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August 22, 2014

Dow Jones: Miss. Offers Little Bang for Bucks

By R.L. Nave

Only one other state delivers less bang for the buck for residents than Mississippi, a new poll from Dow Jones-owned MarketWatch shows.

The poll looks at taxes that residents pay compared to the quality of services they receive. Although Mississippi's tax bills are relatively low—averaging $6,210 per year—our "residents get a very poor rate of return from what they do pay (this state has the worst government services in the nation). It (has) got the worst economy in the nation, and its education (49th) and health (46th) ranking aren't much better."

Mississippi finished ahead of neighboring Arkansas, which offers residents the least bang for their buck, and behind Louisiana, the survey says.

August 22, 2014

Lee Vance Named JPD Chief

By R.L. Nave

The following is a press release from Mayor Tony Yarber:

Mayor Tony Yarber on Friday, Aug. 22, announced Lee Vance as Jackson’s new police chief, saying his experience in law enforcement and commitment to community collaboration made him the right person for the job.

“He has proven leadership and respect in the community and among the rank and file in the Jackson Police Department,” Yarber said. “He also shares the administration’s vision for a holistic approach to crime-fighting and crime prevention.”

Vance has more than 27 years in law enforcement. He has served as interim chief since former Chief Lindsey Horton announced his retirement last month.

“I’m honored Mayor Yarber has entrusted me with this crucial public safety position. This is my hometown, and the well-being of Jackson citizens is my top priority,” Vance said.

Vance is certified and trained in management, preparedness, leadership and other various aspects of law enforcement. He rose through the ranks in the JPD, serving as patrol officer, public information officer, patrol sergeant, police lieutenant and commander.

August 20, 2014

Christian Right Exploits High-Profile Deaths

By AnnaWolfe

On American Family Radio’s talk show "Focal Point with Bryan Fischer" yesterday, the group's spokesman offered his explanation for the events that have led to the movement in #Ferguson. The policeman who killed 18-year-old Michael Brown did so because, Fischer says, Brown was "hyped up" on marijuana. Fischer cites recent reports that Brown may have had marijuana in his system, making him go "berserk" on the policeman. He also includes reports that Brown was shot six times in his front.

"We know now he did have marijuana in his system," Fischer explained, "and we've had stories, remember, we've had stories from Colorado, people going berserk on marijuana and killing people, hyped up on marijuana. So it's more dangerous than people think."

Not only does Fischer lack evidence to back up his claim that Brown was an aggressor, but, in the words of the late Robin Williams, "Marijuana enhances many things, colors, flavors, sensations, but you are certainly not f***ing empowered."

Speaking of Williams, the Christian right has attacked the actor following his recent death as well. While Rush Limbaugh alluded that Williams' suicide was a result of his liberal worldview, Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council said Monday that Williams' death justifies gay conversion therapy.

"…Why aren’t you trying to outlaw rehab? I ask the question because such activists are trying to ban a form of mental health treatment—not drug and alcohol rehabilitation, but 'sexual orientation change efforts' ('SOCE'), also known as 'sexual reorientation therapy.'"

Sexual reorientation therapy, or reparation therapy, has nothing to do with the death of the beloved comedian, and it is also considered unscientific and ultimately harmful by the American Psychiatric Association.

But scientific evidence won’t stop organizations like the AFA or the FRC from using death to push an ideological agenda.

August 19, 2014

Carson announces Ward 1 candidacy

By AnnaWolfe

Today, Jackson attorney Dorsey R. Carson, Jr. announced that he will be running for city council to represent Ward 1 and replace Quentin Whitwell, who resigned earlier this month.

“After much thought, consideration and prayer with our family and friends, I am proud to announce my candidacy for Jackson City Council, representing Ward 1. Having lived most of my life in Northeast Jackson, I have never seen our city so poised for growth and prosperity as it is right now. I will use my talents to help us seize this unique opportunity, and will fight for all of our people and businesses. We humbly ask for your support in our work and campaign, and for your vote in the special election," Carson said.

August 12, 2014

The Tea Party's Prayer

By AnnaWolfe

The Tea Party’s Prayer:

“We ask for your blessing upon the conservatives in this state, that they might stand strong and firm. Father, we even ask for you to bless our enemies, and Lord they are truly our enemies that head the Republican Party and the whole political establishment.

‘We’re asking, Father, for two things. We’re asking, Father, that you would expose them, set division amongst them, set them one against another, bring confusion and fear into their camp, into their thinking, for the purpose of pulling them down, for casting them down out of their high offices and reducing them, Lord, to having no power in this state.

“So, Lord, that you might raise up and seek the righteous in the positions of power that this state might once more be a state that honors you in all that it does.”

I’m not this good at satire. These words, in this order, were truly spoken when Mississippi Tea Party Chairman Roy Nicholson included them in his opening prayer at a Tea Party meeting on Monday.

Something tells me this is not how Christianity works.

Still, the crowd gave a generous “mhm” as the man on the stage asked God to smite the GOP.

The group was welcoming blogger Charles Johnson from California to speak about the U.S. Senate election, through which he’s made a name for himself. Tea Partier Tricia Raymond called Johnson a fearless bulldog, saying “God gave us this red-haired man.”

The red-haired prophet then went on to chastise Mississippi’s 76-year-old U.S. Senator for living in a house with his executive assistant and defended the men who broke into the Senator’s wife’s nursing home to take pictures of her by using the First Amendment as justification.

“Father, we’re asking that in all of the tribulations were asking you to bring upon them, that it would work change in their heart—that you would use it to bring true Godly sorrow, that they might truly repent for their iniquity and their wickedness, for that they would be restored to you, that you would have honor in the state of Mississippi for the great works that you’ve done in correcting and purifying the government and rescuing and saving the worst of us,” Nicholson went on about the establishment Republicans.

It was the most ominous tea party I’d ever been to.

August 1, 2014

And It Continues: McDaniel Announces Press Conference Monday

By AnnaWolfe

In case anyone is worried that Mississippi's U.S. Senate election madness is winding down, Sen. Chris McDaniel announced today he will be holding a press conference Monday.

August 1, 2014

Report: Ole Miss Should Rethink Symbols, Create Top Diversity Post

By R.L. Nave

Today, University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones released the following recommendations regarding diversity and inclusion:

Action Plan on Consultant Reports and Update on the Work of the Sensitivity and

Respect Committee

To: All Who Love The University of Mississippi

From: Dan Jones, Chancellor

Aug. 1, 2014

In the summer of 2013, an expanded Sensitivity and Respect (S&R) Committee

completed its review of the university’s environment on race and related issues.

Following the committee’s report, two consultants with relevant experience at major

universities were assigned separate but complementary tasks. One was charged with

evaluating the University of Mississippi’s organizational structure related to diversity and

inclusion, and the other explored issues the committee raised concerning building names

and symbols. (Both consultant reports are attached.)

We are grateful for the good work of the S&R Committee and our independent advisors.

Consultants Ed Ayers and Christy Coleman have been leaders in Richmond, VA, in

establishing a more balanced view of history for that community, where symbolism has

been a prominent topic. Their recommendations encourage us to broaden the visible

symbols of our history to be more intentionally inclusive. Greg Vincent offers insight

about our organizational structure out of his own experience reorganizing the approach at

the University of Texas, where they adopted several time-tested practices implemented at

other flagship universities, including creation of a new senior level leadership position

with a focus on diversity.

Both of these reports are candid in suggesting that more can be done here to improve our

environment for diversity and inclusion. Both also note the good work and positive spirit

for continued progress in our university. Our success in improving diversity within our

faculty and student body has been dramatic, but we can do more. And despite negative

publicity related to recent bias-related incidents, it is good news that the number of

minority applicants to the university continues to increase each year. In addition, the

improvement in diversity within our faculty has been extraordinary, placing us among the

top three flagship universities in the nation in percentage of African American faculty

members. Still, we can and will do more.

It is my hope that the action plan outlined here – reflecting the hard work of the S&R

Committee and our consultants – will prove valuable in making us a stronger and

healthier university, bringing us closer to our goal of being a warm and welcoming place

for every person every day, regardless of race, religious preference, country of origin,

ability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or gender expression. We know that the

issues discussed here are associated with many evolving attitudes and opinions. There

were and will continue to be differences of opinion among us. But I am encouraged that

while our discussions over recent months were frank, even tough, they also were ...

July 24, 2014

State Supreme Court Denies McDaniel Rehearing to View Poll Books

By AnnaWolfe

On Thursday, July 24, the Supreme Court of Mississippi denied to rehear Sen. Chris McDaniel's request to view poll books without voters' personal information redacted.

“We find that the motion is not well taken and should be denied,” the order stated.

McDaniel wanted full access to information included in poll books to determine the validity of votes counted in the run off against U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in Harrison County. The county would only make the poll books available if the McDaniel campaign would pay the administrative fees associated with redacting information—such as voters' social security number, telephone numbers and date of birth—from the records.

The McDaniel campaign tried to use Mississippi Code section 23-15-19 to make the claim that poll books are included in the materials necessary to confirm the legality of the votes in an election. Harrison County Circuit Clerk, Gayle Parker, and the Mississippi Attorney General, Jim Hood, responded that the section McDaniel cites does not include poll books.

The Mississippi Supreme Court agreed on July 17, writing, “After due consideration, we can discern no legal requirement that poll books be included in the contents of ballot boxes.”

But today’s court decision was not uncontested. Justices Michael Randolph, James W. Kitchens and David Chandler made a statement that McDaniel should be granted a Rule 33 hearing.

“Assuring the integrity of the electoral process is a matter of the highest priority and implicates the fundamental rights of all Mississippians,” the statement said.

McDaniel's lawyers said last week that a formal challenge to the results of the senatorial election will be made by tomorrow, claiming that a large number of abnormalities compromised the vote count.

July 24, 2014 | 3 comments

AFA: Cartoon's Depiction of Black Jesus 'Blasphemous'

By R.L. Nave

Kanye might not be here to argue about his facial features or to convert atheists into believers.

But it appears that the American Family Association is.

This morning, the Tupelo-based conservative mass-media machine sent out a press release alerting its followers in 26-point bold font that the Cartoon Network is planning a "New Blasphemous Show Called ‘Black Jesus’"

The the second line of the release, written in 18-point font, suggests it's the Lamb of God's swearing and using violent behavior that the AFA finds abhorrent. Yet, the 717-word release mentions the name of the show — 'Black Jesus' — seven times and has just three references to violence.

It goes on to say: "Late-night shows on the Cartoon Network fall under the block known as 'Adult Swim,' and a new program in the lineup includes the non-animated show 'Black Jesus,' which portrays the Son of God as a black guy living in the hood.' The blasphemous, irreverent and disrespectful show depicts him living in Compton Gardens and makes a mockery of the Lord."

Compton is a black-majority city in the south-central region of the Los Angeles metro. Thanks to the rise of Compton-based hip-hop groups like N.W.A. in the early 1990s and films like Boyz in the Hood (named after an N.W.A. hit song), Compton holds a place in the American imagination as a poor and violent place — the kind of place where Christ would probably hang out.

AFA President Tim Wildmon, speaking through a release said: “The garbage that passes for entertainment continues to disturb us. This new show is a complete misrepresentation of Jesus Christ and the message of hope and salvation He brings to the world. Even the three-minute trailer was too vile to watch, with multiple uses of the f-word by the actor portraying ‘Black Jesus.’ Christians and anyone who believes in respecting faith must come together to make sure this program never airs.”

Wildmon's father, Donald, started AFA because he was offended by a TV scenes of unmarried people having sex.

A group called One Million Moms and American Family Association want Americans to "send a loud and clear message to Adult Swim, its owner Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (a Time Warner Company) and all potential advertisers on 'Black Jesus' that this kind of programming is insulting and unacceptable."

“If we speak with one voice now, we can keep this program from ever seeing the light of day,” a one of the million moms said. “Christians must take a stand and not be silent. Networks like Adult Swim continue to mock Christianity, and we will not stand for it. Christians should no longer sit idly by and allow this blasphemy to continue without speaking up in protest. ‘Black Jesus’ is another attempt to distort the truth about Christianity.”

http://jacksonfreepress.com/users/photos/2014/jul/24/18192/

July 17, 2014

10th JFP Chick Ball to Honor Decade of 'Chicks We Love,' Local Heroes, Combatting Violence

By Donna Ladd

The Jackson Free Press and the Center for Violence Prevention are proud to announce the 10th Annual JFP Chick Ball on Saturday, July 19, 2014, at the Arts Center of Mississippi in downtown Jackson at 201 E. Pascagoula St. This year's special JFP Chick Ball is moving to the Arts Center for this year's special gala, which will celebrate a decade of preventing domestic abuse, protecting families, and empowering women to lift themselves and their families up after experiencing abuse.

This year, at 8 p.m. the JFP Chick Ball will honor three heroes who embody the event's motto of "prevent, protect, empower": Abuse survivor Sarah Reynolds, state Sen. Sally Doty, who helped create the state Office Against Interpersonal Violence, and the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy, for their work against sex trafficking in the state. The JFP is also honoring a decade of Chicks We Love at the event.

Past JFP Chick Ball events, all at Hal & Mal's in Jackson, have resulted in the purchase of a new mini-van for client transportation, the launch of the Batterer's Intervention Program, and legal assistance for victims. Proceeds from the 2013 Chick Ball were used in addressing an emerging issue in our area—human trafficking, which is also known as modern-day slavery.

This year's JFP Chick Ball is honoring and supporting all the work of the Center for Violence Prevention and its efforts to save and improve lives of families in central Mississippi. "Domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking occurrences continue to rise in the Central Mississippi area, as we are hearing almost daily about another woman or child whose life has been negatively impacted by it," Sandy Middleton, executive director of the Center for Violence Prevention in Pearl, says. "These interpersonal crimes cross all social-economic, racial and cultural boundaries, meaning they can affect any of us or our children."

JFP Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd launched the event a decade as a way to give Jackson-area adults of all ages and income brackets a way to help fight the abuse epidemic, which strikes all communities. She also wanted it to be fun, creative and a celebration of female performers.

"The Chick Ball has always cost $5 to get in. I purposefully designed it to welcome all who want to come. And chicks must be prominent in all performances! That, of course, means it's a very popular event for our arm candy as well; men are some of our best donors, supporters and dancers!"

The JFP Chick Ball has become a fashion fete as well, with all kinds of dress welcome—from jeans to bling. The Diva of Bling (her) and Best Arm Candy (him) take home prizes from local businesses every year.

The event's silent auction is one of a kind, with hundreds of gifts, pieces of art and gift certificates from local businesses and artists donated each year. The JFP is accepting auction donations through Thursday, July 17 (at 125 S. Congress St., #1324), during normal business hours.

"One of ...

July 15, 2014

McDaniel Campaign Skeptical of Hinds Ineligible Vote Count, Pete Perry's Role

By AnnaWolfe

This morning Hinds County GOP Chairman Pete Perry told reporters that the runoff election between Sen. Thad Cochran and Sen. Chris McDaniel went smoothly and was conducted properly. He denied allegations that Hinds poll workers were denied poll books so that they could check to see if anyone had already voted Democratic in the initial primary on June 3, which would have made their vote ineligible.

These illegal crossover votes had been the topic of much discussion by the McDaniel campaign, who believed they’d find enough to challenge the results of the election.

Perry told reporters that Claude McInnis, who initially told Breitbart about the lack of access to poll books, lied. When asked about allegations of vote buying, as reported on GotNews.com, Perry said, “It’s time for them to put up or shut up.”

He said the McDaniel campaign would have to find proof of voter fraud and vote buying to move forward with those claims.

“I’m not aware of any vote buying,” Perry said.

Perry’s company, Paradigm Government Relations, was paid $60,000 by the pro-Cochran super PAC Mississippi Conservatives, started by Henry Barbour.

Still, Perry said he oversaw the examination of poll books and absentee ballots and that representatives from both campaigns only found roughly 350 ineligible votes.

McDaniel’s campaign plans to hold a press conference tomorrow to discuss the findings from their inspection of ballot boxes and how they plan to move forward in challenging the election results. McDaniel supporters are anxious to hear how he will respond to Perry’s statements that the campaign was conducted in accordance with the law.

Noel Fritsch, McDaniel campaign spokesperson, said:

"We hope that the fact Pete Perry was paid $60,000 by Thad Cochran's super PAC to move Democrat votes in Hinds County had nothing to do with the fraud he is alleged to have engaged in, but we're glad Pete has taken a sudden interest in the integrity of the election, and hope he helps Mississippians find the truth about whether he ordered precincts to allow ineligible Democrats to vote illegally on June 24th."

July 15, 2014

Judge June Hardwick: I Haven't Quit or Been Fired

By R.L. Nave

"I've not resigned and not received a termination letter," June Hardwick, a Jackson municipal judge, told the Jackson Free Press this afternoon.

Hardwick, whom Mayor Chokwe Lumumba appointed to a judgeship in 2013, was responding to rumors on a local blog that she had stepped down from her post last week.

Fueling the speculation that Mayor Tony Yarber, who has been cleaning house of many of the late mayor's appointments, is the fact that two municipal court appointees are up for nomination on tonight's city council—Gerald Mumford and Bob Waller.

The city's website lists six municipal judges, including Waller. Hardwick's name does not appear on the list, but it's unclear when the site was last updated.

Things have been tense between Hardwick, a former Hinds County public defender, and Yarber since May when Hardwick set a bond for a murder suspect that Yarber felt was too low. Yarber told WJTV that he would considering removing judges who weren't tough enough on violent criminals.

"We intend on ensuring that if you sit in a municipal judge seat in this city then the expectation is that you will value the lives and the families of those people who are affected by violent crimes by setting a bond that is appropriate in terms of that crime," Yarber told WJTV, "and $50,000 bond for a life that was taken...we're not tolerating that."

In that case, a 19-year-old named Wilber Clay was arrested for the Mother's Day shooting death of 29-year-old Ebony Hervey.

Yarber demurred when another WJTV reporter asked about the situation with Hardwick earlier today.

"I'm focused on the two (people) we have nominated," Yarber said.

The city code briefly talks about the rules of judicial appointments — "at the time provided for the appointment of other officers, not more than three municipal judges shall be appointed by the mayor and confirmed by an affirmative vote of a majority of the council present and voting" — but also stops short of stating specific circumstances for removing them from the bench.

In the meantime, despite all the consternation over Clay's bail being insufficiently tough, records from the Hinds County Sheriff's Office shows that Clay remains incarcerated in the Raymond Detention Center.

Hardwick is scheduled to sit on the bench Wednesday afternoon.

July 11, 2014

Media Buying Firm Places Ads for Two Pro-Cochran Super PACS; Affiliated with Firm Paid by NRSC

By AnnaWolfe

All Citizens for Mississippi, the super PAC created by Bishop Ronnie Crudup of New Horizon Church International, bought radio advertisements at Jackson stations WKXI, WJMI, WOAD on June 20 to air June 21-24. The ads encouraged black voters to turn out to the polls in support of Sen. Thad Cochran and suggested Sen. Chris McDaniel, if elected, would hurt race relations in Mississippi.

The super PAC bought 52 radio spots for each of these stations, which cater to black audiences, amounting to $9,825. Bishop Crudup told The Clarion-Ledger he helped raise nearly $200,000 for All Citizens for Mississippi, which was mostly spent on campaign advertisements for Cochran.

Federal law permits super PACs to raise and spend unlimited sums of money, but they cannot give directly to candidates' fundraising committees nor coordinate with campaigns and must report their activities each month or quarter. For any expenditures over $1,000 from June 4 though June 23, including for advertising, Crudup's PAC was also required to file 24-hour reports with the FEC. A search of federal campaign-finance records yields no filings by All Citizens for Mississippi. Federal law requires the PAC to file a report with the FEC by July 15, detailing all donors to the PAC. The paperwork to set up the PAC, signed by Vann, indicated that it was filled out May 30, 2014, and not received and stamped by the FEC on June 6.

The All Citizens for Mississippi ads were placed by the media buying firm, American Media Advocacy Group, which also placed ads at WLBT for the super PAC Mississippi Conservatives, another campaign group in support of Cochran.

Jon Ferrell, a buyer from National Media Research Planning & Placement, bought the ads through American Media Advocacy Group for both Jackson TV and radio stations.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee filed $175,000 with the Federal Elections Commission on June 19 to the payee National Media Research Planning & Placement for the purpose of phone calls and media supporting Cochran; however, we have found no advertisements in Mississippi that are attributed to the NRSC or the media-buying firm they gave money to.

Checks from American Media Advocacy Group, signed by Ferrell, to Jackson’s radio stations show the same address as National Media Research Planning & Placement.

Sales orders for Cochran’s candidate fundraising committee, Citizens for Cochran, were not found in Jackson’s black radio stations' political public files. Citizens for Cochran did advertise in The Clarion-Ledger and distributed doorknob hangers in whiter parts of Jackson.

Calls to National Media were not returned. Read more here.

July 10, 2014

In Search of New Horizon, and a PAC Office

By AnnaWolfe

It really exists. Well, technically.

July 10, 2014

JFP Chick Ball Is July 19; Moves to Arts Center of Mississippi for This Year

By Donna Ladd

The Jackson Free Press and the Center for Violence Prevention are proud to announce the 10th Annual JFP Chick Ball, which will celebrate a decade of preventing domestic abuse, protecting families and empowering women to lift themselves and their families up after experiencing abuse.

Past JFP Chick Ball events have resulted in the purchase of a new mini-van for client transportation, the launch of the Batterer's Intervention Program, and legal assistance for victims. Proceeds from the 2013 Chick Ball were used in addressing an emerging issue in our area-Human Trafficking, which is also known as modern-day slavery.

This year's JFP Chick Ball is honoring and supporting all the work of the Center for Violence Prevention and its efforts to save and improve lives of families in central Mississippi. "Domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking occurrences continue to rise in the Central Mississippi area, as we are hearing almost daily about another woman or child whose life has been negatively impacted by it," Sandy Middleton, executive director of the Center for Violence Prevention in Pearl, says. " These interpersonal crimes cross all social-economic, racial and cultural boundaries, meaning they can affect any of us or our children."

JFP Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd conceived the event a decade as a way to give Jackson-area adults of all ages and income brackets a way to help fight the abuse epidemic, which strikes all communities. She also wanted it to be fun, creative and a celebration of female performers. "The Chick Ball has always cost $5 to get in. I purposefully designed it to welcome all who want to come. And chicks must be prominent in all performances! That, of course, means it's a very popular event for our arm candy as well; men are some of our best donors, supporters and dancers!"

A performance line-up will be released July 11, as well as a list of restaurants providing food and a full sponsor list.

The JFP Chick Ball has become a fashion fete as well, with all kinds of dress welcome—from jeans to bling. The Diva of Bling (her) and Best Arm Candy (him) take home prizes from local businesses every year.

The event's silent auction is one of a kind, as well, with hundreds of gifts, pieces of art and gift certificates from local businesses and artists donated each year. The JFP will accept auction donations through Friday, July 18, but can only guarantee inclusion in the big Chick Issue Gift Guide if received by Friday, July 11, to 125 S. Congress St., Suite 1324, during normal business hours.

"One of the best parts of the Chick Ball is watching people of all ages step up to donate money, time or auction gifts in the months leading up to the JFP Chick Ball. You never know what's going to walk through the door!" Ladd says. This year, the items so far include a guitar, artwork by HC Porter and a barbecue grill.

At the event on July 19 at the ...

July 7, 2014

Reeves Makes Final 1% Sales Tax Commish Pick

By R.L. Nave

Verbatim release from the office of Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves:

LT. GOV. REEVES NAMES SMALL BUSINESS OWNER TO JACKSON SALES TAX COMMISSION

JACKSON – Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves today named small business owner and local architect Michael Boerner to the 1-percent sales tax commission charged with overseeing expenditures from a recent sales tax increase in the city of Jackson.

The 10-member commission will develop a plan for infrastructure repairs and address how tax revenues will support the plan. In January, voters in Jackson approved raising the city’s sales tax by 1 percent to fund infrastructure repairs.

“Michael has a passion for the city of Jackson and wants our capital city to be successful,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “His experience managing a business and expertise as an architect will be useful as the commission prepares a plan to address Jackson’s infrastructure challenges.”

Boerner, AIA, LEED AP, is the principal of Wier+Boerner Architecture in Jackson. He has a bachelor of architecture degree from Mississippi State University and a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Millsaps College. Boerner has architectural experience working for firms in Dallas, Birmingham, New Orleans and Jackson.

“Jackson needs a strong, reliable infrastructure to thrive,” Boerner said. “I look forward to serving on the commission and helping to shape the city’s future.”

The Jackson resident has worked on numerous projects around Mississippi, including Babalu restaurant in the Fondren neighborhood of Jackson, renovations to the Mississippi State Fairgrounds and Coliseum and the Iron Horse Grill restaurant in downtown Jackson. He also serves on the State Board of Architecture.

Boerner and his wife, Katherine, have one daughter and attend Galloway United Methodist Church in Jackson.

July 2, 2014

James Brown Biopic 'Get On Up' Screening Set for Malco Grandview July 27

By R.L. Nave

Verbatim release from the Mississippi Development Authority:

Exclusive Screening of Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment’s

Get on Up to Be Held Sunday, July 27, at Grandview Cinema in Madison, Miss.

Tickets on Sale Now, with proceeds to benefit Mission Mississippi

Jackson, Miss. (July 2, 2014) – On Sunday, July 27, Universal Pictures will hold an exclusive red carpet screening of the James Brown biopic Get on Up at Grandview Cinema in Madison. Mississippi native and Get on Up director Tate Taylor and Chadwick Boseman, the film’s star, will be in attendance.

In his follow-up to the four-time Academy Award®-nominated blockbuster The Help, Taylor directs 42’s Boseman as James Brown in Get on Up. Based on the incredible life story of the Godfather of Soul, the film will give a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. Boseman is joined in the drama by Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Craig Robinson, Octavia Spencer, Lennie James, Tika Sumpter and Jill Scott.

Academy Award® winner Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind, 8 Mile) produces for Imagine Entertainment, with Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman (Shine a Light) producing under their Jagged Films banner. Imagine’s Erica Huggins (Flightplan) also serves as a producer on Get on Up, while Taylor produces under his Wyolah Films label. Peter Afterman, Trish Hofmann, Jez Butterworth, John Butterworth, John Norris and Anna Culp serve as executive producers.

Get on Up was filmed over a 60-day period in various Mississippi locations—including Jackson and Natchez—with additional time allotted for pre- and post-production. Producers of the film worked with the state’s WIN Job Centers to hire Mississippians as extras and as qualified crew members.

The red carpet event begins at 2:00 p.m. with screenings starting at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and available for purchase in two packages:

The Director’s Package includes a reserved seat for a private screening of Get on Up with Taylor and Boseman, refreshments during the movie, a limited-edition commemorative poster and a post-screening reception hosted by Governor Phil Bryant and First Lady Deborah Bryant. Tickets for the Director’s Package are $200 per person.

The Individual Screening Package includes the screening of Get on Up, refreshments during the movie and a limited-edition commemorative poster. Tickets for the Individual Screening Package are $50 per person.

There are a limited number of tickets available, and proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Mission Mississippi (www.missionmississippi.net). To purchase tickets online, please visit www.getonupjackson.com. Tickets are also available for purchase by cash or credit card at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson. For more information, please call (601) 353-0603 or visit the Coliseum Box Office.

To see the official movie trailer for Get on Up, visit www.getonupmovie.com.

July 2, 2014

Voter ID Rhetoric Inconsistent With GOP Reax to Primary Allegations

By R.L. Nave

Voter ID would secure the integrity of elections, they said. Voter ID would prevent election fraud, they said.

Yet, in the first election where voter ID was used in Mississippi, complaints of voter fraud among Republicans have been rampant.

Incidentally, none of the the accusations spelled out in a lawsuit filed yesterday over the GOP primary runoff for U.S. Senate have anything to do with voter impersonation, which voter ID was designed to stop.

Also, interestingly, a lot of the top Republican officials hollerin about voter fraud have made nary a peep about the the allegations that have surfaced about vote buying in the race in the race between U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who also chairs the Senate Elections Committee.

Where's Delbert? Haley? Phil Bryant? (All three are Cochran supporters, by the way)

Brandon Jones of the Mississippi Democratic Trust posed a similar question in a statement sent to the press on Monday: "The citizens of this state were sold a package of voting laws by leaders who told us that their main concern was election integrity. These leaders, like Secretary of State Hosemann, now have an opportunity to show that all the talk about protecting the vote wasn't politics as usual."

I did a quick search and found these examples of GOP officials over the years talking about protecting the integrity of the elections:

"I believe that anyone who understands (like I do) that there is voter fraud occurring in our elections throughout the state and who does not support meaningful voter reforms to help clean up that system is part of the problem instead of part of the solution. … The problem is real and a strong Voter ID law is part of the solution."

—State Sen. Joey Fillingane, Y'all Politics op-ed October 2012

“This legislation is about protecting the integrity of Mississippi’s elections. This legislation is a direct result of the majority of Mississippians expressing their desire for a constitutional voter ID requirement in the state. We want everyone to participate in the election process, and we want that process to be fair and secure.”

—Gov. Phil Bryant, May 2012

"Voter ID is not about intimidation; it is simply about integrity and having a fair and honest election."

— Pete Smith, spokesman for Gov. Haley Barbour, 2004

"We need voter ID and we can't stop until we get it. … We need to continue to prosecute those who steal your vote."

— Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, Neshoba Democrat, July, 2009

July 2, 2014

Yarber Picks 2 for Sales-Tax Commission

By R.L. Nave

The city has made its picks to the 1-percent sales-tax commission.

City officials had requested an opinion from the Mississippi attorney general's office on whether members of the city council could sit on the commission. It's unclear whether than opinion has come back.

In any case, the city's picks include Yarber along with James Anderson, an attorney for the city of Jackson, and Dr. Charles Williams, interim director of the city's public works department. Jackson is advertising for a permanent public works director.

“Ninety percent of Jackson citizens decided on Jan. 14 they wanted better streets and an improved water and sewer system,” Yarber said in a press release. “We’re excited to put forth these appointments to the commission so citizens will finally have the opportunity to see their 1 percent sales tax go to work for them.”

The tax was expected to generate about $15 million a year for infrastructure upgrades, but a recent change in state law is likely to reduce that sum.

June 26, 2014

Watch the Trailer for "A Mississippi Love Story"

By Todd Stauffer

"A Mississippi Love Story" is a documentary about JFP's own Eddie Outlaw and his partner, Justin, living as a successful, committed gay couple in Mississippi, but without the legal right to marry.

The documentary is available to rent or own on Vimeo On Demand. A special screening will take place at the Mississippi Museum of Art Friday evening from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Here's the trailer:

A Mississippi Love Story - Trailer from Fisher Productions, LLC on Vimeo.

An the full release, verbatim:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 27, 2014

CONTACT: Eddie Outlaw, (601) 955-3474, eddie.outlaw@gmail.com Robbie Fisher, (601) 941-1865, robbiedfisher@aol.com

JACKSON, Miss – Mississippi-based film producer Robbie Fisher and Fisher Productions, LLC announces the release of a short documentary entitled A Mississippi Love Story. The film introduces the viewer to Eddie and Justin, together living what might otherwise be considered an ordinary life during an extraordinary time in history. It provides a glimpse into the relationships the two have with one another, and with family, friends and their Deep South hometown. Against the backdrop of legal battles about same-sex marriage, Eddie and Justin share their personal take on what love really means.

“It was important to us, as Mississippians, to tell the story of this loving and devoted couple who are productive business people and well-liked members of the community, and who want their legal union to be recognized in their home state,” said Fisher.

The 13-minute film is now available on Vimeo on Demand for a $1 rental fee or for purchase for $2.50.

Cinematographer Lauren Cioffi spent months, beginning in March 2013, documenting the day-to-day lives of Eddie Outlaw and his partner Justin McPherson Outlaw. A second unit team captured footage in Washington, D.C. as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on California's Proposition 8 and on the Defense of Marriage Act. Editor Azod Abedikichi employed an upbeat and whimsical style, which included animating original illustrations by Joy Abedikichi, to capture the essence and spirit of the subjects. Composer Chris Gibbons' simple and beautiful Red Tango reflects the energetic and optimistic disposition of Eddie and Justin.

WHAT: A new short documentary about the lives of Eddie Outlaw and Justin McPherson Outlaw in Jackson, Mississippi, throughout the months surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases.

WHO: Produced by Fisher Productions, LLC, featuring Eddie Outlaw and Justin McPherson Outlaw

WHEN: Now available on Vimeo on Demand

WHERE: vimeo.com/ondemand/mslovestory

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