Thursday, December 31
If you’re looking to get out and make new memories tonight, check out my picks. And please, no drinking and driving, be sure to socialize responsibly and good luck staying dry! See you on the other side!
The students of Jackson Public Schools are underserved in non-traditional sports such as tennis, archery and golf, and the district is inviting paid and volunteer coaches to help reduce that disparity.
Ladavius Draine added his name to the University of Southern Mississippi record books when he scored 21 points against Loyola University New Orleans, becoming the 38th player in USM history to score 1,000 career points.
Mississippi reported more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, a single-day high in the state. Health officials warned that they expect worse to come, partly because of holiday gatherings.
A tenured professor at the University of Mississippi filed a lawsuit Wednesday saying that state auditor defamed him by saying the professor should be fired for participating in a two-day “scholar strike."
Wednesday, December 30
OPINION: Janet Yellen and Kamala Harris Keep Shattering Glass Ceilings—Yet Global Elite Boys Club Remains
Janet Yellen may soon become the first woman to lead the Treasury Department—about six years after shattering another glass ceiling at the top of the Federal Reserve. She’s not alone in breaking down barriers in President-elect Joe Biden’s proposed new Cabinet.
Mississippi bars and restaurants are limited in selling alcohol to customers ringing in the new year. An executive order by Gov. Tate Reeves bans the sale of alcohol between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. It is one of several restrictions the governor set to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Mississippi legislators should consider delaying much of their 2021 session by several weeks to prevent the state Capitol from again becoming a super spreader for the coronavirus, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said Tuesday.
Mississippi Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said Tuesday that giving teachers a pay raise will be the most important issue he pushes during the 2021 legislative session that opens next week.
An inmate was pronounced dead Monday at a privately run prison in Mississippi after an officer found him lying unresponsive on a floor.
Tuesday, December 29
The Dec. 15 ribbon-cutting ceremony on North State Street marked the end of three years of construction work. With $16 million funding from the Federal Government's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grant Program, the project means a resurfaced road and new underground water and sewer infrastructure along the busy Jackson artery, which is also serves as U.S. Highway 51 through the city limits.
Yesterday, Mississippi saw a record single-day total in reported deaths from COVID-19. As the year wanes, record numbers of people continue to die from the virus as the state struggles with a persistently high rate of viral spread.
Businesses owned by people of color will be able to receive guidance and financial help through a program being developed in Mississippi's capital city. The program in Jackson is funded in part by a $1 million grant from the Rockefeller Opportunity Collective, an organization that aims to expand equity and economic opportunity for low-wage families and communities of color.
The attorney general's office filed arguments Monday on behalf of Secretary of State Michael Watson, attacking the premise of Butler's lawsuit. Butler argues that the initiative process in the Mississippi Constitution is outdated because it requires petitioners to gather an equal number of signatures from five congressional districts.
Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said Monday on Twitter: "Nolan provided leadership for over 2 decades not only on policy, but also on personal character/statesmanship.”
Monday, December 28
With Reeves staking out his preference for the tradition of Election Day, singular, rather than Election Days, plural, any change would have to be made by a veto-proof margin with more than two-thirds support in the state House and Senate.
Automation could displace thousands of workers in Mississippi and other parts of the South unless they learn new skills, according to a report from the Southern Regional Education Board. Thousands of jobs were already on track to be automated by 2030.
Many children using special-needs vouchers in Mississippi the past two years came from metro areas where more private or parochial schools are available than in rural areas.
Officials in Mississippi's capital city say they hope to approach the Legislature for money to begin revitalizing a section of Jackson that's fallen on hard times. Areas near the Jackson Zoo are filled with trash, abandoned homes and neglected properties, City Council members said.
The NFL says it is honoring Curtis Flowers, a Black man from Mississippi who was imprisoned more than 22 years and was freed in late 2019, months after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the last of his several convictions in a quadruple murder case.
Jordan Davis' great grandmother told him for years she better have a ticket to the first Division I football game he ever played in. It came six months after her death, but Davis said the ticket never went to waste.
Thursday, December 24
I hope this day is full of warmth, love and holiday spirit. If you’re getting out or looking for something festive to get into with friends and family, check out my holiday picks.
The NCAA waived the requirements for accepting a bowl bid due to the coronavirus, which means both Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi are able to go bowling.
Mississippi State University's Broadcast Education Association Student Media Club recently won first place in a national competition with its inaugural submission to the BEA 168-Hour Film Challenge.
In its last meeting for 2020, members of the Jackson City Council joined numerous others on Tuesday to recognize the contribution of former Mississippi Gov. William Winter, who died Dec. 18 at age 97.
People are getting another way to watch Mississippi legislators as they conduct public business. The state Senate will start webcasting meetings from a second committee room during the 2021 session, which begins Jan. 5.
The Mississippi Highway Patrol's Christmas enforcement period is underway.
Wednesday, December 23
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves expanded his mask mandate to 78 out of 82 counties on Tuesday as the state surpassed its previous record for the highest ever number of coronavirus deaths reported in a single day.
Tuesday, December 22
Thinking of a recent year as eventful as 2020 would be quite the challenge. Nevertheless, the Jackson Free Press chose a handful of Mississippians who have made headlines this year, for better or worse, and reflects on their undertakings over the last year. Read the following intriguing recaps to learn more.
Christmas is days away, and New Year's Eve is fast approaching. Fortunately, the Jackson metro has plenty of options for those eager to say "bye" to 2020, whether it's dinner out or catering for a large group.
Judy McNeil, the owner and manager of The Knit Studio, has recently entered her 13th year in service to local creatives.
When the pandemic shut down businesses and offices in March, Felicia Hobson was in the middle of changing jobs. She found herself out of work and searching for something to do.
Here are five things to know about Taylor McKay Hathorn, a freelance writer for the Jackson Free Press.
"Many people love the holidays because they are a time to make happy memories with loved ones. But what if you could do something to help restore memories in some of the people you love? Using a process called reminiscence therapy, that may be possible."
With COVID-19 rampaging through the Magnolia State, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann would like to see a late start to the 2021 session. "You know, we qualify as a super-spreader event," he told the Jackson Free Press in a Dec. 14 interview, recalling the legislative outbreak earlier in 2020.
Tyrone Washington, a homeowner on Rondo Street, is livid that the city government is not, in his opinion, living up to expectations.
"Through the life of this newspaper and my adult years back in Mississippi, Gov. Winter and Mr. Meredith have been living history who have connected the past and present for me in the best possible way."
Sean Milner, the 11th executive director of the Baptist Children's Village, or BCV, says he knows how it feels to be a "village kid" because he lived on its campuses for 18 years, longer than any other child in the organization's history.
Today, Gov. Tate Reeves announced additional COVID-19 measures in an effort to keep Mississippians safe during this holiday season. The Executive Orders that are in place are set to expire on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021.
State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs began today’s COVID-19 press briefing with a quiet reading of nameless Mississippians. “84 year old, white male. 76 year old, white female, 67 year old, black female. 52 year old, black male,” he began.
The Jackson State University Development Foundation named Jerome Tinker as the organization's executive director on Oct. 1. Tinker joined JSUDF in 2018 and previously served as executive assistant and board administrator.
The Mississippi Department of Corrections said autopsies are being done on inmates who died in recent days.
An analysis of data from 33 states obtained by Chalkbeat and The Associated Press shows that public K-12 enrollment this fall has dropped across those states by more than 500,000 students, or 2%, since the same time last year.
Monday, December 21
Starlink’s constellation currently services more northern latitudes with plans to add enough satellites to service Mississippi by next summer.
Jane Halbert Jones’ love for travel began at a young age. Spending two semesters abroad while a student at Mississippi College allowed her to spend a significant amount of time in England, France and Greece, resulting in a serious case of the travel bug. After graduation, she spent a year in France as an English teacher, returning again a few years later to study for a graduate degree, this time staying three years.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said in a statement Sunday that Director Greg Michel has been admitted to a hospital with pneumonia, a complication from is infection with COVID-19.
A new political group is aiming harsh criticism at the leaders of a northeast Mississippi city, but city leaders say the criticism is rooted in a personal dispute that the group's two heads have with the city. A Better Columbus, founded by Leslie Sorrell and her husband, Will Sanders, has been sharply critical of the mayor and city council of Columbus, attacking them on social media and on a billboard that was later removed.
It always feels special for Pastor Jay Richardson when his congregation at Highland Colony Baptist Church gathers during the holidays—but this year, that's even more true because of time they've spent apart. The church temporarily shut down at the start of the pandemic, and again three months ago, when 25 worshipers became infected with coronavirus during an outbreak. Richardson, 70, was hospitalized with double pneumonia caused by the virus.
Saturday, December 19
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter, a Democrat who pushed to strengthen public education and improve race relations, has died. He was 97.
Friday, December 18
Today, citing the continued and increased infectious spread of Covid-19 in the City of Jackson, as well as the corresponding rise in hospitalizations and death rate, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba again signed an executive order extending the closure of city hall and non-essential city offices to the public through the holiday season.
We made it to another beautiful Friday in the Capital City, fellow Jacksonians! Is it just me, or does it seem that the closer we get to Christmas the faster time flies? Anywho, I hope you reached your productivity goals this week. If not, you still have time to get it in today, so go ahead and push through; then, you can enjoy this weekend with a clear conscience! Check out my picks for this upcoming weekend and find something that speaks to you. Dress warm and please socialize responsibly!
“Our Constitution and case law are clear that the power exercised by the Governor was granted to the Governor’s office by the people of Mississippi,” the Supreme Court's ruling reads. … “The monies were appropriated to multiple, distinct, and separate entities, thus they were multiple separate appropriations,” Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Randolph wrote in Thursday's majority decision.
“Be ready. January will be rough. We can mitigate if we restrain our holiday events, but likely to be extremely difficult regardless,” State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs tweeted on Dec. 17.
Mississippi's prison system used tax dollars to buy massage chairs, Himalayan salt lamps and a bedroom set and illegally paid some employees for extra work time they had accumulated, the state's auditor said in a scathing report that found widespread misspending at the agency while it struggled to fill jobs for guards and was plagued by violence.
Thursday, December 17
Belhaven University has selected and compiled video performances of its Singing Christmas Tree event going back a decade and photographs from as far back as the 1940s to honor its annual tradition in lieu of a live performance for 2020.
Freshman guard Jaron Pierre Jr. was named Conference USA Freshman of the Week for his play against Tulane University and the University of South Alabama. He averaged 18 points and eight rebounds against those two teams.
Two Mississippi elementary schools named for Confederate leaders will get new names, officials said. Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Jackson will be renamed Shirley Elementary School after doctors Aaron and Ollye Shirley, WAPT-TV reported.
Wednesday, December 16
A former schools superintendent and teacher may soon join the Mississippi State Board of Education. Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said Wednesday he chose Ronnie L. McGehee as one of his appointees to the board.
The centerpiece of Gov. Tate Reeves’ budget proposal is a phase-out of income tax in Mississippi by 2030. But Lt. Gov. Hosemann, who leads the Senate, is far from convinced.
State forestry officials are warning of an invasive weed that chokes out native plants. Cogongrass is among the world’s most invasive weed species, The Sun Herald reported.
Tuesday, December 15
Jackson State University named Rachel James-Terry as associate director of public relations in University Communications and Marketing on Oct. 16. She previously served as public relations writer and editor for the department since 2016.
The first Mississippians to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are its own state health leadership, marking a hopeful beginning to what will be a long process of finally exterminating the virus in the Magnolia State.
Mississippi on Monday cast all six of its Electoral College votes for Republican President Donald Trump.
A Confederate monument will remain outside a Mississippi courthouse after a majority-white board of supervisors deadlocked on a proposal to move it.
Monday, December 14
Mississippi Coding Academies recently launched a new program called TechShare, which will provide means for coders in remote areas to meet virtually with instructors from MCA's Jackson and Starkville locations.
Former and current Jackson Police Department officers have filed a lawsuit accusing Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba and Police Chief James Davis of abuse of office, infringement of civil rights, fostering a poor work environment and discrimination.
The Clinton Public School District announced Wednesday that Superintendent Tim Martin will retire at the end of the 2020-2021 school year, WLBT-TV reported.
A court fight threatens to block a Mississippi medical marijuana program before the program even gets started.
Friday, December 11
With record-breaking daily case numbers of the deadly COVID-19 virus surging to dizzying new heights, the physicians of Mississippi write to you urgently to request your direct assistance in combatting the spread of COVID-19.
My motto is work hard, play hard so go ahead, do the right thing and finish off this FriYAY strong. We got frolicking, chilling and responsible socializing to do! Check out my picks for this upcoming week to light your path to some R&R.
Hours after signing new COVID-19 restrictions and holding a press conference to plead with Mississippians to pitch in to protect the health-care system, the governor held a Christmas party at his mansion in downtown Jackson featuring close clusters of unmasked guests.
Due to COVID-19, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and C Spire announced it will wait to hand out its awards for outstanding players. Normally near the end of December the hall announces the winner for the Conerly Trophy.
A coastal Mississippi county will vote Monday on what to do with a Confederate monument that has been standing in front of the county courthouse since 1911 and has become a flashpoint of controversy in recent months.
Thursday, December 10
The historic home of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers is now a national monument, the U.S. interior secretary and members of Mississippi’s congressional delegation announced Thursday.
Angelique Lee has emerged the winner in the special runoff election for the Jackson City Council's Ward 2 seat to replace Melvin V. Priester Jr., an attorney who resigned in October to focus on his practice.
Sophomore forward Rickea Jackson entered this season being named First-Team All-SEC by both the coaches and media. Jackson was added to the 2021 Cheryl Miller Award list as she looks to build upon her gerat freshman season.
DeeDee Baldwin, an assistant professor with Mississippi State University's MSU Libraries, recently launched a new digital exhibit showcasing the first African American men to serve on Mississippi’s state legislature during and immediately after Reconstruction.
Faculty leaders at the University of Mississippi are expressing concerns about academic freedom after the state auditor demanded nearly $2,000 from a tenured professor who took part in a two-day “scholar strike” to bring attention to racism and injustice.
Wednesday, December 9
Today, Gov. Tate Reeves announced additional COVID-19 measures in an effort to keep Mississippians safe. The Executive Orders that are in place are set to expire on Friday, Dec. 11.
Winter approaches at a breakneck pace, as do the holidays that come with the season. Whether you want to liven up the decor of your home or buy a gift for a loved one, the Jackson metro has a number of businesses with the merch you need.
Prissy Paintbrush Studios, a Ridgeland-based business that Hope "Prissy" Mallard opened in 2013, offers the increasingly popular Paint 2 Go kits that allow customers to unleash their inner artist within the safety of their homes.
Since making the Jackson metro home again, Jonathan Yargates has been prodigiously writing and recording new material. He also holds down the Saturday afternoon gig at Shaggy's, alongside his best friend and fellow Jackson music icon, Chad Wesley.
When the previous owner sought to sell Scrooge's Fine Foods and Drink, she didn't have to look far. Chris Jefferson and Chris Carter, who both worked at Scrooge's, were more than willing to take over the restaurant.
"Gov. Reeves is merely parroting the president's belief that there is a vast, 'far-left fascism' working behind the scenes in our schools to bring down America by corrupting its youth. That is how firmly wedded our governor is to Trumpism. It's embarrassing."
A federal lawsuit filed in November alleges that property manager James Roe steered white prospective renters away from this apartment complex located in Pearl, which it alleges that he encouraged Black people to rent between 2016 and 2017.
Tate Reeves is nothing if not a partisan first and foremost, as his choices to please Donald Trump by withholding sufficient COVID-19 safety regs have shown us all in the most horrendous way possible.
Lucious Walton, a Greenwood, Miss., native who found himself homeless for some time, counts his blessings and considers himself extremely fortunate to now have a place in Jackson to call home.
Health-care professionals, including hospitalists and clinicians, have spoken to the Jackson Free Press about the persistent denialism coming from the public as well as political leadership.
Tuesday, December 8
The Mississippi Children's Museum named Parker McInnis Watts, a senior at Madison Central High School, as the museum's Volunteer of the Month for October after Watts volunteered for a total of 28 hours that month.
Hinds County is now categorized as red, the color code for areas with over 10% COVID-19 test positivity rates. It has recorded 11,046 cases of COVID-19, with 208 deaths as of Dec. 7. That is a death rate of 1.9%, slightly lower than Mississippi's at 2.39%.
More than 4,000 Mississippians are confirmed to have died from complications of COVID-19 in the pandemic so far, a grim milestone that public-health leadership has warned is unlikely to be the last before the end of the crisis.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves plans to update his regulations around social gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic later this week as virus cases continue to surge.
The Mississippi Department of Education said Monday that kindergarten enrollment has decreased and home schooling has increased this academic year, largely explaining the drop of more than 23,000 students enrolled in public schools.
Top Mississippi legislators on Monday released their first budget recommendations for the year that begins July 1. They propose spending cuts for universities, community colleges, prisons, mental health and child protection services.
Monday, December 7
The Belhaven Town Center in Jackson's Belhaven neighborhood recently announced that a new craft brewery called Fertile Ground Beer Co. is scheduled to open in 2021.
The Mississippi National Guard, in a ceremony Saturday, is promoting Brig. Gen. John “Trent” Kelly.
A former federal prosecutor's Mississippi home was riddled with bullets during a drive-by shooting last week, authorities said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not object to a revised proposal for a massive flood-control project to pump water from parts of the Mississippi Delta, a regional administrator for the agency says.
Retired Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Eugene Love Fair Jr. of Hattiesburg died Wednesday, the administrative office of state courts said. He was 74.
Saturday, December 5
Today the Mississippi Department of Health reported that 1,942 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, and 33 more people died from complications of the virus, with precisely 200 outbreaks in long-term care facilities.
Friday, December 4
I know 2020 has been uncomfortable and exhausting for many of us, but just because we have to celebrate our holidays differently this year, doesn’t make any time we get to spend with our loved ones any less precious or special.
The days following Gov. Tate Reeves’ assertion that Mississippi was not exceeding its previous summer peak have been disastrous for the state’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, with each day bringing new reports of record cases and hospitalizations.
Southern Miss has hired Tulane offensive coordinator Will Hall as its new head football coach.
Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba signed an executive order closing city hall and non-essential city offices and city-owned or leased non-essential facilities, requiring non-essential city employees to work remotely, and restricting city employee travel.
Thursday, December 3
Many Jackson neighborhoods are seeing dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases, Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba said at a press conference Monday.
Jackson State University's Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation and Psychometric Services recently received a five-year, $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration for JSU's Rehabilitation Counseling Long-Term Training Project.
Featuring an ending that would go down in Egg Bowl lore for years to come, the 2019 Egg Bowl will always be remembered for University of Mississippi wide receiver Elijah Moore’s end zone celebration.
Wednesday, December 2
All residents of Mississippi should avoid any social gathering that includes individuals outside of the nuclear family or household. MSDH recommends that Mississippians only participate in work, school or other absolutely essential activities.
Mississippi has shattered its all-time record for new COVID-19 cases in a single day, one day after Gov. Tate Reeves attempted to fact-check this reporter for asserting that the state was in the most significant spike of the pandemic so far.
A Mississippi district is removing Confederate President Jefferson Davis' name from an elementary school and has chosen a new name that highlights geography rather than history.
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed a 37-year-old attorney who has been involved in Republican politics as a new federal district judge for the southern half of Mississippi.
Mississippi’s state auditor demanded Tuesday that a University of Mississippi professor pay nearly $2,000 after a two-day “work stoppage” to protest police brutality and other racial inequities.
Tuesday, December 1
Today, Governor Tate Reeves announced 13 additional counties that have qualified and met certain requirements to be placed under mask mandates with his “Safe Recovery” executive order that is in effect until Dec. 11.
James Meredith, the first Black person to graduate from the University of Mississippi, has set his eyes on another goal of building a personal museum in the next year, as well as starting a global Bible society.
Phyllis Lewis-Hale, assistant professor of music and director of the Opera Workshop at Jackson State University, received a $6,500 grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council this November to host a two-day event called “From Delta Blues to Opera News: A Mississippi Musical Exposition.”
Mississippi schools are closer to overcoming the digital divide that quickly became evident at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, state Superintendent of Education Carey Wright said Monday.