Arielle Dreher | Stories | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

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Arielle Dreher

Stories by Arielle

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Proposed School Board Election Changes Dead by Bipartisan Vote

In a bipartisan shutdown, Sen. Kevin Blackwell's bill to change school-board elections statewide died in the Mississippi Legislature on Monday.

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Proposed Gun Law Would Allow Lawsuits over Conceal-Carry Laws

Mississippians with enhanced concealed-carry licenses, who are required to take an instructional course on firearms training before they receive their license, could file a lawsuit against public entities, like state ...

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Jackson Schools Start New Schedule Monday to Make Up Missed School Days

Jackson Public Schools students missed seven days of school in January after freezing temperatures caused more than 200 water main breaks throughout the city.

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Surprise! House Targets Attorney General Jim Hood Again

Rep. Mark Baker, R-Brandon, is consistent at least. His annual trip to the podium to limit Attorney General Jim Hood—the only Democrat in a statewide elected office—went well for him ...

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'Anti-Gang' Bills: One Alive As Experts Warn About Downside

Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, did not want to debate the "anti-gang" bill for long this morning, and after about half an hour, he tabled House Bill 541, noting that the ...

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Ed Department Awards 90 Vouchers in a Lottery After Some Went Unused

The Mississippi Department of Education held a lottery for 90 unused vouchers in the current school year as the Legislature could debate this afternoon whether to expand the program beyond ...

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Funding the ‘School Choice’ Lobby

In just one year, the Mississippi Legislature has gone from slightly tweaking its voucher program for students with dyslexia to a push to allow any public-school student to apply for ...

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15-Week Abortion Ban Moves Ahead

Abortion would be illegal after 15 weeks in Mississippi if a bill the House of Representatives passed late Friday becomes law.

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Equal Pay Included in Bill Prohibiting Cities from Raising Minimum Wage

An equal pay amendment is included in a bill the Mississippi House of Representatives passed this morning prohibiting cities from raising the state minimum wage.

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Vicksburg, Wingfield, Lanier High Schools Top 'Chronically Absent' List

More than 70,000 students were chronically absent in the 2016-2017 school year, chronic absentee data the Mississippi Department of Education released today show.

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House Passes Equal Pay Amendment, But Its Future Is Unclear

The Mississippi House of Representatives was expecting a leisurely Friday, but when Rep. Mark Baker, R-Brandon, took up House Bill 1241 this morning, things got interesting.

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What Legislation Is Still Alive; What's Dead at the Capitol

Lawmakers have about a week to pass hundreds of bills out of each chamber, after committee chairmen and women made their first round of cuts to proposed legislation this year.

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Cops Learn to Help Mentally Ill Mississippians

The celebration was small, but the impact is likely to be large. On Friday, Jan. 26, nine local law enforcement officers who work in Hinds County graduated from week-long mental-health ...

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An Immigration Fight on Multiple Fronts

The City of Jackson's anti-profiling ordinance will stay on the books, as far as Chokwe A. Lumumba is concerned.

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'Nonpartison' School-board Election Reform on Legislative Agenda

Sen. Kevin Blackwell, R-Southaven, has introduced legislation to standardize all school-board elections for districts that already elect school-board members.

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'Anti-Gang' Bill Heads to Full House to Expand Policing Powers

Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, called the "Mississippi Anti-Gang Act" one of the most significant pieces of legislation the Legislature could pass in 2018. The bill would make "criminal gang activity" ...

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Re-entry Reform Hits Wall, But Kids No Longer Face Death Penalty

Rep. Joel Bomgar, R-Madison, had a tough time convincing the House Corrections Committee to pass additional re-entry criminal-justice reforms on Wednesday, Jan. 24.

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What’s in ‘UPS’ Ed Formula, What’s Not?

The Mississippi House Education Chairman, Rep. Richard Bennett, R-Long Beach, repeatedly told House members that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program is too complicated to understand and not reliable for school ...

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University Funding Cuts Prompt Talk of Tuition Hikes, Consolidation

Most of the state's public university and college presidents crowded into the Mississippi House of Representatives' appropriations room on Monday with a united message.

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Vouchers Could Extend to Any Public School Student Under New Bill

Just before Gov. Phil Bryant declared Jan. 21-27 "School Choice Week," Sen. Gray Tollison's, R-Oxford, voucher-expansion bill dropped. The legislation would vastly expand the use of vouchers—a way to use ...

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JPS Board Starts Supe Search, May Re-organize District

The Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees voted this week to begin the search for a new superintendent, starting with issuing a request for proposals to hire a consultant to ...

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House Votes to Scrap MAEP, Rewrite Ed Formula By 12-Vote Margin

After four hours of debate and 17 rejected Democratic amendments, the Mississippi House of Representatives voted mainly along partisan lines to scrap the Mississippi Adequate Education Program in favor of ...

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'Vampire Bill': House Expected to Vote Quickly on New Ed Formula, MAEP Rewrite

As snow swirled outside on Tuesday, Jan. 16, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee passed House Bill 957, which aims to rewrite the State's education-funding formula, the Mississippi Adequate Education ...

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House Passes Road Bill, Discusses Ed Formula

EdBuild's contract with the Legislature is long over, but three staff members came back to the Mississippi Capitol last week to run numbers in their education-funding recommendations for representatives.

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The Push to Expand Vouchers in 2018

EdChoice defines the vague phrase "school choice" as " allow(ing) public education funds to follow students to the schools or services that best fit their needs—whether that's to a public ...

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Free Admission to 2 Museums in Honor of MLK Day Through Tuesday

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the second annual National Day of Racial Healing, Mississippians can enjoy the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi ...

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Jackson Schools to Re-Open on Tuesday with Make-up Days Ahead

Frozen pipes mean more than low water pressure for local public schools: the district is closed until Tuesday, Jan. 16.

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House Passes $100 Million Transportation Legislation In Bipartisan Vote

The Mississippi House of Representatives voted to use approximately $108 million in tax revenue for roads and bridges on Thursday in a bipartisan vote. House Bill 722 will divert 35 ...

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Governor Pushes Vouchers, Praises Trump in 'State of the State'

The governor made sure to mention President Donald Trump's visit to Jackson in his "State of the State" address on Tuesday, Jan. 9.

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Crises in the Capitol: Infrastructure, Crime Lab, Not Enough Money to Cover Needs

It's hard to prosecute someone for a violent crime if you do not know how the victim died. The Mississippi Legislature is grappling over that question in the new session; ...

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Dismantling the Last Debtors’ Prisons

Corinth police officers arrested Sammy Brown on Dec. 1, 2017, and charged him with public drunkenness. Brown sat in jail for several days because he could not afford the $600 ...

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Tate Reeves: Huge Tax Cuts Will Stay, Expand School Vouchers

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves will not budge on the state's massive tax cuts, and he wants more school vouchers enabling families to use public funds to send their children to ...

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Victory for HB 1523, Governor as U.S. Supreme Court Declines Review

Opponents of LGBT rights in Mississippi enjoyed a legal victory this morning when the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not review a challenge to the controversial House Bill 1523, ...

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Workforce Readiness, Infrastructure Top Business Priorities in Mississippi

Infrastructure funding and workforce development are the two primary legislative goals for the state's business community, Mississippi Economic Council Chairman William Yates said at the organization's "Capital Day" on Thursday, ...

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'We're the Pigs': House Jumps the Gun(n) on Transportation Funding

While few House members seemed ready to begin work on legislation, on Wednesday, Jan. 3, three House committees met and passed five transportation-funding related bills, which Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, ...

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Medicaid Meltdown?

Medicaid is arguably one of the more disliked state agencies in the Republican supermajority Legislature—constantly berated for eating up almost a sixth of the state's $6-billion budget in the last ...

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Honey, We Shrunk the General Fund: Medicaid, Education, Gang Debates Loom in 2018

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee, made up of lawmakers, adopted a budget that cuts the State's general fund by $66.1 million or 1.3 percent. The legislators' plan includes small increases ...

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Inside the Closed Mental Health Meetings

While Attorney General Jim Hood has not yet opened mental-health task force meetings to public and media scrutiny, members of the group are talking about how they are trying to ...

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One Lake Project One Step Closer to Public Input

The 2007 map of the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District includes just a sliver of Jackson, predominantly along the Pearl as well as a piece of downtown, ...

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Jackson Schools Can Start Clearing Accreditation Standards in the New Year

Jackson Public Schools can start clearing accreditation standard violations as early as January. William Merritt, the executive director of school improvement, told the school board at its last December meeting ...

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How Did Your Representative, Senator Vote on Tax Reform?

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Republican tax-reform package that afternoon predominantly along party lines (then had to re-pass it on Wednesday by a vote of 224-201 after some ...

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Jackson Schools Open Friday to Meet State Accreditation Standards

Jackson Public Schools teachers and students were supposed to be off Friday, Dec 22, but now must go in for a "60 percent" school day (a little longer than half ...

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Rural Hospitals in Financial Crunch

Work can get personal for State Auditor Stacey Pickering. With the release of a new study of the state's 19 public rural hospitals, Pickering reflected on almost losing his father ...

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UPDATED: Mental-Health Center Must Pay $7 Million in False Claims Act Settlement

Region 8 Mental Health Services must pay back $6.93 million to the Mississippi Division of Medicaid, the U.S. government and a whistleblower because the facility did not provide proper services ...

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JPS Listening Sessions Bring Out Concerns, Aspirations and Community

Parents, students, teachers and other concerned Jacksonians packed into City Hall on Thursday night to participate in the last of several citywide listening sessions this week about the Jackson's public ...

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UPDATED: Jackson Schools Not Part of New Achievement School District

Jackson Public Schools will not be a part of the state's new Achievement School District.

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Mississippi Ranks 50th in Overall Health, New Report Shows

Mississippi ranks 50th for the second year in a row in the United Health Foundation's health rankings. The foundation specializes in clinical expertise and health data, focused on making the ...

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Blows, Bullets, Tears: History, Civil Rights Museums Open Amid Hope, Distrust

Myrlie Evers never mentioned Donald Trump by name but said that she sees prejudice, hatred and negativism today she never thought she would see again.

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JROTC Preps Students for College, Life

Willie Day, a senior at Callaway High School, just got his acceptance letter in the mail. "I think I'm going to Hinds Community College. I'm going for graphic design," he ...

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A ‘Serious, Serious’ Teacher Shortage

Jackson Public Schools needs certified teachers—fast. The state's second-largest district is on probation for violating 24 accreditation standards, despite averting a state takeover this fall.