Monday, January 2, 2017
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:
- Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Jeff Weill took the stand Friday, Dec. 30, in the trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, despite his attorney's strenuous objections, testifying to his history with Smith.
- President Barack Obama appointed Carl Newman, the CEO of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, which advises the president on security and infrastructure sectors.
- Robert "Too Sweet" Henderson testified Thursday, Dec. 29, that he arranged payments from three different individuals during Hinds County Robert Shuler Smith's campaign in 2015.
- Mississippi business leaders, corporations, lawyers and locals denounced House Bill 1523 in eight legal briefs filed just before Christmas, supporting plaintiffs that want the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the lower court's decision and deem the "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act" unlawful.
- Changing the state's school-funding formula might be at the forefront of several lawmakers' agendas going into the 2017 legislative session, but how that will be done, exactly, is still murky at best.
- The emerging question in the trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith is how far a district attorney can or should go inside, or outside, the law to free the accused he believes is not guilty.
- Poverty stands as a significant barrier to student achievement inside and outside the classroom in the state's only urban district, which serves nearly 27,000 students, with 80 percent getting free or reduced lunch.
- Mississippi's newly formed Department of Child Protection Services will have a year to revamp the state's foster-care system, due to the long-running "Olivia Y" lawsuit over maltreatment of children in State care.
- Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith had the opportunity to ask his own attorney questions on the stand after the prosecution called Tupelo attorney Jim Waide as its latest witness during the fifth morning of testimony in the Smith trial.
- The only person to serve as both Hinds County sheriff and Jackson police chief, Malcolm McMillin, died Friday, Dec. 23, at St. Dominic hospital after a long illness. He was 72.
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