Stories for May 2006


Wednesday, May 31

Fighting For The American Dream

May 31, 2006 Editor's Note: The following column about Gannett's effort control independent media is also running in the June issue of Metro Christian Living (formerly Jackson Christian Family). My mission in creating a Christian magazine has everything to do with our citizenship in heaven and promoting a hopeful population explosion therein.

One Man, Many Sparks

"Each one, teach one," says Helena Brown, director of the Young People's Project in Jackson.

Murrah Makes Newsweek

For years, Jackson Public Schools have played the role of punching bag in public opinion, with tales of falling test scores, poor attendance and hallway violence playing a factor in many parents' flight to the suburbs. Many of the impromptu assessments remain unfounded, however, with some of the district's poorest neighborhoods sporting Level 5 Schools—such as George Elementary—and with numerous JPS teachers and students landing merit awards and national recognition.

Hooray For King Ed

Jackson Developer David Watkins and the King Edward Hotel received some good news from the May 30 City Council meeting. The council voted 6-1 in favor of a resolution ratifying the redevelopment agreement between the Jackson Redevelopment Authority and developers HRI, New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister and local attorney David Watkins. Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes voted against the agreement.

‘Get Out Of The Way'

"If we don't take care of this soon, the situation will just linger and draw attention," said Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon. "We need to take care of this quickly. It's been going on too long as it is."

Espy and Thompson Lock Antlers

The Mississippi Democratic Club hosted a debate between second congressional district contenders Bennie Thompson and Chuck Espy on May 28. Candidate Dorothy Benford did not attend the debate.

Frank Melton Is Not A Child

"I didn't shred the documents. I tore them up with my hands." Well, then. I guess we now know what the meaning of the word "shred" is.

Renee Shakespeare

"Everything I learn, I'll share it with you," Renee Shakespeare says, and that is how her radio show, "The Drinking Gourd," began.

[Lott] Click It

<b>*Web exclusive*</b>

As the chairman of the Senate's Surface Transportation Subcommittee, I've been proud to fundamentally change the way Congress approaches highway safety. As a result, Mississippi is receiving $9 million to fix a few of our most dangerous roads and intersections.

[Stiggers] High Livin' In The Ghetto

Brutha Hustle's Mobile Bill Payment Center presents Open-Air Kultural Theater—a very pleasant way to pay your bills while becoming more enlightened, informed and entertained. And he has plenty of Juicy-Juice on ice for the kids.

NEW Online Petition: Support Local Media Now!

We have just posted an online petition where you can sign on—and choose to have an e-mail sent directly to the management of the Clarion-Ledger, telling them that you value independent media and do not appreciate how they have tried to control our distribution. Thanks for your support!

The Closed City

In November of last year, Jackson Free Press reporter Adam Lynch arrived at City Hall to cover a public meeting. Representatives of the sheriff's department and two county supervisors were meeting with Mayor Frank Melton in a room the mayor calls "the Oval Office," although it's really nothing but a conference room.

A Walk In The Sunshine

In Mississippi, two laws govern public records and meetings—the Public Records Act and the Public Meetings Act. These acts make clear the obligation of all levels of government, whether state, county or city, to release public documents and make public meetings accessible to citizens.

Sunshine FAQ

1. Some Melton supporters say that he should investigate who "leaked" a recent ComStat report to the JFP. Can you "leak" public information?

Good Ol' Days?

Under the Johnson administration, public records were usually available to the public. The Johnson administration was far from perfect in this regard, but there was a general commitment to providing the public information. For instance, when Police Chief Robert Moore was appointed to office, the Johnson administration passed out a veritable phone book of information about his credentials and education. The salaries of public officials were freely disclosed. Moore held weekly press briefings to discuss crime developments and, in the beginning, produced quarterly, and then monthly, crime summaries.

Buy Fresh, Buy Local

Photos by Lynette Hanson

Mississippians take pride in their fruits and vegetables. The soil, the climate and hard-working farmers produce a bountiful mix of favorites that pack roadside stands and markets across the state.

The Best In Sports

Pro baseball, Mississippi at Chattanooga (7 p.m. Chattanooga, Tenn., 930 AM): The M-Braves conclude their series with the Lookouts.

[Music] Po' Folks

Sometimes you need to get back to basics. That's what took former Squirrel Nut Zippers frontman Jimbo Mathus back to his Mississippi home.

No Payne, No Gain

Playwright and sometime-actor Topher Payne returns to Mississippi from Atlanta next weekend to see the Clinton Brick Street Players perform his play "Beached Wails" at Clinton's Old Junior High School Auditorium June 9-11 and 15-17.

Clarion Ledger Files Suit Against Jackson

The Clarion Ledger reports:

Blaque Butterfly presents… "Enter the Realm of the Butterfly"

Here first art show/reception will be Saturday, July 29, 2006.

You've seen her featured in the Jackson Free Press and at events around town. Now prepare to enter the world of the woman known to us as Blaque Butterfly.

Tuesday, May 30

M-Braves Win For A Change

The last-place Mississippi Braves rallied to defeat the host Chattanooga Lookouts 4-3. It was a milestone win of sorts for the Braves who improved to 20-31.

Out-Of-Town Papers: College Baseball

Mississippi State finished ninth in the SEC and missed the conference tournament. LSU finished eighth and made it. When the NCAA bracket was announced, State made it and LSU didn't. Naturally, there's been talk.

False Accusations Against JFP on SuperTalk

Todd Stauffer was on SuperTalk Mississippi (we're ashamed to say we don't know the frequency -- 97.3 FM, maybe?) at 8:05am on Tuesday to talk to Paul Gallo about the Clarion-Ledger's scheme to control free publications in the Metro. But instead of sticking to the non-partisan topic of free enterprise, Gallo kept trying to bait Todd into an argument about "liberals." Then Mike Lott, the legislator from Petal, called into falsely accuse the JFP of running a page 1 story about him, calling him a racist. When Todd said we didn't do that, Gallo said that, yes, indeed it was the Jackson Free Press. Then Donna Ladd called in to set the record straight, reportedly causing Gallo & Co. to launch into personal attacks against the JFP and its staff the next morning. The following thread contains more information on this little far-right temper tantrum.

Monday, May 29


The Big Three all made the NCAA Regionals. Ole Miss knew it was going to host a regional before it won the SEC Tournament on Sunday. Mississippi State, which finished ninth in the SEC during the regular season and didn't make the tourney, is headed for Clemson, S.C. Interestingly, LSU, which finished eighth and reached the tourney, wasn't invited. Southern Miss is going to Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The Soul of War

NPR's "Speaking of Faith" program this week features Iraq veteran and chaplain Major John Morris, "to explore how war challenges the human spirit and the core tenets of a life of faith. The War on Terror, he says, presents its own spiritual challenges. He is working to support the reintegration of National Guard and Reserve personnel, who are being mobilized for active duty at record levels in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Sunday, May 28

The Granddaddy Scandal of Them All?

Get ready. This one's coming, and it's coming hard:

Saturday, May 27

A Rebel Rerun

Ole Miss has reached the SEC Tournament championshp game for the second straight year. The Rebels earned a spot in Sunday's final against either Georgia or Vanderbilt (3 p.m., Hoover, Ala., FSN South/97.3 FM) by defeating Alabama 9-2 on Saturday.

Friday, May 26

Party for Casey Parks TONIGHT

You've probably all heard by now about the amazing honor that The New York

(if not, click here)

Thursday, May 25

The Undisclosed

"Teen Time" digs deep in the soul of Jackson's Teens


These and more will be discussed every Friday during the month of June at South Hills Library as part of a summer project they call "Teen Time." Facilitated by artist/author C. A. Webb, the teens between the ages of 13-17 years old will meet from 3-4p.m. to discuss issues that are pressing in their lives now and seek answers to how they can improve themselves and their community through the arts.

Yes, I Said It

Fred Phelps should die.

Rebels, Eagles Win

SEC Tournament: Ole Miss 9, Arkansas 4

Wednesday, May 24

Filmmaker William Waheed Featured in MS Link

It was nice to see William Waheed featured in the new issue of the Mississippi Link. I met Waheed a few years ago, and he hs such a passion for what he believes and devotes himself to. Admittedly, we have opposing views on some issues, but the article mentions something that will probably be a defining part of his legacy: the Rivers of Change documentary. From what he has shared with me, it will force us to look at the real beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus so many years ago.

[New Releases] MVD Music Video "Under Review"

— Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

MVD Music Video—"Under Review" Music-video distributors MVD and Sexy Intellectual have collected the quintessential must-have archives from the key founders of modern music. Each 90-minute, independent, critical analysis of The Velvet Underground, The Smiths, Kate Bush, Captain Beefheart and others offers an exquisite crash course in its subject. The documentaries all contain live performances, interviews and never-before-seen footage and the "hardest interactive quiz in the world ever" on each subject. Velvet's fans should also check out "Velvet Redux: Live MCMXCIII." Order them locally at Be-Bop.

[New Releases] I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness "Fear Is On Our Side"

— Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness—"Fear Is On Our Side" (Secretly Canadian 2006) Growing up on the cerebral goth-psych-shoegaze side of 4AD, "Pornography"-era Cure, "Hey Day"-era Church, and Echo & the Bunnymen ("Ocean Rain"), ILYBICD take me back to that dreampop headspace. This first LP is not as pop as their EP produced by Spoon's lead singer Britt Daniel, but this disc floats intensely alongside Interpol, Calla, Clan of Xymox and Explosions in the Sky. It has the percussion/guitar licks you might find on an early Cure album, and dirge to instrumentals, while the vocals and keyboards add an emotionally expansive and ethereal texture to this great Austin band. They also have a wicked cool logo.

[New Releases] Mint "Magnetism"

— Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

Mint—"Magnetism" (Funzalo 2006) Belgian indie-pop rockers Mint recorded their second album in Richmond, Va., with John Morand (Sparklehorse, Cracker). Their first U.S. release, "Magnetism," has fresh, emotional pop that can evoke Fountains of Wayne, Belle & Sebastian or Grandaddy, while their sweeping, large-scale rock recalls Oasis and Big Star. Mix their Darla/Creation Records aesthetic with a touch of shoegaze.

[New Releases] Arctic Monkeys "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not"

— Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

Arctic Monkeys—"Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" (Domino 2006) England's Arctic Monkeys set the UK record for the fastest-selling debut album of all time. It's high-energy, hard-drinking, thick English accent, punk-inspired rock for fans of Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, the Buzzcocks, The Jam and The Clash. Believe the hype.

[New Releases] The Concretes "In Colour"

— Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

The Concretes—"In Colour" (Astralwerks 2006) The melodic Swedish indie-pop octet is that '60s Ronettes style, candy-coated Phil Spector Motown to watch clouds and shimmy to—great if you dig early Belle & Sebastian, Mazzy Star, Opal or the Cardigans. Overall, it's a bit more filler and not as complete as earlier works, but the sugar's still sweet (and just as catchy).

[New Releases] Placebo "Meds"

— Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

Placebo—"Meds" (Astralwerks 2006) Over the past 10 years, Placebo has become one of the top-selling British arena rockers for the UK's Marilyn Manson/Pumpkins set. Their powerful electro-alt-rock, genre-defying sounds have kept them out of the superstar mainstream U.S., with the exception of some choice airplay of their singles on alternative Internet radio. It's no surprise that Placebo's strength lies with their singles on "Meds." But after you've picked up their singles compilation "Once More With Feeling" and their debut, you'll find the hits on "Meds" well worth the price of admission.

[Wine] Winely Wanderings

You know, sometimes subjects for this wine article don't come easily. I mean, after a while, what's left to write about? But when it comes down to it, does there always have to be one single theme or subject assigned whenever someone writes about wine? Couldn't I just dedicate a few paragraphs to letting my readers know what wines I've tried lately that really stood out to me? Of course I could ... and I shall.

Passing The Bar

There's a day in your life when staring at a rope swing hanging from a tree limb, you are content just to watch others fling themselves with glee off the bank and into the cool creek below.

Marshmallow Mayhem

I grew up cooking, and I am happy to say that over the course of my 30 some odd years of life, I have had few food-related injuries. I have rarely cut myself in the kitchen, even when shucking oysters as a kid. I've never had food poisoning. I've even picked and eaten wild mushrooms without getting sick.

Lobbying Plan A Joke?

For more than two weeks, city lobbyist Marcus Ward effectively ducked council members seeking to question him on his plan to attain $29 million from Washington.

New Sports Arena on the Way

Mississippi Headhunters team owner Greg Disotell got the go-ahead from the Jackson City Council Tuesday to begin pooling $40 million for the construction of an enclosed sports arena to host minor-league football, as well as other entertainment events.

New York Times Honors JFP Editor

Jackson Free Press contributing editor Casey Parks got a delightful shock last week when New York Times columnist Nick Kristof called to offer her a coveted slot as his "traveling companion" on a 10-day trip to Africa—to New Guinea, Cameroon and the Central Africa Republic—this fall. Parks came out on top of 3,800 applications by other college and graduate-school students around the country.

Melton to Clarion-Ledger: ‘Go to Hell'

We see that Mr. Melton is back in town with a flourish. The Clarion-Ledger is reporting today:

Fantasy Island

Developers are cheering and environmentalists are jeering as the Lefleur Lakes ("Two Lakes") project gains momentum, helped along by political support from men like Mayor Frank Melton and Gov. Haley Barbour, who seem poised to rubberstamp the development despite concerns from residents and environmentalists.

Hands Off My Kodachrome

Photos by Daphne Nabors

I took Daphne Nabors on a field trip to the Fondren Beverage Emporium to see what kind of soda this local photographer would pick out and how that would that might give me insight to her artistic psyche. She picked out a Sprecher Brewery Ginger Ale. Her choice is much like her work—refined, unique, curious and experimental. Nabors' day job is at Jasper Ewing & Sons photo lab, and she impressed upon me how flexible they are to support her desire to pursue photography on the side.

Decrypting Da Vinci

When New England novelist Dan Brown sat down in 2003 to write "The Da Vinci Code," he probably never guessed that in less than three years his controversial thriller would sell more than 60 million copies and be translated into 44 languages. When Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard ("A Beautiful Mind") began crafting the film version for Sony Pictures in June 2005, he was probably hoping it would make up for his previous box-office flop "Cinderella Man."

The Best In Sports Over 7 Days

College baseball, SEC Tournament, Ole Miss vs. TBD (1 p.m. or 8 p.m., Hoover, Ala., 97.3 FM): The Rebels play somebody in the second round.

[Music] The Upcoming Weeks

"Cups in Fondren … 3:30 … look for the long-haired twins." These were my instructions from Chaz Lindsay, guitarist and singer for The Weeks. Formed on March 3, The Weeks is a Jackson band, even if three of the members live in Florence. They fit right in at Cups on that afternoon. The "long-haired twins," Cyle and Cain Barnes, were easy to spot; both resembled a young Robert Plant.

Out-Of-Town Papers: College Baseball

Southern Miss and Ole Miss begin play in their conference tournaments on Wednesday night.

(Biloxi) Sun Herald: First things first for USM

[Biztalk] Fragging Your Friends

The first time I went into Game Theory, it was surprisingly quiet. One person sat in the back, playing something I couldn't see. All around me were widescreen TVs and comfortable couches. Directly ahead of me, the owner was sitting behind a desk, headphones on, focused on something in his hands.

Damn It, Mamet

Photos by Ricky Wright

David Mamet's "American Buffalo" is a story of miscommunication, betrayal and alliances. The play takes place at a junk shop in Chicago, where Donnie (Patterson) sells a nickel for a decent price to a coin collector. He feels he could have gotten much more for it and commences to hatch a harebrained scheme of stealing the nickel back from the collector.

Hands Off Our Printing Presses

May 24, 2006 How to Help Save Local Media I met Marilyn, perfectly dressed and wearing her lipstick, on a late Friday afternoon. And Mike, who ponders with his head in his hands. There were the Blake brothers, looking worried and stressed with their parents on a well-earned vacation to Italy. And Jimmy and Gretchen sitting quietly, soaking up every word. Beverly was friendly but worried about her livelihood. There was Angie, a hard-nosed businesswoman with a great tan. I had never met these people until a group of Jackson's independent publishers all crowded into a borrowed conference room in Fondren Corner to talk about how the Gannett Corp., and its local affiliate, The Clarion-Ledger, was trying to hurt our businesses.

[Greggs] Here's to You, Ali Robinson

This past weekend I went on a date with a man eight years my junior. (I'll pause so that all the older women may give me mental high-fives and formulate extremely personal questions that will not be answered in this column. And no, I'm not going to state my age.)

[Stiggers] Partly Cloudy, Definitely Funky

Grandma Pookie: "Welcome to the George Washington Carver Holistic Health Commission of Tuskegee, Ala., national report–brought to you by the Ghetto Science Team's Church Fan Energy Initiative.

No. 36, May 24-31

<b><em>A Bunch of Punks?</b></em>

As a young Jackson voter, I am mad at the black leadership that lets Frank Melton walk all over the city. Our leaders act like a bunch of scared punks, so I guess I have to come to the white newspaper to get a breath of fresh air. You provide an outlet for the truth. There must be much more investigation into and debate about the young man who was punched in the stomach and face while in handcuffs, as caught on tape by a WLBT helicopter.

Draining The Reserves

Photos by Darren Schwindaman

The Jackson City Council has opted to dip into the city's reserve fund rather than collect additional revenue with a fee increase. The council voted 6-0 on the revised city budget, which takes $1.4 million from the expendable reserve fund in addition to more than $2 million swiped from the same fund last year with the approval of the 2006 city budget.

Margaret Cupples

When Natchez native Margaret Cupples graduated from law school at Washington and Lee in 1993, she was offered a year-long position in Jackson with Judge Rhesa Barksdale. After that, she worked at the firm of Lake Tindall, which later merged with Bradley, Arant, Rose and White, where the 37-year-old litigation defense attorney still works. Now, 13 years since her initial arrival in Jackson, Cupples has yet to consider leaving.

NFL Not Bush League

The NFL (No Fun League) has rejected Saints' first-round pick Reggie Bush's request to wear No. 5. Under NFL rules, running backs are required to wear numbers between 20 and 49. Bush, who was the second overall pick in April's draft, had asked the NFL to make an exception so that he could wear No. 5, his number at Southern Cal. Bush's second choice appears to be No. 25, which is currently worn by Fred McAfee, a Philadelphia, Miss., native and former Mississippi College. Fred says he's willing to give up the number. Doctor S urges Fred to make Reggie pay dearly. This is a business, Fred.

Tuesday, May 23

THE WALKMEN's new album Drops

Today Record Collection proudly releases THE WALKMEN's new album A Hundred Miles Off

with a full national US tour kicking off. "A Hundred Miles the Walkmen's best yet"

Out-Of-Town Papers: C-USA Tournament Preview

Southern Miss, led by Jackson's own Toddric Johnson, faces Memphis in the first round of the C-USA Tournament on Wednesday:

SEC Honors

One Ole Miss player and two from Mississippi State were named to the All-SEC Baseball Team. Rebel SS Zack Cozart and Bulldog 2B Jeffrey Rea and SS Thomas Berkery were first-teamers. Ole Miss 3B Chris Coghlan made the second team and Rebel relief pitcher Cody Satterwhite was on the all-freshman team.

Large Breasted Chickens

Okay, here's another article in a series to be named "Another Thing Wrong With This Country"

Podcast of JFP Publisher on Kim Wade Show

Monday, May 22

Ferriss Follies (By Doctor S)

Folks, Doctor S can't read a calendar. The Ferriss Trophy Ceremony was on Monday night, not Tuesday. Doctor S was right about one thing: Mississippi State's Thomas Berkery won the award. The show will be rebroadcast on Ch. 29 on Saturday at 11 p.m.

New York Times Honors Casey Parks

The Jackson Free Press is proud to announce that our very dear assistant editor emeritus Casey Parks—who departed in December for graduate school at the University of Missouri—is the one student journalist in the country who has been selected to accompany Times columnist Nicholas Kristof to Africa this fall, to blog about her experiences and write pieces for the Times, and be covered by MTV along the way. This is a breathtaking honor for Casey, a Millsaps graduate who remains our contributing editor from afar and did so much to make the JFP what it is today. We salute Casey, whose application was chosen from 3,800. We are proud of you, Little Miss Ironfist. And thank you for representing Mississippi, and the South, in such a remarkable, dramatic way.

Out-of-Town Papers: SWAC Tournament Final

Prairie View edged Alcorn State 3-2 Sunday in the championship game of the SWAC Tournament at Pearl. Nobody around here cared much since JSU got thrown out for cheating. But down in Lorman, Braves fans are mourning.

What's With The Barbaro Signs?

Doctor S is an animal lover. He really loves chickens and cows, when prepared properly. Therefore he's glad he missed the Preakness on Saturday. Watching the lowlights of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro limp around after breaking his right rear leg made him queasy. The horse got through surgery on Sunday. Doctors give him a 50-50 chance of survival (but take the stallion's interest in the mares at the hospital as a good sign). But Doctor S isn't too queasy to offer these unique Barbaro reports from Deadspin, The Mighty MJD and The Wade Blogs.

Clarion-Ledger Publisher Responds to Controversy

Clarion-Ledger Publisher John Newhouse has released the following statement to the media about their controversial plan to control free distribution outlets in and around Jackson: The Distribution Network of Central Mississippi (TDN) is a display and delivery network that has been established for the benefit of merchants and free publications in Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties. The growing number of free publications, not just here, but around the country, presents both opportunity and concern for all of us.

Darker My Love Debut

Darker My Love is:

Once upon a time, there lived a group of revelers who made their homes along the sparkling landscape of the California coast. Amidst the glitter of the ocean and the sun-lit haze of the morning, they began to make music together, drenching their guitars in blissed-out fuzz, their drums pulsing and crashing like waves, and stretching echoing harmonies sky-high. And with each distorted squeal of feedback, with each note drifting upward and heavenward, gleaming in the shards of California sunlight, as if it were meant for divine intervention: Darker My Love was born.

No Capri Sun For You, Coach offers another example of how adults are ruining kids' sports: A girls softball coach in New York was arrested after slapping an 11-year-old player from another team on the arm following a game. Diane Grande, 43, is also accused of taunting the girl with profanity while she was batting against the coach's daughter.

Sunday, May 21

The Sultan Of Syringe

Barry Bonds hit his 714th home run on Saturday, tying Babe Ruth for second place on MLB's career homer list. Bonds' steroid-fueled feat was mostly greeted with indifference or hostility. As usual, the New York Post's coverage was unique.

Out-Of-Town Papers: Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State

If you don't want to be Ledge-centric, here's how other newspapers in the state covered the final game of the Ole Miss-Mississippi State baseball series:

The Week Ahead

Here's a list of upcoming events that didn't make it into the Slate.

Pro basketball, NBA playoffs: Who's going to the Western Conference finals? Seventh games with Dallas at San Antonio (7 p.m., TNT) and L.A. Clippers at Phoenix (9:30 p.m., TNT) will decide.

Pizza Delivery Man Bursts Into Flames

Don't you know this guy is sitting in the hospital room reading the news and thinking, "I've finally made it."

The Muffin Man

But mostly, I hate the fact the poor kid is going to be charged with...

I sure hate this happened. No, seriously.

Saturday, May 20

Another Horn-Tooter

My interview with C.A. Webb for CONVERSATIONS magazine! Makes you feel kinda special, doesn't it, Ali? :-)

Silencing the Media, Hiding Crimes & Misdemeanors

A good story in USA Today about the "scorched-earth" assault on the media's ability to hold elected officials accountable:

Friday, May 19

Head For The Mountains (Of Empties)

Last year, 70,000 beer cans were found inside of a townhouse in Ogden, Utah. They were all Coors Light empties. The tenant had lived there for eight years, so that works out to 24 beers a day. That's sickening: Who the heck would drink that much Coors Light? Presumably he is not a BYU fan.

Smoot To Go On Trial

Minnesota Vikings DB Fred Smoot is scheduled to go on trial on May 30 for his role in the Vikings' 2005 sex boat cruise. The former MSU/Hinds CC/Provine star definitely brought a whole new meaning to the term "double coverage."

Thursday, May 18

Wii Are Not Amused

E3 has come and gone, and in the end, the main factor was, of course, the next-gen.

Well, technically next-next-gen, but I digress. The three consoles that made the show were the Nintendo Wii, the Playsation 3 and the tubby bucket of hardware known as the XBOX360. In terms of games, everyone had something to show, but in my opinion, the winner was Nintendo. For more in depth coverage on how the major companies did, check out

Saints In Fondren?

The New Orleans Saints are in negotiations with Millsaps College to bring the team's preseason camp to the college this summer. Camp starts in late July and the Saints would be at Millsaps for about four weeks. The Saints will also play an exibition game in Jackson on Aug. 26. Saints GM Mickey Loomis said Tuesday night that no final decision has been made, but Saints officials have visited the school and negotiations are under way. The Saints held camp at their team facility in Metairie the last three years. New coach Sean Payton has said he prefers the old-school approach of an NFL team leaving town to practice so that players can focus on football and drinking beer in an unfamiliar setting. Doctor S thinks the more distance the Saints put between themselves and Bourbon Street during the preseason, the better.

Wednesday, May 17

Chief Alleges, Then Backpedals

After the Jackson Free Press broke news about an April 17 ComStat report last Tuesday, May 9, Police Chief Shirlene Anderson and Mayor Frank Melton went into damage-control mode.

[Band In A Box] Buie, Hamman, & Porter

Date Formed:

Debbie Buie (Pisces), vocals; John Hamman (Gemini), guitar, bass, whatever & vocals; Rick Porter (Scorpio), guitar & vocals.

[New Releases] The Flaming Lips "At War With The Mystics"

The Flaming Lips — "At War with the Mystics" (Warner Bros., 2006) It has been four years since "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" made the Flaming Lips famous, but "Mystics" proves they have spent that time well. This album is longer, more stylistically diverse and more energetic.

A Gentleman, And A Partisan

<b>The JFP Interview with Rep. Bennie Thompson</b>

Rep. Bennie Thompson is nothing if not partisan. He enters most political debates with pre-conceived notions on conservatism and liberalism. He also holds strong views on Democrats and Republicans and makes no bones about his opinion that conservatives achieve popularity by selling lies—especially during the campaign season.

Crossing The Aisles

<b>The JFP Interview with Chuck Espy</b>

State Rep. Chuck Espy comes from a long line of politicos. His father is former Clarksdale Mayor Henry Espy, and the Espy family has had dibs on the Second Congressional seat for many years. In 1987, Espy's uncle, Mike Espy, was the first African American sent to Congress from Mississippi since Reconstruction, before President Clinton later appointed him as the first black Secretary of Agriculture in 1993. Chuck's father, Henry, ran in the 1993 special election to fill Mike's vacated seat, but Thompson beat him.

Tale of Two Dems: Bennie vs. Chuck

On June 6, the Democratic primaries in the 2nd Congressional District will be up for grabs. Three candidates are facing off in the race, including political whack-a-mole Dorothy "Dot" Benford, who pops up every election cycle. But the two most significant personalities battling for the chair are state Rep. Chuck Espy and the Democratic incumbent Bennie Thompson.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College baseball, Alcorn State vs. Southern (10 a.m., Pearl) and Miss. Valley State vs. Texas Southern (6 p.m., Pearl): Good luck to JSU in the SWAC Tournament at Trustmark Park. … Ole Miss at Miss. State (6:30 p.m., Starkville, 620 AM/97.3 FM): The Bulldogs' slim SEC Tournament hopes ride on this series. … Millsaps in NCAA Central Regional (time, opponent TBA, St. Louis): The Majors got an at-large bid.

Sexy Mother Funker

D'Mar is like a nervous prom date. Sitting underneath the AmSouth escalator as refuge from the busier-than-usual Cups downtown on this early afternoon, I get comfortable in my chair and look across at Derrick Martin, 34, better known as D'Mar. His long dreadlocks rest on his left shoulder and back. He taps his fingers on the table and fumbles with a black press folder. "I'm more comfortable in front of a crowd than in one-on-one situations like this," he says.

A Ride Through Town

Being a bicyclist in Jackson is not always easy. Rude cars tailgate bicyclists; they honk, they weave and sometimes insult or threaten even the most kindly of two-wheelers. While Ridgeland and Madison are actively installing bike-friendly infrastructure, Jackson seems content with offering bikers nothing but exhaust fumes. It will probably take hundreds of bikers overflowing sidewalks and crowding roads before the capital city will take notice. So put down that chicken leg and buy a bike. Forget gas prices while the breeze runs through your hair and calories run off your skin.

A Working Artist

First glances into Harold W. Miller's living room suggests that the man is a great collector. The walls and fixtures feature paintings in various styles, reliefs, intricately designed urns, figurines from pint-size to life-size, sculpture, jewelry and even a decorative steer head, all executed with impeccable taste and craft. Despite first impressions, these various pieces are all Miller's own work.

Their Finest Hour

There is a trend in game series: One successful game is released, and that prompts a sequel. Whether or not the sequel is any good isn't important. What is important is that as soon as a game and its sequel sell well, the developers instantly take that as an opportunity to release dozens of new installments, each less original than the last. The problem with these new "Franchise-in-a-Box" series is that the more they sell, the less the new products are changed. It happened with "Dynasty Warriors" and with "Pokemon," and it was happening with "Ace Combat." Fortunately, "Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War" shows a faint glimmer of fundamental change.

Sour Cream Dream

When I was in high school, I was always desperate for various foods I thought I could only get from my friends and/or their mothers. Stephanie Sheffer made the best chocolate-chip cookies I'd ever had for our AP Physics/Calculus study sessions (we had a great social life). Caitlin Reid's mom produced macaroni and cheese from scratch that consistently made their annual family reunion my favorite culinary event. And Kara Johnston—the girl all the boys loved in 10th grade for her athleticism, self-possession and genius in the kitchen—made sour cream softies, cake-like cookies that looked like biscuits and tasted like a dream.

The Bottom Line

Frank Melton cannot solve Jackson's crime. That is simply a statement of fact, not a criticism or a denouncement or even a denouement. It is also true that former Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. could not solve crime. Neither could former Police Chief Robert Moore. And current Police Chief Shirlene Anderson can't, either.

[Johnson] When Jackson Burned

On May 14, 1863, the Army of Tennessee, under Generals Grant and Sherman, seized Jackson as the Confederate army retreated in disarray. Grant ordered the city's "strategic assets" burned, and in hours, much of Jackson burned to the ground. This is why Jackson has the nickname "Chimneyville," because the fire spared little but brick chimneys, which stood like tombstones after the blaze. This was only the first of three times Jackson burned during the war.

[Stiggers] That's the Truth, Ruth

Still Bill the Funk Doctor: "Eee-Diddy-Eye! Oooh, I'm joggin', and back on the scene with the record machine. This is D.J. Ol' Skool Pete's mentor, the king of throw-back, ain't cuttin' no slack. Just call me 'Still Bill the Funk Doctor,' the undisputed heavy-weight disc jockey broadcasting live from Clubb Chicken Wing, via the airwaves of WGSR—Ghetto Science Radio.

No. 35, May 18 - 24

<b><em>Perception Is Reality:</b></em>

I have been following the news coverage (specifically in the Jackson Free Press and The Clarion-Ledger) about Frank Melton. Though I have seen some honest, in-depth reporting in the Free Press, I think that the editorial staff might be missing the point. Yes, Mr. Melton's tactics seem a little strange sometimes, and he may lack some social grace and/or media savvy to play the press like a fiddle, but generally Mr. Melton cares about the city of Jackson and is willing and ready to take action to bring about his vision of a cleaner, safer capital city.

Children of the Storm

Last Monday, the Children's Defense Fund dedicated the first of 14 Freedom Schools in New Orleans—taking the name from schools set up to help educate African Americans during Freedom Summer 1964. CDF founder Marian Wright Edlema; Jeanne Middleton-Hairston, national director of the Freedom Schools; other CDF staff and a delegation from CDF turned out for the dedication. The delegation is comprised of women who are prominent figures in Hollywood and Washington, D.C., like CDF board members Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, Cicely Tyson, Regina King, Holly Robinson-Peete and Deborah Santana.

The Men to Beat Lott?

In a sparsely attended debate in the old Supreme Court chamber of the Capitol, with a statue of militant white supremacist Theodore Bilbo looking on, candidates in the Democratic primary to unseat Sen. Trent Lott set out their visions for change. The participants were Bill Bowlin of Hickory Flat, Erik Fleming of Jackson and James O'Keefe of Biloxi. A fourth candidate, Catherine Starr of Hattiesburg, was scheduled to attend but did not show. The Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee sponsored the debate.

Hit the Bricks

Painting courtesy of Ellen Langford

All the beauty provided by the stylish brickwork and elegant street lighting of downtown's Congress Street goes mostly unappreciated, laments Downtown Jackson Partners Executive Director John Lawrence.

Tonyatta Hairston

"The great thing is that I get to help people medically, but then I take them out of that examination room and have the opportunity to glamorize them, to help them find a whole new look," Tonyatta Hairston says. Hairston, 31, is an optometrist who has just opened a new office in Fondren, at 3139 N. State Street.

JPD Chief Shirlene Anderson's Resume

Above All Else, Say Nothing

No News is Gannett News

If you missed last week's Publisher's Note, The Clarion-Ledger has tried to trick local distributors into signing on to a scheme called "TDN." Under TDN, distribution boxes around town would be replaced by Gannett boxes, which would be stocked to the brim with Gannett publications. Meanwhile, independent papers like the Jackson Free Press would have to pay at least $8 a month to distribute to each Gannett boxes, and we would be forbidden from placing our own boxes anywhere on the property. They actually had the gall to tell some distributors that the JFP, and other free publications, were "accepted" TDN papers, which isn't true. We hadn't "accepted" anything.

Yip! Yip!

Dogs On Short Leash

Time is running out for the Mississippi State baseball team and Ron Polk, the Biloxi Sun Herald's Jim Mashek writes. MSU hosts Ole Miss in a three-game SEC series, starting Thursday, that will decide whether the Bulldogs go to the SEC Tournament. But first, Polk takes time to bitch about how state lotteries are ruining SEC baseball.

A Bad Bet

Tim Bennett tells The Ledge he spent $50,000 to bring the SWAC baseball tournament to Pearl's Trustmark Park. For that money, Bennett says he needs to sell 1,000 tickets per game to break even. Most SWAC teams averaged less than 400 fans per game this season. Local interest in the tourney plummetted when Jackson State was kicked out of the tournament for using ineligible players. Odds are, Alcorn State and Mississippi Valley State aren't going to bring 1,000 fans a game into Pearl.. The tournament starts on Thursday. No need to get your tickets early.

Major Tournament

The Millsaps baseball team begins play in NCAA Central Regional in St. Louis on Wednesday. The Majors play Webster at 1 p.m. You can follow the Majors through a live Internet broadcast or get updates at the tournament Web site.

Tuesday, May 16

C. A. Webb Named President of Rankin County Arts Alliance, Featured in Rankin Ledger Today

Jamie Kemp (of the Rankin Ledger) writes:

Cyrus A. Webb is determined to use his new position as president of the Rankin County Arts Alliance to spread an appreciation for the arts in his native Rankin County. The Arts Alliance was established three years ago, and Webb said it is time for the community to become aware of its overall mission and goal.

Gannett v. Local Media; What You Can Do

Extra, extra! The JFP's Goliath Blog launches, as the independent media's battle against the Gannett Corp. is heating up. Jackson media are reporting and analyzing the scheme, and media consumers are weighing in to support local media. Read and view the link WLBT story and video. View results of WLBT poll here (as of May 20, running 76 percent against Gannett).

Saturday, May 13

Bush Defends Vast Domestic Spying

George Bush is trying defend the vast spying on Americans that was revealed this year.

Friday, May 12


Yo Momma! Mtv Tarzan Takes The Ghetto By Storm

(Reprinted here in its entirety with permission: )

Thursday, May 11

Roy Adkins, Darren Schwindaman, Latasha Willis and Jerrie Glasper all featured in June 2006 Conversa

Howard Dean Sells Out

On last night's episode of The 700 Club, the bold and courageous leader of America's progressive movement sat down with Pat Robertson to assure him that the Democratic Party opposes gay marriage.

2006 JFP Interview: Peterson Makes Her Case

<b>The JFP Interview with Faye Peterson</b>

Hinds County District Attorney Faye Peterson is nothing if not confident. It's a stalwart, rocky kind of demeanor that probably helps get her through her day in her office on the top floor of the Hinds County Courthouse.

Transcript of ComStat Comments to Media

Tigers' Season Over

Something is rotten in Jackson State baseball. First the Tigers forfeited four victories and their SWAC East championship. Now the Tigers have been forced to wipe out the rest of their wins for using two more ineligible players throughout the season. They also have been thrown out of the SWAC Tournament which will be played May 18-21 at Trustmark Park in Pearl. Coach Mark Salter has been suspended with pay while the school investigates.

***Line-up for the JFP Chick Ball - TONIGHT, Red Room

The JFP announces our second annual Chick Ball, to take place at the Red Room in Hal & Mal's on Thursday, May 11, 2006, 6 p.m. To 1 a.m. The Chick Ball will feature music and performance by female musicians; an art auction of female artists, bellydancing, fashion and much more. Many local businesses are donating door prizes toward the cause. The event is 18 and up, and the cover charge is $5/$10 to qualify for door prize drawings through the night. 6:00 Cocktails and fellowship

[MomDom] Belle of The ER Ball

"Tiffany, are you sitting down?" the mom of my daughter's best friend asked me the moment I answered the phone. Then she gave me the news.

Wednesday, May 10

Memphis, TN's SOULFLO Prepares to Gather at Tougaloo College


[MomDom] Strangers In Love

What is having a baby supposed to be like? I don't really know. I thought I did. Serene motherhood. The Madonna. Look at that beautiful sleeping baby. I dreamed of nursing in the middle of the night, rocking my son and singing soft lullabies. I folded tiny outfits and imagined what it would be like to dress him. I started a scrapbook, took pictures of my growing belly and decorated the nursery in our apartment. I could not wait to have our baby.

[MomDom] Aching For A Child

My husband and I meet weekly with six other couples. At one point four of them were pregnant. For a few weeks it seemed that each Monday night another couple announced their pregnancy. Our group of friends bonds closer as the women grow great with child. Each week Will, my husband, and I get to share in the joy of watching these expectant mothers' bellies get larger and larger. They talk about who will get an epidural or deliver naturally, if she will breast feed, how much diapers will cost and if she will go back to work. All this while we try to decide if the blob that somewhat resembles a baby on the black-and-white sonogram picture looks like the mom or dad. Although I am extremely happy for them, my heart aches.

[MomDom] Of A Lovely Lady

Here's a story. Of a chick named Emily. Who got proposed to not too very long ago! And the best part is, I'm not pregnant!

The Best In Sports In The Next 7 Days

Pro baseball: West Tenn at Mississippi (7 p.m., Pearl, 930 AM): The M-Braves wrap up their home stand at the T-P.

Bringin' It Home

All you've got to do to get the blues is show up at Hal & Mal's on May 13. Zac Harmon's coming home to Jackson to perform the music he grew up with on Farish Street.

Immigration Inanity

Juvenile Justice Hearing

[Collier] My Mother's Daughter

My senior year in college was the first time I knew my mother loved me. Of course I knew she loved me. But it wasn't until my senior year that I really got it. I spent many years trying to be someone other than who I was. Who I was trying to be, I'm still not sure, but I'd taught myself a long time ago that who I was wasn't good enough. All sorts of things contributed to the negative self-talk I listened to and let myself believe.

[Stiggers] The Drive on Washington

"It's Boneqweesha, live from the Million Motorist March and Car Pool on Washington, D.C. Millions of financially challenged motorists are scheduled to arrive at the nation's capital to protest rising gasoline prices. Attendance is low right now because a small group of marchers have arrived on foot, and car poolers continue to drive at low speeds or end up stranded on the highways. Momma Church Hat has a bird's-eye view from the Praise-the-Lawd-O-Copter."

[Kamikaze] Heaven's Bus

Sometimes the hypocrisy in modern society troubles me. I've known for years that the playing field for African Americans has never been level. I've always known that those who disagree with that fact probably have a slightly skewed view of reality. But whatever those feelings are, I knew we could be assured that with death, there would come some semblance of peace. Whether you did good deeds or raised a little hell, you at least had the right to spend eternity where you saw fit. Ironically though, even in death, we've found a way to separate ourselves. The classism that exists even in the African-American community has found its way into the afterlife.

The Hidden Monopoly

The city of Jackson rakes in more than $1.5 million every year renting city-owned towers to cellular providers, and EZ 103.7 FM President Edward Saint Pé wants a piece of the action.

What's in a Rose?

Photo courtsey of Georgia O'Keeffe Exhibit

If you are at all familiar with Georgia O'Keeffe's work, you've seen at least one meticulously painted flower, cow skull or landscape. A close look at O'Keeffe's paintings, however, causes some to question if there's more to them than meets the eye. The Mississippi Museum of Art is housing the exhibit, "Georgia O'Keeffe: Color and Conservation," to allow you the opportunity to answer for yourself. The display had such an impact on me that not only have I seen it multiple times, but it prompted me to learn more about the artist and her life.

Ruth Davis

Sitting on a park bench among automobiles, passersby and wasps buzzing about spring in full force, Ruth Davis fearlessly and passionately pours out her thoughts on life, past, present and future.

Unrighteous Indignation

Do As I Say ...

Herman's Picks

With the school year finishing up you may be beginning to look at the calendar for summer events to plan for. If you're looking for something different make sure to plan for the USA International Ballet Competition June 17 through July 2. Reserved seating tickets are on sale now at to see best dancers in the world compete in the Olympic style competition.

Tuesday, May 9

JFP EXCLUSIVE: Jackson Crime Surges

Read the story that the city is talking about, based on a report the Jackson Free Press unearthed on Monday. You saw it here first.

The Mayor and His Star Witness

Video still courtesy of WAPT

Christopher "Smiley" Walker was re-arrested Monday by U.S. Marshals for failing a routine urinalysis drug test required by his probation officer. Six days earlier, he had sat beside Mayor Frank Melton in City Hall at the press conference held to lambaste District Attorney Faye Peterson.

Monday, May 8

Going without Internet Service - I CAN'T STAND IT!

I am temporarily without an Internet connection at home, so I have been doing everything from going to a neighbor's house or the library to using my cell phone to check my email. My head hurts.

"Tobacco-Free Evening in the Park"—- Sunday, May 21, 2006

Partnership for a Healthy Rankin/Simpson/Scott County welcomes you to "Tobacco-Free Evening in the Park " It will be held at the Pelahatchie Muscadine Park located downtown Pelahatchie on Sunday, May 21, 2006. The activities will begin at 4:00 p.m., including tobacco skits from youth who participate in the PHM (Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi Tobacco Prevention programs : RAT/SWAT/FREE & Frontline. We are also inviting some of the youth to display their musical talents in songs. There will also be food, fun and games for the youth.

Perfect Casting

This country has completely gone down the toilet

And not just any nun, Hilton is being considered to play Mother Teresa, according to People magazine.

Sunday, May 7

The Civil War Had Nothing to Do With Slavery

What's in a Cajun?

Having spent a large portion of my life in South Louisiana, I have eaten some of the best food on Earth, particularly red beans and rice. I have already had the best red beans and rice ever, but that hasn't stopped me from searching for the second-best. I've been on this search for decades with very little success, until now.

Saturday, May 6

Restaurants and Relaxation

She's taken care of you all your life, made sure you were clean, fed, clothed and loved. She's your mother. Even if you frequently tell her thanks, that you love her more and more with each passing day, and take her out to eat now and then, you'd best make sure your celebration this Sunday is even more special. Traditionally the busiest day for restaurants, Mother's Day in Jackson is no exception. To help you make your plans, here's some information about dining out in the metro area on her special day.

Haley Barbour Refuses to Pardon Black Man

Clyde Kennard was convicted of purchasing $25 worth of chicken feed he knew to be stolen. He died in 1963 after being released early due to intestinal cancer. The only witness against him has recanted his story. Barbour agrees that Kennard was wronged but refuses to pardon. Barbour may become the first governor in U.S. history to refuse to pardon someone he has publically proclaimed as innocent. This story is gaining national attention and is being discussed on numerous blogs. It has 4 stars on yahoo. For more info go to

Friday, May 5

Put Your Mouth Where Your Money Is

Polls: Republicans Turning on Republicans

AP is reporting that 31 percent of conservatives want Republicans out of power:

Melton To Stop More Buses Today

Heads up, parents. The Clarion-Ledger is reporting:

Thursday, May 4

Shameless Self-Promotion

Here is an interview C.A. Webb did with me for his Coversations zine. (I have no idea if he's provided this link. If he has, there's two of sue me)

ACLU and NAACP Question Melton Tactics

D.A. to Mayor: ‘Bring It On'

Click here for a podcast of Attorney General Jim Hood's press conference about the D.A.-Mayor conflict.

Tragedy at Jackson State—May 4, 1970

It's never too late to remember.

Today is the 36th anniversary of the tragic shootings at Jackson State University, as well as Kent State University, where police killed students protesting. Take a few moments to read up on the history of this dark era of American history. Listen to a piece by NPR's Ed Gordon here. Read more on Kent State here. Read a new piece about "Kent State Conspiracies" here.

Police Officers Strike Again ... and Again

On April 27, several officers from the Jackson Police Department participated in an online "terrorism course." Presumably, the course taught officers how to prevent terrorism, but these days it's hard to tell. Or didn't we just have our own Abu Ghraib? On the same day?

All Time Favorite Melton Moment

Its the one where Melton pulls over four school buses so he can touch the children.

Okay, this piece in the Clarion Ledger is now officially my "all time favorite Melton moment".

Wednesday, May 3

The Best In Sports Over The Next 7 Days

College baseball, Belhaven in GCAC Tournament (time TBA, Shreveport, La.): The Blazers will play a second-round game.

Got The Blues?

The blues are ubiquitous. You may never have sat down to listen to all of B.B. King and Lucille's "Indianola Mississippi Seeds," and you may never have attempted to sell your soul to the devil (a la Robert Johnson), but if you've breathed, you know the blues. You've had your heart broken, lost a loved one, had financial woes or at least heard a little rock 'n' roll.

Public Eye Opens

April 26, 2006 We are the watchers, our eyes fixed on the halls of power. Democracy means majority rule, but we live in a republic of laws. Whether I vote for a Republican or a Democrat, (and if we had more democracy, we could choose between more than two), I expect all to follow the rules. That means no bribes, even if they're legalized as campaign contributions. We cannot stop it, but we have every right to watch it, to witness what money does in the public's name. It means that meetings are open to the public unless there is very good reason to keep them private. It means that we have the right to know what our leaders make for serving us, what titles they claim. We have the right to know where they went to school, why they're qualified for the job. This is our community. Crime statistics, city contracts, gun permits; all belong to us, and anyone who makes public records a secret steals from our democracy.

Terror in the Air

Universal Pictures' "United 93" plays for nearly two hours: the exact amount of time that elapsed during the flight whose story it tells. The film is a reenactment of the hijacking of United 93, which was seized by Al Qaeda and directed toward Washington, D.C., before resistance from passengers brought it down in a field in Pennsylvania.

Renaissance on the Avenue

On May 6, the public is invited to view some working studios and exhibitions of local artists at the Millsaps Avenue Arts District Exhibition. This event will serve as Pearl River Glass Studio's annual spring Garden Show, and with the support of Andrew Young from Pearl River, other local artists have turned it into a neighborhood festival. The participating studios are Pearl River Glass Studio, Studio 2, Seven*Studioz and R. Potter Designs, all of which will open at noon and provide entertainment and refreshments until 6 p.m. except for Seven*Studioz, which will open at 3 p.m.

[New Releases] Calla "Collisions"

— Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

Calla — "Collisions" (Beggars US, 2005) Darkly cinematic and rain swept, New York-based Calla is a 3-piece band who are a paradox unto themselves. While their music is executed in a somewhat dramatic fashion, the moodiness and foreboding of the vocals understate their intensity in such a way as to put the listener into a nebulous psychic space; in this respect, they fall somewhere between Love and Rockets and The Church. On their fourth full-length disc, "Collisions," the music and vocals are a bit more caffeinated and straightforward without losing the signature foggy sound. The guitars have a spaghetti western or surf rock tinge, while the bass line pulverizes, and vocals sedate the listener. If you are familiar with their last full-length offering, "Televise," then this is a nice continuation—done with a bit more conviction.

Frank Melton to Appear on Evers Show TONIGHT

Mayor Frank Melton is set to appear on the Charles Evers' radio show, "Let's Talk," on WMPR 90.1 FM, tonight (Wednesday, May 3) at 8 p.m.

Letter To A Young Mayor

First, allow me to thank you for giving me so much of your time over the last six weeks. Your frankness in our series of interviews seems to have captivated the city and started many conversations about the future of Jackson and how to get there.

[Kamikaze] Don't Be Cool

Parents. Stop. Put down whatever you're doing and ask yourself: Do I know where my kids are? Better yet, do I know what they're thinking?

[Stiggers] That Safe-Crackin' Crack-Head

"Welcome to the Brotha Hustle Bill Payment Extension Phone Service. All you need is a pre-paid cell phone, and you can take advantage of this convenient way to ask for more time to pay your overdue bills.

Executives Run Amok

The similarities between Mayor Melton's current woes and President Bush's are striking. George Bush can't boast the kind of mandate Frank Melton had when he was elected. But both men were solidly backed by a largely white, largely far-to-the-right-of-ordinary conservative group of voters. Both groups are increasingly embarrassed about their vote. Both groups are pretty vocal. Both groups are being ignored by their elected officials. We've heard the "I" word regarding both men too.

The Littlest Litigators

May 3, 2006 Eleven states are now considering bills that severely restrict abortion. Six of the 11 only allow abortion when the mother's life is at stake. Another four declare that life begins at fertilization, which must make fertility clinics, with their thousands of frozen, single-cell citizens awfully nervous. What if one of the embryos hires a lawyer?

Barbour Tied to Dirty Politics

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has ties to a GOP telemarketing firm that jammed New Hampshire phone lines used by disabled or dependent voters trying to get to polling stations in 2002.

[In Memory] Florence Mars, 1923-2006

I didn't know Florence Mars growing up in Neshoba County. She was from a different part of town—the side that had old money. I don't have memories of her walking around town in her floppy hat like Sen. Gloria Williamson describes, or driving her little bug around town as former Neshoba Democrat editor Stanley Dearman does. I don't remember seeing her at the Neshoba County Fair. I certainly had no reason to visit the stockyard that she owned, the one that white folks boycotted for awhile.

State Forces Farish Apartments

Performa Entertainment Real Estate Inc., the developer that turned the Beale Street District of Memphis into a jazzy powerhouse of capitalism, is likely to buy property along Farish Street with the intent to build apartments.

Pat Chambliss

Pat Chambliss is the perfect spokeswoman for Dress for Success, the international nonprofit organization whose Jackson chapter she helped to found.

We Love The Leather

Last month, unleashed a story on the alleged off-screen antics of ESPN blowhard Chris Berman. We quote:

Boot Scootin' Murder

I found this AP piece online.

Tuesday, May 2

Mississippi is….WHERE?

The Associated Press is reporting the following:

Despite the wall-to-wall coverage of the damage from Hurricane Katrina, nearly one-third of young Americans recently polled couldn't locate Louisiana on a map and nearly half were unable to identify Mississippi.

Rock This Town: 20,000+ Expected at Crawfish Boil

Three things are guaranteed to make a spring weekend even better: beer, crawfish and rock 'n' roll, all of which you can find at this weekend's Miller Lite Crawfish Boil at the Coliseum Fairgrounds. The rain-or-shine event brings big-name rockers Live, Staind, Three Days Grace, Puddle of Mudd and P.O.D. to Jackson, along with local up-and-comers Absence of Concern and many others. The JFP is among the sponsors.

Read This. Get Angry.

This is a good piece by Charlie Savage in the Boston Globe.

Monday, May 1

Metal Gear?!!

Word on the streets is, Kojima's confirmed a film adaptation of the legendary MGS series, accompanied by bells tolling and cheering masses. I'm not quite sure about this one yet, so stay tuned.

Don't Forget About ...

The Ledge overlooked at least two Mississippians who were selected in the NFL Draft on Sunday. Ironically, they both played in high school at Madison Central. They were: Stephen Gostkowsi, a kicker from Memphis who was taken in the fourth round by the New England Patriots, and Parys Haralson, a linebacker from Tennessee drafted in the fifth round by the San Francisco 49ers.