We have big news from the world of the Jackson Free Press. Much of it is positive, and some of it is simply inevitable in the face of COVID-19 and how the delta variant has affected us here in Mississippi.
The Jackson Free Press has won 11 awards to date for 2020 journalism during the pandemic—from two Society of Professional Journalists contests.
"Here on the first anniversary of the old flag coming down, driving Mississippi reminds you of all of the integration work that white Mississippians have yet even to attempt. Taking down the flag and statues is just table stakes."
While Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann often presents himself, rightly, as the Mississippi GOP's adult in the room, his reaction to Jackson's water woes this week leaves a bad taste.
We published our first ever Best of Jackson issue in January 2003, right after we'd launched the Jackson Free Press in the fall of 2002. Nearly two decades later, a lot has changed in Jackson.
Along with changes on the national level, I've got several changes to report on the local JFP front, effective with this issue.
"Gov. Tate Reeves has done precisely the wrong things to quell this virus. He could have led his party and supporters in Mississippi instead of sheepishly kowtowing to the extremists."
We've heard it over and over again. Masks are the best defense against the spread of the virus. They're about helping other people as much as about helping yourself, especially cloth and non-medical masks.
The truth is, running a media company is always tough when your primary goal is to tell the truth—and not just please or appease the powerful.
Gov. Reeves knew the threat to Mississippi hospitals when he implemented one of the most liberal reopening plans of any U.S. state in late May. As with Florida and Texas, Mississippi has paid for its governor's lack of clarity and decisiveness.
Friday's 1,434 new cases recorded by the Mississippi State Department of Health, or MSDH, brings the seven-day average to 1,322 positive tests per day, up from 918 average daily cases a week ago.
In the past week, Mississippi has gone from a total of 35,419 reported people infected with COVID-19 to Friday's total of 41,846 people testing positive since counting began. That's 6,427 new cases in one week, or an average of 918 cases per day, by far the most reported since the pandemic began.
With 797 Mississippi residents testing positive for COVID-19 on Friday, the state's total stands at 35,419 since testing began. The past two weeks have averaged 680 cases per day, much higher than at any other time during the crisis. The average number of deaths reported per day rose to its highest level yet.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Mississippi passed 30,000 on Friday, with that day's total at a near-record 990 of reported newly infected Mississippians. Four people died from complications related to the virus yesterday.
The Mississippi State Department of Health reported that 914 new people tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, the second-highest day since MSDH began reporting numbers in April. More than 1,100 Mississippians have died from COVID-19-related illnesses in that same time period.
House Bill 1796 has passed both chambers of the Mississippi Legislature and is headed to Gov. Tate Reeves for signature, which he signaled early Saturday will happen.
This past week, the average number of daily new cases of COVID-19 rose to 557 in Mississippi.
Mississippi this past week reached a new high in the COVID-19 pandemic, averaging 330 new people per day identified as infected with the virus.
It's telling that, as part of his executive orders during this crisis, Gov. Tate Reeves suspended several rules regarding application for and receipt of unemployment benefits. Why did they exist?
On Friday, testing confirmed that 439 new people have COVID-19 in the state of Mississippi, the highest one-day total since the Mississippi State Department of Health began reporting test results. Those 439 come on the heels of the 418 reported for Thursday, which was the previous high.
With Gov. Tate Reeves allowing businesses and most public facilities to fully open on Monday, June 1, with his “Safe Return” order, the Mississippi Department of Health reported its highest one-day tally of people testing positive for COVID-19 today.
After two near-record days of new reported cases of COVID-19, the total number of cases in Mississippi since the outbreak began has topped 13,000.
The day after Gov. Tate Reeves announced a path for reopening tattoo parlors, Mississippi hit milestones of more than 11,000 cases of COVID-19 and passed 500 deaths.
As Gov. Tate Reeves learned this past week, the most powerful public office in Mississippi isn't actually that of governor.
The day after Gov. Tate Reeves once again relaxed his "safer-at-home" order, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 288 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths they attribute to the virus. The total number of reported cases since March 11 is now 9,378.
One week after Governor Tate Reeves signed his "safer at home" order that reopened a number of retail businesses and loosened restrictions on non-essential businesses, Mississippi has a reported 7,441 cases of COVID-19 total since March 11.
One day after Gov. Tate Reeves signed his "safer-at-home" executive order designed to reopen some non-essential businesses, the state added another 284 cases of COVID-19 to Mississippi State Department of Health's official tally.
As COVID-19 crashes the Mississippi economy and unemployment skyrockets, a lot of people are scared. We know, because you've been sending the Jackson Free Press questions by email, online chat and social media.
The Jackson Free Press team has done its damnedest to bring you the latest news on COVID-19 as it breaks here in the Jackson and throughout the state, as well as vital safety information.
"The mayor is clearly trying to express support for the people who are experiencing flooding this week. But this isn't (just) about sturgeon, Mr. Mayor. And I sincerely encourage you not to make the One Lake project your 'Siemens.'"
"As we go into 2020, I think two things could help downtown Jackson become more vibrant. First, interest and awareness in downtown need to be curated. Second, we as citizens and patrons need to participate in those events and make a point of heading downtown."
This issue we celebrate moving into our 18th year of publishing as a voice for Jacksonians who want to see progress in the capital city and the Magnolia State. It's been quite a ride!
"If a male politician elects to follow the "Billy Graham Rule," it really is incumbent upon him to make the accommodations necessary to meet with women—reporters, constituents, policy advisers and advocates."
"It's up to men to solve sexism." We were at breakfast when Donna said that to me. I was immediately struck by the profundity of the statement—in part because it resonates with another one that I've internalized from my years of volunteerism as a racial-healing dialogue participant and facilitator.
As the weather gets a little more accommodating, I encourage you to take advantage of opportunities not only to have a little fun but to support local artists, local organizations or to lend your support to an important cause.
This issue of BOOM Jackson serves two major purposes. One, it's a three-month look ahead at arts and cultural events in the Jackson metro. Two, we do the BOOM edition quarterly, with a focus on local entrepreneurship and economic development—stuff I love!
Each year, we use Best of Jackson to highlight the best local businesses, people and organizations in the city.
For the better part of two decades, the JFP has been proud to present the one, authentic, local and first "Best of" competition that seeks to promote the unique people, businesses and organizations that make life in Jackson metro what it is.
Proponents of the "One Lake" project on the Pearl River have a high bar to clear, and I don't think they're doing it yet. Their problem is simple: lack of transparency.
The Rainbow Co-op Board of Directors, which voted to seek Chapter 11 reorganization protection in March, has now decided to close the grocery, which has been open since 1980.
Let's jump right to it—we're announcing exciting changes with this issue. We've been planning for months how we will best serve the reader, how we serve local businesses and help make Jackson the best place we can moving forward.
One of the biggest letdowns of the modern era—and the money involved in American politics—is the complacency that sets in once someone gets into office.
The more hands-off we are, the more we can find other people to blame for society's ills; the more we make selfishness a virtue, the less we actually act in our self-interest by being engaged civically and using our collective talents, intelligence and hard work to solve problems.
In the first-ever full issue of the Jackson Free Press in October 2002, we had a Best of Jackson ballot, with plans to reveal the winners the following January—just as we do to this day, 16 Best of Jackson ballots and celebrations in.
The Jackson Free Press is 15 years old. It's still sinking in a little. No, it doesn't seem like "yesterday" to me when we started the JFP—because it's been a long road, and sometimes a tough one.
Real solutions to violent crime start with understanding how we got to where we are—what's systemic about the problem—and what the best practices are for interrupting violence and setting young people on a better path with the full support of responsible and invested adults in their community.
We're deep into our 15th year of publishing as July 4th rolls around, which means we at the Jackson Free Press have being doing something else for a decade and a half—encouraging people to shop local first.
I've had a number of great conversations recently with local business people who are curious to see where our city is headed now that the primary is behind us, and it appears that Chokwe Antar Lumumba, who surprised many by winning the primary outright, will be our next mayor.
I've been saying it for a hot minute about Jackson, and particularly about creatives, professionals and local business interests in Jackson—we need to get organized.
With the mayoral primary just a few weeks away, we've been discussing our JFP endorsement possibilities; we haven't yet chosen a candidate, but we've been talking about the criteria.