Stories for July 2014


Thursday, July 31

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At Neshoba, Cochran vs. Childers Takes Shape

Facing a throng of hecklers, Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran made a rare public appearance at the Neshoba County Fair to throw some red meat to Republicans. Smelling blood in the water, former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers, the Democrat who will face Cochran in the November general election, also went on the attack.

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As US Job Market Strengthens, Many Don't Feel It

The U.S. unemployment rate has plunged since the start of last year to a five-year low of 6.1 percent. And the July jobs report being released Friday will likely show a sixth straight month of healthy 200,000-plus gains.

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Eli Manning

While Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was having one of the greatest seasons ever, his brother, former Ole Miss and current New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, was having one of his worst since he joined the league in 2004 and became the team's full-time starting quarterback in 2005.

Israel Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel will destroy the Hamas tunnel network in the Gaza Strip "with or without a cease-fire," as the military called up another 16,000 reservists to pursue its campaign in the densely-populated territory.

Congress Races to Finish Veterans, Highway Bills

Rushing toward the exits, Congress on Thursday scrambled to wrap up legislation addressing the problem-plagued Veterans Affairs Department and a looming shortfall in highway money.

Investigators Reach Ukraine Jet Crash Site

As fighting continued to rage in eastern Ukraine, an international team of investigators on Thursday managed to reach the crash site of the Malaysia Airline Flight 17 for the first time since it was brought down by a missile two weeks ago.

Wednesday, July 30

Sharply Divided U.S. House Votes To Authorize Lawsuit Against President Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Obama and other Democrats derided the effort as a stunt aimed at tossing political red meat to conservative voters.

What to Watch This Saints Preseason

Here are five things to keep an eye on as New Orleans builds their squad for the 2014-15 season.

The Slate

Now is the time to tell your non-football friends and family goodbye for the next seven months of your life.

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Fringes of Murder

Mississippi Murder Mysteries, Jackson's oldest mystery dinner theater company, has been in business for more than 10 years.

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Summer in a Jar

Canning is not just for grandmothers, but for anyone who wants year-round access to summertime produce.

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Back To School Accessorizin'

Along with the new school year comes new clothes and accessories. Here are some of the fashion trends the JFP's visiting Girl Scout troop members predict for this fall.

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What Is ‘Common Core’ All About?

The Common Core, a set of math and English language arts standards that spells out what skills students are expected to master in kindergarten through 12th grade, will be rolled out in every Mississippi school this year.

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Early Ed: Critical to Child Success

Ninety percent of a child's critical brain development occurs between birth and age 5. Children in Mississippi are not required to attend school until age 6.

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Denying Religious Freedom and Safety

By emphasizing removal rather than due-process protections, Gov. Phil Bryant demonstrates his apathy toward children who face certain bodily injury or death based on their beliefs.

Invest in Little Mississippians

Mississippi does not prepare kids for school early enough. As we report this week (See, "Early Ed: Critical to Child Success," page 17), the benefits of early education investment is huge.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Secure'

People wouldn't take guns to the polls—or anywhere—if they weren't anticipating that something might go down to cause them to brandish said weapon.

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Writings Define Mississippi’s Emotions

State Supreme Court Justice Randy "Bubba" Pierce, a Greene County native, is a writer and his latest novel, "Mississippi Mud," defines state politics in the very sense of this state's current landscape. 

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Benefits of JPS Grade Recovery Program Disputed

Sarah Phillips, a former Forest Hill math teacher, is concerned that the district has a so-called grade recovery program that allows failing students to pass a course after taking a short computer course.

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Old Ghosts to Haunt City Budget Plans

Jackson city officials like to talk about the $1.25 billion worth of investment slated to come to the capital through infrastructure upgrades in the coming years.

Letters to the Editor

I personally believe the best path to having (the state flag) replaced is for business and higher education leaders (including football coaches) to quietly press the Legislature and governor, much the same way it happened in Georgia when it changed its state flag.

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Who Would Jesus Deport?

Religious leaders, political figures and hyperbolic talking heads have yet to reach a consensus on the Bible's application to the issue of immigration in the United States.

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LGBT Pols Ready to Play in State

With black folks playing the spoiler in the Mississippi Republican Senate primary, bucking many traditional notions about how politics work in the Magnolia State, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are making a political play of their own.

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Ashley Sullivan

Forest Hill High School hired Ashley Sullivan to teach Art I, but she and some of her students were not satisfied with the school's meager art-class offerings.

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Expanding Horizons Through Reading

Whether you read or not as an adult, it's important to teach children the value of reading.

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Imagining Modern Motown

Every Saturday since June 14, Terminal has invited local acts to display their rap, rock, R&B and everything in between for music-industry professionals as part of an ongoing event called The Search.

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The Children Will Lead Them

"And the Children Shall Lead Them" opened June 23 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer.

Poll: Americans Cool to Border-Crossing Children

Americans are wary of granting refugee status to children crossing the U.S. border to flee strife-torn countries in Central America, and most in an Associated Press-GfK poll say the U.S. does not have a moral obligation to accept asylum seekers generally.

Senate Likely to Come Up Short on Border bill

A bill to deal with the immigration surge at the border appears headed for procedural defeat in the Senate as lawmakers trade blame over their inaction on the crisis.

Ukraine Official: Rebels Lay Mines Near Crash Site

International observers turned back Wednesday after making another attempt to reach the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 went down in eastern Ukraine, and a government official said the area near the zone had been mined by pro-Russian separatists who control it.

Tuesday, July 29

Lawmakers Try to Seal $225M Aid Package for Israel

Democratic and Republican members of Congress scrambled Tuesday to seal a $225 million boost to Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system before they break this week for a month-long recess.

EU Adopts Tough New Sanctions on Russia

Shocked into action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner and the resulting deaths of more than 200 Europeans, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, to be followed swiftly by similar punitive measures from the U.S.

Senate Confirms McDonald as VA Secretary

The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans' waits for health care and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays.

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Pro-LGBT Group Targets South, Names Rob Hill Director

Fifty-seven percent of LGBT people living in Mississippi have called the Magnolia State home for more than 20 years, yet they receive no protection against discrimination in employment or housing or against hate crimes.

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5th Circuit: Mississippi's Only Abortion Clinic Stays Open

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against a Mississippi law that would have required the state's only abortion clinic to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital for its OB/GYNs.

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Margaret Walker Alexander

Poet and writer Margaret Walker Alexander contributed four volumes of poetry, a biography and numerous essays to the literary world.

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Wine Spectator Honors Local Restaurants, Two Franchises Open

Recently, Wine Spectator honored a number of restaurants in Mississippi with its 2014 Restaurant Awards, which highlight the eateries around the globe that offer the best wine selections.

FBI Defends Search for Oklahoma City Bombing Video

The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were involved in the 1995 attack.

Shelling Adds to Mounting Civilian Toll in Ukraine

Shelling in at least three cities in eastern Ukraine has hit a home for the elderly, a school and multiple homes, adding to a rapidly growing civilian death toll Tuesday.

Israel Hits Symbols of Hamas Rule; Scores Killed

Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the militant group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that Palestinian officials said shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the war so far.

Musgrove Seeks Support for School Funding Lawsuit

A group of lawyers including former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove is traveling Mississippi trying to get school districts to sign up for a lawsuit against the state seeking repayment of the $1.5 billion that the state had underfunded its K-12 school formula in recent years.

Monday, July 28

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DA Plans to Retry Michelle Byrom

Months after the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed Michelle Byrom's death sentence, Byrom is finally off death row and back in the custody of Tishomingo County.

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Derrick Simmons

Mississippi State Sen. Derrick T. Simmons received the 2014 Award for Leadership in Juvenile Justice Reform at the 12th annual forum for the National Juvenile Justice Network, in conjunction with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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Dollar Tree Steps Up Fight, Buys Family Dollar

Dollar Tree said Monday it is buying rival discounter Family Dollar for $8.5 billion, significantly broadening its reach as it looks to fend off Wal-Mart, which has been stepping up its courtship of lower-income customers.

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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, July 26

Mississippi Gets 179 Children from Border Surge

Mississippi has received fewer than 200 of the unaccompanied immigrant children who crossed the U.S. border and were released to sponsors so far this year, but the war of words over such children continues within the state.

Friday, July 25

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Yarber: Get Ready for Pain, New Initiatives

In his first state of the city address since becoming Jackson mayor, Tony Yarber painted a hopeful picture of the capital city's future.

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Eric Stringfellow

Thirty-two years after graduating with a bachelor's degree in mass communications from Jackson State University in 1997, Eric Stringfellow is now the interim head of the department.

Australia, Netherlands Ready to Secure Crash Site

A small group of Dutch and Australian investigators walked the sprawling, unsecured site where Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 went down as their governments prepared police detachments they hope can help protect the crash area and help bring the last of the victims home.

Pot May be Legal, but Homeowner Agreements Can Ban

Marijuana and hemp have joined wacky paint colors and unsightly fences as common neighborhood disputes facing homeowners' associations.

Central American Leaders Convening at White House

President Barack Obama will urge Central American leaders to help slow the influx of unaccompanied children fleeing their countries for the United States, even as Congress remains deeply divided over proposals to stem the crisis at the border.

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Lawmakers Vow New Effort to Measure Budget Results

Top legislative Republicans are promising that Mississippi will get performance-based budgeting right this time.

Thursday, July 24

Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber's State of the City Address (Full Text)

There is much work to be done, but with your continued support there is no obstacle that will negate our influence. Jackson, Mississippi this is “Our Moment, Our Time” and together we will make an impact on our city that we can all be proud of. I must first off recognize my biggest supporter and friend, my wife Rosalind for her love and support over the past thirteen years of our lives together. I would like to personally thank you, Carmen, Cameron, and Toni Michelle for your commitment to be a servant family.

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Fondren Corner Owner: Anti-Abortion Signs 'Horrible'

Last week, Mike Peters, the owner of Fondren Corner, told fellow building tenants that he would "be the bad guy" and move anti-abortion signs with graphic images of fetuses on the sidewalk outside.

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Deuce McAllister

Born Dulymus Jenod McAllister on December 27, 1978, in Ludlow, the Mississippi athlete known to many football fans as Deuce, will enter the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame July 25.

Obama Wants Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad

President Barack Obama is tapping into growing misgivings about tax-driven overseas mergers by U.S. corporations, issuing a new call to end the practice quickly and questioning the patriotism and citizenship of those companies.

Planes with Malaysia Airlines Bodies Leave Ukraine

Two military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster departed for the Netherlands Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a U.N. team to secure the crash scene which has been controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

Israeli Fire Hits UN Facility in Gaza, Killing 15

Israeli tank shells hit a compound housing a U.N. school in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens who were seeking shelter from fierce clashes on the streets outside.

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School Formula Calls for $312 Million More in 2016

Mississippi's public schools need an additional $312 million from lawmakers next year to fully fund the formula that determines how much money education is supposed to get.

Wednesday, July 23

Lawsuit: JPD Has Long Harassed Pro-Life Groups

Pro-Life Mississippi is suing the Jackson Police Department.

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Queso Hombre

Montie Moore is the cheese monger at Whole Foods Market (4500 Interstate 55 N., 601-608-0405).

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Ain’t Got a Kluwe

Finally, after what seems like the longest off-season in years, football is about to shift its focus back to what happens on the field instead of everything else in the world.

The Slate

Preseason football is getting closer. It seems like forever since the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.

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An ‘Enemy’ Like You

Imagine for a second that, somewhere in the world, exists a person that not only vaguely resembles your appearance but looks exactly like you.

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Jack White: A History and a Future

Jack White was many things to many people before "Lazaretto." He is perhaps best remembered as half of the garage-rock duo The White Stripes.

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Laurin Stennis: Art of Consciousness

For Laurin Stennis, art is about refuge and full self-expression.

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Down the Rabbit Hole

Back in 2011, after becoming friends with Eddie Outlaw, co-owner of the William Wallace Salon (2939 Old Canton Road, 601-982-8300), he invited me to join their crew to march in the Zippity Doo Dah Parade in Fondren.

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The Trail of Barbecue

So, is it bbq, bar-b-q, barbeque or barbecue? Jim Hatten, founder of the Mississippi BBQ Trail, says that it doesn't matter as long as you're there.

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Becoming Paleo

If you've never heard of Paleo, the idea is to eat more like our Paleolithic ancestors—no processed foods, no dairy, no grains.

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No Matter What

Drew and I married Jan. 4—14 months after we met and four months before we graduated from Mississippi State University.

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Leader of the PAC

Bishop Ronnie Crudup says federal law does not require his political action committee to reveal more donor and expenditure information until Oct. 15, 2014. So, he's not going to.

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Righting Our Grand Failure

Mississippi's wellness buckets are full of stagnant swamp water. Most of us are familiar with the dismal statistics. Take your pick: teen pregnancy, obesity, diabetes, smoking, heart disease—our rates lead or butt right up against the wrong end of the spectrum, and we've been stuck there for decades.

Help Children, Don’t Attack Them

The situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, where thousands of Central American children are being detained, is grave.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Race-Baiting'

We're unsure if Tyner is confusing the Cochran campaign with himself, since he recently told reporters that Democrats who voted in the Republican runoff—the ones the Cochran campaign engaged to help him win—"diluted the vote."

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A Little Help From Our Affluent Friends

Ike On A Bike: "For many years as owner and chief tour guide of Village Ghetto Land Urban Tours, Incorporated, I've witnessed the steady decline and neglect of the Ghetto Science Community's infrastructure."

Shining a Light on Super PACs

Discrepancies with All Citizens' FEC filings have raised questions about the transparency of the group's actions, but Bishop Ronnie Crudup claims the mistake was a misunderstanding.

Letters to the Editor

I have been hearing all the talk concerning Democrats, particularly African Americans, being paid to vote for Thad Cochran in the Republican runoff or that they were influenced to vote by a few self-appointed black leaders. Those are the farthest things from the truth.

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Black is the New Black: How Blacks Changed the GOP Game

On the night of June 24, state Sen. Chris McDaniel took the podium from his fellow Mississippi state legislator Michael Watson after results came in for the Republican primary run-off for the U.S. Senate.

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Drug Test Law: Punishing Parents, Starving Kids

Poor Mississippi children could go hungry if their parents test positive for drug use under a new state law that was supposed to go into effect on July 1, but has been delayed.

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Dr. Christian Koch

Growing up solving riddles and puzzles set Dr. Christian Koch on a path to medicine. He loved mathematics and constantly asked "why?"

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It’s Time to Change ‘The Game’

In most every election, we just move around the chess pieces but no one ever really wins, certainly not the voters.

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Brotherhood and Rooster Blues

The brotherly duo Rooster Blues aims to make the blues its own by introducing a mix of weighty lyrics, extensive musicality and a little rock 'n' roll.

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Juice Me

Juicing is a great way to get your fruits and veggies in, and also have a delicious drink.

Memorial Honoring Injured Veterans Under Way in DC

The American Veterans Disabled For Life Memorial will be the first memorial in Washington dedicated to veterans who come home with life-changing injuries.

House GOP: Send National Guard, Speed Removals

House Republicans want to send National Guard personnel to the nation's southern border to speed removal of unaccompanied young migrants.

Malaysia Jet Victims' Bodies Arrive in Netherlands

Two military transport planes carrying 40 coffins bearing victims of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 landed Wednesday in the southern city of Eindhoven, and pro-Russian rebels shot down two fighter jets in Ukraine's restive east as fighting flared in the region.

Southwest, South Score Low on Child Welfare Index

Several states in the Deep South and Southwest have earned dismal scores on an annual child welfare index that cited poverty and single-parent house households as worrisome trends that must be turned around for things to improve.

Tuesday, July 22

Dueling Rulings: Courts Split on Health Law Clash

President Barack Obama's health care law is snarled in another big legal battle, with two federal appeals courts issuing contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday.

Democrats to Unveil $2.7B Bill on Alien Children

Senate Democrats are preparing to significantly cut President Barack Obama's request for emergency funding to deal with an influx of Central American children streaming across the border with Mexico.

Plane Crash Bodies Removed from War Zone

A train bearing the dead from the downed Malaysian airliner reached Ukrainian government-held territory at long last Tuesday, but the pro-Russian separatists in control of the crash site showed little willingness to allow the full-scale investigation demanded by world leaders.

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Yarber's City Shakeup Targets JRA, Judge

Mayor Tony Yarber's city shakeup continues as he has moved to terminate a municipal judge and is likely to appoint several new members to the Jackson Redevelopment Authority.

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July Brings New Medical Developments to Jackson

UMMC was one of four medical centers in Mississippi to be recognized as "Most Wired" in the study. Others included St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson and North Mississippi Health Services in Tupelo.

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Derrick Trimble

On Sunday, July 20, Jackson lost community fixture Derrick Terrell Trimble, who ran for the Ward 4 Jackson City Council seat in the May 2013 election. Trimble died after a long illness.

U.S. Appeals Court Decision Threatens Key Obamacare Provision

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, potentially derailing billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

2008 Law Unexpectedly at Center of Border Debate

Immigration advocates and many Democrats insist on preserving what they describe as important protections in the 2008 law for unaccompanied youths who flee their home countries or are smuggled to the U.S.

Friend is First Convicted in Boston Marathon Probe

The conviction of a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for impeding the investigation into the bombings has his lawyers wondering if anyone else who faces charges connected to the 2013 attack stands a chance of acquittal.

Egypt Calls for Israeli, Palestinian Peace Talks

The U.S. and Egypt sought Tuesday to find an end to two weeks of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, and officials raised the possibility of restarting stalled peace talks between Israel and Palestinian authorities as a necessary step to avoid sustained violence.

Hearing Set on Miss. Welfare Drug-Testing Law

The Mississippi Department of Human Services is holding a public hearing Tuesday to gather comments about a new welfare drug-testing law.

Monday, July 21

US to Send $47M in Humanitarian Aid to Gaza Strip

The U.S. is sending $47 million in humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip to help tens of thousands of Palestinians there who have been forced from their homes since war broke out two weeks ago.

Report: Retaliation by Supervisors Common at VA

Medical professionals from coast to coast have pointed out problems at the VA, only to suffer retaliation from supervisors and other high-ranking officials, according to a report Monday by a private government watchdog.

Rebels Release Train with Bodies from Downed Jet

Pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane and agreed to hand over its black boxes Monday, bowing to heavy international pressure four days after the jet plunged into rebel-held eastern Ukraine.

Judge Won't Lift Fla. Keys Gay Marriage Stay

A Florida Keys judge who last week ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional refused Monday to allow gay couples to begin marrying in Monroe County, citing a pending appeal by the state attorney general.

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JPD Chief Horton Retires Amid Botched 911 Call Scandal

Lindsey Horton, one of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba's first and most popular appointments last year, is stepping down from his post as Jackson's police chief, effective immediately.

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Byrom Moved to Tishomingo Co. for New Trial

Death row inmate Michelle Byrom has been moved to the Tishomingo County jail where she will await a new trial.

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Jasmine Murray

Jasmine Murray received the Miss Mississippi 2014 crown Saturday, July 12, in Vicksburg.

Dutch Tell Rebels: Train Full of Bodies Must Leave

Dutch forensic investigators told armed separatists guarding train cars full of bodies from the downed Malaysia Airlines jet that the train must be allowed to leave as soon as possible Monday.

Obama Gives Protection to Gay, Transgender Workers

Federal workers and contractors who are gay and transgender are getting new protections from President Barack Obama.

UN to Vote on Crash Resolution; Russia Has Doubts

The U.N. Security Council will vote Monday on an Australia-proposed resolution demanding international access to the Ukraine plane crash site and a cease-fire around the area, with diplomats pressuring a reluctant Russia to approve it.

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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, July 19

Mississippi Jobless Rate Rises to Worst in Nation

Mississippi's unemployment rate rose to worst in the nation at 7.9 percent in June, as the state's economic recovery lags behind others.

Friday, July 18

US Appeals Court Tosses Oklahoma Gay Marriage Ban

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Oklahoma must allow gay couples to wed, prompting a fast, angry response from leaders of a state that has vehemently fought policy changes brought on from outside its borders.

AIDS Conference Attendees on Downed Malaysian Jet

A prominent researcher, an activist and at least two others headed to an AIDS conference in Australia were on the Malaysian jetliner shot down over Ukraine, news that sparked an outpouring of grief across the scientific community.

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Nissan: Part of New Supplier Park to be Complete this Year

Officials with Nissan North America's Canton assembly plant said that part of a supplier park, which the company broke ground on in 2013, is scheduled to be completed by the end of the calendar year.

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Cornell William Brooks

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People named Jackson State University alumnus Cornell William Brooks its next national president in May.

Israel Deepens Gaza Push to Destroy Hamas Tunnels

Israeli troops pushed deeper into Gaza on Friday to destroy rocket launching sites and tunnels, firing volleys of tank shells and clashing with Palestinian fighters in a high-stakes ground offensive meant to weaken the enclave's Hamas rulers.

In Iraq, Syria, Militants Try to Govern as a State

Across the broad swath of territory it controls bridging Syria and Iraq, extremist militants from the group known as the Islamic State have proven to be highly organized administrators.

Ukraine: Pro-Russia Rebels Downed Malaysian Plane

Ukraine accused pro-Russian separatists of shooting down a Malaysian jetliner with 298 people aboard, sharply escalating the crisis and threatening to draw both East and West deeper into the conflict. The rebels denied downing the aircraft.

Thursday, July 17

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Justices Rule Against McDaniel: Conceal Voters' Birthdates on Poll Books

The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled Thursday that circuit clerks must redact voters' birthdates before poll books are open for public inspection.

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Council Nixes One Yarber Judge Pick, OKs Others

Amid speculation that a city judge might vacate her spot on the bench, the Jackson City Council declined to confirm one of two men Mayor Tony Yarber nominated as municipal judges at a special city council meeting July 16.

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Don Hinton

Don Hinton became executive director of the MHSAA July 1, 2011, when Mississippi Sports Hall-of-Famer Ennis Proctor retired after 20 years in the position.

Justice Dept: Missing Emails Now Part of IRS Probe

A Justice Department investigation into the Internal Revenue Service has expanded to include an inquiry into the disappearance of emails from a former senior IRS official.

Putin: US Sanctions Hurt Bilateral Ties, US Firms

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday lamented the latest round of U.S. sanctions against Russia, saying they will stalemate bilateral relations and hurt not only Russian but also American businesses.

Microsoft to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs Over Next Year

Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its history Thursday, saying it will cut up to 18,000 jobs or 14 percent of its staff as it works to cut down on management layers and integrate the Nokia cellphone business it bought in April.

Wednesday, July 16

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Crudup Says PAC 'Ethical,' Cochran a 'Known Commodity' for Black Voters

Bishop Ronni Crudup says his pro-Cochran PAC did not disclose expenditures for radio ads because "they extended some credit to us."

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McDaniel Campaign Finds Enough Illegal Votes to Warrant Challenge

The campaign for state Sen. Chris McDaniel charged Wednesday that more illegal votes exist than Republican representatives like Pete Perry of Hinds County suggest.

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4 More Hate Crime Indictments Handed Down for James Anderson Killing

Federal prosecutors announced today that a federal grand jury has indicted the following people for allegedly participating in the a conspiracy to commit federal hate crimes against African-Americans in Jackson:

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A Different Kind of Legacy

This past Friday was a day for bad sports cliches like "Return of the King" or "The Prodigal Son Returns." It was also a day for sappy videos.

The Slate

Here's some sports news you might have missed Friday because of LeBron James: Mississippi State University and Kansas State University agreed to a home-and-home series in 2018 and 2019.

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Michael Flynn on the Farthest Limb

Currently on hiatus with his band Slow Runner, which he and co-songster Josh Kaler affectionately and only semi-jokingly refer to as "dork pop," Michael Flynn's first solo release sees him taking a different approach.

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Summer Blockbusters: Part Two

"Get On Up" gets down with the competition on Aug. 1.

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Naked is Sexy

In her initial Instagram post, Mea Ashley challenged girls and women to post a selfie on their social-media pages with no makeup, coiffed hair and no filters or edits to "improve" their real images.

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Pop-Up Ballot: Best Place for Crawfish

The Crawdad Hole's existence makes lazy summer weekends in Jackson automatically better.

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Wednesday’s Women

At the height of the civil rights era, a group of women of varying races and faiths dared to defy the norms of the time. In the summer of 1964, also known as Freedom Summer, women defied their husbands and banded together to tackle one of the most racially segregated cities in the South—Jackson.

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Girl Tunes: The Performers of the 2014 JFP Chick Ball

Funk-fusion songstress Victoria Cross expects to give listeners at the 10th Annual Chick Ball something they've never heard before.

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The 2014 Chicks We Love

The holistic path of osteopathic medicine, emphasizing preventative care, drew Dr. Carrie Nash toward her degree.

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PREVENT, Protect, Empower Hero: Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy

In the summer of 2013, Ron Crew, instructor and coordinator at the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy, went on a mission trip to Thailand, where his eyes were opened to the horrors of human trafficking.

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Prevent, PROTECT, Empower Hero: Sen. Sally Doty

In the spring of 1986, a young Mississippi University for Women sophomore was in the upstairs sitting area of the Mississippi Senate gallery looking down on the floor, where she only saw men.

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Prevent, Protect, EMPOWER Hero: Sarah Reynolds

Sarah Reynolds doesn't fit the stereotype that many people associate with domestic-violence victims.

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Using Her Voice

Pamela D.C. Junior was 15 years old when a teacher at Jim Hill High School approached her and said, "You need to use this voice of yours." At the time, Junior felt too shy to display her talent.

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10 Years of Stopping Abuse: How and Why We Started the JFP Chick Ball

The JFP Chick Ball matters to people who don't usually get asked to help with fundraisers. It gets everyone involved. It raises awareness. It gives a way to talk about abuse, even as it's one of the best and most stylish parties in town.

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Don’t Ask Me to Forget

When I am asked why I often speak about my abuser and why I don't take his "feelings" into account, I cannot fathom any form of reaction and certainly no apology.

Don’t Miss Chance to Fix PAC Problem

The Jackson Free Press doesn't often say, "we told you so," even if we did. But after the news cycle of the last week, in which unreported PAC activity in the U.S. Senate race has made national news, it's hard to resist.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Everything'

The jury is still out on whether All Citizens for Mississippi, which Crudup helped start, is in compliance with all relevant federal election and campaign laws.

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That’s Not How Pregnancy Works

Sit back for a moment and think back to the long gone days of 2011. That was the year many of us were either working to ensure Initiative 26 (better known as the personhood amendment) didn't pass, or we were concerned about its passage.

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KiOR on the Block?

Fully cashing in on the green energy revolution continues to elude Mississippi as a company that state officials, including former Gov. Haley Barbour, helped fund with state money, is now considering putting itself up for sale.

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Sex Trafficking: Close to Home

Sex trafficking isn't just about men abusing women in other parts of the world. That's why the screening tour for a documentary that explores the issue of sex trafficking in Malawi, Africa, is called the "Close to Home" tour.

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PAC Trouble on the ‘Horizon’?

As it turns out, the most influential figure in the never-ending Mississippi U.S. Senate contest might not be either of the Republican primary candidates, state Sen. Chris McDaniel or U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.

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Black Dems Key for Pro-Cochran PAC

A super PAC that supports Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran leaned heavily on well-known operatives in state Democratic politics.

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Legislative Fixes Needed for Primaries?

Assuming the Republican primary for U.S. Senate is resolved by the start of the 2015 legislative session, the Legislature could grapple with whether legislative fixes are required to curb electoral chaos in the future.

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April Sade

April Sade, 28, aims to use her experience as a domestic-violence victim as fuel to generate a bigger spotlight on Mississippi and the untapped talent that it possesses.

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The Ideal Woman

No amount of fat-shaming or skinny-shaming or "thinspiration" can change the fact that all women are different and none, really, has the "ideal body." While makeup, clothes and perfect hair enhance beauty, they don't change the person underneath.

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Go Local for Dramatic Flair

Marianne Hause began on the stage of the Black Rose Theatre (103 Black St., Brandon) two years ago in the production of "Our Town."

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Finding Mississippi in 'Parts Unknown'

Recently, Anthony Bourdain, host of "Parts Unknown" on CNN, traveled to the Mississippi Delta to learn about the state's history through food and conversation with local residents.

US Preparing Unilateral Sanctions on Russia

he United States is considering imposing unilateral sanctions on Russia over its threatening moves in Ukraine, a shift in strategy that reflects the Obama administration's frustration with Europe's reluctance to take tougher action against Moscow, according to U.S. and European officials.

New Guidelines Could Help Many Pregnant Workers

New federal guidelines on job discrimination against pregnant workers could have a big impact on the workplace and in the courtroom.

Dems Seek Political Edge in Contraception Ruling

Democrats see a political winner in the stinging defeat they suffered when the Supreme Court ruled that businesses with religious objections may deny coverage for contraceptives under President Barack Obama's health care law.

Tuesday, July 15

House Votes to Extend Moratorium on Internet Taxes

The House voted Tuesday to make permanent a moratorium that prevents state and local governments from taxing access to the Internet.

House to Take Up Highway Bill as Deadline Looms

With an August deadline looming, the House is poised to act on a bill that would temporarily patch over a multibillion-dollar pothole in federal highway and transit programs while ducking the issue of how to put them on a sound financial footing for the long term.

Iraqi Parliament Breaks Deadlock to Elect Speaker

Iraqi lawmakers broke two weeks of deadlock Tuesday and elected a moderate Sunni as speaker of parliament, taking the first step toward forming a new government that is widely seen as crucial to confronting militants who have overrun much of the country.

Church Lawyer Details Cover-Up Claims on Sex Abuse

A canon lawyer alleging a widespread cover-up of clergy sex misconduct in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has made her most detailed claims yet, accusing archbishops and their top staff of lying to the public and of ignoring the U.S. bishops' pledge to have no tolerance of priests who abuse.

Arizona Protesters Hope to Stop Immigrant Transfer

Protesters carrying "Return to Sender" and "Go home non-Yankees" signs faced off with immigrant rights activists Tuesday in a small Arizona town after a sheriff said a bus filled with Central American children was on its way.

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Hinds GOP Chief: No More Than 350 Improper Votes Locally

Pete Perry, the Hinds County Republican Executive Committee chairman, said claims from the campaign of state Sen. Chris McDaniel's campaign that county leaders improperly conducted the June 24 Republican primary runoff are baseless.

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New Wings, Oysters and Pastries for Jackson

The coming months are promising for any oyster lovers in Jackson, as two new oyster-centric restaurants will make their debut.

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Dr. Ramin Cooper Maysami

Jackson State University named Dr. Ramin Cooper Maysami, 52, the new dean of its College of Business on July 1.

5 Miss. Properties Added to National Register

A Mississippi turn-of-the-century car dealership, African American cemetery, two public schools, and a historic district are now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Monday, July 14

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Hendrix, New Ward 6 Councilman, Brings Council to Full Strength

After a swearing-in ceremony with Federal Appeals Court Judge James Graves presiding, Tyrone Hendrix took his seat among attending city council members as the successor to Mayor Tony Yarber, the previous Ward 6 representative.

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Want to Limit Global Warming? Bring Cash

The world lacks not only the will, but the technology to achieve the deep carbon cuts needed to avert catastrophic climate change, according to a report presented to the United Nations today by leading research institutions in 15 countries.

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Muriel Ellis

Muriel Ellis, 54, became the first African American clerk of Mississippi's Supreme Court and Court of Appeals on July 1 this year, after being the first African American Supreme Court deputy clerk and chief deputy clerk.

Despite Offensive, Gaza Rockets Still Hit Israel

Israel says its punishing air assault on Hamas militants, their property and their weaponry has delivered a devastating blow to the Islamic militant group. Yet rocket fire at Israel has continued almost unabated.

Democrats Scour Records for Provocative Comments

As the nation's midsection has grown more conservative and Republican, Democrats have sometimes had to rest their hopes on well-positioned GOP contenders imploding with their own politically off-key statements.

Citigroup to Pay $7B in Subprime Mortgages Probe

Citigroup announced Monday that it will pay roughly $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into risky subprime mortgages, the type that helped bring on the financial crisis.

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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, July 12

US Appeals Granting of New Trial to Ex-BP Engineer

Federal prosecutors are appealing a judge's decision to grant a new trial to a former BP engineer convicted of obstructing justice in an investigation of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Friday, July 11

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9 Inmates Hurt in Disturbance at Miss. Prison

Nine inmates suffered cuts and stab wounds during a disturbance at the privately-run prison at Walnut Grove in Leake County.

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Avery Nejam

Much like Andy Warhol, Avery Nejam, 22, frequently uses elements of American pop culture as her subjects.

LeBron James Headed Home to Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James told Sports Illustrated Friday that he's decided to go home. It's a move that would have seemed unfathomable four years ago, after the venomous fallout that followed his decision to leave Cleveland for the Miami Heat.

US Given Heads Up About Newspaper Data Destruction

The Obama administration knew in advance that the British government would oversee destruction of a newspaper's hard drives containing leaked National Security Agency documents last year, newly declassified documents show.

Inventor Pushes Solar Panels for Roads, Highways

The solar panels that Idaho inventor Scott Brusaw has built aren't meant for rooftops. They are meant for roads, driveways, parking lots, bike trails and, eventually, highways.

German FM to Meet Kerry to Discuss Spying Claims

Germany's foreign minister said Friday he will tell U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at a meeting this weekend that Berlin wants to reinvigorate the two countries' friendship "on an honest basis" after asking Washington's top spy to leave.

Girl Hoped to Have Been Cured of HIV Has Relapsed

A Mississippi girl born with the AIDS virus and in remission for more than two years despite stopping treatment now shows signs that she still harbors HIV—and therefore is not cured.

Thursday, July 10

More Barbour Legacy: KiOR Explores Fire Sale

KiOR, based in Pasadena, Texas, announced it had hired Guggenheim Partners in a Wednesday stock filing. The company said it expected Guggenheim to complete a sale or restructuring process, "or make substantial progress," by Oct. 31.

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Media Buying Firm Purchases Pro-Cochran Ads, Funded by NRSC

Bishop Ronnie Crudup is denying any wrongdoing for his role in a U.S. Senate political action committee, even as his employee—and the super PAC's treasurer—refuses to release a list of donors to the effort.

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Hinds Commissioner, A Cochran Relative, Denies Destroying Runoff Records

Connie Cochran, one of Hinds County's five elected election commissioners and Thad Cochran's sister-in-law, told the Jackson Free Press this morning that the commission did not commit sabotage to help U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran win the June 24 Republican runoff to keep his seat.

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Senator Calls for Mississippians to Sign Petition for Fully Funded Education

Members of the Jackson community gathered at the Mississippi Art Center on Wednesday to push forward discussions about fully funding public education in Mississippi.

Homeland Chief Presses $3.7B Border Request

In what figures to be a tough sell, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is going to Capitol Hill to make the case for President Barack Obama's request for $3.7 billion to help deal with a flood of unaccompanied child immigrants that has overwhelmed the Border Patrol in South Texas.

US, China Talk Cyberhacking Amid New Allegations

Top American officials said Thursday they challenged their counterparts in China to rein in alleged cybersecurity infringements as a new allegation emerged of a brazen attempt by Chinese hackers to break into U.S. government personnel files.

Germany Asks Top US Spy to Leave the Country

Germany took the dramatic step Thursday of asking the top U.S. intelligence official in Berlin to leave the country, following two suspected cases of American spying and the yearlong spat over eavesdropping by the National Security Agency.

Confederate Battle Flags on Va. Campus to be Moved

Washington and Lee University is drawing praise from some and complaints from others after announcing that it will remove Confederate battle flags from a chapel on the Virginia campus where Robert E. Lee is buried.

Wednesday, July 9

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Basketball Is Our Soccer

The United States Men's National Soccer Team gave it their all in a 2-1 loss to Belgium in the World Cup. While the USMNT didn't win, the team did improve.

The Slate

You might not believe it, but football is nearly upon us. College football media days are about to begin, and NFL training camps open up July 20 starting with the Buffalo Bills.

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SilaS: Trumpeter Turned Rapper Amazes

SilaS’ “Rap Revolt” melds the Jackson-based rapper’s lyrical and instrumental aptitude with stunning results.

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Shaking up the Rom-Com

"Shaking the Sugar Tree" is about a gay father raising a child on his own, which Wilgus based on a surprising fact. Mississippi has the highest percentage of same-sex couples raising children, reports the Williams Institute, a part of the University of California, Los Angeles Law School.

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Welcome to the Club

"The (Dead Mothers) Club," which stated that one in nine Americans will lose a parent before age 20, focuses on three young women: a high-school senior named Jordyn, a Brazilian living in New York City named Leticia and Jackson artist Ginger Williams-Cook, whose work is the art for the film's poster.

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Lessons in Abstraction

For every abstraction that leaves you cold, another may set your imagination afire. The viewer's experience is essential to abstract art, says Jackson artist Jonathan Berry, even though it was the antithesis of creativity for one of his teachers.

Fischerisms: A Collection of Quotes from AFA Spokesman Bryan Fischer

On Hitler: "Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews."

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Loving All Over Hobby Lobby

In September 2012, the American Family Association sent an action alert to its followers, urging them to support Hobby Lobby in its quest to deny insurance coverage of some contraception and to send letters of encouragement.

Snapshot: Alliance Defending Freedom

Fights: Gay rights, same-sex marriage, secularism; Controversy: Accused of defending laws in Belize making homosexuality a criminal act subject to prison time.

Religious Freedom, Before and After

Excerpt from initially proposed Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act (2014)

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Cochran, McDaniel: Bourbon vs. Populist, Again

The parallels between the Populist movement of the 1890s and today's Tea Party are striking, even though crucial differences also exist.

Mississippi Needs Election Investigation, Real Reform

The McDaniel campaign's determination to stay the course on possible election violations is oddly refreshing to us because it opens up a dialogue on how elections should actually be run.

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On Educational Funding

The Mississippi Economic Council recently completed its 19-city Pathway to Progress listening tour. In each of these meetings, the council polled business and civic leaders about the most important issues facing Mississippi, including education.

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Meeting of Great Minds

Big Roscoe: "Boneqweesha Jones, Little Momma Roscoe and I had a meeting of great minds during Hot Wing Happy Hour at Clubb Chicken Wing last week. We contemplated starting an annual summer education program for citizens of the Ghetto Science Community."

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Mental Health in Limbo?

The Mississippi State Hospital may be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act after closing its Community Services Division, which provided outpatient care for those suffering mental disabilities.

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It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad GOP Race for U.S. Senate

The clock is ticking for Sen. Chris McDaniel's senatorial campaign to file a challenge to the U.S. Senate race run-off election results after the Mississippi Republican Party certified Thad Cochran's win Monday night.

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Inside the AFA: How One ‘Hate Group’ Is Fighting the ‘Gay Agenda’

At the American Family Association headquarters in Tupelo, Miss., a staff of about 130 produces radio programs and other media to promote its Christian ideology.

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Yarber Pushes for New Crime Tip System

Jacksonians may soon be able to send crime tips via text messages and pictures directly to officers at the Jackson Police Department—but will they?

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Biqi Zhao

Biqi Zhao sees intrinsic beauty and potential in not only the streets of Jackson, but in its citizens as well. As land use manager for the City of Jackson, she plays an important role in the city's revitalization efforts.

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Hobby Lobby Ruling Could Spell Corporate Trouble

One of the basic problems that we have in this country is the structure of the modern corporation—particularly large, multi-national corporations.

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The Red Thangs' New Thang

The Red Thangs have noticed a few more people singing along at shows lately. The Oxford, Miss.-based indie-rock/pop band released its self-titled debut album on June 16, which is available on Google Play, Pandora and Spotify, as well as the band's Bandcamp account.

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A ‘Nice’ Take on Salade Niçoise

The French Salade Niçoise (pronounced nee-swaz) traditionally consists of tuna, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, Niçoise olives and anchovies.

US, China Vow to Improve Cooperation

The United States and China vowed Wednesday to improve their economic and security cooperation, saying they wouldn't let persistent differences over maritime claims, cyberhacking and currency hamper a relationship critical to global peace and prosperity.

Israel Hits Key Hamas Targets in Gaza Offensive

Israel stepped up its offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Wednesday, pummeling scores of targets and killing at least 14 people as Israeli leaders signaled a weeks-long ground invasion could be quickly approaching.

50 Bodies Found in Iraq, Raising Sectarian Worries

Iraqi officials discovered 50 bodies, many of them blindfolded and with their hands bound, in an agricultural area outside a city south of Baghdad on Wednesday, raising concerns over a possible sectarian killing amid the battle against a Sunni insurgency.

Court Examines Charges in 2010 BP Disaster Deaths

Prosecutors tried Tuesday to persuade a federal appeals court to reinstate some of the manslaughter charges against two BP employees in a case arising from the deaths of 11 workers in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tuesday, July 8

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GOP Primary #Overnotover, McDaniel Vows Challenge

The Republican primary for U.S. Senate is officially over—except it's not quite over.

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Local Food, Local Brews and Local Goods

The Mangia Bene restaurant group, which includes Sal and Mookie's New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint, BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar and Broad Street Baking Company, will host two special dinners at its restaurants this month.

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Evan Alvarez

The night before Evan Alvarez, 21, resigned from his position as chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans at Mississippi State University was a quiet one.

Judge Says Poll Book Suit Better Heard in Jackson

A federal judge says he's inclined to send a lawsuit about access to poll books from Oxford to Jackson.

Monday, July 7

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Dem Head: Hinds GOP Didn't Provide Poll Books to Check Voters

The head of the Mississippi Democratic Party is charging that the state Republican Executive Committee failed to have Democratic poll books on hand during the June 24 Republican Party runoff to ensure that voters didn't illegally cross party lines to vote.

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McDaniel Attorney Mitch Tyner Expects to Find 6,700 Bad Votes Cast for Cochran

McDaniel campaign attorney Mitch Tyner says he believes at least 6,700 fraudulent votes were cast in the Republican primary run-off, enough to negate Thad Cochran's win.

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Hinds: Jackson Should Pay More for Inmates

People arrested in the city of Jackson, the largest municipality in Hinds County, also make up the majority of people incarcerated at the county-run Raymond Detention Center. That has long been a source of handwringing by county officials, who claim Jackson's inmates are breaking the bank.

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Climate Change Hits America in the Gut

Climate change is creating significant new risks for the $65-billion-a-year U.S. corn industry, foundation for the nation's favorite soft drink sweetener—corn syrup—says a report released today by Ceres, a coalition of investor and environmental groups.

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People of the Day: U.S. Supreme Court

The issue in more than four dozen lawsuits from faith-affiliated charities, colleges and hospitals that oppose some or all contraception as immoral is how far the Obama administration must go to accommodate them.

63 Abducted Females Escape Extremists in Nigeria

More than 60 Nigerian girls and women abducted by Islamic extremists two weeks ago have managed to escape, officials said Monday, though more than 200 girls who were kidnapped in April remain missing.

3 Bridges Blown Up in Ukraine to Block Rebel City

Three bridges on key roads leading into the Ukrainian city of Donetsk were blown up Monday — an apparent attempt to slow down any possible assault by government forces on the rebel-held stronghold.

Australia Returns Asylum Seekers to Sri Lanka

Australia's government confirmed Monday that it had handed over a boatload of asylum seekers to Sri Lankan authorities in a transfer at sea.

Friday, July 4

Miss. Works Out Foster Care Proposal

Mississippi officials and a group that sued over the state's child welfare system have reached a third settlement.

Thursday, July 3

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Dems, Tea Party: Hosemann MIA on Voter Fraud Allegations

Democrats and tea-party conservatives took Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann to task for not looking more closely at charges of voter fraud.

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U.S. Hiring Surges as Unemployment Dips to 6.1 Pct.

U.S. employers accelerated their hiring last month, adding a robust 288,000 jobs and helping drive the unemployment rate to 6.1 percent, the lowest since September 2008.

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Mickey Loomis

New Orleans Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis and the Saints came out the winners when a third party arbitrator ruled that team member Jimmy Graham is to be classified as a tight end for purposes of setting his "franchise tag" cost to the team.

Camps Trade Sharp Words About Miss. Senate Runoff

A campaign adviser for Sen. Thad Cochran says it's time for challenger Chris McDaniel to "put up or shut up" about claims of people voting illegally in last week's Republican primary runoff.

Wednesday, July 2

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Support Team USA

I will watch anything to do with sports. It doesn't matter whether it's football, cricket, rugby, tennis, golf or poker. If there was a World Championship Tiddlywinks tournament, you could bet that I'd watch it.

The Slate

This World Cup has had just about everything happen—drama, heroics, questionable calls, and one player acting like a toddler and getting put in a big timeout for biting. Like I said, nearly everything.

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A Hearty Helping of Rap Activism

Rap changed the day Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five released "The Message" on Sugar Hill Records in the summer of 1982.

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To Record or To Play Live?

One of the things I usually ask touring musicians is if they have a preference for playing concerts or recording in the quiet confines of a studio. The answer varies depending on the musician.

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Daniel Guaqueta's Electronic Melodies

July 1 was a big day for Daniel Guaqueta. He released his first solo project, consisting of music and a video, "Y I am," for digital distribution.

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Sully Carter: Noir Journalist

In the first fiction novel for Mississippi-born author Neely Tucker, he wants to tackle the issues of race, media sensationalism and social justice in a realistic light, all under the guise of a thriller.

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Growing Young Leaders

Philip Scarborough, one of the men who filmed “Growing Our Own,” a film about a Summer Youth Institute where young Mississippians take a journey through civil rights history, said the best part of filming was interviewing Myrlie Evers-Williams.

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Safety in the Sun

While many people are aware of the need to protect themselves from the sun, reducing children's exposure to the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays is especially important.

You know you’re an activist when...

You know you’re an activist when...

Activism on Social Media

Although nothing compares to actively seeking change in the community, real-time exposure to important issues is the first way many individuals learn of social injustices across the world.

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Meet the Young Activists of Today's Mississippi

Senior physics major Arekia S. Bennett is a strong advocate for human rights. The 20-year-old Jackson native is a full-time student at Jackson State University, and in her spare time spends her days fighting for the rights of Jacksonians.

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Songs that Saved Our People

These tunes all have two things in common: They are all about making the world a better place, and they really groove.

Groups We Dig

Mississippians are passionate about many issues. From women's rights to immigration, the Jackson metro is home to a spectrum of organizations that strive to make a difference.

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Young Courage: Freedom Riders, ‘61

Meet more civil-rights heroes at and

Before Freedom Summer: A timeline

May 17, 1954: The Supreme Court rules "separate but equal" unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.

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Freedom Summer: Road Map

This GOOD Ideas issue acknowledges people who have done and continue to do amazing things for Mississippi and the world at large.

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Speak Up to Live Longer?

Being far away from neighbors and businesses creates a feeling of isolation.

Hey, Millennials: ‘We the People’ Must Guard, Expand Our Freedoms

Looking into our past prepares us for the future. It is evident that concept has become a cliche, but very rarely is it easy to interpret the parallels and patterns that history has laid out for us.

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The Jackson Free Press interns need your help in giving young changemakers a pat on the back. Use the hashtag, #InspireJXN and tweet about the people that you admire most in the community. Here are some of the people who inspire us.

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Young Activists: Stand Up

During the summer of 1964, young people around my age and older were the pioneers and advocates who led the movement that changed the United States of America.

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Taking MAEP to the People

After three weeks on the job, Better Schools, Better Jobs had signatures of 40,000 Mississippi voters for Initiative 42, which would require the state Legislature to fund "an adequate and efficient system of free public schools" in order to "protect each child's fundamental right to educational opportunity through 12th grade."

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Setting Down Financial Roots

In an effort to shield Mississippi residents from predatory lenders, the Mississippi Center for Justice launched New Roots Credit Partnership, which helps connect residents to affordable banking.

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Drilling Ruling Another Win for Gulf Boosters

When Derrick Evans talks about the challenges facing his home of Turkey Creek and the people who inhabit the community that former slaves founded on the Mississippi Gulf Coast near Gulfport, one word that comes up over and over: biblical.

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Tyrone Hendrix Bests Sweet, Takes Ward 6

Tyrone Hendrix is used to managing campaigns, but his recent foray into politics as a candidate also proved successful.

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Hinds Inmates Can Get HIV Tests

The University of Mississippi Medical Center is taking its HIV and AIDS prevention work to the jailhouse.

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Donovan Barner

Voting rights acts, education and politics aren't the normal topics of conversation for many teenagers, but they're part of 16-year-old Donovan Barner's everyday conversation.

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My Freedom Summer

Freedom Summer's 50th anniversary festivities are drawing to a close, but the future is at the feet of those young change-makers who aim to learn from its successes and apply them to the needs in their communities.

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Sweet Crude: Tradition & Innovation

When musicians Sam Craft and Alexis Marceaux began forming their patented "indie-rock Louisianais" as Sweet Crude, they didn't intend to limit themselves.

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The Alternative Supper Club

Brandon Smith was teary-eyed as she stood in front of more than 20 friends, family members and fellow foodies. She couldn't believe that she had pulled it off—the first Underground Supper Club event.

NSA's Internet Monitoring Said to be Legal

The first time the bipartisan Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board dissected a National Security Agency surveillance program, it found fundamental flaws, arguing in a January report that the NSA's collection of domestic calling records "lacked a viable legal foundation" and should be shut down.

New VA Secretary Nominee Not a Health Care Expert

A onetime Army Ranger and former CEO of a Fortune 500 consumer products company, Robert McDonald may face his toughest challenge yet in fixing the huge, scandal-plagued Veterans Affairs Department.

Often-Split Court Agrees Your Privacy Matters

Supreme Court justices found more common ground than usual this year, and nowhere was their unanimity more surprising than in a ruling that police must get a judge's approval before searching the cellphones of people they've arrested.

Tuesday, July 1

McDaniel Not Giving Up GOP Runoff Against Cochran

Chris McDaniel has presented no evidence to support his claim that voter fraud pushed Senate incumbent Thad Cochran to victory in Mississippi's GOP runoff. And without evidence, the tea party-backed hopeful is going to have a tough time overturning Cochran's nearly 6,800-vote win.

Obama Vows to Act Alone, Taunts Republicans

President Barack Obama defiantly dared congressional Republicans on Tuesday to try to block his efforts to act on his own and bypass a divided Congress that has thwarted his policy initiatives.

Judge Strikes Down Kentucky's Gay Marriage Ban

A federal judge in Kentucky struck down the state's ban on gay marriage on Tuesday, though the ruling was temporarily put on hold and it was not immediately clear when same-sex couples could be issued marriage licenses.

Envoy Says Iraq Can't Wait for US Military Aid

Iraq is increasingly turning to other governments like Iran, Russia and Syria to help beat back a rampant insurgency because it cannot wait for additional American military aid, Baghdad's top envoy to the U.S. said Tuesday.

Dems Hope Decision Will Energize Female Supporters

Their Senate majority in peril, anxious Democrats have seized the Supreme Court decision that some companies need not provide birth control to women as fresh evidence of the GOP's "war on women"—an argument they hope will energize female voters who could decide the balance of power on Capitol Hill.

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Yarber Pushes Jackson's Entertainment Economy

Jacksonians are sick and tired of getting the run-around about what will become of the city's beloved Farish Street and are now demanding that the city get the lead out and take immediate action.

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Highland Village Welcoming Kate Spade, Lululemon, Renovations

Retail development firm WS Development and officials at Highland Village recently announced a series of renovations to take place at the shopping center, along with the opening of the first Mississippi locations for international brands Kate Spade New York and Lululemon Athletica.

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Kiese Laymon

Award-winning fiction writer Kiese Laymon is returning to Mississippi from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where he serves as an associate professor of English and African studies, to serve as the Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi for the 2015-2016 school year.

Cease-Fire Over, Ukraine Renews Attacks on Rebels

Ukraine renewed its attacks against armed pro-Russia separatists Tuesday after the president called off a unilateral cease-fire, carrying out air and artillery strikes against rebel positions in eastern Ukraine.

Birth Control Ruling Sparks Political Clash

Republicans called it a win for religious freedom. The decision of the Supreme Court, they said, is further evidence the country's new health care law is deeply flawed.

Pakistan Vows to Eliminate Terrorist Sanctuaries

A Pakistani military operation launched in the country's northwest will clear the area of terrorists and keep it from being used as a safe haven by militant groups, officials said Tuesday.

Mississippi Enacting Dozens of New Laws Tuesday

New Mississippi laws provide pay raises for teachers, require closer monitoring for concussions in school sports and attempt to limit the cost of obtaining public records.