Stories for November 2006


Thursday, November 30

Matt Hinton, Star Blogger

Matt Hinton has come on board as the JFP's new sports writer. Dude has an incredible blog, Sunday Morning Quarterback. It's officially been added to Doctor S' daily rotation. And don't just take my word for it, check out these testimonials:

AG: State Meth Laws Curbing Problem

[verbatim from AG's office]Since Mississippi's Meth Law went into effect just over a year ago, meth lab seizures have gone down 65%, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today. The new law passed by the Mississippi Legislature restricted access to Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine, the primary ingredients in the manufacturing of Crystal Meth.

Wednesday, November 29

Anatomy of An Error

On Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006, The Clarion-Ledger published an editorial titled "Will DA Accept Another Plea Bargain?" in which the writer made a huge error when he wrote the following:

[Music] Not A Minor Operation

Event planners for Operation Shoestring's holiday benefit have changed the format this year to include only three artists rather than the usual 13. But with Buffalo Nickel, Will Kimbrough, and headliner Rodney Crowell & The Outsiders, this is not a scaled-down version, but a new direction for the fourth annual "Cool Yule for Kids" concert at Hal & Mal's Nov. 30.

Bard Of The Barstool

You can't always tell an unrecognized genius from a deluded would-be artist. In the bleak but amusing film "Factotum," Matt Dillon plays Henry Chinaski, an aspiring writer, indifferent laborer and dedicated drunk. Frequently unemployed and inebriated, Chinaski seems identical to any other misguided chump with an artistic streak, except that he is the fictional alter ego of the late Charles Bukowski, the Los Angeles "skid row poet" who rose from obscurity to cult status to international acclaim.

Theater Round-Up

Legend has it that Charles Dickens, author of "A Christmas Carol," wrote the tale to make money to pay off some huge debts. If its popularity means anything, his debts were paid.

Matters of Doom

Thousands of Mississippians and national gridiron partisans know Robert Brazile as "Dr. Doom." They remember him as a headhunting black college All American on Jackson State's 1972-73 Southwest Athletic Conference championship teams, or as a top 10 NFL draft pick, 1975 Defensive Rookie of the Year and seven-time All-Pro with the Houston Oilers from 1976-82.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College basketball, New Orleans at Ole Miss (6 p.m., Oxford, CSS/97.3 FM): Rebels coach Andy Kennedy is doing something right. … High school football, MPSA championship games (Clinton): Trinity plays Briarfield for the Academy A title (1:30 p.m.) and Copiah meets Kirk in the AA final (7 p.m.)

Judge Bails, Attorney Rails

Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Tomie Green has recused herself from Mayor Frank Melton's upcoming Ridgeway Street trial, citing "recent improper and inappropriate contact with the trial judge and members of her family which makes the trial judge a potential witness in subsequent proceedings." Green did not explain what the "improper and inappropriate" contact had been. Nor did she explain why that contact might make her a witness in subsequent proceedings. The order, which was dated Nov. 20, was released to the public on Monday. Green did not answer calls for comment.

The HDTV Guide

I recently turned my stuff-wanting attention to the purchase of a new television set. I've got the same RCA 32-inch tube that I bought for my first apartment after college, and while it doesn't really show too many signs of wear, I still feel like something is lacking when I fire up a letterboxed movie and settle in with a bowl of popcorn. It just doesn't quite have the zip that I imagine a newer TV might offer.

AG: Bodyguard Changed Story

After Mayor Frank Melton copped to three pleas in his gun cases, The Clarion-Ledger's Eric Stringfellow criticized the attorney general's office for not interviewing the mayor's two bodyguards. Det. Michael Recio came forward at the last minute saying he would testify under oath that Melton left his gun in the car outside the Mississippi College School of Law.

More Cops For Guns; Fewer For 911?

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton says he's more than doubling the city's seven-member gun-interdiction team because of the team's success since April. Officers will be moved from within the city's current force, which is down to 440 officers, far under the 1999 Linder-Maple recommendations for Jackson.

The Greenhouse Effect

If your mama was anything like mine, you probably heard "Eat your vegetables!" more than once at the supper table when you were a kid. As grownups, though, we've all read numerous times that eating a diet rich in fresh fruits, veggies and grains will make us feel better, look better and live longer.

[City Buzz] no. 11 November 29 - December 6

The Dog Ate It

The city is off to a late start with its lobbying efforts, according to Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon, who chided the executive branch Monday for not having its legislative package together by the Nov. 27 legislative committee meeting.

Can Landlord Ordinance Be Enforced?

Landlords say the city hasn't got the staff to enforce a recent rental-property land ordinance the city passed last week.

Beach Biking

Looking over a business conference agenda's recreational options earlier this year, I felt pretty inadequate.

Training Schools Flunk Again

Mississippi school children continue to suffer physical abuse at the Oakley and Columbia training schools, according to monitor Joyce L. Burrell's report. Burrell reports numerous allegations of abuse and glacial progress in the state's efforts to reform the schools.

[Parks] There Is No Other

In journalism school, we were taught not to intervene in our stories. After working in Mississippi, where I helped organize benefits to raise money to help fix some of the problems I covered, I felt a little iffy about the rule of never intervening.

Satnam Sethi

When I meet Satnam Sethi, 69, he is sitting at a long holiday dinner table, crowded with children and grandchildren. He steps away for a moment to reflect on the long journey that led him to Jackson.

[Stiggers] When Kramer Cracked

Nurse Tootie: "This is your favorite nurse sitting in for Boneqweesha Jones on the Boneqweesha Report. As you all know, that Kramer dude from the sitcom 'Seinfeld' had some N-words for two African Americans while performing his comedy act at the Laugh Factory. Providing some insight on this recent incident is my third cousin Buddy McBride, author of the book 'Some White Men Can Say the N-word When They Get Really Mad at Black Folk.' Cousin, I'm anxious to hear your perspective."

Photog-in-Residence: Christina Cannon

"I'm not a formal photographer at all,so when people hire me, I let them know that up –front. I'm flexible, and that makes the work fulfilling for me. I like myself like that," Christina Cannon says. Cannon is a Jackson photographer and is, at 31, co-owner of Quarter Gallery.

No. 11, November 30 - December 6

<b><em>Toward a Consensus on Two Lakes?</b></em>

The dream of a publicly accessible lake running through Metro Jackson, providing flood control and stimulating community development, will move closer to reality in coming weeks. The prospect of the LeFleur Lakes project becoming a reality has never been greater.


I started to post this a few weeks ago, but something in me paused. My brother is flying to see me tomorrow, though, and I thought of it again. It's from my own journal, so I'm taking parts out (not sure what's allowed and not with the US Army):

Upcoming Matador Releases to Look For

JANUARY 30 - LOVE OF DIAGRAMS s/t EP. This is a H-O-T M-F-F trio from Melbourne that lock in with the intensity you think your old Rough Trade singles had, then you're all disappointed when you put 'em on. Includes a cover of Pylon's "Cool"!

Lawyers Debate Why Blacks Lag at Major Firms

All you great legal minds out there might want to chew on this New York Times story a bit. It discusses the debate among lawyers about why law firms are having trouble retaining black attorneys and why so few are making partner. Talk among yourselves:

Willie Morris Library Opens Today

The brand spanking new Willie Morris branch of the Jackson-Hinds Public Library opens today at 10 a.m. at 4912 Old Canton Road. Willie's wife (and JFP senior editor) JoAnne Prichard Morris will be in attendance at the dedication ceremony, as will his son, David Rae Morris.

As The Eli Turns

Eli Manning, everybody's second-favorite former Ole Miss Classic is still in the headlines in the wake of the New York Giants' meltdown in a 24-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Fortunately, the NYC tabloids won't let it rest. Here are some of Doctor S' favorite stories:

Tuesday, November 28

THE EARLIES "The Enemy Chorus" Drops on Jan. 23.

The Earlies sophomore effort "The Enemy Chorus" is a hypnotic voyage through a largely aphotic locale with unpredictable bursts of light and sound - perhaps amidst the heavens, or maybe under our own feet. The album comes from a darker and less familiar place than their pop tradition-steeped debut "These Were The Earlies" (released by Secretly Canadian in 2005). While no less beautiful than that record, "The Enemy Chorus" carries a greater feeling of uncertainty, longing, anxiety, and sadness. However, these tonal changes did not happen overnight, as the seeds were planted in the sunny, pastoral pop fields of that first album. The Earlies started as a recording project, with the four core members swapping tapes and trading files from their home studios. Over time, the vision grew, as the core of four enlisted the help of other musicians to translate their music to a live show - at times featuring 12+ musicians.

Why I Am Tempted To Stop Watching Local News Programs.

Not forever, just for a few months maybe. How much bad news should a person hear about in a day?

I'm tired of hearing about crime. I'm tired of hearing about Melton. I'm tired of hearing about the backlog of court cases in Hinds County, the suburban elite, and potholes. I need more than 30 seconds of good news at the end of the program. A lot more.

Conerly finalists

The finalists for the Conerly Trophy have been announced. They are Delta State quarterback Scott Eyster (the first four-time Conerly finalist), Southern Miss running back Damion Fletcher and Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Willis (last year's runnerup). Eyster should win, but the trophy will go to Willis. Fletcher won't even attend the ceremony. He's busy getting for the CUSA championship game.

Eli Makes Tom Sick

The New York Giants jumped out to a 21-0 lead against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Nashville, only to give up 24 points in the fourth quarter and lose, 24-21. There was plenty of blame to go around and Giants coach Tom Coughlin took quarterback Eli Manning to task for a boneheaded interception late in the game that led to the Titans' game-winning field goal. Of course, one could also ask who was calling the plays and asking Eli to throw late in the game rather than play it safe and go to overtime. Just saying.

Monday, November 27

BREAKING: Mayor's Office Drops Legislative Ball

The city is off to a late start regarding its lobbying efforts, according to Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon, who chided the executive branch Monday for not having its legislative package together by the Nov. 27 legislative committee meeting.

BREAKING: Judge Green Recuses Herself

Judge Tomie Green has recused herself (PDF, 125K) from the upcoming Ridgeway trial, citing "recent improper and inappropriate contact with the trial judge and members of her family which makes the trial judge a potential witness in subsequent proceedings."

keeping it real

After multi-dozens of radio and TV interviews, magazines stories (ones I've written and ones I've been featured in), I am feeling so disconnected from my trip to Africa. A book publisher contacted me, wanting me to write an essay for a book alongside Barbara Kingsolver and Michael Chabon -- writers I am really pretty gaga over -- and of course I want to do it. But I feel so stuck.

Cities Compete in Hipness to Attract Young

The New York Times has a story about cities trying to attract and keep the vital "creative class." Be sure to read Todd's story about Jackson's "Creative Class Rising" back in our very first issue as well. The Times:

Sunday, November 26

‘Afterschool' Car Tag Announced

[verbatim release] - Mississippi drivers will soon be able to support afterschool programs in their

Peavey Electronics and the Mississippi Afterschool Alliance are helpingMississippi become the first state to offer a car tag that benefits afterschoolprograms. The tag will be unveiled at the Lights On Afterschool rally onNovember 28 at the historic MSU Riley Center for the Performing Arts inMeridian, Miss.

Saturday, November 25

College Football: Instant Replay, Nov. 25

How Mississippi teams did on the grid on Saturday:

Ole Miss 20, Mississippi State 17: The Rebels win the Golden Egg on a day when the Bulldogs' special teams weren't very special.

Friday, November 24

Fightin' Texas Aggies Stun Hapless Loser ‘t-sips'

Oh. My. Word.

NBC News Story About Crushing Defeat of t.u.

Wednesday, November 22

Open Letter to Wayne Dowdy: Please Run Somebody in District 3

Dear Mr. Dowdy:

In 2004 and 2006, independent white separatist candidate Jim Giles earned double-digit support from District 3 voters--simply because he was the top-billed challenger on the ballot, and therefore inherited many of the votes that would have otherwise automatically gone to the Democratic challenger.

Have a Happy, Safe and LOCAL ‘Black Friday'

The Jackson Free Press wishes everyone a safe and loving Thanksgiving. And if you are one of the brave souls who actually shops on "black Friday," please remember that our locally owned businesses will be less crowded and more interesting and unique than chain stores (and they have much more creative gift wrap and much more personal service!). And if you need a mall, please be sure to visit Jackson's own Metrocenter Mall to help re-invest in our city. Meantime, the attorney general's office offers the following tips for safe shopping:

DA's Letter to The Clarion-Ledger

The Clarion-Ledger ran a letter today from Philip Weinberg, chief assistant district attorney.

Cat Stevens

Cat Stevens, well, Yusuf Islam, has a new CD out. He hasn't put out an album in 28 years (longer than my life!), and really, I just think that's something to celebrate. You can hear a song on NPR right now:

Ripa Vs. Aiken

We are all made of stars.

Fine. I admit it. I watched Regis and Kelly and The View. I'm drawn to celebrity feud like Godiva and Elvis Merlot. It makes me laugh, it humbles me and it makes me feel like I'm a celebrity too since we all screw up sometimes.

Tuesday, November 21

Can Melton Be Removed?

By taking a plea last week on three gun charges, Mayor Frank Melton ducked a felony conviction that would have forced him to give up his position as mayor, but a provision in the state's constitution indicates that even those misdemeanors might be sufficient to cost the mayor his job.

Stokes Delays ‘Slumlord' Ordinance

Members of neighborhood advocacy group Mississippi ACORN are growing impatient with City Council's decision to postpone a vote on a proposed rental housing ordinance.

[City Buzz] no. 10 November 22 - 29

A Hasty Decision Reconsidered?

The Jackson City Council will vote this week on whether or not to rescind approval of the construction of a parkway running to the international airport in Pearl.

Haley To Divide and Conquer?

Gov. Haley Barbour is proposing a budget with increases in K-12 education, but he refuses to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) formula because he says it will hurt higher education.

Sisters From Another Mother

"I'm Anne," Anne Campbell says in her impersonation of a southerner. "This is my sister Carmen, and this is my other sister, Carmen." All three laugh heartily.

Leland Speed Stepping Down from MDA

[verbatim statement] Governor Haley Barbour announced today that Leland Speed, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority since the beginning of the Barbour Administration, is returning to the private sector and will be replaced by Gray Swoope, MDA's chief operating officer. The change will become effective at the end of the year.

[Music] Our Faces Made For Smiling

* Listen to Colour Revolt's "Mattresses Underwater", the song Casey Parks describes as "undeniably one of the best songs of 2006" here! *

[New Releases] Justin Timberlake "FutureSex/Lovesounds"

As cliché as the phrase has become, because of his new single Justin Timberlake has truly brought "sexy" back on the music scene. "Futuresex/Lovesounds" is an album listeners can use to get their sexy on, whether in the bedroom or at the club. While "Justified" proved Timberlake could go out on his own, his new album shows he can flourish as a solo artist (with a little help from his new friends, of course). Hooking up with renowned producer Timbaland proved to be the key. The first two singles have showcased Timberlake's unique vocals and Timbaland's rump-shaking beats. Women and love are the expected themes throughout the album, but songs like "My Love," "Lovestoned" and "Until the End of Time" have the potential to be classics at weddings 20 years from now. Rare is it these days that an album evokes such passion toward another person and a need for physical contact. Thanks, JT, for bringing sex back to music!

[New Releases] My Chemical Romance "The Black Parade"

My Chemical Romance's new album "The Black Parade" is the resurrection of alternative rock. Lately, alt. rock has survived only by those who started the movement (Kurt Cobain made millions last year). But there are some new kids on the block, and they have brought the thrashing guitars and angst-ridden lyrics their predecessors made popular along with them. Songs like "The End," "The Sharpest Lives" and "Teenagers" are filled with the teenage anger many empathized with and used to survive high school. But MCR's maturity, depth and musical talent are showcased on several tracks including "Cancer" and "Mama," as they tell the heart-wrenching story of losing a mother to cancer. "Mama" also features some of the best unsynthesized guitar playing of any up-and-coming band. And the best part of it all? They can reproduce all the sounds and fury live in concert. These guys are not another pop-punk band, but the future of rock music.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Pro football: In case you missed the 10 jillion ads in the last week, the NFL Network is going to show its first regular-season game on Thanksgiving night. Since most of us don't get the NFL Network, we'll have to settle for Miami at Detroit (11:30 a.m., Ch. 12, 930 AM) and Tampa Bay at Dallas (3:15 p.m., Ch. 40, 930 AM).

Warren Hogue

Artist Warren Hogue, 25, is just beginning to find his voice as a painter. His works are already powerful, though, with bold, saturated colors and heavy brush strokes reminiscent of Van Gogh.

Tarring and Feathering Faye Peterson

I was sitting in the student center at Belhaven College Friday afternoon, participating in a media-ethics forum with several other media leaders from around town. The conversation was compelling, and there was a great deal of mea culpa (not to mention JFP back-patting, I'm happy to report) over how local media covered, or did not cover, Frank Melton's shenanigans during the campaign and in the early months of his tenure as mayor.

[Kamikaze] Don't Blow It

After I signed my first recording contract, an old industry mentor asked me: "You've bought the album. Now what are you going to do with it?" In other words, now that you got what you wanted, how are you going to handle it? I'd have to say that same question stands before the newly empowered Democrats.

[Stiggers] A Dose of Holiday Reality

Boneqweesha Jones: "It's 'Late, Late, Late Night Conversations,' the television show for insomniacs who are tired of looking at those food-processing and real-estate infomercials. My special guest is Sis. Judy McBride, representing the esteemed members of the McBride family and their new book titled 'No Crying Towels for Christmas.' Judy, that title reads more like an affirmation."

[Parks] Mississippi: America's Africa

Before New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and I left on our trip to Africa in September, WNYC's Brian Lehrer interviewed us on his radio show. A caller asked us why we were leaving the country to cover poverty when plenty of domestic poverty remained unabated.

JFP Exclusive: Meet Witness Stephen Stamboulieh

See an archive of JFP stories and blogging on Frank Melton

Why I Love Feministing

Look at the poster and then read the comments. If you haven't fallen out of your chair by the end of page two, you need a vacation.

Melton: After Guilty Pleas, What's Next?

Now that Mayor Frank Melton has pled guilty to gun charges, he must gird his loins for the upcoming trials against him and his two city-financed bodyguards regarding their alleged destruction of a home on Ridgeway Street. He faces five charges, including burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, malicious mischief, conspiracy to commit malicious mischief and causing or directing a minor to commit a felony.

"Live in New York?" I'd Recommend It

I surfed over to the C-L's website this morning on the off chance that there was a correction or re-statement of last Saturday's editorial. Didn't find one, which I guess isn't shocking. (To be frank, it is a little shocking. These grown men who purport to be journalists who run the C-L should be ashamed of themselves. Run a damn correction.)

Winners in Run-offs

Dewayne Thomas and Virginia Carlton were victorious in run-off elections held on Tuesday. Carlton, who was running against Ed Patten for a seat on the court of appeals, took 20, 852 votes to Patten's 17,791, according to figures from WLBT. Thomas, who was running against William Bell for chancery court, took 3,525 votes to Bell's 2,478.

Random Musings

Maybe it's the lack of sunlight this time of year, but my mind is going a million different directions and I can't focus worth squat. Anyone else feeling like this? Anyway, I am going to take this time to list what has been randomly going on in my head lately.

Monday, November 20

Fleet-Morris Stores Now MIPA Distro Spots

The Fleet-Morris chain of convenience stores has ended their exclusive contract with the Clarion-Ledger's "The Distribution Network" and opened up 17 storefronts to the Mississippi Independent Publishers Association's community distribution boxes, enabling the Jackson Free Press and eight other member publications to distribute at more than two dozen new locations.

NFL: Instant Replay, Bengals 31, Saints 16

The New Orleans Saints fell apart on Sunday. Once again, they ran up big numbers — in yards and turnovers – as they lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 31-16.

Just click

When I got back from Africa, a lot of people told me they felt like there was nothing they could do. I was so frustrated with myself for not offering better solutions.

Secret Pentagon Study Gives 3 Iraq Options

And none of them are pretty: "injecting more troops into Iraq, shrinking the force but staying longer or pulling out, The Washington Post reported Monday. The newspaper quoted senior defense officials as dubbing the three alternatives 'Go big, go long and go home.' The secret military study was commissioned by Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and comes as political and military leaders struggle with how to conduct a war that is increasingly unpopular, both in the United States and in occupied Iraq."

Sunday, November 19

How Would You Reform Public Education in Mississippi?

The Clarion-Ledger is making a lot of hay out of recent statistics indicating that only 50.6% of JPS students graduate, rather than the previously estimated 67%. The trouble is that the new figures do not factor in students who are covered by the GED Program; if they did, the actual graduation rate would probably be higher than 67%, not lower.

Recuse Them All


Below is a PDF of Melton attorneys' motion to the Mississippi Supreme Court to remove Judge Tomie Green from presiding over the settled weapons trial:

[Lott] Getting Votes That Get Results

This week I sought and won the position of Republican Whip in the United States Senate. I've told Mississippians for several months that I would seek a Senate leadership position if the opportunity arose and if it would be for the betterment of Mississippi and the benefit of the Senate and the American people we serve. My assumption of this leadership post meets both criteria, and I am delighted to be back in a position from which I can project my experience in ways that help our state and country.

Why Adlai Stevenson Lost

Actual campaign ad from 1952:

Saturday, November 18

College Football: Instant Replay, Nov. 18

It was a Saturday of upsets, close calls and disappointments for Mississippi's college football teams (keep checking back, this will be updated all weekend):

Friday, November 17

Stewpot Robbed for Second Time in a Week

According to The Clarion-Ledger. The question is, where the @#$% is the police chief, and why isn't she out in front telling the public what she is doing to deal with the crime crisis? Our last chief held public briefings once a week and special ones when things got really rough; where is this chief hiding? What is her plan?

Melton Hosting Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Party

Got a tip last night at Fondren Unwrapped that Bob Hickingbottom is calling Melton's supporters, and former supporters, asking them to donate money to attend what they are actually calling a "Get out of jail free" party to help with his legal fees. We'll post more details as soon as we get them. Anyone out there heard about this, yet?

Rise Up with Fists

Jenny Lewis, former lead singer of Rilo Kiley, has been one of the best-kept secrets in folk rock for years. Now armed with the retro backing vocals of the Watson Twins, she has taken some of the grit out of her tone and, while it wouldn't quite be right to say she has gone mainstream, she has brought in anesthetic to go with her scalpel. "Rise Up with Fists" seems to be the track that's getting the most airplay right now:

Thursday, November 16

See the Casey Parks Lesson Plan

I was just talking to Ayana Taylor, JFP-reporter-turned-teacher, and she told me that she had run into a NYT lesson plan for teachers—using our very own Casey Parks and her trip to Africa with Nick Kristof! This is very cool, and you can link directly to it from the JFP Web site. She said her students loved doing it because Casey was from here. ;-D

Should Dems Write Off the South?

The lefty blogosphere is "atwitter" (with apologies to the Mississippi Press Association) over the notion that the 2006 mid-term elections were not only a repudiation of various Bush Administration policies and GOP scandals, but also represent an emerging regionalization of the Dems and, by extension, the GOP. Dems mopped up in the Northeast, perhaps putting to rest, for a long time, the notion of the liberal Republican in states like Rhode Island, New York and parts of New Jersey. The Dems also did well with independent voters in the Midwest, and some are positing the notion of a "Libertarian Left" emerging in the Rockies, essentially people who have swapped an anti-Dem stance over issues like gun ownership with an anti-GOP stance against issues like marriage, abortion and "culture war" stuff.

Best of Jackson 2007 Ballot Fully Operational

Click here to cast your ballot for the JFP's 5th annual Best of Jackson awards! Just do it.

This Has to Be Satire

There is no way that Wyatt Emmerich wrote the following without his tongue firmly implanted in his right cheek:

Of Red Meat and Breast Cancer

Young women, beware of the emerging evidence that eating red meat can increase your risk of breast cancer. Per a New York Times editorial today:

Wednesday, November 15

Farish Street Reborn

After years of waiting, construction workers were banging hammers against a building that will soon be the first new entertainment venue open for business in the Farish Street Entertainment District this Monday.

City Buzz no. 9 November 15 - 22

The Return of John

Mayor Frank Melton is looking to correct a mistake he made about a year ago when he refused to renew the contract of lobbying firm Winston & Strawn LLP. Months after Melton came into office, he outraged the council by not renewing the firm's $74,000 contract with the city. Winston & Strawn lobbyist John Waits, in particular, had netted the city more than $111 million in federal money since 1995, funding projects such as the Metro Parkway, Union Station, the brickwork for Farish Street, the Linder-Maple Study and the Mobile Command Center. Melton dismissed Waits last year to make room in the tight city budget for Chief of Staff Marcus Ward, who makes $70,000.

Council Calls For Independent Attorney

Members of City Council say they are still stinging from being duped by their own attorney into paying her thousands of extra dollars.

Bond Proposal Triumphs

To the astonishment of naysayers (and some supporters), an overwhelming majority of Jackson voters approved the recent $150 million Jackson Public Schools bond issue. Like the Convention Center bond proposal passed in 2004, the school bond issue required 60 percent approval citywide. It got 81 percent of the vote.

Young Dems Hit Jackson

Beginning Friday, Nov. 17, Jackson hosts the three-day Young Democrats National Fall Conference. Kate Jacobson, 22, is the Mississippi chapter's vice president. Jacobson, born in Washington, D.C., came to Mississippi at age 5 when her parents moved to Tupelo. "None of my family is Southern, but I'm Southern now," Jacobson said proudly. She moved to Jackson in 2002 to attend Millsaps College, where she received her bachelor's in political science last May. I caught up with Jacobson at her office last Friday.

Gadget of The Week [11.15.06]

How can your life be truly full and rich when you don't have a personal digital projector? (I ask myself this kind of stuff all the time.) Two different companies—LumenLabs and Benq—are offering $500 projectors for the first time that might make our collective personal projector dream a reality. The LumenLab ( PM Projector is the first full product from a company that focuses on do-it-yourself projector kits (PM stands for "pre-made"). It's $499 shipped, supports component and S-video input as well as VGA, has a built-in TV tuner, and it uses extremely inexpensive bulbs, unlike many professional projectors. It includes built-in speakers, a remote and picture rotation for mounting to the ceiling, if you're so inclined. The Benq model ( only offers 800x600 resolution for PC connections, but it's brighter and pre-configured for HD TV output. (It's also $100 pricier.) Hook it up to your theoretical Apple iTV device and you're in the home project theater business for just a few Cs. (Both are due for release in November, just in time for someone else to feel obliged to buy it for you. Yahtzee!)

Thanksgiving Fare

If there are two things I love, they're my momma and her famous nobody-can-do-it-better cornbread dressing. My family can't imagine eating out for Thanksgiving dinner. Whoever is around gets together at one of the family's houses and brings their respective specialty. If my family didn't live so close, though, there are several restaurants that offer tasty take-out or dine-in menus that I'd be willing to try.

[Drink] ‘Tis The Season

The holidays are the season of martinis, when even feeble, febrile suburbanites accustomed to buttery chardonnays might indulge in a cosmopolitan. As we enter martini season, however, I feel obligated to offer a vital piece of advice: Don't screw around on the liquor. It's one thing to order a "vodka tonic," an order that will get you "charcoal-filtered Peasant Hill" from a plastic bottle. Hopefully, the tonic and lime will kill the flavor of the vodka.

BREAKING: Is Melton Facing Constitutional Removal?


The Jackson Free Press has learned that Mayor Frank Melton could face a new wrinkle since pleading guilty to two misdemeanors and "no contest" to a third for violating the state's gun laws:

Tower of Power

Hop-scotching across hemispheres, "Babel" considers cause and effect on a global scale. Two young brothers (Boubker Ait El Caid and Said Tarchani) play target practice with their new rifle in the Moroccan mountains. A bullet strikes a testy American couple (Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett) on a tour bus. The tourists' misfortunes complicate the lives of their two children and their Mexican nanny in San Diego. And so on.

[Music] Aye, LBE

I've been listening to Living Better Electrically's self-titled EP since it came out in 2003, and still I'm at a loss for words when people want to know what they sound like. Yeah, it's a little Bowie, a little T.Rex. But it's more than glam rock. It's complicated as hell, but it's catchy. Their songs are brilliant, sprawling and timeless anthems.

Welcome, Mr. Whitaker

Just in case y'all missed it last week, The Clarion-Ledger's most recent publisher, John Newhouse II, has left his post at the C-L, and we're told, the employ of the Gannett Co. chain entirely.

[Chickdom] Parenting From The Box

Just three weeks into our marriage, I called my new husband, Mr. Steam Jeans, to ask a very simple question, "Honey, do you want to do 'Wife Swap?'" His immediate response to this question was a significant pause—the kind of pause a bride may expect if she'd asked, "Do these jeans make my butt look big?"

[Parks] Fear of Stigma, Here and There

The Central African Republic was a long cry from the Gulf Coast, but looking into the eyes of the Africans I met, I saw something familiar each time. When New York Times columnist Nick Kristof and I found ourselves stuck for a few hours on a red clay Cameroonian road at the end of the rainy season behind a logging truck that had flipped over, I pulled out my camera. Everyone wanted his or her picture taken. Teenage boys put on their toughest faces. Teenage girls grimaced because they didn't feel pretty enough. Young kids hammed, putting bunny ears over each others' heads. Older couples smiled sweetly.

[Stiggers] Work Those Steps, Brotha Hustle

Judy McBride: "I'm guest facilitator for this week's Bootleggers Anonymous meeting. My objective today is to help individuals addicted to gaining personal income through the means of piracy or copyright infringement—or shall I say bootlegging!

Have An Antidepressant Day

Angela Bolin was lying on her bathroom floor in a T-shirt and panties when she woke up in a pool of blood. Paramedics hovered over her. Her mother, father and sister stood there, sobbing. She didn't know what was happening, but when she looked down at her inner thighs, she saw they were covered in razor-thin slices. There were 45 cuts on one thigh, 46 on the other. The air reeked of bandages and antiseptic cream. It took a second for it to register. Bolin looked around, dazed, and spotted the used razor next to the sink. Then she remembered.

The Best In Sports In Seven Days

High school basketball, Lanier at Forest Hill (girls, 6 p.m.; boys, 7:30 p.m.): As usual, the Bulldogs are the team to beat in Class 4A. But hardly anybody ever beats them.

Martha Bergmark

Martha Bergmark, 57, left a troubled Mississippi in the 1960s thinking she would never come back. Now, she relaxes in her downtown office surrounded by a computer, printer and stacks of paper. Her office phone rings several times, her cell phone vibrates once. Bergmark is in demand, and her organization, the Mississippi Center for Justice, is busier than ever, expanding on their promise to provide "access to justice" for low-income Mississippians. MCJ was incorporated in 2002 by a group of lawyers and community leaders who were troubled that Mississippi was without systemic homegrown legal advocacy run by a nonprofit public interest law firm.

BREAKING: Melton Takes Plea

Frank Melton has pled no contest to three midemeanors on gun charges. As part of the plea, the felony charged Melton faced for carrying a weapon onto the campus of the Mississippi College School of Law was reduced to a misdemeanor.

Tuesday, November 14

BREAKING: Melton Jury Chosen

The jury in the first Frank Melton trial has been chosen—the 12 main jurors included six African Amerians, one Hispanic and five whites. Four are men. There are two alternates, both white, one man and one woman. All 14 will be sequestered throughout the trial, which is expected to last about three days.

Witness List for Mississippi v. Frank Melton, Round I

As the first day of the felony gun trial of Frank Melton draws to a close, the following witness list has emerged from both sides:

But What Would Jesus SAY?

Marines just say no to Jesus dolls in Toys for Tots Drive.

Watch This Space ... for a False Alarm

Watch here for more updates, or false alarms, as they happen, or don't happen.

UPDATE: After lunch today in the Frank Melton gun trial, there was a flurry of activity as Beverly Kraft, spokeswoman for the Administrative Office of the Courts, told reporters that something was about to happen in the courtroom—and allowed cameras in. The rumor was that Melton was about to take a plea deal. However, it did not happen, cameras had to leave and the court continued with jury selection.

[BREAKING]: Melton Jury to be Sequestered

While Mayor Frank Melton sat in City Council, his cheeks sunken and his face haggard, Judge Tomie Green issued some unwelcome news to the jurors who will decide the mayor's fate on gun charges this week.

Documents Related to the Melton Trial

The following is a list of documents that might be useful to readers following the Melton gun trial:


Monday, November 13

NCAA Contenders

Congrats to Millsaps and Delta State, who won spots in the NCAA playoffs. First-round games are on Saturday.

The JFP Blogs the Melton Trial

Watch this site throughout the first round of Mississippi v. Frank Melton, slated to begin Nov. 14, for daily blogging, and photo galleries, about the Jackson mayor's first trial for illegally carrying weapons.

Sunday, November 12

YDA National Conference Comes to Jackson - November 17th Through 19th

I'm not planning on going, but if you're aged 18-35, politically engaged, and not a Republican, this is a rare opportunity to meet national Democrats without leaving town. The folks in charge of our local YDA chapter seem to be really good people, and I wish them nothing but the best.

Press Association on the JFP ‘Wags" Being ‘Atwitter'

This is fun. The blog of the Mississippi Press Association (I think I'm the only one who ever runs into it) posted something about John Newhouse exiting the Clarion-Ledger, ending with this:

Saturday, November 11

College Football: Instant Replay, Nov. 11

It's a Major miracle in Mississippi college football. Stay tuned, there will be updates all weekend.

Millsaps 34, Trinity 12: The Majors win the SCAC title and earn their first NCAA Division III playoff berth in 31 years.

Women Turning U.S. Blue?

Newsweeks' Politics Blog is exploring the pivotal role that women played in this week's election—they wanted change, went to the polls and made it happen. Go, grrls.

High School Football: Instant Replay, Nov. 10

The MHSAA Class 5A playoffs kicked off on Friday. As always, the first round was action packed:

Provine gives top-ranked South Panola a heckuva scare before losing 28-21.

Why the hell not?

Friday, November 10

Donna Ladd Subpoenaed

Today, Jackson Free Press Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd was subpoenaed by the attorney general's office to appear in the upcoming criminal trial of Mayor Frank Melton regarding articles she has published on Melton and guns.

Thursday, November 9

What if Mississippi had a "Challenge Day"?

On today's episode of Oprah, 64 students at a high school were brought into the gym to discuss and confront issues that divide teenagers - issues which continue into adults. Class. Race. Ideals about beauty. The whole experience seemed to have a major impact on these kids. What if something similar was done in this state for all the citizens? That day would be challenging, but necessary.

[BREAKING]: Subpoenas Issued in Melton Trial

(For background info and links to stories about the Melton indictments, see the JFP Melton Blog here).

[BREAKING]: City Council Acquires Outside Counsel

In a special meeting this afternoon, City Council confirmed that City Attorney Sarah O'Reilly-Evans has been issued a check for around $45,000 for her work on the convention center bond. "There was nothing we could do to stop this," Council President Ben Allen said.

It's Official: Allen Concedes, Democrats Control Congress

The fat lady's getting hoarse. AP is reporting:

Wednesday, November 8

Jesus, He Knows Me

This was recorded 15 years ago. Funny thing is it's still up to date; they wouldn't even have to make a new video.

One Story At A Time

She's petite—5 feet, 3 inches at most—her vocabulary is huge, and her future is gargantuan. Casey Parks, former assistant editor of the Jackson Free Press, has done more in her 23 years than most people ever dream. As the only one chosen out of 3,800 applicants to accompany Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof on a trip to Africa, I predict she will one day be selecting her own travel companion for some far-away journalistic expedition.

Party With Paula

Southern cooking maven Paula Deen was at Lemuria Oct. 31 signing her new book, "Paula Deen Celebrates!: Best Dishes and Best Wishes for the Best Times of Your Life." Deen is best known for her Food Network show, "Paula's Home Cooking," and her new show, "Paula's Party." In her new book, Deen shares recipes for holidays and special occasions.

[Drink] Little Sips

How does a can of wine sound? Or how about a little bottle of something-something? The big thing right now in the wine business is to lure folks in with catchy packaging, labels and names. Though not approved by this sommelier, box wines are big business, but they are no longer the "new thing." Winemakers are thrusting more and more creative vessels and bottle sizes onto the market, and people are buying.

[Music] Earthbound To Martin's

Birmingham's Earthbound blends lush instrumentation with down-home, everyman vocals. Like Widespread Panic's first cousin twice removed, the five-man group provides a sound that is a bit more "put together" than some jam bands that have been on the scene in the last few years. Earthbound consists of Scott Hudson (guitar and vocals), Clinton Mann (guitar and vocals), Myron W. Scott (percussion), Marcus London (percussion) and Ed Meredith (bass).

[Music] A Rurnt Weekend

Jessica Mizell, a senior at Belhaven College, is an editorial intern at the JFP and one of the main organizers of Rurnt Fest.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College basketball, Concordia at Belhaven (women, 5:30 p.m.; men, 7 p.m.): The Blazers host a doubleheader.

Change Is Vital

Lose weight, exercise, quit smoking—no one wants to hear it again. Most of us, especially when we're young and healthy, just ignore the advice. We stopped listening a long time ago, and precious few of us are making any changes in our behavior, at the cost of billions of health-care dollars, not to mention the impact on millions of lives.

Pity Would Be No More

In a few hours, I would be leaving Africa. After two weeks traveling through Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and the Central African Republic with New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Nick Kristof, I stood in the Bangui, C.A.R. airport ready to leave. I had won the trip through a New York Times essay contest—"Win A Trip With Nick"—that 3,800 people had entered.

Ronni's Wild Ride

"Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac."

[Stiggers] Legends of Chief Crazy Brotha

Miss Doodle-Mae: "As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, the staff of Gadus Discount Dollar Store and I want to share with our customers what we believe is the true meaning of Thanksgiving by presenting a brief one-man play titled 'Thanks for Giving Us Casinos and Hotels Without Reservations: A Black Indian Speaks on Thanksgiving,' featuring our resident playwright and stage actor (who claims one-third Native American ancestry) Ralph 'Chief Crazy Brotha' Wilson.

The Art Of Campfire

A wilderness ethic has emerged over the last decade or two that discourages campfires while camping, because they char the earth, put too much pressure on forests in crowded wilderness areas and pollute the air with wood smoke.

[Kamikaze] The Show Must Go On

First of all, let me say that the Mississippi's Best Awards, held on Oct. 28 at the TelCom Center, was an excellent idea. The vision honoring the best our state has to offer was long overdue. Not everyone excels in music or athletics. There are restaurateurs, hairdressers and authors who deserve our kudos. Why should we wait for some other entity to validate what we already know: Mississippi matters.

Fantasy Island Swamped

The LeFleur Lakes Plan might be on the ropes, project head John McGowan said in a recent Northside Sun article. Plans for a new overpass might make the project unviable, he said.

[City Buzz] no. 8 November 8 - 15

Barbour Disses MAEP

Gov. Haley Barbour says he won't be bound by the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, which provides funding for teachers' salaries, classroom materials, school utilities and other education necessities.

Frankie's Got A Gun

From the day Frank Melton took office as mayor of Jackson on July 4, 2006, he has exercised his right to bear arms in dramatic and public ways. Almost immediately after proclaiming at his inauguration that he was going to run the "thugs" out of Jackson, Melton donned black SWAT-type clothing—black fatigues and a bulletproof vest, usually over a black WLBT polo shirt and a dark baseball cap—and strapped on at least one semiautomatic handgun into a front holster on the vest for his nocturnal "crime-fighting" raids that would become the trademark of his mayoral agenda.

A Loose Cannon?

Cliff Cargill is a licensed, certified NRA instructor who teaches rifle, pistol, shotgun, home safety and personal protection. He was with the Hinds County Sheriff's Department from 1993-95, where he taught deputies on the shooting range. He has been an active competitor in shooting matches for more than 17 years, and he has been Mississippi state champion three times.

Jamaal Jackson

This week, Jackson State University celebrates its homecoming, and one person who will be mixing business with pleasure is the university's Student Government Association President Jamaal Jackson. The 21-year old St. Louis native graduates in May from the state's only urban university, and couldn't be more proud of his soon-to-be alma mater. The thing that he is most proud of, however, is the legacy he expects to leave with the SGA for the next 10 years or so.

A New Contract With America?

An interesting piece in Salon today takes on the idea of what "corruption" really meant to Americans as they went to the polls last night. Exit polls showed that corruption was the top issue—even bigger than the Iraq War. Something about that fact makes me very proud to be an American today. You can only lie to and cheat the American people for so long. Arrogance lost last night. From the Salon piece:

A State/CFL Legend Passes

Jackie Parker is considered by many to be the best Mississippi State football player ever. He died Tuesday at age 74. After leaving Starkville, "Spaghetti Legs" became the greatest football player in Canadian Football League history. Before all of that, Parker led Jones County Junior College to an undefeated season. A Google search revealed 100 articles on a player who's probably unknown to most football fans under 40.Here's a few of the tributes from Canada:

The Day After: Dems Take Washington

OK, here's your chance. Gloat. Whine. Vent. What are your thoughts on the very decisive mandate the country sent last night? Let 'er rip.

Mississippi in the Times

There's an article in yesterday's Times about an advertising campaign to show Mississippi as not last in everything. Though the quotes are kind of balanced, I still feel like it's making fun of Mississippi a bit too much, makes it seem like our only hope is advertising to make people like us. Any comments?

Clarion-Ledger Publisher Is History

In case you missed it in the rout of Republicans last night, The Clarion-Ledger announced that publisher John Newhouse is leaving the company (NOT country). That means we're looking at the fourth publisher in about 2.5 years over there. Newhouse led the charge to control the distribution of free publications in the metro, and was at the helm when the state attorney general started investigating the TDN distribution scheme.

Hinds and Mississippi Results

U.S. Senate - Trent Lott

JFP School Bond IssueChancery Court Judge District 5, Subdistrict 5-1 - Dewayne Thomas and William Bell (run-off)Chancery Court Judge District 5, Subdistrict 5-2 - Patricia WiseCircuit Court Judge District 7, Subdistrict 7-1 - Swan YergerCircuit Court Judge District 7, Subdistrict 7-4 - Bobby DeLaughterHinds County Court Judge Subdistrict 3 - Bill SkinnerHinds County School Board District 3 - Linda Killingsworth Laws

Tuesday, November 7

Open Thread—Local & State

JPS Bond Issue (WAPT reporting):

For 85%Against 15%65% reporting

The Election Predictions Thread

Ready to throw your weight behind your predictin' prowess? Here's the "official" word (mine, that is) on what's going to happen in today's elections. Are you brave enough to answer the call?

Clarion-Ledger No Longer a ‘Newspaper'?

My, my. It seems that Gannett Co. is causing consternation in its news room and talk in the newspaper industry by its decisions to turn its newspapers into "information center" in order to "stay relevant" and seek out the "mojo" of the Internet and "ground-up" news sources. The Washington Post:

Election 2006: On The Ballot

Listed below is a roster of the names and issues that will be on your ballot if you live in Hinds County. Some names may not be present, depending upon which exact portion of the county you live in. Some races, of course, have no competition so you only get one choice.

Election 2006: JFP Interview with Sen. Trent Lott

U.S. Sen. Trent Lott has been a stalwart anchor of the Republican Party ever since he switched from Democratic status during the '60s Southern Strategy years. The strategy saw segregationist throwbacks fleeing an increasingly black Democratic Party and transformed the political landscape of the South. Lott got his start in politics after an endorsement by Mississippi Rep. William Colmer, one of the Democratic Party's top segregationists. True to Democratic segregationists' approval of going Republican, the Democrat endorsed Lott even though he was running as a Republican.

Election 2006: Circuit Judges

District 7-4

Born in Jackson in 1945.Graduated Ole Miss in 1971.Graduated from University of Memphis in 1969.One of the first African Americans to attend Millsaps in 1965.Served in the U.S. Navy from 1963 to 1965.Practicing law for 35 years.

James Blunt, New Voice in Pop

Anyway, in case you're wondering if Blunt is a one-hit wonder, here's "High":

So you've probably heard "You're Beautiful," James Blunt's smash hit--a song that became so popular, so fast, that it has already inspired a clever (if slightly mean) Weird Al parody. There's no denying the vocal power of this guy, and the only strike against the song, for me, is the overall weirdness of the lyrics--which makes more sense if you hear it as a character study rather than a serious love song, a song that captures the way men think rather than the way men should think.

Monday, November 6

Almost the Beatles

The lineup for this version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps":

College Football: USM 42, Memphis 21

Southern Miss 42, Memphis 21: The Eagles end this one early with 35 first-half points. Out-of-town papers: Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Mobile

Casey's NY Times Blog FREE

My blog for the New York Times is free this week if anyone wants to read it:

Back from Iraq

Last year, we were all on edge.

"I'm not making fruit salad!" my mother affirmed -- more than once -- as Christmas approached. She gleaned the fruit salad recipe from my dad's grandpa years ago. No one can quite figure out why, in a family of several dozen, he only gave the recipe to her. After two decades of moving that sweet homemade whipped cream, mandarin orange and other fruit concoction around my mouth, I could guess it well enough. But she is the only person who can make it just right.

Vanity Fair ‘NeoCulpa' Posted

The much bally-hooed Vanity Fair piece NeoCulpa is online. And, yup, it's just in time for the election.

Florida GOP Gov Candidate Ducks Bush

My, how things have changed. The political albatross that President Bush has become was yet more apparent today when a Republican candidate for governor ducked an appearance with the president today. This is particularly ironic in the state that put Bush in the White House in the first place.

Sunday, November 5

Klan Wizard Sam Bowers Is Dead

JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) -- Former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard Samuel H. Bowers, who was serving a life sentence for the 1966 bombing death of a civil rights leader, died Sunday in a state penitentiary, officials said. He was 82.

Joint Editorial: Rummy Must Go

In what's being described as a rare joint editorial due to appear in print on Monday, the Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corp Times and Air Force Times will call on President Bush to fire SecDef Donald Rumsfeld, regardless of the outcome of the election. (The Military Times publications are not government newspapers -- they are independent newspapers that are part of the Gannett publishing empire aimed at sales to U.S. servicemen and women. They also have some extraordinarily old-school websites. Yowza.)

Saints 31, Buccaneers 14

Drew Brees throws for three touchdowns as the New Orleans Saints trounce the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-14.


Flying from Seattle, Wa., to Chicago, I feel weightless for exactly two seconds.

Amidst so much movement, I think I should be finding more things to write about. The truth is, most of my life in the last month has been spent on planes. I am restless, tired of security checks and complimentary beverages. I am slowly learning how to make more of these propellings: bending my small fingers over thread to make bracelets, reading entire issues of Newsweek and Time (not just the articles that are interesting to me), writing just for me and reading so many books.

Saints at Bucs: Will Reggie Be Ready?

The New Orleans Saints' October homestand is over. Sunday, they play at division rival Tampa Bay (noon, Ch. 40/620 AM). The Saints beat the Bucs on Oct. 8 thanks to Reggie Bush's punt return for a touchdown. Bush aggravated his ankle injury last week but insists he will be ready to play on Sunday.

Fujiya & Miyagi's "Transparent Things"

"They're doing for 70s krautrock and motorik what the DFA did for early 80s electro. Indeed, without even being asked, they've gone and done the unthinkable: They've actually made krautrock fun."- Pitchfork Media. Deaf Dumb & Blind Recordings has signed their very first artist, Fujiya & Miyagi and lucky for us, are releasing their highly acclaimed album Transparent Things in the US on January 23rd. International press and DJs alike have been going nuts for these three boys from Brighton (not a Japanese duo as their name suggests)! Erol Alkan, James Murphy and Optimo are among the celebrated artists/DJs to proclaim their love for the electronic maestros. The album is named for Vladimir Nabokov's novel Transparent Things and is a masterpiece of smooth melodic chorus', idiosyncratic lyrics, disco punk tracks; a clever and charismatic record for 2007.

Saturday, November 4

College Football: Instant Replay, Nov. 4

&ItemidHere's how Mississippi teams did on the grid on Saturday (keep checking back for updates):

Friday, November 3

Young Voters May Sway Election

MSNBC is reporting that more young people may vote Tuesday than they have in many years—primarily because young people their age are dying in Iraq and because they don't approve of how the government responded to 9/11 and Katrina:

ARTICLE: Dispelling election day rumors

I've never heard anyone say that you couldn't vote if you didn't pay your utility bills first. Unfortunately, someone heard that and stayed home because of it.

Get Your Motor Running

Suggested NASCAR romance pick-up line: Honey, do you know how to drive a stick shift?

How's this for a combination of the sacred and the profane: A series of Harlequin romances set in the world of NASCAR? Vanity Fair gives this a thumbs-down, but what the heck does VF know?

Vote for AirTran?

The Metro Chamber sent out an e-mail blast today encouraging people to visit the AirTran website and vote for Jackson as their next destination via an online poll:

Evangelist Prez Steps Down Because ... Gay?

Oh. My. Word. When I was editor of the Colorado Springs Independent, this right-wing preacher was one of the most outspoken in the city's Religious Industrial Complex (with Focus on the Family at the center) against homosexuality—and preached right-wing politics from the pulpit. Now, this gay prostitute says Haggard has been paying himf or sex. What other October surprise is in store for the "family values" posers!?! Associated Press is reporting:

Minor: Haley Should Release Tax Returns

In Bill Minor's syndicated column this week, he argues that Gov. Haley Barbour should be more accountable to the public:

Thursday, November 2

20/20 Special on People of Privilege: Friday, November 3, 8 PM CT

From A two-hour special on people of privilege: those who flash their money to gain entrance into college, and others who use their keen celebrity likeness to get red-carpet treatment.

Yaw Bee Baw: The Michael Oher Story

Michael Oher, Ole Miss football's own "freak of nature" is the subject of "The Blind Side" by Michael Lewis, the author of "Moneyball." Every Day Should Be Saturday has an entertaining summary of the book. On Oher's recruitment by Rebels coach Ed Orgeron:

EXCLUSIVE: City Attorney In the Money?

City Attorney Sarah O'Reilly-Evans could collect up to $650,000 on the $65 million convention Center bond proposal, according to a clause in her city contract, first revealed publicly on Nov. 1 on O'Reilly-Evans, who heads the city's legal department, makes $113,000 a year in annual salary—almost $25,000 more than the last city attorney, Terry Wallace—but a clause in her contract allows her to take home extra pay from every city bond proposal she helps devise.

New Poll: Election Referendum on Iraq, Bush

The New York Times is reporting that approval of Bush's handling of the war in Iraq is down to 29 percent—the lowest ever. It also show that next week's election is highly likely to be a referendum on the GOP's handling of the war:

American Idiot

Dear Senator Kerry:

Please do not run for president again in 2008.

Wednesday, November 1

Election 2006: JFP Interview with Rep. Erik Fleming

Rep. Erik Fleming has been a full-time representative of Hinds County since 1999. Before that, he was a reporter for both the Jackson Advocate and the Mississippi Link newspapers.

Making Elbow Room

Police Chief Shirlene Anderson has been pushing the idea of a misdemeanor jail as part of her plan to battle repeat offenders in the city.

Residents To Legislature: Please Help

The Battlefield Community Association has a new way to fight crime in West Jackson: Members are taking the fight to the Legislature.

Return of The Dems - What Would It Mean?

The battle for the 110th Congress is looking more promising for Democrats this year. National polls, like a Reuters/Zogby poll released last week, show that voters will favor Democratic candidates over Republicans in the upcoming Nov. 7 elections. Democrats have an 11-point edge in that poll, with voters favoring Democrats 44 percent to 33 percent—up from a 9-point lead two weeks earlier.

14 Cents To The Promised Land

"We must not let anything interfere with the ability of the youth of this region to secure here in the region as good an education as is available anywhere in the country, and this opportunity must be available to all of the bright young men and women and not just to the chosen few. Only in this way can the South be true to its promise."

[Stiggers] Tune In, Drop Out

Broth Hustle: "Greetings, bootleg satellite dish owners! The Ghetto Science Team's telecommunications division and I have joined to provide poor folk with a new listening experience called the Broth Hustle Underground Satellite Radio Network. When the skies are clear (or your satellite dish is unobstructed by debris from your neighbors' yard or subdivision apartment), listen to high-fidelity programming such as music, news, public affairs, sports, weather, etc.

no. 07 November 1 - November 8

<b>Backing for Blanche</b>

An initiative is underway that I believe is of great importance to all Mississippians. The first black U. S. Senator, Blanche K. Bruce, R-Miss., who served during reconstruction has never been issued a postage stamp. This may not seem of any importance, but the first woman, first Asian and the first Hispanic have all been issued stamps. In addition to an auspicious career as a senator, Bruce was also appointed as second-in-command as the Treasury Department under three different presidents.

Tacos and Fish Sticks

The surfboard on the wall reads, "Go with the 'FLOW'ood," and Taco Del Mar is the most recent restaurant to come rushing in with the influx of eateries opening in Flowood. So how did "Tacos of the Sea" end up in Flowood? The franchise started in 1992 in Seattle's waterfront district, and has grown to well over 200 locations. Apparently, the founders of the franchise, brothers John and James Schmidt, were inspired by the little beach-side food stands in Southern California that served burritos and the like. The brothers decided to do something similar, and their ode to beach culture is irrefutable.

[Drink] Dead Guy Ale

The word rogue brings many images to mind. When considering myself, for instance, I am roguishly handsome and roguishly charming. For beer drinkers, the word rogue brings to mind Rogue brewers, based in Oregon. Rogue exclusively produces ale, which is darker and more full than its lighter, crisper cousin the lager. I sat down, living dangerously without a coaster to sample two of Rogue's brews, Saint Rogue Red Ale and Rogue Dead Guy Ale.

Gadget of The Week

How serious are you about amateur digital photography? Fuji has released the S6000fd, an SLR-like digital camera that offers some very good specs for an under-$500 price point. (It's closer to $400 at many online stores.) Disappointing to some is the 6.1 megapixel rating, but that should still be more than enough for most people's uses while keeping the image size relatively low so you can fit more vacation shots on a memory card. What the camera does offer—aside from a rugged 35-mm look, a comfortable grip and a 10x optical zoom lens—is a high-tech "face detection" technology that is supposed to make it extremely easy to auto focus on a person or group of people in your shots. Reviewers say they like the feature, particularly in the way it can give amateur and "fully automatic" photographers a leg up in the shooting department. Plus, the photo quality is said to be very good, thanks to the quality of the (non-detachable) lens. It offers a good-sized LCD display as well as the manual controls that the typical 35mm hobbyist would respect, making it a very interesting gift choice for someone who isn't quite a pro, but who needs good results with minimum fuss (reporters, real estate agents, contractors), or folks interesting in pursuing their digital photography hobby.

What Dreams May Come?

I saw William Dunlap in the gift store at the Mississippi Museum of Art, signing copies of his book "Dunlap" (University Press of Mississippi, 2006, $45) with his whiskey on the counter, joking and keeping everyone smiling.

Boyz In Da Row

"Saints Row" is part of a growing genre known as "GTA Clone," referring to the "Grand Theft Auto" series, built on free-roaming criminal adventurers. The similarities are instantly recognizable, from the ability to commit crimes like larceny and homicide—causing policemen, and later FBI agents, to hunt you down—to the mission-based system, as well as the mini-games that allow you to gain money and respect. One could accuse this game of plagiarism, but don't be too harsh. "Saints Row" may be an imitator, but at least it does it well.

Theater Round-Up!

It's 1962, and Tracy Turnblad is the girl to know. She's a big girl with big hair, a soft heart and a passion for dancing. She's not a closet dancer, though. Her dream is to dance on the Corny Collins Show. She gets her chance, and after her big break, she becomes an instant celebrity in her hometown. But Tracy's not content with resting on her superstar status. She decides to use that influence to campaign for Corny Collins' dance floor to be integrated.

[Music] It Needs To Be Felt

A month ago, Brad Goodwin was waiting for his turn at an open mic night in Baton Rouge. The 21-year-old was ready. He had been playing music since he was 3 years old. His old band, the Shreveport-based metal/rock band Soul Spiral, had almost been signed when he was in high school. And his new folkier, singer-songwriter tunes were solid.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College football, West Virginia at Louisville (6:30 p.m., ESPN): Hey, here's a Big East game that matters (for a change).

Marvin Jamison

Marvin Jamison is not your typical butcher. Yes, he wears the white butcher's hat and coat. He can slice a fine cut of meat or convince the pickiest eater to try something different. But he is best known for his beautiful voice belting out over the I-55 Kroger intercom.

A Sad Day, Indeed

City Council is Fun

True to Our Authentic Selves-Women and Radio

Who knew that Gloria and Jane would create a media that my husband adores? Not those tauting the "feminazi" rhetoric for sure. He came home a few weeks ago raving over a station he's been listening to, and he thinks I'll love it too. Well, duh. I've been listening online since July, but now I can listen on 780 AM in the car. I have to say he's preferring this talk radio to the usual agenda-driven choices.