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May 28 - June 3, 2014


TRIP BURNS

JACKSONIAN FRANK SPENCER

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round noon each weekday, people congregate outside a large church off West Capitol Street. Inside, in front of the kitchen, a row of people stand behind a long table of food and serve spoonfuls of this and handfuls of that to those in line. It’s lunchtime at Stewpot Community Services, and Frank Spencer, executive director, stands off to the side, watching as Stewpot does what it’s meant to do—serve the people of Jackson. Spencer says that, between Meals on Wheels, the two meals a day for those who live in the shelters and the meals in the community kitchen, Stewpot serves about 400 to 450 meals each day. “That is how Stewpot started off, and that is how people think of us, you know, as a feeding program, but they really don’t know about the other things we do, like the shelters,” Spencer says. “They don’t realize it’s Stewpot. They think of it as Matt’s House, Flowers House and Billy Brumfield (Shelter) doing those things.” The organization has grown tremendously since its start in 1981, moving and expanding locations. Stewpot now includes a food pantry, clothes closet, a computer and business lab, and other services. Spencer says the organization’s 7,000-9,000 volunteers, 25 full-time staff members and 25 part-timers help around 650 people a day. Spencer, 67, has been with the organization since the early 2000s. Around 1998, a new clergyperson named Carol, who is now

CONTENTS

his wife, came to Chapel of the Cross with the goal of getting church members more involved in the community. He began volunteering at Stewpot in 1998, and then in 2002, when the then-executive director of Stewpot left, Spencer applied for the job and has been in the position ever since. Spencer graduated from Ole Miss with degrees in biology and psychology in 1970. He started law school at Ole Miss that same year, and dropped out, but then went back in 1974 and graduated with a law degree. For 30 years, he worked with the attorney general’s office, his tenure spanning from A.F. Summer to Mike Moore. Though he is retired from the state, he still serves on Attorney General Jim Hood’s opinion committee and is also still a member of the state bar. As executive director of Stewpot, Spencer oversees the 16 different ministries and ensures that the organization has the funds to perform its services, which includes raising money at events such as Taste of Mississippi or applying for grants. From time to time, Spencer says he finds himself advocating for the impoverished or other issues. “It’s very rewarding,” he says. “Of course, you see some people acting out and that kind of thing, but you see the best that people have to offer when they come and help, and they can donate, and they help us out. It’s just very rewarding to see people like that and it’s rewarding to help those that need it.” —Amber Helsel

Cover illustration by Zack Orsborn

9 Flood of Worry

Upgrading the city’s water meters could be a good thing or a very, very bad thing.

26 Pastel Skies

Though she loved art class in high school, Pam Kinsey didn’t begin her career as an artist until later in life.

27 Culinary Cinema “(Jon) Favreau, who launched his career with the smash-hit indie film ‘Swingers’ in 1996, is back at his bread and butter with the soulful and delicious ‘Chef.’”

—Jordan Sudduth, “Chef: Tasty Cinematic Cuisine”

jacksonfreepress.com

4 ............................. EDITOR’S NOTE 6 ................................................ YOU 8 ............................................ TALKS 12 ................................ EDITORIAL 13 .................................... OPINION 14 ............................ COVER STORY 22 ......................................... FOOD 23 ................... GIRL ABOUT TOWN 24 .............................. DIVERSIONS 26 ...........................................ARTS 27 .......................................... FILM 28 ....................................... 8 DAYS 29 ...................................... EVENTS 32 ....................... MUSIC LISTINGS 33 ..................................... SPORTS 35 .................................... PUZZLES 37 ....................................... ASTRO

COURTESY YEBO MUSIC; TRIP BURNS; TRIP BURNS

MAY 28 - JUNE 3, 2014 | VOL. 12 NO. 38

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EDITOR’S note

by R.L. Nave, News Editor

Silencing Our Fear of Youth

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ne of my earliest obsessions was with a gun. It was probably summertime when a now-defunct company called Entertech rolled out its line of motorized, battery-powered water guns. My best friend, Lawrence, and I badly wanted Entertech guns of our own. Probably without much prodding, our parents agreed. On a trip to the toy department, I picked out my weaponized squirt pistol, the AK Centerfire, modeled on the TEC-22 submachine gun with two refillable clips to hold water. Entertech’s tagline—The look! The feel! The sound, so real!—was spot on. The first generation of the guns, the ones Lawrence and I had, were so realistic that some people used them in actual bank robberies. That also led to numerous reports of law-enforcement officers shooting kids whose water guns were mistaken for the real things. Later, Entertech redesigned the toys to be painted with splashy neon colors with orange plastic glued into the barrels. We were proud that we had the original guns, but eventually boys discovered that the orange plastic piece could be removed easily with a pair of pliers, and the guns spray-painted to restore them to their menacing appearance. Guns have always been a part of my life. Not because I come from a gun tradition per se—my father has always owned a gun, and I shot them as a boy, for sport—but because I am an American. In 2012, Dan Baum, a liberal writer living in the most liberal of American cities, wrote a book exploring our nation’s gun culture and wrote afterward in Harper’s magazine that “we have more gun violence in America than in other industrialized countries not because we have more

guns, but because we have more Americans,” whom he argues “are simply more violent than other people.” And so we find ourselves rehashing the same solutions: getting all the men together to hash out a plan for dealing with the kids we all helped create. I don’t have a lot of faith in the long-term effectiveness of such strategies for a simple reason:

It’s hard to uplift black boys when we are so invested in tearing them down. In America, little boys learn that guns are the solution to a problem, whether it’s the summer doldrums in the case of our Entertechs to a disturbed man’s history of romantic rejection to a foreign-policy stance that relies on war to protect (or further) our national interests. I’m not guiltless in this. One night last fall, I heard sudden commotion outside my front door. It was well past the time when anybody I know would make an unannounced visit, so in the active imagination of an American boy, the only thing it could be was a threat. I grabbed a gun. At some point, as I stood in a darkened room holding a shotgun, I realized that I was probably be-

ing ridiculous and put the weapon away. I figured out later that around the same time, a young black Michigan woman named Renisha McBride crashed after a night of drinking and sought help from a nearby homeowner, who reportedly mistook her for a burglar and shot her. The incident—like those of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, Jordan Davis and Michael Dunn—touched off a national debate about white supremacy and black people’s right to exist in America. No one who knows me would describe me as a white supremacist, a trigger-happy gun nut or a misanthrope (nor do I consider these terms interchangeable), yet Wafer’s reaction to the sound of stirring outside his front door—his solution to his problem, his fear—was the same as mine. This issue is all about uplifting black boys (See “Lifting Up Black Boys,” page 14), but it’s hard to empower black boys when we are so invested in constantly tearing them down. Indeed, Jackson has had a lot of gun violence—too much—in recent weeks, which have prompted all the usual calls to “Stop the Violence” and “Take Back Our Streets.” In many cases, these platitudes are directed at young men who grow up receiving toy guns as birthday presents in a country where nonexistent weapons of mass destruction are a reason to go to war and we pretend not to understand why they also view the gun Option No. 1 for effective conflict resolution. Of all the recent murders, perhaps no loss was as crushing as that of Armon Burton. At age 3, Burton was killed in a hail of gunfire after some people in his neighborhood quarreled, reportedly, over a missing dog, and exchanged some 30 bullets. Burton’s baby-tooth-filled smile

across his cherubic brown face makes him a convenient cause célèbre. I can’t help but wonder what would happen to little Armon had he lived through the trauma of that night. Harvard researchers looked at the phenomenon of stress in a working paper published this year titled “Excessive Stress Disrupts the Architecture of the Developing Brain.” They note that repeated or prolonged exposure to environmental stressors “may overproduce neural connections while those regions dedicated to reasoning, planning, and behavioral control may produce fewer neural connections.” Over time, “This wear and tear increases the risk of stress-related physical and mental illness later in life,” the researchers found. Would we be as sympathetic a decade or more down the road if, after years of exposure to trauma and other environmental stressor, a teenaged Armon Burton picked up a gun and, in defense of himself and his neighborhood—or out of sheer fear—took someone else’s life? I know the answer to this question because I listen when people talk about teenagers who participate in gun crimes as deserving of the longest and harshest sentences allowable under the law because they were “old enough to know better.” But look at who their teachers are— us. As Albert Sykes, a 30-year-old youth activist, told me last week, too many of the people who invest all their energy into shaking their heads about youth crime and want to take stand against violence also refuse to live and move with and be engaged with youth. “We have to deconstruct our fear of youth,” he told me of our generation. And in doing so, maybe we will also silence the fear in ourselves.

May 28 - June 3, 2014

CONTRIBUTORS

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Zack Orsborn

Nick Chiles

Mary Kate McGowan

Deja Harris

Haley Ferretti

Jordan Sudduth

Tommy Burton

Kimberly Griffin

Zack Orsborn, a junior at Mississippi State and the Starkville Free Press assistant editor, hails from Amory, Miss. Zack likes to explore topics such as LGBT rights, race relations and politics. He designed this issue’s cover.

Nick Chiles is a Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist and the author or co-author of 12 books,. He has won over a dozen major journalism awards in his career and served as editor in chief of Odyssey Couleur travel magazine. He wrote the cover story.

Mary Kate McGowan, a senior communication and English major at Mississippi State University, is a Starkville Free Press writer and a Jackson Free Press summer intern. She contributed to the cover package.

Deja Harris is a Junior at Alcorn State University where she majors in mass communications with an emphasis in print journalism. She contributed to the cover package.

City Reporter Haley Ferretti is a 2013 graduate of Delta State University. She enjoys traveling, listening to The Strokes and raiding refrigerators. Send her Jackson story ideas to haley@ jacksonfreepress.com. She wrote talk stories.

Jordan Sudduth is a political consultant, golfer, fledgling actor and wannabe chef. He has a passion for film and has been working on a novel since May 2010. He wrote a film story.

Music Listings Editor Tommy Burton is keeping the dream alive one record at a time. He can usually be seen with a pair of headphones on. He wrote an arts story.

Kimberly Griffin is a fitness buff and foodie who loves chocolate and her mama. She’s also Michelle Obama’s super secret BFF, which explains the Secret Service detail.


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TRIP BURNS

[YOU & JFP] Name: Attley Merchant Age: 24 Location: Capital Towers Occupation: Security Lives in: Florence, Mississippi Favorite part of JXN: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Food at Steveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Deliâ&#x20AC;? Favorite quote: Patience is key. Secret to Life: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Be happy. If you can be happy, you got the rest pretty much figured out.â&#x20AC;?

Write us: letters@jacksonfreepress.com Tweet us: @JxnFreePress Facebook: Jackson Free Press

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Jackson Rising Conference Not About Politics

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his piece is written on behalf of Cooperation Jackson in response to the Jackson Free Press article, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lumumba Disappointed in Officials.â&#x20AC;? Cooperation Jackson is an emerging network of cooperatives in Jackson whose main objective is working with the community to help facilitate the development of various cooperative enterprises throughout the city by offering education, technical and financial assistance, and more generally, an overall network of support around the development of cooperative enterprises in Jackson. It is notable that out of all of the local news outlets, the Jackson Free Press was the only one that covered the Jackson Rising New Economies conference that took place at Jackson State University May 2-4. We appreciate that JFP covered local pre-conference activities by writing stories leading up to the conference (see jfp.ms/ jxnrising). This latest article, however, could have given a more in-depth understanding of what happened at the conferenceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;its objectives, purpose and goalsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;rather than a focus on the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s failure to support the conference. The conferenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aim of introducing cooperative enterprises in the city of Jackson and the fact that it drew widespread support from both the national and international community was the news story we believe should have been covered. Disappointment in city officialsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

refusal to support the conference was significant, but not of primary importance. The cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s failure to fulfill what we believed to be its commitment was already reported in a story published on May 2. The manner in which the most recent story was reported insinuated that the conference was attached to an electoral political agenda. This was not the case at all. The Jackson Rising conference and the work that must take place in its aftermath was not and is not about any one politician, political candidate or political party. Cooperation Jackson does recognize that the conference was, in part, the fulfillment of a vision articulated by our late mayor, Chokwe Lumumba, that was formulated over time by a number of his close allies and collaborators. To be clear, the position of Cooperation Jackson is that the work of establishing economic justice and a new economy based on caring, sharing and cooperation

is a totally independent process that must come from and be guided by working-class people. This is necessary to establish a more clear economic vision that benefits and includes those Jacksonians that have not historically been taken into account in regards to the economic development of the city. This is something that the JFP overlooked in its story about the conference because conference attendees and organizers were not a part of the story. Since the story did not include the organizers or conference attendees, the true purpose and focus of the conference was not given proper attention. JFPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts to cover the conference are commendable. However, the story could have been more informative and substantial if JFP gave voice to the organizers of the conference, along with conference participants that made the conference a success.

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Prevent, Protect, Empower

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he annual JFP Chick Ball is turning 10 this year, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going bigger and better to celebrate. As always, the event will help the Center for Violence Prevention. This year, we are dedicated to preventing domestic violence, protecting victims and empowering women to rebuild their lives and their families. To get involved with the most amazing JFP Chick Ball, yetâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;scheduled for July 19, 2014 at the Mississippi Arts Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;email chickball@ jacksonfreepress.com or call 601362-6121, ext. 23. You can join our committee, volunteer your time, sponsor the event, donate items to the silent auction and more. And watch for our new website, coming shortly to jfpchickball.com. This year, we are also planning a separate JFP Chick Ball Jam, with even more live music at Hal & Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re interested in performing at either event, you can also write chickball@jacksonfreepress.com. Prevent. Protect. Empower. JFP Chick Ball 2014. Join us!

May 28 - June 3, 2014

       

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The Department of Archives & History invites you to an address by

Dr. Robert P. Moses Introduction by Dr. Leslie McLemore

June 2, noon old capitol State Street at Capitol

Medgar Wiley Evers

lecture series

Supported by the Mississippi Humanities Council through its Cora Norman Lecture Fund

! P U D STAN

to open the exhibit

Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 June 2-October 31 at the william f. winter archives & history building '3&&tĆ&#x17D;Ć&#x2C6;Ć&#x2030;Ć?Ć?Ć&#x17D;Ć&#x17D;Ć?Ć?Ć&#x2C6;tMDAH.STATE.MS.US

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Thursday, May 22 The U.S. House passes legislation to end the National Security Agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bulk collection of American phone records. â&#x20AC;Ś Thailandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s military seizes power in a bloodless coup, dissolving the government, suspending the constitution and dispersing groups of protesters from both sides of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s political divide. Friday, May 23 Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and several Philadelphia judges personally perform the first gay marriages in Pennsylvania at City Hall following the removal of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ban Tuesday. â&#x20AC;Ś In a report that could expose the Catholic Church to new legal arguments by clerical sex abuse victims, a U.N. committee finds that the Vatican does exercise worldwide control over its bishops and priests and must comply with the U.N.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s anti-torture treaty. Saturday, May 24 In a move aimed at neutralizing critics and potential opposition, Thailandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new army junta orders dozens of activists, academics and journalists to surrender themselves to military authorities.

Natural Gas Conversion May Cool â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Heatedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Bus Riders by Haley Ferretti

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ummer is officially here, and some JATRAN passengers are melting. Due to ongoing issues with air-conditioning units on several JATRAN buses, passengers might have to find an alternative solution to their traveling needs this summer. Sheila Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Flaherty, who travels via JATRAN to and from her job on the Capital Defense Counsel at the Office of State Public Defender, spoke to the Jackson City Council on behalf of several bus passengers at a meeting last Tuesday. Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Flaherty expressed confusion with the buses having operational issues when a piece of federal legislation, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP21), recently passed that loosened regulations on how the Federal Transit Administration uses its money. President Barack Obama signed MAP21 into law back in July 2012. The legislation allows funding for surface transportation programs at more than $105 billion for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, and it builds on many transportation programs and policies for highways, transits, bikes and pedestrians that were put in place in 1991. Before the legislation, money was strictly used to buy buses. However, Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Flaherty says money can now be used for operational repairs thanks to the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hundred Bus Rule,â&#x20AC;? which allows federal funding to go toward

Sunday, May 25 Billionaire Petro Poroshenko, who supports strong ties with Europe but also wants to mend ties with Russia, wins Ukraineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s presidential election.

May 28 - June 3, 2014

Monday, May 26 Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chief of defense announces that the military has located the nearly 300 school girls abducted by Islamic extremists, but fears using force to try to free them could get them killed.

8

Tuesday, May 27 Senior administration officials announce that President Obama will seek to keep 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the war formally ends later this year and then will withdraw most of those forces by the end of 2016. Get breaking news at jfpdaily.com.

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Wednesday, May 21 China signs a landmark $400 billion deal to buy natural gas from Russia. Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s president also calls for an Asian security arrangement that would include Russia and Iran and exclude the United States. â&#x20AC;Ś The National Sept. 11 memorial museum, located underground beneath ground zero, opens to the public.

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A new resolution to convert the JATRAN bus system to run on natural gas could save the City millions and free up funding that can go toward several maintenance issues.

operation management for buses in cities with fewer than 100 buses in the fleet. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some of us are concerned that the city may not be using all of the federal funds available,â&#x20AC;? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Flaherty said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true or not true. â&#x20AC;Ś I do think that the buses are currently breaking down a lot, and no (fixed-route) buses have been bought.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;It has been at least five years since the city bought a fixed-route bus. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re supposed to last five years, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what the city is counting on.â&#x20AC;?

Inquiring Minds

J

However, some of the buses do not seem to be holding up. Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Flaherty said that at least half of the buses do not have working air conditioning. JATRAN has two kinds of buses, fixedroute and power transit. Fixed-route buses transport people to predetermined destinations on a regular route. Power-transit buses, or HandiLift, assist with the transportation of the temporarily or permanently disabled. Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Flaherty is alleging that much of the federal funding has been going toward

by R.L. Nave

ackson Free Press readers are a curious bunch. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re interested in our hard-hitting award-winning coverage of race issues, womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rights and social justice. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re also very interested in a local girls dance troupe and, apparently, turkey cuisine. Here are some of the more interesting terms from the top 1,000 keyword searches of the past month.

august alsina (#4) dancing dolls (#5) fried turkeys in Jackson ms (#31) buffalo nickel band Mississippi (#77) blitz teen center (#98) straight talk/ frank blunston (#130) lil boosie 2014 (#256)

how to cook turkey necks in a crock pot (#315)

where does the dancing dolls get their uniforms (#765)

whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the deal with monsanto (#367)

yeet (#775)

is lance bass gay (#422)

amount of crimes committed by the poor (#806)

martin triplets edwards ms (#647) role of aloe vera in weight loss (#705) tony yarber chicks be like (#731)

black panties tour featuring r kelly and tamar braxton, mississippi veterans memorial stadium, may 3 (#855) brain injury golf lake caroline (#863)


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the power-transit buses, which is leaving the fixed-route buses unattended for needed repairs. Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Flaherty said that she was told at the city council meeting and the most recent fixed-route riders meeting, which meets on the last Saturday of each month, that the city currently has the money to fund one and a half buses right now, supposedly $600,000. One bus costs roughly $400,000. She said that the city currently has approximately 10 fixed-route buses. Calls to Elvin Tobin, JATRANâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s manager, for comment on the issue were not returned. Many passengers are also complaining that the fixed-route buses are taking too

long to get to their stops. Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Flaherty said that people are waiting up to 30 minutes or longer for the next bus during transfers. Carl Marks, a system analyst for the financial aid department at Jackson State University, uses JATRAN for daily travel and agrees with Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Flaherty. Marks said that he is fairly certain that federal money is available to help JATRAN but is worried that no one is taking the initiative to apply for it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just concerned about whether or not they (JATRAN) are doing everything that can be done to get money for public transit. â&#x20AC;Ś Somebody has to make the move and apply for it. â&#x20AC;Ś We need some new buses. They (current buses) break down a lot.â&#x20AC;? Marks said one of the operational

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problems he has experienced lately was an instance where the bus that was on its way to pick up Marks and a few other passengers broke down. After another bus was sent, the doors on the second bus stopped working, which means the bus could not move. Marks said that he and the other passengers were trapped inside the bus in front of First Baptist Church for almost 45 minutes until someone could come fix the problem. However, a solution to bus maintenance problems may be on its way. Ward 4 Councilman Deâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Keither Stamps told the Jackson Free Press that he has recently convinced the rest of the council to support a resolution that would convert the bus system to run on compressed

natural gas, which Stamps says will save the city more than $2 million a year. The gas conversion would also free up millions that could then go toward maintenance of the buses, Stamps said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is one of those solutions that is just common sense,â&#x20AC;? Stamps said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about finding new resources but utilizing the resources we already have. â&#x20AC;&#x153; Stamps also said that he is interested in seeing the bus system expand its routes as well as turning it into a 24-hour system that passengers can always rely on. Mayor Tony Yarber was on board with the resolution when he was on council; however, he has yet to address the solution since his election to mayor last month.

Water Meters Still Worry Council Members

O

son City Council entered into a energy performance contract with German engineering giant Siemens to install new water meters, upgrade the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s billing software, replace equipment at the two water plants, and re-

make a quick fix in his bathroom if he had to call the city and have his water shut off. Priester is worried about the potential for mayhem if anyone can call up the water department to report an emergency and have TRIP BURNS

ne evening a couple of weeks ago, Ward 4 Councilman Deâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Keither Stamps was out shopping when he received a frantic call from his daughters. The knobs had come off a bathroom faucet, and water was shooting all over the place. Stamps returned home, got his toolbox, turned off the water and fixed the problem. Stampsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; council colleague, Ward 2 Councilman Melvin Priester Jr., had a similar problem recently. A break in the water line to a neighboring vacant home was threatening to flood his northwest Jackson home, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The problem got solved by the plumber. The crisis was averted,â&#x20AC;? Priester told the Jackson Free Press. But Priester and Stamps fear that such crises may be more difficult to avoid with new electronic water meters the city is installing at homes across the capital city. Unlike in the current water system, where residents could open the metal box that encases the meter and shut off the water in cases of emergenciesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;which also made it easy for people to manipulate to get water illegallyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; the new meters are remote controlled, which also saves the city water department from having to send employees to turn water on and off. So far, crews for Siemens subcontractor M.A.C. & Associates LLC have installed 10,000 of the new digital meters have been installed; all together 65,000 homes will receive the new meters. In June 2013, the seven-member Jack-

Jackson City Councilmen Melvin Priester Jr. (left) and Deâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Keither Stamps say big questions remain with the operation of new electronic water meters the city has installed in 10,000 homes.

pair water and sewer lines. The $90 million price tag for the project is expected to be realized through cost savings and new revenues, city officials said at the time. Some council members foresee problems that might hamper realizing those savings. For example, Stamps wonders what would have happened the night he had to

someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water turned off before the city can figure out whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on. In addition, there was no money added to the contract for a project manager from the city, which could cost anywhere from $2 million to $9 million, which the city cannot afford, council members say. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These are questions that should have

been asked on the front end,â&#x20AC;? Stamps said. So far, many of those questions remain unanswered. Charles Williams, the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interim public works director, said at the May 19 regular city council meeting that the issues Priester and Stamps raise are the subjects of ongoing conversations between his department and Siemens. The Siemens deal has made council members and citizens wary since May 2012, when Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. presented a deal for council approval. Under that agreement, Siemens would perform an audit of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water and sewer system. At the time, Siemens said it would only bill the city for the cost of the audit if the council picked another company to do the work. However, the council hastily approved Siemens as the contractor in July 2012, before a new mayoral administration came into office. Siemens hired the firm as a subcontractor to install the new meters. In the meantime, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been turnover both at Siemens as well as with the city, which council members say has made it more difficult to get information. Those challenges remain in part because of turnover both at Siemens and within the city, which is on its third public works director in less than one year. Last week, the city posted an advertisement for a public works director on its website. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a massive contract. We need to come up with a practical solution while we only have 10,000 (meters) installed,â&#x20AC;? Priester said. Comment www.jfp.ms. Email R.L. Nave at rlnave@jacksonfreepress.com.

jacksonfreepress.com

by R.L. Nave

9


TALK | CITY

Judge to Face Grand Jury for Racial Abuse by Haley Ferretti

tion against Weisenberger is because the racism is a component of his verdicts,” “run, n*gger, run.” situation possibly rises to the standard of Truly said. Canton Mayor Arnel Bolden said the a hate crime. The Clarion-Ledger reported that city is working with law enforcement of“When you prefficials to determine exactly erentially choose, based what happened. on their ethnicity, to WLBT-TV reported simply slap and kick and that Madison District Attorcall them n*gger,” Truly ney Michael Guest said the said, “that means that case will go to a grand jury. was in your heart—there Although no criminal was bitterness and hate charges have been filed as of for that person.” yet, Truly said he hopes that The NAACP is people who may be knowlcalling for Weisenberger edgeable of what happened to step down from his will speak up; however, he position until the case says it is not indicative of is resolved. Mississippians’ nature as Madison County Justice Court Judge Bill Weisenberger may soon find Truly said the major a whole. himself facing a judge for allegedly assaulting and using a racial slur against a 20-year-old man in Canton recently. question many are ask“I hope that good and ing now is how much decent people will speak up racism might have coland speak out because this ored Weisenberger’s work is not who we are here in within the justice system in the past. Tammy Westbrook of Tuscaloosa, Ala., our state,” Truly said. “I think we’ve made “The problem with this case is that a vendor at the flea market, witnessed a lot of changes, and there are a lot of us, folks like Eric Rivers and others face Weisenberger “rear back and slap” Riv- black and white, who condemn this type Judge Weisenberger everyday in his court, ers twice, causing Rivers to run away as of action. This simply has to stop.” and now you have to wonder how much Weisenberger yelled, “Run, boy, run” and Comment at www.jfp.ms. COURTESY WAPT NEWS CHANNEL 16

M

adison County Justice Court Judge Bill Weisenberger is being accused of knocking down, slapping and kicking a mentally disabled young black man and yelling a racial slur: “Run, n*gger, run.” The incident occurred May 8 at the Canton Flea Market, where Weisenberger was working as a security guard and the 20-year-old victim, Eric Rivers, was allegedly asking to help vendors load and unload their vehicles for tips. Former Canton Mayor William Truly, who is president of the Canton branch of the NAACP, told the Jackson Free Press that Weisenberger even went so far as to make a grab for his own gun holster and kick the young man while he was on the ground. Truly said the NAACP is also filing complaints with the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. attorney general’s office to investigate Weisenberger. Rivers’ family has filed a complaint with police against the judge, who is white. Truly said the main reason the NAACP is choosing to take federal ac-

FINDING PIZZA AND MERIDIAN, LOSING NICK’S

10

The Meridian Comes to Jackson The Mississippi Institutes of Higher Learning Board of Trustees recently approved a property lease for The Meridian at Fondren, a mixed-use building that will bring more than 200 apartment homes, offices and retail spaces to Jackson. The Meridian will be located across the street from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, which owns the property. Project managers estimate construction costs for the 4.4-acre space to be between $30 million and $32 million. Developers will have to raze seven existing buildings on the site before construction can get underway. Those buildings house the Department of Medicine’s Allergy, Immunology and Asthma Clinic, and the Hypertension Clinic, in addition to various other offices, which UMMC will relocate to other medical center facilities. The finished space will feature 10,000 square feet of street-level office and retail spaces in addition to about 240 apartments and parking areas. UMMC administrators will keep patients informed as the closing dates for

the current clinics on the property approach to ensure there are no disruptions TRIP BURNS

May 28 - June 3, 2014

by Dustin Cardon

Work crews are busy preparing the space for the new Lost Pizza Co., coming soon to Maywood Mart.

in care, as well as announcing the eventual completion date for The Meridian.

Lost Pizza Coming to Jackson Brothers Will and Jones McPherson, owners of JJ Brothers LLC, are bringing the Lost Pizza Co. restaurant to Jackson’s Maywood Mart, to the space that housed Bon Ami before it closed in October 2013. JJ Brothers also operates a Lost Pizza Co. in Memphis. Lost Pizza Co.’s founders, Brooks Roberts and Preston Lott, opened the original location in 2007 in Indianola, Miss., with no initial plans for additional locations. They eventually began selling franchises by request, however; the Jackson location will be the ninth so far. Another Lost Pizza Co. location, owned by Bruce Quinton and Chuck Camarato, opened in Trace Station Shopping Center at 500 U.S. 51 North in Ridgeland last January. The restaurant’s menu includes signature pizzas, wings, hot tamales, subs, pasta, salads, a kids’ menu and more. The Maywood Mart Lost Pizza Co. will seat 99 people inside and 20 to 30 outside. Each Lost Pizza Co. features its own unique décor; the Maywood Mart location may include a vintage Volkswa-

gen van as decoration. Construction on the Jackson Lost Pizza Co. is underway. An exact opening date has not been announced. Nick’s Closes After 3 Decades Jackson staple Nick’s Restaurant is closed as of Monday after 31 years as part of the area’s culinary landscape. Nick’s had called Fondren home for more than four years after moving there from its popular Lakeland Drive location. Owner Nick Apostle said on Facebook that his motivation for closing the fine dining restaurant was his family. “This closing will allow me to spend time with those that supported me during all the late nights and long weekend hours,” Apostle said. “Alice and I are looking forward to being together and with our five young grandchildren.” While Nick’s modern American fare will be missed, Apostle’s other restaurant, Mermaid Café in Lake Caroline, will remain open. Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email Dustin Cardon and send business news tips to dustin@jacksonfreepress.com.


TALK | city

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ith Jackson Public Schools now out for the summer, many people are worried that the studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; newly found freedom will lead to kids getting bored or giving in to peer pressure, which opens up the possibility for a summer season filled with mischief. Even the Jackson Police Department is wary of the coming weeks. At last weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s COMSTAT meeting, Assistant Chief Lee Vance recommended that officers be extra watchful for young troublemakers during the summer months. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I do think that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen enough summers where it has spiked enough for it to become an issue that we like to pay attention to,â&#x20AC;? Vance said. In an interview, Vance said parental supervision is always the best solution for directing kids away from trouble and crime. However, most parents must work during the day, and they are not always readily available to keep a watchful eye on their children. Vance says that juvenile crime often results from adult criminals, who take advantage of kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; youth and naivetĂŠ, influencing them to participate in criminal activity to avoid blame and harsher punishment for themselves. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve believed for a while now that some of the youth that get in trouble are encouraged to do so by wayward, criminal-minded adults who have influence on them,â&#x20AC;? Vance explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mainly itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because they know that kids committing certain crimes at a certain age are going to stay in the juvenile system as opposed to the adult system.â&#x20AC;? Most of the crime kids are getting mixed up in is property crime, namely house burglaries. Vance says that some summers they see a spike in house burglaries, and often it is due to kids with a lack of supervision. However, Vance doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t buy into the idea that children find trouble to get into

when they are bored. Rather, he said, the issue boils down to poor decision making when confronted with peer pressure in relation to sex, drugs, and other things that kids are pressured into at a young age and have the potential to drastically affect their lives. Regardless of the reasons kids dabble in dangerous activity, Vance said, youth programs are a good solution to combating much of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s major crime. That is, if a stop can be put to troublemaking from the get-go, kids will be less likely to involve themselves with more serious crimes down the road. Vance referenced two summer outreach programs that the JPD hosts during the summer: the Youth Citizens Police Academy and the police athletic league. He says that both offer school-aged kids an opportunity to participate in scheduled activities or sports under the supervision of police staff. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very, very successful,â&#x20AC;? he said. Summer youth programs offer several other benefits besides just keeping children out of trouble. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s programs nurture childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s educational interests, including technology, aviation, the arts, music, reading, culinary art, history, hiking, sports, health and fitness, and leadership and career development. Also, the programs are designed to help children on an intrinsic level by hosting activities that aid in building their selfesteem and instilling in them a motivation to succeed. For parents who would like to involve their kids in a program this summer but worry about the cost, many of the programs are free or offered at a relatively low cost, and some are available for both half-day and full day care. Also, some programs accept childcare vouchers for those who qualify. JPS has the entire list of school, nonprofit and city programs on the JPS official website at http://www.jackson.k12.ms.us.

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Youth activists Albert Skyes (seated) and Jed Oppenheim are two of the organizers for the Freedom Summer Youth Congress, which takes place this summer in Jackson.

11


Step Up on LGBT Rights, City of Jackson

I

am wondering how it is that Waveland just became the seventh city in Mississippi to pass a diversity resolution acknowledging that LGBT citizens are a valued part of their community, yet Jackson has remained silent. During the campaign for mayor, Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon came out so vocally for LGBT rights that many were applauding her as if she was the second coming. I was skeptical. Why now? Cities had been drafting and passing resolutions in our state for a while, and yet she had never once presented one. She and Melvin Priester Jr. had no problem saying they supported a resolution while they were trying to get the votes of LGBT Jacksonians and their allies. Yet since the election, we have seen a big bunch of nothing. I am sure if they call and ask nicely, they can get a copy of the version from one of the seven other citiesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;towns, reallyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;in the state that have passed them. This isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a complicated matter. The lack of movement may be due to attitudes like the one posted on my Facebook page: â&#x20AC;&#x153;(T)hatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a big issue right now now. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have crimes against the LGBT community.â&#x20AC;? This person said he is concerned about the recent murders in Jackson. (So am I). He argued that we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have time to put aside education and getting children on the right track with God for the concerns of LGBT people who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even have real needs. When a parent doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have employment protections due to their sexual orientation, that does nothing to protect their children. By remaining quiet on a legal level, we are saying it is OK to ignore the needs of some of our citizens; they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t count. That lesson is not worth teaching our children, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re told. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even have space to go into the incidences of bullying and physical violence that disprove his statement. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to ignore other issues to present and pass a resolution or ordinance. When we compete for whose wounds are worse, we forget we are all playing wounded. We would do better helping each other to triage and working collectively. The gold medal for most oppressed isâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re still oppressed. We can work on uplifting black and brown people and embrace this fight, too. How dare people say we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t! Contrary to mass media images, all LGBT people arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t white, male or middle class. We are everywhere, at every income level, and come in every race and ethnicity. Jackson, we can be the model for moving forward in unity, a template for what a city focused on social justice and equality looks like. As Helen Keller said â&#x20AC;&#x153;Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s welfare, social justice can never be attained.â&#x20AC;?

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12

Why it stinks: Mayor Yarber is right to be mad about the senseless loss of life in the capital city. Later, WLBT paraphrases Yarber saying the Jackson Police Department, which he oversees, would be making more traffic stops and, therefore, more arrests. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a missing link in this, however: the U.S. Constitution. How are JPD officers determining who gets pulled over (Jackson also has an anti-racial profiling ordinance), and what probable cause are they using to initiate vehicle searches? Hopefully, Yarber and JPD are transparent about these public-safety efforts in coming weeks.

Media: Stop Feeding Bloodthirst Toward Kids

I

n 1998, two boys were arrested and charged as adults in the rape and murder of 11-year-old Ryan Harris in Englewood, Ill., near Chicago. Media hungrily broadcast the names and images of the accused, then 7 and 8, and the public responded with bloodthirst and assumption of guilt. Indeed, the children were proved innocent. But it took more than a month for the policeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s supposedly airtight case against the â&#x20AC;&#x153;young monstersâ&#x20AC;? to unravel and for the boys to go home. They had confessed, after police brought them in without telling their parents they were suspects, fed them Happy Meals and weaseled false confessions out of them. But, a semen DNA match freed the boys, who later won civil lawsuits due to the emotional distress they endured. Years later, the younger of them, Romarr Gipson, was sentenced to 52 years in prison in 2012 for an attempted gun murder. His attorney had asked for a more lenient sentence after presenting evidence that Gipson was scarred by his treatment by the public, including the media, when he was 7. No doubt, research shows that treating even guilty minor suspects as adults increases recidivism and their chances of committing more severe crimes later. Fast-forward to todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jackson. A 13-year-old boy was recently charged alongside a 16-year-old for carjacking and raping a 29-year-old woman. From the beginning, local media have hungrily publicized their names, as well as photos and video footage. On May 12, WLBT reported that the younger boyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attorney Faye Petersonâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the former district attorneyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;had unsuccessfully tried to move

his case to youth court (where it belongs; even the state of Mississippi is recognizing the peril of trying children as adults; see jfp.ms/youth_adults/). In that same report, WLBT named the 13year-old in this mocking sentence, as if they were paparazzi stalking a Kardashian: â&#x20AC;&#x153;[Name withheld] wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happy to see our cameras outside Judge Houston Pattonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s courtroom Monday morning.â&#x20AC;? The report did not then delve into any of the research about the dangers, including later to society, of both the media and the criminal-justice system putting innocent (until maybe proved guilty) children on display like theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re exhibits in a freak show. Like Ryan Harris, this crime is tragic. And unlike Harrisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; case, these two teenagers may well be guilty of it. But there is nothing useful, and much harmful, about the media turning such cases into a circus. And it does nothing for public safety and may well endanger it by increasing recidivism on the part of those put on sensationalistic display. In fact, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma used an eerily similar example in its report, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Covering Children & Trauma: A Guide for Journalism Professionalsâ&#x20AC;? (jfp.ms/dart_kids): â&#x20AC;&#x153;Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let pack journalism dictate your decisions about naming juveniles. Just because your competitor is naming a 13-year-old sexual offender in the wake of community hysteria doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean you should.â&#x20AC;? In the vast majority of juvenile cases, there is no need to name and picture the accused, especially before they are convicted and probably afterward. Jackson media must decide to act more responsibly toward juveniles and our community at large.

Email letters and opinion to letters@jacksonfreepress.com, 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.


Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer EDITORIAL News Editor R.L. Nave Assistant Editor Amber Helsel City Reporter Haley Ferretti Investigative Reporter Anna Wolfe Features Editor Kathleen Morrison Mitchell Music Editor Briana Robinson Features Writer Carmen Cristo JFP Daily Editor Dustin Cardon Events Editor Latasha Willis Music Listings Editor Tommy Burton Assistant to the Editor Micah Smith Fashion Stylist Nicole Wyatt Writers Torsheta Bowen, Ross Cabell Marika Cackett, Richard Coupe Bryan Flynn, Genevieve Legacy Larry Morrisey, Ronni Mott, Zack Orsborn Eddie Outlaw, Julie Skipper Kelly Bryan Smith Editorial Interns Deja Harris, Mary Kate McGowan Emma McNeel, Demetrice Sherman Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Art Director Kristin Brenemen Advertising Designer Zilpha Young 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 Assistant to the Publisher Leslie La Cour 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 letters@jacksonfreepress.com Editorial editor@jacksonfreepress.com Queries submissions@jacksonfreepress.com Listings events@jacksonfreepress.com Advertising ads@jacksonfreepress.com Publisher todd@jacksonfreepress.com News tips news@jacksonfreepress.com Fashion style@jacksonfreepress.com 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 jacksonfreepress.com

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eading journalist Radley Balkoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s police officer Ron W. Jones in 2001. May 15 piece on Steven Hayne The court holds Hayne incompetent in in The Washington Post re- one area but competent in another. In 2008, minded me, again, of our broken Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department of Public Safety justice system. removed Hayne from its list of approved foIf youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re unfamiliar with Hayne, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rensic pathologists after Hayne came to nathe doc who served as the Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s de tional attention. The Mississippi Innocence facto pathologist for some 20 years. By his Project called him â&#x20AC;&#x153;a danger to the public.â&#x20AC;? own admission, Hayne performed 1,500 to Hayne sued the project for defamation. The 1,800 autopsies a year. Given his oft-discred- Innocence Project settled the case, but did ited court testimonyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;several times during not recant. The suit was perhaps a nuisance exonerations of death-row defendantsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;one worth making go awayâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the project has would think Hayne might be behind bars more important work to do. instead of the people he testiBeyond putting Hayne fied against. out of a lucrative state job, MisBalko outlines how sissippi has taken no actions Hayneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s claims contributed to investigate how deeply his What seems to Christopher Brandonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s might have injured the clear ... is that â&#x20AC;&#x153;workâ&#x20AC;? 2009 conviction for depravedcause of justice. It has made no Brandon, like effort to find out how many of heart murder. The jury heard only one controversial verhis thousands of court appearByrom, did sion of medical evidence in ances could have resulted in not receive a Brandonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trial for the death unfair trials. of his girlfriendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s baby. DurClearly, it would be a fair trial. ing Hayneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s testimonyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;that big, expensive process. But is it the child died of shaken baby not worthwhile when Hayneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s syndromeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;he cited a Hartestimony has been central in vard University study that no one has ever so many convictions? We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how found, and gave opinions contrary to the many innocent people might rot in prison findings of another study. In other words, because of Hayneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s possible propensity for Hayne, the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s star prosecution expert, fantasy or even whether the state has executseemed to just make sh*t up. ed people as a result. The court declined to provide funds the What we do know is that Mississippi defense needed to put on dissenting medical will continue to see the evidence of Hayneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expertsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;who can charge more than $550 handiwork for years to come. We do know an hour. They could have debunked Hayne that the Mississippi Supreme Court has dison the spot. Hearing only the prosecutionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s missed claims of unfair trials because they experts, the jury returned a guilty verdict. hold he was â&#x20AC;&#x153;qualifiedâ&#x20AC;? to provide expert Brandon is serving a life sentence. forensic testimony. Attorney General Jim Let me be clear: As in the case of Mi- Hood has a duty to ensure that the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chelle Byrom, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know that Brandon justice system works. He has a personal stake is innocent. What seems clear from Balkoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in not wakening the Hayne sleeping dog. story, however, is that Brandon, like Byrom, As a prosecutor, he often relied on Hayne. did not receive a fair trial. Whether he understood that Hayne was a Our state Supreme Court upheld the questionable expert then, he must underBrandon conviction in 2013. He was not stand it now. declared indigent, the justices reasoned, so Yet, Hood fought against legislation he wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t qualified to receive the courtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assis- mandating that counties only hire certitance for expert witnesses. Furthermore, they fied forensic pathologistsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;which furwrote, the court â&#x20AC;&#x153;has consistently found that ther disqualifies Hayne. Investigating the Dr. Hayne is qualifiedâ&#x20AC;? as a medical expert. Hayne cases is not convenient, politically That same year, the state Supreme or otherwise. Hood may not want to apCourt overturned David Parvinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conviction pear to be defending Hayne, but his inacfor murdering his wife, Joyce, and again, tion speaks volumes. Hayneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s testimony played a key role. The Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to end the travesty Hayne perdoctor â&#x20AC;&#x153;fell woefully short of the require- petrated on the people of Mississippi. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ments for admissibilityâ&#x20AC;? as a firearms expert, unacceptable, and we deserve better. they wrote in the Parvin reversal. The same Ronni Mott is a freelance journalist in could be said for the courtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reversal of Cory Jackson. Many credit her breaking stories on Mayeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conviction, where Hayne testified the Michelle Byrom recently for helping stop two hands pulled the trigger in the killing of her execution. #/22%#4)/.3,QÂł7KH6WLJPDRI0HQWDO+HDOWK´ S$PEHU+HOVHO SXEOLVKHGLQODVWZHHNÂśVLVVXHZKLFKUDQ 0D\-DFNVRQ)UHH3UHVVUHSRUWHGWKDWWKHGHDWKRI/DTZDQGD5REHUWVÂśIDPLO\PHPEHURFFXUUHGDIHZPRQWKV EHIRUHWKH)ULGD\)RUXP7KHIDPLO\PHPEHUDFWXDOO\SDVVHGDZD\LQ)HEUXDU\RI-)3DSRORJL]HVIRUWKLVHUURU

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RONNI MOTT Investigate the Hayne Cases, Gen. Hood

13


Lifting Up Black Boys Can the hundreds of education experts who flocked to Jackson improve life for boys of color? by Nick Chiles,The Hechinger Report

L

“close block” without the L’s). Over the last communities who have long sensed their they got a glimpse into the Magnolia State’s decade, COSEBOC has become known as schools are not effectively attending to the future. And what they saw gave them reason the nation’s leading repository for research needs of black boys. for optimism. All you had to do was check and practices that work best in eduthe thrilled grin on the face of Rhea cating black boys, and the crowd at Williams-Bishop, the woman reJackson state was the largest COSEsponsible for bringing COSEBOC BOC has drawn in the eight years of to Mississippi. the conference. “This is the first time this conCOSEBOC, led by Executive versation has happened on a broad Director Ron Walker, cleverly pubscale in the state of Mississippi,” Willished its own “standards” (jfp.ms/ liams-Bishop told me excitedly. Wilcoseboc), which are essentially guideliams-Bishop is executive director of lines for schools and everybody else the Mississippi Center for Education to use in determining whether educaInnovation, a six-year-old nonprofit tors are doing right by boys of color. committed to improving MississipDeveloped in conjunction with the pi’s dismal education performance. Metro Center at New York Univer“We have not had much experisity, the standards include parameters ence in turning around schools,” she to assess how well schools are doing admitted. “We haven’t had much with black boys in standardized test experience specifying what needs to preparation, availability of gifted probe done, or even talking about what grams/advanced placement classes, needs to be done for young men and culturally relevant instruction, high boys of color. No one in the state deschool curriculum and its relevance partment (of education) or the local Howard Stevens, a professor at the Graduate School to college enrollment requirements, districts historically has monitored of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, led a along with such areas as attentiveness how boys of color are doing. That’s COSEBOC workshop in which participants paired up to talk about racial incidents. of school counselors and whether stujust not happening.” dents are given a voice in the school. The answer is not very well. Across With the standards, COSEBOC has And so for educators or researchers with the state—as well as in the U.S.—black boys handed a powerful tool to those parents and something to say (or learn) about the educa- are far more likely to be represented in spetion of black boys, COSEBOC is Mecca: cial education. In science, another area where an inspiring gathering, a conference that the state’s black children lag behind, just 36 leaves you uplifted and understanding that percent of black students tested proficient or the plight of black boys is not hopeless. above on state science tests last year, comBut what does all this have to do with pared with 72 percent of white students. by Mary Kate McGowan Mississippi? Once it was over and the ex- Black students accounted for a third of all perts packed up their briefcases and head- Mississippi public-school students who took oung, black males are as scary as snakes and spiders. Or so concludes “Ated back to Jackson-Evers International, a college-level Advanced Placement (AP) scitending to Threat: Race-based Patterns of Selective Attention,” a study whither black boys in Mississippi? Would ence exam during the 2011-12 school year, published in 2008. Researchers conducted two experiments using white there be a long-lasting impact on the but just 6 percent of those who achieved a college students to explore their reactions to black males in their late teens state, or was the COSEBOC conference passing score. to early 20s. just Jackson’s version of hosting the Super Williams-Bishop wanted to see what The studies also examined patterns of “eye-gaze length” and occurrence. This Bowl—after the crowds are gone and the would happen if Mississippi at least started selective attention impacts emotional stimuli similar to other perceived threats. In excitement has waned, all that’s left is a lot having the conversation about the plight of other words, when the white subjects were shown black and white faces, there was of trash to pick up? black boys. Perhaps the words could start an attentional bias toward the black faces, suggesting a heightened fear. transforming into deeds. “These data provide preliminary evidence that white perceivers initially attend Reason for Optimism “Every meeting we go to, people are to black rather than white male targets that are presented without (whites’) awareIt’s a question that only time can an- talking about problems, they’re quoting ness,” authors wrote, adding that over time, after repeated exposure participants’ swer. But the conference planners, those the negative statistics,” Williams-Bishop attentional bias eroded. — Mary Kate McGowan who decided it was a bold idea to bring said. “But there are very few occasions such a gathering to Mississippi, believe in Mississippi where people are willing

Threat Level: Black?

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ike the billion locusts that emerge every 17 years to descend on the Northeast, sometimes the thing we call news has a remarkably simple basis: We cover it because it’s rare. Uncommon. So when a critical mass of the nation’s foremost experts on educating black boys gathered in Jackson in April to hobnob, commiserate and impart their latest findings on how to get positive outcomes with this much-maligned population, it had the breathtaking impact of the locusts. This had never before happened in Mississippi, a state with the highest rate of childhood poverty in the country, a legacy of racism and segregation, and some of the nation’s lowest-performing students. Yet there they were, more than 600 of these experts, from 33 states and more than 200 school districts, sitting in classrooms and auditoriums at Jackson State University, intensely focused on workshops with titles like “Cultural Competence for Educators: Advancing development of boys and young men of color.” They had come for the 8th annual conference of an organization called Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color, known in the trade as COSEBOC (pronounced like


The Summer Problem for Kids

In Mississippi, the hottest months put lower-income learners at risk by Jackie Mader, The Hechinger Report

â&#x20AC;&#x153;If these boys donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think you care about them, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not going to learn from youâ&#x20AC;? to find folk who are trying to solve the problem. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why we wanted to pursue hosting the gathering.â&#x20AC;? MSCEIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goal was to bring at least 100 Mississippi educators who could absorb the scholarship swirling around the room and come back with research and methods to start improving outcomes for black boys in their schools and districts. They far exceeded that goal with 150 conference attendees. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were able to give them exposure to other folks who have done it differently,â&#x20AC;? Williams-Bishop said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see it, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to do it. If you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t had specific training and technical development and interaction with those who have turned around schools or who have figured out a way to provide better educational opportunities to boys and men of color, you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do it.â&#x20AC;? No Scarier Boogeyman Walker isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fooling himself about what drew so many from around the country. It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily the prospect of stimulating discussionâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;it was Mississippi itself. To many African Americans, there is no scarier boogeyman. With violent movie images and unsettling history lessons still simmering in their heads, these educators were at once frightened and fascinated by what they would find in Jackson. It was like they were boarding a rollercoaster ride with bigotry as the theme. So with their stomach in knots and their eyes wide, they flocked from places like California, New Jersey, Philadelphia and New PRUH%/$&.%2<6VHHSDJH

a variety of summer opportunities. Some programs specifically target young men of color and offer both summer-school programs and extended-day opportunities during the school year. In Mississippi, opportunities for summer learning vary greatly by district. In larger districts like Jackson Public Schools, summerschool options target a range of students for at least half of the summer. The districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s middle-school program, which costs $250, offers six weeks of classes for students who are failing one or two courses and at risk for retention. One free district program works with second-grade students who need to â&#x20AC;&#x153;strengthen and extend skills not mastered during the regular school year.â&#x20AC;? In the Delta, Teach For America, a program that trains aspiring teachers who have not taken traditional teacher preparation classes, has offered summer school since 2010 in conjunction with its teacher training program. This year, the organization will run summer-school programs for four weeks at nine schools. Throughout the state, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t easy for the smallest districts to offer summer opportunities. Mississippi has underfunded its schools by more than $1 billion in the past six years, and many districts are reeling from staff cuts and a lack of resources. In Water Valley, a small district of about 1,200 students just south of Oxford, Superintendent Kim Chrestman said the district offers an extended school year in lieu of traditional summer school. The program targets upper elementary and junior high students who are â&#x20AC;&#x153;borderline or just belowâ&#x20AC;? grade level and runs several weeks into the summer to help students earn credits that they have missed so they can progress to the next grade with their classmates. Although grants are sometimes available for summerschool programs, Chrestman said there are often additional costs to the districts, which can deter cash-strapped schools. In Water Valley, about 70 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and Chrestman said the current summer program is essential to keeping the most at-risk kids progressing in school. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If there was not a summer program, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a likelihood they would have to repeat the grade level, and they would get further behind toward graduation.â&#x20AC;? This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news outlet based at Teachers College, Columbia University.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;If there was not a summer program, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a likelihood (students) would have to repeat the grade level, and they would get further behind toward graduation.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Kim Chrestman

jacksonfreepress.com

W

hen schools let out across Mississippi in May, more than 450,000 children headed into 11 weeks of summer. For some kids, that means weeks of camps, traveling, and educational programs. For others, especially in the most poor and rural parts of the state, summer means hours of lost learning time, unsupervised activities, and academic regression. Extensive research shows that all children are prone to learning losses when they do not have educational opportunities during the summer. Some studies have found that, on average, students return to school in the fall about one month behind where they were academically before summer. But for low-income students, these losses can be much more drastic as higher-income kids improve their reading over the summer, while lower-income students lose skills. One study found that this could lead to a three-month difference in reading skills by the end of the summer. In Mississippi, black students suffer most from summer learning loss. More than 50 percent of black children in the state live in poverty, compared with about 19 percent of white children. Boys in Mississippi are more likely to start the summers already behind grade level. In 2013, only 55 percent of fourth-grade boys scored at or above proficient on the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s end-of-year reading exam compared with 64 percent of girls. The difference is even more glaring in some of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s poorest school districts. In the Deltaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Coahoma County School District, where 90 percent of students are black and 50 percent live in poverty, only 36 percent of fourth grade boys scored at or above proficient on the state reading exam in 2013, compared to 71 percent of girls. Research shows that the most effective summer programs have similar characteristics, like high-quality instructors and lessons that introduce students to new content. In programs nationwide with those qualities, students donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just avoid learning loss; they often show months of growth in academic skills. The benefits of summer learning are so evident that many cities have ramped up summer-school offerings. This year, the Los Angeles Unified School District in partnership with the city will offer free classes in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math to residents between the ages of three and 24. In previous summers, Chicago has enrolled nearly 15,000 students in remedial summer school and relies on partnerships with more than 100 organizations to provide

15


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York. Many were grown-ups who had never before set a toe in the Deep South. For three days, they stalked the (eerily empty) streets of Jackson and the campus of Jackson State, waiting for the ghosts of hooded night riders to leap from the shadows. In the end, mostly they were surprised by what they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clear that one of the draws for folks was the mystique,â&#x20AC;? Walker said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would like to think all of them came because of COSEBOC, but I know a lot of them came because of Mississippi. Many people came up to me and said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Wow, this is not what I thought it was going to be like.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; They were relieved but excited about having the experience of making that trek to Mississippi, just because of its reputation.â&#x20AC;? Perhaps also lured by the symbolism of Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dark racist past, President Obamaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans decided to hold its second Black Male Summit on the campus of Jackson State immediately after the conclusion of the COSEBOC conference. (The first one was held in March at Atlantaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Morehouse College.) As the White House continues to work out the details and goals of Obamaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s muchdiscussed â&#x20AC;&#x153;My Brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Keeperâ&#x20AC;? initiative, having the COSEBOC educators all gathered in one place gave White House officials a keen opportunity to figure out how much they can do on behalf of black boys with limited funds at their disposal. (The presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s promise of $250 million to $300 million for the initiative, which would work out to just $5 million to $6 million per state if spread around evenly, is hardly enough to fund a well-equipped community center in each state). Racial Literacy Needed? Howard Stevenson is a professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania whose area of specialization is a topic most white educators would probably rather sit for a root canal than confront head-on: How their unwillingness or

from page 15

The Challenges

T

he Schott Foundation for Public Educationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Black Boys Reportâ&#x20AC;? shows that Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s black male graduation rate was for the 2009-2010 school year was lower than the national average.

u u u u u u u

51 percent of black males graduated here compared to the white male graduation rate at 62 percent during the 2009-2010 school year. The national black male graduation rate was 52 percent. With 124,557 enrolled black males, Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s graduation rates ranked 37th in the nation. Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s graduation rate for black males was 46 percent during the 2007-2008 academic year. 17.6 percent of black students were suspended in Mississippi during the 2009-2010 school year compared to 6.4 percent of white students and 4.7 percent of Latino students. 7 percent of Mississippi black male students are proficient readers by National Assessment of Educational Progressâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s standards by eighth grade. 8 percent of black male students in Mississippi are proficient in eighthgrade math, according to NAEP requirements.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We could become a model for the nation in educating young men and boys of colorâ&#x20AC;? inability to deal with their own racial biases and stereotypes leads to horrible and stressful interactions with black boys in their classroomsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;interactions that can have a devastating effect on the boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; academic achievement. For whites and certainly even for African Americans, thinking about, discussing and recounting a racial encounter can be enormously stressful. Stevenson demonstrated by having the participants in his COSEBOC workshop pair up and tell each other

about any racial incident that came to mind. When asked to share their feelings later, the participants were surprised and alarmed by how much stress they felt during the retelling, almost like they were living through it again. It is this stress stemming from racial conflicts with their white teachers that is killing the performance of black boys in school, Stevenson claimsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;thousands of â&#x20AC;&#x153;micro-aggressionsâ&#x20AC;? between teacher and child that the teacher may not even be clued into. And according to Stevenson, it really doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter what the teacherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intentions are; it only matters what the student is perceiving are the reasons for the encounter. Stevenson wants teachers to develop what he calls â&#x20AC;&#x153;racial literacy,â&#x20AC;? which means learning how to identify stress in their students and knowing how to recast the moment to bring down the studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stress level. Stevenson says most of us develop avoidance skills when it comes to racial stress, rather than engagement skills.

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Eddie Fergus, a professor at New York University, examined schools in several cities over a three-year period that concluded that black boys with â&#x20AC;&#x153;adult-based relationships around care and trustâ&#x20AC;? performed better in school.

A u u u u

in Schools: Differences That Make a Differenceâ&#x20AC;? (Teachers College Press, 2004). Eddie Fergus, a professor at New York University who was lead author of the COSEBOC standards, has done fascinating work on school factors that produce the highest levels of academic performance in black boys. His findings come from a three-year study of seven single-sex schools in New York City, Chicago, Houston, and Atlanta that are made up of predominantly black and Latino boys. In another classroom at Jackson State, Fergus said that in order for the black and brown students at these schools to perform well academically, they first had to have relationships with the adults in the school that feature care and trust. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In order for them to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;doâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; school, they had to have adult-based relationships around care and trust that mattered to them,â&#x20AC;? Fergus told the two dozen educators who were hanging on his every word.

JPSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Uphill Climb 2011 Center for Law and Social Policy report analyzed different enrollment statistics for Jackson Public Schools District to reveal the scope of challenges facing black boys in the capital city. JPSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s graduation rate was 46 percent compared to Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 61.4 percent during the 2007-2008 academic year. The report also said 24.7 black students were out-of-school suspended per 100 students. 12.1 percent of white students also fell into this category. Jackson Public Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expulsion rate per 1,000 students was 2.2 percent. Black students accounted for 1.9 percent. 78.1 percent of homicide victims in Jackson were black males according to a 2009 statistic.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;They were saying, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I can now trust you around my cognitive growth.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; But the relational engagement wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as important for white kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;cognitive engagement was more important to them. They were saying, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I have to be interested.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Fergus said one of the teachers they studied who got great results with black boys would get down on her knees when they were doing group work so that she would be at their eye level when she talked to them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The little things mattered in relational building,â&#x20AC;? he said. Hayden Frederick-Clarke, a black male educator who works with a large population of young black males at his school in Boston, walked out of Fergusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s presentation shaking his head at the brilliant simplicity of it all. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That is the entire key to education right there,â&#x20AC;? he said emphatically. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Basically heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s saying, if these boys donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think you care about them, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not going to learn from you. That says it all.â&#x20AC;? Fergusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; findings mirror the conclusions drawn by Christopher Chatmon, executive director of the Oakland school districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office for African-American Male Achievement, an innovative office created four years ago by Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Tony Smith in response to glaring deficiencies in black male performance. When Chatmon studied the teachers who had the best results with black boys, he found it was also the ones who had developed tools to forge positive relationships with them, such as standing out in the hall and greeting them with big smiles as they entered the classroom. Chatmon and his staff interviewed hundreds of black boys about their school experiences. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Over 80 percent of the brothPRUH%/$&.%2<6VHHSDJH

    

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Unresolved trauma is killing black people all over the country,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We sacrifice healing for the sake of survival all too much, to our detriment.â&#x20AC;? He pointed out a study showing that the stereotyping of young black males as threatening is now so ingrained in the American psyche that they are viewed as the same level of threat as spiders and snakes. Teachersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lack of racial literacy is why black students are 78 percent more likely to be suspended from school than white students, Stevenson said, noting that â&#x20AC;&#x153;failed bondingâ&#x20AC;? in a teacherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s relationships with boys is one of the best predictors of their level of achievement. Working with students in Philadelphia, Pa., Stevenson has demonstrated how doing things like lightly touching boys, physically mediating their conflicts and slowly building their trust can have an enormous impact on their performance. He explores these issues in his new book, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Promoting Racial Literacy

17


Lifting Up Black Boys from page 17

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ers said the moment we step onto the school campus, the adults treat us as if weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done something bad,â&#x20AC;? Chatmon told me, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and we havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even done anything, yet.â&#x20AC;?

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Sacred Ground When Rhea Williams-Bishop called Ron Walker a few years back and said she wanted COSEBOC to come to Mississippi for its annual conference, he was a bit taken aback. Though for the past couple of decades he has lived in Bostonâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;where COSEBOC is headquarteredâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Walkerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life path actually took a detour through Mississippi when he was a much younger man. Walker was just 19 and a student at Pennsylvaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lincoln University, the first degree-granting historically black college in the United States, when he happened to take a class taught by the civil rights icon James Farmer. It was 1966, and Farmer was taking a break from his work fighting for equal rights in the South with CORE and SNCC. At the end of class one day, Farmer chalRon Walker is executive director of the Coalition lenged the students to become of Schools Educating Boys of Color, which publishes standards to help schools figure out how well they more involved in the Civil Rights teach minority boys. Movement by going to Mississippi to help distribute food to needy families. the school. The VW broke down in Tennesâ&#x20AC;&#x153;He said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;You guys ought to be do- see, but they would not be deterred. They ing something,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Walker recalled. The rented a van in Memphis, loaded it up with young men wanted to take him up on food Farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contact in Memphis had givthe challenge, but they were also scared en them to distribute, and headed for a town to death. called Belzoni, Miss. â&#x20AC;&#x153;On one side of the coin, we wanted to â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a frightful experience,â&#x20AC;? Walker do it, but on the other side of the coin, none said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Of the six of us, the oldest might have of us really wanted to go. There was a lot of been 20. All of us were wearing Afros, going trepidation, worry. This was two years after someplace we had no clue where, with no the civil rights workers (James Earl Chaney, idea how to get there. I later found out they Andrew Goodman and Michael â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mickeyâ&#x20AC;? called this place â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Bloody Belzoniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; because

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Color of Discipline

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he U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights released a civilrights data collection this past March. The research from the 2011-2012 school year showed that minority students received harsher treatment.

â&#x20AC;˘ Black children comprise 18 percent of preschool enrollment with 48 percent being suspended more than once compared to 26 percent for repeated suspensions for white children. â&#x20AC;˘ Boys account for 54 percent of preschool enrollment but represent 79 percent of children suspended once and 82 percent of children suspended multiple times. â&#x20AC;˘ Black students are suspended and expelled three times more than white students on averageâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;including for the same or lesser offenses. SOURCE: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

COURTESY RON WALKER

2481 Lakeland Drive Flowood | 601.932.4070

Schwerner) had been killed. This was Mississippi we were talking about. So we drew straws. Six of us got the short straws.â&#x20AC;? Off they went during Christmas break, headed south in a VW bus they had rented from a friend, carrying about $1,500 they had collected through fundraising events at


Digging Up the Roots

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hat are the roots of violence for young boys of color? Read about themâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and the solutionsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;in a piece from a JFP GOOD Ideas issue at jfp.ms/violence_roots. Flip through the entire issue at jfp. ms/boys_girls.

they had almost as many bombings as Birmingham. When we got to the Delta, as far as the eye can see we saw flat land and these little shotgun houses. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was a young man from the North, both my parents in the house, with three square meals a day. To see these children and their families with absolutely nothing at Chrismastime, it was the first time I had seen that level of poverty. It took a toll on us. We broke down. I made it back home to Philly and started teaching school, but I always carried that experience with me. I told my mother, who was originally from Alabama,

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Mom, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not going back down there.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Yet when he returned almost 50 years later, Walker saw a different Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a place teeming with professionals, black and white, who wanted to move the state and its schools out of the basement so that it was no longer the butt of national jokes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When Rhea called me about them hosting the gathering in Mississippi, my first thought was, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Why would we want to do that?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Walker said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But I thought about it and said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Of course. We need to do it for a lot of reasons.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; We need to do it because of the sacred ground, where people laid down

their lives and shed blood. We needed to do it because I needed to shed some of my demons. It was a cathartic experience for me.â&#x20AC;? The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Southern Approachâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; With this year marking the 50th anniversary of Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Freedom Summer and the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, Walker knew there would be more attention paid to the historical struggles of Mississippi that would bring additional aura to the COSEBOC gathering. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I told them we are calling on you all to sink your feet into the soil, understand what

people here had to go through, so it serves as a charge when you go back to your respective cities to know youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been to a place where things have really been rough and still are,â&#x20AC;? Walker said. Perhaps itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history, or maybe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s traditional ranking at the absolute bottom on most every measure used in this country to measure student performance outcomes, but outsiders who come to the state are quick to devote themselves to working on Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s behalf. Walker has developed something heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s calling the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Southern Approach,â&#x20AC;? focusing on seven states in the South with the highest negative indicators and funneling to them as many COSEBOC resources and as much expertise as he can musterâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;with Mississippi as the hub. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (which is also among the various supporters of The Hechinger Report, which produced this story) has been generous with grant money to help the effort. COSEBOC is PRUH%/$&.%2<6VHHSDJH

Better Options for JPSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Boys of Color? by R.L. Nave

jacksonfreepress.com

TRIP BURNS

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r. Cedrick Gray, the eternally Gray, a former middle-school upbeat bowtie-wearing suteacher and principal, says the groupsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; perintendent of the Jackson activities range from simple things Public Schools, says there such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;how to tie a tie and shake was a time when he was a hardheaded a handâ&#x20AC;? to mentoring, â&#x20AC;&#x153;tougher tulittle boy coming up in Memphis. toring,â&#x20AC;? and sharing their dreams and â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I was growing up, we did aspirations with adults. whatever we saw was happening in the One of the ideas that came street,â&#x20AC;? Gray said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Those are not good out of COSEBOC for Gray was a reoptions when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in a school buildminder to promote cultural diversity ing or at a sporting event. We need at the district level. more options. We need to teach our â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you walk into a young men how to draw from those school building at Christmas time, options and make better decisions.â&#x20AC;? the bulletin board should not only The Coalition of Schooled Edureflect whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s familiar to them,â&#x20AC;? cating Boys of Color conference at Gray said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want to make sure Jackson State University in April was an weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re having a specific and targeted opportunity for Gray, about 20 JPS adapproach and not relying on efforts Dr. Cedrick Gray, Jackson Public Schools superintendent, believes COSEBOC can help ministrators and a dozen principals to just from the teacher.â&#x20AC;? JPS and its boys of color make better decisions at school and school-related events. study promising practices from around Reinforcing positive self-imagthe country of how to improve edues becomes more important the older cational wellbeing for boys and young students get, Gray said. By the time men of color, Gray told the Jackson they get to middle school, students Free Press. stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest urban school district is addressing the needs are testing out increasing levels of autonomy. COSEBOC aims to â&#x20AC;&#x153;connect, inspire, support and of boys of color and make recommendations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have to provide them the tools to make betstrengthen school leaders dedicated to the social, emoJPS is already using â&#x20AC;&#x153;boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; groupsâ&#x20AC;? in several schools, ter decisions as an adolescent so when that spark comes tional and academic development of boys and young men including Bates Elementary, Cardozo Middle School, into them and they want to do something that emoof color,â&#x20AC;? and offers training and support to schools to Blackburn Laboratory Middle School and G.N. Smith tion is telling them to do, (they) say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Stop for a moimplement programs. Elementary. ment. What are the other options? COSEBOC, I do Gray has led JPS since 2012, and said COSEBOC â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are engaging in several places, but I really want believe, can help us with that,â&#x20AC;? Gray said will perform a district-wide assessment of how well the to see how we can make this lift district wide,â&#x20AC;? Gray said. Comment at www.jfp.ms.

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Lifting Up Black Boys even in the process of trying to place a fulltime staff member in Mississippi. “It’s clear to anyone who’s been watching that this is not just a one-shot deal,” Walker said of the COSEBOC conference. “We’ll be back.” During one of the panel discussions sponsored by the White House following the COSEBOC workshops, an elderly female school board member from an impoverished community in the Delta trudged to the microphone and asked how school districts like hers were going to benefit after all the talking was over. Williams-Bishop, who was watching from the audience, understands the sentiment. Mississippians have heard a lot of talk over the years, a lot of promises about funding. But action has been in short supply—as have funds. “Most districts are crying out for assistance,” she said. In the following months, her organization will try to connect those isolated rural districts with experts and resources all across the country, so they can tap into the compendium of knowledge that was on display at the COSEBOC conference about how to lead black children to greater academic achievement. In a state where only 21 per-

cent of fourth-graders scored proficient or advanced on a national reading exam in 2013, the cavalry can’t come soon enough. “We don’t normally toot our own horn, but if we can do it here, if we can turn things

“Unresolved trauma is killing black people all over the country”

around in Mississippi, in Jackson, we could become a model for the nation in educating young men and boys of color,” WilliamsBishop said. “If that happens, we can create all kinds of economic opportunities not just for them and their families but for the businesses, the local communities and the entire state.” At a time when districts large and small

from page 19

across the nation are being forced to make brutal cuts to essential services because of severe budget shortfalls, it’s somewhat ironic that some parts of the nation are starting to look more like Mississippi than the other way around. Philadelphia, Pa., for instance, has cut so much staff that many schools don’t even have basic services like guidance counselors and school secretaries, and class sizes for the coming school year may rise as high as 37 in the early grades and 41 in the high schools. If Mississippi can find a way to do much with very little, it could become a model for the rest of America: How to thrive on a starvation diet. From Mississippi’s perspective, when you’re already at the bottom, there’s only one direction to go: Up. Nick Chiles is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author or co-author of 12 books, including the New York Times bestseller, “The Rejected Stone: Al Sharpton and the Path to American Leadership.” This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a non-profit, non-partisan news outlet based at Teachers College, Columbia University. Add your thoughts at jfp.ms/blackboys.

MEDITERRANEAN GRILL & GROCERY

730 Lakeland Dr. • Jackson, MS Tel: 601-366-3613 or 601-366-6033 Fax: 601-366-7122 DINE-IN OR TAKE-OUT! Sun-Thurs: 11am - 10pm Fri-Sat: 11am - 11pm VISIT OUR OTHER LOCATION 163 Ridge Way - Ste. E • Flowood, MS Tel: 601-922-7338 • Fax: 601-992-7339 WE DELIVER! Fondren / Belhaven / UMC area WE ALSO CATER! VISIT OUR GROCERY STORE NEXT DOOR.

DID YOU KNOW THAT WE CATER TOO? Office Lunches Wedding Receptions Engagement Parties Family Reunions

STYLISTS:

Nikki Henry, Brock Freeman, Griff Howard, Lori Scroggins, Liz Torres, & Claire Kinsey Mayronne

NO JOB TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL! 574 Hwy 51 N. Suite H, Ridgeland, MS 39157 601-856-4330 Like Us on Facebook

May 28 - June 3, 2014

J A PA N E S E S U S H I B A R & H I B AC H I G R I L L

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1st Place Sushi & Japanese 2009-2014 *3003;97328;-88)6

0-/)9732*%')&33/

6351 I-55 North, Ste. 131 (next to Target) in Jackson | 601-977-8881

Fewer Options

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chools with high enrollment of black and other students of color do not offer as many opportunities as schools with low enrollment. u 13 percent of teachers who teach in schools with high black and Latino student populations are in their first or second year of teaching. u In schools with low black and Latino enrollment, 8 percent of the teaching staff are in their first or second year and are paid $1,913 more on average per year. u A fourth of schools with high enrollment rates of blacks and Latinos do not teach Algebra II, and a third do not teach chemistry. u Black and Latino students represent 40 percent of enrollment in schools that offer gifted programs, but only 23 percent of them are enrolled in the programs. SOURCE: COSEBOC


5050 I-55 North, Suite F • Jackson • 601.899.8845

WEDNESDAY, MAY 28: YAZOO BREWING BEER DINNER

7:00 pm

Chef Lance is preparing a 5 course dinner paired with Yazoo Brewing’s finest offerings. CAPITOL GRILL will be hosting a Scavenger Hunt EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 9:00PM.

FREE and HOUSE CASH to our top three teams at the end of the night!

FRIDAY, MAY 30:

Brian Jones 5pm Joey Culver 9pm MONDAY, JUNE 2:

Open Mic Night ...9pm Top Performer will win a $50 gift card! TUESDAY, JUNE 3:

Tacos & Trivia 7:30pm Free Live Trivia, prizes and Chef Lance’s handmade Tacos!

CHIVE ON

MISSISSIPPI! BLOW STRONG but CHIVE ON

Unofficial Meetup for the Victims of the Tornados Saturday, May 31 at 7pm

Silent Auction •Raffles •Door Prizes •T-Shirts 4 Sale

ALL DONATIONS ACCEPTED

All Proceeds Go to the Salvation Army

jacksonfreepress.com

Weekdays 2pm - 2am | Saturday - Sunday 11am - 2am

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JFPmenus.com 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 Sal & Mookie’s (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. Cerami’s (5417 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-919-28298) Southern-style Italian cuisine features their signature Shrimp Cerami.

STEAK, SEAFOOD & FINE DINING 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. Rocky’s (1046 Warrington Road, Vicksburg 601-634-0100) Enjoy choice steaks, fresh seafood, great salads, hearty sandwiches. Sal and Phil’s Seafood (6600 Old Canton Rd, Ridgeland (601) 957-1188) Great Seafood, Poboys, Lunch Specials, Boiled Seafood, Full Bar, Happy Hour Specials Shea’s 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

BARBEQUE 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.

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

BARS, PUBS & BURGERS Capitol Grill (5050 I-55 North, Deville Plaza 601-899-8845) Best Happy Hour and Sports Bar in Town. Kitchen Open Late pub food 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. Fenian’s 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 Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St. 601-948-0888) Pub favorites meet Gulf Coast and Cajun specialties like red beans and rice, the Oyster Platter or daily specials. Martin’s 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 B’s (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. Time Out (6270 Old Canton Road, 601-978-1839) Your neighborhood fun spot! Terrific lunch special and amazing Happy Hour! 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. The Wing Station (5038 Parkway Dr. 888-769-WING (9464) Ext. 1) Bone-in, Boneless, Fries, Fried Turkeys, and more. Just Wing It!

May 28 - June 3, 2014

ASIAN AND INDIAN

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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 hibachi & refreshing cocktails from one of jackson’s most well-known japanese restaurants.

LATIN/MEXICAN Cafe Ole’ (2752 N State St, Jackson, 769-524-3627 ) Authentic Latin cuisine at its best. Jackson’s restaurateur Alex Silvera combines the flavors of his homeland with flavors from around the world.

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.

Big Bad Cookbook by Kathleen M. Mitchell

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hen I think back to the of food and technical cooking skill. It scoffs cookbooks that inhabited at using certain low-brow ingredients, almy mother’s kitchen while I though admits that certain grocery-store was growing up, I remember staples have no substitute. thick, hearty tomes with recipe after recipe. The book is filled with recipes incorThey were workhorses—you’d pull them porating ingredients I have never used—like out, look up a dish in the index, flip to the proteins such as quail and rabbit and veal. appropriate page, follow directions and then But that makes sense, as Currence still tuck them away once dinner was ready. holds the culinary crown in Mississippi as “Pickles, Pigs and Whiskey: Recipes from our state’s most recent winner of the James My Three Favorite Food Groups and Then Beard Award, which he won in 2009 in the Some” isn’t that book. The cookbook, Ox- Best Chef: South category. If I’m buying a ford chef John Currence’s first, is as much cookbook from a James Beard-level chef, I a manifesto—even a memoir—as it is an want that level delivered. instructional guide. To me, the book represents an unwillIn fact, Currence spells out his cook- ingness to dumb-down challenging recipes. ing manifesto before we get to the first But that means this cookbook isn’t necessarrecipe. It includes advice such as make your ily for everybody. I decided to ease into things own bread, buy quality ingredients, cut with the Whole-Grain Guinness Mustard, the “low-fat” crap and enjoy yourself. The and even that felt very elevated from my book is written in that irreverent, in-your- usual cooking level, although it definitely face Currence style we’ve come to know and love—instead of a foreword, the cookbook offers “Foreplay by John T. Edge.” Currence has a voice, and it’s clear on every page of this book. Suggestions of music to listen to with certain dishes are sprinkled throughout, and most recipes come with an exploration of the history of that food, or how it is intertwined with Currence’s personal history. Once we get to actual chapters, the book begins (as all civilized things do) with drinks, which keeps with the overall theme of enjoying the process of cooking throughout this book. Chapter one—Stirring, Shaking and Muddling—covers 13 craft cocktails, ranging from a Chef John Currence’s first cookbook bursts with “Smoked” Sazerac to a Deadliintensity, humor and some pretty incredible recipes. est Sin Champagne Punch. I didn’t exactly have the ingredients for the Absinthe Frappe, but I tried my made my standard turkey sandwich taste hand at the Rosemary-Cherry Lemonade, better. I’d love to attempt the Spicy Pepper and it was a huge success (especially after Jelly and learn more about pickling (another adding a bit o’ vodka). great aspect of this book is how it digs into The rest of the chapters cover such explaining certain techniques), but it’s not topics as Pickling and Canning; Slather- one I’m going to dog-ear when planning ing, Squirting & Smearing; Curing, Pre- dinner each week. And that’s OK. serving & Stuffing; and Brining & SmokIn the end, as much as this is a book ing, to name a few. The photography from of recipes, it is more a book about a man Angie Mosier is sumptuous—full pages of and his life and his Mississippi. Edge puts vibrant color and mouth-watering dishes it wonderfully in his introduction: “Lots of (and the occasional headless duck or raw chefs who write books declare that their cuislab of meat—if the title didn’t make it ob- sine is very personal. Half the time, I don’t vious enough, this isn’t a cookbook geared buy the rhetoric. This time I do. John Curtoward vegetarians). rence has written a book that sounds like This is definitely what I consider an him, a book that smells like him, with reciaspirational cookbook—meaning, for me, pes that conjure his past and his present and it operates at a pretty advanced knowledge pay homage to the place he calls home.”

COURTESY ANDREW MCMEELS PUBLISHING

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.

LIFE&STYLE | food


LIFE&STYLE | girl about town by Julie Skipper

The Power of Tiny Dancers

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s an only child, I grew up spending a lot of my time around adults. I was never one of those teenagers who babysat to make spending money, and to this day, babies generally make me uncomfortable; I don’t know what to do with them. But, being a grown-up, I do now have friends who have kids—and I find that they can be fun once they reach an age where they start to become little people.

jacksonfreepress.com

COURTESY JULIE SKIPPER

at a later hour. (Confession: This cheered me verily, because I knew the event would not last for hours.) After picking up some flowers to take the Tiny Dancer, I headed to the performance hall, where I found myself seated next to a gentleman who provided excellent company. Ed Payne was there because he is a patron of Ballet Mississippi, and his appreciation for the talent of the Ballet Mississippi teachers, instructors and students was contagious. With watchful eyes, we enjoyed the joy with which the girls danced, while also taking careful notice to identify those we thought showed lots of promise, even at such a young age. Referring to a 10-year-old dancer who this year had a big role in the company’s production of “The Nutcracker,” Payne told me, “She really had been training for that role her whole life, and some of these girls are that way, too.” In addition to the fun of Julie Skipper found a new appreciation for local looking for future stars, I enballet when she visited a young friend’s recital. joyed the music and found myself tapping my toes and singing along—the recital’s theme Particularly, I’ve gotten to be buddies of “Dancing Through the Years” included with the almost-4-years-old daughter of songs ranging from “Raindrops Keep Falllawyer Dorsey Carson, with whom I prac- ing on my Head” (a number that, naturally, tice law. (I think it is because she’s an only included parasols as props) to “Dancing in child, too, it helps me relate more). Her the Street” to, yes, “Let It Go” (with their mom, Susan, manages the office, so Hays fur-trimmed tutus, this class was no doubt tags along often after being picked up from the envy of all the other dancers). I’d never school. While a Fisher-Price princess castle been to the Belhaven Center for the Arts, makes for unconventional conference-room and was impressed with the facility as well. décor, it can be fun to have her around. For The job that the lighting crew did to eninstance, when a day of drafting pleadings hance the performance was especially imstarts to drag mid-afternoon, a gleeful little pressive—for instance, bathing the class blonde bounding into your office to ex- who danced to “Here Comes the Sun” in claim, “I got a happy face at school today, a warm yellow light that made the dancers and I brought you a yellow flower!” does seem radiant. wonders. And we have very important disBy the end, I was in a grand mood cussions about “My Little Pony,” Queen and eagerly met Hays—who danced very Elsa, Cinderella and ballet class. enthusiastically, if not totally in sync—out Which brings me to the important front. But I was also excited about having topic of recitals. Hays takes ballet and tap at gone to a Ballet Mississippi event. I haven’t Ballet Mississippi, and as her end-of-year re- attended many of the ballet’s performances, cital approached, it brought back memories and now I think I’ll make more of an efof my own years of dance at Alpha School of fort to go. The USA International Ballet Dance in Meridian. From the age of 4 until Competition, coming up June 14-29 and I graduated high school, I took lessons there, celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, ofand dance recital was a huge deal. This being fers a perfect chance to take in the beauty Hays’ first, I wanted to go show my support of some fantastic dance (for schedule and and grew increasingly excited for the big tickets, visit usaibc.com). event. This year, due to Thalia Mara Hall’s Who knows? Maybe I’ll even get inrenovation, the Belhaven University Cen- spired to sign up for one of Ballet Mississipter for the Arts served as the venue and, pi’s adult class offerings this fall. because of its capacity limit, the little kids’ See balletms.com for class and perforrecital was at one time and the bigger kids’ mance information.

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ARTS p 26 | FILM p 27 | 8 DAYS p 28 | SPORTS p 33

ADAM TAYLOR

Hip-Hop Goes Country by Alan Sculley

May 28 - June 3, 2014

I

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t’s no secret that the influence of hip-hop—with its rhythmic spoken word vocals, its creative beats and its innovative production styles—is felt in many genres of contemporary music today. Even country music is getting into the act; country act Florida Georgia Line is pushing hip-hop even farther as a new influence. The duo—Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard—fuses hiphop into several songs on its debut full-length album, “Here’s to the Good Times,” and it isn’t a gimmick. “We both grew up listening to a lot of rap and hiphop, and obviously country music, for sure, and rock,” Kelley said in a phone interview. “You know, we just don’t want to sound like anybody.” Creating a unique sound has been a priority since Kelley and Hubbard formed the duo four years ago after meeting as students at Belmont College in Nashville. “That’s what we’ve wanted to do from day one is have a sound that when people that haven’t heard us say: ‘Well, who is that? I need to know. It’s not ‘Well, they sound like (another band), because that’s not going to work,’” Kelley said. “So we wanted to be ahead of the curve and create music that’s fresh and create music that’s real.” Whatever the duo is doing musically has obviously worked, as Florida Georgia Line is country’s breakout act of the past year. But Kelley and Hubbard didn’t just step off of the Belmont College campus and into the countrymusic spotlight. The two stayed in Nashville, writing songs and playing acoustic duo shows to start before hiring a band. For more than two years, Kelley and Hubbard did a variety of day jobs—from installing bathroom stalls to mowing lawns—to pay the bills. Slowly, but surely, the group’s local audience grew. The duo put out a 2010 debut “Anything Like Me,” which included a song, “Black Tears,” that Jason Aldean later covered on his latest album, “Night Train.” Now, Florida Georgia Line has released three EPs and one full-length album. “Not much was happening for awhile,” Kelley said, looking back on the duo’s early struggles. “But you know, I think Tyler and I both knew deep down inside we had something special together that separate we wouldn’t be able

Country duo Florida Georgia Line has made a name for itself with its hip-hop-influenced take on the genre.

to do. We’re both hard workers, and we said we’re going to out-work everybody, and write when people are sleeping, and work when people are sleeping and do whatever it takes to make this thing run.” The album’s first single, “Cruise,” broke the record for most consecutive weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. The group got a second chart-topper out of “Stay,” while “Get Your Shine On,” “Round Here” and the current single, “This Is How We Roll,” have all gone top five on the Hot Country Songs chart. It’s not just radio that is putting Florida Georgia Line on the country music map. In 2012, the duo won two Academy of Country Music Awards: New Artist of the Year and New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year. Last year’s accolades include a Academy of Country Music Award for Vocal Duo of the Year, and Country Music Association Awards for Single of the Year and Vocal Duo of the Year. For Kelley, the ACM awards are especially special because of the decision makers. “The coolest thing about those awards is they are fan voted,” Kelley said. “Just the loyalty of our fans and country music fans in general, just people voting day after day. They’re committed to what we’re doing, and they’re committed to our sound. It’s a humbling thing to have so many people believing in what Tyler and I are doing, and we owe everything to our fans.”

Florida Georgia Line is giving back to fans by continuing to tour, and rocking tracks like “Cruise,” “Tip It Back” and “Party People” get crowds fired up. “We just try to bring the energy,” Kelley said. “We’re going a lot off of what our fans and what our crowds are doing. It kind of works hand in hand. So we’re always running around sweating and trying to create moments that are memorable, create moments that visually look cool and moments that sonically sound good.” The energy of the live show is something the two musicians wanted to capture on “Here’s to the Good Times.” With the help of producer Joey Moi, Kelley feels he and Hubbard got that—and more—on the album. “The energy is through the roof on our album, for sure,” he said. “Everything’s pretty rocking. Even if it’s mid-tempo or somewhat of a ballad, it’s still rocking, and it still sounds huge.” The This Is How We Roll Summer Series Tour comes to Mississippi May 31. Florida Georgia Line, Nelly and Chris Lane perform at 8 p.m. May 31 at Trustmark Park (1 Braves Way, Pearl). Gates open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $46.60 through Ticketmaster. VIP Packages are $199 and include access to a VIP viewing area, an autographed poster, an invitation to the pre-show VIP party and other goodies. Visit floridageorgialine.com.


Interested in interviewing musicians, reviewing albums and networking within Jackson’s music community?

Please e-mail inquiries to

briana@jacksonfreepress.com

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The Jackson Free Press is looking for freelance writers interested in covering the city’s music scene.

25


DIVERSIONS | arts

6A0=3E84F A M A LC O T H E AT R E

TOMMY BURTON

South of Walmart in Madison

ALL STADIUM SEATING Listings for Fri. 5/30 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Thur. 6/5

A Million Ways to Die In the West R Maleficent (non 3-D) PG 3-D Maleficent PG X-Men: Days of Future Past (non 3-D) PG13 3-D X-Men: Days of Future Past PG13

Million Dollar PG Arm Neighbors

R

Momsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Night Out PG Amazing Spiderman 2 (non 3-D) PG13 The Other Woman

PG13

Blended

PG13

Godzilla (non 3-D)

Heaven is For PG Real

PG13

Rio 2 (non 3-D) G

Pam Kinsey found her calling in art when she was bedridden for three months after having knee surgeries.

Pam Kinseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Light

GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE

by Tommy Burton

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DAILY BARGAINS UNTIL 6PM Online Tickets, Birthday Parties, Group & Corporate Events @ www.malco.com

Movieline: 355-9311

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am Kinseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s art studio is on a small lake in Cleary, Miss., nestled between Byram and Florence. The building is quiet and serene, not unlike her vividly real and serene pastel works. The studio lends itself to her creative inspiration. Current works in progress, alongside completed pieces ready for Brownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fine Art and Framing Gallery in Fondren, fill the studio. Everything has its place, which makes perfect sense because Kinsey is in a constant state of flux; she must stay organized to keep on task. Her career as an artist didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come easily or quickly. She grew up in Jackson, where she graduated from Murrah High School, before furthering her education at Belhaven University. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I loved art when I was in high school,â&#x20AC;? Kinsey says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was planning to major in art in college and had the worst possible art teacher in America. I decided there was no way I was going to do this.â&#x20AC;? She ended up in banking and finance, and in retail, primarily for nonprofits such as the Jackson Zoo. In 2002, she had to have a series of knee surgeries, one of which required a three-month recovery. An artist friend brought her pastels to keep her from going crazy and another friend encouraged her to take a class with Alan Flattmann, a renowned pastel artist and teacher. With no previous experience in the medium, she began learning from Flattmann. When he explained the importance of light in the artwork, she felt an epiphany of sorts. He told her that when she left his class, she needed to look at the landscape in an entirely different way. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had gone down (to the class) in my husbandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s little Jeep with the top off, and it was the most glorious ride home,â&#x20AC;? she says. The trip from Laurel to Jackson took. â&#x20AC;&#x153; ... No matter where you are, if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something you see, you remember how the light

hits the land. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen that light and you remember that light.â&#x20AC;? With that revelation, she began to grow as an artist. Kinsey went for a job interview at Mississippi College. While she was looking for a notebook in her car, Dr. Samuel Gore, an art professor at the school, approached her. He insisted on viewing the pieces Kinsey had in her car. During their discussion, he discovered that her only training was the class with Flattmann. He told her that they could hire her if they wanted to, but she was going to get an art degree. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With that, the mighty Sam Gore had spoken, and I was hired and got my degree,â&#x20AC;? she says. She now holds a masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in both 2-D and 3-D art. Kinsey connected with Brownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because co-owner Joel Brown had seen her work and persisted that she bring him some. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I really wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t working at that level, but I brought some things in, and he told me that he was taking all of it,â&#x20AC;? she says. When she tried to explain that some of it hung in her foyer at home, he laughed her off and told her that she could simply paint some more. In addition to commissioned works, she also teaches advanced art at Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex. Teaching has given Kinsey a new perspective on art. â&#x20AC;&#x153;(The students) are so enthusiastic,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve won some wonderful awards, things Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m very proud of. But thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so gratifying about when those kids produce that work, and they win. Winning is not everything, but it gives them a sense of value and purpose. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m always amazed.â&#x20AC;? While Pam Kinsey didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t arrive as an artist by the usual methods, she is happy how she got there. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think I would have done it any differently,â&#x20AC;? she says. To see Pam Kinseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work, go to Brownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fine Art & Framing (630 Fondren Place, 601-982-4844).


DIVERSIONS | film

‘Chef’ Serves Up Tasty Cinematic Cuisine by Jordan Sudduth

COURTESY ALDAMISA ENTERTAINMENT

W

hile Jon Favreau saw great success as executive producer of mega-budget blockbusters such as the “Iron Man” trilogy and “The Avengers,” he continues to naturally thrive when working on lower-budget, character-driven, sharp-dialogued comedies. Favreau, who launched his career with the smash-hit indie film “Swingers” in 1996, is back at his bread and butter with the soulful and delicious “Chef.” Favreau, who also wrote and directed the film, plays main character Carl Casper, the chef de cuisine of a chic Los Angeles restaurant. He is a passionate workaholic with a job he genuinely loves—but things aren’t perfect for Carl. After busting onto the cooking scene a decade ago as the “next best thing,” his creativity in the kitchen is burning out. The owner of the restaurant, Riva (Dustin Hoffman), is more concerned with profits than with promoting Carl’s imaginative dishes. Giving in to the boss, Carl serves the same old blandness to renowned food critic Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt), who writes a scathing review, igniting a Twitter battle and sending Carl into a workplace meltdown. Now unemployed, Carl’s at-home problems seem to be compounding rapidly. He can’t nail any job interviews, and his ex-wife, Inez (Sofia Vergara), is on his case about his relation-

ship with their young son, Percy (Emjay Anthony). Bound and determined to use this given fresh start in life to his advantage, Carl allows Inez to set him up with her previous husband, Marvin (Robert Downey Jr.), who owns an old, beat-up food truck in Miami. From there, “Chef” becomes a warm, heartfelt story of redemption. Carl enlists the help of his eager son to restore the truck, and Carl’s best friend and former grill chef, Martin (John Leguizamo), shows up unexpectedly to join in the fun. During a road trip to Los Angeles with stops in New Orleans, La., and Austin, Texas, the trio serves up amazing Cubano sandwiches and laughs, making memories that none of them will ever forget. As a foodie and an amateur chef, I absolutely loved this movie, but the story will also emotionally resonate with people of all walks of life. It is filled with great characters, life lessons, tears, laughter, passion, and, of course—great food. The writing and the cast are spectacular. With this film, Jon Favreau has reignited his creative indie spirit. If you think Favreau wrote this movie portraying himself in real life, you are most likely spot on. “Chef” is at Malco Grandview Theatre (221 Grandview Blvd., Madison, 601-898-7819) through June 5. Show times are 1:15 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 7:10 p.m., and 9:45 p.m. Visit malco.com and buycheftickets.com.

jacksonfreepress.com

The restoration of an old food truck in “Chef ” helps rekindle a broken relationship between a father and his son, portrayed by Jon Favreau and Emjay Anthony.

27


THURSDAY 5/29

SATURDAY 5/31

MONDAY 6/2

Hub City Comedy Presents is at Hal & Mal’s.

Jackson Streets Alive is throughout the day in Fondren.

Bruce West signs copies of “The True Gospel Preached Here” at Lemuria.

BEST BETS MAY 28 - JUNE 4, 2014

COURTESY FLOW TRIBE

WEDNESDAY 5/28

History Is Lunch is at noon at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Historian Aram Goudsouzian discusses his new book, “Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear.” Free; call 601-576-6998. … Ester Rada performs at 7:30 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). $15 at the door; call 601-292-7999; ardenland.net.

THURSDAY 5/29

May 28 - June 3, 2014

COURTESY REPUBLIC RECORDS

Leadership Greater Jackson Alumni Association’s Issues and Reunion Luncheon Series is at 11:30 a.m. at Capital Club (125 S. Congress St., Suite 19). Mayor Tony Yarber speaks. RSVP. $20, $15 members; find Leadership Greater Jackson Alumni Association on Facebook. … Hub City Comedy Presents is at 8 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St.). $10; find Hub City Comedy on Facebook. … Flow Tribe performs at 10 p.m. at Martin’s Restaurant and Lounge (214 S. State St.). $10; flowtribe.com.

Nelly performs with Florida Georgia Line and Chris Lane on May 31 at Trustmark Park.

FRIDAY 5/30

Partners to End Homelessness Open House is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Partners to End Homelessness (360 Comet Drive, Suite C). Free; call 601-213-5301; ptehms. org. … Community Bike Ride is at 6 p.m. at Rainbow Coop (2807 Old Canton Road). Free; find Jackson Bike Advo28 cates on Facebook. … The Love and Laughter Tour: An All-

Flow Tribe, a funk and rock band from New Orleans, performs May 29 at Martin’s Restaurant and Lounge.

White Affair is at 8 p.m. at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). Comedian J. Anthony Brown hosts, and R&B artist Kem performs. Wear white. $37-$57; call 800-745-3000.

SATURDAY 5/31

Jackson Streets Alive is from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in Fondren. A BY BRIANA ROBINSON portion of Old Canton Road is closed off to create a playground JACKSONFREEPRESS.COM for biking, walking and other forms of exercise. Free; email FAX: 601-510-9019 bikewalk@bikewalkmississippi. DAILY UPDATES AT org; bikewalkmississippi.org. … JFPEVENTS.COM Magnolia Roller Vixens take on the Spindletop Roller Girls Roller Derby at 7 p.m. at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). $15, $12 in advance, $5 children; magnoliarollervixens.com. … This Is How We Roll Tour is at 8 p.m. at Trustmark Park (1 Braves Way, Pearl). Florida Georgia Line, Nelly and Chris Lane perform. Call 800-745-3000. … The Official Florida Georgia Line After Party is at 11 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St.). Chris Lane performs. $8 in advance, $10 at the door; call 601-292-7999; ardenland.net.

EVENTS@

SUNDAY 6/1

“Shrek the Musical” is at 2 p.m. at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). $28, $22 students and seniors; call 601948-3533, ext. 222; newstagetheatre.com. … Rossini, Puccini and Martinis is at 6 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). Donations go toward the launch of the Mississippi

Opera’s Cabaret at Duling Hall. Free, donations welcome. Call 601-292-7999; ardenland.net.

MONDAY 6/2

Stand Up! Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 Exhibit Opening is from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Free; call 601-576-6850; mdah.state.ms.us. … Quest Fitness Block Jam is from 4:30-8:30 p.m. at Quest Fitness (5225 Highway 18 W.). Free; call 601-983-3337. … Bruce West signs copies of “The True Gospel Preached Here” at 5 p.m. at Lemuria Books (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). $35 book; call 601-366-7619; lemuriabooks.com.

TUESDAY 6/3

Snake Day is at 10 a.m. at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). Learn the value of native snakes, and how to distinguish venomous and non-venomous species. $4-$6; msnaturalscience.org. … Playwright Night is at 7 p.m., at Cafe Olé (2752 N. State St.). Enjoy readings from local playwrights. Free; call 601-301-2281; email avsivira@gmail.com; fondrentheatreworkshop.org.

WEDNESDAY 6/4

Farm to Fork Project is from 4-6 p.m. at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). $5 per bag; call 601-718-6578. … Jeff Shaara signs copies of “The Smoke at Dawn: A Novel of the Civil War” at 5 p.m. at Lemuria Books (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). Reading at 5:30 p.m. $28 book; call 601-366-7619; lemuriabooks.com.


Magnolia Roller Vixens Roller Derby May 31, 7 p.m., at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). The team takes on the Spindletop Roller Girls. Doors open at 6 p.m. $12 in advance, $15 at the door, $5 children; magnoliarollervixens.com.

#/--5.)49 Events at Mississippi Center for Nonprofits (201 W. Capitol St., Suite 700). Registration required. Free for members; call 601-968-0061; msnonprofits.org. â&#x20AC;˘ Nonprofit Enrichment Series: Microsoft PowerPoint June 2, 4:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m. Learn to develop powerful presentations that can be used in fundraising, training, marketing, collaboration and program effectiveness. $25, free for members. â&#x20AC;˘ Lunch and Learn: Donor Appreciation May 28, noon-1 p.m. Learn ways beyond thank-you letters to show appreciation for donations. $15.

A Roast and a Toast: The Legacy of Samuel Griffin May 31, 6:30 p.m., at Jackson Marriott (200 E. Amite St.). Alumni of Alcorn Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sounds of Dynomite Marching Band honor the 40-year band director for his leadership. $50, $500 table of 10; call 601-624-6126; email sodclub1966@gmail.com; sodclub.org. Two Rivers Gala and Tougaloo Honors May 31, 7:30 p.m., at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). The banquet and award ceremony is a fundraiser for Tougaloo College. Grammy-winning artist Ledisi performs. $200, $1,250 table of 10; call 601-977-7871; email epjones@tougaloo.edu; tougaloo.edu. Hinds County Board of Supervisors Meeting June 2, 9 a.m., at Hinds County Chancery Court (316 S. President St.). The board holds its regular meeting, open to the public. Free; call 601-9686501; co.hinds.ms.us.

Dance Camp Open House May 31, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at Alamo Theater (333 N. Farish St.). Learn about the program for girls that includes 96 hours of professional dance training. Enjoy music from 97.7 FM and a free demonstration from Broadway performer and Radio City Rockette Desiree Parkman. Free; call 601-291-6587. Reading and Writing in College June 2-6, at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.) The workshop for high school juniors and seniors includes practicing analytical reading skills and writing short pieces. Registration required. $150; call 601-974-1130; millsaps.edu/conted.

Events at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.) â&#x20AC;˘ Medger Wiley Evers Lecture Series June 2, noon-1 p.m. Freedom Summer Project director and Algebra Project founder Dr. Robert Moses is the speaker. The lecture also serves as the opening for the exhibit â&#x20AC;&#x153;Stand Up!â&#x20AC;? that hangs through Oct. 31. Free; call 601-576-6850. â&#x20AC;˘ History Is Lunch June 4, noon Author John Hailman talks about his book â&#x20AC;&#x153;From Midnight to Guntown: True Crime Stories from a Federal Prosecutor in Mississippiâ&#x20AC;? and sign copies. Free; call 601-576-6998; mdah.state.ms.us.

Jackson City Council Meeting June 3, 4 p.m., at Jackson City Hall (219 S. President St.). Free; call 601-960-1064; jacksonms.gov.

Junior Naturalist Camp June 2, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). The five-day, ecology-based camp is for children in grades 6-9. Includes an overnight stay June 5. Registration required. $190, $165 members; call 576-6000; email megan.fedrick@mmns.state.ms.us; mdwfp.com.

Snake Day June 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). Learn the value of native snakes and how to distinguish venomous species from non-venomous ones. Herpetologist Bryan Fedrick gives lectures on Mississippi snakes at 10 a.m. and noon. See live snakes during the event. $4-$6; call 601-576-6000; msnaturalscience.org.

Zoo Summer Camps June 2, 9 a.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). Options include halfday camps for ages 4-12 and full-day camps for ages 6-12. Each camp is held Monday through Friday. Registration required. Visit the website for a list of camps. Half-day camps: $90, $85 members; full-day camps: $175, $165 members; call 601-352-2580, ext. 240; jacksonzoo.org.

History Is Lunch May 28, noon, at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Historian Aram Goudsouzian discusses his new book, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear.â&#x20AC;? Free; call 601-576-6998.

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Leadership Greater Jackson Alumni Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Issues and Reunion Luncheon Series May 29, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at Capital Club (125 S. Congress St., Suite 19). The speaker is Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber. RSVP. $20, $15 members; find Leadership Greater Jackson Alumni Association on Facebook. Homebuyer Education Class May 31, 8:30 a.m.5 p.m., at Jackson Housing Authority Homeownership Center (256 E. Fortification St.). Topics include personal finances, home inspections and the role of lenders and real estate agents. Registration required. The class is required to qualify for a Jackson Housing Authority loan. Free; call 601-398-0446.

Title II Summer Institute June 2-27, at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.). The program is for high school economics teachers. Includes a stipend and a minimum of 10 CEUs. Limit of 20 participants. Free; mscee.org.

Gator Bait Hatchling-Kids Kayak Race May 31, 8 a.m., at Lakeshore Park (Lakeshore Drive, Brandon). Youth ages 5-17 compete for prizes. Kayaks included. Also see baby alligators on display from the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. $15 entry fee; gatorbaittrace.com.

Events at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). Camps held weekdays June 2-13. $250; call 601948-3533, ext. 232; email education@newstagetheatre.com; newstagetheatre.com. â&#x20AC;˘ Acting Shakespeare Camp. Students leaving grades 5-11 receive instruction in Shakespearean and Elizabethan Drama, acting, stage movement and stage combat. â&#x20AC;˘ Acting First Stages Camp. The camp is an introduction and exploration of acting through creative dramatic games, structured improvisation and scene work. For students who are leaving grades 1-4. Youth Amnesty Days for Overdue Library Books May 30-31, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., at all JacksonHinds Library System branches. Youth ages 17 and under may return overdue books without paying a fine. Hours vary per location. Free; call 601-968-5819 or 601-968-5812.

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an early morning in the office and you are

Lucky you.Steveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s serves breakfast!

2D Studio Art Camp June 2, 9 a.m.-noon, at ArtWorks Studios (158 W. Government St., Brandon). The one-week camp includes drawing, painting, oil pastel, printing and mixed media projects. Held Monday-Thursday. Registration required. $150; call 601-499-5278 or 601-988-3115; email artworksstudios@gmail. com; artworksstudios.com. Little Masters June 2, 9 a.m.-noon, at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). The fiveday art camp is for children ages 5-7. Includes creating art and exploration. Space limited. Registration required. $175; call 601-960-1515; msmuseumart.org. Mississippi Girlchoir Auditions June 2, 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m., at Mississippi Girlchoir Office (1991 Lakeland Drive, Suite M). Auditions are for girls entering grades 3-12. Appointment required. $25 audition fee; call 601-981-9863; email auditions@msgirlchoir.org; girlchoir.org.

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Storyteller Rose Anne St. Romain June 3, 3 p.m.4 p.m., at Ridgeland Public Library (397 Highway 51, Ridgeland). The award-winning storyteller tells tall tales from the Louisiana swamp. For ages 3 and up. Free; call 601-856-4536.

$5 Martini Monday 2 for Tuesday 2 for 1 Well Drinks

Wine Down Wednesday

2 for 1 House Wines

Thirsty Thursday $2 Domestic Longnecks and 16oz Drafts

We’ve Got Crawfish! Thurs. and Fri. after 5pm All Day Saturday and Sunday (While Supplies Last)

Patio Brunch Sat/Sun. 25 Patio Tables and Flat Screens outside!

Best Bloody Mary in town!

THURSDAY NIGHT IS

Ladie’s Night!

Lady Tigers Basketball Camp June 3-5, at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.). At the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center. Topics include jump shots, free throws and defense. Registration required. $100, families of two or more: $85 per child; call 601-979-2437; email felicia.b.jenkins@jsums.edu. It’s All About Me Summer Camp June 3-31, at Apostolic Restoration Ministry Christian School (1020 W. McDowell Road). Programs include academics, sports, behavior modification, coping skills, gardening, arts and crafts, and team building. Registration required. $70 weekly; registration: $30; $35 activity fee; family discounts available; call 769-524-6924 or 601-373-4970; armchurch.org.

&//$$2).+ Jump Start Jackson Farmers Market Kickoff Celebration May 31, 8 a.m.-noon, at Lake Hico Park (4801 Watkins Drive). My Brother’s Keeper is the host. Includes a live remote broadcast from 97.7 FM and music from the Southern Komfort Brass Band. The market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m.-noon through Aug. 2. Free; call 601-8980000, ext. 122; email slee@mbk-inc.org. Farm to Fork Project June 4, 4 p.m.-6 p.m., at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). Purchase produce from the Alcorn State University Extension Program’s Demonstration Farm of Mound Bayou. $5 per bag, one free bag for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan members with MSCAN or MSCHIP ID cards; call 601-718-6578.

30/2437%,,.%33 Just Breathe Holistic Retreat May 30, 2 p.m. and June 1, 8 a.m., at Camp Wesley Pines (1095 Camp Wesley Pines Road, Hazlehurst). Activities include tai chi, yoga, qi gong, meditation, art therapy and more. Registration required. $55 registration fee, $100 lodging fee; call 601-4542288 or 601-345-8621; find Just Breathe Holistic Retreat on Facebook. 5K Foam Fest May 31, 8 a.m.-2:20 p.m., at Mississippi Off Road Adventures (118 Elton Road). The race begins with mud pits, cargo net climbs and army crawls, and ends with inflatable obstacles filled with foam. Races occur in 20-minute intervals. Registration required. $80 May 24-30, $85 after May 30; 5kfoamfest.com. Cancer Survivors Day June 1, 1 p.m.-3 p.m., at The Belhaven (1200 N. State St.). The event is in honor of those surviving and battling cancer. The guest speaker is cancer survivor Cynthia Stuart. Includes decorating a survivors’ banner. Registration required. Free; call 601-948-6262 or 800948-6262; mbhs.org/events.

May 28 - June 3, 2014

34!'%3#2%%. 810 Lake Harbour Drive, Ridgeland Across from McB’s

601-427-5853 Like Us on Facebook 30 Follow us on Twitter

“Shrek the Musical” May 27-31, 7:30 p.m.; June 1, 2 p.m.; June 4-7, 7:30 p.m.; and June 8, 2 p.m., at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). Actor chats after the May 28 and June 4 performances. $28, $22 students and seniors; call 601948-3533, ext. 222; newstagetheatre.com. Hub City Comedy Presents May 29, 8 p.m.-10 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St.). Performers include Andrew Polk, Duncan Pace, Ryan

Jetten, Steven Street, Jamie Arrington, Tommy Chevelle and J. Evan Curry. For ages 18 and up. $10 at the door; email jane@halandmals.com; find Hub City Comedy on Facebook. “Murder in the Key of Motown” Dinner Theater June 3, 7 p.m., at Rossini Cucina Italiana (207 W. Jackson St., Suite A, Ridgeland). Mississippi Murder Mysteries presents the musical about quarreling band members. Includes a threecourse dinner. RSVP. $49; call 601-668-2214; brownpapertickets.com/event/666863.

concert. Performers include American Idol contestant Tiquila Wilson, the Bass Brothers, Fransha Blount, Ryan Bisson, Frederick Dukes Jr., Chad Perry and Malcolm McDonald. Also includes rap, miming and dancing. $10 (portion donated to Piney Woods Country Life School), canned good donations to Stewpot welcome, $150 vendors; call 601-317-0560. Car Park Rock II May 31, 7 p.m.-11 p.m., at Butler Snow Law Firm (1020 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). In the parking garage. Includes

Pub Run for Richie May 28, 6 p.m., at Soulshine Pizza Factory (1111 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). Fleet Feet Sports is the host. The run is in support of Richie Edmonson, a local athlete diagnosed with ALS. Proceeds benefit the ALS Association. Free, donations welcome; call 601899-9696; fleetfeetjackson.com. Partners to End Homelessness Open House May 30, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Partners to End Homelessness (360 Comet Drive, Suite C). Free; call 601-213-5301; ptehms.org. Statewide Garage Sale May 31, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., at Jamie Fowler Boyll Park (1398 Lakeland Drive). The sale is a fundraiser for Mississippi Families for Kids. Includes food vendors and children’s activities. Free, $50 vendor fee; call 601-957-7670.

#/.#%243&%34)6!,3 Events at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). Seated show. Call 601-292-7999; email arden@ardenland.net; ardenland.net. • Ester Rada May 28, 7:30 p.m. The Israeliborn Ethiopian’s style of music is described as “Ethio-Soul.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Seated show. Adults must accompany children. $12 in advance, $15 at the door, $3 surcharge for patrons under 21. • Rossini, Puccini and Martinis June 1, 6 p.m. Vocalists include Rebecca Sorensen, Edwin Davis, Tiffany Williams and John Christopher Adams. Donations go toward the launch of the Mississippi Opera’s Cabaret at Duling Hall. Doors open at 5 p.m. Free, donations welcome. Events at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 Lamar St.). Call 601-960-1515; msmuseumart.org. • Downtown Jazz May 29, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Enjoy performances from local jazz and blues musicians. $5, free for members. • Music in the City June 3, 5:15 p.m. In Trustmark Grand Hall. Enjoy a cash bar at 5:15 p.m., and music from pianists Frank and Sandra Polanski at 5:45 p.m. Free, donations welcome. • Live at Lunch May 30, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Enjoy live music during your lunch hour. Bring lunch or purchase from the Palette Cafe by Viking. Free. Flow Tribe May 29, 10 p.m., at Martin’s Restaurant and Lounge (214 S. State St.). The funk and rock band from New Orleans performs. For ages 21 and up. $10; flowtribe.com. The Love and Laughter Tour: An All-white Affair May 30, 8 p.m., at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). Comedian J. Anthony Brown hosts, and R&B artist, music producer and Detroit native Kem performs. Wear white. Doors open at 7 p.m. $37-$57; call 800-745-3000. Chicago May 30, 8 p.m., at Beau Rivage Resort and Casino (875 Beach Blvd., Biloxi). In Beau Rivage Theatre. The rock band has been performing since 1967. $60-$80; call 800-745-3000 or 888-566-7469; beaurivage.com. The Declaration of Independence: The Freedom Homeland Concert May 31, noon-6 p.m., at Greater Tree of Life Baptist Church (3102 Monticello Drive). Min. Joshua McCain hosts the

a second line parade with the Southern Komfort Brass Band, music from The Chill, free wine and food for sale. Proceeds benefit the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. $30 in advance, $35 at the door, $250 reserved table for four, $500 reserved table for four with dinner; call 601-960-1565; msorchestra.com.

,)4%2!293)'.).'3 Events at Lemuria Books (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202) Free; call 601-366-7619; email info@ lemuriabooks.com; lemuriabooks.com. • “The True Gospel Preached Here” June 2, 5 p.m. Bruce West signs books. $35 book. • “Mississippi Entrepreneurs” June 3, 5 p.m. Polly Dement signs books. $37 book. • “The Smoke at Dawn: A Novel of the Civil War” June 4, 5 p.m. Jeff Shaara signs books. Reading at 5:30 p.m. $28 book. “The True Gospel Preached Here” May 31, 2 p.m.-4 p.m., at Lorelei Books (1103 Washington St., Vicksburg). Bruce West signs books. Books for sale; call 601-634-8624; email loreleibooks@ wave2lan.com; loreleibooks.com.

#2%!4)6%#,!33%3 Art in Mind Art Program May 28, 10 a.m.11:45 a.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). The Alzheimer’s Association of Mississippi offers the program for people with early-stage dementia and their caregivers. Participants tour the galleries and make art in the studio classroom. Registration required. Free; call 601-987-0020; alz.org/ms. The Yokshop Writers Conference May 30-June 1, in Oxford. Includes workshops, craft lectures, social events and open-mics at several locations. Guest authors include Ace Atkins, Julie Cantrell, Scott Morris, M.O. Walsh, Sean Ennis and Matt Brock. Registration required. For ages 18 and up. $400; email theyokshop@gmail.com; theyokshop.com. Check jfpevents.com for updates and more listings, or to add your own events online. You can also email event details to events@jacksonfreepress.com to be added to the calendar. The deadline is noon the Wednesday prior to the week of publication.


Help the JFP Chick Ball celebrate its

10th anniversary

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



THURS 5/29

SUN 6/1 Enjoy the Deck!

FRI
5/30

Bloody
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 $3
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Imperial Highness - $10,000 Empress/Emperor - $5,000 Diva/Devo - $2,500 King/Queen - $1,000 Prince/Princess - $500 Duchess/Duke - $150

31


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DIVERSIONS | jfp sports the best in sports over the next seven days

by Bryan Flynn

THURSDAY, MAY 29 NBA (8-11 p.m., TNT): The San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder keep battling for the right to move on to the NBA Finals in game five of their series. FRIDAY, MAY 30 Softball (6-11 p.m., ESPN2): A double-header of the 2014 Women’s College World Series features three SEC teams: Alabama Crimson Tide, Kentucky Wildcats and Florida Gators. SATURDAY, MAY 31 Baseball (11 a.m.-12 a.m., ESPNU): Spend your Saturday watching the 2014 College Baseball Regionals—ESPNU shows games all day, and hopefully Ole Miss, Jackson State and Mississippi State will be in the mix. SUNDAY, JUNE 1 NASCAR (12-4 p.m., Fox): The stars of NASCAR hit the Dover International Speedway to battle for points in the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks on the Monster Mile.

TUESDAY, JUNE 3 WNBA (6-8 p.m., ESPN and ESPN2): Women’s sports dominate the night with game two of the Women’s College World Series airing on ESPN ... See some WNBA action on ESPN2 when the LA Sparks and the Atlanta Dream play. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4 Softball (7-10 p.m., ESPN) If it is necessary, teams will face off in the third and final game of the 2014 Women’s World Series Championship Series. A champion will be crowned. In addition to the usual June sports, we can enjoy plenty of must-see soccer matches until mid-July thanks to the World Cup. Follow Bryan Flynn at jfpsports.com, @jfpsports and at facebook.com/jfpsports.

L

LADIES 1/2 OFF 5-CLOSE

THURSDAY

5 -9PM

Bulldogs being the two-seed and the Tigers the four-seed. Jackson State will face one-seed and regional host Louisiana-Lafayette at 6 p.m. on ESPN3 May 30. Mississippi State will start off play against three-seed San Diego State at 1 p.m. on ESPN3. The Tigers and the Bulldogs could face off in the regional if both end up in the winners or losers bracket. If they meet in the losers bracket, the teams will either win or go home. June 2, the NCAA will announce the host teams for the super regional. In the super regional, the winner of the Oxford Regional faces off against the winner of the Lafayette Regional. If Ole Miss wins the Oxford Regional, they could face the Bulldogs or the Tigers. Of course, JSU could advance, too, but the bracket makes it hard for the four-seed to advance without some luck, and solid pitching and hitting. Mississippi State wants to return to Omaha. Ole Miss and Jackson State want to be where the Bulldogs were last year. Can we make it two years in a row with a team from our state playing for the title?

5/29

2 FOR 1 DRAFT $4 APPETIZERS (D INE

Wednesday MAY 28

KARAOKE with DJ STACHE Thursday MAY 29

LADIES NIGHT W/ DJ Stache • Ladies Drink Free Friday MAY 30

IN

O NLY )

FLOW TRIBE 10 P.M.

FRIDAY

5/30

DUWAYNE BURNSIDE (FORMERLY NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS, SON OF RL BURNSIDE)

10 P.M.

SATURDAY

5/31

GREENHOUSE

LEE HUTSON E T ,D

WITH UROPEAN HEATER ENTON HATCHER, AND YOUNG VALLEY

World Series Repeat?

5/28

LADIES NIGHT

MONDAY, JUNE 2 Softball (7-10 p.m., ESPN2): Catch game one of a possible three-game series in the 2014 Women’s College World Series as two teams battle for a title.

bryan’s rant

ast year, we saw a great sports moment in our state: Mississippi State not only reached the College World Series but made it all the way to the championship. UCLA beat the Bulldogs in two straight games, ending Mississippi State’s quest for a national title, but the Bulldogs are back for more this year. Two other teams from our state made the regionals, with Ole Miss hosting one and Jackson State earning an automatic bid by winning the SWAC Baseball Tournament. The SEC has the most bids of any conference, with 10 teams in regionals. The Oxford Regional, which one-seed Ole Miss hosts, includes the Washington Huskies as the No. 2 seed, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets as the third-seed and Jacksonville State Gamecocks as the fourth-seed. The Rebels will open play against the Gamecocks Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPN3. Ole Miss will then face either Georgia Tech or Washington, depending on the outcome of both games. Mississippi State and Jackson State are in the Lafayette Regional, with the

WEDNESDAY

Saturday MAY 31

LIVE DJ

LOUNGE 10 P.M.

MONDAY

6/2

OPEN MIC NIGHT

2 FOR 1 DRAFT TUESDAY

6/3

DANCE PARTY!

SHRIMP BOIL

NOW OPEN SUNDAYS

MATT’S KARAOKE

Sunday JUNE 1

with Wesley Monday JUNE 2

PubQuiz with Casey & John 8PM Tuesday JUNE 3 2 for 1 Highlife & PBR

OPEN MIC with Wesley Edwards FREE WiFi

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5 - 10 PM

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UPCOMING SHOWS 6/6: Up Until Now 6/7: Parallax 6/14: Gravity A 6/20: Unknown Hinson 6/21: Young Valley 6/27: Archnemesis 6/28: The Cardinal Sons 7/5: Sweet Crude 7/12: New Madrid 7/18: JGBCB (Jerry Garcia Band Cover Band) SEE OUR NEW MENU

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214 S. STATE ST. 601.354.9712 DOWNTOWN JACKSON

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SLATE

May comes to a close this week, and June is ready to bust out a ton of sports events. The Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Finals, World Cup and a shot at the Triple Crown highlight this packed sports month.

33


MISSISSIPPI MUSEUM of ART

THE MUSEUM SCHOOL 2014 SUMMER ART CAMP

May 28 - June 3, 2014

BOOK TODAY!

34

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acupressure massage - alignment

Travis Kali Sledge Horner LMT 1876

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Upledger CranioSacral Therapist Synergetic Myofascial Therapy Deep Tissue Alignment Taoist QiGong Acupressure

Myofascial Therapist Deep Tissue Massage CranioSacral Therapy

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May 28 - June 3, 2014

Happy Hour!

36

$1 off all Cocktails, Wine, and Beer Monday - Saturday 4pm - 7 pm

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Vacation Never Ends at Islander Oyster House! Daily Lunch Specials New Orleans Style Sunday Brunch

Maywood Mart â&#x20AC;˘ Jackson, MS â&#x20AC;˘ www.IslanderOysterHouse.com â&#x20AC;˘ 601.366.5441

 



    

May 28 - June 3, 2014

      

      

38

        

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Ask About Our New Diet Plate.

TV Doctor Discovers Digestion Remedy That Works Instantly! ADVERTISEMENT

We’ll all have a good laugh, and then you can dig into some fried anything.

Television host and best selling author Dr. Liza Leal explains how a new aloe-vera extract can make bouts of heartburn, acid-reflux, constipation, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other stomach nightmares disappear!

“I’D GIVE ANYTHING TO MAKE IT STOP!” That’s what most people will tell you when asked about their digestive problems. “It’s just horrible says Ralph Burns, a former digestion victim. I was tortured for years by my AcidReflux. Sometimes I’d almost pass out from the pain. My wife suffers with digestion problems too. If she eats one wrong thing, she spends hours stuck in the bathroom dealing with severe bouts of constipation or diarrhea.” FDA WARNS ABOUT POPULAR ANTACIDS A recent FDA warning explained that excessive use of antacids could lead to an increased risk of hip, wrist, and spine fractures. Especially in people over the age of 50. So when Dr. Liza Leal discussed an alternative to her clinic, you can imagine how thrilled people were to find out they could finally get relief without having to rely on Prevecid®, Nexium®, Prilosec® and other dangerous antacids. But now, according to Dr. Leal, your stomach problems could be over by simply drinking a small amount of a tasty Aloe Vera extract. It’s as simple as that! FINALLY THERE’S HOPE... At first, the thought of drinking aloe vera might make some people back away. But in fact, this delicious “digestion cocktail” is doing amazing things for people who suffer with stomach problems --- even if they’ve had them for years. Here’s how it works… STOP STOMACH AGONY Your stomach naturally produces acid so strong, it can dissolve an aluminum spoon in just 30 minutes! And when excess acid escapes into your esophagus, throat and stomach lining, it unleashes the scorching pain of Acid-Reflux, heartburn, ulcers and more misery. Add the problems of stress, and “all hell breaks loose.” Dr. Liza Leal explains... “The AloeCure® can work genuine miracles. It buffers high acid levels with amazing speed. So your stomach feels completely at ease just moments after drinking it.” In fact, it could wipe out stomach pain, discomfort, and frantic runs to the bathroom. UNTIL NOW, LITTLE COULD BE DONE... But “AloeCure® can help virtually anyone. Even people with chronic stomach pain can feel better right away,”says Dr. Leal. And what’s really exciting is AloeCure® aids in keeping your digestive tract healthy, so intestinal distress stops coming back. DIGESTION DEFENDER #1: BALANCES STOMACH ACID Your first line of defense is calcium malate. This natural acid buffer instantly sends stomach acid levels plunging. And holds acid levels down so they don’t return!

Tasty Food • Cold Beer

Doctor recommended AloeCure may be the most important application ever discovered for digestive health! DIGESTION DEFENDER #2: INSTANT, SOOTHING RELIEF

®

1410 Old Square Road • Jackson cherokeedrivein.com • 601.362.6388

Intern at the JFP

AloeCure® is brimming with polysaccharides, a “wonder” compound that gently coats the throat, esophagus and stomach, carrying instant relief to cells scorched by excess acid.

Hone your skills, gain valuable experience and college credit* by interning with the Jackson Free Press. You set your hours, and attend free training workshops.

HERE’S WHAT DOCTORS ARE SAYING! AloeCure® is backed by important scientific studies that confirm... aloe calms stomach acid and allows your body to heal itself. Dr. Liza Leal, Pain Management Expert says, “That’s why I recommend it to patients who suffer from bouts of heartburn, acid reflux, ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome...” Dr. Liza Leal is also the co-founder of Meridian Medical Dental Healthcare for pain management and author of “Living Well with Chronic Pain”

We currently have openings in the following areas: • Editorial/News • Photography • Cultural/Music Writing • Fashion/Style

Interested? E-mail interns@jacksonfreepress.com, telling us why you want to intern with us and what makes you the ideal candidate. *College credit available to currently enrolled college students in select disciplines.

Real Customer Testimonial: Most of my life I purposely avoided a lot of foods. Even ones with a tiny bit of seasoning. If I didn't, I'd experience a burning sensation through my esophagus- like somebody poured hot lead or battery acid down my throat. Add to that those disgusting "minithrow ups" and I was in "indigestion hell". Doctors put me on all sorts of antacid remedies. Nothing worked. Or if they did, it would only be for a brief period. And then boom! My nightmare would return. I decided to experiment. I stopped taking the PPIs altogether and replaced it with a daily diet of AloeCure®. Then something remarkable happened - NOTHING! Not even the slightest hint of indigestion. The next day I had Italian food - my worst enemy. For the first time in 40-years I didn't need pills or tablets to avoid indigestion. Thank you AloeCure®! - Ralph Burns

Dr. Santiago Rodriguez agrees. “Just two ounces of AloeCure® reduces the acids in your stomach by ten times.” Francisco DeWeever, a Certified Nutritional Microscopist, “My patients report their IBS, Crohn’s, Colitis, Constipation, Acid Reflux and a host of other digestive problems have all but disappeared.”

SAFE AND EASY TO USE With no sugar, no stimulants, and zero calories, AloeCure® is safe, all-natural and has absolutely no side effects. It’s tasty, drug-free, and simple to use. Just drink two ounces, once in the morning, and once at night, and start enjoying immediate life- changing relief ! The makers of AloeCure® have agreed to send you up to 6 FREE bottles PLUS 2 free bonus gifts with your order— they’re yours to keep no matter what. That’s enough AloeCure® for 30 days of powerful digestive relief, absolutely free! To order simply call our toll free hotline: 1-888-437-4872. But hurry! This is a special introductory offer, reserved for our readers only. Call now, supplies are limited!

THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PRE­ VENT ANY DISEASE. INDIVIDUAL RESULTS MAY VARY. *ALOECURE IS NOT A DRUG. IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY TAKING A PRESCRIPTION DRUG YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR  DOCTOR BEFORE USE. FOR THE FULL FDA PUBLISHED WARNING PLEASE VISIT HTTP://WWW.FDA.GOV/DOWNLOADS/FORCONSUMERS/CONSUMERUPDATES/UCM213307

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