Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Farewell to Dave.

The Curmudgeon of local talk radio, Dave Ingram, is no longer associated with WFMN. The JT and Dave Show is now just the JT Show. I enjoyed listening to Dave for years as he had a take no prisoners, no apologies approach in stating his opinions on the air. He didn't care who he angered or how he sounded. He was going to speak his mind and everyone else be damned. It is unknown if Paul Gallo will expand his radio show to six hours or if the rumor is true that WFMN has offered Rudy and Mary a chance to do a lunch time show together every day. Anyway, see ya Dave and good luck wherever you go.

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Judgment filed against Lost Rabbit Development, LLC.

A default judgment of $585,017 was entered against Lost Rabbit Development, LLC on June 25 in Madison County Circuit Court. Vision Landscapes obtained the judgment after Lost Rabbit failed to "plead, answer, or otherwise defend" Vision's complaint. Judgment entry, Judgment, Motion for judgment Utility Constructors filed a lien on Lost Rabbit Development, LLC for $1,315,944 this year. Lost Rabbit is apparently facing problems as are other upscale developments in Madison County as the correction continues.

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Robbie Bell tries to seal her phone records

Copy of motion

Robbie Bell doesn't want anyone seeing her phone records. She filed a Motion to Quash or "in the alternative", a motion for protective order in the lawsuit filed against her by Elizabeth Hall. Elizabeth Hall was kidnapped by Bell's son after he murdered her best friend and roommate, Heather Spencer.

Ms. Hall subpoenaed Ms. Bell's phone records from ATT from May 2007 to the present. Ms. Bell argues the subpoena should be quashed because it "exceeds the scope of discovery" and because such documents are "irrelevant" and "won't lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Mr. Burwell, the attorney for Ms. Bell, then requested the Court to seal the phone records from public disclosure stating they contain "private and confidential information".

Nice to know Mr. Burwell is so concerned with wasting the court's time. What would be interesting is if the court redacted the phone numbers but left the time of any phone calls public. Would be very interesting to see how many calls and at what time Ms. Bell used her phone during that night of terror.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wendy's replacement?

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Where is Casey Ann?

She hasn't insulted me in a while and I'm starting to feel neglected. She all right?

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Latest opinions from the Mississippi Ethics Commission

City can't hire Mayor's daughter as lifeguard.

Employer of former school board member can't sell supplies to school district within one year of his leaving board.

Child of alderwoman can accept employment with city attorney's firm only if the two are financially independent of each other.

Can a real estate firm owned by Mayor's wife represent buyers and/or sellers where part of transaction is funded by city down-payment assistance program?

School District Superintendent can't participate in decisions involving non-profit corporation of which he is a board member.

Members of Park Advisory Committee can not sell products to park or serve as umpires at the park.

Can a lease-holder (hangar) be appointed to the authority board for the same airport?

School board member whose financially independent relative works for the school district must recuse himself from discussions and actions in approving the school board's budget.

Substitute teacher whose spouse becomes school board member may not continue employment after conclusion of school year.

County supervisor may be employed by the county school district since they are two different agencies with seperate budgets but may not attempt to influence board in favor of school district.

Member of city council may not participate in discussions and actions on a lease between city and church of which councilman is a member and his spouse is an employee.

Executive Director of Planning Commission must recuse himself from any actions concerning the contract with a consulting firm that employs the Director's fiance and any dealings with said firm as well.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

NRA to board: SHUT UP!

Redstate:

"Internal Senate emails confirmed by NRA Board Members are highlighting just how far the National Rifle Association has fallen...

these internal Senate emails confirmed by NRA Board Members show that the National Rifle Association’s management team has explicitly and directly told the NRA’s board they are prohibited from testifying about second amendment issues during the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings.

That’s right: the foremost gun rights lobby in the nation is prohibiting its board from testifying in the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings about the second amendment.

The NRA did issue a statement on Friday after the internal Senate email began leaking out informing people of the gag order. The statement noted Kagan’s problematic record on guns, but that’s just smoke and mirrors. Don’t believe them when they say they are working with Senators to investigate her record. If they were really working with Senators, they would have accepted an invitation to testify on the Kagan nomination when they were invited. The gag order on board members is not limited to providing testimony, but it prohibits board members from coming out against Kagan in their individual capacity." A columnist on another website confirmed Redstate's claim. Redstate

Wondeful.



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Santelli & Liesman go at it again.





This one is pretty good. Too bad the producer didn't play the Star Trek fight music again like he did in December. "Spending spending spending. You've been married too long." "Go back to Russia". Some good cracks.

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Charles Evans indicted, must stay in jail

A federal grand jury indicted Charles Evans on June 22, 2010. The indictment states that on May 26, 2010 Charles Evans "knowingly did forcibly assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, and interfere with "S.S." a Deputy United States Marshal, and did engage in acts involving physical contact, while "S.S." was engaged in his official duties, that is, executing an arrest warrant, in violation of Section 111, Title 18, United States Code."

The indictment means Mr. Evans will remain in jail as Judge Anderson ruled he had to be indicted within thirty days or set free. Judge Anderson denied bail for Mr. Evans in a hearing last month. Earlier post on hearing. Indictment, Cover sheet

For a collection of all posts on the Evans case, see sidebar on right.

Synopsis of Evans case:
Charles Evans, Jr. was an attorney approved by Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Company to provide title certificates to MVT and lenders showing a borrower had clear title to property. MVT filed a lawsuit in September accusing his brother of using over 30 LLC's to obtain fraudulent loans from over 30 banks in Mississippi. Chris Evans would allegedly use one company to purchase a large tract of prime commercial real estate in Madison and Desoto Counties. Another company owned by Evans would obtain a commercial real estate mortgage on a smaller section of the tract yet that borrowing company never obtained a deed showing ownership of the land from the other company. Thus the smaller tract was actually non-existed as the larger tract was never actually subdivided. Charles would allegedly provide a title certificate however showing the borrowing company owned the land even though it didn't.

Over 80 loans for nearly $50 million were issued by Mississippi banks to companies owned by Chris Evans for lands those companies either did not own. MVT has testified federal authorities are currently investigating the case. Chris Evans filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy on October 26, which stopped the Mississippi Valley Title's lawsuit against him as federal bankruptcy law stays most state civil court proceedings once a bankruptcy petition is filed.
Mississippi Valley Title testified 65 title insurance claims for approximately $41 million have been filed by banks affected by the Evans case.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Old film about Natchez



Saw this on TCM this morning. Old 1939 Traveltalks "Voice of the Globe" short film about Natchez. Some scenes are very pretty, others will make your jaw drop.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tonight



Playlist tonight: Got Boondock Saints All Saints Day and Avatar. CDs: Concert Sinatra and Foghat Live. Louis XIV eating grilled chicken breastesses. I leave you with this video.

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WSJ: BP used riskier design

The Wall Street Journal reported last week a rather interesting story on how BP used a cheaper and riskier design:

"In recent years, oil giant BP PLC used a well design that has been called "risky" by Congressional investigators in more than one out of three of its deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico, significantly more often than most peers, a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal data shows.

The design was used on the well that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, killing 11 workers and causing America's worst offshore oil spill. The only other major well design, which is more expensive, includes more safeguards against a natural-gas blowout of the kind that destroyed the Deepwater Horizon.

A Journal analysis of records provided by the U.S. Minerals Management Service shows that BP used the less costly design—called "long string"—on 35% of its deepwater wells since July 2003, the earliest date the well-design data were available....

Other big drillers use long-string design less frequently than BP, according to the Journal's data analysis. Royal Dutch Shell PLC used long string designs on 8% of its wells and Chevron Corp. on 15%. Australian firm BHP Billiton PLC used long string on 4% of its wells....

The long-string design is cheaper because a single pipe runs the length of the well and can be installed in one step. But it also can create a dangerous pathway for natural gas to rise unchecked outside the pipe.

The alternative, known as liners, is seen as safer because it has more built-in places to prevent oil or gas from flowing up the well uncontrolled. "There are more barriers, and the barriers are easier to test," says Gene Beck, an engineer and professor at Texas A&M University..."

The other method, known as "liner tieback," is more complex and costlier. First, a section of pipe called a liner is placed at the bottom of the well and cemented into place, creating an extra barrier to prevent natural gas from rising to the surfa
ce. Typically, another pipe is connected to the liner to create a pipe to the surface."

Think everyone else uses this design? Guess again:

"Chevron's head of North American exploration and production, Gary Luquette, said Chevron typically avoids long-string design because it offers fewer layers of protection. "You can make choices early on to cut costs, slim down your project to make it economic today and have dire consequences down the road, or you can build in that reliability and philosophy of dependability up front and save yourself a lot of headaches in the future," Mr. Luquette said."

Marvin Odum, president of Shell's U.S. operations, said Shell doesn't use a long string for high-risk wells. Shell said many of the times it used long strings in deepwater wells, either it hadn't encountered high pressures in the well, or the well was in an area where Shell had drilled and was comfortable with the conditions. "When it is a high-pressure, deepwater well, we only have one way of doing that way, and that is with a liner tieback. Period," he says
." Article

I'm bringing this article to your attention because more than a few think we should ban all deep-water offshore drilling. While some are against almost any form of energy production, it makes more sense to examine the techniques used in this operation.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Mary is Queen of the latest poll

JJ readers voted Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler their favorite mayor in the most recent poll. I expected her and Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee to make a race of it but once again, I was wrong. Although he was second, she more than doubled the number of votes he received. The surprise to me however, was the Canton Mayor. I picked him to come in dead last which shows how much I know. ;-)


Gene McGee
96 (18%)
Harvey Johnson
40 (7%)
Brad Rogers
10 (1%)
Gary Rhodes
32 (6%)
Mary Hawkins-Butler
229 (44%)
Truly Williams
4 (0%)
Bob Morris
1 (0%)
Rosemary Aultman
50 (9%)
Tim Coulter
17 (3%)
Mark Scarborough
31 (6%)

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Chad Jones in wreck



Say some prayers.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Watch.



This woman tells it like it is.

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Jackson water thread.

fire away.

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New chemical process could save the Gulf Coast.











A few weeks ago I wrote about a very small company called Inventive Solutions in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Earlier post. Inventive Solutions developed a process that disperses petroleum in water and is completely safe for the fish and environment. There are other chemical dispersants claiming to rid the water of the crude oil and are not toxic. However, the oil still has to be collected even though it is separated from the water (not an easy task as one can imagine) or it sinks to the floor where it never completely leaves the environment.

Inventive Solutions developed PEP: Petroleum Evaporation Process. The company recently submitted three patent applications for PEP and received patent numbers. JJ obtained a copy of the test results. Toxicology results. The tests were conducted with both fresh and sea water at Truesdal Labs in California. The report stated:

"The 625 base neutral acids reports indicate that the crude oil has been broken down and is mixing into the water.... the increase in the Tentatively Identified Carbons in the 24hr and 48hor water samples of the treated Tray B confirm that the surface crude is dissolving into the seawater."

"The Acute Aquatic Toxicity test of the treatment water shows 100% survival and no marine life toxicity..."

"It is our contention that the hydrocarbons that have been removed were toxic and the remaining TIC's are actually minerals, being the hydrocarbons reverting back to their original mineral forms prior to crude formation. The crude hydrocarbons were or are now rendered non-toxic and will readily breakdown in the ocean or shoreline environment. The residue is carbon free and made up of non-toxic mineral..."

"The volatile hydrocarbons are immediately oxidized into a neutral inert gas and the noxious smell is removed within minutes of spray treatment.

"If the process were to occur in the open water/ocean, it would cause a faster reaction and allow for greater breakdown of the remaining organic minerals floating on the surface. The density of the formula will cause it to spread through the surface layers of crude. Due to the continuous movement of the ocean, wind, sun exposure, and depth of the ocean, the treatment process is greatly enhanced."

Translation: PEP breaks down the crude oil into its original minerals and a harmless gas that evaporates. The procedure requires two separate applications of two different chemicals. Within a few hours, small bubbles appear as the reactions start to occur. The process takes two days to complete as the crude oil completely disappears. I have taken the liberty of including a series of photos taken during the tests. If the results hold up under further review, there might be some real hope of saving the Gulf Coast from the devastation starting to take place. Photo gallery (Follow the pictures in numerical order).

Inventive Solutions has had little success in getting much notice from those who would benefit most from this product. It is a very small company lacking the marketing resources and political connections of large corporations. It was negotiating with BP, but BP's negotiating tactics left something to be desired. BP kept lowering its offer and refused to even discuss the possibility of licensing. BP made it clear it wanted to buy PEP outright and claim all the credit for developing the product, thus denying the inventors their much-deserved recognition. BP refused to budge on the attribution issue. It makes one wonder if BP is more concerned with things like politics and publicity more than cleaning up the Gulf.

Hopefully, other interested parties and government agencies will take a closer look at what Inventive Solutions has developed. The Gulf Coast could use a shot of good news right now.

Note: I have a copy of one of the patent applications. Interested parties can email me for information. Company website, Description of how it works

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Latest crime stats

Jackson crime stats for week ending June 20, 2010.

Jackson major crimes overview for week ending June 13, 2010.

City of Madison crime reports.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

BP discriminates against Cajuns.

British Petroleum announced today they will no longer hire Cajuns to help in the cleanup. Thiobodeaux, Boudreaux and Fontenot were told to clean as many brown pelicans as they could....

So far, Thibodeaux has cleaned and gutted over 56 birds while Boudreaux made the roux and Fontenot cooked the rice.

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Vote in poll

Vote for favorite Mayor. Am somewhat surprised at the results so far. Thought Mary and Gene would be close to even.

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Feds screw Louisiana..... again

You've GOT to be kidding:

"The federal government is shutting down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico.

The berms are meant to protect the Louisiana coastline from oil. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department has concerns about where the dredging is being done..." Article

What Jindal should do is shut down LOOP and close the valves on the pipeline. Obama thinks he is catching hell now, let gas get to $6 a gallon and see what happens.

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Court of Appeals reverses Judge Green on plea bargain in another case

Copy of decision

Looks like Judge Tomie Green got whacked by the Mississippi Court of Appeals on an "open plea bargain" in another case. Not pushing anything here, just an interesting case.

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Find this cat










Here kitty, kitty, kitty. Lisa McDaniel Pence is looking for her cat around the Reservoir area. Email me if you see it. Name is Quincy.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

McDonalds should not get a break today from the Planning Board

The Northside Sun reported in the June 17 edition:
"A public hearing has been set for June 23 to discuss McDonald's USA's request for a special use permit to build a restaurant with a drive-through window at the southwest corner of Lakeland Drive and Ridgewood Road.

The hearing is slated to begin at 1:30 that afternoon before the Jackson Planning Board in the Warren Hood building downtown."

Although zoned for commercial use, the property is "not zoned for drive-through windows". The plans have not been approved by the City Council or the Planning Board."

This project must be stopped. Lakeland Drive from I-55N to the Pearl River is one of the few scenic sections of major roads left in Jackson. There are parks, ballparks, small banks, doctors offices, country clubs, and woods as one approaches Rankin County. No clutter of convenience stores, fast food restaurants, strip malls, or other all too familiar signs of city life. River Hills, The Quarter, and the woods of the R&D center on the other corners of the intersection. Pretty and peaceful in nature, its a perfect blend from the commercial to the nicer neighborhoods in Jackson.

The current character of that section of Lakeland Drive should be preserved. First it will be a fast food restaurant, then something else. Teenagers hanging out there all the time. More congestion. The good ole golden arches in the middle of all those parks and trees. More crime. All those cars trying to enter Lakeland drive at rush hour, backing up traffic even more. Think of the southwest corner of Old Fanin Road and Spillway Road. How lovely. How scenic. How crass.

Unfortunately, some so-called leaders of Northeast Jackson seem to have no problem with further despoliation of the area they call home. The Sun reported former Mayor Kane Ditto "isn't necessarily opposed to the chain's construction but would like to have input on several aspects of its development, such as signage. 'I would like an attractive building with good landscaping and reasonable signage.' he said in a phone interview. If its done well, it wouldn't have much of an impact."

I shouldn't be too surprised at the former mayor who instead of refusing to drink the hemlock, would rather add some sweeteners before he partakes of it. Kathryn Koury, the president of the Petit Bois Neighborhood Association, said she was opposed to the project but "after speaking with Ditto, realized that something eventually would be built on the spot."

No kidding Kathryn. Something will eventually be built "on the spot" but there is a difference between a fast food restaurant that is totally at odds with everything around it and something more tasteful. Yes, I'm starting to sound like Queen Mary but when it comes to Northeast Jackson, its about damn time people starting acting like it was Madison and not Hwy 80 in South Jackson. We've got enough crap on County Line Road, Northside Drive, the Rankin part of Lakeland, and on the frontage roads. Lets take one of the nicer parts of town and stick a Mickey D's in the middle of it. But then, that is the difference between Madison and Northeast Jackson: Their leaders won't take no for an answer when it comes to demanding higher standards while ours immediately ask how they can surrender.

Its rather too much to expect opposition from the former Mayor as his administration was characterized by a weak, go along to get along attitude that saw Jackson begin its decline. There is no question Northeast Jackson is facing its own problems right now as some neighborhoods are deteriorating and crime continues to be a problem. Stopping the current trend means adopting a no-compromise attitude and fighting one battle at a time. That means stopping this McDonald's in its tracks and encouraging a more suitable business to build on that location. Instead of griping about things and doing nothing, show up at the Planning Board meeting tomorrow and tell them to deny McDonald's application. Its time to reverse NE Jackson's slide and this is a good first place to start. Do not give McDonald's a break today.

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Irby requests bail

Imprisoned socialite, Karen Irby, wants to be free on bond while the court considers her appeals. A new attorney representing Irby in her manslaughter case has filed numerous appeals with the Mississippi Supreme Court and Hinds County Circuit Court surrounding her sentencing last month. Hinds County judge, Tomie Green, sentenced Irby to 18 years in prison for causing an accident that killed a couple and injured her husband last year.

The motion to set bail was filed by attorney William Bell on June 17. He suggests the court impose conditions such as placing Irby on house arrest and ordering Irby's passport remain in the vault of the Hinds County Circuit Clerk.

Copy of motion

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Who you gonna believe?

Who are you going to believe: a pro-government economist stooge like Marianne Hill who never met a tax she didn't like and thinks the economy is improving and doing just fine?

"National Economic Outlook. Nationally, gains in job creation and in output are strengthening. A double-dip recession is unlikely, although global financial instability and weak demand continue to threaten a smooth recovery. Indicators remain mixed, as is usual during a recovery: nonresidential construction continues to drop, while housing starts are up...." Report

OR Meredith Whitney, who thinks are headed for a double dip recession:




Don't like MerMer? Try Roubini:

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Bloomberg: BP battling cracks & told Feds in Feb.

Uh-oh.

"BP Plc was struggling to seal cracks in its Macondo well as far back as February, more than two months before an explosion killed 11 and spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico...

On Feb. 13, BP told the minerals service it was trying to seal cracks in the well about 40 miles (64 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast, drilling documents obtained by Bloomberg show. Investigators are still trying to determine whether the fissures played a role in the disaster...." Article

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Election rumors thread

Ok, it's time for the silly season to begin. Next year is an election year, THE election year. That means the silly season begins now. Alliances are formed, deals are made and everyone scrambles to see who is running before they throw their hats in the ring. What are some of the rumors?

Supposedly Tim Johnson is reexamining his decision not to run for re-election. That means you folks in Madison County might get four more years of Elvis. Word on the street is he's been mending fences over the last few weeks as he ponders this weighty decision. Another rumor is former Madison Alderman John Howland is looking at a run for the same seat as well. Billy Redd, John Howland, Tim Johnson. Please let this happen. Please make this happen. It would be FUN to cover. I wonder if Tim would let us live-mike him and do a reality show.

Ridgeland Alderman Gerald Steen is rumored to be running for D.I. Smith's seat on the Madison County Board of Supervisors. He would be a tough opponent. Incumbent in the same district with a little machine already in place against someone who has never campaigned before.

While we are in Madison County, another rumor is circulating: Rudy will climb back in the ring for a rematch against Dick Hall. An old curmudgeon and a young bull going at it. Should be interesting. Of course, the accompanying rumor is also if he wins, young Rudy will push for Elvis to be the new Executive Director.

Delbert running for Governor? Who knows. Greenville Mayor Heather McTeer-Hudson is supposed to be throwing her hat in the ring as well. Hear there are five guys looking at running for AgCommish. Another rumor is Stacy is looking at a run for Lieutenant Governor. If he does, maybe the Kingfish should run for his seat. The Kingfish as State Auditor. Does anyone think I wouldn't have fun with that job?

Back to Lieutenant Governor. Billy Hewes, Stacy and Tate Reeves. If Reeves runs, that leaves the Treasurer spot open. Here are those rumored to be interested in the position:
R-Senator Joey Fillingane(Hattiesburg), Senator Buck Clarke (Hollandale), Roger Davis (Jackson investment advisor), David Landrum (Madison).

If Stacy runs for LG, these guys are mentioned as potential candidates in that race: Knox Ross (Pelahatchie mayor), Senator Buck Clarke(Hollandale), Rep. Sam Mims(McComb), while the Democrats are still looking for a candidate.

Now for Attorney General. Rumor was floating around a while back Rankin/Madison District Attorney Michael Guest was interested, but now the rumor mill has thrown out Steve Simpson, the current Public Safety Commissioner against Democrat Jim Hood.

As for Weill's seat, the dominoes are interesting. Lobbyist Quentin Whitwell is looking at running as well as former Melton lackey Marcus Ward, Reginald Harrion and former candidate Jonathan Jones. That is of course, if Mr. Weill is elected to the bench. I must state these are all rumors and nothing is confirmed.

Then there is Mac. Rumors still float around he was going to run for Lieutenant Governor. Even heard one that he was interested in Hall's seat. Oh, Rudy, Hall, and Mac, THAT would be fun to watch. However, I don't believe it and never have. While I am talking about Mac, let's talk about Mac's favorite person, District Attorney Robert Smith. Huggie Bear tells me he will be running for re-election and Faye's interest has cooled. Once again, these are rumors, nothing more, nothing less. We are just having some fun on JJ. Tablogging at its finest.

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Corps to Jackson: Drop Dead. Levees only

Corps Letter

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stated in a letter on June 8, 2010 that it would pursue a "Levees Only" plan for flood control for the Pearl River. The letter is addressed to Billy Orr, Chairman of the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood Control and Drainage District, and states:

"You requested the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District, as part of resuming and completing the study, consider impoundment alternatives and recreation/economic development features proposed by the non-Federal sponsor, with specific focus on the Town Creek area."

Colonel Jeffrey Eckstein tells Mr. Orr to submit a permit application if it "wishes to pursue a lower lake, exclusive of the recommended levee plan." However, just to make sure no one thinks the passion in the Corps' levee love affair has faded, he reminds Mr. Orr the "levee plan is a less damaging practicable alternative when compared to the LLP (Lower Lake Plan) and any of the impoundment alternatives sought to be studied by the district." He admonishes Mr. Orr in closing "We cannot resume the study for the purpose of considering any impoundment alternatives or private development features."

The Corps is dead set on building levees six to nine feet higher than they currently are, destroying the buildings of thirty-one businesses, and require expensive floodgates and pumps that will shut down substantial parts of the city if used. Then there is the fact the Levee Plan provides for no economic development at all and turns Jackson into Mon-friggin-roe Louisiana. Thanks Corps. You screwed up New Orleans, now you are going to screw up Jackson.

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We are going to have some fun today.

Stay tuned. If bored, read this post from Friday on Jackson screwing itself.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fox 40 commits plagiarism










Fox40 committed plagiarism on a story on the Evans case. If you go to this story and click on this linkyou will see at the top of the page where it says "kingfish". I use a fax to email service from time to time and have "kingfish" put on the header for this very reason.

Now before anyone says its not plagiarism if its a public document, well, intake reports are not from what I understand. I obtained it through a good source. Fox40 should have given this blog credit when using something it did not obtain itself. Fox40 could not even provide a link to my story on the arrest but instead linked it one in another publication. I expect an apology and attribution from Fox40.

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Dr. Caroline Hoxby on charter schools

Dr. Caroline Hoxby is a Professor of Economics at Stanford and one of the leading researchers on charter schools. Here is an interview with her on how charter schools work.





She published a study recently on the success of charter schools in Harlem. I'm going to spend some time on charter schools this summer as the media in Mississippi has never covered charter schools. There is a great deal of ignorance about charter schools and much misinformation put out by the NAACP and the teachers unions.

Mississippians need to realize one crucial fact: WE ARE A POOR STATE. That means for the foreseeable future, we are going to have a limited amount of resources and a monumental task in educating our children. If anyone thinks we will be able to afford paying teachers an average salary of $45,000 a year and have classroom sizes of fifteen students, give me the drugs he is taking. I think of the education lobby in Mississippi as the Redcoats in the French and Indian Wars. The Redcoats would line up in the forest in their bright red uniforms, march forward in tight but pretty formations, while the enemy, ignorance and illiteracy, massacre them as they refuse to change or adapt to reality.

When you have fewer resources and don't have much time, that means you have to experiment and come up with solutions that make better use of what money you do have. Something I'm not seeing in our public schools. Charter schools are one way of using our money more smartly and should be looked at more closely. Those who argue they are racist and a means for perpetuating Mississippi's past legacy of segregation are liars and are only interested in maintaining the status quo that serves them so well. You know the types. They don't care if the ship is sinking as long as they are captain of the ship, everyone else be damned. Charter schools are one way of moving Mississippi forward - If we have the courage to use them.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Jackson will pay extra $8 million to refinance bonds


















Here are the details. Read 'em and weep.

The Clarion-Ledger reported this week the Jackson City Council voted to restructure some bond debt:

" The city is anticipating a $9.8 million shortfall. The council took a step Monday to help plug that hole by voting 5-1 to restructure $25 million of the city's bond debt. Johnson told council members the city could see $5.4 million in savings with the deal. The deal stretches out some of the city's debt over more years. The gross cost of the deal to taxpayers is $10.8 million, but city officials peg the present value cost - a calculation that measures the value of the deal over time - at $1.3 million.
Despite the long-term cost, Johnson said it is the only way to get cash now to help balance the budget until the economy improves.
"Is it ideal? No, but we are not in an ideal situation right now," he said. City officials are contemplating further cuts to make up the rest of the $9.8 million.
Ward 1 Councilman Jeff Weill, who voted against the plan, said he is concerned about the increased debt it places on the city a decade from now. Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon spoke for the majority by saying she expected revenue from growth downtown will allow the city to shoulder the debt. "I don't think we really have a choice," she said."

Lets look at some nuts and bolts on this deal. Unlike the "state newspaper" and Mr. Joyner, who blogs about his fights for open records while rarely providing any, Kingfish has included the paperwork given to the city council on this deal. Unfortunately for Jackson, the city council was given very little time to consider this matter. Rick Hill was supposed to bring this presentation to the work session Monday. Didn't happen. It was given to the council members less than a half hour before the regular meeting Tuesday. Our city council thus had only a few minutes to study the strengths and weaknesses on a TWENTY-FIVE MILLION DOLLAR LOAN!!! What exactly are the details of this refinance? Here ya go:

1. The city faces a $9.8 million deficit for fiscal year 2011.
2. Here is a breakdown of the fees:
Baker Donelson (Anthony Simon): Bond Counsel. $150,000
Malachi: Financial Advisor. $80,000
Rice Financial Products: Underwriters $5.50 price discount per bond ($140,000).
Tony Gaylor, Betty Mallet: Underwriter's Counsel. $95,000.
3. Malachi projects upfront savings of $5,520,779 for FY 2011.

It should be mentioned that nothing was opened up for bidding. Jackson might have been able to get lower fees, lower interest rates, or better terms but it will never know because it didn't ask.

Page 14 is where the devil appears. Jackson will have borrow $26,544,903 in general obligation bonds. However, read the savings column in the table posted above. Jackson will save half a million dollars a year for several years. Unfortunately, Jackson will start paying nearly a million dollars a year for four years. Then it will pay nearly $2 million and then around $4.5 million a year for four years and finally $6 million for the final year. Net cost IS $10,829,286. You read that right. For a few million dollars now, Jackson will PAY nearly ELEVEN MILLION DOLLARS down the road.

Its not unreasonable for council members to have problems understanding this stuff. Retired cops, school principals, loudmouths, and even lawyers have problems comprehending bond deals. However, they should have at least tabled the proposal so they could study it for a week or call in an independent adviser whose fee did not depend on whether a deal was closed. Even more disturbing is a councilwoman stating she hopes the downtown projects pay off. Hopes? What happens if they don't, Mrs. Barrett-Simon? Where are you going to come up with the five or six million a year to pay off the interest on these bonds? Page 17 states the old principal amount was $23,575,000 with interest costs of $2,969,903. Jackson will thus pay an extra eight million dollars in interest just to save some money this year while city council members hope "expected revenue" from unfinished projects will materialize.

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Charter Schools are about "parent choice"



Eva Moscowitz is the founder of the Harlem Success Academies in New York City. Harlem Success Academies are charter schools. A study by Stanford professor Caroline Hoxby compares the Harlem charter schools to regular public schools in the same area.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Star-Herald: Guest's Mississippi Court Collections, Inc operates in 18 counties

The Attala County Star-Herald reported in 2008:

"In Neshoba County, Culpepper said in six months time they have collected more than $400,000.

“Once we get them (fine holder), they usually pay,” Culpepper said. “We are in 18 different counties and it’s working.”

18 counties. JJ previously reported MCC had contracts with Neshoba County. One commentor reported the Scott County Times stated MCC had one with Scott County as well. Earlier post. Meanwhile, Mr. Guest did not return phone calls seeking comment from this correspondent but managed to appear on WFMN's "The Gallo Show" this morning and on tv several times in the last few days.

18 counties. That's alot of contracts, probably alot of money, and probably alot of contacts if someone wants to run for higher office like Attorney General one day.

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Another Substitute of Trustee notice filed against Sartain

Another Substitute of Trustee notice was filed in the Madison County Chancery Clerk's office against J. Parker Sartain, the developer for the controversial proposed apartment complex in Canton. Mr. Sartain and his company, Germantown Properties, issued a deed of trust to First South Farm Credit on May 31, 2007 for $271, 920. The note was due in full on May 1, 2010. Deed of trust. This is the third such notice filed against Mr. Sartain in the last few months. One was for $277,262 and the other was for $100,319.

The TIF bonds approved for development state Sartain's company, First Choice Development, LLC, is the primary developer. The question must be asked if the county is providing TIF bonds for a developer that is in trouble and may not be able to complete the project. Substitute of Trustee notices are not filed unless the borrower is several months behind on his mortgage payments. Mr. Sartain has had three such notices filed in the last 120 days on loans on his properties. A Substitute of Trustee Notice usually replaces the trustee for the loan with an attorney who can then file foreclosure actions against the property. The Canton Zoning Board, Canton Board of Aldermen, and the Madison County Board of Supervisors should demand from Mr. Sartain his financial statements, credit report, and a full accounting of his financial condition before it moves one step further in either issuing TIF bonds or approval for this project.

Earlier post

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Obama and BP can go to hell and stay there.

Get ready for your blood to boil. The Times-Picayune reports:
"Louisiana's efforts to attack oil approaching coastal wetlands have repeatedly been stymied by BP and federal officials, state officials on Wednesday told members of the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, which oversees coastal restoration and levee construction projects...

Garret Graves, authority chairman and coastal adviser to Gov. Bobby Jindal, said the latest obstacle was a Wednesday order from Coast Guard officials to recall several barges carrying vacuum trucks that officials were using to suck oil out of the Gulf near wetlands and barrier islands.

Coast Guard officials did not respond Wednesday to requests for information about the orders halting the vacuum strategy.....

The state's attempts to rapidly deploy oil-catching strategies is being driven by increasing concern that the oil is beginning to have serious effects on wetlands. Some oiled wetland patches were clearly dead after only three days, he said....

The frustration also extends to the decision by National Incident Commander Adm. Thad Allen to approve construction of only six island berms the state hopes will capture oil before it reaches interior wetlands or natural barrier islands.

Allen's reluctant decision to approve even that 40-mile batch of sand pits -- four west of the Mississippi River's bird foot delta and two on the east side, along the Chandeleur Islands -- still leaves hundreds of miles of shoreline at risk, Graves said...

Because state officials knew the potential effects of a worst-case spill on the state's wetlands, they were surprised when, three days after the spill, their original requests for 5 million feet of hard boom and 6 million feet of absorbent boom were ignored, as were repeated requests for a copy of the federal plan for dispensing boom during an emergency......" Article

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Black Swan: Bank Balance Sheets Still Bad

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Munis killing local governments. Will Jackson be next?

The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed piece by Steve Malanga on how state and local governments have fallen for the easy seduction of municipal bonds. Its so easy, just like a credit card. Pass a bond issue, award the contracts and lucrative fees to your political friends, get a huge chunk of cash up-front, and then make easy payments every month, right? Well, yeah but not so fast. Mr. Malanga points out what happened to the Meadowlands:

"Nearly 40 years ago the Garden State borrowed $302 million to begin constructing the Meadowlands. The goal was to pay off the bonds in 25 years. Although the project initially went according to plan, politicians couldn't resist continually refinancing the bonds, siphoning revenues from the complex into the state budget, and using the good credit rating of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition authority to borrow for other, unsuccessful building schemes.

Today, the authority that runs the Meadowlands is in hock for $830 million, which it can't pay back. The state, facing its own cavernous budget deficits, has had to assume interest payments—about $100 million this year on bonds that still stretch for decades."

Got that? Began at $302 million, run it up to $830 million, and make interest payments of roughly $100 million a year. Oh, and if they had followed some discipline, the bonds would have been paid off 15 years ago. Mr. Malanga continues:

"This tale of woe has become familiar in the world of municipal finance. Governments have loaded up on debt, stretched out repayment times, and used slick maneuvers to avoid constitutional borrowing limits. While the country's economic troubles have helped expose some of these practices, a sharp decline in tax revenues has prompted more abuse as politicians use long-term debt to kick short-term fiscal problems down the road." Column

Why is Kingfish spending time on something as arcane as muni bonds? Its a boring subject. It won't generate any traffic. It doesn't get the attention Irby posts will. Its over the heads of many people. Well, I'm spending some time on this because this is where cities go bankrupt. Jackson narrowly dodged a bullet last year when it backed out of an interest rate swap scheme cooked up by then city finance director Rick Hill, Sarah O'Reilly-Evans (She would've walked out with $60,000 alone.), and the nephew of Hinds County Supervisor George Smith. In my opinion, the interest rate swap would've done to Jackson what it did to Jefferson County, Alabama: bankrupt it. Period. Make a bad deal on bonds and like a homeowner facing foreclosure because his adjustable rate skyrocketed, suddenly the city can't afford police officers, teachers, and other services we take for granted as Jefferson County discovered.

Unfortunately for Jackson, Rick Hill just can't quit playing with the numbers:
"City Deputy Director of Administration and Finance Rick Hill said the city, by refinancing its general fund debt, is delaying debt payments that are currently due, to free up excess cash that the city can use toward its deficit by 2015 if the city does not make drastic cuts to its expenditures or raise revenue through tax increases.

Hill added that the move comes with two disadvantages: "You're moving the debt payments out, but paying more interest. (Also), on out in the years, you'll be paying that money back, so you'll have to have money then to make that payment so the city's millage will be going back up out into the future. We've got to plan how we're going to figure out how to cover that millage increase out into the future."

Hill said the city would be responsible for an extra $1.6 million in additional interest payments by delaying its debt payment, but hoped the city would be in a position to benefit from upcoming projects within the next five years that will generate new sales tax to counter the delayed debt.

"What this does, is it buys us some time to get the new Convention Center Hotel built, buys us some time to get the Farish Street Entertainment District development online, and gives us time to get out of this economic downturn we're all in," Hill said. "Hopefully the Capitol Green Project can also be online to get our sales tax back to where it needs to be
." JFP article

Makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over, doesn't it?

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Fortification project starting soon.

The Jackson Free Press reported yesterday:
"After almost 10 years of delay, the city of Jackson is starting the renewal of Fortification Street, according to the June 15 council agenda...

The Jackson City Council will vote at its meeting tomorrow whether to authorize $66,174 in payments to property-owners along Fortification Street to begin construction that will make the street more pedestrian friendly and slow down traffic...

Although the project will require no expansion of the street onto bordering property, Lindsay said the design calls for sidewalks taking up one existing lane, and it also calls for new, decorative street lighting and the burial of many power lines..." Article

I'm going to get into trouble for writing this but I don't think this project will work out for Jackson and the Belhaven neighborhood as intended. There is NO question Fortification Street needs a major overhaul. Its great for testing struts and shock absorbers as craters and bumps are the dominant feature.

The goal of this plan is to push off the commuter traffic to Woodrow Wilson and High Street. However, I don't think it will work. This isn't old Canton Road which does not have direct entrance ramps from the interstate. The temptation will simply be too great for too many motorists to exit I55 and use Fortification to reach their destination. Traffic on Fortification Street will become a nightmare. Its busy enough during morning and afternoon rush hour. Just wait until its reduced to two lanes. It will be much worse, trust me.

Its easy for Mrs. Lindsay to say no big deal as she is nestled away in Belhaven where such troubles are out of sight and out of mind. The people living or working on Fortification Street itself will find themselves dealing with more congestion and longer delays in trying to leave the area. Then there are the wrecks that always happen once a month in the waterworks curve, forcing enterprising drivers to get off at Fortification and return to the interstate at Lakeland or Woodrow Wilson. Nice. However, everyone is on board with this project and it will happen so it will be interesting to see what happens when it doesn't work out quite the way they expected.

Note: By the way, thanks Clarion-Ledger for not reporting this story.

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Destin City Council meeting last night was lively

Update: " Okaloosa County isn’t taking oil spill orders any more.

County commissioners voted unanimously to give their emergency management team the power to take whatever action it deems necessary to prevent oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill from entering Choctawhatchee Bay through the East Pass.

That means the team, led by Public Safety Director Dino Villani, can take whatever action it sees fit to protect the pass without having its plans approved by state or federal authorities.

Commission chairman Wayne Harris said he and his fellow commissioners made their unanimous decision knowing full well they could be prosecuted for it..." Article

Original post:
Article

The Destin City Council had a rather contentious meeting last night on what to do about the approaching oil spill. Interesting reading.

Here are two forums on the oil spill. The one at Tigerdroppings.com of all places tends to have more informed comments.

Tigerdroppings.com

Ticker Forum

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Good job, Judge Green, good job.

Copy of motion

Karen Irby filed a Motion to Set Aside Order on June 9, 2010. Sloppiness in written orders is something I've come to expect from Judge Green in this case as draftsmanship is obviously not her strong suit. Judge Green entered an order stating Karen Irby pled guilty to depraved heart murder. The order is attached to the motion. Naturally Ms. Irby and her lawyer are all over this one, claiming her due process rights were violated and it supports her motion to withdraw her guilty plea. It should be pointed out her attorney, Mr. Joseph Holloman, the .6 million dollar man, signed the order.

Note: Mrs. Irby is no longer in maximum security. The MDOC website states she is in the CMCF WMN section.

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FAIM files bankruptcy petition

Update: The fines have not been paid. The order levying the fines was issued on April 14, 2010. FAIM and Mr. Murphy were given thirty days to pay said fines to the state.

The Fine Arts Institute of Mississippi, the pet project of Tim Johnson and Billy Murphy, just can't seem to stay out of the news. FAIM is a charity whose stated purpose is to assist the arts in Mississippi and provide scholarships for music students. It raised money through a bingo operation in North Mississippi (which requires a charitable gaming license from the Gaming Commission.). Silbrina Wright was an employee of the Ridgeland-based charity. She filed suit in federal court against FAIM after she was allegedly fired for reporting wrongdoing by its President, Billy Murphy. The Secretary of State issued revoked FAIM's charter in April and fined FAIM and Mr. Murphy $25,000 each. Earlier post. The Gaming Commission denied the license renewal for FAIM in March. Earlier post.

The usual legal skirmishing took place in Ms. Wright's suit, including a motion for summary judgement filed by the defendant. Judge Wingate rejected the motion on June 8, stating "The court also finds there to be genuine issues of material fact as to a possible causal connection between plaintiff’s declarations on defendants’ alleged illegal activities and her termination. The court will also allow plaintiff to present her theory that defendants committed the tort of outrageous conduct." Order

However, FAIM filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Friday afternoon (June 11) and a notice in Ms. Wright's suit notifying the court of the bankruptcy petition and asking the court to transfer the case to bankruptcy court (Same tactic used in the Steadivest and Evans lawsuits.). Notice, Bankruptcy Petition

What is interesting is FAIM is still classified as a non-profit corporation under Mississippi law and the question must be asked if it has complied with state law. The Secretary of State outlines the procedures for closing a charity on its website (Page 8). The charity must file financial statements, articles of dissolution, and "(iv) A statement signed by an officer of the corporation providing details of the final distribution of assets." (Section 79-11-503 of the Mississippi Code). The assets must go to another charity or the state. Sources have informed this website FAIM has taken none of these actions. It is unknown if the fines have been paid by either FAIM or Mr. Murphy.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Check out the FAA no-fly zone in the Gulf

Very interesting.

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George Bell, III moved on June 4 to SMCI

Update: Moved yesterday to Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin, Unit 3.

George Bell, III was moved on June 4, 2010 to the South Mississippi Corrections Institution in Leakesville according to MDOC's website. He previously served his time at the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility.

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IG slams federal government on being ready for WMD attack. No one in charge, no planning, Brownie all over again.

Report

The L.A. Times recently reported on a report issued in May by the Inspector General for the Department of Justice concerning the response of federal law enforcement to the use of a WMD in this country. The report was rather scary as it slammed the Department of Justice for being comletely unprepared for such an event:

"The Justice Department is not prepared to ensure public safety in the aftermath of an attack using weapons of mass destruction, the agency's inspector general said Tuesday in the latest warning about the government's readiness for a catastrophic terrorist event.

The Justice Department is supposed to coordinate federal law enforcement activities after a nuclear, biological or chemical attack and take over if the incident overwhelms state and local police, the report said.

"We are totally unprepared," an unidentified Justice Department official is quoted as saying in the report by the inspector general, the agency's internal watchdog. "Right now, being totally effective would never happen. Everybody would be winging it..." (p. 44 of report)
Article

I actually read the report and its scary when one starts thinking about its implications. One should assume if a WMD is detonated, local first responders will probably be incapacitated or dead. The use of federal law enforcement personnel and resources will be very critical and it is imperative they have some idea of what the hell they are supposed to do in such a crisis. Here are some quotes from the report (Read the Executive Summary and then skip to page 28 for the meat of the report):

"In December 2008, the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Proliferation and Terrorism issued a report on the United States’ ability to protect itself from a WMD attack. The Commission concluded that, without concerted action to prevent it, a WMD attack is likely to occur somewhere in the world by 2013." (p. 13, I'm using page numbers in adobe, not the document itself).

"Our review found that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has taken appropriate steps to prepare to respond to a potential WMD attack.... "The FBI has developed various plans, handbooks, and other resources to guide its staff in responding to a WMD incident. Further, the FBI regularly provides its staff with training specific to WMD incidents. The FBI provides WMD training for all new Special Agents during their initial FBI Academy training, and FBI WMD Coordinators and Intelligence Analysts are trained in specific WMD areas of emphasis." (p.4)

"Although the FBI appears prepared to provide the initial response to a WMD incident, the Department (Department of Justice) as a whole is not fully prepared to provide a coordinated response. We found that no entity or individual has been assigned responsibility for central oversight of WMD response activities throughout the Department (If I could underline that sentence as well I would do so.) In addition, the existing Department-level response policies and plans are not in compliance with national policy and are outdated. Further, the components’ preparations for responding to a WMD incident, other than the FBI’s, are inconsistent and not well coordinated. Moreover, appropriate component staff does not appear well trained in the unique requirements associated with responding to a WMD incident." (p. 35)

"the NSD National Crisis Management Coordinator stated that the Department’s response program lacked general leadership, centralization, and coordination. He added that nobody is looking at all of the components regarding response operations, particularly for responding to a WMD incident." (p. 25)

"Overall, we found no Department-sponsored training or coordination of exercises to test preparedness for responding to a WMD or other incident. No law enforcement components other than the FBI have specific WMD operational response plans, although EOUSA and NSD have developed plans or guides for a legal response to a WMD incident.

We found ATF, the DEA, and the USMS each have groups or individuals to manage all-hazards responses, but no Department component, other than the FBI, assigns an entity specifically to prepare for WMD incidents. Further, none of the components maintains plans, handbooks, and other resources specifically for responding to WMD incidents." (p.40)

A couple of the agencies make the excuse that they thought the FBI would lead the way and they would support the FBI in the event of a WMD detonation. The IG thrashes this argument:

"However, we found no efforts among the components to coordinate responding to a WMD incident. The FBI is the only component with plans, handbooks, and other resources for responding to a WMD incident, but officials from the other components said they have not seen the FBI’s response materials. The Assistant Directors of the FBI’s WMD Directorate and Critical Incident Response Group said the FBI would not object to letting other Department components review the plans, but none of the components have asked to do so." (p.41)

It gets worse. This quote spells out exactly why this is such a big deal:
"In a WMD incident, agencies’ roles are not specified and resources are not pre-positioned as during a special event. Moreover, the hazard presented by a WMD – as opposed to conventional or improvised explosives or natural disasters – is unique. Without WMD-specific training and response plans, responders may be at greater risk of becoming casualties. Because the component field offices in the NCR other than the FBI have no WMD-specific response plans or training, and have not participated in WMD-specific exercises, it is uncertain that they are fully prepared to safely and effectively contribute to the Department’s overall response in the event of a WMD incident." (p. 52)

This passage says it all:
"ATF’s Chief of the Office of Field Operations said that ATF’s plan in the event of a WMD incident is to not respond, but rather to provide support to the FBI. DEA and USMS officials stated that in the event of a WMD incident they would develop plans to support an FBI response if the FBI asked for support, after the components’ headquarters approved the use of resources."

So they develop plans AFTER the attack? Do I even need to say it?
The IG makes five recommendations on page ten. The agency responses are at the back of the report and some of the IG's responses to their responses are good reading as the IG dissects and then knocks them down one at a time. Forget the Republican or Democrat debates. Read the report. Its sobering. One can only hope the government will get its act together before the terrorists do.

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Some really good _________

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sad but true

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Wendy Suares Evans: One great lady who will be missed.












This is a post I hate writing. All good things come to an end and Wendy's time at WLBT has as well. I've known her for 2 1/2 years now and she has become one of my really good friends in that time. She is one of the most talented and nicest people I've met since I started up this blog three years ago. She will be leaving WLBT for a gig in Little Rock and she will no doubt become a hit in that town as she was here.

I owe alot of what I do on this blog to Wendy, believe it or not. She was my first real contact with any media in Jackson. We exchanged some emails after she won my first Hottest Reporter Poll. I didn't even know who she was and left her out of the first run until many of you knuckleheads protested her omission so much I hit the reset button. Then I found out prior to the hearing that George Bell III was going to plead guilty and get life from very, very good sources. I sent her an email when I went to bed that Sunday night saying I had a very important tip on the Bell case and to call me immediately, even if it was 3:00 AM. She called me shortly after 7:00 AM, I told her there was going to be a hearing. She said, yes, she knew, it was some minor hearing, and I replied no, he is pleading guilty and getting life and told her my sources (had permission). She ran to the courthouse with a cameraman in tow and had the best story of the day and one of the biggest ones that year. Got all the interviews, got all the angles, and stayed on the clock twelve hours, even going live at five and six that evening. Wendy had a real scoop and knew it, didn't care it came from a "blogger" unlike reporters at other stations and papers. She just cared about the story and covered it better than anyone else, origins be damned. I got a great deal of confidence writing this blog from dealing with her as she encouraged me more than once to keep at it.

She introduced me to many people in the news business, explained to me on several occasions how things worked in tv land, and was patient with my dumb questions.
Since then, we've become good friends and she's always been a pleasure to be around. Always funny. Even in a bad mood there is her own charming little twist to her frustration that few can match that. Although a popular news anchor, Wendy never cared about that as away from the station, she was a regular person who just had a job to do, something special in an industry filled with divas. I'm going to hate seeing my lunch friend leave but its on to bigger and better things for her. She is a class act and I wish her the best.

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JFP cluelessness yet again.

Stauffer once again shows his ignorance in a discussion about the police officer who shot an unarmed Marine thirteen times:

"Well -- wait -- which is it? Standard procedure or elevated stress? Are the 13 bullets the result of "training" or "tunnel vision"?
If the argument being made is that a cop simply can't control how many bullets come out of the gun -- even in a situation as described here -- then doesn't it pretty much argue for a good ol' service revolver?
What I'm reading from Mark is that once ANY officer's finger pulls a trigger past the point of no return -- regardless of the level of training, mastery of the weapon or the actual circumstances of the shooting event -- rounds are going to keep flying in the general direction of the victim until the victim is inert.
So, if only for the safety of law-abiding citizens in the vicinity, doesn't that suggest we need to limit the number of bullets in any cop's gun?
posted by Todd Stauffer on 06/10/10 at 04:28 PM"

Why do cops keep firing after one or two hits? Perhaps this might have something to do with it. Its from Wikipedia but I'm so familiar with the details of this incident I can say this entry is accurate:

"The FBI Miami shootout was a gun battle that occurred on 11 April 1986 in Miami, Florida between eight Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and two serial bank robbers. The firefight claimed the lives of Special Agents Jerry L. Dove and Benjamin P. Grogan. The two robbery suspects, William Russell Matix and Michael Lee Platt were also killed. In addition, five FBI agents were wounded in the incident.

The incident is infamous in FBI history and is well-studied in law enforcement circles. Despite outnumbering the suspects 4 to 1, the agents found themselves pinned down by rifle fire and unable to respond effectively. Although both Matix and Platt were hit multiple times during the firefight, Platt fought on regardless and continued to injure and kill the officers. This incident led to the introduction of more powerful handguns in many police departments around the country."

What the entry does not say is one shooter was hit in the chest with a lethal round from a service 9mm and still shot several agents after being hit with a lethal round. 7 of the 8 agents were shot and two died. After shooting one suspect with a lethal round. Todd, that might be why police don't "shoot and stop" after one hit. If you knew anything about the law, which on Mount Fondren its pretty clear you don't, there is only one level of force with a firearm: deadly force and that means shoot to kill. There is no shoot to wound or incapacitate. Period. Ask Officer Gooch of the Ridgeland PD. He shot Kenneth Tarnes in the eye with a 9 mm. Round bounced off of his skull and he lived after killing three deputy fire chiefs downtown. There is a reason cops are trained to fire multiple rounds even after hitting the suspect.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

No, its not you, its ATT.

The network is down. Getting calls only but nothing else.

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More on the Madison Carjacker










JJ obtained through a public records request the police report for the attempted carjacking in Madison reported in the Clarion-Ledger this week. Madison Municipal Court Judge Dale Danks took a break from a tanning bed session to set the bond for the suspect, a Mr. Marcus George, at $1.5 million. Mr. George didn't like this too much and his attorney, Ed Blackmon yes, the same Ed Blackmon who personally killed legislation protecting the lives of school children this year, appealed to Madison County Circuit Court. Judge William Chapman dropped his bond to $50,000.

The police reports state that the victim, a Bolton resident, left the Target store on County Line Road on May 6 at 8:50 PM and went to Madison to see her mother. She stopped at the Shell Station on Hwy 51 and continued to her mother's home. After she parked in her mother's driveway, the suspect, a black 37 year old black male allegedly "approached" her car with his hand wrapped in a blue and white towel. She thought it was a gun. He said "Get over in the passenger seat bitch now. Do what I say and you won't get hurt. Do what I say or I will kill you bitch!" He then "knocked her cellphone out of her hand" but the victim had had enough as she kneed him in the bollocks and pushed the gun away. She said he could have the purse and the car but she had a daughter (Police report does not say daughter was in car so for our purposes we will assume mother was probably caring for the daughter and victim was picking her up.). The victim's mother came outside, startling the suspect. He ran and jumped into a waiting car that sped away.

The police then did something not seen much in Jackson: they had investigators come out and "lift fingerprints". You read that correctly. The two ladies provided descriptions of the suspect who was subsequently arrested. By the way, the Clarion-Ledger has the same police report. Article

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Latest crime stats

Crime stats for week ending June 6, 2010.

Major crimes overview for week ending June 6, 2010.

City of Madison crime reports through June 8, 2010.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mississippi Supreme Court rules on Butler Snow building

The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled today the city of Ridgeland did not violate the law when it granted a permit for developers to build a thirteen story building. Prediction: Anita and her fellow kooks will now move to really shut down Sophia's.

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Madison Supes reject streaming meetings online

So much for transparency and serving the public in Madison County. District 3 Supervisor D.I. Smith proposed at the regular meeting of the Madison County Board of Supervisors Monday that the County study the feasibility of broadcasting the meetings online.

Mr. Smith proposed during the new business section
"Over the last two years there have been a number of complaints by Madison County citizens about the access to the Board of Supervisors meeting, particularly since they are held when most people are at work.

I propose and move that the Board of Supervisors direct the Board Secretary, Chancery Clerk Arthur Johnston, and Information Technology Director, Duane Thompson, to report to the Board at its first meeting in September on the costs and feasibility of broadcasting meetings of the Madison County Board of Supervisors on the internet via webcast streaming, in the interests of providing more convenience, transparency and open government to Madison County residents. The Secretary of the Board will also make recommendations on additional issues such as on-line archiving of the video recordings, equipment requirements, vendors, applications, costs; and which County personnel should oversee its operation.

The report shall be issued in writing and the Board shall decide at the first meeting in September on whether to broadcast its meetings via the internet.

D.I. Smith
Supervisor
District 3
June 7, 2010
"

Unfortunately, Mr. Smith's motion died for lack of a second as not even his long-time ally, John Bell Crosby would even support studying putting the meetings on the internet. Tim Johnson could not resist twisting the knife and said "well, D.I., you can now put up on your website your motion died for lack of a second." Mr. Smith distributed these two documents to the public and reporters present: Motion, Advantages of streaming meetings.

Billy Redd, Candidate for District 2 Supervisor position, told JJ "unless there is some reason legally that you can't stream the meetings or it was so unbelievably cost-prohibitive, this is something we should for Madison County. I don't see a reason why we would not want to do this for open government." When asked if he would have seconded the motion, Mr. Redd said "absolutely."

Madison County residents should give the Supervisors hell over this one as it shows they have no interest whatsoever in serving them or listening to their concerns. These guys come around begging for your vote and your money yet when someone asks them to study making it easier for you to see what they are up to in Canton, they don' t just say "no" but "hell no" to the voters. One could understand choosing not to broadcast the meetings if it cost too much or required too much work from too many people but such was not the case in this meeting. The Supervisors are only interested in making Canton a poor-man's Mount Olympus where few can see them cut their deals and reward their friends, the public be damned.

Notes:
By the way, if anyone wants to tape the meetings and send me the video, I'll put it up here. that goes for the Canton meeting as well.

Also, this rejection was not published in the MC Herald or the Madison County Journal. I understand the MCH because it is Gannett but since Steve Watson claims to be an actual reporter, one would expect him to report on such things.

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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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