Fight against “adult entertainment” on Canal Road

On February 18th, the Harrison County Planning Commission held their regular meeting and heard a petition to allow “a form of Adult Entertainment” at 18009 Tillman Road.  The subject property is 1,700 feet south of Faith Baptist Church on the corner of Canal Road and Tillman Road.

The following information was available from the Planning Commission proposed agenda posted on the Harrison County website:

Case File 1602HC018 – Other to allow the establishment a juice bar with exotic dancers in accordance to Section 305 Non-Classified Uses – Old Hwy 49– tax parcel 0610H-01-001.001 – Ronald Nance for Danielle Fayard – Supervisor District 3

Said petition was filed by Ronald Nance for Danielle Fayard requesting to add a form of Adult Entertainment in conjunction with a Juice Bar on a 0.6-acre parcel of land as identified on the site plan. Section 305 requires the Planning Commission to make a determination of the district or districts in which such use shall be permitted, either by right or on a conditional basis. The property is currently zoned as C-1 (Neighborhood Commercial) and R-2 (Medium Density Residential) District. The subject property is located at 18009 Tillman Road. The ad valorem tax parcel number is 0610H-01-001.001.

According to church members in attendance, the issue was tabled until a future meeting. The property is easily recognizable to those travelling on Canal Road and a photo of the proposed site from Google Maps is below.

18009 Tillman Rd

Site of proposed adult entertainment venue on Canal Road

Per Mississippi law, counties have authority to regulate adult entertainment. Per Section 305 of the Harrison County Zoning Ordinance, adult entertainment is a “Non-Classified Uses” and therefore requires planning commission approval:

For any use not specifically listed, the planning commission shall make a determination of the district or districts in which such use shall be permitted, either by right or on a conditional basis. Any such determination shall be based on the subject use’s similarity in nature, intensity of land use impact and general character to other uses listed in the various districts.

While the location is within District 3, all church members and residents of Harrison County need to come together and tell our Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission that such establishments are not desired anywhere in Harrison County let alone on Canal Road.  Notify your Supervisor and plan to attend future Board of Supervisors Meetings and Planning Boards.

Harrison County Board of Supervisors:

Harrison County residents can determine the district of their resident via their voter registration card or by viewing the district map.

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MS News Now: “Brandon High School Band pulled from halftime performance”

MS News Now filed the report “Brandon High School Band pulled from halftime performance” on Aug. 21, 2015:

BRANDON, MS (Mississippi News Now) – The Brandon High School Band did not perform at halftime during the season-opening game Friday night.  A statement from the Rankin County School District says a July federal court order is the reason the band was banned from Friday night’s halftime show.

The band had been slated to perform the hymn “How Great Thou Art.”

The district made the decision to ban the halftime show after learning the hymn was included in the performance.

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Democrat shocker highlights 2015 Primary Election

Incumbents mostly won the day in Mississippi Gulf Coast primary elections on August 4th. The biggest surprise of the election came in the Democrat primary for Governor. Political unknown Robert Gray won the primary against the Democrat’s chose standard-bearer Vicki Slater. Slater, an accomplished trial lawyer and small business owner, had been the MS Democrat Party favorite and received the most endorsements of any of the primary candidates. Gray, a retired firefighter and truck driver, will face Gov. Phil Bryant and Reform Party candidate Shawn O’Hara in the November 3rd General Election.

County primaries were mixed with several races heading to runoff elections on August 25th:

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY RUNOFFS:

  • Hancock County Supervisor, District 5: Tonya Wayne Ladner and Darrin Ladner
  • Harrison County Sheriff: Melvin Brisolara and Troy Peterson
  • Harrison County Supervisor, District 2: Ricky Dombrowski and Angel Kibler-Middleton
  • Harrison County Constable, District 1: James Morgan and Richard H. Quave
  • Jackson County Circuit Clerk: Randy Carney and J.T. Martin
  • Jackson County Tax Assessor: Nicholas Elmore and Greta Hearndon
  • Jackson County Supervisor, District 1: Barry E. Cumbest and Sabrina Smith
  • Jackson County Supervisor, District 3: Michael R. Whitmore and Ken Taylor
  • Jackson County Supervisor, District 4: Tommy Brodnax and Troy Ross
  • Jackson County Justice Court Judge, District 1: Gerald Wayne Jones and Matt Lachaussee
  • Jackson County Justice Court Judge, District 4: David McVeay and Daniel P. Guice, III

DEMOCRAT PRIMARY RUNOFF: Harrison County Supervisor, District 4: Chris Fisher and Kent Jones

Complete results from the primary election are linked below.

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Special Election for House District 1 Announced

Gov. Bryant announced a special election will take place May 12th to fill the 1st Congressional District seat that has been open since Rep. Alan Nunnelee’s death on February 6th. The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of the 2-year term which will end in 2017.

State Rep. Chris Brown has said he will run. Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert, businessman Quentin Whitwell, and attorney Chip Mills have expressed interest. Travis Childers, who formerly held the seat from 2008-2011, has yet to make an announcement. March 27th is the qualifying deadline.

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Senate Education Committee passes “Tim Tebow” bill

Senate Bill 2329, a bill to allow home school students play public school sports, survived committee and passed to the Mississippi Senate. Named the “Tim Tebow Act” after the eponymous football player and home schooler who benefitted from a similar law in Florida, over 20 states already have laws that allow such access.

Sen. Joey Fillingane, the bill sponsor, argues that home school parents also pay taxes and should have equal access to extracurricular activities. Sen. Angela Hill believes, “We have a lot of people who are saving the state a lot of tax money by home schooling. . . I think it’s just a goodwill gesture that these kids could integrate with the school system and play sports if they want to.”

The bill originally included language that required documenting that home school academic standards were the same as public schools. The Senate Education Committee streamlined the wording require validation of academic achievement by “grade level testing administered by a school psychometrist.” Mississippi Home Educators Association (MHEA) opposes the bill since such language invites government intrusion and regulation of home schools. MHEA’s 5 Feb 2015 Facebook post expressed that “If this bill becomes law, it will be only a small step for psychometric testing to move from the realm of equal access to all home educators.”

SB 2329 also defines a home school as “a nonpublic school in which one or more children of not more than two (2) families or households receive full-time supervised academic instruction from a parent, legal guardian, or member of either household.” This definition is more restrictive than Mississippi’s compulsory education law and limits parents’ education options. With a new and different definition on the books, future courts could interpret statutes unpredictably and negatively impact home schools.

Sen. Brice Wiggins of Pascagoula, another opponent of the bill, believes that there should be no picking and choosing of public services stating, “You’re saying ‘I want to home school my child but I want the benefit of public school athletics. . . It’s kind of wanting to have your cake and eat it too.”

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MS Gulf Coast’s 2014 General Election Results

Mississippians voted overwhelmingly to support a state constitutional amendment to preserve the right to hunt and fish.  Nearly 90% of voters approved House Concurrent Resolution 30 (HCR 30) which will amend the state constitution and become the 18th state with hunting and fishing protected as a constitutional right.

Winners in the 2014 General Election:

  • U.S. Senate:  Thad Cochran
  • 4th Congressional District:  Steven Palazzo
  • Chancery Court Judge, District 08, Place 2:  Jennifer Schloegel
  • Chancery Court Judge, District 08, Place 3:  Sandy Steckler
  • County Court Judge, Place 3:  Margaret Alfonso
  • Chancery Court Judge, District 16, Place 1:  D. Neil Harris, Sr.*
  • Chancery Court Judge, District 16, Place 3:  Michael Fondren

*As of November 7th, D. Neil Harris, Sr. led the election against Paula Yancey by 18 votes with 18 affidavit ballots outstanding.

Two races will require a run-off.  In the Harrison County race for Circuit Court Judge (District 02, Place 2), Chris Schmidt earned 42% of the vote and will face Robert Fant Walker who received the second highest vote total with 34%.  In Jackson County, Mike Ezell garnered 43.9% of the vote and will face Scott McIlrath who came in second with 15.9%.

Runoff election will be November 25th.

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Party conflict should be good for. . . turnout

The divide between Tea Party and establishment Republican leadership continues to provide headlines.  First, GOP Chairman Joe Nosef talked to NBC about Chris McDaniel’s comments on his former radio program.  Then MS Tea Party president, Laura Van Overschelde, called on Nosef to resign for failing to be neutral as he is required to be under state party bylaws.

Breitbart reported from leaked email conversations that Nosef said, “‘These people are getting so fanatical [that] this will put everything in danger regardless of who wins’ the upcoming GOP primary, he wrote, adding, ‘I refuse to continue to spend time dealing with these people.'”  Nosef clarified:

[B]y “these people,” in the email he didn’t mean all Tea Partiers. “I would never say I am done working with the tea party itself,” Nosef said. “In fact as a tea party member who actually is out there in the state working told me today – the real grassroots tea party people don’t care about all this inside baseball stuff. They are working to win elections. So I would never stop working with them. When I said ‘these people’ I was speaking of some of their leadership that is chronically against all of our elected officials. Literally these people believe our entire federal delegation needs to go. That’s how different their leadership is than their voters.”

The constant “disagreeableness” of the Tea Party has caused Frank Corder of Y’all Politics to call them the “Conservative Thought Police.”  Bobby Harrison of the Daily Journal writes that the Primary campaign could draw a record amount of participation this year:

The McDaniel/Cochran campaign has the potential to attract many newcomers to the Republican Party primary. The race, it appears by the number of television commercials already being aired and the animosity already being displayed by both campaigns, will be hotly contested. And there is no party primary on the Democratic side of any significance. Cochran, of course, is the sixth-term incumbent and deeply entrenched as part of the state Republican Party organization. McDaniel is the upstart, the Tea Party favorite. Now, in many instances, Tea Party members have been long-time, entrenched Republicans. But in other instances, Tea Party members, although socially and fiscally conservative, have never identified with the Republican Party, other than to vote for the Republican candidate with whom they felt most closely aligned. Many of these people have become politically active for the first time thanks to the Tea Party, though they have been long-time Republican voters.

The McDaniel-Cochran race is quickly morphing into a contest between those Tea Party members and the state’s Republican Party establishment, or GOP old guard. After all, the Barbours, as Republican establishment as can be found, are running an independent group touting Cochran and speaking rather despairingly of McDaniel and of groups supporting him.

Haley Barbour called the national Tea Party-affiliated groups supporting McDaniel “out-of-state phonies.” The former governor – the most prolific political fundraiser in the state’s history – was never averse to out-of-state support when he was campaigning.

After the Primary season is over, all Republicans will need to come together for the General Election.  Harrison concludes:

The establishment Republicans have depended on the Tea Party-like voters – many of whom are supporting McDaniel – to turn Mississippi into one of the most dependable red states. They will continue to need that support whether McDaniel wins or loses.

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