Stories for February 2010


Friday, February 26

JPS to Cut Jobs, Fill Classrooms

State budget cuts this year and next will force the Jackson Public School District to cut teacher positions and increase class sizes, a district official said today. Michael Thomas, the district's Deputy Superintendent for Operations, told an audience at the Koinonia Coffee House Friday Forum this morning that the district is running out of options for budget cuts.

Weekend Events

The weekend starts tonight with classic Mississippi blues at The Auditorium. Starting at 9:18, catch "Three Generations of the Blues" with David "Honeyboy" Edwards, King Edward and Eddie Cotton on stage for only $20. If you'd rather spend the evening catching up with old friends, head to Schimmel's for the Murrah High School Alumni Mixer for all those 21 and older. For more details and more happenings around town, head to the JFP Best Bets page to start your search for weekend entertainment.

Nightclub Has Big Plans for Jackson

Located on the corner of Gallatin and West Capitol street, Dreamz Jxn is a three-story club and entertainment complex in downtown Jackson. Inside the club are sophisticated features that include 25 plasma screens, VIP rooms, three bars and three dance floors.

Hal White

When Hal White was a child, the kitchen served as a gathering place for his family. After watching his aunt cook large pots of red beans and rice or gumbo, White remembers spending the day boating on Mary Walker Bayou in Gautier, Miss., with his family.

Convicted Former Klansman Sues FBI

Convicted former Ku Klux Klansman Edgar Ray Killen is suing the FBI for millions, claiming violations of his civil rights, reports The Los Angeles Times. Killen, 85, convicted in 2005 of manslaughter in the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Miss., says the FBI hired mafia hit man "The Grim Reaper" to pistol whip witnesses into providing information in the case.

Thursday, February 25

JFP on WLEZ Podcast for 2/25/10


OK, this is not *really* the podcast, but I'll put up a subscribe tool later today so that people can subscribe to this show and all future shows. Meanwhile, here's the download link:

Veto Override Fails: Legislators Return to Negotiation

The Senate failed to override Gov. Haley Barbour's veto of budget reconciliation act this morning, and opponents of the veto now argue that the state should put to use $36 million from savings accrued through a federal stimulus program.

Andrew Young

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, Jackson State University today hosted Andrew Young, one of King's closest advisers during the civil-rights movement of the 1960s. Young 77, has a long career of public service, including terms as a U.S. Congressman from Georgia and as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under President Jimmy Carter. Young was with King on the night of his assassination, April 4, 1968, in Memphis.

$2.8 Million Trade-in Program Announced

Starting this spring, federal stimulus funds will become available for you to upgrade your appliances. Under the American Recover and Reinvestment Act, the federal government has allocated $2.8 million to Mississippi for a residential appliance trade-in program with a tentative start date of April 2010.

Wednesday, February 24

Luxe Leftovers

Shopping in my favorite specialty market recently, I stumbled upon an Asian foodie's grail: crispy whole Chinese-style duck. I enjoy relying on serendipity to deliver such delicacies into my path, and my prized possession rode in my lap on the way home, the way one cradles fresh eggs or delicate produce.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Winter Olympics, women's figure skating (7 p.m., Ch. 3): This is what you've been waiting for. And expect to wait a while tonight before you get to see it.

The Power of Now

When I moved back to Mississippi in 2001, I was naïve. I thought I was coming home to write about the past that shamed me as a white Mississippian. I wanted to be a white Mississippian who wasn't afraid to face the past.

Irby Trial On Schedule

The criminal trial of Karen Irby, wife of Jackson businessman Stuart Irby, is set for March and looks ready to proceed. At a Feb. 17 pre-trial hearing, Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Tomie Green indicated that she foresaw no delays in the case and that she plans to sequester the jury.

Schoolhouse to Statehouse

Yvonne Horton made an unconventional job transition in 2007, joining a lobbying firm after 30 years as a public-school teacher. Horton, 60, is a Bolton native and a 1971 graduate of Jackson State University.

Abortion Amendment Unlikely

Personhood Mississippi leader Les Riley stood in front of a small but fervent crowd last week at the secretary of state's office proclaiming victory for the pro-life movement.

Bashing Sodas and Saving Schools

The 90-day legislative session will creep past the halfway mark this week, and the clock ticks on plenty of legislative efforts, including the deadline to except or trash fiscal-year 2011 appropriation and revenue bills.

Mason: No Plans for Public Input on Merger

As Jackson State University President Ronald Mason Jr. shook hands at a forum last Friday at Koinonia Coffee House in Jackson, he sought to quell concerns about a possible HBCU merger idea he floated to legislators last month. He maintained that his proposal was merely "an idea that was leaked."

Will U.S. Chamber Win Again?

In 2004, Attorney General Jim Hood hired attorneys Joey Langston and Timothy Balducci—who later pled guilty to corruption in 2008 and 2007, respectively—to recoup unpaid taxes and interest resulting from a multi-state tax fraud scheme Clinton-based WorldCom cooked up before the company's 2002 collapse.

[Stiggers] That Sounds Nasty

Boneqweesha Jones: "Welcome to Hair Did University's S.O.H.K. (School of Hard Knocks) Critical Thinking Lecture Series. Psychologist Judy McBride wants to share with us an effect that is affecting people today."

Pseudopolitics Equals Pseudofailure

Recently the Mississippi Legislature passed legislation outlawing the sale of medical products containing pseudoephedrine without a prescription. The intent of this legislation is to reduce the rampant methamphetamine epidemic.

Barbour Vetoes Budget Restoration

Gov. Haley Barbour vetoed budget reconciliation act Senate Bill 2688 today, a bill that restored $79 million in cuts he enacted for Fiscal Year 2011. The governor rejected the bill saying that it delayed "inevitable government reorganization and relied on one-time money to cure recurring budget woes."

[Oppenheim] ‘Listen to Me!'

Last spring, as I sat in a Murrah High School classroom, surrounded by the brilliant young minds of the Civil Rights, Civil Liberties Club, I was struck by the contrast between these young people—who were deeply committed to contributing positively to their communities—and the myth some media outlets perpetuate about Jackson's youngsters.

The JFP Interview with Rebecca Coleman

Police Chief Rebecca Coleman is in a good mood this morning. It's Friday in Jackson, and the city is seeing more snow today than it has in years. The icy weather, while a deviation from typical central Mississippi weather, did not contain the kind of deadly black ice that terrifies cops.

Art Meets Science

When Erin Hayne first brought her Portuguese husband home to Mississippi, the humidity immediately consumed him.

Grafting ‘New' Branches

As Cody Cox counts his cash drawer at the end of his shift at the Fondren Cups, one can't help but wonder about the stories behind each of the colorful tattoos that adorn his forearms. When Cox was 3, he was stung by a fire ant and almost died from anaphylactic shock.

Linda Mann

Linda Mann always thought she would leave Mississippi after she graduated from college and never return. She moved to Jackson from Birmingham when she was 3 and by the time she graduated from Provine High School in 1964, she was ready to leave the city.

Corps Re-certifies Pearl Levees

Also see: Complete Pearl River Archive

Chief Unsure of New Police Review Process

Jackson Police Chief Rebecca Coleman is doubtful about a proposed independent community advocacy review process for police matters. Last night, the Jackson City Council delayed voting on a city ordinance for a board of citizens independent from the police department to review complaints against police officers--rather than rely on officers to conduct the investigations.

Real Woman, Real Plan

I can no longer climb stairs without my knees aching. My body has morphed from a lean 20-something to a comfortable and rounded-out 30-something. Children and age have etched lines on my once-smooth skin. I know how to ease the strain on my body, but it all seems overwhelming. The idea of becoming healthy sometimes seems like climbing a rocky mountain peak barefoot.

Road to Nowhere?

Yesterday, the Mississippi House approved $300 million in bonds for infrastructure improvements in the state. Among the projects is $42 million for a new highway from Pontotoc to Sherman, site of the as-yet completed Blue Springs Toyota plant, reports The Commercial Appeal.

City Targets Pit Bulls

The Jackson City Council Rules Committee, spurred by the recent death of 5-year-old Terry resident Anastasia Bingham from a pit-bull attack, voted Monday to ask the city's legal department to write an ordinance banning pit bulls dog inside the city limits, and to consider a second ordinance giving police officers more discretion in handling complaints against dogs.

Tuesday, February 23

Council Set to Vote on Police Oversight

The Jackson City Council may decide today whether to institute a civilian review process for the Jackson Police Department. Long a pet item for Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes, a proposal for a civilian oversight of police complaints passed the Planning Committee yesterday. Stokes and Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber voted for the measure, while Ward 5 Councilman Charles Tillman abstained

City Seeks Removal of Visitor's Bureau Expiration Date

The Jackson City Council's Legislative Budget Committee moved forward to re-authorize the Convention Center & Visitors Bureau yesterday, but committee Chairwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon said the committee should ask the state Legislature for a law change that could make future re-authorizations for the bureau unnecessary.

[Balko] Flashbangs Under Fire

The New York Times reported last week that the New York City Police Department has halted the use of "flashbang" stun grenades. The department began phasing out the devices in 2003 after their deployment in a mistaken drug raid caused 52-year-old Alberta Spruill to suffer a fatal heart attack. The prior year, the department had used flash grenades 175 times.

George Bishop

While George Bishop was on a camel safari in India, he went to sleep and had a dream about a mother who longed for her daughter. The next morning he woke up and started writing down his dream.

Monday, February 22

Guilty Verdict in JSU Murder Trial

A Hinds County jury found Stanley Cole guilty of the murder of Latasha Norman this afternoon. Cole, 26, faces life in prison for killing Norman, his ex-girlfriend.

Barbour Goes National, Again

Gov. Haley Barbour was in Washington, D.C., this weekend for the National Governors Association's annual conference, but he made headlines for extracurricular activities, speaking against the federal stimulus bill and rallying Republican opposition to health-care reform and climate-change regulations.

Local Catering Business Serves Home-Cooked Favorites

Macy Chester, 31, owner of Cosmopolitan Catering in Fondren, learned the ins and outs of the catering business from her mother, Terry Gibson, a former caterer in Yazoo City.

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Ole Miss Still Searching For A Mascot

Ole Miss will resume the search for an official mascot on Tuesday when students vote on whether to launch a student-led process for finding a PC mascot. Colonel Reb, aka The Slave Owner, is not eligible.

Community Events and Public Meetings

3:00 p.m., Mississippi Reproductive Justice Coalition Legislative Strategy Meeting, at ACLU of Mississippi (753 N. Congress St.), in the conference room. Topics include the Comprehensive Sex Education Bill 837, the Child Protection Act and the Personhood Amendment. Free; call 601-354-3408.

Charlie Maris

A few days before Assistant Attorney General Charlie Maris went into heart surgery, he left his Bible on his desk with a notation in Romans 8 that read "a mind controlled by the Spirit equals life and peace."

Mississippi's Image in Film

Sundance 2010 may not have had a Mississippi made feature film, but a strong number of films in the festival program embraced rural America with open arms and enveloped bluntly realistic experiences with strong story telling. The festival screened over 120 films from all parts of the world, and the ones that I saw offered authentic personal experiences, rather than the slit- your-throat material of boys gone wild on drugs and violence that initially defined the indie film scene.

Mayor Invites Jacksonians to One-on-One Meeting

Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. urges Jackson residents to speak with him one-on-one. Johnson will hold one of his regular meetings prior to tomorrow's City Council meeting to discuss issues, take reports about problems or just speak with concerned citizens tomorrow, Feb. 23, starting at 5:30 p.m..

Friday, February 19

Judge Rules for Law Firm in MCI Case

Hinds Circuit Court Judge Winston Kidd handed down a ruling today that will allow the Langston Law Firm to keep the $14 million fee it earned for representing the state in a $110 million settlement with former telecom giant MCI, formerly WorldCom, over unpaid taxes. MCI paid the legal fees directly to the firm, without impacting the state's share of the collected funds.

Mason Says Merger Plan a Leaked ‘Idea'

As Jackson State University President Ronald Mason Jr. shook hands at a forum this morning at Koinonia Coffee House in Jackson, he sought to quell concerns about a possible HBCU merger idea he floated to legislators last month. He maintained that his proposal was merely "an idea that was leaked."

Sonia Sanchez

Sonia Sanchez stands with confidence, petite in stature with her natural dreadlocks hanging just below her shoulder. Her voice is strong, not in its volume, but in the passion and conviction that oozes from the words she speaks: "Our vision is our voice ... we are people made of fire ... give me courage so I can spread it over my face and mouth ..."

Weekend Happenings

Weather will be warmer tonight, so you don't have to freeze as you check out local teen bands Goodwhether and The Da Vincis perform a benefit concert for Haiti at Christ United Methodist Church (6000 Old Canton Road) at 8 p.m.,$8. Get your groove on to some country-blues with Seth Libbey and the Liberals at Underground 119 from 8 p.m.-midnight, $10. If you'd like to catch a show with no cover, you can head on over to Fire to hear Crossin Dixon at 10 p.m. For more music listings, visit JFP Music Listings.

Black Farmers to Benefit from Obama Decision

About 24,000 Mississippi black farmers could benefit from a decision by the Obama administration to include a $1.25 billion discrimination settlement in the 2010 federal budget.

Magic Johnson HIV Testing Tour in Jackson

Some 231,000 Americans are infected with HIV and don't know it. Hoping to make an impact on those numbers, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Magic Johnson "Testing America" tour is stopping at Hinds Community College today from 8 a.m. until noon to offer free testing.

Thursday, February 18

Senate Votes to Restore Budget Cuts; Barbour Promises Veto

Gov. Haley Barbour claims he will veto a bill the Mississippi Senate passed today that would restore funding to offset cuts he made to state agencies. "This bill spends too much, burns too much of our reserves, and fails to adequately address Corrections, where we still face the possibility of turning criminals loose due to the lack of funding. I expect the bill to reach my desknext week, and I will veto it and send it back to the Legislature," Barbour said in a statement.

City Threatens Ridgeway Duplex Owner

City's letter to Jennifer Sutton (PDF)

Auto Burglaries puts JPD on Alert

A spike in auto burglaries has the Jackson Police Department increasing patrol units and asking residents not to leave valuable possessions in their cars.

Rev. Eric Pridmore

Rev. Eric Pridmore, 38, hasn't let blindness stop him from hunting. The mounted antlers from a three-point buck he shot hang over his fireplace, a testament to his marksmanship. Pridmore's friend, Ted Kendall IV, helped him gain his trophy.

The Overnight Lows Hit a New High with LP Release on Goner Records

One of my earliest memories in Jackson was stumbling into Martin's Lounge, where I found this really loud, fast punk/garange band called The Overnight Lows. They were composed of Jackson's Marsh and Daphne Nabors, a husband-wife duo that just so happened to rock pretty hard. Their ripsaw guitars and thunderous, rock-god beats filled that tiny space with a wall of sound that could deafen those with lesser hearts.

Soda Tax Will Fizzle Out

Sweetened drinks add to the problem of childhood obesity, according to Andrew Hysall, associate vice president of advocacy and public policy for the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Healthy Kids. A proposal to add a 2-cent per ounce tax to those beverages has little chance of getting through the Mississippi Legislature, however.

Wednesday, February 17

Nice and Slow

That's it; I've had it. Today is not the day.

[Mott] Year of the Tiger

My life has always been filled with challenges; it's the way I like it, always pushing the edges, coming around the curve sideways on two wheels, and hitting the brakes just in time to avoid catastrophe. That may be more than Donna wants to know about me, but then, we've been working together for going on four years, so I think she's got a clue. Chaos follows me around like the little dirt cloud follows Pig Pen in Charles' Schultz "Peanuts," always ready to engulf me.

Bills Target Jackson Development, Infrastructure

In the sixth week of its session, the Mississippi Legislature passed a number of bills relevant to the city of Jackson.

PSC to Rule on Kemper County in May

The Mississippi Public Service Commission will deliver a decision on a proposed $2.4 billion coal plant in Kemper County in May.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Men's college basketball, Vanderbilt at Ole Miss (6 p.m., Oxford, ESPNU, 97.3 FM): Ole Miss' NCAA hopes are hanging by a string. Will Vandy bring the scissors?

Magnanimous Mississippi?

Gov. Haley Barbour has grown inordinately fond of hauling out the phrase, "not business as usual," just before he announces new budget cuts.

[Stiggers] Sweet Music of Hope

Boneqweesha Jones: "Hair Did University presents the Ghetto Science Team Job Counseling Sessions, where unemployed workers from the Ghetto Science community come to the Madame C.J. Walker Student Union for counseling and training twice a month.

[Kamikaze] Give a Damn

Remember Haiti. In whatever you do this week, respect the fragile nature of life. Remember Katrina. This week embrace the positive things around you. Recognize the blessings you've been given.

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In Dat Number

It was a celebration 43 years in the making. Here is the JFP's loving last hurrah for the Super Bowl XLIV Champions the New Orleans Saints and their city. Can you say, "Who Dat"?

Plan B? Flood Control Beyond Lakes and Levees

Flood-control options for the Pearl River seem limited as Jackson-area residents compare the ungainly design of the levee plan designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1996 with the $1.4 billion cost of a lake-development plan.

Behind Barbour's Prison Rhetoric

To hear Gov. Haley Barbour tell it, if he doesn't get his way, the state's fiscal crisis could force thousands of felons out of jail and into communities. Since his Jan. 13 State of the State address, Barbour has repeatedly called for greater authority to cut state agency budgets at his discretion. The threat of convicted criminals on the streets has provided Barbour a rhetorical trump card in budget negotiations.

Bust a Move

"Groovaloo," coming to Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson Feb. 22, binds 10 dancers' true stories of abuse, low self-esteem and poverty with their dances. "These are our stories," Bradley Rapier, creator of the Broadway show, says about his troupe.

Passion, Obsession and Art

In "Swan Thieves" (Little, Brown and Company, 2010, $26.99), author Elizabeth Kostova combines art, obsession, passion and the great lengths people will go to defend their loves.

[Herman's Picks] Vol. 8, No. 23

It's not too late to end your workweek with a laugh.

The Problem With Lakes and Levees

When famed New Urbanist Andre Duany came to Jackson to examine creative solutions to both flooding and economic-development options, he didn't get excited about the Two Lakes development plan developed by geologist and oilman John McGowan.

Stephanie Lacy

Stephanie Lacy is soft spoken and petite. When this single mother and student talks about her daughter--her butterfly--her face lights up with wisdom seldom seen in a 26 year old.

‘Personhood' Petition Filed

Personhood Mississippi, an anti-abortion organization led by Les Riley of Pontotoc, has filed a petition with the secretary of state's office to put the issue of when life begins on a ballot for voters to decide, reports WXVT. The organization's position is that life begins at fertilization.

Tuesday, February 16

Speed Answers Ethics Questions with Challenge to Levee Board

After giving away part of his family's property bordering the Two Lakes development footprint last week in response to ethics questions, Jackson businessman Leland Speed today asked fellow Levee Board members to provide a list of gifts they have received from vendors and contractors doing business with the levee board.

JFP Snowman Contest Photos and Winners

Does the creative spirit in Jackson know no limits? Apparently temperature has nothing to do with it. Last Friday, we were thrilled to see the contest entries rolling in on "Snowmaggedon 2010" when people got out and came up with some extremely creative artistic expressions in the snow. As you'll see in the gallery, everyone got an honorific or two, but we've chosen a handful for actual prizes.

Hinds Pushes Bonds for Sleep Inn, Valley Title

Hinds County Supervisors approved using federal stimulus bonds for two private development projects today. Supervisors approved a motion to provide $2 million in Recovery Zone Facility Bonds to the Jackson-based LEAD Group, LLC, which is constructing a Sleep Inn on Gallatin Street in downtown Jackson. The board also voted to provide $1.76 million from the same bond fund as an incentive to develop the Mississippi Valley Title building.

Lauren Smith

Whether she is setting up a karaoke birthday party or taking a child on a special outing, Lauren Smith, 24, goes out of her way for the children at Mississippi Children's Home Services.

[Balko] How Many More Are Innocent?

Calculating the percentage of innocents now in prison is a tricky and controversial process. In hundreds of cases, courts have overturned convictions due to lack of evidence, recantation of eyewitness testimony, or police or prosecutorial misconduct, cases for which no DNA evidence was present to establish definitive guilt or innocence.

Some Adopt Wait-and-See Attitude on Cold Meds Law

Law enforcement officers in Mississippi are expressing mixed reactions to a new law signed by Gov. Haley Barbour last week, reports The Hattiesburg American. The Magnolia state is the second state in the union to make pseudoephedrine available by prescription only beginning July 1, the first being Oregon.

Monday, February 15

Readers' Valentine's Day Letters

From Dianne Bell

The response to our call for Valentine's love letters was terrific. Unfortunately, we couldn't possibly print all of them. Below are the ones that didn't get into our print edition last week.

Effort to Rework Levee Board Fails

A play to support a controversial lakes plan died on the House calender last week. The bill, H.B. 1549, proposed changing the make-up of the Rankin-Hinds Pearl Flood and Drainage Control District Levee Board. Authored by Rep. Mary Coleman, D-Jackson, and co-sponsored by Rep. Bill Denny, R-Jackson, and Rita Martinson, R-Madison, the bill would have expanded the Levee Board's membership with state appointees and extra members representing Hinds County.

House Tries Budget Restoration, Again

The Mississippi House of Representatives has sent the Senate a second proposal to restore some state budget cuts, while negotiators attempt to reach a compromise on an earlier proposal. The House plan passed by a wide margin Thursday morning, and the full Senate could take it up when it reconvenes tomorrow.

Dr. Robert Pearigen

Dr. Robert Pearigen's ability to take on a $160 million capital campaign while remaining a passionate professor caught the eye of the presidential search committee at Millsaps College.

Community Events and Public Meetings

5:30 p.m., Evening in Maroon Gala, at the Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). The reception begins at 5:30 p.m., and the dinner, auction and program follows at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds will fund scholarships for incoming Mississippi State University students from central Mississippi. Tickets can be purchased via e-mail or online. $50; call 601-320-3997.

Bill Reduces Out-of-State Tuition

The Mississippi Senate passed a bill last week to reduce tuition for out-of-state students, bringing their tuition in line with in-state students. The bill, S.B. 2285, is designed to encourage more out-of-state enrollments into state schools, which have been historically unable to compete for students from other states.

Friday, February 12

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Be My Valentine: Sweet Events and Attractions in Jackson

Many Jackson area restaurants, hotels and attractions are offering sweetheart treats in honor of Valentine's Day.

My "Big Snow" Pics and Video

It's been a while since I've seen THIS much snow in these parts, so I decided to capture some of the white stuff on my handy little Cybershot. Enjoy!

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Snow Ice Cream: Here Are Readers' Recipes (Add Yours!)

But now for the snow ice cream recipes:

Ah, a snow day in Mississippi. It doesn't happen very often, but every time it does, southerners start craving snow ice cream. We're asking readers on Twitter and Facebook and all of you to provide your favorite snow ice-cream recipes. Here are what we've gotten so far; add your own in comments! Also, enter the JFP Snowman contest; tweet @jxnfreepress (hashtag #jfpsnowman), post to or share on Facebook anytime today! Or, e-mail to [e-mail missing].

Assistant Chief: Avoid Driving in Weather

The Jackson Police Department reported low crime figures in some precincts throughout the week of Feb. 1 to Feb. 7, but police are gearing up to deal with any potential hazards resulting from expected snowfall this week.

Thursday, February 11

An Early Valentine's

Although this was written before Valentine's Day, it serves its purpose for the occasion. As a writer (I use that term loosely), I have found that when a moment hits you to write, you do everything in your power to write. The below piece was written in my head one November night last year. LK was away in Kentucky, and it was our first time away from each other for an extended period of time. I "wrote" the piece in my head as I stood outside. Amazingly, I got the pad and pen out and was able to capture the moment.

Speed to Turn Over Property, Calls Ethics Issue ‘Moot'

Jackson businessman and Levee Board member Leland Speed is donating a portion of the property that spurred charges of an ethics violation to Mississippi College. Speed told the Jackson Free Press this morning that he is donating his interest in a family-owned property that borders the Pearl River floodplain to quell any possible concerns over his ethics.

Stephen Holder

After several of Stephen Holder's friends died from HIV/AIDS in the 1990s, he wanted to raise money and awareness about the disease to help save the lives of others.

Bill Expands Mississippi Gun Rights

In a near unanimous vote, the state Senate passed a bill yesterday that will allow Mississippi hand-gun owners to walk into restaurants and parks with their weapons, reports The Commercial Appeal. The Magnolia state joins Tennessee in attempting to expand the rights of handgun owners.

Race Relations…What a Headache

Youth Media Project

Tolerance is a limited, quick answer, but doesn't address the entire situation. At the end of the day, our process of trying to reach new levels of conversation are the true product that we need. This is something else I learned: sometimes process is progress. We work to communicate, not fully understanding what will lie at our conquest's end. As an artist though, I feel as if I must help capture and transform each moment of this progression so that the truths of each moment are not lost.

Wednesday, February 10

Precocious Strings

Fifteen-year-old Nathaniel Smith eagerly leads me upstairs to his second-floor bedroom in an expansive ranch house nestled in rural Brandon. Opening a white case, he produces a sleek, antiquated mahogany cello, made in 1896 by Vincentius Postiglione.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Men's college basketball, Ole Miss at Mississippi State (8 p.m., Starkville, ESPN or ESPN2, 97.3 FM, 105.9 FM): This game could be good for what ails both the Rebels and Bulldogs. Unfortunately, it seems to bring out the worst in both squads.

[McLaughlin] Lovers Unite

The people who go out of their way to make life better for others inspire me. With Valentine's Day approaching, we should celebrate our love—not only for each other, but our love for our city. Let's strive to see the bigger picture, especially when pettiness comes between us. I've learned that it's our setbacks that make success and victory sweet.

Protecting Women, Battling the Budget

Jackson state Sen. David Blount has pushed through three bills strengthening domestic-violence laws and protecting victims of abuse.

Eyes Wide Shut

About four years ago, a colleague invited Myra Ottewell, a native Jacksonian and teacher in British Columbia, to speak to his class after they viewed "Mississippi Burning," the 1988 movie about the murders of civil rights workers Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner in Philadelphia, Miss.

Pearl River-Related Bills

Legislators introduced a number of bills during this year's legislative session that would have had some bearing on Pearl River flood control, although a few of the measures are dead.

Hands Off the Levee Board

We weren't surprised to learn that supporters of the Two Lakes Pearl development project are pushing the state Legislature to take more control of the local Levee Board—reconfiguring the appointees so that the board might finally support the controversial project that can't seem to get "yes" for an answer. The move isn't subtle.

[Stiggers] Tuning the Toyotillac

Mr. Announcement: "Live from the Clubb Chicken Wing Multi-Purpose Complex, G-SPAN (the Ghetto-Satellite Public Affairs Network) presents a brief press conference held by Big Deacon Jones, chairman of the deacon board, head mechanic and company spokesperson of Rev. Cletus' Car Sales Church.

[Wilkes] Why I'm a Feminist

Feminism. Why is this word considered so foul coming from the mouths of men? It seems like nine times out of 10 when I use this word in a conversation with another man, a thick blanket of awkwardness falls over us.

A Day in the Life of a Private School Kid

Youth Media Project

7:23 AM: Arriving at school, I remember it is Senior Skip Day, and park in the farthest area of the Junior parking lot, rather than at the gym where the Sophomores are supposed to park. I walk about what seems four miles to get to the library and print off my Chemistry lab worksheets, and then remember about my Hamlet test, which starts in eight minutes.

What Did You Have For Breakfast?

Youth Media Project

It's an embarrassing and tedious process filling out financial aid forms. It makes me want to send an e-mail to these schools saying, "My mother is my only source of income, she works in retail, and I live in Mississippi. Can't you just believe I need the money?!"

I Hear You Don't Have a Religion/Denomination/Highly Complicated System of Beliefs that exclude…

..several types of people, so that means you must like it hot...

Disclaimer: I realize that half of what I've said is not accurate, and is biased. I don't claim to be a religious guru and I am not without prejudices. I'm just somebody still trying to figure it out and would appreciate it if people would allow me to.

Our Heads Have Out-Grown the Crown, But Have We Grown to Wear It?

Youth Media Project

We are the trailblazers for the next generation. We are the ones who will impact our communities and help shape and mold their atmosphere. The only just way to do this, is to humble ourselves and get out into the community and SERVE. Having my brothers' back does not only apply to Morehouse, this is a concept that should be embedded into the minds of all.

Little Love for Levees

The meeting room for the Rankin-Hinds Pearl Flood and Drainage Control District Levee Board in Flowood filled with rancor Monday, Feb. 8, after the board learned that the state Legislature may vote to dilute its authority to make flood-control decisions for the metro area, clearing the way for the controversial Two Lakes development plan to come back to life.

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The Love Issue

With Valentine's Day on Sunday, the Jackson Free Press gives you everything you need to make your day, from great food to cool gifts and a good measure of sage advice.

Love is Hell (But Ain't It Grand)

"I just want to find my soulmate.

A Guy's Guide to V-Day

Well guys, it's that time of year that we all dread. (No, not your mother's birthday. Don't worry; you didn't forget it. … I hope). It's Valentine's Day. … DUN DUN DUN.

A Fine Southern Romance

As a young girl, Mississippi author Melanie Atkins grew up listening to the tall tales that embody the oral tradition of the Deep South. Writing was her passion, and she scribbled stories about her feline pets. Now she is a multi-format author blending suspense and romance into popular works.

Two Nights with King Edward

Prior to 2009, the most interesting thing I'd ever heard about The King Edward Hotel was as follows: "One time, I threw a toilet off of the roof." A friend of mine had chuckled this statement while bellied up to the bar at Hal & Mal's, as we discussed some apparent construction going on at the Jackson landmark. It seemed everyone had some story about playing around in the bones of the old man... tales of the clandestine feats of bored youth, possibly illegal activities, and the lifestyles of the destitute. And through the laughs about stumbling upon homeless enclaves or dead animals, there was always an underlying sadness. Held aloft miraculously by the condemnable structure underneath, the rusty letterforms of the name ironically proclaimed a regal past. I imagined standing on top of the building, as would one of those letters, surveying the ragged edifices of Capital and Farish below. It seemed, to me, a kingdom of blight. Here stands Edward, master of all he surveyed.

Advice for Gents on Valentine's Day

Trust me, guys, you need to learn a new dish. Lucky for you, I have just the answer. This recipe has everything you need to sweep your lady off her feet. It has drama, excitement, fancy French words and, most of all, deliciousness. This Valentine's Day, you will be making Steak Au Poivre (pronounced: Oh-pwah) with Lobster Whipped Potatoes and Sauteed Asparagus (pronounced: Dee-lish-ush) followed by a Fresh Strawberry Cocktail.

Memory Boxes

Each year, I try to make a homemade valentine for at least one person I care about. This is also the time of year I'm short on cash, and getting crafty is a great way to save money.

Valentine's Shopping Guide

For all your lovey-dovey needs, be sure and check out this week's JFP flip book for a complete listing of where to find all that smells like chocolate in Jackson.

Creating The Music for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is a day for partners to share their love for one another. Some people prepare romantic evenings at home by candlelight or plan a night on the town with dinner at a favorite restaurant. Others write love letters and poems, or craft handmade gifts and cards.

Doing Valentine's the Green Way

The old standby of flowers and candy can get old. Guys, as impossible as it sounds, even women can get sick of chocolate. And whether your beloved is trying to reduce her carbon footprint or you are looking for something different this Valentine's Day, going green can keep it interesting.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Too often, the break-up song subgenre is not diverse enough. There are several types of break-up songs, generally falling under one of two tents.

Not This, Not That

In her newest book, Karen Armstrong expands on a premise I first came upon in her 2001 book, "The Battle for God," in which she wrote that religious fundamentalism is a thoroughly modern invention, unheard of prior to the late 19th century.

Reveling in the Details

How do you measure the heft of a novel? I don't mean its weight in your hand, but its importance, its influence. If you're an inveterate reader, as in firmly established by long persistence, you realize you take in every word, you know the novel's characters, you assimilate what happens to them, using your own life to interpret.

Charter Schools Bill Passes Senate

In a 29 to 14 vote yesterday, the Mississippi Senate passed a bill allowing for the creation of new charter schools in the state starting in 2011, reports The bill is sponsored by Sen. Michael Watson, R-Pascagoula. The bill is on its way to the House Education Committee.

Tara Richardson

It may seem unlikely to see smiles on the faces of patients when walking into a doctor's, dentist's or therapist's exam room.

Cold Weather Shelters

The following shelters will be open during the Cold Weather, beginning tonight:

If you or someone you know needs a warm place to go in the midst of this nasty winter blast we're having, the city of Jackson has several options available. Verbatim:

Tuesday, February 9

ABC News: GOP, Party of No?

Interesting that ABC seems to be taking the gloves off in this one. Maybe the snow is finally getting to the national media up there in D.C. I think it's good that this obstructionism in Washington is getting some light. Maybe now we can get some stuff done -- yes, in a bi-partisan way -- in D.C. (I, for one, want to hear more about these tax credits for employees!)

Local Studio Brings Art to Life

ArtWorks Studio in Brandon is offering creative new classes and workshops this year. Each class offers a distinct and diverse objective for all ages. Lori Rene', 31, the owner and the only instructor of Artworks, says her passion is to inspire others toward their own individual creativity. The studio offers a myriad of classes, including pottery, painting, craft workshops and more.

Walter Young

There was a point in time when Walter Young, 26, wanted his music to be typical of "the band in the bar" style rather than improvised. After experimenting with his band in 2005, Young, a Jackson native, now appreciates and helps to promote improvisational art in the city.

[Balko] Trial By Ordeal

A couple of centuries after the age of King Arthur, much of Europe began to engage in similarly ridiculous rituals to determine guilt in cases that lacked eyewitnesses or physical evidence. These rituals, called ordeals, were usually conducted in a church by high-ranking clergy

Monday, February 8

Levee Board Opposes State Takeover Attempt

The Pearl River Levee Board is angry that the Legislature is trying to end-run their authority—and the Flowood mayor accuses one of the members of ethics violations.

New Buses Give Boost to JATRAN

The uncertain future of JATRAN will become a bit more certain this afternoon when Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. unveils 16 new JATRAN buses at a 1:30 p.m. press conference.

Kynesha Williams

"You can dream it, or you can make it happen" are words Kynesha Williams lives by. Williams, 28, is the founder of BeanSprout Benefit, a foundation that raises money for rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injuries.

Community Events and Public Meetings

Monday, Feb. 8 6 p.m.

"The Vagina Monologues" Auditions, at The Cedars Historic Home (4145 Old Canton Rd.). Open auditions will be held for a reading of Eve Ensler's book. E-mail [e-mail missing] to reserve a time slot.

Sports: Saints Win Super Bowl

The New Orleans Saints rallied from a 10-0 first-quarter deficit to beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV. Bless you, boys. And now New Orleans is throwing the biggest party in Big Easy history.

House Voted to Sell Jet

On the Mississippi House list of ways to deal with the state's budget crunch is selling the state's jet used by Gov. Haley Barbour. Last week, House lawmakers voted to put the Cessna Citation, valued at about $2.7 million, on the auction block, reports Business Week.

Bill Advocates School Bus Ads

In a 94-21 vote last week, Mississippi House members voted to allow advertising on school buses as a measure to offset some of the state's budget belt-tightening, reports The Sun Herald. The bill imposes some restriction on the types of ads that would be allowed. Ads for alcohol, tobacco, junk food, and political and religious causes are banned.

Sunday, February 7

Game Thread: Saints Win Super Bowl XLIV

A key question in today's Super Bowl is the health of Indianapolis Colts' defensive end Dwight Freeney, who is known for his Pro Bowl caliber ability to put pressure on the quarterback.

Saints: Do It for Daddy

I hate driving down Woodrow Wilson in Jackson. Eventually, I'll come to the intersection where Veteran's Memorial Stadium stares out at me and forces my right turn signal. My car automatically circles the stadium, and I reminisce of years gone by—years when I was introduced to football.

Friday, February 5

No Humble Pie Needed

Ahhh, humble pie. I have never acquired the taste for it, but have had to devour it on many occasions. Haven't most of us? I am more of a beignet kind of guy. Love the sweetness and the caked-on powdered sugar gloves that comes along with consuming them. And we all know where the best beignets are served: The Big Easy. Many duplicate the original, but none ever comes close to it, well kind of. They are served hot and fresh with coffee that wakes you up just by the smell. Served 24 hours a day, it is one of the must-do's on my visits.

Tribe Remembers Former Chief Phillip Martin

The following is a verbatim statement from Chief Miko Beasley Denson of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians:

Barbour Announces $21 Million More in Budget Cuts

Gov. Haley Barbour announced another round of state budget cuts totalling $21 million today. Today's cuts, which represent roughly 0.5 percent of the state budget, bring total cuts for the 2010 fiscal year to $458.5 million. The governor warned that this round of reductions was based on the highest of three different estimates of future tax revenues.

Kemper Coal Plant Hearing Draws Protest

A crowd of 100 piled into the chambers of the Mississippi Public Service Commission this morning, offering a variety of opinions in support or opposition to a proposed $2.4 billion coal gasification plant in Kemper County.

Jackson Businesses Ready For Super Bowl

What better way to spend Super Bowl Sunday than with an abundance of beer, bar food and emotionally charged football fanatics?

Lester Raymond Jones Jr.

Family and friends are searching for Lester Raymond Jones Jr., a Mississippi State University student with a promising future.

Barbour Delays Further Budget Cuts

Gov. Haley Barbour canceled a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. this morning at which he was expected to announce additional state budget cuts for this fiscal year. A press release confirming the cancellation said that Barbour "continues to analyze budget options."

Thursday, February 4

Tease photo

Dear John: A Babe, A Beefcake, A Break-Up

The allure of a babe and a beefcake in a priggish bodice ripper of conventional romance doesn't carry the same weight of appeal as it did when I was tween-aged. Cozy crush flicks, like Dear John, are snicker material for the over age 12 crowd. I didn't snicker as much as I yawned with sheer exhaustion. This is a monumentally sluggish and shallow film. This picture hums a tiresome whine of unrequited love that falters to a fuzzy fizzle at the end.

[Slate] This Week's Best In Sports

Thursday, Feb. 4

Women's college basketball, Kentucky at Ole Miss (6 p.m., Oxford, Fox Sports South): The Lady Rebels are challenging for an SEC title. Hello, NCAAs.

Family of Man Killed In Fire Wants Answers

Nearly two weeks after a fire destroyed a West Jackson warehouse, the Jackson Fire Department recovered the body of a homeless man in the collapsed structure. Now family members of the man, Jeremy Smith, want to know why it took investigators until Jan. 28 to discover that Smith died in the Jan. 17 fire. They say that Smith, 20, was apparently sleeping in the building at the corner of Capitol and Lemon streets.

New Bank Focuses on Local Economy

An African American-owned bank will open a new branch on Livingston Road today with plans to invest in the future of Jackson.

JFP Person of Day: Jesse O'Quinn

On a recent Sunday morning, Jesse O'Quinn woke up thinking about plans for his upcoming 23rd birthday. He couldn't shake recent images he'd seen of the devastation in Haiti, and instead of getting presents on his birthday, he wanted to give back.

Wednesday, February 3

My Hero the Gyro

My affair with the gyro sandwich (pronounced YEER-oh, not JI-roh) began as a small child. I remember my father taking me to a small family-owned storefront inside a shopping mall 30 miles outside of Chicago.

Coal Plant on Public Hot Seat This Week

The Mississippi Public Service Commission began the second phase of hearings this week to determine the need for a proposed $2.4 billion coal plant in Kemper County.

The Imperial Low Road

Adam Lynch of the Jackson Free Press broke the story last week that Jackson State University President Ronald Mason was floating a plan to merge the state's historically black colleges. The news caused a media frenzy and outrage among graduates of the state's three public HBCUs.

[Stiggers] What About The Milk?

Rev. I.M. Vegan: "Welcome to the Vegetarian Church's 'Save the Water and Food Supply in the Ghetto' National Conference."

[Collier] And the Nominees Are

Natalie A. Collier

I own and proudly wear a T-shirt that declares, "I Love Black People." Once, when I was wearing it, a white guy told me—with an inquisitive inflection at the end of his statementדYou wouldn't like it if I wore a shirt that said 'White Power.' That's what you're doing.

Who Dat Nation: A History Lesson

Hell has frozen over.

Who Owns 'Who Dat'?

The Saints' first trip to the Super Bowl may be the sports feel-good story of the century (so far), but the NFL is always about the bottom line.

Party Food, New Orleans Style

The Super Bowl. It is the High Holy Day for football fans across the world. It causes a statistically significant increase in the consumption of chicken wings and avocados that can be tracked and quantified. It turns casual fans into jersey-wearing fanatics. Even the commercials are special.

Tease photo

The People's Victory

Enough with the "signs of the apocalypse" rhetoric. The New Orleans Saints have been the best team in the NFL this season.

Unapologetic Feminism

Julia A. Fenton recalls a couple viewing one of her exhibits: They bent their heads together and discussed the image in front of them, she says.

Haiti Still Needs Our Help

Local relief efforts for Haiti in the Jackson area are strong, but you can help reinforce the resolve of Mississippians devoted to making a difference in the wake of the recent disastrous earthquake.

Homespun Horror

Watching "Night of the Loup Garou" is like crowding into your friend's basement to screen a film you shot on the weekends and your evenings off.

Southern? Not So Much

Years ago, Oxford American magazine published an issue with a Southern Womanhood theme, featuring Ashley Judd in a University of Kentucky jersey. Men lusted after southern women in numerous articles.

Melody from (Mechanical) Defeat

¡Los Buddies! can find inspiration in the midst of gear malfunction. The Jackson-based band has battled a steady stream of failing amplifiers and broken guitars since forming in 2005.

[Rob In Stereo] Dropping the Ball

The television event of the year is fast approaching: Super Bowl XLIV. Everyone knows that the Super Bowl is the annual perfect storm of sports, music, advertisements and pyrotechnics culminating in the highest-rated night of television of the year.

[Herman's Picks] Vol. 8, No. 21

February is here, and the theme for the Mal's St. Paddy's Parade is in the works. That means you're probably looking with a hopeful eye toward spring and spring break road trips.

Sex Ed Advocates Attack ‘Just Wait'

National and state sex-education advocates are rallying in support of comprehensive sex education, citing a report released last week showing the failure of abstinence-only-until-marriage education in Mississippi.

State Arts School in Jeopardy?

With proposals for the merger of universities and public-school districts attracting substantial public outcry and debate, Gov. Haley Barbour's call for merging two statewide magnet high schools has drawn less vocal opposition at the state capitol. Educators, city leaders and legislators from Brookhaven, where the Mississippi School of the Arts is located, worry that higher-profile battles and a drastically smaller state budget may thwart their defense of the fledgling arts magnet school.

The War on ‘Sudafed' Grows

The Mississippi Senate passed a bill Tuesday requiring drugs containing pseudoephedrine be sold by prescription only. The bill is a sister bill to House Bill 512, a constitutional amendment authored by Rep. Ed Blackmon, D-Canton, which also targets a common ingredient in over-the-counter cold and allergy medicine.

Legislature Week 4: Money and Meth

The House and Senate were up against deadline yesterday for committees to either approve or reject proposed bills. The next deadline is a Feb. 11 end-date for the House and Senate to act on bills that survived committees. But the approaching deadlines took a back seat to the House and Gov. Haley Barbour's budget priorities.

No Lottery This Year

A bill paving the way for a state-run lottery to support education died in committee this week, despite growing popularity. House Gaming Committee Chairman Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, held the last Gaming Committee meeting on Monday without taking up House Bill 337, and scheduled no Tuesday committee meeting.

[Stauffer] America's Team

So I'm a Saints fan. I love watching Brees when he's in the groove, and I love watching the interceptions and Bush pylon leaps ... and I still dream about that strip-six by Meacham. All that talent combined with determination to alter the narrative both for their franchise and for their city makes 2009 the year that the New Orleans Saints' wonderful story inspires folks around the world.

Former Choctaw Chief Hospitalized

Phillip Martin, the former chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, has been hospitalized at St. Dominic's Hospital in Jackson. Martin, 84, held the democratically elected post of the group's chief for 32 years, with his tenure ending in 2007. His condition is unavailable at this time.

Bryan Eubank

Most guys love sports. No big surprise there. But only a few find a way to take that passion and turn it into a livelihood. Bryan Eubank is someone who has done just that.

Tuesday, February 2

Husband Speaks About Wife Shot at JSU

The husband of a woman shot at Jackson State University last night is asking for authorities to help find the suspect who is still at large.

Today is D-Day for Controversial Bills

The Mississippi Legislature has one of its busiest days today as committees scramble to pass most general bills. State lawmakers have until midnight tonight to get committee approval for any non-revenue bills originating in their own chamber. That means that many contentious measures may die tonight for lack of progress.

Senate Joins House in Passing ‘Sudafed' Bill; Barbour Supports

The Mississippi Senate today passed a bill requiring that pseudoephedrine be sold by prescription only in the state. The drug is a key ingredient in both cold medicines and methamphetamine, or meth. The House passed the bill last week. Minutes ago, Gov. Haley Barbour released a statement in support of the bill:

Dorothy Stewart

Dorothy Stewart is putting the issues on the air. Education, health care, job opportunities, the proposed consolidation of historically black colleges and universities, the role churches play in African American communities and the Farish Street development project are all issues "that need to be addressed and understood" by the people of Jackson, Stewart says.

[Balko] Ruining Kids in Order to Save Them

That the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would even need to hear oral arguments in the case of Miller, et al. v. Skumanick last week is a pretty good indication that law enforcement officials in Wyoming County, Pa. have lost their collective minds.

The Pre-College Life

Youth Media Project

For a little while though, my vision was blurred. I got caught up in this college race and tried to do lots of things for college, because all of the other students around me were doing it. They were just doing things to put on their résumés, but this just didn't feel right to me. I had to figure out for myself that there is not necessarily a right way to live. I just need to do what feels right to me, and those are the things that I actually enjoy; things that I care about.

There Should be a Disclaimer

Youth Media Project

There should be a disclaimer at the bottom of TicketMaster's webpage that reads something along these lines: "This agency was only able to afford 30 minutes of this entertainers' time. Therefore, you are paying $46.10 to sit through 2 hours of mediocre opening acts, and, honestly, we advise you to keep your money."

A New Development

Youth Media Project

Water is one of the basic essentials of life. Use it wisely...because we never truly can appreciate it's full value until we have to suffer without it.

DEADLINES - There's a Reason Why There's "Dead" in the Word

Youth Media Project

The pressure is intense. Starting at the beginning of 2010, colleges already expected something out of us [seniors]. Some wanted applications, but all of them encouraged their applicants and parents/guardians to fill out the glorious FAFSA form. Even though I'm pretty relaxed now because some of the pressure has been released (I've been accepted to some places :D), I still can't help but believe that to do so sooner is the best thing I can do.

Phil Speaks: Six More Weeks of Winter

Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil of weather-prediction fame came out of his Pennsylvania hole this morning to give the world bad news: we're in for six more weeks of winter. Phil, who traditionally peeks out Feb. 2 every year, saw his shadow, reports the Hattiesburg American.

Monday, February 1

Gaming Chairman: Lottery Effort ‘Swimming Upstream'

House Gaming Committee Chairman Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, had a difficult time making a decision on a bill paving the way for a state-run lottery to support education. House Bill 337 would create a statewide special election for the purpose of allowing the electorate to vote on establishing a state lottery as a form of legalized gaming.

Senate Passes on MUW Name Change

The Mississippi Senate Universities and Colleges Committee failed to take action on a proposed name change for the Mississippi University for Women at its meeting this afternoon, effectively killing the effort in the Senate. The measure, Senate Bill 2702, would have allowed the state College Board to change the name of MUW, unofficially known as "the W." MUW President Claudia Limbert, who is retiring at the end of this school year, announced the university's preference for "Reneau University" in August.

PSC Attorney Withdraws from Coal Plant Hearing

A Mississippi Public Service Commission attorney gathering information for a second-phase hearing on the workability of a proposed $2.4 billion coal plant in Kemper County withdrew her participation from the issue this morning.

Domestic Abuse Bills Near Deadline

With an early deadline for bills bearing down Tuesday at midnight, state legislators have only two days to act on a number of bills that would stiffen the penalties for abusive behavior.

Kaye Carr

Selflessness is not a common quality, but it is embedded deeply in Kaye Carr. Carr, 37, serves on the board of directors at Hope Hollow Ministries, a Canton-based non-profit that provides opportunities for children and adults with disabilities to go to summer camp. Born and raised in Ridgeland, Carr now lives in Canton and got involved with Hope Hollow nearly a year ago through her 5-year-old son Sam, who has sensory issues similar to autism.

Community Events and Public Meetings

Super Bowl XLIV Tickets Auction at Jackson Touchdown Club Web site. The two tickets (eBay item number 250569896007) have a face value of $800 each. Proceeds benefit the Gene May Scholarship Fund. Minimum bid of $1600; call 601-506-3186 or 601-953-6813.

A Lottery for Mississippi?

State Rep. Alyce Clarke, D-Jackson, has introduced a bill allowing voters to decide whether the Magnolia state will institute a lottery to help pay for college scholarships, reports WAPT. The House Gaming Committee will debate the bill, HR 337, today.