Thursday, July 31, 2008

Robbie Bell files Answer to Wrongful Death Action

Update: Props to Lotus who found this in the answer:
"Have any of y’all read this puppy yet? Woulda been good (though less amusing) for Maison Heidelberg to have done so before he filed it. On page 8, under the heading “Seventh Defense,” these copy-and-paste gems:
… (4) the jury is not expressly prohibited from awarding punitive damages, or determining the amount of an award of punitive damages, in whole or in part on the basis of this Defendant’s status as a large foreign corporation; … (9) Plaintiffs claims would impose an undue burden on interstate commerce;
…"

Ms. Francomb is a "large foreign corporation"? Slapped together an answer and didn't read what we wrote, did we? I can see the ad now: "Maison Heidelberg, Attorney at law. Heidelberg, a name you know, sloppiness you can count on."

Of course, one thing I did notice about the answer is that Ms. Bell claims she was there all night and George was on drugs and armed. So why didn't she call the police when he left to kidnap the roomate? And how did her former brother-in-law James Bell, local attorney and former judge, wind up at the house so early in the morning? Oddly enough, her answer and defense ignores these annoying little facts. Makes you wonder if her lawyer is filing such sloppy work because he plans on settling and avoiding a trial.

Original post:
Ms. Robbie Bell, a defendant along with her son George Bell, III, in a wrongful death action filed by the mother of the murdered Heather Spencer, submitted her answer in Hinds County Circuit Court on July 23, 2008. The lawuit was discussed in an earlier post ( copy of the lawsuit can be found in that post). http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2008/07/mother-of-heather-spencer-files.html

In her answer, Ms Bell states:
"Robbie Bell was not present when George Bell, III killed Heather Spencer, nor was she aware
of the acts of George Bell, III until after she arrived at her own home on the evening of September 10,2007...

It is further affirmatively stated that Robbie Be11 entered her own
home on the evening of September 10,2008, and was later informed by George Bell,
III that he had killed Heather. It is further affirmatively stated that George Bcll, III
was under the influence of mind-altering drugs at the time, that he continued to use
mind-altering drugs throughout the night, and that he remained a threat to his own
mother and to himself. Robbje Bell denies that she cause or contributed to the death
of Heather in any way, and she denies that she is liable for same....
It is further affimmtively stated that the Plaintiff
has no evidence supporting these allegations that Heather Spencer was alive when
Robbie Bell entered the residence, and the reason is because such allegations are
categorjcalIy false and untrue, and that if such evidence is in the possession of the
Plaintiff, it should be produced immediately or otherwise these allegations should be
withdrawn and this suit dismissed
....."
http://jackson-jambalaya.googlegroups.com/web/answer.pdf?gda=5xP4kTsAAADQ-S_HkSOPikN7exfpUYzYbEkGDMBF9sC0MOvTHAg61GG1qiJ7UbTIup-M2XPURDS7RBba4gomLVe4Wivl9s4v

IF that link does not work, use this one and select "answer":
http://groups.google.com/group/jackson-jambalaya

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After Downtown, what's next?

While we are rebuilding downtown Jackson, perhaps its time to look at other parts of Jackson in sore need of attention. West Jackson has been neglected for many years, South Jackson is in a state of decline, and NE Jackson, well, believe it or not it is beginning to decline as well. The only area with any success is Fondren/Belhaven and that is because the residents for several years now have taken it upon themselves to improve their areas and fight these trends instead of letting the government do it for them.

Believe it or not, I've been thinking and had an idea (that means pour a drink, go hide, or get the tissues out because you will be laughing so hard) about Northeast Jackson. One of the sources of crime for years has been the apartments at the corner of Ridgewood and Old Canton Road. Back in the 90's when they were Chatham Village Apartments, they took Section 8 housing, sending NE Jackson crime through the roof. The apartments are an eyesore and the owners have made little if any improvements to them. EVERY homeowner in NE Jackson would love to see them torn down but unfortunately, it does not appear such action will happen in the near future.

The downtown development is nice but we need to start focusing on other areas of Jackson for development. Part of the problem is that there is little vacant land to develop as Jackson has been built up for the most part. However, something could be done with the apartments mentioned above.

What would be nice is if a developer bought the apartments and completely demolished them as Jackson Academy did with The Oaks complex. Take a page from The Villas over by the Reservoir and build up a complex of townhouses and condos, focusing on retired people. Keep the prices around the $80-100,000 range. A nice small pond in the center would keep it scenic and allow the developer to charge higher prices for "waterfront" units. Obviously sensible covenants such as no rentals could be used to keep the character of the development from deteriorating. What I have in mind is similar to Lake Beau Pre in Baton Rouge, one mile south of LSU on River Road. http://www.lakebeaupre.com/site28.php.

Kingfish, you're nuts. Am I really? Give the developer all the tax breaks it will take to get the project off the ground. Jackson and Hinds will make it back in property taxes from the units sold. It will improve the area, make the area safer, and probably cause property values in the surrounding area to rise somewhat as well as stemming the decline starting to appear in NE Jackson.

Why would retired invidivuals be interested in such a development? The location would be perfect for them. Across the street is Parham Bridges Park, the nicest park in Jackson. One block away is Walgreens, Kroger, Books-A-Million, the new Willie Morris Library, and other amenities (Don't forget Picadilly ;-) ). The location would also be ideal for single parents who have kids at Jackson Academy and want to live close to the school. Building a walkway through Parham Bridges and the shopping centers would probably be something worth examining as it would connect those areas so such a development (and will someone tell me why the end of the parking lot by Office Depot can't be extended to the red light by Bancorp South on Canton Mart so that people can avoid the frontage road?). The amenities are so close to the proposed development that almost half of the so-called mixed use concept is already in existence.

While downtown Jackson definitely needs the attention it currently receives, its also time to start looking at other areas of Jackson before they reach the point of no return as well. While Downtown is nice, we still have to focus on the other areas that Brandon and Madison have been pillaging for years. The intent of this post was to nudge people towards thinking in that direction and hopefully start such a discussion.

Note: I'm willing to bet Cups would put in a small store at the front of said development. ;-)

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Iran building secret nuclear reactor?

Surprise. a Kuwait daily reports:
"On July 29, 2008, the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa reported that, according to "highly reliable sources," Iranian authorities had begun construction of a secret nuclear reactor in the Al-Zarqan region close to the city of Ahwaz in southwest Iran, on the Iran-Iraq border.
The paper said that according to sources, Iran was working to distance its nuclear installations from international oversight. The English version of the report, published in the Kuwaiti Arab Times, said, "Disclosing [that] Tehran directed international A-bomb inspectors to other places, sources warned [that] the project poses a very serious threat to international security."
Also according to the sources, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) did not know about this site at all, since it was not included in negotiations with Iran in Geneva held in early July.
According to the report, the sources said that during 2000-2003, Iran expropriated the lands and homes of thousands of Arab citizens from the Al-Zarqan region, destroying homes of thousands of Arab citizens from the Al-Zarqan region.
.."
http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD200608

The original story in the English version of the Arab Times:
http://www.arabtimesonline.com/kuwaitnews/pagesdetails.asp?nid=20349&ccid=9

Now where is that NIE report saying Iran had no nuclear program (enriching uranium was considered to be harmless)?

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Dear Councilman McLemore,

Just because you don't want to stand up for yourself or your neighbors when it comes to crime doesn't mean the rest of us are as weak as you are.

City Council President Leslie McLemore (and political science professor, translation: ivory tower academic) on the efforts of victimized Fondren residents to close Montrose Circle:
"Council President Leslie Burl McLemore of Ward 2 and Ward 5 Councilman Charles Tillman voted against the request.
They said closing off city roads is not the answer to solving crime in Jackson. They argued many neighborhoods could lobby for the same request.
McLemore said his home has been broken into, but he has never tried to close off access to his neighborhood.
"Crime is an issue in this city. We are all potential victims," he said. "I just don't think closing a street in this city at this time is the thing to do
...."
http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080730/NEWS/807300347/1001/news

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sound Familiar? El Paso Revitalization

Yesterday's Wall Street Journal focused on a topic that will be of interest to many in the Jackson area: the revitalization of dying cities. It featured El Paso's successful rebound in one story. The details of El Paso's revival will sound very familiar:
"This border city, once the thriving commercial hub of the U.S. Southwest, is reviving its moribund downtown with the help of some native benefactors.
Still in its early stages, the effort to overhaul dormant hotels and office towers has delivered results already. Over the past two years, property values in a 288-acre section of downtown defined by a new tax-reinvestment district jumped 40% to almost $446 million. And many prominent El Paso structures that have stood empty for decades, including the Plaza Hotel, are being renovated.
This border city, once the thriving commercial hub of the U.S. Southwest, is reviving its moribund downtown with the help of some native benefactors. WSJ's Kris Hudson reports.
The difference between this and earlier revitalization efforts that fizzled is the involvement of deep-pocketed investors, who decided in 2004 to gather their own resources and chart a course for revival. .....

El Paso began to lose momentum in the 1960s and 1970s. .....
Hotels closed downtown, as did the Kress department store, leaving its iconic storefront vacant at a prominent street corner. Many floors in downtown buildings remain vacant with boarded-up windows, and department stores are mixed in with pawn shops and an outdoor swap meet.
Various levels of government have tried to boost El Paso's downtown, building a county courthouse in the 1980s, a state office building in the 1990s, a parking garage in recent years and a federal courthouse now under construction.
"For years, the city had tried redoing downtown on its own," says Verónica Rosales-Soto, redevelopment manager in the city's economic-development division. "But none of that mattered because the private investment didn't follow."
It wasn't until 2004 that private investors began gathering their resources to reverse the downtown's decline. Led by Mr. Sanders, the newly formed Paso Del Norte Group, a club of El Paso's business elite, hired a San Francisco-based consultant to help it draft a plan for overhauling downtown. The group brought in city officials to advise it on the plan's feasibility, but in a move that proved controversial, the business group elected not to subject the plan to widespread public scrutiny in its early phases, reasoning that too many opposing viewpoints might stymie the process.
By 2006, the plan was finalized. The Paso Del Norte Group unveiled it for an audience of 1,200 business owners, city officials and citizens at the historic Plaza Theatre downtown. The plan envisioned separate zones for an entertainment district, historic preservation, mixed-use development and a Mercado shopping district, among other things. In October 2006, the City Council adopted a revised version of the plan, which included changes such as removing a few blocks from the revitalization area to avoid disturbing adjacent neighborhoods. The council voted two months later to form a downtown tax-reinvestment district, where property-tax revenue in excess of 2006 amounts is used to help finance new city infrastructure, such as streets and sidewalks.
Mr. Sanders, who declined to comment for this article, formed the Borderplex Community Trust REIT in early 2007, specifically to buy and rehabilitate buildings in El Paso and Juárez. A REIT can pool its investors' money; buy and sell properties; and forgo paying corporate taxes as long as it pays out 90% of its income as dividends.
The REIT, with 216 investors so far, has purchased more than a dozen properties, investors say, including the O.T. Bassett Tower, a 15-story office building erected in 1930, and the 18-story Chase Bank Building, where occupancy has risen to 93% from 43% over the past 17 months.
The REIT intends to sell most of the O.T. Bassett Tower to apartment developer TVO Groupe and retain the first floor to convert to retail space. TVO will begin converting the tower to 30 luxury condominiums later this year. The El Paso-based developer anticipates the project will yield less than half of the 20% return it typically seeks in its investments, but it is willing to accept that to support the broader revitalization push, Chief Executive Charles Garrett says.
Mr. Foster, meanwhile, purchased the 98-year-old, 12-story Mills office building in 2006 and the adjacent, six-story Centre building last year. He also bought the 294-room Plaza Hotel, built in 1929 but vacant for the past two decades, directly across the street from his two office buildings. Mr. Foster has begun a renovation and expansion of the office buildings and moved Western Refining's headquarters there. Plans for the hotel still are in flux, though eventually it will be reopened.
Developments elsewhere in El Paso have added momentum to the downtown revitalization. Texas Tech University has begun construction of a medical campus in El Paso. The U.S. Army's realignment of its domestic and foreign forces stands to nearly double the size of Fort Bliss to almost 37,000 soldiers within the next five years
......"
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121676437122375085.html?mod=loomia&loomia_si=t0:a16:g2:r2:c0.126843

video available at link listed above.

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Vote for the Hottest Reporter in Baton Rouge



















































Well, The Kingfish IS from Baton Rouge and since I can't do my "Hottest Reporter in Jackson" poll until next year and give Wendy Suares a chance to defend her crown, I decided to run one for Baton Rouge. Enjoy. ;-)
From Left to right, top to bottom:
Emily Turner, Keitha Nelson
Erin Cofiell, Tyana Williams
Rachel Slavik, Kianga Kelly
Lauren Unger, Lori Steele, Michele Krum
Carolyn Moses, Cheryl Mercedes, Claire Hattie

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Monday, July 28, 2008

This passes for a headline?

Either the Jackson Free Press is desperate for headlines or is engaging in shameless propaganda as it published the following headline at the top of its website: "Minor Attorney Believes 5th Circuit Will Overturn Verdict" http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/index.php/site/comments/minor_attorney_believes_5th_circuit_will_overturn_verdict/


THAT is a headline? Do you know of ANY attorney who doesn't say that about his client's case on appeal? Next thing you know the alternative weekly will splash across its pages "The Sky is Blue".

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Nice Little Feature On The Housing Bailout Bill

The Market Ticker published this little kernel of info which is bad news for Ebay power sellers:
"There is a very controversial provision requiring that payment processors (think "PayPal") be required to issue 1099s to anyone who does more than $10,000 worth of business with them in a year. This generated many howls of protest over, once again, "privacy concerns." Uh, how come? If you have a bank account paying interest, you get a 1099. I get a bunch of them every year for tiny amounts of interest. So what? Why is this in there? It's an attempt to stop the gross underreporting of income by various Internet Entrepreneurs, many of them "Powersellers" on eBAY, who have systematically run cash businesses and reported NOTHING in income and paid NO taxes....."
http://market-ticker.denninger.net/

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Nice.

Ms. Ladd gave this little nugget of information in a post on the Jackson Free Press website concerning the new developments planned downtown:
"The plan doesn't really include parking, as I understand it. It's one of the points of discussion that will likely happen going forward. It would also include tearing down the planetarium, I believe.It's an ambitious project, no doubt. posted by ladd on 07/25/08 at 12:02 PM"
http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/index.php/site/comments/on_the_map_072308/

Nice. No more Rapids on the Reservoir, The Park, ice skating, Larwil Lanes, or The Dock. The Reservoir looks like a soupy mudhole as Bumbling Burwell sits there doing nothing, while he prays for an investor to sink money into his money pit. We don't have much in the way of parks in Jackson, yet the new museum will take up part of the nature trail (instead of replacing Smith-Wills). The Zoo is in a state of decline. Now the planetarium might be torn down?

This is progress?

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Added a new blog to blog roll

Adding a new blog to the blogroll on the right hand side of the page. Becca Neal, a young lady in Brookhaven, entered the blogosphere and like me, doesn't stay focused on just one topic. Yes, she is very nice looking guys and she is also very smitten with her husband and her dogs. ;-)

Go check out her blog, "The Perception of Life"
http://www.beccanealtharp.blogspot.com/

Click Here to Read More..

Good explanation on how Fannie and Freddie got away with so much for so long.

Paul Gigot of the Wall Street Journal writes one of the better accounts of how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac drove the housing market into the ditch:
"Angelo Mozilo* was in one of his Napoleonic moods. It was October 2003, and the CEO of Countrywide Financial was berating me for The Wall Street Journal's editorials raising doubts about the accounting of Fannie Mae. I had just been introduced to him by Franklin Raines, then the CEO of Fannie, whom I had run into by chance at a reception hosted by the Business Council, the CEO group that had invited me to moderate a couple of panels.
Mr. Mozilo loudly declared that I didn't know what I was talking about, that I didn't understand accounting or the mortgage markets, and that I was in the pocket of Fannie's competitors, among other insults. Mr. Raines, always smoother than Mr. Mozilo, politely intervened to avoid an extended argument, and Countrywide's bantam rooster strutted off....

The companies eased their assaults when they concluded we weren't about to stop, and in any case they soon had bigger problems. Freddie's accounting fiasco became public in 2003, while Fannie's accounting blew up in 2004. Mr. Raines was forced to resign, and a report by regulator James Lockhart discovered that Fannie had rigged its earnings in a way that allowed it to pay huge bonuses to Mr. Raines and other executives.
Such a debacle after so much denial would have sunk any normal financial company, but once again Fan and Fred could fall back on their political protection. In the wake of Freddie's implosion, Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida held one hearing on its accounting practices and scheduled more in early 2004.
He was soon told that not only could he hold no more hearings, but House Speaker Dennis Hastert was stripping his subcommittee of jurisdiction over Fan and Fred's accounting
..."
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121677050160675397.html

It should be noted that any efforts to ban Fannie and Freddie from lobbying Congress were defeated. My prediction is that Fannie and Freddie will hunker down for several years, then start working on a Democrat Congress to let them act as though nothing ever happened.

* The same Angelo Mozilo that gave sweetheart deals to Dodd, and other members of Congress while heavily promoting stated income programs as well as pay option arms that blew up the housing market. He and his company are the subject of numerous lawsuits, inquiries, and prosecutions at this time.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mother of Heather Spencer files wrongful death action against George Bell, III and Robbie Bell. Copy of lawsuit available here in pdf format.

The family of the deceased Heather Spencer has filed a wrongful death action in Hinds County Circuit Court on June 2, 2008 against George Bell, III and his mother, Robbie Bell. A copy of the lawsuit can be found at : http://jackson-jambalaya.googlegroups.com/web/Wrongful%20death%20action.pdf?gda=Gq6iRUoAAADQ-S_HkSOPikN7exfpUYzYGMKn-rF0WkMYRtH1Z1f6gmG1qiJ7UbTIup-M2XPURDQ8RC4sxOPn3-ekoHx-CDEGn_yVOANfXDw4pc--kmCVrA

If the link does not work, use this link and then click on "wrongful death action": http://groups.google.com/group/jackson-jambalaya

The lawsuit alleges the following facts:
The injuries and death of Mary Heather Spencer were proximately caused by the negligent and grossly negligent acts of Defendants. Such acts of negligence and gross negligence, and the death of Mary Heather Spencer, occurred in Hinds County, Mississippi.....
Prior to September 10, 2007, Defendant Robbie Bell knew or should have known that Defendant George Bell, I11 had severe personal and emotional problems, including, but not limited to, diagnosed substance abuse disorders and addictions, and tendencies toward physical violence towards females, specifically, Mary Heather Spencer, deceased......
During the late evening hours of September 10,2007, and or early morning
hours of September 11, 2007, while Defendant Robbie Bell, George Bell, 111, and Mary
Heather Spencer were present, Defendant George Bell, Ill became enraged, and did violence
to the person of Mary Heather Spencer. Such violence inflicted severe, but survivable
injuries upon the person of Mary Heather Spencer. Subsequently, Mary Heather Spencer died
as a result of the failure to receive treatment for the injuries sustained as a result.....
Defendant Robbie Bell failed to act in any manner to enable such assistance or medical treatment, and, instead, did fail to provide any assistance to Mary Heather Spencer.
12. Specifically, Defendant Robbie Bell was present in the residence, with knowledge of the violence that had occurred, and had actual and or constructive knowledge of Mary Heather Spencer's condition, subsequent to the initial injuries to Mary Heather Spencer, and prior to Mary Heather Spencer's death
....."

The lawsuit charges the defendants with the following counts:
Count I: Negligence and Gross Negligence
Count II: Negligence Misrepresentation
Count III: Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress
Count IV: Punitive and Exemplary Damages

Damages are not specified. Instead, the plaintiff "demands judgment of and from Defendants, jointly and severally, in an amount within the jurisdictional limits of this Court, and punitive damages in an amount within the jurisdictional limits of this Court, sufficient to deter these Defendants and others similarly situated from like or similar conduct in the future; attorneys' fees, and all costs of this proceeding..."

For other posts on the Heather Spencer story, see section at bottom of sidebar on right hand side of the page.

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One of the most moving speeches ever



Chokes you up when you realize he is eaten up with cancer and left us three months later.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

THANKS ALOT!!!

Thanks alot all you reporters and DJ's who insist on telling us where cheaper gas is. Thanks to you knuckleheads, three different places I have found have raised their prices to the level of everyone else after you featured them, thus increasing their demand. Hope all of you who have done that get some bad spark plugs or your fuel injectors get clogged up.

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Perfection










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Obama, the Bearer of Light

"And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.
The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.
When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”
In the great Battles of Caucus and Primary he smote the conniving Hillary, wife of the deposed King Bill the Priapic and their barbarian hordes of Working Class Whites.
And so it was, in the fullness of time, before the harvest month of the appointed year, the Child ventured forth - for the first time - to bring the light unto all the world
...."
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/gerard_baker/article4392846.ece

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Sigh.

This comment by Jackson's aspiring public intellectual, Tom Head, deserves mention:
"I think prisons as they exist today are an outmoded idea for 95% of the cases in which they are applied. All nonviolent offenses with the exception of predatory sex crimes (which I consider violent offenses anyway) should be punishable based on the community court model, with house arrest if the individual is a strong flight risk..."
http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/index.php/site/comments/governor_commutes_killers_sentence/#c132397

So if Winthrop Blackstone, lawyer at the firm of Dewey, Cheatum, & Howe, steals half a million dollars from his clients or Davis Carleton at XYZ Investment Corporation embezzles $5 million from retirement and pension funds, he should not go to jail while Rufus the wino who uses a knife or gun to steal fifty dollars from the local liquor store should be incarcerated. Under Mr. Head's logic, they even get to live in their homes (if not seized or forfeited) under house arrest if there is a good chance they might flee. Anyone want to bet white-collar crime would increase under this model?

Note: Article on the Community Court model: http://www.ndaa.org/apri/programs/community_pros/seattle.html

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thought on pit bull mauling story.

Mother has a three year-old child and is letting him wander all over the neighborhood late at night?

Friggin idiot. Someone should take the infant away from her before her negligence kills the baby as well.

Click Here to Read More..

JFP Story on Lawsuit against George Bell, III and Robbie Bell: Whitewash or Bad reporting?

The Jackson Free Press reported the mother of Heather Spencer, Linda Francomb (disclosure: Ms. Francomb has posted on this blog several times) filed a wrongful death action against the Bells on June 2, 2008 in Hinds County Circuit Court. http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/index.php/site/comments/survivors_of_murdered_women_file_suit_071608/
Unfortunately there are several errors in the story, as well as reporting which is slanted to say the least:
"The previous June, he had attacked Spencer as she slept, attempted to strangle her, and beat her bloody with a mallet before Spencer’s roommate scared him away. That beating resulted in 57 staples in Spencer’s head. Jackson police never arrested Bell for that beating, for reasons not made clear by police documents obtained by the Jackson Free Press.."

The reason for the failure to arrest Mr. Bell for these charges is actually pretty simple. When he was scared away by Heather's roommate, he immediately fled Jackson. He eventually wound up in a drug rehab facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma. When he returned to Jackson, he killed Heather 48 hours later. Given the time available to JPD and the fact Ms. Bell probably did not tell JPD where George was, it's hard to see how JPD could have arrested Mr. Bell when they had little if any opportunity to do so. However, slamming JPD and Melton fits the JFP template for writing stories as shown in this story. However, the JFP's ignorance does not stop there but continues:

"But the original, felony charge of aggravated domestic assault had already inexplicably been reduced to a misdemeanor by June 12..."

As discussed in an earlier post, "Why were the charges reduced?" http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/10/heather-spencer-case-update-after.html, it is clear there are several possible answers to the question of why the charges had been reduced. The first is the Bells used their political connections to get the charges against George, III reduced to a misdemeanor. However, several JPD officers told me it was the only way to keep the prosecution against George alive without Heather's consent. If Ms. Mott had bothered to read the law, she would have learned a complaint for aggravated assault requires the consent of the victim for the prosecution to proceed, whereas for simple domestic assault, the victim's wishes are immaterial if the police have strong evidence that such a crime occurred (which JPD did in this case). However, it's easier to fit the facts into the anti-JPD and Melton template than actually learn what the law says.

"But Bell, who allegedly is addicted to cocaine and steroids, fled JPD’s jurisdiction in Spencer’s green Camry, eventually entering a drug program in Oklahoma. ..."

You can't have it both ways: bashing JPD for not arresting him then reporting he fled JDP's "jurisdiction" immediately after beating Heather. "Allegedly"? He admitted to it in open court.

"It’s unclear whether Spencer died immediately from her wounds that night, or whether she lingered, (Ms. Mott, do you read your own archives? see below) although Spencer’s family members have stated that Spencer died many hours after the beating. Allegedly, Robbie Bell’s first call was not to the police or to summon an ambulance but to her friend and lawyer, Tom Royals. George Bell was arrested the next day after holding his mother hostage for several hours at a local gas station. By then, Heather Spencer was dead. Bell pleaded guilty to kidnapping and capital murder charges Feb. 4, and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole...."

This is probably the worst paragraph in the whole story. Sources have told me Heather didn't die immediately after the beating by George. One must ask the JFP which story is correct? Its earlier reporting as fact the autopsy showed Heather did not die for several hours, or that it is not clear if she died immediately?

Then there is the question of Robbie's call to Tom Royals. Since this claim has been made, the question must be asked what exactly was said to Mr. Royals. An attorney is required to notify the authorities if he knows a crime is in progress. Did Ms. Bell tell Mr. Royals what had happened that night? If so, why did Mr. Royals not call the police? This is not meant to cast Mr. Royals in a negative light, but the question of what he was told must be asked. This of course begs the question, how could Robbie call Mr. Royals yet not call the police?

This leads to the next flaw in the story. The story makes NO MENTION of George's kidnapping (He pled guilty to the kidnapping charge) of Heather's roommate. He kidnapped the roommate (her identity, while known and public record, will not be revealed in this post) around 7:00 AM and was gone from the Bell home for approximately an hour. At this point Ms. Bell did NOT call the police, 911, or an ambulance. Unfortunately, the JFP story leaves out this information and instead makes the wild claim that George held his mother hostage for "several hours". This is not true as there has been no testimony George restrained or pointed a weapon at his mother or was held hostage. Indeed, when the car pulled up at the gas station and the police car was spotted, Ms. Bell immediately jumped out screaming "he's got a gun!".

The JFP story also ignored another fact, which is that George's uncle, former Hinds County Judge and local attorney James Bell, was at the Bell home that morning. Why exactly was he there? Who contacted Mr. Bell (It should be noted all sources have told me Mr. Bell was the only voice of sanity in this whole ordeal as he was the only one saying things had to stop. I am not questioning his character as I was told he was in shock, which is to be expected.)?

So how could Ms. Bell contact two lawyers, both who are known as members of the Ed Peters crowd, yet not call the police? Especially when she was alone while her son kidnapped the roommate? Why did Ms. Mott fail to mention these facts or ask these questions?

The JFP has treated Ms. Bell with kid gloves in its coverage of this story. In what can only be described as a grotesque example of bad taste, the local alternative weekly named Ms. Bell one of the "Most Intriguing Jacksonians of 2007" in its "Best of" issue. It reported:
"Robbie Bell, once a matriarch of the Jackson business world, is currently awaiting trial for charges connected to her son’s alleged murder of his girlfriend on Sept. 11. Charged with being an accessory after the fact, Bell allegedly did not seek help for Heather Spencer after George Bell III raped and beat Spencer with a flashlight. An autopsy revealed that Spencer did not die for several hours after the attack.
Bell was with her son when he surrendered to police after a four-hour standoff at a Jackson gas station the next morning. Spencer’s body was in her house, which was also the scene of the crime. Authorities charged George Bell III with first-degree murder, rape and assault, the last charge stemming from a beating he gave Spencer in June. Both Bells pleaded not guilty to the respective charges.
Bell is the former vice president of business development for the Mississippi Business Journal, a post she filled until Spencer’s murder; her name no longer appears on the Journal’s Web site. In that role, she organized many high-profile business events in the city, including the Integrity Awards and the Mississippi Leading Business Women awards." http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/index.php/site/comments/most_intriguing_jacksonians_2007/

"Intriguing" indeed (It should be noted that one of the co-owner's of the Jackson Free Press, Donna Ladd, was named by Ms. Bell to her list of one of the leading Business Women in Mississippi.). The description of Ms. Bell also states the autopsy showed Heather died several hours after the beating, contradicting Ms. Mott's story. However, naming Robbie Bell "Most Intriguing", even if selected by readers, is one of the more disgusting items I have seen in any publication. The fact it even appeared speaks volumes about the owners of the local alternative weekly.

The Spencers and Ms. Francomb have been through enough hell over the last year and have been subjected to media coverage that has been outrageous to say the least. One can only hope that they will eventually get some justice as well as some answers and fair media coverage.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Number 2 at Basil's.

My new addiction.

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One thought about Robbie and George Bell, III

George beats Heather. He flees the state. How exactly did he wind up in a treatment facility in Oklahoma? Who paid for it? Most insurance plans do not pay for such care in full. There were outstanding charges on him and Ms. Bell undoubtedly knew of their existence. So the question remains was she helping a fugitive from the law and if so, can the state prosecute her for it if she was?

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monticello Mayor opposes Two Lakes Plan so the Monticello Midgets can make a quick buck at Jackson's expense.

For several years now, Monticello Mayor Dave Nichols has been on the warpath as he opposed the Two Lake plan for Jackson, claiming it would flood his city. Mr. Nichols has thrown out to the media any excuse he could think of that would discredit or weaken the project.

However, the old saying of "follow the money" holds true in the case of the Monticello Mayor as the Clarion-Ledger reported yesterday:
"Lawrence County and Monticello leaders are taking the next step in studying the feasibility of a decades-old plan to divert the Pearl River and create unique development opportunities for the city.
Jeff Knight, with Williford, Gearhart and Knight Inc. Engineers and Surveyors, will gather information to produce a cost analysis on the potential project to divert the Pearl River down a manmade, half-mile channel around the northeast corner of Monticello.
Lawrence County Community Development Foundation Director Bob Smira said if Knight's study proves feasible, county and city leaders would seek financial assistance from the Mississippi Development Authority for the continuation of the plan....

Monticello Mayor Dave Nichols has said the project would not go forward if it were determined that residents living downstream from the city would experience increased flooding from the river's diversion.
The project would result in the formation of an oxbow lake and island that could be used for waterfront development and the creation of recreational and tourism industries in Monticello.
The plan, created in 1985 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has recently been given new life by the interest of local residents and landowners along the river....."

http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008807210338

The story reeks of hypocrisy as Mr. Nichols' motives for his fierce opposition to the Two Lake plan become clear. He and his buddies always intended to implement this plan for using the Pearl River for their own benefit. When one follows the money among the opposition to the Two Lake plan, one finds opponents such as the Midgetcello's Mayor sandbagging Jackson's best hope for moving forward doing so because they have their own agenda.

One can only hope that Jackson's leaders will put a stop to the Monticello's Midgets' attempt to make a profit for themselves at Jackson's expense.

Additional coverage: http://www.wlox.com/Global/story.asp?S=8379044

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You are on da welfare

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FHA blues in Mississippi?


Think the mortgage crisis is limited to subprime and Fannie/Freddie lending? Guess again. Nearly 20% of FHA borrowers are delinquent according to the latest data from HUD. The Mortgage Whistleblower has an excellent article on the rising number of delinquencies for FHA mortgages. FHA mortgages ARE insured by the taxpayers and if the program becomes bankrupt, the mess will costs the taxpayers billions and billions of dollars. http://whistleblower.ml-implode.com/?p=22
The author goes to some trouble to point out the problems associated with the down payment assistance programs for FHA as the delinquency rate for FHA mortgages using such programs (which mean the borrower has to pay little, if any, money out of his pocket) is three times that of the regular FHA borrower that has to make a down payment of at least three percent. The typical down payment assistance program (Nehemiah or Ameridream) bumps up the purchase price by three to four percent and the seller cuts back to the borrower a check equivalent to the increase so that he can make the minimum down payment required by FHA guidelines.
Aside from a concern over the federal budget and the markets, why should a reader of this blog care about this problem? Well, Mississippi has funneled millions of dollars to homebuyers through Mississippi Home Corporation for its bond money program. Last year, MHC issued over $300 million in bond money to fund mortgages and down payment assistance programs to homebuyers. http://www.mshomecorp.com/about%20mhc/press%20releases/2007E%20Press%20Release.pdf The typical bond money program gives the homebuyer 3-4% in down payment/closing cost assistance, thus helping the borrower avoid having to put some of their own "skin" in the game. Given that the vast majority of these mortgages are of the FHA variety (and serviced by Trustmark, Regions, Cimmaron Mortgage, and Bancorp South) one must ask what the delinquency rate is for these mortgages and how much will it cost Mississippi taxpayers as well as the shareholders of these banks.
Note: read the charts in the story, especially the ones about the rise in down payment assistance programs.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Killer Cop off the hook, Clarion-Ledger blows it

Well, killer cop (not cop-killer) and former JPD officer Jeffrey Middleton is now off the hook after his record was cleared, thanks to Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Bobby DeLaughter. The Clarion-Ledger reported today:
"The guilty plea by Jeffrey Middleton has been removed from his record.
In March 2007, Middleton, then 29, pleaded guilty to culpable negligent vehicular man-slaughter in the death of 23-year-old Desmonde Harris of Jackson....

When Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter took Middleton's plea, he placed him on two years' probation and withheld adjudication of the case.
Withholding adjudication meant that if Middleton stayed out of trouble while on probation, the judge could, in effect, undo his guilty plea.

Earlier this month, Hinds County Circuit Judge L. Breland Hilburn, who has assumed DeLaughter's criminal docket, signed an order that Middleton had successfully completed probation and dismissed the charge
....
But questions also were raised because Mayfield and DeLaughter had worked together as assistant district attorneys and on cases together...." http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080721/NEWS/807210332/1001/news

The story leaves out the fact Mr. Middleton had TWO attorneys. Does anyone want to guess who the second one was? Delaughter.....Mayfield....... drum roll..... ED PETERS. I remember the newspaper covering this story when it happened and Ed Peters was mentioned as his lawyer, which was one reason why the case raised so many eyebrows. Unfortunately, today's story by Mr. Gates does not mention Peters' name anywhere. Thankfully (yes, I wrote that), the Jackson Free Press reported on the story at the time as well:
"DeLaughter has had close relationships with Middleton attorneys Ed Peters and Tommy Mayfield in the past. Peters is a former Hinds County district attorney and Tommy Mayfield is a former assistant district attorney. DeLaughter was an assistant district attorney before he was elected to the circuit court. He prosecuted cases under Peters and worked alongside Mayfield..." http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/print.php?id=13152_0_27_0

Removing Mr. Peters' name from the story completely changes its nature as he has been linked repeatedly to Judge DeLaughter in the Scruggs scandals. It is inexplicable why Mr. Gates left out this very relevant fact, as Mr. Gates has reported on some of the more local aspects of the Scruggs scandals. One would think Mr. Gates would check his own archives when covering a story. All he had to do was look at the story on March 28, 2007: "Former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters and former Assistant District Attorney Tommy Mayfield are Middleton’s attorneys...."
http://folo.wordpress.com/2008/01/28/the-ed-peters-judge-delaughter-restrospective-part-4-state-v-middleton/

Mr. Gates should add a correction to his online story and apologize to his readers for this glaring omission. The Middleton family has suffered enough and does not need this kind of treatment by the Clarion-Ledger.

Note: Thanks to Lotus over on Folo for linking this post.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Subprime Replay



Due to the current crisis involving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, this definitely deserves a replay.

Angelo Mazilo, Chris Dodd, Frank Raines, the list goes on.

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More evidence of what is wrong with the Republican Party

Kim Stassel writes in the Wall Street Journal how one GOP reformer is treated by the Republican establishment. There is no doubt that the Republican Party leadership is clueless and increasingly out of touch as it became more focused on staying in power instead of following its conservative principles. One would think that the disaster in the 2006 elections would have been a wake-up call but such is not the case as they searched for reasons absolving them of any responsibility for the debacle. Their strategy is to throw stones at Democrats and use the same cliches that voters have been hearing for over twenty years. Meanwhile, a younger generation of Republicans is beginning to stir and grows increasinly tired of the Thad Cochrans, John Boehners, George W. Bush, and other Republican leaders who claim to be good Republicans but tend to see conservatives as much the enemy as they do liberals. Ms. Stassel writes:

For an insight as to why the GOP is down and out in Washington, take a look at Jefferson City. That's where Sarah Steelman, the state treasurer, is running in an Aug. 5 primary for the Missouri governorship. And it's where her reform campaign against earmarks and self-dealing is threatening the entrenched status quo, causing her own party to rise against her.
So bitter are House Minority Whip Roy Blunt and Sen. Kit Bond at Ms. Steelman's attack on their cherished spending beliefs that last month they rallied the entire Missouri congressional delegation to put out a public statement openly criticizing her campaign against six-term U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof. Joining them in their support of Mr. Hulshof has been the vast majority of the state Republican machine. Ms. Steelman is clearly doing something right.
Her sin is in fact to belong to that new mold of Republican – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint – who know it's no longer enough to simply hawk lower taxes. In 10 years as a state legislator and treasurer, her target has been the slothful political favor factory that's led Republicans away from small-government principles and outraged conservative voters.
And, oh, the howls of misery. Ms. Steelman's Republican colleagues were livid with her attempt to strip them of comfy pensions, annoyed with her "sunshine law" requiring them to be more open in their dealings, furious at her attacks on their ethanol boondoggles, appalled that she criticized GOP state Speaker Rod Jetton for moonlighting as a paid political consultant. The final straw was her temerity to make her primary race about her opponent's Washington earmarking record
(Remember Cochran is the leading earmarker in the Senate-Kingfish)....
http://online.wsj.com/article/potomac_watch.html

Ms. Steelman's website: http://www.sarahsteelman.com/

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Two different versions of a classic.



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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Barbour and McCoy: They fight, we suffer.

Wouldn't you know it. First the Barbour administration files its proposed cuts to the Medicaid budget JUST before the close of business on Friday. No details were provided as The Clarion-Ledger reported: "Documents outlining the cuts were filed with the secretary of state's office just before 5 p.m. Friday, and neither Barbour's staff nor Medicaid officials provided details..." http://search.clarionledger.com/sp?eId=100&gcId=26368108&rNum=4&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.clarionledger.com%2Fapps%2Fpbcs.dll%2Farticle%3FAID%3D2008807120355&siteIdType=2

There is no doubt the Barbour administration knew exactly what it was doing when it filed these documents so that it would catch the part of the news cycle that receives the least attention from the public (and had the added bonus of depriving opponents of the cuts a chance to study them during the weekend). One would think that these cuts would be made available on the Department of Medicaid's website. They were available for a short time Monday. http://www.dom.state.ms.us/ErrorPage.aspx?aspxerrorpath=/MsStatePlan.aspx

However, after the link was posted on yallpolitics.com, the link no longer works (and hasn't since Monday) as DOM's website says there is a website problem when one tries to access the page listing the planned budget cuts. Coincidence? Only a fool would believe such to be the case.

Luckily, JJ has a copy of the planned cuts concerning therapy services provided to Medicaid patients. Click on the link and select the Medicaid document: http://groups.google.com/group/jackson-jambalaya/files?upload=1&&sort=name
This particular proposed plan will cut the money paid for therapy services by ten percent. The proposed cuts are only $300,000 out of a budget shortfall of $90.000,000.

Therapy services. Not a sexy topic. Disabled kids. Children that have problems hearing or talking. Families burdened with children and unable to work more to stay off the public dole because day care won't accept children with disabilities. Occupational therapy that can help people support themselves so they DON'T cost the taxpayers any more money. Therapy is not a cost, its an investment as it will help those who need it improve to the point where they require less help and money from their families and the state.

What the Lilliputians in the Barbour administration fail to realize is that therapy services are a question of paying now or later. Medicaid has two choices. It can pay for the patient to have therapy services early on when the chances for any improvement are the greatest and require less care in the future OR it can pay later after the patient probably has not improved and is permanently disabled. Thus, the $300,000 the Barbour administration claims it will save by cutting the money paid for such services will cost the state MUCH more in the long run as treatment is withheld.

Unfortunately, one shouldn't be too surprised at these tactics by the Governor as he appointed a Medicaid Director who was not qualified by law to run the department as well as a Deputy Director (Moody, who since retired) who was not qualified for his position under the statute as well. Unfortunately, Medicaid has been the stepchild of the Barbour administration and the legislature for quite some time. One would be remiss in letting Speaker McCoy off of the hook as he refuses to compromise with the Governor and is more interested in winning this game of chicken.

Think all Medicaid patients are lazy bums who try to sponge off of the rest of us? I personally know of one family who has two children who are sight-impaired (glaucoma). Get a job you say? Well, the father is in the damn military overseas protecting the sorry asses of these REMF's and perfumed princes on Capitol Street while his wife cares for their children and needs Medicaid for the therapy provided to her kids. Yes, she would love to get out and get a job but when you have two kids who can't see, that makes it rather hard to do so. However, the solution here is to simply cut off hard-working families like this one because two egomaniacs in state government can't get along and the other person in state government who could make a difference shows no backbone. A pox on all of their houses.

Also, health care "providers" (What a nice way to dehumanize the people who truly do care for those who need it, unlike the bureaucrats who picked this name for them.) do NOT make much profit, if any, off of Medicaid. For example, a typical visit for therapy earns the clinic a profit of less than five dollars after all expenses (and I mean real expenses, not some owner padding his salary and calling it an expense) are paid. Most "providers" accept Medicaid patients because they truly want to help those in need, not because they are trying to rip off the state.

What these cuts will do is merely force more "providers" to simply stop accepting Medicaid patients as they decide it is not worth the hassle or expense. It won't be the Republicans, the Democrats, or to some degree, even the "providers" who will suffer, it will be thousands of Mississippians who suddenly have no access to health care due to the food fight of the REMF's.

Earlier posts on Medicaid:
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/07/more-medicaid-malarkey.html
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/06/more-medicaid-malarky.html

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Razor needed?

Two questions concerning Joseph Pleasant of WAPT News:

1. Can he shave?

2. What high school does he attend and will he be able to keep working as a reporter when school starts in August?

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The Liberal Ugliness Continues


While the controversy rages about the New Yorker Obama cartoon that was poorly drawn backfired on the magazine (Believe it or not, they were trying to make fun of Republicans with the cartoon), not a peep was raised over the much uglier cartoon that appeared in Rolling Stone recently about John McCain and pictured above. Over at the more liberal Mississippi-oriented blog Folo, they have posted twice about the Obama cartoon yet not a peep has been said about the McCain one. The mainstream media ignored the cartoon and its repugnant nature, showing that it will give a pass to Obama on almost anything. Of course if someone had made a cartoon about Max Cleland joking around with a grenade they would be horrified. Just shows how the left thinks and when it comes to their political goals, nothing so much as good taste or decency matters.

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BROKE?

Apparently Mayor Melton is going to defend himself according to the Clarion-Ledger today:
"Jackson Mayor Frank Melton said he may represent himself when he goes to federal court today for his first appearance on civil rights charges.
"Or I might let the judge appoint me an attorney and let the government pay for the whole thing," he said Tuesday
...." http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080716/NEWS/807160350&referrer=FRONTPAGECAROUSEL

Why would Melton represent himself against these charges, which are NOT a civil matter as he put it? Is he really that dumb? Is he really broke? A few months ago I asked that question and people laughed at me, saying Frank has plenty of money and just does things differently. Oh really? Look at the facts:

1. Lost a property to foreclosure proceedings in Texas over two years ago.
2. Is several months delinquent in paying his property taxes on his homes in Texas and Mississippi.
3. His Jackson home was put into foreclosure proceedings earlier this year. Apparently Melton did not pay two interest-only payments (they were to be made quarterly) on a second-lien HELOC that had a line of credit over $300,000.
4. He consistently places first and second mortgages on his home that are balloon notes of five years or less, even when the interest rates are very low (His first mortgage was obtained in 2003 when the rates were at historic lows. If he refinances his first mortgage, which is due in December, the rates will probably be two points higher than what they were in 2003, if not more.).

The Mayor's mortgages were discussed in an earlier post, The Mayor and His Mortgages. http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2008/02/mayor-and-his-mortgages.html. Frank is showing all the signs of someone who is broke or has been playing a public shell game of sorts for quite some time. Considering how he has destroyed Jackson's finances, it should come as no surprise that he has treated his personal finances in a similar fashion. Mayor Melton just might need that public defender after all.

One further question remains. He did say in the past he was not taking a salary from the city. Now he states he is living off of his city salary. So which story is true? Sounds like someone needs to file a Freedom of Information Act request with the city asking if Frank is being paid a salary.

See also The Mayor and his Taxes: http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2008/02/mayor-and-his-taxes.html

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Review of the News

Mike Gunn: A wimp like most bullies.
"Randy Newell also says Gunn provided law enforcement an expired driver's license - listing him as a senator - because Gunn wanted officers "to be aware that he used to be in the Senate."
Gunn, who in the 1990s represented a portion of Rankin County, pleaded guilty in federal court last week, admitting responsibility for the birds' deaths ....


The report says multiple neighbors - including Rankin County assistant prosecutor Mike Boland - watched Gunn chase down the birds, toss them into the grill, flip on the gas then throw them to his penned Mountain Cur hunting dog.
The neighbors immediately called authorities, but when they arrived, Gunn would not come to the door - even though officers saw him through the window of his 116 Port Lane home in Brandon.
The report says: "At this time, Newell observed Gunn in the upstairs window with the lights on. The lights were then turned off. The woman (at the door) advised Newell that Mr. Gunn was not at home
.." http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080715/NEWS/807150340/1001/news

The former legislator got himself in trouble and was convicted of killing some baby geese. However, this wimp showed how tough he was by gassing the poor things in his grill. When the cops showed up, he then hid upstairs like the little sissy he is, and then when finally confronted by the police, tried to pull the "Do you know who I am?" defense. Fortunately, the DWF officer showed more integrity than the former legislator who constantly reminded the voters of what a great Christian whenever he ran for office. Although he was fined for killing the baby geese, no one bothered to knock his smirk off of his face as he left the courthouse. That would have been true justice for the bully.

Haley and Billy's game of Chicken threatens to destroy Mississippi Health Care
"Under Barbour's plan, which takes effect Aug. 6, Medicaid reimbursement rates for hospitals would be reduced by 33.5 percent. Michael Bailey, MHA's chief financial officer, said the reduction could lead to thousands of hospital layoffs and cuts to patient services....

Barbour's plan also reduces payments to pharmacists by 10 percent and nursing homes by 6.1 percent. Others affected include dentists, podiatrists and ambulatory services..." http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080715/NEWS/807150341/1001/news

Apparently Haley and Billy have forgotten that while they try to one-up each other thousands of Mississippians are going to be affected by this. Health care providers make little profit on Medicaid patients and all too often accept them because they are truly interested in helping them and not getting rich at the state's expense. Unfortunately, Speaker McCoy can't stand the thought of the Governor having his way and the Governor can't stand the thought of giving in one bit on a possible cigarette tax hike. To both of you I say a pox on both your houses as you drive the health care for many Mississippians into the ditch.

Melton: Does he have any idea what he is doing?
What does our Mayor do after getting indicted? Why go to the pool with a bunch of young boys of course. For stress relief as he says, "I promised the kids last week that I would come out and work with them in the water," he said Monday afternoon. "It's a stress reliever. It gets a little stress off of me." (Insert comment here)

Indicted. City budget is a mess. Supposedly working on a plan to hire Jackson youth for the rest of the summer. Crime is getting worse. The Farish Street Project is at a standstill. What is Frank's solution? Go swimming. Nice.

Apparently Frank hasn't retained a lawyer for his defense either: "no attorneys have been formally entered into the court record for the defense. Melton was noncommittal on plans for his defense.
"Certainly I'm going to be there (Wednesday). I'm not going to be a fugitive. But I'm just struggling with it," he said. "I don't want to spend $1 million on this thing, because there is no question that's what it is going to cost me. It is what it is, and I'm struggling with it. There is no question about that
...."

Of course, Frank might not have the money as he STILL has not paid his property taxes and has a balloon note on his home (the first mortgage) due in December. Considering Frank just escaped foreclosure, one must wonder if he even has the money to pay for the high-priced legal talent he has hired in the past.

Yet another cartoon about gas prices
http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=OPINION04

My good friend Marshall Ramsey dutifully fulfills his twice-weekly quota of drawing a cartoon about gas prices. Please bring back Election Man, the Cowboy, and some others. ;-)

Mississippi Supreme Court Justice flunks ethics 101
Apparently our justices have learned nothing and forgotten everything from the Dickie Scruggs scandal: "As reported by The Clarion-Ledger on Sunday, Randolph voted in a case to reduce a $1.7 million judgment against BancorpSouth Bank to $74,000, plus interest, even though he is a former member of the bank's board of directors in Hattiesburg and owns bank stock valued in April at $8,947..." http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080715/OPINION01/807150316/1008/OPINION

Where are we? New Orleans? Chicago? A justice rules on a case involving a company in which he holds stock and used to serve as a Director. Yet he sees no potential for a conflict of interest. You would think that after all of the judicial scandals, that boneheads like Justice Randolph would have learned that the last thing the bench needs is ANY appearance of impropriety. As the Bar and Commission on Judicial Performance have shown themselves to be fairly weak in policing the legal profession, Justice Randolph adopts the sleaze shown by Scruggs, Peters, Delaughter, and others that have made the news this year. Although Brant Brantley will likely do nothing, Justice Randolph should be disciplined by the Commission and apologize to the citizens of this state.

Folo scoop?
Over at Folo (http://www.folo.us/), Lotus apparently has a scoop as she drops a few hints involving Bobby DeLaughter and Ed Peters:
"There are more rumblings relating to one of those cases involving Ed Peters and Judge DeLaughter. Turns out there’s some sworn testimony out there in which the “client” on Peters’s side testified about the large fee he paid Peters, that Peters was to get to keep regardless of whether he did one iota of legal work in the case. That was the express deal Peters got, before he started “maneuvering” in a Judge DeLaughter case, maneuvers he began without bothering to enter a formal appearance. And what was accomplished for that “fee”? Well, a case that one might have thought was absolutely positively lost suddenly became otherwise….
This is a case that’s been mentioned a fair amount on this site. As always, we find that you can’t beat getting your hands on the pleadings
..." http://www.folo.us/2008/07/15/coming-soon-in-this-space-about-ed-peters-and-judge-delaughter/

My guess is that Lotus is referring to the Frisby v. Eaton case. Stay tuned.

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Bookmark this guy.

In January, I made a post called "The Running of the Bears" where I pointed out to you the predictions made about the economy by a blog called "The Market Ticker". As it turned out, so far this year has been right for the most part. Read his blog today at : http://market-ticker.denninger.net/2007/12/year-in-review-and-look-ahead.html. His predictions and how they fare are covered by a separate post of his at http://market-ticker.denninger.net/index.php?serendipity%5Baction%5D=search&serendipity%5BsearchTerm%5D=year+in+review&serendipity%5BsearchButton%5D=%3E.

Earlier post: http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2008/01/running-of-bears.html

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No Comment.


(Joe Ellis/Clarion-Ledger)

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Good news for Real Estate in Mississippi




The mortgage insurance companies are declaring more areas to be "declining markets". This is usually bad news for such a market as it means homebuyers are required to put more money down on a home, the underwriting is more strict, and the mortgage insurance premiums are higher, regardless of credit history or income. The good news is that on the chart provided by the Wall Street Journal, only the Gulfport-Biloxi region received the dreaded designation. The chart was composed of declining markets as determined by AGI/UG, MGIC, and Genworth Financial.

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Night Time Glory


(Click on photo to enlarge)
Death Valley at Night

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Friday, July 11, 2008

TOLD YOU!!!

So now the Feds are looking at putting Fannie and Freddie into a conservatorship.

Who warned you of this back in December when everyone else was touting the "subprime" crisis? See http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/12/fannie-and-freddies-ticking-time-bomb.html

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Hypocrite

Mississippi College law school Professor Matt Steffey said charges from the federal investigation surprised him, too. Although Melton, Wright and Recio beat the state charges in their April 2007 trial, they can be tried in federal court as well because they now are accused of violating federal law.

"That is a technicality if there ever was one. To the mayor, it's going to seem like he is standing trial for the same crime twice," he said. "This is a proper charge under the government's theory of the case. I just wonder what we've gained as citizens to try him under the state criminal code and then try him under the federal code. Are we going to try him under the international code in The Hague next time?"
http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080711/NEWS/807110360/1001/news

Hypocrite. I remember sitting in your constitutional law class in 1993 for a whole year and you thought it was GREAT that the feds used these same tactics to prosecute the cops who beat Rodney King.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
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