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June 23, 2016

Supreme Court Upholds Race-Aware Admissions

By Todd Stauffer

In a 4-3 vote today the Supreme Court upheld the University of Texas' admissions policy that takes into account the race or ethnicity of applicants who aren't automatically admitted under the school's "10 Percent" rule. (The top percentage of all Texas high school graduates are automatically qualified for admittance; it's not always 10 percent, but that's that's the name it's given.)

The case was brought by Abigail Fischer a white woman who claimed that, although she wasn't in the top 10 percent of her college class, she was denied admissions because she is white. She has since graduated from Louisiana State University.

Read more here.

June 6, 2016

John Oliver Starts Miss. Company; Buys and Forgives $15m in Medical Debt

By Todd Stauffer

In a segment highlighting how easy it is to buy up old medical debt and learn about the patients who have it, John Oliver on his show "Last Week Tonight" put together a shell company to do just that.

October 3, 2015

Saints Week 3 Game Review: Reasons for Optimism in Week 4

By Todd Stauffer

I came out of Game 3 against the Carolina Panthers with some optimism for the team—along with a resigned sense that 2015 is looking more and more like a rebuilding year for the New Orleans Saints.

I guess that shouldn’t be a shocker — considering the high-profile trades, draft picks, and the number of rookies the Saints are starting on this team, the idea that they would go far this year was perhaps a pipe dream in the first place.

What may end up being more interesting is the groundwork they’re laying for the future.

Game 3 Recap

After watch the game tape my first impression is that this was really a decent outing for the offense—especially since backup quarterback Luke McCown ran the offense for the first time (in a game that mattered) since he put on a Saints uniform.

http://jacksonfreepress.com/users/photos/2015/oct/03/23139/

Particularly in the first half, the offense moved down the field almost at will.

McCown got the ball to many different weapons in the first quarter: Spiller, Ingram, Coleman, Snead, Robinson, Cooks, Johnson, Hill, and Watson all touched the ball in the first two series alone.

After re-watching those two drives I realized that (a.) I’m still not giving Ingram enough credit—he had some key, hard-fought rushes in that second drive in particular and (b.) this could be a very interesting offense once running back C.J. Spiller, acquired this year from Buffalo, gets more touches and is a bigger part of the gameplan.

It’s also interesting to think that the Saints will be able to field Spiller, Ingram and Cooks at the same time—and give defensive play-callers a few headaches.

On the defensive side of the ball, credit the Saints for getting pressure on quarterback Cam Newton in their first series and stopping running back Jonathan Stewart, forcing a punt. They did neither of those things the next series, allowing Carolina to reply with a TD that looked routine.

So, at 10-7, the Saints got a third look at the ball with 5 minutes left in the half; that drive went nowhere, as consecutive penalties pushed the Saints into a 2-and-25 situation that they couldn’t quite dig out of, despite a 21-yard, 3rd-down pass to Watson.

After a punt to Carolina’s 19 yard line at 2:06 in the half, cornerback Brandon Browner immediately gave up a 52-yard bomb to Carolina tight end Greg Olson, and Carolina dribbled down to the 2 yard line, but ran out of time and settled for field goal to tie the game at 10-10.

Saints linebacker H. Kikaha got his first sack of the game in Carolina's first series of the second half, a coverage sack that resulted in Carolina punting away its fourth possession. After a penalty on the Carolina punt (which Marcus Murphy had muffed and run out of bounds), the second attempt was a charm—Murphy took the ball back 74 yards with a quick, efficient punt return for a TD that showed him doing exactly ...

July 8, 2015

Mississippi #1 in How Far a Hundred Bucks Stretches

By Todd Stauffer

We don't get to say we're number one in many good things, but here's a nice one... according to The Tax Foundation, $100 in Mississippi is worth the most of any state in the country (an equivalent of $115.21).

If there's anything we've known about Jackson for a while, is it's a pretty decent place to be "broke" (by which we mean college-student-level broke, not impoverished).

http://jacksonfreepress.com/users/photos/2015/jul/08/22059/

July 2, 2015

Bernie Sanders... Frontrunner?

By Todd Stauffer

He may not be leading money totals or straw polls, but Senator Bernie Sanders apparently did something that no other candidate has done yet in the 2016 presidential race... he had a record crowd last night in Wisconsin, pushing 10,000 people. Interesting.

June 29, 2015

Pothole Report (and Resurfacing) for June 29

By Todd Stauffer

Here's the report for the City of Jackson -- I can attest to the resurfacing on Jefferson; looking pretty good!

Crews repairing potholes on areas of N. Roach Street, Rose Street, First Avenue, Keele Street, E. Manor Drive, Meadowbrook Road, Harrow Drive, Northpointe Drive.

Crews resurfacing on S. Jefferson Street.

June 24, 2015

Rev. C.J. Rhodes' Open Letter to Speaker Philip Gunn

By Todd Stauffer

Cross-posted from CJ Rhodes' WordPress blog by permission:

Dear Mr. Speaker,

I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. My name is CJ Rhodes and I am a resident of our Capital City. I also pastor Mt Helm Baptist Church, Jackson’s oldest historically black congregation, which is situated within Downtown’s Farish Street Historic District. We are in the shadow of the State Capitol and this year we’re celebrating 180 years of ministry. Our establishment dates back to 1835 when our enslaved ancestors worshiped under watchful eyes in the basement of First Baptist Church, Jackson. We remained a part of First Baptist’s congregation until 1865. At that time we were delivered from bondage by the Almighty’s outstretched arm. With the benevolence of Thomas and Mary Helm, members of Jackson’s First Presbyterian Church, Mt Helm (named in their honor) was founded as an autonomous Baptist congregation and has played a vital role in religion and racial uplift ever since.

Brother Gunn, it was with great joy that I read your Facebook status about how your Christian convictions caused you to reconsider the Confederate flag following the tragic massacre that occurred at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC. I salute your courage and thank you for publicly sharing your change of heart. I know that you are a Southern Baptist elder and I assume that has something to do with your pastoral and political concerns for that flag’s offense to my people. I am blessed to see how the SBC is having a great awakening regarding race in the country. To God be the glory!

In recent days several members of your denomination have taken prophetic stands against the idolatry of white superiority and have called for the removal of the Confederate flag. Dr. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (where you serve as a Trustee), wrote, “Racial superiority is a sin as old as Genesis and as contemporary as the killings in Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. The ideology of racial superiority is not only sinful, it is deadly.”[1] Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd prophesied at the 2015 Convention that now is the time to lead racial justice and reconciliation, decrying all racism as sin.[2] Dr. Russell Moore, Mississippi Gulf Coast native and President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, powerfully avers:

White Christians ought to think about what that flag says to our African-American brothers and sisters in Christ, especially in the aftermath of yet another act of white supremacist terrorism against them. The gospel frees us from scrapping for our “heritage” at the expense of others. As those in Christ, this descendant of Confederate veterans has more in common with a Nigerian Christian than I do with a non-Christian white Mississippian who knows the right use of “y’all” and how to make sweet tea.[3]

Before these public proclamations another great Southern Baptist was led of the Holy Spirit to respond once again to racial reconciliation. Dan Jones, the former ...

June 23, 2015

Haley Barbour Is Not Offended By The State Flag

By Todd Stauffer

Glad we got that straight.

In a segment on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Haley Barbour (looking disturbingly like he'd swung by a mortician's office on his way to the broadcast) opined—in the dulcet tones of that version of his accent that he uses for national TV—that he's not particularly offended by the Mississippi flag ("or the Confederate flag for that matter"), but he'll be happy to let "the people" decide.

He also pitched his apology to the freedom riders and the civil rights museum that "we're" building as evidence of the progress under his administration.

Also... is it me, or is it super interesting that they all just call him "Haley."

I almost wonder if he pitched this segment while they were all sitting around his bar last night.

After that exchange, stick around for a little whitewashing of his "leadership" after Katrina and a pitch of his new book.

Lord have mercy.

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.

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 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 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 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/

November 18, 2014 | 1 comment

Stanford: Gun Carry Laws Linked To Increase in Violent Crime

By Todd Stauffer

So you know that conventional wisdom that says the people are safer with a lot of guns around?

Turns out maybe not so much.

"The totality of the evidence based on educated judgments about the best statistical models suggests that right-to-carry laws are associated with substantially higher rates" of aggravated assault, rape, robbery and murder, said Donohue.

Earlier studies (including the frequently debated and arguably debunked work of John Lott) suggested that carry laws were correlating with lower incidents of violent crime; by extending the amount of time studied, however, the National Research Council poured cold water on the Lott theory, and now Stanford's new study sees things trending even further in the direction that kinda makes more sense -- more guns equals more violent crime, particularly assaults with a deadly weapon.

Of course, how much is open to interpretation, but the notion that more guns equals less violent crime seems to be put to bed by its own number crunching.

October 8, 2014

'Tis the week for new music...

By tommyburton

A wide variety of new releases...

August 6, 2014

MS GOP Response to McDaniel: Er ... Try Court?

By Todd Stauffer

The Mississippi Republican Party has responded to the McDaniel campaign in the form of a statement to the public and a letter to Chris McDaniel's attorney, Mitch Tyner, from Joe Nosef, MS GOP chairman. (Here's the letter in PDF format.)

The upshot is that the MS GOP is suggesting to Tyner that they go ahead and take their fight to court, in part because the MS GOP's executive committee would only have 24 hours starting Aug 13th (once the requisite seven days notice for a meeting was circulated) to figure out whether it makes sense to overturn a U.S. Senate primary result. That's just one day before McDaniel would be forced by law to go to court on Aug 14th.

So, they're punting. (Which sometimes makes sense on Fourth and Forever.)

Jackson, MS. –– Joe Nosef, Chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party, issued the following statement today regarding a challenge to the results of the June 24th primary runoff and a letter sent today by Chairman Nosef to Mitch Tyner, lawyer for the Chris McDaniel campaign:

"Our 52-member volunteer Republican State Executive Committee has been asked to spend just five hours listening to legal arguments and then overturn a United States Senate primary in which over 360,000 Mississippians cast votes.

It is neither prudent nor possible in a single day for any political committee to process and review the significant amount of complex evidence necessary to make such a decision, and attempting to do so would be prejudicial to both candidates.

Under these circumstances, the only way to ensure that the integrity of the Mississippi Republican Party and our election process remains intact is to have a proper, public review of this matter through the judicial system in a court of law. Both candidates have said they look forward to such a review, and now is the time. "

July 30, 2014

How much new music...

By tommyburton

New music for this week...

July 30, 2014

How many new releases...

By tommyburton

New music for this week...

July 25, 2014

Jackson Summer Music Mix

By tommyburton

The Jackson Summer Music Mix

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