Saturday, December 31
School Funding Formula Looms as Top 2017 Issue for Lawmakers
The top issue for Mississippi's Legislature when it returns Tuesday is education funding, but Republican leaders' plans remain to be seen.
Friday, December 30
Putin Says Russia Won't Expel Diplomats; Trump Offers Praise
President Vladimir Putin castigated the United States on Friday for trying to punish Russia but said his country will not immediately retaliate and instead will wait for a new U.S. approach by Donald Trump. The president-elect praised Putin's move and called him "very smart."
Syria's Cease-Fire Holding Despite Minor Violations
A nationwide Syrian cease-fire brokered by Russia and Turkey that went into effect at midnight held Friday despite minor violations, marking a potential breakthrough in a conflict that has disregarded high-level peace initiatives for over five years.
Judge Weill Takes Stand in DA Trial, Followed by Political Gadfly
A sitting Hinds County Circuit Court Judge took the stand this morning in the trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, despite his attorney's strenuous objections, testifying to his history with Smith.
Obama Appoints Jackson Airport CEO to National Council
President Barack Obama will appoint Carl Newman, the CEO of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council.
Actor, writer and film producer Ben Matheny isn't shy about his pride for his Mississippi roots.
Putin Says Russia Won't Expel US Diplomats in Hacking Flap
President Vladimir Putin castigated the United States on Friday for imposing sanctions and expelling Russian diplomats amid allegations of Russian meddling in the American presidential election, but said no U.S. diplomats will be ousted in reprisal for President Barack Obama's moves in the wake of hacking attacks.
Mississippi Road Money Push Hits Pothole: GOP Tax Opposition
A year after an effort to increase gasoline and diesel taxes to spend more on transportation stalled out, Mississippi legislative leaders say chances of action don't look better in 2017.
Thursday, December 29
States Face Off Over Future of Obama Global Warming Plan
Two weeks after officials in two dozen states asked Republican President-elect Donald Trump to kill one of Democratic President Barack Obama's signature plans to curb global warming, another group of state officials is urging Trump to save it.
Obama Retaliates Against Russia for Election Hacking
In a sweeping response to election hacking, President Barack Obama on Thursday sanctioned Russian intelligence services and their top officials, kicked out 35 Russian officials and shuttered two Russian-owned compounds in the U.S. It was the strongest action the Obama administration has taken to date to retaliate for a cyberattack.
'Too Sweet,' Bribes and Smith Take Center Stage at DA Trial
The trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith continues today with testimony from Robert "Too Sweet" Henderson.
Sanderson Farms, IBM: HB 1523 Hurts Businesses, Economic Growth
Mississippi business leaders, corporations, lawyers and locals denounced House Bill 1523 in eight legal briefs filed just before Christmas, supporting plaintiffs that want the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the lower court's decision and deem the "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act" unlawful.
Alcorn State University's basketball team is set to enter SWAC play after posting a 3-8 record thus far in out-of-conference play. If the Braves are going to compete for the regular-season title, they will have to lean on their budding superstar, forward Reginal Johnson.
Russian Plane Crash Probe Rules out Explosion
Flight recorders revealed no evidence of an explosion on board a Russian plane that crashed into the Black Sea, killing all 92 on board, but investigators haven't ruled out foul play, a military official said Thursday.
US Senators: Russia Should be Sanctioned for Election Hacks
U.S. senators visiting eastern European allies to discuss security issues called for sanctions against Russia for interfering in the presidential election by hacking American political sites and email accounts.
Wednesday, December 28
Making Ends Meet: Lawmakers Wrestle with Education, Infrastructure and Shrinking Revenue
Education funding dominated headlines throughout 2016, as lawmakers worked to level-fund and not cut the amount of funding that went to the Mississippi Adequate Education Program in previous budget years, despite cutting most other agency budgets.
A Cold War Mentality
Back in the summer of 1992, just months after the failed coup that led to the fall of communism and Boris Yeltsin's rise to leadership in a new post-Soviet Russia, I traveled with my late wife, Marilyn, to Moscow and met Roman Fiodorov.
Start Running Government Like a Business
Whether from Donald Trump or the GOP supermajority in the Mississippi Legislature, we hear constantly that Republicans want to "run government like a business." The problem is that many of them don't appear to know how legitimate, forward-looking, smart businesses actually work.
Seeds of Destiny
One of the most influential mentors in my early years was Arla Little, the artistic director of the Black Repertory Dance Troupe in Berkeley, Calif.
DA Smith: Going Too Far to Help Butler?
The jury in the trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith has a lot to untangle, as the prosecution continues to present pieces of its case that the district attorney conspired to hinder the prosecution of Christopher Butler in order to aid in efforts to free him.
Beyond Blame: JPS Works to Avoid State Takeover of Local Schools
At the last Jackson Public Schools board meeting of the year, parents and community members crowded the board room in downtown Jackson, accidentally brushing knees together as they filled the seats. More people, smushed together in bulky coats, stood against the walls.
The Dark Side of the Hinds Justice System
It will be a tough slog, but we need confidence and accountability in the Hinds criminal-justice system again.
Anthony Robinson, owner of Ant Rob Apparel, started his clothing business out of his Jackson home in 2002 out of a desire to help inspire people through positive messages, something he says he hadn't seen enough of in local apparel stores.
Mississippi Lawmakers Vague on Tax Proposals for '17 Session
Mississippi's Republican-led Legislature and GOP Gov. Phil Bryant enacted a substantial package of tax cuts during their 2016 session, with reductions phased in over several years. But leaders are vague about whether they will propose other tax changes during the three-month 2017 session that begins Jan. 3.
Bring in the New Year, Jackson Style
On Thursday, Dec. 29, Deep South Pops and Blazewalker Pictures will host the After-Mas Music Festival in the Highland Village courtyard (4500 Interstate 55 N.).
The Advocate, Reunited
If hearing that The Advocate is back together brings a tinge of nostalgia, you're probably a reformed Jackson metal head.
Tuesday, December 27
Day 5: DA's Attorney Takes Stand ... for Prosecution
Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith had the opportunity to ask his own attorney questions on the stand after the prosecution called Tupelo attorney Jim Waide as its latest witness during the fifth morning of testimony the Smith trial.
Daughter: Actress and Author Carrie Fisher Dies at Age 60
Actress Carrie Fisher, who found enduring fame as Princess Leia in the original "Star Wars," has died. She was 60.
There was no celebrating Thursday night for the Mississippi Rebels, despite an impressive 92-58 win over South Alabama, highlighted by Sebastian Saiz's 23-point, 16-rebound performance.
Settlement: State Has One Year to Improve Foster Care After Maltreatment
Mississippi's newly formed Department of Child Protection Services will have a year to revamp the state's foster-care system, due to the long-running "Olivia Y" lawsuit over maltreatment of children in State care.
Obama, Japan's Abe to Seek Reconciliation at Pearl Harbor
Putting 75 years of resentment behind them, the leaders of the United States and Japan are coming together at Pearl Harbor for a historic pilgrimage to the site where a devastating surprise attack sent America marching into World War II.
Rescuers Find Flight Recorder from Black Sea Plane Crash
Rescue workers on Tuesday found a flight recorder from the Russian military plane that crashed into the Black Sea over the weekend, the defense ministry said.
Trump Says He's Closing Foundation, but Democrats Want More
President-elect Donald Trump says he will dissolve his charitable foundation before taking office to avoid conflicts of interest. The Democratic Party says that's not enough and is calling for the billionaire businessman to put his assets in a blind trust.
Trumps Pick for Ambassador to Israel Sparks Hot Debate
If President-elect Donald Trump wanted to show he planned to obliterate President Barack Obama's approach to Israel, he might have found his man to deliver that message in David Friedman, his pick for U.S. ambassador.
Trump Says UN Just a Club for People to 'Have a Good Time'
Days after the United Nations voted to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, Donald Trump questioned its effectiveness Monday, saying it's just a club for people to "have a good time."
Monday, December 26
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, December 23
Day 4 of DA Smith Trial All About Jail Visits
Staff from the Raymond detention center and criminal defendant Christopher's Butler's old attorney, Sanford Knott, dominated the much of day four of the trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith for conspiracy to hinder prosecution and aid or assist Christopher Butler in his bid to get released from jail.
Facing Takeover, JPS Corrective Action Gains Urgency
After a first failed attempt at submitting a corrective action plan to get the district off probation, Jackson Public Schools made good on its second attempt.
Putin Praises Trump's Judgment, Rejects Hacking Claims
Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced hope Friday that frayed relations with the U.S. will improve once Donald Trump becomes president despite his pledge to strengthen the U.S.'s nuclear arsenal.
Dorothy Stewart says that when she was growing up, someone once asked her, "Dorothy, what do you want to be?" "I want to be a doctor," Stewart replied.
Australia Police: Christmas Day Bomb Plot Foiled, 5 Detained
Police in Australia have detained five men suspected of planning a series of Christmas Day attacks using explosives, knives and a gun in the heart of the country's second-largest city, officials said Friday.
Berlin Truck Attack Suspect Killed in Milan Police Shootout
The Tunisian man suspected in a deadly attack on a Christmas market in Berlin was killed early Friday in a shootout with police in Milan during a routine patrol outside a train station, ending a Europe-wide manhunt.
Thursday, December 22
Putin: Russia's Military is Stronger Than Any Potential Foe
Russia's military today can overpower any potential foe but should strengthen its nuclear arsenal, President Vladimir Putin told an annual end-of-year meeting Thursday with defense chiefs.
Syrian Government Takes Full Control of Aleppo After 4 Years
The Syrian government took full control of Aleppo on Thursday for the first time in four years after the last opposition fighters and civilians were bused out of war-ravaged eastern districts, sealing the end of the rebellion's most important stronghold.
Officials Say Fingerprints Tie Tunisian to Berlin Attack
German officials presented mounting evidence Thursday that Anis Amri was behind the wheel of a truck that smashed into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12, as authorities across Europe pressed ahead with their feverish manhunt for the 24-year-old Tunisian, who has evaded capture since the attack.
UPDATED: Gregarious Former Sheriff, Police Chief Malcolm McMillin Dies
The only person to serve as both Hinds County sheriff and Jackson police chief, Malcolm McMillin, died today after a long illness.
Smith Trial: Defense Tries to Impugn Informant
On the fourth day of the trial against the Hinds County district attorney, his attorney tried to impugn the motives of a former employee-turned-informant, pressing him for more details on an alleged bribery conspiracy.
Trump: US Must 'Greatly Strengthen' Nuclear Capability
President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday abruptly called for the United States to "greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability" until the rest of the world "comes to its senses" regarding nuclear weapons.
Aeris Williams' career high for rushing yards in a game entering this season was 46 yards, and he rushed for just 206 yards with three touchdowns as a redshirted freshman.
Deep Divide Stops Effort to Repeal North Carolina LGBT Law
A supposedly bipartisan deal to repeal North Carolina's anti-LGBT law collapsed when both sides balked and started blaming each other, likely meaning their state will keep being shunned by corporations, entertainers and high-profile sporting events.
White Nationalists Raise Millions with Tax-Exempt Charities
The federal government has allowed four groups at the forefront of the white nationalist movement to register as charities and raise more than $7.8 million in tax-deductible donations over the past decade, according to an Associated Press review.
Feds Announce First Hate Crime Plea with Transgender Victim
A Mississippi man who previously admitted killing a transgender teen from Alabama because of her sexual identity has pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime.
Wednesday, December 21
Conspiracies Grow in DA Smith Trial
There might be a bribery conspiracy in the Hinds County justice system, and even an admitted member of it said he did not know how "deep it goes."
Mississippi Church Member Charged in 'Vote Trump' Arson
A Mississippi man arrested in the burning of an African-American church that was spray-painted with the words "Vote Trump" is a member of the congregation, the church's bishop said.
Christmas has been approaching ever so slowly, but now it seems to be coming in at warp speed. If you're still trying to find last-minute gifts and stocking stuffers, here are some local, unique items to pick up.
Love Thy Neighbor: How to Connect in Divided Times
You can't sugarcoat it. In the wake of the 2016 presidential campaign, these are tough, divisive times. We're all hearing a lot about how Americans don't talk to people who disagree with them, especially between races and economic classes.
Time to Do Away with the Electoral College
Several protesters stood in a line outside the Mississippi Capitol on Dec. 16 chanting "Brief the electors; send it to the House!" They were primarily protesting the Electoral College, the increasingly problematic way in which the United States has elected its president since it was adopted in 1787.
Christmas 1971, Christmas 2016
I huddled in the doorway trying, without much success to get some relief from the blowing snow and the cold. The bowling alley had closed many hours before, and it was a lonely and dark place now.
Campaign Finance, BP Money Bills Await Legislators
Thanks to BP, Mississippi has additional income to spend in the 2017 legislative session. The state received its first payment from BP from the 2010 oil-spill settlement last summer.
Germany Launches Europe-Wide Manhunt for Tunisian Suspect
German authorities have launched a Europe-wide manhunt for a Tunisian man with ties to Islamic extremists who has been identified as a suspect in the Berlin Christmas market attack, lawmakers said Wednesday.
In the Spirit of the Holidays
The holiday season should be merry for everyone. The fact is, though, not everyone is feeling merry and bright. So be in the holiday spirit and keep your heart open to those who might be missing someone, overworked, stressed out, far away from their families, losing their jobs, etc.
Nine years ago, when Swell-o-Phonic was in the space where Fondren Public is currently located, it wasn't just a skate shop and clothing store. It also housed an art exhibition space, Icon Gallery, and Jackson native Emmi Sprayberry was its manager.
Saving Tax Dollars with Re-entry and Rehabilitation
Former inmates could leave Mississippi prisons with dignity and be able to find jobs, U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett told the Mississippi House Corrections Committee last week. The advocate of drug courts and re-entry programs for former inmates said some of the reforms would not have fiscal consequences.
The Vamps Rev Up
When The Vamps performed at Duling Hall in December 2015, attendees kept telling the musicians how thrilled they were that the band was playing a reunion show. Of course, the issue with that, drummer Denny Burkes says, is that they never broke up in the first place.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
I try to live by two mottos: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and "Be the change you wish to see in the world." I think both of those are important in this season, especially with the state of the world.
Licensing Mississippi’s Teachers: A Shift in Control?
Mississippi leaders may establish a new agency to ensure the quality of teachers and the programs that train them.
Tuesday, December 20
Informant: Butler Case ‘Became the Big Thing’ in DA’s Office
It all began in the P.F. Chang’s parking lot, a former assistant district attorney testified on Tuesday in the trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith for two counts of conspiracy and one count of aiding or assisting a criminal defendant while serving as district attorney.
Informant Recorded DA Smith, Reported to FBI for Months
Former Hinds County Assistant District Attorney Ivon Johnson secretly taped District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith on several occasions over the last year, FBI Special Agent Robert Culpepper testified this morning during the trial against the county's top prosecutor for alleged trying to help wire-fraud suspect Christopher Butler beat his charges.
Livingston Cellars, NewCare MD and Belhaven School of Science and Mathematics
Every season, wine and spirits store Livingston Cellars holds a wine-tasting event. For this season, Mitchell Earrey, the store's general manager and resident sommelier, planned a special New Year's Eve-themed event on Friday, Dec. 30.
Jarrius Adams, a 19-year-old Hattiesburg resident and a sophomore at the University of Mississippi majoring in public policy and political science, recently won the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway competition, which took place during the halftime of the Big 10 Championship Game between Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wisconsin on Dec. 3.
Revolt Fizzles as Trump Easily Wins Electoral College Vote
Despite weeks of lobbying and a day of protests, President-elect Donald Trump won all but two of the Electoral College votes he claimed on Election Day, ensuring he will become America's 45th president.
North Carolina's 'Bathroom Bill' Set on Fast Path to Repeal
North Carolina lawmakers appear poised to repeal a controversial law widely derided as the "bathroom bill" because it requires transgender people to use restrooms corresponding with the sex on their birth certificate in many public buildings.
China Returns US Underwater Drone Seized in South China Sea
China on Tuesday handed back to the United States an underwater drone it had seized last week in an incident that raised tensions in a relationship that has been tested by President-elect Donald Trump's signals of a tougher policy toward Beijing.
Wisconsin's Walker Asks Trump for More Control Over Refugees
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker asked President-elect Donald Trump in a letter delivered Tuesday to give his state more authority in determining how many refugees can come from countries with ties to terrorism.
Trump Blames Terrorists for Killings in Turkey, Germany
Jumping ahead of investigators, President-elect Donald Trump is blaming Islamic terrorists for deadly violence in Turkey and Germany and vowing anew to eradicate their regional and global networks.
Scotland Seeks Own Future in EU Despite UK's Departure
Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon offered proposals Tuesday to protect Scotland's place in Europe after Britain leaves the European Union, saying it's possible to keep Scotland in Europe's single market even after Brexit.
Judge OKs New Agreements in Mississippi Foster Care Case
The state of Mississippi and child advocates have reached another set of agreements in a 12-year-old lawsuit over shortfalls in the state's child welfare system.
Monday, December 19
AG's Office: Assistant DA to Testify For Prosecution After Charges Dismissed
One of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith’s former assistant DAs will testify for the prosecution in his trial for alleged tampering with wire-fraud suspect Christopher Butler, the attorney general’s office said today. Special Judge Larry Roberts dropped charges against ADA Jamie McBride while jury selection was underway earlier today.
Local Holiday Eats
Check out this list of restaurants and businesses that have holiday specials.
DA Robert Smith's Trial Starts Today
The trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith for alleged tampering with criminal cases began today, with jury selection this morning. The list of potential witnesses in Special Judge Larry Roberts' courtroom includes Smith's own attorney, Jim Waide, and Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason.
Mississippi Electors Choose Trump
Mississippi's six presidential electors cast their votes for Donald Trump for president and Mike Pence for vice president this morning at the Capitol.
Allenzae Staggers set New Orleans Bowl records with 11 catches for 230 yards and also scored a touchdown to help Southern Miss beat Louisiana-Lafayette 28-21 on Saturday night.
Gunman Opens Fire on Russian Ambassador to Turkey at Exhibit
A gunman opened fire on Russia's ambassador to Turkey at a photo exhibition on Monday. The Russian foreign ministry confirmed he was shot, but did not immediately say anything about his condition.
Gov-Elect: North Carolina Will Repeal LGBT Law on Tuesday
North Carolina legislators will repeal the contentious HB2 law that limited protections for LGBT people and led to an economic backlash, the state's incoming governor said Monday.
France, Russia Reach Compromise as Aleppo Rescue Uncertain
France struck a compromise Sunday with Russia on a U.N. resolution that it said would prevent "mass atrocities" in besieged areas of Aleppo, where thousands of trapped civilians and rebel fighters await evacuation in freezing temperatures.
Trump Aides Ask of Russian Meddling: Does it Matter?
Donald Trump's top aides on Sunday said the president-elect isn't ready to accept the finding by intelligence officials that Moscow hacked Democratic emails in a bid to elevate Trump. Even if it's true, they said, Trump still won the White House fair and square.
Trump Action on Health Care Could Cost Planned Parenthood
One of President-elect Donald Trump's first, and defining, acts next year could come on Republican legislation to cut off taxpayer money from Planned Parenthood.
McCain Sees Russia Hacking as Threat, at Odds with Trump
President-elect Donald Trump is the business titan who has spoken appreciatively of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Republican Sen. John McCain is the tough-talking national security hawk who warns that Russian interference in the U.S. election threatens to "destroy democracy."
Trump Picks Hockey Team Owner, Businessman for Army Job
President-elect Donald Trump has picked Vincent Viola, a New York businessman, West Point graduate and owner of the Florida Panthers hockey team, as his secretary of the Army.
10 Local Stories of the Week
There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them.
Saturday, December 17
Aryan Brotherhood Mississippi Leader Gets Life Sentence
A member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi has been sentenced to life in prison, months after a federal jury convicted him of helping kill a man over an unpaid drug debt.
Friday, December 16
Trump Moves to Cancel Deals in Azerbaijan, Georgia
The Trump Organization has canceled a licensing deal for a hotel in Azerbaijan and is taking steps to do the same for a project in neighboring Georgia, part of recent efforts by the president-elect to extricate his business from thorny relationships five weeks before he takes office.
FBI and CIA Agree: Russia Interfered In Election to Help Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is supporting the CIA's conclusion that Russia interfered in the presidential election with the goal of supporting Republican candidate Donald Trump.
HB 1523 Opponents Fight Back, Say Law Gives 'Special Rights'
LGBT rights proponents are pushing back on Gov. Phil Bryant's effect to bring House Bill 1523 back to life today, saying that it endorses and gives special treatment "to certain religions or religious beliefs over others."
Takeover of JPS Looms as District Addresses Probation, Audit
Jackson Public Schools is one step closer to getting off probation—but if the district doesn't correct classroom management and behavior problems soon, the State could take it over.
Thomas J. Ward Jr.
As with all of Mississippi, the rural town of Mound Bayou in Bolivar County has its fair share of interesting landmarks, including one that even some residents might not know the history of since its still active to this day.
Raider of DC Pizza Shop Pleads Not Guilty, Jailed on Assault
A man who police said was inspired by false internet rumors to fire an assault weapon inside a Washington pizzeria has pleaded not guilty to charges including assault with a dangerous weapon.
North Carolina GOP to Strip Democratic Governor's Power
Nearly a month after Election Day, North Carolina Republicans appeared to finally accept Democrats' narrow win in the contentious governor's race. As it turns out, they weren't done fighting.
Ex-Officer to Appear in Court in Fatal Milwaukee Shooting
A Milwaukee police officer charged with killing a black man in August fired the fatal shot after the man had thrown his gun away and was unarmed, according to court documents.
Obama Vows Retaliation for Suspected Russian Hacking
President Barack Obama is promising that the U.S. will retaliate against Russia for its suspected meddling in America's election process, an accusation the Kremlin has vehemently denied.
Jackson Schools Get Shot to Fix Problems, but Takeover Looms
The state Board of Education is giving the Jackson school district a chance to fix accreditation problems, but Mississippi's second-largest school district may have only a short window to avoid a state takeover.
Thursday, December 15
Tales From the Vault
“The purpose is for people to come and interact with the museum, and interact with each other. (They) might feel empowered to make their own art, (and) leave feeling more welcome and more aware that people are out in the world trying to make things better.” —Julian Rankin
Jurors Convict Dylann Roof on All Counts in Church Slayings
Dylann Roof was convicted Thursday in the chilling attack on nine black church members who were shot to death last year during a Bible study, affirming the prosecution's portrayal of a young white man who hoped the slayings would start a race war or bring back segregation.
White House Suggests Putin Was Involved in US Hacking
The Obama administration suggested Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally authorized the hacking of Democratic officials' email accounts in the run-up to the presidential election and said it was "fact" that hacking had helped President-elect Donald Trump's campaign. The White House also leveled an astounding attack on Trump himself, saying he must have known of Russia's interference.
Council Pulls Mayor's Sexual Harassment Settlement from Agenda
The possibility of a settlement in the sexual-harassment and discrimination lawsuit a former executive assistant to Mayor Tony Yarber filed popped up for a moment in the last regular Jackson City Council meeting before President Tyrone Hendrix pulled it from the agenda with no explanation.
Certified: Trump Wins Mississippi with 58 Percent, Electors Ready to Vote
Donald Trump officially won Mississippi with 58 percent of the vote this week when Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann certified the election results this week.
Mississippi Valley State University senior guard Christina Reed earned preseason first-team All-SWAC honors earlier this year. Eight games into this season, she has lived up to the votes that coaches and sports information directors gave her with her play. She is the top scorer in the conference and is ranked in most statistical categories.
Trump Picks His Interior Chief, a Supporter of More Drilling
Edging closer to completing his Cabinet, President-elect Donald Trump announced his choice of Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke as Interior secretary Thursday, picking a man who should fit smoothly into an administration favoring more energy drilling and less regulation.
Jurors to Begin Deliberations in Dylann Roof Trial
Dylann Roof was full of hate and "immense racial ignorance" when he slaughtered nine black worshippers during a Bible study last year at a Charleston church, a prosecutor said Thursday.
Ex-Milwaukee Officer Charged in Fatal Shooting of Black Man
A Milwaukee police officer who killed a black man in August fired the fatal shot after the man had thrown away his gun, according to court documents released Thursday.
Border Cities Worry that Ending NAFTA Would Hurt Economies
Donald Trump's only visit to the U.S.-Mexico border while running for president was a stop in Laredo that lasted less than three hours. On some days, that's not long enough for 18-wheelers hauling foreign-made dishwashers and car batteries to lurch through the gridlocked crossing.
Yellen Signals Caution About Trump's Economic Stimulus Plan
President-elect Donald Trump has pledged deep tax cuts and increased infrastructure spending to restore lost jobs, accelerate the economy and bring prosperity to more Americans.
From Trump and His New Team, Mixed Signals on Climate Change
He brushed off climate change as a Chinese hoax, then called it the real deal and finally declared that "nobody really knows." Donald Trump is sending mixed signals on whether or how he will try to slow Earth's warming temperatures and rising sea levels.
Yahoo's Big Breach Helps Usher in an Age of Hacker Anxiety
Yahoo has become the worst-case example of an unnerving but increasingly common phenomenon — massive hacks that steal secrets and other potentially revealing information from our personal digital accounts, or from big organizations that hold sensitive data on our behalf.
Mississippi Governor Searching for New Public Safety Leader
A spokesman says Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is searching for a new public safety commissioner as the current one gets ready to retire.
Wednesday, December 14
Mississippi Public Safety Commissioner Retiring in January
The Mississippi commissioner of public safety says he will retire Jan. 31.
Saturday kicks off the college-football bowl season with six games. That should be enough to watch or have in the background as you prepare for the holidays.
‘Not a Dungeon’: The Evolving Approach to Juvenile Detention
Across the pod, from inside the darkness of a cell, two shining circles stared out: the still and steady eyes of a black boy, locked up before he is even a man.
Russia Hackers Pale Beside Domestic Voter Suppression
Scary as this may sound, foreign Russian influence doesn't hold a candle to home-cooked voter suppression.
Data Needed to Change Young People’s Lives
In order to solve a problem, you have to understand it fully. Just ask the state of Georgia, which used data to discover that detention wasn't working for its young people.
Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Ridiculous'
Donald Trump's refusal to be concerned about the potential of a foreign power trying to influence U.S. elections is stunning.
‘What Are Your Plans for Me, Mr. Trump?’
Big Roscoe: "Little Mama Roscoe and I have big plans to celebrate the remaining days of 2016 at Clubb Chicken Wing. Despite the numerous and unfortunate executions of poor people, law enforcement, former NFL football players, etc., the hard-working Clubb Chicken Wing staff will continue to serve its loyal customers with a special holiday event called 'The Eight Days of Christmas Hot Wing Happy Hour for World Peace and Sanity.'
Fighting for Women: Workplace Rights, Paid Leave and Pay Gap
Child care, wages, domestic violence, pay equity and paid family and sick leave are at the top of the Mississippi Women's Economic Security Initiative's agenda for the upcoming legislative session.
Aleppo Cease-Fire Collapses, Threatening Evacuation Plans
A cease-fire deal between rebels and the Syrian government in the city of Aleppo effectively collapsed on Wednesday, with fighter jets resuming deadly air raids over the opposition's densely crowded enclave in the east of the city.
'Tis the season for giving gifts, so why not shop local during this holiday season? Here are some fun ideas from local businesses.
All Must Take Responsibility for Preventing Crime
Much research shows that hopelessness prolongs problems, including crime, because people don't do what each of them could to alleviate the conditions that lead to misbehavior.
‘One Lake’ Supporters Banking on Federal Bill
The "One Lake" flood-control/development project will move forward under a new U.S. president and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, members of the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District say.
Mississippi Court Hears Appeal in Fight Over Worker Lawsuits
A worker is fighting one of Mississippi's largest industries in a skirmish over who can be sued when employees suffer on-the-job injuries.
Lead Me to Steepwater
"We're different from everyone else." That is what Jeff Massey, the lead singer and guitarist of The Steepwater Band, will tell you if you ask him to describe the Chicago-based rock-'n'-roll act, but it's not a bragging statement for him as much as it is a testament to the core that has kept the group together for more than 15 years.
Tyler Johnson, a local artist and teacher at Forest Hill High School, tries to capture the aesthetic depths of marine life in much of his artwork, which he says is loosely impressionistic and abstract.
Protecting Refugee Children
The Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program that Catholic Charities runs in the state is one of 19 programs nationally that resettle refugee minors in the U.S. The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement funnels funds to states with unaccompanied minor refugee programs.
Tuesday, December 13
Oklahoma Court Tosses Abortion Law on Hospital Privileges
The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out a law requiring abortion clinics to have doctors who have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of their facility.
Honoring Davis and Baker: MDE Lauds Top JPS Elementary Schools
For the 2015-2016 school year, Davis Magnet IB Elementary School in downtown Jackson had the highest reading proficiency of elementary schools in the state. The National Blue Ribbon School is the best elementary school in Mississippi, SchoolDigger.com reports.
US Halts Some Saudi Arms Sales Over Yemen Deaths Concerns
The Obama administration is terminating some sales of military arms to Saudi Arabia over concerns about the killing of civilians in Yemen by a Saudi-led coalition.
Republican Looks to Overhaul Social Security
A senior Republican lawmaker wants to overhaul Social Security, the decades-old program that provides benefits to some 60 million retirees and disabled, with a plan to gradually increase the retirement age and slow the growth of benefits for higher-income workers.
Bobsled, Skeleton Officials Moving Worlds Out of Russia
This season's world championships for bobsled and skeleton are being pulled out of Russia after a number of sliders said they would not compete in a nation so enveloped in a doping scandal.
New Restaurants Coming to Metrocenter, Baker Donelson LGBT Equality and TrustCare
Metrocenter Mall will soon be the home for a new Big Apple Inn, Stamps Superburger and several other local restaurants.
Stewpot Community Services named Rev. Jill Barnes Buckley, an associate pastor for community ministry with Northminster Baptist Church in Jackson, as the organization's new executive director on Nov. 30.
EPA: 'Data Gaps' Block Verdict on Fracking, Drinking Water
The Environmental Protection Agency says hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and natural gas poses a risk to drinking water in some circumstances. But it says a lack of information prevents a definitive statement on how severe the risk is.
Trump's Pick for Top US Diplomat Has Close Ties to Russia
ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to lead the State Department, has close ties to Russia through years of deal-making that will serve as valuable experience — but also raise concerns.
Prisons Chief: Programs Needed to Keep Ex-Inmates on Track
Mississippi could improve public safety by investing in programs that help people get their lives on track as they leave prison, state Corrections Commissioner Marshall Fisher said Monday.
Monday, December 12
If Trump Ups Ante on Taiwan, China Has Leverage Too
WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump sounds ready to use U.S. policy toward Taiwan as a bargaining chip to extract concessions from China, but both of the world powers could play at that game.
Airport Lawsuit On Hold Until October Trial or FAA Change
Who runs the airport is no longer in the hands of Mississippi Sen. Josh Harkins, R-Flowood, and Senate Bill 2162.
Mississippians Rally Against Hate, HB 1523: 'We Cannot Be Silent'
More than 200 Mississippians staged a "Rally Against Hate" Sunday, demonstrating against Gov. Phil Bryant's determination that a law allowing individuals, businesses and government workers to discriminate against LGBT citizens based on their religious beliefs must go into effect.
Yettra Specks scored five of his 15 points in the final minute to help Jackson State pull away and beat Drake 68-63 on Saturday.
Top GOP Leader: Senate to Probe Reports of Russia Hacking
The top Senate Republican said Monday that Congress will investigate a CIA assessment that Russia interfered in the November election on behalf of Donald Trump, an intelligence conclusion that the incoming commander in chief has called "ridiculous."
For Mississippi to Progress, Health Care Has to Become Issue No. 1
"I say to Congressman Harper that this demonization of the Affordable Care Act, which is an American law, helps no one. In fact, it hurts us all."
Mississippi High Court Honors Retiring Justice Ann Lamar
The Mississippi Supreme Court is honoring Justice Ann Lamar of Senatobia as she prepares to retire.
10 Local Stories of the Week
There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them.
Saturday, December 10
First Lady Talks Hospitality on Mississippi's 199th Birthday
Mississippi turned over the calendar to begin its bicentennial year as a state on Friday with the state's first lady, Deborah Bryant, embodying the spirit of the Hospitality State.
Friday, December 9
Ford to Trump: We're Still Moving the Focus to Mexico
DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is going ahead with plans to move small-car production from the U.S. to Mexico despite President-elect Donald Trump's recent threats to impose tariffs on companies that move work abroad.
Trump Deepens Goldman Ties as He Builds Out Economic Team
In the heat of the presidential campaign, Donald Trump accused primary rival Ted Cruz of being controlled by Goldman Sachs because his wife, Heidi, previously worked for the Wall Street giant. He slammed Hillary Clinton for receiving speaking fees from the bank.
Legislative FY18 Budget Plan: Agencies Prepare to Operate at 'Leanest Levels'
Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn, who chairs the Legislative Budget Committee, said on Thursday that state agencies should be prepared to operate "efficiently and with potentially [fewer] dollars" in the coming fiscal year.
Jackson Asks State to Pitch In for Capital
When the City Council passed its legislative agenda at its last regular meeting on Nov. 29, the members sent a message to the state legislature that emphasized the need for the state's investment in its capital city.
Hero-Astronaut John Glenn to Lie in State in Ohio
American hero-astronaut John Glenn will lie in state in Ohio's capitol building preceding a celebration of his life of military and government service and two history-making voyages into space.
Robert Day, a local magician and balloon artist who was a regular entertainer at events such as Jubilee Jam, KidFest! Ridgeland and the Jackson Free Press' Best of Jackson parties, died of leukemia on Friday, Dec. 2. He was 58.
McCrory Seeks to Withdraw Guilty Plea in Prison Corruption
A former Mississippi lawmaker is asking to withdraw his guilty plea in a long-running prison corruption case.
Thursday, December 8
'Kicks for Kids' Rewards a Visit to the Doctor
For many kids, going to the doctor for an annual wellness check can be a pain. But for Children's Health Insurance Program-covered patients who haven't gotten their check-ups yet, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Mississippi is incentivizing the trip with its Kicks for Kids program.
Lumumba Responds to Fake Websites
The Jackson mayoral race begins at the end of December, but already there are shenanigans with the candidates' and potential candidates' websites.
Major Survey of Transgender Americans Finds Pervasive Bias
The largest-ever survey of transgender Americans paints a grim picture of pervasive discrimination and harassment, to the point that many of them attempt suicide at some point.
Judge Merges 2 Mississippi Mental Health Care Suits
A federal judge is ordering that two lawsuits over Mississippi's mental health system be combined.
Wednesday, December 7
Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys have clinched the first playoff berth in the NFL. Now the team will look to lock up the division and home-field advantage.
Saint Nick’s Swamp Tour
For the folks at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, nothing says Christmas time like coming face to face with bayou critters.
A NuRenaissance Before the New Year
Myron McGowan is many things. He is a native Mississippian from rural Foxworth, Miss., who takes style influence from the '70s (no gold chains, though, he says).
Community Through Song
Jerry Jenkins wouldn't call himself a percussionist. The owner of Jackson-based Hasan Drums does play West African drums, including the djembe, and other instruments such as the 21-stringed kora, but his primary role is as a storyteller and promoter of community.
From Patriots to Panthers, a New ‘Rainbow Coalition’
Imagine what would happen if someone wore a Confederate flag button with clasped black and white hands to a Trump or Black Lives Matter rally. Given what we have seen on the media, the person would likely be met with indignation, insults and perhaps physical violence.
Recognizing Racial Injustice in Incarceration
Criminal-justice reforms are not only necessary for cost savings to the state but also a necessity to work toward a more equitable justice system.
The EpiPen Shock
Recently, news media outlets criticized pharmaceutical company Mylan for the price increase of the brand drug EpiPen. Within the timespan of only a couple of months, the price went up to $600 for a pack, while a vial of the active drug epinephrine costs less than $1.
Dr. Freddrick Murray: In the Eye of the Hurricane
Until recently, Freddrick Murray was the chief academic officer of high schools in JPS. Now, with the departure of former superintendent Dr. Cedrick Gray from the district, the school board appointed Murray as the interim superintendent.
A Prodigal Chef Returns
When Chaz Lindsay left his Belhaven home at the age of 18 for the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., he didn't anticipate that his travels would eventually land him back in Jackson.
Regulators Delay Vote on Mississippi Power Coal Ash Plan
Mississippi utility regulators aren't quite ready to vote on an $82 million plan for Mississippi Power Co. to close coal ash disposal areas in Gulfport.
Youth Education Prevents the Spread of HIV/AIDS
Public-health officials are addressing HIV risk factors nationally and in many states, but Mississippi lags other states in the information it collects.
Task Force: Invest in Criminal Justice Reforms
Judges in Mississippi can assign non-violent offenders, usually those who commit petty crimes while under the influence of drugs or who are arrested for possession of illegal drugs. The two- to five-year program includes addiction treatment, counseling and intense supervision, and participants are subject to randomized drug tests regularly.
Think Global, Art Local
December is always an interesting month at the Jackson Free Press. Right after Thanksgiving, we promote local shopping with our Small Business Saturday focus and our local gift guides throughout the month of December; it's also right now that the Best of Jackson finalists ballot is live for readers to give their opinion on the best local, unique people and places that Metro Jackson has to offer.
Robert Wilbur Mack IV
Twenty-year-old Robert Wilbur Mack IV, also known as Jackson rapper MACKTOP, says he grew up on old-school hip-hop.
Although Jackson-based hip-hop artist Jewelee Wilson has only performed publicly as Yung Jewelz for about a year, entertaining audiences at venues such as Offbeat, Doc 36 Skatepark and Soul Wired Cafe, she says she has been making music all her life.
Tuesday, December 6
Miss. Lawyers: Don't Revive Lawsuit Over Confederate Emblem
Attorneys for Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant have asked a federal appeals court not to revive a lawsuit that sought to erase the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag.
Taste Bistro and Bonfire Grill Opens, Thimblepress Gets a New Location
Kristen Ley, owner of paper- and party-goods store Thimblepress, opened a new location called Thimbleshop by Thimblepress in Highland Village on Dec. 1 inside the former Earthwalk shoe store.
Mississippi lost a sports legend on Nov. 24 when David Meadow "Boo" Ferriss died at the age of 94. Ferriss, who was born in Shaw, Miss., on Dec. 5, 1921, played professional baseball and returned to his home state, becoming a Hall of Fame coach for Delta State University.
After Mistrial, Slain SC Man's Family Still Expects Justice
Relatives of Walter Scott, the black motorist fatally shot while fleeing a traffic stop, say they are confident justice will prevail even though a South Carolina jury could not reach a verdict in the murder trial of a white former police officer charged in his death.
Trump Says Cancel New Air Force One: Costs 'Out of Control'
The government should cancel its multibillion-dollar order for new Air Force One presidential planes, Donald Trump declared Tuesday, serving notice he's ready to jump in and start making decisions six weeks before his inauguration.
Justices Uphold Katrina Fraud Verdict Against State Farm
A unanimous Supreme Court has upheld a jury verdict that State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. committed fraud against the federal government after 2005's Hurricane Katrina.
Man Who Shot Ex-NFL Player Charged with Manslaughter
The man who fatally shot ex-NFL player Joe McKnight during a road rage dispute has been arrested and jailed on a manslaughter charge, records show.
Fake News Rings Alarm Bells from Restaurant to White House
The bizarre rumors began with a leaked email referring to Hillary Clinton and sinister interpretations of pizza parties. It morphed into fake online news stories about a child sex trafficking ring run by prominent Democrats operating out of a Washington, D.C., restaurant.
Charter Schools to Expand, Despite Low First-Year Scores
Two Mississippi charter schools have gotten approval Monday to expand enrollments, despite concerns over low test scores in one school's first year of operation.
Monday, December 5
Gov. Bryant Named Chairman of Education Commission of the States
The Education Commission of the States, a Colorado-based education policy research center, named Gov. Phil Bryant as chair-elect. Bryant will replace outgoing chairman Gov. Steve Bullock, the Democratic governor of Montana.
County Approves Westin Hotel Interlocal Agreement to Fix Sewerage Pipes
The Hinds County Board of Supervisors passed a preemptive agreement for renovations to the sewerage system in downtown Jackson.
JSU Students Raise Awareness About National Debt
A group of Jackson State University students is working to educate its peers about the nation's growing national debt and how it affects their financial futures in the U.S.
Lamar Peters had a career-best 24 points to lead Mississippi State to an 82-60 win over Georgia State on Sunday.
Federal Government Blocks Dakota Access Oil Pipeline Route
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Sunday that it won't grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota, handing a victory to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters, who argued the project would threaten the tribe's water source and cultural sites.
Judge Orders Michigan Recount to Begin at Noon Monday
Michigan must begin its presidential recount at noon Monday, a federal judge ruled in a late-night order that could make it more likely the state will complete the count ahead of a Dec. 13 deadline.
Beijing Faces Decision on How to Respond to Trump's Tweets
Weeks before taking office, the incoming American president is riling Beijing with confrontation and online statements that appear to foreshadow a tougher foreign policy toward China.
UK Supreme Court Hears Landmark Challenge to Brexit Plans
Britain's Supreme Court began hearing a landmark case Monday that will decide who has the power to trigger the U.K.'s exit from the European Union — the government or Parliament.
Saturday, December 3
Mississippi Power Says It's Likely to Miss Kemper Deadline
Mississippi Power Co. says it's likely to miss another deadline on its Kemper County power plant and to have to repay $250 million in tax credits to its parent company.
Friday, December 2
Judge Mulls Whether to Dismiss Mississippi Election Dispute
A federal judge is considering whether to dismiss a lawsuit over a 2015 Mississippi election that tied, went to a drawing of straws won by the Democratic incumbent and was later reversed by the Republican-led House in favor of the GOP challenger.
Patricia Bennett, who has served as a criminal law professor at the Mississippi College School of Law for 27 years, became the college's interim dean on Dec. 1.
U.S. Rep. Harper Slams Election Recounts, Calls Pence His 'Bellcap' on Votes
U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, who just learned that he will help oversee federal elections, says the Hillary Clinton and Jill Stein campaigns are using vote recounts to portray the presidential election results as less than legitimate.
Rod Paige: JSU Must Improve Image, DeVos a 'High-quality Person'
Dr. Rod Paige, the former U.S. secretary of education under President George W. Bush, believes Jackson State University can and must get past its recent financial controversies and have a bright future.
Emails: LGBT Law Cost N. Carolina Project with 700 Jobs
Internal emails show that city and state officials blame a North Carolina law limiting LGBT protections for a company's decision to pick another state for a new project that includes 700 jobs.
Mississippi's Harper Named Chair of House Admin Committee
Republican Rep. Gregg Harper of Mississippi has been named chairman of U.S. House Administration Committee.
Lawsuits Seek to Block or Halt Wisconsin, Michigan Recounts
Supporters of Republican Donald Trump filed a federal lawsuit trying to halt Wisconsin's ongoing presidential recount, and Michigan's attorney general on Friday sued to stop a recount from happening in his state.
GOP Chairman Who Targeted Clinton in No Rush on Trump
The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who promised before the election to investigate Democrat Hillary Clinton for years, says he will wait until President-elect Donald Trump takes office before "poking around" the businessman's financial affairs and possible conflicts of interest.
Stop Hillary PAC, Other Trump Supporters File Federal Lawsuit to Block Wisconsin Recount
Supporters of President-elect Donald Trump have filed a federal lawsuit trying to stop Wisconsin's ongoing presidential election recount.
House Pushes Ahead with $611 Billion Defense Policy Bill
The Republican-led House is pushing ahead with a $611 billion defense policy bill that prohibits closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, forbids the Pentagon from trimming the number of military bases and awards U.S. troops their largest pay raise in six years.
Trump to Nominate Retired Gen. James Mattis to Lead Pentagon
Breaking once more from presidential custom, Donald Trump is turning to a military man to steer the U.S. military, choosing retired Gen. James Mattis, who will be the first career officer to lead the Pentagon since just after World War II.
Foreclosed Trump Voter on Treasury Secretary Pick: 'He's Now Backing His Buddies'
WASHINGTON (AP) — When Donald Trump named his Treasury secretary, Teena Colebrook felt her heart sink. She had voted for the president-elect on the belief that he would knock the moneyed elites from their perch in Washington, D.C. And she knew Trump's pick for Treasury—Steven Mnuchin—all too well.
Next Test for Pipeline Protesters: the North Dakota Winter
So far, the hundreds of protesters fighting the Dakota Access pipeline have shrugged off the heavy snow, icy winds and frigid temperatures that have swirled around their large encampment on the North Dakota grasslands.
Tempers Flare as Campaign Aides Assess Still-Raw 2016 Race
Tempers flared and political fault-lines were inflamed, as aides to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton gathered for their first meeting since Election Day.
US Judge Hears Arguments in Mississippi House Election Spat
A federal judge hears arguments Friday over whether to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a 2015 Mississippi election that went to a drawing of straws.
Lawyer: Greenville Superintendent Fired, but Seeks Reversal
The lawyer for Greenville Superintendent Leeson Taylor says the school board has fired Taylor, and that a meeting Tuesday with the school board was Taylor's appeal.
Thursday, December 1
City of Jackson Christmas Parade Rescheduled to Dec. 10 Due to Inclement Weather
Due to forecasted inclement weather, the City of Jackson’s annual Christmas Parade has been rescheduled from Saturday, Dec. 3, to Dec. 10 at noon.
White House Announces Support for Women in Military Draft
The Obama administration is announcing its support for requiring women to register for the military draft.
GOP Leaders: Invest in Early Education, Reading to Raise Graduation Rates
Tackling chronic absenteeism, providing early childhood education and improving third-grade reading would increase graduation rates in Mississippi, the Republican chairman of the Mississippi Senate Education Committee said last night.
Tight end Evan Engram is one of the few holdovers from the University of Mississippi's stellar recruiting class of 2013. He chose to return to school while the Rebels' better-known stars, defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, all left for the NFL.
Trump Will Face Tough Questions on Future of Nuclear Arsenal
For all the concerns raised in the presidential campaign about Donald Trump's fitness to command America's nuclear arsenal, the immediate questions he's likely to face as president aren't about launching these weapons, but modernizing them.
Protesters: Police Shooting May be Legal, but isn't Right
A prosecutor's decision to clear a Charlotte police officer in the killing of a black man left some African-American community leaders saying while the shooting may have been legal, it wasn't right.
Wisconsin First State to Start Presidential Election Recount
The first candidate-driven statewide recount of a presidential election in 16 years began Thursday in Wisconsin, a state that Donald Trump won by less than a percentage point over Hillary Clinton after polls long predicted a Clinton victory.
James Challenges Appeals Court Loss, Cites Partisan Politics
Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Ceola James is contesting her loss in the Nov. 8 election.