Tuesday, August 31
Jackson Police Department Chief Rebecca Coleman warned Jackson City Council members yesterday that renewing the city's curfew for minors raises a series of issues, including where to house offenders.
As part of a strategic-planning process, Baptist Medical Center has slashed its expenses by nearly $18 million, including a net reduction of roughly 200 jobs. Over the past four months, the hospital system has saved $13 million by renegotiating contracts with suppliers and cutting or outsourcing certain services, but it had to cut salary costs to reach its $18 million goal, spokesman Robby Channell said today.
The last year has been a busy one for Robin Dietrick, who has gone from knowing little about Japan's influence on American artists and culture, to organizing and compiling a book devoted to it.
Monday, August 30
Mississippi Department of Transportation's decision to drill a $390,000 well in downtown Jackson to supply water for government buildings is a "duplication of services," city of Jackson spokesman Chris Mims said today.
A group of downtown residents are questioning if a proposed liquor store in the Old Capitol Green mixed-use district meets sustainable building requirements.
10 a.m., "Jump Start Revenue Growth Through International Trade" Webinar at mississippi.org/webinars. The event will provide valuable information to companies interested in international trade and will include a discussion on real opportunities for businesses to grow revenue through international trade. Registration is required. Free; call 601-960-3610 or 601-353-0909.
Calling Delwyn Thornton "handy" is like calling Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt "quick." The Brandon resident, co-owner of Soles & Heels boot and shoe repair shop in Brandon, is a fast and precise craftsman, as he showed recently by winning the 2010 North American IRWIN Tools Ultimate Tradesman Challenge.
Only two governors were present at a Gulf oil spill panel during the Southern Governors' Association annual meeting yesterday with claims czar Kenneth Feinberg.
Friday, August 27
State lawmakers will work fast today in a special session of the Mississippi Legislature. The agenda includes tackling a major economic development project, a ban on synthetic marijuana and approval of a casino project in D'Iberville. Before noon, the House of Representatives passed a bill setting a 6 p.m. deadline today for all work during the special session.
Nina Holbrook, executive director of the Metrocenter Area Coalition, said at a public forum today that the Coalition's plans for the U.S. Highway 80 corridor includes a redesign of the area to spur economic development.
Former "Baywatch" star David Hasselhoff may not have the same physique of his youthful years, but as the host of tonight's "The Gulf is Back" television special, his job is to convince a national audience that Mississippi's Coast isn't coated in oil.
The Los Angeles Times broke the story yesterday that Blockbuster management is telling its movie studio partners that the heavily leveraged company is going to file for bankruptcy reorganization in mid-September.
Tonight, go put on your dancing shoes and head to Fondren Corner (2906 N. State St.) for Salsa Mississippi's Latin Rooftop Dance Party at 8 p.m., $10. The weather looks to be perfect for an evening of dancing under the stars. If sitting and listening to music is more your style, make your way to Hal & Mal's (200 Commerce St.) for the Jason Turner Band's album-release party. For more music options, check out the JFP Music Listings.
Gov. Haley Barbour and first lady Marsha Barbour will host the state's Hurricane Katrina memorial event Sunday, Aug. 29 in Gulfport, on the storm's five-year anniversary.
Thursday, August 26
A Houston-based company manufacturing a crude-oil substitute from timber has picked Mississippi to locate its first three production facilities, Gov. Haley Barbour announced at a press conference this afternoon. Barbour has called a special legislative session tomorrow to authorize an economic incentive package for the start-up company, KiOR.
An automated parking garage with robot valets is one of the features of a $27 million proposed parking structure and communal air-conditioning unit to accommodate the $1.3 billion Old Capitol Green development in downtown Jackson.
The Jackson Police Department is hailing a northwest Jackson neighborhood-watch program as an exemplary model of community policing. Introducing the Woodhaven Homeowners Association Citizen Patrol at a command staff meeting this morning, JPD Deputy Chief for Community Relations Tyrone Lewis called the group a "spearhead for the city of Jackson."
Brittany Hickman never thought she would be a lobbyist, but when she started speaking out on legislation to advance women's rights, she realized the process was much easier than she thought.
Read Barbour's letter to the EPA
Wednesday, August 25
Multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated R&B singer Brian McKnight kicks off the fall/winter series with a performance at the Mississippi State University Riley Center Aug. 28. "There is something special about playing in Mississippi," McKnight says.
A few weeks ago, a guy approached me in the mall and passed me his new album to listen to and give him feedback. As someone who loves hearing new music, I gladly took his and walked off. The guy stopped me.
Whether you prefer The Grove at Ole Miss, The Junction at Mississippi State, rolled into Tuscaloosa to cheer on the Tide or headed to Toomer's Corner in Auburn with a roll of toilet paper in your hand, chances are, if you were reared in the South, you grew up on football.
Lazy Magnolia has been quenching the thirst of beer lovers all over the South since September 2003. As the state's only brewery, Lazy Magnolia's "Lazy Folks" have done an excellent job of putting Mississippi on the beer world's map.
This was the moment I had been waiting for: my first session of i to Pole Fitness. I was excited and intrigued by what I would see and learn.
The controversy surrounding Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Lonnie Edwards, whose former Georgia school district spent $16,169 on copies of his book, isn't relevant under existing state law, Mississippi Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Hood said Monday.
The Jackson Redevelopment Authority is looking to clear up a $61,253 bill lingering from Watkins and Young PLLC for office space in the renovated Union Station.
Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. announced a 2011 fiscal-year budget containing no layoffs, but promising significantly more long-term debt. The $313.6 million budget, which begins in October, is a $10.6 million decrease over the city's operating budget from the previous year.
Soon, the Jackson City Council Planning Committee is bringing a proposed ordinance before full council to restrict city police from inquiring about citizenship status during interdictions.
Dear Diary: I have a serious concern about how I am serving my community. I am ashamed about how I've enabled my financially challenged customers to consume processed foods from my Pork-N-Piggly supermarkets.
Mary Jo went to the hospital recently and received a bill for more than $15,000. She was uninsured and unable to pay more than about $20 per week. It would take her about 15 years to pay off this debt.
At the end of July, I traveled to Arizona to join with other members of the Unitarian Universalist faith to protest the enactment of SB 1070, the infamous anti-immigration law, in solidarity with Puente, a human-rights organization.
The Jackson Redevelopment Authority voted today to work with a developer to form a funding strategy for an automated parking garage and communal air-conditioning unit for the proposed $1.3 billion Old Capitol Green project in downtown Jackson.
The tastiest morsels on this season's state college football menu.
A college football coach once said that if your team was any good, a coach was going to have to go pick up a player from the local jail every now and then. Based on what's been going on with players from Mississippi's Big Four college teams, they should all be pretty good this season.
Doctor S sez: Slowly but surely, football is taking over the world. Finally.
Know what this means?
I was on a mission. Locked in a one-window room with no air-conditioning, just a laptop and a notepad, I began to burn up the Internet with my searches, watching film. My mission was to discover a bold prediction for the three FCS, formerly known as Division I, college football teams in Mississippi.
It happens nearly every year for teams in college football. There's one game coaches and fans point back to as the key game of the past year.
Fall is just around the corner, and with it comes the unique challenge that men such as myself face every year—how to talk football when you don't religiously watch the sport.
Also see: Jackson Singled Out for Bond ‘Lobbying'
I did not find out until college that my country interned Japanese Americans in concentration camps after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. Even then, I did not know the full story; I certainly did not know that the United States also detained other American citizens of German and Italian descent
That Super Bowl journey with the New Orleans Saints last year was such a roller-coaster ride that I'll admit I've been slow to get back into the football-watching rhythm so far this preseason.
An Aug. 19 Jackson City Council Planning Committee hearing on a new anti-discrimination ordinance created a stark contrast to many anti-immigrant rallies around the country.
The Jackson City Council yesterday approved the purchase of two software packages that will allow citizens to make and track complaints and requests related to city services online. The two purchases are the technological backbone of the city's proposed 311 system, one of Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.'s pledges from his campaign.
The Jason Turner Band is practically a Jackson institution after performing for 13 years. Now, the band is preparing for the release of its new CD, appropriately called "13 Years." With Jason Turner as the front man, the popular rock band has opened for many well-known musicians such as Robert Randolph and the Violent Femmes. Turner's unique voice resonates through each venue as the band cranks through its shows. Always happy to take requests, he feels out the crowd and sings through the night.
Even from an early age, Tripp Segars knew the direction his life would take. When he was 4, he went on a preschool field trip to the "Mr. Knozit Show," a local children's television program in Columbia, S.C. When Mr. Knozit asked him what he'd like to be when he grew up, Segars replied: "I want to goes [sic] to the office and bes [sic] a lawyer like my daddy."
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is asking Gov. Haley Barbour to include a bill banning synthetic marijuana during Friday's special legislative session.
Tuesday, August 24
Three tow truck companies' refusal to remove a city-owned vehicle yesterday is the first casualty in a protest over the Jackson City Council's recently enacted wrecker-rotation policy, which caps the fees for towing services inside the city limits.
In the February issue of "Reason," I wrote a feature story on civil asset forfeiture, the process by which law enforcement groups can seize property, usually in drug cases, sometimes without ever charging anyone with a crime. In particular, the article looked at the case of Anthony Smelley, who had $17,500 in cash taken from him during a traffic stop in Putnam County, Ind. Police never charged Smelley with a crime, but it took well over a year and several court proceedings for him to get his money back.
As the publisher and editor of Stay Tooned!, a magazine for cartoonists, John Read has turned his passion for cartoon art into a career.
The city of Jackson is set to dedicate $50,000 to transforming a former Kroger on Raymond Road into a Vowell's Marketplace. The new grocery store, a franchise of the Mississippi-based Vowell's chain, will bring 50 jobs and $10 million in sales to the city, said John Michael Holtmann of Duckworth Realty, which brokered the deal.
Mississippi now meets national standards to assist children during unprecedented disasters.
Monday, August 23
Three local wrecker-service companies are refusing to tow city owned large commercial vehicles after the city lowered towing fees at an Aug. 10 City Council meeting. Trey Ward, owner of Ward's Wrecker Service, confirmed that the three wrecker services are refusing to tow a city asphalt truck out of protest against the revised city towing ordinance.
The Jackson City Council will likely adopt a new ordinance tomorrow that will change requirements for residents to rename city streets and municipal buildings for the third time this year.
The Mississippi Legislature will convene Friday for a special session to approve incentives aimed at luring a $500 million economic development project to the state. Gov. Haley Barbour announced the session Aug. 20 but gave few details on the project, witholding the company name, industry and potential locations.
The online news outlet Daily Beast (known for its pithy re-writes of top stories and occasional forays into investigation) has done something a bit different over the weekend -- the site paid for a quick study of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, enlisting a lab to test for oil and/or chemical dispersant contamination.
Rosie and Juno, two African elephants that have lived at the Jackson Zoo for more than two decades, will soon find new homes at the Nashville Zoo at the end of this year, the Jackson Zoo announced today.
4 p.m., Jackson City Council Work Session at Jackson City Hall (200 S. President St.). The Jackson City Council holds its work session, open to the public. Free; call 601-960-1033.
Washington, D.C., attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who starts his job of overseeing the BP claims process today, is hosting three meetings on the Mississippi Gulf Coast this morning regarding payments for victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.
I absolutely believe a person can be bullied by food. Picture it, Jackson, Mississippi. A hot muggy August afternoon in the JFP office and a can of "Mexican Layered Dip" Pringles walks into my life. We had a good time for a short while but I had to let the relationship go, It wasn't good for me.
I haven't been as consistent with my Road to Wellness goals as I should have been. Actually, I forget about them quite often. I totally forgot about finding a new hobby, I still forget to stretch in the morning because the pets are begging for their breakfast, and don't even ask me about going outside for 15 minutes. The last class I was in was very challenging, and I have a deadline looming, so thinking about anything else has been difficult to do. Therefore, I've come to the conclusion that the road to wellness is way longer than 12 weeks. For me, it's going to take much longer to learn to stop putting my needs on the back burner. I may need to just pick a goal and work on that for a while, and then I can move on to the next one. I think it would be better to meet one goal at a time than to meet none at all.
Sunday, August 22
I like three things about a workout on the elliptical:
I've developed a strong appreciation for the elliptical machine -- I'd never really used one successfully until this Road to Wellness challenge, and now -- unless they're all taken when I get to the gym -- I'm spending about 45 minutes at least four days a week on one.
Friday, August 20
The city of Jackson is caught in the middle of two conflicting court orders regarding its controversial sewer services contract. The orders come after an Aug. 12 appeal the city made to the Mississippi Supreme Court to retain its current provider, Jackson Water Partners, until the Supreme Court resolves a lawsuit United Water Services filed over the city's bidding process.
After announcing her decision to split from Mal's St. Paddy's Parade earlier this year, author and Boss Queen Jill Conner Browne said this morning that Fondren is the ideal location to host the annual Sweet Potato Queen homecoming and parade in March 2011.
Tonight, Jackson Free Press editor-in-chief Donna Ladd performs during the Mississippi Opera's "Dance with the Stars fundraiser" (the event is sold out but you can still donate to the Mississippi Opera by calling 601-960-2300). There's a lots of live music around town this weekend, so get ready to have plenty of places to go rock out. But in between jam sessions, be sure see the "One Fine Sunday in the Funny Pages," exhibition at North Park Mall, showing through Aug. 31. The exhibit showcases artists from around the country. Head to the Alamo Theatre (333 N. Farish St.) for The Eclectik Soul album- release concert at 9 p.m., $15 tickets; includes appearances by Sunni Patterson and Nicole Marquez. Then make your way to Dreamz Jxn (426 W. Capital St.) to see Storage 24, SMAASH and Bad Eye Mike at 9:30 p.m., $5 until 11 p.m., $10 after. Jackie Bell and Roosevelt Robinson perform at 930 Blues Cafe at 9:30 p.m., $10, and PyInfamous, Skipp Coon and 5th Child will break it down at the "Back to Basics: Back to School Edition" concert at Suite 106 (106 Wilmington St.) at 10 p.m., $10 ($5 with two JPS school supply items).
As a child, if David Ringer wasn't able to identity a bird, he would rush to the many books his mother had about birds and flip through them. As far back as he can remember, the Ohio native has always had a deep passion for the natural world.
After soundly criticizing the federal Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act earlier this month, Gov. Haley Barbour has apparently reversed his decision, telling lawmakers and school officials yesterday that he will apply for funds to help Mississippi schools.
Thursday, August 19
Read Judge Yerger's order (PDF)
Two development projects announced today will add to Jackson's renaissance. Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. announced a $586,000 street paving project on State Street between Woodrow Wilson and Seneca avenues, and Watkins Development Vice President Jason Goree announced the national Hotel Indigo chain is planning to open a boutique hotel in the Farish Street Entertainment District.
Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Lonnie Edwards spent nearly an hour at a press conference yesterday sharing the story that inspired him to write a book, but skirted around specific questions on how his former school district purchased and used that book.
Linda St. Martin got Gov. Haley Barbour's attention Tuesday when she stood up at the inaugural Gulf of Mexico Commission meeting. She soundly criticized the governor for failing to include commercial fisherman and shrimpers on his hand-picked panel addressing recovery on the Coast from the BP oil disaster.
Read this week's crime report (PDF)
Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. proposed a budget that that will likely contain water and sewer rate increases. The mayor called the rate hike "modest" and said city residents would see an average $3 increase per month for water and a $1.32 per month increase for sewer, amounting to a $52 annual increase in fees.
Intervention is never easy. It generally implies that the subject of the intervention has an addiction that they themselves have not yet fully perceived to be a problem.
Wednesday, August 18
Recently, someone sent me a link to a site set up about the old white-supremacist Citizen's Council (citizenscouncil.com)--a supposedly upstanding racist group that famed newspaper editor Hodding Carter Jr. called the "uptown Klan."
After a day at the pool, Brad Alexander told his girlfriend Ashley Pittman that they had to go pick up a frame from One Blu Wall gallery for his mother. Alexander and Pittman entered Fondren Corner near Rooster's, and Alexander made eye contact with gallery owner Christina Cannon through the glass front of her gallery.
In an old brick warehouse in downtown Hattiesburg, Paul Burch strums roots music on his guitar. Warm light bounces off hardwood floors and his comfy brown jacket as the song picks up. He breaks a guitar string but keeps playing. The cameras of "The Green Couch Sessions" keep rolling.
If you haven't checked out Poet's II, yet, you should.
The bridal shower is a day where a bride has the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely afternoon with her female friends and family. If you are hosting the event, it is your responsibility to orchestrate a memorable and unique day for your bride. Along with lots of activities, incorporate a theme into the day, such as friendship.
When you're on a budget, taking your lunch to work or school is a great way to save money and eat nutritiously. You can control portions and bring healthy options, so you (and your kids) don't have to rely on vending machines or cafeteria meals that are often highly processed.
Doctor S sez: ESPN's talking heads spent all day Monday talking about Dustin Johnson grounding his club at the PGA Championship. That sounds vaguely dirty.
For most moms, it's inevitable. Little Johnny and Janna are born, and any sense of style they had goes out the window. They become consumed with all things baby—food, formula, nap schedules. All of that rightly so. But this doesn't mean you have to turn in fab for frump, mommy.
The Mississippi Legislature singled out Jackson as the only municipality that needed to submit an application to and lobby the state Bond Commission in order to receive a loan that the lawmakers had promised the city.
Judge Houston Patton isn't used to competition. Since first winning election as Hinds County Court judge in 1989, Patton has had no opponents for the District 2 seat. But this year is different; the Jackson native is facing two challengers in November: Bridgett Clayton and Henry Clay.
The City of Jackson has asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to stay an Aug. 12 court order requiring it to transfer its wastewater treatment contract to a new provider.
Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes was clearly guarded about imposing new regulation for personal-care homes at the Monday Jackson City Council Planning Committee meeting.
Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. discovered last month that State Treasurer Tate Reeves wants details of every aspect of a $6 million state loan. Without that information, Reeves said that the state Bond Commission staff never put the loan on the agenda for the commission to vote on.
Mr. Announcement: "In the ghetto criminal justice system, the people are represented by members of the Ghetto Science Community: police officer and part-time security guard at the Funky Ghetto Mall, Dudley ‘Do-Right' McBride; attorney Cootie McBride of the law firm McBride, Myself and I; and Sista Encouragement, co-host of the Rev. Cletus Car Sales Church Broadcast. This is their story."
It appears my latest JFP blog post stirred up some emotions. It's no secret that crime and the perception of crime are push-button issues for many of us.
Will Hegman looks over a warehouse filled with what could potentially be the future of American energy.
The Mississippi Band of Choctaws kicked serious sun-lovin' butt this past month after taking home the overall championship in the 15th Hunt-Winston Solar Car Challenge for high-school teams.
President Bluntson, members of the City Council, employees, citizens of Jackson, and friends; thank you all for being here today as we present the FY 2010-2011 Executive Budget for the City of Jackson. This document is now before the City Council for review and subsequent adoption on or before Sept. 15, 2010. Projected expenditures include $118.8 million in General Fund appropriations, and $137.3 million in non-General Fund appropriations, for a total operating budget of $256.1 million.
The fictional world of Sookie Stackhouse is a chaotic, bizarre, and dangerous place filled with vampires, werewolves and fairies. Sookie, the protagonist in the Southern Vampire Series and the Emmy Award-winning HBO drama "True Blood," is a telepathic waitress who falls in love with Bill Compton, a 173-year-old vampire.
Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Lonnie Edwards is holding a press conference this afternoon to address controversial book purchases at his former school district. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that several administrators in the DeKalb County, Ga., school district used school funds to purchase books they wrote.
Jackson doesn't have a reputation for being a particularly tech-savvy place, but this fall, city government will begin changing that image. City hall is poised to adopt two new technologies that will--hopefully--improve the efficiency and responsiveness of the city's police, fire and public works departments, among others.
"I want to create my life, not just to let it happen," she says. "That's a lot of the reason that I am as involved as I am."
BP has not paid 63 percent of claims Mississippians filed for damages from the April 20 Deepwater Horizon disaster, said Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood in a statement yesterday.
Tuesday, August 17
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Mississippi filed a lawsuit against Wesson Attendance Center in Copiah County today demanding compensation for damages and attorneys' fees after the district excluded a photo of lesbian student Ceara Sturgis from the senior page of the school's yearbook for wearing a tuxedo.
The road to wellness is paved in good intentions.
Read the complaint
Chip Matthews, owner of the nightclub Fire, wants to bring spice to downtown every day of the week. Matthews opened Fuego, a Mexican restaurant, in the former sports bar adjoining Fire on Aug. 4. Fuego serves a variety of Mexican dishes, including steak fajitas and huevos chorizo, from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m., all week.
American sculptor Malvina Hoffman's work and writings live in the Mississippi Museum of Art's archive, but tonight the public has the opportunity to see and learn about her life during "Unburied Treasures," the museum's monthly art lecture series.
The debate over whether citizens should be permitted to record on-duty police officers intensified this summer. High-profile incidents in Maryland, Illinois, Florida, Ohio, and elsewhere spurred coverage of the issue from national media outlets ranging from the Associated Press to Time to NPR. Outside the law enforcement community, a consensus seems to be emerging that it's bad policy to arrest people who photograph or record police officers on the job.The Washington Post, USA Today, the Washington Examiner, The Washington Times, and Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds, writing in Popular Mechanics, all weighed in on the side that citizen photography and videography can be an important check to keep police officers accountable and transparent.
After my last blog and a poor cholesterol report from the doc, the results of my 2nd round of blood work came in letter form to my home address. "Dear Lydia, We are pleased to inform you that the result(s) of you lab work done on 07/14/2010 was/were normal. We recommend this evaluation be repeated in one year." And a little hand written note on the bottom of the letter read, "Cholesterol 165. Great job! Keep up the good work!". I lowered my cholesterol 52 points in 3 months! It's good to know that I can control this and I don't have to take medication to lower my cholesterol (maybe a few vitamins, but that's cool with me).
Read the report.
Monday, August 16
The Jackson City Council Planning Committee is researching the possibility of imposing new zoning requirements on any new businesses that conform to the state's definition of a "personal care home."
The Hinds County Board of Supervisors approved a tentative agreement today with the City of Jackson and New York City-based developers Full Spectrum Inc. establishing financial support for infrastructure related to the proposed Old Capitol Green development in downtown Jackson. The memorandum of understanding follows a 2009 state bill authorizing a $20 million loan for the long-delayed project.
Carl Gibson has only been in Jackson for nine months, but he has already become a fixture of the city's music and arts scenes. The Kentucky native drums and performs poetry at open-mic nights around the city, so it wasn't a stretch for him to write about karaoke die-hards for the Jackson Free Press in July.
Monday, Aug. 16, 6 p.m., You Have the Mic at Afrika Book Cafe (404 Mitchell Ave.). The open political forum for discussing Jackson's current issues is hosted by Othor Cain and Mista Main of Hot 97.7 FM on Mondays from 6-8 p.m.
Mississippi Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall, a Republican, called for new sources of revenue to finance the state's highways and highway maintenance in an interview with the Better Mississippi Report. The state's 18-cents-per-gallon tax isn't enough to keep up with costs, he said, promoting a higher tax and toll roads in the state.
Interesting piece from GOP strategist Mark McKinnon, who takes the GOP to task for suggesting it makes sense to challenge the 14th amendment. Aside from the other arguments discussed here at the JFP previously (an "anchor baby" is not a quick path to citizenship for the parent and being a citizen-by-birth doesn't not immediately grant you immunity from deportation), McKinnon makes a broader argument that it's un-Republican (I'd say un-American) to worry over birthright citizenship when the real issue is securing our borders.
Friday, August 13
Jackson developer David Watkins said this morning that other cost savings justify the estimated $1 million annually it would cost Jackson Public Schools to relocate its administrative offices into the empty Belk store site in the Metrocenter Mall.
House Education Chairman Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, claims Gov. Haley Barbour reacted before knowing all the details when he criticized a federal bill that will provide the state with $97 million for education, saving 2,000 teaching jobs.
Baker Elementary School is getting kids excited to read. The south Jackson elementary school recently won "School of the Year" honors from America Reads Mississippi, a literacy program that brings AmeriCorps volunteers into schools to tutor reading and increase community support for literacy. Volunteers work with students one-on-one during the school day, using library books that complement classroom lessons. Melissa Dearman, the school's administrative assistant, received the "Site Supervisor of the Year" award for her work overseeing the school's AmeriCorps volunteers.
If you can sneak out of work a little early this afternoon, head over to PrissyKatz Boutique (Swinging Bridge Market, 24 Holiday Rambler Lane, Suite 305 Byram) to have author J. Auberney sign your copy of "Just a Shadow of Me" ($10 book) at 4 p.m. Or, hurry over to Lemuria (202 Banner Hall, 4446 Interstate 55 N.) at 5 p.m. where Nevada Barr will sign her new book, "Burn" ($25.99 book), and stick around to hear her read from the novel at 5:30 p.m.
Louie Miller, the state director of the Sierra Club, disagrees with Mississippi Department of Marine Resources Director Bill Walker's assessment that it's time stop Gulf municipalities' clean-up work connected with the BP oil well.
Thursday, August 12
Also see: Give Me Shelter: Protecting Animals, Prosecuting Abusers
Speaking at a biofuels conference this morning, Gov. Haley Barbour re-affirmed his support for construction of a $2.88 billion experimental coal plant in Kemper County while criticizing a federal energy bill that imposes a carbon-limiting policy on power-production companies.
The state's Republican unity may breakdown in 2011, as Gov. Haley Barbour's term comes to an end, predicts Dr. Marty Wiseman the director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University.
Jackson metro business owner Paul Tauchar considers social networking the secret of his success--but instead of only using Facebook or Twitter, he prefers actual human contact.
Wednesday, August 11
Former Canton animal control officer Alonzo Esco pleaded guilty today to one count of animal cruelty and one count of illegal dumping in connection with an animal-cruelty case that drew strong condemnation from animal-welfare groups.
Doctor S sez: This week is golf's last major of the year. Then we can go back to ignoring it. Until the Viking Classic, that is.
Keep up the good work," they'll say. Or, "your folks must be proud." They say this when I show up to interview them or to photograph them. Before even seeing my work, people are proud. Once they actually meet me and see that I am only 18 years old (some think younger), people's minds begin to wonder, "How did this little girl end up doing such a big job?" Never do they seem to doubt my capabilities and talents. They assume that I must be pretty good if I'm so young and already being given assignments by a real newspaper; but really, I'm just an intern hoping to one day be more.
Members of the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District are hopeful that Mississippi's congressional delegation will strong-arm top officials at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers into reconsidering a Corps-rejected Lake 255 on the Pearl River.
John Montgomery and Kendra Schneider spent five weeks this summer at the University of Mississippi Medical Center wearing official hospital name badges. They talked to patients, observed tests and consulted with people all over UMMC.
Kevin Slark is a beer connoisseur. He can tell the difference between a Belgian Abbey-style Leffe and a German Helle Weissebier. He is also, if not a criminal, someone who spends a good many hours in a legal gray area.
Every Mississippian flinches when we hear yet another statistic or superlative that shows how bad we seem to have it: We're the fattest, poorest, most racist, worst educated or such, or we're trading off with Louisiana or Alabama for such honors.
Big Roscoe: "School days. People go to school in a daze. Good old you has to go back to school for change-your-career days. Reading, writing and arithmetic taught to a tune of thousands of dollars per semester, and after you complete your accelerated studies at that online university, you're obligated to pay back that high-interest loan."
Only the family of God can solve the problem of education in Mississippi. The Bible says that "You should train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
I arrived in Metz, France, in fall 2007 equipped with new degrees in English literature and French, and enough clothes to survive the reportedly bitter winter. In the middle of the Lycée Cormontaigne high school campus, where I would be working as an English teaching assistant, stood a remnant from one or both of the World Wars.
Jackson's bike-friendly status could get a boost, with bike advocate organizations, the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership, the Jackson Chamber of Commerce and the city working together to develop multi-use bike trails to create a stronger bike presence.
Everyone remembers freshman days filled with new faces and being constantly lost. As much as you wanted to call your mom, your pride just wouldn't let you after an entire summer of saying, "I cannot wait to move out."
Kate Brantley, Holly Perkins, and Alex Dildy
Are you tired of breaking the bank for lunch when you can't make it home? We've listed a few favorite restaurants around town where you can eat for under $10 along with some popular dishes.
Sometimes living on a college budget in Jackson, with its many great restaurants and bars, can be frustrating. But you can enjoy great food and drink t without breaking the bank.
Going to college is a big transition for everyone, and even with your preparation, once you're there, you'll find you've forgotten something from home. This semester, check off all your needed items to make sure you start fall 2010 off right.
When you're just entering the over-21 club scene, Jackson's nightlife can be a little overwhelming. But here is a foolproof Saturday night game plan that will show you a little taste of what the Jackson nightlife scene has to offer.
Finding fun in and around Jackson can be hard when you are under 21. Here's a list of places to go and things to do that you might not have thought about or haven't done in awhile. Some ideas may sound lame, but you never know unless you try it for yourself.
Nothing is worse than being sick, but being sick your first time away from home can be particularly rough. Grab a container with a lid and fill it with these must-have items. Keep it nearby in your dorm, and you'll be ready to hit the books (or the parties) again in no time.
When JFP managing editor Ronni Mott moved to the south from Washington, D.C., she quickly noticed some of the rules and sounds of the South. Social niceties such as asking complete strangers, "How you doin'?" were all of a sudden social requirements.
Belly dancers dancing. An upright base playing. Computer sound effects clanging. A saxophone honking. What do these things have in common? You might experience all of them at once as part of a performance of the Mississippi Improv Alliance.
As manager of Rainbow Green Services in Fondren, Katherine West knows a thing or two about living green. Green Services offers a variety of ways to help you live more environmentally aware, from fun and useful green products to organic garden consulting and permaculture landscaping.
As diverse as Jackson is, you can also find a plethora of levels of spirituality. Here are a few of some of the well-known.
I recently volunteered through Operation Shoestring at Brown Elementary School. After a teacher confused me with someone who was supposed to give a talk on alcohol and drugs, she took me to a third grade classroom where eight kids were working on compound words.
The kids squealed and jumped up and down with delight and fear, oblivious to the wet Mississippi heat. The shy kids poked the writhing mass of squirming red wigglers with sticks or blades of grass; the braver ones took the creatures in their cupped hands and admired them.
Members of local wrecker-service companies claim that the City Council's Tuesday decision to lower towing fees in Jackson will hurt their business.
I never knew that 305 acres of state park with trails and a lake are right in the middle of Jackson. I knew where LeFleur's Bluff was, but I just thought there was a playground and a small park near the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. After a fellow Jackson Free Press intern told me there was an urban oasis behind the museum, I had to go see it for myself.
"I like having everything at my fingertips," Kenneth Johnson says about Jackson.As the director of leasing for the redevelopment of the Jackson Square Outlet Mall, the 26-year-old is dedicated to creating even more options for Jacksonians.
Mississippi is eligible for additional education and Medicaid funds after the U.S. House passed a $26 billion state aid bill yesterday.
Tuesday, August 10
Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba's proposed anti-immigration profiling ordinance stalled this morning, after Jackson City Council president Frank Bluntson placed the ordinance back into the planning committee for further debate during today's City Council meeting.
Read the 2008 Census Report on commuter data.
The Princeton Review has picked Millsaps College in for its annual guide "The Best 373 Colleges." The list focuses on schools' academic quality and singles out Millsaps for its encouragement of classroom discussion. In addition to listing the school in the top 20 for encouraging discussion, the book also ranks Millsaps as a top-20 college for the amount of student interaction across races and classes.
"Ignorance of the law is no excuse." That's the standard line motorists hear when they say they weren't aware of the speed limit, or gun owners hear when they say didn't know about the gun laws in the jurisdiction they happened to get arrested in. Yet that ignorance is pretty understandable in an America where just about everything is criminalized. At the federal level alone, there are now more than 4,500 separate crimes, and that's not counting the massive regulatory code, violations of which also can sometimes be punished with criminal charges.
Samuel Bryant may have left Mississippi for 52 years, but he is hoping his experiences as a community organizer and artist in Portland, Ore., will help his goal of facilitating interracial dialogues in Jackson.
The art gallery listings page needs an overhaul, and I need your help.
Read DMR Director Bill Walker's letter
Monday, August 9
On pain of death (or, rather, pain of dirty looks from Ronni), I'm taking stock of my five wellness goals. I'm falling short on some: my afternoon coffee intake has risen, not dropped, and I'm meditating about half as often as I'd like. The coffee goal might be a bad one, though. While I don't love the headache and sluggishness that comes with a caffeine deficiency, I find something perversely romantic about the whole ritual, about sharing this weakness with so many people.
I successfully, but barely, made it a month without having a car in one of the hottest months of the year. Initially, I thought to myself " I don't need a car, I'll be the bike-advocacy poster child."
I started the journey with high hopes, forgetting one little thing... I have ZERO will power! I haven't been eating the best food these past few weeks. This week I'm starting a new plan, no meat or dairy products for a month. I've found this is allowing me to use the many vegan and vegetarian cook books I own. So many tasty veggies ready to be consumed.
For the last issue of BOOM magazine, one of our photographers sent a photo to a professional retoucher to um, retouch. For those of you who don't know, that's a person who takes photos of normal folk and makes them look taller, lankier, thinner and poutier-lipped than they ever will be in reality. The photo came back looking bizarre in a Vogue magazine kind of way. We went back to the original.
Mississippi's two U.S. senators and Jackson metro members of Congree sent an Aug. 5 letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, urging the Corps to include a small lake design in its preferred levees-only plan. The proposed "one lake" plan would not flood valuable wetlands north of Lakeland Drive.
The story of Judy Frieze Wright, a Jewish Freedom Rider who was arrested in Jackson in 1961, inspired Allison Goldman to educate others about the role of Jews during the Civil Rights Movement.
4 p.m, Jackson City Work Session at Jackson City Hall (200 S. President St.). The Jackson City Council holds its work session, open to the public. Free; call 601-960-1033.
Two years ago, after seeing the need to provide safe places for homeless and runaway youth, Catholic Charities in Jackson began "Host Homes," a program that provides displaced youth with a stable environment.
The Jackson Police Department is mourning the death of officer Glen Agee who suspect LeTwan Smith allegedly shot Friday night.
Friday, August 6
The Mississippi Supreme Court closed another distant chapter in the litigious mayoral career of Frank Melton this week, when it affirmed a lower court's decision to dismiss a temporary restraining order that business owner Charlotte Reeves filed in 2007 to protect her company from demolition.
In the early 90s, Magnus Eklund began taking yoga to ease his back pain, but the peace of mind he experienced inspired him to share the practice with others.
At a community forum this morning, Jackson Parents for Public Schools Executive Director Susan Womack said that the community must address race issues to over come challenges facing the majority-black Jackson Public Schools District.
This afternoon, sporting types--and those hoping to discover the hunter within--should head to the Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza at the Mississippi Trademart (1200 Mississippi St.). The three-day fundraiser for the Mississippi Wildlife Federation kicks off today, showcasing hunting and fishing products from 3-9 pm. Adult admission is $7; children under 12 get in free on Friday. If you're feeling aesthetically lacking, take in some photography at Light and Glass Studio (523 S. Commerce St.) and check out the Gallery Listings for more art. This evening grab a bite at a local restaurant like BRAVO! or Julep. Find your flavor with the JFP Restaurant Listings and the Menu Guide.
Read the report on oil removal
Thursday, August 5
A Jackson legislator said the city got a raw deal out of the State Bond Commission's recent decision to not allocate $6 million in interest-free bonds to repair the city's aging water system.
Federal health-care reform will burden Mississippi with higher Medicaid costs, Gov. Haley Barbour told business leaders at a summit yesterday. Barbour claimed that the legislation would cost the state $230 million annually in additional Medicaid expenses, a charge he has made previously, without regard to the law's benefits.
Melody Moody's passion to make Mississippi more bike friendly is contagious. As the new executive director of Bike Walk Mississippi, the 29-year-old has big plans for Jackson and the state to adopt more accessible means of transportation.
This morning, in a major sting operation executed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, law enforcement officials arrested several high-profile writers at ESPN.com for their involvement in a massive distribution ring of performance-enhancing supplements for writers, among them laptops, Microsoft Word, and programs allowing access to the Internet.
Read a list of broadband project descriptions
Wednesday, August 4
I didn't know specifics about it before I went. Much of what I knew, I pieced together here and there from hearing conversations about it.
The good-time weekend vibes kick off with the fusion/progressive jazz rock of Amalgamation at Underground 119 this Thursday night, 9 p.m. Free. JFP 2010 Best Of Jackson winner for best musician Scott Albert Johnson will sit in on harp with the Cleveland, Miss. group.
Summertime is about the only time my husband offers to cook. I don't know what it is about warm weather that brings out his inner hunter/provider, but when he asks what we are having for dinner, if I tell him we are having some type of meat as the main course, inevitably his next question is: "Can I grill it?"
My first experience with tofu was not altogether pleasant. I decided to tackle tofu with no previous research. I opened the package and set the formed block on the counter. Eyeing it suspiciously, I thought, "It looks like a giant stack of feta cheese."
Doctor S sez: Ole Miss has strict standards on its football players' off-the-field behavior—unless you're a starting quarterback.
Man, did this summer go by fast! It's hard to believe it's time for kids to go back to school already. Check this week's JFP Issuu for a few things to help your child go back in style. Whether headed to preschool or high school, the right accessory will help him or her jump to the head of the class.
I was never a stellar student. It's not that I'm not bright; I always tested well, 98th and 99th percentile on standardized tests in everything but math. Most of my teachers, however, utterly failed to engage my interest.
Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant accused immigrants' advocacy agencies of committing felonies at a public forum Monday in Madison.
Let's be honest: One of the best things about going back to school, if you're fortunate, is the new wardrobe that starts off the year. The frilly dresses and trendy tops, clean kicks and fresh haircuts ... who wouldn't love it? Back to school can even be a way to reinvent yourself.
In an age when television airwaves and opinion pages burst with outraged faces and voices on both sides of the political spectrum, one group of Mississippi youth is conducting public discourse in a more level-headed light. What's more, these high schoolers are learning how to enact social change where it matters most: the community.
When I think back to books of my youth, "Dear Mr. Henshaw" by Beverly Cleary stands out. I could relate to the main character, Leigh Botts, because at times I felt lonely as a child because I had to change schools a lot.
The political speeches at the Neshoba County Fair are a time when politicians and candidates get on the stump to tout their achievements, take a few jabs at their opponents and occasionally forget to the tell the truth.
A disturbing meeting took place at the Madison County Cultural Center Monday night. It was a tea-party-organized forum to call for the state of Mississippi to adopt an anti-"illegals" law such as the one the state of Arizona recently enacted, and which is now caught up in legal battles over its constitutionality.
Judy McBride: "Before I close my monthly Ghetto Group Psychological Therapy and Venting Session, I want to say that I'm very happy to see those individuals who returned from last month's session and some new people, too."
Recently, President Barack Obama appeared on an episode of ABC's "The View." I don't consider myself a fan of the show. Although it doesn't necessarily speak to my demographic, no doubt shows like "The View" or "The Oprah Show" speak directly to a core audience that any elected official should jump at the chance to reach.
The name of the game is change. People try to do it every new year, Obama opened the nation's eyes with its promise, and now, as an incoming college freshman, I am forced to take its hand and walk with it.
Some people need it spelled out for them, you know?
Cornfields and pecan trees rushed by as I drove down Highway 18 to tour the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience in Utica. After making a couple of left turns and bumping down a gravelly road, I wondered if I was headed in the right direction.
Charles Jackson, CEO of New Orleans-based comedy booking agency Jack's Entertainment Group, says stand-up comedy is "the hardest craft in the entertainment business because you have no back-up when you are on stage performing alone." And without a comedy club in Jackson, many local comedians don't have an audience to back them up, either.
In the opening paragraphs of Matthew Aaron Goodman's debut novel "Hold Love Strong" (Simon and Schuster, 2010, $24.99), Abraham, the novel's protagonist, tells the story of his birth. His mother, 13-year-old Angela, or "Jelly," is lying naked on the bathroom floor.
Philadelphia, Miss., business owner William Hegman says the Workforce Investment Network of Mississippi is not properly monitoring its spending of $52 million in federal job placement money.
Dionne Woody's office is filled with red: Red coffee mugs, red delicious apples inscribed with "No. 1 Teacher," and red elephants, symbols for Woody's college sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, splay across her cherry wood desk. She has saved the most prominent display, however, for the photos of her large family.
Trent Walker has worked most angles of Hinds County's judicial system. The candidate for county court judge has served as a special appointee to Hinds County Circuit Court, an assistant county prosecutor and a youth court referee.
Nine states, including Mississippi, now have an obesity rate of 30 percent or more, according to a Centers For Disease Control report released yesterday.
Tuesday, August 3
At an immigration forum in Madison last night, state Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, attacked Attorney General Jim Hood for what she considers his unwillingness to enforce new state legislation that makes it illegal to employ undocumented residents.
Current and aspiring business owners have a number of training opportunities in the next week. On Thursday, Aug. 5, the Small Business Development Center at Jackson State University hosts a seminar on small business grants and loans. The workshop, at the Mississippi e-Center, runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information and to reserve a spot, call 601-979-2795.
Alex Thomas is proud of Mississippi's musical heritage. As the Mississippi Development Authority's music program development manager, he gets to celebrate the state's history by developing the Mississippi Blues Trail.
Looks like this is just now coming across the wires, with AP reporting Favre's apparent retirement:
Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. will join the community for tonight's National Night Out, an annual event designed to heighten drug- and crime-prevention awareness and strengthen communities.
Monday, August 2
See also: Immigration: Myth v. Reality
Read the county's siren report
Lorenda Cheeks' work to improve educational opportunities for Jackson Public Schools students is receiving national attention.
6 p.m., We Are Africa 2010 Road Tour at Afrika Book Cafe (404 Mitchell Ave.). African Ancestry will do a special seminar on tracing your roots with a DNA test. Free admission, $225 DNA test kit; visit We are Africa's website.
What are the four "deformations" of the modern day GOP that helped send the economy in the crapper? David Stockman, head of OMB under Reagan, is unhappy with the debt load carried by the country, particularly over the past 40 years. And who does he blame? Republicans.
BP Engineers are preparing to perform a "static kill" operation to permanently seal the blown-out Deepwater Horizon well, The Sun Herald reported today.