Stories for July 2008


Thursday, July 31

USM To Retire Reggie Collier's Number

From Southern Miss sports information:

You can't wear No. 10 if you play football for Southern Miss anymore. The school is going to retire the former quarterback's No. 10 jersey on Oct. 11.

Just Let Him Play

I'm going to take a radical stance on the whole Brett Favre situation: just let him play.

After Packer president Mark Murphy flew down to Hattiesburg Tuesday night to offer Brett $20 million over 10 years to stay away from football, it has become more clear than ever the Packer brass doesn't understand Brett. Or maybe they just don't want to understand him. It is clear, even to me, an outsider by all means, that Brett Favre has plenty of money and that his reasoning for wanting to return after a tearful farewell to football is not to make more money. He has an "itch to play" as John Clayton astutely put it on Sportscenter today.

Haley Barbour: ‘You Gotta Admire Obama's Nerve'

July 31, 2008 - Following are verbatim remarks by Gov. Haley Barbour at the Neshoba County Fair today in Philadlphia, Miss.:

Is Shoe About to Fall on Trent Lott?

Well, the man state Republicans used to adore regardless of what he did may be about to fall even harder: The Associated Press reports that State Farm attorneys are alleging that Lott tried to pressure witnesses to give false testimony ... yes, perjury. It's becomes more clear why the Bush's Justice Department might have taken a bit longer to get to the Scruggs boyz case, but now that they're there, it sho is interesting:

Wednesday, July 30

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Getting a Grip on Crime

With his head low and hands clasped together, Larry Nelson Sr. begins to talk about his son, Larry Nelson Jr., who, without his family's knowledge, fell deep into gang activity and drugs.

UPDATED: Barbour Helps Domestic Killers

At least three of six criminals getting relief from Gov. Haley Barbour killed their former or current wife or girlfriend.

More Judicial Horseplay?

Imprisoned attorney Paul Minor is arguing in Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal filings that presiding U.S. Southern District Court Judge Henry Wingate showed bias against the defense in his 2007 trial by changing his jury instructions from his earlier 2005 trial, and by ordering that evidence be removed from the 2005 trial that had stalled the jury's guilty verdict in that case.

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Merrill Thomas

As a sixth-grade student, the thought of middle-school science was intimidating. However, when I met my teacher, Mrs. Merrill Thomas, all my inhibitions went away.

Hurricane-Hit Hancock Losing Out

Only a fraction of federal money reserved for re-construction in Hurricane Katrina-damaged areas actually went to the county with some of the most egregious damage, a Government Accountability Office report revealed.

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Nader 'Spoiling' McCain?

Independent Party presidential hopeful Ralph Nader asked Jackson supporters this weekend to sign a petition to include him on the Mississippi ballot in November. Nader's Independent Party requires at least 1,000 valid signatures in order to be an option in the state.

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The Beginning

The Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, a state agency that spied on the activities of civil rights supporters, was what first led Eric Etheridge to the haunting mug shots of the Freedom Riders in 2004.

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Freedom Riders

<b><u>Summer Of Freedom</u></b>

In 1961 civil-rights leaders travelled across the United States motivating young people to take hold of a small part of history.

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The Chinese Express

I recently visited Washington, D.C., for the first time ever, and everything overwhelmed me: the monuments, the museums and the traffic. I only had one day in the city, so my friend and I walked all day to try to take in everything.

Man v. Flesh

Andre Dubus III's "Garden of the Last Days" (W. W. Norton, 2008, $24.95) is a brick of a book. At 500-plus pages, it's America on parade: g-strings and neon, alcohol and testosterone, easy cash, patriotism and dumb sentiment.

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Let It Be

It's Saturday morning. I take a comfortable seat on a floor cushion and close my eyes.

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Safe at Home

At the start of the second week of March, Jordan Schafer wore an Atlanta Braves home uniform, playing left field. The Braves faced the St. Louis Cardinals, a club with the likes of Albert Pujols in the lineup.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Southern League baseball, Chattanooga at Mississippi (7 p.m., Pearl, 1590 AM): The M-Braves and Lookouts wrap up their series at the TeePee.

Building a foundation

Today, when I walked into the office of the Jackson Free Press, Sophie showed me the layout for the next issue of the JFP. When I saw all our (the interns) hard work for the past two months come to fruition with a quick perusal of the cover and the articles, my reaction was a mixture of joy, relief, and sorrow. At the beginning of my internship, I never thought that, as an intern, I would be assigned and entrusted with what Donna had described as one of our big summer issues. I was frightened that I would not be able to handle such a monumental task, and I was terrified that I would not be able to give the topic the proper honor it deserves. My fears, however, were immature. With the help and encouragement of the JFP staff and interns, I was able to complete the task at hand, but, more importantly, I was able to believe that I could handle such a project. The JFP was always there to answers my questions even when I was afraid that I was asking too many, and they treated each question with importance and respect. This was the most pertinent aspect of the JFP internship for me. Yes, the sole purpose of an internship is to learn and improve upon your craft, but knowing that the JFP believed in me before I even knew I believed in myself is a policy I believe all internships should adopt.

Tuesday, July 29

Can You Eat Six Saltines In One Minute?

I saw this challenge today on Good Morning America and had to try it. (Thank goodness I was by myself.) Anyway, the challenge is to chew and completely swallow six saltines in one minute without drinking anything to wash it down.

Stop, In The Name of My Textbook

After nearly two months on the job, I think I've finally decided what is my favorite part of being an editorial intern

POLL-What is your favorite Jacktown festival?

Festivals and Events of Interest:

We need your help! Leave a comment and let the JFP know what your favorite festival is from this list of local events. Your vote will be featured in the upcoming Jackpedia issue.

Jackson Free Press- My learning ground

My response? I have learned everything and I would absolutely encourage anyone to intern here.

The other day, I was sitting down with my Macbook, writing my final reflection to turn in for my intern class at the University of Southern Mississippi. My topic: what have you learned from your internship and would you recommend your internship to future students?

Monday, July 28

Jam Sessions

Foodie, gastronome, epicure…bon vivant?! No matter how you choose to slice it, one thing is certain: I am a self-confessed food geek. I can spend an entire evening pouring over cook's mags, plotting my next great kitchen experiment.

Friday, July 25

Haven't We Learned Anything About Racism?

Associated Press:

One of the saddest things about society-condoned bigotry--these days against illegal immigrants--is that is always leads to violence, especially among young people who hear their elders spouting ignorance about certain groups, and then act on it. We've seen it over and over again in this state. The sad part is how hard it is to learn from our own recent past.

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Upper Level Appeals

Jackson attorney Chokwe Lumumba said his client, Upper Level owner Sandra Moore Johnson, will appeal a recent decision by Hinds County Justice Court Judge Jimmy Morton finding Johnson and employee Eric Jackson guilty of interfering with the duties of a police officer.

Thursday, July 24

Warriors Sign Lanier High's own Ellis To 6-year, $66 million Deal

The Golden State Warriors re-signed Lanier High alum Monta Ellis to a six-year deal worth about $66 million.

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A-1 Pallet Files Suit

A little more than a year after Jackson Mayor Frank Melton began publicly calling for the demolition of the A-1 Pallet recycling plant on Mill Street, the company's owners are suing the mayor and the city for $100 million in damages.

Wednesday, July 23

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Change on the Horizon

Barack Obama can win Mississippi for the Democratic Party. A laughable statement in political circles as recently as last year, this was the message Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean delivered during a Friday, July 18, address at Tougaloo College with a seriousness and fervor reminiscent of his 2004 presidential campaign.

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'What's the Rush?'

The Jackson Public School Board began their search for a new superintendent after Earl Watkins announced April 7 that he would not renew his contract when it expires in June 2009. The board began their search almost immediately, though Watkins' end-date was more than a year off.

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Developers Announce New Jackson Projects

Developers will complete work on the first block of historic Farish Street in 14 months.

Carp Chomp on Crusty Calluses

A Virginia spa offers fish pedicures. No, I'm not kidding. Anyway, you place your feet into a tank of warm water and allow tiny carp called garra rufa, or doctor fish, to nibble off the dead skin (which is their natural source of food), and then get a standard pedicure. You pay $35 for 15 minutes in the tank or $50 for 30 minutes. The foot treatment originated in Turkey, and it has become popular among the spa's customers. However, the spa had to comply with the health department and have separate tanks for each customer instead of one communal pool:

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Courtney Chinn Peters may look every bit the part of a hip, young shop girl. But what you don't know is that at age 25, this gifted ceramicist and successful entrepreneur isn't just a pretty face behind a counter—this woman's the boss.

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The House that Green Built

A few weeks ago, Mr. and Mrs. Green Girl drove south to Bogue Chitto in the middle of the night to start our annual breeding bird survey for the Audubon Society at the crack of dawn.

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The Boys Are Back In Town

The New Orleans Saints are back in town for the third straight year. They reported for training camp on Wednesday, July 23, and will begin practice on Thursday. They will practice twice a day at Millsaps College most days through Aug. 11. On Aug. 2, the Saints will hold a practice at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in conjunction with the team's annual Family Day.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

NFL football, New Orleans Saints training camp (8:50 a.m., Millsaps, Jackson): Deuce McAllister and the Saints begin training camp on State Street.

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Miracle Buckley

"I would say there is a testimony to my name because somebody in my condition is not supposed to be here," 19-year-old Miracle Buckley says.

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Mod Billy

"Our records have a '60s sound to 'em, but it's hillbilly music. Loud hillbilly music."

Governor Commutes One Killer's Sentence, Not Another

In a move that illustrates the erratic nature of America's justice system, Gov. Haley Barbour commuted the sentence of Michael David Graham last Thursday, July 17. Graham, convicted for shooting his ex-wife, Adrienne Graham, in 1989, received a sentence of life in prison. Reportedly, Adrienne Graham was sitting at a stoplight in Pascagoula when Michael Graham pulled up beside her and shot her to death with a 12-gauge shotgun.

FEMA Wants Immunity for Poison Trailers

The Federal Emergency Management Agency asked U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt for immunity from lawsuits over what plaintiffs' lawyers and the Sierra Club called "hazardous levels" of formaldehyde in government-issued trailers. Engelhardt is presiding over a lawsuit against FEMA. Plaintiffs claim the government knew about the dangerous toxicity of plywood used in trailer construction but continued to allow hurricane victims to inhabit the structures, despite independent toxicology tests revealing five times the tolerable amount of formaldehyde in the structures.

Smooth Move, Brett

More proof Brett Favre isn't the smartest guy in the NFL

Tuesday, July 22

Do I hear 15? Yes, we can!

Thank you one and all for making this a very special Chick Ball, for helping to save lives.

Wow. The JFP Chick Ball raised $14,000 this year ... so far ... toward a new Freedom Van for the Center for Violence Prevention. Not to be greedy, but I sure would like to see us get up to $15,000 over the next couple weeks. Send donations of at least $15, and we'll send you a 2008 Chick Ball CD with samples of the great poetry and music you missed Saturday night. E-mail sage (at) jacksonfreepress (dot) com for details on exchanging your donation for this wonderful CD! Make checks out directly to Center for Violence Prevention and mail to: Sage Carter-Hooey, Jackson Free Press, P.O. Box 5067, Jackson, MS 39296.

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Tracks Of Their Tears

Velma Berry lives in a brick house seven miles due west of the Mantee exit off the Natchez Trace in Northeast Mississippi. The well-kept lawn, thriving tomato plants and orange kitty-cat lolling on the carport near a hot-pink lawn chair show signs of vibrant life that belie the pain of the woman who now lives alone inside the house.

No shortage of things to do!

When I first decided to intern at the JFP, I really had no idea what I was getting into. I knew I would be coming to the office three days a week and seven hours or so a week, but I didn't know too much else about the kind of things I'd be doing. Now that I've started my eighth week here at the paper, I don't know where those eight weeks have gone, in a good way. I think I expected to write a little, since Maggie and I discussed what I would like to write about in my first meeting with her. I didn't expect to write so much though…and I mean that in a good way, as well. I also didn't expect to be involved with so many different projects. Perhaps what I'm trying to get at is that I didn't expect to be so busy. Seven hours a week doesn't sound like a whole lot, but I soon realized I wasn't limited to seven hours in the office. From our intern class once a week to other projects outside of intern hours to interviews that can be scheduled on other days, I am able to put as much time as I want into the JFP. That's one thing I've learned this summer: If you want more to work on, you can definitely find something here to plug your efforts into. That and if you keep saying yes, the opportunities will keep coming. This summer my goal was to try and learn as much about the different aspects of journalism as possible and I'm pretty sure there's not a better medium in the state where I could've done that than the JFP.

Monday, July 21

Dirty Dishes

I don't know about you, but I'd pay good money to see the look on my mother's face if I whipped out a set of dinnerware painted with a cheeky naked lady motif. Shocking. Or how about a new "Democrat" coffee mug, adorned with illustrations of Clinton and Kennedy, for your smugly conservative boss? Unheard of. And may I suggest a set of "We Do" dishes, featuring two brides or two grooms in wedded bliss, for your less-than-tolerant brother? Scandalous! Personally, I'm going to buy the whimsically gruesome Alice in Wonderland dinner plates complete with the Cheshire Cat sitting on its head, and the set of tumblers featuring the Mad Hatter and Talking Spades. Eat Me. Drink Me. Yes, yes, indeed.

Shockey Joins Saints

Jeremy Shockey leaves the Giants for the Saints.

Friday, July 18

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Survivors of Murdered Women File Suit

The families of two women murdered last September by the men who professed their love for them say they have yet to receive justice.

Da' T.R.U.T.H. and Nothing But Da' T.R.U.T.H.

Da' T.R.U.T.H., a Christian hip hop artist and Grammy award nominee, will be ministering at The Church Triumphant's Youth Truth Explosion 2008 on Tuesday, July 22 and Wednesday, July 23 at 7:00 P.M. If you have never heard of Da' T.R.U.T.H., watch this video:

Each Jacksonian Can Help Fight Family Violence

Folks, this is a very special weekend, and each of us has the opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of abused families. We designed the Chick Ball to specifically allow each and every Jacksonian a way to help raise money for a Freedom Van. We welcome checks for $5, volunteer help, prizes, anything. And as of right now, we've already almost $7,000—and from all ages and backgrounds in Jackson. Thank you, thank you, thank.

Chickball 2008

6:20 Spoken Word/Break: Blaque Butterfly

QUEEN- The Jackson Progressives, The Capital City Roller Girls, Crossings Assembly of God, Vineyard Church of Jackson-B.A.D. Girls, Larry Davidson, Jim Craig, ACLU, Faye Peterson

JFP Chick Ball - Saturday Night!

Click here for more details on the Chick Ball.

The JFP Chick Ball is finally here. Join us from 6 to midnight Saturday night at Hal & Mal's Red Room to raise money to buy a Freedom Van for the Center for Violence Prevention—and have a great time! Only $5 will get you in to hear Chick music, enjoy free food from area restaurants, bid on tons of silent auctions items, play games and have your photo taken at a "photo booth" set up by friends of the late Heather Spencer. The silent auction will run from 6 p.m to midnight. Event is age 18+. Call Sage Carter-Hooey at 601.362.6121 ext. 2 to make last-minute donations today! (So far, we've raised about $6,500 toward the van. Please help us; every dollar counts!)

Wednesday, July 16

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DeLaughter Joins Sons of Confederate Veterans

Jefferson Davis Camp No. 635, an organization dedicated to conserving deteriorated Confederate battle flags and preserving the nation's Confederate heritage, welcomed a Hinds County Circuit Court judge as a new member in June.

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Caroline Hobbs

Caroline Hobbs fell into her unconventional vocation as a bail bondswoman "through a bad boyfriend."

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Defense More Difficult This Time

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton will be back again in court July 16 for the Aug. 26, 2006, destruction of a duplex on Ridgeway Street—an incident first reported by the Jackson Free Press on Sept. 1, 2008.

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'Good Time' For the Dems?

Amid cheers and declarations that "It's a good time to be a Democrat," the executive committee of the Mississippi Democratic Party met and unanimously elected Jamie Franks its new party chairman at the Regency Hotel on Saturday, July 12.

[Middleton] Freedom Van Now

Once a year, some of the coolest chicks of all, the Jackson Free Press chicks, host an event that makes such a difference, you just have to be a part!

Funding Approved for Two-Way Capitol Street

Downtown Jackson Partners said today that Sen. Thad Cochran is confirming that the city will get a $3 million 20 percent matching grant in order to make Capitol Street two-way. This is great news for downtown's Renaissance efforts.

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Fondren Steps In to Help Boyd

From the front sidewalk to Boyd Elementary School, the modern and recently renovated façade does not reflect what the visitor soon encounters in the school hallways.

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Calling Out Entergy

AARP and the Mississippi Sierra Club say Entergy Mississippi is not being completely honest in describing the reasons for the company's decision to increase customers' rates.

Help Officer DeWayne Collier Tonight at Hal & Mal's

Attend a benefit concert tonight at Hal & Mal's from 5 to 10 p.m. for injured JPD officer DeWayne Collier who was shot last week. The $10 cover will be donated to help ease Collier's medical expenses. Ridgeland Police Chief Jimmy Houston's band, The Carltons, will perform at 7 p.m.. If you can attend, please do so and show your support for this young man and his family.

Feds Need to Get 'Er Done

The U.S. Constitution probably breathed a sigh of relief last week when the U.S. Department of Justice announced indictments of Mayor Frank Melton and his two bodyguards for the alleged Aug. 26, 2006, attack on a Ridgeway Street duplex.

[Sue Doh Nem] Riots, Crime, Etc.

Nurse Tootie McBride: "Live from the Ghetto Science Public Television Studios is 'The Nurse Tootie Show.'

[Kamikaze] Winning In Spite

I apologize. My first intentions were to sum up my experiences in Africa. I know some of you were eager to hear more. But there's something more important at play here.

Anti-Violence Programs: 'Absolutely Ineffective'

Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 with laudable goals. It wanted to both prevent and treat intimate partner abuse, specifically against women in America. Since its enactment, the issue of domestic violence has been heightened in the public arena, and many abused women have received assistance not available prior to 1994. But has the law reduced the incidence of domestic, intimate abuse? And have the laws enacted at the state level given women what they need? A recent report by the non-partisan organization Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting is saying "no" in response to these and many other questions about the unintended consequences of VAWA, and is lobbying for an overhaul of the laws.

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Reclaiming the Eggplant

Because of my very unconventional childhood, it's no surprise that my mom was somewhat of a food adventurer. She was always finding "new" (sometimes code for "strange") foods and attempting to introduce them into our diet.

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The 2008 Chicks We Love

The Better Half of Mississippi

They are news anchors, business owners, artists and moms. They are the better half of the Hospitality State. They are the Chicks We Love.

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Fiction of Giant Proportion

Acclaimed Alabama short-story writer and 2007–2008 Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi, Jack Pendarvis has just published his first novel, "Awesome" (MacAdam Cage, 2008, $18).

Innocents Abroad

It was with a bit a trepidation that I approached last week's bus trip to Little Rock arranged by former City Councilman Ben Allen, now president of Downtown Jackson Partners.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Southern League baseball, Carolina at Mississippi (7:05 p.m., Pearl, 1590 AM): The M-Braves and Mudcats square off on Thirsty Thursday. … Golf, British Open (6 a.m., TNT): Tiger Woods won't be there; is there any reason to watch?

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Elise Turner

Elise Turner's six-word biography reads "Looking around corners, always finding adventures." And that sums up precisely her life philosophy and work in the medical field.

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Melton and Bodyguards Arraigned; No Guns or Alcohol

Mayor Frank Melton and his two bodyguards, Michael Recio and Marcus Wright, were arraigned in a packed federal courtroom in downtown Jackson before U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda Anderson today at 1:30 p.m for their alleged role in destroying a private home on Aug. 26, 2006. The three pleaded not guilty to federal civil rights conspiracy charges, and each must pay $10,000 unsecured bond. The trial is set for Aug. 18, 2008. All had attorneys present, but only Marcus Wright's attorney, John Colette, will definitely represent him going forward, and may seek a separate trial for Wright. Today, Colette's associate, Matthew Baldridge, represented Wright. Kevin White of Coxwell & Associates was there on behalf of Melton, and John Moore represented Recio. The attorneys present for Melton and Recio will not represent the men going forward, they said. The judge gave Melton and Recio waivers to get court-appointed attorneys; Wright said he did not need one.

ChickBall Performer: Rhonda Richmond & Laurel Isbister

The African proverb goes something like this:"If you want to know the end, look at the beginning." So, if you're going to talk about the music lineup at the 4th Annual Chickball, you're going to have to look at longtime blues artist and Jackson native Rhonda Richmond, who played the inaugural Chickball in 2004. Steeped in the blues, peppered with jazz and a healthy dose of R&B and even country, Richmond's music reveals a powerful spiritual component which illuminates the strong cultural ties between the Mississippi region and the West African nation of the Yoruba. Richmond's debut album, Oshogbo town, draws greatly from the West African and the Mississippi blues traditions.

A-1 Pallets Owners Sue Melton, City

Charlotte Reeves and Carl Monte Reeves, owners of the A-1 Pallets Company, are suing mayor Frank Melton and the city of Jackson for $100 million. Alleging that the mayor made false public statements and used city personnel to force the closure of their Mill Street recycling facility, the Reeves' suit asks for $50 million in actual damages and $50 million in punitive damages.

Lawsuits Against Melton and City Piling Up

WAPT broke the story yesterday that A-1 Pallet has (predictably) filed a $100 million lawsuit against the city, Melton and several others. So how many lawsuits has Melton brought, or helped bring, to the city? Let's see ...

Tuesday, July 15

Bid on a football signed by Deuce at the Chick Ball!

See y'all at the Ball.

Red Alert: Deuce McAllister and David Watkins have donated a football signed by our favorite running back to be auctioned at the Chick Ball this weekend! Come and get it, folks. And keep those donations coming!

The Rocky Road (unfortunately, I'm not talking about ice cream)

For some reason, sitting at the computer position makes my right shoulder ache. Just that one. It's like scapula tunnel syndrome. I'm going to need a deep tissue massage before I go back to school in August. The JFP may be fun, but it is not for the faint at heart. I still have blisters from when Stephanie and I walked around Fondren running Chick Ball errands, because, you know, I just had to wear heels that day. (Number 5 thing I've learned at the JFP: Always keep a spare set of flip-flops in your car.) I almost fainted once when I was waiting to go into a board meeting because I hadn't eaten. I was talking to a woman who worked in the building and I had to interrupt her to say, Um, can you show me to the bathroom before I collapse, please. I didn't actually say that, of course, I have, in fact, heard of tact, but I did sort of freak her out, which I felt bad about later. (Lesson 6: Always keep a granola bar in your purse, or large pockets, as the gender identification may be.)

Rebel Nation To Gather

Ole Miss fans will gather for their annual preseason party in Jackson on Tueday night.

ChickBall Performer: Caroline Crawford

Visit for more info.

Loving and learning the piano as a young teen. Sneaking a radio into her bedroom at night to listen to rock music – which was forbidden in her house. The summers in Seattle training with her music teacher grandfather. Those first public performances at the Kaffeeklatsch in Huntsville Ala. as a nervous 16 year-old. Caroline Crawford is a product of her experience. Crawford has come a long way since the days when her piano-playing was an experience so personal that she shied away from ever performing for others. Tone deaf until her music skills only began burgeoning, her ailment led her parents to at least initially discourage her for pursuing professionally. Now Crawford's haunting voice and piano evokes Tori Amos and Evanescence's Amy Lee. Music is her passion, her conduit of self-expression. "I write about the things I can't always talk about. I take it to the piano and hope I can be open enough to let the lightning come and shock the truth and all the emotion right through my fingertips and my voice."

Monday, July 14

Releasing Fears

I take back what I wrote two weeks ago about the humidity "not being too bad" here. Every day, I walk for an hour to get some exercise and come home looking like a wet dog with pouffy, crazy hair. But, I love Jackson and have learned to take more risks and feel less inhibited with my fears since I began interning at the JFP three weeks ago.

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Jackson Music Award Winners

The Jackson Music Awards is a time-honored Jackson tradition spanning 34 years, and this year the producers of the awards stressed its connection with the storied past of the Jackson blues, gospel and R&B traditions. Music and local radio legends Denise Lasalle, The Chi-lites, Jobie L. Martin, Verbia "Lady Vee" Harden, Joseph Melvin Shamell (posthumously), Terri Lynn and Al Jenkins, Tommy Marshall, Rip Daniels, Edie Jones and Joe "Big Daddy" Lewis were honored at the event for their contributions to the Jackson music scene.

Brett Favre - Make up Your Mind

What is it with these athletes that retire and within months are ready to come back? I don't get it! And this is retirement number two for Brett. Do you think that maybe he was forced to retire? Did he get home and decide, naaa, I can't do this? This happens quite frequently in todays sports' world so what's the deal with that?

Sharrod Moore Back on Probation ... Sort Of

Dressed in a bright-orange jumpsuit with heavy chains around his hands, waist and sandaled feet, accused cop murderer Sharrod Moore won a victory this morning in Hinds County Court even as he was arraigned a second time for capital murder, with the added charge of armed robbery, for the November 1995 death of Jackson Police Officer Robert J. Washington.

Thank You Sponsors!

Diva: Caroline "Bond Girl" Hobbs

We wanted to send out a huge thank you to the people who have already sponsored this year's Chickball:

Saturday, July 12

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Appeals Allege Federal Tampering

In 2007, a federal jury convicted Mississippi attorney Paul Minor, who had made a name for himself in tobacco and asbestos litigation, of corruption. Last month Minor's lawyers appealed that decision, seeking to vacate the conviction and the sentence and to either dismiss the case or retry it before a new judge.

Melton Indictments: The JFP Story That Started It All

Read Adam Lynch's breaking story that first revealed Mayor Frank Melton's Aug. 26 alleged rampage on Ridgeway Street in Jackson—the accusations that led to felony indictions of Melton and his bodyguards two weeks later on Sept. 15. Adam's story first appeared the afternoon of Sept. 1, 2006. You can read Lynch's exclusive interview with victim Evans Welch here. The JFP also broke the story about Evans Welch's schizophrenia here.

Friday, July 11

Ah! Working at the JFP

Working at JFP is like nothing I ever expected or could have expected. I had the opportunity to choose between the JFP and another Jackson newspaper. While deliberating which paper to choose I decided that working in Fondren would be cool, so I called for an interview. At my interview Maggie asked me what type of stories I would like to write about. Here I was in her office thinking, "Yeah like I really will be writing anything, probably will becoming real friendly with those people at Cups." But I soon realized she really wanted to know what I felt like writing about. I've now been working for a little over a month and I love everything about it. I am actually writing, working on many projects, so I'm not that friendly with the people at Cups.

ChickBall Performer: Infinite

Listen to Infinite and Dread Bred on Radio JPF (WLEZ) today from noon-1pm.

Three worlds come together to make up Dread Bred. Puncho represents the crunk, Infinite represents the streets, and Lyrik represents true lyricism. Making huge strides with the 2007 hit singles "Watch Me Do It" and "Tear It Up", Dread Bred manage to catch the attention of many record labels and ink a publishing deal to release 2 new songs on "Envy" The Movie featuring Lisa Raye and Ray J. Recently nominated for 3 Jackson Music Awards, Dread Bred continues to make huge strides to develop into one of the top HipHop/Rap Trios in the music industry with the release of their new singles "He Said She Said" and "Dread Bred Fresh." For more information concerning Dread Bred, call 317-524-8594 or visit online @

Melton Spin Machine in Full Force

It's really something to watch Melton shift into full spin mode about how the federal indictments (apparently brought by "political enemies") are not going to stop him from doing his job and fighting crime, especially drug crimes, in interviews going out nationally. He told The Associated Press, for instance:

NPR Interviews Ladd About Melton Indictment

National Public Radio's "Bryant Park Project" interviewed JFP editor Donna Ladd this morning about the federal indictments of Frank Melton and his bodyguards and her past ride-alongs with him. Listen to the segment here.

Thursday, July 10

It's So Great to be Fly

Go fetch me some coffee. Make sure you pick up my dry cleaning. I was going to be doing all work and no play, and no pay, was my first thought when I heard I was going to be interning at JFP. My second thought was OMG I have no journalism experience. Well, I was right about the no pay part. Even so, I am gaining a lot of experience that will help fatten my wallet later.

Huh? Big Blooper in Clarion-Ledger Editorial About Melton

The Clarion-Ledger edit-boyz suffered a bit of reading miscomprehension when they wrote this false statement last night for their editorial today saying that Frank Melton should resign:

Why I Love Thursdays

Ah… Thursdays. One of the main reasons I enjoy Thursdays is the weekly intern class. Sure, us interns see each other during the week, but this is a time to collectively get together. We are able to share our frustrations, weaknesses, triumphs and blunders. Amongst this group of people, I get to tell people about situations that my "non-writer friends" probably would roll their eyes at. Sometimes, they just can't relate.

Wednesday, July 9

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Smoking Ban Confounds

Some restaurant owners are still unsure how the recent ban on smoking in all businesses except bars will affect their business.

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The Execution Of Earl Wesley Berry

It was like a reverse funeral procession. We were the third in a line of about five white vans, driving down the gravel road that led to Mississippi's death chamber.

'Dereliction of Duty'

Having re-opened the sluice gates of executions with Earl Berry in May, the state of Mississippi could put a second man to death later this month. Dale Leo Bishop, convicted in 2000 in the 1998 murder of Marcus Gentry, has a date with lethal injection July 23.

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Criminalizing Work

The Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance recently held a clothing donation drive to help immigrant workers that it says were laid off from a Morton meat-processing plant and a Jackson roofing company, among other businesses, in preparation for Senate Bill 2988 becoming law this July.

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Good Look, Haley!

The Farish Street Entertainment District barely survived another trial last week. Some planned anchor businesses in the district, including the B.B. King Blues Club, discovered they could not sell alcohol thanks to their proximity to a school, in this case the Mississippi College School of Law.

Half-Way Isn't Enough

A city-wide smoking ban extending to all restaurants without a "stand-alone" bar barely survived the city council last month. Before deciding on the partial ban, members voted down two different versions of the ban, including a more complete ban on smoking in all businesses within city limits, including bars.

[Sue Doh Nem] 'Down With Being Broke

Still Bill: "You're listening to Ghetto Science Team Internet Radio, courtesy of Aunt Tee Tee Hustle's computer technology class. This is your funk doctor streaming old-school music and information across the World Wide Web.

[Kamikaze] Feels Like Home

Greetings from across the Atlantic to all of you. Of course I would have loved to check in with you guys sooner, but Internet access is not nearly as available here as it is in the States.

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Cynthia Buchanan

Sitting in a conference room at the MetroJackson Chamber of Commerce wearing pearls and a kind smile, Cynthia Buchanan talks about her shift from the tobacco world to the community sector.

[Hutchinson] Obama Never Said 'No' to Bush on Iraq

"Let me be clear: There is no military solution in Iraq, and there never was. The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq's leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year—now."

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More S'mores

No camping trip or backyard barbecue is ever complete without a gooey bite of s'mores as the fire starts to die down. I like mine best with a swig of icy root beer.

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Popsicle Taste Test

Here in the [FLY] headquarters, we were becoming delirious from the summer heat and decided we needed sweet relief in the form of popsicles, STAT. But there are so many different kinds of popsicles out there, we didn't know which to choose.

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Visiting with Old Friends

As a child, Carla Wall loved attending ballets with her grandmother in New York City. Her passion for dance grew deeper in 1979 when top-notch dance performances came to her, in the heart of the South.

BREAKING: Melton and Bodyguards Indicted on Civil Rights Charges

The Jackson Free Press has obtained a copy of a statement that the Department of Justice is about to release announcing that Mayor Frank Melton and his two bodyguards have been indicted for the Ridgeway Street duplex demolition on Aug. 26, 2006, a story that Adam Lynch of the Jackson Free Press broke on Sept. 1, 2006. The verbatim press release follows. Sources tell the JFP that Melton and the bodyguards have not been arrested, but will appear in federal court next week.

‘Evil Intent': Why Frank Melton Was Acquitted the First Time

After Mayor Frank Melton and his two bodyguards were acquitted in a Hinds County court last year for the Ridgeway duplex demolition, the JFP's Brian Johnson wrote this analysis of the trial:

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Romance and Fly-fishing

Fly-fishing combines the joy of being outside with the gracefulness of casting a line so light that it takes multiple flicks of the wrist to keep it aloft until that moment when you let it lay out so softly that it mimics the wind and the ripples on the water. The fly at the end of the line floats on the river that carries it downstream.

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Tying Up Loose Ends

The setting: Basil's in Belhaven on a warm Sunday evening. A plain white sign taped to the door wards off curious pedestrians with the discreet words "Closed–Private Dinner Theater."

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Eclectic Urges

My Morning Jacket has a charisma that transcends traditional niche categories. While inherently fueled by the looseness and free-form proclivities of southern rock, My Morning Jacket takes cues from a diverse spectrum of influences.

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[Top 10 Playlist] 7even:Thirty

10. "Run," by Gnarls Barkley

7. "Rising Up," by The Roots6. "Dare," by Gorillaz5. "All The Girls Standing In The Line For The Bathroom," by N.E.R.D.4. "Drop," by The Pharcyde3. "Throw Da Water On 'Em," by Busta Rhymes2. "Royal Flush," by Big Boi1. "Humble," by 5th Child

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[Herman's Pick] Vol. 6, No. 43

The soulful and funky sounds of Laura Reed and Deep Pocket from Asheville, N.C., will return to Martin's this Thursday night. The South Africa-born lead singer Laura Reed belts a mean range of vocal styles, from world reggae rhythms and Erykah Badu to Billie Holiday and Aretha.

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Dive Bomb

For about a decade now, I've been part of a super-secret cabal of movie nerds. When we're not discussing specific films, the conversation often turns to more general notions—for example, the theory of the "interesting failure."

The Best In Sports In The Next 7 Days

MLS soccer, Chivas USA at Los Angeles (10 p.m., ESPN2): The Goats and Galaxy battle for L.A. supremacy. It's not the Euro Cup, but at least you get to see David Beckham.

Archive: Investigations Involving R.J. Washington and Frank Melton

Following are links to Donna Ladd's 2008 investigative series on the murder of R.J. Washington, as well as stories about the "mysteries of Frank Melton." A list of PDFs to relevant documents is at the bottom. Both will be updated as new pieces are added. They are listed chronologically without regard to relevance to each other:

"Caution" Features Local Musicians in Episode Tonight

Local hip-hop artists Kamikaze, 7even:Thirty and 5th Child, along with local rockers Cleverform, perform tonight at Club Fire.

Tuesday, July 8

DA Re-Indicts; Defense Alleges Bad Cop Work

This is an updated version of a story originally published July 4, 2008.

Suspects Apprehended in JPD Officer Shooting

Jackson Police officer DeWayne Collier, who was shot in the line of duty July 7, remains stable but in serious condition at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

The Urban Jungle…err…Fondren

I guess the best place to start is the beginning. On my first day, I was nervous and uncertain about my decision to intern at the Jackson Free Press. I did not have much journalism experience, and I was petrified that I was going to make a fool of myself. Unsure of the dress code, on my first day, I decided that I could not go wrong with semi-formal. Walking through the front door, I was greeted with the smiling faces of Sage and Ronnie. This was the auspicious sign for which I was searching telling me that I had made the correct decision.

Senseless Smoking Ban

I just had to comment on this. Tried to avoid it, but it's really starting to peeve me off. I understand that people don't want to have to deal with cigarette smoke. Okay. I accept that. Non-smokers don't want their meals interrupted by the smell. Besides, we're trying to make a healthier Mississippi - right? Let me explain why this makes absolutely NO sense-- if it's so serious that we must waive the rights of citizens to smoke freely.....why then are they still legal!!!!?????!!!!!!

ChickBall Performer: The Red Hot Tamales

They're red, they're hot, and we've got 'em for one night only. The Red Hot Tamales play old-time, traditional mountain ballads and folk tunes stirred and wrapped up into a tasty Americana treat.

CNN: Mississippi Agencies Took Katrina Supplies

So, just how can needy victims of Katrina on the Coast be screwed once again? Barbour diverts low-income housing money, and now this? The governor should stand up and tell us just how his administration let this happen while he was out pushing tort reform, supporting the insurance companies and protecting his tobacco companies from higher taxes here. Per CNN:

Monday, July 7

Baseball: He Gone ... Back To Atlanta

It was fun while it lasted. After being demoted to the Mississippi Braves for three days, the Atlanta Braves bring Jeff Francoeur back up to the bigs.

Jackson Police Officer Shot During Chase

For more, see the WAPT report here

Jackson Police Officer DeWayne Collier is in critical condition at University Medical Center after a robbery suspect shot him earlier today around 11 a.m. near the Lakewood Funeral Home on Clinton Boulevard. Reports say that he was in pursuit of a vehicle believed to be carrying men who had robbed Auto Title Loans at 1898 Highway 80 West.

Crime Drama in Jackson

Residents of the city of Jackson are never short on criticism - especially about the topic of crime. I am wondering what locals are thinking about the causes of such a meteoric rise in crime?

Troubles With Parking Meters and Hello Again, Frenchy

Considering less than a year ago my experience in the world of journalism was non-existent and up until last month my experience in non-sports journalism just as unsubstantial, I certainly have grown in my time thus far at the JFP. Lauren already mentioned her experience with an interview on her second day, and I, too, earned some stripes with my efforts on my second-day interview. Running late, I was driving downtown for an interview at St. Andrew's Cathedral, a landmark with which I am fairly familiar. However, I did not plan ahead for having to a) parallel park and b) use quarters to do so. I doubt I have successfully parallel parked a car since Drivers' Ed and even then I use the term "successfully" loosely since I'm pretty sure I knocked over at least one orange cone.

Middleton and Ladd Discuss Chick Ball on WLBT

More information here on the 2008 Chick Ball.

Sandy Middleton, the director of the Center for Violence Prevention in Pearl, and JFP editor Donna Ladd will appear on WLBT's noon show Tuesday to talk about the 4th Annual JFP Chick Ball on July 19 that will benefit the center's work in helping victims of family violence. This year, the Chick Ball is trying to raise enough money to buy the center a "freedom van"—a new van in which they can transport the families in need. Members of the public can donate cash to the center, prizes and gift certificates for the silent auction, or donate time to help with the Chick Ball. (Just Monday, a $3,000 check arrived in the mail from a local businesswoman.)

Saturday, July 5

Baseball: He's Baaaacckkk

Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur rejoined the Mississippi Braves on Friday, three years to the day he left Pearl for Atlanta.

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The Weeks Unveils 'Comeback Cadillac'

Some things are worth waiting for, no matter how long you might have to sit still and be patient. The Weeks' debut release, "Comeback Cadillac," finally arrives to fill the void, stop the toes from tapping and start the heads bobbing. The Weeks went through a growth period over the last two years, starting out on their own, then hooking up with Misha Hercules' Olympic Records and finally joining forces with the formidable Esperanza Plantation label, which is responsible for turning out the final product.

Friday, July 4

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7even Thirty blasts off to space on Radio Fondren

Jackson Free Press Artist to Watch 2008 7even Thirty stars in a special edition of Radio Fondren on WLEZ-FM. Join Radio Fondren Executive Producer Daniel Guaqueta as he boards 7even Thirty's spacecraft for an exclusive interview of intergalactic proportions. Check out the show today, July 4, at 5 p.m. on WLEZ 103.7 FM or

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Alert: 7even Thirty, Radio Fondren blasts off into space

Music Blog: Bryan Doyle

Jackson Free Press Artist to Watch 2008 7even Thirty stars in a special edition of Radio Fondren on WLEZ-FM 103.7 FM at 5 p.m.

Thursday, July 3

Clarion-Ledger Backtracking from ‘Tort Reform' Hysteria

It's intriguing to note that The Clarion-Ledger, after years of gullibility on the U.S. Chamber's stance on "tort reform," is now starting to question what they have not dared to question in the past. On Sunday, they ran a long opinion piece by Alex Alston (whom Adam has been quoting on these topics for years now) about Mississippi Supreme Court justices routinely reversing jury awards. And right now, they have a weekly reader poll up asking if tort reform has gone too far. (So far, more than 60 percent say yes.)

Football: Maybe Favre Is Tired Of Mowing His Lawn

Brett Favre sort of denies reports that he wants to end six-month retirement.

The Best In Sports In The Next Seven Days

Southern League baseball, Mississippi at Montgomery (7:05 p.m., Montgomery, Ala., 1590 AM): The rampaging M-Braves conclude their four-game tour of Alabama.

Wednesday, July 2

DOJ v. ‘Wackos'

The U.S. congressional investigation of the politicizing of the U.S. Department of Justice is continuing with House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers issuing a June 27 subpoena to the Justice Department. Conyers, D-Mich., demanded a pile of previously requested documents be handed over to the committee by July 9.

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Shirley Harden

Recently named Jackson Public Schools' Parent of the Year, Shirley Harden is a figure the students at Forest Hill High School see often.

The Wind in My Fro

Mississippi in July, ah. What joy the summer sun brings to us southerners!

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Summer Fun

No summer is complete without weekends full of grilling with family, lounging by the pool, playing games with friends and lots of margarita-induced laughing.

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J.J. Salem

Jackson author J.J. Salem's latest steamy beach read, "Tan Lines," has received praise from publications as varied as Publisher's Weekly and The New York Post, and was named a "Summer Reading Pick" by "Good Morning America."

Call Off Your Dog, Barbour

Last Thursday, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant refused to let the Senate even consider a bill raising the state's pathetic 17-cent excise tax on a pack of cigarettes to counter the $90 million Medicaid budget shortfall.

[Sue Doh Nem] Imus-Gate, Revisited

Boneqweesha Jones: "Live from the Ghetto Science Television Network studios, this is your 'Qweesha 2008' news brief. That Don Imus; when he talks, people nationwide hear him loud and clear.

[Kamikaze] Hogan Doesn't Know Best

I make no secret of my love for professional wrestling. It's a well-known fact among family and friends that I am not to be bothered while wrestling is on.

Barbour Adds Farish to Special Session Call

[verbatim statement] Governor Haley Barbour today amended the current Special Session call to include an initiative allowing the sale of alcohol in Jackson's Farish Street historic district. "At the request of a majority of members of the Hinds County legislative delegation and after conferring with the Speaker and Lieutenant Governor I am adding to the call language allowing certain business in the Farish Street historic district to sell alcohol," Governor Barbour said.

[Gregory] Oh So Pretty

I haven't felt good in a bathing suit since I was 9 years old. Before then, I refused to remove one for two years.

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Close To Home

Does $4-a-gallon gas have you down? While we suffocate under the battle over oil, the price marquee at gas stations is constantly changing.

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Watermelon 101

Watermelon has long been a southern staple, and Mississippians are aficionados. I recently took a poll among friends and coworkers to learn how best they liked to eat their watermelon.

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Margarita Popsicles

One of the things that makes hot Mississippi summers bearable is a cold, refreshing popsicle.

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Does Size Matter?

Is bigger always better? My first time, I had a very small one.

The Sounds of Summer

Ever since I can remember, summer signified something magical, a limitless end of possibilities and plenty of time to explore them.

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Grill the Perfect Steak


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The Sun Protection Factor

Oh, the glow of a summer tan. Nothing could be healthier, right?

Insect Repellent Guide

Nothing can cramp your outdoor adventures like a swarm of pesky insects. Bug bites are itchy and uncomfortable, not to mention that mosquitoes and ticks are known to carry and transmit serious diseases such as West Nile and Lyme.

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Mash-Up Magician

The walls of a live music venue absorb a lot of sound during its time, but it's safe to say that few walls have ever encountered the amount of sound that the Thirsty Hippo did when Gregg Gillis performed in the tiny Hattiesburg bar last week.

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[Rob In Stereo] Evading Musical Immortality

In 1994, at the height of grunge mania, Bush released its debut record "Sixteen Stone." Grunge fans ate it up and made the record go multi-platinum despite the band taking heat from critics for being just another Nirvana knock-off.

Hot Time in the City

It's July, folks, which means that summer is already well on its way. So grab your friends, a breeze-inducing fan (or two), some tasty food and ice-cold libations to reclaim your backyard for a mod, urban grill-out. Because, who are we kidding? There's no way to escape the heat so why not just embrace it? In the summer, in the city...

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Summer Fun Fashion

[Click on photos below to view fashion slide show.]

No summer is complete without weekends full of grilling with family, lounging by the pool, playing games with friends and lots of margarita-induced laughing. When paired with this season's hottest fashion, you have the makings of a super [FLY] summer.

Beyond Expectations

One month ago, I started my internship with JFP and as nervous as I was, I was also excited. Walking in I felt a welcoming atmosphere and it eased my mind. Now, I have learned many things about editing outside of my continuing education at Jackson State. I never worked with InDesign but I love it! I always look forward to the next day because I love editing the many wonderful stories that are circulated.

Tuesday, July 1

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Moore Alleges DA ‘Misconduct'

The attorney for Sharrod Moore, who is awaiting his Sept. 15 trial for the Nov. 14, 1995, murder of Jackson police officer Robert J. Washington, is accusing Hinds County District Attorney Robert S. Smith of "prosecutorial misconduct." Smith, they say, used "perjured" witness accounts to get the indictment, has not provided timely discovery documents and alleged a police "cover-up" in the case in a Jackson Free Press interview in May.

Chip Pickering Files for Divorce

WAPT is reporting that the Republican U.S. congressman stepping down to spend more time with his family has filed for divorce from his wife, Leisha.

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Reprehensible Rogues

The author of "Fight Club," Palahniuk commonly employs violence, sexuality and profanity in his novels, while his stories generally revolve around modernity, requisite evils of contemporary society and the supernatural or miraculous.

Four Things

Things I've Learned Since I've Been at the JFP:

1. Always park across the street. When I went to interview the Lettuce Ladies (on my second day) I parked directly in the parking lot of the gas station where two young women were giving out free gas while wearing only bikinis made of lettuce. I had noticed that all the other reporters and cameramen had parked at the restaurant across the street, but I didn't want to try to cross the scary highway. When I got back in my car post-interview, I realized that the hordes of people trying to get the free gallons of gas were not about to let me out anytime soon. Lightbulb! I should have figured out that the older reporters had a method to their madness. It took me about fifteen minutes to drive the twenty feet to the highway, and the only credit for my car leaving in the same condition it came in goes to the fact that God looks after children and fools. Luckily, I'm a little of both.

Four Day Workweeks - What if???

Well I am all for a four day workweek. I think this is a very proactive attempt at getting this country back to some level of economic responsibility. Clearly we are going to have to step up as a people and make some strides for change in our city, county, and state government. Speaking of cutting costs, I've often wondered why our public transit system here in Jackson is not used as much as in other cities. Are we just addicted to driving? We need to educate people on utilizing our transit system and THEN make the city actually put some time into getting more frequent routes in a more timely fashion. Using the bus system, plus shorter workweeks would be a great start to fixing some of our economic issues, short term and long term.

Council Bans Smoking in Jackson Restaurants

After three failed starts this morning, an amendment to change a 2003 city ordinance banning smoking in all businesses except standalone bars passed the Jackson City Council this morning. "We're very excited," said Jennifer Cofer, executive director of the American Lung Association of Mississippi and chairwoman of anti-tobacco group Communities for a Clean Bill of Health. "The council saw that they needed to revisit this issue and vote on something today for the city of Jackson. Although it is not 100 percent inclusive, it's the best we can do given the current environment here in the city. This means we can protect the most Mississippians we can without that one exemption.

Greetings From Accra: Day 4 in Africa

Greetings from across the Atlantic to all of you. Of course I would have loved to have checked in with you guys sooner but internet access is not nearly as available here as it is in the states. And its SLOOOOOW. I feel like the two turtles on the comcast commercial LOL. But I digress. Its day 4 of my tour of West Africa and let me say the trip has been an eye-opener. Dare I say that as an African-American man THIS trip has been even more life-changing than our trip to New Bohemia last year. So let me catch you up to speed. The flight was a long one. I quickly learned that Accra is a much more traveled city than Prague because our transatlantic flight was full. Phingaprint and I fought for space in our seat but made the best of it. Flying out of New York it was interesting to see the huge African population that resides in NY and make the trek back and forth to their homeland.

Oregon meets Mississippi

"Mississippi in the summer?" my friends, co-workers and instructors in Eugene, Ore. asked me with a look of bewilderment when I excitedly announced my plans to intern at the Jackson Free Press for two months. "Are you crazy!?"