Stories for August 2014


Saturday, August 30

MDOC Seeks New Deals at 4 Prisons

The Mississippi Department of Corrections is seeking proposals from private companies to operate four of the state's private prisons.

Friday, August 29

Plans for Fondren 'Boutique' Hotel Unveiled

Construction on a hotel in Fondren needs approval from state officials, but could commence before the end of the year, according to the developer.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Cochran Win

A Mississippi judge has dismissed a lawsuit that seeks to overturn Sen. Thad Cochran's victory in a Republican primary runoff.

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Jeremy Gordon

When Jeremy Gordon, now 35, moved to Jackson to attend college at Jackson State University, he brought martial arts with him.

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Lawsuit Challenges State's Failure to Fund MAEP

Angered by the state's failure to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, 14 Mississippi school districts filed legal claims in Hinds County on Aug. 28.

Russian Fund with US Advisers Eludes Sanctions

As President Barack Obama warns of stepped-up economic punishments against Russia for its military incursions inside Ukraine, U.S. sanctions have so far avoided one prominent financial institution: the $10 billion Russian Direct Investment Fund, which has partnered with brand-name American companies and whose advisers include top U.S. and European private equity executives.

Russia's Putin Urges Release of Ukrainian Soldiers

Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Friday called on pro-Russian separatists to release Ukrainian soldiers who have been surrounded by the rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Pakistani Premier Denies Asking Army to Mediate

Pakistan's prime minister on Friday denied asking the country's military chief to mediate with opposition leaders and protesters who have camped for two weeks outside parliament in the capital, Islamabad, demanding his resignation over alleged voting fraud.

UN Says Syria Refugees Top 3 Million Mark

The civil war in Syria has forced 3 million people out of the country as more than a million people fled in the past year, creating a crisis that the U.N. refugee agency said requires the biggest operation in its 64-year history.

14 Miss. School Districts Sue Over Underfunding

Fourteen Mississippi school districts sued the state Thursday, seeking money they say they were illegally shorted by the state's public school funding formula over the last six years.

Thursday, August 28

Obama Tamps Down Prospect of Strikes in Syria

President Barack Obama played down the prospect of imminent U.S. military action in Syria on Thursday, saying "we don't have a strategy yet" for degrading the violent militant group seeking to establish a caliphate in the Middle East.

Stewart Returning to Competition After Fatal Crash

Tony Stewart will return to Sprint Cup competition Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, ending a three-race hiatus taken after he struck and killed a fellow driver during a dirt-track race.

After Rice, NFL Increases Domestic Violence Bans

Acknowledging he "didn't get it right" with a two-game suspension for Ravens running back Ray Rice, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced tougher penalties for players accused of domestic violence, including six weeks for a first offense and at least a year for a second.

White House Preps Legal Case for Immigration Shift

With impeachment threats and potential lawsuits looming, President Barack Obama knows whatever executive actions he takes on immigration will face intense opposition.

Drugs Killed Oklahoma Inmate in Troubled Execution

An Oklahoma death row inmate who died following a problematic execution succumbed to the lethal drugs he was administered, not a heart attack, after the state's prisons chief halted efforts to kill him, an autopsy report released Thursday says.

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Democrats Blast Child Support Privatization

The Mississippi Department of Human Services is rolling out a pilot program in 17 southwest Mississippi counties to privatize its child-support enforcement program.

Europe Seeks Role in Postwar Gaza

European nations are offering to help enforce the cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, a scenario that could provide key international backing for maintaining the peace and step up the pressure on Hamas militants to relinquish power.

UN: Armed Group Detains 43 Peacekeepers in Syria

An armed group detained 43 U.N. peacekeepers during fighting in Syria early Thursday and another 81 peacekeepers are trapped, the United Nations said.

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Antar Lumumba: Costco Detractors 'Holding the City Hostage'

Former Mayor Chokwe Lumumba quietly worked with Costco to agree on its proposed location on Lakeland Drive.

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LaMontiez Ivy

Harold Jackson's first season at Jackson State will be successful or unsuccessful based on a number of factors, the biggest being that the Tigers' season outcome will be on the shoulders of sophomore quarterback LaMontiez Ivy.

Survey: Americans' Pessimism on Economy has Grown

Americans are more anxious about the economy now than they were right after the Great Recession ended despite stock market gains, falling unemployment and growth moving closer to full health.

Israelis Skeptical of PM's Gaza Victory Claim

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim that Israel achieved a "great military and political" victory over Hamas in the latest round of fighting in the Gaza Strip has met with skepticism from many Israelis, according to a poll published Thursday.

Ukraine: 2 Tank Columns from Russia Enter Ukraine

Two columns of Russian tanks and military vehicles fired Grad missiles at a border post in southeastern Ukraine, then rolled into the country Thursday as Ukraine's overmatched border guards fled, a top Ukrainian official said.

Case Questioned in Silicone Injection Death

Defense attorneys for a woman accused of killing a Georgia woman in 2012 through illicit silicone buttocks injections are attacking the prosecution's evidence.

Wednesday, August 27

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Crudup Ousted as JRA Chairman; Jones Walker Out as Board Attorney

The Jackson Redevelopment Authority this morning elected Jennifer Johnson as board president, replacing Bishop Ronnie Crudup. Commissioners selected Mat Thomas, an insurance-sales business owner, as JRA vice chairman even though Thomas' term has expired.

Updated: Yarber Responds to Failed Costco Rezoning Vote

The Jackson City Planning Board voted against the city’s comprehensive zoning proposal for 50 acres of land surrounding Lakeland Dr. at the I-55 intersection on August 27. The proposal would have changed the land from special-use zoning to either community mixed use or C-3 commercial use zoning.

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Mosaic Musings

The Mosaic Shop (1625 E. County Line Road, Suite 210, 601-397-6579) helps artists of all skill levels and ages create their own unique work of art.

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Good Luck, Everyone

Over the next two weeks, all the colleges and universities start their football seasons, and I hope each team has a successful one.

The Slate

The wait is finally over. Football is back. This is the time of year I tell my wife and daughter that I love them but I won't see them on weekends again until after the Superbowl.

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From the Pub to the Stage

Catherine Bishop became the only certified Irish-dancing teacher in Mississippi, and she trained in Ireland in 2002 and 2003.

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Amanda Shires: Half-Fictitious Fiddler

Amanda Shires is aware of the rich musical tradition she comes from, but she is also moving forward, forging her own style and voice.

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Thai Time in Fondren

Surin of Thailand, a Thai food franchise based in Atlanta, will move into the building that formerly housed Nick's and will fill in the gap in Asian cuisine offerings that Miso left when it closed.

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Simple & Scrumptious

Carbonara has been a staple at my house for many years now, the go-to meal when nothing else will do. It's simple to make, always delicious, and often a requested meal for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary.

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Archnemesis' EDM Freedom

Charleston, S.C., musician Curt Heiny performs about 150 shows per year as Archnemesis, and he plans to unleash a full sensory attack on Jackson at Martin's Aug. 29.

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With Open Arms

With the fight for LGBT equality and a lack of Medicaid expansion at the forefront of the Mississippi politics, Open Arms Healthcare Center could not have been created at a better time.

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Left to Fend: The State’s Mental Health Failure

In 2013, MSH decided, with help from the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, to close their community-based services and prioritize their acute inpatient care at Whitfield.

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What’s It Like Living LGBT in Mississippi?

When I say that some LGBT Mississippians are afraid to come out of the closet and live authentic lives, it's not theoretical or an intellectual decision—they are genuinely afraid for their lives and livelihoods.

Media: No One’s An ‘Angel’

The New York Times' description of Michael Brown is part of a much wider and more troubling trend of the way media cover the deaths of young black men, compared to the way the same outlets cover killings of and by whites.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Diversity'

It seems to us that if there's an imbalance in JPS' diversity, Whitwell should be asking his constituents—or better yet himself—how to fix it, not Dr. Gray.

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From Gaza to Ferguson

Miss Doodle Mae: "The staff of Jojo's Discount Dollar Store are very nervous, anxious and stressed out because the Internet, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, television, radio, newspapers and magazines constantly report about wars and rumors of wars from the Gaza Strip to Ferguson, Mo."

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Lessons from Ferguson

Understanding the historical significance of the Ferguson uprising is what drove a handful of activists from Jackson to go to Ferguson in support of protesters and observe organizing strategies being used on the ground to adopt in Mississippi if necessary.

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JPS Implements Changes, Fires Administrators

While Jackson Public Schools has been very vocal about the changes it is implementing this year to help students excel, it has been less open about recent changes in their administration.

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Costco Moving Ahead, Despite Pushback

Despite some community concern, Mayor Tony Yarber is moving forward in pursuit of a Costco on Lakeland Drive where Smith-Wills Stadium and the Michael D. Johnson Memorial Ballpark currently sit.

Response to "Time to Reset, White Folks" by Donna Ladd

It tickles me a bit to see Tea Partiers complain about the Ferguson protesters looting and destroying property. They, after all, named themselves after a group of protesters who dressed up as American Indians and destroyed a whole boatload of tea belonging to the East India Tea Company.

Letter to the Editor: Kennedys' Work Lives On

Edward Kennedy is a man whose name is on nearly 1,000 laws. More than 300 he penned himself looked after the interests of those who didn't have a voice. 

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The Difference Between Leadership and Authority

People who have authority over you can tell you what to do; people who offer leadership make you want to follow them, and they tend to make you feel safe.

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Lauren Clark

Lauren Clark, now 26, started working at the Mississippi Children's Museum part-time before becoming the museum's school-programs coordinator in July 2013.

Miss. Ballot Set with Cochran as Senate Nominee

Mississippi elections commissioners have approved a November ballot listing Republican Thad Cochran, Democrat Travis Childers and the Reform Party's Shawn O'Hara as U.S. Senate nominees.

Tuesday, August 26

John Grisham, George W. Bush Take Ice Bucket Challenge

Former President George W. Bush took the ice bucket challenge then nominated former President Bill Clinton to do it next.

Federal Prosecutions Not Easy in Police Shootings

As the Justice Department probes the police shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old in Missouri, history suggests there's no guarantee of a criminal prosecution, let alone a conviction.

Judges Blast Indiana, Wisconsin Gay Marriage Bans

Federal appeals judges bristled Tuesday at arguments defending gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin, with one Republican appointee comparing them to now-defunct laws that once outlawed weddings between blacks and whites.

UN Panel: Global Warming Human-Caused, Dangerous

Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous—and it's increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says.

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Hendrix Wants City Pay Raises

City employees could see a pay increase under a proposal from Jackson Ward 6 Councilman Tyrone Hendrix.

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Saltine, SweetWater Brewing Open; New Stage Season Announced

Following a $19 million expansion, Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewing Company, which the Brewer's Association ranks as one of the nation's top 20 craft breweries, is bringing its craft-beer lineup to Mississippi starting in early September.

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Jury Chosen in Buttocks Injection Death Trial

Opening arguments are scheduled Tuesday in the trial of a woman charged with giving unlicensed buttocks injections that prosecutors say killed two women.

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Charles H. Beady Jr.

The Board of Directors of the Mississippi Food Network named Charles H. Beady Jr., the former president of the Piney Woods School south of Jackson, the new CEO of the organization Thursday, Aug. 21.

AP Sources: US Surveillance Planes Fly Over Syria

The U.S. has begun surveillance flights over Syria after President Barack Obama gave the OK, U.S. officials said, a move that could pave the way for airstrikes against Islamic State militant targets there.

Palestinian Officials: Cease-Fire Made with Israel

Officials from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the main groups fighting in Gaza, said Tuesday they have reached a deal with Israel to end a seven-week war that has killed more than 2,000 Palestinians.

Putin Sits Down with Ukrainian President for Talks

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine sat down for talks Tuesday, meeting face-to-face for the first time since June on the fighting that has engulfed Ukraine's separatist east.

Miss. House Speaker Plans Listening Tour of State

Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn will travel the state in late September to gather ideas for the 2015 legislative session, and he said he'd like to hear possible ways to improve education, health care and job creation.

Monday, August 25

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Zoo, JPS, Airport Kick Off Budget Talks

City of Jackson budget hearings started this morning with a bit of good news for the Jackson Zoo, one of the most beleaguered and beloved institutions in the city.

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Walker Wilbanks

Jackson Prep headmaster Jason Walton says junior guard and defensive tackle Walker Wilbanks became ill during the second half of Friday's game.

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Analysis: Book Takes Fresh Look at Miss. History

The book is called "A New History of Mississippi," and a new approach is what Dennis Mitchell wanted when he wrote it.

KiOR Misses Contract Payment with Adams County

Struggling biofuel firm KiOR has missed a key payment to Adams County this week that would have allowed the company to continue holding onto its undeveloped proposed industrial site in Natchez.

Ukraine: Russian Tank Column Enters Southeast

A column of Russian tanks and armored vehicles has crossed into southeastern Ukraine, away from where most of the intense fighting has been taking place, a top Ukrainian official said Monday.

Obama Back in DC Amid Crises; As If He Never Left

While in office, former President George H. W. Bush once plaintively asked, "What is it about August?" Indeed, this sultry month usually associated with the doldrums of summer has burdened modern presidents with personal, domestic or international crises.

American Held in Syria Freed After Nearly 2 Years

As the U.S. mourned an American journalist beheaded by Islamic militants, the nation found something of a reprieve with the release of another freelance reporter who had been held hostage for nearly two years by an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria.

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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, August 23

Fitch Launches Financial Literacy Initiative

State Treasurer Lynn Fitch says she wants to help Mississippi young people become more comfortable with handling their finances.

Friday, August 22

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Faith Leaders: Do State Politicians Really Follow Christ?

From the rolling back of abortion rights to extolling the virtues of teen abstinence and one-man-one-woman marriage to protecting religious freedom, Mississippi's elected leaders say they are all about spreading the word of Jesus Christ.

Pamela Bates Graham

At night and on weekends, Pamela Bates Graham puts on the green and black uniform of the Capital City Roller Girls and transforms into Graham Reaper.

Gaza Militants Kill 18 Alleged Spies for Israel

Gaza gunmen killed 18 alleged spies for Israel on Friday, including seven who were lined up behind a mosque and shot after midday prayers, in response to Israel's deadly airstrikes against top Hamas military commanders.

MH17 Bodies Returned as Malaysia Battles Fallout

Carried by soldiers and draped in the national flag, coffins carrying Malaysian victims of Flight MH17 returned home Friday to a country still searching for those onboard another doomed jet and a government battling the political fallout of both tragedies.

Obama Faces Tough Options in Iraq and Syria

At the heart of President Barack Obama's quandary over the Islamic State militants is their haven in Syria.

Ukraine: Russian Aid Convoy is a 'Direct Invasion'

Russia sent dozens of aid trucks into rebel-held eastern Ukraine on Friday without Kiev's approval, saying its patience had worn out with the Ukrainian government's stalling tactics. Ukraine called the move a "direct invasion."

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JSU to Spend Up to $1.9 Million to Rent Apartments

Jackson State University will lease a 444-bed apartment complex next to its campus, with hopes of buying it later to accommodate increasing enrollment.

Thursday, August 21

Gov. Nixon Taking National Guard Out of Ferguson

Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin withdrawing from Ferguson, where nightly scenes of unrest have erupted since a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old nearly two weeks ago.

U.S. Judge Strikes Down Florida Gay Marriage Ban

A federal judge on Thursday declared Florida's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, joining judges across the country who have sided with gay couples wishing to tie the knot.

Foley Case Lays Bare Debate Over Paying Ransom

The beheading of freelance journalist James Foley has forced a new debate between the longtime U.S. and British refusal to negotiate with terrorists, and Europe and the Persian Gulf's increasing willingness to pay ransoms in a desperate attempt to free citizens.

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Yarber Budget Slashes Spending 20 Percent

Mayor Tony Yarber said his first budget proposal, presented Wednesday to the city council, "mixes aspiration with reality, hope with hard truth and inspiration with intractable assessments of yet another difficult fiscal year ahead."

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Glen Rogers

Mississippi-born Glen Rogers is an internationally acclaimed artist who draws inspiration from ancient symbols carved on rocks and cave walls around the world to create paintings, prints, drawings and public sculptures.

Family Dollar Rejects Dollar General Offer

Family Dollar is rebuffing Dollar General's takeover bid, citing antitrust issues. The discounter's board supports its existing merger with Dollar Tree.

Foley's Death Isn't Changing Views in Congress

For all its horror, the beheading of an American journalist in Syria appears unlikely to change lawmakers' minds about military intervention against Islamic State extremists.

Ukraine: Some Russian Aid Trucks Clearing Customs

Some Russian trucks in a massive aid convoy began the process of clearing customs Thursday at a rebel-held border crossing in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian border guard service said.

Justice Dept. Announces $17B Settlement With BofA

The government has reached a $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America over its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

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Sept. Trial Likely for Cochran-McDaniel Showdown

A judge presiding over a lawsuit that challenges Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran's victory in a Republican primary runoff says he intends to finish the case before the November general election.

Wednesday, August 20

Holder Arrives in Ferguson After Police Shooting

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder arrived in Ferguson Wednesday to meet with federal investigators and reassure residents of the suburban St. Louis community torn by several nights of racial unrest since the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer.

Ukrainian Govt Troops Take Over Much of Luhansk

After days of street battles and weeks of shelling, Ukrainian troops made a significant push Wednesday into rebel-held territory, claiming control over a large part of the separatist stronghold of Luhansk and nearly encircling Donetsk, the largest rebel-held city.

Obama, Allies Vow Firm Response to Islamic State

The United States stood firm Wednesday in its fight against Islamic State militants who beheaded a U.S. journalist in Iraq, pledging to continue attacking the group despite its threats to kill another American hostage.

Obama Weighs Broader Move on Legal Immigration

President Barack Obama is considering key changes in the nation's immigration system requested by tech, industry and powerful interest groups, in a move that could blunt Republicans' election-year criticism of the president's go-it-alone approach to immigration.

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Vacationer Sighs with ‘Relief’

Even after achieving a level of success with Vacationer's 2012 album "Gone," it's still a surprise to hear Vasoli's signature sound applied to a more tranquil type of music.

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555 Custom Designs: From the Ground Up

555 Custom Designs is the obscure moniker attached to the functional art of Jason Lott and fellow Jacksonian Josh Bishop.

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Apartment Herbs

Anyone who cooks regularly knows that herbs bought at a local store can be expensive. The good news is that, for the most part, they're incredibly easy to grow, and some even multiply for years of harvesting.

Too Many Flags

Friday night's game between the New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans became a flag fest. It seemed like neither team could run a play without a yellow flag littering the field.

The Slate

Football that counts is so close that I can taste it. How close is it? It is closer than you think if you read the Slate.

The Littles

It's easy to see why Alcorn State fans think this season will bring the team's first SWAC Championship since sharing the title with Grambling in 1994.

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JFP Poll: 2014 Preseason Top 25

Last season ended with Florida State at the top of the poll. While there are no free trips to Disney World for the team, it does land the top spot in the first poll of this season.

2014 Predictions

Every season, I make predictions that never seem to pan out, but that doesn't stop me from pulling predictions from my cloudy crystal ball. Maybe I need to fix the reception in this thing.

2014 Games to Watch

Here are a few of the most pulse-pounding matches to watch this season.

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Conerly Trophy Hopefuls

This year could be one of the wildest in the history of the Conerly Trophy, which goes to the best college football player in the state.

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JFP 2014 College Football Preview: Bryan Flynn's Sophisticated Wild-Ass Guesses

Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi—the state's "Big Four"—have one common goal this season—reaching new heights.

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Eclectic Tastes from Saving Grace

Save some room on your calendar for “Saving Grace,” and expect something to feed your musical tastes and your taste buds, all while lending a helping hand.

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Brilliant and Bodacious

Don't know Black Twitter? Get to. The virtual cultural community is a force to be reckoned with, wielding its substantial power to effect social, political and cultural change.

Next JPD Chief Can Learn From Ferguson

The seeds of a Ferguson-type situation are firmly in place in Jackson. The search for a new police chief, however, presents an excellent opportunity for conversations about how to best train police.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Signs'

Vance's rationale for being angry about people holding signs is just bizarre. He described a hypothetical situation in which a jilted panhandler might call his sister the b-word.

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I Hold My Son Close

Black mothers do not have reproductive justice. If we choose to parent, we have a long list of things to protect our children from.

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Tyner Explains Irregular Vote: McDaniel Lawyer Listed in Challenge

Last week the Internet poked fun at state Sen. Chris McDaniel's challenge to the election results of the U.S. Senate race due to one piece of evidence included in the amended filings: His campaign lawyer's name was listed as an irregular vote.

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One Night in Ferguson

Ferguson has drawn people from all over the country. A handful of people also reportedly flew in from overseas. I traveled to Ferguson with three activists from Jackson.

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Mississippi Primaries: Open or Not?

Party primaries in Mississippi are considered "open," even though the state's election code states that "no person shall be eligible to participate in any primary election unless he intends to support the nominations made in the primary in which he participates."

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Otis Riddley

Otis Riddley's hard work has not gone unnoticed. The former football star became head coach of the Provine football program in February. Former head coach Willie Collins' 30-year tenure with the Rams is now history.

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Time to Reset, White Folks

What's happening in Ferguson isn't pretty, but it had to happen: Police and everyday people cannot keep killing black people for minor, or no, crimes and expect our citizens of color to just keep taking it.

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Chasing Edom Grows ‘High Cotton’

If Chasing Edom's debut full-length "High Cotton," tells us one thing, it's that the Brandon, Miss., natives know their strong suits and how to use them. Despite brief bouts of rougher terrain, "High Cotton" proves that waiting can be a great thing.

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Whiskey Drinkin’

Although this column is referred to as "Girl About Town," I feel compelled to address something typically considered "manly" that seems to be all the rage these days: whiskey.

Holder Bringing Personal Perspective to Ferguson

Eric Holder talks about the nation's civil rights struggles in a way no previous U.S. attorney general could—by telling his own family story.

Another American Hostage at Risk by Islamic State

In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded American journalist James Foley—and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say.

Israel, Gaza Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail

Palestinian militants launched dozens of rockets and Israel responded with airstrikes on Wednesday after Egyptian efforts to mediate a lasting truce in the monthlong Gaza war collapsed in a hail of fire a day earlier.

Ukraine's Rebel Capital Seeks Ersatz Normality

As fighting edges closer to the center of Donetsk in Ukraine, hundreds of thousands have fled a city once home to 1 million people. The bustle of a major industrial center has given way to the stillness of fear.

Mississippi Man Shot After Cross Burning in Yard

A Mississippi sheriff says a man was beaten and shot two weeks after calling authorities to report a cross burning in his yard, and investigators are trying to determine whether the attack was prompted by people being upset that the man was visited by his mixed-race grandchildren.

Tuesday, August 19

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Jackson's Next Top Cop Is ...

On Monday, at Westside Community Center on Wiggins Road, Lee Vance and Juan Cloy talked about their approaches to crime prevention and policing.

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NUTS Seeks Help, Lou's Comes to Belhaven and Kemper Begins Operations

NUTS (Neat Used Things for Sale), a fundraising store for the Good Samaritan Center located at 114 Millsaps Ave., sustained massive flood damage when more than a foot and a half of water entered the store during the torrential rains last Sunday.

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Cat Cora

Cat Cora is teaming up with local chefs and Table 100 in Flowood on Aug. 19 for a fundraiser called "Mississippi Culanthropy" that will benefit future UMMC nursing students with a scholarship.

New Report Warns of Anti-Aircraft Weapons in Syria

Armed groups in Syria have an estimated several hundred portable anti-aircraft missiles that could easily be diverted to extremists and used to destroy low-flying commercial planes, according to a new report by a respected international research group. It cites the risk that the missiles could be smuggled out of Syria by terrorists.

US Won't Reveal Records on Health Website Security

After promising not to withhold government information over "speculative or abstract fears," the Obama administration has concluded it will not publicly disclose federal records that could shed light on the security of the government's health care website because doing so could "potentially" allow hackers to break in.

Syria Strikes Militants as US Targets Them in Iraq

As the U.S. military strikes the Islamic State group in Iraq, Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces have significantly stepped up their own campaign against militant strongholds in Syria, carrying out dozens of airstrikes against the group's headquarters in the past two days.

No Welfare Cut for Kids if Parent Tests for Drugs

Mississippi children would not lose welfare if a parent's benefits are cut off because of positive tests for illegal drugs, according to rules set by the state Department of Human Services.

Monday, August 18

Pope OKs Protecting Iraq Minorities, Wants UN OK

Pope Francis on Monday said efforts to stop Islamic militants from attacking religious minorities in Iraq are legitimate but said the international community—and not just one country—should decide how to intervene.

Obama: Iraq Forces Retake Mosul Dam from Militants

Iraqi and Kurdish forces recaptured Iraq's largest dam from Islamic militants Monday following dozens of U.S. airstrikes, President Barack Obama said, in the first major defeat for the extremists since they swept across the country this summer.

Pathologist: 'We Don't Know' If Missouri Teen Shot With Hands Up

An unarmed teenager whose fatal shooting by police has sparked rancorous protests in suburban St. Louis suffered a bullet wound to his right arm that could indicate his hands were up or his back was turned, but "we don't know," a pathologist hired by the teen's family said Monday.

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James Meredith Lauds Ferguson Protests as Vital to 'Black Race'

James Meredith, who is known for making provocative statements, said the Ferguson protests are more important historically than even the violence that erupted from his own admission to Ole Miss in 1962.

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Persons of the Day: Lee Vance & Juan Cloy

Today, Mayor Tony Yarber announced the two finalists for the top job at the Jackson Police Department: Lee Vance, a longtime assistant chief who is now serving as acting chief; and Juan Cloy, the assistant police chief in Canton. Cloy is the former head of the police union at JPD.

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Disabilities in Kids Rise; Not Physical Problems

Disabilities among U.S. children have increased slightly, with a bigger rise in mental and developmental problems in those from wealthier families, a 10-year analysis found.

Dollar General Enters Bidding for Family Dollar

Dollar General isn't about to be left out in the cold. The discounter is starting a bidding war for Family Dollar with an approximately $8.95 billion offer as it attempts to trump a Dollar Tree bid.

Ukraine Blames Rebels for Shelling Civilians

Ukraine claimed Monday that pro-Russia rebels fired rockets and mortars on a convoy of civilians who were trying to flee from the intense fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Governor Nixon Orders National Guard to Ferguson

Missouri's governor on Monday ordered the National Guard to a St. Louis suburb convulsed by protests over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen, after a night in which police used tear gas to clear protesters off the streets well ahead of a curfew.

Sunday, August 17

Ole Miss, Ranked 18, Only Mississippi School in First 2014 AP Poll

Jameis Winston and defending national champion Florida State are No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason college football poll. The University of Mississippi is the only entry among Mississippi schools, at No. 18.

Storify: R.L. Nave on the Ground in #Ferguson

News Editor R.L. Nave headed to Ferguson, Missouri, this weekend to report on the continuing protests that followed the shooting by police of

Police Use Tear Gas in First Night of State-Imposed Curfew in Ferguson, Missouri

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The first night of a state-imposed curfew in Ferguson, Missouri, ended with tear gas and seven arrests, after police dressed in riot gear used armored vehicles to disperse defiant protesters who refused to leave a St. Louis suburb where a black, unarmed teen had been shot by a white police officer a week earlier.

Friday, August 15

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McDaniel Wants Closed Party Primaries

State Sen. Chris McDaniel says the election process should be more restrictive, calling for a closed party primary at a press conference today.

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Gloria Williamson

Former state Sen. Gloria Chisolm Williamson, 69, has been a champion for Mississippi in her many roles.

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Jackson Back on Track With HUD Funds?

The city of Jackson has been in trouble with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for some time.

Ferguson: Michael Brown, Killed by Cop, Suspected in $49 Cigar Robbery

A suburban St. Louis police chief on Friday identified the officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager ignited days of heated protests, and released documents alleging the teen was killed after a robbery in which he was suspected of stealing a $48.99 box of cigars.

Thursday, August 14

Robin Williams Had Parkinson's, Wife Says

Robin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson's disease at the time of his death, his wife said Thursday.

It's Official: McDaniel Files Suit in State Court to Overturn Primary

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A tea party-backed candidate asked a Mississippi court on Thursday to declare him the winner of the June 24 Republican runoff against incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran or order a new election.

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The Origin of "Original"

If you can't tell from her raw, powerful voice, blues-soul singer Janiva Magness doesn't take much stock in limitations.

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The Universal Soul of Tonya Boyd-Cannon

Singer Tonya Boyd-Cannon never had much problem speaking her mind through her music.

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C.J. Lawrence

Defense attorney C.J. Lawrence's "#iftheygunnedmedown" turned into a worldwide call to awareness.

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Whistleblower Faces Eviction

Annie L. Figures, who shined a light on ongoing problems at her apartment complex to the Jackson City Council and the Jackson Free Press, says she is facing eviction.

Ferguson Protests Continue for 4th Day

Police used tear gas and smoke bombs to repel crowds who threw Molotov cocktails during another violent night on the streets of a St. Louis suburb in the wake of the shooting of the unarmed 18-year old Michael Brown.

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Same-Sex Couples Score Huge Symbolic Win

Same-sex couples in seven Mississippi counties were allowed to file out-of-state marriage licenses into chancery court land records.

Wednesday, August 13

The Death of Cinderella?

The NCAA Division I board of directors voted to give the Power Five conferences plus the University of Notre Dame the ability to start making their own rules in regard to offering more than just scholarships to athletes.

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Hell’s Warriors in 'Gideon's Army'

Dante encounters an inscription posted above the entrance that reads: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

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Song for Charlie

We went to see one of jazz's great bassists, Charlie Haden, and his Quartet West. Rachel and Michael had never heard of him and had no interest in jazz, but they were going. Daddy insisted.

City’s Media Relations Must Be About Policy

Sending all questions about city government through a PR-processing machine isn't considered ethical in our business, nor is it a journalistic practice that serves the interest of citizens.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Failure'

While journalism can certainly have great impact, it's dangerous to link one's journalist's action or inaction to every event, and it's just idiotic to make that link in a situation as complex as this.

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Powerful Like Dynamite

Mr. Teacher: "Ms. Superintendent asked me to close this year's Cootie Creek County Schools Pre-Back to School Teacher Retreat with a brief motivational address. So, I want to share with my fellow teachers a poem I wrote a while back titled 'Tale of Two Teachers':

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Building a School From the Ground Up

Appointed the Head of School at The Redeemer's School in January, DeSean Dyson was planning the opening and creation for The Redeemer's School, which will welcome its first class of children Aug. 18.

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‘Hocus Pocus’: McDaniel Challenges Votes, Interprets Election Law

The two-inch-thick "Election Integrity Challenge" binder, compiled and released by the U.S. Senate campaign of state Sen. Chris McDaniel, documents everything from alleged vote-buying schemes to illegal crossover voters to race-baiting tactics used by U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran's campaign.

Your Turn

There is one very important school resource that you can't buy at your local supermarkets: school counselors, who are qualified and prepared to deal with the social and emotional needs of high school students.

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Evan Alvarez: Dumping the GOP

After Evan Alvarez resigned from his position as chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans and changed his political affiliation, a media frenzy ensued.

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Updated: Whitwell’s Exit Continues Leader Shakeup

By the time this year is over, it's possible that Jackson will have had two mayors, two police chiefs and, despite the fact that it is not a regular election, three new members of the city council.

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Amanda McMillan

One late Saturday evening in 2013, Amanda McMillan took a break from her job as a server at Table 100 in Flowood. By Tuesday, McMillan was in Washington, D.C., shaking hands with the president and first lady.

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If They Gunned Me Down

To the best of my knowledge, I never met Michael Brown, but I know him well.

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Jackson Rhythm & Blues Festival Artist Lineup

From Grammy-winning greats to jaw-dropping juniors, the biggest names in soul, blues and R&B love Mississippi.

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Personal Potter

In his art work, Sam Clark, a local potter, uses imagination and creativity to tell stories in the work he produces from a small studio in Madison.

Palestinians Mull Egyptian Proposal for Gaza Truce

Palestinian negotiators were mulling over an Egyptian proposal to end the monthlong Israel-Hamas war as the latest 72-hour cease-fire in the Gaza Strip was due to expire on midnight Wednesday.

Police Won't Release Name of Officer Who Shot Teen

The Rev. Al Sharpton pressed police Tuesday to release the name of the officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in suburban St. Louis, and he pleaded for calm after two nights of violent protests over the young man's death.

Miss. Gets Money for Advanced High School Exams

The U.S. Department of Education will give Mississippi nearly $55,000 to help pay the costs of low-income high school students taking Advanced Placement and other exams that could help them earn college credit after accelerated high school classes.

Tuesday, August 12

Syrian Kurdish Fighters Rescue Stranded Yazidis

While the U.S. and Iraqi militaries struggle to aid the starving members of Iraq's Yazidi minority with supply drops from the air, the Syrian Kurds took it on themselves to rescue them.

UN: OK to Use Untested Ebola Drugs in Outbreak

The World Health Organization declared it's ethical to use untested drugs and vaccines in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa although the tiny supply of one experimental treatment has been depleted and it could be many months until more is available.

Deadline to Clear Up Health Law Eligibility Near

Hundreds of thousands of people who signed up under the new health care law risk losing their taxpayer-subsidized insurance unless they act quickly to resolve questions about their citizenship or immigration status. The government warned on Tuesday that they have just over three weeks to show that they're eligible.

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'God Gave Us Charles Johnson': Blogger Speaks at Tea Party Meeting

Charles "Controversy" Johnson, as Tea Party member Tricia Raymond calls him, buddied up to radical conservatives last night at Life Church Jackson in Flowood at one of three of his speaking events here in Mississippi this week.

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New Salvation Army Store, The Bleau Print Project

Marissa Simms, Mississippi's SBA Entrepreneur of the Year and the owner of Royal Bleau Boutique (1100 JR Lynch St., Suite 8), founded the Bleau Print Project to help cultivate entrepreneurship.

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David Green

State Rep. David Green was known for folksy turns of phrase and eloquent, heartfelt pleas for programs to help his constituents.

Police, Protesters Again Clash Outside St. Louis

Police in riot gear fired tear gas into a crowd of protesters in a St. Louis suburb where an unarmed black teenager had been fatally shot by police over the weekend, as tension rose even amid calls for collective calm.

HRW: Likely Crimes Against Humanity in Egypt

The New-York based Human Rights Watch called Tuesday for an international commission of inquiry into mass killings by Egyptian security forces last summer, saying they likely amount to crimes against humanity.

Ukraine: Russia Aid Can Enter with Red Cross Role

A convoy of 280 Russian trucks reportedly packed with aid headed for eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, but Kiev said it would only allow the goods through under the close supervision of the international Red Cross.

Monday, August 11

Robin Williams, 'Comic Supernova,' Dead at 63

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Robin Williams, the Academy Award winner and comic supernova whose explosions of pop culture riffs and impressions dazzled audiences for decades and made him a gleamy-eyed laureate for the Information Age, died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63.

HIllary Clinton Seeks to Differentiate From Obama on Foreign Relations

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — Laying out a foreign policy vision ahead of a possible run for president, Hillary Rodham Clinton made her most aggressive effort yet to distinguish herself from her former boss, President Barack Obama, rebuking his cautious approach to global crises and saying the U.S. doctrine has to go beyond "don't do stupid stuff."

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Subpoena Names McDaniel Spokesman, Tea Party Official

On Sunday, the state issued a subpoena to Charles C. Johnson, a blogger and journalist who made a name for himself during Mississippi's 2014 U.S. Senate election by breaking a number of stories involving allegedly unethical campaign practices.

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Enrika Williams

Jackson chef Enrika Williams stars on the latest episode of "Hotel Hell," airing tonight at 8 p.m. on FOX.

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Jordan Presses New Appeal of 1976 Death Sentence

A Mississippi death row inmate is asking the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear an appeal.

Friday, August 8

Displaced Iraqis Flee Camp As U.S. Airstrikes Hit ISIS

KHAZER CAMP, Iraq (AP) — Thousands of displaced Iraqis fled their camp in the face of advancing fighters of the Islamic State group, deepening the humanitarian crisis in the north of the country as the United States carried out its first airstrikes against the militants to blunt their assault.

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Chasing Edom

After two unsuccessful attempted EPs, the members of Chasing Edom decided to take things into their own hands with "High Cotton."

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WLBT: Quentin Whitwell Stepping Down

Crime Down as Leadership Shifts

Jackson Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell will retire this fall, WLBT reports.

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Printing with Patti Henson

Patti Henson puts a little bit of herself into every piece she crafts. Her vivid watercolor paintings, fascinating fabric-batik pieces, and clever logos, drawings, and designs are sprinkled across the globe in different collections as far as New Zealand, Spain, France and Belgium, and as near as Jackson.

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The Glorious Flight of Futurebirds

I'm no Roman general, but when Futurebirds swoops down on Jackson, I predict that everyone within earshot will have a good time.

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SEC, Major Conferences Get More Power

The biggest schools in college sports are about to get a chance to make their own rules.

Mississippi GOP Won't Hear Challenge to Cochran

Mississippi's Republican Party on Wednesday refused to hear challenger Chris McDaniel's effort to overturn his June 24 GOP runoff loss to U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran. The party said McDaniel would do better taking his challenge to court.

Thursday, August 7

Suburban Detroit Man Found Guilty of Murder In 'Porch Shooting'

DETROIT (AP) — A suburban Detroit man who insisted he killed an unarmed woman on his porch in self-defense was convicted of second-degree murder Thursday after the jury rejected his tearful claim that he fired through a screen door in the wee hours because he feared his life was at risk.

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Brett Favre

The Packers and Brett Favre jointly announced that they are inducting the quarterback into the Packers Hall of Fame and will retire his number 4 on July 18, 2015.

Lawyer: Snowden Can Stay 3 More Years in Russia

Former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden, who is wanted by the U.S. for leaking details about once-secret surveillance programs, has been granted permission to stay in Russia for three more years, his lawyer said Thursday.

Major Provisions of Veterans Health Care Bill

A bill approved by Congress aims to alleviate delays many veterans have faced in getting treatment at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics and end the widespread practice of covering up long wait times for appointments.

Russia Hits Back on Sanctions; Bans Food from West

Russia banned most food imports from the West on Thursday in retaliation for sanctions over Ukraine, an unexpectedly sweeping move that will cost farmers in North America, Europe and Australia billions of dollars but will also likely lead to empty shelves in Russian cities.

Prepaid Tuition Plan to Reopen with Higher Prices

Mississippi's prepaid college tuition program will resume selling contracts Oct. 1, but with sharply higher prices.

Wednesday, August 6

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The Evolution of UM

As the University of Mississippi has slowly pulled off its bandage of change, it banned Confederate flags, certain songs played by the school's band and ousted Colonel Reb.

The Slate

The wait is over for New Orleans Saints fans and other fans of the NFL. A full slate of preseason games kicks off this week.

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Get Down with ‘Get on Up’

The red carpet rolled out in Mississippi for Tate Taylor's new film "Get On Up," starring Chadwick Boseman as the iconic Mister James Brown.

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Echoes of Greatness from the Cardinal Sons

In the case of Cardinal Sons, the Jackson-born, New Orleans-based band of brothers, you take your harmony-laden brand of pop, rock and indie songs to a songwriting competition and win a recording session.

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Pell: Existential Rapper

Rapper Jared Pellerin, or "Pell," may be the new rapper on the block, but his album, "Floating While Dreaming," is a testament to his style, creativity and depth as a songwriter.

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Record of a Nightmare: A Review of ‘Yume Nikki’

About 10 years ago, a little game called "Yume Nikki" showed up on Japan's largest message board, 2channel.

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Best Exercise, Barre None

The small moves done in Pure Barre are intense but effective.

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Jackson A to Z: What to Know, Do, Drink, Visit ...

This list isn’t exhaustive! Visit and for so many more events and venues. Jackson is what you make it, so make it amazing.

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Breaking the Myths

To prepare the students who about to embark on the intellectual, emotional and psychological experience that is known as college, here are blunders and truths from some popular movies that focus on college life.

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Hacking College

To live and resemble a functioning person while being in college can be tricky, but here are a few tips and hacks that might help keep your sanity and wallet in check.

Clarion-Ledger Parent Co. Gannett Slashing News Staffs

Jim Romenesko is reporting about a Gannett plan that would involve staff cuts and require current newsroom employees to reapply for new jobs.

Jack Tips for Newbies

We asked JFP readers on social media to help out all of you new students and residents. Here's what they told us.

My Favorite Thrift Shops

Developing a style that suits college classrooms and adulthood takes time and a carefully trained eyed to scoop up the best deals. Luckily, Jackson has the best thrift shops to build a million-dollar closet on a ramen-noodle budget.

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The Heat of the (Week) Night

There's something to do on any given night in the Jackson area. It just takes a little creative planning.

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20 Places to Be If You're Under 21

Just because you aren't of legal drinking age doesn't mean you can't have fun as a college student in Jackson. Here are 20 of the greatest places to be in the Jackson metro if you're under 21.

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Jackson, Believe It: Learning to Love a Misunderstood City

Jackson may have more college students than many cities, but it might need more promotion before really claiming the moniker "college town."

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Will I Survive Student Debt?

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that the average student-loan borrower, or masochist, owes about $26,000 in student loans.

Fight For Women, Not Against Them

If our politicians are truly concerned about protecting women and children, they should abandon their relentless assault on abortion rights and tackle the real issues facing girls and women in this state.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Dangerous'

Gov. Bryant says admitting privileges are vital to women's safety, even as the anti-abortion movement he supports pressures hospitals not to give admitting privileges to doctors who perform abortions so they can send women to the hospital in the rare number of cases where it's needed.

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Everyone Has a Story

College is a fresh start for everyone. The best years of your life are just ahead, and I encourage everyone to meet someone new or someone you wouldn't normally talk to.

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Abortion Clinic Gets Reprieve; Will It Last?

An effort to close Mississippi's last abortion clinic hit the wall on Tuesday, July 29, when two of three judges on a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel determined that the law was unconstitutional because it would force women to travel across state lines to exercise their right to have the procedure.

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Neshoba: A Gorilla Under the Pavilion

Race played a major role in the fracture within the Republican Party after U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran began soliciting votes from black voters, mostly Democrats, for the run-off in June.

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Dems, GOP Mull Future Elections

Unprecedented—the word is used repeatedly to describe the recent Mississippi U.S. Senate primary.

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JRA Starts Cleaning Up the Books

After a recent audit brought to light problems with JRA's accounting procedures, the seven-member commission recently took action to address the problems.

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Whit Ramsey

Whit Ramsey became active in the Jackson music community when he started going to metal hardcore shows with his brother when he was in 6th grade.

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My Cool City

I can say without a doubt that there is no better place to grow up or to live than Jackson.

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A Day of Food

It is a fact that the Jackson area has great food. From the pig-ear sandwich at the Big Apple Inn (try it at least once) to the freshly baked bread at Broad Street Bakery, you'll find a restaurant that will satisfy any craving.

Indirect Israel-Hamas Talks on Gaza Start in Cairo

Israel and Hamas began indirect talks on a new border deal for the blockaded Gaza Strip as a cease-fire ending their month-long war entered its second day Wednesday.

Air Strike Hits Ukrainian Rebel City

Air strikes and artillery fire between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian troops in the eastern city of Donetsk have brought the violence closer than ever to the city center, as Kiev's forces move in on the rebel stronghold.

Hearing Again Delayed on Miss. Power Kemper Costs

Utility regulators are again delaying hearings on whether Mississippi Power Co. should be able to get customers to pay for its Kemper County power plant.

Tuesday, August 5

Utah Files Gay Marriage Appeal to US Supreme Court

The state of Utah filed its appeal of a gay marriage ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, becoming the first state to ask the justices to review a state same-sex marriage ban since the high court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.

Gay Marriage Arguments Flooding Federal Courts

Federal appeals courts covering nearly half the United States will soon hear arguments on whether gay and lesbian couples have a right to marry, part of a slew of cases putting pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a final verdict.

S&P: Wealth Gap is Slowing US Economic Growth

Economists have long argued that a rising wealth gap has complicated the U.S. rebound from the Great Recession.

Recordings Reveal Final Days of Nixon White House

Almost a decade after Richard Nixon resigned, the disgraced former president sat down with his one-time aide and told the tale of his fall from grace in his own words.

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McDaniel: Hinds County Tainted Election Results

On Aug. 4, McDaniel commenced Act III of the comedy-drama known as the Republican Senate primary by formally challenging the results of the June 24 runoff against U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.

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JRA Restarts Convention Center Bids, Gannett Splits, MUW Business Grant

Gannett Co. Inc., parent company of The Clarion-Ledger and many other media outlets, announced today that the company will split into two separate publicly traded companies, with one controlling Gannett's broadcasting and digital business and the other controlling its publishing business.

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Dr. Ricky Clay

Dr. Ricky Clay, a plastic surgeon at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, specializes in reconstructive surgery, working frequently with patients who have suffered an animal attack.

Health Groups Decry US Political Efforts in Cuba

Public health advocates and U.S. lawmakers are highly critical of the Obama administration's use of an HIV-prevention workshop in Cuba for political purposes, saying such clandestine efforts put health programs at risk around the world.

Poll: No Agreement on How to Pay for Highways

Small wonder Congress has kept federal highway and transit programs teetering on the edge of insolvency for years, unable to find a politically acceptable long-term source of funds. The public can't make up its mind on how to pay for them either.

Israel-Hamas Truce Sets Stage for Talks on Gaza

Israel and Hamas began observing a temporary cease-fire on Tuesday that sets the stage for talks in Egypt on a broader deal on the Gaza Strip, including a sustainable truce and the rebuilding of the battered, blockaded coastal territory.

Monday, August 4

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McDaniel Campaign: Over 15,000 Votes Should Not Have Been Cast in GOP Runoff

State Sen. Chris McDaniel's campaign for U.S. Senate told press today that McDaniel has made a challenge to the election results of the June 24 runoff against U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran. McDaniel campaign lawyer Mitch Tyner said they filed the challenge with the State Executive committee of the Republican Party.

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Kemper Coal Plant Legal Battles Over

Six years of legal wrangling over the Kemper County coal-fired power plant, now under construction in eastern Mississippi, drew to an end today with the announcement of a settlement between Mississippi Power Co., which is building the plant, and the Sierra Club.

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AG Briefs Due Aug. 14 in Same-Sex Divorce Case

The state Attorney General's Office has until Aug. 14 to file briefs in a case involving a DeSoto County woman who wants Mississippi to recognize her same-sex marriage in order to grant a divorce.

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Judge Myron H. Thompson

This morning, Judge Myron H. Thompson, a senior United States District Court judge for middle Alabama, ruled that Alabama's Women's Health and Safety Act is unconstitutional under the premise that the act would place an "undue burden" on women's access to abortions in the state of Alabama.

Judge: Ala. Abortion Clinic Law Unconstitutional

A federal judge says an Alabama law restricting abortion doctors is constitutional.

Survivors Dug Out from China Quake that Killed 398

Rescuers found scores of survivors on Monday as they dug through homes shattered by an earthquake in southern China that killed at least 398 people and injured more than 1,800.

Cease-Fire Slows Gaza War as Israeli Bus Attacked

An Israeli-declared temporary cease-fire and troop withdrawals slowed violence in the Gaza war Monday, though an attack on an Israeli bus that killed one person in Jerusalem underscored the tensions still simmering in the region.

Ukrainian Soldiers Cross Border into Russia

A Russian border security official said Monday that more than 400 Ukrainian soldiers have crossed into Russia, although both sides gave conflicting accounts as to why they had decided to cross the border.

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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, August 2

Ole Miss Taking More Steps for Racial Diversity

The University of Mississippi, which has long struggled to distance itself from plantation-era imagery, is renaming a street known as Confederate Drive and adding historical context to Old South symbols that have long stood on the Oxford campus.

Friday, August 1

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Kishia Powell Faces Tough Roads at Public Works

Earlier this week, Kishia Powell became the city of Jackson's highest-paid employee. She may also have the toughest job in the capital.

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Owen Brooks

Civil rights leader Owen Brooks, an outspoken civil-rights veteran and Jackson, passed away July 27 at age 85.

Ukraine: Investigators Start Jet Crash Site Search

With the sound of artillery blasts at a distance, 70 international investigators arrived Friday at the eastern Ukraine site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed and started recovering the remains of as many as 80 victims that have been lying in farm fields for two weeks.

44 Killed in Gaza; Israeli Soldier Feared Captured

A Gaza cease-fire quickly unraveled Friday as violence erupted in a southern town in the war-ravaged strip, killing at least 44 Palestinians. The Israeli military said two soldiers were killed and an infantry officer was feared captured during fighting.

Ugandan Court Invalidates Anti-Gay Law

A Ugandan court on Friday invalidated an anti-gay bill signed into law earlier this year, saying the measure is illegal because it was passed during a parliamentary session that lacked a quorum.

House GOP Weighs New Border Bill to Break Logjam

House Republican leaders on Friday offered a revised, $694 million bill to address the surge of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border to rank-and-file members, hoping the changes would sway reluctant conservatives.

Colorado Issuing Driver's Licenses to Immigrants

Colorado will begin issuing driver's licenses and identification cards to immigrants Friday regardless of their legal status, underscoring a sea change in a state that less than a decade ago passed strict immigration enforcement laws.

Gunn: Mississippi Republicans Need to Heal Rift

The Mississippi Republican Party needs to heal divisions created by a hard-fought U.S. Senate primary that is still being protested by tea party conservatives, House Speaker Philip Gunn said Thursday.