Stories for September 2015


Wednesday, September 30

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Big Decisions Await the Saints

It is early in the 2015 NFL season, but with the New Orleans Saints sitting at 0-3 with star quarterback Drew Brees out with an injury, it might be time for them to start thinking about the next few years.

The Slate

All hope isn't lost for the New Orleans Saints. Five teams have started 0-3 and still made the playoffs. True, it hasn't been done since 1998, but it is overdue for some team to break through.

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The State in ‘Little Stories’

As a rule, photo books have a few simple goals. Whether the focus is on nature, architecture or even a specific event, they can either provide deep and poignant reminders of the past or lively, beauty-centered images of present.

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Mikal Cronin’s Musical Journal

Alone in a room with his guitar, California singer-songwriter Mikal Cronin crafted the tracks that would make up his third studio album, "MCIII," which hit stores May 4, 2015.

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Fair Food to Make at Home

If you want homemade elephant ears, try this.

Better Than Fair Food (Really)

Each year, the Mississippi State Fair brings many different foods, but also long lines. If you don't want to fight the crowds, but still want fair foods or something better, try these restaurants.

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Blues and Eats at Johnny T’s

John Tierre Miller, owner of Johnny T's Bistro and Blues, got tired of talking and decided to take matters into his own hands. He opened his restaurant on July 24 of this year.

State’s GOP Lawmakers Must Stop Pitting Poor Kids Against Sick People

Mississippi Republican leadership will stop at very little to try to scare voters into allowing them to continue violating state law and underfunding the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, even if it means using the sick poor of the state as a pawn in the game.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Education'

Instead of taking from Paul and Peter to fill up the rainy-day fund, maybe it's time for lawmakers to put the taxpayers' money where their mouths are.

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‘People Want True Things’

"I've been watching the presidential debates. In my very humble opinion, these debates look like an elite membership of millionaires vying to control the affairs of common folk."

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Fried Chicken Liver with Hot Pepper Jelly

Chef Nick Wallace's recipe for fried chicken liver with hot pepper jelly

Black Ministers and Business Owners Team Up for 'Economic Equity'

A new coalition of business owners and ministers is forming and today called on city leaders to "stop infighting" that coalition members say are hurting black-owned businesses in Jackson.

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Marie Hull’s Artistic Mastery

Walking through the Mississippi Museum of Art's latest exhibit, "Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull," is like taking a trip through time.

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Upping the Ante: GOP Threatens Education, Medicaid in Budget Hearings

The Republican leadership, which is against fully funding of MAEP, insists that if Initiative 42 passes, lawmakers will be forced to fully fund MAEP immediately, although its proponents are not asking for immediate funding.

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Jackson: All About Community

We live in a place where hospitality means everything, and it always amazes me that many people who move to the suburbs seem to lose that sense of community.

Out to Lunch With the Politicians

If your favorite foods and eateries were named after politicians, here’s what we think they’d be.

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Anne Amelot-Holmes

Since she was a little girl serving guests where her father worked in France, Anne Amelot-Holmes knew she belonged in the restaurant business.

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Remembering the Clinton Massacre

On Sept. 4, 1875, more than 2,000 former slaves crowded onto the grounds of Moss Hill, a plantation in Clinton, Miss., that had turned over to a Republican doctor after the South lost the Civil War.

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Hall: Building a System and an Economy

State senator Dick Hall has been re-elected four times, and is seeking his fifth re-election to the post.

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Brewing Luck

Brewmaster Lucas Simmons, who co-owns Lucky Town Brewing Company with partners Chip Jones, Angela Ray and Brandon Blacklidge, recently gave the Jackson Free Press a tour of the brewery.

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A Place for Ideas

One of the things I often say is cool about Jackson is that it seems that if you have a creative idea, there's something about this place that makes it possible for ideas to take root, become a reality, find support and thrive.

DEADLINE: Voter Registration

Statewide and county posts, along with Initiative 42, are up for a vote in November. Don't forget to register to vote by Oct. 3 in order to participate in November's election.

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Brown: Learning from Kemper’s Mistakes

Since losing his seat in redistricting, Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, decided to run for the Public Service Commission.

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Waving the Wrong Flag

Working-class southern whites have a right to feel rebellious. The problem is they're waving the wrong flag to show it.

Tuesday, September 29

Judge: Federal Class-Action Lawsuit Against MDOC Can Proceed

A federal judge has cleared the way for a class-action lawsuit against the state prison system.

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New LGBT Hangout, Clothing Outlet and Take-Out Restaurant

Jesse Pandolfo aimed to bring back a night spot for the Jackson LGBT community when she opened WonderLust inside the former Bottoms Up location.

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Charlette Oswalt

Charlette Oswalt wants to shake up Hinds County leadership as the first woman elected as sheriff.

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RePublic Schools Charter Network Gets $9.6M for Expansion

An operator of charter schools in Tennessee and Mississippi is in line to receive $9.6 million in federal funding, with plans to spend the money on expansion.

Monday, September 28

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New JATRAN Changes Start This Week

A number of changes are coming to the capital city's mass-transit service, JATRAN, starting on Oct. 1, city officials say.

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Landon Lingerfelt

Growing up on his parents' farm in Hampton, Tenn., Landon Lingerfelt spent his entire childhood around critters of all sorts.

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New Data Reveals Stark Gaps in Graduation Rates Between Poor and Wealthy Students

A new report released Thursday provides a detailed look at the graduation rates of low-income college students. At many colleges, low-income students graduate at much lower rates than their high-income peers.

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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, September 25

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Chief Vance: Gov. Barbour Helped Reimburse JPD For Fair

Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance this morning announced the decision of Mayor Tony Yarber's administration to not have JPD patrol the Missisippi State Fair this year.

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The Sound of WellsFest

Over its 32-year run, WellsFest has become one of the city's most multifaceted events, offering activities for art enthusiasts, 5K fans, green-thumbed gardeners and good-old-fashioned food lovers.

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Cindy Griffin

For the past 14 years, Cindy Griffin has been a driving force for Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area, and for the past 11 of those, she has served as the executive director.

Police Officer Fired, Accused of Illegally Seizing Cash

A former Jackson police officer faces federal charges of stealing money from undercover agents that he had been told were drug dealers.

Thursday, September 24

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GOP's Mike Hurst: AG Jim Hood 'Blind' to Public Corruption

Mike Hurst, the Republican nominee for Mississippi attorney general, along with a local sheriff, says Democratic incumbent state AG Jim Hood "turned a blind eye to the problems with public corruption in Simpson County."

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Drew Brees

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is dealing with a bruised rotator cuff and might not play this weekend.

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Stemming the Cycle of Toxic Stress—For the Kids’ Sake

A growing body of research shows that children who experience abuse, neglect or other "toxic stress" have a greater likelihood of developing chronic diseases when they get older.

Democrats Poised to Filibuster Stopgap Funding Measure

The Senate was poised to vote on legislation that would keep the government open beyond next Wednesday's deadline, but at a price Democrats are certain to reject: stripping taxpayer money from Planned Parenthood.

Saudi Arabia: Stampede at Hajj Kills 717 Pilgrims

A horrific stampede killed at least 717 pilgrims and injured hundreds more Thursday on the outskirts of the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the deadliest tragedy to strike the annual hajj pilgrimage in more than two decades.

Kremlin: Putin to Meet Obama on Monday

Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama are to meet on Monday in New York, their first face-to-face encounter in nearly a year amid strongly troubled relations between the two nations.

Embrace Immigrants, Pope Francis Urges Congress

Standing before a rapt Congress, Pope Francis issued a ringing call to action on behalf of immigrants Thursday, urging lawmakers to embrace "the stranger in our midst" as he became the first pontiff in history to address a joint meeting at the U.S. Capitol.

Border Patrol Agent is Indicted in 2012 Fatal Shooting

Federal authorities have charged a U.S. Border Patrol agent who killed a Mexican teenager in a cross-border shooting with second-degree murder.

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Whose Job Is It, Anyway?

Mississippi has a weird mish-mash of officials who have some responsibility for making sure clerks follow the state's public-records law and that candidates file their campaign-finance reports, but rarely take action.

$134M for Recovery Projects Arising from 2010 Gulf Oil Spill

A panel on Wednesday approved using $134 million provided by energy giant BP PLC on 10 projects to help the Gulf of Mexico recover from a catastrophic 2010 oil spill.

Wednesday, September 23

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A Place to Rest Your Head(board)

Headboards don't have to cost a whole bunch of money. With just about $70, you can build your own, or you can do what I did and rope your friend into assisting.

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Jackson State’s Woes

Jackson State University hasn't had the big opening that football fans wanted in the 2015 season. The Tigers are off to an 0-3 start overall with 0-1 in SWAC play.

The Slate

The University of Mississippi was impressive against the University of Alabama on the road. The Rebels are in position to do something special this season but still have roadblocks like Louisiana State University left.

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Gone to Hog Heaven

Many gas stations around the metro have barbecue, but the Chevron just down the road from Crazy Ninja in Flowood has the distinction of being home to the Hog Heaven BBQ food truck.

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Tale of Two Charter Schools in Mississippi

Charter schools weren't legal in Mississippi until 2013, when the Legislature passed the Mississippi Charter School Law, allowing nonprofit charter schools to enter the state for the first time.

We Need to Learn From Charter Schools Before Expanding Them

It is too early to deem charter schools a success or failure in Mississippi. We are witnessing the beginning of a limited experiment in privatized "public" education starting this year in Jackson.

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Garrett Responds to the JFP

Mayor Tony Yarber, toward the end of Tuesday's council meeting, addressed "allusions" of a deal being cut to reward the contract to Denali-Garrett. Yarber simply said there were no under-the-table dealings in the negotiations, which were handled by City staff.

News Headlines That Don’t Exist - But Should

Between crime talk and controversy, the news can look pretty bleak. Here are a few headlines—some wishful and some weird—that would brighten Jackson’s day.

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Mary Coleman: Bringing ‘New Energy’ to MDOT

Coleman's primary election went to a run-off that she won by a large margin to Robert Amos. She now faces Dick Hall, the incumbent who has served in that role for 16 years, in the November election.

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On Education, Privilege and Empowerment

Payton Head, student body president at the University of Missouri, my alma mater, recently wrote that while walking through campus Sept. 11, a pickup truck full of white guys screamed the word n*gger at him.

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School Official Wants Probe of Anti-42 Emails

Although legislative opponents to school-funding ballot Initiative 42 have been threatening deep cuts to state agencies—and therefore state jobs—for months, a new front has opened up in the battle for the hearts and minds of state workers.

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Physical Art Making Taboo History

While Taboo Dance & Fitness is normally used for fitness classes, on Saturday, June 27, it made history as the home of Mississippi's first pole-fitness competition, Miss Taboo.

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Unleashing the Vibe

Lucas Pettey, Owen Rockwell and Jason Mathena of The Vibe Doctors will perform for their album release show Friday, Sept. 25, at Sneaky Beans.

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Josh Ferguson

Josh Ferguson says his favorite part of bartending at Babalu Tacos & Tapas is meeting people.

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God Is Still in Public Schools

I am a high-school teacher and a Christian. And I have some great news: God is still in our public schools.

Tuesday, September 22

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Yarber Shelves $15M Sludge-Hauling Contract

With the Jackson City Council’s vote last week against a proposal for federal government-mandated hauling of biosolids from a city wastewater treatment plant, Mayor Tony Yarber is asking government regulators for more time.

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LeFleur East: A Model for All of Jackson?

Safety, beautification, communication and community leadership are the four values and goals driving the business and neighborhood development plans of the LeFleur East Foundation.

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Pop Culture at the Capri and Mentors at Saltine

Pop Culture Pops owners Craig and Lori Kinsley will soon open a permanent storefront for Pop Culture inside the Pix-Capri Theatre in Fondren.

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Reggie Bell

Reggie Bell has served as executive director of the Mississippi State Fire Academy for nine years.

Monday, September 21

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U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson Authors 'American Red Cross Sunshine Act'

The proposed American Red Cross Sunshine Act would force the American Red Cross to open its books and operations to outside scrutiny.

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Marie Hull

Each room inside the Donna and Jim Barksdale Galleries for Changing Exhibitions represents the different subjects Marie Hull painted throughout her life.

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Mississippi Lawmakers Hold Shortened Set of Budget Hearings

Mississippi lawmakers are holding two days of public hearings to start planning how state government will spend taxpayers' money during the coming year.

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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, September 18

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Jackson Spends $56K Cleaning Up Problem State Properties

Starting last year, the City revamped the way it handles complaints against rundown houses and unkempt properties.

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Kathleen Suedel

Kathleen Suedel is a familiar face to any student athlete at Clinton High School.

Charleston Church Suspect's Friend Charged with Lying to FBI

A friend of the man accused of gunning down nine parishioners at a Charleston church is charged with lying to federal authorities and concealing information during their investigation, and he is scheduled for his first court appearance Friday.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's Attorneys to Present Case at Hearing

Bowe Bergdahl will not be among the four witnesses that his lawyers plan to call to testify at the hearing to determine if the Army sergeant should face a court-martial for leaving his post in Afghanistan six years ago, his lead attorney said Friday.

Israel Calls Up Reservists Following Holy Site Violence

Israel made a rare decision on Friday to call up a few hundred border police reservists to beef up security, following Palestinian riots at Jerusalem's most sensitive holy site and outbreaks of violence elsewhere in the city that killed one Israeli and left several others injured this week.

House Bills Hit Planned Parenthood, Some Abortion Doctors

Republicans pushed bills targeting Planned Parenthood and curbing some abortion procedures toward House passage Friday, with party leaders hoping the legislation will help mollify fractious conservatives demanding a face-off with President Barack Obama that could trigger a federal shutdown.

Trump Declines to Correct Man Who Says Obama is Muslim

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump declined to correct a questioner at a town hall event who incorrectly stated that President Barack Obama is Muslim, and the billionaire real estate mogul said he'd be "looking at" a claim that militants operate training camps on American soil.

Prison for Man Who Helped Place Noose on Civil Rights Statue

A former University of Mississippi student who admitted helping place a noose on a statue of a civil rights activist is going to prison.

Thursday, September 17

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Council Votes No on $15 Million Waste Hauling Contract

The Jackson City Council overwhelmingly said no to a proposal for hauling biosolids from a city wastewater treatment plant.

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Janet Leach

When Delta Airlines closed its marketing office in Jackson in 1994, it turned out to be the best thing to happen to Janet Leach because it led her to a career she has loved for 17 years.

Chaotic Border Scrums as Croatia Becomes Migrant Hotspot

Thousands of people poured into Croatia from Serbia on Thursday, with some trampling over each other at jammed border points in a rush to get on limited buses and trains.

General Motors Settles Criminal Case Over Ignition Switches

General Motors agreed to pay $900 million and submit to a monitor in a deal with the government in which it admits that a deadly problem with small-car ignition switches was hidden from the public for over a decade, authorities announced Thursday.

Time for Flu Vaccine, Updated After Misery of Last Winter

It's time for flu shots again, and health officials expect to avoid a repeat of the misery last winter, when immunizations weren't a good match for a nasty surprise strain.

8.3-Magnitude Quake Rattles North Chile, 1 Million Evacuate

An 8.3-magnitude quake in north Chile forced more than 1 million people to evacuate in the quake-prone South American nation.

Military Hearing on Bergdahl Desertion Charges Begins

A hearing to decide if Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl should face a military trial for leaving his post in Afghanistan began Thursday—proceedings that his lead lawyer said would reveal details of what led to the Idaho native's disappearance in 2009.

Memphis Names Street After Bluesman B.B. King

Memphis has named a section of a busy city street after late bluesman B.B. King.

Wednesday, September 16

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Football Thoughts Two Weeks In

Here's a number that currently means nothing: 149. That's the University of Mississippi Rebels' combined score from their first two games.

The Slate

The Saints' season-opening loss against the Cardinals wasn't the start the team's fans hoped for. New Orleans struggled on defense early and late, and the offense settled for too many field goals.

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13 Good Ideas for Jackson

The JFP has long decided to celebrate our birthday by focusing on both Jackson's progress and new big, hairy ideas (and a few smaller ones).

Another GOOD Idea: Improving Pregnancy Care

In a state with so many restrictions on sexual education and abortion, ostensibly to protect the health of women, the conventional wisdom should hold that Mississippi's pregnancy statistics should be stellar.

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One Hiccup Should Not Ruin FFT

Every time we have a hiccup, we can't boycott, we can't shut things down, we can't run from it. We all can learn from the mistakes, and all come out better people on the other end.

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Veterans Fight Homelessness

Soldier On is a program to help veterans re-establish their lives through housing and other services.

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Tannehill: ‘You Deserve to Feel Safe’

Les Tannehill, a private investigator and newlywed to wife of 16 months, Renee, recently talked to the Jackson Free Press about why he should be the new sheriff in town.

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How to Improve Pregnancy Care in Mississippi

From Facebook communities to groups that meet in person, many Mississippi mothers are tired of inadequate maternity care.

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Shermel Carthan

Shermel Carthan describes himself as a modern-day Renaissance man. He has singing, dancing, modeling, rapping, acting and more in his repertoire.

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Initiative 42: Ballot of Confusion

A group advocating for an education-funding initiative is calling foul on the wording for the referendum on the secretary of state's sample ballot.

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Do Hip-Hop and Fondren Need Each Other?

A dust-up between local businessmen Ron Chane and Phillip Rollins over hip-hop at Fondren First Thursday may bring more hip-hop to the area.

Your Turn—The Confederate Flag: A View from Tougaloo

Our state's continued waving of the Confederate battle flag is an indicator that our dark past is more prevailing than our bright future.

Happy Birthday to Us!

In honor of our birthday, here are some facts about #TeamJFP.

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The Chemistry of Paperclip Scientists

Long before Jackson musicians Joey Plunkett and Vince Johnston launched samba-infused jazz-rock group Paperclip Scientists, they were writing songs while huddled around a four-track recorder.

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The Hazards of Being a Thinking Woman at Bars

"Why should I apologize for being smart?" my friend asked me. This came on the heels of a couple of instances that I've come to collectively refer to as "Hazards of Being a Thinking Woman at Bars."

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Yarrr, Matey

Guests at BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar's second annual rum tasting tried Plantation Rum, a series of craft rums from Cognac Ferrand.

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Maggie Koerner: Making Momentum

At age 22, Maggie Koerner found herself using her psychology degree not only in her songwriting, but interestingly enough, also at work at her father's restaurant, Southfield Grill.

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Spinning on the Same World

The Whirling Dervishes of Rumi, a Sufi Muslim order from Konya, Turkey, perform Wednesday, Sept. 23, at Thalia Mara Hall.

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Need Solutions? Love The Problem

What Jackson needs, perhaps more than anything else, is more taxpaying people to help shoulder the burden and work on solutions.

Epic Jackson Rap Beefs We Want to See

The beef, now settled, between Ron Chane and Phillip "DJ Young Venom" Rollins over whether hip-hop belongs at Fondren's First Thursday reminds us how passionate we are about hip-hop culture in Jackson. Here are a few other local beefs that could be brewing.

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Creating a Sense of Community

Before our kids venture off into school or seek out new places for recreation, it's the very streets where they grow up that give them their first introduction to a larger world.

Tuesday, September 15

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Mayor Yarber Denies Contract Steered to Socrates Garrett

Mayor Tony Yarber denied Tuesday that his biggest campaign contributor is receiving preferential treatment for a $15-million city contract.

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Barrelhouse, Half Shell, Merit Health, Jobs for Jacksonians

Half Shell Oyster House, a seafood restaurant with locations in Gulfport, Biloxi and Hattiesburg, opened its fourth location in Flowood on Sept. 8.

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Jordan Bryan

Jordan Bryan of Ross & Yerger Insurance in Jackson is one of 42 young professionals named in Insurance Business America's 2015 Young Guns report.

Suspect in 2 Mississippi Killings Dies of Apparent Suicide

After an intense manhunt, authorities in Mississippi said a college instructor wanted in the deaths of a woman he lived with and a university professor he worked with died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound as police closed in on him.

Senate to Hold New Vote on Iran Nuclear Deal, Dems to Block

Senate Republicans will try a second time on Tuesday to move ahead on a resolution rejecting the Iran nuclear deal, and the outcome is expected to be the same: Democrats are poised to block the measure and preserve President Barack Obama's foreign policy win.

Trump: US 'a Dumping Ground for the Rest of the World'

Renewing his charge against illegal immigration, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday called the United States "a dumping ground for the rest of the world" as he rallied thousands of Texas supporters behind his fiery candidacy and promised Republican leaders he's just getting started.

NKorea Warns It Has Restarted All Nuclear Bomb Fuel Plants

With a big anniversary drawing near, North Korea declared Tuesday it has upgraded and restarted all of its atomic fuel plants — meaning it could possibly make more, and more sophisticated, nuclear weapons.

Hungary Declares Emergency, Seals Border, Detains Migrants

Declaring a state of emergency, Hungary sealed off its southern border with Serbia on Tuesday and detained those trying to enter illegally, aiming to shut down the flow of migrants pouring in.

Monday, September 14

Suspect ID'd in Delta State and Gautier Shootings, Remains At-Large

A professor was killed in his office at Delta State University in Mississippi, and investigators are searching for another school employee in connection with the killing, officials said Monday.

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Noel Quave

On Thursday, Sept. 3, the Mississippi Museum of Art announced that Mississippi School for the Arts student Noel Quave had been selected to be a part of the "Art.Write.Now.DC" exhibition.

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'More Than a Gym': Deville YMCA Patrons Upset Over Lease Loss

David Reeves, president and CEO of the Metropolitan YMCAs of Mississippi, told concerned Deville Y members that the loss of its lease was a simple "business decision" for the building's New York-based owners.

Professor Dead After Shooting at College in Mississippi

A professor was killed in his office at Delta State University in Mississippi, an official said Monday, and the campus remained on lockdown after reports of a shooter on the loose.

Analysis: Wright Wants Higher Bar Third-Grade Reading Test

State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright wants to move the goalposts on third-grade literacy, requiring students to score significantly higher to advance to fourth grade.

Kentucky Clerk Won't Interfere with Gay Marriage Licenses

Clerk Kim Davis returned to work Monday for the first time since being jailed for disobeying a federal judge and said she was faced with a "seemingly impossible choice" between following her conscience and losing her freedom over denying marriage licenses to gay couples.

White House Rolling Out Red Carpet for Pope Francis

When Pope Francis arrives on his first-ever visit to the United States, he will be welcomed in a way that few world leaders have: with President Barack Obama waiting at the bottom of the airplane stairs to greet him.

Deadly Northern California Wildfire Incinerates Homes

An explosive wildfire burned largely unchecked Monday after incinerating homes, apartment blocks and hundreds of other buildings as it raced through rural communities in Northern California's Lake County.

Saturday, September 12

Former B.B. King Aide Accuses 3 Daughters of Defamation

A former personal aide to B.B. King is suing three of the late blues legend's daughters in Las Vegas over allegations that King was poisoned before he died in May.

Friday, September 11

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Hinds Student Cleared of 'Sagging' Violation, Still Faces Charges

Despite being cleared of violating school policy and avoiding disciplinary penalties, a Hinds Community College student still faces criminal charges stemming from a Sept. 1 incident.

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Music Legend Steve Earle: The Mississippi Flag Must Change

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Steve Earle is the latest person to join the flag debate though his voice comes in the form of a good-old-fashioned protest song.

4 European Nations Strongly Rebuff Mandatory Migrant Quotas

The migrant crisis is "probably the biggest challenge for the European Union in its history," Germany's foreign minister declared Friday — but despite his warning, at least four Central European nations firmly rejected an EU proposal for mandatory refugee quotas.

Police Body Cameras May Solve One Problem but Create Others

The use of police body cameras is spreading to keep officers honest about using force against citizens. But how and when the public gets to see the footage is up for debate.

On Sept. 11 Anniversary, Appeals to Remember as Time Passes

Relatives of Sept. 11 victims marked the anniversary of the terror attacks Friday at ground zero with grief, gratitude and appeals to keep the toll front of mind after the passage of 14 years.

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Will D. Campbell

Will D. Campbell was one of few white clerics with an extensive field record as a civil-rights activist during the 1960s.

House Keeps Trying to Snarl Iran Nuclear Deal

House Republicans pushed Friday toward votes challenging President Barack Obama over the Iran nuclear deal even though the Senate has already preserved the accord.

US Judges Decline to Put Justice Court Judge Back on Ballot

Three judges have dismissed a federal lawsuit that sought to put a justice court judge back on the November ballot in north Mississippi after the state Supreme Court removed him from office amid findings of misconduct.

Thursday, September 10

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Report: State Health Disparities Persist

When it comes to health, huge disparities exist between whites and nonwhites, men and women, and rich and poor in Mississippi.

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Serena Williams

Tennis champion Serena Williams put the discussion of whether she's one of the best women's players to bed long before her dominating run this year.

Israeli Defense Chief: Russian Troops Already in Syria

Russian troops have arrived in Syria to aid Bashar Assad's beleaguered government in the battle against Islamic State militants, Israel's defense minister said Thursday, a development could help the Syrian president reverse his recent battlefield losses in the country's bitter civil war, now in its fifth year.

New Federal Food Safety Rules Issued After Deadly Outbreaks

Food manufacturers must be more vigilant about keeping their operations clean under new government safety rules released Thursday in the wake of deadly foodborne illness outbreaks linked to ice cream, caramel apples, cantaloupes and peanuts.

Officer Trials in Freddie Gray Death Will Stay in Baltimore

The trials for six police officers charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray will be held in Baltimore, a judge ruled Thursday, saying that it would be nearly impossible to find a place that was not inundated by publicity from the high-profile case.

Few Additional Students Pass Third-Grade Test on Third Try

About 1 in 7 students who didn't pass Mississippi's third-grade reading test on the first two tries managed to clear the bar the third time over the summer.

Wednesday, September 9

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2015 Conerly Trophy Hopefuls

Each year, the best college football player at a four-year college or university in the state of Mississippi receives the Conerly Trophy. And every year, I try to look at who might take home the hardware before the season starts.

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Setting the Stäge

Jackson residents will have the opportunity to experience exotic dishes every Monday in October when local chef Tom Ramsey, owner of La Finestra, begins a month-long series of pop-up dinners at Taste of the Island Caribbean.

The Slate

One of the best things to watch after the first week of college football is the overreaction. One loss is the end of the world, and a win means titles.

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Bottoms Up, Angels

When Toni Francis' husband, T, came home from a trip to Vicksburg, Francis never imagined that one day, she'd become the marketing and events coordinator for the Jackson chapter of Barley's Angels, one of 75 all-female groups from across the world dedicated to craft-beer education.

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Mississippi Flag: A Symbol of Hate or Reconciliation?

Kitsaa Stevens is arguably one of the more passionate defenders of the current Mississippi state flag, which has included the most notorious Confederate battle emblem in its canton since 1894.

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Saints Look to Rebound

Last season's New Orleans Saints broke a five-season streak of finishing .500 or better and had their first losing season since 2007.

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Time to Understand and Undo Racism

Awareness of differing viewpoints and cultures must happen: Ignorance needs to be dispelled and truths told in a safe environment with the purpose of moving forward on a continuum of understanding.

Real Transparency, Please, Not Smoke and Mirrors

One online dictionary defines transparency as "free from pretense or deceit," "easily detected or seen through" and "readily understood." However, too many government agencies at the local and state levels are only ostensibly transparent.

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Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Warfighters'

Sen. Cochran, who came within a hair's width of losing his Senate seat in the Republican primary against state Sen. Chris McDaniel because of his penchant for pork-barrel spending over the years, is already back in the saddle raining federal taxpayer cash on Mississippi and beating his chest about it.

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Tripping, Flipping, Fixing, Selling and Pimping

"For a while, I believed that certain types of people would never change. On today's show, the Finance Pimp is on the set to prove me wrong."

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‘I Can’t Breathe’: Restraint, Seclusion Under Review

In June, the Mississippi Department of Education drafted a restraint and seclusion policy that is already under tough scrutiny by parent, education and advocacy groups around the state.

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The High Cost of Cheap Immigrant Labor

Attorneys want to use RICO to prosecute a pair of Mississippi companies they say defrauded workers from Mexico.

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The Next Fight: LGBT Workplace Rights

Lavell Brown filed a discrimination lawsuit in federal court after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued him a right-to-sue notice in February.

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The Curse of the Mississippi Flag

The 1894 Mississippi flag, with the Confederate battle emblem as its canton, represents much more than an antiquated piece of cloth.

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Wonder Lives Here

After nearly $9,000 in renovations, Ron Chane used the Sept. 3 Fondren's First Thursday to unveil The Wonder Lab, a collection of studio spaces that he hopes will be a springboard for Jackson creatives.

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James McMurtry: Plain English

Americana singer-songwriter James McMurtry grew up all over the South, but his attitude and style is pure Texas.

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Sameerah Muhammad

Sameerah Muhammad has used her creativity in the kitchen since she was 6 years old.

4-Year-Old Boy, His Dog Rescued from Well in Mississippi

After spending three hours in an old water well, a 4-year-old boy was rescued along with his dog in southern Mississippi as emergency workers cheered.

Tuesday, September 8

Ron Chane and Brad Franklin on Rap and Reconciliation

It all started with an apology. Ron Chane, organizer of Fondren's First Thursday, apologized for a music act that preformed on Sept. 3 that wasn't exactly family friendly. In Chane's apology, he went on to say that going forward no music from the offending party's genre would be permitted to play at the event.

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Bring the Heat, Revolution's Corner and Siemens Milestone

Revolution's Corner is a new bodega operating in the space that formerly housed Adobo at the corner of Pearl and Roach streets in the Standard Life Building.

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Revolution's Corner, Bodega and Chill Spot, Open Downtown

Abraham Santa Cruz is trying to make a way for a new downtown venture called Revolution's Corner, now open at the corner of Pearl and Roach streets in the Standard Life Building.

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Máirtín de Cógáin

Cork, Ireland-born entertainer Máirtín de Cógáin, an enthusiastic promoter of the Celtic and Irish heritages, has become a CelticFest favorite for many.

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Freddie Gray's Family Settles With City for $6.4M

The family of Freddie Gray, who died after being critically injured in police custody, reached a $6.4 million wrongful death settlement with the city of Baltimore.

Koreas to Hold Oct. 20-26 Reunions of War-Divided Families

North and South Korea agreed Tuesday to hold reunions next month of families separated by the Korean War in the early 1950s, a small but important bit of progress for rivals that just last month were threatening each other with war.

Pope Speeds Up, Simplifies Process for Marriage Annulments

Pope Francis radically reformed the Catholic Church's process for annulling marriages Tuesday, allowing for fast-track decisions and removing automatic appeals in a bid to speed up and simplify the procedure.

Minnesota Dentist Who Killed Beloved Lion Returns to Work

The Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the lion returned to work Tuesday after weeks away, walking silently past a swarm of media and a handful of protesters outside his small dental practice calling for him to be sent to Zimbabwe to face trial.

Ted Cruz Cozies Up to Donald Trump, Aims for His Supporters

On Wednesday, at Ted Cruz's invitation, Donald Trump is to appear with him at a Capitol Hill rally protesting the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran.

Democrats Clinch Critical 41 Votes for Iran Nuclear Deal

Democrats clinched the crucial Senate votes Tuesday to block passage of a disapproval resolution against the Iran nuclear accord, an outcome that would be a major victory for President Barack Obama against united Republican opposition.

Migrants Keep Entering Hungary as Work on Fence Speeds Up

Hungarian authorities on Tuesday began busing weary migrants and refugees to a nearby registration center, defusing some tensions at Hungary's southern border with Serbia.

Monday, September 7

Sen. Cochran Helps Get $27 Million Army Contract for Miss.

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran says a U.S. Army contract to accelerate Department of Defense high performance computing capabilities will involve significant participation from the Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg and the Navy DoD Supercomputing Resource Center at Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis.

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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, September 5

Foundation Will Increase Pledge to Ole Miss, Not Revoke It

The Gertrude Ford Foundation not pulling back its $20 million pledge to the University of Mississippi in the wake of Chancellor Dan Jones' removal. In fact, it's raising the donation to $25 million.

Friday, September 4

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Jackson Property Tax Rate Remains Flat

Property owners in Jackson will see their tax rate remain unchanged from last year, but the city anticipates lower revenue collections from property taxes.

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Afroman Fined, Ordered to Get Counseling for Punching Fan

Rap artist Afroman has been given a suspended six-month jail sentence, fined $330 and ordered to undergo anger management and impulse behavior counseling for punching a woman who jumped on a stage during a concert earlier this year.

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HHS Unveils Civil Rights Protections For Transgender Patients’ Health Services

The Obama administration has barred medical providers and insurers from discriminating based on gender in treatments or access to facilities or services.

US Promising Help to Keep Iran in Check in Middle East

The Obama administration is greeting King Salman of Saudi Arabia with assurances that the Iran nuclear deal comes with the necessary resources to help check the Islamic Republic's regional ambitions.

With Clerk Jailed, Gay Kentucky Couple Gets Marriage License

William Smith Jr. and James Yates became the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license Friday morning in Kentucky's Rowan County.

Hospice Chain Settles Whistleblower Suit for $5.9 Million

A chain of hospices in four states has agreed to settle a whistleblower lawsuit concerning overbilling for $5.9 million.

Thursday, September 3

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Jackson Charter Schools Get $1 Million Boost from GOP Donor, Philanthropist

Two new charter schools in Jackson are getting a big boost from a former chief executive officer, philanthropist who donates money to conservative Republicans.

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Chane Unveils The Wonder Lab at Fondren's First Thursday

After nearly $9,000 out of pocket in renovation, Ron Chane is today unveiling The Wonder Lab, a collection of studio spaces that he hopes will be a springboard for Jackson creatives.

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Robert Walker

Vicksburg native Robert Walker is starting his second term as interim athletic director at Jackson State University, a position he previously held from February to August 2011.

Prosecutors: Church Shooting Suspect to Face Death Penalty

The white man accused of killing nine black churchgoers during a Bible study will face the death penalty, according to court documents filed Thursday.

Judge Jails Kentucky Clerk for Refusing Marriage Licenses

A federal judge ordered a defiant county clerk to jail for contempt Thursday after she insisted that it would violate her conscience to follow court orders to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

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Texas Abortion Clinics Appeal to Supreme Court

Texas abortion clinics are asking the Supreme Court to take up a major case about abortion rights in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Jackson Pothole Report: Sept. 3, 2015

City of Jackson crews are patching potholes across the city.

Wednesday, September 2

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Mayor Yarber Opens Up City Data

Mayor Tony Yarber is opening up. Specifically, his administration is developing an open-data policy for the City of Jackson.

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MasterChef Meet Cute

Jackson is on the menu for the next season of FOX's hit program "MasterChef." The network announced its seventh season casting route, which includes a stop in Jackson on Saturday, Oct. 3.

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A Lesson in Pop Art

Pop artist Adrienne Domnick recently sat down with the Jackson Free Press at Offbeat in midtown, where she paints, lives and serves as president of the Business Association of Midtown.

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Konnichiwa from Japan

The Mississippi Children's Museum is now helping kids learn more about Japanese culture with the "Hello from Japan!" traveling exhibit.

Do the Right Thing in Disasters

There's an expression that says if the nation sneezes, Mississippi catches the flu.

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The Katrina Education Lie

Among the many reflections on the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast, the discussion of its effects on schools in New Orleans may be the most disingenuous.

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Howard Industries’ Secret Life

Many of Howard Industries' predominantly black workers say they're underpaid for the hard, grueling work they do, but negotiations with management went nowhere after at least 16 meetings.

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College Football’s Realities and Arrests

Thursday marks the start of the 2015-2016 college football season. Here are a couple of things to chew on while you wait for your favorite team to kickoff the season.

The Slate

College football is back. The games count, and kickoff is Thursday night. Cold weather is also on the way with the return of football.

Katrina: Words After the Storm

Here are a few great reads that remind us of the struggles and triumphs in the midst of one of America’s costliest storms, Hurricane Katrina.

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Ani-make a Connection

The second annual Anime Getaway Jackson may be a celebration of entertainment and culture coming to Mississippi by way of Japan, but the convention itself originated in Memphis, Tenn.

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Off the Beaten Path

The Mississippi Museum of Art partnered with Phillip Rollins, also known as DJ Young Venom, for Museum After Hours Offbeat Art.

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Delving into the Delta King

As the director of B.B. King Recording Studio and chairman of the Fine Arts Department at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Alphonso Sanders wanted to acknowledge more than King's music.

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To Build a ‘Creative Economy,’ Fund Education

I started thinking a lot about the "creative economy" when we started our coverage of the 2014 TEDxJackson event. The whole idea behind Jackson's first TEDx event was big ideas, and many of them were incredible.

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Funding a Lifeline for Homeless Youth

Stewpot Community Services is one of several programs that serve homeless youth in the Jackson area. More than 3,000 students in Jackson Public Schools are homeless.

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Justice, Hope and Hurricane Katrina

Re-housing residents along the Mississippi coast became the most daunting problem of the post-Katrina recovery—logistically and politically speaking.

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Melanie Patterson

Melanie Patterson is a strong believer that the ocean is something to be both explored and respected.

Tuesday, September 1

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Reeves, Gunn Refuse to Reveal Emails About Initiatives 42 and 42-A

Officials with the public-school advocacy group Better Schools, Better Jobs are exploring their options after top lawmakers denied the group's public-records request for emails.

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James A. Hefner

James A. Hefner, a former president of Jackson State University, died from complications from colon cancer Thursday, Aug. 27, in his home in Brentwood, Tenn. He was 76.

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Tom Ramsey's Stäge Pops Up, Bar Expands and Mississippi Modern Open House

Local chef Tom Ramsey, owner of La Finestra, is hosting a series of pop-up dinners at Taste of the Island Caribbean throughout October.

Los Angeles City Council Poised to Vote on 2024 Olympic Plan

A month after Boston's bid for the 2024 Olympic Games collapsed, Los Angeles appears on the verge of stepping in as the replacement U.S. candidate.

UNESCO Chief: IS Destruction of Syrian Temple 'Intolerable'

Islamic State militants in Syria committed an "intolerable crime against civilization" by destroying the Temple of Bel, one of the ancient world's most iconic monuments, the head of the U.N. cultural agency said Tuesday.

Pope: Priests in Holy Year Can Absolve 'Sin of Abortion'

Pope Francis declared on Tuesday he is allowing all priests in the church's upcoming Year of Mercy to absolve women of the "sin of abortion" if they repent with a "contrite heart," saying he is acutely aware some feel they have no choice but to abort.

Black Lives Matter Movement Experiencing Growing Pains

Hundreds of Black Lives Matter activists, black and white, marched outside the Minnesota State Fair this weekend, hoping to bring attention to the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police.

Federal Judge Orders Kentucky Clerk and Her Staff to Court

A county clerk in Kentucky who invoked "God's authority" Tuesday for defying the U.S. Supreme Court on gay marriage has been summoned by a federal judge to explain why she should not be fined or jailed for contempt.