Thursday, September 30
Jervia Powell, 12, cried last year in history class. Some mean girls relentlessly bullied her. She still remembers their taunts.
Mississippians will likely vote on restricting the use of eminent domain to procure private land only for public economic development projects next November. Supporters of a ballot initiative limiting eminent domain submitted more than 119,000 signatures in support of the measure to Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann this morning.
Also see: JFP Pearl River/Lakes Archive
As a state archeologist, Robert Myrick often gets questions about finding gold and dinosaur fossils. But unlike the fictionalized Indiana Jones, Myrick plays a large role in preserving Mississippi's history.
Citizens must register to vote by Saturday to cast their ballots in the Nov. 2 judicial and congressional elections.
Wednesday, September 29
I love to eat. I like old favorites and new culinary adventures, but it's not just the eating I enjoy: It's the sharing. Something special happens when you sit down with family and friends—or even strangers—to share a meal. At that moment, you have a commonality through food, regardless of age, race or gender.
Organizing an outdoor movie night at your house is easy. It's a great way to bring together neighbors, community, friends and family. You'll need just a few items and a little time to make it a great evening that can be duplicated again and again.
On a recent visit to Oktoc, Miss., my aunt showed me a relic from my family's past. If this archaic machine could talk, it would tell stories about a community that had to rely on its neighbors before modern-day conveniences.
Jackson City Attorney Pieter Teeuwissen said he was confident that the city could be exposed to considerable legal liability if legislators pass a bill mimicking a controversial Arizona law, which pushes local police into civil immigration enforcement duty.
Republican governors in states including Mississippi and Nebraska may be using inflated cost figures for Medicaid in order to help a movement to roll back recent health-care reform.
Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler's recent strategy to keep outsiders from attending a city festival is consistent with the city's history of enforcing strict neighborhood covenants and zoning regulations that restrict rental properties in the city.
Mississippi has a golden opportunity to become a nationwide leader, while putting to rest some of its not-too-distant hateful past.
Miss Doodle Mae: "These days my boss, Jojo, is happy because the hot summer has transitioned into the cool fall. And he's ready to please critically thinking and financially challenged shoppers with inexpensive and thought-provoking items. It's time for the ‘Get Your Mind Together' arts, crafts and games sale."
So, what do we do? Do we just lie down and concede defeat? Do we turn a deaf ear to the detractors? Or do we say nothing and become what they say we are?
At first all I heard was a crash. I looked up and saw a young woman carrying a child. I saw the Kroger grocery buggy's contents going in her direction, but she stopped in time. I didn't register right away that a car had hit my buggy. My main concern was that the woman and child were OK.
In every neighborhood, it can be tempting to remain busy and disconnected, without investing time to befriend your neighbors. Though it may require some effort, communities are better off when people make an effort to get to know one another.
Whether it's whose dog is barking too much or where a tree falls on a property line, when your home is only a few feet away, sooner or later you may have a conflict with your neighbors.
"Welcome to the neighborhood!" How rare is it to hear or say those words anymore? More often it seems that face-to-face interaction with the people living next door to you has become primitive.
Once upon a time, moving into a new neighborhood meant greetings from all the neighbors. When I was growing up, the Welcome Wagon would stop by to provide all the information a newcomer might need. Being a newcomer to an unfamiliar city doesn't have to be daunting.
Neighborhood association members in Jackson are all bound by one commonality: intense pride in and concern for their neighborhoods. They view their neighborhoods as their personal investment and want to preserve and protect them for future generations of residents.
After 42 years of ministry at the Farish Street Baptist Church, the Rev.Dr. Hickman Johnson has seen the iconic Jackson neighborhood through its most prosperous and most trying years.
As a kid, I remember my mother sending me next door or down the street every now and then to borrow a cup of sugar or flour from a neighbor. My mom thought nothing of it, and neither did the neighbors.
In addition to creating a better Jackson, these civil servants are here to help to move and improve the capital city. They represent each area of Jackson in it's pursuit of improvement.
This month, community leaders broke ground for Fondren's Cherokee Heights Park renovation.
Showing solidarity in a neighborhood often comes from sports. Every year, neighbors spend more time watching sports with one another than actually tossing the pigskin with one another.
See: JFP Immigration Coverage
Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson criticized a panel of legislators today for not giving enough oversight on companies that import and hire immigrant workers to pay low wages and avoid taxes. "If you're truly serious about fixing immigration issues you will focus your attention upon the entities who recruit, lure and house illegal immigrants in this state," Johnson said. "Instead you pursue individuals looking for honest work."
Here in America, we love our dogs. But because an Amber Alert doesn't cover dogs, we often find ourselves at a loss if our own pals go missing or if someone else's shows up on our doorstep. Here are some tips for lost dog prevention and recovery.
Communities help the city to flourish, and to create culture and life. They also help to improve life and the environment which we live in. Here are a few who are creating changes and making Jackson a more wonderful place to live. If you know of any more non-profits, please add them at http://www.jackpedia.com
Over the last few weeks, Jackson Free Press freelancers and reporters have asked various community members the following question: What makes your neighborhood special?
When Sherman Green—known as S. Green in the music business—was in graduate school at Mississippi State working on a degree in counselor education, he fell in love.
The 1960's remains pivotal in Mississippi's bloody road to ethnic equality. Had it not been for a group of college students and a handful of volunteer organizations, though, Mississippi's leap forward may have been postponed for years.
The Civil War can be a tumultuous topic. Perhaps because it's the source of anguish for some and shame for others, southerners often avoid talking about it at all. The effects of the deadliest war for American soldiers and the decades that followed left an indelible mark on the societal landscape of Mississippi and other former Confederate states.
A few miles north of Vicksburg on Highway 61 stands a maze of white, red and yellow cinder block towers and hand-painted signs with biblical messages. On top of an old store, a sign reads: "All is Welcome, Jews and Gentiles here at Margaret's Grocery and Bible Class." Two empty rocking chairs sit side by side on the store's front porch, and the sound of cars on the highway briefly interrupts an eerie silence. For more than three decades, people traveled from all over the world to meet Rev. H.D. Dennis and his wife, Margaret, the woman for whom he created this world away from the world.
Read the Ordinance (PDF, 604 KB)
Pierce lay motionless in her arms, with his little Mohawk hair, dark brown and full. "I got to see his face," says Leah Helms, 33, about what she remembers most vividly in the final moments of her son's life. "I'm glad that we got to have that moment. ... (My husband, BJ, and I) were both just speechless ... how pretty to see his nose and mouth and face."
"When I was 5, I told my mom that I wanted to be three things: I wanted to be a lawyer, a cheerleader and an actress, and they're kind of all the same thing," Maggie Middleton says, laughing at her youthful comparisons.
Tuesday, September 28
The state may not have the finances or manpower to cover new mandates that would result from a proposed Mississippi bill to copy a controversial Arizona law imposing immigration enforcement duties upon local and state law enforcement, Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Steve Simpson told legislators today.
Mississippi has received almost $5 million for assessing broadband coverage and planning to increase high-speed Internet access across the state. The grant, from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, will help fund the creation of the Mississippi Broadband Connect Coalition, a public-private partnership.
In an effort to end domestic violence, Sue Else is working to put the issue in the national spotlight.
This summer the issue of recording on-duty police officers has received a great deal of media attention.
Monday, September 27
Last week, the Mississippi Supreme Court put to end to a two-year battle over the Jackson water contract when it ruled that a new company, United Water, has the right to operate Jackson's water system.
Read more on immigration myths and realities
6 p.m., Young Leaders in Philanthropy Advisory Council Meeting at United Way (843 N. President St.). Council members and the YLP Executive Board meet monthly to strategically discuss upcoming YLP activities and other community engagement initiatives. E-mail [e-mail missing].
George Berry loves woodcarving so much he will do anything to help educate future Mississippi craftspeople--even if that means shedding his clothes.
State Medicaid officials are optimistic that a long-delayed program to help school districts with some of their administrative costs could begin reimbursing schools soon. Speaking at a budget hearing last week, representatives for the state Division of Medicaid last week said that federal approval for the reimbursement program is imminent.
On Friday, Sept. 24, students at Walton Elementary School began planting a fall garden on Tougaloo Street behind their school. The garden is part of the city's urban garden program, which Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. announced earlier this year.
Friday, September 24
Officials from Franklin, Tenn., a city Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler cited last week as a model for keeping outsiders from attending a Madison festival, claim their city has never followed such a practice.
Today, start things off by dusting off your 10-speed and going to Rainbow Whole Foods (2807 Old Canton Road) at 6 p.m., to meet with bikers who will gather for the Autumn Community Bike Ride. The ride ends with refreshments at Sal & Mookie's (565 Taylor St.). Later, head to Fondren Corner (2906 N. State St.) and do the cha-cha at Salsa Mississippi's Latin Rooftop Dance Party at 8 p.m. Beer, water and sodas is available to quench your thirst. Admission is $10. If you're not into sweating, there are several plays tonight at 7:30 p.m. such as "Red, White and Tuna" at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.), "Bridge to Terabithia" at Actor's Playhouse (121 Paul Truit Lane, Pearl) and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at Black Rose Community Theatre (103 Black St.). Visit the JFP Events Calendar Stage and Screen listings for more details and admission prices.
For the past couple days, Jerel Levanway has been sharing his hometown with Hollywood. As assistant location manager for "The Help" in Jackson, Levanway has coordinated filming locations for the adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's novel. He negotiates with businesses to sign location agreements and generally serves as an intermediary between the production, city officials and local businesses.
If one definition of "wellness" is "avoiding death," then this story should give some readers pause. Reuter's reports the results of a study at the University of North Texas that determined there were 16,000 automobile fatalities resulting from cell phone use between 2001 and 2006.
Thursday, September 23
Read this week's crime report
A Vicksburg High School student was told by the principal that he could not be a homecoming escort unless he cut off his dreadlocks. From WAPT:
The Mississippi Department of Medicaid's high estimates of what the federal health-care legislation will cost the state are overstated, Mississippi Health Advocacy Program Director Roy Mitchell said today.
Dr. Danielle Hollar gets excited when she talks about organs--but these aren't your typical body parts. These life-size models, like Sid and Kid the Kidney brothers and Pepto the Stomach, teach kids about the importance of staying healthy.
The city of Jackson released the following statement about street closures during the filming of "The Help" in Jackson: (verbatim statement)
Among the 42 brand-new and very proud American citizens at the swearing-in ceremony in Vicksburg National Military Park, Friday, Sept. 17, was one special lady of Argentine descent who I am honored to know as my sister-in-law.
Wednesday, September 22
Adam and Allison Hudson are not your ordinary couple. In fact, they "despise the ordinary" so much that they made it their motto for life and business. So it makes sense that they run their successful photography business, Adam Hudson Photography, in quite the unordinary fashion.
When I was 10, my mother was matron-of-honor in a wedding. I remember it vividly and would love to say the thing I remember most was seeing her beautiful dress, but I'd be lying. What I remember most was the food, catered by Bon Ami.
My Dad called me "Slim." As a high school senior, I was 5 foot, 5 inches, and 118 pounds. Years passed, and after birthing and breast-feeding two wonderful sons, my once-maidenly body waved goodbye.
Wedding guests arrive and take their seats. They chatter quietly as the flower girl and ring bearer come down the isle. They "ooh" and "aah" about the bride's dress. They chuckle when one of the couple screws up on repeating the vows. A few might even cry.
Doctor S sez: Things are bad for Ole Miss. They're about to get worse.
As a former history major and a sports guy, I found the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, with its many exhibits and stories about the past, a fascinating place to hang out. During my recent—and first—tour of the hall, Executive Director Michael Rubenstein showed me some of its best pieces.
Stop the presses. They're calling Jackson a "Sanctuary City." The only one in Mississippi. Pass the Champagne!
The city will put more energy into Capitol Street's dilapidated properties and will have a new state law to help out, Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. said this week.
During the fourth annual Project Homeless Connect Week, Jacksonians have the opportunity to address the issue of homelessness on several fronts.
Mississippi leaders experienced a rare moment of agreement last month on the frequently rancorous topic of education funding.
It was tragic when a man raped and killed Eva Gail Patterson in 1979 in Forrest County, says Emily Maw. It was horrific, Maw says, that the real perpetrator let three innocent men sit in jail for three decades for his crime.
The case of Quintez Hodges is a rare one. Efforts by the Innocence Project and others have vacated death sentences and exonerated an increasing number of wrongfully convicted men, but Hodges was not wrongfully convicted, at least according to the federal judge who overturned his death sentence Sept. 13.
The news was almost unsurprising: Last week, DNA evidence exonerated three more Mississippi men—one of whom died in 2002—imprisoned for three decades for a rape and murder none of them committed.
Boneqweesha Jones: "Welcome to the early morning edition of ‘Good Morning Ghetto'. My guest is Brother Hustle, Ghetto Science Team senior business and economics consultant."
Ulises Hernandez Rincon, 21, listened furtively to the cries of outrage and angry applause from people in the community center's bleachers, his eyes darting around the room like two dragonflies trying to settle on a lily pad.
Skeeter Phelan never intended to be a catalyst for change.
"One Came Home," the first feature film from Rolling Fork native Willy Bearden, is about an idyllic rural community in Mississippi called Magnolia, where all the mamas are nice, all the men are handy, and all the grown children live with their parents.
Critics have hailed Tom Franklin's latest novel, "Crooked Letter Crooked Letter" (William Morrow, 2010, $24), as his best and most accessible work to date.
Bruce Machart's debut novel "The Wake of Forgiveness" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010, $26) is a journey down a path of loss and pain, into the emergence of hope and peace.
About a month ago, I admonished up-and-coming artists to embrace the concept of free music. The argument was simple: Free music makes it easier for artists to disseminate their product to as many people as possible. Exposure is the new currency.
When performing at a blues venue in Jackson, James Gray, known as "Rock," is almost always stylishly dressed and sporting a fedora, shuffling and twirling pretty women around with his left arm while his right sleeve stays tucked in his belt.
Jackson's Anti-Profiling Ordinance (PDF, 224 KB)
In 10 years, the Highway 80 corridor will look nothing like it does today if the city of Jackson has its way.
I went to see him, and he's holding up pretty well. He slipped me a note through the bars that he wanted me to share with the rest of you. Here it is, verbatim:
Tuesday, September 21
Mississippi school districts have cut more than 2,000 employees over the last year to manage their shrinking budgets, state Superintendent for Education Tom Burnham told a panel of legislators yesterday. Speaking to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, Burnham emphasized districts' cost-cutting measures while asking legislators to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program in the upcoming 2012 fiscal year.
I have allowed myself to become a victim to a couple of common phenomenon: I messed up, so f*ck it; and I over-committed, so I'm not doing anything.
The city has a new weapon against dilapidated and abandoned property thanks to a new state law that will make it easier for the city to collect fines on those properties, Jackson Planning and Development Director Corinne Fox said yesterday.
In July, the Texas Forensic Science Commission found that arson investigators used flawed science in the trial of Cameron Todd Willingham. Willingham was convicted of setting a 1999 fire that killed his three children. He was executed in 2004, despite serious questions about his guilt. The case garnered national attention last year after a David Grann investigation in the New Yorker argued that Willingham was innocent and that there was no evidence the fire was intentional.
Patrick Payton made his way to Smith Park this morning in hopes of getting a free haircut, but ended up putting on a parking-attendant vest and directing traffic for this morning's One Stop Service Fair.
A new upscale sushi restaurant is set to open this December on Capitol Street. Wasabi Bistro is a collaboration between owner Lina Lynn, who also owns Ding How Asian Bistro in Ridgeland, and two newcomers, attorney Tami Lynn Munsch and Ronnie Isaac. Munsch and Isaac are helping design the bistro's menu and bar offerings.
My main goal on the Road to Wellness has been to turn trips to the gym into a habit -- instead of a chore. That's tough for a guy who has never prided himself on a ton of will power. I do it three ways. First, I tell myself that every trip to the gym can last as long (or as short) as it needs to. Most of the time I get in 45-60 minutes on the elliptical, my cardio of choice, even if I didn't feel like I'd spend that much time when I'm on my way in the gym. But if 30 minutes is all I feel like doing, I'll stop. Something is better than nothing, and lowered the bar just a bit makes it easier to get to the gym. Second, I've convinced myself I don't have to go every day -- but I should "earn" the days I don't go by getting there the next day. If the Saints play Monday Night Football, that means I can skip an after-work session, but only if I double-down the commitment to make it on a Tuesday. That keeps me on track for at least 3 sessions and week, and usually four -- which is pretty good considering I wasn't going at all a few months back, right? Third, I recommend prepping for the next gym session right after your last one. For me, that means refilling my water bottle and sticking it in the fridge, making sure my headphones go right back in my gym bag (I've got a special $2 set just for the gym) and locating a clean towel. That way, when the next gym day comes around, I'm ready to change shoes, walk out the door and get on with it -- without finding an easy excuse for putting it off.
The health-care reform advocacy group Doctors for America is speaking out against Gov. Haley Barbour for joining a 20-state lawsuit against the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act.
They say that if you do something 21 days a row, it becomes a habit. For me, if I actually remember to do something three times, it's a miracle. I'm proud of myself because within a two-week period, I remembered to spend a few minutes outside to soak in some sun. I didn't always stay outside for 15 minutes since it has still been unseasonably warm, but I did feel rejuvenated each time I took a moment to do so. Now, if I can just do it every day, I'll be on to something.
Monday, September 20
My Road to Wellness started all uphill but positive and has somehow taken a nosedive into procrastination, health issues, and sweets. What the heck happened and how did it all happen at once? I'm not exactly sure, but what I DO know is that it's time to pick up the pace once more.
"A secret turning in us makes the universe turn. Head unaware of feet, and feet head. Neither cares. They keep turning." - Rumi
Read the report (PDF, 608 KB)
Twenty-three year-old Andre Jordan is a Mississippi virgin. That will change today, though, as the crew and cast of "Legally Blonde," in which Jordan stars, roll into Jackson for the first stop on the national tour of the show.
In a move aimed at increasing the county's economic competitiveness, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors voted today to convert the county's economic development district into an economic development authority. The name change signifies an expanded function: The rechristened "Hinds County Economic Development Authority" can issue up to $50 million of its own bonds, backed by the county's tax collections.
Project Homeless Connect Week Sept. 20-24. The week of events is designed to educate, empower and connect those affected by homelessness in the metro area. Events include the photography exhibit "That's Not All There Is: Snapshots and Stories of the Homeless" at Eudora Welty Library (300 N. State St.), the One Stop Service Fair on Sept. 21 at Smith Park (302 E. Amite St.) from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. which provides resources for the homeless, The Mixin' It Up concert Sept. 23 featuring homeless and former homeless musicians at Smith Park from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., and the Conference on Homelessness Sept. 24 at Galloway United Methodist Church (305 N. Congress St.) from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Free; call 601-960-2178.
Federal officials confirmed that BP has permanently sealed the well at the site of the April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil-rig explosion, The Sun Herald reported yesterday.
Friday, September 17
Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. touted his plans this morning for expanding Metrocenter Mall to contain office and retail space that would model life-style centers in Ridgeland and Flowood.
Community leaders called for an audience of more than 250 to move from rhetoric to action and to help shape a better future for Jackson's youth during Operation Shoestring's "A Conversation about Community" event last night.
For the past five years, diners at BRAVO! have had Kelly Boutwell to thank for the restaurant's exemplary wine list. The Millsaps graduate, 27, is leaving her post as sommelier at BRAVO! next month to change career paths.
The old WJMI slogan "It's the weekeeeeeeend, baby!" fits in well with all there is to do in Jackson in the next few days. First, get away from your personal three-ring circus and see a real circus tonight. The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus presents its "Illuscination Tour," and it is back in town at the Mississippi Coliseum. The show starts at 7 p.m., or you can go tomorrow at 2 p.m. or Sunday at 6 p.m. Tickets are $14-$45 and tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood will appeal a federal order throwing out the death sentence of Quintez Hodges who was convicted of capital murder in 2001 for killing his ex-girlfriend's brother, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported yesterday.
Thursday, September 16
As an extreme sports fan I am always looking for different venues to get my fix. Sometimes living in the Jackson area it is hard to find events besides just football and basketball.
Forrest County Circuit Judge Bob Helfich set two men free today who were convicted 30 years ago for a rape and murder they did not commit.
Reputed klansman James Ford Seale has appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court in what will probably be his final chance to have his 2007 kidnapping and conspiracy convictions overturned. On Tuesday, the court announced it will consider whether to hear the appeal during a Sept. 27 conference.
Read Johnson's Ruling (PDF, 224 KB)
When heart surgeon Dr. Jorge Salazar performed a first-time procedure on Zavin Arellano's tiny heart last month, he took his job seriously, knowing that the baby's parents trusted him to save their infant's life.
Read this week's crime report
The Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center does not have the resources to house children picked up for violating a proposed curfew reinstatement, county officials told the Jackson City Council Planning Committee members yesterday.
Wednesday, September 15
Who doesn't like a good taco? Whether it's a 69-cent American version or an authentic Mexican taqueria-style, tacos are good any way you eat them.
If Spanish is not your first language, you may find it intimidating to stand in line at your local taqueria or taco truck and order off the menu. Here are some typical taco fillings you might encounter.
Doctor S sez: Attention fickle Jackson State fans, the Tigers appear to be for real.
Mississippi schools have been a source of great football talent for a long time. While players at the major universities and colleges get most of the attention, smaller schools have talented players the bigger schools often overlook.
Parties are nice, but a themed party will have your guests talking for a long time coming, if you do it right.
It happens that in the same week that the JFP is celebrating its eighth anniversary, the Fondren Association of Businesses (FAB) celebrated its own milestone--the second-annual members' meeting, this time in the newly re-monikered Duling Hall.
Fondren will soon have a pavilion, playground, walking trails and a community garden in Cherokee Heights Park. City officials, Fondren community leaders and neighborhood children broke ground on the park's renovation at the corner of Dunbar Street and Northview Drive Sept. 8.
Washington Koen Media along with local and outreach partners invite citizens of cities across the nation to a public conversation they're calling "Beyond the Bricks," which promotes advocacy on behalf of black males enrolled in public schools.
A dash of transparency could be coming to Hinds County's court system in 2011 along with some newly elected judges. Mississippi Electronic Courts, a pilot program offering attorneys and members of the public online access to court filings, is on track to become available statewide at the beginning of next year.
The standoff between the city of Jackson and members of the State Bond Commission over $6 million in interest-free loans for city water infrastructure repairs seemingly has ended.
Despite seeing an increased demand for library services, Jackson-Hinds Library System Executive Director Carolyn McCallum said it will struggle to maintain services and hours for Jackson residents in the upcoming budget year.
Over the last several years, the Jackson Free Press has followed a tradition of celebrating our birthday every September by dedicating the issue to the city's progress. Our birthday cover stories typically explore just how far the city has come over the last year.
Bill "Munchie" Wilson: "Greetings, Crunchie Burga World customers. I'm Crunchie Burga World's head dietician, here to introduce you to our new fall processed-foods menu. The dietary staff and I worked very hard to provide customers processed food with a new taste.
Bralynn Jamila Franklin turned 6 months old this past week. And as her mother and I prepare to celebrate our first wedding anniversary, I've found my thoughts have turned more toward the future. Not so much for her parents but for a baby that will soon grow into a young lady and then a woman living in the city of Jackson.
"I am Jackson." It's emblazoned on a T-shirt sold at F. Jones Corner on Farish Street. And it's a motto for the growing force of Jacksonians working to make Jackson what we want it to be. The future of this city is partly reflected in my Jackson story, but what makes me so confident in its future is that my story is not unique."
When a tree grows, it marks the passing of each year in distinct rings—thick rings represent the fat years when it grew quickly; thin rings for the leaner years when it barely grew at all. If Jackson were a tree trunk, its ring for 2010 would be one of the thickest, yet.
The Jackson Redevelopment Authority is working to finance the initial construction of the Old Capitol Green project this month.
Hundreds gathered on the south steps of the state Capitol today to rally in support of Jamie and Gladys Scott, two Scott County women serving life sentences for a 1993 armed robbery that allegedly netted them $11 each.
Capital City Center, the long-awaited convention center hotel and multi-use development planned for four blocks of Pascagoula Street, could begin construction by the end of this year if developer MJS Realty is able to secure funding.
Not only does Ginger Williams-Cook, 29, do portraits, abstract paintings, figure drawings and even artwork for restaurant tables, she is also a dedicated volunteer.
Most dystopian novels are cautionary tales. Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" (The New Press, 2010, $27.95) reads like a dystopian novel, but it's too late for caution.
Jackson rapper and producer Marcus Rashad Battle, aka Rashad Street, and his business manager, Damon Amos, aka Debonair Ways, marveled at the King Edward renovation during a recent visit. "You see hope in the city, you see the potential," Street says. Then, he wonders out loud, "What else can they do with Jackson?"
Whether you seek the symphony and high arts or aristocrunk, this fall promises something for everyone, as we amp up for the cooler State Fair temperatures.
After being absent from Mississippi Public Broadcasting offices for at least two weeks, Executive Director Judy Lewis resigned Sept. 8. A news release that afternoon announced her decision to leave her post after one hot summer controversy.
Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin said he was not happy with the fact that almost all of the furloughs required by county supervisors to balance the fiscal year 2011 budget were coming out of his department.
Neil Polen vowed that once he graduated from Mississippi State University, he would move away from the state and never return. But during his last year at MSU's School of Architecture, located in Jackson, Polen experienced a change of heart.
Ashington Koen Media along with local and outreach partners invite citizens of cities across the nation to a public conversation they're calling "Beyond the Bricks," which promotes advocacy on behalf of black males enrolled in public schools. The tour kicks off in Jackson Sept. 18 at Tougaloo College and will stop at nine other cities.
Tuesday, September 14
Despite Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes' request, the Jackson City Council approved a city budget for fiscal year 2011 this afternoon without a tax increase or a blanket pay raise for all city employees.
An act of vandalism that occurred on the front of the new U.S. federal courthouse on Court Street in Jackson may have threatened President Barack Obama.
Filming for DreamWorks Studios' "The Help," the adaptation of Jackson native Kathryn Stockett's bestselling debut novel, has largely taken place in Greenwood, but the production is coming to Fondren Sept. 23. Crews have begun facade work on a row of North State Street businesses to match the film's 1960s setting.
The state needs attorneys to donate their legal services in order to overcome a shortage of free civil legal service aid for residents, Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Jesse Dickinson told reporters at the Mississippi Supreme Court today.
In 1994 Eddie Lee Howard was convicted of raping and murdering 84-year-old Georgia Kemp. Firefighters found Kemp dead in her Columbus, Miss., home after a neighbor noticed smoke coming from the house. Investigators determined the fire was intentional.
For their supporters, Jamie and Gladys Scott have become emblematic of a broken criminal-justice system in Mississippi. Jamie, 36, and Gladys, 38, were 19 and 21 respectively when they were arrested and charged with armed robbery. Prosecutors alleged that the two young women had masterminded the robbery of two men in Forest on Christmas Eve, 1993. In court testimony, witnesses gave conflicting accounts of how much the robbery netted, some saying that the men lost $200 and others saying the sisters each received $11. In October 1994, a Scott County jury sentenced them to two life sentences each.
The city of Jackson's Municipal Court Services is giving citizens an opportunity to pay tickets, court imposed fines and court costs while waiving warrant and administration fees for each violation.
Monday, September 13
At its 60th annual Green Eyeshade banquet near Atlanta, Ga., Saturday night, the Society of Professional Journalists awarded the Jackson Free Press three first-place reporting awards and second-place public service honors for in-depth coverage of the late Mayor Frank Melton; domestic abuse and the murder of Heather Spencer; and the controversial "Two Lakes" development proposal along the Pearl River.
The state will have to make several key decision regarding health-insurance exchanges in the next few years, Joy Johnson Wilson, health policy coordinator for the National Conference of State Legislatures, told a joint meeting of Senate and House committee members this morning.
at Baptist Medical Center (1225 N. State St.), in the Hederman Cancer Center. In this support group for men with prostate cancer, you and your loved ones can gain encouragement and ideas from others who are sharing your experiences. Genetic testing for prostate cancer will be part of the discussion. Registration is required. Free; call 601-948-6262 or 800-948-6262.
When photojournalist David Rae Morris began to document the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he thought he could emotionally detach himself from the destruction, but instead his photographs captured his personal reaction to the storm. "The scope of the destruction was such in a way that you couldn't help but be affected," he says.
Three Jackson public elementary schools earned the Mississippi Department of Education's "Star School" status—the state's highest rating for school performance—in accountability results MDE released Friday.
Saturday, September 11
Atlanta Constitution Journal columnist Cynthia Tucker wrote an interesting blog post on Sept. 8 about Gov. Haley Barbour's response to a reporter's question regarding the public's growing perception that President Barack Obama is a Muslim.
Friday, September 10
Also see: Reeves Defends State Bond Allocations
When Jackson-Hinds Library System Executive Director Carolyn McCallum received the news this morning that the city had come up with an additional $150,000 in funds for the library system in the fiscal year 2011 budget, she celebrated with her staff.
Mississippi's "castle doctrine" law, which allows for the use of deadly force in certain self-defense situations, has some gray areas, Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith acknowledged in a community meeting yesterday.
Start your weekend with a little culture during your lunch break today with a stop at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.) for a peek at the WellsFest Art Show, and exhibits by Ginger Williams and Daniel MacGregor, all of which are free. After work, head to the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum for the 19th annual CelticFest, with gates opening at 7 p.m. Tonight, the ever-popular whiskey tasting is sold out, but the festival still has plenty to offer, with a dozen performances on three stages. The festival continues with full days Saturday and Sunday. Head to the CelticFest website for complete information. A weekend pass is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 ages 5 to 18, and $1 for kids 4 and younger. Where's the best place to begin your weekend planning? The JFP Best Bets page, of course.
Éamonn de Cógáin has just one piece of advice for anyone timid about dancing in this weekend's CelticFest Céilí Mór: If you can walk, you can dance.
Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter honors victims and emergency responders of the Sept. 11, 2001, al-Qaeda terrorist attacks at noon today during St. Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral's 9-11 memorial service.
Thursday, September 9
The Jackson Zoo and the Jackson Public School District will not request an increase in funding for fiscal year 2011 from the city; however, the Jackson-Hinds County Library System is likely to come up short without the city's financial support.
Leslee Foukal has high hopes for the section of Fondren west of State Street.
Read JPD's weekly crime report (PDF, 564 KB)
The wait is almost over. After all the minicamps, training camps and preseason games, the NFL starts real football tonight.
Wednesday, September 8
Four times a year, the Jackson Free Press presents an arts and events preview issue packed with listings of what is happening over the next three months in and near Jackson. The fall issue is one of the biggest: the 56-page issue is filled with answers to the question, "What is there to do in Jackson?"
Scallops are one of those decadent delicacies that never fail to satisfy me—the silky texture, the milky color, the smell, just like the beach after a rainstorm—just perfect. And they really play well with others, too.
Doctor S sez: There are losses and then there's what happened to Ole Miss against Jacksonville State. That's all for the Rebels, folks.
I was born into a family of storytellers. Both sides, though they couldn't be more diverse—one rural Minnesota farmers of Swiss-German descent, and the other Mexican-Americans that hopped between Texas, Europe and the East Coast, finally settling in the Midwest—have been recounting their vibrant familial tales since I was still in the womb.
Mississippi Public Broadcasting Executive Director Judy Lewis has resigned, Mississippi Authority for Educational Television Chairman Bob Sawyer said today in a press statement.
For Farish Street Baptist Church Senior Pastor Dr. Hickman Johnson, Jackson's Renaissance isn't just about rebuilding homes and businesses, but restoring the city's soul.
Jackson residents had the opportunity to weigh in on the city's proposed fiscal year 2011 budget during a Sept. 7 public hearing. While the city will not increase property taxes or lay off employees, the city's public transportation system, JATRAN, faces a reduction in routes, and open driver positions will remain vacant.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said it could take years to assess the extent of harm the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico caused.
In August, a 13-year-old Jacksonian was charged with aggravated assault for shooting a 17-year-old friend in the head. Thankfully, the friend lived.
Chief Crazy Brother: "I always thought no one would mess with history. I truly believed that history is absolute like science and math.
Change is a good thing, but it can be a hard thing to do. When you are stuck feeling like you are spinning your wheels, then it is time to do something drastically different.
Disclaimer: The following article is a bizarre exploration briefly documenting my own thought processes as I, a self-proclaimed Rankin County Republican, daytime computer geek and mediocre math student, attempt to construct my own simplified conception of a political model.
If you know only one thing about Buddhism, it probably has something to do with peace or Zen, and that's perfect. If you know a lot about Buddhism, that's perfect. If you're Jewish, Muslim or don't ascribe to any religious philosophy, that, again, is perfect, too.
Visual Arts Chairwoman Martha Hamburg opened the eyes of some Power APAC students last winter during an arts project.
Robert Holleman's art is anything but ordinary. The artist's brilliantly colored wood-block prints of tarot cards are like an occult version of the Walter Anderson alphabet prints, which Holleman cites as inspiration.
Josh Hailey, a well-known and loved Jackson mixed-media artist, is moving to Los Angeles, Calif. But before he goes, he wants to showcase his work and send out a big "thank you" to Mississippians for the support they have shown him over the years.
Despite oil spills, crazy politicians, unemployment and a host of other bad news, this year has been a good one for books on one of my favorite subjects: art. In all its myriad forms and permutations, art thrives, especially in times like these. Here is a smattering of what's new on bookstore shelves in the Art section.
Thank God for the recession.
Fletcher Cox is finishing a pair of doors when I visit his shop on a rainy Wednesday. They're the last in a set of 13 pairs that he's been commissioned to make for the new federal courthouse under construction in downtown Jackson.
Jackson Sen. Hillman Frazier called upon city residents to crowd the halls of Hinds County Circuit Court this month to voice their concerns about redistricting.
As the state's only teaching hospital, the University of Mississippi Medical Center occupies an awkward position. Its reputation as central Mississippi's charity hospital is sometimes at odds with its new image as a high-quality medical research center. And while its place under the authority of the state board for Institutions of Higher Learning insulates it from some of the rough-and-tumble economics of the health-care industry, it still competes with the Jackson area's three other hospitals for patients and, by extension, money.
My earliest memories come to me in pictures. The drawings and etchings in the huge old book of German fairy tales my grandmother read to me are clearer in my mind's eye than the stories they illustrated. I can see the glitter on the colorful advent calendar hung over my crib. Too tempting, I pulled myself up to its bright, sparkling colors and promptly yanked the calendar down on the floor. Screaming out my frustration, I brought my mother running.
Lorenzo Miller sports a beard and a broad, engaging smile as he stands in front of his artwork inside the Eudora Welty Library. The walls of this otherwise dull white room pop with the brilliant colors and exquisite details in his paintings.
The Jackson City Council failed to approve two controversial ordinance changes this morning, despite overall favorability for the ordinances among a majority of the council.
Tuesday, September 7
The JFP's fall GOOD issue is right around the corner, and the success of the our next issue depends on residents on Jackson. We are focusing on neighborhoods and wards and how to improve them.
I would love to say that I have been good. I would REALLY love to tell everyone this. But, in order to keep a clean conscience and for the sake of my spiritual well-being, I must admit that have been cheating. And not just a little. I've really been indulging. I had Julep fried chicken for lunch last week. Yes, that melt-in-your-mouth completely satisfying Honey Rosemary Fried Chicken. Honey + Chicken?! How better tasting can you get? USA Today really knew what they were talking about.
The Hinds County Board of Supervisors voted today to hire Carmen Davis as its new county administrator. Davis replaces interim Administrator Ray Bryant, who had held the position since March.
Rainbow Whole Foods Inc., which has operated as an agricultural association since opening in 1980, became a consumer cooperative Sept. 1. The new designation allows members to obtain shares of the cooperative's stock. The new shareholder membership requires a one-time purchase of $200 for a stock certificate.
If you've been downtown in the last few years, chances are you've seen Jackson Police Department Officer Colendula Green riding her segway with a smile while keeping a watchful eye on the city. Though she had to part with her segway last month, Green is now the department's first female public information officer.
5:30 p.m., Town Hall Meeting at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). The meeting at center stage is sponsored by the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities. Call 601-982-8467.
In April I wrote a column about the secretive habits of three large police departments in Virginia's Washington, D.C., suburbs: Fairfax County, Alexandria and Arlington. As Connection Newspapers reporter Michael Pope showed in a series of reports that began in March, they are among the least transparent departments in the country, having interpreted Virginia's Freedom of Information Act in a way that allows them to turn down nearly all requests for information.
I have made a decision: I'm giving up french fries for at least 30 days.
I have a love/hate relationship with french fries: I love them, they hate my gut. No, not my guts. My gut. The one that's there hiding my waist.
Over the long Labor Day weekend we headed up to the Ozarks to see Donna's brother and sister in law. For decades they've been great eaters -- purposeful, careful eaters who take the job of fueling their bodies pretty seriously. Of course, they have their own organic garden (I'd call it a *farm* given the effort it appears to take) -- and amenities (new bread machine, small tractors, dirt roads, acres and acres of trees) that would make a D-I-Y city dweller drool.
Last time, I mentioned that I was going to focus on one goal for a while so I wouldn't fail miserably at all of them. Well, I decided to focus on the goal of spending some time outside for 15 minutes. I need the vitamin D and the serotonin, which should help boost my energy and my mood. Maybe if I stick to this goal for a couple of weeks, I'll be motivated enough to start on another goal.
Mississippi ranks 16th overall in the nation for highway performance and cost effectiveness, the libertarian think tank Reason Foundation reported in a study released Sept. 1.
Monday, September 6
I've finally found a workout routine and I'm blaming in on the weather.
The amazing fall weather is not too hot and not too cold. Fall is my favorite season because I crave balance and as the muggy long summer days fade, I also feel an inner balance. I want to be outside all the time, which makes riding my bike and going on a run more enjoyable. As I cleaned out the clutter in my life last month, I also tried to get rid of some of my mental clutter---mainly the voice that reminds me of all the things I should or need to be doing rather than the things I want to do. Getting to the gym is difficult when there are a million things on my to do list. I often feel guilty for taking that hour for myself when there are deadlines to make and phone calls to return at the end of the day. Slowly, I'm making that one hour a priority and as long as the temperature stays like it is, it should be a piece of cake.
Friday, September 3
Despite a $10 million smaller budget for the city's proposed 2011 fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, the city will not increase property taxes or lay off employees, but instead reduce some services and leave unfilled positions open.
Former Jackson Public School Superintendent Earl Watkins said today that Jackson Public Schools' success begins with destroying misconceptions about races and ethic cultures.
Bluesman Eddie Cotton Jr. grew up with gospel music in his daddy's Clinton church, Christ Chapel True Gospel Church of God In Christ, where he's known to sit at the Hammond B-3 organ as the church's music minister. Cotton was 4 when he picked up his first guitar.
Kick off Labor Day weekend by heading to Farish Street tonight for the Farish Street Heritage Festival. This event continues through Saturday with performances by 601, Big V Walker, Eddie Cotton, Cupid and Sugar Foot's Ohio Players on the main stage. Gates open at 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the gate. For a complete lineup visit the event's website. If you want to get fit, head the Adult Hip Hop Dance Classes at the northeast Jackson Courthouse Racquet and Fitness Club; Admission is $5 for ages 16 and older. If you are in the mood for live music, see "Ms. Sweetheart Jackie Bell" at Poet's II. Fenian's features a free performance by Jedi Clampett at 9 p.m. For more music options, visit JFP Music Listings.
Rachel Maddow, host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" reported last night that Gov. Haley Barbour exaggerated his claims of attending integrated schools in Mississippi.
Thursday, September 2
Mississippi College and Millsaps College have met on the gridiron 48 times. The first meeting was in 1920, when Millsaps fielded its first football team.
Last week, major news outlets ran with headlines about how scientist have found a new microbe eating up BP's oil and how microbes have degraded the hydrocarbons so efficiently that the vast plumes of oil in the Gulf area now undetectable. No joke.
Read the most recent crime statistics.
A distorted picture of Amber Boardman appears on the screen as the sound of distant voices accompany a melody of instruments. In her video "I Wish I Could See You," the voices, longing and nostalgic, are voicemails from friends and family that she has transformed into a work of art.
It's a good day to shop Fondren. Fondren After 5 kicks off as soon as work is done, and there are plenty of shops to duck your head into. Some of them are having sales, too.
When Mississippi Department of Marine Resources officials dredged a sample of oysters from the Pass Christian Harbor yesterday, approximately 80 to 90 percent of those oysters were dead, The Sun Herald reported yesterday.
Wednesday, September 1
Many people do their best dressing in the fall and winter months. This year should be no different, as trendiness is pretty easy to get a handle on. This year's tres-chic possibilities are endless for the fall/winter season, and it's easy to tackle two trends with one stone—a top or skirt or bag.
"You don't mistake Sami Lott when you see it. Sami's a genius; I don't know what else to say about it." says Jonah Monet, who shares work space with designer Sami Lott.
If you perused the silent-auction tables at the 2010 Chick Ball in July, you had the opportunity to bid on Jewels by Mae pieces by local jewelry designer Myrtlena Alice Ertle Hankins: Mae for short.
When you're looking for shoes for the fall season this year, whether you're at Maison Weiss, Material Girls or Lipstick Lounge (just a few of FLY's favorite places to shop), there are a few things you must look for: booties, boots and what we like to call razzle dazzle.
The end of August marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Coast residents have built new houses and rebuilt businesses and other structures, and, though Mississippi's Gulf Coast looks different than it once did, the doggedness of its communities is unmistakable.
Cold gazpacho just might get us through this hot summer. It quenches that seasonal thirst for tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and onions blended and marinated in vinegar and olive oil. It immediately satisfies, but you always want more so there is never enough.
It all started as a way to save some time and money while making teachers' gifts. BethAnn Handelman's comeback salad dressing was such a hit that people kept telling her she needed to bottle and sell it. So, she decided to give it a try.
Watching my 3-year-old daughter "cook" in her play kitchen makes me smile. She is constantly pulling bowls out of the plastic oven and trying to feed everyone her invisible goodies.
Doctor S sez: It's here, it's finally here—the second event in the PGA's FedEx Cup. Oh, yeah, and major college football begins, too.
There are some pieces—no matter the fads of the day—that every wardrobe requires. Every fashion guru has his or her own list of essentials, but they all basically say the same thing.
The evidence is overwhelming that immigrants (including ones many like to label as "illegals") are not a drag on the U.S. economy and may even help it. Here is an economic research letter published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco that flies in the face of much of the rhetoric out there pushed by politicians who want to use immigration as an election wedge issue: yet another fear tactic used by people who assume most Americans are too dumb to do their own homework. With any luck, Americans will prove them wrong.
Friday, the rain wouldn't stop as I drove down Highway 49 South. I wondered where the sunshine or a rainbow was. "Stories about hope and inspiration always have sunshine and rainbows," I said to myself, as I headed toward the Mississippi Gulf Coast. That's what I was looking for.
The city of Jackson may host a new Latin and Caribbean-culture festival in September if the Jackson Redevelopment Authority and Novia Communication & Media Group can agree on using Union Station and Union Marketplace as its venue.
At the Aug. 24 Jackson City Council meeting, council members voted and passed several actions.
Melvin Priester Sr. believes better communication can make the Hinds County judiciary more efficient.
Researchers attempt to trace historical effects of oil industry in neighboring communities
Since the mid-1990s, the U.S. Department of Interior's much-maligned Mineral Management Service (MMS) has sponsored projects to examine the history of the Gulf. Research teams from the University of Houston with the assistance of researchers from the University of Arizona have been working on developments in Gulf Coastal communities.
In a special session Aug. 27, the Mississippi Legislature passed a $45 million bond issue that will allow the state to loan $75 million to KiOR, a Houston-based startup that converts biomass into a crude-oil substitute.
Last week, Gov. Haley Barbour called a special legislative session to have Mississippi lawmakers vote on a $45 million incentive package for KiOR, a company that produces a crude-oil substitute.
Boneqweesha Jones: "This is the Labor Day edition of ‘Qweesha Live 2010.' During the last eight weeks of summer, America and the world have experienced more drama than the soap operas and reality-television shows combined."
It's five years post Hurricane Katrina, and I'm still angry. Old images of the disaster dominated my TV screen and the Internet this past weekend: old images of Mother Nature at her most fierce; old images of destruction left in Katrina's wake; old images of bodies floating in flood water; old images of thousands of people starving, hot, sick, despondent.
I drove down to the Coast last week. I needed to see for myself what my home of four years looked like. I hadn't seen anything that made me feel good about what was probably happening there. I had no plan. I just wanted BP's head on a platter.
Southbound may be a new band name, but its members--who hail from Jackson, Philadelphia, Sebastapol and Union--are seasoned musicians who've played all over Jackson, Nashville and everywhere in between for decades. They left the band Santa Fe and formed Southbound last year. Led by front man Jeff Stewart of Philadelphia, Southbound members are Andy "Cookie" Henderson on keyboard, Nic Massey on guitar and vocals, Joe Latham on bass and vocals, and Clint Marshall on drums and vocals.
What better reason to get your music and drink on than to celebrate the ending of August and a long Labor Day weekend. Soon the oppressive heat will be gone. The foot-long corn dogs at the state fair are just around the corner.
Even though the Federal Drug Administration and other U.S. agencies remain confident that oil and dispersants are not tainting Gulf seafood, the jury is still out, according to some tests and opinions.
"I guess we'll have to catch the bus to school tomorrow," I thought when I spotted a dim red spot in the water that was our family Chrysler Concorde. From inside the townhouse, I watched the fierce hurricane winds blow water from both the sky and Lake Pontchartrain toward my city.
Betty Maerker often visits Ocean Springs' shoreline right before a storm, where she watches the waves rise and fall, and gathers her thoughts. But for the past five years, her trips to the beach have reminded her of what her community lost in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Listen to audio from the forum (63.3 MB)
Houston Patton may have a busy docket as Hinds County Court judge, but he must also contend with an increasing number of cases that feature him as a defendant.
Photographs and newspaper clippings from the civil-rights era surround Dr. Gene Young as he tries to remember just how many times police have shackled him in handcuffs. One side of his T-shirt bears a portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the other side, President Barack Obama. He pauses and chews on a toothpick.
After undergoing a $33.5 million restoration, the 1929 Standard Life Building on Roach Street in downtown Jackson re-opens its doors today to new residents.