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trip burns

JACKSONIAN Grace MacMaster


s a senior in high school in Zeeland, Mich., Grace MacMaster entered a program at Careerline Tech Center, allowing her to attend a graphic-design and visual communications class for half the school day. There, she learned how to successfully communicate through graphic design. In 2011, MacMaster entered a nationwide contest called Doodle 4 Google, where Google provides a theme with which gradeschool contestants build a Google logo design. The theme that year was “What I Would Like to Do Someday,” and MacMaster focused her design around seeing the Seven Wonders of the World. She placed in the top 40 regional finalists out of about 107,000 entries, and her work, along with those of the other finalists, was displayed at the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The Ontario, Canada, native now attends Belhaven University and plans to graduate with a graphic-design degree in December. But graphic design is not her first passion. MacMaster, now 20, initially enrolled at Belhaven as a violin performance major, which she continued with only for one semester. “I didn’t want music to become a chore,” she says. “I found that I want to be able to play the music because I love it, not for a grade.” When MacMaster made the transition between majors, she was also considering what she would need to be successful in life.


“I thought that (a career in) graphic design would allow me to be able to do music because I enjoy it, instead of the stress of having to make my entire living off it,” she says. “With what I hope to do with music, I don’t know if I need to (major in it).” Besides, the classical style of playing that Belhaven focuses on doesn’t exactly mesh with what MacMaster does. When she was 9 years old, she started playing the fiddle and taking classical lessons. “I always knew that I wanted to focus on the Cape Breton fiddling style,” she says. Her grandfather, Alexander H. MacMaster, was from Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. “They have a really strong musical culture there that’s very distinct.” When MacMaster came to Jackson for college, she didn’t think she’d find outlets for fiddling. While here, however, she has played at Fenian’s Pub several times, and she performed at CelticFest in 2013. MacMaster hasn’t decided what she’ll do or where she’ll go after graduation, but she is considering doing freelance design work or finding an agency to work with. “I have a real interest in illustration and combining it with design, so (I would like) to develop that further,” MacMaster says. She already does a lot of illustration, and often adds hand-drawn elements to her digital work. She also has hopes of releasing an album of fiddle music. —Briana Robinson

Cover design by Jesse Flowers

6 The Mudslingin’ Begins?

As the Jackson mayor’s race goes into high gear, automated robocalls are popping up discouraging candidate Margaret Barrett-Simon, among others.

31 Costumes, Color and Charity

It’s spring, and that means it’s race season. Check out the upcoming themed and for-charity 5Ks and fun runs hitting Jackson over the next few months.

37 Through the Lens

“I like portraits because I like interacting with people and capturing and looking at people’s emotions. One of the reasons I love photographing in the South—like Jackson, the Delta and New Orleans—is the people. The people are what make up these areas and places.” —James Patterson, “A Photographer’s Eye”

4 ............................. Editor’s Note 6 ............................................ Talks 14 ................................. editorial 15 ..................................... opinion 16 ............................. Cover Story 22 ......................................... GOOD 29 ...................... Zippity Doo Dah 31 .................................. Wellness 33 ................................ Parenting 33 .................... Girl About Town 34 .......................................... Food 37 ............................... Diversions 38 ........................................ 8 Days 40 ................................ JFP Events 42 ........................................ music 44 ...................................... sports 47 ..................................... Puzzles 49 ........................................ astro

trip burns; Trip Burns ; trip burns

March 19 - 25, 2014 | Vol. 12 No. 28


editor’s note

by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief

Proud to Be the Boss


had just finished giving an Overby talk on doing powerful journalism at Ole Miss when several young women stuck around to meet me. One was a short brunette woman who shook my hand enthusiastically and told me that she was “inspired” by my comments—which had been straight talk about the media business, corporate-media competition, and our mission to embrace and encourage diversity. Another was a tall student with long, straight blonde hair who reminded me of myself in younger years. She firmly shook my hand, looked me straight in the eye and told me a bit about herself and how she’d like to get involved with the JFP in the future. I saw immediately that these were young women with the confidence and passion to be leaders, hopefully in doing meaningful journalism. Mission accomplished. Before my lecture, I had tagged along with my partner Todd as he gave a talk to a digital-marketing class. It so happened that the entire class was female, except for one guy who had to leave early. They seemed focused and attentive. But at one point, expecting to see every hand go up, I asked them how many hoped to own their own business one day. None of the women raised a hand. I was stunned. As a woman who became my own boss in no small part due to the sexism I encountered while working for other people, I know what lies ahead for many of them as they try to become leaders in their fields, if they even choose to. Here’s what could happen based on my personal experiences. If she openly shows ambition and tries to climb in her field, she will be called selfish, and God help her if she decides to delay or forego having children in order to devote herself to her calling. When she starts managing other people, many men and women will act differently toward her instructions and feedback than if she were male. She may well be called a “ball buster”

or a “bully” because she responds decisively, including to an employee talking to her abusively because he or she doesn’t like to be criticized (especially by a woman). If she chooses to be direct and unapologetic about her management role—as men tend to be—she will be called aggressive at best and, often, a “bitch.” I had three male bosses in New York City who called me a lesbian to another male editor who sat next to me (and who often pointed out how they

We wonder why those girls have tiny, fearful voices. treated me completely differently than him). Some male and female employees will decide she is unlikeable and “difficult” simply because she is a woman in charge. (See Heidi/Howard, page 22.) She will often be interrupted in meetings, and if she serves on a board, the chairman may cut her off long before the males. She may also have to endure dirty jokes or even be asked to go to a fellow board member’s room to watch porn with him as one of my fellow board members, a powerful publisher, was at a convention we attended. She may also fly across the country to interview for an editor’s job and have the male interviewer try to get her to spend the night with him. If she has the courage to express her opinion in public, she will be called stupid and maybe a slut or a c*nt, and comments about her body will replace intelligent responses to her remarks. If she’s really lucky, some blogger might post a drawing of

her with a leash around her long-time partner’s neck because, you know, he must be “whipped” to put up with her kind. People will, inevitably, lie about her. And, perhaps my favorite, if she talks or writes publicly about all these sexist responses to her, she will be labeled bitter and angry. See how this cycle works? The truth is that I’m not bitter or anger about the misogynistic garbage directed toward me. I decided a long time ago that I didn’t need anyone’s permission to speak my mind or run a good publication with high standards. I have studied the research on gender-based double standards, and I’m Teflon about it at this point. (My mantra: “Excellent work is the best response.”) But I do worry about our young women and the messages they are getting—even now in 2014. I hate it when I speak to a class and the young women don’t have the confidence to weigh in and ask questions. (Women will often wait around after class, instead, especially in classrooms where males tend to dominate, often with the help of teachers who call on them more.) I remember well not having the confidence to speak up in a class or weighing everything I was going to say before I said it. And I know how much that fear limits female potential. I’m also saddened when girls use tiny little voices you can hardly hear and their handshakes are so meek that you can barely feel them. And it does make me angry that, here in Mississippi, people (and candidates) frequent and even advertise on websites that use violent language toward women (like one blogger who said he hoped a powerful female attorney’s breast implants would explode—not that she had breast implants, mind you). So, what else will they support? It’s also extremely not cool that most other media outlets in Mississippi tend to have female columnists write about entertainment and being a mother, and allow

their male staffers to write (often poorly) about politics and policy. And we wonder why so many girls have tiny, fearful voices? They are being robbed of opportunities by our culture and our gender bias—and our community plays along. I applaud Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg for using her success and platform to draw attention to the cultural attempts to keep women in our places. Her book, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” and now her #banbossy campaign to get people to stop criticizing girls for being “too bossy” (see page 22) are needed calls to action to get women and men alike to pay attention to what our society is still doing to our girls: limiting their potential. Ironically, much of the response to Sandberg proves her point. She, along with supporters like Beyoncé, are slammed (including by women) for their “stupid” efforts; these people clearly haven’t spent any time on the site to see what it’s actually all about. Sandberg is also criticized for her success: Apparently, such a “privileged” woman cannot understand the plight of everyday women who are too busy feeding their kids to even worry about being called “bossy,” or so they contend angrily. But here’s the thing: These kinds of words and reactions are an attempt to keep women “in our place”—in the boardroom or in the trailer park. This brand of sexism and belittlement of our success, on whatever level, makes it harder for women—whether Sandberg or someone who grew up in a trailer, as I did—to stay the course for women. We must, however. Every woman must stay loud and be proud to be the boss and seek leadership roles in our community. We owe it to the young women coming up behind us to show how it’s done. I suggest letting every attempt to silence you make you stronger. That, indeed, is the best response. I promise.

March 19 - 25, 2014



Jesse Flowers

Anna Wolfe

Graphic Design Intern Jesse Flowers is a Delta native and graduate of Delta State University with degrees in graphic design and painting. In his free time, he paints, travels and attends electronic music festivals. He designed the cover.

Anna Wolfe is a senior communication major at Mississippi State who strives to use writing as a tool to advance social justice. There, she writes for The Reflector and the Starkville Free Press. She wrote the Personhood story for this issue.

Kathleen M. Mitchell Demetrice Sherman Features Editor Kathleen Mitchell is passionate about a world where little girls (and boys) can grow up to be anything they want to be. Her best friends are her Sheroes. She wrote part of the GOOD Ideas package.

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 contributed to the Zippity Doo Dah cover package.

Briana Robinson

R.L. Nave

Christina Spann

Trip Burns

Music Editor Briana Robinson wants to become an expert on all things music. Her other passions include dance and photography. Send her the music scoop at briana@jack 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@ or call him at 601-362-6121 ext. 12. He contributed to talks.

Ridgeland native Christina Spann is working on her master’s degrees in public policy and administration. She enjoys making people laugh and has a passion to change the face of public school education. She wrote an arts story.

Staff Photographer Trip Burns is a graduate of the University of Mississippi where he studied English and sociology. He enjoys the films of Stanley Kubrick. He took many photos for the issue.

5      !

“A parent is the best person to judge what’s best for their child, but we are the best judge of how to spend public money.”

Michelle Byrom may be innocent. Will the state execute her anyway? p 10

—State Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, talking about a controversial bill to give $6,000 vouchers for special-needs students.

Friday, March 14 President Obama tells medical website WebMD that 4.2 million people enrolled for health care this year, enough to make his signature law work. … The search for the missing Malaysian jetliner expands east and west after American officials said it was emitting signals to satellites for hours after its last contact with air traffic control nearly a week ago over the South China Sea. Saturday, March 15 The Malaysian government announces findings that strongly suggest the missing jet was hijacked and may have flown as far north as Central Asia or south into the Indian Ocean. Sunday, March 16 A new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press reveals that the Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

March 19 - 25, 2014

Monday, March 17 Crimea declares independence from Ukraine a day after 97 percent of the region’s residents voted in a referendum to join Russia.


Tuesday, March 18 President Obama belatedly awards the Medal of Honor to 24 Army veterans who served during World War II, Korea and Vietnam who were previously denied the award due to prejudice. Get breaking news at

by R.L. Nave


hen the robots begin calling, you know race has begun. Before she announced that she had indeed decided to seek the mayor’s office, Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon was already the target of automated robocalls. “Our councilwoman is making a deal with a backroom politician,” said one such call. “Call her and tell her to let Tony Yarber win the mayor’s seat on his own. Please call our councilman, Margaret Barrett-Simon, and ask her not to make a deal with the powerbroker(s) that want to control the future of our city.” The suggestion is that Barrett-Simon got in the race to help Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber by pulling away votes from Yarber’s foes in the race. Pam Confer, Yarber’s campaign communications director, did not address the allegation of a side deal between Yarber and Barrett-Simon, but did acknowledge that the campaign uses automatic calling services. “Robocalls allow Councilman Yarber to enter into the homes of Jacksonians and create a virtual conversation, where he can deliver his message,” and ask for support, Confer wrote the Jackson Free Press in an email responding to a phone message. Confer has not responded to followup calls from the Jackson Free Press to determine the content of his robocalls. For her part, Barrett-Simon has pledged that her campaign would not engage in such tactics. “I would also like to

Councilman Tony Yarber is using robocalls in his campaign for mayor. His campaign has not yet revealed the content, though.

call all of those who decide to enter the campaign to renounce the use of ‘robocalls’ and similar anonymous ‘hit and run’ methods,” Barrett-Simon wrote on Facebook last week. The robocalls are one aspect in the war of words that includes a battle over the radio airwaves, particularly on urban radio stations where several of the candidates are running advertisements. Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber and Chokwe Antar Lumumba, the son of the late mayor, are both running campaign advertising on WRBJ 97.7 and WJMI 99.7, both of which target young listeners

of modern hip-hop and R&B music. Ward 2 Councilman Melvin Priester Jr. has reportedly begun airing a television ad. Sen. John Horhn also has a radio ad that he is airing on older and more conservative outlets, including a local blog that targets white conservatives. The candidates’ advertising choices reflect a desire to connect either directly with their bases or to shore up support among some groups where they aren’t as strong. For example, in addition to advertising on conservative media, during his announcement to seek the mayor’s office last week, Horhn addressed head-on the

A Woman’s Words I

’ve mentioned that several female friends and I share a Pinterest board dedicated to honoring our Sheroes (our lady heroes, obviously). How well do you know the iconic, powerful women in our world, past and present? Match the Sheroes below with either a quote attributed to them, or a description of what makes them great.

by Kathleen M. Mitchell

1. 2. 3. 4.

“A feminist is any woman who tells the truth about her life.” “You know what? B*tches get stuff done!” This woman is president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

When this Shero began anchoring NPR’s “All Things Considered” in 1972, she was the only woman broadcasting nightly news on national radio or TV.


“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”


This Shero was the first African American nurse in the U.S. Army and the only African American woman to publish a memoir of her wartime experiences.


Her Twitter biography includes these descriptors, among others: author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker.

8. 9.

“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

“I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading.”


“I do not wish women to have power over men; but power over themselves.”

a. Audre Lorde b. Susie King Taylor c. Hillary Clinton d. Madeleine Albright e. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley f. Amy Poehler g. Virginia Woolf h. Tina Fey i. Cecile Richards j. Susan Stamberg

Answer key: 1:g / 2:h / 3:i / 4:j / 5:a / 6:b / 7:c / 8:d / 9:f / 10:e

Thursday, March 13 Attorney General Eric Holder endorses a proposal for shorter prison sentences for many nonviolent drug traffickers, saying the change would rein in runaway federal prison costs and create a fairer criminal justice system. … President Obama signs a presidential memorandum directing the Labor Department to propose rules to expand the number of employees eligible for overtime pay.

War of Words Begins in Mayor’s Contest Trip Burns

Wednesday, March 12 In a diplomatic dig at Russia, President Obama hosts the new Ukrainian prime minister at the White House. On the same day, the Group of 7 world leaders say they won’t recognize results of a referendum for the Crimea region to split from Ukraine and join Russia.

“Whatever is passed must be constitutionally sound. Because we want to protect religious freedom, we do not want to pass a law that would possibly jeopardize religious freedom or work to weaken one’s right to religious freedom.”

—Diane Derzis, the owner of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, on a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

—Speaker Phil Gunn, R-Clinton, on a controversial ‘religious freedom’ that many believed was tantamount to legal discrimination.

issue of his November 2013 run-in with the Jackson Police Department. That encounter resulted in a charge of driving under the influence; later, an audio recording of the encounter suggested that Horhn attempted to use his influence in the Legislature to obtain leniency. Horhn, who also ran for Jackson

mayor in 2009, said he is used to opponents “throwing stones” at him, he said. “To be honest, I’ve probably thrown some of the biggest stones at myself for being in this situation,” Horhn added during his announcement at Cade Courtyard. The deadline to file paperwork to qualify in the race is today, Wednesday,

March 19. So far, only three individuals have filed paperwork to qualify for the April 8 special election. Francis P. Smith filed on Thursday; Albert Wilson and Kenneth A. Swarts have also filed paperwork to qualify to run for mayor. Others pursuing the seat include former Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. and

Immigrants Need Affordable College, Advocates Say by R.L. Nave

him from attending college. “These children, all they want is an opportunity to be treated equally,” Martinez testified. trip burns


he cost of enrolling full time at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College for an in-state resident is $1,150 per semester. Adrian Gamboa, a 20-year-old Biloxi native, pays almost twice that amount, $2,075, to take 12 hours’ worth of courses at the Jefferson Davis campus in Gulfport. That’s because Gamboa is an undocumented immigrant. And, even though he lives in Mississippi and attends the same college as some of his high-school classmates, Gamboa must pay the out-of-state tuition rate. Immigrant-rights advocates have been working to change the law to make college more affordable for Mississippi’s growing immigrant population. One proposal, House Bill 209—which Rep. Reecy Dickson, D-Macon, sponsored—failed to make it out of the House Education Committee this session. Rep. Greg Holloway, D-Hazlehurst, who sits on the committee, held a hearing at the capitol Monday afternoon to discuss the issue. Israel Martinez, a Jackson-area businessman who is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, testified Monday that the high cost of out-of-state-tuition has kept

Israel Martinez, a local businessman and immigrant, said high tuition costs for undocumented students prevented him from going to college.

Information from the National Immigration Law Center shows that 16 states, many of which have large immigrant communities, already allow undocumented students to pay the same in-state fees as their

peers at higher learning institutions. Experts in the states that have already passed this legislation say the cost of implementation has been negligible. In-state tuition is not the same as free tuition. It is a discount, but in fact the money these students pay actually tends to increase school revenues because it represents income that would not otherwise be there. The bottom line is that our economic future depends on educating these young people. NILC representatives argue that in states where colleges have evened the playing field for immigrant students, the cost to taxpayers has been “negligible.” Dr. Debra West, representing the Mississippi Community College Board, said the board had no official position on the legislation and wanted to make college affordable for all students. Rep. Holloway told the Jackson Free Press that questions about how much changing the rules would cost taxpayers needed to be addressed. He said he could propose commissioning a study panel to review the issue and make recommendations for a future session. Comment at Email R.L. Nave at

SMG, manager of the Jackson Convention Complex, has issued a Request for Quote (RFQ) for Way Finding Signage (Phase 2): For more information and instructions on how to respond, please visit: about/business

Priester, who rose to the position of the city council president after Lumumba’s death. Regina Quinn has also said she’s in the race, but has not held an official announcement event. Watch for breaking campaign news. Email News Editor R.L. Nave at

Upcoming Mayoral Debates March 20 at 6 p.m. — Mayoral Forum Hosts: West Central Jackson Improvement Association (WCJIA) Location: Johnnie Champion Center (1355 Hattiesburg St.) Moderator: Dr. Rickey Hill, Interim Chair of Jackson State University’s Department of Political Science Contact: Renee Shakespeare, 601-2011445 or March 27 at 7-9 p.m. — Mayoral Debate (Live on WLBT and Hosts: Jackson Chamber of Commerce and WLBT 3 Location: TBA Contact: Cynthia Buchanan, Executive Vice President, Jackson Chamber of Commerce, 601948-7575 or cbuchanan@ Contact: John Ditto, Chairman, Jackson Chamber of Commerce, john@ April 4, time TBA — Mayoral Debate Hosts: Clarion-Ledger and WAPT-TV Location: Mississippi College School of Law


Light Industrial and Clerical /Administrative Positions!

ctic eatery s will bring ”

“They have been posturing and wasting the taxpayers’ money for the last month on that piece of legislation, and every legislator there knows that.”

Apply online TodAy 7


Cancer. Obesity. Heart Disease. The list of problems can be long. The solutions are not always immediately evident. But discouraged is not a welcome word at The University of Southern Mississippi. Resilient and determined sound much better to us. Those characteristics are why we’re known for embracing

challenges, whether in the form of hurricanes, tornadoes, or top-ranked athletic teams. It’s also why the National Institutes of Health recently invested

an additional $18 million

in Southern Miss to lead research efforts for studying an array of diseases.

That we’re the leader in safety and security for the nation’s largest sports venues. That we’re making the world a better place for future generations.

March 19 - 25, 2014

Take a closer look at Southern Miss. You’ll find we are more than meets the eye.



AA/EOE/ADAI UC 70436.5016 3.14

You might be surprised that we’re developing materials used in aircrafts and ships.


Face Off Over Drug Testing, ‘Religious Freedom’


ath is hard to argue with. During debate over one of Gov. Phil Bryant’s pet bills to randomly test recipients of Temporary Assistance Needy Families, a monthly cash subsidy program for working poor people, Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, laid out the numbers. House Bill 49 proposes to issue written screening tests to people applying for TANF benefits. A third party, such as a private company, would review the screenings and determine which individuals might be drug abusers. Those possible addicts would then be tested for drugs and, if they test positive, they would have to enter a treatment program or lose their benefits, which average about $140 per month. There is no fiscal note outlining the cost to taxpayers, but supporters of HB 49 have said cited costs in other states that have similar programs. In Utah, for example, that state pays $1.25 per paper screening test, $50 per drug test and about $300 for each person to go through two months of drug treatment. So, Blount said, assuming the state tests half the approximately 10,000 families in Mississippi receiving TANF benefits, at a cost $1.25 per screen, it would cost the state $6,250 per year. If 10 percent of those individuals test positive and require addiction counseling, it could cost Mississippians as much as $300,000 per year. Compare to the $16,800 per year in benefits those individuals would have otherwise received, Blount said. “If you think that’s a fiscally conservative, sound use of money, then you need to vote for this bill,” he added. The bill, which has already passed the House, is likely headed for Bryant’s signature. The ACLU of Mississippi opposed the bill, but would say if it would seek an injunction against its implementation. GOP Saves Face on RFRA Despite their best efforts to whip up


by R.L. Nave

Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, called out fiscal conservatives for pushing a measure that could mean spending $300,000 on drug tests for welfare recipients.

enough votes for passage, supporters of the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, proposal had to change course just before a critical legislative deadline. The Mississippi House of Representatives passed the RFRA—Senate Bill 2681— proposal 80 to 37 after its Republican sponsors, in a face-saving move, amended it to create a legislative study panel. The amended bill keeps a provision that would add the phrase “In God We Trust” into the state seal, but removes controversial language that civilliberties groups argued could clear the way for Jim Crow-style legalized discrimination. After dispensing with most other items on the calendar, the House went into a series of recesses in an apparent attempt for the Republican leadership to convince fellow Republicans to support the bill. When it became clear that the votes were not there, Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, offered the study committee as an alternative. “It is our First Amendment right to worship the God we want to worship,” said

Gipson, who added that protecting that right was too important to outright kill SB 2681. “We need a well-reasoned bill that protects our religious freedom,” Gipson said. The study committee will consist of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, and is required to have its first meeting no later than June 1 and have at least three meetings total, which would be open to the public; the bill also requires the committee to submit a report of its findings by the end of 2014. However, some speculation exists that supporters of SB 2681 will try to complete the process before the conclusion of the legislative session in early April. House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, endorsed the call for more study, saying that the House’s own attorneys had “differing views as to the legal impact of this bill.” “We have been diligently working to analyze all the concerns with this bill, but simply have not had enough time to thoroughly scrutinize all the concerns that seem to surround this bill, given that we only re-

ceived it a short time ago,” Gunn said in a press release. Pressure has been building on Mississippi lawmakers since the original bill passed the Mississippi Senate on Jan. 31. It was similar to a measure that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed last week. Critics said the Arizona measure could lead to discrimination against gay people and other groups by, for example, allowing a baker to refuse to make a cake for a same-sex couple. Gipson’s proposal said government cannot put a substantial burden on the practice of religion without a compelling reason. It said a person whose religious practice has been, or is likely to be, substantially burdened may cite that violation in either suing others or as a defense against a lawsuit. The ACLU of Mississippi and other SB 2681 opponents are still against the bill, arguing that it is vaguely worded and subject to broad interpretation. “The ACLU of Mississippi remains concerned that the status of SB 2681 continues to open the door to discrimination against any group based on religious objections. The study does no more than keep this potential license to discriminate alive,” Jennifer A. Riley-Collins, executive director of the state chapter of the ACLU, said in an emailed statement to the press. Rep. Chuck Espy, D-Clarksdale, called SB 2681 a potential “Pandora’s box.” “I hope at the end of the process, this bill doesn’t turn into something else,” Espy said. That’s highly possible. SB 2681 will likely go to a joint Senate-House conference committee, where it could be restored to its original form and sent along to Bryant. Even though Bryant proposed changing the state seal, he has not spoken publicly about SB 2681. In light of Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision to veto the legislative proposal in that state amid concerns from the business community. Comment

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TALK | justice

An Innocent Woman?

Michelle Byrom vs. Mississippi by Ronni Mott Junior didn’t escape abuse, either. “[I] was fixing to go to bed when my dad came in, and said, ‘What do you think your [sic] doing coming in at this time?’ and before I could answer, he shoves me down, and my back hits the book shelf, and I begin to get up, and he grabs me and slaps me twice, and says, ‘You were a

“It just hasn’t seem to gotten through that people in horribly abusive situations are doing things that don’t look reasonable, like taking rat poison so she can stay in the hospital and get some temporary relief from the situation,” Yoder said. “That’s not a strategy that looks reasonable, (but in the hospital) nobody’s actuTrip burns


‘Happening Now’ If Mississippi executes Michelle, now 56, she will be the first woman the state has put to death in 70 years. It may also be a horrible injustice. “John Grisham couldn’t write this story,” said Warren Yoder, executive director of the Public Policy Center of Mississippi, in an

courtesy MDOC

March 19 - 25, 2014


sit in my room for a good 1 1/2-2 hours, and dad comes in my room, and goes off on me, calling me bastard, nogood, mistake, and telling me I’m inconciderate [sic] and just care about my self, and he slaps me, then goes back to his room. “As I sat on my bed, tears of rage flowing, remembering my childhood my anger kept building and building, and I went to my car, got the 9mm, and walked to his room, peeked in, and he was asleep. I walked about 2 steps in the door, and screamed, and shut my eyes, when I heard him move, I started firing. When I opened my eyes again, I freaked! I grabbed what casings I saw, and threw them into the bushes, grabbed the gun, and went to town.” Edward Byrom Jr. confessed to murdering his father, Edward Byrom Sr., on June 4, 1999, in a letter to his mother, excerpted above. One of at least four known confessions—there are two additional letters and a statement to his court-appointed psychologist—it might have been evidence to convict “Junior” for murder. Instead, Tishomingo County deputies arrested Junior as part of a murder-for-hire conspiracy. Junior’s friend Joey Gillis was the shooter, they said, and his mother, Michelle Byrom, was the mastermind. Junior led police to the murder weapon, though. And only Junior had gunpowder residue on his hands. He made a deal. Junior testified against his mother in return for a reduced sentence. The prosecutor’s theory, based on Junior’s statements (which police subsequently lost) was that Michelle planned to pay Gillis $15,000 for the hit from the proceeds of Edward Sr.’s life insurance. “When they got me here, I gave them a bullsh*t story after another, trying to save my own ass, but when (Tishomingo County Sheriff) David Smith started questioning me, and told me what happened, I was so scared, confused, and high, I just started spitting the first thought out, which turned in to this big conspiracy thing, for money, which was all BS, that’s why I had so many different stories,” Junior wrote in his letter. Junior walked out of prison last year. Gillis, whom prosecutors said Michelle paid to kill her husband, got an even lighter sentence. Mississippi released Gillis in 2009. Michelle is now down to what could be her final appeal. On Feb. 24, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, and Jim Hood, Mississippi’s attorney general, requested an execution date: March 27.

Michelle Byrom, 56, is serving a sentence at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl for the 1999 murder of her husband. Despite serious questions about her guilt, Byrom is scheduled to be executed on March 27. She would be the first woman Mississippi has put to death in seven decades.

interview with the Jackson Free Press. “In any reasonable world, this would be a short story by Flannery O’Connor,” Yoder wrote in an email. “Instead, it is happening now in our Mississippi.” Junior’s confession isn’t the only evidence the jury did not get to see. Sexual and domestic violence filled Michelle’s life. The abuse was so severe that she became mentally ill, doctors said. Evidence indicated that her stepfather, Harold Postalwait, sexually abused her for years and forced her to work as a prostitute. When Michelle was 15, she ran away from home and became a stripper. That year, Michelle met Edward Byrom Sr., then 31, and moved in with him. Under Mississippi law, Edward Sr. was guilty of statutory rape; the age of consent is 16. Junior arrived three years later, and Michelle and Edward Sr. married when Junior was 5. Continuing what her stepfather began, Edward Sr. verbally and physically abused Michelle. He forced her to have sex with other men, which he videotaped. “I wish I could say this is unusual,” Yoder said of the case.

f*cking mistake to begin with!’ and shuts my door and leaves,” he wrote. “… He was always like that.” “I wish I could unread those letters,” Yoder said. “Those are searing—a descent into madness.” Michelle tried to leave Edward Sr., but his threats of violence always dragged her back. It’s a familiar story for domesticviolence victims, especially those with few resources. The prosecution’s response is familiar, too: Blame victims for not leaving—even though that can get them killed. “There’s been arguments made that maybe Eddie wasn’t the husband or the father that he should’ve been,” prosecutor Arch Bullard said during Michelle’s trial. “… Why didn’t she just leave him? Why didn’t she divorce him? Why didn’t she seek sanctuary somewhere else?” Dr. Keith A. Caruso, a forensic psychiatrist who has testified in numerous deathpenalty trials, diagnosed Michelle with borderline personality disorder, depression, alcoholism and Münchausen syndrome, a serious mental illness that caused her to ingest rat poison to make herself ill.

ally abusing her right this minute.” Michelle’s mental disorders are consistent with abuse, Caruso said. “If I had been called to testify … I would have offered the opinion that … she was inclined to harm herself and act in a self-defeating manner, so that she was psychologically unable to leave the abusive relationship with her husband,” he said in a March 19, 2013, affidavit. Michelle also suffers from lupus, anemia, chronic pain from a dog attack and numerous surgeries, fibromyalgia and severe hypertension. She was on at least nine medications to treat her ailments. Her attorneys, trying their first capital case, did not call those witnesses to testify, believing their testimony would be more useful during an appeal. They had Michelle waive her right to have a jury decide her sentence, justifying that the decision would be a constitutional error and grounds for an appeal. “I’ve never heard of such a whacky strategy before,” said Jackson attorney David Voisin, a consultant for death-penalty cases. “… It’s presumptuous to roll the dice that way when someone’s life is on the line.”

self. Later that night, Tishomingo County Sheriff David Smith questioned her. Smith informed Michelle that Junior had told him about the conspiracy and told her not to let her son “take the rap.” Michelle parroted back the details Smith told her of Junior’s statement. The court threw out Michelle’s first two statements because of Miranda errors; however, while still hospitalized, Michelle repeated her “confession” twice more, and the court allowed those statements. Michelle could not know that her first incriminating statement was improper. Indeed, the police told her that the prosecutor was already aware of her confession, and repeatedly admonished her not to let Junior take the fall alone. “The whole tenor of the interrogations, while she was drugged up and in the hospital, was ‘this is going to go really bad on your son,’ basically saying that ‘you should say something to help your son,’” Voisin said. “And that’s what she did.” Police lost Junior’s statements; however, he confessed to the killing to W. Criss Lott, a court-appointed forensic psychologist. Lott did not include the confession in his report to the court. Nonetheless, Judge Gardner was aware of it. “I contacted the presiding Judge and asked him what I should do in the hypothetical situation where I had received specific information about the facts and details of a crime during the course of a forensic evaluation for mental competency and sanity,” Lott said in an affidavit dated Feb. 3. “The Judge told me I should tell him

What if the man she supposedly hired to kill her husband didn’t do it?

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victim. On Nov. 18, 2000, Gardner imposed the death penalty. Gillis, the man Bullard said murdered Edward Sr., never testified. In March 2001, Gillis pled guilty to conspiracy to commit capital murder and accessory after the fact in a plea agreement. “They didn’t even make him plead to a murder charge, and he’s out in the free world,” Voisin said. In an interview with the Daily Corinthian newspaper, Bullard admitted that his theory—the one that has Michelle facing execution—was wrong. “Gillis was part of the conspiracy, but not the person who actually committed the murder,” Bullard said. He also admitted that he knew Junior confessed to Lott, but said it could have “seriously compromised” Junior’s future testimony against Gillis. It would have also compromised his case against Michelle, but Bullard did not admit that. “The only reason that Michelle was convicted is because she supposedly hired Joey Gillis for this murder-for-hire plan,” Voisin said. “If Edward (Jr.) was shooting his father for his own reasons, and it wasn’t part of this plan to hire Joey Gillis, then Michelle should not even be in prison, much less on death row.” That is, Michelle Byrom’s conviction may hang on a lie. “She’s been abused as a child, abused as a wife and now, she’s being judicially abused,” Yoder said, calling the case “flagrantly unjust.” What’s at stake is whether Mississippi is executing a woman who did not commit the crime she’s convicted of. “The state doesn’t contest any of (the facts),” Voisin said. “They’re just trying to raise these technicalities to sweep this under the rug, and say, ‘Let’s just kill Michelle, anyway.’ That’s what it boils down to.” Junior’s words to Michelle Byrom bring home the point: “Do you remember the last question your attorney asked me? If I did it? Yes, I did,” Junior wrote. “I released a chaotic chain of events that are still unraveling. Use this letter, if you must, just let me know.” Comment


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what I knew and so I told him about Edward Byrom Jr.’s confession to me that he had killed his father.” That confession, never heard by Michelle’s jury, is the centerpiece of her most recent appeal, now under consideration with the state supreme court. “When (Lott) evaluated Joey Gillis, Gillis said, ‘I didn’t shoot anybody. I helped Edward Jr. after the shooting, but I didn’t shoot anybody. Edward Jr. told Dr. Lott a very consistent story: that is that he was the one who did the shooting—that Edward Jr. himself did it,” Voisin said. The judge also did not allow Junior’s confession letters into evidence due to a questionable defense error. “It’s not like the lawyers were doing some legal jujitsu,” Voisin said, adding, “It doesn’t serve the cause of justice to punish a defendant by withholding truthful information that goes to the heart of the case.” The prosecutor knew about the letters and Junior’s confession to Lott. “It’s one thing to dismiss one incriminating statement as an offhand remark, but when someone writes two letters, one of them very detailed, and then also makes a confession to a court-appointed psychologist, after a while, you have to think this guy is telling the truth,” Voisin said. On the stand, Junior denied everything. He testified that Gillis was the killer and that Michelle had hired him. The jury returned a guilty verdict. Michelle’s attorneys then waived her right for a jury to hear the penalty phase of the trial, and they did not have any witnesses testify on Michelle’s behalf—namely, that she was mentally ill and a long-term abuse

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That left Michelle’s penalty up to one man: Circuit Judge Thomas Gardner. Because of the lack of mitigating evidence, Gardner characterized Michelle as a schemer, only concerned with profiting from her husband’s death. He imposed the death sentence. In 2006, Michelle appealed to the state Supreme Court for the second time, saying that her attorneys were wrong. In a 5-3 decision, the court denied her appeal. Justice Jess H. Dickinson excoriated the attorneys and Judge Gardner in his dissent. “I have attempted to conjure up in my imagination a more egregious case of ineffective assistance of counsel during the sentencing phase of a capital case,” Dickinson wrote. “I cannot.” “… [T]he trial judge lacked statutory authority to impose the death penalty in this case. Byrom and the State of Mississippi cannot merely agree for the trial judge to have sentencing authority where the statute does not give the judge such power.” Prosecutor: Gillis Not Killer On the morning of June 4, 1999, Edward Sr. drove Michelle to the hospital. She had double pneumonia. Edward Sr. returned home, where he was murdered with a World War II era Luger 9mm pistol that had belonged to his father. Sometime after the killing, Junior called 911, and the Tishomingo County Sheriff’s office responded. With no evidence of forced entry, their suspicions fell on Junior. Determining that Junior and Gillis had been together earlier, they also questioned Gillis. Junior accused Gillis of the shooting, and his mother of hiring his friend to do the deed. Gillis denied he was the shooter. While she was in the hospital and under the influence of at least 12 powerful drugs (including Talwin for pain, a sleeping pill Restoril, the antidepressant Zoloft, and Librium for anxiety and to relieve effects of alcohol withdrawal, all of which could have seriously impaired her judgment), the Mississippi Highway Patrol questioned Michelle, and she did not incriminate her-



March 19 - 25, 2014

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Women: Be Bold and Strive


s we close out March and celebrate National Women’s History Month, I am encouraged by what’s happening here in Jackson. While we reflect on the past accomplishments of women around the world, it’s imperative we acknowledge the revolution the courageous women in our own community are leading. Over the last few years, women leaders have taken our city by storm. It’s refreshing to be involved in a movement chock full of community service organizers, entrepreneurs, elected officials, attorneys, filmmakers. I’m in awe of the overall purposeful impact we as women contribute to society daily. We, as women, can serve as true catalysts of change: the change we so desperately need in our city. We are mothers, wives, sisters, aunts—the backbone and glue of our families. And often, our passions and dreams are forced to take a back seat to the needs of others. So, as I write this article, I render a challenge to each woman reading this as spring slowly peeks over the cold shoulder of winter. I urge all women to continue to be bold and strive to make a meaningful difference. Until there is equal pay for all women, keep striving. Until more than 20 percent of women hold public office globally, keep striving. Until there is a cure for cancer, lupus and AIDS, I say keep striving! It is our duty as women and our privilege to pave a better future for the little girl next door. Be encouraged to travel the path unknown, and be a distinctive voice. I’m reminded of the saying “Progression, Not Perfection.” Any progress today in the right direction is a stride toward building a better tomorrow. Our time is now. Failure is not an option, unless you never try. I am convinced that Jackson’s best days are ahead. Get involved in your community and stay engaged!

‘worship’ “It is our First Amendment right to worship the God we want to worship. We need a well-reasoned bill that protects our religious freedom.”

March 19 - 25, 2014

— State Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, on the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which opponents of the bill said could lead to legalized discrimination.


Why it stinks: The U.S. Constitution indeed protects the right to practice the religion of one’s choosing. It does not, however, allow individuals or businesses to discriminate in the execution of that right. The First Amendment guarantees both the “free exercise” of religion and prohibits the government from establishing one religion over others—which includes passing laws that favor one religion over another religion, or the lack of one. In fact, we’ve been through this with legally segregated houses of worship, and we chose, as a society, to change that. Why go back to the dark ages, Rep. Gipson? You can surely find a way to worship without encouraging citizens to discriminate against others and their decisions and beliefs.

Stop the Execution of Michelle Byrom


ichelle Byrom is clearly not guilty of the crime for which the state plans to execute her next week. We say this not out of moral opposition to the cruel and unusual nature—although it is—of the way the death penalty is administered in this country, nor are we quibbling over the technical minutiae of Byrom’s case. As Ronni Mott reports this week (see: “Justice Subverted?” on page 10), Byrom was arrested and convicted for orchestrating the June 1999 murder of her husband Edward Byrom Sr. Prosecutors in Tishomingo County argued at Byrom’s trial that she hired a man named Joey Gillis to kill Edward Sr. Up until that point, Byrom suffered a lifetime of abuse that had a jury heard about it could have been sufficiently mitigating for her to receive life imprisonment rather than death for the capital offense of murder-for-hire. The most glaring fault with her conviction is that the evidence raises serious doubt that Michelle Byrom hired Joey Gillis or that Gillis killed Edward Sr. In fact, Michelle and Edward Sr.’s son, Junior, has confessed more than once in letters to killing his father—letters the jury never saw. Early on, Junior had told the Tishomingo County sheriff about an elaborate plot involving his mother, but Junior said he was “scared, confused and high” during the interview. Later, Junior recanted those statements through letters to his mother and to a court-appointed psychologist. In one letter to Michelle, Junior said after his father belittled him as a “bastard” and “no good

mistake,” Junior retrieved his father’s pistol, crept into the room as Edward Sr. slept, and fired. Junior made four known confessions; but on the stand, he stuck to the story he originally told sheriffs— that Gillis was the killer, and Michelle Byrom had hired Gillis for the hit. A jury found her guilty, and a judge sentenced her to death. Despite those case problems, Mississippi’s Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood has scheduled Michelle Byrom’s execution for March 27. Another man, Charles Ray Crawford, is scheduled to be executed March 26. The state prefers to group executions together to minimize the costs; each execution costs taxpayers approximately $11,000. We cannot ignore the irony that these executions come as a comprehensive prison-reform package heads to the desk of Gov. Phil Bryant, which is expected to sign. The legislation aims to keep people out of prison who do not belong there. Today, both Gillis, the accused shooter, and Junior, who confessed to the shooting, are out of prison as Michelle Byrom languishes in prison and her health continues to spiral downward. It would be gravely inhumane to execute a woman as mentally and physically ill as Michelle Byrom—and a frightening contrast to all the brutal woman-killers that previous Gov. Haley Barbour pardoned, a story revealed to Mississippians for the first time in 2008 by Ronni Mott. To execute Michelle Byrom for a crime that she did not commit would be one of the worst miscarriages of justices in modern Mississippi history. This execution must not happen.

Email letters and opinion to, fax to 601-510-9019 or mail to 125 South Congress St., Suite 1324, Jackson, Mississippi 39201. Include daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, as well as factchecked.

EDITORIAL News Editor R.L. Nave Features Editor Kathleen Morrison Mitchell Music Editor Briana Robinson JFP Daily Editor Dustin Cardon Editorial Assistant Amber Helsel Events Editor Latasha Willis Music Listings Editor Tommy Burton Fashion Stylist Nicole Wyatt Writers Torsheta Bowen, Ross Cabell Marika Cackett, Richard Coupe, Bryan Flynn, Genevieve Legacy, Anita Modak-Truran, Larry Morrisey, Ronni Mott, Eddie Outlaw, Julie Skipper, Kelly Bryan Smith, Micah Smith Editorial Interns Brittany Sanford, Demetrice Sherman Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Art Director Kristin Brenemen Advertising Designer Zilpha Young Graphic Design Intern Jesse Flowers Staff Photographer/Videographer Trip Burns Photographer Tate K. Nations ADVERTISING SALES Advertising Director Kimberly Griffin Account Managers Gina Haug, David Rahaim BUSINESS AND OPERATIONS Director of Operations David Joseph Bookkeeper Aprile Smith Assistant to the Publisher Leslie La Cour Operations Assistant Caroline Lacy Crawford Distribution Manager Richard Laswell Distribution Raymond Carmeans, John Cooper, Jordan Cooper, Clint Dear, Ruby Parks ONLINE Web Editor Dustin Cardon Web Designer Montroe Headd Multimedia Editor Trip Burns CONTACT US: Letters Editorial Queries Listings Advertising Publisher News tips Fashion Jackson Free Press 125 South Congress Street, Suite 1324 Jackson, Mississippi 39201 Editorial (601) 362-6121 Sales (601) 362-6121 Fax (601) 510-9019 Daily updates at

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Hobby Lobby Wages War on Birth Control

Jackson Marcus Butler Dr


he Green family is headed to Washington, D.C., for its day in court—the U.S. Supreme Court. The Greens own a chain of artsand-crafts stores, Hobby Lobby, which has 590 stores, including one in Flowood, and more than 13,000 employees nationwide. The private company’s operating principles include, “honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.” That includes demanding the right to deny their employees coverage for birthcontrol pills under their health insurance. On Feb. 10, attorneys for Hobby Lobby filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court for relief of some of the insurancecoverage mandates of the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, the Greens object to four forms of birth control mentioned in the bill that may prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s womb. They consider the methods abortifacients. “Respondents believe human beings deserve protection from the moment of conception, and that providing insurance coverage for items that risk killing an embryo makes them complicit in abortion,” the suit states. The lawsuit has seen mixed results in the lower courts. An Oklahoma appeals court disagreed with the Greens, while a Texas court agreed. The Greens allege that the ACA is violating their freedom to practice their religion. The main thrust of their legal argument rests on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and it hangs on the court’s willingness to see Hobby Lobby as a “person” under the law, as it did in the Citizens’ United case in 2010. That case opened the floodgates of “dark money” for political candidates, but it did not touch on individual rights. Attorneys for the Greens cite an arcane law called the Dictionary Act, which states that, unless otherwise specified, “the words ‘person’ and ‘whoever’ include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals.” In 2011, the Oxford University Press pointed out just how outdated the Dictionary Act is: “The Act specifies that signature includes ‘a mark when the person making the same intended it as such.’ Apparently there’s a lot of insanity in the law, because the Dictionary Act finds it necessary to specify that the words ‘insane’ and

‘insane person’ and ‘lunatic’ shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis. “The Dictionary Act also tells us that ‘persons are corporations … as well as individuals,’ (with rights) to ‘personal privacy.’ (The Act doesn’t specify whether ‘insane person’ includes ‘insane corporation.’)” The government’s argument is that for-profit corporations have no standing under RFRA, which says, in part, that the “government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion.” It cites exceptions—religious organizations and religious-based non-profits—but not ordinary corporations. “The (Texas court’s) overly expansive decision will permit a secular, for-profit corporation’s owners or shareholders to impose their religious beliefs on employees by denying female employees access to preventive health care, including insurance coverage for contraception,” the government argues. “Congress could not have anticipated, and did not intend, such a broad and unprecedented expansion of RFRA. Nor did Congress intend for courts to permit for-profit corporations and their shareholders to use RFRA to deny female employees access to health care benefits to which they are otherwise entitled.” “ … The test Congress reinstated through RFRA ... extended free-exercise rights only to individuals and to religious, nonprofit organizations. No Supreme Court precedent had extended free-exercise rights to secular, for-profit corporations.” Hobby Lobby supporters call the government’s argument absurd. “This is not a case over whether corporations can pray,” said Kyle Duncan on a conference call. Duncan is general counsel for the Washington, D.C.-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the chain store. No for-profit corporation has come out in support of Hobby Lobby, nor has the U.S. Chamber or the National Federation of Business. Neither the chamber nor NFIB has been shy about lending their support to businesses in cases where the outcome is beneficial to the business community. It comes down to these questions: Is Hobby Lobby a person under the law, and if so, does the company have the right to impose its religious beliefs on its employees? Are the rights of a corporation more important than those of 13,000 people? If the justices rule for Hobby Lobby, what are the future repercussions?

No for-profit corporation has come out in support of Hobby Lobby.

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Trip Burns

Young reproductive-rights activists support the Jackson Women’s Health Organization during a January 2013 demonstration.

‘Personhood’ May Be Back

March 19 - 25 ,2014


he is still learning the ins and outs, he said he supports the Personhood initiative that seeks to outlaw abortion, and other services, in Mississippi. Personhood Mississippi is currently campaigning for Initiative 41 to appear again on the ballot in 2015. Personhood was on the 2011 ballot as Initiative 26, also referred to as Amendment 26. Most voters—58 percent, with votes from the left and the right—listened to voter concerns, which included prohibition of birth-control pills and in vitro fertilization and possible death of the mother in life-threatening pregnancy, and voted down the bill on Nov. 8, 2011. Dalton acknowledges the possible outcomes of Personhood, like the ban of hormonal birth control, but said, “For me personally, we don’t use birth control, so it wouldn’t affect me.” He also believes saving fertilized eggs from being terminated offsets the sacrifices. Failed The First Time The anti-abortion organization Personhood Mississippi filed paperwork for

Initiative 41 on March 5, 2013. If supporters gather 107,216 signatures by May 14, 2014, the bill will appear on the ballot in November 2015. Anne Reed, spokeswoman for Personhood Mississippi, said the language of Amendment 26 confused voters, which is why her group believes the bill failed to pass. She said, with confidence, that the wording of Initiative 41 is much clearer, and Personhood Mississippi should not have a hard time collecting the needed amount of signatures. Initiative 41 reads: “The right to life begins at conception. All human beings, at every stage of development, are unique, created in God’s image and shall enjoy an inalienable right to life.” Initiative 26 read: “Should the term ‘person’ be defined to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof?” Jonelle Husain, a Mississippi State University graduate student and sociology instructor who has focused much of her research on abortion, said she was insulted when Personhood advocates immediately

Andrew Yerger


eith Dalton, a Jacksonarea landscape worker and local punk musician, had never involved himself with the anti-abortion movement. In fact, he hated seeing the people with signs outside the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last operating abortion clinic in Mississippi. One day, while driving past protesters outside the bright pink building in Fondren on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Dalton started to weep. He said God placed a burden on his heart after seeing two girls outside the clinic crying and handing out informational pamphlets about abortion. He went home and tried to shake the feeling that God was calling him to act, but it never went away. “God put it on my heart to come out here every morning to this spot and pray for God to have mercy on the women that come in,” Dalton said. Dalton joined the anti-abortion movement three months ago, and while

by Anna Wolfe

Jesus watches over as a surgeon operates in a painting that hangs in Dr. Clifton Story’s office at University Medical Services at Mississippi State.

attributed the bill’s failure to Mississippi voters being misinformed and misunderstanding the amendment. “I don’t know any voters who had

Andrew Yerger

the abortion clinic, agrees with the analogy. “I think that if that person (zygote) could vote then the woman would have two votes, and that might scare the hell out of men.” “This has to be the most offensive piece of legislation ever designed by a man,” Derzis said. The Jackson Free Press reported in 2011 that Les Riley led the effort to obtain the 130,000 signatures to put Personhood on the ballot in 2011. Riley, a trailer salesman from Pontotoc, founded Personhood Mississippi, which is part of a national movement, Personhood U.S.A. Riley is a former member of the neo-Confederate League of the South and is a leader of the state’s secessionist Constitution Party. The Right Wing Watch website calls him a “Christian separatist.” When announcing the new campaign last year to get Personhood back on the ballot, Riley told the media on a conference call: “(Voters) didn’t understand the last amendment.”

been active on this issue that you could define as being confused by any stretch of the imagination,” Husain said. Atlee Breland, the founder of Parents Against Personhood who lives in Brandon, said most voters don’t want to endure another Personhood campaign. “The vote and the campaign was very decisive for people,” Breland said.

be interpreted by a court as violating the legal rights of a person,” Hines said. “The law is not specific enough, so it would be total chaos trying to figure out what was actually going to happen,” Hines said. Hines is confident voters would strike down Personhood a second time around, more PERSONHOOD, see page 18 saying that legislation with ambiguous consequences is not logical. “Courts and legislative bodies don’t really play a role and should not play a role in (medical decision making). Patients should have autonomy, and doctors should practice medicine based on science, not based on some illconceived notion somebody has,” Hines said. “It is very frightening when you take these decisions away from doctors and patients, and start telling judges, ‘You are responsible for the decision,’” Breland said. Michelle Colon, a pro-abortion-rights activist who works as a clinic escort at the Jackson Women’s Heath Organization, said Personhood does not make sense constitutionally, logically, or medically. “Does that mean if I’m a pregnant woman I get two votes Diane Derzis, owner of the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, calls Personhood amendments when I vote?” Colon said. “offensive” legislation designed by men. Diane Derzis, the owner of

trip burns

The Science Of Personhood Breland, mother of three healthy children conceived through fertility treatment, said Personhood would entirely diminish women’s ability to receive IVF. Freezing embryos, for example, would be banned under Personhood. “When you say that (an embryo or zygote) is a person with a right to life, you can’t do things that might potentially damage or injure that embryo’s right to life. Even if you’re otherwise doing them for a good cause,” Breland said. “There’s no way out of this conundrum that makes IVF possible under Personhood.” Reed ignores voters’ and physicians’ concern about Personhood implications by focusing on the well-being of the zygote—the fertilized egg. “For those of us who might ask the question, ‘Well, what about this and what about that?’ if we’re talking about exceptions, my question is, ‘When is it alright to kill an innocent human being?’ My answer to that is, ‘It’s never alright,’” Reed said in an interview.

The ambiguity of the language in the Personhood amendment makes it hard for Dr. Randall Hines of Mississippi Reproductive Medicine in Flowood to know exactly how the bill would affect reproductive health. He said the law lacks specificity, and its application would depend solely on the different courts’ interpretations of the amendment. Hines said any procedure during which a zygote is damaged could be questioned and potentially outlawed. Embryo cryopreservation, which is essential for in vitro fertilization, could be threatened. “In the course of IVF or in the course of natural reproduction, eggs and embryos don’t survive,” Hines said. “If you took to the extreme, you would say every reproductive process could be jeopardized.” Birth-control methods that affect a mother’s womb and could come in contact with and stop the growth of a fertilized egg could be questioned under Personhood. “Almost every birth-control method has more than one mechanism, so depending on which mechanism of action you focus on, you could perhaps challenge any of them,” Hines said. In the case of a life-threatening pregnancy like ectopic pregnancy, during which a zygote forms in a mother’s fallopian tubes, doctors must remove the fertilized egg surgically or medically. “You can’t do any of those if your action is going to

Dr. Clifton Story, the director of University Health Services at Mississippi State, disagrees with many medical professionals on the Personhood issue. He believes God is there when an egg is fertilized so killing it is the same as killing a person.

Traumatized Women? Nick Bell, president of Students For Life, a pro-life organization at Mississippi State University, said his group focuses on the belief that life begins at conception, leaving other political and religious values up to each individual member. The group also raises awareness for the crisis pregnancy center in Starkville located on Academy Road. Bell said women who have abortions suffer from regret and feeling like a part of them has died. “They have been so badly affected by their traumatic experience that they have now dedicated their lives to helping and counseling women who are considering


trip burnsâ&#x20AC;&#x2018;

PERSONHOOD from page 17

Michelle Colon, an abortion-rights activist, argues that Personhood amendments make neither constitutional, logical nor medical sense.



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abortion and women who have had (an) abortion,â&#x20AC;? Bell said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They say that they do not wish for other women to experience what they did, and so they want to help prevent that from happening to others.â&#x20AC;? Like Dalton, Bell considers not only the embryo but also the woman experiencing the unwanted pregnancy, believing that preventing abortion helps women. Husain said that such generalizations about women who have chosen to have abortions further stigmatize the procedure by asserting that all women who have abortions are psychologically traumatized. These stories are part of a narrative used by pro-life advocates for political gain, she said. The sociology instructor is writing her dissertation on reproductive justice and the anti-abortion movement, focusing her research on women in post-abortion recovery groups sponsored by crisis pregnancy centers. Women in these groups suffer from regret, depression and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. She found that the stories of women who attend these groups do not reflect that of the majority of women who have had abortions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Those claims, that abortion causes trauma that is similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, are not just without basis in the scientific literature, but all the major medical associations in the U.S. vehemently disputed those claims,â&#x20AC;? Husain said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is just no data to support it.â&#x20AC;? This narrative, as Husain described it, is more of a construct by anti-abortion advocates, who publicize uncommon stories to advance their agenda. At the end of the recovery group session, women are encouraged to tell their stories publicly. A study published in Perspectives

On Sexual & Reproductive Health found that women in the United States had an estimated 1.2 million abortions in 2005. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Only a very small number of women in that group claim to suffer negative effects, which raises questions about the legitimacy of these claims,â&#x20AC;? Husain said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had an abortion, and I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hide that fact. Do I regret it? No. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t regret the decision I made. I regret finding myself in those circumstances, but thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s different. But you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hear our stories.â&#x20AC;? Participating in these recovery groups, Husain said, changes how women understand their abortions. Nada Scotland, former president of the American Psychiatric Association, has conducted research and written articles for the Journal of American Medical Association. She asserts that no scientific evidence links depression or other psychiatric diseases to abortion. Colon said women will terminate pregnancies they do not want, and outlawing safe medical abortions creates dangerous situations for women facing unwanted pregnancies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stripping women of their autonomy, of their personhood,â&#x20AC;? Colon said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All woman should support the expansion of womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rights, not the restricting of womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rights.â&#x20AC;? A Utilitarian Argument Dr. Clifton W. Story, executive director of University Health Services at Mississippi State, has worked as a doctor at MSU since 2008. Among other general physician care, Story deals with the dayto-day reproductive health of women. He has experience in prescribing birth control and diagnosing pregnancy. Story, on whose office wall hangs a painting of a Jesus-like figure guiding

the hand of a doctor performing surgery, agrees with the language in the Personhood amendment. “I believe we’re created by God. I think God is the one that initiates all that,” Story said. “When the sperm and egg come together almost immediately, or within a few days anyway, the chromosomes that make up who we are and who we become are established.” Story, due to his religious beliefs, believes that the rights of the unborn babies outweigh those of pregnant women

needing medical services that he wants to see prohibited. He doesn’t know exactly what the amendment’s language should include, but said the bill should address the devastating issue of abortion. “I think we cloud the issue by worrying about these side issues—the IVF, the safety of the mother—and then we’re still missing this very huge population of babies that are aborted, that are never given the chance to live,” Story said. Anja Scheib, MSU freshman business major and SFL member, said SFL

does recognize one exception to the Personhood argument—ectopic pregnancy. “There’s no way the baby can survive, so at that point we consider saving the mom,” Scheib said. Although Personhood prohibits destroying a fertilized egg with no exceptions, Bell and Scheib both said they would vote for the bill, prioritizing the abolishment of abortion over allowing women to choose whether to have a child or to protect their own lives. Husain, however, said that the Per-

sonhood amendment is an assault on the reproductive rights of women. “I think the idea that we would have a legislative body inserting itself between the most private relationship, between a woman and her doctor, is just ludicrous,” she said. “You can’t, in one breath, say that women have equality when you are trying to take from them or threaten their most fundamental right, and that is to decide when and under what circumstances that they will be pregnant and have a child.” Comment at

Senate Passes‘Irrelevant’ Anti-Abortion Bill he Mississippi Senate decided Tuesday, March 11, to assert its authority over women’s reproductive health decisions when it passed HB 1400, a bill that prohibits abortions after 20 weeks. The legislation is seemingly targeted at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion clinic left in the state. Yet, the bill is frivolous legislation in the eyes of the clinic’s owner, Diane Derzis. “That’s a totally irrelevant piece of legislation that I’m sure was aimed at the clinic. The clinic goes to 16 weeks, so what difference does that bill make?” Derzis said in an interview Wednesday. “They have been posturing and wasting the taxpayers’ money for the last month on that piece of legislation, and every legislator there knows that.” The bill only creates exceptions for abortions after 20 weeks when the mother’s health is severely threatened or A bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which cleared the Mississippi Senate this week, appears to target the state’s only in cases of extreme fetal abnormality. The remaining abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Senate also rejected an amendment to the bill by Sen. Derrick Simmons, D-Greenville, to create exceptions for pregnancies as a result of rape or incest. “Women in Mississippi, and women in this country, The Associated Press reported Mississippi Depart- focusing on restricting abortion, as opposed to other don’t ask politicians for medical advice. Therefore, politi- ment of Health statistics showing 2,176 abortions in Mis- state issues. cians should not enter the decision-making process for sissippi in 2012. Two were reported at 21 weeks or later, “What a shame that we’re not talking about increaswomen,” Simmons said Thursday during a short debate and 382 were listed as unknown gestational age. ing the Aid to (Families With) Dependent Children or whether to reconsider the bill. Derzis said pregnancies terminated after 20 weeks maternal mortality, something to reduce that—the things Derzis said she was not surprised the Senate struck are those done in hospitals by physicians who see the that are really problems in Mississippi,” Derzis said. down Simmons’ amendment, although she was glad a leg- abortion as a medical necessity. “This is another example of a government out of islator raised the concern of women impregnated during a Felicia Brown-Williams, director of public policy for control,” Derzis said. sexual crime. Michelle Colon, a pro-abortion-rights activ- Planned Parenthood Southeast, said in a press release that Personhood Mississippi is currently gathering sigist who has helped defend JWHO for 10 years, doesn’t women facing medical complications should not face re- natures for a new Personhood amendment, Initiative understand the logic of anti-abortion advocates who say strictions when their lives are in danger. 41, which defines life at the moment of conception and that restricting abortion benefits women. “Abortions later in pregnancy typically involve severe would ban all abortions across the state. Mississippi voters “I think it’s an insult and an assault against women fetal abnormalities or serious risks to a woman’s health. voted down personhood in 2011 under Amendment 26. when (anti-abortion advocates) say those things,” Colon These are often very wanted pregnancies that have gone The revived personhood referendum needs to gather said, adding that restrictive legislation strips women of tragically wrong,” Brown-Williams wrote. 107,216 signatures by May 14 to get the initiative back their rights and their autonomy. Derzis criticizes the Mississippi Legislature for on the ballot in 2015.


trip burns‑

by Anna Wolfe


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GIRL POWER by Donna Ladd


onfidence equals power. And right there is why so many girls, and then women, don’t achieve the power to influence elections, start successful businesses, oust the philandering or abusive partners, or become CEOs of major corporations. It’s even why too many young women get pregnant—they didn’t have the confidence to say no or demand protected sex—and then too often lead lives of poverty. Confidence. Let’s be honest: Many people (even other women) don’t dig self-assured females. They don’t trust us, resent us and scowl at us for being “self-promotional”—which

men do openly all the time and is a major key to success. And too many people, men and women, don’t want a female boss telling them what to do and what not to do. The socialization against such “bossiness” starts young, with girls told not to be loud, too proud and definitely not “bossy.” As a result, girls start learning that society does not expect them to be leaders—because being a leader, and having power, does involve being the boss. Being in charge. Being strong and direct. Being confident enough to make decisions and right the course of a business or a nation or a city. If we continue to tell girls that it’s not acceptable to be

DOUBLE Standard

Too often …

March 19 - 25, 2014



25 • Girls are 25 percent less likely than boys by middle school to say they like taking the lead.

• Teachers (and professors) of both genders typically call on girls less in class than boys. Many have no idea they do it.

• Both boys and girls believe it’s easier for men to become leaders.

• Replacing a women’s name on the same resume with a male name can increase the “worthiness of the hire” by 60 percent.

The Likeability Penalty

More Opportunity=Less Teen Pregnancy

Societal bias means that many people of both genders will find a female leader less likeable. Studies show that a woman who speaks in a direct style and promotes herself or her ideas is less liked. The “tells” for this bias are these words: • aggressive • too ambitious • out for herself • not well liked When you hear these words, ask the speaker for specifics on just what the woman did wrong. Then follow up: Would you have the same reaction if a man did/said the same thing? And remember: Saying men and women have the same issue with her just reinforces the research that both men and women are socialized to express this bias against powerful women. Meantime, start learning that it’s OK not to be liked by everyone, especially for backward reasons.

“Simply put, increased aspirations and expanded opportunities for young women have the potential to extend the downward trend in teen childbearing.” From “Teen Births Are Falling: What’s Going On?” The Brookings Institution, March 2014





A woman is bossy. A man is a leader. A woman is a bully. A man is a role model. A woman is a ball-buster. A man is strong. A woman is loud. A man is heard. A woman is aggressive. A man is confident. A woman is brash. A man is direct. A woman is ambitious. A man has authority. A woman is a b*tch. A man is in charge.

bossy, we are setting them up for failure. We are telling them it is not their place to lead. So they step back. Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook executive who wrote “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” this month started a #banbossy campaign ( to educate about the need to change the language directed toward women and, especially, girls about leadership. Sandberg is partnering with the Girl Scouts of the USA to call for girls to learn to be ambitious, “lean in” to success, sit at the table, speak up in board meetings and raise their hands in class—habits still sadly lacking for too many females in 2014.

“Thank you.”

“I’m not bossy. I’m the boss.” —Beyoncé

Never degrade yourself or deflect a compliment with “I got lucky” or “It was nothing”—others might believe you! Just smile and say, “thank you.”

Howard Yay, Heidi Nay In “Lean In,” Sheryl Sandberg details a powerful 2003 study showing just how bad the bias against women leaders is in our society. A Columbia Business School and a New York University professors used a Harvard Business School case study about venture capitalist Heidi Roizen. They assigned half the class to read her story and the other half to read the same story with her first name changed to Howard. The students ranked Heidi and Howard equally competent—but called Howard more likeable. Heidi, the poll found, was selfish and “not the kind of person you would want to hire or work for.”

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Be a Leader, Girl! Rachel Simmons, co-founder of the Girls Leadership Institute, reports at that girls are twice as likely as boys to worry that taking on a leadership role will make them seem “bossy.” She offers 10 tips to girls to overcome the leadership stigma (and they might help adult women, too); here’s a sample; the rest are at


Speak up in class. Sit up front and practice raising your hand; don’t edit


Don’t apologize before you speak. Don’t preface your opinion by


your comments in your head ahead of time; and learn that it’s not a big deal to be wrong. And stay the course: females are interrupted more often and given less credit for their ideas. Learning to say “Please don’t interrupt me” at a young age will help. apologizing for it or saying “I might be wrong but ….” Watch the “upspeak” of ending your sentence like a question. Don’t ask, “Does that make sense?” Take a breath and speak with a strong voice, not a tiny, whiny one.


Challenge yourself. Girls must learn to push through their comfort zones and try out new experiences. Try a sport, take a class, learn to code—or state your opinion out loud (without qualifying it first!). Just say it.


Ask for help. Successful people find mentors and advisers and build power-


Don’t do everyone else’s work. Don’t take on the work of slackers.

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ful relationships with them, often lasting a lifetime. Ask what they wish they’d known when they were your age. Be willing to listen.

Talk to the classmate (or co-worker, adults) about the problem and take it to teachers and managers if you need to. And make sure you get credit for work done.


Be. Ambitious. Ambitious is not a dirty word. It’s a powerful one and means that you are willing to work hard now for success in the future. Sheryl Sandberg advises women to, right now, start asking for “stretch projects” to learn new skills and try to pass on or delegate the undervalued work everyone assumes you will do. Never stay still with your skills or go backward.

A great resume shows that you excelled and grew a job; a poor resume is peppered with one after another entrylevel job. Don’t be afraid to stretch as far as you can in your current position—or lean in, as Sandberg puts it—to impress future employers with your ambition and leadership potential. Women still have to work twice as hard for success—be sure you’re working smart and learning.

Role Models Are Key A Bloomberg Businessweek study, reported at, found that the entrepreneurial gender gap is due, in part, to young girls showing too little interest in owning their own business some day. Answers, researcher Scott Shane found, include putting resources to teach girl more about entrepreneurship and making sure they are exposed to women business leaders. • If you’re a female business leader, seek out young women to mentor—and tell them the advantages of your role. Share your powerful story every chance you get, especially to young girls who need to hear it. • If you’re in early years of your career, find a female role model who will help you build your career, and never let go of her. Help her, and she will help you. • If you’re a student (or parents of one), find strong female leaders to expose your daughters to. Now. Download tips for girls, parents, managers, teachers and troop leaders at

My family and I are truly grateful to you for your overwhelming support and presence on last evening at City Hall as I announced my candidacy for Mayor of the City of Jackson. Despite less than favorable weather conditions, you stood with us and, for that, we say THANK YOU. Your positive energy and enthusiasm was truly humbling. Being in the midst of so many passionate and dedicated citizens provided a small glimpse of the collective impact we can make in this City. This was an incredible first step in OUR campaign—The People’s Campaign! This campaign is

not about an individual or one man, this campaign is about our City and one People! I believe in this City. I believe in the People of Jackson. Please like our Facebook Page “Elect Chokwe Lumumba” for real-time updates. If you are interested in getting involved with The People’s Campaign, please email us at or follow us on Twitter at @ChokweLumumba. You can also receive updates on Instagram @ChokweAntarForMayor. You may also contact The People’s Campaign by contacting the campaign office at 601.362.0021. If you would like to contribute to The People’s Campaign, please send your donations to: The Committee to Elect Chokwe A. Lumumba P.O. box 11691 Jackson, MS 39283 There is much work to be done and WE NEED YOU to continue the vision and make prosperity and security a reality for all of Jackson. Love + The People’s Power = Progress., In sincere gratitude, Chokwe Antar #ThePeoplesMissionContinues PAID FOR BY FRIENDS TO ELECT CHOKWE A. LUMUMBA

Dear Fellow Jacksonians,


Empowering Women

Leadership by Kathleen Mitchell


mproving the lives of girls and young women is a vast and interconnected endeavor. But time and time again, studies show that when women’s lives improve—economically, educationally, health-wise or otherwise—so do their family’s. In the following pages are three areas where Jackson can empower its women. First, leadership. To make long-term gains for women, they need movement at both ends of the wage spectrum—at one end, they need to earn a living wage, while at the other, women must break the glass ceiling (and continue to break it) to reach upper-tier success and pay equal to that of men in the same job. In between, they need the confidence, tenacity, experience and skill sets to reach leadership roles, so that they can mentor and inspire younger women. Communities need women representing them at the highest levels of politics, business, medicine and all other fields. To leave them out is to ignore the voices of half the population.


“Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” by Sheryl Sandberg (Knopf, 2013, $24.95). Sandberg’s book is chock-full of research on the gender leadership gap and calls to action to on how to fix it.


“Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking,” by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay Books, 2007, $17). While this book is not focused on gender, one chapter in particular offers ideas on how to overcome our subconscious (and split-second) stereotyping of women who apply for jobs and public roles—genderblind testing. Gladwell found that nearly all orchestra and symphony musicians at the highest level who played larger instruments were men. When women walked out to play at auditions, the judges were mentally dismissing them before the women played a single note—and they likely weren’t even aware of it. One simple fix revealed the truth—when blind auditions were held (meaning auditioning musicians played behind a curtain and didn’t speak or give their names, so the judges could only hear how they played their instrument), the judges chose women and men nearly equally as the best musicians. Although blind auditions and interviews don’t work in all circumstances, implementing more gender-blind steps for interviews can help challenge many stereotypes about what kind of leadership women are capable of.

March 19 - 25, 2014

Did you know?


35 women have served as U.S. governors compared to 2,319 men.



Reading Material:

“Miss Representation,” available on Netflix streaming. Actress and activist Jennifer Siebel Newsom explores how the media representation of women—including women in leadership roles—is damaging to young girls’ ambitions and sense of self. The documentary eventually spun off a nonprofit called The Representation Project (, which aims to fight sexism and gender stereotyping across the spectrum. One of the project’s current campaigns is a major push to call out sexism in commercials, products, articles and more using the hashtag #NotBuyingIt on social media.

#NotBuyingIt Of 196 countries, only 33 have had female presidents— the U.S. isn’t one. SOURCE: FASTCOMPANY.COM

Empowering Women

Security by Kathleen Mitchell

women do not earn even a living wage, many women feel unsafe due to domestic violence, and these issues can compound one another. If a woman can’t make enough money to support herself and her family, she may not have the strength to get out of an abusive situation.

Locally, learn about:

Did you know? U.S. women continue to earn 77¢ to every dollar that men earn.

The Center for Violence Prevention (409 Roberts St., Pearl, 601-932-4198,, which serves 10 counties in Mississippi and works to fight many aspects of domestic violence. The JFP Chick Ball ( This year, the Chick Ball celebrates 10 years of helping the center “prevent, protect and empower.” Come help us.




Reading Material:

“Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (Knopf, 2009, $15.95). Kristof and WuDunn also made a documentary of the same name. Visit

In Memphis, Tenn., an organization called Homeless Organizing for Power and Equality has organized a subgroup called the Women’s Caucus, a joint effort between the Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis and the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center. More than 90 percent of women who experience homelessness also experience physical and/or sexual assault, and domestic violence is the primary cause of homelessness among adult women. So HOPE WC’s primary focus is self-defense classes for women, as well as teaching women to become self-defense in-

structors so that they can spread that teaching to other women in shelters, on the street and elsewhere. To learn more, find HOPE WC on Facebook or email In Chicago, Ill., an organization called Women Employed ( is calling for wage reform. Although many people stereotype minimum-wage workers as teenagers earning a little extra spending money, 80 percent of minimum-wage workers are adults, and 59 percent are women—many of them with children and families to support. Working with Raise Illinois, Women Employed hopes to raise the Illinois minimum wage to $10.65 over the next four years.

Did you know?

One in four

women are abused by a partner in their lifetime.

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omen need security before they can begin to conquer the other demons in their lives. Until a woman feels both safe and financially secure, she often has a hard time working to move up the success ladder. Many


Empowering Women



by Kathleen Mitchell

omen’s health in Jackson must encompass many things—healthy food, exercise and mental-health resources, to name a few—but wellness also depends on reproductive health, which is one of the areas where Mississippi is the farthest behind.

61% of women

who have children after enrolling in community college do not finish their education.


Nearly 7 in 10 Mississippi teens have had sex by the end of 12th grade.


Locally, learn about: SOURCE: THE WOMEN’S FOUNDATION

Did you know?

More than

20 percent

Mississippi law does not require that sex education be evidence-based and/or medically accurate.


March 19 - 25, 2014


In 2011, approximately 1000 Mississippi 50 of every 1,000 girls age 15-19 Mississippi girls age 15-19 gave birth. 50 SOURCE: THE WOMEN’S FOUNDATION



of teens in the U.S. have sex before the


A bit of good news: The U.S. teen birth rate for women age 15-19 decreased 25 percent from 2007-2011. Over that same period of time, Mississippi’s birth rate decreased even more than the national average, a 28 percent dip.



Credit Where It’s Due


2nd Mississippi

Mississippi has the second highest teen birth rate in the country.

New Mexico

The Women's Foundation of Mississippi (120 N. Congress St., 601-326-0700, womensfoun Its website states that the Foundation “is the only grantmaking and advocacy organization in Mississippi entirely dedicated to funding programs that improve the lives of women and girls statewide.”

Cities to look to: The Women's Foundation looks to the state of South Carolina as a model, where rates of teen pregnancy have dropped considerably in recent years. Carol Penick, executive director of the Women’s Foundation, says the Fund has already adopted one program and implemented it here in Jackson—a website that provides medically accurate information about reproduction aimed at teens and their parents. is Mississippi’s version. Next, the Foundation hopes to adopt a version of South Carolina’s grassroots Tell Them ( program, which advocates for improving the state’s sexual health policies. Its website states that “[i]ts purpose is to develop an online network of reproductive health advocates and provide

them with the up-to-date information and resources necessary to be active at all political levels. Tell Them advocates support age-appropriate, medically accurate health education and increased access to high-quality reproductive health counseling and services. Special emphasis is placed on meeting the needs of underserved young people who live in rural communities, where often there is no access to counseling or services, and where the rate of unintended pregnancies is sometimes three times the U.S. national rate and more than double the overall state rate.” In Memphis, Tenn., an organization called A Step Ahead Foundation ( offers free long-acting reversible contraception— the ParaGard IUD, Mirena IUD and Nexplanon Implant—to anyone with a Shelby County zip code.

Jackson Women Power Players (Or Some Of Them) Carolyn Meyers, president of Jackson State University

Beverly Wade Hogan, president of Tougaloo College

Phylliss Anderson, Tribal Chief of Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

Margaret Barrett-Simon,

Jackson City Councilwoman Sister Dorothea Sondgeroth, former

president and current board member at St. Dominic’s Beneta Burt, chair of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce

Delesicia Martin,

superintendent of the Hinds County School District Carol Burger, president and

CEO of United Way of the Capital Area

Patricia D. Wise, judge

and chancellor of the Hinds Fifth Chancery Court District Regina Quinn, attorney

Carey Wright, state

supervisor of education Sandy Middleton, executive director of the Center for Violence Prevention Julia Ann Harrison,

president of Homestar LLC

Help the JFP Chick Ball celebrate its 10th anniversary of helping keep metro families safer from abuse. Sign up now to sponsor, volunteer or donate for the silent auction.

Write or call 601-362-6121 ext. 23 to get involved.

JFP Chick Ball | Saturday, July 19, 2014 6 p.m. to midnight | Mississippi Arts Center

Mary Ashley Wolverton,

CFO of Digital Imaging Group Creative Solutions Selena Swartzfager,

president of the Mississippi Council on Economic Education Candie Simmons, senior vice president of Regions Bank

These are just a few of the powerful female leaders in our city. Send us more power players to honor—email

Mississippi Women Legislators House of Representatives Sonya Williams-Barnes Clara Burnett Kimberly L. Campbell Alyce G. Clark Angela Cockerham Linda F. Coleman Mary H. Coleman Carolyn Crawford Becky Currie Reecy L. Dickson Deborah Butler Dixon Esther Harrison Lataisha Jackson Wanda Jennings Sherra Hillman Lane

Rita Martinson Margaret Rogers Omeria Scott Jody Steverson Sara R. Thomas Linda Whittington Patricia H. Willis Adrienne Wooten Senate Lydia Graves Chassaniol Nancy Adams Collins Deborah Jeanne Dawkins Sally Doty Angela Burks Hill Rita Potts Parks


by JFP Staff


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Marine Cuisine Pavilion Local and regional chefs give cooking demonstrations with Mississippi Gulf Fresh Seafood

Silent Auction Fundraiser for art scholarships featuring art from each festival artist Student art show Food vendors and more

Celebrate the Gulf Marine Education Festival Saturday, April 5 10 am – 3 pm Includes hands-on children’s activities

Zippity Doo Dah 2014 Schedule Weekend to Honor Vietnam Veterans

An Overdue Homecoming

Friday, March 21

by Demetrice Sherman

well as high school and collegiate ROTC color guards. Mascots of several state organizations and non-profits including the Jackson Zoo and the Mississippi Forestry Commission will join the parade in antique military vehicles. And, of course, the Sweet Potato Queens make their grand

says that the annual parade will only get bigger and better. Wilkirson is especially pleased with the dual opportunity presented by the ZDD weekend’s theme this year. “It’s wonderful to be able to say we want to honor these veterans and in turn, honor those who need our

Duling Avenue; 6 p.m. Kicking off Zippity Doo Dah, the Bouffants perform.

Saturday, March 22

Children’s Character Breakfast

Trip Burns

Walker’s Drive-In; 8 a.m. Mascot characters from nonprofits around Mississippi will join kids and parents for a pancake breakfast at Walker’s. Diners will have a front-row seat to see runners in the Color Me Rad 5K, and will receive a treat bag and autograph coloring book of all the characters. Tickets are $15 per person. Color Me Rad 5K

Fondren—begins at Veterans Memorial Stadium; 9 a.m. Participants will run or walk through Fondren getting “color bombed” at each kilometer, resulting in a rainbow-washed neighborhood. Last year the event sold out before to race day with more than 8,000 participants.

Jim Wiley and other Vietnam veterans will be honored at this year’s Zippity Doo Dah

ZDD™ Arts Market

Fondren Corner parking deck off Fondren Place; 9 a.m. Regional vendors offer artisan wares including woodwork, pottery, glass, metal, handmade soaps and more. Sal & Mookie’s Street Carnival

Stadium Green beside Veterans Memorial Stadium; 10 a.m. For the seventh year, Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint is throwing an old-fashioned carnival, featuring games, a dunking booth, face painting and more. Miss Mississippi Chelsea Rick hosts a Sweet Potato Tot pageant. Pizza and ice cream eating contests offer a chance to win gift certificate prizes. Entry fee is $2 and benefits Friends of Children’s Hospital. Additional fees apply for eating contests. Zippity Doo Dah® Parade

reappearance, along with the legions of Wannabes and krewes expected from all over the country and beyond. Browne and Wilkirson are big champions of local events such as the parade. While local businesses benefit from the influx of people into the area, the parade and Fondren’s Zippity Doo Dah Weekend go a long way in promoting Fondren, not only to outsiders, but to Jackson residents who never realized the area’s offerings. “We’re not only selling Jackson to the country and the world, we’re selling Jackson to Jackson,” Browne says. She

help, as well with the children of Blair E. Batson,” he says. Proceeds from the weekend’s events go toward supporting Friends of the Children’s Hospital. As for Jim Wiley, he encourages vets from all over the state to come participate and cannot express his appreciation enough for everyone’s part in making this parade a reality. “For Zippity Doo Dah and Fondren and Jill Conner Browne to step in, I can’t say enough about them to say ‘let us do it for you.’” For more information, visit zddparade. com and

Fondren; Dusk The fourth annual parade culminates Zippity Doo Dah Weekend, this year honoring Vietnam veterans. The nighttime parade includes Patriot Guard motorcyclists, musicians and Sweet Potato Queens from around the world, led by Boss Queen Jill Conner Browne. Post Parade

Colour Revolt performs on the Fondren Corner parking deck, and ardenland presents the RPM Dance Party at Duling Hall.


im Wiley had a mission. As chairman of the All American Service Persons parade committee, he tried for two and a half years to get a state parade in honor of Vietnam veterans like himself. “Because we never had one,” he says. Fondren is setting the stage to give Wiley and other veterans the overdue state homecoming they deserve as it prepares to host the BancorpSouth Zippity Doo Dah Parade. Set for March 22, this year’s fourth annual celebration takes on extra special meaning as it honors Vietnam veterans. Wiley recounts the hurtful reception many American soldiers, such as himself, received upon returning home from the unpopular war. “We were not very welcomed. We were spat upon, called dirty names,” Wiley says. “It’s a pain that most folks don’t identify with because they would think that after 40 some odd years, we’d be beyond that. But it’s a pain that won’t go away until there’s some recognition.” “It’s a passion for me personally,” says Sweet Potato Boss Queen Jill Conner Browne, who has a close friend who also served in the war. “We’re always going to honor somebody. What better group?” Brown met Wiley through a mutual acquaintance. She attributes Jim Wilkirson, the executive director of Fondren Renaissance, with seeing the bigger picture when, upon discussing with him the possibility of holding such a parade in Fondren, he suggested that the BancorpSouth Zippity Doo Dah Parade be used as a platform for honoring the vets. “When we heard their plea and what they wanted to do, it just made perfect sense for us to honor them with this parade weekend instead of them trying to do it themselves,” Wilkirson says. “We owe them a large debt. And for us to honor them in this way is gratifying.” Prior to the start of the parade, a flyover, which will include a C17 and Black Hawk helicopter, will honor the veterans. The Patriot Guard Riders and Gov. Phil Bryant will kick off parade. The Grand Marshal float will feature 14 Mississippi Vietnam veterans, and parade organizers will set up a VIP viewing area for veterans near the start of the route. “We’re going to do everything we can think of to make it easy, accessible and nothing but joyful,” Browne says. The parade will also feature the Jackson State University Sonic Boom and Murrah High School marching bands, as

Dancing in the Streets


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Millsaps College

Driving the Conversation “Across the Street and Around the Globe” March 21, 7:30 p.m.

April 4, 12:30 p.m.

Singers’ Concert: Broadway Bash

Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex, Recital Hall Admission: Adults $15, Students $5

April 1, 7 p.m.

Arts & Lecture Series: At the River with James Martin & Jovanni-Rey de Pedro

Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex, Recital Hall Admission: $10

Nussbaum Lecture

Robert and Dee Leggett Special Events Center Admission: Free

April 11, 12:30 p.m.

Millsaps Forum: Dr. Matthew Hughey The White Savior Film: Content, Critics, and Consumption

Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex, Room 215 Admission: Free

March 19 - 25, 2014

music by James Martin, baritone and Jovanni-Rey de Pedro, pianist


DR. MATTHEW W. HUGHEY Facebook Twitter Flickr


Race You by Kathleen M. Mitchell

Color Me Rad 5K This year marks the second Color Me Rad 5K in Jackson. Part of Zippity Doo Dah weekend, the route takes runners and walkers through Fondren’s business and residential streets. Entrants who use the coupon code “fondren” will see 20 percent of their entry fee donated to Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital. Get out your fresh whites for 3.1 miles of color bombs. When: March 22 Where: Fondren; starts at Mississippi Memorial Veterans Stadium How much: $45 (until March 19) Website: jackson-ms

Sweetness Run/Walks Against Obesity The Sweetness run/walk, now in its eighth year, offers a

and Old Canton Road How much: Registration is closed, but the staging area at the start line is open to the community through the day. Website: Find the event on Facebook

Where: Fannin Landing Park, Brandon How much: $30 for individual 5K, $50 for individual

duathlon, $35 per duathlon relay team member; registration is $15 more on event day Website: Warrior Dash Self-proclaimed as the world’s largest obstacle race series, each Warrior Dash route offers a unique combination of landscape, mud, fire and boot camp obstacles. This year’s Jackson race features an all-new route with 3.34 miles of moderately hilly terrain and 12 obstacles such as barricades to scale, barbed wire to climb under and watery trenches to wade through. When: April 26 Where: Providence Hill Farm (2600 Carsley Road) How much: $55 until April 1, $60 until April 22, $75 until April 24, $85 at event Website: location/2014-warrior-dashmississippi Trip Burns

Where: Fondren; starts at the corner of Duling Avenue

3.21 Run Up for Downs This 3.21-mile run/walk is one The Color Run branch of Running for Lily, an orga The Color Run calls itself The Color Me Rad 5K and 3.21 Run Up for Downs kick off spring race season. Pictured are Boss nization dedicated to raising awareness the “Happiest 5K on the Planet” and Queen Jill Conner Browne and other Sweet Potato Queens participating in Color Me Rad last year. for Down’s syndrome. The organizapromises 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of tion began when Jacksonian Brent color-splattering fun with a festival at Lape and his brother Todd decided to the finish line. Another race where parrun 321 race miles in honor of Brent’s daughter Lily, who 5K and a one-mile fun run. Part of JSU’s student life division, ticipants start wearing white and end painted every hue of has Down’s syndrome. This year is the second Run Up for the event strives to “increase obesity awareness in Mississippi the spectrum, the Color Run is calling its 2014 schedule the Downs event, with cash prizes for the top solo and team fin- and to promote physical activity in the community with a Kaleidoscope Tour, with surprises planned for each location. ishers, and a “virtual race” component for interested partici- concentrated effort on the youth,” its website states. When: May 24 pants who can’t make it on race day. Virtual racers sign up on When: March 29 Where: Mississippi Fairgrounds complex the website and run 3.21 miles wherever and whenever they Where: Walter Payton Center at JSU How much: Until May 1, $30 for team members and $35 can during the event day—even on a treadmill. How much: All prices until March 21; $10 one mile solo. After May 1, $35 for team members and $40 solo. When: March 22 run/walk, $15 college students run/walk,
$20 community Website: Where: Old Trace Park, Ridgeland 5K run/walk,
$65 family team (4 member limit),
$75 How much: $15 for one-mile fun run/walk, $30 for 3.21 organizational team (3-5 member limit) Foam Fest 5K mile run/walk, $50 for 3.21 mile Buddy Up, $100 for Website: With a catchphrase of “Get filthy clean,” the Foam Fest 3.21 mile team, $25 virtual registration sweetness-5k-runwalk 5K offers a plethora of obstacles, most of which involve mud, Website: foam or both. Some of the obstacles include 40-foot slides, Racin’ for the Seed barriers, ropes, water tracks and giant slip ‘n’ slides. Foam Fest Fondren Urban Ultra The Mustard Seed “seeks to meet the spiritual, physical, donates some of its proceeds to A Child’s Hope Foundation. The brainchild of liveRIGHTnow and John and Beverly emotional and intellectual needs of adults with developmen- When: May 31 Brower, the first Fondren Urban Ultra is a 12-hour run where tal disabilities.” This year, the Seedster community is throw- Where: Mississippi Off-Road Adventures (118 Elton participants take on a 5K loop as many times as they can. The ing a fundraiser duathlon, which is a 5K run/walk, followed Road) event benefits Cheshire Abbey, which will have dogs up for by a 15-mile bike ride and ending with another 5K run/walk. How much: $75 in advance, $90 on event day adoption. Capital City Beverage will have beer onsite, too. Entrants can choose the duathlon or just a regular 5K. Website: When: March 29 When: April 5 Add more local races and 5Ks at


his week kicks off race and 5K season, and hopefully with it, beautiful spring weather just begging for folks to get outside and run around. Themed and charity runs are more popular than ever; here are a few hitting Jackson soon.


LIFE&STYLE | parenting

Call a Cease Fire

Stop the Mom Wars by Kelly Smith



have found myself listening in on a lot of different conversations lately that somehow come around to judging how other moms do this whole parenting thing. And it makes me feel uncomfortable. Frankly, the whole “being a mom” thing is challenging and all-consuming enough that most of us don’t need the additional stress of judgment, guilt or questioning coming from people outside any given situation—especially from other women who probably struggle at least every once in a while in their role as a mother. Maybe this is too much to ask, but wouldn’t it be amazing if all of us—working moms, stayMost moms are just working to make at-home moms, married moms, divorced the best life they can for their children. moms, single moms, whatever—could find Fellow mothers should support, not a way to build each other up and help each judge one another. other out and live in community together? Short of a situation of suspected abuse or neglect, I believe it is really none of my business who is earning what money, or how someone decides to spend their leisure time, or what someone believes about religion. If a child has the basics like love and education and healthy meals and exercise and a roof over his or her head, and they are safe and happy—isn’t that all that matters? Perhaps some don’t see my framework for the basics of good parenthood as universal. But at the end of the day, all I can really do is check in to see if I have done my best as a mom according to my own individual standards.

• Recognize that every parent has his or her own priorities, beliefs, struggles and desires. • Give other women credit for making the best possible choices for their family—even if you don’t get credit in return. • Stop judging other parents for making choices different from yours. • Remind yourself that you can only see part of the picture. • Agree to disagree. • Consider that even women within the same neighborhood, denomination, social group or school are diverse in a variety of ways. • Find a productive way to end relationships that don’t nurture you as a mom, or that don’t nurture your kids, or that cause you excess stress as a parent. • Stop comparing yourself and others with what you see on Facebook or on Pinterest. • Don’t gossip about other moms in front of your children.

Build Each Other Up

• Take care of yourself and your family first, without thinking about how other people might do it. • Feel confident in your own ability to make the best decisions for your family, and have confidence in other moms to do the same for their families. • Find common ground with other moms when possible. • Commend each other for finding ways to nurture our bodies, minds, and spirits both within and outside of motherhood. • Offer a helping hand or a hot meal or a shoulder to cry on if you have a woman in your life experiencing a time of struggle. • Discuss parenting issues with smart, open-minded people to challenge yourself. • Find a group of parents to ask questions to and make playdates with that builds you up rather than tears you down. • Collaborate with other parents and the teachers at your child’s school to find mutual solutions to improving your children’s education. • Read widely about parenting issues to stay informed and flexible.

girl about town

A Few Good Men


We enjoyed chatting with our table- went out a couple of times with a guy who attempting to woo. Was he saying he liked mates, but at the end, things got a little sent something to her work for her birthday. her as a friend? That he wanted to fatten her weird. My friend mentioned she is divorced I thought she meant flowers, until she sent up? We couldn’t figure it out, but it did not and jokingly said she doesn’t know if she’ll a picture of … a bouquet of candy bars and make her want to fall into his arms. But then, out of all the ever get married again, though she would consider having a strangeness, something sweet child. Suddenly, she found happened. A couple of weeks herself on the receiving end of ago, flowers were delivered to an impassioned lecture from my office by mistake—a bouthe man next to her about his quet of mixed yellow blooms. belief that biblically, once one When the gal from next door is divorced, one cannot remarcame to get them and opened ry without it constituting adulthe card, I couldn’t help but tery unless the ex-spouse dies. ask, “So were these expected, Without pointing out that he or did you have a good date?” himself was divorced and reShe responded they were from married (although his ex-wife a gentleman at her church who remains alive and well), or wanted to get to know her that this seemed inappropriate better. Her birthday was the Beautiful—and uncliché—flowers are a welcome gift over candyjudgmental chiding of a pernext day and the card read, “I bar bouquets any day. son he’d just met, I swept in to couldn’t wait until tomorrow to attempt a defense and change tell you Happy Birthday.” the subject. But on the inside Now that is how it’s I was appalled. We just wanted to enjoy a chips. An utterly confusing and strange ges- done. We determined she definitely should nice evening, and we just met this man. ture, though I’m sure he meant well. Let’s go for drinks with this gent. Whether or not What gave him the right to go off on our just put it this way: If it’s something you’d it turns into a happily ever after is yet to be life choices? send your assistant on Administrative Pro- seen, but it’s always good to be reminded Then there are the men who mean fessionals Day, it’s probably not the best that despite all the judgment and the odd 33 well, but swing and miss. Another friend choice for a lady whose affections you’re men, there are still good men out there.


hough I am now coupled off, it wasn’t always so. I’ve spent pretty much my entire life as a single gal. Additionally, most of my friends are either single or didn’t go the “get married right out of college” route, so we’ve amassed a treasure trove of adventures in dating through the years. Or perhaps more accurately, adventures in non-dating. (I recently had a discussion in which I had to explain how one can find one’s self wondering, “Wait … is this a date?” It’s not always clear.) Non-dating includes encountering a lot of odd male behavior, unwanted advances or inappropriate commentary on one’s single status—and we’ve experienced it all. Let’s start with the inappropriate judging. Especially after a certain age, if one is single, family, friends and even strangers offer commentary on your independent status that leaves you feeling like you’re some sort of freak of nature who should be studied. Case in point: a girlfriend and I went to the Celebrate the Cocktails dinner at Sal & Mookie’s (525 Taylor St.) last winter. Seating for the event was family-style, and as fate would have it, we two young (or young-ish, at least) unmarrieds found ourselves among a table of married folks older than us.

by Julie Skipper



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

AMERICAN/SOUTHERN CUISINE Primos Cafe (2323 Lakeland 601-936-3398/ 515 Lake Harbour 601-898-3400) A Jackson institution for breakfast, blue-plates, catfish, burgers, prime rib, oysters, po-boys & wraps. Famous bakery! Two Sisters Kitchen (707 N. Congress St. 601-353-1180) Lunch. Mon-Fri, Sun. Koinonia (136 Adams St. 601-960-3008) Coffeehouse plus lunch & more! Broad Street Bakery (4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-362-2900) Hot breakfast, coffee drinks, fresh breads & pastries, gourmet deli sandwiches.

PIZZA 904 Basilʼs (904 E. Fortification, 601-352-2002) Creative pizzas, Italian food, burgers & much more. Casual dining in the heart of Belhaven. Sal & Mookieʼs (565 Taylor St. 601-368-1919) Pizzas of all kinds plus pasta, eggplant Parmesan, fried ravioli & ice cream for the kids! Mellow Mushroom (275 Dogwood Blvd, Flowood, 601-992-7499) More than just great pizza and beer. Open Monday - Friday 11-10 and Saturday 11-11.

ITALIAN BRAVO! (4500 Interstate 55 N., Jackson, 601-982-8111) Award-winning wine list, Jackson’s see-and-be-seen casual/upscale dining. Ceramiʼs (5417 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-919-28298) Southern-style Italian cuisine features their signature Shrimp Cerami.


Eslavaʼs Grille (2481 Lakeland Drive, 601-932-4070) Latin-influenced dishes like ceviche in addition to pastas, steaks, salads and other signature seafood dishes. Huntington Grille (1001 East County Line Road, Jackson Hilton, 601-957-2800) Mississippi fine dining features seafood, crayfish, steaks, fried green tomatoes, shrimp & grits, pizzas and more. The Islander Seafood and Oyster House (1220 E Northside Drive, Suite 100, 601-366-5441) Oyster bar, seafood, gumbo, po’boys, crawfish and plenty of Gulf Coast delights in a laid-back Buffet-style atmosphere. Que Sera Sera (2801 N State Street 601-981-2520) Authentic cajun cuisine, excellent seafood and award winning gumbo; come enjoy it all this summer on the patio. The Penguin (1100 John R Lynch Street, 769.251.5222) Fine dining at its best. Rockyʼs (1046 Warrington Road, Vicksburg 601-634-0100) Enjoy choice steaks, fresh seafood, great salads, hearty sandwiches. Sal and Philʼs Seafood (6600 Old Canton Rd, Ridgeland (601) 957-1188) Great Seafood, Poboys, Lunch Specials, Boiled Seafood, Full Bar, Happy Hour Specials Sheaʼs on Lake Harbour (810 Lake Harbour Drive, Ridgeland, MS 39157 (601) 427-5837) Seafood, Steaks and Southern Cuisine! Great Brunch, Full Bar Outdoor and Seating

MEDITERRANEAN/GREEK Aladdin Mediterranean Grill (730 Lakeland Drive 601-366-6033) Delicious authentic dishes including lamb dishes, hummus, falafel, kababs, shwarma. Vasilios Greek Cusine (828 Hwy 51, Madison 601-853-0028) Authentic greek cuisine since 1994, specializing in gyros, greek salads, baklava cheesecake & fresh daily seafood.


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

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


Burgers and Blues (1060 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland 601-899-0038) Best Burger of 2013, plus live music and entertainment! Capitol Grill (5050 I-55 North, Deville Plaza 601-899-8845) Best happy hour & sports bar, kitchen open late, pub food with soul and live entertainment. Cherokee Inn (960 Briarfield Rd. 601-362-6388) Jackson’s “Best Hole in the Wall,” has a great jukebox, great bar and a great burger. City Grille( 1029 Hwy 51, Madison (601) 607-7885) Southern with Blue Plate Specials; Seafood and Steaks, Happy Hour, Kid Friendly Cool Alʼs (4654 McWillie, 601-713-3020) Cool Al’s signature stacked, messy, decadent, creative burgers defy adjectives. Don’t forget the fries! Fenianʼs Pub (901 E. Fortification St. 601-948-0055) Classic Irish pub featuring a menu of traditional food, pub sandwiches & Irish beers on tap. Hal and Malʼs (200 S. Commerce St. 601-948-0888) Pub favorites meet Gulf Coast and Cajun specialties like red beans and rice, the Oyster Platter or daily specials. Martinʼs Restaurant and Lounge (214 South State Street 601-354-9712) Lunch specials, pub appetizers or order from the full menu of po-boys and entrees. Full bar, beer selection. Mc Bʼs (815 Lake Harbour Dr. Ridgeland (601) 956-8362) Blue plates, amazing burgers, live music, cold beer, reservoir area Mississippi Legends (5352 Lakeland Dr. Flowood (601) 919-1165) American, Burgers, Pub Food, Happy Hour, Kid Friendly, Late Night, Sports Bar, Outdoor Dining 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. Underground 119 (119 South President St. 601-352-2322) Pan-seared crabcakes, shrimp and grits, filet mignon, vegetarian sliders. Live music. Opens 4 p.m., 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.

March 19 - 25, 2014



Crazy Ninja (2560 Lakeland Dr., Flowood 601-420-4058) Rock-n-roll sushi and cook-in-front-of-you hibachi. Lunch specials, bento boxes, fabulous cocktails. Fusion Japanese and Thai Cuisine (1002 Treetop Blvd, Flowood 601-664-7588) Specializing in fresh Japanese and Thai cuisine, an extensive menu features everything from curries to fresh sushi Nagoya Japanese Sushi Bar & Hibachi Grill (6351 I-55 North, Ste. 131, Jackson 601-977-8881) Fresh sushi, delicious noodles, sizzling hibach & refreshing cocktails from one of jackson’s most well-known japanese restaurants. Ruchi India (862 Avery Blvd @ County Line Rd. 601-991-3110) Classic Indian cuisine from multiple regions. Lamb, vegetarian, chicken, shrimp and more.

VEGETARIAN 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.

For those looking to get more green vegetables, but sick of the same old thing, bok choy is a different variant on a familiar veggie.

Get to Know: Chinese Cabbage


few years ago while living in Emeryville, Calif., I appeared on a local raw cooking show in Berkeley. During my session, I made a fresh salad with bok choy (something I had never heard of before in my life). Later, I found that bok choy was a Chinese vegetable very similar to cabbage. On a recent grocery-store run, I gave myself a mission. I set out to get a variety of different vegetables that our family rarely or has never eaten—bok choy was one. When it came time to use it as a side to our main dish, I kept it simple by sautéing it in olive oil. Spices or flavors such as onion and garlic give the green leaves a little boost in dimension. This vegetable with roots in China is sure to make you go hmm. If you are looking for something different to bring to your dining table, give it a try. Be forwarned, though—like spinach, bok choy wilts to almost nothing when sautéed or simmered, so it takes more than you’d think to feed a family of three.

by Tam Curley

Sautéed Bok Choy 4 cups of chopped bok choy 2 teaspoon olive oil 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder

In a medium saucepan on low-medium, heat olive oil for about three minutes. Add the bok choy, sea salt, onion and garlic powder and mix evenly. Cover the saucepan with a lid, leaving one side partially uncovered. After the bok choy has cooked slowly for about 20 minutes, remove the pan from the heat. Serve on the side along with different colored vegetables. Serves three.

More About Bok Choy • • •

• • •

Bok choy is one of two types of Chinese cabbage, or Brassica rapa. The first subspecies is Pekinensis, and the second (aka bok choy) is Chinensis. Bok choy has smooth dark green leaves clustered together like mustard or celery. The vegetable can be spelled different ways depending on the country, including bok choi, pak choi. It also can take different names entirely—in English speaking countries, the food is also known as Chinese chard, Chinese mustard, celery mustard and spoon cabbage, and in China, one name literally translates to “oil vegetable.” The name “bok choy” itself translates to “white vegetable.” Health-wise, bok choy is high in vitamins A and C. The vegetable belongs to the same genus as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.

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March 19 - 25, 2014

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8 DAYS p 38 | MUSIC p 42 | SPORTS p 44

James Patterson developed an interest in photography at a young age.


I am still trying to find it. That’s the thing about photography: You can stand for five hours, pointing and shooting and never getting the shot.

A Photographer’s Eye

Why did you choose photography as a medium?

Well, I like visual influences. I like media, not social media, but actual media, like the news—newspapers and visual media. I enjoy how stories can be told through pictures and then ultimately telling a full story with just one picture. So, what do you like about photography?

I like how if you set a picture in front of (people), no matter black, white, rich, or poor, male or female, it will be acknowledged. I do a lot of work—commercial, editorial and portrait. I also do a lot of work for fun and for my enjoyment,

by Christina Spann

like my pictures at the Dixie National Rodeo. I just enjoyed being there and getting the shot. What are your dislikes, if any?

I love photography. There isn’t too much that I dislike. However, I guess if I had to think of a dislike it’s that sometimes the work doesn’t have to be there, and the artist overshadows the art. Sometimes the work doesn’t speak for itself if the artist is already well known. However, even after the artist dies, the art is still there, and the work lives on. What is it about portraits that you find the most intriguing?

I like portraits because I like interacting with people and capturing and looking at people’s emotions. One of the reasons I love photographing in the south—like Jackson, the Delta and New Orleans—is the people. The people are what make up these areas and places. What is the most interesting subject you have photographed?

That’s an interesting question. I haven’t found it, yet.

What kind of equipment do you use?

I use a medium-format digital Nikon professional camera with a portrait lens. I also use a 80 millimeter Hasselblad lens, 35 millimeter lens and 80 millimeter lens. What do you use to edit your pictures?

I keep it simple and use (Adobe) Lightroom and Photoshop. Do you have any tips for new photographers?

It’s important to look at art around you and look for influences. I am thankful for all influences. There is always someone better or something better. It is also important to know the arithmetic of photography and to expect what is going to come out of your picture. The photographer should have some idea what they are looking at and what is there to be expected from the shot. It is important to be open to everything and to appreciate the work of others. I consider myself technically proficient, but I am still looking for something important to say.


ames Patterson’s studio, 119 Gallery, is simple, like his photography. The white walls are lined with his work. His photography speaks volumes as he captures emotions of the subjects he has photographed. Patterson says he finds his inspiration by “looking at influences past and present that are around me.” He was born in Arizona, moved to Jackson and then back to Jackson at the age of 11. He graduated from University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in journalism and an emphasis in photography. Patterson is most known for his portraits of people, from artists to local business owners to regular, everyday people. He has been a photographer since the age of 12. His childhood neighbor, who was a photographer, and his grandmother, a painter, influenced him to start taking photos. I continued with my hobby through high school and college. I sat down with Patterson recently to discuss his work.

The Mississippi Museum of Art currently displays three of James Patterson’s portraits in its “New Acquisitions” exhibit. 119 Gallery is located at 3017 N. State Street. Visit 37 or call 601-918-3232 for more information.




C3: Public Unveiling of Core Sample Installation is at Mississippi Museum of Art.

CARA’s Wine Tasting Fundraiser is at Olga’s Fine Dining.

Michael Garriga signs copies of and reads from “The Book of Duels” at Lemuria.

BEST BETS March 19 - 25, 2014

Courtesy Moonstruck Promotions


Shellie Rushing Tomlinson signs copies of “Heart Wide Open” at 11 a.m. at Lorelei Books (1103 Washington St., Vicksburg). $14.99 book; call 601-634-8624; loreleibooks. com. … Bottleneck Blues Bar Comedy Tour is at 7 p.m. at Ameristar Bottleneck Blues Bar (4116 S. Washington St., Vicksburg). Performers include A.G. White and Ice Dawg. Free; call 601-638-1000;


Courtesy K. Michelle

Lagniappe: A Little Something Extra Opening Reception is from 5-7 p.m. at Mississippi Library Commission (3881 Eastwood Drive). Free; call 601-432-4111; email … C3: Public Unveiling of Core Sample Installation is at 6 p.m. at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Free; call 601-960-1515;

K. Michelle headlines the Rebellious Soul Tour, which comes to the Jackson Convention Complex March 21.


March 19 - 25, 2014

Bill Cotter signs copies of “The Parallel Apartments” at 5 p.m. at Lemuria Books (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). Reading at 5:30 p.m. $25 book; call 601-366-7619; … The Rebellious Soul Tour is at 8 p.m. at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). Performers include K. Michelle, Carl Thomas and Jon B. $37-$62.50; call 800-745-3000. … Comedy Show is at 8:30 p.m. at Cherokee Inn (1410 Old Square Road). Comedians include Hattiesburg native Jamie Arrington and New 38 Orleans native Rich Aronovitch. $10; call 601-362-6388.

Last Waltz Ensemble brings the music of Bob Dylan and The Band to Martin’s Bar March 22.


Color Me Rad 5K is at 9 a.m. at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium (2531 N. State St.). $45-$50; … Humana Healthcare Tour is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). Free; call 877-229-6285; health-care-reform. … Street Carnival is from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. at Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint (565 Taylor St.). Free; email tanyab@bravobuzz. com; … “Chamber IV: Chamber in the Chapel” is at 7:30 p.m. at Tougaloo College (500 W. County Line Road). The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and pianist Alon Goldstein perform. $16; call 601-9601565; … RPM Party is at 9 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). DJ Young Venom, DJ Stephen Urquel and DJ Phingaprint spin hits from Rick James, Prince by BRIANA ROBINSON and Michael Jackson. $8 in advance, $10 at the door; call 292-7999; … Last Waltz Ensemble performs Fax: 601-510-9019 at 10 p.m. at Martin’s Bar (214 Daily updates at S. State St.). Call 601-354-9712;



Great Southern Motorcycle Expo is from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. at Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.). $10; call 601-832-3020; email … “Mississippi Folk and the Tales They Tell: Myths, Legends and Bald-Faced Lies” is from 2-5 p.m. at Mississippi Craft

Center (950 Rice Road, Ridgeland). Diane Williams signs books. Includes a reception, and a discussion with the author and book photographer Susan Liles. Free, books for sale; call 601-856-7546;


CARA’s Wine Tasting Fundraiser is from 6-8 p.m. at Olga’s Fine Dining (4760 Interstate 55 N.). $45 in advance, $55 at the door; call 601-497-0375; … Fuel performs at 7:30 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). H2NY also performs. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. $18 in advance, $20 at the door; call 601-292-7999;


Guenoc Wine Tasting is at 6 p.m. at Anjou Restaurant (361 Township Ave., Ridgeland). $16; call 601707-0587; … The Ten Tenors is at 7:30 p.m. at Bologna Performing Arts Center (Delta State University, 1003 W. Sunflower Road, Cleveland). The Australian group performs Broadway hits. $25-$45; call 662-846-4626;


Michael Garriga signs copies of “The Book of Duels” at 5 p.m. at Lemuria Books (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). Reading at 5:30 p.m. $26.95 book; call 601-366-7619; email; … “Elton John: The Million Dollar Piano” is at 7 p.m. at Malco Grandview Cinema (221 Grandview Blvd., Madison). $15; call 601-898-7819;


The Laramie Project by

and the

Moisés Kaufman Members of Tectonic Theater Project

Ellen Langford Opening Reception Thursday, March 20th 5 until 7:30pm Dickies Building, 4 th Floor 736 S. President Street, Downtown Jackson 601-291-9115 • 3/7/14 8:30 PM

Morrison Brothers Music

Shop and Support your Community! 888 Avery Blvd Promenade Shopping Center on County Line Rd


This weekend, March 21st through 23rd we’re going to donate 10% of proceeds to Friends of Children’s Hospital and Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children


JFP-Sponsored Events WEDNESDAY





5 -9PM














TALENT SEARCH NIGHT Local bands tryout for gigs On stage w/ pro sound & lights Both bars open

1.50 Pick & Grab Beers & 2 for 1 draft





10 - close $1 PBR & Highlife $2 Margaritas 10pm - 12am

March 19 - 25, 2014


3/26: New Belgium Beer Special Tasting 3/27: Patrick Sweany 3/28: Benjamin Booker 3/29: Bella Machine with Hartle Road (New Ep produced by Matt Patton of Dexateens & Drive By Truckers) 4/10: Zoogma 4/11: The New Orleans Suspects 4/18: Dax Riggs (Dead Boy & The Elephant Men, Acid Bath) 4/19: Otis Lotus 4/26: Filthy Six featuring Nick Etwell of Mumford and Sons SEE OUR NEW MENU

W W W. M A R T I N S L O U N G E . N E T

214 S. STATE ST. 601.354.9712 DOWNTOWN JACKSON

Crossroads Music Video Showcase April 11, 7 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). See music videos featuring local filmmakers and performers. James Crow, The Hons, and That Scoundrel perform. $5; call 601-345-5674; email; Taste of Mississippi April 7, 7 p.m.-10 p.m., at Highland Village (4500 Interstate 55 N.). Enjoy food from 40 fine restaurants, a silent auction, and music from Hunter Gibson and the Gators, and Pryor Graeber and the Tomestones. Proceeds benefit Stewpot Community Services. Admission TBA; call 601-353-2759; Crossroads Film Festival April 12, 6:45 p.m.April 13, 9:30 a.m.April 14, 12:50 p.m., at Malco Grandview Cinema (221 Grandview Blvd., Madison). Enjoy independent films, workshops and parties during at the three-day event. Discounts for members, students and seniors. $8 per film, $20 one-day pass, $59 all-access pass; call 601345-5674; email;

Community History is Lunch: Commemorating 175 Years of the Old Capitol, at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Sessions are at noon. Free; call 601-5766998; • March 19, Millsaps College history professor Stephanie Rolph talks about civil and voting rights during Old Capitol’s history. • March 26, MDAH Museum Division director Lucy Allen discusses the museum history of the Old Capitol. Zippity Doo Dah Weekend March 20-23, in Fondren. The Sweet Potato Queens’ event includes Dancing in the Streets on Duling Avenue March 21 and a parade honoring Vietnam veterans March 22. Colour Revolt performs after parade. Free parade; schedule at Precinct 3 COPS Meeting March 20, 6 p.m., at Jackson Police Department, Precinct 3 (3925 W. Northside Drive). The forum is to help resolve community issues. Free; call 601-960-0003. Edible Schoolyard Workday March 20, 6 p.m., at Funtime Preschool of Clinton (400 Clinton Parkway, Clinton). The preschool seeks volunteers and donations to help start the garden. Free; call 601-618-1416. Women’s Conference March 21, 7-9 p.m., and March 22, 8 a.m.-noon, at Agape Christian Fellowship Church (787 E. Northside Drive). $25; call 601-850-9838. Women’s History Month Awards Ceremony March 23, 4 p.m., at China Grove A.M.E. Church (1060 Mannsdale Road, Madison). The theme is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment.” The church and Circle of Hope for Depression Awareness honors women who have made a difference in their careers and communities. Free; call 601-919-7444. Jackson Public Schools Community Meeting March 24, 1 p.m., at Jackson Public Schools (621 S. State St.), in the Board of Trustees Meet-

Food and Drink Abita Beer Dinner March 20, 5 p.m., at Nick’s Restaurant (3000 Old Canton Road). Enjoy a five-course meal paired with different brews, and take home a mix-and-match six pack. $45; call 601-981-8017. Sweet Potato Brunch March 22, 11 a.m., at High Noon Cafe (Rainbow Plaza, 2807 Old Canton Road). The sweet potato-themed menu features vegetarian and vegan dishes. The event is part of Zippity Doo Dah Weekend. Prices vary; call 3661513; find Sweet Potato Brunch on Facebook. Chilean Wine Tasting March 24, 6 p.m., at Amerigo Italian Restaurant (6592 Old Canton Road). Sample four Chilean wines, including Aresit Chardonnay and Cono Sur Pinot Noir. Wines are paired with bruschetta al Pomodoro and tiramisu. Reservations required. $20 plus tax and tip; call 601-977-0563; CARA’s Wine Tasting Fundraiser March 24, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., at Olga’s Fine Dining (4760 Interstate 55 N.). The fundraiser for Community Animal Rescue and Adoption includes wine and food pairings, a silent auction, door prizes and music from Double Ramm Outlaws. $45 in advance, $55 at the door; call 601-497-0375; Guenoc Wine Tasting March 25, 6 p.m., at Anjou Restaurant (361 Township Ave., Ridgeland). Enjoy four California wines from the Guenoc Winery and a small cheese plate. Reservations recommended but not required. $16 plus tax and tip; call 601-707-0587;

Wellness Food As Medicine, the Macrobiotic Approach March 21, 6:30-9 p.m., at Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St.). Enjoy a southern-style macrobiotic meal and a lecture from Edward Esko of the Kushi Institute. RSVP by March 19. Call to schedule a personal consultation with the guest speaker. $45 per person; call 601-954-4448 (dinner) or 601624-9481 (consultations); email Humana Healthcare Tour March 22, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). Certified Humana agents assist residents in signing up for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Free; call 877-2296285; March to Healthcare Tour March 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Jackson City Hall (219 S. President St.). Free; call 601-355-0025; email kweatherspoon@; Our Fight to End Childhood Obesity March 22, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at Metrocenter Mall (1395 Metrocenter Drive). Enjoy march aerobics, boxing demonstrations, Zumba fitness, line dancing, drill fit aerobics and more. Free; call 601-977-7797 or 601-918-4350; email or Complimentary Dyslexia Screening March 24-25, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., at Dore Jackson (1850 Lakeland Drive, Suite P-221). Screenings are open to the public. Participants must be at least 7 years old. Free; call 326-5550; Pub Run March 26, 6 p.m., at Soulshine Pizza Factory (1111 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). Run two or four miles. Register for door prizes before the race at Fleet Feet Sports. Free; call 601-899-9696;

Showcase of Talent


he Actor’s Playhouse (121 Paul Truitt Lane, Pearl) will host its annual Showcase of Talent March 22. The event is open for participants, regardless of age and experience. “They can be first-timers, they can be seasoned performers, it doesn’t matter,” says Cynthia Stuart, who serves on the theater’s board of directors and oversees the event. “Singing, dance, duets, solo, monologue, magic —just anything they’d like to showcase.” Stuart created the Showcase at Actor’s Playhouse three years ago. A four-person panel will judge contestants, with trophies awarded to the top 15 scorers. The event is open to the public for $5, and refreshments will be available. “They can come and go or stay all day,” Stuart says. “It’s just a real fun time. It’s growing every year.” About 50 applicants have signed up for the event. The Showcase serves as a fundraiser for Actor’s Playhouse, which just celebrated its 10th year. Actor’s Playhouse was founded in 2004 by Lavonne Bruckner, who serves as the theater’s artistic director. The goal of the nonprofit is to produce quality en-

tertainment while providing a broadening theater experience and an outlet for creative involvement for the community. Besides serving as a channel for creative expression for the community, the Showcase of Talcourtesy Actor’s Playhouse


Sante South Wine Festival April 5, 6:30-10 p.m., at Renaissance at Colony Park (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). Sample more than 120 wines and food from more than 20 Mississippi restaurants. The VIP tasting is at 6:30 p.m., and the grand tasting is at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association of Mississippi. VIP tasting: $125; grand tasting: $80 in advance, $90 at the door, $20 wine giveaway ticket; call 601-987-0020;

ing Room. Get first-hand information about the JPS Accreditation Process and hear the goals the district is set to achieve this school year. Free; call 601-960-2782;

The winners of last year’s showcase were Heather Van Horn, Cade Mitchell, Dalton Mitchell, Chesney Mitchell, Kadie Lee (seen left to right).

ent provides a major source of funding for the theater’s productions. Money raised from this year’s Showcase will help fund the production of the Stephen Sondheim musical “Company,” which the Playhouse will mount this summer in partnership with Fondren Theatre Workshop. For more information contact Cynthia Stuart at - Demetrice Sherman

Japanese Film Series at Malco Grandview Cinema (221 Grandview Blvd., Madison). The Japan-America Society of Mississippi and the Crossroads Film Society host. Showings are at 7 p.m. Films include “Brave Story” March 20 and “Robo-G” March 27. Free; call 601-898-7819; “Civil War: The Untold Story” March 20, 7 p.m., at Vicksburg National Military Park (3201 Clay St., Vicksburg). See a sneak peek of episode 3, “River of Death.” The five-part documentary airs on MPB starting April 1. A Q&A with filmmaker Chris Wheeler and park staff follows the screening. Free; call 601-638-1970; The Classic Rock Purim Shpiel March 22, 7 p.m., at Beth Israel Congregation (5315 Old Canton Road). The Purim play features music from Queen, Eric Clapton and more. Free; call 601-850-6625; email

Music Events at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). Call 601-292-7999; • The Fleshtones March 19, 8 p.m. Used Goods also performs. $10 in advance, $12 day of show. • RPM Party March 22, 9 p.m. DJ Young Venom, DJ Stephen Urquel and DJ Phingaprint play hits from Rick James, Prince and Michael Jackson. Cocktails at 8 p.m. $8 in advance, $10 at the door, $3 surcharge for patrons under 21. • Mingo Fishtrap March 23, 7:30 p.m. The soul and funk band from Austin performs. Cocktails at 6:30 p.m. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. • Fuel March 24, 7:30 p.m. The band is known for songs such as “Shimmer” and “Hemorrhage (In My Hands).” H2NY also performs. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. $18 in advance, $20 at the door, $3 surcharge for patrons under 21. National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition March 20-22, at Belhaven University (835 Riverside Drive). Vocalists studying in Mississippi compete in the regional and state competitions. Free; call 601-974-6494; email; Michael Bolton March 21, 8 p.m., at Beau Rivage Resort and Casino (875 Beach Blvd., Biloxi), The R&B singer is known for the song “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?” $50-$70; call 888-566-7469;

Literary and Signings Events at Lemuria Books (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). Call 601-366-7619; email info@; • “The Parallel Apartments” March 21, 5 p.m. Bill Cotter signs books. Reading at 5:30 p.m. $25 book. • “The Book of Duels” March 26, 5 p.m. Michael Garriga signs books. Reading at 5:30 p.m. $26.95 book. • “Christian Faith in the Old Testament: The Bible of the Apostles” March 22, 2 p.m. Gareth Cockerill signs books. $14.99 book. An Evening with Jennifer Pharr Davis March 19, 6 p.m., at Eudora Welty Library (300 N. State St.). Davis holds the record for the fastest hike of the 2,181-mile Appalachian Trail. Free, books for sale; call 601-968-5825. Literature and the Armed Resistance Movement March 19, 6 p.m., at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.). JSU’s English Department and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

host the lecture. Speakers include authors Dr. Akinyele Umoja and Charlie Braxton. Free; call 979-2121; email;

Creative Classes Events at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). • Spring Figure Drawing Class starting March 24. Jerrod Partridge is the instructor. Sessions are Mondays from 6-9 p.m. for 10 weeks. RSVP. $275; • Art in Mind Art Program March 26, 10-11:45 a.m. The Alzheimer’s Association of Mississippi offers the program for people with early-stage dementia and their caregivers. RSVP. Free; call 601-987-0020; Do It Herself Mosaic Tile Class March 20, 6:30-8 p.m., at all Home Depot locations. Learn how to select tile, materials and tools, and proper installation techniques such as surface preparation and grouting. Free; Photography Class March 22, 8 a.m.-9:30 a.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). The class is for ages 16 and up. RSVP. $35, $30 members; call 601-352-2580, ext. 240; Cooking Class March 22, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at Rain­ drop Turkish House (900 E. County Line Road, Suite 201A, Ridgeland). Learn to make Turkish appetizers, entrees and desserts. RSVP. $15 per session; call 769-251-0074; email jacksonrwa@;

Exhibits and Openings ArtTalk March 20, noon, at Lauren Rogers Museum of Art (565 N. Fifth Ave., Laurel). March 20, noon. Storyteller Diane Williams is the guest speaker. Williams will sign copies of her book, “Mississippi Folk and the Tales They Tell.” Free, books for sale. Call 601-649-6374; Museum After Hours March 20, 5 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Enjoy a cash bar and exhibition tours. Intended for young professionals, but all ages welcome. Call 601-960-1515; It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But We Like It) Photography Show March 22, 5-8:30 p.m., at Spectacles Gallery (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 143). See 25 limited-edition photographs of Elvis Presley from Keith Russell’s collection. Includes Elvis-inspired refreshments, music from Suzannah McGowan and more. Free; call 601-720-8849; email the_;

Be the Change Spring Equinox Restorative Yoga Class March 20, 5:45 p.m., at Tara Yoga Studio (200 Park Circle, Suite 4, Flowood). Proceeds benefit the Animal Rescue Fund. Free, pet food or monetary donations welcome; call 601-720-2337; email; 1932 Ford Roadster Replica Auction March 22, 2 p.m., at Trustmark Park (1 Braves Way, Pearl). Bids start at $15,500 for the car that friends of the late Jack Brown, a cancer patient, restored. Proceeds will be donated to the Baptist Health Foundation to benefit patients treated at Baptist Cancer Services. Free admission; call 601-932-8788. Check for updates and more listings, or to add your own events online. You can also email event details to to be added to the calendar. The deadline is noon the Wednesday prior to the week of publication.

Stage and Screen



Breaking Walls with O’Brother by Micah Smith

a tonal shift for O’Brother, has been met with some trepidation by a few fans. “Disillusion,” which hit shelves in August 2013, delivers a darkly psychedelic mood and employs more ambient, atmospheric sound than driving distortion. “I feel like it’s taking the general fan base a little longer to accept, or ‘get,’ our new material,” Dang says. “The people who like it do love it a lot. And personally for me, a lot of my favorite albums didn’t click at first, but after a while they just grow on you and connect.” Even with some apprehension from longtime listeners, O’Brother has enjoyed success on several levels since the release of “Disillusion.” Though the band members are currently traveling with metal bands Big Business and The Sword, they’ve taken days off from the tour to headline concerts across the country. “It’s a newer thing for us, really. We had our first headlining tour in August and September last year, so that was the first real feel of that,” Dang says. “The goal on the shows with The Sword and Big Business is to fit in as many songs as possible into these 30 minutes. When we’re headlining, we think of a set list that will cater to people who actually like us, instead of those half-hour sets where we’re trying to win people over however we can.” O’Brother performs at 8 p.m. March 26 at Morningbell Records & Café (4760 Interstate 55 N., Suite A, 769-2337468). Glass Rivers and Waypoint also perform. Admission is $9 in advance and $10 at the door. Visit Courtesy O’Brother


hen it comes to creative output, Atlantabased O’Brother flies by the seat of its collective pants. While that may sound silly, it only takes a quick look through the music releases that bullet-point the band’s eight-year career to realize the truth of it. Listeners who latched on to the Taking Back Sunday-esque alternative tunes of 2006’s “In Comparison to Me” EP may no longer recognize the group of men that take the stage each night under the “nature swirl” logo, but that’s the kind of band that O’Brother wants to be. Of course, it’s easy to point out a few key differences: singer Tanner Merritt, 27, has a lower, gruffer voice than that of drummer and former vocalist Michael Martens, 28; and newcomer Jordan McGhin, 23, clearly distinguishes himself from the previous guitarist through his use of a rumbling baritone electric. And according to founding member and bassist Anton Dang, 29, the experience of releasing O’Brother’s newest cre- Southeastern experimental-rock band O’Brother shows it isn’t ation out into the world has been a wholly unique one. afraid to make waves, creating unapologetically raw music and letting the fans decide for themselves. “With ‘Disillusion,’ we knew it would be different even going in the studio,” Dang says. “It was really one of our first times working with a legitimate producer instead They decided to return to his studio, and Sapone’s role beof just doing it mostly on our own, like we had in the past.” came significantly greater this go-round. Dang and the entire O’Brother roster, which also includes “We went in with a basic picture of the songs and left it Anton’s younger brother, guitarist Johnny Dang, 27, worked up to being in the studio to put everything together,” Dang with Brand New and Crime in Stereo producer Mike Sapone says. “We did a lot of experimenting in the studio.” on their first full-length album, 2011’s “Garden Window.” That experimentation, which yielded something of

music in theory

by Micah Smith

The Fray’s ‘Helios’ Burns up on Entry


March 19 - 25, 2014


t seems like ages since Colorado piano- ly but most importantly, it’s OK to let the pop band The Fray released something piano sound like a piano. The latter point new, though it actually hasn’t been at all. has become an endangered sonic species, as The band released the album “Scars and modulated synths overtake mallet-hits-string Stories” in 2012. However, when it comes pianos. “Helios” is no exception here. to preserving mainstream popularity, two Once, I had something of a soft spot whole years are practically eons. Listening to for The Fray. However, “Helios” released the band’s newest alme from whatever bum, “Helios,” I can’t unspoken support imagine this is what I held for a number fans were waiting to of reasons, not the hear. Occasionally, least of which is the “Helios” offers more fact that it regularly fundamentals, which breaks the cardinal is good news if you rule for bands with love The Fray—but signature instruit also offers comiments by abandoncally abundant ating the keys entirely. tempts to modernize That’s certainly the the band’s sound, The Fray shears some of its triedcase in “Shadow and which is bad news if and-true formula for an attempt at a Dancer,” wherein reimaging, resulting in the confused, you liked its music. synth pads answer synth-soaked “Helio.” Firstly, I subthe unwanted quesscribe to the Billy tion of what The Joel school of thought when it comes to pia- Fray would sound like if remixed by A Flock nos: First, key riffs can be a song’s foundation of Seagulls. It’s not that the synths are bad; it’s and trimming; second, never fully tether the that they’re everywhere in what is very clearly vocal melody to the riff’s melody; and last- a piano ballad with an identity crisis.


At least a few other songs fare better, one being the opening track and obvious single “Hold My Hand,” a fun, effective anthem that features a great use of sparing choral arrangement. It cleverly seesaws between the album’s over-the-top synth and the acoustic piano from The Fray’s previous offerings. Another of the record’s successes, “Love Don’t Die,” crests on a little of The Black Keys’ bluesy darker tone and a dash of the folksy sing-along choruses like those of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. (Fear not, the song has a more recognizable sound than that bizarre description would suggest.) Likewise, “Our Last Days” and “Keep on Wanting” make for positive, if familiar, listening experiences than most of the record’s runtime and, stylistically, are probably easiest to pair with The Fray’s past hits like “You Found Me” and “How to Save a Life.” Part of me also wants to mention the bouncing, bare bones song “Wherever This Goes,” as it has some generally good elements. While it has, for lack of a better term, a pretty cool feel and does deserve a spot on “Helios,” it feels fairly stagnant on its own. Sure, I give a gentle round of applause for avoiding the trap of having the band build

and explode at the tail end, but that ultimately just means it’s pretty stationary. Much of the album plays out in a similar fashion, with each song grasping at distinguishing or memorable factors beside more or less synth, more or less dance beat, or more or less resemblance to Kool & the Gang. Seriously, The Fray’s “Give It Away” sounds like a mash-up of “Get Down on It,” Christopher Cross’ “Ride Like the Wind” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” minus whatever dynamic makes those songs work. In fact, I suppose dynamics are where The Fray loses its footing the most, in essence. Through searching for a greater personality beyond “the raspy-voiced band with the piano,” which is an understandable ambition, The Fray lost most of what made it instantly identifiable, culminating in a far less confident release than you’d expect from a band with multiple Grammy Award nominations. Few tracks sound similar to the others on “Helios,” aiming to scratch the surface of many genres, but as a result and worse still, some tracks sound too similar to other contemporary and classic artists. While The Fray’s “Helios” isn’t a bad album, it is an unquestionably confusing one.

Music listings are due noon Monday to be included in print and online listings:

Burgers & Blues - Jesse “Guitar” Smith 5:30 p.m. Duling Hall - The Fleshtones w/ Used Goods 8 p.m. $10 advance $12 door all ages Fitzgerald’s - Johnny Barranco 4:30 p.m., Johnny Crocker 8 p.m. Hal & Mal’s - Singer/Songwriter Night w/Natalie Long feat. Adam Barkley, Jacob Clark, Steve Deaton & Eric Strainer 7 p.m. Hamp’s Place - Best in Hip-Hop w/Aziatikk Blakk Kathryn’s - Brian Jones 6:30 p.m. M Bar - 50 Cent Wednesdays w/DJ Durdy Costello 7 p.m. free Martin’s - JCBCB (Jerry Garcia Band Cover Band) McB’s - Shaun Patterson & Jonathan Alexander 8 p.m. Shucker’s - Kern Pratt & The Accused 8 p.m. Underground 119 - Big Easy Three 6:30 p.m. free

McB’s - Dain Edwards 5 p.m., Brian Jones 8 p.m. Ole Tavern - Denton Hatcher w/Killer Whale Olga’s - Hunter Gibson & Ronnie McGee 8 p.m. Pelican Cove - The StoneCoats 7 p.m. Reed Pierce’s, Byram - South of 20 9 p.m. free Shucker’s - Bikini Frankenstein 8 p.m. $5, Sid Thompson & DoubleShotz (deck) 10 p.m. free Soulshine, Lakeland - Barry Leach Soulshine, Ridgeland - Jason Turner Soul Wired Cafe - MINDgasm Erotic Poetry 7 p.m., Common Concert After Party 10:30 p.m. Underground 119 - Southern Komfort Brass Band 9 p.m. $10

March 24 - Monday

March 20 - Thursday Burgers & Blues - Doug Frank 5:30 p.m. F. Jones Corner - Mr. Dillon’s Jukebox midnight Fenian’s - Spirits of the House Georgia Blue, Flowood - JasonTurner Georgia Blue, Madison - Richard McCain Iron Horse Grill - Swear & Shake 7:30 p.m. Kathryn’s - Greenfish 6:30 p.m. free Kemistry - Open Mic w/Cody Smith 9 p.m. M Bar - Sippin & Trippin Comedy Show w/DJ Shanomak 8 p.m. free MorningBell Records & Cafe - Songwriter Night feat. Mark Roemer, Joshua Little & Cody Cox 8 p.m. $5 all ages Olga’s - Brian Jones 7 p.m. Shea’s - Barry Leach Soulshine, Ridgeland - Chris Gill Soul Wired Cafe - Eudora Welty Open Mic Java & Jazz 6 p.m. Underground 119 - Lacy Crawford 7 p.m. free

March 21 - Friday Ameristar Bottleneck Blues Bar, Vicksburg - Stevie J 9 p.m. free Burgers & Blues - Acoustic Crossroads noon, Three Hour Tour 6 p.m. Capitol Grill - Stace & Cassie 9 p.m. Cherokee Inn - Rich Aronovitch w/ Jamie Arrington 8:30 p.m. $10 Fenian’s - Justin Patterson Georgia Blue, Flowood - Shaun Patterson Georgia Blue, Madison - Brian Jones Hamp’s Place - Best in R&B & Southern Soul Iron Horse Grill - Cody Beebe & The Crooks 8:30 p.m. Jackson Convention Complex - The Rebellious Soul Tour feat. K. Michelle, Carl Thomas & Jon B. 8 p.m. Jackson State University, Rose McCoy Auditorium - Common 7 p.m. free Julep - Brian Jones 11 p.m. Kathryn’s - Bill & Temperance 7 p.m. M Bar - Flirt Fridays w/DJ 901 free Martin’s - Dead Gaze w/Young Buffalo 10 p.m.

Hot Shots, Byram - Mike and Marty’s Jam Session Kathryn’s - Grosshart, Gaines & Boyer 6 p.m. free Martin’s - The Oarsman McB’s - Will & Linda 2 p.m. Pelican Cove - Stace & Cassie noon Shucker’s - Acoustic Crossroads 3:30 p.m. free Sombra Mexican Kitchen - John Mora 11 a.m. Sophia’s, Fairview Inn - Knight Bruce 11 a.m. Soul Wired Cafe - GenNxt Open Mic Beat Battle Challenge 6 p.m. Table 100 - Raphael Semmes 11:30 a.m. Wellington’s - Andy Hardwick 11 a.m.

DJ Phingaprint

March 22 - Saturday Ameristar Bottleneck Blues Bar, Vicksburg - Stevie J 9 p.m. free Burgers & Blues - Aaron Coker 6 p.m. Duling Hall - RPM Party feat. The Music of Rick James, Prince & Michael Jackson 9 p.m. $8 advance $10 door Fenian’s - Stace & Cassie 9 p.m. Georgia Blue, Flowood - Brian Jones Georgia Blue, Madison - Jeff Tucker Hal & Mal’s - Swing de Paris Hazel Coffee - Tightrope Escapade 6 p.m. Julep - Scott Albert Johnson 11 p.m. Kathryn’s - The Lucky Hand Blues Band 7 p.m. free M Bar - Saturday Night Live w/DJ Shanomak free Martin’s - The Last Waltz Ensemble feat. members of Dirty Dozen Brass Band MorningBell Records & Cafe - 2nd Birthday Extravaganza all day Ole Tavern - Jason Turner Band Olga’s - Ronnie McGee, Roberto Moreira & Thomas Hall 8 p.m. Reed Pierce’s, Byram - South of 20 9 p.m. free Shea’s - Gena Stringer Shucker’s - Sid Thompson & DoubleShotz (deck) 3:30 p.m. free, Bikini Frankenstein 8 p.m. $5 Sneaky Beans - Colour Revolt 8 p.m. $5 Soul Wired Cafe - Roots, Rock & Reggae 5 p.m. Tougaloo College, Woodworth Chapel - Chamber IV: Chamber in the Chapel 7:30 p.m. (601) 960-1565 Underground 119 - Jarekus Singleton 9 p.m. $10

March 23 - Sunday Burgers & Blues - Sean Patterson 5 p.m. Char - Big Easy Three 11 a.m. Crawdad Hole - Brian Jones 3:30 p.m. Duling Hall - Mingo Fishtrap w/Buddy & The Squids 7:30 p.m. $12 advance $15 door

Capitol Grill - Open Mic (Prize for Best Original Song) 9 p.m. Duling Hall - Fuel w/H2NY 7:30 p.m. $18 advance $20 door Hal and Mal’s - Central MS Blues Society (rest) 7 p.m. Kathryn’s - Will & Linda 6:30 p.m. Kemistry - Salsa Mondays 8 p.m. Last Call Sports Grill - I Love Mondays w/DJ Spoon $3 after 9:30 p.m. Martin’s - Open Mic Free Jam Underground 119 - Blues Underground Filming 6:30 p.m. free

March 25 - Tuesday Burgers & Blues - Jesse “Guitar” Smith 5:30 p.m. Fenian’s - Open Mic Fitzgerald’s - Johnny Barranco 4:30 p.m., Johnny Crocker 8 p.m. Kathryn’s - Larry Brewer & Doug Hurd 6:30 p.m. Margarita’s - John Mora 6 p.m. Soul Wired Cafe - Midtown Meltdown Open Mic 7 p.m. Underground 119 - Blues Underground Filming 6:30 p.m. Free

March 26 Wednesday Burgers & Blues - Jesse “Guitar” Smith 5:30 p.m. Fitzgerald’s - Johnny Barranco 4:30 p.m., Rick Moreira 8 p.m. Hal & Mal’s - New Bourbon St. Jazz Band Hamp’s Place - Best in Hip-Hop w/Aziatikk Blakk Kathryn’s - Renegade 6:30 p.m. M Bar - 50 Cent Wednesdays w/DJ Durdy Costello 7 p.m. free McB’s - Aaron Coker MorningBell Records & Cafe - O’ Brother w/Waypoint & Glass Rivers 8 p.m. $9 all ages Shucker’s - Kern Pratt & The Accused 8 p.m. Underground 119 - Howard Jones Jazz 6:30 p.m. free

Get regional picks, new releases and other music news every week at The Music Blog at Contact info at

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Thursday, March 20 College basketball (1-3:30 p.m., TNT): Day one of the NCAA Tournament could see a huge upset as 12-seed Harvard takes on five-seed Cincinnati. Friday, March 21 College basketball (1:30-4 p.m., CBS): If Tennessee wins its play-in game as an 11-seed, the Volunteers could upset sixseed Massachusetts on the second day of the Big Dance. Saturday, March 22 College basketball (TBA CBS/TNT): Tip-off times for Saturday’s NCAA Tournament games won’t be announced until end of Thursday’s games. Monday, March 24 NHL (6:30-9 p.m., NBCSN): Get your hockey fix as two original six teams square off when the Boston Bruins take on the Montreal Canadiens.

Mississippi has six Division I basketball teams, but none made the field of 68 NCAA Tournament. Southern Miss did receive a bid to the NIT. Tuesday, March 25 College basketball (6-10:30 p.m., ESPN 2): It’s a double header of the Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament (teams weren’t announced yet as of Slate’s deadline) for your viewing pleasure. Wednesday, March 26 NBA (7-9:30 p.m., ESPN): Before the men’s tournament restarts, check out this potential East Conference Finals matchup as the Indiana Pacers host the Miami Heat. Ole Miss and the most polarizing player in the country, Marshall Henderson, finished the season 19-14, failing to receive even a NIT bid. Are Ole Miss fans still happy with Andy Kennedy and his new extension? Follow Bryan Flynn at, @jfpsports and at

bryan’s rant

Breaking Down the Madness


ince the NCAA Tournament bracket came out at 5 p.m. Sunday, I have been studying it trying to figure out how to fill it out. I keep track of a lot of college basketball, but it is just about impossible to keep track of every team. That is why creating a perfect NCAA bracket is so hard. You can never be sure about some teams, and you never know how college kids are going to react in this pressure-filled tournament. The selection committee didn’t do undefeated Wichita State any favors. If this were the World Cup, the Midwest Region would be the “Group of Death.” The Midwest Region has some of college basketball’s most accomplished programs, including Kentucky, Michigan, Duke and defending national champion Louisville. In some years, that group could be the Final Four—but this year, they must battle it out with the Shockers for just one spot in the Final Four. Wichita State pulled the “no respect” card after winning its conference tournament; expect the Shockers to keep that theme since they got no love from the selection committee. Florida didn’t get any favors, either, as the top overall seed and the number-one

team in the South Region. The Gators got placed in the same region as VCU, Syracuse, Ohio State, UCLA and Kansas. The South Region also has some sleepers, such as Dayton, Stanford, and an eight/nine seed matchup of Colorado and Pittsburgh. While the Gators don’t have to face the gauntlet Wichita State does, they still face some potential pitfalls. Virginia earned a number-one seed and the team’s reward was being placed in the same bracket as Michigan State. Few teams in the country are playing better right now than the Spartans. Even with Virginia and Michigan State, the East Region looks like the second weakest bracket. This region contains UConn, North Carolina and Villanova with first-round upset sleeper Harvard. Personally, I think the West Region is the weakest. Arizona is the number oneseed, facing teams that have played up and down all season long. Oregon, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Oklahoma and Nebraska are in the West along with potential Cinderella Creighton. Gonzaga is playing the familiar role of underdog as eighth seed. I can fill out 100 brackets (and Lord knows I will fill out a ton), but by the first weekend, my bracket will be busted beyond repair. It happens every year.

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BY MATT JONES 54 2013 Eminem hit featuring Rihanna (and inspiration for this puzzle’s theme) 57 Lowers (oneself) 59 After-bath attire 60 “I’m down to my last card!” game 61 Tarnish 62 Be positive about 63 What three examples of 54-Across are hidden under 64 Sports star’s rep 65 “Don’t change!” to a printer 66 Sault ___ Marie, Mich.

41 Looks through a keyhole 43 Peeping pair 45 Degree in mathematics? 46 Country music star ___ Bentley 50 Paycheck pieces 51 Basic principle 52 Carve a canyon 53 Bearded Smurf 54 Airport org.

55 Reed instrument 56 Little salamander 58 Talking Tolkien tree ©2014 Jonesin’ Crosswords (

For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900-226-2800, 99 cents per minute. Must be 18+. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800 655-6548. Reference puzzle #659.



1 On the ___ (like a fugitive) 4 Satisfied sounds 8 Slow, sad song 13 Historical period 14 Rorschach test pattern 15 Bakery chain 16 Foil material 17 ___-Honey (chewy candy) 18 First half of a Beatles song title 19 Completely disheveled 22 401(k) relatives 23 Patron saint of sailors 24 8 1/2” x 11” size, briefly 25 Cambridge campus

26 Post-game complaint 31 Subscription charge 34 President Cleveland 36 100 percent 37 Planking, e.g. 38 Chicken ___ king 39 Abbr. on a tow truck 40 The Grim ___ 42 In an even manner 44 Inseparable friends on “Community” 47 Actress Saldana of “Avatar” 48 ___ Maria (coffee-flavored liqueur) 49 East, in Ecuador 53 Liven (up)


Last Week’s Answers

“Band Sudoku”

Solve this as you would a regular sudoku, except using the nine given letters instead of numbers. When you’re done, each row, column and 3x3 box will contain each of the nine given letters exactly one time. In addition, one row or column will reveal, either backward or forward the name of a famous band.

“Don’t Look Down” —you’ll get nightmares.

1 Leave alone 2 “The Little Mermaid” title character 3 Coated piece of candy 4 “Dancing Queen” group 5 Sacha Baron Cohen alter ego 6 Stuck fabric together, in some craft projects 7 Eric of “Pulp Fiction” 8 “Lost” actor Daniel ___ Kim 9 Left hanging 10 Bringing back, as computer memory 11 Bunch 12 Where buds hang out? 15 Prof’s degree 20 “That was a catty remark!” 21 Make a mistake 27 “Wow, that’s ___ up, man...” 28 ___ smile (grin) 29 Lewd looker 30 Shout heard over the applause 31 Egypt and Syria, from 1958-61 32 Loathsome person 33 Give all the details 35 2004 Jamie Foxx biopic 38 Concert site in “Gimme Shelter”



Before she died, Piscean actress Elizabeth Taylor enjoyed more than 79 years of life on this gorgeous, maddening planet. But one aptitude she never acquired in all that time was the ability to cook a hard-boiled egg. Is there a pocket of ignorance in your own repertoire that rivals this lapse, Pisces? Are there any fundamental life skills that you probably should have learned by now? If so, now would be a good time to get to work on mastering them.

ARIES (March 21-April 19):

“When you plant seeds in the garden, you don’t dig them up every day to see if they have sprouted yet,” says Buddhist nun Thubten Chodron. “You simply water them and clear away the weeds; you know that the seeds will grow in time.” That’s sound advice for you, Aries. You are almost ready to plant the metaphorical seeds that you will be cultivating in the coming months. Having faith should be a key element in your plans for them. You’ve got to find a way to shut down any tendencies you might have to be an impatient control freak. Your job is simply to give your seeds a good start and provide them with the persistent follow-up care they will need.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):

“Thank you, disillusionment,” says Alanis Morissette in her song “Thank U.” “Thank you, frailty,” she continues. “Thank you, nothingness. Thank you, silence.” I’d love to hear you express that kind of gratitude in the coming days, Taurus. Please understand that I don’t think you will be experiencing a lot of disillusionment, frailty, nothingness and silence. Not at all. What I do suspect is that you will be able to see, more clearly than ever before, how you have been helped and blessed by those states in the past. You will understand how creatively they motivated you to build strength, resourcefulness, willpower and inner beauty.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

I bet your support system will soon be abuzz with fizzy mojo and good mischief. Your web of contacts is about to get deeper and feistier and prettier. Pounce, Gemini, pounce! Summon extra clarity and zest as you communicate your vision of what you want. Drum up alluring tricks to attract new allies and inspire your existing allies to assist you better. If all goes as I expect it to, business and pleasure will synergize better than they have in a long time. You will boost your ambitions by socializing, and you will sweeten your social life by plying your ambitions.

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

During her 98 years on the planet, Barbara Cartland wrote 723 romance novels that together sold a billion copies. What was the secret of her success? Born under the sign of Cancer the Crab, she knew how productive she could be if she was comfortable. Many of her work sessions took place while she reclined on her favorite couch covered with a white fur rug, her feet warmed with a hot water bottle. As her two dogs kept her company, she dictated her stories to her secretary. I hope her formula for success inspires you to expand and refine your own personal formula—and then apply it with zeal during the next eight weeks. What is the exact nature of the comforts that will best nourish your creativity?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):

The Google Ngram Viewer is a tool that scans millions of books to map how frequently a particular word is used over the course of time. For instance, it reveals that “impossible” appears only half as often in books published in the 21st century as it did in books from the year 1900. What does this mean? That fantastic and hard-to-achieve prospects are less impossible than they used to be? I don’t know, but I can say this with confidence: If you begin fantastic and hard-to-achieve prospects sometime soon, they will be far less impossible than they used to be.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

The Tibetan mastiff is a large canine species with long golden hair. If you had never seen a lion and were told that this dog was a lion, you might be fooled. And that’s exactly what a zoo in Luohe, China did. It tried to pass off a hearty specimen of a Tibetan mastiff as an African lion. Alas, a few clever zoo-goers saw through the cha-

rade when the beast started barking. Now I’ll ask you, Virgo: Is there anything comparable going on in your environment? Are you being asked to believe that a big dog is actually a lion, or the metaphorical equivalent?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

In T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” the narrator seems tormented about the power of his longing. “Do I dare to eat a peach?” he asks. I wonder what he’s thinking. Is the peach too sweet, too juicy, too pleasurable for him to handle? Is he in danger of losing his self-control and dignity if he succumbs to the temptation? What’s behind his hesitation? In any case, Libra, don’t be like Prufrock in the coming weeks. Get your finicky doubts out of the way as you indulge your lust for life with extra vigor and vivacity. Hear what I’m saying? Refrain from agonizing about whether or not you should eat the peach. Just go ahead and eat it.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

Born under the sign of Scorpio, Neil Young has been making music professionally for over 45 years. He has recorded 35 albums and is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In early 1969, three of his most famous songs popped out of his fertile imagination on the same day. He was sick with the flu and running a 103-degree fever when he wrote “Cowgirl in the Sand,” “Cinnamon Girl,” and “Down by the River.” I suspect you may soon experience a milder version of this mythic event, Scorpio. At a time when you’re not feeling your best, you could create a thing of beauty that will last a long time, or initiate a breakthrough that will send ripples far into the future.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

There should be nothing generic or normal or routine about this week, Sagittarius. If you drink beer, for example, you shouldn’t stick to your usual brew. You should track down and drink the hell out of exotic beers with brand names like Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Ninja Vs. Unicorn and Doctor Morton’s Clown Poison. And if you’re a lipstick user, you shouldn’t be content to use your old standard, but should instead opt for kinky types like Sapphire Glitter Bomb, Alien Moon Goddess and Cackling Black Witch. As for love, it wouldn’t make sense to seek out romantic adventures you’ve had a thousand times before. You need and deserve something like wild sacred eternal ecstasy or screaming sweaty flagrant bliss or blasphemously reverent waggling rapture.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

Actor Gary Oldman was born and raised in London. In the course of his long career he has portrayed a wide range of characters who speak English with American, German and Russian accents. He has also lived in Los Angeles for years. When he signed on to play a British intelligent agent in the 2011 film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, he realized that over the years he had lost some of his native British accent. He had to take voice lessons to restore his original pronunciations. I suspect you have a metaphorically comparable project ahead of you, Capricorn. It may be time to get back to where you once belonged.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

Every now and then, you’re blessed with a small miracle that inspires you to see everyday things with new vision. Common objects and prosaic experiences get stripped of their habitual expectations, allowing them to become almost as enchanting to you as they were before numb familiarity set in. The beloved people you take for granted suddenly remind you of why you came to love them in the first place. Boring acquaintances may reveal sides of themselves that are quite entertaining. So are you ready and eager for just such an outbreak of curiosity and a surge of fun surprises? If you are, they will come. If you’re not, they won’t.

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