Stories for September 2006


Saturday, September 30

College Football: Instant Replay, Sept. 30

How Mississippi teams fared on Saturday (including out-of-town papers' reports):

Georgia 14, Ole Miss 9: The Dawgs rally in the second half to beat the Rebels.

‘Sordid Lives' So, So Funny

Todd and I had a wonderful evening last night watching "Sordid Lives" in Hal & Mal's big room. It was a hilarious time, and our friend and JFP senior editor JoAnn Prichard Morris was delicious as the drunken floozy. (I told her to watch for typecasting.)

New Woodward Book Scathing Look at White House

The Washington Post reports that Bob Woodward's new book is roiling an embattled Bush administration:

Friday, September 29

Update: Melton Is Appearing in Meridian Court Today

Oct. 2, 12:20 p.m.: Mayor Frank Melton has been spotted in the Meridian courtroom where jury selection took up the morning. The judge has asked all parties to be in the courtroom after lunch. More updates soon...

Wednesday, September 27

[Grayson] Fixing The Whole Problem

I have been trying to keep silent about the recent devastation that has plagued our city government, resulting in indictments of the mayor and his bodyguards. I convinced myself that I did not have an opinion and that the situation would work itself out eventually.

The Wide World of Tea Cakes

With fall's cooler temps, my palate shifts to warmer, cozier and more comforting foods. I realize that I can once again turn on my oven without causing myself or my two dogs to suffer from heat exhaustion. I vowed not to use the oven for the remainder of the summer when the air conditioning went kaput after I baked a vegetable lasagna one hot summer night. There's nothing like sweating over a savory plate of lasagna.

Starting Over

Slowly, slowly, the Mississippi Gulf Coast is coming back to life after Katrina's devastation. A year later, the artists of the Coast have banded together, getting to know each other, supporting one another, going around the country doing shows together.

[Drink] Bragging Rights

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I have just returned from what I believe to be one of the finest trips to wine country anyone has ever taken. One of the perks of having a career in wine is that you end up having some pretty good connections, and connections are what make the difference between a winery tour with a big group led by a guide and a winery tour with the winemaker, carrying a glass and a pipette for extracting wine straight from the barrels to taste. And that, my friends, is "what I'm talkin' about."

[Music] Give, and It Shall Be Given

Hip-hop is a way of life, not just a genre of music, according to Ezra Brown and DJ Scrap Dirty, business partners at Seven*Studioz.

[New Releases] Magnolia Electric Co. "Fading Trails"

Magnolia Electric Co. "Fading Trails"

"Fading Trails" is a nine-track gem from recording sessions with Steve Albini at his Electric Audio Studio, at Sun Studios in Memphis, and features songs from the home recorded lost "Shohola" album. Molina's earthly suave somber-folk aesthetic has never been more beautiful or pure as this record. Rarely do singer-songwriters cross genre barriers and ring soulfully to universal roots. Also just out is a vinyl-only album, "Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go." - Herman Snell

[New Releases] Bright Eyes "Noise Floor"

Bright Eyes "Noise Floor"

Conor Oberst and company are back with a quintessential collection of singles, unreleased tracks, one-offs and covers, recorded from 1998 in Conor's basement four-tracks to laptop projects in 2005. You'll have to wait till spring for the next proper Bright Eyes album. But these quiet indie-folk rock obscurities will surely get you by the next rainy day.

[New Releases] Soulwax "Nite Versions"

Soulwax – "Nite Versions"

You may know Soulwax from their remixes of Ladytron's "Seventeen" and LCD Soundsystem's "Daft Punk is Playing at My House." Soulwax released their latest bootie powerhouse on Modular Records. Nite Versions was inspired by The Human League's "Love & Dancing" remix album and Duran Duran's Nite Versions, which consisted of reworked B-Sides. These anthemic floor-busting grooves features Daft Punk, DFA and eight others.

DIY Music Studio

During the last mayoral campaign, candidate Frank Melton promised to build a recording studio on Farish Street. Well, he won, but the studio hasn't happened, yet—and with his mayoral future in serious doubt, it looks like that recording studio may go down as yet another unfulfilled campaign promise. (But geez, who's counting?)

Sutton Seeks Injunction Against Melton


Jennifer Sutton, the owner of a duplex allegedly destroyed by Mayor Frank Melton and his cohorts, has filed for a temporary restraining (PDF, 900 K) order against Melton and other city officials. The restraining order and preliminary injunction calls for city officials to stop referring to Sutton's property as a "drug house."

Jackson's Next Mayor?

Photo montage by JFP Staff

The city is already thick with speculation over who is jockeying to be Jackson's next mayor, even though the current mayor has vowed he will not resign.

[Stiggers] Et Tu, Popeye?

Chef "low-fat" Meat: "Distinguished members of The Illumi-nappy-headed, I'm honored to be a guest speaker for the 'What's Happenin' Now Conspiracy Convention.'

CityBuzz [09.27.06]

Musgrove Sucks Toes

According to a report in the Nashville Post, newly unsealed legal depositions allege that former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove had an affair with Robin Costa, the trustee and director of the Maddox Foundation, in 2001 and 2002. Musgrove represents Costa in an ongoing legal dispute over the foundation.

no. 02 September 27 - October 4

<b>Crime or a Conspiracy?</b>

This (felony indictments) is a conspiracy against Mayor Melton, which was born from Washington, D.C. This a political plot to overthrow what 75 percent of the voters voted for. This is also a plot organized by the Harvey Johnson forces to throw Melton out of office. The congressmen rob the bank, Jim Hood provided the getaway car, and Faye Peterson was at the wheel. Furthermore, while Attorney Dennis Sweet is trying to prosecute Mayor Melton in civil court, he needs to be worrying about the money he made from the phen-fen case. He filled his pockets, and the poor took the fall in the federal pen. Melton is in the middle of a drug war, and someone has to fight it.

While Rich Folks Scream

There are certain power players in the entrepreneurial game that everyone should know. Two names are Michael and Steven Roberts. When I crawled from under the rock I'd been living under, I realized that these men have made massive waves in the business world, and have no intentions of slowing down. I sat down with the St. Louis-born brothers at their newly acquired Roberts Broadcasting here, in the capital city, and talked to them about their business ventures.

Fleming Formally Requests to Debate Lott

Michael Raff

Michael Raff, 64, is a legend in Mississippi. Born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa, Raff attended Notre Dame until his junior year, completing a BA and master's degree in theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Missouri. In the summer of 1966, he traveled to Jackson to work in the Civil Rights Movement, intending to stay only one summer. He wound up falling in love.

The JFP Interview: Mayor Brown Goes To Washington

Rep. Bennie Thompson has some serious competition in the general election for his 2nd Congressional District seat this November. His Republican opponent Yvonne Brown may not have the big bucks that Thompson has collected, but she's got confidence, with good reason.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Pro golf, Southern Farm Bureau Classic (7 a.m., Madison, tape-delay TV on Golf Channel, 8 p.m.): The first round tees off at the ritzy Annandale Golf Club. This year, organizers are encouraging fans to get drunk and yell at the pros at No. 17. The tourney continues through Sunday.

Call the Roll on Dirty Politics

Disturbing statements have been coming from inside Mayor Frank Melton's inner circle since he and his bodyguards were indicted Sept. 15 for home invasion and demolition. To put it simply, paid Melton supporters are trying to convince city residents—especially "the people"—that he was acting as a crime-fighting hero when he allegedly ordered minors to sledgehammer the rental home of schizophrenic Evans Welch.

Tuesday, September 26

Podcast: Donna Ladd on Kim Wade 9/22

Starting to get used to the weekly fix? Listen to Donna and Kim (and Bob Hickingbottom) on last Friday's "WJNT in the Afternoon" radio show: WJNT 9.22.06.

Monday, September 25

BREAKING: Upper Level Strikes Back

Updated. This version appears in the print version of the Jackson Free Press already on the stands today.

WAPT: Melton Wants to Mentor, Use Police Equipment

WAPT is reporting that Frank Melton is trying to get conditions of his bond overturned because he still wants to be able to mentor young people and use police equipment. He is under several counts of felony indictments because he allegedly used police equipment, officers and young people under his mentorship to destroy a house on Ridgeway Street on Aug. 26. WAPT today reported the response of District Attorney Faye Peterson:

[Lott] America's Soft Underbelly

During World War II, when the Allies planned the invasion of Nazi occupied Europe, Winston Churchill actually proposed coming from the south, from the Mediterranean Sea and into the Balkans. That region was, as he called it, the "soft underbelly" of Europe, less guarded and ripe for a swift, piercing and fatal blow to Hitler's regime.

Friday, September 22

Matador Records News

Matador signs Love Of Diagrams. Matador is happier than Donald Rumsfeld holding the Aspartame patent to announce the signing of a worldwide deal with the Australian trio LOVE

Thursday, September 21

Donna Ladd on Kim Wade Show Friday 5pm

JFP editor Donna Ladd joins Kim Wade again this Friday, Sept. 22, for his radio show on WJNT, 1180 AM, from 5 to 6 p.m. Tune in!

Read Jim Hood Interview, Article About Melton

If you're looking for the Jim Hood articles just referred to on the Kim Wade Show, click here to read Donna Ladd's interview with Jim Hood, and read Adam Lynch's story, "Hood Threatens Melton."

Open Letter to the Publisher of The Clarion-Ledger

The New York Times on Frank Melton

First, note that the JFP cover from April, shot by Kate Medley of Melton with the shotgun, is in the New York Times story about him today. Otherwise, the story is an interesting summary and, over all, pretty decent. Of course, there are vital details left out that they probably couldn't figure out quickly ...

Wednesday, September 20

Winging It

Graphic illustration Jakob Clark

Growing up, the only experience I had with chicken wings were the ones covered with feathers belonging to the small population of egg-laying hens on our Montana farm. Raised in incubators, these chickens were more than egg producers: they were a part of our family.

[Drink] National Beer

Spicy food provides one of the only excuses for drinking domestic beer, which is generally watery with a metallic tinge. But when you're sitting outside eating spicy chicken wings on a Sunday afternoon, it almost has to be domestic, doesn't it?

The Best In Sports In Days

College football, Hinds CC at Mississippi Gulf Coast CC (7 p.m., Perkinston): The loser of this game probably won't be going to the playoffs.

Big City, Bright Future: Development Surges Ahead in Downtown Jackson

Graphic illustration courtesy of Downtown Jackson Partners

These may be strange days for a Capitol City, but Jackson's rebirth continues to pick up speed, despite the antics of its indicted mayor.

[Music] After All These Years

Hunter and the Gators … you've seen the name, and probably seen the band. After a number of personnel changes through the years, they recently celebrated their 15-year anniversary with their strongest lineup of talent ever.

Council Approves Tax, Fee Hikes

Last Friday, the City Council voted to raise taxes for city residents, even as the budget of the mayor's office jumped 41 percent over last year. In the last year, the city has moved to cut costs, including sharp cuts in overtime pay, a promotion freeze in some departments and a drastic call by Mayor Frank Melton for every city department—except the police—to cut its budget by 5 percent.

D-Day for Mayor Frank Melton

Almost exactly two weeks after the Jackson Free Press reported that eyewitnesses were saying Mayor Frank Melton and his cohorts had taken a "Walking Tall" stick and sledgehammers to rental property on Ridgeway Street, a trio of state and county officials indicted Melton and two of his bodyguards. Melton, who is out on $50,000 bond, is facing six felonies and two misdemeanors that could bring a total of more than 50 years in prison.

CityBuzz [09.20.06]

As the JFP goes to press, City Council chambers are packed with Melton supporters—or at least, we deem them Melton supporters by virtue of signs reading, "Fight Frank Fight." Melton is also in attendance.

Rolling With the Fear

Clara Agnes Ault is a typical 12-year-old girl with pretty blonde hair, braces and an iPod. For Christmas last year, she received the standard allotment of sweaters, scarves and belts.

The Little Weekly That Could

We celebrate a milestone with the issue of the Jackson Free Press that you hold in your hand, as it's the first issue of our fifth year of publishing. We're 4! It's been quite a ride from our start as a small bi-weekly upstart to our current incarnation as a mid-sized (and growing!), award-winning, story-breakin' weekly publication and a daily news-driven Web site. And we hope, a positive media force in the Jackson Metro community. We certainly couldn't have gotten to this point without dedicated readers, advertisers and—increasingly—the citizen journalists who call to give us tips and participate via our Web site.

[Greggs] The City Sleeps Tonight

For the past week I've had one song going through my head. It's stuck. I usually hate it when this happens. I also happen to know that when it does occur, the best way to get rid of it is to afflict someone else with its repeating tune. So, here goes …

[Stiggers] How to Succeed in Bidness

Rudy McBride: "The staff of the Let Me Hold Five Dollars National Bank (L.M.H.F.D.) recognizes the potential of unemployed individuals in poor neighborhoods. We understand clearly what the good Lord, James Brown and Marva Whitney say about not using your potential: 'If you don't work, you can't eat!'

[Kamikaze] A One-Way Street?

Now let me see if I got this straight. A women's-only college in Virginia has announced that it will admit men in 2007. Officials at the 115-year-old Randolph-Macon Woman's College say that the move will help stabilize the school's depleted finances. What has me baffled is that the move has sparked protest and outrage among students and alumnae.

Ted Duckworth

Native Jacksonian Ted Duckworth, 39, is dedicated to changing the face of downtown Jackson. A married father of four, Duckworth graduated from Mississippi State in 1988 with a bachelor's in real estate and mortgage finance. The following year, he started his own company, Duckworth Realty, with exclusive listings in LeFleur's Gallery Shopping Center and The Market at Grant's Ferry Shopping Center.

JFP "3.0" Ideas, Anyone?

I'm looking at a few different upgrades to the JFP site that I want to roll out over the next few weeks...*maybe* within a month or so we'll be moving to a slightly upgraded platform for the entire site.

Help Is On the Way

Tuesday, September 19

Casey Parks' Africa Trip Blog

We can all keep in touch with Casey's adventure at

Also, Lisa Mullins at NPRs The World did another interview with her. This is the show's interview with her on Sept 11 Interview. (Scroll down until you see the phrase "Casey interview", which lasts exactly 6 minutes)

Melton's Hometown Newpaper on his Indictments

The Tyler (Texas) Morning Telegraph is reporting on Melton's indictments—while oddly not mentioning that his wife and homestead exemption still reside right there in their coverage area:

Last Call

I have one thing to say, HALLELUJAH!!

A friend of mine sent me a link to a study online saying that drinkers actually make higher salaries than non-drinkers.

Monday, September 18

Bluegills Save the World

Look how totally freakin' cool bluegills are...

Okay, this is my new favorite fish

Sunday, September 17

Instant replay, Sept. 16

Unless you're a USM, Valley or MC fan, Saturday was a disaster. Here's your report:

Southern Miss 37, N.C. State 17: Eagles, wearing ugly-ass all-black unis, dog Wolfpack

Saturday, September 16

XTC Andy Partridges' Fuzzy Warbles Collectors Box

The following is a further excerpt from Andy's liner notes:

The Fuzzy Warbles Collectors Album 9 CD box set brings together over 100 songs from XTC frontman Andy Partridges' songwriting archive. Recorded over the years, whilst Andy and XTC were signed to Virgin Records and later to the Idea and Ape House labels, the material is spread across eight volumes featuring songs and alternate versions of many XTC favorites that never made it onto the respective final albums or never made the cut when the final tracklistings were decided. There are also songs Andy never got to complete that he's re-visited and finished off especially for this Fuzzy Warbles series. The Fuzzy Warbles Collectors Album is being released domestically late Fall by Ape House via Virtual Label, distributed by Ryko Distribution.

Mayor Yvonne Brown: Guided by Faith, Driven to Serve

Since she has took office in 2001, Mayor Yvonne Brown, 54, of Tchula has made it known that she is a woman deeply influenced by her faith and committed to her convictions. From her family's history in politics, it would seem that it was inevitable that she would become a servant of the people by holding a public office. (An excerpt of this interview will appear in C. A. Webb's weekly column ONE ON ONE in the Clarion Ledger WEEKEND SECTION on Thursday, September 21, 2006.)

Who Is WLBT Kidding?

Friday, September 15

A Big Fat Lie

A guy is accused of killing his brother. His defense? He attacked a goat, and then the goat turned into his brother's dead body.

Why Jackson Doesn't Need 'Superman'

Also see Darren Schwindaman's cartoon.

City Council: Jackson Will Not Collapse

In a press conference at 4:30 p.m. today, City Council members each offered statements in response to grand jury indictments against Mayor Frank Melton and JPD Detectives Michael Recio and Marcus Wright.

Danks: Indictments ‘Politically Motivated'

Dale Danks, Mayor Frank Melton's attorney, told reporters this afternoon that his client had no intention of resigning in response to multiple indictments brought against him this afternoon in Hinds County Circuit Court.

Audio of Melton Indictment Press Conferences

Here is the audio of the three press conferences from earlier today, detailing the indictments that have been brought by a special grand jury this morning as a result of charges brought by the Hinds Country Sherriff's department, the Hinds County District Attorney and the Attorney General of Mississippi. Each had their own press conference this afternoon. The files linked are Windows Media Audio files...I'll post MP3 translations later this afternoon.

Donna Ladd on Kim Wade Show Friday 5pm

Donna Ladd will sit in with Kim Wade on WJNT this afternoon (Sept. 15) from 5-6pm. There's probably no point in me saying what they plan to discuss...Tune in to 1180 AM.

A.G. Hood: Any Deal Includes Melton's Resignation

In a press conference this afternoon, Attorney General Jim Hood confirmed that his office will offer a plea bargain to Frank Melton, telling reporters that it is the policy of his office to always offer people under indictment an opportunity to plead guilty to the crime, sometimes to a lesser charge. Hood did not specifically say he would require Melton to plead guilty to a felony, but he did say that Melton would have to resign as mayor in order to reach a plea agreement.

Breaking: Melton Cannot Supervise Children

This just reported by Donna from district attorney Faye Peterson's press conference:

BREAKING: Frank Melton Indicted on Felony Charges

Sources are telling the Jackson Free Press that Mayor Frank Melton has been indicted on at least one felony charge by a special grand jury this morning. Sheriff Malcolm McMillin and District Attorney Faye Peterson are expected to announce details at press conferences at 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 14

I Hate Nancy Grace

This article should underscore that...

So, I guess the headline might give you a small glimpse into my personal feelings regarding Nancy Grace.

Archie Bronson Outfit - "Derdang Derdang"

Archie Bronson Outfit kick out the jams! in the old school psychedelic garage fashion of MC5, Faust, Silver Apples, Can, Os Mutantes and the Velvet Underground, while being more radio friendly than Spacemen 3 or the 13th Floor Elevators. With the vocal intensity somewhere between Pere Ubu and John Lydon, their 2nd album and the follow-up to their 2004 debut album 'Fur'; is caulk-full of 60s/70s fused British/Scandinavian psych garage rock. The singles "Dart For My Sweetheart" and "Dead Funny" alone, are worth the price of admission if you dig the jams from any of the bands mentioned above. - Herman Snell

The Editors "The Back Room" DVD

-- Herman Snell

The 2005 U.K. smash debut by The Editors has over the last year risen to become the second biggest indie rock band in England. As the opening act for 2003-2004 kindred spirits Franz Ferdinand, they join the ranks of that Joy Division inspired post 80s Brit-Rock indie, guitar driven Interpol, The Killers, The Bravery, Bloc Party raucous. If you've got all those go back to the source: Echo & the Bunnymen, Chameleons U.K., Kitchens of Distinction. If you're new to the band or haven't seen them live, get the 11 extra track "Back Room" CD/DVD import combo.

Richard Buckner "Meadow"

Buckner's eighth studio album and second release for Merge records features the signature modern college-folk and auspicious melodies he has become known for. "Meadow" brings Guided By Voices' Doug Gillard and Kevin March in to flesh out the instrumentation. Perhaps not Buckner's finest work, but "Meadow" is fresh and goes down easy on the pastoral age of post GBV. - Herman Snell

D.A.: Melton Investigation Headed to Grand Jury

BREAKING: District Attorney Faye Peterson tells the Jackson Free Press that the county's investigation of Mayor Frank Melton's alleged rampage the evening of Aug. 26 and the morning of Aug. 27 has been concluded. "We will review the information the sheriff has submitted and present it to the first available grand jury," she said Thursday. When asked when that would be, she said, "The next one that's officially scheduled is the second week in October." Could a special grand jury be convened sooner in the case? "It's always possible," she answered.

Death Cab for Cutie in Birmingham & Memphis

Death Cab for Cutie / Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, BJCC Concert Hall, Birmingham, AL, Thu, 11/16/06, 8 p.m. $26. On Sale Now. 205-458-8401. Death Cab for Cutie / Ok Go, Orpheum Theatre, Memphis, Nov. 28, 800-277-1700. Also on sale now.

PROJECT RUNWAY LOVERS: "Where's Andre?" We don't know but we have something just as good!

After announcing the confirmation of Project Runway's Kara Saun last week, we are pleased to add to that excitement with more additions to our award-winning fashion weekend.

Wednesday, September 13

Read the JFP Story That Started It All

Read Adam Lynch's breaking story that first revealed Mayor Frank Melton's Aug. 26 alleged rampage on Ridgeway Street in Jackson—the accusations that led to felony indictions of Melton and his bodyguards two weeks later on Sept. 15. Adam's story first appeared the afternoon of Sept. 1, 2006. You can read Lynch's exclusive interview with victim Evans Welch here. The JFP also broke the story about Evans Welch's schizophrenia here.

Council May Investigate Melton

In front of a packed City Council chamber, with citizens spilling into the hallway, Council President Ben Allen announced that he will now support an investigation of Mayor Frank Melton's alleged illegal actions, if by 4:30 p.m. this Friday, professional investigators have not "wrapped up" their probes. If that is case, Allen said, he would call for a Council-led investigation of Melton that would begin the following Monday. Melton's alleged rampage through a Ridgeway Street duplex was first reported by the JFP on Sept. 1.

Look At All These Rumors

As the JFP goes to press, the city is awash in rumors about what is going to happen next to Mayor Frank Melton and friends. Some are more credible than others. If you're the bettin'-startin'-an-office-pool type, here are some cheeky options:

What's In A Sledgehammer

This unsung word derives from two Germanic roots, the Old English "slegce," which means heavy hammer and is related to "slean," which means to strike or slay, and the Old English "hamor," which refers to a stone or crag. Both are derived from Indo-European roots having something or other to do with a tool with a stone head. The truly important words never change much.

Necessary Means?

Throughout public debate of the allegations that Mayor Frank Melton and associates demolished a Ridgeway home, Councilman Kenneth Stokes has applauded Melton's actions. At Tuesday's City Council meeting, Stokes said: "We have to fight these dope boys by any means necessary. The mayor used a sledgehammer. I would have used a bulldozer."

The Fall Arts Preview: The Better Angels

I get so bored when I hear people say, "There's nothing to do in Jackson." What's even more annoying is when those same people make claims that if they were "in … [insert larger city name here] …" they would have plenty to do. There may be bigger venues and more famous artists elsewhere, but come on … there are plenty of things to do and see right here in Jackson.

Sheriff to Return Evans Welch to Jail?

BREAKING: Five or six sheriffs' cruisers came to rearrest Evans Welch at about 4 p.m. today, according to Evan's mother Louvenia Welch.

Mississippi's Latin Flavor

It was both exciting and overwhelming making Mexico City my home last summer. Every aspect of the city fascinated me, and studying abroad improved my Spanish just as much as my professors promised it would. I could never learn in a classroom what I learned in Mexico. I could never see Mexican history unfold through the arts, or eat authentic foods, or dance the salsa, or drink genuine tequila, or interact with the community and experience their way of life.

Seeing The Music

Cliff Speaks would rather not know where his art will take him. "Halfway through, it could turn to a completely different direction."

Miss Sweetheart

As a child, Jackie Bell's first love was dance, but the emotions that overwhelmed her every time she stepped into a room filled with soulful melodies instinctively told her that music would play a role in her future.

Fruit or Vegetable

Do you think you know the answer to the age-old question, "Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable?"

[Drink] Mixin' It Up

Often, it's hard to decide on just one type of wine. Sure, if you're shopping for yourself, you can go for what you like or take a chance on something unusual, but if you're choosing a wine for other folks it gets a little more tricky. John likes Chardonnay, but Jane likes Sauvignon Blanc, while Jimmy likes Riesling, and who knows what Joyce likes? The answer, of course, is get them all. Well, maybe not that particular combination, but a blended wine for sure. Red blends have always been pretty popular, but what about white blends? Let's not forget about those tasty little gems.

You Say Tomato…

Referred to as pommes d'amour, or love apples, by the French due to their supposed power as aphrodisiacs, the tomato is an irresistible summertime indulgence that I look forward to every year. As the dog days of summer come to an end, I quietly mourn the end of fresh tomato season.

[Greggs] The 'Screw Its' Win Again

Two months ago I walked out of a job I had for about five years. I loved it, but thought I was no longer able to truly perform my duties as effectively as I had in the past. Other things in my life had taken on more importance—this tiny little column, for one. I decided I'd had enough of reaching for the American dream and wanted to chase my own. I resigned in a fit of exasperation and leapt headlong into an idea I held about being a writer. I didn't know if this was the right thing to do with regard to my total life plan, but I did know that it was the right thing for me at the time.

[Stiggers] Bum Education, Double-Digit Inflation

Cootie McBride: "About a week ago, I spoke at a law and order conference. After what I thought was a convincing presentation, an affluent member of high society asked me: 'What causes law-abiding people to become so lawless and angry?'

The Fourth Quadrant

I had a professor who was adamant that if we turned in a series of work, each piece had to stand on its own, no matter how well it worked in the series. Since Jackson Artist Marylyn Dintenfass completed her education in the '60s, I doubt she had the same professor, but she has the same ethic for her grid pieces: Each quadrant stands on its own and also works with the other quadrants. I talked with Dintenfass about the new work created for her "Work in Progress" exhibit, and her choices for the fourth quadrant, which is always different from the other three.

Apple's iTV and SlingBox TV

This week Apple whipped its hype machine into full gear to introduce a series of new iPod and iTunes related products. The most exciting offering might be the rare preview that Apple gave of its upcoming device—codenamed "iTV"—a set-top box designed to allow you to stream iTunes videos from a Mac or PC running iTunes 7 to your television. The bad news? It won't be ready until the first quarter of 2007.

A Tale of Redemption

Like most people, I'm sick and tired of Iranian abortionists having gay sex with flag-burning illegal aliens. Why hasn't Hollywood, America's No. 1 exporter of culture, done something about this by making a film about redemption and the power of completing a high school education and the importance of families?

Percy King

Rosie and Juno turned as Percy King sauntered down the path to meet me. "Hey, girls," King called out. "I've got carrots for ya! And I know you girls love carrots!" The two elephants, each weighing well over 8,000 pounds, lumbered in his direction to collect their treats—just like great big puppy dogs. King greeted me warmly as he tossed carrots to his biggest charges, who, with delicacy belying their huge size, picked the carrots off the ground with their trunks.

[Music] Doing It My Way

When having a conversation about hip-hop, some names inevitably come up. Russell Simmons is one such name. The multi-million-dollar earner made a name for himself by taking the culture and surroundings he knew to the public outside his Queens, N.Y., neighborhood. Along with Rick Rubin, Simmons founded Def Jam, the premier hip-hop label. Eventually, he went on to form his own label, Russell Simmons Music Group. But there's more to this entrepreneur than his interest in music. Since the birth of Def Jam, the entrepreneur has gone on to found Def Comedy Jam, Def Poetry Jam and Phat Farm clothing. He still hasn't stopped to rest.

Subpoena This

September 13, 2006 Photo caption: Former mayor and Melton attorney Dale Danks. On Aug. 30, The Clarion-Ledger announced it had finally reached a settlement with the city of Jackson in its open-records law suit. Around the same time, the city responded to a memo from the Jackson Free Press detailing eight public-record requests the city had ignored over the past year. The city filled most of the old requests, and the city clerk's office waived several hundred dollars' worth of duplication costs. The requests were all months overdue.

The Best In 7 Days

College football, Northeast Mississippi at Hinds, (7 p.m., Raymond): The Eagles try to rebound from last week's stunning loss.

Mississippi Celebrates the Birthplace of America's Music

Katrina Relief Takes Center Stage in Vicksburg's Huge Music Celebration. With music students and professional musicians losing everything because of hurricane Katrina, the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame did not stand by and watch. After its instrument replacement efforts all year, it is now reviving its canceled Mississippi Celebrates the Birthplace of America's Music event in Vicksburg to raise money for coast music programs and musicians.

PS3 in trouble?

Both of them, I need 'em all 10.1% 1387

Now, this is just speculation, but take a look at this poll conducted by Gamefaqs starting last night.

Tuesday, September 12

Nightmare on Ridgeway Street

About 8:30 the evening of Aug. 26, residents of Ridgeway Street in the Virden Addition saw the Mobile Command Center roll up in front of Evans "Bubba" Welch's duplex, near the corner of Mill Street. Mayor Frank Melton and his two bodyguards, witnesses say, emerged from the blue-and-white RV, and one broke down Welch's back door.

Walking Tall, Hitting Low

Mayor Frank Melton's alleged attack on a Ridgeway Street duplex on Aug. 26 is not the first time his 4-foot-long stick showed up recently.

UPDATED: Ben Allen Pledges to Lead Melton Investigation

Sept. 12, 2006 (updated 2 p.m.)

This morning in front of packed City Council chamber, with upset citizens spilling into the hallway, Councilman Ben Allen announced that he will now support an investigation of Mayor Frank Melton's alleged illegal actions, if by 4:30 p.m. this Friday, professional investigators have not "wrapped up" their probes. Allen said, if that is case, he would call for a Council-led investigation of Melton and his entourage that would begin the following Monday. Melton's alleged rampage through a Ridgeway Street duplex was was first reported by the Jackson Free Press on Sept. 1.

TV Worth Watching…

Just saw an alert via gMail that TED Talks have been made available online -- if ever there was a good excuse to sit and watch video on your computer (or download podcasts or video podcasts to take advantage of some of that newfangled technology you've paid for), this might be it. TED Talks is (are?) an elite conference held in California each year to bring together the top thinkers and speakers on a variety of futurist and cultural ideas. The videos available range from talks on the current state of cutting-edge physics to the future of computing to anthropology to the next wave of Internet technologies to sustainable community development. Check it out.

Monday, September 11

AG Investigating Allegations of Melton Crimes

Sources interviewed by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's office have confirmed that he is actively investigating the events of the evening of Saturday, Aug. 26, as well as previous allegations against Mayor Frank Melton. AG investigators have interviewed various residents of Ridgeway Street over the last week, as reported last week by WAPT, about possible felonies and misdemeanors witnesses say that Melton, his bodyguards and an entourage of young men committed that evening.

Magnolia Bar to Speak out Against Frank Melton Tuesday

Emergency Press Conference

WHY: The event is being called in response to growing concerns of members of the Jackson community about allegations of improper conduct and abuse of mayoral and law enforcement authority made against Mayor Frank Melton and the Jackson Police Department. The Magnolia Bar joins with scores of local residents and its members in calling for official investigations on local, state and federal levels.

Saturday, September 9

Why Is This Man Smiling?

Detroit Lions assistant coach Joe Cullen won't be working when the Lions lose to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. The team suspended Cullen for Game 1 after he was arrested for pulling up to the drive-through window of a Dearborn, Mich., Wendy's in his SUV and ordering a single combo — in the nude. The team was apparently willing to overlook this little escapade, but took action after Cullen was arrested again on Sept. 1 (in Dearborn) for drunken driving.

Get Your NFL Grid On

The 2007 NFL season really starts Sunday (ignoring Thursday's Dolphins-Steelers appetizer). To get your mind right, check out these:

El Goodo Debuts

For some reason it always seems more fun when we find something wonderful in unexpected places. Out of the haze of the velvet morning comes the first band to ever put the small town of Resolven, at the throbbing heart of Neath Valley, Wales, on the map. They are called, quite simply, El Goodo, and their debut, self-titled album is a gloriously effortless piece of pop music

BREAKING: Danks Quits as Melton Attorney

More details soon ...

Former Mayor Dale Danks filed a motion yesterday in district court to withdraw as Mayor Frank Melton's attorney in the lawsuit in which Allstate Insurance Company is suing Melton. The insurance company is claiming that it should not be responsible for Melton's monetary damages in the lawsuit he lost recently brought against him by Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agents. Melton leaked a memo, which turned out to be largely false, to The Clarion-Ledger when he was director of the agency, and later lied about leaking the document to the judge in the lawsuit. He only admitted leaking it after he took the mayoral oath of office. The Clarion-Ledger did not report on the lawsuits during his campaign for mayor. Michael T. Jaques will be Melton's new attorney in the matter.

Friday, September 8

Southern Women Turning on Bush, Republicans

AP is reporting:

The current Republican Party is quickly losing group with us Belles; it's really too frickin' bad that the state Democratic Party is always the last one to know. Where's Pickering's opponent?

City Council Divided on Melton Investigation

Update: Podcast of Ben Allen's 9/6/06 Press Conference is available here.

Thursday, September 7

Newest Addition to the MS' Best Awards activities will put the state on "pins and needles"

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that KARA SAUN from

And now we have come to the BIG announcement for this week. One of the first guests we contacted about the Mississippi's Best Awards has confirmed TODAY.

Upper Level Attorney Claims Melton Intoxicated on Job

Photo: Upper Level owner Sandra Moore Johnson, left, and her attorney Sharon Gipson speak to reporters outside the club Thursday.

Dances with Camgirls

I'm new to MySpace, so there are some things that take some getting used to.

Hill Paper: Melton Visit Forces Stronger Safety Rules

Read the JFP's Melton Blog and Archive Here

The Hill, a newspaper covering Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., reported Wednesday that Capitol police are tightening security requirement after Mayor Frank Melton showed up in Bennie Thompson's office wearing credentials clearing him to carry firearms:

What Will It Take, Council?

The Jackson City Council shirked its duties—and certain council members betrayed their oath of office—Tuesday when a majority decided against investigating whether Mayor Frank Melton took the JPD Mobile Command Center and a group of young men to Ridgeway Street and proceeded to destroy half of a duplex, as neighbors and the house's owner have attested. The story, first reported on the Jackson Free Press Web site Friday, has set off a media frenzy.

Wednesday, September 6

[City Buzz] no. 50 September 6 - 13

'The Ben & Kenny Show'?

New York City-based Inner City Broadcasting recently acquired longtime talk-radio station WJNT (NewsTalk 1180), famed for broadcasting the one-sided swill of conservative hard-knockers.

JPS Scores Big On Test Scores

Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Earl Watkins had big news to deliver to the crowd at Walton Elementary on Aug. 30: Public schools in Jackson are making big gains in state accountability, according to federal monitoring programs.

[Stiggers] You Don't Have To Take My Word For It

Readin' Rain-Bro: "Greetings, fellow readers. The producers of Readin' Rain-bro present a special program commemorating the people of the Gulf Coast as they continue to rebuild their lives after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

[Kamikaze] You Got This One Right

I have been a staunch supporter of Ward 6 Councilman Marshand Crisler's "Buy Jackson" campaign. Based on the fact that I helped spearhead a movement to get folks to better support our local artists, I thought it was high time that someone took a stand; a circling of wagons was long overdue. Though some will disagree, I'm ecstatic that the City Council has shown some cantaloupes in adopting a "stay in Jackson or lose our business" stance. The council recently rejected three low bids for services from out-of-town companies. Preference will be given, they say, to local businesses.

no. 50 September 6 - 13

<b>Leave Them Shops Alone</b>

What if I said in an opinion in the Jackson Free Press that all black people were crooks, or all Islamic people were murderers? In his "Don't Feed the Natives" (July 26, 2006) article, Ken Stiggers did just that to my industry. He made a blanket statement about something he obviously knows little, if anything, about: the pawn shop industry. "One block away is the pawn shop where burglars could receive cash for their stolen items," Stiggers wrote.

Cookbook Obsessions

I have a problem. I can't quit buying cookbooks. I have a bookshelf full of them, and still I buy more. I don't care that I can find thousands of recipes on the Internet; there is something comforting about an actual book. I want to spread out all the volumes containing recipes for saag paneer and see every one of them at once so I can compare their merits. I want to be able to flip pages. I want to be able to really read each one, which would explain why Dana Jacobi's "12 Best Foods Cookbook" (Rodale Books, $21.95) is my current nightstand book.

[Drink] The Forces of Light and Darkness

Between my freshman and sophomore year of college, I lived in Harlem, owned a MetroCard, ran in Central Park everyday and found out quickly that I didn't need a fake ID to buy beer—as long as I projected enough New York ennui to convince those around me that consumption of alcohol was the least of my concerns.

Watching Ourselves

In "A Scanner Darkly," Richard Link-later gives an audacious cinematic adaptation of Philip K. Dick's 1977 novel about corporate/government surveillance and a public led by their noses. Given the novel's scattershot method of dipping in and out of the reflexive reality of a group of drug addicts and state-employed wonks, Linklater's use of rotoscoping (see "Waking Life") adds a veneer of narrative information that causes you to further question the identity puzzles presented in the story. Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) is an undercover Los Angeles narcotics cop who wears a "scramble suit" that disguises his identity, even to his employers, behind an ever-shifting amalgam of physical appearances. Arctor himself has become addicted to a drug called "Substance D" and is so far removed from his personal sense of identity that he puts what little faith he has in the hope that the all-seeing scanners will view him clearly.

Sex, Lies, and Ping Pong

Sometimes it's hard to write about video games. When there is good news to report on, it's likely too cryptic or too little to really write up until it's no longer news. So, because there are no good facts to show you, I'll be using the next best thing: hearsay and rumor.

[Music] Cead Mile Failte

Come rain or stifling Southern sunshine, this year's CelticFest will forge ahead with three days packed full of activities for the entire family. For those who can't handle potentially scorching heat, Don Penzien, festival founder and coordinator, notes the "majority of the festival is held inside in the air conditioning." CelticFest is Sept. 8-10 at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Museum. Festivities gear up Friday night with the 8th Annual Irish Whiskey and Scotch Tasting, and continue with Celtic Heritage workshops and performances featuring some of the best musicians and dancers from the South and beyond.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College football, Hinds at Holmes (7 p.m., Goodman): The Eagles visit the Bulldogs in a tasty juco match up.

Jude Muse

"When you look good, you feel good. Being in style is being unique and having your own style," says Jude Muse, owner of Treehouse Boutique.

Panhandlers in Police Peril?

Tuesday, September 5

Melton May Face Felony Charges" align=right>by Adam Lynch

Read the original JFP story here that exposed the Ridgeway Street incident.

Dear John: What's In A Word?" width="200" align="right">by Todd Stauffer

September 6, 2006 Pictured: After Polk's Discount Drugs on Spillway canceled their TDN contract, inviting local publications back to their store, The Clarion-Ledger removed its green multi-box and re-"cluttered" the storefront with the first four boxes pictured from the left. MIPA's large red box, containing nine independent publications, is visible on the far right. As students return, the arts go into high gear, and the temperatures finally drop for autumn, the Jackson Free Press has great news on a different front—distribution. Thanks to our partners in the newly formed Mississippi Independent Publishers' Alliance (MIPA), the JFP has gained about 40 new high-profile distribution spots in the past two weeks, many of which expand our reach into Jackson's suburbs and surrounding communities. Now, you can get the JFP at nearly all Mac's Gas locations, as well as at participating Super Stop convenience stores (most of the Conoco stations around town), participating Polk's Drugstores and other locally operated convenience stores and gas stations.

UPDATE: Local Pubs Invited Back to Conoco/Super Stops

Monday, September 4

Out Of Town Papers, Week 1

Week 1 is in the books the state's colleges (except Belhaven), so here's a non-Ledge roundup:

Biloxi Sun Herald: Cold-cocked

Friday, September 1

BREAKING: Melton, Kids Accused of Destroying Private Home

Photo Gallery of Destruction

‘Some of It Will Scare You': Jackson's Crime Summit

Photo caption: Former Mayor Dale Danks addresses the Jackson Crime Summit while an unidentified 10-year-old boy looks on.