Valerie Wells | Stories | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

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Valerie Wells

Stories by Valerie

Tease photo Media

Media's Need for Speed

One of the year's largest stories didn't catch anyone by surprise.

Tease photo State Government

Eight Years in, State Still Neglecting Kids

The foster home was not a haven for the little girl no one cared about. One of the people living in the home was a convicted rapist.

Tease photo Media

As If We Lost the Saints

A tornado touched down in the New Orleans suburb of Arabi the evening of May 23. It was a busy Wednesday night in The Times-Picayune newsroom. The paper's website,, ...

Tease photo Art

Conducting a Festival

Four smiling mop-topped men with skinny ties strum guitars to a familiar backbeat. "She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah," they confirm in unison as if they really know something. Paul's ...

Tease photo Cover

Gulf Coast Arts

Silvery, coppery structures twist among old live oak trees near the shore of the Mississippi Sound, close to where the Biloxi Schoon­er docks. This is the site of the Ohr-O'Keefe ...

Tease photo Cover

Art on the Gulf

Silvery, coppery structures twist among old live oak trees near the shore of the Mississippi Sound, close to where the Biloxi Schoon­er docks. This is the site of the Ohr-O'Keefe ...


Curious Louise

Louise Borden was looking through a copy of Publisher's Weekly in 1995 when she learned a curious fact. A short article mentioned that children's authors H.A. Rey and Margret Rey ...


Small Mementos

The Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St., 601-576-6920) highlights three powerful Mississippi women in a new exhibit that continues through the end of June.

Tease photo Media

Free State of Jones

Jones County is a study in duality. It has two courthouses in two county seats: Ellisville and Laurel. During the Civil War, the county supposedly seceded from the state of ...


Under Pressure: Fighting to Keep ‘Choice' In State

Shelley Abrams is fighting the state of Virginia's attack on abortion rights. She oversees several clinics that provide legal abortion services, including one in Virginia and several other southern states. ...


Search for Child Stars

A massive group of children caught Elaina Jackson's attention at a hotel in Houston, Texas, last year. Jackson is the director of development and marketing at the Mississippi Children's Museum, ...


Shaping Notions of Art

Whitney Grant looked down the narrow path between two long lines of people. Blocking her view were wide-open palms gently waving and waiting for her. She ran down the high-five ...


Unfurling Kale

A super food packed with antioxidants and vitamins that's low in calories can sound boring and pious. Kale, much like many super foods, is not so arrogant, though. Its deep ...

Tease photo Media

The Pejorative Report

When Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut, it was clear he was using a pejorative term. He meant to belittle Fluke, a law student at Georgetown University who spoke ...


Home, Brain, Home

How Local Businesses Lure Best, Brightest

Strengthening the local business community is no small part of building a better Jackson.

Tease photo Media

Charging for Inexperience

As a dozen experienced journalists at The Clarion-Ledger weigh the pros and cons of taking an early retirement, the daily newspaper's parent company wants to start charging for online content.

Anatomy Of

[10 Things About] St. Patrick

Do you know your facts about Saint Patrick? What about his myths? Test your knowledge and read on.


Reforms Coming to Henley-Young

Children entering Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center will now get a mental-health evaluation and counseling at the beginning of their stay, a significant change from recent practices. Youth incarcerated at the ...


‘I Was There'

Turning 12 is hard enough for a girl. Old friends start acting weird, especially the slightly older ones starting high school. You can try to hold on to the magic ...


Romance and Angst

A true rags-to-riches story, "Cinderella" has all the romance and angst perfect for ballet. The Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet presents its performance of a classic story March 3 at Jackson Academy's ...


Mitchell Staying at Clarion-Ledger

Award-winning journalist Jerry Mitchell is not among a dozen Clarion-Ledger employees facing an early retirement buyout choice. Speaking at this morning's Friday Forum at Koinonia Coffee House, Mitchell addressed the ...

Tease photo Media

Truth Troops

Some people—including some journalists I've worked with over the years—assume Stars and Stripes is a propaganda arm of the Department of Defense. It's not. It's an all-American institution that is ...


Clarion-Ledger Losing Experienced Staffers

Twelve employees at The Clarion-Ledger are considering early retirement buyouts. The Gannett-owned daily newspaper continues to shrink as it loses its most experienced staffers.


Fillingane Introduces Anti-Abortion Resolution

Within the last couple of hours, Sen. Joey Fillingane introduced a resolution to amend the state constitution "to protect the life of every unborn child from conception to birth."


City Supports Several Bills

The city of Jackson will support several bills in the Legislature this session. Roosevelt Daniels, city policy director, is expected to present the following items this morning at a City ...


Metrocenter Moving Forward

A city councilman who used to be a lawyer and lobbyist for David Watkins and some of his firms made a motion Tuesday to allow the mayor to negotiate payments ...


Ward 3 Candidates Speak

Change, moderator Othor Cain said, was the theme of a Feb. 7 forum at the Jackson Medical Mall. Nine candidates vying to represent Ward 3 on the Jackson City Council ...


Thomas G. Harris

One Sunday before Christmas, a packed bus from an out-of-town Missionary Baptist Church pulled into the parking lot of Romantic Adventures on U.S. Highway 80. The traveling Sunday school disembarked ...


Metrocenter Cabling on Agenda Today

At a special meeting yesterday, Councilman Quentin Whitwell made an emergency motion for the city to get a supplemental lease at the Metrocenter Mall, an idea he shared with the ...


City Tech Wiring Overlooked

City Council members want to know why the city waited so long to notice that developer Retro Metro wasn't providing computer and telephone wiring at the city's new Metrocenter Mall ...


Arena Back on the Table

City leaders fear that one day, the USA International Ballet Competition could leave Jackson because Thalia Mara Hall needs about $9 million in repairs.


The Week in Business

The Jackson Redevelopment Authority has begun the process of preparing a new request for proposals for a convention center hotel. The new RFP will have rigid specifications, JRA board members ...


Communication is Key

Zachery Williams does not want to discuss his age. He doesn't understand why people keep asking him something that to him just doesn't matter. Williams is one of 11 candidates ...


Take a Load Off the Elderly

This is not the first time Harrison Michael II has run for City Council. The last time he ran in 2009, he only faced two other opponents, Albert Wilson and ...


JRA: No Free Passes

Don't pop in on the Jackson Redevelopment Authority asking board members to buy your property or hire you on the spot because you have a passion for a particular downtown ...


Arena Study to Include Thalia Mara

City leaders fear that one day the USA International Ballet Competition could leave Jackson due to Thalia Mara Hall needing repairs that cost about $9 million. Only four cities in ...


Beneta Burt: Proof in Experience

Beneta Burt stays so busy as executive director of the Jackson Roadmap to Health Equity Project that she didn't think she would have time to run for City Council. After ...


Beneta Burt: Proof in Experience

Beneta Burt stays so busy as executive director of the Jackson Roadmap to Health Equity Project that she didn't think she would have time to run for City Council. After ...


City Settles With Cedric Willis

The Jackson City Council voted tonight to settle Cedric Willis' case against the city for his wrongful arrest for murder and rape.


Zero Tolerance for Children

Nsombi Lambright, executive director of ACLU Mississippi, doesn't bother going to her son's school anymore for lunch. She tried it as a way to connect with him, offer support for ...


MSU Seeks Diversity

Mississippi State University wants to increase diversity in its faculty, students and alumni. While the school has added more blacks and more women leaders, at least one administrator recognizes that ...


Personhood: No Means No

Lysistrata had a plan to end the 20-year Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. In the year 411 B.C., she gathered women in the warring region together for an important ...

Tease photo Crime

Pushing Kids Out

Feeding the 'Cradle-to-Prison' Pipeline

Drodriquez Williams watched the news that night about the twin towers at the World Trade Center collapsing Sept. 11, 2001. It shocked the 9-year-old boy. Every time he saw the ...


Jewish Film Fest: Best of the Best

Michael Steiner screened about three dozen films for the upcoming Jewish Cinema Mississippi 2012 film festival. As co-chairman of the January event, he and the other screening committee members narrowed ...

Biz Roundup

Lowest Tax Burden

Mississippi residents have the lowest tax burden in the nation. Mississippi Development Authority was quick to spread this news.


Criminalizing Kids for Being Kids

Just as I'm finishing a story on the harm zero-tolerance policies have done to school children, I hear that Sen. Sampson Jackson II has introduced a bill in the Legislature ...


Noise Pollutes Downtown Residences

Joanie Thompson, a longtime resident of 736 S. President St., can't sleep at night from a throbbing loud bass that rattles her windows. It starts about 10 p.m. most nights ...


[10 Things About] ‘Spamalot'

Kessler Broadway presents "Monty Python's Spamalot" Jan. 17 and 18 at Thalia Mara Hall (225 E. Pascagoula St.). The show, which tells the tale of King Arthur and the round-table ...

Tease photo Hitched

Moon Made of Honey

Choosing the setting for your honeymoon is a dreamy affair. If you want to go overseas, make sure you have your passport and bank account ready. Spend time early fantasizing ...