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April 23, 2015

Tonight: Nikki Giovanni Speaks at Jackson State

By R.L. Nave

Here's the release from JSU:

The Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University is pleased to announce that renowned poet and scholar, Nikki Giovanni, will deliver a keynote address at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, in the JSU Student Center Theater. Her talk will open Dr. Doris A. Derby’s documentary photography exhibit, The Black Arts Movement, Black Power and the Struggle for Civil Rights in America, in the Johnson Hall Art Gallery on the JSU Campus, where a reception will immediately follow Giovanni’s remarks.

Poet Nikki Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, on June 7, 1943. Although she grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, she and her sister returned to Knoxville each summer to visit their grandparents. Giovanni graduated with honors in history from her grandfather’s alma mater, Fisk University. Since 1987, she has been on the faculty at Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor. She has been awarded an unprecedented seven NAACP Image Awards, and she has been nominated for a Grammy and been a finalist for the National Book Award. Her books have included authored three New York Times and Los Angeles Times Best Sellers.

Dr. Doris A. Derby’s photography exhibit, The Black Arts Movement, Black Power and the Struggle for Civil Rights in America, will open immediately following Giovanni’s address with a reception in the Johnson Hall Art Gallery at JSU. Derby, who came to Mississippi with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1963, was a ten-year civil rights veteran. Her work has been recognized in several publications and documentaries. Derby is a contributor to Hands on the Freedom Plow, a book about SNCC women’s contributions to the civil rights movement, and she was Georgia State University’s founding Director of African American Student Services and Programs from 1990 until her retirement in 2012.

All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the Center’s website at www.jsums.edu/margaretwalkercenter or contact the Center’s staff at 601-979-2055 or mwa@jsums.edu.

http://jacksonfreepress.com/users/photos/2015/apr/23/21188/

April 22, 2015

How Did Stephen Gene Davenport Die?

By R.L. Nave

It’s unclear exactly how Stephen Gene Davenport died, but what is clear is that more happened than authorities have publicly disclosed.

Davenport died on April 21 after an apparent scuffle with deputies from the Lauderdale County sheriff's department.

Sheriff Billy Sollie told media outlets two of his deputies were also injured.

"The individual was placed in restraints. The individual became unresponsive," Sollie told WTOK. "Metro Ambulance was contacted, and he was transported to a local hospital where treatment was rendered. But he passed away at a local hospital."

The news station reported that Davenport, 40, and another man were fighting when deputies arrived and tried to intervene.

WTOK also reported that Davenport's mother said he fought with drug addiction and had no ill will toward the police.

Davenport's death came one week after Freddie Gray died while in police custody in Baltimore.

Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said Gray died from a severe spinal cord injury.

"What we don't know, and what we need to get to, is how that injury occurred," Rodriguez said in a press conference.

Hopefully, the same is true of the Davenport case.

April 16, 2015

Pothole Report for 4/16/2015: What's the City Fixing Today?

By R.L. Nave

According to City Hall, Jackson public-works crews will be doing the following today:

  • Patching potholes on areas of S. Charleston Place, Jefferson Street, Dewey Street, Ellis Avenue, Castle Hill Drive, Monterey Street, Claiborne Avenue and First Avenue, River Park Dr., Springridge Drive, Lake Trace Drive, Kristen Drive and Lynn Lane, Riverside Drive and Highland Drive, Woodward Avenue, Ridgewood Road and Briarwood Road, Bailey Avenue, Brinkley Drive and Winchester Drive.

April 14, 2015

Two Charter Schools in NOLA Closing

By Todd Stauffer

Looking for evidence that charter schools don't offer a panacea for education because they're "run-like-a-business" solutions for education?

The churning waters of economic reality are bubbling over in New Orleans this spring; two schools, Miller-McCoy and Lagniappe Academies are both facing failure of their management, resulting in a great deal of turmoil for parents and students.

Interesting in the Lagniappe Academies case, the problem seems to be so dire that they may have to close the school early this year to "save money."

“I’m going to suggest that the school closes post state testing to save…money,” Bishop said.

Bishop said he recently learned the board may not have been receiving truthful information about the school’s finances and other matters from leadership. McCormick assumed leadership after CEO Kendall Petri and Chief Operating Officer Ninh Tran left mid-March. He said ending the year early could save the organization money and give the leadership the time needed to shut down the campus.

It sounds like the plan now is for management to give up completely and hand the school over to teachers.

The room broke out in applause when the board voted to put teachers in charge. Many members of the audience also voted ‘aye’ when the board voted on a motion calling for McCormick to resign by Friday.

Now, clearly, New Orleans has even greater challenges than Jackson when it comes to its schools and the failed school district they're trying to piece back together. But it does seem to offer some interesting case-studies for what happens when charters implode.

April 14, 2015

Pothole Report for 4/14/2015: What's the City Fixing Today?

By R.L. Nave

According to information from City Hall, Jackson public-works crews are working on the following projects today, April 14:

• Patching potholes on areas of Lynch Street at Highland Drive, Highland Drive, North Cliff Street, Ellis Avenue, Poole Street, Grand Avenue, Claiborne Avenue, Claiborne Avenue and First Avenue, Barrett Street from Dalton Street to Valley Street, Boling Street, Marshall Street, Woodhill Road, Old Canton Road & River Oaks Boulevard, Quail Run Road, Eastbourne Lane and Boxwood Circle.

• Repairing curb & gutter on St. Mary Street.

April 13, 2015

Pothole Report for 4/13/2015: What's the City Fixing Today?

By R.L. Nave

According to information from City Hall, Jackson public-works crews are working on the following projects today, April 13:

  • Patching potholes on areas of Highland Drive, N. Cliff Drive, Colebrook Avenue, Barrett Street, Poindexter Street, Valley Street, Eastover Subdivision.

  • Repairing curb and gutter on St. Mary Street.

On Friday, April 10, workers were completing the following:

  • Patching potholes on areas Cedarwood and Woodcliff, Maddox Road, N. Siwell Road/Raymond Road/Western Hills, Laurie Lane, Maria Drive, W. Browning, W. County Line Road, Meadowbrook Road, Old Canton Road, Keele Street, Village Drive, Meadowlane Drive, Marshall Street, Webster Street, Lawrence Road, Magnolia Street and McTyere Street.

  • Repairing utility cuts on Colebrook Drive & Springfield Circle and Northcliff Drive.

March 26, 2015

Yarber Pulls A HOC-Style Trick From His Sleeve, Declares State of Emergency

By R.L. Nave

In Season 3 of House of Cards, the Netflix dark political drama, President Frank Underwood devises a plan to circumvent Congress and fund his sweeping jobs plan dubbed America Works.

The plan involved Underwood's declaring that soaring unemployment created a state of emergency, which let him tap into the coffers of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide jobs for out-of-work Americans.

Not saying Mayor Tony Yarber is Frank Underwood, but I wouldn't be surprised if HOC has been marathon-streaming on the Yarber family Roku in the past few weeks considering the announcement Yarber made this afternoon.

During a press conference in his office, Yarber, said that his administration has been "talking out loud as a team about declaring a state of emergency" for the city's infrastructure woes.

"Over the last 24 hours, we've seen more breaks than we'd like to see in our water mains," Yarber said.

The declaration enables the city "to use a different form of procurement in order to get the supplies and resources we need," the mayor added.

The winter weather and heavy rains of the past few weeks likely caused shifts in the soils that created potholes and weakened already brittle and deteriorating underground pipes.

Yarber stressed the quality of the water coming out of the city's water-treatment plant remains high, but some residents might see boil-water notices, which the city is legally required to issue when busted pipes cause drops in water pressure. The Red Cross and Salvation Army could be called upon to provide bottled water to area dormitories for students who cannot boil their water, Yarber said.

Yarber added that Gov. Phil Bryant and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality support the declaration.

Council President De'Keither Stamps said he and his fellow council members are getting up to speed on the emergency-declaration processes.

"If the governor is supporting this, they've obviously identified resources," Stamps told the Jackson Free Press.

In recent weeks, the city council has expressed frustration with Yarber for not providing final budget numbers for fiscal-year 2013-2014 so that budget writers have a clear picture of the city's fiscal health.

Council Vice-President Melvin Priester Jr., who presides over the council's Budget Committee, said Yarber's declaration put the city in unchartered territory and he wants to see the details of the plan.

"If you can declare an emergency about aging infrastructure when there hasn’t been a tornado or hurricane or breakdown at the water-treatment plant, and magically be able to draw from a big pool of money with no strings attached, every municipality in Mississippi would have done it," Priester said.

http://jacksonfreepress.com/users/photos/2015/mar/26/20818/

March 23, 2015

Ole Miss Alumni Not Happy With Jones Non-Renewal

By Todd Stauffer

The Ole Miss Alumni Association has released a statement regarding the non-renewal of University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones' contract. The association calls the new "unexpected and distressing" and expressed concern over the lack of details offered by IHL.

"Dr. [Dan] Jones has our continued confidence, trust, and support to serve as our chancellor."

Verbatim statement below:

March 23, 2015 It is now well known that the IHL Board of Trustees announced on Friday that it would not extend Chancellor Dan Jones’ contract, which is set to expire on September 14. This news came as an unexpected and distressing statement to Alumni Association leadership as it did to the Ole Miss faithful. The lack of details provided by the IHL make its decision even more concerning to the Alumni Association.

Dr. Jones has worked tirelessly over the past six years to ensure the University of Mississippi continually excels and that it receives proper recognition for its accomplishments. The results of his efforts and those he has entrusted on his leadership team speak for themselves in setting our university above the bar. We have never been a stronger institution than we are now. Enrollment and freshmen GPA are at all-time highs. Our schools and programs are recognized for their achievements almost daily. Support in the form of private giving is growing at record pace. There are more dues-paying members of the Alumni Association than there have ever been. These are signs of a flourishing institution that should not have its leader removed.

Dr. Jones has our continued confidence, trust, and support to serve as our chancellor. We do not believe that the IHL Board was justified in its decision and have seen no evidence to the contrary. We stand with Chancellor Jones, and we support the extension of his employment contract for another full term. We encourage the members of the Ole Miss family to stand with us in support of Chancellor Jones.

Executive Committee of the Ole Miss Alumni Association Ms. Trentice Imbler-President Mr. Robert R. Bailess Mr. David E. Brevard Mr. James L. Brown Ms. Kimsey O'Neal Cooper Mr. John T. Crunk Jr. Mr. Lawrence B. Johnson Jr. Mr. Randall G. Long Mr. C. Matthew Lusco Mr. Edward C. Maloney Mrs. Carole Lynn Meadows Dr. P. H. (Hal) Moore Jr. Dr. Melinda S. Ray Ms. Candace Simmons Mr. John E. Wade Jr. Mr. Charlie White

March 18, 2015

Lt. Gov. Reeves Blasts Dems for Blocking GOP Tax Breaks

By R.L. Nave

The following is a press release from the office of Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves:

JACKSON – One day after nearly half of Senate Democrats joined all Senate Republicans in passing the largest tax cut in state history, House Democrats voted almost unanimously to kill the same bill.

“Fifty-two House Democrats believe they can spend your money better than the 1.23 million Mississippians that this bill would have benefited,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said. “The Senate passed this bill in a large, bipartisan vote in an effort to simplify the tax code and encourage long-term economic growth. Hopefully, a few House Democrats will hear the cries of the people back home that need a little more money in their pockets to provide for their families.”

On Tuesday, the Senate voted 40-11 to amend House Bill 1629 to include additional income tax cuts proposed by Speaker Philip Gunn plus relief for small businesses proposed under Lt. Gov. Reeves’ Taxpayer Pay Raise Act.

The $555 million tax relief plan earned praise from Americans for Tax Reform. It would have:

· Eliminated the 3 percent and 4 percent tax brackets levied on income, · Reduced the overall tax burden on small business owners, and · Removed the investment penalty, or franchise tax, on businesses’ property and capital.

Eliminating the franchise tax alone would have grown the state’s GDP by $282 million and added 3,514 jobs within 10 years, according to a Mississippi State University study.

Food Blog

March 16, 2015

Surin of Thailand Now Open in Old Nick's Location

By amber_helsel

Jackson Free Press reported Feb. 11 that Atlanta-based franchise Surin of Thailand was close to opening a location in the old location of Nick's Restaurant (3000 Old Canton Road, Suite 105). The Jackson location of Surin is now open. For more information, visit surinofthailand.com, go to the location's Facebook page or call 601-981-3205. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 9 or 9:30 p.m., Sunday-Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday.

http://jacksonfreepress.com/users/photos/2015/mar/16/20640/

March 10, 2015

T-P: Saints Trading Jimmy Graham to Seattle

By Todd Stauffer

In what feels like a surprise move (at least, to me) the Times-Picayune in New Orleans is reporting that multiple sources have given word that the New Orleans Saints are trading Pro Bowl Tight End Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks.

The Saints will receive 28-year-old center Max Unger and Seattle's first round pick, while the Seahawks will receive Graham and the Saints' fourth round pick.

This (apparent) trade comes one year after protracted negotiations resulted in a 4-year, $40 million contract last year. Graham joins veterans Pierre Thomas and Curtis Loftin as locker-room casualties as free agency deadlines loom.

March 9, 2015

Education Honorees Warn About Assault on Public Schools

By AnnaWolfe

Lawmakers cautioned the audience at the Mississippi Association of Educators event Friday about the state’s attack against the public school system.

“And it’s not an assault without significant resources. They’re sincere in their efforts to do what they can to undermine the efforts of public educators,” said Rep. Kevin Horan, D-Grenada.

MAE awarded Horan the “Humanized Education” award alongside Pastor Marcus Dudley for both men’s work supporting public education and setting an example to others in their communities.

The group of educators also gave Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, the “Friend of Education” award for the years he’s spent fighting for public education in the Legislature. Brown served as the House Education Committee chairman for seven years.

Brown urged educators and advocates to become more active in supporting candidates who believe in the public school system.

“I’m sorry you don’t like (politics), but that’s just the way it is,” Brown said. He added that turning the state around in regards to education must happen through state government and through elected officials. “Elections matter,” he said. “We don’t govern you. You govern us.”

Brown is running for Public Service Commission this year. Horan said he hopes to live up to Brown’s legacy by continuing to advocate for public education during his service in the Legislature.

“Being in favor of quality public education just comes second nature, because that’s the way I was raised, and unfortunately people who are policy makers in this state just don’t feel that way,” Horan said.

MAE also recognized achievement in educator associations across the state in several categories. The group honored Jackson Association of Educators for its instructional and professional development, its system for filing grievances, and its support of political candidates.

Two education students who have the intent to teach in Mississippi, Miranda Williams and Trenton Miller, received $1,000 scholarships.

March 5, 2015

Winter Advisory - Jackson Bridge Closings

By Todd Stauffer

Just saw this posted to the Nextdoor Fondren website from the City of Jackson (didn't see the same posting on the city's site) and thought it was worth repeating here:

Motorists are being urged to stay off bridges and overpasses because of ice accumulation. The following bridges are temporarily closed:

•Pearl Street Bridge

•Fortification Street and Bailey Avenue Bridge

•Woodrow Wilson Bridge

City of Jackson crews continue to monitor the winter weather situation and deploy action plans as necessary:

•The Department of Public Works and the Fire Department have crews inspecting roads and bridges and applying de-icer and/or sand.

•The Department of Parks and Recreation has trucks at the ready for downed limbs or general debris removal.

•The Jackson Police Department is inspecting roads, providing security and traffic control points. To report areas in need of sand or de-icer, or to report downed trees and other debris obstructing city streets call 601-960-1234 or 601-960-1168.*

February 27, 2015

Whitwell is In for MS01 Congress Race

By R.L. Nave

Former Jackson Ward 1 City Councilman Quentin Whitwell will run for the seat left vacant by the recent death of U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee.

He wrote on Facebook: "With the outpouring of support and the blessing from my family, I am pleased to announce that I am running for US Congress. As a native of Southaven and current Oxford resident, I am ready to run a strong campaign. My business background and legal training distinguishes my candidacy from the field. I hope you will join me in fighting to bring America back to its finest moment!"

Whitwell left the Jackson City Council in October to move back to Oxford so that his son could be trained under tennis coaches at the University of Mississippi.

February 26, 2015

Joce Pritchett, Cristen Hemmins to Take Aim at GOP Incumbents

By R.L. Nave

Well-known in progressive political circles, Cristen Hemmins and Joce Prtichett today announced that they would run for elected office.

In 2012, Jackson Free Press readers opined that Hemmins should seek public office. Hemmins, chairwoman of the Lafayette County Democratic Party, will challenge state Sen. Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, for the Senate seat he has held since 1996. Tollison, a one-time Democrat who switched over to the GOP in 2012, had been eyeing late U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee's House seat but announced this week that he wouldn't run for Congress.

Joce Pritchett, an engineer who lives in Jackson with her wife, Carla Webb, and their children will make an announcement Friday at the Capitol that she will run for state auditor. So far, two Republicans have announced intentions to run, incumbent Stacey Pickering and Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler. Charles E. Graham has also said he would run as a Democrat; Pritchett did not indicate which party primary she would run in.

Pritchett and Webb are plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit challenging Mississippi's same-sex marriage ban. That case is pending in a federal appeals court.

February 25, 2015

3 More Rankin Countians Sentenced for Hate Crime Against Black Jackson Man

By R.L. Nave

The following is a verbatim press release from the Office of the U.S. Attorney:

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that William Kirk Montgomery, 25, of Puckett, Mississippi, Jonathan Kyle Gaskamp, 22, and Joseph Paul Dominick, 23, both of Brandon, Mississippi, were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Jackson for their roles in a federal hate crime conspiracy involving multiple racially motivated assaults, culminating in the death of James Craig Anderson, an African-American man, in the summer of 2011. Montgomery was sentenced to 234 months; Gaskamp was sentenced to 48 months; and Dominick was sentenced to 48 months.

Montgomery had previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act for his role in the death-resulting assault of Anderson, 47, of Jackson, Mississippi. Gaskamp previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act for his role in the conspiracy and in a violent assault of an unidentified African-American man near a golf course in the spring of 2011. Dominick pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy for his role. A restitution hearing will be set for a later date.

“The Justice Department will always fight to hold accountable those who commit racially motivated assaults,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Civil Rights Division. “We hope that the prosecution of those responsible for this horrific crime will help provide some closure to the victim’s family and to the larger community affected by this heinous crime.”

“Violence fueled by hate spreads fear and intimidation throughout our community,” said U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis of the Southern District of Mississippi. “The prison sentences today make clear that our community will not tolerate hate, and individuals who commit such despicable crimes will be brought to justice.”

“The guilty pleas and resulting sentences handed down today are the result of the tremendous efforts by men and women in law enforcement who worked on this case,” said Special Agent in Charge Donald Alway of the FBI in Mississippi. “The FBI takes very seriously its responsibility to protect the civil rights of all Americans, and remains committed to its pursuit of justice for anyone who is deprived of those rights."

In prior court hearings, the defendants had admitted that beginning in the spring of 2011, they and others conspired with one another to harass and assault African Americans in and around Jackson. On numerous occasions, the co-conspirators used dangerous weapons, including beer bottles, sling shots and motor vehicles, to cause, and attempt to cause, bodily injury to African Americans. They would specifically target African Americans they believed to be homeless or under the influence of alcohol because they believed that such individuals would be less likely to report an assault. The co-conspirators would often boast about these racially motivated assaults.

Montgomery admitted his presence and participation in numerous racially motivated assaults, ...

February 24, 2015

Familiar Jackson Faces Still Lining Up for State Democratic Primary

By R.L. Nave

Ahead of the Friday deadline to qualify for state and county offices, several Jacksonians have qualified as Democrats in several races. That includes some old faces from local politics trying their hands at new, higher seats.

Bruce Burton of Jackson has qualified to run for the Central District seat on the Public Service Commission; Democratic state Rep. Cecil Brown has been actively campaigning for the seat for months.

Robert Amos, who has run for Jackson City Council and mayor, will compete for the Mississippi Department of Transportation's Central District post.

Democratic Party records show that Stan Alexander, a former Hinds County prosecutor now with the attorney general's office, has qualified to seek the Hinds County district attorney's seat. DA Robert Smith as of this morning has not qualified for reelection, party information shows.

Plavise Patterson, a businesswoman and community activist who ran for Jackson city council's Ward 5 in 2013, has qualified to run in Mississippi House District 69 along with incumbent Alyce Clarke. Corinthian Sanders, another perennial name on local ballots, will run for House District 72 against incumbent Kimberly Campbell.

And Charles E. Graham of Jackson qualified to contend for state auditor in the Democratic primary as well. Republicans in that race include incumbent Stacey Pickering and Madison Mary Hawkins Butler.

February 23, 2015

Attorney General Warns of Phishing Scam Targeted Mac Users

By Todd Stauffer

Verbatim from the Attorney General's office:

A classic scam is now targeting Apple users. The very common “phishing” scam is constantly being revised by con artists to target a larger pool of potential victims. Currently, scammers are using emails to target Apple users by falsely claiming that your Apple ID, iCloud or iTunes account has been comprised. You are then asked to provide personal information to rectify the problem.

“Because there is a large percentage of Apple users, these cons are using the Apple name to cast a wide net to phish for potential victims,” said Attorney General Hood. “That’s why it is important to think twice about any action you take online asking you to provide personal information. Legitimate companies like Apple never ask you to provide such information to them through an email.”

The danger for most people using iCloud is that they often back their cellular devices up to it. In the event this account is compromised, the attacker could gain access to very sensitive and personal information stored on those backups. These phishing websites can look similar to the legitimate ones. Very often, the scam comes in the form of a fake email (see example below) which will prompt you to click on a link and visit one of these phishing websites to “update your account information.”

To avoid this scam make sure you are in the iTunes application directly, not through a web browser. If you are asked to update your account information, make sure that you do so only in iTunes or on a legitimate page on Apple.com, such as the online Apple Store.

If you suspect your Apple ID, iCloud or iTunes account has been compromised, change the password immediately and/or contact Apple and advise them your account’s security has been compromised. If you have received a suspicious email, please notify iTunes Customer Support by visiting www.apple.com/support/itunes/store. ‘

Sample of phishing email:

> iCloud ID – xxxx This is the final message to inform you as of 22 – February – 2015 that you have not yet updated your Apple ID details. Under “Know your Customer” legislation Apple Inc is required to carry out a verification of your information, failure to complete this validation will result in deletion of your iCloud within the next three days. Please click below to » Login to your Apple/iCloud ID To cancel the deletion of your Apple & iCloud ID please proceed to your Apple ID information before the deadline. Resolution Validation Request: #L8FHI20121711925 Sincerely, iGenius Helpteam

http://www.ago.state.ms.us/phishing-scam-targets-apple-users/

The Arts Blog

February 20, 2015

New Stage Theatre Has a New Website

By amber_helsel

Take a look here: newstagetheatre.com

Playwright Jane Reid Petty founded New Stage Theatre in 1965. In the theater's 49th season, New Stage has put on plays such as "All the Way" and "One Man, Two Guvnors," which shows through March 1.

February 13, 2015

City: Public Works Director Orders Temporary Halt to New Water Meter Installations

By R.L. Nave

From the office of Mayor Tony Yarber:

City of Jackson Public Works Director Kishia Powell has issued a stop work order to Siemens, halting the installation of new city water meters. Powell also postponed the start of a new online billing system that was set to go-live this weekend.

The action comes after the discovery that Siemens had installed at least seven meters that were not configured to properly measure water usage, resulting in unusually high water bills. A review found that the company had installed gallon meters. The city measures water usage in cubic feet. Those meters have been changed out and adjustments are being made to the customers’ accounts.

The company must provide the city with an approved corrective action plan before installation work can resume. Siemens was awarded a $90 million contract in 2012 to install a new water meter system in Jackson.

A media availability with Powell is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, in the Mayor’s Ceremonial Office at City Hall.

The city has been responding to customer complaints about higher water bills. In many cases, higher bills result from a more accurate reading of properly installed meters.

“While we believe there may be other gallon meters in the system that are contributing to the high bills, it has been found that some of the high bills have stemmed from leaks on private property,” Powell said. “Once those leaks are identified and fixed, adjustments are made to the accounts.”

Customers with questions about their bills are asked to contact the Water and Sewer Business Administration at 601-960-2000.

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