Stories for February 2014


Friday, February 28

Community Day for the Affordable Care Act

Humana and Sal & Mookie's will host a Community Day March 3 at Sal & Mookie's.

Man Wakes Up in Body Bag at Funeral Home

Workers at a Mississippi funeral home say they found a man alive and kicking when they opened a body bag.

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County, SPLC Disagree on Youth Jail Fixes

Hinds County officials and attorneys for children detained at the county's Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center are again at odds over how much improvement has taken place at the youth jail in the past two years.

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Black Miss. Lawmakers Seek to Block Voter ID Law

The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus is asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to block the state's plan to start using a voter identification law.

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Laurie Walker

Being a lover of all good music, it would be hard to ignore the captivatingly soulful sounds of local gospel artist Laurie Walker.

Nuclear Dump Leak Raises Questions About Cleanup

For 15 years the trucks have barreled past southeastern New Mexico's potash mines and seemingly endless fields of oil rigs, hauling decades worth of plutonium-contaminated waste to what is supposed to be a safe and final resting place a half mile underground in the salt beds of the Permian Basin.

Officials: Al-Qaida Plots Comeback in Afghanistan

Al-Qaida's Afghanistan leader is laying the groundwork to relaunch his war-shattered organization once the United States and international forces withdraw from the country, as they have warned they will do without a security agreement from the Afghan government, U.S. officials say.

Ukraine Says Russian Tries to Seize Airports, Base

Ukraine accused Russia of a "military invasion and occupation" on Friday, saying Russian troops have taken up positions around a coast guard base and two airports on its strategic Crimea peninsula. Russia kept silent on the accusations, as the crisis deepened between two of Europe's largest countries.

Activists Reach Pakistan Capital After Long March

A group of Baluch activists are finishing a nearly 3,000-kilometer (1,900-mile) protest march across Pakistan, demonstrating in the capital Friday to demand justice for missing loved ones they say security forces abducted while battling insurgents.

Thursday, February 27

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Anti-Gay Push Setback in Miss., Ariz.

A House subcommittee may take the wind out of the sails of a so-called religious-freedom proposal that civil-liberties groups feared would lead to legalized discrimination.

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Off-Duty Miss. Troopers Rally for More State Money

Mississippi Highway Patrol officers are calling on lawmakers to spend millions of dollars to train more troopers and to buy new cars and safety equipment, including bullet-proof vests.

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Gillom and Howell Trophy Finalists

C Spire and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum announced the finalists for the 2014 C Spire Howell and Gillom Trophies this week.

Arizona Governor's Veto Aimed at Own Party's Right

Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer slapped down the right wing of her own party, vetoing a bill pushed by social conservatives that would have allowed people with sincerely held religious beliefs to refuse to serve gays.

U.S. Ambassador Urges China to Respect Human Rghts

The outgoing U.S. ambassador to China urged Beijing on Thursday to respect the rights of peaceful political activists and said Washington was deeply concerned about the fate of a minority scholar charged with separatism.

Russia Reportedly Sheltering Ukraine's President

Russia scrambled fighter jets to patrol its border and reportedly gave shelter to Ukraine's fugitive president as pro-Russian gunmen stormed offices of Ukraine's strategic region, deepening the crisis for the new Ukrainian government even as it was being formed.

Miss. Senate Approves Preliminary Borrowing Plan

Lawmakers moved forward Wednesday with plans to borrow tens of millions of dollars to help fix leaky roofs, invest in economic development and repair worn equipment.

Impact of Miss. 'Religious Freedom' Bill Unclear

Several Mississippi lawmakers say they're confused about whether a freedom-of-religion bill is similar to a widely criticized Arizona measure that would allow people to assert religious beliefs in refusing business services to same-sex couples.

Wednesday, February 26

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Inspiring Accent Table

See more of our office transformation in the next issue of BOOM Jackson magazine, out the first week of March.

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From Sochi to Starkville

These Winter Olympics are over and were a success for Russia. The host nation finished with the most medals (33), and nearly everything went off without much of a hitch for the entire time.

The Slate

We are knocking on the door of March. It is almost time for the madness to begin. Get ready to win that $1 billion from Warren Buffett.

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Swamp Babies’ Debut Keeps the Wheel Steady

The Jackson-based band Swamp Babies has been lurking in the local music scene for the past couple of years.

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Oscarology 101

It's that time of year again, so let the parties begin! Yes, Mardi Gras is raging on, but I am specifically referring to the 86th Academy Awards. The Oscars, as they are known, will air this Sunday, March 2. Here are my predictions.

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By the Seashore

Recently, the cuisine of two Mississippi chefs proved to me I should give fish more credit.

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'Stick Fly': Hilarity and Dysfunction

The exposition for "Stick Fly" reads like an awkward death match between "Meet the Parents" and "Guess Who"—both competing for the same spotlight—and promises hilarity, dysfunction and catastrophe.

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A Bit of Manhattan in Midtown

The Purple Word Book Club brings a fabulous big-city art scene to midtown.

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Mississippi Children’s Museum Hosting Artist Rick Anderson

Renowned Mississippi artist Rick Anderson will teach "Spring into Arts with Acrylic," an interactive painting class, at the Mississippi Children's Museum March 2 and March 16.

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The Finer Things in Life

From woodworking and jewelry to sculpture and painting, the Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival offers visitors a look at high-quality, handmade crafts from some of the best artists across the U.S.

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4 the Record Spins into Town

For its 10th event, 4 the Record is back to showcase vinyl records and celebrate all things music.

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Jackson's Grand Jeté

As a ballerina, Aynsley Taylor Inglis' body is her medium. She controls and manipulates every muscle, making graceful movements, jumping, turning and spinning.

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A Quantum Leap

Johnny McPhail and Lana Turner have something in common. The six-feet-four-inch, 215-pound, longhaired, mustachioed north Mississippi farm boy-turned-actor and the Hollywood sex siren of yesteryear both got discovered in a cafe.

State Worker Pay Raise Could Jumpstart Economy

Last month, in a story that didn't receive a huge amount of media coverage, state economist Darrin Webb told a legislative panel that the state of Mississippi is—not projected to be, is—the No. 1 employer in the state.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Backward'

The administration's mouthpiece should tone the sanctimonious rhetoric a bit.

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Long and Winding Road

"Our last artist on the mic is the Unknown Satirical Poet who will address class tensions in America by sharing his altered version Paul McCartney's 'Long and Winding Road.'"

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99 Problems

The city of Greenwood and one of its major employers, Viking Range LLC, seem like a lesson in contrasts.

Week in Review Feb. 19-Feb. 25

The Week in Review for Feb. 19-Feb. 25.

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JPS to Keep Accreditation

Jackson Public Schools is on track with its programs for disabled children, Superintendent Cedrick Gray announced Monday, lifting the threat of losing its accreditation over violations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

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Crime? There’s an App for That

Instead of fighting the fact that the overwhelming majority of Jackson's high-school students have mobile phones, Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber is hoping to convince young people—and all Jacksonians—to use their smart phones to help lower the city's crime rate.

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Corey Davis

Most story ideas come to Corey Davis when she's bored and allows her mind to wander. One such daydream gave shape to the 16-year-old Clinton native's debut novel, targeted to young adults.

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Behind the Mask

When I don that fencing mask and jacket, I feel like I can do anything.

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‘The Whipping Man’: Anatomy of Freedom

Matthew Lopez wanted to expound on the fact that while Jewish Americans celebrated Passover the day after the Confederacy's surrender, a new exodus was happening around them.

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Make it Work with Recycling

Project Rezway is an annual gala that showcases a fashion show with a twist: All the designs are made from at least 75 percent recyclable materials.

Rival Groups Clash in Ukraine's Crimea, 20 Injured

Fistfights broke out between pro- and anti-Russian demonstrators in Ukraine's strategic Crimea region on Wednesday as Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered massive military exercises just across the border.

Army Study Gives Women Taste of Combat Tasks

With roughly one in five Army positions considered combat-related, commanders are turning to science to find a unisex standard to judge which soldiers physically have the right stuff to fight wars.

Tiny Houses Help Address Nation's Homeless Problem

While tiny houses have been attractive for those wanting to downsize or simplify their lives for financial or environmental reasons, there's another population benefiting from the small-dwelling movement: the homeless.

U.S. Court to Hear Arguments Over Miss. Abortion Law

A federal appeals court is expected to hear oral arguments in late April or early May in a lawsuit challenging a 2012 law that threatens to close Mississippi's only abortion clinic.

Miss. House Passes Sales Tax Holiday for Guns

Plans are moving forward for a Mississippi sales tax holiday for guns, ammunition, bows, arrows and accessories.

Tuesday, February 25

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Chokwe Lumumba, 1947-2014

The mayor's legacy is probably cemented; the vision he laid out for Jackson is in doubt.

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Condolences, Statements Rolling in on Death of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba

The reaction is swift and wide to the death of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba.

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Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, 66, Has Died; Tillman Acting Mayor

The news that Mayor Chokwe Lumumba has died is rattling the city.

Abortion Law Fight to Federal Appeals Court

A federal appeals court is expected to hear oral arguments in late April or early May in a lawsuit challenging a 2012 law that threatens to close Mississippi's only abortion clinic.

Obama Tells Pentagon to Plan for Afghan Pullout

President Barack Obama has ordered the Pentagon to plan for a full American withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of this year should the Afghan government refuse to sign a security agreement with the U.S, the White House said Tuesday.

C. African Republic Orphans Walk to Safety Alone

Ibrahim Adamou's parents had just been killed in front of him. He wasn't sure whether any of his five siblings had survived the attack by Christian militiamen who opened fire on his family of herders as they journeyed on foot.

Rules to Limit Marketing Unhealthy Food in Schools

Even the scoreboards in high school gyms will have to advertise only healthy foods under new rules announced Tuesday by the Obama administration.

Major Bitcoin Exchange Said to Be Insolvent

One of the world's largest bitcoin exchanges has seemingly disappeared, delivering a severe blow to the virtual currency as it struggles to gain legitimacy.

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Pipe Bomb Investigated at North Miss. Home

A north Mississippi family says law enforcement are investigating a possible pipe bomb found outside their home on Monday.

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Chef Emerson Awarded, Raising GMO Awareness and Building Bridges

Jackson chef Derek Emerson, owner of Walker's Drive-in Fondren and Local 463 in Madison, is one of this year's nominees for the James Beard Award for Best Chef.

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Dr. Stuart Rockoff

Dr. Stuart Rockoff, the executive director of the Mississippi Humanities Council, says that about 3,000 Jewish soldiers fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War.

Polio-Like Disease Appears in California Children

An extremely rare, polio-like disease has appeared in more than a dozen California children within the past year, and each of them suffered paralysis to one or more arms or legs, Stanford University researchers say.

Ukraine: No New Government Before Thursday

A former presidential aide despised by protesters has been shot and wounded, his spokesman said Tuesday, raising fears of retaliation as Ukraine charts a new tumultuous political course.

Uganda Tabloid Prints List of 'Top' Homosexuals

A Ugandan newspaper published a list Tuesday of what it called the country's "200 top" homosexuals, outing some Ugandans who previously had not identified themselves as gay one day after the president enacted a harsh anti-gay law.

Effort to Build Gay Marriage Support Heads South

Less than two weeks after a federal judge declared Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, a new effort has been launched in the South seeking to build wider acceptance of gay and lesbian couples in the hope of overturning similar bans across the region.

Monday, February 24

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Residents, Businesses Could Get Relief from Busted Pipes

Between the city's aging water and sewer systems and sub-freezing weather, broken pipes have become a contentious issue in Jackson.

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Miss. Awards More School Security Grants

The state Board of Education has awarded school security grants to 24 more Mississippi school districts, but still hasn't managed to spend even half the $5 million that the state Legislature appropriated for the program in 2013.

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Orley Hood Jr.

People never seem to appreciate a good newspaperman until he's gone. Friends, loved ones and longtime readers say Orley Hood was one of the best.

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Community Meetings and Events

The Krewe de Cardinal Ball is Friday, Feb. 28, from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. at Old Capitol Inn.

Egypt's Military-Backed Government Resigns

Egypt's interim prime minister announced Monday the resignation of his Cabinet, a surprise move that could be designed in part to pave the way for the nation's military chief to leave his defense minister's post to run for president.

Ukraine Issues Arrest Warrant for Missing Leader

Ukraine's acting government issued an arrest warrant Monday for President Viktor Yanukovych, accusing him of mass crimes against the protesters who stood up for months against his rule.

High Court Rejects NRA Appeals

The Supreme Court has turned away appeals from the National Rifle Association which complained about resistance by governments and judges to the high court's recent seminal rulings declaring that Americans have a constitutional right to own a gun.

Hosts' Real Olympic Challenge: After the Games

For athletes and spectators at Sochi, it's time to pack up. But for the host cities, the real challenge begins with the end of the Olympics.

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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, February 22

3 Students to be Questioned in Statue Vandalism

The University of Mississippi wants to question three white students in connection with the vandalism of the statue of James Meredith, who in 1962 became the first black student to enroll in the then all-white university.

Miss. Clears Jackson Schools on Special Education

Mississippi officials say the Jackson city school district now meets special education standards, 18 months after the district nearly lost its accreditation over problems educating students with disabilities.

Friday, February 21

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Focus on Mississippi's Immigrants

Fellowship and good food trumped the torrential downpour last night for about 100 Jackson area residents who came out to show their support for a good cause.

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Randy Hayes

Jackson resident Randy Hayes is celebrating his 20th anniversary as a business owner, and his 30th year in the restaurant industry.

Obama to Host Dalai Lama on Friday at White House

President Barack Obama will host Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama for a meeting, the White House announced Thursday, prompting swift and vehement protest from China.

German Athlete Tests Positive at Sochi Olympics

An unidentified German athlete has failed a drug test in the first announced doping case of the Sochi Olympics.

Ukrainian Parliament Approves New Charter, Amnesty

Ukraine's parliament has voted to restore a previous constitution that limits presidential powers as part of a breakthrough deal between the opposition and president.

Miss. Could Adopt ACT as High School Exit Exam

Mississippi high schoolers could soon be using the same test to get out of high school and get into college.

Miss. House Rejects Proposal to Expand Medicaid

The Mississippi House has voted against expanding Medicaid to more than 230,000 uninsured working poor residents.

Thursday, February 20

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Dems Push GOP into Corner on Payraises

Under the recommended budget for fiscal year 2015, which begins July 1, teachers are in line to receive a raise, but employees of most agencies are not.

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Jim Hill Teacher Wins Prestigious Award

The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards recognized Tracee Thompson, an English teacher at Jim Hill High School in Jackson, with a $25,000 award during a surprise visit to the school Wednesday.

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Flawaan Flaggs

In just the team's second year in existence, the Jackson Showboats have nominated a player for the American Basketball Association All-Star Game, Jim Hill High School graduate Flawaan Flaggs.

Tearful Korean Reunions Begin; First Since 2010

Their backs stooped, dozens of elderly North and South Koreans separated for six decades reunited Thursday, weeping and embracing in a rush of words and emotion.

5 Things to Know About the Sochi Olympics

Here's five things you'll want to know about the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Ukraine: Protesters Capture 67 Police in Kiev

Fearing that a call for a truce was a ruse, protesters tossed firebombs and advanced upon police lines Thursday in Ukraine's embattled capital. Government snipers shot back and the almost-medieval melee that ensued left at least 33 people dead.

Lawsuit Settlements Push $64M into Miss. Budget

Lawsuit settlements are pumping nearly $64 million into the Mississippi budget.

Wednesday, February 19

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Can He Play?

Unless you live under a rock or in a cave, you have heard by now about Missouri Tigers defensive star Michael Sam. Last Sunday, Sam told the world he is gay.

The Slate

One of the most exciting moments of the Olympics so far has been the United States' shootout win over Russia in men's ice hockey. It didn't have the impact of the 1980 Miracle on Ice, but it was a great game.

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‘Mind Over Matter’ Offers More Variety

The 10-song custom on a record is a sort of persisting, self-imposed limit in music.

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‘House of Cards’: The Butchery is Back

Arguably the most popular and critically acclaimed drama currently on TV, Netflix's original series "House of Cards" is back with a second season—and a vengeance.

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Bucci’s Lifetime of Art

At 92, Mississippi-born artist Andrew Bucci still does what he loves.

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Quick, Cultural Getaways

One year, a friend of mine made it her New Year's resolution to go out of town once a month, even just for a day, "even if it's just to Yazoo City."

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Wide Open Space: A Review of ‘Starbound’

If you're familiar with the newer features of entertainment technology and software company Valve's digital gaming distribution system Steam, you probably know that it's a pretty good time to be an independent developer.

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Brave Times at Burglund High

This story begins after the murder of Herbert Lee in nearby Amite County for his civil-rights activity, which along with the recent appearance of the Freedom Riders helped inspire two students at the all-black Burglund High School to try to integrate the Greyhound bus station waiting room in downtown McComb.

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Is Thug the New N-Word?

Thug is not just being thrown around in a few instances, it is the new politically correct code word whites use to n*ggerize blacks, or put them in their place.

Yes, We Need To Continue Talking About ‘It’

People who go through structured discussions that focus on race and culture in America frequently report that it can dramatically change their lives.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Save'

Rep. Gipson, who is a lawyer and a minister, has a warped perception of salvation and the law.

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Playing Politics with Abortion

Our lawmakers are choosing to focus on abortion because it is low-hanging fruit to get political points with their base.

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A Million and One Questions

As if Mississippi taxpayers haven't been burdened enough defending lawsuits that appear patently unconstitutional, the Mississippi House of Representatives approved a proposal last week to ban abortions more than 20 weeks after conception.

Question o' the Week: What’s your favorite thing about springtime in Jackson?

What’s your favorite thing about springtime in Jackson?

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Getting Ready for the 1-Percent Sales Tax

Businesses across the state have emails in their inboxes from the Mississippi Department of Revenue about accounting for the capital city's 1-percent sales tax beginning March 1.

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Colleges Recruited to Offer Teen-Pregnancy Solutions

SB 2563 specifies that colleges provide information on how to avoid pregnancy in "success courses and orientations," and incorporate facts about unplanned pregnancy in other academic classes.

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Kiyadh Burt

Kiyadh Burt attributes his interest in community involvement to his mother, who instilled in him a drive and desire to do better for himself and his family.

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The Joshua Generation

Like everyone who has young people in their lives they love, it is terrifying to me that someone might gun down my baby brother for participating in a senior-year prank or for mouthing off to some cranky guy at a gas station.

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Inside the Dish: A Side of Noodles with Your Burger?

Like any good businessman, Lauren Davis is constantly searching for the next thing that will have patrons lining up at his Smith Park location.

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River Soul and Swamp Philosophy

Southern rock emerged as a genre in the early 1970s with the Allman Brothers Band owning the country-tinged sound, and Lynyrd Skynyrd celebrating heritage through its lyrics.

Minimum Wage Report Puts Democrats on Defensive

A report by Congress' nonpartisan budget analysts seems to have thrown Democrats onto the defensive after it concluded that the party's drive to boost the federal minimum wage could cost a half-million jobs by 2016.

Obama's N. American Agenda Hits Congressional Drag

President Barack Obama heads into a summit with Mexican and Canadian leaders eager to engage on issues of trade and other neighbor-to-neighbor interests even as Congress is placing a drag on some of his top cross-border agenda items.

Los Angeles Bishop Kept Altar Boy List from Police

When Los Angeles police were investigating allegations of child abuse by a Roman Catholic priest in 1988, they asked for a list of altar boys at the last parish where the priest worked.

USM Project Headed to Space Station

NASA has chosen a research project by a team at USM-Gulf Park to be tested by scientists aboard the International Space Station.

Tuesday, February 18

FBI Investigating Meredith Statue Noose Incident at Ole Miss

The FBI on Tuesday was helping investigate who tied a noose around the neck of a University of Mississippi statue of James Meredith, who, in 1962, became the first black student to enroll in the then all-white Southern college.

NSA Program Exposes Divisions in Both Parties

While some leading Democrats are reluctant to condemn the dragnet surveillance of Americans' phone records, the Republican Party has begun to embrace a libertarian shift opposing the spy agency's broad powers. But the lines are not drawn in the traditional way.

Obama Struggling to Find Winning Formula in Syria

With peace talks failing, Syria's government on the offensive and moderate rebels being pushed aside by al-Qaida-linked militants, the Obama administration is struggling for new ideas to halt a savage civil war.

Budget Office: Wage Hike Would Lift Pay, Cost Jobs

Boosting the federal minimum wage as President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are proposing would increase earnings for more than 16.5 million people by 2016 but also cut employment by roughly 500,000 jobs, Congress' nonpartisan budget analyst said Tuesday.

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Starving the Public-Education 'Beast'

The statute that SB 2091 proposes to change contains the rules for MAEP, including how the Legislature should calculate funding for school districts.

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circa. Evolving, Craft Beer and Data Services Expanding in the Jackson Area

Quite a bit is afoot in Jackson's craft beer scene, starting with the growler station available at the recently opened Whole Foods branch.

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Tom Rankin

Tom Rankin has spent nearly 20 years documenting and interpreting the culture of the American South.

NSA Surveillance Exposes Political Party Divisions

The debate about whether to continue the dragnet surveillance of Americans' phone records is highlighting divisions within the Democratic and Republican parties that could transform the politics of national security.

Okla. Pharmacy Won't Give Drug for Mo. Execution

An Oklahoma pharmacy will not provide a drug for a scheduled execution next week in Missouri as part of a settlement with the death row inmate's attorneys. But it's unclear whether the agreement will prevent or delay the lethal injection.

Elimination Games Begin in Olympic Men's Hockey

Thanks to that memorable shootout loss to the U.S., Russia must win four games in six days to bring home its first Olympic men's hockey gold medals in 22 years.

Saturday, February 15

Michael Sam Prompts ADs, Coaches to Review Policy

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze has coached gay players before during his 20-year career. Though Freeze declined to name the two players he coached before arriving on Mississippi's campus because of privacy, he said there is no exact protocol for how to handle a situation like the one that arose with Michael Sam.

Friday, February 14

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Controversial Bills Sneak By at Capitol

After dispensing with items on the so-called non-controversial calendars, lawmakers in the Mississippi Senate and House of Representatives grappled with some of the more contentious pieces of legislation just ahead of Friday's critical deadline.

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Love, Laughter and Zippity Doo Dah

If laughter and love are balms for the soul—and surely they are—spending Valentine's Day morning with Jill Conner Browne provided plenty of both.

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Persizzle of the Dizzle: Snoop Dogg

Since Snoop (nee Calvin Broadus) rapped his first verse on the song "Deep Cover," for the 1992 soundtrack of a film by the same name, fans have crept with him as he's crawled his way to the pinnacle of hip-hop and American music.

Through Fog of Complaints, Sochi's Light Shines

Unfinished hotels, packs of stray dogs with a price on their heads, warnings not to drink the strange-colored water. Westerners coming to Sochi for the Winter Olympics seemed surprised by all this. Their widely reported comments have been somewhere between sardonic and suffering, as if they'd ended up in a real-life Fawlty Towers.

Thai Police Push Out Street Protesters, Briefly

Riot police managed to clear anti-government protesters from a major boulevard in the Thai capital in a small but brief victory Friday as authorities try to reclaim areas that have been closed during a three-month push to unseat Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

In China, Kerry Talks N. Korea, Regional Tensions

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday he had won a commitment from China to help bring a belligerent North Korea back to nuclear disarmament talks, even as he butted heads with Chinese leaders over a series of increasingly aggressive steps Beijing has taken to assert itself in territorial disputes with its smaller neighbors.

Judge: Va. Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Virginia has become the first state in the South to have its same-sex marriage ban overturned, with a late-night federal court ruling that declared the voter-approved amendment unconstitutional.

Miss. Senate Approves Special Education Vouchers

Senators are pushing forward a proposal to give more than $6,000 in state money to the parent of any Mississippi special education student who wants to withdraw their child from their local public school district.

Thursday, February 13

Suit Over Missouri Execution Drug Draws Scrutiny

A ruling temporarily prohibiting a compounding pharmacy from selling execution drugs to Missouri could have implications across the country, a legal expert said Thursday.

Debt Limit Saves GOP from Political Showdown

Republicans' new acquiescence to letting the government pile up more debt with no strings attached paid double political dividends: It spared the GOP another politically debilitating showdown with President Barack Obama and also forced Democrats to cast votes that rivals immediately used against them in this year's midterm elections.

Putin Backs Egypt Army Chief's Run for President

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday wished Egypt's military chief victory in the nation's presidential vote, even though he has yet to announce his bid—a strong endorsement signaling Moscow's desire to expand its military and other ties with a key U.S. ally in the Middle East.

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20-Week Abortion Ban Advances to Senate, Possibly Courts

One female lawmaker gave it her best shot, but the Mississippi House of Representatives approved a proposal this morning to ban abortions after 20 weeks of conception.

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The PTSD Crisis That's Being Ignored: Americans Wounded in Their Own Neighborhoods

A growing body of research shows that Americans with traumatic injuries develop PTSD at rates comparable to veterans of war.

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Mississippi State Baseball

One of the best stories of 2013 had to be the Mississippi State University baseball team's magical run to Omaha to play in the College World Series.

Downtown Jackson: The Legends

A Sampling of Long-time Downtown Businesses

U.S., S. Korea Warn N. Korea Against Aggression

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his South Korean counterpart warned North Korea on Thursday against any possible aggression amid mixed signals from the North over returning to denuclearization talks and improved ties with the South.

In Rare Winter Sweep, U.S. Rules Olympic Slopestyle

For only the third time in Winter Games history, the United States swept the podium, capturing the top three spots Thursday in slopestyle skiing's Olympic debut to revive the country's showing in Sochi.

Comcast to Buy Time Warner Cable for $45 Billion

Comcast Corp. will buy Time Warner Cable Inc. for about $45.2 billion in a deal that would combine the nation's top two cable TV companies and create a dominant force in creating and delivering entertainment.

House Nixes Plan for District for Failing Schools

House members have rejected a plan to create a separate statewide school district in Mississippi to take over individual failing schools.

17,350 in Miss. Enroll in US-Run Health Exchange

New figures show 17,350 Mississippi residents have signed up for private health insurance using a website run by the federal government.

Wednesday, February 12

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Silent G’s 2013 Album Marathon

My mission in 2013 was to listen to as many new releases as possible and to document them. I listened to 60 albums and ranked them; here are my top 10.

2013 Albums According to Silent G

Here is the list of all 60 albums I listened to in 2013.

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GIG: Dance Director

Krista Bower is the Specialty Instructor of Dance at Belhaven University.

The Slate

Football is gone, and the weather might be cold, but the sports world is heating up. Plenty of action around the globe and at home should keep you entertained.

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Sports Embarrassments and Agreements

The Super Bowl proved to be a dud after the Seattle Seahawks took the Denver Broncos behind the woodshed in a 43-8 rout.

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Mississippi Grows Wild in Chicago

Although the members of the Jubilee Theatre Collective in Chicago moved away from their Mississippi homes, their love for the state runs deep.

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C3's Social Art

daniel johnson wants to bring together people—both from Mississippi and worldwide—to produce artwork that represents the state's uniqueness.

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Love & Cheesecake

How do you make mini desserts just a little more romantic and fitting for Valentine's Day? Add a little bit of chocolate.

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The Journey of JSU Basketball Coach Wayne Brent

In his first season as head coach, Jackson State University head basketball coach Wayne Brent has guided the Tigers to a 7-14 overall record and 3-6 SWAC record so far.

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Kicking the Hornet’s Nest

Yesterday, I saw a Facebook photo of Kansas state lawmaker Allan Rothlisberg, R-Junction City, with the following attached quote: "If I was a woman over 50, I wouldn't need gynecological services."

Felons Deserve Voting Rights Back

Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General, wants states to roll back laws that prevent people who have been convicted of a felony from voting.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Hear'

During his time as a Republican, Jeff Smith, who chairs the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which oversee taxation, has walked the Republican Party line.

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Everybody Plays the Fool

Miss Doodle Mae: "Jojo, our fearless leader, sensed his discount dollar-store staff feeling hopeless and depressed. So he gave a very straightforward and passionate message during the morning staff meeting."

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Moment of Clarity: Teacher Pay, Healthcare

Speaker Philip Gunn's vocal campaign for a teacher pay raise this year met widely with raised eyebrows, both among his fellow Republicans and his Democratic foes with whom he often spars.

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Health-Care Navigators Fight Misinformation

Jarvis Dortch, program manager for the Mississippi Health Advocacy Group and a marketplace navigator for the Affordable Care Act, says many people don’t know that the ACA is the same as “Obamacare.”

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Jackson Still Upbeat on Capitol Agenda

Part of Walter Zinn's job, as director of governmental affairs for Jackson, is lobbying for the interests of the capital city in the state Legislature, which can be frustrating.

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Gannett's Butterfly Effect

One month ago, five Clarion-Ledger's newsroom staff members, "armed" with $200 in one-dollar bills, spent a Sunday afternoon at the Flowood Walmart "to celebrate and promote the new, expanded" version of the daily newspaper by purchasing copies for shoppers.

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Alana Jackson

After college, Alana Jackson started two jobs. One was as a news producer with WJTV, using her mass communications degree from Jackson State University. The other was volunteering with community organizations that worked with African American children.

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Tigers of a Different Stripe

Each of us, regardless of age, matters in the quest to end hatred.

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The Musician’s Musician

Most people know the music of Syracuse, N.Y., native Martin Sexton even if they don't recognize his name.

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A Warrior, Recognized

It wasn't until a train ride home from Chicago that James Meredith personally experienced institutionalized racism.

Koreas Hold Senior-Level Meeting at Border Village

Senior officials from the rival Koreas met Wednesday at a border village, their highest-level talks in years and a potential signal that Pyongyang wants better ties and the resumption of lucrative cooperative projects.

Corruption Sting Follows Indian Athletes to Sochi

The taint of corruption followed India's Olympic athletes everywhere in Sochi. They were not allowed to enter the Olympic stadium marching under the Indian flag. They were warned the national anthem would not play if they won any medals.

Syrian Opposition Seeks Russian Help in Talks

The Syrian opposition is urging Russia to take a more forceful stand with the Syrian government to help kickstart faltering peace talks in Geneva.

Two Golds: Maze, Gisin Tie in Sochi Olympic Downhill

Slovenia's Tina Maze and Switzerland's Dominique Gisin took different paths on an Olympic downhill filled with flats and turns, jumps and bumps, across slender trees' shadows, along snow that was icy at the top, soft at the bottom.

Long Journey Ends at Home for Man Drifting at Sea

A fisherman who says he drifted at sea for more than a year has finally made it home to El Salvador, exhausted and speechless.

AG Urges Restoring Voting Rights to Ex-Inmates

Attorney General Eric Holder called on a group of states Tuesday to restore voting rights to ex-felons, part of a push to fix what he sees as flaws in the criminal justice system that have a disparate impact on racial minorities.

Tuesday, February 11

Miss. Sees Improvement in AP Scores but Still Last in Nation

More low-income and black students in Mississippi are passing college-level Advanced Placement exams in high school although pass rates for students overall remain low and stagnant.

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Lawmakers: What Makes a Drug Trafficker?

It was a sometimes contentious but relatively brief floor battle in the Mississippi House of Representatives as lawmakers grappled with the nuts and bolts of sweeping prison-reform legislation.

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Fondren Water Woes, The District, Young Entrepreneurs and More

Beginning Friday, Feb. 14, through Monday, Feb 17, more than 80 leading designer and name-brand stores at Outlets of Mississippi will treat shoppers to additional savings beyond the up to 65 percent off regular retail prices offered every day in celebration of Presidents' Day weekend.

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Band of the Day: The Beatles

If you were above the age of 5 in 1964, you probably remember the night The Beatles made its first U.S. appearance on the "Ed Sullivan Show."

China, Taiwan Hold Highest-Level Talks Since Split

China and Taiwan hailed a new chapter in their relations on Tuesday and said their ties would advance after they held their highest-level government talks since they split amid civil war in 1949.

Obama, Hollande Open Lavish State Visit

Lauding the "enduring alliance" between the United States and France, President Barack Obama on Tuesday welcomed President Francois Hollande to the White House for a lavish state visit.

Shirley Temple, Iconic Child Star, Dies at 85

Shirley Temple, the dimpled, curly-haired child star who sang, danced, sobbed and grinned her way into the hearts of Depression-era moviegoers, has died. She was 85.

Monday, February 10

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Chamber May Unveil Sales-Tax Commission Members This Week

Now that Jacksonians overwhelmingly approved an additional 1 percent sales tax in January, the question of who will oversee the spending of those funds is coming into focus.

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Michael Sam Could Become NFL's 1st Openly Gay Player

Missouri's All-America defensive end came out to the entire country Sunday night and could become the first openly gay player in America's most popular sport.

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Myra Williams Ottewell

Myra Williams Ottewell is the creator of a documentary on race relations in Mississippi titled "Mississippi ReMixed."

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Community Meetings and Events

Saxy's Sweetheart Serenade is Friday, Feb. 14 at Metrocenter Mall's Event Center starting at 7:30 p.m.

N. Korea Rescinds Invitation to U.S. Envoy

The State Department says it is "deeply disappointed" in North Korea's decision to withdraw for a second time an invitation to a U.S. envoy to discuss the release of a jailed American businessman.

Russia Wins Team Figure Skating, 1st Gold of Sochi

A master showman and four-time Olympic medalist, Evgeni Plushenko knows brilliance on the ice. He saw it Sunday night inside the Iceberg at Sochi's Olympic Park from a countrywoman half his age. And he is certain Russia's figure skating future is secure in the skates of Julia Lipnitskaia.

U.S. Easing Immigration Rule for Terrorist Support

The Obama administration has eased the rules for would-be asylum-seekers, refugees and others who hope to come to the United States or stay here and who gave "limited" support to terrorists or terrorist groups.

Miss. Desegregation Case Before Appeals Court

The federal government's long-running desegregation fight with the Cleveland, Miss. school system has made its way to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

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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, February 8

Miss. Bill Could Allow Companies to Pay Less Tax

A tax collection proposal moving through the Mississippi Legislature could cut state revenue by more than $100 million next year.

Friday, February 7

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Alignment Jackson: Creating the Village

A powerful concept that promises to stem the growing tide of Jackson's high-school dropouts was on the agenda Feb. 4 at the Parents for Public Schools Lunch Bunch meeting at the Jackson Medical Mall.

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National: Loose Lips Give Ammunition to MSNBC Foes

Since MSNBC is in the political ring, its opponents are always on the lookout for things to attack. Lately, NBC's left-leaning cable news sister has offered plenty of ammunition.

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Al Sharpton

Despite having slightly different approaches during their activist careers, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba are both legends of the American civil- and human-rights movements.

U.S. Sees Russian Hand in Envoy's Bugged Call

Two senior American diplomats, thinking their conversation about the Ukraine was secure and private, were caught disparaging the European Union in a phone call that was apparently bugged, and U.S. officials say they strongly suspect Russia of leaking the conversation.

Pseudo-Lesbians, Ballet, in Sochi Olympics Opening

A pseudo-lesbian pop duo, a famed opera singer and a romp through Russian history await viewers as the Sochi Winter Olympics launch Friday with an opening ceremony meant to showcase to the world the ultimate achievement of Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Muslims Flee Capital of Central African Republic

Thousands of Muslims fled for their lives from the capital of Central African Republic on Friday, with Christian crowds cheering as the truckloads of Muslim families made their way out of town.

Miss. Local Officials Could Get to Set 2 Holidays

City and county governments in Mississippi might get more flexibility to declare local holidays.

Thursday, February 6

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Teachers to 'Jump Through Hoops' for Pay Raise?

Another marathon debate session in the Mississippi House of Representatives ended with the 86-26 passage of a bill to increase teacher salaries by about $4,250 over four years.

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Opening Statements in Florida Trial Over Loud Music Killing

Prosecutors are presenting their opening statements in the trial of a Florida man charged with fatally shooting a 17-year-old teen during an argument over loud music at a Jacksonville gas station.

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Jackson State's Football Signing Class

Wednesday, Feb. 5, marked the first day that the new Jackson State head football coach, Harold Jackson, could begin to put his mark on the Tigers program.

Peace Talks Start Between Pakistan, Taliban Team

Peace talks between the Pakistani government and representatives of the Taliban began on Thursday after a short delay, the first test for the government's controversial initiative of seeking a peaceful resolution to the country's bloody insurgency, officials said.

Sochi's Opening Show: Let Putin's Games Begin

They're designed to celebrate a millennium of Russian might and this country's modern rebound, and kick off two weeks of extraordinary human endeavors and planetary sportsmanship. But the ceremony opening the Sochi Olympics on Friday, more than anything, will be about one man: Vladimir Putin.

E.U. Seeking to Upgrade Bloc's Ties with Cuba

Europe is set to upgrade its ties with Cuba in a bid to broaden economic cooperation and demand more progress on respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, a senior European Union official said Thursday.

Obama: Religious Freedom a U.S. Diplomatic Priority

President Barack Obama tells a non-denominational gathering of political leaders that freedom of religion across the world is important to national security and is a central tenet of U.S. diplomacy.

Miss. Mulls Modest Fine for Texting While Driving

The Mississippi Senate has voted to make texting and driving a crime—but not much of one.

Wednesday, February 5

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Honoring Great Athletes

It took way too long, but it finally happened. Southern Miss and Oakland Raider punter Ray Guy is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Slate

I hope the Jamaican bobsled team is mic'd up during their runs, and that one of them at some point says: "Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time. Cool runnings!"

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‘Because the Internet’ Boasts Quality and Quantity

It's difficult to separate the comedic television and movie roles of actor Donald Glover from his unforgiving, guiltlessly pensive persona as rapper Childish Gambino, but his most recent release "Because the Internet" certainly helps cement that divide.

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All Heart

Mississippi HeARTS Against AIDS' 22nd annual benefit is Feb. 8 at Hal & Mal's in downtown Jackson.

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The Ins and Outs of ‘Mitt’

After premiering the film at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Netflix released its original documentary, "Mitt," via online streaming Jan. 24.

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Eudora Welty: Reading a Murderer’s Mind

Eudora Welty only wrote one story in anger. She drafted it the day she learned of Medgar Evers' assassination.

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Valentine’s Day Round-up

We celebrate love Feb. 14—and not all of us love cooking dinner. What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than showing your affection for your loved ones and local Jackson businesses than having dinner at local restaurants?

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The Perfect Mix

A mix tape is a great Valentine's Day gift to your sweetheart because it's personal. The fact that it's something you made for them shows how much thought into it.

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Cities and Places: A Love Story

We often think of love between parents, friends or lovers but as someone who has moved around a lot, I believe our relationships with places can be just like relationships with other people.

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Who Loves Ya, Baby?

Before we can give love freely, we first have to love ourselves. It doesn't begin "out there."

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Gifts for Long-Distance Relationships

he worst part about being away from each other is missing special days such as Valentine's Day and anniversaries. You just have to keep going, though.

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Loosening My Grip

Some people talk about "good love" and "bad love," as if there is a distinction. To me, love simply is what it is.

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Love + Technology = Mystery

What are the aspects about us that we don't post on social media? It turns out, thankfully, that we don't share everything.

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Drunk in Love

Being a mother and wife does not equal boring.

Embrace All Forms of Downtown Housing

The building at 300 W. Capitol St. is the nicest public housing in the state. Or so its last two occupants—currently, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, and his predecessor, Haley Barbour—like to quip about the domicile, better known as the Mississippi Governor's Mansion.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Survive'

In several states, heartbeat bills have met legal fights from reproductive-rights advocates who say the bills are designed to trample on women's legal rights to obtain abortions.

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Gov. Phil Bryant’s Welfare-Queen Rhetoric

There are no simple fixes for poverty in our state. Yet, instead of coming up with a multifaceted comprehensive plan to help, Phil Bryant is feeding us bumper-sticker slogans and welfare-queen rhetoric.

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BCBS Change Sparks Concerns, Legislation

Dr. Elizabeth Perry and other health professionals are concerned about a new "benefit" that Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi has added to its plans this year to end prescription coverage for medications prescribed by out-of-network doctors.

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Art Lofts Hit Funding Roadbock

Plans for a residential development in "ruins" across from the King Edward Hotel are going back to the drawing board as backers search for new methods of financing.

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Women’s Rights, Safety Again at Issue

Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, knows his anti-abortion "heartbeat" bill likely will not survive the current session of the Mississippi Legislature, but he introduced it anyway.

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Legislative Update: Medical Cannabis, Booze

Josh Harkins' Senate Bill 2745 revises the state's list of Schedule I controlled substances to exclude low doses of cannabidiol.

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Justin Watson and Stella

No doubt, many of you have been out and about in Jackson some Saturday afternoon and witnessed one of the strangest pieces of mobile art on four wheels: a Toyota Camry covered with a variety of stickers.

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Talking Life with Bass Drum of Death

Hailing from one of the South’s growing music cities, Bass Drum of Death has been making a name for itself since releasing its first album, “GB City,” in 2011.

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Absence and Fondness

In a long-distance relationship, it's important to see each other as often as possible, even if we're not physically seeing each other.

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From African American Banjos to American History

A key philosophy that brings the members of Carolina Chocolate Drops together is that the older music—particularly that of black string bands—that shaped what we hear today should not be forgotten.

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Camaraderie and Clinton Art

On the outskirts of Jackson, four Clinton artists meet on Sundays in routine salons, of the renaissance variety, to discuss paintings, process and, more often than not, obscure popular culture.

Israel Issues Permits for East Jerusalem Housing

Israeli planners on Wednesday gave final approval for 558 apartments in Jewish settlements in war-won east Jerusalem, which is sought by the Palestinians as a capital, officials said.

Putin, Recalling Boston Bombers, Wants Sochi Safe

President Vladimir Putin pointed Wednesday to the Boston Marathon bombings as a big reason for the intense security around the Winter Olympics that Russia is kicking off this week.

Obama Praises CVS for Pulling Tobacco from Shelves

President Barack Obama is praising CVS Caremark for its decision to stop selling tobacco products at its drugstores.

Lawmakers Consider Some School District Mergers

Four more pairs of school districts could face mergers under bills passed Tuesday by Mississippi legislative committees.

Tuesday, February 4

Senate Sends Farm Bill to Obama

The sweeping farm bill that Congress sent to President Obama Tuesday has something for almost everyone, from the nation's 47 million food stamp recipients to Southern peanut growers, Midwest corn farmers and the maple syrup industry in the Northeast.

New Wave of Heroin Claims Hoffman and Others

News of the death of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from an apparent heroin overdose seemed like an echo from the past, a blurry memory of a dangerous drug that dwelled in some dark recess of American culture.

Sea Survivor's Salvadoran Family Thought He Died

A Salvadoran fisherman's account of his survival after more than 13 months and about 6,500 miles in an open boat has proved a double miracle for his mother and father, who lost touch with him eight years ago and thought he was dead.

Putin Strokes Leopard, Wins IOC Support

Stroking a Persian leopard sprawled on his lap, tough-guy President Vladimir Putin showed his softer side Tuesday as he prepared to welcome the world to his budget-busting Winter Olympics.

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Fondren After 5 Reboot, Health-Care Facility and Restaurant Ready to Launch

With the introduction of a new health-care business, Jackson City Council President Charles Tillman said his council colleagues are becoming the A-Team of economic development.

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Gunn Eyes Teacher Raise Up to $4,250 Over 4 Years

House Speaker Philip Gunn and fellow Republicans want to give a $1,500 raise to most public school teachers in 2015 and 2016, and a projected raise of around $2,750 over the following two years, assuming state revenue continues to grow at a healthy rate.

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Chloe Sumrall

On Jan. 31, the American Heart Association in Jackson awarded Chloe Sumrall with the Richard Lee Miller Heart Saver Award at the 2014 Heart Ball.

Nadella to Head Microsoft; Gates Leaves Chair Role

Microsoft has named Satya Nadella, an executive in charge of the company's small, but growing business of delivering software and services over the Internet, as its new CEO. Company founder Bill Gates is leaving the chairman role for a new role as technology adviser.

Case Challenging Gay-Marriage Ban Heard in Va.

In a case that could give gay marriage its first foothold in the old Confederacy, a federal judge will hear arguments Tuesday on whether Virginia's ban on gay marriage should be struck down — the position the state's newly elected Democratic attorney general has endorsed, angering many Republican lawmakers.

Pakistan Talks With Taliban Team Delayed

Peace talks between Pakistani officials and a three-member team representing the Taliban were delayed Tuesday after government negotiators failed to show up for a first round they had agreed to, a top cleric said.

Governor Announces Mississippi Works Job System

The state of Mississippi has unveiled an interactive resource to pair employers and jobs through the Internet and mobile applications.

Monday, February 3

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Jackson Rising Emphasizes Cooperatives

The topic was forming cooperatives when community leaders met with Jackson citizens Thursday night at the Jackson Roadmap to Health Equity center on Livingston Road.

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Report: U.S. Abortion Rate at Lowest Since 1973

The U.S. abortion rate declined to its lowest level since 1973, and the number of abortions fell by 13 percent between 2008 and 2011, according to the latest national survey of abortion providers conducted by a prominent research institute.

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Hydeia Broadbent

Born with HIV and abandoned at a Las Vegas hospital in 1984, Hydeia Broadbent was diagnosed with full-blown AIDS by age 3.

Republicans Blame Obama for Stalling Immigration

Republicans are starting to lay the blame on President Barack Obama if an overhaul of the nation's broken immigration system fails to become law.

Al-Qaida Breaks Ties With Group in Syria

Al-Qaida's central leadership broke off ties with one of the most powerful militant groups in Syria, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and distanced itself from the rebel infighting in that country's civil war, according to a statement Monday.

Philip Seymour Hoffman Fans Mourn, Tout His Talent

There were no dissenters about the gifts and achievements of Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose death Sunday in New York brought a stunning halt to his extraordinary and unpredictable career.

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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, February 1

Senate Sends Teacher Paycheck Measure to Governor

The Mississippi Senate voted 48-0 Friday for a bill meant to ensure teachers get a full August paycheck, though local school board representatives question its legality.

Miss. Senate OKs Adding 'In God We Trust' to Seal

The Mississippi Senate voted Friday to add "In God We Trust" to the state seal, as requested by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant.