Stories for July 2011


Sunday, July 31

Why Write? We've Got Computers!

I've been doing too much work in my head and on paper instead of where it actually counts so that people can see it. I didn't realize this until last week when Donna asked about my lack of blog posts. At first I was so confused. How could she have forgotten all of the things about jobs and school and life that I had been writing about this summer? Turns out I was just being crazy, because all of this is written on paper and is neatly tucked away in my room. This ordeal made me wonder: Why have I been keeping everything on paper? Is it some weird form of procrastination or am I just unwilling to change my routine?

Friday, July 29

Dem Candidates A Minority at ‘Republican Woodstock'

Even though Democratic candidates are the minority at the Neshoba County Fair, many see the Republican-heavy grounds as a vital campaign stop to rub elbows with party supporters, media and even a few undecided voters.

How Building Green Helps Mississippi

Sustainable building can promote economic development and make life better for residents, according to an organization that is promoting "green building" in Jackson.

Candidate of the Day: Addie Green

In a campaign season when few Democrats and even fewer women are running for state office, African American grandmother Addie Green stands out.

It's the Weekend!

It's a beautiful night of jazz in Fondren that will involve all your senses. Jazz Night Live is at 7 p.m. at circa Urban Artisan Living (2771 Old Canton Road). Jazz Beautiful with Pam Confer performs, and Pam Confer also celebrates her birthday with cake, a toast and a perfume giveaway. See, hear, taste, smell and feel the night. Why limit yourself to Fondren? After the jazz, catch some other live acts in the JFP Music Listings.

Sales Tax Holiday Begins Today

Back-to-school shoppers will get a boost this weekend during the state's sales-tax holiday.

The tax holiday started just after midnight and continues through midnight on Saturday. Shoppers will save 7 percent on eligible items.

Thursday, July 28

Cult of ‘Objectivity' Is Destroying America

Anyway, here is some of what Krugman says. (Better late than never, I guess.):

So-called media objectivity is destroying our country, The New York Times' Paul Krugman is telling us on his blog. I've been warning about this he-said-she-said approach to journalism for years now: a faulty device that tries to split any side down the middle regardless of what the facts are. It is just the opposite of real "enterprise" or investigative reporting. I like to tell my students and staffers that it's actually opinion writing when you take a story and just quote two different opinions and call it objective. It's ludicrous. What matters, or should matter, is actual fact finding -- not just quoting people giving bad facts, which we see constantly in mainstream journalism. And, way too often, without bothering to factcheck (most daily papers don't; we do) or to correct faulty information said by one of the "sides" quotes. And it's a false division: the two sides are often decided by some fake political compass that divides people into left or right, Democrat or Republican, when most Americans reject that kind of binary categorization. Meantime, they allow their media to get away with it.

Candidates Reject ‘Career Politician' Label

Political candidates walked a fine line Wednesday at the Neshoba County Fair, trying to persuade voters that they were neither inexperienced nor—a harsh indictment—a "career politician."

District 70 Race Ends With Primary

The race for District 70 this year will again end in the Democratic primary. The race carries some small entertainment value; former Hinds County public defender Matt Eichelberger dropped out in June.

Lynn Fitch

Lynn Fitch, 49, hopes to become the next treasurer of Mississippi. One of three GOP candidates, she faces Lucien Smith and state Senator Lee Yancey. If victorious, she would then face off against Democrat Connie Moran and Reform Party candidate Shawn O'Hara. She has a business administration bachelor's degree and a law degree from the University of Mississippi.

Haley Barbour Speaks at Neshoba County Fair (Verbatim Speech)

*Remarks as prepared*

Thank you. Today I will give my last speech at this Fair as Governor. Marsha, who has had to sit through all but one of them, is being patient enough to sit through this one, too. Not because she is dying to hear it, but because she genuinely appreciates, as do I, the warm hospitality of the people of Neshoba County and the Neshoba County Fair, one of America's great institutions.

Johnson Announces Raises; More Public Safety

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.'s proposed budget address resembled an Oprah Winfrey talk show yesterday when he announced that all city employees will receive a 2 percent raise on Jan. 1, 2012.

Wednesday, July 27

Soulful Journey

Her voice glides through the air like silk. She takes the audience by the heart and leads them on a fantastic, soulful journey with every note. With four Grammy nominations, four gold records, two platinum records, an Image Award, Billboard Magazine Award and the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, she has earned a spot on six Mississippi Blues Trail markers. She is Jackson's greatest cheerleader and champion of the Farish Street District development. She is Dorothy Moore.

‘The Beat in Herbert Brown's Head'

Before we get started, I have to open up with a bit of disclosure. The topic of this week's column, Herbert Brown, aka James Crow, aka The Ugly Poet, aka Satchel Page, aka Stogey Woods, depending on the situation, is a good friend of mine.

Cost of a Life

Wes Leonard had just made the game-winning shot to complete a perfect undefeated season for Fennville High School in Michigan on March 3. The crowd cheered as his teammates lifted the 16-year-old basketball hero into the air in celebration.

Striving to be Jackson's Best

What do you get when you take a little New Orleans flavor, a touch of Chicago, and top it off with the service and style of a classic steakhouse like Gibson's? You get Char (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 142, 601-956-9562), one of Jackson's premier restaurants.

Stopping Type 2 Diabetes

When I think of a lifestyle associated with daily needle prodding—my incurable phobia—I become terrified of sugary donuts. I know that sinful donut, combined with a diet of other junk food and a sedentary lifestyle with little or no exercise, is a prescription for type 2 diabetes.

Here's to the Season

'Tis the season—no, it's not Christmas in July. It's wedding season. I've strapped on my stilettos and made the rounds, toasting happy couples and collecting commemorative koozies.

A Different Brand

Hinds County makes sense to planning consultant Tripp Muldrow. He lived in Baltimore in the 2000s, and while many residents had given up on the city and moved away, a dedicated group of citizens were determined to stay.

Keeping Kids Off the Streets

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. and the Jackson City Council are advocating for a facility in the city to house minors who are not serious offenders as a solution to curbing teen violence this week.

A Fair Policy?

If you serve at the will and pleasure of an elected official in Hinds County or the state, you have signed on for a job without protection if you are fired.

Hellos and Goodbyes

In an organization the size of the Jackson Free Press, an employee leaving can feel like losing a family member. That is no more true than with Adam Lynch, the JFP's senior reporter.

[Stiggers] What A Wonderful World

Although most will gripe, moan and complain, all I have to say, 'If we had gotten involved and voted, we wouldn't be in this mess today. And the rich will think to themselves, 'What a wonderful world.'

Clones Take Lieutenant Governor's Race

The race for lieutenant governor consists of only two serious candidates this year—both Republicans: state Treasurer Tate Reeves and Gulfport Sen. Billy Hewes.

Vol. 9, No. 46

<b>'Yes' on Eminent Domain</b>

Eminent domain has received attention recently, with an effort to put the issue on the ballot this fall. I oppose the ballot initiative because it attempts to change our state's Bill of Rights, which, according to the State Constitution, cannot be amended through the initiative process. But I have other grave concerns, as well.

2011 Voter Guide

With state primary elections on Aug. 2, the general election on Nov. 8 and national elections in 2012, it is important to know when, where and how to vote. Read on to learn more about how you can help change society with your choices.

Challenging No-Bid Contracts

Ron Williams, 52, is a Republican candidate for governor and a vocal critic of what he claims to be state agencies' preferential treatment of contractors who donate to politicians.

Modern Woman

Take a visit to Vikki Mumford's campaign website for Hinds County Circuit Clerk, and you get the feeling that she isn't messing around. To demonstrate her tech-savvy abilities, Mumford's website includes video, audio endorsements and a side-by-side comparison of her and her opponent, Barbara Dunn.

Gulf Coast Survivors

Brandon can lay claim to a new author. Brian Kittrell's first foray into writing yields some admirable results and an ambitious plan for future novels. His first book, "The Dying Times: Nadine's Story" (Late Nite Books, 2010, $9.99), is also the first in "The Survivor Chronicles" series.

Running for Supervisor

by Adam Lynch

Doug Anderson

Lady with a Plan

Peggy Hobson-Calhoun is quick to talk about her accomplishments over the last 19 years as a Hinds County supervisor. She began her term as the county's first elected female supervisor in 1992, and since then has made the county's infrastructure and economy her top priorities.

The War on Math, Part 2: Is the GOP Out of Step with America?

In the continuing GOP/Tea Party "War On Math," the insistence on balancing the budget by cutting spending may be doing serious damage to the Republican Party's credibility -- so says Professor Lawrence Jacobs writing for CNN, who finds that polling is going against the GOP in a big way.

Williams: Politicians Benefit from Contracts

Ron Williams, 52, is a Republican candidate for governor and a vocal critic of what he claims to be state agencies' preferential treatment of contractors who donate to politicians.

Why the PSC Race Matters

Few people attend the monthly meetings of the Mississippi Public Service Commission, outside of utility company officials and their host of attorneys. Generally, when the talk is about electricity, gas or telecommunications, eyes glaze over.

Megan Voos

Almost eight years ago, Megan Voos found herself at a crossroads. She finished a lengthy term as a youth pastor in the San Francisco Bay area but was unsure of what to do next. Then, a friend's 8-year-old child told her, "You should move to Mississippi with us." She gave it a try, planning to stay for one year. The city of Jackson captured her heart.

Truth to Power

I spent last weekend in New Orleans at the Association of Alternative Newsmedia convention. It was held in the posh Ritz Carlton in the heart of the city's business district, and I was challenged trying to reconcile our "alternative" moniker with the neat little pyramids of individually rolled cloth hand towels by each sink in the ladies' rooms.

Sunday Arthouse

My first day as a brand new Jacksonian was a Sunday. Hailing from Hattiesburg, I was unused to having anything even open on Sundays, much less events I could attend. It was almost 5 in the evening before I opened the Jackson Free Press to scan the listings for something to do.

Judge: Advocates Can Visit Detained Youth

The Southern Poverty Law Center and Disability Rights Mississippi have won access to youth held at the Hinds County Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center. A federal judge ruled Monday that facility officials cannot continue to block attorneys and advocates from meeting with youths.

Tuesday, July 26

City Revisits Teen Curfew

Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes' proposed ordinances to prevent teen violence ran into a familiar wall yesterday.

Lemuria Challenges Media; Whitwell Calls on Food Truck Supporters

When WAPT ran a story last week suggesting Lemuria Books did not carry titles on local schools' summer reading list, chief bookseller John Evans saw a marketing opportunity. Lemuria staff arranged a display in the store featuring books on school reading lists and a sign that said, "Hello WAPT: Here is a fact check for you!"

Freelancer of the Month: Larry Morrisey

Larry Morrisey evangelizes musicians who don't fit a mold. His story earlier this year about Delta bluesman Bill Abel, a painter as well as a musician, depicted a side character who usually plays small venues. That's Morrisey's favorite kind of story.

Citizens Police Academy Seeks Applicants

Verbatim statement from city:The Jackson Police Department is urging residents to sign up for the upcoming Citizens Police Academy. The Citizens Police Academy will begin October 3, 2011 and will run through October 10, 2011. The Academy runs after hours and during the weekend to accommodate working adults who want to participate.

Monday, July 25

Branding Hinds County With Just a Little Snark

What difference could a bold marketing campaign make to Hinds County economic development? Tripp Muldrow, a South Carolina planning consultant, suggests it could make a world of difference.

Council Votes on Food Trucks Tomorrow

Read the proposed ordinance here.

Talamieka Brice

Flip through Graphic Design USA's 250-page publication of award-winning designs, and between designs from Geico, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, you'll find the designs Talamieka Brice made for Methodist Rehabilitation Center. This is the second year Graphic Design USA recognized the Mississippi native's work, and she describes the attention as really cool.

Community Events and Public Meetings

11 a.m., Blood Pressure Checks for Seniors, at Tougaloo Multi-Purpose Senior Citizens Center (318 Vine St.). The city of Jackson and St. Dominic Health Services provides blood pressure checks, and heat and skin care awareness information to qualifying individuals ages 55 or older living within the Jackson city limits. Free; call 601-960-0335.

Eminent Domain Heads to Court

Hinds County Judge Winston Kidd will hear arguments this morning over a Nov. 8 ballot initiative aimed to prevent the government from taking private land for non-public projects.

Friday, July 22

Gubernatorial Candidates Challenge Bryant at Debate

In a televised debate Thursday evening, candidates for governor sought to distinguish themselves from Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant and position themselves as frontrunners ahead of the Aug. 2 primary.

Operation Understanding Visits Jackson

Sixteen high school kids from Philadelphia, Pa., brought their mission to "share, unite and inspire" to Koinonia Coffee House this morning.

It's the Weekend!

Tonight, we suggest you get your fundraising on. You have a choice of three events to attend. The American Cancer Society's Jamaica Me Crazy beach party begins at 7 p.m. at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, Sparkman Auditorium (1150 Lakeland Drive). Faze 4 provides the music, you provide the cute beach attire. A little later, comedian Eddie Griffin headlines The BeanSprout Benefit Comedy Show. The program begins at 8 p.m. at McCoy Auditorium (1400 John R. Lynch St.), at Jackson State University. Also at 8 p.m., The Fashion for Life fashion showcase at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.) benefits the Mississippi Sickle Cell Foundation. So, be part of the solution, help out and look good doing it. Want to know about more fundraisers? Always refer to your friendly neighborhood

Tripp Davis

Tripp Davis has become a modern Renaissance man. The Ridgeland native, 27, is an accountant, fitness instructor and Ironman competitor. The 2006 graduate of Delta State University was also an All-American swimmer. But Mississippi's 2010 Cosmopolitan bachelor did not become a household name until after he joined the cast of "Sweet Home Alabama." Country Music Television's newest reality show features Davis competing against 19 other men for the southern sweetheart, Devin Grissom. The show presents a cultural clash, with 10 of the men being city slickers and Davis and nine others as the country boys. Davis says living in the house with the other men reminded him of college.

Thursday, July 21

The Great Debate: Who Won?

If you watched the gubernatorial debate on WLBT, share your thoughts here. Who do you think was the best debater, and why? Who didn't do so well? Do you have a favorite quote? (I would like to know why the independent candidates weren't on the panel, actually.)

Branding Process Focuses on Perception

Several residents offered suggestions last night for a bold marketing campaign to change the state's perception of Hinds County.

Sheriff Candidate's Campaign Reports Corrected

The Hinds County Sherriff campaign contributions listed this week's Jackson Free Press interview with Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin are incorrect. Several of the contributors listed are actually disbursements from each campaign. We apologize for the error.

Vivian L. Fuller

Vivian L. Fuller understands what it takes to lead athletically as well as academically.

Wednesday, July 20

Fighting Stereotypes

Country-music fans wearing in cowboy boots, hats and tight jeans walked into the Mississippi Coliseum. The dim room did not dull the crowd's excitement. Restless Heart would play later. A Mississippi band, Crossin Dixon would open for the popular county act. Pete Castorena, promoter and showman, walked on stage and introduced the Mississippians. The crowd roared.

Awesome Music is Awesome Music

Jackson has been blessed with numerous concerts lately, and while I have in the past "wallered and hollered" about how we don't get enough national acts to come to the Capital City, I'm beginning to realize that it doesn't matter if you're a big-time star or not—awesome music is awesome music. We get a lot of bands from all over the US of A that may be unheard of now, but are making waves and a name for themselves not just nationally but internationally.

Help Your Head

Since its inception, football has been a violent game that takes a physical toll on the athletes who play it.

Cosmo Tots and Blithe and Vine

Casual, elegant and modern. That's how Cosmo Tots and Blithe and Vine co-owner Liz Spratlin describes her well-lit and simply decorated store. Tammy Wynette plays softly in the background, enhancing the calm atmosphere of the space. The store's white walls ensure that the racks and stacks of clothing are its main focus.

It's Too Damn Hot

This summer has been exceptionally hot. I could survive on shredded wheat and Edy's pomegranate popsicles this time of year, but that's not being a proper role model for the 4-year-old. Instead, I've done what southern women have done for years to avoid melting in their kitchens; I've found meals that require little to no cooking.

The Greatest Cause

It was my final semester in college, and I arrived in the Pendleton Learning Center for BA 465, Human Relations and Values. The class would help me finish my graduation requirements to walk that May.

Debt Ceiling Debate Hits Home

Jackson City Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon expressed concern this week over what Congress' debt ceiling debate will mean for the council's decision to restructure its bond debt.

Travels With Chickens

It started out as a typical yellow school bus. When six Mississippi teens were done with it, the bus had turned into a colorful "Farm on Wheels," with a cheery agricultural scene along the side topped with puffy clouds and even a rainbow or two. Oh, and it now runs on vegetable oil instead of gasoline, and a chicken coop is among its new features.

Job Trainer Loses Job

One month ago, Machelle Kyles was busy preparing to train another wave of job seekers at Florida-based Paxen Learning Corp.'s office in Jackson. Now, the former program coordinator is job-hunting herself.

[Stiggers] Teachable Moment

In the meantime, it's up to us to be positive and continue a good relationship with our loyal customers by honoring the Jojo's Discount Dollar Store slogan: 'In the ghetto, everything is everything, but, at Jojo's, everything will always be a dollar.

It's Up to Us to ‘Rebrand' City

This week, in preparation for our big Jackpedia student/newcomer guide in August, we asked Facebook friends to share the city's "best-kept secrets" to include them in Jackpedia (and at One smart aleck responded immediately: "don't leave your keys in your vehicle, nor running in certain areas, be careful, very careful, fasten your seat belt. PRAY!" (sic).

[Kamikaze] Professional Politicians

I cringed when I heard the president utter the words. As his quote was continuously bandied about the Internet, I became even more disappointed. Barack Obama had become the very thing that he tried so hard to convince us he was not.

[Purvis] Do Unto Others

I am fortunate I haven't had to resort to drastic measures to stay afloat. I know others aren't so lucky.

A Matter of Money

Retired Mississippi Bureau of Investigation Lt. Johnnie Bowden, 58, says he's running for sheriff and plans to put new emphasis on drug-related crime prevention in the county.

Billy the Exterminator

If you are familiar with the Arts & Entertainment Channel, or A&E, then you've probably caught a glimpse of real-life exterminator Billy Bretherton who faces insects and much larger pests. Boasting a 40 percent gain in overall viewers in its second season, "Billy the Exterminator" has become a genuine cable hit, overshadowing the network's previous draw, "Dog the Bounty Hunter."

Rising and Converging

"Grace" is one of those words I struggle with. There are the simplistic, surface definitions like charm or loveliness. I tend to find it a complicated word, though, filled with lightness and darkness struggling for domination, with the clouds shrinking if we're lucky. I guess that means I lean more toward it meaning mercy, forgiveness, prayer, clemency, even immunity or reprieve.

Miss. Power Wants $900,000 for Jet Fare

A corporate utility wants to charge private jet expenses to ratepayers, and Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley wants to forbid it.

Dunn's Family Circuit

Barbara Dunn wakes up at 4 a.m. every day, makes a cup of coffee, watches the news and then heads to the Hinds County Circuit Clerk's office where she prepares breakfast for her employees. She's been doing this for 27 years, ever since she was first elected circuit clerk.

Minnie Watson

Minnie Watson still remembers the day she met Medgar Evers in 1961. She was attending Campbell College, an all-black private college in Jackson, when Evers came to speak to their class about joining the NAACP.

Branding Meetings Start Today

Hinds County will hold public meetings during a three-day process to brand the county this week.

Earlier this year the Hinds County Economic Development Authority signed a $10,000 contract with the urban-planning firm, Arnett Muldrow & Associates, to develop a brand for Hinds County. Tripp Muldrow, a partner at Muldrow & Associates, says the goal of branding Hinds County is to unite the county, attract industry and new residents.

Tuesday, July 19

Water Rates Safe for Now, Johnson Says

Jacksonians likely will not see hikes in their water or sewer bills this year now that the Jackson City Council voted to refinance the city's bond debt, Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. said yesterday.

Bloomberg: Jackson 11th Strongest Economy

CORRECTION: We described circa, a store in Fondren, incorrectly. We should have said it is a lifestyle store.

Lauren Fredman

Lauren Fredman of Jackson sat with 24 other educators in a Boston, Mass., classroom last week at the opening of the Jewish Women's Archive's Summer Institute. They came to explore Jewish roles in Civil Rights Movement and to find ways to share that history with younger Jews.

UMMC Receives Nursing Grant for Delta

The University of Mississippi Medical Center has received a $450,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to provide Delta residents with oral health care and health education.

Monday, July 18

Council Debates Debt Restructuring Plan Today

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. will brief the Jackson City Council again today on the details surrounding restructuring a portion of the city's water and sewer bond debt.

Water Line Project Begins

Jackson officials broke ground this morning on a $3.5 million infrastructure project that will increase the city's water supply.

Keith Kornfeld

Silky Cambodian Saraman curry and kaffir lime creme brulee might be out-of-the-ordinary culinary choices for a chef from New Orleans, but Keith Kornfeld has made Southeast Asian cuisine his specialty for more than 12 years.

Don't forget the little things

It's the little things.

I started interning at the JFP amid a buzz of activity preparing for the annual Chick Ball. Stacks of donations for the charity auction collected in almost every available corner, and readings assigned to us interns examined past domestic violence cases the JFP had written about.

Community Events and Public Meetings

Mission Mississippi Prayer Breakfasts. The organization's purpose is to promote racial healing and unity. Free;

City Partners with Midtown Development

The city of Jackson is offering additional funds to help an affordable housing project in the Midtown Community.

Friday, July 15

The Topic Was Wondering

Hello Worldwide Web! JFP Intern Alexis G., here.

Step Into the Mind of Alexis G.

JSU Offers Grant Help; Small Biz Assistance

Jackson State University's Center of Business and Economic Development offers a wide array of services to help small businesses and nonprofits thrive in Jackson.

Emergency Calls Begin; Jackson Makes ‘Top 100 List'

City officials can warn residents directly about fallen trees and broken power lines during storms and other emergencies. A new system quickly delivers messages by phone to targeted areas of Jackson or to the entire city.

Vivica A. Fox

Clapping her hands and laughing with delight, actress Vivica A. Fox smiled as a group of children and teens showed her the cheers they had learned to welcome her to Jackson.

It's the Weekend!

Tonight, the Mississippi Braves play the Tennessee Smokies, and it's sure to be a spectacular game. The excitement starts at 7 p.m. at Trustmark Park (1 Braves Way, Pearl) and admission is$8 to $12. You can find plenty to do in Jackson any night. the JFP Best Bets page is always a great starting point .

Thursday, July 14


I silenced a sleepy yawn as I sat on the red chair in the Jackson Free Press office, waiting for my interview with Ronni Mott concerning my summer internship. I was freshly out of college for the summer and my body was still feeling the pain from all-nighters I pulled during the finals week. A door opened, its sound pulling me out of drowsiness. I looked up to a woman and gawked at her as she gave me an awkward but polite smile while walking to her office.

Johnson Unveils Jobs Initiative; Ambassador Program

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. unveiled a new jobs program to increase employment opportunities for Jacksonians during his State of the City address at the Jackson Medical Mall yesterday.

Plan Calls for Biking, Walking

The Central Mississippi Planning and Development District's new $3.5 billion long-range transportation plan emphasizes biking and walking as alternative forms of transportation.

Linda Rush

Linda Rush is passionate about establishing equal educational success for all children and making a difference for the young people in the Jackson area.

Wednesday, July 13

nomiSpa at the Fairview Inn

As your wedding day approaches, it is important to not let your life get too consumed by those emotions and take some time to relax. Why not enjoy a day by yourself or with your wedding party at a spa?

Sweating Together

How do you combine socializing and exercise? Take multi-tasking to a whole new level and throw a fitness party. Whether it is with your friends, family, church or your co-workers, it's easy to plan with huge rewards. Here are some tips for a successful fitness party:

Zoo Brings Tour to Jackson

When they perform, the visual is as interesting as the sound. With a stage full of shiny instruments, Ammo Eisu and Andy Tisdall of the band Zoo put on a loud, physical show, leaving many surprised that two people can make so much noise.

Blues Cowboy

Grady Champion approaches the microphone like a gun fighter ready to take you out. His belt, laden with harmonicas in various keys, one for each of the keys he sings in, sits at his waist.

"For the People"

One of my main concerns has always been being cool. It is certainly debatable if I achieve that, but I do put a good amount of thought into presenting myself in a certain way and surrounding myself with people I think are cool. It sounds shallow, but sneakers, hats, records, cool friends—these things matter.

Kelly's Picks

Are you in need of a little help with your special day? Kelly Pickerill, front desk manager at Lemuria Books, front desk manager at Lemuria Books, suggests these helpful titles.

Sweat Together: The Menu

What you eat after you exercise is vitally important. You've worked so hard to burn calories, now take it easy with a light meal. And remember, small portions are best.

Johnson Gives State of the City Address

During his State of the City address this afternoon, Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. touted his administration's progress over the last year and unveiled a "Jobs for Jacksonians" initiative to help citizens find information about job opportunities in the city. Read the text of his speech below, and read tomorrow's JFP Daily for an analysis of his speech.

Sweat Together

Now that you've decided to have a fitness party, it's time to go shopping. For a yoga-themed party, we found some great items just for the occasion.

Turning It Off

Independence. We celebrated ours as a country this month with fireworks, food and a welcome break from work. Did I have a great time watching the fireworks at the Jackson Chamber of Commerce's Red, White and Jackson from a downtown rooftop with friends? Absolutely. Was Horse Trailer at the Old House Depot's (639 Monroe St.) annual Fourth of July party a blast? Definitely. But as they played "It's Independence Day," I thought about it on a more personal level, too.

McGowan Reveals New Lake Specifics

Jackson oilman John McGowan said Monday that his latest lake plan will cost about $150 million and require the use of eminent domain to "condemn" some property into a "public project."

Council Holds Off on Debt Vote

The Jackson City Council's decision to put off a vote to restructure the city's bond debt and save approximately $6 million over the next two years resulted in friction between city leaders this week.

Gannett's Cut and Paste

After The Clarion-Ledger laid off four journalists June 21, ads appeared on the national job site seeking four new journalists at Gannett Co.'s Jackson newspaper.

Should Justice Court Judges Be Lawyers?

Attorney Micah Dutro says the District 1 Justice Court seat needs a judge with a law degree.

Time to Decide

The one complaint we hear most often these days is this: Washington lawmakers are out of touch with the people they purport to represent. So how did we get here? As the cartoon character Pogo so aptly put it: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

[Stiggers] Poor Folks' Last Supper

The Ghetto Science Community Bureau of Parks, Museums and Cultural Affairs decided to have a 'Great Wall of Artistic Expression' built within the Clubb Chicken Wing Multi-Purpose Complex. This wall will feature various murals from reputable artists from the Ghetto Science Community. Therefore, it is befitting to kick off this grand opening by unveiling another poignant and controversial artistic expression from our dear Brother Sylvester, the Christmas Missing Toe artist.

Vol. 9, No. 44

<b>The Rose of South Jackson</b>

One of those myths is race. We humans are the only creatures to have a brain accommodating vivid imaginations, and since different groups of us look differently and have developed different cultures, some have come to believe they are separate and better than others. And there are aliens about, and gods living on Mount Olympus.

[Anderson] One Simple Act

Having a world that was new to me waiting around every corner was exciting and appealing.

Independent Candidates

Hoping to attract voters who are undecided in voting for Democrats or Republicans, Independent candidates are looking for a piece of the political pie.

The GOP Gubernatorial Field

Most Republicans in Mississippi's statewide elections can be easily confused with one another in terms of their platforms. There are some differences between them, however, that could prove to be determiners when the polls open.

Tease photo

Democrats: The Mayor or the Businessman?

Bill Luckett and Johnny DuPree, Democratic candidates for governor in Mississippi, resembled long-time acquaintances more than they did political opponents during a debate at the University of Mississippi July 6.

The Past Two Months…

When I was first deciding where to intern, my immediate choice was the JFP. My sister's boyfriend, Jonathan O'Keefe, was an intern here a couple of years ago, and my roommate, Holly Harlan, began as an intern last year and ended up having a job as a graphic designer. It only seemed right that I follow in their footsteps, and I'm very glad I did. The first day I began working was May 11th. I quickly noticed that everyone was extremely nice and helpful.

The Viking Classic is Set to Tee Off Thursday

In 2009 the Viking Classic was cancelled to due rain and Mississippi missed out on hosting its only PGA event. This 2011 edition of the Viking Classic is a make up for the missed 2009 tournament.

The Truest Words You Know

When Columbia University professor Manning Marable passed away April 1, three days before the publication of "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention" (Viking, 2011, $30), he had already long since written the definitive biography of W.E.B. DuBois and the definitive biography, in documentary format, of Medgar Evers.

The Hinds County Armory

Recently, I visited the Hinds County Armory, which is located on the State Fairgrounds. The building has characteristics of the gothic revival in architecture, and it is fairly obvious that it was once very handsome and awe-inspiring. It still is, if you can look past the utter disrepair of the poor building. With over 30 years of disuse and neglect under its belt, the old armory is now in terrible condition--massive holes in the roof, severe weather damage, vandalism, etc. With such a lack of interest in the building, it is likely to never be restored to any kind of functional condition.

Amos: ‘I'm needed' as Supervisor

Robert Amos doesn't give up easily. The 37-year-old lost the Jackson mayoral race in 2009, but he is determined to replace Hinds County District 3 Supervisor Peggy Calhoun in the November election.

Clarion-Ledger Hiring?

After The Clarion-Ledger laid off four journalists June 21, ads appeared on the national job site seeking four new journalists at Gannett Co.'s Jackson newspaper.

Wendell Watts

Jackson Police Department's Precinct 4 Commander Wendell Watts' uncle, Wayne Black, told him that he could expect one of two things to happen when he began his law enforcement career. "He said I would either love the career and it would be all I wanted to do, or I would hate it and quit but respect those who did the job," Watts says.

Women, Grab the Wheel

"We're over capacity." I looked at the JFP staffer who told me this last Saturday night just as we were getting ready to auction off the "Men of Character at the 7th annual Chick Ball at Hal & Mal's. I blinked, confused. We've hosted some huge parties since we started the paper, but I've never had a venue manager decide that the event was so packed that no one else could come in.

Paul Collins and the Power of Pop

Music fans around the world admire Paul Collins, but he's not sitting still to receive their praise. The New York City-based guitarist and singer has been recording and performing for more than 30 years, and is still most often found on stage. Collins plays power pop, a genre he helped develop in the late 1970s that focuses on strong melodies and high energy. But while many of his early contemporaries have scaled back their musical work, Collins just keeps getting busier.

Museum of Art Receives Federal Grant

The National Endowment for the Arts awarded the Mississippi Museum of Art with a $150,000 grant yesterday for the museum's upcoming Art Garden.

Tuesday, July 12

Council Re-Elects Bluntson; Holds off on Finances

Jackson City Council President Frank Bluntson considered putting off the council's required election for president at this morning's meeting but reluctantly went ahead with the vote after the city's legal team said the council would be violating state law if they did not act today.

Capitol Street Eats; Public Art Coming Soon

Owner Shonda Harris is moving her bakery and catering business from Northpark Mall in Ridgeland to downtown Jackson.

Interns of the Day: Christy Dawson and Rachel Bush

After 240 hours, two design interns at the Jackson Free Press complete their university's requirements today.

Jacksonian and Proud

"There's nothing to do here."

Born and raised in Jackson, I've heard it said a million times. Though I hear it mostly from my school-aged peers, there are probably an equal number of adults who share this sentiment. I feel so sorry for them. Just yesterday, I overheard a disgruntled med-student complain loudly about how the supposed dullness of the city was driving him to depression.

Monday, July 11

Lake Developers Detail Plan, Hope for Corps Blessing

A Jackson oilman who has long lobbied for ambitious development along the Pearl River in Jackson is hoping that the U.S. Corps of Engineers will give at least an initial nod to his latest lake plan this Thursday at a meeting in Vicksburg.

400 Teens Attend Hip-Hop Summit

The halls of Jackson State University's T.B. Ellis Gymnasium filled with the chatter of high-school kids this weekend when more than 400 teens convened for the ACLU's Youth Hip-hop Summit. The annual summit combined social justice with hip-hop for a weekend that was educational, creative and fun for the students.

Lindsey Horton

Jackson native Lindsey Horton has been deputy chief of the Jackson Police Department for a decade, a feat unheard of before in the department. Medals, documents and trophies decorate his office. Bars adorn his wrinkle-proof blue shirt, bars indicating his ranks from a patrolman in 1985 to his current position of deputy chief.

Community Events and Public Meetings

Blood Pressure Checks for Seniors. The city of Jackson and St. Dominic Health Services provides blood pressure checks, and heat and skin care awareness information to qualifying individuals ages 55 or older living within the Jackson city limits. Free; call 601-960-0335.

Public Hearings for Ballot Initiatives Set

The Mississippi Secretary of State's Office will give citizens the opportunity to discuss three initiatives appearing on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Saturday, July 9

The JFP Chick Ball is TONIGHT, Will Honor Hero Police Officer

JACKSON, MISS. – On Saturday, July 9, Jacksonians from all walks of life will unite to celebrate women and support the fight against domestic violence and at the seventh annual JFP Chick Ball.

Friday, July 8

Farish Street Shows Progress

Farish Street regained its critical connection to Amite Street last week, providing a small boost to ailing businesses in the historic district.

‘We Can Stop This'

A few weeks ago, the Center for Violence Prevention received a phone call from a hospital employee in Yazoo City. The hospital was about to release a woman who had been stabbed by her husband and needed assistance.

Cory Maye

Cory Maye will finally be a free man after serving 10 years in jail for a twisted murder conviction. Circuit Judge Prentiss Harrell of the 15th Judicial District of Mississippi agreed to a plea deal July 1 from Mayes for manslaughter for the 2001 death of Ron Jones Jr. After pleading guilty to manslaughter, Maye was sentenced to 10 years in prison, time he had already served.

It's the Chick Ball Weekend!

With the JFP's 7th Annual Chick Ball Saturday night, this is one of the hottest weekends of the summer. Dresses, hair, music, friends--and, yes, of course that includes the men. It's going to be fun to see the good-looking man who wins the Arm Candy award. You might as well make a full weekend of it and take your man out for a test run tonight, starting off with great music. Jackson's own Zac Harmon plays tonight at Underground 119. If you missed his show at Jackson State last night, here's another chance to catch the popular blues artist. Burgers and Blues has music by the Justin Moreira Trio, Dreamz JXN hosts Can't Feel My Face Friday, Shaun Patterson is at Fenian's, and Poison Control Center and The Passing Parade play at Ole Tavern . Need more options for music, dancing and socializing? Go to JFP Music Listings.

Choctaws To Hold New Election

Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is having a new election after a tribal member appealed the June 14 election.

[Column] Climate Change: Follow the Scientists

James McClintock, a renowned University of Alabama-Birmingham marine biologist who has conducted research in Antarctica for more than 25 years, told me the following story.

Thursday, July 7

Luckett, DuPree Push Education, Business Help

Mississippi's two leading Democratic gubernatorial candidates found much to agree on yesterday during their first one-on-one debate. Clarksdale attorney and businessman Bill Luckett and Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree both touted education as the key to the state's long-term economic success and promised support for small businesses to spur job creation.

City Breaks Ground on New JATRAN Facility

The new JATRAN facility at the corner of Highway 80 and Valley Street will be an important stepping stone in the revitalization of the Highway 80 Corridor, Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. said this morning.

Will Grossenbacher

At 22, Will Grossenbacher is already the owner and proprietor of Union Street Books in Canton with a classic, antique atmosphere.

Women's Commission Welcomes New Members

The Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women welcomed five new members yesterday at the state Capitol.

Wednesday, July 6

JFP Chick Ball Auction Guide

Shopping never felt so good! The JFP Chick Ball will feature a silent auction on donated items to raise money for the Center for Violence Prevention. A definite highlight of the evening, the silent auction features amazing donations from fellow Mississippians. View our silent auction guide to get a sneak peak of what will be featured 6 p.m to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 9.

Zac Harmon Blues

<b>UPDATE: Ticket price for the event now $15.</b>

Voted Best New Blues Artist by XM Radio, Jackson native Zac Harmon certainly gets back to his roots in his music. Harmon's cool blues sound is reminiscent of blues giants Elmore James, Muddy Waters and B.B. King.

Crossing the Street

One night when I was a teenager, a terrified woman showed up at our front door. "Help me," she begged, crying and looking over her shoulder toward the house across the street. "He is angry. He is beating me. He might kill me."

The Healing Power of Music

Ten years ago, my world was forever changed when my ex-boyfriend decided if I didn't want to be with him, he would teach me a lesson by coming to my house, beating me and sexually assaulting me. That was the worst day of my life.

Sweet Thangs

Whitney Maxwell has had a passion for cooking since she was a tot in her mother's kitchen. A native of Jackson, the 27-year-old graduated from Ole Miss in 2007 and attended culinary school in California. Maxwell lives the life of a newlywed in northeast Jackson with her husband, Graves Maxwell.

Chick Ball Bling

Often for special occasions, we'll find the perfect dress but forget the accessories. Once again, y'all are in luck because jewelry is my thing. Where most people advise that less is more, my personal preference is that more is better. (My mother says it's quite fitting, considering I idolized Mr. T when I was a kid.) The Chick Ball is this Saturday night, and I know you've picked out your dress already. But don't forget to break out your bling!

New Laws Help Abuse Victims, More

Judges can add an extra level of protection for victims of domestic abuse under House Bill 196, which Gov. Haley Barbour signed in March.

Please Help

In a wonderful act of synchronicity, the Jackson Free Press, the Center for Violence Prevention and its director, Sandy Middleton (story), all found one another back in 2004. Under Middleton's direction, the center has become a force in the movement to end domestic violence in the state of Mississippi.

[Stiggers] Re-educate the People

"We're fed up with the present government regulations that force us to give more to the poor. We've seen enough of the under classes rising up and making history. The madness must stop. Therefore, we must do all we can to continue to mis-educate the lower class through social media, radio, television and print."

[Kamikaze] Here's to You

My youngest daughter is now 15 months old. Though it's been fun to share all her adorable moments with you guys via Facebook, my thoughts often turn to more serious pursuits. As the father of a 17-year-old daughter and now my youngest little girl, I try to exert as much influence as I can.

[White] The War at Home

After my uncle's first deployment, he was a different person. His temper was short, and he berated my aunt about the changes she made in his absence. He wanted her to stop working and stay at home. When I came to visit, we weren't allowed in the house if he was there.

Tease photo

Woman on a Mission

Standing an easy 6 feet tall in her fashionable beige wedge sandals, Sandy Middleton strode into the Copiah County sheriff's station. She breezed past the unmanned reception desk, barely pausing, pushing her sunglasses up into her blonde hair and out of the way.

Chicks We Love

For years now, the Jackson Free Press has chosen and honored a slate of amazing women each year, a line-up we cheekily refer to as "Chicks We Love."

[Hero of the Year] Sgt. Reginald L. Cooper

Following a childhood incident in which he encountered a police officer with a terrible attitude, Sgt. Reginald L. Cooper vowed that he would become a police officer himself and would never behave like the officer he met that day.

Men of Character

The JFP's Chick Ball's Men of Character live auction gives bidders a chance to compete for Jackson's finest men while supporting a good cause. The men are donating the talents and services they are famous for, so expect high offers for these capable guys. The bidding begins at 7:55 p.m. July 9 at Hal & Mal's.

Silver Lining

Torch in hand, Lil McKinnon-Hicks bends thin silver cords into earring wires. She drips metal until it forms a small ball. She hammers out bracelets and solders two metals to create necklace pendants.

Myles Cast

Jackson State University theater professor Yohance Myles is acting with Bruce Willis and rapper-turned-actor 50 Cent.

JPS Budget Full of Unknowns

With all the attention surrounding Superintendent Lonnie Edwards' departure from Jackson Public Schools last week, one could be forgiven for missing the district's budget passage for the 2011-2012 school year.

Mobile Food Vendors May Serve Soon

Mobile food vendors may be serving tacos and burgers in the downtown area by the end of July.

Ben Ellard

Last week Ben Ellard assisted a victim through the court system so she could get a protective order against her abusive husband. The woman's spouse had prevented her from having her cell phone, car or friends.

Tuesday, July 5

New Study Uncovers Lagging State Response to Autism

A new advisory committee calls on Mississippi to establish intervention programs for children with autism or suffer higher costs as autism sufferers enter adulthood.

Belhaven Park Wins Award; Hinds Branding Meetings Set

During its annual awards ceremony June 28, the Mississippi Main Street Association named Belhaven Park the best public-private project is the state.

Cindy Hughes Meehl

Hauntingly awe-inspiring is one way to describe the story of Buck Brannaman, known to the world as the inspiration for "The Horse Whisperer." One Jackson native has set out to tell his story.

State Gets More AmeriCorps Volunteers

About 70 corps members of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps Southern Region will arrive in Mississippi tomorrow to begin 10 months of community service and leadership development.

Friday, July 1

Catching the Poopetrator

What do you do when you neighbor's dog keeps making "deposits" in your yard, but the owner won't take responsibility for it? How about a DNA test?

Yes, We're Still Taking Donations for the July 9 JFP Chick Ball—Donate Until July 8!

We hope you'll be a part of the biggest JFP Chick Ball ever on July 9, 2011, at Hal & Mal's (see The silent auction is already huge; click here to see the list of donations to date. Many folks are asking if they can still donate; absolutely! You can still donate art, gifts and money (sponsorships start at $50 and get you into the VIP Chick-A-BOOM reception from 6 to 8 p.m.). Just drop your donation off at the JFP offices from 9 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 5, through Friday, July 8, or bring directly to Hal & Mal's after 2 p.m. on that Friday where we'll be setting up the silent auction. Make all checks out to Center for Violence Prevention, please.

Victims May Monitor Abusers Under New Law

New bills passed during the 2011 legislative session are going to officially kick off this month, and will likely have powerful effects on the state this year.

Perkins Shares His Faith and Passion

No one tells the story of John Perkins quite like Perkins himself. This morning, the author of nine books shared his story about growing up black in rural Mississippi in the 1930s and his passion for justice that still drives him today.

Zakiya Summers

Zakiya Summers knows what's happening at the Jackson Medical Mall. "Call us the landlord," Summers said as she described her role at the Medical Mall. As the internal relations coordinator of the mall, she works on news releases for the tenants, coordinates events, works on problem solving and even gives tours of the facility.

It's the Fourth of July Weekend

Today is an uplifting start to the Fourth of July weekend if you plan on visiting Celebrate American Balloon Glow at Northpark Mall, an event filled with music, food, and hot-air balloons. Admission is free. If you're looking to enjoy some music, tonight comes loaded with talent and tunes. Blue Party and and are playing at the Ole Tavern's New Orleans music night. At Hal & Mal's, Swing d' Paris is playing in the restaurant, as well as Southern Komfort Brass Band playing in the Red Room. Find more local music at JFP music listings.

City Sets Public Hearing for Gates

Read the ordinance