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Arielle Dreher

Stories by Arielle

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Grant to Help 7,000 Mississippians Finish College Degrees

Mississippians looking to finish their college degrees may receive a $500 one-time tuition assistance grant after the W.K. Kellogg Foundation donated $3.5 million to the Complete 2 Compete initiative.

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JPS Commission Pushes Work Forward, Sets Deadline

The "Better Together" commission to analyze the needs of Jackson's public schools held its second meeting in the Lincoln Gardens community center, off Medgar Evers Drive in northwest Jackson, which filled to standing-room only.

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UPDATED: Feds Threaten Jackson Funds Over Immigration 'Sanctuary' Policy

The U.S. Department of Justice does not know the City of Jackson has a new mayor. In a letter addressed to Mayor Tony Yarber but dated Nov. 15, 2017, Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson asked the City of Jackson to review its "sanctuary city" ordinance in order to receive federal funds from the Office of Justice Programs going forward.

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Governor Calls for Free Community College, New Ed Formula, Reduced Medicaid

Gov. Phil Bryant released his budget recommendations this week, with an emphasis on education funding, particularly as it relates to workforce development.

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How Integration Failed in Jackson’s Public Schools from 1969 to 2017

Jackson's public schools, like the majority in the state, remained solidly separate and unequal in the 1950s and 1960s despite the ruling in the Brown v. Topeka Board of Education decision in 1954, which struck down school segregation by race.

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JPS Commission Gets to Work

More than 50 Jacksonians filled the Mississippi Museum of Art lobby on Nov. 8, eager to hear what the newly formed "Better Together" commission would do for Jackson Public Schools.

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Tax Sales Bring $414,265 into Jackson, JPS and Hinds County Coffers

The City of Jackson along with Jackson Public Schools and the other school districts and cities in Hinds County will receive an influx of funds after Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann recovered $414,265 from sales of tax-forfeited properties in the city and county since July 1, 2017.

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Staying Vigilant as Veterans' Scars Heal

Soldiers and military personnel from almost every U.S. conflict in the last 70 years packed into a small auditorium in the G.V. Sonny Montgomery Medical Center on Thursday, Nov. 9, to commemorate Veterans Day, which is on Saturday this year.

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State Ed Chairwoman Clears Air: 'There is No Fight' over Jackson Schools

Jackson Public Schools was not a part of the Mississippi Board of Education's monthly meeting agenda Thursday morning, but board Chairwoman Rosemary Aultman took a point of personal privilege to address the status of the second-largest school district.

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Four New JPS Board Members to Lead Next Chapter for Beleaguered District

The Jackson City Council restored a quorum to the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees on Wednesday, unanimously confirming four new members who are charged with leading the district through a difficult stage in its history.

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Pushing for Pre-K in the Midst of Poverty

Public pre-K is a part of the state's push for early learning statewide in order to increase literacy for students in public schools.

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'Judicial Kidnapping’ in Pearl Youth Court?

Youth-court judges in Mississippi preside over all matters involving delinquent juveniles in addition to abused, neglected or abandoned children. Youth-court judges have the power to send children to foster care, grant custody to different guardians or give a child to adoptive parents.

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U.S. Supreme Court Could Decide to Hear State Flag Case This Month

The nine U.S. Supreme Court justices could decide the fate of the case against the Mississippi state flag this month when they meet for conference on Nov. 21.

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Second HB 1523 Petition Filed with U.S. Supreme Court

The Campaign for Southern Equality and Rev. Susan Hrostowski are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case against the "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act," also known as House Bill 1523.

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Commissioners Named to Lead Jackson Public Schools Coalition

Gov. Phil Bryant and Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba, in coordination with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, announced who would sit on the 15-member Better Together Commission today.

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Hinds County Has Worst Preterm Birth Rate in Mississippi

More babies are born prematurely in Hinds County than anywhere else in the state, a new report from the March of Dimes shows.

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The ‘Radical’ Mayor, 120 Days Later

Hundreds of Jacksonians sat in mostly silence as Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba delivered his "State of the City" address on a late Monday afternoon in Thalia Maria Hall in downtown Jackson.

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Looking Ahead to 2018 in #MSLeg

With an American flag backdrop the size of a mid-sized swimming pool, Mississippi's top lawmakers took turns running through their track records and outlining where state policy is headed at the Mississippi Coliseum last week.

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A Different Kind of Takeover for JPS

The Jackson Public School District is now in the hands of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Gov. Phil Bryant's office and the City of Jackson.

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Mississippi Same-Sex Marriage Case Moving Ahead with HB 1523 Now Law

Legal challenges to the anti-LGBT House Bill 1523 will continue, as U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves has lifted the stay on the 2014 lawsuit that sought to force the State of Mississippi to recognize same-sex marriages and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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Report: Mississippi's Black Children Face More Barriers Than White Kids

Mississippi is one of the worst states for black children, despite having the highest population of them in the country. Black children in Mississippi face health, educational and poverty-related barriers that hinder their opportunities later in life, the new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found.

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UPDATED: Lumumba, Bryant Unveil JPS Commission with W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba today confirmed and expounded on the rumor that people and organizations have worked behind the scenes to develop a "third option" for Jackson Public Schools.

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Gov. Bryant Wants Vote on State Flag; Taggart Says It Must Change

New messages about the Mississippi flag flowed out of the annual Hobnob Mississippi event this year with the governor revealing that he wants citizens to vote on it again and a prominent Republican saying that changing the flag is about much more than what is good for business in the state.

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Gov. Phil Bryant Confirms Third Option for Jackson Public Schools

Gov. Phil Bryant confirmed this morning that he is working with several organizations as well as the Mississippi Department of Education to find a third option to revitalize the state's second-largest school district beyond leaving it under Jackson Public Schools' control or allowing the State to run it.

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Saved for a Reason: The Fight to End Domestic Violence

The Mississippi Department of Health tracks interpersonal violence in the state, and in fiscal-year 2015, law-enforcement officers responded to 10,411 calls related to domestic violence, the annual report from the Office Against Personal Violence shows.

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Two Ways to Take Over a School District

If Gov. Phil Bryant does not agree to a rumored-but-still-quiet deal with the Jackson mayor and a large philanthropic foundation to provide a third option, Jackson Public Schools will face one of two options for the Mississippi Board of Education—and the state—to take over the district.

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Mississippi High Court Undercuts MAEP: School Formula Is Not a Mandate

The state's highest court says the Legislature does not have to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, ruling against 21 public-school districts that sued the state for underfunding MAEP from 2010 to 2015.

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Governor to Court: State Flag Doesn't Violate Rights as Marriage Bans Did

Offending black citizens is not enough to block the Mississippi flag, attorneys for Gov. Phil Bryant argued to the U.S. Supreme Court this week; they must instead show that the flag caused discrimination in order for a court to declare it unconstitutional.

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UPDATED: JPS Draws Expected 'F' in MDE District, School Grades Released Today

The Mississippi Department of Education released the 2017 accountability rankings of all schools and districts in the state this morning. Seventy percent of the state's schools are performing at "C" grade or higher. Nine districts received an "F" grade, including Jackson Public Schools.

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From Jefferson Davis to Barack Obama: Jackson Elementary School Gets a New Name

One of Mississippi's top-performing elementary schools, Davis Magnet IB Elementary School, has changed its name to Barack Obama Magnet IB Elementary School.

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A Teenager, a Gun and a Chance for Innocence

The Remington 700 Model is the subject of several class-action lawsuits against the firearms manufacturer due to a faulty trigger, which can discharge on its own.

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The Edison Walthall Rises Again

The Edison Walthall Hotel is the place of legends, bar fights between powerful men and lots of stories its walls could tell, but it has sat empty now since it closed in 2010.

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JPS Keeps Accreditation for Now as 18 Districts Go on Probation

The Commission on School Accreditation approved the 2017 accountability grades of JPS schools and districts at its meeting Tuesday morning, as well as recommended that 18 school districts in the state go on probation for accreditation violations.

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JPS Faces Big Week as Governor's Takeover Decision Looms

As Jackson Public Schools officials and administrators work to meet deadlines set in their 2016 corrective action plan, Gov. Phil Bryant could decide to take away local control of the district this week.

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Welty Library Set to Re-open Monday

The Eudora Welty Library in downtown Jackson will reopen on Monday, after state and city officials inspected the building today, determining the first floor is safe for patrons.

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HB 1523 Becomes Law Amid Outcry, U.S. Supreme Court Asked to Appeal

The "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination" Act is state law in Mississippi, after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request of plaintiffs in the Barber v. Bryant lawsuit to block it while they appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Transportation Head Calls Out Legislature for Not Funding Roads, Bridges

Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall did not mince words at the Stennis Capitol Press Forum Monday, calling out Mississippi lawmakers' inaction on funding the state's infrastructure.

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Where Mississippi's U.S. Lawmakers Stand on Gun Laws, Rights

In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, the Jackson Free Press assembled details on the gun-related legislation that Mississippi lawmakers in Washington have supported or co-sponsored, as well as how much gun-rights groups have donated to them.

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JPS Students: ‘Takeover’ Could Empty Schools, Fill Jails

State of Mississippi takeover of Jackson Public Schools could be devastating to young people, a group of JPS students told reporters outside City Hall Monday.

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Beyond Mississippi’s Dark Days of Judicial Injustice

On Sept. 27, Mississippi justices, lawyers and law students celebrated the state judicial branch's 200th birthday, along with U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who visited Jackson for the occasion.

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Fighting for the Right to Vote

Mississippi state law on who gets to vote after serving time in MDOC's custody appears rather arbitrary. Twenty-two disenfranchising crimes are listed in a 2009 attorney general's opinion that clarifies the law. These crimes range from embezzlement and felony bad check to murder and rape.

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Mental Health Task Force Aims to Improve Services, Including for the Accused

Attorney General Jim Hood is tackling problems in Mississippi's mental-health system to make it easier for people to get treatment and to improve the commitment process, he said last week.

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Welty Library Building Closure ‘Devastating’

The Eudora Welty Library building is closed off to the public after the state fire marshal closed it Oct. 5 due to several violations of fire and life safety standards after the office conducted an investigation on Oct. 4. It is unclear at this point when the building will re-open.

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Welty Library Closes Due to Fire Violations

The Eudora Welty Library in downtown Jackson closed this evening after a state fire marshal inspection on Wednesday, Oct. 4, revealed several violations of fire and life safety standards.

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Rep. Bomgar, Businessmen: DACA Has 'Huge Economic Benefit'

A diverse panel of local business owners, a Republican state legislator and an economics professor at Jackson State University all agreed that immigrants on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program have a positive impact on the American economy.

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Report: Jackson Airport Economic Impact More Than $1 Billion

The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority's total monetary impact in 2016 on the five surrounding counties—Hinds, Rankin, Madison, Simpson and Copiah—is valued at $1.19 billion, a Jackson State University study found.

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HB 1523 Becomes Law Tuesday, Oct. 10, After 5th Circuit Denied Stay

The "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act" will become state law on Tuesday, Oct. 10, after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied attorneys' request to prevent the law from taking effect while they petition the U.S. Supreme Court.

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JPS: In the Midst of an ‘Unprecedented’ Situation

When the Mississippi Board of Education recommended a takeover of Jackson Public Schools, the district was almost finished implementing a corrective action plan that the department of education approved in December 2016.

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Federal Judge Revives Same-Sex Marriage Case After 5th Circuit's HB 1523 Hearing Denial

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves wasted no time in reviving the original case that sought to legalize same-sex marriage in Mississippi, after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a full panel hearing in the case against House Bill 1523 last week.

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JPS Set to Begin $2.5 Million School Renovations to Wingfield, Brinkley, Murrah, Forest Hill

Students at Wingfield High School and Brinkley Middle School will see renovations and improvements to their facilities in the coming months after both the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees and the Jackson City Council approved the district to issue a limited loan of no more than $2.5 million.

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