Stories for May 2012


Thursday, May 31

It's Campaign Season (Again)

Yes, I know, it seems like it's always campaign season, which means that those flyers will soon be filling your mailboxes and emails will be filling your inboxes and ads will be filling your Facebooks (if they aren't already).

County-level Dems Switch to GOP

In light of President Barack Obama's affirmation of same-sex marriage earlier this month, seven former Democrats decided to go play for the other team.

Jackson Tourism Weathers a Tough Economy

Last year, an estimated 3 million people visited Jackson's tourist spots, events, festivals and conventions, spending more than $294 million.

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Holly Smith

Holly Smith has fond memories of her father, who passed away two years ago from Alzheimer's disease. He was an electrician with a love of history and an outgoing, friendly man. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in his early 60s and passed away at age 68. Smith's aunt has also been diagnosed with the disease.

Wednesday, May 30

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A Few Green Flecks Never Hurt Anyone

I guess you could say I'm a picky eater. I still don't eat my vegetables, and to this day I have a weird thing about eating tomatoes that are bigger than diced-size pieces. I also firmly believe that the slightest taste of olives promptly ruins everything.

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Anna Franklin's Teacakes

When she was alive, Polkville, Miss., resident Anna Franklin used her teacakes to comfort the bereaved. "Everybody who went into the coffee room at Ott and Lee Funeral Home in Morton knew Anna Franklin had been there," my mom said. "She brought teacakes to the funeral home every time she heard about a death in the community."

Keeping Bees

Here's a term that has gained popularity in the past couple of years: urban homesteading. It means making your property, or "homestead," as self-sufficient as possible, regarding food and supplies, while living in an urban setting.

No Room? Look Up!

For would-be urban farmers, the solution to lack of space may be as simple is looking up.

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Best Friends

Wedding season isn't always a walk in the park for us southerners. Usually the heat and humidity begins to creep its way in, turning any outdoor wedding celebration into a sweat marathon.

Chic at Security

I was at the security checkpoint in the airport last week with approximately 14 minutes until my departing flight. Of course, as fate would have it, I was trapped behind someone who had to de-robe from lace-up wedges and remove 97 bracelets. I'm all about accessories, but in this situation it's important to remember that it is possible to be stylish and comfortable without lots of extras while traveling.

Travelin' Band

Whether he is opening for Eric Church in front of 20,000 people or headlining a Friday night show at Hank's Texas Grille in McKinney, Texas, Blackberry Smoke frontman Charlie Starr is at home on the stage.

The Sound (Guys) of Music

While many of us attend concerts and festivals to hear great live music, it is common to forget that it's not only the band making great music, but it's the behind-the-scenes sound engineers (aka "the sound guys") that help create that music so dear to our hearts.

Feeling the Grooves

I bought my first record in 2011. My friend and I saw a stack of them in a bin at a second-hand store and decided, on a whim, to buy a couple of Stevie Wonder records and one from Aretha Franklin. We didn't have a turntable, so we went to the electronic section of the store and picked out an old one.

The Best In Sports in 7 Days

The London Olympics are quickly approaching. The games start July 27. Lolo Jones from the U.S. could be a star as a female 60- and 100-meter hurdler.

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Living a Dream

What a pleasure to witness a boy with a big vision and then see him live his dreams as a man. Jason Campbell, NFL quarterback, is doing just that.

Cry Me a River, NFLPA

Is it just me, or does NFL news never stop anymore? When someone says it is NFL offseason, I have to ask, "What offseason?"

City Acts to De-sludge Lagoons

Three 19-acre lagoons at the Savanna Street Waste Water Treatment Plant have been filling up with sludge for years. But changes to state environmental regulations are forcing the city to finally purge the semi-solid gunk from the treatment facility.

Create a ‘Club Newsletter' for your Biz or Group

I am surprised when I find a local business or organization—restaurant, retailer, non-profit—that isn't using an email newsletter service to reach their loyal customers and clients. Email newsletters offer a wonderful opportunity to follow up with clients, reminding them of sales, trunk shows, happy hours, bands, giving opportunities and more.

Getting Past the Rhetoric of Hate

Here in Mississippi, our history is filled with people, events and creations that stir pride in us. Sadly, our history also contains wrongs, violations and prejudices that cast a long, shameful shadow over our state.

Vol. 10, No. 38

Make Charter Improvements Now

In a recent column, ("Why Charter Schools Died," Vol. 10, Issue 34, May 2-8, 2012) state Rep. Cecil Brown laid out the many flaws with the charter-school bill proposed this past legislative session. Indeed, he made it sound like it would have been an act of irresponsible deregulation verging on corporatism. But before adopting a better charter system, Mississippi should take a deeper look at the value charter schools provide. First, they are testing grounds for new pedagogical approaches. Charter schools can, and typically do, use a strong culture to implement more creative approaches to curriculum, rigid systems of discipline, and extensive parent and community involvement than traditional public schools. Second, they replace low-performing public schools, often (but not always) producing superior results.

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Why Write for the JFP?

Ugh! He's in my office again, with his holier-than-thou arrogance, his buffed-up hair and skin so alabaster he can't have ever seen the sun! What does he want this time? He's complaining about something. I do that thing where I look the speaker in the eyes and nod like I'm engaged, but my mind is elsewhere (note to self: middle daughter has caught on and extracted quite a bit of money from me last time).

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Stolen Lives: Remembering the Tragedy of Slavery

An Instrument of Change

A half moon disappeared as the sun rose out of the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 1, 1832. The humid coastal winds filled the sails and carried the ship through the waves as J.W. Martin captained the Schooner Wild Cat, a 40-plus ton sailboat, out of the port of Charleston, S.C.

Big Plans, Little Progress

The U.S. Congress established the Lower Mississippi Delta Development Commission as an independent, public advisory commission with the Rural Development, Agriculture and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of October 1, 1988.

More Than Alright, in the End

"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," based on Deborah Moggach's novel, "These Foolish Things," meditates on life after retirement. The movie blends touches of Eastern philosophy with British wit and irreverence.

Play in a Store

I was dubious about theater performed in a drug store, but I decided to get the full experience of Fondren Theatre Workshop's Playwright Night. I walked into Brent's Drugs to find a cozy, friendly diner complete with teal vinyl booths and a milkshake bar.

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From the Sidewalk to the Gallery

In 2005, Scott Sorensen was living in a three-bedroom house with his wife and had a decent job. Now, he lives in a tent in a friend's backyard and sells original art out of his backpack.

Summer in the City (for kids)

Many school-weary kids anticipate summertime, but it can be a difficult time for parents who work and need to figure out summer child care and other plans to keep their kids busy and happy.

Attend the JFP Chick Ball Happy Hour Thursday, May 31, 6 to 8 p.m.

Join the JFP, the Center for Violence Prevention and the Chick Ball Committee for a free JFP Chick Ball happy hour Thursday, May 31, at Hal & Mal's downtown (200 S. Commerce St.). We'll provide great munchies (yes, lots of fried stuff and more), and we'll buy you a drink if you sign up to volunteer or donate to the Chick Ball effort this year. We'll buy you two drinks if you bring a donation check (in any amount over $10) or a gift or piece of art for the silent auction (or drop it at the JFP in advance of happy hour).

Seven Dems Flip to GOP

• Jones County Justice Court Judge David Lyons

At a noon press conference at Mississippi Republican headquarters, the state party took the sheet off its newest additions: Seven county-level officials who were elected as Democrats officially joined the Republican Party. According to the Mississippi GOP, those officials include:

Dr. Carl Reddix Talks About Political Realities

Dr. Carl Reddix wasn't looking for national media attention when he agreed to serve on the Mississippi Board of Health, but if it has people talking about public-health policy in Mississippi, he'll take it.

A Heart for Survivors

In 2007, she began to feel unwell, she said. She was inexplicably losing weight, was feeling nauseous and had developed what she called a shiny, itchy spot on her left breast. She brushed it off as sadness despite the protestations of her family and friends. Then, in December of that year, an old friend, Leroy Walker, who hadn't seen her in months, told her, "Stephanie, you're sick."

Pop Love Letter

Love is at the heart of New Stage Theatre's production of "The Marvelous Wonderettes"--love of music, love of friends past and present, and the enduring love affair we have with popular songs. The pop song, with its familiar, catchy tune and lyrics that convey the most relatable emotions, is the driving force behind New Stage Theatre's "The Marvelous Wonderettes."

The Pursuit of Excellence

Every now and then, I have to lighten up in this space. Rather than taking on the troubles of the world or trying to pull at your heart strings with serious commentary about something amiss in the state of Mississippi, I feel a calling to talk about the Jackson Free Press and our staff this week.

Kelly Engelmann

She's more than just a familiar face with a fancy job title; she's helping Mississippians heal and age gracefully. Kelly Engelmann, owner and family nurse practitioner at Enhanced Wellness in Jackson, is dedicated now, more than ever, to women's health.

Tuesday, May 29

June 22, 2012 - Friday


Morningbell Records - Mike Ford 7 p.m.

June 21, 2012 - Thursday


Cherokee Inn - D'lo Trio

June 20, 2012 - Wednesday


Ole Tavern - Karaoke

June 19, 2012 - Tuesday


Hal & Mal's - Pub Quiz

June 18, 2012 - Monday


Hal and Mal's - Central MS Blues Society 7 p.m. $5

June 17, 2012 - Sunday


Hot Shots, Byram - Mike and Marty's Jam Session

June 16, 2012 - Saturday


Martin's - The Gills with Spacewolf and JAG 10 p.m.

June 11, 2012 - Monday


Hal and Mal's - Central MS Blues Society 7 p.m. $5

June 9, 2012 - Saturday


Duling Hall - The Cave Singers w/ Liver Mousse

June 8, 2012 - Friday


The Penguin - Amos Brewer (saxophonist) 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Feds Bust Pair for Hiring Undocumented Workers


Paul and Barbara Love of Ridgeland each pleaded guilty to federal charges related to hiring undocumented immigrants, said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi Gregory K. Davis. Sentencing will take place in August.

Jackson City Council Talks Crap

Jackson is finally getting its crap together. More specifically, the city is finally addressing the years-long problem of accumulating waste, or sludge, at the Savanna Street Waste Water Treatment Plant.

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Events to Benefit CARA

McAlister's Deli plans to use the grand reopening of its Maywood Mart location next week as a fundraising opportunity for a local charity. Everyone who visits the restaurant June 5 and donates a bag of dry dog food to Community Animal Rescue and Adoption will receive a voucher for a free meal on their next visit to the Maywood location.

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Biz Roundup: CARA

McAlister's Deli plans to use the grand reopening of its Maywood Mart location next week as a fundraising opportunity for a local charity. Everyone who visits the restaurant June 5 and donates a bag of dry dog food to Community Animal Rescue and Adoption will receive a voucher for a free meal on their next visit to the Maywood location.

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Persons of the Day: Batson Hospital's Congenital Heart Surgery Team

Treating children's heart defects can be a harrowing experience. The most serious conditions require long hospital stays and multiple surgeries. One local surgeon says his team is achieving good results in treating the most complex heart defects, even in patients that statistically do worse than others.

Friday, May 25

BREAKING: JPS Agrees to Overhaul Discipline Policies, Settles Lawsuit

Good news! The Southern Poverty Law Center just emailed this statement, pasted in its entirety:

JACKSON, Miss. – The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announced today that a federal judge has approved a settlement agreement with Jackson Public Schools (JPS) to reform discipline policies across the district and to end the brutal practice of handcuffing students to railings and poles for hours at a time as punishment for minor rule violations.

JRA Says Ugly Garage Ramp Must Go

Jackson Redevelopment Authority board members agree something needs to be done with the unsightly Jackson Place parking garage ramp on Capitol Street. However, they don't seem to know just what to do.

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Ronnie Agnew

Ronnie Agnew graduated from Ole Miss with a degree in radio/television journalism, then spent the next 27 years working in newspapers, including a nine-year stint as the first black executive editor at the Clarion-Ledger, before he started working in broadcasting.

It's the Weekend!

Today, Kennith Humphrey's art exhibit at Brown's Fine Art (630 Fondren Place) hangs through May 31. Entry is free; call 601-982-4844. Overnight Lows, The Bills and Turn It Off perform at CS's. The Jason Turner Band plays at Ole Tavern. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity's White Party at The South (627 E. Silas Brown St.) includes music from Sonja Stamps at 8 p.m. ($35 in advance) and the party with music from deejays is at 10 p.m. ($20 in advance). Call 601-503-7625 or 601-672-2914. Nightmare Boyzzz plays at Sam's Lounge. The Daniel Karlish Trio performs at Martin's at 10 p.m. Need more options? See our Best Bets.

Thursday, May 24

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Cause of Private Prison Melee Disputed

What we know about this past weekend's events at the Adams County Correctional Center, a private federal prison in Natchez, is that a group of prisoners briefly took control of parts of the facility, held approximately two dozen staff members hostage and beat several employees. One correctional officer, Catlin Carithers, died during the uprising.

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Supporters Rally for Gay Rights

"Same-sex marriage may not be legally recognized in our state, as of yet, but it is not illegal to hold a wedding commitment ceremony," Clay Curry said Tuesday to about 20 supporters rallying at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum.

Wednesday, May 23

Michael Duke

On a return trip home to Jackson during Michael "Mike" Duke's first summer as a University of Alabama student, he was involved in a car accident that would change his life forever. After regaining consciousness, he found that he had to learn to read, write, talk and paint all over again. "I was reborn," Duke says. "I was given two chances at life, when most people only get one."

I Don't Want To Grow Up

I was shooting ball at the gym a couple weeks ago with Joe, an old classmate. When he started complaining of minor chest pains and shortness of breath, I suggested that we go to the emergency room. He refused, saying it was no big deal.

I Want To Stay Young Forever

Not all children and adolescents want to "grow up" psychologically. Instead, regardless of the economy, they choose to stay at home with their parents, creating stress and burdens for their families and, in some cases, doing irreversible damage.

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The Defense Wears Black

"Do I have anything to wear?" I wondered. It's not an uncommon quandary I face, but this time, it wasn't in preparation for a night out or special event.

Rockin' for the Puppies

The Unbroken Chain Benefit Concert is going to the dogs––or at least, the proceeds are. On May 31, at 7:30 p.m., the Mississippi Animal Rescue League will host the concert fundraiser at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.).

Inspiration, Indeed

The melodies of gospel music were a constant staple during my childhood, whether it played softly while my mother read her Bible or my dad sang its refrains while doing the dishes. Gospel music feeds and stirs the soul.

A Win or a Wait?

Saturday, May 19, saw a thrilling finish at the Preakness Stakes as I'll Have Another charged ahead of Bodemeister to win the second leg of the Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby winner became the next horse with hopes of becoming a Triple Crown winner, the first in 34 years.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

This past Saturday was one of the best sports days this year. I'll Have Another, the San Antonio Spurs, Chelsea in the Champions League Final and the Oklahoma City Thunder all had big comeback wins.

Unique Food Finds: Oxtails

The world of food is riddled with the contributions of countless cultures, languages, and centuries of morphing and modification. One such area that has been especially touched by language is the art of butchering, specifically when it comes to cattle.

Southern Un-Fried Chicken

When I was a little boy living on a farm in Mississippi, it seemed like we had chicken five days a week. We had chicken for breakfast cooked in gravy to go over our rice and biscuits. We had chicken and dumplings for dinner and then fried chicken for supper.

Back Home

I am not from Mississippi. That is, I was not born here. My momma and 'dem don't live here.

$8.6 Million Pipeline to Link Treatment Plants

Jackson officials say a new $8.6 million, 54-inch water main will help keep water pressure up during freezing weather and will move the city one step closer to closing the 98-year-old J.H. Fewell Water Treatment Plant.

JPS to Keep Accreditation for Now

Jackson Public Schools officially hired a new superintendent May 21 and got some good news on its accreditation status.

Cobby Williams, Young Gun

Cobby Mondale Williams has a classic Washington, D.C., resume. A Jackson resident since age 2, Williams graduated from Murrah High School and Jackson State University. He went to graduate school at Howard University in Washington, D.C., spent a year as an emissary to Ethiopia and worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as public-affairs specialist.

Boil Water Notice in South Jackson

The city of Jackson has issued a precautionary boil water notice for about 355 customers in south Jackson. The advisory is below, verbatim:

Wright Appointment Raises Concerns

At the Jackson Free Press, we believe strongly in second chances. People make mistakes, get caught up with the wrong crowd and follow the wrong people down the wrong rabbit holes.

[Stiggers] Satirist's Manifesto

I thought this would be a good time to write another reader's guide to my columns published in the Jackson Free Press. Since my last reader's guide, I continue to premiere new satirical characters that provide their opinions on the issues of the day.

[Kamikaze] Rich in Life

My oldest daughter graduated from high school this past Friday. It was a proud moment indeed, as she also finished as her class valedictorian. This fall, she'll be attending Jackson State University on a full academic scholarship.

[Atkins] Modern-Day Servitude

I was a lowly intern at a major newspaper up north, sitting at my desk in a corner plotting my day when a small, elderly, bespectacled man walked past me to a nearby telephone. Notebook in hand, he picked up the receiver and dialed.

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Art on the Gulf

Silvery, coppery structures twist among old live oak trees near the shore of the Mississippi Sound, close to where the Biloxi Schoon­er docks. This is the site of the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum, a complex of buildings that includes four metallic pods that torque like ancient, hurricane-battered trees. It also serves as a welcome center to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

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Gulf Coast Arts

Silvery, coppery structures twist among old live oak trees near the shore of the Mississippi Sound, close to where the Biloxi Schoon­er docks. This is the site of the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum, a complex of buildings that includes four metallic pods that torque like ancient, hurricane-battered trees. It also serves as a welcome center to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Awards, Awards, Awards: Cheers to JFP Staff, Freelancers

Yesterday was a very good day for the JFP staff, and especially our writers and designers. First we found out that we are finalists for three Association of Alternative Newsmedia awards. Being a finalist for AAN awards (and the others we found out about yesterday) means that we will find out in a few weeks what our placement is, and we are grateful whether we win first place or honorable mention! And cheers to all the other AAN (and Green Eyeshade) finalists; we are humbled to be in the honor of such talented people.

Life and Art on the Coast

The "Our Beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast ... A Way of Life" art exhibit features native Mississippians Lyle Peterzell's photographs and Kris Byrd's ceramic boats.

Creative Conversations

The creative community of Jackson has a new way to express itself through artistic means. On the third Monday of each month, all sorts of artists are welcome to show off and hone their skills at the Commons at Eudora Welty's Birthplace.

Write This

The Mississippi Writers Guild will hold its sixth annual writers' conference on Aug. 3 and 4 in Jackson. The guild, with the motto "No Writer without a Voice," was established in 2005 and is a charitable organization formed for the purpose of advancing and preserving the literary arts in Mississippi.

A Child's Dream

For most children, a trip to the zoo is an exciting weekend adventure––but for some, it can be frustrating and overwhelming to navigate. At "Dream Night at the Zoo," special-needs kids get a chance to monkey (and lion and bear) around at their own pace at the Jackson Zoo.

Passion for Fresh Produce

A s you near Doris Berry's original Jackson Farmers Market, your eyes immediately gravitate toward the bright, vibrant colors of the fruits and vegetables. Doris Berry's Farmers Market has been around for 63 years and is owned and operated by Berry and her family.

Crafty Men

A man's man. A burly man. The kind of man who likes to roll up his sleeves and ... craft? That's what the Mississippi Craft Center is counting on with Real Men Craft, an upcoming installment of their Discover series.

Lookin' Good

St. Dominic's Cancer Center's Look Good–Feel Better program uses certified cosmetologists who volunteer their time to teach female cancer patients beauty techniques to improve their self-image and appearance.

Bring Out the Inner Patriot

After three big-budget variations of "Transformers," anything with shifting metal parts, alien life forms and a hot girlie in distress triggers an involuntary poke-my-eye-out response.

No Pomp, Lots of Circumstance

Today marks my last day of online classes at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where I've spend the last three years studying graphic design. I won't fly to Pittsburgh next month for the graduation ceremony, but I'll be pleased as punch when my associate's degree arrives in the mail.

‘Sunshine Law' Pushes Costs Up

By the time the legislative session ended in early May, lawmakers had passed two controversial bills that are likely to result in expensive legal battles. One requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and be certified obstetrician-gynecologists, and another formally adopts the voter-identification constitutional amendment passed last fall.

Summer Festival Guide

As the temperature ratchets up and the youngsters (and not-so-youngsters) taste the sweet freedom of the school year's end, it begins to "officially" feel like summer. To me, summer just means great music festivals. If you didn't get out to those we covered earlier in the month, fear not - - Mississippi still has plenty of festivals for the rest of us.

Downtown Projects Move Ahead

New York-based developer Full Spectrum South is working on plans to purchase the property for the first phase of the Old Capitol Green project from the state by the end of June.

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Team of the Day: Rice Owls

The Conference-USA Baseball Championship comes to Trustmark Park in Pearl for the second year in a row. The championship starts today (Wednesday, May 23) until the championship game Sunday, when the best of C-USA will be on display.

Tuesday, May 22

Snakes Infest Jackson Cul-de-sac

Two Jacksonians have a dangerous problem most city residents rarely come across: snakes. Monday, they went to the City Hall to ask for help with the slithering pests.

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Catholics Sue Over Birth Control Rule

Jackson's Roman Catholic diocese, along with a dozen other Catholic organizations, have joined in a lawsuit with dozens other dioceses and groups nationwide contesting President Barack Obama's administration's rule to most health insurance plans to include birth control without a co-pay, co-insurance or a deductible.

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Persons of the Day: Mayor's Youth Council

A group of Jackson high-school students recently traveled to the nation's capital to learn about government and safe-driving policies.

Monday, May 21

JPS Accreditation Hearing Underway

Less than an hour after signing the contract to become Jackson Public Schools' next superintendent, Cedrick Gray was sitting in a hearing to determine whether or not the district will lose its accreditation.

Gray Signs Contract with JPS

Jackson Public Schools finally has a new superintendent. Dr. Cedrick Gray signed a contract this morning to take over as superintendent effective July 1.

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Gas in, Saggy Pants Out at Supervisor's Meeting

Everybody knows the price of gasoline is too darn high, but Hinds County District 5 Supervisor Kenneth Stokes believes some gas station owners are also "cheating us."

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Lynn House

The State Board of Education named Lynn House, Ph.D., interim State Superintendent of Education Thursday. Superintendent Tom Burnham will retire June 30.

Community Events and Public Meetings

Eighth Annual JFP Chick Ball July 28, 6 p.m., at Hal & Mal's (200 S. Commerce St.). The fundraising event benefits the Center for Violence Prevention, and this year's goal is to start a rape crisis center. For ages 18 and up. Seeking sponsors, auction donations and volunteers now. More details: and follow on Twitter @jfpchickball. Get involved, volunteer, and donate art, money and gifts at [e-mail missing]. $5 cover; call 601-362-6121, ext. 16.

Friday, May 18

Melton Bodyguard is Sheriff's Internal Affairs Chief

The person in charge of rooting out corruption inside the Hinds County Sheriff's Department is Marcus Wright, a former Jackson police officer and bodyguard to late Jackson Mayor Frank Melton.

Stadium of the Day: Smith-Wills Stadium

Baseball and fast-pitch softball fans should be excited this weekend. The high school baseball and fast-pitch softball state championships will be on the line this week.

It's the Weekend!

Research shows that low-income youth suffer significantly from a loss of academic skills over the summertime, resulting in losses that contribute to an achievement gap that can make the difference between whether students set out on a path for college or decide to drop out of high school. Saturday, May 19 at 12 p.m., Operation Shoestring and community partners are working against this trend by providing parents and students with fun activities to promote summer reading at the Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.), supplying the materials to continue these activities at home throughout the summer, and helping parents and students navigate the JPS Summer Reading Manual. There will be snacks, library card registration, story-telling time, and more. This event is open to the public. For more information, contact Robin Walker at 601-353-6336.

Thursday, May 17

Nick Hanauer's 'Controversial' TED Talk–Tax the Rich?

Then it's interesting to look around you at the economy and think... Huh.

Available in its entirety on YouTube, Nick Hanauer's 6-minute TED talk has proven controversial because TED doesn't want to post it. While some call it "political," it may simply be a clear, concise refutation of the idea that the "rich" are "job creators" that ought not be taxes. It's particularly poignant when you see where middle-class salaries have gone over the last 30 years of our Great Trickle-down Experiment, and where effective tax rates are.

Sagging Pants: Unsightly, sure, but illegal?

The City Council in Columbus passed an ordinance this week banning sagging pants, the Clarion-Ledger reported. The ordinance is a revision to the city's current indecent exposure policy and carries a penalty between $75 and $250.

Curious Louise

Louise Borden was looking through a copy of Publisher's Weekly in 1995 when she learned a curious fact. A short article mentioned that children's authors H.A. Rey and Margret Rey had escaped the Nazi occupation of France on bicycle carrying the first manuscripts of what would be "Curious George."

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Bryant Signs Voter ID Bill

Despite Gov. Phil Bryant signing the voter-identification bill recently passed in the Legislature, the measure isn't law just yet. The federal government still has to OK the controversial measure before it can take effect.

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Pro Hoops Comes to Jackson

This November, Jackson's new semi-pro basketball team will take the court as a member of the American Basketball Association.

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Rep. Andy Gipson

Here's why permitting gay marriage is "horrific social policy," according to Republican Rep. Andy Gipson of Braxton:

WTF, Rep. Nunnelee?!?

Who ARE you, and why would you do such a thing, Rep. Nunnelee, considering you come from state where domestic abuse is such an epidemic? I mean, Haley Barbour lets brutal domestic murderers go free early, and now you go against bipartisan support for a bill that fights domestic abuse? Seriously? What kind of message does this send to abusers back here in your home state?

Wednesday, May 16

Ora Reed's Simple Melodies

Ora Reed never thought she'd land in Asia when she struck out from Mississippi as a young adult, but she now calls both Jackson and Japan home. Born and raised in the Delta, jazz singer and musician Reed travels the world, spreading her Mississippi love across the globe.

Rockin' Babies

I love babies. I love the big ones, teeny ones, sweet ones and—best of all—the sleeping ones who belong to someone else.

Blind Faith

Being in the presence of a living legend is a significant experience.

More Than a Guitarist

Pierre Bensusan is not a guitar player. He is a composer who uses the guitar as his creative instrument, and he does it with complexity, precision and passion matched by few.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Did you wake up early Sunday and watch the English Premier League's final day? If not, you missed Manchester City win by scoring two goals in stoppage time against the Queens Park Rangers.

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Let It Fly

On a humid spring day, my wife, Lacey, and I walked into a metal building at LeFleur's Bluff State Park, just off Lakeland Drive. A casually dressed, middle-aged man greeted us.

Crown a True Champ

I am beginning to wonder if there is something to this Mayan calendar thing. The apocalypse might be upon us.

Edible Flowers for Small Spaces

Are you limited to an apartment windowsill or small balcony but still want to grow organic food to liven up your diet? Try edible flowers.

Fertilizing in planet-friendly ways

Now that you presumably have your organicgarden planted, whether in pots on an apartment balcony or a larger space, you will want to nurture it with fertilizers.

Winning the Burger Challenge

Constructing the perfect burger is a fine art. One must begin with the finest ingredients: patties hand-formed out of fresh, never-frozen beef, delectable seasonings, a light and fluffy bun and a host of world-class toppings. Ingredients in hand, the cooking and building process can begin.

Cake fit for a King

My mother was one of the best cooks in the world. On any given day, she could make a meal fit for a king. Mother had her own natural rhythm—her own unique swag, if you will. She would sing the hymns and praise God while simultaneously cooking for 15 people, myself included.

Seersucker Friday

When @FlyJFP Twitter followers make a request, I try my best to deliver. I hear that there are people around town who adhere to the rules of Seesucker Fridays from Easter to the end of the summer. So when they asked for a spread, I was out the next day scouring the city for all the seersucker I could find.

Boys Will Be Boys

I don't manage to get out of the office often these days for lunch. But Friday I was in the mood for a Two Sisters veggie plate (probably had something to do with the staff party the night before, but I digress).

Three Days in June

One spring afternoon in 2001, Jan Michael Brawner slipped into the home of his ex-in-laws, Jane and Carl Craft, in rural Tate County, and stole a .22-caliber rifle.

Mayor Refutes Business Challenges

In announcing their candidacies for mayor of Jackson, Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba and Ward 4 Councilman Frank Bluntson made changing the city's business practices front and center in their campaigns.

Ah, the Cloud

You're probably getting good and tired of hearing about "the cloud"—and no one could blame you. The problem is, it's not going away.

To Do Its Job, Council Must Show Up

Jackson has a strong-mayor, weak-council structure. Some City Council members seem to want to weaken their own power even more by not attending meetings and work sessions—or leaving early when they do attend.

Brown Rings Hollow

Vice President for Policy, Mississippi Center for Public Policy, Jackson

Rep. Cecil Brown's explanation as to why he opposed charter-school legislation this session ("Why Charter Schools Died," Vol. 10, Issue 34, May 2-8, 2012) rings hollow given that he was the sole sponsor of a bill in 2010 (HB 30) that would have allowed charters to open anywhere in Mississippi, in any district, upon approval by either the state Board of Education or the local school board.

City Moves Forward with Redistricting Contract

After a polarized discussion about the city's ward-redistricting hire, Jackson City Council Rules Committee Chairman Quentin Whitwell decided Thursday to move forward with the Council's December decision to hire D.L. Johnson Consultants LLC.

Benefits of Inmate Labor

When I met Haley Barbour he was running for governor for the first time in 2003. It was at the Black Hawk political rally here in Carroll County. I have to give him credit: He is good at the one-on-one politics required at settings like the one here. I believe that he is as much at ease whether at a rural political rally or a corporate boardroom. A year ago, I figured he would be making national headlines when 2012 came around.

Cooper-Stokes Walks Out

Councilwoman LaRita Cooper-Stokes of Ward 3 opposed the talk about possibly rescinding D.L. Johnson Consultants' redistricting contract with the city from the start of a Rules Committee meeting Thursday. When Whitwell called another consultant to the podium to speak, Cooper-Stokes walked out of the meeting.

Wilkinson Redistricting Behind, Too

Supervisors in Wilkinson County hired D.L. Johnson Consultants in January 2011 to head the county's redistricting. To date, Johnson has not turned in any proposals to the U.S. Department of Justice for the county.

[Outlaw] Yes. We. Can.

There was a weight on me—a black cloud that threatened all manner of lightening and rain, and I just couldn't shake it. "This," I thought to myself, "this will never end unless someone who matters stands up for us."

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Charter Schools Rock?

Long a political lightning rod, are charter schools the key to solving the state's education woes?

Curious About George

Art lovers of all ages, if you find yourself with an hour or so to spare, meander down to the Mississippi Museum of Art for the exhibit "Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H. A. Rey" that opened March 3. If you can wrench yourself away from the lovely spring weather out in the museum gardens, you can enjoy stepping into the pages of a children's literature classic.

Sara Del Castillo

"I really feel that if we can all get organized, this can be a safe space for immigrants in Mississippi," says Sara Del Castillo. She hopes Mississippi will become a haven for immigrants and that education will be attainable for everyone, including undocumented immigrants.

Small Mementos

The Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St., 601-576-6920) highlights three powerful Mississippi women in a new exhibit that continues through the end of June.

Pooh and Friends

"You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes." A. A. Milne, "Winnie-the-Pooh"

Burton's Bag of Schtick

"Blood is thicker than water," says Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), the eloquent lord of an idyllic New England fishing port. Barnabas' voice lingers through gorgeous, haunting images created by director Tim Burton of a gothic past where entrepreneurial seamen make riches beyond expectations and a blonde beauty adorned in baby-blue satin sinks to the bottom of the ocean floor.

Drum Beat Boating

The beats of a drummer will encourage 48 crews as they race to victory in this year's Dragon Boat Regatta on the Ross Barnett Reservoir. The fourth annual race, hosted by the Madison Chamber of Commerce, takes place Saturday, May 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dog Day Afternoons

Are dogs your thing? Is Fido acting squirrely and out of sorts? If the mail delivery no longer excites him and he lets the UPS driver come and go without a peep, perhaps he needs some doggone companionship.

‘Day Off' in the Art Garden

Are you looking for a good laugh? Do you want to watch a feel-good film with a light-hearted look at the proverbial coming of age?  Has it been 30 years since you've seen "Ferris Bueller's Day Off?" Have you never seen it? Were you confused about the Honda CRV Super Bowl commercial with Matthew Broderick in it? "Broderick? Broderick? Broderick?" If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then by all means go to the "Screen on the Green Thursday, May 24, at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, May 15

One Lake Set to ‘Run Pretty Rapid'

The ongoing saga for a lake to control flooding in Jackson and provide economic-development opportunities on the Pearl River will reach a milestone this week.

Biz Roundup: Doing Good

Mary Amelia McRee had been renovating houses in the Belhaven area for several years when a house in Fondren, which had been for sale for a while, caught her eye. Instead of just buying the house and flipping it, she decided to keep it and turn it into a place that would benefit animals in the Jackson area.

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Daniel McMullen

"The men and women of law enforcement--federal, state and local--are bound together by our common vocation, but it is more than just a job. It is more than just a career. It is more than just a profession. It is a personal mission. It is a mission that requires deep commitment. Indeed, commitment to duty and honor is at the very heart of what it means to be a member of the law enforcement community."

8th Annual JFP Chick Ball Set for Saturday, July 28, 2012

The 8th Annual JFP Chick Ball is raising money to help the Center for Violence Prevention start a rape crisis center. Center Director Sandy Middleton chose the focus for this year's fundraising effort because sexual assault is an epidemic in Mississippi, and far too resources are available to help the victims. As always, the JFP Chick Ball will be a fun and funky event with a cover charge of only $5 for men and women 18 years of age and older. Once inside, you will find all sorts of fun ways to help raise additional funds, including the city's best silent auction with well over 100 gift packages and art by local artists to bid on. In the past, the JFP Chick Ball has funded a new mini-van for the center, raised start-up funds for the area's first (and subsequently very successful) batterer's intervention program, set up a legal fund to help families escape abuse and funded rural programs around the metro area.

National Bicycle Month Events

May is National Bicycle Month, and local organizations are planning a series of events to raise awareness of the need to make Mississippi more bicycle friendly.

Monday, May 14

Gov. Bryant Signs Biz Bills

Let's say a meteorite crashed to Earth and landed on the Jackson Free Press' offices, resulting in a broken pinky toe on my left foot. According to a new state law, it would be up to me to prove to my bosses that I wasn't high as a kite when said celestial projectile descended on Fondren.

Family Remembers a Fallen Hero

Benjamin Brown was a 22-year-old activist in 1967 when law enforcement officers shot him once in the back and again in the back of the head during a civil-rights demonstration near the campus of Jackson State.

Three Could Face June Execution

Mississippi death-penalty opponents expect that three men will lose key appeals today, and expect each to receive a June execution date.

Bev Perdue

Mississippians are crying foul after North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat, compared her state, which voted to ban same-sex marriage last week, to Mississippi.

Community Events and Public Meetings

Eighth Annual JFP Chick Ball July 28, 6 p.m., at Hal & Mal's (200 S. Commerce St.). The fundraising event benefits the Center for Violence Prevention, and this year's goal is to start a rape crisis center. For ages 18 and up. Seeking sponsors, auction donations and volunteers now. More details: and follow on Twitter @jfpchickball. Get involved, volunteer, and donate art, money and gifts at [e-mail missing]. $5 cover; call 601-362-6121, ext. 16.

Friday, May 11

Earle Banks to Run for State Supreme Court

Rep. Earle Banks announces candidacy for Mississippi Supreme Court

State Rep. Earle Banks, D-Jackson, just sent out a press release announcing his intention to run for Mississippi Supreme Court Justice in District 1, which Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. now represents. Here's the full release:

GOP Mad at Suggestion Mississippi is Anti-Gay

Some Mississippians are incensed at North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue for comparing her state's recent successful ballot initiative defining marriage as between a man and a woman to Mississippi -- whose Constitution also defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Help Lavaree Jones get life-saving surgery

Rickey Cole just sent out this call for help. Please do what you can. Verbatim:

We are having a Radio-Thon on WMPR-90.1 FM on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. to raise money to help Lavaree Jones receive life saving heart surgery. As you may know, Lavaree is a pioneering Jackson business woman, Democratic political activist and community organizer. She has served the Jackson and Hinds County Community for over 30 years as a real estate professional, and active community citizen.

Farish in 2012?

Jacksonians have heard plans, proposals and promises about a reborn Farish Street for the better part of two decades. Less than four years after purchasing the project from Performa, Watkins Development LLC may deliver four pieces of the puzzle in 2012.

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Leniece T. Davis

If black political and civic engagement was a hospital patient, doctors might say it was in critical but stable condition.

It's the Weekend!

Today, the Four Seasons of the Cedars Spring Art Show at The Cedars Historic Home (4145 Old Canton Road) closes. The event is free; call 601-366-5552. The Mississippi Mama Show featuring artwork kicks off at 5 p.m. at Brent's Diner and Soda Fountain (655 Duling Ave.); it continues May 12. The event is free and artwork is for sale; call 601-954-2147. The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra's Pepsi Pops is at 5:30 p.m. at Old Trace Park (Post Road, Ridgeland). Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the gate, $5 for children 4-18 and free for children under 4; call 601-960-1565. Relay for Life is at 6 p.m. at Historic Canton Square. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. Registration fees vary; call 662-549-3729. Ahmad Rashad, Saddi Sundiata and others perform during Back to Basics at 9 p.m. at Suite 106. Need more options? See our Best Bets.

Thursday, May 10

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Mississippi Eyed for Voter Drive

An NAACP voter-registration campaign launched yesterday will target minorities, students and senior citizens in a dozen swing and southern states where voter identification laws have passed, including Mississippi.

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Students Learn Fiscal Literacy

Students at Forest Hill High School got a leg up on some of their peers for a skill that seems to grow more important every day--understanding financial stability and how to achieve it.

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Students Learn Financial Literacy

Students at Forest Hill High School got a leg up on some of their peers for a skill that seems to grow more important every day--understanding financial stability and how to achieve it.

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Players of the Day: Best College Baseball Player Finalists

The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is honoring Mississippi's best college baseball player Monday, May 15 with a luncheon. Three finalists will be at the luncheon, but only one will walk away with the C Spire Wireless sponsored Ferriss Trophy, named after legendary player and coach Boo Ferriss. The long-time Delta State coach played college baseball at Mississippi State before playing professionally with the Boston Red Sox.

Wednesday, May 9

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Stealing Ideas

It happens. Sometimes, a girl about town needs to get away. Also, sometimes she's dating a person who really, really wants to see Van Halen on tour. In my case, the two combined to result in a weekend road trip to St. Louis, Mo.

‘Get Lost While You Can Still Be Found'

On Circus of the Seed's somber, fan-favorite track, "Rain," vocalist and trumpeter Stephen Phillips sings, "I hope that you can swim so that you don't drown/My broken heart is going to flood this town/You better get lost while you can still be found."

Paul Thorn: Covering

With his 10th album release, "What The Hell is Goin' On?" Paul Thorn is doing things a little differently.

JFP Pick: The Starewells

Newly formed New Orleans-based band The Starewells is bringing their sound north to Mississippi to play with Rooster Blues at Old Tavern this Friday.

Just What I Needed

This Sunday, many of us will take time to honor our mothers. Mother's Day is the one day every year when we try to thank mom for everything she has done and continues to do for us.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Unlike some formerly employed sports writers, there is no doubt I am a real person. Now, being a good writer—that is up for debate.

Take Mom Out on Her Day

One of the best ways to show mom how much you care is to have someone else do all the cooking and cleanup on her special day. If your cooking skills won't fit the bill, take her to one of these Jackson-area restaurants for a scrumptious treat—along with cards, flowers, and maybe a mani and pedi.

The Heartbreak Grape

I never tried pinot noir until the movie "Sideways" intrigued me into buying a bottle. I haven't bought another merlot or cabernet since.

Mindfulness & Awakening: Consumer v. Curator Society

Futurist William Gibson, in his book of essays, "Distrust That Particular Flavor," (Putnam, 2012, $26.95) says: "We are all curators in the postmodern world, whether we want to be or not."

The Holy Earth, Sacred Space

"Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul." — The Koran

GPS for the Soul?

Arianna Huffington has announced that The Huffington Post has developed a smartphone app called "GPS For the Soul" to be launched in June that will "gauge the state of your mind, body and spirit, then automatically offer the exact steps you would need to take to realign all three aspects of your being."

Get Involved

Here are a few national and international organizations that provide opportunities for ways to become involved and to create local grassroots support that will bring remarkable transformation.

Image Of God

How do ideas affect our actions when it comes to wanting to change something in society? In this case, what kinds of ideas can make us want to take action to improve quality of life for everyone?

Be Rich and Live

Back in January, I boarded a flight returning from the Dominican Republic. When I fly, I rarely talk much to my fellow passengers, but since it was going to be a few hours, and I was in the middle seat, I decided we all ought to get to know one another because we might have to negotiate bathroom visits and such.

Islam and the Age of Reason

We've come to a time in history when we have forgotten the central role religion has played in the shaping of society. In fact, these are times that have brought unparalleled assaults on religion and religious ideas.

Notes from the Buddha

When I sat down to write about the Buddhist take on "doing good in the world," I began by searching for a few choice quotes from the Buddha himself. Being a contemporary sort of Dharma practitioner, I quickly pressed the power button on my MacBook.

Deep as My Bones

Mama froze. She was holding something, a towel I think it was, and her hand stopped in mid air. Her incessant motion on pause for a moment, she looked at me in disbelief, her brown eyes sad and soft.

2012 Legislative Session Ends

The mood in the Mississippi House chamber after Rep. Mark Formby made the motion to adjourn sine die was similar to the last day of school before summer vacation.

Don't Just Complain; Engage!

The Jackson Public Schools board meeting May 1 was packed. Parents and students who had recently learned about the district's rezoning plan lined the walls and stood in the halls to protest the plan, which will close schools and shift students around in the district.

[Stiggers] Hope and Ambition

Greetings, fellow hustlers. Welcome to the 'Work from Home without a Place to Live Entrepreneur and Job Search Seminar'—co-sponsored by the 'Lord Have Mercy We Really Need Work to Pay Our Bills Center for the Unemployed' and the 'Compensatory Investment Request Training and Development Support Group, L.L.C.

[Kamikaze] Keep Us Informed

Transparency, good communication, access to information, assurances, being proactive—these are a few traits I'm sure citizens expect out of those who hold leadership positions. Whether elected or appointed, a certain level of responsibility comes with certain positions.


As a white Mississippian, I feel ashamed of the Voter ID bill that just passed. Sen. John Henderson is right: no matter how it's dressed up, it's still Jim Crow. I hope the federal government declares it unconstitutional! There's no place for such limitations on voting in a real democracy.

[Queen] ‘A Place in the World'

"God Almighty created each and every one of us for a place in the world, and for the least of us to think that we were created only to be what we are—and not what we can make ourselves—is to impute an improper motive to the Creator for creating us." —Marcus Garvey

Strayin' to Fondren

You don't have to stray far from home to help build the city's creative economy and experience something new. A new arts and music festival is coming to Duling Green in Fondren to celebrate the beauty of Jackson and spotlight deserving artists and musicians from the city and beyond.

Tunes on the Res

If you're looking for a fun family night or date night filled with music and fireworks, head out to the 31st annual Pepsi Pops on the reservoir.

Pedal the Trace

Come out and enjoy a scenic bike ride on the beautiful Natchez Trace at the Natchez Trace Century Ride Saturday, May 12. This event is perfect for the whole family; all ages and ability levels are welcome. Even if you can't participate, volunteer or cheer on your favorite cyclist.

Parenting Advice with a Side of Anxiety

"Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers" by Dr. Marcy Axness offers a fascinating look into new research ranging from brain chemistry to human growth and development.

‘Where I Am, You May Not Harm'

Joan Chittister's voice fairly resonates with passion. Her broad smile belies a fierce intelligence and a barely disguised rage at injustice of any sort, especially over systemic injustices of poverty and the state of the world's women and children.

Councilmen to Battle Mayor on Business

Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba and Ward 4 Councilman Frank Bluntson have both put their name in the running to become the mayor of Jackson after next year's election. At the forefront of both early campaigns is a desire to change the city's business practices.

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Free State of Jones

Jones County is a study in duality. It has two courthouses in two county seats: Ellisville and Laurel. During the Civil War, the county supposedly seceded from the state of Mississippi and the Confederacy, a contested historical legend. Howard Industries boosted economic development in the county but, in 2008, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested almost 600 undocumented immigrants who worked there. It was the largest ICE raid ever.

Wilco: Blossoming from Mississippi Roots

As other band members have come and gone, John Stirratt and Jeff Tweedy have been the constant core of Chicago-based alt-country/rock band Wilco since its creation in 1994.

Neesee Ray-Scott and Amanda Purvis

It's not particularly common for people to do what they love and be successful at it, but that's just what mother and daughter Neesee Ray-Scott and Amanda Purvis do. Both are hairstylists at Upscale Images Salon. The salon has been in the family for about 17 years.

City Reconsidering Contract with Johnson

Members of the Jackson City Council Rules Committee are rethinking hiring D.L. Johnson Consultants LLC for the city's redistricting and asking the city attorney's office to look into the company.

Tuesday, May 8

Boil Water Notice in West Jackson

The city has issued a boil water notice for about 150 people in west Jackson. Here is the announcement, verbatim:

Rev. Jesse Jackson an Honorary Hinds Deputy

There's a new sheriff in town. Well, technically there's a new Honorary Deputy Sheriff Chaplain in town -- and his name is the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. The Hinds County Sheriff's Department posted 30 photos on its Facebook page of the longtime civil rights leader's swearing in as an honorary county cop yesterday.

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Mayoral Competition Begins

A divide between Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. and some City Council members has become more apparent at recent meetings. This week, the division officially became a competition.

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Biz Roundup: Farmers Market Boost

A new Mississippi law this year allows cities and counties to now donate money to local farmers markets.

Delbert Hosemann

Because of Mississippi's sordid history of trying to stop black people from voting, the U.S. Justice Department has to OK changes to voting laws in the state, including a recently adopted requirement that voters prove their identity before casting ballots on Election Day.

Monday, May 7

Bridge to Close

A bridge on Robinson Road Ext. will be closed for two days this week. From the city, verbatim:

Traffic Alert – Temporary Bridge Closure

Supervisors Stall Clinton-Byram Corridor

Hinds County has purchased all of the property needed for a proposed Byram-Clinton corridor and contractors have completed section 5, a 2-mile, 4-lane stretch from Terry Road to Davis Road in Byram.

Mississippi an ‘Arts State'

As far as literature and music are concerned, on a per-capita basis, Mississippi may be the most important state in the nation, said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.

Pity the Callaway High School basketball team. Speaking at Callaway this morning, the Rev. Jesse Jackson asked members of the championship squad to stand as he asked a series of questions related to their commitment to the sport. Jackson, who heads the Chicago-based Rainbow PUSH coalition, pressed the young athletes on how long and how often they practice, whether they're allowed to listen to music during practice, and if they're allowed to chat with their girlfriends during workouts.

Community Events and Public Meetings

Eighth Annual JFP Chick Ball July 28, 6 p.m., at Hal & Mal's (200 S. Commerce St.). The fundraising event benefits the Center for Violence Prevention, and this year's goal is to start a rape crisis center. For ages 18 and up. Seeking sponsors, auction donations and volunteers now. More details: and follow on Twitter @jfpchickball. Get involved, volunteer, donate art, money and gifts at [e-mail missing]. $5; call 601-362-6121, ext. 16.

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One Night at Fenian's

On Wednesday, May 2, a friend asked me to go to Fenian's. I agreed and prior to leaving my house I asked who else would be there. She told me House members would probably be there as it might be the last night of session.

Friday, May 4

Make Lemonade

How many people knew that tomorrow is Lemonade Day in Jackson? Children around the capital city will have lemonade stands set up as a way to learn about business and entrepreneurship. (Temperatures are expected to hit 90 degrees tomorrow, so hopefully the demand for lemonade will be high.)

Bailey Students Walk out of Class over Rezoning

About 30 students walked out of class this morning at Bailey Magnet High School to protest a rezoning plan that will divide and send them to different schools next year.

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One Lake a ‘Game Changer'?

Turtles like the proposed "One Lake" flood-control plan. Now developers just have to convince the U.S. Corps of Engineers and Jackson area residents who'll be affected.

It's the Weekend!

Today, Arts Alive! Kicks off at Smith Park (Yazoo St.) and runs through May 5. The annual festival includes music, food, and art exhibits. Performers include the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Legacy and Swing de Paris. Free admission; call 601-326-3450. The play "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf" debuts at 7:30 p.m. at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.) and runs through May 6. Tickets are $7 (cash or check); call 601-948-3533, ext. 222. See the play "Animal Farm" at 7:30 p.m. at Actor's Playhouse (121 Paul Truitt Lane, Pearl); runs through May 6. Tickets are $15, $10 for seniors and students; call 601-664-0930. Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas perform at 8 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall. Tickets are $48.50-$58.50; call 800-745-3000. The Banditos play at Ole Tavern. Need more options? See our Best Bets.

Thursday, May 3

Lumumba to Run for Mayor

Ward 2 City Councilman, attorney and community activist Chokwe Lumumba announced today that he will run for mayor of Jackson in 2013. Lumumba has continually stressed the disproportionate number of black business owners in an 80-percent African American city.

JPS Tries to Present Rationale for Rezoning

After voting last week to close one school and reorganize others, the Jackson Public Schools district is trying to explain the rationale for its decision.

Jackson Kicks Off Youth Fishing Initiative

Pecan Park Elementary student Kynedi Nichols stole the show with the first catch of the day at the kickoff of a new youth fishing initiative in Livingston Park at the Jackson Zoo Wednesday.

Team of the Day: Mississippi Brilla

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is one of the oldest soccer competitions in America. Yesterday, the U.S. Open Cup held its draw for placing teams in the tournament.

Wednesday, May 2

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Memorable and Thrifty

Recently, close friends of mine completed two days of ceremonial bliss at an unbelievably low cost. They held both the rehearsal dinner and the reception at the location of the wedding. This couple had unforgettable fun in creating eclectic fare for their reception.

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Married to the M.O.B.

Your best friends are supposed to be your biggest supporters, offering constructive guidance and support through the stressful wedding planning period. But oftentimes, even your best support systems buckle under the strain.

Pushing Forward

The Revelations may have a sound that's rooted in classic soul music, but don't expect them to show up in jumpsuits. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based group draws much of its musical inspiration from southern soul of the 1960s and '70s.

Never Too Old

For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to be some bad rock 'n' roll chick like Joan Jett shredding guitar licks or Bonnie Raitt with her amazing slide guitar playing. For years, I've tried to be a guitar player.

Festival Weekend

When I was in college, I was a music festival fanatic. Even though I'm older now, when I see the lineups for all the jam-packed music festivals in Mississippi, I still get giddy.

Drafted, or Not

The NFL Draft is over. In case you missed where the Mississippi players went, here is a quick analysis of players who were drafted and others who signed as undrafted free agents.

[The Slate] The Best In Sports In 7 Days

It's been 34 years since the last Triple Crown winner. On Saturday, 20 horses will begin a journey last won by Affirmed for horseracing's greatest prize.

Show Mom She's Special

Mother's Day (May 13) is coming fast. Are you ready? Although most moms would be satisfied with a hug and an "I love you" on their special day, we suggest you up the ante this year and show her how special she really is with a memorably great gift. Here are a few suggestions from around town.

The Lies We Tell

Last Friday's email brought this little gem to my inbox: Super PACs spent $23 million on deceptive or misleading advertising in GOP primary races, more than half of all advertising they purchased through April 3. Now, you might think that the SPACs aimed their big buckets of money at President Barack Obama, but no. Almost all of it was directed at fellow Republicans--Mitt Romney's PAC lying about Rick Santorum, Santorum's PAC misrepresenting Newt Gingrich's record, Gingrich spinning about Romney.

Few Fireworks Over Budget

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. Spent Monday, April 30, lobbying lawmakers to pass a bill to let the city to levy a small sales tax increase for infrastructure improvements. At first, the mayor's charm seemed to work on lawmakers. In less than 24 hours, everything had changed.

Women ‘Unite' for Rights

Mississippi's Unite Women march last Saturday felt more like a community picnic than a politically charged demonstration, as participants spread blankets under shade trees in front of the state Capitol's south steps and interspersed motivational speeches with musical interludes.

Your Springtime Backup Assessment

Did you know that every hard disk made has a specification called "mean time between failures" or MTBF? ("Mean," if you remember back to grade school, is the same as "average.") In other words, all hard drives fail eventually; it's just a matter of time.

Voter Shenanigans Could be Costly

A curious exchange took place between Rep. John Hines, D-Greenville, and Republican Speaker Philip Gunn of Clinton over the weekend, as the Legislature hammered a budget for state agencies.

Voter Shenanigans Could be Costly

A curious exchange took place between Rep. John Hines, D-Greenville, and Republican Speaker Philip Gunn of Clinton over the weekend, as the Legislature hammered a budget for state agencies.

Laughing All Over Again

Fans of the original Mel Brooks movie "Young Frankenstein"—or anyone who is just looking for a good time at the theater—should check out the Broadway musical coming to Thalia Mara Hall May 8 and 9. W. Kessler Ltd.

Cinco de Mayo: The Kid Version

If taking your kids out for virgin margaritas on May 5 isn't quite what you had in mind, consider attending the second annual Cinco de Mayo event at the Mississippi Children's Museum.

Forgotten Lore

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, / Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore," begins Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven."

Celebrating Jerry Clower

My first brush with Jerry Clower was in 1971 when I was in an Army barracks in Baumholder, Germany. Two of my platoon mates (still friends some 40 years later) were listening to a scratchy record on a portable, battery-operated record player.

It's Not Too Late to Plant

For those who have been thinking "I'd like to start an organic garden this year," it's not too late. Lots of folks plant during the first week in May.

What's in a Label?

When food shopping, how do you know what you're buying? You may be surprised at the misleading information on labels.

[Brown] Moving Forward

On May 5, Democrats from across the Third Congressional District of Mississippi will meet at the Golden Moon Resort in Philadelphia to elect their slate of leaders for the next four years.

[Brown] Why Charter Schools Died

It appears that all of the charter-school proposals are dead for this legislative session. These bills were defeated by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans in the House with the support of hundreds of school-board members, administrators, teachers, parents and civic leaders across the state.

[Barkley] Power of the Purse and the Pill

Women's personal economies have always been tied to their ability to control their reproduction.

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Apron Strings to Executive Chef

Nick Wallace told me stories as we drove to Edwards in April. There were gardens to see and people to meet, and all of them had a history.

Medical Corridor: Almost a Plan

The steering committee of the Jackson medical corridor, a proposed project that would stretch the length of Woodrow Wilson Avenue between Interstates 55 and 220, will soon have the first draft of the strategic plan for the project.

The Great American Grump Out

The official Great American Grump Out is today, May 2, and participants must vow not to be grumpy for the next 24 hours. Can you handle it?

JPS Accreditation Still Uncertain

Jackson Public Schools will have to wait a bit longer to find out whether it will lose or retain its accreditation status.

Beauty, Pain of Womanhood

Sometimes when people find that the play "For Colored Girls..." is going to be performed in their town, they think of the Tyler Perry adaptation. "I already saw the movie," they think. Perhaps they didn't like it and assume they won't like the choreopoem play either. But like the song by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell says, "Ain't nothing like the real thing."

Jayce Powell

Jayce Powell believes in the power of the bicycle to change lives. He considers himself "a lifestyle consultant" in his job as the store manager of Indian Cycle in Ridgeland. "We are passionate about cycling," he says.

Board Picks Gray for JPS Superintendent

The Jackson Public Schools board announced last night that it had selected Dr. Cedrick Gray to lead the district as its next superintendent.

That'll Do, Pig. That'll Do

I sat in my driveway, in my running car, staring at the thermostat. A week ago I'd been complaining about the cold snap and rain interfering with my ability to run. Now, after having missed the chance that morning, I was staring down the barrel of Ninety-Four degrees.

Tuesday, May 1

AG Lambastes Sunshine Bill

Here's the statement from Hood's office on the House's adoption of the bill's conference report:

The Mississippi House again debated a bill aimed at rolling back the powers of the state attorney general. And again, it passed. Dubbed the Sunshine Act, HB 211 lets state agencies circumvent the AG's office, who normally handles the state's legal affairs, and hire their own lawyers whenever the agency perceives a conflict of interest is present. Republicans who've pushed the bill claim that transparency is needed in the process of hiring private law firms to do contract work. To that rationale, Democrats say poppycock -- the bill is all about neutering the state's last Democratic statewide officeholder, Jim Hood, who doesn't always play nice with the state's Republican officeholders. Or, at least Hood doesn't always play how the GOP wants him to play. This morning, the House adopted the negotiated conference report on the bill. The Senate is still considering the conference report. If it's adopted, it will go to Gov. Phil Bryant's desk, where he's likely to sign it faster than you can say "Satan wins."

Two Pearl Police Officers Injured, One Killed

Three Pearl police officers were shot, leaving one dead and two injured, while they served a search warrant in building 25 of Colony Park Apartments Tuesday. Investigator Michael T. "Mike" Walter died at 11:56 a.m. at University of Mississippi Medical Center from gunshot wounds.

JPS to Close School Under Rezoning Plan

Jackson Public Schools plans to close one school next fall and reorganize others under a rezoning plan intended to account for population shifts in the city.

City's Deal with Siemens Makes Citizens Nervous

An agreement to evaluate the city's water and sewer system has many Jackson residents worried about an increase in cost to the public.

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Kenneth Wayne Jones

During a heated debate in early April over a bill to implement the voter-identification law voters said they wanted last fall, Sen. Kenneth Wayne Jones, a Democrat from Canton, warned that attempts to restrict minority voting rights always end up on the wrong side of history.