Sunday, September 30
When I blogged about Mississippi Republicans using coded anti-Latino rhetoric to their advantage, my editor offered up a challenge: are Democrats doing the same thing, just less explicitly?
South Carolina 38, Mississippi State 21: The Bulldogs hung with the Gamecocks for most of the way, but they didn't have enough bullets (or a good enough QB) to beat the Ol' Ball Coach.
Friday, September 28
The Clarion-Ledger reports that Southern Miss quarterback Jeremy Young is expected to miss two to five weeks after suffering an ankle injury during Thursday night's 38-16 loss at Boise State. Young, a former Provine star, suffered a high ankle sprain midway through the third quarter, effectively ending USM's slim hopes of a comeback.
The Clarion-Ledger is reporting that a house was burglarized on Riverwood Drive, Mayor Frank Melton's street in North Jackson. The homeowner fired at them and they ran into the woods. Authorities apprehended two men and are looking for a third. Nearby McLeod Elementary School was placed on lockdown.
SAMPLE OF THIS WEEK'S "LIVE" BLUES EVENTS IN THE DELTA (full list at http://www.cathead.biz/livemusic.html )...
The administration of Jackson Mayor Frank Melton got its wish from the council in a 3-to-2 vote in favor of raiding $3 million from the city's $7 million budget reserve fund to fix a lingering hole in the 2007 budget. "I don't like the idea of taking money out of the fund, but I don't see any other way to deal with (the shortfall)," Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes said.
Thursday, September 27
Boise State 38, Southern Miss 16: The Golden Eagles went up to Idaho for a high-profile national TV game ... and got spanked. There's something about that blue field that doesn't agree with USM. Oh well, they're still on track to win the CUSA title and the coveted Liberty Bowl berth that goes with.
Confessed dog killer and former NFL quarterback Michael Vick has tested positive for marijuana. No way! Authorities will be keeping a tighter rein on Mr. Vick until they throw him into the hole.
Make plans to attend "Reconciliation: A Personal Journey" on Thursday, Sept. 27, a JFP "Race, Religion & Society Forum," co-sponsored by the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. The panel discussion at Millsaps College will feature Pastor Shirley Beach (the cousin of James Ford Seale), Bishop Stanley B. Searcy Sr. and Pastor Doris Norman of Natchez, who were featured in the June 27 JFP story "We Are Family: A Klan Girl Fans a Different Flame." Joining the panel are Deborah Posey of the Philadelphia Coalition, which called for the prosecution of Edgar Ray Killen, and Dolphus Weary, head of Mission Mississippi, a group that urges people of different races to worship together. JFP editor Donna Ladd will moderate the forum. Local art will go on sale/display at 5 p.m. in the Ford Academic Complex Recital Hall (#16 on map) at Millsaps College, and the forum will run from 5:30-7 p.m. Stay for light refreshment and fellowship until 8 p.m. Free admission. For more info or to submit art for display, call Ronni Mott at 601-362-6121.
The attorney general's cyber-crime unit is investigating the origin of a threatening e-mail that has been circulated around Jackson in the last week. Verbatim statement:
This morning the Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass the historic Matthew Shepard Act, expanding federal hate crimes protection to include sexual orientation. The vote was 60 for, 39 against. Shamefully, Mississippi's two senators Cochran and Lott were among those voting against the Matthew Shepard Act.
Verbatim from the Eaves campaign:
LUMBERTON — Republican Mayor Aaron Lott of Lumberton will endorse Democrat John Eaves for Governor during a news event at 2 p.m. today, Thursday, September 27, 2007. The event will be held at 304 North Second Street in Lumberton. For his endorsement Mayor Lott cited Eaves' strong Christian values and Barbour's misuse of Katrina recover funds to enrich his friends, family, clients, and himself.
Mayor Frank Melton showed his dark side publicly yesterday while in a meeting to try to figure how to alleviate his $3 million budget deficit from last year. The Clarion-Ledger reports today on Melton's meltdown:
David, we love you, but you are wrong about this one. Even if you're music is a representation of society, it sure would be nice for a strong man from around these parts to say that how we treat our women is NOT cool.
Wednesday, September 26
When I was preparing to travel to China, people in Mississippi College's international center loaded me and my fellow travelers with stacks of Chinese phrase sheets and English-as-a-Second-Language packets. My boyfriend, JP, and I were signed up to teach English to high school and middle school students in academic summer camps in Tianjin, China, and we were stoked. JP and I decided before we left the States that we would try whatever food was placed in front of us, but the people we knew who had lived in China told us that the one dish that we had to try was ba si ping guo.
Pro golf, Viking Classic (7 a.m., Madison): The first round of Mississippi's only PGA Tour event tees off at Annandale Golf Club. The tourney continues through Sunday. … College football, Southern Miss at Boise State (6:30 p.m., Boise, Idaho, ESPN/1180 AM/103.3 FM): The Golden Eagles fly north to last year's non-BCS little giant. Do not adjust your set; the Broncos play on a blue field. … Southern Arkansas at Delta State (7 p.m., Cleveland, CSS/930 AM): They don't call DSU the "Fightin' Okra" for nothing.
When Sabir Abdul-Haqq puts his story in digital format, the soundtrack will be hip-hop. Not the stuff that gives the genre a bad name, though. It will probably sound a lot like Jurassic 5. Bright young faces beaming with potential will surround him, and you'll almost surely see his mother, Rosa Shareef, and 17-year-old brother, Ahmed Shareef—the two people he admires most. His digital story will leave viewers impressed: Abdul-Haqq is a man with passion and an inspiring sense of integrity.
John followed me out of the bar, yelling as I crossed the street, yelling when I got into my car, yelling as I started the engine. I don't remember what he was yelling about anymore, but I'm sure it was about me being stupid, or incompetent, or a coward for walking away; maybe it was all three.
Incendiary remarks recently made by a former city employee regarding the Standard Life Building whittled down to a nod of acquiescence at the Jackson City Council's 4 p.m. work session.
During a painfully long Sept. 24 meeting of the Jackson Public School board, JPS Attorney JoAnne Shepherd reported on the litigious circumstances surrounding the proposed implementation of invocation before school board meetings. While the State Board of Education and the Mississippi Institute of Higher Learning open their meetings with prayer, most school boards in Mississippi do not. Board member Sollie Norwood has been vocal on the matter of prayer, saying in the meeting that the practice of prayer should extend beyond the school board.
Mississippi's low-income families pay a higher percentage of their income on taxes than people with higher incomes, one reason that makes the state's tax system mostly regressive. That is the conclusion of "Putting the Pieces Together: A Taxpayer's Guide to the Mississippi Budget," a new report from the Mississippi Economic Policy Center, an independent, nonpartisan initiative whose purpose is to analyze issues that affect working families and low-wealth Mississippians.
Young people were the majority last week in Jena, La. Amid the vast numbers of media crews and veteran civil-rights activists, the thousands of fists raised to the sky and chants of "no justice, no peace," and the sounds of bongo drums and handclaps of excitement, the youth of America were heard.
The $75 million Livingston Village project, which developers plan to build near the Jackson Medical Mall, is moving ahead since the Jackson City Council maneuvered a few bumps in the road last week. After a contentious battle with unwilling Ward 3 residents, the zoning committee voted 7-to-0 to approve a zone change transforming the site of the old Hood Furniture Factory from its industrial category to mixed use. The decision will allow developer Mike Smith, CEO of MPI Center, LLC, to move ahead with property demolition this year and begin construction on Ward 3's newest neighborhood.
Republican attorney general candidate Alben Hopkins, a successful Gulf Coast trial lawyer, attacked Attorney General Jim Hood Monday for using private attorneys to take on lawsuits on behalf of the state of Mississippi. Hood responded that the state does not have the staff to wage an expensive lawsuit against a corporate giant like MCI, which had to pay $100 million in cash and $15 million in property into the state coffers in 2005 for overdue taxes.
Here's something we all know: Mayor Melton likes to throw money around. Prior to his election, he was well known for sending kids to college, "adopting" young men into his home, and handing out high paying jobs to friends, former enemies and family.
Boneqweesha Jones: "W.E.B. DuBois, a great educator and one of the founders of the NAACP, said that the problem of the 20th century is the color line. Well, Mr. DuBois, it seems as if the issues and problems of racial intolerance have rolled over into the 21st century like unused cell-phone minutes, especially in towns like Germantown, Tenn., and Jena, La.
Do you really want to know why we're mad? I'll tell you why, although it should be painfully obvious:
One very conspicuous person missing from the cast of thousands in Jena was Mychal Bell. The 17-year-old, more than any other of the Jena Six teens, fueled the furor over the case. Bell has languished in jail since last December. He's stayed there in part because of the heavy-duty charges against him. The DA claims that several other scrapes with the law helped keep him there. But he's there in bigger part because his family couldn't raise the portion of the $90,000 bond the courts slapped on Bell. For a working-class, black family, in a low-wage small Southern town, this seems like a king's ransom. But as bail goes in felony conviction cases, this is not exorbitant. So why didn't civil-rights leaders, the black celebrities and the marchers that made Bell a cause célèbre and eagerly mugged for the TV cameras pony up the cash to get him out?
Enjoying the slight drop in temperature on Monday, Sept. 17, Doris Shavers sat laughing with friends and family in her mother Ethel Sanders' front yard where the family liked to emerge from their nearby houses and fellowship. Their children played among them, riding bikes and jumping on the trampoline across Ludlow Avenue in Doris' front yard.
When your daughter, best friend or co-worker becomes a victim of abuse, you have the opportunity to make a difference.
Domestic abuse can take many forms, and physical violence is only one of them. If you think you might be an abuser, here are some questions to ask yourself:
A safety plan is intended to aid victims of domestic violence in securing their physical safety and personal well-being. The plan is not a substitute for law enforcement and professional help. If you fear your life is in eminent danger, call 911 immediately.
Line-up announced! Hope to see all of you out at Hal and Mal's for the First Annual Collective Showcase. It will be a celebration of the arts highlighting everything from the visual arts to dance, calypso, spoken word, hip hop, and alternative music. There will literally be somethng for everyone. So after you go to the Reconciliation event stop by and check us out. Nice clean, wholesome entertainment and for a good cause. And we will be signing up new members for the Collective. It all starts at 7pm and goes until they run us off. Below is the list of performers. We're going to be rocking out on BOTH stages(We'll be alternating stages after every performance) so we're gonna keep ya moving all night long.
And I believe he did us proud!!! Like him or not. but judge for yourself. You can choose to go right to these articles or just google "David Banner Congressinal Hearings" to see feedback from all over the world on yesterday's hearings.
The Clarion-Ledger is reporting that Chief Shirlene Anderson is saying that a police officer who shot an unarmed man three times in the chest during a traffic stop committed no "wrong-doing." Police still will not release the officer's name:
Tuesday, September 25
The New Orleans Saints fell to 0-3 with Monday night's 31-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Is it too early to bury them? And here's more bad news: Deuce McAllister suffered a season-ending knee injury for the second time in three seasons.
Ouch. This sucks. It looks like Deuce has another torn ACL and will be out for the season. Once again he'll have to go through knee surgery and then a painful recoup process:
Judging by the demonstration, Shotspotter is impressive technology. But as with other high-priced surveillance technology the J.P.D. has spread across Jackson, city officials were unclear about what policies, if any, would be created to ensure that the technology is used in a manner consistent with citizens' rights.
To help the JFP prepare for our upcoming fall wellness issue (out Oct. 11), we're asking readers and wellness practitioners to post information on Jackpedia that will help JFP readers live more healthy and productive lives. In that issue, we will pull wellness listings from Jackpedia to feature in the paper. The way to be considered for inclusion is for practitioners, healthy restaurants, health clubs, doctors, etc., to register at Jackpedia and post info about your wellness service/business, or for readers to offer suggestions about wellness sources/ideas that have helped you.
Wake Up Jackson Civic Association needs you. We're waiting on the outcome of a couple of things, so in the meantime, please let me know what you would like for us to do and focus on for the remainder of 2007.
Monday, September 24
The Jackson City Council dropped the bomb at a special meeting that the city of Jackson is still stuck with a $3 million deficit from the 2006-'07 budget, even after the Council approved the 2008 budget last week. "We need to address the issue of the closed-out budget of '06-'07, which by state law, we are required to have balanced by Sept. 30. Right now, that is not the case," said Ward 6 Councilman Marshand Crisler. "I don't think we can over-emphasize the importance of doing that in a timely fashion."
Joey Langston, of the Langston Law Firm in Booneville, Miss., along with former partner Tim Balducci, announced in a statement today (PDF, 56 KB) that they have filed an action suit against State Auditor and lieutenant governor candidate Phil Bryant in response to Bryant threatening to sue the firm to make them return attorney fees totaling to $14 million in a 2005 MCI case.
More details when Adam Lynch returns from City Hall.
The Clarion-Ledger is reporting that the Melton administration revealed to City Council today that they still need $3 million in order to balance the city's budgeteven though Council has already adopted a 2008 budget, which was supposed to balance the budget. The city wants to borrow the $3 million from the city's 7 million reserve fund. Administration officials refused to show up at a 2 p.m. budget meeting to answer questions about the shortfall, the Ledger reported.
Haley Barbour still getting paid by lobbying firm.
The Mississippi Prayer Warriors sent around this e-mail today questioning Barbour's lobbying ties. Pasted verbatim:
BARBOUR NEEDS A FACT CHECKER
The John Eaves gubernatorial campaign just sent around this statement responding to Barbour's comment during last week's debate that Eaves gave to fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton's campaign—clearing trying to play the liberal-femi-nazi card on Eaves:
Folks, we will soon begin the competition for Best of Jackson 2008. This year, we are solicting reader suggestions for categories you'd like to see on the Best of Jackson ballot that we haven't had in the past.
In The Clarion-Ledger story this morning about the Council's effort to regulate the mayor's ability to hire so many temporary workers for undefined lengths of time, the mayor demonstrates why the unions got behind his candidacy.
Sunday, September 23
Florida 30, Ole Miss 24: The Rebels hang tough with the nation's No. 3 team. So tough, that Florida dropped in the AP poll after winning. Meanwhile, even the national radio talk show hosts are on Reb Coach Ed Orgeron's case now.
Saturday, September 22
Just in case you thought we were blowing things out of proportion....again, THIS is why we're mad!
Friday, September 21
The Ole Miss football program is ruined, thanks to Ed Orgeron, and Rebel fans are in a state of denial. So says Reb alumnus and new Doctor S favorite Steve Godfrey.
That's what Andrew Meyer yelled out while police officers restrained him at a John Kerry campus forum. The reason: asking too many questions.
Thursday, September 20
Tune in to hear a live broadcast of the debate between Gov. Haley Barbour and challenge John Eaves tonight at 7 p.m. on MPB radio. Feel free to comment on the debate here.
A journalism professor published interesting column in Seven Days, the alternative paper in Burlington, Vt., about their Gannett daily, ironically (to us) called the Burlington Free Press. The column explores why so many employees are leaving that daily. The paper here has similar problems with turnover; Laura Hipp, who had been covering the Legislature, announced she is moving to Texas this fall. And here in Jackson, Gannett recently stopped giving employees free coffee. Some of this sounds awfully familiar with our own former-newspaper-turned-"information center," eh? (Remember, all Free Press references are to the Burlington daily!)
Sources tell the Jackson Free Press that Mayor Frank Melton may have fired police officers who muddled the response to reports on Ludlow Street Monday that Henry Phillips, 50, was brandishing a weapon outside the house of his ex-girlfriend, Doris Shavers, 40.
Our good friend Gorjus is using a photo of Joey Adams, Darth Vader and me at Crossroads last year as his main pic right now. You know, I thought Darth would be taller, somehow. They sure can play tricks in the movies, eh?
Scott Horton has a compelling piece in Harper's magazine right now about the Oliver Diaz case, and whether it was "politically motivated and directed"—and driven by none other than Gov. Haley Barbour.
The JFP's Maggie Burks is in Jena, La., today continuing her http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/comments.php?id=14884_0_67_0_C ]coverage of the Jena 6 case that she started in early August when she went to cover Al Sharpton's visit there.
David Hampton said yesterday on this blog that he ran into D.A.-elect Robert Smith, who told him that he no longer has the two JPD bodyguards. Then Hampton explains it away this way, in the way that he does. Per the blog:
Wednesday, September 19
"BioShock" is banned from Valve Studios. The team behind the legendary first-person shooter "Half-Life" has declared that none of its employees is allowed to touch the game. Managing Director Gabe Newell explained to computerandgames.com: "Nobody gets to play it until Orange Box is done—that's our reward to ourselves as a company; everyone gets a copy of 'BioShock." When Valve openly praises another company's FPS, it becomes clear that something has gone very, very right.
I recently started watching the Food Network—partly for inspiration and partly because I now work at home and need outside stimulation. I don't like most of the female cooking hosts—not because they don't have any good ideas, but because they do. I just can't handle the perkiness and "let's decorate the house to go along with the sandwiches we just made" thing. I'm more a fan of the male hosts, because they are all about getting down and dirty into the food, the history of it and even the scariness of it.
Junior college football, Gulf Coast at Hinds (7 p.m., Raymond): The Eagles, 3-0, play host to the Bulldogs, who are also 3-0 and coming off a victory over top-ranked Pearl River.
Terrell Lewis, 19, is a people person, he says, which is obvious when he takes to the field as Jackson State University's mascot, Wavee Dave. The sophomore mass communication major says that JSU has been "in his blood" from an early age. Both his parents—Tyrone and Shelia Lewis— graduated from JSU, and Lewis was a "baby tiger" from the time he was 5 years old to when he outgrew his suit at age 12.
When I logged into our production server this week, something had changed—there was just a single "Issue 1" sub-folder in the working directory. It was an unceremonious symbol of a momentous occasion—Volume 6 had begun, the previous year's files moved to the archives. The Jackson Free Press has completed five years of publishing.
Why George Bell III stopped bludgeoning Heather Spencer on that June night is anyone's guess. Perhaps his hammer slipped out of his hand as Spencer's blood made it slick. Perhaps he came to his senses. Perhaps Spencer was able to escape.
The Jackson City Council approved a balanced $387.7 million city budget last Friday, after almost two weeks of grueling daily budget meetings.
Cynthia Carpenter's daughter was a 9th grade student at Lanier High School when the mayor awarded her a full scholarship to a school of her choice. In collaboration with the mayor, a local chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity selected Carpenter's daughter to be the scholarship recipient, while the foundation provided the funding, Carpenter says. Now a freshman pre-pharmacy student at Ole Miss, she is still waiting on the promised funds.
Jackson Public Schools reached a settlement with Michael and Rachel Ellis in the Ellis' Title VII lawsuit filed in January against JPS Superintendent Dr. Earl Watkins for sexual harassment.
It's been a tough week. In addition to budget woes and ludicrous statements by the mayor about confiscating the nicest cars to sell, we have lost two beautiful women at the hands of their boyfriends. And mere competence by the Jackson Police Department might have saved both their lives.
Qweem-O-Wheat: "For quite some time, with my faithful truck, a big old hot pot and plenty of Qweem-O-Wheat, I've fed thousands of senior citizens hot qweemy bowls of dee-wishious Qweem-O-Wheat through my 'meals-on-wheels' service. While delivering a hot, qweemy treat to Grandma Pookie, she whispered: 'Boy, nothing in life is free—even when you get old like me.' Her statement made me realize that our senior citizens have become vulnerable, slow-moving targets for folk who want to beat down elderly people and take their hard-earned money.
Good morning, 9/11 generation. It's been six years since our world changed, and what do we have to show for it? The military is no longer a career; it is a vocation. War is no longer an abstract concept; we know what war is and we see what it does—not only to the country waging it, but also the country upon whose soil the war is being fought. We are (hopefully) no longer indifferent to political elections; no matter your leaning, you now realize that the vote you cast matters and can impact your life.
They can be found at the grocery store, in bars and at your local eatery. If you miss them in those places, you're sure to find one in your Sunday school class or at work. What are they?
From MSU: Mississippi State's football game at South Carolina, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 29, will be televised by Lincoln Financial Sports (Ch. 12 in Jackson).
Photos by Stephen Little
Even as the mayor and his administration are scrambling to collect overdue fees, hoping to make up for severe budgetary shortfalls, developers say the city is on the verge of a whole-scale Renaissance, with long-term plans coming online and new developments jostling to see the light of day -- with almost $200 million in development over the last five years.
"Pro-white" congressional candidate Jim Giles told reporter Ayana Taylor in 2004 that Richard Barrett "no more represents the working-class white man than you do, Ayana."
YOU ARE INVITED TO COME HEAR THE GREAT STANLEY COWELL in a rare solo appearance, kicking off the Bell Piano Series' fifth season. Mr Cowell will be first be on campus this Friday at 12:30 pm in Room 215 (lecture hall next to the recital hall lobby) of the Ford Academic Complex, to give a talk (with recordings) about the jazz scene he's witnessed firsthand over the last six decades. This is a man who played regularly with the likes of Max Roach, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Art Pepper, Roy Haynes, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Heath, Herbie Mann...(well, you get the picture!).
Tuesday, September 18
Johnathan Jones walked back into Pops Around the Corner on Dec. 28, 2005, after leaving earlier to go home to Brandon. He told the bartender that "some n*gger" had thrown a beer bottle through his window and that he was "going to kill" the "n*gger." He asked the bartender to help him call the police to fill out a case report so his insurance company could replace the window.
WAPT is reporting that Doris Shavers, 40, has died after being shot in the head, allegedly by Henry Phillips in a domestic dispute last night on Ludlow Street. While Shavers was in UMC fighting for her life, police had originally charged Henry Philips, 50, with aggravated assault, a felony, and domestic violence. He is now charged with murder.
WJTV—which has done stellar reporting in the Heather Spencer rape/murder—is reporting that the accused murderer is being housed in the women's jail downtown, not the Hinds County Detention Center where murder suspects would normally be. The reasons are unclear. WJTV is also pointing out that police finally charged him with domestic violence for the June hammer-beating of Spencer—after he allegedly bludgeoned her to death last week. Why the belated domestic-violence charge is a misdemeanor, rather than a felony assault charge for the 57 staples put in her head, is unclear at this time.
Congratulations are in order for editor-in-chief Donna Ladd, who has a new appointment on the Board of Directors of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies -- she is now the Diversity Chair of the organization, something she's very proud and excited to be doing.
Monday, September 17
We got word today that a fan of Todd's old TV show—"Disk Doctors" on Knowledge TV, along with co-host Steven Sashen—has posted several of the shows on YouTube. Todd started doing the show, which was taped in Denver, not long after we met in Colorado Springs, then he'd fly back to do shows after we moved to NYC. Enjoy these four old episodes.
I knew New Republic was doing a story on Gov. Haley Barbour, and this one looks like a doozy. There's a lot there, but this part about Capitol Resources, etc., stuck out to me. (Read the whole story here).
RTI International Metals Inc. today announced both plans to supply titanium products "that support the production of the Airbus family of commercial aircraft, including the A380 and the A350 XWB programs" and to build a titanium sponge plant in Hamilton, Miss., crediting Gov. Haley Barbour in their press release, which states in part:
Does anyone think this is the nail in O.J.'s coffin, or will he get out of this somehow?
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard that Simpson has been arrested this past weekend for an alleged armed robbery in which he claims that he was retrieving stolen sports memorabilia that he says belonged to him. In the accompanying video, there are clips from an audio recording of the incident, courtesy of TMZ.com, where you can hear Simpson shouting expletives at his accusers. He is in isolation, and no bail has been set, which doesn't surprise me considering the white Ford Bronco chase that happened over a decade ago.
This column is running in the Hattiesburg American. It would seem that the Barbours are helping the hunters and fishermen on the Coast, if not poor people who need housing down there:
One of the responses to my last immigration blog was that I had made strawmen out of GOP candidates Phil Bryant and Delbert Hosemann, for interpreting their anti-illegal alien rhetoric as merely anti-immigrant (and, more to the point, anti-Latino). In a recent column for The Clarion-Ledger, however, Bill Minor sees the real straw men of the immigration debate as Latinos, in an extension of the Southern Strategy race politics that exclusively targeted blacks.
Sunday, September 16
I was just reading the comments under the Think Progress Barbour "corruption" thread and saw this comment that deserves more discussion:
Saturday, September 15
Doctor S was MIA last weekend, but he's back on the job. The first order of business is what happened in state college football this week:
Friday, September 14
The juvi-trolls are back at it, folks. Obviously, I did not go to John Eaves' Web site and send these e-mails out to people:
Update: Today a Louisiana appeals court overturned the conviction of Mychal Bell, one of the "Jena 6" who were facing severe charges for their end of a racially tinged feud at a school in Jena, La. Read more here. Maggie Burks of the Jackson Free Press has been covering the case since early August, when she went to Jena to cover Al Sharpton's visit there in support of the young men. Read her Aug. 8 story here. Read the Wikipedia entry on the case here
Jackson Public Schools has reached a settlement with Michael and Rachel Ellis in the Ellis' Title VII lawsuit filed in January against JPS Superintendent Dr. Earl Watkins.
Councilman Marshand Crisler is joining Donna Ladd and Todd Stauffer today at noon for Radio JFP on WLEZ-FM (103.7 or http://www.wlezfm.com for a live stream)—if he can get out of city budget meetings long enough. If he makes, we'll discuss the city budget woes and his devotion to Buy Jackson. Regardless, we will also discuss our cover package of stories this week about revelations about Gov. Haley Barbour and the tragic case of Heather Spencer's murder, and what needs to be done to present other such murders. Tune in at noon, or check the site later for an audio file.
In a turnabout, the Democratic mayor of Laurel is denying reports that he and Barbour were planning to jointly announce his endorsement of the governor. The Associated Press is reporting that Barbour's campaign had told them that, but the Laurel mayor is now denying:
Thursday, September 13
Fall Headlining Tour Kicks Off October 30th; Ticket Pre-Sale Begins This Saturday. Performances Confirmed On "Late Show with David Letterman" And "Late Night With Conan O'Brien"
Editor's Note: The date of the Contact training has been corrected in the story below.
Be sure not to miss the juicy tidbit in Adam's cover story this week about BlindTrust-gate, which I also talk about in my editor's note about Barbour. That is, Barbour's attorney Ed Brunini actually used the original Clarion-Ledger editorial defending Barbour back in January 2004, saying he had cut all ties to his lobbying firm, as an excuse—an exhibit even!—in his response to Attorney General Jim Hood look year, when Hood told Barbour he legally had to disclose his financial holdings and the companies he had interest in. Really breathe this in now: The Clarion-Ledger wrote an editorial defending Barbour and pooh-poohing concerns about his ties to major clients (that he has worked to benefit as governor), and then Brunini uses that editorial as so-called proof that there is "universal" approval of the way he's handled his "blind trust" among the state's media. Wacky circular logic there.
Let's talk, Mississippi.
In honor of Heather Spencer, who was beaten to death by her boyfriend who almost beat her to death a couple months back with nothing done about it by the police, let's talk about the realities of domestic violence. We can at least honor the life of this woman, and others like her, by being brutally honest about how bad this problem is, especially in Mississippi, one of the most violent for women in the country. How do attitudes about women, and keeping your family together no matter what, play into this problem? How do economics in the poorest state keep women in violent situations? How do our laws, and lax enforcement, make the problem worse? How does the threat of even more violence when a woman tries to leave keep women in abuse situations? How does the ability of richer families to cover up their problems (or send them off to rehab instead of jail) tie in?
Wednesday, September 12
Barbour's confidence going into his re-election campaign is formidable. But the former Washington lobbyist and former chairman of the Republican National Committee may not be such a "former" lobbyist after all, critics are charging, and he may be using his influence to benefit lobbying clients.
Thanks to Gov. Haley Barbour, federal Hurricane Katrina recovery money is benefiting the rich on the Mississippi Gulf Coast more than the poor, advocates for low- and moderate-income housing say. "We're finding that federal disbursements are not balanced among high- and low-income people," said Derrick Johnson, president of the Mississippi NAACP.
Megan Williams was stabbed in the leg, called racial epithets and forced to eat rat droppings and dog feces while held hostage in a tool shed for a week or more. The victim is currently hospitalized, and they expect for her to be released in a few days. Six of the eight suspects, all white, have been apprehended. Authorities are still trying to determine how Williams ended up in the shed, and they believe she may have been tricked by someone she met on the Internet.
I recently returned from a week in San Francisco visiting my lovely sister, Annie, and her husband, Jess. I planned my trip several weeks in advance so that our first stop when I got off the plane would be Zachary's Chicago-style pizzeria in Oakland. In fact, I coordinated most of the week so that I could be sure to hit up all my favorite culinary treats in between visiting friends and family.
Now that summer is almost over, you might find yourself longing for another hot and lazy afternoon in the hammock, a chilled glass of wine at the ready, instead of your now-harried schedule of before and after-school chauffeuring and parent-teacher meetings. Fret not; there are plenty of warm-weather weekends where you can pretend you're still carefree. But instead of your summer standby chardonnay, be adventurous and try a tasty rosé to usher in a spectacular autumn sunset.
Gamers have been subjected to many things over the years. Fighting the Nazis: Check. Hunting dinosaurs: Been there. Stuck on a hostile planet surrounded by both vicious aliens and all-consuming parasitic lifeforms: We've got the T-shirt.
College football, Texas Southern at Jackson State (6:30 p.m., Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, Jackson, ESPNU, 1300 AM/105. 9 FM): Both sets of Tigers are winless and hungry for a victory.
Parker Andrews is an intriguing enigma. At first glance, he is a typical 11-year-old fifth-grade student whose recent acquisition of Healy skate shoes has transformed him into a full-fledged speeding bullet. But beyond first impressions, Andrews is unlike many his age.
For more on Haley Barbour, see Donna Ladd's blog and Jackpedia: Haley Barbour
After several stalled attempts, Jackson Mayor Frank Melton presented an overview of his revised budget to the City Council at a Monday evening work session. The new budget, which must be approved by Sept. 15, does not contain the $2.6 million tax increase of the old budget, but does recommend some painful cuts.
Dr. Richard Cooper has difficulty with written language. More than once during his presentation to the Mississippi House Education Committee hearing on Friday, Sept. 7, the dyslexia specialist paused because he caught himself making a common dyslexic error, such as saying one thing while writing another on an overhead slide. Cooper holds a doctorate in education, is director of the Center for Alternative Education in Pennsylvania and is himself dyslexic, which gives him unique insight into screening for and overcoming the disorder.
Jackson Administrative Assistant Carolyn Bell, who financed her Ridgeland home through New Century Mortgage—now called Carrington Mortgage Company—bought her home in 2006 with a fixed, introduction teaser rate, and her monthly payment is $1,008. The adjustable rate of the loan is kicking in this month, however, bringing with it the possibility of a $1,400 monthly mortgage payment. Bell knows she can't afford the new rate and doubts she will be able to re-finance before it takes effect.
Jackson Public Schools administrators, educators and students gathered in the auditorium of Poindexter Elementary School on Thursday, Sept. 6, for the announcement and celebration of the district's top-rated schools. JPS Superintendent Earl Watkins revealed six level 5 (superior-rated) schools, including first-timer Poindexter Elementary. Making a swift improvement from level 2 in 2005, Poindexter is a true success story, Watkins said.
As the full truth of the city's considerable budget crisis has emerged, one additional thing about Mayor Frank Melton has come into full reliefhe's doesn't know how to run the city. Couple this with the crime statistics that show Melton doesn't know how to run a police department, and we're forced to recognize thataside from speaking to TV cameras and trashing other public officialsthere's very little that Mr. Melton actually can do.
Cootie McBride: "Recently several public officials, like Senator Craig, have had some misunderstandings with police officers in public restrooms. It seems as if Big Brother has lengthened his arm of law enforcement from the streets to the toilet seats. Now that the crap has hit the fan regarding this issue, I want to provide some practical tips to fellow public servants and everyday working people.
For nearly a month I traveled over 4,000 miles, spanning two continents. I made new acquaintances, gained new fans and learned things about myself and the world that I will take with me forever. I toured an entire country away from friends and family only to return to what I like to call that "good ole hometown love!"
President Bush and the three top Democrats that want to replace him couldn't get to New Orleans fast enough last week for the second anniversary of the Katrina debacle. As he's done in his 12 previous treks to the Gulf since Katrina, Bush publicly boasted that he's done everything humanly possible to get the region back on its feet. He also insisted that much more still must be done, and his administration will do it.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today, Gov. Haley Barbour held a press conference to declare a victory for his controversial tort-reform legislation. Barbour's statement is verbatim below; a PDF of a 10-page response by the Americans for Insurance Reform is linked here.
Photos by David Rae Morris,
As residents of Mississippi's Gulf Coast gathered to commemorate the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, they recalled a cataclysmic storm that spared no one, rich or poor, from its destruction. Virtually every structure along the 90-mile stretch of coastline was either wrecked or swept away after Katrina's 140 mph winds and 40-foot storm surge came ashore like a steamroller
Twenty-four months in, the Katrina information firestorm has been dampened down to the size of a birthday candle fl ame in mainstream media, leaving the 60,000 still living in FEMA trailers and the quarter-million still displaced after two years without good options for getting their stories out.
Tuesday, September 11
Someone just sent me this link to a Frommer's thread about Mississippi. There's some intriguing talk over there, revealing that everyone has their own prejudices. Quite compelling to consider. My advice, though, is not to jump on them; it's vital to remember that everyone has their own stereotypes to overcome; going toe to toe with dueling stereotypes helps nothing:
Original post here.
There's still time to give if you haven't done so already. Go here to donate. I'm $65 away from my goal, so please help me reach it before October 6. Thanks!
Monday, September 10
To boot, this is a dramatically wrong statement. (Thanks to golden eagle for catching it.)
In a front-page story today, The Clarion-Ledger reported on the city's rising homicide rate, warning that the 36 to date this year is approaching the "record of 57 in 2004"—incidentally when Mayor Harvey Johnson was presiding over dramatically dropping crime, even as The Clarion-Ledger was downplaying the progress.
The Jackson City Council Budget Committee asked the Melton administration again Monday to cough up more information on its temporary and contract employees for the 2006-2007 fiscal year (PDF, 592 KB). "We have real basic requests about information concerning employees of the city of Jackson and the salary they made from '06 to '07," said Budget Committee Chairman Marshand Crisler. "I think I was very clear about that. The deadline was Friday, and at this particular moment we have not received that."
The Daily Journal in Tupelo continues to do Mississippians proud by calling on Gov. Haley Barbour to come clean about his financial ties to his (former?) D.C. lobbying firm. In an editorial Sunday, the Daily Journal wrote:
Sunday, September 9
My poem and profile was also featured in this month's Nappy News, and here it is:
At the A Nappy Hair Affair Web site, anyone can participate in a monthly Napfirmations contest where you can submit a writing that is a positive affirmation about people of African descent. It can be written by you or someone else, and it can be a quote, poem, or anything along those lines. I submitted my "Nappy-Headed" poem and won for the month of September. YES! They sent me a T-shirt and a "Love & Nappiness" CD with songs and poetry. I will also get a chance to have a phone conversation with the founder of A Nappy Hair Affair, Linda "Mosetta" Jones. I'm excited about that because I have wanted to meet her after reading her "Nappyisms" book. Hopefully, we'll get to chat this month.
Friday, September 7
Amid rumors that he is en route to Las Vegas for a music awards event, Jackson Mayor Frank Melton fell through on his pronouncement to deliver a new budget proposal this morningand didn't show up himself for city budget meetings. Melton told the council yesterday that he would procure a new budget himself overnight that did not include a tax increase, after enduring accusations from council members that his preferencessuch as cuts to JATRAN and the JRAwere not reflected in the current budget proposal.
The official entry of Fred Thompson into the presidential fray is causing some old GOP problems to be pulled from the memory hole and given a fresh light in a time when corruption doesn't pay like it did a few years back. Specifically Media Matters is reporting that The New York Times, Newsweek and other media failed to report what really happened when Thompson chaired a 1997 Governmental Affairs Committee that was supposedly investigating Republican campaign-finance scandals, including the National Policy Forum, a sham group set up by then RNC Chairman Haley Barbour to collect money for the GOP. Media Matters:
Listen is as Laurel Isbister and Donna Ladd bring you Radio JFP this week on WLEZ-FM, 103.7. Listen to the live stream at here.
John Arthur Eaves, and Cotton Mouth, seem to think so. Check out their analysis.
Thursday, September 6
There was a story in yesterday's New York Times that reminded me of the Cedric Willis story.
Despite its ungainly headline, AP ran an excellent story about the absurdity of some Mississippi politicians' anti-immigrant rhetoric, delivered just in time for the election cycle.
Come out to Fondren for one of the coolest nights in Jackson. Shops and galleries will be open from 5 to 8 p.m., with lots of fun entertainment indoors and out. Stop by the JFP table in Fondren Corner (near Basil's) for some free wine and to register for Wilco tickets, Planetarium tickets and massages by Erik Makinnion. We also hear that Domini Bradford will be selling bowls of her famous veggie pad thai behind Rainbow starting about 6. There will be run stuff everywhere you turn. We'll see you out there. Free, of course.
Jackson Mayor Frank Melton told City Council members this morning to toss out the current city budget after some members criticized the discord between the mayor and his own budget. He vowed to produce a new budget by tomorrow morning.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hip-hop artist and activist Kamikaze of Jackson, MS, was suspended indefinitely from the Kim Wade Show on Jackson's WJNT-Talk radio (1180 AM) for anti-Bush comments. Following a monthlong tour of the Czech Republic, Kamikaze was set to return as Wade's co-host, but was informed just moments before going on the air. The reprimand, which stemmed from one angry listener, was based on comments Kamikaze made in his JFP blog and in his column in the Jackson Free Press.
Wednesday, September 5
I just got a link to a radio interview I did with Pokey Anderson of "The Monitor," a progressive news analysis show on KPFT out of Houston. I almost missed doing this interview because Todd and I were in Destin and on the beach all that day (Aug. 26). I had gone back inside to get something and noticed messages and called her back. She interviewed me as I sat on the balcony; I swear you can hear the waves in the background! She took the time to ask great questions and truly seemed humbled by the topic of bringing justice after so many years, as we all should be. Cheers to her. Here's the Monitor's site, and a link to the audio. Our interview starts about a fourth of the way into the audio strip.
I just ran into this post on the Think Progress blog that is basically saying what I was earlier about all the revelations about his "blind trust" and his Katrina finagling hurting Barbour's chances at a veep nod. (And a hat tip to Think Progress for finding and linking my "Unholy Alliance" story about Barbour to the line-up of potential "corruption" stories.) I wrote earlier today about how Haley is becoming more poison by the day on the national scene:
Jason Thomas, founder of Heart in Hand Tattoo and The Ink Spot Gallery, is a Jackson native who supports a variety of artistic endeavors. In addition to providing exceptional tattoo work, he operates an art gallery inside the tattoo shop to support local artists. Heart in Hand Tattoo, formerly The Ink Spot, is a unique tattoo shop centered on the idea that tattoos are a respected art form. You will find no flash on the walls at Heart in Hand. All the tattoo work is custom, meaning that each design is a unique work of art that is a collaboration of ideas between the artist and the client.
Owen Beverly has spent years crafting the 10 alt/country songs going onto his new album, which he'll begin recording in Atlanta on Sept. 10. "I really want to write songs in the tradition of all the great people we've known and loved," Beverly says. His musical inspirations include Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Tom Petty, Wilco and Ryan Adams.
Maurice and Carlton Turner grew up in Raymond surrounded by the sound of jazz greats and the sight of their parents passionately working to improve the lives of young people at the Leake & Watts Foster Home for Boys. Now that they are adults, they play music, own a studio production company and work as community activists. One of their goals through their music is to create a more positive cultural space for today's young people to enjoy music that is both hip and wholesome. Their third album, a cross-genre mix of hip-hop, spoken word, jazz, soul and R&B, will be released in early 2008.
The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra hums in waiting, but not for long. "Boomers at the Ballpark," a musical good-bye to summer, rockets the 63rd season into fruition on Sept. 8 at Smith-Wills Stadium. This family-friendly event features food, fireworks and Gershwin's famous "Rhapsody in Blue."
It didn't take long for Frank Melton to come out of the closet on Election night as a primary force in Robert Smith's district attorney campaign. Raw footage of Smith's victory party shows that Melton's people—especially contract employee Bob Hickingbottom—directed what happened at the party. Like when Melton stepped up to the mic to introduce Smith.
"Here Comes Mr. Jordan" (1941), the October entry in the "Angels in Film" series at the Mississippi Museum of Art, co-sponsored by the Crossroads Film Society, is a story of angelic intervention, so you might assume the hero's life has gotten screwed up somehow, and he needs a supernatural rescue. Au contraire: The hero, Joe Pendleton (Robert Montgomery), a top prize fighter and a peach of a fellow, is riding high until the angels start jerking him around.
As part of our association with other city newsweeklies around the country, we run "BlogAds" on our website. The BlogAds system enables companies or organizations to make national ad buys and then, in some cases, target locales with specialized messages.
Pro baseball, Montgomery at Mississippi in Southern League playoffs (7 p.m., Trustmark Park, Pearl, 930 AM): The Biscuits are hot; the M-Braves are not. Game two of the best-of-five series is on Friday. … Pro football, New Orleans at Indianapolis (7:30 p.m., Ch. 3/620 AM): The Colts, winners of the last Super Bowl, entertain the Saints, the team many believe will win the next Super Bowl.
This past March I found myself on my honeymoon in the small, whitewashed village of Torrox, Spain, nestled between the Tejeda and Almijara mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. My husband and I hiked, read, relaxed and ate like royalty. I felt some guilt about flying all the way to Europe, but by booking an eco-tour through responsibletravel.com and offsetting our carbon emissions, it was easy to plan a vacation that was green and relatively guilt-free.
Widespread Panic fans are sure to have an appreciation for Outformation, formed by Panic's former guitar tech and frequent fill-in Sam Holt. Outformation released their second album, "Traveler's Rest," on Aug. 21, serving up jam-band goodness with the unmistakable Panic influence.
"It's sort of like a dumpling," Ramsey Wise explains with hand motions.
Sen. Scottie Cuevas of Pass Christian filed a challenge with the Mississippi Democratic Party last week, contesting the primary in Senate District 46, in which challenger David Baria beat him by 36 votes. The Democratic Party may address the complaint at a Sept. 8 committee meeting. If the committee decides the complaint has merit, the party could throw out some precincts in dispute, toss the whole election and hold a re-vote, or officially ignore the complaint.
Spurred anew by the closing of a Kroger grocery store in South Jackson, Ward 6 Councilman Marshand Crisler is pushing an effort to encourage residents to purchase goods inside the city of Jackson.
Leave a spoiled spot on a peach, and soon the entire fruit will go bad. A deteriorating inner city is a little like that rotten spot. Stop paying attention and shortly, the entire area is dealing with issues of poverty, drugs and crime.
"I'm just gone spend just a second to (say) how proud I am of him. While there've been a lot of things said and different thing, here's the truth. I've known Robert just like many other kids in Jackson ever since he's been in high school, I've known his family, and I've treated him just like I have any other young person when they were in high school. He left high school, he went to college, he went to law school, and he is not a puppet for me, trust me; he stays on my butt all the time for different things. But I am so proud of him. You know I have stayed out of his way during this campaign, but I thank God tonight that I have somebody now that will help me with these children. I thank God tonight that I have somebody that will help me put these drug dealers in jail, and I thank God that I have somebody who has faith in this community. Having said that, I think it would be inappropriate if I did not thank Faye Peterson for the job that she has done over the term of her office. Personally, I like Faye; politically, I disagree. I think there are a lot of things that we should have done that we did not get a chance to do, but here's what I love about Robert. Robert knows how to make the difference between those kids that we can save and those kids that we need to deal with. We have somebody in that office now that the mayor's office can work with, and I tell you, you're going to be so proud, so proud of what's getting ready to happen. And Robert, you're like a little brother to me, I love you, I will always love you. I know had to distance myself from you during your campaign, but when I told you from the start, hold your head up. (Snickers.) I got a phone call at my home tonight to say that the first arrest warrant you're going to issue was going to be for me. (Loud laughter.) I tell you, after knowing him since he was 15 years old, it is my pleasure, and it is my honor to introduce to you your new district attorney."
District Attorney-elect Robert Smith got a nice boost from the Supreme Court less than 24 hours into his successful run-off against former Hinds County District Attorney Faye Peterson. Using $160,000 in grant money obtained by Gov. Haley Barbour, the Mississippi Supreme Court decided to appoint a second special judge to assist Hinds County in reducing its criminal docket, months after county residents—and the outgoing D.A.—began screaming for help.
Mr. Announcement: "It's the First Annual Tastefully Ghetto Fashion Extravaganza, located on aisle three of JoJo's Discount Dollar Store. Your commentator is cashier and part-time security guard, Miss Doodle Mae Jenkins."
<b><em>Showtime in Hinds County</b></em>
Editor's note: Assistant District Attorney Philip Weinberg posted the following at the JFP website on Aug. 30 in response to a reader who said that D.A. Faye Peterson is "ineffective with victims and prosecutions and that she "allowed Rankin and Madison residents to be ADAs while denying many Hinds County residents the chance to apply. The reader said her "amazing staff" saved her, and that she ran "last-second negative ads" against Smith."
Last week, President Bush urged us to continue the war in Iraq by comparing our experience there to the war in Vietnam, warning us that withdrawing from Iraq might produce similar results.
Photos by Roy Adkins
If you tried to draw a circle around 17-year-old Greg Gandy, you would most likely fail. One of his lanky arms might poke through an arc, or an errant foot may render the circumference incalculable. He could pop up into unexpected dimensions, leaving your boundaries flat and futile. Most likely, he would sidestep the construct altogether, and appear alongside you amiably offering consolation for your failed undertaking.
Up in Tupelo, Daily Journal reporter Bobby Harrison is asking the right questions, as opposed to the ridiculous posturing coming out of The Clarion-Ledger's Sid Salter. He writes today about BlindTrust-Gate:
Tuesday, September 4
Administration Department Director Rick Hill told City Council today that possible solutions to the city's $3.4 million shortfall include increasing water and sewer fees, refinancing the city's debt, tapping the city's $7.4 million budget reserve fund, making cuts in city payroll and reducing funding to the city's golf courses.
The Cottonmouth Blog is taking Sid Salter to task for his bizarre and rather desperate attempts to defend Haley Barbour and his blind trust, especially about a snipe Salter took at Jamie Franks for trying to strengthen ethics laws (for political reasons)—that Cottonmouth says just doesn't check out:
OK, so here comes The Clarion-Ledger after the election with a story about Robert Smith and his history, including his getting in trouble in Madison County for calling a law enforcement agent a name:
Sunday, September 2
By now if you're reading this Ive already made the gruelling flight back to the states and have touched down safely in Jackson. Reading some of the responses to my last blog post, it apparently will be to a few people's chagrin LOL.
Saturday, September 1
Delta State 27, Jackson State 15: The Division II Statesmen humble the Tigers. Doctor S warned you that this might happen.
This happened on Lyndon B. Johnson Dr. It will probably be on WAPT or WJTV at 10:00 tonight.
According to a neighbor, a truck hit a small boy and continued to go down the street with the boy being dragged under the truck. The driver lost control, hit a mailbox and then went into the neighbor's yard, damaging a bush in the process. The boy somehow got loose - maybe he was propelled - and the driver then sped away. I do not know the age of the boy, but from a distance, he looks like he may have been around six. I think he was alert when the ambulance took him to the emergency room. His older brother was crying and angry, so I am concerned about him and how he is coping with this.