Saturday, May 30
Southern Miss and Ole Miss both won on Saturday and advanced to the finals of their respective regionals on Sunday. Now each needs just one victory in the next two days to advance to the super regionals.
When CondeNast shut down Domino magazine, I mourned for a while. Then I found solace in the joys of cooking magazines.
The Ole Miss and Southern Miss baseball teams are winners. Jackson State suspends its offensive coordinator.
Friday, May 29
Per the Magnolia Roller Vixens site:
Tweet-off to skate-off: Media Twitter Queens Donna Ladd (@donnerkay and @jxnfreepress) of the JFP and Dawn Dugle of 16 WAPT News (@mswrite1 and @16waptnews) will skate off Saturday a.m. to benefit domestic violence!
OK, the denial is about to wear off: I really am going to have a skate-off against Dawn Dugle of WAPT at the National Guard Armory in Clinton on Saturday morning about 11. As in tomorrow. I used to roller skate, and pretty well, but until Wednesday night, it had been about 20 years since I'd been on roller skates. And I've been so busy of late that I couldn't get over and practice until this week. (Dawn's been practicing for weeks; grrrr.) I skated 20 or 30 minutes max, and when I first tried to stand up, I thought I had forgotten how to skate completely. Two little girls without skates walked me around the rink to hold me up. But then I started feeling more comfortable. However, I know I didn't practice long enough, so I don't know what is going to happen Saturday morning. I did not fall down, though, so there is that.
It's not over until the fat lady sings. Tuesday are general elections in Jackson. Now is not the time to sit it out only to watch your candidate lose. Absentee Voting: Attorney General Jim Hood's office sent a release yesterday reminding Jackson voters who will be out of town for the Tuesday general election that the deadline to vote absentee is this Saturday, May 30 at noon. Mailed ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday. If you have questions about voting, please see Answers to Election Day Questions. Also, make sure to read the JFP Candidate Interviews on the Politics Blog.
Next Tuesday, June 2, Jacksonians will go to the polls once again, this time for the general elections and all the marbles in the races for mayor and council seats. Former Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr., who won the Democratic runoff election May 19, will face four Independent candidates:
[verbatim] The Mississippi U.S. Small Business Administration will honor its 2009 small business award winners during a dinner reception on Tuesday, June 16 at the Mississippi e-Center @ JSU located at 1230 Raymond Road in Jackson, Miss. Registration starts at 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 28
Read About All the Mayoral Candidates on the JFP Politics Blog
The Mississippi Legislature is spending about $19,000 a day with little or nothing to do, for the most part. Lawmakers have finished all of their business for the current session, with one glaring exception: the budget for the 2010 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2009, a little more than four weeks from today. But that task is not yet in the hands of the full 174-seat House and Senate; behind closed doors, a handful of members on a special negotiating team is doing all the work.
Teach for America, a program that trains college students to teach in under-served, poor communities, is seeing record numbers of graduates applying. Mississippi State Superintendent of Education, has asked the organization for 200 of those recruits to teach in the Delta, doubling the numbers from previous years, according to an Associated Press story.
Wednesday, May 27
While Repeat Street might look every part the unassuming strip mall space as you drive past on Ridgewood Road, you'd kick yourself for weeks if you passed it up. A 9,000-square foot warehouse chock-full of contemporary and vintage clothing, furniture and accessories, it's a veritable treasure trove of gems. And with more than 2,000 items hitting the floor each day, you can bet you'll never get bored with the selection.
Southern League baseball, Mississippi at Birmingham (7:05 p.m., Hoover, Ala., 103.9 FM): The M-Braves, the SL South's worst team, continue their series with the Barons, the SL South's best team.
Last week John McGowan of McGowan Working Partners LLC visited us here at the JFP offices for a marathon lunch session to discuss his "Two Lakes" project.
On May 21, the 17-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case of James Ford Seale.
Robert Amos is the youngest remaining candidate for mayor. At 35, he's already worked in more fields than some do in a lifetime—health care, education, criminal justice and business—and he's currently an adjunct professor at Jackson State University's College of Lifelong Learning.
Division in the city heavily affected both the Democratic mayoral primary and the runoff. It is time to put division aside and turn out June 2 to support the presumptive next mayor of Jackson: Harvey Johnson Jr.
Momma Roscoe: "While enduring this time of economic gloom, Big Roscoe and I concluded that the recession will teach us all how to be thankful, resourceful and careful this summer."
I'm glad the Democratic primary is finally over, but the wounds this election has inflicted are deep.
The Democratic Blue Dog Coalition has announced its agenda for reforming American health care. Not surprisingly, heading the list is controlling costs in the current systems.
While walking the streets of downtown Jackson one day, 27-year-old John Kelly had a simple revelation.
The Pearl River is an easy force of nature to contend with, providing you are an optimist about it.
In America, as elsewhere on the planet, terrorism in the name of religious fundamentalism seems to be humankind's currently unavoidable cause of suffering, providing fertile fields for bigotry, hatred, wars and devastation on a worldwide scale.
"Unaccustomed Earth" (Knopf, 2009, $15), newly released in trade paperback, has been widely praised since it was first published in 2008. The New York Times Book Review selected it as Best Book of the Year, and it has won numerous short story awards.
Joy Garretson was doing laundry when she had an epiphany. While walking down her stairs to wash clothes, she said playfully to her husband Gordon that she was going to put her bundle of laundry on the delicate cycle. Then it struck her.
It's not hard to find musical options for a variety of tastes this weekend.
It's a little strange to peruse the music listings each week and not see Goodman County playing somewhere. For the last several years, the band has been as integral to Jackson as Stamps burgers and George Street Grocery.
"Mechanical Failure" from local favorites ¡Los Buddies! features scratchy guitar and angsty vocals that lend themselves well to the upbeat, fun, rock sound of the six-track album.
Interpreting the Constitution is a favorite American pastime. Differing opinions on just one sentence fill libraries to overflowing, and land legal cases in appeals courts and supreme courts from coast to coast.
[verbatim] Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) received four 2008 Emmy Award nominations for its work in Between the Lions, Simply Science at the Fossil Road Show and Mississippi Roads. The Emmy Awards recognize outstanding achievement in all fields of daytime television production.
Cases of H1N1 swine influenza (also known as Novel influenza A) remain at the top of disease control efforts by the nations health agencies, including the Mississippi State Department of Health. While the Magnolia State was one of the last to confirm swine flu cases in the nation, the count in the state continues to rise. As of yesterday afternoon, the department has confirmed 13 cases in four counties.
Tuesday, May 26
Voter ID died an ignoble death during the regular 2009 Legislative session when Senate Republicans killed a bill because it included a provision to allow early voting in Mississippi. Now, Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, also a Republican, is attempting to bypass the Legislature to pass voter ID through a referendum vote.
Mayor Frank Melton told the Jackson Free Press in February that he was concerned enough about the costs of lawsuits to him personally that he had set up a blind trust to protect his personal fortune.
On Friday, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. agreed with a 2006 ruling to ban cigarette labeling such as "low tar," "light," ultra light" or "mild." The ruling found big tobacco guilty of racketeering and fraud, and said that the companies are deceiving the public about smoking dangers, according to The New York Times.
State lawmakers have returned to Jackson today to hammer out the 2010 budget. The Legislature must agree on the Mississippi budget by the end of June as the new fiscal year begins July 1.
Monday, May 25
I believe in a world where, on a day like Memorial Day, we can all cast aside our differences and come together - black and white, liberal and conservative, Tupac and Biggie (RIP) - to collectively make fun of hippies. It's been a tradition in my family for generations, one that I hope to share with you, the reader. Enjoy.
Sunday, May 24
If, like me, you're looking for an excuse to go to Fresh Market, the Renaissance Fine Arts Festival is a good reason.
Saturday, May 23
If you're in the mood to bob your head to some upbeat oldies while taking in a visual dancing spectacle, don't miss New Stage Theatre's "Smokey Joe's Café."
Friday, May 22
Fans of a controversial plan to develop the Pearl River had better luck installing a pro-"Two Lakes" mayor in the little town of Pearl than in the state's capital city this month.
You've got to love it. On Wednesday, Republicans abandoned the idea of relabeling the Democratic Party. The proposed new name? The Democratic Socialist Party. The Republican National Committee actually held a special session about it.
The reason .0039% people in this country vote is because of secret mailers and because the media stuffs politics down our throats. Show me the funny pages.
The Mississippi Department of Human Services is teaming with the Cal Ripkin, Sr. Foundation to offer the Badges for Baseball program to at-risk youth in 10 Mississippi communities. The program will kick off May 28 at Trustmark Park in Pearl.
Are you ready? Plenty of folks are headed out of town for the long Memorial Day weekend. But if you're not on the road, no worries. There's lots to do right here in Jackson.
Thursday, May 21
Brad Chism from Zata|3 has provided his post-runoff-election analysis. Via e-mail, Chism wrote:
Here's our Monday-morning quarterback analysis about the margin of victory. And yes, here too is my admission that I had no clue that the margin of victory would be so large.
OK, this is funny. In his rush to defend the controversial and secretive Better Jackson PAC, which he apparently helped organize, Northside Sun columnist David Sanders is attacking the 'flatulence' of the Jackson Free Press. This column is simply delightfully defensive, and evasive, in that it does not address why Sanders' and Wilson Carroll's PAC did not file donor reports until three hours before the polls closed under pressure from the JFP and many Jacksonians, even though Two Lakes supporters John McGowan put $6,000 into the PAC back in April, which meant they should have filed a report before the primary.
Filling your tank this holiday weekend will cost you a bit more than it did earlier this month. Still, compared to the same time last year, gasoline is still relatively cheap.
Wednesday, May 20
Independent Jackson mayoral candidate David L. Archie is a political animal. Over the last 10 years, he has run for the positions of local judge, Ward 3 councilman and Ward 1 councilman.
College baseball: No matter what happened Wednesday, Mississippi's teams are still alive in their conference tournament: Ole Miss in the SEC (Hoover, Ala., CSS/97.3 FM), Southern Miss in the C-USA (Hattiesburg) and Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State and Alcorn State in the SWAC (Baton Rouge, La.). … Southern League baseball, Mobile at Mississippi (7:05 p.m., Pearl, 103.9 FM): The M-Braves open a homestand with the BayBears on a Thirsty Thursday. Get your drink on responsibly.
As I write this Tuesday, I have no idea who will be the Democratic nominee for mayor when you read this. As always happens in Jackson and Mississippi, it's been a tough campaign that has wallowed in the mud and brought out the worst in many of our neighbors.
What is it about elections that turns ordinarily sane people into back-stabbing, devious, scheming liars?
Brotha Hustle: "Aunt Tee Tee pitched a great idea for our Ghetto Science Tube viral video show: videotape men and women hooking up for a date while shopping at the local suburban Y'all Mart.
As a 30-year-old Mississippian who never strongly identified with a particular party, I am excited to call myself an Obama Democrat. During the first 100 days of this administration, the Democrats made great strides in how they communicated with constituents to reflect the will of their respective districts.
The season of the Obama baby has arrived. Like many members of our generation, my beloved and I found the Bush years distinctly unarousing. Even today, I worry that newborns who catch word of Dick Cheney's media blitz will cry foul and make a run back for the womb.
At 78, age has not stopped George Frank from learning new things. Last week, he became the oldest student to graduate from Jackson State University's Department of Mathematics.
A new class of young and talented influential men and women is rising in Jackson, who have a vision for themselves and their city, and work daily to move closer toward it.
Thursday May, 21st @ 7:30pm. 12th Floor Plaza Building. We are continuing our series on holding public officials accountable. This month we're putting the band back together again. Donna Ladd and Othor Cain will join up and join US to discuss holding public officials accountable and transparency in government. Be there. and as always its BYOB. Thursdays at the Plaza will be in full effect so grab a drink and come up! Plus we will be voting on a new Board member and gearing up for Family Day in the Park.
I've been yammering on and on for the past few weeks about how much I really love tacos. After living on the West Coast for two years, I became accustomed to the good stuff—genuine tacos that have not been changed to suit American taste buds.
This is the time of year when I occasionally run into little critters around the house, which I cover with cups and ask my husband to relocate. I prefer not to find such surprises in my home, so it is a good time to keep the counters wiped, the floors cleaned and piles of paper to a minimum.
Right off, I have to admit that Harry Truman is one of my favorite presidents.
A small band of musicians huddled in the soft light at center stage in an otherwise dark and silent theater. Armed with their instruments, they seemed to alternately combat and submit to the darkness surrounding them and musician Lloyd Bourne's shifting melodies.
Summer tour season is here at last. The chance has finally arrived for dedicated fans to see our favorite over-the-hill acts supporting their most recent failed comeback albums.
Pop music has always garnered various flavors for the ears. In their electro-syncopated rhythms and similar themes, one can be left with either bobbing your head or nearly tearing the radio out of the car. Although most would dismiss pop music as a fad or not music at all, there are some gems worth looking for.
She was sitting in the driver's seat of the car with the windows up. The two-inch ash dangled on her cigarette. I thought she must have been waiting on someone.
JFP columnist, rapper, Crisler supporter and all 'round man about town Brad Franklin (aka Kamikaze) gave his opinion about the Democratic runoff side by side with acting Mayor, JSU prof, Johnson endorser and former City Council President Dr. Leslie McLemore on WLBT. We heart them both. Click here to see the videos. (There are two, both about four minutes long.)
Featuring art by Rik Freeman, "The Chitlin Circuit Review" documents the development of blues music and culture in the United States.
District Attorney Robert S. Smith was absent again when Hinds County Circuit Judge Swan Yerger dropped murder charges against Sharrod Moore in the 1995 killing of Jackson Police Officer Robert J. Washington. Yerger dropped the charges because prosecutors, after indicting Moore twice, could only produce one witness, Harold Hackett, who said that Moore told him he killed Washington.
Mississippi lawmakers are still deadlocked on a budget agreement for the upcoming fiscal year after spending last week in fruitless negotiations. With state revenues down $350 million to $400 million for the year, House and Senate negotiators remain about $37 million apart in their proposals for the roughly $5 billion 2010 budget.
More than 32,400 voters turned out to vote in Jackson yesterday, handing former Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr. a decisive win in the Democrat runoff elections. Hinds County's unofficial results show Johnson beating former two-term City Councilman Marshand Crisler by just under 8,500 votes. The final tally is Johnson, 20,475 (63.089 percent) to Crisler, 11,979 (36.911 percent). Johnson now faces a slate of Republican and Independent candidates in the June 2 General Election.
Tuesday, May 19
Beulah White, poll manager at Precinct 81, Callaway High School, described turn-out as "kind of slow, but steady."
Engineers favoring a plan to flood the Pearl River and create a myriad of islands say the plan will be cheaper than a similar plan involving a smaller lake and only two islands.
In a story titled "How do You Spell Lust? M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I," Internet spirituality Web site Beliefnet cites a new study by Kansas State University, saying: "Las Vegas may be known as "Sin City," but when it comes to transgressions per capita, parts of the Bible Belt may burn much hotter."
Two Lakes impresario John McGowan was the largest contributor to the controversial Better Jackson PAC that tried to defeat Harvey Johnson by using what the FBI calls "baseless" crime rankings in mailers.
Belhaven pitcher Craig Westcott won the Ferriss Trophy on Monday, given annually to Mississippi's best college baseball player.
Mississippi's Domestic Violence Division in the attorney general's office is teaming with the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault to host "Domestic Violence in Our Communities: Helping Victims Find the Missing 'Peace.'"
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality will receive $356,700 to improve water quality and create green jobs through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Nationally, the agency will award a total of $39 million.
Your votes today could determine Jackson's next mayor. Whether or not you voted in the primaries, if you're a Jackson resident and an eligible voter, you can vote today. See Answers to Election Day Questions for information on eligibility, poll hours, who to contact if you run into problems and more.
Monday, May 18
See: the JFP Election Blog for full election coverage + candidate interviews
Councilman Marshand Crisler has a substantial edge in fundraising over former Mayor Harvey Johnson going into tomorrow's mayoral run-off election. Crisler raised $140,470 from April 26 through May 9, according to his latest campaign finance report, while Johnson raised $28,814.
Former Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. racked up endorsements today from organizations representing city employees, and from acting Mayor and outgoing Ward 2 Councilman Leslie McLemore, and from Hinds County Supervisor Doug Anderson.
Church-goers in Jackson found a fake flyer on their windshields after church Sunday, pretending to be from former Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr., who is in a runoff with Councilman Marshand Crisler for re-election Tuesday. The flyer asks, "Am I the Right Man for the Job?" and then makes several promises, clearly designed to discredit the former mayor.
[verbatim] Chairman Jamie Franks said today that the state party remains neutral in the Jackson mayoral Democratic runoff. The statement comes in response to calls made on behalf of Councilman Marshand Crisler from the state party headquarters.
NFL quarterback/attention whore Brett Favre will reportedly undergo surgery this week to repair a torn tendon in his throwing arm..
In a town where the majority of residents vote Democratic, tomorrow's runoff election in Jackson will decide the winner in many races. With historically low voter turnout in runoffs, however, tomorrow's winners may not be the people the majority of voters want in those positions if they don't turn out to vote tomorrow.
At a press conference this morning, mayoral candidate Marshand Crisler denied allegations, made in two new flyers supporting his candidacy, that his opponent Harvey Johnson bought the endorsement of state Sen. John Horhn, a former mayoral candidate. When asked about the flyers at a press conference he called to disavow negative flyers that appeared over the weekend, Crisler first responded, "I denounce any negative politics and that one in particular." When the JFP's Adam Lynch and Donna Ladd asked directly whether Horhn had ever offered to sell his endorsement, Crisler replied, "No." Reached around the same time, however, Horhn told the JFP that the Crisler campaign had tried to buy his endorsement, but he refused.
See full JFP coverage of the Dee-Moore case.
Saturday, May 16
The people graduating from college this year might want to put down that beer before they read this.
Friday, May 15
The Marshand Crisler campaign is sending out a rather bizarre campaign mailer using the children's fable of the tortoise and the hare. The only problem is that this particular fable does not help their candidate. The mailer starts: "We all know the old fable about the turtle and the hare." Er, do we *all*, really?
All, the debate is over, so tell us what you thought. Did you learn something new? Did you hear something you liked? Didn't like? Did it affect your vote? What were the best moments? The worst?
Capping a rather remarkable two-week news cycle in Jackson, District Attorney Robert S. Smith today dismissed murder charges against Sharrod Moore, whom Smith had indicted twice for the murder of police officer Robert J. Washington. The state is formally dismissing the case on May 20, 2009, due to insufficient evidence, and, according to the order today signed by Circuit Court Judge Swan Yerger, will "place into the record its reasons for the dismissal" then. Defense counsel requested that Moore be released pending the May 20 hearing, The state did not oppose that request but requested that Moore "stay confined to his house except for visiting his attorneys and that he maintain contact with his attorneys." Yerger's order stated that the court had contacted Washington's wife to advise her that the charges were dropped.
Also see: Full JFP Melton Blog/Archive/Trial
Former mayoral bodyguard Michael Recio has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for his role in the 2006 demolition of a Ridgeway Street duplex, according to WAPT and a federal attorney with knowledge of the case. Recio was the last remaining defendant in a case that originally included another former bodyguard, Marcus Wright, and former Mayor Frank Melton. Wright pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in October, and prosecutors dropped their charges against Melton after his death last week.
Lots of folks are talking about Wyatt Emmerich's endorsement of Crisler in the Northside Sun this week in which he says he hates to talk about race. BUT:
Jackson's two Democratic candidates for mayor seemed to be working hard to deliver attacks at Thursday's run-off debate. The candidates drew a crowd of about 200 at Jackson State University's Rose Embly McCoy Auditorium. Two-term councilman and former Council President Marshand Crisler, who has been much more at home attacking the questionable decisions of former Jackson Mayor Frank Melton, attempted to dig at his opponent's age and the perception of him being slow moving. Former Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr., who was slightly more aggressive, went after Crisler's lack of experience and his loyalty.
The Mississippi State Department of Health today confirmed three cases of H1N1 flu, commonly called swine flu, in Harrison County on the Gulf Coast. The people infected, two adults and one child, have all fully recovered.
After a protracted battle between Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, the state Legislature and lobbyists, taxes on a pack of cigarettes is 68 cents in the Magnolia State, effective today. The increase is the first in the state since 1985.
Jackson's historical voting patterns suggest Councilman Marshand Crisler could have the upper hand in the run-off if minorities stay true to form and stay home May 19. The municipal run-off for mayor hasn't been this close in recent memory: Hinds County election results show Democratic candidate and former Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. with a maddeningly close lead of 9,380 votes to Crisler's 9,097 votes, a difference of less than 1 percent. Even though Crisler trailed Johnson in precinct victories, winning about 30 precincts to Johnson's 50, Crisler rallied among the city's white voters, with huge majorities in predominantly white precincts.
Thursday, May 14
Before you go tonight's debate, head over to Nunnery's Gallery (426 Meadowbrook Road) for the opening reception of Tony Di Fatta's new show of abstract work, "Chaos and Order," starting at 5 p.m. Also tonight in Flowood, the opening reception for P. Sanders McNeal's sketches of Byron De La Beckwith's trial for the murder of Medgar Evers. The show hangs at the Bryant Galleries (3010 Lakeland Cove, Suite A, Flowood) through June 12.
Here's the skinny:
So in case you guys havent heard. My new statewide radio show debuts this Sunday on MPB. Its my return to radio and Im proud to have this platform in which to hear what Mississippi has to say on a lot of issues. We're going for a lot of grassroots support and I need you to spread the word and listen in on Sunday. Your switching to MPB on the dial will be duly noted and hopefully the numbers will reflect a new, fresh demographic tuning in to public radio. CALL IN AND SHOUT US OUT 877-MPB-RING OR 877 672 7464 OR FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: twitter.com/ACloserLook
The Salvation Army of Metro Jackson is extending an invitation to over 200 local school children to attend Camp Hidden Lake in Lexington, MS, at no cost to the families.
Recently, a group of social scientists has produced the American Human Development Index illustrating graphically how states in the US stack up against each other in relation to a variety of social well-being indicators. These include education, health, and income along with demographics, environment, housing, and safety variables.
Chrysler is closing almost 800 dealerships across the country as part of their bankruptcy agreement, including six in Mississippi. The Magnolia State dealerships on the closure list are:
See Complete Election Coverage including Candidate Interviews
Wednesday, May 13
Standing in a studio in the Dickies Building where machines used to hum making overalls, P. Sanders McNeal pores over a single card table with her drawings. Pastel images of judges, jurors and an older, average-looking man pop against the beige paper.
The recent Jackson Democratic mayoral primary eliminated more than a half-dozen candidates, leaving two candidates with seductive messages and strong name recognition.
With the madness of the Democratic primary behind them, eight candidates will compete in the May 19 run-off elections for City Council. The remaining contenders boast strong personalities and varied backgrounds.
High school baseball, MHSAA state championships (times TBA, Pearl): The North and South winners will meet in the best-of-three title series at Trustmark Park. The series involving Jackson-area teams are Madison Central vs. Petal in 5A and St. Andrew's vs. Ackerman or Water Valley in 2A. … College baseball, Ole Miss and Mississippi State begin their final series of the regular season: The Bulldogs play host to mighty LSU (6:30 p.m., Starkville, 620 AM). Can the Dogs play the spoilers again? The Rebels, who suffered a rude awakening in last weekend's series with MSU, head for the Ozarks to face Arkansas (6:35 p.m., Fayetteville, Ark., 97.3 FM).
Political seasons are always interesting, particularly because we at the Jackson Free Press feel it's important—despite the turmoil that often ensues—to endorse candidates for office.
In a process that took about a half hour, Karen Irby, 38, pleaded not guilty Monday to multiple felony charges connected to a car crash on Old Canton Road that killed two young doctors and severely injured Irby and her husband Stuart, 56.
Former Houston Rocket Rick Whitlow has had his fingers in a little bit of everything. Whitlow made a name for himself as a TV and radio news and sports personality in Jackson. These days the insurance agent maintains a presence in the community, and has worked as executive director of the SafeCity Watch.
Rudy McBride: "Many of my loyal customers are concerned about how the Let Me Hold Five Dollars National Bank will hold up under the U.S. government and Ghetto Science Team's economic stress tests."
After serving as Jackson's Ward 6 Councilman for eight years, Marshand Crisler wants to give the executive branch a try.
I began my life in the shadows of Christian Brotherhood Apartments, where I developed a latent fear for law enforcement. Back then, the sound of police sirens was constant, and the piercing blue lights glared outside my window more often than not.
Gov. Haley Barbour has signed a bill today increasing cigarette taxes in Mississippi by 50 cents per pack. The bill brings the total tax per pack to 68 cents, up from the current 18 cents, which is the third lowest tax in the nation.
Four years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court took a big step toward righting a galling wrong. It joined nearly every other nation on the globe and banned teen executions.
Originally from Birmingham, Ala., Jamie Holcomb came to Jackson in 2001 to study at Millsaps College.
Mayor Frank Melton and I disagreed on many things, especially the way he ran the city and his style of "crime-fighting," but we met in the middle on a few things.
Harvey Johnson Jr. became Jackson's first black mayor after winning the 1997 election with about 70 percent of the vote.
With summer upon us, we are faced with the dilemma of whether to hit up a summer blockbuster movie or support the local music community. I advocate the latter.
The civil rights trial of Jackson police officer Michael Recio will proceed next week, despite requests by federal prosecutors for a postponement after the death of Mayor Frank Melton. Prosecutors will formally drop their charges against Melton later this week.
The Marshand Crisler campaign has announced that former Jackson Police Chief Robert Johnson will be endorsing Crisler for mayor this morning at 11:30 in a news conference to be held in front of the Jackson Police Department.
Mississippi Sen. John Horhn, a recent candidate in the race for mayor of Jackson, will announce his endorsement of former Mayor Harvey Johnson this morning.
The battle over Two Lakes is back on. After years of infighting and millions of dollars spent on impact and engineering studies, the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District board is still debating two different plans to dam the Pearl River and create a shallow lake between Hinds and Rankin counties. The two plans differ only in their size, with the Lower Lake Plan creating less lakeside real estate, flooding less Pearl River wetland and costing less money to construct. Both call for the inundation of wetlands and portions of LeFleur's Bluff State Park, including campgrounds and hiking trails at Mayes Lake.
Tuesday, May 12
The Mississippi Republican party is holding events today honoring the party's founding chairman, 79-year-old Wirt Yerger, Jr., and last Sunday, Clarion-Ledger columnist Sid Salter interviewed Yerger. Just a few questions into the interview was this exchange:
WAPT will offer a live video stream of the noon memorial for late Jackson Mayor Frank Melton at Thalia Mara Hall.
Meet Mort, Levi, Eli and Junior, four Red Ruffed Lemurs born at the Jackson Zoo April 19. They've been indoors with their mom, Moon, since their birth, but made their public debut last Sunday, Mother's Day.
The Jackson Convention Complex is the site for a China trade forum later this month, hosted by the Mississippi Development Authority and Gov. Haley Barbour, reports WXVT 15 in a story from the Associated Press.
Belhaven pitcher Craig Wescott is a finalist for the Ferriss Trophy, the annual award for Mississippi's top college baseball player, along with Ole Miss' Scott Bittle and Southern Miss' Brian Dozier. Wescott wasn't in town to here the news on Monday. He and the rest of the Blazers were in Cleveland, Tenn., preparing to play Indiana Tech in the NAIA Championship (Tuesday, 11 a.m.)
Monday, May 11
The Mississippi Legislature is taking another two weeks off before returning May 26 to grapple once again with the state's $5 billion budget for fiscal year 2010, which begins July 1. Between serious shorfalls in anticipated revenue and ideological disagreements, lawmakers are deeply divided, especially on public service issues such as education and health care.
A memorial service for Jackson's late mayor will be held at noon Tuesday at Thalia Mara Hall in downtown Jackson.
Saturday, May 9
The trial of Byron De La Beckwith for the murder of Jackson civil-rights activist Medgar Evers is a monumental event in local history. P. Sanders McNeal, a Jackson courtroom sketch artist, was part of it all.
I've always been amazed at the immense talent the visual arts students at Power APAC possess. Students as young as 10 years old have refreshing artistic insight into historical events, social situations and ordinary inanimate objects.
Friday, May 8
So, JFP photographer extraordinaire Kenya Hudson shot some amazing photos at the Miller Lite Crawfish Boil this past weekend, which was a blast. Check out the gallery here.
Send your questions now for the May 14 mayoral debate between Democratic nominees Councilman Marshand Crisler and former Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. at the Rose McCoy Auditorium on the Jackson State University campus. The one-hour debate starts at 7 p.m. and lasts one hour, followed by a 30-minute debate analysis moderated by Bishop Ronnie Crudup. Scott Simmons of 16 WAPT News, Eric Stringfellow of Tougaloo College and Donna Ladd of the Jackson Free Press will moderate the debate and ask questions of the candidates, who will be allowed to rebut. The debate will be simulcast on TV 23 (which reaches the local area without cable on Channel 23) and Comcast Channel 14; WAPT's digital channel 16-2, WJSU 88.5 FM, and on three Web sites: wapt.com, jacksonfreepress.com and jsums.edu.
A Hinds County Grand Jury reportedly returned three indictments for Karen Irby today in a case stemming from a Feb. 11 crash on Old Canton Road. The indictments include two counts of depraved heart murder and one count of aggravated assault, according to unidentified "court officials" in a Clarion-Ledger story.
The Mississippi Legislature seemed in no mood to give Gov. Haley Barbour's thoughts on eminent domain any consideration yesterday. Barbour called a special legislative session in the midst of the lawmaker's budget negotiations to debate his proposal to add restrictions to the current law.
Mayor Frank Melton's memorial service is scheduled for noon Tuesday, May 12, at Thalia Mara Hall. On Monday, his body will lie in state at City Hall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Melton's graveside service will take place at the Houston Memorial Gardens in Pearland, TX. In lieu of flowers, Melton's family is requesting donations to the Farish Street YMCA.
Start the weekend right with music under the stars or under the roof Friday. Pack a picnic basket for the annual Pepsi Pops concert on the Rez in Ridgeland featuring the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and a fireworks finale. If indoors is more your style, head to the Jackson Convention Complex for Dathan Thigpen and the Holy Nation as they film a live performance for a new DVD.
Thursday, May 7
President Barack Obama has nominated Mississippi State Conservationist Homer Lee Wilkes to oversee the Forest Service as undersecretary for natural resources and environment at the U.S. Agriculture Department, reports The New York Times.
No, the title doesn't contain a typo; it is really, officially Odd Day, a day when three consecutive odd numbers make up the date, an event that only occurs six times in each century, according to the Odd Day Web site.
Gov. Haley Barbour said yesterday that he will sign the 50-cent cigarette tax increase approved by the Mississippi Legislature, reports the Associated Press on Forbes.com. The legislation passed by a vote of 40-4 in the state Senate, and 102-18 in the House. Barbour did not say when he would sign the bill.
NFL legend Brett Favre appears hell-bent on unretiring. Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress reportedly met with No. 4 on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Favre's agent, Bus Cook, was insisting that Favre is retired. Uh huh. Cook has turned into a master of helping NFL QBs move around. A few weeks ago, he put together Jay Cutler's escape from Denver for Chicago. When will this NFL national nightmare end?
Full JFP Melton Blog and Archive
The Associated Press is reporting that Jackson Mayor Frank Melton has died. Shortly before polls closed Tuesday evening around 7 p.m., the mayor went into cardiac arrest at his 2 Carter's Grove home, and an ambulance rushed him to the hospital. Melton died peacefully around midnight, his wife Ellen at his side.
Wednesday, May 6
The JAM folks have announced their national/regional line-up for this year's festival -- local performers are still to come. The following is verbatim from their materials:
The votes are in for the 2009 Democratic primaries, and the Jackson mayor's race seems to fall along racial lines. Mayoral candidate Marshand Crisler, a Ward 6 councilman, did well in the area of the city containing a large white population, such as Ward 1, while former Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. picked up decent numbers in majority African American areas like Ward 4 and 5.
Celebrate spring and Jackson's wealth of musical talent at Old Trace Park for the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra's Pepsi Pops.
If you haven't been to the Jackson Convention Complex, yet, a live DVD recording concert sounds like as good a reason as any.
Since the time of our first president's wife, Martha Washington, American women have looked to our nation's first ladies for style cues and inspiration. Of course, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis stands out as the most stylish and most influential in fashion of all the first ladies in America's history.
School graduates and mothers have something in common: They need motivation to brave the challenges that come with the territory. If you're looking for a gift that's both inspirational and practical, consider one of the following books.
Mothers have a habit of bestowing advice and rules to live by, often perpetuating old wives' tales or insensible teachings like: "Don't read in the dark. You'll go blind." (I really thought I was going to go blind after my mom caught me reading in the moonlight; I was scarred for many years.)
Commencement speakers are like doctors: sooner or later you have to see one. With commencement ceremonies coming up, motivational speakers are coming to spread their knowledge and encouragement to the graduating classes. While cheering for your favorite graduate(s), be sure and listen to their pearls of wisdom. You might be surprised.
The battle over Two Lakes is back on.
A coming flood of federal aid is forcing state agencies, city government and community organizations to balance local needs with the demands of timeliness and accountability.
On Saturday, April 25, volunteers swarmed over the one-fourth acre lot behind the Jackson Medical Mall. They worked all morning to transform a grassy patch of land into a public garden to be operated by the Jackson Inner-City Gardeners, a new non-profit organization.
Jackson resident Charlotte Reeves prides herself on being a longtime Jackson resident. Her continuing involvement with the city mirrors her willingness to involve herself in its politics.
In March, Mississippi legislators passed Senate Bill 3268, which allows municipalities to raise certain sales taxes by 1 percent to pay for police and fire protection, and road, water and sewage repairs.
Boneqweesha Jones: "This is your 'Qweesha '09 special report and news brief. Dr. Peanut of the George Washington Carver Holistic Health Commission of Tuskegee, Ala., has informed me that a pig in Mexico has the cooties, and people have gotten really sick.
In an emergency meeting held at 4 p.m. today, the Jackson City Council voted 5-to-1 to appoint Ward 2 Councilman Leslie McLemore as interim mayor after Mayor Frank Melton succumbed to cardiac arrest just as the primary polls closed Tuesday night. Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes dissented, and Councilman Marshand Crisler was absent due to a campaign advertisement video shoot.
I was recently horrified to learn that our state is one of only four in the U.S. without a felony law against the crime of abusing cats or dogs. A law like this seems like a common-sense thing, yet there appears to be pockets of opposition to it in Mississippi and nationwide.
Alice cared about her neighborhood and was convinced that her "bad" neighbors across the street were into drugs. She believed that signing an affidavit against them risked her safety; Jackson police officers had come out on occasion, and nothing had changed.
I'm currently 11 million months pregnant. I feel like a member of the pachyderm family. One would think that I would be excited about having a baby sometime in the next month and finally becoming a mother.
Southern League baseball, Tennessee at Mississippi (7:05 p.m., Pearl, 103.9 FM): The M-Braves and the Smokies collide in the shadow of that outdoor mega store on Thirsty Thursday.
Born and raised in Jackson, Patricia Clincy Harris is the mother of one, although she considers all children hers.
Depending on your sentiments, power-pop is either music in its purist form or a vacuous and overly simplified genre. I have always been among the defenders, largely because it can be one of the most affecting types of music when done correctly.
It was a Saturday night in Clinton. A police car cautiously circled the Holiday Inn Express parking lot, wary of the thumping beats emanating from a rear entrance. A heavyset man shuffled out to meet the cruiser; he might have seemed imposing if not for the rapturous smile that never left his face.
Tyrese Presley is only 10 years old, but he's already done what many adults will never get the chance to do. He has co-written and recorded a song, and his work is part of an exhibit in downtown Jackson.
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich knows a thing or two about women. Whether misbehaved or well mannered, daring or demure, naughty or nice; every one of us deserves a podium from which we can broadcast our voices.
When Kathryn Kight realized she was in labor, her first thought was of Frank Melton. As a reporter for 16 WAPT News, she knew Feb. 19 was going to be a big day.
If you don't have young children in your home, you may not realize how quickly a tiny mobile person can get into trouble with everyday household items. Before your baby starts to crawl, you should make a few changes around the house.
With fears about lead paint, choking hazards, and chemicals such as phthalates and bisphenol A, many new parents are understandably intimidated as they try to figure out what types of items are safe to purchase for their children.
Based on preliminary, unofficial results of yesterday's election, voter turnout was fairly low in Jackson, especially given the highly contested nature of the race for the office of mayor. Overall, about 30 percent of Jackson's nearly 106,000 registered voters cast a vote for mayor in the Democratic primary.
NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE
Most of the races for City Council will require runoff elections on Tuesday, May 19, with the exception of Ward 1, which was uncontested, and Ward 3, where Councilman Kenneth Stokes won a clear majority of the vote.
My mother passed last week. The feeling is still surreal for me. It's the first time I've lost someone close to me, someone in my immediate family.
Tuesday, May 5
UPDATE 12:10 P.M.: City spokeswoman Goldia Revies has released the following statement: "Mayor Frank E. Melton is still resting and will undergo tests today at St. Dominic Hospital. More information will be released as it becomes available. An emergency meeting of the City Council will be held at 4:00 p.m. in Council Chambers in order to ensure the efficient continuation of City business. The outpouring of prayers and support from concerned citizens in the interim is greatly appreciated."
Verbatim from Brad Chism of Zata|3:
Our public service project has concluded. As you can see below, our numbers were better than the Mason-Dixon poll and better than the Southern Research poll commissioned by the Clarion Ledger. We hope you'll think of Zata|3 the next time you need to gauge public opinion.
With 85 percent of the vote in for the Jackson's mayoral race, Harvey Johnson and Marshand Crisler are tied with 27 percent, with Mayor Frank Melton in third place with 19 percent. Johnson and Crisler are separated by 180 votes.
May 5, 2009—WAPT and other sources are reporting that Mayor Frank Melton is en route to St. Dominic in an ambulance. May be in cardiac arrest; "unresponsive," according to scanners and sources.
Council members voiced complaints Tuesday over a Senate bill allowing Jackson residents to approve a tax increase to fund the police and fire departments, pave streets and repair water and sewer systems. Senate Bill 3268, which could generate an estimated $21 million in new revenue, assigns a commission to approve any expenditure the city seeks to finance with the fund. Some council members point out that the commission is comprised of largely members nominated by the vague "local chamber of commerce," as well as those appointed by the lieutenant governor, the House speaker and the governor. They argue that none of these entities represents the city of Jackson.
Part of the fun in voting comes when your candidate wins. Tonight, join one of the following mayoral candidates, along with supporters, volunteers and staff for an election night Watch Party.
After you vote Crisler for Mayor, join us for our Election Night Watch Event
How nice of Crisler. Not only is he inviting you to attend his watch party after you vote for him today, he is also inviting his fellow Democratic challengers.
As usual, I got up early and drove to the polling place so that I could get there a few minutes before it opened. Also, as usual, I parked my car on the side of the road and began to walk toward the fire station. On my way there, I noticed a couple of people waving campaign signs, one for Melton and one for Harvey Johnson. The one holdong the Melton sign had a T-shirt to match, and I thought to myself, Wow, he's really into this. I get a little closer to him, and I realize that the person holding up the Melton sign is, gasp, my godfather. Working hard to maintain my composure, I walked over to him and gave him a hug. During our brief conversation, he says, "I got to get my boy back in there. What do you think?" With my right hand, I pretended to lock up my lips and throw away the key. He laughed and said, "I understand," but I don't know if he really understands.
Mississippi Legislators are on their way back to Jackson to begin the extended 2009 session that kicks off tomorrow. Topic No. 1 on the agenda is the state's budget for 2010.
Your Voter Questions Answered
Monday, May 4
Verbatim from Harvey Johnson:
JACKSON, Miss. (May 4, 2009) – Harvey Johnson, Jr. will attend The SafeCity Take a Tasty Bite Out of Crime event this evening at Highland Village. Johnson is committed to making Jackson safe for all citizens as a part of his vision for the City and has said that creating a Crime Victims Unit will be a central element of his plan to reduce crime. Johnson offers the following data to support his record as being the only candidate to actually deliver on his promise to reduce crime in Jackson.
Mississippi Arts Commission Announces Arts Reinvestment Initiative
I got permission from Susan Dobbs of the Mississippi Arts Commission to share this press release with you. If you have an art-related job with a non-profit organization and your job is at risk, or you run a non-profit and you're on the verge of letting go of employees in art-related positions due to a lack of funding, this is for you. Verbatim:
Do you have questions about voting? You're probably not alone. The Jackson Free Press has put together a list of frequently asked questions that might help you out, including who to call and where to go for more information. Attorney General Jim Hood sent a release outlining even more election day info, which we've added, below.
If you walk into a restaurant sometime this week and the soupe du jour is "a bowl of swine flu," order it up. Appreciate their good humor. If you die, hey, you died havin' a laugh.
Burglars broke into the State Street campaign headquarters for incumbent Jackson Mayor Frank Melton early Saturday morning, reports WAPT, stealing a computer and a TV.
What your mother always told you is true: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to the flu. Media reports tell us that the number of confirmed cases and the number of states in which those confirmed cases are located continues to rise. However, there have been no confirmed cases in Mississippi at this time.
Sunday, May 3
Enough is enough. I can't sit idly by and continue to watch this childish display. A black cloud still hangs over our city. Even more prominent in election years, it slowly permeates through every facet of our society until it seemingly poisons the most rational of men and women. Our generation reaches for greatness while some of those before us try to have us succumb to tradition. The old adage "the more things change, the more they stay the same" rings true, and it's a nauseating stench - one I will continue to fight to extinguish. As Jackson pushes closer to becoming the metropolis we all know it can be, as I struggle to raise kids in a city better than the one I came into, as I attempt to continue the legacy my great mother set for me and her students, the legacy of acceptance, oneness, and love for everyone, I want to honor what she taught me by shaming the devil, and the devil, Jackson, is in these details.
Full JFP Coverage of 2009 City Elections
Turns out we were right: The Clarion-Ledger today did not endorse a candidate for Jackson mayor in Tuesday's primary—but finally came out and said that it was wrong about Frank Melton four years ago. The editorial was careful to lay equal blame on "an overwhelming majority of Jackson voters"—oddly admitting that as the area's daily newspaper, it still didn't know better than the average citizen or have any information that could have have educated voters before electing a very unfortunate mayor. (They did have information right in their own archives, and in front of their noses, that they ignored in their rush to replace Johnson with Melton.) The editorial today:
A review of campaign finance reports for Jackson mayoral candidates shows Councilman Marshand Crisler leading the pack, with state Sen. John Horhn close behind, followed by former Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.
Friday, May 1
L.L. Cool J appears at the Crawfish Boil Saturday night. Visit the JFP's sponsor table while you're there.
[verbatim] Friends of Jackson Democratic Mayoral Candidate Robert Johnson are hosting a cookout Saturday, May 2, 2009 at Lake Hico, 4801 Watkins Drive from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. The former Jackson Police Chief, Corrections Commissioner and successful business owner will be there to meet residents and enjoy some good food and fun.
Hattiesburg dentist Dr. Michael West granted an interview with The Associated Press, breaking his silence regarding his controversial bite-mark testimony in two cases where a Noxubee County court exonerated the defendants on all charges.
A federal judge has denied the latest attempt to separate the civil rights trial of Mayor Frank Melton and his former bodyguard Michael Recio. In an order (PDF) filed today, Judge Dan Jordan ruled that Recio's attorney Cynthia Stewart has not presented a compelling case for severance.
A community organization with the purpose of making the metro Jackson area a safe place to live has published responses to its questions from 11 of the 15 candidates for mayor of the Capitol City.
When I hear LL Cool J's name, I think back to the days when I jumped up and down next to my older sister in front of the television, screaming "'Cause Mama said knock you out!" Ah, Mr. Cool J sure did look cool standing in a boxing ring wearing that hoodie.
Sidney headed to State … Corky headed for retirement … Blazers and Choctaws in tourney action … AJC likes Torbush .. So long, farewell.