Tuesday, February 28
Mental-health Courts Could Supplement Jails If Bill Stays Alive
Replacing jail with mental-health courts in some instances is still possible statewide, after the House Judiciary B and Appropriations Committees passed their version of legislation to the House for a full vote this morning.
In 2009, the death of Oscar Grant in Oakland, Calif., shook the nation, and the conversation about race and police brutality began anew. Here in Jackson, author Angie Thomas heard both sides of that conversation.
Better Beignets, Barrelhouse and Big Apple Inn
New Orleans native C.J. "Beignet" Black grew up eating beignets at the famous Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans' French Quarter and dreamed of starting a restaurant when he grew up.
Trump Takes on Entrenched Practice of Washington Leaks
When White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer wanted to crack down on leaks last week, he collected his aides' cell phones to check for communication with reporters. The crackdown quickly leaked.
Advocates: Sanctuary City Ban Will Hurt Mississippi Economy
A bill banning immigration sanctuary policies is drawing opposition from some Mississippi clergy, law enforcement and immigration advocates who say it will hurt the economy.
Monday, February 27
Reeves Kills Bill to Collect Internet Tax, Earmark for Roads
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves says the Mississippi Senate will kill House legislation that would enforce taxation on internet sales and earmark the money for road and bridge work.
Maria Luisa Alvarez Harvey
Maria Luisa Alvarez Harvey, a former professor and associate dean of the W.E.B. Du Bois Honors College at Jackson State University, died on Feb. 13, 2017, at age 84.
Mississippi Worst State for Women, Study Finds
Mississippi as the worst state for women based on several factors from life expectancy to unemployment figures, a new WalletHub study found.
'Racially Discriminatory' State Flag Lawsuit Appeal Goes to 5th Circuit
The lawsuit to change the Mississippi state flag because it is "racially discriminatory" is still alive. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear Grenada-based attorney Carlos Moore's appeal on March 7.
Trump says He Won't Attend Correspondents Dinner this Spring
President Donald Trump, who has been criticizing the news media and is famously thin-skinned, says he won't be attending the White House Correspondents' Association dinner — sparing himself the dubious honor of being an in-the-house target of jokes.
Report Warns of State Money Fallout from Health Law Repeal
A sobering report to governors about the potential consequences of repealing the Obama-era health care law warns that federal spending cuts probably would create funding gaps for states and threaten many people with the loss of insurance coverage.
Trump's Choice to be Navy Secretary Withdraws
President Donald Trump's choice to be secretary of the Navy, businessman Philip Bilden, said Sunday he was withdrawing from consideration for the post, citing concerns about privacy and separating himself from his business interests.
Analysis: Bills Pass Unseen in Latest Road-Money Drama Twist
It's one of the eternal truths of the Mississippi Legislature: Most lawmakers vote on bills they haven't read.
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, February 25
Mississippi Senators Advance Occupational Board Oversight
Mississippi senators are advancing a bill that requires the governor to approve occupational licensing board rules.
Friday, February 24
Mayor Wants $90 Million Loan for Infrastructure Repair, Now Up to Council
The City of Jackson wants to borrow $90 million for infrastructure repair. Mayor Tony Yarber told the city council at its meeting Tuesday night that the plan is to borrow against future 1-percent sales-tax revenues.
Hinds Sheriff Victor Mason Faces Second Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason is facing a second federal lawsuit on allegations of sexual harassment by what is now three women.
Erin Hayne and Nuno Ferreira
Artists from around the state and world who use light as a medium will take part in tonight's Mississippi Light Festival, including Erin Hayne and Nuno Ferreira, who own Jackson business NunoErin.
Mississippi Could Expand Dyslexia Voucher Program
Mississippi lawmakers could expand a program enabling students to use state money to attend schools with specialized help for dyslexia.
Firing Squad Removed as Execution Option in Mississippi Bill
A Mississippi Senate panel has removed the firing squad as a proposed execution option in case courts block the state from obtaining lethal injection drugs.
Supreme Court Could Decide Transgender Case. Or Not.
Both the transgender teen who sued to use a boys' bathroom and the Virginia school board that won't let him still want the Supreme Court to issue a definitive ruling in their ongoing dispute, even after the Trump administration retreated from an Obama-era policy on bathroom use.
Officials: Trump Adviser Asked FBI to Dispute Russia Reports
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked top FBI officials to dispute media reports that President Donald Trump's campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the election, according to three White House officials. Democrats accused Priebus of interfering in a pending investigation.
Thursday, February 23
Senate Panel Kills Bill to Limit Powers of Attorney General
A Mississippi Senate committee is killing a bill to limit the powers of the Democratic attorney general.
Immigrant Supporters: Keep Jackson a 'Sanctuary City'
Supporters of immigrant rights turned out Tuesday night to urge the Jackson City Council to keep its Racial and Ethnic Profiling Ordinance in place, despite state and national efforts to force "sanctuary cities" to drop protections of undocumented residents.
It has been a week of highs and lows for University of Mississippi center fielder Ryan Olenek. In three games against No. 6 ranked East Carolina University, the sophomore came up big at the plate.
Administration Lifts Transgender Student Bathroom Guidance
The Trump administration on Wednesday ended federal protection for transgender students that allowed them to use public school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities.
Mississippi Economic Council President Retiring in June
The head of the Mississippi Economic Council is retiring in June, and a current staff member has been named interim president and chief executive officer, the organization said Wednesday.
Wednesday, February 22
Ole Miss Enacts Self-Imposed Bowl Ban, May Face More Penalties
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The University of Mississippi's football team will not play in the postseason next year. The Rebels might be facing more penalties, too, now that the NCAA says the program has committed more than 20 rules violations over the past several years.
City Gives More Details on South Jackson Water Outage, 'Code Red' Plan
After the Hinds County Board of Supervisors voted yesterday to declare a state of emergency in south Jackson to support work on a 48-inch water main, the City of Jackson released more details on the situation today.
ICE: Mississippi Immigration Investigation Began Year Ago, 8 Eateries Raided in February
Immigration and customs enforcement agents conducted raids on Feb. 22 after a year-long criminal investigation at local Ichiban restaurants in Flowood and Pearl as well as dining establishments owned by the same owner in Clinton and Meridian.
JPS Board Delays New Superintendent Search
The Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees halted plans to find a firm to conduct a national search for a new superintendent on Tuesday night. Instead, the board voted to delay the search to would begin in the 2018-2019 school year, involve the community in the process and keep Dr. Freddrick Murray as the interim superintendent for the upcoming school year.
The Facts About Immigration: A Former Border Czar Speaks
ProPublica sat down to talk with Alan Bersin about the history, politics, rhetoric and reality surrounding the border issues that are driving a fierce national debate during the first weeks of the Trump administration.
A Bunch of Wiseacres
The word "wiseacre" is slang for "smartass." And it fits the origins of the Wireacre Brewing Co. in Memphis, Teen. Its journey began in 1997 in Boston, Mass., when brothers Davin and Kellan Bartosch stole their parents' rental car and drove to Sam Adams Brewery in Boston. That was their first introduction to the world of brewing.
Even with football over, sports are starting to pick up. College basketball is at its high point, college baseball and softball have started, and professional basketball is heading toward the playoffs.
Of Racial Profiling and Scarlet Letters
For a lot of immigrants—especially immigrants of color—part of the relief of becoming a citizen is that you won't get scarlet-letter documents that are different from everyone else's.
Lawmakers: Stay Off the Trump Immigrant Road
With a president hell-bent on securing borders and going after undocumented immigrants in the name of drug wars and criminal activity, it is a scary time to not technically be legal.
Love Is All You Need
Take a good look around the world today. Many people present hate in the face of love daily. We spend a lot of time trying to correct hatred in this country. I personally believe we are in a place now where hatred is governing us.
The Squeeze: A First Look at Upcoming Budget Cuts
Budget cuts are coming, and lawmakers are beginning to discuss the finagling of state dollars for the fiscal year that starts in July.
Lawmakers Use Templates to Target Welfare Fraud, Focus on Recipients, Not Providers
Lawmakers seem serious about addressing welfare reform this year, potentially making it both harder to get benefits and then to stay on the rolls once a recipient has a job. But critics say they are not targeting the mismanagement of dollars where it actually occurs.
After ICE Raid, Immigration Limbo in Mississippi for a Jackson Family
Daniela Vargas was asleep early on Feb. 15 when she felt her father kiss her goodbye, as he did every morning. It was around 6:30 or 7 a.m., a seemingly normal Wednesday morning—until it wasn't. Just a few minutes later, her father came back, waking her: "Dani, immigration is here!"
After moving halfway across the country to go to college in Iowa, then working for a year after graduation in Connecticut, Liz Broussard wanted to find somewhere to live with a sense of community.
‘Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor’
I've talked about this before, but we are a nation of many immigrants. Unless you're Native American, you can likely trace your roots back somewhere across the seas or down in South and Central America.
Mandisa: Becoming an ‘Overcomer’
California-native singer Mandisa has been a constant on Christian radio since the release of her debut album, "True Beauty," in 2008, and her star has only risen in recent years.
Tuesday, February 21
Mississippi Governor Orders Another Round of Budget Cuts
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is making the third round of spending cuts since the budget year started in July—the fifth round in the past 14 months.
US to Expand Pool of People Targeted for Deportation
The Trump administration is greatly expanding the number of people living in the U.S. illegally who are considered a priority for deportation, including people arrested for traffic violations, according to agency documents released Tuesday.
Treasurer Fitch Pushes Gender Pay, Financial Literacy Despite Bills Dying
State Treasurer Lynn Fitch is disappointed that legislation addressing the state's gender-pay gap and requiring financial literacy education for students did not see the light of day in the Mississippi Legislature this session.
Kirk McCarty didn't have to go far to continue playing baseball after a standout career at Oak Grove High School. The former Warrior stayed in Hattiesburg to attend the University of Southern Mississippi, and as his second season begins, he's already making a mark on the Golden Eagles.
Chairman: Bill with Gas and Tobacco Taxes Won't Go to House
A Mississippi House chairman says he is backing off a proposal that could have led to higher gasoline and cigarette taxes.
Hurt & Healing in ‘Unspeakable Things’
Author Jackie Warren Tatum has always written, but her work was far from the field of crime fiction that readers will find in her debut novel, "Unspeakable Things" (Mill City Press, $16, 2016).
Saturday, February 18
GOP Leaders Renew Push to Block Lawsuit Over Election Spat
Mississippi House Republican leaders will appeal a court ruling in a dispute over an election that tied, went to a drawing of straws and was later flipped.
Friday, February 17
Moonshine Bandits: Outlaws & Originators
For some music fans, country music is the quintessential “southern” sound, and yet, many of its biggest stars hail from elsewhere. That includes Bird and Tex of country-rap duo Moonshine Bandits, a band that served as one of the earliest voices in the hybrid genre. While Bird is originally from Tishomingo, Miss., he only dabbled in music before his family moved to central California in 1990. He and Tex, who was one grade ahead, met in high school, and the two began making music together, though they didn’t take it seriously at the time.
Two More Districts Approved to Innovate
The Mississippi State Board of Education approved plans for two new school districts to become "Districts of Innovation" on Feb. 16.
Fixing (Some) Roads and Bridges Still Possible in 2017 Session
While the Mississippi Legislature has not proposed—let alone approved—a comprehensive plan to fix the state's crumbling infrastructure, the Legislature could take some steps this year to ensure that some additional funds go to road and bridge repair.
Movie fans may know Katherine Dieckmann as the writer and director of 2000's "A Good Baby" and 2009's "Motherhood," and the director of 2006's "Diggers." However, it wasn't so long ago that her career path was pointed in an entirely different direction.
Trump Weighs Mobilizing Nat Guard for Immigration Roundups
The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.
Grenada, Baldwyn and Booneville Schools Win Innovation Nods
The Mississippi Board of Education is approving plans for more districts to establish innovative educational programs.
Thursday, February 16
State Revenues 'Have Disappointed,' Trump Effect on Mississippi Uncertain
The U.S. economy may be growing, but Mississippi's revenue is lagging, and the state faces uncertainty over the effect of the Trump administration's policies, especially on trade.
MAEP Not Funded, But Education Formula Re-Write Must Happen by July 1
The Mississippi Adequate Education Program was not funded in a Department of Education appropriations bill the Mississippi House of Representatives passed Wednesday, signaling that the formula re-write has to happen before the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, 2017.
Blogger, humorist and author Luvvie Ajayi is coming to Jackson tonight, Feb. 16, for "Awesomely Luvvie Live!", the first event in the Greater Jackson Arts Council's Creative Empowerment series.
GOP Lawmakers Grope for Consensus on Remaking Health Law
Leading Republicans described some of their plans for remaking the nation's health care system to rank-and-file House members Thursday. Participants said conflict remained, and the details and timing of how the GOP will deliver on its long-promised replacement of President Barack Obama's law went unanswered.
Lawmakers Plan Money to Fill Deficits, but Maybe Not Enough
Mississippi lawmakers are pushing forward early drafts of budget bills that are likely to change before a final deadline.
Wednesday, February 15
Jackson Inks New 10-Year Deal for Wastewater Plant Operations
The City of Jackson, Mississippi has signed a 10-year operations and management agreement with Veolia Water North America-South, LLC, to operate three wastewater-treatment plants.
Puzder Withdraws Nomination to be Trump's Labor Secretary
President Donald Trump's nominee for labor secretary abruptly withdrew his nomination Wednesday after Senate Republicans balked at supporting him, in part over taxes he belatedly paid on a former housekeeper not authorized to work in the United States.
February is running out quickly, which means college basketball is about to take center stage in March, with conference tournaments and the madness of the season.
Solutions: How to Prevent Gun Violence
Here is a sampling of evidence-based solutions for preventing and interrupting gun violence. See jfp.ms/stopviolence for links to learn more.
From Council Schools to Today’s Fight for Public Ed
Yearbooks and classmates prove that Gov. Phil Bryant is the product of white flight and segregationist education, which may explain his efforts, along with others in his party, to undermine public education in this state.
Stop the Mental Health Politicking
Lawmakers should and could have addressed mental health-care reform in previous sessions as well as this session. It turns out that addressing the problem with secrecy and an assumption of a Republican supermajority won't always work.
No Longer About Party
While we debate politics for fun, the whims of administrations are not meant to be visited upon entire populations. This is no longer about party. This is about how we will allow ourselves to be governed.
Tort Reform, Sexual Assault Prevention and Fantasy Sports Bills Move Forward
"Tort reform" rose from the past at the state Capitol last week as lawyers in the House of Representatives battled it out over a short, seemingly inconsequential bill, House Bill 481, which would affect personal-injury litigation in the state.
In the Statehouse and the Courtroom, Mental Health is Embattled
Research in the psychology and psychiatry fields show little to no evidence that hospitals and residential treatment centers are effective in helping a person with mental-health needs.
Murder in the City: Deep Causes, Harmful Biases, Unexpected Solutions to Gun Violence
On the night of Thursday, Feb. 9, a group of twenty-something Jacksonians were hanging out in Westwood Apartments at 3150 Robinson Road playing dominoes. Suddenly, several men walked in pointing guns and demanding their belongings.
Florence, Miss., native Donnell Lewis joined mentoring and service organization 100 Black Men of Jackson in 1990, when it had been active for only a few years.
Sweet Lillies, Southbound
Since forming in late 2013, Boulder, Colo.-based Americana act The Sweet Lillies has been working its way around the country, carving a name for itself in the string-band music scene across Colorado and beyond.
Providing Hope for Kids Is In Our Self-Interest
By identifying kids and their needs when they start getting in trouble, and then interrupting that pattern and getting them "wraparound" services, you give them a better chance at making it through the rough patches and into productive lives.
School Funding Rewrite Won't Happen Under Budget Deadline
The Mississippi House speaker says an effort to rewrite the school funding formula will not be limited by the regular budget deadlines.
Tuesday, February 14
Governor Obfuscates with Call for 'Gimme some of that mental-health reform’
"We have a duty to protect the least among us: those suffering from mental illness. Ask your legislator what Jesus would do."
Governor Name-checks Jackson in HB 1523 Brief, Dismisses LGBT Worries as 'Parade of Horribles'
Anti-discrimination attempts by the City of Jackson figure prominently in Gov. Phil Bryant's latest attempt to convince the courts to allow House Bill 1523 to take effect, despite its potential to allow citizens and state officials to discriminate against LGBT residents and others.
Sugar Ray's Sweet Shop, Outlets of Mississippi, 2 Mississippi Museums and SBA 2017 Emerging Leaders Program
A new business called Sugar Ray's Sweet Shop opened downtown today, Tuesday, Feb. 14, in the former Cohen Brothers building at 224 W. Capitol St.
Mississippi State's Teaira McCowan is 6-foot-7 with broad shoulders, plenty of athleticism and a surprisingly soft touch around the basket. She also, at times, has displayed quite a temper.
Proposal for Oil-Spill Fund Moves to Mississippi House
The Mississippi House will get to debate a bill setting aside $750 million in oil spill economic-damage payments for projects on the Gulf Coast.
Monday, February 13
Michael Flynn Resigns White House Post Over Contact With Russia
National security adviser Michael Flynn has resigned after reports he misled Trump administration officials about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S.
Governor Could Take Authority from Legislature if Bills Pass Today
Gov. Phil Bryant would get authority over the Mississippi Department of Mental Health and supervise the state's occupational licensing boards if legislation makes it out of the Mississippi Senate and the House today to stay alive.
Potential Hate Crimes, Racist Graffiti, Fire in Jackson Under Investigation
Stanley Wesley, the founding president of Respect our Black Dollars, found graffiti on his home when he got back from a banquet for his nonprofit.
Canada's Trudeau Arrives in Washington to Meet with Trump
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a polar opposite to Donald Trump in almost every way, joined the new U.S. president at the White House Monday keen to build a relationship that doesn't threaten trade.
Adams and Reese, a multidisciplinary law firm with about 280 attorneys and 16 offices throughout the South, promoted Jackson litigation attorney Matthew R. Dowd to partner on Jan. 1.
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, February 11
Justices: Utility Regulators Can't Set Rule on Water Groups
The Mississippi Supreme Court says state utility regulators don't have the power to set a rule affecting rural water associations.
Friday, February 10
Gov. Phil Bryant is naming recently retired Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Ann Lamar of Senatobia to the College Board.
Senate Attempts to Put Governor in Charge of Mental Health
Legislation to move the Department of Mental Health under the policy direction of the governor passed the Senate by one vote on Feb. 9, after a contentious debate and bi-partisan opposition to the bill that initially included the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Services.
Ed Formula Bills Dead ... For Now at #MSLeg
Both dummy bills that Mississippi legislators could have used to change the state's education funding formula died in the House and the Senate on Feb. 9, but attempts to implement weighted student funding are still possible in this legislative session, lawmakers said Thursday.
Trump's Health Secretary Pick Confirmed Narrowly for Cabinet
Rep. Tom Price, President Donald Trump's choice to be health secretary, is the latest of a handful of Cabinet nominees to eke out a confirmation victory in a bitterly divided Senate.
Mississippi Bill: Let Police Ask About Immigration Status
The Mississippi Senate voted 32-16 Thursday to approve a bill saying local governments and public colleges can't stop their employees from asking whether a person has entered the U.S. illegally, and can't try to grant any special status to those who've entered illegally.
Thursday, February 9
Appeals Court Refuses to Reinstate 'Muslim Ban,' Appeal to Supreme Court an Option
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court refused Thursday to reinstate President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations.
Black Lawmaker Details Racial Profiling Incident, But 'Back the Badge' Act Passes
Rep. Christopher Bell, D-Jackson, was 25 when a police officer pulled him over when he was driving east of Jackson for no apparent reason.
Senate Jumps on Campaign Finance Reform Train
The Senate unanimously passed campaign-finance reform Wednesday that would prohibit the personal use of campaign-finance funds on items including residential or household items, mortgages, funeral expenses, clothing or automobiles, tuition payments, non-documented loans or travel.
Burt Byler & the Bearded Souls
When New Orleans-born, Mississippi-raised singer-songwriter Josh Brister watched the documentary series "Making a Murderer" about a year and a half ago, it affected his life a bit more than the average viewer.
Mississippi Considers Firing Squad as Method of Execution
Mississippi lawmakers are advancing a proposal to add firing squad, electrocution and gas chamber as execution methods in case a court blocks the use of lethal injection drugs.
Wednesday, February 8
Mississippi Sues to Recover Bribe-Tainted Prison Money After Epps, MDOC Scandal
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is suing 25 individuals and companies associated with a prison bribery scheme, saying they should have to repay more than $800 million in revenue they received from the state.
UPDATED: From Mississippi Blues to Grammy Gold
When the 59th annual Grammy Awards air Sunday, Feb. 12, Mississippians will have more reason to watch than just the performances and celebrities at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Super Bowl LI looked like a rout but ended up turning into an instant classic. Viewers will certainly remember the game for a long time, but it might haunt Atlanta Falcons fans forever.
Lawmakers Take on Capitol Complexity, ‘Amazon’ Sales Tax and Craft Breweries
The City of Jackson could receive financial support for its infrastructure this year, but how that will work varies on both ends of the statehouse. The Senate and House versions of Jackson infrastructure bills look different this year.
Happiness in Cupcake Form
Treats are my personal favorite part of Valentine's Day. It's one of the only days of the year where it's acceptable to eat tons of candy and chocolate. This year, I decided to spice up some easy-to-make cupcakes for the holiday.
Death by Broken Heart
Many issues come to light if some relationships are not going as expected. The question I ask is, do we really understand how dangerous breaking a heart can be?
DA Smith Wins on One Count, But Passes on 'Whistleblower' Bad Check Claims
The trial against Downtown Jackson Partners President Ben Allen wound up on Feb. 7, even as the woman who landed him there remained conspicuously absent from the courtroom.
McDaniel, Fight for Better Education
Once again, a leading Mississippi politician has managed to anger and alienate women, attracting attention to a state with a huge education crisis, for all the wrong reasons.
Trump’s Travel Ban is Also a Mississippi Problem
If you think President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration and refugee programs had no consequences for Mississippians, think again.
Mississippians Deserve Therapeutic Alternatives
Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese therapy that involves the insertion of thin needles through the skin at strategic points, is one of the oldest, most commonly used medical procedures in the world.
Mayor Yarber, Socrates Garrett Address Contracting Dispute, 'Steering'
Mayor Tony Yarber and his administration recently became defendants in another sexual-harassment lawsuit, this time saddled with charges of steering city contracts to campaign supporters.
Many great books start from a small idea. Columbus, Miss., author Michael Farris Smith's latest novel began with a single image: a woman and her child walking down the side of the road on a hot day, everything that they own in tow.
Gutting State Government? The Move to Free Up State Agencies
The majority of state employees could lose access to their employee appeals board and other human resources for the next three years if a bill to move most state agencies out from under the Mississippi State Personnel Board's purview becomes law.
Standing and Fighting Together
These days, everyone is speaking out, and as Donald Trump's tweets and speeches become more and more erratic, and his politics become even more insane and exclusionary, it's necessary.
Salar Almakky says his uncle first got him interested in music, introducing him to bands such as The Cure. Almakky, who can play bass, drums and guitar, is currently the bassist and a vocalist for local band Dream Cult.
Eat, Love and Get Local
Wondering what to do this Valentine's Day? The Jackson Free Press has compiled a listing of restaurants and other businesses that can help out with your celebration is a lovely one.
Tuesday, February 7
UPDATED: Jury Finds Allen Guilty for Cell-phone Payment, Not Guilty on Nine Counts
The jury in the trial of Downtown Jackson Partners President Ben Allen found him guilty on one count, not guilty on nine others after six hours of deliberation.
Montage: A Wealth of Dance Perspectives
“Stories can come from many, many different perspectives. And if you broaden it up to different genres, then it’ll outlive you."
Painting with a Twist, Art Lovers' Soiree and MDA Entrepreneur Center
Fischer Galleries is hosting its annual Valentine's event, Art Lovers' Soiree, on Thursday, Feb. 9, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Journalist and author Nicholas Lemann may have a lot of New York cred, but he's a southerner at heart, born, raised and educated in New Orleans.
Teacher Incentives, Fewer Rules for 'Good' School Districts Pass the House
School districts with an "A" or "B" accountability ranking would be exempt from certain reporting requirements if House Bill 1224 becomes law.
Bill on Internet Taxes Advances to Mississippi Senate
The Mississippi House has removed a procedural hold on a bill to enforce tax collections on items sold over the internet.
Monday, February 6
A career game from Mississippi State senior Dominique Dillingham helped the No. 5 Bulldogs continue to stay atop the SEC.
Allen Trial: Defense Rests After Making Case DJP Doesn’t Collect 'Taxes’
Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith spent the morning attempting to attack several aspects of Downtown Jackson Partners attorney Robert Gibbs, during the fifth day of testimony in the trial of DJP President Ben Allen for allegedly embezzling and mishandling public resources.
Gov. Bryant Closes Campaign Account, Starts 'Imagine Mississippi PAC'
Gov. Phil Bryant terminated his campaign-finance account on Jan. 31, disbursing the funds to other political committees, candidates and charitable organizations.
Brady Leads Biggest Comeback, Patriots Win 34-28 in OT
They looked old and outmanned. Their star quarterback was frazzled, their stingy defense was a sieve. So what? Tom Brady and the New England Patriots shrugged and did what they always seem to do: Win the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl Ads Go Political in a Big Way
Messages about America, inclusiveness — and, yes, even "four years of awful hair" — kept bubbling up in Super Bowl 51 ads from Airbnb, the NFL and a line of personal care products. But there was still plenty of escapism and light humor for those who weren't into the politics.
Republicans Seek Distance from Trump's Comments on Putin, US
President Donald Trump has long expressed a desire for improved relations with Moscow, but his latest comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin and the U.S. are leading some fellow Republicans to take a step back from the president — on this issue at least.
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.
Sunday, February 5
Streaming the Super Bowl: See The Game, Special Features and Ads
NEW YORK (AP) — You can watch the Super Bowl online for free, but there are a few catches. For starters, you're out of luck on phones unless you're a Verizon customer. And if you're interested in the ads, you may have a surprise in store.
Trump's Transportation Secretary Received $50k for Five-Minute Speech to Iranian Splinter Group
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An official in U.S. President Donald Trump's Cabinet and at least one of his advisers gave paid speeches for organizations linked to an Iranian exile group that killed Americans before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, ran donation scams and saw its members set themselves on fire over the arrest of their leader.
Appeals Court Denies State Department's Request to Reinstate 'Muslim Ban'
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Sunday denied the Justice Department's request for an immediate reinstatement of President Donald Trump's ban on accepting certain travelers and all refugees.
Saturday, February 4
France's Right-Wing Presidential Candidate Looks to Trump, Brexit for Inspiration
LYON, France (AP) — Marine Le Pen, France's far-right presidential candidate, unveiled her platform Saturday, envisioning a thriving nation "made in France," with its citizens first in line for state services and the state unshackled by the rules-laden European Union.
Will Experience Give New England An Edge In SuperBowl 51?
HOUSTON (AP) — There's no hiding it. One edge the New England Patriots have over the Atlanta Falcons in Sunday's Super Bowl can't be denied: experience.
U.S. Government Suspends 'Muslim Ban' Enforcement; Trump Blasts Federal Judge In Case
WASHINGTON (AP) — The government on Saturday suspended enforcement of President Donald Trump's refugee and immigration ban and scurried to appeal a judge's order, plunging the new administration into a crisis that has challenged Trump's authority — and ability to fulfill campaign promises.
Friday, February 3
Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Trump's 'Muslim Ban'
SEATTLE (AP) — A U.S. judge on Friday temporarily blocked President Donald Trump's ban on travelers and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries after Washington state and Minnesota urged a nationwide hold on the executive order that has launched legal battles across the country.
Protesting Trump's Travel Ban with Prayer at Millsaps College
A Yemeni man stood on a Millsaps College outdoor stage with two of his children and told his family's story of separation in Arabic last night.
DJP Board Attorney Gibbs Takes Stand to Defend Ben Allen's Actions
Robert Gibbs, the attorney for Downtown Jackson Partners, took the stand this morning in the trial of DJP President Ben Allen in the same courtroom where he presided as a Hinds County circuit judge for more then seven years.
The Mississippi Humanities Council recently bestowed its annual Cora Norman Award to Millsaps Humanities Scholar in Residence Peggy Prenshaw.
Internet Sales Tax Bill in Limbo After Initially Passing
The Mississippi House could be on track to reverse itself and eventually kill a proposed internet sales tax.
Miss. Could Lift Civil Service Protection for Most Agencies
Most Mississippi state government employees could lose civil service protection for three years under a bill legislative leaders are pushing as a way to potentially save money in tight budget times.
Thursday, February 2
Woman Sues City of Jackson, Alleges Pay-to-Play Scheme, Sexual Harassment
Mayor Tony Yarber and the City of Jackson are facing another lawsuit alleging sexual harassment from a former employee, except this time the former Equal Business Opportunity manager asserts that she “was unwittingly caught up in” a “pay-to-play” scheme for lucrative contracts.
'Never in This Courtroom': Allen Trial Twists, Turns with Accuser Absent
Over the last two days, the prosecution tried hard to convince a Hinds County jury that President Ben Allen mishandled public money while leading the Downtown Jackson Partners business improvement district.
'Dummy' Ed Bills Mean Potential Formula Changes Possible Amid Secrecy
Mississippi's education-funding formula could change any time until Feb. 9 after the House Appropriations and Senate Education committees moved forward dummy bills Tuesday on deadline day this week, keeping them alive to revisit and alter later.
Malcolm Butler, a Vicksburg, Miss., native, immediately became a lasting part of Super Bowl lore, making the first interception of his career and preserving New England's 28-24 win.
Brandon Businessman to be Sentenced in Prison Bribery Case
A businessman and former lawmaker is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday for crimes related to bribing Mississippi's former corrections commissioner.
Trump Puts Iran 'on Notice' After Ballistic Missile Test
President Donald Trump said Thursday his administration has put Iran "on notice," echoing comments from his top national security adviser that the U.S. will act against Iran unless it stops testing ballistic missiles and supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Trump Vows to Repeal Political Limits on Churches
Warning that religious freedom is "under threat," President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to repeal the Johnson Amendment, an IRS rule barring pastors from endorsing candidates from the pulpit."
White House: Trump Comments on Mexico 'Lighthearted'
President Donald Trump warned in a phone call with his Mexican counterpart that he was ready to send U.S. troops to stop "bad hombres down there" unless the Mexican military does more to control them — comments the White House described as "lighthearted."
Breitbart Editor's Berkeley Talk Nixed Amid Violent Protest
A crowd protesting a far-right commentator's appearance at the University of California at Berkeley hurled smoke bombs, broke windows and sparked a massive bonfire, prompting officials to call off the event.
DeVos Nomination on Thin Ice with 2 GOP Senators Opposed
Donald Trump's nomination of school choice activist Betsy DeVos as education secretary is on thin ice after two Republican senators vowed to vote against her.
Early Voting Bill Advances but Could be Blocked Later
A bill advancing at the Mississippi Capitol would give voters easier and earlier access to the ballot.
Wednesday, February 1
JFP Editor Donna Ladd's Speech at the Women's March, State Capitol, Jackson, Miss, 1/21/17
JFP Editor-in-chief and CEO Donna Ladd ended the Jackson Women's March at the Mississippi Capitol on Jan. 21, 2017, with this speech about the importance of independent media.
Reforming Criminal Justice: Is Mississippi Making Progress?
The Mississippi Reentry Council has been working to make it easier for inmates to find jobs and re-acclimate to life free from bars. U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett says the ultimate goal of the council is community safety.
Either the New England Patriots will win their fifth Super Bowl, or the Atlanta Falcons will win their first. The Patriots are making their ninth appearance, and Atlanta is making its second.
A New Executive (Chef) in Town
Though chef Nicole Medrano has only been in Jackson for a year, she is making waves in the local culinary scene. After Jesse Houston stepped down as executive chef at Saltine Oyster Bar, Medrano took the helm in early January.
Best of Jackson 2017: Doctors & Lawyers
We all need doctors, dentists and sometimes a lawyer, so a couple of years ago, the Jackson Free Press added a special pop-up for Best of Jackson: Best Doctors and Dentists and Best Lawyers.
It's hard not to feel a little politically homeless these days. I'm thinking of that old folk song, "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child."
The Problem with EdBuild
There has been much hoopla this legislative session over the 80-page proposal from EdBuild suggesting that Mississippi move to weighted student funding to pay for its public-education system.
Resolution and Revolution
This year promises to be filled with loud voices and screams of outrage. The bang of cries for justice, freedom and equality has already begun, and who do you think kicked it off? That's right, women folk with a powerful Women's March that took place all over the nation in various cities, including ours—Jackson.
Trump Taps Conservative Judge Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court
President Donald Trump has nominated Neil Gorsuch, a fast-rising conservative judge with a writer's flair, to the Supreme Court, setting up a fierce fight with Democrats over a jurist who could shape America's legal landscape for decades to come.
Senator: Army Corps Told to Approve Dakota Pipeline Easement
The acting secretary of the Army has ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to allow construction of the Dakota Access pipeline under a Missouri River reservoir, a North Dakota senator said, the latest twist in the months-long legal battle over the $3.8 billion project.
GOP Suspends Senate Rule, Muscles Trump Picks Through Panel
Republicans muscled through committee approval of President Donald Trump's nominees for Treasury and Health on Wednesday, suspending a key Senate rule in the latest escalation of partisan tensions in Congress.
Hinds, Rankin Battle for Wastewater Treatment
The City of Jackson's monopoly on wastewater treatment for the region lost ground last week as a Rankin chancery court agreed with an earlier decision to allow the West Rankin Utility Authority to build its own wastewater-treatment facility on the Pearl River.
UPDATED: School Choice Bills Die, Sanctuary Cities Bills Still Alive
Never mind changing the state's education-funding formula; both the House and Senate education committees have passed several bills that would affect student funding, school-board autonomy and a school's responsibility to fly the state flag.
Ways the State Can ‘Back the Badge’
It is clear that lawmakers in both houses of the Mississippi Legislature intend to implement some sort of "Back the Badge" or "Blue Lives Matter" bill this session, but how such a law is written could be up for debate.
When Jillian Smart, owner of Jackson Education Support, was growing up, she says her parents wanted their children to be productive.
Lottery Bill Clears Mississippi House Panel, Prospects Dim
A Mississippi House committee voted Tuesday to create a state lottery, but the proposal faces a tough future with opposition from the Republican House speaker.
A Follow-up to Fanfare
Given the positive response to the Mississippi Chambre Music Guild's inaugural Fanfare Festival in 2016, a second installment isn't that surprising. However, the event wasn't always so certain.
Sen. McDaniel, Meet the Real ‘Liberal Women’
As I was consumed with Best of Jackson week last week, I kept getting emails and texts about a state legislator proving himself to be among the worst of Mississippi.
This Is Enrichment
Each year, Jackson area residents get to learn something new with Millsaps College's Community Enrichment Series.