Stories for February 2016


Monday, February 29

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Mississippi Governor Sued Over State Flag As Civil Rights Violation, Hate Speech

A black Mississippi lawyer is suing Gov. Phil Bryant for flying the state flag, which he says is unconstitutional and causes racial violence. Carlos Moore, a lawyer based in Grenada, filed the suit that says flying the Mississippi state flag on state and public property is tantamount to hateful government speech against himself and African American residents of Mississippi's rights.

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'Unborn Child Protection' Bill Passes Mississippi House, 'Dangerous Precedent'?

The "Mississippi Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act" passed the Mississippi House of Representatives last week, meaning that legislators are back in the business of pushing anti-abortion legislation.

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City to Consider Declaring Civil Emergency Over Lead

The City of Jackson might declare a state of civil emergency tomorrow morning during a special session of the city council.

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Adam Collier

Adam Collier, who most fans and friends know as AJC, is the face of AJC & the Envelope Pushers, a band that will perform rock, blues, reggae and Latin music all in a single night.

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Stiggers: A White Supremacist and Black Pullman Porter Debate Race and History

The heated discussion happens after the supremacist says that he is infinitely better than the best n-word that ever lived."

Man Charged With Killing Wife, Officer Held Without Bail

An Army staff sergeant charged with killing his wife and a northern Virginia police officer who was on her first day on the job is being held without bail.

Navy SEAL Receiving Medal of Honor at White House Ceremony

President Barack Obama is awarding the nation's highest military honor to a Navy SEAL who participated in a daring 2012 raid that rescued an American hostage in Afghanistan.

Justices Won't Disturb Student's Suspension Over Rap Song

The Supreme Court is staying out of an interesting free speech debate about the power of school officials to discipline students for things they write or say away from school.

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Durant Public Schools District Continues to Resist Consolidation

Durant Superintendent Edwin M. Robinson says the citizens of Durant are vehemently opposed, and have been since House legislation required pre-consolidation reports from the two school districts last year.

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10 Local Stories of the Week

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

Saturday, February 27

Mississippi House Agrees to Resume Work After Partisan Rift

Mississippi House members say they've agreed to resume work after partisan tensions stalled business for most of Thursday and Friday.

Friday, February 26

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JPD Earns Accreditation for First Time in History, Most Crime Down Over Last Year

In the 134 years since its formation, the Jackson Police Department has earned its accreditation.

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Black Senator: 'Appalled' at Bryant's 'Confederate' Proclamation, Take Down 'Pro-slavery State Flag'

Sen. Derrick T. Simmons, D-Greenville, issued a statement today in response to Gov. Phil Bryant's proclamation naming April as Confederate Heritage Month.

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Jeff Good: Restaurants 'Adding Filters to Every Single Faucet We Have'

Jeff Good, managing partner of the Mangia Bene restaurant group, told a crowd Friday morning that his kitchens were installing filtration systems in response to public reaction to issues surrounding the Jackson city water.

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UPDATED: Race Tension Roils Legislature, Majority Votes to End 'Privilege'

House members were previously allowed to ask questions about their rights, reputation and the conduct of House members—"personal privilege"—but the House voted in favor of striking those rights from the rules by a vote of 71-50.

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George Winston

Playing solo has allowed George Winston to develop his live performances to give audiences something new each time they see him while also letting him present his current artistic interests.

Black Caucus Stalls Mississippi House Work Amid Tensions

Black Democrats in the Mississippi House say Republicans are unfairly freezing them out of the legislative process, and they are stalling business to pressure the majority GOP.

Thursday, February 25

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JPD Arrest Man for Killing Two Women, One of Them Pregnant

On Thursday, February 25, 2016, Rahim Williams was developed and identified as a suspect in this incident. He has been charged with three counts of Murder stemming from the deaths of Stephanie Mejia, Janis Evans and the death of the fetus.

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Jackson Schools to Test Water for Lead, Elementary First

Jackson public schools will test the water at area schools, beginning with the elementary schools, and encourage parents to send water with their children if they are concerned about possible lead in the water.

Mississippi Told to Add 1 to Dem Presidential Primary Ballot

The Mississippi Supreme Court is ordering that the name of a Chicago businessman be added to the ballot for the March 8 Democratic presidential primary.

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Fondren's Hampton Inn Moving Ahead Despite Neighbor Objections

A planned Hampton Inn in Fondren moved a step forward Wednesday when the Jackson Planning Commission approved a land-use permit to allow for a north entranceway just south of Pig and Pint.

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JPS Elementary Student Hosts Reading for World Read Aloud Day

Eight-year-old North Jackson Elementary School 3rd grader Josiah Calvert already has plans to attend the University of Mississippi.

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Marques Colston

One of the best finds was the Saints' final selection in the 2006 NFL Draft, when New Orleans used the 252nd overall pick to take a wide receiver out of Hofstra University named Marques Colston.

In a Twist, GOP-Led Nebraska May Give Up Redistricting Power

In 2008, for the first time in 44 years, red-state Nebraska awarded one of its Electoral College votes to the Democratic presidential candidate, and aghast Republican Party leaders decided they wouldn't let it happen again.

Senators Barely Pass Plan Raising Reading Requirements

A plan to raise reading requirements for third-graders survived the Mississippi Senate by one vote Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 24

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Mississippi Governor Declares April 'Confederate Heritage Month,' No Slavery Mention

Two weeks before the Mississippi Legislature allowed 19 state flag bills to die in committee, Gov. Phil Bryant took out a pen and signed an official governor's proclamation, declaring the month of April "Confederate History Month."

Mississippi Continues 'Sluggish' Growth, Economist Says

The state economist says Mississippi continues to have "sluggish" growth that trails the Southeast and the nation.

Man Charged in Burning Death of Mississippi Woman

It took investigators more than a year of painstaking work, but they say they have finally cracked the case of a former high school cheerleader who was found near death in her rural Mississippi hometown after being doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire.

Speaker: Legal Steps to Stop Obama from Closing Guantanamo

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday Republicans are taking legal steps to stop President Barack Obama from closing the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a day after the president unveiled his plan to shutter the facility and move the detainees to the United States.

Bundys, Others Plead Not Guilty to Oregon Refuge Charges

Ammon Bundy and another 15 defendants have pleaded not guilty to a federal conspiracy charge related to the armed takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge.

Feds Want Proof for ACA Exchange Special Enrollment Windows

The federal government is tightening loopholes that let customers on the Affordable Care Act's public insurance exchanges buy coverage outside the law's annual enrollment window.

Austria, Balkan Nations, Want Full Stop to Migrant Influx

Overwhelmed by a wave of refugees and what they call indecision in the European Union, Austria and its southern neighbors along the Balkan migrant route agreed Wednesday to tighter border controls — and warned that sooner or later they will have to shut their doors entirely.

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New City, State Alert: Don’t Drink Jackson Water if You're a Child, Infant or Pregnant Without Taking Precautions

The City and the Mississippi Department of Health today are cautioning small children and pregnant women not to drink the water without taking certain steps to flush any lead present in the pipes.

The Slate

The University of Tennessee was in the Associated Press Women's Basketball Top 25 for 565 straight weeks. That streak started Feb. 17, 1985, and ended this week.

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Celebrating Small-Town Sports

From March 18 through April 30, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum will help visitors discover what those players really mean to Mississippi when it hosts the traveling exhibit, "Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America."

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All About ‘It’s About You’

For Wilma Mosley Clopton, a filmmaker and adjunct professor at Jackson State University, stories from African Americans in Mississippi are "an untapped source with much more out there to be discovered."

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Revolutionary Pizza and Sweets

Revolution's Corner is a downtown destination that's living up to its name. Located in a sunny storefront at the intersection of Roach and Pearl streets, the corner bodega with cafe aspirations opened in September.

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Connecting Through Art

Eli Childers' home is filled with artwork that may shift viewers' moods from somber to hopeful with the contrast of emotions that he presents in each piece.

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Fear Rules with Kim Davis Laws, Guns at Church

The deepest fears of some members of the Mississippi House of Representatives came out last week, as the chamber passed bills to fight terrorism, protect religious freedom and allow armed security programs in churches.

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Sex Education’s Last Chance in Mississippi?

Sex education in Mississippi could end, or be revamped, as soon as July this year, depending on legislators' actions between now and the end of the session.

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Education Bill Roundup

The 2016 Mississippi Legislature is steamrolling ahead with bills affecting public education. Here are a few for consideration.

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Durant Superintendent Not Allowed to Speak on His District’s Consolidation

Thanks to SB 2494, authored by Senate Education Committee Chairman Sen. Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, Dr. Robinson's school district is up for involuntary consolidation with the neighboring Holmes County School District.

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Jackson Report: Of Cheap Land, Water Woes and Subcontractors

The Jackson City Council passed the Neighbors First Lot Program at its Feb. 23 meeting to address the city's neighborhood blight and revitalization plans.

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Airport ‘Takeover’: An Ethical Minefield

The opposition to the Jackson airport "takeover" bill strengthened this week even as a Senate committee passed it to the floor Tuesday despite warnings from state airport leaders that the effort could run afoul of state ethics laws.

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Small City, Big Ideas

It's easy to go to a city like Memphis and think to yourself how little a place like Jackson has ... and how little it can feel.

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Miranda Jordan

Miranda Jordan's signature glass pieces, which include microbead-adorned jewelry, electric lamps and bottles that customers often buy to hold perfume or candle oil, make up the product line of her one-woman craft company, Randam Art.

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Hillary is Best Choice for President, Period

Indeed some, not all, men and women supporting Sen. Sanders for president have resorted to a lewd advocacy that often refers to the female body parts of presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Race Clearly Behind Airport ‘Takeover’ Move

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass once said, "Power concedes nothing without a demand." A cliche proclaims, "There is power in numbers."

Stop Pushing ‘Anti-Human Being’ Laws

Religious moral conviction is a powerful tool in politics. Last week, the Mississippi House of Representatives proved this by passing the "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act."

Senate Transparency Chairman Bans Cellphones in His Meeting

The chairman of a Mississippi Senate committee on government transparency is telling the public not to use cellphones or other electronic devices while his committee meets.

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Virginia Reeves: Of Home and History

Virginia Reeves may be from Montana, but she has long had a feel for southern stories.

Tuesday, February 23

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Legislature Makes No Move to Remove Confederate Symbol From State Flag

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi legislators this year won't attempt to redesign the last state flag that features the Confederate battle emblem because leaders say they can't find a majority to remove the symbol from the 122-year-old banner.

Two Deaths Reported in Louisiana and Mississippi Storms

Authorities say at least one person has died after a possible tornado touched down in Mississippi. Vann Byrd of the Lamar County Emergency Management Agency says the death occurred Tuesday in a mobile home west of Purvis. Byrd didn't release the person's name.

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Voucher Expansion Bill Dies in Committee

The effort to expand public-education vouchers to allow low-income families to send their children to private schools died today in committee.

Hospital to Pay $1M to Family of Eric Garner

The hospital center that dispatched paramedics and treated Eric Garner as he died after being placed into a chokehold by police has agreed to pay $1 million to the family, according to court records obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

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Jackson Airport 'Takeover' Bill Passes to Senate Floor, JMAA Gets Award

The airport "takeover" bill now heads to the Senate floor after the Senate Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency Committee passed Sen. Josh Harkins', R-Flowood, bill to create a nine-member commissioner board to replace the current Jackson airport board.

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Baria: 'No Democrat(ic) or Republican Way to Fix a Pothole'

Rep. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, said that Democrats and Republicans should be able to agree on fixing the state's crumbling infrastructure.

Obama: Guantanamo Bay Undermines Security, Must Be Closed

President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed to "once and for all" close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer remaining detainees to a facility in the U.S., though his plan does not specify where.

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Speaker Gunn: Mostly Silent on Mississippi Flag Since Call Last Year to Change It

Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn, who became the first prominent Republican last summer to call for Mississippi to remove the Confederate battle emblem from its flag, said Monday that if the flag design is going to be reconsidered, it should be put on a statewide ballot just as it was 15 years ago.

Monday, February 22

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Letter: FAA Could Close Jackson Airport During JMAA 'Takeover' Process

The Mississippi Airports Association is taking the side of the Jackson Airport, warning that the FAA could close it during a protracted legal battle.

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City May Annex Airport Land, Collect Rent On It

Two Jackson City Council members today floated proposals to annex land around the Jackson airport and have the City collect rent on it.

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Andy Kennedy

Auburn outrebounded Ole Miss by 10, but the key to coach Andy Kennedy's squad winning lay with the defense.

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Experts: Silencing Teachers 'Probably Legal,' But May 'Chill' Rights

Retired Ridgeland High School band director Keith Moffat says the Mississippi Legislature is part of the reason he no longer works in the public-school system.

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Upgraded 'Fondren Point' Will House Wier Boerner Allin Architecture

Wier Boerner Allin Architecture, which opened in the Fondren Corner building in 2010, is renovating and building out Fondren Point and will be moving its offices there sometime between April and July 2016.

New US-Russia Plan Sets Syria Ceasefire for Saturday

The United States and Russia agreed Monday on a new cease-fire for Syria that will take effect on Saturday, U.S. officials said.

Man Recounts Harrowing Uber Ride with Kalamazoo Suspect

An Uber passenger says he called the police to report an erratic driver more than an hour before authorities allege the driver began shooting people at random, killing six and wounding two others before being arrested.

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10 Local Stories of the Week

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

Saturday, February 20

1 Officer Dead, 3 Wounded in Iuka, Miss. Standoff

IUKA, Mississippi (AP) — One law enforcement officer was killed and three were injured early Saturday after an hourslong standoff in rural north Mississippi ended in gunfire, authorities said.

Bills Would Ban Minors from Mississippi Indoor Tanning Beds

Melanoma was "just a word" to Emily Tandy when she frequented the tanning beds in the Madison, Mississippi, salon where she worked as a teenager.

Friday, February 19

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Cleaning Up Jails, Carjackings on Rise, Escapee Still at Large, Citizen's Police Academy

Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason held a press conference Tuesday, Feb. 16, to discuss recent developments at the Hinds County jails, including improvements to the Raymond Detention Center and two detention officers being arrested for bringing in contraband into the jail.

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'Discrimination Act' Would Give Clerks 'Kim Davis' Powers

Kim Davis went to jail in Kentucky for not issuing same-sex marriage licenses, but circuit clerks in Mississippi might not have to if the "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act" becomes law.

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Stuart Kellogg

Earlier this month, the Old Capitol Inn played host to a retirement party for Stuart Kellogg, former president and general manager of news channel WAPT-TV, who held his post for 24 years and two months before his Dec. 31 retirement.

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Lumumba's Family Alleges St. Dominic's Didn't Check for Heart Attack

The family of former Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba is seeking restitution from two physicians and St. Dominic's Hospital in a wrongful-death suit filed on Tuesday in Hinds County Circuit Court.

Mississippi Bill: OK to Not Help With Same-Sex Marriage

People couldn't be punished for acting on religious beliefs that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, under a bill advancing in the Mississippi Legislature.

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Voucher Bill Moves Forward in Mississippi Legislature

A bill moving forward in the Mississippi House of Representatives would vastly expand a small program to use tax money to pay private school tuition or for home-schooling.

Big Tech Companies Are Joining Apple in Its Encryption Fight

The tech industry is starting to line up with Apple in its fight against the federal government over the encryption it uses to keep iPhones secure.

Oregon Lawmakers Approve Landmark Minimum Wage Increase

Oregon lawmakers have approved landmark legislation that propels the state's minimum wage for all workers to the highest rank in the U.S., and does so through an unparalleled tiered system based on geography.

Mourners to Pay Respects Friday to Late Justice Scalia

In a day of ceremony and tribute, the casket carrying Justice Antonin Scalia will lie in repose at the Supreme Court where he spent nearly three decades as one of its most influential members.

Candidates Forced to Report Credit Card Expenses, Under New Bill

The Senate Elections Committee has approved a bill that would require Mississippi candidates to report campaign expenses they pay with a credit card.

Thursday, February 18

Lawmakers Look to Consolidate at Least 10 School Districts

Mississippi lawmakers want to abolish two school districts and consolidate at least eight others, part of a renewed push to pare down the state's 144 school districts to increase efficiency.

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City Council Seeks Input on Subcontractor Transparency Ordinance

The Jackson City Council wants to ensure that minority subcontractors have the ability to take part in major construction projects in the city, get paid on time and be held accountable for their work.

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Charter School Expansion Bills Ignite House, Senate

So far, only two charter schools operate in the state, but the Mississippi House and Senate Education Committees met yesterday in hot debate over the establishment of more.

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Domestic Abuse May Become Grounds for Divorce in Mississippi

Domestic violence is not currently grounds for divorce in Mississippi, a state where "natural impotency" is listed first as legal grounds for divorce.

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Quinndary Weatherspoon

Mississippi State's Quinndary Weatherspoon made a 3-pointer as time expired to lead Mississippi State to a 75-74 win over Vanderbilt on Tuesday night.

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'Separate-But-Equal' State Flags? Lawmaker Suggests Having Two Instead

In Mississippi, the last state to display the Confederate battle emblem on its flag, some lawmakers want the divisive symbol removed, others want to punish public institutions that refuse to fly the banner and a state House leader suggests having two separate but equal flags: one with the rebel cross and one without.

Wednesday, February 17

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Stamps Calls for ‘State of Emergency’ Over Lead, Walks Out After It Fails

Ward 4 Councilman De’Keither Stamps walked out of Wednesday night’s special Jackson City Council meeting after failing to get support for a state of emergency over lead pipes in Jackson homes.

S.C. Primary: Cruz Tells Trump to Sue Him, Rubio Gets Gubernatorial Endorsement

CHAPIN, S.C. (AP) — A three-way feud among the GOP's leading White House contenders escalated Wednesday, with Republican Ted Cruz daring Donald Trump to sue him and dismissing Marco Rubio's charges of dishonesty just days before South Carolina's high-stakes primary.

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Jackson's New Rental Regs May Target 'Slumlords,' Property Owners Unhappy

The sore subject of inadequate rental housing in Jackson, and how best to regulate, register and inspect it, packed a Jackson City Council public hearing Tuesday evening. Ward 6 Councilman Tyrone Hendrix floated an ordinance to the public that would require inspections before new tenants could move in to rental units.

Bill Would Open Way for More Guns in Mississippi Churches

Houses of worship could designate members to undergo firearms training and carry guns to protect the congregation, under a bill advancing at the Mississippi Capitol.

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Sarah Ross, Reintroduced

Sarah Restuccio was only 17 years old when she appeared on Season 12 of Fox's soon-to-end singing show, "American Idol," but she made an impression.

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Bernie Sanders: For the People

Southerners are friendly folk, so Bernie Sanders is going to hear a lot of "Y'all come!" as he takes his populist presidential campaign to Dixie. The question is: Will they mean it?

Lawmakers: Sound Smarter About Education

It is a leap in logic to say that districts in more affluent areas perform better with less public dollars; thus, that's all the funds poorer districts need.

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Muzzling Mississippi’s Educators

Going into last November's elections, Mississippi educators were hoping for real leadership. Instead, what they got was more of the same.

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Is the Payday Soon Over for Payday Lenders?

De'Keither Stamps says that the more money people spend on payday-loan and check-cashing fees, the less they have to help bolster the City's treasury by purchasing goods and services.

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Legislators Determined to Tinker with Public Ed

Just three months after Initiative 42 failed in the November election, the Mississippi Legislature has already seen an explosion of controversial education bills—with school consolidation leading the pack.

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Off to the Races ... and the Chopping Block

Money was front of mind over the last week in the Mississippi Legislature as Senate and House appropriations committees began budget hearings for state agencies last week.

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Expert: Parent-blaming Does Little to Prevent Crime

Overwhelmingly, parent-blaming was the most frequent mantra at a recent crime forum at Wingfield High School, with visible frustration over the need for families to keep their kids out of trouble—a common refrain by people of all races, but usually directed at families of color.

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No ‘Hiney Contests,’ Got It?

When a warning by a state Alcohol Beverage Control investigator spooked Ben Shemper, the owner of The Dollarbox Showroom in Hattiesburg, into canceling Big Freedia's Feb. 12 there, it did more than bring massive publicity to the New Orleans bounce queen.

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Eubanks Creek: A Step Closer to Relief

Residents along a section of Eubanks Creek in Fondren are a step closer to getting relief from flooding and high-cost flood insurance. In the past year, developers, architects and city officials have analyzed the creek for solutions.

China Foreign Minister Downplays Missile Deployment Reports

China sought to downplay reports it had positioned anti-aircraft missiles on a disputed South China Sea island, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday accusing the media of hyping the issue and saying more attention should be paid to the "public goods and services" provided by China's development of its maritime claims.

Apple to Fight Order to Help FBI Unlock Shooter's iPhone

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook says his company will fight a federal magistrate's order to help the FBI hack into an encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino, California shooters. The company said that could potentially undermine encryption for millions of other users.

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War Against Potholes: The City Battles Nature, Resources

To people in Jackson, who have to battle blown tires, crooked front-end alignments and nearly drowned children, the distinction between potholes, sinkholes and utility cuts are meaningless.

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Urban, Rural Areas Need Food Stores, Health Clinics

Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, introduced legislation in the 2015 session that would have provided tax incentives for grocery stores to enter communities considered to be "food deserts" by the USDA's standards.

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A Common Identity

Our Jackson community is full of shared traditions that bind us together and create a shared common identity.

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A New Frozen Treat

When customers walk into Fondren Fro-Yo, which recently opened in the Jackson neighborhood, bright colors, designs and topping dispensers surround them.

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What If We Could Fill Potholes ... With Jobs?

Are potholes the worst problem we face in Jackson? No. But they represent a pretty big problem for more than one reason.

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Austin Wilkes

Madison-based hip-hop artist Austin Wilkes, known to fans as Mildred Noor, entered the music world with a bit of an awkward conversation.

Mississippi Mulls 'See Something, Say Something' Terror Bill

People would be immune from civil or criminal penalties in Mississippi for making good-faith reports to law enforcement officers if they suspect others are planning terroristic acts.

Tuesday, February 16

Obama: Will Name Indisputably Qualified Nominee for Court

President Barack Obama said Tuesday he would nominate a candidate to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court who is "indisputably" qualified. He called on the staunch Republican opposition in the Senate to rise above "venom and rancor" and give the nominee a vote.

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Hood: Politicians Playing 'Partisan Games' with Wiretap Bill

The state auditor would be able to request wiretap authority to investigate public corruption if House Bill 944, which passed through the House Judiciary-A Committee today, becomes law.

Bill: Raise Mississippi Officials' Expense Pay to $150 a Day

A Mississippi House committee is advancing plans to boost expense pay for many state and local officials attending meetings to $150 daily from the current $40.

Obama Holds First Summit in US With Southeast Asian Leaders

President Barack Obama and leaders of Southeast Asian nations discussed regional security issues Tuesday before closing a summit called to show solidarity and U.S. seriousness about staying engaged in a region where a rising China has rattled American allies.

Judiciary Chairman Open to Hearing for Supreme Court Pick

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is leaving open the possibility of holding a hearing for President Barack Obama's choice to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, amid signs of uncertainty about how Republicans would treat a nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

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State's Foster Care System Requests $34.4 Million

Children have died and suffered mistreatment in the state's foster-care system, and the Mississippi Department of Human Services is requesting $34.4 million to change conditions that lead to the abuse.

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JXN Escape Room, Paint Nite and Mississippi Business Engagement Network

Clint Sistrunk and his wife, Paulina Krakowska, were in Poland visiting Krakowska's family in summer 2015 when the couple first discovered "escape rooms," which are live-action games that put a group of people in a closed room and have them decipher clues to escape within a one-hour time limit.

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Royce Boyer

When Royce Boyer, the co-director of the Metro Male Chorus, and Chuck Reynolds, the band director for Madison Central High School, formed the Mississippi Chambre Music Guild in October 2014, the idea behind it was simple.

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Obama Drive, Drones, Rental Rules and Subcontractors Before City Council Today

Subcontractor transparency, revitalizing underutilized residential properties and regulating drones in city limits are among the items the Jackson City Council will take up today.

UN: Stopping Zika May Require Genetically Modified Insects

It may be necessary to use controversial methods like genetically modified mosquitoes to wipe out the insects that are now spreading Zika across the Americas, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

Russia Denies Its Warplanes Hit MSF hospital in Syria

Russia on Tuesday rebuffed claims that its warplanes struck a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders in northern Syria in airstrikes the previous day that killed at least nine as Syrian government forces and a predominantly Kurdish coalition made gains against rivals in the country's north.

Police: Another Arrest After Mississippi Parade Shooting

Authorities say they've arrested a Gulfport woman in connection with a shooting after a Mardi Gras parade in Mississippi that left two people dead and four others wounded.

Another Man Accused of Bribing Epps Over Prison Contracts

Another man has been charged with bribing former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps, authorities have announced.

Senate GOP to Obama: Don't Bother Nominating to Court

Senate Republicans united behind Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in insisting that President Barack Obama's successor fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia's death.

Monday, February 15

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AP Analysis: Some Mississippi Bills Seek to Micromanage People's Lives

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi legislators have filed more than 2,000 bills this year, and the first culling will take place by Feb. 23, the deadline for House and Senate committees to consider general bills filed in their own chamber.

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10 Local Stories of the Week

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

Saturday, February 13

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Dead at 79

The U.S. Marshals Service in Washington confirmed Scalia's death at a private residence in the Big Bend area of West Texas. Spokeswoman Donna Sellers said Scalia had retired the previous evening and was found dead Saturday morning after he did not appear for breakfast.

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Hattiesburg Club Owner: State Pressure to Cancel Big Freedia Like 'Footloose'

“I thought to myself that if Miley Cyrus can imitate Freedia at the Emmys, and Freedia can play Jazzfest with hundreds of thousands of people, and have a nationally syndicated cable-reality show, why is it OK in the rest of country, but not in Hattiesburg?”

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Big Freedia Banned from Hattiesburg Club for 'Illegal' Gyrating, Plans to Sue

A Hattiesburg, Miss., club cancelled Big Freedia's Feb. 12 show because a state official said her gyrating was likely illegal under Mississippi law.

Friday, February 12

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Parents: Talk to Middle-Schoolers About Sex to Break Pregnancy Cycle

Parents should talk to their children about sex when they are between age 11 and 15 years old, the executive director of the Mississippi Campaign for Teen Pregnancy Prevention said today.

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Teens Arrested for Robbery String, Police Searching for Carjacking Suspects

Two Jackson teenagers are in custody after a recent string of armed robberies, including of Beatty Street Grocery, Nail City and Waffle House, Police Chief Lee Vance said Thursday during a press conference in police headquarters.

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Rep. Moore: 42 Campaign Used Teachers like 'Cheap Rug,' Authors Bill to Limit Politicizing

School-district personnel need to politicize on their own time, rather than during the performance of their official school-related duties, Rep. John Moore, R-Brandon, told the Jackson Free Press today, adding that they are often used like a "cheap rug" for political purposes.

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Winifred Green

A white woman from an old Jackson family of influence and means, Winifred Green grew up in the segregated security of white privilege in the Belhaven community during the 1940s and '50s.

Newest Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Takes Oath Tuesday

The newest member of the Mississippi Supreme Court takes her oath of office Tuesday.

Flint Crisis May Help Governor Ease GOP Doubt on Detroit Aid

Rick Snyder's standing as one of the GOP's most accomplished governors has taken a beating in the crisis over lead-contaminated water in Flint, Michigan. Democrats, especially those running for president, have pointed to his administration's mishandling of the city's switch to a cheaper water supply as an example of Republican cost-cutting run amok.

Court: Facebook Can Be Sued in France in Nude Painting Case

Facebook lost a crucial legal battle Friday as a Paris court ruled the social network can be sued in France over its decision to remove the account of a French user who posted a photo of a famous 19th-century nude painting.

Seoul, US to Open Talks on Missile Defense Aimed at N. Korea

Looking to take a harder line after North Korea's recent nuclear test and rocket launch, Seoul and Washington will begin talks as early as next week on deploying a sophisticated U.S. missile defense system in South Korea, officials said Friday.

Thursday, February 11

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Ward 7 Councilwoman Barrett-Simon to Constituents: 'I Remain Engaged'

Margaret Barrett-Simon has been seriously ill, but her prognosis is good, she says. "I remain engaged and informed on all of the issues," she said.

Obama Administration Opening 2-Front Campaign on Syria

The Obama administration opened a two-front campaign on Syria on Thursday with a push to end one war there and step up another.

Sheldon Appointed Chancery Judge in 4 Counties

Gov. Phil Bryant has appointed a new chancery judge in four south Mississippi counties.

Last Occupiers of Oregon Wildlife Refuge Surrender to FBI

Surrounded by FBI agents in armored vehicles, the last four occupiers of a national nature preserve surrendered Thursday, and a leader in their movement who organized a 2014 standoff with authorities was criminally charged in federal court.

NATO Orders Warships into Aegean to Help Ease Migrant Crisis

In a dramatic response to Europe's gravest refugee crisis since World War II, NATO ordered three warships to sail immediately Thursday to the Aegean Sea to help end the deadly smuggling of asylum-seekers across the waters from Turkey to Greece.

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Tollison: 'No Data' Show That Appointing Superintendents Helps School Achievement (UPDATED)

"No data" back the idea that appointing school superintendents rather than electing them will actually raise test scores or improve achievement in the state's public schools, the author of the legislation said today in the Mississippi Senate.

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Dem Legislators Endorse Hillary Clinton

Democratic lawmakers chanted their endorsement for Hillary Clinton in the Mississippi Capitol after a brief press conference Wednesday when legislators from the House and the Senate endorsed her as the Democratic presidential primary candidate.

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Willie Richardson

Super Bowl III was one of the most important games in professional football history. It featured Jackson State University icon Willie Richardson, but he was on the losing side of the scoreboard.

Chicago Man Sues to Try to Get on Mississippi Primary Ballot

The Mississippi Supreme Court is considering a challenge by a Chicago businessman who's trying to get listed on the state's March 8 Democratic primary ballot for president.

Feds Accuse Prison Guards of Taking Bribes, Drug Trafficking

More than 40 prison guards and officers in Georgia have been indicted on charges of accepting bribes and drug trafficking, the latest in a federal effort to crack down on contraband and criminal activity in the state's prisons.

Breakthrough: Scientists Detect Einstein-Predicted Ripples

In an announcement that electrified the world of astronomy, scientists said Thursday that they have finally detected gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago.

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Several States Seek to Block 2nd Trimester Abortion Method

Abortion opponents in Mississippi, West Virginia and several other states are filing bills to ban an abortion procedure commonly used in the second trimester that opponents describe as dismembering a fetus.

Occupiers at Oregon Refuge Say They'll Turn Themselves In

The last four armed occupiers of a national wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon said they would turn themselves in Thursday morning after law officers surrounded them in a tense standoff.

Senate Panel Seeks Appointed Local School Superintendents

Mississippi lawmakers are making a fresh push to have 55 elected local school superintendents appointed by school boards instead, with the Senate Education Committee approving such a bill Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 10

Government Sues Ferguson After City Tries to Revise Deal

The federal government sued Ferguson on Wednesday, one day after the city council voted to revise an agreement aimed at improving the way police and courts treat poor people and minorities in the St. Louis suburb.

Former Columbus Police Officer Sues Over Firing

Former Columbus policeman Canyon Boykin is suing the city in the wake of his firing.

Judge: New Order Against Enforcing Louisiana Abortion Law

A federal judge in Louisiana has issued a new order blocking the state from enforcing an abortion law that he says would prevent most women from getting abortions.

Ferguson is Defiant Again in Deal with Justice Department

Defiance has often defined Ferguson in the 18 months since a police officer fatally shot Michael Brown and provoked an examination of how poor people and minorities are treated in the St. Louis suburb.

Appeals Court Tosses Order Blocking Mississippi Executions

A federal appeals court has reversed a stay that had blocked the state of Mississippi from carrying out executions.

Michigan Governor Plans $360M for Flint, Infrastructure

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday proposed spending hundreds of millions more dollars to address Flint's water crisis and to update infrastructure, including lead water pipes, in the city and across the state.

French Lawmakers Approve Divisive Citizenship Bill

French lawmakers have approved a divisive bill aimed at making it possible to revoke the citizenship of people convicted on terrorism charges.

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Incentives Sail Through; Anti-LGBT Bills Drop; Groups Call for Foster-Care Funding

Sen. Charles Younger, R-Columbus, introduced a bill that would "clarify that religious leaders are not required to perform same-sex marriages" last week.

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2016 Education Bills

Education is a hot topic in the Mississippi Legislature. The following education bills dropped for consideration.

The Slate

Two outstanding head football coaching hires happened last week. Southern Miss should be in good shape next season with Jay Hopson, and Fred McNair should be able to keep what Hopson built at Alcorn State running.

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CFL Returns to Jackson

Tonight would be like your average summer night in Canada," Winnipeg Blue Bombers Assistant General Manager and Director of U.S. Scouting Danny McManus explained as the second annual Jackson Combine wrapped up Friday, Jan. 29.

Legislature, If You Care About Kids, Prove It

With the large corporate incentive package behind us that will, hopefully, create jobs down the road, it's time for legislators to start working on more pressing issues, including how the state will spend its limited budget for the coming year.

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The Real Truth About Jackson’s Airports

Let's talk facts about the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority. First, Jackson's airport system originated in 1928.

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Slay, Beyoncé, Slay

I'm proud of Beyonce for using her status as an influential performer to send a message of unapologetic blackness.

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Where to Delight Your Love on Valentine's Day

On Saturday, Feb. 13, The Detectives Comedy Dinner Theatre will perform comedy "Couples Retreat" at Kismet's. Seating is at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 7 p.m.

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Love in a Clever Ruse

Tears streamed down Rachel Whaley's face when she saw Daniel Zabaldano. Clearly, an elaborate ruse had been perpetrated on her, and the reason for it was obvious to even the most casual observer.

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Love after Losing

I lost my boyfriend at 30 years old. We had been looking at engagement rings the day before he died. The space the loss left in my heart was immeasurable.

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So You’re Single on Valentine’s Day ... Try the Best

For single people, Valentine's Day may not be all it's cracked up to be. But that doesn't mean you can't celebrate the holiday anyway.

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Creative Date Nights

Surprise your Valentine with a different date night than the usual. Take a walk on the wild side and remember: Food is always a winning option.

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Carnal Echo’s Second Chance

After about 25 years in education, Nashville-based singer-songwriter and pianist Rachel McCann decided to follow her first passion and proved that even the music industry occasionally deals in second chances.

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Gail Savage

Upon walking into The Bridal Path in Banner Hall, customers will notice the multitude of dresses, with all manner of tulle and silk and lace and English netting and other fabrics greeting brides, mothers of the bride, flower girls and bridesmaids.

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Breastfeeding Bill: Let Women Work and Nurse

The Centers for Disease and Control, the U.S. Surgeon General and the majority of research on the topic indicate that breastfeeding is better than using formula when a baby is born.

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‘The First Time I Got Shot, I Was in Fifth Grade'

Tommie Mabry's world changed when he was shot in the foot in high school on a day he chose to skip class.

3 Running for Vacant Seat in Mississippi Senate

Three candidates are running for a Mississippi Senate seat in parts of Hinds and Madison counties.

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Good at Dates or Not, Meet Your Match

And yes, at its core, dating is a "bad situation." In one way or another, everyone on a first date feels like a perfect stranger.

Tuesday, February 9

Future of Uber in Jackson Safe For Now?

The fate of Uber is clearer after the Jackson City Council voted 3 to 1 for a set of regulations designed to address public safety and other issues for transportation-network companies.

AP Source: 13 Ole Miss NCAA Allegations Involve Football

Mississippi's football program was cited by the NCAA in nearly half of the 28 rules violations levied against the school in the Notice of Allegations the university recently received, said a person with knowledge of the investigation.

Trump and Sanders win New Hampshire Primaries

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders swept to victory in Tuesday's New Hampshire primaries, adding crucial credibility to their upstart candidacies and underscoring the insistence of voters in both parties on shaking up American politics.

Officers Oppose Delay of Their Trials in Freddie Gray Case

Two Baltimore police officers charged in the Freddie Gray case are opposing the state's motion to delay their trials until appellate courts decide whether another officer can be compelled to testify against them.

Kim Davis Obeying Orders in Gay Marriage Case, Judges Rules

A federal judge ruled that Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has obeyed his orders in the months since she spent five nights in jail for refusing to license same-sex marriages.

Intelligence Officials: IS Determined to Strike US This Year

Leaders of the Islamic State are determined to strike targets in the United States this year, senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday, telling lawmakers that a small group of violent extremists will attempt to overcome the logistical challenges of mounting such an attack.

Obama Unveils Record $4.1 Trillion Election-Year Budget

President Barack Obama on Tuesday unveiled a record $4.1 trillion, election-year budget that finances Democratic priorities like education, health care and climate change with new taxes on crude oil, the wealthy and big banks.

Broncos Parade Through Denver, Leave Questions for Later

Tens of thousands of fans cheered the Denver Broncos as the Super Bowl champions paraded through downtown Tuesday, putting aside some big questions about the future of the team for now.

Intelligence Chief: North Korea Restarts Plutonium Reactor

North Korea has expanded a uranium enrichment facility and restarted a plutonium reactor that could begin recovering material for nuclear weapons in weeks or months, the U.S. intelligence chief said Tuesday in delivering the annual assessment by intelligence agencies of the top dangers facing the country.

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Lumumba, Residents on Airport Grab: ‘We’re Not Falling For It’

Upward of 30 Jacksonians, fresh off work, gathered inside the Chokwe Lumumba Center for Economic Democracy and Development Monday night on west Capitol Street to protest an attempt by state Republicans to wrest control of the Jackson airport from City of Jackson officials.

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FFT Reinvents, BancorpSouth Renovates and At Home Comes to Jackson

Fondren's First Thursday, a popular monthly event in Jackson, has been reinvented this year to be better than ever before.

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Jason Necaise

Jason Necaise has lofty goals and a resume of solid accomplishments onto which he can rely to help him achieve them.

Attorney General to Prosecute Case Against Poll Workers

The Attorney General's Office has taken over the prosecution in a voting fraud case filed last year against five southwestern Mississippi poll workers.

State Monitoring Oil Spill in Mississippi River

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is on the ground monitoring the site where a damaged barge may have leaked oil slurry last month.

One-Third of Mississippi Coast's Murders Have Domestic Link

At least a third of homicide victims in the three Mississippi coastal counties in a recent six-year period died in domestic-related shootings.

Former Flora Police Chief Sentenced in Molestation Case

A former police chief in Flora has been sentenced for sex crimes against children.

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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.

Memphis Officer Involved in Southaven Shooting

Police in Memphis, Tennessee, said one of their off-duty officers was involved in a shooting in the nearby Mississippi city of Southaven.

Monday, February 8

Super Bowl Gets 111.9 Million Viewers, Down from Last Year

Setting television viewership records with the Super Bowl has become almost routine, but this year's average of 111.9 million viewers for Denver's victory over Carolina is down from the past two years.

Attorney General to Visit 6 Cities to Highlight Police Work

Attorney General Loretta Lynch plans to visit six cities in the coming months to highlight police departments she sees as role models for law enforcement.

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Jackson Airport 'Takeover' Bill Goes Live in Senate, Would Limit Mayor to One Appointment

The Republican governor of Mississippi would get strong control of the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers Airport under the highly anticipated legislation that finally landed this weekend.

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Report: Federal Grant Funds Mismanaged, Hurts Black Women

Low-income, single parents could more easily access affordable child care under two bills Mississippi child-care providers and advocates are asking the Legislature to pass.

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Jeffery Simmons

Mississippi State salvaged what looked like a non-descript recruiting class by adding a pair of homegrown defensive linemen.

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Dominant D Carries Manning, Broncos to 24-10 Super Bowl Win

With his prolific passing and complete control of the game at the line of scrimmage, Peyton Manning helped usher in the NFL's wide-open era of high-scoring offenses and pass-happy game plans.

Obama Asking Congress for Emergency Funding to Combat Zika

President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to help fight the Zika virus.

Merkel Says 'Horrified' by Russian Bombings in Syria

Turkey and Germany agreed on Monday on a set of measures to try to tackle the Syrian refugee crisis, including a joint diplomatic initiative aimed at halting attacks against Syria's largest city.

Police: 2 Dead, 4 Hurt in Shooting After Mississippi Parade

A shooting after a Mardi Gras parade in Pass Christian killed two men and wounded four other people Sunday, south Mississippi authorities said.

No Smoke Alarm in More than Half of Mississippi Fatal Fires

More than half the people killed last year by house fires in Mississippi were in homes without working smoke alarms, the Mississippi State Fire Marshal's Office said.

Mandatory Life for Man Who led 2-State, 3-Week Manhunt

A judge has sentenced a man whose violent crimes started a three-week manhunt in Louisiana and Mississippi, the Washington Parish district attorney said.

Saturday, February 6

AP Analysis: Continental Tire Deal Incentives At $600 Million

CLINTON, Miss. (AP) — An Associated Press analysis finds that the package of state aid and tax abatements to attract a $1.45 billion, 2,500-job Continental AG tire plant to Hinds County is worth approximately $600 million, and probably more.

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Hinds County Sheriff Dept Makes $3 Million Drug Stop

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Hinds County Sheriff's Department says a traffic stop Wednesday resulted in one of the largest interdiction seizure of methamphetamine — reportedly valued at $3 million — in state history.

Friday, February 5

Police Officials Quarrel Over Effort to Raise Bar on Force

A police group's proposal that law enforcement officers be required to do more than what's minimally required by law in violent encounters has spurred anger and pushback from leading national groups representing chiefs and rank-and-file sworn officers.

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Stamps: No New Payday Loan, Check Cashing, Liquor, Pawn Stores

A Jackson city councilman wants to put a halt to the expansion of payday loan stores, check cashers and liquor stores in the capital city.

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Adam Noone

Adam Noone, a 14-year-old Belhaven resident and a student at the Education Center School, was spending Thanksgiving 2015 with his father, Chris Noone, in New Orleans when he took a photograph that now has him poised to participate in a national art competition in New York City.

Couple Wanted in Crime Spree Led Police on Chase; 1 Killed

A weeklong search for a Missouri couple wanted in a series of robberies and abductions across the South ended with one suspect dead and the other wounded Friday, after authorities say they chased the pair across the highway and through a rural neighborhood and exchanged gunfire with them in Florida's Panhandle.

Experts Say Launch Won't Bring N. Korea Much Closer to ICBM

According to many experts, the North's rockets look a lot more like what the North says they are—space launch vehicles, or SLVs—and they aren't necessarily helping Pyongyang get that much closer to having a reliable, long-range missile capable of dropping a nuclear weapon on the United States any time soon.

After Criticism, Brazil Transferring Zika Samples to US

Brazilian officials say they're sending a set of samples related to the Zika outbreak to the United States, a move which follows complaints that the country was hoarding disease data and biological material.

Jindal Lawsuit Against Common Core Scrapped by New Governor

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Thursday that he is ending Louisiana's lawsuit against President Barack Obama's administration over the Common Core education standards.

Deputies Arrest 3 in Connection with Plot to Kidnap Judge

Authorities have arrested three men accused of conspiring to kidnap a circuit court judge.

Thursday, February 4

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JPD: Carjackings Up, Thieves May Be Targeting Women

The Jackson Police Department is conducting investigations into six cases involving perpetrators committing the crimes of carjacking, armed robbery of an individual and auto theft. The suspects, on foot or traveling by vehicle, appear to be targeting females who are alone. The suspects have been identified as two to three black males, 16 to 20 years of age and dressed in dark colored clothing to include hooded shirts. At least one of the suspects has been armed during the incidents.

Florida, Vulnerable to Zika Virus, Gets Ready for Fight

Florida's warm climate, year-round mosquitoes and revolving door of international travelers make it vulnerable to the Zika virus, but local governments here have a history of fighting off outbreaks before they become widespread.

Drug Exec Takes the Fifth on Capitol Hill, Angers Lawmakers

Infuriating members of Congress, a smirking Martin Shkreli took the Fifth at a Capitol Hill hearing Thursday when asked about his jacking up of drug prices, then promptly went on Twitter and insulted his questioners as "imbeciles."

Activist Behind Planned Parenthood Video Offered Probation

An anti-abortion activist's plan to reject a plea deal offering probation for charges related to making undercover Planned Parenthood videos likely means his goal is to use a trial as a public platform to criticize the nonprofit, according to legal experts.

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Without Public Input, Mississippi to Spend $78,000 Per Job for Megasite, Shipyard

With little debate in committee or on the floor, the Mississippi House of Representatives cleared the way for $274 million in tax breaks to help two large-scale developments in the state.

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Kyle Love

A couple of seasons ago, it might have seen a long shot for Panthers defensive tackle Kyle Love to even be in the league much less about to play in the Super Bowl.

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State Supe: Poverty Drives Chronic Absenteeism, 'Proactive' Solutions Needed

Poverty is a primary driver of chronic school absenteeism, the state superintendent of education said yesterday, while calling for "proactive" ways to reverse the problem.

Map of Jackson Sites Where Lead Levels Exceeded Action Levels

On Jan. 28 Mississippi state health officials notified the City of Jackson that it had found lead in 22.4 percent of the 58 Jackson homes it sampled in July 2015. Kishia Powell, the City's public-works director, said she immediately dispatched crews to those homes, in southwest and north Jackson. Health officials are testing the water at another 100 homes for high lead levels, she said.

Mississippi Insurance Chief Seeks Tighter Regs of Bail Bonds

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said Wednesday that he wants tighter state regulations for bail bond businesses and agents.

Wednesday, February 3

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Super Bowl 50: The Preview

Will it be Cam Newton or Petyon Manning? Will the Broncos' top-ranked defense trample the 11th-ranked Panthers offense? Or will Denver's 16th-ranked offense fall flat against Carolina's sixth-ranked defense? This year's Super Bowl has plenty of contrast and plenty of questions.

The Slate

The football season this Sunday with Super Bowl 50. Either the Broncos or the Panthers will leave as champions in a game that could be the last ride of Peyton Manning.

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Unfriendly Skies: Can Jackson Save Its Airport?

The City of Jackson, which controls the 3,381 acres of land the airport occupies, is bracing for a looming battle for its control with the State of Mississippi.

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U.N. Finds Evidence of Human-Rights Abuse in Jackson

While in Jackson, the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent heard a full day of testimony that provided in-depth insights into the types of de facto human-rights abuses that people of African descent face.

Lead Contamination Debacle Gives Little Faith in State-Managed Airport

Like many people who live in Jackson, we were taken aback when we heard that state Sen. Josh Harkins planned to submit legislation to change the composition of what is now the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Fallback'

Having lawmakers spend time debating bringing back World War II-style execution methods, deemed inhumane by human-rights groups, is a huge waste of time—not to mention patently inhumane.

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The Sour Music of Discontent

Boneqweesha Jones: "Welcome to Boneqweesha Live Entertainment News and World Report, broadcasting live from the television studio of Hair Did University School of Cosmetology and Vocational Studies."

Legislature Could Subsidize Hinds County Megasite in Days

Mississippi could be days away from landing a major industrial project, as pieces of the recruitment effort including special utility rates and incentive legislation are moving forward.

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A ‘Spotlight’ from Mississippi

"Spotlight," the Oscar-nominated drama about the team of investigative journalists who broke the priest abuse for the Boston Globe, has an interesting Jackson connection.

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Zakiya Summers

Civil justice, public relations and communications are Zakiya Summers' life.

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The People Who Want to Save Farish Street

A businessman is pointing to his experience redeveloping what he called a "ghetto" in his home city of Denver to assure Jackson officials that he can jumpstart Farish Street, the city's former thriving black business district.

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PyInfamous: Sharing the Struggle

At a time when racial, social, and economic tensions seem to be at an all-time high, Jackson-based hip-hop artist Jason Thompson, who performs as PyInfamous, wants to offer a slightly different perspective: one of "us" and not "them."

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Jackson Has Long Been at High Risk for Lead Poisoning

Thirteen Jackson homes may have had higher-than-actionable levels of lead in their water last summer, but officials are assuring the public that the city is no Flint, Mich.

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Fenian’s Overhauls Menu

The food and drink offerings at Fenian's Pub have changed in recent months, since new head chef and general manager Ryan Cassell overhauled and upgraded the menu.

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Thank You, Jackson, for Showing Up, Showing Out

If you missed the Best of Jackson party this past Sunday, you missed an event that perfectly exemplifies why the city is so awesome.

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Election-Law Reform May Actually Happen in Mississippi

Election-law reform has been a slow process in Mississippi, but with the help of a bi-partisan committee's report, that could change soon.

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'Grow Where You're Planted,' Mississippi Gov Tells Students

Gov. Phil Bryant is imploring high-achieving college students to remain in Mississippi after graduation and build their careers in the state.

Tuesday, February 2

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'Proper Burials' for 'Unborn Infants' Sought in Mississippi Bill

The Mississippi Unborn Infants Dignity Act would entitle "miscarried, stillborn or aborted infants" to "proper burials" and make selling the "broken bodies of aborted infants" for scientific experimentation a crime in the state of Mississippi.

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Casey Elementary State's Only National Blue Ribbon School

Casey Elementary School students, faculty, parents and community leaders gathered outside the school's front doors in north Jackson this morning to honor its designation as Mississippi's only 2015 National Blue Ribbon School with a ceremonial flag raising.

Jay Hopson Takes Over Southern Miss' Football Program

Jay Hopson was an assistant coach for Southern Mississippi when the program was the envy of most mid-major schools in the country.

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Lecile Harris

What inspires a young man to climb on the back of an ill-tempered, 1,500-pound Brahman bull? For veteran rodeo clown Lecile Harris, it was watching the bull riders at an Arlington, Tenn., rodeo in 1955.

Rep. Holland Back at Capitol Less than 2 Weeks After Surgery

State Rep. Steve Holland is back at the Mississippi Capitol, less than two weeks after having surgery to repair an abdominal hernia.

Monday, February 1

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Airport 'Takeover' Bill to Be Filed Early This Week

Sen. Josh Harkins, R-Flowood, is touching up a bill that proposes to change the Jackson airport commission structure.

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Houston Nutt

Some of the allegations regarding the University of Mississippi's football program date back to previous coach Houston Nutt, but others involve current coach Hugh Freeze's tenure.

2 Miss Programs Among 11 Nationwide for Heart Health Grants

Two programs 180 miles apart in Mississippi are among 11 community-based heart health programs nationwide getting grants from a pharmaceutical company foundation.

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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.