Monday, August 31
Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson continued to push back this afternoon against a report commissioned by Ward 1 Councilman Jeff Weill on the Jackson Police Department's staffing. The report, authored by Millsaps College professor Bill Brister, pointed out that Jackson has a higher ratio of civilian employees to sworn officers in its police department than other comparable southeastern cities. Weill has argued that the police department could hire 100 new police officers by cutting its civilian staff to the southeastern average.
Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. is implying that Ward 1 Councilman Jeff Weill has sidestepped the traditional administrative process by commissioning a survey related to the numbers of police officers in the city.
Jackson police are investigating a shooting that may fall under the "Castle Doctrine," Mississippi's law governing justifiable homicide in the defense of a home or business. The shooting took place at approximately 5 p.m. Sunday at Gipson's Discount Foods on Highway 80 in West Jackson.
Many Jacksonians are still in mourning since Ann Herlihy closed Fondren Traders late last year, the shop where many of us bought so many gifts (most of my staff gifts used to come from there). But many people didn't know that Ann has another passion beyond art and design: She loves animals and helps rescue them. After continually seeing Ann walking her three pups around Fondren, I asked her if she would do a DogBlog for the Jackson Free Press. Ann had taken my writing classes, and I know she is good writer; she is also very funny. And closest to my heart: She loves animals as much as I do, and hates to see them abandoned and mistreated.
Tuesday, Sept. 1
4:30 p.m., U.S. Small Business Administration clinic to discuss SBA's guaranty loan program, Regions Plaza, 210 E. Capitol St., 601-965-4378 ext. 11.
The good news for Brandon tennis player Devin Britton. He's in the U.S. Open. The bad news: He's playing Roger Federer, the world's top player, on Monday.
The Public Broadcasting System, PBS, announced Friday that they will stop distribution on two long-running childrens' television programs: "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" and "Reading Rainbow." The programs began airing in 1968 and 1983, respectively.
Friday, August 28
End August by doing something good for Mississippi's youth. Tonight, attend the "Rise Above for Youth" benefit dinner and silent auction at the Safe Harbor Family Church, starting at 5 p.m. Or, if the words "swine flu" have you all shook up, get the facts on prevention and a prognosis for the future from Dr. Paul Buyers at Belhaven College at 6 p.m. Find more details on those events and more on the JFP Events Calendar. If your thoughts head more toward an after-work drink and live music, the place to check is the JFP Music Listings page, for the city's most complete list of who's playing where.
Hinds County is looking to dispute a $237,784 severance fee it owes the Pearl River Basin Development District. The state Legislature rendered the county's participation in the multi-county district optional in 2001, and several counties have since jumped ship, including Attala, Rankin and now Hinds. Supervisors voted 5-to-0 to pull out of the district two weeks ago, and must now face the more than $200,000 fee.
On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina roared inland from the Gulf of Mexico, virtually flattening the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In New Orleans, the storm proved what experts already knew: The city's levees were inadequate in the face of Katrina's wrath, leaving 80 percent of the city flooded. In the end, the storm displaced more than 1 million people and killed 1,836. The estimated economic impact totaled more than $81 billion.
Jackson State University associate professor Heping Liu won a nearly $500,000 award from the National Science Foundation to fund his research over the next five years.
The University of MississippiOle Misshas teamed with Jackson company SmartSynch as part of its "Red, Blue and Green" initiative, moving the university toward energy sustainability, which includes water and energy conservation, waste minimization, recycling and more. SmartSynch is in the process of connecting their "smart" meters with social networking tools, including Twitter, Facebook and RSS, to allow the school to monitor and analyze energy consumption, providing a basis for changing behavior and realizing energy savings.
Thursday, August 27
The Jackson Free Press is proud to announce the second annual edition of BOOM Jackson magazine. Billed as a "love-letter to Jackson," the publication is a full-color, high-quality, 84-page publication distributed throughout the city, targeted to visitors and those looking at Jackson to move their families or businesses into the area.
Last Friday, Aug. 21, the James Meredith Lounge opened in the Farish Historic Street District at 217 Griffith St. Civil-rights legend James Meredith owns the lounge, which his niece, Meredith McGee manages.. The lounge is open Friday and Saturday evenings from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m., with poetry readings both nights from 8 to 9 p.m Patrons can bring their own alcoholic beverages and food. There is no cover charge, but the age requirement is 25 and older for the lounge, and 21 and older for those reading poetry.
On July 1, Mississippi became the 44th state in the nation to license non-physician acupuncturists. This week, Jackson resident Jerusha DeGroote Stephens received the state's first acupuncture license. It's a fitting distinction for Stephens, as she helped lead the campaign to gain state approval for her ancient profession.
Belhaven will kick off the 2009 Mississippi college football season on Thursday at 7 p.m. when the Blazers play host to West Alabama at historic Newell Field.
More than one out of every 10 Mississippians was officially unemployed in July138,100 individualsaccording to new data released by the state Department of Employment Security, with the state's unadjusted rate hitting 10.5 percent. Three counties reported jobless rates over 20 percentJefferson, Holmes and Claywhile two others pushed toward that high-water mark. Claiborne and Noxubee County reported a 19.1 percent and 19.5 percent unemployment rate, respectively.
Wednesday, August 26
In her Aug. 21 column, "How Locavores Brought On Local-Washing," Forbes magazine Deputy Editor Elisabeth Eaves takes umbrage with the story "A Local Lie" (link) published here and in a handful of other newsweeklies around the country.
Brad Hooey is the manager of High Noon Café, Jackson's only strictly vegetarian and vegan restaurant operated by Rainbow Cooperative Grocery in Fondren. On Monday Aug. 24, Hooey led a community meeting on the restaurant's uncertain future. Hooey hoped that the meeting would stir up support from the cafe's loyal customers and elicit ideas for ways to keep High Noon afloat. By those standards, the meeting was successful.
Don't want to watch the game alone? Try these hot spots to enjoy the game with other local fans!
Fall is quickly approaching and some of us are scrambling to find the perfect place to watch our alma maters triumph this football season. Unless you have season tickets and a RV prepared to criss-cross this great nation, a television will be the only means to experience the excitement and grief of another year of chaotic college football.
We admit it. Doctor S is obsessed with uniforms. With the threats that pour in every year (especially from Hattiesburg) after his SWAGs, you'd think he was dissin' the quarterback's grandmama or something. No, but he does believe that the way a man dresses matter.
Mississippi Democratic Party Executive Director Sam Hall is accusing Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant of pushing for voter identification for political reasons. "We have to ask if this is nothing more than an attempt to drum up support over another divisive wedge issue," said Hall, who spoke on Bryant's appearance at a Starkville Rotary Club meeting last week.
When Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi's second congressional district hosted a town hall meeting on health-care reform Monday in Jackson, there were no angry mobs, protesters with guns or yelling matches such as those we've all watched on TV of late.
Bone-Qweesha Jones: "In this summer's political climate, what's hotter than July? The answer is: August, baby! And the nation is sizzling in a debate over health-care reform.
Last week, I received a Blackberry message from a good friend informing me of Kelly Pates' death. While I was immediately saddened to learn we had lost him so younghe was only in his mid 50sI also went back to the fall of 1997 when I first heard Kelly and his family perform.
College football: West Alabama at Belhaven (7:30 p.m., Newell Field, Jackson): The Blazers kick off the college football season in Mississippi. ... Junior college football, Hinds at Northeast Mississippi (7 p.m., Booneville): Hinds has brought back coach Gene Murphy in hopes of restoring the Eagles' glory.
Triggerman. Signal-caller. Pivot. Field general. By any name, the quarterback is the most important player on the field.
If you've ever wondered about the history of the female superhero, then the upcoming "The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines" may just be the book for you.
As the classical orchestral music builds into a crescendo, four dancers stagger around the stage in stifled movements. They slowly climb into a human edificeone man on another's shoulders and others standing propping themselves up in various waysas they grotesquely and collectively die.
By experimenting, you get some interesting results. A plus B equals C, oil can mix with water, and sometimes things taste better with salt. But also you can have that stuff blow up in your face.
Detroit-based hip-hop group Slum Village is best known for producer Jay Dee. A member of the influential production team, The Ummah, he worked with many of the Native Tongues acts in the '90s and early 2000s, including A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, The Pharcyde and Common.
I consider cooking an act of devotion. I don't bow in front of my stovetop (although I've considered full prostration in front of my stand mixer), but creating food that nourishes bodies is my way to connect and share love with friends and family.
Football talent came naturally for Carlton Martin. The 6-foot-2-inch, 270-pound Brandon native is a senior defensive lineman for the Madison Central Jaguars.
Over a year ago, a Jackson Public Schools employee warned supervisors that a private tutoring company may have overbilled the district by $400,000 or more. To date, JPS has not sought repayment, however, despite receiving citations from the state for lax oversight of tutoring companies.
A former Mississippi Forestry Commission employee from Franklin County says he can account for the surge in revenue from Section 16 timber sales reported by the Mississippi Secretary of State's office. "They pushed for me and every other county forester to raze just about everything the counties have to offer, which would leave us high and dry on timber production in 11 years," said former Franklin County forester Steve Oglesby, who said he left the agency after he refused to help the state "cash in" much of Franklin County's timber production.
Today, National Women's Equality Day commemorates the 89th anniversary of women's suffrage, the day that women gained the right to vote in the U.S. While women have reached several milestones since then, research shows that there is still much progress to be made.
Major crimes in Jackson decreased again last week, according to a weekly report (PDF) released at a meeting today by the Jackson Police Department. Police reported 230 total crimes, down 7.6 percent from the previous week. Last week's total was almost 20 percent below the same period last year. The city has seen 1.6 percent fewer crimes this year than last year.
I am writing you today to tell you about an upcoming event that I am participating in that is both very important and very exciting to me. It is NAMIWalks for the Mind of America, NAMI's signature walkathon event that is being held in Jackson, MS at Mayes Lake State Park on November 7, 2009. Registration begins at 9 AM, and the walk begins at 10 AM.
Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, 77, died early today of a brain tumor. Kennedy served in the U.S. Senate since 1962, when he took the seat held by his brother, John F. Kennedy, when John Kennedy became president, and held the seat for nearly 50 years.
Tuesday, August 25
Bernard Baran served 22 years on dubious child molestation charges, yet the prosecutor who convicted him isn't even inconvenienced.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has told the local levee board that it has to agree on a flood-control plan for the Pearl River by the end of Septemberand is warning that two controversial development plans are likely already dead in the water due to financial and environmental barriers.
Mississippi is the second-most conservative state in the union, according to a poll released last week. The Republican Party, however, holds only a one-percentage point lead over Democrats in the state, which is statistically insignificant.
Opening up a forum for civil discussion and debate, Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi's Second Congressional District addressed questions to more than 300 people last night on proposals for health-care reform. Standing shoulder- to-shoulder in Jackson's M.W. Stringer Grand Lodge, some attendees held signs supporting universal health care while others used handouts to fan themselves from the heat.
Producers of the ABC television show, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," are seeking deserving Jackson families to feature on the show. To be eligible, a family must own their single family home and be able to show producers how a makeover will make a huge difference in their lives.
Monday, August 24
The Washington Post is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder plans to appoint a special prosecutor to look into possibility that CIA personnel "may have broken the law in their dealings with detainees." From the report:
Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. met with members of the Hinds County legislative delegation, representatives of the U.S. congressional delegation and local business advocates to celebrate $86.7 million in renovations for the Dr. A. H. McCoy Federal Building, at the corner of Farish and West Capitol streets.
A Jackson-based company will receive $3.75 million in federal stimulus funds to improve energy efficiency in public buildings around the state. The company, SmartSynch, provides smart grid infrastructure, in the form of energy meters, software and wireless networks. SmartSynch's metering system allows users to track their energy consumption in real time and identify energy "leaks." The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that energy consumption drops by as much as 15 percent when consumers can track their usage.
6:30 p.m., Health-care Town-Hall Meeting with Rep. Bennie Thompson, Stringer Grand Lodge, 1072 J.R. Lynch St.
Brad Hooey is the manager of High Noon Cafe, Jackson's only strictly vegetarian and vegan restaurant operated by Rainbow Cooperative Grocery in Fondren. Tonight, Hooey will lead a meeting on the restaurant's uncertain future.
This is from the Flip cam in a noisy jazz club setting, so pardon the audio:
I tossed this together after Donna and I *finally* got out of the office around 9:30pm last Friday (her Palm Desktop had a meltdown and I was trying in vain to recover portions of her calendar) and got down to downtown Jackson's interesting new nightspot, Underground 119. (Trivia: the Underground 119 space housed the old Planet Weekly offices for a time.)
Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi's Democratic congressman from the state's Second Congressional District, will host a town-hall meeting in Jackson tonight. The meeting, providing an opportunity for constituents to get their questions answered about the health-care reform measures being debated in the U.S. Congress, begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Stringer Grand Lodge, 1072 J.R. Lynch St. in Jackson.
Friday, August 21
The Mississippi Department of Education released 2009 state school test results today showing slight gains in some areas and decreases in others. The 2008-2009 school year was the second year during which students took a more rigorous series of exams, the Mississippi Curriculum Test 2 in middle school and a revised Subject Area Testing Program in high school. Interim State Superintendent of Education John Jordan said in a statement that the results indicated that there was "still much work to be done."
If you can't find entertainment in Jackson this weekend, you're just not looking. Start the weekend right by heading to the Underground 119 grand opening, starting with a happy hour at 4 p.m. Take a look at the feature story about the restaurant for a menu and more information. Also tonight is the Harbor House annual fundraiser at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, kicking off at 6 p.m. and featuring art from some of Jackson's finest artists. If neither of those events make you happy, see the other options listed on the JFP Events Calendar and Best Bets.
Today the Viking Cooking School, along with its partners Riverwood Home Appliances and Everyday Gourmet, will open its doors to the public. The grand opening is from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., with cooking demonstrations, food tasting and drawings for cooking classes.
Ben Wiley Payton, 62, grew up with the Mississippi blues. The Coila, Miss. native listened to his grandmother, Mabel Johnson, playing gospel music on piano, and his uncle, Joe Birch, picking the blues on guitar.
If you've had dreams of gracing the silver screen, Cypress Moon Productions may be able to grant your wish. Today and tomorrow, the Alabama-based film company is holding casting calls for an upcoming production of "The Story of Bonnie and Clyde" in Mississippi.
Thursday, August 20
August 20, 2009 - Whether you live or work in Jackson, or you've been looking for an excuse to come to town, take the opportunity tonight to get out, meet new people and enjoy yourself. Here's a sampling of the goings on around town tonight.
Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. reversed two of the last mayor's more controversial decisions Wednesday, announcing that he is bringing back the Crime Prevention Unit that Mayor Frank Melton eliminated four years ago, as well as reinstating an annual UMMC payment of $200,000 t to finance fire equipment and special training for firefighters. Melton had canceled the UMMC annual payment in lieu of taxes that Johnson had arranged during his last term as mayor.
Industrial technology may not be a subject you immediately connect with an artist, but for 29-year-old Jonathan Sims, metalworking is an essential part of his craft. Sims, artist in residence and director of art events at the Commons Gallery, will be featured on "Mississippi Happenings," tonight at 7 p.m. on WLEZ, 100.1 FM, Jackson's community radio station.
On Monday, Mississippi Home Corporation, whose mission includes mortgage financing for the state's working families, announced that it is taking reservations for $25 million in bond funds for home buyers.
The good news from the Mississippi Animal Rescue League is both Happy and Rosie have found forever homes. Happy and Rosie were both featured in the Jackson Free Press and I for one am hoping that the wonderful Free Press readers were in part responsible for these two great dogs finding homes. I also heard through the grapevine that Happy is going to be living in the Fondren Area. I hope I see her out walking with her new owners.
Wednesday, August 19
The shocking details of Leisha Pickering's suit against the alleged mistress of former U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering is only the latest scandal connected with C Street House, a Washington, D.C.-based political fraternity and Christian fellowship home.
Before Alexis Larkin and Aaron Schwartz met on J-Date, an online Jewish dating service, they each had gone out with people who had stretched the truth about themselves. Alexis had met up with a guy who had said he was 5 feet, 10 inches, but turned out to be shorter than she was, at 5 feet, 5 inches. Aaron had a date with a woman who described her body type as "cuddly" but turned out to be quite a bit larger.
Y'all enjoy the wild, wild west while it's still here. Thanks to personal-attack-filled "tablogs" (as I call tabloid-quality blogs), more and more people are suing over unsubstantiated and libelous attack by anonymous flamers. For instance, a judge in New York just ruled that a blog has to reveal the identity of an anonymous blogger, rejecting the "opinion" defense:
High school football: The season officially kicks off in the metro area with a pair of intriguing games. First, it's St. Andrew's at Canton Academy (7 p.m., Canton, 1300 AM, 1370 AM) in one of those MHSAA/MAIS games. Then, McLaurin visits Bailey (7:30 p.m., Newell Field, Jackson) in the JPS opener.
When managing editor Maggie Neff walked into my office a couple months ago and closed the door, I sensed what was coming. She and husband J.P. were moving to Chattanooga at the end of the summer.
When I arrive at the Canton Equine Center early July 3, I'm sleepy. But I slowly awake as I watch hot-air balloons aficionados staring up at the rich, orange sky.
The Mississippi Public Service Commission will begin the first round of hearings Oct. 5 to determine the feasibility of an expensive, new coal-burning plant in Kemper County.
Nurse Tootie McBride: "Greetings counter protesters! We're gathered today to counteract the anti-health-reform folk who disturb the politicians at the town-hall meetings."
When faced with overwhelming adversity, you often discover what some people are made of. When under great duress from fear of the unknown, you can also find out what people really think or feel.
President Obama has gotten more death threats in a shorter period of time than any other president in U.S. history.
Back in 2001, drivers heading down Highway 220 on cold weekday mornings could see plumes of heat billowing out of the exhaust towers of KGen's Jackson power plant on Beasley Road.
Sitting in the brightly lit family life center of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Madison, I stared intently at the plate of barbecue chicken in front of me. To my right and left, rows of people seated six to a table were also carefully examining their chicken. I wasn't here to eat for enjoyment, after all, but to learn how to be a Kansas City Barbeque Society Certified Barbeque Judge.
Arthur Goldwag's "Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies: The Straight Scoop on Freemasons, the Illuminati, Skull & Bones, Black Helicopters, the New World Order, and Many, Many More" is a messy book about messy ideologies, and you have to read it in a messy way or you're not very likely to enjoy it.
Some people argue that the purpose of good literature is to make you think, while the purpose of good art is to make you feel. While this is an oversimplification, it does hold some merit. What, then, happens when these two mediums are combined?
One of my mother's favorite family dinners is "Shake and Bake" chicken, made with a store-bought box of flavored bread crumbs used to coat the chicken pieces. Mom always serves "Shake and Bake" chicken with a side of canned corn and a baked potato lavishly topped with margarine and salt.
In their zeal to protect their growing cities, aldermen in Ridgeland and Flowood have banned "undesirable" businesses, ranging from pawnshops and payday lenders to tattoo parlors and nail salons.
The Magnolia Bar Association says it is examining the process by which Gov. Haley Barbour will select a replacement for convicted Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Bobby DeLaughter this month. Bar President Gale Walker said the governor is seemingly insensitive to appointing blacks to judgeships on both the state and local levels.
Yosef Ali believed Jackson needed more options for restaurants, and in 2004 he opened Aladdin in the heart of Fondren.
Jackson police reported 238 major crimes last week, according to statistics (PDF) released this morning at a Jackson Police Department command staff meeting. Last week's total represents a 10 percent increase over the previous week, but a 17 percent decrease from the same period last year.
"Labor of Love," the area's largest baby shower, will take place tomorrow, Aug. 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Schimmel's Restaurant (2615 N. State St.), providing an opportunity for interested young people to learn more about getting involved in the community.
Every year, about 36,000 Americans die of flu-related complications, according the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. This year, swine flu joins the more common, older flu strains that become more prevalent during the school year, when spreading illness becomes a bigger issue. The CDC has announced development of a swine flu vaccine, and the Mississippi Department of Health is getting ready to provide flu shots beginning sometime in October, reports the Sun Herald.
Tuesday, August 18
The Supreme Court says that forensics analysts can be cross-examined ... for now.
Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. reminded Jackson City Council members at yesterday's payroll meeting that he will present his budget proposal to the council at a noon tomorrow, Aug. 19. The new fiscal year for the city begins Oct. 1, 2009, and the city has to finalize the budget in September.
When Omar Morris walked into the Boys and Girls Club on West Capitol Street yesterday, he came to give the kids a treat. Morris and his business partner, Vinson Jackson, are donating a computer system to the club.
The Hinds County Sheriff's Department announced today the start of a teen safe-driving program aimed at reducing the number of teen deaths due to car accidents.
Just three weeks ago, Brett Favre said he wasn't coming out of retirement to play for the Minnesota Vikings. He was lying.
Blue Dog Democratic Rep. Travis Childers announced yesterday that he will be holding a town-hall meeting via telephone tonight at 7:20 p.m. The congressman will make opening remarks, after which he will take questions from participants regarding the health care reform plans currently under debate.
Monday, August 17
A restaurant at the Fairview Inn on Fairview Street could close to the public if a recent ruling by the Mississippi Supreme Court stands. On Thursday, the high court ruled 6-3 that a 2004 city zoning amendment allowing a public restaurant at the inn constituted "spot zoning" and was thus illegal.
The fountain in Smith Park is running again. The park, which sits in downtown Jackson along Amite Street, contains a large spill-over fountain with attached manmade creek that winds through the park, passing beneath pavement bridges and around concrete boulders and an outdoor center stage. For months, however, the fountain has been silent, the water drained, the concrete stream bed containing only leaves and bits of trash.
I first met Jim Dickinson in the mid-1980s, when I was writing editorials about the Memphis music industry for The Commercial Appeal in an effort to revitalize the local music scene, which had fallen on hard times since the demise of Stax Records.
Monday, August 17
4 p.m., Jackson City Council, Council Chambers, City Hall, 219 South President St.
The Mississippi Department of Health is reporting a second death from the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus this summer, highlighting the fact that this well-known virus is more dangerous than the wide-spread (and over-hyped) swine flu. The department released information about this second death, in Forrest County, Friday. To date, the state agency reports 17 cases of West Nile and two cases of St. Louis encephalitis, also spread by mosquitoes.
The Mississippi Health Advocacy Program believes Americans deserve to know the truth about how health insurance reform helps them and their families.
Saturday, August 15
I've long lamented the fact that "the future" seems to be such an incremental affair. As we approach the year 2010, we have handheld communicators, swept and angular electric and hybrid automobiles, a world-wide electronic information network -- even books and newspapers can now be delivered over the airwaves to a flat panel electronic device you can carry on a train with you. And yet, it all seems somewhat pedestrian, because it just crept up on us.
Friday, August 14
If you've lived in Jackson for a few years or more, chances are you've heard the Patesa family roots-rock bandperform at local clubs, bars, festivals and other venues in the city. Covering good-vibe songs like Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" and Rod Stewart's "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You," Kelly and Jean Pates and their son, Andrew, have been connecting with crowds and collaborating with other Jackson musicians for the past several decades.
The Mississippi Public Service Commission is pushing a program to help phone companies focus on areas with intolerably limited cell-phone coverage. Commissioner Brandon Presley adopted the multi-state "Zap the Gap" effort in hopes of filling the coverage gaps in areas of North Mississippi still needing service or more improved coverage.
"Daria: Is it Fall Yet?"
Yeah, I watched something with Daria Morgendorffer in it. The movie starts from where the fourth season ended. The last two episodes of the season are included in the special features section of the DVD to catch you up.
The numbers of Magnolia State residents receiving foreclosure notices dropped dramatically in July. RealtyTrac, the California company that tracks foreclosure notices nationwide, reports a 38 percent drop in the state over the previous month, according to a release.
Thursday, August 13
I was walking this morning in Fondren when it came to me I could spotlight a homeless dog a day for 365 days just like Julie did on her blog with recipes from the Joy of Cooking. The sad part is that there are 365 dogs that need homes in the Hinds County area and I probably wouldn't be diligent enough to blog every day.
Former Republican Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr and his wife Laura both pleaded not guilty yesterday to four new charges of misleading loan officers on two mortgage loans in 2003, before Warr became mayor in 2005. The new indictments follow a 16-count indictment that federal authorities launched against the Warrs for Katrina fraud, including misrepresenting occupancy and losses to FEMA, to which the Warrs also pleaded not guilty in January.
In an effort to give Mississippians an opportunity to discuss the proposed health care reforms currently under debate in the U.S. Congress, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of the state's 2nd Congressional District has scheduled a town-hall meeting in Jackson. The Aug. 24 meeting will be held at the Stringer Grand Lodge, 1072 J.R. Lynch St. in Jackson, starting at 6:30 p.m.
With the Tuesday release of "Sing your Song," musician Johnny Bertram dished out a seven-song prelude to a full-length album scheduled to debut later this year.
Yesterday, Rep. Travis Childers announced that Mississippi will receive more than $450,000 in federal funding to improve the state's emergency preparedness plans and ensure fast recovery of energy disruptions. The state will use the money to hire and retrain staff and expand our capacity to respond to situations such as blackouts, hurricanes and ice storms, Childers' office said in a release.
Three Mississippi teams are ranked among the top 50 in the nation including Madison Central.
Wednesday, August 12
Pro golf, PGA Championship (Thursday and Friday, 1 p.m., TNT; Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m., Ch. 12): Tiger Woods is looking for his first major title of the year. The only time Tiger isn't the favorite is when he's not playing. NFL exhibition football, Arizona at Pittsburgh (7 p.m., ESPN): The Cardinals call on the Steelers in a preseason rematch of last February's Super Bowl.
For the past year, I have embarked on what I call the backward commute. I worked in Ridgeland at the Madison County Journal, but lived in downtown Jackson. A Florida native, I had envisioned myself living and working in a "progressive" city after college.
From Africa to America, everyone around the world has a story to tell, and more and more every day this story is being told through the medium of hip-hop.
Buying local is among the best things we can do for the country, for ourselves and for the planet. It keeps more money circulating in the local economy. Local businesses employ people at better jobs and higher wages than big-box retailers.
Boneqweesha Jones: "Welcome to Boneqweesha Jones' Journal. My guest is Judy McBride, psychologist and author of a new book titled 'Coexisting in a Society of Race and Class,' with illustrations by Brother Sylvester, missing toe artist.
We loved 'em. We needed 'em. We used them. Just who are these unsung wonder-people I'm talking about? Interns!
Friday, July 17 was one of my fullest, weirdest, most interesting days as an intern. I usually came into the office Monday through Thursday, but had extended my schedule as the last days of my internship approached.
So you're new to Jackson. What next? Where do you eat, or drink tasty whiskey sours until you convince yourself to sing karaoke? Where do you find cool bargains and innovative art?
So you want to jazz up your space without going broke? Several local shops and boutiques offer premium style for paltry prices. From funky photo frames and art pieces to whatchamacallits galore, Jackson has what you need.
Fried chicken, biscuits with butter and honey, mashed potatoes with gravyall that outstandingly delicious Southern comfort food has a way of adding pounds and inches, fast. Add it to a sedentary lifestyle, and you'll soon find that your favorite jeans won't zip, and just walking up a flight of stairs has you huffing and puffing.
New to town? Welcome. Wanna learn the ropes, kid? Well, ignore the glossy brochures found at the Chamber of Commerce and follow my lead.
Universal Fact: The recession sucks, and not everything is affordable these days. Everyone is budgeting and watching out for frivolous spending. However, don't let eating out be a killjoy.
Lacey Norris, 25, started working in the field of cosmetology after she decided that college was not for her.
When Margaret Nana Yaa Baker moved back to her hometown of Jackson in 2002, she was disheartened at the lack of African culture in the area. She wanted to open a place where people could have fun and enjoy learning about their African heritage at the same time.
Get to know your local barkeep.
Daniel "Danny" Johnston, a senior music composition student at Belhaven College, mixes some of the most brilliant concoctions the city's coffee-drinkers can handle.
Two Jackson-area restaurants, Char (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 142) and Amerigo (6592 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland), are under new ownership, following a half year in court-appointed receivership. David Joseph, Doug Hogrefe and Paul Schramkowski finalized their purchase of the Amerigo restaurant chain for $6 million on July 23. The chain includes three branches of the high-end Italian restaurant in Tennessee, along with the Ridgeland location and Char, a Chicago-style steakhouse in Highland Village.
On Monday, the Jackson City Council voted down an ordinance renaming the Northside public library in honor of the late Jackson Advocate publisher Charles Tisdale, and voted for the city payroll despite Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. not providing some payroll information.
A full-sized mockup of America's next-generation spaceship is making a stop in Jackson on its way from Florida to Texas. NASA's Orion crew exploration vehicle will dock at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, tomorrow, Aug. 13, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Jackson saw a significant reduction in major crimes last week, according to a weekly report (PDF) released at today's Jackson Police Department command staff meeting. Jackson police reported 200 crimes from August 3 through August 9, a 25 percent reduction from the previous week. All four precincts reported decreases in both violent and property crime, with Northeast Jackson's Precinct 4 reporting the fewest crimes and the greatest percentage decrease from the previous week.
Forbes.com put Millsaps College back in the news again, when it ranked the Jackson school as the best in the state based on educational quality, student experiences and their achievements. The 2009 rankings, compiled by Forbes and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, put Millsaps at No. 101 in the nationwide survey of 600 schools, which Forbes says accounts for only the top 15 percent of the more than 4,000 undergraduate schools in the country.
Tuesday, August 11
Over at Ipse blog, attorney Jim Craig is calling out the local right-wing blog run by Alan Lange for anti-Semitism for a rather remarkable video they've cooked up against Travis Childers and sent out into the world. (And one wonders why the world thinks so poorly of MIssissippi?) Craig writes:
Over on Salon, Mike Madden responds to ex-Gov. Sarah Palin's latest idiocy, stating what should be obvious to all of us: The "death panels" are already here:
More government spending equals more lobbyists. It's a fairly obvious point, yet it flies in the face of two consistent leftist policy goals (or at least stated leftist policy goals).
Nearly three years after the Jackson Public School District passed a $150 million bond issue for a capital improvement program to aid deteriorating infrastructure and overcrowding, renovations are complete at two Jackson elementary schools.
Yesterday, Mississippi University of Women President Claudia A. Limbert honored Sallie Eola Reneau, 131 years after her death. After an exhaustive 22-month search for an appropriate new name for the venerable Mississippi school, Limbert announced that she would be submitting Reneau University to the Board of Trustees for State Institutions of Higher Learning for their approval.
I was out at the Mississippi Animal Rescue League the other day and met Happy. Happy is a Canaan mix dog who was brought to Mississippi from Turkey. I had never heard of a Canaan dog so I was excited about meeting her. This dog is a beautiful dog that would make a really great companion for someone.
The recent spate of rowdy behavior at health-care town-hall meetings is because Americans don't understand the Obama administration's plan, Gov. Haley Barbour told reporters during a conference call Monday organized by the Republican Governors Association.
Monday, August 10
Hinds County Chancery Court opted to grant Mississippi Housing Solutions a temporary restraining order to stop the Jackson Housing Authority from considering other bidders for development of a housing project in Jackson. The order remains in effect until an Aug. 13 preliminary injunction hearing, where the court will hear MHS' argument.
Attorney Andre de Gruy knows that the American justice system isn't perfect. Sometimes circumstances combine to convict people who didn't commit the crimes they're accused of. As director of Mississippi's Office of Capital Defense Counsel, de Gruy and his staff of lawyers represent people whom Mississippi has convicted of the most heinous crimes, mostly murders and rapes.
In the early 1800s, when the United States recognized a need for military leadership, President Thomas Jefferson authorized the creation of West Point, a school uniquely crafted to address these needs with a specially designed curriculum like none other in the country. Two hundred years later, the tradition of military service and leadership still thrives.
The state Department of Archives and History says it will close the doors of the main Mississippi History Store, Sept. 30, due to low sales. The store, located in the William F. Winter Archives and History Building, 200 North Street at Amite Street in downtown Jackson, has put most of its inventory on sale at half price.
Mississippi State University, Mississippi College and Millsaps College all made the 2009 Forbes "Best College Buys" list, which divides a school's overall quality score by its average tuition rates for the '03-'04 to '06-'07 years. The quality score is calculated by summing each school's score with respect to "Who's Who in America" citations, salary data from PayScale.com, course evaluations from RateMyProfessor.com, the receipt of student and faculty nationally competitive awards, and the graduation rate variables used in the Best College rankings, according to Forbes.
Saturday, August 8
Ole Miss is ranked No. 10 in the USA Today/Coaches preseason football poll.
Friday, August 7
It's Friday, and that means it's time to plan your weekend. Today, get a jump on barbecues and picnics by heading to the new farmer's market at the Jackson Medical Mall. Then, stick around for the celebrity roast fundraiser at 6 p.m., honoring the man who came up with the idea of the Medical Mall, Dr. Aaron Shirley. At 8 p.m., join Salsa Mississippi for another rooftop dance party at Fondren Corner. If your party shoes don't do salsa, check the JFP Music Listings to see who's playing at your favorite watering hole. You'll find blues, rock, soul, country and a whole lot more, including karaoke if you're a DIY kind of partier.
The Jackson Public School Board chose not to approve some aspects of the school budget last night, including money for some new buses, textbooks and school nurses, citing the need for more information from the superintendent's staff. Board member Jonathan Larkin said the board did basically approve the district budget, however, amounting to more than $230 million.
Drug dealers and producers are getting smarter, says the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. The agency is seeing a rise lately in methamphetamine labs and in the numbers of cocaine investigations, reports WLBT.
Thursday, August 6
Ever since the former Judge Bobby DeLaughter's plea deal with the feds was announced last week, with him headed to prison, we've heard the words "Cedric Willis" come out of many people's mouths. It seems we're not the only ones thrilled to see justice, of a fashion, coming to the former prosecutur who, alongside then-boss Ed Peters, allowed Cedric to go to prison for 12 years based on bad evidence. Then, as Cedric sat in prison praying for justice, DeLaughter became famous, wrote a book and became a judge. Disgusting irony.
Forty years ago in Mississippi, federal judges had had enough. A decade and a half had come and gone since Brown v. Board of Education, and the state's public schools remained segregated.
The National Republican Congressional Committee is campaigning early this season. The NRCC identified 70 Democrats to target for the 2010 election, according to an email obtained by Washington political periodical Roll Call.
Today, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn., named Myrlie Evers-Williams, 76, as a 2009 National Freedom Award winner. Widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, Evers-Williams became chairwoman of the NAACP in 1995, serving for three years.
The long-anticipated "Stop! In the Name of Art: Motown/Downtown Invitational" will open today at the Arts Center of Mississippi with about 60 works displayed. Pieces vary in media, from photography and painting to mixed-media, and feature iconic subjects such as Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. The exhibit is in conjunction with the fourth annual Storytellers' Ball, which carries the same theme as the invitational, and will be held Thursday, Aug. 13.
Interim State Superintendent of Education
It's that time again. Summer break for our boys and girls is nearing an end. Communities are preparing activities to get everyone excited about the new school year. Parents are shopping for school clothes and supplies. Teachers are readying their classrooms to welcome students, ensuring that their rooms are equipped with all the tools they need to make learning fun.
Wednesday, August 5
Optometrist Dr. Tonyatta Hairston says it is important for children to get their eyes checked every year starting from age 3when most children can communicate if they are having some trouble with their eyesight, from blurry vision to trouble when reading. The biggest problem in younger children, she says, is myopia, or near-sightedness.
With school quickly approaching, many parents are asking, "Where will the children go after school?" Many after-school programs offer activities for youngsters, including the Boys and Girls club.
Major League Baseball, Atlanta at Los Angeles Dodgers (9 p.m., SportSouth, 620 AM): The memories of last weekend's beat down will still be fresh when the Braves roll into Mannywood.
It was hazy outside. The rainstorm the night before had colored the sky a beautifully awful gray, and the dense humidity was palpable. The northbound lanes of Interstate 55 were congested, slowing to a standstill near the Terry Road exit.
Chris Mims, 34, has returned to city government, this time as director of the city's communications department. He worked as a staff member in the department in Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.'s last administration under former department director Dorothy Triplett, who now manages CONTACT The Crisis Line, a suicide hotline.
Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. told the Jackson Free Press that he is putting a priority on filling city boards or re-committing board members whose terms expired under the last administration.
Former Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Bobby DeLaughter, 55, resigned his job and pleaded guilty to misleading authorities this week. The former judge had five counts against him, all representing various forms of corruption, but he pled guilty to the one count arguably carrying the lightest sentence, obstruction of justice.
When Mississippi children return to school next week, money will follow them. The federal government provides Mississippi with more than $170 million to educate low-income students, with millions more for teaching students with disabilities and training teachers.
Welcome to another reader's guide to Ken Stiggers. My last reader's guide (published April 22, 2009) explained the term "Ghetto Science Team."
I read with interest the article "Civil Rights Museum in Trouble?" written by Adam Lynch in the Jackson Free Press. I was somewhat taken aback by the suggestions attributed to a number of sources that seem to imply that the National Civil Rights Museum in Mississippi is in trouble because Tougaloo is experiencing difficulty raising the funds.
"Mom, come take a picture." I am in the other room washing dishes. "What do you need?" I call out. "Come see what I'm doing." Now I'm worried.
Many ways exist for one to entertain the taste buds with warm breadthe kind that is slightly crunchy with a soft middle, piled high with gooey mounds of salty cheese paired with an endless list of toppings. In my world, pizza is the best way to do this, and because I've grown tired of the same old ways of making it, I plan to use my own produce.
The year is 1942. The United States has just entered World War II, but England still stands almost alone against the Axis powers. Germany's Afrika Korps and their Italian allies, led by legendary Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, have driven the British army back into Egypt. If Egypt falls, the British will lose the Middle East and its oil fields. That would force the Soviet Union to make peace with Germany. The Nazis can still win the war.
After performing at a local venue in Monroe, La., one night a few years ago, I quickly rushed my drums off stage to make way for the next band. Before I could get all my equipment out of the way, five guys in full suits began loading their gear on the stage.
Martin's welcomes Mississippi newcomers this Thursday night. Milton Menasco & the Big Fiasco are a Bozeman, Mont.-based rock/soul three-piece band with a passion for funk and reggae. Listen to their music at http://myspace.com/miltonmenasco.
Songs by Athens, Ga.-based band Drive-by Truckers run the gamut from "stories of corruption, crime and killing" (as Mike Cooley's "Cottonseed" puts it) to modern tales of the Iraq War and the struggle to raise a family in tough economic times.
On an August day in 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till went inside a Money, Miss., grocery store to buy bubblegum with his cousin, Curtis. On his way out, newspaper clippings suggest, he turned to grocer Roy Bryant's wife, Carolyn, and "wolf whistled" at her. Four days later, on Aug. 28, Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam kidnapped Till from his uncle's home outside Money.
In a fenced-in complex of buildings sandwiched between Capitol and Amite streets, a small tutoring business is making big money.
Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley lashed out at fellow commissioners Lynn Posey and Leonard Bentz after the two refused to vote on a proposed Mississippi Ratepayers' Bill of Rights at a Tuesday regular public service commission meeting.
Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. is putting the Highway 80 corridor on his agenda this year. The mayor announced a $500,000 study of MetroCenter Mall and the U.S. Highway 80 corridor at a news conference yesterday, in the company of developers and interim Planning and Development Director Corinne Fox.
Stacey Donaldson, an English teacher at Murrah High School, is the picture of confidence and calm. Pretty and pulled together, she looks you straight in the eye when she speaks.
Inspired by The Clarion-Ledger's owners' bizarre and Orwellian attempt to redefine "local business," we've decided to launch a LocalList contest on Jackpedia.com. Just head to this Jackpedia 'Local Jackson' page and post a list of local stuff you love about Jackson. That's it! Do it by 5 p.m. Friday, and we'll put you in a drawing for a Tye's $100 gift card (try the red sauce while you're there; it's divine!). Click here to see my list-in-progress to see how easy it is.
Eli Manning of the New York Giants has agreed to a seven-year, $106.9 million contract that will make him the highest-paid player in the league.
Citing case law that restricts the Mississippi governor from selectively vetoing the purpose of an appropriation and redistributing its funds, Attorney General Jim Hood filed a lawsuit against Gov. Haley Barbour for his partial veto of Senate Bill 2041 during the last legislative session.
Tuesday, August 4
In a post that can only be called "jaw-dropping" in its hubris, Gannett's ShopLocal blog has taken major umbrage with the JFP's special local-business issue last week, which exposed "local washing" by huge corporations such as Gannett, and especially my piece revealing the ShopLocal scam that Jackson's outlet of Gannett, The Clarion Ledger, is pushing. It seems that us dumb-little-LOCAL types are "misinformed" about "local" really means, and ShopLocal Senior Director of Product Management Patrick Flanagan decided to take time out of his busy corporate day up in Chicago (where this division of ShopLocal hangs out its shingle) to correct us dumb hicks. You see, "local" isn't necessarily "local." You could be talking about "national-local," or "local-local," or "hyper-local," or whatever other phrase the country's largest newspaper company wants to use to whitewash what they're doing.
Youth Media Project
Oftentimes children will explain to you that they want to change the world or impact their society without knowing how.
Mississippi coroners attempt to defy a ban on disgraced medical examiner Steven Hayne.
As chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party, Brad White is on a mission: He's going to put a voter ID initiative on the ballot in November 2010. To accomplish that goal, he needs 100,000 signatures from registered voters by Oct. 1.
State tax collections fell below already lowered expectations in July, Gov. Haley Barbour announced yesterday in a statement urging state agencies to be cautious with their budgets.
In the JFP's continuing quest to honor local Jackson-area businesses, we are publishing the 2009 Jackpedia next week -- a guide to the coolest and most local businesses, artists, people, professionals, lawyers, doctors, services, musicians, you name it! And we need your help to know what we need to tell newcovers, college students and each other about. So, head to Jackpedia.com and post your favorite info about Jackson (and, yes, yourself; promote away!) on Jackson's local wiki encyclopedia. Note the questions on the front page that are there specially for this issue.
Yesterday, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported the first death of the 2009 season due to West Nile virus. The deceased was from Washington County in the Delta. Three additional cases of the deadly disease were also reported yesterday, bringing the state's total cases to seven this year, including one in Hinds County.
Monday, August 3
Mississippians owe much of the freedoms that we now enjoy, not to a governor or a legislative body, but to a legendary FBI agent named Jim Ingram. Sadly, he passed away Sunday after a long illness.
Monday, Aug. 3
Jackson Public Schools special meeting, 5:30 p.m. school board meeting room, 621 S. State Street.
Gulf Coast Renaissance Corporation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on affordable housing in the Mississippi counties hardest hit by 2005's Hurricane Katrina, has revised and improved its standards for affordable housing redevelopment on the Gulf Coast. The organization, founded in 2006 by several south Mississippi business leaders, formed the Renaissance Builder & Development Guild in 2008 "as a means to cultivate the highest level of housing redevelopment during the Gulf Coast's rebuilding process," according to a release.
Mississippians are paying a $21 million bill from the state Legislature this year, $2 million more than 2008, according to the state auditor's annual report. The 13-month session, which ended in June, shows that salaries and travel expenses alone were approximately $1 million more than the previous year, reports the Hattiesburg American.
Youth Media Project
I began to be asked questions like, "So you're from Mississippi, I hear racism and homophobia are pretty bad down there.." or "I'm afraid to go there because of being accosted by a rogue redneck group." And in my head I'm like, "I guess they don't have people where you are from because these kind of problems exist everywhere, there are different types of beliefs everywhere."
Youth Media Project
Jackson is missing out on a major cash cow. It's definitely something they should think about.
Sunday, August 2
1. What is the best thing about living in Jackson? (Be specific! Contact info helps!)
Saturday, August 1
Brides, brides, and more brides. Chatting with their lady companions, they formed a long line in the lobby of the Embassy Suites Ridgeland. All of them were waiting to get into the bridal show on Tuesday, July 28, put on by Premier Bride magazine.
This weekend, the Mississippi Museum of Art will unveil two new exhibits, "Name Change: One Artist, 12 Personas, 35 Years" and "Mississippi Invitational." The latter is an exhibition of 10 Mississippi artists, selected by New York-based art critic and guest curator Peter Plagens from more than 100 submissions. The show features 47 new works, ranging in media from oils to digital video.