Stories for June 2013


Sunday, June 30

Analysis: Leaders Must Name Charter Board Members

With the July 1 effective date for Mississippi's expanded charter school law, the next step is to nominate seven members of the Charter School Authorizing Board.

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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.

A Glance at Some New Laws in Mississippi

Here's a glance at some new Mississippi laws that take effect Monday.

Friday, June 28

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After Short Debate, Senate OKs Medicaid Bills

In the end they lost, but legislative Democrats finally got the debate they've been asking for on Medicaid expansion in Mississippi.

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Bringing Back Gumbo Fest

Local music promoter Arden Barnett and event producer Bill Bissell are teaming up to bring back the International Gumbo Festival after a decade-long hiatus.

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Twelve Steps to Danger: How Alcoholics Anonymous Can Be a Playground for Violence-Prone Members

Each year, the legal system coerces more than 150,000 people to join AA, according to AA's own membership surveys.

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St. Andrew's Episcopal School

St. Andrew's Episcopal School not only teaches students to be outstanding in the classroom, but outside of the school's walls as well.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, the Magnolia Roller Vixens Roller Derby: "Independence Slay" against the Hub City Derby Dames of Hattiesburg is at 7 p.m., at Jackson Convention Complex.

Senators: Student Loan Interest Rates to Double

Student loan rates will double Monday—at least for a while—after a compromise to keep student loan interest rates low proved unwinnable before the July 1 deadline, senators said Thursday.

Cochran, Wicker Vote Against Immigration Bill

Both of Mississippi's U.S. senators voted against an immigration bill that passed the chamber Thursday.

Weekend Heat Wave to Bake Western U.S.

A high pressure system parking over the West is expected to bring temperatures this weekend and into next week that are extreme even for a region used to baking during the summer.

Gay Marriage Ruling Will Help Many Veteran Spouses

Just two years ago, gays and lesbians were prevented from serving openly in the military. Now, with the Supreme Court ruling this week, same-sex spouses of gay veterans and service members will be able to share in their benefits.

Immigration Focus on House After Senate OKs Bill

Attention is shifting to the House and its conservative majority after the Senate passed a landmark immigration bill opening the door to U.S. citizenship to millions while pouring billions of dollars into securing the border with Mexico.

Hospitals Seek High-Tech Help for Hand Hygiene

Hospitals have fretted for years over how to make sure doctors, nurses and staff keep their hands clean, but with only limited success.

Beneath NYC's Ground Zero, a Museum Takes Shape

Gray dust blankets everything in the subterranean halls of the unfinished National September 11 Memorial & Museum. But while the powder may look ominously like the ash that covered lower Manhattan after the terrorist attacks, this time it is a product of rebirth, not destruction.

Armstrong: I'm Still Record Tour de France Winner

The dirty past of the Tour de France came back on Friday to haunt the 100th edition of cycling's showcase race, with Lance Armstrong telling a newspaper he couldn't have won without doping.

Obama in Search of an African Policy Legacy

President Barack Obama is receiving the embrace you might expect for a long-lost son on his return to his father's home continent, even as he has yet to leave a lasting policy legacy for Africa.

Judge: Determining Size of BP Spill "No Easy Task"

The federal judge presiding over a trial arising from the nation's worst offshore oil spill says it could be difficult to determine how much crude spewed into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's busted well in 2010.

Thursday, June 27

Perry Gets Personal Over Abortion Laws Filibuster

Gov. Rick Perry hit back Thursday at the star of a Democratic filibuster that helped kill new Texas abortion restrictions.

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Miss. House Approves $840M Medicaid Bill

Mississippi House Democrats didn't get the Medicaid expansion they wanted, but they are declaring victory of a sort.

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Hinds D.A. Seeks to Stop Open-Carry Law

Some Mississippi lawmakers want to prevent a new law from going into effect that will permit Mississippians to openly carry firearms.

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U.S. Kids Born in Polluted Areas More Likely to Have Autism

Women who live in areas with polluted air are up to twice as likely to have an autistic child than those living in communities with cleaner air, according to a new study published today.

Paula Deen Dropped by Wal-Mart After 'Today' Tears

Paula Deen was dropped by Wal-Mart and her name was stripped from four buffet restaurants on Wednesday, hours after she went on television and tearfully defended herself amid the mounting fallout over her admission of using a racial slur.

Vicksburg Board Votes to Ban Guns on City Property

Vicksburg is banning firearms city property except for law enforcement officers.

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Magnolia Roller Vixens

One week from today, most of the nation will take a break from work and celebrate Independence Day. To get a jump on the holiday, this Saturday, June 29, is shaping up to be one of the busiest days for metro area events.

Texas Carries Out its 500th Execution Since 1982

Texas marked a solemn moment in criminal justice Wednesday evening, executing its 500th inmate since it resumed carrying out capital punishment in 1982.

A Long Way from Stonewall, and Sometimes a Slog

From Stonewall in New York in 1969 to the marble walls of the Supreme Court, the push to advance gay rights has moved forward, often glacially but recently at a quickening pace.

Senate on Verge of Historic Immigration Vote

The Senate is on the cusp of approving historic immigration legislation offering citizenship to millions in the U.S. illegally and spending billions of dollars to secure the border.

Perry, Texas GOP Revive Abortion Limits Fight

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is set to address a national convention of anti-abortion activists Thursday little more than a day after a special legislative session failed to approve sweeping restrictions to make abortion all but impossible for many women in the state.

Vows Wait, but Gay Couples Cheer High Court Moves

Backed by rainbow flags and confetti, thousands celebrated in California's streets after U.S. Supreme Court rulings brought major advances for gay marriage proponents in the state and across the country.

South Africa: Mandela Improved Overnight

The office of the South African president says Nelson Mandela's health improved overnight, and his condition remains critical but is now stable.

Obama Clashes with African Host over Gay Rights

"We are still not ready to decriminalize homosexuality," Senegalese President Macky Sall said.

Miss. Lawmakers Start Medicaid Session Thursday

Mississippi lawmakers return to the Capitol at 10 a.m. Thursday for a special session designed to keep Medicaid alive and funded.

Wednesday, June 26

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Gig: Southern Yogi

People have different ideas of what yoga is. A lot of people think that yoga is for the pretty, flexible, acrobatic gymnasts they see on the front cover of magazines, and many people think yoga is going to conflict with their Christianity.

The Slate

The dog days of summer are here. The NBA and NHL are done. Now the long wait for football to return begins.

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Gridiron Ladies

In Mississippi, you can't escape it. We've got less than 90 days before it dominates talk at home, work and parties.

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Internet Killed the Video Star

If you're a certain age, I expect that music videos played an important role in your development, whether defining romance by how many candles are lit in the background or by constructing your ideals of female perfection based on the model sliding hither and thither on a car hood in Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again." But regardless of the impact, at least an impact existed.

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Grunt, Grunt, Shuffle, Grunt

Brad Pitt fights to save his family from the zombie apocalypse in “World War Z.”

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Doctor's Orders

The Apothecary at Brent's Drugs, brainchild of attorney Brad Reeves and designer Jonathan Shull, delivers on its promise of speakeasy ambiance and Prohibition flair.

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Pain in the Brain

If you suffer from chronic headaches, something in your diet may be the culprit.

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Melon for All Seasons

With cantaloupes in season in Mississippi June through September, you will find them a frequent feature as a produce sale item and prime for selection.

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Worth a Thousand Words

When it comes to wedding photography, Adam and Allison Hudson have a bit of an edge. The couple are partners in life before partners in work, which allows them a distinct approach to working with brides and grooms.

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Council Attempts Decision Delays; MOUs in the Mix

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.'s last Jackson City Council meeting was a mixed bag Tuesday night at City Hall.

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Mississippi Declaration of Secession

The Mississippi Declaration of Secession makes no secret of what the Civil War was about: slavery.

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Let's Talk About Race

First and foremost, there can't be any discussion about race and racism unless you're willing to entertain the notion that it still exists—that we're not living in a "post-racial" society—and that racism continues to cause serious problems in America.

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Question It

One effective way to begin to understand our racial biases is to examine where they came from. When you're ready to engage in the race conversation, here are some questions to get your juices started.

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Dialogue is Not Debate

It's easy to fall into a debate about race and racism, but debate usually hardens our positions, instead of opening us to the possibility of change.

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Putting a Toe in the Water of the Race Conversation

Racism is really hard to talk about, especially in bi- and multi-racial groups. So how do you start? How do you engage without offending? Here are a few tips.

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What Is Racism? Why Meanings Matter in Conversations About Race

Generally speaking, semantics of race falls into two categories.

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Racism Affects Families from Generation to Generation

Racism Affects Families from Generation to Generation

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Crimes Against (Some) Americans

In the past 30 years, America's prison population has exploded. Since 1970, our prison population has risen 700 percent, and the U.S. now houses roughly 25 percent of all prisoners in the world, despite having only 5 percent of the world's population.

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What Is White Privilege?

The problem with white privilege is that those who enjoy it usually don't know it, or want to know.

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Facts Matter; So Do Stereotypes

Disparities between whites and people of color in the United States, and Mississippi, are still wide, and they result from years of historic racism and inequality.

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Taking Jobs from Blacks? Not so Much

When Chokwe Lumumba was a new member of the Jackson City Council, he went looking for an answer to the dubious adage that undocumented immigrants performing low-skill jobs in the U.S. take jobs away native-born African Americans.

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Case Study: False Equivalence

One of the uglier memes that popped up during the recent Jackson mayoral campaign was the comparison of then-candidate Chokwe Lumumba to former Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett.

Resources for Race Dialogue

If you are interested in exploring and learning more about race in Mississippi and in America, here are a few resources to get started.

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It's Not a Pity

White self-pity has done more to destroy the South than any war or natural disaster.

Transparency for Citizens’ Sake

For the past few days, the Jackson Free Press has been working on a story about Mayor-elect Chokwe Lumumba's transition to officially take the reins at city hall on July 1.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'KKK'

Humphrey mentioned monthly Ku Klux Klan marches at the University of Mississippi in several tweets, said he saw "white people in white night gowns" on campus and that Ole Miss picked a black homecoming queen for the express purpose of not looking racist.

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Who's Moral Now?

In my last column, I wrote about the importance of Medicaid expansion to our state--and specifically to me. Sometimes we pay a price for publicly sharing a story; my price was being told that I have no right to health care from complete strangers on social media.

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Obamacare Stumps Small Biz

Jeff Good has crunched the numbers. The Jackson restaurateur has consulted with attorneys specializing in labor-relations and health-care law and ordered extensive reports from the firm that processes payroll checks for his companies' 205 employees.

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Costly Objection to Siemens Deal Withdrawn

Advanced Technology Business Solutions has withdrawn a complaint filed in Hinds County Chancery Court regarding a contract the city of Jackson awarded to Siemens Company.

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Sex Trafficking: It’s Not About Sex

Heather Wagner, assistant attorney general in charge of the domestic violence unit in the state attorney general's office, says it's unclear just how big the sex trafficking problem is in the state.

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Todd Allen

49-year-old Allen, who recently worked on Mayor-elect Chokwe Lumumba's campaign, has never shied away from racial integration or open dialogue about differences.

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Breaking the Silence

We heal our divisions with knowledge, never with ignorance.

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Blues That Never Left Home

Mississippi is often called the "Birthplace of America's Music," but one genre in particular never left the state—Mississippi Hill Country Blues.

Brazil Congress Shelves Controversial Legislation

Brazil's congress has shelved legislation that had been a target of nationwide protests, hours before another expected round of large-scale demonstrations on Wednesday.

Kerry: Urgent Progress is Needed on Mideast Peace

Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that he's set no ad hoc deadline for making concrete progress in talks between Israel and the Palestinians that he's continuing this week, but that long before September there needs to be some kind of progress shown.

Stocks Rise Even as U.S. Economic Growth Slows

U.S. stock indexes moved higher in early trading Wednesday, despite news that the U.S. economy has been growing more slowly than first estimated.

DOMA Goes Down; Gay-Rights Advocates Cheer

Chanting "DOMA is Dead," supporters of same-sex marriage burst into cheers at news of the Supreme Court's decision

High Court Strikes Down DOMA Provision Blocking Same-Sex Benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

UCLA Ends Bulldogs' 2013 Championship Drive

"As far as Mississippi State goes, they'll be back," Bulldogs shortstop Adam Frazier said.

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Texas Abortion Bill Blocked by Last-Minute 'People's Filibuster'

Initially, Republicans insisted the vote started before the midnight deadline and passed the bill that Democrats spent the day trying to kill. But after official computer records and printouts of the voting record showed the vote took place Wednesday, and then were changed to read Tuesday, senators retreated into a private meeting to reach a conclusion.

Miss. Charter School Advocates Form Association

Groups that pushed the passage of Mississippi's new charter school law are forming an association to promote and nurture the schools.

Tuesday, June 25

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Convention Center Hotel Plans Announced

In a joint press conference, Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr., and Mayor-elect Chokwe Lumumba announced a deal to build a convention center hotel.

Putin: 'Nyet' to U.S. Request to Turn Over Snowden

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the first official acknowledgment of the whereabouts of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden on Tuesday and promptly rejected U.S. pleas to turn him over.

GOP Divided on Immigration; House Uncertain

Senate Republicans are split over the immigration bill steaming toward approval at week's end, a divide that renders the ultimate fate of White House-backed legislation unpredictable in the House and complicates the party's ability to broaden its appeal among Hispanic voters.

A Look at 48 Years of the Voting Rights Act

The voting law that became a major turning point in black Americans' struggle for equal rights and political power is now outdated, the Supreme Court says.

Texas Senator Filibusters Against Abortion Bill

Wearing pink tennis shoes to prepare for nearly 13 consecutive hours of standing, a Democratic Texas state senator on Tuesday began a one-woman filibuster to block a GOP-led effort that would impose stringent new abortion restrictions across the nation's second-most populous state.

Reports Reflect Fed's Message of Stronger Economy

The U.S. housing recovery is strengthening. Factories are fielding more orders. And Americans' confidence in the economy has reached its highest point in 5½ years.

Bulldogs Lose 3-1 to UCLA in Opener of CWS Finals

Mississippi State coach John Cohen couldn't help but think about the what-ifs. What if UCLA's Kevin Kramer hadn't swung at a third strike in the dirt and eventually come around to score? What if Trey Porter's bases-loaded drive to right field had fallen for a hit?

Kellogg Donates $3.8M in Grants to Miss. Groups

Mississippi community organizations that work to advance racial equity and racial healing for young men of color will receive $3.8 million in grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Zimmerman Portrayed as Vigilante in Fla. Shooting

George Zimmerman was fed up with "punks" getting away with crime and shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin "because he wanted to," not because he had to, prosecutors argued Monday.

Taliban Attack Presidential Palace in Kabul

Taliban militants with false papers and military-style uniforms bluffed their way through two checkpoints on their way to Afghanistan's presidential palace Tuesday before jumping out of their explosives-packed vehicle and opening fire on security personnel, according to Afghan officials and eyewitness accounts.

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Hosemann: Miss. Voter ID a Go as SCOTUS Guts Voting Rights Act

It wasn't terribly surprising given the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court, but the nation's high court officially gutted the most important provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in a ruling this morning.

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lululemon, Ciao Bella and Mobile Marketing

lululemon athletica, a yoga, running and other athletic apparel manufacturer, is opening a new location in Fondren this August inside the former Fisher Galleries (3100 N. State St.) location.

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Allen Cooper and Eric Hunter

Recently, around 200 cadets from Junior Reserve Officers' Training Course programs across Mississippi participated in a Leader's Training Course at Fort Knox in Kentucky.

Texas Senate Set for Filibuster Finale on Abortion

A sweeping bill that would effectively shut down most abortion clinics across the nation's second most-populous state has stalled in the Texas Senate, and a Democratic filibuster that will only need to last a seemingly manageable 13 hours Tuesday looks like it will be enough to talk the hotly contested measure to death.

Power Plant Limits at Center of Obama Climate Plan

Taking climate change efforts into his own hands, President Barack Obama is proposing sweeping steps to limit heat-trapping pollution from coal-fired power plants and to boost renewable energy production on federal property.

Russia Rejects U.S. Demand for Snowden's Extradition

Russia's foreign minister bluntly rejected U.S. demands to extradite National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, saying Tuesday that Snowden hasn't crossed the Russian border.

High Court Voids Key Part of Voting Rights Act

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced unless Congress comes up with an up-to-date formula for deciding which states and localities still need federal monitoring.

Nelson Mandela Remains in Critical Condition

South Africa's president on Tuesday urged his compatriots to show their appreciation for Nelson Mandela.

Survey: Miss. 49th in U.S. in Child Well-Being

Mississippi is 49th overall for the well-being of children, according to a new national survey released Monday.

Monday, June 24

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GAO Report Points to Challenges in Setting Up Federal Health Insurance Marketplaces

Testing of computer systems and training of consumer assistance guides are behind schedule, but the Obama administration has met other deadlines in its efforts to open new marketplaces where millions of consumers might shop for insurance starting this fall.

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Sports Hall of Fame Hosting CWS Viewing Party

The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is hosting a viewing party starting at 6:30 p.m., when Mississippi State takes on UCLA in the first of a best-of-three game series for the 2013 National Championship.

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Deborah Hardy

For Jackson-native Deborah Hardy, community involvement spurred her to start an organization with a friend, Amos Archie, called the Minority Business Network on March 31, 2011.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

The Mississippi 4-H Horse Championship is Wednesday, June 26 at 6 p.m. at Kirk Fordice Equine Center.

MSU's '85 Bulldogs Cast a Long Shadow

The star-studded 1985 Mississippi State baseball team has cast a long shadow over every Bulldogs club that followed. Now the 2013 team is poised to do what no other Mississippi State team in any sport has done—win a national championship.

Analysis: History Not Just Tucked Away in Books

As Mississippi schools are increasing efforts teach civil rights history, they could turn to people who are still living, and whose memories are still sharp, for firsthand accounts of what it was like to challenge segregation in the Jim Crow South.

Report: Economic Well-Being of U.S. Children Slips

It wasn't so long ago that David Hutchinson spent a month sleeping under a bridge while his wife and young daughter spent their nights at a domestic violence shelter.

Hostess: Twinkies to Return to Shelves July 15

Hostess is betting on a sweet comeback for Twinkies when they return to shelves next month.

Hundreds Protest Texas Abortion Restrictions

More than 800 women's rights protesters crowded into the Texas Capitol on Sunday to watch Democrats try a series of parliamentary maneuvers to stop the Republican majority from passing some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country.

Wildfire: Colo. Town Sees Long Evacuation

Tourists and business owners forced to flee a popular summer retreat in the southwestern Colorado mountains resigned themselves to a long wait as fire officials declined to speculate when they might be able to reign in an unprecedented and erratic blaze raging through the Rio Grande National Forest.

South Africa: Mandela Still in Critical Condition

Nelson Mandela's condition in a Pretoria hospital remained critical for a second straight day Monday, said South Africa's president who described the stricken anti-apartheid hero as being "asleep" when he visited Mandela the previous evening.

Court to Hear Appeal of Abortion Buffer Zone

The Supreme Court will reconsider the constitutionality of a 2007 Massachusetts law that bars protests in 35-foot "buffer zones" around abortion clinic entrances, exits and driveways.

Ecuador Confirms Snowden Seeking Asylum There

Ecuador's foreign minister said Monday his country will act not on its interests but on its principles as it considers an asylum request from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, wanted for revealing classified U.S. secrets.

Ethanol: Boost for Cars or Bust?

A feverish lobbying campaign by both oil and ethanol interests has spread from Congress to the White House and the Supreme Court.

Sunday, June 23

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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.

Shuqualak Rebuilding After April Tornado

Two months after a devastating tornado swept through Noxubee County, the residents of Shuqualak are rebuilding their homes and their lives.

Saturday, June 22

Miss. Unemployment at 9.1 Percent in May

Mississippi's unemployment rate dropped slightly to 9.1 percent in May, and the state was tied with Illinois for the second-highest seasonal adjusted jobless rate in the nation.

Friday, June 21

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MSU Bulldogs Trounce Beavers 4-1

Mississippi State advances to the College World Series finals.

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Bulldogs On the Brink

The Mississippi State Bulldog baseball team woke up Friday morning in a unique position—not just to the school, but to the state of Mississippi, a bastion of college baseball excellence.

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Fact-Check: The NSA and Sept. 11

In defending the NSA's sweeping collection of Americans' phone call records, Obama administration officials have repeatedly pointed out how it could have helped thwart the 9/11 attacks.

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Avery Jordan

If the ingenious club organizer Max Fischer from Wes Anderson's 1998 film "Rushmore" was reincarnated as an actual high school student, he'd be Avery Jordan.

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It's the Weekend!

On Sunday, the Thick and Proud Sisters Model Call  is 1-4 p.m. at Dreamz JXN.

House Rejects Farm Bill, 62 Republicans Vote No

The House rejected a five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill Thursday that would have cut $2 billion annually from food stamps and let states impose broad new work requirements on those who receive them.

Lawyer Working on BP Settlement Claims Suspended

A lawyer working for the court-appointed administrator reviewing claims arising from BP's Gulf oil spill has been accused of collecting portions of settlement payments from a New Orleans law firm to which he had once referred claims, a BP official with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

Federal Nullification Efforts Mounting in States

Imagine the scenario: A federal agent attempts to arrest someone for illegally selling a machine gun. Instead, the federal agent is arrested—charged in a state court with the crime of enforcing federal gun laws.

S. Africa: Former President Says Mandela Improving

A former South African leader says the health of Nelson Mandela is improving.

Senate Immigration Bill Boosted by Border Deal

Far-reaching immigration legislation offering the prize of U.S. citizenship to millions is swiftly gaining ground in the Senate following agreement between Republicans and Democrats on dramatic steps aimed at securing the border with Mexico.

Kerry Trip Tackles Syria and the Taliban

Secretary of State John Kerry begins a trip plunging into thorny foreign policy problems.

Auditor's Report Lists Miss. Legislative Expenses

Mississippi spent nearly $7.5 million for salaries and expenses of state lawmakers during the 11 months that ended in early April, according to a new report from the state auditor's office.

Thursday, June 20

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Lumumba Announces Transition Team

Mayor elect Chokwe Lumumba introduced some familiar faces on his Transition Executive Committee this week.

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Black Carbon Linked to Attention Problems in Boys

Exposure to traffic-related air pollution was associated with decreased attention skills in a group of Boston-area boys studied by researchers.

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Callaway High School Football Team

Talk to any coach long enough, and he will tell you two things: One, that sports teach life lessons and, two, that sports build character.

MDOC Has July 17 Deadline to Respond to Lawsuit

A federal judge has given the state until July 17 to respond to a lawsuit that challenges conditions at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility near Meridian in Lauderdale County.

Stocks Slide as Fed Says Bond Purchases Could Slow

Financial markets shuddered Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it could start scaling back its huge economic stimulus program later this year and end it by the middle of next.

New Colo. Wildfire Prompts Evacuations of Homes

A new wildfire in the foothills southwest of Denver forced the evacuation of dozens of homes Wednesday as hot and windy conditions in the West made it easy for fires to start and spread.

Boehner Dances Between GOP, Dems on Immigration

The immigration protesters advanced on the news conference, poking signs that read "Do Not Reward Criminals" and "No Amnesty!" over the heads of Republicans who had just finished speaking about finding a civilized tone in the year's most difficult debate.

Developer: Kan. Caverns Could Preserve Human Race

After most of the world's population is wiped off the map by a wayward meteorite or hail of nuclear missiles, the survival of the human race might just depend on a few thousand people huddled in recreational vehicles deep in the bowels of an eastern Kansas mine.

In Northern Iraqi City, al-Qaida Gathers Strength

Al-Qaida's Iraq arm is gathering strength in the restive northern city of Mosul, ramping up its fundraising through gangland-style shakedowns and feeding off anti-government anger as it increasingly carries out attacks with impunity, according to residents and officials.

Actor James Gandolfini, 51, Dies of Cardiac Arrest

James Gandolfini's lumbering, brutish mob boss with the tortured psyche will endure as one of TV's indelible characters.

Obama Commits to Tough Push on Global Warming

President Barack Obama is planning an effort to make good on promises he made at the start of his second term.

Fitch: 2014 Earliest to Open Prepaid College Plan

Mississippi's prepaid college tuition plan likely won't be reopening for additional enrollments until sometime next year at the earliest, according to State Treasurer Lynn Fitch.

Wednesday, June 19

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Squeaky Clean (and Super Cheap)

I've been intrigued by the do-it-yourself cleaning products trend for a while now. I definitely believe the products we buy to clean our home—not to mention hair and beauty products—contain way too many extraneous ingredients.

The Slate

Two things we learned this week at the College World Series: Apparently, the word "college" has three "L's," and Mississippi State and Ole Miss have merged to form the Mississippi State Rebels.

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Lem Barney: Great but Wrong

Another person is proclaiming the death of football. This time, it is former Jackson State and Detroit Lions star Lem Barney.

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Remembering Ben Puckett

Long-time Jackson resident Ben Puckett, who died June 2 at the age of 83, was a big-time giver: to Mississippi State, to the U.S. Olympic effort, to your Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum where I am director, to his employees, and to countless other causes and relief efforts.

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Jackson’s Best-Kept Secret

I encourage bands looking to recording new albums or songs to check out Terminal Studios. The staff is knowledgeable, making sure sessions run smoothly, and will give you a positive experience and a great-sounding product.

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Covering Chicago

Jackson is home to many cover bands, but only one of them plays the memorable music of Chicago (the band). The eight members of Dialogue, who are all from the Jackson area, got together in February 2012 to try to recreate some old tunes from their childhood.

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A Modern-Day Sock Hop

While socks and dancing might seem disconnected to some, for Philip Scott, they go hand-in-hand. He has an international entertainment company called Neural Dope which promotes different types of dancers, and he has a sock line.

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Savior in a Red Cape

"Man of Steel" aspires to wring out the flaws in our previous conceptions of Superman. The contrast between Vintage Superman and Reinvented Superman is startling--and for true believers, perhaps a touch too serious and sacrilegious.

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South Toward Home: A Poet’s Journey Back to Literary Mississippi

I was all but dragged to Mississippi kicking and screaming.

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Back to Our Roots

Sometimes, getting away makes you think even more fondly of home. A recent excursion to Nashville left me thinking about the progress I've seen in our city the past few years. It's interesting how sometimes by getting back to our roots, we can move forward.

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Everything's Kinected

The recently revealed Xbox One is the next generation of Microsoft gaming consoles, made to compete primarily with Sony's upcoming Playstation 4. The concern lies with the new Xbox's planned Digital Rights Management features and Kinect "functionality."

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Proactive Food for Thought

"Food is medicine." That's the message Terry Sullivan, owner of liveRIGHTnow, hopes people will take from the documentary, "Forks Over Knives," showing June 24 at the Madison Malco.

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Guilty Pleasures

Bacon bourbon peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. You just stumbled over all that, didn't you? Still letting it all sink in? But no, you read it right.

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The Lumumba Economy

During his yearlong campaign, Mayor-elect Chokwe Lumumba did not tout big-box stores, movie theaters, waterfronts or Farish Street as the silver-bullet solution to economic development in the capital city.

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Lumumba: Defining Success

The great American newscaster David Brinkley once said that a successful man is one who can build a foundation out of the bricks thrown at him. If that holds true, and Chokwe Lumumba is successful in his new job, he should be able to build a mansion.

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Growing Up Lumumba

On a flight from Detroit to Washington, D.C., in 1977, a young lawyer named Chokwe Lumumba saw something he'd never seen before: a flight-attendant crew consisting of three black women.

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Making of a Mayor

On the morning of the Democratic primary race on May 7, Jackson's political insiders in the mood for prognosticating might have positioned Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba as a long shot.

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Dear Dewey,

To my mother, education meant the most precious of things: freedom.

Gunn and Graham: Stop the Bullying

In recent months, as Mississippians have debated the pros and cons of Medicaid expansion, the Jackson Free Press editorial board has repeatedly called on Republican state leaders to permit a full, open debate on the issue on the House and Senate floors.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Free'

Telling taxpayers that they pay for government programs, though, is treating citizens like dumbasses.

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Time and the Gulag

Big Larry Jones: "Broadcasting from the Ghetto Science Public Television studios, I'm Big Larry, Bonqweesha's favorite uncle, sitting in on 'Qweesha Live 2013.' My guest is Scooby 'Angry Black Man' Rastus, Ghetto Science Team community activist and rising literary figure. Scooby is here to promote his first self-published, chapbook/novel titled 'One Day in the Life of Scooby: Living Poor, Broke and Busted in the Ghetto is Like Serving Time in the Gulag Archipelago.'

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Above Ground 119

One of Jackson's hottest watering holes is giving patrons a chance to take in some fresh air with the addition of an outdoor bar area. Underground 119 Chef and General Manager Tom Ramsey reported Monday that the first weekend of the outdoor bar and lounging area was a huge success.

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Hinds Board Lean; Court Funds Fat

Hinds County will soon be down to three members on its Board of Supervisors. With the death of District 2 Supervisor Doug Anderson earlier this year and the departure of District 4 Supervisor Phil Fisher, the new Clinton mayor--and given another supervisor's penchant for tardiness--the five-member board could lack the necessary quorum to call a meeting to order.

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Johnson’s 11th-hour Nomination

Education was back in the spotlight at Monday afternoon's special meeting of the Jackson City Council. Although the agenda did not feature any items pertaining to the soon-to-be-vacant Ward 7 seat on the Jackson Public Schools board, the subject of Dr. George Schimmel's replacement came up.

Question o' the Week: What do you want to see Mayor Lumumba do first once he takes office?

What do you want to see Mayor Lumumba do first once he takes office?

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You & JFP

Favorite quote: "Make yourself."

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Sex Trafficking: A Local Problem

Trading lives for money, sex, work or drugs—those are just a few of the ways people get used. The money can be huge—for those in control of other lives.

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The Odd Journey of Mills for Schools

Millage rates—property taxes—might sound about as far from "sexy" as any story can be. But the well-being of Jackson Public Schools depends largely on the city allocating enough money to meet the schools' needs.

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Lisa Palmer

Like a fine wine or a vintage roadster, some things just get better as they mature. At the age of 53, Lisa Palmer has a youthful vitality and modest confidence about her.

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Hope and Loving in Mississippi

When we make a choice, whether about who to marry or what our opinion is of a mayoral candidate, someone won't like it. But if we mean this American experiment, we will battle to keep the government out of those choices if there is not an overriding need for it to be involved (like public safety).

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Bringing the Rock Back

Anyone who has followed the music scene these past few years knows about Storage 24. It has a wide appeal as an integrated group mixing several genres of music, all with a heavy rock sound.

'Dead Zones' Predicted for Gulf, Chesapeake Bay

Scientists in Michigan and Louisiana are predicting a big summer "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico unless a tropical storm hits the area shortly before or during the annual measurement.

Miss. AG Hood Says He'll Subpoena Google on Drugs

Mississippi's attorney general says he still considers Google's responses to allegations that it's not doing enough to prevent illegal online sales of drugs without prescriptions and says he's sending out subpoenas for company documents to further his investigation.

Not 'Tired' of Yokohama

Since the recent announcement that tire manufacturer Yokohama Tire Company would be locating a plant in Clay County, area distributors have noticed an increased demand for the brand.

Gov't Report: Smooth Launch Unsure for Health Law

There's no guarantee that President Barack Obama's health care law will launch smoothly and on time, congressional investigators say in the first in-depth independent look at its progress.

Budget Office View Boosts Senate Immigration Bill

Supporters of a far-reaching immigration bill in the Senate see fresh momentum from a report by the Congressional Budget Office that says the measure would boost the economy and reduce federal deficits by billions of dollars.

Social Issues Still Fire Up GOP Despite 2012 Loss

Republican lawmakers have a message for those who want the party to soften its emphasis on social conservatism in hopes of reaching a wider national audience: Not so fast.

Ohio Woman Accuses 3 of Holding Her Captive

A woman told authorities she was held captive for more than a year by three people who forced her to do housework, raided her bank account and menaced her with snakes and pit bulls.

Jurors Reflect on Complexities of Zimmerman Case

Prosecutors and defense attorneys personally interviewed 58 potential jurors over seven days about their media exposure to the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman last year in Sanford, Fla.

Protesters Out Again in Brazil's Biggest City

Tens of thousands of Brazilians again flooded the streets of the country's biggest city to raise a collective cry against a longstanding lament—people are weighed down by high taxes and high prices but get low-quality public services and a system of government infected with corruption.

Obama Defends U.S. Surveillance Programs

"Lives have been saved," with the programs, Obama said.

Report Says Most Miss. Education Schools Mediocre

A group pushing for changes in how the nation trains teachers says Mississippi's teacher training programs are mediocre at best.

Tuesday, June 18

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High on Thai, Backyard Burger Renovations, Fischer Galleries and SBA Hangouts

Mellow Mushroom (275 Dogwood Blvd, Flowood; 601-992-7499) is running a "High on Thai" promotion through July 14.

Waiting for Word from Bernanke, Stocks Move Higher

U.S. stocks moved higher Tuesday, helped by news of a pickup in home building and low inflation.

G-8 Seeks Unity on Syrian Peace Talks, Tax Evasion

resident Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other G-8 leaders attempted to speak with one voice Tuesday on seeking a negotiated Syrian peace settlement—yet couldn't publicly agree on whether this means President Bashar Assad must go.

3 Charged in Ohio with Enslaving Mother, Daughter

Three Ohioans are accused of enslaving a mentally disabled young mother and her daughter over two years.

House Committee Takes Up Tough Immigration Bill

Challenged by protesters chanting "shame, shame," House Republicans advanced legislation Tuesday to crack down on immigrants living illegally in the United States as the Senate lurched ahead on a dramatically different approach offering the hope of citizenship to the same millions.

Obama's Influence, Limitations on Display at G-8

Now a veteran of the international summit scene, President Barack Obama wielded significant influence over the agenda at this week's Group of Eight meetings, but had only modest success in achieving the results he sought.

House Takes Up Far-Reaching Anti-Abortion Bill

The Republican-led House on Tuesday sought to shore up their support from conservatives with a vote on one of the most far-reaching anti-abortion bills in years.

NSA Director Says Plot Against Wall Street Foiled

The U.S. foiled a plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange because of the sweeping surveillance programs at the heart of a debate over national security and personal privacy, officials said Tuesday at a rare open hearing on intelligence—a set-piece for supporters of the spying.

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Johnson Nominates Harkins for School Board

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. is required by law to replace Ward 7's outgoing Jackson Public Schools Board member George Schimmel by the end of the month, that much is certain. Whether or not that will happen is a different matter.

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Ron Chane

Ron Chane doesn't usually go by his first name. That's how the Fondren T-shirt designer and owner of Swell-O-Phonic got the name for his "Chane" T-shirt line.

MDOC to Keep 4 Community Work Centers Open

Four community work centers scheduled to close July 15 will remain open, the Mississippi Department of Corrections says.

Military Plans Would Put Women in Most Combat Jobs

Women may be able to start training as Army Rangers by mid-2015 and as Navy SEALs a year later under plans set to be announced by the Pentagon that would slowly bring women into thousands of combat jobs, including those in elite special operations forces.

Texas, SD Governors Court Conn. Gun Makers

The governors of Texas and South Dakota visited Connecticut on Monday to court gun manufacturers that have threatened to leave since the state passed tough new gun-control laws this year in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

100K Protesters Flood Brazilian Streets in Protest

Some of the biggest demonstrations since the end of Brazil's 1964-85 dictatorship have broken out across this continent-sized country, uniting tens of thousands frustrated by poor transportation, health services, education and security despite a heavy tax burden.

Taliban to Open Office for Peace Talks

The Taliban's spokesman says the group will open a political office in Qatar to try to find a political solution to the war in Afghanistan.

MSU 3 Wins from National Title

Trey Porter surely made the home folks proud back in Hurley, population 950.

House Bill Seeks to Tighten Abortion Laws

The legislation would ban almost all abortions after a fetus reaches the age of 20 weeks.

New Warden Named at EMCF

The East Mississippi Correctional Facility has named a new warden.

Monday, June 17

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County Courts Get Funding Boost

Three Hinds County departments received a funding bump this morning. At its regular meeting, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors agreed to provide $95,000 this year to the offices of Hinds County Attorney Sherri Flowers, District Attorney Robert Smith and County Court Judge William Skinner.

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Federal Rule Allows Higher Out-Of-Pocket Spending For One Year

Starting next year, the Affordable Care Act sets maximum limits on how much consumers can be required to pay out-of-pocket annually for their medical care. But some people with high drug costs may find the limits don't protect them yet.

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Newton H. James

Those who knew him best say that Newton H. James was a brave man at a time when such bravery came at the risk of life and livelihood in Mississippi. James, former mayor of McComb, died Thursday, June 13, at age 96.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

The Summer Solstice Pajama Party is June 21 at 5:30 p.m at the Mississippi Children's Museum.

End of BP Cleaning Crews Leaves Questions on Gulf

Finding tar balls linked to the BP oil spill isn't difficult on some Gulf Coast beaches, but the company and the government say it isn't common enough to keep sending out the crews that patrolled the sand for three years in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.

Ordinance Change Sought for Micro-Distillery

Natchez businessman Doug Charboneau and his son want to open a rum micro-distillery in the building that formerly housed King's Tavern bar.

MDA: It Intends to Meet Federal Job-Creation Goals

The Mississippi Development Authority intends for 51 percent of new jobs at the state port to be filled by low- to moderate-income residents.

World Looks to Bernanke to Clarify Stimulus Plans

Is the era of ultra-low interest rates nearing an end? That's the question—and the fear—Chairman Ben Bernanke will face this week when he takes questions after a Federal Reserve policy meeting.

Immigration Bill Could Decide 2016, Senator Says

Republicans' hopes to reclaim the White House in the 2016 elections hinge on whether they support—or sabotage—the immigration overhaul being debated in the Senate, two lawmakers who helped write the proposal warn.

Mandela's Wife Thanks World for 'Love, Generosity'

In tweets, songs, telephone calls, cards and more, messages of love have come from across South Africa and the world for 94-year-old Nelson Mandela, giving the family comfort and hope as he remains hospitalized in serious condition with a lung infection, his wife said Monday.

IRS Official Contradicts Claims About Reviews

An Internal Revenue Service supervisor in Washington says she was personally involved in scrutinizing some of the earliest applications from tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status, including some requests that languished for more than a year without action.

Obama: Northern Ireland is a Peace 'Blueprint'

"The terms of peace may be negotiated by political leaders, but the fate of peace is up to each of us," Obama said Monday.

Uppercut Bat Co. Finds Niche

Ever since the game of baseball was invented, players have needed two essential pieces of equipment: a ball and a bat.

Sunday, June 16

Analysis: Miss. Supes Discussing County Budgets

Mississippi supervisors gather on the Gulf Coast this week to talk about roads and bridges, economic development, water resources and other issues.

AP Impact: Bites Derided as Unreliable in Court

At least 24 men convicted or charged with murder or rape based on bite marks on the flesh of victims have been exonerated since 2000, many after spending more than a decade in prison. Now a judge's ruling later this month in New York could help end the practice for good.

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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, June 15

Ethics Panel Clears Way for GOP Medicaid Votes

The Mississippi Ethics Commission on Friday cleared the way for six Republican state House members to vote on Medicaid issues, but the commission's ruling wasn't unanimous and one member called it "illogical."

Friday, June 14

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Miss.'s New Gun Law: Good, Bad and Ugly

When a new law goes into effect on July 1, it's going to feel like the Wild West in Mississippi. Not only because the law permits individuals to carry guns and other weapons in plain view and without a permit but also because the law is so vague that the courts will likely be barraged with lawsuits over its nuances.

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Housing Crisis: Widespread Discrimination; Little Taste for Enforcement

The results of Tuesday's U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development national study on the persistence of housing discrimination are unlikely to shock: Racial and ethnic minorities continue to find themselves locked out of many housing opportunities.

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Brendan O'Toole

Brendan O'Toole isn't using lavish fundraisers to raise $2 million to support veterans. Instead, he's using his stamina, endurance and, mostly, his feet on a 3,600-mile, coast-to-coast run.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, DJ Young Venom, DJ KoolLaid, Spacewolf, Slimm Pusha and 5th Child perform at 9 p.m. at Hal & Mal's.

10 Things to Know About the College World Series

Omaha's annual summer party, the College World Series, begins Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park.

Funding Cuts to Hamper Local, State Drug Courts

Adams County Drug Court programs will face significant cuts July 1 as part of statewide budget cuts approved last week.

Court Says Isolated Human Genes Cannot be Patented

The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously threw out attempts to patent human genes, siding with advocates who say the multibillion-dollar biotechnology industry should not have exclusive control over genetic information found inside the human body.

Blast at La. Plant Kills 1, More than 70 Hurt

Daniel Cuthbertson knows the risks involved in working at chemical plants. Still, the Taft, Calif., contract worker who travels frequently for such work was rattled hours after escaping Thursday's blast at a south Louisiana plant.

AP News Break: NSA Leaker Snowden Not Welcome in UK

The British government has warned airlines around the world not to allow Edward Snowden, who leaked information on top-secret U.S. government surveillance programs, to fly to the United Kingdom.

House Considers Jail Term for Military Sex Assault

The House is heading toward passage of a sweeping defense bill that reflects the outrage among lawmakers over the growing number of sexual assaults in the military.

2 Found Dead in Area Burned by Colo. Wildfire

Firefighters have at least temporarily battled to a "draw" with a fast-moving fire that has already killed two people and destroyed 379 homes, giving weary authorities and residents the first glimmer of hope after three days of mounting damage, a sheriff said.

Iran Voters Draw Spirit in Showdown Atmosphere

Iranian voters appeared to heed calls to cast ballots Friday in a presidential election that has suddenly become a showdown across Iran's political divide: Hard-liners looking to cement their control and re-energized reformists backing the lone moderate left in the race.

Syria: U.S. Chemical Weapons Charges 'Full of Lies'

The Syrian government on Friday dismissed U.S. charges that it used chemical weapons as "full of lies," accusing President Barack Obama of resorting to fabrications to justify his decision to arm Syrian rebels. The commander of the main rebel umbrella group welcomed the U.S. move, saying it would lift his fighters' morale.

Obama Deepens U.S. Involvement in Syria

'Conclusive evidence' that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime used chemical weapons is prompting President Barack Obama to authorize lethal aid to Syrian rebels.

SPLC, ACLU Bemoan Closing of Miss. Work Centers

Faith-based groups and advocates led by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union are asking Mississippi prison officials to drop plans to close four of the state's 17 community work centers where inmates do chores for local governments.

Thursday, June 13

Court Says Human Genes Cannot be Patented

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that companies cannot patent parts of naturally-occurring human genes, a decision with the potential to profoundly affect the emerging and lucrative medical and biotechnology industries.

Turkish PM Issues Ultimatum, Will Meet Protesters

Turkey's prime minister issued a "final warning" to protesters on Thursday, demanding they end their occupation of a park next to Istanbul's Taksim Square that has ignited the largest political crisis of his 10-year rule.

South Africa President: Mandela is Improving

Nelson Mandela's health is improving but the 94-year-old beloved anti-apartheid hero remains in serious condition, South Africa's president said Thursday.

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Evers Gala Tops Off Jackson Events

Fifty years after the assassination of Medgar Evers, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and civil-rights leader Jesse Jackson came together to celebrate Evers' life.

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Fish on Prozac: Anxious, Anti-Social, Aggressive

When fish swim in waters tainted with antidepressant drugs, they become anxious, anti-social and sometimes even homicidal.

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Mississippi State Bulldogs

Mississippi State University sports fans have gotten bad news, but also some excellent news this past week. First, the bad news: On Friday, June 7, the NCCA hit the MSU football team with penalties for recruiting violations.

Meridian Schools Working on Discipline Issues

The Meridian School Board is rewriting the school's system discipline policies to end what the Justice Department called discriminatory disciplinary practices in which black students face harsher punishment than whites for similar misbehavior.

Small Businesses Are Hiring Again, but Cautiously

Small business owners across the country want to add staffers, and many are hiring, but they're taking their time before they commit to a new employee.

Privacy, the Online Generation Wants It

Amid the debate over government surveillance, there's been an assumption: Young people don't care about privacy.

Leaker Snowden Alleges NSA Hacking on China, World

For months, China has tried to turn the tables on the U.S. to counter accusations that it hacks America's computers and networks. Now, former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden may have handed Beijing a weapon in its cyber war of words with Washington.

Thousands Flee Colo. Wildfire; 92 Homes Destroyed

Jaenette Coyne estimates she had five minutes to leave home after calling 911 to report forest fire smoke behind her home.

Turkish PM Vows to Rid 'Lawbreakers' from Park

"Lawbreakers" will be removed from Istanbul's Taksim Square, Turkey's prime minister declared Thursday, rejecting the European Parliament's resolution condemning the excessive use of force by Turkish riot police against demonstrators.

Death Toll Nears 93,000 in Two Year Syrian War

Nearly 93,000 people have been confirmed killed since Syria's civil war began more than two years ago, the U.N. said Thursday

Southern Baptists Officially Oppose Gay Scout Rule

The Southern Baptist Convention approved a resolution Wednesday expressing its opposition to the Boy Scouts of America's new policy allowing gay Scouts, though it doesn't explicitly call for churches to drop all ties with the organization.

Wednesday, June 12

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Gig: Athletic Authority

What advice do you have for others who would like to become a fitness trainer? Become well educated on exercise science and nutrition. Have genuine compassion for people and concern for their well-being.

The Slate

This is shaping up to be a big week in sports, with the Stanley Cup Finals, the NBA Finals, U.S. Open Championship in golf, the College World Series and more.

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Cooperation Helps MSU

Outgoing Ohio State University President Gordon Gee took a shot at illiteracy in the Southeastern Conference a few months ago. But Gee and others could learn an important thing from the SEC, and that is cooperation.

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Finding Fatherhood

Take my advice, please: Children, spend as much time as you can with your fathers, and fathers, spend as much time as you can with your children.

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One and Done

The idea of a "one-hit wonder" is nothing revolutionary, as each year several would-be Grammy winners quickly disintegrate into the throes of sudden obscurity, like the person who sat behind you in Algebra does after you graduate.

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To the Drawing Board

Jerrod Partridge is a vibrant artist with a studio in the artsy Fondren neighborhood. He attended the New York Academy of Art where he received his Masters in Fine Art in 2004. In 2012, the Mississippi Arts Commission presented him with the Visual Arts Fellowship of Excellence.

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Techland Teamwork

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn reprise their “Wedding Crashers” banter for “The Internship,” this time as two out-of-work friends who become Google interns.

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The Truth About Boys

The truth about boys is that they are not the same as girls. They just aren't. And that is not anti-feminist or political in any way; it is a biological fact.

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Do Drop In

"When life gives you lemons, make lemon drop martinis!"

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Cook Smarter

While growing up in a family of 14 and then raising a family of seven people, I learned to appreciate time.

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Losing to Win

Who better to get people motivated to lose weight, than someone who has lost weight--a lot of a weight and on national television?

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Guys We Love

Every year at this time, people reflect on their dads, their granddads, their uncles—all the men in their lives. We at the JFP want to shine a spotlight on a few men who make Jackson a little cleaner, brighter, compassionate, smarter or a little more delicious. Some of them are dads, some aren’t. But they all inspire, teach and share their talents with our community, raising Jackson up to achieve its potential.

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Everyday Struggles

What we have one day, we may not have the next, so we need to appreciate everything.

2006 Surveillance Lawsuit Still Unheard

Mark Klein's allegations spawned dozens of consumer lawsuits over the fed's warrantless data gathering--seven years ago.

Jackson Will Thrive with a Balanced Approach

The story of Voice of Calvary's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (see page 11) is inspiring on many levels.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Gym'

Why it stinks: Palazzo was speaking about his proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution titled "Right to Refuse," which is designed to "kill the health care tax mandate that comes with Obamacare" and close the "Pandora's box where future Congresses can tax individuals and businesses for failure to purchase a good or service that the government tells them to purchase," Palazzo said.

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A Dangerous Game

Rarely does a two-day period go by that I don't get a Facebook message or email asking about how to apply for Medicaid or where to access free or low-cost birth control and reproductive health care. In Mississippi, we have a tremendous issue with lack of access to basic health-care services.

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Hood: Google Pushing Illegal Drugs

In the past six months, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has sued Entergy, Toyota and State Farm Insurance. Now he's got his eyes set on his biggest opponent to date: Internet titan Google.

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Voice of Calvary: Rebuilding Neighborhoods

One of the major complaints from candidates running for municipal offices in Jackson has been about the blighted and boarded-up homes around the city. At least one local group is trying to do something about it.

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Fear Stymies HIV/AIDS Prevention

Othor Cain, chairman of the board of directors at Jackson-based HIV/AIDS nonprofit Grace House, pointed to the upward trend in HIV infection rates for men, particularly black men who have sex with men.

Question o' the Week: Were you raised by a working mother? Tell us about her.

Were you raised by a working mother? Tell us about her.


In response to the Medgar Evers Tribute Issue, June 5-11, 2013

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You & JFP

Favorite quote: "It can always get better."

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A New Dynamic for City Hall?

There was a key moment during the final mayoral debate between Mayor-elect Chokwe Lumumba and former opponent Jonathan Lee when Lumumba defused Lee's main line of criticism by explaining how City Hall works.

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GOP’s Backdoor Embrace of Obamacare

The Republican Party, nationally and in Mississippi, has made sport of repudiating the federal health-care law.

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Linden Potts

Linden Potts has been in real estate for about six years. His father, who has been involved in real estate for over 25 years, and his background in economics and finance, are what drew him to the field.

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Notes from the Fishbowl

Waking up to our biases is like popping the red pill—suddenly, the matrix is everywhere.

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Amy LaVere: Mixing It Up in Memphis

You can hear where Amy LaVere is coming from, but it never limits where she goes with her music.

Southern Baptists Re-Elect First Black President

The Southern Baptist Convention re-elected its first black president, the Rev. Fred Luter Jr., at its annual meeting Tuesday.

NCAA APR Again Hits Schools with Lesser Resources

Eighteen Division I teams will miss the postseason, and another 18 in men's basketball and nine other college sports will trade practice time for remedial classroom sessions under NCAA academic progress reports released Tuesday.

Slim Pickings on First Day of Miss. Shrimp Season

Some of the shrimpers who set out at dawn Tuesday with high hopes for a huge catch came in hours later with just enough of the spiny crustaceans for a decent shrimp boil.

Feds: Morning-After Pill Appeal Officially on Hold

The Obama administration's appeal in the legal fight over morning-after pills has been officially put on hold until a judge weighs a new plan to allow girls of all ages to buy the contraceptives without a prescription, according to a government letter filed Tuesday.

World's Oldest Person Dies in Japan at 116

Japan's Jiroemon Kimura, who had been recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world's oldest living person and the oldest man ever, died Wednesday of natural causes. He was 116.

NSA Debate Pits Far Left, Right Against the Middle

Revelations of massive government collections of Americans' phone and email records have reinvigorated an odd-couple political alliance of the far left and right.

Ariel Castro Pleads Not Guilty in Ohio Kidnap Case

A man accused of holding three women captive in his Cleveland home for about a decade pleaded not guilty Wednesday to hundreds of charges, including rape and kidnapping.

S. Africa: Mandela 'Responding Better to Treatment'

Former President Nelson Mandela began responding better to treatment Wednesday morning for a recurring lung infection following "a difficult last few days," South Africa's president said.

Immigration Advocates Count the Votes

After the Senate pushed the bill over procedural hurdles, backers of immigration legislation turn from courting support to counting votes.

Miss. GOP Resolution Opposes Medicaid Expansion

Mississippi Republican Party leaders have adopted a resolution saying they oppose Medicaid expansion.

Tuesday, June 11

Calif. Readies for Possible Return of Gay Marriage

Same-sex marriage supporters await a U.S. Supreme Court decision that will determine whether California's ban on gay marriages lives or dies.

Police Crush Barricades in Istanbul Square

Hundreds of riot police overran improvised barricades at Istanbul's Taksim Square on Tuesday, firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons in running battles with protesters who have been occupying the area for more than a week.

Taliban Bomber in Kabul Kills 17 at Supreme Court

A Taliban suicide bomber struck outside Afghanistan's Supreme Court on Tuesday, killing 17 people in the deadliest attack in Kabul in over a year and a half.

France Threatens Veto of EU-US Trade Deal

A cloud is hanging over the upcoming free-trade talks between the European Union and the United States after France said it won't back any deal that threatens the country's prestigious film, radio or TV industries.

NYC Bomb Plot Details Settle Little in NSA Debate

The Obama administration declassified a handful of details Tuesday that credited its PRISM Internet spying program with intercepting a key email that unraveled a 2009 terrorist plot in New York.

Police Renew Sweep Through Istanbul Square

Riot police firing tear gas and water cannons re-entered Istanbul's Taksim Square on Tuesday night after defiant protesters swarmed back in by the thousands.

Immigration Bill Advances in Senate

The Senate voted Tuesday to advance a landmark immigration bill, clearing away the first procedural hurdle in front of legislation opening the door to citizenship for millions.

Senator Says Intel Chief Was Not Forthcoming

One of the staunchest critics of government surveillance programs said Tuesday that the national intelligence director did not give him a straight answer last March when he asked whether the National Security Agency collects any data on millions of Americans.

Levees, Removable Walls Proposed to Protect NYC

Giant removable floodwalls would be erected around lower Manhattan, and levees, gates and other defenses would be built elsewhere around the city under a nearly $20 billion plan proposed Tuesday by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to protect New York from storms and the effects of global warming.

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Council Grants TIF Funds to Luxury Hotel Group

The Jackson City Council this morning approved $1.75 million in tax-increment financing for a $53-million, 205-room luxury Westin hotel that would face Congress Street.

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The Apothecary, Grant Awards and Encore Entrepreneurs

This past weekend, Brad Reeves, owner of Brent's Drugs, opened The Apothecary, a 1,000-square-foot "speakeasy" lounge inside the circa-1946 soda fountain.

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Dr. James N. Martin Jr.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in London elected Dr. James N. Martin Jr., 66, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of UMMC's maternal fetal medicine department as an honorary member.

Groundbreaking Set for Grammy Museum Mississippi

The Grammy Museum Mississippi expected to open in 2015 will showcase the state's role in developing blues, country and genres that shaped American music.

Anti-Drug Initiative Loses Funding

Washington County has lost funding for its community anti-drug program that has operated for 25 years.

Cleanup Work After BP Oil Spill End in 3 States

Cleanup work has ended in three of the states affected by BP PLC's massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the company said Monday.

U.S. Spy Programs Raise Ire Both Home and Abroad

The Obama administration faced fresh anger Monday at home and abroad over U.S. spy programs that track phone and Internet messages around the world in the hope of thwarting terrorist threats. But a senior intelligence official said there are no plans to end the secretive surveillance systems.

Senate Passes Farm Bill, Moving Debate to House

The last time Congress passed a farm bill, Democrats had control of the House and the food stamp program was about half the size it is today.

Feds Now Back Morning-After Pills for All Girls

After setting off a storm of criticism from abortion rights groups upset that a Democratic president had sided with social conservatives, the Obama administration said it will comply with a judge's order to allow girls of any age to buy emergency contraception without prescriptions.

Boehner: Congress Can Do Immigration This Year

With the Senate ready to cast the first floor votes on a landmark immigration bill, House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday he thinks there's a good chance the legislation can be signed into law "by the end of the year."

Widow Works to Preserve Evers' Civil-Rights Legacy

Myrlie Evers-Williams acknowledges it would be easy to remain mired in bitterness and anger, 50 years after a sniper's bullet made her a widow.

Mississippi State Bound for 2013 College World Series

The Bulldogs held on for a 6-5 victory against Virginia on Monday in the completion of a suspended game, sweeping the No. 6 national seed. They are Omaha-bound for the first time since 2007, and the only time they had to sweat in the entire weekend was during a sloppy ninth inning.

Ellsberg: Snowden's Leaks More Important than Pentagon Papers

In 1971, Ellsberg passed the secret Defense Department study of U.S. involvement in Vietnam to The New York Times.

Medgar Evers Home Reopening After Preservation

The Medgar Evers home was rededicated Monday as a small museum that helps preserve the memory of the Mississippi civil rights leader who was assassinated 50 years ago.

Monday, June 10

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Gas Prices Stay Low in Mississippi

The price of oil is up, year-to-date, around the country, but somehow Mississippi keeps beating the heat of rising gas prices.

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Immigrants Contribute More To Medicare Than They Take Out, Study Finds

As Congress mulls changing America's border and naturalization rules, a study finds that immigrant workers are helping buttress Medicare's finances, because they contribute tens of billions a year more than immigrant retirees use in medical services.

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Susan Geiger

Like many college students, Susan Geiger didn't have a clear career path when she entered University.

U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey is Reappointed

The nation's poet laureate, Natasha Trethewey, has been appointed to a second one-year term.

Miss. Methodists Honor Anti-Segregation Ministers

The United Methodist Church in Mississippi has honored 28 white ministers who took a stand against segregation half a century ago.

Obama, Xi Signal New Start with Walk in the Desert

President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping's 50-minute stroll through an estate in the California desert could mark a notable moment in the relationship between the heads of the world's two largest economies.

5 Things to Note About NSA Surveillance Programs

Edward Snowden identified himself Sunday as a principal source behind revelations about the National Security Agency's sweeping phone and Internet surveillance programs.

Police ID Gunman in Deadly Santa Monica Rampage

Investigators trying to determine why John Zawahri planned his shooting spree focused on a deadly act of domestic violence that touched off the mayhem.

NSA Contractor Risks Steep Jail Time for Data Leak

The man who gave classified documents to reporters, making public two sweeping U.S. surveillance programs and touching off a national debate on privacy versus security, has revealed his own identity.

Mandela Still in Hospital in Serious Condition

Former President Nelson Mandela's condition remained serious but stable on Monday, his third day in a Pretoria hospital, the South African government said.

Jury Selection Begins in Zimmerman's Trial

In the first order of business in the trial of a Florida neighborhood watch volunteer charged in the fatal shooting of an unarmed teen, a judge Monday denied a defense request to delay the trial's start.

Six Months After Shooting, Victims' Families Head to D.C.

Families of Sandy Hook School shooting victims remind lawmakers they are painfully waiting for action.

Mississippi Writer Weaves Quirky Tales

Jamil is just one of the characters in this collection of often quirky, dozen stories from Steve Yates, a Missouri native who now is assistant director/marketing director at the University Press of Mississippi.

Sunday, June 9

Analysis: Miss. Campaign Spending Hard to Track

If you want to know who's spending money to influence voters in Mississippi, you may have a hard time getting a complete picture.

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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.

Apps Done Mississippi Style

The mushrooming of mobile apps can help states like Mississippi better position themselves with the San Francisco Bay area or the Pacific Northwest that have more prolific technology growth, since the right app idea at the right time can come from here as much as anywhere else.

Saturday, June 8

500 Years Later, Theological Debate Still Simmers

Is God's saving grace free to anyone who accepts Jesus, or did God predestine certain people for heaven and hell before the beginning of the world? That's a 500-year-old question, but it is creating real divisions in 2013 in the nation's largest Protestant denomination.

Friday, June 7

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HIV/AIDS in Miss.: 'A Terrible Curse'

Being diagnosed with HIV is no longer the life sentence it was once was. But for those living with the virus in Mississippi, having HIV/AIDS remains a terrible curse, said Othor Cain, chairman of the board of directors at Grace House in Jackson.

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Five Ways Congress is Trying to Curb Rape in the Military

When the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on the U.S. military's sexual assault crisis, lawmakers grilled Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine officials on the alarmingly high number of rapes and other sexual abuses in their ranks. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) shakes hands with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno following the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on sexual assaults in the military. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Mississippi Economy Grew 2.4 Percent in 2012

Mississippi's 2012 growth rate was close to the national average and ranked 17th among the 50 states.

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Rev. Will Campbell

Rev. Will Davis Campbell, a Baptist minister, activist, author and lecturer who drew acclaim for his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, died Monday, June 3, at age 88.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, the Capital City Roller Girls Roller Derby Game is at 6:30 p.m. at the Mississippi Trade Mart.

Meetings Focus on Genetically Modified Crops

Meetings planned in four states will ask people what they think about using genetically modified crops on refuges to provide food for migrating waterfowl.

U.S. Regains Wealth from Recession, But Not Equally

America as a whole has regained all the household wealth it lost to the Great Recession and then some, thanks to higher stock and home prices.

Syrian Rebel Offensive in Golan Jolts Israel

Syrian rebels briefly seized control of a border crossing along the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights on Thursday, prompting the withdrawal of a major Austrian peacekeeping contingent and heightening fears in Israel that it could soon be dragged into the neighboring country's civil war.

IRS Official Apologizes for Lavish $4M Conference

An Internal Revenue Service official whose division staged a lavish $4.1 million training conference and who starred as Mr. Spock in a "Star Trek" parody shown at the 2010 gathering conceded to Congress on Thursday that taxpayer dollars were wasted in the episode.

Is Big Data Turning Government into 'Big Brother?'

With every phone call they make and every Web excursion they take, people are leaving a digital trail of revealing data that can be tracked by profit-seeking companies and terrorist-hunting government officials.

In California, Obama and Xi Seek to Build New Ties

Seeking a fresh start to a complex relationship, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping are retreating to a sprawling desert estate for two days of talks on high-stakes issues, including cybersecurity and North Korea's nuclear threats.

U.S. Declassifies Phone Surveillance Details After Uproar

A top intelligence official is declassifying details about one program while insisting that collecting America's phone records and internet use of foreign nationals were legal.

Thursday, June 6

DuPree Wins by 37 Votes in Hattiesburg Mayoral Race

After affidavit ballots were counted Thursday, Dupree had 4,775 votes and Dave Ware had 4,738.

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Dems Offer Medicaid Deal; Bryant Rejects

Mississippi Democrats continue to extend olive branches to legislative Republicans to find ways to accept federal Medicaid money.

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Opinion: Stop the Decay of Our Planet's Life-Support Systems

The evidence is overwhelming: Humanity is pushing humanity's life-support systems rapidly toward a tipping point that will likely imperil society's well-being.

Holder Praises Slain Black Activist Medgar Evers

Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday praised slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, saying that the black activist's vision and leadership helped make it possible for Holder and President Barack Obama to rise to the positions they now hold.

Committee Passes Bill to Address Sexual Assaults

With broad support from Republicans and Democrats, a House committee Wednesday approved legislation to tackle the growing problem of sexual assault in the armed forces by taking away the power of military commanders to overturn convictions in rape and assault cases.

Court: Girls Can Buy Morning-After Pill for Now

Girls of any age can buy generic versions of emergency contraception without prescriptions while the federal government appeals a judge's ruling allowing the sales, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.

Report: Gov't Scooping Up Verizon Phone Records

The National Security Agency currently is collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon under a top secret court order, Britain's Guardian newspaper said Wednesday.

AP Survey: Economists See No Stock Market Bubble

A nervous debate is raging among investors and analysts: Has the Federal Reserve inflated a stock market bubble by driving interest rates to record lows?

Soldier Pleads Guilty in Massacre of 16 Afghans

Seated at a table with his hands folded in front of him, twiddling his thumbs, an American soldier dryly spoke about how he slipped away from his base in Afghanistan last year in the middle of the night and killed 16 civilians, later setting some bodies on fire with a kerosene lantern.

China Frustration with N. Korea Offers Hope for U.S.

China's growing frustration with longtime ally North Korea offers the United States a glimmer of hope about a once unthinkable prospect: holding discussions between Washington and Beijing about what to do if the government in Pyongyang collapses.

Six Dead in Pa. Thrift Store Collapse

A building under demolition collapsed onto a neighboring thrift store Wednesday morning, injuring at least 14 and killing six people.

7 Indicted in Miss. Child's Kidnapping from School

Seven people have been indicted on federal charges that they conspired to kidnap a 6-year-old girl from an east Mississippi elementary school.

Wednesday, June 5

The Slate

Ohio State President Gordon Gee offended members of his own conference (Big Ten), Catholics and the SEC for starters, and he sent out a long list of apologies. Stay classy.

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Do the Right Thing, IOC

Last week the International Olympic Committee selected wrestling, softball/baseball (combined bid) and squash as sports for its short list of those to include in the 2020 Olympic Games. It dropped wrestling from the 2020 games in February, but now it has one final shot to make the games.

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Jackson Showboats Ready for Year Two

Jackson Showboats owner and general manager Grant Worsley is excited about the future of the Showboats.

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Genuine Performance

The members of Indiana-bred rock-and-roll crew Modoc have certainly been industrious with their time.

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Nat Long’s Summer Music Guide

Summer 2013 is finally here! The weather has been kind to us so far, and you can tell that everyone is glad the season is here by their sun-touched rosy cheeks and smiles from ear to ear.

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Southern Festivality

Hattiesburg's FestivalSouth lineup offers a little something for everyone among its 56 events for all ages, from art exhibits to live musical performances, including a Cirque du Soleil-inspired extravaganza created just for FestivalSouth.

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All In This Together

One night last week, I found myself alone, hungry and in want of some social interaction. As I'm wont to do at such times, I headed to a friendly neighborhood restaurant with a bar at which I could sit and chat with the bartender or other patrons.

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Tricks Up Their Sleeves

"Now You See Me" is a Robin Hood tale, if that's what you call four magicians robbing banks, safes and rich people to give the money to their audiences.

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Smut & Paste

When Nell Knox took her wares to her first artist festival, Fondren Unwrapped in 2011, she wasn't confident.

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The Substitute Cookies

The idea to bake strange cookies came to me when I was in a bind.

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R.I.P., Medgar

Imagine not being allowed to vote for the candidate of your choice, even though you were allowed to register to do so, or not being able to go to the college of your choice, even though your grades and conduct were exceptional. Imagine being thrown in jail, beaten or even killed for attempting to do any of these things because of the color of your skin. What would you be willing to do to change the course of things? Would you give up your life?

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In Medgar's Driveway

In this country, we have a keen interest in visiting places where famous people died. This is especially true for events of the 1960s: People visit Dallas to see where President Kennedy's enjoyed his final moments before being struck in the back and head. You can visit the Lorraine Motel in Memphis where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot on the balcony. It is now the National Civil Rights Museum (the front of the museum is the same facade as the old motel).

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In Her Words: Myrlie Evers-Williams

Members and friends, for some reason I feel just a little bit nervous. That's unusual, but I think it's emotion more than anything else--emotions that have all of you here, my daughter here. Seeing where we have come from 50 years ago, I've seen Tougaloo accept the gift from the Evers family and to move forward into the future with all that can be done with this gift, I thank you.

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Mr. Dylan, Mr. Evers

It was raining the morning of May 17, 2003. I was in my office, worrying about what the Jubilee! JAM organizers must be going through. It's hard to make this festival pay off in good weather, not to mention in times of thunderstorms and crime hysteria. I knew the rain, coming on the JAM's big day—Cassandra Wilson, Bob Dylan and Gerald Levert were scheduled that evening—would be playing hell with the moods of the organizers.

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Memories of Medgar

A week and a half before he met his fate outside his family's Jackson home, Medgar Evers, the Mississippi field secretary for the National Association of Colored People, said if he died, it would be for a good cause: fighting for America.

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The Wrong Kind of Unity

By the time you read this, the 2013 mayoral election will be part of our city's history.

You Can’t Have It Both Ways, Gov. Bryant

Gov. Phil Bryant stepped in it Monday. As part of a Washington Post Live event, he was asked how America had ended up so "mediocre" in educational outcomes. He answered: "I think both parents started working. The mom got in the work place."

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Blacker'

Wyatt Emmerich, whose (white) grandfather stood up for civil rights when he held an editor's pen, has proclaimed himself up as the arbiter of "all things black."

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At a Curbside Near You

Brother Hustle: "Aunt Tee Tee and I have been blessed with the positive attributes of initiative, discipline, and ambition to become successful in business, entrepreneurship, community activism and technology."

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Moody About Jackson’s Bond Rating

Credit rating service Moody's last month downgraded the rating on the city of Jackson's water and sewer system revenue bonds from Aa3 to A1 and set an outlook for the city waterworks' borrowing capacity of "negative."

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Lawsuit Puts Prison Mental Health in Focus

Victor Voe warned them: "Don't let them kill me. I be hearing them say they going to kill me. I am hearing voices that others don't hear."

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Jackson Upgrades Bus Stops, Hires Election Consultant

The Jackson City Council had a busy night May 28. In the absence of Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell, the council voted unanimously to hire an election consultant, to provide funds to Stewpot Community Services, and to accept a bid for a construction contract that should bring several city bus stops and sidewalks into compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Giving and Taking the Reins

More than 30 years of service to a city and a state culminated in one 4,000-word speech at the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center May 29.

Incoming Urban Disaster?

The whole thing about a write-in campaign (...) is just too bizarre for words.

Question o' the Week: We are celebrating the life of Medgar Evers this week; if you could say anything to him, what would it be?

We are celebrating the life of Medgar Evers this week; if you could say anything to him, what would it be?

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You & JFP

Secret to life: Live one day at a time, and keep an open mind.

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Chokwe Lumumba Celebrates Victory

The atmosphere in the Clarion Hotel's ballroom was electric moments before Chokwe Lumumba arrived on the scene to celebrate his election victory Tuesday. Lumumba was officially Jackson's next mayor.

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The Press and Politicians

Over the weekend, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni wrote about politicians' new "controlled and controlling approach" for talking to voters.

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Debrynda Davey

Debrynda Davey graduated from S.D. Lee High School in Columbus, Miss., in the early 1970s and began a long and successful career as a nurse and nurse educator.

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Anticipating the Best

Without the facts, people cannot make good decisions for themselves. They cannot come together in social or activist forums; they can't celebrate what's great about their community while tackling what's not so great.

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The Crest of the New Wave

Daniel Guaqueta, the 36-year-old drummer, introduced me to his other two mates, guitarist Brent Varner, 23, and bassist Tyler Baker, 24. This trifecta of talent became Buddy & the Squids after a chance meeting at the church during the summer of 2011.

3 More Face Charges in Miss. Child's Kidnapping

Three more people, including a University of Alabama basketball player, were arrested Tuesday in the April kidnapping of a 6-year-old girl from east Mississippi, authorities said.

Mississippians Taking Supplies to Okla.

A group of volunteers from a Mississippi town that was hit hard by a tornado in 2011 will travel this week to help victims of a deadly twister that hit Oklahoma.

Deadly Okla. Tornado Widest on Record, Rare EF5

The deadly tornado that plowed through an area near Oklahoma City last week was even larger and more powerful than previously estimated — a record 2.6 miles wide with winds that reached nearly 300 mph, just shy of the strongest winds ever measured.

Judge Accepts Insanity Plea in Colo. Shooting Case

A judge accepted James Holmes' long-awaited plea of not guilty by reason of insanity Tuesday and ordered him to undergo a mental evaluation — an examination that could be a decisive factor in whether the Colorado theater shooting suspect is convicted and sentenced to die.

Soldier Due to Plead Guilty in Afghan Massacre

The American soldier charged with killing 16 Afghan civilians during nighttime raids on two slumbering villages last year is expected to recount the horrific slaughter in a military courtroom Wednesday when he pleads guilty to avoid the death penalty.

Manning Trial Takes on Cloak and Dagger Feel

Pfc. Bradley Manning's court-martial over the leak of hundreds of thousands of classified documents has been all about secrecy and security, and his trial has taken on a cloak and dagger feel, too.

Obama Will Appoint Susan Rice as Security Advisor

Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. who has been a lightning rod for Republican criticism.

USM Receives Gift from "Sweeney Todd" Author

A cast of students at the University of Southern Mississippi was rehearsing for the play "Sweeney Todd" when a tornado hit the campus in February.

Tuesday, June 4

Senators Blast Military Response to Sex Assaults

U.S. senators dressed down senior military leaders Tuesday, led by female lawmakers, combat veterans and former prosecutors who insisted that sexual assault in the ranks has cost the services the trust and respect of the American people as well as the nation's men and women in uniform.

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Guest Commentary: Gov. Phil Bryant Is a Caveman

An Oxford mother responds to Gov. Phil Bryant's comments about working mothers.

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Cornelius Griggs: Man Without a Party

Many Jackson voters are suffering election-cycle fatigue, but few are more exhausted by the political process than independent mayoral candidate Cornelius Griggs.

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AT&T, Main Street, Tax Incentive and Webinars

AT&T recently announced that it is looking to fill more than 250 job openings in Mississippi, including more than 225 new jobs.

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Beth S. Gersh-Nesic

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic says that what defines Impressionism is its emphasis on light. Through light, artists express quick changes in atmosphere, activity and texture.

Most Miss. Cities Hold Mayoral Elections Tuesday

Most Mississippi cities will elect mayors Tuesday, choosing people to propose budgets, appoint department heads and make sure that potholes are filled, garbage is collected and clean water is flowing.

More than 65 Countries Sign Arms Trade Treaty

More than 65 countries signed the landmark treaty regulating the multibillion-dollar global arms trade Monday and the United States announced it will sign soon, giving a strong kickoff to the first major international campaign to stem the illicit trade in weapons that fuel conflicts and extremists.

U.S. Auto Sales Roar Back in May, Led by Pickups

Full-size pickups once again dominated U.S. auto sales in May, as small businesses—increasingly confident in the economy—raced to replace the aging pickups they held on to during the recession.

Firefighters Gain Upper Hand on Calif. Blaze

On Monday afternoon, Gregg Johnson surveyed the damage along with the nearly 3,000 others allowed to return to their homes in the rural communities threatened by a massive Southern California wildfire.

Fort Hood Victims Upset; Suspect Can Question Them

Retired Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford says he will never forget locking eyes with the gunman who entered a Fort Hood building Nov. 5, 2009, then unleashed a burst of gunfire into a crowd of soldiers preparing for deployment.

Oscar Pistorius Briefly Back in Court for Hearing

Oscar Pistorius stood for his entire 15-minute court hearing Tuesday, staring straight ahead, hands clasped in front of him and giving away little emotion as the world got its first close up view of the double-amputee Olympian and murder suspect in nearly four months.

Lawyer: Manning Wanted to Enlighten U.S. About Wars

Pfc. Bradley Manning's attorney argued that his client wanted to tell the public about the bitter reality of America's wars when he gave classified material to WikiLeaks.

Justice Dept. Watching Elections in 6 Miss. Cities

The U.S. Justice Department says it will monitor elections Tuesday in six Mississippi cities to ensure voters are treated fairly.

Monday, June 3

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Lumumba: 'What a United Jackson Looks Like'

Chokwe Lumumba brushed off the notion that a rumored write-in campaign for fellow Jackson Councilman Quentin Whitwell would derail his plans to become the city's next mayor in Tuesday's general election, but he still wants every man and woman in Jackson to vote.

Fed Jury Indicts Miss. Man in Poisoned Letters Case

A federal grand jury has indicted James Dutschke, suspected of sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and other officials.

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Obamacare Insurance Won't Cover Weight-Loss Surgery In Many States

Uninsured Americans who are hoping the new health insurance law will give them access to weight loss treatments are likely to be disappointed.

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Corey Wright

Watching Corey Wright in his element, educating children, is truly a spectacle. When a young girl walked in the room and asked Wright if she could hold a baby alligator, he didn't hesitate and leapt from his seat to the alligator tank.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

Snake Week Creature Feature at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). June 3, June 5 and June 6, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Enjoy hands-on reptile encounters. $4-$6; call 601-576-6000;

VA Hospital Director Says Troubles are in the Past

The new director of the veterans' hospital in Jackson is struggling to change perceptions of the institution as members of Congress and a government oversight office pursue investigations into misconduct.

Jean Stapleton, TV's Edith Bunker, Dies at 90

Jean Stapleton's Edith Bunker was such a dithery charmer that we had to love her. And because she loved her bombastic husband Archie, we made room for him and TV's daring "All in the Family."

Schumer: Immigration Bill to Pass Senate by July 4

A lawmaker who helped negotiate a bipartisan bill to overhaul immigration predicted on Sunday that comprehensive legislation would overwhelmingly pass the Senate by July 4 while House Republicans cautioned that they would write their own version, one piece at a time.

Brass Seeks to Temper Military Justice Overhaul

American military commanders wield substantial power to discipline the troops they lead. But an epidemic of sexual assaults roiling the armed forces has Congress about to rein in that authority.

GOP Governors Endure Early Trials, Gird for 2014

Republican governors took over statehouses across the country after the 2010 elections and immediately acted on promises to usher in a new era of budget cutting and conservative labor policies.

Containment of Calif. Fire Doubles to 40 Percent

Firefighters working in darkness doubled containment of a massive wildfire north of Los Angeles to 40 percent overnight, as cool, moist air moved in Monday to replace torrid weather.

Bradley Manning Trial Begins; Could Last All Summer

More than three years ago, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was arrested in Iraq and charged in the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history.

New Committee to Explore Development on the Island

There has been much talk over the years about what kind of economic development projects could be lured to the Island, but so far, no one has been able to come to agreement.

Sunday, June 2

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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, June 1

Board Agrees on Traits Sought in Miss. K-12 Leader

Local superintendents and members of the state Board of Education say a new state superintendent should be able to work with lawmakers, put students first in decisions and be able to navigate Mississippi's diversity.