Stories for October 2010


Friday, October 29

Polling Numbers for Thompson-Marcy Race Skewed?

Read the poll

Thompson Retains Advantage in Second District

Second Congressional District U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson has the financial edge on campaign contributions and political action committee money this year as he cruises into the November elections against his Republican candidate and Tea Party member Bill Marcy.

Court Overturns Fulgham Death Sentence

The Mississippi Supreme Court has overturned a death sentence for Kristi Fulgham and ordered a new sentencing hearing for her 2003 murder conviction. The court issued a decision yesterday finding that the trial court erred by preventing a social worker from testifying about Fulgham's background as mitigation evidence.

Chad King

Standing on stage wearing a sparkly corset, a pearl necklace and glossy red lipstick, Chad King is the quintessential Dr. Frank-N-Furter in Fondren Theater Workshop's "The Rocky Horror Show."

It's the Weekend: Boo!

Halloween weekend is packed full of festive events, costume contests and parties. Tonight, join the Jackson Bike Advocates for the second-annual Halloween Community Bike Ride. Meet for the eight-mile ride at 6 p.m. in the Rainbow Grocery parking lot. Costumes, helmets and bike lights are encouraged. Tonight also marks the inaugural Mississippi International Film Festival at the Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). The festival includes international film screenings, and live music. Tonight's films feature a tribute to India and the blues. Tickets range from $5 to $20. Call 601-665-7737 for information or visit for a complete schedule and to purchase tickets. To support a worthy cause, head to Pink Friday at Suite 106 (106 Wilmington St.), at 9 p.m. for free food and live entertainment and. All proceeds from the door and a percentage of sold bottles of wine go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research; a $10 donation is suggested. For more events this weekend, check out the JFP Events Calendar for all the weekend happenings.

Officials Aware of Cement Flaws Before Spill

The cement fixture Halliburton officials used to seal the bottom of a BP well in the Gulf of Mexico did not meet industry standards, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

In a recent JFP Radio broadcast, Todd played a song by Vasti Jackson called "My Computer Turned On Me." I can really relate to this right now since my eMac crashed a week ago while I was installing some fonts. Since that time, I have used five different computers to get my work done. Yes, five. The eMac is on the mend, and I hope to return to it soon, but I can't help but wonder if I would not have been as stressed out about the situation if I stuck to all of my wellness goals. If I was consistent with spending time outdoors, knit a few scarves or actually remembered to do my breathing exercises, maybe I would have...oh, never mind. I'm not even going there. I'm just going to start afresh with my goals and change my strategy a little. I am going to set up reminders on my online calendar or my cellphone to help me remember my goals. Otherwise, I will be so caught up in my day-to-day responsibilities that I'll never remember to do them. Well, back to the drawing board!

Thursday, October 28

Hosemann, Hood Push Pre-K Education

Early childhood education is central to safeguarding Mississippi's economic future agreed Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood in separate speeches today. The two officials' comments, coming during the Mississippi Economic Council's annual Hob Nob event, are indicative of growing, bipartisan support for pre-kindergarten.

Service Cuts Worry Disabled

Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities representatives are concerned that a private company's reduction of vehicles means fewer options for disabled citizens who need transportation to doctor's appointments, grocery stores and other daily errands in the Jackson metro.

Andy Muchin

Andy Muchin didn't expect to spend his life researching and writing about his Jewish heritage, but his experiences working at a Jewish community newspaper in Wisconsin became the catalyst for a life-long passion.

Smoking Ban Decreases Heart Attacks

The city of Hattiesburg decreased heart attacks by 13 percent since passing a city-wide smoking ban in 2007, a Mississippi State University study released yesterday found.

Wednesday, October 27

Nandy's Candy: Land of the Sweet

From the moment you walk in the door, bags of candy greet you. Behind wooden candy cases are assortments of green, yellow and pink candy jars, and as many chocolates as one person can imagine. American truffles, caramel and pecan treats, caramel popcorn, mint ice and English toffee are just some of the sweets you'll find in Nandy's Candy.

Melanie's: The Sweet Story

The smell of freshly baked cookies hits you as you walk in. To your left are biscotti; to your right are muffins, cupcakes and lemon squares. Directly in front stands a lady whose fancy gold earrings pale next to her big smile and hot-pink polka-dotted apron.

[Natalies's Notes] Fly The Musical Freak Flag

The past two weekends, I let my musical freak flag fly by catching four great concerts.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: Brett Favre has a busted ankle, and the NFL is on his trail. Watch out, Patriots.

Dinnertime Drama

"Momma, what's for dinner?"

Ghost a Halloween Party

"Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble. ... Eye of newt, and toe of frog, wool of bat, and tongue of dog."

Fright Night Fashions

There's nothing wrong with dressing up in a costume to have a little Halloween fun if that's what you're into. But if you're like a lot of folks, you'd rather avoid the tricks, and go for the treats, and pay homage to the ghosts and ghouls holiday by just drinking a little witches brew.

To Levee or Not to Levee

Also see: Editorial: Stop the Lakes v. Levees Drama

The Jackass Factor

God has a special corner of heaven for the people who cut hair—those people who manage to make us look stunning despite all the silly blather they must hear every day.

PEER to Levee Board: Move Faster!

The Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District's navel-gazing on flood control along the Pearl River this month drew fire from he Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review.

‘I Am Emmett Till'

Hank Thomas knew he was going to die. He only questioned how. As the Ku Klux Klan attacked and bombed the bus he was riding through Anniston, Ala., with 12 other Freedom Riders challenging Jim Crow laws, Thomas decided he would rather suffocate than get off the bus and allow the Klan to beat him to death.

Bring Early Voting to Mississippi

Elections are already underway for more than 3 million Americans who have access to early voting. What we're wondering at this point is why not us?

[Stiggers] Head Up; Wig On

BoneQweesha Jones: "Greetings, Hair Did University students and faculty. I scheduled this special assembly to remind you to go to the polls and vote. I know some of you are very discouraged and frustrated and confused about the government and society.

[Kamikaze] Re-Shaking Things Up

Even I get discouraged. As much as I champion Jackson, there are times that its outdated vestiges rear their ugly heads. There are times when the corporate status quo takes a few slow promising steps forward, then a disappointing few steps backward.

[McLaughlin] More Female Candidates, Please

Whenever I meet a smart, progressive Mississippi woman who gets her opinion across, remains firm but compassionate and has the ability to inspire others, I find myself ecstatically blurting out: "You should run for governor someday!"

Mississippi Children's Museum Gives Sneak Peak

The rain didn't stop construction or hinder the excitement at the Mississippi Children's Museum this morning. Members of the media gathered at LeFleur's Bluff State Park today for a sneak peak at the imaginative museum, scheduled to open December 4.

Meet the Judicial Candidates

Here are the judicial candidates in the running for Hinds County.

Tease photo

Are Judges Up for Sale in Mississippi?

In October, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to address an appeal by convicted Mississippi attorney Paul Minor and former judges Walter "Wes" Teel and John Whitfield, who a U.S. District Court jury convicted of corruption in 2007.

Providing Structure

Bill Skinner didn't expect to be a youth court judge. A former Jackson police officer and Hinds County Justice Court judge, Skinner wanted to hear adult criminal cases when he won a seat on the Hinds County Court in 2006, but senior county court Judge Houston Patton assigned him to the youth court.

‘The Ability to Discern'

Bruce Burton takes pride in his background. The Shaw native grew up on a farm, worked a variety of jobs and studied several subjects before obtaining his law degree in 1996. Burton, 50, received a bachelor's degree from Alcorn State University and studied counseling and sociology at Delta State University before attending law school at Southern University. Even now, he is pursuing a doctorate in public health at Jackson State University.

Playing it Straight

Anyone who enjoys zombie movies and fiction with more than a passing interest should recognize John Russo's name and won't be disappointed to read "Undead" (Kensington Publishing, 2010, $14.95). He is the co-creator of the classic horror film that gave birth to the specific genre of zombie horror: "Night of the Living Dead."

Coming Together

Man-about-town Edward Saint Pé is a vibrant personality who eschews labels. His accomplishments range from TV weatherman to business entrepreneur to moviemaker to film actor. Most recently, he's added to the list founder of the Mississippi Film Institute, which hosts the first-ever Mississippi International Film Festival and Halloween Fest.

Spook Country: The Two Sides of Jesse Dayton

His born name is Jesse Dayton. He grew up around music and has performed with some of the best-known country singers in the industry: Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, to name a few.

The Beauty of Horror

You've heard of it, but maybe you've never been curious enough to find out more. "The Rocky Horror Show" is a fall must-see with its lovey-dovey couple, monsters and a transvestite from Transylvania, all of whom can sing and dance you to shame.

Horror Hit List

If you choose to stay in on All Hallow's Eve, here are some suggestions for frightful listening, creepy reading and horrific viewing.

Making Darkness Light

She's violent and spoiled, and no one wants anything to do with her. She's also deaf, blind and brilliant. It all plays out onstage in "The Miracle Worker," written by William Gibson.

Mental Health Funding Under Knife

Advocates for a state-funded mental hospital in Newton are pleading with state legislators to keep its doors open next year.

‘Where the Glitch Is'

Bill Gowan wants to make his temporary post on the Hinds County Circuit Court more permanent. Currently serving as a special circuit judge, Gowan hears serious drug and violent-crime cases investigated and prosecuted by the Jackson Enforcement Team, a federally funded program.

Heath Patterson

Heath Patterson is ready for Halloween. This year, he's making an appearance as Richie Tenenbaum of "The Royal Tenenbaums" with the perfect accessory: the quintessential brown beard.

Tuesday, October 26

Judge Rules in Favor of Personhood Amendment

Read the ruling (PDF)

An initiative asking voters to decide if the state Constitution should define when life begins can be placed on the 2011 ballot, Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Malcolm Harrison ruled today.

Ayers Endowment to Ask Legislature for Funding

The Ayers Endowment Committee may ask the state Legislature to supplement a diminishing endowment used to fund three historically black universities.

Obesity, Restaurant News

Leading lawmakers, medical researchers and health-care professionals will convene on Jackson Nov. 9 through Nov. 11 for the Global Obesity Summit 2010. Sponsored by the the University of the Mississippi Medical Center and the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership, the event is part of an effort by UMMC to develop a international-caliber research center dedicated to studying and treating obesity, the Center for Obesity, Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases Research.

[Balko] America's Most Successful Stop Snitchin' Campaign

Last month when U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson awarded Baron Bowling $830,000 for the beating he suffered at the hands of a Drug Enforcement Administration agent in 2003, she went out of her way to acknowledge another victim in the sordid affair: Kansas City Police Det. Max Seifert.

Dr. Kim Hoover

A University of Mississippi School of Nursing search committee affirmed the leadership abilities of Dr. Kim Hoover this month by choosing her to serve as dean.

Mississippi State's Cowbells May Stop Ringing

The Southeastern Conference has warned Mississippi State University officials that ringing cowbells during football games will likely bring fines because it breaks the league's noise-making policy, The Washington Post reported today.

Monday, October 25

Baby Steps

So when we first talked about doing this wellness blog, I was super excited! But I quickly fell off the wagon. And instead of getting up and trying again, I just gave up. But recently I've accomplished some baby steps that I am very proud of. And although right now they don't seem very monumental, if I keep at it, I will see positive change.

Justice Groups Join Appeal in Death Penalty Lawsuit

A challenge to Mississippi's system for representing those convicted of capital crimes has picked up some high-profile supporters. The Magnolia Bar Association and Mississippi Center for Justice filed a friend-of-the-court brief today supporting a suit filed on behalf of 15 death-row prisoners, earlier this year.

Teen Pregnancy Highest in the South; Mississippi

Compared to the rest of the nation, the South shows some of the highest teen pregnancy rates, an Oct. 22 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study finds.

Jara Miller

As the vice president of family services for the Metropolitan YMCA's of Mississippi, Jara Miller has witnessed the toll the economic downturn has taken on families.

Community Events and Public Meetings

5:30 p.m., Venture Incubator Open House and Seminar at Regions Plaza (210 E. Capitol St.). The seminar for business owners and entrepreneurs provides information on how the Venture Incubator can help grow small businesses. A tour of the Venture Incubator offices is held after the seminar. Please RSVP. Call 601-906-4868.

Our Families Can't Afford to Stay Home on Election Day

If you're like me, this election doesn't feel anything like 2008. The excitement and hope of that historic election have been replaced by worry and disappointment. The 2008 campaigns at least occasionally addressed our country's serious problems.

Friday, October 22

Wiseman: Increase Taxes for Economic Recovery

Mississippi must address its budget problems at both ends of the state's cash flow by raising taxes and cutting spending, Stennis Institute of Government Executive Director Marty Wiseman said today at the Mississippi Economic Policy Center's annual conference.

Mississippi Lacks Data on Minority Contracts

Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, said the state has no means of determining adequate minority participation in public contracts.

Garrison Starr

Folk rock/ indie artist and Hernando native Garrison Starr demonstrates her Southern roots through songs that tell rich stories of love and overcoming adversity.

It's The Weekend: Hit the Streets

It's perfect weather for a street festival, and Jackson doesn't disappoint. Already in progress when you read this, Jacktoberfest has taken over Congress Street between Amite and Capitol streets with "bands, brats and beer all day long." Admission is free, which is even better. The festivities go until 11 p.m. Also today, the Yoga of Power workshop begins at Butterfly Yoga with guest instructor Christina Sell and continues through Sunday. Classes for all levels including teachers; prices vary. Call 601-594-2313. Where to start your search for things to do in Jacktown? the JFP Best Bets page, of course!

Obama Speaks Out Against Bullying

President Barack Obama took a stand against bullying in a video message released last night.

The message is in response to the recent suicides of young adults who were bullied for being gay. The video appears on the

Thursday, October 21

Fundamentals Not Suspensions is What the NFL Needs For Player Safety

This week the NFL made a midweek decision to start suspending players for helmet to helmet contact. This comes after a weekend of play saw several players leave the field due to hits.

PEER: Move ‘Expeditiously' on Flood Control

The Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review released an Oct. 12 report (PDF) urging The Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District to "expeditiously" make a final decision on effective flood control for the Pearl River.

JPD Focuses on Convenience Store Crime

Read this week's crime report (PDF, 480 KB)

Kevin Hart

Get ready to laugh out loud with comedian Kevin Hart as he rolls into Jackson during his "Laugh At My Pain" tour Oct. 23 at Thalia Mara Hall.

Whitney Place to Rebuild Fondren

Watkins Partners Developer David Watkins says he plans to move ahead with his plans to tear down a 1938 business strip in Fondren, recently used as a movie set in "The Help," to create space for his proposed multi-use development, rather than pursue historic tax credits to renovate the block. The developer says keeping the strip would not be economically viable, despite questions about the buildings' historic value.

Johnson Kicks Off Make A Difference Day

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. announced the city's Make a Difference Day this morning during a press conference at the Jackson Zoo's Livingston Park.

Wednesday, October 20

Wedding Hair Do's

photos by Will Sterling

The forecast for fall bridal hair plays up non-traditional hairstyles, drawing inspiration from Hollywood's red carpet and the fashion runway. This season's hair trends are more sculptured and complex, but don't fret romantic up-dos.

Royal Blues

Walking down the 300 block of Farish Street, Alex Thomas stops at a historic marker in front of a single-story boarded-up brick storefront.

] The Rise and Fall of Emo

Spoiler Alert: We've all had our hearts broken.

Vegan: It's What's For Dinner

At 50, Susan Voisin looks as good as many women half her age. She credits that to her vegan diet.

Grill, Interrupted

This past Christmas, I stood on my front porch marveling at my shiny new red propane grill with detachable side shelves and bottle opener. Forget turkey and stuffing: This girl was having barbecue chicken to celebrate my holiday.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: If most Ole Miss fans had their way, Col. Reb would turn the Black Bear into a bearskin rug.

Qi Channel-Surfing

As Dennis Holmes leads me through the dimly lit hall of the Spa at St. Dominic to his treatment room, I am vaguely aware that I am transitioning from a state of muddled exhaustion, a consequence of working all night, to a state of heightened curiosity at what I'm about to experience.

With Gentleness and Reverence

When Todd and I used to live in Belhaven, we'd often walk in the mornings. Nearly every morning, we would watch a harried mother--often in a big SUV talking on a cell phone with at least one kid in the car--screech through the streets, presumably taking the child to school. Almost every day, we watched moms run stop signs, and more than once, had to jump out of the way to keep from getting hit.

Levee Board Talking Tax Hikes

The Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District Levee Board may be gearing up for a district expansion to pay for a proposed flood-control plan for the Pearl River.

Managing Conflict

Jeff Weill is accustomed to disagreement. On the Jackson City Council, where he has represented Ward 1 since 2007, he is usually the first and sometimes only member to criticize city spending plans or support budget cuts. The council's lone Republican is now running for Hinds County Circuit Judge.

GOP: Avoid Tea Party Kool-Aid

That Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant and many Mississippi Republicans are aligning themselves with the tea party comes as little surprise. Bryant told The Clarion-Ledger last week that tea-party beliefs "are much like mine."

[Stiggers] Cutback and Privatize

Mr. Announcement: "On this episode of ‘All God's Churn Got Shoes', the Cootie Creek County School Board spends long hours contemplating cutbacks on various education programs within the school system. Let's eavesdrop in on this board meeting to see what will happen."

Facts Matter

I have come to expect this from politicians. It disappoints me, but I no longer expect most politicians to be straightforward. They simplify. They pontificate. They talk in code and refuse to stray from carefully crafted, poll-tested talking points.

[Dickerson] Finding Solutions

Growing up in the Delta, I learned that bullies were a dime a dozen.

Tease photo

Sticks & Stones

Kelsey Ann Jackson threw up. The thought of going to school that morning made her sick. She cried about the mean girls she would have to face in her sixth-grade class. After her mom dropped her off at her grade school in Brookhaven, Jackson walked as slow as she could to her class, dreading the coming ordeal more with each step.

‘I Wanted to Die'

I remember the first time I was ever bullied. I was in kindergarten, and this little girl made fun of my curly hair and thick glasses. I retaliated by putting chips in her grape juice.

‘They Accepted Me'

After leading a pretty comfortable existence in Gayhead Elementary School, where I'd attended on and off from first grade, fifth grade ended.

NAACP Report Condemns Tea Party Racism

A new report issued by the NAACP finds that the national tea-party movement has resentment about racial and social issues running throughout its many factions. The study, titled "Tea Party Nationalism," finds the conservative movement that often purports to focus on spending and fiscal responsibility to be "permeated with concerns about race and national identity and other so-called social issues."

(Barber) Shop Talk

Until recently, I had not been in a barbershop in nearly 10 years. I have always been a bit lackadaisical when it comes to my hair. For starters, I have one of those "woke up underneath a van at a Phish show" kind of beards that seems to have a life of its own, with no hope of containment.

Rich Enough

I've heard it all my life: America is the best country in the world. Within that framework, it's nearly impossible to understand why conditions for many Americans are so bad.

Mississippi AIDS Assistance Program Not Enough?

Last night, the Jackson city council renewed its 2010 contract agreement with the Mississippi State Department of Health, making temporary rental or mortgage assistance for low-income victims of HIV/AIDS possible. But some HIV/AIDS activists argue that compared to other states, it's not enough assistance.

Not Bad.

Thanks to ShaWanda, I had a relatively healthy emergency lunch replacement. I came without a mid-day meal (I've been a brown-bagger all my life) and was fully expecting to silently go hungry until I got home tonite. But what did I find but Skinny Bagels!

Entergy DOJ Investigation Kept Secret

Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley said he is frustrated that Entergy Mississippi was slow to reveal a weeks-old U.S. Department of Justice civil investigation into Entergy Corporations' energy-purchasing practices.

Laughter and Love

Laughter. That's what Tom Ramsey and Kitty Cook-Ramsey, both 44, agree fuels their marriage. Their humor is contagious. I started laughing as I walked into their home and barely stopped until I walked out.

Nick Mosca

Seven years ago, only four out of every 10 Mississippians drinking public water drank fluoridated water, a basic public-health measure in most states. Today, roughly 55 percent of the state's population drinks water treated with fluoride. That change is due in no small part to the efforts of Nick Mosca.

Johnson Asks Adult Nightclub to Take Down Billboards

Read Johnson's letter

Tuesday, October 19

Johnson Pulls Ordinance After Debate

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. pulled a proposed ordinance he introduced after a council member argued during yesterday's work session that it removed power from the city council to appoint members to city boards.

[Balko] Abolish Drunk Driving Laws

Last week Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo advocated for creating a new criminal offense: "driving while ability impaired." The problem with the current Texas law prohibiting "driving while intoxicated," Acevedo explained, is that it doesn't allow him to arrest a driver whose blood-alcohol content is below 0.08 percent without additional evidence of impairment.

Downtown Bodega Opening; King Edward Wins Award

The recently opened Standard Life building will soon have a New York-style grocery store and deli. Gwin Wyatt and her husband, Frank, decided to open the store after her daughter, Brooke Wyatt-Kuhne, moved into the King Edward Hotel while serving as the artistic director of International Ballet Competition in Jackson this summer.

State to Address Minority Business Participation

The state Legislative Joint Study Committee on Minority Business Participation in Public Contracts, Professional Services and Public Works will meet at 2 p.m. at the Capitol today.

Andre Cooley

Andre Cooley says he lost his job because he is gay. Cooley served as a juvenile corrections officer with the Forrest County Sheriff's Department from November 2009 until June 15 of this year. On Monday, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on Cooley's behalf against the sheriff's department, Sheriff Billy McGee and two other department officials.

Monday, October 18

Council to Finalize $2.8M in Bonds

The Jackson City Council will vote during tomorrow's council meeting on whether to allow a $2.8 million tax increment financing agreement help finance the redevelopment of the King Edward Hotel and Standard Life building.

Hinds Seeks $400K for Hwy 80

Hinds County has applied for $400,000 to help redevelop brownfield sites along Highways 18 and 80 in Jackson. The county Board of Supervisors approved an application today to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the grant funds. The grant would help the county assess sites along the highway corridors that might be brownfields—old industrial sites that have not been redeveloped because of real or perceived environmental contamination.

Community Events and Public Meetings

5:30 p.m., The Positive Ones Breast Cancer Support Group Meeting at Baptist Medical Center (1225 N. State St.), in the Hederman Cancer Center. This support group for breast cancer patients and survivors will be held in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Come to give and gain strength through shared experiences. Call 601-948-6262 or 800-948-6262.

Leah Vincent

As a psychology major, Leah Vincent was more mesmerized with the brain than hair, but when her friends encouraged her to pursue her hobby of hairstyling, she decided to change career paths. "I wasn't sure if psychology was for me, but I always knew that I had an interest in styling hair," she says.

Sunday, October 17

For Whom the Cowbell Tolls: State Ranked 24th After Beating Gators

Alright now: Mississippi State #24 in Coaches, AP Polls. Them's my dawgs.

Saturday, October 16

NY Times' Bob Herbert on 2008 JFP Report on Barbour's Domestic Murderer Pardons

In his column today, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert writes again about the need for Gov. Haley Barbour to free the Scott Sisters, who are serving life sentences for a 1993 armed robbery that allegedly netted them $11 each. He astutely draws a contrast between their case and the murders Barbour pardoned or helped in 2008, most of whom brutally murdered wives or girlfriends. In his column, Herbert gave credit to the Jackson Free Press and Slate magazine for cataloguing the details of those murders. The piece in Slate was by a column by Radley Balko published Dec. 17, 2009: Haley Barbour's Bizarre Pardon Record. In his column, Balko referred to the JFP's 2008 reporting (and linked to it) when listing the gruesome details of the domestic murders.

Friday, October 15

Sleep Quick; Let's Dance

Kristin Versus the Fair

I'm proud to say that I did pretty good as far as my fair-food consumption wishes versus actions goes. The delicious fresh roasted corn was a definite win - hot and delicious and not completely dunked in butter like it's been before. It's an extra bonus for not being deep-fried. The only thing that was tempting was the lone stand I saw near the kiddie rollercoaster that offered fresh fruit on a stick, untainted by chocolate, syrup or deep fried batter.

Whitney Place In the Works

Watkins Partners Developer David Watkins said today that his plans for a multi-use development on eight acres of land in Fondren will replace the deteriorating 1930s business strip used as a set for "The Help" with vibrant residential and retail space.

Organizer Promotes Downtown Film Festival

Downtown Jackson will come alive this month with the Mississippi Film Institute's Mississippi International Film Festival, local radio producer and Mississippi Film Institute founder Edward Saint Pe told a crowd at Koinonia Coffee House's Friday Forum.

Clancy Walker

When doctor's diagnosed Clancy Walker's 3-year-old son, Grayson, with juvenile diabetes a few months ago, it ignited her desire to raise money and awareness about the disease.

It's the Weekend

This weekend is one to spend with the family, attending events that everybody can enjoy. To start the weekend off, check out the second annual Fais Do-Do tonight, Oct. 15, at The Commons at Eudora Welty's Birthplace (719 N. Congress St.) brought to you by the Jackson Arts Collective. The event features live music, dancing and more, starting at 8 p.m.; $5 but be sure to bring at least $3 more for a bowl of jambalaya. E-mail [e-mail missing] for more details. For something more laid back, pack everybody into the car and go out to eat for some family time over dinner with no worries about cooking or cleanup. The variety of restaurants in and around Jackson is spectacular; choose any type of food you desire whether it be American, Italian, Asian or even Lebanese. Head to the JFP Restaurant Listings for a list of amazing restaurants that the entire family will enjoy. Step outside your comfort zone and enjoy food that you have never considered before--you may find your new favorite on the JFP Menu Guide.

Health-Care Lawsuit Moves Forward

United States District Judge Roger Vinson ruled yesterday that a multi-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health-care reform law passed by the U.S. Congress earlier this year can move forward, The Christian Science Monitor reports.

Things Get Hot and Heavy on "The View"

What happened on yesterday's show is what makes me contemplate busting my budget to get Tivo. On "The View," during a heated discussion with Bill O'Reilly about the possibility of a mosque being built near Ground Zero, O'Reilly made a comment about Muslims being responsible for 9/11. Because of this, moderator Whoopi Goldberg and co-host Joy Behar left the stage. They later returned when O'Reilly backtracked and said he meant Muslim extremists. Here's the video:

The Other Side of Wellness

When people hear the phrase "health and wellness," they usually think of physical health. However, wellness has a mental component that should not be ignored. Society in general seems to have more sympathy for those with heart disease, kidney failure or cancer than OCD and schizophrenia, but they are all diseases. The heart and the kidney are organs, and so is the brain. Whether the brain has a tumor or a chemical imbalance that causes panic attacks should not make a difference in how a person with cancer is treated and how a person with anxiety disorder is treated. Some people think mental illness is not fatal, so it's not a big deal. I beg to differ. For example, depression can lead to suicide, and it is also a killer of the soul. I learned this firsthand when I tried to take my own life in 2002.

Thursday, October 14

EPA Sued over Clean Water Act

The Mississippi Sierra Club is joining a host of organizations to demand that the United States Environmental Protection Agency write new rules regulating the use of oil dispersants and adhere to current laws overseeing the use of potentially dangerous chemicals in the environment.

Peter Whitham

Peter Whitham is giving Mississippi musicians the opportunity to have their voices and instruments heard.

Bill Clinton Visits Ole Miss

Former President Bill Clinton visits Ole Miss this morning during the "Get Out the Vote" rally with U.S. Rep. Travis Childers.

JPD Transition Smooth, Assistant Chief Says

Read this week's crime report

Wednesday, October 13

Big Shoes to Fill

It was a Tuesday morning, and I was performing my daily morning ritual before I headed to work —checking e-mail and Facebook—when I received a message from my good friend, J.C. May.

Mississippi Music Live

It's "MTV Unplugged" meets "Inside the Actor's Studio" for musicians, hosted by self-proclaimed Hispanic Redneck, Pete Castorena, and his right-hand man, Bill Kehoe. It's "The Castorena Show"!

The Many Angles of Angleball

Almost every fair-weather week since I turned 13, I've played the same game—angleball. And almost every fair-weather week since I turned 13, I've been asked the same question: "What the heck is an angleball?"

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: What is it about Mississippi guys, the Minnesota Vikings and sex scandals? First it was Fred Smoot, and now it's Brett Favre.

Sizzlin' Hot

Sense of style shouldn't stop after you've dressed. In fact, true style extends beyond closet doors and dressing for special occasions to your home, even your kitchen. When you're playing hostess, make everything about your soiree say, "I mean chic."

Regarding Herman

Herman Snell was driven. I don't know why--or by what, exactly, but it was fascinating to watch. Herman wanted people to know what was going on in the arts, particularly film, and he wanted them to hear good music. And to him, that meant keeping up with the details.

Eyes on Spending

One of the great things about government transparency is its trans-partisan appeal. Conservatives can distrust government just as much as liberals, sometimes more. Still, when it comes to high-tech watchdog organizations and initiatives, most innovation seems to come from vaguely progressive, if officially nonpartisan, sources.

‘Fair and Even-Handed'

Jackson Municipal Judge Ali ShamsidDeen is not trying to be a politically divisive figure, but his background as a editor of the Jackson Advocate in the 1990s and an associate of the law firm Lumumba and Freelon, suggests a controversial bent.

Stop the Lakes-v.-Levees Drama

In recent months, the Jackson Free Press was pleased to see the Rankin-Hinds Levee Board seemingly get unlocked from the years-long Lakes-v.-Levees standoff that had prevented any forward movement toward flood control along the Pearl River and, with any luck, some smart and green economic development thrown in, to boot.

[Stiggers] Property-Owning People

"Welcome to ‘The Finance Pimp Wants His Homes Back Foreclosure Sales' cable-television showcase. Are you gainfully employed? Do you work three jobs? If you answered yes to these questions, come see me and sign on the dotted line. Remember: The home is still mine until it's paid in full."

[Kamikaze] Getting Control of Our Kids

I watched a piece on "The Today Show" a few days back that really bothered me. As the days have passed, it has still stuck with me.

[Hill] Holy Ground

"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that, some have entertained angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:2).

Historian Explores the Tea Party's Extremist Roots

NPR's Fresh Air Host Terry Gross interviewed historian Sean Wilentz today about his recent article in "The New Yorker" exploring the roots of the Tea Party movement. He writes that the tea party is rooted in an extremist ideology that started during the Cold War.

The Global Table: Multicultural Manners

Every culture has social norms that steer behavioral expectations, and are often guided by religious beliefs and deeply ingrained values. Not surprisingly, they usually make appearances at the table, where customs are acted out in accordance via meal-taking rituals.

Fusion Cooking for Fledglings

While I really have no business discussing a "how to" article on fusion cooking, the undeniable fact is that my mother, the ever-lovable Mama Jacqueline, is the greatest fusion chef ever. Mama Jacqueline put the fusion into cooking long before it was fashionable to do so, and her fusion-styled cooking can put a smile on the face of the most persnickety critic, who just happens to be my dad.

Grandma Zuga

In our household during any holiday or big event, one item on the table was always sure to elicit a bit of mouth-watering awe. Potica ("po-teet-sah"). is a traditional Slovenian pastry. And being of Slovenian descent, I have had my share of what is, because of the preparation it requires, quite honestly, a labor of love.

Ethnic Food Finds

In the urban jungle of the Jackson metro area, we are fortunate to have a bounty of eateries at our disposal. Amidst the pack are the restaurants celebrating the cultural diversity of our city. Next time you're in the mood for something different, try one of old and new favorites we've discovered.

Sushi for Beginners

Sushi can be a bit intimidating for beginners. It's foreign and strange; everything has Japanese names; and ohmygod is that eel? Yet, it's become such popular fare that many grocery stores and Chinese buffets now have sushi bars.

Good Food, Good Stories

Most of the time, I eat my meals without a thought to the history and development of the recipes. But even the simplest of dishes can have a complex history, influenced by tradition, availability of ingredients and creativity of the cooks.

Traveling Taste Buds

In 1998 my husband and I went to Albania and worked with a church that was housing refugees from Kosovo. Being in a communist country was like going from life in vibrant Technicolor to a world that is only shades of gray. The streets smelled like desperation, but in the homes we visited and the home where we stayed, every meal was a celebration.

Tease photo

Tom's Food Diversity Quiz

When I got this assignment, I thought, "No problem. Food diversity sounds pretty simple. I'll hit some soul-food joints, some fish houses, a taqueria or two and put on a few extra pounds of delightful goodness-inspired bulk." But when you scratch the surface, there are a few problems with this simple idea.

Property Issues Stall Critical Water Line

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. said the city could have avoided two massive city-wide water failures this year had owners of a historic fishing club not stalled construction of a 54-inch water line between the city's two water-supply plants.

Q&A: Curtis Wilkie on the Wrong Crowd

Author and University of Mississippi professor Curtis Wilkie speaks with a degree of sadness when he references the life of disgraced Mississippi attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs.

How to Make Enemies

When award-winning journalist Curtis Wilkie sets out to cover the downfall of Mississippi's foremost trial attorney, he goes at it like a neurotic terrier digging in a graveyard--with a macabre cloud of grotesque tidbits flying out over his furry back. And unlike partisans who try to twist the saga their direction, he then lets the bits fall where they may.

One Less Knight

When I brought "Glubbery Gray" (Pelican Publishing, 2010, $16.99) home, my 8-year-old son, Mateo, couldn't wait to take a look. If it's a story about space, superheroes or knights, he's all over it. "That was a really funny book," he concluded, after we'd read it together.

Just Art, No Rules

Artist and community activist Teresa Haygood says it's not uncommon for a child to look up from their work In the middle of her mosaic classes and say to her, "Ms. T, I've never done an art project before."

The Brett Favre Story Leaves Us Wondering : Did He or Didn't He

A story broke late last week on the website about former Southern Mississippi and current Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. The story accuses Favre of sending racy text messages and video to Jenn Sterger a former New York Jets game hostess.

Wicker Defends Obama Against ‘Birthers'

United States Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., found himself defending President Barack Obama against some of the more conservative elements of the tea party during a forum last night. The Central Mississippi Tea Party town-hall meeting and Republican fundraiser at Northwest Rankin High School attracted about 100 attendees, most of them over the age of 50. Organizers invited the senator to the event to promote the importance of a Republican majority in the House and Senate after the November elections, and to raise money for Republicans defending congressional seats.

Eminent Domain: A Lawsuit Waiting to Happen?

The Mississippi Constitution is a tough thing to change. While state law allows voters to amend the Constitution by approving a ballot initiative, it also prohibits ballot initiatives from changing the section that lists the state Bill of Rights.

Brian Cartenuto

Char Restaurant Executive Chef Brian Cartenuto was calm and focused as he emerged from a sweltering kitchen during a recent chef's table tasting, which the Jackson Free Press attended at no cost. He's only been at the restaurant for two months, but he's already shaken things up with his fusion of Southern and Italian cuisine.

Inspiring the Creative Class

The "Mobilizing the Creative Class for Action and Advocacy" conference will give young professionals, 25 to 45 years old, the chance to develop leadership skills, network and build strong communities. The conference, sponsored by The Young Leaders in Philanthropy under the auspices of the United Way of the Capital Area, is Nov. 4 and 5 at the King Edward Hotel, and is geared to young professionals engaged in the community and in their organizations.

Tuesday, October 12

Fortification Renewal Set for 2011

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. said he expects construction to begin on the renewal of Fortification Street project by early next year.

Carlton D. Williams

Provine High School Band Director Carlton D. Williams is on top of the world as he reminisces about his school's sweet victory at the Tyson Foods Battle of the Bands last month. "It was a very riveting experience," Williams says of the regional band competition. "It was a milestone in my career to be able to participate in an activity of that magnitude."

Help Me Continue to Stomp Out the Stigma of Mental Illness

***UPDATE: NAMI Mississippi has a contest going on now to motivate walkers to raise funds. The walker who raises the most money will win a free night's stay at Rainbow Hotel & Casino in Vicksburg and two complimentary buffets. The night's stay can be used any day of the week. If you think you have the chops to win this prize, join the JFP NAMIWalks team today and start raising money!***

Ward 7 Meeting Tonight

Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. and city department heads will host a ward 7 community meeting tonight at Farish Street Baptist Church (619 N. Farish St.). The meeting starts at 6 p.m. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., The Mississippi Department of Employment Security's WIN Center Mobile Job Unit will be on site for residents to search a job database and fill out job applications.

Big Fair Numbers, Medical Mall Groundbreaking, Creative Class Conference

The Mississippi State Fair is attracting much larger crowds than it did last year, when rain kept attendance low. An estimated 307,052 people attended the fair through Monday, according to the state Fair Commission. Attendance through the weekend was almost 100,000 above last year's numbers.

Monday, October 11

McGowan Confronts Board Over Levee Confusion

Jackson oilman and "Two Lakes" developer John McGowan went before the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District Levee Board this morning, demanding clarity over whether the board's one-lake plan would include expanded levees.

State May Receive $13M for Small Businesses

A new federal law offers Mississippi up to $13.2 million to support small-business lending programs through community banks. The State Small Business Credit Initiative, part of the Small Business Jobs Act that President Barack Obama signed Sept. 27, dedicates $1.5 billion in federal funds to expand existing state-level programs that extend credit to small businesses.

CJ Rhodes

Tonight bears historical significance for Mount Helm Baptist Church pastor CJ Rhodes who will take part in a discussion about race and the role of the church as his congregation celebrates its 175-year anniversary.

Community Events and Public Meetings

6 p.m., Italian Wine Dinner at Cerami's (5417 Lakeland Drive, Suite I). Come experience Italian wines carefully chosen and paired with special Italian recipes. Proceeds benefit Hudspeth Regional Center. A reservation is required. $65; call 601-919-2829.

Barbour Frequently Out of State

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour was out of state all or part of 48 days in July, August and September, The Associated Press reported Saturday.

Friday, October 8

Environmentalists Warn of Wetland Loss; Flood Risk

Two U.S. Supreme Court decisions are endangering Mississippi wetlands and raising the risk of serious floods, environmentalists said during the Clean Water Summit at the Mississippi Natural Science Museum this morning.

Laid-Off Teachers Hurting Education

Mississippi's public education system faces a difficult future, given persistent funding troubles, state Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, said today. Speaking at the Jackson Chamber of Commerce's Friday Forum at Koinonia Coffee House, Blount touched on a number of topics, focusing on education and the state's fiscal difficulties.

Greg ‘Fingers' Taylor

If you've ever heard Greg "Fingers" Taylor play the harmonica, you know that Jimmy Buffett owes much of his success to the Mississippi resident.

It's The Weekend

Start your weekend with a visit to the Downtown Harp & Juke Festival at Underground 119 (119 S. President St.) where you can dance and hear music from artists like Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby Rush and Billy Gibson. The tickets are $25 per day. Call 601-352-2322 or buy tickets online. If you prefer to take it easy, attend the Millsaps Singers' "Our Wesleyan Heritage" concert at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.). The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free; call 601-974-1422 for more information. Feel free to look at JFP Music Listings for more weekend entertainment.

Roll Off Dumpster Day Tomorrow

The city of Jackson is encouraging residents to take tree limbs, yard debris and unwanted household items to the following locations from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday:

Thursday, October 7

Supreme Court Rejects Kemper Appeal

This story has been updated to reflect a correction.

Read the Supreme Court's decision (PDF, 68 KB)

State Waits on Personhood Ruling

A war of semantics filled Judge Malcolm Harrison's courtroom this afternoon, as opposing parties debated the constitutionality of a 2011 ballot initiative asking voters to determine when life begins.

JPD Hopes to Curb Solicitation

Read the report (PDF)

JFP Freelancer of the Month: Valerie Wells

Her desire to make a difference in the world instinctively drew Valerie Wells to the field of journalism.

Millsaps President Inauguration Today

This morning, Millsaps College inaugurates Dr. Robert W. Pearigen as the college's 11th president.

Pearigen began his term July 1 after Millsaps' Board of Trustees selected him to serve as president earlier this year. Pearigen previously served as vice president for university relations and as a political science professor for University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. He obtained his doctorate degree in political science from Duke University in 1976.

Wednesday, October 6

Of Rucks and Scrums

As I traveled to the Jackson Rugby Football Club practice on a hot and humid Tuesday afternoon, I had no clue what to expect, but I attempted to visualize how things would go. I reached down and touched the knee brace that protected my surgically repaired left knee as my mind raced. My stomach was filled with butterflies.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: Mississippi State and Mississippi Valley State have scheduled a football game for 2013. The Doctor is not counting the days.

Perfection, with a Tweak

Zucchini is a versatile summer squash that comes in yellow and green varieties. You can roast zucchini with a little olive oil and salt, add it to salads, use it as a key ingredient in ratatouille and lots of other dishes. But my favorite use for this little green squash, especially at this time of year, is the ever-so-delicious zucchini bread.

A New Standard

The first time I stepped into what would be Parlor Market, I had no problems imagining that when the construction crew finished carrying out owner and chef/owner Craig Noone's vision for the new downtown eatery, it would be nice. I was wrong. It's spectacular.

The Not-So-Humble Apple

Jackson's blazing summer heat has finally begun to subside; cooler evenings provide much-needed relief; and the first blush of the season has started to tinge the trees along the Natchez Trace. It is the perfect time to take advantage of fall's abundant produce by visiting one of the area's farmers markets.

The Art of Denial

I was a junior in high school when my mom came into my room visibly shaken. "I can't keep doing this. There is going to come a time when we are going to leave, and I need you to help me get your sisters and not say a word," she pleaded.

Lake Plan Faces Cost Hurdle

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson said federal funding to study building a lake on the Pearl River will not be easy to obtain, despite the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' renewed interest in the plan.

Schools Lagging on IDEA Stimulus Spending

Mississippi school districts have one year left to spend the $72 million remaining in a $116 million chunk of federal stimulus money for special education. Schools received the funds in 2009, and while a few districts have already spent the majority of their portion, most districts, including Jackson Public Schools, have spent little of their share.

‘Trustworthiness and Integrity'

Bridgett Clayton came to the practice of law relatively late, but she has built a varied career in a brief amount of time. The Meridian native studied political science at the University of Mississippi, graduating in 1982.

Don't Feed the Stalker

Since the JFP launched eight years ago, we have witnessed many disturbing examples of vicious and personal attacks and libelous smears on websites, our own and others, and usually by people who refuse to use their real name on their electronic missives. We've also witnessed how the attacks are usually aimed at women who express opinions or who are in public or office.

[Stiggers] Progress Is a Process

Smokey "Robinson" McBride: "Greetings, fellow members of the Ghetto Science community. I want to thank you for your support and tolerance during my term as congressman for the Ghetto Science Team District 7 and 2/3rds. As you know, election time is right around the corner. And I'm here to give a friendly reminder about the progress made under my administration.

[Dennis] Mimic Registers

It's a postcard-perfect October afternoon, and I am outside enjoying it with my young son. Today, we are sitting together beneath a river birch tree enjoying a cool fall breeze. We make motor noises in stereo as we plow the dirt with our wooden toy tractors.

Tease photo

Domestic Terrorism: Stalked to the Death

Adrienne Klasky knew for years that Michael Graham would kill her. She just didn't know when it would happen.

Madison Mayor Running for State Auditor?

In an interview with Better Mississippi Report yesterday, Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler said she might consider running for state auditor in the 2011 statewide elections. "For the first time I'd like to wait and see what does happen with the auditor's position," Butler told Better Mississippi. "I only will walk through a door ... (if) I feel that's where I'm supposed to be. Nothing has moved me for 30 years, and I have to have a calling."

What's Eating Hip-Hop?

"Fake Records," a mysterious voice says. The music drops, and the chorus begins, "It's bigger than hip-hop, hip-hop, hip-hop!" A crowd of hip-hop heads inevitably goes wild.

Gateway City Classic

Sometimes I read fiction that I can't accurately describe without sounding like I'm shilling for it. Jabari Asim's "A Taste of Honey" (Broadway Books, 2010, $13) falls into that category.

Freshman 15?

When I was in college the first time, I was lucky enough to not gain the Freshman 15. In fact I believe I lost weigh, I walked more and ate much less junk. Now that I'm back in school, working on an entirely different degree, working full time and volunteering, I understand how easy it can be to gain weight. I'm learning to find a balance. I'm eating breakfast most days and not eating late in the night, unless it's Friday night at 1 a.m. and Taco Bell is calling my name but that's another story for another day.

Personhood Initiative Heads to Court

The outcome of a lawsuit over a 2011 ballot initiative asking voters to define when life begins will come down to whether the initiative requires modifications to the state Constitution.

Due Diligence on Biofuels

Despite a strong show of support from state lawmakers last month, Houston-based startup KiOR is still a long way from breaking ground on the three biofuel facilities it has pledged to build in Mississippi. KiOR must secure a purchase agreement with an oil refinery before it can receive the $75 million loan the Mississippi Legislature authorized Aug. 27, and state and company officials say an agreement is still to come.

Alan Henderson

After spending the last few years attending school in Washington, D.C., Alan Henderson decided to return to his hometown with the goal of using his experiences to rebuild the city of Jackson.

Camping At JA

The first time I saw Jeremy Camp in concert was in 2008. Although he's released countless songs featuring hard-hitting guitar riffs and upbeat tempos, the slower worship songs have really stuck with me over the years. Many have brought comfort during rough patches in my life and helped me keep hope in the midst of unrelenting darkness. It's a combination of the lyrics and the passion with which he sings them that allows a listener to center herself and focus her thoughts on God.

Voting for Ole Miss Mascot Begins Today

Polls opened at 8 a.m. this morning for University of Mississippi alumni, students, faculty and season ticket holders to vote on a new school mascot.

Tuesday, October 5

Council Approves Judge, Tables Store Ban

This morning, the Jackson City Council confirmed the appointment of former Municipal Judge Gail Wright Lowery as municipal judge pro tempore to preside over the city's new code enforcement.

Loving the Fall!

These 50 degree mornings have given me a new-found energy. I've been waking up at 6 a.m. and going for a walk each day the past couple of weeks. I no longer dread opening the door to what is sure to be thick humidity behind ready to smack me in the face.

[Balko] Guilty Before Proven Innocent

Last week, USA Today published the results of a six-month investigation into misconduct by America's federal prosecutors. The investigation turned up what Pace University law professor Bennett Gershman called a pattern of "serious, glaring misconduct."

Openings In Fondren, West and South Jackson

Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. celebrates the opening tomorrow of Fondren Hall, a new events space and conference center on the site of an old Primo's restaurant. The opening marks the completion of Fondren Plaza, a shopping center redeveloped by Ali Jamila and his brothers, Khalid and Mohammed. Fondren Plaza also houses the Jamila's own business, Room By Room Furniture, along with the Jackson Police Department's Precinct 4 headquarters and other offices.

Dr. Grayson Norquist

University of Mississippi Medical Center professor Dr. Grayson Norquist's years of experience and leadership in the medical field has earned him a seat advising federal health-care reform.

Lesbian Teen's Lawsuit Challenged

Copiah County School district officials are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit that lesbian teen Ceara Sturgis filed after school officials excluded a photograph of her wearing a tuxedo on the senior page of Wesson Attendance Center's yearbook, The Sun Herald reported yesterday.

Monday, October 4

Fall is here!

The weather is amazing right now. Throw on a simple hoodie over your tshirt and you're ready to rock the walking paths. But watch out for the annual coming of the State Fair! With it comes funnel cakes and deep fried something-or-others. I hear the Texas State Fair replaced their deep fried coke with deep fried beer this year! Then there's the buttery-delicious roasted corn and the free biscuits with syrup and fresh pulled taffy and yakisoba and lemonaids and sodas and beers and a million other things that are soooo good yet sooo bad. I plan on eating while I walk... a few laps around the fairgrounds ought to burn off that roasted corn I'm salivating over.

Hinds Takes Over GPS Monitoring of Juveniles

Hinds County has received $80,000 to use GPS technology to track juvenile offenders under house arrest. The county Board of Supervisors voted today to accept a one-year grant from the state Department of Public Safety that will allow it to take over the monitoring program from Court Programs, Inc., which has handled monitoring for the past three years for the county's youth court.

Supreme Court Rejects Minor and Seale Appeals

This morning The U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not hear the case of Mississippi Attorney Paul Minor and former judges Walter "Wes" Teel and John Whitfield convicted of fraud in 2007. The court also will not hear with the case of reputed klansman James Ford Seale convicted in 2007 of kidnapping and conspiracy in the 1964 deaths of two young black men.

Study Finds Unequal Punishment of Black Students

Black students are twice as likely to get out-of-school suspensions and in some school districts, middle schools are three times more likely to suspend black boys, a new Southern Poverty Law Center study found.

Community Events and Public Meetings

Phi Theta Kappa Blood Drive Oct. 4-6, at Hinds Community College, Raymond Campus (501 E. Main St., Raymond). Donate blood in the donor coach parked in front of the Student Union. Hours are from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. All donors receive a free T-shirt (while supplies last) and are entered to win a pair of tickets to an SEC football game. Donations welcome; call 800-817-7449.

Big K.R.I.T.

Mississippians will have the opportunity to see some home-grown talent this Friday when Meridian native and hip-hop artist Big K.R.I.T. performs in Jackson.

Mississippi 3rd "Most Socialist" State?

I love me some Business Insider, even when they start making up stuff to drum up page views, like this recent "slideshow" piece. The premise of this piece on "socialist" states is simple (and ridiculously oversimplified); take the revenues of the state government, divide by the GDP of the state and rank them according to relative size of government.

Mabus Pushes for Gulf Funds

In U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus' Coast recovery plan released last week, he recommends that a large portion of BP's penalty money go to the Gulf Coast, The Sun Herald reported.

Friday, October 1

Jackson Reduces Budget by $5.3 Million

The Jackson City Council approved a final revision to the city's budget containing a total of $5.3 million in budget reductions, after the administration overestimated some department expenditures and increased insurance costs.

JSU Dreaming of Civil Rights Corridor

John R. Lynch Street, the history-rich thoroughfare running through Jackson State University, could see new life as a civil-rights corridor. JSU leaders floated a vision of the street as a living museum in a discussion with community members last night.

Michael Matthews Guidry

As director of New Stage Theatre's Unframed Series, Michael Matthews Guidry is pushing the envelope of traditional theater by bringing mature and edgy productions to Jackson.

Fun for All This Weekend

This evening, begin your weekend with a 3D history lesson as the Raymond Fall Pilgrimage kicks off "Presence with the Past" at the Raymond Cemetery (Port Gibson St., Raymond) at 6:30 p.m. Strolling through, you will see local actors depicting well-known Raymond residents who have passed on. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under. Later, put on your best outfit, leave the kids with a babysitter and go to First Friday at the Marriott Hotel (200 E. Amite St.) at 9 p.m. for cocktails and conversation. DJ Fuyal will spin hits, and J. Holiday performs. Admission is $10. If you would rather spend time enjoying the cool autumn air, go to Salsa Mississippi's "Salsa on the Water" Latin dance party at the Marina Club at Lost Rabbit (147 Republic St., Suite 101, Madison) at 9 p.m. The event includes dancing on the boardwalk, beef and veggie burgers and beverages. If you don't know how to salsa, come an hour early for a free lesson. Admission is $10. Where's the best place to begin your weekend planning? The JFP Best Bets page, of course.

I Made Up My Mind, Again

The past two weeks have been crazy: work, essays to write, babysitting, sinusitis... you name it, I had it. Yet, somewhere in the midst of that, I remembered that on my list of wellness goals, I said that I was going to take up a new hobby. After thinking about what I really enjoy, I have two possible contenders - learning to play the guitar and crocheting. I have always wanted to learn to play the instrument, and I have had piano lessons before, but I would like to take a crack at strumming some tunes and learning a few cool licks to impress my friends and family. Maybe if I learn to play well enough, I could play for my church on Sundays. As far as crocheting goes, I kept putting off the idea until I saw this cool scarf that James Anderson, the Scarvin' Artist, brought to the office as a gift for Donna, the editor-in-chief. The scarf is a beautiful wine color, and the yarn is as soft as cotton candy. I want to make one of those, or at least 12 to give out as Christmas presents. I guess I'll take a trip to the craft store and see what kind of starter kits they have.