Debbie Elliott http://publicradioeast.org en Writer Plumbs 'Nature Of Evil' In Hometown's Violent Civil Rights Past http://publicradioeast.org/post/writer-plumbs-nature-evil-hometowns-violent-civil-rights-past Mississippi's past looms large in Greg Iles' best-selling thrillers. His latest book, <em>Natchez Burning,</em> is the first in a trilogy that<em> </em>takes readers back 50 years to chilling civil rights-era murders and conspiracies all set in Iles' hometown — the antebellum river city of Natchez, Miss.<p>Iles' hero, Penn Cage, is a former prosecutor and widowed single father who has returned to his childhood home. Once there, he finds himself confronting killers, corruption and dark secrets.<p>"Penn Cage I think of as annoyingly righteous sometimes," Iles says. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:36:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 46889 at http://publicradioeast.org Writer Plumbs 'Nature Of Evil' In Hometown's Violent Civil Rights Past Corruption Convictions Spell 10 Year Sentence For Former NOLA Mayor http://publicradioeast.org/post/corruption-convictions-spell-10-year-sentence-former-nola-mayor Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>A federal judge has sentenced former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin to 10 years in prison for corruption conviction. The sentence was lighter than what prosecutors were seeking for the former two-term Democrat. NPR's Debbie Elliott covered Nagin's trial earlier this year, and she joins us now to talk about today's sentencing. Debbie, first remind us of what Ray Nagin was convicted of back in February.<p>DEBBIE ELLIOT, BYLINE: Well, a New Orleans jury found him guilty of 20 of the 21 federal corruption counts he was facing. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 20:11:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 45954 at http://publicradioeast.org 'Teenie' Hodges, A Sculptor Of Al Green's Sultry Sound, Passes Away http://publicradioeast.org/post/teenie-hodges-sculptor-al-greens-sultry-sound-passes-away Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. A key architect of Memphis soul died this week. Guitarist and songwriter Mabon "Teenie" Hodges helped create the smooth, sultry R&B sound made famous by singer Al Green.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HERE I AM BABY")<p>AL GREEN: (Singing) Here I am baby.<p>BLOCK: NPR's Debbie Elliott has this remembrance.<p>DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: Teenie Hodges grew up playing in his father's blues band as a teenager in the 1950s. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 20:20:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 44966 at http://publicradioeast.org Longtime Sen. Cochran Ekes Out A Win Against Tea Party Challenger http://publicradioeast.org/post/longtime-sen-cochran-ekes-out-win-against-tea-party-challenger Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. Tea Party candidates were rebuffed in primaries across the country yesterday. Just ahead, we'll get some analysis of what that may mean. To begin we're going to hear about it particularly stinging defeat in Mississippi. That's where longtime Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran won a hard-fought runoff with State Sen. Chris McDaniel. The race was considered a key test of Tea Party strength in the conservative Deep South. Wed, 25 Jun 2014 20:15:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 44854 at http://publicradioeast.org Twisty Miss. Primary May Mean End Of Road For Longtime Senator http://publicradioeast.org/post/twisty-miss-primary-may-mean-end-road-longtime-senator Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel. Next week, voters in Mississippi once again go to the polls; this time in the runoff for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. Six-term incumbent Thad Cochran remains locked in a tight race against challenger Chris McDaniel, a Tea-Party-backed State Senator. It is seen as a referendum on whether the GOP establishment can beat back Tea Party fervor. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 20:20:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 44490 at http://publicradioeast.org Still Learning From The 'Pearl Harbor' Of The Civil Rights Movement http://publicradioeast.org/post/still-learning-pearl-harbor-civil-rights-movement This weekend marks 50 years since three young civil rights workers went missing in Philadelphia, Miss., drawing the nation's attention to the brutal resistance to equal rights in the South at the time.<p>Justice came slowly, but the murders did help spur change. Today, young people are still learning about the activists' legacy, hoping to inspire further action.<p><strong>Attack At The Church</strong><p>Freedom Summer drew hundreds of young Americans to Mississippi in 1964. Thu, 19 Jun 2014 06:59:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 44329 at http://publicradioeast.org Still Learning From The 'Pearl Harbor' Of The Civil Rights Movement Mississippi Marks 50 Years Since History-Changing 'Freedom Summer' http://publicradioeast.org/post/mississippi-marks-50-years-history-changing-freedom-summer A new exhibit at the Mississippi state archives takes you back in time. The facade of a front porch, complete with screen door, invites you to imagine what it was like for some 900 activists, mostly white college students, who in 1964 came to the nation's most closed society.<p>Robert Moses was an organizer of what was at the time formally known as the Mississippi Summer Project.<p>"That's sort of what was nice about it. There was no pretension that we were going to change history," Moses says. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 20:32:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 43238 at http://publicradioeast.org Mississippi Marks 50 Years Since History-Changing 'Freedom Summer' In Mississippi, A Heated Senate Primary Spills Into Runoff http://publicradioeast.org/post/mississippi-heated-senate-primary-spills-runoff Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>A bitterly fought Republican Senate primary in Mississippi is heading for overtime. After yesterday's voting, longtime U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran is trailing his Tea Party backed challenger, State Sen. Chris McDaniel. The race appears headed for a runoff in three weeks. NPR's Debbie Elliott has been covering the contest and joins us now from Jackson, Mississippi. Hi, Debbie.<p>DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: Hi, Robert.<p>SIEGEL: This Senate primary was considered the biggest stand-off between the Tea Party and the GOP establishment. Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 43146 at http://publicradioeast.org In Mississippi, A Senate Race Derailed By A Blogger's Photos http://publicradioeast.org/post/mississippi-senate-race-derailed-bloggers-photos Mississippi's Republican Senate primary has taken a bizarre and nasty turn as Tuesday's election draws near. The heated race is considered one of the Tea Party's best opportunities to unseat a longtime GOP incumbent, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.<p>His challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, is struggling to stay on message after some of his supporters <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/05/22/314934401/three-more-men-charged-in-conspiracy-case-roiling-miss-senate-race">were arrested</a> in a scheme to exploit Cochran's bedridden wife. Fri, 30 May 2014 21:17:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 42791 at http://publicradioeast.org In Mississippi, A Senate Race Derailed By A Blogger's Photos Too Young To Smoke, But Not To Pick Tobacco http://publicradioeast.org/post/too-young-smoke-not-pick-tobacco Kids under 18 can't buy cigarettes in the U.S., but they can legally work in tobacco fields when they're as young as 12.<p>One of those kids is Eddie Ramirez, 15, who works the fields in the summer.<p>"It just sticks to my hand," he says of the plant. "It's really sticky, you know, and really yellow." It's nearly impossible to wash off, he says.<p>A <a href="http://www.hrw.org/node/125316" target="_blank">new report from Human Rights Watch</a> says the practice of children farming tobacco is hazardous and should be stopped. Wed, 14 May 2014 07:47:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 41311 at http://publicradioeast.org Too Young To Smoke, But Not To Pick Tobacco In Mississippi, A Tea Party Challenger Takes On A GOP Institution http://publicradioeast.org/post/mississippi-tea-party-challenger-takes-gop-institution The Tea Party Express bus tour made a recent swing through Mississippi, stopping on the lush grounds of the state Capitol in Jackson.<p>It's a strategic stop to rally support for a state senator who is giving longtime Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran the re-election battle of his career. The Senate primary here is the latest episode in the national GOP power struggle between establishment forces and Tea Party upstarts.<p>"The conservative movement is starting its life again," challenger Chris McDaniel says to the small crowd gathered under sprawling oaks and magnolias. Tue, 13 May 2014 07:23:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 41216 at http://publicradioeast.org In Mississippi, A Tea Party Challenger Takes On A GOP Institution Torrential Rains Latest Severe Weather To Strike The South http://publicradioeast.org/post/torrential-rains-latest-severe-weather-strike-south After days of storms that dropped massive amounts of rain on the South, floods are sweeping across the Florida Panhandle and the Alabama Gulf Coast. Thu, 01 May 2014 09:05:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 40279 at http://publicradioeast.org Dozens Dead And Communities Reeling As Storms Roil Deep South http://publicradioeast.org/post/dozens-dead-and-communities-reeling-storms-roil-deep-south Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This South is coping with a third day of severe weather. More than 30 people in the region have been killed. NPR's Debbie Elliott reports the damage is widespread, reaching from Oklahoma to the Carolinas.<p>DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: Hundreds have lost their homes as the storms and tornadoes cut a deadly path through at least six states. Near Birmingham, Alabama, the worst came in the night, when a tornado tore the roof off some buildings at Timberline West Apartments in Bessemer. Tue, 29 Apr 2014 20:03:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 40154 at http://publicradioeast.org Mississippi's Lone Abortion Clinic Fights To Remain Open http://publicradioeast.org/post/mississippis-lone-abortion-clinic-fights-its-survival Mississippi's only abortion clinic is fighting to remain open in the face of ever-tightening state regulations. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans hears arguments Monday in a dispute over a state law that requires abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges.<p>The bright pink Jackson Women's Health Organization, located in an art deco section of Jackson minutes from the Mississippi state Capitol, has long been a flashpoint in the abortion debate. Mon, 28 Apr 2014 09:15:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 40013 at http://publicradioeast.org Mississippi's Lone Abortion Clinic Fights To Remain Open As La. Coast Recedes, Battle Rages Over Who Should Pay http://publicradioeast.org/post/la-coast-recedes-battle-rages-over-who-should-pay Louisiana's coast is disappearing at the rate of about a football field an hour. Since the 1930s, the Gulf of Mexico has swallowed up an area the size of Delaware.<p>You can see the water encroaching in Delacroix in St. Bernard Parish, less than an hour southeast of New Orleans. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:40:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 39020 at http://publicradioeast.org As La. Coast Recedes, Battle Rages Over Who Should Pay Alabama Tax Program Grows Out Of A Grandfather's Lasting Legacy http://publicradioeast.org/post/alabama-tax-program-grows-out-grandfathers-lasting-legacy Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Alabama consistently ranks near the bottom in most social measures. And as a result, college graduates tend to flee the state for better opportunities elsewhere. Now, a college professor is trying to stop the migration. Stephen Black's inspiration is his grandfather, the late Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:56:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 39006 at http://publicradioeast.org Paula Deen's Restaurant, Site Of Seafood And Slurs, Shuts Down http://publicradioeast.org/post/paula-deens-restaurant-site-seafood-and-slurs-shuts-down Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Another chapter today in the saga of Southern food celebrity Paula Deen. Bubba's Seafood & Oyster House has closed its doors. That's the Savannah, Georgia, restaurant she owns along with her brother. It was the center of a controversy last year that cost Deen part of her lucrative food empire after she admitted under oath that she had used a racial slur. NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.<p>DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: The restaurant's website says thank you for 10 great years. Uncle Bubba's is now closed. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 20:30:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 38146 at http://publicradioeast.org Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Brings 'Bad Juju' And Pain 25 Years Later http://publicradioeast.org/post/exxon-valdez-oil-spill-brings-bad-juju-and-pain-25-years-later At Ross Mullins' home in Cordova, Alaska, you have to slam the front door extra hard to make it close. The former commercial fisherman lives in a small wood-frame house that's in need of repair. Some of the windows are cracked and he leaves the water faucets dripping to protect uninsulated pipes from the harsh Alaskan winter.<p>When the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground and started leaking oil 25 years ago, the disaster drastically changed the fishing industry in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 22:01:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 37401 at http://publicradioeast.org Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Brings 'Bad Juju' And Pain 25 Years Later E-Cigarette Critics Worry New Ads Will Make 'Vaping' Cool For Kids http://publicradioeast.org/post/e-cigarette-critics-worry-new-ads-will-make-vaping-cool-kids Electronic cigarette makers are getting bold with their advertising, using provocative new print ads and <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUJ5W2pz1XI" target="_blank">celebrity endorsements</a> on TV. But public health advocates say these images are luring kids to hook them on nicotine.<p>The latest ad for blu eCigs, for example, which ran in the <em>Sports Illustrated</em> swimsuit edition, features an itsy bitsy bikini bottom emblazoned with the company name and includes the tagline "Slim. Charged. Ready to go." You don't see the model's face. Mon, 03 Mar 2014 08:35:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 35520 at http://publicradioeast.org E-Cigarette Critics Worry New Ads Will Make 'Vaping' Cool For Kids Gay-Marriage Battle Moves South, And Religious Right Fights Back http://publicradioeast.org/post/gay-marriage-battle-moves-south-and-religious-right-fights-back The legal battle over gay marriage is moving to the Deep South. Buoyed by federal court victories in Oklahoma, Kentucky and Virginia, gay-rights activists are taking on traditional marriage laws in the very states where those laws enjoy overwhelming public support.<p>Take Alabama, where Paul Hard is suing the state for violating his constitutional rights to equal protection and due process following the death of his partner, David Fancher, whom he legally married in Massachusetts. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 23:46:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 34808 at http://publicradioeast.org Gay-Marriage Battle Moves South, And Religious Right Fights Back