Stories for July 2013


Wednesday, July 31

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Space Saver

One of the biggest issues in making any home both functional and attractive is storage. How do you keep knickknacks and doodads immediately accessible yet pleasing to look at? I find the bathroom is one area where this is particularly difficult to manage.

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Cheaters Should Never Win

Last week, Major League Baseball suspended Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Braun already got out of another positive PED test on a technicality last year.

The Slate

As promised last week, The Slate has football on it this week—and not from Canada either.

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Jackson’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Troubadour

Doug Frank brings an extensive musical background to Jackson stages.

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Biking in the Bayou

See Greenwood’s historic sights by bicycle in the annual Bikes, Blues and Bayous race.

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Claws of Steel

A buff and hairy Hugh Jackman wields his razor-sharp claws in “The Wolverine.”

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Great Expectations

Brinda Willis shares lessons from her first school experiences as a child.

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Fine Dining, Hold the Meat

For most non-vegans, a fully non-animal diet could seem a bit crazy, bland or not filling. But Matt Mabry, 29-year-old sous chef at BRAVO! Italian Restaurant and Bar, wants to tear down those stereotypes. He's starting by offering upscale vegan food once a week at BRAVO!.

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The Sweet Side of Okra

Okra muffins are a great way to sneak in an unexpected vegetable.

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Beyond Downtown

The Livingston Farmers Market might be the ticket to get downtowners out into the suburbs.

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Big Gardens, Small Farms

This year, a group of individuals and organizations around the state are working together to develop the Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network.

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Team JPS: Public Schools Need Community

On a drizzly early April evening, a group of students, parents and educators gathered at Provine High School's auditorium for a town hall meeting. The subject was dropout prevention.

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Arguments Worth Losing

Cruel people become cruel by winning arguments against themselves.

Showing Up Matters

At last Tuesday's meeting of the Jackson City Council, a measure was brought before the council to pump an additional $151,066 into the Fortification Street renovation project.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Taxes'

The state's road program, put in place in 1987, made no provisions for maintenance, and the commission says that it has had to shift funds from building new roads to maintaining deteriorating roads.

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Ten Years On

This week, I have decided to write a guide to the Stiggers column instead of a satirical opinion regarding the George Zimmerman verdict. For now, I am not inclined to see any humor or express an opinion on this case.

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No Room for Hinds Inmates

Whatever comes out of this week's special Hinds County Board of Supervisors meeting on the condition of the Raymond Detention Center, one thing is clear: Surrounding county jails are ill-equipped to house Hinds County prisoners.

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Death Row’s Manning Gets DNA Hearing

Willie Jerome Manning, who came within hours of being executed in May, could finally get an opportunity to have DNA testing on key pieces of evidence from his murder trial.

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Parole Board Shuffle

Malcolm McMillin, formerly a Hinds County sheriff, is stepping down from his post as head of the state parole board.

Question o' the Week: What do you think JPS should focus on to lift Mississippi’s ranking in education?

What do you think JPS should focus on to lift Mississippi’s ranking in education?

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Gun Street Blues

At around 3 a.m. on the morning of July 21, a resident reportedly called 911 to report gunshots in the Virden Addition. It wasn't the only shooting reported that night.

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This Street Runs Two Ways

The thinking behind the two-waying of Capitol Street is simple: If you slow down traffic around the once-thriving business district, foot traffic will increase, and drivers will be more likely to stop and shop.

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Scam Targets Jackson Restaurants

Con artists posing as Entergy representatives have taken advantage of dozens of restaurants and bars across Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

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Preston DiFatta

Preston DiFatta seems wise beyond his 10 years in his ability to see unfairness and his desire to do something about it.

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Ask the Questions

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that the number of Americans—men, women and children—dead due to gun violence in the past seven months is closer to 20,000.

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What’s Your Favorite Color?

Drawing comparisons to indie greats Born Ruffians, Oxford's The Red Thangs bring an upbeat and poppy flair to Mississippi's music scene.

Bryant Opposes Renewal of Election Law Clearance

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant said Tuesday that he'd fight any effort to make Mississippi return to a federal preclearance process for election changes.

African Delegation Meets Egypt's Morsi

A high-level African Union mission met with Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi, in the Islamist leader's second meeting with international diplomats this week after nearly a month in secret detention, the head of the delegation said Wednesday.

Cause of Fla. Gas Plant Blast Being Investigated

Equipment malfunction and human error are among the possible causes of a series of explosions that spawned a 20-by-20 foot fireball at a central Florida propane plant and left eight injured, authorities said.

Senate Panel Looking at Limits on Surveillance

enators are questioning top Obama administration officials about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs for the first time since the House narrowly rejected a proposal last week to effectively shut down the NSA's secret collection of hundreds of millions of Americans' phone records.

Bryant, Lawmakers, NRA Want to Join Gun Lawsuit

A posse of state officials and gun advocates has asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to let them file briefs in support of the state's open-carry law.

Tuesday, July 30

Ark. District Arming More than 20 Teachers, Staff

Cheyne Dougan is among more than 20 teachers, administrators and other school employees in Clarksville, Ala., who will carry concealed weapons throughout the school day.

U.S. Hopes Trade Talks Will Spur Changes in Europe

The U.S. hopes negotiations for a free trade deal with the European Union will drive growth-oriented reforms in the EU economy, the top American trade official said Tuesday.

Spain Investigators: Train Driver Was on Phone

The driver was on the phone with a colleague and apparently looking at a document as his train barreled ahead at 95 mph (153 kph) — almost twice the speed limit. Suddenly, a notorious curve was upon him.

Bradley Manning Acquitted of Aiding the Enemy

U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was acquitted of aiding the enemy — the most serious charge he faced — but was convicted of espionage, theft and other charges Tuesday, more than three years after he spilled secrets to WikiLeaks.

Obama Challenges GOP to Accept Corporate Tax Deal

Seeking to ease Washington gridlock, President Barack Obama on Tuesday challenged Republicans to accept a new fiscal deal to cut corporate tax rates in exchange for more government spending on jobs programs.

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Hinds Board Meets Privately on Jail

Amid ongoing turmoil at the Raymond Detention Center, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors held a special meeting this morning to hammer out a plan for the beleaguered jail.

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Nissan Expansion, Cal-Maine and MDOT

Cal-Maine Foods Inc., a Jackson-based company and the largest egg producer and distributor in the U.S., announced Monday that it lost $3.8 million in its fiscal fourth quarter.

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Robby Scucchi

Robby Scucchi is the state's only certified director of volunteer services. He works at Methodist Specialty Care Center in Flowood, a long-term care facility for severely disabled young people.

Massive Explosions Rock Central Fla. Gas Plant

A series of explosions rocked a central Florida propane gas plant and sent "boom after boom after boom" through the neighborhood around it. Eight people were injured, with at least four in critical condition.

Time Warner Drops CBS, then Halts Decision

The fee dispute between Time Warner Cable and CBS Corp. took an odd turn when the cable giant announced it was turning off the broadcaster in three major cities, then quickly reversed the decision.

Obama Joins New Israeli-Palestinian Peace Push

President Barack Obama brought senior Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to the White House on Tuesday to give a boost to his administration's third bid to relaunch stalled Middle East peace talks.

Scientists Collect Water Near Site of Blown Well

Scientists from several universities are working to learn whether a gas well that blew wild last week off the Louisiana coast has polluted the Gulf of Mexico.

Monday, July 29

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Capitol Street Sees Progress

Drivers and pedestrians on Capitol Street are in for some headaches in the coming weeks due to construction, but they will also notice a change in the scenery.

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Does the NSA Tap That? What We Still Don't Know About the Agency's Internet Surveillance

Among the snooping revelations of recent weeks, there have been tantalizing bits of evidence that the NSA is tapping fiber-optic cables that carry nearly all international phone and Internet data.

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Martha Bergmark

Martha Bergmark stands among the state's "10 Women of Vision" as part of the Women's Fund of Mississippi's 10th anniversary celebration.

Egypt Arrests More Islamists as EU Official Visits

Egyptian police detained two leaders of a Muslim Brotherhood-allied party in the latest in a wave of arrests of prominent Islamists following President Mohammed Morsi's ouster.

Pope Says he Won't Judge Gay Priests

Pope Francis reached out to gays on Monday, saying he wouldn't judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference as he returned from his first foreign trip.

Officials: Indyk to Shepherd Mideast Peace Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry will appoint former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk to shepherd Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that are to begin Monday evening in Washington, U.S. officials said Monday.

Spain Police to Study Train 'Black Box' Tuesday

Police will soon begin extracting information from the "black box" of a train that crashed last week, a Spanish court official said Monday, potentially making clear why the driver failed to brake in time to stop the train from hurtling into a dangerous curve, killing 79 people.

Longtime Legislator Barnett Dies at 86

Dr. Jim Barnett, a country doctor and longtime state legislator, has died at the age of 86.

Sunday, July 28

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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, July 27

Halliburton Has Incentive to Cut Another Deal

Halliburton has resolved a Justice Department criminal probe of its role in the Gulf oil spill by agreeing to pay a $200,000 fine and admitting it destroyed evidence, but the company still has a powerful incentive to cut another deal with businesses and residents.

Friday, July 26

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Jackson Rallies for Slain Teens, Against Violence

Early on the morning of Sunday, July 21, a neighbor found Jason Murphy and Albert "A.J." Barber Jr. in a ditch in Jackson's Virden Addition neighborhood, each shot in the back.

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Onslaught of Autism: A Mom's Crusade Could Help Unravel Scientific Mystery

Something a pregnant woman is exposed to may alter not just her children, but also her grandchildren—and possibly even subsequent generations.

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Peryn Reeves-Darby

Peryn Reeves-Darby, 17, won the title of Mississippi’s Distinguished Young Woman July 18.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, the Top of the Hops Beer Festival is from 4-8 p.m. at Jackson Convention Complex.

Defense to Give Closing in Manning-WikiLeaks Case

The defense gets the chance Friday to sum up its case in the court-martial of Bradley Manning, the Army private who sent hundreds of thousands of U.S. government documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

Snowden's Remaining Docs Unlikely to Tie U.S. Hands

It's the stuff of spy novels: The hunted-down protagonist wins in the end because he's got damaging documents squirreled away, a bargaining chip against the bureaucrats who want to silence him.

Halliburton to Plead Guilty for Destroying Evidence

Halliburton has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence in 2010 Gulf oil spill.

Miss. Sales Tax Holiday Weekend Upcoming

Mississippi's annual sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ends at midnight Saturday.

Thursday, July 25

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Beer to Stewpot's Rescue

This weekend, three beer-related organizations will help to raise money to keep two of Stewpot Community Services' vital ministries open.

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Deciphering The Health Law's Subsidies For Premiums

Tax credits to help low- and moderate-income Americans buy health insurance will become available in January under the health law, when for the first time, most people will be required to have coverage or pay a fine.

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New Orleans Saints Training Camp

The road to Super Bowl XLVIII begins today for the New Orleans Saints, as the team begins to put the turmoil of last season behind it.

Korean War Foes Gather in N. Korea to Remember War

Two decorated U.S. war veterans who survived one of the worst battles of the Korean War found themselves among former foes at a memorial ceremony Thursday as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un launched the country's commemoration of the war's end 60 years ago.

Slum Trip, Mass Youth Meeting Await Pope in Rio

Pope Francis set an action-packed Thursday in Rio de Janeiro, where he will bless the Olympic flag, visit a slum and address upward of 1 million young Roman Catholics on Copacabana beach.

Unbowed, Foes of Spying Program Vow to Fight On

Opponents of the National Security Agency's collection of hundreds of millions of Americans' phone records insist they will press ahead with their challenge to the massive surveillance program after a narrow defeat in the House.

Israelis, Palestinians to U.S. Next Week for Talks

An Israeli and a Palestinian official say preliminary peace talks agreed to after a shuttle mission by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are to begin in Washington on Tuesday.

Miss. Officials Dispute Home Child Care Criticism

State officials call inaccurate a recent federal report that criticizes Mississippi for not regulating hundreds of home-based child care operations.

Wednesday, July 24

The Slate

The Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins have started training camp. You know what that means--we are one step closer to the return of football.

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In Jurgen We Trust

If you haven't been paying attention, you may have missed the roll the U.S. Men's Soccer Team has been on recently. After defeating El Salvador 5-1 July 21, the team upped its winning streak to nine matches.

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Pop: A Social Mirror

Most music listeners, no matter their genre of preference, have a skewed understanding of pop.

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A Greater State of Being

Rocking with the aura of a new-wave version of Modest Mouse, The Greater States bring a heavy hit to the Jackson scene.

The Funniest Man in America

James Gregory started his southeast tour May 10, with stops in Birmingham, Ala.; Charlotte, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn., and others. He performs July 26 at Duling Hall.

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Just Slightly Looney

Liam James nails the comedic scenes in “The Way Way Back.”

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A Door-Slamming Farce

What do two high-school teachers, a Crossfit trainer and a worker from Hederman Brothers Printing have in common? If you guessed they spend the evening pretending to be someone else, you're right.

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All Natural

When it comes to farm-to-table eating, chef Nick Wallace is putting his money where his green thumb is.

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My Best Friend’s Wedding

My childhood best friend's wedding served as a huge reminder of the passage of time.

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Dirty (Blonde) Bird

This is a chick you'll want to take home to mama—she has great taste in spite of her name! You can find four-packs of Suzy B Dirty Blonde Ale from Hattiesburg brewery Southern Prohibition at Hops and Habanas in Madison.

Brine, Baby, Brine

With brining, salt water enters the meat's cells while water flows out. As the salt flows in, it begins to break down some of the cell proteins, making it possible for more water to flow into the meat.

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Smoky Ballistic Blonde Salmon

Whereas some fancy recipes might suggest poaching your fish in wine with vegetables, I suggest letting it swim in a nice, cold citrus bath with beer, and then cook over a low fire infused with apple wood.

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Beer Exploration

It's a good week—and summer—to love beer in Jackson. After last year's passage of the higher-gravity beer law, and this year seeing the homebrewing ban lifted once and for all, beer lovers are seeing a big surge in new brews coming to Mississippi.

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Read the Book First

My husband and I have struck a deal with our 11-year-old son, Mateo, regarding the "Harry Potter" series: To see the movie, he has to read the book.

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Undocumented, Unafraid and Back to School

For many of Mississippi's high school juniors and seniors, back to school means taking AP courses, doing research on what college or university to attend, and maybe even planning for a trip abroad.

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Let's Do Lunch

Back-to-school time means back to packing lunches. It can be all too easy to get into a rut, packing a virtually identical lunch every day just before the family flies out the front door in all directions.

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Back to Green

There is something exhilarating about the process of filling a shopping cart full of fragrant new crayons and crisp new paper and the coolest backpack characters of the season.

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We Achieve More Together

As an educator and a parent, I understand how important it is to have a good parent/teacher relationship from the beginning of the school year.

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Race Still Matters

In Mississippi, the negative social evaluation of black people has resulted in “separate but equal” in practice.

What's Wrong with the GOP?

There is something wrong with the Republican Party.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Benefit'

Few issues bring out the hyperbolic "best" in politicians than guns, regardless of party affiliation.

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The Swimsuit Body

I challenge myself to question the judgments I make about people, including what makes people attractive, and why I think someone should or shouldn't wear something.

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Jackson Zoo Keeping Options Open

Jackson Zoo Director Beth Poff said the organization and its board of directors are keeping all options open as the zoo continues to adapt and change to meet the needs of new exhibits and an expanding number of annual visitors.

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Lawsuit Highlights Child-Support ‘Disarray’

Child custody cases are messy affairs. Take the case of Windell Blount, a May 2013 graduate of Tougaloo College, who has been embroiled in a he-said-she-said tug-of-war with his ex-wife over visitation of their 9-year-old son for about four years.

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Angels on Patrol

Bennie Jones and his guardians patrol a neighborhood after one of its residents called and asked if they would spend some time in the area.

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Abandoned Housing Two-Step

Abandoned and dilapidated houses are common in parts of Jackson and neighbors are fed up.

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Ready ... Set ... Scan

Nine months after state officials holstered a plan to require all parents receiving federal child-care assistance to scan their kids in and out of day care every day, Mississippi is moving forward with the controversial plan.

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Lydia Hall

Lydia Hall, a 19-year-old graduate of Madison Central High School, has been a volunteer teacher at an orphanage in El Salvador for the past five summers.

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It’s Cool to Be a Nerd

If you want to talk about education in Mississippi, you need to prepare for a pretty depressing conversation. We're either in the top five or bottom five of every national education-related list—whichever end you don't want to be, there we are.

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A State of Color

Paul Smith has published his first photography book, "The Color of Mississippi" and is working on a second, "The Color of the South."

Obama, Lawmakers Square Off Over NSA Authority

The Obama administration squared off with skeptical lawmakers Tuesday over efforts to terminate the government's authority to collect phone records of millions of Americans, a proposition that exposed sharp divisions among members of Congress.

Gas Well in the Gulf Continues to Burn

An out-of-control natural gas well off the Louisiana coast continued to burn Wednesday after it caught fire following a blowout that prompted the evacuation of 44 workers, authorities said.

Pope Travels to First Public Mass in Brazil

A crowd roared and church bells rang as Pope Francis' helicopter arrived Wednesday in Aparecida for the first full day of activities on his inaugural international trip as pontiff.

Report: Snowden Has Document to Enter Russia

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden was given a document on Wednesday that allows him to leave the transit zone of a Moscow airport and enter Russia, a state news agency said.

Bryant Sets Elections for 3 Miss. House Districts

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has set elections to fill three House seats vacated when incumbents were elected as mayors.

Tuesday, July 23

Pope's Brazil Security Questioned After Mob Scene

Brazilian security forces blamed each other on Tuesday for the mob scenes that erupted around Pope Francis when he was dogged by a frantic crowd of faithful Catholics after his arrival in the country.

FDA Cracks Down on Illegal Diabetes Remedies

The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on more than a dozen companies that market illegal treatments for diabetes, ranging from bogus dietary supplements to prescription drugs sold online without a prescription.

GOP, Dems Divided Alike on Foreign Policy Issues

President Barack Obama's limited attempt to end more than two years of bloodshed in Syria and his insistence on U.S. assistance to a strife-riven Egypt have exposed deep divisions in Congress.

House GOP, Democrats Clash Over Immigration

House Republicans took a tentative step toward offering citizenship to some unauthorized immigrants Tuesday, but hit an immediate wall of resistance from the White House on down as Democrats said it wasn't enough.

William, Kate, Show Off Newborn Royal Baby Boy

A beaming Prince William and his wife, Kate, emerged from a London hospital on Tuesday with their newborn baby boy, presenting the world with a first glimpse of the prince who is third in line to the British throne.

Lawmaker Urges Steps to Open Japanese Markets

A House Democratic leader on trade policy on Tuesday said the time is right to press Japan on its closed markets as Japan formally joins the United States and 10 other Asia-Pacific nations in negotiations to create a major new trade bloc.

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Council Mulls Siemens Deal

Two of the Jackson City Council's newest, youngest members had many questions for the folks at Siemens in an hour-long public hearing Monday afternoon at City Hall.

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UMMC, Cancer Boutique, Literacy Expansion and Mississippi Minority Business Alliance

The University of Mississippi Medical Center recently made Hospitals & Health Networks' list of "Most Wired" health-care facilities for 2013.

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Qua Cox

SWAC named Jackson State defensive back Qua Cox, a redshirt senior out of Tuskegee, Ala., Preseason SWAC Defensive Player of the Year.

It's a Boy! UK's Kate Gives Birth to Royal Heir

Prince William's wife, Kate, has given birth to a prince who is now third in line to the British throne.

Frenzied Crowds Greet Pope Francis in Brazil

Frenzied crowds of Roman Catholics mobbed the car carrying Pope Francis on Monday when he returned to his home continent for the first time as pontiff, embarking on a seven-day visit meant to fan the fervor of the faithful around the globe.

Ohio Man Charged with Murder After 3 Bodies Found

An Ohio man possibly influenced by a serial killer was charged Monday with aggravated murder after three bodies wrapped in trash bags were found in suburban Cleveland.

Obama's Latest Economic Push Has Familiar Feel

Since the first year of his presidency, Obama has been launching—and re-launching—initiatives on the economy. Some came with new policy proposals, others with catchy slogans.

Hood Seeks to Toss Ruling Blocking Open-Carry Law

Attorney General Jim Hood is asking the state Supreme Court to declare that Mississippians can carry weapons openly in some public places.

Monday, July 22

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County Jail Remains a Problem

Hinds County officials are playing down recent events at the Raymond Detention Center, characterizing the troubles as part and parcel of the business of running a jail.

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Why You Should Care About the Drugs Your Doctor Prescribes

For most of us, evaluating a doctor's prescribing habits is just about impossible. Even doctors themselves have little way of knowing whether their drug choices fall in line with those of their peers.

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Cynthia Newland

Cynthia Newland, chairwoman of the dance department at Belhaven University, was among a group of educators honored at the annual Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education Awards Ceremony July 17 at the Mississippi State University Riley Center in Meridian.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

Photographer Paul Smith speaks at this week's History Is Lunch.

Why Can't Detroit Make Comeback Like Big Three?

Four years ago, America's Big Three automakers mortgaged all they owned or went into bankruptcy court to keep from going broke.

House Votes to Replace 'No Child' Education Law

House Republicans voted Friday to dismantle the troubled No Child Left Behind law for evaluating America's students and schools, saying states and local school districts rather than Washington should be setting rules for ensuring that kids are getting good educations.

Judge Delays 2nd Phase of Trial Over BP Oil Spill

A federal judge has ordered a two-week delay of the second phase of a trial over BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Construction Begins on Hurricane Evacuation Route

Work is underway on a new hurricane evacuation route to get Hancock County residents to Interstate 59 quickly and safely.

Sunday, July 21

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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, July 20

Mississippi Gets Funds for Anti-Obesity Program

The Mississippi State Department of Health will receive $8.5 million over the next five years to help combat obesity and chronic disease across the state.

Friday, July 19

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JPD and JFD Chiefs Confirmed

The Jackson City Council unanimously approved Mayor Chokwe Lumumba's nominees for fire and police chief at Thursday night's meeting.

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2013 Chick Ball is Saturday!

The Ninth Annual JFP Chick Ball is Saturday at Hal & Mal’s to raise funds for the Center for Violence Prevention. Doors open at 6 p.m.

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Men of Character

Open those wallets, ladies. Each year at Chick Ball, we raffle off our local Men of Character to raise funds for the Center for Violence Prevention. This year, the money is going to fight sex trafficking (see pages 14-31 for the full lowdown on this year's 9th Annual Chick Ball).

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, the ninth Annual JFP Chick Ball is at 6 p.m. at Hal & Mal's.

Long-Suffering Detroit Finally Turns to Bankruptcy

At the height of its industrial power, Detroit was an irrepressible engine of the American economy, offering well-paying jobs, a gateway to the middle class for generations of autoworkers and affordable vehicles that put the world on wheels.

Kerry Presses Formula for Resuming Mideast Talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stepped up his drive Friday to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table, facing Palestinian reluctance over his formula for resuming peace talks after nearly five years.

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Victoria Cross: Soul and Passion

Victoria Cross, Jackson resident and lead singer of the soul/funk band Static Ensemble, is a woman filled with passion.

Southern Co. Challenged on Nuclear Plant Costs

A decision to absorb losses on an over-budget power plant in Mississippi may haunt Southern Co. now that it wants regulators to raise its construction budget for a nuclear power plant in Georgia.

Miss. Jobless Rate Dips as Payrolls Keep Climbing

Mississippi's unemployment rate dropped slightly to 9 percent in June, as fewer people looked for work.

New Blues Trial Marker in Ruleville

Ruleville's "Greasy Street" will receive a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail.

3 School Districts to Be Returned to Local Control

Three Mississippi school districts are poised to be returned to local control over the next year.

State Will Hire 24 Coaches for Reading Push

State education officials will hire 24 reading coaches and coordinators for the coming school year, falling far short of their goal of 75.

Thursday, July 18

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Chasing Balls for Charity

He may not be a scratch golfer, but Wednesday at Annandale Golf Club, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton proved to be a stand-up guy.

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Men of Character

Open those wallets, ladies. Each year at Chick Ball, we raffle off our local Men of Character to raise funds for the Center for Violence Prevention. This year, the money is going to fight sex trafficking (see pages 14-31 for the full lowdown on this year's 9th Annual Chick Ball).

S. Calif. Wildfire Forces More Evacuations

A wildfire pushed toward Southern California mountain communities Wednesday night, forcing people to flee from thousands of homes and threatening thousands more.

Trayvon Martin's Parents Shocked by Verdict

Trayvon Martin's parents made appearances on network morning shows Thursday, saying they are still shocked that jurors acquitted George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of their 17-year-old son.

Senate Committee Clears Nomination of New FBI Head

The Senate Judiciary Committee has unanimously approved the nomination of James Comey to be director of the FBI, clearing the way for a full Senate vote.

Obama to Talk up Health Care Law's Rebates

Eager to counter Republicans intent on repealing his health care law, President Barack Obama will argue that it's working and hold up as proof half a billion dollars in rebates insurance companies are sending to some 8.5 million consumers as a result.

Senators Ready to Restore Lower College Loan Rates

Senators are ready to offer students a better deal on their college loans this fall, but future classes could see higher interest rates.

Miss. Moves Ahead with Child Care Finger Scanners

After more than a year's delay, the Mississippi Department of Human Services is requiring that parents use a finger scanner to sign children in and out of federally subsidized child care.

Wednesday, July 17

The Slate

Thank goodness football season is nearly here. That way we'll have something to keep us entertained until the Syfy channel finishes making Sharknado 2.

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Johnny Manziel is the Next Tim Tebow

College football begins its unofficial start this week. Media days are beginning across the country, which means fall practice will start soon and games will follow behind shortly.

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Sharp and Sexy

Stiletto nails make you instantly feel a little sexier and more dangerous.

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A Murder Puzzle

When it comes to writing, Liz Stauffer has covered a lot of genres, from politics to technology. But these days, Stauffer (mother of Jackson Free Press publisher Todd Stauffer) is retired from corporate life and penning classic mystery novels instead.

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A Poem of Violence

Rinko Kikuchi is rookie trainee Mako Mori in “Pacific Rim.”

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Caroline and ‘Camilla’

Folk singer Caroline Herring comes to Chick Ball carried by the strength of rave reviews for her latest album, "Camilla."

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Signaling Positivity

Here are some facts to get you ready to hear one of Jackson's newer duos, Wink and the Signal, at Chick Ball. Find the band on Facebook and Soundcloud.

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Opposite Day Comes Once a Year

Local Jackson band, Opposite Day, both formed last year and performed at Chick Ball for the first time with guitarist and singer Griffin Jones, 15; bassist Beth Ann Jones, 13; and their dad, Spencer Jones, on drums.

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Soulful Dedication

Although Stacey "Soul" Winters doesn't consider herself a spoken-word artist and prefers her written work, her love for language acts as a calling force that draws her to the stage occasionally. "I feel that poetry is owned by no man or woman, so you do as you feel," she says. "It's about expression."

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Mind Flow Over Matter

After completing 10th grade, Eric "iRhyme" Spann began writing poetry and has yet to cease the flowing mental compositions. "Stuff builds up, and you need a release," Spann says. He credits his best friend, Stephanie Longmire, and aunt, Tiffani Smith, who are also poets, for encouraging him to enter the field.

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Jazz and Soul

Memphis native Pam Confer has always been in love with jazz. She started out in school performing with the choir in high school and college, and now Confer, 42, performs both cover and original songs all around Jackson.

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What's in a Name?

Staying true to her musical name, singer-songwriter Melody Moody chats with us about her songwriting, her work life, and her newest musical endeavor, the Untitled Melody Project.

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Female Empowerment, Caw Caw!

It's no secret that women in superhero comics are distinctly stylized—I imagine to help hone in on their target demographic of young, straight males. But have you ever taken a good look at them? With their broken backs, distorted bodies and impractically sexy clothes, they cross the line from stylization to distracting. Though by no means a new phenomenon, the disparity between comic-book males and females has started to garner a lot of attention from bloggers.

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Heroes of the Year

Thanks to the recent trend of big-budget Hollywood films, our idea of a "hero" is often a person in a cool costume fighting evil. If you read or watch the news, maybe your vision of a hero is a police officer, firefighter or soldier—someone who risks life and limb to protect our freedom and safety. Most of us probably wouldn't picture our heroes as a group of attorneys working in one of the country's largest and oldest law firms.

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JFP Chick Ball Auction Guide

Where can you buy neat art, jewelry and gift certificates and help keep women and children safe all at the same time? The 9th Annual JFP Chick Ball, of course.

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Chicks We Love

In order to fill Lindsey Cacamo's shoes, one must have the ability to switch into "octopus mode." Aside from the ability to multi-task, Cacamo says instinctual, quick-on-your-feet problem-solving skills and knowing how to debate well are her other skills as the director of media and community relations for Richard Schwartz and Associates, P.A.

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Just Average Girls

Becoming a victim of sex trafficking can happen to those from "good" homes just as easily as it does to those from "bad" or poor circumstances. The crime cuts across all facets of society, excluding no one regardless of gender, age, race or economic status, said Heather Wagner, director of the domestic-violence office in the Mississippi attorney general's office.

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Letting It Go

When my therapist said the words to me, I nearly fell out of my chair. "You were abused!"

Martin, Zimmerman Should Give Pause

In the rush to approve whatever new gun law the NRA happens to be pushing at the time, legislators forget that the laws they create will lead to real-world confrontations, leaving teenaged boys and grown men with guns to figure out the limits of the law among themselves under the darkness of night skies.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Threatened'

No one's constitutional rights are being threatened here. House Bill 2 has caused confusion and raised numerous questions over its meaning.

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Getaway Weekend Bus Tour

Rev. Cletus: "Welcome to another wonderful and blessed Rev. Cletus Car Sales Church broadcast from WGSR FM, known affectionately as Ghetto Science Radio. This is your car sales pastor and transportation specialist here to share some good news in these troubled times.

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Interstate Exchange Gets Makeover

Jackson business owners and concerned citizens are channeling their inner Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins to give the Northside Drive exit on Interstate 55 a much-needed facelift.

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‘The Right Thing to Do’

Federal Customs and Border Protection officials estimate that 20 million people worldwide (8 million more than in 2010) are trapped in the modern-day form of slavery known as human trafficking.

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The New Face of JPD

Mayor Chokwe Lumumba has charged former Deputy Chief Lindsey Horton with making the Jackson Police Department more community-friendly.

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Justice Delayed?

Federal Judge Henry Wingate has been admonished repeatedly for the long delays in his court.

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Lily Womble

Lily Womble has made it her life's mission to empower and improve the lives of women around the world.

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A New Reality

Pornography—the vehicle by which many boys learn how to be men—has turned women into objects of loathing, abuse and violence.

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The Art of Seduction

After stunning the audience at this year's Best of Jackson party, Jezabelle von Jane is returning to Jackson to perform at the 9th Annual JFP Chick Ball.

21 Children Die After Eating School Lunch in India

At least 21 children died and more than two dozen others were sick after eating a free school lunch that was tainted with insecticide, Indian officials said Wednesday.

Pope Nixes Popemobile for Rio Trip

Pope Francis is forgoing the bulletproof popemobile for his upcoming trip to Brazil for the Catholic Church's youth festival, further evidence that he has no qualms about tweaking the Vatican's security operations for the sake of getting closer to the faithful.

Cuba Calls Weapons on North Korean Ship 'Obsolete'

Cuba said military equipment found buried under sacks of sugar on a North Korean ship seized as it tried to cross the Panama Canal was obsolete weaponry from the mid-20th century that it had sent to be repaired.

Senate Nomination Pact Averts Meltdown, for Now

A bipartisan Senate pact has smoothed the confirmation path for a batch of President Barack Obama's nominations and removed, for now, a Democratic threat to impose procedural changes weakening minority Republicans' clout.

House GOP Seek Delay in Health Care Provisions

House Republicans, politically emboldened by President Barack Obama's delay of a key requirement of his health care law, are taking another run at scrapping his signature domestic policy.

Miss. Insurer Could Cut Ties to 2 Hospital Systems

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi has told the state's second-largest hospital owner that it will end its contract with the company's 10 Mississippi hospitals at the end of August.

Tuesday, July 16

Senate Steps Back from Brink on Nominations

The Senate stepped away from the brink of a meltdown on Tuesday, clearing the way for confirmation of several of President Barack Obama's nominees long blocked by Republicans, agreeing to quick action on unnamed others and finessing a Democratic threat to overturn historic rules that protect minority-party rights.

Health Law's Rule Delay Could Hamper Enforcement

Enforcement of the health care overhaul's central mandate—that individual Americans must have coverage—could be weakened by the Obama administration's recent delay of a requirement that larger employers provide medical insurance.

Israeli Leaders Condemn EU Move on Settlements

Israeli leaders on Tuesday condemned a European Union ban on funding to Israeli institutions that operate in occupied territories, but also acknowledged the country's growing isolation over its construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

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Same-sex Rulings Will Test State Laws

On July 12, Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign published a study showing that Mississippians' attitudes about discrimination against same-sex-loving people are less conservative than previously thought.

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Exit 100 Project and St. Dominic's Behavioral Health Services

On July 11, St. Dominics Hospital (969 Lakeland Drive, 601-200-2000) completed work on its new Behavioral Health Services Building.

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Don O'Neal

For retired Army veteran Don O'Neal, drag racing is a tool to make a difference and support his military family.

Obama, GOP Offer Differing Visions on Immigration

President Barack Obama is using his presidential pulpit to press the Republican-controlled House to embrace a path to citizenship for all 11 million people living illegally in the U.S., while a top Republican says those brought to America as children should be given the highest priority for legalization.

Leader of Mexico's Zetas Drug Cartel Captured

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, the notoriously brutal leader of the feared Zetas drug cartel, was captured before dawn Monday in the first major blow against an organized crime leader by a Mexican administration struggling to drive down persistently high levels of violence, officials announced.

Panama Finds Suspected Weapons on N. Korean Ship

Panama's president said the country has seized a North Korean-flagged ship carrying what appeared to be ballistic missiles and other arms that had set sail from Cuba on its way to the Pacific.

Filibuster Fight Could Prompt Tougher Battles

The threat by majority Democrats to change Senate rules to make confirmation easier for some nominees could open up two cans of worms that could weaken the chamber's minority party for years to come.

Snowden Submits Request for Asylum in Russia

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden on Tuesday submitted a request for temporary asylum in Russia, his lawyer said, claiming he faces persecution from the U.S. government and could face torture or death.

Highway Patrol Short on Officers, Patrol Cars

The head of the Mississippi Highway Patrol says the agency is facing a major shortage of manpower and patrol cars.

Monday, July 15

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Stokes Knocks Byram-Clinton Parkway

The Byram-Clinton Parkway is a proposed multi-lane route between Byram at Interstate 55 South, extending northwest to the Norrell Road interchange at Interstate 20 in Clinton.

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On Health Care, GOP Has 'Really Busy Month' Ahead

KHN's Mary Agnes Carey talks with Politico Pro's Paige Winfield Cunningham about the latest Republican effort to delay or repeal Obamacare provisions, including putting off a mandate on individuals to carry health insurance.

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Jakob Clark

Before he even moved back to Jackson in December 2012, Jakob Clark, one of Jackson's music-scene veterans, already had the concept for Whitespike in his head.

Journalist: Edward Snowden has 'Blueprints' to NSA

Edward Snowden has highly sensitive documents on how the National Security Agency is structured and operates that could harm the U.S. government, but has insisted that they not be made public, a journalist close to the NSA leaker said.

Syrian Refugees in Egypt Swept Up in Turmoil

Egyptian officials turn back a planeload of Syrians at Cairo airport. A popular presenter on Egyptian television warns Syrians to steer clear of protests or face the consequences. An Egyptian state school refuses admission to Syrian children.

Democratic Leader Heads to Senate Rule Showdown

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is driving his chamber toward rule changes that would help President Barack Obama win confirmation for some of his nominees for posts overseeing workers' and consumers' rights.

USM Professor Helps Uncover Underwater Forest

Divers have discovered an underwater forest in the Gulf of Mexico about 10 miles off the coast of Mobile, Ala.

Rallies, Marches Follow Zimmerman Verdict

Thousands of demonstrators from across the country—chanting, praying and even fighting tears—protested a jury's decision to clear neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager while the Justice Department considered whether to file criminal civil rights charges.

Sunday, July 14

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, July 13

Gay Rights Supporters Aim to Build Miss. Momentum

Supporters of gay rights say they hope to use recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings to build momentum for full legal protections for gay and lesbian people everywhere, including in Mississippi.

Friday, July 12

Hinds Judge Blocks Gun Law

Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Winston Kidd has granted an injunction against the implementation of a state gun law.

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Teeuwissen: City Attorney/History Professor

When it comes to Jackson, there's not much that still surprises city attorney Pieter Teeuwissen after nine years total representing the city, four of them as city attorney.

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America’s Long Civil Rights March, Complete With Stops and Starts

Ever since the War of the States, Congress and the Supreme Court have clashed over the question of civil rights.

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David West

Jackson artist David West is a teacher as well as an artist. He teaches art classes at Belhaven University, a position he has held for four years.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, Fitness Fest is from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Jackson Convention Complex.

FDA Sets New Limits on Arsenic in Apple Juice

Parents who have been fretting over the low levels of arsenic found in apple juice can feel better about buying one of their kids' favorite drinks.

Outline Emerges of Last Moments Before Plane Crash

Nearly a week after Asiana Flight 214 collided with a rocky seawall just short of its intended airport runway, investigators have pieced together an outline of the event—what should have been a smooth landing by seasoned pilots turning into a disaster.

Republicans to Tackle Cuts in Food Stamp Program

House approval of a scaled-back farm bill is setting up what could be an even bigger fight over food stamps and the role of domestic food aid in the United States.

Texas Senate on Track to Pass Tough Abortion Rules

This time when the Texas Senate takes up tough new abortion restrictions, the chamber's top Republican is determined not to let anything—or anyone—derail a vote.

Defense Begins Closings in George Zimmerman Trial

George Zimmerman's defense attorney began his final arguments Friday, telling jurors he will show them the neighborhood watch volunteer's "pure, unadulterated innocence" of second-degree murder when he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Snowden Wants Russia Asylum, Lawmaker Says

NSA leaker Edward Snowden wants to seek asylum in Russia, according to a Parliament member who was among about a dozen activists and officials to meet with him Friday in the Moscow airport where he's been marooned for weeks.

Unsealed Documents Offer Details of School Threat

The man who pleaded guilty to making online threats to attack a north Mississippi high school had researched how to make bombs, the 1999 Columbine High School shooting and serial killers, according to recently unsealed court records.

Atmos Buying 2 Southwest Miss. Natural Gas Systems

Atmos Energy Corp. will buy two southwest Mississippi natural gas systems.

Miss. Regulators Approve Energy Efficiency Rules

Mississippi electric and natural gas utilities will soon be paying for their customers to cut energy use.

Thursday, July 11

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JPD: Homicides Way Down, Carjackings Way Up

A steady downward trend in major crimes in the capitol city continues, with one notable exception: carjackings.

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Coal's Slipping Grip: New England, Virtually Coal-Free, Leads the Way

Last week President Obama launched a major drive to limit carbon pollution from power plants in a bid to stem climate change.

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Marshall Henderson

The University of Mississippi announced Wednesday afternoon that it was suspending indefinitely star shooting guard Marshall Henderson for violations of team rules.

Egypt's Brotherhood Vows to Keep Defying Coup

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood vowed Thursday not to back down in its push to restore ousted Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi to power but insisted its resistance is peaceful in an effort to distance itself from more than a week of clashes with security forces.

U.S.-China Make Progress on Climate Change

Top U.S. and Chinese officials are wrapping up annual strategic and economic talks that have yielded greater cooperation on reducing greenhouse gases but again exposed Washington's frustration over cyber theft it says is emanating from the emerging Asian power.

GOP Rejects Comprehensive Approach on Immigration

House Republicans are embracing a step-by-step approach to immigration, in contrast to the sweeping plan passed by the Senate and backed by the White House.

Fla. Cities on Guard for Any Post-Zimmerman Unrest

Police and city leaders in Florida say they have taken precautionary steps for the possibility of mass protests or even civil unrest if George Zimmerman is acquitted in the killing of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin.

$12 Billion in Aid for Egypt Only Temporary Boost

A promise of $12 billion in aid from wealthy Arab Gulf nations would give Egypt's new military-backed leadership breathing room by paying for vital food and fuel imports.

Boston Bombing Suspect's Hearing Frustrates Some

Survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings got little satisfaction from surviving suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's first public appearance since the deadly attacks. "Not guilty," was all he said, over and over.

States Disfavoring Entergy Transmission Transfer

Opposition continues to grow among state regulators to Entergy Corp.'s plans to spin off its transmission system to ITC Holdings Corp.

Wednesday, July 10

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Gig: Special Assistant

"Here at (Department of Finance and Adminstration), I represent different offices (of the state). (We are) basically the financial center of the state."

The Slate

It is coming. I can feel it in my bones and smell it in the air. An old friend is preparing to return once again.

Boston Bombing Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombing.

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Stern: Boos and Fashion

The 2013 NBA Draft a couple of weeks ago was one of the final events during which NBA commissioner David Stern presided.

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NFL Dreams

Every kid who plays high-school football dreams of taking his talents to college football. Those who are good enough to play at the college level hope they can advance to the pros.

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Judging by the Cover

Chances are that if you own an acoustic guitar, fate has at one time forced you to become "that guy"—the one standing with said instrument, inviting public criticism.

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In the Garage

A strange thing happened to the development of rock 'n' roll music back in the '60s: Bands such as The Beatles inspired young people everywhere to form their own musical groups. A new movement was born called "garage rock" (because most of these bands rehearsed in suburban garages).

The Heart of Chick Ball

The JFP Chick Ball is more than just a night of entertainment and merriment—at the heart of the Chick Ball is a vehicle to shine a light to victimization in our city and state. This focus of this year's event is the national and local menace of sex trafficking.

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Crossing Boundaries

“The Lone Ranger” stars Johnny Depp (left) as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the masked man.

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The Play of Their Youth

New Stage Theatre is taking a leap into the present with its production of "Disney's High School Musical, Jr."

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Yes, They Can

Yes has never been a band to rest on rock music conventions. Along with Genesis and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, the band helped popularize what became known as "progressive rock."

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Musical Food

Musician's Emporium boasts a unique venue with many assets to the space. Not only is Musician's Emporium a fully functioning restaurant and a full-service bar, but it is a club with state-of-the-art sound equipment.

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A Dog's Tale

Dr. Steven Ward of Ward Veterinary Clinic in El Dorado, Ark., said that it is true that the major ingredient listed on the dog-food label is the first ingredient in the brand, but it is not necessarily true that meat has to be the first ingredient listed.

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One Hopeful Act

Actions have consequences—Jim Crow racism reverberates to this day.

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Defusing Difficult Parenting Moments

Children largely learn how to handle frustration and anger (and all emotions) by observing their parents and how they handle frustration and anger.

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Voting Rights: Was Chief Justice Roberts Wrong About Voting in Mississippi?

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said implementation of a controversial voter-identification law, which he has championed, began immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidating a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

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Redemption Song

Audre Lorde once said: "It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences."

Yarber Made Fine Council President

The Jackson City Council raised eyebrows last week by voting to replace Councilman Tony Yarber, Ward 6, with Councilman Charles Tillman, Ward 5, as council president.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Emblazoned'

"Mississippi" is already emblazoned at or near the top of lists of states rife with diabetes, obesity and teen pregnancy, mostly because of our woefully inadequate health-care system.

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2013 Chick Ball Donations

Here are some of this year's Chick Ball donations.

With the 9th Annual JFP Chick Ball coming up on Saturday, July 20, the donations have been arriving fast. Here is a list of the donations and donors we have logged to date; we will update between now and Chick Ball. There's still time to donate, though! Call 601-362-6121 ext. 23, or email [email protected] to give or volunteer. The proceeds from this year's Chick Ball go toward helping fight sex trafficking in Mississippi.

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Gay Marriage Rulings Raise Questions

Two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions validating same-sex unions may have a wider effect in Mississippi and nationwide than previously thought.

Mississippi Power Responds

"In the Stinker Quote of the Week (Issue 43, Vol. 11, July 3-9,, you presented a very inaccurate view of Mississippi Power's Kemper County energy facility."

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Sex Trafficking: What Now?

During the last legislative session, Mississippi lawmakers sharpened the teeth of the state's laws addressing human trafficking.

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Jackson is Open for Business

At his July 1 inauguration, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba said that the city of Jackson is "open for business." But what does that really mean?

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Erik Kegler

During his former career as a dancer, Erik Kegler debuted in Cincinnati as the first male Peter Pan.

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Fun with Fitness

In order to promote healthy living in the Jackson area, "Parents & Kids" magazine partnered with Children's Healthcare of Mississippi and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi to present Saturday's Fitness Fest.

Israel Confirms it is Holding Missing Palestinian

A Palestinian from the Gaza Strip who mysteriously disappeared in Egypt last month is being detained by Israel for "security crimes," an Israel court confirmed Wednesday, a month after his family charged he was abducted.

Navy to Attempt 1st Unmanned Carrier Landing

The Navy will attempt to land a drone the size of a fighter jet aboard an aircraft carrier for the first time Wednesday, showcasing the military's capability to have a computer program perform one of the most difficult tasks a pilot is asked to do.

Egypt Orders Arrest of Muslim Brotherhood Leader

Egyptian authorities escalated their crackdown Wednesday on the Muslim Brotherhood by ordering the arrest of its spiritual leader.

Judge Rules Against Zimmerman on Evidence

A central Florida judge ruled Wednesday that Trayvon Martin's cellphone texts on fighting and a defense animation depicting the fight between Martin and George Zimmerman won't be introduced as evidence at Zimmerman's trial.

Bombing Suspect Heads to 1st Public Court Hearing

Survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing will watch as the young man who could face the death penalty for the attack appears in court for the first time since he was found bleeding and hiding in a boat in a suburb days after the April 15 explosion.

FEMA Gives Money for 3 South Mississippi Projects

More than $18.3 million in federal funding has been approved for disaster mitigation programs in south Mississippi.

Many Miss. Public Buildings Ban Open Carry of Guns

Even if Mississippi's open-carry gun law takes effect, people still won't be allowed to take firearms into the Capitol or many other state or local government buildings.

Tuesday, July 9

Confusion on Snowden Acceptance of Venezuela Offer

The WikiLeaks secret-spilling site on Tuesday said NSA leaker Edward Snowden has not yet formally accepted asylum in Venezuela, trying to put to rest growing confusion over whether he had taken up the country's offer.

Expert Says Evidence Jibes with Zimmerman's Story

An expert on gunshot wounds hired by the defense testified Tuesday that George Zimmerman's account of how he fatally shot Trayvon Martin is consistent with the forensic evidence.

GOP Wants Delay in Health Law's Individual Mandate

Framing a new argument against President Barack Obama's health care law, congressional GOP leaders called Tuesday for a delay in the law's requirement that individual Americans carry health insurance.

Ill. House Votes to Override Changes to Gun Bill

Illinois was poised to become the last state in the nation to allow public possession of concealed guns as lawmakers rushed Tuesday to finalize a proposal ahead of a federal court's deadline.

Kittel Wins Tour Stage; Froome Keeps Lead

Germany's Marcel Kittel won Tuesday's 10th stage of the Tour de France in a sprint finish and Chris Froome stayed out of trouble to keep the leader's yellow jersey.

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Lumumba's Staff Taking Shape

While some of his appointments may be delayed, Mayor Chokwe Lumumba has made a few other decisions on staffing. One of those is Safiya Omari, who will serve as his chief of staff.

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Craftsmen's Guild and Small Business Confidence

The Craftsmen's Guild of Mississippi is working together with the Mississippi Development Authority, Yates Construction, Spectrum Capitol and the state legislature to secure a strong presence at the Outlets of Mississippi.

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Chuck Galey

Award-winning author, writer and illustrator Chuck Galey says he's a child of the Golden Books era.

A Break for Smokers? Glitch May Limit Penalties

Some smokers trying to get coverage next year under President Barack Obama's health care law may get a break from tobacco-use penalties that could have made their premiums unaffordable.

Egypt: Senior Economist Named Prime Minister

The spokesman of Egypt's interim president says a prominent economist, Hazem el-Beblawi, has been named prime minister and pro-democracy leader Mohamed ElBaradei as a vice president.

Firefighters Lose Ground to 2 Big Nevada Wildfires

Two large wildfires raged Tuesday in Nevada, where firefighters worked to gain the upper hand on a mountain blaze near Las Vegas that kept hundreds of people from their homes and another southwest of Reno that jumped in size a day earlier.

Russian Official: Snowden Accepts Venezuelan Offer

The head of the Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee says Edward Snowden has accepted Venezuela's offer of political asylum.

Women in Ohio Kidnap Case Thank Public for Support

Three women who police say were held captive in a Cleveland home for about a decade have issued a video in which they thanked the public for the encouragement and financial support that are allowing them to restart their lives.

Egypt Arrests 650 of Pro-Morsi Protesters

An Egyptian security official says 650 people, mostly backers of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, have been detained for allegedly trying to storm a military facility.

DiamondJacks Creditors Approve Bankruptcy Exit

Having failed in an attempt to sell the two DiamondJacks casinos to an Oklahoma Indian tribe, creditors are bringing the Bossier City, La., and Vicksburg, Miss., gambling halls out of bankruptcy themselves.

Monday, July 8

Brazil Opens Investigation into U.S. Spying

The Brazilian government began an investigation Monday into whether telecommunications firms operating in the country cooperated with the U.S. as part of a spying program that has collected data on billions of telephone and email conversations.

No Cutoff in U.S. Aid to Egyptian Military, for Now

The Obama administration signaled Monday that U.S. national security interests will trump its promotion of Egypt's budding democracy.

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Mississippi's Comeback Kids

Mississippi's record on youth incarceration is less than stellar. The number of county-run youth jails and state-run youth prisons that have been slapped with lawsuits for mistreating kids is almost too high to count.

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National Health Plans, Designed To Spur Competition, May Be Unavailable In Some States Next Year

National health insurance plans aimed at giving consumers more choice might be unavailable in some states next year, leaving residents with fewer options and potentially higher premiums.

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Anne O'Hara

The Mississippi Arts Commission granted $1.5 million to fund artists and art programs across the state for fiscal year 2013. One of those grant recipients was Anne O'Hara, who received $4,500.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

The Choctaw Indian Fair is July 10-13, at Choctaw Reservation (Highway 16 West, Choctaw) starting at 11 a.m.

Man Found Shot to Death in Oxford

Lafayette County authorities say a homicide investigation is underway into the shooting death of a 24-year-old man.

Miss. High Court to Hear Arguments in Eaton Case

The Eaton Corp. goes before the Mississippi Supreme Court on Aug. 5 seeking reinstatement of its $1 billion trade secrets lawsuit filed against a rival, Frisby Aerospace.

Miss. River Reopens South of New Orleans

Authorities are still searching for a tugboat that sank in the Mississippi River, prompting the closure of a stretch of the river south of New Orleans over the weekend.

Miss. Stop Notice Law Ruling Appealed

A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments Aug. 7 in New Orleans on a ruling that invalidated Mississippi's "stop payment" law.

Farmers Worry About Fate of Immigration Bills

Agricultural leaders are pleading with Congress for an immigration bill that includes more lenient and less complex rules for hiring farm workers.

Studies: Cyberspying Targeted S. Korea, U.S. Military

The hackers who knocked out tens of thousands of South Korean computers simultaneously this year are out to do far more than erase hard drives.

Governments Condemn Shootings in Egypt

Governments have reacted strongly to the clashes between Egyptian troops and supporters of the ousted president Mohammed Morsi that have left at least 40 people dead.

40 Still Missing in Deadly Canada Oil Train Crash

Hazardous conditions hindered firefighters' attempts Monday to search for some 40 people still missing after a runaway oil tanker train exploded over the weekend, killing at least five people, officials said.

BP Appeals Oil Spill Claims

A federal appeals court is hearing BP's bid to challenge what could be billions of dollars in settlement payouts to businesses claiming they lost money after the company's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sunday, July 7

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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, July 6

Pickering to Study Viability of Hospitals

The office of State Auditor Stacey Pickering will be studying which community-owned hospitals in Mississippi are facing economic difficulties and why.

Friday, July 5

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Post-Rock Jam Bliss

Catch post-rock jam band Light Beam Rider perform on July 6 at Ole Tavern.

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JPS Keeps Accreditation ... For Now

The Mississippi Board of Education has granted Jackson Public Schools' request for an extension that will buy the district more time to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

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The Expendables: How the Temps Who Power Corporate Giants Are Getting Crushed

In June, the Labor Department reported that the nation had more temp workers than ever before: 2.7 million.

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Dr. George Schimmel

Dr. George Schimmel, a cardiologist by trade, initially joined the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees with a personal agenda: making a difference in public education.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday and Sunday, the Christmas in July Arts and Crafts Show is at 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Mississippi Trade Mart.

Same-Sex Ruling Has Employers Tweaking Benefits

The Supreme Court's landmark ruling on same-sex marriage has private employers around the country scrambling to make sure their employee benefit plans comply with the law.

Experts: Expect Bigger, Fiercer Wildfires in West

There's a dangerous but basic equation behind the killer Yarnell Hill wildfire and other blazes raging across the West this summer: More heat, more drought, more fuel and more people in the way are adding up to increasingly ferocious fires.

Strike Halted SF Commuter Trains Resuming Service

Commuter rail service is resuming Friday in the San Francisco Bay area after unions called off a strike, agreeing with the transit agency to extend a labor contract for a month while they continue bargaining.

Indicted Miss. Lawmaker Aldridge Released on Bond

An indicted Mississippi lawmaker has been released on $5,000 bond after turning himself in to the Lee County Sheriff's Office on Thursday.

Guns Banned on Municipal Properties

The city of Brookhaven is banning weapons on all municipal properties.

Egypt Troops Open Fire on Pro-Morsi Protesters

Egyptian troops opened fire on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi who were marching on a headquarters of the Republican Guard on Friday.

GOP Has Tough Choices on Voting Rights Act

When the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights act last week, it handed Republicans tough questions with no easy answers over how, and where, to attract voters even GOP leaders say the party needs to stay nationally competitive.

Thursday, July 4

Trial Delayed for Ex-BP Executive in Spill Probe

A federal judge has postponed the trial of a former BP executive charged with concealing information from Congress about the amount of oil that was spewing from the company's blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Wednesday, July 3

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Confetti Tumblers

The other day, I found a project on that piqued my interest—making confetti tumblers.

The Slate

I hope everyone has a happy 4th of July. Enjoy all the great events out there to celebrate Independence Day.

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Hernandez, the Patriots and the Media

I am surprised at how the New England Patriots are handling the Aaron Hernandez situation. The team quickly released the Patriots tight end even before he was arrested on a murder charge last week.

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Small Towns, Big Football

“Gridiron Gold” documents the history of football in Mississippi’s high-schools.

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Moving On and Up

Releasing a new album is always a funny thing to Jason Turner because he writes so much. By the time his albums come out, he has usually written dozens more songs.

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Beauty in Nature

Now in its 16th year, the Tougaloo Art Colony is a week-long indulgence in the visual arts. Tougaloo is proud to be the only Historically Black College or University offering such a residential program, which is open to educators, artists, students and art lovers of any walk of life who want to participate in creating visual art.

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Bust a Gut

Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy are at the top of their game in “The Heat.”

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Old is New Again

From the rusted patio chairs and bathtubs to antique signs, windows and even old doorknobs, Old House Depot is a veritable treasure trove for someone like me.

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Not Just Another Package Store

Natchez holds a little sweet secret that has been a part of the historic landscape since 1979. It's the Old South Winery, which uses one of the state's perfect fruits: muscadines.

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Summer & Spice

Need a snack to tide you over while you grill? You may have heard about the decadence known as "pig candy," which is bacon baked with a coating of brown sugar.

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A 'Sit Down and Shut Up' Kind of Beer

I remember my father giving me sips of beer when I was a child as most men probably do. I hated it. I didn't drink in high school, and it wasn't until my mid-20s that I started drinking beer on my own, and usually only in social settings.

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The Second Annual Craft-Beer Taste-Off

In the year since the Mississippi Legislature approved higher-gravity beers, our beverage economy has seen an explosion of new brews to try, from local and regional microbreweries to innovative undertakings from the big industry boys.

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Meat and Wheat

When the weather turns hot, most cooks enjoy cooling off with a favorite beverage while taking the heat outdoors and firing up the grill.

Texas GOP Clamps Down to Restrict Abortions

After limiting testimony at a public hearing, refusing to consider Democratic amendments and imposing strict security precautions to prevent disruptions from protesting abortion-rights supporters, Texas GOP lawmakers send a bill to the state House.

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Brew, Baby Brew

Homebrewing is on the rise in the United States and, now that it is legal in Mississippi, expect the chatter among your beer-loving friends to rise even more.

Egyptian Pres. Morsi Out; Army Suspends Constitution

The armed forces ousted Egypt's first democratically elected president after just a year in power.

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A Homebrewing Wave?

About eight years ago, Jonas Outlaw's now-father in-law introduced him to the hobby of homebrewing. Outlaw remembers his first batch of home-brewed beer, an American pale ale.

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Free Market China

Chinese junks no longer dot Victoria Harbour. A foot-powered rickshaw is even harder to find. Skyscrapers now dwarf the stately colonial-era buildings at the heart of the old city.

Open-Carry Laws Will Test Lumumba

One of the most interesting things in Mayor Chokwe Lumumba's administration of Jackson will be how he manages the Jackson Police Department.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: '2.4 Billion'

The estimated costs of Southern Company's largely experimental coal gasification plant in Mississippi seems to have no ceiling.

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Knowledge and Phone Tapping

Mr. Announcement: "On this episode of the award-winning daytime-television soap opera 'All God's Churn Got Shoes,' Aunt Tee Tee Hustle, computer and electronics nerd, accidentally taps into an interesting phone conversation between Shirley Sherrod and Paula Deen.

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Pub, Jobs and Gumbo, Oh My

Fondren is closer than ever to having it's own pub, thanks to a group of local businessmen behind soon-to-be-open Fondren Public.

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Johnson: Barns, Zen and the Tax Base

A couple of weeks before the end of Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.'s third term in office, we sat together for about 45 minutes talking about his accomplishments, the campaign, what the future holds for him and the challenges facing the city of Jackson.

Question o' the Week: What is your favorite craft beer and your favorite local place to drink it?

What is your favorite craft beer and your favorite local place to drink it?

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We Need You

Time is dwindling to get your donation in for Chick Ball 2013.

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You & JFP

Secret to life: Love others and be healthy.

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In Delbert We Trust?

If there existed a university devoted to voter suppression and disenfranchisement before the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Mississippi would have graduated with Latin honors.

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Sex Trafficking: The Portable Crime

Sex traffickers frequently move girls around.

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Craig Hendry

Beer aficionado Craig Hendry enjoys drinking locally and, until recently, some of his favorite beers couldn't be bought at home in Mississippi.

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Join the Conversation

It's about talking, sure, but it's about listening, too. After all, Wendy Davis stood and talked for 11 hours, but I believe it was tied to a hope that someone in that room or someone tuning in would take their fingers out of their ears and actually listen. 

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Jackson in Retrospect

From the Civil War to civil rights and beyond, the Old Capitol Museum offers Mississippians a rare visual retrospect on the complex past of the capital city with "Jackson: A Photographic History."

Texas House Committee Approves Abortion Rules

Texas Republicans voted early Wednesday to move forward with new abortion restrictions, after limiting testimony at a public hearing, refusing to consider Democratic amendments and imposing strict security precautions to prevent disruptions from protesting abortion-rights supporters.

Bolivia vs. Europe Over Snowden-Linked Plane Delay

Bolivia's president left Europe for home on Wednesday amid diplomatic drama after his flight was rerouted and delayed overnight in Austria, allegedly because of suspicion he was trying to spirit NSA leaker Edward Snowden to Latin America.

Djokovic, del Potro Reach Wimbledon Semifinals

Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro set up a semifinal meeting at Wimbledon, each winning in straight sets Wednesday in quarterfinal matches that wrapped up within five seconds of each other.

France Calls for 2-Week Delay in US-EU Trade Talks

The French government said Wednesday it wants the start of major trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union suspended for two weeks amid anger over alleged U.S. eavesdropping on its European allies.

Egypt Military Tightens Grip Ahead of Deadline

Egypt's military moved to tighten its control on key institutions Wednesday, even putting officers in the newsroom of state TV, in preparation for an almost certain push to remove the country's Islamist president when an afternoon ultimatum expires.

White House Delays Key Element of Health Care Law

On Tuesday, the Obama administration unexpectedly announced a one-year delay, until after the 2014 elections, in a central requirement of the law that medium and large companies provide coverage for their workers or face fines.

Miss. Public Universities Plan Tuition Increases

Tuition at Mississippi's eight public universities will increase by an average of more than 6 percent this fall, an amount universities say is needed to make up for the lingering effects of state aid cuts during the recession.

Fire Guts Old Armory on Miss. State Fairgrounds

A fire has heavily damaged an armory on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds—an 86-year-old building that was already on a list of endangered historical structures.

Miss. Supreme Court Won't Undo Block on Gun Law

The Mississippi Supreme Court says it won't undo a circuit judge's order that's blocking an open-carry gun law from taking effect.

Tuesday, July 2

Witness in Manning Case Testified in Secret

A government witness has given testimony about the value of some classified documents leaked by Army Pfc. Bradley Manning to WikiLeaks.

Venezuela Eyed as Snowden Seeks Asylum

NSA leaker Edward Snowden's best chance of finding refuge outside the United States may hinge on the president of Venezuela, who was in Moscow on Tuesday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Brazil Protesters Give Rousseff Tenuous Truce

On Tuesday, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff delivered to Congress her recommendations on what topics should be included in a national plebiscite on political reform.

NATO Supplier's Compound Attacked in Afghanistan

A suicide truck bomber followed by heavily armed men stormed a NATO supplier's compound Tuesday in Kabul, prompting a gunbattle that left a dozen people dead in the latest Taliban attack on a high-profile target in the Afghan capital.

Investigators to Examine Why Ariz. Blaze Killed 19

Investigators from across the U.S. poured into the mountain town of Yarnell on Tuesday to figure out why 19 elite firefighters perished in an out-of-control wildfire and whether human error played a role in the tragedy.

Outlines of Egypt Army's Post-Morsi Plan Emerge

Egypt's military has drawn up a plan to suspend the Islamist-backed constitution, dissolve the Islamist-dominated legislature and set up an interim administration headed by the country's chief justice if President Mohammed Morsi fails to reach a solution with his opponents by the end of a Wednesday deadline.

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Council Picks Tillman for President

In a surprise move, the Jackson City Council voted Tuesday to replace Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber with Ward 5 Councilman Charles Tillman as council president.

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McB's, Cuticles and Allstate Entrepreneurs

Flowood restaurateur Tony Hancock expanded into Ridgeland two months ago when he purchased McB's Restaurant.

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Jackson's New Chiefs

Jackson's first responders have new bosses. In his first official appointments, newly sworn in Mayor Chokwe Lumumba appointed interim chiefs to the Jackson Police Department and Jackson Fire Department.

Miss. Tax Receipts Approach $5 Billion in FY2013

Mississippi's tax revenues have recovered from the recession, approaching the $5 billion mark for the first time.

Plaintiffs Say Judge Can Block Open-Carry Gun Law

People who want to block Mississippi's open-carry gun law say the state Supreme Court shouldn't kill their effort.

Lumumba Celebrates Inauguration

Monday was a big day for Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, and it ended in style with the People's Inaugural Reception at the Jackson Convention Center Complex.

Residents Say Sinkhole's Gotten Bigger

Residents of a north Jackson neighborhood say a sinkhole has gotten bigger over the past two weeks. And local residents say despite barricades being in place, a 6-year-old boy had to be rescued from the water-filled hole Saturday after apparently riding his bicycle into it. The child suffered scrapes and bruises.

Monday, July 1

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It's Official: Lumumba Sworn In

More than 2,000 Jacksonians attended the inauguration of Chokwe Lumumba and seven members of the City Council Monday at the Jackson Convention Center Complex.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

A Fourth of July Celebration will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Mississippi Craft Center. Includes craft demonstrations, a performance from the Choctaw Indians' Red Water Social Dancers, food for sale and live music.

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Hinds Board Seats Interim Supes

This morning, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors approved interim appointments to the vacant District 2 and District 4 seats.

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With a Little Planning, Women Can Get Emergency Contraceptives for Free

Women of all ages will soon be able to pick up emergency contraceptive pills at pharmacies and other stores without a prescription or proof of age.

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Chad Shealy

Chad Shealy, principal at Gary Road Intermediate School in Byram, received a statewide honor June 21 when the Mississippi Board of Education named him the 2013 Mississippi Administrator of the Year.

Texas Filibuster Star Davis Still Weighing Future

State Sen. Wendy Davis, whose filibuster against Texas abortion restrictions gained her national fame, insists Democrats will be competitive in next year's statewide races but hasn't decided whether she'll be part of the slate of candidates for offices currently dominated by Republicans.

Obama Asserts Mandela's Values are Africa's Future

Challenging African youth to seize a "moment of great promise," President Barack Obama declared Sunday that the future of the young and growing continent still rests in ailing South African leader Nelson Mandela's vision for equality and opportunity.

House Takes Up Own Immigration Fix, No Citizenship

The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said Sunday that any attempt at comprehensive immigration legislation cannot offer a "special pathway to citizenship" for those in the United States illegally. That approach could block the GOP's hopes of ever winning the White House, the top Democrat in the House predicted.

Egypt Erupts with Protests Demanding Morsi Ouster

Hundreds of thousands thronged the streets of Cairo and cities around the country Sunday and marched on the presidential palace, filling a broad avenue for blocks, in an attempt to force out the Islamist president with the most massive protests Egypt has seen in 2½ years of turmoil.

Court Wins Draw Big Crowds to Gay Pride Parades

Gay rights supporters crowded parade routes in San Francisco, New York and other major U.S. cities Sunday to celebrate what once was unimaginable—two Supreme Court victories on same-sex marriage.

Arizona Wildfire Kills 19 Members of Elite Crew

Firefighters tried to protect themselves from the flames under fire-resistant shields.