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Arielle Dreher

Stories by Arielle

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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 assist in the search.

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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 a new funding formula House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, wrote and then revealed less than a week ago.

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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 Program.

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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 school, private school, charter school, home school or any other learning environment parents choose for their kids," its website shows.

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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 History on Monday, Jan. 15, and Tuesday, Jan. 16, free of charge.

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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 percent of the state's use tax collections to cities, counties and a grant program to pay for infrastructure.

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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; the Mississippi crime lab is in crisis.

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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 bond the Corinth Municipal Court required.

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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 private schools.

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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, which Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law in April 2016.

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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, Jan. 4.

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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, primarily authored.

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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 year.

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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 for the Department of Public Safety to fund 60 state troopers who will graduate from in 2018.

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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, including the Mississippi Coliseum.

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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 tackle the state's system of care from practically every angle, including within the criminal-justice system.

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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 that the board needs to get the new JPS corrective action plan to the Commission on School Accreditation by Jan. 16, 2018.

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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 technical changes from the Senate).

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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 the day) after the district canceled school to make up for the snow day on Dec. 8.

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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 to a stroke.

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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 and staff needed for its preschool day-treatment program from 2004 to 2010.

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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 school system.

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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 country heathier.

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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 said.

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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.

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An (Almost) Full House at Mississippi Legislature, Must Still Replace Moore

The House of Representatives is one member shy of a full house, after a series of retirements and resignations in the off-season.

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Guns Part of 'Non-violent' Movement in Mississippi Due to White Resistance

The formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, Civil Rights veteran Charles Cobb Jr. said, was one of the pivotal ways the state has changed the country.

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New JPS Board Inspects Contracts, Demands Data and Accountability

The atmosphere got tense in the Jackson Public Schools boardroom on Tuesday night as board members drilled question after question at contractors helping the school district with its corrective action plan.

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A Legal Battle for Same-Sex Parental Rights

Christina and Kimberly could not get married in Mississippi in 2009. Same-sex marriage was illegal at the time and would be legal until 2015, so the couple went to Massachusetts to get married. They adopted their first son in 2007 before they were married, but after their marriage in 2009, they wanted to have a child of their own.

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UPDATED: The Fallout of the Ayers Settlement

Three of Mississippi's historically black colleges and universities—Alcorn State, Jackson State and Mississippi Valley State—had a lot to gain back in 1975 when Jake Ayers filed a lawsuit against the state in order to improve academic programs and facilities at the state's three public HBCUs.

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Silent Protesters Will Greet Trump at Opening of Mississippi Museums

The Mississippi chapter of the NAACP and a Hinds County Democratic committee are calling for Trump's surprise plans to visit to Jackson this weekend to be cancelled.

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UPDATED: Trump May Be in Jackson for Civil Rights, History Museums' Opening

This weekend, the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum will open their doors—and President Donald Trump might make an appearance.

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JPS Better Together Commission Will Secure Contractor This Month

The Better Together Commission will issue a request for proposal today in its search for an independent contractor to study Jackson Public Schools for about 10 months in 2018.

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Non-Partisan Group: Fly Stennis Flag Instead of Official State Version

A new grassroots group of Mississippians is advocating for replacing the controversial Mississippi flag for urging residents to fly a different one themselves.

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Revamped JPS School Board Gets to Work

If Tuesday night was any indication of how the new Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees will operate, Jacksonians are in good hands.

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Exploding the Myth of the ‘Welfare Queen’

High poverty means that Mississippi gets a lot of federal assistance—but the "Becoming Visible" report shows that those in poverty often do not use the programs intended to help them due to the melee of restrictions people encounter to even sign up for programs.

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The Pros and Cons of a State Lottery

On a map of states that have no lottery, the hold-outs stand strong in pairs: Alaska and Hawaii, Nevada and Utah, and Mississippi and Alabama.The Pros and Cons of a State Lottery

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Run-Off Elections Today Will Decide Hinds County Attorney, #MSLEG Seats

Hinds County voters will choose a new county attorney today at the polls. After the three-way election earlier this month, Gerald Mumford and Malcolm Harrison face off today in the county attorney election.

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State Corrections Agency Replacing Military Strategy to Stop Repeat Offenders

Since learning that its traditional, military-style crime-fighting strategy actually increased repeat offenses, the Mississippi Department of Corrections plans to expand a recidivism-reduction program that focuses on cognitive behavioral change, called Thinking for a Change.

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At Last Hour, Two School Board Members Approved for New JPS Panel

The Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees is now just one member shy from full for the first time in months, but some council members are concerned that the nominations came too late for adequate consideration.

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Fondren Pregnancy Center Denied Sign Request

The Center for Pregnancy Choices takes up the basement of the Kolb's Cleaners building in Fondren, with a waiting room, two counseling rooms, a back office and one medical room.

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Changing the Culture of Suspension

Juan Cloy remembers being suspended when he was at Provine High School in the 1980s. He and several friends got in a fight with some kids from the neighborhood at school. Everyone involved got suspended.

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Task Force Meeting in Secret in Wake of Mental Health Litigation

Under legal pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice to repair Mississippi's system of mental-health care, Attorney General Jim Hood last month announced a mental-health task force of state practitioners who already serve Mississippians with mental illness.

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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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