Stories for August 2016


Wednesday, August 31

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It's Time for Mississippi to Come Together on the Confederate Flag

"We must support our universities who have stepped up to the plate and decided to fight for what they know is right. We have to let them know that we stand with them and that we thank them for their important decision."

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DA Files: What the Heck is ‘Ex Parte’?

A common denominator in the myriad of charges Attorney General Jim Hood has leveled against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith is his alleged use of “ex parte communications.”

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DA Files: The Legacy of Williams v. State

During his objections to Attorney General Jim Hood's prosecution of Christopher Butler at a hearing in Hinds County Judge Melvin Priester Sr.'s courtroom on March 3, 2016, Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith referenced the Supreme Court decision of Williams v. State.

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DA Files: What Is Case No. 16-120?

This Hinds County Circuit Court case, 16-120, serves as the central mystery to the ongoing legal morass surrounding District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith.

The Slate

The long wait is finally over. College football is back, as the first full week of action starts around the country.

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In July, I returned from an eye-opening trip to Cuba with the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance. During our 10-day excursion, we met with scholars and local experts to learn about the country's health, education, agricultural and political systems.

Mississippi, Time for More Women in Office

It's 2016, a year that some would argue is historic in nature, as women around the country watch another woman heading a major political party's campaign for the White House. But sexism is far from over, even within millennial circles, where being progressive is increasingly becoming the new norm.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Safe'

Donald Trump thinks he knows what the American people want, but he has no idea when it comes to what matters most to "minorities."

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Your Sanity Matters

Miss Doodle Mae: "The summer of 2016 was a time of mean-spirited individuals escalating fear, apathy, bigotry, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and racial self-hatred. To soothe the nerves of staff and the community, Jojo, our compassionate leader, will organize a sales event focusing on mental-health issues called 'Your Sanity Matters.'"

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Mississippi’s Mental-Health Conundrum

The mood shift in the old Mississippi Supreme Court room was palpable last week when the Department of Mental Health faced a group of legislators tasked with evaluating the agency's effectiveness and expenditures in upcoming months.

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Youth Judge Fights School-to-Prison Pipeline

Just a few years ago, sagging pants and disrupting instruction at school were almost certain to land a kid in front of Jackson County Youth Court Judge Sharon Sigalas. At that time, Sigalas says the school districts under her jurisdiction were in a pattern of sending kids to her for what she calls "minor violations."

Man Accused of South Alabama Massacre is Expected in Court

A Mississippi man accused of killing five people in a south Alabama home with blows from an ax and gunshots is scheduled to appear at an arraignment hearing Wednesday.

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DA Files: The Curious Case of Mr. Smith, Mr. Butler and Mr. Hood

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith walked into the courtroom on March 3, 2016, with a clear goal—to help get Christopher Butler, then 38, out of the Raymond jail.

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Joshua Powell

Joshua Powell, an actor and producer working with Action Talent Agency in Flowood, may soon be on his way to a theater near you.

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Look to Hattiesburg

Jackson is far from perfect, but it’s at least a city that knows things needs to change—and for the most part, it seems to want to.

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From Memphis to Jackson

Lee Williams Jr., a Jackson native, desired to create a business where he could combine two things he loved: food and sports.

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New Life in Lisbon Deaths

If you haven't heard of Jackson's guitar-based pop quartet Lisbon Deaths yet, don't feel too bad—the band is only about six months old. However, the musicians are no strangers to the local music scene. Instead, they are returning to it with the hopes of bringing a different sound and a different perspective.

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Polls, Voter Turnout and Winning Mississippi

In Mississippi, so far, Trump looks like the favorite, but some pollsters have also speculated that with the right turnout formula, Clinton could give him competition, depending on several factors.

Tuesday, August 30

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Council President: City Will Not Pay to Defend Mayor Tony Yarber in Lawsuit

The Jackson City Council decided today to hire outside counsel to represent its interests in the sexual and race harassment lawsuits filed last week, citing conflicts of interest within the City’s legal department. The City also will not pay for the mayor's defense.

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Two More Mississippi Universities Furl State Flag

Two more Mississippi universities have stopped flying the state's flag, which prominently features the Confederate battle emblem.

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UPDATED: Council Drills City Staffers Over Lawsuits, Gets Few Responses

The Jackson City Council entered into an executive session during a special meeting this morning to discuss sex and race discrimination lawsuits filed against the mayor and the City of Jackson last week, both of which involve members of the legal department directly, including City Attorney Monica Joiner.

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Archie's Fish and Chicken, The Palette Cafe and Char Restaurant

Jackson restaurant Char Restaurant will add a new private dining area by December 2016, combining the current building with the adjacent 3,000-square-foot space that housed Mozingo Clothiers before it moved to Fondren.

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Sisters Margaret Held and Paula Merrill

Hundreds of people filled a cathedral in Mississippi's capital city on Monday to remember two nuns who spent decades helping the needy and were found stabbed to death last week in their home in one of the poorest counties of the state.

Agriculture Closes Offices in 5 States After Threats

The Agriculture Department has closed offices in five states after receiving anonymous threats.

Justice Dept. Focuses on Police Treatment of Mentally Ill

Justice Department lawyers investigating police agencies for claims of racial discrimination and excessive force are increasingly turning up a different problem: officers' interactions with the mentally ill.

Kaepernick's Decision to Sit Through Anthem Scrutinized

From the White House to San Francisco police union headquarters, Colin Kaepernick's name came up Monday as his decision to sit down during the national anthem reached far beyond football.

Trump's Deportation Waffle Highlights Campaign Weaknesses

Donald Trump and his aides used to say that voters didn't care about the nitty-gritty of policy details. But now those details are tripping up his campaign.

Prosecutor to Mull Death Penalty Opposition in Nuns' Slaying

A Mississippi prosecutor said she hasn't decided whether to seek the death penalty for a man charged with killing two nuns who dedicated their lives to helping people in one of the poorest counties in the nation.

Mississippi Seeks Groups for $1M Prekindergarten Expansion

Mississippi education officials are seeking applications from groups seeking $1 million to expand state-funded prekindergarten classes.

Monday, August 29

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Study: Mississippi Women Need More Political Representation

In honor of Women's Equality Day last Friday, WalletHub released its "Best and Worst States for Women's Equality" study, which looked at education, workplace and political environments for women in all 50 states.

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DA Smith Says MBN Framed Jackson Man; Agency Says Evidence Not 'Credible'

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith is hanging his defense to state charges and a bar complaint around what he alleges is a set-up of Christopher Butler, the man at the center of five of the six counts that could get the DA booted from office.

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Jacquelyn Franklin

Jacquelyn Franklin, a retired professor of social studies, African American studies and urban studies at Jackson State University, died on Aug. 3.

Memorial Mass for 2 Nuns Killed in Their Mississippi Home

A memorial Mass will be held Monday for two 68-year-old nuns who were killed in their Mississippi home, even as authorities continue to investigate the stabbing. A man from about 15 miles away has confessed without giving a reason, according to the sheriff.

Clinton Proposes Plan to Address Mental Health Treatment

Hillary Clinton is rolling out a comprehensive plan to address millions of Americans coping with mental illness, pointing to the need to fully integrate mental health services into the nation's health care system.

Trump Plans Detailed Immigration Talk as Questions Remain

Donald Trump says he'll deliver a detailed speech Wednesday on his proposal to crack down on illegal immigration — but it's anyone's guess what he will say.

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10 Local Stories of the Week

There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them.

Saturday, August 27

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Dak Prescott Likely to Start for the Cowboys

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Tony Romo is out with yet another back injury and it's unknown when he will return, although Dallas coach Jason Garrett says he expects his star quarterback to play this season.

Friday, August 26

Judge Blocks Transgender Bathroom Law for 3 Plaintiffs

A federal judge has temporarily ruled that the University of North Carolina can't block two transgender students and an employee from using bathrooms that match their gender identity.

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JPD Escorts 'Champion,' Crime Up and Down, Depraved Heart' Killer Sentenced

Despite ongoing controversy over his role in Hinds County criminal case, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is bragging this week after several local court wins, including sending a Jackson man to prison for "depraved heart murder."

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Sheldon Rankins

The New Orleans Saints are trying to fix a defense that was terrible last season. It was one of the worst in the history of the NFL, but this preseason offered a chance to improve the unit.

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UPDATED: Attorney Sues City of Jackson for Race Discrimination, 'Malicious' Termination

A former deputy city attorney is suing the City of Jackson for race discrimination, racial harassment, retaliation and violation of her First Amendment and due-process rights in federal court.

Slain Nuns Leave Void in Mississippi Community They Served

In the rural Mississippi community they served, two nuns found slain in their home "would do anything for anybody," friends said.

Clinton Defends Family Foundation, Says Work Will Continue

Hillary Clinton defended her family's foundation on Friday, saying that the charitable work it has conducted is in line with American values.

Top French Court Rules Burkini Bans Violate Basic Freedoms

France's top administrative court overturned a ban on burkinis in a Mediterranean town, in a decision Friday that should set legal precedent regarding a swimsuit crackdown that has divided the country and provoked shock around the world.

Thursday, August 25

Two Nuns Found Slain in Mississippi Home; Motive Unclear

Authorities say two Catholic nuns have been found slain in a Mississippi home where they lived.

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UPDATED: Woman Sues Mayor Yarber for Sex Discrimination, Mayor Calls Her 'Disgruntled'

Mayor Tony Yarber's former executive assistant today filed a complaint in federal court accusing him of sex discrimination, sexual harassment and a hostile workplace within City Hall, and of having sexual different work-related sexual liaisons going at the same time.

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In Jackson, Trump Talks Bigotry, 'Brexit' and Fixing America's 'Inner-Cities'

The Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, visited the capital of the Magnolia State on Wednesday night—first for a private fundraiser at the convention center, then for a rally at the Mississippi Coliseum where he talked mostly about race and immigration—and got one fact about African American teenagers dramatically wrong.

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Opponents of Charter Schools Ready for Quick Judgment in Lawsuit

In a small room in the Jackson office of the Southern Poverty Law Center, challengers to the state's funding portion of the charter-school law spoke out about the negative impact they believe the schools have on their children's lives.

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Clarence Weatherspoon

One of the greatest men's basketball players in the history of the University of Southern Mississippi is coming home. Former USM star forward Clarence Weatherspoon is joining the staff as an assistant coach under head coach Doc Sadler.

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Dak Prescott Expected to Play Against Seattle in the Second Half Tonight

Dak Prescott shrugs at the suggestion that the Dallas rookie quarterback's startling success in two preseason games is a product of what skeptics might call the "vanilla" defenses of the exhibition season.

Char Restaurant Adds Large Private Dining Area for Meetings and Special Events

Char restaurant will expand into an adjacent Highland Village storefront this winter to add private dining space.

Welcome to the Trump-Clinton Conspiracy Election

It's a conspiracy: The 2016 campaign features one candidate who warned against the "vast right-wing conspiracy" and another who was a leader of the so-called "birther" movement.

AP-NORC Poll: Gender Matters, but Does it Hurt or Help?

There's no "glass ceiling" keeping a woman from the presidential nomination anymore, but most Americans still think Hillary Clinton's gender will influence the November election. They're just divided on whether it's more of a curse than a blessing.

Leader of British Movement to Leave EU Joins Trump at Rally

Republican nominee Donald Trump is linking his "movement to take back the country" to Britain's surprising vote to leave the European Union.

Mississippi Islamic State Recruit Gets 8 Years in Prison

A Mississippi man who once tried to join the Islamic State group credited arresting FBI agents with saving his life as he was sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday, telling a federal judge he didn't then understand what the Islamic State represented.

Wednesday, August 24

Georgia Man Who Threw Boiled Water on Gay Men Gets 40 Years

A judge sentenced a Georgia man to 40 years in prison Wednesday for throwing boiled water on a gay couple sleeping in an apartment, leaving them with severe burns that required surgery.

France's Sarkozy Brands Burkinis a 'Provocation'

France's former conservative president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has branded the full-body burkini swimsuits worn by some Muslim women a "provocation" that he says supports radicalized Islam.

DOJ Charges Mississippi Businessman with Bribery in Epps Case

Guy E. “Butch” Evans, 61, of Jackson, has been charged with paying bribes and kickbacks to former Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner (MDOC) Christopher B. Epps in exchange for exclusive access to sell insurance products to MDOC employees, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Harold Brittain, and FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Donald Alway.

The Slate

Goodbye, Rio Olympics. Hello, football. There's chances this week to see some college football, but a full schedule starts next week.

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Fall into ‘Final Friday’

There's Fondren's First Thursday, and there's Third Thursday at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Now, the midtown neighborhood has joined in the fray with its ongoing monthly arts and business showcase, Final Friday.

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Beth Ann Fennelly: Why Poetry is Important

Mary Anna Malich, who lives in Chicago, and her daughter, Beth Ann Fennelly, a resident of Oxford, Miss., had recently driven into Jackson from Memphis. Then Malich sat on a cushioned seat in the state capitol's rotunda as her daughter delivered her very first speech as Mississippi's new poet laureate.

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Ego, and the Fear of Losing

We power up each step. We rise higher and higher. We feel our legs become heavy. We make one last push to the top. We reach the top of the stadium. We turn back around. We go again.

VA, Please Listen to Veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has taken a step, albeit a small one, in the right direction. They've admitted they have a problem, specifically with wait times for military veterans.

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Taking the Leap

I cannot step into my leadership—my calling—without taking my team with me. We must all rise together. This realization and this bold honesty has transformed me. I am convinced that I will be a better leader and a better servant because of this revelation.

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Coming into Its Own: ‘Obamacare’ Gets a Shakedown

Mississippians using the federal health marketplace, also known as "Obamacare, "will have fewer options than last year—largely due to United Healthcare's exit from the state's system, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2017.

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Revamping the VA: A Slow Process

Darryl Brady, Jackson's regional benefit office director for the Veterans Administration, said his office is doing everything they can to reach out to military vets in all 82 counties in Mississippi.

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City Needs Siemens Until Problems Resolved

As the City of Jackson continues to mull over the next year's budget and its myriad cuts, the talk from recent city-council meetings about possible legal action against Siemens for the $90-million contract has morphed into discussions on how to address the billing problems facing citizens.

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Mayor Presents Proposed 2017 Budget, Cuts Revealed

Last week, Mayor Tony Yarber presented his proposed 403-page budget to the Jackson City Council for review, which the members did through a four-day gauntlet of meetings with the various departments.

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The Art and Craft of Dak Prescott

I love that the 23-year-old tells anyone who will listen that his success so far is about how hard he works on his craft. It's almost like he is intentionally walking reporters back to the main thing in all the hype of the last two weeks. It's not like it's magic.

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Jina Daniels

Jina Daniels' paintings surround her on every wall as she sits in her kitchen, which doubles as an art studio.

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Stevie Ray Vaughan’s ‘Pride and Joy’

Beginning June 30, the Grammy Museum Mississippi began hosting an exhibit that pays tribute to late blues and rock guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, which runs through Oct. 16.

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Grab a Pint, Get Painting

Beer is good, painting is good, and Jacksonians love both. Soon, we'll be able to combine the two with Paint Nite Jackson's new event series, Paint & Pint Nite, which takes place Aug. 30 and Sept. 6 at Fenian's Pub.

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Teach For America and the Retention Problem

Schools across Mississippi struggle to keep teachers, which educators and experts say is due in part to low salaries and an overall inability to keep Mississippi's most promising young adults in the state.

Tuesday, August 23

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Lawmakers Zero in on College Readiness During Budget Hearing

Mississippi lawmakers are starting public hearings to evaluate state spending, and they're focusing on why some students finish high school without being fully prepared for college.

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Mississippi Charter School Challengers Seek Quick Judgment

A group suing over how Mississippi's charter schools are funded and governed is pushing for a quick ruling in the case.

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Zoo Backs Out of National Accreditation to Focus on Raising Funds

The Jackson City Zoo has dropped its affiliation with a national accreditation agency in the wake of news last week that its yearly contribution from the City of Jackson is expected to drop by $250,000 for fiscal-year 2017.

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District 72 Special Election Today: Meet Candidates, Vote Until 7 p.m.

Residents in Hinds and Madison counties that live in District 72 have the opportunity to elect a new representative to the Mississippi House of Representatives today.

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Saltine in Southern Living and Playtime Entertainment

Birmingham, Ala.-based magazine Southern Living recently named Jackson chef Jesse Houston's Saltine Oyster Bar in its 2016 list of the 25 best new restaurants in the South.

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Cindy Hyde-Smith

Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith is serving on an agriculture advisory committee for Republic presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Kansas Asks Court to Exclude Voters Over Citizenship Proof

Kansas is asking a federal appeals court to keep thousands of people who haven't yet provided the documents to prove they are U.S. citizens from voting in November's election.

Private Lives are Exposed as WikiLeaks Spills its Secrets

WikiLeaks' global crusade to expose government secrets is causing collateral damage to the privacy of hundreds of innocent people, including survivors of sexual abuse, sick children and the mentally ill, The Associated Press has found.

Ex-Fox News Host Files Lawsuit Against Roger Ailes, Others

Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros has charged in a lawsuit she was sexually harassed by former network chief Roger Ailes and other top executives.

Monday, August 22

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JPS Improves, Stays Stable in Language Arts, Math; Average ACT 15.6

Jackson Public Schools remained stable or saw improvement across the third- through eighth-grade English language arts and math assessments in 2015-2016 Mississippi Assessment Program, or MAP, results that the Mississippi Department of Education released Aug. 16.

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Southern Airways Comes to Jackson, Stallworth Pushed Out of Lawsuit

Gov. Phil Bryant joined local leaders Monday to mark the addition of a new air service to the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport.

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Bully XX

A bulldog who roamed the sidelines as the Mississippi State University mascot has died.

S. Korea, US Start Drills Despite N. Korea's Nuclear Threat

South Korea and the United States began annual military drills Monday despite North Korea's threat of nuclear strikes in response to the exercises that it calls an invasion rehearsal.

Samba, Reflections and Pride in Final Rio Olympics Party

Shaking to samba and expressing a sense of longing with uniquely Brazilian words, Olympians and fans said goodbye to the Rio Games with one last big bash that was both revelatory and a sigh of relief.

Trump Says He's Not Flip-Flopping on Immigration

Republican Donald Trump insists that he's not flip-flopping when it comes to his proposal to deport the estimated 11 million people living in the United States illegally — even though his new campaign manager now says his stance is "to be determined."

Judge in Texas Temporarily Blocks Obama's Transgender Rules

A federal judge in Texas is blocking for now the Obama administration's directive to U.S. public schools that transgender students must be allowed to use the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity.

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10 Local Stories of the Week

There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them.

Saturday, August 20

Mississippi Payrolls Rise in July, but Jobless Rate Ticks Up

Employers added workers to Mississippi payrolls in July, reversing three months of losses, but the jobless rate rose slightly.

Friday, August 19

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New Airline Coming to Jackson: Southern Airways Express

The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority (JMAA) and Southern Airways Express invite all members of the media to attend a press conference on Monday, August 22nd, at 8:30 a.m. announcing new non-stop and direct air service to/from Jackson Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN). Representatives from the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority Board of Commissioners, Southern Airways Express executives, and local dignitaries will be available for interviews immediately following the press conference.

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Ole Miss Quietly Mothballs ‘Dixie’

The University of Mississippi shed one more vestige of its Confederate past today, announcing that it is doing away with the song “Dixie” starting with this season’s football festivities. But the public institution, known as Ole Miss, tiptoed the news out the door gingerly.

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Jackson Teens Can Treat Substance Abuse, Learn to Set Goals in Jackson

Mississippi Children's Home Services has launched a substance-abuse program for young people age 12 to 17 in the Jackson metro area.

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JPD Honors William Winter; Fires Officer Who Propositioned Teen

Even though the Jackson Police Department learned it is facing a $2-million budget cut as the City wrestled with cutting its budget this week, 60 officers gathered with stoic professionalism for JPD's weekly COMSTAT meeting Thursday.

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Torenzo Richardson

Torenzo Richardson is no stranger to serving the youth of Jackson.

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Mississippi Book Festival Comes to Jackson Again

For the second year in a row, the Mississippi Book Festival will be at the Mississippi State Capitol on Saturday, Aug. 20.

Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort Resigns

Donald Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort resigned on Friday in the wake of campaign shake-up and revelations about his work in Ukraine.

Lochte Apologizes for Not Being More Candid About Incident

U.S Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte has apologized for his behavior surrounding a late-night incident at a Rio de Janeiro gas station, saying he should have been more "careful and candid" about how he described what happened.

Trump Travels to Louisiana to Survey Flood Damage

Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence were in Louisiana Friday to survey the flood damage that killed at least 13 people and displaced thousands more.

Board Seeks Middle Ground on A-to-F School Grading Scale

State Board of Education members are backing a plan that would assign A grades to fewer Mississippi schools and districts than an administrator task force recommended, but more than Department of Education officials had originally wanted.

Glitch Shortens Some Mississippi Driver's License Renewals

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety is working to fix a glitch that caused some driver's licenses to be renewed for too few years.

Thursday, August 18

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Trump Advisers Waged Covert Lobbying Campaign for Russia-Backed Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — A firm run by Donald Trump's campaign chairman directly orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine's ruling political party, attempting to sway American public opinion in favor of the country's pro-Russian government, emails obtained by The Associated Press show. Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, never disclosed their work as foreign agents as required under federal law. Dies Next Week, Killed by an Unhappy Subject, the brash New York website that broke new ground with its gossipy, no-holds-barred coverage of media, culture and politics, is shutting down after 14 years, brought low by an unhappy, but deep-pocketed, subject.

Chicago Police Recommend Firing of 7 Cops for False Reports

Seven Chicago police officers should be fired for filing false reports in the fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald in 2014, the police superintendent said Thursday, in a move aimed at repairing the reputation of a department dogged by decades of cover-ups and scandal.

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JPD Cuts Budget by $2 Million, But Keeps All Current Officers

The Jackson Police Department is cutting a little over $2 million from its proposed budget, but without eliminating any existing officer positions.

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JPS On Probation, Full Audit Ahead

Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Cedrick Gray says that the district plans to install GPS systems on buses to track their routes, ensure that each school has working fire extinguishers and has "beefed up" the presence of law enforcement in its schools to ensure a "safe and orderly" environment.

Mississippi RB Wilkins Ruled Academically Ineligible

Mississippi running back Jordan Wilkins has been ruled ineligible for the upcoming regular season because he has not met NCAA standards for progress toward a degree.

Obama Administration to End Use of Private Prisons

The Justice Department says it's phasing out its relationships with private prisons after a recent audit found the private facilities have more safety and security problems than ones run by the government.

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Sam Kendricks

Four years ago, pole-vaulter Sam Kendricks barely missed reaching the U.S. track-and-field Olympic trials. He was 25th on an entry list that only invited the 24 participants.

Brazil Police Official: Lochte Made Up Story About Robbery

A Brazilian police official is telling The Associated Press that American swimmer Ryan Lochte fabricated a story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro.

Volunteers Sought as Race to Develop a Zika Vaccine Heats Up

Wanted: Volunteers willing to be infected with the Zika virus for science. It may sound bizarre, but researchers are planning just such a study — this winter, when mosquitoes aren't biting — to help speed development of much-needed Zika vaccines.

2 Lochte Teammates in Robbery Probe Pulled Off Plane

Two Olympic swimmers were taken off their flight from Brazil to the U.S. on Wednesday by local authorities amid an investigation into a reported robbery targeting Ryan Lochte and his teammates.

Uber to Use Autonomous Cars to Haul People in Next Few Weeks

Uber passengers in Pittsburgh will be able to summon rides in self-driving cars with the touch of a smartphone button in the next several weeks.

Wednesday, August 17

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DA’s Attorney Looking for Tapes, Informant; Says AG Hiding Him

Defense counsel James Waide III may have revealed the name of the confidential informant who taped Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith and then provided tapes to the Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s office—tapes that could get Waide disqualified as Smith’s attorney.

Iran Acknowledges Russia Using Its Air Base to Strike Syria

In a move that could reverberate across the Middle East, Iran confirmed Wednesday that Russia is using its territory to launch airstrikes in Syria even as a second wave of Moscow's bombers flew out of the Islamic Republic to hit targets in the war-ravaged country.

Clinton Shrugs Off Trump Shakeup, Attacks His Tax Plan

Hillary Clinton shrugged off Donald Trump's latest campaign shakeup Wednesday, saying he's the "same man" who would cut taxes for rich people while she would force the super-wealthy to pay more.

AP Sources: Manafort Tied to Undisclosed Foreign Lobbying

Donald Trump's campaign chairman helped a pro-Russian governing party in Ukraine secretly route at least $2.2 million in payments to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012, and did so in a way that effectively obscured the foreign political party's efforts to influence U.S. policy.

Trump Campaign Shakes Up Leadership in Latest Sign of Tumult

Donald Trump announced a shake-up of his campaign leadership Wednesday, the latest sign of tumult for his struggling White House bid less than three months from his Election Day faceoff with Hillary Clinton.

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Brandon Announces 8,000-Plus Capacity Amphitheater

A major addition to the Jackson metro’s music offerings is coming in spring 2018, but this time, it won’t be in Jackson. The City of Brandon held a press conference Tuesday, Aug. 16, at the Brandon Municipal Complex, announcing details about the Brandon Amphitheater at The Quarry, which will be located across the street from a new sports facility and seat between 8,000 and 8,500 people.

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Within Our Lifetime

I recently spent three days in St. Louis with 10 brilliant people from the Within Our Lifetime Network strategizing on how to end racism. While we had planned this gathering months in advance, we could not have predicted the juxtaposition of recent events with the purpose of our meeting.

Face, Vote the Truth About Juvy Detention

With so much knowledge at our disposal, we are running out of excuses not to fix juvenile justice in Hinds County.

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From a War Zone to Pink Skies

One thing I've always liked about the world is its beauty. The skies are blue and pink. The palm trees, the landmarks, everything I notice about the world are beautiful but with an ugly truth.

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Kennedy: ‘Caring, Capable, Committed’ to District 72

Theresa G. Kennedy can't go far for long before coming home to Mississippi. She has never lived out of the state for more than a year, on purpose, she says.

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Twists, Turns, Rats and Secret Tapes

Who's ratting out the district attorney? That's just one of many questions swirling around Attorney General Jim Hood's arrest and investigation of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith.

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Youth Judge Now Adhering to Fed Regs

For the last two years, the Hinds County Youth Court handcuffed children while they waited their turn to appear before Judge William Skinner II in direct violation of a federal consent decree.

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Jackson Teens Need Mentors, Opportunity

If Reeves and other state GOP officials really want to see crime come down in the capital city, are they ready to allocate resources to both academic education, early-education and after-school programs, and to equitably encourage 21st-century extra-curricular programs such as youth digital media projects?

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Sarah Asmus

Beneath her professional exterior, Sarah Asmus, 38, is an avid lover of art who enjoys things such as gardening and cooking. Her life motto is short, sweet and to the point: You get what you look for.

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A Family Affair

Raymond Kennedy and Natasha Cayson, two Jackson natives, are the co-owners of Ray's Smokehouse and Grill.

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Walls or Unity? GOTV for Mississippi Latinos Underway

Bill Chandler, the executive director of Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance in Jackson, says electing a president who is sympathetic to immigrants is the next step for families left in limbo by the Supreme Court decision, as well as the immigrant community as a whole.

State Puts Jackson Schools on Probation, Orders New Audit

Not only is a state commission putting the Jackson school district on probation, but members ordered an audit of all the district's schools, expressing concern over safety and discipline.

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Beyond Detention: Exploring Smarter, Cheaper Alternatives to Locking Kids Up

"He's out on the street. He comes home sometimes. He has that little anklet, he doesn't care. It makes no difference to him. He's afraid of nothing." The mother of a Jackson teenage boy told her story to BOTEC Analysis researchers in 2015 as part of a state-funded study on Jackson crime.

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Jackson R&B Fest: Bringing It to You

While working as a music program development manager for the Mississippi Development Authority, helping to create the Mississippi Blues Trail, Jackson native Alex Thomas noticed an unfortunate trend in his home state's music tourism.

Tuesday, August 16

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Water Billing Problems Source of City Budget Issues, Layoffs Ahead

Taylor Jones received a $1,600 water bill to his Belhaven home, and the 23-year-old college graduate doesn't know where to turn. "This was the first bill I had received from the city," Jones said during a phone interview on Aug. 16, "and I was appalled by the amount."

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Dak Prescott

If Dak Prescott was nervous last Saturday, he certainly didn't let it show. The former Mississippi State University quarterback and NFL rookie threw for two touchdowns and 139 yards in the Dallas Cowboys' preseason opener against the L.A. Rams.

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Freshii Comes to Flowood, Mississippi Contemporary Art Center and Las Palmas Mexican Grill

John Newcomb, the nephew of Newk's Eatery owner Don Newcomb, made his own entry into the restaurant business last week with the opening of Mississippi's first Freshii in Flowood.

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Christopher Butler Arraigned for Having Pre-paid Tracfone in Hinds Jail

Christopher Butler, the Jackson man in the middle of Attorney General Jim Hood's investigation of HInds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, was arraigned today for having an illegal, pre-paid cell phone in the Hinds jail.

15 Guantanamo Detainees Sent to UAE in Major Transfer

Fifteen prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention center were sent to the United Arab Emirates in the single largest release of detainees during the Obama administration, the Pentagon announced Monday.

BancorpSouth Puts 2 Planned Mergers on Hold

A downgrade of BancorpSouth's Community Reinvestment Act rating means two mergers have been tabled for the time being.

Restoration Work About to Begin at Elvis' Circle G Ranch

As the faithful gather in Memphis for Monday evening's candlelight vigil and other Elvis Week events, work is about to heat up just to the south at Presley's former Circle G Ranch in Horn Lake.

State Recommends Probation for Violations in Jackson Schools

Four years after the Jackson school district nearly lost its accreditation over problems with special education programs, Mississippi's second largest district is in trouble again with state oversight authorities.

Monday, August 15

Giuliani, Backing Trump, Appears to Briefly Forget 9/11

Rudolph Giuliani, promoting Donald Trump's national security plan, said Monday that in the "eight years before (President Barack) Obama came along, we didn't have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States." That's an apparent omission of the largest terror attack in United States history.

Vanderbilt Pays $1.2M to Remove 'Confederate' from Dorm Name

Vanderbilt University announced Monday that it will pay more than a million dollars to remove an inscription containing the word "Confederate" from one of its campus dorms.

Governor Criticizes Education Agency on After-School Money

Gov. Phil Bryant is calling for immediate action by the state Board of Education to remedy misspending of federal money that's threatening the state's ability to fund after-school programs.

Former Hinds County Deputy Sheriff Facing Charges of Exploitation and Forgery

A former Hinds County deputy sheriff is facing charges that she exploited a vulnerable person and committed forgery, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

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Feds Sue Mississippi for 'Repeated, Prolonged and Unnecessary Institutionalization'

The U.S. Department of Justice sued the State of Mississippi last week for unnecessarily institutionalizing adults with mental illness at a higher rate than providing community-based mental health-care services.

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AG Hood Using Secret Tapes, Confidential Informants Against DA Smith

Attorney General Jim Hood revealed in court filings Friday that his office is using both confidential informants and secret recordings of the Hinds County district attorney in its quest to investigate Robert Shuler Smith and ultimately remove him from office for inappropriate interference with the prosecution of two local men.

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Oren Renick

Author Oren Renick, a professor at Texas State University in San Marcos, is an exhibitor at this year's Mississippi Book Festival, which takes place Saturday, Aug. 20, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Mississippi State Capitol.

One Person Shot in Milwaukee Protest but no Repeat of Riots

One person was shot and wounded during a second night of violent unrest in Milwaukee to protest the fatal shooting of a black man by police, but there was no repeat of the widespread destruction of property.

'Islam for Dummies': IS Recruits Have Poor Grasp of Faith

The jihadi employment form asked the recruits, on a scale of 1 to 3, to rate their knowledge of Islam. And the Islamic State applicants, herded into a hangar somewhere at the Syria-Turkey border, turned out to be overwhelmingly ignorant.

Trump to Call for New Ideological Test for Admission to US

Donald Trump on Monday will call for a new ideological test for admission to the United States, vetting applicants on their stance on issues like religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights. The policy would represent a significant shift in how the U.S. manages entry into the country.

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10 Local Stories of the Week

There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them.

Saturday, August 13

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Mississippi Gay Marriage Law Remains Blocked During Appeal

Mississippi's law on religious objections to same-sex marriage will remain blocked while the governor appeals a judge's ruling that the law is unconstitutional.

Friday, August 12

No Immediate Ruling on Obama Transgender Directive

Despite the first day of school fast approaching, a federal judge isn't ruling immediately on 13 states' request to halt an Obama administration directive on bathroom rights for transgender students in public schools.

Mississippi State Backup QB Staley Transfers

Mississippi State's quarterback race is down to three candidates. The school announced on Friday that sophomore quarterback Elijah Staley has been granted his release and will transfer.

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Pressuring Trump, Clinton Releases 2015 Tax Returns

Hillary and Bill Clinton earned $10.6 million last year, according to a tax filing released by her campaign Friday that sought to pressure presidential rival Donald Trump to disclose his tax returns.

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JFP College Football Preview 2016

This could be one of the most unpredictable college-football seasons in recent memory. Questions surround nearly every college team in Mississippi as the season approaches.

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Most Jackson Crime Down Except Precinct 4; Shooter Arrested; Latinos Targeted?

Overall, total major crimes (property and violent) have fallen 15.3 percent throughout Jackson in 2016 over the same period in 2015, but Precinct 4 has seen a 12.3-percent increase in property crime.

Judge Blocks Ohio Law to Divert Planned Parenthood Money

A federal judge blocked an Ohio law aimed at keeping public money from going to Planned Parenthood, saying in a Friday ruling that the group stood to suffer "irreparable injury."

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Dak Prescott on NFL Debut, Coach Garrett, Poise and That DUI Charge

In a few short months, Dak Prescott went from a hopeful National Football League draft pick to rookie quarterback with the Dallas Cowboys, with a strong possibility of seeing playing time in their preseason opener Saturday night.

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Alex Fraser and Victoria Fortenberry

Rather than going the traditional individual-release route, singer-songwriters Alex Fraser and Victoria Fortenberry decided to team up for their debut recording projects, creating "After the Fact," a split EP that comes out today, Aug. 12, on record labels Elegant Trainwreck and Homework Town.

Manuel Becomes 1st African American Woman to Win Swim Gold

Simone Manuel leaned her head into her hands and cried when she recognized her historic achievement.

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In Reversal, Trump Says IS Claim About Obama Was Sarcastic

After days of alleging repeatedly that President Barack Obama literally founded the Islamic State group, Donald Trump abruptly shifted tone on Friday and insisted his widely debunked claim had been sarcastic.

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Mississippi Gov: Feds Seek to Dictate Mental Health Policy

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is criticizing the U.S. Justice Department for suing the state over adult mental health services.

Thursday, August 11

Feds Sue Mississippi for Discrimination Against Adults with Mental Illness

The Justice Department today filed a complaint against the state of Mississippi, alleging that it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) by failing to provide adults with mental illness with necessary integrated, community-based mental health services.

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Conservative Legal Group Enters the Charter School Lawsuit Fray

A conservative legal group is intervening in the Southern Poverty Law Center's lawsuit challenging the state's charter-school law.

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Despite Racist 'Redlining,' BancorpSouth Pledges to Support Under-Served Jackson

BancorpSouth CEO James Rollins III appeared before the Jackson City Council Tuesday night to address members' concerns in light of the Mississippi bank's recent settlement over "redlining" in the Memphis area.

Tough Talk Between Russia, Ukraine Heats Up Crimea Stalemate

Ukraine put its troops on combat alert Thursday along the country's de-facto borders with Crimea and separatist rebels in the east amid an escalating war of words with Russia over Crimea.

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Michael Phelps

It didn't take Michael Phelps long to work on cementing his legacy as an Olympian. He was voted by teammates to be the flag bearer in the opening ceremony as he marched in the event for the first time.

Ukraine Puts Troops Along Crimean Border on Combat Alert

Ukraine's president ordered the army to be on combat alert Thursday on the country's de-facto border with Crimea and on the front line in eastern Ukraine following Moscow's accusations that Ukraine sent in "saboteurs" to carry out attacks in Crimea.

US Government Won't Reclassify Marijuana, Allows Research

The Obama administration will keep marijuana on the list of the most dangerous drugs, despite growing popular support for legalization, but will allow more research into its possible medical benefits, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced Thursday.

Trump Accuses Obama of Being the 'Founder of ISIS'

Donald Trump is now accusing President Barack Obama of founding the Islamic State group that is wreaking havoc from the Middle East to European cities.

Officer Who Killed Librarian Resigned from Another Agency

The officer who shot and killed a 73-year-old retired librarian during a police "shoot/don't shoot" demonstration in Florida was accused of using excessive force with his police dog and resigned from another police agency in 2013 for failing to satisfactorily complete an agency field training program.

Mississippi Supreme Court Questions Suit Over Execution Drug

A lawyer for a death row inmate is telling the Mississippi Supreme Court that his client should be able to challenge plans to execute him using a lethal injection drug compounded from raw ingredients.

Wednesday, August 10

Prosecutor: Officers Made Up Shooting Story; Both on Leave

A Missouri prosecutor has dropped charges against a man who was accused of trying to shoot a police officer to avoid arrest, saying he thinks the two officers who were there lied about what happened and that their supervisor covered it up so that the criminal case could proceed.

Scathing Report on Baltimore Cops Vindicates Black Residents

With startling statistics, a federal investigation of the Baltimore Police Department documents in 164 single-spaced pages what black residents have been saying for years: They are routinely singled out, roughed up or otherwise mistreated by officers, often for no reason.

Donald Trump's Primary Playbook Leading Him Out of Bounds

In the 2016 presidential campaign, it's long been an article of faith: The rules of political gravity don't apply to Donald Trump. Maybe now they do.

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If Donald and Melania Trump Were Black

Both Donald and Melania Trump have access to a certain “freedom”: The freedom of being white in America.

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College Football Preview 2016: Small Schools

Alcorn had a rough start last season with a 69-6 blowout loss to Georgia Institute of Technology. ASU bounced back with four straight wins by an average 34.5 points per game.

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College Football Preview 2016: The Bigs

Fans hoped that Jackson State would turn things around after Harold Jackson's first season ended with a 5-7 record. The Tigers had plenty of talent returning and should have gotten better in a second season under the same coaches.

Car Hits Protester in Ferguson, Shots Ring Out

Gunshots rang out but apparently hit no one after a car struck a protester during a peaceful demonstration in Ferguson, Missouri, on the second anniversary of Michael Brown's death.

Delta Says 90 More Flight Cancellations; Others Predict More

Delta Air Lines expects some 90 more flight cancellations globally before operations return to normal later in the day.

Trump, on Defense, Blames Media for Second Amendment Flap

On the defensive once again, Donald Trump is blaming faulty interpretations and media bias for an uproar over his comments about the Second Amendment. He's insisting he never advocated violence against Hillary Clinton, even as undeterred Democrats pile on.

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JPS Superintendent Defends District, Award

Serving nearly 4,000 employees and more than 28,000 students, 78 percent of whom receive free or reduced lunch in the state's largest city, Jackson Public Schools often faces loud internal and external criticism from those who lament the district's perceived failures on behalf of its students.

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Saahdiq Charles

There is no doubt that Madison Ridgeland Academy football player Saahdiq Charles is athletic. At the Nike+ Football The Opening's finals, Charles ran 5.21 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which is impressive for a young man of his size.

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DA Files: ‘Too Sweet’ Reverend, Old Faces Back in News

Names of men who were involved in the late and controversial Mayor Frank Melton's universe keep popping up in the convoluted accusations encircling Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith.

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State Agency Budget Groups: ‘Not a Witch Hunt,’ Yet

State leaders are continuing their march toward "fiscal responsibility," including the elimination of government spending of one-time money and implementing performance-based budgeting, as well as a serious look at state agency spending.

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The City’s State: Yarber’s ‘Momentum’

Mayor Tony Yarber's promise for the City of Jackson centers around the one word he repeated during his "State of the City" address Tuesday night, Aug. 2: momentum.

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SOUL Searching

New Orleans' rich musical history has long been one of the signature facets of the Crescent City and a big draw for tourists. But for saxophonist Calvin Johnson, bandleader of funk and soul outfit Chapter:SOUL, that legacy is also an important part of his family heritage.

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Growing Organic

Like his vegetables—mostly heirlooms but also creative hybrids of familiar things—Taylor Yowell's livelihood and life itself is one grown through cultivating a wide range of unusual experiences and bringing them back home to where he started.

We Need Leadership, Organization, Openness

The only mayor any of us should elect is one with a laser focus on getting our city organized to solve our problems together. We need real leadership now.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Law and Order'

We can all work toward a fair, orderly, inviting state (for all) and still hold cops accountable.

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Black, Gay and Christian: Balancing the Equality Scale

I am black, Christian, genderqueer and gay. I chose to be neither the former, nor the latter; it is a gift. None of my identities contradicts the other, despite which agenda society is currently pushing.

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Debra Gibbs: ‘I’ve Been a Leader’

The oldest of five, Debra Gibbs says she has always been an independent woman. She was born and raised in Gulfport but moved to Jackson on her own after graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi with her bachelor's degree in accounting. Gibbs says she was good with numbers even in high school.

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Keep Breaking the Glass Ceiling

A couple of weeks ago, I posted something to Facebook that I thought could possibly get some political backlash from my conservative friends and family: "Regardless of politics, the fact that a woman is a presidential candidate is incredibly inspiring to me. #whoruntheworld? #wedo"

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On Depression and Suicide

Living in a way in which I'm intending to solve my problems instead of succumbing to them puts me in a position to actually affect a positive turnout to the things I don't like about my life.

Tuesday, August 9

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JPS Dads Make the Million Father March

Early this morning, a handful of bright-faced elementary-school students and their tired but happy-looking dads participated in the Million Father March from Jackson Public Schools' Enoch building to Poindexter Elementary School.

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Alex Eaton Wins Seafood Cook-Off, Boccado's International Cuisine and New Sombra

Alex Eaton, executive chef at The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen, won the Great American Seafood Cook-Off, held in New Orleans on Aug. 6.

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Donte Moncrief

Former Indianapolis Colts running back Zurlon Tipton and current wide receiver Donte Moncrief were more than just teammates. The two players were good friends who often spent time off the field bowling and playing pool together.

Kemper Plant to Cost $43M More as Completion Date Extended

Mississippi Power Co. said Monday that it will take at least another month to finish the multibillion dollar power plant it's building in Kemper County, pushing the completion date back to Oct. 31 from Sept. 30.

Monday, August 8

Alabama Chief Justice's Ouster Over Gay Marriage Weighed

A hearing on judicial misconduct charges against Alabama's suspended chief justice began before a packed house Monday after Roy Moore entered to the applause of supporters in the courtroom where usually presides over state Supreme Court hearings.

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Stokes to Propose Siemens Lawsuit, 1-Percent Appointees Head to Council

Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes has placed an order "authorizing legal action against Siemens Industry Inc. (Building Technologies Division) for violations of its performance contractual agreement with the City of Jackson" into the council agenda for tomorrow's 6 p.m. meeting.

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State Auditor Recovers $1.9 Million, But Not Epps Scandal Cash

State Auditor Stacey Pickering and his office has recovered $1.93 million in fiscal-year 2016, a higher number than the State recouped in fiscal-years 2014 and 2015. The new exceptions report shows, however, that the State has not recovered more than $4 million allegedly lost in the recent Department of Corrections bribery scandal.

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Lynn Fitch

Under the pavilion at the Neshoba County Fair last month, politicians touted their achievements as always. But there were very few in the way of new proposals. Except for state Treasurer Lynn Fitch, who made two very specific proposals.

Poll: Young Americans Fear US, Foreign-Inspired Extremists

The threat of violence by people inspired by foreign extremists invokes fear in a majority of young Americans across racial groups. But for young people of color, particularly African-Americans, that fear is matched or surpassed by worries about violence from white extremists.

Family of Muslim Teen Arrested Over Clock Files Lawsuit

The family of a Muslim boy who was arrested after bringing a homemade clock to school has sued Texas school officials, saying they violated the 14-year-old boy's civil rights.

Saturday, August 6

Nevada Mourns Loss of 1st Black Woman to Earn College Degree

Nevada's two major universities are mourning the loss of the first black woman to earn a college degree in the state at a time when most of the nation was still segregated.

Friday, August 5

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FBI Agent: Police Abuse, Modern Slavery, Corruption Still Priorities

Jeffery Artis, special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, spoke to a small gathering at the former Koinonia Coffee House today about the role the department played in the Tupelo, Miss., protests over the police shooting of Antwun Shumpert on June 18.

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Lawmakers Recognized for Passing Juvenile Licensing Act

Rep. Deborah Dixon, D-Raymond, was named a "Most Distinguished Legislator for Juvenile Justice Causes" on Thursday at the 40th Justice for all Youth symposium in Biloxi.

Auditor: All but $3.6M of $377M in Kemper Refunds Complete

All but $3.6 million of $377 million in rate refunds related to Mississippi Power Co.'s Kemper County plant are back in the hands of customers, auditors say.

US Approves GMO Mosquito Test, but No Release Imminent

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is giving final approval for a field trial releasing genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys.

Trump Acknowledges That Footage He Saw Was Not From Iran

Donald Trump is making a rare admission he was wrong — in claiming he saw a video of a U.S. cash payment going to Iran.

Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony Highlights Brazil, Environment

There's nothing like the unique Brazilian vibe — and the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will see no shortage of samba, culture, diversity and history as the South American nation proudly showcases its traditions and environmental wonders.

DC-Area Mayor Faces Drug Charges After Meth-for-Sex Sting

A northern Virginia mayor was facing drug charges Friday after his arrest in a meth-for-sex sting, police said.

Poll: Most Young Whites Think Clinton Broke Law

Young Americans are divided over Hillary Clinton's handling of her email account while she was secretary of state, with most young whites saying she intentionally broke the law and young people of color more likely to give Clinton the benefit of the doubt.

X-Ray Uncovers Hidden Portrait Beneath Famed Degas Painting

A powerful X-ray technique has unveiled a hidden portrait beneath a famed painting by French impressionist artist Edgar Degas, helping solve a mystery that has stumped the art world for decades.

Mississippi OKs Rate Jump for 1 of 2 'Obamacare' Insurers

Mississippi's insurance commissioner has approved a rate increase of 43 percent, on average, for one of two health insurers selling policies on the health exchange created under the federal health care overhaul.

Thursday, August 4

The Slate

This past weekend was the last football-free weekend until Feb. 11, 2017. The games may not count for much later in the year, but preseason football is better than no football.

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State Panel Exploring 'Shotgun' Taxes, the 'Amazon' Problem

State leaders' efforts to reform the Mississippi's tax code set sail on Monday as lawmakers came back to Jackson to kick off the tax policy panel and state agency budget working groups.

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Cedrick Gray of JPS Named Superintendent of the Year

The National Association of School Superintendents named Cedrick Gray, who has been JPS superintendent for four years, as one of two 2016 Superintendents of the Year, along with Timothy Purnell, superintendent of Somerville Public Schools in New Jersey.

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Derek Horne

Alcorn State University added stability to its athletic program by giving a three-year extension to athletic director Derek Horne. Since the school hired him in August 2014, Horne has overseen the growing success of the Braves' athletic program.

Police: London Stabbings that Killed US Woman not Terrorism

A Norwegian-Somali teenager went on a knife rampage through London's Russell Square, a hub for students and tourists, fatally stabbing an American woman and injuring five other people.

Special Prosecutor Named for Laquan McDonald Murder Case

A judge appointed a suburban Chicago state's attorney to handle the murder case against the Chicago police officer who shot black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times, video of which led to large protests and the eventual ouster of the city's police superintendent.

Man to Plead Guilty to Plot to Bribe Ex-Corrections Chief

A Texas man intends to plead guilty to charges that he conspired to bribe Mississippi's former corrections commissioner.

Wednesday, August 3

GOP Frustrations with Trump Mount as Allies Weigh Options

Their party in crisis, Republicans' frustration with Donald Trump reached new heights on Wednesday as GOP leaders scrambled to persuade the presidential nominee to abandon divisive tactics that have led to sinking poll numbers and low morale.

Trump's "Rigged" Claim Challenges US Democratic System

When Donald Trump cried foul over what he describes as a "rigged" electoral system, his loosely defined claims challenged the essence of America's democratic process and more than 200 years of peaceful transfers of power from one president to the next.

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Coffee Shops for Studying

Studying in the library can get boring and tedious, so throughout the year you might need to change your study scene. Coffee shops are the perfect place to review your notes and research for upcoming projects. Here are a select few of coffee shops around Jackson.

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Keeping Spirituality Alive

If one thing you're worried about is where to worship, don't be. Jackson is a diverse city and has many different places to be part of a vibrant faith community. Here are a few.

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Ways to Save for College Students

When it comes to your college life anywhere, the most important thing is being able to start it off right. Ryan Lytle of U.S. News Education says that one of the 10 most important tips for entering college students is learning how to maintain a college budget.

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Freshman 15, Meet Healthy Food

If you're worried about the Freshman 15, don't be. Some of this year's Best of Jackson winners can help you out with eating healthy.

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Hiking and Walking Trails

If you eat right and exercise, the Freshman 15 won't be a problem. Luckily, the Jackson metro area has a few places to walk and hike, so you can get your exercise in.

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The Rights of Working People

A longstanding French tradition upholds the rights of working people—and it goes back as far as the 1789 revolution with the so-called "sans-culottes" who were too poor to afford the nobility's fashionable silk knee-pants.

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It Started With a Mustache

The idea for the film "Bare Knuckle" came from actor Joshua Powell's mustache.

Mr. Trump, We Are All Immigrants

This is a nation built on immigration. Unless you are Native American, you are not indigenous to this country.

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Crossing Into Equality

Regardless of where it happens, when a cop kills an unarmed, unthreatening black man, the lives that action touches don't stop with his mother, wife or children. It affects all of us, even those of us sitting in a training course trying to take instruction on how to better ourselves professionally.

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Mississippi’s Mid-Term Exam: Grading the Neshoba County Fair

The Neshoba County Fair is a lot like a mid-term exam: a time for students, or in our case politicians, to show how much they learned about the content of the course of the legislative session or fiscal-year 2016 and prove it in a kind of oral exam or test.

Alabama Board Denies Parole for Birmingham Church Bomber

Alabama's parole board decided Wednesday against freeing a one-time Ku Klux Klansman convicted in a church bombing that killed four black girls more than 50 years ago.

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Josalyn Filkins, Principal at Midtown Public Charter School

When Josalyn Filkins sat down with the Jackson Free Press, she talked about her plans for the future of the school and for engaging with the community as Midtown tries to move forward amid potential litigation against the charter law, and as legislation opens the doors of the charter school to kids who don't live in Jackson.

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Making Jackson Home

Jackson has crazy talent in just about every area of the arts. There is always something to do here, and while exploring, we all get a taste of the talent and vision that the people here have.

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Buchanon-Williams: 'Plan, Prioritize and Execute'

A woman of many trades A. Shae Buchanon-William is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, mother and business owner. Buchanon-Williams works with communities in Jackson and around the state through her multiple business ventures including tax, reinvestment and construction businesses.

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Cops, Community Separation Still Tangible

Members of the community, including law-enforcement leaders, met July 28 at Murrah High School to participate in Mayor Tony Yarber's "Us and Them" forum focusing on the relationship between the public and police.

Watchdog Acts Against Adams County Judge for 9th Time

A judicial watchdog agency is faulting an Adams County justice court judge for the ninth time.

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The Road Less Traveled in Jackson

Young Jacksonians are literally the city's future. We must listen to them, take their advice, invite them into spaces where they've never been and introduce them to museums, restaurants and other cultures, as these teenagers were doing all summer.

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Zyria Thomas

Zyria Thomas, a recent graduate of Callaway High School, believes that being scholarly is not something that happens overnight and takes "a great deal of time, patience, motivation and dedication."

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Mr. Fluid’s ‘Sowing’ Season

Hip-hop artist Michael Norris, better known by his stage name, Mr. Fluid, has been honing his creative mind since he was a child growing up in Braxton, Miss.

Tuesday, August 2

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No Permits Yet Under Church-Carry Law in Hinds County

In the spring, the Mississippi Legislature passed a bill allowing registered church-going folk to form security teams of permitted individuals with concealed weapons, including immunity for the teams' use of lethal force.

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Food Truck Friday at the Mustard Seed, Flora Butcher and New Residence Inn

The Mustard Seed, a community for adults with developmental disabilities, is hosting its own Food Truck Friday event on Aug. 19, with the goal of bringing people to the campus to see what the organization does and meet its clients.

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Chef Alex Eaton

Local chef Alex Eaton, who co-owns The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen, will compete on Aug. 6 in New Orleans in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off.

Grand Jury Doesn't Indict Mississippi Officer in Shooting

Grand jurors on Monday cleared a northeast Mississippi police officer of wrongdoing in a June 18 shooting that left a man dead, but relatives rejected that finding, saying they're looking to a federal investigation and a civil lawsuit for justice.

Monday, August 1

Judge Blocks North Dakota's Voter Identification Law

A federal judge in North Dakota on Monday blocked the state's voter identification law after it was challenged by a group of American Indians, who alleged that the state's voter identification requirements are unconstitutional and "disproportionately burden and disenfranchise Native Americans."

Trump Suggests General Election Could "Be Rigged"

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump suggested Monday that he fears that the general election "is going to be rigged."

US Launches Airstrikes Targeting IS Militants in Libya

The United States launched multiple airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Libya on Monday, opening a new, more persistent front against the group at the request of the United Nations-backed government, Libyan and U.S. officials said.

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Brett Favre

Brett Favre was equal parts desperado and virtuoso during his 20-year NFL career that was predicated on taking big risks in the game's biggest moments.

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New Water-Bill Portal Launches Today

The City of Jackson launched a new water-bill payment portal today, which reads directly from the automatic meters installed as a part of the Siemens contract.

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Bryant on State Flag: 'I'm Sorry We Don't Have It on the Ballot'

Talk of changing the Mississippi flag was non-existent on the Neshoba County Fair stage last week, but speaking to reporters afterward, Gov. Phil Bryant said Mississippians missed "a really good opportunity" to vote on changing the state flag this November.

Trump, Clinton Spar for National Security Upper Hand

In their struggle for the upper hand on national security, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are emphasizing strikingly different themes - he as the bold and cunningly unpredictable strongman who will eliminate terrorism; she as the calm, conventional commander in chief who will manage all manner of crises.

With Khan Family, Has Trump Finally Gone Too Far?

In a defensive crouch, Donald Trump complained Monday about being "viciously attacked" by the father of a decorated Muslim Army captain killed in Iraq, persisting in an emotionally charged feud that has left him increasingly isolated among fellow Republicans.