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Arielle Dreher

Stories by Arielle

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35 New U.S. Citizens from 23 Countries Take Oath at Jackson Middle School

In honor of Constitution Day, Sept. 17, as well as the anniversary of federal courts this month, U.S. District Courts around the country hosted naturalization ceremonies in schools.

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Attorney, JPS Parent Files Federal Lawsuit to Block State Takeover of School District

Jackson attorney Dorsey Carson says the state's process to take over school districts, violates his child's and all parents' due-process rights.

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State Board Sends JPS Takeover to Governor for Stamp of Approval

The fate of Jackson Public Schools is now in the hands of Republican Gov. Phil Bryant after the Mississippi Board of Education declared an “extreme emergency situation” in the district this afternoon.

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JPS ‘Takeover’ Looms as Commission Declares ‘Extreme Emergency’ in District

The impending state takeover of Jackson Public Schools moved forward today, shocking a packed board room at the Mississippi Department of Education, which is housed in the old, long-segregated Central High School in downtown Jackson.

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‘Everybody Matters, Or Nobody Matters’: The JFP Interview with Public Safety Commissioner Marshall Fisher

Department of Public Safety Commissioner Marshall Fisher shared his opinions and ideas about how law enforcement fits into society and government as a whole with the Jackson Free Press recently.

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Lumumba Alleges 'Nefarious Intent' in JPS Audit, Says City Will Fight

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba rallied with advocates on Tuesday ahead of this morning's Mississippi Commission on School Accreditation meeting, during which members will determine whether or not to put Jackson Public Schools is in an "emergency" situation.

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UPDATED: How Will the Jackson Property Tax Increase Affect You?

The Jackson City Council approved Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba's revenue increase proposal, raising the city's property tax rate by 2 mills, late on the Friday before Labor Day weekend.

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Local DACA Immigrants: We Still Have a Dream

The most recent data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security show that more than 3,000 Mississippians have applied for DACA approval, with 2,700 applications approved as of March 31.

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As Money Flows to Hopefuls, Hattiesburg Votes to Elect New Legislator

Hattiesburg residents have their choice of four candidates in the special election for House District 102, which they vote in today, to replace former Rep. Toby Barker's seat in the Mississippi House of Representatives. Barker ran for mayor of Hattiesburg this spring and won, leaving his seat open.

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Advocates, Lumumba Call For 'No State Takeover' as State Decisions Looms

This week, the Mississippi Commission on School Accreditation will decide whether or not Jackson Public Schools is in a state of emergency.

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Mississippi Helps Florida in Irma Response

Ninety-eight emergency responders from Mississippi are headed to Florida to assist with hurricane relief and recovery efforts after Hurricane Irma made landfall there this weekend.

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AG Warns: It's a Felony to Sell Flood-damaged Vehicles as New

Attorney General Jim Hood cautioned Mississippians who are in the market to purchase vehicles in the next few months to be wary of flood damage.

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Mayor Lumumba Backs 'Dreamers,' Calls on Trump to Preserve DACA


Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba is calling on President Donald Trump to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, known as DACA. Lumumba signed the "We Are With Dreamers" letter today, which includes governors, state and municipal leaders, and faith leaders throughout the country.

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Secretary of State Launches Voter Registration Status Tool

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann launched a new part of the Y'all Vote website on Wednesday, Sept. 6, that allows Mississippians to easily see if they are registered to vote—and if so, where they should be voting.

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Reflections in a Dark, Watery World

Unplugging doesn't actually require you to do something crazy like get in a float tank. It could be something as simple as choosing to put your phone up when you go to bed. But we all need to unplug sometimes.

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Amid Growing Scrutiny and Pressure, State Flag May Land at Supreme Court

Pressure to change the Mississippi state flag has intensified since shocking images emerged of torch-wielding white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., marching to protect symbols honoring the Confederacy—a weekend rally that ended with an anti-racist protester dead.

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JPS Faces ‘Emergency’ Decision: What’s Next?

The future of Jackson Public Schools is uncertain after a recent audit investigation found the district has hundreds of unfilled and uncertified teacher slots; inconsistent board-to-district policies; and did not teach graduating seniors enough days to qualify for graduation.

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UPDATED: Lumumba, City Council Quietly Raise Property Taxes to Fill Budget Holes

Late last week, the Jackson City Council approved a 2-millage tax increase in a close 3-2 vote, with two city council members not attending the last-minute Friday-evening meeting.

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City of Jackson Collecting Harvey Relief Supplies, Where to Donate

The City of Jackson is collecting relief supplies to send to people in Texas and Louisiana affected by the storm damage from Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall last week.

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City Receives Grant for Senior Low-Income Job Creation

Older low-income adults in the Jackson-metro area looking for jobs will have access to employment opportunities after Senior Service America Inc. awarded the City of Jackson a $553,698 grant.

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JPS Audit Released: District at Risk for 'Emergency' Declaration

The fate of Jackson Public Schools is in the hands of a few statewide commission and board members.

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First Lady Ebony Lumumba Urges Provine Students to Bring 'Serious Change'

Jackson first lady Ebony Lumumba spoke to Provine seniors on Wednesday morning, encouraging them to pursue their further education and prepare to be the change agents in the world.

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Infrastructure Funding Could Include Tax Increases

Mississippi senators met in Jackson last week to explore ways to raise more money for the state's deteriorating infrastructure, The move seemed to contradict their leader, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, and his insistence that he will not raise taxes.

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Davis IB Program Helps Kindergartners Shine on Exam

Principal Kathleen Grigsby has a reason to be proud: Kindergarteners at Davis IB Elementary in downtown Jackson scored in the top 10 of all schools in the state on the kindergarten readiness assessment for the second year in a row.

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State Recovers $11 Million in Audit by Medicaid Division, Attorney General

Auditors working in the Mississippi Division of Medicaid and the attorney general's office recovered more than $11 million in improper payments and claims for fiscal-year 2017 after analyzing medical claims paid out to health-care providers across the state.

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Emmett Till

Sixty-two years ago, white men in the Mississippi Delta brutally murdered Emmett Till in a horrific lynching that is often cited as a catalyst for launching the Civil Rights Movement in the South.

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JPS Enrollment Numbers Down as Registration Deadline Approaches

Jackson Public Schools has 25,135 students registered or in process of registering, but the district has 27,707 students eligible to register for the 2017-2018 school year, interim Superintendent Freddrick Murray told the JPS Board of Trustees last night.

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Mayor, Police Chief Address Poverty-Crime Connection, Solutions Going Forward

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and Jackson Police Department Chief Lee Vance are working to increase the number of JPD police officers as well as implementing additional solutions to crime in the capital city.

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Some Parents Left Behind on Child Care

Deloris Suel knows and works with employed parents who can no longer receive financial support for child care due to clerical reasons like not having the same address on their driver's license as where they currently live.

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State School Districts Get ‘Baseline’ Reprieve, for Now

The Mississippi Board of Education approved a new baseline for state test scores last week that will affect what grade the schools and districts earn in the school's accountability ranking system.

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Talking Back to Gov. Bryant: Flag Needs to Change with White Support

Actor and activist Aunjanue Ellis talked back to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant today to denounce his refusal to back changing the state flag to one without a symbol of the Confederacy.

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Report: LGBT Men Need Quality Sexual Health Standards in Jackson, Beyond

LGBT men have limited access to quality sexual health care, a new report finds. In the capital city, it is an especially serious problem: The Jackson metro has the fourth-highest rate of HIV diagnosis per 100,000 residents among the nation's metropolitan areas, with about 40 percent of LGBT men infected with HIV here in 2014.

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Dak Prescott to Young People: Believe in Yourself Through It All

Dak Prescott chooses not to worry about things he can't control. He stays focused on the task in front of him, he says, controlling only what he can. When the 24-year-old is not studying film or on the field, he likes to get lost in NCAA football on PlayStation 3 to take his mind off the game.

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Mississippi, Jackson Students Make Gains on State Tests in Most Areas

On the whole, Mississippi students improved on their state testing this year in both mathematics and English language arts, newly released results from the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program, or MAAP, show.

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State’s Longest-Sitting Death Row Inmate Challenges Death Penalty Drug

The Mississippi Supreme Court has sentenced Richard Jordan to death four times, but with the help of his lawyers, he continues to challenge the state's death penalty method.

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Moving Beyond Suspension: Changing the Discipline Climate in Jackson Schools

JPS administrators recognize that out-of-school suspension is not the way to change school climates district-wide, and Margrit Wallace, the JPS chief academic officer in the student academic and behavioral support department, is working to move the district towards restorative justice practices, which could eventually include dialogue circles in the classroom.

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AG Hood Settles $2.5 Million Epps Scandal Claim

Attorney General Jim Hood settled his office's claims against Global Tel*Link Corp. for $2.5 million today. The corporation is one of 12 that Hood has pursued legally in connection to the former Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections Christopher Epps' scandal.

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Mars or Bust: Stennis Center Testing Rockets for Mission to Red Planet

Mississippi is integral in getting NASA spacecrafts—and eventually astronauts—to Mars. NASA engineers and scientists at the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County on the Gulf Coast completed their fourth test of the RS-25 engine, which they plan to use on the Space Launch System deep-space rocket.

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Hinds County School Bond Measure Draws Lawmakers' Support

Mississippians who live in the Hinds County School District lines, including Bolton, Byram, Edwards, Raymond, Terry and Utica, will vote to approve or disapprove a bond issue for their public schools on Tuesday, Aug. 15.

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Democrats, Republicans Honor Robert Clark's 'Striving and Working' Legacy

In the midst of Mississippi's turbulent reckoning with the Civil Rights Movement, Holmes County residents elected Robert G. Clark to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1967. He was the first African American to serve in the Legislature since Reconstruction.

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Stuck Behind Bars, Waiting for Mental Care

Judges in Mississippi have few options when sentencing men and women who need mental-health care but have also committed a crime.

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Jackson Airport Lawsuit Weakened, But Still On

The legal fight over who controls the Jackson airport continues outside the courtroom for now after U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves dismissed three of the city of Jackson's initial claims this July.

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Report: Mississippi Moms Need More Workforce Training and Child Care

A new policy report from the Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative shows that single, working mothers in Mississippi make far less than other types of families and still have to pay for child care.

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Black Lawmakers Ask U.S. Supreme Court to Hear State Flag Case

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including civil-rights leader Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Mississippi attorney Carlos Moore's state flag case.

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Westin Hotel Opens in Downtown Jackson

The Westin Hotel in downtown Jackson officially opened on Thursday, Aug. 3, when city, county and state leaders gathered to cut the ribbon to the entrance of the new 203-room property located on South Congress Street across from the federal court building.

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Opioid Task Force Releases Recommendations

The Governor's Opioid and Heroin Study Task Force released its recommendations Wednesday, Aug. 3, to help Mississippi curb the number of overdoses and death that the opioid epidemic is causing.

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Keeping Insurance Rates Stable, Despite Congressional Interference

Even with the Affordable Care Act intact, Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney is still concerned for Mississippians with certain plans that would see rate increases in 2018, despite the ACA's fate.

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Council Unanimously Approves Lumumba’s First JPS Appointee, Returning a Quorum to the Board

The Jackson City Council unanimously approved Letitia Simmons Johnson to serve as the Ward 2 member of the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees at its meeting Tuesday morning.

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Medicaid Fraud Solutions: Two Ways

State Auditor Stacey Pickering is driving a bi-partisan approach to Medicaid fraud that stands in stark contrast to legislation the Republican supermajority in the Mississippi Legislature passed this past session.

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Jackson Airport Lands $5 Million Federal Grant

The Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers Airport received a federal grant this week to complete necessary improvements to the airport's runway.

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