Friday, April 30
Governor Tate Reeves Signs New Executive Order
Today, Governor Tate Reeves signed Executive Order 1551. This order will go into effect at 5 p.m. on April 30, 2021. This new executive order repeals all prior orders.
Ward 7 Gets $22 Million, with $2 Million to Ward 2 in Four Years from 1% Tax
One out of every three dollars that the City of Jackson spent from the 1% sales-tax revenue from 2017 to 2020 went to Ward 7, a Jackson Free Press analysis of information obtained via records request shows.
Mississippi Commission Removing Mask Requirement in Casinos
The Mississippi Gaming Commission said Thursday that it will end its mask mandate for casino customers and employees as of 5 p.m. Friday.
UPDATED: Water, Electricity Restored After O.B. Curtis Plant Fire
An electrical fire broke out at OB Curtis Water Treatment Plant this morning, shutting down two high service pumps and the entire plant. The loss of pressure in the system requires the City of Jackson to issue a boil water notice for all surface water connections.
Thursday, April 29
CDC-Backed Jackson State Town Hall Counters Vaccine Apathy, Distrust with Facts
Jackson State University hosted a virtual town hall to clarify COVID-19 vaccine concerns of the capital city’s younger citizens on Tuesday, featuring a panel of experts to dispel rumors and speak to safety concerns students and local residents may have.
JSU Free Summer Courses, USM Project START Partnership and 2021 Retool Your School Awards
Jackson State University is offering free summer courses to assist students and families who faced academic or economic impact during the COVID-19 pandemic.
JSU has a rising star in sophomore utility man Ty Hill. He has been on a tear this April as he and the rest of the Tigers dominate the conference.
Mississippi Gives Go-Ahead for Johnson & Johnson Shots
Mississippi state health officials say they will allow clinics to continue using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because they believe the benefits outweigh any potential risk.
Most of Mississippi's 65 and Older Population is Vaccinated
Almost two-thirds of Mississippi residents 65 and older have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, state health officials said Wednesday.
Wednesday, April 28
Kylie Hogue, a lifelong Brandon resident, has been working as a horse trainer at Strong River Equine in Brandon since 2020. The facility offers consignment horse sales and horse boarding in addition to training.
Grizzell, Hartley Win Ward Runoffs; SWAC Game in Jackson; Parks and Rec. Is Hiring
Brian C. Grizzell and Vernon Hartley emerged unofficial winners of Wards 4 and 5 Democratic Party run-off on Tuesday, April 27.
Jackson Considers Renaming Street After Bluesman Bobby Rush
An ordinance to rename Ellis Avenue to Bobby Rush Boulevard, in honor of the two-time Grammy winning Bluesman, was introduced at Tuesday's Jackson City Council meeting, WLBT-TV reported.
Tuesday, April 27
CDC Lifts Pause On Johnson & Johnson Vaccine, But Mississippi Yet To Resume
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted a pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on April 23, paving the way for states to resume the one-shot vaccinations.
As of April 1, Jeffrey Altman has taken on the role of interim executive director for the Mississippi Department of Transportation, or MDOT, following the retirement of Melinda McGrath after 36 years of state service.
Census Shows Mississippi Lost Population and Diversified
Mississippi became more diverse during the past decade, but it is also one of only three states that lost population, according to 2020 Census numbers released Monday.
Monday, April 26
Group Links Parole Reforms To Economic Development
Expanding parole eligibility in Mississippi comes with economic benefits, Rounds Consulting Group Inc. said in a March 2021 report. Currently, those incarcerated in Mississippi cost the state $14,600 per year in prison, the report pointed out.
Run Foster Run, On the Road with Felder Rushing and Jackson Zoo Reopening
Catholic Charities, Inc. will host its fourth annual "Run Foster Run" fundraiser event on Thursday, May 6, at The Township at Colony Park.
Michael Beattie, president and executive director of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, will retire after serving the organization for almost 17 years Sept. 1, 2021.
Analysis: Watchdog Gives Bleak Report on Mississippi Prisons
Bloody clashes that brought Mississippi's prison system under federal scrutiny last year were part of a dramatic increase in reported cases of violence behind bars.
Catherine Pierce Named New Mississippi Poet Laureate
Mississippi's new poet laureate for the next four years, Catherine Pierce of Starkville, is a professor and published author.
Friday, April 23
Parole Reform Law Brings New Chance For Thousands, But Not Habitual Offenders
Thousands of incarcerated Mississippians will soon become eligible for a parole hearing after Gov. Tate Reeves signed the “Mississippi Earned Parole Eligibility Act” into law this Thursday.
Azia’s Picks 4-23-21
What are we eating this weekend and furthermore, where is the entertainment? If you’re needing to be pointed in the right direction, take a moment to look over my picks.
Casey Collier Rogers
When Casey Collier Rogers was 4 years old, she watched with rapt attention as her mother and her best friend taught students to dance at a studio in Clinton, Miss.
US Drop in Vaccine Demand Has Some Places Turning Down Doses
As the supply of coronavirus vaccine doses in the U.S. outpaces demand, some places around the country are finding there's such little interest in the shots, they need to turn down shipments.
Thursday, April 22
Hinds County Announces Rental Assistance Program
Residents of Hinds County experienced financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic can now benefit from $7 million in federal rental aid, the Board of Supervisors announced Tuesday, April 20.
JSU Legislative Session Funding, MSU Sorority House Dedication and Angie Thomas Writers Scholarship Winner
Jackson State University received $500,000 during the recent Mississippi legislative session toward the preplanning for construction, furnishing and equipping a new dining facility.
In game one with the Bulldogs clinging to a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth inning. MSU brought in right handed pitcher Landon Sims. He didn’t have much trouble in the inning.
High Court Moves Away from Leniency for Minors Who Murder
After more than a decade in which the Supreme Court moved gradually toward more leniency for minors convicted of murder, the justices on Thursday moved the other way.
Mississippi Governor to Decide on Expanding Possibility of Parole
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves faces a Thursday deadline to act on a bill that could make more inmates eligible for the possibility of parole in a state with one of the highest incarceration rates in the nation.
Company Exits from Jackson Zoo Management Contract Talks
A company is withdrawing from more than two years of discussions about taking over management of the zoo in Mississippi's capital city.
Wednesday, April 21
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Benefit Still Positive Despite ‘Rare Side Effects,’ EU Reports
After investigating reports of a rare but serious side effect in Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, the European Medicines Agency concluded yesterday that the vaccine’s label should include information about possible blood clotting, listed as a “very rare side effect.”
Mississippi Taps Adviser to Oversee Funds in Poor District
The state of Mississippi is stepping in to oversee finances in a school district in one of the nation's poorest counties, which has been adjusting in recent years to consolidation.
Tuesday, April 20
Ex-Cop Guilty of Murder and Manslaughter in Floyd Case
Former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday of murder and manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man’s neck in a case that touched off worldwide protests.
Nellie "Mack" McInnis
Jackson-born musician Nellie "Mack" McInnis earlier this year received the 2021 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Music for her 40-year career as a jazz, funk, blues and bass performer.
‘It’s Like a Little Landfill’: Fix Up Neighborhoods to Deter Dumping, Official Says
City of Jackson Solid Waste Division workers cleared illegal dumping on Glen Erin Street on Friday, April 16. City Council President and Ward 6 Councilman Aaron Banks said this is not the first time the crew has cleaned the street lined with six abandoned buildings.
Groups Plan Effort for Mississippi Voting Rights Restoration
Three groups will sponsor an initiative to try to simplify the way Mississippi restores voting rights to people convicted of some felonies, a person involved with the effort said Monday.
Jackson Won't Release Email About 2020 Water System Problems
The city of Jackson, Mississippi, has denied a TV station's public records request for email about problems with the city water treatment system.
Monday, April 19
Fresh Market Mother's Day, MPB "Your Vote, Your Voice" and USAIBC Kentucky Derby Party
The Fresh Market is offering all-in-one, ready-to-cook brunch and dinner meals for Mother's Day. Customers can place their orders online and pick them up in the store.
After 16 Months Awaiting Trial, Suspect Found Hanging in Hinds County Jail
Justin Mosley, 21, a suspect found hanging on Sunday in his Raymond Detention Center cell, has been awaiting trial for 16 months, Capt. Tyree D. Jones, the sheriff's public information officer, told the Jackson Free Press Monday.
Analysis: Initiatives Seek to Bypass Mississippi Lawmakers
People are now looking to bypass the Mississippi House and Senate by proposing initiatives to expand Medicaid, authorize early voting and reconsider the state flag design.
Mississippi Law Will Ban Shackling Inmates During Childbirth
Mississippi will join a growing number of states and the federal government in banning the use of restraints on women giving birth in a jail or prison.
Farmers to Families Food Boxes Giveaway in Jackson
Thousands of food boxes of fresh produce will be available for pick-up at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson on Wednesday.
Friday, April 16
Azia’s Picks 4-16-21
If you need some new ideas on what’s happening in the tri-city area this upcoming week, check out my picks. Whatever you decide, remember we’re still in a pandemic, so please socialize respectfully and responsibly.
Drive-In Movies in the Park Series 2021
Returning for its fourth year, the city’s Drive-In Movies in the Park Series begins Friday, April 16, and Saturday, April 17, and will continue on a monthly basis.
Mississippi Official Defends Own Comment About 'Woke' Voters
Mississippi's top elections official says he thinks people are doing a “hatchet job” on him over comments he made in a television interview about “woke” and “uninformed” voters on college campuses.
When Jeff Salter crossed the Mississippi River and made his way into Jackson, he celebrated an important milestone: 1,000 miles travelled on his e-bike.
Thursday, April 15
Jackson Water: City Approves $1.2.million to Improve O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility
Water production at the O.B. Curtis water treatment facility will get a boost after the City of Jackson spends $1,223,990 restoring a portion of it, Public Works Director Charles Williams told the Jackson City Council at its April 13 meeting.
JSU Food Giveaway and Project HEALTH, Hinds Summer Courses and USM Waking Joy Project
Jackson State University's Center for Community Engagement is partnering with local organizations to provide 1,500 free food boxes containing non-perishable goods to needy families in the community.
Mississippi Ends License Requirements for Some Beauty Jobs
Mississippi no longer requires professional licenses for people who offer low-risk beauty services, a change that will save residents thousands of dollars and hours of time spent on training.
Wednesday, April 14
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Paused, No Serious Reactions Reported In Mississippi
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention placed a pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccinations this week across the country due to reported rare incidences of specific blood clots.
Conservation Groups Sue Engineer Corps Over Yazoo Pumps
A coalition of conservation groups is suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over a massive flood-control project in the south Mississippi Delta they say was hastily approved in the final days of the Trump administration.
Matt Casteel spent years working for hunger relief around the world with an international relief agency. Now he has brought his passion for helping others home to Jackson with a unique business that focuses on filling the gaps in food systems locally.
Tuesday, April 13
Letter to Biden Says ‘Trump’s Racist Raid’ Caused Damage to Immigrants, He Must Reverse
A letter to President Joe Biden is demanding action to address the plight of immigrant workers in the wake of the August 2019 federal raid of food-processing plants in six cities in Mississippi.
Bill Moore, an optometrist for Odom's Eye Care in Jackson, recently retired after 37 years with the business. The staff and management of the shop held a celebratory luncheon on Friday, April 9, to commemorate Moore's retirement.
Justices to Hear Mississippi Marijuana Initiative Arguments
The Mississippi Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit that challenges the state initiative process and seeks to block development of a medical marijuana program.
Monday, April 12
Experts: COVID-19 Vaccines Still Effective, Needed as U.K. Variant Spreads Across U.S.
The COVID-19 variant designated as B117 is now the most common strain of the virus in parts the United States, almost two months after the Mississippi State Department of Health first detected the United Kingdom variant in Mississippi.
2021 Virtual Art Party at the Museum, Mississippi Coding Academies and Drive-In Movies in the Park
The Mississippi Museum of Art is preparing to host its 2021 virtual Art Party fundraiser on Saturday, April 17, beginning at 7 p.m. The virtual program will include jazz in the museum's galleries, a silent auction and more.
Belhaven student Cole Gaddy is no stranger to hard work, but the football standout recently added another big responsibility to his already full plate: a seat on American College of Healthcare Executives’ board as the lone student representative from the Magnolia State.
Analysis: Mississippi Unlikely to Ease Its Election Laws
Mississippi legislators imposed no new limits on the election process during their recently ended session, but this state already had some of the strictest voting laws in the U.S.
Friday, April 9
An Eye on Equity: Clinic for Uninsured Offering Johnson & Johnson Vaccine on Saturdays in April
Jackson Free Clinic is offering a COVID-19 vaccination to anyone interested for the three remaining Saturdays in April—10th, 17th, and 24th.
Azia’s Picks 4-9-21
What you got up for this weekend? If you’re still wondering, take some time to read through my upcoming picks. Looks like it's going to be a wet weekend, so stay dry, stay masked up, socially distanced and stocked on allergy meds.
Left-handed pitcher Christian MacLeod took the mound in the series opener for MSU. MacLeod pitched a nearly perfect game for the Bulldogs in six innings of work.
High Court Won't Block Mississippi School Disparity Lawsuit
The U.S. Supreme Court said Thursday it will not get involved, for now, in a lawsuit that says Mississippi allows grave disparities in funding between predominantly Black and predominantly white schools.
Thursday, April 8
‘This Is Not an Entitlement Program’: Ballot Initiative Seeks to Expand Medicaid Coverage
Hundreds of thousands of Mississippians could receive expanded Medicaid coverage from the newly created Ballot Initiative 76, which would expand Medicaid coverage to those under 138% of the federal poverty limit.
Brian Regan, “On The Rocks” and Sharing Joy Through Comedy During a Pandemic
Brian Regan, a Florida-native stand-up comedian who specializes in observational and self-deprecating humor drawn from everyday life experiences, is coming to Mississippi to put on a show at the Brandon Amphitheater on Friday, April 9.
JSU Truth Initiative Partnership, USM Virtual MLK Prayer Breakfast and MSU Virtual Twelfth Night Performances
Jackson State University is one of 10 HBCUs partnering with Truth Initiative as part of a national movement to address smoking, vaping and nicotine use at college campuses nationwide.
10-Digit Phone Dialing Coming to Northern Mississippi
The north Mississippi region is among 82 area codes nationwide making room for the 988 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which begins operation in July 2022.
Wednesday, April 7
Lumumba Wins Mayoral Primary, Two Ward Seats Head to Run-Off on April 27
With 13,735 votes for Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba in the Democratic mayoral primary on Tuesday, he won the Democratic nomination and heads to the June 8 general election to face Jason Wells and three independent candidates.
Mississippi Receiving $29.7M from CDC for Vaccinations
Mississippi is receiving about $29.7 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support coronavirus vaccination efforts.
Tuesday, April 6
Mississippi and Secret Service Work on Cybercrime Task Force
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch said Tuesday that her office has established a partnership with the U.S. Secret Service and in-state law enforcement agencies to investigate financial crimes that occur online.
Millsaps associate theatre professor Peter Friedrich recently received the Seeking Solutions to Global Challenges Award from the Fulbright Program.
Best of Jackson: Healthcare 2021 Finalist Ballot
The finalist ballot for Best of Jackson: Healthcare 2021 will remain open until Sunday, April 18. Each person may submit one ballot and choose their favorites from up to 15 categories.
Health Department: Over Half a Million People Fully Vaccinated
The state of Mississippi has now administered 1.32 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine to residents, according to the state health department.
Monday, April 5
Kingston Frazier Memorial Splash Pad, Van's Pizza and Beer Deal, Jackson Summer Program
The City of Jackson Department of Parks and Recreation hosted a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the Kingston Frazier Memorial Splash Pad, a miniature water park for children in Jackson, on Friday, April 2.
Col. John B. Carter
Col. John B. Carter will be inducted as the next Commander of the Mississippi State Guard on April 24 at a ceremony at Camp Shelby.
‘Figure Pulled Out of the Sky’: Mayor Swipes at Council for Approving $500,000 for Deputies
Putting $500,000 into the hands of the Hinds County Sheriff's Department to put deputies in the capital city is "fiscally irresponsible," Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba told the Jackson Free Press in a phone interview on April 3.
Analysis: Mississippi Capitol Actions Have Real-Life Impact
The first bill legislators passed and the governor signed this year has had an easy-to-see impact. House Bill 1 put the design of the new magnolia-themed state flag into law.
Health Officials Seeking Help Vaccinating Hispanic, Black and Vietnamese Residents
The Mississippi State Department of Health Office of Health Equity is looking for organizations to host coronavirus vaccination events for Hispanic, Black and Vietnamese residents, as well as people who live in rural areas.
Friday, April 2
Azia’s Picks Easter Edition 4-2-21
It’s Easter Weekend, so you know what that means: an extended weekend to do more of what we love with those we love. If you’re looking to see what the tri-city area has to offer you and yours this upcoming week, check out my picks.
2021 Easter Brunch Offerings
Jackson's local restaurants have all you could ever want when it comes to Easter brunch. Here is some of what's on offer for this year's holiday season.
Parole Reform Passes to Governor’s Desk Amid Murky Future
Accessibility to parole hearings would extend to more inmates across Mississippi’s state prison system if Gov. Tate Reeves signs legislation passed in the state Senate this week.
Advocates: Put Early Voting Proposal on Mississippi Ballot
Democratic state lawmaker Hester Jackson McCray is leading a group of activists who want to amend the Mississippi Constitution to create a broad system of early, in-person voting.
Pay Raises, Yes; Tax Changes, No: Mississippi Session Ends
Mississippi legislators ended their 2021 session Thursday after agreeing on a teacher pay raise and voting to update parole rules in a state with crowded prisons.
Thursday, April 1
'We Are Beat Down’: Citing Crime and Defying Mayor, Council Clears $500,000 for More Deputies
The Jackson City Council has approved $500,000 for the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department over the objection of the mayoral administration and two council members in an agreement that no one has put on paper, yet.
USM Completes Southern Station, MSU Startup Summit and JSU Museum Consortium
The University of Southern Mississippi's Southern Miss Alumni Association recently announced the completion of a multi-use entertainment venue called Southern Station in Spirit Park on the university's campus.
Freshman outfielder TJ McCants enjoyed a breakout series for the Rebels against Alabama. He batted .364 with five runs scored, three RBI, a home run and a double.
Mississippi Legislators Wrapping Up Work for 3-Month Session
Mississippi legislators will end their three-month session on Thursday, and that will give Republican Gov. Tate Reeves a few days to sign or veto dozens of bills they passed.