Stories for May 2008


Thursday, May 29

Court Sets Scruggs Sentencing Hearing

U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. has granted an order setting the sentencing trials of Dickie Scruggs, his son Zach Scruggs and Sidney Backstrom for Wednesday, July 2.

Rassmussen: MS Senate Race is a ‘Real Battle'

Just got an e-mail blast from the DSCC pushing a new poll by Rasmussen that shows that the race for Trent Lott's open seat will be a "real battle" this year. Their phone poll shows a statistical even split -- 47% for former Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D) and 46% for appointed U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R). Musgrove does better with women and Wicker with men; Musgrove's negatives are 10 points higher than Wicker's.

Tye's Restaurant to Host Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Today

As part of the ongoing downtown rebirth, Tye's Restaurant will have its grand opening today, beginning at 4:30 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Afterwards, Thursdays at the Plaza kicks off at 6 p.m. with music provided by Scott Albert Johnson and Sherman Lee Dillon. Contact Tye's Restaurant at 601-949-3434 for more details.

Would you like the chance to listen to an acclaimed saxophonist play live? FOR FREE?

Internationally acclamed gospel saxophonist and three-time Stellar Award nominee Angella Christie will be performing at The Church Triumphant during our Pastor's 25th Pulpit Ministry Anniversary celebration on Sunday, June 8, during the 8:00 and 10:00 AM services. Here's a sample of her work:

Wednesday, May 28

FEMA Clears Disaster Relief for Hinds County

[verbatim from Gov. Barbour's office] Governor Haley Barbour has been notified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that Hinds County will receive a major disaster declaration from the President due to the April 4 severe storms and tornadoes. "I am grateful to FEMA for making a serious review and recognizing that sufficient damages did exist even though preliminary information didn't make our case very well. FEMA gave us a fair second chance, which resulted in this decision that will help speed recovery from these devastating storms," Governor Barbour said.

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Dive Into The Blu

Walking into One Blu Wall Gallery in the Fondren Corner building is a little like diving into the ocean. The cool blue wall at the entrance envelops the visitor completely.

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Hedonistic Demons

Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan have a consistently touch-and-go, seemingly fickle collaborative past.

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[Herman's Picks] Vol. 6, No. 37

Aural pleasures kick off smoothly this week with some of Mississippi's best singer/songwriters. I highly recommend Martin's this Thursday night for rockers Owen Beverly and David Gatlin. Beverly's works defy the intimate acoustic-folk stereotype, instead taking it to a more heartfelt young Jeff Buckley-meets-Iron-and-Wine sound. Check him out while he's still local. Two other street shows on Thursday will get you away from the TV, and they're both at Hal & Mal's. The free jazz show features Barry Leach, Sergio Fernandez, Denny Burkes and Adib Samir in the restaurant, while the big room jukes out with the annual Jesse Robinson's Birthday Blues Bash at 8 p.m. This is a must for every blues connoisseur.

The Best In Sports In The Next 7 Days

Thursday, May 29

Pro baseball, West Tenn at Mississippi (7:05 p.m., Pearl, 1590 AM): The M-Braves face the Diamond Jaxx on Chik-Fil-A Night, so don't be chicken.

Calling B.S. on Voter ID Plan

Today, the 5th Circuit called bullsh!t on a lower court's plan to force Mississippi voters to register by political party and show photo ID at the polls in order to vote. The court struck down U.S. District Judge Allen Pepper's "political" ruling last year requiring the state to re-register all voters and requiring voters to declare a party, or "unaffiliated." The problem with Pepper's plan, which hadd come in response to a Mississippi Democratic Party lawsuit trying to keep Republicans from squatting their primaries, was that it overreacted to a problem that had not been shown to exist, the court said.

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Congress Probes 'Witch Hunts'

With Congress nipping at its heels, the U.S. Justice Department is looking into its own alleged political prosecutions, including that of Paul Minor and Oliver Diaz in Mississippi.

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Airport Toll Road Moves Forward

The Mississippi House and Senate moved forward last week in making the Airport Parkway a possibility.

City Targets Upper Level, Again

City officials are in Hinds County Chancery Court trying to shut down the Upper Level Bar & Grill today. Police Chief Malcolm McMillin and Jackson Mayor Frank Melton say the club needs to be closed as a public nuisance because of the business' proximity to shootings and other forms of crime in the area. The city is seeking a permanent injunction to close the club.

Souls of Young Folk

As I approached Lanier High School one morning in April, I mused over the fact that I only traveled to that part of Jackson for stories. After parking my car in the lot across the street from the school's front entrance, I was reaching for the door handle to get out when I stopped.

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Dioxin Back on Trial

One year after a Mississippi Supreme Court jury overturned a $15.5 million jury award for Bay St. Louis couple Glen and Connie Strong, their toxin tort case is moving forward.

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House Dems Cave, Then Flee

House Democrats caved in to pressure the first day of the special session, passing a bill to temporarily reauthorize the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

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2008 Summer Arts Preview

If you're looking for something to do this summer, check out, the Jackson Free Press' online events calendar.

Maintaining Public Faith

To quote a passive-laden Clarion-Ledger story: "Subpoenas have been issued" for suspended Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter and former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters, to see if the ex-DA had some influence over DeLaughter in a trade-secrets civil suit.

[Sue Doh Nem] Long Road to the Promised Land

Brotha Hustle: Dr. King warned us about the difficult days ahead. I wonder what he saw when he looked over that mountaintop into the Promised Land.

Vol. 6, No. 37

This America'?

I have just read "Stop Bragging, America" by Kamikaze in the May 8-14 edition of the JFP. While I will concede that America is not a perfect country and there have been events in our history about which we should not brag, I think "Mr. Kamikaze" should include a little balance before making his blanket denunciation.

[Queen] Let's Talk About Sex

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we are failing our children by not being open and honest with them about the realities of having sex.

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Saving the World, One Turkey Breast at a Time

My husband and I always seem to go grocery shopping late at night. I'm convinced that the grocery store is only open after 9:30 p.m.—because that's the earliest I've ever been—and that it is a very dismal place to be after 8 p.m.

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Dorian Myers

When Power APAC theater arts teacher Dorian Myers, 30, sits on the edge of the stage in the little APAC auditorium, it is evident that she is in her territory.

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International Museum of Muslim Culture

Walking up the stairs at the Mississippi Arts Center, one might expect just another exhibit. But through the heavy wood and metal doors, Islam's history and culture—rich with colors and textures—show that it is much more than an ordinary exhibit.

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Marriage of Design and Art

With their recent May 8 grand opening, this creative undertaking is a marriage of interior design services and an art gallery.

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Don't Judge a Punk by Her Cover

If you met Caroline or Ray Crawford on the street, knowing nothing more of them than the (black) clothes on their backs and (large) tattoos on their arms, you might come to one of the more stereotypical conclusions: just a couple of punks.

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Sweet Home Mississippi

It's no surprise that "Growing up in Mississippi," (University of Mississippi Press, 2008, $25), an edited short story collection of tales and reflections from famous Mississippians like Jimmy Buffett, former Gov. William Winter and Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat, reflects equally varied experiences.

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Putting the Mississippi in MAAM

As Richard McGinnis, co-founder of the Mississippi Academy of Ancient Music, describes the kind of music the academy brings to Jackson, he draws his hands close to his face and waves them around, as if conducting a group of medieval musicians.

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Human Interaction

"PLEASE TOUCH" reads the strip of stickers lining the doorframe that leads into Visual Reference Studio.

Former Bush Flack: Iraq War ‘Not Necessary'

The bombshell of the day is former Bush press secretary Scott McClelland's new book, which is very frank about Bush selling the war in Iraq with "lies." AP reports:

Tuesday, May 27

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DA Alleges Cop Murder 'Cover-Up'

The capital murder trial of Sharrod Moore, indicted in January for the 12-year-old murder of Jackson police officer Robert J. Washington, was supposed to happen this week. But Judge Swan Yerger has pushed the case back due to the inability of both sides—the prosecution and the defense—to get the information they say they need to best try the case.

College Baseball: Tough Roads Ahead

Ole Miss and Southern Miss both got into the NCAA Tournament and they both face a tough road to Omaha. Ole Miss is headed to Coral Gables, Fla., and the regional hosted by Miami, the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. Meanwhile, USM goes to Baton Rouge, La. Regional host LSU is the hottest team in the nation with 20 consecutive victories.

Inter-racial couples - What about the Children?

I have noticed a growing number of inter-racial couples in the Jackson area in recent years. At first I thought there was a curiosity factor running wild. However, I have since met many people who are born to inter-racial couples. These people seem to me to be a little informed on both sides of their heritage. However, I just wonder what will become of the children these days? Do the kids suffer in this still racist city when being born to say a black/white couple? How do you choose which culture should be the dominant one? Or, is there such a choice to make? Is it possible to provide a thorough culture/history to offspring when parents are of different racial backgrounds?

Sigur Rós Drops New Record & Plays Bonnaroo

[from Sigur Rós] Sigur Rós will be releasing their fifth album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (English translation: with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly), on June 24th, 2008 on XL Recordings. The first track from the album, entitled "Gobbledigook," will be unveiled with a world exclusive first play on England 's Radio 1 tonight (May 27th) by Zane Lowe on the Evening Session. The track will then be available worldwide for free download via beginning at 2:30 p.m. EST. The video for the song will also premiere on today.

Monday, May 26

May 27, 2008 - Tuesday

Hal & Mal's Restaurant - Pub Quiz 8 p.m.

Martin's - Karaoke 10 p.m.

College Baseball: Rebels and Eagles Lose

Ole Miss and Southern Miss both lost Sunday on the final day of their respective conference tournaments. Ole Miss lost to LSU, 8-2, in the SEC Tournament title game at Hoover, Ala. The Tigers have won 20 straight. In New Orleans, USM fell a game short of the CUSA Tournament title game, losing to Marshall, 5-3. The Rebels and Golden Eagles won't be hosting regionals this year, but both appear headed for the NCAA Tournament. They will learn where they're going during Monday's NCAA Selection Show (11:30 a.m., ESPN).

Saturday, May 24

Cook Report Moves MS Senator Race to "Toss-up"

The non-partisan Cook Political Report has taken a look at the latest polls in the Musgrove-Wicker race for Trent Lott's old seat and have decided to call it a "Toss-Up," moving from its previous "Likely Republican" designation. Yowza. From the blurb:

Friday, May 23

Smoltz To Pitch For M-Braves

Atlanta Braves right-hander John Smoltz will pitch for the Mississippi Braves on Saturday night against the Tennessee Smokies. Smoltz is on rehab to test a sore right shoulder that has kept him out of the lineup since April 29.

House Subpoenas Rove in Justice Political Scandal

As expected, the House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed former presidential adviser Karl Rove to testify about his role in the alleged political investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice into Democrats perceived as enemies of the Bush administration. This investigation potentially has direct implications on the prosecutions of Democratic lawyer Paul Minor and Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz, as previously reported by the Jackson Free Press.

The Best In Sports In The Next Seven Days

Thursday, May 22

For your viewing pleasure: Baseball, basketball, football and lacrosse. Lacrosse?

Hoops In Iraq

First Lt. Ted Janis, leader of an Army infantry platoon in Iraq, tells TrueHoop how and why soldiers spend a lot of time playing basketball.

College baseball: Rebels win late; Eagles rained out

In case you missed the late, late show, Ole Miss defeated Kentucky 8-7 in the SEC Tournament Thursday night thanks to Michael Guerrero's walk-off, two-run homer. The Rebels don't play again until Saturday at 10 a.m., when they face the winner of Friday's Vanderbilt-South Carolina game. Meanwhile, in New Orleans, Southern Miss' game with Marshall in the CUSA Tournament was rained out. The Eagles are now scheduled to play on Friday at 4 p.m.

Thursday, May 22

Obama Gets Another SuperDelegate: Wayne Dowdy

The Sun-Herald is {encode="" title="reporting"} (hat-tip to Cotton Mouth Blog) that Wayne Dowdy, as a superdelegate from Mississippi, has decided to back Obama for the Democratic presidential nominee.

Wyatt Explains Wealth, Equality and Liberalism to Us

Wyatt Emmerich crawled out from under his Northside rock long enough this week to pen this priceless column, which appears in one of his Delta newspaeprs:

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Alamo, Dorothy Moore Honored with Blues Marker Today

Jackson's own Dorothy Moore, Jobi Martin and Wanda Collier Wilson will speak today at 3 p.m. at a celebration to dedicate a new Blues Trail marker today on Farish Street. Per a press statement: "The Mississippi Development Authority/Tourism Heritage Trails Program, the Mississippi Blues Commission and the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau will unveil a marker honoring the Alamo Theater and Dorothy Moore. The Alamo Theater has served as a performing arts theater since the 1940's featuring black vaudeville acts, stage bands and renowned black performing artists. Dorothy Moore, renowned Blues recording artist, was a frequent performer at the Alamo Theater filling Farish Street with the sounds of the Blues and Soul. This will be Jackson's 4th historic blues marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail and the second marker erected on Farish Street. Entertainment by the Lanier High School Choir will begin at 2:45 p.m. before the ceremony."

Soccer: Man U Wins Champions League

How big is the Champions League? So big that's it one of the rare occasions that Americans (besides you socceristas) pay attention to European football. Manchester United and Chelsea, a pair of English Premier League clubs, met in Wednesday's final which was played (naturally) in Moscow. The sides tied 1-1, but Man U won in a shootout 6-5.

Wednesday, May 21

College Baseball: Rebels, Eagles Win

Ole Miss probably clinched a trip to the NCAA Regionals on Wednesday with a 4-1 victory over Georgia in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. The Rebels' next game is Thurday vs. Kentucky at 8 p.m. In New Orleans, Southern Miss beat Central Florida 8-5 on Day 1 of the CUSA Tournament. USM plays Marshall on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

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Community Combats Crime

Standing at the corner of Florence and Valley Streets near the campus of Jackson State University, it is evident why Royce Smith Jr. is concerned about his business.

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The Only Music Television that Matters

Pitchfork Media, an online-only music publication based in Chicago, is working to reinvigorate the lost art form of the music video. On April 7, the publication launched, a Web site devoted to disseminating music culture in video format.

[Now Playing] Vol. 6, No. 36

"Jim," Jamie Lidell—Try to pin down what genre Jamie Lidell falls into, and you'll find it doesn't matter. You'll notice your head is bopping, your toes are tapping, and you're having such a good time with his soul-filled vocals that you don't care if he's classified as polka; you'll keep the album on repeat.

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[Rob In Stereo] How Not to Put on a Concert

Going to an awful concert is like going to an awful movie. You hate yourself for supporting the beast, yet you almost perversely cherish the memory.

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A Tangled Web: The Mysteries of Frank Melton

After Frank Melton urged Donna Ladd in March 2005 to look into "rumors? about his past, the JFP conducted a three-year investigation into the specifics of those allegations.

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Dairy Bar of Confusion

More than three years after Frank Melton challenged the JFP outside Bravo! restaurant to look into the rumors about him, it is clear that his Jackson web of young friends, and enemies, is complicated and crosses generational lines.

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Making the GOP Nervous

Mississippi made national headlines May 6 when the state's first congressional district (MS-01) voted a new Democrat into office. Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers defeated Southaven Mayor Greg Davis in a May 13 special election runoff with a 57 percent majority.

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A Public Nuisance Again?

Tension between the city and one of its more popular nightclubs has returned after three Monday morning shootings near the club.

Time for Compromise

Barring disaster, the special legislative session will begin May 21. Gov. Haley Barbour sent an e-mail out to legislators saying the special session will deal with up to eight topics, from metal recycling to voter ID.

[Sue Doh Nem] Dollar-Store Boom

Miss Doodle Mae: "Greetings, fellow dollar store owners! Welcome to the National Dollar Store Cooperative's Annual Budget Conference.

[Kamikaze] Can White America Elect a Black President?

Excuse me if I seem out of breath. It's just that I've been laughing so hard since last week's West Virginia primaries that it's difficult to regain my composure. Don't get me wrong, I've got love for America's 35th state.

[Dennis, Jr.] Much Farther To Go

In recent weeks, the national eye has been turned to Sen. Barack Obama's reverend, Jeremiah Wright, and his abrasive statements about the United States. Calling the United States "AmeriKKKa" and proclaiming that 9-11 was just America's "chickens coming to roost" has led to negative publicity for Obama and the reverend.

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Alan French

"For me, I wouldn't live anywhere else," Alan French says from his house-turned-office on North State Street in Fondren.

Connecting Better Electrically

Even if you're just an occasional reader of the Jackson Free Press, you may have noticed that editor Donna Ladd is something of a "connector" in the parlance of the much-quoted book "The Tipping Point."

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Drawing From Hopes

Tucked away in a classroom of the Mississippi Museum of Art, the work of over 50 young Mississippians covers a full wall with a riot of faces and colors.

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Savory Pancakes

Grains are the food of life.

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What Is A Life?

The beginning of Gina B. Nahai's "Caspian Rain" (MacAdam Cage, 2007, $25) is almost fairy tale-like, sighing with promise and expectation: "She's sixteen years old—a young woman in a city with blue mountains."

Earl Berry Executed - 6 p.m.

Earl Berry seems to have exhausted his appeals, and is set to be killed by the state of Mississippi today. He is on death row for abducting and beating Mary Bounds to death in 1987. His attorneys argue that he is mentally disabled, making him exempt from the death penalty. They also argue that Mississippi's lethal injection method is not the same as Kentucky's, which the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled was not cruel or unusual punishment.

Tuesday, May 20

College Baseball: Rebels, Eagles Open Postseason Play

It's tournament time. Ole Miss faces top-seeded Georgia on Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the SEC Tournament. Meanwhile, Southern Miss takes on Central Florida at 4 p.m. in the CUSA Tournament.

Monday, May 19

Some Things Should Be Off-Limits. Period.

I don't care that it's standard political practice. It doesn't matter to me what tradition dictates. Some things should be off limits. Period. Wife, kids, family, personal lives and the like should not be fodder for the pundits.

Mayor's Attempt to Rush Airport Appointment Thwarted

The Jackson City Council tabled confirming the appointment of local media mogul Wyatt Emmerich to the Jackson Airport Board after denying a request by Mayor Frank Melton and other councilmen to hold the confirmation hearing immediately following the council's special session Monday. Emmerich, publisher of the Northside Sun and other papers in the state, was present at the special session and ready for the council's approval. By meeting's end, he was still waiting, as council members opposed to the process pushed through an order to delay his confirmation until June 2.

Apple Store in Ridgeland Hits ‘Snag'

According to a piece in the Clarion-Ledger today, the long-awaited Apple Store in Ridgeland has hit a snag -- Ridgeland's architectural review board doesn't get it.

Sunday, May 18

"So who should be the HNIC of the Memphis City Schools?"

This was the second sentence of the first paragraph of an article written by John Branston for the Memphis Flyer. So it won't look as if I am taking this statement out of context, in addition to the link provided, here is the first part of the article:

What, Hampton? Crime ‘Better' Than When?

As part of The Clarion-Ledger's odd collection of articles today, seemingly designed to kiss and make up with the city it has scorned and bashed for so long, David Hampton pens a fluff column about the "preconceived notions" about Jackson—the ones his paper has made money off of for years. He writes: "There are those who have their own agendas and prejudices who will not listen no matter what. That's OK; the development is happening regardless." Funny to see what we've all been trying to tell that corporate newspaper repeated back to us all in its pages as if we don't know it. Thanks, Ledger. Right on time.

Saturday, May 17

College Baseball: JSU Stays Alive In SWAC Tourney

Jackson State defeated Grambling State 7-4 Friday in the rain-plagued SWAC Tournament. The Tigers face in-state rival Mississippi Valley State in an elimination game on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Friday, May 16

Barbour Calls May 21 Special Session for Medicaid and MDES

Read background on ad oversight controversy here.

Berry Candlelight Vigil

I just received word that there will be an interfaith candlelight vigil at Smith Park on Wednesday, May 21 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday is the day Earl Berry is scheduled to die at the hands of the Mississippi justice system.

ARTICLE: Skimpy prom dress lands teen in cuffs

Please go here, look at this dress, and tell me whether you think it was inappropriate for a high school prom. Here's an excerpt of the article on the incident:

Thursday, May 15

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Ad Oversight Jeopardizing MDES

Mississippi Department of Employment Security Executive Director Tommye Favre said she wished legislators had not endangered her agency over a battle to force more oversight on state advertising.

California Supremes Overrule Same-Sex Marriage Ban

It's all over the news, but the one of the items that seems to be interesting about the ruling from a legal point of view is the notion that California has a "right to marry" written into its constitution, and that's what's being violated. Here's an interesting look at what the ruling does and doesn't mean. In that piece, Greenwald makes the argument that it would be difficult for the court to have ruled in any other way given the question that was actually before it.

NCAA Division II South Central Regional Rained Out

From Delta State Athletics Media Relations:

CLEVELAND— Day one of the NCAA South Central Regional has been washed out due to rains over the past two days in Cleveland. The tournament will resume on Friday and run through Monday with a regular schedule. The complete schedule is listed below.

Wednesday, May 14

Droppin' Hard

In his March 27, 2008, deposition, Stephen Hickman said that drugs were long flown into Jackson's Hawkins Field and then distributed among various drug heads.

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Black Woman, Herself

Smith Robertson Museum has always been a special place to me. As an elementary-school student, I would take field trips to see the hand-woven quilts stitched together with women's joy and suffering, and tour the museum's collection of 20th-century African American art depicting such women.

Melton Drug-Dealing Rumors Back

A recent deposition raises years-old questions about Frank Melton and past investigations.

JFP Wins Three AAN Awards, Including ‘Public Service'

The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University announced the winners of the 2008 AltWeekly Awards. The Jackson Free Press placed in three categories, and will learn the placement of the awards at the national convention in Philadephia, Pa., in June.

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Intertwined Paths

Two of Mississippi's most famous political figures, Sen. Jim Eastland and civil-rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, were neighbors in Sunflower County, one a U.S. Senator and one of them a sharecropper...and historic civil-rights activist.

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A Beautiful, Brooding Revolt

Colour Revolt's debut LP, "Plunder, Beg, and Curse," is the product of a precociously mature band, a group with a distinctive and unique sound who is willing to take on heavy themes.

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[Herman's Picks] Vol. 6, No. 35

Highly recommended is the CD release party for Claire Holley on Friday, May 30, 7:30 p.m. in the St. Andrew's Cathedral on Capital Street. The native acoustic roots-rocker grew out of the Thacker Mountain, Cary Hudson, Caroline Herring "new southern roots" genre to become a world-class singer/songwriter. In 2005 Herring joined Holley for a live album recorded at St. Andrews and since then her music has been featured on ABC's "Men in Trees," and will be in upcoming indie films. The lush quiet that her new album "Hush" evokes freezes time and makes you feel your own personal "worship" amidst the cathedral walls.

The Best In Sports In The Next 7 Days

High school baseball, MHSAA Championships (times, teams TBA, Pearl): The state finals begin at Trustmark Park. … College baseball, Ole Miss at Kentucky (5:30 p.m., Lexington, Ky., 97.3 FM) and Southern Miss at Alabama-Birmingham (7 p.m., Birmingham, Ala.): The Rebels and Golden Eagles open their final conference series of the regular season. Both need good showings if they want to host regionals. … Delta State vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville in NCAA South Central Regional (7 p.m., Cleveland, 930 AM): The Statesmen face the Javelinas in their NCAA opener.

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Julie Skipper

Though it's hard to believe now, there was a time when Julie Skipper wanted nothing to do with Jackson. A Meridian native, she graduated from Millsaps College in 2001 with a degree in art history.

Young, Influential ... and Staying

I vividly remember ripping off my hat and gown and tossing them into a big, open truck outside the Mississippi State coliseum in 1983. It was hot as hell, and I was wearing shorts underneath unlike most of the women around me who had dresses, stockings and even high heels under their gowns.

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Meeting Between the Lines

Three Jackson Public School Board members may have held an illegal meeting last week. JPS Board member H. Ann Jones said she witnessed a Chastain Middle School assistant principal tell board member Sollie Norwood that board members Delmer Stamps and Ivory Phillips wanted to speak with him in a separate meeting room during a public forum regarding the district's search for a new superintendent.

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The 2008 Jackson Young Influentials

Jackson is the sort of place that has the potential for great change, a mid-sized city with both a rich cultural history and a fierce "up-and-coming" attitude.

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Duling Moving Along

Development in Jackson's Fondren district is zipping along at a sizable pace, with Fondren Place scheduled to feature retailers such as BankPlus and others as early as this fall. BankPlus will occupy about half the ground floor.

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Melton, Pay Your Taxes

The Hinds County Tax Assessor's office told the Jackson Free Press that Mayor Frank Melton, an individual holding one of the most esteemed offices in the city, has yet to pay property taxes on one of his city addresses.

Make Provisions For Our Mentally Ill

The shooting death of 67-year-old Jackson resident K.C. Battle says plenty about the local community's inability to handle mental illness.

Vol. 6, No. 35

Uneducated Black Boys

"If I were mayor, I'd have their (young black male) asses hanging from every tree limb on the lawn at City Hall. I am 59 years old, and like the majority of older black citizens of Jackson and across this country, I hate young black males because they do not appreciate what has been done (the civil rights struggle) for them. All black people should exhibit dignity because God has truly been on our side."—July 2006 letter from George Lambus.

[Queen] Leave to Live

At the beginning of the relationship, everything was fine. Not long after, he started changing. He often seemed angry, like he hated me. I think he changed his mind about being with me, but he wouldn't tell me that. He decided instead to "tolerate" my presence.

Tuesday, May 13

Childers Victory Sends ‘Shock Waves' Through GOP

The Washington Post is reacting to Travis Childers' victory tonight in Mississippi 1st Congressional District—historically a conservative Republican stronghold:

Melton Reinstitutes Overnight Stays Around the City

[Verbatim from the Mayor's office] Mayor Frank E. Melton says that he wants to resume his overnight visits to neighborhoods beginning Monday, May 12, 2008. The Mayor feels that he must spend an appropriate amount of time in various neighborhoods and get a close up view of the quality of life throughout the city in order to respond effectively to concerns that he receives daily. His visits will be scheduled on the following dates at the locations listed:

New Film Incentives for Mississippi

[verbatim] Jackson, Miss. (May 13, 2008) – Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has signed HB 1351, creating new incentives for the motion picture and television industry. The rebate program applies to feature, television, documentary and commercial production, and is effective immediately. "The film industry is important to Mississippi, as it is an industry in constant growth," Governor Barbour said. "We consider ours a long term commitment to community and economic development and to the creation of jobs in all sectors in every corner of our state.

Monday, May 12

Jackson Zoo Mourns Baby Giraffe

"We were pleased with its progress, so it was quite a shock Sunday to come in," Mims said.

The Jackson Zoo and members of the community mourned the death of its week-old female giraffe calf Sunday morning. Born on May 5, the newborn was a little underweight, but director of marketing and public relations, Christopher Mims said that she had gained at least five pounds by Saturday.

Former Madison Central QB Indicted for Selling Drugs

WAPT is reporting that Jared Foster has been indicted in Madison County Circuit Court for selling steroids and released on a $5,000 bond. He pled not guilty and waived arraignment.

Greenwood Councilman Lambasted for Racial Slur

The Associated Press is reporting that Greenwood Councilman John Lee sent an e-mail last week to a group of whites criticizing black Council President David Jordan, and calling him a "n*gger":

Sunday, May 11

Obama Takes Lead in Superdelegates

The Associated Press is reporting that Sen. Barack Obama has officially gone ahead of Sen. Hillary Clinton in the race for Democratic superdelegates:

Friday, May 9

Blind Eye: Easier Times for Bingo Crimes?

Adam goes into depth about monetary abuses in bingo parlors, and why nothing has been done about it.

R. Kelly Trial - who's to blame?

So many of you are probably familiar with the case of statutory rape that singer R. Kelly is facing. So word is that Kelly and the underaged female are denying that they are the ones on the video (the one that caused all this drama). But now there's a new girl...third party, who says she was involved in a three-some with Kelly and the same girl.

Soccer: Brilla Opens Season Friday

Mississippi Brilla FC will open its second season on Friday with a game against the Laredo Heat at 7 p.m. at Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland.

William Winter to Receive JFK ‘Profile in Courage Award'

Former Gov. William Winter is one of three people receiving the coveted John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award Monday in Boston for his "courageous decisions of conscience" during his lifetime. "Governor William Winter gives testimony to President Kennedy's belief that politics can truly be a noble profession," Caroline Kennedy said in a statement. "His lifetime of public service, both to his country and his beloved state of Mississippi, has been distinguished by its devotion to equality and justice. We are proud to honor him with a Profile in Courage Award for lifetime achievement." Winter is being honored with the lifetime achievement award. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner are also receiving Profile in Courage awards.

Attorney General Holding Domestic Violence Conference May 13-14

[verbatim statement] The Domestic Violence Division of the Mississippi Attorney General's Office, in cooperation with the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence, will hold its second annual Domestic Violence Conference on May 13 and 14. The conference will be held at the Silver Star Hotel and Casino in Choctaw, Mississippi, and is entitled Domestic Violence in Our Communities: Response, Accountability, and Progress. Any law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, court clerks, probation and parole officers, and advocates working in the field of domestic violence or victims rights are invited to attend.

Imagine Bush or McCain Playing Taboo!?!

The Associated Press has a fun story about Barack Obama playing Taboo on his campaign plane with young journalists. From the story:

Thursday, May 8

Mother's Day Fritata

Cookin' for Mom

Make mom a fritata—and be glad we don't live in one of the worst countries for mommas.

Schimmel's One of Esquire Mag's ‘Best Bars'

Calling the local bar and restaurant a "swankateria," Esquire has conferred an impressive honor on the place that "Best of Jackson" voters often call out as one of the "best places to spot legislators" and one of the "best places to eat when someone else is paying." The writer gives particular props to Schimmel's for its weekend transformations into the Houserockers venue for Subway Lounge-style blues.

Ledger Does Melton-Denying-Allegations Story

Read the JFP Melton blog/archive here.

It seems The Clarion-Ledger is suddenly going somewhere it hasn't dared to go in over 20 years in its story today about the R.J. Washington case. The bizarre thing is that there are no new allegations here, although perhaps new to them. I recall an editor over there belittling our stories back during the campaign (stories that Melton himself tipped us to, starting with this one) about the old criminal allegations against Melton (and his denials), saying that they were bogus. The question is, if the Ledger believes that, why are they running this story today—which has no evidence, other than a deposition and some history of the criminals who have been living in his home? It's presented like a big investigative package, but there isn't anything there but the deposition, some known background on the Sharrod Moore case and some quick rehash of stuff we've reported for years. Odd, but very Ledger.

Wednesday, May 7

Gorden Going To Hall of Fame

W.C. Gorden, the winningest football coach in Jackson State history, has been named to the College Football Hall of Fame.

College Baseball: Delta State Wins GSC

Delta State claimed its 11th GSC title by defeating Montevallo, 7-5, Wednesday in the conference tournament at Millington, Tenn.

Dancing in the Kitchen

You see, my mom is a goofy mom. I mean "dance in the kitchen with the refrigerator doors to the sound of the "Battlestar Galactica" theme song playing in the background from the TV in front of my dad" goofy.

Nobody Minding the Store

The Jackson City Council grudgingly approved about $45,000 of payments to the U.S. Treasury Department Tuesday after the city failed to manage two federal law-enforcement grants. The council voted 6-0, with Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes absent, approving a $40,394 payment to the U.S. Treasury Department because the city misspent money from a 2004 local law-enforcement grant, and another $4,687 repayment of a 2002 local law-enforcement grant. The action increased the city claims docket from $2,304,563 to $2,349,645.

My Dirty Little Secret

Sarah has one exception to her rule against fried food: fried pickles. Here's how to make some.

Voter ID Ruling Far Away from Mississippi

A U.S. Supreme Court decision last month could add weight to Mississippi Republicans' call for voters to present photo ID at the polls—even though supporters do not provide evidence that the regulation is necessary.

The Entrepreneurial Poor

In Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammed Yunus's book, "Banker to the Poor: Micro-lending and the Battles Against World Poverty," vivid details resonate on the most human, intimate levels, and unknown laborers become real people.

Pink, Blue ... or Green?

With the uncertain future of our planet, many couples are wondering whether they should have children at all. That is a highly personal decision, but I will say that it is easier (and cheaper) than you might think to have a family with a low environmental impact and to raise thoughtful children who will be leaders in solving the next generation's environmental problems.

A Hectic Romp

The art of theater is fleeting. You can't hang it on a gallery wall, and even that musty box of old playbills is at best poor mementos from long-struck shows. Every production occupies a brief moment in time, eliciting the joy unique to things that will soon be gone. Fondren Theatre Workshop, Jackson's own nomadic, permanent-buildingless guerilla theater troupe, takes that transient art to new levels.

Review: Rhys Chatham

The result is a beautiful, evolving, slowly rising three-song orchestra of 400 guitars eventually bursting into crescendo.

Jam, Y'all

Jackson's biggest music and art street festival kicks into high gear Friday, June 13. This year marks the 21st time that Capitol Street downtown will transform into a rockin', dancin', jumpin' good time, with Jubilee!JAM 2008.

The Best In Sports In The Next 7 Days

Pro baseball, Mississippi at West Tenn (7:05 p.m., Jackson, Tenn., 1590 AM): The M-Braves continue their series against the SL North Division leaders.

I Hate Geeses to Pieces

Former Mississippi Sen. Mike Gunn has caught the interest of the national Humane Society after allegedly killing baby geese in his gas grill April 25. A neighbor spied the former Republican legislator and tobacco lobbyist allegedly catching seven goslings and killing them in his grill before throwing their bodies into a garbage can.

Dirty Debris?

Garrett Enterprises owner Socrates Garrett said his company and subcontractors have already removed more than half the debris lining the streets after tornado winds tore through the Jackson area last month.

Music, Fireworks, Bugs, Oh My

Sybil Cheesman expected to stay in Jackson only four or five years. "That's the longest I'd ever lived in one place," she says. Thirty-six years later, Cheesman has played her flute in the "Pepsi Pops" concerts since the first event. Featuring light classical, show tunes, movie scores and American standards for the past 32 years, this year's concert is Friday, May 9.

[Gig] ‘Let's Do This'

Andy Scissorhands stepped back from his opponent. Standing between him and the Mississippi state championship of Rock Paper Scissors was a no-nonsense girl who had won the first of three rounds in the semi-final match. He slowly turned his baseball cap around backward and rolled up his sleeves, never breaking the gaze of his antagonist. "1-2-3-Shoot!" cried the referee. Scissorhands won and tied the score 1-1. "1-2-3-Shoot!" Both players threw, and he emerged victorious.

Stop Playing God

Right now, there is a lively discussion at about the upcoming May 21 state execution of Earl Berry, who was convicted Nov. 29, 1987, for the murder of Mary Bounds.

[Sue Doh Nem] The Next Generation

Poochie: "It's me, the talking, literate black dog. Today, I'm starring in a sitcom pilot called 'Ruff Times,' an updated version of the famous television series 'Good Times.' Kunta 'Rahsheed X' Toby is the executive producer, writer and director, and several members of the Ghetto Science Team repertory theater group play the roles of Florida, Michael, Thelma, J.J., Wilona and Penny. I play the role of Penny's granddaughter's adopted black dog, Poochie.

[Kamikaze] Stop Bragging, America

America is arrogant. But before you right-wingnuts paint me with the "anti-American'' brush, observe a more practical scenario: Close your eyes and imagine your workplace. Now picture one of your colleagues coming over to your desk and crowing about how magnificent he is; how much smarter and more beautiful he is and how inadequate you are compared to him. Oh, and he also tells that you should take all your pointers from him to become a better employee, even though you've been doing your job quite effectively for some time now.

[Gregory] The Waggina Monologues

Two weeks ago, I attended the 10th anniversary of "The Vagina Monologues" in New Orleans. The entire weekend was an anniversary celebration of the first performance of the show and was a vehicle to bring awareness to the issue of violence against women, raising money for charities that aid in this fight.

Melissa DiFatta

I first met my wife at Hal & Mal's after an art opening. I asked for her phone number. She replied: "I'm Melissa Baria. If you want to call me, you can remember my name and look it up in the phone book."

Review: The Black Keys

The album integrates punk, metal and country into its traditional style, and on most tracks, a big, cinematic sound takes the place of previously intimate, lo-fi recordings.

The Sked

Wednesday, May 7

Friday, May 9College baseballNorth Carolina A&T; at Jackson State (3 p.m., Jackson)Auburn at Ole Miss (6:30 p.m., Oxford, 97.3 FM)Memphis at Southern Miss (7 p.m., Hattiesburg)Mississippi State at LSU (7 p.m., Baton Rouge, La., CSS/620 AM)

Monday, May 5

No Laughs in Email Hoax

There are some sick puppies out there. This release from the Attorney General's office details an e-mail hoax that threatens the life of the recipient and demands payment:

BREAKING: Supreme Court Rules Against Berry

Update: Today, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the appeal of doomed prisoner Earl Berry. His attorney, Jim Craig, released the following statement:

JAM! Announces 2008 Schedule

ZZ Top, The Ohio Players, Blind Melon, Eric Church, Mel Waiters, Hurt, Blue Mountain, Egypt Central, Hill Country Review, Endeverafter, Backdoor Slam, Jonzetta, Speakeasy

Thursday, May 1

Two Upcoming Events at The Church Triumphant

May 4 - Pastor Tonya Ware's Birthday Celebration. Come join us as we celebrate the life of this awesome woman of God! The celebration will take place during the 10 a.m. Sunday morning worship service.

‘Wishy-Washy Approach To Public Policy'

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton dismissed rumors at a Monday press conference that he had forced a local contractor into subcontracting a Louisiana company he originally favored to remove debris from an April 4 storm in North Jackson.

Big Fix Rig Needs Cats to Spay This Week

If you have a cat that needs to be fixed—you know who you are—the Big Rig Fix is doing low-cost spays and neuters in Jackson five days a month, and are in town this week (May 1-3) with not enough cats to fix. They can do up to 40 cats a day, and right now only have six scheduled for Saturday, and none for the other days.

B.B. King Homecoming June 6

Schedule for the B.B. King Homecoming Festival has been announced; will play Indianola, Vicksburg, Tunica and Bonnarro in June.