Stories for May 2010


Monday, May 31

Speedbumps on the Road to Wellness

The road to wellness is met with roadblocks, detours and speed bumps. I mentioned this observation to JFP Managing editor Ronni Mott last week and she agreed. I'm come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a "normal" week at the JFP and this can make it hard to find time to get into a workout routine. Two weeks ago, we were on deadline for BOOM and last week we were trying to fit in an extra day of work because of the Memorial Day Holiday.

Friday, May 28

Actor Gary Coleman Dead at 42

From CNN:

McCoy, Bryant Announce Dueling Oil Spill Panels

Two newly-created committees of state legislators will begin hearings on the Gulf oil spill as early as next week. Yesterday morning, House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, announced the formation of a special House committee to monitor the response to the disaster, which has surpassed the Exxon Valdez as the largest spill in U.S. history. Later the same day, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant announced the formation of a Senate committee for a similar purpose.

Council Renames Metro Parkway

A portion the Jackson Metro Parkway between Terry Road and Eastview Street has been renamed after prominent African American physician and civil rights activist Dr. Robert Smith. The Jackson City Council members approved renaming the street in a 5-to-0 vote this morning.

Roller Derby Returns to Jackson

The Magnolia Roller Vixens, Jackson's roller derby squad, are a group of women who blended aggressive athleticism, strategy, and teamwork as they practice.

Kathy Elam

Balloon artist Kathy Elam believes that all it takes is a balloon and a smile to brighten someone's day.

What to do this Memorial Day Weekend

Before the sun goes down today, check out the Mississippi Watercolor Society exhibit at The Cedars, which is open until 4 p.m., or the Mustard Seed art exhibit at the Mississippi Arts Commission, open until 5 p.m. today. The "Six Over 64.9" exhibit at Gallery 119 closes Monday, so you may want to stop by and view the artwork there while you have a chance. Call the gallery to make an appointment. Visit the JFP Gallery Listings or the Exhibits and Openings page for more options.

It's Official: Gulf Disaster Bigger than Valdez

If anyone had any doubts before, new government estimates confirmed yesterday that the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico surpasses the 11 million gallons dumped into Alaska's Prince William Sound in March 1989, when the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground. The Sun Herald reports that new estimates from two teams of scientists say the leak in the Gulf is spewing between 504,000 and upwards of a million gallons a day, which means that between 18 million and 39 million gallons have spewed into the ocean to date.

Wellness Project: Week 1

I've come to the conclusion that instead of the five goals I listed, I should have just had one goal: improve my short-term memory. Why? Because I keep forgetting my goals! My brain is on auto-pilot most days, thinking about obligations for work, school or church, so two or three days will go by before I realize that I haven't done something. I think that I may have to post a checklist on my mirror to remind me of what I am supposed to be doing. I'm distracted on a regular basis, so I hope I don't overlook the checklist! Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can help myself remember to stick to my goals?

Thursday, May 27

Workaholic Needs To Schedule Regular Exercise

For the past few months I've been loving the time spent either on the elliptical at the gym or on the bicycle that I've recently dusted off, adjusted a bit and started riding around the neighborhood. After an hour or so of cardio mixed with hard work for my leg muscles, I'm ready to enjoy a long, quiet evening and a good nights sleep. There's only one problem -- I generally only get that exercise one (sometimes two) nights per week!

Sun-Herald Unhappy With Threats From Guv's Staff

Sounds like the governor's staff is getting on the wrong side of Gulf Coast media, and it'll be interesting to see if (a.) this is a trend and (b.) how his handling of the current crisis affects his political future. The governor, who is (too generously) heralded for his "handling" of Katrina in Mississippi, may be stepping in it a bit as he tries to dance and chew gum at the same time while grabbing facetime during the tragedy in the Gulf.

Crime Stats Show Education's Power, JPD Chiefs Say

Read this week's COMSTAT report

Tease photo

Convention Hotel Developers Pay County Taxes

TCI-MS, formed to develop the Capital City Center and a Convention Center hotel on four blocks of Pascagoula Street, paid its overdue property taxes this week.

Marilyn Blackledge

Mississippi Food Network's Director of Development Marilyn Blackledge has had to work hard to raise additional funds this year after the organization's member agencies reported a 30 percent increase in demand for food across the state. Blackledge raises money to keep more than 100,000 people in central Mississippi from going hungry every month.

The Invisible Woman

Youth Media Project

I've lived with this woman for quite a while now. She showed me how to care, allowed me to be different, and appreciate the little things, but I hated her. I hated the way she looked. How she let people treat her. How lumpy she was. I loved spending my down time fantasizing about leaving her, often equating my level of happiness with the distance away. But something happened. I wasn't paying attention and it happened. I was falling in love. I became more intrigued at how this woman treated the people she loved and I discovered how beautiful she really was.

The Rapper's Double Consciousness

Youth Media Project

It would be hard to describe the moment when I fell in love with Hip-Hop, for it would be like trying to explain when I fell in love with my people. Hip-Hop has indirectly been a part of me before birth. It is a present that was predestined for me. Hip-Hop is a culture and an intricate part of my heritage. It has influenced many aspects of my life. Hip-Hop, with its intoxicating lyrics, has started a movement, developed material culture, and charismas that have produced a generation of people. This hip-hop generation has been a voice for the youth, and me.

How to Know If You Are Alive

Youth Media Project

One simply can't exist and expect to be alive. Just as one may feel passion and expect there to be love also, that is not always the case. Sand put into a sieve simply falls out. To be alive you don't even have to act in the name of goodness or peace, you can be a terrible person out to corrupt. But please, for the love of humanity, act! Passive people have killed more human beings than Hitler, King Herod and the like ever did, because what do those people care? They're not even alive anyway.

A Response to an Article from The Clarion Ledger [Constance/Itawamba Co.]

Youth Media Project

All Mississippi needs is more negative media coverage, and here it is. People already think, all around the world, that Mississippi is full of closed-minded individuals whose main goal in life is to keep the state as conservative as possible.

Prom Night Madness!

Youth Media Project

When I think of prom, I think of all the teen movies and books that I have been exposed to. They always have such a great time at prom. They dance and prom king and queen are announced and everybody get's all excited because they thought it would be that other girl who has the really pretty hair and nice make-up, but instead it was actually the one that hardly anyone ever notices and they ask whether it was a cruel joke gone good or what?! Nonetheless, my proms have been none of this. Entertaining? Yes. Outstanding? Not at all.

Hmm…I Got to Thinking, And…

Youth Media Project

I can't believe I missed the date. Since April 4, it has been two full years since that Friday in 10th grade when we drove home and discovered that a tree had smashed into our house. Our house. Well, not really our house since it was temporary for us, but still.

Passion: It's an End Within Itself!

Youth Media Project

For those of you, who are still in high school or a freshman in college trying to figure out what your major will be: let it be whatever interest you. And when you leave college and are trying to figure out what you want to do in life let it be something you are passionate about and not about the money. Don't get me wrong, be entrepreneurs, and make as much money you can. Just let it [money] be a medium of exchange, and your passion be the end within itself.

Commission Loosens Kemper Conditions

A majority of the Mississippi Public Service Commission revised their April 29 decisions yesterday that would have capped the cost of a Kemper County coal plant at $2.4 billion, raising the approved construction costs to $2.88 billion. In March, Mississippi Power Company, which wants to build the plant in Kemper County, estimated that costs could potentially rise as high as $3.2 billion. The company argued that the $2.4 billion limitation forced shareholders to finance any costs above that amount, and told reporters that they could not build the plant under that condition. The PSC reported in its decision today that the company claimed lenders and investors would find the deal unpalatable unless ratepayers footed the bill.

A Day in the Life of a Jackson Public School Kid

Youth Media Project

I've decided to let everyone know who wonders in on the secret life of public school kids, it's very awesome. I know that many have only heard and seen the bad things about public school kids and while that's true, it is also extremely detrimental because it prevents them from being able to accept that public school kids may just be the coolest and most fascinating kids on the planet. So here goes nothing.

Wednesday, May 26

Fun, Jackson Style

Don't waste all your summer hours indoors in front of the TV, get out and enjoy Jackson. The metro area holds a variety of activities suited for all ages. Try some of these local fun spots.

The Market In Fondren

When Jim and Linda Burwell opened Mimi's Family and Friends restaurant in Fondren this spring, they wanted to influence the neighborhood beyond the restaurant's walls.

Pineapple Paradise

Late spring is the time when glorious fresh produce makes our meals come alive again after a long winter. Local markets stock a wider array of fresh fruits and vegetables, and the produce suddenly doesn't taste like it was picked while still green and "ripened" on a boat from Peru.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: John Cohen's second disastrous season as Mississippi State baseball coach is over. Next year, you really need to win some games, coach.

‘Jackson is the New Jackson'

When we started the JFP, we had the vague notion that we could help turn Jackson into "the new Austin." For us, that is no longer the goal. Austin is cool, and its turnabout from a boring capital city not long ago to a musical Mecca (with the help of its alt-weekly) is legend. But that was their path; this city is on our own. We don't need to be Austin.

‘Thine is the Kingdom'

At the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, a large 307-pound man clad in a red prison jumpsuit lies on his back on a gurney. Seven straps cover Paul Everette Woodward: one around each ankle; a strap around his shins; one above his knees; one above the inmate's rising and falling belly; and two straps crisscrossing each other over his chest.

Make Consolidation Study Transparent

Since a flare-up of attention last winter, the issue of school district consolidation has received only limited public attention. This is unfortunate, as a governor-appointed panel is set to issue a report next month that will lay out a path for dissolving 18 small, rural school districts.

[Stiggers] Broke Folk

Brotha Hustle: "Ghetto Science Community: The Hustle family's Summer Jobs Initiative is ready to put people to work, thanks to some surplus funds from the Ghetto Science Community Stimulus Grant, or GSCSG. Special thanks go out to Congressman Smokey ‘Robinson' McBride for pulling strings to make the summer jobs initiative happen."

[Kamikaze] Relearning Riding the Bike

I haven't been on a bike in years. Not because the desire isn't there. Well, kind of. I haven't been bike shopping longer than I have actually ridden one; I'll have to wait and see if I can still maneuver.

Minor Seeks U.S. Supreme Court Hearing

Copy of Minor's Petition (PDF)

[Wilkes] Dudettes Wearing Suits

Scene: Working husband, John Jones, walks in the door fresh from work, proverbial bacon in hand. Stay-at-home wife, Janet, cooks said bacon and puts what's left in a ROTH IRA for when their precious, unborn children, little Johnny Jr. and Jane, retire. End scene.

Refreshing Your Art

Whether you're an artist, art student, art teacher or just someone that loves to learn about art, Tougaloo College's weeklong retreat, the Tougaloo Art Colony, may be just the thing to refresh your creativity and expand your skills.


Take some of music legend Neil Sadaka's best songs, add a handful of comedy, a touch of romance, let simmer for three weeks in Jackson's 89 degrees and 99 percent humidity, and you have the makings of New Stage Theatre's season finale, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do."

Kids' TV Comes Alive

In the world of New York Broadway shows, children's productions have always held a special place in the bright lights of Times Square.

Garbage Pail Rock

"Is this gonna make me a dork again?" Drummer Josh Little asks as rehearsal draws to a close. Little is having self-deprecating second thoughts about The Eunuchs' reunion show on May 28. "It took me 15 years to overcome that," he says.

[Herman's Picks] Vol. 8, No. 37

With summer starting and school ending, many of you might be looking for ways to relax.

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‘I Dream In Color'

On a recent spring afternoon in Jackson, graphic-design artist George Miles walks through Fondren, taking in the scenery and people. Miles makes a daily habit of walking from his apartment on Lorenz Boulevard through the artistic and funky neighborhood where he finds inspiration.

Two Races Rumble this Primary

This story has been updated to reflect a correction.

The June 1 primaries will be here in a handful of days, and the winners will likely give two of the state's four incumbents a hard time, say politicos.

Advocates Criticize Consolidation Process

Next month, a panel appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour will deliver a report on the possibility of consolidating some of Mississippi's 152 school districts. Barbour tasked the Commission on Education Structure with investigating the feasibility of consolidation, not its efficacy. For some public school advocates, the panel's recommendation of mergers is a forgone conclusion.

Chris Blevins

From a distance, Chris Blevins cuts an imposing figure. Up close, he is expansive in word and action. His eyes are warm with an easy friendliness that matches his exuberant smile. He is quick to laugh.

BP Readies ‘Top Kill' in Attempt to Stop Oil

Engineers plan to begin another attempt to stop the gusher of oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico today. Known as "top kill," the procedure will pump heavy drilling mud into the top of the leak, forcing the oil down. If it's successful, BP says it may permanently stop the oil, however company officials said the procedure has never been attempted a mile underwater, reports The New York Times.

Tuesday, May 25

[Balko] A Drug Raid Goes Viral

Last week, a Columbia, Mo., drug raid captured on video went viral. As of this morning, the video had garnered 950,000 views on YouTube. It has lit up message boards, blogs, and discussion groups around the Web, unleashing anger, resentment and even, regrettably, calls for violence against the police officers who conducted the raid.

BP: Choking Wells and Last Calls

Read BP's letter to the Environmental Protection Agency

Business Round Up: Crazy Cat Serves Dinner, Leaves Fondren; UMC Turning Dirt

After six months in Fondren, Crazy Cat Bakers is refocusing its efforts on its Highland Village location, which will be opening for dinner next week. Owner Jon Lansdale closed the Fondren location last Friday, and he plans to begin serving dinner at the Highland Village location on Wednesday, June 2.

Peter Squires

Peter Squires may have had his heart broken, but you'd never know it from the quirky and fun lyrics that comprise the majority of his songs.

Ex-Mayor of Detroit Gets Five Years

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is heading back behind bars.

This just doesn't seem to end, does it? From

Barbour: Don't Stop Drilling

Speaking at the Mississippi Manufacturers Association Friday, Gov. Haley Barbour implied that the millions of gallons of crude pumping into the Gulf of Mexico and threatening fragile eco-systems, wildlife and livelihoods from Texas to Florida should not be a reason to stop offshore drilling, reports The Sun Herald.

Monday, May 24

Hood: Don't Waste Resources on Health-Care Suit

An 18-state lawsuit against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that Gov. Haley Barbour joined this month has little merit, Attorney General Jim hood said during a 100 Black Men luncheon at the University Club today.

Panel Withholding Data, Education Advocates Say

A governor-appointed panel on school district mergers is withholding the data it used to identify 18 Mississippi school districts for potential consolidation, frustrating a group of education advocates.

Schimmel's Closes After 11-year Run

Schimmel's restaurant served its last customer on Friday, May 21, after 11 years of operation at 2615 N. State St. in Fondren, citing the sluggish economy and lack of sales revenue.

Jewell Davis

Jewell Davis is soft spoken and polite, but when she talks about improving Jackson's future as a public information officer for the office of mayor Harvey Johnson Jr., her passion is evident.

Community Events and Public Meetings

6:30 p.m., Jackson Audubon Society Monthly Chapter Meeting and Potluck Supper at Eudora Welty Library (300 N. State St.). The meeting includes the election of officers and a lecture by keynote speaker Terri Jacobson on the endangered Kirtland's Warbler. Free; call 601-956-7444.

Jackson Has Cheapest Gas in the U.S.

Gas stations in the city of Jackson are selling fuel at the lowest average rate in the nation: $2.62 per gallon, according to the Lundberg Survey. Over the past two weeks, prices at the pump have dropped 9.25 cents, reports USA Today. San Francisco is reporting the highest per gallon price in the country at $3.10. Overall, gas prices today are about 40 cents higher than one year ago.

Friday, May 21

McLemore To Continue JSU Growth

Former Jackson city council president and 40-year professor at Jackson State University Leslie McLemore said today that he would continue plans to redesign JSU until the state College Board picks a permanent president.

West Jackson Development Looks Ahead

With construction on a mixed-use development scheduled for completion in July, Jackson State University's Center for University-Based Development is looking ahead to several projects in west Jackson. The next phase of the center's work is a mixed-income residential development that could break ground in the fall, Kimberly Hilliard, CUBD Director of Community Development and Planning, said today.

Bryan Fedrick

Despite the fact that snakes have bitten Bryan Fedrick more than 100 times, he says he loves the slithering reptiles and wants to educate others about them.

Thank God It's Friday

Did you ride your bike to work today in honor of National Bike to Work Day? If not, make sure you grab a helmet and cycle somewhere this weekend. Tonight, there is plenty of entertainment options. Afrika Book Cafe is hosting 4ever Friday. The event combines poetry readings, and music by performers Tiff and Radical with an art exhibit. The event starts at 9 p.m.; $10 admission. For more live music, head to Hal & Mal's at 9 p.m. to see the Church Keys and Eric Stracener perform, or catch rock-band favorites Lucero and Taylor Hildebrand at Ole Tavern at 9 p.m. Want more? See the JFP Music Listings.

Ross Perot + Dr. Evil = Rand Paul?

Not since Sarah Palin have we encountered such a breath of fresh stupidity.

Apparently while trying to explain away his problems* with the Civil Rights Act on ABC's Good Morning America, Rand Paul -- newly minted "tea-party" GOP candidate for Senate from the great state of Kentucky (shout-out to Texas for somehow convincing him to not live there) -- called President Obama "un-American" for his criticism of BP's handling of the Gulf Oil spill.

Thursday, May 20

Tease photo

The Saga of the Convention Center Hotel

The city council met behind closed doors Tuesday evening to discuss a possible cost-sharing agreement with developers of a $200 million mixed-used development along four blocks of Pascagoula street that would include a convention center hotel. The JFP Daily reported online Tuesday that TCI-MS, the LLC that owns the property, has not paid property taxes for 2009, and is linked to a controversial developer.

McLemore Named Interim JSU President

The Jackson State University Board of Trustees has named former Jackson City Councilman Leslie Burl McLemore interim JSU president while it searches for a replacement for outgoing president Ronald Mason. McLemore, a professor of political science, co-founded JSU's Fannie Lou Hamer Institute on Citizenship and Democracy and has served as dean of the university's Graduate School.

City Banking on Future Revenue

Read an excerpt from the report (PDF)

Midtown Housing Development Breaks Ground

City leaders today celebrated groundbreaking on the first phase of a $3.49 million energy-efficient residential development in Jackson's midtown neighborhood. The Jackson Housing Authority is financing the project through stimulus and other federal funds, which will start with the construction of four duplexes at Livingston and Lamar streets.

Amir Gwirtzman

Israeli musician Amir Gwirtzman says that his recent experiences in the South confirms his belief that music has the power to transcend race and cultures.

BP Gives $15 Million to Mississippi for Advertising

Oil giant BP, responsible for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, is giving money to four coastal states whose tourism industry may be affected by the mess, reports WLBT. In all, the company is giving away $70 million to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi, of which, the magnolia state is receiving $15 million for advertising designed to alter vacationers' opinions that the coast may not be not fit for vacationing.

Wednesday, May 19

This Thing Called Cholesterol

When I casually mentioned to my brother that I was doing a column on cholesterol, his response was, "Oh! Cholesterol's delicious!"

DIY: Creating a Garden

My parents are master gardeners. Growing up, organically grown and composted vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs were an integral part of summer. We even had chickens and goats for a period of time.

Daniel Guaqueta and Megan Storm

In Marrakech, Morocco, Daniel Guaqueta captured video footage of snake charmers as they hypnotized snakes by playing an instrument called a Pungi. As the camera starts rolling, one of the snake charmers unexpectedly turns and dangles a viper inches away from his new bride, Megan Storm's, face.

Candy's Confections

Candy's Confections, located in the Old Fannin Mart in Brandon, is a haven for sweet teeth. The store is home to cakes, fine chocolates, cookies and other baked goods, rows of bulk candies, such as jellybeans, and a "candy bar" with numerous choices for (non-alcoholic) candy-inspired drinks.

Mississippi's Ice Hockey Team

In a state like Mississippi with short winters and long, humid summers, baseball reigns, football is cherished, and the kid down the road practices endlessly to be the next Michael Jordan. With the exception of the Winter Olympics, Mississippians often don't take notice of ice hockey.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: You know it's almost summer: the first MLB manager just got fired.

Leaping into Spring

It's difficult to write about spring food when it's wet and cold outside—when the groundhog is predicting that a lovely, warm spring is not "right around the corner." Because of a bizarre travel schedule, I am writing this article way ahead of time (while it is still winter) and through the magic of the print media, you are reading it in the spring.

Behind The Mask: Reversing Domestic Abuse

About 10 minutes before Jasmine stabbed her boyfriend, William, he had her on the floor of her grandmother's house, choking her to the point that she passed out. It wasn't the first time he had attacked her in that way, but it would be the last, she said.

State's First Legal Distillery Opens

Beginning Wednesday, May 19, Mississippi liquor stores will offer a truly local spirit. Cathead Vodka, the first legally distilled spirit in the state, goes on sale this week, after a nearly three-year development process. The corn-based alcohol is a joint venture of Jackson native Austin Evans and Georgia transplant Richard Patrick.

NOAA Expands Gulf No-Fishing Zone

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday that it is expanding the ban zone on fishing in the Gulf to about 20 percent of the entire Gulf as a result of the continuing jet of oil erupting into the ocean floor off the coast of Louisiana.

NAACP Blasts MDPS' Decision

The Mississippi NAACP is condemning Department of Public Safety Commissioner Steve Simpson's decision to ignore a May 11 finding by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that the department fired Horn Lake trooper Michael McField for racially motivated reasons.

Supes' Fuelman Records

Fuel purchases by the Hinds County Board of Supervisors have cost county taxpayers over $10,000 since January 2009, according to documents obtained by the Jackson Free Press. The Jackson Free Press obtained Fuelman expense reports for each of the five county supervisors through a public-records request.

Be the Actors

I was running late and felt lost in the hallways of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C, last week, as I attempted to find Sen. Roger Wicker's office. My feet ached because I had bought into the "pain equals beauty" mantra and walked miles in heels. I was in D.C. after the CARE organization invited me to attend their conference. I followed two young Mississippi women as they lobbied on behalf of legislation to improve access to food, health and maternal care for women throughout the world.

Sun Must Shine on Convention Hotel Deal

Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. dismayed the Jackson Free Press at the City Council work session Monday when he said the city was looking to enter into a possibly-financial deal with TCI-MS to complete the stalled Capital City Center, but that the details would be discussed in closed session at the Council meeting Tuesday (soon after this issue went to press).

[Stiggers] Desperate Plea

Mr. Announcement: "G-SPAN (Ghetto Science Public Affairs Network) presents the ‘Lord Have Mercy I'm Still Unemployed Center Summer Jobs Summit.' Rev. Cletus, spiritual advisor and pastor of Rev. Cletus Car Sales Church, is the guest motivational speaker."

[Fish] Pie In The Sky

Those of us who understand educational theory can clearly see the foundations on which Lynn Stoddard's "Educating for Human Greatness" (Peppertree Press, 2010, $18.50) is based. None of the ideas are new; they are synthesized from many great thinkers of the past, but who listens to great thinkers these days?

Free At Last

Comic-book aficionados will likely remember Trevor Von Eeden for co-creating the character Black Lightning for DC Comics in the ‘70s. This was the first original African American character for the company, which boasts Batman and Superman in its repertoire.

Funds Available for Filmmakers

Mississippi Film and Video Alliance is giving new filmmakers a boost with the Emerging Filmmaker's Grant. The grants are available to filmmakers who are just starting out in the industry, and applications are due May 21.

Details Still Scant on Convention Center Deal

Read TCI-MS's PowerPoint presentation (PDF, 146 KB)

Death Row Prisoners Sue State

Read the complaint and supporting materials

Challenging Stereotypes

A cardboard cutout of President Barack Obama smiles down through a window at a pleasant-looking woman standing in her backyard. She smiles and waits patiently, standing outside her sunroom in her jacket. She looks like someone's grandmother, someone's friend. Dr. Helen Barnes looks like someone you want to know and who might invite you inside.

Bob Hudson

Local poet Bob Hudson leans forward, adjusts his reading glasses and plunges me into another universe. His wiry voice guides me through his strange world of words and ideas, illuminating the path through "Enemy Country," a poem in his "Into The Cold Wind" collection.

Woodward Execution Today

The first of two back-to-back executions will take place today when Mississippi puts to death Paul Everette Woodward, 62, at 6:15 p.m. at the State Penitentiary at Parchman. Tomorrow, the state will execute Gerald James Holland, 72, at the same time.

Tuesday, May 18

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Convention Hotel Developers Owe County Taxes

A company formed to develop the Capital City Center development on four blocks of Pascagoula Street, including a convention center hotel, has not paid taxes on the property for 2009. According to the Hinds County Tax Collector's website, TCI-MS owes $120,463.34 in property taxes for all its investments in Hinds County and $16,990.36 for properties associated with the hotel, which were due Feb. 1.

Mixed-Use at JSU, Fondren Market, County PR

Jackson State University is seeking retailers for a four-story mixed-use development on track to open this fall. One University Place will host 78 apartments on its top three floors. JSU's Center for University-Based Development is currently soliciting potential retail tenants for the building's ground floor, director Kimberly Hilliard said. The Center hosted an open house for retailers last week.

Charity Moody

Raymond High School senior Charity Moody's interest in biology began after her father's substance abuse-related death. His death inspired her to pursue a career in biology and neuroscience, so others wouldn't have to suffer the way that her family has. Now, thanks to her newly awarded Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship, she'll have the financial resources she needs to fulfill her dream.

BP Pipe Could Syphon Some Oil

A mile-long pipe running from the sea floor where hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil are gushing into the Gulf of Mexico may be the start of capping the spill, reports The Sun Herald. BP officials called the pipe, which is connected to an oil tanker on the surface of the water, "an important step" but not the solution to the problem.

Monday, May 17

City May Help Fund Convention Center Hotel

The city could enter a cost-sharing agreement with developers of the Capital City Center, a mixed-use development project on four blocks of Pascagoula Street that will include a convention center hotel, Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. confirmed today.

Coral Reefs Threatened by Oil Spill

Marine scientists are concerned about the future of the Gulf's coral reefs because of the unknown effects of dispersants, mixed with oil gushing from the ragged remnants of British Petroleum's decimated deepwater offshore oil rig.

Hinds Planning Bolton Airport Development

Hinds County is planning an aviation and aerospace development for the industrial park surrounding John Bell Williams Airport in Bolton. The Hinds County Economic Development District will present the county Board of Supervisors with a master plan for the industrial park at its next work session, Executive Director Blake Wallace said today.

Brian Keith Leavitt

As an investigator with the Mississippi attorney general's Cyber Crime Unit, Brian Keith Leavitt's attention to detail and use of technology has uncovered hundreds of child-exploitation cases in the state.

Community Events and Public Meetings

Two & Two Restaurant Days May 18 and May 20. Mission Mississippi organizes this annual lunch special. If you invite someone from a different ethnic background to lunch at a participating restaurant, you'll receive a 22 percent discount on your the meal. Visit Mission Mississippi's website for a list of restaurants. Call 601-353-6477.

Open Foodies Thread: What are you eating these days? Cooking?

OK, all, now that we have our Food Blog revamped, it's time to start hearing from all of you foodies about what you're cooking and where you're eating. So tell us! (And remember you can use your Facebook log-in now if you'd like!) Bon appetit!

Barbour Has Joined Health-Care Lawsuit

Friday, Gov. Haley Barbour joined the multi-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health-care bill passed by Congress earlier this year. Barbour is moving ahead with the suit despite Attorney General Jim Hood's refusal to do so earlier this year.

Going to Saigon Restaurant

A crazy fun video by Bobby Anderson. Hat-tip Anna Kline and David McCarty.

Sunday, May 16

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Waiting for the Shoe to Drop

As a seafood lover, I'm concerned about what impact the oil spill in the Gulf will have on one of the true glories of Southern cuisine, the fish, shrimp and oysters we get from around the mouth of the Mississippi. This valuable resource is already threatened by the Dead Zone in the Gulf, and now it's in double jeopardy from the BP disaster. So three days ago, I went down to East McDowell to talk with David Saxton, who is general manager of the New Orleans Fish House.

Friday, May 14

Sierra Club: Dispersants Worse than Oil

Mississippi Sierra Club Director Louie Miller says the Sierra Club wants to know the environmental consequences of mixing dispersants with the oil jetting out of the devastated Deepwater Horizon oil well off the coast of Louisiana. He joins a growing number of Louisiana state agencies demanding answers about the chemical's safety.

Hinds Seeks $6 Million Fines

Lack of personnel and technology is preventing Hinds County from collecting over $6 million in outstanding fines, county supervisors learned at a work session yesterday. A discussion on improving the county's processing of warrants proposed by Supervisor Peggy Calhoun spawned an hour-long analysis of the county's system for tracking and collecting fines.

It's The Weekend

It's finally Friday and the best way to kick off the weekend is to attend "ZooBrew" at the Jackson Zoological Park at 6 p.m. Tickets are $40 for non-members and $35 for members. The event includes beer and wine samplings, live music by Time to Move and food from the Tyson Hot Wing Cook-Off. Afterwards\, head downtown to hear more live, local entertainment. The Fearless Four performs at Underground 119 at 9 p.m., Jason Turner Band and Friends performs at The Auditorium at 9 p.m., and Scott Albert Johnson plays at Fenian's at 9 p.m. Want more music options? Visit JFP Music Listings.

Brittney Dear

Brittney Dear grew up singing gospel music in her church choir, but she never thought she would have the chance to perform on national television.

Bryant Backpedals on Oil Smell Comment; Tar Balls on the Beach

Speaking Wednesday at the Coastal Development Strategies Conference, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant flatly denied that anyone can detect the odor of crude oil wafting over the waves to the Mississippi Gulf coastline. "No, you can't" he said, according to a report by The Sun Herald. Bryant said the smells might be coming from lawnmowers.

Thursday, May 13

Major University for Arts Proposed for Jackson

Jackson Developer David Watkins wants to transform the James Eastland Post Office and U.S. Courthouse on Capitol Street into an institute for the arts.

‘JFP Mobile' App Live in the Apple Store

Just today we got word of final approval by the Apple Store for the 'JFP Mobile' iPhone/iPad/iPod app, which is available immediately as a free download.

Mississippi Legislators Respond to Oil Spill

Troubles keep on brewing as a stricken BP oil well continues to daily jet more than 200,000 gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. British Petroleum's attempt to stop the spill with a 100-ton steel and cement dome that would have siphoned off the oil failed last week. The company is currently trying to seal the rig's blow out preventer and will drop a second dome to plug a smaller leak.

Jeffery Scott

Lt. Jeffery Scott has returned to law enforcement in the Jackson area. The former Jackson Police Department spokesman took a job with the Hinds County Sheriff's Department last week, after spending seven months with the Vicksburg Police Department.

Mississippi Legislators Cut Expenses

Lawmakers are eliminating in-state and out-of-state travel expenses in an effort to cut $700,000 from the state House of Representatives budget without laying off employees, reports WLBT.

Wednesday, May 12

Sweetly Be

In 1988, Jerry Clower declared (Jerry never merely said anything) that Rose Budd Stevens is "a national treasure", and I agree. Japan has bestowed such an honor on makers of tofu, and Rose Budd's craft was of a similar quality and ranged far beyond a single bean.

Local Eats Sampler

Some of Jackson's favorite restaurants may have been around for more than 50 years, but the food scene here is constantly growing. In the last six months, we have gained several dining options in and near downtown, some cuisines that are new to Jackson and, of course, more great southern food.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Tiger Woods says he has a pain in the neck, at least until the divorce is final.

Advocates Unite at CARE Conference

When most of us hear the word "lobbyist," we might conjure up images of back-room dealings with high paid lobbyists and legislators who put big business over people.

Tease photo

Open For Business: Starting Small

Jacqueline Wells dreams of making films. That's why she's sitting in an office in an old shopping mall on Ellis Avenue, flanked by two portable fans compensating for the office's weak air conditioning.

Joyflow Yoga

Debi Lewis has been at her new Joyflow Yoga location since 2009, but has been teaching and developing her style of yoga for 18 years. She connected earlier health problems to posture, and constant shoulder tension from her job as a seamstress. A friend suggested she try yoga, and her life changed.

Healthy Body Health Food Center

Bessie Washington's painful joints, fatigue and migraines sent her on a search for herbal remedies. What she discovered worked so well for her that she and her husband, John, opened Healthy Body Health Food Center, Sept. 29, 2006, with the motto, "Helping you to a healthy body, nutritionally."

Campbell's Bakery

Sedrick and Malinda Lilley, owners of Campbell's Bakery, have always wanted to be the owners of a business. In November 2008, this became a reality when they re-opened Campbell's Bakery.

Olde Tyme Commissary

Tucked away in Highland Village's myriad shops is Olde Tyme Commissary, a fixture there since 1972. The store features children's toys and costumes, fine-tailored baby clothes, and educational toys and games, but shoppers can find its true character in the shop's hand-painted items and in its owner, Sandra Weber.

Afrika Book Café

Last month, Tawanna and Rico Chapman, who previously owned African bookstores on Bailey and Ellis avenues, opened Afrika Book Café, creating a new cultural venue in Fondren. The shop sells books, clothing, fragrances and refreshments.

Dreamz Jxn

Located on the corner of Gallatin and West Capitol streets, Dreamz Jxn is a three-story club and entertainment complex in downtown Jackson with 25 plasma TV screens, VIP rooms, three bars and three dance floors.

Coast Ink Embroidery and Screen Print

Where some people see obstacles, Keith Richardson sees opportunities. Originally from Moss Point, Richardson, 28, opened Coast Ink Embroidery and Screen Print with four childhood friends in 2005, after graduating from college the year before.

Peaches Restaurant

Peaches Restaurant has been a soul-food Mecca on Farish Street since Wilora "Peaches" Ephram first opened the doors in 1961. Her son, Roderick Ephram, is proud of the rich history and symbolism his mother's restaurant has in the city of Jackson.

Highway 80 Gets Scrutinized, Organized

After declining slowly for decades, the Highway 80 corridor in south Jackson is poised for a rebirth. The Jackson Redevelopment Authority is looking to have the corridor designated an urban renewal area within the next 60 days, JRA executive director Jason Brookins told the Jackson Free Press Friday. The designation would allow the organization to push economic-development efforts in the area by purchasing blighted property, offering tax exemptions on improvements and issuing bonds.

Duane O'Neill: Marketing Jackson

Duane O'Neill has one of the nicest offices in Jackson, a high-ceilinged corner office in the old fire station next to City Hall. The place is appropriate for a man with his stature in Jackson's business community. O'Neill is president of the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership, sometimes called the Metro Chamber, which acts as a chamber of commerce and economic development entity for the entire Jackson metropolitan area, supporting Jackson-based projects like the Convention Center and metro-area efforts like the Canton Nissan plant.

Ron Blaylock

It's not uncommon to find Ron Blaylock at a Jackson event with cameras around his neck and one of his three small children in tow while he works. In April, Blaylock decided to move his studio from Ridgeland to 3017 N. State St. to be a part of the Fondren arts scene and share space with photographer James Patterson.

Exercise: Work or Luxury?

The catalyst for New York artist Claudia DeMonte's art is a perfect balance between the internal world of ideas and the external world of possessions. Through her collection, "The Luxury of Exercise: Small Sculpture and Works on Paper," she not only expresses the struggles of women but also their blessings.

Where the Jobs Are in 2010

If we're lucky, we're coming out a deep recession and looking at economic growth that, hopefully, will mean jobs, consumer spending and new business investment nationally. Jackson is poised to take advantage of economic revitalization, but to do it, we'll need to pull together and create opportunities.

Worried in Florida

Pensacola Beach is packed. People sunbathe on the white sand, parents look on as their children make sand castles and run into ankle-deep water, and surfers take full advantage of the waves in the crystal blue water.

Vet The New Lake 255 Plan

After more than a decade, the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District Levee Board came to a tentative compromise on a lake plan that does not appear to be in opposition to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' preferred plan to expand Pearl River levees.

[Stiggers] The Larger World

Can you believe it? This year marks my seventh year writing humor and satire for the Jackson Free Press! You've endured seven years of my crazy characters, wacky parodies, unusual pop culture and ethnic references, and liberal views on society and politics.

[Kamikaze] Transfer the Power

This city is on the brink of greatness, with more than a billion dollars worth of new development downtown. Young professionals, black and white, are choosing to live, work, and play in an urban environment. New restaurants are all over town. New residential projects are springing up throughout the capital.

[Purvis] The Case for Shopping Locally

I hate going to superstores. I rarely see the same staff, and the employees never seem too interested in being there. Maybe that's a symptom of supersizing. How can an employee in customer service be there for so many people under one roof?

Bill Would Allow States to Veto Drilling

The American Power Act, a bill being introduced in the United States Senate this morning, will allow coastal states to opt out of offshore oil drilling up to 75 miles from their shores, reports The Sun Herald. States would also be able to veto drilling of nearby states if they can prove accidents would have a negative impact.

Tuesday, May 11

The Peaches of Chilton County

The girls at the old farmer's market here (the one off North West Street) tell me that the Chilton County peaches will be coming in soon, probably within the next two or three weeks.

JFP Staffers Finalists for Four ‘Green Eyeshade' Awards

We learned today that the JFP editorial staff will be receiving awards in four different categories this summer in the 60th Annual Green Eyeshade Awards. This was our first year to enter the awards, which are administered by the Society for Professional Journalists, covering the 11 states of the Southeast. The awards include categories for daily papers, non-daily publications, radio, TV and online -- the Jackson Free Press was the only winner in any media from the state of Mississippi!

Karen Irby Sentenced to 18 Years

Hinds County Judge Tomie Green sentenced Karen Irby, who pleaded guilty March 26 to two counts of manslaughter in the deaths of two doctors, to two 18-year prison terms, which Irby will serve concurrently. State law prevented Green from ordering consecutive sentences.

Business Roundup

The Jackson Police Department is restarting an initiative aimed at preventing crime around the city's hotels and motels and protecting visitors. Called Tourism Oriented Policing Strategies, or TOPS, the program emphasizes building relationships between police and city businesses.

Calvin Bogan

Calvin Bogan, 19, is taking his passion for music to Boston this summer. "One thing I love about music," he says, "is that music touches people in different ways."

[Balko] How Many More Are Innocent?

America's 250th DNA exoneration raises questions about how often we send the wrong person to prison.

Irby Receives 18 Years Behind Bars

Karen Irby, who pleaded guilty March 26 to two counts of manslaughter in the deaths of two doctors, was sentenced this morning to 18 years in prison for each count, her sentences to run concurrently.

Monday, May 10

Levee Board Approves Compromise Lake25X

Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District Levee Board approved a resolution to re-engage the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move forward with a $205 million levee expansion for the Pearl River, but with the addition of a small lake ending just south of the LeFleur's Bluff Park and its adjoining Mayes Lake campground.

Commission Readies School Consolidation Report

A governor-appointed panel is set to issue its final recommendations on school district consolidation in the next month. The Commission on Education Structure met at the state Capitol today to discuss a preliminary report on consolidating some of Mississippi's 152 public-school districts. Barring major changes, the commission will approve a final version of the report by next month without meeting in person, Commission Chairman and Bancorp South CEO Aubrey Patterson said.

Community Events and Public Meetings

7 p.m., Death Penalty Forum, at Masonic Temple (1072 John R. Lynch Street), on the first floor. The topic is "From Tulia to Jena to Winona: the Past is Still Not Past." Dr. Alan Bean of Friends of Justice will discuss the effects of racism on the Mississippi death penalty and the case of Curtis Flowers. The event is sponsored by Mississippians for Smart Justice. Free; e-mail {encode="jwcra[email protected]" title="[email protected]"}.

Suburbs Losing Young Whites to Cities

Diversity in city and suburbs = good. Keep it up, Jackson.

Our good friend David Watkins (or "Pops" in JFP comments and forums) posted a link to this Huff Post piece on Facebook yesterday, which reports on a Brookings Institution study that shows that, among other things, young whites are returning to cities from the suburbs (such as we are seeing right here in Jackson). David also said this under his link: "Here's an interesting tidbit from the Brookings study; the overall population of metro Jackson has increased in the last decade from 497,000 to 537,000, but the percentage white population has decreased by 4% and is now at a total of 49%. We are following the same pattern as the rest of the country in getting more diverse throughout the metro region."

Second Dome Planned; Spill Drifts West

British Petroleum engineers attempting to contain the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will try to lower a second containment dome at the site, reports The Times-Picayune. Crews lowered the first, larger dome at the site this past weekend; however, the inside of the dome developed natural gas ice crystals and had to be moved several hundred yards away from the oil gushing into the Gulf at the rate of 210,000 gallons a day.

Saturday, May 8

JFP Forums Are Back!

Last year we switched from using the Forums script here on the JFP site to something I was calling the "Community Blog," mostly because it allowed us to integrate recent comments from the Community Blog into the "stream" of comments we get on stories and more "official" blog entries. Well, that didn't work -- few enough thread of discussion got started that I've decided to return to the original Forums.

Friday, May 7

Courts Sets Second Execution Date

Yesterday, the Mississippi Supreme Court set a May 20 execution date for Gerald James Holland, 72, on death row for the 1987 murder of 15-year-old Krystal King. Holland's execution will come one day after the state executes Paul Woodward, 62, for the 1986 rape and murder of Rhonda Crane, 24.

Dr. Alan Bean

By using narrative and story telling, Dr. Alan Bean hopes that others will start to evaluate the criminal-justice system and seek the truth.

BP to Waive Federal Cap on Spill Damage, Says AG

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and attorneys general from Louisiana, Texas, Florida and Alabama said at a press conference yesterday that BP is willing to waive a $75 million cap on some of the damages caused by the April 20 explosion of the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the coast of Louisiana.

Advocates Urge Proactive Approach to Homeless

Addressing homelessness in Jackson will require the active participation of communities, especially in the areas near downtown, the city's Homeless Program Coordinator Heather Ivery said today.

Raymond Vaughn

Raymond Vaughn, owner of Raymond's hair salon in Jackson, has more hair than he knows what do to with.

Thank God It's Friday

Start your weekend off on a musical note. The numerous options tonight include ArtRemix at the Mississippi Museum of Art kicking off at 5 p.m.; $20. Tonight is also the annual Pepsi Pops Concert with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra on the reservoir at Old Trace Park. Gates open at 4:30 p.m., with entertainment before the main event at 7:30 p.m. and a fireworks finale; $15, $5 students. Or stick with downtown for "Can't Feel My Face Friday" at Dreamz Jxn starting at 9 p.m., with free drinks (!) until 11 p.m. Where should you begin your search for the perfect entertainment options? The JFP Best Bets page is great place to start.

Thursday, May 6

Chief Keeping Close Eye on Fuel Cost

Anita Modak-Truran

Anita Modak-Truran is the first to admit her insatiable curiosity lures her to seek new experiences and hobbies.

Gulf Coast AGs Seek Spill ‘Clarifications'

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and the attorneys general from four other states affected (or potentially affected) by oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico are looking for clarification of responsibility from all involved parties. Yesterday, the group of five state "top cops" sent letters to three British Petroleum executives and to the general counsels at Transocean, Halliburton Energy, and Cameron International, corporations directly associated to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded and sank April 20 killing 11 workers.

Wednesday, May 5

Filling that Empty Place

Growing up, I was one of those nerdy kids with big pink glasses and a bad perm that brought her lunch to school everyday. What a treat it was to open the lid of my Charlie Brown lunch box and discover my Mom had packed my favorite lunch: a cheese sandwich, a mixed fruit cup, and a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie.

Cookin' for Mom

Being a mother herself, Faye Dickerson knows that things can get stressful on Mother's Day. All that a mom wants to do is sit back and relax, though most times she ends up preparing a meal for herself and her family. Dickerson believes that mothers should be taken care of on their special day, and that one of the ways to do that is to take care of the food for her.

Mother's Day Traditions

Each and every year for Mother's Day my mother and I go to church together, and afterward we go to a spa and get our nails and feet done. That evening, I take my younger siblings out so she can have the night to herself, relaxing and doing whatever it is that she wants to do.

Carving Nature at Its Joints

People have called my obsession with snakes (and by extension cats) aberrant, cockamamie, campy and injudicious. It is all of these things. I am all of these things.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: What do you call a sunny day following two days of rain? Monday.

Woodward Execution Date Set

Attorney General Jim Hood is asking the state of Mississippi to execute two death-row inmates, the first since 2008. Hood's office submitted requests to the Mississippi Supreme Court last month to set execution dates of May 19 and 20 for Paul Woodward and Gerald James Holland.

Mother Nature: First, Do No Harm

"Y'all are just against economic development." That ribbing came from a Levee Board member who shall remain anonymous due to drinks on the table (a pretty good rule for journalists, by the way).

Mason: ‘I'm Basically an Introvert'

Outgoing Jackson State University President Ronald Mason Jr. said at a Tuesday press luncheon that he did not expect his university to deviate from progress and growth in his absence.

Hinds Unloading Title Building

For three years, the Mississippi Valley Title Building has weighed on Hinds County's budget without contributing much of anything in the way of revenue. Purchased in 2007 for a planned expansion of county offices, the building has sat more or less dormant since the county scrapped those original plans.

Judge Malcolm Harrison: A New Man

Newly appointed Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Malcolm Harrison is a careful man when it comes to talking politics about Mississippi's judicial system.

Commence This

It's that time of year again, where we cheer and cry our hearts out to you, fellow grads! We here at the JFP, give much congrats to you for toughing it out and surviving homework.

Fix the Smoking Ban

Jackson has taken a stand against smoking in public places, joining capital cities across the country that have banned indoor smoking from businesses, restaurants and bars. Health experts have long identified smoking as a serious health issue, and more recently, have found that inhaling second-hand smoke can be just as deadly as lighting up your own cigarette or cigar.

[Stiggers] Step Into Tomorrow

Boneqweesha Jones: "Welcome to Hair Did University School of Cosmetology and Vocational Studies Pre-Graduation Banquet. Our guest speaker is the honorable Congressman Smokey ‘Robinson' McBride. Congressman Smokey just arrived from an immigration debate and conference in Washington, D.C."

Tune Up, Mississippi

For a long time, I've lived uneasily with the disturbing assumption that most of the people I know who love music (and I know a lot of them) either don't know that the state song of Mississippi is an embarrassment or just shrug it off as one of life's ironies.

[Purvis] The Zen of Gardening

The weekend is over. I sit on my back patio, watching the endless parade of squirrels shimmying up trees and trotting across the top of my weathered-wood privacy fence. My arms ache to the bone. They have acquired a new crop of bruises of unknown origin.

Tease photo

Too Little, Too Late?

Behind the Silver Slipper Casino in Bay St. Louis, a fleet of commercial fishing boats sits quietly before sunrise on April 30. Even though it's the last day of oyster season, only a few fishermen are at the Bayou Caddy Marina.

Simply Surviving

When I think of a future dystopian society accompanied by a series of natural disasters, movies like "Waterworld" and "Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome" are regrettably the first stories that come to mind.

[Rob In Stereo] Don't Forget the Lyrics

The New Pornographers have long been the pop-music snob's dream band. It is a guitar pop band, but is also able to seamlessly add layered instrumentation and multipart harmonies when necessary.

Power Company to Challenge Commission Ruling

Mississippi Power Company will file a motion this week asking the Mississippi Public Service Commission to reconsider its April 29 order for Kemper County IGCC Project. The MPSC approved the experimental coal-burning plant, however its conditions made it impossible for creditors to fund the plant, Mississippi Power contends.

Clarion-Ledger ‘Shopping' Section Ignores Local Stores

The Clarion-Ledger tried to make a big deal out of new pages it was added to the Sunday edition, so we grabbed one to see what the big deal was. It turned out to be much ado about nothing. They have a page called "Dining/Shopping/Events" with the predictable kinds of Southern Style features they've already done. (Making us wonder if they're canning the Weekend section or such.) Ho, hum.

Maurice Turner II

Wherever Maurice Turner II is, so is his trumpet. It's not just some eccentric call for attention. "My band director loaned me a trumpet, and I left it in the study hall," he says. "It came up missing one day, and I've been carrying it around since I was 10 or 11—everywhere I go."

Why Donner Kay Is Blogging Again

OK, I've been bad. Of a fashion. In recent months, I've gotten so caught up in new projects (like the new BOOM Jackson quarterly!) and in volunteer work and in managing what is quickly becoming our best staff ever (collectively speaking; we've always had great staffers), that I just haven't been blogging on the JFP site. And, yes, I admit it: I've found it easy to put a pithy statement or two on Facebook, and perhaps a link back to a JFP story, and leave it at that. But I've realized that isn't the best way to act, live and work LOCAL, and I'm a local-vore if you ever did meet one. So, starting today, I've got a new attitude. You're going to hear more from me on the JFP site (even though it's best for my productivity to not get too caught up in conversations under stories!).

Barbour: Don't Panic

Gov. Haley Barbour wants Mississippi residents to stay calm about the oil spill creeping toward the Gulf shore, reports Canadian Business. The spill has been putting 5,000 barrels, or 210,000 gallons, of oil into the ocean every day since the April 20 explosion that sank a British Petroleum oil rig 50 miles off the Louisiana coast.

Tuesday, May 4

Blocking Digital Signs and Helping Small Business

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. will submit a resolution protesting the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce's plan to build and rent three new digital signs in the city, city spokesman Chris Mims said today.

Business Round Up: Two Markets and A New Film Festival

A former grocery store near the Jackson Medical Mall reopened Saturday as a farmer's market. Part of the Roadmap to Health Equity Project, the market is located in the former New Deal grocery store on Livingston Road. Beneta Burt, project director, said that grant funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation allows the farmers market to offer fresh produce from a cooperative of local farmers at discounted prices.

Michele Baker

Michele Baker wants to help families who lost everything during Hurricane Katrina get back into their homes.

[Balko] Watching the Detectives

George Orwell famously said, "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face–forever." He may still be right.

Mississippi Revenues Down Again

After a slight 1.4 percent uptick in March, state revenues are back in the doldrums, down for the 19th month of the last 20. April revenue came in at 8.54 percent, or $45.1 million, below estimates, Gov. Haley Barbour announced in a statement yesterday. The March improvement was due to an unexpected $30 million increase in corporate tax receipts.

Monday, May 3

1st Annual Downtown Cinco De Mayo Celebration WEDNESDAY 5:30pm

ADMISSION IS FREE TIL 9pm. Music, Mexican Food, and YOU!

The Jackson Progressives, Jackson Free Press, Jackson Downtown Neighborhood Association, and several other entities have joined forces for the 1st Annual Downtown Cinco De Mayo Celebration: Celebration of Jackson's Diversity. WEDNESDAY, MAY 5th beginning at 5:30pm at DREAMZ JXN. 426 Capital (One Block From the Historic King Edward Hotel).

Efforts to Minimize Oil Spill Underway

As a major oil spill creeps its away toward the Gulf Coast, officials are hoping that recent efforts by British Petroleum and the United States Coast Guard can keep the Coast from the worst.

Mason Gets Mixed Reviews

Jackson State University President Ronald Mason Jr.'s announcement last week that he will be ending his 10-year stint at JSU and taking the reins at Louisiana's Southern University and A&M College System in Louisiana, received a mixed response from the community.

Susan Lunardini

Susan Lunardini believes that a strong business climate goes hand in hand with a safe city. As the president of the Jackson Police Foundation, she hopes to promote that climate in Jackson.

Community Events and Public Meetings

6 p.m., Jackson Arts Collective Annual Meeting at Welty Commons Gallery (719 Congress St.). The annual meeting is an opportunity to hear a report of the previous year's activities and initiatives as well as to elect new steering committee members. Elections are open to all residents of the greater Jackson area, and voting is open to all Jacksonians who are present. Free; e-mail [e-mail missing].

Barbour Declares Third Emergency

Several north Mississippi counties joined Gov. Haley Barbour's emergency list yesterday because of severe storms, flooding and tornados that left at least three Mississippians dead. The counties of Benton, Lafayette, Panola, Tippah and Union joined several mid-state counties where the governor declared a disaster April 28 due to tornados, and the entire Gulf coast awaiting the encroaching sea of oil headed for the beaches.