Stories for June 2009


Tuesday, June 30

Medicaid Agreement Reached

Around 11 p.m. last night, House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, announced from the House floor that the special budget committee has reached an agreement with Gov. Haley Barbour on the final sticking point holding up passage of the 2010 Mississippi state budget: Medicaid.

Lawmakers Pass Another Tobacco Tax

After years of not raising taxes on cigarettes, yesterday Mississippi lawmakers approved the second cigarette tax hike this year. Even more surprising, Gov. Haley Barbour, a former tobacco lobbyist who vetoed raising the state's excise taxes numerous times in the past, said he would sign the bill into law.

Monday, June 29

Impressionist Fred Travalena Loses Battle with Cancer

He was 66. From Yahoo News:

Millsaps Named ‘Best Buy'

[verbatim] Millsaps College is one of only 24 private colleges nationwide and the only college in Mississippi named a "Best Buy" in the 2010 edition of Fiske's Top Financial Finds on the College Tuition Market.

Legislative Special Session Underway

The Mississippi House and Senate are desperately hammering out an agreement on a state appropriation bill one day after Gov. Haley Barbour finally called a special session. Barbour had initially fought the idea of a special session, after disagreeing with a House and Senate conference settlement filling a Medicaid budget hole with a $60 million tax on hospitals that accept Medicaid patients.

Hood Provides Microsoft Settlement FAQs

Subsequent to Mississippi's $100 million anti-trust settlement with software giant Microsoft June 10, Attorney General Jim Hood has posted a list of frequently asked questions on the Attorney General Web site. Among the questions answered are:

Johnson to Hold Public Forums

As part of the incoming mayor's transition to Jackson's top spot after his July 3 inauguration, Harvey Johnson Jr. and his transition team will be holding a series of public forums beginning tomorrow and running into July. Each forum begins at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers, City Hall, 219 S. President St., and will last approximately an hour and a half.

Sunday, June 28

Michael Jackson Charity Scam Circulating Via Email

Donation Required If Possible.

I got this email in my spam folder, and I thought I'd give everyone a heads-up about this scam. If you get this in your inbox, delete it:

Billy Mays Dead at 50

OxiClean, Orange Glo, Mighty Mend-It... who do you think of when you hear the names of these products? A bearded guy with a loud voice named Billy Mays who sold everything from fabric glue to putty that you could make a coffee mug handle out of. The popular salesman's voice has been tragically silenced today. From Yahoo News:

Media: Dialing Up New Shows

"The Morning Vent" debuts on 930 AM on Monday at 7 a.m. It replaces "Out of Bounds," which is moving to the Jackson-area's new sports talk station.

Friday, June 26

[Evans] A New Model for Cutting Medical Costs

Word is that Harvard Professor Dr. Atul Gawande's article on McAllen, Texas, is required reading in the White House. Published in the June 1, 2009 issue of The New Yorker, the Boston surgeon asks why McAllen's health care costs are the second highest health care costs in the nation, behind Miami. His conclusions have much to teach us about the problems with America's health care system today.

Making Weekend Plans?

It's Friday, y'all, and you know what that means: It's time for weekend planning. As always, the Jackson Free Press is here to let you know what's happening, who's in town and where the "don't miss" events are taking place.

Governor Adamant About Port Expansion

Despite pleas to reconsider his earlier decision to divert money from funds designated for rebuilding housing on Mississippi's Gulf Coast, Gov. Haley Barbour told reporters yesterday that he's not changing his mind. The $570 million will go toward expanding the commercial Port of Gulfport instead.

Thursday, June 25

Deaths of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon

May they all rest in peace. I will add links in a moment, but I wanted to get the news out first.

UPDATE 2: Here is more information about Michael Jackson:

Governor Chides Lawmakers for Unfinished Business

Gov. Haley Barbour took time off from nationwide GOP fundraising efforts to announce that he has no plan to call a special session to address the state's non-existent budget just yet. Barbour, who is not a legislator, told the Senate to reject a $5 billion budget plan it had reached with the House this week.

Unemployment Rate Jumps Again

The unemployment rate in Mississippi increased a full percentage point from April to May, inching toward 10 percent once again, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. That one point, from 8.6 percent to 9.6 percent, represents an additional 14,300 Mississippians potentially collecting unemployment from the state.

Soccer: Brilla Tries To Beat Heat

Mississippi Brilla has moved its final three regular-season games to Clinton High School's Arrow Field because heat concerns.

Barbour Takes Top RGA Spot

In the wake of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's untimely departure from the Republican Governors Association, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is taking over the organization's leadership. Barbour had already accepted the organization's chairmanship for next year, but when Sanford admitted his infidelity with his Argentine mistress, Maria, on national news, it wasn't long before he also resigned from the RGA.

No Budget ‘Disastrous' for Medicaid Patients

[Verbatim from Mississippi Hospital Association President Sam Cameron]

Because of the Governor's refusal to call a Special Session of the Mississippi Legislature, it appears the Division of Medicaid will cease to exist after midnight on June 30, 2009. The Governor's lack of action will have disastrous results for Medicaid patients and all health care providers who serve them.

Wednesday, June 24

Barbour Rejects Medicaid Deal

Gov. Haley Barbour took advantage of his more powerful position in state budget negotiations on Monday by rejecting a tentative budget agreement forged less than 24 hours earlier.

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The Tangled Web of Hate

The Southern Poverty Law Center counts the Council of Conservative Citizens as a "Neo-Confederate" hate group, which, like the more radical League of the South, fights for the rights of "the Confederacy." The CofCC stops short of calling for a second secession from the Union. Neo-Confederates unite behind goals of preserving Confederate monuments and honoring the Confederate battle flag, in addition to fostering "pro-white," anti-immigrant politics.

Raised Garden Bed

Growing your own food is back in style. The popularity of books like "The Omnivore's Dilemma" shows that people are more concerned about where their food comes from.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

NBA basketball, NBA draft (6:30 p.m., ESPN): America's next group of young Americans awaits a call from the Association. … Major League Lacrosse, Toronto at Boston (6 p.m., ESPN2): The Nationals and Cannons provide the ultimate in counter programming.

Uptown Hate

When the 2000 election devolved into chad-counting in South Florida, I headed down from New York City to cover the mess for the Village Voice. And with all the talk in the media of how there couldn't possibly be any conservatives in Palm Beach I decided to see what I could turn up.

Protesting Poverty

As the sun beams above her, Wilma Irving, a resident of Kenner, La., fans herself and begins to tell me the purpose of her journey to Jackson.

City Pays Melton's Legal Fees

During a June 16 City Council meeting, the council voted—without issue or debate—to pay the late Mayor Frank Melton's $37,500 attorney fee in connection with his federal trial for demolishing a home on Ridgeway Street.

Banking on PRIYDE

Sixteen-year-old Laurin Paris is using her fashion sense to get her to college.

Call A Special Session, Barbour

The budget wars between the two chambers of the state Legislature are nothing new.

[Stiggers] Converter-Box Conspiracy

Brotha Hustle: "Ghetto Science Television presents the premiere post-digital transition edition of "The Hustle Report." It's been one week since the digital television transition deadline. Did you get your analog-to-digital converter box, yet?

[Kamikaze] Jackson's Savior Complex

Everyone seems to be an expert on crime these days. Sit around any barbershop or bar, and you'll hear all the "pundits" explain how they would handle crime.

[O'Keefe] Giving Up Prejudices

While waiting for a high-school football game to begin, a group of fans from the community gathered at the park across the street. From a distance, I could see a large truck, displaying two Confederate flags with oddly shaped crosses in the center, slowly approach.

Jed Oppenheim

Although his parents were activists, Jed Oppenheim says he first realized the inequalities of race and class systems during the 1992 riots in his hometown of Los Angeles.

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Guess Who's Coming To Jackson

Gordon Baum, the chief executive officer of the Council of Conservative Citizens, can tell a good story.

DOJ weighs in on JATRAN

The U.S. Department of Justice has intervened on a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Jackson, buttressing accusations of the inaccessibility of Jackson's public bus system. The lawsuit, filed late last year by 11 Jackson residents with disabilities and two non-profit organizations, including the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities, alleges the city is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (ADA).

Salad Daze: Avoiding Lettuce Burnout

I enjoy few things as much as feeding people, but the heat in Mississippi can shrivel the will of even an enthusiastic cook. When summer rolls around, I'll take any flimsy excuse to keep my distance from the stove.

Renita Full of Hope

Mississippi native Renita Martin will venture from New York City to Jackson this weekend to perform her one-woman show "Five Bottles in a Six Pack" at New Stage Theatre. Martin graduated from Crystal Springs High School and briefly attended Tougaloo College before moving to Boston, and later to New York.

Untangling Funk

The New Yorker editor and novelist Ben Greenman's new book, "Please Step Back", tracks the life and career of funk-rock star Robert Franklin, a.k.a. Rock Foxx, a fictional character based loosely on Sly Stone.

'First Understand Mississippi

In her book, "Historic Photos of Mississippi", Anne B. McKee highlights nearly 200 photos from history archives and private collections.

Fresh and Easy

Daniel Guaqueta, tall and dark-headed with a half-grown mustache and goatee, is sitting in the control room at the WLEZ radio station and unwrapping a CD as quickly as he can. "I am so not ready for this show," he says.

[Herman's Picks] Vol. 7, No. 41

It's Friday; it's payday, and the drinks are cold.

Jubilee!JAM Photos Posted

Yes, it was a scorcher, and that seems to have affected attendance, but there were also some exceptional performances for those who braved the heat. Check out these wonderful photos by William Patrick Butler -- it looks like there's well over 200 of them. Enjoy!

It IS the Heat

We've all heard the old saw: "It's not the heat; it's the humidity." Well, during this extended early heat wave in Mississippi, the heat really is the thing to watch out for. Especially for those who finds themselves outdoors for any length of time, not paying attention to what your body requires in this unseasonable heat can make you sick. In extreme cases, this kind of heat can kill.

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Dems Play "Where's Waldo?" with Barbour

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour seems to be almost anywhere but in the state of Mississippi these days, a fact that hasn't escaped the attention of the state's Democratic Party leadership. Picking up on the quintessential game of "Where's Waldo?" where players have to find the distinctive character on his world-wide hike, the party has purchased banner ads on the New Hampshire Political Report Web site. Barbour will headline a political fundraiser tonight in the Granite State.

Muscle Meets Bivalve

John McGowan and McGowan Working Partners laud the city of Jackson's economic benefit of the Two Lakes plan, a proposed project that would dam the Pearl River and create a series of islands between Hinds and Rankin counties.

Tuesday, June 23

Unsealed Suit Reveals Diaz Suing Lampton

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge James C. Sumner signed a June 22 order denying a motion to seal a suit against former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz and his wife Jennifer, bringing to light the continuing saga of a federal court battle between Diaz and former U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton.

Mississippi Soldiers Ship Out Today

The U.S. Army Reserve's 296th Transportation Company ships out today for final training in Wisconsin before heading to Iraq. The Mississippi company of 169 men and women, which was last deployed in 2003, will serve overseas for one year beginning in September, according to The Mississippi Press.

Gambling Revenue Up Again

The Mississippi State Tax Commission says that winnings in the state's 30 casinos was up in May by $19.2 million more than in April, according to Forbes, but revenues are still below the May 2008 earnings. The casinos took in $224.3 million last month, which is about $11.4 million less than the same month last year.

Monday, June 22

Barbour Refuses Special Session, Vows Fight

[Verbatim from Gov. Haley Barbour] Yesterday an "agreement in principle" on Medicaid issues was announced by Medicaid negotiators, but this so-called "solution" has a huge, fundamental flaw: It would give Medicaid a blank check and expose Mississippi taxpayers to the risk of a severe, illegal budget deficit.

Lawmakers Closer to Balanced Budget

State legislators have reached a budget compromise, ending a months-long impasse days before the end of the fiscal year. House and Senate negotiators reached an agreement late Sunday on a roughly $5 billion budget for the 2010 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The agreement includes a $60 million assessment on Mississippi hospitals, which will help fund a Medicaid shortfall.

Allen and Others To Host McLemore Reception

Acting Mayor Leslie McLemore will soon retire from both academia and politics. In honor of his work and dedication to the city of Jackson, Ben Allen, President of Downtown Jackson Partners, is hosting a reception and fundraiser for McLemore Tuesday, June 30, at the University Club of Jackson.

Guv Candidate Looking Across Aisle?

Not surprisingly in a state where innuendo can be more common than facts, rumors are swirling around connections that a Democratic contender for the governor's mansions might have. This time, though, the rumors are about probable candidate Bill Luckett and possible connections with conservative Republicans—connections he denies.

CARA Desperately Seeking Donations

[Verbatim from CARA] Today, CARA was impacted by the extreme heat everyone in the Jackson area is experiencing. "We need three 40" box fans to add to the shelter to keep the air moving and the dogs cool," says Janet Madden, CARA Shelter Manager. "Another of our fans quit working today, and the loss of several fans over the past two weeks is making it difficult to ventilate the shelter." The fans CARA needs can be found at local home improvement stores and measure approximately four feet square.

Saturday, June 20

Jubilee Jam - Friday Highlights

The first day of Jubilee! Jam 2009 was sincerely hot and sticky with temps hovering in the high 90s til way after dark. Still, a sweat soaked crowd turned out to hear great music, big and small names alike. The best of the night, I believe, came straight off of the Trustmark stage, which is hosting the local acts. Here's the run down of what you missed today:

Friday, June 19

2009 Gulf Dead Zone May Hit Record Size

Imagine an area the size of Hinds County with virtually no life: you can't drink the water; seeds rot in the soil; and only cockroaches can breathe the air. It's as if a nuclear reactor exploded and nothing survived.

Cookie Dough Recall Announced

Nestlé USA announced today that it is voluntarily recalling its Toll House refrigerated cookie dough products after the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control notified the company it was investigating reported E. coli infections that may be related to the recalled products. Nestlé said in a release that E. coli has not been detected, but they are recalling the raw dough because "the health and safety of our consumers is paramount."

This Weekend: Mississippi Civil Rights Martyrs' Memorial

The 45th Annual Mississippi Martyrs' Memorial Service and Conference takes place this Saturday and Sunday in Neshoba County. A one-mile "March for Justice" kicks off the event, in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King's 1966 march in Philadelphia. The march begins at 10 a.m. at the Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Church on Carver Avenue, and ends, as it did 43 years ago, with a rally at the Neshoba County Courthouse.

Stewart v. Huckabee on Abortion: What do you think?

After growing up Southern Baptist— and spending a good bit of time on the opposite side of the spectrum when I was in college— I've had a number of different views on abortion, much like many Americans. In this series of clips, Mike Huckabee (former governor of Arkansas, another state I call home) and Daily Show host John Stewart hold a respectful discussion on the issue. A solid interview. Makes you think.

It's Time to JAM, Y'all

You might have noticed the downtown streets blocked off as you came to work this morning. But just in case you've been hiding out, been out of touch or been procrastinating on buying tickets, we're here to tell you: Jackson's homegrown, big-time music and arts festival kicks off tonight. It's time to JAM, y'all!

Johnson May Pull the Plug on ‘First 48'

Also see: JFP June 10, 2009 Editorial: 'First 48': This Is Transparency?

Thursday, June 18

Mayor-elect Announces Transition Team

Tonight Mayor-elect Harvey Johnson Jr. gave the Jackson Free Press a list of his diverse transition team members that will investigate the current condition of city administration and prepare reports for the incoming mayor by July. He announced a five-person steering committee chaired by attorney John Maxey and co-chaired by Glenda Glover. The other three members are Kate Jacobson, Robert Barnes and Beverly Hogan. He also announced administrative committee chairs: Bettie Mallett (legal); Troy Stovall (administration and finance); Charles Graham (Fire Department); Rims Barber (Health & Human Services); Rev. Author Sutton (Parks & Recreation); Sandra Sellers (personnel management); Otha Burton (Planning & Development); Rebecca Coleman (Public Safety); Matt Thomas (Public Works); Dorothy Triplett (Constituent Services); and Peter Marks (Public Relations).

Former Justice Fights Death Penalty

Oliver Diaz says his first vote on the Mississippi Supreme Court was to "kill an innocent man." The man he's talking about is Kennedy Brewer, wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of a toddler in 1995.

Irby Trial Postponed Eight Months

Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Tomie Green granted a continuance for Karen Irby today, postponing her trial until March 29, 2010, reports The Clarion-Ledger. Irby, 38, faces two counts of depraved-heart murder for her role in a February car crash that killed Dr. Mark Pogue and Dr. Lisa Dedousis. Prosecutors also charged her with aggravated assault for injuries that her husband, Stuart Irby, sustained in the crash.

Cold Case Advocate to Meet with Holder

Alvin Sykes, longtime advocate for the victims of civil rights era cold cases, will meet with the nation's "top cop," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, to discuss the Department of Justice mandate to solve those cases and bring the killers to justice.

Council Votes No to Raises; Yes to Legal Fees

Members of the Jackson City Council reversed themselves on a number of decisions during Tuesday's council meeting, June 16. The council agreed to pay the legal fees of the city's former mayor and voted down an employee pay raise, though individual council members were inconsistent with their records on some issues.

Wine to Go

Beginning July 1, that unfinished bottle of wine at your restaurant table can go home with you, thanks to the Mississippi Legislature. No more will you have to decide between the wines by the glass or by the bottle, because what you don't finish can travel back to your house for dinner tomorrow.

Emmett Till

I don't think I'll ever forget the horrific photo of Emmett Till's open casket.

Wednesday, June 17

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Golf, U.S. Open (9 a.m. and 4 p.m., ESPN, and 2 p.m., Ch. 3 on Thursday and Friday; 1 p.m., Ch. 3, Saturday and Sunday): Tiger Woods heads to Bethpage Black to defend his title in the U.S. Open, golf's greatest torture test. Woods also won the Open at Bethpage Black in 2002.

Whose River Is it?

In the past weeks, the Jackson Free Press has spent some time looking into the Two Lakes plan for flood control and economic development on the Pearl River—a plan that's come back so many times from the grave that it makes "Night of the Living Dead" seem like a History Channel documentary.

Boon For The budget?

State Auditor Stacey Pickering could complicate the state's recent $100 million settlement with Microsoft Corp.

Pearl Wetlands Worth Saving?

The wetland area just east of Jackson has seen better times.

Gloria Norris and her Mississippi Road

With her Nikon FE camera in tow, Mississippi native and noted author Gloria Norris drove down Highway 51 through Mississippi capturing the fleeting images of the state that characterized her childhood.

[Stiggers] Hypocritical Health Care

Nurse Tootie McBride: "What happens when a financially challenged individual without health insurance needs immediate medical attention for a large knot on the forehead?"

[Royals] God And Abstinence

At the Mississippi Department of Human Services' May 16 summit entitled "Abstinence Works: Let's Talk About It," we didn't talk about abstinence. But we sure did chant, cheer, dance, pray and sing about it. Here are a few (of the many) things that stood out to me.

Scott Davidson

While some look forward to Jubilee!JAM for the chance to see their favorite musicians perform, or to peruse the Arts Fair, Scott Davidson looks forward to seeing each year's official poster artwork.

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Taking Back Rock: The JFP Interview With Joan Jett

As a 4-year-old little girl, I watched the tv screen with a gaping mouth, focusing on the black-haired woman yelling about loving rock 'n' roll.

The Great American Jam Bands

The Jackson Arts and Music festival —Jubilee!JAM—has brought the city world-class acts since the 1980s. They continue the tradition this year with a host of national and local musicians and artists. Here are just a few of them.

Artists To Watch

Not only are there incredible musicians and performers coming to Jubilee Jam, there are some up and coming artists that are quite making a scene. Here are some that you may (and may not) know.

The Day the Music Died

Many of us carry around tiny, flat devices that hold hundreds or thousands of songs—the equivalent of hauling around crates upon crates of albums or CDs. How did we get here? Who took my Walkman, and why can't I find any Memorex tapes lying around the house anymore?

Trekking Hallowed Ground

Steve Cheseborough delves into the complex history of the blues in his third edition of "Blues Traveling: The Holy Sites of Delta Blues" (University of Mississippi Press, 2008, $22).

Tweaking Sound

"Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music" (Faber & Faber, 2009, $35) is a book for music nerds and casual fans alike. In it, Greg Milner explains sound recording from varied perspectives, analyzing its scientific beginnings with Thomas Edison to the latest techniques in digital recording, citing Desmond Child's obsessive use in the late '90s that propelled it forward.

Stress: Causes And Cures

As I walked down St. Charles Street in New Orleans after a Mardi Gras parade, I heard a loud horn honking behind me. I turned and threw an irritated look at the car rolling toward the crowds at a few miles per hour.

Today: Housing Fair at the Medical Mall

You still have time to head over to the 2009 Housing Fair, sponsored by the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation, until 2 p.m. today. Included on the agenda is information about foreclosure prevention, first-time buyer programs and financial management. The event, held at the Jackson Medical Mall Thad Cochran Center, is free and open to the public. For more information, call 601-982-8467.

A Call for Unity ... But No Pictures

A June 15 event billed as a huge show of unity for Mayor-elect Harvey Johnson Jr. turned into a debate over transparency after organizers barred photographers and electronic media from the event held at the University Club downtown.

Hinds Drops Regional Jail

The Hinds County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 last Tuesday to end its efforts to build a regional jail, after spending more than $400,000 on acquiring land and designing the facility. The jail would have housed 300 state inmates and 100 county inmates, but Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps revealed to board President George Smith last week that the state had no need for additional beds. The state currently has 600 fewer inmates this year than it did in 2008.

Tuesday, June 16

Transparency Means Transparency

Well, we tried.

Organizers of a event heralded as a unity event for Mayor-elect Johnson barred cameras at the last minute. This was a mistake and a signal to Johnson to ensure transparency.

Jackson City Council Votes Down Living-Wage Increase

At the Tuesday evening meeting tonight, the Jackson City Council voted down a proposed ordinance establishing a living-wage requirement for employees of the city of Jackson by a 3-3 vote. Acting Mayor Leslie McLemore, of Ward 2, proposed the ordinance, which drew support from Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon and outgoing Councilman Marshand Crisler of Ward 6. Opponents included council members who had supported a wage increase more than four months ago: Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes, Ward 4 Councilman Frank Bluntson and Ward 5 Councilman Charles Tillman. Ward 1 Councilman Jeff Weill was absent.

Kennedy: Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Beck Spread Hate

Speaking to reporters last Friday after his keynote speech at the memorial for slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers in Jackson, Robert Kennedy Jr. said some right-wing broadcast hosts feed the kind of hatred behind the assassination of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller and the killing of a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Museum last week.

Police Union: No Agreement

The city of Jackson has not reached an agreement with the Jackson Police Officers Association regarding limiting the number of officers allowed to complete the sergeant's exam process—contrary to what Interim Police Chief Tyrone Lewis said at a June 11 Civil Service Commission meeting. Union president Juan Cloy denied Lewis' statement before the Commission last week, saying that the chief was mistaken.

Sleep Inn Breaking Ground Downtown

J. R. Jones, managing member of minority investment and development organization The LEAD Group, LLC, is partnering with Jackson attorney Robert Gibbs in opening a new 64-room hotel on Gallatin Street. Jones, Gibbs and Downtown Jackson Partners will be hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for the New Downtown Sleep Inn and Suites at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Gallatin Street, between Pearl and Pascagoula Streets.

CARA Reaches Out for Donations

Community Animal Rescue and Adoption, Jackson's largest no-kill animal shelter is running dangerously low on funds. The shelter is "filled to the brim with unwanted, abused and stray dogs and cats who deserve a safe, loving place to call home," according to a release. With money running short, however, the shelter will need to close its doors soon unless the community steps forward to help.


When I made the decision to leave Ole Miss and venture down to Jackson, MS, I was admittedly scared.

Taking breaks from epic Halo 2 battles and scourging fraternity pledges, I'd caught breaking news flashes of Jackson's zany mayor busting into residential buildings and wearing Kevlar vests.

Legislators Remain Stuck on Budget

With 14 days remaining in Mississippi's 2009 fiscal year, lawmakers continue their struggle to reach a consensus on next year's budget. The special negotiating team, which consists of three House and three Senate members, along with Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, ended yesterday's session with $12 million in total differences on the $5 billion budget, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Jones Named Ole Miss Chancellor

The University of Mississippi—Ole Miss—announced the appointment of Dr. Dan Jones as its new chancellor yesterday. Jones succeeds retiring Robert Khayat July 1, to oversee the University, including the University's Medical Center here in Jackson. He is the 16th chancellor in the history of the school.

Monday, June 15

College Baseball: Texas 7, Southern Miss 6

The Golden Eagles face North Carolina in an elimination game on Tuesday (1 p.m., ESPN2, 930 AM).

Southern Miss suffered a tough loss in its College World Series debut on Sunday night, losing to Texas, 7-6.

Murrah High Makes Top High Schools List

[verbatim] Newsweek magazine has named Murrah High School to its 2009 America's Top Public High Schools list. The schools are ranked on the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and/or Cambridge tests taken by all students in a school in 2008 divided by the number of graduating seniors.

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Tonight: It's a Movie and a Benefit

Be honest. It's too hot to do much of anything but stay inside and watch a movie, right? Here's a perfect way for you to combine your love of the silver screen with your desire to do good. Tonight only, cruise up to Malco Grandview Theater to see the latest Will Ferrell movie, "Land of the Lost," starting at 7 p.m. For $10 each, you get the movie, a soft drink and popcorn, and all proceeds go directly to the Nicole Marquez Medical Fund.

Conflict of Interest: Big Insurance and Big Tobacco

Have you ever wondered why health insurance companies don't cover smoking cessation programs? Such programs seem like a natural fit given the amount of acute and chronic disease that could be avoided when smokers quit.

Free HIV Testing Tomorrow

[verbatim] On Tuesday, June 16th, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the nation's largest non-profit AIDS organization, will partner with Building Bridges, Inc. to provide free HIV testing at Hinds Comprehensive Health Center, Dr. James Anderson Health Facility – Main Clinic, 3502 West Northside Dr., Jackson, MS 39213 from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

Budget Impasse Will Affect Agencies

State agencies could be shutting down soon if the Mississippi Legislature can't come to an agreement on the state budget. A small contingent of lawmakers made up of three House and three Senate members plus a handful of others including Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, have been working toward an agreement, but as yet, have produced no results.

Friday, June 12

Seale Appeals to U.S. Supreme Court

Attorneys for James Ford Seale, convicted in 2007 on federal kidnapping and conspiracy charges related to the 1964 killings of two 19-year-old African Americans, have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court today.

Supreme Court Disbars Former D.A. Peters

The Mississippi Supreme Court has permanently disbarred former Hinds District Attorney Ed Peters by accepting the law license he turned over to the Mississippi Bar Association in January. Peter's action cames as a result of an ethics complaint against him. Bar General Counsel Adam Kilgore told the Jackson Free Press earlier this year that Peters turning in his license amounts to an admission of guilt.

Mississippi: You should probably move here

With sadness that I will not be in attendance for the Writer's Spotlight in Jackson this Saturday, I decided to show my love for my home state in the following lyric. Enjoy.

Hot Stuff This Weekend

The weather isn't the only thing hot this weekend. Here are a few options, courtesy of the JFP Event Calendar, Best Bets and Music Listings.

State Paid 9,300 People in Error

Mississippi's Medicaid program paid Part B Medicare premiums for approximately 9,300 ineligible people, possibly since 2003, according to WAPT. Those payments were made after the state determined the recipients were no longer eligible.

Minority Contractors Win Arbitration Award

[verbatim] An American Arbitration Association panel awarded minority contractor Fish & Fisher $1,283,351 in a dispute with white owned L & T Construction. The dispute arose over work performed by Fish & Fisher at the Blue Springs, MS construction location to build a Toyota Prius Plant. During the arbitration hearing, sworn testimony by Leavy Harris of L & T revealed that L & T Construction never entered into a joint venture with M & H Construction, as had been announced by the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) and Toyota. This testimony is crucial to the civil action filed by Jackie Williams and Renna Fisher, African American principals of Fish & Fisher, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Western Division.

Thursday, June 11

Mississippi to Receive $100 Million in Microsoft Settlement

The Mississippi Legislature may have a new tool to work with in straightening out the state's fiscal woes. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood announced at a June 11 press conference that technology giant Microsoft Corporation has agreed to a $100 million settlement with the state of Mississippi that will be divided among state agencies and residents.

Jackson Uniting to Retire Johnson's Debt

A group of diverse citizens who supported varied candidates in the recent mayoral elections in Jackson are putting aside their differences and joining together to help retire the accumulated campaign debt of Mayor-elect Harvey Johnson Jr. The event will be held at the University Club of Jackson next Monday, June 15, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

PSC Creates New Hurdles for Coal-Burning Plant

The Mississippi Public Service Commission met last Friday to consider multiple motions submitted by Mississippi Power, the Sierra Club, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and others regarding Mississippi Power's proposed coal-burning plant in Kemper County.

Earth to Northside Sun, Ledger, etc.: Stop Making Sh*t Up

It is simply remarkable to watch the media in Jackson that lost their mayoral endorsement go to the same tired, *false* well so quickly after Harvey Johnson Jr. won back the mayor's race in a landslide. Today's Northside Sun editorial starts out with this: "One reason we suspect Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson lost four years ago was his claim that crime was a perception rather than a reality."

UMC Closing School for Autistic Children

The fate of Jackson's autistic children will be in the hands of the public schools this fall, raising concerns for parents, according to a report from WLBT. Last week, parents of autistic children attending the Mississippi Child Development Institute at the Jackson Medical Mall received letters saying the school will close at the end of the summer.

Mississippi Energy Policy Institute Formed

Gov. Haley Barbour has announced the formation of a group dedicated to coming up with energy policy for the state. The group, the Mississippi Energy Policy Institute, will be part of Momentum Mississippi, "a statewide, public, private partnership dedicated to the development of economic and employment opportunities" in the state, according to its Web site.

[At The Mic] Writer's Spotlight

There's something profoundly moving about listening to an artist express themselves, revealing his or her hidden self through art. Not only is the experience rewarding for the listener, but it's cathartic for the writer.

[In Celebration] "Juneteenth Celebration"

Since 1965, African Americans have celebrated June 19 as the emancipation of slaves. Originating in Galveston, Texas, the day is an outpouring of joy in the black community and emphasizes community and celebration of freedom.

Wednesday, June 10

'First 48': This is Transparency?

Jackson's legal department is putting the finishing touches on a contract with the Arts & Entertainment Network reality cop show, "The First 48." The show, which makes docu-dramas out of murder investigations, shows the inner workings of a city's police department, and has filmed in cities like Miami, Dallas and, most recently, Memphis.

Chick Jam

For the last five years, the Jackson Free Press and women community leaders have joined forces to put on the JFP Chick Ball. In addition to providing a stellar music lineup, silent auction and fun, the Ball raises awareness for the state's domestic-violence dilemma and benefits the Center for Violence Prevention.

Men We Love

The thing we like most about Jackson's men is that they've got so much soul. You kind of need it when you live in the city with soul.

Laurel Miller and Price Donahoo

Mississippi State University senior, Price Donahoo was working in the library when sophomore Laurel Miller sat down at the computer across from him.

The Bachelorettes Headline Chick Jam Benefit Friday at Hal & Mal's

See you Friday!

The first of several events scheduled around this year's 5th Annual JFP Chick Ball is this Friday night in the Red Room at Hal & Mal's. The Bachelorettes will bring their wigs and their talent to the stage with all door proceeds going to the JFP Chick Ball effort to raise at least $20,000 to seed Jackson's first batterer-intervention program. With a cover of only $5, the show starts at 9 p.m., and will also feature Lizzie Wright and Anna Kline. Wear a wig or not, but definitely show up for this very fun event for a great cause. You can also sign on as a sponsor for the Chick Ball for as little as $50, as well as volunteer your time, or give art or a gift for the silent auction. Visit for more info, or call 601.362.6121 ext. 16 to get involved!

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Southern League baseball, Birmingham at Mississippi (7:05 p.m., Pearl, 103.9 FM): The slightly improving M-Braves open a series against the Barons, one of the SL's best, on Thirsty Thursday. Drink up. … NBA basketball, Los Angeles Lakers at Orlando in the NBA Finals (8 p.m., Ch. 16): Will the Lakers complete a sweep of the Magic?

'Racism,' In Context

You've surely heard the heads exploding by now. "She's a racist!" "Maria, er, Sonia Sotomayor said she's smarter than white men!" She made "an unambiguous statement of bigotry."

State Agencies Silenced on Lake Plans?

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks remains strangely silent and without comment on two plans to partially inundate a state park stagger drunkenly forward.

The Saga of the No-Budget-Bill

Although he isn't an official party in the Mississippi Legislature's budget negotiations, Gov. Haley Barbour is still wielding his influence. The regular session ended last week with House and Senate leaders still deadlocked on a hospital assessment and Medicaid funding, and some House Democrats blame the governor for ruing a near-agreement.

McLemore Launches Beautification Project

Operation Keep Jackson Beautiful, a citywide project that launched Monday, June 1, includes several initiatives, including trash removal, an anti-litter campaign and the seeding of vacant lots with flowers and shrubs.

Recycling the Yellow Pages

The organization Keep Jackson Beautiful is kicking off its annual telephone-book recycling program this month in collaboration with AT&T The Real Yellow Pages and Recycling Services of Jackson.

JPD Wrestles Garage Gator

Officers from the Jackson Police Department and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife captured an alligator in a garage on Ashley Circle in Ward 2 early this morning, police said.

[Stiggers] Blame a Black Man

Mr. Announcement: "In the ghetto criminal justice system the people are represented by associate-in-training Sista Encouragement and two members of the McBride family: police officer and part-time security guard at the Funky Ghetto Mall, Dudley 'Do-Right' McBride, and attorney Cootie McBride of the law firm McBride, Myself and I. This is their story."

[Kamikaze] Time for the Pink Slip

Many of you work a regular 9-to-5 job. Even those who work part-time, odd hours or odd days understand the premise of hustling for a paycheck.

[Hutchinson] Just the President

The only problem with New York Congressman Charles Rangel's quip that President Obama had better bring his ID to East Harlem is that he limited it to East Harlem.

Karmichael Spiller

"Sometimes things (will) be going through my mind in my sleep," 46-year-old Jackson native Karmichael Spiller says. "It's like I'm always awake.

Suspect in Holocaust Museum Shooting is White Supremacist

The Associated Press is reporting that a shooter opened fire in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., just before 1 p.m. today, fatally wounding a security guard before he was shot.

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Crime & Punishment

When a best-selling author comes to Jackson, it's news. When three best-selling authors come in one exclusive event, it's historic.

Thoreau's Fire

True story: On April 30, 1844, Henry David Thoreau began the fire that eventually burned 300 acres of forest outside his home in Concord, Mass. He was never prosecuted for the act, but his neighbors shunned him for the next year, calling him "woods burner" behind his back.

Archie's Cigar Box Blues

For three years, Archie Storey had been on a steady diet of Mississippi blues and was looking for a way into the music. The longtime BeBop Records employee listened to the blues constantly and attended festivals around the state, but he wanted to play an active part in the Mississippi blues scene.

[Herman's Picks] Vol 7., No. 39 (Fearless Edition!)

We are edging closer to the middle of the summer, which means the sultry sun is taking its toll on our sizzling skin. Outdoor music festivals and backyard barbecue jams are in full swing and perhaps some of us are basking in the glow of summer-loving.

Fiat Signs Deal with Chrysler

When the US Supreme Court told plaintiffs yesterday that they did not prove the court needed to intervene, they removed the final obstacle for the company's partial sale to Italian automaker Fiat. This morning, the deal was signed, giving new life to the storied American brand.

JPD Goes Reality TV

Jackson's 14 homicide detectives are about to get a taste of the limelight. As early as next month, field producers for the cop show "The First 48" will begin following the Jackson Police Department for its reality TV depiction of murder investigations. The city's legal department is currently finalizing a one-year contract with the show, after City Council approved JPD's participation last week.

Tuesday, June 9

Barbour Talks Party Line on Cap & Trade

In a speech yesterday at the Southern Growth Policies Board, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour repeated the GOP's party line about the Obama administration's proposed cap and trade energy policies, repeatedly labeling the policy a "tax.

Board of Ed Names Interim Replacement for Bounds

The Mississippi Board of Education has named an interim education superintendent to replace Hank Bounds, who is the preferred candidate for the post of higher education commissioner, a position overseeing the Magnolia State's university system.

Monday, June 8

Signs Point Cautiously to Recession's End

Slowing job losses is one sign of the economy's impending recovery. The bottom is just ahead, according to economists, which means things will start looking up soon.

[Tobin] We Need Fair and Just Immigration Reform

The history of immigrant labor in the U.S. is as old as the country itself. Given political or economical expediency, immigrants were given legal protection and a path to citizenship, or were locked out due to politically dominated regulations. That being said, goods we take for granted, and can purchase fairly cheaply, are often the result of immigrant labor.

Governor Leads Southern Energy Conference

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour joins Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens today in Biloxi to lead a two day energy summit titled "Southern Energy: Abundant, Affordable and American." according to the Sun Herald. At the same time, the Southern Growth Policies Board, chaired by Barbour, meets regarding energy-related economic development.

College Baseball: USM Going To Omaha; Ole Miss At Home Again

Southern Miss made history on Sunday by winning a spot in the College World Series. Meanwhile, Ole Miss continued its unfortunate history of losing at home in a Super Regional.

Friday, June 5

Future of the Newspaper? You May Use a ‘Home Computer' To Read It

(Hat tip to Dave Johnson from his blog.)

This classic newscast from 1981 is too good to pass up. Major newspapers putting their stories online -- without the fancy photos "and the comics." But would they every really replace the "20 cent edition" in print?

Ward 1 Voters Stayed Consistent: No to Johnson

Voting patterns in last Tuesday's general elections tell a story about Jackson: Citizens were tired of voting, and the city's whites and blacks don't necessarily agree on who should be the city's mayor.

Seale Conviction Upheld

See full JFP coverage of the Dee-Moore case.

Working for the Weekend?

It's hard to believe that it's the first weekend in June, isn't it? If you're looking for things to do, places to go and people to see, though, this is the right place. Allow us to suggest a few things, courtesy of the JFP Events Calendar and Best Bets.

Brown: Governor Will Cut School Funding

State Rep. Cecil Brown is warning that Mississippi's children will be the ultimate losers in the current budget battle if the governor gets his way. In an e-mail sent to his constituents and forwarded to the Jackson Free Press, Brown, who is chairman of the House Education Committee, warned that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, MAEP, is on the governor's hit list of programs to cut.

Thursday, June 4

FEMA Offers Hurricane Victims Trailers for $1

Four years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast, and a month after the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it was going to end its temporary housing program necessitated by the storms, FEMA officials are offering victims a bargain: $1 will allow victims to own the trailers they've been calling home since August, 2005.

Budget Stalled Again

Mississippi lawmakers failed yet again to come up with a budget for the 2010 fiscal year. A small budget committee has been working overtime to come to an agreement, but yesterday's midnight deadline has passed without producing a result. The new fiscal year begins July 1, 27 days from today, and it's looking like the governor will need to call a special session to get a budget passed.

Tweeting Pivotal Moments in World History

It seems like everyone has a Twitter account these days. Aging Politicians. Pro Athletes. Even MC hammer has gotten into the mix. But what about the historical icons of the past? If they had Twitter, then what would they twitt...ahem...tweet? Find out below:

EEOC Finds Racial Discrimination at MDPS

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found evidence that the Mississippi Department of Public Safety engaged in discriminatory practices against black state troopers. In a June 1 letter, EEOC acting Area Director Willie Schaffer wrote, "there is reasonable cause to believe" that MDPS "engaged, and is engaging in, unlawful employment practices in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. … The documentary, statistical and testimonial evidence disclosed (MDPS) discriminated against blacks as a class because of their race with respect to assignments, demotions, discharges, discipline, harassment, hiring, intimidation, hostile work environment, promotion and the overall terms and conditions of their employment.

Flu Cases Now at 50

The Mississippi State Department of Health reports that the number of confirmed H1N1 swine flu cases in the state hit 50 yesterday. The bulk of the cases remain on the coast, with 17 cases in Harrison County and 13 in Jackson County. Hinds County now reports two cases, as does Yazoo County to the north. Neighboring Madison and Rankin Counties report one confirmed case each.

Mississippi Lags in Internet Access

In a report released yesterday, Mississippi has the lowest rate of Internet access in the U.S., with 52.8 percent of households connected. The report, from the U.S. Census Bureau, shows data from 2007, the most recent data available, according to WREG in Memphis.

Wednesday, June 3

Trouble at Hinds Youth Detention Center

A Hinds County supervisors suggests a "cover-up" at the Hinds County Youth Detention Center.

What To Pack For Camping

The key to a pleasant camping trip is packing well.

Campfire Reads

"Campfire Cuisine: Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors," by Robin Donovan (Quirk Books, 2006, $15.95)

Park Camping

You're itching to put your nature skills to use at a campsite, but where do you go? Mississippi has hundreds of cultivated campgrounds in every corner of the state for pitching your tent (or renting a cabin/parking your RV). Here's a rundown of some of our top picks for campsites in the Magnolia State's parks. Visit to make reservations.

Camping Survival 101

Before you leave on your camping trip, pack accordingly (see "What to Pack For Camping," link) so you'll be prepared for unforeseen challenges. Then, let a responsible person know exactly where you are going and when you expect to return.

What NOT To Do When Camping

• Instead of bringing toilet paper, just use ivy.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

NBA basketball, Orlando at Los Angeles Lakers in NBA Finals (8 p.m., Ch. 16): Will this be the year that LA's Kobe Bryant finally wins a title without the help of Shaquille O'Neal? … Golf, Mississippi State Amateur Championship (Windance Country Club, Gulfport): A field of guys who are anything but duffers begin the four-day struggle for the title of Mississippi's top amateur.

Blues Legend Koko Taylor Passes Away

Koko Taylor, a Chicago blues icon who was scheduled to appear at this year's Jubilee!JAM, died today of complications following surgery on May 19th. She was 80 years old. More at Chicago Tribune and Jubilee!JAM news.

For Louis

Last week, my husband, JP, was leaving our house to go to work when he saw something huddled in the bushes. Just as soon as I had heard his key turn in the door to leave, I heard it again as he re-entered the house frantically.

Learning With A Legend

Young people from around the state will gather June 5 in Indianola for the ninth annual B.B. King Blues Workshop.

Budget Deadlock Continues

State lawmakers remain deadlocked on a budget for the 2010 fiscal year beginning July 1, raising the possibility of a special session to settle the matter.

Entergy Seeking Friendlier Court

U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate said last week that he would rule within three weeks to 30 days on a motion for venue change requested by Entergy Mississippi.

Taxpayers Deserve to See Pearl Study

In 2003, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District agreed to begin a three-year feasibility study to update the cost of a 1996 levee plan originally endorsed by the Corps, and analyze a plan to flood the Pearl River between Hinds and Rankin counties.

[Stiggers] The New GM

"It's Rev. Cletus Car Sales Church radio broadcast, live and in listening color! Before I begin with the show, I must do a couple of shameless plugs. I want to inform everyone that a new GM car dealership is in town. Don't worry; it's not a bankrupt General Motors transformed into Government Motors. It's the beginning of Ghetto Motors: home of the affordable and green hybrid hoopty.

[Hightower] Seven Seconds in Hell

You've got to give Mancow credit. He did it. Erich "Mancow" Muller manned up and rode "the liquid pony," as waterboarding is euphemistically called.

[johnson] Drowning Jackson

When you look at it abstractly, Two Lakes developer John McGowan makes an easy villain: an old, wealthy white landowner intent on taking public lands for private profit with the help of wrangling politicians. But when you meet this man, it's tough to place him in such a diabolical role.

Charles 'Smartypants' King, Jr.

"What's the only animal that will eat a skunk?"

Art For All

As 36-year-old Karla Pound talks about the opening of Twenty-Nine 06 Studios, she notices a small group of people entering the gallery.

Conversation of Movements

"I started practicing Capoeira because I was fascinated with its harmony," says Ivory "Magia" Harris, instructor of the summer Capoeira classes at Butterfly Yoga in Fondren.

It's Bigger Than Hip-Hop

Chickity-check yourself before you wreck yourself. On June 13, the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi will host the second annual Mississippi Youth Hip-Hop Festival at Tougaloo College.

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2009 Summer Arts Preview

With summer right around the corner, Jackson is heating up with opportunities to get out and engage in events around the city.

FBI: Crime Dropped Nationwide in 2008

The FBI released its Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report on Monday, stating that violent crimes dropped by 2.5 percent nationwide, and non-violent property crimes saw a 1.6 percent decline last year. Overall, this is the second consecutive annual drop in the crimes reported.

Jackson Announces Amnesty Days

In effort to clear thousands of outstanding warrants, the City of Jackson will waive penalties on overdue fines for two days, city officials announced today. The initiative, called "Amnesty Days," covers traffic violations and all misdemeanors except those involving domestic violence, weapons, crimes against a person and driving under the influence.

Adopt a Stimulus Project

With the U.S. spending $27 billion in infrastructure projects as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, ProPublica wants to know how those projects are doing. The independent, non-profit Internet newsroom is looking for volunteers to adopt projects, investigate and report on them.

Lawmakers Facing Midnight Deadline for Budget

With the deadline for reaching a consensus creeping closer by the day, the Mississippi Legislature has until midnight tonight to agree on the state's 2010 budget before Gov. Haley Barbour forces them into a special session. Although lawmakers have stretched the time limits for passing a budget before, this year's session is in record-breaking territory.

Starting Over

We've heard a lot of talk about change the past couple of years from a political standpoint. However, my approach to change is more personal - and probably long overdue.

Tuesday, June 2

Time to Hit Re-set, Jackson

As I sit waiting for the returns on election night, I can't help but reflect on the mess that was the last four years—and what got us there. As much as anything else, the need for media sensationalism and pandering to the powerful put us here. I have spent an inordinate amount of time in the last four years researching Frank Melton's history in Jackson. I have read about everything ever been written about him—and the so-called journalism that allowed someone so unsuited for elected office to become mayor in a "landslide" four years ago tonight, as The Clarion-Ledger put it, was simply abysmal. The Ledger, especially, let down an entire city by pretending that Melton was a "folk hero" who could solve crime in 90 days. This corporate newspaper endorsed the man who the most powerful people in Jackson wanted in office. And it pulled punch after punch that could have alerted voters what they were getting into.

[JFP Photos] Following Harvey Johnson

Photography intern Bryant Hawkins followed Harvey Johnson today in his final day of general electioneering. Check it out at

Oxford attorney explodes gun lie about Sotomayor

Up in Oxford, Tom Freeland is taking on the morons who are passing along the myth that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor wrote her Princeton thesis about gun control. Tom writes:

Do Lake Plans Endanger Indian Mounds?

Pre-historic Native American settlements are among the obstacles faced by any plan to inundate the wetlands along the Pearl River, including the already-controversial "Two Lakes" project. Pam Lieb, chief archeologist for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, told the Jackson Free Press that any project to flood the Pearl River between Rankin and Hinds counties could inundate 19 sites eligible for the National Register of Historic Property—including Choctaw settlement and burial grounds.

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How Do You Think Conan Did?

I grew up wanting to be Johnny Carson -- I thought he was a comedic genius and I watched more religiously than I imagine most teens did in the 80s. While Jay seems like a nice guy, I never really enjoyed watching him. I was also a fan of Letterman in high school and college and that carries over to today -- if and when I eschew the Roku and decide to watch late night TV, I'll watch Dave, followed by Craig Ferguson, who is easily bests anyone for a monologue in years, perhaps in the history of television. I'll flip to Conan between and after breaks in Ferguson's pre-monologue and monologue.

Get Out and Vote, Jackson

Read the JFP Endorsements

Read Candidate Interviews, Opinions and More on the JFP Politics Blog

Arkansas Shooter Pleads Not Guilty After Confession

This morning, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, 24, a Little Rock man formerly known as Carlos Bledsoe, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and 15 counts of engaging in terrorist activities. Muhammad is accused of shooting to death Pvt. William Long, 24, of Conway, Ark., and wounding Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, of Jacksonville, Ark., yesterday outside an Army/Navy recruiting center, according to CNN. Ezeagwula is in stable condition and is expected to recover.

5th Annual JFP Chick Ball *Weekend* Coming July 25-26

The 5th Annual Chick Ball will be Saturday, July 25, and will again benefit the Center for Violence Prevention. We bought them a new mini-van last year; this year our goal is to raise at least $20,000 in seed money for Jackson's first batterer intervention program. In addition to the ball itself, form 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., this year we are adding a special play performance on Friday, July 24, at Hal & Mal's, as well as Saturday events for teens. Watch for more details! Right now, though, we need you to volunteer, donate prizes or become a sponsor (starts at $50 up to $2,500+ to be a diva sponsor). And sign up for our Twitter feed @jfpchickball so you don't miss anything.

College Baseball: Eagles, Rebels Advance To Super Regionals

Southern Miss and Ole Miss were winners in NCAA Regionals on Monday night.

Monday, June 1

Pro Basketball: WNBA Really Getting Desperate

A WNBA team is selling out. Couldn't they get Chico's Bail Bonds to be a sponsor?

McLemore to Retire, Sort of

Jackson City Council President and Acting Mayor Leslie McLemore, who has taught political science at Jackson State University for nearly 40 years, will soon retire from both politics and academia. But McLemore says he will still be busy.

Tuesday's Votes Will Decide Three City Posts

Read the JFP Endorsements.

Jacksonians will be going to the polls for the third time in four weeks tomorrow, casting their votes for mayor and city council seats. In the race for mayor, Harvey Johnson, Jr., who was the city's first African American mayor, serving from 1997 to 2005, will face four Independents and one Republican.

Jackson Clinic on Alert

The Jackson Women's Health Organization is on high alert today after an assassin gunned down Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider in Kansas yesterday. The Jackson clinic is the only place in the state of Mississippi that provides legal abortions.

College Baseball: Rebels, Eagles In Do-or-Die Games

Ole Miss and Southern Miss both lost NCAA Regional games on Sunday. They must play winner-take-all games on Monday. The prizes is a trip to the Super Regionals.