10 Local Stories of the Week | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

10 Local Stories of the Week

July 2, 2012: Outside the Jackson Women's Health Organization, protester Ashley Sigrest talked about her own abortion and how she now counsels other women who have gotten and regretted their abortions.

July 2, 2012: Outside the Jackson Women's Health Organization, protester Ashley Sigrest talked about her own abortion and how she now counsels other women who have gotten and regretted their abortions. Photo by Virginia Schreiber.

  1. On the evening of July 1, the day a new law designed to close the state's only abortion clinic went into effect, the Jackson Free Press reported that a federal judge had issued an injunction to keep the clinic open until July 11. In it, Judge Dan Jordan indicated that anti-abortion rhetoric by politicians could render the new law unconstitutional because it may show their motive was more about eliminating abortion than keeping women safe.
  2. The city announced it planned to seize 32 properties using eminent domain to help redevelop County Line Road.
  3. The Jackson Redevelopment Authority may have cleared the way for the Iron Horse Grill to rise again from its ashes.
  4. Children Rights, a national children's advocacy organization, announced that the state of Mississippi was not complying with a court order to start caring properly for foster children. By week's end, Gov. Phil Bryant had responded by signing a new agreement to recommit the state to its promise to help these oft-forgotten children.
  5. Alcorn State University announced that it planned to play Jackson State University down in Lorman this fall, essentially killing the Capital City Classic football tradition, which has had a huge economic impact on Jackson in past years. Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. issued a terse, pointed statement in response.
  6. Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell spearheaded an anti-panhandling city ordinance through committee that could mean that people asking for money in Jackson could go to jail. The ACLU called the move "mean-spirited"; Whitwell was angered by that characterization, saying that he is a lawyer, too. Whitwell, who does not represent downtown Jackson, said people call him in the middle of the night to tell him that they were "accosted" by panhandlers downtown.
  7. Saying, in part, that he could help reverse Jackson's annual population loss (about 1,100 people per year in recent years), businessman Jonathan Lee unofficially announced his candidacy for mayor in his JFP Interview with Jacob Fuller.
  8. Governing Magazine reported that Jackson's population may have bucked the trend and increased by 2,045 people in 2011.
  9. JFP summer intern Vergie Redmond broke the news about new voter ID hurdles in Mississippi. In a piece picked up nationally by Huffington Post, Redmond reported that residents without a photo ID need a certified birth certificate to get one, and a photo ID to get the birth certificate. She also reported that Mississippi has not yet complied with a months-old request for information from the U.S. Department of Justice, which has to approve the law due to the Mississippi state government's history of disenfranchising voters.
  10. The MIssissippi NAACP, based in Jackson, launched a major voter-registration drive in the state.

BONUS:

The JFP celebrated the new craft-beer law that went into effect in Mississippi on July 1. Click here to read all the JFP's beer-month features and view a gallery from the JFP vs. Raise Your Pints taste-off.

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