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Thursday, April 26 The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art

Come early and stay late. Benefitting the Children and Families of Operation Shoestring

7:30 until performance by The Vamps

5:30 until 7:30pm performance by Eric Stracener & The Frustrations Southern Beverage Company

Thanks to our sponsors for making these events possible.

Madison Charitable F



April 18 - 24, 2012

Puckett Machinery Madison Charitable Foundation Madison Charitable Foundation Madison Charitable Foundation Wise Carter Wise


Wise Carter


Steen, Dalehite & Pace, LLP

Free Admission, Cash Bar


April 18 - 24, 2012



1 0 N O . 32



6 Rose-Colored Specs Mississippi’s Republican leaders paint a pretty picture of the state’s future in health care and energy. COURTESY NIMBLE, INC.

Cover photograph by Jacob Fuller



Even if you don’t have a sales team, 21st-century Customer Relationship Managers are a must. COURTESY VIRGINIA SCHREIBER

nikisha ware dren ready for kindergarten with the premise that “parents are the child’s first teachers.” The institute is funded through grants from various organizations such as the U.S. Department of Education, the Barksdale Reading Institute and, most recently, the Kellogg Foundation. Ware lives in Jackson with her family, who she calls “The Kings,” explaining that they are all named for biblical kings. She and her husband, Dr. David Ware (an associate professor of music at JSU from Anguilla, Miss.), adopted their first son and named him Solomon, and when their youngest son was born, they named him Asa. “As an educator who loves Jackson, I recognize that it has everything: a law school, a medical school, wonderful public schools, great four-year institutions, (and) historical and state-of-the-art museums,” she says. Ware also sees areas where the city can improve. “Jackson needs leadership in all aspects and in all levels of government—leadership matters,” she says. “Lead from where you are. You don’t have to be the police chief to make your streets safe. Policing is a community job. Supporting your community is your job. Finding and supporting the right candidate is your job.” When considering elected leaders, she is quite blunt: Bring excellence; “otherwise, we are going to free up your future.” —Richard Coupe

21 Rhymin’ Men The poets of Suite 106 talk about why poetry matters and what makes it important to them.

32 Nyuck, Nyuck “The Three Stooges” brings classic vaudeville and top-notch physical comedy back to the silver screen.

There are clichés for a reason, and Dr. Nikisha G. Ware, the executive director of the Mississippi Learning Institute is an example of one: Dynamite comes in small packages. The 4foot-9 diminutive mother of two is a bundle of articulate, expressive energy that radiates with enthusiasm and intelligence. The 38-year-old Jackson native—“my mother still lives on the same street where I grew up,” she says—has a bright and easy smile. Ware graduated from Murrah High School in 1991 and attended Tougaloo College on a piano scholarship, graduating in 1995. She taught choir in several of Mississippi’s public schools and will start teaching her own children piano this summer. (They are already learning the trumpet from their father.) Ware received a master’s in music education from Florida State University in 1998 and a doctorate in community college leadership from Mississippi State University in 2010. At the Mississippi Learning Institute, located on the Jackson State University campus, Ware leads Mississippi’s only partnership between a public school system and a university. This partnership provides professional training and development to teachers in the areas of reading, literacy and instructional strategies to improve student learning. The institute recently expanded and is providing training that helps families in the Washington Addition neighborhood get chil-


4 ..............Editor’s Note 4 ................... Slowpoke 6 ............................ Talk 11 ........................ Tech 12 ................... Editorial 12 .... Editorial Cartoon 12 .................. Kamikaze 13 ................. Opinion 14 ............ Cover Story 21 .............. Diversions 28 .................... 8 Days 30 ...................... Music 33 ............. JFP Events 36 ..................... Sports 38 ....................... Food 40 ................ Astrology 41 ........... Life & Style 45 ................ Parenting 46 ......... Fly/Shopping

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Jacob Fuller Reporter Jacob Fuller is a former student at Ole Miss. When not reporting, he splits his time between playing music and photographing anything in sight. He covers the city for the JFP. He wrote the cover story.

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

Robbie S. Ward Journalist Robbie S. Ward has a master’s in public policy and administration from Mississippi State University and created the Johnny Cash Flower Pickin’ Festival in Starkville. He blogs at He wrote an arts feature.

Nicole Sheriff Nicole Sheriff is from Madison but has lived everywhere from Colorado to Michigan since she graduated from college. Her life experiences have inspired most of her writing, and she shows no signs of slowing down. She wrote a music feature.

Alonzo Lewis II Alonzo Lewis II is a native of Coila. He started cooking at the age of 5. He writes for The Examiner and owns Coila’s Crossroads Bistro where the motto is “Food so good that it will make your tongue slap your brains out.” He wrote a food feature.

Jim PathFinder Ewing Jim PathFinder Ewing is a writer and organic farmer formerly with The Clarion-Ledger. He has written five books on energy medicine and eco-spirituality published in five languages. He lives in Lena with his wife, Annette, on their ShooFly Farm.

Kelly Bryan Smith Kelly Bryan Smith is a mom, writer, brain tumor survivor and nursing student living with her son in Fondren. She enjoys healthy cooking, swimming, reading and collecting pastel blue eggs from her backyard chickens. She wrote the parenting column.

April 18 - 24, 2012

Korey Harrion


Web producer Korey Harrion is a saxophonist who runs a small computer-repair business. He enjoys reading, writing and playing music, origami and playing video games. He loves animals, especially dogs.

by Ronni Mott, Managing Editor

The Wonder of it All


n the early 1960s, Mama and Papa leased an old, rundown gas station in Liberty, N.Y., in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, and spent every weekend of one winter and spring converting the property into our summer “retreat.” We lived in Brooklyn at the time, but my parents were determined to get my sisters and me out of the city as much as possible, especially during the summer. The office they turned into a room for my grandmother. Walling off about seven or eight feet in the back of the auto bay, they put in a kitchen and sleeping quarters. Papa built a sleeping loft and painted it red. That’s where my sister, Inga, and I slept foot to foot above our parent’s bed below. The main bay became the “Pastel Beauty Salon,” where my mother spent three summers doing hair for the city ladies who summered at Brown’s Hotel up the hill and at other nearby resorts (think “Dirty Dancing”). On weekends, my father made the trip from the city to be with the family. My oldest sister, Lisa, took a job at a nearby horse farm, leading trail rides and grooming the horses. Inga and I hung out with the hotel workers’ kids during the day, roaming the countryside in little packs with our dogs, playing make-believe and picking wild strawberries from the fields and raspberries from hedge-row brambles. We swam in the hotel pool while the guests ate dinner. The best days, though, were Lisa’s days off from the farm. She would wake me before dawn to go to the woods. In the cool, early morning fog, our footsteps silenced by moss, we’d explore. Lisa would lift a log to show me all the bugs and worms that lived there. She put caterpillars in my hand, and I giggled as they tickled their way up my arm. We’d take off our shoes and stand in a shallow stream to feel tiny fishes nibble at the air bubbles caught in the little hairs on our legs. We froze in place not to scare a fawn or to let a sleepy garter snake cross our path. We were great hunters of the elusive red eft, a quick little juvenile salamander with bright, red-orange skin. The efts hid from the mid-day heat under rocks and moss. Dawn was the only time they came out. When the family moved to a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C., outdoors was where all the kids hung out. We caught crawfish and minnows in a creek and once rescued a drowning bird. One day I wore as a corsage a blue butterfly that landed on my T-shirt. We never went far without permission, and as long as we were home by dark, Mama didn’t worry. Personal computers and video games were still a few decades away. TV was a special treat reserved for Sunday night, for “Walt Disney,” “Bonanza” and the “Ed Sullivan Show.” I grew up curious and unafraid of the natural world. That curiosity extended to the books I read and the subjects I loved in school. It also made me fearless when it came to trying new things—unless it involved heights. Boredom was not an issue when I had the whole world to explore. I was connected to nature

then, and I have never lost my awe for her. On the first Earth Day in 1972, my friends and I walked the roughly two miles to and from school without a second thought for the distance. We weren’t afraid to cross yards and busy streets. Instinctively, we understood the importance of making our small stand for the earth. We pored over the “Whole Earth Catalog,” a heady combination of counter culture and back-to-the-land ethos that put forth the revolutionary idea—to us at least—-that we are all one, made of the same cosmic stuff and part of the same grand universe. Kids don’t grow up that way any more, of course. In an age when children have cell phones and computers, the connections they make lean toward the virtual. Parents are uneasy letting their kids out in what they perceive to be a dangerous world, confirmed by breathy horror reports on the nightly news. Instead of the outdoors, kids find amusement in bits and pixels. Technology is awe-inspiring. Nature is an abstraction outside the window of the SUV, especially when you’re lucky enough to have a DVD player with the latest movie to watch instead of interacting or—heaven forbid—looking at the world going by. I think we’ve lost a lot in the transition. In 2005, Richard Louv coined the term “nature-deficit disorder” in “Last Child in the Woods” (Algonquin Books, updated 2008, $14.95). Research shows that we may actually need our connection to nature, Louv says. “The postmodern notion that reality is only a construct—that we are what we program—suggests limitless human possibilities; but as the young spend less and less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow, physiologically and psychologically, and this reduces the richness of human experi-

ence,” Louv writes. “Yet, at the very moment that the bond is breaking between the young and the natural world, a growing body of research links our mental, physical and spiritual health directly to our association with nature—in positive ways. Several of these studies suggest that thoughtful exposure of youngsters to nature can even be a powerful form of therapy for attention-deficit disorders and other maladies. As one scientist puts it, we can now assume that just as children need good nutrition and adequate sleep, they may very well need contact with nature.” Independent research supports Louv’s premise. Kids who grow up getting dirty and interacting with animals have stronger immune systems, for example, and fewer chronic illnesses such as asthma. They also learn that taking care of the Earth and all of its inhabitants is real and necessary. In this issue, we welcome Jim PathFinder Ewing to the Jackson Free Press. Among Jim’s expertise is organics, and his inaugural column traces the organics movement from its origins in the 1960s. Growing and eating local foods is so much healthier—for us and the earth— than what we’ve become accustomed to. Also in this issue, long-time JFP freelancer and nature lover Kelly Bryan Smith introduces her parenting column with a piece about camping with kids. It’s all connected. Love and reverence for the earth grows when we nurture it. Without a sense of awe for nature, we’re all a little poorer, and everything is a lot less bright and healthy. April 22 is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Make it a day to celebrate, to remember where we came from and how we’re connected. The natural world is a wonder and a mystery, as are we all.

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About 35 to 40 percent of all police chases result in crashes, according to University of South Carolina criminal justice professor Geoffrey Alpert.

Gov. Bryant says small business regs are bad, then heaps regulations on the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s small abortion clinic. p 9

news, culture & irreverence

Thursday, April 12 George Zimmerman makes his first court appearance in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Prosecutors have charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder. â&#x20AC;Ś Brandonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Skylar Laine survives another week on American Idol. Friday, April 13 North Korea launches a long-range rocket over the Yellow Sea in what it calls a peaceful attempt to send an observation satellite into space. U.S. officials say the launch is a test of technology that could be used to fire a nuclear warhead. â&#x20AC;Ś Officials accuse two men in Tulsa, Okla., of murder and hate crimes for a shooting spree in a predominately black neighborhood. Saturday, April 14 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton drinks and dances at a club in Columbia toward the end of the Summit of the Americas. â&#x20AC;Ś Five people die in a tornado in Oklahoma. Sunday, April 15 Memorial services mark the 100-year anniversary of the Titanicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sinking. â&#x20AC;Ś â&#x20AC;&#x153;Queens of Country,â&#x20AC;? directed by Ryan Page, wins the award for Best Feature Narrative at the Crossroads Film Festival.

April 18 - 24, 2012

Monday, April 16 Gov. Phil Bryant signs an anti-abortion bill designed to regulate the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only abortion clinic out of business. â&#x20AC;Ś Attorney General Jim Hoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office reaches a $4-million settlement in the case involving a failed beef plant that was built with state-backed loans.


Tuesday, April 17 Congressional Republicans propose cuts to food stamps and grants to fund social services like day care in an attempt to reduce the deficit. â&#x20AC;Ś Millions of Americans face the deadline for filing federal income tax returns. Get breaking news at

GOP Touts Biz Moves

by R.L. Nave


hat essentially became a pep rally for Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economic future last Thursday began with a parade. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you want to be a leader, just find a parade and jump in front of it,â&#x20AC;? quipped Jim Barksdale last week to a gathering of business professionals and civic leaders in Jackson. Barksdale is interim executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;paradesâ&#x20AC;? Barksdale named are health care and energy, two industries for which Gov. Phil Bryant has been cheerleading. The governor said he believes they are the two best bets to attract new capital investment to grow Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy in a hurry. On April 12, Bryantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s administration introduced a 100-member economic development council called Mississippi Works. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Health care is an industry of necessity,â&#x20AC;? Bryant told the crowd, rattling off figures about the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aging population and numbers on health-care revenues. The same could be said about the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s energy economy. Bryantâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and Barksdaleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;again parroted the findings of the Fraser Institute, a Canadian public-policy think tank, which last year called Mississippi the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most attractive place for oil and gas investment. Certainly, Mississippi citizensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; myriad health-care needs and relatively untapped natural-gas reserves present plenty of room for economic growth, but competition remains


Wednesday, April 11 Secret Service and military personnel bring prostitutes to a hotel in Columbia, investigators say. At least 20 personnel are suspected of misconduct. â&#x20AC;Ś Teachers, parents an other community members hear from the two finalists for Jackson Public Schools superintendent at a community forum.

Jim Barksdale, interim executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, said Mississippi must improve its K-12 education system.

stiff across the nation for places to build new health-care and energy facilities. In addition to pushing through energy and health care legislation key to Bryantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s jobs program legislators recently voted to allow the permanent MDA directorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s salary to be substantially higher than the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Currently, state law permits the MDA to earn 150 percent of the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s $122,160 salary, or $183,240. Under the bill, private donations

could supplement the salary further. Supporters of the move argued that the state lost several candidates for the MDA gig to other southeastern states who could afford to pay a lot more. The pay schemeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s supporters include Barksdaleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;whose yearly compensation totals $1 as did that of his predecessor, Leland Speedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and Republican lawmakers. GOP, see page 7



for the Secret Service


s headlines about President Barack Obamaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent Colombia trip suggest, consorting with prostitutes in your government-paid hotel room is something you probably shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do as a Secret Service agent protecting the leader of the free world. Here are some others: â&#x20AC;˘ Hang out with blogger Hillary Rosen â&#x20AC;˘ Run a phone bank for Mitt Romneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s presidential campaign â&#x20AC;˘ Scalp season tickets to Chicago Cubs games (POTUS is a White Sox fan) â&#x20AC;˘ Operate an eBay store devoted to selling Michelle Obamaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;misplacedâ&#x20AC;? cardigans â&#x20AC;˘ Make â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sh*t My Boss Saysâ&#x20AC;? online videos â&#x20AC;˘ Fill out your taxes according to Herman Cainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 99-9 plan â&#x20AC;˘ Organize a Klan rally â&#x20AC;˘ Talk to Joe Biden anywhere near a live microphone

news, culture & irreverence

GOP, from page 6

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll work out fine; just trust me,â&#x20AC;? Barksdale told an MEC audience in response to the concerns, mostly from legislative Democrats. Not sure about how well the arrangement would work, Democrats argued instead for raising the MDA directorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s salary to be more competitive instead of adopting the private donations provision, which they asserted could open the door to cronyism and corruption and pit richer areas of the state that can afford to put more into the salary pool against poor regions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you see a snake slithering through the legislative chamber, the best thing to do is shoot that mother,â&#x20AC;? said Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, during the spirited floor debate. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are snakes in this bill.â&#x20AC;? Once a permanent MDA director is in placeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;which Barksdale predicts should be in a few weeks, according to Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top legislative leadersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the rest of future of Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy looks bright. That is, as soon as we set up charter schools, eliminate abortion, get rid of the undocumented immigrants and take away Attorney General Jim Hoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s power to hear the Republicans who addressed MEC tell it.

House Speaker Philip Gunn, the first Republican to hold the chair since Reconstruction, and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves also gave assessments of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy from their vantages in the House and Senate, respectively. When Gunn rose to speak about the Legislatureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s accomplishments, the first item he addressed was the passage of the so-called Sunshine Act, which he said made the state more business friendly by adding transparency to the process the attorney generalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office uses to subcontract work to outside lawyers. Gunn did not, however, mention in his speech that the bill, which passed both houses, gives state agency heads discretion to hire outside firms whenever they feel like it. Despite arguments from Hood that the move could cost the state millions in additional legal fees, the Republican leadership, which has been trying to rein in Hoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s power for years, rammed the bill through the Legislature. Hood is the only Democrat in statewide office, and the state attorney generalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office typically handles all the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legal matters. More relevant to business, Gunn also touted dismantling the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inventory tax and changing the workersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; compensation system, which he said removes an unfair ad-

Jackson vs. Cooper-Stokes, Round 3 JACOB FULLER

Joyce Jackson looks over notes from her Circuit Court appeal of the Feb. 28 runoff election for Ward 3 City Councilmember.




vantage workers had over the people who sign their paychecks. Reeves, who presides over the state Senate, focused his remarks on education, particularly consolidating school districts in Sunflower and Bolivar counties and on the effort to bring charter schools to Mississippi. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re committed to investing in the current public-education system,â&#x20AC;? as well, Reeves said. He noted that in the Senateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s version of the budget, $30 million more was allocated to education over last year, the first time for any year-over-year increase in five years. The lieutenant governor also vowed to â&#x20AC;&#x153;right-sizeâ&#x20AC;? state government, referring to early attempts to strip state workers of personnelboard protections for two years, which would allow department heads to fire workers at will. Because the House amended the Senateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s version to reinstate workersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; due-process rights, Reeves said he would continue to work at it through the appropriations process. Barksdale, who recently gave $100 million for literacy programs in Mississippi, ended with a warning. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have to improve our K-12 education system in this state, or we will always be in trouble,â&#x20AC;? Barksdale said. Comment at


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by Elizabeth Waibel

Anti-Abortion â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;TRAPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Law Part of Nationwide Trend TRAP laws target abortion regulations only apply to aborfacilities rather than patients tion facilities, however. by adding requirements to Under state law and inabortion providers, facilities cluded in HB 1390, clinics are and clinics that do not apply only considered abortion fato physicians who perform cilities if they are separate from other surgeries. any other health-care facility Mississippi is not the and if they perform 10 or more only state that requires aborabortions in a month or 100 or tion providers to have local more abortions in a year. hospital admitting priviDiane Derzis, who owns leges. A law with similar the Jackson Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Health requirements passed in IndiOrganization, the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only ana last year, and Tennessee abortion clinic, has told other lawmakers are considering a media outlets that she intended Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new law targeting the Jackson Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Health bill that would require phyto sue if the bill became law. Organization is part of a national â&#x20AC;&#x153;TRAPâ&#x20AC;? law trend. sicians who perform aborShe was not available for comtions to have hospital priviment at press time. The new leges in either the home or adjacent county Gov. Tate Reeves, have said it will effec- abortion law comes months after voters reof the woman seeking an abortion. tively end abortion in Mississippi by clos- jected an anti-abortion effort last fall. Supporters of the law, including Lt. ing the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only abortion clinic. The new Comment at VIRGINIA SCHREIBER


he governor signed the first major piece of anti-abortion legislation into law this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a measure designed to close the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only abortion clinic. Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1390, which puts restrictions on abortion facilities, into law yesterday. The new law requires all physicians associated with abortion clinics to have staff and admitting privileges at a local hospital. They must also be board certified or eligible in obstetrics and gynecology, and a staff member trained in CPR must always be present when the facility is open. Abortion-rights supporters sometimes refer to laws like HB 1390 as Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers or TRAP laws. Rather than trying to restrict abortion by challenging Roe v. Wade or by adding waiting periods, parental consent laws and bans on late-term abortions,



Monica Cannon says that regardless of which sexeducation policy JPS adopts, the community should play a role in making sure students get research-based information about sex.






OPENING IN MAY Green Oak Florist April 18 - 24, 2012




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Legislature: Week 15


by R.L. Nave

No More Regs, Except ...


Phil Bryant, campaigning for governor last year, promised to review regulations that might hurt small businesses.

hood Campaign of last fall, characterized the legislation as a way to â&#x20AC;&#x153;ensure that the lives of the born and unborn are protected in Mississippi.â&#x20AC;? In late March, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves heralded its Senate passage. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are very close to ending abortion in Mississippi,â&#x20AC;? Reeves said. The clinic could sue to block the law, which would restrict access to abortions in Mississippi, possibly in violation of Roe vs. Wade.

Earth Day April 22, 2012

National Natural Landmark

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Charters Stalled As of press time Tuesday evening, the Mississippi had not considered HB 1152, the charter schools bill. When the Senate bill met defeat in a House committee in the form of five Republicans, Sen. Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, tucked the language into another bill, bypassing the committee process. However, with the GOPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thin House majority, passage is no guarantee, especially if the holdouts remain firm in their opposition. Bryant has threatened to call a special session in event Legislature refuses to pass a charter schools bill. Changes at Walnut Grove Tuesday, the House concurred on a bill to transfer young prisoners out of the privately run Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility, which was at the center of a federal lawsuit and settlement over allegations of abuse. The plan calls for moving inmates from other Mississippi prisons to Walnut Grove and moving the youths at Walnut Grove to Rankin County, where the state-run Central Mississippi Correctional Facility operates. House Corrections Committee Chair George Flaggs, D-Vicksburg, said the Rankin County site is â&#x20AC;&#x153;not in close proximityâ&#x20AC;? to the state prison, however. Get breaking news updates at jfpdaily. com. Subscribe free.

Burdensome Regulation One Mississippi small business Bryant and other legislative leaders donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind heaping onerous regulations upon is the Jackson Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Health Organization, the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only state licensed abortion clinic. On April 16, Bryant signed a bill that would require every doctor associated with an abortion facility to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The bill would also require those physicians to be board certified or eligible in obstetrics and gynecology, and a staff member trained in CPR would have to be at the facility at all times. Supporters of the measure, HB 1390, made no secret of the billâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intent. Gov. Phil Bryant, who co-chaired the failed Person-



uring his 2011 campaign for governor, Phil Bryant promised that, if elected, his administration would closely scrutinize state regulations on small companies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to look at every regulatory agency in the state, and if that regulation is hurting businesses, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to see if we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do something about it,â&#x20AC;? Bryant said at the Mississippi Economic Councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual â&#x20AC;&#x153;hobnobâ&#x20AC;? in November. Speaking to another MEC gathering last week, Bryant applauded what he considers a step in that direction in the Legislatureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s passage of the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act. The thrust of the proposal, which passed the House last week 114-7 and cleared the Senate in March without a single dissenting vote, is to create procedures to review possible economic impacts of state regulations on small businesses. Under the law, which would take effect July 1, 2012, rulemaking bodies must consider possible adverse impacts of new regulations to a small business regulatory review committee. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Small businesses are critical to our economy, and this legislation ensures that our stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s regulations are not unduly burdensome to our job-creators,â&#x20AC;? Bryant said in a statement. Also unduly burdensome is the process of drafting legislation. The American Legislative Exchange Council eases that burden by drafting one-size-fits-all legislation so lawmakers can concentrate on more pressing matters like closing abortion clinics and ridding their states of undocumented immigrants. ALEC, which has been described as a matchmaking service for big money corporations and biz-friendly conservative Republican state lawmakers, has a model known as the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the language of which closely resembles the Mississippi proposal. Senate Bill 2398 now awaits final approval in the state Senate.




by R.L Nave

Changing ‘The Perceivers’ of Black Males Similarly, 19 percent of black male JPS students received out-of-school suspensions in

Tougaloo College President Dr. Beverly Hogan said black males need an environment that breeds confidence.

2006-2007 compared to 13 percent for white boys (district-wide, only 300 white males were enrolled in JPS during that period). Hogan believes that black males are no less capable of achievement than their coun-

terparts; they just need an environment that helps them build self-confidence. “When I look into the faces of African American males who enter our gates, I see the future leaders of the world,” Hogan said. To help nurture that growth, Jackson State has launched the “Call Me MISTER” initiative modeled after a program at Clemson University in South Carolina that helps create a pipeline of African American male role models and teachers to the state’s public schools and community-based organizations. Dr. Mark G. Hardy, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Jackson State University, emphasized the kind of intergenerational mentoring that the Call Me MISTER initiative promotes, which will involve getting over the stigma that many young people have against volunteerism. Overcoming stigmas and challenging stubborn perceptions is also critical, said Marcus D. Ward, associate vice president for development and alumni relations at Alcorn State University. In addition to “breaking myths about masculinity” among black males, Ward said work is needed to change myths about black males held by what he called the perceivers. “If you change the perceivers, the rest of the world will come along,” he said.

April 18 - 24, 2012

rican American students earning BAs in six years was 37 percent, four percentage points lower than the national average. By comparison, four-year colleges on average graduated about 53 percent of incoming students. Dr. Beverly Wayne Hogan, president of Tougaloo College, said the problems for black males did not start when they stepped onto campus but began early on in their lives. As evidence, consider the graduation rates for African American males: Nationwide, the Schott Foundation’s 2010 State Report on Public Education and Black Males found that 47 percent of black males graduated from high school, which closely mirrored the trend in Mississippi, where 46 percent of black males completed high school during the 2007-2008 school year. In terms of school discipline, the report concluded that black males in Mississippi and Jackson Public Schools receive stiffer penalties than whites. Schools handed out suspensions to 19 percent of black male students in Mississippi compared to 8 percent of white males during the 2006-2007 school year, according to the study. Likewise, based on proportions, black males were three times more likely than their white counterparts to receive school expulsions across the state.



s a young student entering the University of Connecticut in the mid-1960s, James Lyons received all the parental advice one would expect about being respectful and not hanging around the crowd. “No one advised me that I might lose my life,” said Lyons, who is now the interim president of Dillard University in New Orleans. Speaking through a recorded statement, Lyons participated in a discussion on issues facing African-American male students called “The African-American Male—Reclaiming Futures” at Jackson State University April 12. Lyons was the first among the panel of university and college presidents and other top officials to address recent Mississippi shooting deaths, including that of JSU freshman Nolan Ryan Henderson in late March (another took place at Mississippi State University), which Lyons said took the lives of two future leaders. The panel, part of an ongoing initiative between six institutions with large nonwhite student bodies, aims to foster academic achievement for racial minorities on their campuses, especially black males. A 2009 Associated Press analysis found that even at federally designated historically black colleges and universities, 29 percent of black males completed a bachelor’s degree in six years. Across HBCUs, the number of Af-

10 JCV7221-3 Visitors Spent Ad JFPress 9.5x6.167.indd 1

4/16/12 3:38 PM


by Todd Stauffer

CRM Isn’t Just for Sales Anymore


like a lot of CRM software, lets you track your clients and potential clients, save notes about them, blind-copy your e-mails to the CRM software (so they’re automatically archived with that client profile) and store other notes, and even images or documents such as quotes and proposals. You create “deals” (like “$10,000 design project”) that you can then “win” or “lose”—or edit to “$495 design project” once you’ve come to a realistic agreement with your client. Why do this? The trick with CRM software is that it can (a) remind you what you’ve said recently to a client or cusNimble CRM offers a “unified InBox” that features messages from tomer or colleague, your contacts whether they’re in email, Facebook,Twitter (b) help you manage or LinkedIn. the tasks you set as the next things you need to do for that people that you deal with and the businesses person and (c) collaborate with others in your you attempt to sell to. You can then track office. That means that even if they haven’t your interaction with those folks—make been dealing with that person, there’s a central notes of your calls, emails and drop-ins that repository of that information so your folks you attempt while you’re wooing them into can follow up intelligently with that client/cusyour universe—and then you can track the tomer and, hopefully, give them the informafollow-up, service and support issues that tion they need. you have once you’ve got them as a client. In the JFP sales department, we use a tool Some sales-focused CRM software offers called Capsule CRM ( that is tools like “sales pipelines” to help you make similar to Highrise, but geared somewhat spesure you’re pursuing enough sales leads and cifically to teams of sales people (as opposed to prospects so you can reach your sales goals. individual creatives). The heart of Capsule is a In olden days, these tools were expen- running list of Recent Activity, which lets me sive, network-based, enterprise software with see what the sales reps are doing (and they can names like ACT and Goldmine. By contrast, see what each other is doing) while putting inthe latest round of CRM are browser-based formation about all our clients and “suspects” “cloud” services that offer low per-month, per- or “prospects” at our fingertips in real-time. user charges. If someone calls in wanting to place an Ranked high among them is Highrise ad, the sales representative can immediately ( from 37signals, the check the CRM to see if we’ve talked to this same folks who bring us the popular Base- customer before, so the sales rep can pick up camp project-management software. Highrise, where they, or a team member, left off.

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But what if you’re not in sales? CRM software can be useful for anyone in business, whether it’s for managing retail customers (particularly if you track personal preference information, like a consultant, curator or decorator might) or using the latest round of “social CRM” software that helps you track colleagues across their social media profiles. Nimble (, for instance, is a very creative solution for tracking “people of interest” not just when they e-mail with you directly, but also when they Tweet or post something to Facebook or LinkedIn. Using the software’s “unified Inbox” you can see all sorts of messages—email and social—from the people with whom you’re having conversations. And like many of the CRM tools discussed, Nimble will integrate directly with other tools, like e-mail newsletter software MailChimp ( so that you can get up e-mail newsletters and other interaction with clients or colleagues. One very impressive tool in this regard is Batchbook (, which is designed to take the “social CRM” concept to a new level. With Batchbook, you can really think of CRM as a shared contacts database for your company or organization, whether or not you’re selling things. (I’ve thought seriously about Batchbook for the JFP’s reporters and editors, for instance, so they could see other times a person has been contacted for stories or interviews.) Batchbook comes complete with the ability to perform “social listening” along with typical email tracking and phone call notes, plus it integrates a to-do list for assigning follow-ups to yourself or co-workers. It also offers the ability to easily create custom Web-based forms for people to request information or sign up for stuff—effectively adding themselves to your CRM database. From there you can follow up, learn more about your contacts and sell them something, offer them a service or just build stronger relationships. Todd Stauffer is the publisher of the Jackson Free Press. He has authored or co-authored more than 40 technology books.

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f you’ve ever worked in sales, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with some sort of Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, software. If you haven’t had to walk that particular fiery gauntlet, a definition is in order: CRM software essentially enables you to enter contact information for


jfp op/ed

opining, grousing & pontificating


Police: First, Do No Harm


ontroversy has surrounded police pursuits for decades. Since numerous studies on the subject began in the late 1980s and early ’90s, law enforcement officials, legislators, citizens and the press have taken notice of the ever-rising death toll. The seven average deaths per week caused by pursuits is a small fraction of the 632 traffic deaths per week in America in 2010 (latest year data is available), but we are not talking about numbers on a spreadsheet, we are talking about human life. When human life is reduced to mere statistics, the impact of its meaning can easily be lost. The impact women like Milinda Clark and Kristie Priano and men like Paul Farris had on their families, friends, colleagues and classmates will never be lost. These people—a social worker and mother of two; a high school basketball player and avid community volunteer; a recent college graduate and frontman of a popular local rock band—lost their lives because someone chose to flee from the police and the police chose to chase them. We are not here to argue that police should not try to catch criminals. The oath police take, though, is to protect and to serve their community and the people in it. Officers failed to protect and to serve Clark, Priano, Farris and thousands of other innocent victims. Many factors contribute to the tragedies that so often follow police chases—policy interpretation, determining the risk the suspect poses to the community, lack of communication, adrenaline, a desire to catch the bad guys—and all of these must be processed in the minds of the officers in a split second. There has to be a better way. With new technologies and a statewide communication system already in use by many agencies in the metro area, catching criminals without a high-speed chase is easier than ever before. The members of PursuitSAFETY, all of whom have lost loved ones in pursuit crashes, are leading the way in educating the public, legislators and law enforcement officers in just how dangerous high-speed chases are and rewarding officers who find other ways to catch criminals. The real question that comes from Jacob Fuller’s cover story is: Which is more important to law enforcement officers: catching those accused of low-violence crimes or protecting the lives of the innocent? While the former certainly is a large part of their duties, what is the point if it is not to protect those who follow the law? It is a question of priorities, and if the criminals are taking priority in our society over the innocent, then we need to seriously reconsider the direction our communities are headed. It is up to the public to be proactive by demanding that our police officers first do no harm. And that state law has the teeth to save lives.


Support for Charter Schools

April 18 - 24, 2012



am a single parent of three school-age children, and I, like so many parents in DeSoto County support the Mississippi Charter School bill. Each morning, Monday through Friday, I wake up at 5:30 a.m. to get dressed, eat and make the 17-mile drive to school. I, like so many parents in DeSoto County, cross the state line each morning to take my children to a school that best meets their needs. I made the decision to take the kids to a school outside my district and state after three years of frustrations with the lack of attention my son was receiving in the DeSoto County School System. From kindergarten through the second grade, he struggled like so many boys do. Reading was a huge challenge for him, so I did what any good parent would do: I hired a tutor, talked with his teacher and even his principal so that we could “make a plan.” I was told time after time by his teachers that they had too many students in their classroom and couldn’t take the time out to give my son the help that he needed. There are so many children throughout our state that are slipping through the cracks of the public-school system. Our classrooms are overflowing, and our teachers are doing the best that they can in a system that is overwhelmed. I strongly believe that charter schools would give those children who are struggling in the traditional public school system a chance to flourish and learn in the environment that best meets their needs. Carra Powell DeSoto County



Colonel Reb and His Cousin, R.I.P.


spent two days in Oxford, Miss., last fall when talk surfaced about bringing back Colonel Reb, the former Ole Miss mascot, through a petition to the Legislature. When I heard a PBS story about the Confederate symbols and songs controversy, it seemed like time to write my story. A direct connection in the 1940s between Ole Miss and my alma mater, F.T. Nicholls High School in New Orleans’ Upper 9th Ward.The school’s namesake, General FrancisTillou Nicholls, was a Civil War hero, a governor and, later, state Supreme Court Chief Justice. We were the “Nicholls Rebels.” Our newspaper was The Rebel Yell. The mascot was a feisty old rebel in uniform, holding the Confederate flag in one hand and a sword in the other. In 1951, I led a school jazz band called The Rhythm Rebels and was a drummer in the marching band that drew cheers whenever we played “Dixie.” The link with Ole Miss grew from our band uniforms. They were way cool. We had gray Eisenhower jackets that came down to our waists. We wore Rebel hats. The trousers and skirts were white. Our band director was trumpeter Charlie Wagner. He told wonderful stories about his early years in Chicago when he played across the street from the legendary cornetist Bix Beiderbecke. One day in 1952, Wagner reflected on a sub rosa offer Ole Miss made to our school in the ’40s. The university would buy different uniforms for the Nicholls band and give other perks, he said, if the school gave up all of its Confederate symbols. Then, Ole Miss would have a corner on the nostalgic imagery of the South in the Civil War. The offer was tempting, but the administration declined it. I was glad to hear it, but not because of an

attachment to the antebellum South. The North should have whooped the South in that terrible bloodbath. No, I was glad because the Ike jackets were classy and didn’t hide the girls’ figures. After the 1960s school integration crisis, the school changed the team name to respect our black students. Our mascot became a bobcat. We stopped flaunting “Dixie,” and retired the codger in the logo. Some students and alumni were incensed. You can’t rewrite history, they said, and, boo-hoo, years of precious tradition would be lost. It was an insult to the white students, they said. I wrote a letter in praise of the change to the local paper. I pointed out Bob Crosby’s Bobcats, an all-white band of New Orleans jazzmen, recorded “March of the Bobcats.” The subtext, which I offer also to diehard Ole Miss Rebels, was this: Grow up. Nicholls eventually changed its name to Frederick Douglass High—another blow to some alumni. Fine by me. Douglass was, after all, a national treasure and decidedly on the moral high ground of history. After Hurricane Katrina, Douglass High became KIPP Renaissance School, part of the Knowledge is Power Program charter schools. Somehow, I’ve survived all this and will be attending the 60th reunion of the Nicholls class of ‘52 this summer. I’m sure we’ll engage in some tinkering of symbols, but I hope we all know that it’s the people and the experiences that count. The rest is nostalgia. Charles Suhor taught English and was English Supervisor in New Orleans Public Schools. Later, he was Deputy Director of the National Council of Teachers of English in Urbana, Ill. He had a parallel career as a jazz musician, critic and historian. Retired, he lives in Montgomery, Ala.

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Jackson Free Press P.O. Box 5067, Jackson, Miss., 39296 Editorial (601) 362-6121 Sales (601) 362-6121 Fax (601) 510-9019 Daily updates at The Jackson Free Press is the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s award-winning, locally owned newsweekly, with 17,000 copies distributed in and around the Jackson metropolitan area every Wednesday. The Jackson Free Press is free for pick-up by readers; one copy per person, please. Firstclass subscriptions are available for $100 per year for postage and handling. The Jackson Free Press welcomes thoughtful opinions. The views expressed in this newspaper are not necessarily those of the publisher or management of Jackson Free Press Inc. Š Copyright 2012 Jackson Free Press Inc. All Rights Reserved



he gray, roiling clouds that hung over the westbound lane of Interstate 20 were nothing short of a premonition. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What am I doing?â&#x20AC;? I thought to myself. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I should be at the office. I should be meeting my wife for lunch.â&#x20AC;? But selfishly, and like a man possessed, I pushed onward as if being hurled down the interstate by some nameless and immeasurable force. I turned the radio dial to the statewide talk-radio station. The topic was, of course, charter schools. It was quite the circus. Accusations, name-calling, lies and insults were directed at the professional educators of Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s public schools. The host enlightened his audience with descriptions of public school districts as â&#x20AC;&#x153;fiefdoms,â&#x20AC;? each of which is its own â&#x20AC;&#x153;evil empire â&#x20AC;Ś ruled by a Superintendentâ&#x20AC;? from â&#x20AC;&#x153;the dark sideâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;with an iron fist.â&#x20AC;? They even had the theme from â&#x20AC;&#x153;Star Warsâ&#x20AC;? playing in the background. As a public-school parent who has worked hard to develop the type of strong, community-member and Superintendent relationship essential to the success of all children, I was not amused. And, as the radio hostâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s litany of falsehoods continued and the Mississippi sky darkened the land around me, my anger rose. Later, as I rolled into Jackson and took the State Street exit off Interstate 55 to the capitol, I heard a proponent of charters on the program. At first he made the usual arguments: â&#x20AC;&#x153;parent choice,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;reform,â&#x20AC;? etc. It was the standard line that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve heard and read repeatedly in recent weeks, only to discover that study after study shows that charter schools essentially operate under the tried and failed philosophy of â&#x20AC;&#x153;separate but equal.â&#x20AC;? But then he said something different: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not going to send my grand kids or kids to one of these inferior schools.â&#x20AC;? I was shocked. Not failing, not low performingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x153;inferior.â&#x20AC;? I dialed the call-in number. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to ask the gentleman a question. A moment ago he used the phrase â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;inferior school.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to know if he would be willing to go to one of these schools, look the teachers and the kids in their faces and tell them that they are â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;inferior.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? And as I hung up, he responded, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yes. I absolutely would.â&#x20AC;? Shock turned into a cold acceptance of reality. At the Capitol, I parked my truck in view of the graceful facade of First Baptist Church. The church reminded me of just how far weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve strayed from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus told his disciples that the kingdom of God was found in children. Therefore, to refer to our public schoolsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; schools that consist mostly of children, not adultsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;as â&#x20AC;&#x153;inferiorâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;failingâ&#x20AC;? is to stray from the Gospel. The program had renewed my aware-

ness of the widespread misconceptions of American public education that are partially due to a misguided system of accountability labels. But largely, they are due to what former Mississippi Gov. William Winter called â&#x20AC;&#x153;the fault lines of race and class and educational and financial disparityâ&#x20AC;? that exist in our communities. I was early and there wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t much of a crowd, but when the start time of the committee meeting in room 204 drew near, between 50 and 75 people were in the hallway. A good portion were superintendents from across the state. They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t support the idea of non-district, autonomous charter schools that are self-governed and funded from the same pool of tax dollars that districts rely on for everything from hiring qualified teachers to adopting state-of-the-art curriculums to guaranteeing that little Johnny will have a computer in his classroom so that he can learn how to create a spreadsheet. These educators knew that charter schools have a proven record of skimming the best and brightest students away from district schools while enrolling a significantly lower percentage of special-needs and at-risk students than their district counterparts, according to a recent study done by Western Michigan University. The result is â&#x20AC;&#x153;successfulâ&#x20AC;? test scores and showers of praise, while the districts are left with less money to educate the kids who the charter schools wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take. They opened the doors around 1 p.m. and only allowed 10 people into the meeting room. Twenty minutes later, the doors opened again. The charter-school bill had officially died by a margin of one vote, 16-15. Loud applause and emotional shouts of joy rang throughout the hall. One superintendent shouted â&#x20AC;&#x153;Glory!â&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;perhaps relieved at being able to return to the business of educating children in the unified, traditional model that works when communities make it work and, yes, fails when communities allow it to fail. I called my good superintendent friend back home to tell him that it was over, but as I hung up the phone, five words flashed across the screen in a text message from a friend: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Governor to consider special session.â&#x20AC;? Drained and dazed, I walked out of the capitol and headed back home. So, here we are. Back to square one in the fight to save Thomas Jeffersonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quintessentially American idea of a â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Ś system of general instruction, which shall reach every description of our citizens â&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? Except now, like the churning cumulus of a Deep South storm cell or the thunderous vitriol of an anti-public school radio host, it has escalated into a full-scale war. This story originally appeared on the authorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blog The Public School Warrior at


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Code Blue: Police Pursuits Cost a Life a Day. Does It Matter? by Jacob Fuller VIRGINIA SCHREIB


Control tower. “They’re going about, looks like 90plus (miles per hour) right now,” said another voice over the radio. “It’s a gray Grand Marquis, gray Grand Marquis.” Ridgeland police sped after suspects down Spillway Road, from Ridgeland to Flowood, on the morning of Feb. 5. The cool, late-morning reservoir air rushed over their cruisers as Reservoir Patrol, Rankin County Sheriff’s deputies and Flowood police responded to the news that the high-speed chase was quickly headed to their jurisdictions. The chase continued down Spillway Road, with Rankin County officers joining the pursuit. Within minutes, the Grand Marquis turned onto Highway 25 in Flowood, and passed Pinelake Church, Good Shepherd and St. Paul’s Catholic churches, headed southwest at close to 100 mph

through two school zones, with police and sheriff’s cruisers close behind. “Going to kill somebody, might want to back off of him,” a voice said over the police scanner. “Do not get in the way of this suspect,” another voice said. Less than three seconds later, the words became prophetic. “10-50, Grants Ferry at 25,” an officer’s voice said, signifying that the Grand Marquis had crashed into another car. Milinda Clark was driving her beige, ’90s-model Nissan Altima on Grants Ferry Road, returning to Pinelake Church where she attended the early service, to pick up her two children from Sunday School. Clark saw a green light that signaled it was safe to cross the southbound lanes of Highway 25 at the busy Grants Ferry intersection and merge onto the northbound side of the highway. The gray Grand Marquis that led police on a high-speed chase for a little more than seven miles, from Kroger in Ridgeland to the intersection of Highway 25 and Grants Ferry, did not let Clark get through the light. The front bumper of the Grand Marquis met the driver’s side door of Clark’s

April 18 - 24, 2012



Prohibitive - Vehicular police chases are not allowed under any circumstances Restrictive - Police chases are allowed under certain circumstances, as determined by the individual law enforcement agency and described in the agency’s policy Discretionary - Chases are allowed under any circumstance when deemed necessary by the officers involved and the commanding officer on duty

Altima at nearly 100 miles per hour. The social worker and 38-year-old mother of two died at the hospital later that day. The Felony Conundrum Jennifer Ford and Robert Williams, the suspects in the Grand Marquis that killed Milinda Clark that Sunday morning, had attempted to steal two grocery carts full of beer, meat and other food, worth $566.36, from the Kroger on Old Canton Road in Ridgeland, according to the Ridgeland Police investigative report. Williams never made it out of the store with his cart before an employee stopped him. A store manager detained Ford just outside the front door of the store, but let her go when he saw Ridgeland police arrive. Both suspects left the carts of food and went to their car. Sgt. Chad was the first on the scene. At that time, according to the Ridgeland Police Department, the commanding officer thought he witnessed Williams try to hit an officer with the vehicle. The commanding officer then gave police clearance to pursue the fleeing suspects. At the time of print, police have not confirmed the identity of the commanding officer who approved the pursuit, due to the ongoing investigation in the Ridgeland Police Department. So why did Ridgeland police deem it necessary to chase two shoplifting suspects, neither of whom got away with any stolen goods, at speeds up to 100 miles per hour? The Mississippi Department of Standards and Training offers three suggested policies for pursuit in the state. Each law enforcement agency must adopt a policy based on what they determine best fits their jurisdiction; however, laws do not require individual policies to



ll units, Ridgeland PD in pursuit. Gray Crown Victoria on lower (Spillway) Road, request assistance,” a voice said over the police scanner from Reservoir

Ridgeland Police Chief Jimmy Houston says 99 percent of state agencies will comply with the toothless pursuit laws on the books.

adhere to one of the three suggested policies (see sidebar, this page.) The Ridgeland department has a restrictive policy on pursuits, meaning that its officers are only allowed to chase in cases of a violent felony, a felony by someone who is unidentified and is in a vehicle that does not have identifying plates, or a criminal who demonstrates a serious and immediate threat to the public. The department reported that the suspects’ Grand Marquis did not have a license plate. Attempting to shoplift $566.36 worth of groceries is a felony (the minimum amount to constitute a felony is $500), but the officers could not know the value of the goods Williams and Ford attempted to shoplift until after the pursuit began. Presumably, then, it was the commanding officer’s belief that Williams was trying to hit an officer with his car, along with the absence of a license plate on the

START Corner of Lake Harbor Drive and Spillway Road




Krogers on Lake Harbor Drive


Grocery List

Grand Marquis and lack of identification on the suspects, that warranted the highspeed chase under Ridgeland’s policy. Ridgeland Police Chief Jimmy Houston said that when a car does not have plates, it hinders the law enforcement officers from being able to track the car later, making a pursuit necessary. “The Supreme Court has said that there are times when a pursuit would actually be justifiable, and that is during a time when there has been a violent felony committed, when there is no opportunity for you to know who that person is. And you may pursue, if you weigh those issues,” Houston told the Jackson Free Press. In Mississippi, fleeing from the police “in such a manner as to indicate a reckless or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property” is a felony. Houston said that some courts have said that fleeing from police is a violent act itself. So even if Williams had not, or



Corner of Grants Ferry Drive and Lakeland Drive


Ridgeland police began chasing Robert Williams and Jennifer Ford at the Kroger on Lake Harbor Drive. Williams then led police across Spillway Road to the intersection of Lakeland Drive and Grants Ferry Drive, where Williams crashed into Milinda Clark’s Nissan Altima.

did not, attempt to hit an officer with his car, Houston believes a chase may still have been warranted under Ridgeland’s policy. The family of Milinda Clark wants to be sure the actions of Williams and Ford that morning did, in fact, warrant the pursuit that ended in Milinda’s death. Attorney Ashley Ogden, who represents Clark’s children and her estate, sent a notice-of-claim letter Feb. 29 to the Ridgeland city clerk and the mayor requesting that the city investigate the actions of the Ridgeland police officers involved in the pursuit. Clark’s family has declined comment due to the pending lawsuit. Under the Mississippi Torts Claims Act, which lays out how citizens can sue cities, the city has 90 days to investigate the claims made in the letter. After 90 days, the city must either inform Ogden that the Ridgeland police did something wrong and offer to settle for the

wrongdoing, or say that Ridgeland Police broke no laws or policies. In that case, the children and the estate must sue the city of Ridgeland if they wish to collect damages. The Thrill of the Chase Candy Priano, her husband, Mark, and her daughter, Kristie, were on their way to Kristie’s high school basketball game in Chico, Calif., in Candy’s minivan in January 2002. About the same time, another teenage girl decided to take her mom’s car for a joyride without permission. The joyrider’s mother called the police and asked them to be on the lookout for her daughter, whom she believed would be at a friend’s house, and asked police to bring her home. When police spotted the joyrider and turned on their blue lights, the young woman didn’t stop. She led police on a highspeed chase through a residential neighbor-

hood, where the Prianos were headed to Kristie’s basketball game. The chase soon ended, and the joyriding teenager returned home to her parents later that day, but without the car, which she had buried in the side of the Prianos’ minivan. The collision left Kristie Priano, a 15year-old avid community volunteer, dead. Candy Priano could not accept that her daughter had been killed because police were chasing a teenager whose only crime was taking her mother’s car for a joyride. Priano knew someone was responsible for Kristie’s death, and the police were the only adults involved. “So many of these chases are unnecessary,” Priano said. “They’re unnecessary because there are other ways to catch these drivers who do flee from the police, and there are drivers, in some cases, who are

Code Blue,see page 16

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wo shoplifters allegedly stole the following from Kroger before officers chased them at more than 90 mph, resulting in the death of an innocent bystander.




April 18 - 24, 2012

tions, and the vast majority of the donations we get are from families who have been affected.” Voices for PursuitSAFETY organizers argue that even one death outweighs the positives of chasing suspects and criminals. Priano said they have received positive responses from law enforcement and even have three officers, including police chiefs Richard Schardan of Maryville, Ill., and Timothy Dolan of Minneapolis, Minn., on their advisory board. They hope to see law enforcement search for new ways to track down suspects, ways that do not involve high-speed chases and endangering the lives of innocent civilians. The organization rewards officers who find other ways to catch suspects with their yearly Safer Way Award. “The best way to catch is good detective work. (It’s) how many officers catch most of these suspects,” Priano said. Homant said that new technologies, especially in well-funded agencies, have helped make many pursuits unnecessary since his first research in the late 1980s. Highresolution cameras can capture license-plate numbers and help identify suspects, and easy-to-access information about suspects’ criminal histories helps officers catch suspects without vehicular pursuits. Tools like stop sticks—strips of spikes that puncture tires—can stop fleeing vehicles without a pursuit. “Those people who believe pursuits are important have alternative ways of catching people or alternative ways of stopping eluding cars other than just pursuing them and chasing them down,” Homant said. Access to those alternatives have lessened the need for chases since Homant began his research more than 20 years ago, but for the families of the dozens of innocent victims who are killed every year in America, chases are still too common. COURTESY VOICES INSISTING ON PURSUITSAFETY

not posing an immediate threat to public The key is to train officers in pursuit how dangerous police chases can be. The safety. ... Are (the suspects) going to pull policy, and train them often. “It needs to group wants more restrictive policies and over appropriately? Chances are they aren’t. be clear what the policy is,” Homant said. laws enacted involving police pursuits and We can’t trust these people to do the right “When you do (review policies often), most tougher penalties for officers who violate thing, so we have to put our trust in the po- police officers are fairly good about simply the policies. They have had little success in lice to do the right thing and to say, ‘How following policy. They’re happy to break convincing lawmakers. else can I catch these drivers, rather than chasing them?’” Right: Paul Farris and his girlfriend Kate In Priano’s case, there was Hoyt are seen here in 2006, before the 2007 a question of whether the teen crash that killed Farris and left Hoyt with had even committed a crime permanent injuries. before the police got involved. Bottom Right: Paul Farris poses for a photo Sure, the car was not in the at his 2006 graduation from Tufts University. teen’s name, and she had taken Farris was killed in May 2007, when a fleeing it without permission, but how suspect crashed into the cab he was exiting. many courts will charge a teenBelow: Paul Farris and driver Walid Chahine ager with a crime for taking were killed when a fleeing SUV struck this her mother’s car for a ride to a Metro Cab May 28, 2007. friend’s house? Had the police not gotten involved, the young woman likely would have returned home later that day, possibly to a scolding by her parents. And Kristie Priano would still be alive. Candy Priano wanted to know why police would pursue a fleeing teenager through a residential neighborhood for taking her mother’s car. At least one expert says it may be about the thrill of the chase. Robert Homant, who has taught criminal justice at the Finding the University of Detroit Mercy statistics to show the since 1978 and previously served danger proved more as a prison psychologist for eight difficult than Priano years, has published studies on had initially exhis research of police pursuits. pected. “There is no His work shows that the thrill of the chase mandatory reporting Left:Voices Insisting on often affects officers’ decisions and puts (of pursuit-related PursuitSAFETY co-founder them in situations where they can endanger deaths),” Voices coJon Farris helped start the non-profit organization with innocent bystanders. founder Jon Farris the goal of changing police “There is a tendency for personality said. “Some agencies chase laws, policies and factors such as sensation seeking to affect report, some don’t, perceptions. the quickness, let us say, with which an offibut you see it every cer pursued, broke off pursuit (or) followed day.” policy,” Homant said. To counter Some people enjoy adrenaline rushes, the problem, Voices while other don’t, Homant said. Those who has a new top prido are more likely to interpret possible purority—to create suit situations as ones that warrant a chase. the first nationwide “It’s not as if you’re going against polidatabase of deaths cy, so much as you’re interpreting the situa- off pursuits, if that’s what the policy is,” caused by police pursuits and call retion differently,” Homant said. Homant said. sponses. Priano has tracked the deaths us“I’ve had officers admit to me that it So was it an errant policy or an adrena- ing Google on a daily basis since 2004, was hard to break off chases that they knew line rush clouding an officer’s interpretation and Farris joined her in 2007. they should break off. After they broke of a good policy that led to Kristie Priano’s Since last year, their data (which could them off, they said, ‘Well, yeah I did the death? Wanting an answer to that question be incomplete) show that an average of sevright thing by not pursuing further, but at and hoping to keep other parents from ever en people die as a result of police chases and the time, it was difficult to do that.’ And having to ask it was why Candy Priano, call responses in America every week— a they described it as not wanting to be beat- along with family members of other police- death every day. At least one-third of those en by the person that was eluding (them).” pursuit victims, started Voices Insisting on deaths are innocent bystanders. Determining whether sensation seek- PursuitSAFETY, a nonprofit organization “We’ll continue to just input that ing was a factor in an individual pursuit sit- dedicated to changing laws, policies and (data) until we have a full 12 months, and uation is almost impossible, Homant said. practices of police pursuits. then until we have a couple of calendar Officers, though, should be trained to be Since 2007, Voices has talked to nu- years,” Farris said. “The biggest challenge is aware of the adrenaline rush and how they merous state legislatures, police depart- we don’t have resources. We’re a nonprofit. 16 are likely to react to it. ments and victims to educate them on just The monies that we have are solely dona-

Leaving Scars and Injuries Jon Farris co-founded Voices after his son, Paul, died as he and his girlfriend were about to exit a taxi in a residential neighborhood in Somerville, Mass., a densely populated Boston suburb. The 4.2-square-mile town has a population of 75,754, or 18,147 residents per square mile. (By comparison, Ridgeland has a population density of 1,352 residents per square mile.) Most residential roads in Somerville are lined with parked cars. Because of this, Somerville Police have a strict policy against pursuing fleeing suspects. But during the early morning of May 28, 2007, a state trooper saw an SUV make an illegal turn at a stop sign, and the officer turned on his blue lights. Javier Morales, with his pregnant girlfriend in the pas-

When Police Officers Say They Would Engage in Pursuits Violation

Level of Risk* Low High

Traffic Violation Property Crime: Misdemeanor Property Crime: Felony Stolen Vehicle DUI Violent Felony: No Death Violent Felony: With Death Officer Shot

43% 42% 64% 65% 70% 87% 96% 96%

10% 17% 34% 37% 43% 80% 95% 95%

* Risk was defined by level of traffic congestion, weather conditions, type of road (e.g., whether surface street, highway, or interstate), and area of pursuit (e.g., whether urban, rural, or commercial). In filling out the questionnaire, respondents themselves determined whether they felt their risk was high or low. SOURCE: SURVEY BY NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF JUSTICE


A StarChase GPS Tracking Projectile can replace high-speed chases by sticking to fleeing cars. Officers can launch them from their vehicles.

cies exist in overlapping jurisdictions, such as a sheriff’s department with a different police than the local police department. Law enforcement officers are only subject to the rules and policies of their agency, and when those policies differ from neighboring or overlapping agencies, the results can be disastrous. The problem of unshared wavelengths is one reason the state is implementing the Mississippi Wireless Integrated Network. Under the direction of Department of Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps, the group is implementing a statewide radio wavelength that will allow officers from different agencies to communicate with one another from their patrol vehicles at the touch of a button. Several cities and regions across the state are already using the radios, including most of the Gulf Coast and Mississippi River regions, as well as the Ridgeland Police Department. “Everybody in our area should be able to talk on the same police channel,” Houston said. “We talk to Madison (Police Department). We talk to Madison (Sheriff’s Office). We can talk to Holmes Community College. We can talk to Reservoir Patrol. But we cannot talk to Rankin (Sheriff’s Office). We can’t talk to Flowood (Police De-

Code Blue, see page 18

senger seat of the SUV, didn’t stop for the officer and began speeding through Somerville’s crowded streets. The state trooper was not bound by Somerville Police’s policy and pursued Morales down residential roads. Paul Farris, his girlfriend, Kate Hoyt, and the taxi driver, Walid Chahine, were sitting in one of the many cars parked on the side of the road in one of Somerville’s neighborhoods. As Farris exited the taxi, Morales lost control of the SUV and smashed the front end into the side of the cab. Farris died that morning. Chahine died later due to injuries suffered in the accident. Hoyt spent the next few weeks in intensive care, the next few months in the hospital, and will spend the rest of her life with scars and injuries that will never heal. With no uniform policy or regulations and a lack of radio communications between police agencies, the Somerville Police Department’s policy, which officers put into place to protect citizens, was ineffective in preventing Farris’ death. When one agency makes a policy, it only affects that agency. Chief Houston said that his department will assist in pursuits that enter their jurisdiction by setting up road blocks and laying stop sticks, also known as spike strips. They will not, however, join in the chase unless the department determines it is allowed under Ridgeland’s policy, he said. That decision, though, must be made quickly by the commanding officer on duty without the benefit of hindsight (such as knowledge of whether the cart contained enough groceries to render it a felony). The inconsistency in policy and lack of communication is where many pursuit problems arise. Though a highway patrol officer should know the area in which he or she works, police are too often unaware of local law enforcement policies. And because, in many cases, different agencies do not have access to each other’s radio wavelength, patrolmen are unable to immediately communicate with other agencies. Individual agencies’ policies are rendered ineffective when contradicting poli-



Top Left: A woman and three teens were killed when an 18-year-old man crashed into this car while fleeing police in Stockton, Calif.,Feb. 20, 2001. Top Right: Kristie Priano, 15, was killed in Chico, Calif., when a teen fleeing police through a residential neighborhood crashed into her mother’s van on the way to Kristie’s basketball game in January 2002. Bottom Left:Voices Insisting on PursuitSAFETY cofounder Candy Priano helped start the non-profit organization after her daughter, Kristie, was killed during a police chase. Bottom Right: Kristie Priano, 15, was killed when a teen fleeing police through a residential neighborhood crashed into this van in January 2002.

April 18 - 24, 2012

partment). We can’t talk to Brandon (Police Department). And that is an issue,” Houston said. (They can also talk to Jackson.) Houston said access to the MSWIN system should be available statewide by the beginning of 2013. Buying the radios to get on the system isn’t cheap, but Houston said grants are available from the state to assist counties that wish to get on the system. The Jackson Police Department has installed the system. With such a system in place, it will be easier for officers crossing jurisdictional borders to communicate and adjust their plans accordingly, but when pursuits have started, officers are still only accountable to their agency’s policy. Even with heightened communicative abilities, the inconsistencies in pursuit policy can still cause confusion, because a chase that is warranted in one jurisdiction may not be what is best for the people in a community that the chase enters. When that is 18 the case, the chase often ends in tragedy in

that community, as it did in the chase that killed Milinda Clark. A Toothless Statewide Policy? Robin McCoy, Dana Lee and their friend, Steven Bledsoe, died as the result of a Florence police pursuit in February 2001. The girls were riding in a Lexus with their friend, Corey Tate, who had stolen the car from Herrin-Gear Lexus in Jackson. After officers spotted Tate speeding, they followed him to the parking lot of an Amoco gas station on Highway 49. Tate gave one of the officers his driver’s license and the vehicle’s identification number. Tate’s driver’s license was suspended, and the officer intended to arrest him for the charge. When he asked Tate to step out of the vehicle, Tate locked the doors and sped away. The officers involved knew the make, model, description and identification number of the stolen vehicle. They had Tate’s driver’s license. They knew Tate had three

passengers in the car with him. Yet they pursued Tate in a high-speed chase that resulted in the deaths of all three passengers. Tate survived. Robin McCoy’s parents, Linda and Larry McCoy, sued the state of Mississippi, the cities of Florence and Richland, the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department and Tate for their involvement in the chase. They did not win any of their lawsuits, but their fight in the courtroom, as well as their visits and presentations to several state legislatures across the nation, got the attention of then-Gov. Ronnie Musgrove. Musgrove appointed Linda McCoy as the only civilian on a commission with police and sheriff’s officers assigned with the task of suggesting a state law pertaining to police pursuits. “What they found was that in every jurisdiction, you basically had a different police-pursuit policy,” Larry McCoy said. “And there was no standardized method of training.” Chief Houston, who testified before

the Legislature on behalf of the commission’s bill, said the commission did what the state agencies needed at the time. “It brought about a knowledge of the fact that there actually needs to be something governing pursuits in the state of Mississippi,” Houston said. “The (policies) that we brought were Mississippi-specific.” In 2004, then-Gov. Haley Barbour signed the commission-recommended bill into law. “We were blessed to be at the ceremony—and the commission did make the recommendation,” Linda McCoy said. “However, they didn’t put any teeth in the law. There was no punishment for a department that did not put those policies in place.” Houston said a uniform punishment was not needed. When the state Legislature enacts a law, 99 percent of agencies in the state will adhere to it, he said. The commission did manage to make the punishment for those who flee the police more severe. Before the law the com-

A Costly Problem—and Solution Milinda Clark’s family is in process

an article on the website, the entire system costs about $4,500 per car. “It’s not (inexpensive), but it’s worth every dime that you pay for it,” Houston said. “We’re ready for it. If there were ways to (get it), I would have that technology in our patrol cars. “I wish we never had to pursue a car.

‘Going to kill somebody, might want to back off of him’ — Ridgeland police scanner, Feb. 5, 2012

on their hands, because once the city finds no wrongdoing, a lawsuit is the Clark family’s only possible further course of action. The Clark family could receive damages, but what pursuit victims’ families would prefer is to have their loved ones alive and well. They would rather there be an answer before the problems arise. Not damages after the fact. The MSWIN statewide communications system should help prevent deaths by providing instant, easy-to-use communication between agencies. Elsewhere in the country, law enforcement agencies are implementing technology that could help prevent the chases altogether. Like police helicopters, which aid many large cities in pursuits, the available technology is not cheap, however. In Los Angeles, police introduced the StarChase Pursuit Management System in 2006. Once on the front of police cruisers, the system can fire a GPS tracking devise, guided by a laser aiming mechanism, onto fleeing vehicles when police have a suspect in range. The GPS unit gives police the ability to track the suspects without having to keep them in site at the risk of endangering civilians. While the system is a great tool, most cities cannot afford it. On the StarChase website, each tracking devise costs $249.99, the chargers cost $29.95 and individual tracking projectiles are $525. The website does not list the cost of the GPS launcher, which has to be installed on patrol cars by a StarChase employee, but according to

I hate it, but I don’t know of any technology today that we could use that in some instances would stop a pursuit.” In Houston’s 10 years as police chief of Ridgeland, he said the department has had about 30 pursuits, and Clark’s death was the only resulting fatality of an innocent bystander. A National Institute of Justice survey of 555 residents of Aiken County, S.C., and Omaha, Neb., showed that the majority of the public agree with the police’s right to pursue. The more serious the offense, the more people agreed that a pursuit is warranted, while a higher risk to the public decreased the number who agreed to pursuits. “The only way to keep it from happening is to ban pursuits, and I don’t think that our public expects us to that. I think

that is the only sure-fire way that you could prevent all deaths in a pursuit,” Houston said in the interview. Sometimes, officers have to make decisions in gray areas, based on the available data, to pursue or not. And sometimes it doesn’t end well, he said. Homant believes police can reduce pursuits dramatically without an outright ban by using all the existing technologies. The sense of urgency among many communities to prevent chases has declined over the past 20 years, mainly due to technologies reducing pursuit deaths. That, coupled with many people’s tendency to view new police technologies as “Big Brotherish,” Homant said, has slowed the move toward eliminating police chases. While people aren’t arguing for a suspect’s right to flee the police, the idea of police being able to stop or track anyone’s car at anytime isn’t a concept that people can agree with either. The predicament lies with police chases killing innocent civilians on one hand, and a police force with more control over all vehicles on the other. “If there was a high-speed pursuit death in your local headlines once a week, then you might say, ‘Yeah, we need to do something about this. We can’t just let the crooks go. Good guys shouldn’t mind being stopped. Let’s get this technology to all our departments,’” Homant said. For now, it’s a question of how important it is to prevent pursuit-related deaths and injuries, how much technology are people willing to allow law enforcement to have, how much are they willing to pay for it, and how willing officers are to use technology and alternative methods, instead of engaging in high-speed chases. “With everyone, law enforcement included, people resist change,” Candy Priano said. “One of things we hear often from law enforcement is: ‘We have to chase. We can’t just let them go.’ I look at it as pursuit is not their only tool. Many officers initiate other resources and methods to apprehend these suspects.” Comment at

Deaths Caused by Police Pursuits and Responses (on average, as recorded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on a volunteer basis)

7 people per week 4 fleeing suspects per week 2 innocent bystanders per week (1/3 of all pursuit deaths are innocent bystanders) 1 police officer every six weeks

of using the Tort Claims Act to find out whether the Ridgeland Police Department followed their policy in chasing Ford and Williams. By the end of May, they will find out if the city of Ridgeland believes officers followed the policy. If the Ridgeland Police Department believes the officers followed the policy, the city will likely have a lawsuit VIRGINIA SCHREIBER

mission recommended passed, fleeing from police was a misdemeanor in Mississippi. Part of the new law elevated flight with a willful or reckless disregard for safety to a felony offense. “Police officers are putting all of the burden on the person who is fleeing, and he does deserve a great bit of the burden, but the commission also said the police officers would get police pursuit training,” Linda McCoy said. “They didn’t say what kind of training. They didn’t make any uniform laws.” “They have no standards that any police officer or police department has to meet. It is up to the discretion of all of the police officers’ captains, or whatever, to train their police officers (in) what to do during a police chase.” The law also failed to set a uniform regulation for when and why officers can pursue suspects. Individual agencies must adopt a policy on pursuits, but they are free to write whatever policy they choose. Similar laws are common among states with large rural areas. Densely populated urban areas often adopt stricter pursuit policies than rural areas, making it hard to get legislators and agencies to agree on a statewide policy, Homant said. A 1997 National Institute of Justice showed a direct connection between policy and the number of pursuits. In the study, police in the Miami-Dade, Fla., metro area, where a more restrictive policy had been implemented, showed a decrease from 279 pursuits the year before the policy chance to just 51 the year after. In Omaha, Neb., where a police implemented a more permissive policy, pursuits jumped from 17 the year before the change to 122 the year after. Houston said that he trains his officers once a year on pursuit policy and practice. Policy needs to be reviewed as often as monthly, Homant said, to assure officers’ adrenaline in the heat of the moment does not cloud their interpretation of what they have learned. The more often the policy reminders, the less likely officers are to break policy to pursue a suspect. While the Mississippi law did not lay out punishment for agencies or officers who fail to follow their implemented policies, Houston said other laws provide deterrents to breaking the policies. The Tort Claims Act provides citizens the ability to challenge the legality of officers’ actions during a chase and the ability to sue the city or department if they disagree about the presence of wrongdoing. “Attorneys love to see (policy violations), because that shows that department went outside the law to make a pursuit,” Houston said. Of course, those lawsuits often come after a pursuit results in injury or a death.





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oetry is like oxygen to Urban Raw, The Ugly Poet and Merc B. Williams. â&#x20AC;&#x153;God gave John Henry the hammer, and He gave me the pen,â&#x20AC;? says Herbert Brown, 32, lyricist and poet, also known as The Ugly Poet. He is the author of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Beautiful Thoughts from The Ugly Poet.â&#x20AC;? To this trio, poetry is not just lines and rhymes; it is a binding substance that forms their friendship, a form of expression and a way of life. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a poem or telling jokesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;to me itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just for the love of the art itself,â&#x20AC;? says Kelly Nash, 30, who works as a specialist at C Spire Wireless. His stage name is Merc B. Williams. For a while, Merc traveled from Hattiesburg to Jackson just for the poetry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That was my way of expressing myself,â&#x20AC;? he says. Merc adds that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not sure what it does for others but says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I appreciate the art of poetry.â&#x20AC;? Merc describes performing in the terms of an addiction. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like a drug,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I get that micâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like an out-of-body experience.â&#x20AC;? The trio can often be found performing at the club Suite 106. The clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s atmosphere is sophisticated, and the poets talk about kinds of subject matter from love gone wrong to erotic scenes and political topics. Poetry at Suite 106 functions the way a family does. Urban Raw, the administrator of the open mic, The Ugly Poet and Merc B. Williams are all hosts at Suite 106. They offer constructive criticism and support to other poets so they can hone their creative skills. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to do something, you have to do it in a way that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s respectful to the audienceâ&#x20AC;? says Nathan Harper, 27, also known as Urban Raw. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In all these other cultures in the old days, to be a poet was something sacred. It was a divine job. You prayed over your pen; you


The Poets of Suite 106

by Brittany Kilgore

prayed over your paperâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;you were that sacred.â&#x20AC;? Gil Scott-Heron is one of many poets who inspires The Ugly Poet, and he admits to memorizing Shel Silversteinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s poems before his own. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All it is, is just human expression,â&#x20AC;? The Ugly Poet says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all it is. So youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re supposed to write about whatever goes on in your mind. How else are people going to know what went on today 20 years from now?â&#x20AC;? He listens to Scott-Heron frequently, and says the poet talked quite a bit about what was going on in the â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70s from social and political perspectives. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Poets â&#x20AC;Ś talk about what goes on in a society, the things youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not going to get in text books, the thing thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not going to be mainstream,â&#x20AC;? The Ugly Poet says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But if you think you just have to talk about love or something tragic, what are you giving to the audience? I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean audience as in sitting right in front of you while youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on the mic, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m talking about people 20, 30 years from now. What are they going to have to say about 2012? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s up to us.â&#x20AC;? Urban Raw adds, â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you can just be genuine and honest about what you think and what you feel, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good enough.â&#x20AC;? Urban Raw says he draws inspiration from Langston Hughes, Tupac Shakur and Keno Davis. To paint all these poets with one brush stroke would not be fair. So, what is in a name? Urban Raw is Urban Raw because he paints realism, he says, colors not too many people can see. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mercâ&#x20AC;? in Merc B. Williams is short for â&#x20AC;&#x153;mercenary,â&#x20AC;? and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;uglyâ&#x20AC;? in The Ugly Poet acknowledges that everything is not always peachy. Life can have a grimy taste, he says. The three poets all have a formula. Urban Raw describes his formula as realism; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two-toned, rather like day and night. His performance pieces include vulgarity, but his work has been accepted for publication in Jackson State Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lit-

Jackson poet Urban Raw, aka Nathan Harper, is a performer as well as one of the hosts at Suite 106.

erary journal Black Magnolias. His written poems are rich with figurative language and not as crude. As for The Ugly Poet, his formula is satire. Merc B. Williamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; formula is the substance that forms the core of the trioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s friendshipâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the simple love of the art of poetry itself. Suite 106 (106 Wilmington St., 601-720-4640) features open-mic sessions on the first and third Saturday of each month at 9 p.m. Admission is $5, $3 to perform.

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Of Dogs and Tutus by Robbie S. Ward


Whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a kid or an adult, the Cotton District Arts Festival offers opportunities to have fun.

Maggie Bjorgum, co-chairwoman of the Cotton District Arts Festival, says the festival will entertain on many levels. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People can expect a lot of movement and a good time,â&#x20AC;? Bjorgum says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have lots to do, see and eat.â&#x20AC;? With roughly 120 artisans showcasing their work, a dozen bands and 20 different food vendors, the daylong event

promises to fill bellies and minds with food and art appreciation. The Cotton District, Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first new urbanism neighborhood, has hosted the event since its developer, Dan Camp, and his wife, Gemma, helped organize the first celebration of fine arts in 1986. Grown from a few hundred people the first year, the event is now organized through the Starkville Area Arts Council. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got more imagination and creativity here than people realize,â&#x20AC;? Dan Camp says. And food, too. Jay Reed, a local food columnist who organizes the Taste of Starkville food vendors, says people should show up ready to eat. To make sure he has a strong appetite, Reed plans to run in the eventâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 5K race first thing in the morning. He says he has a personal interest in making sure the festival provides interesting and delicious foodâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;he wants to eat it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll make sure Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m really hungry when I get there,â&#x20AC;? Reed says. One reason the Starkville Area Arts Council has succeeded with the event through the years is because it identifies the best people to coordinate different events. Food connoisseurs work with the food, and artists organize the arts vendors. Starkville painter Laurie Burton, coordinator for arts vendors, has worked for months to ensure the highest quality works will be available. The festival requires artistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; work to meet specific guidelines, which helps encourage uniqueness and quality craftsmanship. In all, the festival will have a mix of arts including panting, jewelry, woodworking, furniture, frames, posters, photography, ceramics and other media. The council awards prizes in six art categories, along with the Best in Show honor. And if festival attendees have questions about what they see, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get answers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every booth will be manned by the artist,â&#x20AC;? Burton said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want everybody to bring money and buy, but we also want them

Congratulate The Staff of Underground 119 Would Like To



tâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not everyday that you can munch on grilled ribs next to European-inspired statues surrounded by dogs in tutus to the strains of a bagpipe. But you can in Starkville in April. One of the most unique places in the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Starkvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cotton Districtâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;transforms into Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capital for the arts for one day each year. On April 21, the Cotton District Arts Festival will fuse a wealth of music, food and arts for one of the premiere fineart events in the state, featuring pottery demonstrations and a mix of music including bluegrass, rock, soul, oldies, rockabilly and more. With the eventâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cross-section of the artsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;culinary, music, visual and otherwiseâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; organizers of the 26th annual Cotton District Arts Festival anticipate a crowd of 40,000 people. Attendance should receive a boost from Super Bulldog Weekend, the annual weekend combining Mississippi State University baseball and the spring scrimmage football game, which will include a half-time performance by the band Sugarland.

This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual Cotton District Arts Festival promises a great day of music, food and artâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;including the unexpectedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;in a historic section of Starkville.

to have a good time visiting with the artists.â&#x20AC;? A first-time artist at the festival, Jeremy Klutts of West Point will have his electric and acoustic cigar-box guitars for sale. Used by musicians from Jimmy Hendrix to B.B. King, cigar-box guitars have been around since the mid-1860s. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They actually sound pretty good,â&#x20AC;? Klutts said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I build all of them electric, so you can plug them up.â&#x20AC;? Attendees will have a chance to see art created, too. Starkville artists Dylan Karges and Robert Long will have pottery wheels at their booths to demonstrate their work. For music, the festival will have two stages, each with range of genres selected by veteran musical-event producers Larry Wallace, a banjo virtuoso with his own band, and Cindy Melby, a music teacher whose daughters perform in the Nashville-based band Nash Street. Headlining the festival is Grenada native Charlie Worsham, a much-sought-after Nashville musician who has toured with

both Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift. Worsham, who first performed at the Grand Ole Opry at age 12 after winning a national banjo competition, has written songs for Dierks Bentley and performed on Eric Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most recent album. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Charlie is one of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best talentsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; not just in country music but across the board,â&#x20AC;? says Wallace, who taught banjo lessons to Worsham. Speaking by phone recently before a concert in Austin, Texas, Worsham said he always enjoys playing in his home state, especially in a festival setting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I jumped at the chance to play in Starkville,â&#x20AC;? Worsham said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Festivals are a little more of a fun, loose atmosphere.â&#x20AC;? Having just signed a recording contract with Warner Brothers, Worsham anticipates releasing his first solo album in 2013. Starkvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 26th annual Cotton District Arts Festival is Saturday, April 21. For more information, call the SAAC office at 662324-3080, email or visit


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Flag expert Clay Moss 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. … At Hal & Mal’s, Eilen Jewell and the Hackensaw Boys perform at 7:30 p.m. in the Big Room ($10 in advance, $12 at the door; call 601-292-7121; visit, and Singer/Songwriter Night is in the restaurant (free). … The play “All My Sons” starts at 7:30 p.m. at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.); it runs through April 28. $25, $22 seniors and students; call 601-948-3533, ext. 222 … Club Magoo’s has Open-mic Night at 8 p.m. … The Med Grill hosts the Battle of the Bands at 9 p.m. … Dreamz JXN hosts Wasted Wednesday. … Virgil Brawley and Steve Chester perform at Underground 119.

and runs through April 22. $15, $10 seniors and students; call 601-825-1293. … Shannon McNally and Electric Hamhock perform at 7:30 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). $10 advance, $12 at door; call 601-292-7121 or 800-745-3000 … Chris Gill performs at Que Sera Sera.


Jhamasa performs during Live at Lunch at 11:30 a.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Art Garden (380 S. Lamar St.). Free, bring or buy lunch; call 601-960-1515. … Arts on the Square kicks off at 4 p.m. at Historic Canton Square; runs through April 21. Free admission; call 601-859-5816. … Lawyerpalooza is at 5 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s and benefits the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Mississippi Center for Justice. $5; call 601969-9692, 769-257-5380 or 601-957-2600. … ZooBrew is at 6 p.m. at the Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). For ages 21 and up. $25, $20 members, $10 shuttle from Fondren and Highland Village; call 601-352-2580. … The Amnesty International DREAM Act Concert is at 6:30 p.m. at Sneaky Beans. $5; call 601-974-1338.


Arts on the Green is at 10 a.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, North Campus (370 Old Agency Road, Ridgeland) at Lake Sherwood Wise. Free admission; call 601-853-6000. … See the West African opera “N’Ye’Re’Bia” at 5 p.m. at Adhiambo School (3424 Robinson Road). $8, $4 children; call 601922-1184. … Parents for Public Schools of Jackson’s fundraiser An Evening of Hope is at 6 p.m. at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). $20; call 601-969-6015. … The Battle of the Saxes is at 7 p.m. at Alamo Theatre. $20; call 800-745-3000. … The roller-derby bout between the Magnolia Roller Vixens and the Rocket City Rollers is at 7 p.m. at the Jackson Convention Complex. $12 in advance, $15 at the door, $5 children; … The Mississippi Opera presents “Elixir of Love” at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall. $45 and up; call 601-960-2300. … Marcia Ball and the Chris Gill Trio perform at 9 p.m. Gospel recording artist Canton Jones performs April 20 at 7 p.m. at New Horizon Church.

April 18 - 24, 2012

The Fondren Guitar Rock Band performs during the High Note Jam at 5:30 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Art Garden (380 S. Lamar St.). Free, food for sale; call 601-960-1515. … Mississippi’s Finest Speed Dating Event is at 6 p.m. at North Midtown Arts Center. Limited seating. $25 in advance, $35 at the door; call 601-594-5454 to RSVP. … The Gospel Music Experience Conference VIII at New Horizon Church (1700 Ellis Ave.) kicks off with music from Angela Spivey at 7 p.m. (free). April 20, Canton Jones performs at 7 p.m. ($5). April 21, Hezekiah Walker performs (free). Call 601-906-2757 or 601371-1427. … The play “The Ponder Family Heart” is at 28 7:30 p.m. at Black Rose Theatre (103 Black St., Brandon)


Celebrate Earth Day at 1 p.m. at Farish Street Park. Free; call 601-291-7381. … The Celtic Heritage Society’s Blásta Wine Tasting is at 2 p.m. at Fenian’s. $25 advance, $35 at the door, $25 members; call 601-366-6644 or 601948-0055. … Art House Cinema Downtown at Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.) features the opera “Rigoletto” at 2 p.m. ($16) and “Brake” at 5 p.m. ($7); visit … Percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani performs at 8 p.m. at The Commons. $7; call 601-352-3399.


World Book Night is at 5:30 p.m. at Fondren Park (Northview Drive and Dunbar Street); Scott Albert Johnson performs. Free; call 601-981-9606. … The Lazy Magnolia Beer Dinner is at 6 p.m. at Sal & Mookie’s. $55; call 601-368-1919 to RSVP. … The Wedding, Satellites and Sirens, Wavorly and Pioneer perform at 7:30 p.m. at Duling Hall. $10 advance, $12 at door; call 601-292-7121.


See “Driving Miss Daisy” during Screen on the Green at 7 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Art Garden (380 S. Lamar St.). Free, cash bar; call 601-960-1515.


Agricultural economist Jimmye Hillman speaks during History Is Lunch at noon at the Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Bring lunch; call 601-576-6998. … Jason Turner performs at Fenian’s. … Larry Brewer is at Olga’s. More at and

Bret Kenyon, Laurie Pascale and John Maxwell (l-r) perform in the play “All My Sons” through April 28 at New Stage Theatre. COURTESY MELISSA TILLMAN


at Underground 119. $25 in advance, $30 at the door; call 601-292-7121 or 800-745-3000. … The Nameless Open-mic is at 9 p.m. at Suite 106. $5, $3 to perform.



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Experimental Percussion

Tatsuya Nakatani will present his improvised music workshop at The Commons April 21.


t will be a jam like no other when worldrenowned percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani performs with a group of 10 musicians of different musical backgrounds at The Commons at Eudora Weltyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Birthplace April 22. The Osaka, Japan, native will perform with his large bong cymbals with handmade bows; youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have to show up to see what other musicians add to the improvisation piece. This is the third time Nakatani has brought his cymbals and what he calls his â&#x20AC;&#x153;master classesâ&#x20AC;? to Jackson. He lives in Easton,

Pa., but travels the country and the world from Denver to Dublin teaching students to extend their technique or sound. He also does sound for soundtracks and collaborates with a number of musicians in an array of genres. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no name for what Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m doing, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s called experimental,â&#x20AC;? Nakatani said. What makes Nakatani unique is his ability to use broken cymbals or old instruments and find new purposes for them. Nakatani uses bongs and cymbals to create friction against each other while producing a different sound from another instrument. Jonathan Sims, organizer of the event, said Nakataniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s performances are some of the more powerful and exhilarating he has ever seen. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He catches you off guard no matter how many times youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen him,â&#x20AC;? Sims said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He makes so much sound out of the cultural one-man ensemble.â&#x20AC;? Sims said Nakatani requested to have a workshop with a variety of musicians in the area from different musical backgrounds, from jazz to folk, on this visit to Jackson. Nakatani said his love for creating sound sparked his interest in doing workshops to help students perfect their craft and collaborate while learning new music techniques. Nakatani will teach the improvised music workshop April 22 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (limit of 10 students) with a concert with the students following at The Commons at Eudora Weltyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Birthplace (719 N. Congress St., 601-3523399). $20 workshop, concert admission and time TBA.

Natalieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Notes

April 18 - 24, 2012




A Post-Parade-Easter-Crossroads Week

by Natalie Long



ackson can take a collective sigh of relief. Two parades in one week, the holidays, the Crossroads Film Festival last weekend in addition to the tons of great happenings that always go on in Jackson have completely worn me out. Hopefully, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve all gotten much-needed rest and are ready for this weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lineup of fabulous music. On Wednesday, please come see my good friend Virgil Brawley (a fellow former Lincoln Countian) and The Vernon Brothers when they perform with Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;lo Trioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guitar man Steve Chester at Underground 119. The Vernon Brothersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; blend of country and blues is a great way to hitch your giddy-up for the remainder of the week. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re having a â&#x20AC;&#x153;blueâ&#x20AC;? Thursday, meander over to F. Jones Corner, where Jesse â&#x20AC;&#x153;Guitarâ&#x20AC;? Smith performs for the lunch crowd. Thursday night, Hal & Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s has north Mississippi-based Elemovements performing. This band plays everything from salsa to bluegrass with a kicking horn section, percussionists, keyboardists and guitarists. Visit for more information. Also Thursday night, Duling Hall features Mississippi girl Shannon McNally, one of my favorite female singer/ songwriters with north Mississippi roots. Check out her music at

On Friday, support the Jackson Zoo by attending the 119 to hear one of Louisianaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finest musicians, Marcia annual ZooBrew. Your $25 admission ($20 for zoon mem- Ball. Old Tavern hosts Remedy Krewe, and The Alamo, bers) includes beer and food sampling, a tour of the zoo, and in the historic Farish Street District, hosts the Battle of the a wing-eating contest. Head to for details. Saxes featuring Thomas â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tigerâ&#x20AC;? Rogers, Amos Brewer The Colonels, the band Jackand Kenny Nightingale. For all you son Free Press readers voted Best reservoir residents, Burgers and Blues Country Band this year, hit the stage has M.O.S.S., and Shuckerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hosts Friday at Reed Pierceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, where thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mike and Marty. Pelican Cove has never a cover. The new Ethiopian Richard McCain in the afternoon restaurant, Abeba (the old Last Call and Grateful Dead tribute band Otis on Frontage Road), hosts BluesLotus Saturday night. man; Table 100 in Flowood has DaIf youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for classical vid Pigott; Daze Work performs music this week, look no further at Pelican Cove; and Martinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s has than Thalia Mara Hall and the Misthe band Iron Feathers. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sissippi Opera for a one-night-only On April 21, Louisianaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Marcia Ball brings forget the first Lawyerpalooza, a her rootsy swamp pop to Underground 119. performance of Danzettiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Elixir of benefit for the Mississippi Volunteer Loveâ&#x20AC;? Saturday. Want jazz? Head to Lawyers Project and the Mississippi Alcorn State University in Lorman Center for Justice, featuring The Archtops, The Church for its free annual ASU Jazz Fest. Visit Keys (their new CD â&#x20AC;&#x153;Shake Back Shimmyâ&#x20AC;? is awesome!), for information. Eric Stracener and the Frustrations, Rumprollers, and I certainly appreciate all of you coming up to say hello more. Visit for info. when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen me out and about. I absolutely love ya, Saturday night is even more jam-packed than Friday. Jackson, so please stay tuned, keep sending me your music To celebrate competing in Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first ever Warrior Dash listings by Mondays at noon at music@jacksonfreepress. or just stay close to downtown, head over to Underground com, and keep the introductions coming. MARY KEATING BRUTON


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he Three Stooges” promises nothing and provides less, but it is slap-me-silly funny. Directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly from a script they wrote with Mike Cerrone, three knuckleheads try and raise $830,000 plus their “meels” to save the Sisters of Mercy orphanage. This is the only home they’ve known, and while they are not popular with Sister Mary-Mengele (Larry David), the trio inspires Peezer (Max Charles), Murph (Avalon Robbins) and the other little orphans. This is the kind of schmaltz where weak American tears might be shed if it was 1934, the year Columbia Pictures released the first short film of the stooges. Today’s audience understands that a moronic story is the only place for Moe, Larry and Curly. We wouldn’t want the story to upstage the actors. For those wise guys who shamelessly “bash” this film (Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk) or complain that it’s getting on their “noives,” quit your “squawking”! It’s easy to slough off the crudeness of the antics into the realm of dumb, dumber and dumbest, but the actors who play Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos), Larry (Sean Hayes) and Curly (Will Sasso) exhibit uninhibited action, perfect timing and seem to channel the original Moe Howard, Curly Howard and Larry Fine. The three modern-day stooges are slapstick masters using technique as skillfully in an oddball fusion of karate masters with circus clowns. To come off looking as stupid and guileless as they do requires some smart direction from the Farrelly brothers. This film is made up of an astonishing number of bits, sight gags and classic vaudevillian technique. Moe, Larry and Curly sing, and they do it without clunkers. The orphans sing, too, until Sister Mary-Mengele reins them in.

The sequences build to get laughs, hit the climax and then speed off to the next routine. At times the action is so fast that it’s like an adolescent stunt, carried out in a convulsive fit of spontaneity. You won’t find static slowing things down, except every now and then with the plot, which is a bit thick. Every scene conveys motion—from eye pokes, to nose pulls to bonks on the head to three guys on a bike tailgating a car. At the end of the film, the Farrelly brothers do a public service announcement, advising spectators that nothing in the film should be tried at home. Everything in “The Three Stooges,” like most Farrelly brothers creations, spoofs something sacred. Larry David plays Sister Mary-Mengele with earnest cross-dressing. Every scene with Sister Mary Mengele left me in stitches of laughter. One of the sisters bathes in a skimpy, wimpy one-piece, causing an outcry from the Roman Catholic Church. Lawyers take a bashing, as Moe’s adoptive father is always looking for the next greatest lawsuit, whether it’s against the orphanage or Super Cuts for some really bad hair. It’s difficult to explain what makes something funny, but there’s something about physical farce and boisterous slapstick that crosses cultures. Italy has Commedia Dell’ Arte, and we have vaudeville. But the vaudevillian tradition is withering on the vine of nostalgia, and when someone tries to resurrect it back into mainstream, it faces detractors who simply fail to understand the brilliance of idiocy. I had a hoot of a time laughing at the sight gags as if I were 10 years old. The theater audience was, in fact, mostly made up of kids with their parents. At first I felt a little shy that I had no youngster to justify my presence, but we all laughed together. Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk. (Really, I can’t stop saying this.)


Magnolia Roller Vixens Roller Derby April 21, 7 p.m., at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). The team takes on the Rocket City Rollers. $12 in advance, $15 at the door, $5 children; email

COMMUNITY Wycliffe Associates Banquet - Call for Reservations. The banquet is May 1 at First Presbyterian Church (1390 N. State St.). Donations go toward language development for the Choctaw Indians. Author Grace Fabian speaks. RSVP by April 23. Free, donations welcome; call 601-672-4438. “History Is Lunch” April 18, noon, at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Vexillologist Clay Moss talks about historic flags in the MDAH collection. Bring lunch; coffee and water provided. Free; call 601-576-6998. 42nd Annual Gibbs-Green Memorial Program April 19-20, at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.). JSU honors the memory of Phillip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green with campus events such as a Freedom Mile Marker unveiling, a meet-and-greet with the class of 1970, the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute Humanitarian Awards Luncheon April 20 at 11:30 a.m., and Jazz on the Plaza featuring Cassandra Wilson April 20 at 7 p.m. More at $35 luncheon, other events free; call 601-979-1732. Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women Spring Luncheon April 19, 11 a.m., at Capital Club (125 S. Congress St., Suite 19). Mississippi State Treasurer Lynn Fitch is the keynote speaker. Limited seating; registration required. $40; visit Networking in the Neighborhood April 19, 5 p.m., at Burgers & Blues (1060 E. County Line Road). Network and enjoy menu samples, door prizes and music. Free admission; call 601-624-7738. Mississippi’s Finest Speed Dating Event April 19, 6 p.m., at North Midtown Arts Center (121 Millsaps Ave.). Meet other singles in a series of three- to five-minute sessions. For ages 21-30. Cash bar available. Limited seating; RSVP. $25 in advance, $35 at the door; call 601-594-5454. Precinct 3 COPS Meeting April 19, 6 p.m., at Jackson Police Department, Precinct 3 (3925 W. Northside Drive). These monthly forums are designed to help resolve community issues. Call 601-960-0003. Metro Master Gardeners Plant Sale April 21, 8 a.m., at Mynelle Gardens (4736 Clinton Blvd.). Proceeds go toward ongoing gardening projects in the metro area. Call 601-955-0247. Global Youth Service Day April 21, 8 a.m., at Jackson Inner-city Garden (Medgar Evers Blvd. and Northside Drive, behind the BP station). Youth ages 5-25 plant vegetables, weed and prepare vegetable beds. Email Native Plant and Rose Sale April 21, 8 a.m., at Clinton Community Nature Center (617 Dunton Road, Clinton). Buy a plant and get one of equal or lesser value for free. Call 601-926-1104. Mindful Spirit Expo April 21-22, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., at Cabot Lodge Millsaps (2375 N. State St.). Intuitive


sk for More Arts brings artists into classrooms to integrate arts with other subjects. In four years, AFMA has exposed thousands of students to creative writing, theater, song writing and visual arts, expanding horizons and improving academics. On April 21, Ask for More Arts presents An Evening of Hope with Nicole Marquez at the Arts Center of Mississippi starting at 6 p.m. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, live music and see the art created in JPS schools. Keynote speaker Nicole Marquez is a professionally trained actor and dancer, Marquez nearly lost her life in a fall several years ago. Her story—doctors told her she would never walk again, much less dance—is moving and inspiring. Tickets are $20. Call 601-9696015 for more information, and visit pps for information on the Ask for More Arts program. —Ronni Mott

THIS WEEK WEDNESDAY 4/18 Eilen Jewell & Hackensaw Boys (Red) Singer/Songwriter Night w/ Natalie Long (Rest)

Now offering a full dinner menu. Now accepting reservations.


Wednesday,April 18th

Elemovements (Rest) Come join us for “Bye Buy Outta Here” cocktail hour to say goodbye and thank you to Rick, Bobby & David. 5-9pm

FRIDAY 4/20 LawyerPalooza:

featuring Rumprollers, Archtops, Church Keys, Cooper Miles, Michael Freed, Justice Kitchens, Meet n’ Greet, Mississippi Fred Gee and the hard stuff & Eric Stracener and the Frustrations (Red)

The Geeslin (Rest)

SATURDAY 4/21 Beth McKee (Red/Big)

MONDAY 4/23 Blues Monday (rest)

TUESDAY 4/24 PUB QUIZ w/ Erin & friends (rest)

Encounters is the host. The event includes exhibitor booths, lectures, a raffle and a vision board room. The first 100 guests receive a goodie bag. $25; visit

Coming Soon

Financial Literacy Day April 21, 10 a.m., at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive). Children learn the basic of managing money. $8, children under 12 months and members free; call 601-981-5469 or 877-793-5437.

WED 4.25: New Bourbon Street Jazz Band (Rest)

WaterFest 2012 April 21, 10 a.m., at Old Trace Park (Post Road, Ridgeland). Learn ways to protect the Ross Reservoir. Free admission; call 601-987-3040. Earth Day: Party for the Planet April 21, 10 a.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). Learn about protecting the environment and wildlife conservation. $9, $6 children 12 and under; members: $7, $4 children under 12; call 601-352-2580. Dynamic Business Solutions Business Brunch April 21, 11 a.m., at Mediterranean Fish and Grill (6550 Old Canton Road). Bring business cards and arrive early; limited seating. Free admission; call 601-879-4DBS (4327). Be Bold Beer Run April 21, in downtown Jackson. Registration is at 4 p.m., and the race is at 4:30 p.m. Free, drink prices vary; call 262-391-9265. Jackson Showboat Girls Dance Team Auditions April 21-22, at Mississippi Metropolitan Dance Academy (106 Autumn Ridge Place). For women ages 18 and up. $20; call 601-853-7480. Earth Day April 22, 1 p.m., at Farish Street Park (Farish St.). Enjoy music, poetry, a brown bag lunch and a flower competition. Free; call 601-291-7381. Blásta Wine Tasting April 22, 2 p.m., at Fenian’s Pub (901 E. Fortification St.). Proceeds benefit CelticFest Mississippi. $25 in advance, $35 at the door, $25 Celtic Heritage Society members; call 601-366-6644 or 601-948-0055.

more EVENTS, page 34


(Blues) 8-11, No Cover

Thursday, April 19th

ANDY HARDWICK TRIO (Jazz) 8-11, No Cover

Friday, April 20th

JV FUNK (Funk/Jazz) 9-1, $5 Cover before 8:30 $10 Cover after 8:30 also Zoo Brew After Party

show your Zoo Brew wristband for $5 cover and a free beer in a yours-to-keep pint glass.

Saturday, April 21st


THU 4.26: Fingers Taylor & Mark Whittington (Rest); Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds (Red)

Tickets available via Ticketmaster

Monday - Friday


Blue Plate Lunch with corn bread and tea or coffee



Tuesday, April 24th

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

CHRIS GILL & D’MAR (Blues) 8-11, No Cover

Thursday, April 26th

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


Fridays: Catfish Plates are $9.75


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


200 S. Commerce St. Downtown Jackson, Mississippi

(Americana) 8-11, No Cover

Friday, April 27th

(Blues) 9-1, $5 Cover before 8:30 $10 Cover after 8:30

Saturday, April 28th


(Blues) 9-1, $5 Cover before 8:30 $10 Cover after 8:30

119 S. President Street 601.352.2322

ZooBrew April 20, 6 p.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). Enjoy beer samples, specialty food, a wing-eating contest and music. For ages 21 and older. $25, $20 members, $10 shuttle from Fondren and Highland Village; call 601-352-2580.

Support Arts in School FILE PHOTO

Jackson Restaurant Week through April 21. Dine at participating restaurants and cast a ballot for one of the following charities to receive $10,000: Community Animal Rescue and Adoption (CARA), Friends of Children’s Hospital, Jackson Free Clinic, Magnolia Speech School and The Mustard Seed. Visit




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from page 33

Lazy Magnolia Beer Dinner April 23, 6 p.m., at Sal & Mookie’s (565 Taylor St.). Enjoy a five-course dinner paired with Lazy Magnolia beers. RSVP. $55 per person; call 601-368-1919. Jackson Police Department Precinct 4 Restructuring Ceremony April 23, 6 p.m., at Fondren Hall (Northwood Shopping Center, 4436 N. State St.). Call 601-960-0004.

WELLNESS Art in Mind Art Program April 25, 10 a.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). The program is for people with early-stage dementia and their caregivers. Register by April 23; space limited. Free; call 601-987-0020; visit

STAGE AND SCREEN Events at Hinds Community College, Raymond Campus (501 E. Main St., Raymond). • Hi-Steppers Auditions April 21, 8:30 a.m., in Bee Hall. Must be a full-time student with at least a 2.0 GPA. Visit • “Go for the Gold” April 24, 7 p.m., at Hogg Auditorium, Cain-Cochran Hall. Hinds’ Montage Theater of Dance performs. Students receive a $2 discount. $5 in advance, $7 at the door; call 601-857-3266. Grateful Dead Second Annual Meetup at the Movies April 19, 7 p.m., at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). See a recording of a 1989 Grateful Dead concert and a photo slideshow accompanied by an unreleased track. $17, $16 seniors and students, $15 children; call 601-936-5856. “The Sound of Plaid” Dinner Theater April 2028, at Terry Depot (Railroad Avenue and W. Cunningham Avenue). The Friends of Terry perform. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. Dinner served at 6 p.m. $20 (advance tickets only); call 601-540-2728 by April 23, 601-878-5980 after. Nameless Open-mic April 21, 9 p.m., at Suite 106 (106 Wilmington St.). $5 admission, $3 to perform; call 601-720-4640. “Cracked” Brunch Theater April 22, 10:30 a.m., at Kathryn’s (6800 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland). The Detectives Mystery Dinner Theatre performs. RSVP. $42; call 601-937-1752. Art House Cinema Downtown April 22, 5 p.m., at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). See the opera “Rigoletto” at 2 p.m. ($16) and “Brake” at 5 p.m. Visit “Our Town” Auditions April 23-25, 7 p.m., at Black Rose Theatre (103 Black St., Brandon). Production dates: June 7-17. Call 601-825-1293. “Bedlam in Cabin B” Dinner Theater April 23, 7 p.m., at Wasabi Sushi and Bar (100 E. Capitol St., Suite 105). Mississippi Murder Mysteries performs. RSVP. $42.50; call 601-948-8808. Screen on the Green April 24, 7 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). See “Driving Miss Daisy” in the Art Garden. Cash bar available. Free; call 601-960-1515.

April 18 - 24, 2012



Ardenland Concert Series. Call 601-292-7121 or 800-745-3000; visit • Eilen Jewell and the Hackensaw Boys April 18, 7:30 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St.). $10 in advance, $12 at the door. • Shannon McNally and Electric Hamhock April 19, 7:30 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). $10 in advance, $12 at the door. • Marcia Ball and the Chris Gill Trio April 21, 9 p.m., at Underground 119 (119 S. President St.). $25 in advance, $30 at the door. • No Direction Tour April 23, 7:30 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.) featuring The Wed-

Two Faces of Opera


ackson hosts diverse operas from two different continents Saturday, April 21. First, the Adhiambo School (3424 Robinson St.) presents “N’Ye’Re’Bia,” a West African opera performance that includes music, drumming and dance. The story is about friendship, and the show celebrates African culture. The show starts at 5 p.m. in the school auditorium. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children. Call 601922-1184. Saturday is your final chance to see the Mississippi Opera this season, when it performs Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love.” This slapstick satire centers on our unending search for love. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall ( 255 E. Pascagoula St.). Tickets are $45 and up. Call 601960-2300 or visit —Ronni Mott



ding, Satellites and Sirens, Wavorly and Pioneer. $10 in advance, $12 at the door. • Jessica Lea Mayfield, and Marlowe and the Sea April 24, 7:30 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Events at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.), in the Art Garden. Free, food for sale; call 601-960-1515. • High Note Jam April 19, 5:30 p.m. The Fondren Guitar Rock Band performs. • Live at Lunch April 20, 11:30 a.m. Jhamasa performs. Sack lunches permitted. Gospel Music Experience Conference VIII April 19-21, at New Horizon Church International (1770 Ellis Ave.). April 19 at 7 p.m., Angela Spivey performs. April 20, Canton Jones, Vernon Moore and Jiafom, and more perform at 7 p.m., and the late-night musical is at 9:30 p.m. April 21, Hezekiah Walker and Jamel Strong perform at 6 p.m. $5 per show April 20, other events free; call 601-9062757 or 601-371-1427. Mississippi Academy of Ancient Music Concert April 19, 7:30 p.m., at Wesley Biblical Seminary (787 E. Northside Drive). The German orchestra Concerto Köln performs. $25, $5 students; call 601-594-5584. Riverfest Music and Arts Festival April 20-21, at Washington Street, Vicksburg. Features the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Bobby Rush and more. $20; call 860-338-0352; visit Classics and Oldies Concert April 20, 6:30 p.m., at Murrah High School (1400 Murrah Drive). Murrah’s Sounds of Perfection Band performs; a dance follows. $5; call 601-937-1135. “More Amor” Spring Concert April 20, 7:30 p.m., at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.). The Millsaps Singers perform. Free, suggested $10 donation ($5 students); call 601-974-1422. Battle of the Saxes April 21, 7 p.m., at Alamo Theatre (333 N. Farish St.). Performers include Kenny Nightingale, Amos Brewer and Thomas “Tiger” Rogers. $20; call 800-745-3000.


Mississippi Happening April 24, 7 p.m., at Pizza Shack, Colonial Mart (5046 Parkway Drive, Suite 6). Guaqueta Productions provides performances and interviews. Visit

LITERARY AND SIGNINGS Book Signings at Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N.); readings at 5:30 p.m.. Call 601-366-7619. • April 18, 5 p.m. Ron Rash signs “The Cove.” $26.99 book. • April 19, 5 p.m., Robert Olmstead signs “The Coldest Night.” $22.95 book. • April 24, 5 p.m., Jimmye Hillman signs “Hogs, Mules, and Yellow Dogs.” $19.95 book. World Book Night April 23, 5:30 p.m., at Fondren Park (Northview Drive and Dunbar St.). Free books are given out, and Scott Albert Johnson performs. Refreshments served. Free; call 601-981-9606.

CREATIVE CLASSES Shut Up and Write! Sign up for one of Donna Ladd’s new creative nonfiction series. Only 11 seats a class! Starts at $50 for one-day workshops up to $150 for the six-class series. Email or call 601-362-6121, ext. 15. Discover Series - Ladies’ Night Craft Class April 19, 6 p.m., at Mississippi Craft Center (950 Rice Road, Ridgeland). Choose from mosaics, candles or pottery. $25; call 601-856-7546. Bonsai Lecture and Demonstration April 21, 10 a.m., at circa. Urban Artisan Living (2771 Old Canton Road). Dr. Craig Escude lectures on bonsai history at 10 a.m., the demonstration is at 11 a.m., and the consultation forum is at 1 p.m. Bring bonsai trees for advice on care. Bonsai exhibit included. Free; call 601-362-8484.

EXHIBITS AND OPENINGS Estate Trunk Show April 20, 10 a.m., at B. Liles Studio (215 W. Jackson St., Ridgeland). Free admission; call 601-607-7741. Arts on the Square April 20-21, at Historic Canton Square, Canton. Open April 20 from 4-8 p.m. and April 21 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 601-859-5816.

Family-Friendly Fest


elebrate arts, music and community April 21, when St. Andrew’s Episcopal School presents Arts on the Green. At this family-friendly event, browse artists and craftsmen’s booths. Attend art workshops with William Goodman, Candy Cain and Easely Amused. See a falconry display, check out the latest ’tween-age fashions or enjoy live music, face painting, a petting zoo and many more activities. Even buy raffle tickets for a year of tuition to St. Andrew’s. Admission is free; individual event prices vary. The fun kicks off at 10 a.m. at St. Andrew’s North Campus (370 Old Agency Road, Ridgeland). Visit for more information. —Ronni Mott


Tatsuya Nakatani April 22, at The Commons at Eudora Welty’s Birthplace (719 N. Congress St.). The experimental percussionist gives a workshop from 2-5 p.m. (limit of 10 students; RSVP) and a concert at 8 p.m. $20 workshop, $7 concert; call 601-352-3399 or 601-540-1267.

Chatham Art Showcase April 20, 6:30 p.m., at St. Richard Catholic Church (1242 Lynnwood Drive). See works from more than 30 artists. The preview party is April 20 at 6:30 p.m.; Bill and Temperance perform. The exhibit is open April 21 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $25 preview party (advance tickets only), free exhibit; visit Mississippi International Hair Show and Expo April 22-23, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.). The event includes seminars, competitions and networking. Licensed professionals and students should bring credentials. Students get $10 off admission. $30 in advance, $35 at the door, $40 two-day pass; call 601-2910154 or 601-622-9785. Check for updates and more listings. To add an event, email all details (phone number, start and end date, 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.

BE THE CHANGE DREAM Act Concert April 20, 6:30 p.m., at Sneaky Beans (2914 N. State St.). The Millsaps College chapter of Amnesty International hosts the fundraiser to promote immigrants’ rights. Enjoy food and music from AJC and the Envelope Pushers, Taylor Hildebrand and the Latin Pulse Band. Proceeds go toward United We DREAM activist training. $5; call 601-974-1338. Relay for Life. April 20, 6 p.m. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. Registration fees vary. • Liberty Park, Madison (Liberty Park Drive, Madison). Call 601-573-6577. • Country Woods Baptist Church (6737 S. Siwell Road, Byram). Call 769-237-6011. • Shiloh Park (Shiloh Road, Brandon). Call 601-278-3960.

Lawyerpalooza April 20, 5 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St.). Performers include Justice Jim Kitchens, Cooper Miles, M.O.S.S., the Church Keys, the Rumprollers, and Eric Stracener and the Frustrations. David McCarty exhibits his artwork. Benefits the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Mississippi Center for Justice. $5; call 601-969-9692, 769-257-5380 or 601-957-2600. Parent and Guardian Education Advocacy Training April 21, 11 a.m., at Lumpkin’s BBQ (182 Raymond Road). Learn about resources and activities for youth in the Jackson area. Lunch and drinks provided. Free; call 877-892-2577. Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis April 22, 3 p.m., at Old Trace Park (Post Road, Ridgeland). Raise $100 to get a T-shirt. Benefits the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Call 601-594-9458.

GreenSneakers Eco-Challenge for Education, at Fleet Feet Sports (Trace Station, 500 Highway 51 N., Ridgeland). Donate used tennis shoes through April 20 for reuse in developing countries or to be recycled. Watkins Elementary School receives 50 cents per pound for education costs. Call 601-899-9696.


Soccer’s Deadly Secret






607 Fondren Place Jackson, MS • 601.362.0313 • • find us on facebook

hat the heck is going on in European soccer leagues? This past weekend, 25-yearold Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini collapsed during a Series B match in Pescara, Italy, and died of cardiac arrest. Morosini’s death comes about a month after Fabrice Muamba, who plays for the English Premier League team Bolton, collapsed on the field during an English Premier League game. Muamba’s heart had stopped for 78 minutes when doctors were able to restart it. Morosini, much like Muamba, just collapsed on the field without any type of physical contact at the time. My heart goes out to Morosini’s family, but hopefully some good can come out of his death. When the autopsy is complete, we might have some answers to what is happening to these young players. Muamba is just 24 years old. He was released from the hospital April 16, where he’s been recovering since he collapsed March 17 during a Football Association Cup match at Tottenham. His soccer career may be over, but he probably still has a long life ahead of him even without soccer. Both incidents are tragic and doctors need to find answers. Several questions immediately jump to mind: Are both players victims of congenital

Bryan’s Rant

heart defects? Are soccer players using some sort of performance-enhancing drug or drugs that is causing cardiac arrest? Was it just two unrelated and tragic incidents? I am not saying these players were using drugs, but the soccer teams need to be open and look for answers to protect other players from collapsing on the field. If both players were victims of detectable birth defects, teams need to begin screening so players are not on the field like ticking time bombs. If performance-enhancing drugs are involved, European soccer leagues need to test for the substance and suspend players they catch using them. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association must not be the secretive organization it normally is. Instead, FIFA must be out front so this does not happen during a World Cup Match (or any other game, for that matter). Muamba and Morosini are not the only soccer players who have collapsed during the last 10 years. Marc-Vivien Foe collapsed and died during Cameroon’s Confederations Cup match against Colombia in 2003. Sevilla’s Antonio Puerta passed away in 2007, three days after collapsing with a heart attack during a league match against Getafe. Three deaths in nine years and two players collapsing within a month of each other is serious. Soccer needs to find answers.

by Bryan Flynn

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

574 Hwy 51 N (next to Trace Grill) in Ridgeland 601.856.4330 | fax: 601.856.4505

Have there been two bigger chokes in the Stanley Cup playoffs than the Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks? Both favorites could be out before this is printed. THURSDAY, APRIL 19 College Baseball (6:30-10 p.m. ESPN U): Mississippi State hosts Tennessee in a three-game series that both teams need to win to help their conference tournament chances. FRIDAY, APRIL 20 NHL Playoffs (7-10 p.m. CNBC): Original-six team the Detroit Red Wings hits the road to face the upstart Nashville Predators in game five of a seven-game series.

April 18 - 24, 2012

SATURDAY, APRIL 21 NHL Playoffs (6-9 p.m. NBCSN): Eastern Conference top seed New York Rangers (an original-six team) faces the dangerous Ottawa Senators at home.


SUNDAY, APRIL 22 NASCAR (noon-4 p.m. Fox): NASCAR goes to Kansas for the Sprint Cup STP 400 from the Kansas Motor Speedway; Brad Keselowski is the defending winner.

MONDAY, APRIL 23 MLB (9 p.m.-midnight FSS): The Atlanta Braves start a three-game series against the now Magic Johnson-owned L.A. Dodgers. TUESDAY, APRIL 24 NBA (7-9:30 p.m. TNT): One day before the regular season ends, two playoff teams meet as the new big three of the Miami Heat travel to meet the old big three of the Boston Celtics. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25 NBA (7-9:30 p.m. ESPN): On the final day of the regular season, the New York Knicks might need a win at home against the L.A. Clippers to make the playoffs. One more week until the NFL Draft starts next Thursday. New Orleans Saints fans will have to wait until the third round and 89th overall pick before they are on the clock. Follow Bryan Flynn at, @jfpsports and at

Lillian Axe

Friday, April 20th

Spank The Monkey Saturday, April 21st - Wednesday - Open Mic Night - Thursday Night: Ladies Night with DJ Reign -Karaoke in The Jazz Bar (Thu - Sat) - 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

601-487-8710 824 S. State St. Jackson, MS Grab ya beads and come on out!

Wednesday - April 18 Karaoke - No Cover Thursday - April 19 Mike Thumb from Mike and Marty with the outrageous happy hour Free from 5 - 7pm | 2-for-1drinks Free admission Ladies Night Ladies - No Cover | Men - $5 Cover Live Dance Music from Snazz

Fri & Sat - April 20 & 21

South of 20 feat. Temperance

Wednesday - April 18 KARAOKE

Thursday - April 19 Ladies Night: Ladies Drink Free

Friday - April 20 & Saturday - April 21

Country & Rock | $5 cover | 9pm




Everyday | 2-for-1 | 4 - 7pm

Crossin’ Dixon’s Farewell Show May 5th | Outside Event

Tickets On Sale Now Call 601.987.0808

Bourbon St. in the Quarter (Formerly Poets) 1855 Lakeland Drive Jackson, MS 601.987.0808


Whiskey bent Sunday - April 22 9 Ball Tournament 601-961-4747






Scan this code or text EATWITHUS to 601-707-9733 for the deal of the week

Tuesday - April 24 Jason Turner at Happy Hour | Doug Frank’s Invitational Jam Night | Some of Jackson’s best musicians in 1 room $5 cover | 1st drink free | 8pm - until



Nigerian with a Voodoo Flair

What’s your cooking background? It came out of necessity. When I came to school, I was looking for something to do to make extra money. I started as a dishwasher, and then I became a busboy, then a waiter.

ran a business. Before I finished school, I became a chef over there. I guess I concentrated so much more on learning the trade that I became a chef.



onday “Monte” Agho never intended to open a restaurant when he arrived in America in 1975. At that time, the young Nigerian had his sights set on a finance degree from Jackson State University with the ultimate goal of a doctorate to enter the hallowed halls of academia. However, Agho needed a little pocket change, so he started washing dishes at a local Mexican restaurant named El Palacio. After graduating from the ranks of dishwasher and busboy, he became a waiter. One day, when the boss was out, Agho went to work in the kitchen, because he didn’t like the way the chips were disheveled on the plate. Customers commented on how excellent his food was, and he made his way to head of the kitchen. Now, nearly 30 years later, Agho, 57, presides over Monte’s Steak & Seafood Restaurant (1855 Lakeland Drive, Suite N10, 601-362-8182), but he has made many stops between El Palacio and his eponymous restaurant. Longtime Jackson residents will remember a old favorites like Sundancer and Colours. Those restaurants, in addition to Amerigo and the Country Club of Jackson, all helped Chef Agho hone his craft. Agho opened the original Monte’s on Terry Road in 1991, but recently started to re-craft his menu. I sat down with Chef Agho to see what changes he had in mind.

By Andrew Dunaway

Does the restaurant have any community-service involvement? I do lots of support of charities around here. We have a charity we fund here called the Edo Heritage Union of Mississippi. It’s a nonprofit we finance here for people back in Nigeria. We give to the community here, and we also go back home and help a hospital back home. We have a women’s ward there—we give them beds, mattresses. We adopted a family of four from Louisiana after Katrina. We give things to the Red Cross and the American Cancer Society. Chef Monday “Monte” Agho shows off one of his signature dishes: Mississippi Pride Catfish.

Are any of the places you worked at still around? Some are, but the first place I worked at, El Palacio, is not. ... It was in the late ’70s. When I was a waiter, you got your tips every day. Being in college, I spent it all on partying. At the end, there was no money in your paycheck. I wanted money in my paycheck, so I started working in the kitchen. How did that evolve to what you have now? I liked the Mexican restaurant. I went to the Hilton and started cooking over there. I then came to the Sundancer. When I came to the Sundancer, it was when I really got interested in cooking. It was owned by a

group of seven investors. Before the 1979 flood, there used to be a place here called Bernard’s. When his restaurant was wrecked during the flood, Bernard left there and came to the Sundancer and took it over. He turned the restaurant around. I saw there was money to be made, so I started following him to learn his trade. He knew what he was doing, and I wanted to learn how he was doing it to get the place open. From there, I started to work. I never really thought I could open my own restaurant. I told myself, “I will learn what he’s doing and when I finish school, I will go back home, and I’ll be able to start an American diner.” … From then, I started paying attention, and I was able to learn how he

A Lesson, With Muscadines by Alonzo Lewis II

April 18 - 24, 2012




ne clear and sunny day in the little community of round. All at once, he made a fast beeline toward the road. Browning, just outside Greenwood, Father sent my We wondered about Dan, but the fruits were too tempting brothers and me to the fields with a wagon and mule for us to stop and investigate. to gather watermelons. It was Then the mule began to 1959, and I was about 5 or 6 years old. twitch and sputter. All of a sudMy father was a figure of power and den, it took off as if it was trying control and, normally, we didn’t mess to win the Kentucky Derby. The with him. force threw David and me to the On the way to the watermelon back of the wagon. He yelled for field, we pulled the wagon under a me to jump, but I was not about most enticing arbor. Above our heads to—that wagon was surely was was a whole orchard of ripe muscamoving at 90 miles per hour. So dine grapes just waiting to be picked, he pushed me out. and the wagon was the perfect height. A half-hour later, Joseph and Joseph and John stopped the wagon. John came back with only the mule David and I were in the wagon bed, Don’t let a few bees stop you from in tow. The wagon, which we had and we all reached up to pick the dark making and enjoying muscadine jelly. parked on top of an underground purple juicy fruit. hornet’s nest, was completely deOur little black and white wirestroyed. To this day, pieces of that haired mutt, Dan, always traveled with us, and this day was wagon still lie in the woods, a lesson to me about avoiding no exception. Dan began to chase his tail, going round and temptations and obeying Father.

What’s your best dish, one you can cook with your eyes closed? There are so many I can cook with my eyes closed because I make them all myself, but I like my blackened red snapper and my blackened steak. It’s so good that I call it voodoo. People come back and have to have that for dinner. What makes you different from other Cajun and Creole restaurants? I’m authentic Cajun. What I mean by authentic (is I cook) with the Cajun flair. People say that they’re Italian with an American flair. I’m authentic with a Cajun flair. When you look at gumbo, it originally came from Africa. We call it okra soup. When you use tomatoes, we don’t call it Creole, we call it stew. There are certain ingredients we use to make that here.

MUSCADINE JELLY 5 cups prepared muscadine juice (see below) 7 cups sugar 1 box or 1/3 cup fruit pectin (SURE-JELL)

Pour the juice into a large boiler, add pectin and stir. Bring mixture to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Add the sugar all at once, and bring to another rolling boil. Stir for one minute. Pour into prepared hot jars leaving 1/8 inch empty at top. Seal and invert for five minutes. Tighten seal again, and store in a dark place until set, from one to five days. Be sure to wash and sanitize your jars in a boiling water solution just prior to canning. Your measurements should be exact. Do not reduce sugar and do not use sugar substitutes. To make muscadine juice from scratch, you’ll need about five pounds of grapes. Wash and place them in a boiler, covering with water. Bring to boil and boil until the grapes plump. Lower heat to medium and cook down to pulp, about one to three hours. Strain the juice out through cheesecloth.


advertising section. Call 601-362-6121 x11 to list your restaurant.r Paid advertising section. Call 601-362-6121 x1 toPaid list your restaurant.r

Cups Espresso Café (Multiple Locations, Jackson’s local group of coffeehouses offer high-end Arabica beans, a wide variety of espresso drinks. Wi-fi.


Babalu (622 Duling Ave., 601-366-5757) Fresh guacamole at the table, fish tacos, empanada, smoked pork sholders, Mexican street corn—Jackson’s “Best Mexican” specialties mix extremely well with their “Best of Jackson 2012” magaritas. Jaco’s Tacos (318 South State Street) Tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Tex-Mex at its finest and freshest. Tacos come with a side of butter-based mantequilla sauce for dipping. Enjoy the the patio and full bar service.


Bourbon Street in the Quarter (1855 Lakeland Drive, 601-987-0808) Jackson’s hot new spot for great New Orleans cuisine, live entertainment and libations from the bar featuring daily lunch specials and happy hour in the landmark Poet’s location. Reed Pierce’s (6791 Siwell Rd., Byram, 601-376-0777) Eat, Drink, Play! Burgers, Po-Boys, pub fare and dinner specialties including ribeye, filet, fried shrimp and more. 9-Ball lounge features tourney tables, full bar, live entertainment. Hal and Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St. 601-948-0888) Pub favorites meet Gulf Coast and Cajun specialties like red beans and rice, the Oyster Platter or each day’s blackboard special. Best of Jackson winner for Live Music Venue for multiple years running. Burgers and Blues (1060 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland 601-899-0038) Best Burger of 2012! Check out their signature approach to burgers, chicken, wraps, seasoned fries and so much more. Plus live music and entertainment! Cherokee Inn (960 Briarfield Rd. 601-362-6388) Jackson’s “Best Hole in the Wall,” has a great jukebox, great bar and a great burger. Plate lunches, cheesy fries and tons more, including a full bar and friendly favorites. Cool Al’s (4654 McWillie, 601-713-3020) A Best of Jackson fixture, Cool Al’s signature stacked, messy, decadent, creative burgers defy adjectives. And don’t forget the fries! Fenian’s Pub (901 E. Fortification St. 601-948-0055) Classic Irish pub featuring a menu of traditional food, pub sandwiches and beers such as Guinness and Harp on tap. Multiple Best of Jackson awards. Last Call (3716 I-55 N. Frontage Road 601-713-2700) Burgers, sandwiches and po-boys, plus sports-bar appetizers and specialities. Pay-per-view sporting events, live bands. Martin’s Restaurant and Lounge (214 South State Street 601-354-9712) Lunch specials, pub appetizers (jalapeno poppers, cheezsticks, fried pickles) or order from the full menu of po-boys and entrees. Full bar, massive beer selection and live music most nights. Time Out Sports Café (6720 Old Canton Road 601-978-1839) 14 TVs, 1 projector and two big-screens. Daily $9 lunch specials, pub-style appetizers, burgers, seafood and catfish po-boys, salads, and hot entrees including fish, steak and pasta. Ole Tavern on George Street (416 George St. 601-960-2700) Pub food with a southern flair: beer-battered onion rings, chicken & sausage gumbo, salads, sandwiches and weekly lunch specials. Plus, happy hour 4-7pm Monday through Friday. Sportsman’s Lodge (1120 E Northside Dr. in Maywood Mart 601-366-5441) Voted Best Sports Bar in 2010, Sportman’s doesn’t disappoint with plenty of gut-pleasing sandwiches, fried seafood baskets, sandwiches and specialty appetizers. Underground 119 (119 South President St. 601-352-2322) Jumbo lump crabcakes, crab quesadillas, beef tenderloin parfaits, orange-garlic shrimp, even “lollipop” lamb chops. Add a full bar and mix in great music. Opens 4 p.m.-until, Wed-Sat. Wing Stop (952 North State Street, 601-969-6400) Saucing and tossing in a choice of nine flavors, Wing Stop wings are made with care and served up piping hot. Every order is made fresh to order; check out the fresh cut seasoned fries!


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


Another Broken Egg (1000 Highland Colony #1009 in Renaissance, 601.790.9170) Open Daily 7am-2pm for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Egg, benedict and omelet dishes,

pancakes, waffles, specialties, burgers, salads and sandwiches. Mimosas, coffees and more! Two Sisters Kitchen (707 N. Congress St. 601-353-1180) Frequent Best of Jackson winner for fried chicken offers a buffet of your choice of veggies, a salad bar, iced tea & one of four homemade desserts. Lunch only. Mon-Friday, Sun. Koinonia (136 Adams St. 601-960-3008) You won’t want to mix the large yellow house just off Metro Parkway. Koinonia’s expanded lunch menu includes pizza, sandwiches and soups. They also a serve a full breakfast menu and you can still get their famous coffee all night long.


Broad Street Bakery (4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-362-2900) Hot breakfast,coffee espresso drinks, fresh breads and pastries, gourmet deli sandwiches, quiches, soups, pizzas and dessert. For Heaven’s Cakes (4950 Old Canton Road 601-991-2253) Cakes and cupcakes for all occasions including weddings, parties, catered events. Beagle Bagel (4500 I-55 North, Suite 145, Highland Village 769-251-1892) Fresh bagels in tons of different styles with a variety of toppings including cream cheese, lox, eggs, cheese, meats and or as full sandwiches for lunch. Paninis, wraps and much more!


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


Hickory Pit Barbeque (1491 Canton Mart Rd. 601-956-7079) The “Best Butts in Town” features BBQ chicken, beef and pork sandwiches along with burgers and po’boys. Haute Pig (1856 Main Street, 601-853-8538) A “very high class pig stand,” Haute Pig offers Madison diners BBQ plates, sandwiches, poboys, salads, and their famous Hershey bar pie.


The Pizza Shack (925 E. Fortification 601-352-2001) The 2009-2012 winner of Best Pizza offers the perfect pizza-and-a-beer joint. Creative pizza options abound along with sandwiches, wings, salads and even BBQ. All new location in Belhaven and a second spot in Colonial Mart mall. Sal & Mookie’s (565 Taylor St. 601-368-1919) Pizzas of all kinds plus pasta, eggplant parmesan and the fried ravioli. Best Kid’s Menu & Best Ice Cream in the 2011 Best of Jackson. Plus, Pi(e) Lounge in front offers great drinks and a fun atmosphere for catching up with friends.


BRAVO! (4500 Interstate 55 N., Jackson, 601-982-8111) Wood-fired pizzas, vegetarian fare, plus creative pastas, beef, and seafood specials. Award-winning wine list, Jackson’s see-and-be-seen casual/upscale dining. Frequent Best of Jackson finalist. Cerami’s (5417 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-919-28298) Southern-style Italian cuisine features their signature Shrimp Cerami (white wine sauce, capers artichokes) along with veal, tilapia, crawfish, chicken and pasta dishes. Now with liquor license!

STEAK, SEAFOOD & FINE DINING Crawdad Hole (1150 Lakeland Drive., 601-982-9299) Serving up fresh seasonal crawfish, shrimp and crab legs the Crawdad is Jackson’s crawfish destination. You’ll also want to try their delicious gumbo while enjoying Friday night karaoke! Eslava’s Grille (2481 Lakeland Drive, 601-932-4070) Danny Eslava’s namesake feature Latin-influenced dishes like ceviche in addition to pastas, steaks, salads and other signature seafood dishes. Rocky’s (1046 Warrington Road, Vicksburg 601-634-0100) Enjoy choice steaks, fresh seafood, great salads, hearty sandwiches and much more in the “polished casual” dining room. Open 24/7 in the Riverwalk Casino.


Mediterranean Fish & Grill (The Med- 6550 Old Canton Rd./601-956-0082) Serving a fabulous selection of fish, gyros, and heart-healthy vegetarian food for over 10 years. Now serving fried catfish & bone-in pan trout. Aladdin Mediterranean Grill (730 Lakeland Drive 601-366-6033) Delicious authentic dishes including lamb dishes, hummus, falafel, kababs, shwarma and much more. Consistent award winner, great for takeout or for long evenings with friends.



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April 18 - 24, 2012















Earth Day and the Organic Movement NASA

by Jim PathFinder Ewing

Beyond the Label Eliot Coleman, author of “The Winter Harvest Handbook” (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2009, $29.95) among other titles, grower, and owner of Four Season Farm in Maine (, was a founder of the organics movement in the 1960s and helped

set up the original National Organic Program guidelines. Now, however, he rejects USDA certification. Indian Line Farm in Egremont, Mass., one of the first Community Supported Agriculture farms in the U.S. and a founder of the CSA movement, also rejects USDA certification, choosing instead to be listed with Certified Naturally Grown, a nonprofit alternative eco-labeling program for small farms that grow using USDA organic methods but are not part of the USDA program. (Disclosure: My ShooFly Farm in Lena is CNG certified.) The organics movement faces a dilemma, even from within: whether to embrace “evil” Big Ag and all it entails, including greater corporatism and devaluing of workers, or to reject the mainstreaming of organics and its promise of a better planet. This schism is playing out around the world. Countries in Europe and elsewhere have rejected genetically modified, or GMO, seeds and food because they believe these mutated strains are untested for human health and safety and could pose a threat to the environment. However, under a quirk of U.S. law, GMO doesn’t have to meet independent testing and analysis to be proven safe. The foods are safe because companies that genetically engineer them say they are safe, and they fund their own studies to prove it. Hence, companies can market GMO food and seed to an unsuspecting public even without labeling. Organic growing practices do not allow GMO seeds or plants. But even here, corporate agriculture is pushing to include GMOs in USDA organic certification rules. (For more, see: OTA ‘Modified’ by GMO interests, Organic Consumers Association, June 9, 2011: ob280.htm.) A real risk exists that, ultimately, the food and farming label of “USDA Organic” will be a distinction without a difference. Organics’ Gordian Knot This growing divide forces a dilemma for the consumer as well. Certainly, Certified

postmodern organics movement embraces a worldwide awareness under the moniker “ecoagriculture.” I believe this is the next phase of organic growing

Organic is better than conventional chemical farming. It’s healthier, safer and more beneficial for the planet. But it’s a Faustian bargain: In exchange for safe, healthy, pesticide-free food under the guise of saving the planet with environmentally friendly farming methods, consumers may be dooming the planet to worse air pollution, depletion of natural resources and exploitation of workers, while putting land ownership and food production into fewer hands. Like the fabled Gordian knot that many said was impossible to unravel, the answer for consumers is almost embarrassingly simple: Grow local, buy local. In other words, cut through USDA and Big Ag-generated confusion. Here is the key to the future of organics if it is to continue in the spirit in which it began: The organic movement must transition from an idea of sustainability using old growing methods to a new model that embraces modern social change and science. In centuries past, growers who used organic methods knew the practice worked, but they didn’t know why. Now, with all the research into soil science that is broadening horizons as to the vital role of fungi and microorganisms in the soil, we know and can scientifically prove that organic methods can feed the world for a safer, sustainable and nourished planet. Consumers want safe food, and young people have embraced the idea. Many have started small backyard and “boutique” farms to grow foods. This small but growing

The Power of Choice In America, I suspect this movement will likely veer increasingly away from pure crop production and toward a more holistic view of the environment, such as permaculture. Coined in 1959 by two Australians, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, permaculture incorporates two concepts: “Permanent Culture” and “Permanent Agriculture.” The practice eschews soil disruption, an agricultural hallmark since its beginning 10,000 years ago. To the untrained eye, a permaculture food plot may appear to be a jungle. However, if it is well crafted, it can serve as a continuing ecosystem through the seasons, providing food with a minimum of human intervention. Consumers’ continued demand to label genetically engineered foods will boost natural growing techniques and, perhaps, reverse the decline in seed diversity. Demand can revive heritage foods and crops, while shifting attention toward fruits and vegetables, lessening health threats caused by high-fat, high-sugar, processed “food products.” The future of organics is in our hands. We each can do our part in keeping our precious Earth of Anders’ iconic photo blue, green and clean by growing our own food— whether in our backyards or with our neighbors in community gardens—and by buying organic, rejecting GMO, supporting locally grown food and only voting for those who look out for the consumer first. This is the type of organic growing that those of us who marveled at that little planet in the black void of space envisioned some 42 years ago. Jim PathFinder Ewing’s book with Findhorn Press, “Conscious Food: Sustainable Growth, Spiritual Eating,” on organic food, farming and spirit will be published this fall. Find Jim on Facebook, follow him @edibleprayers or visit 41


orty-two years ago, a new way of looking at our Earth arose in human consciousness. It came about on Christmas Eve in 1968 when Astronaut William Anders looked out the window of Apollo 8 and snapped a photo that he dubbed “Earthrise.” The photo was featured on the cover of the first “Whole Earth Catalog,” which celebrated natural living and a back-to-the-earth credo in 1970. It became the icon of a movement that saw the first Earth Day that same year. That holistic way of looking at the world—seeing us all as voyagers on a tiny, bobbing blue and green vessel in the vastness of space—gave vigor to another movement that came to be called organics. On Earth Day this year, it’s time to review where that movement went, where it is likely go and maybe even where it should go. For those deeply involved in the organics movement, this year could prove transformative. Some of its pioneers believe that industrial agriculture has co-opted the movement since the U.S. Department of Agriculture took over administration of organics, and that the movement has lost its spirit. The USDA has even made it illegal for a farm to use the word unless it us USDA certified. Most of the USDA Certified Organic produce you see in your local grocery store is grown on huge factory farms using migrant laborers who are often abused and exploited, paid pennies on the dollar, housed in shanties and, because they are often undocumented, are afraid to complain for fear of being deported. That’s if the produce is grown in the United States. Much of the produce marked USDA Certified Organic in your market is imported from foreign countries where inspections to ensure harmful synthetic chemicals, fertilizers and poisons aren’t used or may be lax. Corporate ownership of organic brands is becoming the norm. (For a list of corporations that own certified organic farms and their brands, see


My Urban Farming Experiment by Jesse Houston


April 18 - 24, 2012

Jesse’s raised beds in his Fondren backyard were easy to build, but took lots of soil. It adds up, he warns.


I had to give my little garden paradise up when I moved from Austin back to Dallas, but I always wanted to pick it back up and take it to the next level. When fellow chef Ryan Bell and I moved to Jackson, we talked about building a small raised bed in the gravel parking lot behind our apartment. I made some good friends who were growing tomatoes and squash in raised beds in Belhaven, and during my daily runs through the neighborhood, discovered many more. Soon I met Rachel Horn, a beautiful girl living in Fondren, and before we knew it, we were engaged. I moved into her small Fondren house and when spring came around, started giving the backyard some love. From my

visits to the Mississippi Farmers Market on High Street, I began to see what kinds of plants and vegetables did well here and what grew natively. My first purchases were four blueberry plants, two small fig trees and two muscadine vines. These crops are abundant in Mississippi, and when in season, we focus dishes at Parlor Market around these ingredients. Several of the vendors at the farmers market will sell great plants for your urban farm. You can find all the varieties I’ve mentioned already, plus plum trees, tomato plants, squash, herbs and more, ready to transplant into your garden! Next came herbs of all types: thyme, oregano, basil, dill, cilantro, rosemary, lavender and mint. The more you use them in your The author gave his fiancée a chicken coop for Christmas. cooking, the more fun it is to watch them grow, bolt, flower and turn into seed, which you can then use as spices in your food! The cilantro will very quickly green onions. The key to planting is to start your seeds early turn into coriander seed. You can even use the fragrant yel- indoors and then transplant the seedlings outside when the low pollen from fennel and dill to garnish your dishes. weather is right. I heard rumors of pomegranates growing well in MisTo make sure I always have rich soil, I started comsissippi, and when I found a plant, I was happy to take it posting. I bring all the vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee home. There are beautiful flowers growing on it right now, grinds and more home from the restaurant every day and which will soon turn into fruit. add it to my compost bin. Every few days I turn the heap After a year of casual container gardening, Rachel and and watch as the vegetables turn into rich organic material. I decided to take things to the next level. We had talked Dead plants and leaves also make their way to the compost about raising chickens for eggs, and as a Christmas pres- bin (which doesn’t stink at all, by the way). ent, I ordered her a complete chicken coop online from Next came the beehive. Byron Knight (barista extraordinaire When I mention to my friends that I have a beehive, of Sneaky Beans) and I put it together in just an hour, with I always get raised eyebrows! Frank Garletts of Mississippi few setbacks. Soon after, Rachel and I sourced some week- Bees, who provides Parlor Market with all our local honey, old chicks locally and raised them inside under a heat lamp gave me my honey bees. The bees fly everywhere and polfor a few weeks until they were ready to move to their new linate all the plants in the garden and don’t bother anyone. home outside in the coop. When it’s sunny and warm, they are everywhere! If the We got two araucanas, known as Easter egg chickens weather is cool or cloudy, they like to stay in the hive. due to the blue, green and pink eggs they lay, and two silkMy resident bees are doing so well that Frank recently ies. The silkies are smaller, lay little eggs and have fur-like came by and added a second story to their hive so that they feathers. Rachel thinks they’re cute. I think they’re silly. could expand and produce even more honey. I will soon be I figured once we had the chicken coop in place, we getting a honeybee tattoo on my arm to go with my giant might as well go all the way, and my friend and local farmer, beet tattoo! Jonathan Picarsic of Amorphous Gardens, came over and I’ve added several more fruit-bearing plants this year: helped me build a giant tiered raised bed out of old lumber I have a large loquat tree, two fig trees (two varieties), three we had lying around. muscadine vines (two varieties), nine blueberry bushes It was an easy build: We picked an area of the yard that (four varieties), a bay laurel, a kumquat tree, a pomegrangets full sun, measured, dug post holes, inserted the posts ate bush, plum tree and a large bit of lemongrass—all in a at least 8 inches into the ground, attached boards along the backyard in Fondren! sides and filled the bed with soil. The soil we chose is a mixUrban farming has been incredibly rewarding in many ture of top soil and organic humus. It may sound cheap at ways: It’s an exciting hobby, can supplement your family’s around $1.30 per cubic foot, but it adds up quick. I think groceries with healthy, fresh and delicious produce, does we purchased about 80 bags for our two large beds. wonders for the environment, and promotes a social comJonathan has taught me things all along the way and munity. It has allowed me to get closer to what I do every provided me with some great heirloom seeds and a few day and to understand where our food comes from and the plants for the garden. love that goes into growing a single perfectly vine-ripened Right now I have rows of beets, carrots, radishes, tomato. squash, zucchini, purple tomatillos, peppers, and several Now get out there and make the most of your yard! varieties of tomatoes planted in the large bed. The smaller JFP food columnist Jesse Houston is the chef de cuisine of bed has all my herbs, as well as a small strawberry patch and Parlor Market. His column will appear at least monthly.



started my first urban garden many years ago when I lived in Austin, Texas. I was attending the Texas Culinary Academy and had just started learning about the farm-to-table and local-food movement. Before Austin, I had always believed that the more miles food had traveled to wind up on my plate, the more special it had to be. Fish from Japan? Yes. Crazy-looking fruit from South America? Please! In Austin I was immersed in a community of chefs, restaurants, foodies and artisans that supported each other, relied on each other and helped to make the food scene around them better. I started visiting the local farms around me to pick up produce for one of the restaurants I was working at; my favorite one was just a few minutes away from downtown Austin in a residential area. They probably didn’t have more than two acres, but they used every inch to grow as much as they could. The best strawberry I’ve ever had in my life came from that farm: blood red, juicy and perfectly sweet. It wasn’t picked early and sprayed with chemicals to speed up the “ripening process,” and then shipped from 800 miles or more away. It was good because the growers treated the soil with respect, and the loving farmers picked the berry when it was perfect, just two or three hours before I tasted it. At some point I said to myself, “Why can’t I do that?” Unfortunately, I didn’t have two acres, or one, or even a yard. I had a very small apartment patio that got good morning sun, and then shade the rest of the time. So I purchased some pots, soil, a few plants, and some seeds and went after it. I did a small amount of research on container gardening, and before I knew it, I had pots of plants, baskets of flowers, and tons of herbs, peppers and even a tiny loquat tree. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was fun to see the things I was growing flourish.

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April 18 - 24, 2012

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3/25/12 3:01 PM


by Kelly Bryan Smith


Get Out of Town! Going Camping with Kids Easy Meals to Cook Bringing a camp stove is your best bet for cooking in the woods, since counting on a campfire to cook your meals can be risky if the firewood is damp or the weather is windy. If you decide to use the campfire as your only source of heat, plan your menu accordingly, and have an idea of where to go if you need to change your plans and the dinner menu becomes fast-food tacos. Breakfast • Individual boxes of sweet cereal • Boxed milk and juice • Muffins • Bananas

Lunch • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches • Apples

Gear to Pack Dig around in your attic or garage to see what you already have on hand. If you don’t have all the necessary items, ask a friend if you can borrow camping gear, or scope out the selection at your local outdoor store or sporting-goods store. If you are purchasing bigger-ticket items, such as a nice family tent, you may want to read reviews online before you buy. Simon Smith, the author’s son, rides his bike on a beautiful fall day at Roosevelt State Park.


Books to Check Out • “I Love Dirt: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature” by Jennifer Ward (Roost Books, 2008, $14) • “The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids: How to Plan Memorable Family Adventures and Connect Kids to Nature” by Helen Olsson (Roost Books, 2012, $17.95) • “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder” by Richard Louv (Algonquin Books, 2008, $14.95) • “Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect With Your Kids” by Rebecca Cohen (Sourcebooks, 2011, $14.99)

• Can opener or bottle opener • Dish towels • Layers of clothing • Bug spray • Sunscreen • Toys and books


n the midst of a seemingly endless swirl of meetings and errands and doctor’s appointments and laundry to be put in drawers, there is nothing quite like a weekend escape into the woods with the family. Spring is the perfect season to get away from the television, the homework and the bills for a camping trip with your kids. Camping gives families a new way to connect in a different environment. Outside of the same old weekend routine, your teenager might open up to you while fishing on the lake, your 5-year-old might involve you in a new world of tech-free imaginative play, or you and your spouse might enjoy a romantic conversation under the stars after the kids go to sleep in their tent. Make a plan to get away from it all with your favorite people. Leave work, stress and technology behind for a day or two (or quite a few), and rejuvenate in the fresh spring air. Reconnect with your family as you discover great blue heron rookeries, Orion’s belt and the perfect marshmallow-turning techniques together. Discover how delicious simple foods taste in the great outdoors. You may find that the toys you pack in the car are not nearly as fun as the rocks and sticks on the ground of your campsite.

• Tent • Tarp • Self-inflating air mattresses • Sleeping bags • Pillows • Towels • Toiletries • Flip-flops • Camp chairs • Flashlight • Matches • Food • Water for cooking • Dish soap • Drinks • Camp stove with propane • Camping dishes

Rocks, sticks, and acorns are the best toys there are—and they are free!

Songs to Sing Dust off your book of songs from summer camp, bring a guitar or your best singing voice, and teach your kids some campfire favorites while you pass the s’mores around the evening campfire: • “Shenandoah” • “Yellow Submarine” • “I Love the Mountains” • “America the Beautiful” • “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” • “Clementine” • “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” • “Red River Valley” • “Home on the Range” • “Amazing Grace” • “Baby Beluga” • “My Favorite Things”

Snacks • Fruit, crackers, granola bars, trail mix Dessert • S’mores • Jiffy Pop popcorn

Camping Activities to Try Part of the beauty of camping is that you can be flexible and follow your own interests in the moment, or you can just kick back and relax. Just be sure to set up your tent before it gets dark. • Stargazing • Roasting marshmallows • Hiking • Swimming • Singing around the campfire • Playing on the playground • Fishing • Building forts in the woods • Reading • Biking • Kicking a ball • Cooking together • Talking • Throwing a Frisbee • Canoeing or kayaking

Kid-friendly Campgrounds For your first family camping trip, you may want to plan a short trip nearby, just in case you need to bail out and come home early. It is also a good idea to know the location of a nearby pharmacy, grocery store, motel and a hospital, just in case. For Mississippi state park information on the Internet, go to and click on State Parks. For other parks, visit the URLs noted. • Paul B Johnson State Park (319 Geiger Lake Road, Hattiesburg, 601-582-7721) • Percy Quin State Park (1156 Camp Beaver Drive, McComb, 601-684-3938) • Roosevelt State Park (2149 Highway 13 S., Morton, 601-732-6316) • Mayes Lake Campground (2140 Riverside Drive, 601-987-3923) • Jellystone Park (143 Campground Road, Pelahatchie, 800-558-2954, • Big Creek Water Park (2 Big Creek Water Park, Soso, 601-763-8555, big creek)

Dinner • Hot dogs or soy dogs • Macaroni and cheese (with the premixed sauce packet) • Canned peas • Pears


The Shades of Spring by Meredith W. Sullivan


ou guys already know my thoughts on accessories: More is more, and this includes sunglasses. We can never have too many pairs. We have multiple handbags and multiple cars, so it’s only natural that we have a pair of sunglasses for each. After all, it is important to protect our eyes, and we must look great while doing so.

Elizabeth and James Horatio Sunglasses, 4450, $155 Rhinestone Cat Eye Sunglasses,

John Varvatos V756 Sunglasses,

Plato’s Closet, $6

Custom Optical, $200

Ray-Ban Cats Sunglasses,

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Purple Plaid Sunglasses, Plato’s

Closet, $6

Coach Kristina Sunglasses, Custom Optical, $190

Elizabeth and James Zelzah Sunglasses,

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Where2Shop: Where Ray Ban Erika Sunglasses, Custom Optical, $119

4450, 4450 Interstate 55 N., 601-366-3687; Custom Optical, 661 Duling Ave., 601-362-6675; Plato’s Closet, 1260 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland, 601-


SHOPPING SPECIALS Lipstick Lounge (304 Mitchell

Ridgeland, 601-856-4330) Ritz is in a new location and up and running. Make an appointment for a trim and check out the new space.

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2B, Ridgeland, 601-707-5656) Enjoy 15 percent off all Ecoya candles until Saturday, April 21.

Cosmo Tots (2906 N. State St.,

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Frock Fashions (111 Colony

Crossing, Suite 160, Madison, 601818-4643) Don’t miss the 50percent-off sale on select shoes, purses, prom wear, birthday gifts and graduation goodies.

April 18 - 24, 2012

Ritz Salon (574 Highway 51 N.,

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Check out for information about other sales around the city, trends and various things fly people should know.

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v10n32 - CODE BLUE: Police Pursuits Cost A Life A Day  

CODE BLUE: Police Pursuits Cost A Life A Day NEW! Life & Style Section Green Living: Organics Parenting: Camping With Kids FLY: Shades For S...

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