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September 21-27, 2011

September 21-27, 2011



10 NO. 2



6 Hotel Schmotel Will the Conference Center Hotel ever happen? City Council gets a new feasibility study. ELIZABETH WAIBEL

Photograph of Steve Simpson by Casey Holloway



Mississippi looks to be the new leader for solar power with new factories coming on line soon. COURTESY TASHA TAYLOR

tamu green Mississippi State University graduate is 40 and father of two sons, Rafel, 14, and Keziah, 11, and is unmarried. He coaches Keziah’s basketball team of 11- and 12-year-olds for a local league. He graduated from MSU in 1993 with a degree in information systems, and in 1994 he earned his master’s degree. Green then worked as an information-technology professional and computer programmer for state agencies including the Mississippi Department of Health and the Mississippi Development Authority. His approach to changing the world is holistic and one child at a time. With Mississippi at the bottom of many lists, he says, “It will take a whole crusade to turn this ship around, but you have to start somewhere.” SR1 exposes students to STEM activities—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—because Green believes those disciplines are critical to compete in the global economy. He starts with parents and encourages them to get kids to read, eat healthy and get enough sleep. He then looks at the school and finally to the student. Green says he’s staying in Mississippi. “The place where you grow up you should help first,” he says. He adds that the most important concept he wants to convey to students: “It is not about smarts,” he says. “It is about hard work.” —Richard Coupe

30 New Soul Sound Tasha Taylor rivals her daddy and her big brothers with her new album, “TaylorMade.”

41 Your Brain, Addicted Which comes first, the drug or the addict? A surprising new study turns addiction on its head.

Tamu (“sweet” in Swahili) Green speaks with enthusiasm and conviction about his vision for Mississippi. Like a proud parent of a star athlete showing off his trophies, he walks between unopened boxes in his new office in Ridgeland. He describes how the computer equipment and robotics gear will be used for young people. “It’s all about opportunities,” he says. “Did you ever think about why there aren’t very many Olympic skiers from Mississippi? Opportunity.” After a pilot program in Jackson Public Schools this summer, Green’s nonprofit organization, Scientific Research, or SR1, started Sept. 20. It targets more than 24,000 students who qualify for a free or reduced meal program. SR1’s staff will mentor students from Murrah, Callaway, Bailey Magnet, Provine and Jim Hill high schools. Also, the staff will host a middle-school program at Brinkley. The objective is to eliminate disparities in health, education and technology. SR1 tutors and mentors kids before and after school in core subjects such as math and in critical thinking and collaboration skills. SR1 also offers resources for families who want to help a child learn and thrive. This is how Green is bridging the disparity gap. Green grew up in nearby Forest in a single-parent household headed by his schoolteacher mother. The Forest High School and


4 ............. Editor’s Note 4 ................... Slowpoke 6 .......................... Talks 12 ................... Editorial 12 .................... Stiggers 13 .................. Opinion 22 ............... Diversions 24 ....................... Books 26 ..................... 8 Days 28 .............. JFP Events 30 ....................... Music 31 ......... Music Listings 34 ...................... Sports 36 ................. Astrology 37 ........................ Food 41 ............... Body/Soul 42 .... Girl About Town

Sun Power



Lacey McLaughlin News editor Lacey McLaughlin is a Florida native who enjoys riding her bike around Jackson. She is always on the hunt for news tips. E-mail Lacey@jacksonfreepress. com or call 601.362.6121 x. 22. She interviewed Steve Simpson for this issue.

Casey Holloway Casey Holloway is a sophomore at Millsaps College, majoring in religious studies-sociology/ anthropology with a concentration in pre-medicine. She has a passion for the arts and is a photographer. She photographed Steve Simpson.

Briana Robinson Deputy editor Briana Robinson is a 2010 graduate of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. Her hobbies include photography, ballet and ballroom dancing. She is a sophomore at Millsaps College. She wrote a music story.

Elizabeth Waibel Cub reporter Elizabeth Waibel grew up in Clinton. In May, she received her journalism degree from Union University in Jackson, Tenn. She likes coffee and trying new cake recipes. She wrote Talks for this issue.

Richard Coupe Richard Coupe, avid fan of the beautiful game, is a husband, brother, father of four, and is still wondering what he wants to be when he grows up. He wrote the Jacksonian.

Andrew Dunaway Andrew Dunaway knew his friends and family were tired of hearing him talk constantly about food, so he took to writing about it. He’ll do his best to keep it to a dull roar. He wrote a food piece.

Andrea Thomas Advertising designer Andrea Thomas is a native of Ridgeland and is a recent Antonelli College graduate. She loves to sing, dance and write poetry in her free time. She designed many ads for this issue.

September 21 - -27, 2011

Kimberly Griffin


Advertising director Kimberly Griffin is a Jackson native who likes yoga, supporting locally owned businesses and traveling. In her spare time, she plots how she can become Michelle Obama’s water holder.

by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief

The Eye of the Needle


usually ponder, ruminate, tweet, blog, joke and seethe about some or another issue for a week or more before I write a new editor’s note. This week, though, I had trouble locking onto a topic—probably because I’m so sick of divisive politics that my brain feels like just vegging in front of an Ashton Kutcher TV show with the rest of America. But this morning—press day—I was trying to wake up as NPR came on and off between Todd slapping the snooze button. Suddenly, my uncaffeinated brain heard the words, “Boehner called it ‘class warfare.’” Our illustrious U.S. House leader was, of course, red-baiting the president’s plan to create jobs by, in part, reversing tax cuts on the wealthy. Boehner’s argument, it seems, is that Obama is declaring “war” on the wealthy by trying to roll back their generous Bush-era tax cuts. Just as Todd got up to get us coffee, I blinked at my fat cat, Eddie, lying next to me. “I’m going to answer that son of a b*tch my own damn self,” I told him. Hey, it was early. By the time Todd returned, I was mapping my ideas. I scrawled the words “Orwellian,” “entitlement” and “war on the poor.” It is hard to imagine a more backward, means-exactly-the-opposite boondoggle than Boehner’s latest trick on behalf of corporations and the super-rich. The tan man is trying to tell America—filled right now with unemployed people, many losing their homes and savings, others homeless for the first time—that to ask the wealthiest to give up their Bush tax cuts is, somehow, declaring war against them. Really? Then, today, the GOP declared that Obama is “punting on entitlement reform” in his jobs plan that lays out all sorts of formerly-GOP ideas, and gives tax relief to everyday folks and actually-small businesses. That’s “punting”? The wealthy are “entitled” to tax breaks, but the working class isn’t? Seriously? Meantime, the Tea Party is calling Boehner a “socialist” even as most rank-and-file tea partiers are hurt by the plans their funders (like the Koch oil boys) are pushing. Talk about turning Americans against Americans to benefit the few; that’s the real “class warfare.” This is hard, cold fact. The vast majority of Americans are hurting. I mean real pain resulting from hunger, sickness they can’t afford to get cured, losing their homes and even from being victims of poverty-driven crime. All the while, representatives sent to Washington on behalf of the wealthiest congressional districts, and those who get sucked in by that Orwellian rhetoric, are more worried about tax breaks for oil companies (which the jobs plan would decrease), limiting lawsuit damages for negligent corporations and doctors, and making sure the capital-gains tax stays as low as Bill Clinton and George Bush pushed it. It is precisely those kinds of hand-outs to the country’s most entitled that have widened the gap between the rich and poor in the U.S., according to a Bloomberg business analysis. As of 2007, the top 1 percent of U.S. earners enjoyed 18.3 percent of national income;

in 1973, their share was 7.7 percent. Not to mention, most of the richest Americans pay lower overall tax rates than those middle-class Americans have to meet. (Thus, the president’s apropos Warren Buffett example.) “The way you get rich in this world is not by working hard,” economist Marty Sullivan, a Tax Analysts contributing editor, told Bloomberg. “It’s by owning large amounts of assets and having those things appreciate in value.” The gap isn’t about how hard people work (if they’re lucky enough to have a job). The poor don’t have assets, even though they may toil long hours every day. Many Americans weren’t handed down wealth or land (much of which was acquired in less-than-proud ways in the first place)—making it difficult to realize the American dream, especially as the top 1 percent gobble up more of it. Understanding these realities isn’t “class warfare”; it’s called knowing our history and its current effects. Now, what the Boehner crowd will tell you—wink, wink—is that the super-rich need the extra tax cuts to create lots of jobs for us little proles. Of course, that argument is bunk, and the last few years prove it. Bush pushed through the tax cuts they wanted, and where are the damn jobs? (It reminds me of Goldie Hawn in “Private Benjamin” looking for what the Army promised when she signed up: “Where are the yachts?” she whined.) And it’s not exactly a secret that many corporations have sat on piles of cash through this economic downturn, refusing to create or replace jobs until so-called “Obamacare” is turned back or the right figures out how to oust the president elected to reform health care and repeal the tax cuts on the super-rich. Meantime, the strategy goes, any time anyone brings up this widening wealth gap or

the cash hoard, just accuse them of “class warfare.” If that doesn’t work, call them a socialist or a commie (the same tired strategy used against “integrationists” a few years back). Screw that. This isn’t about partisanship, folks. It’s about the kind of nation we want to be. It’s about being strong, being educated, being healthy, being smart and being kind. Right here in Mississippi, and under Gov. Barbour (who probably came up with the “class warfare” meme), our poverty rate (17 percent) is abhorrent. The companies that the governor tries to lure here so they can duck unions have a hard time finding skilled workers. Too many of our people, for the most part, are obese and unhealthy. And get this: In our state, the poverty rate for African Americans—whose labor built much of this state, lest we forget—is 44 percent. Let’s say it again: 459,900 black Mississippians live in poverty. Raise your hand if this is OK with you. We live in a state that supposedly takes faith seriously. In my office, I sit under a pink sign with Proverbs 14:31 on it: “Be in solidarity with the poor.” These words mean something, folks, and it’s not just about sending missionaries abroad. It means here and now. We are a state that votes against the best interests of the poor and the middle class. The poorest whites in our state get sucked into corporate-funded lies that other poor people are trying to take what little they have. We have lived through this cycle for years, and it has padded the pockets of many who have greedily taken advantage of fear of “the other.” Then we point and scream for help as poor kids get their hands on weapons and kick down doors to grab big-screen TVs and bottles of liquor. Are we really this gullible, this greedy, this cold-hearted, this short-sighted? I pray not.


Addie Green is challenging incumbent Lynn Posey for a PSC seat. p9

Since 1972, the majority of Mississippians have voted for a Republican president, except for 1976 when they supported Jimmy Carter of Georgia. news, culture & irreverence

Thursday, Sept. 15 Denmark will get its first female prime minister after Helle ThorningSchmidt’s party wins a majority in parliamentary elections. ‌ Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin testifies before the U.S. Justice Department about his department’s low report of sexual assault incidences. ... LSU defeats Mississippi State, which falls out of rankings. Friday, Sept. 16 The Justice Department says the number of violent crimes in the country dropped 12 percent in 2010, although people believe crime rates are going up. ‌ The U.S. Environmental Agency adds two Mississippi sites to its superfund location to clean up hazardous wastes. Saturday, Sept. 17 Demonstrators gather on Wall Street to protest against banking institutions. Police have arrested at least five people for violating a 150-year-old law banning masked gatherings. ‌ Ole Miss loses to Vanderbilt 30 to 7. ... Jackson State defeats Southern University, rising to 3-0. Sunday, Sept. 18 Germany’s Pirate Party, which advocates for Internet freedom, wins seats in the state parliament with almost 9 percent of the vote.

September 21 - 27, 2011

Monday, Sept. 19 President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas announces he will seek membership in the United Nations for a Palestinian state. The United States has threatened to veto the move. ‌ The Mississippi Bond Commission approves $354 million in bonds for construction of a Mississippi history museum and a civil rights museum.


Tuesday, Sept. 20 The “don’t ask, don’t tellâ€? policy that banned openly gay people from serving in the military officially ends. ‌ Ridgeland officials close a stretch of U.S. Highway 51 after a gas line breaks. Get breaking news at

Council Gets Hotel Details, Finally JERRICK SMITH

Wednesday, Sept. 14 A federal report blames a faulty cement job and bad management, among other things, for the BP oil spill last year. ‌ A commission that Gov. Haley Barbour appointed to study the Public Employees Retirement System meets at the state capitol.

The Jackson City Council is considering whether to form a public-private partnership with developers to build a convention center hotel on this empty lot downtown.


ackson City Council members finally got the details on a proposed convention center hotel Monday at a council work session, but some still had questions about the city’s role in funding the project. In June 2010, Jackson City Council approved a non-binding resolution that called for the city to issue an unspecified amount of bonds to finance the hotel project. Under the plan, the city would partner with Transcontinental Realty Investors, or TCI, to build the hotel. Representatives from TCI said a convention center hotel will increase business at the Jackson Convention Complex and at downtown businesses. “One thing we’re trying to do is create

enough synergy downtown so that it will be a destination,� said Al Crozier, executive vice president of TCI. In 2007, Dallas-based TCI purchased property along Pascagoula Street extending to Farish Street to build a convention center hotel and mixed-use development called Capital City Center. The original plans included condos, retail space and 1,500-car parking garage; however, TCI scaled back the plans to a $90 million hotel and skywalk to the Jackson Convention Complex, which was completed in 2009. The development stalled due to financing issues, and the city has been negotiating with the developers on finalizing a cost-sharing agreement.


g i b “It’s like I tell my wife: ‘How big of a check am I going to have to write?’� —Ward 1 Jackson City Councilman Quentin Whitwell asked convention center hotel developers this week how much money the city will be obligated to spend on developing their hotel.

by Elizabeth Waibel

If the council adopts the plan, the city and TCI will issue $70.1 million in tax-exempt Gulf Opportunity Zone bonds through the Jackson Redevelopment Authority and $22.5 million in taxable bonds to help pay for the project. Total funding for the project would be $96.1 million. Bob Swerdling, managing director of Swerdling and Associates, said now is a good time to build the hotel, because the GO Zone bonds opportunity expires at the end of this year. Swerdling advises the city on financial matters relating to the hotel. Construction costs and interest rates are also low due to the bad economy, Swerdling said, and 14 other cities have similar projects underway. Swerdling said Jackson needs more hotel rooms to compete with peer cities to bring in conventions. The planned hotel would have about 300 rooms. Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell expressed concerns about the city guaranteeing the bonds and what would happen if TCI defaulted on its obligations, but Swerdling said that was unlikely. Whitwell also asked what would happen if the hotel did not do as well as they hoped. “I just want to make sure we do look at worst-case scenario,â€? Whitwell said. â€œâ€Ś I guarantee it; you’ve already figured out that HOTEL, see page 7



news, culture & irreverence

HOTEL, from page 6

the first few years we’re not going to make money. I mean, somebody’s going to have to write a check somewhere. I just need to know. It’s like I tell my wife: ‘How big of a check am I going to have to write?’� “She’s going to get the checkbook,� replied Council President Frank Bluntson. Swerdling said a $6 million operatingreserve fund built into the project cost would be enough to cover a year and a half of debt service, even if the hotel made no money in the first few years. Under the plan, the city would purchase land from TCI for $14.3 million. Either the city or JRA would then lease the land for the hotel to TCI to develop. Since the parcel of land is larger than would be needed for the hotel, the city could sell or develop the extra land around the hotel.

The city and the developer would share profits and losses for the hotel. A hotelier, such as Hilton or Sheraton, would manage it. Swerdling said several hoteliers are already making offers. “I will never stand before a mayor or any council member and say there is no risk in the transaction, but I can suggest it is a manageable risk,� Swerdling said. Tom Black, vice president of Harrell Contracting, said his company would pledge to build the hotel within 18 months at the longest, but it would probably be completed in 14 months. Swerdling said construction will cost about $63 million. Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba said he wanted to ensure the construction company hired a certain percentage of minority-owned contractors and workers from Jackson to build the hotel. The mayor and Black said that could be monitored.

A Security Requirement with No Teeth?

Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell has concerns about a new city ordinance requiring convenience store to hire security guards.



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n less than a month, convenience-store owners in Jackson’s city limits must hire security guards if their business is open from midnight to 5 a.m. On Sept. 6, Jackson City Council members passed an ordinance requiring the extra security precaution. Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell and Ward 2 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon voted against the ordinance. The council passed the ordinance the day after a 16 year-old clerk shot and killed Dilip Patel after a $3 dispute over gas at a Shell station on Terry Road. The ordinance also requires convenience stores to submit a security plan to the city within 100 days of its passing. The ordinance, however, does not cite any penalties or enforcement mechanisms for ensuring that convenience-store owners follow through with the provision. The original ordinance would have required convenience store owners to hire security at all times but was scaled back. Whitwell said that he fears the ordinance will hurt the business community because it singles out one type of business. He said that other businesses such as hotels

and clubs are open after midnight and will not be required to have security guards. “Interjecting government into the lives of these businesses in terms of telling them what is in their best interest to keep their clients safe—I could just not vote for the final passage,â€? Whitwell said. “I think there are some constitutional issues that will arise with the ordinance.â€? Whitwell, an attorney, said he also wanted to see more data to show that security guards make businesses safer and not lead to more gun violence. He said he is supportive of the security plans. Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba, also an attorney, said that the ordinance would ultimately protect convenience-store owners from potential liability suits resulting from crime incidents. He said that he doesn’t know of any convenience stores in his ward open after midnights that do not already have security. “From my involvement with premise liability cases, which means that someone is killed on the premises, you are talking about millions of dollars in judgments,â€? Lumumba said. “I have known of numerous suits that have been successful against property owners. One of the main characteristics of showing liability is showing that the property owners did not have security. ‌ If community folks want to raise the issue, bring it to the council or the People’s Assembly and have some good arguments, then I am willing to listen to them.â€? Reached by phone, Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. said he had not yet read the ordinance and would need to look into it before making a statement The mayor, however, has veto power and could decide to kill the ordinance. Jackson Police Department Assistant Chief Lee Vance also said he needed to review the ordinance before commenting on law enforcement’s role. Comment at


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by Lacey McLaughlin



by Elizabeth Waibel


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September 21-27, 2011



Lynn Posey said the Public Service Commission has taken a proactive approach to auditing utility companies. He is running for re-election in the Central District.


ublic Service Commissioner Lynn Posey was traveling when he called for this interview. As he was talking about his family—Kathy, his wife of 27 years, his son, Hunter, and his daughter, Kaitlyn—the call dropped. When he called back, Posey feigned indignation at the bad cell phone service and blamed it on Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley, before laughing and admitting he was still in his Central District. Dropped calls aside, Posey said the commission has made progress during his time there with a bill of rights for ratepayers and no-call lists to deter telemarketers. Although Posey ran as a Democrat, he switched to the Republican Party last December. Posey, 56, is in his first term as public service commissioner for the Central District of Mississippi, which includes Hinds County, and is the commission chairman. He was a state senator for 19 years. He got his bachelor’s degree in political science and his master’s in public administration from Mississippi State University. He also graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Banking. He lives in his hometown of Union Church in Jefferson County.

If you are re-elected, what are your biggest priorities for next term? I don’t think my priorities would change much for next term. I think this is a very proactive commission, and we’ve done a number of things, like the Mississippi Ratepayer Bill of Rights, and we’ve been real active in trying to audit real closely the utility companies out there to make sure the ratepayers are getting the best deal they can. What challenges do you see? We’ve got several pieces of federal legislation that are pending that would be extremely detrimental to Mississippi, as far as having a really bad rate impact on the customers. We actually entered a suit against the Environmental Protection Agency over some of their proposed regulations. [Editor’s note: The commission voted Sept. 15 to sue the EPA over regulations requiring power plants to reduce their nitric-oxide emissions.] How would they be negative? It would cause rates to go up, and actually some of the electrical companies would not be able to utilize some of the plants that they have (because they would be violating the EPA pollution standards). I understand you switched parties recently. What prompted that? The philosophy of the Democratic Party was getting a little far to the left for me, and I just felt more comfortable with some of the policies that the Republicans were advocating. Anything specific policies? For one thing, some of the environmental policies … the Environmental Protection Agency was trying to implement, and, I think, the spending policies. Having a business background, I didn’t agree with some of the spending policies that were being used (despite the fact that we’re in a budget deficit). Will the Kemper County coal plant cause customers’ rates to go up? At some point in time rates will probably

go up, but the rates would probably go up anyway. We studied the Kemper County plant for a long time, and studied two things: The first thing was need—did we need the plant? … The commission agreed unanimously there was a need there. Then, how do you fill that need? A number of experts testified that Kemper County would be the best solution to fill the energy needs we will have over a number of years. At the time—and still—Mississippi Power, the company building the plant, was heavily reliant on natural gas. … Gas has remained relatively inexpensive right now, but if we just keep Mississippi Power dependent on gas, if gas went up, it would be a terrible burden on the ratepayers from a natural-gas standpoint. Some people are concerned about hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a technique in drilling for natural gas and oil. Do you think that’s safe? As I understand it, as long as you’re not affecting the water table (it’s safe)— that’s the main danger. As long as you’re doing the fracking below the water table and there’s no danger of getting (contaminants in the water), it seems to be a fairly safe practice so far. There’s a tremendous amount of natural gas we can tap into with this new process. Anything you’d like to add? I did want to make clear that most all of the Central District is served by Entergy Mississippi. As a matter of fact, I just put out a press release this morning—we’ve been able to lower rates in the Central District for those who have Entergy for three (consecutive) quarters … so the rate increase for anybody concerned with Kemper won’t affect anybody in the Jackson area and won’t affect many people in the Central District at all. ... One other program that I’m really proud of is our No Call Program. We’re trying to keep that in place and expand it. Comment at


by Elizabeth Waibel

Addie Green said if she is elected as public service commissioner, she wants to involve college students and the community in solving high energy costs.


ddie Green has strong opinions about life’s basic necessities. She is running for a seat on the Public Service Commission, she said, because water, phone and sewage bills are too high. The PSC approves utility-rate increases, answers complaints from the public, and decides whether utility companies should construct new facilities and who should pay for them. Green is running against incumbent Lynn Posey for the PSC’s Central District seat. Since 2009, Green has been an alderwoman in Bolton. She has also served as election commissioner for the city of Bolton and as president of a labor union that she helped found. She ran for public service commissioner in 2007 and lost. This time around she is trying to involve more young people to solicit their ideas for how to keep energy costs low. Green studied sociology at Utica Junior College (now Hinds Community College Utica campus) and Jackson State University. She has three children and six grandchildren, but declined to give her age.

adults in the Jackson metro read us in print or online. What made you decide to run for public service commissioner? I ran to become educated, to help the community on the high costs of utilities from the area of electricity, gas, water and sewage, as well as the telephone communications. With land-line phones, we are having to pay almost $100 a month, and many times you are unable to use the services because (people are not home to answer their phones). Most of the marketers—you only receive calls from them. … (As for) sewage, different municipalities are charging based on the water bill for the use of the water, and they charge you a fee in addition to just regular sewage. … I want to be a part of (the commission) so that we can regulate (prices) so that everyone can have justice and affordability at the table. … I’m running because the community is suffering. It looks like everyone has forgotten the mission of why we are here—to regulate and treat everyone with respect. With the usage, a lot of providers don’t have to care for what it costs and pass it on to consumers, so that’s one of the reasons I’m running. I’m running also to see if we can get a resolution in the Democratic Party (about) volunteers, voter education and voter registration; also with the organization of those persons who have served their time in prison and they cannot vote. … Many have served their time, and they are still being punished. In 2007, you ran for public service commissioner; what are you doing differently this time? I am approaching the education part of involving volunteers from a college perspective … so that they can offer what they call being a founder of (figuring out) how they can lower the high cost of utilities in the 22 counties. You mentioned the Democratic Party earlier. How do you think your run can help the Democratic Party? I’m putting together a resolution that deals with if you run as a Democrat, and if you get elected: I want that resolution to be passed and amend the Democratic Party

in Mississippi’s bylaws (so that) if someone is elected (as a Democrat) before they switch (parties), they should pay a penalty of $50,000 to the party. If they are already elected as Democrats before they change over to any other party, they ought to be able to pay $50,000 as a penalty.

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So does that deal with Lynn Posey changing parties recently? Yes, that is one in particular. Then I want more involvement with young Democrats, volunteers to get in the community for voter education—to get involved in voter education and registering to vote. What do you think about the Kemper coal plant? Do you favor it? I do not favor it, because I think that before you can pass an expense to the community, I think that the community should be educated on the need and the expenses that are being passed on to the consumers. I think they ought to have some say-so before expenses are passed on to them for that particular plant. I’m not in favor of that part of it. I think that education there, again, needs to be shared with the community so they can have input. When I’m elected, I want to make sure the community has some say as to how I should vote on such plans as the Kemper plant. How do you plan to get that community input? By setting up community and committee meetings and taking it to them—so they do not have to come to the Woolfolk building, but taking it to the community. … I will involve the college students, letting them get involved in the planning and (taking) the volunteer approach to get everyone involved with the education process of the plants and regulations that deal with consumers. I think that the community is just left out. Comment at


Strong Opinions




by Elizabeth Waibel


Dialing Up Solar

Larry Davis, operations director for Systems Solar, sets up a display of solar-powered household appliances at a ribbon cutting for a new solar-energy system Saturday.

September 21-27, 2011



olar energy has generated a lot of attention in Mississippi in recent weeks as the Legislature approved an incentives bill to persuade Calisolar, a California-based silicon manufacturing company, to build a factory in Columbus. But Calisolar is not the first solar-energy factory to locate in Mississippi. Stion, a solar-panel manufacturer, opened a factory in Hattiesburg Sept. 16. In May, Twin Creeks Technologies, which also manufactures solar panels, opened its first full-scale production facility in Senatobia. Solar energy has also been in the national news lately with the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a solar-panel manufacturer backed by a $535 million federal loan. In a statement announcing the bankruptcy, the company said it could not achieve full-scale operations quickly enough to compete with larger foreign manufacturers, and cited a “global oversupply of solar panels” as one of the reasons for the company’s struggles. Solyndra is the latest in a series of casualties in the solar-energy industry. SpectraWatt in New York and Evergreen Solar in Massachusetts both filed for bankruptcy in August, placing some of the blame for their financial troubles on falling solar-panel prices and competition from China. Despite Solyndra’s high-profile failure, proponents of solar power in Mississippi said the state is poised to take a leading role in alternative energy. Calisolar’s Columbus facility will make polysilicon, a material used in solar panels. Bloomberg reported last week that the company is firing 80 people at a solar-cell plant in California as it shifts its business model to focus on polysilicon. Companies in Jackson’s fledgling solar-energy industry hosted a ribbon cutting Sept. 17 for the first completed solar-powered system in Jackson. Sundial Solar Power Developers installed the system at Central Mississippi Health Services’ southwest Jackson clinic on Robinson Road. Dr. Robert Smith, CEO of Central

Mississippi Health Services, said he expects the clinic to save 50 percent on its energy bill, which will help it control health-care costs while protecting the environment. Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. added that although the clinic was the first completed solar-energy system in the city, solar-powered houses are now being constructed in midtown Jackson. The ribbon cutting was part of “Solar Saturday,” a series of events the Gulf States Renewable Energy Industries Association hosted to bring awareness of solar energy to Mississippi. C. Tucker Crawford, president of the association, said solar energy can save people money, and within the next 10 to 15 years, solar-powered households might not have to pay a power bill at all. “You may have read some criticism of solar energy in the news lately, but those are just hiccups,” he told the group at the ribbon cutting. Crawford told the Jackson Free Press that Solyndra’s bankruptcy is not characteristic of the solar-power industry as a whole. “You’ll see those kinds of failures from time to time, but our industry as a whole on a global scale is still expanding rapidly, so Mississippi is poised to take a leadership role in that, especially with three new plants,” he said. “I think it’s going to create a lot of new jobs.” Crawford said companies in the South will start buying solar panels and other materials from a regional source instead of from overseas or from California. Annie Shirley, president of Sundial, said she is not sure yet whether her company will work with Stion, but having companies in the state would help Sundial get materials quickly. “If you have to go out of state, it takes a little while—I want to say six weeks, maybe a month—but with companies in the state, it should help us a whole lot,” she said. Comment at


by Jason Huang

Energy advocates claim net metering could provide incentives for Mississippians to starting using renewable energy sources such as solar power.

“Utilities must enter into net metering, and with rates to be just and fair (for the consumer) … rates have to be approved by the PSC,” said Glenn McCullough, chairman of Advance Mississippi, a non-profit coalition that advocates for energy policies fostering economic growth in Mississippi. Approving rates can create a mess between the numerous utility companies and their tangle of different policies. Will Hegmen, owner of Mississippi Solar in Philadelphia, understands the confusion surrounding net metering. “The big problem is not having interconnections standards,” Hegman said. “There are different policies across different utilities. In Leake County, especially in the rural parts, under TVA, I get credited 22 cents per kilowatt-hour. In Carthage, under Entergy, I’m paid 4 to 5 cents per kilowatt-hour. It’s remarkably different.” By implementing a state net-metering policy, utilities will have a baseline of rates to sell back energy credits. In January 2011, the Mississippi Public Service Commission began to investigate development and implementation of net-metering programs and standards. The commission intends to identify specific issues of net metering and then

draft a ruling on implementation. “The legislation and PSC are the only two avenues to initiate (net metering). Neither has chosen to do it,” Hegmen said. Katherine Collier, attorney for the commission, said that the implementation just hasn’t started, yet. State Rep. Bob Evans, D-Monticello, spearheaded recent legislative efforts to unify net-metering policy. In the 2010 and 2011 legislative sessions, Evans introduced bills setting netmetering policy to standardize rates. Both bills failed in committee. “Power associations don’t want to encourage people to produce their own power,” Evans said. “… Electrical associations don’t want to pay the amounts they’re paying (net-metering) customers.” In its “Net Metering in Mississippi” brief, Advance Mississippi said that when utility companies are forced to buy power at anything but the “lowest reasonable cost,” those costs will result in higher costs to ratepayers. When consumers receive the same amount of money for energy they sell as the rate they pay utilities for energy (the retail rate), other ratepayers “are forced to subsidize their net-metering neighbors,” the brief states. Individual energy produc-

ers do not have the maintenance and distribution expenses that utilities must pay, the group argues. Utilities are also concerned about needed measures to handle the extra electricity sent to the grid. “[S]elling that power to their fellow consumers through the utility means their neighbors pay those costs twice,” the brief states. “It is not fair to other ratepayers if a utility buys net-metered electricity at the retail cost. Even at wholesale cost, a consumer using net metering benefits because the wires used to sell their power onto the grid have been paid for by someone else.” The brief goes on to say, however, that net metering has environmental benefits: “Electricity sold through net metering is nearly always generated using renewable sources, some of which (solar, wind) do not emit pollution during operation. By utilizing these sources, utilities are able to expand their energy portfolio with new clean energy sources and consumers know their electricity is environmentally friendly.” States have choices on three core categories in net metering: eligibility, capacity limits and net excess generation. Eligibility choices may emphasize certain types of renewable energy sources such as solar panels, and in most states, all customers can participate. In terms of capacity limits, states may set definitive restrictions such as that energy buybacks cannot exceed 120 percent of average annual energy consumption. States can also control how utilities will handle excess energy produced by customers (net excess generation), with policies such as rolling over energy credits from month-to-month to establishing rates to sell back energy credits. Forty-six states and the District of Columbia have some type of net-metering policies in place. “Energy policy is a lot better in the northeast,” Hegman said. “… PSC should be educated on procedures on standardization.” Comment at

Jesse Gallagher Griff Howard Lori Carpenter Scroggins Ginger Rankin Brock Freeman NOW A PAUL MITCHELL SIGNATURE SALON.

775 Lake Harbour Drive #H in Ridgeland 601.856.4330 | fax: 601.856.4505


ississippi is one of only four states in the nation that has not implemented net metering, a consumeroriented energy policy. Through net metering, consumers who generate renewable energy—such as wind, solar, or biomass fuels—sell any excess energy they produce to their utility companies. The practice allows consumers to cut down on their utility bills. Net metering subtracts the amount of energy a customer produces from the energy they consume. Many states, including Georgia and Arkansas, have had net-metering policies on the books for years, yet Mississippi seems unable to implement these policies. Five proposed bills in 2009 and additional legislative efforts in 2010 failed to get a law passed. On July 22, Lisa Schwartz, senior associate at the Regulatory Assistance Project, a global non-profit team of experts focused on long-term economic and environmental sustainability of the power and natural gas sector, gave a presentation on net metering at a seminar organized by the Mississippi Public Service Commission. Schwartz detailed the processes of net metering, as well as how it fits into other energy policies of the federal and state government. Because little federal guidance on net metering is available, such policies lie in the states’ domains. Net-metering policies are smart for Mississippi for several reasons, she said. First, net metering enables customers to have a choice to produce their own energy and have control over their energy bills. Additionally, net metering provides incentives to diversify energy choices, such as solar paneling or biomass fuels, ultimately gaining some independence from foreign energy producers. Today, utility companies in the state will only enter into net-metering agreements on request. How the companies classify and calculate the rate at which to sell energy credits back to their customers is left entirely up to them.


Playing Catch-up on Net Metering


jfp op/ed

opining, grousing & pontificating


Voters, Choose Wisely


oliticians are good at distracting voters. They seem to be getting better at it all the time. With the majority of them lawyers, it may just be a matter of their training: shift the attention of a jury (or a voter) to where you want them to look, not at what really needs to be looked at. It is an unfortunate state of American politics that politicians will—in finest bluster and grandstand modes—take on wedge issues that have no hope of getting passed so they can later say: “Well, I voted for it. My opponent didn’t.” The Jackson City Council passed an ordinance last week that mandates convenience-store owners must hire security guards if their stores are open after midnight and until 5 a.m. The ordinance came on the heels of a robber killing a clerk. The tragedy of Dilip Patel’s death notwithstanding, storeowners are sure to challenge the ordinance by saying the city can’t tell them whom to hire. And the ordinance is a toothless gesture. It carries no penalties for non-compliance, making it a picture-postcard example of political showboating. “At least I tried” will undoubtedly be the response when the ordinance dies a quiet death. The other incident seems to have every Mississippi Facebook user and blogger seeing blood. Regardless of which side you find yourself on the “Personhood” ballot initiative, it’s hard not to have a strong opinion. Not surprising in conservative Mississippi, Democratic politicians including Attorney General Jim Hood jumped on that emotional bandwagon (although he removed a Facebook post, his stance remains on his campaign website), as did the Democratic candidate for governor, Johnny DuPree. Voters, and perhaps politicians, have lost sight that this amendment represents a wedge issue. They’re called that because they drive a wedge between otherwise rational people, taking the electorate’s attention away from the issues that will make a fundamental difference in our day-to-day lives and onto emotional issues that raise our blood pressure and lead us to vote against our interests. That is not to say that abortion and the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade is not important or that you should not have a strong opinion. But let’s not take our attention from issues such as education, jobs, health care and the things that make life worth living: healthy children; good, healthy food; the ability to enjoy our lives and work. Let’s not let the critical issues that affect our lives go without the energy they require of us to reach resolution. Resist the urge to focus only on wedge issues and try not to be distracted by politicians who would rather we didn’t turn a critical eye on their sound bites. Choose wisely, Mississippi. Our state and country needs cool, reasoning heads, not overheated rhetoric.


Hustle Mania

September 21 - 27, 2011



oneqweesha Jones: “Welcome to the Ghetto Science Television Network’s special edition of ‘Qweesha Live 2011.’ I’m reporting live from the Clubb Chicken Wing Multi-Purpose Complex at the ‘Hustle Mania 2011 Entrepreneur Start-Up Conference.’ Brother Hustle is here with me to provide some insight about the conference.” Brother Hustle: “After witnessing millions of middle-class workers financially and mentally numbed by mass layoffs, Aunt Tee, the Hustle family and I decided to preserve the dignity and confidence of the newly unemployed. The objective of the ‘Hustle Mania 2011 Entrepreneur Start-Up Conference’ is to help laid off workers understand the benefits of being their own boss and generating jobs in their communities, since the government and corporations seem unwilling and unable. “I recall the days when members of the Hustle family suffered through the Great Depression of the 1930s and the recession of the early 1990s. Our will to survive endured the test of time. Now, the Hustle family wants to share our business development experiences with people who have been kicked to the curb. We want to turn a laid-off worker’s unfortunate demise into a pleasant surprise. “So we will take matters into our own hands by teaching people how to be self-employed job creators. Boneqweesha Jones: “I see, Brother Hustle. The purpose of your ‘Hustle Mania 2011 Entrepreneur Start-Up Conference’ is to raise the enthusiasm of the newly disenfranchised middle class.” Brother Hustle: “Right, ‘Qweesha. And remember, future entrepreneurs: This conference is a B.Y.O.B. affair—Be Your Own Boss.”


Noise from the blogs

Let Him Die? “In the last televised Republican presidential debate on CNN, moderator Wolf Blitzer asks the candidates what should be done if a man without health insurance is seriously injured and cannot guarantee payment of the medical bills. While Ron Paul responds, some of the audience members give a shocking response. … “I have secretly wondered if some people felt that it would be better to let the uninsured die if it means that they won’t have to help pay for their health care. Well, my suspicions have been confirmed. This is sad.” —LatashaWillis “There is something unattractively Darwinian in the current Tea Party crowd. One usually hopes that democracy would bring out the best in people rather than their most selfish instincts.” —tombarnes “This is the free market system. Dr. Paul is not the greatest articulator at times, but his answer was spot on. Try to buy groceries without money. Try to buy gas without money. Health care can be provided by the government, but up to a point. And we have passed (that) point.” —Darryl “Oh? And whatever happened to the quaint idea of noblesse oblige? It seems to have died in the wave of greed which has overcome the Republican party in an unstemmed tide. I’m not saying that there aren’t people on both sides of the fence who might share the blame, but the idea that those who

have been most fortunate in our society have an obligation to assist those who have not has definitely become unfashionable. This has created a society that is far less decent on many levels.” —tombarnes “Darryl: I think the criticism is more with the audience members than it is with Ron Paul. I’ve seen the Tea Party explained succinctly in this way—‘Tell all those people suckling at the government teat to keep their grubby hands off my government entitlements!’—and I think we’re hearing that in the crowd during that debate. “Society does pay for that medical care now (we all do, in higher premiums, and hospitals charge off what they can’t charge to the government or make up through ridiculously high charges or ambulance rides or medical tests), and that’s not going to change; HCR takes us a little further down the road of sharing those costs more overtly and, hopefully, taking seriously the next step, which will be reigning in the actual cost of the services, equipment and other inputs into the system.” —Todd Stauffer “Exactly. Their responses sounded very deathpanelish to me. Hey, instead of letting them die, how about forced euthanizations for the chronically ill? Maybe all pregnant women should get an amniocentesis to see which fetuses aren’t “perfect” and weed them out before they are born. Maybe we should make the common cold illegal. Where does it end?” —LatashaWillis Join the conversation at

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n 2008, I was living in Colorado and facing a ballot initiative known as Amendment 48 to the state Constitution. It aims to define personhood as beginning at the moment of egg fertilization. In a statewide election, 73.2 percent of voters opposed the change, and defeated the amendment. Now that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m back home in Mississippi, I am facing Initiative 26, a potential ballot initiative that would redefine personhood in the state Constitution as â&#x20AC;&#x153;every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.â&#x20AC;? The strategy of undermining abortion law at the state level has been in play since 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that abortion rights are based on the right to privacy under the 14th Amendment. Anti-abortion groups believe that the Roe v. Wade ruling implied that if unborn babies were legally defined as people, they would have an equal right to life under the 14th Amendment. I am a married woman without children, and I deserve the right to determine when and if I will have children in the safest and healthiest way possible, without government regulation hindering those choices in a potentially harmful way. Here are the reasons I will vote against Initiative 26: â&#x20AC;˘ It could strip birth control and family planning options from all people of this state. Family planning, a right and privilege of all sexually mature human beings, involves decisions people in consensual relationships make about having children. We have numerous options for how to practice family planning for many lifestyles and cultures and for individual health-care needs. Some forms of contraception prevent fertilized eggs from attaching to the wall of the uterus. These could become illegal, based on the amendment. Furthermore, the new initiative may not permit sexual assault, rape or incest victims to get abortions if pregnancy resulted from those violent acts. â&#x20AC;˘ There is no need to more clearly define life to protect unborn children from unlawful practices. State and federal laws state laws specify that any fetus becomes a person when it is â&#x20AC;&#x153;born alive,â&#x20AC;? meaning physically separated from its motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s uterus and surviving independently. â&#x20AC;˘ Many laws protect unborn children, including the 2004 fetal-homicide law prohibiting â&#x20AC;&#x153;serious physical injury to the embryo or fetus,â&#x20AC;? punishable as a felony. The national Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 also recognizes a â&#x20AC;&#x153;child in uteroâ&#x20AC;? as a possible legal victim of about 60 violent crimes. â&#x20AC;˘ This law could suppress cloning, stem cell research and medically assisted reproduction. Most untraditional human fertilization procedures are carried out for the purposes of scientific research or to assist fertility and reproduction. For example, during

in vitro fertilization, a womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eggs are fertilized outside her uterus and then implanted in the uterus where they can continue to develop. This method gives couples having trouble getting pregnant the possibility of having a baby. Embryonic stem cells used in research typically come from embryos fertilized in vitro or cloned specifically for scientific research. Stem cells are valuable for research on genetic blood and immune system diseases, cancers, Parkinsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diseases, and tissue replacement for spinal cord and other physical injuries. No matter the intention or outcome, all these methods of life creation would be illegal if personhood were redefined. â&#x20AC;˘ Personhood raises legal implications. Personhood comes with responsibility. Citizens have many freedoms and rights, but we also have duties. Children under age 18 are not treated as full citizens, but they are counted toward population estimates and affect political districting. Do we want to open the door for questions such as: Should we count fertilized eggs in a census or give tax breaks to its parents? Should fetuses conceived in the United States become U.S. citizens regardless of where they are actually born? â&#x20AC;˘ Reproductive health care could be criminalized. Right now, the mother is the priority for care if something goes wrong during pregnancy or childbirth. If personhood is redefined and that changes, doctors will be forced to second-guess the split-second decisions they make in emergency situations, jeopardizing both mother and child. In addition, police would have to investigate miscarriages, stillbirths and other pregnancies that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t reach full term. Women and doctors could become suspects in criminal investigations as they are in Nicaragua, Chile and El Salvador where there are complete bans on abortions. â&#x20AC;˘ Abortions will not go away if the initiative is passed. Abortions are still legal under federal law; however, if abortions were banned, they would not disappear. Unlawful abortions are at the root of a global health crisis, a 2011 World Health Organization reports. The abortion debate is highly polarizing, but support for birth control and family planning is strong. Earlier this year, the National Planning and Reproductive Health Association found that 84 percent of those surveyed believe â&#x20AC;&#x153;family planning services, including birth control and contraception, are important to basic preventive health-care services.â&#x20AC;? This finding gives me hope that voters will question the motives of those sponsoring the personhood amendment, and decide this redefinition is not needed. Catherine Lee is from Jackson and is a graduate student at Jackson State. She wrote this piece as part of the Charles H. Moore Memorial Writing Project (

The Healing Arts Group

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It’s Easy Being Right:

September 21 - 27, 2011


Why do you want to run for attorney general? The attorney general’s office serves as the chief prosecutor of the state. I think it’s a job I have been preparing for my entire adult career. I guess that the best way to say it is that there are few opportunities where, at the end of the day, you have made your community and state a safe place to live and work and raise a family. That’s what I have been doing for many years and what I want to continue to do. What did you accomplish as public safety commissioner? I’d probably have to say that in the three years plus I served as commissioner, it’s really been the toughest economic times in our state

since maybe the Great Depression. We led a law enforcement agency with 600 guys whose virtual office is a patrol car. We have had tremendous expense in fuel, training, guns and all of those things it takes to run an agency of that size. I took a 5 percent budget cut my first year, a 6.7 percent (cut) my second year, and we started my third year with a 10 percent reduction from where we started the year before. We were able to fulfill all the missions of the highway patrol, (and the) bureau of investigations and narcotics without one single furlough and without laying anyone off or reducing hours. … . We also passed landmark legislation … We had an epidemic crystal-meth problem in this state, and we took on Merck and Pfizer drug companies that came into the state with a giant campaign and budget. We won that battle. We put Sudafed behind the counter as a prescription-only drug and gave law enforcement the upper hand in that drug war for the first time ever. … I also hired the first medical examiner since 1995.



hen Stephen Simpson stands over you with his 6-foot-7-inch frame, you might want to think twice before disagreeing with him. The Republican will tell you that “it’s easy being on the right side,” and makes no apologies or excuses for his position on issues. Perhaps it’s his boisterous confidence that has aided his career as he progressed from attorney to circuit-court judge and Department of Public Safety commissioner. The former high-school basketball player is now looking to unseat incumbent Attorney General Jim Hood, a Democrat, in the Nov. 8 elections. In 1990, the Long Beach native opened a law firm, Simpson & Simpson with his brother, Tim, in Gulfport. He served as assistant district attorney for the Second Circuit Court of Mississippi, which consists of Hancock, Harrison and Stone counties, from 1992 to 1996. In 2000 Gov. Ronnie Musgrove appointed Simpson to serve as Second Circuit Court judge, where he presided until 2008. That year, Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Simpson to serve as Department of Public Safety commissioner. He stepped down from that position in February 2011 to run for attorney general. Simpson now consults for L-1 Identity Solutions, which specializes in driver’s licenses and license kiosks for Department of Motor Vehicles throughout the country, including Mississippi. Last week, Hood’s campaign criticized Simpson for accepting a contract with L-1 because the Department of Public Safety renewed a contract with the company when Simpson was still commissioner. Simpson responded that his contract began in June and specifically states that he cannot do consulting work in Mississippi.

Did you have to cut any salaries or decrease pay for employees? No. No one took one dime of reduction in salaries. Did you or any of your employees receive a raise? No. We weren’t able to do that. The appropriations bill that the Legislature passed over several years says: “Here, Steve, here is your appropriation. But here is a provision that freezes staff increases, longevity increases and salary increases.” Not only would it have been imprudent to do that, the Legislature froze those types of things. And yourself? I guess you are asking about the story that alleged I got a pay raise. I was an elected circuit-court judge on the Gulf Coast when Haley Barbour called me and said, “I’d like to talk to you about accepting an appointment as commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.” I was offered a particular salary to

‘It’s already getting a little nasty. I expect that’s the way it’s going to be until Election Day.’ Name: Stephen Simpson Age: 52 Education: Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, Delta State University, 1980; master’s degree in education, Delta State, 1981; law degree, University of Mississippi, 1988 Family: Wife Elizabeth; Children Eric, 19; Kameron, 13; Britton, 11 Resides: Gulfport Employment: Attorney, district attorney for the Second Circuit Court of Mississippi, circuit court judge and Department of Public Safety Commissioner. Currently: Candidate for Mississippi Attorney General; consultant for L-1 Identity Solutions

become commissioner. I ultimately accepted the appointment. … In the first month, it was brought to my attention by the state personnel board that the board requirements and law did not allow for the governor to hire me at the salary he offered me. … Every state job has a start step, and then there is a cap. You would think someone who hired you could offer you anything within that start and cap. But the state personnel board ruled that for the first year you may not be compensated more than the midpoint between those. They said you have to take the midpoint and on your 12-month anniversary, you can get paid what he offered you. … Some people have characterized that as a pay raise. It wasn’t. How would you strengthen domestic-violence laws and improve the AG’s domestic-violence unit? It’s very important to me, the issue of domestic violence. The financial resources, the grants that operate the AG’s domestic-violence unit actually come from the Department of Public Safety. We were obviously happy to and recognize the importance of adequately funding that. … Education and awareness is important. One of the biggest problems with domestic violence is that a lot of it doesn’t get reported. My experience in law enforcement, as a judge and prosecutor, tells me there are a lot of incidents that go unreported. We need to continue to do education and awareness and make facilities and resources such as hotlines available so victims have a place to turn. In 2008, you removed Steven Hayne from the list of medical examiners the state could use after reports of questionable testimony … Well, let me make sure you are clear on that. These allegations about credibility of his testimony, and in fact the review of the two cases on death row that were reversed and rendered, took place before my appointment. His contract came up for renewal shortly after I became commissioner. I had reviewed the medical examiner’s office and its staff. … When his contract came up for renewal, I elected not to renew it. His contract required a 60-day notification that we were not going to renew it. In addition to that, he had several hundred—close to 600 cases—where the autopsy protocol, which is the report of the proceeding, had not been generated or provided to the state medical examiner’s office. Because he wasn’t going to be with us for more than 60 days, I went ahead and removed him from the list and said, “You need to spend the 60 days getting those reports you owe us.” It wasn’t so much that I removed him because of

The JFP Interview with Steve Simpson by Lacey McLaughlin

Former Public Safety Commissioner Steve Simpson is proud of making Sudafed a prescription-only drug.

all this bad press. Bad press was going on. His contract came up for renewal at a time when I decided we needed to fulfill the mission of the state medical examiner’s office. Do you think the cases where he has performed autopsies should be investigated? Some of them already have been reviewed. Tucker Carrington of the Innocence Project has somewhere spearheaded public awareness of some of Mississippi’s death investigation problems. They specifically pointed to some credibility issues they allege with Hayne. As a former prosecutor and judge, it’s pretty rare that the linchpin evidence against an accused person is the medical examiner’s testimony, and there is no other physical forensic evidence such as blood or fingerprints, hair fibers or an eyewitness or a statement by the accused. As attorney general, clearly those cases where his testimony was the only evidence that the jury weighed and convinced them beyond a reasonable doubt, then, given those cases, maybe they should be reviewed. But there are going to be pretty limited cases. What were the obstacles for hiring a medical examiner and setting up an office in Mississippi? Salaries. As I interviewed and recruited pathologists from around the country, I brought quite a few to our state to review the facilities and talk with me. The Legislature at the time did increase the budget for the medical examiner’s office. They took some money out of this NASCAR tag fund—people pay

extra to get a NASCAR tag. They took some money and earmarked it for the medical examiner’s office. The facilities were an issue. We have a medical examiner’s office that is attached to the crime lab at headquarters on Woodrow Wilson (Avenue). That building was built in 1976, and it’s pretty outdated and extremely crowded. … It’s an accomplishment I’m proud of. I obtained about $40 million in bond money, and ground has broken, and construction is beginning on a new 90,000-square-foot office building in Pearl. You criticized Hood this week for receiving campaign donations from lawyers who were filing suits against BP. Gov. Barbour had asked him not to wait to file suit so that he would not jeopardize the claims process. What would you have done differently regarding BP? If Jim Hood is suggesting that the reason he didn’t file against BP was because he had a moment of clarity and confidence in Gov. Barbour, I think that’s a little incredulous. He’s never done anything else that the governor has asked him to do. I wish he had that moment of clarity when he asked him to join 26 other states and attack the Obama health-care plan. On that occasion, he didn’t follow the governor’s request of advice. I think it’s pretty clear if you look at the campaign contributions and who gave them to him that his motive in waiting to file was to dangle this litigation as a carrot out there during this campaign year and to raise funds. If you look at the millions of dollars in attorneys’ fees that

So you would have filed against BP sooner? I would have. I wouldn’t have waited. The claims process is a voluntary program. It’s $20 billion that BP gave the government, and the government’s set up this claims process. Why he is going after Feinberg and not in federal court with these neighboring states raises serious questions.

Local media have questioned your use of state aircraft. Actually for clarification, no local media questioned me about my use of aircraft. … They put something on a blog like ‘Simpson uses an airplane like a taxi.’ The records will show that I used not the state aircraft but aircraft that belongs to the Department of Public Safety. We have constant access to it. I used a fraction of (what) my predecessor (used). I used it very sparingly. You remember this state budget crisis we were in for several years? I even tried to sell it. We actually advertised it for sale for a brief time. I negotiated with the University of Mississippi Medical Center for a long time, but they couldn’t raise the money to buy it. Even the blog report acknowledged that I never used it on weekends, and there was no allegation I went to a football game or a Las Vegas junket. The blog went as far as to say, “It doesn’t appear that he ever used it for personal use, but he did go to a few funerals.” Well, one of those was Master Sgt. Steve Hood, a 28-year highway patrolman who was in a high-speed pursuit and killed in the line of duty. My wife and I were picked up and flown to his funeral. We live in Gulfport, and the funeral was in New Albany. I went to another funeral—a Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Narcotics lawyer that was killed. [Editor’s note: The Sun Herald in Biloxi questioned Simpson about the aircraft-use allegations on Sept. 12, several days before this interview.]

You also criticized your opponent this week for using taxpayer money to fund gym memberships for attorney general office employees. His campaign said it was a program the state Legislature passed. That’s not what the program was intended to do. When Marsha Barbour was doing “Let’s Go Walking” commercials, that didn’t mean walk on down to the club and spend $13,000 of taxpayer money for your employees and $10,000 on a Weight Watchers contract. There were three contracts: $12,969 each to three separate gyms in the Jackson metro area and $10,000 Weight Watchers contracts. That’s almost $50,000 of taxpayer money, when I’m trying to keep troopers on the road, narcotics agents in school districts and fighting a crystal-meth problem. Yeah, I was critical of it. (See sidebar, page 16.) Is it safe to say that’s something you will eliminate if you are elected? It’s something I bet will be eliminated before this election is over. Even though the duration of the contract is through June 30, I’ll be shocked if he continues to try and justify that public money. But to answer your question, yes. Obesity is a problem in our state, and many agencies have started to implement health programs for their employees. Would you? I would do actually what the Legislation intended to do to make employees more health conscious to promote self-awareness and responsibility. For that kind of money, they could have put a gym in the AG’s office. I’m not suggesting that would have been a good use of public money. But really there needs to be personal responsibility and personal awareness. How would you improve the attorney general’s cyber-crime unit? It would be hard to say until I get into office and examine exactly what the AG’s cyber-crime unit is doing. I hear an awful lot about their office and all of their successes and investigations. Not this past July, but a year ago at the state bar convention, I attended a state prosecutors meeting where two employees did a presentation on the AG’s cyber-crime unit. Someone inquired about the number of employees in the unit, and it was both of them—those two guys. I don’t know if that was the case, I don’t have access SIMPSON, see page 16


have flown outside of Mississippi’s border to these out-of-state firms for the lucrative contracts, … I think it speaks for itself. Alabama filed against BP 10 months before. Louisiana filed 11 months before Jim Hood took any action. Even as we sit here today, the attorney general’s action has been against (BP Escrow Fund Administrator Kenneth) Feinberg and the claims process, not BP or Transocean.



they had two employees there. It needs to be adequately funded. There are federal and state funds that can fund that office, and it needs to be adequately staffed. [Editor’s note: The cyber-crime unit currently has 14 employees and had at least 10 employees in July 2010 during the time Simpson mentions.]

Steve Simpson, left, and Phil Bryant, right, vow to stop health-care reform if they are elected attorney general and governor. Pictured with wives Elizabeth Simpson and Deborah Bryant.

to their unit. But it seems to me considering the growing technology and the potential dangers of these chat rooms and sexual predators

that surely the cyber-crime unit has more than two employees. I’m guessing it does. I’m not saying it doesn’t. I’m saying that (at) the time,

Hood vs. Simpson

It’s my understanding that the Mississippi Court of Appeals overturned a ruling on a case you presided over, in which Edna Mae Sanders poured hot cooking oil on her husband and killed him. The court stated that not all the evidence was introduced to the jury about her defending herself. Can you respond to that? [The] jury reached a verdict in this case— they convicted Ms. Sanders of murder—and I sentenced her. ... The court of appeals found reason to reverse the case, which means it goes back to Hancock County for a new trial. Since that time, the Mississippi Supreme Court, in fact the AG’s office, petitioned the Mississippi

September 21 - 27, 2011



Can you talk about the circumstance of the court of appeals ruling? There was a great deal of discussion about the Castle Doctrine. The Castle Doctrine says that if you are in a place you have a lawful right to be—particularly your home—and you are confronted with a threat with injury or death, you can use reasonable force to defend yourself. The problem I had with the testimony was that there was no evidence to support it. You have to remember that there was a dying declaration from Mr. Sanders, the deceased—(who) was standing there with his skin dripping off of him because this hot boilSIMPSON, see page 20

by Lacey McLaughlin


ississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, a Democrat, and his Republican opponent Steve Simpson accused each other last week of conflicts of interest. On Monday, Sept. 12, Simpson held a press conference chiding Hood for waiting to file suit against BP and for spending $50,000 on gym memberships and Weight Watchers services for his employees. Weight Watchers and its executive have donated $2,000 to Hood’s campaign. In 2010, the Legislature passed SB 2646, which required the state to establish an employee wellness program. The program requires agencies to coordinate discounts with gym memberships and fitness centers across the state. Hood’s re-election campaign manager Jonathan Compretta said money for the program comes from fines and penalties in Medicaid fraud cases. In July 2010, four months after the BP oil spill, Gov. Haley Barbour asked Hood to wait before filing suit against BP to not jeopardize the claims process. Simpson alleged Sept. 12 that Hood used the potential litigation to stock his war chest with donations from private attorneys in exchange for contracts when he finally decided to file suit. In July 2011, Hood filed suit against BP Claims Administrator Kenneth Feinberg for not paying claims to residents fast enough. “Mr. Simpson is patently playing politics with this absurd charge. While Simpson has been a no-show on this issue, Jim Hood has led the effort to hold BP and Ken Feinberg accountable to (Gulf) Coast residents,” Compretta said. On Friday, in a story at, Hood’s reelection campaign accused Simpson of using his former position as commissioner of the Department of Public Safety to secure his consulting contract with a national driver’s license kiosk company. In response to media inquiries about the contract, Compretta said that Simpson awarded a contract to L-1 Identity Solutions days before he stepped down as commissioner. Simpson extended the contract to $5.9 million so that L-1 could build 51 electronic kiosks in Mississippi. “Every time a Mississippi motorist uses a state kiosk to renew his driver’s license, he will put part of that fee into Steve Simpson’s wallet,” a statement from Compretta alleged in response to a Jackson Free Press inquiry.

Supreme Court to review the court of appeals’ decision, saying it was erroneous. The court has accepted review of that case, and it is before them now. It may be that the case will be affirmed and her conviction stands, or they may agree with the court of appeals and send it back to a new trial. So that you are clear, the case is still on appeal. (See sidebar, p. 20.)

The race for attorney general heated up last week with opponents Jim Hood and Steve Simpson sparring over conflict-of-interest allegations.

Simpson said he signed the contract to work as a consultant for L-1 while conducting his campaign for attorney general in June. L-1 specializes in driver’s licenses and license kiosks for Department of Motor Vehicles throughout the country, including Mississippi. “My agreement prohibits me from doing any work in Mississippi, since they were a vendor of DPS at the time I was commissioner. They both agreed that I should not do any work on behalf of the state,” Simpson said, adding that if elected state attorney general, he would terminate his consulting contract with L-1. His campaign manager, Scott Paradise, said Simpson signed the L-1 contract June 1, months after he resigned as Department of Public Safety commissioner Feb. 15. “They are trying to make it look like that Steve is giving this company millions of dollars, and now they hired him,” Paradise said. “They aren’t saying that (L-1) has had a contract since 2002, which is six years before Steve stepped foot in the public safety office.” Simpson renewed L-1’s contract with the Department of Public Safety, however, 13 days before stepping down. Paradise added that the agency renewed the contract several times, including in 2008 when Simpson served as commissioner. Paradise said he could not disclose Simpson’s

salary or provide a copy of the contract. “If he wanted to do something in Mississippi, according to ethics opinions, there still would not be a conflict of interest,” Paradise said. “But for the purpose of appearance, he said he’s not comfortable doing anything in Mississippi.” Paradise referred to a 2001 ethics opinion stating that state employees can work for a company their former agency contracted with, as long as the employee’s new job does not involve work with the state contract. Hood’s campaign, however, pointed to a 2000 opinion supporting their accusations. “A former state employee accepting employment with a contractor of his former state agency is certainly a circumstance with the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the state agency,” it states. The 2000 opinion states that a state agency or the Legislature must enact a policy or law that would prohibit government employees from accepting jobs with state contractors. Mississippi Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Hood, brother of Jim Hood, said that ethics opinions are ruled on a case-by-case basis and declined to comment. In response to Hood’s criticism over the alleged conflict of interest, Simpson blasted Hood for hiring outside counsel to handle his office’s litigation. Paradise claims that Hood received $112,350 in campaign donations from outside attorneys who received contracts with the Hood’s office. The attorney general’s website states that its office handles more than 3,000 civil cases, and special attorneys general, who are full-time state employees, litigate 95 percent of those cases. The private attorneys that the office employs for the other cases work on a contingency-fee basis, which means that they are only paid in the event of a successful outcome for the state. Compretta said the majority of out-of-state firms approach the AG’s office with potential litigation, and Hood then determines if the cases have merit and will benefit the state. The attorney general’s website also makes public all active contingency-fee contracts. “By hiring expert outside counsel, the attorney general’s office has recovered over $500 million for Mississippi taxpayers from corporations who have overcharged Mississippi residents and businesses.” Compretta said.

Public schools do more than educate children. They measure a city’s pride. They reflect community. They predict the social and economic well-being of a city’s future. For 20 years, Parents for Public Schools of Jackson has worked to keep our public schools strong, to empower parents as leaders for positive change, and to engage community support of our public schools.

Join us. For our city. For our children. For our future.

Founding Chapter, Parents for Public Schools, 1989 200 N. Congress, Suite 500, Jackson, MS 39201

ust ask any Jacksonian where to get a real Philly cheesesteak or a slice of New York-style pizza and the answer is the same: Miller’s Downtown Grill. Nestled in a small building on Capitol, the blinkand-you’ll-miss-it Miller’s has been a downtown staple for over seven years. Mississippi native Mark Miller first came on the restaurant scene in the mid-’80s, but it was his one-day trip to New York City a few years back that convinced him what Jackson needed: a real New York-style pizza Miller’s Grill Downtown parlor. Miller’s now serves the biggest and best pizza by the slice–New York-style that is–daily. What makes a pizza New York style? A full 20 inches of fresh, hand-tossed dough, filled with homemade sauce and fresh toppings, thrown daily. Catch a slice of a weekday special pie like Monday’s Barbecue Chicken Pizza or maybe Wednesday’s special Bacon Double Cheeseburger pie. For the pizza traditionalists, Miller’s offers daily slices of cheese, pepperoni, Miller’s Meat Market and Mark’s choice. It’s the mix of a New York pizza joint meets Philly for cheesesteak sprinkled with down-home southern cooking that makes Miller’s such a favorite among locals. Miller’s longtime chef Nikki Biggs brings a southern touch to Mark’s Yankee-inspired menu. Biggs, using her own tried-and-true recipes, creates the daily plate lunches. From Monday’s chopped steak to Thursday’s steak tips with rice and gravy, Nikki is always up to something good. Catch her fried catfish on Friday, along with her choice of a plate lunch, and you’ve got a hearty meal for a skinny price. If you’re looking for a juicy burger, patty melt or any other grill concoction, Miller’s is your one-stop shop. From choices like the original Philly cheesesteak, chicken Philly cheesesteak, the hot turkey or ham sandwich, and even the grilled veggie sandwich, everyone in the office can agree on Miller’s Downtown Grill for lunch. Looking for something on the lighter side? Give one of Miller’s signature salads a try. With options like Dana’s favorite salad filled with mixed greens, grilled chicken breast, feta, dried cranberries, artichoke hearts and pecans, eating light never tasted so good. If you’re looking for a little more in your salad, give the hot Philly cheese salad a try, you’ll never look at salad the same way again. As Mark will tell you, he and his staff love downtown Jackson and his staff is the best in town. “We might be loud and a maybe a little obnoxious sometimes,” Mark says, “but we are here to make you forget about your day and make you happy.”



Rainbow Natural Grocery Co-op wins the

“Spirit of Fondren” 2011 award from Fondren Association of Businesses.

Red White & Blue Fondren Renaissance Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi present

Symphony at Sunset Thursday, September 22, 2011 | 7PM Free Admission The Cedars | 4145 Old Canton Road

Jim Blackwood, Delta Royalty Co., Inc, Scanlon-Taylor Millwork Co., Stover Properties

September 21-27, 2011

Award created by local artist Andrew McIntyre.


Privacy, Publicity and Intellectual Property The Mississippi Bar Intellectual Property Section presents on Thursday, September 29, 2011, a one-hour seminar, entitled Privacy, Publicity and Intellectual Property Issues Underlying The Help Controversy. The seminar features a thought-provoking panel discussion on complex issues concerning literary works in general, and the manifestation of those issues in The Help specifically. The panel is comprised of those who are intimately familiar with high profile litigation on literary issues, including Edward Sanders, Fred Banks, Jr., Luther Munford and Robert Gregg Mayer. The seminar will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on September 29th at Butler Snow, 1020 Highland Colony Parkway, 14th Floor, Ridgeland, MS 39157. Please join us at 5:00 p.m. for a meet and greet. The cost is free for members of the MS Bar Intellectual Property Section, and $15 for all others. To reserve your seat for the seminar, please contact RenĂŠ Garner at or call 601-355-9226.

Issues Underlying The Help Controversy


Simpsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Top Contributors

SIMPSON, from page 16

September 21 - 27, 2011


to go to trial. The victim is a fairly young girl who is reluctant to testify. Will not testify. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s telling me that she wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t to forward, and if I put her on the witness stand, she isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to say anything. The only other witness, who is not a witness to the assault, but whose testimony I might could offer because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the mother of the child who the child told that this happened to, did not report it to the police when it happened. Instead she wentâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;by her own admission, and what Steve Simpson is campaigning for attorney general on his the police reports are golaw-and-order background. ing to showâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;went out and smoked doped with the deing oil had been poured on himâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;that he was fendant. She went out weeks later and reportasleep in the bed, and his wife poured hot oil ed it. So she has no credibility with us. There is on him. He died days later. The physical evi- no medical evidence. The victim was seen by a dence at the time shows the bed with skin and doctor and sexual-assault nurse examiner, and oil in the bed and on the wall where it had there was no evidence to support the sexual splattered. â&#x20AC;Ś It supported his dying declara- assault.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;Ś We did not have a case we could tion that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d been laying down in the bed. put before 12 reasonably fair minded people The evidence was that there had been an and expect to get a conviction of this guy. That argument between them. He had gone to bed, isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t to say that he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do something wrong. and she boiled this oil and went to the back If we can convince 12 jurors, he was looking and poured it on him. At trial for the first time at 20 years in prison. Rather than take that ever, she said he went to the back to get a gun. chance, he is willing to plead guilty and take a She had never said that to the police. No one two-year sentence with one suspended, spend else had ever said that to police. The daughter, a year in the penitentiary and be registered as a who was present, never said that to police. In sex offender from now on, so we can keep up fact, no gun had been found in the home. It with him and know where he is and what he is was inconsistent with the physical evidence doing, and we are willing to make that recomthat he was laying down in the bed asleep. mendation. There were other allegations about sexual â&#x20AC;Ś When he got out of jail, he abscondassault on the girl that occurred. That had ed, which means he ran off. He left the jurisnever been reported to police. The girl had diction. He didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t register with local law ennever made those allegations. The mother at forcement. He ran off to another state where the time of arrest had not made the allegations. he was arrested, served another sentence and You have to remember that they are in a house, eventually came back to Mississippi and got where even by her own admission, he was in into this incident where he accused of killing a the back bedroom. â&#x20AC;Ś All she had to do was priest. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how I could have foreseen walk out the front door. If she believed he was four years after pleading guilty that he would going to the back and get a gun, why didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be charged with a homicide, any more than she just get her daughter and go out the front anyone else I sentenced that day. door? â&#x20AC;Ś The problem was that it was inconsistent with the evidence. He was deceased, so Do you think there is anything the there was no way for the prosecution to rebut courts or the prison system could this evidence that was being tendered for the have done to prevent this? first time, so I excluded it. I only know from having read a news article that Commissioner Chris Epps at the In 2006 you gave previously convict- Department of Corrections said his departed-felon Jerry Manieri a two-year ment dropped the ball to the extent that when sentence for child molestationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the (Manieri) ran off and didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t report for probaminimum sentence. In July, he was tion, they failed to put that into the system arrested in the shooting death of a and get an arrest warrant for him into the naLouisiana priest. Explain why that tional computer data base. â&#x20AC;Ś Could anyone sentence was appropriate. have done anything to anticipate that six years The time that this case came before the later he would shoot somebody? court happened to be the time I was there. If it had happened during the next month it Any other priorities if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re elected? would have been a different judge. My point We talked about the Obama health-care is that the assistant district attorney and the thing. Clearly, I would join litigation to test defense attorney both came to my chambers lawfulness of that action. Three appellate courts before court started and said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Look, we have and a number of other federal courts have said 20 a case on the docket today, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s supposed itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unconstitutional. The governor asked the

attorney general (to help stop the health-care reform bill), and he said no. I would represent the will of most Mississippians and join that litigation and find out if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legal. Your opponent has taken on a lot of corporate fraud cases and won several million dollars for the state. How will you fight corporate fraud? Same thing. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an individual such as Robbie Bell who should have been submitted to a jury for letting (Heather Spencer, murdered by her son, George Bell III) die in her house. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that or a corporation overcharging for software technology or pharmaceuticals or whatever it is. You pursue criminal acts wherever you find them and whoever they are. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something (Hood) hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t done. And if you find it, why not prosecute it yourself? Why go to California or New York and say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want you guys to do it for me.â&#x20AC;? At least if you are going to bring in help, bring in Mississippi lawyers. [Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s note: Legal experts say Robbie Bell was not prosecuted as an accessory in the death of Heather Spencer due to insufficient evidence. Mississippi does not have a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Good Samaritanâ&#x20AC;? law, which could have forced Bell to seek help for Spencer. All parties agreed that Bell did not do the right thing in the case; however, she apparently did not break any existing state laws.] Do you think there is any advantage to having an outside perspective from legal counsel? Whoever comes here to prosecute a case on behalf of Mississippians is going to have to apply Mississippi law; they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to apply


New York or California law. I do understand that there are some cases that are so complex in nature, be it a financial case or a securities case or medical case against a pharmaceutical manufacturer. â&#x20AC;Ś I understand that there are doubtful claims, and you may need to find someone outside the attorney generalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office to prosecute that case on behalf of Mississippians. But you will never convince me that there arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t good competent lawyers in Mississippi that ought to be given a preference to that. Anything else youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to add? I really hope and continue to hope that this race will be about our education, experience, accomplishments, and what we have done in our professional careers and what we will do for Mississippians in the future. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s already getting a little nasty. I expect thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the way itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be that way until Election Day. â&#x20AC;Ś I think I have been preparing for this and that I am very well qualified.

The Edna Mae Sanders Case


n April 2008, a Hancock County jury found Edna Mae Sanders guilty of the murder of her husband, Sherman Sanders. He died after she doused him with boiling cooking oil. Simpson, whom Gov. Haley Barbour appointed to serve as Department of Public Safety commissioner a month later, sentenced her to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The wife testified that she poured oil on her husband in an act of defense after her husband sexually assaulted her 13-yearold daughter and threatened Edna Maeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life. Simpson prevented testimony about the husbandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s violent tendencies, as well as the wifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s discovery of Sherman raping her daughter that night. Prosecutors argued Edna Mae could have fled while her husband went to allegedly grab his gun. The Mississippi Court of Appeals overturned Sandersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; conviction, saying the Simpson court should have told the jury that the law did not require Edna Mae Sanders to retreat from her home when she felt threatened, and for excluding evidence

in support of her theory of self-defense. The Mississippi Supreme Court will soon decide whether to grant Sanders a retrial or uphold Simpsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ruling. In this interview, Simpson said neither Sanders nor her daughter told police about the alleged rape at the time and that he excluded the testimony because it did not match the evidence. He also said law enforcement did not find a gun in the home. Sandersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; attorney Brian Alexander disagrees with Simpsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assessment, saying the appeals court ruling had nothing to do with what Sanders had said prior to her testimony at the hearing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;His premise is misleading â&#x20AC;Ś at least 50 percent of defendants never make a statement to police before trial,â&#x20AC;? Alexander said this week. Alexander said the appeal court found enough evidence to show thatSherman Sanders had been violent toward his wife the night of the incident. â&#x20AC;&#x153;(The court of appeals) can see Sherman Sanders instigated a fight. Simpson is out in left field in his conclusion,â&#x20AC;? Alexander added.


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Driving tour of Oxford and Ole Miss with historian, Jack Mayfield. Tours include stops at two historic homes: the L.Q.C. Lamar House and Cedar Oaks Mansion. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 & under. Tour departs from the Skipwith Cottage Visitors Center on the Square, next door to City Hall. For more information, contact the Oxford CVB at 662-232-2477.

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BOOKS p 24 | 8 DAYS p 26 | MUSIC p 30 | SPORTS p 34

Unmasked Letterer

by Brett Benson

September 21 - 27, 2011




loria’s eyes grow bigger. Fear turns to defiance. Her face zooms in and out as Johnny Lowe’s fingers deftly move across the screen of his iPad. His eyes shine. “RMMMBLE” appears in large, thick, heavy blocked letters stretching across the bottom of the page. Gloria means business. Johnny Lowe likes telling stories. Lowe, who lives in Clinton, has turned his passion for telling stories toward the field of comics. A local freelance proofreader and copy editor, Lowe also works as a comic-book letterer on one of the hottest titles in the comic business today, Image/Shadowline’s “Morning Glories.” He is also lettering issues of “Farscape,” a series based on the popular sci-fi television show, for BOOM! Studios. “I can do a book in about two days,” Lowe says of “Morning Glories.” He sets up a low resolution file on his computer that can be accessed quickly as he begins the work of taking Nick Spencer’s script and converting it into the proper font, then sizing and placing the word balloons on the comic panels. Born in Vicksburg, Lowe, 55, attended Northeast Louisiana University, graduating with a degree in radio and TV management in 1978. After graduation, life took him to Los Angeles where he worked his way into proofreading and copy editing for some of the largest advertising firms, including Toyota Motor Sales USA, Saatchi and Saatchi, and DGWB Advertising and Communications. He returned to Mississippi in 2006 due to his father’s health. “It was to be just for Christmas,” Lowe says. He stayed. Since his return, he worked as a freelance copy editor and proofreader for the University Press of Mississippi and local advertising agencies. Currently, he is freelancing for GodwinGroup. In the comic-book world, it is the writer’s job to develop the story and write dialogue, like a movie script. The artist draws the black lines showing the story sans words—think of it as still shots from an old black-and-white silent movie. The colorist adds the array of colors and tones of light like the advent of Technicolor in films. The letterer’s job is to bring to life the script. It is the words and the letters that shape the tone, action and inflection of the characters. The font size and style of a word all relate to the reader subconsciously the mood and feeling of what is happening. One of the letterer’s tasks is to cut the writer’s dialogue into sections, drawing the

These two panels are from an issue of “Hawks of Outremer,” based on a Robert E. Howard story, published by Boom Studios. The character in the first panel draws his sword, and in the next panel, we “hear” unseen foes drawing their swords. Lowe was attempting to show that the character is steeling himself for battle as the bad guys all draw their swords simultaneously.

reader into the story. The dialogue is placed in “word balloons” set within the artist’s panel. In a movie, an actor can change volume to his voice, a sound engineer can soften some sounds and sharpen others. In comics it is the letterer’s job through font and style to achieve those effects. “If you’re a good letterer,” Lowe says, “then the reader won’t notice it. “ Gloria, the main character of Lowe’s Web comic, “Grounded Angel,” is a teenage girl who grows heavenly wings. Her destiny is to battle demonic forces bent on driving Earth into a new age of darkness. Steve Horton developed the title, and Lowe soon took on writing duties, turning it into one of the online-comic medium’s most popular titles. It was one of Lowe’s earlier forays into the world of comics. Proudly, he shows an electronic page done in the black-and-white, Japanese style of graphic story telling called manga.

The frames of the comic page consist of four equally sized drawings completely devoid of color covering the top half of what would be a page of a traditional printed manga comic. On the tablet screen, the evil force masquerading as Gloria’s best friend, Jenn, berates her as it tries to weaken Gloria for the coming apocalyptic battle. “See how these frames are all the same size?” Lowe asks. “I wanted her to look like she is dusting herself off and then ...” His fingers fly to the bottom of the frame where Gloria’s white wings snap from her back spreading wide and radiating power. “RMMMBLE...” “I should have made this the next page,” he says wistfully as the picture expands filling the screen. The online comic started at one page a week, but Lowe felt he needed to expand the dialog to keep readers returning. “Eventually, we got up to three pages a week to keep

it on schedule,” he says. “You can see when I took over, as I tend to be more long winded than Steve.” His fingers flip through the pages on the iPad. He relates a story of the problems of the sometimes-global nature of today’s comic industry. He loves the work and style of the book’s artist, Vivi Erlanita, who lives in Thailand. “English is not her first language,” Lowe says, then settled in to tell another story. In one scene he wrote, Gloria is fighting for her life, and the villain masquerading as a doctor injects her with a syringe full of poison. The artwork Erlanita sent showed the villain holding a Windex-style spray bottle. He went online and sent her a picture of a syringe and how it is used. Erlanita quickly changed the panel. Crisis averted. Lowe smiles. Story told. See “Grounded Angel” at webcomicsnation. com/stevehorton/groundedangel. Find more information on Johnny Lowe’s Linked In page.




Anna Cline & The Grits & Soul Band


601-853-0876 • 1896 Main Street, Ste A in Madison

M-Th 11-2, 4:30-9 • F-Sat 11-2, 4:30-10

(Soul & Blues)


Spirits of the House (Traditional Irish Music) FRIDAY 9/23

The Scott Albert Johnson Band (Blues)


It’s ALWAYS FRESH in the

Seth Libbey & The Liberals (Blues Rock)




Karaoke w/ Matt TUESDAY9/27

Open Mic hosted by Jason Bailey

6030 I-55 North- EXIT 102B (601) 977-9040

Make $3000$5000 per month! The Jackson Free Press and BOOM Jackson magazine seek TOP PERFORMERS for advertising sales positions.

Includes Drink & Choices of Fresh Vegetables

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September 21 - 27, 2011

Monday:Hamburger Steak Tuesday:Grilled Tilapia or Fried Chicken


Wednesday:Roast Beef Thursday :Chicken Diane or Grilled Pork Chop Friday:Meatloaf or Chicken & Dumplings

We need client-driven candidates ready to hit the streets to prospect new accounts, listen to client needs and follow up every week with world-class customer service. Bring your love of local business and your willingness to wake up every morning to improve your customers’ bottom line. Young or old, if you have the stuff, we’ll know! Contact publisher Todd Stauffer at todd@ to make your pitch!

The No-Name Problem


hen feminist leader Betty Friedan passed away in February 2006, traditional and online media were flooded with stories from women who were affected in some way by her 1963 book, “The Feminine Mystique.” Scholarly eulogies attempted to explain or contextualize the book’s significance to the American feminist movement. My favorite assessment came from the feminist blogger Echidne of the Snakes, who emphasized Friedan’s role as “name-giver.” “Because so many women identified with what she described,” Echidne wrote at the time, “... it was possible to discuss this condition, and that was the first stage of doing something about it.” Friedan was not the first to confront what she called “the problem that has no name,” but she was the first to describe it in a way that stuck. I think Friedan’s most impressive accomplishment in “The Feminine Mystique” was not that she proved middle-class housewives were unhappy with the status quo; they already knew that, or they wouldn’t have had any reason to read the book in the first place. It was that she addressed them as human beings whose unhappiness mattered (a radical idea at a time when womanhood was linked to selfsacrifice), to identify the situation that sexism had created, and to hint at possible avenues for solutions that Friedan would herself help to actualize by taking on a strong, long-term leadership role in the women’s movement. Her book provided a common vocabulary for people new to the women’s movement by introducing middle-class suburbia and radical sociology to each other, becoming a bestseller at an unlikely time and by appealing to an unlikely audience. Stephanie Coontz’s “A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s” (Basic Books, 2011 $25.95) attempts to explain exactly how Friedan pulled all of this off, and what it meant to American feminism when she did. She does this partly by providing a substantial, original, and badly-needed critical biography of “The Feminine Mystique,” and partly by simply telling the story of Friedan as her readers saw her—describing how the book affected their lives by simultaneously validating and challenging their perception of the world. What Coontz discovers is that Friedan was not always as groundbreaking, comprehensive or radical as she might have appeared at the time, and occasionally she lied outright about her own history or the circumstances under which the book was published. But Friedan’s skill as a writer and her COURTESY BASIC BOOKS


by Tom Head

uncanny ability to connect with her audience, made her essential to the story of American second-wave feminism. It is impossible to read this book and come away with the impression that Betty Friedan was a saint, but the book does make it clear that she was a warrior—and her courage, persistence, and talent made her an especially deadly adversary to the paternalistic, pseudoscientific sexism of post-World War II middleclass suburban America. Friedan’s greatest accomplishment may have been that she provided a mirror to concerns that women living under this tyranny already felt, amplifying their voices and helping them organize to address these concerns collectively. “It in no way disparages Friedan’s accomplishments to point out that ‘The Feminine Mystique’ was not ahead of its time,” Coontz writes. “Books don’t become best sellers because they’re ahead of their time.” “A Strange Stirring” is readable, breezy and entertaining. You’ll finish it in one or two sittings without great difficulty, and it is not necessary to read “The Feminine Mystique” to understand the story Coontz tells. The strongest chapter in the book is probably the first, “The Unliberated ’60s,” which explains what Friedan and her contemporaries faced by describing a legal and political system that sounds as terrifyingly dystopian as that of Iran or Saudi Arabia. Even readers who have no interest in “The Feminine Mystique” would be well served to pick up a copy of “A Strange Stirring” long enough to read its first 18-page chapter and marvel at how much the feminist movement has accomplished in 50 years, partly as the result of Friedan’s hard work. But the weakest element of the book is its gentleness toward men, and especially men of Friedan’s generation. I’m not suggesting that it’s necessary to vilify men to explain the history of sexism, but it is necessary to confront institutional manhood—to acknowledge that the people with the money, social prestige and political power to enforce the old system of gender apartheid were indeed men, which made changing this system an extraordinarily difficult task (as the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment demonstrated). Coontz describes the challenge of the “Feminine Mystique”-generation as if it were an internal struggle among women to find their voices, but making these voices heard over the objections of self-serving men and their allies remains a challenge. Freelance writer Tom Head is a Jackson native. He has written or co-written 24 nonfiction books, is a civil liberties writer for About. com and is a grassroots progressive activist.




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BEST BETS September 21 - 28, 2011 by Latasha Willis Fax: 601-510-9019 Daily updates at



Author Norma Watkins speaks during History Is Lunch at noon at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Bring lunch; call 601-576-6998. … Sami Lott Gallery (1800 N. State St.) hosts a Fall Preview Trunk Show from 2-7 p.m. today and tomorrow; audience members model at the fashion show tomorrow at 5 p.m. Free; call 601-949-8900. … Jazz Beautiful with Pam Confer perform at Fitzgerald’s. … The open jam with Will and Linda is at Pelican Cove. … The “A Toast to ProStart” fundraiser is at 7 p.m. at Parlor Market (115 W. Capitol St.) in Albert’s Room. $95; call 601-608-0227; visit event. … Philip’s on the Rez has karaoke. … Dreamz JXN hosts Wasted Wednesday. … Alien Ant Farm is at Fire.

Roses bourbon tasting from 6-8 p.m. at Fatsumo Sushi (3100 N. State St.). $25; call 769-216-3574. … Symphony at Sunset is at 7 p.m. at The Cedars (4145 Old Canton Road). Free; call 601-981-9606. … Dreamz JXN hosts Centric Thursday. … Marlowe and the Sea, The Lion in Winter, Frontier Sons, and Captain and Company perform at 7 p.m. at Sneaky Beans. $5 cover; all ages welcome. … “13, the Musical” is at 7:30 p.m. at Actor’s Playhouse (121 Truitt Lane, Pearl); show runs through Oct. 2. $15, $10 seniors and students; call 601-664-0930. … The Golden Rice Comedy Show is at Last Call.


Franchise owner Al Joyner speaks at the Minority Enterprise Development Awards Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the Mississippi e-Center at Jackson State University (1230 Raymond Road). $30; call 601-918-1994. … Dinner and a Movie is at 7:30 p.m. at Rainbow Whole Foods (2807 Old Canton Road). See “Lunch Line,” a documentary about problems with school lunches. No charge for movie only; for dinner, $13 in advance, $16 at the door; call 601-981-6925. … Buie, Hammon and Porter perform at 7:30 p.m. at McB’s. Free. … Dinner with the Arts is at 8 p.m. at Lumpkin’s BBQ (182 Raymond Road). The Southern Komfort Brass Band performs. $20, first beer free; call 601-373-7707. … Hot Shots has karaoke at 8 p.m. … Forever Friday is at 9 p.m. at F. Jones Corner. Blacdadi Strahberies performs at 10 p.m. $10 before $10 p.m.; call 601-454-8313. After-set at midnight at Suite 106.


WellsFest kicks off at 8 a.m. at Jamie Fowler Boyll Park (3601 Lakeland Lane). Proceeds benefit Mustard Seed. Free admission, items for sale; call 601-353-0658. … The Jackson Arts Collective Fall Showcase is at 5 p.m. at The Commons. $5; call 601-352-3399. … The Mississippi Greek Weekend Post-game Show is at Dreamz JXN. … David Mann of “Meet the Browns” and Chinnitta “Chocolate” Morris perform at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall. $22.50-$37.50; call 601-9614000 or 800-745-3000. … The JFP hosts a birthday edition of Southern Fried Karaoke at 9:30 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s. Free. Filmmaker and actor Spike Lee speaks at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 at Jackson State University’s McCoy Auditorium.

September 21 - 27, 2011

Mississippi Greek Weekend kicks off with “The Beginning Mix and Mingle” at 5 p.m. at Downtown Cafe (105 E. Capitol St.). Free admission. More events through Sept. 25; visit for details. … The HeARTworks art show is at 5 p.m. at Fischer Galleries (3100 N. State St., Suite 101). Art sales benefit Stewpot; call 601-291-9115. … Diana Abu-Jaber signs copies of her novel “Birds of Paradise” at 5 p.m. at Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N.); reading at 5:30 p.m. $25.95 book; call 601366-7619. … Downtown at Dusk is from 5-8 p.m at Old Capitol Inn (226 N. State St.). Chris Gill and the Sole Shakers perform. Free admission, $5 food, $2 beers, $1 soda and wa26 ter; call 601-353-9800. … Vintage Wine Market hosts a Four

Art House Cinema Downtown at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.) includes the films “Manon” at 2 p.m. ($16) and “Passione” at 5 p.m. ($7). Visit msfilm. org. … The “Music that Mends” benefit concert is at 3 p.m. at The Commons. $5; call 601-540-1267. … “Tiger” Rogers performs at Fusion Coffeehouse. … Cassius, Coke Bumaye and K. West perform at the Generation NXT Concert Series at 6 p.m. at Dreamz JXN. … Rush of Fools, Jimmy Needham and The Advice perform at 7 p.m. at Mississippi College (200 Capitol St., Clinton) in Swor Auditorium, Nelson Hall. $15, $20 Gold Circle, $10 students with ID; call 800-965-9324.


The Central Mississippi Blues Society Jam is at 7 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s. $5. … Fenian’s, Irish Frog, and Burgers and Blues have karaoke. … Garage à Trois plays at Martin’s.


Spike Lee speaks at 7 p.m. at Jackson State University, McCoy Auditorium (1400 John R. Lynch St.). Email for a free ticket. … See the film “Jane Goodall Live” at 7 p.m at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). $14, $13 seniors and students, $12 children; call 601-936-5856. … At Hal & Mal’s, the Pub Quiz is in the restaurant, and Ten Out of Tenn plays in the Big Room.


The Jackson 2000 Friendship Golf Outing tees off at 8:30 a.m. at Colonial Country Club (5635 Old Canton Road). $500 team of four; call 601-948-3071 or 601-9570434. … Historian Gene Dattel speaks during History Is Lunch at noon at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Call 601-576-6998. … Doug Frank’s Blues Jam is at 7 p.m. at F. Jones Corner. … Ole Tavern and Pop’s have karaoke. … Snazz is at Fuego. More events and details at

The Southern Komfort Brass Band performs at Dinner with the Arts at 8 p.m. Sept. 23 at Lumpkin’s BBQ. DANE CARNEY






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WellsFest Sept. 24, 8 a.m., at Jamie Fowler Boyll Park (3601 Lakeland Lane). The fundraiser includes a 5K run/walk and one-mile fun run at 8 a.m., a pet parade at 9 a.m. The festival, from 9 a.m.5:30 p.m. includes live music, food, children’s activities, arts-and-crafts vendors, a plant sale, and a silent auction. Proceeds benefit the Mustard Seed. Free admission; other prices vary; call 601-353-0658. Southern Fried Karaoke: Ninth Birthday Edition Sept. 24, 9:30 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St.). Todd Stauffer and Donna Ladd host. All singers welcome; great singers are hugged, kissed and sometimes make it into documentary films! Come sing along with all the bar-room favorites. Every Southern Fried Karaoke is an experience. Free; call 601-362-6121, ext. 16. Jackson 2000 Friendship Golf Outing Sept. 28, 8:30 a.m., at Colonial Country Club (5635 Old Canton Road). The format is a four-person scramble with prizes for a variety of feats. Lunch included; door prizes given. $500 team of four; call 601-9483071 or 601-957-0434. Mississippi Happening. Guaqueta Productions hosts the monthly broadcast, which features a special musical guest. Download free podcasts at

WELLNESS Blood Pressure Checks for Seniors. The city of Jackson and St. Dominic Health Services provides blood pressure checks and cholesterol information to qualifying individuals ages 55 or older living in Jackson. Free; call 601-960-0335. • Sept. 21, 11 a.m., at T.L. Love Senior Center (2912 Holmes Ave.). • Sept. 22, 11 a.m., at Tougaloo Multi-Purpose Senior Citizens Center (318 Vine St.). • Sept. 26, 11 a.m., at Johnnie Champion Senior Center (1355 Hattiesburg St.). InfantSEE Week Sept. 24-Oct. 1. Local optometrists offer free eye exams for babies 6-12 months old. Visit for a list a participating doctors. Free; visit

FARMERS MARKETS Jackson Square Farmers Market through Sept. 25, at Jackson Square Promenade (2460 Terry Road). Hours are 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Free admission, $5-$10 vendor fee; call 601-372-7157. Livingston Farmers Market (129 Mannsdale Road, Madison), through Oct. 13. The market is open 4-8 p.m. Thursdays. Call 601-898-0212. Byram Farmers Market (20 Willow Creek Lane, Byram), through Oct. 29. The market is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Call 601-3734545.

September 21 - 27, 2011

Mississippi Farmers Market (929 High St.), through Dec. 17. Open 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Call 601-354-6573.


Old Farmers Market (352 E. Woodrow Wilson Ave.), through Nov. 12. Hours are 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday. Call 601-354-0529 or 601-353-1633. Jackson Roadmap to Health Equity Project’s Farmers Market (2548 Livingston Road) through Dec. 17. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, and 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturdays. Call 601987-6783.

by Valerie Wells irector Ivan Rider re“Driving Miss Daisy” turns to Jackson to direct cast members are Shirley “Driving Miss Daisy” at Simpson of Florida, Jay Unger New Stage Theatre. of Clinton and Ray McFar“It’s the theater of my land of Jackson. heart,” Rider said. Shows continue through Rider, 76, became New Director Ivan Sept. 25. Curtain times and Rider returns to Stage Theatre’s first artistic di- New Stage to dates are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesrector in 1979. He was work- direct “Driving days through Saturdays and 2 ing in New York City when Miss Daisy,” p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $25; he took the job. He thought showing through student, senior citizen and Sept. 25. he might be in Mississippi group discounts are available. for a season, but he stayed 13 Buy tickets at the box office, years. Now retired, Rider lives in Hous- by calling 601-948-3531 or online at newton, Texas, but comes back to New Stage An “Actor Chat” follows once a season. the performance Wednesday Sept. 21.



Radio JFP on WLEZ, at WLEZ 100.1 FM and Join Donna Ladd and Todd Stauffer every Thursday from noon-1 p.m., where they discuss vital issues and play local music. This week’s guest is a steering committee member from WellsFest. JFP sports writer Bryan Flynn gives commentary at 12:45 p.m. Listen to podcasts at jfpradio. com. Free; call 601-362-6121, ext. 17.

Ivan Rider Drives ‘Daisy’

Old Fannin Road Farmers Market (1307 Old Fannin Road, Brandon), through Dec. 24. Hours are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Call 601-919-1690.

Precinct 4 COPS Meeting Sept. 22, 6 p.m., at Redeemer Church (640 E. Northside Drive). These monthly forums are designed to help resolve community issues or problems, from crime to potholes. Call 601-960-0004.


Make a Splash Sept. 23, 8 a.m., at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). The interactive event allows students to explore water-related topics. $4-$6, children under 3 and museum members free; call 601-354-7303.

Events at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). • NACA Homeownership Workshop Sept. 24, 8 a.m.), in the Community Meeting Room. The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America assists low- and moderate-income people to become homeowners without sub-prime or predatory loans. Free; call 601-922-4008, ext. 1921. • Senior Aerobics Class Sept. 28, 10 a.m., at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.), at center stage. Tougaloo College is the sponsor. Free; call 769-798-7691. • M-Power Communities Call for Nominations through Sept. 30. Nominate an organization whose focus is on literacy, health, work force training or social services, and has a budget of $25,000 or less. Call 601-982-8467. Events at Mississippi e-Center at Jackson State University (1230 Raymond Road). • Mississippi ARC Fall Conference Sept. 22, 8 a.m. The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation hosts. Speakers include former Gov. William Winter and Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Commissioner Hank Bounds. Registration required. Call 662-915-6734. • Minority Enterprise Development Awards Luncheon Sept. 23, 11:30 a.m. MED honors local minority businesses and organizations at the event. Franchise owner Al Joyner is the speaker. $30; call 601-918-1994. Alzheimer’s Action Day Sept. 21, noon, at Mississippi State Capitol (400 High St.), south steps. The Mississippi chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association hosts. Hear stories from people with Alzheimer’s disease, learn about programs, meet Miss Mississippi 2011 Mary Margaret Roark and enjoy free ice cream. Wear purple. Call 601-987-0020. Teaching Degree Information Session Sept. 21, 6 p.m., at Belhaven University (1500 Peachtree St.), in the McCarvey-Triplett Student Center, second floor, in the theater. Learn about Belhaven’s Master of Education, Master of Arts in Teaching, P.A.C.E. and teacher certification programs. Refreshments served; RSVP. Call 601-968-8947. Mississippi Greek Weekend Sept. 22-25. The series of events promotes unity among Greek organizations and raises awareness of blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia, leukemia and lymphoma. Enjoy mixers, step shows and concerts. Visit mississippi for a schedule. Charges vary per event; email

Forever Friday Sept. 23, 10 p.m., at F. Jones Corner (303 N. Farish St.). Enjoy music from Blacdadi Strahberies and DJ Phingaprint, poetry and art displays. $10 before 10 p.m.; call 601-454-8313. Homebuyer Education Class Sept. 24, 9 a.m., at Jackson Housing Authority (2747 Livingston Road). The class covers topics suchas personal finances, home inspections, and the role of lenders and real estate agents. The class is required to qualify for a Jackson Housing Authority loan. Registration required. Free; call 601-362-0885, ext. 115. Men’s Day Celebration Sept. 25, 11 a.m., at True Light Missionary Baptist Church (224 E. Bell St.). Dr. Dolphus Weary, president emeritus of Mission Mississippi, is the speaker. Call 601-353-7364. Rainbow’s Annual Potluck and Shareholders Meeting Sept. 25, 12:30 p.m., at The Cedars Historic Home (4145 Old Canton Road). Enjoy vegetarian dishes, door prizes and a drum circle. Call 601-366-1602. Jackson Public Schools Parent/Teacher Conference Day Sept. 26. Parents meet with and discuss their children’s progress with teachers. Appointments are encouraged for parents of elementary school students. Call the child’s school for information. Jackson Touchdown Club Meeting Sept. 26, 6 p.m., at River Hills Country Club (3600 Ridgewood Road). The speaker is former NFL kicker Tom Dempsey. $280 individual membership, $1200 corporate membership; call 601-506-3186. Spike Lee Sept. 27, 7 p.m., at Jackson State University, Rose E. McCoy Auditorium (1400 John R. Lynch St.). The producer and actor speaks in honor of Black College Day. Reservation required. Free tickets; email Jackson Audubon Society Monthly Chapter Meeting Sept. 27, 6:30 p.m., at Eudora Welty Library (300 N. State St.). Bart Barrack of Barrack Farms talks about a “Birding Trip to Paraguay.” Open to the public. Free; call 601-956-7444. Power Up Speaker Series Sept. 28, 11:30 a.m., at University Club (210 E. Capitol St., Suite 2200). Cornelius Lindsey of Lindsey Enterprises presents “Brand New You: How to Create, Develop and Market Your Personal Brand.” RSVP; limited seating. $12 (cash only), $10 members; call 601-9694011, ext. 235.

Leadership, Personal Development and Life Skills Seminar Series through May 22, at Operation Shoestring (1711 Bailey Ave.). Operation Shoestring and Kuumba Promos host on first and third Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. during the school year to introduce leadership skills, life management skills and cultural pride to local youth. Enrollment required. Free; call 601-353-3663 or 601-957-2969. Home Repair Grant Call for Applicants, at Hood Building (200 S. President St.), suite 316. Seniors 62 and older or disabled citizens may apply between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Bring photo ID, a deed or warranty deed, proof of income, homeowner’s insurance and Social Security card. Call 601-960-1438 or 601-960-1491. Toastmasters Club Meetings. Improve your communication skills, and become a better speaker and leader. Membership required. • Public Policy Club 8689 Meetings, at Universities Center (3825 Ridgewood Road). The group meets on first and third Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m. in the computer lab. Call 601-540-8472 or 601-432-6277; visit • “Guess Who’s Talking Now” Club 3284 Meetings, at Woolfolk Building (501 N. West St.). The group meets from noon-1 p.m. Tuesdays in the conference room on the first floor. Free for visitors; call 601-359-6653 or 601-359-2573; visit

STAGE AND SCREEN “Peter Pan” Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). Tony Award nominee Cathy Rigby stars. $20-$62.50; call 601-981-1847 or Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. “Sister Calling My Name” Sept. 22-27, at Belhaven University (1500 Peachtree St.). At Theatre 151. The play is about a man’s relationship with his mentally challenged sister. Show times are at 7:30 p.m. excluding Sept. 25. $10, $5 seniors/students, free for BU faculty, staff and students; call 601-965-7026. “13, the Musical” Sept. 22-Oct. 2, at Actor’s Playhouse (121 Paul Truitt Lane, Pearl). The comingof-age story is about a 13-year-old’s struggles after moving from New York to Indiana. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. $15, $10 seniors and students; call 601-664-0930. Dinner and a Movie Sept. 23, 7:30 p.m., at Rainbow Whole Foods Co-operative Grocery (2807 Old Canton Road). See “Lunch Line,” about the problems with school lunches, and meet Mississippi FoodCorps members. High Noon Cafe serves a gourmet vegetarian dinner. Discounts for members and shareholders. Free movie; dinner is $13 in advance, $16 at the door; call 601-937-7224. Brown Is Back: A Comedy Experience Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). Enjoy performances by David Mann of “Meet the Browns” and Chinnitta “Chocolate” Morris. $22.50-$37.50; call 601-961-4000. Art House Cinema Downtown Sept. 25, 2 p.m., at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Films include the opera “Manon” at 2 p.m. ($16) and the musical “Passione” at 5 p.m. ($7). Popcorn and beverages available. Visit “Driving Miss Daisy” through Sept. 25, at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). The play is the story of the decades-long relationship between a Southern matriarch and her chauffeur. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21-24, and 2 p.m. Sept. 25. $25, $22 seniors and students; call 601-948-3533, ext. 222. “Jane Goodall Live” Sept. 27, 7 p.m., at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). The chimpanzee research pioneer remarks on her career and answers pre-selected questions in the remote broadcast. $14, $13 seniors and students, $12 children; call 601936-5856.




South of Walmart in Madison

BE THE CHANGE HeARTWorks Art Show Sept. 22, 5 p.m., at Fischer Galleries (3100 N. State St., Suite 101). HeARTWorks is an art ministry to the people in and around the Stewpot community. Proceeds from art sales benefit the artists and Stewpot Community Services. Call 601-291-9115. UMMC Blood Drive Sept. 23, 10 a.m., at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). Mississippi Blood Services takes donations in the Community Meeting Room until 4 p.m. Please bring ID. Free; call 601-984-2884. Run for the Brain 5K Sept. 23, 5:30 p.m., at College Drive Seventh Day Adventist Church (110 College Drive, Pearl). Registration is at 5 p.m. The event includes a 5K run/walk, a one-mile fun run and a health fair. Refreshments and prizes included. Proceeds benefit NAMI Mississippi. $20 by Sept. 9, $25 day of race, $10 fun run; visit Music that Mends Sept. 25, 3 p.m., at The Commons at Eudora Welty’s Birthplace (719 N. Congress St.). The benefit concert is for Michael Ross, who was severely injured in a work-related accident. Jacob Lipking, Scott Albert Johnson, Jonathan Scarborough, Cody Cox and Chad Perry perform. $5; call 601-540-1267. Charity Golf Tournament Sept. 27, 11:30 a.m., at Eagle Ridge Golf Course (1500 Raymond Lake Road, Raymond). Registration 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon and shotgun start at 1 p.m. Golfers play in teams of four.Awards ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association of Middle Mississippi and scholarships for Hinds Community College students. Door prizes given, including a 2012 vehicle from Skinners Chevrolet. $75, $300 team of four; call 601-373-5188 or 601-857-7070.

Symphony at Sunset Sept. 22, 7 p.m., at The Cedars Historic Home (4145 Old Canton Road). The Fondren Renaissance Foundation hosts an evening of music from the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and honors Fondren volunteer Sherry Greener. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets. Free; call 601-981-9606. Dinner With the Arts Sept. 23, 8 p.m., at Lumpkin’s BBQ (182 Raymond Road). Enjoy a barbecue dinner and music from the Southern Komfort Brass Band. The first beer is free with admission. $20; call 601-373-7707. Freefall Tour 2011 Sept. 25, 7 p.m., at Mississippi College (200 Capitol St.), in Swor Auditorium, Nelson Hall. Rush of Fools, Jimmy Needham and The Advice perform. Tickets available at itickets. com. $15, $20 Gold Circle, $10 students with ID; call 601-925-3235 or 800-965-9324.

LITERARY AND SIGNINGS Book Signings at Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N.). Call 601-366-7619. • Sept. 21, 5 p.m., Jesmyn Ward signs copies of “Salvage the Bones.” $24 book. • Sept. 22, 5 p.m., Diana Abu-Jaber signs copies of “Birds of Paradise.” $25.95 book. “History Is Lunch” Sept. 21, noon, at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Author Norma Watkins will discuss and sign copies of her book “The Last Resort: Taking the Mississippi Cure,” about the art colony Allison’s Wells. Bring lunch; coffee and water provided. Free; call 601-576-6998. Purple with a Purpose Book Signing Sept. 21, 5 p.m., at Ridgeland Public Library (397 Highway 51 N., Ridgeland). In association with Alzheimer’s Action Day, gerontologist Dr. Lisa Byrd signs copies of her book “Caregiver Survival 101: Strategies to Manage Problematic Behaviors Presented in Individuals with Dementia.” Books sold on site. $25 book; call 601-987-0020. Southern Writers Group Meeting Sept. 22, 6:30 p.m., at G. Chastaine Flynt Memorial Library (103 Winners Circle, Flowood). Writers and aspiring writers meet on fourth Thursdays to discuss writing and publishing. Free; call 601-919-1911. Greg Price Book Signing Sept. 24, 1 p.m., at Fusion Coffeehouse (1111 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite A, Ridgeland). The author signs copies of “Iysh Two.” $23.99 book; call 888-361-9473. Weekly Storytime, at Campbell’s Bakery (3013 N. State St.). Children and teens come listen to a story Wednesdays from 2-3 p.m. Volunteers and book donations welcome. Free; call 601-362-4628.

Listings for Friday, Sept. 23 - Thursday Sept. 29 2011 Moneyball


Killer Elite


Dolphin Tale 3-D PG Abduction


Straw Dogs




I Don’t Know How She Does It PG13 3-D The Lion King

The Lion King (non 3-D)






Seven Days In Utopia


The Debt


Colombiana PG13 The Help



CREATIVE CLASSES Events at Hinds Community College, Rankin Campus (3805 Highway 80 E., Pearl). Call 601359-3297. • “Wardrobe Assistant for the Film Industry” Seminar Sept. 23-24. Sessions are from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 23 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 24. $50. • “Grip for the Film Industry” Seminar Sept. 27Nov. 1. Classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. Field trips included. $200. Praise and Movement Class For Adult Women, at Covenant Presbyterian Church (4000 Ridgewood Road). The dance class is for high-school aged women and older, and is from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesdays. $5 registration, free classes; call 601-981-7236.

GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE DAILY BARGAINS UNTIL 6PM Online Tickets, Birthday Parties, Group & Corporate Events @

Movieline: 355-9311

How Not to Be a Starving Artist Sept. 24, 9 a.m., at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.). Learn to develop an effective plan for making a living with art. $50, $10 materials fee; call 601-974-1130. Homemade Soups Workshop Sept. 28, 9 a.m., at Viking Cooking School (Township at Colony Park, 1107 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). Learn classic French techniques for preparing and garnishing soups. $69; call 601-898-8345.

EXHIBITS AND OPENINGS Jim Henson’s Birthday Celebration Sept. 24, 10 a.m., at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive). Come dressed as a Muppet, watch puppetry making and demos, and learn about Mississippi storytellers. $8, children 12 months and under free; call 601-981-5469 or 877-793-5437. Jackson Arts Collective Fall Showcase Sept. 24, 5 p.m., at The Commons at Eudora Welty’s Birthplace (719 N. Congress St.). The event highlights the Jackson arts scene through music, dance, visual art, poetry and comedy. $5; call 601-352-3399. “Outdoor Splendor” Art Show through Sept. 30, at The Cedars Historic Home (4145 Old Canton Road). See works by the Plein Air Artists of Mississippi, Susan Clark and Terri Dalriva from 9 a.m.4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. Free; call 601-981-9606. Midtown Debris Organization through Oct. 8, at the old Cultural Expressions building (147 Millsaps Ave.). See items collected from the midtown area Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-9 a.m., Fridays from 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free; call 601-497-7454. Check for updates and more listings. To add an event, email all details (phone number, start and end date, and time, street address, cost, URL, etc.) to or fax to 601510-9019. The deadline is noon the Thursday prior to the week of publication. Or add the event online yourself; check out for instructions.




Reinventing Soul Music


ho do you get when you mix India Arie’s soulful voice with Johnnie Taylor’s blues style? You get Tasha Taylor, Johnnie Taylor’s youngest daughter who is carrying on the family’s tradition of musical excellence. She has three brothers, Johnnie Taylor Jr., Floyd Taylor and T.J. Hooker-Taylor, who have also had success as recording artists. Tasha Taylor credits her father for motivating her to go into the music business. She has even retained the same up-tempo bluesy style of performing. When she and her siblings were younger, their mother kept them performing in commercials and other small things. Today Taylor is an established actress. She has had numerous smaller appearances on television shows such as “7th Heaven,” “Living Single” and “House, MD.” She has also been in movies and will be starring in the Broadway musical “Unchain My Heart” this fall. Taylor’s second album, “TaylorMade,” is aptly titled. Not only does Taylor perform vocals on it, but she produced and arranged it as well. From the outside, the album looks simply produced. The cover art is a beautiful photo of Taylor smiling with stars around her and in the background. While it might be something that I could make on Photoshop, the rest of “TaylorMade” is not. The album opens with a tribute to her father, giving his song “Who’s Making Love” a new twist with her soulful female voice. Taylor takes the song and gives it more of a feminist meaning. Hearing her sing “Who’s making love to your old lady while you were out making love” creates a warning to all cheating men and a call to action for women who’ve been cheated on. Instead of spicing up the track with more modern R&B beats, Taylor lets the song retain many attributes

The Key of G by Garrad Lee

12:49 p.m.: This heat may eventually be a problem. The newly engaged duo of Cody and Caitlin, aka Liver Mousse, play a song about coffee and pie. Several of us agree that Caitlin’s laugh is the third instrument in the band. Sneaky Fest has started, this much I am sure of. Is beer being served, yet? September 21 - 27, 2011

of the 1968 version, such as the signature horn section. “Who’s Making Love” sets the tone for the remainder of the album, which is heavy in vocals and brass instruments. The second song on the album, “Somebody,” is much more laid-back and soulful. Her alternating speed while singing is reminiscent of Tracy Chapman. Taylor’s voice, however, is still more feminine. The album’s single, “Queen,” is similar in tone but lacks the brass section that most of the other songs have, relying mostly on vocals and guitar to carry the melody. She sings: “Don’t be nervous, don’t be scared. I’ll be the one standing right beside you to give you tender loving and care, baby.” While taking care of her beau, she also declares herself to be his queen. “I’ve Got Love” might be the happiest track on the album. She repeats, “I’ve got music, I’ve got hope, I’ve got love” several times for the chorus and at the end of the song. The horns mimic her singing. The background vocals are the same as on most of the other songs. They add another layer to the song, but keep the album as a whole slightly stagnant. Most of the songs on “Taylor Made” seem to have emotional counterparts. “Wonder Woman” has the same upbeat feel as “I’ve Got Love” but with a darker tone to the lyrics. “Sometimes I’m strong. Sometimes I’m weak. Sometimes the truth is too hard to speak,” she sings. In the chorus, she sings, “If I was Wonder Woman there would be no need to carry that gun.” Instead of letting the entire album focus on relationship woes (as many artists tend to do these days), Taylor writes about her feelings as an individual. “Wonder Woman,” for example, is really about not wanting to be scared of life. The rest of the songs are somewhere between the softer and more dance-ready grooves. The album as a whole

12:56 p.m.: Yes, it is. 1:36 p.m.: I find myself on stage with James Crow and 5th Child, performing my duties as hypeman. The heat is melting records and shutting down MacBooks. Luckily, Taylor Hildebrand and Earl Brown,

Tasha Taylor’s “Taylor Made” is her second album.

is strong. Taylor proves from the very beginning that she has just as much talent, if not more than most headliners. “Taylor Made” does, however, have some weak points such as “Badman,” which is repetitive. On the following track, “Refund,” Taylor does not sing as strongly as she did on the previous song, but by the time this track comes along, I’m already tired of listening. With 13 songs that are all more than four minutes long, it becomes hard to keep the listener interested. These few mishaps shouldn’t deter any potential listeners, though. If you like strong-voiced women who stray from today’s mainstream R&B style, then Tasha Taylor is definitely worth listening to. If she were playing live, surely no one would stay seated. “Taylor Made” is available on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby. Her single, “Queen,” is also available for downloading. Visit or for more about the artist.

Fear and Loathing at Sneaky Fest

he following account may or may not be a truthful re-telling of my day at Sneaky Fest Aug. 27, 2011.

Noon: I arrive at Sneaky Fest in search of something, some kind of experience, some kind of answers, even though I don’t know the questions. My plan is to play mental Jeopardy and see where the day goes. There was madness in any direction, at any hour.


by Briana Robinson





Sneaky Fest swirled artsy beats.

father of Crow and 5th, are here to hold a canopy over the DJ for us, and the show goes on. We are impressed by daniel johnson’s dance moves. Beer is still being served. 2:37 p.m.: I watch the Strange Pilgrims and then the Bailey Brothers from a distance under the shade of our merchandise tent. The heat is becoming a factor. 5:52 p.m.: Do you think they will allow us to get inside the bouncy castle? Is it worth trying to force my way in? Don’t go near that thing! That’s just what they want us

to do ... trap us in a steel box and take us down to the basement. I go get a beer and check it out.

7:49 p.m.: Defeated, I go to the car and sneak a few beers in. I am not remorseful. I know it was wrong, and I do it anyway.

6:22 p.m.: Have ventured out of the shade to watch DJ Young Venom scratch records with Spacewolf. Murph is a madman on the drums—one of God’s own prototypes. Some kind of high-powered mutant never even considered for mass production.

7:50 p.m.: 7even:thirty’s set starts late, but everything feels right. The sun is almost gone, things are starting to get a little strange, and there is no place else to be. There I am... Mother of God, there I am!

7 p.m.: Turn around to face the other stage to watch my all-time favorite Jackson band, Nekisopya. The free-form funky jazz grooves help block the tiredness from my head.

8:48 p.m.: After listening to the first few songs of the Furrows set, it is time to leave Sneaky Fest and ride with Young Venom to the after party. I never find my answers, or my questions. But I do know this about the Jackson music scene: There is a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing is right, that we are winning. And that, I think, is the handle. Our energy will simply prevail. We have all the momentum; we are riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. Thank you, Sneaky Fest.

7:47 p.m.: I need another beer. I know that all I need to do is simply hand this freedrink ticket to the guy in the white Sneaky Fest T-shirt, and he will give me a beer. Yet, when I get there, everything goes horribly wrong. After mumbling incoherently about nothing, I hand the man the ticket and walk away with no beer. Turns out, there are several guys with white Sneaky Fest T-shirts on and not all of them have beer for me.

Shout out to Hunter S. Thompson for the quotes.























Open for dinner Sat. 4-10pm Thursday

September 22



WELLS & PONIES 9PM-2AM Friday September 23




Iron Feathers

w/ Daniel Francis Doyle


Electric Mudd SATURDAY


Jacktown Ramblers MONDAY 9/26

September 24

Private Event (Closed to public)


September 26

PUB QUIZ 2-for-1 Drafts Tuesday

September 27

Elegant Trainwreck Presents:


Weekly Lunch Specials





Jason Daniel & Stephen Phillips (former circus of the seed)

CD Release Show 2-for-1 Beer Specials Highlife, Highlife Lite, PBR, Schlitz, Fatty Natty


September 28





Open Mon-Sat, Kitchen open Mon-Fri 11 am-10 pm & Sat 4-10 pm


LADIES NIGHT 214 S. STATE ST. â&#x20AC;¢ 601.354.9712









Wednesday, September 21st

Liver Mousse (restaurant)



(Bluegrass) 8-11, No Cover

Cartright (red room)

Thursday, September 22nd


(Blues) 8-11, No Cover

Barry Leach Trio (restaurant)

SATURDAY 9/24 JFPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 9th Birthday Southern Fried Karaoke (restaurant)


BLUE MOTHER TUPELO Friday, September 23rd

GRADY CHAMPION (Blues) 9-1, $10 Cover

Saturday, September 24th

Blues Monday with MS Central Blues Society (restaurant)

TUESDAY 9/27 PUB QUIZ w/ Laura and Donovan (restaurant) Ten Out Of Tenn. (big)*

Coming Soon SAT9.30:The 484 South Band (rr) SAT10.01: Soul Track Mind (rr) FRI10.14: JJ Grey and MOFRO (big)* TH10.20: Chuck Palahniukâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Damned Book Night FRI10.21: Stagolee w/ JTran (rr)

Tuesday, September 27th


starts at 6pm, $5 Cover, Limited Menu


Wednesday, September 28th

Blue Plate Lunch with cornbread and tea or coffee

(Bluegrass) 8-11, No Cover


As well as the usual favorites! Seafood Gumbo, Reb Beans and Rice, Burgers, Fried Pickles, Onion Rings and Homemade Soups made daily.

September 21 - 27, 2011

(Blues) 9-1, $10 Cover

SAT10.22: Heatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tree




$4.00 Happy Hour Well Drinks! visit for a full menu and concert schedule


200 S. Commerce St.


Thursday, September 29th


(Bluegrass) 8-11, No Cover Friday, September 30th


(Blues) 9-1, $10 Cover

Saturday, October 1st

BILL PERRY TRIO (Jazz) 9-1, $10 Cover

119 S. President Street 601.352.2322




























Looking for band mates? Wanting to sell your gear? Advertise here! Visit If you are interested in sponsoring the Musicians Exchange, call JFP Sales at 601-362-6121 ext. 11.

JFP Southern Fried Karaoke 9TH BIRTHDAY EDITION!











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by Bryan Flynn

by Bryan Flynn

Mississippi schools keep embarrassing us. Last week: Ole Miss â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;teddy bearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; vs. Vanderbilt.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 23 College football (ESPN 7-10 p.m.), Central Florida plays BYU in about the only thing on worth watching. SATURDAY, SEPT. 24 College football (Fox Sports South 2:30-6 p.m.), USM travels to Virginia in an out of conference game. SUNDAY, SEPT. 25 NFL (CBS 12-3 p.m.), Houston Texans travel to the Superdome to meet the New Orleans Saints in a huge AFC/ NFC showdown. MONDAY, SEPT. 26 NFL (ESPN 7:30-10:30 p.m.), the surprising 2-0 Washington Redskins travel to Jerryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World to take on the Dallas Cowboys and new tough guy, Tony Romo. TUESDAY, SEPT. 27 Documentary (ESPN 7-9 p.m.), Chicago Cubs fans look away. ESPN has an in-depth look at the Steve Bartman catch in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Catching Hell.â&#x20AC;? WEDNESDAY SEPT. 28 NFL (NFL Network 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.), Watch the best Sunday games replayed throughout the day. The Empire struck back in the second week of the JFP Pro Football Pick-Em. Through Sundayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s games (waiting on Monday night) I correctly picked 13 of 15 games. Follow Bryan Flynn at and @ jfpsports. *Two weeks ago it was Southern Miss losing on the road to Marshall.


t was supposed to happen last summer when the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Colorado Buffaloes left the Big 12 for the Big 10 and Pac-10, respectively. The thought was that Pac-10 (now Pac-12) was going to sweep in and cherry pick the Big 12 of more teams than just the Buffaloes. The Big 10 would take Nebraska and possibly sweep up what was left of the Big 12 conference. The linchpin to the whole deal depended on what the Texas Longhorns would do. Texas A&M showed resistance to joining the Pac-10, and the Texas Legislature stepped in to help save what was left of the Big-12. Problems began to arise again for the Big-12 when Texas announced the formation of the Longhorn network. Texas was getting its own TV network and a huge deal from ESPN, which peeved the Aggies. With the 2011 season less than a month away, Texas A&M started talks to join the SEC. When those talks came to light, a rumor started flying that Florida State, out of the ACC, was also thinking about joining the SEC. If the SEC can get the Aggies and Seminoles into the fold, it is likely they would want two more teams to form a 16-team super conference. Texas A&M joining the SEC is a double edge sword as far as recruiting is concerned. The Aggies get access to the fertile recruiting ground of the SEC, i.e. Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana. It also gives the SEC, and in particular Mississippi and Mississippi State, access to the state of Texas, one of the best states for recruiting along with Florida and California. The Pac-10 wanted to form the first 16-team super conference when they added Colorado, but Texas stayed in the Big12, and the SEC announced plans not to expand. Those two things forced the rest of the schools to stay put. Texas A&M might also come in and steal some recruits from the Bulldogs and Rebels. MSU and UM get to steal recruits from the Aggies, Texas, Oklahoma, SMU, Baylor and more. There are plenty of Texas players who get passed over. One prime example is New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Brees ended up at Purdue because the major schools in his home state overlooked him. In the new

SEC, players such as Brees could fall in MSU or UMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lap. The Aggies jump to the SEC could also affect Southern Miss. Follow my logic here and try not to get bogged down. The SEC will try to add two more schools (if A&M and FSU join) and move to 16 teams. Word is that Missouri and Clemson DB KING

THURSDAY, SEPT. 22 Documentary, â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Football Lifeâ&#x20AC;? (NFL Network 8-10 p.m.), following New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during the 2009 season, on and off the field. Watch this two part series, and see why Belichick is the best coach in the NFL.\

What if the SEC expands?

With SEC expansion, Mississippi schools could gain access to players like Drew Brees, shown here in 2008.

could be in the works. As the Big 12 continues to fall apart, the other major conferences would gobble up what is left in an effort to form 16-team conferences and strike major TV deals. If the Big 12 stays together in some form, it still would not stop the other major conferences going to 16 teams. The Pac-12 would need four schools, the Big12 would need at least seven schools and maybe more, the Big 10 would need four schools and the Big East (TCU joins in 2012) would need seven schools as well. In this mad scramble to form these super conferences, schools from the Western Athletic Conference, Mountain West Conference, Conference USA, Mid-American, Sun Belt and Independents would all be up for grab. What is left over will join into two or more conferences. The smaller conferences could push harder for inclusion into the Bowl Championship Series There is a decent chance USM will be able to join one of the major conferences. This is good for USM since their athletic budget would increase. It would also give the Golden

JFP Top 25: Week 4

September 21 - 27, 2011



















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Eagles a chance at a BCS Bowl game and a major payday. Personally, I would like to see the SEC add A&M, FSU and Oklahoma with one of the following, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech or Clemson. Miami would be great but like adding USM, the SEC would not want three teams from the same state. The Big East has bandied around USMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name for a while now. It would make sense for either the Big East or the Big 12 to land the Golden Eagles. Finally, these â&#x20AC;&#x153;super conferencesâ&#x20AC;? would make the most sense for the athletes. If more schools got a piece of the big-boy pie, it would allow them to offer the true cost of a scholarship, including a stipend for day-to-day expenses. If athletes can get more money and guaranteed scholarships, I am all for it as long as we do not lose sight that college is for education and not just for athletics. In the long run, if my vision pans out, super conferences would allow Mississippi schools to become more competitive financially and athletically. The athletes would win if these new super conferences spread the wealth around.

Bryanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rant by Bryan Flynn

Comegy Gets a Gold Star




Thursday - September 22 Ladies Night: Ladies Drink Free 9-11 & Karaoke

Friday - September 23

Autumn Risin

Saturday - September 24





Sunday - September 25 OPEN MIC JAM 7-11

Monday - September 26 BAR OPEN

live music september 21-27

wed | sep 21 Jesse “Guitar” Smith 5:30-9:30p

fri | sept 23 Diesel 225

6:30 -10:30p

sat | sept 24 JASON TURNER 3 MAN ACOUSTICAL JAM 6:30-10:30p

sun | sept 25 Chris Gill 5:30-9:30p

mon | sept 26 Karaoke tue | sept 27 Jesse “Guitar“ Smith 5:30-9:30p

1060 E County Line Rd. in Ridgeland 601-899-0038 | Open Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-Midnight



Email writing samples to:






Tuesday - September 27


2 for 1 Domestics Free Pool from 7-10



2636 S. Gallatin Jackson, MS 39204


September 23

Raymond Longoria & Forest Parker 9:00pm | $5.00 Cover

thur | sept 22 Evans Geno 5:30-9:30p



Now Open Early

Wed.-Sat | 8:00 | Full Kitchen Two Shows Fri & Sat

This Week’s Music

September 21 Doug Frank’s Blues Jam 7:00pm

September 30

September 22 Juju’s Drum Circle

October 7

Amazin’ Lazy Boi Band

Acoustic Crossroads


October 21

Old Memphis Kings HAPPY HOUR

Ladies Night

$1.00 off Well Drinks 2 for 1 Well Drinks Weekdays 4pm - 7pm Every Wed. 8pm - Close


1410 Old Square Road • Jackson

5:00-10:00 pm

Thursday, Sept 22

Ladies Night

Ladies drink free until midnight well drinks only Guys drink 2-4-1 well drinks and domestic beer until 10:00

Friday & Saturday, Sept 23 & 24

11:00 - until

September 23 Virgil Brawley 8:00 - 11:00pm

2Xtreme Funk Band 11:00 - until

September 24 Nathan Bankston & Friends 8:00 - 11:00pm

Live Music

11:00 - until Live Music During Lunch•OPEN LATE - SECURITY PROVIDED•NO COVER UNTIL Midnight $10 Cover after midnight

Aclarion 6107 Ridgewood Rd Jackson, Ms

1428 Old Square Road in Jackson 601.713.2700

The Jackson Free Press is looking for sports writers to cover local teams and more.





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September 21 - 27, 2011














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by Andrew Dunaway


A New Face for Chinese Cuisine

Lina Lynn and some of her culinary creations


or the better part of three decades, Ding How (6955 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland, 601-956-1717) was Jackson’s choice for a Chinese buffet. Originally opened in 1979 by Lina Lynn’s aunt on Interstate 55, Ding How was the first Chinese buffet in Jackson. Lynn took control of the restaurant in 2009, and she decided it was time for a change. She sold the I-55 location, and Ding How relocated to Ridgeland. After a family showdown over technique, Lynn reopened Ding How as an Asian bistro and the first restaurant in the Jackson area to serve dim sum, a Chinese version of brunch centered on a variety of small steamed or fried dishes. Lynn and Ding How focus on authentic, cooked-to-order cuisine with a focus on low fat and low cholesterol. How did you decide to change from an all-you-can-eat-buffet to a bistro and dim sum restaurant? Well, I saw the future when I saw all my customers coming in. They love our food, but they can’t stop eating. I’m afraid that while I’m feeding my customers, I’m also making them fat. Most people go to a Chinese buffet, and they think it’s like fast food, but it’s not true. Chinese food can be healthy if you order from the menu in the correct combinations. My concept in this restaurant is that all the food will be cooked with low sodium, low cholesterol, low oil and no MSG (monosodium glumate). After people eat here, they can walk out not feeling guilty.

Was there a backlash from the change? Yes, it was huge, especially on the first day. We had 50 walk-ins for lunch, 48 left. Fortunately, the two that stayed brought us 200 customers. What is your role in the restaurant? Are you in the kitchen or just managing? I’m everything. Yes, I’m at the front of the house, I’m the main one who controls the recipes, and I’m the one who makes all the sauces. Do you have any trouble sourcing your particular ingredients in Jackson? Yes, I do have trouble. I get lots of my ingredients from Atlanta and New Orleans, but I occasionally go to China to regain my bearings. We also get products from an organic farm in the Laurel area. It’s a Vietnamese family running the farm so we’re getting lots of fresh, Asian vegetables from them, especially during the summer. When did you realize that your profession was cooking? Believe it or not, that was actually just a couple years ago when I started doing a restaurant like this. Before, when I was doing a buffet, it was just a living. That’s what everybody does. Many Chinese came to the U.S., opened a restaurant, and continued to do so because it’s the family business, but when I fell into a restaurant business like this, I loved doing it. I’m just so happy to see people enjoying my food and they have compliments with each and every bite. And I’m so happy to see them clean out the dish. I said, “This is what I’m going to do for a living.” Aside from not being a buffet anymore, what do you think sets you apart from other Chinese restaurants in Jackson? We serve home cooking, Fuzhou style.

Daily Lunch Specials - $9 $9 Daily Lunch Specials Happy Hour Everyday 4p-7p

Late Night Happy Hour Sun - Thur, 10p - 12a What is the most invaluable kitchen tip/trick that you learned? Ingredients are ingredients, sometimes two different kind of ingredients combined can give you an awful taste. Sometimes they can give you great, amazing taste. So, the different combinations can be tricky to learn. What is one piece of advice you would give anyone wanting to become a chef or open his or her own restaurant? Eat your own cooking first, because you have to like yourself; you have to like your own food before you ask people to eat it. Things won’t work if you just open a restaurant for making money and hire other people to cook the food that you don’t even like.

Mu s i c L i s t i n g s SEP 21 | Richard Lee Davis 9:30p SEP 22 | Jason Turner 9:30p SEP 27 | Open Mic w/ Kenny Davis & Brandon Latham 9p


6270 Old Canton Rd. Jackson, MS 39211

LINA LYNN’S FRESH CHERRY CHARDONNAY SPICY CHICKEN 1/2 pound fresh, seedless cherries 1 cup chardonnay 1 pound fresh chicken breast, cut in half lengthwise 1/2 cup Sriracha pepper sauce 1/4 cup fish sauce 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon parsley, roughly chopped

Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and grill over medium heat. While the chicken is grilling, combine the cherries, chardonnay, Sriracha pepper sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar in a saucepan and season to taste with salt. Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. When the chicken breast has grilled for five minutes per side or medium rare, add the chicken to the sauce and simmer for three to five minutes or until fully cooked. Plate the chicken, cover with the remaining sauce, and garnish with the chopped parsley. Serve with steamed white rice. Serves 2-3.

FROM OUR ROASTERY, TO YOUR CUP. voted best coffeeshop in jackson 2003-2011



Eslavaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Grille Seafood, Steaks and Pasta

The Copper Iris

By popular demand, we have added Shrimp Scampi to our menu!

Catering Company Inc.

Now Open

For Lunch Downtown Jackson

Soups â&#x20AC;˘ Sandwiches Salads â&#x20AC;˘ Daily Specials Delivery for orders of 5 or more. 115 North State Street â&#x20AC;˘ 601-961-7017 â&#x20AC;˘ Friend Us:

Danilo Eslava Caceres, Executive Chef/GM 2481 Lakeland Drive Flowood, MS 39232

601-932-4070 tel 601-933-1077 fax

%*/&+BDLTPO Paid listyour yourrestaurant.r restaurant.r Paid advertising advertising section. section. Call Call 601-362-6121 601-362-6121 x11 x1 totolist


Hickory Pit Barbeque (1491 Canton Mart Rd. 601-956-7079) The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Butts in Townâ&#x20AC;? features BBQ chicken, beef and pork sandwiches along with burgers and poâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;boys. Haute Pig (1856 Main Street, 601-853-8538) A â&#x20AC;&#x153;very high class pig stand,â&#x20AC;? Haute Pig offers Madison diners BBQ plates, sandwiches, po-boys, salads, and their famous Hershey bar pie. Lumpkins BBQ (182 Raymond Rd. Jackson 866-906-0942) Specializing in smoked barbeque, Lumpkinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offers all your favorites for on-site family dining or for catered events, including reunions, office events, annivesaries, weddings and more.


The Pizza Shack (1220 N State St. 601-352-2001) 2009 and 2010 and 2011â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s winner of Best Pizza offers the perfect pizza-and-a-beer joint. Creative pizza options abound along with sandwiches, wings, salads and even BBQ. Sal & Mookieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (565 Taylor St. 601-368-1919) Pizzas of all kinds plus pasta, eggplant parmesan and the fried ravioli. Best Kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Menu & Best Ice Cream in the 2011 Best of Jackson. Plus, Pi(e) Lounge in front offers great drinks..


Lunch: Sun. | 11am-2pm Dinner: Tues. -Sat. | 5pm-9pm

BRAVO! (4500 Interstate 55 N., Jackson, 601-982-8111) Wood-fired pizzas, vegetarian fare, plus creative pastas, beef, and seafood specials. Award-winning wine list, Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s see-and-be-seen casual/upscale dining. Ceramiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (5417 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-919-28298) Southern-style Italian cuisine features their signature Shrimp Cerami (white wine sauce, capers artichokes) along with veal, tilapia, crawfish, chicken and pasta dishes. Now with liquor license! Fratesiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (910 Lake Harbour, Ridgeland, 601-956-2929) â&#x20AC;&#x153;Authentic, homey, unpretentiousâ&#x20AC;? thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how the regulars describe Fratesiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, a staple in Jackson for years, offering great Italian favorites with loving care. The tiramisu is a must-have!



A Metro-Area Tradition Since 1977

5417 Lakeland Drive ~ Flowood, MS 39232

5A44 FX5X



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2003-2011, Best of Jackson

4654 McWillie Dr., Jackson|Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 10AM-9PM Friday & Saturday 10AM-12AM, Sunday 11AM-5PM

707 N Congress St., Jackson | 601-353-1180 Open 11am-2pm, Sunday thru Friday




Crabâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (6954 Old Canton Rd., Ridgeland, 601-956-5040) Crabâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Seafood Shack offers a wide variety of southern favorites such as fried catfish and boiled shrimp. Full bar complete with multiple televisions for all of your favorite sporting events. Eslavaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Grille (2481 Lakeland Drive, 601-932-4070) Danny Eslavaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s namesake feature Latin-influenced dishes like ceviche in addition to pastas, steaks, salads and other signature seafood dishes. Rockyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (1046 Warrington Road, Vicksburg 601-634-0100) Enjoy choice steaks, fresh seafood, great salads, hearty sandwiches and much more in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;polished casualâ&#x20AC;? dining room. Open 24/7 in the Riverwalk Casino.




Petra CafĂŠ (2741 Old Canton Road, 601-925-0016) Mediterranean and Lebanese Cuisine. Everything from Stuffed Grape Leaves, to Spinach Pie, Shrimp Kabobs, Greek Salads, Hummus and more. Now Open in Fondren! Aladdin Mediterranean Grill (730 Lakeland Drive 601-366-6033) Delicious authentic dishes including lamb dishes, hummus, falafel, kababs, shwarma and much more. Consistent award winner, great for takeout or for long evenings with friends. Kristos (971 Madison Ave @ Hwy 51, Madison, 601-605-2266) Home of the famous Greek meatball! Hummus, falafel, dolmas, pita sandwiches, salads, plus seasoned curly fries (or sweet potato fries) and amazing desserts. Mezza (1896 Main St., Suite A, Madison 601-853-0876) Mediterranean cuisine and wood fired brick oven pizzas. Come experience the beautiful patio, Hookahs, and delicious food. Beer is offered and you are welcome to bring your own wine. Vasilios (828 Hwy 51 in Madison 601-853-0028) Authentic Greek dining featuring fresh seafood daily along with gyros, greek salads, appetizers and signature Mediterranean desserts. Their redfish is a standout, earning rave reviews.


Cups Espresso CafĂŠ (Multiple Locations, Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s local group of coffeehouses offer high-end Arabica beans, a wide variety of espresso drinks. Wi-fi.


Hal and Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (200 S. Commerce St. 601-948-0888) Pub favorites meet Gulf Coast and Cajun specialties like red beans and rice, the Oyster Platter or each dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blackboard special. Best of Jackson winner for Live Music Venue for multiple years running. Burgers and Blues (1060 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland 601-899-0038) Al Stamps (of Cool Alâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fame) does it again with his signature approach to burgers, chicken, wraps, seasoned fries and so much more. Plus live music and entertainment!

Paid advertising section.


Cherokee Inn (960 Briarfield Rd. 601-362-6388) Jackson’s “Best Hole in the Wall,” has a great jukebox, great bar and a great burger. Plate lunches, cheesy fries and tons more, including a full bar and friendly favorites. Cool Al’s (4654 McWillie, 601-713-3020) A Best of Jackson fixture, Cool Al’s signature stacked, messy, decadent, creative burgers defy adjectives. And don’t forget the fries! Fenian’s Pub (901 E. Fortification St. 601-948-0055) Classic Irish pub featuring a menu of traditional food, pub sandwiches and beers such as Guinness and Harp on tap. Stamps Superburgers (1801 Dalton Street 601-352-4555) Huge burgers will keep you full until the next day! The homestyle fries are always fresh. Last Call (3716 I-55 N. Frontage Road 601-713-2700) Burgers, sandwiches and po-boys, plus sports-bar appetizers and specialities. Pay-per-view sporting events, live bands. Martin’s Restaurant and Lounge (214 South State Street 601-354-9712) Lunch specials, pub appetizers (jalapeno poppers, cheezsticks, fried pickles) or order from the full menu of po-boys and entrees. Full bar, massive beer selection and live music most nights. Time Out Sports Café (6720 Old Canton Road 601-978-1839) 14 TVs, 1 projector and two big-screens. Daily $9 lunch specials, pub-style appetizers, burgers, seafood and catfish po-boys, salads, and hot entrees including fish, steak and pasta. Ole Tavern on George Street (416 George St. 601-960-2700) Pub food with a southern flair: beer-battered onion rings, chicken & sausage gumbo, salads, sandwiches and weekly lunch specials. Plus, happy hour 4-7pm Monday through Friday. Sportsman’s Lodge (1120 E Northside Dr. in Maywood Mart 601-366-5441) Voted Best Sports Bar in 2010, Sportman’s doesn’t disappoint with plenty of gut-pleasing sandwiches, fried seafood baskets, sandwiches and specialty appetizers. Underground 119 (119 South President St. 601-352-2322) Jumbo lump crabcakes, crab quesadillas, beef tenderloin parfaits, orange-garlic shrimp, even “lollipop” lamb chops. Add a full bar and mix in great music. Opens 4 p.m.-until, Wed-Sat. Wing Stop (952 North State Street, 601-969-6400) Saucing and tossing wings in a choice of nine flavors, Wing Stop wings are made with care and served up piping hot. Every order is made fresh to order; check out the fresh cut seasoned fries! Wing Station (5038 Parkway Drive Suite 8, 888-769-9464) Home of the famous Janky Wings. Wing Station has an array of wings including Lemon Pepper, Honey BBQ and Blazin Bird Atomic. Delivery is available.


Pan Asia (720 Harbor Pines Dr, Ridgeland 601-956-2958) Beautiful ambiance in this popular Ridgeland eatery accompanies signature asian fusion dishes and build-your-own stir-frys using fresh ingredients and great sauces. Fusion Japanese and Thai Cuisine (1002 Treetop Blvd, Flowood 601-664-7588) Specializing in fresh Japanese and Thai cuisine, Fusion has an extensive menu featuring everything from curries to fresh sushi.

6954 Old Canton Rd. Ridgeland, MS

601-956-5040 Open daily 11 am-2 pm and 5-10 pm for dinner

All You Can Eat

CRAB LEGS DINNER 5p.m.-Close Tues-Thurs



September 28, 2011 Ad Deadline:

September 22, 2011 Restaurants For more information Call 601.362.6121 ext. 11 Voted One of the Best Italian Restaurants Best of Jackson 2011

910 Lake Harbour Dr. Ridgeland 601-956-2929 Monday - Saturday 5 - until


• Fresh Seafood Daily


The Copper Iris Catering Company (115 N. State St. 601-961-7017) Fresh soups, stacked sandwiches, creative salads and daily hot lunch specials. Recently opened across from Old Capitol; available for catering and office delivery w/min. order. M-F; 11-5. Two Sisters Kitchen (707 N. Congress St. 601-353-1180) Frequent Best of Jackson winner for fried chicken offers a sumptious buffet of your choice of veggies, a salad bar, iced tea & one of four homemade desserts. Lunch only. Mon-Friday, Sun.

M-F -, - S - C A

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Try The

(a very high-class pig stand)


High Noon Café (2807 Old Canton Road in Rainbow Plaza 601-366-1513) Fresh, gourmet, tasty and healthy defines the lunch options at Jackson’s own strict vegetarian (and very-vegan-friendly) restaurant.

Come Try the Best Bar-B-Que In Madison 856 Main Street • Madison, MS • 601.853.8538

Broad Street Bakery (4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-362-2900) Hot breakfast,coffee espresso drinks, fresh breads and pastries, gourmet deli sandwiches, quiches, soups, pizzas and dessert. Primos Cafe (2323 Lakeland 601-936-3398/ 515 Lake Harbour 601-898-3400) A Jackson institution featuring a full breakfast, blue-plate specials, catfish, burgers, prime rib, oysters, po-boys and wraps. Save room for something from their famous bakery! For Heaven’s Cakes (4950 Old Canton Road 601-991-2253) Cakes and cupcakes for all occasions including weddings, parties, catered events. Beagle Bagel (4500 I-55 North, Suite 145, Highland Village 769-251-1892) Fresh bagels in tons of different styles with a variety of toppings including cream cheese, lox, eggs, cheese, meats and or as full sandwiches for lunch. Paninis, wraps and much more!


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September 21-27, 2011



Best Salon & Best Hair Stylist - 2010 & 2011 Best of Jackson -

read more Body&Soul stories and the blog at

by Missy Wilkinson

The Science of Addiction


problems like depression, social isolation and anxiety. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Genetic factors account for about half the likelihood that an individual will develop addictionâ&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;meaning if your parent is an addict, you are predisposed to addiction. Addictsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; brains function differently, says Dr. Howard Wetsman, medical director at Townsend, a network of New Orleans outpatient addiction treatment centers. Many addicts have a mutation in genes associated with production, release, re-uptake and metabolizing of dopamine. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People who have a low dopamine tone are not able to make great attachments and feel rewards from normally rewarding activities, and that is when the drug or behavior comes along. Our society likes to think that drugs cause addiction. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s actually the other way around for most people with addiction. The addiction causes the drug use,â&#x20AC;? he writes in â&#x20AC;&#x153;QAA: Questions and Answers on Addictionâ&#x20AC;? (Rush Press, 2007, $12.95). Wetsman has instituted genetic testing as part of Townsendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intake procedure. John Antonucci, an intake coordinator at Townsend and recovering addict, says â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Ś [I]t is amazing when you take a patient and their family members, and they realize it really is a biological brain disease. â&#x20AC;Ś I have seen family members break down and cry when they realize all this time, their kids werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t doing this to spite them. They were doing it because they were sick.â&#x20AC;? Though Antonucci says nine out of 10 of Townsendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s patients report addiction in their families, some addicts are without a family history or genetic indication of the disease. It can sometimes be hard to trace, Wetsman says.

Recovering addict Darryl Rouson, now a Florida state representative, had no known family history of addiction. He began drinking and using cocaine in the 1980s. Rouson says he has been through eight treatment programs, but he has never had genetic testing. But neither testing nor medications are necessary for recovery. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are millions of people who have gotten sober by going to 12-step meetings (such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous). For some people, that works,â&#x20AC;? says Jo Cohen, clinical director of New Orleans Bridge House and Grace House. Some addicts benefit from medications like Suboxone; some require long-term inpatient treatment; others stay sober by attending 12-step meetings. Antonucci stresses that a strong routine of recovery-related activities like meetings or volunteering helps maintain sobriety, as does help from addiction doctors. Rouson manages his addiction by attending 12-step meetings, sponsoring recovering addicts, reading AA literature, and sharing his story at prisons and recovery centers. Antonucci and Rouson say their community work, a tenant of AA, is essential to their sobriety. And though there may seem to be a disconnect between the scientific, biologically based addiction definition and the spiritually based 12-step programs, ASAMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research supports activities recovering addicts undertake in 12-step recovery programs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Doing something really healthy for the community has changed my brain chemistry,â&#x20AC;? Antonucci says. The Mississippi Department of Mental Health administers alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment services. For information, visit Jackson also has dozens of private alcohol and drug addiction programs and rehabilitation centers. For information, visit This story originally ran in Gambit, New Orleansâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; alternative newsweekly.

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ddiction is described in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Alcoholics Anonymous Big Bookâ&#x20AC;? as â&#x20AC;&#x153;cunning, baffling, powerful.â&#x20AC;? Its reach is widespread. Else Pedersen, executive director of Bridge House, an addiction treatment center in New Orleans, La., estimates 10 to 15 percent of the population has an addiction. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is everywhere, and it needs to be dealt with like the medical issue it is,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need to give it the same attention we give other diseases that are progressive, pervasive and potentially lethal.â&#x20AC;? In August, the American Society of Addiction Medicine released a new definition of addiction as a chronic, underlying, largely genetic brain disease. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The disease is about brains, not drugs,â&#x20AC;? former president of ASAM Dr. Michael Miller stated in a press release. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about underlying neurology, not outward actions.â&#x20AC;? Miller oversaw a four-year effort by more than 80 addiction experts and neuroscience researchers that yielded the new definition. Dr. Ken Roy, medical director of Addiction Recovery Resources Incorporated in Metairie, La., calls it a game-changer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a definition based on a consensus of expert opinion and scientific literature that changes the understanding of addiction from a choice or a self-treatment to a condition of brain structures that basically compels behavior outside the ability to choose,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Addiction is not a choice.â&#x20AC;? The new definition says addiction is a primary disease, like diabetes or cardiovascular disease, and it can be a root cause behind other




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t’s been a few years since autumn meant back to school for me, but this year I’ve embarked on a semester as an adult learner. This adventure is courtesy of the Business Advantage Program at the Else School of Management at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St., 601-974-1000), in which 20 or so other professionals and I get 15 weeks of business classes two nights a week for three hours a night. It means that on the nights we don’t have class, I have … homework. It’s a routine that’s taking some adjustment (and making me wonder how the heck people who have families to care for on top of work and school do it all). And although I joked that returning to campus might tempt me to stop by the frat-house parties on the way out, in reality, the experience left me feeling a bit reclusive as of late. Luckily, because of social media, I’m afforded vicarious outings through other people’s status updates and discover reasons to pry myself off the couch. Studying in my spare time combined with local bookstore Lemuria’s Twitter feed and promotion of #msreadswknd encourages me to pick up a book more often lately, even when it’s not for class. Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall; 601-366-7619) is a local staple, with a huge selection and awesome staff whose love of what they do is contagious: They blog; they host fun events; and they get you excited about books! (See? Exclamation point!) I’m giddy in anticipation of “Damned” Night with author Chuck Pahalaniuk coming up Oct. 20 at Hal & Mal’s, which will include games, costumes, themed drinks and food. Now, that’s how you do a book tour. On a recent #msreadswknd, I found myself heading not to a bar, but home to curl up with a book in the evenings. But since a girl can’t live on words alone, I did get out for some sustenance. Fondren Cellars (633 Duling Ave., 769-216-2323) is a relatively new addition to that neighborhood that quickly won its way into my heart as a great place to stop for a good bottle of wine. Thanks to its posting

Maggie Stevenson and Anna Booth Clay can help you find something great to read this weekend and every weekend this fall.

of specials, drink recipes and recommendations on Facebook and Twitter, I often already know what I want when I arrive. The best part is that their selection includes plenty of budget-friendly options. My adult-learner self is a fan of Wine Wednesday—not only because I don’t have class that night, but because bottles are 10 percent off. When added to one of the bottles on its monthly 20 under $20 list, I know it’s a good deal even without going to accounting class. Just across the street from Fondren Cellars is Fatsumo Sushi (3100 N. State St., Suite 102), where I picked pick up some sushi to go. I always love sitting at the bar and talking to bartender Olivia while I wait. Because she’s a Millsaps senior, it’s like I’m extending that campus connection; plus, she shares my love of designer denim, so we often wind up discussing the brands she picked up for a steal at the Orange Peel (422 Mitchell Ave., 601364-9977). Staying fed, watered and well-read this semester between work and classes is going to make for a busy fall. Next up, I may have to find the perfect pair of glasses to accessorize this new studious approach to life. Stay tuned, and tweet me your #msreadswkd recommendations.




September 21 - 27, 2011

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v10n02 - It's Easy Being Right: The JFP Interview with AG Candidate Steve Simpson  

It's Easy Being Right: The JFP Interview with AG Candidate Steve Simpson SHAZAM! Comic Letter Unmasked JFP Sports: Will the SEC Expand? Girl...

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