Stories for July 2015


Friday, July 31

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Young 'Gives a Darn'

Incumbent candidates usually have an edge, and in the Republican primary race for governor this year, Phil Bryant is an obvious favorite. That’s not deterring Mitch Young from running however, appealing to the common Mississippi-native and self-funding his campaign.

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Neshoba Roundup

Ahead of the primary elections on Tuesday, candidates for state-elected positions gave their annual speeches at the Neshoba County Fair this week.

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Vicki Slater for Governor

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Vicki Slater knows her way around Mississippi's legal and political circles and brings skills and insight to the Capitol that have been lacking for quite some time.

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Yarber Tasks Jackson's Youth with Shaping City's Future

The Jackson-area teens who recently took top prizes at a New Orleans technology competition had front-row seating at Mayor Tony Yarber's second State of the City address at the Arts Center of Mississippi on Monday.

Congress Heading on Vacation, Putting Off Messy Decisions

As lawmakers head out of the Capitol for a five-week summer recess, they leave behind a pile of unfinished business that all but guarantees a painful fall.

Despite Bombing, Islamic State is No Weaker than a Year Ago

After billions of dollars spent and more than 10,000 extremist fighters killed, the Islamic State group is fundamentally no weaker than it was when the U.S.-led bombing campaign began a year ago, American intelligence agencies have concluded.

Back to Beijing for 2nd Olympics in 14 Years

Throughout more than 120 years of Olympic history, no city has hosted both the winter and summer games. Now, Beijing will be the first do it — and in the span of just 14 years.

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Could Stop Virus in West Africa

An experimental vaccine tested on thousands of people in Guinea exposed to Ebola seems to work and might help shut down the ongoing epidemic in West Africa, according to interim results from a study published Friday.

House Speaker Protested by Flag Supporters at Neshoba Fair

About two dozen people who want to keep the Confederate battle emblem on the Mississippi flag held the banner in silent protest Thursday as Republican state House Speaker Philip Gunn spoke at the Neshoba County Fair.

Thursday, July 30

Mayor Tony Yarber's State of the City Speech

The full text of Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber's 2015 State of the City address at the Mississippi Arts Center.

Cellmate Charged in Jail Death of Choctaw Tribal Politician

The cellmate of a Philadelphia man has been charged with murder in his death in the Neshoba County jail.

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Baker: I'm a Doer

After an unsuccessful bid in 2013, Democrat James “Lap” Baker is making another bid this August for Hinds County's District 4 supervisor seat.

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Advocates Turn Up for Medicaid's 50th Birthday

Advocates for health-care access celebrated at a "birthday party" for the Medicaid and Medicare programs this morning, both established 50 years ago this week.

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Civil Rights Marker Honors State's Past, Symbolizes Future

The state and city of Jackson commemorated James Meredith's March Against Fear with a marker at the Mississippi Capitol.

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Fred McAfee

The town of Philadelphia, Miss., has produced some great athletes over the years. One of the most famous is Marcus Dupree, and this weekend, Dupree's first cousin, Fred McAfee, will be inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

3 UVa Graduates Sue Rolling Stone Over Retracted Rape Story

Three University of Virginia graduates and members of a fraternity profiled in a debunked account of a gang rape in a retracted Rolling Stone magazine story filed a lawsuit against the publication and the article's author Wednesday, court records show.

Cincinnati Cop Pleads Not Guilty to Murder in Traffic Stop

A University of Cincinnati police officer who shot a motorist after stopping him over a missing front license plate pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter.

Confederate Flags Placed at Ebenezer Church Near MLK Center

Four Confederate battle flags were found on the grounds of the Ebenezer Baptist Church near the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Atlanta on Thursday, and police and federal authorities were investigating.

Wednesday, July 29

Israeli Bulldozers Start Demolishing West Bank Settlement

Israeli bulldozers began demolishing a contested housing complex in a West Bank settlement on Wednesday as the prime minister's office announced the "immediate construction" of some 300 new units at another location in the same settlement and advanced plans for about 500 new units in east Jerusalem.

Russia Vetoes Security Council Proposal on MH17 Tribunal

Russia on Wednesday vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would set up an international criminal court to prosecute those responsible for shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine a year ago.

Ohio Cop Indicted on Murder Charge in Traffic-Stop Shooting

A University of Cincinnati officer who shot a motorist during a traffic stop over a missing front license plate was indicted Wednesday on a murder charge, with a prosecutor saying the officer "purposely killed him" and "should never have been a police officer."

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Changing More Than the Flag

SEC media days had a slightly political feel to them a couple of weeks ago. Both SEC coaches from the state of Mississippi were asked about changing the state flag.

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Saying Dumb Things in Sports

Last week, a few figures in the sports world made headlines for the things they said, which weren't good statements for the most part.

The Slate

Another 1980-1990s star took a tumble last week. This time, it was WWE wrestler Hulk Hogan. The WWE erased Hogan from its roster after transcripts of a racist rant from Hogan surfaced.

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Where Are We Now? Education A Prime Issue for the Primary Election

Education is a major focus for candidates in the upcoming primary elections, especially due to this year's political back-and-forth on fully funding the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.

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Bomp, Bomp: Law & Order and the Race for Hinds County District Attorney

It's hard to tell whether Robert Shuler Smith, the top prosecutor in Hinds County, is confident he'll coast to a third term as district attorney—or if he's scared out of his mind by the challenge being mounted by Stanley Alexander.

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About Those Racist Friends

You can't help but notice the unbelievably high number of comments on social media concerning the issue of what we should do about our "friends" who are racists.

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Full-Court Press for Mississippi Third Graders in Summer School Has Disappointing Results

Early July in the Mississippi Delta, and the East Sunflower Elementary School was bristling with nervous energy. If educators inside were perspiring, though, it wasn't from the sweltering summer heat.

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Overdue Foster Care Reform Coming Soon

Mississippi's foster-care system has long left children without medical care and living in limbo without a proper home, but state officials have largely ignored a seven-year court order to overhaul the state's foster-care system.

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Courage is Courage, Even If It’s Caitlyn Jenner

Free doesn’t mean you’re free only if you agree with the majority. Just like courage, freedom is freedom.

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Keyone Starr: Hometown Special

When producer Mark Ronson released his hit song "Uptown Funk" last year, the mention of Jackson threw some listeners. An explanation came in the form of a powerhouse performance from local soul singer Keyone Starr on Ronson's song "I Can't Lose."

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For Future (’80s) Reference

Author Ernest Cline has been in high demand since the release of his best-selling science-fiction tale, "Ready Player One." A bidding war and two movie deals later, he returns with his sophomore book, "Armada," which hit shelves July 14.

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Swim Safely

Adding as many water-safety steps as possible is the best way to assure a safe and fun experience for children and adults while enjoying the water during the hot Mississippi summer.

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Neighborhood Pizza

The Pizza Shack knows what its customers want: thinner crust, two layers of cheese and an avalanche of toppings pushed to the crust's brim.

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Stop Blaming Families for Education Shortfalls

When we discuss issues of achievement within education, particularly revolving around Jackson Public Schools, I see the same horrifying instance play out over and over again.

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‘Hand-in-hand’: Poverty + Education Keep State in Last Place

The problem with Mississippi coming in last place in the Kids Count child well-being survey is largely that perception has a big impact on the children experiencing poverty or a family without stable income.

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Farish Mess Lingers as JRA Tries to Move On

To paraphrase Michael Corleone, just when the Jackson Redevelopment Authority thought it was out—of the morass over Farish Street—they get pulled back in.

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Erika Iguobadia

Erika Iguobadia, 35, believes in challenging her seventh-grade students at Northwest Middle School in Jackson.

Tuesday, July 28

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David Watkins, JRA Spar Over Farish Settlement Terms

David Watkins said he wants "fair compensation" in exchange for dropping the legal challenges that are holding up the development of historic Farish Street.

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Growing the Creative Economy, Flowood Crafts and Solar Outreach

A panel of 23 creative professionals, community leaders and economic developers from across the state will host an advisory panel on growing Mississippi's creative economy Wednesday, July 29, at The Hatch in Midtown.

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Deborah Hunter

In 2010, Deborah Hunter walked into her new home in Terry, and her beautiful kitchen instantly inspired her. Hunter uttered one simple prayer: "Lord, please teach me how to cook."

Sen. Paul: Senate Will Vote on Fed Aid to Planned Parenthood

The Senate will vote before its August recess on an effort to block federal aid to Planned Parenthood, presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday.

Kerry at House Hearing: Nothing in Iran Deal Built on Trust

Secretary of State John Kerry pitched the administration's controversial nuclear deal with Iran before a skeptical House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday, pushing back against the allegation it would ease crippling sanctions forever in exchange for temporary concessions on weapons development.

Obama: Africa Must Create Jobs for its Next Generation

Closing a historic visit to Africa, President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged the continent's leaders to prioritize creating jobs and opportunity for the next generation of young people or risk sacrificing future economic potential to further instability and disorder.

NY Prison Worker Pleads Guilty in Escape of 2 Killers

A northern New York prison worker pleaded guilty Tuesday to smuggling hacksaw blades in frozen hamburger meat to two killers who later broke out and spent more than two weeks on the run.

NATO Proclaims 'Strong Solidarity' with Turkey Against IS

NATO proclaimed its "strong solidarity" with Turkey following a rare emergency meeting Tuesday in which members also urged the country not to use excessive force in its fight against extremists, a NATO official said.

Monday, July 27

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Family Spokesman: Rexdale Henry's Fines Shouldn't Have Led to Death

John Steele, a spokesman for the family of Rexdale Henry, who was found dead inside the Neshoba County Jail on July 14, said the family is awaiting the results of two autopsies to know more about how the 53-year-old Choctaw man died.

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Jackson Students Hack, Code Their Way to Top Honors

After sharpening their skills at the state's largest hackathon event, several Jackson-area schools flexed their coding muscle in New Orleans to win top prizes.

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Andrew Campbell

In the summer of 2012, Andrew Campbell took a bus up to South Dakota. He was going to spend the summer interning with an organic farm that raised crops for cooperatives and farmers markets.

Remains of 36 Unidentified Marines from WWII Battle Return

The military and a private organization have brought home the remains of 36 Marines killed in one of World War II's bloodiest battles.

US, Turkey Seek to Establish Islamic State-Free Zone

The United States and Turkey are finalizing plans for a military campaign to push the Islamic State out of a strip of land along the Syrian border, deepening efforts to halt the extremists' advances.

Boston Mayor Refuses to Sign Host Contract for 2024 Olympics

Boston's mayor delivered a harsh blow to the city's effort to host the 2024 Olympics on Monday when he declared he wouldn't sign any document "that puts one dollar of taxpayer money on the line for one penny of overruns on the Olympics."

Malaysia, Cuba Taken Off US Human Trafficking Blacklist

The State Department on Monday took Malaysia and Cuba off its blacklist of countries failing to combat modern-day slavery, leaving the U.S. open to criticism that politics is swaying the often-contentious rankings in its annual human trafficking report.

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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, July 25

Death of Choctaw Activist Rexdale Henry in Neshoba Jail Prompts Private Autopsy

A private autopsy is under way for Rexdale W. Henry, a 53-year-old man found dead inside the Neshoba County Jail in Philadelphia, Miss., on July 14.

Friday, July 24

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Santore Bracey

Santore Bracey, Democratic challenger for Hinds County Tax Collector

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Jarvis Dortch

Jarvis Dortch, candidate for House District 66

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Sam Begley

Sam Begley, Democratic candidate for House District 70

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George Welch

George Welch, Democratic candidate for Hinds County Board of Supervisors District 5

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Chris Bell

Chris Bell, Democratic candidate for House District 65

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Arqullus Coleman

Arqullus Coleman, Democratic candidate for House District 65

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David Blount

David Blount, Democratic incumbent, Senate District 29

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Machelle Shelby Kyles

Machelle Shelby Kyles, Democratic Challenger for House District 63

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David McRae

Republican, Challenger for Mississippi State Treasurer

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Livingston Park Reopens, Zoo Gets a Giraffe

Starting today, families will be able to enjoy west Jackson's Livingston Park in a way the park has not been used in a long time. A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place this morning at the park's pavilion.

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Columbus Mayor Robert Smith

Columbus has joined the list of Mississippi cities no longer flying the state flag because the design includes a Confederate battle emblem.

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Theater Gunman's Family Called Him Mentally Ill, Violent

The family of the man who killed two people and wounded nine others before killing himself at a crowded showing of "Trainwreck" showing said he was mentally ill and so violent that they needed police help to keep him away and removed his guns from their home, court documents show.

Anthem Bids $48 Billion for Cigna to Create Health Giant

Anthem is buying rival Cigna for $48 billion in a deal that would create the nation's largest health insurer by enrollment, covering about 53 million U.S patients.

Police: Theater Gunman was 'Drifter' who Planned to Escape

The movie theater gunman who stood up about 20 minutes into the showing of "Trainwreck" and began firing into the crowd, killing two people, was described as a drifter from Alabama whose escape plan was thwarted by police officers who arrived almost immediately, authorities said Friday. The gunman killed himself.

EU Regulator Recommends 1st License for Malaria Vaccine

The European Medicines Agency has recommended approving what would be the world's first licensed malaria vaccine, even though it's only about 30 percent effective and its protection fades over time.

Mississippi Capitol Getting Civil Rights Historical Marker

The Mississippi Capitol is being added to the state's Freedom Trail on July 29.

Thursday, July 23

Mississippi Foster Care System Might Get Its Own Agency

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi may consider making its child welfare unit a separate agency under a judge's order in the latest effort to resolve a longstanding lawsuit over conditions in the state's foster care system.

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Stonewall Mayor Reacts to Sanders Case, NAACP Wants Inquiry

The mayor of Stonewall, a small Mississippi town just south of Meridian, said people have the wrong idea about his 1,100-person community, which has been in the national spotlight since the death of Jonathan Sanders on July 8.

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Nick Griffin

Former Mississippi State University running back Nick Griffin represented Mississippi in this year's International Federation of American Football Championship.

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Official: Man Detained by Police was Breathing, Kicking

A Tennessee man who died after witnesses say was he hog-tied face-down on a stretcher was at the hospital for an hour and a half before his death and was "breathing fine" and "kicking and screaming" during that time, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Sheriff: Inmate Told Texas Jailer of Prior Suicide Attempt

A woman whose death in a Texas jail has raised suspicions about the official conclusion that she hanged herself told a guard during the booking process that she had tried to kill herself in the past, according to the county sheriff.

Columbus Joins Other Cities in Removing Mississippi Flag

Columbus has joined the list of Mississippi cities no longer flying the state flag because the design includes a Confederate battle emblem.

Wednesday, July 22

Federal Charges Including Hate Crimes for Accused Shooter

The man accused of killing nine black church members last month in Charleston, South Carolina, was indicted Wednesday on 33 federal counts, including hate crimes, firearms violations and obstructing the practice of religion, which could include the death penalty.

FBI: Too Soon to Know if Chattanooga Gunman was Radicalized

The Chattanooga gunman who killed five U.S. troops acted alone without help from anyone else, and investigators are treating him as a "homegrown violent extremist," the FBI said Wednesday.

Jurors to Weigh Whether Colorado Theater Shooter Should Die

Jurors quickly dismissed the claim of James Holmes that he was legally insane when he killed 12 people and injured 70 others in a Colorado theater. Now they'll have to consider the extent of his mental illness again as they decide whether he should pay with his life.

Appeals Court OKs Tossing Strict North Dakota Abortion Law

A federal appeals court affirmed a ruling Wednesday that struck down one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the country: a North Dakota law that bans abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

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The Israel Blues

As a 5-year-old, Ori Naftaly couldn't stay away from his father's record collection.

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Kitchen-Table Politics: The JFP Interview with Vicki Slater

Vicki Slater spoke with the Jackson Free Press in early July about why she believes she would make a better governor than the incumbent Phil Bryant.

50th, Yet Again

The annual Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Book came out this week, and for Mississippi, the same drum that politicians, advocates and locals have been beating for years will continue to sound hollow.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Pay Grade'

We keep redefining marriage, and it's up to the courts to make sure those definitions align with the U.S. Constitution, not religious dogma. In fact, it's exactly what we pay the justices to do.

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Your Purses, Your Nunchucks

Boneqweesha Jones: "Is it that time of the year again? It is at Hair Did University School of Cosmetology and Vocational Studies."

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William Walker

For William Walker, it was the soundtracks of movies such as "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones"—not their big-budget action sequences and explosions—that enamored him.

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Outlaws in Jackson

Founded in 2007, American Outlaws has become the U.S.'s most prominent soccer support association.

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The Walls Come Tumbling Down

When marriage equality became the law of the land the morning of June 26, I kissed my husband and went right back to work.

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Understanding in a ‘Trainwreck’

Like Quentin Tarantino or Wes Anderson, if you don't enjoy one of Judd Apatow's films, there's a solid chance that you won't enjoy any of them.

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Stonewall, Jackson and the Little Moments that Matter Most

I've had more encounters with police in the three and a half years I've lived in Mississippi than ever before in my life.

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Rankin Schools Paying for Religion Violation

Magdalene Bedi, a junior at Northwest Rankin High School in 2013, didn't subscribe to an institutional religion, but considered herself spiritual—and not an atheist.

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Gluten-Sensitive Delights

For those with celiac disease, which is about one in 141 people in the U.S., gluten triggers an autoimmune system response that triggers white blood cells to attack the small intestine's lining.

The Slate

Can you believe that the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers' open training camps begin this Saturday, July 25? The New Orleans Saints start open camp July 29.

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Special Ed Vouchers Falling Short

Ian Buckhalter will start first grade in a few weeks. His father, Josh Buckhalter, had him tested and diagnosed earlier this year: Ian has high-functioning autism.

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When Art Meets Food

Food trucks are an up-and-coming trend in Jackson, but local food-truck owners Deandrea and Omario Moore of 2 for 7 Kitchen want to change more than just the cuisine scene. The couple has called on artists to create a new design for the couple's truck.

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Act One, Scene One

This July is the fourth consecutive year for Black Rose to host "A Night of One Acts by Local Playwrights."

Tuesday, July 21

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Stonewall: Life Across the Tracks

There's a saying amongst black folks in Stonewall, that if it has a motor, they—white cops—don't want you on it.

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Mississippi Ranks 50th for Child Well-Being

Mississippi ranks 50th overall in child well-being, according to the 2015 Kids Count Data Book the Annie E. Casey Foundation released today.

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Chane's New Thing, Diving and Bow Ties

Studio Chane owner Ron Chane will soon bring a new space for local creators to Jackson in the form of The Wonder Lab, located in the basement of Fondren Corner.

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Tim Fielder

As a child, Tim Fielder was a fan of science-fiction staples such as "Star Wars" and "Star Trek," but he noticed that African Americans didn't have much representation in intergalactic travel.

Witness: Man 'Hogtied' by Mississippi Police Before Death

A Tennessee man died after a witness says police in northern Mississippi "hogtied" him on a stretcher.

Monday, July 20

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'Biblical Marriage' Rally Draws Supporters to Jackson

About 100 supporters of "biblical marriage" gathered at the Capitol steps Monday morning for a rally and prayer vigil that the Christian Action Commission organized.

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Delta Rae

Durham, N.C., sextet Delta Rae is eager to meet more of the South and share its patented blend of blues, rock and Americana while touring for its second studio album, "After It All," which the band released April 7, 2015.

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Black Mississippi Flag Supporter Dies in Traffic Accident

A black Mississippi man who often dressed in Confederate regalia to support the state flag has died in a one-car accident.

A Call to Action in Mississippi Horse Trainer's Death

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday night at a baseball park in a small Mississippi town to remember a black man who died after a physical encounter with a white police officer and to call for action.

UN Endorses Iran Nuclear Deal with 6 World Powers

The U.N. Security Council on Monday unanimously endorsed the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and authorized a series of measures leading to the end of U.N. sanctions that have hurt Iran's economy.

Searching for ET: Hawking to Look for Extraterrestrial Life

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking and Russian-born billionaire Yuri Milner on Monday announced an ambitious bid to combine vast computing capacity with the world's most powerful telescopes to intensify the so far fruitless search for extraterrestrial life.

Greek Banks Reopen but Cash Limits Remain and Taxes Soar

Greece set a series of landmarks Monday it hopes will shore up its battered economy following months of crisis that threatened its place in the euro.

5 Decades Later, US-Cuba Diplomatic Ties Restored

The United States and Cuba restored full diplomatic relations Monday after more than five decades of frosty relations rooted in the Cold War.

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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.

Friday, July 17

Westin to Break Ground Downtown in Aug.

A long-awaited hotel project announced more than three years ago is scheduled to break ground in August.

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Jackson Working Out Bugs on Tech Issues

The City of Jackson spent close to a half-million dollars this week as part of its ongoing efforts to update its technology systems, many of which are old and outdated and need upgrading; other systems need to be completely overhauled.

Greek Bailout Takes Two Leaps Forward

The bailout of Greece took two big strides forward Friday as German lawmakers overwhelmingly gave their backing to another financial rescue and the European Union confirmed it would get Athens enough money to avoid an imminent debt default.

Despite Quick Conviction, Theater Shooting Trial Isn't Over

Jurors needed only 12 hours to reject the idea that James Holmes was legally insane when he opened fire on a packed movie theater, bringing relief to the families of the dozen people he killed and scores he injured three years ago.

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A New Side of Broadside

Before Broadside of Richmond, Va., became one of Alternative Press' "100 Artists You Need to Know in 2015," the band consisted only of drummer and Musicians Institute alumnus Andrew Dunton and bassist Josh Glupker.

EU Task Force Seeks Mental Exams, Drug Tests for Pilots

A European Union task force on Friday recommended pre-employment psychological evaluations and random drug and alcohol testing for pilots to prevent a repeat of the Germanwings disaster.

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Mississippi Candidates File New Campaign Finance Reports

Mississippi candidates had a July 10 deadline to file campaign finance reports. Here's a glance at how much money the statewide candidates reported raising and spending through the end of June.

Thursday, July 16

4 Marines and Gunman Die in Attack on Two Military Sites

A gunman unleashed a barrage of fire at a recruiting center and another U.S. military site a few miles apart in Chattanooga on Thursday, killing at least four Marines, officials said. The attacker was also killed.

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Jonathan Sanders Autopsy No Surprise, Town Still on Edge

Although a preliminary autopsy report ruling Jonathan Sanders' death a homicide, caused by manual asphyxiation, came as no surprise to his friends and relatives, they hope it is the first step towards justice.

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LaMontiez Ivy

This season, if the Tigers are going to climb back on top of the SWAC, a big reason will be quarterback LaMontiez Ivy's play. The highly recruited quarterback finally got his chance to shine on the field.

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Judge: Mississippi Not Obligated to Fully Fund Schools

Mississippi legislators are not obligated to fully fund an education budget formula every year, a judge ruled in a lawsuit filed by a former governor.

Judge sets trial for Suspect in Charleston Church Shooting

The man accused of killing nine people at a church in Charleston last month will stand trial next July, a judge ruled Thursday.

70 Years After 1st Atomic Bomb Test, Residents Want US Help

An unknown blast shook the desolate New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, unsettling the historic Hispanic village of Tularosa.

Jordan Says Iraq Closes Shared Border Until Further Notice

Iraq closed its border with Jordan until further notice, in part to deprive Islamic State militants of taxes they impose on cargo trucks driving through their territory, a senior Iraqi military official said Thursday.

Hungary Puts Inmates to Work on Anti-Migrant Border Fence

A fence along Hungary's border with Serbia to stem the flow of migrants will be completed by December, a Hungarian official said Thursday.

Greece Gets Relief from Creditors After First Austerity Test

Greece got a triple dose of good news on Thursday, when creditors agreed to open talks on a third bailout package, to give the country an interim loan to cover its debts, and to provide more support to its shuttered banks.

MSU Observes 50th Anniversary of Holmes' Admission

Dr. Richard E. Holmes became the first African-American student at Mississippi State University when he entered the school on July 19, 1965.

Wednesday, July 15

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Hinds Judge Rules State Isn't Required to Fund MAEP

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A judge has ruled that Mississippi legislators are not obligated to fully fund an education budget formula every year.

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Mo’ne Davis, Monarchs Take Jackson

Mo'ne Davis and the Anderson Monarchs are touring the eastern United States on a mission to learn about the Civil Rights Movement.

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FSU’s Big Problem

At this point in the summer, most of the college football world turns to Media Days and previews of the upcoming season. Two recent incidents at the same school left me wondering what's happening in its football program.

The Slate

Baseball has hit the All-Star break as summer has started to heat up. The Atlanta Braves are currently third in the National League East with the playoffs seeming only a dream right now.

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The Bands of Chick Ball

Each year, the Jackson Free Press has tons of talented locals donate time and energy to the cause of stopping domestic violence. Some of them just happen to do their volunteering on a stage. Here's a look at who will be bringing the house down for Chick Ball 2015.

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Chicks We Love

Angela Brown attributes her passion for helping others in her community to seeing her grandmother, Binnie Green Adams, do the same for the town of Edwards, Miss., where Brown is from.

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‘You’ll Be Safe Here’

Domestic abuse is not always obvious, and someone can be completely in control of her life on paper but not at home.

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Answering a Need Not Being Met

Dorothy Day House is the only refuge for homeless families in Memphis, Tenn., the nation's poorest large metropolitan area.

GOP, Stop the Games Over Education Funding

Funding adequate education in the state of Mississippi has morphed into a political battle with consequences beyond school walls.

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Through a Child’s Eyes

Children deserve the security of feeling that everything is going to be OK. That they are safe and have nothing to worry about.

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Jackson OKs Resolution to Change Mississippi Flag

The Jackson City Council wants the state to do away with its controversial flag.

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Transcendent Art

Watercolor, acrylic and chalk paintings of old southern diners, football stars and country scenes cover every wall in Mark Millet's art studio except the far back one, where an electric sign, "The Dutch Bar & Lounge," glows warmly.

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Archie: Poverty, Crime and the Middle Class

This year, David Archie is back on the campaign trail hoping that the votes—at least those that don't prove too apathetic—line up in his favor.

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Budget Cuts or Scare Tactics?

Representatives for state workers are decrying proposed budget cuts to state agencies that House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Herb Frierson, R-Poplarville, asked for last week.

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Mo’ Than a Hotel in Fondren

A year quietly in the making, a funky boutique hotel recently announced for the Fondren is about more than giving out-of-towners a place to crash for the night, said project developer Roy Decker.

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‘A Violent Takedown’ in Stonewall

One week after the death of Jonathan Sanders, a black man killed after a white police officer stopped him in the east Mississippi town of Stonewall, a clearer picture of tensions between local law enforcement agencies and the African American community is starting to emerge.

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Aisha Nyandoro

As the executive director of Springboard to Opportunities, Jackson native Aisha Nyandoro's days at work are a hustle and bustle of working around the office, handling administrative business or working in one of the communities in Jackson, Batesville and Hattiesburg that her team assists.

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Hero of the Year: Butterflies by Grace Defined by Faith

Butterflies by Grace Defined by Faith began as a way to encourage people to put an end to domestic violence. Eva Jones started the group to encourage people to talk more about domestic abuse and what can be done about it.

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End the Stigma of Domestic Abuse

Last week, a friend asked me if domestic violence is prevalent in Mississippi. The answer is yes.

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Wendy Mahoney: A Woman You Need to Know

In ninth grade, Wendy Mahoney, now 48, took a career aptitude test that told her that her highest interest is helping others, and she would be a good candidate to become a social services worker.

Tuesday, July 14

In Jonathan Sanders Killing, Stonewall 'Pleading for Patience'

Authorities are pleading for patience in a small Mississippi town as they investigate why a black man died following a physical encounter with a white police officer.

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New Chef at Saltine, Hops for Hounds and SYF Scholarships

Jackson native Jesse Houston recently announced the addition of Andrew Allen as chef de cuisine at his restaurant, Saltine Oyster Bar.

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Patrice Moncell

Mississippi music legend Patrice Moncell, 52, died the morning of Monday, July 13, following her hospitalization in Georgia three days earlier.

Monday, July 13

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Attorneys Recount Events in Jonathan Sanders Death

Attorneys for the family of Jonathan Sanders, a black man killed last week after being stopped by a white Stonewall, Miss., police officer, recounted to the Jackson Free Press this afternoon the events leading up to Sanders' death, based on witness testimony to investigators.

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Officials: 'Misinformation' Clouds Jonathan Sanders Death Probe

Four days after 39-year-old Jonathan Sanders was killed during an altercation with white police officer Kevin Herrington in Stonewall, the public still knows little about what happened between the men, and the authorities investigating the incident are trying to keep tensions from flaring.

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David Cole

A photo of David's Cole's niece, Jessica Harvery, who was deployed in the U.S. Army in Iraq in 2006, inspired him to create the Cole Tempera Helmet and Vest.

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D'Army Bailey, National Civil Rights Museum Promoter, Dies

D'Army Bailey, a lawyer and judge who helped preserve the Memphis hotel where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and turn it into the National Civil Rights Museum, died on Sunday, his wife said. He was 73.

Iran Talks Hit Final Stage but Deal Remains Elusive

Disputes over attempts to probe Tehran's alleged work on nuclear weapons unexpectedly persisted Monday, diplomats said, threatening plans to wrap up an Iran nuclear deal by midnight — the latest in a series of deadlines for the negotiations.

Iraq Begins Operation to Oust Islamic State Group from Anbar

The Iraqi government began a long-awaited, large-scale military operation Monday to dislodge Islamic State militants from the country's western Anbar province, a military spokesman announced.

Greece Reaches Deal with Creditors, Avoids Euro Exit

After months of acrimony, Greece clinched a preliminary bailout agreement with its European creditors on Monday that will, if implemented, secure the country's place in the euro and help it avoid financial collapse.

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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.

Friday, July 10

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School Advocates Blast GOP 'Scare Tactics' on Initiative 42

Public-education advocates are taking a top Republican budget writer to task for using what they call scare tactics to defeat an upcoming statewide ballot referendum on school funding.

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Dr. David O'Gwynn

Belhaven University recently named Dr. David O'Gwynn as the new chairman and assistant professor of its computer science department.

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Mississippi Appeals Order Keeping Court Oversight at Prison

Mississippi prison officials have filed notice that they plan to appeal continued federal court oversight of a Leake County prison.

$10 Bill Change Rankles Descendant of Alexander Hamilton

Doug Hamilton is just fine with plans to put a woman's portrait on U.S. paper money, but he'd prefer that the Treasury Department leave the $10 bill alone — particularly the prominent visage of his great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Alexander Hamilton.

Jurors: Court Gunman's 3 Relatives Guilty of Cyberstalking

A federal jury on Friday found that the death of a woman shot by her former father-in-law at a Delaware courthouse in 2013 was the result of cyberstalking by the gunman's widow and two children, convicting the three defendants on all counts in a nationally unprecedented verdict.

House Bill Would Speed Drug Approvals, Boost Research

Urged on by the medical industry and patients' groups, the House overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill that would speed federal approval of drugs and medical devices and boost biomedical research.

Colleges in Cuba, US Build Ties as Diplomatic Tensions Ease

As the U.S. and Cuba mend ties, colleges in both countries are forming partnerships that once were heavily restricted.

American Samoa Questions Gay Marriage Validity in Territory

American Samoa is the only U.S. territory to hold out against the recent Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage.

After 54 Years, Confederate Flag Removed from Statehouse

The Confederate flag was lowered from the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse on Friday, ending its 54-year presence there and marking a stunning political reversal in a state where many thought the rebel banner would fly indefinitely.

Thursday, July 9

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NAACP: Gov. Bryant Should Show 'Moral Urgency' on State Flag Change

After South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill into law Thursday to bring down the Confederate flag outside the Statehouse—a move that seemed unthinkable only a month ago in this Deep South state that was the first to secede from the Union—civil rights leaders in Mississippi called on officials here to follow Haley's lead.

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Fondren Area Hotel, Solar Plant Planned

Tomorrow, July 10, Roy Decker of Duvall Decker will discuss The Fondren, a planned hotel in one of Jackson's arts districts, at the weekly Friday Forum at Koinonia Coffee House.

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Brian Dozier

Mississippi is full of small towns with major talent. That talent could be musical, literary or athletic in nature. Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier is one of those talents.

US to Make Marriage Benefits Available to Gay Couples

Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the government will make federal marriage benefits available to same-sex couples following a Supreme Court decision last month that legalized same-sex marriage.

More than 4 Million Refugees Have Now Fled Syria, UN Says

More than 4 million Syrians have fled abroad since the 2011 outbreak of civil war, the largest number from any crisis in almost 25 years, the United Nations said Thursday.

Confederate Flag's Days are Numbered in South Carolina

More than 50 years after South Carolina raised a Confederate flag at its Statehouse to protest the civil rights movement, the state is getting ready to remove the rebel banner.

FIFA Expels Chuck Blazer for life for Bribery, Corruption

Chuck Blazer was banned for life by FIFA's ethics committee on Thursday for widespread corruption, finally ending the career of the longtime most senior American in world football.

Wednesday, July 8

US House Votes to Ban Confederate Flag at Federal Cemeteries

The House has voted to ban the display of Confederate flags at historic federal cemeteries in the deep South.

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The Next Generation

The final of the 2015 Women's World Cup had little drama after the U.S. Women's National Team's goal explosion. It didn't have much to worry about after the players scored four goals in the game's first 16 minutes.

The Slate

Just in time for the return of the football season, The Slate is back. Now let's see if we can put together the "Carli Lloyd" of what to watch this next week.

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The Basics of BomBassic

Before Bruce Bijesse ("Brucey B") and Robert Gray ("Cpt. HyperDrive") began garnering fans nationwide as the electronic duo BomBassic, they were performing as hip-hop act IRD at open-mic nights at The Cop Shop, a record store on Long Island, N.Y., where Bijesse and Gray grew up.

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The Dark Arts of Melissa Bryant

Artist Melissa Bryant likes to incorporate dark, sometimes creepy elements into her artwork.

Learn from History: Change the State Flag

Now, our elected leaders should get on the right side of history, listen to the will of the people and embrace progress. Change the flag.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Genocide'

When an advocate of southern secession doesn't sound that much different than a twice-elected governor, it's easy to see how much work there is left to do for reconciliation in Mississippi.

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A Shining Beacon of Light

Miss Doodle Mae: "This summer, the ill winds of intolerance, hatred, racism and terrorism have besieged the well-being of common people around this nation. Then comes a shining beacon of light called progress."

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Of Bill Cosby, Frank Melton and Public Moralizing

You'd think that Bill Cosby's targets would have had more power than Frank Melton's troubled "boys," as he called them, but women of any race have never had credibility when it comes to being raped.

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Engineering Victory: Joce Pritchett Wants to be State Auditor

Mississippi pride runs deep for Jocelyn Pepper Pritchett, who goes by Joce (JO-see). The only time she has lived out of state was when she was away at graduate school, and she has been back ever since.

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City Announces New Solar Plant To Open in Jackson near Fondren

The city of Jackson announced today that Seraphim Solar, a solar module assembly company, is planning to build a manufacturing plant in Jackson in the commercial district just west of Fondren near the railroad tracks. The plant is expected to represent a $50 million investment and 250 jobs during its first five years.

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Stringfellow: Marketing the County’s Assets

Eric Stringfellow's path, from a newspaper reporter in the tiny eastern Illinois town of Danville to candidate for the candidate for Hinds County Board Supervisor, isn't as unlikely as it may seem at first glance.

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Mississippi’s Only Abortion Clinic Safe for Now

Mississippi's last abortion clinic, which has been fighting a state admitting-privileges law for three years, is open—for now.

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History Repeats Itself in Mississippi After Marriage Decision

While it may not be the only sign of bigotry, discrimination is a clear, 10-million-watt, Vegas-strip, see-it-from-space sign of bigotry for anyone except for the willfully blind.

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Fuller: ‘Progressive, Sustainable Change’

Henry Fuller recently talked to the Jackson Free Press about stepping out from the behind the scenes to serve on the Hinds County Board of Supervisors.

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SCOTUS Ruled on Marriage—Not Discrimination

While the U.S. Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling was monumental in American legal history and a cause for celebration by LGBT citizens, the reality is that the court ruled on same-sex marriage and nothing more, legal experts say.

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The Beauty of Blowouts

Good hair just makes you feel better, and a blowout can be a little indulgence that just makes you feel more confident, or a little sexier. And who doesn't like that?

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Schooling in the Kitchen

In the kitchen in the quaint building that houses The Farmer's Table Cooking School, Chef Matthew Sheeter is teaching "Preserving the Seasons," where students learn how to make jams and pickles and how to properly can them.

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Phyllis Hurley

Phyllis Hurley remembers when Mt. Salus Christian School became integrated. She served as the principal at the Clinton private academy from 1987 to 2005.

Tuesday, July 7

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Kemper Rate Hike Illegal, Yoga and Craft Beer Event Ahead

Regulators are ordering Mississippi Power Co. to lower its rates later this month and plan for refunds by November for customers who want them.

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Anthony Holloman

Anthony Holloman, the new vice president of institutional advancement at Jackson State University, prides himself on being a highly motivated businessman.

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Lawyers: Cosby Deposition Could Bolster Criminal, Civil Claims

Bill Cosby's admission that he obtained quaaludes to give young women before sex could bolster his accusers' criminal and civil claims, their lawyers said after The Associated Press reported on newly released court documents.

Regulators Discuss Kemper Refunds for Miss. Power Customers

Mississippi regulators plan to discuss at a Tuesday meeting how to obey a state Supreme Court order to refund about $350 million that Mississippi Power Co. has collected from customers to build a power plant in Kemper County.

Monday, July 6

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Confederate Flag, Heritage Defenders Rally at Capitol

A crowd of more than 50 people gathered on the steps of the Mississippi Capitol this morning, armed with Confederate flags.

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Jim Hood

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has asked the state Supreme Court to allow a lesbian couple to seek a divorce.

Iran Pushes for End to Arms Embargo in Nuke Deal

A day before the new deadline for a nuclear accord, Iran pushed Monday to lift the U.N. arms embargo on the country as a parallel deal—a demand that the United States opposes as it seeks to limit Tehran's Mideast clout.

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South Carolina Lawmakers Return for Confederate Flag Debate

The depth of support for bringing down the Confederate flag gets its first test in the South Carolina Legislature this week as lawmakers return to Columbia to come up with a specific plan.

Friday, July 3

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'Confederate Heritage' and Pro-Flag Rally Planned for Monday

Last fall, the Magnolia Heritage Campaign started a petition drive to preserve what it considers Mississippi heritage by acknowledging Christianity as the official state religion and English as the official language, among other things.

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Jason Isbell: Choosing the Right Details

Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell has had a busy couple of years since he last played in Jackson in 2013.

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Dr. John Hall

The American Heart Association presented Dr. John Hall of UMMC with the Award of Meritorious Achievement Wednesday, June 24.

UN Rights Body Backs Call for Accountability in Gaza War

The U.N.'s top human rights body backed calls Friday for accountability in last year's conflict in Gaza, in which hundreds of Palestinian civilians and six Israeli civilians were killed.

Hispanic Leaders Want GOP Field to Condemn Trump's 'Idiocy'

Hispanic leaders are bristling at the largely tepid response by Republican presidential candidates to Donald Trump's characterization of Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers.

Germany Wants Quick Clarification of New NSA Spy Allegations

Germany's foreign minister said Friday that new allegations of U.S. eavesdropping on senior German government officials' telephones need to be clarified "as quickly as possible" and that he hoped Washington would be forthcoming with information.

WikiLeaks' Assange Seeks Asylum in France; President Says No

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has failed in a bid to win asylum in France.

Russian Parliament Votes to Adopt Controversial Privacy Law

Lawmakers in the Russian parliament on Friday voted for a bill forcing online search engines to remove search results about a specific person at that person's request.

Thursday, July 2

Storify: #MSFlagDIY Re-Design from Readers

The JFP is encouraging readers to submit their own Mississippi State flag (re)designs under the has tag #MSFlagDIY -- here's what's come in so far!

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Mississippi's Marriage Equality Fight is Over—Or is it?

"It's over." That was the message from Roberta Kaplan, the attorney who represented lesbian couples in a case to strike down Mississippi's same-sex marriage ban, to an Associated Press reporter on Wednesday evening.

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Official: State Prisons 'Hell on Earth' for 40 Years

Since the five-member Task Force on Contracting and Procurement started meeting, the body has aired concerns about the way the agency awards contracts and general complaints about the state's prisons.

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Abby Wambach

Now, at the age of 35, Abby Wambach will have one final chance to capture a World Cup title in the final of the 2015 Women's World Cup.

Gulf States Reach $18.7B Settlement with BP Over Oil Spill

BP and five Gulf states announced a record $18.7 billion record settlement Thursday that resolves years of legal fighting over the environmental and economic damage done by the energy giant's oil spill in 2010.

Episcopalians OK Allowing Gay Marriage in Churches

The Episcopal Church has completed its embrace of gay rights, changing church law to allow same-sex religious marriages throughout the denomination, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide.

Wednesday, July 1

AG: Fifth Circuit Clears Path for Same-Sex Marriage

Gov. Phil Bryant remains opposed to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, but he's stopping his court fight against it.

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Aaron Holbert’s Baseball Odyssey

Striking out is not meant to be celebrated. Aaron Holbert, manager of the Mississippi Braves, should know this. He has been in professional baseball for 25 years.

Home Cookin’ Capsule

Oxford High School won Mississippi's premier seven-on-seven high-school football tournament, the Medicomp 7 on 7, at Liberty Park in Madison June 27 - 28. Clinton High School placed fifth as the top performing metro area team.

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A Long Time Coming

"Go Set a Watchman," the second novel by "To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper Lee, will finally be out July 14.

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Holding out for The Hood Hippie

If you make something, Malcolm Morrow, creator of Jackson entertainment blog The Hood Hippie, wants to help you. No, really.

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Lower Your Risk of Skin Cancer

Only a generation ago, many people thought a suntan was healthy. Now, we know it is anything but. In fact, today, doctors know a tan is actually a response to the skin being injured by the sun.

Cities, Legislature Should Follow Jackson’s Lead on Hate Crimes

When the Legislature reconvenes in January, lawmakers should strengthen the state's hate-crime law by extending protections to LGBT people and developing uniform reporting standards for all law enforcement agencies.

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Stinker Quote(s) of the Week: ‘Good Ole Boy’ Talking Points By You, the Readers

We asked readers on Facebook to share some of the good-ole-boy/girl reasons they were seeing to keep the Confederate emblem in the Mississippi state flag.

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Design Your Own Flag

We want to invite our readers to use this page to come up with a new flag design that better represents the Mississippi of 2015 (and let's be honest, just about anything would better than the one that's flying).

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Sensory Grilling

There are many methods and techniques on the grill, but my favorite has always been the patient, slow burn that comes from smoking meats. It's a method of cooking that engages all five senses.

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2015 Summer Beer Tasting

The beer tasting has become an annual tradition we look forward to here at the Jackson Free Press. 
This year, we partnered with Raise Your Pints and LD's BeerRun to do the tasting. Here are our findings.

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Jimmy Godby and Frank the Camel

Upon first hearing of Jimmy Godby's latest endeavor, many people cock their heads in confusion, shock or even awe. An electrician of 33 years, Godby, 51, has decided to become a dairy farmer—a camel dairy farmer, that is.

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Driving Old Dixie Down

It is long past time to declare independence from a "lost cause" that wasn't worth fighting for and from those who insist on keeping us stuck there. Mississippi now is better than our past, and our people and the world around us deserve to know that.

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Roll the Farmers Union On

A closing sentence in a 1937 Southern Tenant declaration of rights speaks to the hope that union still inspires: "To the disinherited belongs the future."

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Mississippi's Flag: A People Problem

Long a lightning rod, the Mississippi state flag has come under fresh scrutiny in recent weeks following a mass killing of nine African Americans at a church in South Carolina.

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Elation, Vows for State’s Same-Sex Couples

The party room in Julep restaurant in northeast Jackson was filled with relief Monday night as a group of about 30 people, new and old friends, gathered to celebrate four same-sex couples who were finally issued marriage licenses that morning.

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Nothing Personal, Walmart, But Local Is Better

We don't mean to brag, but the Jackson Free Press has long been a proponent of the concept of shopping local first starting nearly 13 years ago when we published the words "Think Global, Shop Local" on the cover of our second issue.

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Empowering Low-Income Parents

Rankin County is one of four counties that run a pilot program for parent representation. Mississippi is the only state in the U.S. that does not statutorily provide attorneys for indigent parents in youth-court proceedings.

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A National (and State) Housecleaning?

It is long overdue, but the nation is talking about slavery now and what the Confederate flag really stands for, what should be renamed and what should come down.

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Rebel Monuments in Jackson and Mississippi

This is a probably incomplete list of metro-area memorials to the war for white supremacy, compiled at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.