Downtown Jackson Partners President Ben Allen faces charges that may hinge on whether DJP operates as public or private. Trip Burns/File Photo
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:
- Over a hundred Mississippians gathered at Millsaps College for a peaceful vigil in support of Muslims, immigrants and refugees potentially affected by executive orders President Donald Trump signed last week.
- Robert Gibbs, the attorney for Downtown Jackson Partners, took the stand Friday 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.
- Mayor Tony Yarber faces new allegations from another former City of Jackson employee who accuses the administration of a culture of sexual harassment and contract steering.
- District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith called John Reeves, a local attorney and former board member of Downtown Jackson Partners, to testify about how the board operated under Ben Allen's leadership.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The trial of Downtown Jackson Partners President Ben Allen began Tuesday morning with opening statements and testimony from an attorney who formerly worked with the state auditor's office asserting the money DJP collects from downtown property owners is public money.
- The Mississippi Reentry Council has been working to make it easier for inmates to find jobs and re-acclimate to life free from bars.
- 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.
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