Looks like someone wants to do some commercial development in Reunion. Check out the proposed zoning change posted below.
Click Here to Read More..
It's been real, it's been nice, but homey don't play no conflict of interest. Attorney Dale Danks withdrew as counsel for Charles Graham, brother of Hinds County Supervisor Robert Graham. Mr. Graham sued Hinds County in February after losing his job as Hinds County Emergency Operations Center Deputy Director. Mr. Danks filed the motion on June 17, 2011 and cited a "conflict of interest". U.S.Magistrate Judge Linda Anderson granted the motion on June 22 and gave Mr. Graham until August 1, 2011 to obtain new counsel or represent himself.
Mr. Graham filed suit after Hinds EOC Director fired him this year. Mr. Graham alleged wrongful termination and age discrimation. He further accused Mr. Lewis of being drunk on the job and asking him to "falsify siren reports." Mr. Danks represented Mr. Graham. Where is the conflict of interest?
Well, Mr. Graham was hired to replace Ricky Moore, who resigned after being employed twenty years at the Hinds EOC. Mr. Moore, who is white, sued Hinds County for racial discrimination after the county refused to hire him as the EOC Director, and instead hired Jimmie Lewis, who had no experience in emergency operations or similar tasks, but did possess a Master's degree in physical education and just happens to be black. Mr. Moore resigned after Hinds County hired Mr. Lewis. Mr. Danks is his attorney as well in the lawsuit.
The possible conflict comes in the fact the State Auditor reported in a press release on May 26:
"During the investigation, the State Auditor’s Office also received allegations that Supervisor Robert Graham used his position to influence Jimmy Lewis, director of emergency operations for Hinds County, to hire his brother Charles Graham for the assistant director with the emergency operations center for Hinds County. This issue was investigated, and it was determined that the Auditor’s Office did not have jurisdiction over this matter; however, the State Auditor provided a copy of the telephone recording of this conversation to the proper authority for review and possible action."
If indeed Mr. Graham was using his influence to hire his brother, then Mr. Danks might face a possible conflict of interest and did the correct thing in withdrawing as attorney for Charles Graham.
The Help author Kathryn Stockett filed a reply in support of motion for summary judgment on May 11 in Hinds County Circuit Court. A hearing is set for August 16 in Judge Tomie Green's courtroom at 9:00 AM. Ablene Cooper filed suit against Kathryn Stockett, the author of The Help, for $75,000 in damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, in Hinds County Circuit Court on February 11. Ms. Cooper worked as a maid in the home of Ms. Stockett's brother and also "served as a babysitter" for his child.
Ms. Cooper alleges she asked Ms. Stockett not to use her "name and likeness" in the novel and Ms. Stockett refused. Ms. Cooper claims "It has been emotionally upsetting and highly offensive to Ablene to be falsely portrayed in 'The Help' as an African-American maid in Jackson, Mississippi who uses this kind of language and compares her skin color to a cockroach" and that her "portrayal of Ablene in such a false light is highly offensive to a reasonable person." Ms. Cooper also states Ms. Stockett still refuses to acknowledge her misappropriation of Ms. Cooper's identity and treatment of her as well.
Ms. Stockett filed a motion for summary judgment on April 14, 2011. Ms. Stockett argued most, if not all, of Ms. Cooper's claims are barred by the statute of limitations. Ms. Cooper filed her lawsuit two years after publication of The Help. Ms. Stockett argues the torts of invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress are subject to a statute of limitations period of one year. Ms. Stockett also claims the novel is not about Ms. Cooper but "is about a matter of public concern", race relations. Ms. Stockett opines to the court there is no way anyone could mistake the Abilene character for the real-life Ablene. She states "the first names are spelled differently", "the last names are different", and the character would be 102 years old today and thus no one would mistake a 102 year old lady for a middle-aged woman. Ms. Stockett also trots out the expected free speech arguments, again arguing the book is about a matter of "public concern" and is entitled to "special protection" under the first amendment. Ms. Stockett is represented by Fred Banks, a highly-esteemed lawyer who was the second black Justice on the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Ms. Cooper responded with an answer to Ms. Stockett's motion filed on April 27. She claimed Ms. Stockett "fraudulently induced" her to "believe The Help was no big deal and the book was rejected no less than sixty times. The response includes a quotes from an 2009 interview (last page of documents posted below) with the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
"When I was writing this book I never thought anyone else would read it, so I didn't get real creative with the names. I just used people I knew. Some of them aren't talking to me right now, but I feel like they'll come around...."
"I was terrified when I realized it was going to be published."
Needless to say, Ms. Cooper uses this statements to argue Ms. Stockett was terrified because she allegedly misappropriated identities and would be found out after publication. The rest of the response merely restates the alleged injuries and damages outlined in the complaint and Ms. Cooper's affidavit (The two documents are included in the linked posts below.).
The catfight continues as in Ms. Stockett's reply to Ms. Cooper's reply to her reply to Ms. Cooper's lawsuit (sorry, could not resist). The new filing argues Ms. Cooper "does not dispute the material facts" - one of them being the book was published before February 10, 2009. Ms. Stockett uses that date to argue the statute of limitations of one year had expired, thus depriving Ms. Cooper of her ability to sue. Ms. Stockett claims Ms. Cooper was put on notice when the author sent her a free copy of the book and said she told Ms. Cooper "her favorite character in the book was an African-American child-carer names Abileen who was born in 1911" and the character was based on Demetrie McLorn. Ms. Stockett states no concealment occurred and there was no "plan" to keep the plaintiff in the "dark about the contents of the novel." Indeed, Ms. Stockett calls Aibileen the heroine of the novel and one who is not demeaned in anyway by her portrayal.
NY Times has new facts about Help lawsuit
Author of The Help fires back
Help Author was terrified and not real creative with names
The Jackson Free Press decided to publish a story on Hinds County Supervisor Robert Graham. Read the story and count how many ways they whitewashed Mr. Graham and his actions on the board. Better yet, read this one as you'd never know from reading the story any of the crap Hinds County pulled in approving a redistricting plan. I'll give you a clue: Mr. Graham can't understand why everyone is picking on him and it's all the fault of the evil Republicans.
we'll just borrow $6 million from next year's property taxes.
The CPA firm BKD recently submitted to Hinds County the audited financial statements and special reports for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010. The report states the County suffered a deficit of $5.1 million dollars in total government funds ($2.1 million in the general fund.) as it received $84,067,348 in revenue and spent $89,177,022. However, the county borrowed $6 million against the property taxes collected in January and February 2011 (See tax anticipation notes on page 10.). The county typically borrows against the property taxes and other funds to erase the deficit and then repays the loans in by April 1 as property taxes are collected.
Several items worth noting:
1. Debt service is $9.3 million (page 9). Principal is $6.5 million, interest is $2.8 million.
2. $52 million was collected in property taxes.
3. Hinds spent $33.4 million on public safety.
4. The county borrowed $6 million in tax anticipation notes in November 2009 to be repaid by April 1, 2010. The county had an option to extend repayment period to April 1, 2011. The report states "The county exercised the extended option." (p.27)
5. 2006 Interest rate swap had fair market value of -$1.4 million
6. 2007 Interest rate swap had fair market value of -$2.1 million (p.32. It must be pointed out these two liabilities are on paper and have not been realized.)
7. Hinds pays $50,000 to CMPDD.
8. Hinds paid $3.5 million to PERS.
9. Hinds presented no management response.
Its time for our Vann Leonard update. Mr. Leonard still resides in the Rankin County Jail per orders of Judge Grant as he still has not provided the Rankin County Chancellor with an accounting of the Downing estate or $111,000 he took from the estate. Madison County Chancellor Cynthia Brewer ordered the Mississippi Bar on July 6, 2011 to in effect take over Mr. Leonard's law practice.
The court ordered Larry Houchins, Executive Director of the Mississippi Bar, to take possession of all the client files of Mr. Leonard until a receiver could be appointed. The court also ordered Mr. Leonard's wife to give all files in her possession to the bar as well. A list of clients is included in the order posted below.
The sentencing of convicted fraudsters Charles and Chris Evans is postponed. A notice issued by Judge Jordan, III states "Set/Reset Hearings as to Charles H. Evans, Jr, Jon Christopher Evans: Sentencing reset for August 30, 2011 at 1:00 PM in Courtroom 5A (Jackson) before District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III."
Olga's will have a wine-tasting on Thursday, June 30, at 6:30 PM. The cost is $45 per person. Spend an evening with Nils Venge, Owner/Winemaker of California’s Saddleback Cellars & Envy Wines
5 wines & Tasty Samples of Olga’s Fine Dining will be offered. The featured wines are: Saddleback Pinot Grigio, Envy Sauvignon Blanc, Saddleback Chardonnay, Saddleback Merlot, Saddleback Cabernet Sauvignon
A portion of the event’s proceeds will go to the MS Restaurant Association Education Foundation, benefitting high school culinary arts programs across MS, a 501c3 organization. Email reservations to email@example.com.
Home burglaries in Northeast Jackson shot up 60% since 2009 according to crime reports provided by Jackson. The latest major major crimes overview report (posted below) states 380 house burglaries have occurred in Precinct 4 this year. There were 290 house burglaries a year ago - an increase of 31%. However, the crime report for June 19, 2009 (posted below and obtained through a public records request.) states there were 237 house burglaries- an increase of 60%.
The reports for the previous 28 days each year fare no better: 63 this year, 60 in 2010, and 40 in 2009 - an increase of 50% in two years. Precinct 4 saw the sharpest increase in house burglaries as overall burglaries for the city increased YTD 14.8% since last year and 28% since 2009. There is no doubt Precinct 4 led the way as the increase from 2010 to 2011 for Precinct 1 was 4.1%, 15.8% for Precinct 2, and 20.2% for Precinct 3.
There is some good news in the crime reports. Violent crime decreased in Precinct 4. There were 108 violent crimes committed in Precinct 4 in 2011 and 152 such crimes in 2010- a decrease of 29%. However, there were 94 violent crimes in 2009 and 228 in 2008 - an increase of 14% since 2009. However, there is one disturbing trend: rapes have sharply increased. Rape increased 183% as 17 rapes took place this year in Precint 4 after only 6 occurred in 2010. There were 9 in 2009 (88% increase). and 7 in 2008. Homicides are down 75% as there has been only one in Precinct 4 this year and four last year.
Editorial section: That was the news, now for the editorial opinion. While JPD reports crime is down in Jackson, a certain editor at the Jackson Free Press has a few things to say about fearing crime:
OK, folks, let's get remedial here. The FBI releases numbers this year about 2010. They're always half a year behind, as I understand it. The story above is about crime this year (2011) over, or under, last year (2010).
Explain to me how this is a "discrepancy." It kills me when people don't think little details like *years* and dates matter. This is how Wilson Carroll made a fool out of himself when he ran against Faye Peterson years back, waving around so-called "rankings" based on old FBI crime numbers from before she held the position. I simply know that my fellow Mississippians can be smarter than this and actually pay attention to facts. I believe it. Please prove me right. posted by DonnaLadd on 05/25/11 at 04:08 PM
Well Miss Ladd, we are using facts here, facts straight from JPD's own crime reports. Not some ranking by an outside group, not old stats from the FBI, not a spin job by some campaign, but the facts as reported by JPD. Here's a good one from May 11:
"A huge problem with these "dangerous" and "violent" rankings (often used to sell books or increase TV news ratings) is that they take into accounts crimes that are not actually dangerous or violent. You just linked to something that is mixing up violent and property crimes, including those where a person is nowhere to be seen in order to be put in danger or at risk of violence.
The truth is that people are at much higher risk of danger, of being physically harmed, by commuting in and out of Jackson every day, especially now that fools text and check email while driving.
In Jackson, if you're not involved in the illicit drug trade in any way (including all those "good" white folks who go looking for drug dealers to buy their weekend entertainment), you're at very low risk of being harmed in a criminal incident. *That* is fact. Words matter. Images matter. Insults matter. Facts matter. Truth matters.
posted by DonnaLadd on 05/11/11 at 10:06 AM
No comment necessary. Continued:
"In order to overdose on crime (because they think that will save their media outlets), too many papers and broadcasters ignore positive news (certainly seldom lead with it) and barely do any in-depth contextual and investigative reporting. Our first priority is not to be yet another bad newspaper obsessing about crime. And we wouldn't still be here had we tried to out-sensationalize the Ledger. posted by DonnaLadd on 05/13/11 at 10:29 AM"
Yes, ignoring burglaries going up 60% in two years in NE Jackson is certainly "positive news". Ignoring streets suffering multiple burglaries in the last few months is whats needed. Here is my favorite:
"What's remarkable to me about the so-called discussion that The Clarion-Ledger's simplistic reporting caused is that it has taken on the tone that black people (thugs and people not doing enough to stop them) are running the poor white people (and some middle-class blacks, too) out of the city. Meantime, the people fleeing are not being held accountable; they are the poor victims of the horrible (black) leadership.
I'm sorry, but this is a first-grade, and very disturbing, interpretation of the Jackson metro's dynamic, even if it does play into some folks' small-minded agendas. posted by DonnaLadd on 02/25/11 at 12:30 PM"
Yup, get robbed several times or like Rebekah Hixon's grandfather, get beaten in your front yard and nothing gets better, you are the problem, not the criminals, if you move to a safer environment. Property crimes are real crimes. They are more than just taking someone's "stuff" he worked hard to buy. "Property crimes" are about living in fear, worrying whether your children are in danger, explaining to your child why she should not be afraid in her own home. Funny how such child advocates never seem to get that point. If your car is stolen,well, you are supposed to be thankful you weren't killed or raped. Pointing out NE Jackson has a burglary problem is no "sensationalism" or trying to get ratings but is intended to show there is a crime problem so residents can better protect themselves and put pressure on its leaders to do something.
There is a crime problem in Northeast Jackson and something needs to be done about it. It is true violent crime has decreased but what that means is the thugs have gotten smart. Just as stockbrokers like the highest rate of return for the least amount of risk, so do criminals. Its much safer to rob an empty house than mug someone who might shoot his mugger. It is no secret Precinct 4 has the highest property values in Jackson. Bragging about 5% or 15% drops in crime mean nothing to those living in fear because there were four burglaries on their block in one week. The truth is Northeast Jackson does have a crime problem and the question is what will the city do about it.
Time to pour some more gas on the fire that is the race for Justice Court Judge in Rankin County.
Here are the other news stories on Charles Lindsay's criminal prosecution in Rankin County back in 2005. Not making any comment, just read them for yourself.
Marsha Weems Stacey is having a "Meet & Greet" event at the Jackson Yacht Club Wednesday night at 5:30 PM. Marsha is a candidate for Justice Court District 1 in Madison County. You don't have to bring your checkbook, just yourself as it is not a fund-raiser.
Either it must be 1979 and legislators are still serving on boards and commissions or someone parked where he was not supposed to at the Beau Rivage. Sorry Billy, I like ya, may vote for ya, but this one was just too good to pass up. Besides, if I pick on a black liberal like Ed Blackmon for parking in handicapped parking spots I have to pick on white conservatives too. ;-)
I'm having some fun with the Hewes campaign but here is what happened. Mr. Hewes was at an event, had an aide bring the truck up to that spot after they got permission from the casino.
Great letter in the Wall Street Journal last week. Former Clinton Labor Secretary and Obama adviser wrote a column in the newspaper advocating much higher tax rates and saying 70% income tax rates weren't so bad. Well, a CPA from Maryland set him straight in a letter to the editor on a few things. Its become a mantra among liberals that the American economy did just fine when the top income tax rates were at 70% or more. Royal Dellinger, CPA writes:
"In his rebuttal (Letters, June 18) to Alan Reynolds's June 16 op-ed "Why 70% Tax Rates Won't Work," Robert Reich claims that Mr. Reynolds "distorts my proposal and ignores my argument." And, well he should, because it's impossible to address Mr. Reich's "proposal" because it is not based on historical fact and misrepresents today's reality.
For many of the glory years Mr. Reich celebrates, when tax rates ranged from 70% to 91%, there was no Alternative Minimum Tax and no limit on nearly all deductible expenses including the "three martini lunch." Consequently "tax shelters" were ubiquitous and used by even the least significant investor. Taxes paid, and even prepaid to state and local governments, were fully deductible along with installment interest on credit cards, personal borrowing and more, including nearly all medical expenses. Even when the AMT was introduced, it only captured a handful of the highest income producers. Today, the AMT has become so oppressive that each year Congress exempts millions of middle-class wage-earning taxpayers from its clutches. It does, however, capture vast sums from the evil "millionaires and billionaires" the left so despises—except when they fund left-wing fantasies.
Very simply, the effective tax rates when marginal rates were stratospheric were not dramatically higher than today.
Mr. Reich proposes further tax reduction for those earning less than $100,000. Today about 22% of those making between $50,000 and $75,000 have no federal income tax liability or "negative liability." As many as 9% of households with incomes between $75,000 and $100,000 are similarly exempt. His scheme would exempt much of the middle class, which is a disproportionate user of government, reducing its stake in the governance of America even further and making it more vulnerable to the volatility that has so damaged the economy during the Obama presidency.
Mr. Reich is simply proposing a vast expansion of government's reach into the economy and relies on the premise that high earners aren't paying their "fair share." That is flat out false—they pay the vast majority of the costs of government. Further, his proposal assumes that the earnings of despised "millionaires and billionaires" belongs to our government, which will pay us an allowance after its choices of where to spend are honored and the earners' choices of where not to spend are dismissed. Karl Marx lives.
Royal S. Dellinger, CPA "
Funny. Roger Davis made a better case for Lee Yancey to be Treasurer than his entire campaign has on Majority in Mississippi:
"June 23, 2011 1:18 pm
Lee Yancey has worked with me at Woodridge Capital for the past 3 years. For the record, Lee holds a Series 65 license and is registered as and investment advisor with the appropriate SRO. He could open his own investment advisory company today and, as far as I know, is the only candidate in this race that could lawfully do so. The Series 65 license is earned by months of intense preparation and only after successfully passing a very difficult test that covers every aspect of the public equity and fixed income markets including municipal and taxable bonds. The State Treasurer does not manage money; rather, he/she manages (with the help of a board in the case of PERS) the process by which managers are hired to manage the state’s money. To the extent a short term fixed income portfolio is managed by the office of the treasurer, I feel sure that is done by the very capable and long serving staff.
A CFP (certified financial planner) designation hardly qualifies someone to manage money. I’ve been in this business for almost 20 years and never considered it.
As to the criticism that Lee “is only in sales and marketing”, a CFP amounts to little more than a sales and marketing credential, as it relates to the matter of managing money. It is useful in estate and insurance planning – but not in the business of managing money.
Lee is a conservative candidate with a proven record. He is not just a “conservative republican” candidate; Lee has a deep, fundamental understanding and belief in the principals that under-gird the political philosophy we describe as “conservatism”. It’s all to easy and common today to refer to oneself as a conservative. It’s convenient to mention popular and successful conservatives at every opportunity. But the fact is, true conservatism, when it is most needed, requires a conviction that is intensely personal and cultivated over a lifetime of real world experience. That experience includes things like sales and marketing jobs and 4 years of service in the MS Senate, raising a family for almost 20 years, making and living within a budget…things like that. Real American Conservatism can’t be reduced to sound bites and clever campaign slogans; to the contrary, it is the result of consistently making the difficult decision to choose principals over personality. Lee has demonstrated the ability and willingness to do that in his political career, business career and in his personal life." comment
Should be a campaign ad. However, I'm sure the genius consultants out of Texas who charged $57,000 and the campaign manager who got $20,000 will think otherwise since they've done a wonderful job of promoting their candidate while eating up nearly two-thirds of his campaign funds.
Michael Mace, CEO of CERA Technology and former VP at Palm and Apple, operates the Mobile Opportunity blog, focusing on mobile computing. He dug deep into RIM's financials and has a few things to write about the ongoing collapse of RIM:
"Based on RIM's latest financial report, it looks to me like the company may have fallen into a declining pattern in North America. Sales in the rest of the world seem to be doing better, which is masking the severity of the problem in the US. It's hard to say any of this for sure, because RIM doesn't release all that much detail. But here's what I think I am seeing in the numbers:...
The most disturbing thing about the revenue decline is that it came in the quarter when RIM shipped the PlayBook. That should have increased revenue. The fact that North American revenue dropped anyway means the decline in North American BlackBerry smartphone sales was even worse than it seems. Edit: I did a back-of-the-envelope estimate of the revenue from PlayBook, and BlackBerry smartphone sales in North America must be down by well over 20% year over year.
--Device gross margins are down to 28%, a drop of three points from the quarter before. I suspect this is another sign of the mix shift away from North America -- RIM's sales in the rest of the world tend to be lower-cost units sold to young people, and those devices would have lower margins. It may also mean that RIM has been cutting prices in an unsuccessful effort to prop up sales in North America....."
And makes an interesting observation about RIM's plan to lay off employees and buy back part of its stock:
"The other hit to morale is going to be RIM's announcement that it will buy back up to 5% of its shares. At current market value, that is about $900 million in cash that could have gone into R&D or marketing or price cuts but will instead be used to prop up the stock price. If you're a RIM employee, the combination of layoffs plus stock buyback seems to say that management thinks the stock price is more important than the work you're doing...." Article
If this sort of thing interests you, the article is worth reading. I have a Torch. Love Blackberries as I prefer the keyboard but this Torch is so badly designed I'm ready to smash it and it appears there will be nothing worth getting from RIM for the rest of the year and then some. Watching these two COO's in action makes me start to think they really don't get it. The comments at the end of the post are interesting as well. Enjoy.
Update: June 23, 2014
This guy is in a runoff tomorrow against Gary Windham for Constable in Rankin County. Just reminding you of his past shenanigans.
Original Story from June, 2011:
It seems we have a rat in the woodpile known as the Rankin County Justice Court District 2 election. Former Rankin County Constable Charles Lindsay, Junior is the candidate in question. Why do I write former? Because he was forced to resign after he tried to steal $28,000 from Rankin County.
The Clarion-Ledger reported on January 7, 2005 Mr. Lindsay resigned "after admitting he falsified court documents to obtain $28,000 in county funds." The wayward constable tried to bill the county for serving papers on people he never contacted or arrested. Mr. Lindsay entered a pre-trial diversion program and was placed on probation for five years. Then District Attorney David Clark stated "In order to do this, he had to sign a confession." However, there was one additional verse to this wretched song of public corruption: "Lindsay agreed never to run for public office again."
So the question must be asked: Why is this crook, and I do mean crook, running for office and why hasn't someone challenged his candidacy? He has no business sitting on the bench- period. What's next for him? Ticket-fixing? Judgments awarded to cute little honeys who come before him? Special deals with favorite lawyers? Apparently Mr. Lindsay got his record expunged after his probation expired. However, Mr. Lindsay still agreed not to run for office. Mr. Lindsay should not sit on any bench but one in the jailhouse, not the courthouse.
By the way, does anyone notice how District Attorney Michael Guest has not said a word? Claiborne Frazier, Susan Ridgway, the Evans Brother, Alford, it just keeps on going.
The property records of Hinds, Madison, and Rankin counties do not report Clarion-Ledger publisher Leslie Hurst owns a home in those counties. Maybe she bought one and the transaction has not been recorded at the courthouse. However, she's had the job since December. Not saying anything, just thought it was interesting.
Here is what a Chicago labor lawyer had to say about companies moving to the South in the Wall Street Journal:
"when major firms move South, it is usually a harbinger of quality decline. Over and over as a labor lawyer in the 1980s and '90s, I saw companies move away from Chicago, where the pay was $28 an hour, to some place in South Carolina or Louisiana where the pay was about half that....
Here is yet another American firm seeking to ruin its reputation for quality. Why? To save $14 an hour! Seriously: Is that going to help sell the Dreamliner? In terms of the finished product, the labor cost is minuscule: $14 in hourly wage, at most. It's incredible that conservatives claim such small differences in labor cost would be life or death to Boeing. It's not labor cost but labor skill that is life or death to the survival of Boeing, never mind pilots and passengers.
If the history of runaway shops proves anything, it's that many go "South" in more than one sense of the word. If that sounds unfair to the South, it is union busting that has inflicted the real unfairness in the region: income inequality and inferior schools.
At this moment especially, deep in debt, we cannot afford to let another company like Boeing self-destruct. Boeing is not a product of the free market—it's an extension of the U.S. government. Over the years, our taxpayers have paid to create a Boeing work force with exceptionally high skills. That work force is not just an asset for Boeing—it's an asset for the country. Why should the country let Boeing take it apart?" Column
or in other words, you're all hicks:
Here is an email I came across about Zach Scruggs' efforts to reverse his conviction. It makes some rather penetrating observations about the convict and the trial in Oxford a few weeks ago. It is posted below for your review.
On August 18, 2010, Zach Scruggs filed a motion to overturn his guilty plea. Everywhere the word “bribery” would be, he had substituted the word “earwigging”. Zach’s plea agreement was, “Guilty Plea: The defendant agrees to waive indictment and to plead guilty under oath to a one-count Information, which charges misprision of a felony…” Zach’s 2010 motion states he pled guilty to misprision of a felony “for failing to report Timothy Balducci’s earwigging of Judge Henry Lackey…”
Since that date, several motions have been filed (listed below) and a hearing was held on 5/23/11-5/25/11. After the hearing, the Government filed its motion to dismiss Zach’s petition. Zach filed a reply brief and a memorandum. In his memorandum, he called the US Supreme Court’s decision in Bousley “illegal, incoherent, and unconstitutional.” The Bousley decision by the US Supreme Court is important because that decision states that Zach (or anyone in his position) has to show ‘actual innocence’ in order to have his guilty plea overturned. And that’s ‘actual innocence’ to all the charges in the original indictment against him.
The Government filed a memorandum and response on 6/17. Today, Zach filed another reply “to give Petitioner the final argument.”
One very important thing to note: according to that US Supreme Court decision that required Zach to prove ‘actual innocence’, you would think after filing motions for the last 8 months saying he was innocent, he would have taken the stand during that May hearing. He did not. The hearing lasted 3 days. He never took the stand and claimed, under oath, he was innocent. He never took the stand and subjected himself to questioning from the Government.
Gannett is in the process of laying off 700 employees. The Gannett blog details the carnage. Hattiesburg American won't fill two open positions. No word about the Clarion-Ledger. Monroe paper lost 27 positions. Read more here.
One comment this morning stated "Regarding Jackson, MS four in the newsroom were let go, including the presentation editor, the Metromix editor, a sports copy editor and an online person.
There were also one in circulation, two in finance and one in prepress. There have been mixed reports that there may have been one in IT as well."
Here is a supposed email sent by Publisher Leslie Hurst:
"From Publisher Leslie Hurst at the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss.:
Please review the attached letter from Bob Dickey, president of
Gannett's USCP division. He refers to a reduction in force (RIF) that
will take place at some USCP locations today. Unfortunately, The
Clarion-Ledger Media Group is in the group that will be initiating a
RIF. All of the affected employees will be notified today. It is
important to me that this be done in a short window to minimize anxiety
Please know that the Operating Committee and I feel very deeply the
anxiety and pain this causes the entire workforce, not only those
affected but those who have worked with them side by side. I understand
how incredibly hard this is, and that it affects people's lives and
families. We will do all that we can to help those affected employees,
including offering a transitional pay package.
This has been a challenging year, as you all know. We do, however, have
a strategy to build revenues as we mentioned in our employee meeting a
month ago. We will continue to focus on our 2011 Operational Plan (see
strategic goals posted around the building) and the local controllable
business that we can impact.
We will continue to work our plan to improve revenues and I hope that
all of you will take to heart the strategic objectives of the
organization and work toward that end. We are in this together. I
appreciate everything that each of you does each and every day to make
The Clarion-Ledger Media Group the No. 1 media company in the market.
I hope that after you absorb the information about the RIFs, you will
re-read the strategic objectives and feel good about the direction in
which we are headed. The RIFs are unfortunate, but we must position
ourselves to remain strong and relevant into a long future.
Please know that your colleagues affected today are not being let go for
any performance issue; we must restructure to align our costs with
current revenue trends. I sincerely thank them for their hard work and
dedication. They will be missed.
White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley addressed the National Association of Manufacturers last week. The question and answer session got a little rough on him as he found himself catching spears for the administration. Start watching at 15:00.
I have received some feedback via email about my appearance Friday on the Kent & Larry show on WJNT. Good ole Golden AE, otherwise known as Alvin Edney, sent me this email:
I heard you on Kent and Larry this morning and despite not knowing your politics, I would say that anyone that does not recognize what those two guys are about is suspect. You may be a good guy and out to do good things, but if you have not listened to the inflammatory way that Kent and Larry operate, I would say that you should take some time to listen. If you find nothing wrong in how they operate, then I would say you are of the same ilk and I would have to put you in the same category as they are. I have never seen two guys that complain about others using and talking about race as much as they do while that is all they talk about. They frame every issue in a way that is suppose to have Whites feeling like a Black somewhere is doing them wrong or out to get them. They have absolutely no respect for our President and that alone says alot. Just because someone has a differing opinion on how to do something does not mean they or anyone else has a right to disrespect them. I have listened to them for years and beyond a shadow of a doubt, I know that they cater to racist ideas. Conservatives do not seem to understand that in the US and especially in MS, racism is all around and it is accepted and is the baseline from which we operate. You probably do not believe that. But explain to me how a guy like Rush Limbaugh can become the leader of the Republican Party(for all intents and purposes) with all the inflammatory and racist things he says? I dare you to name a single problem he has helped fix. You can not because he is not about fixing problems, but about keeping up controversy so that he can make more radio money. But lets look at things locally. Tell me where a Black racist would be honored and it would be acceptable and common place in the White community. But in Mississippi, we honor people that were racist toward Blacks because it was the norm and acceptable. Why is it acceptable to name or honor Ross Barnett after all of the racist things he did and said? It is acceptable because Conservatives do not take offense to that sort of thing and to this day, that kind of thinking is common place among Conservatives. If you are unaware of Kent and Larry, lets talk about some of the things they have said. You got the balls to call them on their devisive and racists talk?
Apparently Mr. Edney missed the part where I told Larry both black and white politicians had engaged in some public corruption. I responded to Mr. AE with one quick blurb as I didn't have time or the inclination to respond to his epistle:
"Karl banks and doug anderson are two black racists."
To which he replied:
"They surely may be, I would not know, but you do not fight them by aligning with two White racists. Do you want to know the truth? I ask that of each Conservative I run across and most pretend to say yes. But the truth is, a lot of you do not want to admit who you appeal to. Kent and Larry know who they appeal to, they just will not admit it. Some like you actually have the means to learn the truth, but most often will not accept the challenge. If you do not know the truth or are unwilling to learn it, you will can not help the current situation. The truth is, a lot of Conservatives, Democrat and Republican still hold on to biases and racist views that hinder us from working together, especially in a situation where there is a Black President. Can I prove this? Yes. However, you can not just ask people are they racist because too many are politically correct and will not be honest. But if you ask a question like should Blacks and White marry, have children or would you want you child to marry, date or love a Black person. Those questions get you the truth. Have the nerve to ask a question like that on your blog and you will see more truth than you ever wanted to see. Ask the other blog owners about the number of racist post they have to remove or not allow on their site and you would be surprised. So, that is my challenge to you. Once you see the response to something like that, you will then understand the perspective that all of these Conservative audiences are coming from and you will know that these Conservative talk show host pander to those beliefs.
You should not just talk to people and not know what they think and believe deep down. $100 to the charity of your choice if you take my challenge and the poll comes out favorably toward Conservatives not responding with racism.
To which I did not reply as I had other things to do. Doesn't matter, I got a follow up email today:
I figured you did not want to know the truth. Easy to pretend to hold a position when you do not want to know that it caters to racism.
Well Mr. Golden, I've read your long diatribes against conservatives for years on the Jackson Free Press and Y'all Politics. You made no sense then and as usual, you make no sense now. You are obviously threatened by different viewpoints and are not interested in any dialogue with anyone. If a black person disagrees with you, he hates his own race. If a white person does, he's a racist. I hardly think asking whether blacks and whites should screw each other is evidence of my racism or color-blindness. I haven't responded to you because I am a racist or because you are black, I haven't responded to you because you are an idiot and don't have time to waste on your inability to relate to a world filled with diverse groups and yes, diverse opinions. As usual, you never present any facts or quotes made my anyone, you just take two thousand words to say someone is racist without backing it up.
Here is the video of the regular meetings of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors yesterday. Nothing earthshaking. No drama. The presentation by AMR in the first segment was pretty interesting. The supervisors requested a fee hike for AMR. The ambulance service provider will now offer several new therapies, including hypothermia treatment. Such treatment lowers the risk of permanent brain or heart tissue damage.
A majority of voters in the latest JJ poll think the Pearl River Valley Water & Supply District should not extend developer John Burwell's lease for several tracts around Main Harbor. 65% don't think it should be extended, 18% think it should be, and 9% want to give him an additional year. The board voted to grant the extension last week. The results are below.
Here are the campaign finance reports for Hinds County elections. I only copied the significant ones: Sheriff and Supervisors. What is very interesting is Mac only raised ten thousand dollars more than did Tyrone Lewis. . However, the two candidates are dead even in the cash on hand category: Tyrone -$26,916 and Mac- $25,177. Several candidates for Supervisor did not submit reports at all this year: Doug Anderson, Phil Fisher, and Roger Davis.
The Hinds County Board of Supervisors hired yet another attorney at its meeting on May 16, 2011. The minutes state:
"UPON A motion of Robert Graham and a second by Douglas Anderson, Peggy Hobson Calhoun voting aye, Phil Fisher absent not voting, George Smith voting aye, it was RESOLVED to approve contracting with Attorney Dana Price to assist the Board Attorney per the allotment in the FY 2011 budget, effective today."
Board attorney is overwhelmed. Got it. Understand. However, anyone want to guess where Ms. Price clerked? Here is what her Linkd profile says:
Shares of RIM were pummeled 21% today after falling 15% yesterday. The Wall Street Journal discusses in this video the problems and future of RIM.
Universal Press Syndicate
Apr 24, 2017
King Features Syndicate
Apr 23, 2017
Apr 22, 2017
John R. Rose
Byrd Newspapers of Virginia
Apr 21, 2017