Stories for June 2008


Monday, June 30

Paul Minor Appeals Bribery Conviction

The Sun Herald is reporting that attorney Paul Minor, who is serving a 12-year prison term on bribery charges Congress is investigating as a possible political persecution by Republicans, has filed an appeal:

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BREAKING: Melton Hasn't Reported Home Addition

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton has not been paying taxes on a large home addition to his northeast Jackson house for several years, according to a Hinds County Tax appraiser. "We had suspicions about (Melton's unreported) home addition," said Hinds County Tax Appraiser Benny Keys on Friday. "We're working on that right now, or at least we had been."

Lawyers File New Appeal for Condemned Man, Citing ‘Sham'

Phelps Dunbar attorney James Craig released the following statement about the appeal of death-row inmate Dale Bishop:

Friday, June 27

FOX News is the Media Scum of the Earth

Check this out. While conservative blog-queen Michele Malkin was talking about how it's fine to criticize Michelle Obama as long as people don't take "cheap shots," FOX News was flashing across the screen that the possible future first lady is "Obama's Baby Mama."

Scruggs Sentenced to Five Years

The Associated Press is reporting:

Poll: Six Points Separate Obama and McCain in MS

Given the nearly 20 points that separated Bush and Kerry in the 2004 elections, the 6 point differential recorded by Rasmussen in its latest 2008 Presidential polling is remarkable. Sen. John McCain (R) leads Sen. Barack Obama (D) 50-44 in the June poll, which is unchanged from the May result. Obama leads with women and with the 18-29 age group; McCain leads among men and at varying levels in all other age groups.

Thursday, June 26

Did MSNBC Ad "Hoochify" Michelle Obama?

Yes, I made that word up. Anyway, according to the Huffington Post, a "Hardball with Chris Matthews" ad about an upcoming segment on Michelle Obama's political image makeover was pulled because of the background artwork. In the background, you can see "female silhouetted dancers", three silhouettes of women in different poses. The first two silhouettes were sexy poses of women wearing miniskirts, and the third looked like a woman wearing a long gown that was form-fitting at the hips and flared out at the bottom. MSNBC pulled the ad and redid it without the silhouettes.

The Medicaid Compromise?

Administrators from two hospitals that have a no-refusal policy regarding patient admittance warned House members today that a hospital bed tax proposed by Gov. Haley Barbour will force cuts in hospital staffing and reduce services for their low-income patients.

Baseball: M-Brave Throws No-hitter

Tommy Hanson throws the first no-hitter in Mississippi Braves history.

Basketball: Bulldogs Await Call

Jamont Gordon prospect profile

Two Mississippi State players hope to hear their names called in Thursday night's NBA Draft.

Wednesday, June 25

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The Brians, Ryan and Afrika!

"Step Afrika! is back," sounded from the dark stage, echoing to the back walls of the Rose E. McCoy Auditorium at Jackson State University Saturday night.

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Old Wound Still Bleeds On Farish

Money, by far, is the most daunting of the countless little plagues haunting the development of the Farish Street Entertainment District.

College Football: Trouble Dogs Johns

The case of Alabama linebacker Jimmy Johns of Brookhaven just keeps getting weirder.

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Summer Love

A friend once told me that her dad loved fresh corn so much that he would not pick an ear of corn until he had the water boiling.

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Making Things Spontaneously Combust

If one thing is to be said for Mississippi rock outfit Colour Revolt, it's that they're a band on the rise. As Jackson Academy students, friends formed the band Fletcher, and changed their name to Colour Revolt as they became Ole Miss students. From their 2006 EP to their first full-length album, "Plunder, Beg, and Curse," they've been tirelessly hitting the tour circuit and winning over audiences with their gritty brand of Southern indie rock. Not to mention, they've been garnering tons of critical acclaim—from magazines like Paste and Spin—and touring with some major bands, like New Found Glory, to top it off. Lead vocalist/guitarist Jesse Coppenbarger took time out while touring in May to talk about it all, from getting robbed, to getting big, and everything else in between.

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[Herman's Pick] Vol. 6, No. 41

It's been some time since a Sub Pop artist has been to Jackson. This Wednesday night (July 2), Los Angeles experimental duo No Age will be stopping in at 121 Studios in the Millsaps Arts District. Joining them for the all-ages show is Abe Vigoda and Infinite Body, 9 p.m.; $7. These Sonic Youth-bred young DIY pop-punks don't get this direction from Cali very often, so tell your friends and support 121 Studios as the next new thing. Besides, No Age's latest CD "Nouns" got an unheard-of 9.2 rating on Pitchfork!

The Best In Sports In The Next 7 Days

Southern League baseball, Birmingham at Mississippi (7:05 p.m., Pearl, 1590 AM): It's Thirsty Thursday and Mosquito Awareness Night at Trustmark Park.

The Wrong Kind of Daddy

Mayor Frank Melton is at it again—making big promises to kids who need help, while setting a very poor example for them.

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Jobs-Gate Continues

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton vowed to divert young people to 70 vacant positions in the Public Works Department last week and recommended the city act as a job placement agency after the City Council shot down his last hour plan to tap the city's budget reserves to create 900 summer jobs last week.

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Tobacco Tout Out of Touch

Anti-smoking group Communities for a Clean Bill of Health released a poll this week revealing Mississippians' support for a $1 cigarette tax increase over Gov. Haley Barbour's proposed plan to tax hospitals to cover a $90 million Medicaid shortfall.

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Seeds of Community

Surrounded by brick and mortar in Casey Elementary is an organic oasis. As I approach the garden, an army of ants enters and leaves its bed only to disappear into the long, green grass.

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Dropout Dropping Off

Mississippi has a problematic history with high-school dropout rates, often ranking near the bottom of the state roster for high-school completion. But last week, the Mississippi Department of Education shared the good news that the high-school dropout rate for the class of 2007 has decreased.

Levees Now or Floods Later

Steady rain across Middle America swamped cities and rural communities in Iowa this month. The flooding has killed more than 20 people since May, displaced more than 40,000 and caused billions in damage.

Vol. 6, No. 41

Like Medgar, Be the Change

Like Medgar, Be the Change Forty-five years ago, Medgar Evers became one of the first in a long line of modern civil rights martyrs whose lives were sacrificed for a better and freer Mississippi. June 12 marked the anniversary of his death.

[Hales] The Spirit of Revolution

Eleanor Roosevelt once said that we have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together, or we are going to learn to live together; and if we are to live together, we have to talk.

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Bob Davidson

"My first love is the law. My second love is music," says Bob Davidson, 59, sitting in his office at the Mississippi Capitol Building.

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A Fighting Chance?

Oct. 20, 1992. Naked Madonna is all over the dance studio. In one corner, she's straddling a fish. In another, she's kneeling in the surf and leaning against a bike.

Tuesday, June 24

Don Imus - Back at it again

Surely you've heard about Imus' latest racial episode. This time, he commented on Adam Jones (who doesn't want to be referred to as PacMan anymore). Mr. Imus made reference to the fact the what people should be made at is the amount of times Jones has had run ins with the law. I guess he was saying that the reason this guy has been arrested 6 times is because he's black.

Poll: 80% Prefer Tobacco Tax Hike Over Barbour Plan

Sources tell the Jackson Free Press that a new poll by the anti-smoking group Communities for a Clean Bill of Health finds that 80 percent of Mississippians polled preferred an increased tobacco tax, while 8 percent preferred a hospital tax pushed by Gov. Haley Barbour. The group will hold a press conference Thursday at the Mississippi State Capitol revealing Mississippians' overall support for a $1 tax increase on a pack of cigarettes over Barbour's proposed plan to tax hospitals to cover a $90 million Medicaid shortfall.

Clothing Needed for Laid-Off Workers

The Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance is asking for donations of clothing for immigrant workers recently laid off in Scott County, possibly as a result of a new anti-immigrant law passed by legislators this year. MIRA will accept any clothing items, though standard t-shirts and pants are practical. MIRA will also accept footwear, including shoes, sandals and socks. The organization will hold a conference on the lay-offs and take donations at their headquarters on 612 N. State St. at noon Wednesday. Interested donors may call 354-9355 or 968-5182 for more information.

NFL: Saints Set Camp Schedule

The New Orleans Saints will report to Millsaps College for training camp on July 23.

Monday, June 23

The Sign Stealer

I don't vent very often here, but I have got to get this out of my system.

On Saturday morning, I got up at 4:30 AM to help my mom prepare for a garage sale that was to start at 6 AM. She decided to have it at my younger sister's house because she gets good traffic there when she has a garage sale, so we had to go to the other side of town, set up the tables and put out the signs. I grabbed the signs that I made the night before, which I stapeled to wodden stakes, and hammered the signs into the ground at the neighborhood entrances.

Hood Wants Execution Date for Dale Leo Bishop

[Verbatim from Attorney General Jim Hood] Jackson, MS- Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood filed a motion with the Mississippi Supreme Court today requesting an execution date for Dale Leo Bishop on or before July 23, 2008. This action follows the ruling by the United States Supreme Court today, denying Bishop relief. Executions by lethal injection had been put on hold by the United States Supreme Court pending review of a Kentucky case regarding the constitutionality of lethal injection. The Court concluded its review of the Kentucky case last April, affirming the use of lethal injection.

‘Oh, Please Just Shoot Me'

Rep. John Mayo, D-Clarksdale, smirked at the The Mississippi Hospital Association's recent refusal to submit a report to Gov. Haley Barbour of possible Medicaid cuts to hospitals last week. "Apparently the Hospital Association accepted the slap to the face when they accepted the 'either/or option,' but refused to turn the other cheek when asked what cuts should be made," Mayo wrote in an e-mail. "Kind of like the innocent but condemned prisoner, bound and tied to the post and about to be shot. The executioner whispers in his ear, 'Where would you like the bullet?' To which the condemned replies, 'Oh, please, just shoot me.'"

Friday, June 20

State Diverting Katrina Funds Away from Housing

With 6,000 people still living in FEMA trailers on the Coast, Mississippi officials are diverting Katrina funds away from needed housing, the Associated Press reports:

Hmmmm…‘Frank Was Right'?

The Jackson Free Press received an anonymous letter (PDF) apparently sent to a variety of media and local churches this week. The letter called on churches, in particular, to do more to help fight crime in Jackson. Over all, the letter makes a lot of sense. It starts:

Will it still be called the "White House?"

If you are interested in how bad things will get, this is a pretty good indication.

The national news media is not really covering this story, but at the recent Texas GOP convention a vendor sold racist buttons with the quote "If Obama wins, will it still be called the "White House?"

Football: Jeremy Bibbs Seeks Third Chance

Jeremy Bibbs wants to play football again. Frank Melton wants to help.

Thursday, June 19

Melton Protégé Pleads

Mayor Frank Melton says he will be waiting for Michael Taylor to get out of prison, probably before he is 21. "He is too good of a kid to give up on," Melton told The Clarion-Ledger last week. "I will be there for him when he gets out." Currently, Melton is refusing to speak to the Jackson Free Press.

So, Does This Mean Bennett Will Walk?

So, it is possible that Mayor Frank Melton has fibbed again—this time about the suspect in the Memorial Day shooting confessing to him on tape. The D.A. doesn't have the tape, the detective doesn't have the tape, and an old police friend of Melton's—whom Melton said he gave it to—won't confirm or deny whether he did. WTF? The bigger question this should raise for people is how many of the men who have "turned themselves in" to Melton over the years have ended up going free? And is that why they do it—because they know the track record might help them? We've reported numerous cases in which these men have gone free, and we have questioned why media in the past allowed Melton to pit them against the JPD when they complained about him and his cop friends "bringing in" certain criminals.

Wednesday, June 18

Monitor Melton's Mentoring

Mayor Frank Melton's eleventh-hour call this week for the city to pay $1 million for young people to work for private businesses should put a vital issue front and center for the city of Jackson.

Awards, Web Sites and Special Pubs

Every so often I've just got to catch y'all up on what's going on with the Jackson Free Press—it seems like June is often one of those months.

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Whatever you do, don't call Swell-O-Phonic a skate shop; and definitely don't ask owner Chane, 38, his first name (Ron).

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Tracking the Past

"Pelican Road" by Howard Bahr (MacAdam Cage, 2008, $25) is the story of a railroad man and his cohorts who work the rail lines between Meridian, Miss., and New Orleans.


As an American over the age of six, I understand that the answer to why Hollywood does anything is almost always "money."

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College Town Boy

"College town boy, get off your ass and do something," Dent May croons with a bit of humorous mockery and disdain.

The Best In Sports In The Next 7 Days

Pro basketball, Los Angeles Lakers at Boston in NBA Finals (8 p.m., Ch. 16): If the Celtics don't take care of business Tuesday, this game will decide who rules the NBA. (Editor's note: The Celtics took care of business ion Tuesday in a big way,)

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Supervisors Split on Tax Hike

The Hinds County Board of Supervisors heard department heads' budget requests June 13. What they got was a long list of numbers that the county likely will not be able to provide.

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Parents Chastise Chastain

As cars rushed by the corner of Pascagoula and President Streets June 17, it seemed like a normal day in downtown Jackson. But if you looked closer, it wasn't for some parents of Chastain middle-schoolers.

Columbia Training School Removes Last Girls

After years of documented abuse and consequent lawsuits, Columbia Training School is finally closing its doors to troubled girls.

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State Farm Pulling Policies

State Farm Insurance and Casualty Company said that it plans to pull home-insurance policies from part of the Gulf Coast. The decision leaves many current and potential homeowners, who live between the coastal waters and I-10, without insurance.

Old School Rappers Blame SouljaBoy for Killing Hip Hop

So, the latest uproar in hip hop is that Ice T and other rappers who reigned during a time when rap was extremely hard core and aggressive are blasting new hip hop artists like Soulja Boy (Superman) for killing hip hop. These new rappers are now refered to as "ringtone" rappers. This basically means that they are rapping about nothing of substance and can only contribute a rocking beat to it's listeners.

[Sue Doh Nem] Economic Cold Front

Boneqweesha Jones: "This is your Ghetto Science Team Weather Channel, bringing you news about the weather and climate affecting financially challenged people living in economically challenged times.

[Kamikaze] Rapper's Ghanaian Delight

Faithful fans of my column knew of my now-infamous trek to the Czech Republic last summer. When I returned from what was, for me, a life-changing experience as an artist and a man, I discovered that station excecutives from my radio show had summarily removed me.

[Queen] Sweet Home Mississippi

I haven't always appreciated being a Jacksonian. I moved to New York City as a young girl, and it was difficult to admit that I was from Mississippi. I was embarrassed to be from Mississippi.

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Eddie Parker

Eddie Parker's future could not look any better. Parker, 17, and a native of Flowood, is a rising senior at Murrah High School and newly elected governor of this year's Mississippi American Legion Boys State.

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Travis Childers Unplugged: The JFP Interview

Within 63 days, Travis Childers went from being a former Prentiss County chancery clerk to one of the biggest butt-pains the Republicans have experienced in 15 years.

NFL: Javon Walker, Is That Your Final Answer?

Javon Walker provides a credibility-straining account of what happened to him in Vegas.

Tiger To Miss Rest Of Season

A bum knee will sideline Tiger Woods for the rest of 2008.

Tuesday, June 17

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Melton's Million for Youth Jobs Fails

Even as hundreds crowded into City Hall Tuesday night, called to turn out by Mayor Frank Melton, the Jackson City Council failed to support the mayor's last-minute summer job program for city youth, citing lack of funds to pay for young people to work for private businesses. The vote was 3-3, with Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon absent. "We're coming up on the end of our budget cycle, so that money is not currently budgeted, and so that is not very prudent to make financial decisions in that manner," Budget Committee Chairman Marshand Crisler told the Jackson Free Press. "I think it would be much more prudent for the mayor to make this suggestion at the beginning of the next budget cycle, and see if we can find monies—not out of the general fund, but other locations—to fund this program for next year.

Melton Protégé History Complicated

Mayor Frank Melton says he will be waiting for Michael Taylor to get out of prison, probably before he is 21. "He is too good of a kid to give up on," Melton told The Clarion-Ledger last week. "I will be there for him when he gets out." Currently, Melton is refusing to speak to the Jackson Free Press.

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Farish Financial Woes 'Over'?

King Edward Hotel developer David Watkins may step in to help overcome financial speed bumps the Farish Street Entertainment District has suffered, according to Downtown Jackson Partners President Ben Allen. Allen was short on details Tuesday, but seemed confident that Watkins, one of the chief personalities behind the development of the historic King Edward and the upcoming renovation of the Standard Life building in downtown Jackson, was working with Performa to remove the financial barriers.

Upper Level Closed, Temporarily

Chancery Court Judge Dewayne Thomas granted the city's request to temporarily close the Upper Level nightclub on Monday, calling the club a "public nuisance." "The court finds that the activities on or about the Upper Level premises have occurred in this fashion for a long time and that said club constitutes a clear and present danger to the surrounding community ... ," Thomas wrote in his decision.

Barbour: No! Don't Mingle Tobacco Taxes and Medicaid!

[Verbatim from Gov. Haley Barbour] While an increase in tobacco taxes to fund Medicaid is being talked about, no such proposal has passed either house of the Legislature during the current Special Session. In fact, most recently, the effort failed in the House. And, while some like to talk about finding a compromise to Medicaid's revenue problems, the fact is SB 2013 – which passed the Senate on an overwhelming 41-to-7 vote – is the only compromise on the table, having been agreed to after extraordinary negotiations by the Mississippi Hospital Association, the Division of Medicaid, and the Governor's Office, and then passed by the state Senate.

Monday, June 16

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Oh, Doyle Rules: Jubilee!Jam

So Jubilee!Jam was off the chain, right? You spent Sunday recovering either from all the beer and noise or the regret of not showing, and now here you are at work or play, either wishing you showed up two hours earlier and drank some more fluids, or kicking yourself for missing out on a major a social and cultural event 3 miles from your front door.

Ledger Staffer Swipes at Obama's Daughter

... and for what? Because she was reading during one of her father's speeches. Marcela writes:

Sunday, June 15

Visit the Civil Rights Digital Library

Would you like to be able to view actual photographs, documents and file footage from the Civil Rights Movement from one central location? Well, you can do that without leaving home by visiting the Civil Rights Digital LIbrary online. Here's an excerpt from the Overview section of the Web site:

Melton Recruiting Young People; Wants $1 Million

WAPT reported yesterday that Mayor Frank Melton wants a last-minute approval from City Council for $1 million for summer youth jobs. WAPT:

Are Hillary's ‘Angry White Women' Going to Bolt for McCain?

I've been having a little trouble believing that myself, but it's one of those media narratives that the cable channels can't let go. Frank Rich at the NYTimes goes ahead and looks at actual polling numbers (that wacky loon!) and notices that, in fact, Obama leading McCain with all woman, including white women (the outlier is "suburban white women" where he's down slightly). In addition, the worst news of recent polling for Obama is that he's down 20 point to McCain with white men. It so happens, though, that even in that case there's a silver lining -- that 20 points is not as far down as either Gore or Kerry ended up in 2000 and 2004.

Saturday, June 14

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Making Peace Over Medicaid?

Friday, June 13

JAM Continues Tonight

JAM continues despite the rain yesterday and warm, but thankfully drier, weather today. Sponsored in part by the Jackson Free Press. Tickets are $28 for one day at the gate. Saturday: Three 6 Mafia, Robert Randolph's Revival, Shinedown, Old Crow Medicine Show, Lucero, Pat Green, Citizen Cope, Mississippi Mass Choir, Kamakaze, Saving Abel, At Cliff's End, and Absence of Concern.

Thursday, June 12

NPR Listeners Dissect, Unload on Mississippi

NPR's Bryant Park Project did a piece yesterday about segregated school proms in Charleston, Miss. (a piece that was inspired by Kamikaze's column in the Jackson Free Press on the topic). The segment is drawing quite the array of comments about Mississippi on NPR's blog. Here's one to consider:

Wednesday, June 11

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Bryan Owen

Music has always been a strong force in Rev. Bryan Owen's life, thanks largely to the influence of his acoustic guitar-playing father.

Living Within Your Means

"Live within your means," a female voice forcefully asserted over the radio waves one morning as I was making the daily commute from Jackson to Clinton for class.

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Bank Problems Mire Farish Project

A local bank has refused to clear Performa Mississippi LLC for loans totalling $3 million to finance Phase 2 of the development of the Farish Street Entertainment District.

Not Enjoying Democracy

Today, the country that was founded on "no taxation without representation" contains a capital whose residents have no representation, but plenty of taxes.

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Medicaid Ultimatums

Legislators are digging in on both sides over Medicaid during the quiet days preceding the June 26 reconvening of the special session.

Feds Backing Down

An allegedly unjust house of cards built by the Bush administration and the U.S. Department of Justice, detailed in a Jackson Free Press cover story last week, seems to be starting to fall as a congressional investigation of possible selective political prosecutions starts to heat up, leaving Republican appointees, including Mississippi's U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton, in the glare of public scrutiny.

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'Seismic' Dems

Mississippi Democrats showed confidence and optimism at a state convention on Saturday, and heard from speakers whose sentiments mirrored their own.

Rally Behind Farish Street

Farish Street remains an eyesore almost 10 years after Memphis-based Performa Real Estate decided to turn it into an entertainment district.

[Sue Doh Nem] First Bump of Hope

Brotha Hustle: "Get ready! Get ready! Get ready for the Hustle Summer '08 Educational Enrichment Series. Classes will be held at the Clubb Chicken Wing Multi-Purpose Complex.

[Hightower] Rabbit Hole of Voter Fraud

At last, politicians are addressing the infuriating issue of election fraud.

[Bahr] Little Flags

In the summer of '62, my grandfather was dying in the Biloxi, Miss., V.A. hospital, so Grandmother and I would ride over there every day to visit. As the city bus swayed pleasantly down the Coast highway, Memama always sat in silence, lost in thought, praying with her crystal rosary.

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Southern-Fried Hip-Hop

Memphis, Tenn., has always been considered a musical Mecca. From Elvis to B.B. King, the city has been linked with legendary musicians.

Jam To These Beats

ZZ Top

Jubilee!JAM Strikes Back! We've highlighted some of this year's top acts, including the most recognizable pairing of ridiculously long beards since Moses met his reflection in the Red Sea. For a complete lineup and schedule, check out

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2008 Artists to Watch

Music is constantly evolving, and so is the southern landscape that produces so many young new artists. Here are eight up-and-coming musical acts to keep an eye on.

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Vinyl Heaven

There's nothing like the warped buzzing sound that radiates through a room just before you drop the needle down onto a vinyl record.

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Hometown Girl

On a rarely cool Mississippi summer evening, a congregation quietly gathers in St. Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral.

Spend the Day With Dad

Let's be honest: Dads kick ass. Who else could teach us the ways of the world (or at least those involving pyrotechnics, bikes, cards and fishing lures) so deftly and with such ease?

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Kats Wine Cellar

Walking the impeccably arranged aisles of Kats Wine Cellar, one can't help but notice the descriptors: vibrant, energetic, balanced, structured, alive, elegant yet down-to-earth.

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Postcard to the Future

With a skinny tie and sassafras root 'round his neck, Seth Ballard Sr., the last of the Mississippi Herb Doctors, looks out serenely from a photograph on page 37.

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A Craftier Shade of Green

Green Girl recently found herself roaming the aisles of the fabric store. She hoped to find eco-friendly options for making a patchwork baby quilt for Junior Green Girl. She was excited to find quilt batting made from bamboo fibers … but not much else.

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[Herman's Pick] Vol. 6, No. 39

It's central Mississippi's biggest outdoor music festival, Jubilee!JAM this Friday and Saturday.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Pro golf, U.S. Open (10 a.m., ESPN): Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are paired for the first two rounds of golf's top torture test. It's going to be very chilly in San Diego. … Southern League baseball, Tennessee at Mississippi (7:05 p.m., Pearl, 1590 AM): It's Thirsty Thursday, so you can get your drink on at Trustmark Park for $1 per 16-ouncer.

Back from Philly, Whew

Todd and I got back yesterday from the AAN national convention in Philly (Pa., not my Mississippi hometown). It's good to be home—where it's actually cooler than it was in the Northeast, believe it or not. As usual, we worked hard (Todd gave a presentation; I coordinated one; and I did board meetings and the like), and met lots of folks. One thing that is cool is how accepted and welcomed Mississippi is in the alternative-newspaper world after only five years of membership. People really admire what we're doing with diversity and online (blogging way back in 2002, oh my), and are impressed with the native talent that we are blessed to have working for the paper. The best moment for the JFP were the awards we won—including two first places. The big one was the community service award we won for our team's investigative work (and blogging) over the last three years that helped put James Ford Seale in jail. That meant a lot—and felt a whole lot like Mississippi standing up to publicly face and confront our past. It's very different from having "outsiders" assume we haven't changed; it's great to give them award-winning evidence that we are actively evolving.

Tuesday, June 10

College Baseball: The Polk Backlash

Former Mississippi State baseball coach Ron Polk is still pissed.

Media: A Rare Step In Laurel

You don't see this very often in a Mississippi newspaper.

Monday, June 9

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FEMA Aid in Reach

While Jackson residents may have received denial letters from FEMA in the weeks following the April 4 tornadoes and storms, they may still be able to get aid. Some residents were denied aid by FEMA because they were already insured.

Parents at Chastain Middle School are FED UP!

Kudos and accolades to the parents of Chastain Middle School who have said enough is enough. In addition to the school's embarassing administration, the students at Chastain are allegedly having sex on school property, and fighting as well. Surely someone should be held accountable for NOT doing the children justice over there. Who's responsible? Parents? Teachers? Lack of administrative professionalism? This is a prime example of the partnership that is necessary amoung teachers and parents to educate kids on proper behavior and sex. Chastain is a middle school. One middle school. If something isn't done soon to blanket this issue, it will fester out to more schools than Chastain. It'll take more than a handful of parents protesting. Is the community ready to take on this challenge? Do we even care enough anymore? What's the next move to save our children?

No New Stadium in Jackson

The Clarion Ledger has a story about the recommendations from a recent study of the Veterans Memorial Stadium which suggests that we should build a new stadium.

Sunday, June 8

AltWeekly Winners Announced; JFP Walks With Two ‘Firsts'

This Saturday, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies and Medill School of Journalism announced the winners of the 2008 AltWeekly Awards at its national convention in Philadelphia, Pa. Top winners were the LA Weekly with three first place awards, and the Texas Observer, also with three. The Jackson Free Press won two first place awards, for Feature Writing ("We Are Family: A Klan Child Fans a Different Flame" by Donna Ladd") and "Public Service" package ("Road to Meadville" by Donna Ladd, Kate Medley and Matt Saldaña).

The Perils of Hillary as Veep Choice

It comes as no surprise to me that polls are showing a mixed blessing were Barack Obama to choose Hillary Clinton as his running mate, as her supporters are pressuring him to do—in part by saying that he needs her help to win. An Associated Press story today begins:

Friday, June 6

Baseball: MSU To Hire Cohen

Mississippi State is expected to announce the hiring of John Cohen as the school's new baseball coach on Saturday

Who Dat At Millsaps?

Are the Saints returning to Millsaps this summer? Definitely ... maybe.

Thursday, June 5

Baseball: Rebels Go In Draft

Three Ole Miss players were selected Thursday in the first two rounds of the MLB first-year player draft. Right-handed pitcher Lance Lynn was taken by the St. Louis Cardinals in the supplemental first round.

Center for Violence Prevention In Need

The Center for Violence Prevention is in urgent need of car seats. If you have a car seat that you are no longer using or would like to donate a new car seat, please contact The Second Chance Store at 601-932-4198 or drop off donations at 409 Roberts St., Pearl.

FLY Wedding

Mad Hot Matrimony

Welcome to oppressive heat, summer vacation and the wedding season! Here at [FLY], we think your wedding should be nothing short of, well … fly! So we've dropped a few tips and tricks that you can use to make sure your wedding day is as unique and awesome as you are. In this issue, you can find guy-friendly wedding showers, a killer gift guide for all kinds of couples and the ultimate Jackson area resource guide to getting that checklist done in time for the big day.

USM Adds 5th TV Game

You will be seeing the Southern Miss football team on TV a lot this fall.

Wednesday, June 4

Stand Up, Jackson

A local business owner said to me recently, "If they could stop the Klan, we can stop this." I looked at him, and something snapped for me, and I felt a wave of anger.

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Seale Wants Freedom

The flawed record of Dr. Stephen Hayne was at issue when James Ford Seale took his 2007 conviction before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals this week.

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Lettuce Goes Vegan

It's not surprising that 100 people would flock to the sight of two women wearing nothing but lettuce bikinis. But last Wednesday, May 28, it seemed that the majority of the people who gathered at a Shell station on Highway 80 at 3 p.m. were there for the two gallons of free gas the Lettuce Ladies were offering.

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Greenwood Officer Resigns

Amid pressures from his department, Greenwood police officer Casey Wiggins resigned from the police department on May 16.

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Voter ID Out of the Court

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals took Mississippi's voter ID debate out of the courtroom May 28, overturning a ruling that would have forced Mississippians to register, or re-register to vote by political party, and to present photo identification at the polls.

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Barbour Plays Medicaid Hardball

The legislative debate stalled over Medicaid this week, with solution reached on where to get $90 million to fund the state health-care program.

Focus on the Blatant Criminals

Hinds County Chancery Court Judge Dewayne Thomas may offer a decision on the city's temporary restraining order against the Upper Level Club this week, possibly paving the way for a permanent injunction against the business that will shut it down for good.

[Sue Doh Nem] 'Deeper In Debt

Nurse Tootie McBride: "Members of the financially challenged community: We're gathered today, across from Mr. Habib's Convenience Store and Gas Mart, to speak out against the domino effect of rising gasoline prices. This price-gouging trend against financially challenged citizens is like a severe, steel-toe boot stomp-down from security specialist Inspector 'Beat Down' Lipscomb.

[Kamikaze] Entertaining and Non-Threatening

Who dares hurl stones at the throne? The seemingly impenetrable vessel has taken on some water, and all hands are on deck with buckets. The Empress of All Media is showing signs of mortality, and opportunistic vultures are circling, waiting for a carcass that may or may not appear.

[Hutchinson] White Women Are Punishing Obama

What started as a trickle of puzzled queries on Oprah's message board when she touted Sen. Barack Obama in October 2007 eventually turned into angry complaints from many white women when she barnstormed for him in January. They raged that America's long-standing reigning queen of daytime talk TV had strayed way over the line. Oprah took note for a good reason.

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Jason Thompson

"Time waits for no man. / Time takes from those who walk slow along the wrong road." With a multi-talented personality, Jason speaks on his working with the youth, organizing art events, and positive hip-hop music.

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Secrets & Lies: GOP Accused of Political Prosecutions

Prosecutions of a Mississippi Supreme Court justice and a wealthy Gulf Coast attorney are at the center a spectacular congressional investigation of political prosecution.

What to Throw at the Happy Couple

The theory that tossing rice at wedding send-offs is harmful to our feathered friends is nothing more than a silly old bride's tale. But while it may not pose a threat to robins or sparrows, the ancient custom of fertility and abundance can be hazardous to your guests' health.

Shower Gift Guide

The words "bridal" and "shower," when paired together, are known to strike fear in the hearts of many aisle-bound women and men. No matter what lingerie and cookware parties your grannies may have in mind, showers needn't be the stereotypical estrogen fests of yore.

Wedding Centerpieces

Centerpieces and gifts should be the farthest thing from a bride and groom's mind while they are planning their big day, and they certainly shouldn't break the bank. There are simple and affordable ways to honor your guests while saving some money for things that matter, like the honeymoon.

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Amid Investigation, DOJ Drops Sentence Appeal For Siegelman

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion this week with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking that their earlier appeals of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman's sentences be dropped. Prosecutors had appealed for a 30-year prison sentence for Siegelman, who was serving a seven-year sentence for corruption before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals released him on bond pending his appeal.

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No Safety Here

I wanted to like this book. I wanted to like this book about sticky Louisiana summers, lifelong friendships, severe Southern mamas and the vapid allure of Los Angeles.

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Nostalgia Never Gets Old

This weekend at New Stage Theatre, a new generation of theater-goers will be initiated into the simple delights of "The Fantasticks," the Old Faithful of musical theater.

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The Pride of the Alamo

When she was about 12 years old, Dorothy Moore's aunt would take her to the Alamo Theatre on Farish Street every Wednesday night to sing in Jobie Martin's talent show. She remembers how Martin towered over her in height.

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[Rob In Stereo] Reinventing a Legend

When a music icon decides to break back into the mainstream, the popular strategy is to enlist a hot producer who can help update his or her sound for the current mainstream, while often peppering the resulting album with the hot artists of today. Of course, this is often met with disastrous results.

The Best In Sports In The Next 7 Days

Pro basketball, Los Angeles Lakers at Boston in NBA Finals (8 p.m., Ch. 16): The Celtics and Lakers meet in the Finals for the first time since 1987. It's about time (Celtics in six). … Pro baseball, Mississippi at Mobile (7:05 p.m., Mobile, Ala., 1590 AM): The M-Braves open a five-game road series. Jordan Schafer might want to pack some earplugs.

Lay Off Hillary

Let up on the woman and give her some time.

Clinton is getting flack for not being more gracious at her speech. Has anyone ever wanting something really bad and worked non-stop only to not get what they had hoped and dreamed of for so long? I think its going to take Hillary a little bit of time to decompress, slow down, and switch directions. Besides, wouldn't everyone be calling her bluff and second guessing her immediate and dramatic switch last night if she hung it up and put on an Obama t-shirt?

Tuesday, June 3

Out With the Old: Obama Clinches

Finally, we can get that Clinton baggage off our backs and move on. The Associated Press says Obama has "effectively" clinched the nomination. Big sigh of relief. Out with the old.

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UPDATED: Council Denies Emmerich Airport Board Slot

The push by Mayor Frank Melton and three members of the Jackson City Council to place Northside Sun owner and publisher Wyatt Emmerich on the board of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority appears over, after the council denied Emmerich's confirmation Monday in a split 3-3 vote, with Councilman Kenneth Stokes not present to break the tie. In the final vote, Jeff Weill, Frank Blunston and Charles Tillman voted in favor, and President Leslie McLemore, Marshand Crisler and Margaret Barrett-Simon opposed the appointment.

AG Web site Tracks Fraudulent Contractors

[verbatim statement] Jackson, MS-Mississippi consumers can now track fraudulent contractors through a new website of the Office of the Attorney General. Mississippians can now go to and find a list of contractors arrested for home repair fraud under the "alerts" and "consumer" links. The list includes the name of the person arrested, the name of the company they were "doing business as" and a brief status report on the case.

McCain's Controversial Supporter to Speak in Jackson

The Associated Press is reporting that an extremist Texas televangelist who has embraced presidential candidate John McCain is coming to Jackson to speak. Rev. John Hagee, who said on NPR in 2006 that Hurricane Katrina was an act of God to punish sinful New Orleans, is speaking at a Congregational Methodist Church conference on June 7. Hagee has also in the past suggested that God sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reach the promised land and blamed Jews for the Holocaust. He has made comments offensive to Muslims by misinterpreting the Qur'an for his own purposes, saying that "those who live by the Qur'an have a scriptural mandate to kill Christians and Jews... it teaches that very clearly." He has also offended Catholics by saying that the religion pursues a "theology of hate."

Koinonia Coffee House To Hold Grand Opening on June 6

As the Jackson Free Press alerted you in our Young Influentials issue several weeks ago, Koinonia Coffee House is about to open in West Jackson—this Friday. We urge everyone to help make Koinonia a wide success. Here's a verbatim press release from the owners:

Dem Race is Psych 101.

Gender and Hillary Clinton

The key to understanding the fight between Hillary and Barack is not in the political science department, but next door in the psychology building.

Sunday, June 1

When Not to Trust Your ‘Gut'

Maureen Dowd's column today talks the uninformed George Bush revealed in his former press secretary's new book—and the problem with "trusting your gut" when it is filled with ignorance: