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Jackson FREE PRESS The City’s Smart Alternative 6OL\.O*ANUARY  








2012 Jewish

Cinema Mississippi The Matchmaker Wednesday, January 25, 7:15pm

Brothers Thursday, January 26, 7:15pm

A Matter of Size Saturday, January 28, 7:15pm

Jews & Baseball Sunday, January 29, 3:00pm

January 25 to 29, 2012

Malco Grandview Theatre 221 Grandview Boulevard, Madison, MS $10, Individual Tickets | $35, Festival Pass $5, Students For more information visit


January 18 - 24, 2012

January 25 Tickets On Sale Now


at the Coliseum Box Office Northpark Mall Guest Services Desk Charge by Phone 800-745-3000 Online at

January 18 - 24, 2012



1 0 N O . 19



6 No Means No Is the Legislature planning an endrun around voters on Personhood? Locals protest.




Cover illustration by Kristin Brenemen

A Victim Speaks A rape victim urges Mississippians to rally around lawmakers to make changes to the guv’s powers. COURTESY JCM2012

deborah rae wright Wright grew up in a small town in Texas, northwest of Wichita Falls, in the late ’60s and early ’70s and was, she admits, somewhat of a hippie and a rebel. She attended nursing school in Austin, Texas, and spent much of her life as an ICU nurse before starting her own business auditing clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies. She first visited Jackson in 1997 and started working with Voice of Calvary Ministries. In 2001, she made Jackson her home. “I knew I wanted to live in the community of friends I had made,” Wright says about her choice to move here. Her life’s work, racial reconciliation, began 25 years ago as the “fullness of understanding of Scripture” came to her and she saw the need. “It’s not about me; it’s about others. It is what I strive and yearn for.” The list of neighborhood groups, homeowner associations and community organizations to which she belongs and participates in includes WESToration, which is committed to restoring west Jackson; Jackson 2000, a group dedicated to improving race relations; and the West Jackson Alliance, which focuses on economic development. “We’re building a greater community for all communities involving greater crosscultural understanding and appreciation.” —Richard Coupe

25 Best of the Best The Jewish Film Festival screens four award-winning films in Madison starting this Wednesday.

34 No Carbs When it comes to eating right, overdoing the carbohydrates may just be doing you in.

deborah Rae Wright, who doesn’t capitalize her first name, has lived in an early 20thcentury home on west Jackson’s Grand Avenue for 11 years. The 59-year-old lives with her current companion, a well-behaved cairn terrier (think Toto) named Zach, whom she rescued a few years ago. “Everything we do is important,” says Wright. “Even where you choose to live.” Although not an artist herself, she describes herself as a designer and innovator. Her house is filled with an eclectic art. The grand hallway has a tree “growing” out of the wall. A haunting photographic re-enactment of the famous Jacques-Louis David painting “The Death of Marat” by Roy Adkins of Light and Glass Studio hangs in her living room. Another tree at the far end of the hallway protrudes from the floor. Its limbs, spread across the width of the hallway, are adorned with ornaments. Wright’s house is a gathering place for organizations, discussion groups and a book club. “What’s mine is not mine,” she says. “I’m just a steward of it. It belongs to God.” The lively Texan’s raison d’etre is clear; even Zach sits up and pays attention when she speaks of her passion for racial reconciliation. Wright is deeply religious and fully committed, but open in her thinking. “We don’t grow up with the understanding of how the Scripture speaks against oppression,” she says.


4 ............. Editor’s Note 4 ................... Slowpoke 7 .......................... Talks 10 ................... Business 12 ................... Editorial 12 ................. Mike Day 13 .................. Opinion 25 ............... Diversions 26 ......................... Film 27 ..................... 8 Days 28 .............. JFP Events 29 ........................ Music 30 .......... Music Listing 32 ...................... Sports 34 ........................ Food 36 ................. Astrology 36 ..................... Puzzles 38 ................. Body/Soul



Valerie Wells Valerie Wells is assistant editor of the JFP and BOOM Jackson. Send story ideas to valerie@ She wrote the cover story.

Kristin Brenemen Art Director Kristin Brenemen is an otaku with a penchant for dystopianism. Her Zombie Survival Kit has been upgraded with three new sonic screwdrivers. She designed the cover and many pages in this issue.

Greg Pigott Greg Pigott is truly an avid fan of every kind of music. He’s also the guy who takes karaoke seriously. He wrote a music feature.

Mimi Abadie Mimi Abadie is a Hattiesburg native and graduate from Ole Miss. She’s a medical student at UMMC and hopes to one day rid the world of HIV and TB. She enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling. She wrote a Body Soul feature.

Jessica Mizell Jessica Mizell’s interests include watching “Love & Hip Hop,” crawfish boils, couponing and her poodle Lola Belle. She is the current JFP New Orleans liaison. She wrote a food piece.

Adriane Louie Adriane Louie is a Jackson native and Millsaps College grad. She loves watching the Food Network and learning about food. Her favorite times of the year include Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. She wrote a food piece.

Anita Modak-Truran Anita Modak-Truran is a Southern convert, having moved here from Chicago more than a decade ago with her husband and son. She loves the culture, cuisine and arts in these parts. She wrote a film review.

January 18 - 24, 2012

Mandy Beach


JFP Account Executive Mandy Beach, a Milan, Tenn., native, recently moved to the Jackson area with her husband, Ross. She is a mother to a 2-year-old beagle/hound mix named Wrigley, who she is trying to teach how to use a doggy door.

by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief

Rethinking ‘Tough on Crime’


ov. Haley Barbour left a lot of people reeling with his recent round of pardons and clemencies. Among the list are vicious, premeditated murderers. It wasn’t the first time he’s done this—remember that we broke the news of his string of woman-killer pardons in 2008—but this time the state and national media actually paid attention. As a result, Barbour’s popularity is almost certainly at an all-time low. One Republican woman with whom I often disagree on Facebook posted that his approval ratings are probably in the single digits now. Beyond the victims of the so-called “crimes of passion”—Barbour’s insulting and outmoded phrase for the murders many of his trustys committed—and their families, I perhaps feel the most sorry for people in our state who consider themselves “tough on crime” and who thought that Barbour was an ally. In the statements he finally gave late last week after refusing to speak with the victims’ families or the media about the pardons, Barbour cast himself as a compassionate Christian who is helping reformed criminals who have done their time and need a second chance. His standard for that seems to be that he likes them. Many of Barbour’s ardent supporters are stunned, as are his longtime critics. In essence, everyone seems surprised that Barbour isn’t as tough on crime as he’d made himself out in the past (like when he called in a State of the State address for harsher sentences for crimes committed with guns—like many of those he pardoned). Meantime, Attorney General Jim Hood, a Democrat, is coming across as much tougher on crime, looking like Wyatt Earp as he sends out a posse of “public integrity” investigators to put murderers back in prison. How does this all make sense? Well, I would posit that Barbour may not be as anti-crime as he said he was. The sad truth is that people who scream the loudest about crime are often the ones who do the least to stop it—or prevent it. Of course, there is some good stuff in Barbour’s statement about giving second chances and being forgiving. But why didn’t we hear talk sooner from a governor of his stature about reforming the criminal-justice system (at least in his second term)? Why couldn’t Barbour have led the state into serious prosecutorial reform and called for an investigation into our mucked-up criminal-justice system—one where a popular district attorney (Ed Peters) allowed his assistant (Bobby DeLaughter) to bury evidence that could have cleared Cedric Willis of rape and murder charges before he went to prison for 12 years for crimes he didn’t do? What about all the (black) men DNA evidence has cleared in our state? If Barbour really meant his compassionate statements, he would have called for a moratorium on the death penalty in Mississippi until we can check out every death-row case (and death-penalty cheerleader Jim Hood should do the same thing). There is nothing

Christian about not stopping the execution of a potentially innocent person, even if being pro-death-penalty is considered a great vote getter in our state. The silver lining to Pardongate is that Democrats, Republicans and nonpartisans such as myself stood together in outrage against the pardons of the brutal killers on Barbour’s list, even as many of us saw the point of pardoning someone imprisoned for years for selling pot. In many ways, it was like the Personhood vote in November: The issue transcended party, and Mississippians stood together against a bad and dangerous effort. Mississippians, I hope we can keep this spirit and apply it squarely to crime solutions in our state. Politicians such as Barbour (and let’s be frank, Hood; it wasn’t like he sent a posse out for the 2008 pardon recipients, to our knowledge) too often say what we want to hear about crime and criminals, rather than finding and promoting evidence-based approaches to preventing crime. And when they do promise crime miracles, they always fail because there is a lot more to “fighting” crime than politicians like to admit. For one thing, it’s complicated by economic conditions and the would-be criminal’s circumstances growing up. That is not an apologist statement; I want murderers and rapists off the streets as much as anyone. But I also want to stop crime from happening in the first place, and that goes directly back to good public education, access to health care (including mental services) and building self-esteem in communities most prone to crime due to the curse of history. The science behind helping a child not become a criminal rather than criminalizing him or her into a violent life is behind Val-

erie Wells’ cover story this issue. The “cradleto-prison pipeline” is real, folks—and all this demonizing of young people (especially but not only children of color) feeds directly into a more violent society. Read her story to see why and to get ideas on stopping the pipeline. Politicians aren’t likely to lead on this one; we must step up. The belief that we can spend time stopping crime and reversing criminal tendencies before they worsen is behind the JFP’s support of the domestic batterer’s intervention program we helped Sandy Middleton and the Center for Violence Prevention start in the area. And it is working: Almost none of the batterers who have entered the program (or whom judges sent there) have re-offended. You see, each of us can, and should, hold several different thoughts at once. We must do everything we can to prevent crime from happening and, thus, save lives of victims and would-be criminals. At the same time, we can believe that picking a small handful of “trustys” and pretending that their so-called “crimes of passion” make it OK to release them early is a terribly wrong thing to do. Especially if, as Department of Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps told the JFP, those men aren’t getting any kind of evidenced-based intervention before being let loose to potentially re-offend. Batterers usually don’t stop battering without such intervention. And we can believe in forgiveness, even as we work to ensure that a few dangerous criminals don’t get to vote, hunt or go eat their mama’s butter beans every Sunday while our prisons are filled with nonviolent offenders, perhaps with a few Cedric Willises thrown in. There is a better way to do this. We must demand it from our politicians and ourselves.

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news, culture & irreverence

Thursday, Jan. 12 Chokwe Lumumba, attorney for the Scott sisters, says they will ask Gov. Phil Bryant for a pardon. Gladys and Jamie Scott were not among those pardoned by outgoing Gov. Barbour. ‌ President Obama makes a visit to his re-election headquarters in Chicago before an evening fundraiser. Friday, Jan. 13 Barbour issues a statement explaining that 90 percent of his pardons were for people who had already been released. The statement says his pardons were intended to allow them to “find gainful employment ‌ as well as hunt and vote.â€? ‌ Officials at the Mississippi Department of Corrections announce that inmates given pardons by Barbour for medical reasons will be released. ‌ President Obama announces his intention to consolidate six economic agencies into one organization. Saturday, Jan. 14 The New Orleans Saints lose to the San Francisco 49ers in the final seconds of the game, 36-32. Sunday, Jan. 15 A spokesman for Phil Bryant announces that the governor will not issue pardons for Mansion trustys, and that he plans to exclude violent offenders from the trusty program. ‌ “The Descendantsâ€? wins Best Picture in Drama at the 69th annual Golden Globes.

No Means No

Elaine Talbott of Madison attended the “No Means No Protest� Jan. 13 in Jackson.

tilized eggs in the definition of persons. More than 58 percent of Mississippi voters rejected the initiative. Whitney Barkley, a consumer-protection attorney, got the idea to say “No Means No� by presenting the reading of the classic satire last fall as election fever heated up. She wanted

Haley Barbour to Rich Uncle Pennybags E\(OL]DEHWK:DLEHO



to attract like-minded Mississippians and encourage women to find solidarity. Before the reading, Barkley explained the ancient Greek woman’s peace-treaty strategy to the audience. “We are not encouraging anyone to use it in Mississippi,� she said. The audience, about half men and half women, laughed. The political lines did not appear drawn along gender in this group. In a slightly more serious tone, Barkley said women in recent years have used collective abstinence as a political statement in Kenya and in Colombia. Before and after the meeting, representatives from Parents Against Mississippi 26 and the American Civil Liberties Union encouraged those who came to sign petitions. Some attending were still stumbling as they said “Gov. Phil Bryant� for the first time. Atlee Breland, founder of PAMS26, had Valentines for voters to sign and send to their representatives and senators. Elaine Talbott of Madison came to the “No Means No Protest� expecting a rally. She and several friends brought hand-painted signs. She had learned about the event on Facebook. Talbott said she was one of the people who started the “It’s Not Easy Leaning Left in Mississippi.� “I’m from Madison, where it’s really not easy leaning left,� she said. Comment at

of Separation




January 18 - 24, 2012


Tuesday, Jan. 17 Southern Miss begins enforcing its campus-wide smoking ban. ‌ Turkey’s foreign ministry releases a statement calling Rick Perry’s comments regarding Turkey in the South Carolina debate “baseless and inappropriate.â€? Get news updates at

Voters defeated a Personhood ballot initiative in November. The proposed constitutional amendment would have included fer-


Monday, Jan. 16 Wikipedia announces that it will blackout its English language site on Wednesday to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). ‌ Hattiesburg school officials streamline their field trip process by moving from paper to an electronic system.

by Valerie Wells



ysistrata had a plan to end the 20-year Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. In the year 411 B.C., she gathered women in the warring region together for an important meeting. Then she told them her simple plan for a peace treaty: The women would withhold sex until the men decided to end the war. The women weren’t at all thrilled about the proposal. “I would walk through fire—do anything else,� the character Cleonice says in Aristophanes’ play, “Lysistrata.� Sex jokes have not changed much in more than 2,000 years—from double entendres to men walking oddly. The innuendos translated well with plenty of nudges and winks from eight Jacksonians on stage Friday night. Four men and four women presented a reading of “Lysistrata� Jan. 13 at The Commons at Eudora Welty’s Birthplace during the “No Means No Protest.� About 30 people came to show support for blocking potential personhood measures in the Legislature. The reading came at the end of busy week of speculation about possible personhood bills sponsored in the Legislature. Although the Legislature had not attached numbers to any bills as of Friday, pro-personhood factions were confident it would happen soon. Les Riley, founder of Personhood Mississippi, told the Jackson Free Press last week that he expects to see one bill in the house and one bill in the senate some time this week.


Wednesday, Jan. 11 Hinds County Circuit Judge Tommie Green issues a temporary injunction blocking the release of 21 convicts pardoned by Gov. Haley Barbour. ‌ The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual report notes that, for the first time in 45 years, homicide is not one of the top 15 causes of death in the United States.

Albert Wilson wants a seat on the Jackson City Council. p. 9

School districts use zero-tolerance policies to punish students for any type of offense. In 2010, Jackson Public Schools started using a positive-behavior intervention system instead in its middle and elementary schools.

Haley Barbour, lobbyist, lawyer and former Mississippi governor, started off his political career working for Gerald Ford’s 1976 presidential campaign. Gerald Ford defeated Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination that year, but lost in the general election. He also pardoned former President Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon met his future wife while in a community play called “The Dark Tower,� written by George S. Kaufman, a native of Pittsburg, Penn. George S. Kaufman wrote musicals, comedies and political satire, as well as the scripts for several movies starring the Marx Brothers. The Marx Brothers’ comedic antics in movies such as “Duck Soup� and “The House That Shadows Built� brought laughs to Americans suffering from economic difficulties during the Great Depression. During the Great Depression, in Philadelphia, Penn., Charles Darrow became famous for inventing the board game Monopoly, in which players negotiate and strategize to accumulate property and wealth. Monopoly’s design features a white-haired man with a mustache and top hat, known for handing out get-out-of-jail-free cards.

Legislature: Week 2

by R.L. Nave

After an uncharacteristically slow first week, Senate lawmakers introduced more than 175 bills during the session’s second week.


ust before the Senate convened on Monday, a young lawmaker tried to jam a fistful of blue and white pieces of paper into an already overstuffed bill box. The scene was telling. The Capitol is finally showing signs of life after an unusually lethargic first week and a half of a legislative session characterized by receptions and resolutions to assign parking spaces. “Things are getting kicked off slower than in typical years. It’ll take some time for folks to settle in,� said Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, in an interview Friday. Horhn wasn’t kidding. As of press time on Tuesday, a torrent of 175 bills had poured into various Senate committees. In the other chamber, few bills have emerged in the newly Republican-run House, where Speaker Phillip Gunn, RClinton, has been slow to name all the people who will chair the various committees.

The most legislatively significant House action so far came on Jan. 11, when the body voted on a new set of rules for committee assignments. Specifically, Republicans made sure that their party would control the purse strings on the Appropriations Committee and Ways and Means. Under the new rules, the two committees will consist of six members from each of the four congressional districts based on seniority. The House speaker would then appoint nine at-large representatives to each, rounding out the membership of each committee to 33. Previous rules established 30 seats—six from each of five congressional districts (a federal court recently took one away through redistricting). The seats were previously appointed based on seniority with the Speaker selecting just three members. Rules Committee Chairman Rep. Mark Formby, R-Picayune, was unapolo-

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getic about the motivation behind the new way of doing business. “I don’t deny we’re not trying to give Republicans a majority on the two money committees,� Formby said last week. A cursory look at the list of bills signals the reemergence of several controversial measures, which the Republican-led Senate passed in recent years but died in the House. Les Riley, founder of Personhood Mississippi, told the Jackson Free Press last week he expects the House and Senate to introduce versions of a personhood bill shortly. Mississippi voters said emphatically last November that they do not want a personhood amendment to the state constitution. In the meantime, state Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, introduced two abortion-related bills of his own. The first, SB 2008, requires board certification in obstetrics and gynecology for doctors performing abortions in abortion clinics. Another requires abortionclinic doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Lawmakers also waded into the controversy over ex-Gov. Haley Barbour’s granting clemency to more than 200 criminals. On one hand, two-term Republican Sen. Michael Watson’s SB 2050 would prohibit convicted murderers from working at the governor’s mansion through the trusty program, while Fillingane introduced a couple of bills to limit the powers of the state attorney general, which prompted criticism from Democrats. Together, the Sunshine Attorney Act (SB 2084) and the Transparency in Private Attorney Contracts Act (SB 2102) revises the state AG’s power to contract legal work to private firms. SB 2084 mandates that the attorney general issue requests for proposals for legal work, requires the state Personal Service Contract Review Board to provide oversight of the agreements and would allow state agencies, typically represented by the AG, to hire their own outside counsel

in “certain situations.� SB2102 requires the attorney general to justify using outside counsel, caps the fees outside lawyers can collect and requires the attorney general to post copies of the contracts on the office’s website. House Democrats called the proposals “retaliatory stunts� aimed at Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood for scuttling many of Barbour pardons on constitutional grounds. “You have a solution looking for a problem,� said Rep. Bob Evans, D-Monticello, referring to the bills. “These people who are doing this aren’t trying to cap the amount CEOs are making. It seems like if you’re looking for injustices, you could look at that.� Comment at



Welcome to the Terrordome



by Ronni Mott


Rape Victim: Fix the System

Former Gov. Haley Barbour pardoned intimate-partner killers David Gatlin (left) and Michael Graham (center) in 2012. He released rapist Leslie Bowlin (right) on an unsupervised furlough in 2008, but rescinded the order 10 days later.

January 18 - 24, 2012



im Shaw refers to Leslie Bowlin as a monster. On Dec. 15, 1990, Shaw, then a student at Mississippi State University, said goodbye to her roommates and friends as, one by one, they left Starkville for the Christmas break. Bowlin was lying in wait for Shaw. When he was sure Shaw was alone, Bowlin broke into her apartment and raped her at gunpoint. He tied her up after the rape, threw her into his pickup truck and headed for the woods. There, Bowlin dragged Shaw by the rope he’d tied around her neck deeper into the trees. Whatever plans Bowlin had for Shaw came to an end when she ran for help to an unsuspecting deer hunter. At first, Shaw was afraid the hunter may have been in league with Bowlin, but said that she had to take the only chance she had. “If that man had not been there, I would’ve been dead,� she told the Jackson Free Press Jan. 13. A jury convicted Bowlin for rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault and burglary in 1991, and he received a sentence of life in prison plus 25 years. Shaw has a lot to lose by speaking out regarding Haley Barbour’s recent spate of pardons, she said. In a voice often shaking with emotion, Shaw said she has worked hard to put her rape in the past, but the former governor’s actions have twice forced her to relive the incident and have put her in fear for her life. Contacting the Jackson Free Press last week, Shaw said she felt compelled to speak up because Mississippians have an opportunity to change a system that is patently unfair to those people most hurt by the pardons: the victims and the family members of victims whose killers and rapists Barbour has pardoned or otherwise seen fit for his special consideration. On Dec. 17, 2008, Barbour granted Bowlin a 90-day furlough. In documents the rapist presented to the Catahoula Parish Sherriff’s office in Harrisonburg, La., Bowlin was to get a psychiatric evaluation, the only reason he could leave his parents’ Sicily Island home during his furlough. Terrified that Bowlin would come after her again while he was out, Shaw called

Barbour’s office. Shaw speculated that because of light staffing during the Christmas holidays, she was able to do what no other victim has apparently done before or since: She got through. Shaw wanted to know the basis for his decision. Did Barbour have the facts? “He said he didn’t,� she said last week. Shaw told the JFP that Barbour said he’d received a visit from former Gov. William Waller, to whom Barbour “owed a favor.� Shaw said she didn’t know what the favor was, or Waller’s connection to Bowlin or his family. She is clear on one thing, however: “It was a decision not based on facts, logic or law.� At the time, Mississippi and Louisiana attorneys general spoke out against Barbour, urging him to retract the order. Mississippi’s Jim Hood understood the liability inherent in allowing a convict an unsupervised furlough across state lines. (Bowlin was not even fitted for a GPS ankle unit before his release.) Louisiana’s Buddy Caldwell simply called the order “insane.� The governor rescinded Bowlin’s furlough 10 days later, on Dec. 27, 2008, after causing a firestorm of controversy only slightly smaller than that surrounding Barbour’s recent pardons. Catahoula deputies picked up Bowlin and returned him to prison in Mississippi. When Barbour’s 2012 list of 220 pardons came to light last week, Shaw feared that the governor had included Bowlin on the list. She immediately made a frantic call to the Mississippi attorney general’s victim assistance office, she said. To her dismay, she found out that Hood’s office hadn’t seen the list. Amy Walker, assistant director of the crime victim compensation unit, called Shaw that night to make sure she was OK, then about a day later to give her the news. Bowlin wasn’t on the list. “My heart goes out to these victims,� Shaw said. She understands what it’s like to live in fear. Barbour, she said, was the reason for their being “victimized all over again,� a sentiment echoed by the victims and family of Tammy Ellis Gatlin and Adrienne Klasky. Gatlin and Klasky’s husbands murdered them, and Barbour pardoned both killers.


Innocence and Mercy Defense attorneys and convict-rights advocates point out that pardons should be considered a legitimate part of the U.S. justice system. Governors are often the last hope for those serving time for crimes they did not commit and for those seeking reprieve from the death penalty. The tradition of presidential and gubernatorial pardons goes back to a time when monarchs held absolute sway over the disposition of prisoners in custody. In the United States, the founders passed the tradition to the president, and many state Legislatures passed the power to their governors. Today, all 50 states have statutes concerning clemency, and 33 states give their governors clemency powers; however, Mississippi is one of only 15 states where a governor has sole authority. In 18 states, the governor must get a recommendation from a board or advisory group (although in 10 states those recommendations are not binding). In five states, a board or advisory group determines clemency. Presidential and gubernatorial pardons serve two important functions, wrote Kathleen Ridolfi and Seth Gordon in “Gubernatorial Clemency Powers: Justice or Mercy?â€? published in the journal Criminal Justice in Fall 2009. The first is as a “court of last resortâ€? for (ALEY"ARBOUR#IVIL,IBERTARIAN E\5/1DYH



convicted criminals. In 1993’s U.S. Supreme Court decision Herrera v. Collins (which held that actual innocence is not a constitutional ground for relief), Justice William Rehnquist “opined that executive clemency, rather than the court system, is the proper mechanism for assessing claims of innocence,� Ridolfi and Gordon wrote.

It is this argument that moved Illinois Gov. George Ryan to commute the sentences of every inmate occupying the state’s death row in 2003. “Our capital system is haunted by the demon of error—error in determining guilt and error in determining who among the guilty deserves to die,â€? Ryan said in a speech at Northwestern University School of Law. A study had shown the governor that while the state had executed 12 death-row inmates in 26 years (from 1977 to 2003), it had also released 13 people based on new evidence. Ryan commuted every death sentence, 167 in all, to life without the possibility of parole. The other function of a governor’s power to commute sentences is one of mercy. “The ‘mercy’ interpretation presupposes that the judiciary got it right; that the person receiving clemency ‌ committed the criminal act and was properly convicted,â€? Ridolfi and Gordon wrote. Governors have used clemency when a “sentence was overly harshâ€? for the crime, or because of a “finding of rehabilitation (where a person has demonstrated exemplary behavior post-conviction and should be forgiven in the eyes of the law).â€? In his statement justifying his 220 pardons, Barbour used the mercy argument, calling on his memories of a convict to whom his father had given a second chance and his own Christian beliefs. However, Barbour failed to show mercy to the victims of those he pardoned, nor was he evenhanded in the application of that mercy. David Gatlin murdered his wife as she held their 6-week-old infant son. He also shot Randy Walker in the head. Walker, who fears that Gatlin will come after him again now that Barbour pardoned him, called Barbour’s actions “the coward’s way out,â€? and said that the governor should have looked him in the eye to tell him about the pardon. In a 2010 interview with the JFP, Adrienne Klasky’s niece, Nancy Northern, expressed her fear and ultimately her disdain for the governor, who commuted Michael David Graham’s sentence and released him on parole in 2008. After stalking Klasky relentlessly for more than three years, Graham pulled up alongside Klasky’s car at a Pascagoula intersection and blew her brains out with a shotgun. “I just can’t believe Barbour did what he did,â€? she said then. “I’m disgusted with him, just disgusted.â€? Last week, Barbour gave Graham a full, complete and unconditional pardon. Kim Shaw is sure that, at least in her case, Barbour did not consider the evidence, because the governor himself told her that he did not. “Common sense did not prevail,â€? she said, adding later, “I didn’t get an apology.â€? Shaw urged all Mississippians to rally around the legislators who have introduced bills to add accountability to the governor’s pardoning power. That power, she said, “should not be in the hands of one man.â€? Comment at


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ackson needs more investment in busi- What would you do the same or So where should they put kids when they violate curfew? nesses and needs it quick. That’s how differently from Kenneth Stokes? Albert Wilson, who is running for the The thing that I would do the same as I have a problem with the detention cenWard 3 City Council seat, thinks the city him is I have a heart for the people and really ter because you’re throwing everyone in one can boost both its tax base and the number of looking at the needs of the residents and the (place). You’ve got good kids mixed up with opportunities for its citizens. needs of the people themselves—their hurts repeat offenders that have done terrible things. Wilson, 45, said economic development and concerns. The main thing I’m going to do If they do put them there, they should put is the key to Ward 3 resolving some of its ills, differently is economic development. ‌ My them in a special area, but I would like to have like the high crime rate. In addition to fixing campaign slogan is, “It can be in Ward 3,â€? and another program similar to in-school detenpotholes, reducing crime and funding tion at another site similar to the Boys more after-school programs for youth, and Girls Club or the YMCA. he wants to generate more business in the ward and enhance the ones that What role should Jackson have are already there. in development projects, such “There are a lot of businesses in as issuing bonds for Farish the ward; they just haven’t been showStreet development? cased,â€? he said. Whatever we issue, we have to make In 1992, Wilson started the Gensure it’s going to be beneficial to Jackesis and Light Center, an organization son. Our tax base is so low (and our that offers tutoring, counseling, and tax rate is so high), we can’t afford to be enrichment activities to low-income putting more taxes. children and families. As a councilman, he wants to create more city-sponsored Albert Wilson is running in a Feb. 14 special election for the How can Jackson fix its water Ward 3 City Council seat vacated by Kenneth Stokes. programs for young people. lines and roads? The Jackson native graduated That is one of the big concerns in from Wingfield High School and has a bache- that means we want to bring more economic my ward. It’s going to be a process, and I think lor’s degree in computer science from Jackson development to the ward, more business to it’s going to have to be fixed through federal State University. He lives in Jackson with his the ward. We don’t have to go to Madison and funding. ‌ I think what we have done so far, wife, Kim, and their three children, and is cur- Flowood and some of these other places for trying to tax the citizens, isn’t working. rently pursuing a master’s degree in education businesses; we can bring things right here. from Mississippi College. He is a Democrat. Name something you’d change Stokes has advocated some con- about the Jackson City Council. Why are you running for City troversial measures, such as a teen I want to be more business friendly— Council? curfew and requiring convenience whatever decision we’d make, think it out for This is my third run for the seat. I believe stores to hire security guards. What what effect it would have on the businesses. those two earlier runs were just preparation do you believe needs to be done to Comment at for this special election. It’s more of a personal help reduce crime in Ward 3? thing for me, because I was born in that area We’ve got to engage our young peo#ANDIDATESFOR7ARD and grew up in that area—I’ve lived in Ward 3 ple, not just punish them and put in stat 6RIDUWKHVHFDQGLGDWHVKDYHWROGWKH-DFNVRQ (most of) my life. It’s time to move our area to utes. That’s not enough. Curfews are not )UHH3UHVVWKH\LQWHQGWRUXQIRUWKH:DUGVHDWRU a new level. working. ‌ The kids coming in shopliftKDYHÂżOHGSDSHUVZLWKWKHFLW\FOHUN7KHÂżOLQJGHDGOLQH LV-DQ7KHVSHFLDOHOHFWLRQLVVHWIRU)HE The potholes are one (problem), as well ing—give them something to engage their ‡%HQHWD%XUW as the crime, and there’s no business growth minds. If we could have a skating rink or ‡*ZHQGRO\Q&KDSPDQ there. I fault the leadership for not all having some kind of bowling place here, even a ‡/D5LWD&RRSHU6WRNHV the vision for moving our ward to progress a city-sponsored dance, something positive ‡0LFKDHO+DUULVRQ,, ‡-R\FH-DFNVRQ little bit more than it’s been doing. I feel that and constructive for our young people. ‌ I ‡-RKQ7D\ORU-U with my experience with running my own do recommend a curfew, but I want some‡=DFKHU\:LOOLDPV business and living in this community, I have thing added to the curfew to positively en‡$OEHUW:LOVRQ the experience to move it to the next level. gage them.



by Valerie Wells


Biz Round Up: Lowest Tax Burden 10 will have reserved seating. For information, email Tyler Armstrong at tarmstrong@ Tour Venture Incubator The Venture Incubator hosts a free, informal “Tour and Talk Open House� every Monday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. Make reservations to tour facilities and discuss your business idea. To RSVP, call 601-414-0140. The Venture Incubator Fast Start Program is for companies who need to develop new or improved strategies for business success. These include strategies for sales and marketing, accounting, technology, risk management and human resources. For information, contact Wes Holsapple at 601-906-4868 or


January 18 - 24, 2012

ississippi residents have the lowest tax burden in the nation. The Mississippi Development Authority was quick to spread this news. Bloomberg, a financial news service, ranked states based on income, property, consumption and inheritance taxes, along with taxes on retirement investments. The ranking placed Mississippi ahead of South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Alaska. Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Maryland were ranked as the states with the highest tax burdens. Mississippi has a 5 percent income tax and 7 percent sales tax statewide. Median property taxes per capita are $785 and there is no inheritance or estate tax. It also exempts all individual retirement accounts from income tax and is one of four states that allows citizens to contribute to retirement accounts without paying state income tax on the money.


Chamber to Hold Annual Meeting The Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership will hold its annual meeting Jan. 25 at the Jackson Convention Complex. The doors open at 11 a.m. Representatives from Atlanta-based Market Street Consultants will give an update on development of a chamber-sponsored 10-year long-range community plan, a “living document� that the chamber will update regularly to adapt to a growing community. Gov. Phil Bryant will speak at the meeting. Paul Moak, 2011 chairman, and Mayo Flynt, incoming chairman, will also talk. The annual meeting also will announce the winners of the Business of the Year, the Pat Yarborough Award (for Outstanding Individual) and Ambassador of the Year. Sponsors are ChamberPlus, Entergy, BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi and Trustmark Bank. The cost is $50 per person and $500 for a table of 10. Deadline for reservations is Wednesday, Jan. 18. Only company tables of

Philip M’s to Reopen The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and the Pearl River Resort will reopen

Philip M’s restaurant at Silver Star Hotel and Casino Jan. 24. Tribal Chief Phyllis J. Anderson will speak at a 2 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. Plastic Surgeon to Speak Dr. Adair Blackledge, a plastic surgeon, will speak at the Jan. 24 Women in Networking meeting. WIN is a professional networking group for women who belong to the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership. Blackledge, however, will not talk about networking for women. He will speak about skin care for different age groups and the various types of surgeries he offers. The cost to attend is $15 for chamber members and $20 for prospective members. The meeting is at 11:45 a.m. Jan. 24 at the Jackson Convention Center. For information, contact Debi Green at dgreen@ Comment at







Mississippi Arts Center Saturday, February 18 2012 9:00 - 11:30 The Arts Center of Mississippi


Benefitting The Center for Violence Prevention + FREE TRAINING SESSIONS! No experience necessary Information on classes below

Our most popular issue of the year. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss out! Street Date: 1/25/12 Ad Reservations by 1/19/12 For advertising information, call 601-362-6121 x11 or write

Saturdays, January 21 - February 11, 12:30pm 7048 Old Canton Rd., Jackson, 601-613-4317

Saturdays, January 21 - February 11, 9:30pm Wednesdays, January 25 - February 15, 10:00am 408 Monroe St., Clinton, 601-624-6356

Tara Yoga at Energy In Motion January 21 & February 4, 11 am 200 Park Circle, Suite 4 (off of Lakeland)

Thursdays, January 26 - February 16, 5:30pm 665 Duling Ave., Jackson, 601-209-6325

Yoga for Non-Violence |

Saturday, January 21, 12:00pm 3025 North State St., Jackson,601-594-2313


jfp op/ed

opining, grousing & pontificating


Keep Up the Reform Momentum


ormer Gov. Haley Barbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unprecedented spate of last-minute pardons brought numerous issues regarding some of Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s antiquated customs into the glaring light of national media attention. The Department of Correctionsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; trusty system and the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to issue pardons and commutations in a virtual vacuum have received well-deserved criticism. We commend Gov. Phil Bryant for announcing that he will end the antediluvian custom of having trustys work in the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mansion, even though his motivation might be somewhat less than altruistic. The controversy presents an opening for Bryant to endear himself to outraged constituents and to put some distance between the former governor and his fledgling administration. Legislators re-introducing bills to add accountability to the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s powers of pardoning are on the right track. The governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office should have the responsibility to notify victims and hear their feedback. Legislators could go farther, and we urge them to do so. Many states add the checks and balances of a review panel, public hearings or parole board input. We urge them to continue down a bi-partisan path of reform in this area. Attorney General Jim Hood gets a nod for prioritizing an investigation into the pardons, ensuring that Barbour at least followed the minimal requirements outlined in the Mississippi Constitution, and for stopping any pardons that didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t conform to that standard. We stand behind his efforts to nullify any pardons that did not meet these nominal safeguards. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t often sound the â&#x20AC;&#x153;we told you soâ&#x20AC;? bell, but we would be remiss if we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t point out that this is not the first opportunity to examine and rectify this archaic system. The Jackson Free Press investigated Barbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2008 trusty clemencies, showing that four of the five murderers released were killers of their intimate partners. Hood has yet to say whether he investigated those incidents then; he certainly did not hold press briefings if he did. Barbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2012 list at least doubles the number of domestic-violence murderers he set free. Officials have a yet-to-be-seized opportunity to educate citizens about the dangers of domestic violence as well as repudiating Barbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inaccurate phrase â&#x20AC;&#x153;crime of passionâ&#x20AC;? within that context. The evidence of premeditation is extraordinarily high among the woman-killers Barbour pardoned, proving that these are crimes of power and control, not committed in the heat of the moment as that apologist phrase suggests. This is also an opportunity for a hard look at all areas of Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s justice system. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too easy for prosecutors and judges to turn their backs on exculpatory evidence when they face no consequences. Too many people are spending excessive time behind bars for victimless crimes, and we feed too many of our children into the maw of a criminal system without hope of escape. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait for another crisis to right the scales of justice, Mississippi. We have momentum; letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s use it.


Numbed by Nonsense


January 18 - 24, 2012

oneqweesha Jones: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Welcome to this special 2012 edition of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Qweesha Live and Directâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; on Ghetto Science Public Television. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a new year of promise, potential and hope for the Ghetto Science Community, America and the world. Despite high gas prices, skyrocketing food costs, and 1 percent of the population maintaining more financial wealth than the bottom 95 percent, folk continue to shop, eat, sleep, work, play, struggle to pay their bills, find a job and have a place to stay. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve just mentioned inspired my special guest, renegade filmmaker Kunta â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Rasheed Xâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Toby, tow produce a new film titled â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Pursuit of Crappiness: Numbed by Nonsense.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Brother Kunta, the unemployment rate has gone down. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s progress. Where is your hope?â&#x20AC;? Kunta â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Rasheed Xâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Toby: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Qweesha, my hope is that things will get better for the masses of people affected by the callous decisions and actions of politicians and corporations. But, still, a lot people today may agree with this quote by Malcolm X: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;If you stick a knife in my back 9 inches and pull it out 6 inches, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not progress. If you pull it out all the way out, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not progress. The progress comes from healing the wound that the blow made. They havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even begun to pull the knife out. They wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even admit the knife is still there.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Boneqweesha Jones: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think know where your hope is, brother Kunta. Now I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait to see â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Pursuit of Crappiness: Numbed by Nonsenseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. 12 Coming soon.â&#x20AC;?


Politics, as Usual


e are a nation of extremes. And as weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been inundated with debate after debate in this Republican primary season, it has been even more prevalent. I watched as Republicans jockey to position themselves as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;most conservativeâ&#x20AC;? while trying to discredit the front runner, whom they deem â&#x20AC;&#x153;moderate.â&#x20AC;? I watched that same said frontrunnerâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Mitt Romney at the momentâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;try to lean farther right even as we all know come general election politicking, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to creep back to the middle. Then I think about our president, elected to serve all of us, and how he has made tremendous efforts to reach out to opponents across the partisan aisle. All the while, members of his party have chided him for not being â&#x20AC;&#x153;liberalâ&#x20AC;? enough. Then it dawned on me. Politics isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about compromise; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about conflict. That political conflict must be maintained so that the status quo can continue being the status quo. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not about meeting in the middle, where most commonsense thinkers lay. Politics has become a comedy of extremes, all about who can spout the most conservatism or liberalism. Republican primary voters have shown they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want dialogue. Most of them want a candidate that can spit the most vitriol, someone who can pepper his or her speeches with political zingers. All the while, the far-left zealots can be equally as stubborn. In the end, we the people suffer in this real-life battle for â&#x20AC;&#x153;playgroundâ&#x20AC;? supremacy. Yes, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m independent, for nowâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;if for no other reason other than the fact that I am thoroughly disgusted with both parties. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not that I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to choose. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that I shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to. And I shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be shouted down if I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. If conservatives can be condescending jerks

,canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t liberals be whiny idealists? If Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a member of one party, must I believe that everything about the other party is bad? Is our two-party system even the best to create long-term solutions? Ultimately, time will prove me right (or wrong). But I do know that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never progress by pointing fingers. Success comes in dialogue, not toeing an ideological party line. Maybe that means supporting candidates who can approach issues based on whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best for their constituents and not what his or her party says â&#x20AC;&#x153;shouldâ&#x20AC;? be done. But then again, that wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be politics, would it? And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the truth ... shonuff.



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hile poring over Gov. Barbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s statement on â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pardongate,â&#x20AC;? I found something I never expected: a point of agreement. And no, it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just the part where he admitted he wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t perfect (although I wholeheartedly agree with that as well). Instead, I found myself nodding along to this: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mississippians are mostly Christians. We have Jews, Hindus, Muslims as well as atheists and agnostics, but most Mississippians profess to be Christians of some type. Marsha and I are evangelical Christiansâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Presbyterians. Christianity teaches us forgiveness and second chances. I believe in second chances, and I try hard to be forgiving.â&#x20AC;? I grew up in an evangelical church, and while forgiveness and second chances werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as common pulpit themes as hellfire and brimstone, I appreciate Barbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s acknowledgement of their prominence in Christian theology. Indeed, forgiveness and second chances should be the cornerstones of our criminaljustice and correctional systems in Mississippi. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why we should offer court diversion programsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;like a Domestic Abuser Intervention Programâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;throughout the state. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why the system should approach drug offenders with rehabilitation and counseling instead of incarceration. A correctional system focused on forgiveness and second chances would spare no expense in ensuring that inmates had access to GED classes and college courses and were given the job skills necessary to be employable, productive members of society upon their release. Better yet, a criminal-justice system based on forgiveness and second chances would focus on rehabilitating youthful offenders instead of chaining them to desks and railings as punishment. For years, groups like the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center have decried the â&#x20AC;&#x153;schoolhouse-to-jailhouse pipeline,â&#x20AC;? described as pushing students from schools to the criminal-justice system through needlessly draconian zero-tolerance policies. Instead of focusing on behaviormodification programs, our school systems criminalize typically youthful behaviors that were historically dealt with in the classroom or principalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office. When we insist on bringing police into our schools, we create hostile, less-than-conducive learning environments. And once students enter the criminal-justice system it is very difficult to remain free of its destructive pull. Currently, Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s juvenile-justice system acts as an entry point into the adult correctional

system, not an entry point for intervention in a vulnerable young teenagerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life. Of course, a Mississippi that truly embraced the ethos of forgiveness would immediately restore constitutional rights to felonsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;particularly voting rightsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;after they have completed their prison terms. Continuing to deny convicted felons the chance to participate in the democratic process after the courts have recognized their debts as paid in anathema to the theory of rehabilitative justice. Believe it or not, Mississippi is actually moving toward a more just and equitable prison system. The Pew Center for Research on the Statesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 2010 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Prison Countâ&#x20AC;? report found that Mississippi has, in recent years, lessened the percentage of time required of non-violent offenders before the system can consider them for parole. Further, the development of improved risk-assessment tools has drastically reduced the number of parolees who re-offend. Indeed, over the last decade, Mississippi has actually decreased the number of prisoners in state correctional facilities. Of course, there is plenty more to be done. While the state correctional system is reducing the rate of incarceration, Mississippi still has one of the highest percentages of incarcerated citizens in the country, the Sentencing Projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 50-state survey found. Further, the rate of African American men incarcerated in the state, the use of the death penalty and the continued felony prosecution of minor drug offenses remain problematic. The good news? Gov. Barbour, as he returns to the private sector, now has a chance to continue to pursue the policies of forgiveness and second chances that his statement espouses. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t imagine who would be better positioned to lobby for true reform to the criminal-justice system than a conservative former governor who, by his own admission, now recognizes the injustices inherent in our current corrections scheme. If, for some reason, Gov. Barbour decides not to use his influence to create a better, more humane penal system, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m afraid that the taint of Pardongate will result in more red tape, legislative barriers and public backlash for those who truly deserve a pardon. In the end, Barbour didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just tarnish his own legacy, he tarnished the legitimate and necessary power of the pardon in the state of Mississippi. Whitney Barkley is an attorney who works as a facilitator in the DAIP program through the Center for Violence Prevention.

Forgiveness and second chances should be the cornerstones of our criminal-justice and correctional systems in Mississippi.

Revealing Heaven On Earth 8:30 a.m. A Service of Word and Table 9:30 a.m. Sunday School for all ages 11:00 a.m. Worship Service Live Streaming at Televised on WAPT Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Church Ages 4-Kindegarten Nursery Available Ages 6 weeks-3 years

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Jackson Public School officials reject the idea that Capital City Alternative School is part of a so-called “cradle-to-prison” pipeline.

Pushing Kids Out

Feeding the ‘Cradle-toPrison’ Pipeline

by Valerie Wells


January 18 - 24, 2012

rodriquez Williams watched the news that night about the twin towers at the World Trade Center collapsing Sept. 11, 2001. It shocked the 9year-old boy. Every time he saw the footage of the collapsing skyscrapers in New York City, he felt the need to do something grow deeper. Immediately, he knew that he wanted to join the military. Williams never wanted any other job. That day, as he watched his country under attack, he told his mom about his intentions. He then told his brother, his teachers and counselors—anyone who would listen— that he wanted to join the U.S. Navy. “I didn’t want to do the Marines,” Williams, now 19, said. He smiles about it, as if it is obvious that the Navy is a better option. His dimples could convince a skeptic he is right. Williams still wants to join the Navy, but he only has an occupational degree in14 stead of a high-school diploma. A counselor

decided when he was in 8th grade at Whitten Middle School that’s all he would need, despite Williams repeatedly declaring his goal of joining the military. As he learned a few years later, the military wouldn’t accept this certificate for enlistment. The recruiter wanted that diploma. Williams had some problems at Whitten Middle School, like many energetic and playful young men testing limits in junior high. He talked and smiled a lot, trying to charm teachers and classmates. When he was in 7th grade, he won third place in the science fair with a barometer he made out of a coffee can and a balloon. Now he is working full-time at Chickfil-A in Clinton and trying to get a second job at Walmart. He spends most of his off time playing football and basketball with friends, although occasionally he plays “Call of Duty” or some other video game. He likes to paint and has a large self-portrait propped near the fireplace in his south Jackson home. He sings and listens to lots

of music, especially Kris Allen, the Black Eyed Peas and Taylor Swift. “Yeah, I listen to her. If you listen to her stuff, it’s pretty good,” he says. “Like ‘Romeo’s Song.’” Williams has a steady girlfriend who he says is easy to commit to. He wears a black-and-blue fitted sweater jacket without a piece of lint or a single loose thread in sight. “I like to look good,” he says. And then he smiles again with those dimples. He’s so charming it’s hard to believe he’s been in trouble with the law. Some of his stories seem far-fetched—he says he got in trouble at school once because he wouldn’t smile. A teacher told him another time in the cafeteria to drink his milk, and he told her right back he did not want to. Something about the way he expressed that led to a disciplinary action. All this is normal—a teenager, acting like kids do sometimes, experiments with power while school officials insist on order and discipline. For some students, though,

a smart mouth can lead to jail, while others displaying the same behavior might only be mischievous, interesting characters who go on to college. More than once, talking back landed Williams in Capital City Alternative School, the holding place where suspended or expelled JPS students go. When he was in 8th grade, a teacher accused him of stealing earphones from her. He denied it passionately with sarcasm and what the principal determined was disrespect. Smile or Else Williams sat one morning bored to tears in his 8th-grade social-studies class at Capital City. He knew lunch was coming up soon and wondered what he might eat. He wasn’t paying attention to the lesson or to his classmates. “I never smiled. I never talked,” he said. That particular class only had a handful of students, and only three of them were boys. The other two boys got into an ar-

The Summit


he Children’s Defense Fund Southern Regional Office is holding a statewide summit, “Dismantling the Cradle to Prison Pipeline,” Jan. 21 at Jackson State University e-Center (1230 Raymond Road). The Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union are also participating. Youth and adult workshops will tackle how zero-tolerance policies push children into the juvenile-justice system. The summit is free to attend. Registration is at 8 a.m., and the all-day summit begins at 9 a.m. For information, call Portia Espy at 601-321-1966, ext. 107.

shootings, zero-tolerance policies severely punish children for expected, normal misbehavior in school and can lead to some going to jail for small offenses. School officials can suspend or expel a student who yells to her buddy in the hall or who does not tuck in his shirt. If a sassy child talks back in such a situation, school policy might dictate a call to the police who may take the child away in handcuffs. When Espy attended a 2010 confer-

Zero-tolerance policies in Jackson Public Schools meant suspension and alternative school for Drodriquez Williams when he talked back to teachers.

port” in 2007, examining what it calls a “national crisis at the intersection of poverty and race.” School systems are more likely to identify black children at an early stage as potential criminals for the same behavior as other students. The self-fulfilling prophecy affects programs and budgets that might otherwise encourage those students to go to college or pursue a career path. Portia Ballard Espy, chief administrative officer for the CDF Southern Regional Office in Jackson, says several areas lead to streamlining a child from cradle to prison: having a single mom, being a child of color, being poor, going to a poor-quality school or lacking health care. “Sometimes things transpire in a child’s life, sometimes before they are born,” Espy said. “They are factors we have control over.” But of all the things that criminalize a young child, zero-tolerance policies in schools might be the worst. Born out of the 1980s drug wars and the 1990s school

ence on zero tolerance a couple of years ago, a speaker asked audience members to stand if they had ever spoken out of turn in class when they were kids. Many stood. Then he asked them to stand if they had ever gotten in trouble at school for wearing the wrong thing—such as a skirt a half-inch too short. More adults stood, including Espy. “It was stuff all of us had done,” she said. “If you were in school today under current policies, you could be incarcerated,” the speaker told them. “It really brought the point home. We simply used to go to principal’s office when we got in trouble. The most humiliating thing was being put outside the room in the hallway. Now children are handcuffed and taken out of the classroom,” Espy said. The Advancement Project, a national civil-rights advocacy group, released a March 2010 report on zero-tolerance policies that made similar observations about how unfairly schools treat blacks, Hispanics

and poor kids. “Test, Punish and Push Out” also examined the connection between such policies and high-stakes testing, saying the two together funnel children from school to prison. Earlier this year, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released “No Place for Kids: the Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration.” The study reports that sometimes for minor offenses children can wind up in training schools, reformatories or youth correction centers. Too often, it starts with school problems ranging from dress-code violations to making rude comments. The kids who really feel the brunt of draconian policies tend to have attention deficit disorder or other undiagnosed psychological problems. Instead of a child getting help, the severe punishments hurt the fidgeting or daydreaming students academically. They get pulled out of class and get further behind in their schoolwork. The large majority of students punished are black boys, Espy said. Early advocates of zero tolerance insisted that harsh discipline for all students, regardless of violation or circumstance, was the most fair system. A white daughter of the school-board president would get no special treatment if she were caught with a joint at school, for example. Zero tolerance leaves no room for exceptions, meaning that it’s bad for all children, and worse for those traditionally discriminated against. “Where is the common sense?” Espy wants to know. “Teachers have a hard job.” She knows that. Her parents are retired teachers, and her sister is a former teacher. “If you have a disruptive child in your class, you are going to figure out the easiest way to deal,” she said. School policies often prescribe every course of action and leave no wiggle room when the next step in the protocol is calling the cops. School resource officers are real police trained to deal with dangerous criminals. Criminalizing Children While Espy stresses that schools need order and discipline, she says criminalizing children’s behavior only conditions them to believe that they belong in alternative schools, juvenile detention facilities and jail, she said. Children assume they are destined for jail pretty early in life. They learn it’s the norm. “We adults can do something about,

Bubbling Up Ja’Eisha Scott did not want to participate in her kindergarten lesson March 14, 2005. She did more than pout about it. The 5-year-old St. Petersburg, Fla., student threw a fit. The teacher tried to calm her but couldn’t. Following her district’s procedures, the teacher next got the principal involved. The little girl continued her tantrum as she tore papers off a bulletin board, climbed on a table and even punched the

principal. School officials called her mom, who said she was on her way to the school. It took about an hour for the girl’s mother to get there. Meanwhile, the principal followed school policy and called the police. Before the cops got there, the little girl had calmed down and was sitting in a chair quietly. Three police officers approached the child, forcing her arms behind her. Ja’Eisha started crying. The police snapped the handcuffs on and led the wailing girl to a police car. The teachers and the police followed zero-tolerance policies in handling the misbehaving girl. That means no exceptions—at least in theory. Students of all ages who violate conduct codes face harsh punishments. Many school districts have little choice in the matter as federal funding became increasingly attached to the creation of these policies in the past two decades. This zero-tolerance approach has criminalized many children, conditioning them to fit in when they get to prison. The Children’s Defense Fund released “America’s Cradle to Prison Pipeline ReVIRGINIA SCHREIBER

gument and started fighting. Williams says he doesn’t remember what got them started. The teacher went in the hall to get the uniformed school police. The police came in yelling. “Man, I ain’t even did nothing,” Williams said. “Don’t say nothing, just sit on the floor,” they yelled at all the boys, including Williams. They took the boys in the hallway and made them sit Indian style, legs folded, facing the wall. The school police handcuffed each boy, then one by one took them to the school gym and auditorium. The officers handcuffed Williams to a metal stair railing that leads down just a few steps to an exit. They left him there all day. When school got out, the officers took Williams to jail downtown. He spent 21 days in the juvenile detention center. When he got out, he had to return to Capital City. Williams wasn’t smiling three weeks after the incident when he returned to Capital City. Serious, grim-faced security officers and administrators searched all students as they entered the school, as they do every day. Williams wasn’t happy about any of it. The adults in charge noticed. “You need to smile there, or you’re fixing to go to jail,” a school official told him. She wasn’t making a joke and called over a uniformed JPS officer. “He better smile, or we are fixing to go down that path,” the officer said. Williams had been a student at Capital City more than once. His middle school and high school had suspended him before for being sarcastic or not doing what he was told. He had to attend the alternative school during those times. One time, he was suspended because a teacher had accused him of stealing earphones from her. She called him a thief. He said teachers searched him but found nothing. Another time, a teacher accused him of having bullets, but school officers searched him and again found nothing. A couple of years later, when Williams was in 10th grade at Wingfield High School, he was at football practice with his brother when a fight broke out in front of campus. Williams said he wasn’t involved in it. A school police officer told him he had to leave the campus. His mother had told him to never leave without calling her, and he intended to do as she said. The JPS officers wouldn’t let him call his mom. When the school police threatened to take him to jail, Williams ran. He and his mother are still resolving the 2009 issue with the school district. It involves phone calls and endless paperwork.

PUSHING, see page 16


Pushing Kids Out from page 15

January 18 - 24, 2012

Blackburn has seen a decrease in the number of incidents and fighting since it began the in-house, peer-resolution experiment. With JPS approval, Schwartz has taken the program to Jim Hill High School, where 30 students are participating this year. The students learn how to resolve conflicts, new ways to talk to each other and more detailed instruction to listen and solve problems. Through peer mediation, the students can each come and confidentially explain their side of the story. Student mediators ask open questions using nonjudgmental phrases to get both parties to VIRGINIA SCHREIBER

that,” Espy said. That includes identifying best practices for school police officers. Additional training is important for those officers taught to deal with adult offenders and suspects, not school children. Another important step children’s advocates can take is making sure parents understand what zero tolerance means. Espy said more and more parents and other adults are speaking against the destruction these policies have had on children. “It’s bubbling up. You can expect to hear more,” she said. Charles Perry at Jackson-based PERICO Institute, a nonprofit organization, is researching 150 school-district policies in Mississippi for Espy’s office. The research shows districts have no consistency in their policies, she said. The study covering the past decade is incomplete, but with about half the districts surveyed, several trends already pop. In general, the policies affect more blacks than whites. Schools use corporal punishment more on black males than white males for the same offenses. So far in the research, the CDF found no evidence of white girls getting spanked in Mississippi for the past few years, although some black girls did get the punishment. Black boys get the majority of the paddlings. In schools across the nation, blacks and members of other minorities get disciplined more often than white students although all kids misbehave in similar ways at the same rates. That’s long been the trend. In a 2000 Indiana Education Policy Center report, researchers examined 25 years of evidence showing schools punished black students more often and more severely. In “The Color of Discipline,” lead author Russell Skiba of Indiana University and other researchers found that boys in general did get sent to the principals’ office more often and also got more suspensions than girls. They could link that to more misbehavior. But they found something else in their data. “(N)o support was found for the hypothesis that African American students act out more than other students. Rather, African American students appear to be referred to the office for less serious and more subjective reasons,” the report stated. “In particular, we were struck during the preparation of this manuscript by the virtual absence of empirical support for the popular hypothesis that African American students are disciplined more because they act out more.” At a Jan. 21 Dismantling the Cradle to Prison Pipeline summit in Jackson, 300 or so people will brainstorm solutions and alternatives to racial disparity and zero tolerance. Espy mentioned the peer mediation program at Blackburn Middle School that Malkie Schwartz, director of community engagement at the Institute of Southern 16 Jewish Life, started a couple of years ago.

Boulevard. The parochial school left in 1996, and Jackson Public Schools acquired the building and grounds. Principal Marie Harris recently welcomed a couple of unexpected visitors— two former St. Joseph’s students—who asked if they could look around their old school. Harris showed the old St. Joseph alums around. The quietness threw the visitors off. “Where are the students?” one asked as they walked down the hall. “They are in the classrooms,” Harris told her.

walk in the same silent lines. Expectations are posted in every hallway. School officials wait for students to arrive on the bus, get them in the building and keep a close watch on their every move from class to class. The difference is Power APAC is a school for academically and artistically gifted children. The bottom line is that both schools put a heavy emphasis on strict control. JPS administrators are frustrated that people think of Capital City Alternative School as a jail for children. “It’s a school!” Paula Van Every, director of the JPS Safe Schools-Healthy Students program, said. Both Capital City and Power APAC use “positive behavior intervention and supports,” a structured flowchart of sorts that explains clearly what is expected of kids: Be ready, be respectful, be resilient. Van Every refers to it as a matrix. The incentive system has rewards as well as negative consequences at Capital City. Every student gets a daily scorecard. If you forget yours at home, you get a new one for the day that’s a different color so everyone knows you screwed up. Those students who accumulate 270 points for good behavior can participate in a group activity, such as a game of basketball. StuCapital City Alternative School is for JPS students suspended for more dents who earn more points than 10 days or expelled. Schools and parents can refer students, also. can collect Bison Bucks, an in-school coupon that kids can use to get snacks, small express what they would like to see happen “But it’s so quiet!” The visitors looked toys or school supplies. (A bison is the and acknowledge what their options are. at the shut doors in surprise. school mascot.) They have the choice not to talk to each Harris is proud of this. Expectations, The goodies sit neatly in a large walk-in other or to not be bothered by funny looks. discipline, order and routine result in busy closet that serves as the store. Money from a The program continues to grow. children under her watchful eye. The stu- federal Safe Schools Healthy Students grant “That could be duplicated other dents are quiet, neat and behaved. If they pays for the items that the students work places,” Espy said. are not, imposing uniformed officers are to “buy.” In December, some students were Besides coming up with solutions, one only a few steps away. saving up Bison Bucks to buy slightly larger goal of the summit is simply raising awareConstant communication is key to the items like a small tool kit and a kitchen rug. ness of zero-tolerance policies. operation. “It’s staying on top of things,” School officials said the students wanted to “We’ve heard horror stories, some sub- Harris said. get those as presents for their parents. stantiated, some unsubstantiated, about Capital City Alternative School has The Jackson Free Press took a tour students getting expelled just before state about 200 students in grades 4 through of Capital City Dec. 15. Officials did not exams,” Espy said. The implication is that 12 who have been suspended for 10 days allow the JFP to take any photographs or schools tend to get rid of low-scoring stu- or longer or expelled from Jackson Public interview any students. Another stipulation dents just before it’s time for a major-stakes Schools. The number of students varies was that the school staff couldn’t discuss test. One anecdote she heard was about a from day to day, depending on who got litigation involving handcuffing children. boy who wore the wrong color socks. suspended recently or who has returned to It was the day after the nine-weeks the home school. The average student stays tests, and many students were out during Great Expectations for a semester. Those who are expelled will the JFP tour. Harris said that is typical the Every now and then, alumni from stay for one year. day before school lets out for a two-week St. Joseph’s Catholic School show up at In many ways, Capital City is not Christmas break. The halls were wide, Capital City Alternative School to visit that different from Power Academic and quiet and clean. Many uniformed JPS offitheir old campus. Before St. Joseph moved Performing Arts Complex, one of JPS’ star cers stood their posts on the hallway’s shiny to Madison, the private Catholic school sat schools. Power APAC also serves grades 4- waxed floors. on the large campus not far from where 12. The students wear the same uniforms, Only three students were in a social Interstate 220 now crosses Medgar Evers study the same detailed lesson objectives, studies class. All three were black boys.

Chained to the Railing Williams sat for hours as an 8th grader handcuffed to the railing in the gym-auditorium. This is the same space St. Joseph

alums dance at their reunions. Opposite but when she got to the school she wasn’t from a stage are tall gym bleachers. Right in allowed to go to him. The officer uncuffed the middle of the bleacher section are four the boy and brought him to the office to his steps leading down to an exit door. mother. She immediately saw bruises and The paint on scratches on his wrist the metal railings that he didn’t have along these few steps when he left for school is chipped in places. that morning. This is where school Yet another time, s pushback against police handcuffed and a different 15-yearzero-tolerance discileft many other stuold boy was dancing pline increases, what dents unattended for and rapping in his hours at different times classroom. A school are the alternatives? over the years. The official came in the • Peer mediation Southern Poverty Law room and told him • Case-by-case decisions Center is suing JPS on to stop. The boy • Decreased police presbehalf of students who stopped. “Boy, you ence in schools came forward with eelook like you got an • Better training for rily similar stories. Wilattitude,” the school liams, however, is not official allegedly said, teachers, administrators involved with the suit. then sent the student • Smaller class sizes The students’ to the office. Two • More parental involveallegations are stunschool security guards ment with students ning. They claim in took the boy to the • More community volunthe SPLC suit that gym and handcuffed teers in schools school officers handhim to the stair railcuffed them to the ing. The cuffs left • Less stringent dress metal railing for not marks on his wrists. codes for students wearing a belt or for Capital City Alter• Defined expectations talking sass to a teachnative School officials and consequences er. Some say they did not discuss alle• Creative outlets to allow were forced to eat gations that security children to express fruswhile handcuffed or officers handcuffed not allowed to go to students and left them tration and emotions the bathroom. They alone for hours. This is allege they were left because The Southern alone for hours. Poverty Law Center filed a class-action lawA 14-year-old boy, who wore a stock- suit in federal court June 8, claiming that ing cap to class, supposedly threw his pa- JPS unconstitutionally punished students pers on the ground and refused to do his for minor offenses. schoolwork. When school police left him JPS attorneys released a statement earcuffed to the railing, he yelled out because lier this year about the suit, saying the dishe had to go to the bathroom. The school trict would respond in an appropriate mansafety officer refused to let him go. When ner. “JPS is totally and fully committed to the cuffs came off at the end of the school providing a safe learning environment for day, they left marks on his wrists. The 14- all of its students.” year-old showed this to a school official, Williams is not part of this lawsuit, but who didn’t get him medical attention. He he did appear before the JPS School Board got similar punishments repeatedly for in June. He had signed petitions asking the wearing mismatched shoelaces and not district to stop handcuffing students. bringing back paperwork. The district admitted in court papers One morning, a 15-year-old girl loud- that officers cuffed students to the railing. ly called out the name of a friend in the hall On Jan. 5, the SPLC sent out a news reto get her attention. A “campus enforce- lease stating that it has asked a federal court ment officer” told her to “shut up.” She to force JPS to turn over key documents talked back. “Who are you talking to? I ain’t describing the school system’s practice of your child,” she said. The officer walked the handcuffing alternative school students to girl down the hall and handcuffed her to a pole for hours at a time as punishment for the railing. minor infractions. Another time, a 14-year-old boy reSPLC says the school district has failed fused to take off his shoes during a routine to produce a single document from the search at the start of the day. The boy didn’t handcuffing incidents. want to do it and went to class upset. A “Jackson Public School officials have school safety officer came to the boy’s class created a prison-like environment for aland dragged him by his belt to the gym. ternative-school students by chaining them The officer handcuffed his arm and leg and to poles and railings for minor, non-crimishackled the handcuffs to the pole. The boy nal violations of school rules,” said Vansaid it was too tight. The officer didn’t loosen essa Carroll, lead attorney on the case for the cuffs. A school official called his mom, the SPLC, said in a statement. “Members

What Works?


of JPS staff and administration have testified that these documents exist, and we simply want the district to turn over this critical information.” School officials couldn’t discuss the suit, but they did want to discuss what is changing at Capital City. In January, the school planned to start using a new software program that assesses student attitudes toward their individual infractions, consequences and interventions. Capital City also has bullying focus groups. Students with emotional or mental-health issues are a challenge for any professional. The school district develops an individual education plan for each child in special ed (referred to in JPS as exceptional education) and seriously considers if a emotional or psychological disability causes misbehavior. This spring semester and this summer, JPS plans more new programs related to the alternative school, Van Every said. One is called “Why Try,” a violence-prevention program for secondary-school students. JPS will hold training and certification classes for Campus Enforcement Officers. Van Every said for adults who work with students, the district will also have phase II training through the Crisis Prevention Institute that teaches enhanced verbal skills and de-escalating angry individuals. The staff already gets training now on how to calm a child, how to come across as helpful and not threatening. Van Every explained it as constantly diffusing a conflict. JPS officials say the security-resources officers—the official name for the uniformed school police—are not there to haul students off to jail. The intention is for these law-enforcement professionals to teach crime prevention, law-related classes and general lessons with the message, “Stay out of trouble.” JPS sees Capital City as a safe place without distractions. But the administrators recognize that negative influences remain in the child’s community. “What people tend to believe is these are bad children,” Cheryl Lee, a social worker at Capital City, said. She shook her head at the generalization. “They’ve made bad choices.” Many students leave the alternative school and go on to succeed in life. Some have become hairdressers, mechanics, teachers and nurses. “What people don’t understand is that a child could have been defending himself,” Van Every said. “Children get sucked into situations with a group. They make bad choices. It’s part of growing up.” JPS officials cringe at the “cradle-topipeline” label. They think it’s unfair and inaccurate. They see the alternative school as a way to help children succeed. “This is a school. We support them.,

They watched a video on a Promethean Board, a chalkboard-sized smart board, about the conditions early English settlers encountered on a ship headed to Jamestown in colonial Virginia. Back in the hallway, Harris explained that each classroom had five to nine computers for students. Peeking into a science class, she stressed the classes followed the same routine every day. She was irritated that one young teenage boy had his head on his desk and seemed to be asleep. Capital City has the same academic objectives for each class, Harris said. This isn’t a generic comment, it’s a specific reference to the detailed curriculum outline schools must adhere to. In an exceptional education class, one student sat with his textbook open as two teachers hovered, one talking about the Panama Canal. In a high school biology class, a teacher pointed to a formula on her whiteboard. “How many atoms of sodium do I have?” she asked as her marker touched the notation NaClO3. The students will take the state biology test all students in Mississippi have to pass. In Ms. Cunningham’s social-sciences class, the lesson objective on the board stated, “Cite and analyze evidence of the political, economic and social changes in the U.S. that expanded democracy for minority and immigrant groups.” In a nearby language-arts classroom, directions on the board were specific. “Define and give an example: oxymoron, idiom, hyperbole, imagery.” Harris explained this is a bell-ringer, a written activity students know to tackle as soon as class begins. Each class has a different bell-ringer every day. The alternative school also has a courtyard with 12 square, raised garden beds. It has a leftover Catholic chapel that’s been used for different functions, but this year is mainly empty. The cafeteria is cheery with student art. A gym doubles as a auditorium with a stage. Harris bragged about students who did well at the reading fair, won essay contests or placed at the science fair. Capital City has three full-time social workers, one school counselor, eight campus enforcement officers, one Crisis Prevention Institute trainer and two parttime, contractual mental-health therapists. School officials understand that parents work and might have transportation problems, so they try to find times when families can come in to discuss a student’s academic and social needs. “A lot of students want to be here,” Harris said. “They get one-on-one attention. At their home school, they can get lost in the shuffle of a regular classroom.”

PUSHING, see page 18


Pushing Kids Out

from page 17

All behaviors have consequences,” Lee ter did with her disability. Her needs were said. “They were sent here for infractions. perhaps more obvious. We didn’t go out recruiting. This is not “Here’s a child with a visual handicap, the pipeline.” something you can see,” he said. Williams’ “We do have parents that support disability wasn’t as easily defined. us,” Harris said. Two students at Capital “Schools tend to push out children City now are there because their parents with emotional handicaps.” requested it, she said. “Our children come Williams and his mom said teachhere disgruntled. After they get acclimated, ers and administrators at Wingfield High attitudes change.” School definitely tried to push him out Besides the alof school. He reternative school, JPS members when he houses its JROTC adwas in 10th grade a ministrative offices at teacher telling him, Capital City, as well “Don’t come back to 2009 Justice Policy Institute as its GED program. my class.” report found that criminalJPS middle schools “So, I didn’t,” Wilizing children can be costly. alternate using the liams said, matter“Zero tolerance policies and campus football stadiof-factly. Of course, more police in schools—polium for home games. he got in trouble for cies intended to reduce school St. Joseph’s alumni skipping. It was a violence—have also increased still use the gym-audino-win scenario. He the likelihood that an incident torium for homecomdid spend time copythat previously would have been ing reunions. ing down dictionary handled informally or by the “We have a lot pages verbatim durschool now results in arrest. This of people coming and ing in-school suspencontributes to the clogging of an going,” Harris said. sion. That was not already overburdened juvenile “It’s not a prison his idea. Recalling justice system.” out here.” the incident when a States spent about $5.7 bilteacher accused him lion in 2007 to imprison 64,558 Ground Zero of stealing her earyouth committed to residential Betty Turner has phones, he still is infacilities, the report states. a different view. She dignant about the inIn Mississippi during 2007, wiped down her kitchsult. “Teachers went 219 youth were incarcerated at en counter after slipin my pants,” he said. a cost of $426.51 a day each, or ping two pecan pies in “My money went on $93,405.69 a day for all of them. the oven. She works the floor.” Two teachThat comes to more than $34 as a safety ambassaers searched him but million Mississippi spent that dor for Downtown didn’t find the missyear to incarcerate kids. Jackson Partners, and ing earphones. this day was a stressHis mom filed a ful one. Plus, she still complaint. She did had dinner to make and a kitchen to clean that a lot during his school years. The prinafterward. She beamed, though, when she cipal didn’t listen to her in this instance, showed off a framed picture of her 18- Turner said. year-old daughter, Kantrisha. The girl is One of the times that the school in 12th grade at Mississippi School for the suspended Williams, she made a special Deaf and Blind and is concurrently taking point to make sure she brought him back two classes at Hinds Community College. to school on the 29th of the month, the Turner is proud. Her oldest child is an engi- day stipulated for his return on the official neer in the Navy, and a picture of him in his form. She got a call from the school before dress-white uniform has a prominent space too long. on the wall. “If you don’t come get him, he will be Turner is Drod Williams’ mother, too. arrested and sent to the detention center,” It has irritated her on end for years that JPS the school official on the line told her. “He couldn’t help her son, whom she suspects can’t come back until the 30th.” suffered from Attention Deficit HyperacTurner tried to talk to the principal tivity Disorder when he was younger. He about the paperwork she had. “The prinhad problems sitting still and being quiet. cipal wouldn’t listen. He called me stupid,” She’s not at all happy that the school dis- she said. trict did nothing to help Williams prepare “I see why your son acts so stupid, for the military, and even did things that because he get it from his mother” is what made it harder for him to enlist. Turner says the principal told her. “It puts me back at ground zero,” “I lost it,” Turner recalled. She gave Turner says. him her opinion, but later had to apologize Jed Oppenheim, the senior advocate in writing to get her son back in school. for the Southern Poverty Law Center in The principal still has not offered any reMississippi, is familiar with the family’s grets for his insult. ordeal. He thinks Williams should have PUSHING, see page 20 gotten the same attention his younger sis-

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Pushing Kids Out from page 20


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Zero Tolerance JPS has a code of conduct that outlines specific behaviors the school district will not tolerate. Six classes of infractions outline misbehavior and possible consequences. It now includes the “expectations” language that Oppenheim says is a vast improvement over the rigid class violations. Much is still left to the principal’s discretion, he says. “The matrix has loopholes,” he says. If a principal decides a student is being disrespectful, he can classify the infraction as a serious violation or not. “Being late for class or talking back could include disrespect,” Oppenheim said. It’s not unusual for students to behave like that, and discipline is required. But ever since the drug wars of the 1980s and the school shootings of the 1990s, politicians decided our children and teenagers were our enemies. The school shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado and Pearl High School closer to home (and other schools) began a spree of laws and a general fear of our offspring. Most of the school shootings happened in suburban, white communities. Yet, as Oppenheim notes, it was the black and Hispanic kids in low-income areas who got the backlash of suspicion from adults. White kids also started getting suspended more. The strict policies were bad for all kids, but harsher for kids of color. “Zero tolerance used to be just about drugs and guns,” Oppenheim said. “Zerotolerance polices are an overexertion of security measures. It’s zero tolerance for kids to act their age.” The disparity in schools is huge. Many students go to class fearfully in an prisonlike atmosphere. Oppenheim said fear itself can lead to even more behavior problems. “If I front you, you will front me back,” he said, sticking his chest out. “Schools are more surveillanced than any other part of the city,” he added. Russell Skiba, the Indiana researcher who has studied disparity in such school policies, links the popularity of school zerotolerance stances to a U.S. Navy decision

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A Problem with Curfews for Kids


enry A. Giroux, a Pennsylvania State University researcher, says cities that enforce curfews and loitering bans might keep kids off the streets, but they also criminalize their behavior. “Zero-tolerance policies have been especially cruel in the treatment of juvenile offenders,” Giroux wrote in a 2003 paper, “Racial Injustice and Disposable Youth in the Age of Zero Tolerance.”

in 1983 to crack down on drug abusers in its ranks. 1983 was the same year the famous report, “A Nation at Risk,” described the poor state of public education in the United States. Three years later, Congress passed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act. William Bennett, who was President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of education and President George H.W. Bush’s drug czar, asked Congress in May 1986 to withhold federal funding from schools unless they had zero-tolerance policies for drugs. He got little support, but more than one congressman liked the underlying message. “We have to quit being bleeding hearts for every kid who is rotten to the core,” Florida Rep. E. Clay Shaw said at the time. In 1989, school districts in California, New York and Kentucky adopted zero-tolerance expulsion policies. The Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994 under President Bill Clinton’s watch tied enforcement of school policies to federal funding, causing state Legislatures to require local school districts to implement zero tolerance regarding firearms, bombs or anything that might be considered a weapon. The Gun-Free Schools Act did nothing to prevent five mass shootings at rural PUSHING, see page 24

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Pushing Kids Out


from page 20

South of Walmart in Madison


and suburban schools in 1997 and 1998. The shootings were all within eight months of each other. The act also did not prevent the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold

Listings for Fri. Jan. 20- Thurs. Jan. 25 2011

Red Tails


3-D Underworld: Awakening R Haywire


The Artist


3-D Hugo


3-D Beauty And The Beast G Beauty And The Beast (non 3-D) G Joyful Noise PG13 Contraband


The Devil Inside R

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy War Horse

R PG13

We Bought A Zoo PG Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol PG13 Girl With The Dragon Tattoo


Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close PG13

began a decade of high-stakes accountability that tied the jobs of education administrators and teachers to the performance of scared children. “In fact, the problem in most cases is not the student, but, rather, the adults who react inappropriately to


Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows PG13 Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked


The Descendants R

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

Drodriquez Williams wants to join the U.S. Navy but first has to accumulate 15 college credits.The Navy won’t enlist him with only his occupational certificate from JPS.

Movieline: 355-9311 killed 12 of their schoolmates and one teacher, then killed themselves. In 2000, a Michigan boy killed his 6-year-old classmate with a gun. Knee-jerk reactions kicked into play all over the nation. Even as more schools enacted tougher policies to criminalize any dress-code violation or any type of disrespect, school violence actually had already started decreasing. While the school shootings of the late 1990s happened in white communities in white-on-white scenarios, it was black kids and other minorities politicians labeled as thugs or “super-predators,” to use Bennett’s phrase of choice. When predominantly white schools started searching students and implementing harsher discipline policies, they were only doing what had already been happening in minority and poor public schools for decades. Suddenly, school discipline was getting harsher for all kids. In 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act

youthful behavior,” the report stated. The U.S. Department of Education projected almost 250,000 more students were suspended in the 2006-2007 school year than in 2002, the year NCLB became law. The number of expulsions during the same time rose 15 percent, even as youth violence had dropped dramatically since the crack epidemic of the mid-1980s and the school shootings of the next decade. “The message sent by zero-tolerance policies is that education is not for everyone; rather, it is for those students who ‘deserve’ it,” the report stated. It also notes the rise of school police departments and officers on campus: “Schools have become a growth industry for law enforcement, as there has been a massive increase in the police and security presence in schools.” The report discusses the suspensions for disrespecting authority, which usually just meant questioning a teacher. After the election of President Obama in November

2008, a school official paddled a black student in Calhoun City, Miss., for repeating the campaign slogan, “Yes We Can.” In Pearl River County, Miss., school officials suspended a black student for two days for saying the president’s name during lunch. “The inescapable message is that schools and the police see even very young children as threats, as being unworthy of tolerance and understanding, or both,” the Advancement Project report stated. Real-World Cynicism Williams has had some real-world lessons that leave him a little cynical. “Police ask you questions. If you answer, they tell you to shut up,” he said. He thinks he grew out of his ADHD or whatever kept him fidgeting and bugging impatient teachers. “I did talk a lot,” he admits. Williams doesn’t think all his teachers are bad people. He remembers a counselor who helped him. He has fond memories of his Whitten Middle School science teacher who encouraged him to enter the homemade barometer project in the fair. “Ms. Allen, she pushed me. We also had a cool principal, Mr. Greer,” Williams said. He grins as he remembers. His smile widens as the subject changes to his plans for a weekend date. “I’m going to be with my girlfriend. We are going to the reservoir.” His plans to join the Navy got pushed back, but he still intends to enlist. Williams is taking classes at Hinds Community College this year to make it happen. If he has at least 15 college credits, the military will accept that in lieu of a high school diploma. He has to meet other qualifications, such as weight, no drug use and no criminal record. His mom is helping him clear his name on some of the old school-related charges. Williams and his mom say JPS should have put him on a diploma-granting path in junior high instead of assuming he was a lost cause. If that had happened, he would have joined the military a year ago. He sits back in a dining-room chair when an oven timer rings. His mom’s pecan pies are done. He’s a forward-looking young man, but he hasn’t forgotten how zero-tolerance policies deferred his plans. “Yeah,” he says, shaking his head, “they pushed me out.”

January 18 - 24, 2012

IDEA Doesn’t Stop Discipline



he Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) outlines how schools can discipline students with disabilities. Candace Cortiella, director of the nonprofit The Advocacy Institute, writes on the website Great Schools ( that schools can suspend or expel disabled students for conduct violations, but IDEA provides additional procedures. Schools can make case-by-case basis decisions about discipline. “This provision provides flexibility for school person-

nel who are often operating within a district’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy,” Cortiella writes. She encourages parents to understand the school’s code of conduct and to be the student’s strongest advocate. Just because a child has an individual education plan, or IEP in education jargon, doesn’t mean she won’t get the same punishments as students without the specialized plan. IEP students can get inschool suspension, out of school suspension, or they can be sent to an alternative school.

FILM p 26 | 8 DAYS p 27 | MUSIC p 29 | SPORTS p 32

Jewish Film Fest: Best of the Best

by Valerie Wells



ichael Steiner screened about three dozen films for the upcoming Jewish Cinema Mississippi 2012 film festival. As co-chairman of the January event, he and the other screening committee members narrowed that batch of 30-something movies down to four that they consider to be the best in recent Jewish and Israeli-themed cinema. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve all come out in the past two years and done well at festivals,â&#x20AC;? Steiner said of the choices. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the 10th year that the Jewish community in Jackson has put on a film festival. The event has changed in significant ways. In previous years, the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life sponsored the Jackson Jewish Film Festival, as did Beth Israel Congregation and the Jewish Culture Organization at Millsaps College. This is the first year that Beth Israel and the JCO are holding a film festival independent from ISJL. (ISJL holds several regional film events each year.) Also, past festivals were at Millsaps, but this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s festival will show 35 mm films at Malco Theater in Madison. Film Schedule â&#x20AC;&#x153;Malco approached us,â&#x20AC;? Steiner said. Âą4HE-ATCHMAKER² â&#x20AC;&#x153;We interpret that as recognition we had SP:HGQHVGD\-DQ come of age. It could expand the base of people we appeal to.â&#x20AC;? Âą"ROTHERS² Steiner said the high-quality films are SP7KXUVGD\-DQ more about the similarities between people. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It will spur discussion,â&#x20AC;? he said. Âą!-ATTEROF3IZE² Jewish Cinema Mississippi 2012 is Jan. 25 SP6DWXUGD\-DQ though Jan. 29. All shows are at Malco Grandview Âą*EWS"ASEBALL² Theater (221 Grandview Blvd., Madison). Tickets SP6XQGD\-DQ for each film are $10 and a festival pass is $35. Buy tickets at the door or at


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jews & Baseballâ&#x20AC;?



â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Matter of Sizeâ&#x20AC;? PM 3ATURDAY *AN



â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Matchmakerâ&#x20AC;? PM 7EDNESDAY *AN





by Anita Modak-Truran

Walking the Thin Purple Line COURTESY SONY CLASSICS

to the acting. The actors control the momentum, and dialogue creates the drama. Foster, Reilly, Winslet and Waltz, all of whom are spectacular in this movie, find some inner reality to make their characters more than stick-figure representations in a discourse comparing civility to savagery. These actors walk within the space of a thin purple Two sets of parents attempt to resolve an altercation between line, where red for emotheir sons in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Carnage.â&#x20AC;? tion and blue for technical skill converge. (I arnage,â&#x20AC;? based on the Tony award- learned this purple-line theory from my son, winning play â&#x20AC;&#x153;God of Carnageâ&#x20AC;? who attended the Yale Acting Conservatory, (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Le Dieu du Carnageâ&#x20AC;?) by French but I have never seen the theory more evident dramatist Yasmina Rez, explores and adeptly done than in this film.) civility, savagery and vomiting on art books. Every character spontaneously shifts in The movie opens without drama on a long, tone and energy, and, when they combine, static shot of a local park where a group of the movie is a masterful symphony of hu11-year-old boys are playing. One boy says man emotion, desire and satire. No one actor something (which we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hear) to another, steals the show. Rather, they move in and out and the other boy lashes out at him with a of focus. For instance, Penelope and Michael stick. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an ordinary stick, one you could find serve the Cowans a cobbler. Penelope gushes in any park, and the childish act is nothing ex- about her clever recipe, combining pears and traordinary. It has occurred countless times in apples. Alan eats heaps of the cobbler, but it is countless parks around the world. Nancy who vomits on the precious art books The boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Penelope and Mi- in the living room. The scene, like the movie, chael Longstreet (Jodie Foster and John C. is give and take. Perspective gets lost, truth is Reilly) and Nancy and Alan Cowan (Kate acknowledged (â&#x20AC;&#x153;life with mediocrityâ&#x20AC;?), cover Winslet and Christoph Waltz)â&#x20AC;&#x201D;meet to dis- up begins and alliances shift and change, uncuss the situation. Penelope (aka Darjeeling, til everything is blown out of proportion and a pet name from a honeymoon in India) re- your guts hurt from laughing so hard. quested the reconciliation session. The Longâ&#x20AC;&#x153;Carnageâ&#x20AC;? is a delightful war of words, a streetsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; son, Ethan (Eliot Berger), lost a tooth brutal carnage of civility and one of the funniand may lose another, but they wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know for est films I have seen in ages. sure until he is grown up. Like a good, responsible parent, Nancy bleats a series of apologies for the actions of her 10 Things About â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Nautilusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; son, Zachary (Elvis Polanski). Her husband, DXUHO,VELVWHU,UE\UHOHDVHVKHUVRSKRPRUH Alan, chimes in now and then, but he wears a DOEXPÂł1DXWLOXV´-DQDW7KH&RPPRQVDW snide smile of amusement. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lawyer, and (XGRUD:HOW\ÂśV%LUWKSODFH 1&RQJUHVV6W 7KH &'UHOHDVHSDUW\ZLOOIHDWXUHDFROODERUDWLRQRIDUW nothing gets past his bull-crap detector. He KDSSHQLQJVLQFOXGLQJOLYHPXVLFDQGLPSURYLVDWLRQ knows that the Longstreets are not as noble DOGDQFLQJ7KHHYHQWLVIUHHDQGWKH&'LV as they present themselves to be, and he jibs ,VELVWHU,UE\KDVSOD\HGJXLWDUVLQFHVKH ZDV\HDUVROG and jabs at them at opportune moments. As Âł1DXWLOXV´LQFOXGHVJXHVWSHUIRUPDQFHV the day wears on, these middle-class parents IURPYRFDOLVWV5KRQGD5LFKPRQGDQG peel off the gloves of civility and throw verbal 1DWDOLH/RQJ knuckle blows at each other. The filmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ending 7KHÂł1DXWLOXV´&'UHOHDVHSDUW\ZLOO IHDWXUHDUWIURP7RQ\'DYHQSRUW-HVVLFD is clever, but the vomit on Penelopeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beloved 5XVVHOO(OOHQ/DQJIRUGDQGRWKHUV art books is the icing on the proverbial cake. Âł1DXWLOXV´LV,VELVWHU,UE\ÂśVVHFRQGIXOO Roman Polanski (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Repulsion,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;RoseOHQJWKDOEXP ,Q,VELVWHU,UE\UHOHDVHGDQ(3RID maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Baby,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chinatown,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tess,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;The FDSHOODVRQJVFDOOHGÂł'HPLWDVVH´ Pianistâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Death and the Maidenâ&#x20AC;?) directs 7KHWLWOHWUDFNRIÂł1DXWLOXV´UHIHUVWRD this decadently arrogant, but absurdly funny VDFUHGVKHOWHURUKRPH satire on parenting. In fact, the movie is a fam$QDXWLOXVLVDW\SHRIFHSKDORSRGZLWK DVSLUDOVKHOODQGVKRUWWHQWDFOHVDURXQG ily affair. Polanskiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s son, Elvis, plays Zachary, WKHPRXWK the boy with the stick, and Polanski himself ,VELVWHU,UE\UHOHDVHGWUDFNVÂł1DXWLOXV´ peeks in as the voyeur neighbor. Âł*ROG´DQGÂł-DFNVRQ´HDUO\IRUDUWLVWVWR ÂżQGRUFUHDWHZRUNZLWKVLPLODUWKHPHV As director, Polanski treats the material ,VELVWHU,UE\DOVRSHUIRUPVZLWKWKHDFRXV with patience. He doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t rush, letting it flow WLFURFNWULR/D]\-DQH with seeming spontaneity. The result is a fluid 7KHQDPHRIHDFKVRQJRQÂł1DXWLOXV´LVD invitation into a verbal slaughter. ZRUGLQDKDLNXWKDW,VELVWHU,UE\ZURWH ²%ULDQD5RELQVRQ Quite rightly, given the nature of the material, the camera and editing take a back seat


LUNCH BUNCH LUNCH When: Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 Time: 11:30 am

January 18 - 24, 2012

Where: Jackson Medical Mall Community Room


Reserve a $5 lunch by calling 601.969.6015 ext 301 or e-mail Founding Chapter, Parents for Public Schools, 1989 200 N. Congress, Suite 500, Jackson, MS 39201


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

BEST BETS January 18 - 25, 2012 by Latasha Willis Fax: 601-510-9019 Daily updates at


Author Mary Lucas 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. … Victoria Christopher Murray and Reshonda Tate Billingsley sign copies of the book “Sinners and Saints” at 6 p.m. at Books and Beignets Bookstore (Northpark Mall, 1200 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland). $15 for the book; email svvybooks@ … Eat Jackson’s Bread Pudding Throwdown is at 7 p.m. at Old Capitol Inn (226 N. State St.). Proceeds benefit the Craig Noone “Rock It Out” Memorial Scholarship Fund. $40; visit … The musical “Spamalot” is at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall. $25-$62.50; call 601-9811847. … Dreamz JXN hosts Wasted Wednesday. … Scott Chism and the Better Half play at Hal & Mal’s.


The National Migration Festival kicks off at noon at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, Sparkman Auditorium (1150 Lakeland Drive). The beer tasting is from 5-9 p.m. Proceeds benefit Catholic Charities. Free until 5 p.m., $10 after; call 601-948-2635. … The Detectives Mystery Dinner Theatre presents “Fed Up” at 7 p.m. at Parker House. $46; call 601-291-7444. … The Monster X Tour at the Mississippi Coliseum includes a Pit Party at 6 p.m., and monster truck, motorcycle and dirt bike stunts at 7:30 p.m.; encore show Jan. 21. $15, $5 ages 3-12, under 3 free, $25 reserved, $5 Pit Party pass; call 800-745-3000. … The play “Forever Plaid” debuts at 7:30 p.m. at Parkside Playhouse (101 Iowa Blvd., Vicksburg) and runs through Jan. 29. $12, $10 seniors, $7 students, $5 children 12 and under; call 601-636-0471. … Barry Leach is at Kathryn’s. … Cadillac Funk plays at Martin’s. … Richie and the Swamp Babies perform at Ole Tavern. … The Lucky Hand Blues Band is at Burgers and Blues.


The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi’s Super Conference is at 8 a.m. at the Marriott Hotel (200 E. Amite St.). $25, $40 for two, $10 children 12 and under; call 601-957-7878 or 877-DFM-CURE to register. … The Dismantling the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline Statewide Summit begins at 9 a.m. at the Mississippi e-Center at Jackson State University (1230 Raymond Road). Free; call 601-321-1966, ext. 107. … The Metropolitan Opera presents a simulcast of the opera “The Enchanted Island” at 11:55 a.m. at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). $22, $20 seniors, $15 children; call 601936-5856. … Lucky Town Brewing’s monthly Be Bold Beer Run is in downtown Jackson and starts at Hal & Mal’s. Free, drink prices vary; call 262-391-9265. … Laurel Isbister Irby’s “Nautilus” CD Release Party is at 6 p.m. at The Commons at Eudora Welty’s Birthplace. Free, $10 CD; call 601-5401267. … Martini Room hosts Soulful Saturday at 6 p.m. … Nameless Open-mic is at 9 p.m. at Suite 106. $5 admission, $3 to perform; call 601-720-4640. … Buie, Hamman and Porter perform at McB’s. … The Juvenators play at Underground 119. … Zeebo is at Ole Tavern. Jesse Robinson (pictured) and Friends perform Tuesdays at Underground 119.

Amazin’ Lazy Boi performs at F. Jones Corner during lunch and at midnight. … The art reception for Talamieka and Charles Brice is at 4 p.m. at High Noon Café (Rainbow Plaza, 2807 Old Canton Road); exhibit hangs through Jan. 31. Free; call 601-790-0259. … Re-enactor Bill Patrick and vocalist Lester Senter Wilson present “An Evening with General Andrew Jackson” at 6 p.m. at the Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). $25; call 601-576-6855. … Dreamz JXN hosts Centric Thursday. … NAMI Mississippi shows the film “Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia” at 7 p.m. at Ridgecrest Baptist Church (7469 Old Canton Road, Madison), room 105. Free; call 601-899-9058. … Ole Tavern, Martin’s and Club Magoo’s host Ladies Night.

Howard Jones Jazz performs during the 11 a.m. brunch at the King Edward Hotel. … Art House Cinema Downtown at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.) includes the films “Cendrillon” at 2 p.m. ($16) and “Melancholia” at 5 p.m. ($7). Visit … Chocolate Soul Sunday at Soul Wired Cafe is at 8 p.m., and includes music and spoken word performances. Ladies get chocolate-covered strawberries. $5 cover, $2 beers, free mixed drinks. … Acoustic Crossroads plays at Burgers and Blues.


Richard McKey and Casey Parson’s art exhibit at the Mississippi Library Commission (3881 Eastwood Drive) is up through Feb. 27. Free; call 601-432-4056. … The Central Mississippi Blues Society Jam is at 7 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s. $5. … Martin’s hosts the Open-mic Free Jam.


The play “Lombardi” debuts at 7:30 p.m. at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.); runs through Feb. 5. $25, $22 seniors and students; call 601-948-3533, ext. 222. … Shelby Lynne and Grayson Caps perform at 8 p.m. at Duling Hall. $28.50 in advance, $33.50 at the door; call 601-353-0603 or 800-745-3000. … Jesse Robinson and Friends play at Underground 119.


Author Peggy Prenshaw 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. … Jewish Cinema Mississippi kicks off at 7:15 p.m. at Malco Grandview Theatre (221 Grandview Blvd., Madison); runs through Jan. 29. $10, $5 students, $35 festival pass; visit More at and

Shelby Lynne (pictured) and Grayson Capps give a concert at Duling Hall Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. COURTESY PENNY KEMP





jfpevents JFP-SPONSORED EVENTS Mississippi HeARTS Against AIDS Benefit Feb. 11, 6 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St.). The benefit includes live and silent art auctions, music and local cuisine. $30 in advance, $35 at the door; call 601-750-5883. Ignite the Night Gala Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m., at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive). The adults-only event features themed food in each gallery, cocktails and child-like activities. $100; call 601-981-5469 or 877-793-KIDS. Yoga for Non-violence - 108 Sun Salutations Feb. 18, 9 a.m., at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). All levels of ability and endurance are welcome to participate in the yoga mala. Free sun salutation classes given at Butterfly Yoga, Joyflow Yoga, StudiOm Yoga and Matworks. Proceeds benefit the Center for Violence Prevention. $25, donations welcome; call 601-500-0337 or 601-932-4198.

COMMUNITY “History Is Lunch” Jan. 18, noon, at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Author Mary Lucas talks about her memoir, “809 Rubush: Memories of Growing Up in Meridian, Mississippi, 1932-1947.” Bring lunch; coffee and water provided. Free; call 601-576-6998. Precinct 3 COPS Meeting Jan. 19, 6 p.m., at Jackson Police Department, Precinct 3 (3925 W. Northside Drive). These monthly forums are designed to help resolve community issues or problems, from crime to potholes. Call 601-960-0003. Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi’s Super Conference Jan. 21-23, at Marriott Hotel (200 E. Amite St.). The patient education event is for individuals with diabetes and their family, friends and health-care providers. Group discounts are available. Lunch included; space limited. $25, $40 for two, $10 children 12 and under; call 601-957-7878 or 877-DFM-CURE.

January 18 - 24, 2012

WELLNESS Events at Joyflow Yoga (Trace Harbour Village, 7048 Old Canton Road). Call 601-613-4317. • Gentle Therapeutic Six-week Series Jan. 19Feb. 23, Attendees with injuries or joint problems learn modified yoga poses Thursdays from 5:457 p.m. Limit of six participants. $120. • Partner Yoga Jan. 21, 5 p.m., at Joyflow Yoga (Trace Harbour Village, 7048 Old Canton Road). Beginner and experienced couples are welcome. Space limited. $35. Events at Baptist Medical Center (1225 N. State St.). Call 601-948-6262 or 800-948-6262. • Can I Skip My Pap Smear? Jan. 24, 11:45 a.m. Dr. James Moore discusses gynecologic cancer risks, screening, prevention and treatment. Registration required. Free, $5 optional lunch. • Heart Day Registration through Jan. 31, at the Cardiovascular Center. Register for the Feb. 4 cardiovascular screenings from 7-11 a.m. that include an EKG, blood work and a BMI calculation. For ages 18 and up. $25. Running 201: Spring 2012 Half and Full Marathon Informational Meeting Jan. 19, 7 p.m., at Fleet Feet Sports (Trace Station, 500 Highway 51 N., Ridgeland). Learn about upcoming training programs for the New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon and the Country Music Nashville Marathon and Half Marathon. Free meeting; call 601-899-9696. “Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia” Film Screening Jan. 19, 7 p.m., at Ridgecrest Baptist Church (7469 Old Canton Road, Madison), in room 105. NAMI Mississippi shows the documentary about a woman who reconnects with her father, a sufferer of schizophrenia. Free; call 601-899-9058.

Dismantling the Cradle to Prison Pipeline Statewide Summit Jan. 21, 9 a.m., at Mississippi eCenter at Jackson State University (1230 Raymond Road). The Children’s Defense Fund Southern Regional Office hosts; the event includes youth and adult workshops. Free; call 601-321-1966, ext. 107.

Marathon Makeover Informational Meeting Jan. 21, 10 a.m., at First Baptist Church of Ridgeland (302 W. Jackson St., Ridgeland). Learn about the program that trains walkers and runners for a marathon or half marathon. All fitness levels welcome. Free meeting, $399.95 program; call 888647-8278, ext. 804.

Zoo Connections Teacher Workshop Jan. 21, 9 a.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). Teachers for grades 3-5 learn how to incorporate a visit to the zoo into a curriculum. Bring lunch. $15, $5 for 0.5 CEU credits optional; call 601-3522580, ext. 241.

NAMI Basics Education Program Jan. 24Feb. 28, at NAMI Mississippi (411 Briarwood Drive, Suite 401). The six-week program is for parents and caregivers of youth with mental illness. Sessions are Tuesdays from 6:30-8 p.m. Pre-registration required. Free; call 601-899-9058 or 800-357-0388.

Governor’s Inaugural Parade Jan. 21, 11 a.m., at Mississippi State Fairgrounds (1207 Mississippi St.). The parade is in honor of Gov. Phil Bryant. Free; visit


Be Bold Beer Run Jan. 21, 4 p.m., in downtown Jackson. Lucky Town Brewing Company and the Home Brewers Association of Middle Mississippi are the sponsors. Registration is at 4 p.m., and the run/walk is at 4:30 p.m. The race includes stops at designated restaurants for drinks. Free, drink prices vary; call 262-391-9265.


offers the service Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m.2 p.m. and 6 p.m.-9 p.m., and Saturday from 1-4 p.m. Income limits apply; call for details. Bring all necessary documents. Free; call 211.

Free Income Tax Return Preparation Jan. 23-24, at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.), at the College of Business, rooms 201 and 202. The Center for Business Development and Economic Research, and the Accounting Society offer the service from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Free; call 601-979-2029 or 601-979-2699.

“Spamalot” Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The musical is based on the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” $25$62.50; call 601-981-1847 or 800-745-3000. “Fed Up” Jan. 20, 7 p.m., at The Parker House (104 N.E. Madison Drive, Ridgeland). The Detectives Mystery Dinner Theatre presents the four-act interactive “whodunnit.” $46; call 601-291-7444. Little Operas for Children Jan. 20-21, at Belhaven University Center for the Arts Concert Hall (835 Riverside Drive). Vocal arts students present “The Toy Shop” Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 21 at 11 a.m., and “Little Red Riding Hood” Jan. 21 at 9:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Free; call 601-965-7026.

Jackson Audubon Society Chapter Meeting Jan. 24, 6:30 p.m., at Eudora Welty Library (300 N. State St.). Enjoy a meet-and-greet and the film “Ghost Bird.” Bring popcorn to share. Visitors welcome. Free; call 601-956-7444.

“Forever Plaid” Jan. 20-29, at Parkside Playhouse (101 Iowa Blvd., Vicksburg). The Vicksburg Theatre Guild presents the musical Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. $12, $10 seniors, $7 students, $5 children 12 and under; call 601-636-0471.

Free Tax Service through Apr 15, at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). United Way

Monster X Tour Jan. 20-21, at Mississippi Coliseum (1207 Mississippi St.). Watch monster truck,

BE THE CHANGE Eat Jackson’s Bread Pudding Throwdown Jan. 18, 7 p.m., at Old Capitol Inn (226 N. State St.). The event includes a bread pudding contest, a gourmet coffee tasting, a bourbon tasting and door prizes. Raphael Semmes performs. Proceeds benefit the Proceeds benefit the Craig Noone “Rock It Out” Memorial Scholarship Fund. $40; visit National Migration Festival Jan. 20, noon, at Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum (1150 Lakeland Drive), in the Sparkman Building. The event includes international food samples and performances from noon-5 p.m., and a beer tasting with live music from 5-9 p.m. Proceeds benefit Catholic Charities’ immigration clinic and unaccompanied refugee minor programs. Free until 5 p.m., $10 after; call 601-948-2635. motorcycle and dirt bike stunts. Shows are at 7:30 p.m., and the Pit Party is at 6 p.m. before each show. $15, $5 ages 3-12, under 3 free, $25 reserved, $5 Pit Party pass; call 800-745-3000. “The Enchanted Island” Jan. 21, 11:55 a.m., at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). The Metropolitan Opera presents the simulcast of Jeremy Sans’ opera. $22, $20 seniors, $15 children; call 601-936-5856. Nameless Open-mic Jan. 21, 9 p.m., at Suite 106 (106 Wilmington St.). Poets, singers, actors and comedians are welcome. $5 admission, $3 to perform; call 601-720-4640. Art House Cinema Downtown Jan. 22, 2 p.m., at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Films include “Cendrillon” at 2 p.m. ($16) and “Melancholia” at 5 p.m. ($7). Popcorn and beverages sold. Visit “Lombardi” Jan. 24-Feb. 5, at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). The play is based on David Maraniss’ biography “When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi.” Shows are Jan. 24-28 and Feb. 1-4 at 7:30 p.m., and Jan. 29 and Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. $25, $22 seniors and students; call 601-9483533, ext. 222.

MUSIC “Nautilus” CD Release Party Jan. 21, 6 p.m., at The Commons at Eudora Welty’s Birthplace (719 N. Congress St.). Laurel Isbister Irby celebrates her newest compilation with an art show, a concert and writers reading works based on songs from the album. Enjoy food from Lumpkin’s BBQ. Free, $10 CD; call 601-540-1267.

“Married to Sin: A Memoir” Jan. 21, 4 p.m., at Eudora Welty Library (300 N. State St.). Darlene D. Collier and Meredith McGee sign books. $12.62 book; call 601-706-4656 or 601-372-0229.

CREATIVE CLASSES Events at Viking Cooking School (Township at Colony Park, 1107 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). Call 601-898-8345. • Gluten-Free Gourmet Jan. 19, 9 a.m. Topics include working with gluten-free ingredients, making homemade pasta and baking bread. $69. • Tapas and Paella Class Jan. 24, 6 p.m. Topics include cooking shrimp, clams and mussels, making custard and caramelizing sugar. $99. Look and Learn with Hoot Jan. 20, 10 a.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). This educational opportunity for 4-5 year olds and their parents features a hands-on art activity and story time. Please dress for mess. Free; call 601-960-1515. Beginner Silversmith Class Jan. 21-22, 9:30 a.m.5 p.m., at B. Liles Studio (215 W. Jackson St., Ridgeland). Topics include safety, soldering and construction. Students make a pair of earring and a bracelet Jan. 21, and a ring with a bezel-set stone Jan. 22. Bring a sack lunch. Registration required. $125 per day ($75 deposit required), $35 materials fee per day; call 601-607-7741. “New Cool” Hip Hop Dance-a-thon 2012 Jan. 21, 12:30 p.m., at Courthouse Racquet and Fitness Club, Flowood (2625 Courthouse Circle, Flowood). Get moves, tips and tricks, and tap into an ongoing dance movement. $20; $10 per person in group of five or more; call 601-853-7480.

Shelby Lynne Jan. 24, 8 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). The Alabama native distinctively blends country, soul and rock. Grayson Capps also performs. Doors open at 7 p.m. $28.50 in advance, $33.50 at the door; call 601-353-0603 or 800-745-3000.

Visiting Artist Series Jan. 22, 1 p.m., at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive). Alexandra Wilkes of Alex and Lele gives 30-minute jewelry workshops for children ages 5-11 in the Inspirations Studio. Free with paid admission; call 601-981-5469 or 877-793-5437.

Gordon Lightfoot Jan. 25, 8 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The Canadian folk singer-songwriter is known for songs such as “Spin, Spin” and “Summer Side of Life.” $34-$49; call 800-745-3000.

Winter Community Enrichment Series, at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.). Most classes start the week of Jan. 23 and fall into categories such as art, health, gardening and personal development. Fees vary; call 601-974-1130.



Events at Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N.). Call 601-366-7619. • “Come In and Cover Me” Jan. 18, 5 p.m. Gin Phillips signs books; reading at 5:30 p.m. $26.95 book. • “Composing Selves: Southern Women and Autobiography” Jan. 19, 5 p.m. Peggy Prenshaw signs books; reading at 5:30 p.m. $45 book. • Lemuria Story Time Jan. 21, 11 a.m.. This week’s story is Yu Li-Qiong’s “A New Year’s Reunion.” Attendees also make Chinese New Year fans. “Sinners and Saints” Book Signing Jan. 18, 6 p.m., at Books and Beignets Bookstore (Northpark Mall, 1200 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland). Savvy Book Club hosts authors Victoria Christopher Murray and Reshonda Tate Billingsley. $15 book; email

Art Reception for Talamieka and Charles Brice Jan. 19, 4 p.m., at High Noon Cafe (2807 Old Canton Road). See paintings, photography, and graphic design pieces; hangs through Jan. 31. Free; call 601-790-0259. An Evening with General Andrew Jackson Jan. 19, 6 p.m., at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). General Andrew Jackson (Bill Patrick) talks about his life and works, and Mrs. Jackson (Lester Senter Wilson) performs period songs. A wine reception follows. $25; call 601-576-6855. 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.


Jayson Triplett performs as Ming Donkey One Man Band. His roots include a stint as a punk rocker.


ever in a hurry and always full of character, the Ming Donkey One Man Band mixes roots-music styles with a street artist’s sensibility. Ming Donkey is a persona of Starkville musician and visual artist Jayson Triplett. He performs with a “less is best” approach, accompanying his guitar playing and singing with rhythm from drums and cymbals he plays with his feet. Triplett has performed for 20 years, but started in a different musical sphere from Ming Donkey. A native of Louisville, Miss., Triplett got involved with the punk-rock music scene in Starkville while a student at Mississippi State in the early ’90s. Starkville’s relatively isolated location required Triplett and

The Key of G by Garrad Lee

Who are The Ruminants? The Ruminants are Jamie Weems on mandolin and guitar, Steve Smith on electric keys, Jarad Wilson on drums, and I play the saxophone. The Ruminants are a quirky free improvisation quartet. Each of us comes from very different backgrounds—folk-Mississippi traditional, pop, jazz-jam and experimental respectively—and we seek to allow these aspects of ourselves to mingle and merge without being too self-conscious about it. Our mission is to be in the moment as creative musicians. We play to the space, to the people, to the situation and to each other. Our goal is to be a conduit for the moment and, hopefully, enchant

other musicians to be self-starters. “There were enough likeminded people that we helped each other out,” he says. The musicians would make their own recordings and stage house shows, often hosting upcoming touring bands that were willing to make the detour to Starkville. Jackson attorney and artist David McCarty was a MSU student then and attended many of these shows, including one of Triplett’s early band’s especially intense performance. “They played so fast and so loud, they kept blowing the circuit breaker and the power kept kicking off in the house,” McCarty says. “It was awesome.” Triplett was part of a succession of Starkville punk bands throughout the ‘90s, including White Trash Superman (which also featured Marsh Nabors, currently of Jackson’s Overnight Lows) and the Grumpies. White Trash Superman took musical cues from the driving post-punk bands heard on college radio during that time, but the Grumpies had a more uncomplicated approach. “The songs were real simple, with very fast playing,” Triplett says. A trio that paired Triplett’s youthful voice with the near chipmunk pitched singing of bassist Amy Frisby, the Grumpies played speedy punk anthems, many of them clocking in at less than two minutes in length. The group learned on the local level, releasing records and touring the United States and Canada. “We were very much into the ‘do-it-yourself’ mentality,” Triplett says. “We set up our own shows. It was very economical. We toured in a car, which influenced our sound.” The Grumpies wound down in 2000, and Triplett moved to New Orleans, where he played with the Riverbaggers, a band that explored roots-music styles. He also began experimenting with a more stripped-down approach, playing duo gigs with a bass player. Wanting to expand the sound at one of these

shows, Triplett threw in some rhythm. “I had some drums in the back of my van,” he says. “And so I pulled out the kick drum and hi-hat. I played along, and it gave a little bit more of a bounce to it.” Triplett continued on with the duo setting, leaving New Orleans for a brief stint in Oxford before returning to Starkville in 2002. He studied the work of southern traditional musicians and visual artists. He saw an ethic of “rural resourcefulness” in the work of self-taught visual artists like H.D. Dennis (creator of Margaret’s Grocery in Vicksburg) that resonated strongly with his own punk efforts. He continued stripping down his music to working as a solo artist. “You take on a room by yourself, so there is a little bit of a challenge to it,” Triplett says. “It’s all about resourcefulness and economy.” In the past few years, Triplett has performed as Ming Donkey, making regular stops in Jackson. He released a vinyl 45 in 2010. Reviews made connections between Ming Donkey and Mississippi blues, which Triplett appreciated, but rejects. “I don’t claim to be a blues artist,” he says. “I prefer the category of DIY (do it yourself).” Keeping up practices he learned in punk rock, Triplett created the artwork for the single and screenprinted the covers. McCarty has continued to follow Triplett’s work. He enjoys the music, but notes the strong visual element of Triplett’s show. “It’s fun just watching all the pieces jump around,” McCarty says. “It’s like going to the fair. There’s some cranking, there’s some moving around, there’s feet going up and down, hands are flailing around. It’s a really good show.” Triplett performs as Ming Donkey One Man Band at Ole Tavern (416 George St., 601-960-2700) Saturday, Jan. 28. For information on Ming Donkey, visit the Facebook page.

Pizza, Beer and Improvisation

the listener in the most mystically dubious sense of the word. We do not have any songs. We have never played the same thing twice. How did these shows at Pizza Shack come about? The owners of Pizza Shack, Mike and Larry, have been friends of mine since just before opening the first Shack on State Street a few years ago. They are committed supporters of the Jackson arts scene and regularly donate food and sponsor fliers and other expenses for artists and musicians in town. They have been patrons to me since we met and have been a big part of helping me to produce the work that I have. As a group, The Ruminants have been talking about recording for a few months and thought it would be good to build up to it with a series of performances. Being connected to the spaces in which we played, we thought it would be good to create a regularly occurring atmosphere and invite others to be a part of that.

With an eye to collaborating with notion of not being involved in my comfriends, we asked Pizza Shack if we could munity would be akin to not existing in set up a residency. We any meaningful way at were also keen on the all. historical relationship that bands have had with Any final words restaurants in the past about your Pizza and wanted to revive the Shack residency? idea of residencies here in Improvisation is about Jackson. We are also ina real-time conversaterested in getting some tion encompassing cultural activity into a all the elements which part of town that doesn’t surround and penusually see live music. etrate us. The Ruminants play at the northeast Pizza Shack on This residency is What keeps you Tuesdays this month. See if about fostering comyou can spot this tattoo on inspired? munity awareness in one of the band members. I am inspired by the the immediacy of the people and events unnow and greasing the folding around me and free flow of positive do what feels natural. vibes everyone is eager to share in the I’m able to be as active and involved new year. as I am because I facilitate the energies The Ruminants will be at Pizza Shack already swirling about rather than pre- at Colonial Mart (5046 Parkway Drive, tending to initiate them from within. Suite 6; 601-957-1975) from 6 p.m. to 8 As a Jacksonian whose understand- p.m. each Tuesday in January. There is no ing of self is tied to what transpires be- cover. Just support Pizza Shack by buying tween us, and not so much within, the some food and beer. DANIEL JOHNSON


he northeast Jackson Pizza Shack at Colonial Mart hosts Jackson band The Ruminants each Tuesday during January for a residency that brings together food, beer and improvisational music. I caught up with saxophonist daniel johnson (who prefers to spell his name in lowercase letters) to talk about the gigs.

by Larry Morrisey


Songs from a DIY Donkey


livemusic JAN. 18 - WEDNESDAY

Weekly Lunch Specials





Open for dinner Sat. 4-10pm Thursday

January 19


w/ DJ Stache












January 20

with the

Swamp Babies Saturday

January 21


Zeebo Monday

January 23

PUB QUIZ 2-for-1 Drafts



January 18 - 24, 2012

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MID DAY CAFE Serving Lunch 11-2!

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January 25


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

601-960-2700 Tavern














NOW OPEN ON TUESDAYS Wednesday,January 18th

THIS WEEK WEDNESDAY 1/18 Scott Chism & The Better Half (DR)

THURSDAY 1/19 Chris Pickering (DR)

(Bluegrass) 8-11, No Cover

John Wooten (DR) That Scoundrel (RR)

Thursday, January 19th

SATURDAY 1/21 Jason Turner (DR)

MONDAY 1/23 Blues Monday with Central MS Blues Society (restaurant)



3VXDR]dRm3cRUm'+$!a^m"! 3VXDR]dRmDYRh_eV]m(+!!a^m"! 3RTYReRmDf[R_m)+!!a^m"!


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'!&5f]Z_X2gVZ_7`_UcV_ hhhdR]dR^dT`^m'!"#"$'$&&

Friday, January 20th

TUESDAY 1/24 PUB QUIZ with Erin & Laura (restaurant)

Saturday, January 21st

Coming Soon FRI 2.3: Swing de Paris (DR) Color Revolt (RR) SAT 2.11: Hearts Against Aids THU 2.16: Float Meeting for Mals St. Paddy’s Day Parade (RR)

Monday-Thursday 7cZURjd

(Americana) 8-11, No Cover


THU 2.23: Chris Knight (RR)



Blue Plate Lunch with corn bread and tea or coffee



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

(Blues) 9-1, $10 Cover


(Blues) 9-1, $10 Cover

Tuesday, January 24th


(Blues) 6-11, $5 Cover Wednesday,January 25th


(Americana) 8-11, No Cover

Thursday, January 26th


(Blues) 8-11, No Cover

Friday, January 27th

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

Saturday, January 28th

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


200 S. Commerce St. Downtown Jackson, Mississippi * Tickets available at

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by Bryan Flynn

by Bryan Flynn

THURSDAY, JAN. 19 NBA (7-9:30 p.m. TNT): Kobe Bryant takes the Los Angeles Lakers to Miami to face LeBron James and the Heat. FRIDAY, JAN 20 NBA (9:30 p.m.-midnight ESPN): Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio brings the Minnesota Timberwolves to Lob City to battle Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers. SATURDAY, JAN 21 College basketball (5-7 p.m. CSS): Marshall travels to Southern Miss as the Golden Eagles look to stay near the top of Conference USA. â&#x20AC;Ś College basketball (6-8 p.m. ESPN): Mississippi State takes on Vanderbilt in a matchup between two potential tournament teams. SUNDAY, JAN 22 NFL Playoffs (2-5 p.m. CBS): Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will go to their fifth Super Bowl if they can get past Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens. â&#x20AC;Ś NFL Playoffs (5:30-8:30 p.m. FOX): One dream season will come to an end as Eli Manning leads the New York Giants into San Francisco to face the resurgent 49ers. MONDAY, JAN 23 College basketball (7:30-9:30 p.m. ESPU): Mississippi Valley State travels to Texas Southern in SWAC action. TUESDAY, JAN 24 College basketball (6-8 p.m. ESPNU): The last two teams that faced Mississippi State face each other when Tennessee travels to Vanderbilt. WEDNESDAY, JAN 25 NHL (6:30-9:30 p.m. NBC Sports Network): On the former Versus network, I put in my near weekly hockey game as the Montreal Canadiens host the Detroit Red Wings. Follow Bryan Flynn at, @jfpsports and at

Surprise, Surprise team trying to repeat history. New York went to Green Bay and punched the defending Super Bowl Champion Packers in the mouth. The Giants pulled off the upset with a swarming defense that forced four Packersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; turnovers and Eli Manning San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith is finally living up to his dropping passes draft-pick status this year.The 49ers beat the Saints Saturday, barely. in receiversâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hands all over the field. Manning is, withne reason I love sports is that the out question, an elite NFL quarterback. stories tend to write themselves. The Giants are repeating a run they As the NFL Playoffs begin to reach made in 2007-08 that ended with New the final three games, the storylines York upsetting the undefeated New Engjump out of the TV screens at me. land Patriots in the Super Bowl. The paralThe divisional round of the playoffs lels this year to that magic Giantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Super gave us two surprises in the NFC side of Bowl run are nearly identical. the house. Before the game, few people Meanwhile, favorites took care of gave the San Francisco 49ers a chance business in the AFC. New England looked against the New Orleans Saints. But in a unstoppable against the Denver Bronwild finish, the 49ers stunned the Saints cos. Before halftime, the Patriots took a 36-32 as the teams traded scores in the fi- big lead, and they cruised to a 45-10 win nal five minutes. over the Broncos. Tom Brady reminded New Orleans did everything wrong in the nation that he was the original elite the first half of the game, turning the ball quarterback before Manning, Brees or over and missing out on points. But they Aaron Rodgers. kept the game close. Brady and Patriots coach Bill BelichThe Saints finally took the lead at ick are looking for their fourth Super Bowl 24-23 with a little over four minutes win together. Another win would put these left to play. San Francisco struck back to two men on a level few have reached. retake the lead 29-24 before the two-minBelichick would be the second coach ute warning. to win four Super Bowls, joining Chuck New Orleans and Drew Brees Noll who did it with the Pittsburgh Steelmarched right back down the field to lead ers in the 1970s and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;80s. Brady would 32-29. With slightly more than a minute become the third quarterback to win four and half to go, Alex Smith led the 49ers on Super Bowl, joining Joe Montana who did a last-second game-winning drive. it with the 49ers and Terry Bradshaw, who Anyone who follows NFL football won with Noll. knows the storyline in San Francisco is The New England Patriots will host redemption. Smith was the first pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Chamthe 2005 NFL draft and, until this sea- pionship Game. son, never lived up to being such a high Baltimore used a superb defensive pick. Smith will face a New York Giants effort to offset a lackluster offensive ef-


My Saints vs. Tim Tebow Super Bowl dream died Saturday. Both teams were dead within 20 minutes of each other.


fort to defeat the Houston Texans 20-13. Houston played their third-string quarterback after injuries knocked out their other two. In the end, rookie TJ Yates couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t overcome a rookieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mistakes. The Ravens forced four turnovers that included three interceptions on passes Yates threw. Back in the 2000-01 season, Baltimoreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s defense led the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory over the New York Giants. Two key members of that defense, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, are looking to lock up their legacy with another Super Bowl ring. New England and Baltimore are both trying to add to their legacy. While Brady and Belichick are one ring away from becoming one of the best coaches and quarterbacks in NFL history, the Ravens are looking to supplant the 1985 Chicago Bears as the best defense ever. That great Bears defense only won one Super Bowl, while the core of this great Baltimore defense would have two rings. Both the NFC and AFC Championship Games will be defense against offense: the 49ers defense against the Giants offense, and the Patriots offense against the Ravens defense. My early thoughts are that New England will beat Baltimore. The Patriots offense has been nearly unstoppable since mid-November. Only one team (Miami Dolphins) has held New England to fewer than 30 points since then. The Ravens, meanwhile, struggled to defeat a third quarterback at home by seven points. I am torn on who will win between the Giants and 49ers. I could easily talk myself into taking either team. San Francisco is at home but New York has never lost an NFC Championship game (4-0). Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s early, but I will give the nod to the Giants as the only road team to win a playoff game this year. I am solid on New England but reserve the right to change my mind about New York. Right now, it looks to me like Super Bowl XLVI will be a rematch of Super Bowl XLII. Flynnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pick: New England Patriots (AFC Champions) vs. New York Giants (NFC Champions)

Bryanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rant â&#x20AC;˘ Curse of the Home Team

January 18 - 24, 2012

I 32





Eddie Cotton Friday & Saturday • 9:00pm Sunday • 6:00pm Open Mic Night Every Thursday • 8:30pm -Live Music Every Wednesday-


6550 Old Canton Rd, Ridgeland, Ms • 601--956-0082

Grab ya beads and come on out!

Lunch 11am - 2pm Monday-Saturday Jan. 20: Supernoise 9pm, $5 Cover

Jan. 21: Crossin Dixon

Diesel 255

Shows Start at 10:00

Rumor Mill

The Bailey Brothers

Friday, January 20

Saturday, January 21

New Song Pre Tour Party


9pm, $10 Cover with Po’boys,Burgers, Philly Cheesesteaks, appetizers.

Every Wednesday: Karaoke | 7:00pm Happy Hour Everyday 4p-7p

Late Night Happy Hour Sun - Thur, 10p - 12a

Daily Lunch Specials • Jan. 16 - 20

Includes: Dessert, Iced Tea, & tax. Take Out Orders are welcomed.

Mon | Beef Stroganoff or Smoked Chicken Tue | Mushroom Mish Mash or Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Wed | Chicken & Dumplings or Molasses Baked Ham Thu | Corned Beef & Cabbage or Chicken Bowtie Pasta Fri | Fried Catfish or French Dip Sandwich


6270 Old Canton Rd. Jackson, MS 39211

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Every Thursday:

Ladies Night & Men are Pigs Night featuring Snazz Ladies Get In Free Ladies Win Prizes $2.50 Coors Light Bottle

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Wednesday - January 18

Ladies Night: Ladies Drink Free

Friday - January 20

Rowdy south Saturday - January 21

Conference Championships

Sunday Drink Specials Bloody Mary $4 Domestic Bucket $10 16 oz Miller Highlife $2 Pitcher Miller Highlife $6 *Ask your server for Free Beer Special*

Food Specials rowdy south Sunday - January 22 9 Ball Tournament 601-961-4747

• Dinner: 5-10 Tuesday-Saturday • Thursday Night: Ladies Night & Karaoke in The Jazz Bar • Happy Hour in The Jazz Bar Tuesday - Friday 4-7pm 2 -4 -1 Wells, Calls, & Domestics, PLUS $5 appetizers To book a private party please call

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& The Millenium Band

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New Blue Plate Special


Thursday - January 19


Pat Brown

New Orleans Lunch

$10 Daily Lunch Specials

January 20

Sampler Platter $10 Chef Salad $5 Jalapeno Poppers $5 Country Fried steak $6 Half Rack of Ribs $10 Pork chops $7 Boneless Wing $.60 Destination For NBA League Pass.

1428 Old Square Road in Jackson 601.713.2700


1 Meat, 3 Veggies, Bread and Drink

live music january 18 - 24 wed | jan 18 Jessie “Guitar“ Smith 5:30-9:30p thur | jan 19 Shaun Patterson 5:30-9:30p fri | jan 20 Lucky Hand Blues Band 6:30-10:30p sat | jan 21 Amazin’ Lazy Boi Band 6:30-10:30p sun | jan 22 Acoustic Crossroads 6:30-9:30p mon | jan 23 Karaoke tue | jan 24 Jesse “Guitar” Smith 5:30-9:30p

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









Mediterranean Fish & Grill presents



by Jessica Mizell


The Land of Milk and Garlic Bread LOW-CARB CHILI 4 large tomatoes 1 large onion 1 green bell pepper 1 pound of 95 percent lean ground beef 1/2 cup of minced garlic Sea salt, to taste Pepper, to taste Dash of cinnamon or nutmeg 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese per serving Melba toast

Low-carb chili is an easy-to-make alternative to carbs.


have tried a few diets in my lifetime, and I find that I always struggle with the same roadblocks. It’s not candy and other sweets or carbonated drinks. I don’t really enjoy a lot of butter or cream. For me, nothing is better than jambalaya with, of course, garlic bread on the side. I have lived off crockpot mac ‘n’ cheese and, dear Lord, don’t put a can of Pringles in front of me if you want any of them yourself. I can drink milk with anything, so I often find myself pairing bread with milk, which happens to be a disaster for my waistline. I don’t claim to be a guru, certified nutritionist or personal trainer. I’m just a normal

person who’s struggled too long with food and was desperate to find a modification for my normal eating habits. It’s no wonder that I turned to carbohydrates so easily. They are cheap and easy to eat, and some studies suggest that carbohydrates can be as addictive as cigarettes. You can buy a loaf of bread or bag of rice for under $5. And who has time to cook around the holidays? It was just too easy to skip the veggies and go for the potatoes. I had a carbohydrate addiction, and I needed to get it under control. I realized in my late 20s that my problem was that I was dieting instead of gradually changing my eating habits for the better. Living a balanced lifestyle required work-

Kitchen Essentials

January 18 - 24, 2012


ing around my particular roadblocks of too much dairy and bread. Most times I forgot that pairing the two nearly doubled my sugar and carb intake. I spent a large amount of my free time figuring out unique and easy recipes

1 cup cauliflower, grated (about one head) 1 egg or 1/2 cup egg substitute 1 cup cheese or cheese substitute, grated Italian seasoning, to taste Garlic seasoning, to taste 1/2 cup Italian tomatoes, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil cauliflower until halfway cooked or until the flower part is a little soft, about 20 to 25 minutes. Grate and mix with egg and cheese in bowl. Spray cooking spray in a 1 to 11/2-inch thin cookie sheet and spread an even half-inch layer of the mixture on the cookie sheet. Cook mixture for 30 minutes. Take bread out of oven and, with spatula, loosen from pan, and flip over. Cook at 450 degrees for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. You can add more cheese after flipping to make the bread extra crispy. Put tomatoes in food processor or blender and blend until it is liquid to use as a dipping sauce. Serves four to six.

to aid in my continuing quest for health, keying in on the need to not pair those two things if at all possible. If I ate carbs and milk, it would have to be a healthy amount in moderation. Here are two of my favorite recipes.


n any given Saturday or Sunday, you will most likely find me in front of the television watching a marathon of cooking shows on the Food Network. The shows’ hosts always seem to use the latest-andgreatest kitchen utensil or gadget to prepare a meal. I make a mental wish lists of the tools I need to add to my arsenal, but then I usually realize that what I have works perfectly well for me. Kitchen essentials are great gifts for everyone from the most accomplished foodie to a college student moving into his or her first apartment. No one needs to clutter their kitchen with thousands of dollars worth of novelties that will never be used. Here’s a list of the basic kitchen essentials you’ll need to prepare great meals. • A great set of knives is the first kitchen essential. Knives are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. To start, you’ll need a chef’s knife for slicing, dicing and mincing; a paring knife for peeling and coring; a slicing knife; and a serrated knife to cut breads. • A cutting board protects your counter tops and gives you

a clean space to chop vegetables and cut up meat. • A set of measuring spoons and measuring cups ensures accuracy when measuring ingredients for recipes. • A large mixing bowl is a great place to blend all of your ingredients. • A meat thermometer verifies that meats are cooked to the perfect temperature. • Pots are available in a several different sizes. A standard 2-quart pot will handle most tasks including making sauces. You’ll need a larger pot to boil pasta or cook large batches of soups and chilli. • With a great skillet or sauté pan, you can cook omelets or stir-fry meats and vegetables. A 10- or 12-inch pan is the most versatile and allows you to make small or large quantities. The non-stick versions are worth the investment. • A wooden spoon is a great complement to your non-stick skillet or sauté pan. It allows you to stir without scratching your pan. • Rubber spatulas are also great additions to your kitchen essentials list and come in handy when mixing ingredients.



Chop tomatoes and dice onions and bell pepper. Cook beef, bell pepper, onions and minced garlic over medium heat in a pan until brown. Season with sea salt, pepper and a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg. Cook chopped tomatoes (in a pan with lid) on low-to-medium heat. Add the ground beef mixture and let everything simmer on low heat for two hours. Sprinkle one tablespoon of cheese on top of the chili and serve with two pieces of Melba toast. Serves three to four.


A good knife set is a basic need for any cook’s kitchen.

• A cookie sheet is a versatile tool. Use it to bake cookies or roast vegetables. • For bakers, a 12-cup muffin tin and an eight or nine-inch cake round are great additions, and don’t forget the electric mixer. Once you have the basics, adding a few novelty items, such as a citrus juicer, pastry cutter or garlic press will increase your collection without cluttering your kitchen.

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January 18 - 24, 2012















arland Sanders was born just outside Henryville, Indiana, in 1890. He held a variety of jobs, but it was opening the Sanders Court & Café—in the midst of the Great Depression in Corbin, Kentucky—that would lead to greatness. Today, Kentucky Fried Chicken serves more than 12 million customers in the United States and in 109 countries. When Sanders opened up his restaurant, the dining area was attached to his gas station. The fried chicken he served became so successful, that in 1935, Kentucky Governor Ruby Laffoon granted Sanders the title of honorary Kentucky Colonel in recognition of his contribution to the state’s cuisine. Hence the name Colonel Sanders. When Sanders fried his chicken, he prepared the chicken in an iron skillet, which took about 30 minutes. This was just too long for a restaurant operation. So in 1939, Sanders altered the cooking process for his fried chicken to use a pressure fryer, reducing cooking time. In 1940, Sanders devised what came to be known as his Original Recipe. That original recipe of 11 herbs and spices is still used today by KFC. The only complete, handwritten copy of the recipe is kept in a vault in corporate headquarters. Don’t let the name fool you; KFC isn’t just fried chicken. From fresh sides like mashed potatoes, home-style biscuits, corn on the cob, BBQ baked beans, and coleslaw just to name a few, as the Colonel says, “these sides don’t take second fiddle to any main course.” Feeling a little green? Give one of the Colonel’s signature salads a try. From a crispy BLT to a roasted Caesar salad, eating light never tasted so good. If you’re looking to keep it healthy, give Kentucky Grilled Chicken a try. Marinated and seasoned with a savory blend of six secret herbs and spices and slow-grilled to juicy perfection, you might discover you like KFC’s second secret recipe better than the first! So whether you are having a party, family reunion, picnic, or just out to lunch, make your first stop Kentucky Fried Chicken. After all, everyone knows the Colonel does chicken right!




by Mimi Abade

read more Body&Soul stories and the blog at


Ouch! What a Pain on the Mississippi gulf coast, has focused much of his career on helping patients with chronic pain. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pain begins with an initial physical insult to the body, but we know that pain is exacerbated by psychological (factors),â&#x20AC;? he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pain is complex. â&#x20AC;Ś People suffer different ways with the same physical ailment.â&#x20AC;? A shrimper with back problems who has lost his job as a result will experience his pain much differently than a computer programmer who is still able to function and earn a living, for example. The shrimper may be more prone to depression because of his inability to provide for his family, making his pain more debilitating.

Pain in the Brain

Pain might begin in your body, but your brain has the power to exacerbate or even alleviate it.


January 18 - 24, 2012

ast year, pain radiated from James Lynchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s neck down his right arm. A professor and interim chief of neurobiology and anatomical sciences at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, he knew from years of research and teaching where his pain was coming from and which nerves were being pinched. But he was still victim to his pain. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I could hardly pay attention when a person was talking to me,â&#x20AC;? he says. It was once so bad while teaching a lecture, he had to stop using his arm and rest it on the podium to continue. Lynch tried traditional pain medicines like Ibuprofen and found no relief. The only thing that helped him was using a heating pad. We have all had some form of pain in our lives. Back and spinal problems are the second highest-ranking disability for Americans, runner-up only to arthritic pain, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta reports. These are only two of many pains that we faceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;migraines, tension headaches, sickle cell pain crises, menstrual pain, post-surgical pain, sports injuriesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and the list goes on. Pain isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t isolated only to a stimulus or injury site. Our emotions and environment play a role in how we perceive pain. In other words, our brains can intensify or alleviate pain. A child falls to the ground, sees his motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s anxiety and fears that he has hurt himself. The fear has him crying louder than if he had been left alone. I stub my toe and experience pain for the next three hours, but a marathon runner loses a toenail at mile 15 of 26 and barely notices. Because pain can be such a disabling part of life, much research and funding has gone into finding evidence-based 38 ways of dealing with it. Gus Sison, a clinical psychologist

There are many nerves that relay pain and sensation from the body to the brain, and just as many nerves controlling reactions from the brain to the body. When you touch a hot stove, nerves send a painful stimulus telling your brain about the pain. The brain then sends a stimulus to your hand to make your muscles tense and jerk your hand away. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In addition to the sensory pathways going into the brain, sensory systems have pathways coming from the brain that terminate in the sensory pathwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s relay centers, which can modulate the incoming sensory signals, in this case, the pain,â&#x20AC;? James Lynch says. The brain can potentially override pain messages with psychological or physical sensations, choosing which impulses it allows in and working as a gatekeeper. For example, when you get relief from a heating pad on your hurting back, an overwhelming sensation of heat downplays the sensation of pain. This is a simplified version of clinical psychologist Dr. Ron Melzack and neuroscientist Dr. Patrick Wallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gatecontrol theory pioneered in 1965. This theory helps to explain how our other senses can affect a sensation of physical pain. The brain can prioritize which sensation to focus on. Some of the alternative therapies available for pain management capitalize on this theory by redirecting your brain to feel pain differently. Read â&#x20AC;&#x153;Train Your Brainâ&#x20AC;? on the right to find out more.

Train Your Brain


ith acute pain from an injury or a headache, taking aspirin or Tylenol may be all you need. But for chronic pain that has extended beyond the point of normal healing, over-the-counter medicines may not provide relief. They can stop working, or their side effects become a larger issue than the pain. You can train your brain to divert your attention away from your pain. Pain can respond to behavioral modifications such as developing coping mechanisms, learning deep relaxation or meditation and hypnosis. With diversionary techniques, the pain may still be there, but your mind is no longer focused on it. Physical techniques to help with pain management include acupuncture, massage therapy and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). People vary in their responsiveness to any therapy, and no technique is guaranteed to bring instant relief. Begin by knowing that you can ask for help and learning whom to ask for guidance. Always talk to your doctor if you have pain and want to try a new technique. Because pain varies from person to person, what works for one may not be the answer for another. Talking to your physician is a great first step. SOURCE: WEBMD: ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS FOR PAIN MANAGEMENT (WEBMD.COM)






Basics of OTC Pain Meds


hen youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for pain relief, the choices at the drugstore can overwhelm you. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more, they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t all created to treat the same thing. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a quick guide to common over-the-counter pain medications. Remember: More is not better. Always read and follow exactly the directions and dosages on individual medications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information, contra-indications and how your prescription medicines will interact with other pain medications. Always tell your doctor about any OTC drugs you take.

â&#x20AC;˘ Aspirin (Bayer, Bufferin, Ecotrin) works for pain, fever and to reduce inflammation. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take if you have an ulcer or kidney disease. â&#x20AC;˘ Acetaminophen (Tylenol) works for pain and fever. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take this with alcohol or if you have liver impairment. â&#x20AC;˘ Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) works for pain, fever and inflammation. This also helps with arthritic pain. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take Ibuprofen if you have ulcers or kidney disease, or if you have high blood pressure; ibuprofen can raise blood pressure. â&#x20AC;˘ Naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve) has

the same properties as Ibuprofen, but it lasts longer so you take it less often. â&#x20AC;˘ Combination products such as Excedrin (Aspirin+Acetaminophen+Caff eine) have the same properties and worries as individual drugs. Caffeine can provide extra relief from headaches. *When treating an injury, headache or arthritis, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to stay ahead of the pain by taking medicine as recommended. If the package recommends taking a dose every four to six hours, keep up with that dosage to prevent your pain from bouncing back worse than before. SOURCE: U.S. NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE PUBMED HEALTH WEBSITE (NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMEDHEALTH)

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