Stories for July 2010


Friday, July 30

Civil Rights Memorial Corridor Moving Forward

Jackson State University is moving ahead with a project to transform a section of Lynch Street near the university into a memorial to the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, Interim JSU President Leslie Burl McLemore said today.

Mississippi Worst in the Nation for Child Well-Being

Mississippi ranks last in the nation for overall child wellness, according to findings from an Annie E. Casey Foundation study released earlier this week.

Cathy Baker

As head server and bartender at the Fairview Inn's restaurant, Sophia's, Cathy Baker is responsible for more than just food and drink. She is an unofficial ambassador for the city.

Weekend Events

Start your weekend off right with a little back-to-school shopping. The Mississippi Sales Tax Holiday started at 12:01 a.m. today and ends Saturday at midnight. Buy shoes and clothes that retail for less than $100, and you pay no sales tax. Head to the Department of Revenue website for complete information.

Hood Seeks Transparent Claims Process

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and other Gulf states attorneys general will meet today with Ken Feinberg, BP claims administrator for the Obama administration, to present a protocol for residents filing claims against the oil giant for damages due to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

Thursday, July 29

JFP Wins Shining Example Award

Verbatim Statement: Jackson, Mississippi - The "best of the best" of Jackson's tourism industry were honored today at the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau's 2010 Hometown Hero and SUMITT Awards ceremony at the Jackson Convention Complex.

Mental Health Claims From Oil Spill Probably Won't Be Paid

BP's $20 billion fund to compensate those hurt by the Gulf oil spill will probably turn down one controversial class of claims: those for mental-health problems.

Jackson Pushes Brownfield Grants

The city of Jackson has two months to spend the remainder of a federal grant aimed at spurring the redevelopment of underused industrial or commercial sites. At a meeting this morning, city officials encouraged property owners and developers to apply for the city's Brownfields Redevelopment Grant Program, which pays for environmental assessments on properties that may be contaminated with hazardous substances or chemicals.

Jay Dean

Jay Dean saw his first opera more than three decades ago, and his passion for the art has grown since then.

Barbour Downplays Oil to Lt. Governors

Speaking to a group of about 20 of the nation's lieutenant governors in Biloxi yesterday, Gov. Haley Barbour used his pulpit to minimize the damage of the destroyed BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, reports The Miami Herald.

Wednesday, July 28

Karaoke Connections

In a darkly lit corner of Fenian's Pub on Fortification Street, an older long-haired man in a T-shirt looks around tentatively as he puts down his pint. His wife, still clad in her hospital scrubs, smiles eagerly.

Karaoke Wishes, Contract Dreams

Ever dreamed of getting up to sing the karaoke track you're known for—"‘I Will Survive' as performed by Gloria Gaynor," perhaps—and in the audience sat a record producer looking for fresh talent? After you're done singing, he walks up to you and exclaims he hasn't heard a voice like yours in decades and everyone across the country deserves to hear your talent—nay, your gift.

Hospitality for Less

"If there is any concept worth restoring to its original depth and evocative potential, it is the concept of hospitality," wrote Henri Nouwen in his 1975 book "Reaching Out." As a young couple on a budget, my husband, Mason, and I have sought to weave this notion of hospitality into our lives without over-spending.

Demystifying Wine

From the earliest days, wine has been looked upon as a natural remedy for man's ills. In ancient times, physicians found it invaluable. Today, many doctors recommend it for various ailments such as improving heart health.

Slim-Down Challenge

The sugary-sweet scent of morning pastries pervades the air among the boisterous morning patrons in the tiny, single room of Scurlock's Donut Shop and Eatery near the corner of South Congress and Pearl streets. What better place to meet with two men who have recently embarked on a weight-loss challenge?

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: Hang on, sports fans. The NFL starts playing meaningless games in just over a week.

Shall We Overcome?

I find it hard to trust someone who claims we should never talk about race. And I find it impossible to fathom someone who says it's "racist" to call out racism.

JPS Board Mulling Metrocenter Move

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. said at last week's Jackson Public Schools board meeting that he supports developer David Watkins' vision to relocate the entirety of JPS administration to the Metrocenter Mall, but said it was not his place to influence the decision.

Constitution Man

Bill Marcy is a history buff and cites articles of the Constitution when making his case for the role of government. The Chicago native will challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi's second congressional district this November.

Is Suing in Our Best Interest?

Gov. Haley Barbour said he is moving forward with a plan to hire counsel to stop the spread of Choctaw gaming to Jones County, but is the investment in lawyers really worth the trip to court?

[Stiggers] ‘Letter of Concern'

Miss Doodle Mae: "Good morning, Jojo's Discount Dollar Store staff! Jojo asked me to conduct a special staff meeting in response to the Shirley Sherrod controversy. Most of you witnessed a hasty decision—caused by a manipulative individual—to terminate a sincere and diligent employee."

Be Vigilant

Donna Ladd's "My Kind of Tea Party," which appeared in your July 15-21, 2010, issue, brought back vivid memories of a few people who spoke out against unbridled racist propaganda and hate-inspired actions that have made Mississippi the poster state for pervasive racism.

[Mott] ‘Bring On the Rest'

Driving away from Parchman Penitentiary on the night Mississippi executed Joseph Burns, I was having trouble putting my feelings into words. I had just watched a man die in front of my eyes and yet, I was oddly calm, as if I had just walked out of a movie theater.

Tease photo

Keeping Kids In School

Inside the Medical Mall's Thad Cochran Center, a group of students and teachers hover around a circular table.

Slow Progress On Pre-K

Early-childhood education in Mississippi is the big engine that couldn't: Despite reams of documentation showing its economic and educational benefits, pre-kindergarten has not attracted the political support—and public funding—in Mississippi it has in many neighboring states.

Tough Times Await Bigger JPS Board

Jackson Public Schools will enter the coming school year with a lean budget and a growing Board of Trustees. The five-member school board, which already boasts four members with less than a year of experience each, is set to add two new members this fall.

Minimalist Musings

Though a lover of words, Wyatt Hillyer is not very good with them. The main character in "What is Left the Daughter" by Howard Norman, Hillyer writes to his daughter: "My whole life, Marlais, I've had difficulty coming up with the right word to use in a given situation, but at least I know what the right word would have been once I hear it."

Children's Canvas Conversations

Local artist Rosalind Roy, or Roz as she prefers to be called, does not like to think of herself as a teacher—not in the traditional sense of the word, that is. And calling her a teacher might be mischaracterizing the work that she's doing at her summer art camps for children that she holds at her spacious studio in Fondren.

Whitney Barkley

Growing up, Whitney Barkley never dreamed she would be a lawyer.

Council Approves Capitol Street Construction

The Jackson City Council approved a memorandum of understanding last night granting Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. the authority to continue to change Capitol Street into a two-way street.

Hinds Youth Center Director Resigns

The troubled Hinds County Youth Detention Center has lost its second director in one year. Clifton Strong resigned July 20, only one month after he accepted the director position. Strong follows the previous director, Darron Farr, who resigned in March after managing the detention facility, also known as the Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center, for two years.

Neshoba County Fair Sked

The week-long Neshoba County Fair is a summer tradition of family, fun, festivities and politics in Philadelphia, Miss. On Thursday, candidates running for office kick off the political speeches, and Gov. Haley Barbour wraps things up. The speeches take place at the pavilion in the fair's Founder's Square. For more information, visit Follow the Jackson Free Press for updates on the political speeches.

Ridgeland Apartment Complex says "Jackson" crime has spilled into Madison WHAAAA??

In the latest in Jackson bashing news: I have a colleague who recently showed me the weekly newsletter from his apartment complex. While the actual complex will remain nameless, it IS, indeed, located in Ridgeland. Well, I thought you guys would get a kick out of something I read in said newsletter ... just as my colleague thought I would. My eyes almost popped out of my head like I was in a Looney Toons cartoon.

Tuesday, July 27

‘Fresh Air' Returning to MPB

Mississippi Public Broadcasting is reinstating the nationally-syndicated radio program "Fresh Air," two weeks after its decision to cancel the show for "inappropriate content" drew widespread criticism. In a statement released today, Executive Director Judy Lewis said that MPB would return "Fresh Air" to its radio schedule on Aug. 2 in a new, 9 p.m. time slot. MPB will also air notices that the show may include adult content, Lewis said.

Hedonistically Healthy

I'm not big on deprivation. Never have been, and I've been blessed to not feel like I've had to deprive myself much over the years in order to be healthy or to maintain a decent weight. Of course, I suppose I've been blessed that I'm not a big fan of many habits that are really bad for you, like eating meat or smoking. To me, those things aren't hedonistic pleasures. They are habits that offend my sensibilities.

City to Vote on Water Main Price Increase

The Jackson City Council is expected to vote on a $222,208 price increase for the installation of a 54-inch water line at tonight's city council meeting. The project is necessary to increase water capacity to the downtown area to accommodate ongoing development, city spokesman Chris Mims said.

Businesses Gear Up for Sales-Tax Holiday

For the second year in a row, the Mississippi Department of Revenue is holding a sales tax holiday in time for back-to-school shopping. From 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 30, to midnight Saturday, July 31, the state will waive its 7 percent sales tax on clothing and footwear.

Robert Dudley

Former Hattiesburg resident Robert Dudley will succeed Tony Hayward as BP's new CEO, the embattled oil company announced today. Dudley, who has been directing BP's cleanup operations in response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, is the first American to head the British company. Hayward will step down Oct. 1, the BP board said.

Monday, July 26

Barbour to Hire Outside Counsel to Fight Choctaw Casino

Read Barbour's letter to Hood

Thompson Kicks off Economic Summit

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi's Second Congressional District, urged local governments to increase contracts with minority businesses during the Mississippi Economic Recovery and Procurement Summit this morning.

Panel Tweaks State Grading System for Schools

Mississippi's model for evaluating schools and school districts could change next year, if the state Board of Education approves changes recommended by a panel today. The state Commission on School Accreditation, which reviews the state's grading system for schools and school districts, voted today to recommend two changes to the state Board.

Community Events and Public Meetings

56th Biennial Gamma Phi Delta Sorority National Conference July 27-31, at Hilton Jackson (1001 E. County Line Road). The theme is "United in Heart, Sisterhood and Services." Visit for a schedule. $300, $250 youth advisors; e-mail [e-mail missing].

Larry "Butch" Brown

Mississippi Department of Transportation Executive Director Larry "Butch" Brown's fun at the Beau Rivage casino ended early Friday morning when Biloxi police arrested him for disorderly conduct and public intoxication, the Sun Herald reported Friday.

The Way I See Things

While driving Sunday morning, I saw a church sign that read, "Life is 10 percent how you make it and 90 percent how you take it." This reminded me of another technique I learned years ago to deal with stress - rational emotive behavior therapy, also known as REBT. REBT has to do with the theory that the way a person views a situation results in negative emotions, not outside forces. For example, instead of saying, "He made me angry," you would say, "The way I perceived his behavior made me angry." That way, you can change your inner dialogue before your emotions end up in the driver's seat.

Saints Tour Comes to Jackson

The New Orleans Saints are bringing their bragging rights to Jackson today. The "Championship Tour" will make a stop at the Jackson Convention Center (105 E. Pascagoula St.) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday, July 23

The Literate Wind Down

One of my Wellness plans was to actually sit down and

JRA Mulls ‘Union Market' Downtown

The city is soliciting community input on an empty storage space across from the King Edward Hotel in downtown Jackson that could become an open-air market, dubbed "Union Market," Jackson Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Jason Brookins told an audience of the Young Professionals Alliance yesterday.

AARP: Consumer Advocate Needed For PSC

AARP state Director Sherri Davis-Garner says she wants a consumer advocate working in office of the Mississippi Public Service Commission.

Butch Bailey

Butch Bailey thinks Mississippians are missing out on something divine: gourmet beer.

Tropical Storm Stalls Work on Relief Well

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen called for an evacuation of hundreds of workers and vessels at the Deepwater Horizon blowout site in the Gulf of Mexico late Thursday night, The Washington Post reported today.

Thursday, July 22

JFP Chick Ball: Only $5 Cover Charge - Saturday, July 24, Hal & Mal's, 6 p.m.-1 a.m.

Pass it on! The cover charge for the JFP Chick Ball is only $5, as always. (You can also purchase $5 door-prize tickets.) The $5 includes food from local restaurants and all the Chick Ball events. Enter through the Red Room entrance.

Burns Met Death Unafraid

Moments before the executioner filled Joseph Daniel Burns' veins with the lethal drug cocktail that would end his life, Burns, his voice soft but steady, apologized to his victim's family.

Dr. Keisa Mathis

When Dr. Keisa Mathis opened an e-mail from the American Heart Association in May, she was disappointed that she hadn't received a medical research fellowship she applied for. But she had accidentally overlooked the good news: Just one year after starting her post-doctorate fellow at the University Of Mississippi Medical Center, the American Heart Association awarded Mathis a two-year grant to continue her research on the connections between lupus, renal injury and hypertension.

JPD Pushes Communication

Read this week's crime report

House Approves Safe Drilling and Cleanup Legislation

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation yesterday to make oil-spill clean up and deepwater drilling safer, the Associated Press is reporting.

Wednesday, July 21

On Sale

This week's steals for the budget-savvy fashionista:

Condemn the Cowardice

Men get a bad rap. Oftentimes we deserve it. But generally—luckily—the many good ones among us overshadow the bad apples. As we look forward to the annual JFP Chick Ball this weekend, we should again take a hard look at the heinous crime that is domestic abuse.

Bridging the Gap

Marty Stuart, a Philadelphia, Miss., native, is firmly rooted in traditional country music with a mission of preserving that history. Stuart is a self-proclaimed bridge, connecting young musicians with their history while promoting the musical heritage of his home state.

[Hermans Picks] Vol. 8, No. 45

In case you haven't heard, the Downtown at Dusk music and food event is moving indoors to the Mississippi Museum of Art this Thursday, 5-8 p.m. It's even free. Be social and enjoy some food and music by The Blues Messengers.

Party on the Porch

Denise Gee wants your outdoor summer gathering to be relaxing and uncomplicated, while exuding southern charm and elegance. Her latest book, "Porch Parties: Cocktail Recipes and Easy Ideas for Outdoor Entertaining", is brimming with fresh and unique drink recipes, simple hors d'oeuvres and tips for pulling off your perfect summer soiree.

The New Locals

David Blumenthal and Derek Emerson are surprisingly relaxed for two guys who just opened Madison's most popular new restaurant.

‘Always a Coach'

It's not hard to tell that Brent Southern is a coach. Peppering his conversation with phrases like "when the whistle blows" and "read all the angles," the attorney describes the Hinds County Court position he is seeking as a coaching job—rewarding but with long hours.

Willis Suit Moves Ahead

Jackson resident Cedric Willis said he will still get his day in court regarding his malicious prosecution suit against the city of Jackson, though the judge has moved the court date to September.

State Faces Multiple Rate Hikes

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said he will refuse to grant a 44.4 percent rate- hike requested by Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance on Mississippi homeowner insurance customers. Chaney said that the Mississippi Insurance Department's actuarial analysis found the 44.4 percent rate increase to be unsubstantiated.

Don't Soft-Pedal Domestic Abuse

Under Mississippi state law, it is too easy to get away with abusing animals and spouses. And too often, the same people do both.

[Stiggers] Renegade Runaway

Mr. Announcement: "Controversial independent filmmaker Kunta ‘Rahsheed X' Toby presents a scene from his new epic movie ‘Kunta King James: Runaway Franchise Athlete.' Look for guest cameo appearances from Rev. Jesse Jackson, Mel Gibson, tea-party protesters and the NAACP.

[Purvis] Wasteland of Empty Promises

"Call—call the police!" I stammered through the phone tenuously gripped in my trembling hand. I was kneeling in my mother's living room in the midst of broken glass and a carpet stained with drops of blood—his blood. He had punched out the glass in the patio door and the panes in the living-room windows.

6th Annual JFP Chick Ball

It's Chick Ball week in the city! Every summer, the Jackson Free Press presents the JFP Chick Ball at Hal & Mal's in downtown Jackson for two reasons: to fight domestic abuse in the area and to spotlight strong women and their artistry.

Women Speak Out

We asked JFP readers and domestic-abuse victims to share their stories. Here are a couple of the many responses we received. I always thought I was too strong, smart and grounded to be caught up in the cycle of domestic violence, but here I am. The funny thing is, while I was with my abuser, I defended him. I lied to myself and made excuse after excuse for his behavior, not because I condoned it, but because I didn't understand the subtleties of domestic violence.

JFP Chick Ball Auction Guide

Paintings on canvas and bright sparkly jewelry

Julie Andrews was spot on in the "Sound of Music": Our favorite things have the ability to lift our mood and our spirits.

U.S. Supreme Court Delays Execution ... Briefly

6:37 p.m. UPDATE: WLBT is reporting that the U.S. Supreme Court has denied Burns' petition.

Tiff Over Hinds TIF

The developer of a south Jackson housing development is asking Hinds County to support infrastructure developments, but at least one supervisor remains skeptical of the request.

Chicks We Love

Every year, the Jackson Free Press chooses a delightful slate of Chicks We Love to spotlight, and each year we host the JFP Chick Ball to raise money to fight domestic abuse in our community. This year, we decided to put them together in a new and fun way to help seed the new legal fund at the Center for Violence Prevention.

Burns' Execution ‘Very Likely'

Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps briefly spoke with reporters at Parchman Penitentiary at 2 p.m. today.

Behind the Art

Normally when I go to art exhibits, I don't think about who donated or sold the work to the gallery, much less consider their personalities or who they are as people. But in "Herb and Dorothy: A Glimpse into their Extraordinary Collection," the donors are just as much a part of the exhibit as the artwork.

Tease photo

Starting Again: Mississippi Laws Trap Women In Abuse

Claire sat with her back to the wall on the washed-out blue bedspread covered with big cabbage roses, once pink, now faded nearly to white. The neat little room barely had space for the old-fashioned wood-framed double bed, a black desk and office chair, and a high bookcase stuffed with official-looking 2-inch binders and children's movie DVDs.

Honor the 2010 Chicks We Love at Chick-A-BOOM!

Every year, the Jackson Free Press chooses a delightful slate of Chicks We Love to spotlight, and each year we host the JFP Chick Ball to raise money to fight domestic abuse in our community. This year, we decided to put them together in a new and fun way to help seed the new legal fund at the Center for Violence Prevention. We chose 15 fabulous and strong women to name as "honorary chicks" for the July 24 Chick Ball; 11 of those women are featured in this issue as the Chicks We Love. (The other four " Julie Skipper, Nicole and Susan Marquez and Beth Poff•€"were recently featured in the JFP and are already lifetime "Chicks We Love.") We will honor all 15 of these women at a special Chick-a-Boom reception in Hal & Mal(tm)s brew pub at 7 p.m. Saturday during the Chick Ball. Tickets to the reception are $50, and include food and cocktails, as well as Chick Ball admission. Call 601-932-4198 for info.

Watkins Unveils Master Plan for Metrocenter

Read the master plan Powerpoint. (PDF, 1.6 MB)

Hole-Filled Souls

I know a woman who lives in the house with her children, her husband and his violent temper. She wears a mask. This woman, whenever I see her, has a joyful disposition, even when she's wearing long sleeves and ankle-length skirts or pants, even in this heat. I'm certain she has bruises she's hiding. Her children, I've noticed never take too many steps without knowing where she is at all times. I've never asked, because I don't want to cause problems, but I wonder if they're more concerned for her or themselves. Even if he doesn't hit them, only naivete would allow someone to think they aren't affected.

Meeting the Monster in the Gulf

The plane's engine roars as it idles on the runway last Wednesday, July 14. The four propellers on the Army National Guard's C-130 blasted waves of suffocatingly humid Mississippi July air at former Gov. William Winter and me as we board the plane.

Amy Andress

Amy Andress' life motto is modeled after Genesis 50:20. "Even though people want to harm you, God will take what happened to you and turn it into good so that you can help others with what you learned," she says. "There is a purpose for everything that you go through."

Burns Execution Set for Today

The state is set to execute death-row inmate Joseph Daniel "JoJo" Burns this evening at 6 p.m.

Burns, who is in a holding cell at Parchman, filed a clemency request with the governor's office last week, asking for a delay so that he could undergo a mental evaluation. The governor's office has not officially responded to the request.

Testimonial: Spirit Freedom

Leading up to the 2010, the Jackson Free Press asked domestic-abuse survivors to tell their stories. This is one of the pieces we received, republished verbatim.

Tuesday, July 20

JPS to Move to Metrocenter?

This story was updated at 6:54 p.m.

Jackson developer David Watkins presented a proposition to relocate the entirety of JPS administration to the Metrocenter Mall during tonight's Jackson Public Schools Board meeting.

Itawamba Lesbian Teen: ‘It Was Pretty Bad'

Itawamba County Agricultural High School student Constance McMillen says she is relieved by the Itawamba County School District's offer of $35,000 for damages plus court costs, and adoption of an anti-discriminatory policy on sexual preference or gender identity.

Broadband, Food On The Go

InLine, a Birmingham-based technology company, is set to install a high-speed fiber network that will connect 16 counties to high-speed Internet in southern and central Mississippi.

Lianne Takemori

When her colleagues needed a creative solution for an exhibit or a workshop, Mississippi Museum of Art curator Lianne Takemori would go out of her way to help no matter how busy she was.

[Balko] Justice For Johannes Mehserle

Early the morning of Jan. 1, 2009, in a now-infamous incident that dozens of cell phones captured on video and then replayed across the globe, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Officer Johannes Mehserle shot and killed 23-year-old Oscar Grant as Grant lay on his stomach on an Oakland BART platform.

Fish Wash Up on Mississippi Shore

Thousands of small dead fish have washed up on shore in Gulfport, The Sun Herald reported today.

Monday, July 19

Anderson Attacks County Spending In Jackson

Hinds County departments should not spend money in the city of Jackson, Supervisor Doug Anderson said at a meeting this morning. Anderson made the claim after learning that county public works employees had mowed grass along Highway 18 in Jackson last week at the request of District 3 Supervisor Peggy Calhoun.

Paige Still Discourages School Unionization

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige said this morning that he has not changed his mind on what he considers the negative impact of teacher's unions like the National Education Association.

Community Events and Public Meetings

10 a.m., Disaster Preparedness Expo for Senior Citizens at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.), in the UMC Conference Center. Topics include: Where to go if your home is uninhabitable; how and where to get medication; and well as who to contact for social services. Call 601-352-2269 to RSVP.

Sandra Peterson Lott

The moment Sandra Peterson Lott sits down with her lunch, I sense her comforting nature. She has an hour-long lunch break from her duties as a pediatric nurse, but she ignores her food to talk about her passion: ministering to children and unwed mothers.

'Stimulus Now' Manifesto Making the Rounds

Daily Beast seems like an odd place for a Manifesto to find its origins, but that appears to be where a number of prominent economists and (mostly liberal) thinkers have put their salvo in the debate between job stimulus and deficit reduction.

Mabus: Time for New Gulf Economy

U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus met with representatives from Mississippi universities and colleges Friday to gather information on the economic and environmental recovery of the Coast following the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

Friday, July 16

[Slate] The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: The World Cup championship game was an example of everything that's wrong with top-flight soccer.

Willis Trial Postponed

Hinds County Circuit Court has postponed a malicious prosecution lawsuit filed by Cedric Willis, Jackson city attorney Pieter Teeuwissen said today.

Oil Leak Stopped, Coast Elated but Cautious

With the leak from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig temporarily stopped, Gulf Coast residents are breathing a sigh of relief. BP officials announced yesterday that the company had managed to cap the leaking well for the first time since April 20.

This Weekend: Operation Chill

After this long, hot week you're probably in the mood to chill, so head over to calm and cool Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N.) for copy of the thriller "Rasputin's Legacy" signed by author Troy Carnes, at 5 p.m. If you stick around, Carnes will be sure to have you shaking in your sweaty shirt with a reading at 5:30 p.m. Continue your evening in the literary vein when New Stage Theatre's Broadway Junior Summer Camp Intensive performs "Beauty and the Beast, Jr.," at 7:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow, and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under. Afterward, head over to Burgers & Blues in Ridgeland where you can fill your belly with burgers, and listen to Adam Perry and Chris Derrick perform from 7 to 11 p.m. while you dine. Then, go dance off your recent caloric intake at Africa Book CafÃ(c) at their Afrikan Funkadelic Friday that goes from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. with DJ Redcley.

Marlena Duncan

Marlena Duncan sounds more like the star of an action movie than a dancer when talks about her craft. "I enjoy the adrenaline, the fear, the surprise and the delight of entertaining people," she says.

Burns Asks Barbour to Delay Execution

Attorneys representing death-row inmate Joseph Daniel Burn are asking Gov. Haley Barbour to delay Burn's July 21 execution date, The Associated Press reported today.

Thursday, July 15

MPB Cancels ‘Fresh Air' for ‘Inappropriate Content'

Updated 5:15 p.m. (See the full statement from MPB Executive Director Judy Lewis in comments below.)

Construction Begins for Medical Mall Housing Development

Officials from the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation, the city of Jackson, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Mississippi Development Authority gathered this morning to break ground on a new, energy-efficient neighborhood near the Jackson Medical Mall.

Calhoun, Developer Spar Over Hinds TIF

The developer of a south Jackson housing development is asking Hinds County to support infrastructure developments, but at least one supervisor remains skeptical of the request. Clarence Chapman, principal of Oxford-based Chartre Consulting, appeared before the board of supervisors this morning to discuss his request for tax increment financing, or TIF, funds for infrastructure around the Timber Falls subdivision.

Richard Lawrence

Richard Lawrence loves everything about stage performances--from bringing cast members together to the creativity that stems from acting.

Suit Filed Against ‘Personhood' Initiative

A Jackson attorney and two organizations filed a July 6 lawsuit to block a 2011 voter initiative that would designate that life begins at conception in the state constitution, the Associated Press reported yesterday.

Wednesday, July 14

2010 JFP Chick Ball to Create Domestic Abuse Legal Fund, Honor ‘Hero' Attorneys

The 6th Annual JFP Chick Ball will build awareness about domestic-abuse victims' struggle in the state's legal system, and recognize attorneys who are helping them navigate a system stacked against them.

The Definition of Making It

The small group stands on Capitol Street outside the Clarion Hotel Roberts Walthall well after midnight when all the downtown buzz has died. Discussions about the city's progress (or lack thereof, some members say) and the group members' personal projects weave together like 1,000 thread-count sheets.

[Rob In Stereo] Breaking Up is Hard to Do

It's incredibly difficult to be objective about The Roots. It has been one of my favorite groups since I first heard "You Got Me" back in 1999. The song was the first live instrumentation hip-hop I had ever heard and is one of those songs that make you remember exactly where you were when you first heard it.

The Ultimate Layer Cake

Summer is full of occasions to get together: a backyard barbecue here, a potluck there, your third step-cousin twice removed's 29th birthday (for the fourth year in a row). It seems people are always clamoring for your time, your attention and your culinary contributions.

Ryals Goat Dairy

I frequently hit the Mississippi Farmer's Market on Saturdays with the Child. We go to see friends, as well as stock up on fruits, veggies and other necessary items like yard art. We tend to stick to a routine, buying from the same vendors on each trip, varying only when the Child spots cookies.

Get It Fresh

Nothing beats farm- or garden-fresh produce for flavor and nutrition. Lucky for Jacksonians, the area has a number of venues where local growers sell in-season and organic produce and, in some cases, organic meats and eggs.

To Be Changed

Every Thursday at 10:30 a.m., women between the ages of 60 and 80 stand up in Trinity Episcopal Church at 1315 Jackson Ave., here in New Orleans, and place their arms on the shoulders and back of the man I love.

My Kind of Tea Party

Recently, I was asked to appear on a local cable talk show to talk about issues of the day. I didn't think much about it; it sounded easy and innocent enough. And I was busy and didn't bother to ask who I was appearing on the show alongside.

Tease photo

Give Me Shelter: Protecting Animals, Prosecuting Abusers

The mutt turned up in the Providence Madison subdivision one day in early October 2009 . A black and tan hound mix, around 7 months old, she was skittish around the neighborhood(tm)s residents. She cowered if a human tried to pet her, tucking her tail between her legs, even urinating. Some residents began feeding her, though, leaving dog food on the road for her to eat.

A Second Chance

When Hinds County animal-control officers pick up a dog, they take it to a temporary shelter at the county Penal Farm in Raymond. The county shelter houses between 700 and 1,000 dogs a year. After a week, most make their way to the Mississippi Animal Rescue League where, more often than not, they are euthanized. A lucky few earn a spot in the county's special program.

After the Flood

It only took Millie Williams a few minutes to decide that the animals needed her. Watching footage of Hurricane Katrina on television at her home in Pennsylvania, Williams saw evacuees from New Orleans leaving their pets behind.

Stokes Addresses Alleged Personal-Care Home Abuse

On Tuesday, Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes proposed a new ordinance imposing fines and jail time for people found guilty of neglect or mistreatment of residents of small nursing homes, often referred to as "personal-care homes."

Hitched: A Groom's Story

Most grooms consider everything that might go wrong the night before the wedding. For me, those considerations came a year and a half before Rachael Gray-Lewis and I said, "I do."

Mayor Hypes Restarted Housing Project

Tucked into Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.'s July 7 State of the City address was the news that a 26.7-acre housing development previously held up by a lawsuit is now back on track. Johnson's speech highlighted a number of well-known economic-development projects in varying states of completion, but it also indicated that the Agape housing project in northwest Jackson has cleared a major obstacle.

Willie Mae Shirley

At first sight, one wouldn't suspect that the freshly painted home of Willie Mae Shirley has been standing since 1926. The home, located on Shirley Avenue in the Washington Addition subdivision, is filled with memories from friends and family in the form of pictures, furniture and gifts. An inviting walkway lined with brightly colored marigolds leads to the home's front porch.

Council Re-Elects Prez and Targets Profiling

The Jackson City Council voted to retain current council President Frank Bluntson and Vice President Charles Tillman after a lightning-fast roll call during Tuesday's council meeting.

Christmas Every Day

On a cold November morning, you see a teenager walking in nothing but shorts and a T-shirt––no coat. He is visibly cold and doesn't "belong" in your neighborhood.

Tommy Gun and the Juggernauts

Thomas "Tommy Gun" Leonard conducts football practice in the blistering Mississippi summer heat. At midday, the temperature seems like 100 degrees, and the players and coach are exhausted.

Find Another Way

Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant is no stranger to right-wing nuttery, but he offered a prime example of conservative hysteria in comments in a July 12 article in The Clarion-Ledger. Suggesting children of undocumented immigrants are burdening Mississippi's hospitals, Bryant told The Clarion-Ledger, "You have some that have babies—anchor babies—and don't pay for it."

[Stiggers] Where is the Love?

Brother Hustle: "Bill Withers sang it best: ‘Sometimes in our lives/We all have pain/We all have sorrow./But if we are wise/We know that there's always tomorrow.' I also like what little orphan Annie sang during her stage play: ‘Just thinking' about tomorrow clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow until there's none!'

[Beety] The Cost of Death

On July 21, the state of Mississippi is scheduled to put Joseph Daniel Burns Mississippian, murderer and father of three—to death. Our state has executed only 10 men over the past 30 years; yet, if all goes as planned, Burns will be the third Mississippian executed this year.

[Balko] A Case Study in Local News Futility

The Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism recently surveyed 490 hours of local news reports in the Los Angeles area and found what most people who watch local news probably already knew: It's dreadful.

A Timeless Tale Remixed

As I swung open one of the massive white doors into New Stage Theatre, the buzz of young voices immediately greeted me.

Grappling with Inertia

When most people think of symmetry, perfection often comes to mind. But Audrey Niffenegger confounds this definition, as the title suggests, in her latest novel, "Her Fearful Symmetry".

UMMC to Lead Alzheimer's Study

The University of Mississippi Medical Center will lead a comprehensive $26 million study to identify risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of cognitive decline. Funded through a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the medical center joins four other research centers to conduct the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities neurocognitive study by examining thousands of patients using brain testing and imaging.

You Can't Even Call Me Shallow for It

Youth Media Project

Though I bet some of you are going to try. This is a true recount of my weekend in New Orleans, a city whose vibe I really feel. And had things been different (financially), I would be attending Tulane. Can you believe 40k in aid and scholarships and still being 10k short? But I digress. This all started because I am a smart chick who has figured herself out, and therefore doesn't have to act a way she THINKS she should act.

Tuesday, July 13

Athena Protects Her Children

Sunday, I sat, twirling the hair at my right temple around my index finger, until I saw something that startled me. Walking into the room was a young woman wearing the exact blush-colored, silk duponi ruffle-neck dress with subtle box pleating at the waist I was wearing. My heart stopped. This had never happened to me before. My head was spinning. Do I run home and change? Do I hope my styling choices--topping the dress with a signature black cardigan, tossing the blush-colored sash and opting to wear a black rhinestone-buckled belt and Betsey Johnson Athena pumps--are enough to differentiate the two of us? This had never happened to me before. I've heard of this horror story happening to others, and I felt bad for them. But I never made a plan for what I'd do if it were to happen to me. Athena helped me save face, but be still my heart if that ever happens to me again.

George Steinbrenner (1930-2010)

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner died on July 13. He drove some of the major changes in sports over the last four decades. He meddled with his team's chemistry, bringing in high-priced players and calling out stars in the press. His Yankees teams won 7 titles between 1973 and 2010, which is remarkable by almost any standard except the one Steinbrenner demanded. Sports franchise owners like Mark Cuban (NBA), Dan Snyder (NFL), and Jerry Jones (NFL) are in the same mold. The following are my favorite seven Steinbrenner factoids.

PEER Peering into Levee Board

The legislative Joint Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review is investigating the process by which the Rankin-Hinds Pearl Flood and Drainage Control District Levee Board settled on a recent decision for flood control for the Pearl River.

Barbara Ann Harris Johnson

Instead of only recognizing African Americans in February each year, Barbara Ann Harris Johnson decided that African American accomplishments should always be honored. Through her column, "Black History Every Month," which appeared monthly in the Jackson Advocate, she upheld that belief.

Business Law, Restaurant Raves

One of the more common obstacles to fledgling entrepreneurs is a lack of adequate legal advice, Michael Harris, program manager of the Jackson Business Accelerator, said today.

Jacksonian Featured by JFP Auditions for American Idol

Santore Bracey was featured as a Jacksonian in the Jackson Free Press back in March 2006. On July 3, he participated in Fox 40's American Idol auditions and was chosen as one of the five top contestants for that day. (You can see his audition here.)

Interior Department Issues New Drilling Ban

The U.S. Interior Department issued a new offshore drilling moratorium yesterday that will be in effect until Nov. 30.

Monday, July 12

Council To Vote on Bigger JPS Board

The City Council is set to vote tomorrow on an expansion of the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees from five to seven members. Proponents of the move argue that it will make the school board more accurately represent the city, with one member corresponding to each of the city's seven wards.

Vashti Muse

When Angela Hite met Vashti Muse 20 years ago while dancing for Hinds Community College Hi-Steppers, she received encouragement and support from Muse to continue dancing.

Doing Good: Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service

Several state nonprofits received a boost to their programs July 7, when the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service announced $10 million in federal grant allocations for the state's AmeriCorps program.

Community Events and Public Meetings

5 p.m., America Reads-Mississippi Member Recruitment at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.), at the Sally M. Barksdale Educational Resource Center. ARM members tutor full-time during the school day, before and after school, over breaks and in the summer. Members support school and community efforts to increase parental and community support and involvement, recruit volunteers and attend monthly training to gain skills necessary to meet service obligations. Members who successfully complete 1,700 hours in one year will receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award worth $5,350, which can be used to attend college and/or pay off current qualified student loans. Call 601-979-1474.

BP Installing New Cap

In the company's newest effort to contain the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, BP officials said Sunday that they are making progress with a plan to place a new cap on the geyser, The Associated Press reported yesterday.

Friday, July 9

James, Wade, and Bosh Land in Miami

LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh have decided to bring together their talents in Miami. The city of Cleveland, including Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, is heartbroken. Gilbert fired off such personal invective that I doubt LeBron James will ever consider returning to the Cavs, when his Heat contract expires.


One of the items on my Road to Wellness list is to do deep breathing exercises. I must admit that I had forgotten all about this, but I remembered it after having a pretty rough week, especially when I accidentally turned off my computer while modifying an 84-page PDF file. The power strip was next to my foot, and I accidentally shut it off with my toe. After restoring power and kicking the power strip in anger, I decided that I must take steps to release tension.

ProPublica Photographer: I Was Followed by BP Security and Then Detained by Police

Freelance photographer Lance Rosenfield was working on assignment for ProPublica in Texas City, Texas, last week, when a BP security guard began following him. Rosenfield was later detained by police after taking photos for two ProPublica stories. One revealed that BP's Texas City refinery had illegally emitted 538,000 pounds of toxic chemicals into the air in April and May. The other reported that the Texas City refinery continues to have serious safety violations five years after an explosion at the plant killed 15 workers. What follows is Rosenfield's account of what happened on Friday night after the police, accompanied by the BP security guard, stopped him at a local gas station.

Katie O'Neal Sorey

Katie O'Neal Sorey began to get a sense of her life's purpose when she was 14 years old. While attending the Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church's annual Mission Fest, a conference based on service and worship, she had the opportunity to work with the homeless at Gateway Rescue Mission.

BP Announces Hiring Improvements

BP officials announced improvements to make the company's Vessels of Opportunities program more efficient and incorporate more regional employees, during a media briefing Wednesday.

Weekend Summer Soirees

After work today, stop by Joyflow Yoga (7048 Old Canton Rd., Ridgeland) for a free Sun Salutation class at 5:45 p.m. to get ready for the Sun Salutations benefit for the Center for Violence Prevention August 7. Once you're rejuvenated, go flex your mental muscles at the "Dinner and a Quiz Show" at Rainbow Whole Foods (2807 Old Canton Rd.) at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $13, $11 for members in advance and $16, $14 for members at the door. If you'd rather shake your booty, go to a folk-dance lesson at 7:30 p.m. at the Contra Dance at The Commons (719 N. Congress St.) and then watch Sound Wagon perform at 8:30 p.m.; $5 donations. Or, head to ArtRemix at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.) from 6-11 p.m. with performances by Sherman Lee Dillon, John Paul, Keith & the One Four Fives and Those Darlins; tickets are $20, $15 for members in advance and $25, $20 for members at the door. In the mood for a weekend getaway? Take a trip to the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale to catch the "The Most Southern Weekend on Earth," a two-day celebration of all things Southern with concerts by Robert Belfour, Jimbo Mathus and Kevin Gordon on Friday; and True Revue and Mose Allison on Saturday. Tickets are $20 tonight, $30 Saturday or $40 for both nights.

Bad Genes or Personal Problem?

At my last doctor's appointment, I was told that I have high cholesterol at a total of 217. I'm am 26 and have had high cholesterol since I was 18. Bad genes? They gave me two months before a second appointment to try to deal with the problem on my own with a healthy lifestyle. I'm guessing if things still don't look so good by July 14th, they might put me on some sort of medication. I have enough pills to worry about on a daily basis between me and my two kids to have to remember yet another dose every day.

Mississippi Drop-Out Rate Still Increasing

Jackson Public Schools reported a drop-out rate of 24.3 percent in 2009, up from 17.6 in 2008. Statewide, Mississippi's 2009 graduating class had a drop-out rate of 16.7 percent, up from 16 percent in 2008, the state Department of Education reported yesterday.

Thursday, July 8

Johnson Champions Developments Despite Budget Shortfalls

In his State of the City address yesterday, Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. pointed out that selecting the MetroCenter Mall as the event's location bears significance for Jackson. Despite the city's budget challenges, revitalization of MetroCenter and the Highway 80 corridor are top priorities for the administration, Johnson said.

Keith Plunkett

For the next year, Keith Plunkett will spend his weekends in a boat. On Saturday, Plunkett launches "Lucy's Revenge," a yearlong project that will send him paddling more than 600 miles on Mississippi's rivers.

JPD Combats House Burglaries

This morning, the Jackson Police Department reported 95 house burglaries for the week of June 28 through July 4--an increase from 79 in the prior week. Overall, major crimes decreased from 268 to 260, citywide.

Bus-Sized Tar Mats Sighted; Barbour Announces Study

A five- to six-mile stretch of large tar mats washed up on Long Beach Harbor late last night, reports The Sun Herald.

Wednesday, July 7

DIY – Decorated Shirt

Every now and then when you're being budget conscious, you'll feel the urge to splurge. Those "I've gotta have it!" moments seem to come from nowhere. But fiscal responsibility doesn't an end to the latest fashion trends for you. All that's required is a little ingenuity, patience, and a needle and thread.

[Herman's Picks] Vol. 8, No. 43

The Mississippi Museum of Art is hosting its next Art Remix indoor/outdoor music party this Friday night with local bluesman Sherman Lee Dillon inside from 5-8 p.m.; John Paul Keith & The One Four Fives outside from 7:30-8:30 p.m.; and the female alt-country trio Those Darlins outside from 8:30-10 p.m.

The Simple Majesty of the BLT

Some things just go together: peanut butter and jelly, bagels and lox, mushrooms and wine, chicken and rosemary, Scotch and ice ... you get the point. But if there was a museum of great food pairings, the prime spot in the center of those hallowed halls would be dedicated to the BLT.

Where's the Bacon?

When Parlor Market opens later this summer, diners ordering any cured pork dishes will enjoy the handiwork of Frank Coppola, the current owner of Stan's Country Store in Batesville, Miss.

Fast, Light and Healthy

An Italian frittata is economical and delicious. Easily made with almost any fresh vegetable, it's even better with last night's leftover sautéed veggies. Similar to a Western omelet in taste and texture, it's Italy's version of the omelet, usually made in the shape of a pie, with almost any ingredient in your refrigerator—cooked meats, bit of cheese, tomatoes, peppers—or with just vegetables, spices and eggs.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: The Doctor thought he was watching football the other day, but it turned out to be a CFL game. Sometimes you have to use what's available.

Make it Count

Nonprofit organizations rely on donations from individuals and businesses to fund programs and services for those in need, and on volunteers. Without volunteers, entire operations would shut down because of employee shortages.

Budgeting 101

Nancy Lottridge Anderson knows a thing or two about finance. She is a financial adviser, professor of finance at Mississippi College and author of the book, "Tough Talk for Tough Times." Having owned her business for 18 years, she's helped a lot of people along the way. Here is some of the advice she had to give about budgets:

A Year of Fun Without Spending

On Jan. 1, 2009, Angela Barton, a writer and editor in Los Angeles, joined a movement called The Compact, named after the 1620 Mayflower Compact, to attempt a hefty challenge: not buying anything for a year.

Having Fun in Jackson on a Dime – or Less

If Jackson is your thing, but spending money isn't, you're in luck. Jackson offers plenty of things to do that won't cost a penny.

Just Say No To Plastic Bags

In my house, there are drawers and cabinets I am afraid to open. It is not for a fear of the unknown; I know exactly what is in there: hundreds of plastic bags. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that we use around 500 billion plastic bags are globally every year, and very few are recycled.

Swap Your Clothes, Save Money

You know you have them: shoes, clothes, belts and purses in your closet that you will never wear again. Maybe your favorite standby pair of black pants doesn't fit anymore. Maybe that leopard-print mini-skirt you got on sale never fit, but you bought it hoping one day it would.

Promote Your Band for Free

Amanda Rainey, owner of local recording label Passenger Jones, says you don't need money to make music these days. All you need is creativity. "I know bands who put all of their music up for free, and that seems counterproductive. To really make it in the music business, people just have to know who you are," Rainey says.

Feeding A Family of 4 for $10

For those on a strict budget, here are some flavorful, but inexpensive meals for the family.

Eat Out, Eat Local

With the economic downturn, eating out at restaurants can be a splurge if you are trying to save money. But Grady Griffin, director of the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association, says that when you do have the chance to eat out, dining at a locally owned restaurant is one way to make sure your dollars stay in the community.

The Price of Getting Sick

We're constantly reminded of the health risks of obesity and smoking, but have you ever stopped to consider the costs? Smokers and those who are overweight can accrue thousands of dollars in health-related expenditures throughout the course of their lifetimes.

Generation Debt

Each month after I pay about $220 toward credit-card debt, $150 toward student-loan payments (which I will do until I'm about 45), $400 on my car note, and about $400 on the mortgage (my husband pays the rest), not much is left over. Sound familiar? You're probably part of generation debt, too.

Reducing Energy Costs

The U.S. Department of Energy ranks Mississippi 30th in the nation for electricity consumption; we're ninth in residential per capita electricity consumption, 38th in the amount of homes heated with natural gas and 42nd in per capita natural-gas consumption.

How to Start Your Own Small Business

In 2009, CNN Money ranked Jackson the 11th best mid-size metro area to open a small business. Mike Davis, business development manager for the city of Jackson, explains that this is because Jackson has three major industries: medical, educational and government.

The Cost of Cars and Oil

Our dependence on oil and cars comes with a hefty price tag. MSN Money reports that Americans spend an average of $8,600 per year for a vehicle for car payments, repairs, insurance and gas. One way to curb costs is to purchase a car with a friend or significant other and share. If you're not in a position to do that, here are some ways to cut down on costs.

Facing ‘Generation Debt'

About two and a half years ago--a few months before I graduated college--my grandmother said something I'll never forget: "Just wait; after college, that's when your standard of living really goes down."

Tease photo

GOOD Money

When it comes to spending money, we can all find something to cut back on. But even when our consumer culture meets the Great Recession, changing our attitudes and actions about money isn't always easy. While learning to do without can be difficult, it's also a great time to learn how to simplify our lives and invest in the community instead of the latest fads.

Johnson Gives State of the City Address

verbatim statement

Thank you Reverend Stanley Smith for offering the invocation today. To President Bluntson and members of the Jackson City Council, other elected officials, City Employees, citizens of Jackson and friends, it is my pleasure to see you and welcome you here today to the 2010 State of the City Address. I would also like to recognize my wife Kathy and take this opportunity to show my appreciation for her continued support.

And So It Goes

July 4th in Lousiana with the family has come and gone. Family was visited, pies were resisted, drive-through daiquiris were acquired. The weather was hot but the water and lemonaid were free flowing. My cousins are having babies already so I was able to shake some kids up and send them home to their mommas. Drama was almost completely nill. As far as health and balance goes, I consider that a pretty big win.

BP ‘Lied Through Their Teeth'

Jackson attorney Hiram Eastland has filed a civil suit on behalf of Gulf Coast property owners, alleging that BP infiltrated a U.S. government agency and knowingly lied about its ability to stop an oil spill like the one soiling the Gulf of Mexico.

Gusher in the Gulf: June 2010

June 1: NOAA Fisheries Service revises the fishery closures to include more than 31 percent of the Gulf of Mexico.

‘Fidelity to the Law'

Frank Farmer prides himself on his evenhandedness. Farmer, 34, a candidate for Hinds County Court Judge in District 1, grew up in Hattiesburg, the son of a veterinarian and a physical therapist. He studied biology briefly at Rhodes College in Memphis before deciding to major in political science.

Supremes' Decision Could Affect Minor

The U.S. Supreme Court's June 29 decision to vacate the 2006 fraud conviction of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and remand that case back to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals could mean good news for convicted Mississippi attorney Paul Minor.

Start the Apollo Project for Clean Energy

It's time for an "Apollo Project" for clean energy in America.

It's time for an "Apollo Project" for clean energy in America.

Party Rock For Shape Shifters

Rise Up Howling Werewolf is straight-up electro-pop garage-rock from Muscle Shoals, Ala. Except, that is, when Rise Up Howling Werewolf is riff-driven, supernatural punk-blues; or retro psychedelic drone; or spooky, vernacular hill music.

[Stiggers] Branding the Unemployed

Boneqweesha Jones: "I heard James Brown paraphrase a Bible verse at the end of one of his songs: ‘If you don't work, you don't eat.' And right now in America, people are starving.

[Kamikaze] The Key Ingredient to Growth

Every growing city has major problems. Jackson is no different. It is a blossoming metropolis, but is not without its issues: crumbling infrastructure; old water pipes; bad roads; understaffed police and fire departments; dilapidated properties; neighborhoods overrun by drugs–you name it.

[Hutchinson] Michael Jackson: A Threat?

Pop king Michael Jackson has been dead for one year. But the controversy that surrounded his life didn't end with his death. On June 25, the eve of the first anniversary of his death, Latoya Jackson loudly declared that her brother was murdered. Why? Because he had grown too rich and powerful, and posed a threat.

Is Mississippi Rushing Executions?

The state of Mississippi is set to execute Joseph Daniel Burns on July 21, making Burns the third inmate executed this year. Attorney General Jim Hood asked the Mississippi Supreme Court June 21 to set an execution date for Burns, the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court turned down Burns' request for a hearing. Burns follows Gerald James Holland and Paul Woodward, whom the state executed May 19 and 20, respectively. Holland and Woodward were the first two executions in the state since 2008, and Burns' execution will make 2010 the busiest year for Mississippi's death chamber since 1961.

Auditorium Closes; Relaunching as Events Space

The Auditorium, a Fondren restaurant and music venue, has closed temporarily as its owners develop a plan to re-open as an events space. The restaurant, located in the Duling School, closed July 4. Developer Mike Peters, who owns the Duling School property, told the Jackson Free Press today that the restaurant is "revamping."

Bill Payne

After more than 14 years of waking up early mornings and going to his small office that sits in the back of Church's Chicken at the intersection of the Medgar Evers Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Bill Payne remains passionate about his franchise. He greets each employee with a smile every day, displaying his appreciation for his or her hard work.

Scorching Beauty

Blues melodies are gritty and rich with life's sorrows, just like the soil of the Delta; they haunt the listener long afterward. So does "Delta Blues," edited by Carolyn Haines (Tyrus Books, 2010, $17.95). An anthology of Delta storytelling featuring work from 20 authors, the volume captures the violent beauty of the Delta region.

New Deadline for Seale's Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court set an August 9 deadline last week for the U.S. Department of Justice to respond to the appeal of former Ku Klux Klansmen James Ford Seale, WLBT reported yesterday.

Tuesday, July 6

Shoegasmic Sale

Tell them FLY! blog sent you!

Right now, at this very moment, there's a summer shoe sale going on at the Shoe Bar at Pieces. The entire stock ... read it again: The entire stock of summer shoes and wedges is 50 percent off until there's not a single pair left. I don't know what size shoe you wear, but the Sam Edelman Quintessa may still be there in your size.

Hinds Seeking Fed Money for Byram-Clinton Corridor

The Hinds County Board of Supervisors took another small step forward today on its long-delayed Byram-Clinton corridor road-building project. The board voted unanimously to earmark $2 million for the project out of the $14 million remaining from a 2007 bond issue.

[Balko] Confirmation Theater

My task this week is to write a column on how criminal-justice issues are likely to play out at the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings, and how her expected confirmation will tilt the balance between the rights of the accused and the government's power to police.

New Fondren Boutiques; Millsaps a ‘Best Buy'

After spending the past 12 years in retail, Andrea Galloway-Thomas saw the growing Fondren business community as an opportunity to start her own business.

Adam Malone

Adam Malone, 8, wants all children to have access to playgrounds. With the help of his parents, Drew, and Angela, Adam is raising money for a wheelchair-accessible playground at Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland.

Navy Blimp Used for Oil Spill Clean Up

A U.S. Navy blimp is aiding oil spill clean-up efforts in the Gulf of Mexico this morning, the Sun Herald reported today.

Monday, July 5

Donate art and gifts to Chick Ball by July 14 to be in shopping guide!

Artists, business owners and individuals: Please donate a piece of artwork, or a gift or gift certificate from your shop, by Wednesday, July 14, to be included in the 2010 Chick Issue shopping guide, which publishes July 21--three days before the 6th Annual JFP Chick Ball at Hal & Mal's. The amazing Chick Ball silent auction each year raises the bulk of the money to help fight domestic abuse. Please do what you can.

6th Annual 2010 JFP Chick Ball is July 24

The Jackson Free Press created the JFP Chick Ball in 2004 for two reasons: to raise education about and money to fight domestic abuse in Mississippi; and to showcase women musicians and artists to a diverse audience. The JFP Chick Ball is designed to be affordable so that anyone 18 or older can contribute to this very vital fundraiser. The cover charge is only $5, but we offer many fun ways to raise more money once guests are inside the event (from a game alley to a huge silent auction).

2010 JFP Chick Ball Sponsors Announced

Diva ($2,500 and up)

And, no, it's not too late for you to get your name on this elite list -- for as little as $50! Call ShaWanda Jacome at 601.362.6121 ext. 16; make all checks payable to the Center for Violence Prevention:

Full Smoking Ban Takes Effect

An expanded version of the city's ban on smoking in restaurants and bars took effect July 1, but compliance with the ban is still spotty.

Leslie Coleman

A former student recently stopped by Principal Leslie Coleman's office at Casey Elementary School. He had just one thing he wanted to say: "Thank you."

Community Events and Public Meetings

Tuesday, July 6

Small Business Leadership Conference July 6-7, at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.), in the Community Meeting Room. Conference hours are 9 a.m.-2 p.m. July 6 and 5-9 p.m. July 7. John Jr. Gospel Ministries and Leaders of Tomorrow are the hosts. Call 769-251-9461.

Times Such As These

In a non-descript back-lot studio near the downtown fairgrounds, long-time collaborators Taylor Hildebrand and producer Byron Knight, of Sneaky B Records, have forged a beautifully melancholy treasure has that may confirm your faith in the Jackson music scene. In fact, the two have managed to create as pristine a snapshot for this period of local music as you will likely find. It is a bittersweet capsule to a bittersweet time.

Gulf States Request Mental Health Funds From BP

Mississippi Alabama, Louisiana and Florida officials are asking BP to provide funds for mental health services for residents who have been affected by the oil spill, the Associated Press reported July, 2.

Friday, July 2

Health Coverage Available for High-Risk Patients

Mississippi residents can apply for a new federally financed and operated high-risk health insurance pool this month as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that President Barack Obama signed in March.

South Jackson Mall Seeks Community Input

The Jackson Square shopping center that has struggled with crime and vacancy for years is showing signs of life. The South Jackson retail mall at Terry Road and Interstate 55, renamed the Jackson Square Outlet Mall, is getting a facelift and actively pursuing new tenants, but the property's new owner believes community support is essential to the project's success.

Red, White and Blues

The annual Celebrate America Balloon Glow event kicks off the Fourth of July weekend festivities tonight at Northpark Mall in Ridgeland featuring food, games, a hot air balloon glow, country music stars Candy Coburn and Tracy Lawrence, followed and ending with the annual fireworks display. The free event begins at 6 p.m.

Tim Slattery

Putting a balloon a few hundred feet in the air is not an easy task, but for balloonist Tim Slattery it's just like any other hobby--one he compares to sailing or golfing.

Mississippi Sound Closed to Fishing; Oil in Food Chain

Executive directors at the Mississippi departments of Marine Resources and Environmental Quality closed the Mississippi Sound for commercial and recreational fishing yesterday in response to the gusher in the Gulf.

Thursday, July 1

Mayonnaise Comes to Jackson

It's difficult for to imagine mayonnaise as exotic at all, but Eudora Welty remembers its advent in Jackson as an event.

New Mississippi Laws in Effect

A host of new laws, and modifications to existing laws signed by Gov. Haley Barbour in the 2010 Legislative session go into effect today.

Officer on Leave After Shooting

Read this week's crime stats.

Jessica Auberney Smith

Jessica Auberney Smith, who writes under J. Auberney, is a self-proclaimed "hopeless romantic." So much so, that she is turning poetry and gift-giving into her livelihood.

Allergy Meds Now Require Prescription

Beginning today, cold and allergy sufferers who rely on products containing pseudoephedrine will need a doctor's prescription to purchase them in Mississippi. The law passed during this year's legislative session is meant to stem the tide of methamphetamine production, and pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in popular over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines, is also a major element in meth.