Stories for December 2008


Wednesday, December 31

Melton On Trial, Again

Mayor Frank Melton's second trial for the Aug. 26, 2006, demolition of an occupied duplex at 1305 Ridgeway St. will allow him less room to maneuver than his first. Melton and his former bodyguard Michael Recio are scheduled to appear in federal court Jan. 5, almost a year after a state trial for the same incident.

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Melton's Complicated History with Maurice Warner

One of Mayor Frank Melton's favorite mentees was murdered on Christmas Day. The JFP explores the mayor's history with Maurice Warner.

The Trial That Wouldn't Start

In the week leading up to Mayor Frank Melton's federal trial, the mayor's wavering health has become a factor in the possible postponement of his trial. U.S. District Judge Dan Jordan requested testimony from Melton's doctors, and decided Tuesday to delay his decision on Melton's Dec. 29 oral motion for a continuance until Wednesday morning.

Of Melton's Health and 'Failures'

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton called his administration's work on lowering the crime rate in the city a "failure" twice during a Dec. 30 press conference, but followed up each confession with a caveat.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College football, New Year's Day offers a massive buffet of tasty bowl matchups. Here are three of the best: South Carolina vs. Iowa in the Outback Bowl (10 a.m., ESPN); Georgia vs. Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl (noon, Ch. 16); and Southern California vs. Penn State in the Rose Bowl (3:30 p.m., Ch. 16).

A Long, Long Road

"Donna, you know what? I run Jackson," declared Mayor Frank Melton, scrunching his face up into one of his trademark snickers that are cute and creepy at the same time. "I do it in a weird way, but I run Jackson."

Clinton and Palin Encourage Women Politicos

Women believe that Sen. Hillary Clinton and Gov. Sarah Palin crashed a few glass ceilings in the Nov. 4 general elections. Despite the media treating them unfairly, concentrating far too much on hairstyles and clothing, the majority of women voters say that the two politicians have paved the way for more women to run for office in the future.

Resolutions that Work

With every New Year, there are some resolutions that predictably fall flat by Valentine's Day, if not a several weeks sooner. Topping the discard list: Lose weight and exercise more.

Judge: Melton Trial Postponed Until Feb. 2, 2009

Over the objection of federal prosecutors, Judge Dan Jordan has announced that the trial of Mayor Frank Melton and bodyguard Michael Recio has been postponed until Feb. 2, 2009 due to the mayor's bad health. The order (PDF, 41 KB), just filed today, states that Melton's counsel just notified the judge on Dec. 23, 2008, that Melton had been in the hospital in November and December for severe heart problems that are life-threatening.

Bar Association Cries Foul

The Magnolia Bar agrees that Assistant District Attorney Timothy Jones lied to Circuit Judge Dale Harkey in order to remove a black juror, Chauncey Thompson, and facilitate a guilty plea against Anthony Booker. Booker is serving life in prison after a May 2004 conviction for kidnapping, robbing and killing Dorian Johnson.

[Stiggers] High Hopes in 2009

Chef Fat Meat: "Despite all the terrible things that poor and middle-class folks have suffered through—home foreclosures, job layoffs, natural disasters, loss of medical benefits and more—it's time to lift up our burdened heads to see the stars in times of darkness.

No Rest For the Weary

Benjamin Franklin once said that without continual growth and progress, such words as "improvement," "achievement" and "success" have no meaning. This statement, true in the 18th century, remains so in the 21st century.

[Johnson] Hear No Evil

More than two years after Mayor Frank Melton and police bodyguard Michael Recio destroyed a duplex on Ridgeway Street, they may finally answer for their crimes in federal court.

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Sanford Knott

Sanford Knott doesn't sound like a typical Jacksonian. A childhood hearing problem kept him from speaking clearly until he was in junior high school.

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C. Liegh McInnis: Jackson's Renaissance Man

As a child growing up in the Delta, Clarksdale native C. Liegh McInnis began reading to counter the small-town blues. Since leaving to attend Jackson State University—where he is now an English instructor—McInnis has accomplished some of the same achievements as the writers he idolized as a child.


• Cirque du Soleil• Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum, Biloxi• Tickets $40-$95; $32-$76 children


• Showing at Malco Grandview and Cinemark Tinseltown• PG-13, 104 minutes• Prices vary

Laughter, the Best Medicine

During a recent visit to the East Coast with friends, I began to have painful stomach cramps. My friend offered me a therapeutic hot-water bottle, which I placed on my mid-section as I lay on the couch. Just as the muscle pains began to subside, I felt a sudden sharp pain on my right thigh. I glanced down and shrieked when I saw the bottle leaking boiling water through my pants and onto my skin. I jumped up, made a run for the shower and sprayed cold water onto the second-degree burn that had already begun to blister.

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‘The Mayor Happened'

The Jackson Free Press got an anonymous call about the mayor of Jackson tearing down a house with sledgehammers in late August 2006.

Melton Timeline

July 4, 2005 — New Mayor Frank Melton was sworn in at City Hall. In his speech, he promised that any young person who wanted one could have a job with the city, as long as they attended church regularly. Later in the day, sporting a specially made badge and a sidearm, Melton joined the police on a slew of checkpoints and neighborhood sweeps.

Lumumba Seeks Ward 2 Slot

Jackson attorney Chokwe Lumumba announced his candidacy for Ward 2 Councilman Monday.

2008 In Three Words

Here are some examples: Glad it's over. Barack Hussein Obama. Peace, joy, hope. Need some money.

Whatcha got?

Tuesday, December 30

BREAKING: Judge Won't Rule on Melton Health Today

Full JFP Melton Archive/Blog

District Court Judge Dan Jordan's office has confirmed that he will not rule on Mayor Frank Melton's ability to stand trial next week until Wednesday morning. According to an order, Jordan will "conduct a confidential telephonic conference with all parties" at 8:30 a.m. on New Year's Eve to get the medical opinion of Dr. J. Murray Estess Jr., appointed by the court to comment on Melton's medical condition. He will then issue an order. Read Dr. Estess' vitae here.

Melton Admits 'Failure' on Crime Issue

Download audio of Melton press conference on 12.30.08 (.wav, 15.42MB)

Monday, December 29

The GOP's 'Barack the Magic Negro' Flap

As if the Republican Party didn't need something else to divide it; the reaction to this will go a long way toward separting the wheat from the chaff. CBS News:

UPDATED: Judge to Rule on Mayor's Health Today; Melton Holds Press Conference

The health of Jackson Mayor Frank Melton is having a decided impact on the trial over his role in the 2006 illegal demolition of a home on Ridgeway Street. U.S. District Judge Dan Jordan, who is presiding over Melton's trial, held a three-hour closed hearing yeaterday to review whether the mayor is healthy enough to face a jury. At the end of the hearing, Jordan allowed reporters back in the courrtoom. "I've heard testimony from two of Melton's doctors and his bodyguards, and as you know, Melton has made a motion for continuance of trial. I will look at some cases this evening and transcripts from witnesses and enter a ruling tomorrow," he said.

Sunday, December 28

Ronnie Agnew: Clarion-Ledger ‘Reducing News Space,' Sections

In his column today, Clarion-Ledger Executive Editor Ronnie Editor announced major changes in the statewide, Gannett-owned newspaper starting tomorrow, including shrinking news "hole" (space for coverage), dropping the TV supplement and combining sections such as sports and business. He writes:

Saturday, December 27

Long-time Melton Mentee Killed

I returned to Jackson today to the staggering news that Maurice Warner was murdered on Christmas Day. Warner has been very close to Mayor Frank Melton for many years. I will have a story next week for more details about Warner; meantime, click here to read past JFP articles that mention Warner, as well as his relationship to Melton. Stay tuned.

Chokwe Lumumba to Run for McLemore Council Seat

[Verbatim statement] Friday, December 26, 2008, --- Jackson, MS - The Committee to Elect Chokwe Lumumba will hold a press conference on Monday, December 29, 2008 at 10AM at the Callaway High School, located at 601 Beasley Road, Jackson MS 39206. Lumumba will announce his plan to seek a seat on the city council, representing Ward #2.

Wednesday, December 24

Party Like It's 2009

Yes, it's "amateur night" out there.

Yes, it's "amateur night" out there. So if you're looking to spend it safely at home, with your own New Year's Eve party for friends and loved ones, check out the following resources for throwing a New Year's Eve bash to remember.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

NBA basketball, New Orleans at Orlando (11 a.m., Ch. 16) and Boston at L.A. Lakers (4 p.m., Ch. 16): It's Christmas, so the NBA wants you to start paying attention again.

Make Jackson Weird

I grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan, and one of the biggest adjustments to rooting for my now-beloved Saints is to learn to keep hope alive for a team that lacks a tradition of winning.

Third World Mississippi

New housing construction will boost Mississippi's lagging economy, says Housing Mississippi, an alliance of low-income housing advocacy groups. The organization plans to stimulate building projects through a housing trust fund specifically targeted to assist low-income Mississippi households (those making $29,000 or less annually).

Stop Spreading Powers

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has approached the Senate Elections Committee asking for a statute that would allow his office to subpoena records and evidence relating to state or local elections.

[Stiggers] Christmas in the Ghetto

Bart Starrchild: "This is your token Caucasian announcer broadcasting live from the Funky Ghetto Mall. I'm here for the premiere of the Ghetto Science Team's Community Christmas Parade titled 'A Missing Toe Christmas,' brought you by the Ghetto Science Team Television Network.

[Kamikaze] Moving On to New Things

I hate moving! If I had to make a list of my least desirable things to do, moving would be just above being held hostage in a Cambodian prison camp and getting a prostate exam from a blind doctor.

Coolidge Ball: For The Love Of The Game

While Ole Miss men's basketball coach Andy Kennedy has been making headlines for his alleged inappropriate conduct last week in Cincinnati, his behavior hopefully will not cast a shadow over the entire program.

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Paul Lacoste

When he showed up at training camp for the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League in 1999, Paul Lacoste was considered a mere "camp body," not a serious prospect.

College Bowl Preview

Among the many sins of Bowl Championship Series is the fact that the BCS renders all but one bowl game meaningless, unless you have a rooting interest in one of the teams. Doctor S still watches many of the games—it's his job, after all—but it's just not as much fun as it was back in the pre-BCS days.

Resolved: A Toxin-Free 2009

Everyone has a start on their New Year's resolutions, right? A lot of folks will be adding "Be More Green" to their lists this year, and here's a corollary to that one: "Get Rid of Toxins."

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2009 College Hoops Preview

Before this college basketball season began, several national publications had projected Jackson State and Ole Miss as NCAA Tournament teams.

Manna from Heaven

When I was sick and had a fever as a kid, my mom didn't let me eat solid foods. I could have broth and drink juice, water or tea, but couldn't eat anything that would interfere with my fever sweating its way out.

'Fancy Fantastic Knots'

The members of Jackson-based punk-pop band At Cliffs End know how to go through vans. In the less than two years since the band formed and began touring, the group has seen one burn due to wiring problems, another destroyed when they collided with a tree, and a third is currently under repair. But, fortunately, the young musicians also know how to create sharp guitar riffs, strong lyrics and growing crowds.

[Herman's Picks] Vol. 7, No. 15

The New Year brings reason to cheer in the capital city. The historic music institution George Street Grocery pre-dates Hal & Mal's as one of the best spaces in town to see live music. The Jackson music community rejoices this week with the venue's reopening as "Ole Tavern on George Street.

Text Message Scam Warning

(verbatim from the attorney general's office)

Jackson, MS–A scam text message has apparently been circulating that targets area credit union members, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Tuesday, December 23

A Mortgage Crisis of Bush's Making

The New York Times had the must-read story of the month Sunday, dissecting how the policies of Bush and friends created the deep mortgage crisis we're facing today:

Genesis Food Bank Giving Away Turkeys NOW

Attention all locals, The Genesis Food Bank located at 435 Hiawatha Street near Gallatin Street, has 3 truckloads of 20-pound turkeys and is giving them away to people in need *right now.* If you know someone in need please let them know as soon as possible. Call 601-354-3663 for more information.

City Defaults on $500,000 Commitment, Developer Says

Developer Mike Peters filed a breach of contract complaint in Hinds County Circuit Court last March, claiming the city stiffed him out of $500,000 in public grants for the $7 million renovation of the Plaza Building. According to the suit, which was reported by The Clarion-Ledger this week, Peters approached the city's director of planning and Development Corinne Fox in 2004, under then-Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. about contributing money to make the renovation affordable. Fox urged the city to approve the commitment and gave Peters the go-ahead to get started, explaining that the city had been planning to obtain a community development block grant to reimburse itself for the $500,000 pay-out.

Entergy Caught with Hand in Louisiana Cookie Jar

[Verbatim, December 23, 2008] Jackson, MS--Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) has found an Entergy affiliate guilty of the same illegal conduct that is included in his lawsuit recently filed against Entergy Mississippi, Inc.(EMI), Entergy Services, Inc.(ESI), Entergy Power, Inc. (EPI) and Entergy Corporation (Entergy). By order dated December 4, 2008, the LPSC found that Entergy Louisiana, L.L.C. (ELL), an affiliate of the parent company, Entergy Corporation (Entergy), improperly recovered, through its fuel adjustment clause (FAC) non-fuel costs which are prohibited by law, specifically these costs included non-fuel operation and maintenance expenses and "hypothetical SO2 allowance costs" paid to its affiliates. These "hypothetical SO2 allowance costs" were disallowed from present-January 2002.

Monday, December 22

City Loses $240,000

The legal collapse of a Mississippi auctioneer could cost the city of Jackson almost a quarter of a million dollars. Durham Auctions, near Brooklyn Miss., wrote two bad checks to the city totaling about $240,000. The company had a contract to auction vehicles from the city's impound lot since May 2005. That contract expired in May 2008, but the city granted an extension to the company to hold one more auction this year. That auction, held in August, generated $240,000 in revenue that Durham Auctions never paid the city.

Sunday, December 21

College Football: USM Wins New Orleans Bowl

Southern Miss defeats Troy, 30-27, in overtime in the New Orleans Bowl.

Saturday, December 20

College Basketball: Ole Miss Coach Strikes Back

Memo to self: The next time you're in Cincinnati, take a bus.

Ole Miss basketball coach Andy Kennedy filed suit Friday against a Cincinnati cab driver who accused him of assault and a parking valet who says he saw the incident.

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NFL: The Willis Way

Phil Collins?

How does San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis prepare for an afternoon of controlled violence, NFL style?

Friday, December 19

Industry Denies High-Fructose Corn Syrup Unhealthy

The president of the Corn Refiners Association sent an e-mail to JFP contributing writer Brandi Herrera Phrem about her story "Healthy Holiday Eating," stating that "the suggestion that high fructose corn syrup is an unhealthy ingredient is misleading."

UPDATED: Hosemann Seeks More Power

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann asked the Legislature for subpoena power last week to make it easier for him to purge the state's voter rolls. Hosemann suggested to the Senate Elections Committee that his office should be able to assume control of any county election commission "found in default," and he proposed a new statute allowing his office to subpoena records, documents and other evidence related to voting in state and local elections. Hosemann also requested new restrictions on the use of assistants for certain voters on Election Day, excluding any people allied with candidates.

Bush Sidesteps Senate, Approves Auto Bailout

President Bush approved a $17.4 billion loan for General Motors and Chrysler today, after Senate Republicans blocked passage of a bailout bill from Congress. The money will come out of the $700 billion Congress already approved for the Treasury Department. This will certainly burnish the outgoing president's conservative credentials:

[Wicker] Adoption Provides Children With Loving Home

The holidays are a time for coming together with family. This holiday season, because of the gift of adoption, 330 children in Mississippi will be able to celebrate with a new family. Across Mississippi and our country, families are opening their homes to children through adoption. The Mississippi Department of Human Services has reported that adoption was up 19 percent in our state this year.

Thursday, December 18

College Basketball: Update, Ole Miss AD Backs Kennedy

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy will coach the Rebels in their game Thursday (8 p.m., ESPN) against Cincinnati, despite his arrest Thursday morning. Kennedy was charged with punching a taxi driver, who also accused Kennedy of shouting racial slurs.

Gift for the History Buff

If you're looking for a last-minute gift for your favorite history buff, "Chimneyville" is just the thing. Written by Mississippi historian H. Grady Howell, Jr., the book is a veritable banquet of wood cuts, photos, maps and newspaper clippings covering the first 100 years of Jackson's history. Howell, who lives in Madison, self-published this lavish volume, but it's far from his first book, having published several previous historical accounts of the state and its people. At $49.95, the volume has heirloom potential. Contact Howell at [e-mail missing] for more information.

George Street Once Again

Locals Jason and Shannon Cockrell, owners of Sam's Lounge, are the proud new owners of 416 George Street. They've been renovating the circa 1910 building, which once housed the George Street Grocery, since last October and have renamed it the Ole Tavern on George Street.

College Basketball: Ole Miss Coach's Status Uncertain

Ole Miss basketball coach Andy Kennedy's status was uncertain Thursday morning following his arrest in Cincinnati on a charge of assault.

Ole Miss Coach Andy Kennedy Arrested For Assault

The Local 12 CBS affiliate in Cincinnati is reporting that police have arrested University of Mississippi head basketball coach Andy Kennedy on assault charges. Kennedy and the Rebels are in Cincinnati for a game with Louisville Thursday (8 p.m., ESPN) in the SEC/Big East Challenge. As of Thursday morning, no decision had been made on whether Kennedy would coach Thursday's game. From Local 12:

An Ole Miss punch to the gut, er, face

It's been a great year for my alma mater. With a presidential debate in September, an 8-4 football team heading into a prestigious bowl game, and the announcement of our latest Rhodes Scholar (that's 25 total for those of you keeping count), I guess we were due for some bad news.

Plant a Tree… With Your iPhone

iPhones are amazing. There, I said it. But I was only willing to admit this after I saw a recent application you can purchase for 99 cents that will plant a tree in one of 12 designated developing countries who are battling deforestation. This is too easy not to do, especially since you were going to go fool around at the AppStore anyway. You'll be doing the world some good and you'll get a cute little tree on your phone. Even better, buy one for a friend. All the details are here:

Recipe Contest

Do you have a stellar, favorite holiday recipe using organic ingredients? If so, enter it for a chance to win a prize and the Organic Valley Family of Farms will also donate $1 to the Earth Steward non-profit organization of your choice. Sounds like win/win to me.

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Motorsports: The End of NASCAR?

Doctor S thinks Weintraub makes some good points, but it's a little soon to euthanize NASCAR.

Is it time to pull the plug on NASCAR?

Wednesday, December 17

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Men's college basketball, SEC/Big East Challenge, Mississippi State at Cincinnati (5:30 p.m., Cincinnati, ESPN2/105.9 FM) and Ole Miss vs. Louisville (8 p.m., Cincinnati, ESPN/97.3 FM): The Bulldogs and Rebels face a huge challenge against a couple of Big East heavyweights. This could get ugly, especially the Rebels' game.

Holiday Gift Guide

The weather outside is frightful, but holiday shopping shouldn't be. Here are some cool gift ideas from local shops. You still have time to grab your list and check it twice, harness your inner Santa and bring some Christmas joy to friends and family.

Republicans Choose Sides In Bailout

The Jackson NAACP, the Mississippi AFL-CIO and supporting organizations protested Mississippi Republican senators' opposition to a bailout bill for General Motors and Chrysler at the State Capitol on Tuesday.

Langston Suit Fraught with Politics

A state lawsuit against the law firm of disbarred attorneys Joey Langston and Timothy Balducci is uncovering a curious mixture of politics and money, and not all of it surrounds Langston.

Barbour and HUD Under Fire

The Mississippi Conference of the NAACP and the Gulf Coast Fair Housing Center are suing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for allowing Gov. Haley Barbour to divert nearly $600 million in federal funding away from affordable housing recovery after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and into a pet port project that Congress had refused to fund earlier.

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New Crime Lab, Please

Attorney General Jim Hood recommended more money for the state crime lab and the Mississippi Medical Examiner's office at a Monday meeting with the House Judiciary Committee.

Who Are The Most Intriguing Jacksonians?

We need your help, guys. It's almost time for the Most Intriguing Jacksonians issue, and we'd like your suggestions. These are the news-makers of 2008--the people who were in the spotlight, whether for good or bad reasons. They are the Jacksonians who have bewildered, fascinated and/or inspired the city over the course of the last year. So, I'm opening the floor to suggestions. Who has the city been talking about around the collective water cooler? Go!

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Southern GOP: We're Over Ideology

The national electoral gains that Democrats have made in the 2006 and 2008 elections are nothing short of historic, and at the expense of a devastated GOP. Those gains even include large swaths of voters in the South, including nearly every ZIP code outside of Appalachia and the colder climes of Arkansas.

Come All Ye Faithful

In his column last week, The Clarion-Ledger's Sid Salter quoted the fifth chapter of Matthew to justify Gov. Haley Barbour diverting federal money away from low-income Katrina re-housing and into a port project instead. Yes, he said, Jesus cared about the poor, but "God allows people to suffer the havoc of disasters without regard to virtue or vice.

[Stiggers] Dodging Christmas

Brotha Hustle: "Miss Doodle Mae, spokeswoman, part-time cashier and security guard at Jojo's Discount Dollar Store, is on full-time security duty during the Christmas holiday season. She asked me to fill in for her to tell you about Jojo's Discount Dollar Store's 'I'll Be Broke This Christmas' sale.

[Hightower] Good Wages Good For America

Some U.S. senators are real corkers. Take Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee. Please.

[Wilson] Santa's New Suit

As my half-completed degree from Reformed Theological Seminary can attest, I have a hearty sense for the true meaning of Christmas, but I'll let some other commentator discuss that.

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Baldev "Bob" Patel

Baldev Patel's parents were farmers from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, in India. But Patel, who is known by friends and colleagues as "Bob," wanted a different lifestyle.

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Radical Faith: The Revolution of John Perkins

Dust shimmers on the gray pickups and egg-crate-grille Chevrolets as tinsel and Christmas lights pierce the dark night.

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The Three Rs

You can easily miss the entrance to Claiborne Park between Provine High School and Voice of Calvary Ministries in West Jackson. The private park is owned by Voice of Calvary Ministries and Baptist Medical Center, which have a three-phase plan for its development.

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All That I Can't Leave Behind

Flora, Miss., mixed-media painter (and formerly featured JFP artist-in-residence) Lea Barton, is currently exhibiting a decade's worth of her work. If you've never seen Barton's work, expect to see layered, heavily textured storybooks presented in art form.

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Murder Under the Mistletoe

This isn't one of those murder-mystery weekends like on one my favorite episodes of "Saved By the Bell," but these guys know how to keep a crowd guessing and on the edge of their seats.

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Charlie Mars: 'More Rhythm Than Rock'

Last week I got a note to call Charlie Mars. He had wanted to drop off some promo CDs of his new album. "Maybe some of you will even like it," he said over the phone. He walked through the front door of the JFP office about 15 minutes later wearing a leather jacket, skinny jeans, a low V-neck T-shirt and a gray tweed hat.

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Happy Christmas, Jackson

As friends Emily Baker, 28, and Steve Harvey, 26, peruse the lunch menu at High Noon Café, they reminisce about a particular brunch there one month before when the duo hatched a plan to produce a Christmas CD completely produced in Jackson by local musicians.

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Healthy Holiday Eating

Food is the enemy to many Americans. With the rising number of diabetes, heart disease and obesity cases, we see our very sustenance as cause for medical alarm.

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Musician's Christmas Ball and Extravaganza

You can't talk about Mississippi blues and jazz without talking about Jesse Robinson. A major player in the local blues scene for the last four decades, Robinson has played with Bobby Rush and was pivotal in the popularity of joints like Subway Lounge which was the subject of a 2003 documentary.

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[In The Theatres] Bolt

If there are two constant loves in my life, they are dogs and Pixar movies. So really, how could I go wrong with "Bolt"?

Seale's Staying In Jail

JFP Dee-Moore Coverage

Southern Republicans Hold Up Bailout

The Jackson NAACP, the Mississippi AFL-CIO and supporting organizations protested Mississippi Republican senators' opposition to a bailout bill for General Motors and Chrysler at the State Capitol Tuesday. U.S. Senate Republicans, including Mississippi Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, helped filibuster and block a compromise for a government bailout of the two car companies last week, despite Vice President Dick Cheney warning them that they would be considered the party of failed President Herbert Hoover if the auto industry collapsed.

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UPDATED: Ridgeway Tenant Denies Melton's Claim

Evans Welch disputes Mayor Frank Melton's claims that he asked the mayor for help before the 2006 demolition of the duplex he rented. Melton, who faces three felony charges for his role in the incident, has argued in court hearings and filings that Welch, a diagnosed schizophrenic, contacted him multiple times, requesting help with the drug activity at his home.

Tuesday, December 16

‘Fall from Grace': Joey Langston Sentenced to 36 Months

Folo has good updates, including his statement:

Obama Picks Ed. Secretary

So much for Ray Mabus or Ronnie Musgrove. Arne Duncan is the President-elect's pick for Secretary of Education. The choice makes sense, as Obama and Duncan were friends in Chicago. Duncan also played pro basketball in Australia for a bit, so he'll fit in well on Obama's "team of ballers."

Advertising = Obesity

Quick: How can the U.S. (and Mississippi) reduce childhood obesity by 18 percent and reverse the current trends? Education? Better food in schools? Nope. It's simpler than that. Just ban fast-food advertising.

Monday, December 15

Mattel Settles Lawsuit After Pass From Barbour

Mississippi is one of 38 states that reached a settlement with Mattel Inc. and Fisher-Price Inc. over the companies' unhealthy level of lead in children's toys. An agreement filed today in Hinds County Chancery Court is the product of more than a year's worth of investigation and comes within months of Gov. Haley Barbour vetoing a bill that would have made willful contamination of children's toys a felony.

Sign of the Future? Gannett Detroit Paper 3X Week?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Detroit Free Press, the Gannett-owned daily newspaper in Detroit, Mich., is likely to scale back home delivery to three times a week. It is widely believed that daily newspapers, in severe decline currently, will soon revert to a free circulation model, only publishing a maximum of three times a week. I predict that The Clarion-Ledger will shrink to a free paper distributed no more than three times a week within a year, perhaps as soon as next week, the way things are going over there. The paper has suffered declining circulation and slashed 25 percent of its jobs in recent months.

Mississippi Ad a ‘Misstep'?

Calling marketing an art, not a science, an editorial in yesterday's Sun Herald tells the story of an ad run by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitor's Bureau, attempting to attract visitors coming into New Orleans for the upcoming Sugar Bowl.

Barbour Announces New Coast Housing Effort

Under fire for diverting federal funds away from low- and middle-income housing for Katrina survivors, Gov. Haley Barbour today announced a new housing plan for public-sector employees on the Gulf Coast. Per a verbatim statement from his office:

Standard Life Purchase Delayed

Jackson attorney and developer David Watkins told the Jackson Free Press today that the national recession and subsequent credit crunch is hitting home again. Capital One, the loan agency funding the purchase of the city-owned Standard Life Building, is slowing down the paperwork and forcing delays on Watkins and HRI Inc. of New Orleans, who are attempting to buy the building from the city.

Toyota Plant Up in the Air

I wonder if we get all that tax money back if they decide to jump ship?

The Clarion Ledger reports that the MS Toyota plant - you know the one we all shoved tons of tax money into - will be suspended "until market conditions improve."

URGENT: Good Samaritan Center Needs Help NOW

Please read and do whatever you can do, folks:

[Verbatim] Dear Friends, The economy is hurting donations and Good Samaritan Center is challenged right now. In addition, Christmas is almost here and our social service staff has been busier than usual taking applications for holiday assistance from disadvantaged families; many of these families never asking for assistance before. While we received a number of donations and requests to adopt children before Thanksgiving, donations and adoptions have both come to a screeching halt. Our need far outweighs what we have been able to do so far. We still have many, many children (hundreds) needing Christmas presents and our pantry has less than a weeks worth of food. We are desperate and we need you.

Ways to Give

Not everyone in Jackson experiences a merry and bright holiday season. Here are a couple local charities who need your donations to help those in need.

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Hood Requesting More Funding For Crime Lab

Attorney General Jim Hood is recommending budget increases for the state crime lab and the Mississippi Medical Examiner's Office to the House En Banc Judiciary Committee today. The state currently allots $9.8 million to the state crime lab and the state medical examiner's office, but an attorney general's task force recommends almost doubling that amount, at least in the first year, to finance lab equipment, DNA analysis technology, medical examiners and support staff.

LoungeList Photos: Merry Christmas Jackson CD Release (photos: Kip Caven)

Great photos from the Merry Christmas Jackson CD release, which took place Friday evening at Sneaky Beans in Fondren:

When a Lame Duck Has to Duck

President Bush made a surprise trip to Iraq, but he got a surprise of his own when an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at him during a press conference.

MEMA: Ice Storm Headed to NW Mississippi

See [[Snow & Ice]] on Jackpedia for safety and driving tips.

[Verbatim from MEMA] PEARL – As a blast of Arctic air threatens northwest Mississippi with frigid temperatures and freezing rain, MEMA Executive Director Mike Womack is reminding residents to be prepared for severe winter weather conditions tonight and tomorrow. The National Weather Service issued an ice storm warning which is in effect from noon today until 6 a.m. Tuesday for northwest Mississippi counties including DeSoto, Benton, Tate, Tunica and Marshall. The ice storm warning could be extended into the day Tuesday. Up to ½ inch ice accumulation is possible with this storm system. Areas north of Highway 82 may also receive freezing precipitation tonight through tomorrow, according to the weather service.

Sunday, December 14

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College Football: Grambling 41, Jackson State 9

Grambling State defeats Jackson State, 41-9, in the SWAC Championship.

Friday, December 12

Ho, ho, ho! Help the JFP Food & Toy Drive!

All, please remember that the JFP is collecting canned foods (or other non-perishables) for Stewpot and toys for Mississippi Children's Home Services. Also, gently worn or new children's coats are needed. Bring them by the JFP offices between now and Christmas. Cheers!

What a Tragic Way to Play a Game

Not long after we started the JFP, a man who had worked in the public domain in the state for many years warned me about something: "You'll have all sorts of weirdos lining up to tell lies about you." The truth is, there haven't been that many. I'm thrilled at how the entire community, including many people whom I disagree with on some major issues, have opened their arms to the JFP and our truth-telling mission. But there have been a small handful (usually who have been kicked off this site for racist or personal attacks) who will try anything to discredit the JFP. The other night a man at a party who is a fan of the JFP laughed and said, "I hear you have some sort of relationship with Robbie Bell."

[Wicker] Domestic Energy Productions Will Grow Economy

Last week, a study was released regarding the economic and financial benefits of developing our country's vast oil and gas reserves that have been kept off limits for decades. The study, released by the American Petroleum Institute (API), stated what many pro-domestic energy members of Congress and people across the country have long believed: producing more of America's energy resources will create tens of thousands of jobs, generate an enormous amount of tax revenue, and help increase our energy independence.

HUD, Barbour Under Fire for Diverting Money from Poor

Mississippi organizations are suing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for allowing Gov. Haley Barbour to divert nearly $600 million in federal funding away from affordable housing recovery after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and into a pet port project that Congress had refused earlier to fund with controversial earmarked money.

[Bounds] Children First Act of 2009 Contains Accountability Measures

State Superintendent of Education

In education, asking even a very simple question leads to a complex answer. For example, if a parent wants to know, "How is my child's school doing?," the principal can pull out reams of data, talk about disaggregation, and describe achievement models until the parent is completely confused and left without any useful information. Parents want to be sure that their children will be prepared for college and the workplace. The typical way to measure school performance is to examine student performance on standardized tests. The theory is that if students can perform well on these tests, the school must have the processes, programs and personnel in place to accelerate student achievement. In other words, the school must be doing something right if they are getting good results.

Thursday, December 11

College Football: Alcorn Fires Coach

Alcorn State has reportedly fired football coach Ernest Jones.

Detroit and Buggy Whips

Back in the days when personal computers, internet use and e-mail was in the process of becoming ubiquitous—not so very long ago—I heard a lot of talk about buggy-whips. In the business I was in at the time, graphic design and typesetting, we had a somewhat haughty opinion about all this new-fangled technology, allowing the untrained and untalented to produce amazingly ungainly advertising and marketing materials.

Millsaps Campus Community Focused On Giving Back

Millsaps College students, faculty and staff have collected toys, gathered food and hosted parties and other events to reach out to others in the community and beyond.

Miss. Reps. Split on Auto Bailout

Mississippi's congressmen are divided on the prospect of a bailout for the domestic auto industry. Reps. Gene Taylor (D) and Bennie Thompson (D) voted for a $14 billion rescue package for General Motors and Chrysler yesterday, while Reps. Chip Pickering (R) and Travis Childers (D) voted against it. Now the bill travels to the Senate, where its chances look less favorable. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker have already indicated their opposition to a bailout. This morning, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell's spoke out against the bill on the Senate floor.

JPS and Hinds Dismissing School Early How to Drive in Snow and Ice

Wednesday, December 10

College Football: Mullen Is MSU's Man

Dan Mullen will be officially introduced as Mississippi State's new football coach on Thursday. Mullen, 36, becomes the SEC's second-youngest head football coach. MSU will introduce him in a series of rallies around the state starting at 10 a.m. in Starkville and concluding in Jackson at 8 p.m. at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

Will Obama Help Mississippi?

Even though he is a "blue" president and Mississippi is a "red" state, local and state politicians are expecting more federal help with municipal money problems now that Barack Obama is heading to the White House.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

NFL football, New Orleans at Chicago (7 p.m., NFL Network/620 AM): The Saints-Bears loser will be out of the playoffs. The forecast: snow and 12 degrees at game time. An NFL Network audience of dozens will be watching. Most of you will have to listen on the radio.

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Human Rights Movement ‘Still Taking Off'

Sixty years after the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, advocates such as Father Jerome Tobin say the fight isn't over, not even after more than a half century later.

Winter Arts Preview 2008

While you are out and about celebrating the holidays, take time out to see what's new at in art scene. New exhibit openings, festivals, and music gatherings are here just in time to help put you in the holiday spirit.

Art For the People

After an exquisite breakfast of fresh fruit and hot flapjacks during our recent honeymoon in Belize, my husband, J.P., and I slowly sipped our glasses of orange juice and walked 20 feet from the Turtle Inn restaurant to the sandy beach. The Caribbean Sea seemed to stretch for miles down the shoreline, and we wanted to explore.

The Game of Monopoly

Mississippi attorney general Jim Hood filed a lawsuit against Entergy Mississippi Inc. last Tuesday, accusing the company of "dishonest practices worthy of ENRON."

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'Si Se Pueda'

Protestors, some of them children, marched on the state Capitol last Thursday, holding signs reading "Working should not be a crime," "Raids tear families apart," and "Si se pueda" ("Yes we can").

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Not Your Daddy's SWAC

This ain't your daddy's SWAC. And that's a shame.

Holiday Gift Guide

There are so many parties to attend in the next couple weeks, and you can't arrive empty-handed. So, along with whatever plate of cheese and bottle of wine you're bringing, how about treating your hostess to a little something special? Here are some ideas from local shops.

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Look at the Whole Immigration Picture

Immigrants and their children sent a loud message last week. About 50 people marched on the capitol, protesting recent raids at a Laurel factory and a new Mississippi law that puts people in jail for being undocumented and employed at the same time.

[Stiggers] Who Will Bail Us Out?

Nurse Tootie McBride: "If you work a full-time job, live in a financially challenged neighborhood (aka the ghetto) and want to join a labor union, become a member of the Ghetto Workers' Labor Union #776 and 3/22.

[Kamikaze] Battling the Holidays

Living in the greatest country in the world has its obvious advantages, but sometimes it's difficult living with the utter intolerance of some of its citizens. This is most evident during the holiday season.

LoungeList Photos: The Bachelorettes (Photos by Kip Caven)

Despite the storm, plenty of wig-wearin' fans showed up on Millsaps Ave to enjoy a number of girl acts, capped off by The Bachelorettes:

[Queen] A Woman's Worth

My mother and I have been extremely close since my father passed, but it took some time to obtain the relationship we have today. The first couple of years after my father died, I thought I was the reason for most of her grief; I was a handful for her. But nothing I ever thought I knew about my mother compares to her life as revealed to me during a recent Celebration of Life ceremony that friends and family arranged for her.

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Beth Kimura

When I arrived at Ballet Magnificat! one afternoon, Beth Kimura and the Omega Company dancers were rehearsing in a back studio lined with mirrors and filled with music.

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The Art of Body

If each person had a home-appliance persona, Erin Hayne and Nuno Gonçalves Ferreira would both be space heaters. They radiate warmth.

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Freedom Codes

According to oral legend passed down through generations of African Americans, slaves during the time of the Underground Railroad used an unsuspecting medium as their gateway to freedom: quilts. Slaves developed "quilt codes" to direct fellow slaves on their expedition to the North through the memorization of a poem and recognition of specific designs that represented each key word.

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Building A Salsa Community

When Sujan Ghimire and his wife, Sarah, founded Salsa Mississippi two years ago, salsa dancing took a while to catch on. "People were still in ballroom dancing most of the time and little was known about salsa," Sujan Ghimire says. "There wasn't a salsa community or anything.

Bending History

The New Year brings a new play to New Stage Theatre: "Gee's Bend" is the story of a community of black quiltmakers—all women—in Gee's Bend, Ala.

[Herman's Pick] Vol. 7, No. 13

It is an annual tradition. Exactly halfway through the holidays, the overwhelming call to escape the family for loud music and hard drink arrives. Not that I don't enjoy the time off work to be with loved ones, but live music is a tender love that needs to be nurtured just like a mother-in-law.

College Football: A New Top Dog?

An announcement is expected Wednesday.

Florida offensive coordinator Dan Mullen is expected to be named the new football coach at Mississippi State, ESPN and The Clarion-Ledger is reporting.

Michelle Obama's Slavery Roots

A fascinating story in The Seattle Times starts out:

The Busy Person's Guide to Saving Time

Who isn't busy this time of year? Between scheduling relatives, parties, caroling, etc., etc., etc. the season can be pretty crazy-making. Leo Babauta over at the Zen Habits blog offers The Essential Time-Saving Guide for Busy People, dividing his tips into Work, Computer and Home categories. And he should know about busy; Babauta is the father of six.

Tuesday, December 9

Former Banker Now VP at Highland Village

[Verbatim from Highland Village] Guy Boyll III has been appointed Vice-President of Operations for Highland Village in an announcement today by the retail center. Mr. Boyll has nine years of banking experience and was previously First Vice-President and Loan Officer of BankPlus. He started his banking career at Trustmark National Bank as a credit analyst and advanced to Vice President in Correspondent/Corporate Services.

Gannett's ‘Career Builder' Layoff-Tax Break-Gate

Over on the Gannett Blog, Jim Hopkins has The Clarion-Ledger's home office on the defensive after he reported that the company laid off hundreds of Career Builder workers after getting a tax break to create jobs:

Don't Let Holiday Deals Become Holiday Debt

The Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Jackson cautions consumers to avoid impulse purchases this holiday season. [Verbatim from press release.]

Mississippi Loses Bio Lab to Kansas

The Department of Homeland Security selected Manhattan, Kansas, over Flora, Miss., and four other sites for its proposed $451 million Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. The lab, which will focus primarily on communicative animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease, often called simply FMD, will replace an outdated 1950s lab currently located on Plum Island, off the coast of New York.

UPDATED: Elected Judges: Battered, Bought ... But Still Better

Pointing out that Gov. Haley Barbour has not appointed one black judge out of 18 judicial appointments to date, two attorneys and a Supreme Court justice agreed at a Saturday meeting that Mississippi's electoral process for deciding state and local judges was superior to a system of appointing judges.

Act Proposes Stimulus for Gulf Coast

Supporters of a large-scale civic works program for the Gulf Coast are calling U.S. Representatives today, asking them to include H.R. 4048, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, in an upcoming economic stimulus package. Mississippi Reps. Bennie Thompson and Gene Taylor are co-sponsors of the bill, which would employ 100,000 people in rebuilding Gulf Coast schools, hospitals, and infrastructure.

"Cadillac Records"


"Cadillac Records" tells the story of the rise of Chess Records in Chicago. With a stellar cast of Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, Beyoncé Knowles and Mos Def, the film promises good music and good times.

Big 3 Bailout Still Contentious

The proposed Congressional bailout of Detroit's Big 3 Automakers is proving to be fraught with landmines of opposing opinion. In today's New York Times, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell says that the proposed bailout is "deeply flawed":

ON STAGE: "Art and Film Cultural Symposium with Nathan Johnson"

Producer/designer/composer Nathan Johnson will offer insight into technology and structuring creative work in a film and arts symposium at St. Andrew's Center For the Performing Arts Dec. 12 and 13.

ON STAGE: "The Nutcracker"

"The Nutcracker" has enchanted audiences, especially young ones, for years. You can't go wrong with sword fights, dancing sugarplums and life-size mice. Ballet Mississippi presents the ballet at Thalia Mara Hall Dec. 5-7.

Mississippi GOP Sues for Fair Elections

The Mississippi Republican Party filed suit against the Leflore County Election Commission and Southeast Greenwood poll manager Gail Griggs today for "failure to perform their statutory duties in the November 4 election."

What will Michelle Obama wear on Inauguration Day? has a slideshow of inauguration dress sketches from designers such as Isaac Mizrahi, Zac Posen and Diane von Furstenburg. There are sketches for Sasha and Malia as well. Which sketches are your favorites?

Will the Chicago factory sit-in work?

I'm rooting for the workers, of course. From CNN:

Monday, December 8

Langston Suit Moves Ahead Through Political Thicket

Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Winston Kidd has lifted a motion to stay a politically tinged state lawsuit against disbarred attorneys Joey Langston and Timothy Balducci and the Langston Law Firm after U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley sent the case back to Hinds County. "I had issued a stay maybe a month ago to allow the federal court to decide the issue, and the federal court decided that it should be in state court. The parties agreed that the stay should be lifted. They have been lifted and the matter will now proceed forward," Kidd told the Jackson Free Press today, adding that he was not yet sure when the next hearing for motion of summary judgment would commence.

Barbour Among Governors Getting Suspicious Letters

The Associated Press is reporting that Haley Barbour and five other governors—of Alabama, Michigan, Missouri, Rhode Island and Montana—received letters containing powder today; tests have found so far that the letters to Mississippi and Alabama were harmless.

Union Head: Don't ‘Rush to Judgment' Over Fuel Use

Brenda Scott, president of the Mississippi Alliance of State Employees, a workers' union, issued a press release warning the Jackson City Council not to jump to conclusions regarding recent allegations of fuel card abuse, as reported Dec. 2 by the Jackson Free Press. According to council members, 945 of 1,088 city employees with access to gas cards were not keeping track of the odometer readings at fill-ups during the months of July, August and September. Other records show more than one refueling on the same vehicle in one day, or reveal employees putting 50 gallons of gas in a vehicle built to hold no more than 20 gallons.

COWBOY ROUND UP - Marion Barber's Toughness is Questioned by Team Owner!!!

GET THE "F" OUTTA HERE! If you know me, you know that I am a super Cowboy fan. If you know that, then you know that am a super duper, serious, Marion Barber, III fan. Learning that Jerry Jones is questioning Marion's toughness has completely thrown my world upside down. Here's the story, Marion The Barbarian, dislocated his pinky toe **AWWWW** two weeks ago and didn't play in last night's game against Steelers. WE LOST! I'll be the first to say that we needed this win! But it's clear that team owner, Jerry Jones, is a little miffed that the dependable fall back guy -- Marion Barber- wasn't there to save our ass after Romo choked up/gave up (as he often does and Marion often has to save us).

Be a Santa's Helper for Jackson's Kids: Here's How

Remember, you get back from the universe what you give, especially in tough times. This December, help a needy child by donating toys to the Mississippi Children's Home Services. See drop-off locations in their release below, or bring a toy to the JFP Lounge this Thursday night at Pi(e) Lounge (Sal & Mookie's). We'll deliver it for you!

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College Football: Rebels Going To Big D

Ole Miss will play Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2.

Bush's New ‘Hood Barred Non-Whites Until 2000

Raw Story is reporting that George and Laura Bush's new neighborhood in Dallas barred non-whites (except servants) until eight years ago:

Patti LaBelle sings her ABCs

A MySpace friend posted this video, and after watching it, the song has been stuck in my head all morning. Check it out:

Sunday, December 7

What will become of Journalism?

Recent bad news among newsprint papers such as the Clarion Ledger (see postings here) and today's announcement of the Tribune Company's bankruptcy filing underscore a tectonic shift in the viability of daily newspapers. But, these shifts are part of a larger concern about the press frequently called the fourth branch.

Ignorant Fools Pushing Obama Citizenship Rumors

With the country facing problems of epic proportions, dumbass conspiracy theorists who have nothing better to do are pushing the debunked theory that Barack Obama is lying about his U.S. citizenship. Per Politico:

LoungeList: JFP Southern Fried Karaoke, Christmas Edition (Photos: Kip Caven)

We had a huge crowd and tons of fun on Friday night for Southern Fried Karaoke...Kip had to leave a little early, so everyone who should have been embarrassed by these photos may not have the opportunity. :-) Enjoy:

Saturday, December 6

High School Football: Meridian Shocks World

Meridian upsets South Panola 26-20 in overtime in the MHSAA Class 5A championship game.

NFL: Deuce Can Play

A judge blocks the NFL's suspension of Deuce McAllister and four other players for breaking anti-doping rules.

Friday, December 5

Fitness: A Growth Industry

On the heels of yet another piece of bad economic news, here's a bit of brightness: Whether you're just starting out in your career or you're considering a change, take a look at the fitness industry. This is one industry expected to see a lot of growth in the coming years, reports The New York Times. Here's an excerpt:

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‘Working Should Not Be a Crime'

Also see: Immigration: Myths v. Reality

Half-Million Jobs Cut in November

The Washington Post is reporting job losses of 533,000 in November, affecting construction, computer makers, auto dealers, clothing stores, banks and insurance companies. Here's a snippet from the story:

Thursday, December 4

LoungeList: March on Capitol 12.04.08 Photos (by Kip Caven)

LoungeList photographer Kip Caven was downtown with M.I.R.A. and others marching in support of immigrants and against recent corporate raids and similar government policies. Here are the photos:

Dear Dog Owners: Your Pets Are in Danger

A little beagle with a blue collar on Arrowhead Drive in Fondren is going to die soon. I hate to be so blunt, but whoever owns that dog is irresponsible, and doesn't deserve that wonderful little creature. When I walk by his/her house on morning walks, chances are the little dog will be outside and decide to follow me. It then runs out in front of cars and starts chasing other loose dogs in the neighborhood. It's going to get killed.

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College Football: Iggles Going To Big Easy Bowl

Southern Miss is going to the New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 21, 7 p.m., ESPN2).

Wednesday, December 3

Got Books? Got Gifts!

Who doesn't love a fresh read full of pristine pages begging to get all dirty and dog-eared? Whether to satisfy your mass-market junkie of a brother or cannon-faithful auntie, there are books to satisfy everyone on your list. There are even books for the people in your family who claim they don't like books. So get over to the bookstore and pick up one of these fabulous book finds.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Men's college basketball, UCLA at Texas (8 p.m., ESPN2): The Bruins and Longhorns meet in an intriguing early season matchup.

For Them, the Brave

It used to be that murders of black people didn't matter. They still don't matter enough, but they get taken a lot more seriously than they did back when I was a baby. Then, an angry white person, a mob, or a sheriff or deputy could murder an African American in cold blood, and it didn't matter to the state's white authorities and citizenry.

Jackson's Crime Rate

Jackson's crime rate put Mississippi's capital city at the No. 23 spot of 385 U.S. cities, according to "City Crime Rankings, 2008-2009," released by the CQ Press earlier this month. The city's ranking puts it in a better light than New Orleans, which had the highest crime rate, followed by Camden, N.J., Detroit, St. Louis, Oakland, Calif., and 17 other U.S. cities.

New Court Rethinking Judge Policy

The Mississippi Supreme Court is deliberating a rule change that would force the Hinds County Circuit Court to abandon a case assignment system that two black judges and some black lawyers criticized as discriminatory.

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Seale Under Review

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled its en banc review of the James Ford Seale case for the week of May 18.


On Tuesday, speakers from the Coalition for a Healthier Mississippi unveiled their plans for the third annual Mississippi Health Awareness Day, scheduled for Jan. 15, 2009.

Gov. Barbour 'Pleased' With President-Elect

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour reported today that President-Elect Barack Obama's Tuesday meeting with state governors on addressing the recession was "cordial."

Talking Heads Reflect on Election

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson flexed his muscles over the U.S. Senate race, according to politicos, possibly influencing Democratic candidate Ronnie Musgrove's loss to interim Republican Sen. Roger Wicker. Clarion-Ledger columnist Sid Salter said Thompson's apparent lack of support might have injured Musgrove.

Fire the Employees Stealing from City

Ward 1 Councilman Jeff Weill summed it up best when he said the city of Jackson had "dropped the ball" on supervising the city's gas cards. According to city council members, 1,088 city employees have access to gas cards that allow employees to fill up public-owned cars and trucks.

[Sue Doh Nem] Hoop in Hard Times

Rev. Cletus: "Welcome to a special radio broadcast titled 'Tithing and the Economy.'"

[Hightower] Repairing Bush's Regulatory Wreckage

You don't hear it outside the Beltway, but there's a constant roar inside Washington, D.C. these days.

[Gregory] The Christmas Miracle

I've always loved the holidays. I like the fall smells in the air, eggnog lattes and almost any dessert spiced with cinnamon. I especially adore the whiskey drinks and how no one seems to mind if you get publicly drunk between the last week in November and Jan. 1.

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Karen Hearn

Surrounded by stacks of CDs in her office at Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Classical Music Director Karen Hearn looks for the perfect music to play on her radio show tonight. Yesterday it was Schubert's Mass in E Flat. Next time it might be Dohnányi's 2nd Symphony. Who knows?

Use It or Lose It (Your Brain, that is)

We all know that if we exercise our bodies, our muscles and bones will stay strong, right? Did you know that your brain needs exercise, too?

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‘A Brave Man'

It was nearing 11 p.m. as Hank Allen and his cousin, John Horton, drove east along Highway 24. The two young men, 17 and 16 years old, respectively, had attended a party in Gloster that Friday, Jan. 31, 1964, and were heading back to Hank's family's home, a few miles outside the small town of Liberty in southwest Mississippi.

Orley Hood Among Laid-off Clarion-Ledger Staffers

Update: Associated Press is reporting that Orley Hood is among 11 employees laid off today at The Clarion-Ledger, joining 20 unfilled jobs that were eliminated. The Clarion-Ledger has dropped from 470 employees this summer to 367 now, a 25 percent reduction in positions.

ON STAGE: "A Christmas Carol"

Charles Dickens' classic tale of Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future comes to New Stage Theatre Dec. 4-21. This Christmas favorite is the perfect diversion from the dizzying shopping crowds.

New Blue

Alt-country pioneers Blue Mountain have been through it all in the nearly two decades since they formed in Oxford, Miss.: changes in lineup, underwhelming management, tough salad days, success and dissolution of both a marriage and the band. But while many thought the seminal band's days were done, 2007 was a lucky year for Americana fans‚ when the band officially reunited in a series of shows that led to a new album, "Midnight in Mississippi," released in August 2008.

[Pass The Mic] You Should Hear What I Hear

My great-grandmother rarely drove a car. On holidays, she would hop on the Greyhound bus in Memphis, and we would go and pick her up from the station in Jackson. Her name was Margaret Cornelia May—yes Rod Stewart, my great-grandmother was the original "Maggie May," but we called her Nelia.

Living (and Thriving) Gluten-Free

Kristin Hockman just knew something was wrong with her infant daughter, Miriam.

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Hood Sues Entergy

Mississippi attorney general Jim Hood lodged another lawsuit against Entergy Mississippi on Tuesday. The attorney general already had a lawsuit against the energy provider in Hinds County Chancery Court to force it to surrender company information, but Hood abandoned that suit in order to hit Entergy with a new suit alleging incidents of deceptive trade practices, anti-trust behavior, accounting manipulation and unlawful enrichment, among other charges.

Mississippians Get $1 Million in Foreclosure Relief

[Verbatim from Attorney General Jim Hood]Jackson, MS-Mississippi will be included in the national settlement with Countrywide Financial Corporation (CFC) that will allow eligible borrowers to participate in the company's loan modification program, announced Attorney General Jim Hood. The program went into effect yesterday, December 1, 2008, and was designed to help borrowers who financed their homes with subprime loans or adjustable rate mortgages serviced by Countrywide and originated prior to December 31, 2007. Countrywide was bought by Bank of America on July 1, 2008.

Countrywide settlement

If you or someone you know has a mortgage with Countrywide, relief could be on the way. {Verbatim from the Attorney General's office}:

College Football: Major Surprise In Conerly

Millsaps quarterback Juan Joseph wins the Conerly Trophy.

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NFL: Deuce Suspended

The NFL has suspended New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister and five other players for four games for doping violations. Is this the end of Deuce's career as a Saint?

Tuesday, December 2

Crisler Garners Big-Name Support for Mayoral Race

A number of notable Jacksonians are throwing their support behind Councilman Marshand Crisler in the upcoming mayoral election. Jackson restaurateur Jeff Good—the finance director of the current mayor's campaign—is hosting a fundraiser for Crisler on Dec. 8. In an invitation(doc) to the event, Good mentioned his co-hosts, among them former-Gov. William Winter, former Secretary of State Dick Molpus, businessman Leroy Walker and former Mayor Kane Ditto.

Feds Fire Back at Melton

In a brief filed Monday, Dec. 1, federal prosecutors argued that the purity of Jackson Mayor Frank Melton's motives has no bearing on his trial for civil-rights violations. Their motion(PDF) was a response to a defense brief(PDF) claiming that prosecutors must prove the mayor and his bodyguard Michael Recio acted with a "bad purpose or evil motive" when they allegedly ordered and participated in the 2006 destruction of a Ridgeway Street duplex.

Not Yet out of the Woods

Following the election of Barack Obama, there seemed to be a great national catharsis - a collective sigh of relief or joy heard 'round the world. The past few weeks we (those who voted for Obama, specifically) have been relishing the great feeling of victory and watching history unfold. To date, the work the transition team has been spot on and this has even been noticed by many Conservatives who are close to me as friends and family.

Ronnie Musgrove for Secretary of Ed?

His name is popping up on at least one list, per Wall Street Journal. (h/t Folo)

WTF, Barbour? You Are in the EXECUTIVE Branch.

Gov. Haley Barbour sent out a press statement yesterday in which he doesn't bother to hide that he plans to work "closely" with two new conservative members of the Mississippi Supreme Court. How in the world does the Executive branch of Mississippi government plan to work with the Judiciary branch. This just proves that Barbour is clueless when it comes to "separation of powers." Here's the money quote; the full release is below the fold:

Monday, December 1

Dunn Lampton Under Investigation?

Raw Story is reporting that the U.S. Departments of Justice and Treasury may be investigating U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton:

Recession Declared: Market Down 680 Points

The New York Times is reporting that the rumors of a recession are true:

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City Employees Stealing Gas?

The Jackson City Council's budget committee will meet today at 1 p.m. to discuss reports of 945 city employees allegedly misusing city gas cards a total of 9,288 times during the months of July through September.

Help Jim Hill's School Newspaper Get Going–DONE!

All, our good friend Emily Braden needs to raise $448 in five days to get this matching grant from the Gates Foundation to help her get her journalism program going at Jim Hill. Please read her e-mail below, then click the link to donate to help her and the students reach the goal!

Secret of Happiness Revealed!

Harvard psychologist and author of "Stumbling on Happiness," Dan Gilbert espouses that the secret of happiness is contained in these four tips: