Monday, October 14, 2019
There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them:
- Multiple women are accusing Jody Owens, who won the Democratic primary and faces no challenger in November, of inappropriate and sexual behavior and comments from his time as the managing attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Jackson office.
- The Hinds County Board of Supervisors voted last week to reject a claim to give a $50,000 grant to the City of Jackson to support the Jackson Zoo.
- As the City of Jackson continues its own legal battle against Siemens seeking $225 million over a botched water-sewer billing system, attorney Carlos Moore is continuing work on a lawsuit filed in June on behalf of Jackson residents.
- LGBT Mississippians could have more to lose or gain than most as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in on whether or not employers have the right to fire people based on their sexuality and gender identity, because the Hospitality State holds the distinction for the most anti-LGBT law in the nation.
- Former Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker served as an envoy between Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, but stepped down recently. He is also a paid consultant with BGR Group, a lobbying firm Mississippi native Haley Barbour co-founded, which lobbies on behalf of Ukraine.
- The Madison County Sheriff’s Department engaged in unconstitutional, racially discriminatory policing practicesthat disproportionately targeted black residents, a Southern District of Mississippi judge ruled recently.
- When former Republican stalwarts from Mississippi want to get a talking point onto the ground back here in their home state, all they have to do is get on the phone with a news outlet not likely to challenge or contextualize their statements.
- With the cloud of an impeachment inquiry and questions about his calls with foreign leaders hanging overhead, President Donald Trump began October by endorsing Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves , another embattled Republican who is also embroiled in allegations of scandal.
- The City of Jackson unveiled a payment plan for residents with delinquent water bills Wednesday, part of its attempt to collect nearly $50 million in delinquent accounts.
- As states move toward criminal-justice reforms, many are focusing on bail reform. In Mississippi, where more than half of the county jail population is awaiting trial, bail is administered according to a schedule, requiring people with the same charge to pay the same amount, even if they cannot afford it.