Stories for March 2013


Sunday, March 31

Analysis: Reeves Risks Blame if Charter Bills Fail

Tate Reeves looked like a wizard after his first legislative session as Mississippi lieutenant governor.

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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, March 30

House Approves Bill to Regulate Abortion Pills

Mississippi lawmakers are likely to approve a bill requiring a doctor to personally oversee the administration of abortion-inducing drugs and requiring the woman to return for a follow-up exam two weeks later.

Friday, March 29

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More Guns in Schools: More Black Victims

If you let teachers and other staffers bring guns into schools, a kid is likely going to get shot. And based on past discipline practices at public schools in Mississippi, that kid will probably be black.

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How the Maker of TurboTax Fought Free, Simple Tax Filing

Imagine filing your income taxes in five minutes and for free.

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Pastor Jerry Young

Rev. Jerry Young wants more African American girls in Mississippi to explore engineering.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, the Easter Celebration at the Mississippi Children's Museum is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

More Charges in 5-State Bomb Threat Investigation

Prosecutors have added five more counts against an Ohio man suspected in more than 100 telephone bomb threats made to courthouses and other public buildings in five states.

Miss. Flags to be Lowered Honoring Rep. Upshaw

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has ordered a period of mourning March 30 to honor the death of state Rep. Jessica Upshaw.

Couple Charged With Human Trafficking

A man and woman arrested on a prostitution charge at a Biloxi hotel now face a charge of human trafficking.

Newtown Gunman Had Access to Huge Weapons Cache

When Adam Lanza walked out of his house for the last time, he left behind firearms and knives and more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition.

EPA Taking Aim at Auto Emissions, Sulfur in Gas

Reducing sulfur in gasoline and tightening emissions standards on cars beginning in 2017, as the Obama administration is proposing, would come with costs as well as rewards.

Arizona Gun Proponents Launch Free Gun Program

The Armed Citizen Project is part of a national campaign to give shotguns to single women and homeowners in the nation's crime-ridden neighborhoods.

N. Korea Orders Rocket Prep After U.S. B-2 Drill

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned Friday that his rocket forces were ready "to settle accounts with the U.S.," unleashing a new round of bellicose rhetoric after U.S. nuclear-capable B-2 bombers dropped dummy munitions in joint military drills with South Korea.

South Africa: Mandela Making Progress in Hospital

Nelson Mandela is making "steady progress" while being treated for a recurring lung infection and he had a full breakfast on Friday, South African authorities said.

Drone Industry Worries About Privacy Backlash

In the not-so-distant future, aerial drones will be part of Americans' everyday lives.

Groups Oppose Bill to Arm Miss. School Teachers

Civil rights groups said Thursday that a bill that would provide funding for officers to police schools or arm teachers would ultimately make Mississippi schools more dangerous.

Thursday, March 28

40 Years On, Vietnam Troop Withdrawal Remembered

Soldiers returning from Vietnam were advised to change into civilian clothes on their flights home.

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Hal White, a Friend to So Many, Passes Away At 64

I spent an hour or so talking Jackson with Hal White at the south corner of the bar at Hal and Mal's, his signature spot, two weeks ago. I had just moved back to town, and he was giving me my unofficial welcome back.

Sequester Cuts $110K in Mineral Payments to Miss.

The U.S. Department of Interior is cutting $110,102 in federal mineral payments to Mississippi over the next five months.

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Citizens Want Up-or-Down Medicaid Vote

Medicaid expansion has been one of the most hotly debated subjects of the year across Mississippi and in the capitol's hallways. So far, however, no substantive debate on Medicaid expansion has taken place on the House or Senate floor.

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Toxic Turtles: Long-Lasting Chemicals Could Be Harming Sea Turtles

Scientists are discovering that sea turtles, long ignored by toxicologists who study wildlife, are highly contaminated with industrial chemicals and pesticides.

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Mississippi Brilla Returning Players

For Mississippi Brilla, this season--the team's seventh--will mostly be one of change, but four veteran players will be back as well.

Miss. Lawmakers Near End of Budget Negotiations

Mississippi lawmakers say they're getting closer to agreeing on details of a budget for fiscal year 2014, which begins July 1.

Monitor: Juvenile Center Lacks Policies

A court-appointed federal monitor said better communication is the best immediate step to take in getting the Forrest County Juvenile Detention Center into compliance with an agreed order from a U.S. District Court lawsuit.

Scientists Find New Gene Markers for Cancer Risk

A huge international effort involving more than 100 institutions and genetic tests on 200,000 people has uncovered dozens of signposts in DNA that can help reveal further a person's risk for breast, ovarian or prostate cancer, scientists reported Wednesday.

Small Business Squabbles Over Paid Sick Time Laws

Two months after a severe flu season forced millions of workers to stay home, paid sick time is becoming an issue for many small business owners.

Gay Marriage at High Court: How a Case Can Fizzle

Late in the oral argument over same-sex marriage in California, Justice Anthony Kennedy made a startling comment, given the months of buildup and mountain of legal briefs that have descended on the justices.

GOP Moves to Catch Up with Democrats on Technology

Republicans are moving aggressively to repair their technological shortcomings from the 2012 election, opening a new tech race to counter a glaring weakness against President Barack Obama.

Budget Cuts Border Security, Immigrant Detention

Marco Antonio Durazo had been awaiting deportation from an Arizona detention center for six months when an officer came to get him from his cell.

Gun Control Backers Struggle to Win Moderate Dems

It would seem a lobbyist's dream: rounding up votes for a proposal backed by more than 8 in 10 people in polls.

Gov. Taps Anti-Abortion Activist for Health Board

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has nominated anti-abortion activist Terri Herring for a six-year term on the state Board of Health, a position that could give Herring influence over Health Department policies that affect the state's only abortion clinic.

Wednesday, March 27

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String & Nails

This is a craft that has been on my list since I saw a similar creation on a blog I frequent.

The Slate

Ole Miss fans will wonder what might have been for the rest of this week and years to come after the way they lost to La Salle.

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The Madness So Far

This year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament has reached the Sweet Sixteen. We've seen some entertaining games the first weekend, including some surprises no one expected.

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Squat, Press, Jerk

Over the last 30 years or so, fitness training has changed a lot. These days, fitness fiends have more ways than ever to get into shape.

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Jackson by Southwest

As some of you may know, I was fortunate to attend the South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, during my spring break a couple of weeks ago.

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Paint By Numbers

Leaving with a finished painting is one of the best parts about classes at Artful Hours or Easely Amused.

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Spring Forward

Mal’s St. Paddy’s Parade feels like the kickoff to spring in Jackson.

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Return of the 'Thrones'

“Game of Thrones” returns to HBO March 31.

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DIY Potting Soil Gives Organic Plants a Big Start

Good Friday is traditionally the time for those who plant "by the signs" in central Mississippi to put seeds in the ground, but for most home gardeners, now is a good time to prepare seedlings (or "starts") for transplanting.

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In the Sisters' Kitchen

Two Sisters' Kitchen is the downtown home of arguably some of the best fried chicken in the Metro, and devotees sing praises of its tomato gravy, fried steak and angel biscuits.

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I Am Strong, I Am Invincible, I Am Woman

Kristin Gazaway is promoting healthy eating in local elementary schools.

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Beatty Street's Secrets

Just outside the declared limits of downtown, near where the water starts at the Hinds-Rankin line, Mary Harden mans the cash register in Beatty Street Grocery.

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Lunchbox Adventure

As an elementary librarian at Woodville Heights Elementary in south Jackson, I get the opportunity to share books with kids on a plethora of topics.

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Trussed and Tied

“Fifty Shades of Chicken” entertains while educating about cooking poultry.

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Breaking up the Boys Club

Enrika Williams is one of many female chefs on the rise in Jackson.

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About Charter Schools

While charter schools may be tuition-free, they may still be out of reach for a district’s neediest families.

Show Us That Clinton is Better for DOR

The Department of Finance and Administration has finally made its long-awaited recommendation for a new permanent home for the Department of Revenue, which is now housed in a Quonset hut in Clinton.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Kills'

Why it stinks: Since 2010, House Republicans have unsuccessfully tried to repeal the ACA, aka "Obamacare," 36 times.

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Get Your Ghetto Ring-Tone Cell Phone

Brother Hustle: "I want to use these remaining days of Women's History Month to honor Aunt Tee Tee Hustle and her Sequestration Survival and Affordable Technology Initiative."

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Hail in a Hand Basket

State workers were hit especially hard when a hailstorm marched recently through the capital city.

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Shotgun Blues

Democratic lawmakers are questioning why the Mississippi Legislature is getting a funding boost when other agency budgets are shrinking. Democrats point to this year's $30 million legislative operations budget.

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Dems: Reprioritize to Fund Schools

The Mississippi Legislature does not lack the money to fully fund education; it lacks political will, Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, says.

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Question o' the Week: What is your favorite dish at a locally owned restaurant in the Jackson area? (What and where?

What is your favorite dish at a locally owned restaurant in the Jackson area? (What and where?

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You & JFP

Quote: “Smile! It enhances your face value.”

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Mayoral Candidates Weigh in on Roads

The condition of city streets may be the hottest issue during the 2013 Jackson mayoral campaign. It has become a running joke among Jacksonians, but in reality, it's a huge problem with few answers.

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Patterson: Southern Hospitality Values

Plavise "Patti" Patterson may have grown up in Michigan, but she became an adult in Jackson. Now she's trying to return the favor and help bring Jackson to a role of prominence as Ward 5 councilwoman.

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Jennifer Adelsheimer

What do a Norwegian cruise ship worker, a baby nurse and a head pastry chef have in common? They are all part of Jennifer Adelsheimer's career path.

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Lessons from the Press

We don’t all have to be newspaper people. But we can all find that niche, that way to contribute.

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Longing for Love

Oxford’s Unwed Teenage Mothers play loud but they have hearts of pure pop.

Lawmakers Mull $100 Million in Bonds for Nissan

Mississippi lawmakers are considering giving a development agency the capacity to use $100 million in bonds toward the construction of buildings for suppliers of Nissan Motor Co.'s Canton plant.

MDOC: Inmate Death at Rankin Prison

An inmate has been found dead in his cell at a state prison in Rankin County.

Judge Agrees King Mentally Disabled

A federal judge has ruled a Mississippi inmate is mentally disabled and is not to be executed.

Excerpts of Calif. Gay Marriage Case at High Court

Excerpts from the arguments before the Supreme Court on Tuesday about California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage, from a transcript released by the Supreme Court.

Housing, Manufacturing Give U.S. Economy Lift

Gains in housing and manufacturing propelled the U.S. economy over the winter, according to reports released Tuesday, and analysts say they point to the resilience of consumers and businesses as government spending cuts kick in.

Obama Gives Secret Service Its 1st Female Director

President Barack Obama on Tuesday named veteran Secret Service agent Julia Pierson as the agency's first female director.

Police Reports in Tucson Shooting Rampage Released

Hundreds of pages of police reports in the investigation of the Tucson shooting rampage that wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords are being released Wednesday.

North Korea Says It Has Cut Last Military Hotline

Raising tensions with South Korea yet again, North Korea cut its last military hotline with Seoul on Wednesday.

High Court Hears Case on Federal Benefits for Gays

The Supreme Court is turning to a constitutional challenge to the law that prevents legally married gay Americans from collecting federal benefits generally available to straight married couples.

Charter School Bill Loses House Vote, But Not Dead

Mississippi House members don't want to proceed with a bill including a charter schools expansion favored by the Senate.

Tuesday, March 26

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UPDATED: City Approves $10 Million For Street Resurfacing

After voting down a $10 million bond issue to repave Jackson streets just a month ago, the Jackson City Council voted Monday to capitalize on low interest rates and borrow $10 million to $12 million to be paid back over 10 years.

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Talent Retention, Community Enrichment, Free People and Nissan Robots

Free People, a part of the Urban Outfitters umbrella, opened a new location March 22 at 1000 Highland Colony Pkwy, #5018 Renaissance at Colony Park in Ridgeland.

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Otis Williams

Otis Williams was one of 15 applicants out of 550 national and international nominees to receive the 2012 Shire Brave Award and the only one in Mississippi.

Bomgar Named to State Education Board

A leading proponent of charter schools may be joining the state Board of Education.

Lillie Ayers Dead at the Age of 85

Lillie B. Ayers, who became the lead plaintiff in Mississippi's college desegregation lawsuit after the death of her husband, has died at her home in Glen Allan. She was 85.

Senator Switches to Republican Party

State Sen. Nicky Browning of Pontotoc is switching to the Republican Party.

Kerry, Karzai Bury Hatchet in Kabul Meeting

Eager to overcome a bout of bickering, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai made a show of unusual unity between their two nations on Monday. The friendly display came as the U.S. military ceded control of its last detention facility in Afghanistan, ending a longstanding irritant in relations.

USDA Expanding Program to Fight Rural Poverty

U.S. officials are expanding a program intended to reduce poverty and improve life in rural areas through better access to federal funding.

Bars Test Limits of Legal-Marijuana Laws in WA, CO

John Connelly leaned forward on his barstool, set his lips against a clear glass pipe and inhaled a white cloud of marijuana vapor.

N. Korea Puts Artillery Forces at Top Combat Posture

North Korea's military warned Tuesday that its artillery and rocket forces are at their highest-level combat posture in the latest in a string of bellicose threats aimed at South Korea and the United States.

Calif. Gay Marriage Argument at High Court Today

The U.S. Supreme Court is wading into the fight over same-sex marriage.

Monday, March 25

Miss. State Rep. Jessica Upshaw Found Dead

State Rep. Jessica Upshaw, an attorney who had been a lawmaker since 2004, was found dead Sunday of an apparent suicide. She was 53.

Life of Medgar Evers Being Commemorated

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History commemorates the 50th anniversary of the slaying of civil rights leader Medgar Evers with the opening of a new exhibit in Jackson on May 1 with Evers' widow, Myrlie Evers Williams.

GOP's 'No' on Medicaid Becomes "Let's Make a Deal'

Given the choice of whether to expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care law, many Republican governors and lawmakers initially responded with an emphatic "no."

Court: Can Drug Companies Pay to Delay Generics?

Federal regulators are pressing the Supreme Court to stop big pharmaceutical corporations from paying generic drug competitors to delay releasing their cheaper versions of brand-name drugs.

Heart Repair Breakthroughs Replace Surgeon's Knife

Have a heart problem? If it's fixable, there's a good chance it can be done without surgery, using tiny tools and devices that are pushed through tubes into blood vessels.

AP Interview: Couple Reflects on Gay Marriage

Big change is coming to the lives of the lesbian couple at the center of the fight for same-sex marriage in California no matter how the Supreme Court decides their case.

Winning Ticket for $338M Powerball Sold in NJ

The lottery fantasies of mansions, luxury boats and unlimited travel are over for most people. But for the owner—or owners—of the lone winning ticket sold in New Jersey for Powerball's $338.3 million drawing they're just beginning.

Official: US to Bring Arab States into Peace Push

The U.S. is seeking to bring Arab countries into efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that broke down more than four years ago, a senior Palestinian official said Monday.

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Hail Damage Leaves Local Body Shops Swamped

The hailstorm that blew through the greater Jackson area last Monday left vehicles dented, damaged and, in some cases, totaled.

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Group Appointments With Doctors: When Three Isn't A Crowd

In recent years, a growing number of doctors have begun holding group appointments--seeing up to a dozen patients with similar medical concerns all at once.

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Desiree Roby

Desiree Roby, an 11-year-old 6th grader home-schooled in Jackson, recently became Mississippi's 2013 spelling bee champion.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

A Medicaid Rally is March 27, 11 a.m., in the second floor rotunda at the Mississippi State Capitol.

Promises, Promises: Climate Change

Slowing the buildup of greenhouse gases responsible for warming the planet is one of the biggest challenges we face.

Sunday, March 24

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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, March 23

Lawmakers Must Decide on Raft of Tax-cut Bills

How much is too much?

Friday, March 22

Feds, Meridian Schools Reach Deal Over Punishment

The U.S. Justice Department said it has reached a deal with a Mississippi school district to end discriminatory disciplinary practices.

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State Revenue Boost: 'More Money Is Good'

The good news for state-budget worrywarts is that Mississippi could have additional spending money for its woefully underfunded state agencies. The bad news for those state agencies is that state leaders seem reluctant to spend the extra cash.

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A Colorblind Constitution: What Abigail Fisher's Affirmative Action Case Is Really About

When the NAACP began challenging Jim Crow laws across the South, it knew that, in the battle for public opinion, the particular plaintiffs mattered as much as the facts of the case.

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Erica Michelle

Erica Michelle has known all her life that acting would be her career. Now, at 26, the Jackson State University alumna has completed her first movie role and has several other projects in the works.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, the Zippity Doo Dah Parade is at 7 p.m. in Fondren. See the Sweet Potato Queens and the Budweiser Clydesdales.

Ole Miss to Spend $6 Million to Design New Arena

The University of Mississippi is taking concrete steps toward building a new basketball arena.

Greenwood to Put iPads in Some Classrooms

The Greenwood School District will spend a $25,000 dropout prevention grant for iPads for the classrooms at Greenwood Middle School.

Forensic Pathologist Sued Over Trial Testimony

A woman who was acquitted in the death of her boyfriend has sued the medical examiner who testified at her 2010 trial.

Miss. Telecom Business Loses Appeal

A federal court panel has ruled against Dixie-Net Communications Inc. in its appeal of an adverse ruling in Mississippi over in-state fees.

NC Firm Wants to Redo Old Miss. Jail

A North Carolina-based real estate development group has declared its interest in renovating the former Forrest County, Miss. jail complex into affordable housing.

Gov. Bryant, Teachers Clash on Standards

Gov. Phil Bryant confronted members of the state College Board Thursday over their opposition to increasing requirements for teaching candidates.

Advocates: LGBT Kids Bullied in Moss Point

The Southern Poverty Law Center said Thursday that gay and lesbian students at a south Mississippi school are subjected to bullying and harassment from classmates and faculty.

Ex-lawmaker Wilkerson dies at 68

Former State Rep. Jerry E. Wilkerson, who served three terms in the Mississippi House and was a spokesman for the propane, petroleum and convenience store associations for 25 years, has died at the age of 68.

Thursday, March 21

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Education Still Inadequately Funded

With no shortage of suggestions about how to fix the conditions and the lagging achievements of public schools during this legislative session, Democrats say that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, or MAEP, has yet to receive the attention it deserves.

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DDT Linked to High Blood Pressure in Women

Women exposed before birth to the banned pesticide DDT may have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure later in life, according to a study published today.

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Mississippians in the Madness

The madness of March begins today with the open round of the NCAA Tournament set to start shortly before noon.

U.N. to Probe Alleged Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

The United Nations will investigate the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria, which would amount to a crime against humanity, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Thursday.

House Passes GOP Budget Plan Promising Deep Cuts

The Republican-controlled House passed a tea party-flavored budget plan Thursday that promises sharp cuts in safety-net programs for the poor and a clampdown on domestic agencies, in sharp contrast to less austere plans favored by President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies.

Obama Urges Israelis to Compromise for Peace

President Barack Obama delivered an impassioned appeal Thursday for Israel to recognize that compromise will be necessary to secure peace and lasting security for the Jewish state.

Government Funding Bill Sails Through House

The House has passed a huge stopgap spending bill to keep the government open through the end of September, sidestepping any threat of a government shutdown.

Keesler Prepares for Changes with Aircraft Move

The Air Force is transferring 10 C-130j aircraft from Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi to Pope Field near Fayetteville, N.C.

Rice to Speak at Mississippi State

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will speak March 26 at Mississippi State University as part of the school's Global Lecture Series.

Reeves Joins Leadership of National GOP Group

Tate Reeves of Mississippi has been chosen vice chairman of the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association.

Vicksburg Mayor Indicted for Bribery

Vicksburg Mayor Paul Winfield has been indicted on a federal bribery charge.

Residents Patch Hail Damage, Brace for More Storms

John Purry nailed tarps onto the roof of his hail-damaged home on Wednesday, all too aware that more severe weather may be on its way.

Wednesday, March 20

Gov. Hickenlooper Signs Landmark Colorado Gun Control Bills Into Law

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's governor signed bills Wednesday that place new restrictions on firearms, signaling a change for Democrats who have traditionally shied away from gun control in a state with a pioneer tradition of gun ownership and self-reliance.

Pew Center Finds Americans Increasingly Support Gay Marriage

The nation's views on gay marriage are more favorable in large part because of a shift in attitudes among those who know someone who is gay or became more accepting as they got older of gays and lesbians, according to a national survey.

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Gig: Floral Fashioner

We design and work on floral arrangements, door baskets, all sorts of things, so wire cutters and clippers, scissors, moss, ribbon, oasis foam (to anchor plants and flowers in arrangements)...

The Slate

One of the best sporting events starts Thursday with the opening round (now the second round after the play-in games) of the NCAA Tournament. Chances of a perfect bracket are nine-quintillion to one.

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Debate in a Fighting World

If you missed it, the big news last week comes from a mixed martial arts fighter, Fallon Fox, whose license to fight in the state of Florida under review. Fox is the first openly transgender fighter in the MMA sport.

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Rebels Going Dancing

Ole Miss finally broke through under head coach Andy Kennedy. The Rebels earned a berth into the NCAA Tournament after winning the SEC Tournament for the first time since 1981.

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Weeknight Warriors

The immediacy of music is one of the things that I find captivating about living in a city instead of the countryside or, say, a deserted island where the closest thing to a dance beat is a coconut thumping against a rock.

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‘Wonderstone’ Sparks and Puffs

Steve Carell (front) is “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.” Steve Buscemi costars as his sidekick, Anton Marvelous.

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Dance Class

If you were to ask Mr. or Mrs. Random Citizen to name important cities in the world of dance, he or she would probably rattle off the usual suspects: cultural meccas like New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago.

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Easter Indulgences

Besides its religious or spiritual meaning, Easter is a highly anticipated holiday for many because it means they can finally indulge in whatever they have been resisting since Fat Tuesday.

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Sweet Orange Tuber

Sweet potatoes are as southern as sweet tea and the Sweet Potato Queens themselves, but these orange-fleshed treats are a lot more versatile than that old standby, the Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole topped with mini marshmallows.

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Sit, Jackson

In our rush to meet deadlines, take care of our families and get stuff done, finding the time to do nothing may seem counter-intuitive.

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Taming the Television

Study after study shows that the amount of direct and indirect screen time is increasingly problematic for our children's development.

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Run Bright

Just because it's a race doesn't mean you can't make a fashion statement--and let's face it, when the Sweet Potato Queens get involved, everything becomes a show.

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Zippity Doo Dah Schedule 2013

All Zippity Doo Dah events take place in Fondren or at the Hilton Jackson hotel.

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Long Live the Queens

Meeting Sweet Potato Queens from all over—such as Cantina Queens from Texas—is one of the best parts of Zippity Doo Dah weekend.

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The Century Queen

This year's Grand Marshal, Sweet Potato Queen Aunt Faye of Texas, recently celebrated her 100th birthday.

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Anatomy of a Sweet Potato Queen

When Jill Conner Browne dubbed herself a Sweet Potato Queen in 1982, she launched a brash, quirky, self-deprecating and, above all, sassy brand of feminism that people worldwide are still embracing three decades later.

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Francis Smith: Pastor and Politician

Francis Smith calls himself a non-politician. The pastor of Total Praise and Worship on Cedar Lane in south Jackson is taking to the campaign trail this spring though, as an independent candidate for the office of mayor in Jackson.

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Not Saying We’re Perfect

Bluesman Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry isn't really howling mad.

The Two-Way Street of Democracy

Transparency in government is a big and often slippery subject that most media outlets only look at from the 10,000-foot national level.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Pop'

Palin was making fun of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to reduce obesity by limiting the availability of large sugary drinks.

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Teach Your Sons

Fathers, teach your sons what respect means. It seems to be a quality lost on a new generation of boys, and we all must collectively take responsibility for that.

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Food Fight

Supporters of a legislative proposal that promotes healthy eating believe the bill is an oasis for foods deserts--communities with limited access to grocery stores.

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Silent Prayers

We've reached that make-or-break point during the legislative session where legislators are flying through the litany of spending bills for individual state agencies to build a framework for the budget.

Question o' the Week: What is your favorite thing about Fondren?

What is your favorite thing about Fondren?

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You & JFP

Favorite quote: "I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."—Marilyn Monroe

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Wins for Women and Children

Women and children may be a little safer in Mississippi after some successes this past week at the state house.

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From Veteran to Councilman

De'Keither Stamps has worn many hats: farmer, Marine, Army patrolman, veteran's advocate and public speaker. This summer, he hopes to add Ward 4 Jackson city councilman to that list.

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Jim Wilkirson

After 20 years, the only thing that's lasted longer than Jim Wilkirson's marriage to his wife, Audrey, is his commitment to making things move and shake in the Jackson community.

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No Means No

I have read accounts of the now-infamous Steubenville, Ohio, rape with horror.

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Waxing Fantastic with a Night Full of Classics

One thing we can all agree on is that Rick James, Prince and Michael Jackson are undeniable icons of pop and soul music.

Miss. Governor Signs Bill to Allow Home Brewing

Beer enthusiasts in Mississippi will soon be able to legally brew their own beer, thanks to a bill Gov. Phil Bryant has signed into law.

Transocean CEO: Rig Workers Should Have Done More

Transocean employees should have done more to detect signs of trouble before the company's drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, killing 11 workers and triggering the nation's worst offshore oil spill, Transocean's chief executive testified Tuesday.

Roby Wins Mississippi Spelling Bee

Desiree Roby, a 6th grade home schooled student from Jackson, is Mississippi's 2013 Spelling Bee Champion.

Survey: Low-Wage Workers Gloomy About Future

America's lower-income workers have posted the biggest job gains since the deep 2007-09 recession—but few are bragging.

Health Officials: 1 in 50 School Kids Have Autism

A government survey of parents says 1 in 50 U.S. schoolchildren has autism, surpassing another federal estimate for the disorder.

Colo. Governor to Sign Landmark Gun Bills

Exactly eight months after dozens of people were shot in a suburban Denver movie theater, Gov. John Hickenlooper will sign new restrictions on firearms in Colorado, signaling a historic change for Democrats who traditionally shied away from taking on gun control in a state where owning a gun is as common as owning a care in some rural areas.

Cyprus Rushes to Find Plan B to Avoid Bankruptcy

Cypriot officials rushed Wednesday to find a new plan to stave off bankruptcy, a day after Parliament rejected an initial scheme to contribute to the nation's bailout package by seizing up to 10 percent of people's bank savings.

Obama Vows Unwavering Support for Israel

President Barack Obama delivered a blunt warning to Israel's foes that the United States has the Jewish state's back.

Bryant Vetoes Bill Calling for School Board Study

Bryant vetoed Senate Bill 2141, which called for a 13-member task force to study how Mississippi's local school boards are selected.

Tuesday, March 19

Hundreds Filing Insurance Claims After Hail Storm

Hundreds of claims are pouring in to insurance companies in Mississippi, an early indication of the widespread damage left behind by a hail storm that pounded the capital city and other areas.

French Minister Resigns in Face of Tax-Fraud Probe

France's budget minister, ensnared in a ballooning scandal over suspected tax fraud and money laundering, on Tuesday became the first resignation in President Francois Hollande's 10-month-old Socialist government.

No Assault Weapons Ban: Not Even in Dems' Bill

All but ending chances for an assault weapons ban, Democratic leaders said Tuesday the firearms legislation the Senate will debate next month won't include the provision that gun-control advocates pressed for after an assault-type weapon was used in the Newtown school shootings in December.

Syria and Rebels Trade Chemical Weapons Charges

Syria's government and rebels traded accusations Tuesday of a chemical attack on a northern village for the first time in the civil war, although the U.S. said there was no evidence it had happened.

Experts: Chances of Recovering Boston Art Good

Now that authorities believe they know who stole $500 million worth of art from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the largest art heist in U.S. history, what are the chances they'll actually recover the stolen works by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Manet after 23 years?

Commander: Contingency Plans Under Way for Syria

The top U.S. military commander in Europe said Tuesday that several NATO countries are working on contingency plans for possible military action to end the two-year civil war in Syria as President Bashar Assad's regime accused U.S.-backed Syrian rebels of using chemical weapons.

UCF Attack Plotter Wanted to 'Give Them Hell'

The student behind a foiled attack plot at a Florida university was working off a checklist that included plans to get drunk, pull a fire alarm and then "give them hell," authorities said Tuesday.

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UPDATED: Mayoral Campaign Reports Raise Questions

Mississippi's Sunshine Law is designed to shed light on campaign finance, but Jacksonians have found themselves in the dark when it comes to the majority of candidates seeking to become Jackson's next mayor.

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The Pix, Help for Soldiers, Medicaid, Exports and Manufacturing Summit

David Pharr, a Jackson attorney, is one of the first tenants of the former Pix/Capri theater at 3023 N. State St.

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Rachel Cowan

JSU's 7th annual Fit Fest Week starts Monday, March 25, and runs through Saturday, March 30.

Whistle-Blowers Allege Wrongdoing at VA Center

Employees at a Veterans Administration hospital in Mississippi have reported a range of "serious wrongdoing," including improperly sterilized instruments and missed diagnoses of fatal illnesses, an independent federal investigative agency said in a letter to the White House.

Severe Weather, Large Hail Pound Parts of Miss.

Seventeen counties are reporting damage the severe storm that produced large hail in the Jackson, Miss., metropolitan area and high winds to areas of north Mississippi.

North Dakota Looks at More Abortion Restrictions

North Dakota lawmakers who approved what would be some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the U.S. are now considering outlawing all abortions.

Remade Mideast Poses New Perils for Obama on Trip

On his second trip to the Middle East as U.S. commander in chief, President Barack Obama this week will confront a political and strategic landscape nearly unrecognizable from the one he encountered on his first trip to the region shortly after assuming office in 2009.

AP: Costs of U.S. Wars Linger for Over 100 Years

If history is any judge, the U.S. government will be paying for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for the next century as service members and their families grapple with the sacrifices of combat.

In Colo., Gun Restrictions Bring Political Peril

Firearms play an outsized role in the hearts of Coloradans. It's a frontier state that adopted gunslingers Buffalo Bill and Doc Holliday as native sons, where treasured guns are routinely passed from generation to generation.

Pope Francis Urges Protection of Nature, Weak

Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

Cyprus Seeks to Alleviate Pain from Deposit Raid

Cypriot government officials sought Tuesday to alleviate the pain on small savers from a plan to raid bank deposits that has caused outrage in the country and sent jitters through European financial markets.

Congress Works on Budget for 2013 and Future

Congress is finally cleaning up its unfinished budget business for the 2013 budget year.

Medicaid Status Could Affect State Finances

Mississippi House Democratic leader Bobby Moak says the state could hurt its own financial standing if it rejects Medicaid expansion.

Monday, March 18

Police Say Fla. College Student Plotted Attack

A college student with two guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and a backpack filled with explosives pulled a dorm fire alarm Monday in what may have been an attempt to force other students out into the open so that he could slaughter them, authorities said.

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Hinds Faces Jail Repairs Catch-22

Hinds County still doesn't have the money it needs to fix a housing unit at the Raymond Detention Center damaged during an inmate uprising last summer.

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Osteopathic Physicians: An Answer To Rural Health Care Needs?

With a tradition more than 100 years old, osteopathic physicians are hardly the new doctors in town.

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Kathleen See

Saturday, March 23, the Mississippi Children's Museum is hosting "Question It? Discover It!" a monthly program sponsored by Children's Healthcare of Mississippi, which is part of the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The program has been operating for six months.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

The Sweet Potato Queens headline the series of Zippity Doo Dah events March 21-23 that include a parade March 23 at 7 p.m.

Analysis: Not Every Bill is a Headline Grabber

The first two bills that Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed during the 2013 legislative session dealt with money.

Olen Burrage, Suspect in 1964 Klan Slayings, Dies

Olen Burrage, who was acquitted in the case of three civil rights workers killed by Ku Klux Klansmen in Mississippi in the 1960s, has died. He was 82.

Mississippi Museum of Art Hosts French Exhibit

In a Family Corner of the upcoming major French painting exhibition at the Mississippi Museum of Art, artist Ginger Williams-Cook has re-created a Renoir painting of Monet's gardens to give pint-sized creators a pretend shot at the easel, beret included.

Palestinians Unenthusiastic About Obama Visit

President Barack Obama will find a disillusioned Palestinian public, skeptical about his commitment to promoting Mideast peace, when he visits the region.

China Becomes World's Fifth Largest Arms Exporter

China has bypassed Britain as the world's fifth largest arms exporter, a Swedish think tank said Monday.

Saddam's Specter Lives On in Iraqi Landmarks

The soaring half domes of the Martyr Monument stand out against the drabness of eastern Baghdad, not far from where Saddam Hussein's feared eldest son was said to torture underperforming athletes.

AP Exclusive: Karzai Opponents Talk to Taliban

Afghan opposition parties, frustrated with the government's lack of progress in making peace with the Taliban, have opened their own channel for negotiations with militant groups in hopes of putting their imprint on a deal to end 11 years of war.

Cyprus Bailout Deposit Tax Rattles Markets

The tax on depositors was a significant policy shift that has stoked fears of bank runs in other troubled European economies.

Sunday, March 17

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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, March 16

Miss. Governor: No Local Bans on XL Food Portions

In the most obese state in the nation, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says he'll sign a new law to prevent cities or counties from banning extra-large soft drinks or requiring restaurants to list calorie counts on menus.

Friday, March 15

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City Fires 'Celebrate Jackson' PR Firm

Jackson has fired Fahrenheit Creative as the leader of the Celebrate Jackson marketing campaign.

U.S. to Beef Up Missile Defense Against N. Korea

The Pentagon announced Friday it will spend $1 billion to add 14 interceptors to a West Coast-based missile defense system, responding to what it called faster-than-anticipated North Korean progress on nuclear weapons and missiles.

Gay Marriage: Senator's Shift, GOP Soul-Searching

A Republican senator's embrace of gay marriage is the latest sign of soul-searching in a party struggling to adapt in a society whose demographics—and views on emotional issues—are changing fast.

States Wrestle with 'Gambling' Rooms in Fla. Probe

The charity-run businesses under investigation in a Florida gambling probe started popping up in strip malls about six years ago and rapidly spread as the unregulated stores became a billion-dollar enterprise.

Four of 35 city council candidates file finance reports

The first round of campaign finance reports were due on Jan. 31, and just four of the 35 candidates for city council submitted one.

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Johnson Leads Jackson Money Race

Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr. has a lead on his on challengers in campaign funds and newcomer Jonathan Lee has spent the most money, but nothing is known about the other 12 candidates vying to lead Jackson.

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Jacksonian Receives New Liver at UMMC

Karen Battle barely had the energy to lift her feet high enough to clear an ordinary street curb just a few weeks ago. Liver disease had ravaged her health and drained her vitality. Eventually, even her sense of humor disappeared with her illness.

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Thomas Mosley

What's good for the heart is also good for the brain. That premise connects the work of Thomas Mosley to traditional medicine, which is concerned with treating ailments of the body.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, the Mal's St. Paddy's Parade is in downtown Jackson.

Board Setting New School Rating System for 2012-13

Graduation rates will make a difference this year in how Mississippi high schools and school districts are rated.

Applications for U.S. Jobless Aid Reach 5-Year Low

Fewer Americans sought unemployment aid last week, reducing the average number of weekly applications last month to a five-year low.

Sharp Drop in U.S. Homes Lost to Foreclosure in Feb.

While the nation's foreclosure woes persist, new data show they're easing amid a resurgent housing market, rising home prices and efforts by some states to buy homeowners more time to avoid losing their homes.

Lawmakers Want Obama to Follow Up Outreach Effort

At a recent gathering of House committee and subcommittee chairmen, Republican lawmakers were asked if they could name the legislative affairs staffer at the White House responsible for staying in contact with their panel.

Md. Poised to Be 18th State to Ban Death Penalty

It's been eight years since Maryland executed a convicted killer, but that could be the last time if the General Assembly, as expected, gives final passage this week to a bill to abolish capital punishment.

U.N. Says U.S. Drones Violate Pakistan's Sovereignty

The head of a U.N. team investigating casualties from U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan declared after a secret research trip to the country that the attacks violate Pakistan's sovereignty.

Argentines Celebrate Francis As Their 'Slum Pope'

For more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide, he's Pope Francis. For Argentina's poorest citizens, crowded in "misery villages" throughout the capital, he's proudly known as one of their own, a true "slum pope."

Obama Pushing Research for Weaning Vehicles Off Oil

President Barack Obama is pushing Congress to authorize $200 million a year for research into clean energy technologies.

Miss. Gov. Signs Bill for Student-Led School Prayer

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a bill that could lead to student-led prayer over school intercoms or at graduations or sporting events.

Thursday, March 14

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JATRAN Station in Trouble?

Construction has hit a snag on the new JATRAN facility at U.S. Highway 80 and Valley Street—a facility that the city considers crucial to the revitalization of the Highway 80 corridor.

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Fred Thomas

Mississippi State University won its opening round game of the SEC Tournament with a 70-59 victory over the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.

Mississippi Jobless Rate Jumps Sharply in January

Mississippi's unemployment jumped to 9.3 percent in January, wiping out almost a year's worth of job gains.

APNewsBreak: Bryant's Staff Urged DPS to Stall

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant's staff suggested that the Department of Public Safety should delay fulfilling requests for gun permit records until a law could be enacted to shield them from public scrutiny, emails obtained by The Associated Press show.

Fla. Politician Resigns, 57 Charged in Scandal

Florida's lieutenant governor resigned and nearly 60 other people were charged in a scandal involving a purported veterans charity that authorities said Wednesday was a front for a $300 million gambling operation.

Census: Record 1 in 3 U.S. Counties Are Now Dying

A record number of U.S. counties—more than 1 in 3—are now dying off, hit by an aging population and weakened local economies that are spurring young adults to seek jobs and build families elsewhere.

Senate Panel to Approve Budget Sparing Safety Net

Acting on the Senate's first budget since President Barack Obama took office, a Democratic-led panel is moving toward party-line approval of a fiscal blueprint that would trim the budget deficit while protecting safety net programs from slashing cuts proposed by Republicans.

Poll Finds Attitude Shift Among Working Moms

Working mothers increasingly want full-time jobs, and tough economic times might be a big reason, according to a national survey.

Pope Francis' Humility: Stops by Hotel to Get Bags

Pope Francis put his humility on display during his first day as pontiff Thursday, stopping by his hotel to pick up his luggage and pay the bill himself in a decidedly different style for the papacy usually ensconced inside the frescoed halls of the Vatican.

Physicists Say They Have Found a Higgs Boson

Physicists announced Thursday they believe they have discovered the subatomic particle predicted nearly a half-century ago, which will go a long way toward explaining what gives electrons and all matter in the universe size and shape.

Papal Election Stirs Argentina's 'Dirty War' Past

Pope Francis hardly ever denied one of the harshest allegations against him: That he was among church leaders who supported Argentina's murderous dictatorship.

AP: Mayor Candidate Killing Suspect Back in Miss.

The suspect in the slaying of a mayoral candidate was released to Mississippi authorities on Wednesday, an official said.

Wednesday, March 13

The Slate

Looking for perhaps the biggest underdog to root for in the NCAA Tournament? Take a look at the Big South tournament champs Liberty Flames who have a 15-20 record.

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Rick Ray

Mississippi State head basketball coach Rick Ray called out the talking heads after the Bulldogs defeated Auburn 74-71 in overtime.

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A New Psychedelic

The band Cardinal Sons, a trio of brothers, has created an indie-rock aesthetic while being influenced mainly by psychedelic ’60s music.

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The Tallis Scholars: Perfection in Polyphony

Musical superstars often skip playing in Jackson, but this weekend the city will host early music's equivalent of The Rolling Stones.

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No Love for the Wizard

James Franco is on his way to the magical kingdom in “Oz the Great and Powerful.”

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Feeding the Masses

Cooking for friends and family on St. Paddy's weekend may seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be a total schlep.

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In Search of Better Pecans

Frequently, people ask me why their pecan trees no longer bear. A major reason (among other possibilities) is that the trees don't get enough food.

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Urban Homesteading: Probiotics a Yummy Alternative

Modern homesteaders, that is, urban and rural folks who are into self-sufficiency, could do little better in regard to their food choices than delving into probiotics.

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Wild Irish Adventures

When I decided to hop on an international flight with just my 3-year-old and a few suitcases for company, much to the thinly veiled scorn and genuine bewilderment of many less adventurous souls, I knew we would have a great time together.

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Make Way for the Ladies

Three decades ago, it was just folks in costumes inspired by Tennessee Williams novels and Queens in pickup trucks throwing produce at people during rush hour on a Friday.

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What's in a Name?

One of the most interesting things about Irish culture is the unique names--and pronunciation of those names--that have resulted from the linguistic shift from old Irish to modern English.

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Fun, Fun Everywhere

The time is finally here: the annual Mal's St. Paddy's Parade week. I and so many others start anticipating and preparing for the next year's parade the day after the parade is over.

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Why Guinness is Great

Guinness is more than a drink to Ireland—it is part of the country’s legacy.

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Happy Feet

You've mostly likely seen Irish dancing in movies and TV, if not in real life.

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Mal's St. Paddy's Parade Route

The Southern Komfort Brass Band leads the way, followed by Hal and Malcolm White, the O'Tux Society, the Green Ladies, the Krewe of Kazoo, the Bucketheads and any other Jacksonians willing to wear funky costumes and join the fun.

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Nor Any Drop

The theme of the parade is a slightly adjusted line from "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," Samuel Taylor Coleridge's longest poem.

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Grand Waters

Anyone who lives or plays in Jackson long enough will eventually be driving down a road and pass a quiet, slender man with a paintbrush.

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Times Have Changed

The mall was the largest shopping venue in the state. I was proud to be part of it.

Voters Were Not Confused

In November 2011, 58 percent of Mississippi voters made their voices unequivocally heard when they said "No" to Initiative 26.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Proud'

A 2009 CBS News/New York Times poll showed that President George W. Bush left office with an approval rating of 22 percent, the lowest approval since Gallup began asking the question 70 years earlier.

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Shop Until You Survive

Miss Doodle Mae: "Jojo and members of the Ghetto Science Economic Survival Commission want to help financially challenged customers deal with the sequestration budget cuts."

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Resurrecting 309 Farish

Local musician Sherman Lee Dillon is trying to raise money to turn the former home of Trumpet Records into a museum and recording studio.

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All Over Again

Under a 2009 state law, Jackson has the authority to impose the tax with the approval of three-fifths of voters and with oversight from a legislative oversight board.

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The Florida Connection

Many of Mississippi’s education initiatives are based on programs former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush implemented during his eight years in office.

Question o' the Week: What is your best St. Paddy’s Parade memory?

What is your best St. Paddy’s Parade memory?

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You & JFP

Favorite quote: "Don't argue with crazy people."

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Mississippians 'Confused' About Personhood?

Not satisfied with taking "no" for an answer from the state's voters, Personhood Mississippi has teamed up with the Christian ultra-conservative American Family Association to take another shot at changing the definition of a person in the Mississippi Constitution.

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Alexander: Third Time a Charm?

When Charles Alexander first ran for the Jackson City Council Ward 5 seat in 2005, he was just 29 years old. Two defeats later, Alexander is back on the ballot and hoping the third time will be the charm in his attempt to unseat incumbent Councilman Charles Tillman.

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V.A. Patterson

Each year, in March, V.A. Patterson becomes something else. One year, she became a gypsy. Another year, a cavewoman. One year, she even transformed into an emu.

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Take It to the Streets

Jackson has long had a strong base of urban warriors.

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Rock ‘n’ Roll and Retro-Soul

Steve Johnson was delivering a FedEx package to the animal clinic where his friend Zac Cockrell worked in 2008 when Cockrell asked if he wanted to play some music together after work.

Senate Passes Latest Plan for Education Changes

In their latest plan to improve Mississippi public schools, state senators are offering a compromise on requirements to become a teacher and doing away with a proposal to make it easier for the state to take over troubled schools.

Mars Rover Shows Planet Could Have Supported Life

Drilling into a rock near its landing spot, the Curiosity rover has answered a key question about Mars: The red planet long ago harbored some of the ingredients needed for primitive life to thrive.

AP Exclusive: Applying for Obama Plan Not Easy

Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul could be as daunting as doing your taxes.

House to Vote on Bill Preventing Welfare Waivers

The House is taking up a politically charged bill that would block the Obama administration from waiving any work requirements in the 1996 welfare reform law.

Black Smoke Again: Cardinals Don't Agree on Pope

Cardinals remained divided over who should be pope on Wednesday after three rounds of voting, an indication of disagreements about the direction of the Catholic church following the upheaval unleashed by Pope Benedict XVI's surprise resignation.

Fire Burns After Tug, Barge Hit La. Gas Pipeline

A fire that ignited when a gas pipeline was hit by a tug boat pushing an oil barge burned into the morning hours Wednesday in a bayou south of New Orleans amid reports that oil had leaked into the water.

53-Year-Old Musher Becomes Oldest Iditarod Champ

A 53-year-old former champion has won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to become the oldest winner of Alaska's grueling test of endurance.

GOP Sends Mixed Signals on Obama's Outreach Effort

Neither side is backing down from entrenched positions that have prevented deals in the past.

House Revives Plan that Could Allow Armed Teachers

House members want to steer the school safety debate back toward letting school districts arm teachers and employees.

Tuesday, March 12

House Rejects Plan for Appointed Superintendents

Senate Bill 2199, which was supposed to lead to more appointed superintendents around the state, lost on a 65-52 vote.

Pentagon Forming Cyber Teams to Prevent Attacks

The Defense Department is establishing a series of cyber teams charged with carrying out offensive operations to combat the threat of an electronic assault on the United States that could cause major damage and disruption to the country's vital infrastructure, a senior military official said Tuesday.

Google Pays $7M Fine to Settle Wi-Fi Privacy Case

Google will pay a $7 million fine to settle a multistate investigation into a snoopy software program that enabled the Internet search leader to intercept emails, passwords and other sensitive information sent several years ago over unprotected wireless networks in neighborhoods across the world.

New York Cop Convicted in Cannibalism Plot

Police Officer Gilbert Valle's lawyers said he was just spinning sick and twisted fantasies for his own pleasure when he chatted online about abducting, roasting and eating women. A jury, though, decided he was deadly serious.

Audio of GI's Statement on WikiLeaks Case Released

Some supporters of an Army private charged with aiding the enemy released a leaked audio recording Tuesday of Pfc. Bradley Manning explaining why he sent hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

Black Smoke from Chapel Chimney: No Pope Yet

Black smoke poured from the Sistine Chapel chimney on Tuesday, signaling that cardinals had failed on their first vote of the papal conclave to choose a new leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics and their troubled church.

Syrian Army Eroded by Defections, Battle Deaths

A top Syrian cleric's appeal to young men to join the army raised the question of whether President Bashar Assad is running out of soldiers, prompting a pro-government newspaper to reassure readers Tuesday that the military can keep fighting insurgents for years to come.

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Bryant Wants All Options But Medicaid on Table

Gov. Phil Bryant is still against Medicaid expansion, but says he's now willing to talk to hospitals about a deal on health-care funding.

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Outlets, Aeropostale, Toyota, Dickey's and Optimism

Aeropostale Inc., a specialty retailer of casual apparel for children and teens, plans to open a new store--P.S. from Aeropostale--at Northpark Mall in Ridgeland.

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Marshall Henderson and Martha Alwal

C Spire named Ole Miss' Marshall Henderson and Mississippi State's Martha Alwal the state's best college basketball players Monday at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

Senate Democrats Unveil Government Funding Bill

Top Senate Democrats and Republicans Monday night released a catchall government funding bill that denies President Barack Obama new money for implementing signature first-term accomplishments like new regulations on Wall Street and his expansion of government health care subsidies but provides modest additional funding for domestic priorities like health research and highway projects.

Judge Strikes Down NYC Ban on Supersized Sodas

A judge struck down New York City's pioneering ban on big sugary drinks Monday just hours before it was supposed to take effect, handing a defeat to health-minded Mayor Michael Bloomberg and creating uncertainty for restaurants that had already ordered smaller cups and changed their menus.

Senate Panel Ready to OK Gun Background Checks

Democrats are ready to muscle expanded background checks and other gun curbs through a Senate committee, giving President Barack Obama an initial if temporary victory on one of his top priorities.

History Shows N. Korean Pattern: Wait, Then Attack

Humiliated by past attacks, South Korea has promised—as recently as Tuesday—to hit back hard at the next assault from the North, opening up the prospect that a skirmish could turn into a wider war.

Cardinals Celebrate Mass Before Entering Conclave

Cardinals heard a final appeal for unity Tuesday before sequestering themselves in the Sistine Chapel for the conclave to elect the next pope, as they celebrated Mass amid divisions and uncertainty over who will lead the 1.2 billion-strong Catholic Church and tend to its many problems.

Long-Awaited Plea is Near in Colo. Theater Shooting

In the nearly eight months since James Holmes first shuffled into court with vacant eyes and reddish-orange hair, neither he nor his lawyers have said much about how he would plead to charges from the deadly Colorado movie theater shooting.

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Larry Fisher

After years of pouring his heart into the city of Jackson and Hinds County, former Hinds Emergency Operations Director Larry Fisher can finally rest.

Gov't Fiscal Outlook Improving, for Now

The short-term fiscal outlook isn't all that bad. It's actually getting better--at least for now.

Miss. Hospital Association Working With Governor

The Mississippi Hospital Association says it is working with Gov. Phil Bryant to address funding issues related to Medicaid.

Monday, March 11

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Mayoral Candidates Square Off

The People's Assembly Task Force hosted eight candidates for mayor of Jackson Saturday in the first public forum of the 2013 election season.

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In Conservative Arizona, Government-Run Health Care That Works

The 9 million people nationwide who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid are by far the sickest and most expensive patients in the country.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

The St. Patrick's Day Block Party at Fenian's Pub is March 16 at 9 a.m.

Records Tell Spending Story for Miss. Citizens

Both the State Auditor's Office and the FBI have ramped up probes of misspending at the agency charged with protecting and enhancing the state's coastal resources.

Mississippi Museum of Art Hosts French Exhibit

In a Family Corner of the upcoming major French painting exhibition at the Mississippi Museum of Art, artist Ginger Williams-Cook has re-created a Renoir painting of Monet's gardens to give pint-sized creators a pretend shot at the easel, beret included.

City Campaign Laws Inconsistently Followed

City clerks are required to collect campaign finance reports during local elections throughout Mississippi and deliver that information to Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann's office, but Hosemann said he only receives the information sporadically.

Pro-Gun Voters Put Heat on Democratic Senators

Back during the Clinton era, the Democrat faced a choice: support an assault weapons ban urged by a president from his own party and risk angering constituents who cherish their gun rights, or buck his party. He chose the ban, and nearly lost his Senate seat.

AP Source: Obama Poised to Pick Perez for Labor

President Barack Obama is close to naming Thomas Perez, a civil rights official in the Justice Department, as his choice to head the Department of Labor, two people familiar with the process say.

Lawmakers: Obama Wooing Might Break Budget Logjam

Republican lawmakers said Sunday they welcome President Barack Obama's courtship and suggested the fresh engagement between the White House and Congress might help yield solutions to the stubborn budget battle that puts Americans' jobs at risk.

Afghan Troubles Spell Tough Start for Hagel

After surviving a combative Senate confirmation battle, he jumped on a military plane to Afghanistan and was hit with the jarring difficulties of shutting down a war in a country still wracked by violence and political volatility.

U.S. Citing Security to Censor More Public Records

The U.S. government censored or withheld more files that the public requested last year more often than at any time since President Barack Obama took office.

For People and Press, a Shared Need to Know

Suppose President Obama was a room with Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. Suppose they had time to kill and no one to talk to except each other. Would they have common ground for chit-chat?

Analysis: Miss. AG Legal Fees, Expenses Top $2.4M

An ongoing lawsuit challenging Mississippi's foster care system has cost the state at least $4.4 million in legal expenses and fees since 2008.

Sunday, March 10

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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.

City Campaign Laws Inconsistently Followed

City clerks are required to collect campaign finance reports during local elections throughout Mississippi and deliver that information to Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann's office, but Hosemann said he only receives the information sporadically.

Records Tell Spending Story for Miss. Citizens

Both the State Auditor's Office and the FBI have ramped up probes of misspending at the agency charged with protecting and enhancing the state's coastal resources.

AP Enterprise: Nixon Wished for Total Handgun Ban

Few presidents in modern times have been as interested in gun control as Richard Nixon, of all people.

Saturday, March 9

Bryant Gets Bill Permanently Allowing Payday Loans

The state Senate gave final approval Friday to House Bill 559, which deletes the requirement that lawmakers periodically renew authorization for the loans.

Friday, March 8

Cardinals Set Tuesday As Start Date for Conclave

Cardinals have set Tuesday as the start date for the conclave to elect the next pope, a milestone in this unusual papal transition and an indication that even without an obvious front-runner, the cardinals have a fairly good idea of who best among them can lead the Catholic Church and tackle its many problems.

Job Gains Cut Unemployment to 7.7 pct., 4-Year Low

Employers added 236,000 jobs in February and drove down the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent, its lowest level in more than four years.

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Jackson Health Exec Touts Medicaid Expansion Benefits

Charlotte Dupré, chief executive officer of the Central Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, said the hospital would benefit if state lawmakers expand the Medicaid health-care program.

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Everything We Know About What Data Brokers Know About You

Data companies are scooping up enormous amounts of information about almost every American.

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Cadet Colonel Seggie McClendon

A senior at Wingfield high school, Cadet Colonel Seggie McClendon is a positive role model for his school and a symbol of the potential of young people.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, Arts Klassical's Music from the Soul and Poetry Reading is from 7-10 p.m. at the Jackson Medical Mall in the Community Room.

Plan Could Allow State Takeover of F-Rated Schools

Mississippi lawmakers are considering a sweeping plan that could remove more than 100 low-performing schools from local school board control for unknown periods of time.

City Elections Filing Deadline is Friday

Candidates for municipal offices have until 5 p.m. Friday to qualify for the May party primaries and the June general election.

Arkansas GOP Eyes Planned Parenthood Funds Next

Not content with enacting the most restrictive abortion law in the country, Arkansas Republicans plan to press the legislative advantage their party hasn't enjoyed since Reconstruction by making it even more difficult for women to get abortions in the state.

Obama Presses on with GOP Charm Offensive

Punctuated with the sounds of ringing phones and clinking china, President Barack Obama's new legislative diplomacy has Republicans wondering what took so long.

Forest Service May Let More Fires Burn

After coming in $400 million over budget following last year's busy fire season, the Forest Service is altering its approach and may let more fires burn instead of attacking every one.

U.N. Sanctions May Play Into North Korean Propaganda

Seven years of U.N. sanctions against North Korea have done nothing to derail Pyongyang's drive for a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States.

Furlough Plans Vary Widely at Gov't Agencies

Federal workers could face seven days of furloughs at the Housing and Urban Development Department, but Homeland Security personnel might see twice that number.

US Adds 236K Jobs, Unemployment Falls to 7.7 Percent

Robust gains suggested that the economy can strengthen further.

House Revives Push to Raise Speed Limit to 75 MPH

House members amended an unrelated Senate bill Thursday to allow the state Transportation Commission to raise the speed limit on some highways to 75 mph.

Thursday, March 7

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Local Option Dies Again

Once again, the Mississippi Legislature has left Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. with a local-option sales-tax law he refuses to implement.

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Dirty Soil and Diabetes: Anniston's Toxic Legacy

For four decades, from 1929 until 1971, a Monsanto plant in West Anniston produced chemicals called PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls.

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Howell and Gillom Trophy Finalists

Earlier this week, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame announced the three finalists for the Howell and Gillom Trophies.

Miss. Dems Seek New Approach on Medicaid Expansion

Democrats in the Mississippi Legislature say they're trying a new approach to push for Medicaid expansion—an issue they support and Republican leaders oppose.

FBI Monitoring Investigation of Candidate's Death

The FBI said Wednesday that it has been monitoring the state investigation into the death of an openly gay mayoral candidate in Mississippi, but the agency didn't indicate it had opened its own investigation.

FAA to Close 7 Airport Control Towers in Miss.

Seven air traffic control towers in Mississippi are among 173 scheduled to be closed nationwide in early April, as the Federal Aviation Administration shuts off funding for those services.

More Gun Laws=Fewer Deaths, 50-State Study Says

States with the most gun control laws have the fewest gun-related deaths, according to a study that suggests sheer quantity of measures might make a difference.

Ads Out of Closet, Into Mainstream with Gay Themes

Something has happened in advertising over the last two or three years, nearly two decades after Ikea broke ground in the U.S. with a TV spot featuring a gay couple shopping for a dining room table.

Senate Committee Starting Votes on Curbing Guns

President Barack Obama's prospects for winning near-universal background checks for gun purchases seemed shaky as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepared for Congress' first votes on curbing firearms since December's horrific shootings at a Connecticut elementary school.

General: Heart Attack Killed a Suffering Chavez

President Hugo Chavez died of a massive heart attack after great suffering and inaudibly mouthed his desire to live, the head of Venezuela's presidential guard said late Wednesday.

Furious Over Sanctions, N. Korea Vows to Nuke U.S.

North Korea vowed on Thursday to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States, amplifying its threatening rhetoric hours ahead of a vote by U.N. diplomats on whether to level new sanctions against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear test.

Efforts to Avoid Gov't Shutdown Move to Senate

If Congress can avoid another budget crisis, it could clear the way for lawmakers and President Barack Obama to restart talks on a longer-term deficit reduction plan.

House Passes Home-Brewing Bill, Sends It to Bryant

The House has sent a bill to Gov. Phil Bryant that would legalize home brewing in Mississippi.

Wednesday, March 6

Jeb Bush 'Not Saying No' To a Presidential Run in 2016

Jeb Bush has long resisted pressure from supporters to run for president. Now the former Florida governor is signaling that he's at least open to the idea, a shift that comes as he promotes a new book and Republicans struggle to rebound after President Barack Obama's re-election.

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Gig: Social Storyteller

I've always wanted to be a journalist. My mother used to say I had to be the first to know it and the first to tell it.

Arkansas Lawmakers Override Veto, Make Most Restrictive Abortion Ban Into Law

Arkansas lawmakers overrode a veto Wednesday and gave the state the most restrictive abortion law in the country — a near-ban on the procedure from the 12th week of pregnancy onward that is certain to end up in court.

The Slate

March Madness officially begins as NCAA teams begin conference tournaments over the next seven days.

Rand Paul Filibusters Obama's CIA Appointment "Mr. Smith"-Style, Citing Drone Policy

A Republican critic of the Obama administration's drone policy succeeded Wednesday in blocking a vote on John Brennan's nomination to be CIA director over questions about the possible use of the unmanned weapons against American citizens.

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Writer's Remorse

Music and I have an understanding: I make it, and it makes me happy. That's a simple enough idea, I think.

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Dragging Through the Swamp

The Weeks have returned to Mississippi to play a series of seven shows, coinciding with the upcoming release of its first full-length album since signing to the label Serpents and Snakes.

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Take Cover and Run

"Jack the Giant Slayer" transforms a public-domain fairy tale into a Marvel-comic-styled movie.

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Dialogue through Art

This spring, the Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art is once again home to a participatory art project.

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Going Green, Smoothie Style

Chow down on a granola bar and a banana while running out the front door first thing in the morning. Scarf a brown bag PB&J at lunch time between meetings, and hurry to put some pasta on the table when you get home.

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‘Hallelujah’ for Better School Lunch

Although the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta still ranks the state the most overweight in the nation, Mississippi's obesity rate for elementary-school children is down 13.3 percent since 2005.

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Game On

Clever brides and friends-of-brides have come up with lots of games to liven up weddings, from the intimate gift-giving occasion of the bridal shower to the wild bachelorette parties.

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Vivid Running

Each year, thousands of Hindus around the world celebrate Holi, a festival of colors commemorating the beginning of spring.

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The Business of Beer

Last year, after several failed attempts, Mississippi lawmakers made it legal to produce and sell beer containing as much as 8 percent alcohol.

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Battle of the Boxes

If there's one thing Mississippians love, it's their discount stores.

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The Relevance of Black History

VIP Jackson magazine recently asked me to write an article on the continued relevancy of Black History Month. After writing what I thought was a candid, non-controversial piece, I received a call from the editor.

Invest in People, and Biz Will Come

Mississippi can't seem to stop wagging the dog when it comes to creating an inviting business climate.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Entitlement'

Section 5 gives the U.S. government the authority to pre-approve changes to voting policy in several states and counties with histories of voter suppression.

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Claiming the Shake

Initially I didn't think it that big of a deal. I mean, the YouTube Harlem Shake videos were just that, right?

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Liberty’s Kitchen: Jackson Bound?

Syrena Johnson never thought anyone evaluating scholarship applicants would even give her a second look.

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Slow and Easy

Five Mississippi prisons are already privately run, but Adams County could be the first in the state to turn operations of its county jail over to a private firm.

Question o' the Week: What is your favorite locally owned alternative to a big-box chain business?

What is your favorite locally owned alternative to a big-box chain business?

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You & JFP

Favorite quote: "17 has turned 35
, I'm surprised that we're still livin'
, If we've done any wrong
, I hope that we're forgiven"—John Mellencamp "Cherry Bomb"

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JSU Aims High in Stadium Bid

Jackson State University is aiming for a lofty peak, hoping to fill what some see as a real need in the capital city with its plan to build a $200-million domed stadium on campus.

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Robert Thompson: Family Man

Robert Thompson is no stranger to comebacks. This May, he's hoping to rally from a 2005 defeat by Frank Bluntson to win the election for Jackson's Ward 4 City Council seat.

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Daphne Higgins

In 1992, Daphne Higgins started a 13-year sales career at The Clarion-Ledger.

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Time to Think Small

I've been a bit amazed of late to hear all the hoopla over Sam's Club deciding to leave Jackson for suburban pastures.

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Cowboys and Cutting Horses

Watching a highly trained cutting horse with "cow sense" is an athletic event on par with few equine sports.

PSC Approves Rate Increase for Miss. Power Plant

A state commission voted Tuesday to allow Mississippi Power Co. to start billing customers to pay for the Kemper County power plant it's building, but not as much as the company wanted.

Miss. Rep. Asks FBI to Review Candidate's Death

A Mississippi congressman on Tuesday asked the FBI to review the slaying of an openly gay mayoral candidate to determine if any federal laws might have been violated.

A Diplomatic Natural, Kerry Hits Ground Running

Secretary of State John Kerry schmoozed and cajoled his way through Europe and the Middle East on his first trip abroad as America's top envoy.

Obama, Republicans Cooperate on Spending, for Now

The Obama administration and congressional Republicans are quietly working in tandem to blunt the impact of short-term spending cuts.

Dow Record Doesn't Impress Wall Street Workers

There were no signs of a celebration on Wall Street after the Dow Jones industrial average closed at an all-time high Tuesday.

Too Much Money Spent in Iraq for Too Few Results

Ten years and $60 billion in American taxpayer funds later, Iraq is still so unstable and broken that even its leaders question whether U.S. efforts to rebuild the war-torn nation were worth the cost.

Wash. and Colo. 'Potrepreneurs' See Opportunity

Kim Ridgway and her wife, Kimberly Bliss, can well envision the shop they plan to open—where they'll put the accessories, the baked goods and the shelves stacked with their valuable product: jars of high-quality marijuana.

Chavez Widely Mourned; Some Hope for Change

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is seen as a hero by some, a bully by others.

Miss. Workers Protest Child Support Privatization

Mississippi union members and state workers gathered at the state Capitol Tuesday to protest legislative efforts to privatize the state's child support collections program.

Tuesday, March 5

New Personhood Amendment Filed

Backers of 2011's unsuccessful Personhood amendment are back with a retooled effort.

Vatican Still Waiting for 5 Cardinals for Conclave

The Sistine Chapel closed to visitors on Tuesday and construction work got under way to prepare it for the conclave that will choose the next pope.

U.S., China Propose Tough Sanctions Against N. Korea

The world moved closer to punishing North Korea for its latest nuclear test Tuesday as the United States introduced a draft resolution, backed by China, with new sanctions aimed at reining in Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs and preventing their export to other countries.

Senate Panel Votes to Approve Obama's CIA Nominee

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted Tuesday to approve President Barack Obama's pick to lead the CIA after winning a behind-the-scenes battle with the White House over access to a series of top-secret legal opinions that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects, including American citizens.

Military Leaders Welcome House GOP Budget Bill

A massive House Republican measure to keep the government operating would ease some of the pain of automatic spending cuts slamming the Defense Department, the nation's senior military leaders told Congress on Tuesday.

Venezuela Announces Death of President Chavez

Venezuela's vice president announced that President Hugo Chavez died on Tuesday, ending 14 years of rule by the firebrand socialist but leaving his party firmly in control of the nation.

Racial Episodes Shake Ohio's Oberlin College

Scrawls of racially offensive graffiti and, more recently, a report of someone wearing what looked like a Ku Klux Klan-type hooded robe on campus have shaken students at historically liberal Oberlin College, one of the nation's first universities to admit blacks.

Dow Closes at All-Time High, Beating 2007 Record

The Dow is closing at a record, beating the previous high it set in October 2007, before the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

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Race Equality Gap Growing

Black families in America have never reached the levels of wealth that American whites enjoy, a new report from Brandeis University finds.

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Summer Youth Expo, Spring Classes, Health Care Project and SBA Advisories

Monday, March 11, the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Expo will be at the Metrocenter Mall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Cindy Griffin

At Jaycee Park Friday, Cindy Griffin, the executive director of the Habitat for Humanity-Metro Jackson affiliate, announced that the organization received a $250,000 matching grant from Lowe's.

Dem: Miss. Gov a 'Fool' to Not Expand Medicaid

A Democratic lawmaker said Monday that Mississippi's Republican governor is a "fool" and a "hypocrite" for opposing Medicaid expansion.

Vegas-Related Exhibit Opening at Elvis' Graceland

A new exhibit opening at Graceland showcases Elvis Presley's strong connection to Las Vegas, where he performed and vacationed.

Forbes: Slim World's Richest for 4th Year in a Row

Mexico's Carlos Slim remains the world's richest man for the fourth year in a row, according to Forbes, while Warren Buffett dropped out of the top three for the first time since 2000.

Bush: No Citizenship Path for Illegal Immigrants

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush writes in a new book that the nation needs to completely overhaul its immigration policies but cautions against providing a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, a position that puts him at odds with some Senate reformers within his own party.

China's New Priority: Social Wellbeing Over Growth

China's government promised its people Tuesday deficit-fueled spending to fight deep-seated corruption, improve the despoiled environment and address other quality-of-life issues demanded by an increasingly vocal public looking for change.

GOP Seeks to Smooth Roughest Cuts, Avert Shutdown

Republicans controlling the House are moving to take the roughest edges off across-the-board spending cuts that are just starting to take effect.

Senate Committee Set to Vote on Obama's CIA Choice

The Senate Intelligence Committee is scheduled to vote on President Barack Obama's pick to lead the CIA after weeks of wrangling with the White House over access to top-secret information about the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects and the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Venezuela: Chavez Hit by New, Severe Infection

A severe new respiratory infection has hit cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez and his condition is "very delicate," Venezuela's government says.

Ex-DEA Heads: Feds should Nullify State Pot Laws

Government needs to act now or it might lose the chance to nullify Colorado and Washington's laws legalizing recreational marijuana use.

Miss. Regulators to Consider Kemper Rate Increase

Utility regulators will be asked again Tuesday to approve a rate increase to repay money Mississippi Power Co. has borrowed to build a coal-fired power plant in Kemper County.

Monday, March 4

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News of HIV Cure Worries Advocates

Mississippi HIV/AIDS advocates are meeting the news of a baby's apparent cure from human immunodeficiency virus with hope and cautious optimism.

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Hospitals Clamp Down On Dangerous Early Elective Deliveries

For decades, doctors have been warned about the dangers of delivering babies early without a medical reason. But the practice remained stubbornly persistent.

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Gene Dattel

A Mississippi Delta native, Gene Dattel was the only Mississippian to attend Yale in 1962.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

The documentary "United States of ALEC" is showing March 5, 7 p.m., in the Student Center Theater at Jackson State University.

Skilled Labor Jobs Offer Employment Opportunities

The weak job market is prompting many young adults to pursue careers as skilled laborers—jobs that pay well and don't need a four-year degree.

Former MSU President Dies After Extended Illness

Mississippi State University's 15th president, Donald W. Zacharias, has died of complications from multiple sclerosis, the university said Sunday. He was 77.

Vicksburg Mayor Shelves Sports Complex Idea

After almost two years of pushing for a sports complex for Vicksburg, Mayor Paul Winfield has shelved the project.

U.S. Economy Hamstrung by Washington's Brinksmanship

Three budget crises ago, in early 2011, Republicans and President Barack Obama faced off over raising the debt ceiling—and Alison Brown saw the writing on the wall.

Spending Cuts Seem Here to Stay

The spending cuts are here to stay if you believe the public posturing Sunday.

Biden Leads Re-Enactment of Voting Rights March

More than 5,000 people followed Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma's annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee.

Obama Outside Groups Forming Influence Network

President Barack Obama learned in his first term that he couldn't change Washington from the inside, saying in the heat of his re-election race: "You can only change it from the outside."

Mississippi Baby Born with HIV Apparently Cured

The child, who's now 2½ and has been off medication for about a year, shows no signs of infection.

Sunday, March 3

Bulldogs Stun Rebels in Basketball Upset

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State had a 13-game losing streak, only seven scholarship players and every reason in the world to roll over for Mississippi on Saturday in front of a two-thirds filled Humphrey Coliseum. Instead, the Bulldogs pulled off a stunning 73-67 victory over their archrival that ended nearly two months of misery.

Friday, March 1

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Sequester to Affect Mississippi's Children

Today marks the deadline for Congress and the president to agree on a plan to avoid the $85 billion in automatic, indiscriminate spending cuts called the sequester.

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Why the Supreme Court May Rule Against the Voting Rights Act

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, a case challenging the constitutionality of a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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Dr. Michael V. Williams

When Dr. Michael Vinson Williams discusses his most recent book, "Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr," one can only wonder where he obtained the passion to write such an in-depth biography of one of Jackson's most important visionaries.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, the JFP sponsors the Jackson 2000 Friendship Ball at 7 p.m. at Hal & Mal's.

JSU to Produce eBook on Alexander, Evers

Jackson State University will produce a digital short about the connection between slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers and author Margaret Walker Alexander.

Work Stopped at Fulton Ethanol Plant

Although far behind schedule, Mississippi officials say plans for BlueFire Renewables Inc.'s biofuels plant aren't dead, just dormant.

Obama Urges Court to Overturn Gay Marriage Ban

In a historic argument for gay rights, President Barack Obama on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to overturn California's same-sex marriage ban and turn a skeptical eye on similar prohibitions across the country.

Plight of the American Bumblebee: Disappearing?

It's not just honey bees that are in trouble. The fuzzy American bumblebee seems to be disappearing in the Midwest.

How Budget Cuts Could Affect You

Automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect Friday are expected to touch a vast range of government services.

Army GI Says He Leaked Secrets to Spark War Debate

After almost three years in custody, the Army private accused in the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history said he did it because he wanted the public to know how the American military was fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with little regard for human life.

Growing Push to Halt Workplace Bullying

Margaret Fiester is no shrinking violet, but she says working for her former boss was a nightmare.

Workers Anxious As Cuts Set to Take Effect

Five hundred miles from Capitol Hill, the men and women of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard are worrying about paying rent, searching for new jobs and caring for sick loved ones.

Congress Renews Anti-Violence Law

House Republicans raised the white flag Thursday on expansion of the Violence Against Women Act.

Odds Against Him, Obama Still Betting on Big Deal

Obama says he again wants a fiscal deal to raise taxes and trim billions from entitlement programs.

Bill to Seal Concealed Gun Info Reaches Governor

The Mississippi House has sent a bill to the governor's desk to block public access to information about state-issued permits for people to carry concealed weapons.