Monday, September 9, 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:
- Rising health-care costs prompted the Jackson City Council to focus on ways it can help at its Aug. 22 budget meeting. Ward 2 Councilman Melvin Priester Jr. told the Jackson Free Press that providing health insurance to staff members totals $16,174,451 for the current fiscal year.
- Young people in Mississippi are among the most vulnerable targets and least visible victims of trafficking, Lindsey Simmons, executive director of Mississippians Against Human Trafficking, said during a presentation on trafficking at a community forum at the Mississippi Museum of Art.
- Two Mississippians who worked in poultry plants described horrifying conditions with amputations and relentless work in freezing conditions. Neither ate chicken for years. It's why, an expert says, the plants often seek undocumented immigrant labor.
- At its Aug. 20 meeting, the Jackson City Council passed an ordinance to allow administrative hearings for water-and-sewer bill complaints. The City will hire a hearing officer to consider evidence and findings from both customers and the water and sewer business administration manager.
- Tate Reeves pushed typical conservative buttons on his way to primary victory.. Tammy Pearson said he spent too much time "relying on his name-dropping of Trump," adding, "This is a state election, not a national election. This is Mississippi."
- Mississippi must make sweeping changes to its mental-health system so that people with severe mental illness have access to treatment in their own communities rather than being unnecessarily institutionalized in state hospitals, a federal judge in Jackson ruled Wednesday morning.
- Hours after a federal judge ruled that the State of Mississippi's mental-health system violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood told reporters that he "knew this was coming." Hood pointed to years of letters he had sent to the Mississippi Legislature expressing concern about the mental-health system.
- Mississippians for Compassionate Care, a Mississippi group advocating for medical marijuana legalization, has turned in more than 105,000 signatures to get the initiative on the ballot next year.
- Disability Rights Mississippi praised a federal judge's ruling that found the State violates the civil rights of those with mental illness, but a leading mental health advocate pushed back on Attorney General Jim Hood's emphasis on money, rather than a well-funded systemic overhaul.
- Amid an ongoing lawsuit stemming from concerns over Jackson's water-sewer system, the Jackson City Council voted Thursday evening to not change the overall millage rate for fiscal year 2020.