Stories for December 2012


Monday, December 31

House Won't Vote Before Midnight on 'Cliff' Deal

The House will miss the midnight Monday deadline lawmakers set for voting to avoid the "fiscal cliff."

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Farish: No Foundation, No Funding

The Farish Street entertainment district has been on metaphorical shaky ground for nearly three decades. In 2012, its developer says it was a literal lack of foundation that stopped the project from moving ahead.

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Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton remains under observation at New York-Presbyterian Hospital following treatment for a blood clot caused by a concussion earlier this month.

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Watch Nights Mark Emancipation Proclamation 150th

As New Year's Day approached 150 years ago, all eyes were on President Abraham Lincoln in expectation of what he warned 100 days earlier would be coming—his final proclamation declaring all slaves in states rebelling against the Union to be "forever free."

GOP Governors Walk Balance Beam on Health Law

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who made a fortune as a health care executive, long opposed President Barack Obama's remake of the health insurance market.

Afghan Violence Falls in 2012, Insider Attacks Up

Violence in Afghanistan fell in 2012, but more Afghan troops and police who now shoulder most of the combat were killed, according to statistics compiled by The Associated Press.

Deal Reached for Stopping Spike in Milk Prices

The top leaders in both parties on the House and Senate Agriculture committees have agreed to a one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill that expired in October, a move that could head off a possible doubling of milk prices next month.

Soldier Adjusts to Life at Home After Afghanistan

First Lt. Aaron Dunn deployed to Afghanistan in early March 2012. His 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, was charged with engaging Taliban fighters in Kunar Province and mentoring Afghan government soldiers. Upon returning, here are some of his views.

Tribune Leaves Bankruptcy After 4 Years

Tribune Co. emerged from a Chapter 11 restructuring Monday, more than four years after the media company sought bankruptcy protection.

Progress Seen in Last-Minute 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks

Working against a midnight deadline, negotiators for the White House and congressional Republicans narrowed their differences Monday on legislation to avert across-the-board tax increases.

Analysis: Miss. Judges See Raises with New Year

The new year marks the beginning of four years' of incremental salary increases for Mississippi judges—thanks to Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. for a novel funding method that didn't raid the treasury.

Sunday, December 30

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10 Local Stories of the Week

There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them.

Saturday, December 29

NASA Planning a Road Trip for Mars Rover Curiosity

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Since captivating the world with its acrobatic landing, the Mars rover Curiosity has fallen into a rhythm: Drive, snap pictures, zap at boulders, scoop up dirt. Repeat.

Officially Eliminated from Post-Season, Saints Aim for .500, Hope to Avoid Defensive Yardage Record

METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt is urging his players to keep thinking about the Lombardi Trophy as they prepare for what otherwise is an anticlimactic season finale between two non-playoff teams.

Maine Celebrates Gay Marriage Law with Midnight Weddings

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — After waiting years and seeing marriage rights nearly awarded and then retracted, gay couples in Maine's largest city didn't have to wait a moment longer than necessary to wed, with licenses issued at the stroke of midnight as the law went into effect.

Court Orders Mental Health Review in Appeal

A federal judge has ordered a mental evaluation for a Mississippi death row inmate.

Friday, December 28

Mississippi State's Defense Ready to Rebound in Gator Bowl

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State's veteran defense is one of the biggest reasons the program has emerged as a consistent competitor in the Southeastern Conference over the past three seasons.

Fearing a Ban, Gun Buyers Swarm Stores This Holiday Season

NEW YORK (AP) — The phones at Red's Trading Post wouldn't stop ringing. Would-be customers from as far away as New York wanted to know if the Twin Falls, Idaho gun shop had firearms in stock. Others clamored to find out if their orders had been shipped.

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Clinton Cuts Domestic Violence

When it comes to people accused of domestic violence, police and courts tend to see the same men and women over and over again—often with a revolving set of victims. That has changed in Clinton, however, since the judicial system embraced a batterer's intervention program in 2010.

Fewer U.S. Banks Failing as Industry Strengthens

U.S. banks are ending the year with their best profits since 2006 and fewer failures than at any time since the financial crisis struck in 2008. They're helping support an economy slowed by high unemployment, flat pay, sluggish manufacturing and anxious consumers.

Last Ditch Effort to Avoid Fiscal Cliff Under Way

The end game at hand, the White House and Senate leaders launched a final attempt at compromise Friday night in hopes of preventing a toxic blend of middle-class tax increases and spending cuts from taking effect at the turn of the new year.

Dockworkers Strike Averted for Now at U.S. Ports

Dockworkers along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico agreed Friday to extend their contract for more than a month, averting a weekend strike that could have crippled major ports from Boston to Houston and bottled up billions of dollars' worth of cargo.

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Kwanzaa Brings Community Together

Drumbeats filled the cold air in the parking lot of the Medgar Evers Community Center Thursday night. Inside, Jacksonians celebrated Kujichagulia, the Kwanzaa day of self-determination.

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Tamarra Grace Butler

The person who replaces state Sen. Alice Harden, who died earlier this month, will have some big shoes to fill to continue Harden's legacy of fighting for public education.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, Jackson Bike Advocates' monthly Community Bike Ride is at 6 p.m. at Rainbow Natural Grocery Cooperative.

10 Things to Know for Friday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about Friday.

Putin Signs Anti-U.S. Adoptions Bill

President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children, part of a harsh response to a U.S. law targeting Russians deemed to be human rights violators.

Reaction to Death of Norman Schwarzkopf

Reaction to the death of retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf.

Program Helps Veterans Reintegrate Through Music

During stressful times as a combat medic in Afghanistan, Mason Sullivan found solace in Vivaldi. New Jersey native Nairobi Cruz was comforted by country music, a genre she had never heard before joining the Army. For Jose Mercedes, it was an eclectic iPod mix that helped him cope with losing an arm during a tour of duty in Iraq.

U.S. Jobless Aid Applications Fall to 5-Year Low

The average number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits over the past month fell to the lowest level since March 2008, a sign that the job market is healing.

Third Time's the Charm? Oscar-Winner Kate Winslet Ties Knot Again

Kate Winslet has tied the knot again.

Time Runs Short to Avert Longshoremen's Strike

In just a few days, a walkout by thousands of dock workers could bring commerce to a near standstill at every major port from Boston to Houston, potentially delivering a big blow to retailers and manufacturers still struggling to find their footing in a weak economy.

Southern Co. Faces Risks on Miss. Power Plant

In the woods of east Mississippi, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Co. is pouring billions of dollars into construction of a power plant that burns coal but would emit less carbon dioxide. It's a response to looming federal limits on carbon emissions as regulators try to curtail global warming.

Gen. H. "Stormin'" Norman Schwarzkopf, Desert Storm Commander, Dies at Age 78

WASHINGTON (AP) — Truth is, retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf didn't care much for his popular "Stormin' Norman" nickname.

White House Meeting a Last Stab at Fiscal Deal

Amid partisan bluster, top members of Congress and President Barack Obama were holding out slim hopes for a limited fiscal deal before the new year.

Jobless Rates Fall in 81 of 82 Miss. Counties

Unemployment rates fell from October to November in all but one of Mississippi's 82 counties, according to figures released Thursday. Jobless rates also fell from November 2011 in 81 counties.

Thursday, December 27

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City: Nothing New on Farish

Little has changed on Farish Street this year, despite developers' predictions this summer that they would have at least one club open on the street by the end of 2012.

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How Dark Money Helped Republicans Hold the House and Hurt Voters

In the November election, a million more Americans voted for Democrats seeking election to the U.S. House of Representatives than Republicans. But that popular vote advantage did not result in control of the chamber.

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Susan Geiger

Susan Geiger, a physical therapist at Jackson's Methodist Rehabilitation Center, recently helped a group of middle-school students win a state robotics competition.

$1 Billion Deal Major Step in Toyota Legal Trouble

With a proposed payout of more than $1 billion, one major chapter of a nearly four-year legal saga that left Toyota Motor Corp. fighting hundreds of lawsuits and struggling with a tarnished image has ended, though another remains.

China Tightening Controls on Internet

China's new communist leaders are increasing already tight controls on Internet use and electronic publishing following a spate of embarrassing online reports about official abuses.

Mandela Close to Medical Care at Home

The doctors treating former South African leader Nelson Mandela believe he should remain in Johannesburg for now to be close to medical facilities that can provide care to the 94-year-old, the government said Thursday.

Over the Fiscal Cliff: Soft or Hard Landing?

Efforts to save the nation from going over a year-end "fiscal cliff" were in disarray as lawmakers fled the Capitol for their Christmas break. "God only knows" how a deal can be reached now, House Speaker John Boehner declared.

Spokesman: George H.W. Bush in Intensive Care

Former President George H.W. Bush has been admitted to the intensive care unit at a Houston hospital "following a series of setbacks including a persistent fever," but he is alert and talking to medical staff, his spokesman said Wednesday.

Museum Provides Education About Lower Miss. River

The Lower Mississippi River Museum uses hands-on displays to help people understand the lore and power of the waterway that has shaped North American life for centuries.

No Deal in Sight as Deadline for Fiscal Deal Nears

Lawmakers are engaged in a playground game of "who goes first."

MEMA: More than 25 Injured in Storms in Miss.

More than 25 people were injured and at least 70 homes were damaged in Mississippi by the severe storms that pushed across the South on Christmas Day, authorities said Wednesday.

Wednesday, December 26

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JFP 2013 College Basketball Preview

College football has left us only bowl games to feast upon, the NFL regular season is beginning to reach its conclusion, and we are thinking about college basketball.

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Andy Kennedy in the Hot Seat

Any time a new sports season starts, people talk about contenders, the best players and, at some point, turn to which coaches are in the hot seat—you know, the coaches who need to have success to keep their job after the season.

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Small Schools Making Impressions

The “smalls,” as they are often referred to in the sports circle, are nicknamed such because of their small enrollment and the size of the athletic program.

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Mississippi Women’s Basketball Relies on Key Metro Area Graduates

The metro area is known for producing some of the state’s best players. This season, graduates of several local high schools are big contributors to the state’s largest women’s basketball programs.

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Do we care more about football than basketball?

In Mississippi, we have patience with basketball coaches, but not football coaches—football coaches are expected to win right away.

The Slate

Football is slowly coming to an end, and it might be the saddest part of my year. I guess I need to start counting down the days until the NFL Draft in April.

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America’s Favorite Preacher

Joel Osteen’s smile is as big as Texas, and so is his following.

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RIP DJ Razzle K

“He was where you went to get quality music,” Tony B says. “Razzle K took hip-hop from the streets and started a movement with those park jams. Then he took hip-hop from the park and into the club and radio.”

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Keys N Krates Bring Live Remixing to Martin’s

The past few years have seen resurgence in the popularity of electronic music. Dubstep is used to sell cars and computer operating systems.

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‘SAD’ But True: Coping with the Winter Blues

Although this winter has been unseasonably warm (even for Mississippi) so far, and given us bipolar days of frigid mornings and hot afternoons, we can only assume that colder weather is coming soon.

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Governor: Don't Obstruct Obamacare

Medicaid expansion in the states under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare or ACA, is scheduled to take effect in 2014.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: "Consequences"

We'd love to take Sen. Wicker at his word—but this is the kind of political white-noise statement that uses a lot of words to say nothing much at all.

Get Back to Work, Congress

Last Thursday, Republican House Majority Leader Rep. John Boehner sent his party home and effectively adjourned the U.S. House of Representatives for the holidays.

Address the Mental-Health Crisis

Like everyone in the nation, Mississippi Families as Allies, a grassroots, family-led organization for children's mental health, is stunned and saddened by the atrocity at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Our hearts are with all of the families who lost loved ones.

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Full Spectrum, Casinos, Restaurants and Olympians

Full Spectrum South is searching for financing for its ambitious Old Capitol Green development.

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We're No. 2!

Mississippi rises toward the top in the number of people executed in 2012.

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Poppin’ Bubbly

We sat down for a blind taste test with a panel of seven bubbly enthusiasts from the JFP staff to determine whether or not expensive champagne is really worth the cost.

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Ring In 2013: Events for New Year's Eve in 2012

Don’t have any plans for New Year’s Eve? Start 2013 off with a bang by eating good food, sipping fancy drinks and enjoying local music.

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City Approves Financial Advisory Team

After a month of squabbling over details and timeliness, the Jackson City Council approved the mayor's financial advisory team for the city's $90-million water system enhancement project Dec. 17.

For Sandy Hook

The eyes of the young that will never grow old Stories of their souls left untold; A gift so innocent, so young, so true A nation of mourners heartbroken, confused;

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Two Stylists, One Dress, Two Looks

I recently teamed up with my good friend and celebrity stylist, J. Bolin, to give style consultations at the Hair Boutique Salon in Fondren.


The following exchanged occurred under Donna Ladd's editor's note last issue about poverty and guns: "Where There's a Will ..."; find it at to weigh in.

Question o' the Week: What is your top resolution for 2013?

What is your top resolution for 2013?

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You & JFP

Secret to Life: "Find something that makes you happy and go with it."

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Most Intriguing Jacksonians 2012

For better or worse, you talked about them. A lot. Some deserved it. Others? Well ...

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ARF Battles for Life

Elizabeth "Pippa" Jackson and the Animal Rescue Fund continue to fight for homeless animals, despite opposition in both Rankin and Hinds counties.

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Jail 'Pipeline' Comes Into Focus

In DeSoto County Schools and Jackson Public Schools, more than 90 percent of school arrests are for misdemeanors, not felonies, which some say feeds the school-to-prison pipeline.

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Coach Harvey Wardell

When Lafayette Stribling decided to retire in late October, Tougaloo College tapped Harvey Wardell to replace him as the new Bulldogs head coach.

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Interesting Times

We enter the new year a bit shaken, humbled and thankful.

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Staying Honest with Grits and Soul

Bluegrass duo Grits and Soul will perform at Hal & Mal's Friday, Dec. 28.

10 Things to Know for Wednesday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about today.

NY Firemen's Killer Mapped Out Plan for Slayings

The ex-con turned sniper who killed two firefighters wanted to make sure his goodbye note was legible, typing out his desire to "do what I like doing best, killing people" before setting the house where he lived with his sister ablaze, police said.

Obama Cuts Vacation Short as 'Fiscal Cliff' Looms

With a yearend deadline looming before the economy goes over the so-called fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama is cutting short his traditional Christmas holiday in Hawaii, planning to leave for Washington on Wednesday evening.

GOP Willing to Bend on Issues After Election

For years, Republicans have adhered fiercely to their bedrock conservative principles, resisting Democratic calls for tax hikes, comprehensive immigration reform and gun control. Now, seven weeks after an electoral drubbing, some party leaders and rank-and-file alike are signaling a willingness to bend on all three issues.

Shoppers Disappoint Retailers this Holiday Season

U.S. shoppers spent cautiously this holiday season, a disappointment for retailers who slashed prices to lure people into stores and now must hope for a post-Christmas burst of spending.

Obama Could Reshape 5th Circuit During 2nd Term

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is widely viewed as one of the nation's most conservative federal appellate courts, but President Barack Obama could get a chance to change that perception in his second term.

Researchers Focus on Oil Dispersant

LSU AgCenter scientists are partnering with researchers at Columbia University and Iowa State University on development of an environmentally friendly substance that could be used to clean up oil spills.

Home-Brewed Beer Faces Catch-22 in Mississippi

Catch-22 would be a good name for beer brewed at home in Mississippi.

Snowstorm Heads East After South Twisters; 3 Dead

An enormous storm system that dumped snow and sleet on the nation's midsection and unleashed damaging tornadoes around the Deep South is punching its way toward the Northeast.

Tuesday, December 25

Charles During, the 'King of Character Actors,' Died on Christmas Eve in NYC at Age 89

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charles Durning grew up in poverty, lost five of his nine siblings to disease, barely lived through D-Day and was taken prisoner at the Battle of the Bulge.

Severe Weather Expected for Mississippi, Gulf Coast on Christmas

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Freezing rain and sleet made for a sloppy Christmas morning trek in parts of the nation's midsection on Tuesday, while residents along the Gulf Coast braced for thunderstorms, high winds and the possibility of tornadoes.

Monday, December 24

10 Things to Know For 12/24/12: Crapo, Sandy Hook Mourners, Holiday Sales

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers from both parties voiced their willingness Sunday to pursue some changes to the nation's gun laws, but adamant opposition from the National Rifle Association has made clear than any such effort will face significant obstacles.

Obama's Second Term: A Full Helping of Big Issues and Political Challenges

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's hardly a secret that Barack Obama, like every president no doubt, muses about his ultimate legacy and spot in the presidential pantheon. He approaches his second term confronting tough and shifting challenges that will play big roles in shaping the rest of his presidency and his eventual place in history.

Sunday, December 23

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10 Local Stories of the Week

There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them.

Saturday, December 22

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Jamscam at Pix/Capri

Hear Johnny Bertram and the Golden Bicycles, T.B. Ledford and the Nice List Holiday Revue, El Obo, Bear Colony, Questions in Dialect, and The Weeks Saturday, Dec. 22 starting at 7 p.m. at the Pix/Capri Theater (3023 N. State St.) in Fondren.

Urban Advocates Say The Time for a Gun Control Debate is Long Overdue

For years, voices have cried in the urban wilderness: We need to talk about gun control. Yet the guns blazed on.

Miss. PTA Group Urges People to Send Snowflakes

The Mississippi Parent-Teacher Association is urging state residents to join in making snowflakes for the replacement building being decorated for students of Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School, where the Dec. 14 school shooting occurred.

Friday, December 21

One Week After the Shooting, Details Emerge About Adam Lanza

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — As the nation paused to mark a week since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, new details emerged Friday about the gunman, Adam Lanza, who acquaintances said was able to take apart and reassemble a computer in a matter of minutes but rarely spoke to anyone.

Legislators Across the Country Wading into Gun Control Debate, NRA Leader Calls for a Cop in Every School

ATLANTA (AP) — As President Barack Obama urges tighter federal gun laws, state legislators around the country have responded to the Connecticut school shooting with a flurry of their own ideas that are likely to produce fights over gun control in their upcoming sessions.

Obama Nominates Senator John Kerry to be Secretary of State

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday nominated Sen. John Kerry as his next secretary of state, elevating the longtime lawmaker and foreign policy expert to the top diplomatic job he had coveted.

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Coalition Will Fight for Health Care

More than one dozen statewide health-care, civil-rights and religious organizations plan to leverage hundreds of thousands of their members, parishioners and supporters to increase health care access for 300,000 Mississippians.

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Hattiesburg Teen Challenges PepsiCo

Sarah Kavanagh is behind an online petition to remove a potentially toxic chemical from sodas and sports drinks that are popular with her friends and family.

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Bill Kehoe

Bill Kehoe, an important part of Jackson and its music scene, passed away at St. Dominic's Hospital Wednesday afternoon.

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It's the Weekend!

On Saturday, Just for Kids hosts the Christmas Festival from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Jackson Medical Mall.

Stocks Open Sharply Lower After GOP Cancels Vote

Stocks opened sharply lower Friday on Wall Street after House Republicans called off a vote on tax rates and left federal budget talks in disarray 10 days before sweeping tax increases and government spending cuts take effect.

Obama Vows to Press Ahead on Fiscal Cliff Solution

President Barack Obama says he'll press ahead with Congress in hopes of preventing across-the-board tax increases set to strike taxpayers Jan. 1 after House GOP leaders unexpectedly put off a vote on legislation calling for higher rates on million-dollar earners Thursday evening.

Gun Control Debate Heating Up in Statehouses

As President Barack Obama urges tighter federal gun laws, state legislators around the country have responded to the Connecticut school shooting with a flurry of their own ideas that are likely to produce fights over gun control in their upcoming sessions.

Cliff Poses Tiny Dollar Gap, Wide Political Ravine

When it comes to resolving their "fiscal cliff" impasse, the dollar gap between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner is tiny in federal terms. That masks a monumental political ravine the two men must try to bridge, with most of the burden on the now beleaguered Boehner.

House Approves $633 Billion Defense Bill

The House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a $633 billion defense bill for next year despite Pentagon complaints that it spares outdated but politically popular weapons at the expense of the military's ability to fight.

Tupelo Touts Elvis Origins in Graceland Exhibit

Mississippi officials hope that a new Graceland exhibit about Elvis' boyhood will draw visitors to his birthplace in Tupelo.

Cleveland Schools Desegregation Case Before Court

A federal judge says he will rule after the first of the year on proposals to desegregate two schools in the Cleveland School District.

Report: Close 1 Ag School, Convert 1 and Keep 1

One of Mississippi's independent agricultural high schools would be closed under a recommendation by the state Board of Education, while another could see its mission reworked or be given to a local school district.

Maya Greet Dawn of a New Era

The hundreds gathered in Chichen Itza said they believed it marked the birth of a new and better age.

Different Fates Recommended for Ag High Schools

Two of Mississippi's three agricultural high school districts could be abolished.

Thursday, December 20

Holiday Shipping Headaches: Will a Midwest Storm Make Santa Late This Year?

A record number of Americans took to the Web to order holiday gifts after retailers flooded their inboxes with offers of extra discounts, free shipping and easy returns. But a storm bringing heavy winds and snow to much of the Midwest on Thursday — the heaviest shipping day of the year — could mean that some packages might not make it under the tree in time for Christmas. That's a headache for retailers, shippers and customers alike who already were experiencing problems because of the surge in shipping this year.

House GOP Pushing Through $633 Billion Defense Bill... Including Spending the Pentagon Doesn't Want

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House pushed to complete a $633 billion defense bill for next year despite Pentagon complaints that it spares outdated but politically popular weapons at the expense of the military's ability to fight.

Doomsday Believers Flocking to Global Hot Spots to Watch World End

Though the Mayans never really predicted that the world would end on Friday, some New Agers are convinced that humanity's demise is indeed imminent. Or at least that it's a good excuse for a party.

State Department Officials Acknowledge Major Weaknesses, Ask Congress to Full Fund Security Requests

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department on Thursday acknowledged major weaknesses in security and errors in judgment exposed in a scathing independent report on the deadly Sept. 11 assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya. Two top State officials appealed to Congress to fully fund requests to ensure diplomats and embassies are safe.

Hot Rhetoric and 'Small' Numbers Separate Obama and Boehner on Fiscal Cliff Negotiation

WASHINGTON (AP) — In their "fiscal cliff" standoff, President Barack Obama wants to raise taxes by about $20 billion a year more than House Speaker John Boehner. The president wants the government to spend about that much more yearly than Boehner does, too.

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Full Spectrum Searching for Financing

Full Spectrum South is moving forward with its plans to build a mixed-use development downtown, despite the county refusing to help fund the project.

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Seven of the Most Striking Ways States Have Loosened Gun Laws

States have often relaxed their gun laws, making it easier for individuals to obtain guns, extending the places where concealed guns are permitted, or giving gun owners more robust protections.

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Team of the Day: 1964-65 National Championship Lanier Basketball Team

Sometimes in sports, championship teams are forgotten and fade into history. These teams are normally victims of circumstances beyond their control.

Midwest Hit by its First Major Snowstorm of Season

The first major snowstorm of the season began its slow eastward march across the Midwest early Thursday, leaving at least three people dead, creating treacherous driving conditions and threatening to disrupt some of the nation's busiest airports ahead of the holiday weekend.

Lawmakers, State Officials Tangle Over Libya Raid

The State Department on Thursday acknowledged weaknesses in security related to the deadly Sept. 11 assault on the diplomatic mission in Libya following a scathing independent report faulting management failures at the department.

Storm Warnings, Watches Out in Mississippi

Severe thunderstorm and tornado watches and warnings spread across Mississippi on Thursday along with a fast-moving storm with winds up to 60 miles an hour in some places.

U.S. Economy Grew at 3.1 Percent in Summer

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.1 percent over the summer as consumers spent more and state and local governments added to growth for the first time in three years. But the economy is likely slowing in the current quarter.

Strike Looms at East and Gulf Coast Ports

Weeks after a critical West Coast port complex was crippled by a few hundred striking workers, the East Coast is bracing for a possible walkout numbering thousands that could close 15 ports from Massachusetts to Texas.

U.S. Mint Testing New Metals for Cheaper Coins

A penny costs more than two cents and a nickel costs more than 11 cents to make and distribute.

Bryant Weighs in on Tort Cap Case in Federal Court

Gov. Phil Bryant says scrapping Mississippi's tort reform laws would hinder economic development and cost the state the jobs that it brings.

Wednesday, December 19

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Alabama Loud and Proud

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires bring together multiple strands of southern music to make a hard-charging, soulful sound.

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Holiday To-Do List

So, this is Christmas. The week before the biggest holiday of the year, and I’m in exactly the same place as I was at the beginning of the month—no presents bought, no Christmas cards mailed or even remotely addressed, no decorations hanging up anywhere, and no holiday cooking (now, that may be a good thing).

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Talking Southern Sh*t

Katherine Bailess has big things on the horizon—a pilot debuting in May and 3 million YouTube views.

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Are We There, Yet?

What makes Peter Jackson’s films different from the work of other directors is an extraordinary combination of visual richness and visual freedom.

The Slate

This time of the year we spend time with family, at parties, exchanging gifts and eating great food. Enjoy everything the holidays have offer and take in some sports as well.

Bounty Gate Exposed a Mess

If you’re looking for the big loser out of Tagliabue’s ruling, that would be Sean Payton and the other coaches and office personnel thrown under the bus.

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The Skinny on Seeds

If you are already thinking about what you want to grow in your garden next year, start out right with organic seeds. They can make a much better garden.

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Organic Growing Heals the Earth

I serve on a number of conservation and environmental boards of directors, and a question that has been coming up a lot lately has regarded growing plants under contaminated conditions—a topic of interest to urban homesteaders and those wanting to practice urban agriculture.

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Christmas Around the World

As Americans are sitting down to ham or roast beast (or perhaps even tofurkey) this Christmas, people around the world will enjoy a wide assortment of traditional holiday meals.

Hosemann's Data Prove Him Wrong

Bad public policy, like bad personal decisions, takes a lot of justification to get folks in your corner.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: "Carnage"

Good grief. Huckabee is wrong on the law and wrong theologically.

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Sweet Carols

It’s easy to host your own caroling party, and a great way to get to know your neighbors better during the holidays.

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Prayer, Preparation and Patience

As we approach a new year preceded by events such as the Mayan prediction of end of the world, politicians arguing about the fiscal cliff, aftermath of a mall shooting, etc., I thought this would be a perfect time to bring people together in unity and diversity.

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The Family You Choose

The holidays are a time of traditions, and of family. Some traditions stay the same year after year; other new ones start as our lives—and the people in them—change over the years.

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Attention Walmart Shoppers

Walmart's "chintzy" attitude toward the wages and benefits of its workers isn't news. What may be news to many, however, is just how bad it is for workers at Walmart suppliers around the world.

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For The Host/Hostess

Everyone has that friend who just loves to entertain—whether its grilling up burgers in the backyard, cooking a full sit-down meal or just pouring a wicked cocktail or two.

In Wake of Tragedy, Parents Buy Armored Backpacks, Gun Enthusiasts Buy More Guns

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The reaction to the Connecticut school shooting can be seen in gun stores and self-defense retailers across the nation: Anxious parents are fueling sales of armored backpacks for children while firearms enthusiasts are stocking up on assault rifles in anticipation of tighter gun control measures.

New Orleans Plans to Roll Out New Tourism Pitch Starting With the SuperBowl

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. is planning a 2013 national campaign built around the theme "Follow Your NOLA."

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NCAA Helping Athletes Earn Degrees

Jackson State University and the NCAA are trying to help student-athletes earn their degrees, even if that means sticking around a little longer than four years.

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Giving 'For Good, Forever'

When the Jackson Free Clinic wanted to expand its facilities, the Community Fund of Greater Jackson helped make it happen.

Question o' the Week: What is the most important thing we can do to prevent another Newtown gun massacre?

What is the most important thing we can do to prevent another Newtown gun massacre?

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Poverty in the Midst of Plenty

“Poverty in the Midst of Plenty is a paradox that must not go unchallenged in this country.” — John F. Kennedy

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You & JFP

Names: (from left) Anna, Wiljerna, TyQuiria, Stanley, Zarrian Location of Picture: Utica Elementary Middle School, Utica, Miss.

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How We Measure Poverty

Although lots of folks have tinkered with the formula and the numbers have been updated in line with the Consumer Price Index, the baseline assumption has not changed since the ’60s.

Will Last-Minute Shoppers See Massive Discounts In Final Holiday Shopping Week?

This holiday shopping season, many stores haven't been offering the same blockbuster deals as they have in years past. Instead, they've dangled offers of free shipping and no-fee layaways to lure shoppers.

U.S. Army Will Seek Death Penalty Against Solider Accused of Killing Afghan Villagers

SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Army said Wednesday it will seek the death penalty against the soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers in a predawn rampage in March, a decision his lawyer called "totally irresponsible."

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How Poverty Happens

It’s one thing to lose your job and suddenly face possible eviction if you don’t find a different one; it’s quite another to exist in a cycle of poverty surrounded by the factors likely to keep you there.

7 Poverty Triggers

There is a reason that blaming the poor for their plight is useless, not to mention offensive. It’s usually not their fault, especially if they stay poor for long.

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Searching Out Solutions to Poverty

Approaching solutions to poverty may seem like a daunting task. With so much to overcome, some folks are paralyzed into doing nothing at all. But making a difference doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

Obama Optimistic on 'Fiscal Cliff' Bargain; Boehner Pushing 'Plan B' With Fewer Tax Increases In the House

WASHINGTON (AP) — Optimistic despite a tightening deadline, President Barack Obama says he and Speaker John Boehner are "pretty close" to a grand fiscal deal that would avoid a first-of-the-year shock to the economy, but says congressional Republicans "keep on finding ways to say no as opposed to finding ways to say yes."

Obama Announces V.P. Biden to Head Taskforce to Propose Gun, Mental Health Laws in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurred by a horrific elementary school shooting, President Barack Obama vowed to send Congress new policy proposals for reducing gun violence by January.

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Building Assets: A Path Out Of Poverty

Having a job that pays a living wage is only one aspect of lifting one’s self out of poverty.

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The X-Out Factor of Poverty

The poverty cycle is about much more than people being broke.

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Voter Exit Poll 'A Waste'

After spending $34,000 in taxpayer funds to poll Mississippi voters Nov. 6, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann's new exit poll has confirmed what voter ID opponents have been saying all along: Those most at risk for disenfranchisement under voter ID laws are black, poor or young.

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Enviros Warn of 'Kemper Cliff'

The Mississippi Sierra Club is warning about a controversial power project sending electricity ratepayers over the "Kemper Cliff."

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Idea Central to Escape From Poverty

It is vital to get food and necessities to the poor for basic day-to-day living. But to help people escape poverty, it takes the kind of programs that systemically enable people to make different and smarter decisions to change their own situation.

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Rev. Reddit Andrews III

Rev. Reddit Andrews III believes all good theology should be practical.

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Where There's A Will ...

I understand well that cycles of poverty originate from historic events that, if not equalized, create generations of people who cannot defeat the fate of their elders.

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Making Solutions to Poverty Stick

It is easy to desire to help someone escape poverty, but it is harder than it might seem because they have to ultimately do it themselves.

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Harmony at Home

This Thursday, Morningbell Records & Studios hosts "Happy Homecoming," a concert featuring Lizzie Wright, Laurel Isbister Irby and Alex Pieschel.

10 Things to Know for Wednesday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about today.

Heavy Price: Medicare Overpaying for Back Braces

You can find it on the Internet for $250 or less. But if Medicare is paying, a standard-issue brace for back patients costs more than $900.

Obama Social Security Offer at Odds with Top Dems

President Barack Obama's offer to slow the growth of Social Security benefits would force fellow Democrats in Congress to abandon promises to shield the massive retirement and disability program from cuts as part of negotiations to avoid the year-end fiscal cliff.

Grief Mixes with Impatience in Shattered Newtown

Mourners overlapped at back-to-back services as funerals began in earnest in a Connecticut town that lost 20 of its children and seven adults to a gunman, with emotions and tempers in tatters amid a global crush of media attention to a community once known mostly for its bucolic atmosphere and sterling school system.

Cliff Talks Hit a Lull with Boehner's 'Plan B'

Just two weeks from an economy-threatening deadline, fiscal cliff talks hit a lull Tuesday as House Speaker John Boehner announced that Republicans would also march ahead with their own tax plan on a separate track from the one he's been pursuing with President Barack Obama.

Bryant Sets Special Election for Harden's Seat

Voters will select a successor to the late Sen. Alice Harden on Feb. 5.

Source of Persistent Gulf Sheen Remains a Mystery

Underwater inspections at the site of BP's Deepwater Horizon rig disaster have failed to identify the source of a persistent sheen on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, officials said Tuesday.

GM to Buy Back 200M Shares as Part of Gov't Exit

The Treasury plans to sell its remaining stake in General Motors over the next 15 months.

Judge Upholds Power Plant Certificate

Mississippi Power Co.'s $2.8 billion Kemper County coal-fired plant is one step closer to legal clearance after a judge denied a Sierra Club challenge to the plant's license.

Tuesday, December 18

Gun Rights Supporters Conflicted About Next Steps To Avoid Future Tragedies

KITTERY, Maine (AP) — In a region where gun ownership is a cherished right, holiday shoppers snake through rows of shotguns, pistols and semi-automatic assault rifles at the Kittery Trading Post. The school massacre in Connecticut — and potential changes to firearms laws because of it — is fresh on their minds.

Miss. Mayor Indicted Related to Use of Tax Money

A north Mississippi mayor accused of misusing taxpayer money was indicted Tuesday on one count each of embezzlement, false pretense and making fraudulent statements.

Equity Firm Cerberus Wants to Sell 'Bushmaster' Rifle Manufacturing Company

The company that makes one of the weapons used to kill elementary school children in Connecticut is being put up for sale by its owner, which called Friday's tragedy a "watershed event" in the debate over gun control.

Obama To Actively Support Assault Weapons Ban, Close Gun Show Loophole

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama is "actively supportive" of efforts on Capitol Hill to reinstate an assault weapons ban.

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City Approves Water Advisory Team

The Jackson City Council finally came to an agreement with the mayor to approve contracts with a financial advisory team for the city's water-system improvement project.

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Restaurants, Olympians and Metrocenter

This morning, government and tourism officials announced that Jackson would host the Junior Olympics National Meet in May 2014, Jackson's first-ever Olympic qualifying competition.

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Daniel Inouye

On Dec. 7, 1941, high school senior Daniel Inouye knew he and other Japanese-Americans would face trouble when he saw Japanese dive bombers, torpedo planes and fighters on their way to bomb Pearl Harbor and other Oahu military bases.

10 Things to Know for Tuesday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about today.

Classes Resuming in Newtown, Minus Sandy Hook

With security stepped up and families still on edge in Newtown, students began returning to school Tuesday for the first time since last week's massacre, bringing a return of familiar routines—at least, for some—to a grief-stricken town as it buries 20 of its children.

Too Big to Jail? Execs Avoid Laundering Charges

When the Justice Department announced its record $1.9 billion settlement against British bank HSBC last week, prosecutors called it a powerful blow to a dysfunctional institution accused of laundering money for Iran, Libya and Mexico's murderous drug cartels.

NBC Correspondent Escapes Syria Kidnapping

More than a dozen heavily armed pro-regime gunmen kidnapped NBC's chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and several colleagues for five days inside Syria.

NRA Goes Silent After Connecticut School Shooting

The nation's largest gun-rights organization—typically outspoken about its positions even after shooting deaths—has gone all but silent since last week's rampage at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school that left 26 people dead, including 20 children.

AP Sources: New Obama Offer Moves Toward Boehner

President Barack Obama has agreed to curtail future cost-of-living increases for recipients of Social Security and softened his demand for higher taxes at upper income levels, narrowing differences with House Speaker John Boehner in "fiscal cliff" talks, people familiar with the talks said Monday.

Justice Dept. Pre-Clears Jackson Ward Lines

The Department of Justice has pre-cleared the city of Jackson's redistricting plan, clearing the way for City Council members to run under new ward lines in 2013.

Report: Few States Have Bulk of Executions

Just four states carried out more than three-fourths of the executions in the United States this year, while another 23 states have not put an inmate to death in 10 years, an anti-capital punishment group reports.

Boehner to Pursue 2nd Legislative Track on Taxes

Just two weeks before the economy-threatening "fiscal cliff" is due to kick in, House Speaker John Boehner opened up a second legislative track to stop tax hikes from kicking in on Jan. 1 for people making up to $1 million a year.

Miss. Schools Eye Security After Conn. Shooting

School officials across Mississippi say they're on high alert and evaluating security policies in the wake of a deadly shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut.

Monday, December 17

Survey of U.S. Business Economists: 2.1 Percent Growth in 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — Business economists believe the country will see modest growth in 2013 with strength coming from a further rebound in housing which will help offset weakness in business investment.

Hacker Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison After Testimony By Scarlett Johansson, Christina Aguilera and Others

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge sentenced a hacker to 10 years in prison on Monday after he broke into the personal online accounts of Scarlett Johansson, Christina Aguilera and other women and posted revealing photos and other material on the Internet.

Hasbro Announces a 'Gender Neutral' Easy-Bake Oven is Coming Soon

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Hasbro says it will soon reveal a gender-neutral Easy-Bake Oven after meeting with a New Jersey girl who started a campaign calling on the toy maker to make one that appeals to all kids.

UPDATED: Obama Counter-Offers on Fiscal Cliff: Raise Taxes on Earnings over $400k

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has proposed a deficit-reduction package to House Speaker John Boehner that would increase the top tax rates on taxpayers earning more than $400,000, cut more spending from health care programs and add $200 billion more in spending cuts over 10 years to his earlier offer.

Obit: Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, Dead at Age 88

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, the influential Democrat who broke racial barriers on Capitol Hill and played key roles in congressional investigations of the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals, died Monday. He was 88.

'Heat of Passion' Gets Wife Killer New Trial

Quincy Clayton says shooting his wife with a shotgun was an accident.

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Hinds Could Increase Library Access

District 5 Supervisor Kenneth Stokes believes library branches in rural Hinds County are not meeting the needs of residents.

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The Other Crucial Civil Rights Case the Supreme Court Will be Ruling On

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court said it would hear two cases challenging state and federal laws which prevent the legal union between same-sex couples.

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People of the Day: Sandy Hook Victims

The deadly shooting spree in Connecticut Friday left 28 dead, but the final tally will be much higher.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

The Scholastic Writing Awards Call for Submissions is all through today at Eudora Welty House at the Eudora Welty Education and Visitors Center.

Obama Signals Action Following School Shooting

President Barack Obama is vowing to use "whatever power this office holds" to safeguard the nation's children, raising the prospect that he will pursue policy changes to stem gun violence in the wake of an elementary school massacre.

Right-to-Work Nevada a Rare Bright Spot for Labor

The future of the American labor movement may lie just off the Las Vegas Strip, inside a squat building huddled in the shadow of the Stratosphere casino.

Movement Seen in 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks

The White House and congressional Republicans are a long way from agreeing on a plan to deal with the "fiscal cliff." But it seems like some progress is being made.

Big Price for Inaugural Pomp; Much Private Money

The pomp surrounding the inauguration of the president of the United States can carry a hefty price tag, from the glitzy galas to all those inaugural balls.

Students Prepare for Nervous Return to Classes

Jessica Kornfeld drove her children to their elementary school this past weekend. She wanted them to feel reassured that it was still a safe place, despite a horrific shooting in New England that killed 20 students very close to their own age.

Analysis: Sen. Harden was Unapologetic in Beliefs

Democrat Sampson Jackson was a brand new member of the Mississippi Senate in the early 1990s when lawmakers embarked on redistricting.

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Gun-Control Debate Simmering After Massacre

Democrats say meaningful action must include a ban on military-style assault weapons and a look at how the nation deals with mental illness.

Sunday, December 16

Chuck Hagel, Front-Runner for Defense Secretary: Moderate Republican, Vietnam Vet, Obama Confidante

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel is a contrarian Republican moderate and decorated Vietnam combat veteran who is likely to support a more rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

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10 Local Stories of the Week

There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them.

Man Arrested Saturday After Firing 50 Shots in California Mall Parking Lot

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A man was arrested Saturday after firing about 50 shots in the parking lot of a Southern California shopping mall, prompting a lockdown of stores crowded with holiday shoppers.

Two Separate Saturday Shootings in Alabama End with Suspects Killed

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Police in Alabama killed two suspects Saturday following separate shooting incidents 75 miles apart that left three other people dead and several injured, including two officers.

Toyota Mississippi President Enjoys Opportunity

Masafumi Hamaguchi has been in Mississippi a little more than two years, working for Toyota.

Saturday, December 15

Obama Will Travel to Newtown on Sunday, Attend Interfaith Vigil

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will attend an interfaith memorial service Sunday in Newtown, Conn., the site of Friday's deadly elementary school shooting.

Saturday Update: Newtown Mourns Deaths, Celebrates Heroism as Police Look for Answers

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Investigators tried to figure out what led a bright but painfully awkward 20-year-old to slaughter 26 children and adults at a Connecticut elementary school, while townspeople took down Christmas decorations and struggled Saturday with how to get through a holiday season that has suddenly become a time of mourning.

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton Faints, Sustains Concussion

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who skipped an overseas trip this past week because of a stomach virus, sustained a concussion after fainting, the State Department said Saturday.

Reports From Commanders in Afghanistan Suggest War Effort Is Going Better than U.S. Public Generally Believes

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. commanders are offering glowing reviews of their 2012 war campaign, upbeat assessments that could be interpreted as leeway for President Barack Obama to order another round of troop withdrawals next summer.

Experts: How To Talk To Your Kids About the Connecticut Shootings

The killings at a Connecticut elementary school left parents struggling to figure out what, if anything, to tell their children.

Gas Prices Headed to Lowest This Year; Predicted to Stay Low in 2014

Gas prices will soon drop to their lowest level of the year.

SMEPA to Join Regional Transmission Group

South Mississippi Electric Power Association plans to join a regional power transmission organization at the same time as Entergy Corp. utilities.

Friday, December 14

UPDATED: How It Happened... Adam Lanza Killed His Mother, Took Her Guns and Killed 26 People at The School

Although too many people died in Friday's tragic shootings, some unsung heroes have emerged, as well.

UPDATED: International Leaders Express Sympathy in Connecticut Shooting, Question Gun Access in U.S.

LONDON (AP) — As the world joined Americans in mourning the school massacre in Connecticut, many urged U.S. politicians to honor the 28 victims, especially the children, by pushing for stronger gun control laws.

Connecticut Shooting Revives Debate Over Gun Control in America

In Colorado, a state that was rocked by the 1999 Columbine school massacre and the Aurora movie theater shooting less than six months ago, Friday's shootings renewed debate over why mass shootings keep occurring and whether gun control can stop them.

Bucolic 300-Year-Old 'Newtown' Rocked By Tragic Shooting

Along streets where every window twinkles with holiday candles, police sirens wailed Friday. Over horse pastures in what was until fairly recently a rural town, helicopters' rotors thudded. In shops, televisions set to news stations blared.

UPDATED: Police Say They Have 'Good Evidence' That Might Explain Suspected Shooter Adam Lanza's Motives

WASHINGTON (AP) — He was an honors student who lived in a prosperous neighborhood with his mother, a grade-school teacher who liked to host dice games and decorate the house for the holidays.

President Obama Wipes Back Tears, Says 'Our Hearts Are Broken,' Promises Action

A tearful President Barack Obama said Friday he grieved about the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school as a father first, declaring "our hearts are broken today." He promised action to prevent such tragedies again but did not say what that would be.

UPDATED: Suspected Shooter was 20-year-old Adam Lanza; Older Brother Ryan Questioned

A law enforcement official says the suspect in the Connecticut school shootings is 20-year-old Adam Lanza and that his older brother Ryan is being held for questioning. The law enforcement official says the boys' mother, Nancy Lanza, works at the school as a teacher and is presumed dead.

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White Named Tourism Director

The Mississippi Development Authority has named Malcolm White the agency's new Director of Tourism.

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Salongo Lee

As a photographer, visual artist, poet and bookmaker, Salongo Lee represents an intersection of new and old artistry.

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It's the Weekend!

Tonight, Ballet Magnificat! presents "Snow Queen" at 7 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall.

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UPDATED: 28 Dead in Conn. School Shooting, including Shooter; 20 Are Children

UPDATED: 28 dead including 20 children.

10 Things to Know for Friday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about today.

Pentagon to Send Missiles, 400 Troops to Turkey

The U.S. will send two batteries of Patriot missiles and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a NATO force meant to protect Turkish territory from potential Syrian missile attack, the Pentagon said Friday.

Kerry, Hagel Front-Runners to Lead State, Defense

Democratic Sen. John Kerry, who unsuccessfully sought the presidency in 2004 and has pined for the job of top diplomat, vaulted to the head of President Barack Obama's short list of secretary of state candidates after U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice suddenly withdrew from consideration to avoid a contentious confirmation fight with emboldened Republicans.

'Cliff' Crash May Clear Way for Deal in January

To get to "yes" on a "fiscal cliff" accord, Congress and the White House first might have to get to "no."

Senate Takes Step Toward Banning Stalking Software

A loophole that permits software companies to sell cyberstalking apps that operate secretly on cellphones could soon be closed by Congress. The software is popular among jealous wives or husbands because it can continuously track the whereabouts of a spouse.

APNewsBreak: Plea Change Set in Teacher Test Fraud

A lawyer for a former Memphis public school assistant principal says he's seeking a plea change to federal charges that he helped current or aspiring teachers cheat on tests they must pass to prove they are qualified to lead their classrooms.

Against Long Odds ... Art: Injured Man Inspires

Dr. Angela Jones knew William Flewellen Heard's art would bring life to her family medicine practice at Baptist Medical Clinic when she saw his vibrant paintings hanging at Mississippi Medical Massage Therapy.

4 Running in Miss. House Election in Rankin County

Four candidates are running in a special election in northern Rankin County to fill a vacant seat in the Mississippi House.

Poll: Science Doubters Believe World is Warming

Nearly four out of five Americans now think that global warming will be a serious problem if nothing is done.

Hinds Supervisor Resigns After Health Questions

Hinds County Supervisor Doug Anderson is resigning, after some fellow supervisors questioned if he was too ill to continue serving.

Thursday, December 13

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Jazz Honors at the Alamo

When it's cold outside, come warm up in the jazz of the "Night of Musical Artistry."

Time for States to Decide on Health Care Exchanges

Friday is decision day for states to notify Washington if they will run their own insurance markets under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

U.S. Leads Western Snub of UN Telecoms Treaty

A disappointed American delegation led a Western snub of a U.N. telecommunications treaty Thursday after rivals, including Iran and China, won support for provisions interpreted as endorsing greater government control of the Internet.

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A Duty to Disclose?

Mississippi environmentalists say former Gov. Haley Barbour isn't telling the whole truth about his eager boosterism for Mississippi Power Co.'s Kemper County Coal project.

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JSU Gets $900K from NCAA

Jackson State is getting major help to improve the academic performance of its student-athletes.

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Nate Rogers

Practical joker, role model, athlete—these are just a few ways to describe Nate Rogers.

10 Things to Know for Thursday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about today.

'Lincoln' Leads Golden Globes with 7 Nominations

Steven Spielberg's Civil War epic "Lincoln" led the Golden Globes on Thursday with seven nominations, among them best drama, best director for Spielberg and acting honors for Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones.

Leading Conservative Says Obama Will Win Tax Fight

A leading conservative who's resigning from the Senate is predicting that President Barack Obama will win the battle over raising taxes.

Senate Legislation Targets Cyberstalking Software

For around $50, a jealous wife or husband can download software that can continuously track the whereabouts of a spouse better than any private detective.

U.S. Hesitant in Condemning North Korean Launch

The Obama administration is drawing no "red line" for North Korea after a successful long-range rocket test, tempering the public condemnation to avoid raising tensions or possibly rewarding the reclusive communist nation with too much time in the global spotlight.

MDOC Opens Youthful Offenders Unit

The Mississippi Department of Corrections says it has opened a unit for youthful offenders at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County.

Miss. Courthouses Receive Bomb Threats

Mississippi authorities are investigating bomb threats that were called into numerous county courthouses around the state.

Weekly US Jobless Aid Applications Drop to 343K

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply for a fourth straight week, a sign that the job market may be improving.

Miss. Lawmakers Brush Up on Education Proposals

Mississippi lawmakers are doing homework before the 2013 session.

Wednesday, December 12

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Elevator Muzak

“Playing for Keeps” is a blasé work spiked with trifling comic bits and smoothed out with a mellow dilemma that works to limp the film to a predestined conclusion of awkward family bliss.

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Cody Cox, On the Record

When it comes to advice for local musicians, Cody Cox is one of the best guys to go to.

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The Best of 2012

2012 has been a fantastic year for new music. If you have been keeping up with the column this year, you know by now that there have been a multitude of great releases from local artists spanning multiple genres.

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Making More Meaningful Memories

Many families have set-in-stone holiday traditions that they celebrate every year.

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Consider a Trip

One way to get away from the holiday hustle and bustle is to literally get away.

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How Fared the Big Four?

College football is just about over for Mississippi teams. Mississippi State and Ole Miss still have bowl games to go, but everyone else is done.

Rookie Overboard

I have a couple of quick NFL thoughts as the season heads to the final three weeks.

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The Slate

Tommy Tuberville has jumped ship once more, this time from Texas Tech to Cincinnati. You will never look up the word loyalty and see Tuberville’s picture by it.

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Making Our Children Whole

Parental selfishness was never more prevalent than when pro-life advocates protested in front of Jackson-area schools.

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We Wish You a Stress-Free Christmas

Keep things simple this holiday season and support local restaurants and businesses by getting your Yuletide meal catered by some of the city’s best chefs.

Time to Invest in Workforce Health

Mississippi's Republican Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney sees few redeeming features of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: "Teenagers"

This is a classic "blame the victim" statement. Bryant was speaking at an event concerning Mississippi's teen birth rate, which is the highest in the nation.

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Library Lounge

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of the library. As soon as I was old enough, I got my library card, and trips to check out books became a weekly—at least—event.

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What's in a Name?

I had an interesting conversation recently on my Facebook page about the "Christmas controversy" that comes up every year.

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Blurry Memories

“Stand behind the keg and catch my legs,” she said

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Jackson Failing at Health for Women

Last month, Self magazine’s website revealed its ranking of the healthiest U.S. cities for women.

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More Hate Crime Charges Coming?

Early one summer morning, after a night of underage binge drinking, a group of young people from Rankin County thought it would be fun to drive into Jackson and kill a black person.

Question o' the Week: What is Your Favorite Holiday Tradition?

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

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Your Turn: An Open Letter to the Ole Miss Student Body

I am not writing to express any feelings of embarrassment, disappointment or anger toward the students who shouted racist language and displayed violent behavior after the announcement of our president's re-election. I am writing to express my concerns regarding the response of the university community to that event.

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For The Family

Whether you’re looking for stocking stuffers for a sister or a gift for the uncle you haven’t seen since last year, the stores in the metro have something for the whole family.

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You & JFP

Favorite quote: "Don't let it worry you."

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Rebel Land: A Racial History of Oxford and Ole Miss

“I saw years of work of digging out of this hole covered back up. I felt quite disgusted, and there are still some feelings there of discontent even today.”

Voter Survey Finds 98 Percent Have ID

Secretary of State's office will use survey results for Voter ID outreach.

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Lucky Town Celebrates First Draft Beers

Capital city beer drinkers will get their first taste of draft beers from the Jackson metro area's first commercial brewer this week.

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Rebel On The Exchange

Mississippi's insurance commissioner has no qualms about bucking his party.

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Rebecca Floyd

Rebecca Floyd got her first guide dog in 1964.

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Breaking: A Serious Discussion in D.C.

Donna Ladd and I had the good fortune to attend a meeting a few weeks ago at the White House as part of their initiative to reach out to small businesses around the country.

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It's All About the Book

The real caretakers of the literary ecology are independent bookstores, and two of the country's most respected are in Mississippi: Lemuria Books in Jackson and Square Books in Oxford.

10 Things to Know for Wednesday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about today.

Obama's Fiscal Cliff Strategy is Tricky Balance

Playing both sides, President Barack Obama is trying to balance his public pressure campaign on Republicans over the looming "fiscal cliff" with his private negotiations with GOP leaders.

Gunman Opens Fire at Oregon Mall; Gunman, 2 Dead

A suburban Portland mall remains closed Wednesday a day after a gunman wearing camouflage and a mask opened fire on shoppers, killing two people and wounding a third, before killing himself.

Indian Sitar Virtuoso Ravi Shankar Dies at 92

With an instrument perplexing to most Westerners, Ravi Shankar helped connect the world through music. The sitar virtuoso hobnobbed with the Beatles, became a hippie musical icon and spearheaded the first rock benefit concert as he introduced traditional Indian ragas to Western audiences over nearly a century.

Mich. Becomes Right-to-Work State Despite Protests

In a dizzyingly short time span, Republicans have converted Michigan from a seemingly impregnable fortress of organized labor into a right-to-work state, leaving outgunned Democrats and union activists with little recourse but to shake their fists and seek retribution at the ballot box.

Six Inmates Released by Mistake from Hinds Co. Jail

A manhunt is underway for three of six inmates released by mistake from the Hinds County Detention Center last week.

Companies with $227M in Aid Employ Fewer than 500

Mississippi has disbursed nearly $227 million in aid to six alternative energy companies since 2010, but so far has fewer than 500 jobs to show for it.

Unions Flip to Support Kemper in Exchange for Jobs

Mississippi Power Co.'s contractors have agreed to hire about 1,000 labor union members to build its Kemper County power plant, and a group of unions says it now supports the project.

Fiscal Cliff Talks Intense; Obama and Boehner Talk

Leading lawmakers expressed pessimism that a deal was close, despite increasing angst.

Miss. Lawmakers Reveal Budget Proposal for 2014

Most parts of Mississippi education, from kindergarten through college, would receive the same amount of state funding next year as this year, under a budget proposal released Tuesday by House and Senate leaders.

Tuesday, December 11

New Tests Could Hamper Food Outbreak Detection

New tests that promise to speed up diagnosis of food poisoning pose an unexpected problem: They could make it more difficult to identify dangerous outbreaks like the one that sickened people who ate a variety of Trader Joe's peanut butter this fall.

Air Force Sends Mystery Mini-Shuttle Back to Space

The military's small, top-secret version of the space shuttle rocketed into orbit Tuesday for a repeat mystery mission, two years after making the first flight of its kind.

Pretrial Hearing for WikiLeaks Suspect Ends

A pretrial hearing for an Army private charged with giving U.S. secrets to WikiLeaks has ended.

Jobs at the JFP and BOOM Jackson

Jobs open at the Jackson Free Press and BOOM Jackson. No phone calls, please.

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Mayor, Council Square Off Over Contract

A $90 million water project is on the shelf while the mayor and the city's economic-development committee refuses to come to an agreement on the timeliness of the contract with project leader Siemens Corp.

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Start Up, Minority Business Registry, Accelerator, More

Entrepreneurs in the capital city will get a chance to pitch their ideas to fellow aspiring business owners and business leaders, and possibly find the connections they need to get their startups off the ground.

NFL Vacates Saints Players' Suspensions in 'BountyGate'

Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue overturned the suspensions of four current and former New Orleans Saints players in the league's bounty investigation of the club.

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Ethel T. Williams Singleton

Ethel T. Williams Singleton, a 69-year-old Raymond resident and mother of 11, recently received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Jackson State University.

10 Things to Know for Tuesday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about today.

AP Source: Southern Miss Hires Monken as Coach

Southern Mississippi has hired Todd Monken as its next football coach, said a person familiar with the decision.

Voter Disdain Spreads as 'Fiscal Cliff' Looms

Fear and frustration course through the lunch crowd at Robie's Country Store and Deli, a popular outpost 500 miles from where Washington is again locked in tense negotiations over taxes and spending as a critical deadline looms.

Treasury Sells Remaining Shares of AIG

The Treasury Department said Tuesday that it has sold all of its remaining shares of American International Group Inc., moving to wrap up the government's biggest bailout of the 2008 financial crisis.

Hinds Co. Considers Purchasing New Voting Machines

Hinds County is poised to purchase an all-new electronic voting system that some supervisors say will be more efficient and less costly to maintain than the decade-old, touch-screen system now in use.

Global Study of Student Scores a Mixed Bag for U.S.

Students in the U.S. perform better than the global average, but still lag behind many of their peers in Asia and Europe, an international study found.

Watchdog Agency Claims Research Animals Mistreated

An animal rights watchdog group has filed a complaint against the University of Southern Mississippi for negligent treatment of its research animals.

Harden's Body to Lie in Repose at Miss. Capitol

The body of state Sen. Alice Harden will lie in repose Thursday at the Mississippi Capitol in Jackson, a day before her funeral.

Scruggs Home on Prison Release, Appeal Pending

"Dickie" Scruggs, a noted plaintiff's attorney before being snared in a corruption investigation, has been released from prison pending an appeal.

Nunnelee Says Goal Remains to Cut Spending

Congressman Alan Nunnelee says his priorities in his second term will remain on cutting spending and reducing the size of government.

Monday, December 10

Obama says he 'Won't Compromise' on Taxes

President Barack Obama warned Monday that he "won't compromise" on his demands that the wealthiest Americans pay more in taxes, digging in on the chief sticking point between the White House and Republicans as they seek a way to avert the "fiscal cliff."

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The Senate Report on CIA Interrogations You May Never See

A Senate committee is close to putting the final stamp on a massive report on the CIA's detention, interrogation and rendition of terror suspects.

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Doctor Gets 20 Years in Miss. Cancer Center Fraud

A federal judge on Friday sentenced a doctor to 20 years in prison and ordered her to repay nearly $8.2 million for fraud at a former Mississippi cancer center she ran. U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III said he was "appalled" at how Dr. Meera Sachdeva treated patients at a vulnerable time of their lives.

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Dog of the Day: Zoey

Gallant Hearts, a non-profit organization that trains guide dogs for the blind, recently donated its first guide dog, a female Doberman named Zoey, to Consuelo Johnson.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

The Perspectives in Jackson Film Project is tonight from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m at the Jackson Medical Mall.

10 Things to Know for Monday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about today.

Stock Market is a Wild Card in Fiscal Cliff Talks

Congress and the White House can significantly soften the initial impact of the "fiscal cliff" even if they fail to reach a compromise by Dec. 31. One thing they cannot control, however, is the financial markets' reaction, which possibly could be a panicky sell-off that triggers economic reversals worldwide.

Minn. Gay Couple in '71 Marriage Case Still United

When Jack Baker proposed to Michael McConnell that they join their lives together as a couple, in March 1967, McConnell accepted with a condition that was utterly radical for its time: that someday they would legally marry.

Homeless Rate Steady in Latest Government Estimate

A vigorous effort to house the homeless has been countered somewhat by a sluggish economy.

Unions Vow Political Payback for Right-to-Work Law

With defeat in the Michigan Legislature virtually certain, Democrats and organized labor intend to make enactment of right-to-work laws as uncomfortable as possible for Gov. Rick Snyder and his Republican allies while laying the groundwork to seek payback at the polls.

1 Injured in Small Plane Crash in Rankin County

A small plane crashed in a Rankin County neighborhood, moderately injuring the pilot, but a passenger escaped unharmed.

Tuck Speaking at Mississippi Statehood Day Event

Former Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck is speaking Monday at celebration marking Mississippi's 195th anniversary as a state.

EU Receives Nobel Peace Prize

The European Union received the Nobel Peace Prize on Monday.

Program Will Help Students Graduate Earlier

A national initiative will allow Greenwood Public Schools students to receive high school diplomas after 10th grade beginning next August.

Analysis: Court Considers Death Penalty and Intent

Death row inmate Bobby Batiste has left the Mississippi Supreme Court in a quandary over intent.

Sunday, December 9

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10 Local Stories of the Week

There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them.

Disparity in Sex Crimes' Sentences Seen

When attorney Rod Ray was defending a client accused of sexual battery, he gave an impassioned speech to members of the jury, asking them to take the facts of the case into account and not give in to public perception that when a man is accused of a sex crime, he is automatically guilty.

Saturday, December 8

Camp Shelby to Welcome Soldiers Home

Soldiers from 158th Infantry Brigade and 177th Armored Brigade will return home Saturday after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.

Friday, December 7

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Robbery Suspects Still in Custody

Suspects are still in custody after a Wednesday hearing on charges of them with the armed robbery for the Nov. 30 incident at Swell-O-Phonic Skateboard Company at N. State St.

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Child-Care Providers Seek Lawmaker Help

Child-care providers are asking state and federal lawmakers to intervene in their ongoing fight against a controversial new finger-scanning program.

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Celia Barrett

Celia Barrett is combining New York style with Mississippi grace, one renovation at a time.

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It's the Weekend!

On Sunday, the Soulful Messiah Celebration youth concert is at 4 p.m. at Jackson Medical Mall.

10 Things to Know for Friday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about today.

Pearl Harbor Dead Remembered on 71st Anniversary

More than 2,000 people are gathering at Pearl Harbor on Friday to mark the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack that killed thousands of people and launched the United States into World War II.

Snow-Savvy Midwest Cities Breaking No-Snow Records

No snow boots needed in Milwaukee. Chicago commuters aren't dodging knee-deep snow drifts frozen along city sidewalks. And children in Des Moines are settling for ice shavings dumped from a Zamboni.

Tsunami Warning Lifted for Strong Japan Earthquake

A strong earthquake Friday struck the same Japanese coast devastated by last year's massive quake and tsunami, generating small waves but no immediate reports of heavy damage. Several people along the northeastern coast were reportedly injured and buildings in Tokyo and elsewhere swayed for several minutes.

Higher Rates or Fewer Tax Breaks, What's Worse?

In the fiscal cliff wars, a pivotal battle is raging between Democrats demanding to raise revenue by boosting tax rates on the nation's highest earners and Republicans insisting on eliminating deductions and other tax breaks instead. Which is better for the economy? Analysts say it depends.

$2 Billion Price Tag for Presidential Election

The 2012 presidential election broke the $2 billion milestone in its final weeks, becoming the most expensive in American political history, according to final federal finance reports released Thursday. The reports detailed a last-minute cascade of money from mega-donors and an onslaught of spending by the Obama and Romney campaigns and "super" political action committees.

Guy to Headline New Jackson Festival

Five-time Grammy winner Buddy Guy will headline a new Jackson festival in 2013.

Miss. Gov. Tells Teens to Avoid Early Parenthood

To fight Mississippi's highest-in-the-nation teen birth rate, is it best to give young people detailed information about contraception or to just tell them to abstain from sex before marriage?

U.S. Economy Adds 146K Jobs, Rate Falls to 7.7 Percent

The Labor Department's report Friday offered a mixed picture of the economy.

Bryant Sets Date for Senate Seat

Gov. Phil Bryant has scheduled a special election for Jan. 15 to fill a vacancy in the state Senate.

Thursday, December 6

For a Mere $1.5 Billion, a New Company Promises to Fly You and a Companion to the Moon

Attention wealthy nations and billionaires: A team of former NASA executives will fly you to the moon in an out-of-this-world commercial venture combining the wizardry of Apollo and the marketing of Apple.

"Patron Saint of the Tea Party" Announces Surprise Resignation From U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Jim DeMint, patron saint of the tea party and a would-be Republican kingmaker, announced suddenly Thursday he would resign his South Carolina seat to head Washington's conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, a shift that reverberated through a soul-searching GOP.

With Pot Legal in Washington State, The Work On Regulation Begins... If the Feds Wll Let It

People openly lit joints under the Space Needle and on Seattle's sidewalks — then blew the smoke at TV news cameras. To those looking to "get baked," the city's police department suggested pizza and a "Lord of the Rings" movie marathon.

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JPS Refinancing Costly

The Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees is refinancing millions worth of the district's bond debt.

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Toxic Couches?

Flame retardants in U.S. furniture are on the rise, with a new study finding them in nearly all couches tested.

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Sen. Alice Harden

As the minority party in the Mississippi Senate, the conventional wisdom would suggest that Democrats don't tally many legislative victories.

10 Things to Know for Thursday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about today.

U.S. Unemployment Aid Applications Drop to 370K

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid fell sharply last week as a temporary spike caused by Superstorm Sandy has faded. Weekly applications have fallen back to a level consistent with modest hiring.

How Far Over the 'Fiscal Cliff' Could They Go?

The dealmakers who warn that a year-end plunge off the "fiscal cliff" would be disastrous don't seem to be rushing to stop it. Why aren't they panicking?

About 350 Die in Philippine Typhoon, 400 Missing

A powerful typhoon that washed away emergency shelters, a military camp and possibly entire families in the southern Philippines has killed almost 350 people with nearly 400 missing, authorities said Thursday.

Dave Brubeck, Legend Who Helped Define Jazz, Dies

You don't have to be a jazz aficionado to recognize "Take Five," the smoky instrumental by the Dave Brubeck Quartet that instantly evokes swinging bachelor pads, hi-fi systems and cool nightclubs of the 1950s and '60s.

Historic Miss. Buildings Open for Candlelight Tour

The Mississippi Capitol and other historic buildings are decked out for the Old Jackson Christmas by Candlelight Tour.

New Judge Assigned to Case Against BP Supervisors

A new judge was assigned Wednesday to the case against two BP supervisors charged in the deaths of 11 workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in 2010, after the previous judge disclosed his wife owns stock in one of the contractors.

Smokers Celebrate as Wash. Legalizes Marijuana

Happy people lighting joints under Seattle's Space Needle early Thursday morning bespoke the new reality.

Two Conferences Address Miss. Teen Pregnancy Rate

Organizers say it's just a coincidence that separate conferences about teenage pregnancy are taking place in the same facility on the same day.

Wednesday, December 5

AP Poll: Americans Want Top Earners to Pay More, Don't Favor Entitlement and Defense Cuts

Americans prefer letting tax cuts expire for the country's top earners, as President Barack Obama insists, while support has declined for cutting government services to curb budget deficits, an Associated Press-GfK poll shows. Fewer than half the Republicans polled favor continuing the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy.

A Vote for Te’o

The Heisman Trophy will be handed out this Saturday on ESPN. Many believe Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is the frontrunner.

The Slate

I leave for two weeks, and Atlanta Airport workers have more accuracy than Drew Brees lately. But seriously, thank you Dr. S for handling sports so I could spend time with my family.

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JFP Top 25: Week 15

This is the last JFP Top 25 football poll until after the BCS National Championship Game on January 7.

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A New Twist on an Old Classic

For some families in Jackson and around the world, there are five seasons in the year, the fifth being The Nutcracker Season.

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Beloved Friends

I spent two weeks in Turkey this summer mostly traveling on a bus with a group of Christian, Muslim and Jewish people.

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Gift of Music

The Christmas holiday season is yet upon us. Some of you look forward to this time of year, while others dread it like the plague. Before things get too crazy with holiday happenings, go ahead and mark your calendars for these upcoming events.

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Blurring Lines

It's a work so powerfully felt and so intensely expressed that somewhere along the way you feel better about the world.

An Artful Approach to Learning

Each time the Jackson Free Press publishes one of the four annual arts preview issues, we are reminded of the immense diversity and wealth of talent that abounds in Mississippi.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Fraud'

What people argue against are laws that potentially disenfranchise voters while having absolutely no demonstrable effect on voter fraud.

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True Gingerbread

Can you smell the gingerbread? One of the mainstays of the holiday season, it can be found everywhere in December in many forms.

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Triple-Duty Employee

Miss Doodle Mae: "Today, I celebrate my 8-year anniversary at Jojo's Discount Dollar Store."

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Abortion Clinic Owner Responds to Suit

The "Abortion Queen" has issued a proclamation: People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

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Hinds Jail Could be Privatized

The beleaguered Hinds County Detention Center at Raymond could come under new management—a private corrections firm.

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Nothing Like Live

One recent night, I found myself without any company or plans, and watched a movie at home, by myself. It was a very un-Girl-About-Town moment, I suppose. It also made me think about how different the experience of watching a movie from one's couch is from watching one in a theater full of fellow movie-goers.


"Thank you for publishing such an informative and educated article on the growing gap of wealth between the rich and the poor in Mississippi."

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For The Fashionista

Whether fringe, fur or straight-up funky, the Jackson metro's local boutiques and vintage shops are packed full of items that are on-trend this season—perfect to tuck under the tree for your little fashionistas.

Question o' the Week: What inspires you?

What inspires you?

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Wrap it Up

It doesn’t take much extra time (or money!) to take your stack o’ presents from so-so to whoa!

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You & JFP

Favorite Quotation: "In my Bible it doesn't say that money is the root of all evil, but the 'love of' money. I believe that to be true, and I believe the exact same about possessions."—Conrad Hilton

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You Don't Have to be a One-Percenter

The famous postman-art-collector, Herb Vogel said, "You don't have to be a Rockefeller to collect art."

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A Christmas Tradition

"'The Nutcracker' is a good first ballet for anyone to come see if anyone has never seen a ballet but is interested in the artform to see what it's all about," MMB's artistic director of 15 years, Jennifer Beasley, says.

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Schoolhouse to the Statehouse

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, youth from all over Mississippi will come to Jackson to talk to state legislators.

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A Polite Dance

At the Magnolia Ballroom Dancers' Association, couples gather to enjoy an evening spun around the dance floor.

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Striving For Magic

"I was trying to enter the adult society. After that happened, I realized if that was what it was all about then I didn't want to be (an adult) after all," Glennray Tutor says.

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The Truth About Obamacare

If you spent any amount of time listening to the nattering voices of the negative, chances are you've heard any number of rumors, lies and half-truths about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare or ACA. Allow us to help you sort it out.

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'Change Your World'

Harvard professor and political consultant Steve Jarding capped off last week's Mississippi Black Leadership Summit by telling a small group of students and community leaders what he believes it takes to be a leader.

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Rhonda Blasingame

Rhonda Blasingame got her first sewing machine when she was 8 and began sewing clothing.

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In the Name of Being 'Right'

Like it or not, we live in a society now where it's becoming harder and harder for people of opposite beliefs to coexist peacefully, particularly in the somewhat distanced atmosphere of social media.

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Culinary Star Heads to City Grocery

Jesse Houston is bringing fresh ideas to an iconic Mississippi eatery, City Grocery in Oxford.

10 Things to Know for Wednesday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about today.

Death Toll from Philippine Typhoon Nears 300

Stunned parents searching for missing children examined a row of mud-stained bodies covered with banana leaves while survivors dried their soaked belongings on roadsides Wednesday, a day after a powerful typhoon killed nearly 300 people in the southern Philippines.

AP Interview: UN Chief Blames Rich for Warming

Rich countries are to blame for climate change and should take the lead in forging a global climate pact by 2015, a deadline that "must be met," the head of the United Nations said Wednesday.

Analysis: Obama Could Risk Going Over 'Cliff'

It may be just a bluff or a bargaining ploy, but the White House is signaling that President Barack Obama is willing to let the country go over the "fiscal cliff," a hard-line negotiating strategy aimed at winning concessions from Republicans on taxes.

Highlights of White House, GOP Budget Plans

The Obama administration and House Republicans have unveiled their opening offers in talks to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

APNewsBreak: Feds Funnel Millions into Gulf Coast

Days before a newly formed council focuses on long-term Gulf of Mexico cleanup, a report released to The Associated Press shows that one federal agency has committed more than a half-billion dollars to the region in the past two years, nearly one-fifth of it on projects directly linked to recovery from the 2010 oil spill.

State Tourism Group Plans to Lobby for Funding

Tourism officials will ask lawmakers for more money next year to boost Mississippi's advertising efforts.

Citigroup to Cut More Than 11,000 Jobs

Most of them, about 6,200, will come from Citi's consumer banking unit.

Miss. Emergency Head: Streamline Disaster Recovery

The federal government should trim overlapping layers of bureaucracy to help speed recovery from large-scale disasters, the director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency told a congressional panel Tuesday in Washington.

Tuesday, December 4

Police Identify, Seek Suspects in Swell-o-phonic Robbery

The Jackson Police Department released the names of two men wanted in the robbery of Swell-o-phonic in Fondren last week.

100,000 Egyptians Protest President's Power Grab, Demonstrators Call It "Last Warning"

More than 100,000 Egyptians protested outside the presidential palace in Cairo on Tuesday, fueling tensions over Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi's seizure of nearly unrestricted powers and the adoption by his allies of a controversial draft constitution.

Miss. Men Plead Guilty to Hate Crimes Against African Americans

William Kirk Montgomery, 23, from Puckett, and Jonathan K. Gaskamp, 20, from Brandon, pleaded guilty today.

Netflix Edges out Starz, Pay TV, Will Air Disney Films Shortly After Theatrical Run

Netflix's video subscription service has trumped pay-TV channels and grabbed the rights to show Disney movies shortly after they finish their runs in theaters.

U.S. Home Prices See Biggest Annual Gain Since 2006, Builders on Faster Pace

A measure of U.S. home prices rose 6.3 percent in October compared with a year ago, the largest yearly gain since July 2006. The jump adds to signs of a comeback in the once-battered housing market.

Police Have Suspect in NY Subway Push Death, NY Post Photo Of Victim Causing Growing Controversy

Police questioned a suspect Tuesday in the death of a subway rider pushed onto the tracks and photographed while he was still alive — an image of desperation that drew virulent criticism after it appeared on the front page of the New York Post.

NASA Says It'll Send Another Rover to Mars in 2020

NASA is headed to Mars — again.

Miss. Student Challenges Suspension Over Rap Song

A Mississippi school district contends it was justified to suspend a student for recording a rap song that educators believed would disrupt classes and was a threat to teachers.

Auditor Says USM Misused $5.3M in Katrina Aid

The Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General says it reviewed $12.2 million of the $41.1 million that USM received to rebuild its Gulf Park campus in Long Beach following the 2005 hurricane.

Judge Tosses Spill Claims Against Dispersant Maker

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled last week that federal laws shield Illinois-based Nalco Co. from liability over the government's use of Corexit after the 2010 spill.

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New Homes, Toys for Tots and City Networking

The city of Jackson and the Jackson Housing Authority will unveil the state's first solar-power-assisted affordable housing with a tour of the new Midtown Housing Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m.

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Larry Emmett

Larry Emmett, 55, co-founder of the Pizza Shack in Jackson, passed away last night following a battle with cancer.

10 Things to Know for Today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about today.

Judge Temporarily Blocks Calif. Gay Therapy Law

A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked California from enforcing a first-of-its-kind law that bars licensed psychotherapists from working to change the sexual orientations of gay minors, but he limited the scope of his order to just the three providers who have appealed to him to overturn the measure.

New Alzheimer's Drug Studies Offer Patients Hope

For Alzheimer's patients and their families, desperate for an effective treatment for the epidemic disease, there's hope from new studies starting up and insights from recent ones that didn't quite pan out.

Mars Rover Curiosity: No Surprise in First Soil Test

NASA's Curiosity rover has indeed found something in the Martian dirt. But so far, there's no definitive sign of the chemical ingredients necessary to support life.

GOP Issues a New 'Fiscal Cliff' Offer to Obama

House Republicans put forth a $2.2 trillion "fiscal cliff" counteroffer to President Barack Obama on Monday, calling for raising the eligibility age for Medicare, lowering cost-of-living hikes for Social Security benefits and bringing in $800 billion in higher tax revenue — but not raising rates for the wealthy.

CDC: U.S. Flu Season Starts Early, Could be Bad

Suspected flu cases have jumped in five southern states, and the primary strain tends to make people sicker.

Bryant says Miss. Should Avoid Aid to Startups

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says it's too risky for the state to invest in startup companies like failed solar equipment firm Twin Creeks.

Monday, December 3

GOP Counters Obama on Fiscal Cliff: Cut Social Security and Medicare

House Republicans on Monday proposed a new 10-year, $2.2 trillion blueprint to President Barack Obama that calls for increasing the eligibility age for Medicare and lowering cost-of-living hikes for Social Security benefits.

News Corp. to Split into Two, Create New "Fox Group" for Movies and TV

News Corp. said Monday that its new publishing company will keep the News Corp. name, while its separate media and entertainment company will be renamed Fox Group.

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Hinds Looks at Jail Privatization

After a series of high-profile incidents at Hinds County's Raymond Detention Center that sometimes bordered on comical, the county will look at the possibility of privatizing some or all of the jail's operations.

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How Cellphone Companies Have Resisted Rules for Disasters

In a natural disaster or other emergency, one of the first things you're likely to reach for is your cellphone.

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Hollis Watkins

Hollis Watkins has dedicated his life to serving the people of his community.

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Community Events and Public Meetings

The Welcome Reception for Dr. Lawrence T. Potter Jr. is Dec. 7, 4-6 p.m., in Ayer Hall at Jackson State University.

10 Things to Know for Monday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about today.

Glance: Implementation of Health Law by State

An early look at the routes states are taking to implement President Barack Obama's health care law, including health insurance exchanges and expansion of Medicaid coverage, along with the number of people in each state who don't have health insurance.

Suit Filed Over Greenwood Doctor's Prosecution

Greenwood oncologist Arnold Smith has asked a federal judge to throw out a capital murder charge related to a shootout at a local law office.

Obama Taking Tough Stand on Fiscal Cliff Talks

The White House has laid out its vision for pulling back from the looming "fiscal cliff" and now demands that opposition Republicans get specific about their plan to prevent what many economists predict would mean a return to recession and spiking unemployment in a still-fragile U.S. economy.

Veterans' Gun Rights Sticky Issue in Defense Bill

Should veterans deemed too mentally incompetent to handle their own financial affairs be prevented from buying a gun?

Brinksmanship on Obama Medicaid Expansion for Poor

It's health care brinksmanship, with hundreds of billions of dollars and the well-being of millions of people at stake.

Entergy Completes $206M Purchase of Power Plant

Entergy Mississippi says it has completed its $206 million purchase of a Jackson power plant.

AP IMPACT: China Overtaking U.S. as Global Trader

Shin Cheol-soo no longer sees his future in the United States.

In Search of the Salamanders

On cold, dreary winter nights, tall flashing caution lights along a rocky stretch of the Natchez Trace Parkway will warn drivers to brake for salamanders.

Sunday, December 2

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10 Local Stories of the Week

There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them.

Saturday, December 1

History Marker Placed at Old Neshoba County Jail

A Mississippi historical marker has been placed at the old Neshoba County jail site in Philadelphia where three civil rights workers were held hours before they were ambushed and killed by Ku Klux Klansmen in 1964.