On this day in 1956


On this day in 1956

FEBRUARY 3, 1956

Autherine Lucy in 1956 after she was admitted to the University of Alabama.

Overcoming racism and threats, Autherine Lucy became the first Black student to attend graduate school at the University of Alabama. She had previously been accepted to the university, only to be rejected when university officials discovered she wasn’t white.

The NAACP’s Thurgood Marshall represented her on the appeal, and she worked in the meantime as an English teacher in Carthage, Mississippi. The ruled in her favor, and she entered the university as a graduate student in library science.

Despite riots and violence, she continued to attend. Three days later, the university suspended her “for her own safety,” prompting the president there to resign in protest.

Feeling dejected, she opened her mail soon after to read a letter from Marshall: “Whatever happens in the future, remember for all concerned, that your contribution has been made toward equal justice for all Americans and that you have done everything in your power to bring this about.”

Her case played a key role in desegregating schools in the South, including the University of Alabama, which admitted its first Black students in 1963. A quarter century later, the university overturned her expulsion, and she entered the graduation program in education a year later.

She graduated with a master’s in 1992. The university named an endowed scholarship in her honor and unveiled a portrait of her in the student union, with an inscription that reads, “Her initiative and courage won the right for students of all races to attend the University.”

In 2010, the university unveiled the Autherine Lucy Clock Tower, which honored those who desegregated the university. When a special marker at the College of Education honored her, she returned to speak.

In 2019, she attended the university’s graduation ceremony, where she received an honorary doctorate. “My response to fear is: do it anyway,” she said. “Let nothing stop you. You have to push forward.”

This article first on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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Discover Black Heritage: Stone Football’s John Feaster

120 views – Janae Jordan – 2023-02-02 21:19:25

In celebration of Black History Month, each Thursday 25’s Janae Jordan will introduce an African American making a difference in our community.

Tonight, on News 25’s Discover Black Heritage, News 25’s Janae Jordan will introduce you to Stone High’s first black head football coach who is inspiring students on and off the field.

In 2016, Stone High School Head Football Coach John Feaster stepped up to the plate and not only changed the dynamic of the Tomcats football program, but also made history, becoming the first African-American head football coach at Stone…

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Ocean Springs High Cross Country’s Addison Rainey wins Gatorade Player of the Year

98 views – Jeff Haeger – 2023-02-02 21:57:21

The Gatorade Mississippi Girls Cross County Player of the Year Award is staying on the Gulf Coast.

Today, Sophomore Standout Addison Rainey took home the honors following the four-year of former 25 Student Athlete of the Week Brooklyn Biancamano.

This season, the 5’4” speedster racing her way to the 6A individual championship with a 5K time of 19 minutes 10 seconds.

Her efforts also lead the Greyhounds to the state crown as a team and she maintains a 4.26 weighted GPA in the classroom.

Not too shabby for someone that just picked up the…

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Hundreds of thousands of dollars unaccounted, questionable in McDaniel’s campaign report


Hundreds of thousands of dollars unaccounted, questionable in McDaniel’s campaign report

Sen. Chris McDaniel’s first financial reports for his lieutenant governor campaign and a political action committee he runs leave voters in the dark about where hundreds of thousands of dollars came from and raise questions about whether some donations violated campaign finance law.

McDaniel’s PAC reported it raised nearly $474,000 before it was officially created, failed to list the source of that money, and accepted $237,500 from what’s been described as a “dark money” nonprofit corporation that dumps millions of anonymously sourced funds into campaigns nationwide.

McDaniel’s opponent, incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, on Thursday called for McDaniel, who in the past has called for campaign finance reform and transparency, to “practice transparency as he preaches and release his PAC donor list today.”

“My opponent’s PAC failed to disclose from whom he received more than $473,000,” Hosemann said. “He did disclose that he raised $237,500 from a Washington nonprofit corporation.”

McDaniel this week, the day after announcing his Republican primary against Hosemann, reported having raised $710,000 last year and having $713,000 cash on hand for his 2023 campaign.

McDaniel’s largest donor to his campaign was the PAC he created in June 2022 called Hold the Line. It contributed $465,000 to McDaniel’s campaign.

McDaniel and Dan Carr, a pastor and political consultant from , filed paperwork with the secretary of ’s office in June of 2022 creating the Hold the Line PAC. PACs are required to file organization papers with the secretary of state within 48 hours after they raise or spend more than $200.

Candidates and PACs were required by Tuesday to file their annual finance reports showing donations and expenditures from calendar year 2022.

But despite having been created only in June of 2022, McDaniel’s PAC in the report it filed this week showed a prior year’s balance of $473,962.38. There was no accounting of where this money came from nor an explanation of how the PAC raised money before it was created.

Hold the Line reported that it then raised $244,310 for 2022, and that its largest contribution was $237,500 in August from a nonprofit called American Exceptionalism Institute. The PAC report showed no contributions to account for the nearly $474,000 balance for the prior period.

American Exceptionalism Institute, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit corporation that says its mission is educating people about national security, the protection of life and tax and spending issues. It’s been described as a “dark money” nonprofit that dumps millions in anonymously sourced funds into campaigns nationwide, often through other nonprofits or PACs.

Mississippi limits corporate donations — including those from nonprofit corporations such as AEI — to candidates or PACs that donate to candidates to $1,000 per calendar year. Individuals, limited liability corporations and PACs can give unlimited contributions to Mississippi candidates.

Speaking generally about campaign laws and not McDaniel’s reports, Secretary of State Michael Watson said on Thursday his office has frequently fielded questions like, “Can you give corporate money to a PAC, and that PAC turn around and give the money to a candidate?”

Citing a 1990s state ’s opinion, Watson said, “I think that would be a violation in my mind,” if a corporation gave more than $1,000 to a PAC, then the PAC gave more than $1,000 to a candidate. He said using a PAC simply to dodge corporation donation limits would possibly be a criminal violation. He said most such enforcement would be up to the attorney general’s office or local district attorneys.

McDaniel on Thursday told Mississippi Today he knows scant details about the finances of his PAC or his campaign.

“I can’t even write a check out of my account,” McDaniel said. “That’s just for safety reasons and so no one can ever question anything.”

McDaniel deferred any questions about Hold the Line PAC finances to Carr. Reached by phone on Thursday, Carr gave confusing answers.

“We registered (the PAC) in June, then some money came in in August, then we filed a report January 1. Correct, January 31. I’ll have to get back with you on that (the prior balance of $474,000). We had a clerical error,” Carr told Mississippi Today.

Carr said the report “clearly states” where the prior balance came from. But when challenged that the report does not list where the $474,000 came from, and asked for details of the clerical error, Carr referred further questions about the PAC to a man named Datwyler. Carr said Datwyler “filled out the report for me,” despite Carr’s electronic signature being on the PAC report filed to the secretary of state.

McDaniel also deferred questions about his campaign account to Datwyler, despite McDaniel’s signature being on the report and another person listed as the contact.

No one answered calls or responded to a message left at the number Carr gave for Datwyler.

A Thomas Datwyler, a national Republican operative and campaign finance consultant, has recently been in the . After U.S. Sen. George Santos’ campaign treasurer resigned amid the candidate’s campaign finance problems, Santos said Datwyler would be taking over as treasurer. Datwyler’s attorney countered that he told Santos he would not be taking the post.

Also this week, Carr sent out an email fundraising solicitation for McDaniel titled “I AM ALL IN.” It is a letter from McDaniel asking voters to click links to donate $25, $50 or $100 to help him in his race for lieutenant governor. The solicitation, sent from, says it is “paid for by Committee to Elect Chris McDaniel.”

But no such committee has been registered with the Mississippi secretary of state’s office.

Besides his PAC, McDaniel is one of the largest donors to his own campaign, having contributed $53,000.

Hosemann this week reported having raised $1.33 million for the period, and having $3.5 million in his campaign account.

This article first on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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Lawmakers want to keep citations of medical marijuana businesses secret


Lawmakers want to keep citations of medical marijuana businesses secret

An amendment to Mississippi’s medical act passed by the House would keep reports of marijuana businesses breaking regulations from the public — but the health department has already put a freeze on releasing those documents before any changes to the law have been made.

filed a public records request seeking copies of reports regarding three cultivators that have been cited by the Department of Health’s cannabis program last week. One of the cultivators faced having massive amounts of his cannabis destroyed in penalties.

Department of Health spokesperson Liz Sharlot responded to Mississippi Today’s request saying the agency is “withholding all documents in our ongoing investigative files” pending a decision from the ’s Ethics Commission on “certain exemptions.”

Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Hood, however, said his office currently has no complaint open regarding whether investigation reports and other related materials from the medical cannabis office are subject to public record laws under the current cannabis act.

Mississippi Today asked the Department of Health what language in the current cannabis bill pointed to possible exemptions. The agency did not immediately respond Thursday.

Mississippi Today had already received citation records regarding Mockingbird Cannabis through a public records request in the fall. A Jackson-based blog – Jackson Jambalaya – posted a copy of records it obtained from the health department in December showing cultivator Southern Sky faced the possibility of having to destroy upwards of $700,000 in marijuana plants for not tagging them properly.

Mississippi Today was denied copies of that same report; a copy of the corrective action plan made with Mockingbird; and the citations made against a third cultivator.

Rep. Lee Yancey’s proposed amendments to the cannabis act were passed in the House on Wednesday. Among his suggested tweaks was explicit language to keep investigative reports in-house at the health department.

“Any investigation, fine, suspension or revocation by a licensing agency shall be considered confidential” and exempt from the state’s public record laws, the amendment says.

Yancey did not return a request for comment.

The decision to keep these reports out of the public eye is at odds with what the Board of Health’s own program committee recently recommended. Head of the committee, Jim Perry, said he hoped the program would post enforcement actions it has taken to its website during a meeting on Jan. 26.

“Other regulatory agencies … they post online when there is an enforcement action,” Perry said at the meeting. “As much as we can, we should err on the side of transparency… because it will tell people what they can learn from the lessons of others.”

Perry said it could help ease the onslaught of questions the health department is regularly receiving related to interpreting regulations.

“I think that if there is a corrective action plan, it should be out there,” Perry said.

A recent Mississippi Today investigation found that the cannabis office is still dealing with a massive backlog in applications and regularly takes weeks to answer questions. Cultivators told Mississippi Today that the type of structures being approved by the health department to grow marijuana were not being consistently regulated.

Perry said posting the actions the agency takes to correct businesses in the program would also show that it is treating everyone fairly.

The Senate must pass the cannabis act amendments before the bill is sent to the governor to be signed.

This article first on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Forget the per capita, Mississippi will have most Super Bowl players


Forget the per capita, Mississippi will have most Super Bowl players

You probably knew Mississippi produces more NFL players per capita than any other . It has been that way for a long time.

What you might not have known is this: Mississippi will have more natives playing in the 2023 Super Bowl than any other state. And, as you may notice, there’s no mention of per capita there. The Magnolia State will have more players in the game than any other state. Period.

Eight native-born dot the rosters of the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, who will play Feb. 12 in Glendale, Ariz.

Texas, Georgia and Ohio all tie for second in representation in this year’s Super Bowl with seven players each. The figures were provided by, citing

What you should know about all that is this: Texas has a population of just under 30 million. Georgia and Ohio have populations of more than 11 million. Mississippi’s population is just under 3 million.

Florida, with a population of more than 22 million, has six players in the Super Bowl. The nation’s most populous state, California (over 40 million population) is next with five.

Mississippians who play for the Philadelphia Eagles include All Pro defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and running back Kenneth Gainwell, both of Yazoo City; quarterback Gardner Minshew of Brandon; wide receiver A.J. Brown of Starkville and linebacker Nakobe Dean of Horn Lake.

Mississippians who play for Kansas City include All Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones of Houston, Willie Gay of Starkville and linebacker Darius Harris of Horn Lake.

Amazingly, the towns of Horn Lake (population 28,000), Yazoo City (10,000) and Starkville (24,500) all boast two players each on football’s biggest stage.

All will follow in the footsteps of so many small-town Mississippians who have made their marks in the Super Bowl, including the likes of Jerry Rice, Walter Payton, Brett Favre, Lance Alworth, L.C. Greenwood, Kent Hull, Sammy Winder and so many more.

In addition, the Eagles’ Cameron Tom (Southern Miss by way of Baton Rouge), Quez Watkins (Southern Miss by way of Athens, Ala.) and Darius Slay (Mississippi State by way of Brunswick, Ga.) played college football in Mississippi.

This article first on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Who’s running for Mississippi statewide offices in 2023


Who’s running for Mississippi statewide offices in 2023

Democratic candidates have filed paperwork to challenge Republican incumbents for all eight statewide offices.

The deadline to qualify to for office in the November 2023 elections was Feb. 1. Democrats, who have suffered an ongoing string of elections losses in Mississippi, have candidates to challenge all eight Republican statewide office incumbents.

But whether the Democratic candidates, who are mostly unknown statewide, can garner the voter support and financial resources needed to run competitive campaigns remains to be seen.

Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley of Nettleton announced last month that he would challenge incumbent Gov. Tate Reeves. Pundits believe Presley is the favorite to win the Democratic primary in August and advance to the November general election. But Presley will first have to defeat Democratic primary challengers Bob Hickingbottom and Gregory Wash, both of Jackson.

Reeves is being challenged in the Republican primary by John Witcher and David Grady Hardigree. Independent Gray Gwendolyn also will be on the November general election ballot for governor.

Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville already has announced he is challenging incumbent Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann in the Republican primary. Also entering the primary will be Tiffany Longino and Shane Quick.

D. Ryan Grover of Hattiesburg has qualified to run for lieutenant governor as a Democrat.

For , Jackson attorney Greta Martin will challenge Republican incumbent Lynn Fitch.

In other races:

  • Secretary of state: Democrat Shuwaski Young will challenge Republican incumbent Michael Watson.
  • Treasurer: Democrat Addie Green will challenge Republican incumbent David McRae.
  • Auditor: Democrat Larry Bradford will challenge Republican incumbent Shad White.
  • Insurance commissioner: Democrat Bruce Burton and Republican Mitch Young are both vying against Republican incumbent Mike Chaney.
  • Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce: Four Democrats — Terry Rogers ll, Bradford Hill, Robert Briggs and Bethany Hill — will compete for the right to face Republican incumbent Andy Gipson in the November general election.

Democrat De’Keither Stamps will square off in the second consecutive election with Republican incumbent Brent Bailey for the Central District Public Service Commission post. Bailey defeated Stamps, now a state House member, in 2019 in a closely contested election.

Three Republicans but no Democrats are running to replace Presley for the Northern District Public Service Commissioner: Mandy Ganasekara, Tanner Newman and Chris Brown.

Incumbent Southern District Public Service Commissioner Dane Maxwell will face Nelson Wayne Carr in the Republican primary.

For the open seat of Southern District Transportation commissioner, Republican state Rep. Charlies Busby will face independent Steven Brian Griffin in November.

And Democratic Central District Commissioner Willie Simmons will face Republican Rickey Pennington Jr.

This article first on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Former UM chancellor: Gov. Tate Reeves privately acknowledged Medicaid expansion benefits


Former UM chancellor: Gov. Tate Reeves privately acknowledged Medicaid expansion benefits

Former University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones said that Gov. Tate Reeves told him in 2015 meeting that he understood how expansion would benefit the but couldn’t agree to champion it for political reasons.

Jones, who led the state’s largest hospital before he served as chancellor from 2009-2015, divulged details of the 2015 meeting during a Thursday press conference with Democratic legislative leaders about the Republican leadership’s inaction on addressing the state’s hospital crisis.

“A little while after I began explaining the benefits of Medicaid expansion, he (Reeves) put his hand up and said, ‘Chancellor, I recognize it would be good for , good for our , good for if we expanded Medicaid,'” Jones recalled. “I had a big smile on my face and said, ‘I’m so glad to hear you’re going to support expansion.’ His response, ‘Oh no, I’m not going to support it because it’s not in my personal political interest.'”

The revelation about Reeves’ closed-door expression to Jones directly counters the governor’s long-held public stances. Reeves, who previously spent eight years as lieutenant governor and leader of the state Senate, has defiantly opposed Medicaid expansion for more than a decade.

Even earlier this week, the governor tripled down on his opposition to expansion in a speech.

“Don’t simply cave under the pressure of Democrats and their allies in the media who are pushing for the expansion of Obamacare, welfare, and socialized medicine,” Reeves said during his annual State of the State address on Monday. “You have my word that if you stand up to the left’s push for endless government- , I will stand with you.”

Reeves’ office did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment on Jones’ charge.

Lawmakers, working in Jackson until early April, face growing pressure to address the state’s worsening hospital crisis. State Health Officer Dr. Daniel Edney warned them in December that 38 hospitals across the state are in danger of closing in the short-term because of budget concerns. Meanwhile, Mississippi has the highest percentage of uninsured residents who cannot afford health care, so hospitals often have to cover those care costs themselves.

READ MORE:‘What’s your plan, watch Rome burn?’: Politicians continue to reject solution to growing hospital crisis

One hospital funding solution that 39 other states — including many Republican-led states — have implemented is Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Economists estimate Mississippi would receive more than $1 billion per year in new revenue, and hospitals would benefit directly.

Meanwhile, public sentiment for Medicaid expansion is growing. A Mississippi Today/Siena College poll conducted in early January 2023 found that 80% of Mississippians, including 70% of Republicans, support expansion.

READ MORE:Poll: 80% of Mississippians favor Medicaid expansion

Despite the growing popularity of the measure, Republicans who run state government have not budged. More than 15 different bills that would have expanded Medicaid — all filed by Democrats in early 2023 — died in committee earlier this week without receiving a vote or even a debate by Republican committee chairs.

Speaker of the House Philip Gunn has been in lockstep with Reeves in his opposition of expansion, and Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, who has said in the past he is open to some version of expansion, has not made the issue a priority this session.

“The governor and the party he leads have deflected, distracted, and attempted to discredit the merits of programs that have made real, positive impacts on health outcomes in other states that have adopted them — some, even, just as red as Mississippi,” Rep. Robert Johnson, the Democratic House leader, said at the press conference on Thursday. “They’ve downplayed the severity of the crisis, not only diminishing just how dangerous the lack of access to care is becoming across our state, but ignoring the economic damage closing hospitals will cause in communities.”

In 2010, Congress adopted President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid program that allowed states to opt into to draw down large amounts of federal funding to provide health coverage for mostly poor, working people.

One year later, then-state Treasurer Tate Reeves ran for his first term as lieutenant governor, and in 2015 ran for a second term. That is when, Jones said, the meeting with Reeves occurred at the chancellor’s office in the Lyceum administrative building.

In that 2015 meeting, Jones said he pointed out to Reeves that he had the opportunity as the state’s Senate leader to champion Medicaid expansion to help hospitals and help poor, working people afford health coverage.

Jones, during the press conference on Thursday, shared three imperatives to expand Medicaid: a moral one, an economic one, and a political one.

“Shame on us, shame on us, for allowing the citizens of Mississippi to have health care problems and not have access to health care solutions … it is immoral,” Jones said. “… It’s time for us to put the pressure on leaders of our state to move past the personal political interests and consider the interests of every Mississippian who needs access to health care.”

READ MORE:Mississippi leaving more than $1 billion per year on table by rejecting Medicaid expansion

This article first on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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CBS 2 News This Morning Boise 2/2/23


2023-02-02 11:47:26, 1675360046

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On this day in 1955


On this day in 1955


FEBRUARY 2, 1955

U.S. Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr.

Less than a year after the desegregated , U.S. Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. rose on the House floor.

A Baptist preacher in Harlem, he was one of only three Black Americans in Congress. Since getting elected to Congress a decade earlier, he had introduced many bills.

None had passed.

After introducing legislation to desegregate the armed forces, then-President Harry Truman wound up doing it through an executive order. As Powell stepped to the microphone, he chastised Congress for failing to make a difference.

He and others had introduced civil rights bills, “pleading, praying that you good ladies and gentlemen would give to this body the glory of dynamic leadership that it should have, but you have failed, and history has recorded it,” he said. “This is an hour for boldness. This is an hour when a world waits breathlessly, expectantly, almost hungrily for this Congress, the 84th Congress, through legislation to give some semblance of democracy in action. … We are derelict in our duty if we continue to plow looking backward.”

He noted that when a House committee was considering legislation to end segregation in interstate travel, Lt. Williams was arrested and jailed, even though the Supreme Court had told bus carriers to end such segregation.

“About two weeks ago, while flying a jet plane, he was killed serving his country before he had a chance to see democracy come to pass,” Powell said.

Although his push for legislation failed, his words helped inspire change. The civil rights rider he introduced eventually became part of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964, which helped change America.

This article first on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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