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6 Deja Vu Among his two hundred plus pardons, Gov. Barbour gives two Melton proteges a clean slate. RL NAVE

Cover illustration by Ariss King



open up more space. Next, they renovated the downstairs area and the kitchen and then worked on the workout facility. The newly built school, located on the McDowell Road extension, is one large building dedicated to elementary and middle school students. “This was a fun project. The feedback from the children, hearing how much they enjoyed it—that was great,” Edwards says. Architecture is not about constructing just any kind of building. Edwards takes care to keep the client in mind as well as the environment. “(Design) has a psychological impact on people in the buildings,” Edwards says. “Good design makes you excited to be there On the other hand, I’m sure you’ve seen some design that wasn’t that great, and you didn’t want to go back. It plays a tremendous part in people’s experience in buildings.” Edwards is a member of the American Institute of Architects, which offers ongoing education for architects. She also is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited professional with the United States Green Building Council. Edwards lives in Jackson with her husband, Trent, and son, Corvin, who will be in the 6th grade in the fall. She has lived in Jackson for almost 14 years and doesn’t plan on going anywhere. “New architecture and renovations show how a city is growing,” Edwards says. “It excites people and (gets them to ask) ‘What else can we do?’” —LaShanda Phillips

29 Pop-Up Art Local photos, paintings, screenprints and sculptures, all “priced to move.”



Melissa Edwards grew up surrounded by the influence of architecture through her two uncles who work in design. She did not know of any female architects who could serve as role models, however, but that didn’t stop her from entering the field. Edwards, 36, is a project architect at JBHM Architects in Jackson. In her role, she works on every aspect of clients’ projects from the planning stages to when the building is actually completed. “I get so involved with my projects. I go to see the project to see if its done the way the client wants,” she says. “It takes a lot of time … but it’s so worth it.” The Hazlehurst native attended Copiah Academy. During her freshman year at the University of Southern Mississippi, she decided to become an architect. She didn’t really consider the field until a family member pointed out how her talents, particularly her drawing ability, related to architecture. She then decided to look into it. “I took a few courses, and I loved it,” Edwards says. “I love the way architecture combines science and art. That appealed to me.” She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering technology in 1998. In Jackson, Edwards worked on the Jackson Country Club design in 2009 through 2010 and the Gladys Noel Bates Elementary and Thomas Cardozo Middle School in 2010. “(The country club) occurred in phases. It was a very exciting project,” she says. The company first re-did the golf pro shop to

Iron Chef Two local chefs clash in the kitchen, competing to be named Iron Chef Ferguson.

melissa edwards

National and state Dems are ready to “get in the way” of legislation they don’t like. LAURA MEEK

4 ..............Editor’s Note 4 .................... Sorensen 6 ............................ Talk 10 .................. Business 12 ................... Editorial 12 .................. Kamikaze 12 ........................... Day 13 ................. Opinion 14 ............ Cover Story 19 .............. Diversions 22 ........................ Film 24 .................... 8 Days 26 ............. JFP Events 29 ...................... Music 31 ....... Music Listings 32 ..................... Sports 34 .............. Body/Soul 35 ................. Wellness 38 ....................... Food 41 ................ Astrology 41 .................... Puzzles 42 ... Girl About Town

Preaching to the Choir



R.L. Nave Reporter R.L. Nave grew up in St. Louis, graduated from Mizzou (the University of Missouri), and lived a bunch of other places before coming to Jackson. Contact him at 601-362-6121 ext. 12 or rlnave@jacksonfreepress. com. He wrote the cover story.

LaShanda Phillips Freelance writer LaShanda Phillips is a recent graduate of Jackson State University. She is the third oldest of seven children. She wrote the Jacksonian.

Sonya Lee Sonya Lee hails from Jackson, and she writes poetry and fiction. She enjoys parasailing, jet skiing and taking long walks on the beach while dreaming. She wrote a theater feature.

Valerie Wells Valerie Wells is a freelance journalist based in south Mississippi. She wrote the Media Eye column and an arts feature for this issue.

Josh Parshall Hailing from Columbia, Mo., Josh Parshall is an oral historian who has lived in Jackson since May 2009. He holds a master’s degree in folklore from the University of North Carolina. He wrote a beer feature.

Casey Purvis Casey Purvis is a Fondrenite who loves planting flowers and watching birds in her backyard. She is owned by Phoebe, a 9year-old Lhasa apso. She works as a nurse in one of the local hospitals in her spare time. She wrote a BodySoul feature.

Eric Bennett Graphic designer Eric Bennett is a native of Jackson and a current digital arts student at Millsaps College. His dream job is to do character designs for a major video game producer. He laid out many pages of this issue.

June 6 - 12, 2012

Monique Davis


Advertising coordinator Monique Davis is a passionate promoter of all things Jackson. She is a cartoonist, is married to the smartest man on the planet and is a mother of six wonderful children. She can be bribed with red wine (Merlot).

by Ronni Mott, Managing Editor

Hopes and Dreams


ast Friday was the first of the weekly Jackson Free Press summer intern workshops. With more than a dozen people stuffed into our classroom around the long stretch of tables, Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd led a spirited discussion centered around the hopes and dreams of a talented group of young people. What one thing would you change about the world if you could, Donna asked the group. The answers ranged from irreverent (“More ice cream!”) to expansive (“Open minds”). What struck me, as one-by-one, each intern spoke about his or her deepest wish for a better world, was the way the group rejected America’s current trend of divisiveness. Over and over again, themes of equality and openness came up. Make education equally available to all, one said, echoed by another’s wish to make art accessible to everyone regardless of social status. Acceptance of all people, said a third, and two said they want to open minds. One wants simply to tell the untold stories. Every summer, the JFP offices fairly vibrate with the energy and enthusiasm of young people eager to make their mark on the world. With the long, hot summer stretching ahead of them without high-school or college classes, restlessly unsatisfied by their current situation and eager to learn new skills, they bring with them an unfettered optimism that they are capable of changing the world they have inherited. The common vehicle they have chosen is to observe and write about it. They never fail to inspire me to be a better version of myself. Looking back over the dozens of interns we have coached and coddled and prodded to become better observers and writers, I don’t have any illusions that our job—nurturing, teaching and providing worthwhile subjects to keep them engaged and interested—is easy. It isn’t. My grown-up and hard-bitten cynicism about how the world “really” works makes for an often uneasy balance. But their presence brings me back to a time when my own fragile optimism was fresh and vital, not scarred by disappointments, the status quo and the realization that the world isn’t concerned much about what I want. Most of our interns have never lived in a world without the Internet and access to quick, easy answers. They are survivors of an educational system more concerned about test scores than the ability to reason and think critically. At a superficial level, some probably see their internship as little more than a potentially valuable addition to already hefty resumes of academic achievement; a check mark on the road toward better college careers and jobs and more money. In that, they’re right; this experience will figure into all of those things, hopefully for the better. What will perhaps surprise many is that they find rewarding challenges despite the fact that they won’t get a grade or walk across a stage to get their gold star of achievement at the end of their time here. Those who already

possess a way with words will get a lot of opportunity to make even seemingly mundane subjects engaging and interesting. If they already have confidence and people skills, we will challenge them to reach deeper and develop their empathy and understanding of what motivates others. If they have tasted working and making their way in this world, we’ll hold them to higher standards of professionalism.

They mean to make their mark, not to further divide, but to bring people together through knowledge. As their coaches, they will change and teach us as well. For my part, it is what makes it all worthwhile. They will challenge me to think beyond my knee-jerk reactions and have me struggling to reach each of them as individuals and not part of a ubiquitous source of content and fact-checking. I’m committed that no one slips through the cracks of this experience and each of them leaves us with their determination and enthusiasm for telling stories well tested and strengthened. Like many creative endeavors, we will teach them that writing isn’t some mysterious undertaking, but a process that they can count on for expressing their truths. During

last Friday’s workshop, they agreed on a group mission statement for the summer: “Creating awareness through greater community exposure.” I believe they understand that waking people up to reality takes work. Those untold stories will remain untold without someone digging them out. They’re up to the challenge, they said, by writing, understanding, changing—that’s how they’ll get the job done. What this group has in common with their peers is that they find it unacceptable to live in a divisive, violent world. Deep in their souls, they instinctively know that it’s up to them to find and lead the world to a better way. And across the board, they see that the way their forebears have split the world—us versus them, indiscriminately using up everything at their disposal—doesn’t solve anything. They hold in their hands the means to make lasting inroads to equality and greater understanding. They mean to make their mark, not to further divide, but to bring people together through knowledge. They are truth-seekers and truth-tellers. How can anyone not be inspired by that? Perhaps I’m putting too much on this particular group of go-getters. I’m not so sure. They have plenty of good humor and energy to put into their hero’s quest. Their deceptively simply motto—”The world is not ice cream, but it could be”—is as clear as glass and as deep as a well. This life isn’t easy—they know that—but suffering about it is a choice. Out of the mouths of babes, they melt and heal my heart. Their enthusiasm for change and eagerness to dig into all of the hard work that entails astounds me. This summer is shaping up to be a lot more than hot and humid. Be prepared to embrace a little greatness.

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Quentin Whitwell

news, culture & irreverence

Thursday, May 31 A small plane crashes into a pond near Macon, Miss., killing the pilot. ... A bill that would impose fines and prison terms on doctors who perform sex-selective abortions falls short of the needed two-thirds approval in the U.S. House of Representatives. Friday, June 1 An explosion at Mississippi Phosphates, a fertilizer manufacturer in Pascagoula, kills one employee, Jeremy Moore, and injures two others. ... Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester revokes George Zimmerman’s bond, saying he misled the court about his available money, and orders him to return to jail. Zimmerman is charged with the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Saturday, June 2 The Navy commissions the USS Mississippi, an attack submarine, in Pascagoula. ‌ Warren County officials discover the bodies of Jermaine Walton and James East, both of Vicksburg, after their boat capsized on Lake Long. Sunday, June 3 The United Auto Workers, elected officials and Nissan employees meet to discuss forming a union at the Canton factory. ‌ A plane crashes in Nigeria, killing more than 150 people.

June 6 - 12, 2012

Monday, June 4 Jury selection begins in the trial over a contested Ward 3 special election. ‌ Ole Miss’ men’s baseball team falls to Texas Christian University 7-4 in the College Station Regional.


Tuesday, June 5 Natchez residents vote for a mayor and two aldermen. ‌ Wisconsin voters go to the polls to decide whether to recall Gov. Scott Walker. Get news updates at

to get past petty politics and racial tensions to make progress. p 9

Melton Mentees Get Second Chance


he late Mayor Frank Melton may well be smiling from his grave over the good fortune bestowed by Gov. Haley Barbour and the city of Jackson to two of the troubled men he mentored over the years. Robert Earl Henderson Jr., 40, and Aaron Brown, 41, were just two of a long list of pardons that Barbour granted on his way out of office in January: Henderson for previous sentences for cocaine possession and receiving stolen property in the 1990s; Brown for murdering Kenneth Smith on Lynch Street in 1997, allowing him to walk out of prison a free man with a wiped slate. Both men were well known inside Melton’s circles: Henderson, also known as “Too Sweet,� credits Melton with saving him from a life of crime and was by the mayor’s side throughout his 2009 federal trial for leading a group of police officers and children to destroy a Ridgeway Street duplex. Brown showed up in Melton’s life when he was only 12, sent to live in his home by Frank Bluntson, then the director of the Hinds County Youth Detention Center and now the city council president. In an odd twist of fate, Henderson is now working for Bluntson as a paid city intern, in a role the council president called “a field guy.� Bluntson, who defended Melton’s duplex demolition, said Henderson works 18 hours a week going out to visit city residents who call in about problems—such as city property

with overgrown weeds. “He comes back and gets it solved,� Bluntson said of Henderson. “Folks get sick and tired (of the problems).� KENYA HUDSON

Wednesday, May 30 Seven county-level Mississippi Democrats announce they have switched to the Republican Party. ‌ Pearl police, Homeland Security, the Department of Environmental Quality and the Clinton Police Department’s bomb squad respond to a pipe bomb scare in Pearl. The device turned out to be gas tubes that had probably not been disposed of correctly.

says Jackson needs

The Weather Bureau began officially naming hurricanes in 1950. Hurricane names rotate on a six-year cycle, so 2012 repeats the 2006 names. In 2005, the Atlantic saw 28 named storms, forcing the National Hurricane Center to begin naming storms after Greek letters. Hurricane season in the Atlantic officially began June 1 and lasts through Nov. 30.

Rev. Robert Henderson Jr. (left) was at Mayor Frank Melton’s side throughout his 2009 trial.

The council president said he met Henderson when his long-time friend Melton ran for the mayor’s office. “He helped Frank in his campaign,â€? Bluntson explained Tuesday. â€œâ€Ś He did the same thing in Tyrone Lewis’ campaign.â€? Lewis ran for sheriff twice—once





by Donna Ladd

unsuccessfully in 2007 with support of then Mayor Melton and then successfully last year. During the first race, Henderson was listed as the contact for a fund raiser for Lewis at Melton’s home in north Jackson. On his pardon application, which the state Parole Board received Jan. 9, 2012, Henderson listed Lewis as his top reference. His other references were Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith and The Rev. F. L. Blount. Henderson listed his current employer as Socrates Garrett of Garrett Enterprises and owner of the Mississippi Link newspaper where Henderson published his pardon request notice in late December. State Sen. Alice Harden wrote the letter of recommendation in Henderson’s pardon file, calling him “well respected in the faith communityâ€? and saying that he is “dependable, energetic and honest.â€? The parole board voted 3-2 against recommending Henderson for a pardon with only Chairman Shannon Warnock and board member Clarence Brown voting in favor. Barbour, however, felt differently and granted the pardon for Henderson, who now serves as an associate minister at the Greater Tree of Life Baptist Church in Jackson. Bluntson said Tuesday that he hired Henderson “for the same reason (Frank Melton) hired Louis Armstrong ‌ to give him a secPARDONED, see page 7

of Separation Tiger Woods to Kevin Bacon by Jacob Fuller

With his win Sunday at the Memorial Tournament, Tiger Woods tied Jack Nicklaus for the second most PGA Tour wins of all time, with 73. At the 1971 U.S. Open, Nicklaus lost a classic shoot-out to Lee Trevino, who later played alongside Adam Sandler in the movie “Happy Gilmore.� Sandler’s co-star in “Anger Management� was Jack Nicholson, who also starred in “The Pledge,� directed by Sean Penn. Penn played alongside Kevin Bacon in 2003’s “Mystic River.�


news, culture & irreverence

PARDONED, from page 6


ond chance. … Armstrong is one of the best employees in the city.” The feds convicted Armstrong, a former Jackson City Council president himself, of felony extortion and bribery in 1999. Melton raised local eyebrows when he brought Armstrong back to city government in 2005. Now Armstrong helps run the city’s “Second Chance” program. (See page 10.) Bluntson, who is running for mayor, said that Henderson’s 18 paid city hours “have nothing to do with my campaign.” He added that he and Henderson have not “gone back and discussed” his criminal past, that he relies on his late friend’s trust of Henderson and doesn’t need to look at things he’s done in the past: “Frank Melton told me how much he helped him. … Why not give a person a second chance to see how they do?” Henderson’s pardon file shows that he was indicted in the 1990s as a habitual offender and pled as non-habitual and was sentenced Dec. 5, 1997. He was released in 1999 and discharged from probation March 4, 2002. He reached out to the JFP in 2008, during the paper’s critical reporting of the mayor and his past, to tell us that Melton had helped him recover from his criminal past. He wrote in his parole application that he had worked with Melton “by helping organize and hire under-privileged, high-risk youth.” Reached at the same number two weeks ago, Henderson set an appointment last week at the Wendy’s on High Street to talk about Melton’s mentorship, but did not show up or return subsequent phone calls.

The record of Aaron Brown, also par- right now, should be retiring from the NFL, appropriate sexual contact, but those files were doned by Barbour (but not a trusty), is more but he’s in Parchman for the rest of his life. missing from JPD by the time police investidisturbing by comparison: Thanks to Barbo- [Aaron] is one of the smartest kids I’ve dealt gated Melton’s mentoring in the 1990s. ur, he walked free after serving 15 years of a with in my life. And Frank Bluntson is the one Melton often brought up Sheppard in inlife sentence for the murder of Kenneth Smith who brought me Aaron Brown, when Aaron terviews, hoping to clear his name. He told me at the Cool Breeze pool hall in in 2008 about Sheppard: “I beat Jackson. Neither the attorney his butt, put him in the car and general’s office, the Mississippi took him home, and his mama Department of Corrections or filed assault charges against me, the state Parole Board could supand the judge dismissed the chargply any records on Brown, other es appropriately so, and the kid than Barbour’s Executive Order goes out and gets himself killed.” No. 1274. None of the agencies Sheppard did not go right were consulted before Barbour out and get killed, however. Police pardoned Brown. reports put the assault charge in The order stated that Brown the mid-1980s; he was not killed was sentenced on Aug. 26, 1997, until Nov. 17, 1992. His murder for murder and was “previously at the Dairy Bar occurred when he sentenced for crimes of concealed was 18, the month after then JPD weapon and possession of conChief Jimmy Wilson launched a Rev. Robert Henderson Jr. helps Mayor Frank Melton into his car outside the federal courthouse downtown in 2009. trol substance in Hinds County related Youth Detention Center on Dec. 12, 1990.” He was 26 investigation that revealed the earwhen he was convicted, according to records was 12 years old,” Melton said. lier unresolved investigation of Melton’s relaacquired by the JFP. Melton was referring to the troubled tionship with Sheppard and others. Further research shows that Brown un- children and teens that Bluntson, as head of Another young man, Augusta Ball, was successfully appealed his murder conviction in the youth detention center, “sent” to him to convicted of killing Sheppard at the Dairy Bar, March 2000. According to the Court of Ap- mentor in his home—a controversial practice but had escaped to New Orleans before his appeals decision, Brown shot Smith to death “in that led the Jackson Police Department to in- prehension. Aaron Brown, the man Barbour the course of an argument” in the parking lot vestigate Melton’s dealings with young people pardoned in January for murdering Kenneth of the Cool Breeze. in the early 1990s especially because he was Smith, had helped him escape after Sheppard’s Smith’s girlfriend testified that Brown never a trained or certified foster parent, yet murder—before Melton retrieved Ball and got drew a 9-millimeter pistol from under his coat managed to fill his home with young men. him to confess.“The boy that took (Ball) to and shot Smith multiple times. One of those investigations centered New Orleans was Aaron Brown. He admitted In interviews with the Jackson Free around the murder of Robert Lamont Shep- it to me,” Melton said in 2008. Press from 2006 to 2008, Melton mentioned pard, who was 15 when youth court Judge Brown’s current whereabouts are Brown multiple times as one of the ones he C.A. Henley signed an order for him to live unknown, and he could not be reached failed, bemoaning the fact that he had ended with Melton. Several years earlier, between for comment for this story. up in prison. “Aaron is another kid I worked 1985 and 1987, when Sheppard was between See story at for links to previous with very closely. Aaron also is brilliant. Aaron, 11 and 13 years old, he accused Melton of in- stories mentioned. Comment at

Last-Minute Decisions on Sex Ed “They jumped the gun on it and made an adoption, and the curriculum they actually chose ended up not being on ELIZABETH WAIBEL


chool districts across the state have only a few weeks left to decide on sex-education policies and curricula for next year, but many have yet to make their decisions, including Jackson Public Schools. The deadline for each school district in the state to adopt either an abstinenceplus or abstinence-only sex-education policy is the end of this month. Districts have until June 30 to report both their policy and curriculum choices to the Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Healthy Schools. JPS has not yet adopted a policy. The last school board meeting of the month is scheduled for June 19. Marshall and Benton counties, two districts located in north Mississippi, recently switched their policies from abstinence-plus to abstinence-only. Jerry Moore, superintendent of the Marshall County School District, said the board approved an abstinence-plus policy about a year ago, before he became superintendent.

The Jackson Public Schools board has yet to vote on a sex-education policy and curriculum for next year.

the (approved-curricula) list,” he said. After Moore became superintendent in January, he and the board met with vendors that have programs on the MDE’s approved-curricula list. They also met with teachers and school health nurses and surveyed the community, he said.

So far, the MDE has approved four abstinence-plus programs, two of which are also on the list of abstinence-only curricula. Until late March, however, the only two approved abstinence-plus programs were the same ones available to schools with abstinence-only policies. The department has approved five programs for abstinence-only policies. Before a new law, HB 999, passed last year, Moore said his district did not have a defined sex-education policy. “It was definitely part of our vocational health classes, but it was definitely not a policy,” he said. So far, 30 districts have chosen abstinence-plus policies, according to the education-advocacy organization Mississippi First, which has been trying to get more abstinence-plus programs approved. As school officials discuss policy, some Jackson-area residents say no matter what policy school districts adopt, it will be much more effective if community groups get involved. Betti Watters is the president of the

newly formed nonprofit Mississippi Campaign for Teen Pregnancy Prevention. She says that teens will make better choices if they get sex-education from people they already have a connection with and who can be role models for teens after classes end. “Our core belief is that teens, of course, need correct information on sex in order to be able to make good decisions, and the people who are closest to them are the best people to give that education,” Watters said. “Of course, parents are the best educators, but many of them do not have the information, maybe, the time or are just uncomfortable talking about sex.” Watters, who has been a social worker for several different organizations, said community groups should also work with parents to help them talk to their teens about sex. She is encouraged by how many people are talking about Mississippi’s high teenage-pregnancy rates, but still sees a need for effective programming to address the problem. Comment at

by Elizabeth Waibel



by R.L. Nave

Against Tough Odds, Dems Rally



ongressman John Lewis likes to say Court Judge David Lyons and Constable that he didn’t grow up in a big city like Mitch Sumrall of Jones County; Sheriff Greg Indianola or Tunica. He was born in Waggoner, Coroner Randolph Scott, Supervirural Pike County, Ala., near the town sor Tony Smith and Justice Court Judge Ken of Troy (which is roughly the same size as Indi- Adcock of Leake County; and Sheriff Jackie anola), where his family raised chickens. As a Knight of Newton County. Justice court boy, Lewis wanted to be a minister. judges are the only judges in the state that run From time to time, Lewis said he and by party affiliation. his siblings would gather the family’s chickens Waggoner said Democrats have taken and preach to them: “Some of those chickens “an extreme left turn,” alluding to Obama’s would bow their heads. Some those chickens announcement that he supports gay marwould shake their riage as one reason heads. They never he was leaving the quite said Amen. party less than a year Some of those chickafter winning elecens I used to preach tion as a Democrat. at in the ’40s and ’50s “I’m a Christended to listen to tian, and my first me much better than allegiance is to Jeour Republican colsus Christ. If we’re leagues,” he quipped. going to preserve Sometimes, our country, we’re Democrats like to going to have to feast on red meat, too. Speaking in Jackson, Congressman preserve our famiAt this year’s Jefferson John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat, urged lies, and we’re not Jackson Hamer Din- Mississippi Democrats to “get in the going to preserve ner, held June 1 at way” and fight for Democratic values. our families going the Regency Hotel in the route that they Jackson, Lewis, a civil-rights icon who marched want to go,” Waggoner said. with Dr. King, played the role of zookeeper. A Mississippi Republican Party press “You look like you’re ready to get in release said more than 50 Democrats in Misthe way,” Lewis said in greeting the 600- sissippi have gone to the other party “since Democrat gathering that included mem- Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama have taken bers of the Mississippi Legislature and At- over the national Democrat party (sic).” torney General Jim Hood, the lone stateIn 2011, Rep. Jeff Smith of Columwide elected Democrat. bus, Rep. Donnie Bell of Fulton and Democrats, Lewis said, need to learn to Sen. Gray Tollison of Oxford traded their get in the way to push back against the Re- D’s for R’s. publican-controlled U.S. House of Repre“We are committed to winning elections sentatives, which has often locked horns with at every level and are glad to welcome conserDemocratic President Barack Obama and vative Democrats in Mississippi who can no sought to block many of Obama’s policy ini- longer support the liberal policies of Barack tiatives. Lewis said it was one reason Demo- Obama and the national Democratic Party,” crats need to organize and ensure high voter Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement. turnout in the November 2012 election. Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman He chided congressional Republicans for Jamie Franks called on the Democratic lawpushing laws targeting undocumented immi- makers in attendance to introduce legislation grants and abortion rights. Republicans made that would automatically declare seats vacant similar efforts in Mississippi during the legisla- when politicians switch parties in the middle tive session. While the party failed to get an of a term. immigration law passed, the GOP did muscle “Those people were never Democrats in through strict regulations on the state’s only the first place,” Franks told the Jefferson Jackabortion clinic. son Hamer Dinner audience. Democrats, at least the ones in MissisRickey Cole, executive director of the sippi, could probably use the encouragement. Mississippi Democratic Party, said the party In the November 2011 statewide election, expected to lose some members after Obama’s Democrats lost control of the state House of gay marriage announcement and that party Representatives, yielding control of the Leg- switching is a natural part of the political islature to the GOP. Three Democratic legis- process. However, calling their switch unfair lators also switched parties last year, and last to Democratic voters and their Republican week several county Democratic officials jet- primary challengers, Cole said the switchers tisoned the party. should resign their seats and let their counties Obama’s affirmation of same-sex mar- call special elections. riage in May spurred some of the officials’ de“If it takes a person to upper middle age cisions to go play for the other team. At a May to decide what they want to be when they 30 news conference, the Mississippi Republi- grow up, then there might be some maturity can Party introduced its newest acquisitions. issues they have to deal with,” Cole said. The party-switching officials are: Justice Comment

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June 6 - 12, 2012



115 Capitol Street, Jackson

by Jacob Fuller


Whitwell: Getting Things Going


ate and law school that got him involved in politics. You worked on a presidential campaign? Yeah, I worked for Lamar Alexander, who is now a U.S. senator from Tennessee. He’d been governor of Tennessee and education secretary under (Ronald) Reagan. He ran in the Republican primary when (Bill) Clinton was running for re-election, and he lost to Bob Dole in the primary. I got to go


uentin Whitwell, 39, was born in Memphis and grew up in Southaven and Oxford. His father, Robert Q. Whitwell, served as the U.S. Attorney for northern Mississippi from 1985 through 1993. After graduating from Oxford High School, Whitwell earned his bachelor’s degree from Ole Miss in 1995 and his law degree from the school in 1998. Since college, his career titles have included lawyer, lobbyist, novelist and now Jackson Ward 1 city councilman.

Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell, who previously lobbied for Farish Street developers, said the quickest way to put Jackson on the map is to open the Farish Street entertainment district.

Soon after law school, Whitwell moved to Jackson and worked as an attorney and lobbyist. In 2006, he helped start The Talon Group LLC, a lobbying and consulting firm, along with former City Councilman Chip Reno. His lobbying clients this year include Delta Technical College, Freedom Prosthetics LLC, Mississippi Mortgage Bankers Association, Treasure Bay LLC and Cash in a Flash, among others. The Jackson Free Press caught up with the Ward 1 councilman Monday, June 4. He said it was his time between undergradu-

to Iowa and work in the first caucus (of the year). It was a great experience. I did advance work, drove the press van, set everything up before all the town hall meetings. It was an incredible experience. It was one of those things where, if I didn’t already have the bug, I had it after that. Why did you decide to become a councilman? I knew (former Ward 1 Councilman) Jeff (Weill) was rolling off after getting elected to be a judge. I had some people ask me if I was


interested in it. I just really thought it would be a great way to make a difference. I’m limited in what I can do at the state and federal level right now with my lobbying practice, so the city level was more manageable on the conflict side. So I decided to go for it. Of course, my lobbying partner, Chip Reno, was on the Jackson City Council (from) ’97-’01. He served in Tony (Yarber)’s seat. Have you ever had something come before the city that you had to recuse yourself on because of a conflict with your lobbying practice? Yeah, it’s just like (any career). It’s like when Councilman Yarber was a principal of a high school, he couldn’t vote on education issues. There was a time when I did some work for the Watkins Development group, trying to help them with some contractual issues on funding. I wasn’t able to vote on those issues when I represented them. You’ve done some lobbying for payday lending. What do you think about those companies? Well, I believe that payday lending is an alternative financing source for many people who are either unbankable or do not desire to utilize the services of banks and the banking industry. I think just like any industry, there are good ones and there are bad ones. I certainly think the ones I represent are some of the good ones, or I wouldn’t represent them. The things that we have worked for over the years, with the companies that I’ve represented, (we) have actually tried to seek lower interest rates and longer terms to help their customers. I don’t think anybody would argue with that. (Note: See sidebar, top right.) I don’t think there are as many payday lending places in your ward as there are in a lot of the others. Why is that? Well, the market bears out where the customers are. Apparently, there are more customers in other places.


What needs to be the city’s No. 1 priority right now? Good question. Citywide, we need to do a couple things. First thing we need to do is get past petty politics, petty racial tensions. Understand, I say that with a sincere heart, because racial tensions are not petty, but the folks who try to aggravate or push people apart for their own purposes, we’ve got to get past that and all start working together. I’m sure there was a time when people were saying, “Is this a majority black city or a majority white city?� Well, that pendulum has already swung, so there’s no reason to be trying to push anybody out of this city at this point. As a matter of fact, we should be trying to bring people in, no matter who they are. From a development standpoint, both economically and as far as the population goes, some of the goals that I think are most critical (are) first of all, we need someone to paint a vision. We need someone to give us a picture of: “This is what Jackson could be in five years, 10 years, 20 years.� I try to do that from one council seat, but we need it at the top level. I really want to see more of that. For me, I believe the easiest, fastest, quickest way to put Jackson, Mississippi, on the map is to open Farish Street. It’s just so easy. They’ve spent so much money, and all they need is one very last piece that will have them open within 90 to 120 days. If I was in charge, so to speak, I would say, “What do we have to do to get that going?� (Note: Watkins Partners is redeveloping the Farish Street district. Whitwell lobbied for the Farish Street Group in 2011.) Read more of this interview at




by Jacob Fuller

City Calls on Companies to Offer ‘Fresh Start’



ackson is making an effort to stop the to begin the planning process of the Fresh the program both to business owners and through the Second Chance Act last year. revolving door in the state’s prison sys- Start program. Karen Quay, offender re- to the community to try to get more em- The grant matched a $50,000 investment tem. One of the biggest keys, accord- entry program coordinator, said the turn- ployers to hire former inmates. from the city’s general fund to implement ing to the Fresh Start Task Force, is out and energy at the meeting were great. One of the main goals of the meet- the task force and the planning stages of helping formerly incarcerated people learn Within the task force, Quay and other ing was to create a mission statement for the project. Chris Mims, Johnson’s direcskills and find jobs. leaders split members into work groups that the group, and they created this statement: tor of communications, said the city and Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. appointed highlighted their expertise, such as employ- “The mission of the Fresh Start Re-Entry the mayor are actively pursuing funding to a few dozen local leaders to the task implement the project. force earlier this year to plan the The group also invited Eddie Fresh Start program. The goal of Walsh, executive director of the the program is to reduce recidivism Second Chance program in Memamong Mississippians who leave the phis, to speak during their meeting. criminal-justice system. He said Memphis started its proThe percentage of inmates in gram after officials noticed a large the state who return to prison withportion of the city’s money was in three years is relatively low comgoing toward correctional facilities pared to the national average, but it’s and public defenders’ offices. rising. The Pew Center on the States “We determined we had to stop reports that Mississippi’s recidivism and look at ways we could stop this rate between 2004 and 2007 was money from going out, because the 33.3 percent, up from 26.6 percent same people were going through from 1999 to 2002. The national the (public defender’s) office going average was 43.3 percent in 2007, to and from jail,� Walsh said. down from 45.4 percent in 2002. One program Memphis startThe state’s inmate population as ed to respond to the problem was of May 29 was 21,820, according to Building for the Future. Under the state Department of Corrections. the program, inmates build housJohn Hopkins, director of treatment ing materials in the prison to be and programs at DOC, said that the The Fresh Start Task Force is working to keep people from returning to the state’s prisons, including the State used by charities such as Habitat department offers vocational skills Penitentiary at Parchman, pictured. Mississippi’s recidivism rate is relatively low, but it has risen in recent years. for Humanity. The project, Walsh training to prisoners, such plumbing said, gives inmates a sense of being and carpentry. Employers must be involved in communities and cuts willing to hire former prisoners once costs for the charities. they are out, Hopkins said, to keep them ment, education and skills training, hous- Task Force is to implement a comprehen“We taught inmates a viable skill, an from returning to prison. ing, law enforcement, and more. sive, seamless system of innovative services employment-retention skill about building “There are a large number of people The employment group includes, designed to facilitate the successful re-entry panelized housing,� Walsh said. “We taught who want employment and want to try to among others, group leader Don Watson process from corrections to community.� them how to make bricks. They might not be responsible,� Hopkins said. “And they of D. Watson and Associates, Jeff Good The program needs to bring inmates have been a bricklayer, but they can mix can’t get (a job). So then, what happens of Mangia Bene Restaurant Group and in between one and three years prior to the mud.� when you can’t get a job?� Lurlene Irvin from the Center for Business their release to receive adequate job trainThe meeting Thursday was the first The Fresh Start Task Force is made Development at Jackson State University. ing and skills, Quay said. for the task force since an orientation earup of representatives from a range of pro“We got some concrete ideas about The city’s program will likely bring in lier this year. The planning stage of the fessional fields including city government, how the business sector needs to be in- inmates closer to one year prior to release, program will continue through the sumlaw enforcement, business, mental health, volved and (about) recruiting other busi- though, due to a lack of resources to sup- mer. The task force must submit a strategic domestic abuse treatment, corrections and ness people,� Quay said. port longer stints in the program. plan to the U.S. Department of Justice by the judicial system. “We’ve got some good leadership in Jackson was one of 15 cities, out of Sept. 30 to be considered for implementaThe group met Thursday, May 31, that sector (and) in that work group.� more than 600 applicants, that received a tion funding. at the Entergy Lodge on Northside Drive Quay said the task force will promote $50,000 grant from the federal government Comment at



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Private Prisons Flourish on Desperation


f you drive around Natchez, a sleepy river town of 16,045 people, and talk to folks, everybody has an opinion on whether Adams County Correction Center and its parent company, Corrections Corporation of America, have had a positive impact on the area. Whatever people thought, it likely changed on Sunday, May 20, when a disturbance with a still-unknown cause prompted inmates to set parts of the prison on fire, take employees hostage and reportedly kill a young prison guard who happened to be working on his day off. For inmates and employees, prisons are dangerous places, and stress comes with the territory. Human-rights activists who keep close tabs on America’s prisons assert that those dangers are heightened at private prisons whose owners court local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to house prisoners. Because the contract is usually worth a prescribed dollar amount, the prison company has to make its profits on the margins. The ACLU and other groups say the arrangement results in private prison firms cutting corners to boost income. When the companies trade their stock on Wall Street, which rewards them not just for generating profits but for growing profits quarter over quarter, there’s even more temptation to keep expenses low. In most large organizations, employees represent the biggest line-item expense. In a prison, cutting back on staff is a recipe for disaster. A small, overworked prison staff might be more inclined to take a hard line with inmates. Understaffing also means inmates won’t have access to the privileges and services to which they are entitled. When one person has to oversee an entire housing unit, moving prisoners from their cells to the recreational yard or law library or infirmary becomes a logistical nightmare, fueling resentment and causing even a docile inmate to lash out at anyone in striking distance. But the saddest thing is that the private-prison industry makes its money by exploiting a cycle of human desperation. They go into poor communities like Tutwiler and Natchez, which doesn’t have much going for itself economically besides tourism, promising jobs. In the case of ACCC, which houses immigrants who re-entered the U.S. after being deported, the prison is filled with men who came to this country looking for a better life. Surprisingly, Mississippi has quietly moved away from private prison companies the last few months. Last fall, the Department of Corrections let CCA break its contract to run the Delta Correctional Facility in Greenwood. After a settlement was reached in a lawsuit alleging sex abuse and other civil-rights abuses at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility, its operator, The GEO Group, announced that it would pull it out of Mississippi. We are encouraged by this trend and hope other states will follow Mississippi’s lead.


Hard Times Made Tolerable


June 6 - 12, 2012

il’ Momma Roscoe: “I am so proud to announce that Clubb Chicken Wing was awarded best Community Service Venue during the first annual Best of the Ghetto Science Community Public Service Awards and Disco. My hard-working son, Big Roscoe, and I worked diligently to make Clubb Chicken Wing a place that meets the needs of the whole Ghetto Science Community. “I am honored and happy that the Ghetto Science Public Service Committee recognized our efforts during this great recession. And thanks to some very benevolent financial contributions from members, businesses and institutions of the Ghetto Science Community, Clubb Chicken Wing grew from a small, local bar and grill to a multipurpose complex. Also, I’m glad Big Roscoe had big ideas like the football stadium, recreational center for the kids and adults, and office space for aspiring entrepreneurs. Today, the Clubb Chicken Wing Multipurpose Complex is a core of positive community development. Bubba Robinski, token Caucasian Ghetto Science community member, says that Clubb Chicken Wing is a large-scale version of ‘Cheers,’ where everybody knows your name. “Clubb Chicken Wing’s goal during the recession is to create jobs for the unemployed. Our daily ‘Hot Wing Happy Hour’ provides unemployed DJs, emcees, college graduates, teachers with Ph.D.s and other mid-level workers with part-time income. And we are not afraid to host job-search seminars and resume workshops either. “Big Roscoe and I want to help make these hard times more tolerable for the common people. 12 “So, here’s a toast to the community: Cheers!”


Hold the School Board Accountable


’m a proud product of Jackson Public Schools. I attended Boyd Elementary and Chastain Middle schools up until the 9th grade. I then went to St. Joseph Catholic School because my mother wanted me to attend Murrah High School instead of my neighborhood school, Callaway. Out of teenage defiance, I left JPS for St. Joe but have forever remained a supporter. And though I could easily send my kids to a private school (and I have contemplated it), I’ve remained loyal to the system that made me. In my opinion, as an advocate, I have to lead by example. I attend PTA meetings. I attend parent-teacher conferences. I have my kids’ teachers’ cell numbers, and they have mine. Principals and coaches at least know my face. This doesn’t mean that my kids are perfect; it simply means that as a parent, I understand my role and have done my part. That said, I can only express utter embarrassment at what has transpired lately with JPS and its new rezoning plan. I’m even more embarrassed at how the debacle was handled publicly. I’ve got a stake in this: my kids. From the outside, anyone looking at this mess might surmise that incompetence abounds on the JPS school board. While I don’t think that’s totally the case, one could surely get the impression upon first glance. Not good. Not only was the announcement of the plan haphazard; the explanation for the plan has been more confusing. It speaks to a leadership issue in this city that I and many others have a problem with. It

seems our city leaders have not been and don’t want to be held accountable. They’re not welcoming of criticism and, in many cases, take it personally when their decisions are questioned. They make unpopular (not necessarily bad) decisions and do their dead-level best to avoid fielding tough questions from the public. No one wants to be unpopular, right? So, instead, JPS is paying Eric Stringfellow a nice piece of change to have him stand in front of folks and take the heat. To my knowledge, that’s all they’re paying him for. Tell us, why exactly JPS is paying a “spokesperson” up to $10,000, and where is that money coming from, seeing as how we’re having financial issues in the district? When the future of our kids is at stake— hell, the future of a district in danger of losing its accreditation is at stake—I need more concise answers, answers that I can’t easily find on a website or by speaking with someone’s assistant. For example, I want to know why my stepson, who lives in north Jackson, will be attending a school in west Jackson. Being a leader is a tricky thing: When things go great, you probably never get proper praise, but when things are bad, you most certainly get the blame. But that’s what leaders sign on for. Tough. When you make a choice, stand by it, explain it, take the bullets when they come your way, and stand steadfast. The JPS school board boggles my mind, and they’re playing craps with my kids’ education. Get your stuff together! And that’s the truth ... sho-nuff.

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EDITORIAL Managing Editor Ronni Mott News Editor Elizabeth Waibel Reporters Jacob Fuller, R.L. Nave Features Editor Kathleen Morrison Mitchell Events Editor Latasha Willis Deputy Editor Briana Robinson Copy Editor Dustin Cardon Contributing Editor Valerie Wells Music Listings Editor Natalie Long Fashion Stylist Meredith Sullivan Writers Torsheta Bowen, Quita Bride, Marika Cackett, Richard Coupe,Tam Curley, Scott Dennis, Jim Pathfinder Ewing, Bryan Flynn, Diandra Hosey, Pamela Hosey, Robyn Jackson, Garrad Lee, Genevieve Legacy, Amanda Michaud, Jessica Mizell, Anita Modak-Truran, Larry Morrisey, Robin O’Bryant, Eddie Outlaw, Casey Purvis, Debbie Raddin, Julie Skipper, Kelly Bryan Smith, Editorial Interns Elyane Alexander, Piko Ewoodzie, Ceili Hayes, Lindsay Hayes, Darnell Jackson,Vergie Redmond, Sara Sacks, Victoria Sherwood, Bn-Cuda Stowers Whitney Menogan, Adria Walker Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris

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In Praise of Public Servants


lendora businessman Mike Sturdivant passed away at age 84 on May 1, at his home on his Due West Plantation. It brought to mind many things about one of the Magnolia State’s best leaders. He was a successful businessman who made two attempts to become governor of this state, in 1983 and 1987. In 1983 Sturdivant finished behind former Lt. Gov. Evelyn Gandy and then-Attorney General Bill Allain. Gandy and Allain both had the advantage of holding statewide office. Then came 1987, which may go down as the last “big time” gubernatorial election. By the time the qualifying deadline ended we had 10 candidates: eight Democrats and two Republicans. The list included former Gov. Bill Waller, Attorney General Ed Pittman, State Auditor Ray Mabus, former Columbia Mayor Maurice Dantin, Jackson attorney John Arthur Eaves and Tupelo businessman Jack Reed. An editorial in The Clarion-Ledger summed it up best, saying the Democratic Party offered “one of best slates Mississippians could have asked for.” The paper went on to conclude that Mabus, Sturdivant, Dantin or Waller would all serve the state well. The paper also mentioned Republican Reed in that category. When the primary votes were counted, Mabus and Sturdivant led for the Democrats, and Reed won the GOP primary. Mabus defeated Sturdivant on the way to winning the general election against Reed. Sturdivant was a supporter of public education and campaigned extensively on that issue. I have no doubt that if he had been elected governor, education would have been a foremost concern. Reed, the 1987 GOP candidate, also had a passion for education. He served on Gov. William Winter’s education commission in 1980 and on the state Board of Education. The eventual winner, Mabus, had served on Gov. Winter’s “Boys of Spring” team, which in 1982 helped pass the Education Reform Act. He supported and tried to pass funding for his education program, Better Education for Success Tomorrow. The legislature approved BEST in 1990 but failed to fund the program. Sturdivant was as passionate about education as anyone in this state, in a campaign where his competition was also passionate. I believe he would have made great strides to improve the education system in Mississippi, which would have improved the economic standing of our citizens. In the end, Sturdivant, Mabus and Reed were the top contenders in the 1987 race for governor—three big supporters of education and moving our state forward. I followed former Hinds County Sheriff and Jackson Chief of Police Malcolm McMillin long before the first time I met him at a Mississippi Press Association Convention back in 1998. My grandmother, Lois Strachan, was a resident of Hinds County for more than 22

years after she moved from Carroll County, and we visited her many times over the years before her death. I remember when McMillin ran for sheriff the first time in 1991, and I have been a long distance supporter of his ever since. At that MPA convention over a decade ago, I asked him about running for the old 4th Congressional District seat, which Rep. Mike Parker vacated to run for governor. I found out that his heart was in law enforcement, and that is where he would stay. Last year, I heard some talk that he might run for lieutenant governor, but I believed he would run for re-election as sheriff or retire. He has the temperament for law enforcement, and if there was ever anyone who fit the role of county sheriff in Mississippi, it is McMillin. When he ran for and lost the race for a sixth term as Hinds County’s top cop, it was clear he wasn’t ready for retirement. Gov. Phil Bryant could not have made a better choice when he named McMillin to head the state parole board. In the wake of the recent pardons uproar, someone of McMillin’s experience in law enforcement and his ability to make tough decisions will be an asset to Mississippi’s justice system. His slogan during his last campaign was “I’m the sheriff you know, the sheriff you can trust,” and it fits him. From his tenure as a Hinds County constable to his years being sheriff of the county that encompasses the capital city, McMillin is a proven professional. His tough stance on crime on the county level, his management of the county’s inmates and his dealings with the Hinds County Board of Supervisors shows he doesn’t back down. One of the best examples I know is this: McMillin arrested Frank Melton back in 2006 when Melton was mayor of Jackson. When Bryant appointed McMillin to the parole board, Sen. Lydia Chassaniol, RWinona, said to me: “Former Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin is a good appointment as head of the Mississippi State Parole Board. His prior experience as a county sheriff will make him well aware of the effects of paroling inmates on the local community. When I served as a member of the state parole board, I often contacted the local sheriffs before voting to parole an inmate. The local sheriffs are the ones who must deal with offenders when they are returned to the local communities. His experience will make McMillin a good chair of the current parole board.” I am now glad that McMillin never ran for that congressional seat back in the ’90s or for lieutenant governor last year. With his experience and what he can offer this state as chairman of the parole board, he will be an asset beyond measure. Ken Strachan is a former mayor of North Carrollton and serves as Carroll County coroner. He is a former member of the state Democratic Party Executive Committee.

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Private Prisons, Public Problems by R.L. Nave

The cause of a riot at Adams County Correctional Center in Natchez that resulted in the death of one prison guard remains unknown. The Federal Bureau of Investigations is leading the inquiry into the incident as rumors fly.

June 6 - 12, 2012

G 14

ail Tyree exited U.S. Highway 84 onto Hobo Fork Road and drove through the rose-adorned entrance of the sprawling Adams County Correctional Center. A female correctional officer leaving the prison’s main administration building scrutinized Tyree’s car as she circled the

parking lot. A stout African American in her late 30s with her hair pulled back into a neat tight ponytail and an empty gun holster, the guard eyed Tyree’s car suspiciously as it approached her. Rather than evading the guard who was certain to question Tyree and her reporter companion about why they were driving around snapping pictures of the prison—situated near Richard Wright Memorial Highway—Tyree pulled right up to the guard and slipped into her best down-home sister-girl vernacular. “Can I help y’all?” the guard asked, taking a brief glimpse inside the car. “Girrrrrl … Y’all was all on the TV, somethin’ ’bout a riot. I came down from Memphis because I had to see for myself,” said Tyree, who lives in Southaven. A Jacksonville, Fla., native and organizer with

the anti-private prisons Grassroots Leadership based in Charlotte, N.C., Tyree has helped communities fight to prevent private prisons from going up in their backyards in Florida and Mississippi. “Y’all came all the way down here from Memphis just for that?” inquired the half-impressed-half-incredulous guard. Tyree explained that she had come to Natchez to “see my people” and out of curiosity stopped by the prison that two weeks earlier became the focus of national media headlines. Prison inmates had taken two dozen staff members hostage, sent 16 of them to the hospital with injuries and killed a young corrections officer. As a result, the Corrections Corporation of America and American flags outside the administration building stood at half-mast. The riot also sent Natchez into a panic for a short period after a rumor, which turned out to be false, began circulating that some of the inmates had escaped. After Tyree’s explanation, the guard seemed to loosen up and let her guard down. “You like working here? It seems dangerous. I’d be scared,” Tyree said, probing for more details.

“Not really,” the guard shrugged. “I mean ... it’s a prison.” Treated Like ‘Animals’ On Sunday, May 20, smoke billowed high against the dusky sky above the Adams County Correctional Center in Natchez. By the time the sun was setting, the uprising that started around 3 o’clock that afternoon was still unfolding. It was close to midnight before correctional officials finally quelled the riot and got control of the privately-run federal prison, which houses approximately 2,500 immigrant prisoners. What exactly happened that day is still being sorted out by CCA, the prison’s Nashville, Tenn.-based operator and the nation’s largest for-profit prison management firm, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prison watchdog groups. Facts not in dispute are that sometime that afternoon, a disturbance at the prison erupted into a fullscale melee. Over the course of several hours, a group of 100 to 300 inmates briefly seized control of part of the facility. Prisoners held up to two dozen staff members

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‘It probably took me a couple hours to realize this ain’t safe. You got me up here with keys and (pepper) spray in a pod of killers and stuff like that. I wasn’t scared, but you know it’s always in the back of your mind.’

In Pursuit of Profit In February 2007, the Adams County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on proposals from the nation’s two largest private prison companies, CCA and The Geo Group (formerly Wackenhut Corp.). CCA was open to federal and state operating contracts and considered sites in Pike, Walthall and Adams counties. Mississippi law enables citizens to petition county boards of supervisors to hold special elections on allowing private prisons to be built in their in their communities, and in April 2007, Pike County voters spiked CCA’s proposal, shifting the firm’s focus to Adams and Walthall counties. Robert Palmer, a lifelong Adams Countian, spearheaded the petition drive to put the question on the ballot. Palmer said he personally opposed locating the prison in Adams County, where he’s lived on the same property since 1952, but thought it was more important that residents have an opportunity to vote it up or down. Prisons, page 16

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hostage, and several of them were reportedly targeted for beatings. Catlin Carithers, a correctional officer who had shown up for a shift on what was supposed to be his day off, climbed to the roof of one of the buildings where prisoners followed him and reportedly beat Carithers to death. Shortly after the uprising began, an inmate phoned WAPT Channel 16 in Jackson and spoke with reporter Meg Pace. The inmate, whom the station did not identify by name, sent photographs snapped with a contraband cell phone from inside the prison. One of the photos appears to show inmates sitting calmly around tables in a common area. The man spoke with an accent and told the station that prisoners were rebelling against conditions at the prison, which is heavily populated with Mexican nationals. Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield told the Associated Press that a gang fight initiated everything. Mayfield, who was elected sheriff in 2009, did not respond to the JFP’s interview requests. Inmates’ accounts stand in stark contrast to Mayfield’s. According to the man who called WAPT: “They always beat us and hit us. We just pay them back. ... We’re trying to get better food, medical (care), programs, clothes, and we’re trying to get some respect from the officers and lieutenants.� Steve Owen, spokesman for CCA, said the company is working in concert with the FBI and couldn’t comment on the investigation. Bill Chandler, executive director of the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, said his organization has received similar complaints from prisoners and their families for years about alleged abuse and racial discrimination from guards, particularly in the months leading up to the May 20 riot. Chandler read part of an email from an inmate (a different man than the one who called WAPT, although Chandler said that man had also contacted MIRA) to the Jackson Free Press. It struck a similar chord: “The guard that died yesterday was a sad tragedy, but the situation is simple: If you treat a human as an animal for over two years, the response will be as an animal. ... Most of the correctional officers were not harmed. ... Most of them that were taken hostage were shaken and afraid, but none of them was harmed.� A California woman—who asked that neither her name nor the name of her relative be printed—said her relative, who is from Mexico, has told his family that Adams County prison guards routinely employ ethnic slurs such as “wetbacks� to inmates. She said: “I understand they’re criminals, but they’re doing their time. And they’re human beings; they’re not animals. Not even animals should be treated like that.�



, from page 15


“I just thought that a thing of this magnitude, people in the county should have a right to vote on it, Palmer said. “Apparently more people thought the prison was a good deal. After this riot, I don’t know

June 6 - 12, 2012


how many people would like their decision, but that’s something they’ve got to live with.” Just in case CCA’s deep pockets weren’t enough to guarantee getting its prison built, the company also had backing in some pretty high places. In April 2008, then-Gov. Haley Barbour signed a bill sponsored by former Democratic state Sen. Bob Dearing clearing the way for Adams County to host a state or federal prison. Also helping the project along were Hurricane Katrinarelated Gulf Opportunity Zone tax breaks. The local newspaper, The Natchez Democrat, was among the project’s most vocal boosters, publishing several editorials in favor of the prison. One opinion piece about Palmer’s petition drive carried the title “Say no to prison and say no to jobs” and warned that denying CCA would send hundreds to Walthall County four or five counties to the east in south-central Mississippi. (More than 3,000 people applied for roughly 400 positions at the prison, the paper later reported.) An editorial, published in January 2010, called 2009 “the start of something good,” citing the prison and other economic-development projects as examples of progress. A former Hinds County sheriff’s deputy, then-Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant characterized the sparkling new prison as symbolic of societal progress from his days working in the dank Hinds County jail during the 1970s, telling the Natchez paper: “I’m glad to see the world has changed.” Despite all the cheerleading it received, when con-

Benefiting from Bondage Business for CCA has boomed since the company’s founding in the early 1980s. The firm’s origins begin in Tennessee with founders Thomas Beasely, a one-time chairman of the Tennessee’s Republican Party, and T. Don Hutto, the former commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Corrections. As head of the Arkansas prison system, years before he started CCA, Hutto became the defendant in a landmark class-action lawsuit, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that long unjustified periods of solitary confinement were tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the 8th Amendment. The SCOTUS decision probably cemented Hutto’s reputation as someone who would push the envelope of the Constitution’s civil rights protections in the pursuit of being “tough on crime” during the “war on drugs”—two concepts that also became popular in the 1980s. With investment from Honey Alexander, then Tennessee’s first lady, and her husband, Gov. Lamar Alexander (now a U.S. senator), and aided by the prevailing Ronald Reagan-era dictum that private industry can do everything better than the government, CCA started contracting with federal, state and county governments to build and run jails and prisons. Early on, CCA’s stock faltered, falling from almost $150 per share in February 1998, then plummeting to under $1 in December 2000. In the summer of 2001, the stock price began to tick upward and has steadi-

ly increased to the $26 it currently trades at. CCA’s largest competitor, GEO, had similar experiences with its stock. After lackluster performance in the early days of public trading, GEO’s shares also started to soar in early 2002. Mississippi cashed in on the action, too, contracting out MDOC to three companies under Gov. Kirk Fordice, a Republican. Today, five of Mississippi’s state prisons are privately run. CCA is hoping that state and congressional lawmakers’ desire to slash budgets represents an opportunity for further growth. CCA stated in its most recent annual filing with the Security and Exchange Commission: “Notwithstanding the effects the current economy could have on our government partners’ demand for prison beds in the short term, we believe the long-term trends favor an increase in the outsourcing of correctional management services.” Specifically, the company names prison overcrowding, aging government facilities, tightening state budgets and a growing acceptance of privatizing prisons as reasons the company believes it’s looking at a positive business climate in the years to come. Across CCA’s network, the Bureau of Prisons, the United States Marshals Service, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement comprise 40 percent of the company’s revenue. Only the U.S. government and three states (Texas, California and Florida) are responsible for more inmates than CCA, which operates 66 county, state and federal facilities. CCA’s 90,000 prison beds in 20 states and the District of Columbia hold 3.7 percent of the nation’s COURTESY CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA

Gail Tyree, an organizer with anti-privatization group Grassroots Leadership, is working to abolish private prisons in Mississippi.

struction was complete on the $140 million ACCC in December 2008, it faced a major hurdle: It had no prisoners. So problematic was the lack of inmates that warden Lance McLaughlin directed a crew to go around turning the kitchen appliances on and off, running the heating and air-conditioning systems and flushing all the toilets. “It just can’t sit empty,” McLaughlin told The Natchez Democrat at the time. “It has to be used, it was made to be used.” It didn’t take long for CCA to start putting its fourth prison in Mississippi to use. In April 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons awarded the company a contract to house immigrants guilty of various federal offenses including re-entering the country after being deported, a felony. As part of the federal Criminal Alien Requirement 8 Solicitation program, the four-year contract included a 90 percent occupancy guarantee and would net CCA $226.4 million in revenue in the first four years of the renewable contract. Over the years, CCA helped itself along by supporting public officials’ re-election campaigns. CCA’s federal political-action committee has contributed millions of dollars to Republican and Democratic congressional campaigns, although the overwhelming majority of recipients are Republicans. In Mississippi, Republican Sens. Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran and Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson all have been beneficiaries. Thompson, the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, which oversees the Bureau of Prisons, has called for an investigation into the bloody Adams County riot. During the 2011 state election cycle, CCA donated $5,400 to 11 Mississippi politicians including Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. Kathy Sykes, MIRA’s lead organizer, remarked that states have increasingly looked toward prisons as economic-development saviors. “The prison budget is the only one that seems to be going up when all the others are going down,” she said.

Corrections Corporation of America, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., is the nation’s largest private prison operator. The company has 90,000 beds in 20 states.

incarcerated population. Adding in GEO’s 79,000 beds pushes the portion of offenders in the hands of private companies to 7 percent. In the company’s most recent annual filing for the period ending Dec. 31, 2011, CCA reported profit of $162 million on revenues of $1.7 billion compared to $157 million in profit on $1.7 billion in revenues the previous year. The upward revenue and profit trends over the past five reporting cycles comes despite a decrease in the nation’s imprisonment rate (calculated as the number of sentenced prisoners per 100,000 residents) from 502 prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents in 2009 to 497 prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents in 2010. Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma lead the nation in incarceration rates. In making its case that privatization is a better deal for taxpayers, CCA’s website points to a study completed by the research arm of its rival Management & Training Corporation, which is headquartered in Ogden, Utah.


After the riot erupted, Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield (right) told media outlets that a fight between rival gangs sparked the deadly melee at the Natchez prison

around 260 pounds, recalls his first shift on the job: “I think it probably took me a couple hours to realize this ain’t safe. You got me up here with keys and (pepper) spray in a pod of killers and stuff like that. I wasn’t scared, but you know it’s always in the back of your mind.” Located in the Delta town of Tutwiler (population: 1,201), TCCF is the second largest prison in CCA’s network, able to accommodate 2,800 prisoners from Mississippi and California, which has been the subject of numerous lawsuits due to conditions at its notoriously overcrowded state penitentiaries. The facility opened in 2000; in July 2007, CCA spent $52 million to expand the prison. In his first month at TCCF, Perry said a brawl broke out between Nortenos (northern) and Surenos (southern) California gangs. He radioed that a “code blue”—inmate-oninmate attack; an inmate-on-staff attack is a “code red”—was underway, but his radio didn’t work, forcing him to call for assistance using the public address system. A couple months later, another brawl resulted in 100 inmates going on lockdown, he said. Although such fights were common, Perry said he never witnessed a full-scale riot like in Adams County. For the hourly wage of $9.76, Perry describes periodically working a housing “pod” of approximately 120 inmates alone––even though the pods are designed to be have three to four staff members assigned to each.

‘I just thought that a thing of this magnitude, people in the county should have a right to vote on it. Apparently more people thought the prison was a good deal. After this riot, I don’t know how many people would like their decision, but that’s something they’ve got to live with.’

‘This Ain’t Safe’ Patrick Perry is all too familiar with the pressures that come with working as a corrections officer. By the time he started working at CCA’s Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in November 2007, he had been unemployed for two years and was desperate for any job he could get. His brother, who had worked at the prison since it opened, encouraged Perry and his sister to apply. After what he says was a less than rigorous interview process, Perry was offered a job “basically on the spot.” Perry, who stands 6’4” and at the time weighed

When he joined the SWAT-like Special Operations Response Team, or SORT, he got to travel to Oklahoma for special training and received an extra $35 per paycheck. The financial incentive, he said, was the guaranteed abundant hours: Perry averaged between 60 and 70 hours per week, and remembers once working 152 hours in a single pay period. To deter corruption, CCA employees also have to submit to credit checks and must maintain prescribed levels of personal debt. According to Perry, the biggest temptation facing guards is trafficking prepaid cell phones, $20 devices that can aid in running criminal organizations, coordinating attacks on enemies or alerting local media to events going on inside the prison and fetch unscrupulous guards up to $500 each. The problem is so widespread in California, where corrections officials seized more than 15,000 illegal phones in 2011, that the state recently announced it would buy deploy signal-jamming technology at its prisons. California’s prison guard union stopped a proposal to have officers walk through TSA-style scanners to detect forbidden mobile device from being smuggled into lockups. After two years at TCCF, Perry was fired for leaving his post in the guard tower to drop off a prescription for high-blood pressure medication that he’d been working too much to have filled at a nearby Walmart. Although he acknowledges it was a violation of procedure, he said it was a common practice for officers stationed at the guard tower to run quick errands instead of taking 15 minutes to clock out. Perry enlisted the help of Sunflower County NAACP president Rosie King to help get his job back. In a Jan. 18, 2011 letter to King, CCA executive vice president and chief human resources officer Brian D. Collins thanked King for meeting with him and responded to Perry’s complaints. Collins said in the letter that CCA did not give out Prisons, page 18

MTC is also largest contractor with the federal Labor Department for the Job Corps program. MTC’s report, “Privatization in Corrections: Increased Performance and Accountability Is Leading to Expansion,” argues that as state corrections budgets soar, private companies can help reduce cost. To bolster its claim, MTC cites a Vanderbilt University study that concluded private prison saved “a typical state correctional system with no private prisons” between $13 million and $15 million per year. As private prisons have come into vogue, so has greater scrutiny from watchdog groups such as Grassroots Leadership and the American Civil Liberties Union that contend the companies cut corners in pursuit of higher profits. In 2007, the ACLU sued on behalf of detainees at the CCA-run T. Don Hutto Detention Center for immigrant families in Taylor, Texas. Settled in 2009, the lawsuit alleged the facility failed to meet standards for housing minors in federal custody. Later in 2009, the Hutto center stopped taking in families and began to exclusively house female detainees. The ACLU again sued in 2011 on behalf of women detained in the Hutto facility who accused a male employee, Donald Dunn, of sexual abuse. Besides, David Shapiro, staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Prison Project, questions whether private prisons save citizens money at all. In the ACLU’s November 2011 report Banking on Bondage, Shapiro writes: “The view that private prisons save taxpayer money, fuel local economies and adequately protect the safety of prisoners helps to feed mass incarceration by making privatization appear to be an attractive alternative to reducing prison populations. “But the evidence for such benefits is mixed at best. Not only may privatization fail to save taxpayer money, but private prison companies, as for-profit institutions, are strongly incentivized to cut corners and thereby maximize profits, which may come at the expense of public safety and the well being of prisoners.”’ CCA’s Owen characterized anti-privatization groups as people who have never worked in corrections, who are busy politicizing and “Googling isolated incidents” at private prisons. Putting prisoners and staff members in harm’s way by skimping on things is counterintuitive, he said. “It doesn’t make sound business sense because, at the end of the day, if we can’t operate safely and securely, we can’t stay in business,” Owen said.



, from page 17


raises in 2009 or 2010, but some employees could get $600 performance bonuses. With respect to the long shifts, Collins wrote: “A survey recently conducted by the facility showed that approximately 70 percent of the Tallahatchie staff are happy with the 12-hour shifts, which was an increase from the 55 percent of the staff in favor of the change when the 12-hour shifts were originally implemented.”

June 6 - 12, 2012

Bill Chandler, director of the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, has received complaints from inmates alleging abuse and a lack of medical care at the Adams County facility.


“(W)e have seen throughout the company that once staff become accustomed to working 12-hour shifts, they typically enjoy having more time to spend away from the facility and with their family.” Collins further notes in the letter that employees work approximately 160 days per year on 12-hour shifts and 228 days on 8-hour shifts, and that 35 percent of CCA facilities operate on 12-hour shifts. He also talks about $8,500 in “liquidated damages paid due to the lack of staff” during 2010. Under TCCF’s contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the prison must maintain certain staffing levels and offer rehabilitation programs or face fines. According to Collins’ letter, the fines TCCF incurred resulted from hard-to-recruit professional positions such as registered nurses, addiction treatment managers, principals, academic instructors and dentists. An audit of TCCF and other CCA-run prisons conducted by the California prison system’s inspector general in 2010 seems to bolster the concerns Perry and CCA’s critics raise about slipshod management. The 11-page report documents California’s concerns on a variety of matters that “if left unaddressed, could develop into more significant problems.”

The concerns included denial of inmate rights and privileges, safety and security weaknesses, and poor recordkeeping. Items that piqued auditors’ interests at TCCF included a malfunctioning security camera near the administrative-segregation unit, wasting prescription medications sent from California (Mississippi law prohibits inmates from possessing medicine not issued by a Mississippi-licensed pharmacist), officers unsafely carrying handcuffs and one incident of officials finding a white powdery substance. Investigative staff never followed up to determine what the white substance was, auditors wrote. Owen, the CCA spokesman, said the company has a strong reputation as a good employer and that CCA puts a lot of effort into training staff and providing support to employees, including counseling when events such as the Adams County riot occur. On staffing shortages, Owen said, “Do we get fined occasionally at some facilities? Yes, sometimes that does occur. I think that also speaks to the high level of accountability and oversight that government does have on our contracts, and that’s one of the benefits of pub(lic)-private partnerships.” He added: “Corrections is an inherently stressful profession, and that is something that every corrections professional in every corrections system, public or private, deals with.” When the Adams County melee erupted, Perry became active commenting under just about news story published about the riot. In one post, Perry wrote: “If those inmates were treated like humans, they probably would be less rowdy (even though you are dealing with inmates, so a lot of them would be rowdy no matter what). When you mix up mistreated inmates + mistreated staff (overworked, under paid, under staffed) = A deadly combination.” Perry, 34, who hasn’t worked since being fired (he makes a living by collecting scrap metal), wouldn’t mind going back to work at TCCF if changes are made to how the place is run, but he knows that scenario is unlikely given his many public protestations. Shortly after his firing, he even staged a one-person picket line outside the prison that the Charleston (Miss.) Sun-Sentinel published an article about. Nor is he optimistic that working conditions will improve anytime soon. With 600 employees, TCCF employs more people than the local school district. But even with the chronic unemployment and the ease with which jobs can be secured at TCCF, given the prison’s ongoing staffing challenges, he wonders how desperate for work people actually are. “I guess they’re like, ‘For $9.76, it ain’t worth it,’” he said. A Changing Tide? Tyree wants to see private prisons abolished in Mississippi, a dream that might not be as far-fetched as it sounds. Despite CCA’s claims that the public is becoming more comfortable with the idea of privately operated prisons, there are signs that the tide may be turning against private prison companies. In January, a legislative committee in Maine voted down a bill that would have allowed private prisons to operate in the state. Then in February, the Florida state Senate blocked a proposal that would have privatized a third of prisons in the state. Illinois already bans private companies from running state prisons and county jails, but lawmakers recently tried to expand the prohibition to federal prisons and detention centers. Under the Illinois proposal, which passed in the Senate but was shot down in the

House, governmental entities that the state oversees would be forbidden from contracting with private prison firms. Calling profiting from incarceration “immoral and antithetical to our Christian faith,” the United Methodist Church’s health and pensions board voted last September to divest the church’s portfolio of CCA and GEO stock. “The fact that an inordinate number of persons incarcerated in the U.S. are people of color and persons who come out of poverty raises serious concerns about investments in prisons serving to perpetuate racism and classism. The detention of immigrants without the due process of law further raises serious questions of justice; immigrants in increasing numbers are being detained and treated as persons guilty of a crime until proven innocent, a troubling reversal of our understanding of justice and a threat to basic human and civil rights,” reads the letter church’s letter. “Across the country, there is a growing realization that private prisons are not the way to go,” said the ACLU’s Shapiro. “There may be differences between Company A and Company B, but the fundamental similarity is that they’re driven by profit and that’s their principal role, therefore (they) have incentives to cut corners, even at the expense human rights.” Surprisingly, Mississippi has quietly led the trend away from privatization. In March 2012, lawyers representing a group of boys and young men who alleged abuse at the GEO-owned Walnut Grove Correctional Facility reached a settlement in the case. The high-profile suit charged prison managers with creating a violent and corrupt culture through which staff sold drugs in the prison and engaged in sex with the youths they supervised. The U.S. Department of Justice started looking into Walnut Grove in 2010 and issued a report this spring charging the state of Mississippi with showing “deliberate indifference” toward the conditions at the prison. Under the terms of the settlement, MDOC must remove the youth from Walnut Grove and place them at a separate stand-alone facility. The decree also requires the state to offer rehabilitative services and protections from further violence and sexual abuse, and prohibits the state from using solitary confinement to punish youth in its custody. GEO’s high-profile embarrassment prompted the company to announce in April that it would quit doing business in Mississippi altogether. MDOC also announced last fall that it was letting CCA out of its contract to operate the 1,172-bed Delta Correctional Facility in Greenwood. The rationale for the closure, according to MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps, was that CCA couldn’t make any money. Mississippi law requires private companies to run prisons for cheaper that the state could on its own. With MDOC saving the state $118 million under Epps’ administration, CCA just couldn’t compete. Earlier this year, CCA sent a letter to 48 state officials offering to buy state prisons and local jail facilities and run them. The deal applied to facilities with a minimum of 1,000 beds, and the term would span up to 25 years; the agency would also have to guarantee a minimum occupancy rate of 90 percent throughout the contract’s term. To Shapiro, the initiative demonstrates that private prison companies won’t be backing down without a fight. “I think we’re seeing a turning of the tide, but it’s certainly going to be a long process,” Shapiro said. Comment at or to rlnave@jacksonfreepress.

ARTS p. 20 | FILM p 22 | 8 DAYS p 24 | MUSIC p 29 |SPORTS p 32


our smiling mop-topped men with skinny ties strum guitars to a familiar backbeat. “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah,” they confirm in unison as if they really know something. Paul’s big eyes and John’s long chin move with the rhythm. It’s the present, 2012, but the 1960s have returned. The four men in skinny suits not only sound like the Beatles, each member of this tribute performance resembles one of the Fab Four. The act is Classical Mystery Tour, a traveling tribute performance backed with a symphony orchestra. The show, based on a Broadway production, gives a chronological repertoire of the Beatles’ hits. It comes to Hattiesburg’s Saenger Theatre June 9 as the big opener for FestivalSouth. Organizers of the two-week arts festival say it’s a perfect fit for attracting audiences to the Hub City. “They approached us,” Mike Lopinto, the public relations, marketing and event coordinator of FestivalSouth, said. Lopinto is not surprised a Broadway troupe wants to play in south Mississippi. He’s worked for years promoting the University of Southern Mississippi School of Music and its music director and conductor, Jay Dean. The Southern Miss Orchestra attracts guest performers such as Yo-Yo Ma and Renee Fleming. Dean, who has built


a career on international come to hear and see the collaboration, also acts. directs the Mississippi Planning for Opera. He most recently FestivalSouth goes on wrapped up as artistic all year, but two weeks director of the Natchez before the first show, Music Festival. daily meetings and long Dean is artistic hours become the norm. director of FestivalSouth, At a May 29 meeting now in its third year of the minds, Jay Dean with more venues, more sat at the head of a table performances and larger in a crowded meeting audiences. Although the room. About 20 people festival includes many with open laptops waited Scott Chism and the Better Half will perform at the Skylight Lounge Friday, June 15. Southern Miss musicians for his notes. These and strategists, it is not weren’t artistic notes. an official university function. It’s under the umbrella He conducted teams dealing with scheduling, name of the Hattiesburg Concert Association and represents recognition, backstage lighting and social media. Like a collaboration of several arts groups and tourism the eye of a hurricane, Dean calmly called for attention promoters. The eventual goal, Lopinto said, is to have to detail, proper communication and incessant social people book a cultural vacation in Hattiesburg. media plugs. He warned that things might get stressful. Headliners help defray the costs of putting on a “Our first priority is happy customers,” Dean said, summer arts festival of this scale, Lopinto said. Most looking over his laptop and papers. He encouraged of the 72 events packed into the two-week window everyone to remember the performances are high quality from June 9 to June 23 are free. But three big-ticket and to reflect that professionalism when dealing with shows––the Beatles tribute, the opera “Don Giovanni” ticket buyers. He also emphasized the need to treat each set as a Civil War-era tale with a Scarlett O’Hara heroine performer like precious gold. and a closing show from singer Christian Sandi Patty “Happy artists give great performances,” he said. performing Broadway standards in a massive Baptist One of FestivalSouth’s biggest challenges is finding church––are expected to attract mainstream crowds. They the money to do it all. The goal is to break even, Dean are what pays for the classical musicians and the logistics said. Grants, interns and volunteer time help make of operating a festival with numerous venues including that happen. The Mississippi Tourism Department is churches and bars, promoting the festival downtown spots this year, and next and neighboring year Lopinto hopes communities, all they advertise out of itching to get some state. attention. “We have sponsors The classical approach us,” Dean performances said. “Not too many draw many more arts organizations can visitors, musicians say that.” and artists. South For information, Mississippi Ballet including a complete is producing “Don schedule of events, and Quixote” with to buy tickets, visit fesas many as 20 or call professional guest 601-296-7475. Ticket dancers coming prices vary; most events from all over. are free. Check before Someone has to going. A circle pass, coordinate who is which includes all paid where when and events, is $180; you Christian singer Sandi Patty will close out FestivalSouth. ensure that people save $50.

Hattiesburg’s two-week FestivalSouth kicks off June 9 with Beatles tribute band Classical Mystery Tour.

by Valerie Wells



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A Journey to the Center of the Mind


hornton Wilder’s Pulitzer-Prize award-winning 1930s drama, “Our Town,” is not just a play, but a spiritual voyage. The stage is barren, except for a row of chairs, and dialogue is often spoken atop ladders that represent houses. The actors mime most of their actions, drinking from invisible cups and throwing invisible newspapers. This alternate reality gives meaning to Wilder’s quote, “Our claim, our hope, our despair are in the mind––not in things, not in ‘scenery.’” Wilder’s play proves that the simplest things can pack the hardest punch. The stage manager acts as tour guide by breaking the fourth wall and addressing the audience directly. As we visualize the invisible scenery, we in the audience unconsciously see our own neighborhood and our own lives, giving a double meaning to the title “Our Town.” “Our Town,” opening June 7 at the Black Rose Theatre in Brandon, provides a glimpse into the lives of two families, the Gibbs and the Webbs, in the fictional town of Grover’s Corners, N.H. The two families are typical of the turn of the 20th century––the men conquer their spheres of the working world, and the women corral the household. Emily Webb begins as an insecure yet ambitious girl, and George Gibbs as a confident jock and a bit of a dreamer. They fall in love, thrusting them onto the fast track to marriage and a family of their own. Sadly, they also careen into tragedy. Wilder’s tale of living and dying in a isolated town serves as a case study that reminds the audience that life is fleeting, and we should enjoy this life as we live it. As I watch the cast doing its second dry run of Act II, director Kris Vick sits in the semi-darkened theater and watches the cast run through their lines. There’s no notebook in his hand; he just sits back in his movie theater chair with his arm draped on the seat next to him, as if he is an audience member with an invisible date seated next to him. Afterward, Vick gives feedback to the actors. He starts by complimenting them on the fact that they hardly ever had to call for lines. The cast, sitting on the edge of the black wooden stage, claps and cheers loudly, all smiles. When he corrects Tommy Kobeck on a misspoken line, he says gleefully, “Her stomach ain’t never gonna be the same?” Everyone erupts into laughter, and after it quiets

by Sonya Lee

down, he tells him the correct line: “Her stomach ain’t what it ought to be.” But even in jest, Vick is the pilot of this production. He always addresses the actors by their stage names, never their real ones, keeping them in the correct mindset for his sixth production for the Black Rose Theatre. PLAYBILL


Minimalistic “Our Town” allows viewers to place themselves in the actors’ shoes.

“The play deals with so many themes,” Vick says. “I just want (the audience) to be enlightened about this play that touches on so many universal truths.” Vick has been involved in the world of theater for more than 26 years, with a love inherited from his mother, Lydie Vick, who is the production’s assistant director. She has seen “Our Town” over a dozen times. “It’s one of my favorite plays,” she says. “It’s very well written. Every time I see the play, it’s just magical.” She promises that when I see the climax, I’ll get goose bumps. In the spirit of the play, I ask Kris Vick when was the last time he did something fun and spontaneous. “It’s been quite a while,” he responds. I suspect that is the case for most of us– –perhaps it’s time to add a good play to our schedules. See “Our Town” at the Black Rose Theatre (103 Black St., Brandon, 601825-1293) June 7 to 10 and June 14 to 17. Curtain is 7:30 p.m. except for Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15; $10 for students and seniors.


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Underneath all that fake questioning irror, mirror on the wall, who’s the biggest bitch of them all?” about “who is the fairest in the land” simmers That is the real question never an epic cat fight, at some points as compelposed by the Evil Stepmother ling as two girls pulling out chunks of hair Queen (Charlize Theron) in “Snow White and scratching out flesh on the school playand The Huntsman.” ground. On some offbeat level, Sanders’ film Understandably, such candor would rendition of “Snow White” may be one of the defy the sugarcoated purpose of the fairy greatest subversive feminist film ever made. tale genre, which tends to put a soft focus The real power brokers in this fairy tale wear on female virgins dresses over their victimized by pants––literally. evil stepmoth(The pants are ers. They then convenient when become feckless you need to jump heroines and snag off a cliff into raga good-looking ing white water man along the or when a goodway. In a postlooking huntsmodern era, the man rips off your virgin princess skirt in the Dark must also be a The latest ‘Snow White,’ starring Kristen Stewart, Woods). All of warrior capable attempts to inject originality into an oft-told the men in this story, but falls short. of wielding the film serve one of sword of death two mistresses: and destruction Ravenna, the for the sake of peace. She then will marry Evil Stepmother Queen (Theron); or Snow and live happily ever after. White, the Rightful Queen (Stewart). The new adaptation of “Snow White,” Unlike Snow White, who exudes about directed by Rupert Sanders, opens with the as much life as a blow-up princess doll, comforting words of “once upon a time.” Ravenna plays for keeps and keeps it real (well The camera zooms into a lush winter para- sort of). “Do you hear that? It’s the sound of dise, where a single red rose blooms in de- battles fought and lives lost. It once pained fiance of the cold and wet snow. Pricking me to know that I am the cause of such deher delicate fingers on the thorns, the Good spair. But now their cries give me strength. Queen (Liberty Ross) gazes at this mysteri- Beauty is my power,” she says. Theron’s perous botanical wonder and wishes: “If only I formance transforms this fairy-light tale into had a child as white as snow with blood-red passable entertainment. She’s fabulous and lips like my blood on the snow.” These aren’t utterly believable. The language is never false, her exact words, but you get the gist––the even when she wobbles out dialogue written language smacks of archaic triteness. The by a posse of writers. Theron embodies every queen’s wish comes true: She births a beauti- mean pore of her character. ful baby girl, whom she names Snow White The supporting cast provides the (Kristen Stewart). gusto lacking in the hackneyed story. Chris Beauty built on blood and snow fore- Hemsworth (“Thor,” “The Avengers”) warn us that Snow White’s life will not be a doesn’t have to act to be watchable, and his rose garden or even a blossom of dubious ori- role as the Huntsman doesn’t offer him any gins. Through trickery, deception and black acting challenges. Here, Hemsworth is big magic, the King (Noah Huntley) marries and brawny and wields an axe like the god the villainous Ravenna, aka Evil Stepmother Thor. You could swear that he’s played this Queen, after the Good Queen’s death. role before. The dwarves, however, are parAnd so the rivalry begins. “Mirror, mir- ticularly delightful. ror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” Stewart’s Snow White hits her trademark Ravenna asks. This magnificent mirror oozes combination of glassy-eyed stare and despera glob from its reflective surface that morphs ate monotone. Her character succumbs to and stretches vertically into a dark shape that fate without putting up a struggle. But then, speaks. Very impressive. Ravenna learns from she is the chosen one. her magical mirror that Snow White threatens This movie suffers from “been there, her position. The queen and her creepy broth- done that.” When Snow White speaks to er (Sam Spruell) hire the Huntsman (Chris the troops, she comes off as a fractured Hemsworth) to find Snow White in the Dark fairy-tale version of Joan of Arc. While the Woods, where she fled after escaping the castle visual sensibility of the movie is breathtaktower she was imprisoned in for most of her ing, it feels like a cinematic shake of “Lord life. Snow White is remarkably fit for a young of the Rings,” “Braveheart” and “Shrek.” woman who has spent most of her life in a This movie never elevates beyond a state of tower with only birds to befriend her, and she recycled trash art, but then it is a fairy tale demonstrates uncanny gifts of survival––she’s and it’s been done and redone and done certainly not afraid to poke out an eye or two. forevermore. Please, no more. COURTESY ROTH FILMS


By Anita Modak-Truran


BEST BETS June 6 - 13, 2012 by Latasha Willis Fax: 601-510-9019 Daily updates at



Dr. Wilma Mosley Clopton’s multimedia exhibit “Preserving the Legacy” debuts at 10 a.m. at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.) and hangs through June 30. Free; call 601-960-1557, ext. 224. … Blue Mountain College President Dr. Bettye Coward 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. … The play “The Marvelous Wonderettes” is at 7:30 p.m. at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.) and runs through June 17. $25, $22 seniors and students; call 601-948-3533, ext. 222. … Club Magoo’s hosts Open-mic Night. … Dreamz JXN hosts Wasted Wednesday. … Baby Jan and All That Chazz performs at Underground 119. … The Med Grill hosts Mingle @ the Med at 8 p.m. and the Battle of the Bands at 9 p.m.

June 17. Reservations recommended. $15, $10 seniors and students (cash or check); call 601-825-1293.


The artist reception for Rod Moorhead and Betty Press is at 5 p.m. at Fischer Galleries (3100 N. State St.). Press also signs copies of “I Am Because We Are: African Wisdom in Images and Proverb.” Free; $39.95 book; call 601-291-9115. … The Medgar Evers Homecoming continues with a banquet at 7 p.m. at Hilton Jackson (1001 E. County Line Road); actor Danny Glover is the guest speaker. $50; call 601-948-5835. … The Detectives Mystery Dinner Theatre presents the play “Marvelous Murder” at 6 p.m. at Parker House. RSVP. $48; call 601-937-1752. … Art Remix is at 7 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Lisa Mills and Latinismo perform. Free admission, food $5 and up; call 601-960-1515. … The play “Not As I Do” is at 7 p.m. at Belhaven University Center for the Arts. Encore show June 9 at 6 p.m. $15, $12 children under 12 in advance; $20, $15 at the door; call 601-506-7377. … Yellow Scarf hosts “Honoring the Masters Series, Part 4” at 8 p.m. Joe Jennings, Alvin Fielder, Dr. London Branch and Charlie Robinson perform. $25 in advance, $30 at the door; call 347-754-0668. … Snazz is at Reed Pierce’s.


The Just Have a Ball 5K Run/Walk is at 7:30 a.m. at Fleet Feet Sports (Trace Station, 500 Highway 51 N., Ridgeland). Proceeds benefit The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi. $25, $20 fun run, $60 family (up to five); call 601-454-2420. … Community Animal Rescue and Adoption’s Putting on the Dog is at 11 a.m. at Great Scott (4400 Old Canton Road) and includes a car show, a children’s carnival and pet adoptions. Free admission, food for sale, dog food and treat donations welcome; call 601-842-4404. … The Medgar Evers Homecoming wraps up with a parade at Freedom Corner (Medgar Evers Boulevard and Martin Luther King Drive) at 10 a.m., and a blues concert at 4 p.m. at Edwards Livestock Arena (108 Mt. Moriah Road, Edwards). $15 concert; call 601-948-5835. … Sneaky Beans See Rod Moorhead’s sculptures (“Nine Zen Nuns” pictured above) at Fischer Galleries June 7 at 5 p.m.

June 6 - 12, 2012

The Mississippi Women’s Conference kicks off at 8 a.m. at Mississippi State University CAVS Extension Center (153 Mississippi Parkway, Canton). $50, $20 luncheon; call 601-859-5816. … Fondren After 5 is from 5-8 p.m. Free; call 601-981-9606. … Lazy Jane performs on the patio at Sal & Mookie’s at 5 p.m. Free beer for early guests. … Salsa Mississippi’s (605 Duling Ave.) open house includes Zumba lessons at 6 p.m. and hip-hop lessons at 6:30 p.m. Free; call 601-213-6355. … Dreamz JXN hosts Centric Thursday. … The 49th annual Medgar Evers Homecoming kicks off with a gospel concert at 6 p.m. at Word and Worship Church (6289 Hanging Moss Road). Free admission; call 601-948-5835. … See the play “Our Town” at 7:30 p.m. at 24 Black Rose Theatre (103 Black St., Brandon); runs through


Art House Cinema Downtown at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.) features the opera film “Peter Grimes” at 2 p.m. ($16) and the independent film “A Bag of Hammers” at 5 p.m. ($7). Visit … The GenerationNXT Indie Concert Series is at Dreamz JXN at 6 p.m.


Author Elizabeth Kantor signs “The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After” at 5 p.m. at Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N.). Reading at 5:30 p.m. $24.95 book; call 601-366-7619. … The Central Mississippi Blues Society Jam is at 7 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s. $5.


P.M. Burger 2: Revenge of the Monster Burgers is at 11 a.m. at Parlor Market (115 W. Capitol St.). Food prices vary; call 601-360-0090. … The Detectives Mystery Dinner Theatre’s play “Cracked” is at 6 p.m. at Kathryn’s. RSVP. $42; call 601-937-1752. … Pub Quiz at Hal & Mal’s.


Historian Jim Barnett talks about and signs copies of his book “Mississippi’s American Indians” during History Is Lunch at noon at the Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Free, $40 book; call 601-576-6998. … Last Call has karaoke. More at and

Lazy Jane (Wes Hughes (left), Laurel Isbister Irby (right) and Loye Ashton (not pictured) performs at Sal & Mookie’s June 7 at 5:30 p.m. ED INMAN


(2914 N. State St.) hosts the Bug Boil at 2 p.m. with crawfish, beer and live music. $20; call 601-487-6349. … “The Blast” deejay showcase is at 6 p.m. at North Midtown Arts Center. Free. … The Cave Singers perform at 9 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). Cocktails at 7:30 p.m. $8 in advance, $12 at the door; call 601-292-7121 or 800-745-3000.


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Eighth Annual JFP Chick Ball July 28, 6 p.m., at Hal & Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (200 S. Commerce St.). The fundraising event benefits the Center for Violence Prevention, and this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goal is to start a rape crisis center. For ages 18 and up. Seeking sponsors, auction donations and volunteers now. Get involved, volunteer, and donate art, money and gifts at More details at Follow on Twitter @jfpchickball. $5 cover; call 601-362-6121, ext. 16.

COMMUNITY Know Your Rights Series at Hinds Community College, Jackson Campus (3925 Sunset Drive). Q&A sessions and light refreshments included. Free; call 601-960-9577. â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;&#x153;Employment Discrimination and the EEOCâ&#x20AC;? June 11, 4 p.m. Program analyst Eddie Abdulhaqq explains employment discrimination laws. â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dads Have Rights Tooâ&#x20AC;? June 12, 5 p.m. Attorneys discuss child support, child custody and visitation laws. Events at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;&#x153;History Is Lunchâ&#x20AC;? June 6, noon. Bettye Coward talks about the history of Blue Mountain College. Bring lunch; coffee and water provided. Free; call 601-576-6998. â&#x20AC;˘ Unveiling History: An Exhibits Workshop June 11-15. Students entering grades 7-9 learn about setting up and promoting a museum exhibit. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Pre-registration required. $150; call 601-576-6800. Adult Summer Library Program through July 31. The Mississippi Library Commission selects winners from among adults ages 21 and older of the Adult Summer Library Programs at participating public library systems. Adults either participate in a traditional reading program or introduce literacy skills to children ages 5 and younger through books and activities. Prizes from 11 casinos include free hotel stays, meals and activity certificates. Registrations dates and times vary for each library. The drawing is held July 31. Call 601-432-4056. Hinds GED Graduation Ceremony June 6, 6 p.m., at Hinds Community College (505 E. Main St.), in Cain-Cochran Hallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hogg Auditorium. Mississippi District 29 Sen. David Blount is the speaker. Call 601-857-3913. Mississippi Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Conference June 7, 8 a.m., at Mississippi State University CAVS Extension Center (153 Mississippi Parkway, Canton). The theme is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Preparing for a Better You!â&#x20AC;? Speakers include Mississippi first lady Bryant, Deirdre Danahar and Mandi Stanley. The luncheon is at 12:30 p.m., and the keynote speaker is Jason Bolin, celebrity stylist and editor-in-chief of Denim Magazine. $50, $20 luncheon; call 601-859-5816 to register. Misssissippi Black Leadership Summit Regional Conference June 7, 10 a.m., at B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center (400 Second St., Indianola). The theme is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Moving Mississippi in the Right Direction.â&#x20AC;? The goal is to ensure fair representation in the area of leadership throughout the state. Lunch served. RSVP; limited seating. Free; call 601-353-8452. Fondren After 5 June 7, 5-8 p.m. This monthly event showcases Fondrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s local shops, galleries and restaurants. Free; call 601-981-9606. Dropout Prevention Town Hall Meeting June 7, 6 p.m., at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.), in the Community Room. Participants discuss retention strategies. Dinner and door prizes included. Free; call 601-948-4725. Precinct 1 COPS Meeting June 7, 6 p.m., at Jackson Police Department, Precinct 1 (810 Cooper Road). These monthly forums are designed to help resolve community issues. Call 601-960-0001.

49th Annual Medgar Evers Homecoming June 7-9. The event is in honor of the late civil rights leader Medgar Evers. June 7, the gospel concert at Word and Worship Church (6289 Hanging Moss Road) is at 6 p.m., and NAACP general counsel Kim Keenan is the guest speaker. June 8, the homecoming banquet at Hilton Jackson (1001 E. County Line Road) is at 7 p.m., and actor Danny Glover is the guest speaker. June 9, the parade at Freedom Corner (Medgar Evers Blvd. and Martin Luther King Drive) is at 10 a.m. and includes the Choctaw Color Guard and Dancers, and the blues concert is at 4 p.m. at Edwards Livestock Arena (108 Mt. Moriah Road, Edwards). Free gospel concert, $50 banquet, $15 blues concert; call 601-948-5835. New Hope-McLaurin School Reunion June 8-10. The reunion is for former teachers and students who attended between 1946 and 1974. June 8, the kickoff is at 6 p.m. at McLaurin School (Star Road, Florence) and is open to former teachers and students only. June 9, the banquet is at 6:30 p.m. at Richland Community Center (410 E. Harper St., Richland); attendees may bring guests. June 10, the closing service is at 12:30 p.m. at McLaurin School, and attendees may bring family members. T-shirts


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Critters and Crawlers June 9, 10 a.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). The program for toddlers ages 2-3 and their caregivers includes indoor and outdoor activities, and animal encounters. Discounts available for members. Prices vary; call 601-352-2580, ext. 241. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Talk: The Young Adult Experience June 9, 1 p.m., at Cade Chapel M.B. Church (1000 W. Ridgeway St.), in the gymnasium. Young adults participate in an open forum about relationships, finances and other life issues. Light refreshments served. Free; call Sneaky Beans Bug Boil June 9, 2 p.m., at Sneaky Beans (2914 N. State St.). Enjoy all-you-can-eat crawfish, beer, a cornhole tourney and music from the Seawards, Static Ensemble, Furrows and the Bailey Brothers. $20 cover; call 601-487-6349. Nature Day Camp, Grades 2-3 June 11-15, at Clinton Community Nature Center (617 Dunton Road, Clinton). The camp includes a variety of outdoor and indoor activities. Sessions are 9 a.m.noon daily through June 15. Space limited; full and partial scholarships available. $100, $75 members; call 601-926-1104.

Mary Poppins is the next movie in the Being Belhaven Arts Series.

Evening in the Park



Founding Chapter, Parents for Public Schools, 1989

Members-only Summer Camp June 11-July 27, at Mississippi Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum (2145 Highland Drive). The one-week camps for children ages 5-10 are held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays in the Education Center through July 27. Fee includes a T-shirt and a morning snack. Attendees may bring lunch or buy a meal for $5. Additional fees for care before and after each daily session apply. $175 per week; call 601-981-5469 or 877-793-5437.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Marvelous Murderâ&#x20AC;? Dinner Theater June 8, 6 p.m., at The Parker House (104 N.E. Madison Drive, Ridgeland). The Detectives Mystery Dinner Theatreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s play is about a murder at a super heroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s birthday party. RSVP $48; call 601-937-1752.

Camp WILD June 11-28, at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). Campers participate in activities that focus on Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ecosystems and indigenous species. Sessions are June 11-14 for grades K-1, June 18-21 for grades 2-3 and June 25-28 for grades 4-5. $140, $115 members; call 601-576-6000.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not As I Doâ&#x20AC;? June 8-9, at Belhaven University Center for the Arts Concert Hall (835 Riverside Drive). Joyce Hayden Smithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stage play is about siblings who struggle to cope after growing up in an abusive environment. Shows are June 8 at 7 p.m. and June 9 at 6 p.m. $15, $12 children under 12 in advance; $20, $15 at the door; call 601-506-7377.

W.I.N.E. (Women Inquiring, Networking and Engaging) Meeting June 11, 6:30 p.m., at the home of deborah Rae Wright (135 Grand Ave.). Attendees meet to discuss a chosen topic. Bring wine or a snack. RSVP. Email winejackson@

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Crackedâ&#x20AC;? Dinner Theatre. The Detectives Mystery Dinner Theatre presents the play about circumstances surrounding Humpty Dumptyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great fall. RSVP. Call 601-937-1752. â&#x20AC;˘ June 9, 7 p.m., at Georgia Blue (111 Colony Crossing Way, Madison). $45. â&#x20AC;˘ June 12, 6 p.m., at Kathrynâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (6800 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland). $42.

Career and College Fair June 12, 9 a.m., at New Horizon Church International (1770 Ellis Ave.). Network with hiring managers and recruiters, and learn more about employment and education opportunities. Free; call 601-371-1427.


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


Art House Cinema Downtown June 10, at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Films include the opera â&#x20AC;&#x153;Peter Grimesâ&#x20AC;? at 2 p.m. ($16) and â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Bag of Hammersâ&#x20AC;? at 5 p.m. ($7). Refreshments sold. Visit

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fuel the New Yearâ&#x20AC;? Nutrition Workshop June 7, 7 p.m., at Fleet Feet Sports (Trace Station, 500 Highway 51 N., Ridgeland). The topic is cooking healthy meals. $10; call 601-899-9696.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Marvelous Wonderettesâ&#x20AC;? through June 17, at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). The Roger Bean musical is about a 1950s singing group at a high school prom. Shows are Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. $25, $22 seniors and students; call 601-948-3533, ext. 222.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;This Is a Manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Worldâ&#x20AC;? Yoga Class June 9-30, at Energy in Motion (200 Park Circle, Suite 4, Flowood). Tara Blumenthal teaches the four-week class for men Saturdays from 10:45 a.m.-noon through June 30. $50; email

Magic with Tommy Terrific June 11, 2 p.m., at Madison Public Library (994 Madison Ave., Madison). The magician from Little Rock, Ark., incorporates balloon animals and puppets into his act. Free; call 601-856-4536.

Look Good â&#x20AC;Ś Feel Better June 11, 2 p.m., at St. Dominic Cancer Center (2969 N. Curran Drive), in Classroom A. The program helps women undergoing cancer treatments to address appearancerelated side effects. Registration required. Free; call 800-227-2345.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our Townâ&#x20AC;? June 7-17, at Black Rose Theatre (103 Black St., Brandon). Shows are ThursdaySaturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Reservations recommended. $15, $10 seniors and students (cash or check); call 601-825-1293. more EVENTS, page 28

200 N. Congress, Suite 500, Jackson, MS 39201

8th Annual

To Help Fund A Rape Crisis Center Items Needed: Original Art, Gift Certificates, Corporate Items Gifts (big & small), Monetary Donations, Chick Toys & Decor Sponsorships Available: Imperial Highness $5,000, Diva $2,500, Goddess $1,000, Queen $500, Princess $250, Chick $50

If we receive your donation by July 11, it will be featured in our big Chick Ball Gift Guide on July 25.

Saturday, July 28, 2012 Hal & Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Red Room Cover $5 | 18+ To donate or volunteer: 601-362-6121 ext 16 For more information: â&#x20AC;˘ follow us on twitter @jfpchickball

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Retreat June 9, 9 a.m., at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Registration at 8:30 a.m. The Rho Lambda Omega chapter is the host, and the theme is â&#x20AC;&#x153;One Woman Can Change the World.â&#x20AC;? $5; call 601-214-4281.


available for early registrants. $75; call 601845-6873 or 601-845-3320.

Public schools do more than educate children. They measure a cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pride. They reflect community. They predict the social and economic well-being of a cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future. For 20 years, Parents for Public Schools of Jackson has worked to keep our public schools strong, to empower parents as leaders for positive change, and to engage community support of our public schools.


jfpevents from page 27 MUSIC

Wednesday - June 6 NEW KARAOKE SHOW 9:00pm - 2:00 am

Thursday - June 7 Open Mic w/ Eric Robinson 7-11 Ladies Night & Free Crawfish

Friday - June 8


Mississippi Music Foundation Singer-songwriter Showcase June 6, 6:30 p.m., at Brick Oven Pizza Company (2428 E. Parkway St., Hernando). The Gatewood Singers and Rusty Hartfield perform. Free, donations welcome; call 662-429-2939. Blues Bash June 7, 6:30 p.m., at Lauren Rogers Museum of Art (565 N. Fifth Ave., Laurel). Enjoy a barbecue dinner and music from Eden Brent. Bring blankets or lawn chairs. $20; call 601-649-6374. Eddie Levert June 7, 7:30 p.m., at MSU Riley Center (2200 Fifth St., Meridian). The co-founder of the O’Jays performs. The pre-show party is at 6 p.m. $52, $46; call 601-696-2200. Highland’s Summer Jam June 9, 5 p.m., at Highland Baptist Church (2513 N. 7th Ave., Laurel). Performers include Building 429, By the Fire and GodSpeed3. Group rates available. $12 in advance, $15 at the door; call 800-965-9324.

Saturday - June 9

The Cave Singers June 9, 9 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). The Seattle folk band is known for songs such as “Swim Club” and “Dancing on Our Graves.” Cocktails at 7:30 p.m. $8 in advance, $12 at the door; call 601-292-7121 or 800-7453000.

Jenny Jenny Sunday - June 10

Mississippi Happening, at Pizza Shack, Colonial Mart (5046 Parkway Drive, Suite 6), on second and fourth Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m., Guaqueta Productions provides performances and interviews featuring local contributors. Call 601-497-7454.

9 Ball Tournament 7pm

How Sweet the Sound Choir Competition. Gospel choirs compete for more than $50,000 in cash and prizes. Choirs do not have to be affiliated with a church or religious organization to participate. Choirs must have 12-75 members 18 and older performing, and choir representatives must be 21 or older. Visit for rules.



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

Events at Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N.). Signings include readings at 5:30 p.m. Call 601-366-7619. • “Bailouts, Bulimia and Panda Bears” June 7, 5 p.m. Derek Puckett signs books. $13.95 book. • Lemuria Story Time June 9, 11 a.m. Enjoy a reading of “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons” and learn a related song. Free. • “The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After” June 11, 5 p.m. Elizabeth Kantor signs books. $24.95 book. • “Canada” June 12, 5 p.m. Richard Ford signs books. $26.99 book. • “The Lost Ones” June 13, 5 p.m. Ace Atkins signs books. $25.95 book. Wild About Reading Party June 9, 10 a.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). The program

includes crafts, a scavenger hunt, games and book readings. Donate a book to Jackson Public Schools’ summer reading program and receive free admission for one child. $9, $8.20 seniors, $6 children ages 212, members/babies free; call 601-352-2580.

CREATIVE CLASSES Events at Salsa Mississippi Studio and Club (605 Duling Ave.). Call 601-213-6355. • Open House June 7, Enjoy Zumba lessons at 6 p.m. and hip-hop lessons at 6:30 p.m. Free. • “Move Your Body” Kids’ Hip-hop Dance Class June 9-July 28. Karlos Lyons teaches the eightweek class Saturdays from 1-2 p.m. The program ends July 28 with a performance to Beyonce’s song “Move Your Body.” For ages 7-13. $70. Easy Summer Dinner Party Class June 7, 6 p.m., at Viking Cooking School (Township at Colony Park, 1107 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). $89; call 601-898-8345.

EXHIBITS AND OPENINGS Events at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). $6, $5 seniors, $4 ages 318, members and babies free; call 601-576-6000. • Fun Fridays June 8-July 27. Children participate in hands-on activities Fridays from 10 a.m.-noon. Parents must accompany children. • “Dinosaurs: Big, Bad, Bold and Back” through Jan. 6. See more than 20 robotic dinosaurs. Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. “Preserving The Legacy” June 6-30, at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Dr. Wilma Mosley Clopton’s multimedia exhibit includes documentary films and historical photographs (film screenings TBA). Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Free; call 601-960-1557, ext. 224. June Artist Reception and Book Signing June 8, 5 p.m., at Fischer Galleries (3100 N. State St., Suite 101). See works from Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award recipients Betty Press, photographer, and Rod Moorhead, sculptor. Press will also sell and signs copies of her book “I Am Because We Are: African Wisdom in Image and Proverb.” Free, $39.95 book; call 601-291-9115.

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 Sarah’s Ducklings Online Charity Auction. Bid for items from local crafters and merchants, and fashion designer Hilton Hollis. Proceeds from sales benefit the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Bidding ends June 9. Visit sarahsducklings.

June 6- 12, 2012

Light The Night Corporate Cocktail Event June 7, 5 p.m., at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Join the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for cocktails, and learn how you and your company can help those with blood cancers. Free; call 601-956-7447.


Just Have a Ball 5K Run/Walk June 9, 7:30 a.m., at Fleet Feet Sports (Trace Station, 500 Highway 51 N., Ridgeland). Registration is at 6:30 a.m. Pre-register by June 2 to get a discount and receive a T-shirt. Proceeds benefit The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, a nonprofit focused on childhood obesity prevention. $25, $20 fun run, $60 family (up to five); call 601-454-2420. Putting on the Dog June 9, 11 a.m., at Great Scott (4400 Old Canton Road). The benefit for Community Animal Rescue and Adoption includes food vendors, a car show, a silent auction, a children’s carnival, an arts-and-crafts market and live music. Dogs welcome. CARA will have dogs available for adoption. Free admission, food for sale, dog food/treat donations welcome; call 601-842-4404.


From the Ukulele to ’60s Pop COURTESY DENT MAY

by Briana Robinson

Jackson native Dent May releases his sophomore album, “Do Things,” June 12.


ompletely recorded in his home in Oxford and in a cabin in Taylor, Miss., Dent May’s “Do Things” is something of a fresh start. For his first album, “The Good Feeling of Dent May and His Magnificent Ukulele,” which came out in February 2009, May only had about two weeks to record and felt like some ideas got lost in the shuffle. This time, May took up to a year. One reason for the change is that while touring and playing the first batch of songs, May felt like he quickly got burnt out. This

time, he wanted the songs to actually mean something to him. “I just wanted to take my time and do everything myself (this time),” May says. “It was a big learning experience.” That’s not the only difference between May’s first and sophomore albums. He also wanted “Do Things,” which hits shelves June 12, to be more honest and clear. “The first album is more playful and storytellingbased, and the new album is more meditative and mantra-based with simpler and more direct, personal lyrics,” he says. The first song of “Do Things,” entitled “Rent Money,” opens with, “When you were young, what did you fantasize your life would bring? … You’ve got to stand up and do your thing.” It sets the tone of the entire album with happy vocals and danceinducing beats. “Don’t wanna be chasing that rent money for the rest of my life,” May croons. “It’s about getting off your ass and working to put yourself into something,” May says about the entire album, hence the name “Do Things.” He also thinks that the album “sort of has an inspirational or healing message.” Animal Collective’s record label, Paw Tracks, released both of May’s albums, and

allowed him complete freedom over the production of his work. “That’s important to me, as someone recording my own music in a house in Mississippi,” May says. Some fans might be surprised at the lack of May’s ukulele on “Do Things.” Instead, May uses basses and guitars with drum machines and synthesizers. “The idea was that anything I had lying around the house was fair game to use on this new record,” he says. May did not want to continue to hide behind the ukulele image—he meant it more as a writing tool than as a trademark. “I didn’t want to be ‘the ukulele guy’ for my whole life—I always knew that. I want every album idea to be different,” he says. “I want to show people that I can do anything.” Between albums, however, May went through a period of writer’s block, which is what the title track is about. “I didn’t know if I still knew how to write a song,” he says. The song has a slow-dance ’60s feel to it. Instead of being overly melancholic about the situation, May finds hope in his friends and his music. “Do things your own way,” he sings toward the end of the song. Many different types of music influence May’s work—retro pop is an evident one. May also says he grew up listening

to southern rap such as Three 6 Mafia and 504 boys, and country such as Hank Williams. His favorite R&B singers are R. Kelly and Aaliyah. “I just want to combine it all and take influences from everything––from rap to country to disco and punk rock,” he says. The first single from the album, “Best Friend,” opens with drum machines and synthy sounds and moves toward an oldschool bass groove. “You and me—it’s never gonna end, ’cause you’re my best friend,” May sings. It can be about a platonic best friend or about a lover, May says. Toward the end, he sings, “There is a sun, and it’s shining down. You are the one that I walk around. Let’s have some fun while we’re here in this world.” May, a Jackson native, and drummer Alex Warren shot and produced the song’s music video in Jackson. “The ultimate goal is to have a sound that is me, and that when people hear it, they know it’s me, even if they haven’t heard the song (before),” May says. “I want to write songs that stand the test of time.” May is on tour this summer with Warren, bassist Cole Furlough of Dead Gaze and keyboardist Thomas Cooper. Dent May’s “Do Things” comes out June 12 and is available online at

The Key of G A Little Love Note to the City of Jackson


make that comparison because I could do lery. The first one went down last December without flash-mobs, but that is an entirely at Andy Hilton’s studio in Midtown. Based different column altogether). It is, in the par- on the success of the first installment, they lance of our times, decided to give it an occupation. another go this This pop-up month downtown. gallery for Jackson There is one artists is the braincatch, though, child of local graphwith “Priced to ic designer and artist Move”––all artIan Hanson and work in the poplocal artist and muup must be priced sician Cody Cox. at or under $100. “We agreed that it This gives people is easy to support who might not your friends who are normally have the in bands,” Ian says. cheddar to buy lo“You pay your $5 cal art the opporLast year’s Priced to Move event gave and the band gets tunity to support Jacksonians the chance to take home paid and that’s that. local creativity. original art for accessible prices. But it’s harder to get “We want to make people to come out art available to and buy art usually, unless you are in an up- people who play in bands, work in the serper-income bracket.” vice industry and things like that. There’s With that in mind, Ian and Cody orga- no budget, no gallery commissions. It’s all nized the “Priced to Move” pop-up art gal- so artists can make a little money off their LAURA MEEK

ashionista, Screech-hater and, dare I say, philosopher Lisa Turtle once asked, “What is art? Are we art? Is art art?” While Turtle, of “Saved by the Bell,” wasn’t breaking any new ground in the world of art philosophy (she didn’t even get into Stansbury College), she did bring an ageless debate to Saturday morning. Artists, philosophers and consumers have grappled with this question for millennia, only to never quite arrive at a consensus answer. Trust me, I’m not about to give you the answer or even get involved in this debate. What I can do, however, is guide you to a place where you can interact with art and artists and even cop some local art for yourself. On June 15, 16 and 17, the old federal courthouse in downtown Jackson will be converted into a pop-up art gallery featuring work from some of metro Jackson’s artists. A pop-up gallery happens when artists set up an art show in a space that was not previously intended or used as a gallery. It is akin to a flashmob, which are all the rage. (Note: I hate to

work” Ian says. “It’s a little love note to the city of Jackson.” In addition to the art for sale, the weekend will feature music from Hott Mess (Josh Taylor and Jarad Wilson), DJ RePercussion, Liver Mousse and DJ Young Venom. Admission is free, and there will be food and drink available. Ian likes to think of the whole thing as more of a party celebrating art, as opposed to a stuffy gallery setting. All manner of art will be available, from photography and paintings, to mixed media, screen prints and concrete. “We are pretty well-rounded this year,” Ian says. So, can Ian offer us any clues to answering Lisa Turtle’s question? In my best James Lipton voice I asked, “What is art?” He replied, “There’s nothing I could say that I would let you quote me on.” Fair enough. Guess we’ll just have to go see for ourselves. Priced to Move Pop-Up Art Gallery is at the old federal courthouse (245 E. Capitol St.) 5-10 p.m. on June 15, noon-10 p.m. on June 16 and noon-4 p.m. on June 17. Admission is free. Find Priced to Move on Facebook for more information.

by Garrad Lee


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DIVERSIONS|jfp sports by Bryan Flynn


NBA Conference Finals are heating up with both series now best of three. Will either road team pull off an upset or will Miami and San Antonio hold strong?

by Bryan Flynn

THURSDAY, JUNE 7 NBA Playoffs (7:30-10 p.m. ESPN): The winner of Tuesdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s game five between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics will have the advantage in this matchupâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;another win will send them to game seven. FRIDAY, JUNE 8 Soccer (6-8 p.m. ESPN): U.S. Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s National Soccer Team begins its thirdround qualifier for the 2014 World Cup against Antigua & Barbuda. SATURDAY, JUNE 9 Horse racing (3:30-6 p.m. NBC): Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll Have Another runs for a place in history, as he races to become the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes.

MONDAY, JUNE 11 Soccer (10:45 a.m.-1 p.m. ESPN): Euro 2012 continues as England faces France in a first round game. TUESDAY, JUNE 12 NBA (8-11 p.m. ABC): Game one of the NBA Finals will feature the winner of the Eastern Conference against the winner of the Western Conference. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13 Soccer (10:45 a.m.-4 p.m. ESPN): Catch a great double header in Euro 2012 featuring four strong soccer teams. Denmark takes on Portugal, and Germany faces the Netherlands. Find a ton of soccer on the schedule this week. Besides the World Cup, European national squads are out to win the Euro Cup. If you want to see great international soccer, tune into this tournament. Follow Bryan Flynn at, @jfpsports and at


he Mississippi Brilla has high hopes for the 2012 season. After posting a 12-22 record last year and winning its first playoff game, the soccer team is looking to accomplish even more this season. This year, the Brilla is playing its sixth season of professional soccer in the Premier Development League. The PDL is mainly for players to earn experience and increase skill by logging game time. Players often then move on to higher leaguesâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2011 Brilla player Bryce Taylor debuted in the pro United Soccer League this year. Brilla head coach Dave Dixon is excited about this upcoming season. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These 20 players might be our most talented team, yet,â&#x20AC;? Dixon says about his 2012 squad. He is proud the club has signed four players from the Jackson metro areaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Jonathan Brown, Stephen Roberson, Jake Files and Sina Mofidiâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and he believes they can get major game time and become big contributors to the team. Dixon also has two returning players: Philip Buffington has 19 goals and 10 assists over four seasons, and Michael Brown has appeared in 50 games over five seasons. In addition to their PDL schedule, this season the Brilla qualified for the U.S. Open Cup, a 64-team tournament made up of all levels of soccer from Major League Soccer all the way down to the smallest club divisions. Each round offers a chance for the Brilla to host a game in Jackson. Even when the MLS squads enter the tournament, the Brilla has a chance to host a game. However, they


SUNDAY, JUNE 10 Soccer (1:30-4 p.m. ESPN): Euro 2012 Soccer features live action from Poznan, Poland between Ireland and Croatia.

Mississippi Brillaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Michael Brown in action against New Orleans in 2010.

must win in their first two rounds before several others watched. That first year, the they would possibly face an MLS squad. program slowly grew until 200 kids took part. In its first match of the U.S. Open Cup, Last year, more than 1,000 kids were able to the Brilla fell 1-0 to the Georgia Revolution in take part in the camps. extra time. The program needs more volunteers, The Brilla averages more than 1,000 fans and Dixon says it would be great if the Brilla per contest at Harper Davis Stadium at Mill- fans got involved in that way. saps College. Dixon is happy about the core â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is not just about teaching soccer but fan base but hopes more will come out to see becoming mentors to kids and being there the team play. for themâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;spiritually, mentally and scholastiâ&#x20AC;&#x153;There will be goals scored; we average cally,â&#x20AC;? he says. about seven or eight goals per game,â&#x20AC;? Dixon Dixon hopes that a soccer field will be says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The games are exciting ... more excit- built as part of the Farish Street redeveloping sometimes than me or the other coaches ment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Think of how great it would be to would like, but fans will see balls in the back have a field with lights that the kids can play of the net.â&#x20AC;? soccer on and open new doors for them,â&#x20AC;? Scoring is a major strength of the Brilla: he says. last season the club had three double-digit Corporate and private sponsors and dogoal scorers; of them, Phillip Buffington re- nations support the Brilla. Nearly every dolturned for this season. However, one weakness lar that goes into the team goes right back the team needs to work on is defense, Dixon out for development and building the team. pointed out. Dixon hopes the team can expand to include As excited as the coach is about the sea- a reserve squad, ten or more players who train son, he might be even more enthusiastic about with the older players and play in exhibition the Urban Soccer Project. The Mississippi games to develop their skills. Brilla began with more than just scoring goals He also hopes to raise enough funds in mind. It was founded on a mission trip to to start a womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team. The cost would be Costa Riceâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x153;Brillaâ&#x20AC;? means â&#x20AC;&#x153;shineâ&#x20AC;? in Span- $75,000 to buy a franchise and $150,000 to ishâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;and giving back remains a big part of the $160,000 per year to operate, he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Travel organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s purpose. would be the most In the Urban Soccer expensive part, but it Project, the Brilla go would be cool to have,â&#x20AC;? into lower income areas Dixon says. of Jackson to show kids The Missiswhat soccer is all about. sippi Brilla began the Participation in the 2012 season against USP is free and is open the Ocala Stampede to boys and girls. May 12, and has eight â&#x20AC;&#x153;Soccer has behome games in a seacome a sport that Brilla player Nathaniel Foster with kids son that goes until the has left lower-income from Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Urban Soccer Project. middle of July. It was a (people) behind,â&#x20AC;? Dixrough start as the Brilla on says. lost its first three games, falling 1-0 in the U.S. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have several areas in the city where Open Cup, dropping the home opener 1-0 we host camps,â&#x20AC;? Dixon says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I heard the first to the Ocala Stampede and losing 2-0 on the time we wanted to hold this program that road to the IMG Branenton Academics. Since â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;black kids donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t play soccer.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; It was great to then, however, the Brilla have put together a show the kids some of our players from Africa two-game winning streak, beating the FC Jax (who) used soccer to go to college and get an Destroyers 6-2 and 3-2. education. Not only did soccer get them an Brilla season tickets are $30; single match education, but a chance to play professionally tickets are $5, and kids 6 and younger are free. as wellâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;to make money.â&#x20AC;? Visit for tickets, a game schedule Dixon says the first time the Brilla held a and camp info, or contact the Brilla office at camp, only five or six kids participated while 601-924-3475.

Bryanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rant â&#x20AC;˘ Tossing Around the Pigskin

June 6 - 12, 2012

F 32












Open for dinner Sat. 4-10pm Thursday

June 7



Adam Doleac Band

Feat. members of Zeebo


June 8

Napolean Blownaparte Saturday

June 9



Johnson Monday

June 11



Bailey Brothers

Don’t Forget To Stop By Our


Serving Lunch 11-2! Coming Soon


with Space Capone • Sat. June 23 214 S. STATE ST. • 601.354.9712



sponsored by

2-for-1 Drafts


WEDNESDAY 6/6 New Bourbon Street Jazz Band (Rest.)


June 12

Open Mic w/ Jason Turner June 13


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

601-960-2700 Tavern

Now offering a full dinner menu. Now accepting reservations.

Wednesday, June 6th

Charles Jackson Comedy Night (RR) Thomas Jackson (Restaurant)



Thursday, June 7th

(Jazz) 8-11, No Cover


Shovels & Rope (Red Room) Jason Turner (Restaurant)

(Jazz) 8-11, No Cover


Friday, June 8th

Washington Highschool Reunion (RR) Katie Fortenberry (Restaurant)


MONDAY 6/11 Blues Monday (Red Room)

TUESDAY 6/12 PUB QUIZ w/ Erin & friends (Restaurant)

Coming Soon WED 6.13: Natalie Long: Singer/ Songwriter Night THU 6.14: Baby Jan & All That Chazz (Restaurant) FRI 6.15: M.O.T.O (Red Room) Double Shots (Restaurant)


Blue Plate Lunch with corn bread and tea or coffee

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





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

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

Saturday, June 9th


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

Tuesday,June 12th


(Blues) 6-10, $5 Cover

HAPPY HOUR ALL NIGHT! -only on Tuesday Nights-

Wednesday, June 13th


(Bluegrass) 8-11, No Cover

Thursday, June 14th


(Jazz) 8-11, No Cover

Fridays: Catfish Plates are $9.75

Friday, June 15th

$4.00 Happy Hour Well Drinks!

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

visit for a full menu and concert schedule


200 S. Commerce St. Downtown Jackson, Mississippi


Saturday, June 16th


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

119 S. President Street 601.352.2322

Weekly Lunch Specials


LIFE&STYLE An Elusive Beast



by Casey Purvis



t was 1999. I was sitting on were helping other patients. the edge of the exam table, At that timeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;13 years staring at my feet dangling agoâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the medical community off the side and fiddling selfhad no definitive test for fibroconsciously with the white pamyalgia and really wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sure per covering the table. Why was what caused it or how to classify I so exhausted, yet having sleep it. It was a diagnosis by eliminadisruptions? Why did seemtion. According to the research ingly every joint in my body Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done, it still is. ache almost constantly? I had Just like in 1999, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a conlived with these symptoms for dition surrounded by â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a while, sucked it up and kept know.â&#x20AC;? No one knows what on trucking. But now, sitting causes fibromyalgia, and no in the low seat of my Mustang quantifiable diagnostic tool exfor more than 15 minutes made ists for detecting it. tears well up from the dull pain â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very strange medishooting through my hips, down cal condition,â&#x20AC;? said Dr. Timomy legs, all the way to my knees. thy Quinn, a family doctor in I was 27 years old. Ridgeland and a contributor After an exhaustive battery to the Jackson Free Press. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You of (thankfully) negative tests, can help a person feel better, my doctor said the â&#x20AC;&#x153;fâ&#x20AC;? word: but in the majory of cases, fibromyalgia. Initially, I was dethere is no cure.â&#x20AC;? fensive, especially when he preQuinn said many doctors scribed an anti-depressant along Exercise, such as yoga, and managing your stress donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to treat fibromyalwith an anti-inflammatory. We can help minimize symptoms of fibromyalgia. gia, and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seen patients come went back and forth over the in with â&#x20AC;&#x153;mutiple prescriptions anti-depressant issue. I accused from multiple doctors.â&#x20AC;? my doctor of assuming my symptoms were psychological. I The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskelwasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t some hypochondriac searching for attention. This was etal and Skin Diseases defines fibromyalgia as â&#x20AC;&#x153;a disorder real! that causes muscle pain and fatigueâ&#x20AC;? and cites the presence To his credit, he was patient with me. No, he explained, of certain â&#x20AC;&#x153;tender pointsâ&#x20AC;? on the neck, shoulders, hips, he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think this was in my head. Certain anti-depressants arms and legs in people diagnosed with it. These tender

points hurt when even slight pressure is applied. Symptoms of fibromyalgia can include difficulty sleeping, painful menstrual periods in women, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, or memory problems. Fibromyalgia affects 2 to 4 percent of the population, mostly women, the American College of Rheumatologyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website states. Certain events such as spine problems, injuries, or physical and emotional stress can set off fibromyalgia. The condition is associated with other health problems as well. The American College of Rheumatology reports that those who suffer from fibromyalgia may also have depression, anxiety, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that working adults with fibromyalgia missed an average of almost 17 working days per year, and that death rates from suicides were higher among people with fibromyalgia than among the general population. The good news is that fibromyalgia sufferers can manage their illness. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had to make some lifestyle changes. I still have some bad days, but now, fortunately, my good days outnumber my bad ones by far. 2ESOURCES



June 6 - 12, 2012









An Ounce of Prevention by Genevieve Legacy

Dangers of Skin Bleaching

Oily Hair (is Good)


Protection Factor, or SPF, has been around on sunscreens and tanning lotions since the mid 1960s. Nevertheless, the incidence of nonmelanoma, the most treatable form of skin cancer, is on the rise. Skin cancer is the world’s most common form of cancer, reports the Skin Cancer Foundation website, “There are more new cases (of skin cancer) annually than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon,” an article on the site states. Luckily, most non-melanoma skin cancers are highly treatable with early detection. But don’t take them lightly. Skin cancers have a high rate of recurrence—if you are diagnosed once, there’s an increased risk of developing another cancerous growth, including melanoma, the life-threatening form of skin cancer. Our best line of defense: hats, protective clothing and sunscreen on exposed skin. McCowan recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen, one that filters both UVA and UVB with a minimum rating of SPF 30. After an hour and half to two hours—less when swimming or sweating—reapply. The recommended amount of sunscreen to cover the average adult is one ounce, enough to fill a shot glass or the palm of your hand. Apply it 30 minutes before you go out in the sun so the protective ingredients can properly attach to the skin.

by Vergie Redmond

by Liz Hayes “Exposure to mercury can have serious health consequences. It can damage the kidneys and the nervous system, and interfere with the development of the brain in unborn children and very young children,” stated Dr. Charles Lee, a senior medical advisor at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in a recent press statement. The Mississippi Department of Health tested several skin bleaching products and found mercury in them. These included Creme Diana, Milk Cream and Lemon Herbal Whiting Cream. Products without mercury include Clinicians Complex 6 Percent Skin Bleaching Cream and Sally Hansen Extra Strength Bleach for Face, Arms and Legs. If you are concerned about exposure to chemicals or toxins, contact the center for poison control at the University of Mississippi Medical Center at 1-800-222-1222. In an emergency, dial 911. SOURCES: U.S. FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION; ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP; UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL CENTER

Super Blue


by Ceili Hale

lueberries are an ideal food for people looking to improve their health this summer. This tiny “superfruit” is packed with vitamins A, C, E and K (all essential for skin health), as well as minerals that build strong bones, such as manganese. They also contain fiber, which promotes digestive health. Blueberries boast high levels of antioxidants, which are nutrients that provide health benefits such as fighting DNA damage that can lead to infection, improving

heart health, and even enhancing long and short-term memory. Some of the most important antioxidants in blueberries are called phytonutrients, which help stop the spread of cancerous cells in the body. Enjoy blueberries fresh and raw at least three times a week to experience the maximum health benefits they have to offer. Add them to cereal for breakfast or make healthy smoothies by combing with strawberries, bananas, milk or yogurt. SOURCES: HEALTHY SUMMER FOODS AND THEIR EATING GUIDE (B4TEA.BLOGSPOT.COM); THE SUPER FOODS (SUPERFOODSRX.COM); THE WORLD’S HEALTHIEST FOODS (WHFOODS.COM).


ou can use olive oil as a salad dressing, an ingredient to cook a favorite dish or as a hair treatment. Yes, a hair treatment. Olive oil offers several health benefits for your hair. Antioxidants in olive oil can repair chemically damaged hair and can strengthen the scalp. The oil can be useful in preventing and curing hair loss by stopping proOlive oil is not just a duction of DTH, a healthy alternative in food. hormone that causes hair follicle shafts to decrease in size. For those who have problems with dandruff, olive oil contains antibacterials that can get rid of the embarrassing problem. A mixture of lavender and olive oil gently massaged into the hair can also reduce stress caused by daily activities. Using olive oil as an all-natural hair conditioner will leave it shiny and soft without expensive commercial hair products. Use a half-cup of olive oil mixed with a small amount of another oil, such as coconut, and massage into the scalp using the tips of your fingers, working toward the ends of the hair. After applying, cover your hair with a shower cap for 10 to 30 minutes and then shampoo as usual.



hile tanning is unhealthy for some, skin bleaching is dangerous for others. Celebrities such as Beyoncé and the late Michael Jackson allegedly used skin bleaching, a practice to lighten skin pigment with chemicals. Jackson claimed he bleached his skin because of Vitiligo, a skin condition where areas of skin lose their brown color and white patches appear. The FDA warns of dangers in many lightening products. Mercury is among the many potentially toxic chemicals in skin lighteners, though certainly not the only one. Products may use “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric” and “mercurio” on their labels, but these are all mercury, and mercury poisoning can make you sick. It can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. Symptoms of mercury poisoning include irritability, shyness, tremors, changes in vision or hearing, memory problems, depression, and numbness and tingling in hands, feet or around the mouth, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease.



ast month, I received a health-scare email from my approved photodynamic or blue-light therapy for pre-cancermother-in-law. In it, she explained that her doctor had ous “actinic keratosis.” Doctors inject or apply photosensitive removed a “spot” on her face, and a biopsy revealed chemicals to the skin and then activate them with a specific that it was neither benign nor malignant, but pre- range of light. The chemicals and light not only destroy the cancerous. Her doctor told her pre-cancerous cells, they allow she could have the spot surgicalmedical professionals to identify ly removed or he could carve the other harmful cells that were surrounding tissue away right previously undetectable. then and there. She chose the Now, I confess: I, too, have latter, leaving her with a sizable been a sun-worshipper for most scab on her right temple and a of my life. In the last few years, slightly blackened eye. however, I’m no longer capable The really cool part, she of spending hours in the sun. explained, was the treatment she It feels hotter somehow, and would receive after the scab and I don’t enjoy sunbathing anyskin healed. Called blue-light more. According to an article in therapy, the treatment would Protecting skin from potential sun damage is vital., the razap any lingering pre-cancerous diant heat our planet receives cells. It would also lighten age from the sun is not venting spots and a lot of the sun damage she had accumulated over properly. Like too many covers on a warm night, gaseous polyears of seeking the perfect tan. It would smooth a few wrin- lutants—primarily carbon dioxides—form an insular blankles and give her facial skin an all-over, regenerative boost. ket around the earth, trapping the sun’s heat near the planet’s Clearly, she was looking on the bright side, making the best surface. But heat is not really the issue. of a scary situation. The real threat to the health of the largest organ of our Dr. Nancye McCowan, a dermatologist at the University bodies—our skin—is exposure to potentially harmful ulof Mississippi Medical Center, confirmed the efficacy of FDA- traviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. Sun


A collection of items of a special, rare, novel or unusual quality. We are Mississippi’s premiere source for metaphysical esoterica from nature.

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uring the summer months, it’s tough to find ways to beat the sweltering heat while still enjoying the sunny days. Local Mississippi farmers markets can provide the perfect outdoor activity as well as healthy, fresh food choices. This season is the best for fresh produce such as watermelons, peaches and vine-ripened tomatoes. But farmers markets often have much more than an abundance of locally grown fruits and vegetables. On any Saturday morning, you might find a variety of baked goods, art vendors, musicians

and food demonstrations. The atmosphere is always family friendly—a perfect setting to stroll around on a hot summer day. Veteran vendor Brandi Parker of Parker’s Fresh Produce in Smith County sells her wares at the Mississippi Farmers Market (929 High St., 601-354-6573). She enjoys the busy summer season and speaks highly of the foods offered. “It’s tastier because it’s fresher, ” she says. “We don’t refrigerate. When it’s refrigerated, you lose nutrients. We bring it fresh from the garden to your table.”

Run and Sun by Sara Sacks

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• Drink electrolytes before and after you run. When exercising, your body loses precious electrolytes, which it needs to retain liquids and stay hydrated. But some electrolyte-replenishing “sports” drinks are also full of sugar. Nunn hydration tablets are not. Each tablet dissolves in water and translates to 16 ounces of runner’s liquid gold. • Eat healthy carbs and proteins. Simple sugars, found in highly processed foods, are not a Running during the summer in • Always carry a bot- Mississippi requires special care. reliable source of tle of water. Drinkenergy. Foods like ing a lot of water five minutes before a whole-wheat bread, fresh fruits and vegrun is not enough. To be hydrated, you etables, and organic meats are much more need a constant intake of water. Always sustainable choices. have a refillable bottle within reach, and • If you feel ill, STOP. As runners, we hydrating will be easiest part of your work- constantly tell ourselves not to stop. But out schedule. sometimes, you just have to. If you start • Beware of sodas, alcohol and coffee. feeling nauseous, get goose bumps or feel These three beverages are dehydrating. If dizzy, it’s time to stop. During the summer you plan to indulge in any of these, make heat, keep your route close to home just in sure to double up on your water intake. case you need to walk back. esides getting out of bed in the morning, running in the blazing summer sun can prove to be one of the most difficult tasks for a runner—difficult and potentially dangerous. Every day your body loses from one to four liters of water, much of it from activities as simple as breathing. Combine this with sweat loss during a run, and you’ve got one dehydrated athlete. To beat the summer heat in a healthy and safe way, follow these tips:

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Summer Events and Specials Celebrating another spectacular season at the Mississippi Farmers Market!

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25% Discount We offer varied services: â&#x20AC;˘ Ear Candling â&#x20AC;˘ Massage â&#x20AC;˘Skin Care & Waxing â&#x20AC;˘ Hair Care â&#x20AC;˘ Manicures & Pedicures â&#x20AC;˘ Make - Up Application The Powder Room | 108 Office Park Drive #E | Brandon, MS | 601.824.6123 | like us on facebook

â&#x20AC;˘ A bounty of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables â&#x20AC;˘ Works from area artisans â&#x20AC;˘ Fresh baked goods and specialty foods â&#x20AC;˘ Market-to-menu cooking demonstration by James Roache´ of Ro ´ Chez Restaurant â&#x20AC;˘ Complimentary ice cream from Blue Bell â&#x20AC;˘ Live entertainment by Ralph Miller â&#x20AC;˘ Pam Edwards will lead our Market Kids in constructing a Scarecrow for the marketâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s corn & sunflower garden

Support Mississippi Farmers Buy Fresh & Buy Local At the Mississippi Farmers Market Open Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Saturdays 8:00 a.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2:00 p.m.

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Voted One of the Best Places to Work Out Best of Jackson 2010-2012




Kitchen Clash

Abita Strawberry: More Soda than Beer

by Christianna Jackson and Victoria Sherwood


Where were you born? SD: New Orleans, La. JE: Mobile, Ala.

June 6 - 12 , 2012

When did you move to Mississippi? SD: I moved to Mississippi when I was 18 years old, to the Bay St. Louis area. JE: I moved to Jackson, Miss., in 2007 to work here at Ruthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chris.


and entertainment. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re lots of fun. JE: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done competitions before but not locally. Locally, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been involved in a lot of specialty events where I bring various samples. Do you have any skills or past experiences, in or out of the kitchen, that will give you an edge here? SD: Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no doubt that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s this fire to want to win ... But there is also the reality of community and of the artist; I think chefs are artists in their own way. I think (my) advantage is, hopefully, a touch of humility and a touch of arrogance mixed together, and then the years of temperament. I think those things lead to success. JE: I did a lot of culinary competitions in culinary Jeremy Enfinger school. I was the captain of our team. We did competitions all the time, so thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an edge.

by Josh Parshall


How old are you? SD: 40 JE: 32

different things. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to happen in the next few seconds. To control chaos is one of the badges of honor that chefs are supposed to wear. Going to the Iron Chef, I think, is such an exciting thing because you are presented with this chaos. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re about to cook, but you have an hour to do it. The idea is, â&#x20AC;&#x153;OK, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s see what we can make up.â&#x20AC;? So for me, what we are going



et the battle begin! After just one hour, a winner will emerge and be crowned Iron Chef when the Ferguson Kitchen brings the Iron Chef battle to Jackson. Two local chefs, Steven Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Angelo of Nickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Restaurant and Jeremy Enfinger of Ruthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chris Steak House, will fight in a head-to-head culinary battle to win the coveted title of Iron Chef Ferguson. They will each have one hour to cook a gourmet meal using a secret ingredient revealed during the competition. We asked them to go head-to-head in the JFP first.

Steven Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Angelo

How long have you been cooking? SD: Since I was a little boy. My first job was in a restaurant. I always I loved food ... My mama used to cook, she would put the food on the table and the whole place would get quiet and I (thought), â&#x20AC;&#x153;that is pretty powerful.â&#x20AC;? JE: I started cooking when I was 15, so I guess itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been 17 years now. Wow.

to do is have fun, create something exciting, be clever about it and make everything from scratch. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what I love about cooking: making things. So if we are going to use butter, we are going to make the butter weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll use. JE: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been going to the gym every morning. No, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just kidding. My sous chef and I have come up with different scenarios for a secret ingredient. That way, we know exactly what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to do if it is that ingredient, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be prepared.

What made you want to become a chef? SD: Being around food and then the ability to connect with people through food. I think that was number one. JE: My grandfather was a produce vendor. He would sell vegetables and fruits off of his truck. As a family, we were always fishing or sitting on the porch making ice cream. So food has always been a part of my memories and family. Honestly, though, I started cooking by chasing a girl. I liked this girl that worked for a caterer, and I got a job there to be close to her.

What do you hope to gain from doing the competition? SD: Hopefully, some friends, fans, good experience and obviously some exposure for the restaurants here, because weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re so proud of whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on at Nickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right now with the food, whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on at the Mermaid CafĂŠ, and Kalamata Catering, which is our catering branch. JE: As a corporate restaurant, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s difficult to gain local recognition. We are not a box with a name on it. Even though we are branded, we are here for our local community. Plus, we can show there is more to us besides cooking steaks.

How did you prepare for the Iron Chef competition? SD: The idea is that you can control chaos as a chef, cause thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what it is when you have 200 people coming in ordering 200

Have you ever done anything like this before? SD: Yeah, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done a few. Every oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s different. There have been larger ones with a formal setting; I think these are more for fun

If you could pick the secret ingredient, what would you choose? SD: I hope itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a filet. â&#x20AC;Ś I hope itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a few things. Seafood is very malleable. I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be something we can both kind of get our hands around, as long as itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not something crazy. JE: Something with pork, like pork belly, because (it) is really versatile and easy to blend with other ingredients. Which Food Network Iron Chef would you most like to face in the real Kitchen Stadium? SD: Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tough one, I love Morimoto; heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a cool dude. â&#x20AC;Ś Living in Jackson there no reason I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to have Cat Coraâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;you know, I think that would probably be the battle I should do. JE: I would have to say Bobby Flay. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good guy and all. I just think heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stuck in the southwestern thing, so I think I could outdo him. Iron Chef Ferguson will be June 7 at 7 p.m. at the Ferguson Kitchen and Bath Showroom (950 W. County Line Rd.), doors open at 6:30. Guests will enjoy food ranging from mini filet burgers to vodka oyster shooters, wine and craft beers. Tickets are available at

Many fans count down the days until Abita Strawberry hits the shelves, but not everyone is rushing to stock up.



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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 wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to mix the large yellow house just off Metro Parkway. Koinoniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expanded lunch menu includes pizza, sandwiches and soups. Parker House (104 S. East Madison Dr. Ridgeland 601-856-0043) Charming English-style cottage nestled in the Jackson Street Historic District offering a savory haven for home-style eaters with a menu of aged steaks and simple Southern comfort food.

Now Offering

LIVE MUSIC Friday and Saturday Nights

Best of Jackson 2008 - 2011 Dinner: Tues. -Sat. | 5pm-9pm

601-919-2829 5417 Lakeland Drive ~ Flowood, MS 39232

Voted Best Veggie Burger -Best of Jackson 2010-2012-

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


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 Heavenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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!


Hickory Pit Barbeque (1491 Canton Mart Rd. 601-956-7079) The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Butts in Townâ&#x20AC;? features BBQ chicken, beef and pork sandwiches along with burgers and poâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;boys. Haute Pig (1856 Main Street, 601-853-8538) A â&#x20AC;&#x153;very high class pig stand,â&#x20AC;? Haute Pig offers Madison diners BBQ plates, sandwiches, poboys, salads, and their famous Hershey bar pie.

Saturday June 9, 2012

Otis Lotus 9:00pm | $5.00 Cover Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Lo Trio

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The Pizza Shack (925 E. Fortification 601-352-2001) The 2009-2012 winner of Best Pizza offers the perfect pizza-and-a-beer joint. New locations in Belhaven and a second spot in Colonial Mart on Old Canton Rd. in Northeast Jackson. Sal & Mookieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (565 Taylor St. 601-368-1919) Pizzas of all kinds plus pasta, eggplant parmesan and the fried ravioli. Best Kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Menu & Best Ice Cream in the 2011 Best of Jackson. Plus, Pi(e) Lounge in front offers great drinks 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. Awardwinning wine list, Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s see-and-be-seen casual/upscale dining. Ceramiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (5417 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-919-28298) Southern-style Italian cuisine features their signature Shrimp Cerami (white wine sauce, capers artichokes) along with veal, tilapia, crawfish, chicken and pasta dishes.




Now accepting the JSU Supercard.

In Town & in the USA -Best of Jackson 2003-2011-

-Food & Wine Magazine-

707 N Congress St., Jackson | 601-353-1180 Mon thru Fri: 11am-2pm â&#x20AC;˘ Sun: 11am - 3pm


Try The

(a very high-class pig stand)


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.

Come Try the Best Bar-B-Que In Madison 856 Main Street â&#x20AC;˘ Madison, MS â&#x20AC;˘ 601.853.8538

Eslavaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Grille (2481 Lakeland Drive, 601-932-4070) Danny Eslavaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s namesake feature Latin-influenced dishes like ceviche in addition to pastas, steaks, salads and other signature seafood dishes. Crawdad Hole (1150 Lakeland Drive., 601-982-9299) Serving up fresh seasonal crawfish, shrimp and crab legs the Crawdad is Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crawfish destination. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll also want to try their delicious gumbo while enjoying Friday night karaoke! Rockyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (1046 Warrington Road, Vicksburg 601-634-0100) Enjoy choice steaks, fresh seafood, great salads, hearty sandwiches and much more in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;polished casualâ&#x20AC;? dining room. Open 24/7 in the Riverwalk Casino.


Introducing Best of Jackson Magazine!

Paid advertising section.


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.


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 & “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.

New Blue Plate Special


1 Meat, 3 Veggies, Bread and Drink

live music june 6 - 12


wed | june 06 Jessie “Guitar“ Smith 5:30-9:30p thu | june 07 Brian Jones 5:30-9:30p fri | june 08 Dylan Moss Project 6:30-10:30p sat | june 09 Evan Geno 6:30-10:30p sun | june 10 Adibs Acoustic Duo 4:00 - 8:00p mon | june 11 Karaoke tue | june 12 Jesse “Guitar” Smith 5:30-9:30p 1060 E County Line Rd. in Ridgeland Open Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm Fri-Sat 11am-Midnight | 601-899-0038

- full color glossy presentation - new feature stories and write-ups on winners - beautiful photography - all-new Web directory - mobile Best of Jackson site and... your print ad and Web directory package!

Call 601-362-6121 x11 or write to learn more about our advertising packages for this exciting new publication.

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


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. 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! 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. 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!

June 6 - 12, 2012



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.


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.

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by Julie Skipper

Lazy, Crazy, Hazy

I NEW Bring Lulu To The Party!

love summertime. Maybe it’s because I’m ridiculously cold-natured, so it’s the one time of the year I get to wear things not resembling a parka without freezing. But I think it’s really that summer means sunshine, evenings spent sitting on patios with cold drinks, letting my hair air-dry and wearing two of my favorite fabrics—seersucker and linen. This Memorial Day weekend, while others headed off to the beach, I stayed here and welcomed the official start of the season with appropriate traditions: shopping a sale, eating barbeque and beginning my summer reading list. I’ll admit, it took me a little while to get on board with wearing white denim. I enjoy it on others, but for some time I harbored a deep personal fear of wearing white. Despite all efforts to be a chick who keeps herself together, I remain a hopeless klutz. Bumping into things, tripping on my stilettos and faceplanting, wildly gesturing with my hands and spilling a drink—these are not actions that coexist comfortably with a fabric on which dirt and stains can’t hide. But sometimes you have to face your fears for the sake of style. Also, sometimes Red Square Clothing Co. (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 9004, 601-853-8960, redsquareclothingco. com) has a sale you just can’t miss. Such was the case this Memorial Day weekend, when they slashed the prices on all jeans by half. Shopping is always better with a cohort, so I grabbed one, and we headed for Another Broken Egg Café (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 1009, 601-790-9170, before hitting the store. A late lunch and a couple of glasses of bubbly later (because that makes shopping better, too), I was ready to conquer Mission: White Jeans. At Red Square, Joe Williams and Jill Matheny greeted us eagerly and immediately started pulling exactly what I needed to try. Jill’s knowledge of how different styles and brands fit is impeccable, and she has an innate knack for knowing what will and won’t work on you. Thanks to her, I walked away with the perfect pair of True Religion Serena jeans with gold hardware. (And a pair of denim

shorts … with jeans half off, why not?) Having succeeded in securing summer whites, I was thrilled at receiving a Facebook invitation to what’s become a fun annual tradition: Arthur Jones’ Memorial Day Cookout. Jones and his friends know how to barbeque like champs, and at this one, they go whole hog––literally. As in, he roasts a whole pig … and uses all the parts. (Last year, I tried some offal, but this year, I drew the line at pig tails.) After a lazy Memorial Day morning and a quick stop at Kat’s Wine and Spirits (921 E. Fortification St. 601-983-5287, katswine. com) for a bottle of rosé—one of my favorite wines to drink in the summer—I headed to Arthur’s Belhaven home. Thanks to a slightly overcast sky, the afternoon was really pleasant, perfect for a gathering of friends old and new around those common denominators of food and drink. Arthur, clad in his traditional barbeque attire of overalls, and several of the other guys tended to the cooking, periodically announcing that ribs or pig tails or any other number of meat products were ready. The rest of us enjoyed one another’s company and played cornhole, and soon I realized I’d been there all afternoon. Rounding out the evening, I returned home to finish up Thomas McNamee’s book “The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat: Craig Claiborne and the American Food Renaissance” (Free Press, 2012, $27). I picked up the book, about Mississippian Claiborne, at Lemuria Books (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202, 601-366-7619, lemuriabooks. com). It seemed an appropriate way to end the day of eating and drinking with friends, as Claiborne is famous not only for his food writing, but also for his dinner parties. It was a good read and a reminder of how many great memories I have of special times with friends that center around getting together to eat. While some friends escaped to the beach to kick off summer, I found myself perfectly content to remain here at home and celebrate the start of those lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer. I hope to see you out and about—in your favorite summer fabrics––soon!

June 6 - 12, 2012



(Next door to McDades Market Extra) Mon. - Sat., 10 am - 9 pm • Maywood Mart Shopping Center 1220 E. Northside Dr. • 601-366-5676 •

Always Drink Responsibly Nothing says “summer” like bubbly with lunch, new white jeans and a pig roast.

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