12 Local Stories of the Week

Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. said "Jackson is Good" in his State of the City Address Wednesday, July 11.

Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. said "Jackson is Good" in his State of the City Address Wednesday, July 11. Photo by Jacob Fuller.

— The following stories kept Jacksonians, and people from around the country, crowding onto the Jackson Free Press website in remarkable numbers this past week.

  1. Federal Judge Dan Jordan held a hearing Wednesday to decide whether to extend an injunction against a new state law requiring doctors at the state's only abortion clinic to get admitting privileges at a local hospital. A JFP team covered the hearing, which focused on the issue of whether the law would post "irreparable harm" on a woman's constitutionally protected access to abortion in the stat. Read the team coverage, as well as view a gallery of photos of the players in the hearing and see video from the bill's sponsor and the abortion-clinic owner at that link. Read a follow-up story Thursday about the Mississippi Department of Health quietly changing the regulations just before the hearing (and view a PDF of the before-and-after rules).
  2. Late Friday, Judge Jordan issued his order, which on the surface gave wins to both sides in the abortion-clinic battle by allowing the law to stand for now, while restraining any prosecution of actions by the clinic during upcoming months. Clinic opponents called the law a win, but clinic attorneys pointed out that it was a "crucial" victory for the clinic. In the order, Jordan stressed that the law needed to go into effect to give the clinic time to show that whether it will create "irreparable harm" by keeping women from accessing abortion in the state due to the admitting requirement. View the JFP report and PDF of Jordan's order here.
  3. The JFP continued to attract national attention on intern Vergie Redmond's reporting on problems with implementing voter-identification in the state. Her most recent story on the issue published in the JFP Daily Tuesday. (You can subscribe free to the Daily on the JFP site.) This story pointed out that voter fraud is largely a myth in MIssissippi and around the nation.
  4. Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. declared that "Jackson is good" and "on track" in his annual State of the City address. JFP reporter Jacob Fuller covered the address. You can view Jacob's photo gallery from the address and real the full text of the address from that story's page.
  5. JFP reporter R.L. Nave reported on the announcement that Mississippi has the deadliest roads in the nation. Unlike other local reports, which focused on state defensiveness over the report, the JFP reported the why: drunk driving (and specifically no ignition-lock laws for convicted drunk drivers) and no law requiring mandatory car seats for kids under 8.
  6. Intern Christianna Jackson covered the Jackson 2000 luncheon and reported on progress of a civil rights museum in downtown Jackson. After Tougaloo College won a heated battle over whether to place a national civil rights museum there or downtown, those plans fell apart. But Hank Holmes explains the progress of the civil-rights museum that is actually happening -- it will share a lobby with the Museum of Mississippi History, with some overlapping exhibits -- and what it needs (spoiler: money and artifacts).
  7. Jacob Fuller reported that proposed mixed-income development near Jackson State University is receiving mixed reviews from area citizens.
  8. Intern Sara Sacks reported Thursday that Ceara Sturgis, a young Lesbian from Wesson, Miss., wants to hold a commitment ceremony with her partner, Emily Key, in the state-funded Mississippi Museum of Agriculture and Forestry, which has a policy against same-sex events. Read a PDF of a letter the Southern Poverty Law Center send to the museum on her behalf.
  9. Jacob Fuller reported on a Ward 3 community meeting organized by beleaguered Councilwoman LaRita Cooper-Stokes, and held in at the Medgar Evers Library. Among other things, she wants a new jail.
  10. Read Ronni Mott and R.L. Nave's in-depth analysis of Medicaid in MIssissippi. They report on how, should politicians stop using Medicaid as a political weapon, it could actually be used to create needed jobs in Mississippi. (In an opinion piece in the same issue, Rims Barber argues that Medicaid expansion would pay off.)
  11. JFP reporter Jacob Fuller attended the memorial service for David Coates, the Northwest Rankin coach who was indicted for drug distribution, alongside his children. Jacob writes about the service and the complicated Coates story in a Person of the Day feature in the JFP Daily.
  12. Finally: Yes, the JFP declared an Anthropod of the Day because, you know, beetles deserve recognition, too.

Other cool stuff on the new JFP website:

And, of course, the best events listings around at JFPEvents.com and daily live music listings here.

Enjoy, and watch for new features on the JFP site every week. Surprises ahead!

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