Stories for November 2016


Wednesday, November 30

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Jackson Water: Lime Problem Went Unnoticed for Years, Fixed Now

Lead appearing in Jackson’s water in 2015 resulted from a faulty lime-feed system at O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant, as well as shifting water chemistries, an expert consultant told the Jackson City Council Tuesday. That problem, he added, is now repaired.

UN Further Tightens North Korea Sanctions

The U.N. Security Council voted Wednesday to further tighten sanctions on North Korea following months of diplomatic wrangling over how best to respond to North Korea's latest nuclear test in September and their repeated defiance of international sanctions and diplomatic pressure.

Trump's Cabinet: 'Draining the Swamp' or Diving Right In?

Donald Trump promised to "drain the swamp" in the nation's capital. Instead, he's diving right in.

Trump Says He's Leaving Businesses to Avoid Conflicts

President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday he's leaving his business empire to focus on being the nation's 45th president, declaring he can successfully avoid conflicts of interest between governing and profiting in the private sector.

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Pretty Holidays

This Christmas, don't forget that your loved ones should feel beautiful and pampered, too. Here are some items from local stores that can help.

The Slate

After Southern Miss welcomed quarterback Nick Mullens back from injury, the Golden Eagles won enough to be eligible for a bowl game. USM will play in a bowl for a second consecutive year after an up-and-down season.

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Why Hillary Clinton Lost

Neal Gabler and many of the anti-Trump post-election protesters are wrong when they issue a blanket indictment of all Trump voters, millions of whom voted out of an economic desperation that Clintonite neoliberals ignored for too long. Those voters are not bigots.

Public Streets Must Be Open to All Residents

Crime will not go away if we build gates or walls. It will only fester on the other side until we all start doing our part to actually prevent it.

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My, My Mississippi

Mississippi is the soil of my soul. My childhood in Waynesboro gave me the foundation to grow into a decades-long career songwriter, producer, and collaborator with artists like Patti LaBelle, Natalie Cole and Aretha Franklin. I wouldn't be the artist I am today without the great Magnolia State.

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JRA, City at Odds Over $1.5 Million Bill for Farish Street

Somebody has to pay back $1.5 million to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development since the Farish Street project stalled in 2014, but it is unclear whether the City of Jackson or the Jackson Redevelopment Authority must foot the bill.

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Privatized Meters Forgoing Long-term Profit

The City of Jackson could lose a chunk of future earnings from parking meters and municipal fines in exchange for a steady, smaller burst of revenue for the next 10 years if it signs a contract with a private St. Louis, Mo., firm to maintain and operate its parking meter and fining operations.

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Lawmakers Address Blight, Praise God

The capital city's blight, mainly visible in hundreds of abandoned properties, was a priority for concerned citizens who met with the Hinds County delegation to plan legislation that will address the needs of Jackson last week.

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I’m a Patriot, Not a ‘Libtard’

A Republican friend from Mississippi State, whom I haven't seen in decades, wrote on my Facebook page recently that he reads my work, and he actually finds me quite conservative in some ways. He hoped that characterization didn't offend me. It didn't.

Mississippi Music of 2016 (So Far)

Over the years, I've done plenty of interviews with local Jackson acts and nationally known recording artists, and I've been surprised at how many of the same topics of conversation come up for both.

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Vinyl for Life

When Jay Ferchaud returned my call on a Friday in October, he was equal parts apologetic and ecstatic. Just before our scheduled interview, he learned that a store in Arkansas had purchased a record collection that one man amassed over 30 years, and there was a lost gem that Ferchaud just couldn't pass up.

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JPS Students Avoid Conflict with Peer Mediation

Early in the morning of Oct. 21 at Whitten Preparatory Middle School, students yawned and fidgeted in their stiff, wooden seats, clutching their hoodies and jackets. It was National Day Against Gun Violence, and the students had already sat through an assembly in the auditorium earlier that week on the same topic.

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Try This at Home

While it's nice to get a facial or a blow-out sometimes, taking care of your skin or hair or nails doesn't always have to be a big deal.

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What’s Up with House Bill 1523?

In the language of people who refuse to fight in wars like Vietnam, Mississippians should have "conscientious objector" status if they do not want to recognize LGBT citizens' right to get married, Gov. Phil Bryant is arguing in a federal appeal to help House Bill 1523 become law in the state.

More Severe Weather Could Hit Mississippi After Monday Storm

Thunderstorms produced large hail and tornado warnings across parts of Mississippi Tuesday, as officials warned that severe weather could threaten the state through the night.

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Leslie Puckett

When Leslie Puckett began her business, BearCreek Herbals, in 2000, she was at a crossroads in her life.

Tuesday, November 29

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Third-grade Reading Campaign Expanding with Low-income Outreach

For Mississippi's third graders, the stakes for good performance on the reading test that can knock them out of timely promotion to fourth grade are now higher than ever.

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Kolb's Grand Cleaners Reopening, Janie Pillow Antiques and Hope Enterprise

A few months ago, Brandon resident Janie Pillow relocated her antique store to a new location inside an old two-story house in Madison called Dorothy House.

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Vicki Moorehead

Madison resident Vicki Moorehead, a fifth- and sixth-grade science teacher with St. Anthony Catholic School in Madison, received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching on Sept. 8.

AP Interview: Iraqi Leader Predicts IS Collapse in Mosul

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says Islamic State group fighters lack the courage to put up long-term resistance in Mosul, despite unleashing hundreds of car bombs that have killed and maimed Iraqi soldiers and civilians as the fight for Iraq's second-largest city appears set to extend well into next year.

Orders Could Have Little Effect on Pipeline Protest Camp

Government orders for protesters of the Dakota Access pipeline to leave federal land could have little immediate effect on the encampment where scores of people have been gathered for months to oppose the $3.8 billion project.

Fitch Warns of 'Populist Surge' on Global Growth

A leading credit ratings agency is warning that a surge in populism and anti-establishment sentiment is pushing the world into an era of economic nationalism to the detriment of long-term global growth.

Young Immigrants Who Came Forward Now Worried About Future

Hundreds of thousands of young immigrants living in the country illegally willingly came out of the shadows and identified themselves to the Obama administration on the promise that they'd be safe from deportation and allowed to work.

Trump Taps Price to Lead HHS, Plans 2nd Meeting with Romney

President-elect Donald Trump moved to fill out his Cabinet Tuesday, tapping Georgia Rep. Tom Price to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. Aides signaled that at least one other Cabinet nomination was imminent.

Mississippi Runoffs Set for 2 Judicial and 2 House Seats

Runoffs will decide one seat on the Mississippi Supreme Court, one on the state Court of Appeals and two in the state House of Representatives.

Monday, November 28

Mississippi Teacher Accused of Dragging Student is Indicted

A former Greenville teacher has been indicted on a misdemeanor charge of abusing a vulnerable person.

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AT&T DirecTV Now Service—A Cord-Cutter's Solution?

NEW YORK (AP) — There are already a few online services that aim to replace cable, but they haven't attracted many users yet. AT&T's DirecTV hopes to change that with a new service announced Monday.

Terrorism Suspected in Car-and-Knife Attack at Ohio State

A Somali-born college student plowed his car into a group of pedestrians at Ohio State University and began stabbing people with a butcher knife Monday before he was shot to death by a police officer. Police said they are investigating whether it was a terrorist attack.

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Mississippi's Child Human Trafficking Laws Receive "B" Grade

A Shared Hope International study of states' child human-trafficking laws gives Mississippi a "B" grade for its state laws.

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Stamps: Transition to Trump a Time of Opportunity for Jackson

Jackson City Councilman De'Keither Stamps met with members of President-elect Donald Trump's transitional team earlier this month in Washington as a part of a group of leaders of color from across the country. Today he heralded the process as a moment for Jackson to develop relationships.

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Nick Fitzgerald

Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald ran for a school-record 258 yards and two touchdowns, and also threw for three touchdowns to bring the Golden Egg trophy back to Starkville after two years in the Rebels' possession.

Judge: Church Shooting Suspect Can Act as His Own Attorney

A white man accused of fatally shooting nine black parishioners at a Charleston church last year was allowed to act as his own attorney in his federal death penalty trial Monday.

First Flight in Half Century Leaves Miami Bound for Havana

Just three days after the death of Fidel Castro, the first regularly scheduled flight in more than half a century left Miami International Airport bound for Havana.

Feds Give States More Time to Bolster Struggling Schools

States will have more time to identify failing schools as part of new Obama administration rules aimed at supporting troubled public schools and students who are struggling.

Trump Charges, Without Evidence, Millions Voted Illegally

President-elect Donald Trump is claiming, without evidence, that millions of people voted illegally in the election he won, issuing the baseless claim as part of his angry response to a recount effort led by the Green Party and joined by Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Thousands Line Up Early to Pay Homage to Castro in Cuba

Thousands of Cubans began lining up early near Havana's Plaza of the Revolution Monday carrying portraits of Fidel Castro, flowers and Cuban flags for the start of week-long services bidding farewell to the man who ruled the country for nearly half a century.

The Pot Train Could Still Go Off the Tracks, and Here's How

Weed is winning in the polls, with a solid majority of Americans saying marijuana should be legal. But does that mean the federal government will let dozens of state pot experiments play out? Not by a long shot.

Deep South Under Severe Weather Threat Through Wednesday

Most of the Deep South is under the threat of severe weather through Wednesday.

Friday, November 25

Charleston AME Church Shooter Ruled Competent To Stand Trial

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The white man charged in the shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church last year is competent to stand trial, a federal judge ruled Friday.

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Green Party Candidate Requests Presidential Recount in Wisconsin, Vows Michigan and Pennsylvania

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump pressed forward Friday with two more administration picks, as failed Green Party candidate Jill Stein took new steps to force recounts across key Midwestern battlegrounds that could complicate Trump's push for national unity.

Thursday, November 24

3 Charged with Plotting Death of Mississippi Businessman

Three men are being held without bond, charged in a plot to murder a businessman who serves on Mississippi's college board.

Wednesday, November 23

New GOP Majority Could Bring Abortion Restrictions to Iowa

For years, Iowa's divided Legislature shielded the state from a wave of Republican-backed laws that restricted abortion access around the country.

Man Who Killed Abortion Doctor Gets More Lenient Sentence

The man who seven years ago ambushed and fatally shot one of the few U.S. doctors performing late-term abortions was given a more lenient sentence Wednesday of at least 25 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.

The Slate

The USM Golden Eagles and the UM Rebels can get bowl-eligible if both can win this weekend. But the way this football season has gone, it seems more likely both will lose and stay home.

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Election Over, But the Fight Continues

There's a rumbling in the auditorium. All eyes are focused on the stage, on the latest peddler of promise, the pied Piper of propaganda. Then a white guy sucker-punches a black guy, and a brawl ensues.

Keep Fighting for Transparency in Mississippi

While the fight for the Legislature's contract with nonprofit EdBuild dominated headlines this past week, it is important to not get lost in the weeds.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Big Deal"

Trump's international business ventures launch U.S. politics into uncharted ethical waters, whether he likes to admit it or not.

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‘Surviving a Severe Political Butt Whooping’

"Jojo's Discount Dollar Store will host a series of weekly 'New Era Transition Holiday Sales Events.' Look out for weekly events in isle 7-and-2/5, starting with the 'Post Election Meltdown Mental Health Therapy Summit,' which psychologist Judy McBride is hosting. All President-elect Trump supporters are invited to attend."

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Debate Over Neighborhood Gates Continues

Carl Menist, a resident of the Woodland Hills neighborhood in Jackson, showed up to a Nov. 14 city-council public hearing to speak out against a plan to gate his community. Menist says both the property value and tone of the charming neighborhood would change with a gate installation.

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Early Years Network Set to Close by Year’s End

Meghan Gallagher, a mother of four who lives in Oxford, was disappointed to hear the news that a statewide network of early learning resource centers will close at the end of the year.

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Jobs, Budgets and Preparing for 2017

If the Mississippi state budget is a "moral document" or at least one that reveals priorities, the fiscal-year 2018 budget likely faces dramatic tampering in the upcoming legislative session.

2 Mississippi Churches Transcend Racial Barriers After Arson

Back in the 1960s, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. observed that Sunday morning is the most segregated time of the week in America, a fact that remains true in many communities today.

Gov't Wants Phone Makers to Lock Out Most Apps for Drivers

The government wants smartphone makers to lock out most apps when the phone is being used by someone driving a car.

Trump Chooses SC Gov Nikki Haley to be Ambassador to UN

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, the first woman tapped for a top-level administration post during his White House transition so far.

Mississippi Man Among Those Getting Sentence Cut

A man convicted on a federal cocaine charge in south Mississippi has had his sentence cut by President Barack Obama.

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Jamaica By Way of Jackson

A vibrant palm tree stands on an East Capitol Street business' sign, sticking out among the gray office buildings and collection of mile-high windows. As soon as people see the tree, they know they have arrived somewhere a little different: Taste of the Island.

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Warren Coile

Warren Coile was sitting in a pew during an evening service at Crawford Street Methodist Church in Vicksburg when he got the call. A lay member had just talked about the need for more people in the Methodist Church when a voice told him, "You can do that."

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We Can Be Scared Together

With the current political turmoil, I'm glad I got to attend TEDxJacksonWomen. It was a bright spot in the midst of a hairy election cycle, and now it can be a bright spot in what can sometimes feel like impending doom.

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Digging Up the Roots of Jackson’s ‘Numbing’ Crime with Mayor Tony Yarber

Tony Tarzel Yarber, 16, waved at his best friend, Lakenya Bolden, as he drove past him in Jackson's Subdivision 2 on Aug. 4, 1994. Bolden was driving into the "Sub" on Wiggins Road, Yarber driving out. They blew their horns at each other.

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Fighting Homelessness, Helping Parents

Bilal Qizilbash spends most of his hours working for other people. Some of the 43,000 miles on his car come from traveling across Mississippi lecturing on his cancer research.

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Blues in Black and White

Mississippi bluesman Robert Johnson may have only lived to be 27 years old, but his legacy has grown exponentially since his death in 1938, inspiring many generations of artists. Of course, not all those he inspired are musicians, and certainly not all of them hail from the American South.

Tuesday, November 22

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Mississippi Voter Turnout Down Over Last Presidential Election

Mississippi's presidential turnout numbers dropped almost 75,000 over 2012 this year, in one of first elections in recent memory without any federal oversight of polls in the state.

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Steven Cooper

Steven Cooper, the first African American elected to serve as student body president at Mississippi State University, died of cancer around midnight on Nov. 1. He was living in Houston, Texas, at the time of his death.

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Jax-Zen Float, Aladdin R U Hungry? Event, Canopy Children's Solutions and The Ramey Agency

Aladdin Mediterranean Grill is hosting a one-day charity event benefitting R U Hungry?, a local group that gathers food and items such as blankets to give to homeless individuals in Smith Park in downtown Jackson on Fridays.

Trump's Pick for Justice Dept Could Influence Immigration

As a senator, Jeff Sessions became Congress' leading advocate not only for a cracking down on illegal immigration, but also for slowing all immigration, increasing mass deportations and scrutinizing more strictly those entering the U.S. As attorney general, he'd be well positioned to turn those ideas into reality.

Americans Who Live Near Border say Trump's Wall is Unwelcome

All along the winding Rio Grande, the people who live in this bustling, fertile region where the U.S. border meets the Gulf of Mexico never quite understood how Donald Trump's great wall could ever be much more than campaign rhetoric.

1.2M Voted in Mississippi, 560 Lacked Photo ID at Polls

Only a small percentage of Mississippi voters did not take photo identification to the polls for the presidential election, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said Monday.

Monday, November 21

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Healthy Tips for Holiday Parties

"I ask my patients to demonstrate thanks for our earthly bodies by attempting to make them healthier."

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Helping Mississippians Get Degrees Goal of New Initiative

Almost 300,000 Mississippians have received some college credit and finished courses from a public university or college without earning a degree in the last 15 years. Mississippi Public Universities is working to bring that number down with the launch of the Complete 2 Compete Initiative.

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Protesters March On Wendy's for Workers' Rights

Wendy's on High Street got traffic from more than just the lunch crowd this week.

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Morgan William

Mississippi State stars Victoria Vivians and Morgan William were at their best during the 10th-ranked Bulldogs' 79-68 victory over No. 8 Texas on Sunday.

Officers Douse Pipeline Protesters in Subfreezing Weather

Authorities on Monday defended their decision to douse protesters with water during a skirmish in subfreezing weather near the Dakota Access oil pipeline, and organizers said at least 17 protesters were taken to the hospital—including some who were treated for hypothermia.

Analysis: School Funding Debate Bumpy, but Direction Unclear

Despite an eventful couple of days in discussions about rewriting the state education funding formula, the public is no closer to knowing what changes lawmakers will consider to the current Mississippi Adequate Education Program.

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Hamilton Cast to Trump: No Apology Necessary

If Donald Trump is waiting for an apology from the cast of "Hamilton," he will continue to wait.

Trump Vows to Bring Back Coal, Part of 'Clean Power' Rollback

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) — The hard-eyed view along the Tug Fork River in West Virginia coal country is that President-elect Donald Trump has something to prove: that he'll help bring back Appalachian mining, as he promised time and again on the campaign trail. Nobody thinks he can revive it entirely — not economists, not ex-miners, not even those recently called back to work.

Friday, November 18

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Precinct 4 Moves to New Headquarters, Responds to Business Break-ins

If you ask some Jackson Police Department officers, the best part about moving to a new location was that now they don't have to take the stairs every day.

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Shrouded in Secrecy, EdBuild CEO Gets Feedback from the Public on MAEP

For the first time, Mississippians got an official forum Thursday to sound off to EdBuild, the New Jersey education consulting company the state contracted under opaque circumstances to vet the Mississippi Adequate Education Program formula.

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Codetta South

Brennan White, known on stage as Codetta South, describes his debut album, "A Few Regrets," which he released independently on Nov. 11, as "a concept project meant to be enjoyed in one sitting from start to finish."

Trump's Election Triggers Flood of Immigration Questions

Immigration hotlines are buzzing. Legal clinics are seeing an influx of clients. Public schools are fielding frantic questions from parents and students.

Obama Urges European Leaders to Work with Trump

President Barack Obama used a meeting with key European leaders Friday to urge them to work with the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump and to discuss steps necessary to resolve the conflicts in Syria and eastern Ukraine, the White House said.

Trump Taps Sessions, Flynn, Pompeo for Top Positions

President-elect Donald Trump signaled a sharp rightward shift in U.S. national security policy Friday, naming Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general, Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo to head the CIA and former military intelligence chief Michael Flynn as his national security adviser.

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Faith Leaders, Black Caucus Members Talk Education, Infrastructure, Health Care

Members of several Mississippi Baptist conventions along with members of the Legislative Black Caucus hosted a public hearing at the Capitol on Nov. 17 to discuss education, infrastructure and health care.

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JPS Hosts Career Expo for Students, Community

The Jackson Convention Center was a hive of activity on Nov. 16, with swarms of Jackson Public Schools ninth graders touring multiple kiosks for jobs and educational opportunities in a variety of professional fields.

Mississippi Ex-Gov. Barbour Sued Over Photos in Katrina Book

A photographer is suing former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, saying he used her copyrighted work without permission in his 2015 book, "America's Great Storm: Leading Through Hurricane Katrina."

Thursday, November 17

Mississippi Wants Former College Students to Finish Degrees

Leaders of Mississippi's universities and community colleges say as many as 67,000 Mississippians who never graduated may have passed enough courses for a degree.

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Queer-Punk Act Faces Protesters in Downtown Jackson

Ben Hopkins was eating spicy shrimp pasta in a van when a handful of protesters began organizing in front of Big Sleepy’s, an all-ages music venue in downtown Jackson. The venue in the middle of prepping for a much-anticipated show featuring headliner PWR BTTM, the Hudson, N.Y.-based queer-punk act that the guitarist and vocalist fronts with drummer-vocalist Liv Bruce.

Former MDOC Officer Pleads Guilty to Covering Up Inmate Assault

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that former Mississippi correctional officer Deonte Pate, 23, pleaded guilty today to helping conceal the beating of an inmate.

Trump Election Puts Pressure on Merkel to Take Liberal Lead

Can Germany, the country that once unleashed Nazism, lead the free world?

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Michael Thomas

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas has been another impact rookie. His play has eased the pain of the Saints releasing former No. 1 receiver Marques Colston, who is the franchise's all-time leader in receptions and touchdowns.

Stand Up to Russia, Obama Advises Trump

Offering some pointed foreign policy advice to his successor, President Barack Obama expressed hope Thursday that President-elect Donald Trump would stand up to Russia when it deviates from U.S. "values and international norms."

After Bail Revoked, Epps Asks Judge to Let Him Out of Jail

Mississippi's former corrections commissioner is asking a federal judge to reconsider the decision to jail him.

Wednesday, November 16

Minnesota Officer Charged with Manslaughter in Castile Death

A Minnesota police officer has been charged with second-degree manslaughter after prosecutors determined he acted unreasonably when he shot and killed Philando Castile, a black man whose girlfriend streamed the gruesome aftermath of the fatal shooting live on Facebook, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

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A ‘Loving’ Life

"Loving" tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, whose battle against discrimination and racism led to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

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Beat Down, Not Out

Stepping inside midtown-based record, comic-book and collectibles store Offbeat, you'll notice plenty of products that come from all over the United States and from different corners of the world, including Japanese manga and toy kits, and paperback comic collections from Marvel Comics in New York and DC Comics in California.

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The Founders: American Gods

In 1787, the Founding Fathers met at the Constitutional Convention and crafted the U.S. Constitution. It was a watershed moment, and to many today, the creation of this abstract ideal government turned the founders into living gods.

Post-Election Mississippi: Engage, Educate, Vote

If you weren't engaged in the great American democratic process before Nov. 8, we ask that you get engaged now.

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Post-Trump Guilt and Fear

I can't sleep, for Donald Trump is to be our next U.S. president. It's astonishing, horrifying, unnerving, embarrassing, deeply saddening and real.

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On Way Out of Jackson, Siemens Addresses ‘Stranded Bills’

The Jackson City Council expressed concerns about charging those on fixed incomes the larger-than-normal bills that have accumulated over the last six months as the water-billing department and Siemens close down their cooperative effort to alleviate difficulties.

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Black, Hispanic Kids React to Trump Win

The electorate of the United States, and the voters who elected Donald Trump, do not resemble the demographics of the country's public schools.

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How Trump’s Health Reform Could Affect Mississippi

Lower- and middle-class Mississippians could have the most to lose from Trump's proposed health-care reforms, including those who benefit from insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act marketplace as well as those who qualify for Medicaid.

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Buying Justice: ‘Dark Money’ in Judicial Elections

The "dark money" that poured into the state in order to defeat incumbent Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Jim Kitchens did not pay off this election cycle, as he defeated his challenger Kenny Griffis by 25,000 votes.

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The Impolite Free Press in the Age of Trump

Let's get this straight off the bat: There is no one reason that Hillary Clinton lost and Donald Trump won enough electoral votes last week to become president.

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Take-out for Thanksgiving

If you don’t want to cook this Thanksgiving, let local businesses help you out.

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A Festive, Local Holiday

The impending holiday season means stuffing our faces with tons of food and congregating with family and friends, but it also means something else: The shopping season is about to begin. This holiday, make sure you support Mississippi craftmakers.

Public Can't See Mississippi House Contracts, Panel Says

The Mississippi House Management Committee voted Tuesday that representatives can look at contracts made by the body, but said the documents, other than their cost, must otherwise be kept secret from the public.

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Clinton Handily Wins Hinds, Despite Poll Problems, Closings

Hinds County Election Commissioner Connie Cochran stands amid piles of papers, ballots and maps as workers comb through the boxes upon boxes of affidavit ballots that voters filled out during last Tuesday's general election.

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Lesley F. Collins

Even if you aren't yet familiar with found-object artist Lesley F. Collins, your kids might be.

Tuesday, November 15

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Amid Bitterness, State Leaders Invite Public to Comment on Education Funding

State leaders are inviting the public to attend a meeting on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 4 p.m. in Room 113 in the State Capitol to comment on a potential new scheme to provide funding for Mississippi's public schools.

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Free Memberships at Rainbow Co-Op, Up in Farms Farm Pack and Mantle.Suites

Rainbow Co-Op, a community-owned organic and natural food store in Fondren, announced on Oct. 10 that annual memberships in the cooperative, which used to cost $25, are now free.

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Emily Summerlin

The Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum has organized the annual Harvest Festival for a few years, but marketing and events specialist Emily Summerlin says the museum's staff is changing things up this year.

Tax Collection Projections Somewhat Rosier in Mississippi

Mississippi's top elected officials say the outlook for state tax collections is improving, despite a dip during the first months of the current budget year.

Monday, November 14

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Trump Protesters in Mississippi: 'Protect One Another Right Now'

Mississippi native Marisa Green was scheduled to come home for Thanksgiving from New York where she lives and works as a photographer and an artist. But in the wake of Donald Trump's election last week, Green decided to come home early and organize a peaceful protest outside the state capitol on Sunday, instead.

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Flowood Mayor: 'One Lake' Project Will Protect Hospitals from Flooding

Flowood Mayor Gary Rhoads supports the "One Lake" plan to widen the Pearl River to protect the hospitals that sit in Rankin County's floodplain, he said today.

Analysis: Mississippi Tightens Bond Rules for Long-Term Debt

Don't take on long-term debt to cover day-to-day expenses. Don't use credit to buy stuff that will wear out before it's paid off. It's advice many parents give their soon-to-be adult children. And, in a nutshell, it's what the Mississippi Bond Commission says in rules it recently adopted.

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Shea Patterson

When Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze saw Shea Patterson win a state championship as a high school junior he walked away with a "man crush" on the quarterback.

Trump Names Priebus, Bannon to Senior White House Roles

President-elect Donald Trump made his first two key personnel appointments on Sunday, one an overture to Republican circles by naming GOP chief Reince Priebus as his White House chief of staff, the other a shot across the bow of the Washington establishment by tabbing Breitbart news executive Stephen Bannon as chief strategist and senior counselor.

Is Trump's Tough Plan on Immigration Cracking?

President-elect Donald Trump's tough-talking plan to rein in illegal immigration showed signs of cracking on Sunday, with the president-elect seemingly backing off his vow to build a solid wall along the southern U.S. border and the top House Republican rejecting any "deportation force" targeting people in the country illegally.

Assange Questioned at Ecuadorean Embassy in London

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was being questioned by prosecutors Monday at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London about possible sexual misconduct committed in Sweden six years ago.

Friday, November 11

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Gentleman Caller: Always About a 'Black Person, a Black Person, a Black Person'

A caller to the Jackson Free Press today complained that we cover far too many black people and now to find some white people to write about.

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57 Homicides So Far in Jackson; Police Force Drops to 392

Jackson has passed the number of homicides for last year, just as the police department's count of uniformed officers drops below 400.

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Saluting Those Who Serve on Veterans Day

Veterans, their family members, men and women in the military, and state leaders gathered at the Mississippi War Memorial Building today to honor the veterans from Mississippi and the country who have served their country.

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Mississippi Expands Pre-K Education

Just two weeks after Halloween, hundreds of four-year-olds in high-need areas around the state will receive a new treat: pre-kindergarten.

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Veronica Parrales

Those who haven't attended a Mississippi Symphony Orchestra performance in recent months will notice a few new faces at the latest show in the Bravo Series, "Bravo! Copland!", a program featuring the works of Brooklyn-born composer Aaron Copland. One of those new faces, principal cellist Veronica Parrales, also happens to hail from Copland's neck of the woods.

Numbers Show Broad Achievement Gaps in Mississippi Schools

Oxford is Mississippi's highest-flying school district, according to the state's rating system. But data published Thursday shows the district also has the widest achievement gap between black and white students, as well as between poor and more affluent students.

Thursday, November 10

Putin's Spokeperson: We Had Contact with Trump Campaign

MOSCOW (AP) — A top Russian diplomat and Vladimir Putin's spokesman said Thursday that Russian experts were in contact with some members of President-elect Donald Trump's staff during the presidential campaign, a period in which the United States accused Russia of hacking into Democratic Party emails systems.

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Gov. Phil Bryant: Unite Behind Trump 'in Civility and in Trust'

Leaders from the Mississippi Republican Party called on the state's citizens to unite as Donald Trump won enough states Tuesday night to be the next president of the United States, even though Democrat Hillary Clinton led in the nationwide popular vote.

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JPS Board President Talks Transparency, JPS Future

Though Jackson Public Schools is just a month shy of the Christmas holidays, Superintendent Dr. Cedrick Gray's resignation is effective Nov. 14.

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Shandricka Sessom

Last season was a disappointment for the University of Mississippi women's basketball team. The Rebels went 10-20 overall and 2-14 in SEC play, posting their fourth losing record in the last five seasons.

Trump Arrives at White House for Meeting with Obama

President-elect Donald Trump joined President Barack Obama for their first meeting at the White House Thursday, a symbolic start to the transition of power to the nation's 45th president.

'Not My President:' Trump Denounced in Protests Across US

A day after Donald Trump's election to the presidency, campaign divisions appeared to widen as many thousands of demonstrators — some with signs declaring "NOT MY PRESIDENT" — flooded streets across the country to protest his surprise triumph.

Mississippi Governor Won't Rule Out Taking Trump Appointment

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said Wednesday that he's not actively seeking an appointment in the Donald Trump administration, but said it might be difficult to turn down the president-elect.

Wednesday, November 9

The Slate

Get ready for a full weekend of sports as college football continues and college basketball returns. The men's and women's basketball seasons tip off around the nation this Friday.

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2016-2017 Women's College Basketball Preview

The women's college basketball season tips off on Friday, Nov. 11, with a full slate of action.

Address Trauma to Stop Youth Crime Cycles

Violence can sow seeds of fear in a community, but scientifically speaking, it literally leaves trauma in its wake. The psychological damage of witnessing violence can lead to more severe health consequences, from suicidal behavior to complex mental-health problems.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: ‘We Have Not Changed Our Conclusion’

There has been much hoopla and speculation as to why Comey publicly announced the FBI was looking at more emails in the first place, especially this close to the election.

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Overcoming P.T.E.S.D.

Mr. Announcer: "In the ghetto criminal-justice system, the people are represented by members of the Ghetto Science Community Peace Keeping Unit: police officer and part-time security guard at the Funky Ghetto Mall Dudley 'Do-Right' McBride; attorney Cootie McBride of the law firm McBride, Myself and I; and guest peace officers Psychologist Judy McBride and Sister Encouragement, co-host of the Rev. Cletus Cars Sales Radio Broadcast. This is their story."

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MDOT Gifts Land to Private Group

Locals have long used the large chunk of land north of Pearl and south of the reservoir, a pie-chunk of untouched wild, for recreation. The current mayor of Flowood is one of them.

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Teaching Teens Financial Literacy

Students at Provine High School will soon be able to open up accounts with Hope Credit Union right in their own hallway.

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Water Billing Problems Continue, But Contract Renewed

Even as complaints mount about large and incorrect water bills in Jackson, the City Council approved a contract of more than $300,000 to continue use of the Oracle software that supports the troublesome system.

Markets Recover Somewhat After Trump Speech, World Markets Still Uncertain

LONDON (AP) — Conciliatory comments from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in the aftermath of his stunning victory over Hillary Clinton helped global stock markets recover a large chunk of their earlier losses Wednesday.

AP Editor's Note: Trump's Promises

While a lot of his agenda will be a hard sell, he won't have the excuse used by many presidents whose promises have fallen short — a Congress in the hands of the opposing party. Trump will take office with a unified government, both the Senate and House under Republican control.

President-Elect Trump Urges Americans: 'Come Together As One People'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump claimed his place Wednesday as America's 45th president, an astonishing victory for the celebrity businessman and political novice who capitalized on voters' economic anxieties, took advantage of racial tensions and overcame a string of sexual assault allegations on his way to the White House.

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‘We Failed Him’: Caught in the Revolving Door of Juvenile Detention

Yvette Mason hopes that telling her son Charles McDonald's story will prevent others from experiencing her pain by highlighting the lack of resources available to families of troubled youth in Hinds County and Mississippi. Juvenile detention failed him, she and others say.

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Giving a Voice to ‘Throatless’

When producer Curtis Lehr first began making electronic music in 2009, it was an experiment in limitations, as they were relegated to a few sample loops on free recording software.

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Confronting the Realities of Autism

For Angela Douglas, the realities of autism are all around her at work and at home. As an advocate at Disability Rights Mississippi in Gulfport, Douglas works with parents whose children need special education.

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Win or Lose, We Must Fight the ‘Trump Effect’

The white woman's name and phone number showed up clearly on the caller ID when she called the Jackson Free Press several times, angry about a column a young black woman had published in our paper.

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It Takes a Sushi Village

Kenny Li and his wife, Wei Xia, of Fujian, China, opened Sushi Village in 2013 after selling the Chinese buffet that he ran off Highway 49 in Richland.

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Nick Weatherspoon

Basketball talent runs deep in Velma Jackson High School guard Nick Weatherspoon's family. His older brother, Quinndary, has finished his first season at Mississippi State University, and his younger brother, Brandon, is an up-and-coming star at the Madison County school.

Tuesday, November 8

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Hear Online Sales Tax Case, AG Hood Asks

Attorney General Jim Hood has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a 1992 decision, Quill v. North Dakota, which prohibited states from implementing online sales taxes on businesses not physically located in the states themselves.

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Sal & Mookie's, Sprouted Heart, Library Lounge and Unwind

Sal & Mookie's New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint owners Jeff Good and Dan Blumenthal announced during the annual Livingston Farmer's Market on Nov. 3 that they will be opening a third location in the Town of Livingston.

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James Theres

An award-winning academic paper doesn't often turn into a documentary film, but for Wisconsin-native James Theres, that's exactly what happened.

Mississippi's Hood Asks Court to Legalize Online Sales Tax

Mississippi's attorney general is signing up for a court challenge to overturn a federal ban of online sales taxes.

Presidential Choice Tops Ballot for Mississippi Voters

Mississippi voters are making their choice for president Tuesday, with Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton seeking the state's six electoral votes.

Mississippi Lawmakers Seek Comment on School Funding Formula

Top lawmakers are seeking public comments on Mississippi's system of school funding.

Voting in Mississippi? Take Photo ID to the Polls

Mississippi voters must show a driver's license or other photo identification before casting a ballot in the presidential race.

Monday, November 7

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Will Blacks Surrender the Power of Their Vote?

While the president sets the national agenda of the country, your representative, senator, governor, mayor and other local politicians affect you and your community directly.

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Mississippi Women: Time to ‘Personhood’ Donald Trump, Mike Pence

Mississippi women turned back Personhood in 2011. Now, we need to vote against two men likely to limit everything from the birth-control pill to in vitro fertilization, from affordable cancer screenings to abortions to save the life of the mother.

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Obama and the Black Millennial

When black millennials witness such blatant ignorance parade its orange head on the national stage, we always ask ourselves, “Could Obama get away with this?” I contend that the average black millennial would respond to that question with a resounding, “Hell nah.”

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Mississippi Can Go Blue, or Purple, if Turnout High, Black Caucus Says

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus are encouraging Mississippians to vote on Nov. 8, not only in the presidential contest but for the sake of other races on the ballot.

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Mayor Proclaims Season to Help Students Pay for College

This morning at Murrah High School, Mayor Tony Yarber proclaimed October through May "FAFSA Completion Season" for the City of Jackson in an effort to increase those numbers across the entire school district.

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Jamie Collins

Former University of Southern Mississippi star Jamie Collins went from the proverbial penthouse to the outhouse on Oct. 31.

Jury Selection Halted in Charleston Church Shooting

Jury selection was halted before it began Monday in the federal case of a white man accused of fatally shooting nine black parishioners, with the judge holding a hearing closed to everyone but the defendant and his own lawyers.

Janet Reno, Former US Attorney General, Dies at Age 78

Shy and admittedly awkward, Janet Reno became a blunt prosecutor and the first woman to serve as U.S. attorney general and was also the epicenter of a relentless series of political storms, from the deadly raid on the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas, to the seizure of 5-year-old Cuban immigrant Elian Gonzalez.

Delay Threatens Tax Benefit as Kemper Plant Nears $7 Billion

Mississippi Power Co. now says it won't complete its Kemper County power plant until the end of the year, a delay of a month that pushes the price tag up by $25 million to nearly $7 billion.

Clinton Goes for Uplift, Trump Goes After Her on Final Day

Furiously campaigning to the last, Hillary Clinton tried Monday to emerge from the cloud of suspicion that has followed her campaign and close her historic bid with a call for unity and hope. Donald Trump vowed not to make it easy.

Confusion, Obstacles Raise Voting Concerns in Some States

More than a dozen states have enacted tougher requirements for registering and voting since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a key provision of the Voting Rights Act three years ago.

Sunday, November 6

FBI's Comey Walks Back His October Surprise: No New Evidence in E-mail Review

CLEVELAND (AP) — Lifting the cloud he placed over Hillary Clinton, FBI Director James Comey said Sunday there is no evidence in newly discovered emails to warrant criminal charges against the Democratic presidential nominee — just two days before Americans choose their 45th commander in chief.

Friday, November 4

Mississippi Leaders Seek Medal of Freedom for Medgar Evers

All members of Mississippi's congressional delegation are asking the president to bestow the nation's highest peacetime civilian honor on slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

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Continental Tire Breaks Ground, Promises 2,500 Jobs Over a Decade

Lawmakers, business executives and almost everyone involved with bringing Continental Tire to Hinds County gathered at the almost 1,000-acre site outside of Clinton on Thursday morning to ceremoniously break ground on the site.

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Federal Violence Liaison Visits JPD; Homicide Suspect Named, Sought

Jackson's upcoming participation with the federal Violence Reduction Network will open up the capital city to new resources, both monetary and otherwise, federal liaison and former St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom said during a visit Thursday.

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William Dan Isaac

Growing up in Choctaw, Miss., William Dan Isaac often pondered the differences between his way of life on the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians reservation and the way that people lived in what he considered the "outside world."

Delta State University President: It's Time for a 'New, Unifying' State Flag

This is a verbatim statement regarding Delta State University's decision to bring down the Mississippi state flag from William N. LaForge, the university's president.

Aryan Brotherhood Member Sentenced to Life in Prison

A member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi has been sentenced to life in prison on charges including racketeering and murder following the 2010 beating death of a man over an unpaid drug debt.

Mississippi Ex Prison Chief Faces Bond Revocation Hearing

A former Mississippi corrections commissioner who pleaded guilty in a corruption case faces a bond revocation hearing after being accused of stealing lights from a house he forfeited to the federal government.

Thursday, November 3

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Fondren Sidewalk Project Delayed, Scaled Back to Lower Costs

Fondren's four-year-old sidewalk facelift proposal, which would bring the neighborhood in compliance with federal disabilities law, may take even longer because it was way over-budget.

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Repealing Tax Cut Will Yield $6 Billion for Infrastructure, Senate Dems Say

Repealing the "Taxpayer Pay Raise Act of 2016" is the first step to funding the state's infrastructure needs, our Mississippi state senators, all Democrats, say.

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Chris Moore

Chris Moore, 26, has been making movies for more than a decade. His admiration for the horror genre began when his dad introduced him to the 1953 film "House of Wax."

Miss. Fire Chief: Blaze at African-American Church Was Arson

Somebody set the fire that heavily damaged an African-American church that was also spray-painted with the phrase "Vote Trump," and an $11,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the conviction of whoever did it, a Mississippi fire chief said Wednesday.

Suspect in Officer Deaths Has History of Racial Provocations

A white man with a history of racial provocations and confrontations with police ambushed and fatally shot two white officers in separate attacks as they sat in their patrol cars, authorities said.

Democrats Want to Repeal Tax Cut, Keep Money for Road Work

Four Democratic state senators said Wednesday they want to repeal a big tax cut passed by Mississippi lawmakers and instead use the money for roads and bridges.

Wednesday, November 2

FBI Probing 'Vote Trump' Tag, Fire at Black Church

The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation of a fire that heavily damaged a black church in Mississippi where someone wrote "Vote Trump" in silver spray paint.

Lessons from NOLA

"Don’t allow a financial storm to be your Hurricane Katrina, the disaster that led to dismantling the public school system in New Orleans."

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JPS Superintendent Officially Resigns, Board Names Interim

Dr. Cedrick Gray formally submitted his letter of resignation Tuesday, Nov. 1, which was effective immediately. After two consecutive executive sessions, the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees announced that Dr. Freddrick Murray has agreed to serve as interim superintendent.

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Electing Justice: Money, Partisanship and Dirty Ads

Judicial races are meant to be nonpartisan. After all, the judicial branch is a separate arm of the state government from the Legislature and the governor's office.

The Slate

So, college football hasn't been everything fans might have hoped for this season. The good news is that college basketball starts in just one week.

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College Basketball Preview 2016: Small Schools

Alcorn State University kicked off last season with seven consecutive losses and finished the non-conference slate with a 2-9 record—a rough start for first-year head coach Montez Robinson.

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College Basketball Preview 2016: The Bigs

College football is entering the home stretch, the leaves have fallen from the trees, and the weather is beginning to stay cool. While it isn't quite time for the holiday season, you have reason to celebrate if you are a hoops fan.

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Raging Machine vs. Indigent Man

The Law is a mighty machine. Woe to the unfortunate man who, wholly or in part innocent, becomes entangled in its mighty wheels, unless his innocence is patent or his rescue planned and executed by able counsel.

Kitchens for Mississippi Supreme Court

Yet again, a race for a vitally important position in Mississippi has devolved into misleading rhetoric about a candidate for, supposedly, being soft on violent crime.

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Deplorable Me

A report on "The Trump Effect" by the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the levels of anxiety, fear, and bullying in schools have increased, due in part to the tone of the Trump campaign. But he isn't the only candidate who is guilty of "us vs. them" tactics.

UPDATED: "Vote Trump" Painted on Wall of Fire-Damaged Black Church

Authorities say a fire has partially damaged a black church in Mississippi, and television images show "Vote Trump" spray-painted on an outside wall.

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JPS Students Confront Police Brutality With Art

When Forest Hill High School teacher Paige Watson taught 9th-grade English last year, her students read law professor Michelle Alexander's book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," as part of a unit focusing on police brutality in light of the police-shooting deaths of unarmed black people.

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Martin and Lettieri: Risk and Reward

Shaun Martin and Mark Lettieri certainly have a lot of options for their fans to choose from. Together, they're perhaps best known as members of Grammy Award-winning instrumental ensemble Snarky Puppy.

Miss. Attorney Tries to Revive Confederate Emblem Lawsuit

A Mississippi attorney is asking a federal appeals court to revive his lawsuit that sought to erase the Confederate emblem from the state flag.

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‘Mad and Scared’: The Religious Shift in U.S., Mississippi Politics

Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says no one has seen a presidential election like this one in his lifetime, at least. Speaking at the Mississippi Economic Council's Hob Nob event last week, Barbour said Americans are "mad and scared" because America has experienced a weak post-recession recovery and see little economic growth in their day-to-day lives.

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Anik Kurkjian

Anik Kurkjian, who is the director of outreach and special projects for the Mississippi Museum of Art, clearly remembers the first time she met her husband, Drew Young.

Tuesday, November 1

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Turmoil at JSU: State Applies Heavy Hand

Jackson State University must brace itself for changes, from financial policies to a new president, in the wake of news that it has nearly exhausted its cash reserves.

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Thai House Closing, Erik Kegler Interiors, Innovate Mississippi and MUW

Owners Watt and Tim Bunniran are closing their restaurant, Thai House, on Nov. 30 to go into retirement.

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'Mississippi's Elections Are Not Rigged,' Secretary of State Promises

Mississippians will head to the polls in a week at more than 1,800 precincts around the state. Each polling precinct will have some of an estimated 10,000 trained poll workers and a bailiff. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann reminded reporters that that voters need to be aware of several laws on Election Day.

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Will Serve as Interim JSU President

Rod Paige has dedicated his life to breaking through barriers and providing opportunities for young people to succeed.

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Nick Fitzgerald

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen has run some variation of the spread offense since he arrived at the school eight years ago. This year's version could be described in two words: Nick Fitzgerald.

Court Reopens Lawsuit Challenging Prayer at NC Commission

An appeals court has reopened a lawsuit challenging a North Carolina county commission's practice of starting meetings with Christian prayer.

Cosby Lawyers Say Prosecutors Using 'Casting Couch' Cliche

Bill Cosby's lawyers will argue Tuesday that prosecutors are reaching back to the "casting couch" era to round up female accusers and build a "stale" sexual assault case against him.

Iraqi Forces Enter Mosul City Limits, Main Urban Fight Ahead

Iraq's special forces entered the outskirts of Mosul on Tuesday, taking the state television building and advancing despite fierce resistance by Islamic State group fighters who hold the city, an Iraqi general said.

Mississippi Asks Court to Uphold Law Affecting LGBT Rights

Mississippi's Republican governor is asking a federal appeals court to uphold a state law letting merchants and government employees cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples.