Stories for January 2006


Monday, January 30

Favre Wants To Hold Packers Hostage

This just in: Burned-out superstar QB Brett Favre tells ESPN he is leaning toward retiring. He would like to wait until the Green Bay Packers start training camp to make up his mind, which tells you what kind of "team player" Brett Favre is: a lousy one. Do us a favor and quit, BF. Or be quiet.

Friday, January 27

Eruption at Capitol

Oh. My. God.

AP is reporting:

The U.S. Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and jailed the wives of suspected insurgents in hopes of "leveraging" their husbands into surrender, U.S. military documents show.

Welcome to the Wild, Wild West

So, how many innocent people's lives were endangered in this inter-agency chase and shoot-out in the streets of Jackson? Good to know they recovered a small amount of marijuiana to justify this madness.

‘It Just Looks Really Bad'

The picture of how this city (and state?) treats sex with minors is very disturbing to me. Witness this article today about the police officers who allegedly had sex with the 15-year-old who was killed. Attorney Robert Clark says this about his client, police officer Maurice Clark, who is resigning after being accused of having sex with the child:

Thursday, January 26

New Releases: Alicia Keys "Alicia Keys Unplugged"

Alicia Keys — "Alicia Keys Unplugged" Fans receive the very best of Alicia Keys on her recent live album, "Alicia Keys Unplugged." The album includes her newest single entitled "Unbreakable" and also many old favorites such as "Fallin'" and "You Don't Know My Name." This album showcases more of Keys' previously doubted vocal talent in allowing her to prove herself, not only as a classically trained pianist but also as a competent singer. Guest appearances include Common, Mos Def, and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley. Also, Adam Levine of Maroon 5 performs a poignant duet with Keys on an old tune entitled "Wild Horses." Needless to say, this album is full of little delights. Keys not only toots her own horn on this album but she also gives tribute to some other much loved classics such as Gladys Knight's "If I Was Your Woman." It may be safe to say that this album is more coveted than any of Keys' other LP's for a more enjoyable listening quality.

New Releases: Various Artists "Crunk Hits-Crunk and Disorderly"

Various Artists — "Crunk Hits – Crunk and Disorderly" The 2005 edition of "Crunk Hits-Crunk and Disorderly" from TVT Records features several of the South's hottest MCs, including Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz, the Ying Yang Twins, Pitbull, T.I. and Three 6 Mafia. This album begins with a high energetic vibe that promises to keep you moving, yet that vibe seems to waver on more moderate tracks such as Juvenile's "Slow Motion" and Killer Mike's "A.D.I.D.A.S." which calms the album's tempo. This, in fact, may take away from the versatility of "Crunk Hits" (which is the point of such an album with various hits) along with the album's flow from one song to the next, making it hard to play straight through. However, this is a decent pick for listening to while performing a monotonous daily task, exercising or more importantly, to liven up a dead house party. Yet, whatever the reason for adding a crunk album to a personal collection, "Crunk Hits – Crunk and Disorderly" is questionable at best when compared to most and is therefore subject to judgment by the individual's own personal taste.

Ledger Off the Hook … Sort Of

U.S. District Judge Tom S. Lee, of Jackson, has dismissed The Clarion-Ledger from a defamation lawsuit filed against it by retired Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics pilot Robert Earl Pierce. The federal judge said that the portion of the lawsuit dealing with emotional distress, invasion of privacy and libel should be dismissed because the suit was filed beyond the one-year statute of limitations regarding such suits.

Wednesday, January 25

The Art Of Being The Best

Just mention "the state's inferiority complex" to a Mississippi native, and he or she will likely respond: "God, isn't that the truth?" Let's just say that residents of our dear state haven't been schooled in the fine art of being the "best." Or, to be more precise, no matter how talented we are personally, collectively, we don't believe we're the best.

*Best of: Urban Living

<b>Best Urban Bike Ride:

The scenic, beautiful Natchez Trace Bike Ride for the metro area is in Ridgeland off Pear Orchard. You see two separate views while biking. From Pear Orchard there are many beautiful homes plus the everyday commuter traffic. Once you enter the parkway along the reservoir, the view completely changes.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College basketball, Tougaloo at Belhaven (women, 5:30 p.m.; men, 7:30 p.m.): The intracity rivals renew their rivalry in Fondren.

*Best of: Food and Drink

<b>Best First Date, Brunch and Appetizer:

Walking through the front door of Julep, you know your meal will be special. Taking a first date to Julep will foster intimacy amid a hip, urban atmosphere. The appetizers start everyone off with a scrumptious treat and prepare the taste buds for an innovative dining experience. With appetizers such as crawfish cake, Portobello fries and fried green tomato napoleon, and treats such as strawberry & chocolate chip pancakes and beignets for brunch, diners are easily tempted to throw out those New Year's resolutions and enjoy the culinary wares Julep has to offer.

*Best of: Nightlife

<b>Best No Cover,

Every time I walk through the door of Fenian's, I hear the theme song from "Cheers." I hear this because "making your way in the world today" is made a lot easier with a good beer and a seat at the bar. Fenian's is the best neighborhood bar in Jackson. There are a myriad of reasons this place is full most weekend nights, and most days, too.

[Stiggers] Dee-wishious Chocolate

The Qweem-O-Wheat man addresses the Cootie Creek County Community College Black Student Union during their Pre-Black History Month Miss Sausage Biscuit Beauty pageant.

[Greggs] The Love Of Power

I've been reading the "The 48 Laws of Power" recently. I won't take credit for buying it, as it was a gift from a friend. A gift, that once I figured out what the book was about, immediately made him suspect in my eyes. I wanted to question him extensively about Law Number 21 ("Play a sucker to catch a sucker"). Today, as with most days, I feel like a sucker.

Lott's Back

For months, U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., has been keeping both supporters and enemies scratching their heads at whether he would run for his Senate seat a fourth time. The senator had indicated that he was considering retirement, regardless of the slim 55-to-44 majority Republicans have in the Senate. If Lott's deliberations on retirement had been serious, Senate Republicans would have suffered six open seats on the ballot in November, with Democrats hungry to take advantage of moral lapses involving GOP lobbyists like Jack Abramoff and politicians like Republican Tom Delay, of Texas, both slapped with indictments and inundated by controversy, with Delay forced to resign his post as majority leader of the House after he was indicted in Texas.

Fear Of A New Tax

Last week, Gov. Haley Barbour did as expected and vetoed Senate Bill 2310, calling it an "irresponsible" revenue change "in a time of fiscal uncertainty." Barbour's office claims the state would lose $1.5 billion, and cities would lose $166 million over nine years. The bill went back to the Senate, but the Senate Finance Committee voted almost immediately 14-to-10 in favor of recommending that the Senate override the governor's veto.

The Toothless Union

A state union organizer is seeming to do an about-face when it comes to support of city employees.

Lester Hailey

Lester Hailey stands ready to help anyone who walks into Beemon Drugs. Since graduating from pharmacy school 28 years ago, he's been behind the counter, on the raised area occupied by shelf after shelf of pharmaceutical containers, filing prescriptions and answering questions.

No. 19, Jan 26 - Feb 01

Just Chilling Out on Another Fine Iraqi Day'

White House Was Warned About Katrina's Potential

The Clarion-Ledger is reporting:

*Best of: People and Community

<b>Best Local Scandal, Best Public Figure,

As much as I attempt to cover issues apart from city politics, I always end up getting dragged right back to the council chambers and good ol' Frank Melton, a mayor elected last year based on his pledges to clean up crime within 90 days.

Sunday, January 22

Ledge's Ronnie Agnew Lays Down the ‘Bottom Line'

Clarion-Ledger Executive Editor Ronnie Agnew's column today is bizarre in so many respects that we're not sure where to begin. He is certainly laying down the law for the newspaper's favorite mayor, closing with:

Why I'm Pro-Choice

I'm beginning to believe that the pro-life movement is made up mainly of a tense alliance between very sincere, deeply religious people and very insincere, deeply cynical people. The people who make up these two very different groups seem to only have one thing in common: They believe that individual women are not in the best position to decide whether or not the zygote, embryo, or fetus they're carrying is a human being--and that the government is obligated to decide for them.

New Cat Power Drops

of Memphis musicians, including Al Green sideman Teenie Hodges on guitar, Leroy

On January 24, 2006, Matador will be releasing the long-awaited new studio album from Cat Power, 'The Greatest' on CD and LP in most major industrial countries. Recorded at Memphis, TN's Ardent Studios over the summer by Stuart Sikes, 'The Greatest' while the most confident and life-affirming work of Chan Marshall's career, is as intensely personal, haunting and provocative as any of its predecessors. The album's players are a bona fide All-Star team

Saturday, January 21

CL Reports: Melton Headed to Pakistan

Melton To Meet With Pakistani Officials

It sounds like the people of Pakistan will soon be the wiser when it comes to disaster relief -- according to the Clarion-Ledger, after a stop in D.C., Mayor Frank Melton will be headed to Pakistan on a week-long trip to allow the Pakistani president a glimpse into the knowledge Melton gained here in Jackson during Katrina.

Trading One Depot For Another

While The Home Depot in South Jackson is relocating to Clinton, a new Food Depot debuts on W. Northside Drive this week. Being the nosy person that I am, I just had to take a peek.

Friday, January 20

NFL Girls Gone Wild Update

Doctor S' favorite NFL story of the year (heck, of all time) continues. The Carolina Panthers lesbian cheerleaders who threw down in a Tampa night club's restroom are back in court. One of them agreed to six months probation the other day, but the cute one is still in trouble for giving police another cheerleader's driver's license when she was arrested. And now the cheerleaders are going to sue the woman they punched out. Doctor S wishes ESPN would do a movie on this case. On further review, maybe this is a job for Cinemax.

Ledge Admits to Being Sued in MBN Case ... Finally

Now that the judge is dropping the MBN defamation suit against The Clarion-Ledger, and two of its editors/reporters, the newspaper is telling its readers that it was being sued by the same folks suing Frank Melton. Remember, they did NOT tell readers that back during the mayoral campaign when the paper and the mayor were wound up together in companion lawsuits, or when it endorsed Melton without mentioning this rather pertinent fact. But, now they bring Jerry Mitchell in to admit it after the fact: It's news when it's good them, but not when the suit was brought.

Frank Melton to Keynote Belhaven Journalism Conference

[verbatim] Jackson, MS ( - Frank E. Melton, mayor of Jackson, Miss., and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the TV-3 Foundation in Jackson, will deliver the keynote address at the MidSouth Winter Journalism Conference held at Belhaven College (Jackson, Miss.), February 24-25, 2006. Mayor Melton served as CEO of Jackson's WLBT TV-3, Inc. from 1984 to 2002, guiding the NBC affiliate to become the leader in local broadcasting. The two-day conference is for college-age aspiring journalists of faith. Attendees will be encouraged to integrate their Christian faith and journalism practice through lectures, discussion and fellowship.

Thursday, January 19

Rice's attitude linked to "sexual problems".

Condoleezza Rice's anti-Russian stance based on sexual problems

For the love of all that is good and holy, please read the title to this article in a Russian paper. (Link found on Wonkette).

Wednesday, January 18

Let Us Be Audacious

Let us be dissatisfied until integration is not seen as a problem but as an opportunity to participate in the beauty of diversity.

Is Fire Department Up To Par?

An unnamed source inside the Jackson Fire Department says he is worried that the Jackson Fire Department may not retain its current ISO rating when the city is up for inspection early this year.

Come Fly With Her

Sometimes we need help. Whether it's getting out of a job, getting out of your head or getting a whole new life, some things just aren't do-it-yourself projects if you want to do them well.

Chili to Share

Chili con carne is Spanish for chili with meat; it got started in Texas, and Texans think it's a crime to add beans to it. So says "The New Food Lover's Companion" (Barron's, 2001, $16.95).

BeerTalk: Taste of The South

Most beer aficionados are not even aware that the southern United States is the next big "thing" on the beer horizon, with many microbreweries and brewpubs opening in the region. The abundant natural resources and culture of the South have helped spark this growth. However, Abita proudly holds the honor of being the original "craft beer" of the South.

The Best In Sports In The Next 7 Days

College basketball, William Carey at Tougaloo (women, 5:30 p.m.; men, 7:30 p.m.) : The Crusaders and Bulldogs do battle in the GCAC again.

[Music] ML Has A Dream

As I listen to a very sexually charged album by a young man whom I am soon to meet, I expect to encounter a very suave and assertive individual, a Casanova if you will.

Warriors, Rescuers, Spooks: The U.S. Military's Growing Involvement In Domestic Affairs

Avian flu, hurricanes, weapons of mass destruction, drug runners, illegal immigrants, would-be terrorists, Fox News, CNN, and Google are just a few of the things Col. Tom Muir's men and women keep their eyes on.

The Art Of Killing

A Review Of "Shadow Of The Colossus"

What is art? A painting by da Vinci? Michelangelo's David? A guitar solo by Hendrix, maybe. But while Mona Lisa can be seen, David can be felt, and a riff by Jimi can be heard, none of these art forms can be controlled. They are what they were when created. But now video games, no longer confined to being kill simulators and virtual ping-pong, can become controllable art. "Shadow of the Colossus" proves this point.

[Kamikaze] Relax, And Hire Young

Without thrusting myself into the political fray, I must say that Ward 4 Councilman Frank Bluntson and Ward 5 Councilman Charles Tillman were dead-on last week in response to Mayor Frank Melton's appointment of Marcus Ward as city lobbyist. There certainly does need to be a place in government for the next generation, my generation.

[Stiggers] Dr. Collard Greene Goes Organic

Chef "Low" Fat Meat: "My health-conscious friends complained about the food I used to serve at my restaurant.

Rapping For Reform

Gray skies and a steady drizzle did nothing to dash the exuberance of 200 young people gathered on the steps of the state capitol on Monday, Jan. 16. Many of the youths wore bright orange shirts and held up colorful homemade signs. There was a steady cadence of clapping and dancing as children sang gospels and hip-hop, read poetry and rapped in support for reform of juvenile justice law.

Marianne Dixon

It's not difficult at all for Marianne Dixon, 33, to talk about her job, her husband or Jackson, the city she calls home. Taking a seat at a round, four-top table near the Hal & Mal's bar, with her eyes sparkling and cheeks glowing, Dixon tells all.

Legislature Stands Up To Veto Threat

The Mississippi Legislature churned like machinery last week, sending out bills in record time, and often with little discourse.

A Crying Shame

Some City Council members were showing anxiety over recent firings in city government last week. The Clarion-Ledger had reported that the Melton administration has fired as many as 53 city employees since the administration entered office in July. Melton fired the brunt of that number in perfect time for the holidays, announcing a massive restructuring of the Planning and Development Department in late December, 12 days before Christmas.

A Real Woman

I found this AP article and just wanted to share.

Barbour: 'Why I'll Veto the Tax Bill'

*verbatim via e-mail* There has been a lot of discussion over the past few days about Senate Bill 2310, which proposes to eliminate the sales tax on groceries and increase the tax on cigarettes. Despite the initial claims that this proposal is simple and revenue neutral, this bill in fact shortchanges our towns and cities which are already strapped in post-Katrina times and destroys our ability to increase needed funding for education in the future.

Archie Fires Back

Archie Manning is sick of FOX Sports talking head Terry Bradshaw. Manning tells Newsday that Bradshaw's latest comment about his son Colts QB Peyton Manning was "a cheap shot." Archie also didn't like what Bradshaw had to say about his other QB kid, the Giants' Eli Mannning, in 2004 when Eli forced San Diego to trade him after taking him with the first pick in the NFL draft.

2 Less Bulldogs

Walter Sharpe has broken his last team rule at Mississippi State. Coach Rick Stansbury kicked Sharpe and fellow sophomore Jerrell Houston off the team on Wednesday for "violating unspecified team rules." That can cover just about anything, but in Sharpe's case it was for missing a practice on Monday. This just over a week after the troubled sophomore was the subject of a team meeting (Sharpe wasn't invited). His teammates told Sharpe to fly right or fly away. He will be a star in Division II next year, or in the NAIA next week if he's impatient.

N.O. Now Payton's Place

Sean Payton will be introduced as the New Orleans Saints' new coach on Wednesday. Expect Payton to draft USC quarterback Matt Leinart and lead the Saints to a 4-12 season. Where will they play in 2007? Los Angeles.

Tuesday, January 17

The definition of Overkill

I found this article online this morning. I picked the CBC article instead of the Reuters version of it for a particular reason.

North MS. Delta Blues Update

"Live" Blues in the Delta, North Mississippi and Beyond...

Monday, January 16

Update Re: Woman Who Protested Medicaid Cuts From Bed

After struggling to get my Medicaid coverage back (for now anyway), I wondered what was going on with Dorothy Bishop's situation.

This Ain't Funny, People!

If people made fun of cancer the way they make fun of mental illness, what kind of society would we have?

Dr. King: More Than an Icon

Geov Parrish writes for Alternet:

MLK, Jr. Day, the holiday, has devolved into the Mississippi Burning of third Mondays. What started out as gratitude that they made a movie about it, gradually becomes revulsion at how new generations of Euro-Americans mislearn the story. King is not a legend because he believed in diversity trainings and civic ceremonies, or because he had a nice dream. He is remembered because he took serious risks and, as the Quakers say, spoke truth to power. ... What little history TV will give us to commemorate his birthday is as much about forgetting as about remembering, as much about self-congratulatory patriotism -- that King was American -- as self-examination, that American racism made him necessary, and that government, at every level, sought to destroy him.

Sunday, January 15

Saturday, January 14

House Bill 882

Friday, January 13

Thursday, January 12

ARTICLE: Fetuses Don't Count For Carpools, Court Says

I will no longer use the phrase "Now I've seen everything" ever again.

PHOENIX -- A judge says an Arizona woman's

Get Fat, Be Happy

I found this AP article online today.

Justice Dance Mix

Vice records proudly announced the signing of parisian techno powerhouse JUSTICE. Comprising of gaspard augé and xavier de rosnay, JUSTICE first came to the attention of the dance world cognoscenti through their absolutely joyous remix of simian's "never be alone" and have continued on shine on mixes for daft punk, franz ferdinand, death from above 1979,

Councilman Ben Allen's JFP Blog Goes Live

Click here to visit the Councilman's new blog.

Rep. Erik Fleming Launches JFP Blog

Follow news about the legislative session and ask direct questions of Rep. Erik Fleming, D-Hinds, on his new JFP blog.

JFP Unveils Amped-Up 2006 Capitol Blog

Jan. 1, 2006—The Jackson Free Press has blogged about the state Legislature since we launched three sessions ago. This week, we introduce our even better JFP Capitol Blog just in time for the return of the state Legislature. This will be the definitive site for breaking news and daily coverage of the Mississippi State Legislature, as well as commentary by JFP bloggers and special guests involved in the issues. It is also a one-stop portal for the JFP's in-depth coverage and analysis of Mississippi politics and policy-making. Also don't miss Rep. Erik Fleming's JFP blog, where he is answering questions from citizens about news and actions in the Legislature and his own record.

Wednesday, January 11

Everything's Turning Up Rose'

I've noticed lately that more and more rosé wines are turning up in our market. Around here, most people would see a rosé and write it off immediately as one of those syrupy, sweet blush wines like white zinfandel. Rosés, in fact, are actually more on the dry side. Time to crush the stigma.

Young Influentials 2006

Photo Charles A. Smith

Each January, the Jackson Free Press features the year's top young influentials—Jacksonians 35 and under making a difference in the community and having a positive influence on others.

Convention Center At Risk?

In 1995, Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. and local business leaders managed to convince legislators to authorize more than $17 million to build the Telecommunications and Conferencing Center, now due for a ribbon-cutting in a couple of weeks on Pascagoula Street. Johnson had fought to promote the idea of the Telecommunications Center to the state Legislature, which often shied away from dispensing money for capital city projects. The project began with numerous false starts, including stalls over the building's location. One failed proposal suggested using the dilapidated King Edward Hotel as the home of the center.

She's Got A New Attitude

In a surprising move last week, Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck stepped away from her usual role as the governor's mouthpiece to come out in favor of a cigarette tax.

Kim And Klarissa Hardy

Everyone has heard of the Hardy boys—that determined brotherly duo—but even they would be no match against the Hardy twins. Kicking off our Young Influentials line-up this year, Kim and Klarissa Hardy, 22 and natives of Texas, are forces to be reckoned with on the Jackson State campus and beyond. Kim Hardy has risen as student government association president, while Klarissa Hardy holds the title of Miss JSU. These offices are only the beginning of the Hardy twins' list of joint and solo community involvement.

Let Me Count The Ways

When my assistant editor, Casey Parks, left the JFP last month to go on to graduate school, she wrote a goodbye editor's note that made me cry. I admit I was touched by what she said about me, the city and the JFP's mission, but more than anything, I cried with pride at the love and maturity such a young person was showing for her community, and herself.

[Stiggers] Tricklin' On Down

Brutha Hustle, the Carlton Sheets of the ghetto, introduces Hustle-Nomics 2006, a plan that helps financially challenged individuals supplement their current income within an inflated economy.

[Greggs] An Angry Young Woman

Topics often jump out at me over the course of a week. This week, everything was jumping, and not a one of them was staying down. I went over my last columns in my head wondering what to pontificate about this week. Gay? Did it. Woman? Been there. Sex? Several times.

No. 17, January 12-18

<b><u>Strutting Across the Stage</b></u>

I had not anticipated incurring the wrath of Mr. Kamikaze by my offhand remark about rap, but since he has become enraged, ("Disrespecting Rappers," Jan. 5-11. 2006), I suppose I should look for some redeeming quality in his genre.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Figure skating, U.S. Championships (7:30 p.m., ESPN2): For the first time since 2002, figure skating matters.

[Music] What's Happening, Mississippi?

Daniel Johnson, 26, and Walter Young, 22, are on a mission to publicize the talent and power of Mississippi rock bands through "Mississippi Happening," a radio show on WLEZ 103.7 FM (Friday 10 p.m.-midnight). The show is a "showcase of explorations of rock in Mississippi," though the two try to be broad in their definition of that genre, including everything from indie to metal to instrumental. But you won't hear any rap or electronica here; at its heart, "Mississippi Happening" is about rock. "There has to be a line drawn to have some integrity about calling it a Mississippi rock show," Johnson says.

Herman's Picks

If you're a fan of WMPR and Seven*Studioz Reggae deejay C-Lecta, send him some love. He is in Trinidad this month to lay his father to rest. Show him your support when he gets back in February. Until then, put down January 28 in your calendar when kings of Hattiesburg Hip-Hop, Griffenz lay down their tight dynamic jams to Seven. You might know two of the Griffenz from their days with Hattiesburg favorites Cookout.

Tuesday, January 10

‘Trolling' Anonymously Now Federal Crime

Wow. Declan McCullough of CNET reports:

That's How Little Vick Rolls

A lawsuit last summer revealed that Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has used the alias "Ron Mexico." Now they're calling his younger brother, Marcus, "New Mexico." Little Vick hasn't even gotten to the NFL yet, and he's already put together an impressive rap sheet.

Rebels Add Assistants

The unemployment stats in the Miami area just went down. Ole Miss Ed Orgeron landed two new assistants on Monday, both of them former Miami assistants. Dan Werner is the Rebels' new offensive coordinator and Art Kehoe will be the new offensive line coach. Also, quarterback/fullback Robert Lane announced he's coming back next season and will play wherever the Rebels need him.

'Like a Baby on a Pacifier'

Mayor Frank Melton has refused to renew a contract with Washington lobbyists Winston & Strawn, LLP, ending 10 productive years of lobbying efforts for the city. The firm is the first hired by the city to represent its interests in Washington and has aided in the collection of more than $111 million in federal money for the city. The firm helped net funding for the remodeled downtown train station, the Metro Parkway and the County Line Road extensions, among other projects.

Why My Heart Aches This Evening

When I heard about the body of a 15-year-old girl being found at Presidential Hills Park, my initial thought was how the incident will affect the reputation of the park, but then I realized what a horrible thing I was doing to not think about the young lady first.

Monday, January 9

Mississippi Democratic Party Rolls Over, Plays Dead

"In 2006," DNC chair Howard Dean predicts, "Democrats will take back the House and Senate."

Alison Krauss & Union Station Bring Grammy-Nominated Hits to Jackson's Thalia Mara Hall

Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Thursday, March 2, 8 p.m. Thalia Mara Hall, Tickets on sale Friday, January 13 at Be-Bop. Tickets are $43, $38 and $35, plus applicable service charges. Recently nominated for four Grammy Awards, Alison Krauss and Union Station bring their world tour to Jackson, Mississippi, on March 2, 8 p.m. at Thalia Maria Hall. The band's latest record, Lonely Runs Both Ways, is a collection of songs that flawlessly showcase Krauss' angelic voice and Union Station's firebrand bluegrass licks.

Best CD's of 2005

Herman's Best of 2005

2. Bloc Party- "Silent Alarm"3. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah- "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah"4. Broadcast- "Tender Buttons"5. The New Pornographers- "Twin Cinema"6. Sufjan Stevens- "Illinois"7. Death Cab for Cutie- "Plans"8. Mountain Goats- "The Sunset Tree"9. LCD Soundsystem- "LCD Soundsystem"10. Ladytron- "Witching Hour"11. Franz Ferdinand- "You Could Have It So Much Better"12. Rogue Wave- "Descended Like Vultures"13. Calla- "Collisions"14. Gravenhurst- "Fires in Distant Buildings"15. Arab Strap- "The Last Romance"16. Fischerspooner- "Odyssey"17. Matt Pond PA- "Several Arrows Later"18. Spoon- "Gimme Fiction"19. Garden- "Round and Round"20. Joy Zipper- "American Whip"21. Low- "The Great Destroyer"22. Stars- "Set Yourself On Fire"23. Architecture in Helsinki- "In Case We Die"24. The American Analog Set- "Set Free"25. Animal Collective – "Feels"26. My Morning Jacket- "Z"27. The Go-Betweens- "Oceans Apart"28. Art Brut- "Bang Bang Rock & Roll"29. Jens Lekman- "Oh Your'e So Silent Jens"

Ugly Day For Eli

Eli Manning's playoff debut was a disaster on Sunday, as the Carolina Panthers stomped the New York Giants 23-0 out in the swamplands of Jersey. Eli threw three interceptions and fumbled once. Who the heck does Eli think he is, Brett Favre? But it would be unfair to put it all the blame on the former Rebel. Panthers coach John Fox outcoached Giants coach Tom Coughlin, the Giants' running game did nothing and the Giants defense ... did anybody see the Giants play defense? But remember, Eli fans, it always can be worse. Just ask Carson Palmer.

Barbour's ‘State of the State' Address

"Thank you. Lt. Governor Tuck, Speaker McCoy, ladies and gentlemen of the Legislature, fellow Mississippians. Thank you for being here for my third State of the State address. I apologize for being hoarse, but I struggled with a bad cold last week*sore throat and all. For you Legislators who think that means my speech will be shorter than last year*don't get your hopes up!

Sunday, January 8

David Hampton ‘Worried' About Frank Melton

It seems that concern is growing over at The Clarion-Ledger for their hand-picked choice for mayor. Editorial Director David Hampton writes today:

Saturday, January 7


Yes, there is still hope for us all.


1997 Business Journal Interview with Harvey Johnson

I just ran across an interview with new Mayor Harvey Johnson from June 30, 1997 in Nexis. I'm posting some portions that seem relevant to today's Jackson:

Young Saint?

Biloxi Sun-Herald columnist Jim Mashek has seen the future and it's Vince Young wearing a Saints uniform. Sooner rather than later.

20 Police Officers Fired; No Details Given

WLBT reported Friday night that the mayor and police chief have fired another 20 or so police officers, but will say what they did to deserve, or even how many were fired:

Bus On McNair, Favre

What will Mississippi's favorite has-been quarterbacks do next? Agent Bus Cook of Hattiesburg said he thought Steve McNair would be ''amenable'' to playing for the Dolphins if the Tennessee Titans cut or trade McNair. As for Brett Favre, however, Cook thinks his client is either a Green Bay Packer or is packing it in. ''If [Favre] doesn't play in Green Bay, he'll retire,'' Cook told the Miami Herald. "I think he's a Packer for life, and that's just the way it's going to be.'' Cook said that wouldn't necessarily be the case for McNair, who has played his entire career for the Titans organization, beginning in Houston. ''Right now, Steve is a Titan, and he wants to be a Titan, but you don't know what they're going to do,'' Cook said Thursday. "But if he's not with them, I'm sure he'd be amenable to playing for Miami. They've done a good job down there to turn the team around, and he's still a playmaker.''

Poll: Americans Want More Dems in Congress

AP is reporting:

Speaking of—who the hell the Mississippi Dems got running against Pickering? Have I missed the big announcement?

Friday, January 6

Pentagon: Up to 80% Soldier Deaths Due to Light Armor

New York Times is reporting Saturday:

Congressional Report Doubts Bush Spying Legal

It's Miller Time

Reigning world cup skiing champion and Olympic favorite Bode Miller tells "60 Minutes" "it's not easy" skiing when you're drunk. He says he's done it before and might do it again. Don't go off half-baked in Turin, dude.

My Heart Is Just Breaking

Legislature Funding a ‘Field of Dreams'

It's amazing the lengths these yucks will go in order to try to make up for the precious manufacturing jobs lost in the state due to NAFTA madness. And, thanks, Haley for your role in that, dude. Ledge:

Is Tuck Her Own Woman?

Here's an story from Bobby Harrison at the Daily Journal from back in December that discusses her new support for a tobacco tax and other ideas that Mr. Barbour might not be happy with.

Letters to the Editor

As I was telling the love of my life, Knol, the CL Letters to the Editor are the first thing I do every morning when I wake up. To quote someone, they're "the bestest thing ever". They also usually do one of two things to my mood. They make me laugh like no one is watching, or I get all fired up and want to pull someone's brain thru their nose. Neither is a bad mood to have going on in the morning.

Thursday, January 5

Fred Smoot: Party Animal

Jackson's own Fred Smoot has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from his part in the Minnesota's infamous sex-boat cruise on Lake Minnetonka. Smoot, you recall, brought new meaning to the term "cover 2" for his antics with the hookers/strippers who provided the entertainment for the orgy cruise.

Fla. Supreme Court Strikes Down Vouchers

Why Didn't They Dump the Donations Before Now, Huh?

Will It Stay, or Will It Go?

Mayor Frank Melton began the year 2006 with a resolution to remain a dogged pest to development he views as going too slow. On. Dec. 30, Melton announced that he intends to keep the heat on development of the King Edward Hotel and the Entertainment District on Farish Street for the first two months of 2006, going so far as to set a schedule for demolition of the King Edward.

DIY: How to Skateboard

So your brother kicks your butt at skateboarding. Your best friend makes fun of you because you're too scared to try. After practicing all day, the only thing that you've achieved are cuts and scrapes on your knees and elbows. Needless to say, you're not feeling like Tony Hawk. But you don't have to be Tony Hawk to follow the guidelines of local skater Ricky Byrd.

Back to the Battlefield

For years, the Battlefield Park neighborhood, cupped between Gallatin Street, U.S. 80 and Terry Road, has been a high-traffic territory for illicit drug activity and prostitution. Many local residents look upon the frenetic crime with embarrassment. "I've been living here all my life. We own too much property around here, so I couldn't just sell it, but I've watched this place go down," said one resident, who asked that his name be withheld for fear of retribution. "My family's been here for more than 100 years, and it's been getting worse. I've shot at people breaking into my house while I'm in it."

Wednesday, January 4

[Music] The New Funk

Musicians like James Brown carried out the funk era, while legendary bands like Parliament, the Ohio Players and Earth, Wind, & Fire kept funk's fire burning brightly. Today, though, most people aren't bumping their stereos with music from the funk era. Still, there is no lack of appreciation for the genre. To ensure the love of funk doesn't die, D'MAR combines the best yesterday's funk with today's R&B.

Legislature 2006: A House United?

Last year, in the days before the new legislative session, lawmakers were ready to walk into the state capitol with their guns out. Mississippi was, and remains, a state where financial ends are never comfortably met, and legislators with a passion to meet federal requirements for education or health-care funding rarely sleep well at night. The state has routinely delivered shortfalls in Mississippi Adequate Education Program requirements, and meeting the one-third match for the federal funding of Medicaid was a battle last year and the year before.

Erica Flannes

Erica Flannes, 28, met me inside Fondren Corner, just about where she sets up for Fondren's ARTMix.

The Cult Of Irresponsibility

Just how bad of a newspaper is The Clarion-Ledger? A hint comes three-quarters of the way into Executive Editor Ronnie Agnew's "end of the year" column (Jan. 1, 2006). The paragraph is about Mayor Frank Melton:

Rose Bowl Updates

The Rose Bowl just started. It's supposed to be a big game, apparently. Anyway, you can get some offbeat updates at Every Day Should Be Saturday or Fox Sports. And as Deadspin says, thank goodness no woman related to a Longhorn is dating a Trojan. We got enough of that during the Fiesta Bowl.

[Kamikaze] Disrespecting Rappers

The year 2005 was a great one for hiphop. As a genre, it continues to dominate the music industry and pop culture in general. Here locally, hiphop has almost (and I stress almost) gone from a red-headed stepchild to a respected art form. Surely now Jackson's intelligentsia would think twice before blaming hip-hop for this city's ills, right?

[Stiggers] Bring Your Own Soap

Picture this scene: You're at home in the dark without water, gas and telephone because you cannot afford to pay your utility bills. You seek help from your neighbor. But you also discover that he or she is in the same predicament. Frustration, desperation and depression stab at you like the prongs of a pitchfork—indeed, a sticky situation. You question your moment of suffering: Is a rich person's heaven a poor person's hell?

[De Groote] Devil Worshipers of the Mid-'90s

Troy's "Big Mini" was our favorite means of conveyance on many high school adventures back in the mid- '90s. We drove that Ford minivan through absolute hell and back, and it bore the scars and peeling paint as proof of our youthful driving escapades. I wasn't around for the incident that secured the doors in a permanent, firmly shut position, but it was a perfect vehicle for the fledgling driver.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College basketball, Loyola of New Orleans at Belhaven (women, 5:30 p.m.; men, 7:30 p.m.): The Blazers face the Wolves in the house that Rugg built.

[Music] Elementary Listening

King Elementary has become one of the main attractions of the Jackson music scene in the past few years and extended its reach to venues nationwide, such as Los Angeles' renowned Viper Room and The Troubadour. They have been covered by Filter and Spin magazines. After King Elementary released their album "Kudzu" on Terminus Records this past summer, they went on their second West Coast tour and recently played throughout the Carolinas with The Films. Now they are recording demos for their first Capitol Records album.

Art, Organically Speaking

Michelle Acuff, a sculptor born and raised in Chicago who teaches at Millsaps, throws a hand outward toward a work in progress.

2005 Year In Review, Part 2: To Hell and Back

The second half of 2005 turned out to be the most interesting six months any of us have lived through in a while. On the positive side, the city continued its march toward greatness - with increasing numbers of younger people turning up in the "Bold New City" and finding that it was not the city they had left after high school, or heard negative things about from afar. Their energy, despite obstacles, keeps the city moving forward, and the Jackson Free Press is thrilled to be the forum where people who believe in the city turn for news and community-building.

Being Poor Is No Crime

I saw this letter to the editor in the CL today and it really hit home with me.

Tuesday, January 3

Cop On Cop

Did anyone else catch this little bit of nonsense on WLBT?

A Private Conversation

"I'm worried about you, Tom," Luce said.

Beyond Repair: Council Responds to Maple Street ‘Sweep'

City Council members moved to distance themselves from Jackson Mayor Frank Melton's eviction of tenants living at the Maple Street Apartments at the City Council meeting on Jan. 3. "The council has not been a part of this process. We should be a part of this process, and we don't condone the process thus far," Council President Marshand Crisler said.

And The Powerful Shaking In Their Boots

Monday, January 2

Who Dat Talking Bout Coaching Them Saints?

New Orleans Saints coach Jim Haslett was among four NFL coaches who got fired on Monday. The other casualties on Black Monday: Mike Martz, St. Louis Rams; Mike Sherman, Green Bay Packers; and Dom Capers, Houston Texans.

Education Funding a Big ‘Question Mark'

The Clarion-Ledger editorializes about the upcoming legislative "Katrina session" today:

This Could Have Been The Last Time ...

The NFL playoffs are set. Many of your favorite Mississippi players won't be participating ...

Sunday, January 1

The Headline o' the Year ... So Far

Delta Legislators Point Fingers at Barbour

The Delta-Democrat Times is reporting:

Tate's the Treasurer, Man

State Treasurer Tate Reeves also has a new Web site up and running in time for the 2006 legislative session. It's kind of brown and flat and ugly, and seems to be mostly about Mr. Reeves the Treasurer. (Isn't a little early for him to start running again?) A JFP reader pointed out in e-mail, also, that it is very unusual for a state treasurer's office Web site to have the name of the elected official as the domain. I don't know if that's true, but the thing does seem a bit self-focused.

Abortion Foes Want More Restrictions

The Associated Press is reporting:

‘Ronnie' on Why Covering ‘Frank' Is So Rad

OK, this is downright weird coming from a top media official at the Gannett Corp. In his pithy little end-of-the-year wrap-up, Clarion-Ledger Executive Editor Ronnie Agnew practically coos over why covering his buddy "Frank" (first names???) is so great for the newspaper business. Well, now maybe we know why they didn't report on so much during the campaign and so easily endorsed Mr. Melton. Perhaps they hoped the "loose cannon" would help get their circulation going back up again. "Ronnie" writes today about "Frank":