Jackson's Fondren neighborhood is now officially one of the top 10 most endangered historic places in Mississippi. The designation comes in the midst of a Hilton hotel, and asbestos, controversy in the trendy neighborhood.
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:
- Offending black citizens is not enough to block the Mississippi flag, attorneys for Gov. Phil Bryant argued to the U.S. Supreme Court this week; they must instead show that the flag caused discrimination in order for a court to declare it unconstitutional.
- Jackson's Fondren neighborhood is now officially one of the top 10 most endangered historic places in Mississippi. The designation from Mississippi Heritage Trust comes in the midst of a Hilton hotel, and asbestos, controversy in the trendy neighborhood.
- The Mississippi Department of Education released the 2017 accountability rankings of all schools and districts in the state this morning. Seventy percent of the state's schools are performing at "C" grade or higher. Nine districts received an "F" grade, including Jackson Public Schools.
- Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith's trial in Rankin County for charges of aggravated stalking, robbery, and two counts of domestic violence, all involving an ex-girlfriend, will move forward as a judge considers whether to block damaging evidence involving prior alleged domestic violence and Smith's potential drug use from the jury.
- One of Mississippi's top-performing elementary schools, Davis Magnet IB Elementary School, has changed its name to Barack Obama Magnet IB Elementary School.
- Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's office says Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith is "mistaken" about claims that the attorney general "exceeded the scope of his authority" by prosecuting Smith in Rankin County when the district attorney there did not explicitly ask for their assistance.
- Developers of the Edison Walthall Building have cleared and cleaned the inside of the 1920s era hotel and plan to start new construction this month.
- Like many of the threatened animals it houses, the Jackson Zoo's future potential is unclear, as it is tied up in the status of the deteriorating neighborhood of west Jackson that surrounds it.
- The day after developers of a new Hilton hotel suddenly started demolishing structures on a two-acre site in the heart of Fondren, asbestos inspector Ryan Galfetti showed up unannounced after the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality received a complaint that asbestos may be present in the structures and the new piles of debris.
- The Commission on School Accreditation approved the 2017 accountability grades of schools and districts at its meeting Tuesday morning, as well as recommended that 18 school districts in the state go on probation for accreditation violations.
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