Stories for January 2013


Thursday, January 31

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Oklahoma Mayor Helps Guide Jackson Vision

Gov. Phil Bryant gave an introductory speech before Oklahoma City, Okla. Mayor Mick Cornett gave some resounding words to the more-than 500 audience members at the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership's annual meeting.

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Ready to "Speak Truth" about Environmental Justice

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is turning to a Houston activist to lead the fight against environmental injustices around the country.

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Players of the Day: Mississippi Super Bowl Players

Mississippi State and Ole Miss fans will be happy at the end of Super Bowl XLVII, with a former Bulldog and Rebel guaranteed to win a ring on Sunday no matter which team wins the game.

Bill: ID Dads of Babies Born to Underage Moms

A bill that passed the Mississippi House on Wednesday is aimed at possibly identifying and prosecuting those who impregnate underage girls.

Miss. Cities Push for Power to Set Local Sales Tax

Mississippi municipal officials are again proposing a 1 percent local sales tax as a way to build parks, improve water systems and get crumbling streets back into shape.

Lawmakers Push Forward Bryant School Proposals

The House Education Committee endorsed two bills that contain key parts of Republican Gov. Phil Bryant's education agenda Wednesday.

Cockfighting Felony Bills Filed

Cockfighting is big business because Mississippi has the second weakest cockfighting law in the nation, according to Humane Society of the United States.

Giffords Pleads for Gun Curbs; NRA Fights Back

Severely wounded and still recovering, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords begged lawmakers at an emotional hearing Wednesday to act quickly to curb firearms because "Americans are counting on you." Not everyone agreed, underscoring the national political divide over gun control.

Ala. Child Hostage Standoff in 2nd Day at Bunker

A standoff in rural Alabama went into a second full day Thursday as police surrounded an underground bunker where a retired truck driver was holding a 5-year-old hostage he grabbed off a school bus after shooting the driver dead.

From Pets to 'Recess': High School Stress Relief

The four-legged member of the counseling team at the high school in suburban Chicago waits patiently, as a crush of students fills the hallways. Her tail wags with the first pat on the head, then another and another.

Diplomats: Iran Prepared to Up Nuclear Program

The U.N. nuclear agency has told member nations that Iran is poised for a major technological upgrade of its uranium enrichment program, in a document seen Thursday by The Associated Press. The move would vastly speed up Tehran's ability to make material that can be used for both reactor fuel and nuclear warheads.

Wednesday, January 30

The Slate

When the Super Bowl ends this Sunday, it means no more football games until next fall. I need to reverse hibernate, and sleep through the spring and summer.

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Super Bowl Cheat Sheet

It's Super Bowl week, and that means the media will beat several stories to death. If you are not a huge football fan or don't have time to read every single story, here is your Super Bowl storyline cheat sheet.

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It All Comes Down to This

Super Bowl XLVII features an interesting matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens. Both teams are strong defensively but very different on offense.

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Black Jacket Does Pink Floyd

We all know I love music, all types and kinds. One of my favorite bands ever is Pink Floyd. I first discovered them at age 13 when my seventh-grade boyfriend made me a mixed tape with Pink Floyd's song "Mother" on the B-side. I absolutely loved the song, which then made me want to listen to even more Pink Floyd albums.

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An Apostle for Southern Soul

Daddy B. Nice wants to bring everyone home to southern soul. Nice, the pseudonym of Colorado-based writer Bruno Nicewanger, has been promoting the under-documented musical genre on his website,, since 2005.

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Grim Revenge

Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner play the leads in “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.”

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Robert Amos: Bring in the Bucks

Robert Amos ran for mayor of Jackson in 2009 and for a seat on the Hinds County Board of Supervisors 2011.

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You Can't Teach an Alpha Dog New Tricks

When [Richard Dawkins] said that religious instruction is more harmful than "mild" child sexual abuse and was called out on it, he couldn't backtrack.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: "Doubts"

Kelly was tsk, tsking about Americans believing conspiracy theories when she should be crowing about how successful FOX has been in fostering fear, uncertainty and doubt among its viewers.

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Sour Lemons to Lemonade

Brother Hustle: "Welcome to the Compensatory Investment Request Support Group's first official meeting and session for 2013.

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Into the Night

The Mississippi House of Representatives bandied its version of a charter-school bill for more than eight hours until close to 1 a.m., eclipsing the Senate's four-hour-long debate the previous week.

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Repaved Streets, Bike Helmets and Taxi Cabs

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. announced last week that, pending Jackson City Council approval, the city will use a bond issue to fund $10 million in street repaving this year.

Feedback on #BestofJackson Party

"Hands down the most diverse party all year in Jacktown. Thanks for making it great y’all!"

Question o' the Week: What was your favorite part of the 2013 Best of Jackson party?

What was your favorite part of the 2013 Best of Jackson party?

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You and 'Best of Jackson'

How to get future JFP/BOOM party invites: Subscribe to—free!

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Arena Study Unveiled

After nearly five years of discussions, fundraising and bid evaluation, the city of Jackson finally has the results of a feasibility study for a new downtown arena.

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Hardwick: ‘A Grassroots Approach’

In her first political race, Jackson City Council candidate June Hardwick says she wants to put power back in the hands of the people.

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Matthew Furdge

Known in the hip-hop world as Krack Koke or simply Got Koke, Jackson native and music producer Matthew Furdge is nominated not once, but twice, for Best Rap Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

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Bryant’s Health-Care Rhetoric Doesn’t Add Up

Insured people do go to doctors more often. That’s exactly the point.

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Tackling ‘Race’ at New Stage

Is racial prejudice a malignancy that lies in the remote far corners of the basement of all of our brains—even if only the size of a mustard seed—just waiting to bubble over like an erupting volcano?

Union Backers Say Nissan Threatens Plant Closure

Pro-union workers said Tuesday that Nissan Motor Co. has threatened to close its Canton assembly plant if workers vote for the United Auto Workers to represent them, though the company denies such threats.

Crews Aim to Start Removing Oil from Damaged Barge

The Coast Guard says crews hope to start work Wednesday to remove thousands of gallons of oil from a damaged barge on the Mississippi River, but it's not clear how long that could take or when the river will reopen.

Slow U.S. Economic Growth in Q4 May Hide Strength

Most economists agree that Wednesday's snapshot of U.S. economic growth is going to look dismal.

GOP Lawmakers See Automatic Cuts as Leverage

Driven by frustration over deficits and debt, Republican conservatives are pushing a politically risky move to permit painfully large automatic spending cuts to strike the Pentagon and domestic programs alike in an effort to force Democrats into making concessions on the budget.

1 Dead as Vast Storm Rakes South, Midwest

A large storm system packing high winds, hail and several possible tornadoes tore across a wide swath of the South and Midwest on Wednesday, killing one person, blacking out power to thousands and damaging homes.

Giffords to Speak at Senate Gun Violence Hearing

Wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will appear as an unscheduled witness Wednesday at the year's first congressional hearing on curbing gun violence, adding drama to a session that was already slated to hear from a top official of the National Rifle Association.

US Economy Shrinks 0.1 Pct., 1st Time in 3½ Years

The U.S. economy unexpectedly shrank from October through December for the first time since 2009.

Bills Would Combine Miss. School Districts

Bills passed Tuesday by the Senate Education Committee would merge the Clay County and West Point school districts and give agricultural high schools in Coahoma and Hinds counties to the county school boards.

Tuesday, January 29

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Scrap MAEP?

The Mississippi Adequate Education Program, a formula the state uses to level funding for the state's K-12 public schools, is wrong, according to state Auditor Stacey Pickering.

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Restaurants, SBA, BBB, New Paper Plant and Zippity Doo Dah

Babalu Tacos and Tapas led a December food drive that collected more than 1,000 cans of food for Stewpot Community Services.

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D.J. Gregory

D.J. Gregory has loved golf since he was 9 years old, despite the fact that he was born with cerebral palsy, which prevents him from being able to play professionally.

Oil Leak: Miss. River at Vicksburg Remains Closed

Barges transporting commerce idled among the nearly four dozen vessels stacked up Tuesday along a normally bustling stretch of the Mississippi River, denied transit as crews feverishly sought to clean up leaking oil spilled in a weekend barge accident.

Officials Seek to Stop JSU from Opening in Madison

The city of Madison and Tulane University officials want the state College Board to rescind what they're calling the "premature" approval of Jackson State University's plans to open a Madison campus this summer.

Katrina's Scars Harder to See as Super Bowl Looms

New Orleans has celebrated plenty of milestones on its slow road to recovery from Hurricane Katrina, but arguably none is bigger than hosting its first Super Bowl since the 2005 storm left the city in shambles.

Money Fears vs. Real Benefits in Medicaid Choice

President Barack Obama thinks his health care law makes states an offer they can't refuse.

FACT CHECK: The Stretched Case Against Chuck Hagel

Republican-leaning groups opposing President Barack Obama's choice of Chuck Hagel to head the Defense Department have let loose a barrage of claims about the former GOP senator.

Obama Launches Push for Immigration Overhaul

Seeking swift action on immigration, President Barack Obama on Tuesday will try to rally public support behind his proposals for giving millions of illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship, as well as making improvements to the legal immigration system and border security.

Senate Panel to Vote on Kerry Nomination Tuesday

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on President Barack Obama's nomination of Sen. John Kerry to be the next secretary of state.

Transportation Secretary to Leave Administration

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the only Republican still in President Barack Obama's first-term Cabinet, said Tuesday he plans to leave the Obama administration.

Report: States Force Jobless to Pay Needless Fees

Jobless Americans are paying millions in unnecessary bank fees to collect unemployment benefits.

Monday, January 28

Obama Asks Police to Help Pass Gun Legislation

President Barack Obama kept up pressure on Congress Monday to pass tough new gun legislation, seeking help from law enforcement leaders in three communities that have suffered the horrors of mass shootings.

Masked 'Black Bloc' a Mystery in Egypt Unrest

An unpredictable new element has entered Egypt's wave of political unrest: a mysterious group of masked young men called the Black Bloc who present themselves as the defenders of protesters opposed to the Islamist president's rule.

Egypt in Show of Defiance Against Islamist Leader

Protesters battled police for hours in Cairo on Monday and thousands marched through Egypt's three Suez Canal cities in direct defiance of a night-time curfew and state of emergency, handing a blow to the Islamist President Mohammed Morsi's attempts to contain five days of spiraling political violence.

Scouts Considering Retreat from No-Gays Policy

The Boy Scouts of America may soon give sponsors of troops the authority to decide whether to accept gays as scouts and leaders—a potentially dramatic retreat from an exclusionary nationwide policy that has provoked relentless protests.

Senate Nears Vote on $50.5B Bill for Sandy Victims

Three months after Superstorm Sandy devastated coastal areas in much of the Northeast, the Senate moved Monday toward passing a $50.5 billion emergency package of relief and recovery aid after House Republicans stripped it of spending unrelated to disasters.

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Johnson Asks for Four More Years

A chant of "Four more years, four more years," sprang from the crowd of a few dozen supporters as Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. took the stage at Fondren Plaza Saturday to announce his campaign for re-election.

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Connie Brown

Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Connie Brown knew she was destined to one day be a business owner as well.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

An American Board Teaching Information Session will be held Tuesday, Jan. 29 from 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at YMCA Downtown Jackson.

Jackson Group Taking Aim at Mid-City Area

Working Together Jackson, a network of local community groups, has been quietly developing a new strategy for fighting blight, a problem that has at times seemed too daunting to solve.

Business is Mushrooming at Potts Camp Farm

Looking more like a doctor in a medical science lab than a farmer, Ben Dickey, of Dickey Mushroom Farms, explains that growing mushrooms is more science than gardening.

Fragile Economy, Other Global Woes Dominated Davos

More than 2,500 of the best and brightest in business, government, academia and civic life gathered for the five-day World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland.

Aging America: Elder Abuse Can Take Many Forms

As many as 2 million older Americans are abused in various ways each year, experts estimate.

Deadly Smoke, Lone Blocked Exit: 230 Die in Brazil

A fast-moving fire roared through a crowded, windowless nightclub in southern Brazil early Sunday, filling the air in seconds with flames and a thick, toxic smoke that killed more than 230 panicked partygoers, many of whom were caught in a stampede to escape.

Washington Casts Wary Eye at Muslim Brotherhood

President Barack Obama begins his second term straining to maintain a good relationship with Egypt, an important U.S. ally whose president is a conservative Islamist walking a fine line between acting as a moderate peace broker and keeping his Muslim Brotherhood party happy with anti-American rhetoric.

Barge Hits Miss. River Bridge; Oil Cleanup Ongoing

Crews skimmed oily water from the Mississippi River after a barge with more than 80,000 gallons of oil struck a railroad bridge near Vicksburg.

Saturday, January 26

Kemper Settlement Could Mean 21 Percent Rate Jump

A settlement between the Public Service Commission and Mississippi Power Co. could raise rates more than 21 percent.

Friday, January 25

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Mail Scam May Have Cost Stewpot $100K

Stewpot Community Services CEO Frank Spencer said Stewpot may have lost more than $100,000 in a mail-fraud scam.

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Erin's Law: Stopping Child Sexual Abuse

From the time she was 6 years old, Erin Merryn was sexually abused. For two-and-half years, a neighbor in his late 20s molested her, she said. Then, when Merryn was 11, her cousin began to abuse her, a situation that, again, lasted for two years.

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Dr. Leo Huddleston

When Dr. Leo Huddleston found out he had won the 2007 Jackson Free Press "Best of Jackson" awards for best chiropractor and best doctor, he was in Panama City, Fla., at a friend's house.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra presents "Pops II: Take it to the Limit—The Music of the Eagles" featuring the Jeans 'n Classics Band at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall.

Bill Filed in Miss. Seeks to Nullify Federal Laws

Mississippi defied the union during the Civil War and civil rights era, and at least two lawmakers think it is time to do so again.

Dickie Scruggs Hearing Before New Orleans Court

Attorneys for Richard F. "Dickie" Scruggs, a noted plaintiff's lawyer before being snared in a corruption investigation, will argue his innocence March 4 before a federal appeals court.

Politicians Returning MDMR Foundation Money

Campaigns for governor, Congress, the state Legislature and other offices received checks from the foundation headed by recently fired Department of Marine Resources Executive Director Bill Walker.

Jindal: GOP Must Stop Being 'Stupid Party'

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called on the Republican Party to "stop being the stupid party" on Thursday as GOP leaders promised fundamental changes to help stave off future losses.

Will Smart Machines Create a World Without Work?

An Associated Press analysis of employment data from 20 countries found that millions of midskill, midpay jobs already have disappeared over the past five years, and they are the jobs that form the backbone of the middle class in developed countries.

Schools Must Provide Sports for Disabled, U.S. Says

Students with disabilities must be given a fair shot to play on a traditional sports team or have their own leagues, the Education Department says.

Obama Picks Foreign Policy Aide as Chief of Staff

President Barack Obama has chosen longtime trusted adviser and national security expert Denis McDonough as his fifth chief of staff.

Maze of Gun Laws in U.S. Hurts Gun Control Efforts

There is a legal avenue to try to get any gun you want somewhere in the U.S., thanks to the maze of gun statutes across the country and the lack of certain federal laws.

Economist: Euro Crisis Could Erupt Again This Year

Is the euro crisis over? A leading U.S. economist says not by a long shot.

First Woman Combat Leader 'Thrilled' with Change

The first woman in U.S. history to lead male troops in combat said higher-ranking officers accused her of embellishing accounts.

The Great Reset: Are We Ready for Permanent Unemployment Because of Technology?

Now, three years after Google invented one, automated cars could be on their way to a freeway near you. In the U.S., California and other states are rewriting the rules of the road to make way for driverless cars. Just one problem: What happens to the millions of people who make a living driving cars and trucks — jobs that always have seemed sheltered from the onslaught of technology?

Thursday, January 24

Obama Appoints Former White-Collar Crime Prosecutor to Head SEC

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama sent his strongest signal yet Thursday that he wants the government to get tougher with Wall Street, appointing a former prosecutor to head the Securities and Exchange Commission for the first time in the agency's 79-year history.

Bobby Jindal: GOP Should Keep Conservative Ideals, 'Change Just About Everything Else We Do'

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is calling on the Republican Party to "recalibrate the compass of conservatism" as party leaders on Thursday promised fundamental changes to help stave off future losses.

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Charter Schools: Runaway Train?

A few times during last night's debate over the Mississippi House of Representatives' charter-school law, HB 369, Democrats were resigned that charter schools were a runaway train they couldn't stop.

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City Sets Fine for Riding Without Helmet

The Jackson City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday that requires cyclist to wear a helmet, or face a $75 fine.

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Sean Payton

On Tuesday, Jan. 22, Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL reinstated Saints head coach Sean Payton following a four-and-a-half hour meeting on Monday.

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Topping Lance Armstrong's Confession

Lance Armstrong might have owned the news cycle any other week when he came clean about his use of performance-enhancing drugs to win multiple Tour de France titles. Instead, a story that has to be one of the strangest in sports history shoved the disgraced cyclist aside.

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A Place for Skaters

Austin Cannon wants to provide a safe, free place for Jackson skateboarders.

The Slate

Congratulations to former Jackson State star Lindsey Hunter on being named interim coach of the Phoenix Suns. And good luck—the Suns are in last place in the Western Conference.

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Collective Vision

Several weeks ago, the City of Jackson launched a marketing campaign called Celebrate Jackson. One of the overarching themes that we wanted to be sure to convey is that Celebrate Jackson is an inclusive, participatory, and fluid exercise in recognizing all that is wonderful and praiseworthy in our City.

Jackson's Team of Allies

In this issue focusing on the best of our city, you will read a lot about innovation, teamwork and building alliances—as well as about a number of candidates wanting to represents parts of the city in the state Senate.

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You Bet I Love Jackson

I'm a hometown boy who fell in love with a hometown girl and, thanks to Craig Noone's big dreams for Jackson, I'm living my dream in my hometown.

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Senate 28: Meet the Candidates

So far, each of the candidates Senate District 28 special election scheduled for Feb. 5 wants full funding for public education, opposes charter schools, supports Medicaid expansion and sees continued development along the Highway 80 corridor as key to job growth.

Democrats Reintroducing Assault Weapons Ban Thursday

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Democrats are reintroducing legislation to ban assault weapons but the measure faces long odds even after last month's mass school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Decision Allowing Women in Combat 'Reflects the Reality of 21st Century Military'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Allowing women to serve in combat roles will strengthen the U.S. military's ability to win wars, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday, shortly before his official announcement of the landmark change.

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Mississippi Republicans in the Legislature have said they want to ram charter-school legislation through as quickly as possible, and so far they’re on track to accomplish just that.

Wednesday, January 23

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Best of Jackson 2013: Nightlife

JFP presents the best Jackson has to offer.

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Best of Jackson 2013: Food

JFP presents the best Jackson has to offer.

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Best of Jackson 2013: Urban Living

JFP presents the best Jackson has to offer.

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Best of Jackson 2013: Beyond Jackson

JFP presents the best Jackson has to offer.

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Best of Jackson 2013: Community & Culture

JFP presents the best Jackson has to offer.

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Best of Jackson 2013: People

JFP presents the best Jackson has to offer.

U.S. House Passes Bill to Ignore Debt Limit Until May 18th

WASHINGTON (AP) — Retreating with a purpose, Republicans sped legislation through the House on Wednesday to avert the imminent threat of a government default but pointing the way to a springtime budget struggle with President Barack Obama over Medicare, farm subsidies and other benefit programs.

Democratic Response to the State of the State

Text of the Democratic response to the State of the State, as delivered by Rep. Bryant Clark, D-Pickens.

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Bryant Ignores Jackson in Address

Conspicuously absent from the governor’s eight-and-a-half page speech was any mention of the capital city.

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Question o' the Week: What is the BEST thing about Jackson, Mississippi?

What is the BEST thing about Jackson, Mississippi?

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AudiTour Wins Gold at Startup Weekend

Last Friday afternoon, all Craig Kinsley had was an idea for a new mobile app. By Sunday night, the idea had a six-person development team, a Facebook page, a mockup website and a first-place prize at Startup Weekend Jackson.

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Big Questions About Charters

The atmosphere at the Mississippi Capitol got tense for a few moments Thursday when Sen. Kenneth Wayne Jones, D-Canton, leader of the Legislative Black Caucus, questioned the legitimacy of Gov. Phil Bryant's education policy recommendations.

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JWHO Guard Pepper-Sprayed Protesters over Sprinkler

A Jackson Women's Health Organization security guard sprayed two anti-abortion protesters in the face with pepper spray this morning.

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Fran Leber

No handicap sticker can slow down a passionate spirit like Fran Leber, the ultimate go-getter.

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Want a Better Jackson? Work With the Best

If you want to talk about "loyalty" in business, then you need to talk about more than price.

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Precious Little Drama

Jessica Chastain stars as an intelligence officer on the hunt for Osama bin Laden in "Zero Dark Thirty."

Gay Activists Laud Obama Speech, Now Want Action

President Barack Obama's emphatic gay-rights advocacy in his inaugural address thrilled many activists. Yet almost immediately came the questions and exhortations as to what steps should be taken next.

House GOP Seeks to Defuse Debt Crisis

With tacit support from President Barack Obama, House Republicans were moving Wednesday to try to defuse a potential debt crisis with legislation to prevent an economy-rattling fiscal crisis for at least three months.

Unions Suffer Sharp Decline in Membership

The nation's labor unions suffered sharp declines in membership last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday, led by losses in the public sector as cash-strapped state and local governments laid off workers and—in some cases—limited collective bargaining rights.

IMF Sees Modest 2013 Improvement for World Economy

The International Monetary Fund is projecting a modest rise in global economic growth for 2013, but also warning that problems in the eurozone and the United States could derail momentum.

Universities Offer Scholarships to Future Teachers

Mississippi's two largest universities are launching a joint scholarship program to lure bright students to teaching.

Tuesday, January 22

Pentagon: AQ Ally is Top Suspect in Algeria Attack

The Pentagon on Tuesday stopped short of saying al-Qaida's North Africa affiliate is definitely to blame for the deadly Algeria terrorist attack, but it said there is good reason to believe the group had a leading role.

Poll: Many Say Let Illegal Immigrants Stay in U.S.

More than 6 in 10 Americans now favor allowing illegal immigrants to eventually become U.S. citizens, a major increase in support driven by a turnaround in Republicans' opinions after the 2012 elections.

Exit Polls: Netanyahu Narrowly Wins Israel Vote

In a stunning setback, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-line bloc fared worse than expected in a parliamentary election Tuesday, exit polls showed, possibly forcing the incumbent Israeli leader to invite surprisingly strong moderate rivals into his government and soften his line toward the Palestinians.

Obama Climate Pledge Faces Test On Oil Pipeline

Environmental groups say President Barack Obama's warning about climate change will soon be tested as he decides whether to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

White House: Obama Wouldn't Block GOP Debt Bill

The Obama administration says it won't oppose a House Republican proposal to increase the nation's $16.4 trillion borrowing authority for only three months, even though President Barack last week decried such short-term measures as harmful to the economy.

Texas Official: 3 Wounded in College Shooting

A shooting on a Texas community college campus wounded three people Tuesday and sent students fleeing for safety as officials placed the campus on lockdown, officials said.

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Charter Schools Headed to House Floor

Lubed up by the addition of several friendly lawmakers, the House Education Committee, as expected, passed its version of a charter-school bill out of committee this morning.

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JSU Expands, Vicksburg Tops Tourist List and Hong Kong Visits Jackson

Jackson State University will be expanding with a new campus in Madison as early as this summer.

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Hartley Peavey

Hartley Peavey is a down-to-earth man whose sound amplifiers have provided thousands of jobs and helped entertain billions of people.

Schools Likely Focus of Tuesday Bryant Speech

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant is expected to focus on education in his State of the State speech at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

U.S. Pays Tribute to King as Obama Begins New Term

The youngest daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. hailed the inauguration of the nation's first black president to a new term as one of the achievements made possible by the civil rights struggle her father helped lead decades ago.

JSU to Open Campus in Madison

Jackson State University will enroll students at its new 8,600-square-foot campus in Madison as early as this summer.

Study: High School Grad Rate Highest Since '76

The nation's high school graduation rate is the highest since 1976, but more than a fifth of students are still failing to get their diploma in four years, the Education Department said in a study released Tuesday.

Environmentalists Hail Obama Climate Change Focus

Environmental groups hailed President Barack Obama's warning Monday about climate change, but said the president's words will soon be tested as he decides whether to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

Top to Bottom Changes in Congress' Foreign Policy

A harrowing nighttime flight over the African jungle and a wild search for a rebel leader helped forge a relationship between Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez and Republican Rep. Ed Royce, two men standing at the forefront of Congress' changing guard on foreign policy.

Israelis Expected to Return Netanyahu to Office

Israelis voted Tuesday in an election likely to keep hard-line Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the helm of government for a third term despite a turbulent record: no peace process with Palestinians, growing diplomatic isolation and signs of economic trouble ahead.

Smithsonian Curators Scout for Obama Artifacts

As crowds descended and the inauguration unfolded, a few museum curators in Washington kept watch for symbols and messages that would make history.

Smaller Crowd, but Still Excitement This Time

Despite a more sober national mood, there was plenty of enthusiasm — even among people who'd been there the first time.

Miss. House Eyes Its Own Charter School Proposal

House Education Committee Chairman John Moore said Monday that his panel would take up House Bill 369 Tuesday morning.

Monday, January 21

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Protests Mark Roe Anniversary

Diane Derzis, the owner of the state's only abortion provider, expects state health officials to issue a finding that her clinic failed to meet new state regulations tomorrow, Jan. 22—the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

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MLK Day Still a Problem in Mississippi

The third Monday in January presents a conundrum for many folks in the Deep South, made even more complicated by the fact that today is also the day the first African American president is sworn in for a second term.

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Myrlie Evers-Williams

Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of civil-rights activist Medgar Evers, delivered the invocation at President Obama's second inauguration today.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

American Board Teaching Information Sessions will be held Jan. 23, 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., at Ridgeland Public Library and Jan. 29, 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., at YMCA Downtown Jackson.

To Frack or Not to Frack?

With the decision of the Caledonia Board of Alderman to allow fracking within the town's city limits, what has been a national issue is now a local one.

Science Conference Focuses on Gulf Oil Spill

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who was in charge of cleaning up BP's 2010 oil spill, will be the keynote speaker at an international scientific conference about the Gulf of Mexico.

Madison Co Economic Development Projects Ramp Up

After years of being centered largely in the cities of Ridgeland and Madison, significant economic development in Madison County could be spreading out to other areas.

Analysis: Hosemann Defends School Lands Oversight

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is trying to head off another expected legislative movement that could undo 35 years of improvements in 16th Section land management for public schools.

Latinos Take on Bigger Role in Obama Inauguration

Latinos are taking a more prominent role in President Barack Obama's second inauguration, from the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice swearing in the vice president to a star-studded concert celebrating Latino culture.

NM Teen Accused of Killings of Parents, 3 Children

A horrific scene awaited officers responding to an emergency call at a New Mexico home—five family members dead, all with multiple gunshot wounds. The victims were later identified as parents and their three young children and the suspected attacker as their 15-year-old son.

Obama Speech Sets Stage for Looming Policy Fights

President Barack Obama has prepared a second inaugural address that broadly lays out his vision for the country's future, setting the stage for looming debates over taxes, guns, immigration and other issues while leaving the details for another day.

Algeria: 37 Foreign Hostages Killed in Attack

Algeria announced a new death toll Monday from the four-day siege at a natural gas plant, saying that 37 foreign hostages and 29 Islamist militants were killed. A Canadian was reported among the militants.

A Day Pulsing with History Follows Old Script

Hours before Monday's pageantry, people on foot spilled out of Metro stations near the White House.

Sunday, January 20

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10 Local Stories of the Week

There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them.

Saturday, January 19

Same-Sex Military Couples Struggle For Recognition... Thanks to DOMA

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Sgt. Karen Alexander fought for her country in Iraq, but back home she often feels the U.S. Army is fighting against her.

Thousands Rally Against Stricter Gun Control

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Thousands of gun advocates gathered peacefully Saturday at state capitals around the U.S. to rally against stricter limits on firearms, with demonstrators carrying rifles and pistols in some places while those elsewhere settled for waving hand-scrawled signs or screaming themselves hoarse.

Analysis: House GOP in Weakened State As Obama's Second Inaugural Speech Nears

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — Celebration doesn't seem to be high on the agenda as House Republicans, their majority renewed by the voters last fall, lay the groundwork for another challenge to President Barack Obama over federal spending.

Health Dept. Inspects Only Miss. Abortion Clinic

The state Health Department this week conducted an unannounced inspection of Mississippi's only abortion clinic to see if it's complying with a 2012 state law that eventually could put it out of business.

Friday, January 18

GOP House May Schedule 'Debt Ceiling' Increase Vote for Next Week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House will vote next week to permit the government to borrow more money to meet its obligations, a move aimed at heading off a market-rattling confrontation with President Barack Obama over the so-called debt limit.

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Renewed Smoking Ban Afoot

Sen. Briggs Hobson, R-Vicksburg, has introduced the Mississippi Uniform Smoke-Free Public Place Act of 2013, which bans smoking in most public places.

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Study: Common Chemical Alters Hormones at Low Doses

Just like the controversial compound it's designed to replace, a chemical used in cash register receipts and other consumer products messes with hormones, according to research published today.

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Players of the Day: Mississippi Super Bowl Players

Four NFL teams meet this Sunday, and two will find a spot in Super Bowl XLVII.

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It's the Weekend!

Tonight, Bluesman and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer B.B. King performs at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall.

Levee Repairs Vital, Says Rep. on Homeland Security

The top Democrat on the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee says Congress must establish a program to help state and local governments repair levees across the nation.

Miss. House Holds Memorial Service for Rep. Gibbs

Mississippi House members are remembering their late colleague, Rep. David Gibbs, as a quiet man who cared deeply about his community.

GOP Lawmakers is Swing States Looking to Change Electoral College

BOSTON (AP) — After back-to-back presidential losses, Republicans in key states want to change the rules to make it easier for them to win.

OS Continues Fight Against Mental Health Clinic

The city of Ocean Springs is taking a fight over a location for a mental health clinic to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Pike Co. Shipping Juveniles to Adams Co.

Faced with the possibility of a lawsuit by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Pike County supervisors voted Tuesday to shut down the county juvenile detention center effective Feb. 11.

Eric Holder Praises Miss. U.S. Attorney

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder praised the U.S. attorney for the southern district of Mississippi as a man with keen intellect and a tireless work ethic during an investiture ceremony Thursday in Jackson.

Thursday, January 17

Core Strategies of Greater Jackson Chamber's 2022 Plan

The Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership's Vision 2022 planners have compiled a list of specific goals, actions and strategies for a long-range plan for Jackson.

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Charter School Mania!

During yesterday's three-hour-long debate over the latest iteration of charter-school legislation, Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, frequently voiced his opposition to the bill.

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The Best Reporting on Guns in America

This article, first published July 24, 2012, unfortunately seems relevant again. We've taken a step back and laid out the best pieces we could find about guns.

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Reena Evers-Everette

Reena Evers-Everette, executive director of the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute, provides education and civil-engagement programs to show Medgar Evers' vision on civil rights.

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Final JFP College Football Top 25

All the bowl games are finally over and the Alabama Crimson Tide and the SEC reign supreme over the college football world.

AP IMPACT: Deficient Levees Found Across America

Inspectors taking the first-ever inventory of flood control systems overseen by the federal government have found hundreds of structures at risk of failing and endangering people and property in 37 states.

Sheriffs, State Lawmakers Push Back on Gun Control

From Oregon to Mississippi, President Barack Obama's proposed ban on new assault weapons and large-capacity magazines struck a nerve among rural lawmen and lawmakers, many of whom vowed to ignore any restrictions—and even try to stop federal officials from enforcing gun policy in their jurisdictions.

Space Station to Get $18 Million Balloon-Like Room

NASA is partnering with a commercial space company in a bid to replace the cumbersome "metal cans" that now serve as astronauts' homes in space with inflatable bounce-house-like habitats that can be deployed on the cheap.

Large Study Confirms Flu Vaccine Safe in Pregnancy

A large study offers reassuring news for pregnant women: It's safe to get a flu shot.

Mississippi Film Office Turns 40

The Mississippi Film Office will celebrate its 40th birthday Thursday with a special birthday cake celebration in the rotunda of the state Capitol in Jackson.

Snow Across Central Mississippi

There has been an accumulation of around 3 inches in the Jackson metro area with two inches northward through the Yazoo City and Grenada areas.

Snow Expected to Spread From Mississippi Across Southeast

ATLANTA (AP) — Snow was expected to spread Thursday from Mississippi across northern Georgia and up to the Washington, D.C. area, the National Weather Service said. The winter blitz follows days of heavy rain across much of the Southeast.

Roll Call: See How Your Mississippi Senator Voted on Charter Schools

Wondering who voted for and against the Senate Charter School bill on Wednesday? Here's the list.

Governor Bryant Says the State Should Resist Federal Gun Regulations

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said Wednesday that he wants the state to resist any presidential order that might restrict gun rights.

Wednesday, January 16

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Home Exhibit

I've wanted to build a gallery wall for years, but the stars hadn't aligned until now.

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Stretching Limits

As we enter the new year, many of us contemplate goals (I don't really like the word "resolutions") to accomplish over the course of the next 365 days.

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Parenting Through Serious Illness

When I was first diagnosed with a rare brain tumor more than a year ago, I was scared. But my biggest fears were for my son, then only a year old.

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Boycotting Pro-GMO Organic Brands Not the Way

A list going around the Internet calls for consumers to boycott the top organic brands owned by 10 parent companies that donated to defeat Prop 37, the California Right to Know GMO labeling initiative.

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The Next Culinary Adventure

If there is one daunting fact about James Roache and his restaurant Ro’Chez (204 W. Jackson St., Ridgeland, 601-503-8244), it’s that in seven years of operation, Chef Roache has never repeated a menu.

The Slate

This time next week we will know who will play in the Super Bowl in February. New England knows no Manning is left standing in their way, thanks to the Redskins and the Ravens.

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How Sweet the Sound

For years, I loathed listening to gospel music because, you see, I was way too cool for such noise and, plus, I wanted to be the rocker of the family (a part of me still does.)

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Celebration and Remembrance

For the 11th year, Jewish Cinema Mississippi presents the best films of the year to explore Jewish culture. Out of 60 films screened, the selection committee chose four to bring to Madison's Malco Grandview.

Charter School Bill Passes Mississippi Senate

The Mississippi Senate had just one piece of legislation on its calendar, a bill that would establish charter schools. It passed.

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Zappa Is As Zappa Does

Dweezil Zappa performs his father’s legendary hits at Duling Hall Jan. 31.

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The NRA Bankroll

On Dec. 21, National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre went in front of the TV cameras to read an announcement regarding the shootings in Newtown, Conn.

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From Dixie With Slugs

Late on the evening of May 20, 2010, Thomas Wortham IV was sitting on his motorcycle when a car pulled up.

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The 'Gun-Show Loophole'

Mississippians with a yen to add to their personal arsenals can head out to a gun show in the state just about any weekend of the year.

ALEC Pushes Stand-Your Ground Bills

Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which received widespread media coverage after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin Feb. 26, 2012, is similar to Mississippi's Castle Doctrine, with one major difference: location doesn't matter.

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More Gun Control in Mississippi

With statewide household gun ownership at 54 percent in Mississippi, it's no secret that heightened gun-control laws aren't likely to get much support from the state Legislature.

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Castle Doctrine: Not So Cut and Dry

In 2008, Justin Vanquez Thomas, 24, shot and killed Dexter Harris outside the Southaven Performing Arts Center.

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Guns: A Public Health Crisis?

Despite the pervasive notion that guns make people safer, science suggests otherwise.

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City of the Dead

Memphis in 1878 became a city of the dead—people hiding behind shuttered windows and locked doors, the clickety-clack of wagons carrying the corpses to waiting gravediggers.

Put Funds into Education, Not Guards

Last week, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves went on the record to push the National Rifle Association's pro-gun agenda in Mississippi.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: "Anti-American"

While the parent company of Al Jazeera English also owns Al Jazeera Arabic, the two stations are not the same. Al Jazeera English is a well-respected news outlet in the West.

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Well Informed and Educated

The faculty and staff at Hair Did University are committed to teaching students how to navigate around a system of spiritual and economic oppression.

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Good to Be Back

Working on a shorter 90-day schedule compared to last year, Mississippi lawmakers got right to work filing bills in the opening week of the 2013 legislative session.

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Senate 28: Meet the Candidates

Nine people want to fill the Mississippi Senate seat vacated by the recent death of Alice Harden.

Your Turn: True Mississippi Hospitality

Last Saturday I ran the Mississippi Blues Marathon.

Question o' the Week: What is the top thing you plan to do in 2013 to help Jackson become the best possible city it can be?

What is the top thing you plan to do in 2013 to help Jackson become the best possible city it can be?

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You & JFP

Favorite quote: "Whatever you do, always do your best."

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Obama Unveils Sweeping Gun Proposals

Braced for a fight, President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled the most sweeping proposals for curbing gun violence in two decades, pressing a reluctant Congress to pass universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.

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One City, United and Divided

Within two months, the city of Jackson and community leaders have unveiled several programs that claim the same goals: to unite Jacksonians, promote the capital city's positive features and move Jackson into a better future.

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Incarceration Over Education

If it's not your kid involved, it could be easy to look the other way when zero-tolerance policies incarcerate children for minor offenses.

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Darrell Winston

As program director for the Jackson chapter of the Sigma Beta Club, Darnell Winston in the most positive role model in many young males' lives.

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Weapons of Mass Destruction

The gun lobby has become too strong, too strident and a bit insane.

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Community Collaboration and Creation

When Scott Allen was a kid, his parents let him draw and paint on a stretch of wall in his home. These days, Allen, 33, is still painting on walls, but he has a bit more space to work with. This week, he unveils an outdoor mural nearly 40 feet long, the first of a new crop of public art funded by a grant aimed at bringing art to Midtown.

Democrats Blast Proposed Changes to State Pensions

"Leave our money alone!" That statement by Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones, D-Canton, sums up Democrats' reaction to proposals to freeze cost-of-living increases for retired public employees.

APNewsBreak: Miss. Settles with Solar Firm

The state of Mississippi settled a lawsuit Tuesday with Twin Creeks, a California solar panel company that went out of business after the state spent $27.7 million to construct a building for the business in Senatobia and buy equipment, The Associated Press has learned.

Lairy Wins Special Election to Replace Late Father

Unofficial results show Angela Turner Lairy will replace her late father Bennie Turner in the Mississippi Senate.

France in 'Direct Combat' in Mali Within Hours

French troops pressed northward in Mali toward territory occupied by radical Islamists on Wednesday, military officials said, announcing the start of a land assault that will put soldiers in direct combat "within hours."

ER Visits Tied to Energy Drinks Double Since 2007

A new government survey suggests the number of people seeking emergency treatment after consuming energy drinks has doubled nationwide during the past four years, the same period in which the supercharged drink industry has surged in popularity in convenience stores, bars and on college campuses.

AP-GfK Poll: 6 in 10 Favor Stricter Gun Laws

Nearly six in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws in the aftermath of last month's deadly school shooting in Connecticut, with majorities favoring a nationwide ban on military-style, rapid-fire weapons and limits on gun violence depicted in video games, movies and TV shows, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.

EPA Changed Course After Oil Company Protested

When a man in a Fort Worth suburb reported his family's drinking water had begun "bubbling" like champagne, the federal government sounded an alarm: An oil company may have tainted their wells while drilling for natural gas.

Stormy Issue of Sandy Aid Settles Down in House

The political tempest stirred up by Superstorm Sandy appears to have moved on after wreaking havoc among congressional Republicans divided over how much aid to allocate to the victims.

AG: Insurance Department Can Set Up Exchange

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has the authority to establish and manage a health insurance exchange.

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Obama to Unveil Gun Violence Measures Today

The broad effort to reduce gun violence will include proposed bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Senate Committee Approves Charter School Bill

Legislation to expand charter schools in Mississippi is once again moving forward, with the state Senate Education Committee approving Senate Bill 2189 on a split vote Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 15

Newtown Shooting Survivors Record Song for Charity

Children who survived last month's shooting rampage at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School have recorded a version of "Over the Rainbow" to raise money for charity.

Blasts at Syrian University Kill More than 80

Twin blasts inside a university campus in Syria's largest city on Tuesday set cars ablaze, blew the walls off dormitory rooms and left more than 80 people dead, anti-regime activists said.

US Condemns Comments from Egypt's Morsi

The Obama administration on Tuesday gave a blistering review of remarks that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi made almost three years ago about Jews and called for him to repudiate what it called unacceptable rhetoric.

Wal-Mart to Hire Vets, Buy American

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer and the biggest private employer in the U.S. with 1.4 million workers here, said Tuesday that it is rolling out a three-part plan to help jumpstart the sluggish U.S. economy.

From Misery to Tragedy in Egyptian Train Crash

At a station just outside of Cairo before dawn Tuesday, the train's last car jumped the track, slammed into a parked train, and then was dragged for several kilometers.

France Girds for New Threats Amid Mali Operation

France's military campaign to stop advancing Islamist insurgents in Mali has been met with a volley of threats from the extremists, feeding fears that the French could be targeted within their own borders.

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Charter Schools Pass Senate Committee

A highly anticipated charter-school bill is on its way to the Senate floor. At an early morning meeting of the Senate Education Committee today, members agreed by voice vote to send the measure to the full Senate for consideration with a few modifications.

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Nissan, Cafe, Caterpillar, Mississippi Works

To celebrate its 10 successful years in Mississippi, Nissan Motor Company announced that it is moving production of its Murano crossover vehicles from Kyushu, Japan, to the facility in Canton in 2014.

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Susie Harvill

Susie Harvill wondered why the prostitutes disappeared from Biloxi's entertainment districts. She found them in our backyards.

Danny Glover Backs Union Protest Against Nissan

Actor Danny Glover has joined supporters of unionization for workers at a Nissan Motor Co. assembly plant in Mississippi demonstrating outside the North American International Auto Show.

State of Emergency Declared Over Miss. Ice Storm

An ice storm warning was out for much of the Mississippi Delta until 6 p.m. Tuesday as motorists were being warned of continuing icy conditions on roads and bridges—a warning that extended into northeastern counties.

Wicker to Oppose Hagel Nomination

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, a Republican from Mississippi, says he will oppose the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary.

Thompson on Task Force Looking at Gun Laws

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, has been named vice chairman of a congressional task force looking at ways to reduce and prevent gun violence.

Cost-Cut Talk is Long on Emotion, Short on Details

In the heated talk about deep spending cuts that will dominate Congress in the coming weeks, one thing is likely to be in short supply: details.

Smallest State is Big Battleground on Gay Marriage

Supporters of same-sex marriage rights plan to assemble at the Rhode Island Statehouse to urge lawmakers to make the smallest state the 10th to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed—and the last to do so in New England.

Gingrich: GOP Unwise to Pick Fight on Debt Limit

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says House Republicans are making a mistake by using the issue of increasing the borrowing limit to challenge President Barack Obama on spending issues.

NY Seals 1st State Gun Laws Since Newtown Massacre

New York lawmakers agreed to pass the toughest gun control law in the nation and the first since the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, calling for a stricter assault weapons ban and provisions to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill who make threats.

Schumer to Back Hagel for Pentagon's Top Job

An influential Senate Democrat says he will back President Barack Obama's choice of Chuck Hagel for the top job at the Pentagon.

Oprah: Lance Armstrong Admitted Doping

Lance Armstrong has finally come clean.

Miss. Lawmakers Eye Mandatory Kindergarten

At least three senators have introduced bills that would require 5-year-olds to attend school, and at least one House member also plans such a bill.

Monday, January 14

2012 Military Suicides Hit a Record High of 349

Suicides in the U.S. military surged to a record 349 last year, far exceeding American combat deaths in Afghanistan, and some private experts are predicting the dark trend will grow worse this year.

Conn. Group Launches Anti-Violence Initiative

Nicole Hockley says she still finds herself reaching for her son's hand or expecting him to crawl into bed with her for a hug before school.

New Cemetery Endangers Egypt's Ancient Necropolis

In this more than 4,500-year-old pharaonic necropolis, Egypt's modern rituals of the dead are starting to encroach on its ancient ones.

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Abortion Clinic Faces Closure, Again

As of today, the Mississippi State Department of Health has not inspected the state's last abortion clinic to determine whether the clinic is in compliance with a state law Gov. Phil Bryant signed last spring requiring the clinic's doctors to have hospital admitting privelages.

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Feds Replace Foreclosure Review With $8.5 Billion Settlement

The Independent Foreclosure Review was supposed to be a full and fair investigation of the big banks' foreclosure abuses, and it was trumpeted as the government's largest effort to compensate victimized homeowners.

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April Ulmer

Madison native April Ulmer is launching a new student-aid program this Friday.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

The Jackson State University Summer Internship Fair is Jan. 16, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., at the New Engineering Building in room 100 and the atrium.

A Disconnect Between Violence and Television

If there's any soul-searching among top television executives about onscreen violence contributing to real-life tragedies like the Connecticut school shooting, it isn't readily apparent.

Hitting the Debt Limit: What Bills Would Be Paid?

In the summer of 2011, when a debt crisis like the current one loomed, President Barack Obama warned Republicans that older Americans might not get their Social Security checks unless there was a deal to raise the nation's borrowing limit.

Colin Powell Says GOP Having 'An Identity Problem'

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell says his own Republican Party is having "an identity problem."

State Rep. David Gibbs Dies in Hospital at Age 76

State Rep. David Gibbs, recalled by colleagues as a common-sense lawmaker who preferred to keep a low profile and make things happen behind the scenes, died Sunday. He was 76.

Miss. Schools Taking Look at Security Measures

The McComb school system is looking at switching to uniforms as a way to address security issues.

Miss. Lt. Gov. Proposes Armed Guards in Schools

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is proposing a $7.5 million program to help schools hire trained and armed law enforcement officers to work on campus.

'Argo,' 'Les Miserables' Win Best-Pic Globes

"Lincoln" is sitting pretty with the Oscars but was mostly left out in the cold at the Globes.

Sunday, January 13

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10 Local Stories of the Week

There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them.

Saturday, January 12

Interview: Is the World Ready for Another George Bush?

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — George Prescott Bush is gearing up to run for a little-known but powerful office in a state where his family already is a political dynasty and where his Hispanic roots could help extend a stranglehold on power Republicans have enjoyed for two decades.

Only Miss. Abortion Clinic Can't Comply With Law

Mississippi's only abortion clinic missed a Friday deadline to comply with a state law requiring each of its physicians to get hospital admitting privileges.

Friday, January 11

Employees in Rural Ohio K-12 School Will Start Carrying Handguns

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A rural school district in Ohio is drawing attention with its plans to arm a handful of its non-teaching employees with handguns this year — perhaps even janitors.

Kerry's Words on Assad Certain to Draw Scrutiny

Sen. John Kerry has held up Syria as a country that could bring peace and stability to the Mideast and predicted that the now-disgraced government of President Bashar Assad would pursue a legitimate relationship with the United States.

Pakistani Shiites Protest After Attack Kills 86

Shiite Muslims hit by a twin bombing that killed 86 people refused to bury their dead Friday, demanding the Pakistani government do more to protect them from increasing violence against the minority sect.

Al-Qaida Presence in Mali, Yemen and Afghanistan

President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met Friday to discuss bringing down the curtain in the long Afghan war.

French Troops in Mali to Fight Extremists

France's military started an air operation Friday to help Malian soldiers fight radical Islamists, drawing the former colonial power into a military intervention to oust the al-Qaida-linked militants nine months after they seized control of northern Mali.

Saudi King Grants Women Seats on Advisory Council

Saudi Arabia's king granted women seats on the country's top advisory council for the first time on Friday, giving them a long-awaited toehold in the ultraconservative kingdom's male-dominated political system.

Gipson Files Fetal Heart-Beat Bill

Reps. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, and Mark Formby, R-Picayune, have filed a bill "to prohibit an abortion of an unborn human individual with a detectable fetal heartbeat."

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Barbour Pardonee Involved in Fatal Shooting

A man who received a pardon from former Gov. Haley Barbour is a suspect in a shooting in Calhoun County.

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Who's Watching Out for Children?

Yesterday, Democrats in the Mississippi Legislature began exploring that question during a public forum on mental-health and school-safety policy at the Capitol.

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Band of the Day: Sun Ballet

Sun Ballet kicks off what the band hopes is its biggest year yet with its first performance of 2013 at Hal & Mal's Saturday.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra presents "Bravo III: Dvorak's Seventh" at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall.

Bryant Backs New Restrictions on Abortion in Miss.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant told several dozen pastors and other abortion opponents Thursday that he supports a bill that would ban the procedure once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. It's similar to a bill that was filed and killed by a Senate chairman last year.

Campaign Law Issue of Federal Trial

A federal judge has scheduled a trial for June 3 on challenge to Mississippi's campaign finance law.

Subpoenas Seek 2 Key Accounts in MDMR Probe

The state auditor's office has served a subpoena for access to two key Mississippi Department of Marine Resources' financial accounts. That's according to a published report.

Lawmakers Release Documents on Wal-Mart Bribery

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s CEO Mike Duke found out in 2005 that the retailer's Mexico unit was handing out bribes to local officials, according to emails obtained by lawmakers.

Gasoline Prices Predicted to Fall in 2013

Hamburger, health care and taxes are all set to take a bigger bite out of the family budget this year. But drivers' annual gas bills are expected to drop for the first time in four years.

Indiana Boy Abducted in '94 Found in Minnesota

A boy abducted from northeastern Indiana by his paternal grandparents 19 years ago has been found in Minnesota.

Obama, Karzai Meeting to Discuss Ending Afghan War

Charting the course for a war's end, President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai meet Friday at the White House to discuss the future of the U.S. role in Afghanistan and the 66,000 American troops in harm's way.

Syrian Rebels Seize Key Air Base, Activists Say

Islamic militants seeking to topple President Bashar Assad took full control of a strategic northwestern air base Friday in a significant blow to government forces, seizing helicopters, tanks and multiple rocket launchers, activists said.

Biden Seeks Video-Game Industry Input on Guns

Looking for broader remedies to gun violence, Vice President Joe Biden is reaching out to the video game industry for ideas.

Miss. Exchange Decision Expected in 15 Days

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney expects federal regulators will announce a decision on Mississippi's health exchange within 10 to 15 days.

Thursday, January 10

California Teen Shooter Was Talked Into Putting Weapon Down By Teacher

A 16-year-old student armed with a shotgun walked into class in a rural California high school on Thursday and shot one student, fired at another and missed, and then was talked into surrendering by a teacher and another staff member, officials said.

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Scholarship Scheme Draws Fire

A plan by Gov. Phil Bryant to establish a scholarship fund for public-school students to go to private schools drew fire from Republican members of the committee.

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JPS to Focus on Reading, Early Childhood

Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Cedrick Gray wants the district to focus on two key areas: reading and early childhood education.

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Bianca Knight

One of the most memorable moments from the 2012 London Olympics was the performance of the United States Women's 4x100 relay team.

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Seasonal Blooms

Flowers make up nearly 10 percent of traditional wedding budgets, so reining in costs nearly always requires a look at the floral design.

Full List: Oscar Nominations are big for 'Lincoln,' Skip Over Affleck, Bigelow, 'Skyfall'

Complete list of 85th Annual Academy Award nominations announced Thursday.

In Picking Lew, Obama Turns a Page at Treasury

Jack Lew, President Barack Obama's nominee for treasury secretary, is a premier federal budget expert who would take the helm of the government's main agency for economic and fiscal policy just as the administration girds itself for a new confrontation with congressional Republicans over the nation's debt and deficits.

Steroids Fallout: No BB Hall for Bonds, Clemens

No one was elected to the Hall of Fame this year. When voters closed the doors to Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, they also shut out everybody else.

US Tax Code Longer than Bible—Without Good News

At nearly 4 million words, the U.S. tax law is so thick and complicated that businesses and individuals spend more than 6 billion hours a year complying with filing requirements.

Violence Plays Role in Shorter US Life Expectancy

The United States suffers far more violent deaths than any other wealthy nation, due in part to the widespread possession of firearms and the practice of storing them at home in a place that is often unlocked, according to a report released Wednesday by two of the nation's leading health research institutions.

White House Says 'No Backup Plan' to Debt Ceiling

The White House is dismissing suggestions to sidestep Congress to meet the nation's debt obligations, declaring that it is Congress' responsibility to pay the bills of the United States.

New Pell Grant Restrictions Lower Enrollment

New regulations enacted by Congress in June have stripped Pell Grant eligibility from nearly 3,000 Mississippi students.

Miss. Resolution: Support All Sandy Recovery Aid

A Democratic state lawmaker said Wednesday he's filing a resolution that urges Mississippi's entire congressional delegation to support federal spending for Hurricane Sandy recovery.

Biden to Meet with NRA to Discuss Gun Safety

Inviting in the opposition, Vice President Joe Biden will meet Thursday with the National Rifle Association.

Wednesday, January 9

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Eclectic Collection

In a modern-looking building of ash and concrete and glass, tucked away in the woods off Interstate 55’s Frontage Road, you can find two things: a lot of books and a lot of art.

Stinker Quote of the Week: "Support"

Hurricane Katrina devastated Palazzo's district on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Billions in direct federal aid have gone into Katrina aid, most of it authorized by Congress without any debate.

Remember Who Pays the Bill

Jackson becomes the epicenter of Mississippi's political and economic future from January to April every year. For 12 weeks, the city's air gets a little warmer with the bluster, pontification and bombast wafting from the state Capitol.

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The Strange Animal

Politics is a strange animal. Who would have thought that a year later we still would be talking about rebranding, except the party is now the GOP.

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Answering the Mailbag

I figured because it is the beginning of a new year, I would open up the ole reader mailbag and respond to some of your questions from last year.

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Just Keep Going

The biggest lesson I learned in 2012 came to me with only a week left in the year. I'd been processing or decompressing--depending on the day--for a couple of weeks.

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The Reinvention of Tess Brunet

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tess Brunet dove into the music industry in different capacities over the years.

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New Directions for UMMC, Viking Corp

On Monday, Gov. Phil Bryant and University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones helped usher in what they believe will be the first step to a healthier population in the state.

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Night Riders

For almost one year, Dominick and his peers conspired to "willfully cause bodily injury to, and through the use of dangerous weapons, attempt to cause bodily injury to African American persons" in the Jackson area, according to the federal indictment.

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Streaky Saints

The 2012 season was not one New Orleans Saints fans will want to remember for years to come.

The Slate

Yep, the NCAA really taught Penn State a lesson. Oh wait … what do you mean, a billionaire booster just donated $1.3 million to the head coach’s salary, making him the highest paid coach in college football?

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11th-Hour 'Cliff' Deal: Mostly Band Aid

The U.S. Congress kept the entire electorate on tenterhooks for weeks over the "fiscal cliff"--mandatory tax expirations and spending cuts that Congress imposed on itself last year.

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Deserving Second Chances?

Before the Baltimore Ravens’ playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts, star middle linebacker Ray Lewis announced that he would retire at the end of the season.

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Thinking Positive for the New Year

Resolve to focus on the good things and let more positivity into your life this new year.

Your Turn: Race to the Bottom?

I see all five factors from Donna Ladd's assessment ("The X-Out Factor") in my classroom, where most students are on free or reduced lunch, but none spoke to me more than dependency.

Question o' the Week: What is the best thing that could happen in 2013?

What is the best thing that could happen in 2013?

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You & JFP

"I would like to commend Melisha Grayson on her article Making Our Children Whole. I read it to the entire staff here at Gentlemen Image and so began a two-hour conversation!"

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Have Your Cake and Decorate it, Too

One of the most interesting and informative cooking classes I have ever taken was in Atlanta from a pastry chef who was on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.”

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Local Muse

Let’s be honest: There aren’t many places to turn in Jackson if you want true couture designer clothes. But when Mary Amelia McRee opened a designer consignment boutique, big-time labels became a little more accessible in the metro.

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Making Music Together

If you are a fan of local music in Jackson, you probably know Valley Gordon and Taylor Hildebrand. Not only are they great musicians, but they also create community all around them.

Colorado Theater Shooting "Mini-Trial" Ends

A hearing laying out the evidence against the accused gunman in the Colorado theater shooting ended Wednesday with the defense deciding not to call witnesses to explain James Holmes' mental health.

Ferry Strikes NYC Dock; 11 Seriously Injured

A high-speed ferry loaded with hundreds of commuters from New Jersey crashed into a dock in lower Manhattan on Wednesday during the morning rush hour, seriously injuring 11 people, including one who suffered a severe head wound falling down a stairwell.

Biden Meets with Gun-Safety, Victims Groups

Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday heard personal stories of gun violence from representatives of victims groups and gun-safety organizations as he drafts the Obama administration's response to the shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. He pledged that action would be taken.

Bonds, Clemens Rejected; No One Elected to BB Hall

Steroid-tainted stars Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa were denied entry to baseball's Hall of Fame, with voters failing to elect any candidates for only the second time in four decades.

Iranians Freed in Major Prisoner Swap in Syria

Rebels freed 48 Iranians on Wednesday in exchange for more than 2,000 prisoners, including women and children, held by Syrian authorities—a deal struck after rare negotiations involving regional powers Turkey, Qatar and Iran.

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Fantastic Figurines

Sometimes it’s a small detail that stands out.

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Ritual and Community

The wedding of Wendy Shenefelt and Michael Fleming paid homage to their passion for education and their heritage.

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He Said, She Said

Wedding planning isn’t just a process, it is an experience.

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City Begins Improvement Project

The city has a long list of needed repairs, replacements, and upgrades to its water and sewer systems--about $400 million worth, in fact.

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What Happened to VAWA?

The Violence Against Women Act has been hailed as one of the most successful measures to reduce domestic abuse in the United States.

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Behind the Traditions

So, while a lot of the wedding traditions we see today make for moving wedding ceremonies, plenty of them have a history that may make a modern bride think twice.

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Kendall Poole

Kendall Poole's experience as a 20-time bridesmaid across 15 years gave her the experience to make the jump to wedding planning full-time.

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The Wedding Ordeal

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but women can get a little worked up over weddings. In fact, I don't know if there is anything that turns sane women into frothing, frenzied, frantic lunatics faster.

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Risko Danza: Two Years in the Making

In just two years of making music, Jackson-based funk-rockers Risko Danza have covered most of the prerequisites for a mature band.

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The Exchange Spat

Republicans are fighting themselves over a Mississippi health-insurance exchange.

Police: Colo. Shooting Suspect Planned Massacre

As officials this week laid out the most detailed portrait yet of last year's Aurora movie theater massacre, they also mapped sometimes paradoxical behavior by the man accused of the rampage, James Holmes.

AIG Board Weighs Suing US Over Bailout

AIG is considering Wednesday whether the company should join a lawsuit against the government that spent $182 billion to save it from collapse.

Biden to Meet with Gun-Safety, Victims Groups

Seeking to spur fresh action on gun legislation, Vice President Joe Biden is meeting at the White House with victims groups and gun-safety organizations.

US Seared During Hottest Year on Record by Far

America set an off-the-charts heat record in 2012.

Powell Wins Special Election for House District 59

Brandon resident Brent Powell has been elected to the Mississippi Legislature during a special House election.

Miss. Legislative Session Off to Saunter, Not Trot

Mississippi lawmakers prayed, listened to patriotic music and exchanged plenty of hugs and handshakes on the opening day of their 2013 session. Bills were just starting to appear on a newly revamped legislative website and most members did little actual work.

9 Enter Mississippi Senate Race to Succeed Harden

Nine candidates are running for a state Senate seat in part of Hinds County.

National Cathedral to Host 1st Same-Sex Weddings

The Washington National Cathedral, where the nation gathers to mourn tragedies and celebrate new presidents, will soon begin hosting same-sex marriages.

Second Portion of Entergy Rate Increase Approved

Entergy Corp. will raise customer bills again in February to pay the costs of Entergy Mississippi buying a share of the Grand Gulf nuclear plant from sister company Entergy Arkansas.

Tuesday, January 8

Clinton Likely to Testify on Libya Assault Jan. 22

The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton likely will testify before the panel on Jan. 22 about the assault in Libya that killed four Americans.

Giffords, Kelly Launch Gun Control Lobbying Effort

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband launched a political action committee aimed at curbing gun violence on Tuesday as her Arizona hometown paused to mark the second anniversary of a deadly shooting rampage that left her with severe injuries.

US Sees Iran Behind Hostage Photos of Ex-FBI Agent

Two years after a hostage video and photographs of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson raised the possibility that the missing American was being held by terrorists, U.S. officials now see the government of Iran behind the images, intelligence officials told The Associated Press.

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Tate Reeves and the 2013 Session

Reeves' swallowing of what he considers a bitter pill could be construed as surprising considering the adversarial approach some of his fellow Republicans--most notably Gov. Phil Bryant--have taken toward implementing President Obama's health law.

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New Med School, Viking Sold, Team Jackson, Film Festival, More

Mississippi ranks near or at the bottom of almost every health indicator. Gov. Phil Bryant hopes a new School of Medicine will be the remedy not only for health issues, but for some of the state's economic issues as well.

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Dr. Tandaw Samdarshi

What do the ancient Indian texts called the Upanishads have to do with sleep? Dr. Tandaw Samdarshi, associate professor of cardiology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, is in the process of finding out.

Obama Defense Pick Faces Rough Going in Senate

President Barack Obama's pick of Chuck Hagel to run the Pentagon faces rough going in the Senate as a handful of Republicans quickly announced their opposition to a former GOP colleague, and several skeptical Democrats reserved judgment until the nominee explains his views on Israel and Iran.

US Banks to Pay $8.5B in Mortgage Settlement

Hundreds of thousands of Americans stand to benefit from the latest mortgage-abuse settlement, but consumer advocates say U.S. banks may be getting the best of the deal.

Colo. Shooting Families Listen to Police Testimony

There was plenty of horror in the courtroom as Aurora police officers gave detailed accounts of the grim scene after a gunman killed 12 and wounded dozens others during a July rampage at a packed movie theater.

Report: Death Rates from Cancer Still Inching Down

Death rates from cancer are continuing to inch down, researchers reported Monday.

Unusual Respite from Surging Health Care Costs

Americans kept health care spending in check for three years in a row, the government reported Monday, an unusual respite that could linger if the economy stays soft or fade like a mirage if job growth comes roaring back.

Evers-Williams to Give Invocation at Inauguration

Myrlie Evers-Williams has been selected to deliver the invocation at the inauguration of President Barack Obama on Jan. 21 in Washington.

Belhaven Area Placed on National Register

The Belhaven neighborhood in Jackson has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

White House Ramping Up Gun Violence Discussions

President Barack Obama has ordered an administration-wide task force to send him proposals by the end of January.

Miss. Lawmakers Kick Off 2013 Session Tuesday

Mississippi lawmakers gavel into session at noon Tuesday with a broad range of issues to debate during the next three months.

Monday, January 7

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Hinds Hires Lobbyist

With District 4 Supervisor Phil Fisher as the lone dissenting vote, the board agreed to hire attorney Firnist Alexander as the county's lobbyist.

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Warning Pregnant Patients About Environmental Risks

When Dr. Darragh Flynn sits down with her pregnant patients, she preaches healthy habits: Don't smoke or drink, eat nutritious foods and take vitamins.

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Bill McChester

Bill McChester, 66, is the owner and operator of STEP-UP Pre Employment Trainers, Inc, a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Jackson.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

American Board Teaching Information Sessions are Jan. 8, 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., at the YMCA in downtown Jackson.

10 Things to Know for Monday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

Gov't Spent $18 Billion on Immigration Enforcement

The Obama administration spent more money on immigration enforcement in the last fiscal year than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined, according to a report on the government's enforcement efforts from a Washington think tank.

White House, GOP Draw Red Lines in Debt Debate

Struggling for the upper hand in the next round of debt talks, Republicans and Democrats this weekend drew lines in the sand they said they'd never cross when it comes to the U.S. debt limit.

Palazzo Called for Swift Federal Aid After Katrina

U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo says he voted against funding to pay the Hurricane Sandy flood insurance claims because of the deficit, but as the chief financial officer for the Biloxi Public Housing Authority in 2005, Palazzo asked for federal relief despite the nation's debt.

Record Players, Albums Hot Items

Cassettes are dead. CDs are dying. Eight-tracks were barely ever alive. But through one music revolution after another, vinyl records have continued spinning, and the medium is finding a resurgence among young and older listeners alike.

Obama Taps Hagel for Pentagon, Brennan for CIA

Today President Barack Obama will nominate Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

Sunday, January 6

Michael J. Fox to Play Newscaster with Parkinson's in NBC Sit-Com

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — On his upcoming NBC comedy, Michael J. Fox will play a newscaster who had quit his job due to Parkinson's Disease but returns to work in the show's first episode because a new medical regimen has helped him control many of the disease's symptoms.

Will the BCS Championship Game Live Up to the Hype?

MIAMI (AP) — Sometimes, the buildup to a game can overwhelm what actually happens on the field.

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10 Local Stories of the Week

There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them.

Saturday, January 5

MSU Promotes Collins to Defensive Coordinator

Mississippi State has promoted Geoff Collins to defensive coordinator the school announced on Friday.

Friday, January 4

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Running the Blues

This weekend, thousands of marathoners will descend on Jackson with blues in their head, heart and step for the Mississippi Blues Marathon.

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Watchdogs to IRS: Reject Rove Group's Tax Application

Two watchdog groups are calling on the IRS to reject Crossroads GPS' request to be recognized as a social welfare nonprofit.

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Aaron Roux, Paul Erway and Grant Berthiaume

This Saturday, runners from all over the country and all over the world will arrive in Jackson to participate in the Mississippi Blues Marathon.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, the BankPlus Racing Vehicle Extravaganza is from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Mississippi Trade Mart.

Incarcerated Veterans Train Dogs for Other Vets

Hazard Wilson's new cellmate is a hairy bundle of energy whose playful zeal can't be contained by steel doors: a five-month-old golden retriever.

Poll: Obesity's a Crisis but We Want Our Junk Food

We know obesity is a health crisis, or every new year wouldn't start with resolutions to eat better and get off the couch. But don't try taking away our junk food.

Farm Bill Extension Evidence of Lost Clout

A patchwork extension of federal farm programs passed as part of a larger "fiscal cliff" bill keeps the price of milk from rising but doesn't include many of the goodies that farm-state lawmakers are used to getting for their rural districts.

Feds, Transocean Reach $1.4B Deal Over Gulf Spill

The Justice Department reached a $1.4 billion settlement Thursday with Transocean Ltd., the owner of the drilling rig that sank after an explosion killed 11 workers and spawned the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Miss. Lawmakers Face April Deadline for Budget

Mississippi budget writers have released their initial proposals for fiscal 2014 but are months away from deciding exactly how much the state will spend on education, health care and other services.

Court Orders Hearing on Mental Exam in Death Case

A federal judge has scheduled a March 22 hearing on the results of a mental evaluation for a Mississippi death row inmate.

Miss. Health Insurance Exchange Proposal in Limbo

Mississippi's proposed health insurance exchange is in limbo because of a dispute between the governor and the insurance commissioner.

Thursday, January 3

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Sixth Man Guilty in 'Night Rides'

A sixth man is guilty in a hate-crime conspiracy that played out in spring 2011 in Jackson.

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City Signs $90 Million Contract, Sets Meetings

Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. signed a $90 million contract with Siemens Corp. over the holidays for a water and sewer improvement project.

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Patti Page

Singer Patti Page, 85, died New Year's Day, just five weeks shy of receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

Sandy Hook Kids Face 1st Classes Since Shooting

Classes resumed Thursday for the students of Sandy Hook Elementary School for the first time since last month's massacre in Newtown, where a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six educators.

Indian Police Charge 5 in New Delhi Gang Rape

Authorities filed rape and murder charges Thursday against five men accused of the gang rape of a 23-year-old university student on a New Delhi bus, a crime that horrified Indians and provoked a national debate about the treatment of women.

Pan-Arab Al-Jazeera Buys Current TV from Al Gore

With its purchase of left-leaning Current TV, the Pan-Arab news channel Al-Jazeera has fulfilled a long-held quest to reach tens of millions of U.S. homes. But its new audience immediately got a little smaller.

Congress Ushering in New Members, with Old Divide

Congress is ushering in the new and the old — dozens of eager freshmen determined to change Washington and the harsh reality of another stretch of bitterly divided government.

Fiscal-Cliff Deal No Recipe for a Robust Economy

Housing is rebounding. Families are shrinking debts. Europe has avoided a financial crackup. And the fiscal cliff deal has removed the most urgent threat to the U.S. economy.

Lesbian Couples Seek Miss. Marriage Licenses

Five lesbian couples applied for marriage licenses in Forrest County this week, knowing they would be denied.

NJ Gov. Christie Blasts Boehner, Republicans

Christie, who has verbally tangled with many, showed Wednesday he's willing to aim his barbs at the highest echelons of his own party.

Boehner Agrees to Sandy Aid Vote on Friday

Under intense pressure from angry Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner agreed Wednesday to a vote this week on aid for Superstorm Sandy recovery.

AP Interview: Reeves Pushing for Charter Schools

With the 2013 Mississippi legislative session starting next week, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves says he believes there's bipartisan support for charter schools and for efforts to improve children's reading skills in early elementary grades.

Wednesday, January 2

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Stranger Things

Not expanding Medicaid could have disastrous results for the rural hospitals that serve many of the state's most vulnerable residents.

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Exterior Decorating

The pulse of any good neighborhood comes from the people who inhabit it.

How to Change the World

Tamra Gordon was tired of watching the revolving door of abusers and their victims cycle through Clinton's courtrooms.

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Now, Now Weaves Intricate ‘Threads’

Don’t be ashamed if the Minnesota-based indie-rock three-piece act Now, Now has slipped past you.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: "Lunatics"

Setting aside how much that would cost, research has shown that more guns equal more gun deaths, whether by suicide or homicide.

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Music Resolutions

Happy New Year to everyone! I am super excited that 2013 is finally here. I look forward to seeing what all this new year will bring us musically in the City with Soul.

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Mississippi Bowling

Only two college football games remain this year that feature teams from our state. Beating their opponent won’t be a daunting task for either the Mississippi State Bulldogs or the Ole Miss Rebels.

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The SEC: Unstoppable?

The BCS National Championship Game will be played this week between Alabama and Notre Dame.

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The Slate

This is a big week in sports: The NFL Playoffs begin, and a college football national champion will be crowned.

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'Keep on Pushing'

Big Roscoe: "Welcome to Clubb Chicken Wing's 'Day After New Year Hot Wing Happy Hour.' Regular customers returned here to wind down after partying New Year's Eve and day."

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Good Organic Gardening Advice—for the South?

If you could suggest to beginning to fairly advanced gardeners only one reference book about organic gardening, what would it be?

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City Responds to William Bright

In the Nov. 28 interview with mayoral candidate and former Jackson Police Department officer William Bright (Vol. 11, Issue 12), the Jackson Free Press misquoted Bright in talking about the Jackson Police Department's "DARK program."

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Each dish in this meal represents different memories for me and times in my life, all of which have shaped my culinary point of view.

Feedback: "ARF Battles for Life," by Jacob Fuller

ARF/MS has been saving the lives of hundreds of abused, neglected and unwanted animals since Katrina.

Question o' the Week: Tell us about a great random act of kindness you've done or that someone has done for you. Help us make an inspiration list!

Tell us about a great random act of kindness you've done or that someone has done for you. Help us make an inspiration list!

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Put a Cork in It

I’ve already professed my habit of pairing crafting with wine. This leaves me with plenty of wine corks, but luckily, that just means a new material to make something cool with.

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You & JFP

Favorite quote: "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" Mark 8:36

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The Battle Over Schooling

Public-school K-12 education is slated to take a top spot on Mississippi lawmakers’ agendas again this year. Heat notwithstanding, Republicans will probably get their way on both issues.

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Jackson’s Legislative Agenda

What Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. wants to see from the state Legislature hasn’t changed much in the past year.

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Taste of the Caribbean

Alex Sivira is working to bring an affordable, fresh take on the food of his homeland and other Latin American cultures to Fondren with Cafe Ole.

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Home Brews

Mississippi home brewers may not have the law fully on their side, but they now have a place to buy all the hops, barley, yeast and equipment they need to create and bottle their own beer.

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The Circus is in Town: 2013 Legislative Preview

Gov. Phil Bryant has big plans for the 2013 legislative session. For the past few months, he’s been busy selling his agenda.

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How Clinton is Reducing Domestic Abuse

Tamra Morgan was the driving force behind putting a batterer's intervention program into the Clinton judicial system's toolkit. The program has significantly reduced domestic violence in the city.

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Tarasa Brierly-Harp

Tarasa Brierly-Harp attended the Mississippi University for Women and has been teaching at Murrah for more than a decade.

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A Kinder, Gentler Union

Picking on food stamps has long been a way to gather votes from people who don't bother to pay attention to who is poor and why (call them the 47-percenters).

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Creativity Over Razzle-Dazzle

My favorite films of the past year are not the prettiest, but the ones where my perspective shifted in some way or where something new was added to the cinematic vault.

UN: Analysis Suggests 60,000-Plus Killed in Syria

At least 60,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war, with monthly casualty figures steadily increasing since the conflict began almost two years ago, according to a new analysis released Wednesday by the United Nations.

Political Brinksmanship Still Threatens U.S. Economy

Lawmakers managed to avoid driving the United States over the so-called fiscal cliff with a late-night vote Tuesday. But higher taxes and brinksmanship in Washington are likely to sap strength from the fragile economy well into 2013.

Brain Image Study: Fructose May Spur Overeating

This is your brain on sugar—for real. Scientists have used imaging tests to show for the first time that fructose, a sugar that saturates the American diet, can trigger brain changes that may lead to overeating.

Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies Begin in Maryland

Same-sex couples in Maryland were greeted with cheers and noisemakers held over from New Year's Eve parties, as gay marriage became legal in the first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line on New Year's Day.

Middleby Has Bought Viking Range for $380M

Food service equipment maker Middleby Corp. has bought Mississippi-based oven and kitchen appliance maker Viking Range Corp. for $380 million.

Miss. Delegation Splits on Fiscal Cliff Bill

All three Republicans in Mississippi's House delegation voted against legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff, while the state's only Democrat representative voted for it.

AP Interview: Bryant Says Education Is Top Issue

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said education dominates his 2013 legislative agenda, from merit pay for teachers to charter schools that will receive public funding but be free of some state regulations.

Despite Deal, Taxes to Rise for Most Americans

While the tax package that Congress passed New Year's Day will protect 99 percent of Americans from an income tax increase, most of them will still end up paying more federal taxes in 2013.

Tuesday, January 1

Crisis Postponed: House Passes Senate 'Fiscal Cliff' Bill and Sends to Obama for Signature

WASHINGTON (AP) — Past its own New Year's deadline, a weary Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation to avoid a national "fiscal cliff" of middle class tax increases and spending cuts late Tuesday night in the culmination of a struggle that strained America's divided government to the limit.