Get On the Bus

December 16, 2004

TOYS IN BLUE: The JPD is taking some time off from serving and protecting to play basketball and give kids who have nothing a Christmas to remember. Yes, it's The Jackson Police Department's Annual Christmas Toy Drive. Admission is free if you bring a toy. They're also accepting monetary contributions. The games are being held at the JPD Training Academy. The next game is Dec. 17, with the playoff game on Dec. 18. Both begin at 6:30 p.m.

PICKERING STEPS DOWN: After waiting more than a year to be permanently appointed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a beleaguered Charles W. Pickering has retired. President Bush nominated Pickering for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals—the circuit with the highest percentage of African Americans—in 2001, but the Senate could not find the 60 votes needed to approve his nomination because some senators said Pickering has had a racially insensitive record since the 1950s. Bush bypassed Congress, nominating Pickering as recess appointment. Pickering announced last week that because of the actions of a minority of Democratic senators he has no other alternative: he must retire. In his statement, he thanked his biggest supporters, Trent Lott, Chip Pickering and President Bush. He also lambasted his opponents who feared that he would be a conservative activist judge: "Extreme special interest groups opposed my nomination primarily due to their hostility to any nominee with strong religious convictions who personally disagrees with them on abortion, marriage and references to God at public ceremonies and institutions." Chip Pickering said that he thinks that his dad will have more opportunities to serve Mississippi now: "One of the greatest things about the last four years is that we have had great support from people in both the black and white communities. The reaction at the end of this appointment has been very encouraging for my father and my family as well."

TYRONE, GET WELL: WMPR 90.1 FM and Byrd and Associates are sponsoring a benefit concert for Chicago blues performer Tyrone Davis. The proceeds from the concert will go to the Tyrone Davis Get Well Fund. The concert is Dec. 19, 2 p.m., at Mikhail's on North State Street. Some of the performers are The Tyrone Davis Band featuring Hollywood, Rev. Joe Washington, Robert "The Duke" Tillman, Pat Brown and many others. $30 admission. Other donations for the Get Well fund can be sent to Bank One 800 West Madison Oak Park, Ill., 60304. Or call 948-5837.

HELPING OUR ELDERS: The City of Jackson Service Division has services planned to assist senior citizens in the areas of security, employment and recreation. The Department of Human and Cultural Services' Senior Services Division provides security door bars and smoke detectors at no cost. Individuals 62 years of age and older who meet eligibility requirements are encouraged to contact the Division. In conjunction with Senior Services of America, the Division will offer employment opportunities to individuals 55 and older. Lastly, the Division is offering a variety of services, programs and recreational activities at local citizens centers, free of charge, to persons 55 or older. Some of these services include meals, transportation, self-development classes, recreation activities and community resource information. Call 960-0335.

I WANT MY SYMPHONY: Attention, music lovers! Through Jan. 2, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra is offering Anytime Coupon Books for 20 percent off the regular price. What's cool about these coupon books is that they contain five vouchers that can be used for any concert in the remaining 2004-2005 season. These vouchers, now discounted to $75, make great Christmas gifts because the recipient does not have to commit to a particular concert. For more information, you can give MSO a call at 960-1565.

GET ON THE BUS: Jackson is on the verge of massive reunification. At least that's what Mayor Harvey Johnson wants to convey to the citizens of Ward 3. The Mayor is sponsoring a "Ride of Pride" to highlight the revitalization of some of the major thoroughfares and the various business developments that will restore Jackson's once "finest areas" to their former glory. The mayor will personally guide the select group of citizens through areas such as Farish Street and explain the changes that are in the works. Mayor Johnson hopes to instill pride in the community and hope for the things to come. The tour is Dec. 18 at 10 a.m., with pick-up at the Jackson Medical Mall on the Livingston Road side.

GO, THABI, GO!: The JFP's new photography intern, Thabi Moyo, just learned that she is receiving one of two AAN Diversity Grants awarded by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (aan.org) nationwide to promising non-white applicants who want to work in alternative journalism. Thabi, a graduate of Murrah High School and Howard University, will focus her spring photojournalism internship on JFP's "Project ‘Hood," which is focusing on various city neighborhoods over upcoming months. This is the second year in a row that a JFP intern has won one of the grants based on journalism aspirations and work samples. Last year, then-Tougaloo senior Ayana Taylor received the grant to cover state politics. She is now a reporter for the JFP.


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