Stories for May 2009


Saturday, May 30

College Baseball: Eagles, Rebels Win

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.

[From The Pages] Ruth Reichl book signing

When CondeNast shut down Domino magazine, I mourned for a while. Then I found solace in the joys of cooking magazines.

Saturday Update

The Ole Miss and Southern Miss baseball teams are winners. Jackson State suspends its offensive coordinator.

Friday, May 29

First Chick Ball Event: JFP v. WAPT Skate-off May 30!

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!

Will ‘Donna Madd' Be Able to Skate Saturday!?!

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.

Weekend Happenings

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.

Several Independents Running for Jackson Mayor

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:

Small Businesses Honored

[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

Johnson Receives Crisler's Support

Read About All the Mayoral Candidates on the JFP Politics Blog

Lawmakers Idle Waiting for Budget

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.

Bounds Asks for 200 Teachers

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

Repeat Street

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.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

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.

The Changing Saga of ‘Two Lakes'

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.

Court Re-hears Seale Appeal

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.

The 2009 JFP Interview With Robert Amos

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.

Jackson: Unite on June 2

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.

[Stiggers] Hot Fun in the Sun

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."

[Kamikaze] Heal and Move On

I'm glad the Democratic primary is finally over, but the wounds this election has inflicted are deep.

[Mott] Blue Dog Dems and Health Care

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.

John Kelly

While walking the streets of downtown Jackson one day, 27-year-old John Kelly had a simple revelation.

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Saving Two Lakes: Is It Worth It?

The Pearl River is an easy force of nature to contend with, providing you are an optimist about it.

Love for an Enemy

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.

Bridging Two Worlds

"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.

‘Something Heavier'

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.

[Herman's Picks] Vol.7, No. 37

It's not hard to find musical options for a variety of tastes this weekend.

Rock ‘n' Roll's Twangy Cousin

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.

You Broke My Libido

"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.

'Teabaggers' Spin the Tenth

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.

MPB Receives Four Emmy Nominations

[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.

Health Agencies Still See Rise in Flu Cases

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

Hoseman Petitions for Voter ID

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.

Melton's Legal Bills and his Blind Trust

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.

Big Tobacco Loses Appeal; Wants Little Tobacco Taxed

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.

Legislature Back in Session

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

Honor our Veterans: Make fun of Hippies

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

Renaissance Fine Arts Festival

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

Smokey Joe's Café

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

UPDATED: Two Lakes Supporters Helped Finance Defeat of Pearl Mayor

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.

GOP's Answer to "Charting a New Course": Name Calling

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.

Youth Baseball Program Comes to Town

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.

It's the Weekend!

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

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Zata|3 Analyzes the Runoff

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.

Sun Columnist, Better Jackson PAC Member Goes After JFP, ‘Takes Back' N-JAM Label

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.

Gas Prices Rising

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

The 2009 JFP Interview: David Archie

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.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

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.

Jackson, Let's Shoot for the Top

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.

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Break the Cycle

What is it about elections that turns ordinarily sane people into back-stabbing, devious, scheming liars?

[Stiggers] Y'all Mart Hookup

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.

Dwindling Republican Party Regrettable

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.

[Johnson] The Miracle Machine

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.

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George Frank

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.

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Jackson's Young Influentials

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.

JxnPro May mtg THURSDAY MAY 21st: Donna Ladd & Othor Cain, Together Again

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.

Taco Time!

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.

[Green Girl] Getting Rid of Pests

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.

On the Road With Harry Truman

Right off, I have to admit that Harry Truman is one of my favorite presidents.

Otherworldly Wonder

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.

[Rob In Stereo] Avoiding the Stadium

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.

Pushing Pop's Boundaries

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.

Just Begin

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.

Kaze and McLemore on WAPT

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.)

The Chitlin Circuit Review

Featuring art by Rik Freeman, "The Chitlin Circuit Review" documents the development of blues music and culture in the United States.

Sharrod Moore Murder Charge Dropped

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.

State Budget in Limbo

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.

Runoffs Provide Decisive Wins

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

Moderate Turn-Out Marks Runoffs

Beulah White, poll manager at Precinct 81, Callaway High School, described turn-out as "kind of slow, but steady."

Two Lakes Back on the Table

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.

Maybe We Should Call it the "Sin Cinch"

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."

BREAKING: 'Two Lakes' Developer McGowan Gave $6,000 to Secretive PAC

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.

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College Baseball: Blazer Wins Trophy

Belhaven pitcher Craig Westcott won the Ferriss Trophy on Monday, given annually to Mississippi's best college baseball player.

AG's Office Co-Hosts Domestic Violence Conference

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.'"

State Gets EPA Award

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.

Fondren: Ride the Trolley to the Polls

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

Mysterious ‘Better Jackson PAC' Revealed ... Sort Of

See: the JFP Election Blog for full election coverage + candidate interviews

Crisler Leads In Funds On Election Eve

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.

McLemore, County Supervisor and Unions Endorse Johnson

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.

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Another Dirty Trick: Fake Johnson Flyers Distributed to Churches

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.

State Dems say Crisler Calls ‘a Mistake'

[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: Favre Preparing to Unretire Again ... UPDATED

NFL quarterback/attention whore Brett Favre will reportedly undergo surgery this week to repair a torn tendon in his throwing arm..

Runoff Will Decide Three Council Seats; May Decide Next Mayor

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.

Horhn: Crisler Camp ‘Put the Money on the Table'

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.

Court to Rehear Seale Case Thursday

See full JFP coverage of the Dee-Moore case.

Saturday, May 16

Dear Graduating Class of 2009

The people graduating from college this year might want to put down that beer before they read this.

Friday, May 15

Oh, Tortoise, Oh Hare: Those Confusing Political Fables

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?

Jackson Run-Off and ‘Two Lakes' Open Thread

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?

D.A. Drops Charges Against Sharrod Moore

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.

BREAKING: Second Bodyguard Pleads Guilty

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.

Wyatt Emmerich Hates to Talk Race, But If He Has To ...

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:

Mayoral Debate Gets Rowdy

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.

Mississippi Reports First Swine Flu Cases

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.

Higher Cigarette Tax Effective Today

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.

Crisler Could Benefit from Low Turnout

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

Goings On Around Town

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.

"A Closer Look" debuts on MPB, Sunday 2pm! TUNE IN!

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:

200 Metro Kids Going to Camp

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.

What Jackson (and Mississippi) Really Needs

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.

Mississippi Chrysler Dealerships Closing

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:

Tonight's Mayoral Debate: No Tickets Required

See Complete Election Coverage including Candidate Interviews

Wednesday, May 13

Being There: A Court Artist at the Medgar Evers Murder Trial

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.

Crisler v. Johnson: Exploring the Myths & Realities

The recent Jackson Democratic mayoral primary eliminated more than a half-dozen candidates, leaving two candidates with seductive messages and strong name recognition.

Council Candidates Go One-on-One

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.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

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).

Why Harvey? Call Me ‘Responsible…'

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.

Irby Pleads ‘Not Guilty'

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.

The 2009 JFP Interview with Rick Whitlow

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.

[Stiggers] Enduring Money Stress

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."

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The 2009 JFP Interview With Marshand Crisler

After serving as Jackson's Ward 6 Councilman for eight years, Marshand Crisler wants to give the executive branch a try.

[Kamikaze] Brothers Behind the Badge

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.

Barbour Signs Cigarette Tax Increase

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.

[Hutchinson] Juvenile Justice?

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.

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Jamie Holcomb

Originally from Birmingham, Ala., Jamie Holcomb came to Jackson in 2001 to study at Millsaps College.

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The Charms of Frank Melton

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.

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The 2009 JFP Interview With Harvey Johnson Jr.

Harvey Johnson Jr. became Jackson's first black mayor after winning the 1997 election with about 70 percent of the vote.

[Herman's Picks] Vol. 7, No. 35

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.

Recio To Stand Trial Next Week

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.

Former Police Chief to Endorse Crisler

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.

Horhn to Endorse Johnson

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.

‘Obstructionist for Flood Control'

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

Yerger's Revisionist ‘Lily White' History

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:

Melton Memorial to Stream Live

WAPT will offer a live video stream of the noon memorial for late Jackson Mayor Frank Melton at Thalia Mara Hall.

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Jackson Zoo Welcomes New Arrivals

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.

Jackson to Host China Trade Forum

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.

College Baseball: Blazers and Boo

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

Lawmakers Deadlocked on Budget

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.

Melton Memorial Tomorrow

A memorial service for Jackson's late mayor will be held at noon Tuesday at Thalia Mara Hall in downtown Jackson.

Saturday, May 9

An Evening With P. Sanders McNeal

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.

Power APAC Visual Arts Student Exhibit

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

Photo Gallery: 2009 Miller Lite Crawfish Boil

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.

May 14 Mayoral Debate at JSU: Crisler v. Johnson

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:, and

Karen Irby Indicted

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.

Governor's Proposal Falls Flat

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.

Melton Prayer Vigils, Funeral Scheduled

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.

Ready for the Weekend?

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

Mississippian Nominated to Oversee Forest Service

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.

It's Odd Day

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.

Barbour to Sign Cigarette Tax Increase

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 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: Brett And Brad Go Out On A Date

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?

BREAKING: Frank Melton Has Died

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

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Jubilee JAM! 2009 Lineup Announced

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:

Race Leaves Mark in Mayoral Race

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.

2009 Pepsi Pops

Celebrate spring and Jackson's wealth of musical talent at Old Trace Park for the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra's Pepsi Pops.

Dathan Thigpen and the Holy Nation

If you haven't been to the Jackson Convention Complex, yet, a live DVD recording concert sounds like as good a reason as any.

Michelle Obama Style Guide

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.

Inspirational Books for Graduation and Mother's Day

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.

Lessons From My Mother

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.)

Address This: Guide to 2009 Commencement Speakers

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.

‘Obstructionist for Flood Control'

The battle over Two Lakes is back on.

Federal Aid Coming Fast, With Strings

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.

Seeds of Hope

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.

The JFP Interview With Charlotte Reeves

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.

Amend Senate Bill 3268

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.

[Stiggers] Fighting the Pig Cooties

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.

Council Selects McLemore Interim Mayor, Angers Stokes

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.

Stop the Cycle of Abuse

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.

Making Peace: First, Love Yourself

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.

[Gregrory] Pregnant With Possibilities

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.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

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.

Patricia Clincy Harris

Born and raised in Jackson, Patricia Clincy Harris is the mother of one, although she considers all children hers.

[Rob In Stereo] Harder Than it Looks

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.

‘Get Your Prayz On'

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.

A Time to Shine

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.

Write Your Own History

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.

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Ready or Not For Baby

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.

Taming the Household Jungle

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.

Safe Toys for Tots

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.

The Mayor's Race: By The Numbers

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.

City Council Calls Special 4 p.m. Meeting to Select Interim Mayor



Jackson Council Seats in Runoffs

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.

[Kamikaze] My Mother, My Hero

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

UPDATED: Mayor Frank Melton ‘Still Alive,' Spokeswoman Says

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."

Zata|3 Survey Results ‘Dead On'

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.

Returns: Harvey & Crisler Neck-and-Neck, Melton Third

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.

BREAKING: Melton Rushed to St. Dominic; Sources Say ‘Unresponsive'

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 Wants Tax Bill Amended

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.

Join the Candidates for Election Results

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.

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Crisler Invites You to Be Outlined With Chalk

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.

A funny thing happened on the way to the voting booth…

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.

Budget Shortfalls Greater than Anticipated

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.

Open Thread: City Elections Today; Polls Open 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Your Voter Questions Answered

Monday, May 4

Johnson Says Data Prove Crime Dropped While Mayor

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.

The Arts Reinvestment Initiative

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:

Answers to Election Day Questions

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.

Get Rich Quick

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.

Campaign Office Burglarized

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.

[Bounds] Communities Should Remain Calm but Vigilant

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!

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.

New Zata|3 Poll Shows Crisler and H. Johnson Tied

Full JFP Coverage of 2009 City Elections

JFP Endorsements

Told You: Ledger Doesn't Endorse; ‘Unendorses' Melton Four Years Late

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:

Crisler Ahead In Funds As Election Nears

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

Painting on Silence: The JFP Interview with LL Cool J

L.L. Cool J appears at the Crawfish Boil Saturday night. Visit the JFP's sponsor table while you're there.

Saturday: Cookout with Robert Johnson

[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.

Dentist Michael West Denies Wrongdoing

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.

Melton and Recio to be Tried Together

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.

SafeCity Questions Candidates

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.

Miller Lite Crawfish Boil

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.

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Weekend Starting Five Plus: This Could Be The Last Time

Sidney headed to State … Corky headed for retirement … Blazers and Choctaws in tourney action … AJC likes Torbush .. So long, farewell.