," he writes.

BREAKING: Mayor Wants Larkin Withdrawn

Mayor Frank Melton submitted a memorandum to council members (PDF, 118 KB) requesting that they withdraw Jackson Public School Board Vice President Jonathan Larkin's name for re-appointment to the board. The memorandum, signed yesterday by Melton, comes two weeks after council members claimed Chief of Staff Marcus Ward told Larkin that the mayor would not re-submit his name for a seat on the board if Larkin did not vote in favor of a certain contractor for management of the recently passed $150 million JPS bond.

Radio JFP to Discuss Melton Interview Noon Friday

Here's a double whammy for y'all. Mayor Frank Melton is slated to appear on Ben Allen's WJNT radio show Friday morning. Then, at noon, the JFP will discuss is comments on our radio show on WLEZ (103.7 FM). Tune in!

Lester Williams Resigns to Run for Sheriff

[Verbatim from Williams] In a letter sent to the Mayor's office three weeks ago, I indicated I was requesting an extended leave of absence from my position with Community Improvement to more effectively run my campaign for Sheriff of Hinds County. After giving this situation much thought and conferring with my family I have decided to officially resign my position with the City of Jackson effective May 31st, 2007.

‘Buy Me, Caroline': Tales of An Experienced Clearance Shopper

I can smell a clearance sale a mile away.

I believe I was born with a radar in my brain that can detect the faint sound of red clearance price stickers being applied to shoes, lamps, stationary, imported chocolates, and a hundreds of other items being shoved together on shelves in any shopping venue within a few miles of my wallet. I often leave the house for mundane items like hamburger buns and deodorant and come home with a complete outfit, accessories and all, for under $50. I have found a Betsey Johnson necklace for $4., BCBG shoes for $10., a complete set of Pier 1 plates for $15., and the list goes on and on.

Thursday, May 10

Master Pee

A group of Milwaukee Brewers fans has vowed to urinate on themselves when the Brewers reach the playoffs. God help us all if the Brewers win the World Series.

Riding While Blind

Steve McNair, the former Alcorn State legend turned NFL superstar, pulled off a neat trick. He was arrested for DUI in Nashville on Thursday ... but he wasn't driving the car. (Thanks to Deadspin)

Susie Flynn for President

I normally don't openly endorse candidates, and especially if the candidate is a 10-year-old, but I think her platform is enough for any citizen to take her seriously.

Men of Leisure — "Men of Leisure"

It's hard playing music influenced by the likes of the Allman Brothers, Neil Young and the more melodic, song-based version of the Grateful Dead without botching it. A fair number of southerners dig those bands, and while it's not my usual cup of tea, I can say objectively that most bands attempting this style tend to make an ass of themselves.

The Rondo Brothers Present

San Francisco's go-to producers The Rondo Brothers set to release club-worthy Seven Minutes To Midnight. Duo proves its versatility with songs in new Ice Cube flick, Sundance indie hit and upcoming Wu-Tang documentary. What would it sound like if Danger Mouse produced a New Pornographers record? San Francisco's leading production team, the genre-bending Rondo Brothers, likes to think that the end result might come out sounding something like their upcoming album, Seven Minutes To Midnight (May 22, 2007).

Barbour Raised $3.4 Million in First Quarter of 2007

[Verbatim from Barbour] JACKSON, MS - Governor Haley Barbour today filed a campaign finance report showing he raised more than $3.4 million in the first four months of 2007 and had more than $6.1 million cash on hand as of April 30. The report, filed with the Secretary of State's office, combined with previous records show that Barbour for Governor has raised nearly $7.69 million since 2004.

FEMA Trailers 12 Times Formaldehyde Limit

Recent Environmental Protection Agency testing of FEMA trailers reveals higher average levels of formaldehyde than was originally found by Sierra Club testing last year. EPA testing showed unventilated trailers were 12 times the EPA limit of the dangerous preservative, and that even if the trailers were fully ventilated toxic levels in the trailers would still be three times the limit of EPA-approved levels.

Putting Babies in Danger

Recent news from the citizen-based environmental advocacy group Environmental California states that your baby's plastic baby-bottle may be leaching toxins. From their report's executive summary:

Ready to Rock: Chick Ball Line-Up Announced

Updated May 10, 2007 The Third Annual Chick Ball entertainment schedule is below. Make sure to come early to bid on art and register for door prizes! Click here to read all about the Chick Ball, and here to view the Ball's new myspace page.

Wednesday, May 9

Marley Le

"I did all the hard work, and she looks just like Scot. She's precious, but she looks just like him," Marley Le, owner of Fondren Nails, says of her now four-week-old infant, Elizabeth Ann, as she shows off pictures of her fiancé Scot holding the newborn.

More Than A Maid

Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. I didn't have to; I wanted to. Most of my summer days, we watched "Donahue" re-runs and "Sanford and Son" and "Benson." I stayed over at her house every Friday night from the time I was in kindergarten until the sixth grade, and we started out every Saturday morning watching the "Smurfs." Then, every day after school until I was in the 11th grade (when I started driving myself to school occasionally), my routine was the same: Get off the bus, drop my backpack on the floor in the "little room," make a snack, and then my grandmother and I would watch Oprah. I miss those predictable times with my grandmother.

Venus Envy

To see the toll that time exacts, consider two images of Peter O'Toole.

Latinismo: Heatin Up Local Dance Floors

Until recently, the only way for Jacksonians to experience live Latin dance music would be to book a flight to New York, Miami or another distant city. However, a new group has emerged in Jackson that brings the vibrant music of the Caribbean to local clubs. Latinismo has been energizing Jackson dancers and Latin music fans with its lively shows for nearly two years. It is a large band, bringing together three percussionists, a full horn section, piano, bass and guitar, along with strong vocals (sung in Spanish). Latinismo takes on a wide range of music, from fast-moving salsa numbers to expansive Latin jazz compositions that showcase the skills of each band member.

Living Better In Austin

Since their formation in 2000, Living Better Electrically has been a staple on the Jackson music scene. Now, keyboardist Chris Michaels and brothers Joshua and Jakob Clark (a JFP designer) are headed for Austin, leaving Jackson (and drummer Jody Suarez) behind. Come by their farewell show (with Micro Dream Home) on May 11 at Hal & Mal's and beg them not to go.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Pro baseball, West Tenn at Mississippi (7 p.m., Pearl, 930 AM): It's Thirsty Thursday at Trustmark Park (all 16-ounce drinks are $1). If Mayor Frank Melton is driving you to drink, the M-Braves have provided an outlet.

JRA on the Chopping Block

The mayor's recent proposal to dissolve the Jackson Redevelopment Authority and use the savings to reduce the city's $4.3 million budget deficit may do little to address the city's budget woes.

Whirly Bird or K9?

"Imagine yourself in the dead of night looking for a dangerous escaped inmate," a new promotional brochure from SafeCity Watch, which helps fund the privately owned Metro One helicopter, begins. "Witnesses saw the escapee flee to a heavily wooded area. Shots had been heard … and it's YOUR job to find him." (Caps in original.)

Judge Excludes Informant's Statements

U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate denied a motion last Wednesday from prosecutors in the James Ford Seale federal kidnapping trial to admit statements from Ernest Gilbert, a deceased FBI informant who had information linking Seale to the killings of Charles Moore and Henry Dee. Wingate also denied several motions from defense attorneys, including one to suppress Seale's statements made during the two-hour drive from Franklin County to Jackson following his arrest on Nov. 6, 1964.

Get the Mayor to 'Do His Job

A common refrain during the build-up to Mayor Frank Melton's felony trials this past month was that "people should just let the mayor do his job.

[Stiggers] Booty-Gate and the Mystery Pol

Mr. Announcement: "On this episode of 'All God's Churn Got Shoes,' the deputy secretary of state's mishap has inspired the 'hypocrisy division' of the Ladies in Church Hats, Union 203 and 7/8, to conduct an audio/video surveillance mission, across the street from Madame T.J. Hooka's Booty Reportin' for Duty Erotic Fantasy Escort Service. The Ladies in Church Hats have set up their surveillance equipment inside an abandoned church bus. They call this assignment 'Mission Hypocritical—Code Name Booty-Gate.'

No. 29, May 10 - 16

<b><em>Friar Bill Clinton?</b></em>

In the things mattering most to Democrats such as health care and opposition to the war, John Edwards has been much more unambiguous and straightforward than the candidates noted for their novelty as much as their positions. As far as Rudy Giuliani taking the South, the guy has a personal life that makes Bill Clinton look like a monk. And the poor guy can't even pander well. On his southern tour, while genuflecting to the Confederate flag, he was unable to recognize it. Finally, stop making a devil out of the man in the John Deere hat. Howard Dean showed that he matters, too.

[Mott] Feed Them On Your Dreams

Earlier this week, my friend Terry e-mailed me a link to a short film from 1947 called "The Secret Lives of Cats." Two things struck me as I watched: First was the obvious affection of the two adult cats toward each other and their kittens, which was, in my experience, extraordinary. The second thing that occurred to me was the old adage, "Even a cat can have kittens."

The Blind Giant: Insurance Companies Play By Their Own Rules

Hurricane Katrina was a nasty surprise for Mississippi Gulf Coast resident Mike Perronne when it slammed into Mississippi Aug. 29, 2005. Perronne left his Diamondhead, Miss., home that Sunday before the storm expecting the same serious but relatively moderate storm that had rattled Florida. His wife, Barbara, packed their photographs into their car while Mike stowed his valuable carpentry tools in the home elevator and sent it up to the second floor to protect them from water damage. Their $632,000 home got more than wet, however.

Young Mothers Can Be Great Moms

I don't know many 20-year-old girls who would turn down a good party or give up the freedom and spontaneity of youth for days of diaper-changing and Saturday evenings spent at Chuck E. Cheese. My niece, Erica Leach, has done just that without complaint.

One Day is All I Ask

I am not particularly fond of Mother's Day. For the first few years of adulthood, I had high expectations for holidays; I was often disappointed. Because of my disappointment, I have slowly become more realistic in my expectations for birthdays and Christmas—even Valentine's Day fails to undo me now—and just don't expect much.

An Unexpected Trip

"Imagine you've decided to take a trip to New York City," the "exceptional education" teacher at my son's school said as she took a seat next to me on the rickety playground bench. "You've packed your high heels and your best clothes, and you're planning to hit the town and see all the shows. But you get off the plane, and you're in Switzerland. It's a little colder, a little slower, but still nice. Just different. It's the same with these kids."

Expecting Gifts

A huge debate is raging within my inner circle. We're usually at odds about where to eat out or whose turn it is to drive, but the latest argument is very important to me: Should I receive gifts on Mother's Day?

Tuesday, May 8

So, what are YOU wearing to the Chick Ball!?!

What's a Chick to do? Go shoppping ... but where? Thoughts?

OK, this is on my mind this week. The JFP Chick Ball—aka The Grrl Jam—is coming together fabulously; we expect throngs of people Thursday night; we have dozens and dozens of door prizes to give away; the music rocks; I can't wait to bid on art—but my big problem is what to wear. Hey, I'm a girl. It needs to be shiny. It needs to be sleek. It needs to be worthy.

New Feature: Kaze's Hip-Hop Hater of the Week: Jere Eaton

In my ongoing return of fire to those that wish to attack hiphop, especially those who attack it with hidden motives at heart. Each week I will be identifying a hater of hiphop. No, it won't be someone who wishes to end the use of derogatory language. Instead it will shine the light on those who simply arbitrarily attack hiphop for fame, because they are seeking public office, or simply because they're old and uninformed on the good that we as hiphop artists do. If said hater has consequently caused an event that would have benfitted kids or their community to be cancelled, they get extra stars. This week's winner gets 5! Read along.

Council Rejects Melvin, Mayor Lashes Out

This story will appear in this week's print edition of the Jackson Free Press.

Saturday, May 5

Hi From New York

We're up in New York for a long weekend while I study at a Columbia reporting seminar called "Let's Do It Better," a workshop on covering race. (I met Henry Louis Gates, Jr.!) I'm also studying extremely hard, as you can see below the fold.

Friday, May 4

GOP '08 Debate: The Hair Tonic Brigade

Just in case you had something better to do and missed it, I thought I'd remind y'all that the GOP had its first presidential debate last night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. In it, McCain tried to distance himself from Bush, Giuliani tried to distance himself from abortion and three of the candidates raised their hands when asked who didn't believe in evolution.

Thursday, May 3

ARTICLE: Obama placed under Secret Service protection

Of course, the Secret Service doesn't say why, but my guess is that he got a death threat.


Why Does The Crawfish Boil Have NO local bands?

Im really just venting here, but Im mad as HELL. As an artist that fights vigorously for the careers of our local and regional artists here (of ALL genres), its CRIMINAL that we continue to allow events like the Crafish Boil to come to town and not support our local talent. From what I can tell from reading the schedule there is NO local band playing this year's event. I believe last year they had ONE.

Wednesday, May 2

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College baseball, Belhaven in GCAC Tournament (time, opponent TBA, Mobile, Ala.): The Blazers are looking for a tourney title to go with their regular-season champ's trophy.

Chuck Culpepper

Saint Alexis Episcopal Church is in the heart of Jackson, just down the street from Hal and Mal's.

[Green Eats] Food For Thought

"No MSG."

[Green Eats] Giants Dominate Organics

If you think the farmer-in-the-dell wearing Birkenstocks and singing "Kum Ba Yah" owns that organic brand you're so fond of, think again. According to "Organic, Inc.: Natural Foods and How They Grew" (Harcourt, 2006, $25), half of all organic sales come from the largest 2 percent of farms. In other words, the same food industry giants pushing trans-fats and high-fructose corn syrup on an unsuspecting public own many well-known organic brands.

[Green Eats] Eat your Veggies!

While most of us agree that organic produce is healthier in general simply because it is grown without enormous amounts of pesticides, it's not always easy (or cheap) to buy organic. So what fruits and vegetables present the most danger, and where can you save your money?

[Green Eats] Eating the Rainbow

Summer is fast approaching, and everyone is rushing to fit into that itsy-bitsy bikini. That means it's time to eat healthier. Swimsuit season is my motivation—as I told a friend, "I don't care how much I weigh; I just want to look good in a bikini!" Here are some tips and strategies I've used that will help you not only shed pounds but also feel healthier. As a bonus, many of the ideas are also Earth-friendly.

Snake Charming

My mother says that when I was a toddler in diapers, I almost picked up a water moccasin in our Jackson backyard. Branson legend has it I was "saved" by a babysitter.

Back In The USSR

In 1972, Arkadi and Boris Strugatsky, brothers who were celebrated Russian science-fiction writers, published a short novella called "Roadside Picnic." It chronicled a man's journey into "The Zone," a quarantined area where alien forces had crash-landed, spreading strange radioactive anomalies. The main characters, Stalkers, broke through military cordons and made their way into the Zone to search for artifacts, strange pieces of alien technology beyond humankind's imagination. For years after-ward, Stalkers who entered the Zone suffered unexplained deaths and disabled children.

Roadmap to Longevity

Collective Soul makes a fairly straightforward promise to its fans: to deliver loud, catchy rock 'n' roll music. The hard guitar riffs and charging vocals are a perfect fit for its live show, coming to Jackson Friday for the 2007 Miller Lite Crawfish Boil. In their JFP interview, lead singer-songwriter Ed Roland and bassist Will Turpin described their love of playing live and making music together. Most of the band members—rounding out the group are Roland's brother, Dean (guitar), and newcomers Joel Kosche (guitar) and Ryan Hoyle (drums)—grew up together in Stockbridge, Ga. After finding multi-platinum success in the 1990s with a succession of chart-topping albums, the band took a hiatus from 2001 until 2004 to spend time with their families. Since the release of 2004's "Youth," the band has resumed touring and writing new music, and a new studio album hits stores in August.

Green Protests Danks Hearing

Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Tomie Green filed a motion (PDF, 211 KB) with the Mississippi Supreme Court objecting to the court's decision on her call for sanctions against former Mayor Dale Danks, who is an attorney for Mayor Frank Melton yesterday.

Critical Mass: An Interview With Better Than Ezra's Tom Drummond

You probably know Better Than Ezra from one of its hit radio singles, like "Good," "Desperately Wanting," "Extra Ordinary" or "Juicy." What you may not know is that each of those singles has come from a different album over BTE's 14-year career of funky, genre-pushing alternative rock. The three-man band—consisting of lead singer and guitarist Kevin Griffin, drummer Travis McNabb and bassist Tom Drummond—hails from New Orleans, and has sustained its devoted following there, and across the country, through rigorous touring. I spoke with Drummond on the phone from New Orleans about music, crawfish and Hurricane Katrina.

Crawfish Boil Encore Predictions

The tradition of playing your "last song" and retreating backstage while the audience chants, "One more song!"—only to emerge again triumphantly—is de rigueur in rock. While they may not have enough time to actually leave the stage and return for a second set, the bands at the 2007 Miller Lite Crawfish Boil surely have some encore songs in mind. Here's what I think they'll play:

Council Questions High Pay

The city council questioned an extra $35,000 that City Attorney Sarah O'Reilly stands to make on two Tax Increment Financing deals the council approved last week. The council also discussed in a closed session the dizzying pay for former Interim Fire Chief Todd Chandler, now a firefighter again.

Analysis: Passion Ruled In Melton Trial

Photos by Jaro Vacek

On April 26, a Hinds County jury acquitted Mayor Frank Melton and Dets. Michael Recio and Marcus Wright of all 11 charges they collectively faced for demolishing a duplex at 1305 Ridgeway last year.

Gimme Shelter

Some Jackson residents are growing concerned about the high number of halfway houses and homeless shelters populating the midtown area.

We the People with ID

State Sen. Charlie Ross, R-Brandon, a GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, held a press conference on the steps of the capitol this morning, requesting Gov. Haley Barbour to call a special session on a law requiring voter photo identification at the polls.

Fight or Fight

It's an odd world where Councilman Kenny Stokes is standing with FOX News celebrities who care more about profiling young blacks than protecting citizens' rights. But in the aftermath of the Frank Melton acquittals last week, we are living in a bizarro-land populated by strange bedfellows, led by a mayor and police chief who yelp about "drug houses" but arrest no drug dealers.

[Gregory] Becoming Blonde

As a woman, there are quite a few ridiculous things I do to myself in the pursuit of "pretty." The least of these is my weekly scouring of local drugstores for my favorite fake eyelashes, and the most of these is my regular salon appointment to keep this crazy platinum mess on top of my head from looking like a Jerry Springer special.

[Stiggers] Sticks and Stones

Aunt Tee Tee Hustle: "The way I see things these days is that people live in critical times where critical people criticize with critically destructive words and actions.

[Kamikaze] The Real World, Jackson

This probably isn't the best time for "I told ya so's." But … I told ya so.

Rally Today

You may be interested in attending this event today.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Anna DillonWednesday, May 2, 2007 601-383-4160

The Debut of Peel

Peel's debut is an indie snob's dream, earning comparisons to Pavement, Stereolab, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and others. Airplay continues from tastemaker stations KCRW, KEXP and WRAS. Band reveals that name is homage to legendary DJ. "If Richard Linklater ever documents 21st century urban malaise, someone should slip him some Peel." – The Austin Chronicle

Harvard Test to Gauge Racial Bias

This is an interesting test.

This website has several tests which will gauge your bias towards several different topics. The one on racial bias is really, really cool. If you go into the "demonstration" part of the website and choose the "Race" test it takes about ten minutes to complete.

Tuesday, May 1

City Web Site Needs Help

I've tried to stay off the "city's website sux" bandwagon for as long as possible because (a.) I know firsthand that it's a pain in the arse to design and run a good site and (b.) I didn't think it was as gawd-awful as the previous iteration.

‘Citizen Bloggers' Get Busy at the Ledge

I need some room to rant. Have you seen this crap?

I am just now discovering the CL's "Citizen Bloggers"