Chuck Patterson, founder of The Jackson Black Pages, speaks at a March 26, 2019 press conference. Photo by Taylor Langele
There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them:
- Mississippi will use millions in taxpayer dollars to fund private schools after Republican leaders in the Legislature secretly slipped funds into a bill for state construction projects.
- An abortion-rights group is asking a federal judge to block a Mississippi law that will ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, about six weeks into pregnancy.
- Chuck Patterson founded the Jackson Black Pages, which connects Jacksonians with black-owned local businesses through its website so they can put money back into their local communities.
- Mississippi lawmakers are working to redraw the lines of a state senate district that two federal courts ruled dilutes black voting power.
- Mississippi lawmakers on March 28 gave final approval to a $1,500 pay raise for the state's public school teachers beginning July 1, sending it to Gov. Phil Bryant for his approval or veto.
- The Mississippi Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it is closing 34 local bridges that inspectors found to be unsafe.
- The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that Michael Avenatti submitted false personal and business tax returns to The People's Bank in Mississippi to obtain $4.1 million in loans for his law firm and a coffee business.
- When the state Senate first passed Senate Bill 2770 in February, senators only voted to give teachers a $1,000 pay raise over two years.
- At a Tupelo campaign stop on Monday, Mississippi State Rep. Mark Baker, a Republican candidate for attorney general, said the 1965 Voting Rights Act violated Mississippi's "sovereignty."
- John O'Neal Jr., a civil-rights activist, playwright and actor who cofounded the Free Southern Theater and Junebug Productions, died of vascular disease on Feb. 15 in New Orleans. He was 78.
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