Stories for November 2011


Wednesday, November 30

Sweet Pies of Love

My family always prepared for the Thanksgiving or Christmas feasts the day before. They ironed the good tablecloth, polished the silverware, and took the crystal and china out of the antique oak china cabinet. To accommodate family and friends, we added leaves to the round dining-room table.

Spicy for Good Health

Many spices used to season foods also have medicinal powers. Super spices, similar to super foods, are a group of spices that have higher concentrations of essential nutrients. The following is a list of five super spices that not only enhance foods' flavor but lower some health risks, too. Incorporating these and others into dishes can be simple yet satisfying.

Hometown Country

Country music songwriter and singer Jeff Maddox has a single getting airplay across the United States and overseas, but so far he hasn't heard his song on radio stations at home. Maddox, 42, grew up in Pearl and lives there still, writing music and recording albums.

[What's On My Playlist?] Mellow Chill Moments

Brittany Kilgore, JFP editorial intern, enters finals week at Tougaloo College with this study playlist.

‘The Black Codes'

I know, I know. It was just a few months ago that I wrote about Herbert Brown. So why am I doing it again? If you remember, Herbert Brown, 32, goes by many names and wears many hats. Previously, I focused on his life as a poet and the revival of the Jackson spoken-word/live poetry scene. This time around, the focus is on Brown's life as rapper James Crow.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Merry Christmas! The NBA is back.

Losing is Better?

Southern Miss' Bowl Championship Series hopes died when they lost 34-31 to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Nov. 17. The Golden Eagles only had a chance to earn a BSC bid if they won the rest of their regular season games. Instead, USM ended its regular season Nov. 26 with 44-7 victory over Memphis, giving them the C-USA East division title and a berth in the C-USA title game.

Support the Teams

A journey that began this summer is coming to an end. For six teams, the journey will end in triumph. Six other teams will have their dreams end in Jackson.

Gift Guide for Him

There's no one more fun to shop for (besides myself!) Than my man. But during the holidays ,we sometimes find that we need a gift for the other men in our lives. You can easily pick out something different, cool and useful for your guy in your area's local shops. Any of these items are certain to suit his fancy.

‘Come and Eat'

The kitchen was quiet, with only the shuffling of feet filling the silence. Two small girls with dark brown hair, smooth tawny skin and gauzy dresses weaved between the women, giggling in excitement. I looked over at a friend, a recent convert to Judaism, standing next to me and thought about how, two years ago, I would have never imagined being part of a Turkish Henna Night ceremony.

Repairing the World

When we were first married and new parents, we made a conscious decision to embrace the Jewish practice of tikkun olam with its focus on action and justice. We believed it was important to model our faith for our children through our actions, and teach them the responsibility of tikkun olam, which, translated literally from Hebrew, means "repairing the world."

Jesus the Radical

It's easy to imagine historical events in the context of our own time, place and worldview. It can be highly deceptive, however, to separate a person, his or her words and works from their historical context. It tends to skew meaning and motive, and both tend to become more biased and distorted over time.

Bridging the Spiritual Gap

In America, approximately 89 percent of people identify with a religion. Faith traditions affect the way people interact with each other and with those not of their religion.

The Jesus of Justice

I'm a Christian. More accurately, I'm a Christian deeply formed by what many would call evangelical and Pentecostal sensibilities. I grew up in a rural Missionary Baptist Church, joined a large urban United Methodist Church in my teens, and cultivated my call to ministry in a nondenominational charismatic storefront prior to graduating from high school.

Lord, Have Mercy!

I have been going to church since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. In my nearly 37 years of attending Sunday morning services, Sunday evening services, Bible classes, pastors' anniversary programs and so on, I have learned one thing: The black church has nuances that make attending a service an unforgettable experience.

Here and Now

"We have an appointment with life that takes place in the present moment." — Thich Nhat Nanh

‘Something Wrong with Your Brain'

The neurologist walked into the room and closed the door quietly behind her. She turned off the lights and went to her computer monitor.

Ring a Bell

At the end of September, I took my vacation in Batesville. Unbeknownst to many--including the majority of Mississippians, I imagine--Batesville is the home to the Magnolia Grove Buddhist Monastery and mindfulness meditation practice center. For five days, 850 participants shared living quarters, meals and the teachings--dharma talks--of Vietnamese Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh. The subject was cultivating the mind of love.

Oil Spill Czar Being Slick?

Jim Hood doesn't pull any punches when it comes to criticizing the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, the agency set up to help people who were hurt by the 2010 BP oil disaster, and its administrator, Kenneth Feinberg. Since early this year, Hood has sought access to Mississippi residents' claims to make sure GCCF handles payouts from the $20 billion fund fairly and in accordance with the state's consumer protection laws.

Part-time Occupation

After weeks of debate, the Jackson City Council agreed to a compromise to allow Occupy Jackson protesters to stay at Smith Park later in the evening, although they will not get to occupy the park overnight.

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Obit for a Flaming Troll

It's getting harder to comment on news stories with an anonymous post. As many readers click on links to get to stories, they have started to notice that once they get to the comments section, the site already knows who they are. This is true if you are already signed in on Facebook or Google+ and link to a story in certain national publication or even some one-person blogs.

UMMC Hosts Children's Health Study

The National Children's Study, a long-term study of children's health, hosted a ribbon cutting Nov. 10 at the Jackson Medical Mall to highlight research that is taking place in the Jackson area.

Council: Revisit Free Speech 101

The Jackson City Council voted Tuesday to extend a compromise to the Occupy Jackson protesters, allowing them a permit to stay in Smith Park until 11 p.m., rather than all night. That may or may not have been the right compromise between their right to assemble and the city's need to ensure nothing happens to them in the middle of the night.

[Stiggers] Bearable, Not Burdensome

Let the Clubb Chicken Wing Staff bring a little joy into your unemployed, foreclosed and repossessed world this Christmas holiday season. The 'new poor' (aka middle class) are welcome, too. Happy Holidays.

Vol. 10, No. 12

<b>'Not Your Church'</b>

Somewhere in the fight to stop Amendment 26 (Personhood), I went from just living in Mississippi, home of the entrenched conservative mindset to which I must surrender my hopes of progress and change, to understanding that this is MY Mississippi, home of diverse and often progressive souls longing for progress and change.

[Dennis] Happiness Is

How much of the information we exchange is worth communicating?

Our Anti-tax Governor Just Endorsed Online Sales Tax

I can't say I disagree with this: The Hill is reporting that Haley Barbour endorsed it in a letter to lawmakers today, urging them to close a loophole that lets online retailers forego sales taxes that are sorely needed at home (and hurts local businesses):

Ouch: Barbour's Advisers Were Embarrassed to Show Him What They'd Dug Up

Imagine being all set to run for president, and your advisers have dug up so much "opposition" dirt on you that they don't have the courage to present it to you? That, apparently, is what happened with our own Gov. Haley Barbour, according to a new e-book by Politico. And all that opposition dirt (which I'm more than positive included Ronni Mott and Sophie McNeil's investigation into his pardoning of all those brutal domestic murderers I mean: How do you explain that crap away!?). The Deseret News reports:

Where's Melton's portrait?

Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. appears to be taking his time in hanging a portrait of his predecessor up in City Hall. Part of the delay, however, stems from the fact that the City Council hasn't bothered to hang up Johnson's portrait from his first term.

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Imam in the Middle

In June 2007, I took a once-in-a-lifetime 12-day trip to Turkey. During our stay, our group visited multiple historic and religious sites. What made this trip different from a typical tourist agenda was that we also visited schools, hospitals and businesses, and met with students, teachers, doctors and entrepreneurs.

Former Gov. Waller Dies

Former Gov. Bill Waller has died.

Former Gov. Bill Waller has died.

Wingfield's Bounce: A Case Study

Money isn't the only factor in a good education, but $5.2 million doesn't hurt, either.

Garbage to Gigawatts

With Mississippi outpacing other states when it comes to using electricity, a little creativity is necessary to keep up with demand. Increasingly, that means supplementing traditional hydro, coal and nuclear power with other forms of renewables-driven electricity powered by the sun, wind and even garbage.

Lannie Spann McBride

When Lannie Spann McBride speaks, her voice resonates with tones cultivated by a lifetime of singing the gospel. Her message of faith has touched the hearts of her students, and the hearts of people around the world.

Basic Pop in a Hissing Bubble

Dead Gaze is a pop band hiding under a pile of hiss and distortion. The brainchild of 27-year-old guitarist and singer Cole Furlow, the Oxford-based group employs fractured-sounding guitars, distorted vocals and countless swirling synthesizer sounds on its recordings. It's a psychedelic-influenced sound that evokes memories of the Flaming Lips. Despite the band's dense sound, Furlow sees his music as part of the pop-music continuum.

Tuesday, November 29

City Compromises with Occupy Protesters

Occupy Jackson will get to spend more time in Smith Park, although protesters will not get to stay overnight, as they had asked.

The Penguin Takes Flight

The Penguin, a restaurant at One University Place, will have its grand opening this Thursday at 3 p.m. The restaurant (1100 John R. Lynch St., Suite 6A) serves a casual lunch menu with daily specials and more sophisticated dinner entrees, such as duck a l'orange and steaks. A reincarnation of a restaurant that was located in the same area in West Jackson that closed in the early 1980s, The Penguin is open Monday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Visit or call 769-251-5222 for information.

Michele Purvis Harris

On New Year's Day, Michele Purvis Harris becomes both the first female and the first African American to serve as public defender for Hinds County. Senior Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Tomie Green appointed Purvis Harris, the present special assistant city attorney for Jackson, on Nov. 18. Purvis Harris replaces William LaBarre, who was public defender since October 2005. She is already thinking of what she intends to do when she is officially appointed.

Monday, November 28

Super PAC Man Gobbles Up Regulators' Time, Patience

In the peculiar post-Citizens United world of political money, Josue Larose has assumed a new alter-ego: Super PAC man.

David Guyott

Last week, David Guyott won the Best Paper award at Millsaps College's Arts and Letters Student Research Symposium. This is his second year to win the award. Originally from Schertz, Texas, Guyott, 21, is a senior Spanish and English double major at Millsaps.

Community Events and Public Meetings

6 p.m., Jackson Touchdown Club/C Spire Wireless Most Valuable Senior Awards, at River Hills Country Club (3600 Ridgewood Road). Members of the athletic organization honor athletes from 10 Mississippi four-year colleges. $30 non-members; call 601-506-3186.

Friday, November 25

AG Offers Consumer Safety Tips for Cyber Monday

With the holiday shopping season upon us, Attorney General Jim Hood is warning Mississippians to beware of unscrupulous people selling counterfeit or pirated goods, either in person or online. Many times, they sell these items on websites that look legitimate, accepting credit cards and decorating their site with corporate advertisements; however, the "amazing" deals may not be legitimate. These scam artists often set up temporary retail shops as well, where they are poised to defraud consumers with the same inferior goods.

Wednesday, November 23

[Kamikaze] Just the Messenger

Mississippi, and Jackson particularly, suffers from "shoot the messenger" syndrome. You know: If you don't like the message, just attack the person(s) delivering it. If the message could possibly upset your gravy train, then you discredit the source.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

I would be more thankful if I could get more Tim Tebow on my TV.

Will They Show Up to Play?

Oxford and Starkville haven't had much to cheer about this football season. Ole Miss and Mississippi State have both struggled on the gridiron. Last weekend, highly ranked opponents blew the Rebels and the Bulldogs off the field again.

Go Get It, Saints

Sports have taken a serious turn the past couple of weeks. Games on the field have taken a back seat to the scandal at Penn State. The allegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky are tough to read. If found guilty, he should be punished to the full extent of the law.

JFP Top 25: Week 13

It was a weekend of upsets in college football. Four of the top-10 teams in the JFP Top 25 went down to underdogs and, overall, seven teams lost this past week. If LSU loses in the next two weeks, we'll see a ton of debate on who is the best team in the country.

Marlowe and the Sea

Singer-songwriter Brad Ward, a Jackson native, began writing wry, witty, heartbreaking folk songs a few years back while he was still in college at the University of Mississippi.

Blowing the Roof Off

Baby Jan Smith and Chalmers Davis joined forces in the spring after meeting and working with each other in the choir loft at Wells United Methodist Church. The two hit it off, and have been performing all over Jackson since mid-summer.

The Best Meal I Ever Ate: Thai House

When it comes to dining in Jackson, the Mao Tod Gathim Prik Thai from the Thai House is a solid entry into the category of the "The Best Meal I Ever Ate." It's an unassuming menu item, falling near the back at No. 68. Consisting of fried pork served with a Thai dipping sauce, it's often lost in the sea of Larbs, Paht Priks and Pad Thai.

Just Brew It

In the early, crisp days of winter, after a morning run to unknot my muscles and jolt my brain, my body needs its caffeine fix. Coffee, however, is too harsh and heavy for me after exercise. I prefer a steaming cup of tea with my breakfast.

The Wedding Woman

Walking up to the blond brick building that houses Premier Bride of Mississippi's headquarters, I was nervous. I have interviewed people I respected before, but this felt different. This was Lynda Jungkind, owner of the bridal magazine I put under my pillow when I was planning my wedding.

‘Tis the Season

This is the season for giving—and shopping! With so many local shops and boutiques offering a little bit of everything, shopping for your loved ones will be a breeze, even if you never set foot in a big-box store. These stocking stuffers and gifts will make everyone on your list happy, even the more difficult ones.

Azul Denim

This fall's fashion is all about denim, rich colors, earthy hues, feathers and fur. Azul Denim has it all. Azul has been a premier shop to get the hottest styles in denim for the past three years. It also stocks cute, fashion-forward tops and accessories to complete your outfit.

What the Mamas Taught Us

When I heard 40 days before Election Day that the "No on 26" folks were trying to hire a spokesperson, I just knew women didn't have a chance. Thankfully, I was wrong.

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Hinds Wants Blank Check

To get the ball rolling on construction of a proposed roadway, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors will ask the Legislature for financial support.

Occupy Jackson Permit Under Scrutiny

On the sidewalk outside Smith Park, too-small tarps covered waterlogged books, papers and canisters of food caught in Tuesday's heavy rain. Inside City Hall a few blocks away, the signs' owners assembled to try to persuade the City Council Planning Committee to allow them to stay in the park day and night for another month.

Occupy Local

Corporate America wants to cash in this holiday season with a highly visible campaign to support small businesses. Gannett Co. Inc., owner of The Clarion-Ledger, joined this effort with full force.

What's Next for Voter ID?

With her hand pressed to the side of her face in a sign of frustrated concentration, Valencia Robinson, founder and executive director of Mississippi in Action, sat at a table in the front of the room and riffled through brochures and printouts from the ACLU, the Department of Public Safety and the Secretary of State's office.

The Cycle of Hate

Just when we think we've moved beyond Emmett Till, history gives us James Craig Anderson.

Make a Big Difference on Small Business Saturday

<i>Verbatim from the U.S. Small Business Administration</i>

As a proud supporter of Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, the U.S. Small Business Administration is encouraging every American to support small businesses by doing some of their holiday shopping on the Saturday after Thanksgiving at small businesses.

Love Thy Neighbor? Buy Local

The programs are called all sorts of things these days--Think Local First, Small Business Saturday, Shift Your Shopping, Keep Austin Weird, Keep Fondren Funky--but they all point to one thing: the need to shop local* during the holidays. (Not to mention all other times of the year.)

[Stiggers] Shop Without Shame

Jojo's Discount Dollar Store is ready to have another entertaining and enlightening 'Post Thanksgiving (not Black Friday)' sale. Jojo has stocked the store with plenty of inexpensive gift items, and he invites the 'new poor' (aka the middle class) to shop without shame.

Our Poverty and Thanksgiving

My parents filed bankruptcy when I was in the fifth grade. My father filed a second time with his second wife years later.

How to Host Out-of-Town Guests (Without Going Insane)

Aunt Jean is coming to town. You've known about it for months, but you're days away from her camping out in your guest room with a plethora of denture accessories. And she knows just how to cook your turkey. Face reality and get a game plan, because compensating with bourbon refills can get pricey.

[Gregory] Don't Mess With Mamas

"The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world." —William Ross Wallace

City Can't Afford to Divorce TCI

Plans are in motion to fund a convention center hotel downtown, with developers and city officials hoping to get everything togehter in time to get Gulf Opportunity Zone Bonds for the project before they expire at the end of the year.

Flat on the Floor

The sculpture of tiles is made of black-and-white photographic images of floors stripped of possessions and lifelines. Left on the homes' slabs are scatterings of personal items discarded after a deluge of waves and wind. The tiles form checkerboards of destruction: the historical marker of Hurricane Katrina.

The Southern Way of Death

"When the rich wage war, it is the poor who die." — Sartre

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Grassroots Mamas Tell All

'This is How We Do It!'

Lori Gregory-Garrott opened her front door suddenly and looked at her sleepy Fondren neighborhood with anticipation. It was just before 10 p.m. Nov. 8, Election Day.

Please help this family in need

Photographer Christina Cannon send this email around today; please do what you can. Her verbatim email follows:

Personhood's Next Move

Religious fervor illuminated much of the dialogue at a Yes on 26 event just moments after voters refused to pass a constitutional amendment to declare that people with legal rights exist at the moment of fertilization. Supporters of the initiative aligned themselves with the abolitionist movement and people fighting genocide akin to the Jewish Holocaust. They took a long-term view of their defeat.

Lorenda Cheeks

As the local mailman could attest, Lorenda Cheeks has taught kids since she was a little girl herself, setting up school in the front lawn with her neighborhood friends.

Green Your Thanksgiving Meal

Falling leaves, pumpkins, a cornucopia and turkeys: Whether we are conscious of it or not, some of the most prevalent Thanksgiving symbols come from nature. No matter where you are in the country, whether the leaves change, the snow falls or you spend Thanksgiving on a beach, you are bound to see some of these influences at your celebration. While surrounded by family and friends, it is easy to fall (pun intended) into old habits. This year, why not show how thankful you really are by committing to going green with your Thanksgiving celebration?

Feds to Draw Congress Map

From the looks of it, it'll be federal judges, and not the Mississippi Legislature, who will redraw the state's map of congressional districts.

Tuesday, November 22

AG Hood Still Wants BP Claim Records

A dispute between Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and the administrator of BP's $20 billion oil-spill fund will be settled in state, not federal, court.

Shop Local

The Small Business Association encourages Americans to shop at small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26, is part of an effort to get people to support community businesses on the year's biggest shopping weekend.

William D. Lamson

William D. Lamson was not a particularly famous man, but the quiet Mississippi cartographer and demographer became a sought-after school-desegregation expert across the nation. He died in 1992 in a car wreck, but his massive collection of research will live on at Jackson State University.

Monday, November 21

Hinds County Wants Blank Check for Project

The Hinds County Board of Supervisors will ask the Legislature to issue bonds to aid development in the Clinton-Byram corridor; they just don't know how much funding they will request quite yet. The Hinds County Board of Supervisors this morning voted down Calhoun's request to ask the Mississippi Legislature to issue $50 million in bonds for the proposed project.

Council Moves Occupy Jackson Permit to Planning Committee

The future of Occupy Jackson is still up in the air. The City Council voted this morning to discuss the group's request for a special-events permit during a Planning Committee meeting tomorrow afternoon.

Kathy Buntin

The Mississippi Library Association recently awarded the 2011 Peggy May Award to Kathy Buntin of the Mississippi Library Commission at its annual conference. Buntin is the senior library consultant in the Development Services Division of the MLC.

Community Events and Public Meetings

6 p.m., Jackson Touchdown Club Meeting, at River Hills Country Club (3600 Ridgewood Road). Members of the athletic organization meet weekly at 6 p.m. during the football season. This week's speaker is former NFL kicker Tom Dempsey. $30 non-members; call 601-506-3186.

Friday, November 18

DA Smith: Don't Set Booby Traps

Contrary to popular belief, the district attorney's office doesn't spring into action the instant a crime occurs, Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith explained this morning.

Young Poets Draw from Jackson Scenes

Young poets presented their work to a standing-room-only crowd last night, lit by soft lights and supported by ambient jazz. The poets were fourth-graders from Davis Magnet School, sharing what they had learned this semester about metaphors, Jackson and expressing themselves.

Casey Therriault

Update: Casey Therriault threw for four touchdowns Saturday to lead Jackson State's pounding of Alcorn State 51-7. He also became JSU's single-season leader in passes completed (372 yards), passing yards (3,808) and in total offense (3,911). Go, Tigers.

Thursday, November 17

Voter ID Planning Begins

Valencia Robinson, founder and executive director of Mississippi in Action, an advocacy group, sat at a table in the front of the room and riffled through brochures and printouts from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and the Mississippi Secretary of State's office, trying to sort out the requirements of the voter identification initiative that passed last week.

Crime Down Overall; JPD Out in Force This Weekend

Read the report.

Arbor Day, brought to you by Toyota

Gov. Haley Barbour announces Toyota Arbor Day.


Jesmyn Ward didn't intend to be in southern Mississippi when Katrina hit in late August 2005. In fact, she was just on her way back to grad school in Michigan as the storm approached. "I just thought, 'Oh, well, I'll just stay until the hurricane passes, and I'll go back home,'" she told the Jackson Free Press in September.

The Ole Switcheroo

Flanked by Gov. Haley Barbour and incoming Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, state Sen. Gray Tollison announced that his becoming a member of the Republican Party was the best thing for his constituents.

Wednesday, November 16

Come On, Get Happy

New Orleans-based The Happy Talk Band sings about all sorts of things, but mostly they sing happy love songs.

10 Things: The Blind Boys of Alabama

The Famous Blind Boys of Alabama are known for their many accomplishments. Because there are so many, we've managed to narrow them down to ten, just to give you a taste about these incredible performers.

‘Kiss Me, Bess'

Mississippi Symphony Orchestra presents its first pops concert of the season, "Another Opening, Another Show," featuring Cole Porter tunes from "Kiss Me Kate" and "Porgy and Bess." Vocalists Sherri Seiden and Daniel Narducci sing at the Nov. 19 concert in the Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.).

No One is to Blame

I can trace my entire life as a music lover back to one group that I first heard in 8th grade: A Tribe Called Quest.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

No NBA, yet, but college basketball has begun.

Who Will Win the Conerly?

All 10 of the athletic departments at Mississippi's four-year colleges and universities each nominated one football player for the 2011 Conerly Trophy. More than 40 statewide media members (myself not included) will vote on the 10 nominees to select the winner. This will be the 16th time the award has been handed out since 1996, and the winner will be announced Nov. 29 at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

Go Get It, Saints

After 10 straight weeks of football, the New Orleans Saints finally get their bye week. The Saints enter their off week after a 26-23 overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons, grabbing the NFC South lead. The Saints are a game ahead of the Falcons and two games ahead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Owning My Mistake

The moment you sign the papers and the keys become yours, the education begins. It's not so much the information you're learning about the house or equity or basic maintenance; it's an education in how much you don't know.

Color Coding, Revisited

If home is where the heart is, some people probably have heart disease. Just like we sometimes show our worst selves to the people we love the most, we often let our homes become reflections of the worst parts of ourselves.

JFP Top 25: Week 12

This past weekend really shook up the college football world. Oregon spanked Stanford at home, and a kicker betrayed Boise State for the second year in row. Now college football is one loss away from a great debate and two losses from total chaos.

Let Go and Move On

Most people have several reasons why they keep stuff they do not need.

Moving The Bad Stuff With Feng Shui

Feng (wind) Shui (water) is an ancient Chinese art that promotes peace and balance in your personal space by strategically placing items and omitting clutter. The Chinese believe that luck, when created, can enhance wealth and happiness in your life.

The Flat Broke Decorator

Decorating a home can be intimidating. Couple the intimidation factor with budgets so tight that Abraham Lincoln is squealing for mercy in our wallets, and the situation could turn into a crisis in which the would-be decorator is lying in the middle of the living-room floor, staring at the ceiling in defeat.

Peace And Tranquility

Between traveling for work, phone calls, emails and a personal life, my day usually ends with me sitting in bed with a laptop attempting to catch up. The most relaxing thing to me is going to the spa and having a massage and pedicure.

The Joy Of Washing Dishes

In one of Zen Buddhism's most famous stories, a new monk approaches his teacher after a meal.

Kick Your Bleach To The Curb

Maybe I am a little too sensitive. Or maybe I am just weird. But the smell of bleach and other strong cleaning agents makes me want to run far, far away.

Housekeeping Blues

The relationship between you and your housekeeper is a special one. Whether you use a local cleaning company or have one regular housekeeper, you must put a certain amount of trust into this person. You trust them with your most private possessions, to dust the top shelves of the bookcase and get behind the couch, straighten up your papers and clean behind your bed.

Understanding Colors

As a new homeowner or someone looking for a new home project, painting and decorating can be fun but frustrating when trying to decide on the colors and schemes to use. Knowing the basics about colors and using the color wheel can help the process.

Living Out Loud

I love color. I don't always wear a lot of it—I learned in New York City that black (and chocolate brown) makes you look skinnier, more chic and shows less dirt.

The Meanings Of Colors

Colors attract or give off certain energies. They have symbolism, can represent or follow a trend and even heal, according to chromotherapy. It is important to choose the right colors because colors are powerful and can help create the atmosphere you want to achieve. Below are some universal meanings of colors that can help in determining what mood you want to set within your home.

Color Me Bright

If you want to spark up your home or you're looking for the perfect housewarming gift, look to local businesses for bright and vibrant home accessories. Accenting neutral colors with a pop of red, yellow, turquiose or orange shifts your color scheme from boring to exciting without overdoing it.

Mark's Man Cave

When my brother-in-law, Mark, and his wife, Cathryn, were looking for a house a few years back, he knew that she would decorate it as she saw fit. Fortunately, the house they wanted to buy also had a 23-by-11-foot workshop that Mark instantly claimed like an explorer planting his flag on new territory. Mark and Cathryn got the house, and laid plans for Mark to have a man cave.

My Boudoir

With all the talk of man caves these days, it can be easy to forget that it was women who had to fight for the right to have a "Room of One's Own," as Virginia Woolf declared it.

Solar Remodel

I think about my retirement often and how great it has the potential of being. Then I panic thinking about whether we'll have enough, about the best strategy for saving and about where our hard-earned money will be the safest. We are running out of space in the backyard with all the mason jars full of nickels we've buried.

My New Patio

Living in Arizona and Northern California gave me a greater appreciation for nature and enjoying the outdoors. In Arizona, I was able to enjoy the view of the beautiful mountains from my backyard. Arizona's richly colored rocks and mountains provided a beautiful range of colors that I wanted to capture in my home when I moved back to Mississippi.

Everyone New Again

I'm a big fan of old things. Architectural salvage, vintage accessories, old books—I like the idea of things that have a history. Apparently, though, I'm getting to the age where I have a past myself.

Home at Last?

When I was small, my parents seemed to think that moving to a new city to give my dad better job opportunities was a pretty cool thing to do.

State Wants NCLB Relief

The Mississippi Board of Education voted last month to apply for a waiver in hopes of getting relief from some of the requirements of No Child Left Behind.

Lots of Mouths to Feed

Last week, the Farish Street Group became the latest developers to ask for public funds to finance high-priced downtown Jackson developments.

Dems Lick Wounds, Prep for Battle

Mississippi Republicans are still painting the state red in celebration of the party's recent electoral successes. The GOP is maintaining control of the governor's mansion, the lieutenant governorship, the state Senate and every statewide constitutional office except one.

Vote ‘Yes' on the Tollison-Bell Amendment

The worst dirty trick we saw this last election wasn't a campaign ad, a robo-call or an "astroturf" campaign from a shadowy coalition of instigators and carpetbaggers. (Of course, all three happened.) In fact, this dirty trick didn't happen in the lead-up to the election at all.

[Stiggers] Spinning Your Favorites

Don't let the bad, sad and terrible news mess with your mood. Come on down to Clubb Chicken Wing's 'Mid-Week After Hours Job Fair, Networking Session and Disco' and do the 'loose booty' with me and the Unemployed Dee Jays. We'll spin your favorite old school tunes to help you get rid of the blues.

[Outlaw] Home on the Ranch

Feel free to judge, but I've lived in eight different places since 2004. Yes, I'm aware that makes me sound like a Gypsy, but I can defend myself. Justin and I talked about home ownership the way some heterosexual couples talk about having kids—one day, just not today.

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One Zen Day at a Time

You could call me an armchair decorator. No, I don't mean that I spend my spare time decorating armchairs; I mean I like little more than plopping into a big comfy chair, or propping up in bed, and reading about domestic bliss.

Invitational Delights

Franklin Sirmans, the curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, was out of his element a few months ago in the woods outside Oxford. He was near the end of his visit, but finding sculptor Rod Moorhead was not going to be easy.

Measuring the Democratic Mess

Once again, election night last week revealed a grim reality for Mississippi Democrats and the Mississippi Democratic Party.

The Lone Democrat

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood celebrated a large victory last Tuesday when he won his third re-election term against Republican challenger Steve Simpson, winning 60 percent of the vote. But Hood's real uphill battle may lie in next year's legislative session with Gov.-elect Phil Bryant and a Republican-controlled House and Senate.

Thomas Roots

From the time he was elected Mr. Best Dressed in both middle and high school, Thomas Wayne Roots knew he had a future in fashion and design. "I've always liked clothing, design and all-around beautiful things," Roots says. "(In school) I gravitated to that kind of thing, and it eventually turned to the design aspect."

Barksdale Offers JPS ‘The Price of Eggs' for Supe Search

Jim Barksdale, former president and CEO of Netscape, has officially offered the school board financial assistance to hire and retain the best superintendent that money can buy.

Tuesday, November 15

Local Party Chairs React to Party Switchers

Political leaders at the county level can have tremendous sway in elections. A strong county chairperson can motivate loyal precinct captains to get the party faithful to the polls on Election Day, which is just as much about numbers and turnout as it is about character and ideas.

Light Bulbs and Awards

Oil and gas company CITGO provided more than 1,000 energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs to Jackson residents last weekend.

Jeff Maddox

Country music songwriter and singer Jeff Maddox has a single that's getting airplay across the United States and overseas, but so far he hasn't heard his song on radio stations at home. Maddox, 42, grew up in Pearl and lives there still, writing music and recording albums.

PERS Commission Report Delayed

Public employees and politicians anxious to see recommendations from a commission studying the Public Employees' Retirement System will have to wait a while longer.

Monday, November 14

One-lake Project Could Offer Flood Reduction

Early analyses of a proposed one-lake development along the Pearl River reveals that flood-reduction benefits are possible, said Pearl River Vision Foundation team member Dallas Quinn.

City Council Questions Farish Developers

City Council members questioned Farish Street developers about their request for $8 million in bonds during a work session this morning.

Albert Wilson

Almost as soon as Albert Wilson learned Councilman Kenneth Stokes was running for a Hinds County supervisor's position, he decided he wanted to campaign for the job of representing Ward 3. Last week, Wilson made his candidacy official.

Community Events and Public Meetings

Charity Funding Seminars. American Charity Assistance Network gives ways to fund charities, churches, and nonprofits at no cost. Also, learn how to become a paid volunteer. Call 769-233-6285.

Friday, November 11

JSU President: ‘Pay Teachers More'

Communities need to pay teachers more, says Carolyn Meyers, president of Jackson State University. "I think our whole system, nationally, is topsy-turvy," she said this morning at Koinonia Coffee House. "This is where we need our best people to do their best work, and we need to pay them."

Oberhousen Leads in Hinds House Race

Brad Oberhousen, a Democrat who is running against Republican incumbent Jim Ellington for the House District 73 race, is currently leading with 53 votes. His win could signal a much needed gain for Democrats who are fighting to hold their own in the House.

Ballot Initiatives Draw Reaction

While the proposed Personhood amendment garnered most of the attention locally as well as from national media, voters approved two other controversial statewide ballot measures on Tuesday.

Bennie Hopkins

As Bennie Hopkins prepares for his new role as the city of Jackson's director of planning and development, he reflected on what he has learned from working with Corinne Fox, who is ending her 45-year career in regional and urban planning today.

It's the Weekend!

Take time to help out a good cause this Veterans Day weekend by participating in one of the many fundraisers being held in the area. Today at the Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.), veterans with ID get free admission. Call 601-352-2580. One Brave Night, a fundraiser for the HIV/AIDS nonprofit A Brave New Day, is at 7 p.m. at Safe Harbor United Church of Christ (1345 Flowood Drive, Flowood). Admission is $11 and up; call 601-713-3999. The Orchestras and Strings Concert is at 7:30 p.m. at Belhaven University Center for the Arts. The event is free; call 601-974-6494. See the one-act plays "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You" and "The Actor's Nightmare" at 8 p.m. at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.). Tickets are $10, or $5 for students; call 601-974-1372 to RSVP. Also, Dreamz JXN hosts Can't Feel My Face Friday. Later, the Salsa Fling kicks off at 9 p.m. at Salsa Mississippi (605 Duling St.) with music from Cucho and Jesus. Saturday, the dance workshops start at 11 a.m., and the 60s salsa party is at 10 p.m. Prices are $15 for the workshop, $10 for the party, and $45 for the full pass; call 601-213-6355. Finally, Guillermo and Hellbender perform at Ole Tavern, and Mississippi Shakedown plays at Martin's at 10 p.m. Need more options? See our Best Bets

Thursday, November 10

Rep. Brandon Jones Not Conceding

Rep. Brandon Jones, D-Pascagoula, posted a message on Facebook today saying he is still reviewing election totals against his opponent for the Mississippi House of Representatives, Charles Busby.

Farish to Face More Delays Without Financing

The opening of the Farish Street Entertainment District's venues could be pushed back again to the fall of 2012 if the Farish Street Group does not receive $8 million in bonds from the Jackson Redevelopment Authority, Watkins Partners Vice President Jason Goree said yesterday.

Tollison Defecting to GOP?

State Sen. Gray Tollison, D-Oxford, may switch political parties. One newspaper report speculates that Tollison's endorsement of Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant over fellow Democrat Johnny DuPree could be one indication of the rumor's validity.

Jackson Major Crimes Overview: 10/31 to 11/6

Here's a snapshot :

The Jackson Police Department released its overview of major crimes for the period between October 31, 2011 and November 6, 2011.

Claire Holley

Although Claire Holley didn't spend her childhood sitting on a picturesque front porch swapping family tales, Mississippi's culture and landscape has still managed to work its way into her pensive, country-folk music.

Wednesday, November 9

Bring a Kleenex

Some writers spend a lifetime searching for their subject and voice. G. Mark LaFrancis found his in the stories of soldiers and their families. LaFrancis is the author of the series "In Their Boots: Poems Inspired by Soldiers and Their Loved Ones"(, 2008, $13.95).

Motorcar Man

If you've lived in the metro area for at least six months, then more than likely you've seen local singer/songwriter Larry Brewer's name pop up frequently in the JFP's music listings.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Ole Miss looks to have caved in to the faceless "Forward Rebels" bloggers.

Demystifying the NBA Lockout

On July 1, 2011, the collective bargaining agreement between the National Basketball Association owners and the 450 NBA players expired. Unhappy with the terms of the CBA, the owners instituted a lockout instead of extending it.

Pink Slip Anonymous

It looks like Houston Nutt is getting the ax after the Egg Bowl. Nutt had great success early at the University of Mississippi, but he has struggled the last two seasons. Not being able to find a quarterback might be what doomed Nutt, or maybe it was a fractured fan base and unreal expectations that killed this marriage in just four seasons.

JFP Top 25: Week 11

LSU versus Alabama lived up to all the hype on defense. Missed field goals doomed Alabama as the top-ranked Tigers topped the Crimson Tide 9-6 in overtime. Now Alabama has to hope the teams ahead of them lose to get a rematch in the title game.

Layering 101

Layering makes me happy, because it's the perfect way to maximize my entire wardrobe regardless of the season. When you find a way to wear a strapless mini dress year round, it's one less thing you have to move to your "summer closet." Perhaps my favorite thing about layering, though, is mixing prints.

Mississippi House Remains In Limbo

Republicans are salivating over the prospect of taking over the Mississippi House of Representatives even as votes from Election Day continued to be counted throughout the state today. But Democrats are holding out hope that they may retain control of the House.

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Angela Taylor

Angela Taylor grew up in a family that taught her to help others and be an independent thinker. "My parents were active in the Civil Rights Movement," she says. They helped establish an integrated hospital waiting room in Wayne County, and named each of their children after people in the movement.

The Best We Can Be

Last week, I attended one of those uniquely Jackson events that national media never seem to know about when they paint us with a broad brush. It was a performance of "Defamation," a play by a Chicago playwright that allows the audience to act as jury and decide whether a black woman or a Jewish man should win a defamation suit she brought against him because he assumed she stole a watch from him and then caused her to lose business as a result.

Second Chances

Michael Williams is the man behind the movie projector at the Russell C. Davis Planetarium. He is responsible for making sure the independent art films and sky shows run on schedule without any technical glitches.

‘Take Risks; Make Changes'

Jackson Public Schools has nine months to hire a new superintendent before interim Superintendent Jayne Sargent's contract expires in July.

Homeless and Boxed In

Although David Barney was homeless for several months, he never thought of himself as living in poverty. Barney, 43, got laid off from a construction job in 2010, and after both his parents died within months of each other, he was overwhelmed with funeral costs.

Redistricting Redux

Mississippi's ongoing battle over redistricting will keep going on at least into the near future.

State's Biz Climate Iffy

Gov. Haley Barbour touted his administration's pro-business bona fides for the last time in his role as state government's chief executive before a throng of mostly business folks at the Mississippi Economic Council's Hobnob event Nov. 2, perhaps engaging in a bit of legacy preservation.

Building Business

Gov. Haley Barbour has long been bullish on Mississippi's business environment, announcing every new business his administration brings into the state—large and small—and every new development with great fanfare.

[Stiggers] Oh Lord Have Mercy

I realize that your current situation is hard to take, but do not be despondent. Remember that life is a period of adjustments. I suggest you adjust by becoming critical thinkers and challenging the motives of predatory capitalism. Also, think about acquiring the skills you need to get back to work and readjust your traumatized and stress-filled life.

[Kamikaze] Let's Talk, Dems

Hey, Mississippi Democratic Party: Can we talk? We've heard some pretty strong accusations that you aren't as powerful as you used to be. In fact, a few folks are whispering that you've become a shell of your former self.

[Skipper] Being the Best

Craig's spirit extended to each person he encountered.

JRA Considers Financing Farish Street

The Jackson Redevelopment Authority board is considering a proposal to allocate $8 million in urban renewal bonds to the Farish Street Group for the redevelopment of the Farish Street Entertainment District.

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Craig Noone's Unfinished Business

People leave unfinished business. Sometimes they just move on to other projects. Or they meet with tragedy, leaving others to complete the unfinished business. It is the living who follow through on these unfinished dreams, plans and business. They are the ones who can help define the life of the deceased and leave an undying legacy.

Jim Hood Eases into Third Term

By 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, supporters at Jim Hood's re-election party were only mildly paying attention to the four television monitors showing election returns in the King Edward Hotel's banquet room.

Cooking from the Soul

When Wilora "Peaches" Ephram opened Peaches Restaurant in 1961, she had $45 in her pocket. She took that money and cooked hotdogs for her first customers until she made enough of a profit to start buying vegetables and meats to make the restaurant's famous soul-food plates.

What Craig Taught Me

I met Craig Noone the summer of 2008 at Stephan Pyles Restaurant in Dallas, Texas. I had just graduated from culinary school in Austin, moved back to Dallas and landed a dream job working for my then-culinary idol, Stephan Pyles, at his flagship restaurant in the arts district downtown.

Opera: These Things Happen

Never was a story of more woe than that of Juliet and her Romeo, but the tragic love story of Cio-Cio San and Pinkerton comes close. Cio-Cio San and Pinkerton are the main characters in Giacomo Puccini's opera "Madama Butterfly," which opens Mississippi Opera's 67th season Nov. 12 at Thalia Mara Hall.

Homage to the Waters

The northern border of Madison County is formed by the Big Black River. The Pearl River maintains the county's southern and eastern borders. It's from this geographical configuration that Carol Lynn Mead drew the title for her book on the history of Madison County, "The Land Between Two Rivers," published in 1987.

Healthy Substitutes

Healthier alternatives to tasty but fattening ingredients in foods we eat every day are plentiful. You can make some substitutes to reduce risks for diseases and obesity.

Personhood Supporters Shocked, Undeterred

See also Grassroots Mamas: 'We Did It!'

Tate Reeves vs. Reform Party

Here's something interesting: The Associated Press reported that in the lieutenant governor's race between Republican Tate Reeves and the Reform Party's Tracella Lou O'Hara Hill, Hill received 20 percent of the vote, and even won a slight majority in Jefferson County (by 18 votes). That's an unusually high percentage of votes for a third-party candidate; in other races, Reform Party names tend to get 3-4 percent of the vote. Perhaps that 20 percent is as much a vote against Tate Reeves as for Hill. Thoughts? Maybe the Democrats should have found someone to run against Reeves after all.

Bryant Claims Victory

In claiming victory as Mississippi's 64th governor, Phil Bryant invoked the names of Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, former Mississippi Gov. Kirk Fordice and current Gov. Haley Barbour.

Grassroots Mamas: ‘We Did It!'

Just before 10 p.m. last night, Lori Gregory Garrott ran out of her Fondren home, stood on the front lawn and looked around before shouting, "We just won!" She yelled again, louder: "We just won!" The co-founder of Parents Against 26 had to tell the night sky a third time that Mississippi grassroots mamas defeated the Personhood Initiative.

The Day After: Bryant, Hood, Voter ID In; Personhood Out; House May Go GOP

What a night in Mississippi! With national eyes on us, the biggest news of the night is that the state voted about 40-60 against the Personhood Initiative. Predictably, Phil Bryant took the gubernatorial seat, Jim Hood was re-elected attorney general, voters chose eminent-domain limits and voter identification. And this morning, with several seats in limbo awaiting absentee ballot counts, the House of Representatives is set to go Republican.

Bryant: We Will Rise

Tonight, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant invoked the names of Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, and former Gov. Kirk Fordice in claiming victory as the state's 64th governor.

Tuesday, November 8

Big Winners/Losers We Know About As of Tonight

Here's a race list of who/what won and lost tonight. It's not exhaustive because we're exhausted. We'll attach numbers tomorrow. JFP endorsements have astericks:

Mississippi Deals Personhood Movement a Resounding Defeat

Nov. 8, 2011 -- Tonight was not a good night for the national Personhood USA movement that tried to push Initiative 26 in Mississippi. The opponents took some 60 percent of the vote by the time it was called as a loss. The JFP had a crazy busy night on Twitter (@jxnfreepress and #jxnfreepress) following the progress of 26, as well as voter ID (26) and the eminent domain limits (31). Voter ID passed as expected, and the eminent-domain limits passed. (The Jackson Free Press urged voters to reject personhood and voter ID and approve eminent domain limits—so we won two out of three.

Hood: I Will Continue Fighting For Families

Supporters did not seem too surprised tonight when Attorney General Jim Hood won this third term in office over his opponent Steve Simpson.

DuPree: I can't tell you how much we love you

At a campaign party that began with prayer, it fits for Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree to thank God, even after a seemingly landslide loss.

The AP and Johnny DuPree…

The Associated Press has already declared Democratic candidate Johnny DuPree the loser of tonight's gubernatorial race before the singers have gotten started good.

Live from Yes on 26

Personhood is the race to watch tonight, with supporters at a "watch and pray" event hosted by Yes on 26 saying it's too close to call.

Early Returns on Personhood 45% Yes 55 % NO; Voter ID Winning 62% So Far

Early returns (17 percent or so) indicate that (a) Phil Bryant is winning, (b) Jim Hood is winning, (c) Personhood is LOSING and (d) Voter ID is winning. More when we sort it out. A lot going on there. Follow us on Twitter @jxnfreepress #jfppolitics for fast news!

Really quiet at Ole Tavern

Only about a dozen activists who oppose Initiative 26 are at Ole Tavern. Some are eating, some are taking pictures. This is a relaxed group that's been working hard. The ACLU is concerned I'm going to write down something one of them is saying as they vent frustration. No one is really venting. This seems like a friendly group on the surface.

Start the Party Right: What Are Your Predictions?

OK, it's that time when you first get to the party and haven't had enough to drink. Or the part of karaoke when Todd Stauffer sings "I Am Woman" to try to shake up some activity. So let's get this party started right with some election predictions: Who's gonna win? Lose? How much? (You can use your Facebook log-in to post even if you're not a member.) Bring it.

Hell No! is in the House

Michelle Colon, the activist who started the Hell No! on 26 and 27 just walked in the door loaded down with posters and banners. I asked her if it has been a long day. "It's been a long couple of months," she told me.

Polls Have Closed; JFP Team Ready to Roll

Take a deep breath, all. The polls just closed. Who will be our next governor, attorney general, treasurer, legislators? Will Personhood pass? Voter ID? Eminent Domain? The JFP team—Todd, Ronni, Valerie, R.L., Lacey, Elizabeth, Robbie—are all ready to analyze the heck out of tonight's results—and bring you the quirk and craziness that is Mississippi politics. You can follow our main Twitter feed @jxnfreepress and go straight to the special front page of the JFP site tonight, which is reconfigured into a special election page with all sorts of live blogging going on. Let us know what you think (remember you can use your Facebook log-in if you're not a member of the site). Let's roll, Mississippi.

Hosemann: ‘Minor Problems and Major Turnout'

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann's office reports "minimal problems" at Mississippi polling locations today.

Election Night Parties

Here is a roundup of election-night parties, which all begin at 7 p.m. All events are open to the public. Please add more in our comments section.

Personhood Polls Surprisingly Close

In this typically anti-abortion state, a recent poll suggests that the fate of the "Personhood Amendment" might be too close to call. Public Policy Polling found that 45 percent of voters support the amendment, 44 percent oppose it, and 11 percent are undecided.

New Restaurant, Old Favorite

El Mezquite Bar and Grill has opened at 4240 Robinson Road (in the former El Chico site) near Metrocenter Mall. Luther and Magda Reyna own the new restaurant.

Destiny Everitte

Millsaps College student Destiny Everitte is donating 12 hours of her time today to hold a sign opposing Initiative 26 on the corner of State Street and Riverside Drive.

My Advice to James ‘Kingfish' Hendrix

I woke up this morning very concerned about a particular race that appears on some area ballots. No, it's not Personhood, voter ID or the governor's race, although I'm very concerned about those, too. It's about what amounts to a late entry into a local judge's race. But before I explain why I'm worried, I want you to do a quick Google on "Ronni Mott" and see what comes up. When I Google my managing editor's name, the seventh headline is, "Jackson Jambalaya: Is Ronni Mott a liar, hack, or just plain stupid?"

Democrats Launch Voter Hotline

The Mississippi Democratic Party has launched a voter hotline for citizens who experience any problems at the polls today. The number is 1-800-311-VOTE.

Monday, November 7

Candidates Make Final Push

Read Republican Bill Denny's mailout (PDF). In the final hours before Election Day, candidates for state offices are making the final push to win over voters and outpace their opponents.

Follow us on Election Night

When the polls close tomorrow, the Jackson Free Press news team will hit the election-night parties and provide real-time coverage at and Twitter. For live updates follow:

Jimmy ‘Kingfish' Hendrix Running for Judge, After All

It looks like James "Jimmy" Hendrix aka Kingfish aka Jackson Jambalaya is in the race for Hinds County Justice Court Judge for District 1, after all. Hendrix, a Republican who writes under the moniker "Kingfish" on his Jackson Jambalaya blog, filed paperwork to run for the seat earlier this year, but had not actively campaigned or posted any campaign announcements or ads on his local blog, which has featured presumably paid political advertisements for other local candidates for months. (The advertisements do not indicate if they are paid or who paid for them.)

Kate Browne

Conceptual artist Kate Browne visits the Mississippi Museum of Art Wednesday, Nov. 9, for a planning session for a project she will install in The Art Garden next spring. It's a community participatory outdoor art installation called a cocoon that is made of local materials. The project happens March 12 - 25.

Community Events and Public Meetings

6 p.m., Jackson Touchdown Club Meeting, at River Hills Country Club (3600 Ridgewood Road). Members of the athletic organization meet weekly at 6 p.m. during the football season. This week's speaker is Steve Shaw, head of SEC Officials. $280 individual membership, $1200 corporate membership; call 601-506-3186.

Friday, November 4

Under Fire, Barbour Backtracks on Personhood Doubt

Gov. Haley Barbour is trying to unring a bell after raising concerns about the wording of Initiative 26, Mississippi's Personhood amendment, earlier this week on several cable news shows. (Watch the video.) Three days after he said he wasn't sure he was going to vote for the controversial initiative, he now says he already cast his vote for it.

Campaign Shenanigans

Candidates are pulling out all the stops to attract votes, often, as many citizens are learning, with questionable if not unsavory tactics. One might expect it in the days leading up to a historic Mississippi election that is expected to edge voter turnout upward.

AT&T President Defends T-Mobile Merger

AT&T Mississippi President Mayo Flynt said this morning that his company's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile will not give AT&T an advantage over its competitors, but will allow the company to provide faster services and more data capacity to customers.

Andrew Dunaway

A few years ago, Andrew Dunaway's sister suggested since he talked so much about food, he should start writing about it. So, he did. He interviews chefs and tries out the cuisines at restaurants throughout the South.

It's the Weekend!

Be sure to warm up if you decide to participate in one of the two charity walkathons taking place this weekend. Today, JSU celebrates its 100th anniversary with a football reception at 4 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.) and a gala at 6 p.m. at JSU's Walter Payton Center (Walter Payton Drive). Admission is $100, $50 for children under 12, and $1,000 for a table of 10 for the gala; call 601-983-9490. Mike & Marty and The Deleted Family perform at the High Note Jam at 5:30 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art's Art Garden. The event is free, and there will be food for sale; call 601-960-1515. Dreamz Jxn hosts the GSU v. JSU Pre-party. Rock the Runway: Divas Against Domestic Violence is at 6 p.m. at the Jackson Convention Complex. Admission is $20; call 508-443-4827.

Thursday, November 3

Barbour: Legislature Better Place to Decide Personhood

Gov. Haley Barbour yesterday reiterated concerns he expressed earlier this week on MSNBC and Fox News about Mississippi's ballot Initiative 26, the proposed Personhood amendment.

Study: Jackson 6th Largest Metro for Concentrated Poverty

The Jackson metro has some of the most concentrated poverty areas in the country, with the majority of those poor individuals living inside city limits, a Brookings study released today finds. The report states that living in poor neighborhoods creates additional obstacles and burdens for individuals such as lack of quality education, increased crime rates, lower property values and lack of goods and services. Poverty also strains local governments.

Melody Musgrove

It's a rainy day at Callaway High School. Tell-tale water stains spread in brown patches on the ceiling, and tiles bulge under the weight of water from the leaky roof. Custodians have stacked boxes of replacement ceiling tiles in the front hall and placed buckets under the worst leaks.

U.S. Education Official to Visit JPS

Melody Musgrove, director of the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs and former state director of special education in Mississippi, will visit Callaway High School today to discuss school modernization and funding available under the proposed federal American Jobs Act.

Wednesday, November 2

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Personhood: A Pandora's Box

Atlee Breland picked her three young children up from preschool and drove home to Brandon. A self-employed computer programmer, Breland is able to adjust her day around her children. Her husband, Greg Breland, came home later in the afternoon, and the family sat down and ate dinner together.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

It's all about Saturday's big matchup, in case you haven't noticed. I pick Alabama.

Mixing Roots

Mixing roots with modern music means more to the Carolina Chocolate Drops than blending old and new. The unusual musical group plays songs with ancient-sounding bluegrass tunes and genuine African American string style, but the lyrics are modern and relatable.

Dreams Come True

"You can dream a little dream, or you can live a little dream, I'd rather live it, cause dreamers always chase, but never get it." —Aesop Rock, "No Regrets"

Game of the Year

Saturday, Nov. 5, I will be at my brother-in-law's man cave. The grill will be ready for some burgers and brats. Our favorite beverage will be in a cooler and the TV tuned into CBS.

Suck for What?

ESPN talking heads are fond of the phrase "Suck for Luck," shorthand for the idea that NFL teams would tank games to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.

JFP Top 25: Week 10

Undefeated teams are dropping like flies. After this past weekend, only six undefeated teams remain. One undefeated team is guaranteed to fall this week when LSU travels to Alabama in a huge showdown.

‘Obamacare' and Mississippi: What's In It For Us?

Shortly after Congress passed the Affordable Care Act—known as ACA to supporters and "Obamacare" to detractors—Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour joined a multi-state lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.

Different Kind of Brunch

Whether it takes the form of a lazy Saturday morning for two or a gathering of a multitude of friends and family, brunch can be a celebration that takes us away from our everyday routines.

The Neelys Return to Jackson

Pat and Gina Neely of the popular Food Network TV show, "Down Home With the Neelys," are coming to Lemuria Books to sign their latest cookbook, "The Neelys' Celebration Cookbook: Down-Home Meals for Every Occasion" (Knopf, 2011, $28.95).

Self Defense or Murder?

Edna Mae Sanders first met former Navy Seal Sherman Sanders at a Baton Rouge party in March 2005. She gave him her phone number, and it wasn't long before he began surprising her with gifts and driving from New Orleans to see her on weekends.

Students Make Gains in Math

National test scores in math and reading consistently put Mississippi below the national average, but this year's results show students made gains in one of the areas where they typically fall farthest behind: 8th-grade math scores.

On the Ballot

Here are the candidates you'll see on your Nov. 8 ballot. Everyone in Mississippi will see the statewide offices. Voters in Hinds County will also see their appropriate state Senate, House of Representative, commissioner and other county races.

Churches and Campaigns

The Internal Revenue Service categorizes churches as nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. It regulates how nonprofits can be involved in political campaigns and still maintain their tax-exempt status.

Inside Yes on 26

Yes on 26 Campaign Director Brad Prewitt is an unassuming man. The 36-year-old with boyish features looked a bit uncomfortable wearing a suit and tie during the campaign's "Festival of Life" at New Horizon Church in Jackson Sept. 28.

Voter ID: Excessive Regulation?

In 2005, Noxubee County Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Ike Brown decided to go the extra—and illegal—mile to get votes for African American candidates, according to court records.

Voting Long Under Fire

In the decades after the 15th Amendment was ratified in 1870, granting American citizens the right to vote regardless of race, white southerners developed methods to circumvent the amendment and keep African Americans out of the voting booth without attracting federal intervention.

Eminent Domain: ‘Taking' Too Much?

In 2001, Nissan was preparing to come to Canton, and Lonzo Archie's home stood in the way of a new factory. The state, eager to bring in the factory's jobs and economic benefits, reasoned that Archie's land was critical enough to the project to exercise its power of eminent domain on behalf of Nissan.

[Stiggers] Pass It On

If you've experience a rude awakening, Aunt Tee Tee and I want to help you through your economic and vocational perils. As associate dean of the Aunt Tee Tee Technical Institute, I invite the newly unemployed unskilled and skilled individuals to learn together at the Each One Teach One Vocational Institute.

Au Naturel

Singer-songwriter Graham Colton, an Oklahoma native, is on a two-month tour of the South in a tour van that runs on compressed natural gas. Singing pop ballads and promoting CNG, Colton is marketing both a new CD and an alternative energy source.

The Skinny on Polk

Hattiesburg native Patrik-Ian Polk has wrapped another film and is working on more television shows to add to his credentials. Polk, who is gay, explores issues of race and sexual identity in some of his projects. His work has won national awards and is gaining a more mainstream audience.

[Queen] It's About Women's Rights

I find it laughable that the state of Mississippi is even considering asking us to vote yes on Initiative 26. Really? We are being asked to make a law to give up our constitutional right to choice. Really.

Swagger and Swing

I began reading Preston Lauterbach's book with a background in rock music, somewhat aware of the history and legends of the blues and the birth of rock 'n' roll. I was surprised, as I think even major music historians would be, by an array of stories I had never heard before.

Death by a Thousand Cuts

Adam Ross' "Ladies and Gentlemen" (Knopf, 2011, $26) is a collection of short stories that tell of an indifferent universe and untrustworthy companions who carelessly toss around the nervous men of Ross' stories.

[Barbour] Danger Looming Large

We lost the possibility of children; we did not lose children.

Money Talks

If Hinds County Supervisor candidate John Dennery had to choose an animal he identifies with the most, he says he would pick a guard dog. The Republican candidate for the District 1 seat isn't happy about how the board has spent taxpayer money over the past few years and pledges that he will eliminate wasteful spending if elected.

Multi-Use Trail Gets $1.1 M

It's probably not every day that a state transportation commissioner double-high-fives a sitting mayor. Dick Hall, central district transportation commissioner, and Gary Rhoads, Flowood's mayor, were in a celebratory mood this week because $1.1 million in federal funds were finally secured for the Museum to Market Bike Trail project.

Absent-Minded Balloting

Despite a mistake in preparing absentee ballots, state officials say people's votes will be counted, but could present legal challenges later. An error in preparing them initially left information about the cost of the three initiatives off absentee ballots.

Megan Prosper

During October, Belhaven University's Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Building gallery was home to Megan Prosper's artwork. Black-and-white photographs lined one wall while another had seemingly random dangling items. Her artwork consists of "bits and pieces of scraps and old throw-away things" that she has put together to make something beautiful.

If Not Now, When?

Next Tuesday is Election Day in Mississippi. If voting trends hold true, fewer than 40 percent of those eligible to vote will actually cast ballots. It also means that progressives probably won't see many victories over conservative candidates.

Tuesday, November 1

Bike Trail Boost

The Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership will announce funding for the "Museum to Market" pedestrian and bike trail project in Jackson this afternoon.

Monzell Stowers

While Occupy protests were going on in places like Wisconsin, Ohio, Washington, D.C., and New York City, Monzell Stowers was waiting for the movement to come to him.

Mustard Seed Gets Boost from Wellsfest

Wells United Methodist Church announced yesterday that the 28th Wellsfest raised $62,000 for the Mustard Seed, a local non-profit that helps adults with development disabilities.