Stories for January 2017


Tuesday, January 31

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UPDATED: In Allen Trial, DA Argues that DJP Funds Are Public

The trial of Downtown Jackson Partners President Ben Allen began this morning with opening statements and testimony from an attorney who formerly worked with the state auditor's office asserting the money DJP collects from downtown property owners is public money.

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Joey Shelton

Millsaps College announced last week that Reverend Joey Shelton will join the college's staff as chaplain and director of church relations on July 1.

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New Businesses at Metrocenter Mall and The District at Eastover

Freshii, a restaurant franchise dedicated to using entirely fresh ingredients with nothing fried or frozen, is one of several businesses opening new locations at The District at Eastover.

Mosque Shooting Suspect in Canada Known for Extreme Views

The French Canadian university student charged with killing six Muslim men during evening prayers at a mosque was known for extreme nationalist views and his support of the French rightist party led by Marine Le Pen.

Boy Scouts Allows Transgender Kids into Boys-Only Programs

A New Jersey woman whose son was asked to leave his Boy Scouts troop after leaders found out he is transgender said she has mixed emotions about the organization's decision to allow transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys-only programs.

Trump Fires Justice Dep't Head Over Clash on Refugee Ban

In an extraordinary public showdown, President Donald Trump fired the acting attorney general of the United States after she publicly questioned the constitutionality of his refugee and immigration ban and refused to defend it in court.

Democratic State Attorneys General Begin Trump Pushback

Washington became the first state to sue the Trump administration with a filing Monday over the president's executive order restricting refugees and immigration. It won't be standing alone for long.

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Confederate Emblem Has Staying Power on Mississippi Flag

The Confederate battle emblem still waves on the Mississippi flag and appears in little danger of being erased anytime soon.

Monday, January 30

Washington State Sues Trump Over 'Un-American' Muslim Ban

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state's attorney general declared Monday that he was suing President Donald Trump over his temporary ban on immigration from seven countries with majority-Muslim populations, making it the first state to announce a legal action against the Trump administration over one of its policies.

Cleveland, Miss. Agrees to School Desegregation Accord

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A lawyer says a Mississippi Delta school district has agreed to a settlement in a long-running desegregation lawsuit.

Man Claiming 3 Million Improper Votes Registered in 3 States, Including Mississippi

A man who President Donald Trump has promoted as an authority on voter fraud was registered to vote in multiple states during the 2016 presidential election, the Associated Press has learned.

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Arts Commission Facing Drastic Overhaul, With Gov. Bryant's Support

The Mississippi Legislature could abolish the state's art commission this year, with two bills still alive in both the House of Representatives and the Senate that would roll it under the purview of the Mississippi Development Authority.

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Key Emmett Till Witness Gave False Testimony, Historian Says

The woman at the center of the trial of Emmett Till's alleged killers has acknowledged that she falsely testified he made physical and verbal threats, according to a new book.

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Paris Collins

Paris Collins made six 3-pointers and scored 28 points in his return from a broken bone in his shooting hand and Jackson State beat Mississippi Valley State 83-68 on Saturday.

Mississippi Prison Chief Becoming Public Safety Commissioner

A longtime law enforcement officer who has led Mississippi's prison system the past two years is being named the new head of the state Department of Public Safety.

US Judge Bars Deportations Under Trump Travel Ban

A federal judge issued an emergency order Saturday night temporarily barring the U.S. from deporting people from nations subject to President Donald Trump's travel ban, saying travelers who had been detained had a strong argument that their legal rights had been violated.

6 Killed in Canada Mosque Shooting; Trudeau Calls it Terror

A shooting at a Quebec City mosque during evening prayers left six people dead in an attack that Canada's prime minister called an act of terrorism. Police arrested two suspects, including one who called 911 to say he was armed but ready to give himself up.

Trump Orders Strict New Refugee Screening, Citing Terrorists

President Donald Trump on Friday barred all refugees from entering the United States for four months — and those from war-ravaged Syria indefinitely — declaring the ban necessary to prevent "radical Islamic terrorists" from entering the nation.

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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, January 28

Mississippi School Funding Proposal Splits Education Allies

A proposal to change how Mississippi pays for schools is splitting traditional allies in the education community.

Friday, January 27

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McCain to Trump: 'Putin Will Never Be Our Partner'

Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on President Donald Trump’s phone call with Vladimir Putin tomorrow.

Trump's Labor Nominee Outsourced His IT to the Phillipines

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's pick for labor secretary outsourced his fast-food company's technology department to the Philippines, a move that contradicts Trump's vow to keep American jobs in the U.S.

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Early Voting, Online Registration, Felon Voting Back on Table in Legislature

Mississippians would be able to vote before Election Day and register online if legislation the House Apportionment and Elections Committee passed this week stays alive long enough to become law.

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UPDATED: 'Kingmaker' Bickers' Name Surfaces in Atlanta Bribery, Intimidation Investigation

A well-known and nationally recognized political operative that Mayor Tony Yarber refers to as a "kingmaker," Mitzi Bickers, has been mentioned in connection to a federal bribery investigation into the Atlanta, Ga., municipal government.

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Debora Wenger

NewsPro magazine recently honored Debora Wenger, who is an associate professor at the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media and head of its journalism department, in its January issue as one of the "10 Journalism Educators Who Made the Grade."

Fight for Better Education Instead of Blasting 'Unhappy Liberals'

A Mississippi senator gets pushback for “alternate” view of protests.

Questions Swirl After Trump Admin Says Tax Will Pay for Wall

President Donald Trump is promising Mexico will pay for his massive border wall. On Thursday, his administration finally suggested how: a 20 percent tax on products imported from south of the border.

AP-NORC Poll: Broad Worries About Potential Health Care Loss

Though "Obamacare" still divides Americans, a majority worries many will lose coverage if the 2010 law is repealed in the nation's long-running political standoff over health care.

State Agencies Could Face One-Year Ban on Buying Vehicles

Mississippi could put the brakes on the purchase of vehicles for most state government agencies for one year.

Thursday, January 26

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Bill: Legalize Death Penalty Drugs, Consider Alternatives to Sidestep Lawsuits

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi — facing repeated court challenges to lethal injection and the difficulty of finding drugs — could start looking at alternative ways to carry out the death penalty.

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'Blue, Red and Med Lives Matter' Act Passes Mississippi Senate

Sen. Sean Tindell, R-Gulfport, brought up legislation to extend Mississippi's hate-crimes law to cover law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians who are targeted because of their jobs.

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Press Room in Capitol Free and Open, for the Moment

The status of media access to parts of the Mississippi Capitol has been unclear so far this legislative session.

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Jon Gilbert

On Tuesday, Jan. 24, USM President Rodney D. Bennett announced that Jon Gilbert will be taking the reins as director of athletics.

In Reversal, House Votes to Limit Attorney General's Powers

Mississippi's Democratic attorney general is lashing out at Republican lawmakers who are trying to limit his powers.

Bill: Make Schools Fly Mississippi's Confederate-Themed Flag

A bill advancing in the Mississippi House would require all K-12 schools to fly the state flag or lose state accreditation.

Wednesday, January 25

State Personnel Director to Lead Mississippi Bar Association

The director of the agency that oversees Mississippi government employees will be moving to a new job.

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Best of Jackson 2017: Urban Living

High Heaven Trampoline Park, which received the most votes for 2017's Best New Addition to Jackson, is a kind of wish-fulfillment factory to the vertically challenged among us.

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Best of Jackson 2017: Food & Drink

When you think of Italian food in the metro, Amerigo probably pops into your head. And these days, whether you're in Ridgeland or Flowood, or as far away as Nashville, you can find the restaurant and its popular menu items.

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Best of Jackson 2017: Nightlife & Music

Last year was a breakout time for Best Hip-Hop Artist winner SilaS, an unabashed anime fan.

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Best of Jackson 2017: People

Amanda Powell never set out to be the one of the best-dressed people in Jackson, but she says that is exactly how those closest to her see her.

The Slate

The matchup in Super Bowl LI is set: The Atlanta Falcons will face the New England Patriots on Sunday, Feb. 5. Both teams have been in the Super Bowl before but haven't faced off in their previous trips.

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Jackson: Room to Be the Best

One thing I tell people is that in Jackson, there is still always room to be the best. I never fail to be surprised by the colorful genius that permeates this town at times.

Legislators, Get the City’s Infrastructure Bill Right

The City of Jackson gets another chance at an infrastructure revitalization bill this session, but the additions that led to the death of last year's Capitol Complex bill hang heavy over new attempts to garner Jackson a little more tax money to repair its crumbling roadways.

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Your Guide to Jackson

Every once in a while, you may get this nagging feeling in the back of your mind, this little voice that says: "Can't we do something different this weekend?" The answer is yes, and here's how you're going to do it.

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Best of Jackson 2017: Community & Culture

In the world of Top-40 radio, Y101 is one of the stations that stands out, and not just because it earned two Best of Jackson titles, Best Radio Personality and Best Radio Station, yet again.

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Ben Allen’s Defense Hangs on DJP’s Public/Private Status

Whether Downtown Jackson Partners is public or private, governmental or nonprofit, is a pivotal issue in the case against indicted DJP President Ben Allen.

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EdBuild Plan A Path to Expanding ‘School Choice’?

Mississippi isn't EdBuild's first state rodeo. Back in early 2015, EdBuild met with officials in Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal's office, who campaigned for re-election on the idea of re-evaluating school funding in his state.

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Mo’ Money for Streets This Year?

Jackson legislators are working with city leaders to bridge the gap between needed infrastructure improvements totaling over $1 billion, and the City's tight budget.

Trump Moving Forward with Border Wall, Weighs Refugee Cuts

President Donald Trump will begin rolling out executive actions on immigration Wednesday, beginning with steps to build his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to two administration officials.

Restaurants: The Next Front for the Immigration Debate?

The national debate over immigration policy could be coming to a diner near you.

Trump Announces 'Major' Voter Fraud Investigation

President Donald Trump tweeted early Wednesday that he is ordering a "major investigation" into voter fraud, revisiting unsubstantiated claims he's made repeatedly about a rigged voting system.

Watchdog Group: Corruption Worsens Under Populist Leaders

People who turn to populist politicians promising to upset the status quo and end corruption may only be feeding the problem, an anti-corruption watchdog group warned Wednesday.

Sexist, Vulgar Posts on Women's Marches Rebound on Officials

A school board member in Hillary Clinton's hometown resigned after making a derogatory reference on Twitter to the female anatomy in describing women marching against President Donald Trump. An Illinois teacher was pulled from the classroom for a tweet deemed sexist. And a freshman Indiana lawmaker was inundated with criticism over a Facebook post mocking "fat women."

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These Are the Best of Times

No doubt, we're living through unsettling times. It would be easy to get depressed and angry at everything that lies before us to get done and repair—from a national political divide, to budget problems in the Capitol and City Hall, to local potholes that can eat a Hummer with few efficient and fast solutions for any of them.

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William Thomas

William Wesley Thomas, 28, is the first nursing student at the University of Mississippi Medical Center to be elected the Associated Student Body president since the School of Nursing's establishment in 1948. He will be sworn in as president for the 2017-2018 school year.

Tuesday, January 24

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'La La Land' Ties 'Titanic' and 'All About Eve' for Most-Ever Oscar Nominations

The candy-colored love letter to musicals "La La Land" landed a record-tying 14 Academy Award nominations on Tuesday, while a notably more diverse field of nominees brushed off two straight years of "OscarsSoWhite" backlash.

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John Horhn Promises 'Results' in Jackson Mayoral Announcement

Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, publicly placed his hat in the ring, once again, for mayor of the City of Jackson, turning widespread rumors into reality.

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B Chill Lemonade, Jaco's Tacos Flowood, Feathered Cow on the Reservoir and Studio Styles

Kinyah Braddock, an 8-year-old Jackson resident, got into the lemonade business last week, but not in the form of a local lemonade stand as one may expect.

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Deandre Burnett

Deandre Burnett added 14 points to help Ole Miss defeat Missouri, shooting 3-for-6 from 3-point ranges.

Trump Courts Business, Labor in Delicate Balancing Act

President Donald Trump's opening work day offered a look at his tricky balancing act between American businesses and the working-class voters who propelled his march to the White House.

Trump to Sign Orders Advancing Keystone, Dakota Pipelines

President Donald Trump will sign orders Tuesday to advance the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, a pair of projects that were blocked by the Obama administration due in part to environmental concerns.

UK Government Loses Brexit Case, Must Consult Parliament

Britain's government must get parliamentary approval before starting the process of leaving the European Union, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, potentially delaying Prime Minister Theresa May's plans to trigger exit negotiations by the end of March.

Monday, January 23

Mississippi House Minority Leader Says Relations Improved

Partisan tensions in the Mississippi House have eased a bit this year, the leader of the Democratic minority said Monday.

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UPDATED: City Selects Blogger 'Kingfish' Hendrix, 'Snakeman' Percy King for Jackson Zoo Board

James Hendrix, a local blogger and controversial personality known for his Jackson Jambalaya website, is one of two candidates up today for two spots on the Jackson Zoo's board of directors.

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Hundreds Protest for Women's Rights in Jackson in Sister March to D.C.

Hundreds of women, men and children protested in downtown Jackson on Saturday in a sister event to the Women's March on Washington, D.C., in support of women's rights.

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Peter Zapletal, Jewish Cinema Mississippi

Peter Zapletal is in his third year of reviewing films for entry into Jewish Cinema Mississippi's annual film festival, but this is his first year to co-chair the event, along with Shira Moskowitz, co-chair of the festival's selection committee.

Trump Praises the CIA, Bristles Over Inaugural Crowd Counts

On his first full day in office, President Donald Trump on Saturday berated the media over its coverage of his inauguration, and turned a bridge-building first visit to CIA headquarters into an airing of grievances about "dishonest" journalists. But it was Trump who spread inaccuracies about the size of the crowds at his swearing in.

Lawsuit: Trump Businesses Violate Constitution

A lawsuit Monday alleged that President Donald Trump is violating the Constitution by allowing his business to accept payments from foreign governments.

Defiant Women to Trump: Your Agenda Won't Go Unchallenged

In a global exclamation of defiance and solidarity, more than 1 million people rallied at women's marches in the nation's capital and cities around the world Saturday to send President Donald Trump an emphatic message on his first full day in office that they won't let his agenda go unchallenged.

Rubio to Back Tillerson for Secretary of State

Sen. Marco Rubio said Monday that he will support President Donald Trump's nominee to be secretary of state despite reservations about the former Exxon Mobil CEO as the Republican lawmaker backed away from any challenge to the new president.

Trump Summons Business Leaders, Lawmakers to White House

Opening his first official week in office, President Donald Trump warned business leaders Monday that he would impose a "substantial border tax" on companies that move their manufacturing out of the United States, while promising tax advantages to companies that produce products domestically.

Protesters Take Control of Mexican Border Crossing with US

Protesters took control of vehicle lanes at one of the busiest crossings on the U.S. border Sunday to oppose Mexican gasoline price hikes, waving through motorists into Mexico after Mexican authorities abandoned their posts.

Friday, January 20

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Hendrix Emphasizes Infrastructure, Legislation for City

It is time to leverage Jackson's 1-percent sales-tax allocation to draw in funds to address the city's infrastructure, Council President Tyrone Hendrix of Ward 6 said this morning. In fact, it should have occurred years ago, he said.

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House Again Tries to Curb Dem Attorney General's Powers

The Mississippi attorney general, who is elected, could be subject to oversight from the governor, lieutenant governor and the secretary of state if Rep. Mark Baker, R-Brandon, gets his way.

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Jason Turner Hits 'Reset'

When singer-songwriter Jason Turner went into Malaco Recording Studios to record his seventh full-length album, "Reset," he knew that he wanted something different, from the mindset behind the project to the sounds that it presents.

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Clint Martin

Artist Clinard "Clint" Martin unveiled his painting, "Surprise!", which depicts the Tuskegee Airmen—the African American 332nd Fighter Group from World War II—to the Mississippi State Senate on Jan. 5.

Protesters Make Their Mark on Trump's Inauguration

Calling out Donald Trump on climate change, race, his treatment of women and more, protesters pitching diverse causes but united against the incoming president demonstrated in the early hours of Inauguration Day, intent on making their mark as Trump prepared to take office.

Protesters, Trump Supporters Clash Outside 'DeploraBall'

Protesters and supporters of President-elect Donald Trump clashed outside a pro-Trump event in Washington the night before his inauguration. Police used chemical spray on some protesters in an effort to control the unruly crowd.

In Bipartisan Nod, GOP-Led Mississippi Senate Commends Obama

The Republican-led Mississippi Legislature has resisted much of President Barack Obama's agenda, but in an apparent bipartisan gesture of goodwill, the state Senate adopted a resolution Thursday calling the Democrat "one of the most consequential presidents in recent history."

Thursday, January 19

Mexico Says Drug Lord 'El Chapo' Guzman Extradited to US

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Mexico's most notorious cartel kingpin who twice made brazen prison escapes and spent years on the run as the country's most wanted man, was extradited to the United States on Thursday to face drug trafficking and other charges.

Judge Blocks Texas from Cutting Off Planned Parenthood Funds

A federal judge on Thursday blocked Texas from ousting Planned Parenthood from the state's Medicaid program over secretly recorded videos taken by anti-abortion activists in 2015.

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At-Risk Youth Diversion Program Rolls Out, But Funds Already in Jeopardy

At-risk youth have a new alternative in counties across Mississippi called the Community Youth Career Development Center.

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Gov. Bryant: 'Blue Lives Matter' and 'Sacred Cows' Need to Go

"Blue Lives Matter," Gov. Phil Bryant stated emphatically when he spoke from the Mississippi House of Representatives on Tuesday night, reiterating his legislative priorities in front of the state's elected officials, Supreme Court justices, various agency heads and lawmakers.

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Brittany Dinkins

Everything has come together this year for University of Southern Mississippi senior guard Brittany Dinkins, who is having her best basketball season at USM in points, rebounds, assists and steals.

Bill to Limit Attorney General's Powers Falters, for Now

The Mississippi House has narrowly rejected a bill to limit the attorney general's powers.

Wednesday, January 18

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‘Juror No. 4’ Causes AG v. DA Kerfuffle; Both Want Jury Back Now

The Mississippi attorney general’s office wants the jury from Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith’s trial back, this time to get to the bottom of why it ended in a mistrial.

Mississippi Trade Mart in Jackson to be Razed, Replaced

The Mississippi Trade Mart in Jackson is going to be razed and replaced by a new exhibit hall attached to the Mississippi Coliseum.

Earth Sets Hottest Year Record for Third-Straight Time

Earth sizzled to a third-straight record hot year in 2016, with scientists mostly blaming man-made global warming with help from a natural El Nino that's now gone.

In Break with Trump, EPA Pick Says Climate Change Isn't Hoax

Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that climate change is real, breaking with both the president-elect and his own past statements.

Obama Defends Decision to Commute Chelsea Manning's Sentence

President Barack Obama firmly defended his decision to cut nearly three decades off convicted leaker Chelsea Manning's prison term Wednesday, arguing in his final White House news conference that the former Army intelligence analyst had served a "tough prison sentence" already.

The Slate

There are just four teams left in the NFL Playoffs, and three of those teams feature quarterbacks who have won a Super Bowl. Only Matt Ryan for Atlanta doesn't have a ring.

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Can’t-Miss Food Events

On Jan. 30, Sal & Mookie's New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint is hosting a Wiseacre Brewing Beer Dinner.

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Obama’s Legacy of Hope

President Barack Obama faced naysayers with quick wit and smiles and stood before us time and time again, owning his failures and offering a plan to resolve and excel.

It’s Math, Governor. Tax Cuts Hurt Revenue.

One of the key elements missing in discussions of Gov. Phil Bryant's recent budget cuts, the second wave of cuts in the State's current fiscal year, is the 40-plus tax cuts since he became governor.

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Love & Revolution

For the Fongs, the last two weeks in December are about family, friends, fun, food and movies. Over that time, we saw "Loving," the story of Richard and Mildred Loving's landmark civil-rights case that struck down anti-miscegenation laws in 1967.

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Enough Teeth in the Campaign-finance Bill?

Lawmakers would no longer be able to use campaign finances to pay for personal cars, new suits, health clubs or slush funds once they leave office if House Speaker Philip Gunn's House Bill 479 survives the Senate and becomes law.

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More Budget Cuts Hitting State Services

The "efficiencies" buzzword rang across the Mississippi Capitol last summer as lawmakers met the people who provide services from maintaining the state's roads to administering the state's federal child-care funds to look for extra dollars to help stabilize the State of Mississippi's budget and supplement its slowing revenue growth.

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Joshua Davis: Colors and Cartoons

Art has been in Joshua Davis' life ever since he was little. He started drawing when he was 4 years old.

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LPs and the People Who Press Them

Vinyl is back. At least, that's been the experience for Jackson singer-songwriter Jason Daniels, frontman of the Jason Daniels Band.

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We’ve Already Given Trump ‘A Chance’

This year, unlike any I remember, many of us—polls suggest it's a majority of Americans—will watch with a new level of trepidation. And we wonder, "What, exactly, should we give Trump a chance to do?"

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UPDATED: DA Smith Puts Ben Allen on Trial Jan. 30, DJP Suing 'Whistleblower' Claiming Forged Checks

The trial of Downtown Jackson Partners President Ben Allen, who faces 10 counts, including embezzling a 1989 Chevy truck and tens of thousands of dollars from the business improvement district, is set to begin Jan. 30.

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The District Attorney's Mistrial: What Just Happened? A Day-by-Day Primer

The Mississippi attorney general's prosecution of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith for conspiracy to hinder prosecution in order to aid or assist a defendant ended in a mistrial on Jan. 4, 2017, in Special Judge Larry Roberts' courtroom.

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Bilal Qizilbash

Two years ago, Bilal Qizilbash organized R U Hungry, a group that brings dinner to feed those in need at Smith Park every Friday with food from local restaurants such as Aladdin Mediterranean Grill.

Mississippi Sues Google, Saying it Violates Student Privacy

Mississippi's Democratic attorney general is once again tangling with Google, alleging in a lawsuit that the company is illegally violating student privacy, even as some Republicans try to muzzle his ability to file such civil suits.

Tuesday, January 17

Obama Commutes Most of Chelsea Manning's Sentence

President Barack Obama commuted the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning on Tuesday, allowing the convicted Army leaker to go free nearly three decades early as part of a sweeping move to offer clemency in the final days of his administration.

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WLEZ-FM Goes Silent, In 'Wait and See' Mode

Jacksonians trying to tune into local FM radio station WLEZ last week may have been surprised to hear silence instead of their favorite American standards and jazz tracks.

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EdBuild: Mississippi Should 'Divorce' Education Policy from Spending

After a few quick months of touring around Mississippi, speaking with lawmakers, administrators, teachers and students, EdBuild released its 80-page recommendations report to Mississippi lawmakers, suggesting the state move to a weighted, student-centered school-funding formula.

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J. Moffett Walker

Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, which honor published authors in fiction and nonfiction literature, recently gave Clinton, Miss., author J. Moffett Walker Honorable Mention for the Recognition of Excellence award for her book, "Blueprints of Sir Michael," a biography on Michael Jackson.

GOP Targets Landmark Endangered Species Act for Big Changes

In control of Congress and soon the White House, Republicans are readying plans to roll back the influence of the Endangered Species Act, one of the government's most powerful conservation tools, after decades of complaints that it hinders drilling, logging and other activities.

Poll: Young Americans Fear They Will be Worse Off Post-Trump

As Donald Trump approaches his inauguration, young Americans have a deeply pessimistic view about his incoming administration, with young blacks, Latinos and Asian Americans particularly concerned about what's to come in the next four years.

UK's May Signals Clean Break with EU: No Partial Membership

More than six months after Britain voted to leave the European Union, British Prime Minister Theresa May finally spelled out what it means: The U.K. will make a clean break from the EU and leave its single market of around 500 million people.

Putin: Obama's Govt is Working Hard to Undermine Trump

In a biting attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday accused the outgoing U.S. administration of trying to undermine President-elect Donald Trump by spreading fake allegations and said those who are doing it are "worse than prostitutes."

Monday, January 16

Lawmakers Receive Consultants' School Funding Proposals

A consulting group is recommending that Mississippi adopt a new school funding formula and phase it in over five to eight years.

Reports: Istanbul Nightclub Attacker Who Killed 39 Caught

A gunman suspected of killing 39 people during a New Year's attack on an Istanbul nightclub has been caught in a police operation, Turkish media reports said early Tuesday.

Trump, in Flap with Civil Rights Icon, Meets with MLK's Son

Days before taking office, President-elect Donald Trump attempted to navigate the fallout of his flap with a civil rights leader and colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while also losing a member of his incoming administration to accusations of plagiarism.

Officials: FBI Arrests Widow of Orlando Nightclub Shooter

The wife of the Orlando nightclub shooter, who was extensively questioned by federal agents in the days after the massacre, has been arrested by the FBI on in connection with the attack, authorities said Monday.

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Martin Luther King Jr.

As Americans celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leaders and activists are trying to reconcile the transition from the nation's first black president to a president-elect still struggling to connect with most non-white voters.

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Governor Picks Legislators to Represent #msleg at Inauguration

Gov. Phil Bryant selected Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, and Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, to represent the Mississippi Senate and House of Representatives at President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday in Washington, D.C.

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Analysis: Tax Cuts and Economy Weigh on Mississippi Revenues

As Gov. Phil Bryant cut state budgets by $51 million last week, he and Republican lawmakers went through the ritual obligations of sorrow and dismay.

Inauguration in Sight, Trump Continues Twitter Assault

His inauguration days away, President-elect Donald Trump is continuing to lash out at critics in the intelligence community and Democrats in Congress who are vowing to skip his swearing-in ceremony.

EU Nations React with Surprise, Defiance to Trump Remarks

European Union nations reacted with surprise and defiance Monday to comments by President-elect Donald Trump, who said in an interview that he believed NATO was "obsolete" and that more member states would leave the 28-nation EU.

China State Media Call Trump's Taiwan Strategy 'Despicable'

President-elect Donald Trump "speaks like a rookie," China's state-run media said Monday, describing his suggested use of America's position on Taiwan as a bargaining chip as "despicable."

Outgoing CIA Chief Rips into Trump on Russia Threat

The outgoing CIA director charged on Sunday that Donald Trump lacks a full understanding of the threat Moscow poses to the United States, delivering a public lecture to the president-elect that further highlighted the bitter state of Trump's relations with American intelligence agencies.

Thousands Rally to Resist Republican Health Law Repeal Drive

Thousands of people showed up in freezing temperatures on Sunday in Michigan to hear Sen. Bernie Sanders denounce Republican efforts to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law, one of dozens of rallies Democrats staged across the country to highlight opposition.

World Diplomats Tell Trump, Israel: Mideast Needs Peace

Sending a forceful message to Israel's prime minister and the incoming Trump administration, dozens of countries called Sunday on Israel and the Palestinians to revive work toward long-elusive peace — including an independent Palestinian state.

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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.

Sunday, January 15

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Mississippi Celebrates 'National Day of Racial Healing' on Tuesday, Jan. 17

Participate in Mississippi events and activities related to Dr. King's birthday, the National Day of Healing and responses to the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Friday, January 13

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Carlos Moore to Sue on Behalf of Teen Killed Outside Performance Oil

Carlos Moore, a Grenada, Miss., attorney known for trying to sue the State of Mississippi over the Confederate canton in the state flag, said on Facebook today that he will represent the family of 17-year-old Charles McDonald who was shot multiple times outside a south Jackson business last summer.

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Mississippi Ex-Gov. William Winter Released from Hospital

Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter has been released from a hospital six days after he fell on his icy driveway and injured his head.

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AG Hood: State Must Fund Mental Health Care, Not Ignore Lawsuit

Attorney General Jim Hood is calling on the Legislature to increase funding for the Mississippi Department of Mental Health as a part of his legislative priorities this session.

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Lady Cajun

Desirae Thomas, known to fans as Jackson hip-hop artist Lady Cajun, says she felt drawn in two directions when launching her career: pop music and hip-hop.

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Mrs. Haynes: Nagging The Mayor Works

Ruth Haynes said that when she gets home from the senior-citizen center, she immediately begins planning out what she is going to wear the next day, preparing so that she doesn't miss her ride in the morning.

Havana Hails End to Special US Immigration Policy for Cubans

The Cuban government hailed President Barack Obama's decision ending automatic legal residency for any Cuban who touches U.S. soil, while ordinary citizens mourned the end of an easy pathway to a new life in the United States.

Watchdog Probe to Bring New Scrutiny for FBI's Comey

FBI Director James Comey, already under fierce public scrutiny for his handling of the election-year probe of Hillary Clinton, faces a new internal investigation into whether he and the Justice Department followed established protocol in the email server case.

Justice Department to Release Chicago Police Abuse Report

The U.S. Justice Department plans to release a major report Friday on the Chicago Police Department after a yearlong civil rights investigation that is expected to find a pattern and practice of violations over many years.

Mississippi Electric Rates Rise with Natural Gas Prices

Some power company customers in Mississippi will see higher bills in February as two private electric utilities pass along rebounding natural gas costs.

Thursday, January 12

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Governor Sets $50 Million More in Mississippi Budget Cuts

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is cutting another $51 million from the $6.4 billion state budget because state revenues are lagging.

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UPDATED: New Jackson Infrastructure Bill; Virgi Lindsay to Run for Ward 7 Seat

During a small informal community meeting this morning, Mississippi Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, explained a proposed bill to send an additional $24 million in tax revenue back to Jackson's crumbling infrastructure, administered through the Mississippi Department of Administration and Finance.

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Chris Jones

Over in the AFC, one of Prescott's former teammates had a solid rookie season for the Kansas City Chiefs. Defensive tackle Chris Jones left MSU after his junior season, and the Chiefs drafted him with the 37th overall pick in the second round.

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UPDATED: JPS Audit Will Take Time; Board Votes for National Supe Search

The way out of an investigative audit and into compliance for Jackson Public Schools will not be easy—or quick.

Newly Leaked Dossier on Trump Circulated in DC for Months

It was a bombshell story, emerging on the eve of Donald Trump's first news conference as president-elect: U.S. intelligence officials had presented Trump with unsubstantiated claims that Russia had amassed compromising personal and financial allegations about him.

Trump's Pick for Top Diplomat Breaks from Him in Many Ways

Rex Tillerson's foreign policy isn't sounding much like Donald Trump's. At his confirmation hearing Wednesday, the former Exxon Mobil CEO selected by Trump for secretary of state called Russia a "danger" and vowed to protect America's European allies.

Republican-Led Senate Takes First Step to Repeal 'Obamacare'

Congress is poised to complete its initial step toward dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law, as Republicans divided over how to replace it face pressure from Donald Trump for quick action.

Trump CIA Pick Pledges to be Objective Intel Collector

Donald Trump's pick to run the CIA said Thursday he understands he would have to make the transition from a partisan, policymaking lawmaker to an objective intelligence collector as the United States faces a complicated and broad array of threats.

Hearing Set for Man Charged in 'Vote Trump' Church Burning

A court hearing is set for a Mississippi man charged in the burning of the black church he attended that was spray-painted with "Vote Trump."

Wednesday, January 11

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Broadening the Tent: Lumumba Vows to Gain, Give Respect as Mayor

Chokwe Antar Lumumba says that addressing crime in a comprehensive way means getting to the core systemic issues that lead to many of Jackson's problems, including poverty and a lack of economic opportunity.

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Aretha Henry, Superhuman

Ever since Aretha Henry started recording music in 2008, she says her songwriting has leaned toward being a bit moody. "(It's) sometimes feathery with a little edge, sometimes sweet and mellow, but it's always moody," the Camden, Miss., native says.

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A Space for Experimental Art

A large geometric shield sits in a corner, the word "SUBMIND" projected on it. Local artist daniel johnson, who does not capitalize his name, stands in front of a crowd and warns them that anyone who has epilepsy should not watch the demonstration that is about to happen.

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Building a bōl

On the first floor of the Walter Sillers building in downtown Jackson, diners whip in and out of bōl on their way to and from work in their offices. For these guests, lunch is often compressed into a fraction of one hour. But for bōl owner, co-founder and General Manager Tammy Cotton, the experience of the restaurant has been months in the making.

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The Truth About Snakes

As it sits, the Legislature is set to look at a lot of things, but some of the big ones concern changing our school-funding formula (MAEP); deciding whether or not to expand Medicaid for those that fall in the coverage gap; and tinkering with the usual rules around hunting.

Leg, No Time to Wait for Trump on Transportation

Most lawmakers know infrastructure is a problem, but many dodge the question of how to fund solutions.

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Forbidding Family Photos

Following a statute passed in 2012, the Mississippi Department of Corrections has instituted major changes to its visitation policies, including a rule banning inmates and families from taking photographs on family visitation days. This may seem like a small thing, but the change has come as a devastating shock to many families.

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Mistrial for Smith, But Bribery Question Lingers

The trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith for conspiracy to hinder prosecution by aiding or assisting a defendant ended last week with a mistrial after a simple note sent two-and-a-half weeks of legal wrangling spiraling.

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Politics Cripple Superintendents Group

The Mississippi Association of School Superintendents is running out of funding, largely due to a last-minute change a few lawmakers made last session to the State's education budget bill, cutting off all funding to the group.

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Blair Schaefer

The latest victory for unbeaten Mississippi State was doubly satisfying for coach Vic Schaefer.

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Gov. Winter: Self-Made Hero on Road Less Traveled

Since Gov. William Winter fell on ice last Saturday, scaring the dickens out of so many people, I've been thinking about that congressman. Was it worth it to go along to get along, to play against what seemed to be his nature?

Tuesday, January 10

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Suzanne Hatch

As one of the only bookstores in Rankin County, Bay Window Books in Brandon has a big responsibility, and one that owner Suzanne Hatch says she takes seriously.

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Infrastructure: Can the State Afford to Wait on Trump?

Some Mississippi Republican leaders invoked President-elect Donald Trump's expensive infrastructure plan last week when discussing Mississippi's crumbling roads and bridges, seeming to believe it will solve the state's urgent issues with roads and bridges.

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Dylann Roof Sentenced to Die for Church Slayings

An unrepentant Dylann Roof was sentenced to death Tuesday for killing nine black church members during Bible study, the first person to face execution for federal hate crime convictions.

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Lt. Gov. Reeves: EdBuild Recommendations Coming, Even If No Media Access

EdBuild's recommendations to change the state's school-funding formula will be ready before the deadline to introduce legislation, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves told the Stennis Capitol Press Forum on Monday.

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New Head Chef at Saltine, Tulane Madison Closing and Aspen Dental

Sous chef Nicole Medrano recently accepted a promotion to become the new executive chef of Saltine Oyster Bar.

Ryan: GOP Will Work on Repealing, Replacing Health Law

Republicans will work on unraveling and replacing the health care law at the same time, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday as GOP leaders struggled to align their zeal to rapidly erase one of President Barack Obama's proudest achievements with Congress' legislative and political pitfalls.

Sessions Says He'd be Fair as AG, Defy Trump if Necessary

Sen. Jeff Sessions cast himself as a strong protector of law and order at his confirmation hearing Tuesday, promising that as attorney general he would crack down on illegal immigration, gun violence and the "scourge of radical Islamic terrorism."

Monday, January 9

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Early Learning, Third-Grade Gate and Vouchers: A Legislative Education Update

Carey Wright, the state superintendent of education, addressed House Education Committee members last week at the Capitol about progress on education initiatives as well as room for growth and improvement.

China Warns After Cruz, Abbott Meet Taiwan's President

China reiterated its opposition Monday to any contacts between U.S. officials and Taiwan's government following a meeting between Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Greg Abbott and the self-governing island's president, Tsai Ing-wen.

AP-NORC Poll: Americans High on Obama, Divided on His Legacy

More than half of Americans view President Barack Obama favorably as he leaves office, a new poll shows, but Americans remain deeply divided over his legacy. Fewer than half of Americans say they're better off eight years after his election or that Obama brought the country together.

Syria's Assad Ready to 'Negotiate Everything' with Rebels

Syrian President Bashar Assad said in remarks published Monday that he was prepared "to negotiate everything" at planned talks later this month in Kazakhstan, seeking to cast himself as a peacemaker after his forces' recapture of Aleppo last month.

Trump Has Taken Few Steps to Disentangle from Private Empire

President-elect Donald Trump pledged to step away from his family-owned international real estate development, property management and licensing business before taking office Jan. 20. With less than two weeks until his inauguration, he hasn't stepped very far.

Streep, Trump Trade Barbs Amid Actress' Globes Speech

Meryl Streep's acceptance speech after receiving a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes turned out to be the opening volley in a war of words with President-elect Donald Trump.

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Gov. William Winter

Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter is improving as he remains hospitalized with head injuries.

Saturday, January 7

Ole Miss Outlasts Auburn for First SEC Win

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Rasheed Brooks hit a straightaway 3-pointer with 39 seconds left, and Deandre Burnett went 4 for 4 from the foul line in the final 30 seconds to help Ole Miss outlast Auburn 88-85 on Saturday.

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UPDATED 1/10/16: Gov. William Winter Still Fair, Moved to Regular Room at UMMC

The Jackson Free Press has just learned that a hero of Mississippi, former Gov. William William, is in emergency are after falling on the ice his morning in his driveway and hitting his head.

Friday, January 6

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From Man Caves to the 'Great Wall,' Bryant and Farage Head to Trump's Inauguration

Gov. Phil Bryant has invited Nigel Farage of British Brexit fame to attend Donald Trump's inauguration with him.

US Intel Report: Russia Had 'A Clear Preference' For Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — A newly declassified report on Russian hacking during the U.S. election says the Russian government developed a "clear preference for President-elect Donald Trump."

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Haley Barbour Back in the Money, Will Lobby the U.S. on Behalf of Ukraine

Haley Barbour, the former governor of Mississippi, head of the Republican National Committee and one of the world's most powerful lobbyists, is going to work for the Ukrainian government to lobby the United States government, Reuters is reporting.

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UPDATED: Ben Allen Trial Set for Jan. 30; Hinds DA Indicted Him, State Investigators

The trial of Downtown Jackson Partners Executive Director Ben Allen, who has been accused on 10 counts, including embezzling a 1989 Chevy truck and tens of thousands of dollars from the development group, is set to begin Jan. 30.

Multiple Dead In Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting; Shooter in Custody

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a lone shooter opened fire at the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, international airport Friday, killing "multiple" people before he was taken into custody. The airport suspended operations as law enforcement authorities rushed to the scene and emergency medical workers treated at least one bleeding victim on the tarmac.

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Mississippi Must Help Neediest Families Now, Advocates Demand

The neediest families families in Mississippi must have access to assistance when they need it, a group of community advocates, nonprofit organizations and lawmakers gathered at the Capitol Thursday argued.

Three Rookies, Ryan, Highlight Revamped AP All-Pro Team

The Associated Press 2016 NFL All-Pro Team is showing off the new wave of pro football stars.

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Defecio Stoglin

For Defecio Stoglin, ghost hunting began as a way to get his mind off things. His first experience exploring the world of paranormal was in 2014 in Port Gibson with the Vicksburg-based group Lost History Paranormal.

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Jackson School Board Off to Slow Start on Supe Search, Seeks Public Input

With Dr. Cedrick Gray leaving the top position early last November, Jackson Public Schools needs a new superintendent and invited public comment regarding the search at its Jan. 3 work session.

Trump on Border Wall: Mexico Will Pay Us Back

President-elect Donald Trump on Friday tweeted that Mexico will reimburse American taxpayers for a new border wall and that U.S. money spent will be for the "sake of speed."

Dylann Roof Cold to Victims, but Apologized to His Parents

Before Dylann Roof was arrested for killing nine black church members, he scribbled a note to his mother, apologizing for all the repercussions his actions would cause. Weeks later, in a jailhouse journal, he wrote that he had no regrets.

VP Biden to President-Elect Trump: 'Grow Up'

Vice President Joe Biden told President-elect Donald Trump Thursday to "grow up." Biden dismissed Trump's complaint on Twitter about how the Obama administration has handled the transition. The vice president told "PBS NewsHour" in an interview that it's time for Trump "to be an adult."

GOP Has Trump's Back as He Questions US Intelligence

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan was among those piling on when President Barack Obama came under fire several years ago for reading some of his daily intelligence briefings, rather than receiving them in-person.

Woman Accused of Aiding Police Killer Gets Change of Venue

A woman charged with aiding the killer of two Hattiesburg police officers will be tried somewhere else.

Thursday, January 5

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Man Charged with Murdering Teen Granted $50K Bond, Gag Order Possible

The man charged with killing 17-year-old Charles McDonald outside his business, Performance Oil, ini south Jackson is requesting bail after his Dec. 29 arrest for first-degree murder. A judge granted a $50,000 bond for Parish on Jan. 10.

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No Apologies: Confederate State Flag Likely to Fly Over Bicentennial Bonanza

State leaders kicked off Mississippi's bicentennial celebration at the Capitol on Tuesday, announcing several events around Mississippi as well as grants for communities to apply for in order to host events in honor of the state's 200th year. The state is not, however, likely to change the Mississippi flag in time for the big birthday on Dec. 10, 2017.

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Darius Slay

If the Lions are going to have any chance of pulling off the upset, the team will need all its stars on the field. On defense, that means cornerback Darius Slay must play like the star he has become in his fourth season in the league.

Turkey Closing in on Nightclub Gunman, Official Says

Turkish police are closing in on the gunman who killed 39 people at an Istanbul nightclub, a senior official said Thursday, insisting his possible whereabouts and contacts had been established.

Senator: Russia's Election Meddling Should Alarm Americans

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Thursday that "every American should be alarmed" by Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and lawmakers pressed intelligence officials about foreign cyberthreats.

No Plans for Future Mississippi Picnics in NYC, Group Says

Organizers say they are not planning to continue the annual picnic that brought Mississippi catfish and blues to New York.

Wednesday, January 4

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UPDATED: Judge Sets DA's New Trial for June 12 after Mistrial, Hood Slams Dishonesty of Juror

The jury in the State of Mississippi case against Hinds District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith only deliberated about three hours before the judge declared a mistrial at about 4 p.m. today.

Obama, Pence Harden 'Obamacare' Battle Lines at Capitol

Hardening battle lines for the brawl to come, President Barack Obama urged congressional Democrats to "look out for the American people" in defending his legacy health care overhaul, while Vice President-elect Mike Pence stood firm Wednesday in telling Republicans that dismantling "Obamacare" is No. 1 on Donald Trump's list.

Church Gunman Insists to Jury That He is Not Mentally Ill

Dylann Roof spoke Wednesday for the first time to the jurors who will decide whether he should be executed for fatally shooting nine black parishioners during a Bible study, insisting that he is not mentally ill and foregoing a chance to plead for his life.

The Slate

One thing is certain in these NFL Playoffs: A different team will walk away with the Lombardi Trophy this year. Both the Denver Broncos and last season's runner-up, the Carolina Panthers, failed to reach the postseason.

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Running the Blues

We're at the beginning of the year, so besides making resolutions, that means another thing: It's time for the Mississippi Blues Marathon. This year's event is Saturday, Jan. 7.

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The Most Intriguing of 2016

The last year was a crazy one, to say the least, but crazy often means that intriguing people came out of the woodwork. Here are some of the local people we found the most intriguing over the last year, for better or worse.

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Out With the Old, In With the New

The most common resolution people make is to be healthier. And at the end of the day, good health is the most valuable asset that we can posses.

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The Children Who Died for Their Country

The aggressive militaristic posture Trump and those he surrounds himself with suggests the prospect of sending American troops into harm's way again, and they are discussing it as if it were an answer to the world's problems.

Stop Justifying Execution of Children, Car Thieves

We live in a culture where many say it is appropriate to march a weapon out of your home and office if you suspect someone is trying to steal your stuff—and kill them.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Confusing'

While the state’s education formula should be transparent and efficient, calling MAEP confusing while simultaneously not admitting that the Legislature cannot fully fund it due to shrinking revenue and budget cuts is disingenuous.

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Poop Hitting the Fan

"As we usher in a new year of fake news, computer hackery, twitter rants, racist emails, bigoted trolls, etc., my special guests and I will do our best to combat the abuse of technology and provide honest journalism in 2017."

Trump Uses Assange to Cast Doubt on US Intel Case on Hacking

President-elect Donald Trump is using WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to cast doubt on the U.S. intelligence community's case that Russia was behind hacking of the Democratic National Committee ahead of the 2016 election.

Pence, Obama in Dueling Meetings at Capitol on Health Care

Donald Trump's "first order of business" will be to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law and replace it, but Republicans must avoid hurting consumers as they do that, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Wednesday.

Istanbul on Alert as Hunt for Gunman Reaches 4th Day

Police increased security around Istanbul on Wednesday and detained some 20 people with suspected links to the deadly New Year's Eve night club attack as the hunt for the gunman stretched into a fourth day.

Roof to Jurors: 'Nothing Wrong With Me Psychologically'

Convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof spoke to the jury for the first time at his death penalty trial Wednesday, telling them that there's nothing wrong with him psychologically and that he is not trying to keep any secrets from them.

Official Says Charles Manson Alive; Reports Say Hospitalized

Mass murderer Charles Manson was taken from his California prison cell to a hospital, according to several news reports.

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Mississippi Still Faces Merged Mental-health Lawsuits

Medicaid-eligible children are entitled to services under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment Services (called EPSDT) provisions of the Medicaid Act.

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No Dismissal, a Judge and an Inmate in Smith Trial

The exact extent to which a prosecutor can go to prove his claim that a prisoner is innocent is central to the State trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith.

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Forging a New Path: Foot Print Farms

On a frigid day in December, the slightly warm air inside one of the high tunnels, also known as natural greenhouses, at Foot Print Farms in Jackson contrasts the chilly air outside.

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Indie Music Week Ins and Outs

The second annual Jackson Indie Music Week is approaching fast, with many concerts, showcases, panel discussions, and other activities that highlight music from around the state, the region and the country.

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‘Unborn Child Protection’ Law Prohibits Rare Procedure

Mississippi lawmakers' ban on Medicaid reimbursements for the state's only Planned Parenthood clinic stalled in federal court last year, but another anti-abortion bill did become state law last summer despite advocates warning of its shifty legal standing and legal challenges in surrounding states.

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Change in 2017: Crawling, Then Walking

God willing, 2017 is a year of change for me and hopefully for others, too. As we move forward in the new year with whatever changes we make, we should keeping this idea in mind: There's only so much of life that we can control.

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Meredith McGee

While Meredith McGee was growing up in Jackson, the second-generation writer says her family had a love for reading and the written arts.

Bill Would Let School Boards Fill Superintendent Vacancies

Mississippi lawmakers are considering a measure that would let school boards appoint replacements for elected school superintendents who resign in the next three years.

Tuesday, January 3

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Former Butler Prosecutor Says DA Smith Fired Her Over Case

Former Assistant District Attorney Gale Walker took the stand Tuesday afternoon to testify against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, who is accused of trying to help an indicted man, Christopher Butler, stay out of jail. During the prosecution’s rebuttal stage, Walker told the jury of her time prosecuting Butler on drug charges, saying she believed she had a strong case against him until the DA removed her.

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Sen. John Horhn

Mississippi Sen. John Horhn, who has served in the state Senate since 1993, has spent the past 25 years promoting blues music in Mississippi on top of his duties as a legislator.

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Kendra Scott at Highland Village, Baker Donelson and Healthy Heroes

Last week, Highland Village announced the arrival of popular jewelry designer Kendra Scott to the shopping center, with the store's opening slated for summer 2017.

GOP Drops Weakening of Ethics Office, Challenged by Trump

House Republicans reversed themselves Tuesday under pressure from President-elect Donald Trump, and dropped plans to swiftly gut an independent congressional ethics board.

Trump Objects After House GOP Votes to Gut Ethics Office

President-elect Donald Trump criticized House Republicans Tuesday for voting to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, arguing that tax reform and health care should be higher priorities.

School Funding, Budget and Roads Headline 2017 Legislature

Mississippi's 174 legislators will return to the Capitol Tuesday, starting a 90-day legislative session that will run as late as April 2.

Monday, January 2

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Man Indicted for 1st-degree Murder of Teen in September, Arrested Dec. 29

The Hinds County Sheriff’s Department arrested Wayne Mitchell Parish of Crystal Springs on Dec. 29 for the alleged murder of 17-year-old Charles McDonald in the parking lot of Performance Oil on McDowell Road on July 21, the teenager’s mother told the Jackson Free Press.

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City Gives $105,000 Back to Arts Council; Homeless, Senior Funds Cut

After facing cuts, the Greater Jackson Arts Council grew by $105,000 after the Jackson City Council voted Tuesday, Dec. 27, to restore one of the cuts to the local Department of Human and Cultural Services, which administers the yearly municipal allocation to the arts organization.

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Continental Tire Spends More Than $200,000 in Mississippi

Continental Tire spent $228,300 in November, a spending report from the German-based corporation shows. The tire plant, opening just off Interstate 20 in Hinds County outside Clinton, will eventually hire 2,500 employees once the plant has reached the projected size around 2020.

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Vic Schaefer

The No. 5 Mississippi State University Bulldogs routed the Louisiana State University Tigers 74-48 in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.

UN Backs Russian-Turkish Syria Efforts as Cease-Fire Wavers

The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution Saturday supporting efforts by Russia and Turkey to end the nearly six-year conflict in Syria and jump-start peace negotiations, as a fragile country-wide cease-fire wavered.

Texas Judge Halts Federal Transgender Health Protections

A federal judge in Texas on Saturday ordered a halt to another Obama administration effort to strengthen transgender rights, this time over health rules that social conservatives say could force doctors to violate their religious beliefs.

US States, Leery of Russia Malware, Re-Examine Cybersecurity

Several states around the country on Saturday asked cybersecurity experts to re-examine state and utility networks after a Vermont utility's laptop was found to contain malware U.S. officials say is linked to Russian hackers.

New Year's Attack on Packed Istanbul Club Leaves 39 Dead

An assailant believed to have been dressed in a Santa Claus costume opened fire at a crowded nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's celebrations, killing at least 39 people and wounding close to 70 others in what the province's governor described as a terror attack.

N. Korea's Leader Hints of Long-Range Missile Test Launch

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hinted Sunday that Pyongyang may ring in the new year with another bang—the test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Trump Still Not Sold on Russian Link to Hacking

President-elect Donald Trump says that "no computer is safe" when it comes to keeping information private, expressing new skepticism about the security of online communications his administration is likely to use for everything from day-to-day planning to international relations.

Oil Pipeline Protesters Unfurl Huge Banner at Vikings Game

Protesters trying to stymie the Dakota Access oil pipeline sneaked up on a truss connected to the roof and rappelled down to unfurl a huge banner inside U.S. Bank Stadium during the Minnesota Vikings' season finale against the Chicago Bears.

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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.