September 19 - 25, 2012
JACKSONIAN MARQUIS ‘KEKE’ LOWE
CHARLES A SMITH
arquis Lowe didn’t used to be very good at sharing. It wasn’t that he was selfish person. It’s just that growing up under the care of his grandparents in West Jackson’s Shady Oaks neighborhood, his family couldn’t afford to replace his toys if they got broken. “Sharing was something that I wasn’t used to. I wasn’t used to letting people play with the things I had, and I wasn’t used to playing with other peoples’ toys,” he said. That all changed when he entered sixth grade and became involved with the Algebra Project, a program that Mississippi Freedom Summer leader Bob Moses founded that evolved into the Young People’s Project. Moses exhibited such care and openness with the youth in the program that Lowe started to alter his attitudes about giving to other people, particularly in his community. “Without his support, I would be strictly focusing on self because that’s how you survive. That’s how I was brought up,” he said. “Now, I don’t mind helping anybody.” In that sense, Lowe believes he remains on the trajectory he was on 10 years ago when he was the Jackson Free Press’ first Jacksonian. At the time, in addition to working with the Algebra Project, Lowe was a 19-year-old computer science major at Tougaloo College who also played point guard for the Bulldogs. A decade ago, in September 2002, Lowe wore the uniform of a college student: over-
sized red Ecko T-shirt, red-and-white Nikes, and a long chain adorning his neck. Today as the program director for the YPP, Lowe oversees after-school programs for 60 to 75 elementary school-aged kids. On a recent visit to the YPP offices, located in the Jackson Medical Mall, Lowe sported an untucked blue-and-white striped Oxford with the sleeves rolled up. Brown loafers replaced the white kicks, and two small gold diamondshaped earrings were his only jewelry. Besides switching his major from computer science to business—he graduated from Tougaloo in 2005—and starting a mobile detailing business that he does on weekends, Lowe doesn’t think he’s changed much in the past decade, and nor has Jackson. Like many people, he believes the city should have more recreational outlets to keep kids from getting in trouble. And although YPP has good relationships with several other not-for-profit organizations and schools, he expresses frustration that nonprofits and government agencies don’t collaborate more. Nevertheless, Lowe remains undeterred for one reason: his 6-year-old son, Jalen, whom he wants to grow up with opportunities Lowe never had and in a different kind of Jackson than the one where he came of age. “That’s pretty much my fight now. That’s why I’m so passionate about what I do,” Lowe said. —R.L. Nave
Flag and cover design by Stephen Barnette More covers: jfp.ms/covers
11 Supreme Seat Earle S. Banks Jr. dishes about the significance of fairness in his endeavor to become Mississippi Supreme Court chief justice.
16 We’re 10! The Jackson Free Press celebrates a decade of stirring things up by looking back at how far our fair city has come—and how far we still have to go—in the worlds of development, business, arts, music, fitness, food, local love and more.
35 A Poet’s ‘Thrall’ National Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey visits Jackson State University to speak and read from her latest book, “Thrall.”
4 ........................PUBLISHER’S NOTE 6 ................................................ YOU 9 ............................................ TALKS 10 .................................. BUSINESS 14 .................................. EDITORIAL 14 ................. EDITORIAL CARTOON 15 .................................... OPINION 16 .......................... JFP BIRTHDAY 35 .............................. DIVERSIONS 36 ....................................... 8 DAYS 37 ............................... JFP EVENTS 39 .......................................... FILM 40 ....................................... MUSIC 41 ......................... MUSIC LISTING 43 ..................................... SPORTS 44 ......................................... FOOD 49 .............................. ASTROLOGY 49 .................................... PUZZLES 50 ........................... FLY SHOPPING
MATT VALENTINE ; LOGO BY ARISS KING; TRIP BURNS
SEPTEMBER 19 - 25, 2012 | VOL. 11 NO. 2
by Todd Stauffer, Publisher
Celebrating 10 Years
ot everything about the JFP’s first 10 years has been easy. The Jackson Free Press launched in the fall of 2002, as I like to say, backed by some of the “largest banks” in the world—Chase, Citibank … Discover—and has spent the last decade scraping and scrapping and pulling things together to get a paper out every week and a website up every day. We’ve gotten better at it—and more used to it—but it continues to be a battle and a blessing all at once. From the outset, we’ve had wonderful people who’ve believed in us and made us better. While we always felt like we had the experience to put out a newspaper, it’s been a learning curve when it came to building a sustainable business. We’ve learned a lot. Donna likes to tell the staff the stories of my trepidation back when we were first getting started. Within three to four issues of our launch, we had an Anthony DiFatta painting of Trent Lott on our cover, criticizing and contextualizing the then-junior senator from Mississippi—and recent majority leader—for his comments praising Strom Thurmond’s Dixiecrat run for the presidency. I had paced and pounded the floor a few nights before press, talked to Tony on the phone and negotiated changes to his original painting of Lott. I ultimately won concessions on Lott’s tie—Tony changed it from a Confederate battle flag to the Mississippi state flag, with the stars and bars in the knot—and on the letters “KKK” in the background, which Tony changed to “CCC” to better fit the story. He also changed them so that I could get at least some sleep that weekend knowing that within six months of sinking everything I had into a newspaper in Mississippi—where I had lived all of a year and spare change—we had not put “KKK” on the cover. (Yet.)
We didn’t shy away from criticizing Lott—fairly. It was around that time that I either coined or cribbed the phrase “Do the right thing … and wait.” That phrase would be tested just a few weeks later in March 2003, when we pulled an interview with the police chief from the cover in or-
Do the right thing ... and wait. der to run a story to coincide with President Bush’s announcement of our invasion of Iraq. The story was a package of the reasons why the war was a bad idea, including specific context regarding the lack of evidence of WMDs in that country. Again, I paced. We lost three distribution spots that week (including one that was apologetic, but concerned it would upset his customers). But by the next issue, we weren’t just still in business, but had sold more ads than ever up to that point. A few months after that, in June 2003, I was thrilled and touched when we learned over the phone—because we couldn’t afford to attend the conference—that we’d been accepted on our first attempt as a member of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (now “Newsmedia”), the first member from the state of Mississippi. We’d been vouched for by the folks in Memphis and lobbied for by Donna’s former publisher in Colorado Springs. Our small, bi-weekly newspaper was given the nod, and we busted out the bubbly. Since that time, the Jackson Free Press has been one of the most awarded
weekly newspapers in the country, winning 26 writing and design awards in nine years of eligibility. (See page 28.) More recently, Donna and the team has been piling them on from the southeastern region of the Society of Professional Journalists as well. Unfortunately, the Mississippi Press Association won’t let us in as full members because we don’t require people to pay for copies of the paper.) Some of the most compelling awards have been for team coverage in the Public Service and Investigative categories, where the news staff has won awards for their body of work on Frank Melton, James Ford Seale, Two Lakes, Jackson Public Schools, domestic violence and the personhood campaign. As we close out our 10th year, a few really exciting things are happening. We launched our new website—we call it JFP 3.0—this summer, nearly doubling our online traffic, including roughly one-third of our pageviews now coming through our revamped mobile site. (More updates on that one soon.) We’re working on some other Web projects to roll out this fall including the bestofjackson.com overhaul and—well, you’ll see. Donna likes to say that we’ve now got the best team of staffers that we’ve ever had—we’ve had tons of wonderful, talented folks over the years (as you’ll see in this issue, many of them recount their favorite JFP moments), but 2012 has found us with a team that has a special spirit and focus to reach for the “Why” statement we developed at a retreat earlier this year—to “connect our community through truth and the pursuit of excellence.” That’s the goal, and it starts anew this week with the first full-fledged redesign of the paper in our history by our tireless art director, Kristin Breneman, with help from her team and co-owner Stephen Barnette. I’ve joked all along that we’re a “low-
profit” business. Still, we’ve grown revenues every year for the past 10, including during recessions and a massive disruption in the world of print news. We hope to continue to grow by focusing on two fundamentals: (a) building a strong newsroom to serve our readers and (b) creating programs to effectively promote local businesses. We serve the citizens of Jackson and its neighboring cities by uncovering the facts and offering the context that they don’t have time to seek out themselves, and then presenting it in a format that’s entertaining and enlightening. Whether it’s on paper or computer screens or smartphones, we plan to be there. With our staff of 19 full- and parttimers—and a team of fabulous freelancers—we’re pleased to be job creators in the Jackson economy. We’re now 52 weeks per year in print distributed in over 600 locations, plus four quarterly editions of BOOM Jackson magazine, five-days-aweek of JFPDaily.com and a 24/7 Web site. And we’re thrilled to do our best to offer timely, relevant information to help you plan your evenings and weekends, and learn more about what’s going on in your community. We have a thriving small business and local media outlet. Did we “build it ourselves”? No. We’ve put in a lot of sweat and tears, but we’ve had tons of help from supporters, cheerleaders, advertisers and, most of all, our readers, who make the whole thing possible. Together, we’ve all made a difference in Jackson and Mississippi in the past decade. I think that over the next 10 years, there’s even more excellence, connection and community to which we can all aspire. Thank you all for our first decade! Email Publisher Todd Stauffer at todd@ jacksonfreepress.com.
September 19 - 25, 2012
Kathleen M. Mitchell
JFP editor and co-founder Donna Ladd is a Neshoba County native. After being in exile from Mississippi for 18 years, she came on back where she damn-well belongs. She planned the cover package.
Events editor Latasha Willis is a native Jacksonian, a freelance designer, and the mother of one cat. She shamelessly promotes her design skills at latashawillis.com. She managed events for this issue.
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. He contributed to the cover package.
Reporter Jacob Fuller is a former student at Ole Miss. When not reporting, he splits his time between playing music and photographing anything in sight. He contributed to the cover package.
Features editor Kathleen enjoys birthdays. She shares hers with Leonardo da Vinci, Catherine I of Russia and Emma Watson. She contributed food and arts stories to the cover package and edited for the issue.
Art Director Kristin Brenemen is an otaku with a penchant for dystopianism. Her Victini and Rarity costumes for the summer are coming along nicely. She designed the cover and most of this issue.
Deputy editor Briana Robinson’s hobbies include photography, ballet and ballroom dancing. She is a junior at Millsaps College. She contributed a music story to the cover package and edited for the issue.
Staff photographer Trip Burns is a graduate of the University of Mississippi where he studied English and sociology. He took many of the photos in this issue. He also probably fixed something in the office last week.
S KATHLEEN M. MITCHELL
tarting with this 10th birthday issue, the Jackson Free Press is devoting a page to YOU each issue. Weâ€™ll collect the best of your emails, letters, tweets and Facebook comments to the JFP. Send letters and short rants to: firstname.lastname@example.org (up to 100 words!). Include daytime phone and head shot, please. And send us a photo of you and your JFP someplace interesting. You get a $20 gift certificate if we print it.
[YOU & JFP] .!-%/L]/DQFDVWHU
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WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE JFP MOMENT? For the inaugural YOU page, we posed this question to members of the JFP Nation on social media. Hereâ€™s what you told us: Melissa Kelly: â€œThe real faces of the Affordable Care Act (by Adam Lynch). Of course, my girl was one of them, but I thought it was excellent and needed.â€? Emily Braden Knight: â€œThe chick in the crown!â€? (She is referring to the chick then-intern Natalie Irby borrowed from a feed store to â€œmodelâ€? for the 2004 Chick Issue cover. Photographer James Patterson photographed it at his gallery, and designer Jimbo Harwell Photoshopped a crown onto its little headâ€”see this issueâ€™s cover.)
September 19 - 25, 2012
Lynne Lott Schneider: Casey Parksâ€™ award-winning 2005 feature about Pro-Life Mississippi, including clinic protester, Roy McMillan, and his wife and doctor, Beverly. â€œThat was the first story I remember that jumped out and said someone is a darn good reporter and writer! Very in-depth and very fair to the subjects.â€? And: â€œOn a community outreach note, the work
you and other JFP staff did with Murrahâ€™s Hoofbeat newspaper before I was an employee there.â€? Tom Head: â€œAdam Lynchâ€™s last big featureâ€”on Phil Bryantâ€”which completely changed my assessment of the governor-elect. I seem to remember a feature about Amy Tuck, some years before that, that also blew my mind. The domestic-violence pieces Donna Ladd and Ronni Mott, wrote which covered ground nobody else had covered before in Mississippi. And the (Frank) Melton coverageâ€”that goes without saying. The Dee/ Moore slayings. I could go on.â€? Sheila A. Bedi: â€œThe Tyler Edmonds story (about kids tried as adults). The pieces you did in the early days of the training-school abuse scandal.â€? Jayne Jackson: â€œMy favorite is always the â€˜Best of Jacksonâ€™!â€? See jfp.ms/jfpmoments to add your own and for links to stories mentioned above.
The JFP Sucks File: â€˜Might I Be So Bold?â€™
istorically, the JFP has gotten very little hate mail aside from anonymous missives on local blogs personally attacking our female editors. Our favorites are by a blogger of many names who was kicked off the site for threatening our former visiting reporter Matt SaldaĂąa under an immigration story. He called editor Donna Ladd a â€œjournalistic slutâ€? for interviewing former Sheriff Malcolm McMillin and asked in a headline if Ronni Mott is â€œa liar, hack or just plain stupidâ€? because she blogged about the Obama administrationâ€™s then new recovery.org site. In the last two weeks, new Features Editor Kathleen Mitchell got a long, nasty letter slamming her for her first serious editorâ€™s note. In it, someone claiming to be a psychotherapist never mentioned what she actually disagreed with, but recommended: â€œDear, youâ€™ve got an awful lot of growing up to do. Might I be so bold as to suggest that you consider undertaking psychotherapy as an avenue from which to launch your investigation of your own self-hatred, which you so transparently project onto those with whom you disagree?â€? The writer than said Kathleenâ€™s neck is unfortunate and that she needs to get a new hairdresser. Then, just before this issue went to press, Editor Donna Ladd got an unsigned handwritten note furious that she had criticized Mitt Romney in her editorâ€™s note last week (â€œAn Inconvenient Jokeâ€?), apparently not grokking that columns are, well, opinion. S/he wrote in part: â€œIâ€™ve never read a newspaper that was so biasâ€”an openly bias oneâ€”the first line starting out making snide remarksâ€”making fun of Romney (sic). â€Ś An intelligent editor should know better.â€? And s/he ended: â€œI would sign my name but you would print this and thatâ€™s a no-no. I canâ€™t trust you.â€? PDFs of both these letters are at jfp.ms/feedback.
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When We Say Local, We Mean
Greg and Kathy McDade
Now In Yazoo City MAYWOOD MART • 1220 E. NORTHSIDE DRIVE • 601-366-8468
ENGLISH VILLAGE • 904 E. FORTIFICATION STREET • 601-355-9668
WOODLAND HILLS SHOPPING CENTER • FONDREN • 601-366-5273
WESTLAND PLAZA • 2526 ROBINSON ROAD • 601-353-0089
Through hard work, smart growth and a strong dedication to their customers, the McDades have expanded in less than a decade from their original McDade’s Market location to four fullservice grocery stores (and one beautiful wine showroom) in Hinds County, serving thousands daily and providing over 350 jobs in the area. The McDades are committed to the neighborhoods their stores serve, offering high quality customer service and low prices every day.
DJ George Chuck • Jesse Robinson • The Chad Wesley Band
Available online at www.jacksonzoo.org/events Beverages sponsored by Capitol City Beverage ~ Cathead Vodka Kat’s Wine & Spirits ~ Traditions Fine Wines & Spirits
September 19 - 25, 2012
Food provided by Amerigo ~ Anjou ~Babalus Tacos & Tapas ~ Beagle Bagel Biaggis ~ Bravo ~ Broad Street ~ Char ~ Flap’s Hot Tamales ~ Jaco’s Tacos ~ Julep King Edward Grill ~ Sal & Mookies ~ Sombra
Cigar Bar sponsored by Hop’s & Habana’s Cigar Bar sponsored by Hop’s & Habana’s
news, culture & irreverence
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City Denies JPS Budget Increase by Jacob D. Fuller
he Jackson City Council voted Friday to deny Jackson Public Schools the extra $2.7 million it requested for the upcoming fiscal year. The request was in addition to JPSâ€™ original budget proposal. Instead, the Council approved the $86 million budget that JPS approved and presented to the public June 26. City attorney Pieter Teeuwissen advised the Council not to approve the additional $2.7 million, because JPS had not given sufficient public notice and publication of the request, in his opinion. Both budgets necessitate property tax increases. The school board and Superintendent Cedrick Gray presented its new $88.8 million budget to the council Aug. 20, at which time Council members requested JPS do all they can to reduce that budget. Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. and several Council members expressed frustration that JPS did not send a representative to the meeting Friday to answer their questions. Sherwin Johnson, JPS communications specialist, told the Jackson Free Press that Gray was out of town and unable to attend the meeting. â€œIf this (increase) was important to them, they should have had a representative here,â€? Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon said at the meeting. The approved budget includes an increase in property taxes of 2.5 mills. Mills are a way of assessing property taxes. One mill is equal to about $10 in taxes on a house valued at $100,000. The additional money will go toward paying off a pair of bond issues JPS received in 2006 and 2008 worth $150 million. The school district owes $2.3 mil-
Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba pushed through a budget amendment to help needy Jacksonians before the Council approved the budget.
lion on those bonds in the upcoming year. During the Aug. 20 presentation to the City Council, JPS board president Sharolyn Miller said the district needed the increase to hire replacements for some of the 100 teachers who have left, to buy new textbooks and to make school-bus improvements. The approved JPS budget includes an operational budget of $69 million, a decrease from last yearâ€™s $72.5 million. Ward 3 Councilwoman LaRita Cooper-Stokes proposed an amendment Friday to approve the larger $88 million budget. Cooper-Stokes said the Council should not require JPS to have a representative at the meeting, especially because the Council approved the airport and library budgets Thursday without speaking to representatives from either of those groups.
AS THE DECADE TURNS IN 2002 Charter schools . . . . . . . . . . . . The Olsen Twins . . . . . . . . . . . Supersizing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Recycling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Netbooks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Snake 2 on your phone . . . . . . Solitaire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Osbournes . . . . . . . . . . . .
IN 2012 Parent advocacy Honey Boo Boo Pop-Up restaurants Upcycling Smartphones GTA3 on your phone Angry Birds The Kardashians
â€œThey are evidently in dire straits, or I donâ€™t believe they would ask for it,â€? CooperStokes said. â€œIt is not politically expedient to vote for a tax increase in an election year, but I believe our children need it. I believe they deserve it, and I believe the citizens are solidly behind the schools.â€? Gray was not available for comment, but the superintendentâ€™s office released a statement shortly after the meeting. â€œWe will monitor the funds received throughout the 2012-2013 school year. If the funds are not generated at the requested $88,897,985.28 level by the District, we will pursue all legal remedies that are available to ensure that the ad valorem taxes levied yield the funds we need to operate the District as required by State law,â€? the statement said.
JFP staffers compiled changes weâ€™ve seen and experienced over the past decade.
IN 2002 Pens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Three kids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Organic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Junior High School . . . . . . . . . 12-years-old . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bacon is the best food ever. . . . Home Depot, south Jackson . .
IN 2012 Markers Six kids Locally grown Married with kid An adult! Bacon is the best food ever Northern Tool & Equipment, Interstate 55
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Wednesday, Sept. 12 Elton John performs at the Mississippi Coliseum. ... Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, announces the new IPhone 5 in San Francisco. Thursday, Sept. 13 Jackson City Council votes against the proposed city budget 3-4. Council PresidentTony Yarber recesses the meeting until Friday. ... Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke announces the Fed will spend $40 billion a month on mortgage-backed securities to stimulate the economy. Friday, Sept. 14 Jackson City Council votes to deny Jackson Public Schools the extra $2.7 million it requested and approved the original $86 million budget. ... County Circuit Judge Juan Colas strikes down the controversial Wisconsin law limiting collective bargaining. Saturday, Sept. 15 The Ole Miss Rebels lose to the Texas Longhorns 66-31, and Mississippi State defeats Troy 30-24 to go to 3-0 on the year. ... Thousands of protestors in China march outside the Japanese Embassy after Japan bought disputed islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan, from a private Japanese owner. Sunday, Sept. 16 The New Orleans Saints lose their second game of the season against the Carolina Panthers giving them at 0-2 record. ... An Afghan police officer kills four U.S. service members, and a NATO air strike kills eight women in separate attacks in Afghanistan. Monday, Sept. 17 The City of Jackson announces it will hire an outside auditor to determine exactly how developer Retro Metro spent $50,000 for new wiring at Metrocenter. ... Chicagoâ€™s Mayor Emanuel files a lawsuit in Circuit Court asking the court to order striking teachers back to school. Tuesday, Sept. 18 Two Terry High School students are hospitalized after their school bus collides with a car. ... The French court ordered the French magazine Closer to hand over all the digital files of photos of a topless Kate Middleton and refrain from republishing any of them. Get news updates at jfpdaily.com.
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â€œThis may include pursuing legal action or the issuance of additional debt to cover any resulting shortfall amounts.â€? Teeuwissen said at the meeting that he does not believe the city will be held liable for any school-district budget shortfall.
September 19 - 25, 2012
Daily Buzz by JFP Staff
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City Approves Amended City Budget On Thursday, after more than an hour of arguments and failing to pass the city budget, Council President Tony Yarber recessed the special meeting until 9:45 a.m. Friday. On Friday, only Barrett-Simon, Ward 5 Councilman Charles Tillman, Yarber and Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba were present. Lumumba quickly used his leverage in a four-member vote to push an amendment he proposed Thursday. The amendment would set aside $75,000 in the cityâ€™s budget to fund organizations that help citizens on fixed incomes pay their electric and water bills. The Ward 2 councilman said the city has many needy citizens who already struggle to pay their bills. Water and sewer rates will soon go up as a result of a consent decree from the U.S. Environment Protection Agency that will likely cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars in water and sewer repairs over several
years. Lumumba said the city should help citizens in need however it can. The amendment failed by a vote of 3-3 Thursday, with all Council members present and Yarber abstaining from the vote. Ward 4 Councilman Frank Bluntson and Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell, who both voted against the amendment, were not present during the budget vote Friday. Lumumba, who has announced he is running for mayor next year, said he would approve the budget if his amendment was part of it. He then made a motion to add the amendment. The motion passed 3-1, with Barrett-Simon voting against it. With the amendment on the books, the city budget passed by a vote of 4-0. The JPS budget, which is separate from the city budget, became a distraction during city budget talks Thursday. Some council members did not want to approve the city budget with the JPS budget still up in the air. After it became apparent the budget would not pass Thursday, Yarber recessed the meeting until Friday. Mayor Johnson highlighted that the city budget did not include any tax increases or layoffs. It also did not include any raises for city employees. Email Jacob D. Fuller at jacob@ jacksonfreepress.com. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
TALK | ELECTION
Family Ties: Earle S. Banks Jr. by R.L. Nave
It’s a lot more driving. Before, I never had to spend a night away from home campaigning, and now I’m spending nights and days away from home campaigning throughout the state. Before, when I was campaigning as a legislator, I might use a tank of gas every couple days.
It wasn’t hesitation. I was approached about running rather late, and it was something that I had to consider and talk to my family about, my business and law partners about. Of course, by the time you talk to your family, you have to pray over it. You have to come with a very deep examination because this is not an office that just anybody can hold. It takes a lot of confidence; it’s going to take a lot of discipline. And it’s just something you have to decide: Do I really want to do this? After doing that and talking to my cousin, Fred Banks, about it, I felt it was something I needed to do.
bated over the last 21 years—whether they’re criminal issues or civil issues, issues dealing with workers comp or unemployment, economic development or eminent domain, I’ve been a part of those issues. What I know I would bring to the court is a sense of fair-
What do you think about Supreme Court justices having to run for their seats?
Mississippi has always liked to elect its officials. When you think about judges being appointed, it puts it into the hands of the governor. Being elected to judge, that means the people get to trust who will decide their legal matters. What do you think you can accomplish on the court that you can’t in the Legislature?
One of the things that I know I would bring to the judicial branch of government is that most of the laws that will be considered by the court will be laws that we have de-
What do you think the court’s role would be in a situation like that? We may be looking at a situation where this governor, who’s refused to expand Medicaid …
I really can’t speak as to how I would vote on certain things that would come before the court, as required by the Code of Judicial Conduct. What are some of the more interesting cases the court has taken up in the last 20 years?
The demographics of this district are favorable to you. Did that figure into your decision?
This is a district that my cousin Fred Banks ran in years ago, and he was able to win it. After talking to him, he told me it would be a good, tight race. We don’t know who’s going to vote or who won’t vote. We’re going out there and talking to all the people, regardless of demographics.
er to get Democratic-type legislation passed, if you can call anything Democratic-type legislation. But we have protected worker rights; we also balanced that with bringing in large businesses.
One of the most recent things was Gov. Haley Barbour’s pardons of almost 200 state inmates. What were your thoughts on the pardons? Rep. Earle S. Banks Jr. counts his two decades of legislative experience as a top qualification to serve on the Mississippi State Supreme Court.
ness, a sense of representing the people of Mississippi. Not special interest groups, but regular, working-class people. It’s not just that it’s become too hard to serve as a Democrat in the Legislature?
I have had the honor and privilege of serving the Democratic Party in the past … and now I’m running as required by law for the Mississippi Supreme Court in a nonpartisan race. … Since the Senate was taken over by the Republicans, and now that the House has been taken over by the Republicans, it’s hard-
I am a legislator, and I know what we have voted on. As a legislator (with respect to the constitutional notification provision), I know what we have voted on. And having the Supreme Court say no, (inmate notification) doesn’t have to happen … that’s what the Supreme Court is supposed to do. What else do you really people to know about you?
Most people don’t understand the significance of fairness on the Supreme Court. The people need someone who will stand there and make sure that court does not bend to big business, to little business, public outcry or whatever it may be, but this justice is going to uphold his oath of office and be fair, and rule on the issues. Email R.L. Nave at rlnave@ jacksonfreepress.com. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
How is this campaign different from running for the Legislature?
You qualified right up against the deadline. What was the hesitation?
f he weren’t running for a seat on the Mississippi State Supreme Court, Earle S. Banks Jr. would be in a graveyard. Banks’ family, which owns People’s Funeral Home on Farish Street, also operates Autumn Woods Memorial Gardens, a cemetery on West Northside Drive. Banks, a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives since 1991, said he likes to relax by working on the cemetery’s landscaping. “I can take off my black suit, my white shirt and tie, and get out there and run a backhoe and a bulldozer with the best of them,” said Banks, an attorney and one of a handful of funeral directors in the Legislature. Instead, Banks is suited up, crisscrossing central Mississippi in an attempt to unseat Bill Waller Jr., the chief justice on the state’s highest court. Even though Waller is the son of former Gov. Bill Waller and recently secured the endorsement of the Mississippi Republican Party, Banks is undeterred. The court’s District 1 includes 21 counties across central Mississippi, including Hinds County and several that lean Democratic in the Mississippi Delta. Banks believes the fact that his cousin, Fred Banks Jr., won a seat in the district in 1991 and held it until 2001, bodes well for his chances against Waller. Banks recently spoke with the Jackson Free Press about his campaign.
TALK | business
WeatherVision Joins with JSU by Jacob D. Fuller
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September 19 - 25, 2012
JACOB D. FULLER
eatherVision has been bring- celebration. She said JSU has produced one ing local weather forecasts in every four African Americans who hold a to communities across the bachelorâ€™s degree in meteorology. country for more than two â€œHowever, since (JSUâ€™s) creation, they decades. Now it will help teach students have typically only had one track. That is reto do the same. The localized, outsourced search,â€? Foxworth said. â€œStudents that were weather-forecast service celebrated its move interested in broadcast typically went to othto the Jackson State er institutions that had University Digital Mebroadcast programs. â€? dia Center at the MisSt. Peâ€™ created sissippi e-Center Sept. WeatherVision, origi13. There, WeatherVinally named National sion will not only proWeather Network, in vide the weather fore1985 as a radio sercasts to more than 100 vice. WeatherVision markets daily, it will became the nationâ€™s also help teach JSU first provider of outstudents the broadcast sourced, localized side of meteorology. television weather Edward St. Peâ€™ is about to start â€œJSU will tie our teaching JSU students about forecasts in 1990. It meteorology program, meteorological broadcast. now offers weather the only one of its kind forecasts to more than for historically black universities in Amer- 100 TV and radio stations and websites. ica, with WeatherVision activities,â€? David St. Peâ€™ said teaming up with JSU takes Hoard, JSU vice president for institutional the company to another level. â€œI want to do advancement, said at the opening celebra- more,â€? St. Peâ€™ said. â€œI want to do things that we tion. â€œThere will be internships, class work, havenâ€™t accomplished yet. I do think that itâ€™s a and thereâ€™ll be a media lab right here in the natural transition for us to be somehow now facility for our students.â€? involved with education in the university.â€? Edward St. Peâ€™, president, founder and St. Peâ€™ will soon move his radio station, CEO of WeatherVision, said joining JSU WLEZ 100.1, to the e-Center as well. He gives his company new meaning. It is a com- said the station will offer students the oppormercial broadcast world he operates in, but tunity to get hands-on experience in radio getting to teach students to do what he does production and even on-air broadcasting. gives WeatherVision a deeper purpose. â€œ(Weâ€™re) sort of like almost sleep-walk- Tiger Sports Network ing through it at this point, weâ€™ve been doing JSU has created a network that will alit so long,â€? St. Peâ€™ said. â€œThis gives us a bit of low fans to keep up with Tigersâ€™ home sportnew inspiration, to teach a new generation of ing events on the radio, TV and online. kids how to do TV weather. Itâ€™s rewarding.â€? The Tiger Sports network will expand JSU President Carolyn Meyers said JSUâ€™s radio network for all home and away Hoard brought her the idea to bring games from six stations to 12, including WeatherVision to JSU. â€œI knew who (St. WHLH 95.5 FM in Jackson. About 30 staPeâ€™) was,â€? she said. â€œI was very impressed tions will carry three or four football games with him.â€? She added: â€œItâ€™s a wonderful this year. In addition, Tiger Sports Network learning opportunity for our students and will broadcast video of home games live onall the students after them. It changes and line. Comcast Sports South will air delayed enhances our program. We are about build- broadcasts of the games immediately following deep quality in all our programs. This ing the real-time games. enables that in meteorology. â€œIt was a major undertaking,â€? Wesley Jessica Foxworth, a senior meteorol- Peterson, athletics media relations manager ogy student at JSU, spoke at the opening for JSU, said in a press release. â€œWeâ€™ve been planning about a year for a 2013 launch, but we moved up the timetable and quickly tied .%73 15): everything together over the summer.â€? An outside agency previously provided :KRVDLGÂł:HZLOOQHYHUKDYHWKHHOLWH VPDUWSHRSOHRQRXUVLGHÂ´" JSUâ€™s radio coverage. By creating its own network, JSU now controls all aspects of its :KDWZDVWKHQDPHRIWKH86DPEDVVDGRU sports properties, Peterson said. ZKRGLHGLQ/LE\DODVWZHHN" All JSU sports will be available for free :KDWEXGJHWGLGWKH-DFNVRQ&LW\&RXQFLO online. Fans can go to jsutigers.com for DSSURYHODVWZHHNZKDWGLGWKH\UHMHFW" broadcast schedules. Email Jacob D. Fuller at email@example.com. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
adver tise here star ting at $50 a week
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