Stories for March 2011


Thursday, March 31

NAACP Pushes Federal Investigation of Greenwood Hanging

Brenda Carter-Evans said an inconclusive state autopsy on her son, Frederick Jermaine Carter, raised sufficient doubt about his death to require the involvement of federal law enforcement. Speaking at Mississippi NAACP offices, the dead man's family and NAACP representatives called today for a federal investigation into the Greenwood man's hanging death Dec. 2.

Reeves to Rule on Redistricting

U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves will preside over a controversial redistricting suit brought by the NAACP against the state of Mississippi. Judge Daniel P. Jordan, originally assigned to the case, recused himself yesterday.

Keba Ambrose

Jackson State University student Keba Ambrose is always ready to take on a new challenge. After hearing about a summer institute on public policy at New Jersey's Princeton University, she worked tirelessly to fine-tune her personal statement for the application process.

Legislature Agrees on Budget

Mississippi House of Representatives and Senate budget negotiators came to an agreement yesterday on the 2011 budget that pays the state's education department $14 million less than it did in 2010. House Democrats demanded K-12 education and the state's educational district distribution formula receive the same funding it received this year, but Gov. Haley Barbour sought to cut schools' maintenance and education materials budget by nearly $30 million.

Wednesday, March 30

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: You can hear Southern Miss baseball on 1590 AM this season. Check it out. John Cox always calls a good game.

The South And SXSW

Anna Kline is one busy girl. The Jackson singer, songwriter, writer and Crossroads Film Festival member also serves as special projects officer for the Mississippi Development Authority.

Spring Equals Strawberries

For me, the official sign of the shift to a warmer season is the Strawberry Lady. Each year she brings her ripe, juicy Louisiana strawberries to my husband's business, and we inevitably end up with several flats.

Strawberry-Banana Ice Cream

Prepare this recipe using your ice cream maker of choice. I recommend the KitchenAid mixer attachment—it's simple, easy and doesn't require hand cranking that old-fashioned ice cream makers do.

Spring Flower Power

Spruce up for springtime with all the spiffiness the season has to offer. Spring cleaning isn't just about airing out your space and your life. It's also all about cleaning out your closets to make room for all the wonderful pieces that will take the place of your wooly winter wardrobe. After you've done a little cleaning with your couture apron from Orange Peel (they're so cute), bring in the newness of spring with pops of color throughout your house and closet, from vintage to handmade by local artisans. Then balance it all with a gauzy, charcoal gray maxi dress. Maxi dresses make everything about the spring (and especially summer) better.

Jackson Emerging

As I walked through the parking lot in front of the Mississippi Museum of Art on a cold, wet Monday morning, it was hard at first to visualize the same space as a vibrant garden with water fountains, blooming flowers, free Wi-Fi and laughing babies just a few months from now.

Rocking Crossroads

The competition at this year's Crossroads' Regional Music Video Showcase will be fierce. Throughout the past year, local filmmakers and musicians have spent hours filming, editing and producing videos aiming to outdo other Crossroads' opponents and even their own work from last year.

The Superintendent Staredown

If the JPS Board of Trustees decides that it does not want Superintendent Lonnie Edwards to return next school year, it will have very little time to find a replacement.

Former Jackson TV Personality Dies

When he was 84, Jobie Martin was still working as a substitute teacher, but long before that, Martin was well known for hosting James Brown, Joe Louis and Mahalia Jackson on his commercial TV program in the 1970s.

Changing Perceptions

It can be hard to understand why someone would move to Jackson looking only through the window of local media's barrage of crime and blight coverage.

State Losing Millions to Tax Dodgers?

Mississippi could be losing incalculable millions in revenue through legal corporate tax-dodging.

Sure, ‘Rebrand,' But Don't Stop There

A group of city and county leaders got together this week to hear a South Carolina company explain how it is going to spend three days talking to citizens and then present us with a plan to "rebrand" Hinds County.

[Stiggers] Forget the Mess

"Don't allow the troubles of this world to ruin your peace of mind. All you need is a comfortable exercise mat or your favorite blanket, and your imagination."

[Kamikaze] Jackson, Waking Up

Some of you may be familiar with the tale "The Emperor's New Clothes." It's a short story written in the 1800s by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen that gives some amazing insight into human nature.

[Head] Rebels Without a Cause

It's difficult to effectively address a racism issue by sweeping the subject of race under the rug.

A Legislative Extension?

A session extension or a special session is on the horizon after the Mississippi Legislature went past a critical March 26 budget deadline without adopting a budget. House leaders refused to agree to Gov. Haley Barbour's plan to cut more than $100 million from the state's K-12 public education funding, and from mental health and other state services.

2011 Spring Flings

One of the best things about dressing for spring is that we have the chance to carry over a few of our favorite fall pieces to a new season. Even better is that in the spring, we have the opportunity to indulge in trends galore. And this year, styles are especially fun and delicious, because there's hardly a look that isn't on-trend.

Parchman's Past, Prison's Future

It's a strange month when the Parchman Farm comes out looking better than a county jail. On March 10, a federal judge finally dismissed the bulk of Gates v. Collier. A 1972 decision on this longstanding court case mandated a slew of reforms at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, then the only state prison in Mississippi. Federal Magistrate Judge Jerry Davis dismissed all portions of the case dealing with state institutions but not the portions regarding Mississippi counties' correctional systems.

Robby Piantanida

Just over five years ago, Belhaven University art student Robby Piantanida borrowed a camera and equipment to shoot a short film for his college film festival. Today, the 23-year-old makes his living producing video and motion-graphics projects in the Jackson area as the owner of Borrowed Productions. And yes, he still occasionally has to borrow equipment.

Crossroads Film 2011 Reviews

The Crossroads Film Festival is screening dozens of movies April 1-3 at Malco Grandview Theatre in Madison, in addition to holding workshops, after-parties and other related events all over town. The Jackson Free Press reviewed a few films to give you a sampling of what you'll find at the festival. For a full schedule of screenings and other festival events, go to

Bryan Opposes Jackson's Sales-Tax Increase

Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, said he could not support a 1-cent sales-tax increase in Jackson to fund infrastructure repairs because the tax is too regressive, costing low-income residents proportionally more than those with higher incomes.

Tuesday, March 29

Hinds County to ‘Rebrand' Itself

In an effort to improve the image of Hinds County and attract new residents and visitors, the Hinds County Economic Development Authority has contracted an urban planning firm to rebrand the entire county.

Arizona-Style Immigrant Bill Dies

Mississippi law will not require local and state law enforcement to stop Latinos and inquire about their immigration status this year. An Arizona-style bill forcing law enforcement to adopt federal immigration enforcement duties died yesterday when Mississippi House of Representative members and Mississippi Senate members could not hash out their differences.

Teresa Nicholas

I've never met writer Teresa Nicholas, but I'm getting to know her quite well. My buddy JoAnne Prichard Morris (who is also an editor of the Jackson Free Press) strongly suggested several weeks ago that I get her new book, "Buryin' Daddy" (University Press of Mississippi, 2011, $28). You'll love it, she told me.

[Balko] How Drug Cops Go Bad

If you browse the website of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), you will notice a conspicuous theme: The war on drugs is corrupting America's cops.

April Fool's Day, Y'all

Enjoy the day!

Monday, March 28

Barbour Wants $100 Million Cuts in Education, Mental Health

Gov. Haley Barbour wants to cut more than $100 million from education, mental health and other state services.

Community Events and Meetings

Free Tax Counseling and Filing. IRS/AIM or AARP volunteers will do electronic filing. Bring all necessary documents. Joint filers must come together. Free.

Report Calls for Drug-Law Reform

Reducing Mississippi's incarceration rate, which is the second-highest in the United States, depends on reforming many aspects of the state's criminal justice system, a report released this month says.

Maura Johnson

Throughout her childhood, Maura Johnson met her family around the dinner table to not only share a meal together but to talk about specific historical facts. They always read the news and newly released biographies and spoke of the importance of being familiar with history.

Why do people move to/stay in Jackson?

OK, I promised. Here is the next user-generated list in our quest to educate ourselves about why people leave/stay. Please add your reasons (or reasons you've heard people give whether you agree with them or not) to the list below and pass it around. (Remember to add reasons to this one, too: Why do people leave Jackson?

Navy to Name Ship After Jackson

A future Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship will honor the city of Jackson, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced Friday.

Sunday, March 27

7th Annual JFP Chick Ball July 9, 2011—Save the Date!

The JFP Chick Ball committee is busy collecting sponsors and silent-auction donations, as well as reaching out for more volunteers and committee members. (This year, we're starting a "rooster" support committee of men who want to officially help out. The 7th Annual JFP Chick Ball will be at Hal & Mal's on July 9 and will this year raise money to help fight domestic abuse in surrounding rural counties. Sponsorships start for as little as $50 (which gets you into the VIP Chick-A-BOOM reception), and we even need donations of "chick" decor so be sure to hit those after-Easter clearance sales to help fight domestic abuse. All checks should be made out to the Center for Violence Prevention, which is the direct recipient of all Chick Ball proceeds. Follow us on Twitter @jfpchickball and find us on Facebook. Please tell your friends. The JFP Chick Ball is for age 18 and up, and only costs $5 at the door. Watch for more details! And, remember, we need your help RIGHT NOW. Please join us in this important effort.

Saturday, March 26

Parade Weekend Schedule

Bawdy, loud, and down-right crazy. Zippity-Doo-Dah's annual parade might leave you breathless, but don't worry. The JFP's gotcha covered of when and where what's gonna happen.

Friday, March 25

Giving credit where it's due

I've been quite critical of some posts on the Downtown Jackson Partners blog in recent days as in-depth discussions about why people stay/leave Jackson have unfolded on our website. But I have to give DJP credit today (even as I wish they'd clean up the use of quotations and italics over there, but I digress). I just looked at the blog and see that there is all sorts of relevant, interesting content, rather than the usual mix of posts about Two Lakes and other "bodacious" (expensive) projects and events listings (nothing wrong with those, of course). There is great news about the state renting space downtown and extension info on urban spaces and interesting new urbanism stats and such. Also good news on DJP's Venture Incubator that Ward Schaefer wrote about in the last issue of Boom Jackson.

JPS Hearing Reveals Edwards' Failure to Communicate

Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Lonnie Edwards has consistently failed to communicate about major issues facing the district, JPS Board President Kisiah Nolan testified today. Nolan was the board's first witness in a hearing on Edwards' three-year contract, which the board voted Dec. 7, 2010 not to renew.

Negative Perceptions an Obstacle for Jackson

Communicating positive messages about Jackson's progress and ending negative perceptions about crime is important to attract new residents to the city of Jackson, Jackson State University professor B. D'Andra Orey told a group of citizens this morning.

Why do people leave Jackson?

OK, I have an idea. Let's try an experiment. Let's start a list of the various reasons, positive or negative, that people might move out of Jackson proper. You can't post more than one sentence, and you can't repeat something someone else has said. (This is my blog post; thus, my rules. Smile.) Please add anything you can think of to the list and try not to include any kind of judgement in your entries; your reason may be a perception, but perceptions drive people to do things, so include it! When we get a good list, we'll start talking about each other individually to consider the problem and possible list of solutions. Everyone, please join in.

Tiara of the Day: Bluebird Crown

This year, the Sweet Potato Queens, in shiny new over-the-top outfits, sashay through Fondren in the first annual Zippity Doo Dah Parade. Boss Queen Jill Conner Browne says she has yet another first: a Larry Vrba bluebird crown.

It's the Weekend

If last weekend's St. Paddy's Parade and associated frivolities have you hankering for more, this weekend won't disappoint. The first annual Zippity Doo Dah Weekend in the Fondren neighborhood began yesterday and runs through tomorrow night. Today until 5 p.m., join the Sweet Potato Queens for the Bluebird Scavenger Hunt and the Queens Qrawl for All. Tomorrow, you'll have plenty of opportunities for family fun beginning with the Market in Fondren from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.; the Sal & Mookies 4th Annual Kid's Carniva from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.; and live music throughout the day. The weekend closes out (for all but the heartiest SPQs) with the Zippity Doo Dah Parade at dusk. All proceeds from the weekend go to the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children, so not only will you have a blast, you'll be making a difference, too.

Drama and hysteria don't change the world

After getting sucked into a couple different JFP conversations about the (over)reaction to recent Census numbers (the most recent one here), I've been thinking a lot about drama and the importance of precision in language over the last few weeks. The truth, as I have witnessed over the years, is that (a) too much drama blocks progress and (b) words really matter

Edwards Fights for JPS Job Today

Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Lonnie Edwards makes his case today for an extension of his contract. The JPS Board of Trustees voted Dec. 7 not to renew Edwards' contract, which started in 2008. Under state law, superintendents can appeal initial decisions on their contracts and request a hearing before the board.

Thursday, March 24

Corporations Dodge Taxes While Schools Suffer

Public education suffers while many of the state's largest corporations pay no state taxes, children's advocates said yesterday.

$7.75M Housing Development Breaks Ground

Workers break ground this afternoon on a new $7.75 million affordable housing development near Northside Drive. The project, called Holly Hills, will use low-income housing tax credits to construct 60 units of rental housing. Holly Hills should be partially open for occupancy within four months and complete by the end of the year, said Phil Eide, senior vice president of Hope Enterprise Corp., which helped fund the project.

Rosemary Maxey

Rosemary Maxey likens her office to a museum of the Jackson Convention Center's history. A picture on her wall displays the 2006 groundbreaking, in which city leaders shoveled sand on an empty lot in downtown Jackson. She also has documents showing Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.'s original appointments to the Capital City Convention Center Commission, which managed the center's initial development and its future expansion.

Wednesday, March 23

Sal & Mookie's Street Carnival 2011

Sal & Mookie's New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint has been a local favorite since opening its doors in 2007. For the past three years, the restaurant has brought fun to the streets of Jackson with the annual Sal & Mookie's Street Carnival.

Fondren's Parade

"Fondren is a well-oiled machine," says Boss Queen Jill Conner Browne, the original Sweet Potato Queen, of the place she chose to be the home of her upcoming Zippity Doo Dah Parade.

All Hail the Queens

When I first moved back to Mississippi, I had no idea what a Sweet Potato Queen was. Then I attended the Mal's St. Paddy's Parade and received a front-row education to the world of the "queens."

Mini-Floats for Fondren

The Zippity Doo Dah parade is a special opportunity for the Jackson community to come together and raise money for the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children. For the first time, the Sweet Potato Queens are setting themselves apart from Jackson's annual Mal's St. Paddy's Parade to have a parade of their own, which promises to differ greatly from what the city has seen in years past.

‘Deer Camp On Estrogen'

Once a year, a group of women make a pilgrimage across the country to Jackson. Mostly middle-aged, they come decked out from head to toe in sequins, feathers and anything that sparkles. They've come in the name of their queen: the Sweet Potato Queen.

(Re)Learning to Breathe

To watch an infant sleep is to witness one of the most deeply peaceful processes. With every soft rise and fall of the baby's small belly, a natural expansion and contraction occurs that seems effortless, even archetypal.

Nonna's Recipes

It's time for a night out, and your taste buds are craving Italian. You're pining for cherry-red tomato sauce and al dente pasta, or maybe you're more in the mood for the bubbling layers of lasagna.

Old Is Young Again

A friend recently tweeted that Metallica's "Black Album" is now considered classic rock and wondered if this means he's old. We all have those moments when something makes us pause and say, "I'm so not in my 20s (30s, 40s) anymore." Maybe it's seeing college kids, or not being able to recover from a big night quite as quickly. This week, I had one of those moments, but, ultimately, I was reminded that age is only a number.

Ode to Fondren

I moved to Jackson because of Fondren. (I can hear a few of you cursing Fondren now.) More specifically, it was because of Rainbow Whole Foods, which a friend of ours had turned us on to during a dinner in Manhattan.

Kerry-ed Away

I'll never forget the first time I saw Kerry Thomas, known as KT on stage, perform live at Dreamz JXN for Forever Friday. It was Sept. 10, 2010. Alone on stage with only an acoustic guitar and a microphone, he captivated a very vocal contingent of female audience members with his soulful renditions of Musiq Soulchild songs.

Insurance and Excise Taxes

Avoiding buying car insurance will get a little harder with new legislation passed last week. The Mississippi House of Representatives and the Mississippi Senate agreed on a bill requiring motorists to own some form of vehicle insurance to qualify for a new car tag.

Cultural Remodeling

Artist Jennifer Dixon's life-size tree installations fill the interior Bergen Park in Seattle, Wash. The five trees, made of various materials such as clay, metal, fossils and glass, are attached to tall cedar posts that originally served as reference points for the first U.S. land surveys in 1851.

The Home Front

If Morgan Freeman is Clarksdale's most recognizable resident, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Luckett may be its second. An attorney and developer, Luckett runs two of his high-profile business ventures with Freeman, the Ground Zero Blues Club and Madidi's Restaurant.

Attract Creative Class With Art

The city of Jackson took a significant step forward last week when City Human and Cultural Services Director Michael Raff announced a public-art initiative. Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. has committed 1 percent of all eligible capital-improvement funds for public art displays around the city, and the administration is seeking community members to get involved.

[Stiggers] Good Deeds, Bad Events

"As your elected congressman and public servant, I am here to let you know that crap, mess, drama, trouble, gloom, despair and agony happens, and they are a part of this world's order. However, along with order comes balance. The good deeds of concerned and sympathetic people follow bad events."

[Our Turn] A Call for Understanding

Taking more accurately the universal message of the Civil Rights Movement to heart, this letter is not a call for silence, as that would be antithetical to the Movement as well. Rather, this letter is a call for understanding.

Breaking The Rules

Like many 12-year-old girls, DeAsia Scott tries to maximize the amount of hot pink she can wear on a daily basis. She loves oatmeal-raisin cookies, has a crush on Justin Bieber and knows every word to Beyonce's songs.

Mystical Alligator Wrestling

When I first picked up "Swamplandia!" (Knopf, 2011, $24.95), I was skeptical at best. As a Florida native, I was excited to read a book set in my home state, but a book about a 13-year-old girl who is an alligator wrestler with a self-described "falling" family sounds a bit sketchy. As intriguing as the concept is, I didn't know how author Karen Russell would be able to write it without being ridiculous.

Poet's Progress

Plain spoken and impassioned, poet Nikki Giovanni's body of work is a testament to the power of words to fulfill and inspire.

[Hill] Healing Words

What impresses me is that he did not call them "bad" or label them "thugs."

Tease photo

The JFP Interview With Dave Dennis

In 1995, then-Mississippi Gov. Kirk Fordice announced his re-election campaign from the Gulfport home of Dave Dennis. Dennis had a lot in common with the governor. Both made their fortunes in the construction industry, and Dennis was an active Republican fundraiser who embraced Fordice's brand of business-friendly conservatism. Dennis, now 58, hopes to follow in Fordice's shoes.

Redistricting Hits the Courts

Gov. Haley Barbour's crusade for more Republican districts in the Mississippi House of Representatives is putting him at odds with the Mississippi NAACP, which wants the U.S. Department of Justice to approve a map with more black-majority districts.

Barbour's Press Pass

Watching Gov. Haley Barbour seize the national media spotlight feels a bit like seeing a bully from high school making it big. "I knew him when he was fat and mean!" one wants to say.

Erica Speed

by J. Ashley Nolen March 23, 2011 The bold, red door to Erica Speed's Fondren home is a fair indication of what's inside: Local artwork and colorful fabric designs cover furniture while family pictures fill a variety of frames on tables and walls. Books about Mississippi rest on her coffee table. Her three dogs--a lab, a golden retriever and mixed breed--greet her with enthusiasm.

Council Members Likely to Keep Offices

Mississippi lawmakers have aligned with Jackson City Council members to see that council members keep their offices in City Hall.

The Best in Sports in 7 Days

Doctor S sez: College basketball is winding down to clear the way for MLB's Boys of Summer.

What Happened to Gloomy Predictions?

Economic reports show that most job growth in our country this year has come from small-and medium-size businesses. That trend will only accelerate, according to the recently released Small Business Index from the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Tuesday, March 22

Fish and Funds Face Council

Fishing and financing are on the Jackson City Council agenda this week as the council considers reopening Livingston Park Lake for youth recreation and refunding a chunk of city debt.

Consignment and New Eats

After last winter's tornadoes damaged Vacita Jones' consignment shop "I'm Back" in Pearl, she decided to open another shop in Fondren's Duling School.

Pinetop Perkins

Mississippi native Pinetop Perkins, whose boogie-woogie blues piano playing backed up generations of blues legends before he took a turn in the solo spotlight, died Monday at his home in Austin, Texas. He was 97.

[Balko] Getting Forensics Right

by Radley Balko March 14, 2011 After countless scandals in recent years, the problems with America's forensics system are finally getting some national attention. In December, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced a bill to reform the country's crime labs. In January, ProPublica and Frontline teamed up for a year-long investigation into the ways criminal autopsies are conducted across the country.

Freedom Rider to Speak at Millsaps

Civil Rights activist and original Freedom Rider Hank Thomas will speak about Rabbi Perry Nussbaum and the Freedom Riders March 25 at Millsaps College.

Monday, March 21

Confusion Over Jackson 2020

Last month, The Clarion-Ledger reported that a group of community citizens had formed a group called Jackson 2020 to combat Jackson's population shift and work on rebranding the city to attract more residents.

Roadside Food Service Needed, Says Whitwell

Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell is chasing puppy mills and food trucks this week. Whitwell has submitted two ordinance changes for the March 22 council agenda: one discouraging roadside animal sales and one encouraging roving restaurant trucks.

Hinds Ends Interest-Rate Swap

A multi-year financial transaction will provide Hinds County a final payment of $1.52 million next month. The transaction, an interest-rate swap on two bond issues, has saved the county money on its bond debt.

JFP Freelancer of the Month: Tom Ramsey

While Jacksonians may know him best for his culinary creations, writer and consulting-chef Tom Ramsey considers himself a storyteller above all else.

Community Events and Public Meetings

Free Tax Counseling and Filing. IRS/AIM or AARP volunteers will do electronic filing. Bring all necessary documents. Joint filers must come together. Free.

Highways to Honor Black Leaders, Military Figures

Mississippi will name several state highways after black leaders and honorable military figures.

Gov. Haley Barbour signed a bill last week to change the names of many of the state's highways. Mississippi Highway 552 will be named after longtime Alcorn State University educator Walter Washington. Another highway in Coldwater, Miss., will honor Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, March 18

‘Save Our Office,' Council Says

Jackson City Council members want to keep their full-time City Hall offices. Today, they passed a resolution in support of a proposed law change.

New Outfits for Sweet Potato Queens

The Sweet Potato Queens will stuff themselves into new costumes for the Zippity Doo Dah Parade next week.

Census Shows Jackson's ‘Flight Problem'

Also see: Ward Schaefer: Jackson 'White Flight' Slows In Last Decade

Jay Losset

For the past six years, Jay Losset and members of the Umlaut Standing Krewe have arrived at the corner of Capitol and Congress streets as early as 8 a.m. to stake out their turf for the Mal's St. Paddy's Parade.

Weekend Events

As you gear up for one of the most anticipated weekends in Jackson, don't forget to pick up this week's JFP issue to guide you through the Mal's St. Patty's Parade and events. Tonight, grab a feather boa and your dancing shoes and head to the King Edward Hotel at 5 p.m. for the Marching Malfunctions Second Line Stomp and Street Dance. The New Orleans-style second line will leave hotel at 7 p.m. and end at Hal & Mal's for an outdoor concert with performances by The Bailey Brothers, The Legendary House Rockers, Super Chikan blues band and the Jackson Allstar Brass Band. Then head to Fire to see The Molly Ringwalds perform, or the Basement at Fire/Fuego to see the Shamrock-a-Shimmy-Burlesque Show. For the weekend's hottest picks, visit the JFP's Best Bets page.

City to Honor Homeless Program Participants

The City of Jackson will honor participants from its Homeless Transitional Job Program this afternoon. The 15 participants have completed the program and transitioned from homelessness to stable housing or employment.

Thursday, March 17

NAACP Joins Redistricting Fray

The Mississippi NAACP today asked a federal court to stop state legislators from running in their current districts in August because they are not representative of black voters.

Speed Returns to MDA

A familiar face is returning to the Mississippi Development Authority. Jackson real-estate developer Leland Speed is temporarily taking the reins of the MDA as executive director until January 2012, the remainder of Gov. Haley Barbour's term in office.

City Pushes Public-Arts Initiative

The city of Jackson is seeking community partners to support a public-arts initiative that will provide opportunities for artists and youth to create art installations in the city.

Catherine Sherer Bishop

A random Thursday night at Fenian's Pub in 1998 sparked a long-term love of Irish dance for Catherine Sherer Bishop. That night, Bishop saw the Jackson Irish Dancers, then a newly formed group, performing and asked to join in their next dance. Although they discouraged her, saying that the dance was not for the faint of heart, she quickly learned the steps and performed it perfectly that night.

Fewer States Trying Kids As Adults

Read the report here.

States are examining their laws for trying children as adults for certain crimes. More than 20 states have reformed or are reforming their policies in the last five years, according to a Campaign for Youth Justice report released yesterday.

Finding Beauty

Walking into the Mississippi Museum of Art's "The Orient Expressed: Japan's Influence on Western Art, 1854-1918," you may kind of know what to expect, but you won't anticipate seeing 10 or so black rectangles lining the wall.

Wednesday, March 16

Protesting Music

St. Patrick's Day and surrounding festivities are nearing, and you wouldn't mind blasting some Irish-sounding music in the background as you're getting ready for your day, but you're just not down with traditional bagpipes and the Irish flute.

The Jackson Irish Blues

This week is spring break, but I'm busy preparing for the ton of fun and music going on this St. Paddy's Day weekend in Jackson, including the third largest St. Patrick's Day parade in the United States.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: You might as well throw away your NCAA Tournament bracket now. You may already be a loser. Stupid office pool.

Keeping Faith

In 1969, P.W. Underwood, then head football coach at the University of Southern Mississippi, convinced a 6-foot-3-inch lanky kid from Swainsboro, Ga., to come to the University of Southern Mississippi as a free safety and punter. That kid is Ray Guy.

Restraint and Love

Ordering "bangers and mash" is cooler than asking a waiter for sausage and mashed potatoes. Way cooler. Kind of like it's cooler to get fish and chips instead of fried fish and French fries, but that's another story, and we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings over at Cock of the Walk.

Clean Green

In one of his books, Dr. Seuss says, "I do not like green eggs and ham." As a child, I often celebrated St. Patrick's Day by having my parents inject green food dye into that morning's protein source: scrambled eggs. While that was fascinating in my childhood, the thought of green eggs now absolutely disgusts me.

Feelin' Green? Perfect!

"A friend in need is a friend indeed," the Irish proverb admonishes, and everyone knows you have a friend in the JFP. So, instead of trying to figure out how you'll celebrate St. Paddy's in style, we have a few suggestions for you.

The Rest of ... The Story

Back in 2005, a Canadian TV producer asked me if he could film Mississippians working for the Jackson Free Press investigating a civil-rights cold case in Franklin County for a documentary.

MPB Moves Toward Self-Sufficiency

Big underwriters with deep pockets could save Mississippi Public Broadcasting. To find those generous companies, MPB employees preoccupied with periodic membership drives need time to make convincing sales pitches. To free up that time, MPB says an independent consultant might handle its next fundraising drive.

Our Voices Will Be Heard

When Greenwood resident Sandra Stringfellow was diagnosed with HIV 16 years ago, she felt isolated and alone. Her neighbor flagged down Stringfellow's visitors to tell them that Stringfellow was positive and that they shouldn't associate with her.

Stadiums and Sticky Hands

Jackson State University will be the new owner of Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium if Gov. Haley Barbour agrees.

Redistricting: Get Moving

The Mississippi House of Representatives did the right thing this week by stapling its Senate-rejected redistricting plan onto the Senate's own redistricting map. Both chambers must approve each other's redistricting map to complete the new districts by the June 1 deadline to qualify for House or Senate elections this year.

[Stiggers] Smart Dummies

Mr. Announcement: "In the ghetto criminal justice system, the people are represented by two members of the McBride family: police officer and part-time security guard at the Funky Ghetto Mall, Dudley ‘Do-Right' McBride; and attorney Cootie McBride of the law firm McBride, Myself and I. This is their story."

[Kamikaze] Do the Right Thing

Let's be honest. I'm sure all parents agree that kids need discipline. Kids need to learn respect; kids need to learn tolerance. But what happens when a kid feels like he doesn't see those qualities exemplified by the adults around him, adults who are charged with instilling in them those same values?

More Redistricting Fireworks Ahead?

The battle over African American-majority legislative districts continues this week in the state capitol after a confusing series of dueling redistricting proposals failed to stick--two from the Mississippi House of Representatives; one from the Senate; and a fourth especially controversial effort by Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant.

[Dickerson] Dances with Panthers

Suddenly, the big cat began moving toward me, slowly at first, then faster...

Tease photo

St. Paddy's 2011 Schedule of Events

Whether you party hard or hardly party, there's plenty for you to do this weekend for Mal's St. Paddy's Parade.

Who's Who

The Mal's St. Paddy's Parade comes with 29 years of history and traditions old and new, so a cheat sheet is helpful. Here are a few of the key players and things to know as you plan.

Marching for a Cause

I'm always looking for any excuse to don a costume, so naturally, I love a parade. This month packs in two of them: The Mal's St. Paddy's Parade, led by Hal & Mal's co-owner Malcolm White; and the Zippity Doo Dah Parade, headed by former St. Paddy's favorites, Sweet Potato Queen Jill Conner Browne and her "wannabees."

The History of the Mal's St. Paddy's Parade

In the early '80s, Malcolm White had been throwing yearly St. Patrick's Day parties at the bar and restaurant he managed, George Street Grocery, the present location of the Ole Tavern on George Street. The parties were great, but he had bigger things in mind.

Parade Pet Survival Guide

When the body senses a stressor, it acts to protect itself. Stored fuels (sugars and fats) release a burst of energy, breathing rate increases sending more oxygen to the blood, muscles tense preparing for action and senses become more acute (hearing more sensitive, pupils enlarge and smell is sharper).

Enjoying the Parade with Wee Ones

If you're planning to spend an afternoon at the Mal's St. Paddy's parade with small children, you probably want to do some planning. Here are some suggestions of the things you might need to keep the whole family happy.

St Paddy's Shopping Guide

Before you head out to strut your stuff at the Parade this Saturday, why not spend some green at some of Jackson's finest, and generate some green for the city?

Stylish St. Paddy's Costumes

At the Mal's St. Paddy's Parade, you will see families in jeans, college students in sundresses, and a wide variety of people wearing outlandish costumes. Just about anything goes. To join the throngs of wildly costumed parade participants and spectators, here are some inexpensive DIY costume ideas to get you started.

O' Me, O' My, O' Tux

I hate to admit it, but I've been marching with a krewe for about 15 years, and I've never taken the time to learn its origin story. So when my editor shot me a note to ask if I would do a short piece on the O'Tux Society, I took it as an excuse to bother our Fearless Leader Malcolm White with questions I've always been too embarrassed to ask. I mean, if I'm a member, I should know this stuff already, right?

Verde Do Krewe

As a child, one's only real responsibility is to have fun, and obey our parents and other authorities. As we get older, though, things change. Careers, mortgages, families and countless other responsibilities begin to weigh down and consume our time. It's an understatement to say that growing up is bittersweet, but it is. It takes a special adult to remember how to let loose and have fun.

Parade Recovery Tips

Many folks consider the Mal's St. Paddy's Parade the best day of the year in Jackson, and we all want to make the most of it. However, after all the revelry, the next day can leave you with regrets (or at least a headache). Here are 10 tips to help you recover from the fun.

Jackson ‘White Flight' Slows In Last Decade

The release of 2010 Census data earlier this year may have been a gut-check for Jackson's leaders, but the numbers were hardly surprising. News reports, however, were quick to seize on them: Jackson's population dropped 5.8 percent over the last decade, from 184,256 in 2000 to 173,514 in 2010. Meanwhile, the five-county metropolitan statistical area--which includes Copiah, Hinds, Madison, Rankin and Simpson counties--grew 8.4 percent.

Donovan Childress

Donovan Childress sits relaxed across the table, scratching his beard and looking ahead with an expression that regularly breaks into a wide, affable smile.

Murrah Coach off the Hook, For Now

Murrah High School Basketball Coach Marlon Dorsey will not face simple assault charges for whipping basketball players with a weight belt, a Hinds County Judge ruled yesterday.

Tuesday, March 15

State Economic Picture Improves

In light of an improved economic outlook, a panel of state lawmakers agreed today to adopt slightly higher estimates for state revenues in the 2011 and 2012 fiscal years.

Workshops and Financing

Clarence Chapman, developer of the Timber Falls housing subdivision in south Jackson, expects a health clinic and small grocery store to be among the first commercial tenants of his multi-stage project, which he anticipates costing $400 million total. Chapman said that he has spent $56 million on the project already.

Mark LeVaughn

Mississippi Medical Examiner Dr. Mark LeVaughn was ice-cool at his introduction ceremony yesterday. Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz officially announced LeVaughn as the state's new chief medical examiner, and pointed out that the state has not had a real chief medical examiner since 1995.

[Balko] Leviathan's Lawyers

Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement last month that the U.S. Justice Department's Office of the Solicitor General would no longer defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act in federal court spurred some interesting discussion among legal scholars and commentators about the decision's rationale and significance.

Barbour Spokesman Resigns

Gov. Haley Barbour accepted the resignation yesterday of Press Secretary Dan Turner. Turner's resignation comes after a Politico blog entry about daily e-mails Turner sent out to the governor's staff containing offensive jokes.

Monday, March 14

Flood Study Cost Increase Spurs Finger Pointing

Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District Board Chairman Gary Rhoads said today that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is to blame for cost increases in a multi-million-dollar study of flood control on the Pearl River between Hinds and Rankin counties.

Mandatory Sex Ed: Almost There

The Mississippi Senate and House of Representatives are awaiting the governor's signature on a bill forcing all local public-school boards to adopt a policy to add "abstinence-only" or "abstinence-plus" education into its curriculum by June 30, 2012.

Jackson Addiction Treatment Facility to Close

A Jackson alcohol and drug treatment facility that houses approximately 28 patients without insurance or ability to pay for treatment is expected to close its doors tomorrow.

Nikki Giovanni

It's fitting that Nikki Giovanni's appearance at Jackson State University next week is in honor of the JSU Student Government Association's "Women's Emphasis Week," celebrating women's achievements. For more than 40 years, Giovanni has a leading voice for women's and minority rights, as well as a successful and influential poet.

Community Events and Public Meetings

Free Tax Counseling and Filing. IRS/AIM or AARP volunteers will do electronic filing. Bring all necessary documents. Joint filers must come together. Free.

Barbour Takes on National Economy

As the Mississippi Legislature gears up for a battle over the state's 2012 budget, Gov. Haley Barbour heads to Chicago today where he is expected to criticize President Barack Obama's economic policies.

Friday, March 11

Bryant: Voting Rights Act Rigs Elections

Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant spent the better half of a March 8 public forum mischaracterizing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as a former president's lingering attempt to influence southern elections.

School Funding Takes Hopeful Turn

An upcoming revised revenue estimate for Mississippi could give public-education advocates and supporters some breathing room. The state Legislature's Revenue Estimating Committee met this week, and Mississippi Parents' Campaign Executive Director Nancy Loome says that an estimated increase in state revenue could help make the case for level education funding during upcoming budget negotiations at the state Capitol.

Tom Harmon

"Art is a very important part of community. You can't have too much," artist Tom Harmon says.

Weekend Events

If you didn't get tickets to the now sold-out Kid Rock concert at the Mississippi Coliseum tonight, don't worry; you still have plenty of options for entertainment in Jackson. The Art House Cinema Downtown screens the indie films "The Other Woman" at 7 p.m. and "Queen of the Lot" at 9:05 p.m. at the Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.); $7. After you catch a flick, head out for a night on the town. Ole Tavern (416 George St.) features music by David Dondero, Franz Nicolay and Overnight Lows. Catch Storage 24 performing at Dreamz Jxn (426 W. Capitol St.) during the Kid Rock after party and crawfish boil at 9 p.m. Need more options? We've got you covered. Check out JFP Music Listings and Best Bets.

Key AG Bills Headed to Barbour

<i>Verbatim Statement</i>

Five of the Attorney General Jim Hood's key legislative bills are now headed to the Governor for his signature.

Thursday, March 10

Bryant's Redistricting Plan Fails

The Mississippi Senate struck down Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant's controversial substitute redistricting plan, which would have diffused black voting power in Hattiesburg, with a 35-to-16 vote today.

HIV/AIDS Advocates Speak Out

Donna M., a homeless Jackson woman infected with HIV, threw away her medicine while living with family members, fearing that they would find out about the disease that she was trying to keep secret. Another Jackson resident, Thomas L., claims that many suffering from HIV/AIDS in Mississippi often tell family members that they have cancer and would rather die than have anyone know they have the disease.

Appeals Court Gives Hinds Judge Immunity

Read the court's ruling (PDF).

Darion Warren

Every aspect of the physical world breaks down into numbers. A malfunctioning LED traffic light costs a certain amount of money to repair or replace. To keep traffic flowing, an ideal number of minutes must occur between the activation of a red traffic signal at Congress and Pearl Streets and the activation of the red signal at President and Pearl Streets. An ideal gradient is necessary for storm water to effectively run into the city's drainage system, and it is a process that needs to be maintained and kept free of poisonous urban run-off chemicals from paint, motor oil and antifreeze to keep the federal government happy.

MS Senate Keeps Ed Funding

A Senate Appropriation Committee's amendment that would have reduced Mississippi's K-12 education funding by $81 million failed yesterday in the Senate's 29-22 vote.

Genre-Bending Rock

Kid Rock brings his blend of rock, rap, country and blues to the Mississippi Coliseum Friday, March 11, for a tour stop in support of "Born Free," his seventh studio album released in November 2010.

Have the Grammys Really Changed?

This year's Grammy awards on Feb. 13 marked the 20-year anniversary of Public Enemy's boycott of the 1991 ceremony. It was the third year in a row that the group had been nominated for Best Rap Performance by a Group or Duo; the previous two years, the group lost to Young MC with "Bust a Move" and "Back on the Block," a song from a Quincy Jones album.

Wednesday, March 9

Always a Bridesmaid ...

After choosing the wedding gown, selecting a bridesmaid's dress should rank high on a bride's to-do-list. Ideally, a bridesmaid dress complements the wedding gown, flowers and the women wearing them, and selecting one can be fun or stressful.

Let the Madness Begin

Every year, millions of American's fill out NCAA Tournament brackets for money, prizes or for fun, then they hope not to get their brackets busted.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: Perfection is a rare thing in sports. So congratulations to the undefeated Lanier High girls basketball team on the MHSAA 5A state championship.

Bringing Healthy Back

I have literally been working my butt off since the first of the year in an attempt to lose my "baby weight." The phrase is becoming less acceptable by the day, seeing as how my baby is 2 years old, speaks in complete sentences and has potty-trained herself.

Simple Health

It's been a while since we made our resolutions for 2011. Good health and wholesome eating habits are goals that many of us share, but, no doubt, some of our early enthusiasm disappeared throughout January and February, when freezing weather taunted us, and the couch and comfort eating were more attractive alternatives to exercising and proper nutrition.

Classic Style, Modern Sensibility

As the saying goes, "Everything old is new again," and that most certainly rings true of Jackson's renaissance. It's true of cool, old spaces and hotspots and neighborhoods across town, and it's also true in fashion. The best looks often involve old standards wearers have reinvented.

Back in the Saddle

Like many of us, I started off the new year so well. I actually began an intensive fitness makeover at 6 a.m. on Dec. 30--just so that I would have a head start on everyone.

Redistricting Fight Comes Home

Hinds County's redistricting woes are not over, yet. One week after the county Board of Supervisors voted to approve new district maps, the board faces a possible lawsuit over its decision to hire Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson to oversee its redistricting process.

Commissioner Opposes Plant, Despite Ruling

Mississippi Power Company customers may be paying for up to $2.88 billion in costs for the new experimental coal-burning power plant, based on a Harrison County Chancery Court judge's decision.

Transparency and Head Trips

State agencies will have to put their spending and contracts on a website for public scrutiny if the Mississippi House of Representatives and Senate work out their differences with a popular government accountability bill. Senate Bill 2554, the Mississippi Accountability and Transparency Act, survived a Senate floor vote last month, and also got past the House March 2, after some minor tweaking.

Reject the Partisan Posturing

Politics are getting uglier by the day.

Politics are getting uglier by the day.

[Stiggers] The Greatest Thing

"He understands the law of cause and effect: If you make workers give up their pension, accept lower wages and settle for the life their great-grandparents had, they will go on strike and affect the profits of the business."

Men: Start Now, Not Never

A few weeks ago, I went to visit my dad, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year. It's a cancer that most men "die with, not from," but to have a doctor tell you that you have cancer must surely be a jarring experience.

[Head] Immigrants vs. Profit

There is a story that U.S. citizens often hear about undocumented Latino workers. It is fiction.

Do or Die

Vicki Mason says half the battle on the road to a healthy lifestyle is acquiring knowledge by using the resources that are widely available to all of us. She's serious about that, too. Two of Mason's dearest friends passed away within six months of each other about two years ago. They both had heart attacks. She was 35; they were, at the time, 34 and 36. She decided she had to do something.

Is Surgery Necessary?

Every day, women's lives are saved and improved thanks to the work of surgeons. They rid patients of cancerous tumors and right malfunctioning body parts; they stitch up wounds and oftentimes they deliver babies in distress. Surgery can seem like an obvious choice to better your health, but it may not be your best choice.

One Heart's Fasting

When my pastor invited our congregation to take part in a 21-day fast, I was thrilled with the idea. "What a great way to start the year off right," I thought. My zeal soon turned to frustration, however, as I began contemplating how I would fast successfully.

Detoxifying through Fasting

Pesticides. Additives. Preservatives. These chemicals are in the foods most of us consume every day. Detoxification diets or fasts may prove helpful in ridding the body of these toxins; however, detoxification is a contentious issue.

Health Tips for Dudes

Men are often seen as individuals who ignore their health altogether. Here are some tips that, while not exclusive to men, appeal to my maleness.

A Mind/Body Bookshelf

Wellness is more than just the absence of illness. It incorporates the whole being, body, mind and spirit. Physicians and psychiatrists have studied and written about wellness for decades (at least), so we know their interest in wellness is far from being some new-fangled, new-age fad.

Speaking in Laughter

Everyone loves to laugh. Like many things, though, we completely take it for granted. If you really think about it, laughing is, well, weird. What biological function does laughing serve?

Etude of an Artist

When he was 5 years old, Lorenzo Gayden loved cars. He played with and drew them and, eventually, imagined designing them. But unlike most of us who abandon our childhood love for art, casting it off as simple doodling, Gayden, now 36, knew artistry was meant for him.

Drifting in the Groove

You've probably never heard of Daniel Lanois, but you've certainly heard his work. He has quite an impressive resumé: producer of CDs recorded by Bob Dylan, the Neville Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, U2 and Peter Gabriel, to name a few.

Whimsy On George Street

In 2006, National Public Radio's Robin Hilton named David Dondero one of the best living songwriters ever. He shared that distinction with the likes of Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Aimee Mann. And Franz Nicolay, who composes music and plays everything from keys to the accordion, will be spending lots of time with him.

Itawamba Student Sues District Over Rap

A year ago, the Itawamba County School District made national news for electing to cancel Itawamba Agricultural High School's prom rather than allow lesbian student Constance McMillen to bring her girlfriend as her date. A federal judge ultimately ruled that the district had violated McMillen's First Amendment rights. Now, the district faces another lawsuit alleging that it denied a student's constitutional rights.

Bilal Hashim

Bilal Hashim is intentional and calm as he welcomes me to the recently relocated StudioOM Yoga studio in Fondren inside the Woodland Hills Shopping Center. Wearing a moss-green shirt and a Hawaiian-stone necklace, he admits that mindfulness is a trait that took him decades to achieve.

Bryant Complicates Redistricting

The state redistricting process will likely see fireworks in the coming days. On Tuesday, the Mississippi Senate Elections Committee killed a redistricting map approved by the House of Representatives.

Tuesday, March 8

Jackson Sales Tax Up; Enough for Shortfalls?

The City of Jackson's first-quarter 2011 budget offered a mixed bag to the City Council yesterday. The city is looking at an increase in sales-tax revenue for the first time since 2009, but the city will have to adjust for budget shortfalls in its police department and in public transportation.

Farish and a Dollar (General) More

Developer David Watkins said yesterday that he is "a hundred percent convinced" that the B.B. King Blues Club will sign a lease to anchor the Farish Street Entertainment District. The club is planning for an Aug. 1 opening date, he said.

Robby Scucchi

When he was a child growing up in Greenville, Robby Scucchi looked forward to visits from Junior Auxiliary volunteers who read C.S. Lewis books at his elementary school. Now, more than three decades later, Scucchi has devoted his career to assisting volunteers who work with disabled patients.

MPB Eyes Self Sufficiency

The Mississippi Public Broadcasting board voted this morning to start considering where to make budget cuts in response to threats to end its state funding.

[Balko] You Can Have Sex With Them; Just Don't Photograph Them

In the spring and summer of 2006, Eric Rinehart, at the time a 34-year-old police officer in the small town of Middletown, Ind., began consensual sexual relationships with two young women, ages 16 and 17. Rinehart was going through a divorce at the time. The relationships came to the attention of local authorities, and then federal authorities, when one of the girls mentioned it to a guidance counselor.

Monday, March 7

GOP Official Threatens Hinds With Lawsuit

The Hinds County Board of Supervisors may face a lawsuit over its decision to hire Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson to oversee its redistricting process. Hinds County Republican Party Chairman Pete Perry told supervisors at its board meeting today that he plans to sue the county if they do not void Johnson's contract.

Carson to Run for Jackson House Seat

Jackson attorney Dorsey Carson announced over the weekend that he is running for the Mississippi House of Representatives seat for District 64, which Jackson Republican Bill Denny currently occupies.

Community Events and Public Meetings

Free Tax Counseling and Filing. IRS/AIM or AARP volunteers will do electronic filing. Bring all necessary documents. Joint filers must come together. Free.

Col. Paul Willis

Last year, approximately 86 percent of students who gradated from Jackson Public Schools Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps went on to receive higher education. As the JPS Director of Army Instruction, Col. Paul Willis hopes to increase that number by next year.

American Heart Association Launches Nutrition Month

The American Heart Association is urging Mississippians to improve their health during nutrition month this March.

Friday, March 4

Trail to Connect Cities

The local Museum to Market Bike Trail project suffered a slight setback after it was denied funding from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries toward the end of last year. The organizers behind the project, however, are still enthusiastic.

FIGMENT Organizers Call for Participation

Organizers of the May 14-15 FIGMENT art festival will host a party to rally support and participation for the event this weekend. At Koinonia Coffee House's Friday Forum this morning, FIGMENT Jackson Co-Producer Whitney Grant called Sunday's event with the Jackson Bike Advocates "a throw down with bikes, art making and music."

Henry Murphy

Whatever shape journalism takes in the future, there's a good chance Henry Murphy will be a part of it.

Do Some Good This Weekend

Escape the Friday night drizzle at Salsa Mississippi's Mardi Gras Dance Party. Festivities include a silent auction, Nepali crafts for sale and, of course, lots of dancing. The party starts at 7 p.m. at the Chapatoula Building (115 Cynthia St., Clinton); admission is $20 with proceeds benefiting Mountain Child, a project that provides for the educational needs of 25 Nepali children. If you're not in a partying mood, head to The 25th annual Choral-Organ Festival at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.), where choral director Dr. Timothy Coker and organist Bradley Reznicek conduct the 70-voice Millsaps Singers choirs in performing Maurice Durufle's "Requiem." The music starts at 7:30 p.m. Free, donations welcome; call 601-974-1422. For more music options, check out the JFP Music Listings.

Children's Health Study Kicks Off

Hinds County will serve as one of more than 100 locations across the nation to host the National Children's Study, which organizers say is the largest long-term children's health study in the nation. On Monday, March 7, join an awareness rally at the Mississippi Capitol to help kick off the study.

Thursday, March 3

Republicans and ‘ConservaDems' Suffer in Redistricting

<i>UPDATED March 3, 2011</i>

Redistricting in Mississippi as a result of the 2010 Census will likely target Republican and conservative Democratic seats in the state House of Representatives, legislators say.

Eli Evans

Author Eli Evans, who served as a speechwriter for President Lyndon B. Johnson, is heading to Jackson this weekend to help the Beth Israel Congregation celebrate its 150th anniversary.

Community College Boost Awaits Barbour's Pen

Mississippi's community colleges could get an extra $15 million if Gov. Haley Barbour signs off on a funding bill approved by both chambers of the state Legislature. The version of Senate Bill 3042 on Barbour's desk is more generous than an earlier incarnation proposed by Sen. Doug Davis, R-Hernando, which Barbour supported, leading to speculation that the governor may veto the proposal.

Amnesty Today and Tomorrow

Save money today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. with the city of Jackson's Municipal Court Services annual amnesty program.

A Museum Split?

The total cost of a proposed Mississippi civil-rights museum could depend on its location. While Gov. Haley Barbour and a majority of the state House of Representatives have backed a site in downtown Jackson, a competing bill passed last week by the Senate allows for other, costlier locations.

Wednesday, March 2

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: Get ready for an entertaining weekend of hoops at the Big House.

[Twelve-Bar Blues] Heaven When I Die

In the documentary "M is for Mississippi," James "Son" Thomas says: "Daddy always told a joke. He said, ‘There's lots of ways you can have the blues. If you're broke, you got the blues. If you're hungry, you got the blues. If you got a good woman, and she quit you, that ain't nothing but the blues.'"

Something's Fishy

I was introduced to fish ‘n' chips on that trip. I remember expecting something like a McDonald's Filet-O-Fish and Lays potato chips, and was surprised when I got fries. I honestly don't remember if I liked it or not, but a few years ago I decided to give them a second chance.

[New Restaurant] Mr. Chen's Authentic Chinese Cooking

Opened as a part of the new Oriental Supermarket, Mr. Chen's Authentic Chinese Cooking brings a new style of Chinese cuisine to Jackson. Inside, you'll find well-known dishes such as Kung Pao Chicken and General Tso's Chicken, but there is a touch of the exotic to Mr. Chen's.

A Jackson Mardi Gras

The closer you get to the Gulf Coast, the bigger the Mardi Gras celebration you'll find. Around these parts, you'll find king cake, maybe a little live New Orleans-style music at a joint or two, and a couple Cajun dishes at Que Sera Sera and Cock of the Walk, but you won't find any second-line parades headed down Amite Street.

Barbour's Cross to Bear

In 1968 in Yazoo City, Police Chief Ardis Russell Sr. arrested a black mother, LeBertha Owens, for trying to take her young daughter, Gloria, to the public library for materials to complete her school assignments. Her daughter was left behind, as she watched the sheriff take her mother to jail for trying to help her get a decent education.

Barbour's Bad Education Math

If Gov. Haley Barbour gets his way, Mississippi public schools may end up short-changed by $65 million because of a vanishing pot of federal money.

‘They're Taking Daddies Away'

Colonial Terrace Apartments resident Angella Rector speaks with a slow southern drawl that drips of mobile home and Larry the Cable Guy. The redhead married her husband, Juan Espanoza, two years ago. They lived on a tight family budget with their three children before U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested Espanoza last weekend for being in the country illegally.

Sex and Pay Raises

The Mississippi Tea Party tried to target immigrants once again in a bill that would have charged $5 for out-of-country wire transfers exceeding $500, plus 1 percent of the amount of the transaction. The bill, authored by Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, died in the Senate Finance Committee last Wednesday.

Judging Carefully

For Judge Leslie King, serving on the Mississippi Supreme Court is a natural career move, if not necessarily one he expected. Last week, Gov. Haley Barbour appointed King to the Supreme Court, replacing Justice James Graves, whom President Barack Obama appointed to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Improve Jackson for Jacksonians

Jackson shares a perception problem with the rest of the nation, and media are manipulating that perception with the recent Census data. Why is it taking so long for the perception to match reality?

[Stiggers] ‘Face the Music'

I guess we all have to face the tune of change and learn how to adjust to things like cold-hearted people, global warming, price gouging, selfishness, greed and the trickle down economic theory.

[Kamikaze] Spring Cleaning Jackson

Babies change you. They change the way you think, the way you act, even your outlook on life. It's funny how something so small can loom so large when you're deciding even your next step.

[Gregory] Ready, Boots? Start Marching!

History proves that no matter the legality of abortion, someone will perform them. Let me say that one more time for the men sitting in the cheap seats: "No matter the legality of abortion, they will be done." It truly comes down to people understanding that if they are a woman, love a woman, or came out of a woman's vagina, they should protect a woman's access to basic reproductive health care.

Tease photo

Integrating Yazoo: Race and Change in Haley Barbour's Hometown

Gloria Owens froze with fear as a German shepherd barreled toward her at the entrance of Yazoo City Junior High School on a fall morning in 1968. "Get that n*gger," she heard her classmate command his dog. As the dog jumped on her and brought her to the ground, she cried and called out for help.

Of Fairytales and Drama

Many children (and a few adults) wish their favorite children's story would come to life. Imagination is fun, but sometimes they just want to live the fairytales. Imagine no more, thanks to the Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet's production of "The Princess and the Pea."


Diane Williams is a neo-griot, along the lines of the story­tellers from times gone by when oral historians were crucial to maintaining black folks' history because book publishers didn't believe the history worth chronicling. Williams is also a quilter, an artistry befitting for a woman known for paying homage to the past.

Musical Merrymaking

Mother Nature sure has spoiled me these last two weeks with gorgeous weather, and she's made my music-festival fever go into overdrive. I'm sure everyone has their calendars marked March 19 for the Mal's St. Paddy's Parade at 1 p.m., and St. Paddy's Street Party at Hal & Mal's afterward. This year's theme is "Hey, hey, the blues is alright."

Taking the Side of Unions

Some Mississippians are taking sides on Wisconsin state employees who are protesting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget that would eliminate state employee unions' collective bargaining rights.

Rubye Forrest-Mickel

"As a traffic officer, every day brings something interesting," Rubye Forrest-Mickel says, sitting on her porch on Barrett Avenue, enjoying the early spring weather. As she reclines in her chair, her lips curve into a smile.

Barbour Testifies at Health-Care Hearing

During a U.S. House of Representatives health-care reform hearing yesterday, Gov. Haley Barbour argued against the law's mandatory requirement for states. President Barack Obama, however, endorsed a bipartisan Senate bill Monday that would allow states to opt out of the current health-care law and design their own plans.

Tuesday, March 1

Hinds County Gets New District Plan

Hinds County Board of Supervisors picked a new county redistricting plan Monday night, even as critics complained that the board did not make all of the maps under consideration available for examination until the day of the meeting.

Promise Burrell

The Women's Fund of Mississippi's newest member, Promise Burrell, has valuable real-life experience. She hopes those experiences speak to the barriers Mississippi women often face.

Taco Truck Coming; Fondren Biz Shuffle

A few months ago when Sid Scott was craving fresh and simple Mexican food, he wished that Jackson, like the majority of cities, had a traveling taco truck.

Barbour Signs AG's Domestic Violence Bill

<i>Verbatim statement:</i>

A domestic violence related bill sponsored by Attorney
 General Jim Hood has been signed into law. Gov. Haley Barbour signed
 SB 2426, which makes it a misdemeanor for someone to prevent a victim
 from seeking emergency medical or law enforcement assistance.  The 
maximum fine is $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail.