Stories for April 2014


Wednesday, April 30

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The NBA’s Big Problem

New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has a big problem, and it couldn't have come at a worse time.

The Slate

These NBA Playoffs have been entertaining during the first round. Top seeded teams are getting all they want from lower seeds.

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No Flaws to be Found in ‘Forcefield’

From the start, I'll admit a bias this time. I've adored the hard-to-pin-down work of Tokyo Police Club of Ontario, Canada, since purchasing the first releases, "A Lesson in Crime" and "Smith," in immediate succession during high school.

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Welcome, Amigos

It's not every day that Capitol and State streets transform into a colorful fiesta with fragrant smells of carne asada, elote grilling and the aria of mariachi music lingering in the air. The Cinco de Mayo Mississippi Festival 2014 is happening again downtown Jackson May 3.

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Pop-Up Ballot: Swift & Sporty

Races, fun runs and themed 5Ks have seen more success and enthusiasm than ever in Jackson over the past few years, but when it comes to runs, the biggest is also the best.

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Feed Your Fancy at La Brioche

There's a new bakery in town, and it's all about luxurious sweets. Meet La Brioche Patisserie.

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Mississippi Mother Diane Bass’ Testimony to Her Church After Learning Her Son, Lance, Was Gay

This is an excerpt of a letter Lance Bass' mother, Diane, wrote to her church about her son's homosexuality.

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Lance Bass on God, Being Gay and Loving His Sweet Mama

Two years after I graduated from high school in 2004, Lance Bass came out of the closet on the cover of People Magazine. His revelation struck a chord for me not just because he was a celebrity, as one-fifth of the world-famous pop group 'N Sync, but because he was from Clinton, Miss. As far as I knew growing up, there were no gay people in Clinton.

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Advice From Laverne Cox: Talk About It

As the first transgender performer to have a recurring spot on a television series, Laverne Cox plays Sophia, a transgender woman who is in prison for credit-card fraud, in the wildly popular Netflix series, "Orange Is the New Black."

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And LGBTQ Rights March On: The Who, What, How in Mississippi

Although there is growing support for equal rights in both Jackson and the state, legislation like SB 2681 has the potential to encourage and legalize discrimination, harking back to Jim Crow legislation.

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Random Acts of Love

I’ve long maintained that I don’t care for public displays of affection. I’ve said it countless times to two long-term boyfriends, a few suitors and my husband. By turning my nose up at other couples, I’ve been able to hide my fear of being spotted.

City: Make Smart Decisions on Contracts, Department Heads

From where we sit, mayors put too many people into key city roles, such as Planning and Public Works, for political or personal reasons.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Light-Hearted'

Regardless of Hosemann's views and opinions, there are plenty of citizens and civil-rights groups that still fear that voter ID will disproportionately affect minorities, poor people, college students and senior citizens.

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Whole, Fulfilled, Loved

Standing on the playground that day, it was clear I liked the little blonde girl who was playing in front of me. It wasn't in a "I want to be your bestie, jump rope and have a sleepover way," either. No, indeed, I liked her in the way I knew I was only supposed to like boys. I sat confused. How could this be?

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Building Jackson Strong, One Person at a Time

Shoppers looking for organic and locally sourced food are familiar with the unassuming little grocery on Old Canton Road in Fondren. Mostly, they just call it Rainbow.

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State Law Weak on City Elections

In the waning days of the April 22 special-election runoff for Jackson mayor, third parties, surrogates and political-action committees took control of the political discourse and broadcast airwaves to become the strongest forces in the election, more than the two candidates in some ways.

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Constance Gordon

Constance Gordon, 32, currently uses her voice as an advocacy coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Discrimination Isn’t ‘Religious Freedom’

You do not have religious freedom if every single American doesn't have it, too, including those you believe are heathens and sinners.

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M. Ward: A Modern Spin on an Older Time

To admirers of folk music, M. Ward might be as profound an innovator as Steve Jobs is to techies.

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Décor and Class

Sometimes, white walls can be a person's biggest inspiration. For Hunter Davenport, the blank walls in his apartment—along with the lack of monetary funds to decorate them to his content—stirred up a passion he had never before pursued.

Drug Resistance Found Worldwide, New Drugs Needed

Bacteria resistant to antibiotics have now spread to every part of the world and might lead to a future where minor infections could kill, according to a report published Wednesday by the World Health Organization.

Iraqis Brave Threat of Violence to Cast Ballots

Iraqis braved the threat of bombs and attacks to vote Wednesday in key elections for a new parliament amid a massive security operation as the country slides deeper into sectarian strife.

Kiev Says It's "Helpless" to Restore Order in East

Ukraine's police and security forces are "helpless" to quell unrest in two eastern regions bordering Russia, and in some cases are cooperating with pro-Russian gunmen who have seized scores of government buildings and taken people hostage, the country's acting president said Wednesday.

Survivors Tell Their Stories: 'We Are Safe Here'

A powerful storm system was menacing a large swath of the South early Tuesday, killing more than two dozen people from Arkansas to Alabama over more than two days of destruction. Here are the some stories from people in Mississippi and Alabama that made it through the frightening chaos.

Tuesday, April 29

Kemper Plant Delayed Again, Costs Going Up... Again

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Southern Companies says the expected startup date of its coal gas-fired power plant in Kemper County is being pushed back to the first half of 2015.

Center for Violence Prevention in the Running for Neighborhood Assist

The Center for Violence Prevention needs your help in becoming one of the top 40 in State Farm's Neighborhood Assist campaign.

Mississippi Residents Picking Through the Rubble in Pearl, Tupelo, Winston County

PEARL, Miss. (AP) — Dagmar Almenares, who lives in the Highlands mobile home park near Mississippi's biggest airport, said he considers himself lucky to be alive. The 33-year-old Cuba native and his 62-year-old mother were in their rented trailer Monday evening when a tornado picked it up and blew it apart.

Shadowy Commander is Face of Insurgency in Ukraine

When shadowy commander Igor Strelkov appeared before the cameras recently in green combat fatigues and a clipped mustache, he did more than reveal the face of the insurgency rocking eastern Ukraine. He strengthened the case that Russia is behind the turmoil.

Justices Wary of Unlimited Cellphone Searches

The Supreme Court seemed wary Tuesday of allowing police unbridled freedom to search through cellphones of people they arrest, taking on a new issue of privacy in the face of rapidly changing technology.

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From the Eye of the Storm

This account was taken during the storm event that swept across Mississippi, Alabama and the southern U.S. on April 28.

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Battling Brain Drain, New Duling Debuts and Tacos for Charity

On Friday, May 2, Arden Barnett, founder of entertainment company ardenland, is inviting everyone in the Jackson community to see the updates and new features he's made to Duling Hall during a concert featuring The Wild Feathers and Tennessee Jet.

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Gus McCoy

Gus McCoy has tackled many different careers in the last few years, including working as a youth pastor and an insurance agent, and even running for Hinds County District 2 supervisor last year in the special election to replace Doug Anderson.

Lawsuit an Unusual Challenge to Gay Marriage Ban

A coalition of clergy members is challenging North Carolina's constitutional ban on gay marriage with an unusual approach in a federal lawsuit: They say it violates their religious freedom.

South Korea: North Holds Live-Fire Drills at Sea

North Korea conducted live-fire artillery drills near its disputed western sea boundary Tuesday, South Korean officials said, in a possible indication of rising frustration in Pyongyang as it pushes unsuccessfully for outside aid.

EU Names 15 New Targets for Sanctions

The European Union on Tuesday released the names of 15 new people it is targeting for sanctions because of their roles in the Ukraine crisis.

Group: Israel Upped Settlement Work During Talks

Israel increased settlement work four-fold during the latest round of peace talks, pushing forward with construction of nearly 14,000 new homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, a watchdog group said Tuesday.

Monday, April 28

9 Deaths Reported in Southern Storms, Number Could Rise

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — At least nine deaths are being reported from severe storms blowing through the South, but the toll could rise.

Gov. Bryant Mobilizes National Guard to Lee and Winston Counties

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has mobilized the National Guard to help with relief efforts in Lee and Winston counties after Monday's tornadoes.

Tornado Hits Winston Medical Center; UMMC Responds

LOUISVILLE, Miss. (AP) — A spokesman for the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson says a tornado has damaged the Winston Medical Center in Louisville. Jack Mazurak says it knocked down two walls, damaged a third and caused a gas leak.

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Injuries Confirmed in Multiple Mississippi Tornadoes, Storms Headed East

The state health department says injuries have been confirmed from Monday's tornadoes in the Tupelo area and in Winston County farther south.

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Campaigns Put Mississippi on LGBT-Rights Front Line

Next week, the Human Rights Campaign kicks off its latest endeavor, Project One America, in Jackson. The Mississippi stop is one of three HRC will make during a tour that also goes through Alabama and Arkansas.

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Gerald Gibson

Gerald Gibson wants to change the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. He is the coordinator of community-based outreach and testing for My Brother's Keeper, a nonprofit designed to further the health and wellbeing of minority communities.

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Miss. Abortion Clinic Fight at Federal Appeals Court

The future of Mississippi's only abortion clinic is in the hands of a federal appeals court.

Election-Year Senate Vote Nears on Minimum Wage

Win or lose—and they'll probably lose—Democrats hope this week's Senate showdown over raising the federal minimum wage reaps them benefits in November's congressional elections.

New U.S. Sanctions on Russian Officials, Companies

The United States levied new sanctions Monday on seven Russian government officials, as well as 17 companies with links to Vladimir Putin's close associates, as the Obama administration seeks to pressure the Russian leader to deescalate the crisis in Ukraine.

Air Search for Missing Malaysian Plane Called Off

The aerial search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet was called off Monday, and the underwater hunt will be expanded to include a vast swath of ocean floor that may take at least eight months to thoroughly search, Australian officials said.

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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, April 26

Death Row Inmate Denied Post-Conviction Appeal

The Mississippi Supreme Court has denied the post-conviction arguments of death row inmate Eric Moffett.

Friday, April 25

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Jackson Charter School to Make its Case

"Schools are the next frontier for community organizing," said Ravi Gupta, who took a leave of absence from law school to help Barack Obama be elected president the first time, in 2008.

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Hearing Delayed on Mississippi Power Kemper Costs

Upcoming hearings on whether Mississippi Power Co. should be able to get customers to pay for its Kemper County power plant have been postponed.

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Emma Haley

Tomorrow, April 26, Warrior Dash comes to Jackson for the second time, thanks to the organization efforts of Race Director Emma Haley.

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The Filthy Six Bring Soulful Grooves to Martin's

Coming directly from the dusty grooves of an old Blue Note jazz record, The Filthy Six brings its soulful grooves to Martin's Lounge tomorrow night.

Obama: May Be Time for More North Korea Sanctions

In a display of unity against North Korea's provocations, President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye warned Pyongyang on Friday that it could face tougher sanctions if it follows through with threats to launch a fourth nuclear test.

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Mississippi Business Owners Push Back on 'Religious Freedom' Law

In conservative Mississippi, some business owners who support equal treatment for gays and lesbians are pushing back against a new law that bans government from limiting the free practice of religion.

Russia's Lavrov: West Plotting to Control Ukraine

Accusing the West of plotting to control Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared Friday that the pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine will only lay down their arms if the Ukrainian government clears out the Maidan protest camp in Kiev.

Baltic States Lead Push to Cut Russia Gas Reliance

The Baltic nations, which still have fresh memories of domination by Moscow during the Cold War, have been among the swiftest countries in Europe to act to reduce dependence on Russian energy resources.

UMMC to Merge Some Functions with Rehab Hospital

The University of Mississippi Medical Center will merge some functions with the neighboring Methodist Rehabilitation Center under an agreement approved Thursday by higher education officials.

Thursday, April 24

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Hosemann's Voter ID Ads Win National Awards

If politics doesn't work out, Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann could always go into advertising.

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Yarber Takes Mayor's Oath Amid Rocky Transition

Tony Yarber is Jackson's second mayor in less than one year.

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Claire Holley

Strong female musicians influenced Claire Holley's road to becoming a singer-songwriter.

FDA Proposes First Regulations for E-Cigarettes

The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.

Israel Foreign Minister: Peace Deal 'Impossible'

Israel's foreign minister said Thursday the new Palestinian reconciliation deal has made a peace agreement "impossible," as Israeli leaders fumed about the prospects of the Islamic militant group Hamas joining a Palestinian unity government.

Russia to Hold New Military Exercises in Southwest

Russia's defense minister on Thursday announced new military exercises along the Ukrainian border just hours after Ukrainian troops killed at least two pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine.

Obama to Russia: More Sanctions are 'Teed Up'

Accusing Russia of failing to live up to its commitments, President Barack Obama warned Moscow on Thursday that the United States has another round of economic sanctions "teed up"—even as he acknowledged those penalties may do little to influence Vladimir Putin's handling of the crisis in Ukraine.

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Miss. Governor Signs Mid-Pregnancy Abortion Ban

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on Wednesday signed a bill to ban abortion starting at the midpoint of a full-term pregnancy.

Gay Business Owners Still Face Challenges

It happens a few times a year: A customer refuses to work with Dave Greenbaum because he's gay.

Wednesday, April 23

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Amazing Teens 2014

Numerous teenagers in the Jackson area are already making a difference in their communities, and soon they will be affecting the world. These 16 teenagers, as well as their peers, are preparing themselves to further their dreams and visions.

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Windows Closing, Doors Opening?

A few NFL teams are in must-win mode right now. Of course, the Denver Broncos, which reached the Super Bowl last year, are a main focus with Peyton Manning getting older.

The Slate

It is time to start some speculation. The 2014 NFL Draft will begin May 8—who will the New Orleans Saints take with the 27th pick in the first round?

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Roscoe Robinson: Still Praising and Serving the Lord

Roscoe Robinson's musical career reads like a one-man history of gospel and R&B.

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Love, Intelligence and Artifice

Wally Pfister's eye for beauty and intrigue is unmatched in today's cinema, and he now makes his directorial debut with "Transcendence."

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Gluten-Free Goodies

What is this gluten-free diet that everyone is talking about? It isn't the latest fad diet or a weight-loss secret. Gluten is a protein found in some grains, such as wheat, barley and rye.

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I Am A Feminist

We need to remind women of all races, ages and creeds that it is absolutely OK to ask for equality.

Jackson Needs a Transparency Movement

Every time Jackson has a city election, the Jackson Free Press news team spends the last week or so following the money, trying to track down shadowy, unregistered or unreported, groups that are either funding the candidates, paying for last-hour attack ads and, usually, lining up for payback and contracts.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Retain'

Speaker Gunn's early advocacy for a teacher-pay increase led to legislative dialogue and, ultimately, a spitting match with Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves over who loves teachers more.

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The Bill Collector at the Door

BoneQweesha Jones: "You are watching the Ghetto Science Team Public Television spring fund-raising marathon. The federal government's budget cuts are kicking our butts at G.S.T. Public Television."

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Report: Youth Jail Schools Still Bad

Most states require kids to go to school through the first year or two of high school, but when it comes to juvenile-justice facilities, education is almost an afterthought for state officials.

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Will Helm Place Revitalize Farish District?

Helm Place, an 88-townhome, affordable-rental housing project that includes a 4,000-square-foot community center, is set to begin construction in the Farish Street Historic District by mid-to-late April, according to the project's Oxford-based developer, Chartre Consulting Ltd.

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Taking a D.A.R.T. Out of Crime

D.A.R.T. works as JPD's "troubleshooting" unit by patrolling areas of the city that may be experiencing a more-than-average amount of crime, typically dealing with property crime or drug reinforcement.

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A Hands-On Tony Yarber Administration?

"Tony won!" exclaimed a man to a small, growing crowd outside one of the main ballrooms at the King Edward Hotel on Tuesday night.

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Party Switchers Cause Rifts

It might not contain all of the melodrama now playing out between Mississippi Republicans, but the Mississippi Democratic Party is having to deal with its own, smaller, civil war—and all because of a Republican.

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Kayla Jones

Dance has always been a major part of Kayla Jones' life. The Callaway High School junior figures that her love for the art form began around age 2.

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The Amazing Toughness of Kids

All kids need is love and attention, and they'll grow into amazing people; just look at the roster of our Amazing Teens, which includes National Honor Society members, community volunteers, inventors, athletes and class presidents from all over the Jackson metro.

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The Natchez Novelist

In 2011, author Greg Iles was just a week away from the deadline for his next novel, a follow-up to the best-seller "The Devil's Punchbowl," when he was involved in a horrific car accident near his hometown of Natchez.

California Bill Reignites Affirmative Action Fight

Nearly 20 years after California became the first state to ban the use of race and ethnicity in college admissions, a proposal to reinstate affirmative action has sparked a backlash that is forging a new divide in the state's powerful Democratic Party and creating opportunity for conservatives.

SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156 as Search Gets Tougher

As the 156th body was pulled from waters where the ferry Sewol sank a week ago, relatives of the nearly 150 still missing pressed the government Wednesday to finish the grim task of recovery soon.

FM Vows Response if Russians Attacked in Ukraine

Russia's foreign minister on Wednesday promised a firm response if its citizens or interests come under attack in Ukraine—a vow that came after Ukraine announced a renewal of its "anti-terror" campaign against those occupying buildings in its troubled east.

Pay Increases, Merit Raises for Miss. Teachers

Mississippi public schoolteachers can look forward to a $2,500 pay increase over the next two years on top of normal annual raises, with Gov. Phil Bryant signing a bill Tuesday that he says he hopes will aid performance.

Tuesday, April 22

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Magnolia, Miss., Passes Pro-LGBT Resolution; 4th in State to Support Gay Residents

Magnolia, Miss., passed a resolution 3-2 recognizing the dignity and worth of all city residents - including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT).

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The 'Obama Effect' and the Jackson Mayoral Race

As local news stations and media outlets continually display nefarious activities committed by young African American men, it’s refreshing to witness young African American men being featured for reasons other than criminal wrongdoing.

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Following the Money: More Shadowy Mayoral Backers Come to Light

Over the weekend, an unregistered political-action committee, Citizens for Decency, launched an all-out blitz with negative ads against Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber.

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Blow Dry Bar Hits Jackson, Sal and Mookie's Hits the Coast, Local Dishes Hit the National Scene

Nathan Coughlin, owner of Nathan's Salon and Nathan's at Great Scott, will bring a new hairstyling option to Jackson with the opening of Vamp the Blow Dry Bar in Fondren Plaza at the end of May.

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Chris Penczak

While the Mississippi Legislature was polishing its Religious Freedom Restoration Act (which opponents say opens doors to legal discrimination for religious reasons), Christopher Penczak and other believers of a mostly misunderstood and reviled faith—Wicca—planned a workshop.

Acts of Bravery Emerge from Pilloried Ship Crew

Nearly a week after the sinking of the South Korean ferry, with rising outrage over a death count that could eventually top 300, the public verdict against the crew of the Sewol has been savage and quick.

1 Year After Bombs, Boston Marathon a Celebration

Unfinished business. Defiance. Hope, strength and resilience. They used different words but the meaning was the same for thousands of people who were stopped by twin bombings at last year's Boston Marathon and came back this year to finish what they started.

Obama Visit to Asia Seen as Counterweight to China

President Barack Obama's travels through Asia in coming days aim to reassure partners about the renewed U.S. commitment to the region, with an eye both to China's rising assertiveness and the fast-growing markets that are the center of gravity for global growth.

Biden: Russia Must 'Stop Talking and Start Acting'

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden warned Russia on Tuesday that "it's time to stop talking and start acting" to reduce tension in Ukraine, offering a show of support for the besieged nation as an international agreement aimed at stemming its ongoing crisis appeared in doubt.

Monday, April 21

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Yarber Eclipsing Lumumba on Paid Campaign Staff

Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber is spending a lot more on campaign payroll than attorney Chokwe Lumumba, including to himself.

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Republic Group Booked New Yarber Response Ads, Targets 'Historically Hostile' Districts

A "pro-business" politics firm has confirmed that it has placed all of Tony Yarber's TV ads this election cycle, including a number of ads tonight to respond to negative advertising against its client.

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Supes: Jack Up Jail Rates on Jackson

Hinds County officials say it's time for the county to start charging the city of Jackson more to house prisoners in the Raymond Detention Center. It's also time for the county to start formal discussions on building a new jail, they said at this morning's supervisors meeting.

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Mayoral Campaigns, PACs Spending Big on Ads, Some Secretly

With two young candidates who are relatively unknown to big parts of Jackson, the airwaves were expected to be a major battleground in the capital city's mayor's race.

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Harrison Co. Shutting Down Skate Rink

The Mississippi Rollergirls are looking for a new place to skate.

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Donna Tartt

Before "The Goldfinch" (Little, Brown and Company, 2013, $30), Donna Tartt hadn't published a novel in 11 years. She told USA Today it took so long to finish writing because "it's a long book."

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Community Meetings and Events

On Tuesday, April 22, celebrate Earth Day at Highland Village from 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Sub Search for Missing Jet two-Thirds Complete

As the search continued off the coast of Australia for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet on Monday, the airline announced another plane bound for India was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its tires burst on takeoff.

Biden in Ukraine to Show Support as Tensions Rise

Vice President Joe Biden on Monday launched a high-profile visit to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to Ukraine and push for urgent implementation of an international agreement aimed at de-escalating tensions even as violence continues.

Boston Marathon Begins Under Tight Security

The 118th running of the Boston Marathon began under heavy security Monday morning, a year after the bombings near the race's finish line that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

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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, April 19

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Middleman Addresses Citizens for Decency's 'Duck Lips' Attack Ad on Yarber

The man who placed the "attack ad" on Tony Yarber says Chokwe A. Lumumba had nothing to do with it.

Miss. Reworks School Ratings to Accent Graduation

Mississippi is reworking its rating system for school districts and high schools after federal officials demanded the ratings put more weight on high school graduation.

Friday, April 18

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Raff, Lumumba Honored This Weekend

The people—it's a current that ran through the career of late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and continues in the work of Michael Raff.

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Fraternity Shuts Ole Miss Branch After Noose Tying

The University of Mississippi announced Thursday that the national office of Sigma Phi Epsilon, based in Richmond, Va., had closed its Ole Miss chapter.

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Zechariah Brice

Zechariah Brice builds. Zechariah Brice fights. The Latin phrase "construimus, batuimus" (translation: "We build. We fight") is the motto of the U.S. Navy Construction Battalion, otherwise known as the Seabees (CBs), to which Brice is assigned.

Late Sign-Ups Improve Outlook for Obama Health Law

A surge of eleventh-hour enrollments has improved the outlook for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more people signing up overall and a much-needed spark of interest among young adults.

White House Updating Online Privacy Policy

A new Obama administration privacy policy released Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tributes, are in the open domain.

Ukraine Insurgents Reject Call to Quit Buildings

Dashing hopes of progress raised by a diplomatic deal in Geneva, pro-Russian insurgents who have occupied government buildings in more than 10 Ukrainian cities said Friday they will not leave them until the country's interim government resigns.

Miss. Dept. of Education Eyes Expanded Outreach

The Mississippi Department of Education appears ready to add 27 contract employees to help local schools improve teaching.

Thursday, April 17

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David Watkins Appeals Secretary of State Ruling Against Him

David Watkins has appealed a ruling that he violated state law in a bond money transfer from one development to another.

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Testy Debate Signals Muddy Finish for Mayor's Race

In last night's battle of the jabs—officially known as the latest Jackson mayoral debate—the gloves came off despite the candidates' earlier pledge that neither would engage in personal attacks.

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Jamierra Faulkner

The Chicago Sky selected Southern Miss star Jamierra Faulkner in the WNBA draft with the 10th pick in the third round, the 34th pick overall.

Oklahoma Gay-Marriage Case Before U.S. Appeals Court

Lawyers for two Oklahoma women and the county clerk who would not give them a marriage license go before a federal appeals court with a familiar question for the judges: Did the state's voters single out gay people for unfair treatment when they defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman?

UN: Iran Cuts Stock Closest to Nuke-Arms Grade

Iran has converted most of a nuclear stockpile that it could have turned quickly into weapons-grade uranium into less volatile forms as part of a deal with six world powers, the U.N. atomic agency reported Thursday.

Putin Hopes No Need to Send Troops into Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday rejected claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, but recognized for the first time that the troops in unmarked uniforms who had overtaken Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula before its annexation by Moscow were Russian soldiers.

Ukraine, U.S. Work to Reduce Tensions With Russia

Ukraine is hoping to placate Russia and calm hostilities with its neighbor even as the U.S. prepares a new round of sanctions to punish Moscow for what it regards as fomenting unrest.

Bryant Signs Bills to Limit Union Activities

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has signed three bills to limit labor union activities in Mississippi.

Wednesday, April 16

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Lumumba Holds Money Edge Over Yarber

Chokwe A. Lumumba's fundraising committee remains in the money lead, the latest information from the Jackson city clerk's office shows.

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Double Act

Turquoise Johnson is a General Motors assistant by day and a crochet master by night.

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Yet Another Football Scandal

Over the weekend, Missouri star receiver Dorial Green-Beckham was kicked off the Tigers football team. Green-Beckham was accused of breaking into an 18-year-old Missouri student's apartment while looking for his girlfriend and of pushing the young woman down a flight of stairs.

The Slate

This month begins the quest for Lord Stanley's Cup and the Larry O'Brien Trophy as the NHL and NBA reach the playoffs. The NHL Playoffs might be the best sporting event you're not watching.

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Cherub: Electric Concoctions

In interview after interview, the guys of Cherub—producer-guitarist-vocalist Jason Huber and singer-songwriter-guitarist Jordan Kelley—disprove any theories of them being anything less than talented musicians.

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Walk to Fight for Lupus

After awareness walks and runs for many illnesses, but none in Mississippi for lupus, Krystal Knight began to organize the first annual Fight 4 Lupus Walk.

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A Beautiful, Brutal Reality

Gwendolyn Magee, who died in 2011, drew international acclaim for her striking quilts, which elevated an African and African American folk tradition to fine art.

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Springtime Revival

Sometimes, among activities or places that come to feel routine, you find something new. Such was the case for me at the last Fondren After 5 and the weekend following it.

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Top Contributors (Totals Before the April 15 filing deadline; updates at

The top contributors for both candidates in the Jackson mayoral runoff.

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Jackson Mayoral Runoff: The Issues

A look at where the Jackson mayoral runoff candidates stand on some of the most important issues.

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Lumumba: Advocate, Son

While canvassing door to door in south Jackson last week, mayoral hopeful Chokwe Antar Lumumba would take a few moments in between visiting with Ward 6 residents to talk about his vision.

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Mayor-elect Tony Yarber: Risk Leads to Reward

Mayoral hopeful Tony Yarber bounces from person to person, hugging matronly women, receiving firm handshakes of support from old men and listening as people talk about their connections to him.

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‘Old South’: More Discussion Needed

In 2014, it's sometimes difficult to believe that individuals still exist who do not see the offensiveness of the Confederate flag and celebrating the "Old South" culture.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Qualify'

While it's not fair to lay all the blame at Sheriff Lewis' feet, it's his jail now, and he has to answer for any mistakes that happen out there.

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In Love of Humanity

Change, like time, has no care for how you feel or if you are ready for it. It shows up when it wants and makes itself known. We must choose what we will do with the changes we are handed.

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Using the KKK to Fight Abortion Rights

Groups such as the Ashburn, Va.-based Radiance Foundation have used ads to cast abortion as akin to genocide of African American children. Others are crying foul play.

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Storied Songstress

If a great song tells a story, it naturally follows that a great singer would be skilled at the art of storytelling. Writer, English teacher and jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin is a triple-threat embodiment of the idea.

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Two Approaches to ‘Human,’ LGBT Rights

Gov. Phil Bryant signed SB 2681, the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" that many fear is license to discriminate against gays and lesbians, and runoff elections for Jackson mayor are right around the corner.

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Neighbors Saving Precinct 1

The Jackson Police Department has taken some heavy blows in recent conversations concerning Jackson—even as crime in the city has been on a steady decline over the last three years, particularly in Precinct 1.

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Yolanda Singleton

Yolanda Singleton, the promoter for Xperience Jxn Entertainment, has a singular vision for audiences in the metro area.

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As Shepard Lay Dying

Local theater man John Maxwell could not have known when he decided to stage "The Laramie Project" in downtown Jackson at Galloway Methodist Church just how impeccable his timing would turn out to be.

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In His Very Own Kingdom

For former Mount Rushmores lead singer Jeremiah Stricklin, the only way to go was to a solo project, called Oh, Jeremiah.

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Latin Barbecue 101

Many Latinos have moved to Mississippi over the past 10 years, so it's imperative that we all at least learn what to expect in our versions of barbecue in order to make eating and socializing easier for everyone.

NATO Ups Military Presence Amid Russian Threat

NATO is strengthening its military footprint along its eastern border immediately in response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine, the alliance's chief said Wednesday.

Combat Vehicles in East Ukraine Fly Russian Flag

A column of armored vehicles flying Russian flags drove into a Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russia insurgents Wednesday, dampening the central government's hopes of re-establishing control over restive eastern Ukraine.

283 Missing, 4 Dead in South Korea Ferry Disaster

A ferry carrying 462 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea's southern coast on Wednesday, leaving more than 280 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters.

Boston Police Safely Blow Up Suspicious Backpacks

Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city's resilience in the face of a terror attack.

Chaney Files Motion to Drop Flood Insurance Suit

The Mississippi Department of Insurance will drop a lawsuit filed in 2013 against the National Flood Insurance Program.

Tuesday, April 15

Supremacist Faces Murder Charges in Kansas Deaths

The white supremacist charged in shootings that left three people dead at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City made his first court appearance Tuesday.

Ukraine: Military Secures Airport from Attack

In the first Ukrainian military action against a pro-Russian uprising in the east, government forces said they clashed Tuesday with about 30 armed gunmen at a small airport.

Moment of Silence Marks Boston Marathon Bombings

Survivors, first responders and family members of those killed came together Tuesday to mark the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing with solemn ceremonies.

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Rains Highlight Need for Sewer Fixes, Flood Reduction

Recent flooding has highlighted the urgency to address Jackson's longstanding problems with flooding as well as its aging sewer system that led to a roughly $400 million EPA consent decree.

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TEDx Jackson and The Children's Collaborative

On Nov. 6, Jackson attorney, developer and Jackson Chamber of Commerce board member David Pharr will host TEDx Jackson, the first TED conference in Mississippi.

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Wolves of the Day: Jackson Zoo Wolf Pups

The Jackson Zoo's red wolves Kanati and Taladu had a litter of eight healthy pups March 30.

First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs

The Army in November officially began assigning female officers to lead the cannon platoons and plans to open other jobs, including those of crew members within the field artillery units.

NATO Chief Wants More Military Cooperation With EU

Due to the great uncertainty about what Russia may do next, NATO's secretary general on Tuesday said the U.S.-led alliance and the European Union must cooperate more in the military realm.

Russia Tests Obama's Ability to Stop its Advances

With the White House asserting that Russia is stoking instability in eastern Ukraine, President Barack Obama is once again faced with the complicated reality of following through on his tough warnings against overseas provocations.

Tributes Planned to Mark Boston Marathon Bombing

The anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings started with a solemn wreath-laying ceremony Tuesday morning at the site of the twin explosions, the first tribute in a day dedicated to honoring the three people who died, the more than 260 people who were injured, and the first responders, doctors and nurses who helped them.

35 Years After Flood, River Still Menaces Jackson

Pearl River's waters flooded parts of Jackson and surrounding areas in 1979 in a deluge that paralyzed the city and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people. Now, 35 years later, the river is making a return visit.

Monday, April 14

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Yarber, Lumumba Battle for South Jackson

South Jackson's rough-and-tumble reputation is a source of both neighborhood pride and, if you watch local TV news, sometimes, embarrassment.

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Analysis: Space Crunch Crimps Miss. Capitol

Mississippi's state Capitol is quiet and empty now that the 2014 Legislature has gone home. But the grand spaces of the rotunda and House and Senate chambers can't hide it—the people's house has grown too small.

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Lamar Liddell

Jackson Hotshots Superintendent Lamar Liddell has worked for the Bureau of Land Management in Jackson for 17 years out of his 29-year firefighting career.

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Community Meetings and Events

The Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum hosts an Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, April 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Official IDs Supremacist as Kansas Attacks Suspect

The man accused of killing three people in attacks at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City is a well-known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader who was once the subject of a nationwide manhunt.

Ukraine Asks for UN Peacekeepers in Restive East

Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov on Monday called for the deployment of United Nations peacekeeping troops in the east of the country, where pro-Russian insurgents have occupied buildings in nearly 10 cities.

NSA Spy Report Among Potential Pulitzer Contenders

The Pulitzer Prizes, journalism's highest honor, will be announced Monday. Among the potential contenders are reporters who revealed the massive U.S. government surveillance effort.

Police Seek Answers After 7 Dead Babies Found

Police in Utah are questioning a mother and family members about the killings of seven babies whose bodies were found stuffed in cardboard boxes in a garage.

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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, April 12

Sentencing Date Set in Miss. Poisoned Letters Case

A federal judge has set a May 14 sentencing date for a Mississippi man who pleaded guilty to making ricin and sending letters dusted with the poison to President Barack Obama and other officials.

Friday, April 11

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Documents Shed More Light on Lumumba Mural Removal

The city received "numerous, relevant telephone calls," related to a painted tribute to late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba before its removal a week ago.

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Obama Announces Sebelius Resignation, Successor

President Barack Obama praised outgoing Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for helping to steer his health care law's comeback after a rocky rollout, even as he nominated a successor aimed at helping the White House move past the political damage.

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Juniper Wallace

When Juniper Wallace, a wife and mother of three, heard that the Fish Tale Group Theatre wanted to perform "The Laramie Project" in Jackson, she knew she wanted to be a part of it.

Australian PM Confident Sounds Are From Flight 370

Authorities are confident that signals detected deep in the Indian Ocean are from the missing Malaysian jet's black boxes, Australia's prime minister said Friday, raising hopes they are close to solving one of aviation's most perplexing mysteries.

U.S. Threatening Tougher Sanctions on Russia

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is warning Russia that it could face tougher economic sanctions because of its actions in Ukraine but so far other economic powers are showing a reluctance to go as far as the United States.

Pope Asks Pardon for Sex Abuse by Priests

Pope Francis asked for forgiveness Friday from people who were sexually abused by priests, and vowed that there will be no going back in the church's fight to protect children.

Ukraine PM: Regions Should Have More Powers

Ukraine's prime minister on Friday told leaders in the country's restive east that he is committed to allowing regions to have more powers, but left it unclear how his ideas differ from the demands of protesters now occupying government buildings or from Russia's advocacy of federalization.

Bryant Signs Law Changing Miss. Tax Practices

Gov Phil Bryant has signed a new law that changes how Mississippi state government collects taxes.

Thursday, April 10

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Port Without Bananas Hard to Swallow

A fungus for years killed bananas in Southeast Asia. Then the disease, known as Panama fungus or TR4, spread to Oman and Jordan, plus an isolated farm in North Australia. A move into Latin America, the mother lode of bananas, could set off Bananageddon, as it has been dubbed.

What You Need to Know About the Heartbleed Bug

Millions of passwords, credit card numbers and other personal information may be at risk as a result of a major breakdown in Internet security revealed earlier this week.

More 'Pings' Raise Hopes Flight 370 Will Be Found

Planes and ships hunting for the missing Malaysian jetliner zeroed in on a targeted patch of the Indian Ocean on Thursday, after a navy ship picked up underwater signals that are consistent with a plane's black box.

A Blank Look, Followed by Bloodshed at High School

Alex Hribal was charged Wednesday night with four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault and jailed without bail. Authorities said he would be prosecuted as an adult.

Charter School Board Cuts School Applicants to 3

The number of applicants to open Mississippi's first charter school has been narrowed to three.

Wednesday, April 9

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Once, Wrestling Beat the NFL

On Sunday night, I watched Wrestle-Mania 30 from home as 75,000 folks watched from inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Slate

This week one of golf's major tournaments misses one of the sport's biggest stars. Tiger Woods will miss The Masters for the first time since 1994.

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American Idle

Sometimes, it seems television has warped some of what we love about the audible art form.

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What’s Brewing at the Zoo?

One way the zoo wants to get more people to come is through an annual event that has lots of drinking and mingling—Zoo Brew.

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‘Budapest Hotel’ is a Grand Time

The rare talent of writer/director Wes Anderson is back at work with his latest film, "The Grand Budapest Hotel."

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Fireworks on the Fourth of July

The Miss Firecracker Contest serves as the backdrop in Jackson native Beth Henley's play of the same name.

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Lullaby and Good Night

A 2013 National Sleep Foundation study reported that 67 percent of respondents said they don't get enough sleep, especially on workdays, and a lack of sleep can affect us dramatically.

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Singalong Soiree

The Unframed series at New Stage Theatre offers quirkier, more controversial or offbeat modern fare to balance the selections in the Main Stage season, such as the recent “Musical of Musicals.”

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Summer Manifesto

When we're adults, (for most of us, at least) the summer no longer means little to no responsibilities, but it still holds a certain kind of enchantment.

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Fresh and Bright

Ceviche is a very refreshing and popular Peruvian dish. The traditional ingredients are raw fish, lime, onions, cilantro and yellow chilies—although many chefs interpret the dish in new and modern ways.

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Spanish Memories

These days when I long to be back in Madrid, I pour a glass of Tempranillo or Albarino and make this dish. It is a take on the classic tapas dish Gambas Al Ajillo.

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The Local Catch

Seafood is always going to have a place on Mississippi tables, but in the wake of the BP oil spill and other environmental disasters, water quality in the Gulf has become a matter of concern.

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A Lighter Side of Char

Derek George knows that most Jacksonians think of Char Restaurant as a steakhouse. But George, the executive chef at Char, is out to make it a destination for seafood lovers as well.

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Kappa Alpha Order and the Old South

To be fair, I never saw any Confederate uniforms or flags in any of the pictures I saw on social media. But the antebellum suits and dresses remind me of a period of time in which African Americans, particularly on southern plantations, were treated in grotesquely inhumane ways.

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Mississippi Marine Eats

When it comes to seafood, Mississippi may not be the first state on most folks' lips, but we enjoy an abundance of seafood from both the Gulf Coast and the state's rivers and lakes.

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A Brief History of Oysters

Opening an oyster bar in Fondren has given me a great opportunity to get reacquainted with an old friend.

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The Police State That Was Mississippi

One out of every four adult Americans now has a police record. Louisiana and Mississippi lead the nation in putting people behind bars.

Bypass the Legislature on MAEP, Medicaid LGBT Rights

In the past six years alone, under a Republican-led Senate and, until 2012, a Democratic-led House of Representatives, MAEP has been shorted by more than $1 billion.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Proud'

If Gov. Bryant was so proud of his signing the bill, he would have held a public signing ceremony and invited the news media. But instead of creating a space where reporters could have asked questions about the effects of the bill, Bryant opted for a private signing ceremony, surrounded by far-right religious leaders.

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Singin’ the Inner-City Blues

"What is happening to inner-city people these days? I always believed that folk living in urban communities were strong enough to endure and overcome oppression. Now, It looks like the 'inner city blues' has become a behavioral, social and mental epidemic."

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New Mississippi Abortion Ban Empty, Unscientific?

A female Mississippi senator is questioning a 20-week abortion ban that awaits signature from Gov. Phil Bryant, saying the bill is not grounded in medical fact.

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Jackson: An LGBT Sanctuary?

Chokwe Lumumba, the late mayor of Jackson, once described Jackson as a new justice frontier, one that acknowledges that the city's diversity is its strength.

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Youth, Turnout Beat Expectations in Mayor Election

Last night's special election for Jackson mayor was about beating expectations.

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Voters Could Decide School Funding

A newly formed group is taking a fresh tack on school funding, albeit one that first requires a lot of votes and a constitutional amendment to provide money for cash-strapped schools.

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Pierre Pryer Sr.

It only took Pierre Pryer Sr. six months to a year to work his way up from dishwasher to head chef at The Iron Horse Grill downtown the first time he worked there, from 1987 until 1998. He returned to the restaurant at the beginning of February this year—as executive chef this time.

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Big, Bad Chef of the Week

We must believe in our own power—to change hateful laws and to vote out every single person who tries to keep us mired in a Jim Crow-type world. Stand up, Mississippi. We are better than this. Let's prove it.

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Holly Williams: A Southern Daughter

With powerful songwriting and catchy guitar rifts, Holly Williams' music is relatable to an array of people.

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Prepare to Die, Again: A Review of “Dark Souls 2”

"Dark Souls 2" is the third entry in the Souls series, a further refinement on an already impeccably polished property.

Israeli Ministers to Stop Meeting Palestinians

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered his ministers Wednesday to cut off contact with their Palestinian counterparts, an official said, the latest in a series of troubles plaguing floundering U.S.-brokered peace talks.

Medicare Database Reveals Top-Paid Doctors

Medicare paid a tiny group of doctors $3 million or more apiece in 2012. One got nearly $21 million.

Dozens Leave Offices Seized by Ukraine Separatists

Ukrainian authorities on Wednesday warned that they are prepared to use force to clear several government buildings seized by pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.

Miss. Network Set for Child Medical, Mental Needs

Mississippi officials hope that a $5 million grant will create a more seamless system to care for children's medical, mental and behavioral needs.

Tuesday, April 8

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Lumumba, Yarber Headed to a Runoff Election April 22

Chokwe Antar Lumumba, son of the former mayor, led by only 10 votes going into a run-off election against Councilman Tony Yarber. Both candidates got 31% of the vote in a field of 13 candidates in the emergency election for mayor after Mayor Chokwe Lumumba dies in office in February.

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Mayoral Hopefuls Respond to Mural Flap, Plus Four Questions for #JxnMayor Special Election

Ever since the removal of a mural painted in tribute to late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba last Thursday, wide speculation has swirled about who pulled the trigger to have the painting removed and why.

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Welcoming LGBT Customers, Zoo Brew and Bulldog Barkade

Campbell's Bakery owner Mitchell Moore created a Facebook page where business owners can sign up and make a public stance that they are not going to discriminate against LGBT customers by posting their support on the page.

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Etta F. Morgan

Dr. Etta Morgan's educational resume reflects her passion for criminal justice and women's studies, one degree at a time.

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Millsaps, Tougaloo Release Joint Statement Against SB 2681

The Rev. Loye B. Ashton, a religious-studies professor at Millsaps College, sent a joint letter against SB 2681 this morning from Millsaps and Tougaloo colleges. Following is his email explaining and then text of the letter.

Ukraine Feels Nervous as Big Powers Debate Fate

As top diplomats from Russia and the United States have met in Europe's capitals to decide Ukraine's fate in recent weeks, there's been a conspicuous absence: a representative from Ukraine.

Russia Oil Talks Pose New Hurdle to Iran Nuke Pact

Reports of multibillion-dollar oil talks between Iran and Russia are emerging as the latest obstacle to a comprehensive pact eliminating the threat of an Iranian nuclear arsenal. The Obama administration is weighing potentially deal-breaking sanctions if a contract is completed.

Ship Hunts for More 'Pings' in Malaysia Jet Search

Search crews in the Indian Ocean failed to pick up more of the faint underwater sounds that may have been from the missing Malaysian jetliner's black boxes whose batteries are at the end of their life.

Supervisors Award $650K Contact for Health Care

Jackson County supervisors have hired a private company to handle medical, mental health and dental care for inmates at the jail.

Monday, April 7

Four Suspects Charged in Aggravated Assault Case

Saturday, Jackson Police officers responded to a shooting on Mosley Avenue near Stillwood Drive.

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Stokes: Hinds Jail a 'Public Safety Nightmare'

Markuieze Bennett, 21, should have been in court April 8, standing trial for strong armed robbery. The odds a jury would have found him innocent were good.

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Mayor Candidates Make Final Pitches

Seven of the top contenders for Jackson mayor made last pitches to a television audience Friday night at Mississippi College School of Law in an event that differed from recent debates.

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Debra Kassoff

On Tuesday, April 1, Debra Kassoff and more than 70 rabbis at the Central Conference for American Rabbis in Chicago, Ill., got together to shave their heads as part of a fundraising event for the St. Baldrick's Foundation.

Obama Tests Work Policies on Federal Contractors

Sidestepping Congress, President Barack Obama is using the federal government's vast array of contractors to impose rules on wages, pay disparities and hiring on a segment of the private sector that gets taxpayer money and falls under his control.

Possible Signals from Lost Jet's Black Boxes Heard

Underwater sounds detected by a ship searching the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet are consistent with the pings from aircraft black boxes, an Australian official said Monday, dubbing it "a most promising lead" in the monthlong hunt for the vanished plane.

Pro-Russians Call East Ukraine Region Independent

Pro-Russian separatists who seized a provincial administration building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk proclaimed the region independent Monday—an echo of events prior to Russia's annexation of Crimea. Ukrainian authorities called the move an attempt by Russia to sow unrest.

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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, April 5

Army Corps Plans to Restore Miss. Barrier Islands

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to shore up Mississippi's Barrier Islands by pumping in some 20 million cubic yards of sand.

Friday, April 4

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Stamps: 'Dadgum Low' to Complain About Lumumba Mural

The removal of a mural in Jackson's Monument Park that honors the late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, inscribed with Lumumba's portrait and the phrases "Peace & Unity in the Streets" and "One City. One Aim. One Destiny," is turning into an emotional and politically charged issue going into Tuesday's special election for mayor.

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Margaret Barrett-Simon's JFP Questionnaire

The Jackson Free Press recently completed editorial-board interviews with each of the seven major candidates for mayor. As this process evolved, so did our questions. In the interest of fairness, we sent all the candidates the full list of the questions in order to give each an opportunity to answer questions they may not have had an opportunity to answer. We will post each as and if the campaigns send them back.

Woman Faces Up to 76 Years in Meth Case

Warren County prosecutors say a Bolton woman faces up to 76 years in prison after being convicted Tuesday on methamphetamine charges.

Judge Tosses Murder Charge in Stillborn Death Case

A murder charge against Mississippi woman has been dismissed by Lowndes County Circuit Judge Jim Kitchens. Rennie Gibbs, now 24, was charged with murder for her alleged role in the 2006 stillborn death of her child.

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Is Jackson the State's Next LGBT Rights Frontier?

With recent actions of Mississippi lawmakers and other statewide policymakers that could lead to wider discrimination against LGBT individuals, cities are leading the way for protection of LGBT rights.

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Nissan Settles Worker's Labor Practice Charge

Nissan Motor Co. says it has settled an unfair labor practice charge with a pro-union worker at its assembly plant in Canton, Miss.

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Ian Hanson

It took Ian Hanson 20 thumbnail sketches to come up with "Dutch the Horse," his painting that will go to the winner of the Ruma Award, which honors Mississippi's most promising filmmaker at the 15th annual Crossroads Film Festival this weekend.

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Tony T. Yarber's JFP Questionnaire

The Jackson Free Press recently completed editorial-board interviews with each of the major candidates for mayor. As this process evolved, so did our questions. In the interest of fairness, we sent all the candidates the full list of the questions in order to give each an opportunity to answer questions they may not have had an opportunity to answer. We will post each as and if the campaigns send them back.

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Opera in the City

"La Boheme" will show at 11:55 a.m. April 5 at Tinseltown movie theater, with an encore presentation at 6:30 p.m. April 9.

'Cuban Twitter' Heads to Hearings in Congress

The head of the U.S. government agency that secretly created a "Cuban Twitter" communications network designed to undermine the communist government in Cuba is expected to testify next week before a senator who thinks the whole idea was "dumb, dumb, dumb."

Health Insurance Isn't a Year-Round Thing Anymore

Here's more fallout from the health care law: Until now, customers could walk into an insurance office or go online to buy standard health care coverage any time of year. Not anymore.

Kerry: U.S. Reconsiders Role in Mideast Peace Talks

The Obama administration will reevaluate its role in foundering Middle East peace talks following actions by both Israel and the Palestinians that have brought the negotiations to virtual collapse, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.

Miss. House Rejects Texting-While-Driving Ban

House members killed a texting-while-driving ban Wednesday night on a voice vote in the closing minutes of the 2014 Legislature.

Thursday, April 3

Gov. Bryant Signs Religious Practices Bill

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a bill that says state and local governments cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices.

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Rhetoric Muddles Effects of 'Anti-Gay' 'Religious Rights' Bill

Does Senate Bill 2681, which the Mississippi Legislature approved, protect religious freedoms or open the door to legal discrimination?

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SB2681: A Sinister and Heinous Attempt to Unseparate Church and State

On its surface, Religious Freedom Restoration Act appears to harmlessly promote an individual's religious right. But similar to an iceberg, the body of the bill is latent through a form of legislative rhetoric.

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Mike Minor

Braves fans will get a special treat on opening night as Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Minor starts the season for the M-Braves. Minor has been with the Double A squad due to tendonitis in his left shoulder.

New Evacuations in Chile After Major Aftershock

Coastal residents of Chile's far-north spent a second sleepless night outside their homes early Thursday after a major aftershock rattled an area hit a day earlier by a magnitude-8.2 earthquake that caused some damage and six deaths. No new major damage or casualties were reported.

Yanukovych Accused of Anti-Opposition Terror

Interim authorities in Ukraine on Thursday accused ousted President Viktor Yanukovych's government of using a network of hired killers, kidnappers and gangs of thugs to terrorize and undermine the opposition.

Fort Hood Gunman Sought Mental Health Treatment

An Iraq War veteran being treated for mental illness was the gunman who opened fire at Fort Hood, killing three people and wounding 16 others before committing suicide, in an attack on the same Texas military base where more than a dozen people were slain in 2009, authorities said.

U.S. Secretly Built 'Cuban Twitter' to Stir unrest

The U.S. government masterminded the creation of a "Cuban Twitter"—a communications network designed to undermine the communist government in Cuba, built with secret shell companies and financed through foreign banks, The Associated Press has learned.

Wednesday, April 2

Mississippi Lawmakers Agree on Budget, Adjourn Session

Mississippi lawmakers ended their 2014 session Wednesday night after passing the final parts of a state budget for the year that begins July 1.

Fort Hood Army Base Site of Another Deadly Shooting; 3 Killed, 16 Wounded

A soldier opened fire Wednesday on fellow service members at the Fort Hood military base, killing three people and wounding 16 before committing suicide at the same post where more than a dozen people were slain in a 2009 attack, authorities said.

Texas Judge Turns Back Fight Against Execution Drugs

A federal appeals court on Wednesday threw out a ruling requiring the Texas prison system to disclose more information about where it gets lethal-injection drugs, reversing a judge who had halted an upcoming execution.

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Controversial 'Religious Freedom Bill, SB2681, Heads to Mississippi Governor

Mississippi lawmakers on Tuesday passed the final version of a bill that says state and local governments cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices, a measure that sparked debate about possible discrimination against gay people and other groups.

Special Session Called for More Prosecutors

Many Mississippi judicial districts are likely to get additional prosecutors after Gov. Phil Bryant revived an effort Wednesday to add assistant district attorneys.

Miss. House Rejects Special Education Vouchers

Eleven Republicans provided the margin of defeat Wednesday as the House voted 63-57 to reject a bill that would have given vouchers worth more than $6,000 to parents of some Mississippi special education students.

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Bye Bye, College Sports

Last week, the Northwestern football players won the right to unionize when regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago, Peter Sung Ohr, ruled that players are employees, not just students.

The Slate

It is time for one of the best sporting weekends of the year, featuring the men's Final Four and WrestleMania. This time, the showcase of immortals is in New Orleans.

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A Night of Majestic Music and Worship

Kari Jobe has been ecstatic about releasing her latest project, "Majestic." In support of the album, which hit stores March 25, Jobe is touring across the U.S. and is stopping in Brandon at Pinelake Church on April 5.

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Teaching Across America

Remember Forever will host five fun and interactive photography workshops in April. Amazon and B & H Camera store are supporting the weekend event as part of Remember Forever's Photographing America initiative.

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A Creepy Christie Mystery

"And Then There Were None," a play based on the best-selling 1939 Agatha Christie novel "Ten Little Indians," is the newest offering from Brandon's Black Rose Theatre.

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Documenting Terror in North Mississippi

On April 15, 2013, an act of terror shocked our nation. Two explosions near the finish line of the annual Boston Marathon killed three and injured hundreds.

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Jimbo Mathus: Musical Ambassador

Jimbo Mathus is a living document of our state's rich musical history.

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Barbecue Bliss

Fondren's new barbecue palace is open and eager to set itself apart in the Jackson culinary world.

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A Beautiful Blend

The best weddings combine personal aspects into something fully unique to the couple. When Setu Raval wed Zach Seivers, the occasion incorporated Indian culture, southern family values, cinematic flair, and family and friends from around the world.

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Pop-Up Ballot: Health-Care Professionals

As the medical director of Quinn Healthcare, Timothy Quinn is a firm advocate for removing the fear of visiting the doctor and maintaining good health and wellness.

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Candidate Profile: Regina Quinn

Attorney Regina Quinn, former general counsel for Jackson State University, is running again for mayor after making a good showing in last year's election.

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Candidate Profile: Harvey Johnson Jr.

The first African American mayor Jackson voters ever selected, Harvey Johnson Jr. likes to say that although Jackson said no to electing him twice, people said yes to his leadership three times.

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Candidate Profile: Tony Yarber

A councilman representing south Jackson since 2009, Yarber gave high praise to late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, whom Yarber said helped citizens have a place and voice in city government.

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Candidate Profile: Melvin Priester Jr.

Jackson City Council President Melvin Priester Jr. officially announced his candidacy for the upcoming special mayoral election at a press conference on March 11 at Priester Law Firm.

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Candidate Profile: John Horhn

Mississippi Sen. John Horhn officially announced his candidacy for Jackson mayor at a press conference on the morning of Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at Cade's Courtyard on Mayes Street. Horhn ran for mayor once before in 2009.

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Candidate Profile: Chokwe Antar Lumumba

A little over a year ago, when then-Councilman Chokwe Lumumba decided to run for mayor of Jackson, he and some of his close advisers floated the idea of Lumumba's son, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, running to succeed him on the council.

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Candidate Profile: Margaret Barrett-Simon

"I was busy" and "Why not?" are the two top reasons Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon, a 29-year veteran of the council and mother of five, gave the Jackson Free Press for entering the mayor's race for the first time since joining the council in 1985.

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Candidates You May Not Know

As Election Day draws near to replace late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, many of the official mayoral candidates are doing their best to draw in more supporters, but what about the lesser-known candidates?

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Do It for Jackson

We have to stop giving ground and begin to stand firm on our belief that Jackson will win.

Stop the Death Penalty Now, Mississippi

If you were unsure last week whether Mississippi should immediately declare a moratorium on the death penalty, then now it's hard to deny the evidence.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Gaycation'

How can WLOX-TV anchor suggest that the LGBT community take a "gaycation" when Mississippi has yet to recognize the human rights of all of its citizens?

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We Don’t Need Another Hero, Jackson

As we are faced with the challenge of moving forward after the loss of Mayor Lumumba, I recognize the appeal of being told there is someone who can save us. Yet the truth is, Jackson, we don't need another hero.

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Big Questions in the Home Stretch

A Republican-sponsored bill could clear the way for economic-development projects in downtown Jackson, including around Farish Street and for a convention-center hotel.

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How The Clarion-Ledger Got It Wrong: The Importance of Context

As part of its coverage of Mississippi's proposed execution of Michelle Byrom, The Clarion-Ledger's Therese Apel wrote a puff piece that ostensibly explored whether the United States reserves its harshest punishment mostly for men. Does the criminal-justice system suffer from gender bias?

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How to Save a Zoo

De'Keither Stamps picked the zoo over the circus—of the Jackson mayor's race.

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Lumumba, Priester, Horhn Lead Mayoral Money Race: Who Are Their Big Donors?

Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Melvin Priester Jr. and John Horhn are leading the money race heading into the last week of the race for mayor.

Report: Both Black and White Children Lag in Mississippi

When it comes to education, health, and economic opportunity, both white and black children in Mississippi are worse off than their peers in nearly every other state, a report and rankings released Tuesday found

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Repayment of HUD Funds Emerges as Election Issue

An agreement between the city of Jackson and a federal housing agency over the apparent mishandling of $2 million in community-development block grant money could hamstring small development in the capital city for the next three years and has emerged as a hot issue in the special election for mayor.

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Crime’s Down—But Do the Candidates Know It?

Now that we're in the throes of another city election, it should come as no surprise that Jackson crime has been a major subject of conversation in debates and forums.

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Joseph Moss

Joseph Moss uses the word "fortunate" a lot. He says it when talking about his parents and how they raised him on a cattle farm in Canton to know the value of hard work and integrity.

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Broken Bell

Let me allow you a peek inside the mind of a record collector for a moment. Finding an elusive record sitting on a record store shelf is like discovering a small gem that seems to be waiting just for me to uncover.

AP Interview: Yanukovych Hopes for Crimea's Return

Ukraine's ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, said Wednesday that he was "wrong" to invite Russian troops into Crimea, and vowed to try to persuade Russia to return the Black Sea peninsula.

High Court Voids Overall Contribution Limits

The Supreme Court has struck down limits in federal law on the overall campaign contributions the biggest individual donors may make to candidates, political parties and political action committees.

Expert: Chile's M8.2 Quake Not 'The Big One'

Authorities lifted tsunami warnings for Chile's long coastline early Wednesday after a magnitude-8.2 earthquake struck the South American nation north. Six people were crushed to death or suffered fatal heart attacks, a remarkably low toll for such a powerful shift in the Earth's crust.

Teacher Pay Plan Calls for 3rd-Year Merit Raises

The full House and Senate passed House Bill 504, which calls for teachers to get two across-the-board pay raises worth $2,500 and then be eligible for merit payments in 2016-2017, sending it to Gov. Phil Bryant for his consideration.

Tuesday, April 1

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As SB2681 Passes, A Gay Mississippi Businessman Talks Back to the Far Right

"I don't have to look back very far in my lived experience to recall a time when I was afraid to live openly. I once thought the very best I could hope for was to get a job, fall in love, and keep that part of my life hidden from family and clients."

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BREAKING: Ward 1 Councilman to Run (Another) Write-in Campaign for Mayor?

A surprise announcement today confirmed rumors swirling on social media that Ward 1 councilman Quentin Whitwell is launching a write-in campaign in the race for Jackson mayor.

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Michelle Byrom Gets Stunning Sentencing Reversal

In a highly unusual decision, the nine justices of the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled Monday to reverse the conviction of Michelle Byrom, 57, who has been on death row awaiting execution for the past 14 years.

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New Restaurant, Entrepreneur Center in Jackson

Two months ago, Joseph "Stax" Tierre added Norma Ruth's restaurant to his plaza of shops on Ellis Avenue.

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Joseph Kibbler

From birth, Joseph Kibbler has lived with a form of the HIV virus that affected the gray matter in his brain, disabling his legs in a manner similar to cerebral palsy and confining him to a wheelchair.

Airlines Urge More Security, Passenger Checks

The Malaysian airliner's disappearance underscores the need for improvements in security, both in tracking aircraft and in screening passengers, the International Air Transport Association said Tuesday.

Germany Renews Push for Russia-Ukraine Talks

Germany's foreign minister renewed a push for internationally backed direct talks between Russia and Ukraine as he consulted with his French and Polish counterparts Tuesday.

Official: Deal Emerging on Mideast Talks Extension

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is closer to a deal that would rescue the faltering Mideast peace talks, pushing a formula that would include the release of convicted U.S. spy Jonathan Pollard and freedom for hundreds of Palestinians held by Israel, an official close to the negotiations said Tuesday.

Miss. Gov Signs Criminal-Justice Overhaul Bill

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on Monday signed a bill designed to make the criminal justice system more efficient and less expensive.