Stories for March 2006


Friday, March 31

IS Rap Poetry? by Junior

Watching and listening to a rap video the other day I began to wonder since

Just in time for April and National Poetry Month, one of our contributing writers, Junior, has posed an interesting question that I'm sure will spark some interesting discussion. It should be noted that his paper at Hinds Community College would not publish for "fear" of how others might view it.

Thursday, March 30

I've been waiting on this.

This just came off the wire.

I've been waiting to see this headline for three months.

Marshand Crisler: The Man Watching the Mayor (2006)

The office of Jackson Council President Marshand Crisler bears the signs of a harsh duality. Crisler carries himself with a clean, pressed look—in startling contrast to the reporter sitting across from him. He's always clean and ironed, he's hardly ever been spotted with a stain on his shirt, and ring around the collar is something that happens to other people. There's a very good chance Crisler was up this morning before 5 a.m., and it's an even better bet that his clothes were ironed before he went to bed in the first place.

C. A. Webb's Interview with Tyler Perry

Here is the link to my interview with Tyler Perry that appears in the Clarion Ledger's weekend section today.

Wednesday, March 29

Abortion 'Ban' DOA

After weeks of sending abortion-rights supporters into a furious tizzy, a bill to ban the procedure in Mississippi flittered away into impotence as it passed its March 27 deadline for legislation in the regular session Monday. The bill, which might have banned all abortions except in cases of rape or incest, or to protect the life of the mother, fell to death with a frustrated shake of the head and a few dark, smoldering looks toward Rep. Steve Holland, the Plantersville Democrat who angered Democrats and Republicans alike by introducing the bill.

Home, Bittersweet Home

Mary Johnson was a resident of Rose Street back when Rose Street looked very different from how it looks now. In many ways, the story of Johnson is the story of Jackson's demographic history. Johnson had a house at the corner of Rose and Central Street. Though staunchly segregated, the black version of Jackson sat mere streets away from her. Sharing her local neighborhood in the 1960s, she says, were Ku Klux Klan members, people with possible connections to countless terrorist activities against black people, all while living mere streets away from their black neighbors.

Melton: Please Stop Lawsuit

This Tuesday, Mayor Frank Melton filed an emergency petition to appeal a ruling by Lauderdale County Circuit Court Judge Robert Bailey in striking his defense in a defamation lawsuit filed by former Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics pilots Robert Earl Pierce and Jimmy Saxton.

Fulfilling The Mission

When I got involved with the Crossroads Film Society, I didn't know much about non-profits or arts societies—my face was too often buried in a computer screen to get involved in stuff like that. But two years ago, some great folks decided it was time to fill a gap and start bringing regular independent films screenings to the Jackson Metro.

Crossroads Film Festival 2006: Everybody Has A Story

If there's anything a true Mississippian loves, it's a good story. This weekend, we get to enjoy many stories on film during the 7th Annual Crossroads Film Festival, taking place mostly at the Parkway Place Theater in Flowood. And a healthy number of the 60-odd films are told by and about Mississippians.

Tech Trouble In Texas

"Sometimes, you don't know what you've got until you look at it with new eyes," says Oxford native Stephen Merris. Merris, who once helped NASA map the face of planets, now uses the same technology to read ancient scrolls of papyrus. "When I say eyes, I mean multi-spectral infrared eyes," he adds.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College basketball, NIT championship (6 p.m., ESPN): Two teams will play to decide who's No. 66 in the nation.

Jacktown: Mixin' It Up

Hello boys and girls, it's been more than a few minutes since we last crossed paths. But I promise you will be hearing from me more regularly again.

Roy Adkins: The Rewards of Texture

Rebekah Potter asks local photographer Roy Adkins about the state of the art, technology and that seventh circle of hell, wedding photos.

Under The Southern Sun

A hands-on cooking class titled "Under the Tuscan Sun"—me? Sure, why not? I'd be fine. I wouldn't make a fool out of myself. Would I? Not if I could get my hands to loosen their tight grip on the steering wheel, thereby allowing me to get out of the Buick.

BeerTalk: The Belgians Are Coming!

Belgian beers are renowned around the world for their excellent quality, complexity and taste, as well as their rich history and the sheer variety of brands and styles available. While there are two major brewery conglomerates in Belgium, InBev and Alken Maes, there are also 115 independent breweries located throughout the country.

The Working Man's Scientology

It's time for "Understanding Ghetto Scientology" with main elder and founder "Cool Daddy" Jim:

That Motley Crue Girl

About three months ago, my best friend called me with one of her fabulous ideas. These ideas come at least twice a year and previously involved both a foray into a foreign country and, just once, the purchase of a new cat. This cat would later attempt to kill me in a feline leukemia vaccination-induced fever as I skipped a college class rushing it to the vet. Let's just say that all of these fabulous ideas come with a price.

Titties On Trial

Attorneys for a topless bar argued in federal court this week that the city of Jackson illegally closed Babes in early March. Local attorney Chris Ganner and Tampa, Fla., attorney Luke Lirot argued that the city also squelched the owner's rights to appeal.

Another Nod To Big Tobacco

Former tobacco lobbyist Gov. Haley Barbour announced March 27 that he was vetoing a bill to provide $20 million a year to The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, an anti-smoking program financed through a $120 million annual payment from a 1990s tobacco company settlement.

Education STILL Underfunded

Lawmakers did the political equivalent of a high-five March 26 when they reached a deal on the state's $4.5 billion budget.

Katy Smith

Katy Smith blinks in the afternoon sunlight of a bright spring day and says, "I love downtown Jackson. I think it's really beautiful, and people don't appreciate it."


Article by Joy Jones at

'I grew up in a time when two-parent families were still the norm, in both black and white America. Then, as an adult, I saw divorce become more commonplace, then almost a rite of passage. Today it would appear that many -- particularly in the black community -- have dispensed with marriage altogether.

Tuesday, March 28

House Concurrent Resolution 114 To Resurrect Bills

[verbatim] House Concurrent Resolution 114


Clarion-Ledger Whining About ‘Tort Reform' ... Again

Gov. Haley Barbour's media partner in "tort reform" is now whining about Mississippi's position on the U.S. Chamber's state legal climate ranking, now asking the question they should have asked long ago before taking this political propaganda as gospel: "Does this ranking really mean anything?" With all due respects, the Ledge was played as a bunch of dumbasses on the "tort reform" issue -- see the JFP's cover story, "Hoodwinked!" that explains how -- and maybe they'll start figuring it out sometime soon. Meantime, a snippet of today's edit-whine:

Monday, March 27

Abortion Ban Attempt Dies in Conference

More details as they develop ...

Tonight, the 8 p.m. bill deadline came and went at the Mississippi Legislature without an agreement out of conference. Thus, the abortion ban bill died.

Barbour Vetoes ‘Partnership' Bill



Chili Peppers 2 CD Set to Drop May 9

Jupiter and the other Mars.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers will unleash a two-CD set, STADIUM ARCADIUM (Warner Bros.), on May 9, 2006. The collection will contain 28 songs divided between two discs, one dubbed

Saturday, March 25

ARTICLE: Breast cancer deaths higher among black woman: study

Why, why, why...It ain't fair, I tell ya!

...minority women with early-stage breast cancer had double the risk of white women of failing to receive radiation, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy following breast cancer surgery.

Online Support Group for Boomerangers

For all the adults who live with their parents, we could use a virtual hug now and then.

Kennedy Administration Begins At Ole Miss

Ole Miss introduced Andy Kennedy as its 20th men's basketball coach on Wednesday. The good news is a native Mississippian has a job at a school in one of the nation's most storied basketball conference. The bad news: almost none of that history involves Ole Miss. Good luck, Andy.

Friday, March 24

The Best In Sports in The Next 6 Days

Friday, March 24

College baseball, Mississippi State at LSU* (6:30 p.m. Baton Rouge, La., 620 AM): The last-place Tigers host the first-place Bulldogs for an SEC West showdown.

Let's Give The Children More Drugs

As a social worker working with mentally ill children, I am no stranger to the medicating of them. But, this NYT piece regarding the side effects of stimulant medication really had me upset.

Thursday, March 23

Breaking: Ole Miss Hires Kennedy

Ole Miss hired Andy Kennedy as its basketball coach on Thursday night, athletic director Pete Boone told the Associated Press.

New Orleans Saints to Play in Jackson in August

[verbatim] For the second time in as many years, the New Orleans Saints are bringing NFL football to Mississippi, playing the Indianapolis Colts at Jackson's Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. With the state being a substantial part of the club's fan base, the Saints return to Jackson after holding the club's annual Black & Gold Scrimmage at the stadium in 2005. Part of what made this game possible was the involvement of BankPlus as an official sponsor of the event.

Helen Thomas

In a column that follows up on Ms. Thomas' much-discussed questioning of Bush at his press conference earlier this week. During the press conference, it became clear that Bush couldn't easily answer the question of why he ordered a war in Iraq, saying instead that no President "wants" to go to war. From Thomas' column:

Wednesday, March 22

JFP Lounge Thursday Night!

Come on out and join us at the monthly JFP Lounge Thursday night, March 23, from 7:30 to 11 p.m. in the Oyster Bar at Hal & Mal's. Just a gathering of creatives and progressive thinkers. Make new friends and network. Come alone, or bring friends. Free munchies. Non-smoking (can smoke at the main bar). We're combining parties, so to speak, with a wrap party for the film Todd has been working on in Canton. So it'll be a double-whammy tonight of creative juices (if anybody has any left).

The King Gets Another Reprieve

In the nick of time, the Mississippi Senate approved an amendment this week that would provide a $2 million interest-free loan to the Jackson Redevelopment Authority to fund environmental cleanup and handle other preliminary costs associated with the redevelopment of the King Edward Hotel. The move came after the current developers of the King Edward Hotel learned that the city's application for its elusive $2 million BEDI environmental grant—needed to move the project forward—had once again hit a snag.

WLBT Sold; Melton Era Ends

Last month, Raycom Media completed its acquisition of 15 stations formerly owned by Liberty Corp., including Jackson's own WLBT. In August 2005, Raycom, one of the national's largest broadcasters based in Montgomery, Ala., announced it was acquiring Liberty through a cash purchase of $987 million.

Shooting Blanks

"I've made a lot of enemies from that abortion bill, but I'm tired of Republicans beating the hell out of Democrats over that issue."

It's Just That Serious

Fontaine, self-proclaimed "narrator for the streets," lays down all of his vocals to tracks produced by E (also his manager) and Benz of the Queen Boyz, in a studio inside of Bennett's Record Shop, on a small side street in West Jackson. His new album features other rap vocalists such as Jody Breeze of Boyz in Da Hood and D-Boy. "We slummin' it over here," says Fontaine, forcing me to take notice of his humble surroundings.

More of a Murky Gray

Now, I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I pretty much called this one. I'm sorry, but any game that calls the "Guns the main characters" probably isn't very deep. I was right. "Black" is an interesting experience, coupling the frantic pace of games like "Counter-Strike" with the length and flow of "Medal of Honor." The setting is modern, and the story is, of course, based around Global Terrorism.

Let Me Eat Cake

My Mammaw, my Momma's momma, is not a cook. She never enjoyed it, so when she was in her mid-70s, she figured she had better things to do with her time. Her kitchen was officially closed. After that, she didn't fool with anything that took more than three minutes in the microwave or a call to Lil' Ray's for take-out. Now that she's in her late 80s and living in a retirement community, she's had to retire her microwave, too.

Petite Sirah Is No Wimp

There has been a long debate about the origin of Petite Sirah, a somewhat obscure grape varietal. It was once said to be related to the great Rhone varietal, Syrah. Later the belief was that it was, in fact, Durif, a nearly extinct varietal, also from the Rhone. Or it could have been Peloursin, a really obscure French varietal. By the 1990s, however, DNA fingerprinting confirmed that it was indeed a very distant relative of Syrah. I guess they should have stuck with their first conclusion, huh?

A Pimp's Revenge

I couldn't help but smile as I watched Memphis rap group Three 6 Mafia accept their Oscar this month for Best Original Song. Not because they didn't deserve it. Oh no, Three 6 has been holding it down for nearly a decade. They've cruised just under the crossover radar since the mid-'90s with several regional and a few national hits. Of course, being that they're so close to Jackson, they're extremely popular here.

The Sensual Environmentalist

Clubb Chicken Wing's ghetto science, folklore and music lecture series presents renowned ghetto environmentalist and former member of the Rent Party Disco Band, Dr. Tidwell "Too Funky Feets" Jackson:

Pro-Business Smoke Out

Much has been written about the regional bidding war for the new Kia auto plant—a war in which Georgia defeated Mississippi, and Alabama was never really a competitor. But as state officials tout the various economic incentives they can offer manufacturers, here's something they need to think about: Would more companies want to come to their states if their work force were non-smoking?

AG: Hands Off the Judges

Mayor Frank Melton called a March 10 press conference to announce the arrest of two municipal court clerks charged with conspiracy to destroy criminal records. At the same conference, Melton declared that corruption in the Jackson municipal court system was so bad that he intended to put court services under the direct supervision of the Jackson Police Department.

Link Lost in 'Illegal' Limbo

The Mississippi Link is suing Jackson Mayor Frank Melton and City Council members who voted against a recent veto override. Last month, the council failed to override a veto from Frank Melton rejecting the council's decision to award printing for the city's legal ads to The Mississippi Link newspaper. Also named in the lawsuit with Melton are Ward 1 Councilman Ben Allen, Ward 5 Councilman Charles Tillman and Ward 4 Councilman Frank Bluntson.

Civil Rights to Actually Be Taught

Gov. Haley Barbour likely shocked his staunchest supporters when he announced a bill authorizing public schools to add civil rights and human rights to the public-school curriculum in all grades. "I think the broader the curricula and history are, the better it is for the students," Barbour said at the March 20 announcement.

Diocese Settles with 'Alleged Victims'

After many years of pain, suffering and litigation, 19 victims of priest sexual abuse are seeing some degree of closure in their fight with the Catholic Diocese of Jackson.

'Where Barbour's Loyalties Really Lie'

On March 15, Gov. Haley Barbour vetoed a second tax reform bill that would have raised the cigarette tax to $1 per pack and cut the state's 7 percent sales tax to 3.5 percent.

Reversing This Injustice

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, visited the campus of Jackson State University Tuesday to speak on an upcoming April 1 march across the Crescent City Connection, a bridge spanning the Mississippi River from New Orleans to the bedroom community of Gretna. After New Orleans took a pounding from Hurricane Katrina, police from the majority-white community of Gretna shut down the bridge to largely black refugees fleeing the destruction in New Orleans.

Oleta Fitzgerald

Oleta Fitzgerald, 58, is a tiny woman with a big office. Perfectly coiffed in a tweed business suit, she arises from her desk when I arrive and gracefully extends her hand to meet mine. Fitzgerald's soft and feminine exterior suggests her warmhearted and nurturing interior. But when it comes to executing her duties as the head of the Southern Regional Office of the Children's Defense Fund, Fitzgerald is a determined, almost unstoppable woman.

Tuesday, March 21

Stanford's Troubled Tree

The Stanford Tree mascot is in trouble again, Deadspin reports. Last month the Tree was ejected from a men's basketball game for showing up drunk and later fired. On Sunday, the Tree was ejected from an NCAA women's basketball tournament game for not getting off the floor at halftime. Doctor S hopes this will not interfere with the Stanford band's mission of "bringing funk to the funkless."

Death to Dildos

I am posting this link to a Dan Abrams "Sidebar" about Mississippi making sex toys illegal.

And The Howell Goes To ...

Jackson State's Trey Johnson, Delta State's Jasper Johnson and Mississippi State's Charles Rhodes are the three finalists for the Bailey Howell Trophy, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum announced. The award, which goes to the state's best college basketball player, will be presented on Monday in a ceremony that will be broadcast on MPB at 7 p.m.

Lady Rebs In WNIT

The Ole Miss women's basketball team will play at Pittsburgh on Wednesday (6 p.m.) in the second round of the WNIT. The Lady Rebels won at Kansas, 78-76, last Sunday in the opening round. Ole Miss is 17-13. Pittsburgh is 20-10.

Who said pot dealers aren't creative?

The Smoking Gun is carrying an article concerning the busting of a "pot ring" in California

This is just for entertainment.

Are we getting the boot camp thing yet?

I found this article concerning the death of a Florida boy at one of the state's boot camps. Surveillance cameras show the boy was beaten to death by staff at the camp. The original autopsy found the boy died of a rare blood disorder. The family petitioned renowned pathologist Dr. Baden to review the case. He found the boy's death to be caused by the beating. This is the follow up article.

Monday, March 20

Dogs Climb To No. 1

Mississippi State, the only undefeated team left in NCAA Division I baseball, is ranked No. 1 in this week's Baseball America poll. The Bulldogs are 15-0, the best start in school history. They broke the record set by the 1985 Bulldogs, who included future major leaguers Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro, Jeff Brantley and Jeff Brantley. Those Dogs finished third in the College World Series.

Ole Miss' Final Four

The Clarion-Ledger reports that Ole Miss has named its finalists for men's basketball coach. Three of them were on Doctor S' list: John Pelphrey of South Alabama, Mick Cronin of Murray State and Andy Kennedy of Cincinnati. The fourth is Tracy Dildy (right), an assistant to former coach Rod Barnes. Doctor S didn't name him because he's just being interviewed to placate the Rebel players. He's not going to get the job.

Plight Worsens for Black Men

The New York Times is reporting:

Sunday, March 19

We Won't See If We Don't Look

The New York Times today present a "grim portrait" of the prisoner abuse committed by the U.S. in a secret unit in Iraq:

The Real Reason for the Iraq Invasion? Guess.

According to a New York Times book review, Kevin Phillips' new book, "American Theocracy," warns not only about the dangerous policies of the current administration—but of the American trends that put them there:

Mary Johnson: Where's My House?

The Clarion-Ledger had a good story yesterday about Mary Johnson, to whom Frank Melton promised a new house if she would tear down her old one. The problem, of course, was in follow-through. She lost her house—and now the city's too busy with other things to get her new house built.

Saturday, March 18

Friday, March 17

Open Chick Thread: Let ‘Er Rip!

This one's for whatever chick-related item is on your mind. And, yes, guys (or, at the least the ones who respect chicks) can post here, too. (Tom?)

Why the D.L. is D.U.M.B.

Her views are her own. The column for the April issue is a thought-provoking one, to say the least.

Wanted to pass on this link to one of my old friends that writes an opinion column for my new zine, CONVERSATIONS. She is Kendall Walker, a 35 year old woman who lives in Jackson, MS who has an opinion on everything.

Help Wanted In Oxford

Since Ole Miss is looking for a new basketball coach, consider the NCAA Tournament as a series of auditions in which UM AD Pete Boone gets to watch potential candidates. Doctor S handicaps the field and throws in his SWAGs:

Shop, Girl: Oooo, Raspberry Purses!

OK, grrls, here's your open thread for shopping this week. One can't talk about politics and philosophy all the time, you know.

Thursday, March 16

‘My Mama's In the Jackson Free Press'

I just found the coolest posting ever on the blog of our new writer, Tiffany Fitch. The whole thing is delightful—and love her props to Rebekah's cover—but nothing beats this line:

JFP Debuts New Chick Blog

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Announcing our brand-new Chick Blog, a fun and serious collection of writings and blogs by and about women. You won't just find stories about lip gloss here, but you'll find some of those, too. Enjoy, my chickadees, and the men who are obsessed with us. You're welcome in the Chick Chamber, too, as long as you're respectful of the grrls in charge.

Charly Takes You Inside Mal's St. Paddy's Parade

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The theme of the 2006 Mal's St. Paddy's Parade is "Cat in a (Chef's) Hat," in honor of the parade's grand marshall, Jackson native and Iron Chef Cat Cora. Since Hurricane Katrina, Cora and the non-profit foundation Chefs for Humanity she founded have fed many of those affected by the storm, as well as those working on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in its aftermath. She's tickled pink—oops, make that green—to head up the parade.

Melton Polling High in First JFP/16-WAPT Poll

A March 12 telephone poll of 763 registered Jackson voters conducted by ZATA-3 Consulting in Washington, D.C., found that Jackson Mayor Frank Melton gets an excellent grade from 42 percent of those polled, while almost two-thirds want him to spend more time being mayor and less acting as a policeman.

Jackson Catholic Sexual Abuse Cases Settled

Today, attorneys announced that 19 plaintiffs suing the Catholic Diocese for past sexual abuse have settled with the church. The PDF of the announcement is posted here.

FBI Presents DA with Report on Emmett Till

The Associated Press is reporting:

The long awaited report into the 1955 killing of Emmett Till concludes no federal charges will be filed in the case, but District Attorney Joyce L. Chiles will make the decision on state charges, the FBI says. The FBI turned the report over to Chiles' office on Thursday. Chiles, who was trying a case in Leflore County, was not immediately available for comment.

[Chick] Confessions of A Wannabe Wannabe

This column was published in March 2005. We bring it back forward in honor of St. Paddy's Day 2006—also known as The Chick Invasion. Enjoy.

Stiff Punishment

I found this article on the AAN site. It is an "Open Letter to Mississippians" written as an opinion column in the Memphis Flyer.

Wednesday, March 15

St. Paddy's & SPQ Photos in JFP Galleries!

All, be sure to check out the JFP Galleries for several packages of photos of last year's St. Paddy's madness in Jackson. We'll be out and about again this year collecting photos for a new round of galleries. So check back next week after the craziness subsides.

Barbour Vetoes Tobacco-Grocery Tax Bill

Following is Gov. Haley Barbour's statement today vetoing the popular effort to raise the tax on cigarettes and lower the tax on on groceries. Note that he is repeating his past statement about the effect the tax-switch would have on local governments—even though his allegations on that front are disputed by the State Tax Commission. As quoted in Adam Lynch's report this week on this issue:

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College basketball, NCAA Tournament (11 a.m., Ch. 12): The best part of the men's college basketball season begins. It doesn't matter who's playing, you know you will watch.

The Temple of Wilco

It is surprisingly easy to talk to Wilco's Pat Sansone. Perhaps Sansone, who is from Meridian, Miss., has never lost the gentle ease and hospitality of Southern conversation, despite the tours that have taken him all over the United States and beyond. Sansone is a multi-instrumentalist who had set his sights on a career in studio work when Wilco approached him in 2004 to join the band. Sansone had worked closely with Wilco bassist John Stirratt for years in their band The Autumn Defense, and so he agreed to join, playing guitar, bass, keyboards, and various other instruments.

Chicks We Love

It takes only 10 minutes of talking to Dr. Nirupa Mohandas to hear about her love life and dating experiences. As a native of India, Nirupa's open-minded parents still expected their daughter to have a traditional, arranged marriage after she completed medical school. Yet after meeting 30 men and becoming engaged, Nirupa decided she was not ready to commit to marriage. Instead, she moved to New York City and completed her residency at New York University.


I caught sight of her face through a strip of glass. Happiness covered her from eyes to smile, and I swallowed around the lump in my throat. We were all waiting for her. Although this day was about two people, it was put together so intricately to shine the spotlight on Leila. The music started, and we all held our breath. Slowly, the double doors were opened, the bride revealed.

Barbour Aborts Building Takeover

While under scrutiny from the Jackson Free Press and other government officials, Gov. Haley Barbour is backing off his expensive idea of moving his and other offices into the Sillers Building in downtown Jackson.

‘It's You, Sweetie'

An excerpt from "The Sweet Potato Queens' Wedding Planner/Divorce Guide," Random House, 2005

The Choices Chicks Make

I spoke to a roomful of young chicks recently. We were all packed into the charming old depot in Forest, Miss., some 40 miles from where I grew up in Neshoba County. They've renovated the building into a downtown art gallery and performance space in a small town where such cultural offerings are unusual.

[Greggs] Steel Magnolia

I am a woman. I write about it all the time. The dating, the shoes, the makeup, the irrational bouts of temper and the complicated decisions. I often get teased about it. People I meet usually laugh at most of my statements, letting me know they are fully aware of what I am saying, but generally don't agree with it. It's the politeness of the South. I try not to care when this happens. I really try not to care when I know the dismissive act is preceded by the realization that I have boobs and wear perfume.

[Chick] Quack! Quack!

It all started in October, when I became the Hunchback of Noter Damn. After my back went wonky while doing laundry, MRI results showed Degenerative Disk Disease, and there's not a damn thing to be done for it. While I would like a prescription for no laundry, clothes get dirty. Also, Monkey insists that I feed him and clothe him and provide medical care, which requires working a full-time job. To tell the truth, I really don't have time for chronic back pain.

[Stiggers] Toot That Honky Horn

Broadcasting live from Lil' Ray-Ray's rigged satellite dish television network studio and home entertainment center, it's the Brotha Hustle TV Moment.

Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

Graphic courtesy of The Mellman Group

The Mississippi Legislature made a second attempt at tax reform this year, with the House's approval of Senate Bill 3084 on a 79 to 41 vote. The bill is an attempt at compromise after the last tax bill was vetoed by Gov. Haley Barbour.

Creaming the Bad Guys

On March 10, Mayor Frank Melton called a press conference to thank the U.S. Attorney and the FBI for helping Jackson "clean up corruption" that Melton called "systemic" in the municipal court system.

Meet and Greet scheduled for Wednesday, 03/22/06 to discuss METROCENTER PROJECT and zine CONVERSATIO

South Hills Library (next to Key Elementary)

Free refreshments * Networking * Discussion about the store SHADOW PLAY that will open in the Metrocenter in April as well as the new arts and entertainment zine CONVERSATIONS

Cecilia Reese Bullock

Every time I'm in the presence of Cecilia Reese Bullock, a construction-company owner and real-estate mogul, some guy tries to pick her up. At least one. Usually more.

Pixes "Doolittle" Book Out

"Doolittle is, on one hand, among the most violent pop albums ever recorded, if not in body count then in the starkness of its calamities. It features rape, mutilation of the eyes, vampirism, suffocation, smothering by tons of garbage, and the chaos of blind gunfire; for the punch line,everybody gets crushed to death.When not killing or maiming, the album turns to depraved sexual loathing and visions of apocalypse. And yet, even with its shrieks and its squalls, it is one of the most tuneful and lovable albums in the canon of alternative rock, and Charles Thompson,a k a Black Francis,a k a Frank Black, has spent the better part o decades insisting to journalists that there is no real meaning to all the horror and dread, that the lyrics are just words that fit together nicely. 'There is no point,' he says. 'The point is to experience it, to enjoy it, to be entertained by it.' "

Tuesday, March 14


Okay, I didn't say this, but there are alot of people that are. says the following:

Monday, March 13

Pill of Religious Satire on South Park too hard for Issac Hayes to Swallow

Hayes, who has played the ladies' man/school cook in the animated Comedy Central satire since 1997, said in a statement Monday that he feels a line has been crossed.

My Contribution to St. Patrick's Day

C'mon, you know you wanna see it...

In my Patriotic Twist line of T-shirts, I came up with the idea of making an Irish version of the American flag. Go

Dems Target Abortion Rights

In a move calculated to force a showdown on abortion rights in the state, the Mississippi Legislature declared war on Roe v. Wade last week after Rep. Steve Holland, chairman of the House Public Health and Human Services Committee, added language to Senate Bill 2922 that would effectively ban legal abortion in the state.

Sunday, March 12

Generals Telling Truth About ‘Dash to Baghdad'

As Iraq teeters on a civil war the U.S. cannot control, the New York Times has an in-depth story about what happened with generals who protested the U.S.' initial rush into Baghdad:

Fireman Goes Federal

Former Mobile Command Capt. Sidney Johnson filed an EEOC complaint against the city last week, citing suspicious demotions and transfers in the Jackson Fire Department.

Saturday, March 11

Ledger Scrutinizes Melton's Bahamas Trip

It's great to see The Clarion-Ledger follow up our tip from last Friday about Melton and his two bodyguards flying to the Bahamas. This is the way local media should work together to get at the truth. See their story today:

‘I Will Cream You Personally'

Looks like we left the press conference too soon yesterday! The Clarion-Ledger is reporting today that Mayor Frank Melton threatened one of their reporters:

Friday, March 10

Melton: Police Taking Over Court Services; No Crime Stats to Media

UPDATE March 16, 2006: This is now a full transcript of the mayor's press conference, addressing many issues—from crime stats to his pursuit of the Wood Street Players.

Envelopes "Demon"

How does one describe Envelopes? To start, there's the geography: a band that has lived – separately and together – in Northern York (that's in England), Paris, Malmo and Stockholm, and recorded their debut album, Demon, during their school holidays over a couple years in a Swedish coastal town that is not found on any map, thus rendering Envelopes as a band that has been both everywhere and nowhere. And then, of course, there's the music itself, which has a similar quality – containing aspects of your favorite bands but sounding absolutely 100% like nothing you have ever heard before.

Thursday, March 9

Bush Helps the Gautier Family Rebuild

And did I mention condescending?

This is so incredibly offensive.

Trent Dabbs Sophomore CD Hits March 28

TRENT DABBS SOPHOMORE ALBUM 'WHAT'S GOLDEN ABOVE GROUND' SET FOR MARCH 28th U.S. RELEASE. "Nashville's singer/songwriter makes golden on sophomore album…Trent Dabbs strikes a balance of honesty and polish that guarantees staying power." - Paste Magazine. 'What's Golden Above Ground,' the sophomore album by Nashville singer/songwriter Trent Dabbs will be released March 28th on Ready, Set, Records! The record was produced by Dabbs' good friends and up and comers to the Nashville scene, Justin Loucks and Ian Fitchuk (Griffin House, De Novo Dahl) at the Benton House.

Why Diane Dorce' is a Woman Who Rules

Out of all the women I have interviewed this year, I have to say that my time with Diane Dorce' was the highlight thus far.

The Other N-Word

Did you know there was more than one?

What word am I referring to? Well, it's one that is quite common in the black community, and many black women in particular are offended by it. The word: nappy.

Crime Perception Affects Citizens' Physical Fitness

A U.S. study done on Jackson, MS and two other towns in North Carolina showed a relationship between "their perception of crime in their neighborhood, and their view of crime as a barrier to physical activity."

Wednesday, March 8

ARTICLE: Sun Belt, suburbs get more diverse

The influx of immigrants and people moving to the Sun Belt and Western mountain states from other parts of the USA is rearranging the ethnic tapestry of urban centers in an unprecedented way.

Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer

Could there possibly be a connection? The possibility of this is under further study.

Increase of Drug Use Among Teenage Girls

A Lifescript article sheds light on this issue.

QUIZ: How Stressed Are You?

I think it is a good idea to do a mental self-examination once in a while. Let's start here, shall we?

Bill Minor Rips Sid Salter, The Chipper, et al

Columnist Bill Minor rips the Ledge's Sid Salter a well-deserved new one over his playing into the partisan Mississippi-vs.-Louisiana rhetoric. This has been one of the toughest political games to watch since Katrina: one victim state pitted against another one. And it started immediately. (We also like the way Mr. Minor rips "the Chipper" for his FEMA flip-flop. Preach, brother.)

Testimony of Gov. Haley Barbour about Katrina - March 7

Testimony of Governor Haley Barbour to U. S. Senate Committee on Appropriations

Thank you for this opportunity to join you today to discuss the worst natural disaster in our nation's history, Hurricane Katrina. First, we in Mississippi greatly need and genuinely appreciate the generous Katrina appropriations package you passed and the President signed in December. Thank you.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College basketball, Jackson State vs. Alabama State (10 a.m., Birmingham, Ala., 1400 AM): The Tigers will have to get up early to beat the Hornets in the first round of the SWAC Tournament. … SEC Tournament, Mississippi State vs. South Carolina (noon, Nashville, Tenn., Ch. 12/105.9 FM) and Ole Miss vs. Kentucky (2:15 p.m., Nashville, Tenn., Ch. 12/97.3 FM): Can the Bulldogs continue their hot streak? Can the Rebels keep Rod Barnes around for more than one more game? … High school basketball, MHSAA Boys State Tournament, Class 4A Championship, Lanier vs. Indianola Gentry (8 p.m., Ch. 29): The Bulldogs and the Rams meet for the fifth time this season. This time, the winner gets the state title.

Music: Hooked On Fuzz

Hudson Bell's latest album "When the Sun Is the Moon" (Monitor Records) is a sprawling, fuzzed-out, majestic mess of American pop. With most of the songs barreling well past the five-minute mark, Hudson wrestles hook after hook out of his SG, then throws them against a wall of distortion. Recalling the likes of Neil Young, J. Mascis and Doug Martsch, somehow Hudson manages to build a stunning and endearing melody out of the mounting cacophony.

Music: Turning Tricks

Eric Stracener knew he wanted to make his second CD different from his first. For Stracener's long-time fans, and the new ones, the new ground broken in "The Trickbag" is sure to delight.

BoozeTalk: Amber Vanilla

In the 1840s, "Bourbon" was just a riverside county in Kentucky. Something set the place apart, though: the spirit it sent out of port. So distinct was this amber-hued hooch that downriver drinkers simply called it by the county's name, which was stamped on the side of each oak barrel.

March Out To Eat

Metro area restaurants wait to wait upon you, at indoor and outdoor tables as spring approaches. Since you might like to try something new as you take your mind off the workplace and the yard or garden, here's what I've managed to find out.

ArtTalk: All In A Day's Work

Renting out sailboats and kayaks. Caddying golf. Delivering burritos on a bicycle. Clam farming. Wildfire fighting. They may not be career paths in and of themselves, but they are all stops on the road that Harry Day took to becoming an artist.

‘Iron Wrapped In Cotton'

Whatever you call it—T'ai Chi Ch'uan or Taijiquan (Supreme Ultimate Fist), T'ai Chi, Tai Chi, or Taiji—it's still an internal Chinese martial art that comes in many flavors, each with its own special style.

State Democrats Undemocratic?

Last month, the Mississippi Democratic Party filed suit with the federal district court in Greenville charging that the state's open primaries violate voting rights. Mississippi Democratic Communications Director Sam Hall said the party filed suit to "protect the integrity of voting in Democratic primaries." At stake is whether Republicans and independents should be allowed to vote in Democratic primaries. Such votes tend to favor more conservative candidates.

The City vs. The Titty

The Jackson City Council voted 6-0 Tuesday not to renew the business license of nude-bar owner Gilbert Paige, who owns Centerfolds and Girls of Paradise.

Gordon Kills Home Nursing Bill

Sen. Jack Gordon, D-Okolona, squashed a House bill that would have provided senior citizens and the disabled more access to home-care nursing.

Call Him Irresponsible

Mayor Frank Melton's stated desire to take a leave of absence from his job as mayor to become a vigilante lawman and "bring in" a former gang member and alleged murderer was disturbing to us here at the Jackson Free Press. Not only does it sound like the plot line for a relatively rote episode of "Walker, Texas Ranger," (which is, no doubt, a popular show in part because its characters can be counted on to present such "can-do" attitudes on a regular basis), but it also suggests a larger pattern with this particular mayor and his young administration.

[Stiggers] Home, Sweet Double-Wide Home

Pookie: "Tonight on the Pookie Economic Report, Brother John-John, property management specialist, building contractor and token Caucasian member of the Ghetto Science Team, shares his vision of housing poor folk affected by Hurricane Katrina."

[Greggs] Quitters Never Win

I am a smoker. For 10 years I've been a smoker. I smoke, and I love it. At last count, I've tried to quit six times. Each time I've exponentially increased the number of days I stayed off the cancer sticks, but always I seem to find my way home. After a few weeks sans cigarettes I would find myself coveting a friend's smoke and would stop at a store to buy a pack. Wracked with shame, I would thank the Sweet Baby Jesus that living in Mississippi at least meant the price of them wasn't killing me.

Lott, Cochran Introduce Bill for Offshore Gulf Drilling

[verbatim statement] A bill to direct revenues to Mississippi and other Gulf states, generated by the expansion of deepwater oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico, was introduced in the U.S. Senate Wednesday by Senators Trent Lott and Thad Cochran of Mississippi. The bill, authored by Senator Lott, is a response to legislation now before the Congress which proposes to open about three million acres in the Gulf's Lease Sale 181 Area, 123 miles southeast of Biloxi but which fails to provide any coastal impact assistance to states like Mississippi from the revenues that will be generated from the offshore oil and gas drilling.

debut issue of the CONVERSATIONS zine to be released March 25th

I'm pleased to announce that the debut issue of CONVERSATIONS will be released out of Jackson, MS later this month. Subscriptions are available as well as advertising opportunities.

Internationally Known Poet/Recording Artist Tim'm West Prepares for Visit to Jackson

The man. The poetry. The music. The mission.

Internationally known spoken word artist and musician Tim'm West will be talking about his journey as a member of the creative community in his exclusive interview with MS artist/author C. A. Webb.

What's In A Gang?

The brutality of gang life makes for popular entertainment on movie screens across America. Riddling a wall or restaurant with bullet holes from automatic gunfire kicks the pulse into overdrive.

Kim Wade

Kim Wade, a boisterous conservative, reclines in the cramped studio of WJNT. The witty and outspoken Wade is probably best known in the Jackson area for his weekday talk show, "WJNT in the Afternoon," broadcast from 5-6 p.m., Monday-Friday, on WJNT1180 AM.

Tuesday, March 7

Legendary Filmmaker Gordan Parks Dies at 93

"Nothing came easy," Parks wrote in his autobiography. "I was just born with a need to explore every tool shop of my mind."

Pack Up and Get Out!

Video still courtesy of WAPT-TV 16

What a week. As our last issue went to press, Mayor Frank Melton was in the middle of a tantrum about alleged "Wood Street Gang" associate Vidal Sullivan going free after a witness recanted his story to the district attorney. By the end of the week, Melton was basking in the Bahamas, and Sullivan was back on the streets as a free man, according to law enforcement insiders and friends of Sullivan who say they talked to him within hours of his brief visit with Melton on Wednesday night.

Mississippians to Protest Abortion Bill TODAY

[verbatim] Alright! Tuesday, March 7, 2006 @ 2:00-3:30 all activists who are outraged with the latest attempts to ban ALL abortions in MS, join us at the MS state capitol for a protest! Bring signs, some will be provided, but the supply is scarce. We, the pro-choice community (and those of you who are on the down low), have been too quiet and unseen for too long. Please join us!!!! The women and girls of MS are counting on us to defend their constitutional right to choose!! KEEP ABORTION SAFE!! KEEP ABORTION LEGAL!!!

Rebels Without A Pause

It's almost spring in Oxford, the time of year when a scholarship athlete's fancy turns to ... drinking. Two Ole Miss athletes were arrested for charges including public drunkeness, The Clarion-Ledger reported Tuesday. Offensive lineman Corey Actis was charged with disordely conduct and public drunkeness. Pitcher Nick Hetland was arrested for public drunkeness. What's interesting is that both men were arrested by University police. Imagine how drunk an Ole Miss athlete has to be to get an University police officer to arrest him.

Monday, March 6

Mississippi ACLU Outraged at ‘Irresponsible' Abortion Bill


Jackson, MS-- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of MS is outraged by the recent vote of the Mississippi House of Representatives to ban abortions in the state. Not only does a ban on abortion threaten women's health and lives, it is unconstitutional and will be challenged in court. Under current Supreme Court precedent, a ban on abortion will be struck down.

Does Parental Notification Reduce Abortion?

Not really, a New York Times analysis has found:

Clarion-Ledger's Jackson Circulation: 22,000

This is so deliciously educational that it deserves its own blog entry. In an article today about the city's legal-ad controversy, The Clarion-Ledger admits that out of its total circulation of "roughly 100,000," that only "about 22,000" of that is in Jackson. That means that less than a quarter of the paper's circulation is in Jackson—perhaps explaining a lot about why the paper dumps on Jackson so hard. Of course, its dumping on Jackson so hard is probably part of the reason so few Jacksonians read The Clarion-Ledger. It also explains why the Ledge is chopping itself up into pitiful little pieces and throwing piles of unwanted publications in our yards -- in a corporate scheme to try to force more Jacksonians onto its circulation rolls.

Sunday, March 5

Barnes Speaks; Why Won't Ole Miss?

Ole Miss lost to LSU 55-52 on Saturday at Baton Rouge. Afterward, Rebels basketballl coach Rod Barnes spoke to the press for the first time since Ole Miss announced a day earlier that he wouldn't return for a ninth season: "I've coached today like I've always coached, coaching to win," Barnes told The Associated Press. "That is what I am going to do. I will reflect on what has happened after this is all over. I don't have time for that right now." Nope, first Barnes and the Rebels have a game to lose in the SEC Tournament in Nashville.

Saturday, March 4

Not All Flops Come From Hollywood

With the Oscars coming up on Sunday night (insert your favorite "Brokeback Mountain" joke here), it's time to recognize some of the greatest actors in sports: those guys in the NBA who fall down every time an opponent breathes on them. ESPN's Patrick Hruby gives us the lowdown on the fine art of flopping.

Choctaws Advance

Mississippi College defeated Maryville (Mo.) 88-58 on Friday night in the D-3 tournament at Clinton. But the Choctaws aren't finished with Maryville yet. On Saturday night, MC plays Maryville (Tenn.) at 7 p.m. in the Golden Dome.

Friday, March 3

Breaking: Ole Miss' Rod Barnes Fired

When Doctor S says you're going to be fired, call the moving company. On Friday, Ole Miss announced that basketball coach Rod Barnes would not be back next season. (Did he quit or was he fired? AD Pete Boone refuses to say, which means Barnes was probably fired.) It's too bad, because Barnes is one of the good guys in college sports. But the Rebels have gotten worse as the season has gone along.

The Colonel's Future

The Daily Mississippian, the Ole Miss student newspaper, has spent the past week debating the future of Colonel Reb. The DM has a poll that asks, "Do you think Colonel Reb is gone for good?" Doctor S was surprised to see that 78 percent of the respondents said no. Is this misguided wishful thinking or a prank by Mississippi State students? Colonel Reb and the Confederate battle flag have their place. That place is in history, but not on an athletic field in the 21st century.

Is Vidal Sullivan Back on the Streets?

Where in @#$% Is Vidal Sullivan?

We've gotten a report that Mr. Melton and Chief Anderson have released Mr. Sullivan, and that he is free again. We have not confirmed this report with a second source, yet.

Police Chief Accused of Denying Gay Man CPR

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (March 3) - A McDowell County police chief was accused in a federal lawsuit Thursday of stopping a would-be rescuer from performing CPR on a gay heart attack victim because he assumed the ailing man had HIV and posed a health risk.

Hiphop Exhibit Prepares for the Smithsonian

NEW YORK (Feb. 28) - For nearly three decades, hip-hop relics such as vinyl records, turntables, microphones and boom boxes have collected dust in boxes and attics.On Tuesday, owners of such items - including pioneering hip-hop artists such as Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and Fab 5 Freddy - will blow that dust off and carry them to a Manhattan hotel to turn them over to National Museum of American History officials.

Thursday, March 2

So Long, Rod

Rod Barnes' days at Ole Miss are numbered. Rick Cleveland wrote Barnes' obituary on Thursday in The Clarion-Ledger. The Rebels started 13-3, but they fell to 14-14 with Wednesday night's loss to Vanderbilt. The Rebels are on their way to their fourth consecutive losing season and that won't cut it, even at a school with no basketball tradition like Ole Miss.

Breaking: Vidal Sullivan Turns Self In

WJTV is reporting that Vidal Sullivan has turned himself in to police and is being held at "an undisclosed location."

Wednesday, March 1

Tape: Bush, Chertoff Warned *Before* Katrina

So much for passing the buck:

In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage. Bush didn't ask a single question during the final briefing before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."

The River Runs Through It

Most everyone is familiar with the names of the big wine regions in California: Napa, Sonoma, Central Coast, etc., but what about the smaller AVAs (Approved Viticultural Areas)? Within Sonoma lies a little AVA called Russian River Valley, which is known for producing some of the finest Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in California.

High On The Hog

I've eaten bar-b-que all over the world, and with the exception of some I had in Utah, none of it tasted bad. Bar-b-que starts at good no matter what and goes up to best, whether you spell it barbecue like Merriam and Webster does or bar-b-que like I do. And none of it, not in North Carolina, Kansas City or Texas, beats "Southern style" bar-b-que.

Making Noise For New Orleans

W hen the levees broke in New Orleans, flooding the cradle of American music, Fats Domino ignored calls for evacuation. Days later, he was declared missing, along with thousands of other New Orleanians. The "Ain't That a Shame" singer was eventually rescued by boat from the house he refused to leave, but other NOLA musicians suffered fates far worse.

It Starts With A Melody

Anyone who doubts the vitality and sophistication of local music should listen to the Romance of Plants, the band Jonathan McLeran formed.

Now Is The Time

Time spent in San Francisco with the likes of Maria Muldaur and Los Lobos sounds like just the right inspiration for a musical career. Add in the perspiration of working for four years in a Colorado radio station, and you have the roots of the musical career of singer-songwriter Olga.

Let The Truth Be Told

Donnie Money and MS Mafia are making a comeback on the local hip-hop scene with their new album entitled, "Let the Truth be Told." At the age of 33, Donnie Money—born Donald Ray Quinn—says that he and the rest of the guys that make up MS Mafia were some of the first to create a platform for other Mississippi artists wanting to take a chance at showcasing their lyrical talent to the state as well as to the world.

The Power And The Glory

Concert choir is to Carnegie Hall as rock band is to Madison Square Garden. Carnegie Hall sounds just right to the 30-plus members of Alcorn State University's internationally known concert choir. Directed by Dr. David Blackburn, the choir begins their next tour on March 15. They play Birmingham, Atlanta, Carnegie Hall and other locations in the Big Apple before they return home March 24.

Artists To Watch

<b>Skipp Coon</b>

You gotta love the new mayor of Jackson. No, not that one. Skipp Coon, born Joecephus Martin, calls himself "the mayor of Jackson," and even raps about the current mayor of Jackson from time to time. Skipp Coon—a name he created to talk back to the stereotypes of the Jim Crow era—is an honors graduate of Jackson State with a degree in education, now working on his master's. Calling himself "more of a rapper than a hustler," Skipp says he is not solidly in the Dirty South rap-music camp with a lot of other area rappers. The Forest Hill High graduate likes Project Pat, 8 ball and MJG—and even Maroon 5. He said in a recent blog interview that he admires David Banner "because he reps Mississippi" and Kanye West "cause he made it big without killing anyone or selling dope." Last summer, Skipp toured Europe with his friend DJ Phingaprint, and played the biggest hip-hop festival on the continent—in the Czech Republic, where he was a sensation. Skipp is working on his new album with about a dozen tracks ready to go; you can hear "I'm Just Skipp" on the Podcast #1 right now. So come listen to the mayor.

A Spendin' They Will Go

On Feb. 28, four Jackson City Council members voted 4-3 to allow the city of Jackson to pay for the relocation of about 21 families left in the near squalor of the apartments formerly known as Maplewood Apartments.

The Problem With Music?

There's this band. They're pretty ordinary, but they're also pretty good, so they've attracted some attention. They're signed to an "independent" label owned by a distribution company, and they owe another two albums to the label.

With A Little Help From My Friends

My childhood was filled with strains of country—Hank Williams Sr. and Jr., Merle Haggard, Tammy and George, Porter and Dolly, Mel Tillis. Actually, I did know the music of one black man, Charley Pride. My mother played his music over and over again, and I pop in the CD of his greatest hits when I'm especially missing her.

DIYs For The Up And Coming

<b>DIY: How (and Why) To Copyright Your Music</b>

Although laws have changed, and now you are not absolutely required to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office, it is still a very good idea to do so. Your work can become a source of income and recognition for you, but not if someone else takes credit for it. When it comes to music, there are two kinds of copyright: PA and SR. PA stands for Performing Arts and refers to the lyrics, music and arrangement. SR stands for Sound Recording and refers to the actual recording made. If you release a CD, for example, you'll want to register both kinds of copyright. If you are just writing songs (or other musical compositions) and have not recorded them, just use the PA form. And if you are working with a producer or record label, by all means try to keep ownership of the PA rights to your songs. Often a label will try to negotiate these away from you. This means they will receive the royalties if your song is used by another artist or in a commercial.

[Kamikaze] Local Music Stands Up

Well, we've come to another music issue. I'm sure this one will prove to be bigger than the last. Each one in the future will be bigger than the one before. I must say I'm very proud of the progress I've seen in our blossoming music scene. From rock to rap, we've made huge strides. Local artists are packing clubs and selling records. I remember a time not too long ago when local radio totally ignored its homegrown talent.

[Stiggers] You'll Never Take Aunt Tee-Tee Alive

"Dear Diary: I'm not happy when I go to my mailbox. I receive lots of bad news in the form of energy bills. I'm retired and live on a fixed income. So what do you get when you have a $674 electric bill and a $559 heating bill? You get ticked off! And if you cannot make the payments, your utilities are cut off.

[Johnson] Shop And Save The World

In an ever-expanding society, it is easy to feel powerless toward the social ills looming across the globe. Despite wide-spread voter apathy and legions of lock-step bureaucrats pandering to lobbyists, voting is still heralded as the key to influencing societal affairs. While voting out some of these seedy individuals is a high priority, not much is made of the force exerted with the exchange of every dollar. In a culture defined by the free-market ideal, consumers exercise more power than citizens. After all, corporations can't lobby without the money we provide them.

Invitation To Ride

Here in Jackson last fall, Rebecca and I hosted friends of ours, a couple who were Katrina evacuees from New Orleans. Britt, a realtor, stayed with us for a week or so before returning to restart his real estate brokerage. Nan wound up temporarily moving her healthcare-related business and its dozen employees to Jackson. She lived out of our guest room for six weeks.

Fight or Flight

The 1st Annual Conference of the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement takes place March 2-5 at the JSU E Center on Raymond Road. Organized around the theme "The Pursuit of Quality Education in the Ongoing Movement for Human Rights," the conference offers workshops with veterans of the movement with the goal of inspiring a return to work, focused this time on ensuring that every American receives the quality education that is his or her unalienable right. Owen Brooks, 78, who along with Hollis Watkins serves as co-convener of the conference, spoke with me recently about his experiences as a veteran of the civil rights movement in Mississippi.

$500 Million Just Ain't Enough

The New York Times reported on Friday about the wave of lawsuits in Mississippi and Louisiana over contracts for debris removal. In her piece, "After Hurricanes Comes Tempest Over Cleanup," Leslie Eaton describes a lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center accusing large contractors of failing to pay promised wages to hundreds of immigrant workers. Local government officials have complained that they have little control over the process, and there are at least five government investigations into abuses in the $1.3 billion cleanup program. Even the Department of Homeland Security now acknowledges that the program needs to be restructured.

Art, Not an Actress, Is the Answer

Ever seen the 1995 movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer "Dangerous Minds?" If you have, do you remember how the students walked into a virtual war zone for school and initially worked to hide their intellect because being smart was not cool? These, among many other unfortunate misconceptions, are ideas that some folks have of public schools and the children who attend them. Jackson Public School District's Casey Elementary School is challenging these erroneous ways of thinking and will replace them with hope, if we'll let them.

911 Victory for Jackson?

For weeks, Hinds County and the city of Jackson have been at odds with one another over county supervisors' recent decision to adopt the recommendations of the county E-911 Commission.

Stripping Licenses Stripped?

The City Council said at a Feb. 28 appeal hearing that it will decide in five working days if the revocation of licenses for three Jackson businesses will hold.

Melton: ‘I May Step Aside'

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton said this week that he is considering taking a leave of absence from his job as mayor of the city to "bring in" a man who was acquitted of murder last week and released.

Santore Bracey

Imagine having the chance to hand out glossy posters, topped by the words: "Flawless Entertainment Presents" … and emblazoned with photos of yourself. That's just what Santore Bracey, 24, gets to do to promote his budding recording career.

Donna Ladd and Derrick Johnson on WMPR

Is B!tch the new N!gga?

Since we are celebrating "Women Rule" this month--- where women have made great strides---, I think it's important to answer this question: Is a woman ever being called a B!TCH a good thing?

Oscar Preview Party - $15 for JFP Readers!!!