Stories for June 2010


Wednesday, June 30

Seeking Balance

I'm still fat. I've gotten less sleep now than I did a few weeks ago when I decided I'd get more sleep. My life is slightly more off balance. And I haven't done a lick of yoga. My road to wellness is the road less travelled, because it's run over with debris, rocks and overgrown foliage.

Shop, Pack, Go

Weekend getaways require one bag. Yes, just one. Throw in your bag a swimsuit and a cover-up; a pair of shorts and a top; a jersey-knit maxi dress that can be dressed up or down, when need be; a pair of shoes (or two, or three ... maybe it's a big bag!); and something to entertain yourself, and you're ready for just about anything your adventurous spirit might get you into. Have fun! Check out the JFP Issu for design ideas. And don't forget the sunblock.

Travel: What Not to Do

Last August, my then-boyfriend Mason and I took an excursion to Memphis to celebrate summer's end. We were anticipating a carefree day trip, but expectation quickly turned to distress as our whole day was plagued with disappointing fiascos.

Road Trip Destinations

If you're planning a day trip from Jackson, consider yourself lucky: The state capital sits at the crossroad of two major interstate highways, making it easy to get to nearby cities, north, south, east or west. Here are a few points of interest to help you make a decision.


Mississippi is unique. And no matter what naysayers believe, the Magnolia state has something for just about everyone. Take some time this summer to travel around the state and explore some of the one-of-a kind and unusual sites Mississippi has to offer. Then tell your friends, so they can visit, too.

[Rob In Stereo] The Gaslight Anthem: Not Your Average Garden Variety Band

Bruce Springsteen casts a large shadow over New Jersey. Every rock band from the state needs to inevitably face comparisons to the man, no matter how similar or dissimilar their sound. Few musicians are as strongly and intrinsically tied to their home state as Springsteen is to New Jersey.

Viktory Lives Here

Geography dominates the hip-hop genre. Rappers are as identified with their hometowns as they are with their sound. Cities that ruled the airwaves defined most eras of hip-hop: New York in the mid-'90s, New Orleans in the late-'90s and Atlanta's crunk-centric mid-'00s. Mississippi, though full of rich musical history, was never a hip-hop lover's first stop.

Lady Liberty Wants Cupcakes

Cupcakes have become all the rage. Once synonymous with children's birthday parties, boutique-style bakeries specializing in gourmet cupcakes are popping up steadily.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: What a terrible day for America. No, not losing in the World Cup. I'm talking about the release of that dang new "Twilight" movie. I haven't seen so much pouting since Ole Miss banned the Rebel flag.

Zen and the Art of Losing My Hard Drive

My road to wellness this summer included a long road trip to the Northeast. It was a remarkable, relaxing almost-two-week budget vacation—that ended with my laptop hard drive crashing on the last day in New York. Oh, and my online backup system failed, too (or we had failed on it by not renewing it when it ran out unbeknownst to me). Talk about a Zen test. Yes, I cried several times. More than that, I felt discombobulated in a way I never really had. Suddenly, it felt like my life was adrift. And it kinda was.

Grilled Margherita Pizza

This 4th of July, add a new item to your usual hotdog and hamburger grill menu. Grilled pizza is versatile, fresh and easy, and is a delicious vegetarian option for your holiday feast.

County Audit Reveals Swap Risk

Hinds County may have earned almost $4.5 million from a complex financial deal, but few in the county appear able to explain where the money went.

I Punched the Hole

OK, I admit it: I'm obsessed with the gusher in the Gulf. I spend part of every day looking for some new outrage or updated numbers on how much oil is actually flowing into the ocean.

'A Safer, Better Hinds County'

Michael Williams believes a good judge should possess empathy. A partner at Davis, Goss & Williams, the Clinton resident is running for Hinds County Court judge for District 3 in the hopes of improving the county he's lived in almost all his life.

The Convention Hotel Conundrum

The JFP warned when taxpayers were voting on funding for the Jackson Convention Complex that powers-that-be would be back asking for a hotel in the future. Now that's happening, in the disconcerting form of a "public-private" partnership.

[Stiggers] Keep It to Yourself

Miss Doodle-Mae: "I'm proud to welcome five new members to the staff of Jojo's Discount Dollar Store. You've experienced the rigorous training and intense orientation sessions. I hope you've mastered the Four-Way-Test Customer Service class."

[Purvis] Déjà Vu All Over Again

I have not been myself since I learned of the tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Always, no matter what I'm doing, it seems to be hanging out with me, sometimes on the periphery of my thoughts and more often in the foreground as the days get marked off the calendar like fallen soldiers on the battlefront.

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The JFP Interview With Alan Nunnelee

Republican Mississippi Sen. Alan Nunnelee is looking to follow after Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker—again. In 1994, Nunnelee gained Wicker's state Senate seat after Wicker won election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Greenwood Black Magic

Carolyn Haines' newest book, "Bone Appétit" (St. Martin's Minotaur, June 2010, $24.99), is reminiscent of the classic Nancy Drew mysteries, but with a whole lot of southern sass and kick-ass thrown in. This murder mystery, the tenth in a series, is set in Greenwood.

JPS Approves 12 Percent Smaller Budget

The Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees approved a budget yesterday that cuts staff work days and eliminates 125 unfilled teaching positions. The $270.7 million budget for the upcoming school year is 12 percent smaller than last year's, reflecting drops in state funds and local revenues.

Kristi Hendrix

Upon arriving at Kristi Hendrix's office, it's hard to remember I'm not visiting her home. Inside the house, a collection of trophies from Good Samaritan's "Some Like It Hot" Chili Cook-off are displayed next to pictures of community and family members that sit on the top of the home's fire places.

Correction for JFP Issue and JFP Daily

In yesterday's top JFP Daily story, "City Approves Convention Hotel Financing," and in this week's issue, JFP reporter Adam Lynch misquoted Ward 1 City Councilman Jeff Weill saying that the city is being asked to co-sign onto billions of dollars of debt. Weill said the city is being asked to co-sign onto millions of dollars of debt. The Jackson Free Press apologizes for the error.

Alex Hampers Oil Clean-Up Efforts

Rought weather caused by Hurricane Alex, the season's first hurricane-strength storm in the Gulf of Mexico, is impeding cleanup efforts on the Coast, reports ABC News. Alex is headed for the Texas-Mexico border, and is not interfering with the cleanup effort at the site of the Deepwater Horizon gusher; however, on shore, winds and high tides are keeping workers from the beaches.

Tuesday, June 29

The Road to Wellness Will Not Be Traveled By Car

As my car coasted into the JFP parking lot two weeks ago, I thought I had ran out of gas. It actually turns out that I need a new car engine, which means I'm out of a car for the time being. The good news? This means I have exceeded my goal of biking to work three times a week. However, it makes getting to the gym more of a challenge. It also makes everything else more of a challenge--from getting to the grocery store to finding ways not to arrive places pouring with sweat.

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City Approves Convention Hotel Financing

See the presentation to city council members (PDF, 1.5 MB)

JFP People of the Day: John and Margrit Garner

As the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees has poured over its budget for the upcoming school year in a series of hearings, John and Margrit Garner have been there to watch and comment. With three grandsons in JPS, the Garners have a personal interest in the district's success. But their involvement speaks to a long history of activism for children and students.

[Balko] Another Marylander Arrested for Recording the Police

The city of Annapolis, Md., recently received a Homeland Security grant for 20 new surveillance cameras in the downtown area. The city of Baltimore already has nearly 500.

Sweet Potato Queens Move Parade to Fondren

The annual Sweet Potato Queens Homecoming will take place in the Fondren neighborhood of Jackson, not Ridgeland, author and founder Jill Conner Browne told the Jackson Free Press today. Following Mal's St. Paddy's Parade this March, Browne announced that the Queens would end their affiliation with the parade and hold their own parade and fundraising events in the Renaissance at Colony Park shopping center in Ridgeland.

Wellness Project: Week 4

Last night, I thought that I would start decorating my prayer book with the expensive set of markers I bought for school. Well, it turns out that the ink won't adhere because the "pleather" surface is too slick. I sanded the cover, but to no avail. I thought about acrylic paint, but I am sure it will eventually flake off and make a mess. Then, I thought about making a book cover — you know, the kind you made in elementary school to cover your textbooks? I won't use a brown paper bag, though. I have some rag paper left over from a previously drawing class, and I think I'll use that since I like the texture of it. I may throw in some watercolors, too.

Another Round for Ole Miss Mascot

With Colonel Reb officially voted down as the school's mascot in February, the University of Mississippi is gathering votes on 11 alternate choices through Monday, July 5. The options, just about all of them preceded by "Rebel" and narrowed down from a list of more than 1,000 submitted ideas are: a duo named Hotty and Toddy, a black bear, blues musician, cardinal, fanatic, horse, land shark, lion, mojo, riverboat pilot and titan.

Developing a Wellness Habit

They say it takes 21 days to develop a habit, and that's been my wellness goal since returning from vacation -- I want to develop the habit of getting to the gym everyday and doing at least 30 minutes of exercise, whatever it is. So far I'm mostly spending time on the elliptical (that's where the TV is, after all) but even that feels like a nice accomplishment -- 3-4 miles of workout that doesn't get me so sore that I'm not up for going back the next day.

Monday, June 28

Council to Vote on Hotel Financing With Few Details Public

Read the resolution (PDF, 344 KB)

Week 3: King Cake, Tamales, and Water Oh My

Getting to the gym has proven to be hard work. I am eating much better, though my best friend did make a King Cake yesterday. Also spent a good bit of time at the Ink Spot Farewell party, I will miss those guys and gal (shout out to Walker's Drive-In for the fantastic Tamale casserole). This summer is much more hectic than I expected and I'm trying to manage my time better than I have in the past. I'm hoping for some suggestions or tips on that (anyone?). Drinking water is getting harder, I've been thinking about getting the Crystal Lite drink mix but I feel like that's cheating.

City to Vote on Funds For Fondren Street Improvements

The Jackson City Council will vote at Tuesday's council meeting on whether to approve a $2 million grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation to install new sidewalks, lighting, landscaping and street-construction for the area starting at the fork at Old Canton Road and State Street and extending to Duling Avenue in Fondren.

ML 'The Truth'

When Jackson native Marland "ML" Williams couldn't get a ticket to see R&B artist Monica perform because her concert was sold out a few months ago, he surely did not anticipate performing on the same stage as her.

Doing Good: A ‘New Focus' for At-Risk Youth

Since Virgie Peterson, 12, joined the New Focus For Youth Intervention program at the Jackson Medical Mall last fall, she went from being a C student to becoming a straight-A student.

Community Events and Public Meetings

Events at Jackson City Hall (200 S. President St.). Call 601-960-1033.

Oil on Mississippi Beaches

More than two months after the Deepwater Horizon sank in the Gulf of Mexico and millions of gallons of oil began spewing into the waters, on Sunday, Mississippi began to feel the pain of its neighboring states as tar balls and blobs of oil washed onto her shores. Oil was reported in Jackson County near Ocean Springs, on the beach in Pascagoula and Biloxi, and "masses and streams" of oil showed up south of Pascagoula in the Mississippi sound, reports The Sun Herald.

Friday, June 25

Oil Expected on State's Beaches

State officials expect oil in the Mississippi Sound to make landfall on beaches within the next few days. Speaking to the Sun-Herald yesterday, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Trudy Fisher said that Coast residents should brace themselves for the possibility that skimmers and booms would not contain all the oil.

Culture, Closings and Comics

Start your weekend off by attending Cross-Pollinate Vol. 2 tonight. Speaker Larisa Mann who is a scholar, journalist and deejay in San Francisco, will be discussing her research on the interplay between creativity and copyright law with a lecture that will include multimedia and draw on her fieldwork in Jamaica. The free event starts tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the Jackson Community Design Center (509 E. Capitol St.). Cross-Pollinate will continue Saturday with a party at the North Midtown Arts Center (121 Millsaps Ave.) featuring music from DJ Ripley (Larisa Mann), Hot & Lonely, Mr. Nick, and DJ Scrap Dirty. Admission is $5 and begins at 9 p.m. Call 415-425-9291 for more information. The best place to start planning your weekend is the JFP's Best Betsfor more options.

New McDonald's Compromises Appearance

Neighbors of a proposed McDonald's restaurant at the corner of Lakeland Drive and Ridgewood Road succeeded in changing the businesses hours of operation and the color of the building, even though they weren't successful in stopping the development during a meeting Wednesday.

Jonathan Faulkner

When asked where he went to high school, 17-year-old Jonathan Faulkner pauses. "Can you have a list?" he asks, laughing.

Thursday, June 24

Water Pressure Restored, Boil Water Through Weekend

City workers have restored water pressure to all parts of the city, Mayor Harvey Johnson said at a press conference this afternoon. Johnson said that crews have successfully bypassed the section of 54-inch water line that failed last night, triggering a drop in water pressure across the city. Workers were able to determine the source of the failure: a cap on the water main, which is part of an unfinished section connecting the city's O.B. Curtis and J.H. Fewell water plants.

Most Businesses Prepared for Water Issues

Most Jackson businesses are well-prepared for low or nonexistent water pressure, having weathered a nearly week-long crisis in January. Most restaurants are open and hospitals are maintaining regular operations with a few adjustments.

Larisa Mann

Larisa Mann laughs when asked to describe what she does for a living. As a student earning her doctorate at the University of California at Berkley's law school and a writer, Mann, also known as DJ Ripley, has reason to pause.

Oil in MS Sound; Cap Back On

Officials confirmed yesterday that a large patch of oil, about a mile long and two hundred yards wide, came through Dog Keys Pass into the Mississippi Sound, catching oil spotters by surprise, reports The Sun Herald.

City Working on Water Main; Boil Notice in Effect

Verbatim statement 6/24/10

Citizens on the City of Jackson's Surface Water System may be experiencing low water pressure or no water at all this morning as crews work to repair a major 54-inch water main that is connected to the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant this morning.

My Shrimp Love Affair

A shrimp boat sprawls its arms out near the Beau Rivage. The usually brown water of the Mississippi Sound looks blue on the first Saturday of shrimp season. Life goes on in Biloxi, but a sense of dread rides the breeze.

Mimi's Kitchen Garden

Optimal health requires more than just nutritious food for the body. It also requires food for the soul. Art—whether music, painting or studying nature—is soul food, and so is enjoying friends and family.

Two Prodigies at a Crossroads

In the dog days of summer, two prodigies have arrived at a decisive moment in their careers. And now, they might be the most important players in their respective sports in the second decade of the 21st century.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: No matter how deep we get into the dog days, you still can't make the Doctor watch a WNBA game.

Wednesday, June 23

The Retro Music Gear Guide

In honor of the JFP's music issue, why not get some classic gear? Experience the music lover style and check out this week's JFP Flipbook edition and create your own groove.

...To Make a Thing Go Right

I often give talks about journalism and my crazy journey that began when I left the state the day after graduating from Mississippi State, and vowing never, ever to return. I was headed off to go to law school in Washington, D.C., to learn how to change the world. Or stay out all night. Or something.

Commissioners Deny Barbour's Influence

Mississippi Sierra Club Director Louie Miller says that a letter from Gov. Haley Barbour to the Public Service Commission asking it to approve an experimental coal plant in Kemper County may have had an unseemly impact on Public Service Commissioners Leonard Bentz' and Lynn Posey's decision to increase the plant's construction-cost cap by $480 million at the request of Mississippi Power Company.

Barbour Flips on $20 Billion

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour shifted his support for a $20 billion escrow fund that BP agreed to set up to compensate Gulf State victims filing claims for losses due to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Secret Now, Pay Later?

Faced with the prospect of deep, unpopular cuts in public services, it's no wonder the Jackson City Council is mulling a plan to free up cash in the near term. The city says its proposed debt refinancing would save the city $18.3 million in debt service over the next five years but add $10.8 million to its long-term debt.

[Stiggers] As the Oil Flows

Boneqweesha Jones: "It's the ‘Qweesha Live 2010 Weekly World Report.' It looks like this summer is putting the heat on world and corporate leaders. Case in point is the president. It seems like the nation, media and Congress are sweating him about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

[Kamikaze] The New Mississippi Musicians

I often brag to out-of-state friends and colleagues that all the genres of music were either birthed or perfected on Mississippi soil. From Jimmie Rodgers to Faith Hill, B.B. King to Grady Champion, and from Leontyne Price to Brandy, it's safe to say that our musical roots run deep.

[Dickerson] Long Live the ‘W'

When Gov. Haley Barbour came out in favor of merging Mississippi University for Women with Mississippi State University, I was ecstatic.

Hey, Mr. DJ

Talking to George Patterson and Bo Trebotich, one can't help but wonder if becoming a deejay only happens serendipitously.

Ever Heard of … ?

Big Bill Broonzy—This mysterious but talented artist touched the souls of many blues fans from the 1930s through the 1950s. Often regarded as the best-selling blues artist on Vocalion's Race Records, his birthplace and birthdate are unknown, and he never could keep track of his places of residence throughout his life.

[Artists to Watch] Liver Mousse: Miscues, Mistakes and Meat Paste

When Cody Cox and his girlfriend, Caitlin McNally come home from a long day at work, the last thing they want to do is be serious. Instead, they piece together the absurd moments of their day, grab instruments, and sing about things like donkeys, nachos and making love.

Sounds Like …

No one likes talking to a music snob. Statements like "This isn't psych-pop, it's proto-shoegaze with a proggy, math-rock attitude" don't lend themselves to conversation. As a recovering snob, I can assure you there's nothing to fear in all those fancy words. Sometimes they even contain a little wisdom.

Creating a Space

Jackson musicians Taylor Hildebrand and Jamie Weems have big plans and ideas for Jackson's music scene. They want a bolder and vibrant place for musicians and fans.

Burnin' Down the House: DIY Concerts

It's not just for sweaty, basement punks anymore. Do-it-yourself house concerts are cropping up all over Jackson, the perfect expression of the city's collaborative, welcoming music scene.

[Artist to Watch] Noo Noo: Doing it All

When talking about the big names in rap today, you'll hear names like Jay-Z, T.I. or Lil' Wayne. Rap is a male-dominated genre, and it isn't often that ladies get credit for their lyrical ability and rap skills. When they do, they create a big buzz.

Where are They Now?

When musicians leave Jackson to follow their path to new opportunities and sucess, they leave behind a local fan base. Want to know what they're up to now? Here's what.

‘Only Believe'

Sharon, Miss., native Cynthia Allen released her first independent record April 17. Personal difficulties she'd faced in recent years inspired the album, "Only Believe," she says. Allen, along with her partner, Steven Harper of His Way Productions, wrote and produced the nine-track album.

[Artists To Watch] Thomas ‘Tiger' Rogers: Tiger Eyes

Every Thursday and Friday at The Auditorium in Fondren, Thomas "Tiger" Rogers connects with the lunch crowd through his saxophone. When people enter the restaurant, he says he automatically knows what to play to make them feel good.

A Pleasant Catastrophe

Huunter's newest album, "The Ultraviolet Catastrophe," is many things, but "easy to categorize" is not one of them. The music is modern classical meets electronic dance. It's complex and intriguing, yet easy to dance to. It's something you have to experience to understand.

[Artists To Watch] Dathan Thigpen & Brittney Dear: Our Sunday Best

In the spirit of making a joyful noise unto the Lord, Mississippi natives Brittney Dear, 22, and Dathan Thigpen, 30, took the stage by storm this season on BET's "Sunday Best." Both singers grew up singing gospel music and proudly come from strong musical roots.

Review: ‘Sophomore Slump: Independents Day'

A lot has changed since Skipp Coon and Mr. Nick released their debut opus, "Women Revolution Tennis Shoes," in 2008. So naturally, Skipp is going to dedicate his new album to rapping about jovial frivolity over jumpy, synthed-out pop beats courtesy of Mr. Nick, right? Maybe not.

Tease photo

[Artists To Watch] Wild Emotions: Like Musical Rain

During a typical night's summer rehearsal for the Wild Emotions, their practice space—Daphne Nabors' house—is filled with heat, humidity and plenty of energy.

[Herman's Picks] Vol. 8, No. 41

Fans of jam bands will want to support the return of Colonel Bruce Hampton & the Quark Alliance to Martin's Friday night.

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The Turntables: A DJ's Center

He walks around, shaking hands and hugging people like the most charismatic politician. Slightly baggy jeans, simple loafer-like shoes and a mint green short-sleeved shirt are not the typical attire of someone running for office, but a suit and tie in this environment would stand out like a bonafide Jezebel at a summer tent revival.

A Man's Summer in the City

Having spent my day on Interstate 220 in a black car with no air-conditioning, I was having trouble finding anything to appreciate about summers in Jackson. But I knew a silver lining had to be out there, so I gave my pal Brent a call to hear his thoughts on the subject.

Comic Geek Chic(ks)

One look at Cami Roebuck's purple hair, inspired by the character Hit-Girl from the comic book and film "Kick-Ass," and it's clear that bucking trends is nothing new for the Brandon-based teen.

Marriage, Murder and Peanuts

Viewing an M.C. Escher painting inspires fascination and frustration. My feelings waver between total awe that he is able to fit all these figures into one uninterrupted whole and the feeling that—as remarkable as the picture may be—it's just too perfect, too forced, to work.

JPS Facing $9M Budget Hole

The Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees met yesterday to address a possible $9 million budget shortfall for the upcoming school year. With lower tax collections, rising debt-service obligations and reduced state funding, the district may need to request a property tax increase from the city to fill gaps in the 2010-2011 budget.

MDE Submits Proposal to Makeover State Schools

On June 1, the Mississippi Department of Education sent a 500-page Race To The Top proposal to radically transform the state's educational system to Washington, D.C. Mississippi's entry in the federal grant program proposes performance pay for teachers, a state board exam system and new specialized academies, but the ambitious plan depends on getting nearly $175 million from the federal government.

Melvin Priester Jr.

You might see Melvin Priester Jr. around Jackson in his family's law office or working on his father's campaign to become a Hinds County Court judge for Sub-District 1. You also might see him riding his bike (his only mode of transportation), working the door for a local concert, deejaying a party or promoting Cross-Pollinate, a local lecture series he formed to bring artists from various parts of the country to Jackson.

Moratorium-Blocking Judge Owns Drilling Stock

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman lifted the Obama administration's six-month moratorium on new deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The judge, however, owns stock in numerous oil and drilling interests, and may well have a conflict of interest, reports Politics Daily.

Tuesday, June 22

Mii Fit?

Last time I blogged on here, I mentioned my vacation-oriented Food Court diet disgust and the intense need to buy a Wii Fit. After that went up I went poking online and found a pretty good deal on the Wii Fit setup and ordered it immediately.

Wellness Project: Week 3

Last week, I said that I wanted a fancy, colorful book to write my prayers in, but then I realized that I could decorate my own book. I have paint and a 100-piece marker set, so why can't I? I already have a journal that I have hardly used, and the fabric cover should be able to receive paint or ink well. I'll draw some curlicues, some flowers and maybe throw in some abstract elements. Since I know what I want, it should be easier for me to customize a book than to go out and buy one. I would save a few bucks, too.

Shortfalls Overshadow City Savings

Read the city's budget proposal

[Balko] 'I Find that Inexcusable'

At a stoplight just a few miles from his home, Nicholas Beltrante, 82, puts on his flashers, opens the driver's side door to his car, gets out, and approaches my car. I roll down my window.

Community Input Sought For ‘Cola Plant' Redesign

Community members will gather Wednesday night to discuss whether the old Coca-Cola plant could be a new sign of hope for Highway 80.

Jennifer Lake Adelsheimer

When Jennifer Lake Adelsheimer switched her career path, she had no idea that decision would take her aboard cruise ships, to Disney World and ultimately land her a job as Broad Street Baking Company's pastry chef.

Republican Primary Runoff Vote Today

Voters in Mississippi's second congressional district go back to the polls this morning to choose the Republican candidate who will challenge Democratic incumbent Rep. Bennie Thompson for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in November. On the ballot are Bill Marcy, 64, of Meridian, and Richard Cook, 51, of Byram. Marcy took the majority of primary votes June 1, however the difference was a single vote, reports The Sun Herald.

Monday, June 21

IHL Report Predicts Moderate Recovery

The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning released a report today indicating that another downturn in the national economic recession is unlikely, and that Mississippi's recovery is showing a slight improvement.

Doing Good: Health Help for Kids

The Mississippi Health Advocacy Program estimates that 120,000 Mississippi children have no health insurance, even though three-quarters qualify for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. A new outreach project aims to remedy the state's low enrollment in those federal programs for low-income, uninsured families.

Ray Mabus

Describing Navy Secretary Ray Mabus as a "son of the Gulf," last week, President Barack Obama appointed Mabus, former governor of Mississippi, to oversee economic and environmental recovery for the Gulf Coast from the oil spill.

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.

Feinberg: Emergency Payments a Priority

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday, Kenneth Feinberg, appointed by President Barack Obama to administer BP's $20 billion escrow account for claims against the oil giant, said his immediate goal is to pay initial "emergency" payments to victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf. Those payments, he said will not affect victims' ability to file future claims, reports The Wall Street Journal:

Friday, June 18

Barbour Welcomes BP Escrow Manager

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour praised Kenneth Feinberg today, for his ability to oversee a $20 billion escrow fund that BP agreed to set up to compensate Gulf State victims filing claims for losses due to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Housing Authority, Medical Mall Make Homes Affordable

In an effort to rebuild local communities, The Jackson Medical Mall and Jackson Housing Authority are working to bring high-quality, affordable housing to Jackson residents.

Dancing, Dining, Music and More

If you haven't been to the 2010 USA International Ballet Competition, the competition continues through June 27. Saturday features a brunch at 11:30 a.m. at the Jackson Marriott. Tickets are $10 pus tax and tip and an advanced reservation is required. Call 601-355-9853 to RSVP. The second round of the competition starts Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall, with performances Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, June 20, The Belhaven Center for Performing Arts presents the Edward Stierle Contemporary Showcase at 2 p.m., featuring performances by 25 dancers who weren't selected for the semifinals of the competition, with special guest performance from artist Brooklyn Mack. Tickets are $5 and all proceeds from the event benefit the Dancers Responding to AIDS program. Call 601-973-9249 for ticket information.

Brooke Wyatt Kuhne

When she was a young girl, Brooke Wyatt Kuhne says she was one of the USA International Ballet Competition's biggest fans but she never thought her passion for the arts would someday lead her to becoming the competition's artistic administrator.

The Whole Hog

James Villas, along with Laurie Colwin, was an early icon of mine in the field of food writing. His Villas at Table (1998) was a long-time companion. As a matter of fact, his essay on sardines in that work inspired me to submit my first column to Donna Ladd. (As I remember, it was about oysters, but I'm certainly in a position to be corrected.)

Grant to Help Victims of Domestic and Sexual Assault

Victims of domestic violence can now receive extra legal assistance, counseling and protection thanks to a $157,950.00 grant awarded to the Mississippi Center for Police and Sheriffs. The Mississippi Department of Public Safety awarded the center with the one-year grant during a press conference at the Capital yesterday.

Thursday, June 17

Sierra Club Takes Kemper Plant to Court

The Mississippi Sierra Club filed a lawsuit today in Harrison County Chancery court challenging a decision by two Mississippi Public Service Commissioners to reverse an earlier PSC decision capping expenses of a new $2.9 billion coal-burning power plant in Kemper County.

Jackson's Recovery Top 20 In Nation

Despite suffering its worst recession in three decades, Jackson's economy is recovering faster than many U.S. cities. Jackson was one of only 10 metropolitan areas in the country--almost all of them in the South--to experience positive job growth in the last quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, according to a report issued yesterday by the Brookings Institution.

Buck Abbey

Buck Abbey says he coined the phrase "green laws" in the '70s, although he did not know what a White Pine tree was before going to college. As a matter of fact, he happened upon landscape architecture and urban design by flipping through a Michigan State University catalogue and randomly opening to a page.

Wreckers Causing Burglaries

Read this week's crime report (PDF)

Toyota to Restart Blue Springs

Gov. Haley Barbour announced this morning that Toyota is moving forward to complete its Blue Springs plant in north Mississippi. Current plans call for the first cars to roll off the assembly lines in fall 2011.

Wednesday, June 16

Hanging out with Dad

When I was a little girl, I remember taking my bright neon bubble paint and going up to my father's bedroom before one Father's Day, where I took out his favorite red polo shirt. I knew he liked fishing and watching television, so I drew a huge TV on the front of his shirt with a man fishing.

Father's Day

The proud papa is a guy who has snapshots of his kids in his wallet where his money used to be. Humorous to some, true for others. This year, give your father a gift thoughtfully chosen for him, based on his personality or hobbies. Head on over to This week's JFP Issuu and check out the deals!

Water Water Everywhere

It was still daylight on a nice afternoon last April. I was busy, hungry and tired when my emotions got the better of me, and I drove into a fast food restaurant to eat before going home. The sandwich tasted a little odd, but I decided it was my imagination—probably just the spices.

Linnie Gordon and Charlie T. Hubbard

Linnie Gordon and Charlie T. Hubbard believe in patience and letting things happen as they may. In their case, patience and time proved to be a gift.

[He Drank, She Drank] Vol. 8, No. 40

He Drank, She Drank

A guy and a girl walk into a bar... No, not like that! These two liquor-loving socialites review some of their favorite drinks and favorite recipes.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: If you think the game of musical chairs in college sports is over, think again.

Celebrating Manhood

Whenever I've had something I needed to say to my brother but couldn't verbalize, I wrote him a letter. There have been two letters, in particular, that have proven to be the most important. And this, in a way, is an open letter to him, but it is, most especially to all of you.

City Not Giving Financial Details

Details on financing for the proposed convention center hotel are still under wraps, as the city puts together an official proposal for the Jackson City Council that may include using funds designated for redevelopment of areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

AG Can Sue BP without OK

British Petroleum announced that Mississippi will receive a total of $65 million to fight oil coming onto the beaches and for tourist advertising, but Attorney General Jim Hood says he requires none of those funds to pursue a suit against the oil giant, should one become necessary.

Without Federal Funds, JPS Needs $2.5M from City

Uncertainty about $187 million in federal aid is forcing Jackson Public Schools into awkward contortions as the district prepares its budget for the upcoming school year. The district will likely request an additional $2.5 million from the Jackson City Council as a precaution, Executive Director for Finance Sharolyn Miller said at a JPS board meeting Friday.

Stop Threatening AGs Authority

This month, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell reported that he will beg the Louisiana Legislature for $27 million to sue oil giant BP for the damage the company's oil is doing to Louisiana's lucrative fishing and tourism market.

[Stiggers] Kicking Some Butt

Judy McBride: "Greetings, Ghetto Science Public Television viewers! Welcome to the premiere edition of ‘Ghetto Psychology Today.' The objective of this television show is to discuss, analyze and understand aspects of human behavior from a Ghetto Science Team perspective.

Bad Business or Bad Math?

In a column published June 3 ("Payday Lending: Bad Business" by Scott Colom), JFP readers met a man named Mike (an alias for a supposed payday loan customer.) I'd like for you to meet a real payday loan customer: Gracie.

[Hutchinson] What We Can't Do About BP

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell minced no words in an interview with ABC News recently. Powell said President Barack Obama should muscle BP aside and move in with "decisive force." The general had one thing in mind: military-type response and seizure of the operation.

Tease photo

Men We Love

In most cases, stereotyping is a bad thing. Fairness dictates that we avoid it all costs. But it's safe to say, as actress Mae West once did, "Men are all alike, expect the one you've met who's different."

Things We Leave Behind

Recently, local artist Jason "Twiggy" Lott abandoned his canvases and paintbrushes for a hammer and nails. Now pursuing his art full time, Lott, 30, spends a lot of his time as a scavenger, scrounging through old parking lots, abandoned houses and any location that looks particularly "unsavory."

Cooking for Dad

I have always heard that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. If that's true, Father's Day will be 
littered with messy kitchens and burned cookies.

Alyssa Wolpin Silberman

Alyssa Wolpin Silberman considers herself a fighter. When she moved to Jackson Florida in the early '90s, she started volunteering as an escort at a woman's clinic at a time when bomb threats and violence were a common occurrence throughout the country.

City Approves Financial Contract, Drug House Demolitions

Atlanta-based Malachi Financial Products Inc. will be the city's new contracted financial adviser to guide it through financing of its general fund debt in hopes of saving $27 million over the next five years. City council members approved the contract last night in a 6 to 1 vote.

Corps Rejects Lake 255

Read Billy Orr's letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (PDF, 256 KB)

New Oil Estimate: 60,000 Barrels

Officials have once again revised their estimates of the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from the site of the devastated Deepwater Horizon rig, the fifth revision since the April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers. Yesterday, the estimate increased to 35,000 to 60,000 barrels per day, or 1.47 million to 2.52 million gallons. At that rate, the spill will quickly overtake the 1979 Ixtoc blowout, the region's largest spill to date, which leaked some 3 million barrels into the Gulf in 10 months, reports The Christian Science Monitor.

Tuesday, June 15

City Addressees Water Violations; Retirement Payment Increases

Read the city's stormwater management proposal (PDF, 64 KB)

Alexandra Franklin

When she was 8 years old, Alexandra Franklin's mother tried to separate her from her love of reading. After Franklin's math grade started to slip, her mother came into her bedroom, trash bag in tow, and began to pack up her books.

Jackson Tops for Meetings; New Boutique and Events

Jackson is an attractive meeting place for cost-sensitive companies, according to ConventionSouth magazine. The magazine's June issue names Jackson one of five "Smart Cities" in the South for business meetings. The list also names Austin, Texas, Charleston, S.C., Fairfax, Va., and Tallahassee, Fla. as business-friendly and affordable meeting sites. The magazine's entry on Jackson reflects the city's new Convention Center Complex, nearby entertainment options and affordable hotel rates.

No I didn't…Wait, yes i did.

I'm sitting at my desk right now chanting ROAD to Wellness, Road TO Wellness, Road to WELLNESS while visions of a large vanilla malt from Brent's are distracting me. I keep saying this over and over to myself hoping it will spark that "Aha" moment and make this road a smooth one, paved with great intentions and all green lights. So far, things are alright.

JPD Promotes 27 to Sergeant

In a ceremony unseen in Jackson since 2002, Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. and Police Chief Rebecca Coleman presented sergeants badges to 27 city police officers yesterday during a promotion ceremony at the Jackson Police Academy.

Monday, June 14

The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Inducts Six

On June 12, the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inducted seven new members Among the inductees were Teresa Edwards, Leta Andrews, Chris Weller, Teresa Weatherspoon, Gloria Ray, and Rebecca Lobo. Opened in 1999, the Hall of Fame is located in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Hall of Honor is complemented by such artifacts as a 1901 rule book and the WVU jersey worn by Georgeann Wells, who was the first woman to dunk in a college game.

City to Move Forward on Fortification Renewal

UPDATED: This story has been updated with additional information about the project's cost and expected completion date.

Doing Good: Jackson Is Art

At first glance, the Jackson Community Design Center isn't easy to recognize; it is merely another red brick building on Capitol Street. But step inside and you'll find a creative room with paintings and various other artwork. This artistic wonderland is the work site for 30 teenagers from the Boys and Girls Club of Central Mississippi.

Sean Saville

Since the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico April 20, the entire Gulf Coast region has experienced environmental threats to human and animal populations. Many organizations and individuals have stepped up to help in the cleanup efforts. Among them is Sean Saville, the National Audubon Society's national field director, who is supervising bird clean-up efforts along the Coast for the society.

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 or pay off current qualified student loans. Call 601-979-1474.

Obama in Gulfport Today

President Barack Obama begins his fourth visit to the Gulf Coast this morning, starting in Gulfport. Gov. Haley Barbour said that he will be on hand to welcome the President. Obama will be touring the U.S. Coast Guard command center and meet with locals before he heads to Theodore, Ala., this afternoon, reports

Friday, June 11

Mississippi Produce 101

From now until October (maybe a little later in the southern third of the state), Mississippi roadsides will be peppered with local fruit and vegetable stands. Many of them also sell home-canned goods such as pickles, jellies and sauces. If you happen to be on your way somewhere you'll return from soon and see one of these, stop and find out what they have. Most of the time, they'll tell you what's best and how they cook it. They're good people, you'll have fun stopping by and you're bound bring home something wonderful.

Majority White Jury in Flowers Trial

The fate of Curtis Flowers, a man on trial for the sixth time, is now in the hands of a jury consisting of 11 whites and one African American in Montgomery County where the racial make up is 54 percent white and 44 percent African American.

Report Finds Struggling Households in Hinds County

Read the report (PDF, 2.1 MB)

Where to watch The FIFA World Cup

This weekend, all eyes will be on South Africa for the 2010 World Cup. Although America's favorite sport is football, in other countries, what we call soccer is their "football." Here are a few local bars where you can watch the games this weekend:

Katrina Byrd

While walking home from her job at the YMCA on Farish Street as a teenager, Katrina Byrd noticed a man in a truck following her. Moments later, the man attempted to abduct Byrd by forcing her into his car.

Music, Fun and The World Cup

Tonight, the place to see and be seen is ArtRemix, the Mississippi Museum of Art's after-hours party. Starting at 5 p.m., the event features live music from Jesse Robinson, Nekisopaya and Will Kimbrough, along with food and drinks. Admission is $25 at the door, $20 for members. The opening ceremonies for The World Cup are also starting tonight and many local bars are offering front row seats to see it on screen. See a listing of World Cup showings here.

Gusher Twice as Big; BP Grants to Miss. Upped to $65 Million

Yesterday, government scientists announced yet again that the amount of oil gushing from the BP well in the Gulf of Mexico is at least twice as much as previously believed. The new "official" amount is now between 20,000 and 40,000 barrels per day, reports The New York Times. That means that for the past 52 days, 840,000 to 1.68 million gallons have been spewing into the sea every day.

Thursday, June 10

Rocky Road to Wellness

(And that's not rocky road ice cream.) Someone once told me that the minute we humans decide on a course of action and make a commitment, the next thing that invariably happens is that all the reasons show up why we can't keep our commitments. "It's not a good time," "I don't have the money," "Whose idea was this anyway?" are among my favorites, regardless of the actual commitment. Hmmm... talk about a pattern of behavior.

Supreme Court Justice Graves Named to 5th Circuit

President Barack Obama named Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James Graves to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today.

Food Court Wellness

I just got back from an extended weekend in Dallas with thousands of my closest friends at Project A-Kon, the longest running anime convention in North America. I have been attending this event for about a decade now (seriously? Sheesh!) and I always look forward to it as my big vacation of the year. There are so many things that pull me back each year, and seeing all my out of state (and some international) friends for one long weekend of pure chaos is just part of that attraction. Something is happening nearly 24 hours a day from Thursday though Sunday. How do you keep up with that AND stay healthy?

Fishermen Uncertain About BP Claims; Hood Demands Action

Biloxi charter boat captain Tom Becker said he filed a $40,000 claim with BP due to a drop in business following the April sinking of the BP offshore oil rig, but said the last four years offered a poor income record to file with his claim thanks to Hurricane Katrina and the economy.

Vance Urges JPD Fuel Conservation

Read this week's major crime report (PDF, 44 KB)

Dave Wetzel

To say that Dave Wetzel is a morning person would be an understatement. At a humid morning at the Jackson Zoo, Wetzel has already been awake for approximately five and a half hours.

JSU Losing Scholarships

Jackson State University is losing scholarships because of poor academic performance of its student athletes, reports Yesterday, the Academic Progress Rate numbers, used by the NCAA to award athletic scholarships, showed that JSU posted 872 on a scale of 1,000 points. Schools with scores under 925 are subject to penalties.

Wednesday, June 9

Father's Day

Not all dads are alike, but, categorically, all dads like gadgets. If you haven't started looking for a gift for your dad or that special man in your life, we've given you a head start with some great ideas. You have less than two weeks left to shop. Read this week's JFP Flip Issue, then go!

Step Away from the Grill

Certain holidays and occasions demand specific foods, while others offer mere guidelines. For example, turkey is a universal absolute for Thanksgiving and some form of cake is a requirement for birthdays. Other occasions are far more flexible.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: Less than three months until college football starts. That's why we call these the dead days.

The Media Revolution

Last Friday morning, as I started my daily routine of reading the news, I fired up Tweetdeck, started browsing news sites and looked at my Facebook news feed. On Facebook, my sister, Lindsey, had posted a picture of herself and her long-time boyfriend and changed her status from "in a relationship" to "engaged." Dozens of congratulating comments followed.

Milkshakes and French fries on this road? Probably not, huh?

The JFP Road to Wellness came at a wacky time for Todd and me. It started the week we were closing the new BOOM Jackson, as well as the summer arts preview issue. And we were preparing for a long road trip for our bargain vacation. He and I have long suffered from workaholism—we don't go home soon enough, we eat late, we're often too tired to exercise by the time we leave the office. We are fortunate that years ago, we chose a more healthy lifestyle by going vegetarian (no meat, but we have dairy and some eggs), by converting to mostly organic choices, and by starting to walk, meditate and actually take weekend days off (I take off more than he does, but he's trying). So we have a good base for wellness. But it's our workaholism that tends to hurt us. When we do leave the office by 7, it's usually to attend an event around town -- many that we too often have what I call "little blocks of cheese" for dinner as we graze the party snacks.

Tease photo

Seeking Perfection

Six shirtless men bolt onto the stage with fierce precision and boyish grins. They dance to a Prince tune, one leaping as high as the top of a door, another spinning gracefully over and over again, and another kicking his legs apart and together like scissors. They do it all with swashbuckling charm. The crowd screams and begs for more. This is ballet.

77 Tons of Shark

In any other situation, the sight of children wandering around the insides of a giant shark could be horrifying; but it's common fare at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science's "Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived" exhibit.

Fears and Committees

Gulfport Councilman Kenneth Casey said he fears the oncoming hurricane season and what it could mean to the waters and shoreline of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Generator Mix-Up Could Cost $25,000

A mix-up between contractors and Hinds County officials could cost county taxpayers $25,000. The county enlisted Kossen Equipment Inc. in December 2009 to install an emergency electric generator for a radio communications tower near Terry and Springridge roads in Byram.

Kids + Junie B. Jones = FUN

Kids ages 4-8 and their parents should get ready for a ton of fun when Junie B. Jones' Stupid Smelly Bus rolls into town June 14. The bright pink Junie B. Jones bus will be in the Jackson metro area as part of a five-week nationwide tour.

Still Some Life in Livingston Village

MPI Center Chief Executive Officer Mike Smith said he wants to move forward on plans to convert the site of the old Hood Furniture factory off Livingston Road in Jackson to mixed-use residential and commercial property.

Time to Rethink Energy

In the wake of the biggest man-made environmental disaster in American history, our country's leaders have a perfect opportunity to finally, and at long last, make significant changes in U.S. energy policy.

[Stiggers] Black Gold

Mr. Announcement: "In the ghetto criminal justice system, the people are represented by two members of the McBride family: police officer and part-time security guard at the Funky Ghetto Mall, Dudley ‘Do-Right' McBride and attorney Cootie McBride of the law firm McBride, Myself and I. This is their story."

[Kamikaze] Superman Married to Superwoman

Frequent readers of my column know I often write about my mother. She was a great woman—indeed, one of the finest to walk the Earth. Her passing has left a void not just in my heart but in this city as well. We are all better for her having been here.

[Rainey] Jackson is Yours

I moved to Jackson in summer 2007 from St. Louis, Mo., for my first job out of college, a two-year fellowship at the Institute of Southern Jewish Life. I was a traveling Jewish educator, with a briefcase of curricula and a minivan, driving around the South and helping teach Jewish children in small and isolated congregations.

Building A Canvas

As dark clouds unleash a torrent of rain outside Cups Espresso Cafe in Flowood, Christy Henderson, 37, rubs at the bright green paint caked on her fingers before launching into a lengthy discussion about the origins of the Jackson Reclaimed Art Show, a history that began years ago in a little town 100 miles north of Jackson.

Stokes Disputes Ledger Allegations

Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes fired back at the Clarion-Ledger this morning for what he considered inaccurate reporting on his poor attendance at city council meetings and his taxpayer-funded travel.

Kemper Plant Rate Hikes ‘Confidential'

The Mississippi Public Service Commission voted June 3 to begin discussion on rule changes to make rate increases more transparent--but only after Mississippi Power successfully hid the amount of customer rate increases connected to a contentious new power plant from public view, saying the ratepayer increases to fund the plant are confidential.

John Uzodinma

When John Uzodinma first walks on stage at the Mississippi Public Broadcasting studio, he is calm, reserved and maybe even a little shy. But once he begins to speak the words from Langston Hughes' "Theme For English B," he straightens his shoulders and his voice grows more intense. Uzodinma doesn't just say the words, he performs them; he becomes them.

Wellness Project: Week 2

Our Father, which art in heaven,

Well, I'm starting to remember to stretch in the morning, but unfortunately I only remembered twice last week. I'm going to put a ginormous "STRETCH" sign on my mirror to remind myself to do it. Also, I still haven't gotten a journal to write my prayers in yet. I don't want to use one I've already written in. I want a nice, fresh one with pretty colors to make it special. Why do I want to write my prayers? You see, when a person has a history of anxiety and/or depression, focusing is more of a challenge. I tend to go off track while praying due to racing thoughts in my head. A typical prayer for me is like this:

Irby Wants Her Day in Court

Karen Irby, sentenced to 18 years in prison for the deaths of two young doctors last month, says she was forced to plead guilty, and now wants to withdraw that plea, reports WAPT. Irby was legally drunk and behind the wheel of her black Mercedes when the car crossed into oncoming traffic on Old Canton Road, Feb. 11, 2009, crashing head on into a pickup truck driven by Drs. Lisa Dedousis and Daniel Pogue. The two doctors died at the scene when their truck burst into flames.

Tuesday, June 8

Hood Talks Damage Claims at Oil Spill Hearing

BP's Letter to House Speaker Billy McCoy

House Speaker: BP's Absence an ‘Insult'

Verbatim Statement from House Speaker Billy McCoy:

As Speaker of the House, I consider it an insult to our citizens and Legislature that a representative of BP was not present at today's first hearing held by the House Select Committee.

House Panel Questions Dispersant Toxicity

Some House members left this morning's inaugural meeting of the House Select Committee on the Gulf Coast Disaster without knowing the potential risk of dispersants that British Petroleum is using to break up and sink millions of gallons of oil bursting from a destroyed deepwater oil well off the coast of Louisiana.

Birdland Reopening, Economy Still Lagging

Farish Street nightclub Birdland is open again after spending eight months closed under a court order. The club renewed its privilege license and dancehall permit Friday and was open last weekend, Jackson Police Department spokesman Detective Roderick Holmes told the Jackson Free Press today.

David Powe

As chief administrative officer for the University of Mississippi Medical Center, David Powe oversees the daily operations of an economic powerhouse. The center represents 10 percent of the Jackson metro area's economy, and its clout is only growing. Six years ago, when Powe took over as CAO, UMMC reported annual revenues of $686 million. This year, the center is on track for $1.2 billion in revenue.

[Balko] The Subversive Vending Machine

In 1819 the English publisher, bookseller, and radical Richard Carlisle was sentenced to three years in prison for blasphemy and seditious libel. Carlisle's imprisonment was partly due to his publication of pamphlets exposing what's now known as the Peterloo Massacre, in which a cavalry brigade attacked tens of thousands of protesters who had gathered to call for reforms to Parliament, and partly because he published the banned works of enlightenment figures such as Thomas Paine.

Unarmed Marine Killed After Off-duty Officer Shoots Him Six Times

What makes this even worse is that the officer shot at him 13 times. From WBAL TV:

Barbour Taking Heat for Oil Responses

Gov. Haley Barbour is being criticized on several fronts for his response to the damaged BP well in the Gulf that has spewed millions of gallons of oil into the sea since April 20. Twice, Barbour has been out of the state when President Barack Obama visited the coast, most recently to attend a picnic and meet with bond agencies in New York City.

Monday, June 7

Coast Clear of Oil, But Barbour's Comments Misleading

Although oil spouting from the April 20 destruction of a British Petroleum deepwater oil well is devastating Louisiana wetlands, state officials say Mississippi Gulf waters are still clear and open for business.

Doing Good: Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project

For lower-income residents who can't afford legal services, the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyer's Project provides free legal services clinics and representation through more than 1,800 lawyers who volunteer their time and services.

Juanyce Taylor

Being first is a designation many people desire to possess, although most aren't always that fortunate. But Juanyce Taylor, director of diversity assessment and programs for the University of Mississippi Medical Center, has a history of originality.

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.

Friday, June 4

U.S. Official Cheers Stimulus Jobs

Robert Peck, U.S. general services administration's commissioner of public buildings touted 48 new jobs created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, during a press conference at the McCoy Federal Building today.

Census Director Stresses Cultural Sensitivity

U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves met yesterday with representatives from a variety of Mississippi civil rights advocacy organizations to address concerns about low census participation in parts of the state. Groves' visit came in response to a May 18 letter to the Congressional subcommittee overseeing the census that highlighted obstacles to administering the census in historically hard-to-count communities.

Thank God It's Friday

Thank God It's Friday

Thirsty for some drinks and music? Start off your weekend at Hal & Mal's in their Big Room with a show by Robert Randolph and the Family Band. The show starts at 9 p.m., tickets are $25 at the door. Also tonight, Rhonda Richmond will also be performing at Afrika Book Cafe at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15. If music isn't your thing, Rainbow Whole Foods Co-Operative Grocery will have a dinner and a movie in the Rainbow Plaza at 7:30 p.m. The featured film is "Sita Sings the Blues," and a vegetarian meal will be provided. Tickets are $16 at the door and $14 for members. If you've got some energy left over from this short week, head over to Body Benefits on Pear Orchard Road tonight at 5 p.m. for a three-hour spinning workshop. The workshop includes a question and answer session and refreshments. Cost of the workshop is $50. Want more? Check out Best Bets or JFP Events Calendar

Beverly Scurlock

Of all the ways one could begin to describe Beverly Scurlock, it is hard to believe that "quiet" would be one of them. Yet, that's what Mark Scurlock first noticed about her when the two met at the student union grill at Coahoma Junior College in 1983.

Mississippi No. 2 in Gun Deaths

States like Mississippi with high gun ownership and weak gun laws lead the nation in gun deaths, concludes a new report by the non-profit Violence Policy Center based in Washington, D.C. The Magnolia state ranks No. 2 for gun deaths with a rate of 18.32 deaths per 100,000, right behind neighboring Louisiana with a rate of 19.87 deaths.

Thursday, June 3

New Money for Farish and Medical Mall Expands

The Jackson Redevelopment Authority approved a $1 million loan yesterday to the The Farish Street Group to continue their renovations on Farish Street, and passed a resolution recommending that the city expand the Jackson Medical Mall Urban Renewal Area.

JPD Promoting 30 Officers to Sergeant

Read this week's crime report

Mi Isha Lowe

Mi Isha Lowe still remembers her high school's summer reading program. She explains that while all the books she was required to read were good, her favorite was "Gifted Hands," the story of Dr. Ben Carson's journey from growing up in Detroit's inner-city to becoming a professor of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University.

GOP Runoff for District 2

Voters will head back to the polls June 22 to select a Republican candidate to face U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson in the November general election. Both Jackson Public Schools teacher Richard Cook of Byrum and former Chicago police officer Bill Marcy of Meridian received 35 percent of the vote, reports WAPT.

Wednesday, June 2

You Gotta Have Heart

This information should not be used as a substitute for a doctor's care. Please consult with your doctor before changing or adding any therapies.

The JFP Wellness Project

"This is the perfect place to go bike riding," I thought, when my husband and I went to survey the new neighborhood we would be moving into. And apparently he thought the same thing because before I could say anything to him, he declared to me that we would most definitely spend the summer riding bikes. I've been trying to find some type of physical activity with which to bond with my husband as he has no desire to practice martial arts (with me), and because of my asthma, I can't keep up with him for long while jogging. I have fond childhood memories of riding bikes with my brother and two cousins, and I'm glad that I will be able to more memories now with my husband. I'm sure this won't be a trend but something we will continue to do no matter where we move next.

Bounty of Zucchini

After one of the strangest winter seasons I can remember, it seems warm weather is finally here to stay. Even though the official start of summer isn't until June 21, Mississippi typically only has a few days of true spring weather before we plow headfirst into summer.

A Chance for the Next Level

Undeterred by Friday night's rain and eager to make the team, 16 hopeful young men arrived at Newell Field in Jackson bright and early May 8 to try out for the Jackson Juggernauts 2010 football season. The Juggernauts are in their second year with the Southern American Football League, a league with teams from 10 southern states.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: You call it a waste of time; the Doctor calls it Major League Soccer.

Covering Our Oily Tracks

We humans forget a lot, especially when remembering means we have to change. And there is the crux of the problem: We've spent decades demanding that the rest of the world conform to what America wants. We gobble up a quarter of the world's energy with a mere 4.5 percent of the its population (both China and India have about four times the number of people). We have allowed amoral corporations to act in our name with impunity. We've stood by while politicians gutted our government in favor of private entities that increased spending and decreased responsibility. We can't sustain, and we can't understand why government isn't doing enough fast enough.

Jonathan Larkin: The Exit Interview

The Jackson Public Schools Board that Jonathan Larkin served on for almost eight years is a far cry from the board's current, collegial incarnation. Larkin, 55, served from 2002 until this spring, when Monica Gilmore-Love replaced him.

Judges Building War Chests

With the November judicial elections still months away, many candidates for circuit and county judge positions have not begun campaigning in earnest. If a recent round of campaign-finance records is any indication, though, a few candidates are wasting no time in building war chests.

Dine Local This Summer

You hear the "buy local" message from the Jackson Free Press often because we think it's one of the most fundamental things that we all can do as citizens on a daily basis to help the Jackson metro thrive as a unique community.

[Stiggers] Out of Gas Again

Nurse Tootie McBride: "Ghetto Science Public Television presents a special edition of ‘Break it down for the People World Report.' Tonight's topic is: ‘Should Poor Folk Cry over Spilled Oil in the Gulf of Mexico?'

[Colom] Payday Lending: Bad Business

Each month, before receiving his Walmart paycheck, Mike* gets a payday loan. In exchange for the money, he writes the store a check for the amount of money he receives, plus an additional $22 for every $100 he borrows.

‘Am I Blue?'

"Sita Sings the Blues" is a diaphanous dream of an animated musical. The movie opens on the voluptuous and glittery goddess Sita rising from salty blue waves on a pink lotus blossom. On another lotus blossom, a peacock Victrola balanced on a cobra table plays a scratchy torch song.

Did He Do It?

Did grocery delivery driver Willie McGee crawl through a window, wake mother of three Willette Hawkins from her sleep as she held her infant daughter and rape her? Or did Hawkins wake up after a nightmare and believe it actually happened? Did she make it up?

Tease photo

Gulf Oil Spill: the Ugly Truth

Officials at the Environmental Protection Agency are considering whether to bar BP from receiving government contracts, a move that would ultimately cost the company billions in revenue and could end its drilling in federally controlled oil fields.

Oil Spill Timeline

April 20: British Petroleum offshore oil-drilling rig Deepwater Horizon explodes, and maintains combustion over the next day.

Gulf Oil Spill FAQ

Earlier this month, ProPublica published an FAQ that attempted to explain what's known about how the Deepwater Horizon spill happened, whether it could've been prevented,and who's on the hook for the disaster.

Wildlife at Risk

Because of the oil spill in the Gulf Coast, 33 National Wildlife Refuges are currently at risk. The spill in the Gulf has affected more than 65 miles of shoreline, and threatened 400 species of wildlife.

He said, BP said

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant's response to the oil spill has been anything but dramatic and has often sent conflicting messages. Bryant criticized the national media during a May 12 press conference for "overreacting" and said the oil spill was not the Exxon Valdez.

$300 Fill Ups?

Gas prices in the U.S. are around $2.90 a gallon for regular, ringing up a tidy $58 tab for a 20-gallon SUV fill up. In the United Kingdom, that same tank of gas will set you back more than $145, according to

Science Unclear on Gulf Future

Problems resulting from the April 20 deadly explosion of a British Petroleum oil rig could be nothing compared to the potential complications.

Shrimp Processors Fear for Livelihood

Wally Gollott, owner of the Gulf Pride Seafood Company in Biloxi, leads me to a large metal door at the company's freezer, down the street from where 43,000 pounds of shrimp are being peeled and packed by 30 or so workers.

How Much Will This Cost Us?

With more oil still to come, gauging the Gulf oil spill's economic impact is a tricky thing. Researchers at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi's Harte Research Institute estimate that the spill puts $1.6 billion worth of economic activity and services at risk for the Gulf region.

Just Five Years to RiverWalk?

Jackson developer David Watkins wants to move the Town Creek out of its traditional bed and replace it with a scenic, man-made canal stretching from Mill Street to the creek's Pearl River confluence.

16th-Section Logging Too Zealous?

A former Forestry Commission employee is alleging that poor oversight and a new focus on aggressive logging is making statewide timber theft easier.

Lottie W. Thornton

Poised and graceful, Lottie W. Thornton settles into a white oak rocking chair her father made. The walls of her home are lined with awards from Jackson State University's Alumni Association, and from service and teachers organizations. She points to two plaques on her dining room table.

Nunnelee Snags GOP Nomination

In yesterday's Republican primary for Mississippi's 1st Congressional District, state Senator Alan Nunnelee took home 51 percent of the vote, reports UPI. Henry Ross, former mayor of Eupora garnered 33 percent and former FOX News commentator Angela McGlowan took 16 percent.

Tuesday, June 1

Executive Summary Scant on Details

Read the executive summary (PDF, 221KB)

Oil Found on Miss. Barrier Island

Residue from the Gulf oil spill has washed up on Petit Bois Island, Gov. Haley Barbour announced in a press conference this afternoon. A two-mile long strand, approximately one meter wide reached the six-mile long island south of Pascagoula this morning, Barbour said. Crews have already begun cleaning up the oil, using shovels, and should finish in a day.

City Council Expands Smoking Ban

Read the city's amended smoking ordinance.

Regions Plaza Facelift, Steam Room Grille Moves

Regions Plaza downtown is set to begin $1 million in improvements this month. The Hertz Investment Group is updating fixtures and floors in the building to help attract new tenants. Duckworth Realty, which has managed the building for Hertz since late 2009, has brought on four new tenants recently, including Disability Rights Mississippi and Hayes Dent Public Strategies.

JFP People of the Day: Laura Crawford and Russ Roca

When Laura Crawford and Russ Roca quit their day jobs to bike around the country, they had only one requirement: As long as they were having fun, they would continue to travel.

[Balko] Lessons From the Death of Aiyana Stanley-Jones

On the morning of May 16, a Detroit police officer fatally shot 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones in the throat during a police raid on her home. The police were looking for a homicide suspect. They found him in the apartment above the one where Stanley-Jones was shot, where he surrendered without violence. In response, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing cautioned last week not to put the blame squarely on police.

Community Events and Public Meetings

4:30 p.m., Small Business Administration Loan Clinic at Regions Plaza (210 E. Capitol St.), in the SBA Conference Room on the 10th floor. Learn about the variety of SBA products used to guaranty loans ranging from $5,000 to $2 million as well as approved and participating lenders in the area. Space is limited. Call or go online at to register. Free; call 601-965-4378, ext. 11.


Starting on a new wellness program can be difficult in the beginning. Other than forgetting exactly what I was planning to change, I have been in the process of moving into a new house. That's been a long tiring process and has made it difficult to eat balanced meals, go to the gym and yoga. My new (and possibly haunted) house in much closer to my workout facilities. On a positive note, my arms, legs, and abs have been getting a fantastic work out from moving heavy boxes up the stairs.

My Road to Wellness

My road to wellness is a familiar one but not one I take often. It's more like the road to Grandma's house. Over the river looks so familiar. You go around the corner through the woods and you think excitedly, "Oh! We're almost there!" You love visiting Grandma's, but rarely to you stick around and live there. It's hard to stay healthy and stick to your diet plan. It's difficult to break away from work sometimes and just take a little downtime. And the cupcakes they keep bringing to work? Impossible to resist~!

Next BP Attempt to Cap Oil Could Increase Flow

In the wake of Saturday's failure of a "top kill" procedure to stem the gusher of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, British Petroleum will again attempt to cap the flow. This newest procedure, however, involves cutting the leaking pipe from the blowout preventer, increasing the flow for three or four days until a new containment dome can be put into place to allow the company to siphon off the oil, reports The Miami Herald.