Abandoned? Lonely? Depressed? Forsaken?
Do you feel
YOU ARE NOT ALONE Available at Amazon.com and wherever fine books are sold
February 26 - March 4, 2014
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COURTESY OLLIE WAY
JACKSONIAN COREY DAVIS
ost story ideas come to Corey Davis when she’s bored and allows her mind to wander. One such daydream gave shape to the 16-year-old Clinton native’s debut novel, targeted to young adults. “Ollie Way” (Tate Publishing, January 2014, $27.99) introduces readers to the fictional Capricorn family: Ollie Way, his wife, Fern, and their 11 children. Set in Clinton, the story follows Ollie and Fern’s 14-year-old daughter Evangeline as she seeks to find out more about a father she barely remembers. The story takes a climactic turn when Ollie goes missing in action while serving in the army in Iraq. “There’s a bit of mystery, bit of drama, there’s adventure, whatever genre that fits into,” Davis says about her book. The idea came to her on an unusual day for fortunate outcomes—Friday the 13th: “I daydreamed this family, but I only had the family first. I didn’t have the entire story.” It was only as she began putting thoughts to paper that the story started to take on a bigger form. “Once I got it out on paper, I started the first chapter, and I was just like, well let’s see where this goes,” she says. “And it just went.” Originally from Byram, the only child of Debbie and Chuck Davis has called Clinton home for nearly six years. Setting her debut novel in Clinton was not simply a matter of the “write what you know” mantra, but because of her love for the town. “I just like the tight-knit community of
it,” she says of Clinton. “It’s like an old small town, and I like that feel.” Davis has been writing stories since elementary school and attributes her love for the written word to her parents, who read to her at a young age. The appeal of creating and inhabiting new characters is what Davis loves most about writing. “Each story is like a different world. I think that’s special,” she says. Writing the book was not only a lesson in the commitment it takes to see a novel through from start to finish, but revelatory as far as her relationship with God, which she says grew stronger during the process. This influence is evident in her characters’ development and her use of biblical symbolism throughout the novel. “Ollie Way’s whole story is paralleling Jesus’; that’s the biggest thing,” she says. Davis, who names Marcus Zusak as a favorite author, is a Clinton Christian Academy sophomore and editor of her school paper. Feedback on her novel has been positive, which set aside one of her initial fears. She lights up when speaking about a book signing held earlier in the day at Quinsenberry Library in Clinton. “Some people came all the way from Franklin County (Mississippi), and they made a whole day out of it, a mother and her daughter who likes to write, too,” she says. “It was cool.” Visit coreydavis.tateauthor.com for more information. —Demetrice Sherman
Cover photo of Aynsley Inglis courtesy USA IBC
10 Well-Done Wellness
Greenwood-based kitchen appliance company Viking Range LLC has developed an employee wellness program to alleviate the health issues it sees in its Mississippi workforce.
36 Slavery Onstage
“A big crux of the play—(which) the author fell in love with in researching—is that there actually were Jewish families who owned slaves, and all historians agree that there is a very high probability that there were Jewish slaves as well. So (there’s) the friction of Jewish slave owners owning slaves despite their history being slaves coming out of Egypt and celebrating their freedom.” —Brian Maxsween, “‘The Whipping Man’: The Anatomy of Freedom”
37 Lights, Camera, Oscars
See who you should be picking for your Oscars office pool with film reviewer Jordan Sudduth’s 2014 predictions.
4 ............................. EDITOR’S NOTE 6 ................................................ YOU 8 ............................................ TALKS 12 ................................ EDITORIAL 13 .................................... OPINION 14 ............................ COVER STORY 17 ............ SPRING ARTS PREVIEW 34 ......................................... FOOD 36 .............................. DIVERSIONS 37 .......................................... FILM 38 ....................................... 8 DAYS 39 ....................................... MUSIC 40 ....................... MUSIC LISTINGS 41 ..................................... SPORTS 43 .................................... PUZZLES 45 ....................................... ASTRO 46 ............................................ DIY
COURTESY FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES; COURTESY NEW STAGE THEATRE; TRIP BURNS
FEBRUARY 26 - MARCH 4, 2014 | VOL. 12 NO. 25
by Amber Helsel, Editorial Assistant
Behind the Mask
f you’ve known me for a long time, you might remember the brief period in my life when I was absolutely obsessed with all things “Pirates of the Caribbean.” To this day, I’ve seen each of those movies at least 20 times (and I’m not exaggerating). When I’m going through my jewelry box, I sometimes find a replica of Davy Jones’ locket from “Dead Man’s Chest” and “At World’s End,” and the piece of Aztec gold from “Curse of the Black Pearl.” My hope chest, which my mother bought me as a high-school graduation present in 2007, looks like a treasure chest. Though I’m seven or eight years older, I get excited when I hear about a new POTC release (the next one is in 2016). The adventurousness and wonder of the franchise still captivates me. Argue all you want about how ridiculous the series has gotten, but there’s a reason each new film still breaks box office records. Lately, I’ve found a new reason to watch the movie franchise, a new way it mesmerizes me. Since January, I’ve been taking fencing lessons at the Baptist Healthplex in Jackson (717 Manship St., 601968-1766) with the Mississippi Fencing Club. I love the look people give me when I tell them I spend three hours each Thursday and Saturday in a mask and jacket, sweating my butt off while doing parries and ripostes, advances and retreats. My parents tell me just how impractical it is. My favorite questions have to be my stepfather’s: “What’s the practical application of that?” and “Can you defend yourself with it?” The answers, sadly, are no and probably not, though I do wonder. But, as my coworkers at Jackson Free Press remarked, I can scare the hell out of
someone by pulling a foil weapon out of my car. There are actually three types of fencing, but since I’m still new, I only fence foil. In my opinion, foil is more complicated than the other two. While épée and sabre are aggressive, foil is more calculating and precise, although it does require a level of aggression. The thing about that type of fencing
When I don that fencing mask and jacket, I feel like I can do anything.
is that you have only a small target area. Épée is the whole body, sabre is all of the upper body, but the area for foil is the torso, excluding the head, arms and legs. You have to be careful about where you hit and how you hit. Top of the shoulders? Not a hit. If the button at the end of your foil doesn’t click? Not a hit. From the moment I stepped onto the gym floor, donned in a mask and a blue-jean fencing jacket, I knew this was going to be different than anything I had ever done.
The first day wasn’t the most physically demanding, but was probably the most confusing. The first and most simple lesson Richard taught me was how to salute. Saluting feels much like I would imagine a plié feels, but instead of my feet pointing out, my left foot was parallel to the front wall, and my right foot was parallel to the mirror to the right of me. I followed Richard and pointed my weapon down to the left, pointed the tip at his face, then the ceiling and down to my right. From salute, I went into en garde, possibly one of the most confusing pieces of footwork in the history of footwork. As before, my left foot was parallel to the wall, but I had to bring my right foot forward, pointing straight, and then do a slight squat. During fencing, you have to stay like that, which is hard to remember most of the time (for me, anyway). From then on, it got harder. I had to remember to salute (which I still forget all the time), how to hold my weapon, how to move the blade with my fingers and keep my wrist almost prostrate, how to advance and retreat, how to lunge, and then how to advance and lunge. I jokingly told Richard that I needed flash cards to remember the terminology, but he said that fencing isn’t something you learn from textbooks or even Google. I can know the differences between the types of weapons all I want, but it doesn’t matter if I can’t actually fence with them. A couple of weeks ago, I performed my first bout. I went up against a girl who is probably about 14. She had the advantage, because she’s been doing this sport for five years. I’ve been in it for a mere month and a half. At first, I was scared. My instinct to flee kicked in, and all I could do was run from her attacks. Eventually, though, I found myself
getting more into it. I advanced, I retreated. I changed up the footwork to confuse her, which was actually kind of an accident, and then I lunged, and even hit her a couple of times. And when class ended, all I could think was how much I wanted to go again. I’ve bouted a few more times, and one of the more experienced fencers informed me I need to be less aggressive because I’ll wear myself down quickly. Of course, my bouting isn’t that amazing. I mostly run back and forth trying to break through and hit, and I often forget that after I parry, the point is mine if I score. My boyfriend, Jon, asked me a couple of weeks ago how I feel when I fence. Do I feel fat? Do I care? I answered him with a resounding “no.” When I fence, or even watch fencing, I don’t think about anything else. I’m no longer short and fat—I’m just short, and I have that advantage. The fact that my hair is a mess before and after doesn’t matter to me, because I’m going to end up smelling like a dirty gym sock anyway. I’m not worried about where my life is headed or whether I ate healthy that day. I’m present. I’m in the moment. Everything else falls away, and I’m there, defending myself, advancing and retreating, learning how to fake an attack to gain right of way, and when I don that fencing mask and jacket, I feel like I can do anything. Even go to the Olympics. Now, when I watch POTC, I’m not only entertained by Johnny Depp’s ridiculous portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow—I’m also watching the footwork and the way the characters duel. I want to be a part of that world, and though I’m about 400 years too late, I can still participate in some shape or form. I’m not a great fencer, not yet. But watch out. I’ll be winning tournaments before you know it.
February 26 - March 4, 2014
Events Editor Latasha Willis is a native Jacksonian, a freelance graphic designer and the mother of one cat. She compiled the arts-preview listings.
Editorial Intern and Mississippi Delta native Demetrice Sherman loves animals, books, and chocolate, all in abundance. Name a movie, and chances are she still hasn’t seen it. She wrote the Jacksonian.
R.L. Nave, native Missourian and news editor, roots for St. Louis (and the Mizzou Tigers)—and for Jackson. Send him news tips at rlnave@ jacksonfreepress.com or call him at 601-362-6121 ext. 12.
Indiana, Pa., native Alexis Moody moved to Jackson at the age of 13. She is a selfproclaimed nerd, music lover, sabre fencer and Steam video game player. She wrote artspreview blurbs.
Micah Smith recently graduated from Mississippi College where he studied English and Journalism. When not writing reviews or his music column, he performs with the local band Sun Ballet. He wrote an artspreview blurb.
Features Editor Kathleen M. Mitchell is usually talking, thinking or Instagramming about wine. She hopes to continue her studies to become a first-level sommelier. She wrote food features.
Freelance writer LaShanda Phillips is a graduate of Jackson State University. She is the third oldest of seven children. She wrote arts -preview blurbs.
Justin Gudger is a singer/songwriter and Jackson native, whose hobbies exclude growing up and smiling for photographs. His two favorite subjects are lunch and recess. He wrote an arts-preview blurb.
S OUTHERN M ISSISSIPPI student, Hannah
Roberts, was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship, a national honor recognizing the next generation of great research scientists. Hannah is in exclusive company. She was one of only three students from Mississippi universities to win the award in 2013. In fact, two of the three students
honored came from Southern Miss. As Hannah bursts through the doors of her future, the Miss University of Southern Mississippi Scholarship Pageant winner will be proof that the knowledge of how to change the world can be learned close to home. Sheâ€™ll be evidence that golden opportunities are
often closer than you think.
Take a closer look at Southern Miss. AA/EOE/ADAI UC 70304.5016 2.14
Youâ€™ll find we are more than meets the eye.
[YOU & JFP] Name: Isaiah Nixon Age: 20 Occupation: College Student (JSU Freshman) From: Brownsville, Tenn Favorite part of JSU: Student Center Favorite quote: â€œIf youâ€™ve heard it once, youâ€™re bound to
Write us: firstname.lastname@example.org Tweet us: @JxnFreePress Facebook: Jackson Free Press
YOUR TURN Comment grab bag from jfp.ms. â€œRIP, Orley Hood,â€? by Rick Cleveland (Person of the Day feature, May 2, 2013) WilliamSpellJr At a time when The Clarion-Ledger employed dozens of sharp, talented journalists, Orley Hood was a star among them. Even though he was known as a top-drawer sports writer, I most admired his humor columns. Orley rose to be features editor of The Clarion-Ledger at a time when the features section of the daily was bigger than the whole paper is today. He had a remarkable career, and I am glad to have known him personally for a long, long time. justjess My sincere condolences to Orleyâ€™s family. I worked with his wife, Mary Ann, during the â€™80s. She was a very supportive colleague. I also enjoyed the humorous columns written by Orley. In many of his selections, he would use â€œMA,â€? which are Mary Annâ€™s initials. Orleyâ€™s leaving the CL was like a death back then ... the paper never recovered.
hear it again.â€? (his grandfather) Secret to life: Getting a good education
â€œBrave Times at Burglund High,â€? by David Ray jayess1 Great piece; I stay one block from the school and never knew the turmoil and troubles the students went through, but thanks JFP for recognition to the students who were denied such innocence of just trying to live the words â€œall men are created equal.â€? â€œThe Joshua Generation,â€? Editorâ€™s Note by R.L. Nave tomhead1978 Powerful. Iâ€™m glad you wrote this. Lindahelen Teenagers should have the freedom to be teenagers. Period. Placing false social constructs around that developmental stage does not benefit the evolution of the human race as a whole, only the shrinking fragment of the privileged few ... who seem bent on coming up with ever more frantically unreasonable machinations to hang on to their power. In the end, the balance will shift, but I donâ€™t see an end to it in my lifetime (possibly another 20 years). There will be too much damage done to existing civil rights that will have to be undone. Even then ... those who attain power do not give that up just because
-OST 6IRAL 3TORIES AND 0AGES AT JFPMS
February 26 - March 4, 2014
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â€œitâ€™s the right thing to do.â€? Sigh. I am grateful for your insight. It bolsters the fight for equal treatment under the law. Some days it looms larger than available resources. â€œTigers of a Different Stripe,â€? Editorâ€™s Note by Donna Ladd RonniM ABC sportscaster Dale Hansen had this to say in a rebuke (which has gone viral) to those who have spoken against Michael Samâ€™s declaration: â€œMichael Sam would be the first openly gay player in the NFL. [He] says he knows there will be problems â€Ś and theyâ€™ve already started. Several NFL officials are telling Sports Illustrated it will hurt him on draft day because a gay player wouldnâ€™t be welcome in an NFL locker room. It would be uncomfortable, because thatâ€™s a manâ€™s world.â€? â€œYou beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs pulling her hair out by the roots, youâ€™re the fourth guy taken in the NFL Draft. You kill people while driving drunk, that guyâ€™s welcome. Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes, we know theyâ€™re welcome. Players accused of rape and pay the woman to go away, you lie
-OST 6IRAL %VENTS AT JFPEVENTSCOM
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to police trying to cover up a murderâ€”weâ€™re comfortable with that. You love another man, well, now youâ€™ve gone too far. â€œIt wasnâ€™t that long ago when we were being told that black players couldnâ€™t play in â€˜ourâ€™ games because it would be â€˜uncomfortable.â€™ And even when they finally could, it took several more years before a black man played quarterback. Because we werenâ€™t â€˜comfortableâ€™ with that, either. ... â€œIâ€™m not always comfortable when a man tells me heâ€™s gay; I donâ€™t understand his world. But I do understand that heâ€™s part of mine.â€?
Prevent, Protect, Empower
he most amazing JFP Chick Ball yet will be July 19 at the Mississippi Arts Center when we celebrate its 10th anniversary. We need your help: You can volunteer, sponsor the event, donate to the silent auction and more. We are also planning a Chick Ball Jam, with more live music at Hal & Malâ€™s. Email email@example.com or call 601-362-6121, ext. 23. to get involved.
Âą3CHOOL IS A PLACE WHERE CHILDREN SHOULD KNOW THEY ARE SAFEÂ˛
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Crime? Thereâ€™s an App for That
Wednesday, Feb. 12 Congress votes to restore full costof-living pension increases for younger military retirees. â€Ś Comcast Corp. announces that it will buy Time Warner Cable Inc. for about $45.2 billion.
by Ronni Mott
nstead of fighting the fact that the overâ€œWhat we want to do with â€˜Stop the Cardozo and Peeples middle school, in his whelming majority of Jacksonâ€™s high- Silenceâ€™ is to create a whole new culture with district, to contribute to the project. school students have mobile phones, our young people,â€? Yarber said, where they Once the research is complete, Yarber Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber is can report bullying, gun play, violence, and said, â€œour IT group at the city will basically hoping to convince young peopleâ€”and all drug use to help get a handle on crime in be moving at the beat of the drum of the Jacksoniansâ€”to use their smart phones to schools and in the city. young people to design the app.â€? Heâ€™ll be help lower the cityâ€™s crime rate. able to announce a release date once â€œOne of the problems in fightthe cityâ€™s technical experts undering crime in the city is this â€˜code stand the scope of the project. of silenceâ€™ people take on. PrimarOne issue Yarber has yet to ily, people donâ€™t talk. They donâ€™t address fully is the cell-phone ban snitch,â€? he said. â€œWhat we found is in Jacksonâ€™s schools. At a presentathat they will (talk), but they want tion for Parents for Public Schools to be safe doing it.â€? Lunch Bunch gathering in January, Calling or talking to police Provine High School Principal Ladirectly can create an atmosphere ketia Marshall-Thomas emphasized of instability and uncertainty, the difficulty schools have in enforcYarber said, so he is proposing an ing the ban. Whenever something alternative solution. even mildly interesting happens, The councilman brought the â€œevery kid pulls out their phones,â€? concept, an app he calls â€œStop the Marshall-Thomas said. The schools Silence,â€? to the city as an easy way canâ€™t keep up with every cell phone for Jacksonians, especially students, in studentsâ€™ possession. to report criminal activity while rePam Greer, director of the taining their anonymity. Stop the Violence program at the Pam Greer, a community activist and anti-crime crusader, Yarber sees social-media postPam Greer Foundation, a local believes the ubiquitous nature of smartphone apps could ings about issues on school grounds, non-profit, is enthusiastic about be a valuable crime-fighting tool for Jackson. such as the bogus â€œfight scheduleâ€? â€œStop the Silence.â€? She can imagine incident last November at Murrah it being useful in many situations, High School, as the kidsâ€™ reaching including reporting domestic-vioout the only way they know how. â€œIf it doesnâ€™t allow them to remain lence incidences, especially if it would allow Then, in December, 15-year-old Des- anonymous, then itâ€™s a deal breaker, and weâ€™ll Jacksonians to reach assistance anonymously tinee Ford, a Wingfield High School fresh- abandon the whole idea,â€? he added. and quickly. She echoed the â€œcode of silenceâ€? man, was shot and killed during an afterThe councilman is working with mem- Yarber referenced that keeps people from school fight. With supposedly more than bers of the Mayorâ€™s Youth Initiative and the calling authorities for fear of retaliation. 100 onlookers, someone could have reported United Way of the Capital Area to research â€œI think the app would really work,â€? the trouble to the Jackson police with an app the most effective way to develop the app, Greer said. as easily as they posted photos and videos on he said. He will also ask students from Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email Ronni social-networking sites such as Instagram. Wingfield and Forest Hill high schools, and Mott at firstname.lastname@example.org. TRIP BURNS
Thursday, Feb. 13 Four gay married couples file a federal lawsuit challenging the Louisiana Constitutionâ€™s prohibition against recognizing same-sex marriages performed legally in other states. â€Ś Afghanistan releases 65 accused militants from a former U.S. prison, despite warnings that the men are dangerous Taliban fighters and bomb-makers likely to return to killing foreign forces and Afghans. Friday, Feb. 14 U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wins a commitment from China to help bring a belligerent North Korea back to nuclear disarmament talks. â€Ś The Obama administration gives banks a road map for doing business with legal marijuana sellers without getting into trouble. Saturday, Feb. 15 President Barack Obama signs separate measures into law to lift the federal debt limit and restore benefits that had been cut for younger military retirees.
Monday, Feb. 17 An Oklahoma pharmacy agrees not to provide a drug for a scheduled execution next week in Missouri as part of a settlement with the death row inmateâ€™s attorneys. â€Ś Jimmy Fallon makes his debut as host of NBCâ€™s â€œTonight Show,â€? as the TV institution returns to New York after four decades based on the West Coast. Tuesday, Feb. 18 Indiaâ€™s Supreme Court commutes the death sentences to life in prison for three men convicted of playing minor roles in the 1991 assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, which also caused the deaths of 17 other people.
COURTESY ORLEY HOOD; COURTESY GEORGE JONES; HUBERT LONG / EIC RECORDS; COURTESY UNIVERSAL PICTURES; COURTESY DAN AYKROYD; JUSTIN HOCH
February 26 - March 4, 2014
Sunday, Feb. 16 Two men are accused of defacing a statue of James Meredith on the University of Mississippi campus by draping a noose and an old Georgia state flag on it. The university offers a $25,000 reward for information leading to the culpritsâ€™ arrest.
SIX DEGREES of Separation Orley Hood to Harold Ramis
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Warranties Could Provide Relief for Pipe Repairs by Ronni Mott
sue in Jackson. Both the cityâ€™s Public Works costsâ€”up to $4,000 per occurrenceâ€”at a cost gram to the regular Jackson City Council Department and private plumbers have had of about $7 to $8 per month. meeting Feb. 11 in an effort to get the program plenty to contend with. Not only would the program give moving. USP asks participating cities to allow Some relief, at least for Jacksonâ€™s hom- Jacksonians a reasonable alternative to big them to use the city seal in its marketing maeowners, may be in the offing. The National out-of-pockets costs, it would also provide terials. Citing the need for further information League of Cities offers a service-line warranty the city with some needed revenue through and a concern about the cityâ€™s liabilities under program through Canonsburg, Pa.-based royalties, potentially making it a win for all the program, two council members objected: Utility Service Partners Inc. About 200 cities concerned. The program comes at no cost Ward 3â€™s LaRita Cooper-Stokes and Ward 2â€™s across the nationâ€”from AnMelvin Priester Jr. niston, Ala., to Atlanta, Ga., to Yarber and Ward 7â€™s Riverton, Wyo.â€”have offered Margaret Barrett-Simon the program to their residents eventually withdrew the item since 2010 when the NLC befrom discussion. gan offering it. â€œWe had two briefings While it is not clear on this,â€? where USP reprewhether business owners could sentatives came to Jackson to participate in the program, the speak with the council and warranties would cover the cost answer questions, Yarber said. of expensive water- and sewerâ€œI felt that it was being politiline repairs for residents who cized, so I pulled it.â€? He added choose to purchase a warranty. that he will be speaking to his Jackson City Councilfellow council members to asman Tony Yarber, of Ward 6, suage their doubts. is an advocate for bringing the â€œIf Iâ€™ve got four votes to Some Jackson City Council members want to introduce a program to Jackson. For a low move it, Iâ€™ll put it back on the warranty program that give provide homeowners and perhaps monthly rate, he said, homeagenda,â€? Yarber said. businesses relief if and when their pipes burst. owners could quickly get needBarrett-Simon said dured repairs to water and sewer ing the council meeting that pipes on (or under) their properties without to the city and would use area plumbers to the National League of Cities and the cithaggling with the city. make repairs. ies that have put the program in place have â€œAs a result of the (Environmental Proâ€œThe work is performed by licensed, thoroughly vetted the program. tection Agency) consent decree, residents will local plumbers who will call the customer â€œItâ€™s negligent of us â€Ś not to offer this be forced to do repairs if there are issues with within one hour of filing a claim,â€? the Util- (to homeowners),â€? she said. their lines,â€? Yarber told the Jackson Free Press. ity Service Partners website states. â€œThe reIf the warranty were to be offered to Under the consent decree, the city will pair is performed professionally and quickly, business owners, Lundemo said Rainbow do â€œsmokeâ€? tests to test lines throughout the typically within 24 hours. USP provides a could be interested. â€œIt sounds like it would city, but USP does not cover repairs that result personally staffed 24/7 repair hotline for resi- be a wise business decision to take that kind from failed smoke tests. Still, Yarber said the dents, 365 days a year.â€? of insurance,â€? he said. program could provide a way to mitigate some Yarber brought one aspect of the proComment at jfp.ms.
hen employees at Rainbow Natural Grocery Co-op on Old Canton Road arrived to open the store Feb. 8, they discovered a familiar problem. The store was flooded. But unlike previous deluges, Rainbow couldnâ€™t blame this incident on rain. A water pipe under Montgomery Hardware (Rainbowâ€™s neighbor to the south) had burst, causing problems for businesses as far as a block away at Babalu Tacos and Tapas on Duling Avenue. The break resulted in a standoff: Montgomeryâ€™s owner, who does not live in Jackson, maintained that the break wasnâ€™t his problem and that the city should fix it. The city pushed the responsibility back onto the property owner. The cityâ€™s position is that its liability ends at the street. The disagreement left Rainbow with little choice: Fix the pipe or shut down until someone else got around to it. â€œWe were one of the four businesses affected where water was really crucial to our existence,â€? Rainbowâ€™s CEO Luke Lundemo said. He said Rainbow would probably fight the city over the cost of the repairs, because city statutes are unclear over whose responsibility it was to fix the line. Lundemo said he has yet to receive a bill from the contractor, who worked all day Saturday and into the night to resolve the issue. The city has made at least one ineffective attempt to fix the problem, and Jackson has delayed a Fondren enhancement project that would address that issue, among others. Between the cityâ€™s aging water and sewer systems and sub-freezing weather, broken pipes have become a contentious is-
LEGISLATURE: Week 7
99 Problems by R.L. Nave
he city of Greenwood and one absenteeism, Tackett said. mittee and Senate Finance committee are of its major employers, Viking Companies like Viking that have considering the legislation. Range LLC, seem like a lesson in implemented wellness programs could contrasts. be eligible for tax credits under proposed Futile Systems The Mississippi Delta, of which legislation now under consideration in the As the Mississippi Legislature beGreenwood occupies the eastern edge, is Mississippi Legislature. The Workplace gan the process of assembling—and deone of the poorest and least bating—the state budget, healthy regions of the naDemocrats attempted to tion. Viking, which makes paint their Republican colkitchen appliances, is recleagues into a corner over ognized internationally for pay raises for state workers, the quality of the sleek, education spending and stainless steel high-end apMedicaid expansion. pliances it has manufacThe House and Senate tured in Mississippi since completed passing the first 1989. versions of more than 100 “Being located where appropriations bills for the we are, we see lots of emproposed $6 billion budget ployees with pre-diabetic for 2015. Budget negotiaand diabetic issues and tors have until the end of heart-health issues,” Beth March to decide on a final Tackett, Viking’s humanspending program. resources director, told In considering Rep. Cecil Brown singlehandedly tried to amend a spending bill the Jackson Free Press in a spending requests for to expand the Medicaid program to cover hundreds of thousands more Mississippians. phone interview. more than two dozen Plus, with the Delta state agencies, minorfacing a shortage of primaity-caucus Democrats atry-care physicians, Tackett tempted to amend each said the company stepped up and be- Wellness Tax Credit in a state income appropriation bill to give state workcome more proactive in the health of their tax credit to help offset 50 percent of the ers about a $1,000 pay increase. workers. The answer was developing an cost of the wellness programs. Backers of Herb Frierson, R-Poplarville, who employee wellness program, which later the bill say the credit would be capped at chairs the Appropriations Committee, included setting up a clinic exclusively for around $20,000 in credits per company accused Democrats of playing politics Viking employees and their families. per year for qualified programs. by forcing several recorded roll-call votes Viking’s wellness program includes “A pedometer program is not a well- on the pay-raise amendments for various opening up some of the company’s renown ness program,” said Murray Harber, exec- agencies. Frierson said the state can’t afcooking classes, which can cost $150 to utive director at the Mississippi Business ford the estimated $39 million plan re$200 for members of the public, to em- Group on Health, referring to programs quired under the Democratic proposal or ployees with heart health issues at no cost. where participants track and record the Rep. Johnny Stringer, D-Montrose. The clinic, staffed by a nurse practitioner, number of steps they take each day. Under the recommended budget serves Viking’s three manufacturing sites Qualified programs would have to for fiscal year 2015, which begins July 1, in Greenwood. Combined, the programs include behavioral change, employee en- teachers would get raise, but other state are designed to make employees feel bet- gagement and health awareness compo- employees would not. Frierson said top ter about themselves, which cuts down on nents. The House Ways and Means Com- budget writers talked about including a
February 26 - March 4, 2014
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raise for most workers. “We wanted to do it. And we ran out of money,” Frierson told the House. Stringer said many state employees haven’t had a raise in seven years. He was Appropriations Committee chairman from early 2004 to early 2012, when Democrats held the House majority. Stringer offered several more payraise amendments Thursday, as did Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, during debate over the K-12 public-education budget. “We didn’t have revenue back then, but the economy has picked up,” Stringer said. Meanwhile, a very early version of the Medicaid bill passed with relative ease despite a Democratic attempt to amend it to cover more Mississippians. The amendment from Brown failed along a mostly party-line vote of 52 supporting and 64 voting against it. In December, researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham published a report showing that Mississippi taxpayers would spend $579 million between 2014 and 2020 to expand Medicaid, which the federal Affordable Care Act allows, but Mississippi Republicans have rejected. However, the state would draw more than $1.4 billion in tax revenues as a result, and generate more than $14 billion in total new economic activity. It would also create 20,000 new jobs and provide an $848 million increase in net state and local tax revenues. Those benefits would eventually trickle down to cities and counties. Jackson would get the biggest boost, representing more than $1 billion in total economic activity over the seven-year period between 2014 and 2020; Medicaid expansion would also mean 2,712 new jobs for the capital-city area, the UAB researchers determined.
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TALK | education
by Ronni Mott
J TRIP BURNS
ackson Public Schools is on track with its programs for disabled children, Superintendent Cedrick Gray announced Monday, lifting the threat of losing its accreditation over violations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. “When I first came to JPS as superintendent, I inherited a special-education program facing many complicated challenges,” Gray said during a brief press conference. “However, through a collaborative effort with the Mississippi Department of Educa-
JPS Superintendent Cedrick Gray announced Monday that the district has met the state’s conditions and the guidelines set forth in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and will keep its accreditation as a result.
tion, or MDE, we have made a significant difference in improving conditions in exceptional education.” Gray said that through numerous site visits and evaluations, MDE and a dedicated JPS team have corrected all non-compliance issues based on 21 student files. “Substantial progress has been made as a result of our corrective action plan,” Gray said. “It should be noted that although we have climbed this particular mountain, we still have mountains to climb,” Gray said. Those “mountains” are in a sustainability plan to address on-going issues for disabled students, and include organization, discipline and individual education plans for the students. MDE still needs to give its final approval, which Gray expects to receive in April. The actions probably come too late for the teenagers named in the 2010 lawsuit that prompted the changes. The Southern Poverty Law Center accused the district of suspending students with learning or emotional disabilities because of behavior stemming from their disabilities. School officials frequently sent the youngsters to the Capital City Alternative
School instead of helping the children stay in their regular school. The suit, outlined in a January 2012 Jackson Free Press story, said that JPS handcuffed children to metal railings for minor disciplinary infractions, such as not wearing a belt, sassing a teacher or refusing to do homework. School authorities often left those children alone and cuffed for hours without food, water or access to a bathroom. The state Department of Education’s Office of Special Education launched an investigation in response to the suit, and found that JPS had “failed to address the ongoing pattern of behavioral and/or emotional concerns of the student cases reviewed.” MDE threatened to pull JPS’ accreditation if the district didn’t make substantive progress to correct its deficiencies. JPS received two extensions of the November 2012 deadline to come into compliance with the law. This announcement squeaked in under the final Feb. 28 deadline, which the Mississippi Board of Education granted the district last July. Psychologist Joy Hogge, executive director of Families as Allies and the Mississippi chapter of the national Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, attended the press conference. Families as Allies works with parents of disabled children, helping them navigate schools and mental-health resources to provide their children with the help they need and the public education they have a right to expect. While she’s optimistic about the work JPS has completed to retain its accreditation, it’s clear to Hogge that the district has additional work to do. “With some students at some schools, we have seen significant changes,” Hogge said, adding that JPS has many administrators and teachers who are dedicated to making sure disabled students receive the support they need to learn. While these are still isolated incidents, she is seeing students getting appropriate support more frequently. She emphasized, though, that the accreditation evaluation was based on only 21 students in a population of about 400 children enrolled in special education classes in the district. Hogge said that the schools have yet to identify all of the emotional- and learningdisabled children in their care. “I don’t doubt that those 21 children … met compliance, but there are so many more children,” Hogge said. “I haven’t heard any information about what’s going to happen with that greater group.” Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email Ronni Mott at email@example.com. Read the 2012 JFP story at jfp.ms/jps_handcuffs.
Spring 2014 | www.millsaps.edu/conted | 601-974-1130 Course Arts and Crafts
Digital Photo Editing Basic Glass Fusion Beginning Basketry Beginning Photography Bob Ross Painting: Landscape Bob Ross Painting: Oceanscape Botanical Drawing Calligraphy Creating Your Own Art Fabric Fine Silver Jewelry Making with Dichroic Glass Mosaics Knitting a Sock or Vest Oil Painting Paint & Antique Furniture Like a Pro Pottery/ Sculpture Spring/Summer Oil Painting Watercolor Painting
Ron Blaylock Laura Tarbutton Linda Mann Ron Blaylock Michael Hughes Michael Hughes Dain Hayes Betsy Greener Rhonda Blasingame Laura Tarbutton Teresa Haygood Donna Peyton Thomas C. Morrison Latresa Enns Thomas C. Morrison Laurel Schoolar Laurel Schoolar
Health and Fitness Boxers Rebellion Hybrid Kickboxing Line Dance for Fun and Fitness liveRIGHTnow Tabatas Tai Chi Yoga for Everyone Zumba®
Jeremy Gordon Sandra Plunkett Terry Sullivan Mike Chadwick Sally Holly Ashleigh Risher
Heritage and History Basic Military Genealogical Research Jackson’s North State Street Mississippi’s Antebellum Architecture Ronald Reagan as a Man of Ideas
Jeff Giambrone Todd Sanders Todd Sanders Michael Reinhard
Home and Garden Gardening and Plants for Small Spaces How to Use Art in Your Landscape Landscape Design Lawn Care 101 and Beyond
Felder Rushing Rick Griffin Rick Griffin Felder Rushing
Language and Literature Conversational French Conversational Spanish How to Sell What You Write Jane Austen Book Club: Lady Susan To Tell the Truth: Creative Nonfiction Writing and Selling Short Stories
Robert Kahn Robert Kahn James Dickerson Carolyn Brown Ellen Ann Fentress John Floyd
Money and Business Fundraising Ethics Basics of Investing Becoming a Better Board Volunteer Board Service 101 Exploring Entrepreneurship
Joe Donovan Mark A. Maxwell Joe Donovan Joe Donovan Joe Donovan
Music Adult Group Piano for Beginners Beginning Guitar Beginning Harmonica
Christy Turner Jimmy Turner Scott Albert Johnson
Special Offerings ACT Test Prep Course All Things Wine Backyard Astronomy Basics of Birding Improvisational Acting Southern Studies Spirituality, Romance, and Relationships
Leonard Blanton John Malanchak Jim Waltman Chris King Jim Fraiser Nell Knox Bob Nevels
Summer Enrichment for Youth Advanced Drawing for the Young Artist Birding Camp Conversational Spanish for Children Discovering the Young Artist Manners with Ms. Wright Mental Math Puppets and Plays Reading and Writing in College Song and Stage Summer Guitar Workshop
Kenny Richardson Chris King Christianne Pinell-Jansen Kenny Richardson DeAnn Wright Christianne Pinell-Jansen Peter Zapletal Anita DeRouen Chrissy Hrivnak Jimmy Turner
JPS to Keep Accreditation
Long and Winding Road
ig Roscoe: â€œThis has been Clubb Chicken Wingâ€™s Hot Wing Happy Hour Open-Mic Poetry Jam. Tonight, the poets, artists and activists really shared their souls with the people. I hope you enjoyed our hot wings while indulging in hot topics. Our last artist on the mic is the Unknown Satirical Poet who will address class tensions in America by sharing his altered version Paul McCartneyâ€™s â€˜Long and Winding Road.â€™â€? â€œThe long and winding road That leads to your revolving door Will never disappear Weâ€™ve seen that road before It always leads us here to remain unhappy and poor. The wild and scary day When the great recession came our way Left the poor and middle class in a pool of tears Crying every day Why you left us standing here What a price to pay. Many times weâ€™ve been so broke And many times weâ€™ve cried Any way youâ€™ll never know or care about The many jobs weâ€™ve applied.
Those cuts to unemployment insurance and food stamps still lead us back To the long winding road You left the working class waiting here Around thirty years ago Donâ€™t leave the poor folk standing here Let us come through your door. But still politics and greed lead poor and middle class back To the long winding road You left 99 percent of us waiting here A long, long time ago Donâ€™t be surprised when we get tired of standing here And break through your doooooor.â€?
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February 26 - March 4, 2014