Stories for November 2007


Friday, November 30

Bond Denied For Slain JSU Student's Ex-Boyfriend

A judge today ordered that Stanley Cole, who police charged with murder in the death of Jackson State student Latasha Norman, be held without bond. Police found Norman's body Thursday. She had been missing since Nov. 13. JSU canceled classes on Friday and held a moment of silence for Norman. A memorial service is scheduled for Monday.

Huh? What the Hell Are They Saying!?!

The Clarion-Ledger today outdoes its own pitiful editorial-writing with a bizarre ode to John Grisham that is ostensibly about the Dickie Scruggs arrest for bribery. Beyond simply terrible writing, the edit-boyz state the following as fact:

Nix Offered USM Job? Nix, AD Says

Southern Miss athletic director Richard Giannini is denying reports that Tyrone Nix has been offered the job of head football coach at Southern Miss. Nix, a former USM player and assistant coach, is presentlly the defensive coordinator at South Carolina.

Thursday, November 29

Domestic Violence Expert on Radio JFP

Sandy Middleton, director of the Center for Violence Prevention, will join Donna Ladd and Todd Stauffer today—Friday, Nov. 30—at noon on WLEZ-FM 103.7. In the wake of another domestic murder of a young woman, allegedly by her by-then-ex-boyfriend, we will discuss the horrifying issue of domestic abuse and violence in Mississippi, one of the most deadly states for women. The show streams live at; we will post an audio file later today. Please join us, and post questions and comments under this post during the show.

Latasha Norman, Rest In Peace

(Promoted from JFP forums.)

The body of missing JSU student Latasha Norman has been found. No details are available at this time, however, police did detain her ex-boyfriend for questioning earlier today. And, JPD responded to a report of a body in a house on Brown St. in North Jackson.

Wednesday, November 28

Dickie Scruggs Arrested on Bribery Charges

The Sun-Herald is reporting that the feds have arrested Scruggs and others for trying to bribe a judge:

Recio Demoted; McMillin Confirmation Set for Dec. 10

City Councilman Marshand Crisler and Leslie McLemore confirmed today at a special council meeting to approve the city payroll that Melton bodyguard Michael Recio is no longer an assistant chief and is back working in the mayor's office. Neither Melton or Recio would comment to the Jackson Free Press about the demotion.

Vanessa Barry And Kembral Barrera

"You feel it, and you live it!" Vanessa Barry says as she rises from the table at Borders to demonstrate. Barry and her best friend, Kembral Barrera, are coincidentally both wearing pink shirts, black pants and heels. They turn slowly to face each other, arms outstretched, hands working and feet stomping in time to imaginary castanets. Jackson's only two flamenco dancers come from very different backgrounds, yet their passion for Spanish culture—and particularly this ancient dance—has brought them together.

Crossing Neighborhood Lines

"There just isn't a sense of community here like there was back home," a Denver, Colo., transplant told me after moving to Jackson. In a city with almost three times the population of Jackson, residents there felt that city government and business owners had built up their cities to be inclusive of many people's needs. The lack of this trend in the city that I have called home for 21 years is becoming more and more clear as issues like crime and development become hot-topic items for discussion. Jackson has neighborhoods and associations that create community among a certain group of people, but the community of Jackson is vastly underserved and disjointed.

'27 Lakes' Plans Making Waves

A plan to flood the wetlands between Hinds and Rankin counties may get a new boost from a federal bill that makes it easier to include private funding in the venture. The U.S. Senate overrode President Bush's veto of the U.S. Water Resources Development Act Nov. 8, setting the stage for a federal/private funding partnership for the development of the Pearl River.

School Board President Stifling Input?

Members of the Jackson Public School Board of Trustees say board President Delmer Stamps is attempting to stifle input from other board members by screening potential agenda items from the board's online agenda.

Ben Allen and Mike Peters on Downtown WLEZ-FM

Ben Allen and Mike Peters are on the radio right now at WLEZ-FM (103.7 FM)( talking about the potential of downtown development RIGHT NOW. Streams live at

Abstinence-Only Doesn't Work

Abstinence-only-until-marriage programs—the kind the federal government backs with millions in tax dollars—don't reduce teen pregnancies or STDs, according to "Emerging Answers 2007: Research Findings on Programs to Reduce Teen Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases," a report from the non-partisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

EDITORIAL: McMillin Needs a Chief, Not a Badge

This editorial appears in the print edition this week. The mayor has requested that Council schedule a time at a special meeting today at 4 p.m. to confirm Sheriff McMillin as police chief.

Lott Announces Retirement

Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., stood before a room of reporters, colleagues and friends at the Edison Walthall Hotel in Jackson to announce his retirement on Monday. Lott, 66, has served in the U.S. Congress for 35 years, six of which as Senate majority leader. He abdicated the leadership position in 2002 after he made a controversial statement stating that Strom Thurmond, then-senator and known segregationist, should have won the presidency in 1948. Lott said that his decision to retire comes at the right time, quoting a popular biblical verse from Ecclesiastes.

Prayer Vigil of Hope and Relief Funds for Latasha Norman

[Press release] Attend a Prayer Vigil of Hope, the second vigil for the missing Jackson State University student Latasha Norman, at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28 on the Gibbs-Green Plaza on the JSU campus. Norman, 20, a junior accounting major, has been missing since Tuesday, Nov. 13. The vigil is open to the public.

WAPT Poll Finds City Discontent

A 16 WAPT poll of 500 registered voters, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. of Washington, D.C., found that a majority of Jackson citizens are unhappy with Jackson Mayor Frank Melton, the city council and the direction in which the city is going.

[Sue Doh Nem] Loving the Lie

Judy McBride: "Welcome to 'What's on Your Mind,' a Ghetto Science Television holiday special. Our topic: Pre-traumatic holiday depression of unemployed and financially challenged individuals. Join me, Judy McBride, Ghetto Science Team psychologist, as I delve into the mind of Mr. Philmo Jones, former urban professional and third-shift manager of the Suburban Y'all Mart.

[Kamikaze] Something's Rotten in the City of Jackson

Something stinks in Jackson. After some careful sniffing, the foul stench seems to be emanating from the downtown area—specifically Farish Street.

[Fleming] Told You Lott Would Quit

I hate to say I told you so … but I did.

Bloomberg: Lott Considering Lobbyist Offers

Bloomberg is reporting that Trent Lott's son has confirmed that he is considering lobbyist offers. Read more here.

Winter Arts Preview: A New Dialogue

Photos by Nate Glenn

A young girl dressed in a floral tank top and gray biking shorts sways back and forth in a rocking chair as she sleeps. The room in which she sleeps is washed in a deep aqua blue, and a monotone ring ominously emits from large speakers behind her. Ten large figures dressed in tattered black uniform-like clothes and large dark masks emerge from all sides and slowly move in toward her with careful precision.

Winter Arts Preview: Event Listings

<b>Stage & Screen

The concrete, steel and glass building seems unfinished, with the rawness of unformed clay. The gravel drive and rust-colored patina on the sign lettering adds to the feeling that this is a work in progress, left to weather naturally in the elements. Tucked into an oddly shaped lot between the reservoir and the woods surrounding the Natchez Trace in Ridgeland, the Mississippi Craft Center is a monument to the architect's vision and that of the Craftsmen's Guild of Mississippi.

Winter Arts Preview: Angelic Myths

The angel is a predictable image. Through movies, TV programs, commercial advertising, popular reproductions of Renaissance paintings and decorative ornaments, modern Western audiences are thoroughly familiar with the image of an angel as a youthful being adorned with feathery wings. We also know that angels are intermediaries between mankind and a divine being. Angels help you when you're in trouble, they watch over you and they deliver messages from God. Anyone who's seen "Angels in the Outfield" can tell you that. Angels are such a pervasive and trivialized image in our culture that it takes extra effort to invigorate them with deeper meaning.

Bloggers Want Mike Moore to Run for Lott's Seat

More on this story and other Lott-isms over at State Desk.

Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Leading to Violence Against Latinos

The Southern Poverty Law Center is warning that the vitrolic anti-immigrant debate is, predictably, starting to spill over into violence against Latinos. And as we've seen right here on the JFP site, and in local Democratic campaigns, the ugliness is not just limited to white supremacists and other extremists like the John Birch Society, or even the right wing of the Republican Party. The rhetoric by many so-called "progressives" is mirroring the claims of the extremists:

Sheriff McMillin Hefting Heavy Load

A former city police chief said he fears Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin may be taking on an impossible burden in adopting the role of Jackson police chief while retaining his position of sheriff. "McMillin is a good friend, a pretty good administrator, one heck of a cop, first rate politician and a brilliant PR person. He offers 'comfort' and a sense of stability in the turbulent, roiled up waters that is the wake of Melton's march through the Jackson Police Department. That said, he cannot do both jobs effectively," former Jackson Police Chief Robert Johnson said.

"Sometimes I Wish I Was White"

This is the title of Allen Watty's newest controversial song.

Tuesday, November 27

Updated: Sometimes You Feel Like A Nutt, Other Times You Don't

Houston Nutt inspired more than his share of venom while he was football coach at Arkansas. That probably won't end when he crosses the state line to become the head man at Ole Miss on Wednesday.

Agony of Eli

It must be great to be a millionaire pro athlete right? Sure, unless your name is Eli Manning and your team lost to the Vikings at home on Sunday. Will Eli get sent to the bench? (No, who's going to replace him, Jared Lorenzen?

Who's Next In Hattiesburg?

A Hattiesburg American story speculates on who might replace Jeff Bower as football coach at Southern Miss. A few of the names are laughably unrealistic (former Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione and Oak Grove High's coach) and two are intriguing (the coaches at Gulf Coast and Pearl River CC). The most likely candidates are South Carolina assistant Tyrone Nix (a former USM player and coach), Auburn assistant Will Muschamp and Georgia Southern coach Chris Hatcher, who's familiar to some Mississippi fans from his days as a coach at Valdosta State.

Hood: Victim's Mother Asked Him to Prosecute Bell

Attorney General Jim Hood told the Jackson Free Press Tuesday that he will personally prosecute George Bell III for the murder of Heather Spencer at the request of Spencer's mother, Linda Francomb.

AP: Search Warrant Served on Dickie Scruggs

The Associated Press is reporting:

Breaking: Nutt Going To Oxford

Houston Nutt has agreed to become the new football coach at Ole Miss, The Associated Press and the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal are reporting. Nutt resigned Monday after 10 seasons at Arkansas. He was 75-48 with the Razorbacks, winning or sharing the SEC West title three times.

Hawthorn Heights' Guitarist dies at age 26


Monday, November 26

Council: No to Payroll ... and Bodyguard Raises

The Jackson City Council failed to approve the city payroll by a 3-to-3 vote at a special meeting this afternoon. Council President Leslie McLemore, Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon and Ward 6 Councilman Marshand Crisler opposed the payroll, with Ward 1 Councilman Jeff Weill, Ward 4 Councilman Frank Bluntson and Ward 5 Councilman Charles Tillman in favor. Members opposed the payroll because of controversial pay raises for Mayor Frank Melton's bodyguards Michael Recio and Marcus Wright, and two others, including the lieutenant who signed off on the raises when the mayor made him chief for three days after the last chief would not approve the raises.

Gannett Corp. Revenue ‘Grim'

Despite the big effort to transform itself into an "information center" rather than a newspaper, the Gannett Corp.'s revenue is still dropping, according to information the corporation has reported about its fourth-quarter earnings. Guess that's why The Clarion-Ledger stopped giving employees free coffee.

Nutt Leaving Arkansas?

Arkansas football coach Houston Nutt is expected to announce Monday night that he is stepping down. There has already been much speculation about where Nutt might be headed next. Baylor? Georgia Tech? Nebraska? Ole Miss?

FDA Protecting Industry Before Consumers?

The New York Times is editorializing about serious problems in food-safety regulation reported by USA Today:

USM Dismisses Bower

Jeff Bower is out after 17 seasons as football coach at Southern Miss. Bower was reportedly forced to resign at a Monday morning meeting with USM officials. The school scheduled a news conference for 4 p.m.

Just Gotta Brag on the iTodd a Little

AAN has posted a link to the survey responses from last year's Web conference in San Francisco. Yes, the Mississippi dude represented well. ;-)

Sen. Trent Lott to Resign by End of Year

Read More Here...

[AP] Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, the Senate's No. 2 Republican, plans to resign his seat before the end of the year, congressional and Bush administration officials said Monday. Lott, 66, scheduled two news conferences in Pascagoula and Jackson later in the day to reveal his plans. According to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement, Lott intends to resign effective at the end of the year.

Sunday, November 25

The Game That Cost a Coach His Job

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WJTV is providing video of the post-game press conferences plus the firing announcement of the Ole Miss coach:

Saturday, November 24

Instant Replay: College Football, Nov. 23-24

Mississippi State 17, Ole Miss 14: The Bulldogs rally from 14-0 in the fourth quarter to win the Egg Bowl. The Rebels end Ed Oregeron's reign of error by firing Coach O. Could Orgeron be headed back to Southern Cal?

Ole Miss Tells Coach O To Go

Ole Miss fired football coach Ed Orgeron on Saturday. Orgeron, who coached the Rebels for three seasons, was fired less than 24 hours after the Rebels lost to Mississippii State 17-14 to finish the season 3-9 and 0-8 in the SEC ... and just three weeks after receiving a vote of confidence from UM officials. The Rebels went 10-25 under Coach Yaw-Yaw, with a 3-21 mark in SEC games.

Friday, November 23

Bulldogs Beat Ole Miss In Egg Bowl

More coverage

Mississippi State rallies from a 14-0 deficit in the final 8 minutes to beat archrival Ole Miss 17-14. With the victory, the Bulldogs appear to have clinched a trip to either the Liberty Bowl in Memphis or the Music City Bowl in Nashville.

What to Do for the Holidays, and Movie Listings

Be sure to check out JFP listings editor Roy Adkins' new searchable events calendar, complete with movie listings (!), gallery listings, photo galleries and other goodies. (And, yes, JFP publisher Todd Stauffer had something to do with it.)

Jackson Soldier Melvin Henley Jr. Killed in Iraq

He was killed in a "non-combat incident." Prayers to his loved ones.

State Wins Egg Bowl; Ole Miss 0-8 in SEC

Story at the Amazing SportsBlog.

Think Global, Shop Local This Holiday Season

The Jackson Free Press urges our readers to shop at locally owned businesses and from Jackson artists and craftspeople as much as possible this holiday season. If you resist the urge to crowd into chain stores, you will get more unique and memorable gifts—and you will support the local economy. And remember that the city of Jackson needs our sales taxes, so even if you have to go to Target (and honestly, who doesn't for something?, please choose the one in the city.

Wednesday, November 21

Missing JSU Student Getting National Attention

The disappearance of Jackson State student Natasha Norman is finally making its way to the national spotlight, as her father was interviewed on MSNBC today. WAPT reported that ABC has also contacted him to do an interview as well. The story even made Paul Harvey's News & Comments today and even mentioned Malcolm McMillin by name when he said, in effect, that her case would've made national headlines quicker if she were white.

Fashion Gallery, Movie Listings Now Online

JFP Events Calendar

As part of the gradual redesign of the JFP site, we now have a new interactive events calendar, current movie listings and a new photo gallery online, which includes photos that aren't in this week's issue. Head over and check out the following:

Guilt-Free Carbon Units

It was an ordinary Monday morning. I put on my corduroy jacket and walked outside. A flock of robins pecked for worms in our un-raked front yard. Our next-door neighbor walked by with her dog and waved.

Lamb, With a Side of Shiraz

It's funny that a lamb and full-bodied red wine combination is one of my favorites, considering I didn't appreciate either until working my way through college. I was waiting tables at a local Italian restaurant, and it was there one night, after a Meritage-blending class, that I made my love for the pairing embarrassingly obvious. Having sampled one-too-many extra portions of the Bordeaux varieties, I was not the attentive and inquisitive dinner companion I should have been while eating with a table of wine gurus, including Matt Magoon, of Guenoc, who had instructed the blending. Instead, when the host announced the dinner specials, I perked right up and repeated "Lamb!" a little too loudly.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College basketball, Mississippi State vs. Cal-Irvine in the Anaheim Classic (1 p.m., ESPNU/105.9 FM): The Bulldogs will spend Turkey Day battling the Anteaters. Yummy. … Pro football, Green Bay at Detroit (11:30 a.m., Ch. 40): Brett Favre's Packers and the Lions hook up in a holiday matchup that just oozes with tradition.

Don London

At 10:30 on a Saturday morning, Don London, 62, is already hard at work in his basement office at Stewpot Community Services on Capitol Street. Volunteers and service recipients come and go through his office with friendly hellos and practical questions.

Jackson's "No. 1" Issue

In an editorial last week, The Clarion-Ledger climbed dramatically onto its bird's eye perch of deniability and proclaimed: "Mayor Frank Melton was elected to do something about the No. 1 issue in Jackson—crime. But it is apparent that Jackson's No. 1 problem has become Frank Melton."

McMillin's Moonlighting Means Merger?

Photos by Adam Lynch

Could 13 be the city's lucky number? Jackson Mayor Frank Melton named Sheriff Malcolm McMillin as the city's chief of police—the 13th chief to hold the seat since 1988. McMillin said he will assume the role immediately, but added that he will also retain his job as sheriff of Hinds County.

Controversy on Farish Street

The Farish Street District Redevelopment Ad Hoc Committee and Jackson Mayor Frank Melton lobbed complaints about the lack of development progress in the Farish Street Entertainment District at a public forum last week. Committee members, including chairman Harold Lathon and hip-hop artist and Jackson Free Press columnist Kamikaze, hurled complaints at Memphis-based Performa Entertainment Real Estate Inc., which is overseeing development of the project.

We Don't Need Another Hero

Ever since the mayor announced that the sheriff is going to moonlight as the police chief, it's as if fairy dust has been sprinkled on Jackson. It would seem that crimeדthe No. 1 issue!ԗwill be gone in a matter of weeks.

[Sue Doh Nem] Thankful for Exploitation

Taa-Qweema Jenkins: "You're listening to 'Good Mornin' Ghetto,' the Ghetto Science Team's morning drive-time radio show for the financially challenged. My guests are Chief Crazy Brotha—Ghetto Native American, civil rights activist and senior stock clerk at JoJo's Discount Dollar Store—and Ernest 'Monday Night Football Head' Walker, of the Pork-n-Piggly Supermarket. Today's topic: What are the poor and oppressed thankful for?"

[Hightower] Money In, Money Out

Surely you don't think that campaign donations from wealthy interests are intended to buy favors from our lawmakers, do you?

[Hutchinson] The Dilemma of Two Black Americas

Bill Cosby, comedian turned black-morals pied piper, has got to be beaming. His relentless pitch for blacks to get their act together and stop blaming the white man for their failings almost certainly has done much to spur the radical reversal in black attitudes on race. A new Pew Research Center survey found that more blacks are willing to finger point themselves for bad grades, bad behavior, high unemployment and poverty than they were a decade ago.

Eureka! More on Immigration Rhetoric in NYT

This week, the New York Times published a story on the potential effects of immigration rhetoric, particularly the vitriolic denunciations of "illegal aliens," on presidential campaigns in 2008:

Tuesday, November 20

Want to Change The State Democratic Party?

Then, go get involved. This e-mail came around today, explaining how. Verbatim from the Mississippi Democratic Party:

Rid Your Body of Toxins

Between eating and drinking out of plastics that leach, getting a bit of pesticides with our veggies and a few stray hormones in our burgers, we're all exposed to levels of toxins every day--they're unavoidable. And, depending on how our bodies react to them, toxins can drain our energy, make concentrating difficult and even make us feel chronically ill.

Monday, November 19

Herman Taylor, "Mr. Whipple" and Martha Stewart's mother: RIP

Herman Taylor, former city employee and radio personality, died from emphysema at age 62.

Walker on the Run

Christopher Walker told the Jackson Free Press three weeks ago that either someone from his old Wood Street neighborhood would shoot him, or he would shoot one of them. And he blamed that inevitability, as he characterized it, on his former mentor, Mayor Frank Melton.

JFP Events ‘Beta' Site

A combination of some late nights fighting all sorts of code (PHP, EE, HTML, CSS) by Yours Truly and many hours of hard work by our new Events Editor, Roy Adkins, the "JFP Events" online calendar is now a *live* beta. ;-) Many things are finalized (I hope), but I've just had to switch some URLs around and there may be a few broken spots.

BREAKING: McMillin Says That Lee Vance Is JPD No. 2

More details to come.

Sheriff Malcolm McMillin, now doubling as chief of the Jackson Police Department, has just confirmed to Adam Lynch of the Jackson Free Press that he has named Lee Vance as his assistant chief and second in line to the chief.

What Did $4 Million Buy Bama?

But Doctor S doesn't have to write anything, not when there's so much good stuff on the Net.

Doctor S didn't pile on Alabama last weekend (he was busy). He won't be so nice this weekend in wake of the Crimson Tide's humiliating loss to Louisiana-Monroe. At least Sabear said he was sorry.

Why Do Saints Stink?

The Saints lost to the Houston Texas 23-10 on Sunday, the second straight loss for the black and gold after four straight wins. The New York Sun's Allen Barra seems to have pinpointed the Saints' problem.

Instant Replay: College Football, Nov. 17

Instant replay: Jackson State 31, Alcorn State 19: The Tigers win the SWAC East and their first trip to the championship game since 1999. Out-of-town papers: Vicksburg, Biloxi

Saturday, November 17

Christopher Walker Accused of Shooting?

Update: Christopher Walker called the Jackson Free Press today to say that he has not been arrested and did not shoot Craig Spiva. More details soon.

‘Public Relations Coup' for Melton!?!

"The mayor's selection also is a public relations coup for him..."

Clarion-Ledger reporters Arnold Lindsay, Heather Civil and Kathleen Baydala today characterized the appointment yesterday of Sheriff McMillin as police chief this way:

Friday, November 16

Office Humor Contest Entry

Sometimes Zazzle, one of the Web sites I contribute artwork to for sale, has contests where you create a product based on a theme, and the winner gets $1000. This most recent one is bound to have a lot of wild and wacky entries, so I decided to enter with a product that is simple and straightforward:

Watch Mayor-Sheriff Press Conference

WJTV has posted the video of the press conference this morning announcing Sheriff McMillin's new job. Check it out below.

Exclusive: Sheriff McMillin on ‘JFP on WLEZ'

The new police chief, Sheriff Malcolm McMillin, left the press conference this morning and immediately joined Radio JFP for an hour-long, commercial free interview, with WAPT also present. Listen to most of the interview (the first ten minutes were lost because the online feed was down) at

Update: Sheriff McMillin is New Chief

Update: Just came in on text message...Mac is the new chief. Donna and Adam are covering and will be in with the scoop. (Listen to the radio show at noon for more: WLEZ-FM, 103.7FM.)

Thursday, November 15

ARTICLE: Rare robbery case brings cries of racism

This story is so convoluted to me that I don't know what to think. Read this excerpt and tell me what you think:

City's First Female Police Chief Fired ... Again

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton decided Wednesday to remove Shirlene Anderson from her post as police chief of Jackson for what WAPT 16 News calls the second time. Following rumors posted on the JFP Web site mid-day, Melton announced a new decision to remove her from her post in a press release late Wednesday. Melton said he plans to retain Anderson as a special assistant to the mayor to coordinate the city's emergency services.

Fondren Unwrapped, Thursday, Nov. 15 5-9pm

Just wanted to give everyone the heads up about Fondren Unwrapped on November 15th between 5 and 9 pm. We all hope everyone can come out, as its sure to be a festive evening!

Jackson to The Clarion-Ledger: GO HOME

Well, the Clarion-Ledger edit-boyz have finally come so full circle on their ridiculous support of Melton and their horrendous reporting on him during the campaign and over the years. Today they published a dramatic editorial starting out:

Wednesday, November 14

Bringing In Some Outside Help

Despite her natural disdain of pumpkin, nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg and other flavors of the season—or anything in a neutral color, really—Lunch Lady's favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. That's due in part to the fact that Lunch Lady's birthday is always near Thanksgiving, this year on the actual day, and Lunch Lady loves a birthday, particularly her own.

Delicious Dip Into Misery

The modest packaging of The Bent Branches' debut is detailed with hand-screened blue birds that appear to have escaped from an open cage hanging from bare branches, and the name of the album, "Salvo," is printed along the bottom in an antique, circus-type script. It is a suitable package for the delicate, down-home feel of the music contained within.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College basketball, Clemson at Mississippi State (7 p.m., Starkville, FSN South/105.9 FM): South Carolina's cow college tangles with Mississippi's cow college.

Saidamirkhon Rakhimov

"In my country," Saidamirkhon Rakhimov begins, then stops himself, smiling. "My friends are always making fun of me for saying 'in my country,' he says, leaning back into his chair, momentarily distracted by the muted soccer game playing above my head. Said's country is Uzbekistan, a former Soviet republic just north of Afghanistan. Said grew up in Tashkent, the capital city, and earned a master's degree in international law from Tashkent State University of Law.

Clarion-Ledger Looking for Techy Tots

Yes, folks, this seems to be a *real* request floating on Facebook for an upcoming, ahem, feature of babies who love their 'puters. Wait for it now:

Talking Back in Flyover Country

Not too long before the election, I found an e-mail I'd missed from a young Mississippi artist: "Donna, I think this article deserves a talented rebuttal. See what you can do." I clicked his link to a Slate article, and I braced myself for a pseudo-intellectual snippet of snobbishness.

State Gets a Second Chance

Second chances are rare. Mississippi gets an occasional glimpse at another chance when it convicts murders and conspirators of the horrendous crimes committed here during the Civil Rights Era. But those chances don't come nearly often enough, and at this late date, they may fail to resonate nationally as the milestones they represent in the state. Now, though, Mississippi has the opportunity to make a second chance count for the entire U.S.

Chief Anderson Out; Gerald Jones Interim Chief


Mayor Frank E. Melton announced Wednesday that he is implementing a change in leadership at the Jackson Police Department. Police Chief Shirlene Anderson has been offered a new position as a special assistant to the Mayor. In this new capacity, Anderson would coordinate all emergency services, including police, fire and disaster response. She would also oversee interagency communications between local, county, state and federal law enforcement.

Dems Bolster Power in Legislature

Photos by Adam Lynch

The Mississippi Legislature moved into Nov. 7 looking on the surface much as it did prior to the elections, party-wise. But education proponents say the new Legislature will likely be more friendly to issues such as full funding of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program and an increased tobacco tax, and the new House line-up may mean trouble ahead for Republican districts.

Mississippi Settles Foster Care Suit

On Nov. 8, Olivia Y., John A. and Mississippi's other 3,500 children in foster care got one step closer to receiving the care they deserve. In April, weeks before going to court, Gov. Haley Barbour and Attorney General Jim Hood conceded that the children's constitutional rights had been violated, and agreed to settle a 2004 class-action suit brought on behalf of the children under the care of the Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Family and Children's Services. In the intervening three years, Mississippi undertook its own investigation to determine the best course of action.

Farish Battle Lines Drawn

Mayor Frank Melton and the recently formed Farish Street District Redevelopment Ad Hoc Committee are holding a Nov. 15 public forum at the Smith Robertson Museum to address delays in the development of the Farish Street Entertainment District, overseen by Memphis-based Performa Entertainment Real Estate Inc.

ACLU to Protest JPD

When ACLU Public Education Coordinator Brent Cox attempted to observe a police interdiction in front of Rainbow Whole Foods Co-op Grocery on Sept. 14, police arrested and charged him with "disobeying a police officer" and "interfering with the duties of a police officer." Cox said the officers did not read him his Miranda rights, and refused to give him their badge numbers.

MBN Confiscates, Returns ACLU Tape

Last month, a Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics officer confiscated a videotape of an interdiction from ACLU workers who had gathered outside their offices on Jefferson Street to observe the arrest, which was taking place in a parking lot across the street. Last week, an MBN officer and an attorney personally returned the tape after ACLU Staff Attorney John Williams wrote a letter to MBN's attorneys and deputy director, demanding that they return the tape within 10 days.

[Sue Doh Nem] Breaking Many Hearts

Boneqweesha Jones: "I don't know what it is, but it sure is a funky atmosphere in the world of media and entertainment. Is it the funky global-warming, drought-stricken air we're breathing? Brother Kunta 'Rahsheed X' Toby is with me on 'Boneqweesha Live' to figure out what's really inside the hearts of radio and television celebrities—like that bounty hunter who said the 'N' word almost as many times as that police officer from the O.J. Simpson trial.

[Kamikaze] Old-Fashioned Butt Whoopin'

Well folks, you've had a week to let it sink in. The results are back and statewide the Dems took what I'd call an old-fashioned butt whoopin'! Only Jim Hood made it out of the fray unscathed. From the top down we've bought ourselves four more years of the same old thing. Folks are comfortable with the same old thing especially when the "new" thing doesn't present any concrete plans.

[Gregory] Thank God I'm White

The other day I was reading the letters to the editor of The Clarion-Ledger. This isn't a new activity. I will admit, I usually boot up the computer in the morning and pull up the C-L opinion page just to read a few lines and remember where it is that I actually live.

The State Of JPD

Photos by Adam Lynch, Brian Johnson, Ronni Mott, and Kate Medley

Precinct 2 Patrolman Michael Braxton was on an evening shift in July when he got a vague call from dispatch telling him to head to Deer Park and Dalton Streets "to transport subjects from this location to an unknown location.

Linder-Maple, Rejected

When the New York-based Linder Maple Group finished its $153,000 crime study in 1999, it outlined a list of recommendations for Jackson to reduce major crime.

‘Hey, That's Not An Alt-Weekly'

Richard Karpel, our friend and the director of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, has written an amusing but pointed piece about what an "alternative weekly" is, and is not. He ends:

the armchair scientist

The founder of The Weather Channel, John Coleman, recently posted a dismissal of global warming on KUSI San Diego's blog. He writes, "I have read dozens of scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct. There is no run away climate change."

Urgent: Town Hall Meeting Thursday Nov. 15th 6pm @ Smith Robertson Museum

This meeting will be primarily to get the public involved in the fiasco that is the Farish St. Development project. This will be an opportunity for concerned citizens and long-time members/residents of the Farish St. community to voice their concerns about the status of

A Smoke-Free Lunch?

Last Thursday, I joined the JFP Lounge at Hal & Mal's in the smoke-free Oyster Room. Now, don't get me wrong; I love Hal & Mal's, and I love the comraderie of the JFP lounge. What I hate is the fact that every time I go to Hal & Mal's, whether for the red beans or an after-work cocktail, I have to deal with cigarette smoke. Occasionally, it gets to be too much temptation and I bum a smoke from another patron (I used to have a three-pack-a-day habit, so it's always an issue). Last Thursday, though, I left with a sore throat just from the second-hand smoke that didn't notice the no smoking sign where I happened to be sitting.

Tuesday, November 13

Welcome New Members, and a Rules Reminder

We're getting a flood of new members. I've activated a new batch just now, so hop on and post if you've been waiting for activation. Remember, all, that we have tightened up our entry policies a bit and are shying away from unknown Yahoo and Hotmail accounts due to past abuse. If you want to sign up under one of those accounts, you will need to get in touch with us directlly and verify your identity first. Also, I remind all new members to read through the blog rules before you post and interact with others. It is important to remember that we are a privately owned Web site, and you must abide by the rules, or your account will be suspended. And if you are suspended and then come back under a different e-mail address, we will suspend that account and delete all posts under it, regardless of what they are, per our rules.

Best of Jackson 2008 Ballot Is Here

Yes, Best of Jackson season is upon us again. In the current print edition, you will find the ballot for this year's reader's choice awards. And the online version is now up. So have at it.

Monday, November 12

Caveman Obsession, Part II - Video Clips

My sickness, ahem, fascination began with the GEICO ads. Here's a collection of those ads that have kept me in stitches:

Sunday, November 11

NOW Salter Tells His Readers ...

In Sid Salter's column today, he makes the point that Phil Bryant pulled more votes than Barbour in the election last week (not mentioning that Jim Hood apparently pulled the most in the state). But then he made the following statement rather off the cuff:

Ronnie Agnew: Anderson Lost Because He's Black

Clarion-Ledger Executive Editor Ronnie Agnew blames Gary Anderson's race in large part for his loss to Mike Chaney. Thoughts?

Saturday, November 10

"Caveman" on ABC

I may sound like a weirdo, but I LOVE THE SHOW! Maybe it's a guilty pleasure or maybe it's due to my tendency to rout for the underdog, but I watched episodes on TV and online. I liked the commercials, and I'm addicted to Even if you hate the TV show, check out the Web site. It's interactive, and you get to do things like flush the toilet while one of them is in the shower or look at video clips from a wild party they had the night before. If you go to the "Prep and Party" day on the PDA, they have an iPod playing songs by independent artists. One of the songs, which you may recognize fron the airport commercial, is "Remind Me" by Royksopp, one of my new favorites.

Dear Coach Croom

I have repeatedly criticized your coaching abilities since you became head football coach at Mississippi State University. Your teams were absolutely horrible. Due to that undeniable conclusion, I publicly questioned whether you were capable of performing the job you were hired to do. And I wasn't really sure if you were. Honestly, after witnessing painful season after painful season, I no longer cared to know. Watching MSU football broke my spirit.

Thursday, November 8

Senate To Investigate "Mega-churches" and the Pastors Who Run Them.

The senate annouced yesterday that they will be asking several so-called "Mega-churches" to come before them and answer some questions about their financial practices. On CNN yesterday, several pastors of those churches were asked to respond, but Atlanta's Creflo Dollar was the only one to come forth and give any comments. Dollar, the owner of TWO. not one, but TWO Rolls Royces and a sprawling mansion says in so many words that nowhere in the bible does it say that you should not be prosperous. What do yo think of these "mega-churches"? and the flashy pastors that run them? do you even agree with "state" interfering with "church" business. What are your thoughts?

"Dog" Chapman does the talk-show Circuit: Your thoughts on the "controversy"

Duane "Dog" Chapman has been making the rounds lately on news talk shows trying to salvage his show or his dignity(take your pick) after his son released an audio recording of him spewing racial epiteths about his son's African amercian girlfriend. Is he truly sorry? Or just sorry he got caught and had his cash cow yanked from under him? I saw him on both Larry King and Hannity and Colmes where he fought back the waterworks...He seemed contrite enough. Sounded more convincing than Michael Richards lol. What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, November 7

Wake Up Jackson Meeting on Sunday, November 11

The meeting will be at 3:00 PM at 519 Commerce St. It is at the industrial loft next to Light and Glass Studio.

2007 CD's You May Have Missed for Your Stocking

JENS LEKMAN "Night Falls On Kortedala"

Okkervil River's Black Sheep Boy was one of the most acclaimed releases of 2005. Leaving both the band and the listening public with a lot of anticipation for Okkervil's follow up this year. With their newest release, "The Stage Names", Okkervil River dynamite the walls of Black Sheep Boy's gothic, moss-walled castle from the inside to let in the glaring sun. Riddled with characters real and fake, with true-life biography and brazenly fabricated autobiography, with the relics of high culture and the crumpled-up trash of low culture, "The Stage Names" is a cinemascopic take on the meaning of entertainment. And, crucially, it entertains. Reverberant with echoes of Motown snap and girl-group pop, redolent with ripe whiffs of dirty rock 'n' roll, shining with the shimmy of Bo Diddley, with the shimmer of the Velvets, with the swagger of the Faces, and with a glittery sprinkling of cheap perfume over the top of it all to disguise the stink, "The Stage Names" is a relentlessly-paced and ruthlessly thrilling journey.

My Big, Fat Green Wedding

A wedding is cause for joy and celebration. It is also a time to pause and think about personal values and your environmental footprint as you step into your future life.

Pounding Beer (Bread)

I have never been a big beer fan. I prefer a fruity cocktail or a nice glass of Riesling over a cold Bud Light. My husband can go for a couple of cold brews, but we hardly ever buy it. It's usually a Friday-night-at-dinner type of thing, even for him. Despite this, somehow we recently stocked our fridge with three or four cases of various beers: Miller Light, Coors Light, Budweiser and Bud Light. And no, we aren't having a party on Saturday night.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Pro basketball, Dallas at Golden State (9:30 p.m., TNT): Former Lanier star Monta Ellis and the Warriors take on the Mavericks, the team they humiliated last season in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Fred Hammond

Fred Hammond understands changing careers; his call to church ministry is the third major shift in his life. At 51, "Reverend Fred" is the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jackson's new minister, and a novice to the profession.

'Tolerance' Key To Our Economy

Yes, it's a cliche, but it feels deserved this cycle. No matter who won the recent elections, I feel that Jacksonians in particular (and Mississippians in general) are the losers.

Desperation Descends

The Jackson City Council enters the month of November under a cloud of desperation. The city racked up its first $266,000 monthly deficit in October as a result of Jackson Mayor Frank Melton's refusal to follow through with his own budget fee increases.

Unlikely Endorsements

The weekly African American newspaper The Jackson Advocate endorsed avowed white racist Jim Giles as representative of House District 62 in its Nov. 1-7 edition.

Prowling for Sex

The chat begins innocently enough, with the man asking the girl's name. Then he asks what her hobbies are and tells her she's pretty or sexy. It is easy to see how a young girl might think the attention is flattering and innocent: It's just a chat. Then the questions get more personal: What color are your eyes? How old are you?

'None of this is Good News'

The day after the Jackson Free Press broke the news that she had been indicted, Robbie Bell turned herself in to sheriff's deputies on Oct. 31, for her alleged role in the death of Mary Heather Spencer on Sept. 11. Jackson police arrested Bell's son, George Bell III, for Spencer's murder after a four-hour standoff at a local gas station, with him and his mother cowering in his car. A grand jury indicted the mother for accessory after the fact three weeks ago, but the papers were not served until last week.

Eating Their Own Vomit

Sprawled across a cold, concrete slab in a tiny cell, H.D. carved "HATE ME" into her forearm with a toenail clipping and toothpaste cap. The bloody three-inch letters were dark and pronounced across her skin, and the redness echoed the bruises on her ankles from being shackled for more than three weeks by employees at Columbia Training School. This particular night, H.D. was on suicide watch, but Columbia staff members had left her alone with the door locked, only intermittently peeking in for a couple of seconds to see where she was located in the cell.

Wisdom, Tibetan Style

With eyes closed and hands clasped in prayer, the monks of Drepung Loseling monastery consecrated the mandala of wisdom moments before dismantling the art they had spent four days creating at Millsaps College. In their maroon and saffron robes, the monks chanted in their unique multiphonic style, the chant leader singing three distinct notes simultaneously, creating an eerie, otherworldly sound.

Feds: Mete Out Equal Justice

As the dust from a very ugly election settles, one thing is clear: There is a new, disturbing kind of well-funded machine politics that has rolled through the state in recent years, which has little use for Democrats. Granted, Dems haven't responded to the pressures of the U.S. Chamber-funded blitz on Mississippi well—but (slightly) to their defense, they have been broad-sided by huge money and a Bush-appointed Justice Department bent on playing state politics, with a compliant state media to back them up.

[Sue Doh Nem] Livin' in the Last Days

Dr. Peanut: "Welcome to the premiere bootleg broadcast of 'Meet the Ghetto Science Team Press.' Tonight I want to talk 'brother to brother' with Big Roscoe, owner of the Clubb Chicken Wing Multi-Purpose Complex. He is also the newly published author of 'Global Warming, Nuclear Holocaust and Ghetto Underground.'

[Kamikaze] The Lesser of Two Evils

By the time you read this column, we will have elected a new governor (or re-elected the same governor). Now if you're reading this and asking yourself, "There was an election Tuesday?", don't be embarrassed. You're part of a large group of uninformed, or unmotivated, Mississippians.

[Gregory] Queen of the Fleas

The past three weeks of my life have been one long personal jihad against the fleas currently residing in my house. I call it a "jihad" because the fleas have progressed to the point where they are affecting my mental health: It's me or them.

A Minor Injustice

Alexandre Dumas' most popular novel, "The Count of Monte Cristo," revolves around the narrative of Edmond Dantès, the captain of a merchant vessel who visits Napoleon on the isle of Elba and where the deposed emperor entrusts him with a letter to a dear friend in Paris. On his return to Marseilles, Dantès sets out to see his betrothed Mercédès. He is unaware that he has a competitor for Mercédès' affections in Fernand Mondego, who has learned of his dealings with Napoleon and has denounced him to the prosecutor, Villefort.

Dem At Your Own Risk

The year 2000 was the dawn of the tort-reform craze in Mississippi, when out-of-state groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce poured money into state elections in an attempt to roll back court regulation. The Chamber interpreted Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz as too friendly to plaintiffs and targeted his campaign, dumping millions of dollars into an ad blitz supporting Diaz' opponent, trial judge Keith Starrett, while refusing to identify its contributors. The Chamber even succeeded in getting an emergency appeal from ultra-conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to vacate injunctions challenging the legality of the Chamber ads.

Perrin Lamb, Jeremy Lister, Eliot Morris and Jefferson Bros. at FIRE Nov. 10

Check out each band at their MySpace pages below:

My good friend and former Clintonian (or is it Clinton-ite?) Perrin Lamb is playing for the first time in Jackson along with fellow Mississippian Jeremy Lister, Birmingham's Eliot Morris and headliner Jefferson Brothers Band on November 10 at Fire. Lamb and Lister both left Mississippi for Nashville a few years back and have had a successful run so far in the music scene there. A slightly different vibe than most Fire shows, Lamb, Lister and Morris all have an acoustic folk-pop quality about them, while Jefferson Brothers leans more toward the Train/Collective Soul side of things. Should be a good time. Doors open at 9pm. Cover is $10.00. 21 and up.

AG Jim Hood to Testify in State Farm Lawsuit

Forbes is reporting:

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is scheduled to testify Wednesday - a day after his re-election bid - at a hearing for a lawsuit that accuses him of violating an agreement to end a criminal investigation of State Farm Insurance Cos. U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Parker refused Tuesday to postpone Hood's scheduled appearance at a federal courthouse in Jackson, or to limit the scope of his testimony in the case. [...]

clear your halls

The election is over. After weeks and months of partisan politics, it seems like a good time for a fresh start. And what better way to clear the decks than to wage a full-on purge war in your attic, garage, dresser drawers and kitchen cabinets?

John Reeves Plans to Contest Loss

The Clarion-Ledger is reporting that Rep. John Reeves is alleging voter irregularities and plans to contest his loss to attorney Adrienne Wooten. (Also note that next to that story, the Ledger has declared Reeves the winner.)

Tuesday, November 6

Cathead Blues Update

11/7 - Guitar Mikey CD Release Party


Haley Barbour Wins Second Term

(Post by reader promoted from forums.)

The Associated Press is reporting that Haley Barbour has won a second term as governor. This in a state that is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. Many believe Haley is the only politician who came out looking good after the natural disaster.

LAST CALL: VOTE Today Until 7 p.m.

Attorney General: Jim Hood - won

The Jackson Free Press urges everyone to go to the polls today and vote in state and county elections. Polls are open until 7 p.m. Following are the JFP's endorsements in races where we prefer one candidate to the other (which is slightly different from the print version. We dropped our endorsement of David Blount, and added one of Dick Hall due to the tone of campaign ads.)

Barbour Last-Minute Robocall for Votes

Regardless of the outcome today, it looks like Haley Barbour is worried. Just got this e-mail from a source:

Wake Up Jackson's Latest Endeavor: Public Comments at City Council Meetings

(Also posted here.)

Campaign Parties Around Town

If you want to go out and watch the campaign staffs get drunk, the winners gloat, the losers try to take the high road (or not), or to congratulate or yell at one of the candidates for ugly campaigning, here's where they'll be:

Monday, November 5

Clarion-Ledger Endorses Front-Page Advertiser

On Sunday, The Clarion-Ledger endorsed Gov. Haley Barbour for governor (and his sure-to-be lapdog Phil Bryant, thus ensuring Barbour control of the Senate)—in the same issue that had one of those sticky ad stuck on top of the newspaper's flag on page 1. This violates years of accepted journalistic ethics that you don't put advertising on page 1 of a newspaper (sliding profits have a way of affecting ethical standards, however)—and especially not of a candidate that you then endorse inside! Then, inside, Perspective Editor Sid Salter tells us who's going to win Tuesday—Barbour and Bryant, of course—in an odd column that doesn't frame his column as guesses; nor does he say who he wants to win and why. Is he privy to polls he's not telling us about? Does he know something we don't? Why is he so confident? Salter:

Sunday, November 4

Instant Replay: College Football, Nov. 3

Jackson State 43, Alabama A&M 40: The Tigers take control in the SWAC East.

JSU 2007 Homecoming Parade In Pictures

I meant to share these the day of the parade, which was October 27, but due to procrastination, I'm just now finishing up the online photo album. Here are some of the pictures I took:

CBS Cuts Away from Saints-Jax Game?!?

WTF? All the sudden I'm watching the Cincinnati - Buffalo game right after Jacksonville marched down the field to score. And now we're watching Chad Johnson get hurt and pulled from the field in an ambulance -- let's hope and pray he's alright.

Friday, November 2

BREAKING: Lee Vance New Police Chief; Anderson Out?

More details as they emerge.

WAPT is about to report that Mayor Frank Melton today promoted Commander Lee Vance to the position of police chief, meaning that current Chief Shirlene Anderson is out.

Melton Unlists Phone Number

Mayor Frank Melton has changed his old phone number, 601.206.3116, "to an unlisted number," according to a recording on the old number. Assistant Editor Maggie Burks learned about the number change when she tried to call for a response to the change in police chief guard.

Radio JFP to Discuss Immigration Campaign Rhetoric

Tune in today at noon on WLEZ-FM, 103.7 (streaming live at to hear Todd Stauffer and Donna Ladd talk about the use of anti-immigration rhetoric by both Republicans and Democrats in their campaigns. We will start a discussion about the myths and realities of illegal immigration. Also joining us to talk about the rights of the disabled in at election polls will be Andi Agnew, who is also the JFP music editor.

GOP Rhetoric About Hood ‘Corruption' Reprehensible

Todd and I made the mistake of watching the evening news last night. The attack ads were just plain horrifying. The one that disgusted me the most was Al and Haley's ad about Hood being "corrupt." This is such a twisting of the truth, as we've reported repeatedly, that those two men ought to be run out of this state for telling such vicious lies and slandering another human being. Haley and the GOP machine will. stop. at. nothing. The Clarion-Ledger, amazingly, is seeing through the ruse (although they did everything they could to help this machine get its power in the past). In their endorsement of Hood today, they write:

Thursday, November 1

How ‘Bout This Bizarro Framing by Sid Salter?

In an extremely odd column this week, Sid Salter sets up a false strawman (broom?) and then knocks it down himself, kind of. He starts by asking: "The broom: Can state GOP sweep election?" He then tells us that the GOP isn't saying they are going to, but they must be hoping to. Then he tells us why/how it's not going to happen. Then he ends with:

‘A Way Out' Talks on Domestic Violence

Nov. 1 - Ridgeland Library on Hwy. 51, 6:30-7:30 p.m., free

The JFP is a proud sponsor of two upcoming panel discussions on domestic abuse and violence, both called "A Way Out: A Community Discussion on Domestic Abuse and Violence." Desare Frazier of WAPT will moderate both panels: