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August 20 - 26, 2014




former classmate of coach Otis Riddley recently posted to Instagram a comment Riddley left in her Provine High School yearbook at the end of their senior year: “Hard work never got anyone fired.” “That shook me a little bit because it showed me that I had a little perspective, even back then,” Riddley, 30, says now. Riddley’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. The former football star became head coach of the Provine football program in February. Former head coach Willie Collins’ 30year tenure with the Rams is now history. “There are some things that are already in place in the community that people expect to happen when it comes to Provine football,” Riddley says of the former coaching staff, which also helped guide his career and life. “I have big shoes to fill from a coaching standpoint, but also a character standpoint, because those are great men.” Riddley says the new era of Ram football’s coaching techniques will extend off the gridiron. His plan is to ensure that all the students not only excel as players, but also as individuals in society. “We believe in developing the holistic male,” he says. Before any player put on a piece of equipment, Riddley led his team around the school’s campus to pick up trash. He also takes active roles in ensuring players get educated and gives grooming tips. Players should look the part and make the grades.


Riddley grew up in the Presidential Hills area of north Jackson. The self-proclaimed mama’s boy learned all about football from his mom. “My mother could sit there and watch a football game and break it down,” he says. “You know, she’s a coach.” After graduating from Provine in 2002, Riddley attended Mississippi State. He was undersized for an offensive lineman, and he struggled with injuries that caused his football career to come to an abrupt end during his sophomore year. “We don’t pick our destiny. We just choose the roads to get there,” Riddley says. “I didn’t sit down on my butt. I started trying to refocus my energy. How could I stay a part of the game even though I couldn’t play?” Returning to Jackson after graduating from Mississippi State with an educational psychology degree in 2007, Riddley started work as a process server, but wasn’t happy. While coaching a peewee football team known as the Jackson Rams, he got an offer to sign on as the offensive-line coach at Callaway High School in 2009. With football season just beginning at Jackson Public Schools, Riddley and the Rams are gearing up for their schedule. Coming off a 2-9 record last season, the Rams hope to improve their number of wins for this year. Riddley plans to continue the hard work of leading the Provine High organization, one that was pivotal to his own personal growth. —Jared Boyd

Cover photo of football players from UM, MSU, JSU and USM courtesy athletic departments of the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, Jackson State University and the University of Southern Mississippi

11 Primary Colors

Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel dishes on what he says are long-overdue election reforms, including closed primaries.

32 Through Yonder Window Grows

You don’t need a green thumb or a big house to create a successful herb garden.

38 Summer Sounds

“Where The Starting Line began early in (Kenny Vasoli’s) high-school years and featured oft-sappy love songs and tales of teen angst, Vacationer sees a now-adult Vasoli indulge in dreamy electronic layering and beach-party drum beats.” —Micah Smith, “Vacationer Sighs with ‘Relief’”

4 ............................. EDITOR’S NOTE 6 ............................................ TALKS 12 ................................ EDITORIAL 12 ................................ SORENSON 13 .................................... OPINION 14 ............................ COVER STORY 32 ............................. LIFE & STYLE 33 ................... GIRL ABOUT TOWN 35 .............................. DIVERSIONS 36 ....................................... 8 DAYS 37 ...................................... EVENTS 38 ....................................... MUSIC 39 ....................... MUSIC LISTINGS 41 .................................... PUZZLES 41 ....................................... ASTRO


AUGUST 20 - 26, 2014 | VOL. 12 NO. 50



by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief

Time to Reset, White Folks


rowing up in the 1960s and ‘70s, I was taught that black men were dangerous and to be avoided. Don’t ever go on that side of the tracks into the n*gger quarters. Cross the street if you see a scary black man walking toward you. Those people are violent, feral, lazy and will rape white women if they get a chance. I don’t remember my parents saying those things, but about everybody else did. That included teachers, coaches, relatives, business leaders, politicians, you name it. I’ve encountered this blatant racism every place I’ve lived, including New York City, Colorado, and Washington, D.C. It was in D.C. in the early 1980s when I had to face that my state didn’t hold the patent for race hatred. I worked as a club DJ and in almost every gig, the owner would walk up and tell me not to “play that n*gger music” because it would attract too many of “them.” I always figured they thought it was OK to say this stuff to me because I was female, blonde and from the South. Thus, I was a member of a club I’ve never wanted to join. I’d so love to say all this is behind us and that we can just hit reset, stop talking about race, declare everything equal and move forward without ever noticing skin tone again. But let’s put on our logic hats here: We cannot do that until things really are equal and public-policy, and trigger fingers, aren’t driven by the fear of someone darker, based on our fearful upbringing and socialization. If we hit reset without tackling unresolved trauma, it can’t work. Such a reset would freeze false beliefs and inherited fears into our culture that, in turn, drive our decisions and policy with folks telling us we can’t discuss race any more—like many do now. Before you white folk start accusing me of “white guilt,” whatever that is, please stop and think about it. Many of you like to blame “the family” for any problem involving a black person. Meantime, policies in-

stilled by our (white) leaders—from rape-infested slavery to the violent drug war—have done everything possible since our founding as a nation and state to break up black families, not to mention take away reproductive choices from poor women, starting with slavery and moving to access to safe birth control and even “adequate” public education. It’s OK with many white people that black children grow up in neighborhoods their families were ghettoized to in our dark-

We can’t expect our citizens of color to just keep taking it er days when they weren’t allowed to live elsewhere; where they couldn’t escape because banks and lenders “redlined” them out of better homes and loans to help build wealth; where they are surrounded by rat-infested abandoned houses often owned by whites in “good” neighborhoods or other states; where they don’t have access to fresh food or grocery stores or sidewalks or transportation; where drugs shipped in by white suppliers can feel like the only way to make money especially if you’re a young, black man who is already picked on by police and told by your society that you’re likely to go to jail some day. Most whites don’t seem to care that guns are made readily available to vulnerable children by an industry that also gets rich off the white people who want to protect themselves from those children who are more often killing each other than whites—and over

acquiring and selling illegal drugs. Too many fellow whites (and increasingly middle-class blacks) will take the easy way out, throw their hands in the air and blame “the family” in a flash—the same families they don’t want to have decent schooling, birth control, equitable access to voting or to live in their neighborhoods. Most sadly, due to this mess of societal psychosis, too many children grow up without hope, with parent(s) in prison longer for more minor drug charges than whites who did the same thing, or strung out on the drugs that enrich people far away. Or they never see themselves depicted in most media for positive efforts (other than sports and sometimes music, if they’re not rappers). They’re called “thugs” for the clothing they choose, or because they sass somebody, or because they shoplift or smoke a joint. Their schools are dotted with police officers and metal detectors, telling them they’re expected to be criminals. Too many heed that call. At least they can belong somewhere. They then are crowded into private prisons that enrich guess-who or into a brutal, public one where they are used as slave labor, as their own kids grow up without a father in the same cycle. The culture still tries to tell the adultme that black people are more dangerous and live in poverty … because they’re black people. Don’t believe me? Question yourself: If you believe that “those” families aren’t doing enough for their kids, why do you think “those” particular families aren’t? It’s hard to arrive at any conclusion other than their common skin tone if you refuse to acknowledge lingering effects of racism. If their skin tone is your common denominator, then it’s racist, whether you intend it to be or not. Of course the common thread is an American culture that intentionally pushed African Americans out of strong family life, quality education, voting rights and public

equality for so long—and that now refuses to reverse that legacy to the point that we actually can hit reset and it work. What’s happening in Ferguson isn’t pretty, but it had to happen: Police and everyday people cannot keep killing black people for minor, or no, crimes and expect our citizens of color to just keep taking it. That practice came to a violent head 50 years ago this summer, and it is again now. Polls this week show that only 37 percent of white Americans believe the Ferguson situation has anything to do with race. That means another 63 percent is either willfully racist or naïve about how people of color live in the U.S. It may be that half of those are hardened racists we will never change. But I pray the other half just haven’t bothered to look at race issues in a holistic way, whether from socialization or just not knowing you could or should. I’ve met plenty of those folks since starting the JFP, of all ages. And to a person, they are happier, more engaged people once they face racism in our society and decide to be part of the solution. Yes, America, we need to reset on the race question. But resetting without serious examination, deep listening and actions to repair the devastating effect of historic racism isn’t an option, and will only prolong race tension and inequities. We tried that, and Michael Brown is dead—for committing a much lesser sin than many whites who’ve done much worse and still get to breathe, eat, vote, and love their mamas and daddies. Now, it’s time to listen to the voice that the protesters are trying to collectively raise. It’s a voice full of pain, urgency, truth—and, if we allow it to be, a roadmap out of this mess our ancestors created for us. It will take us all, though, and it won’t be comfortable. Make no mistake: White people created this problem long ago, and we must help fix it. It doesn’t take guilt; it requires empathy, love and a whole lot of action.

August 20 - 26, 2014



Bryan Flynn

Anna Wolfe

R.L. Nave

Trip Burns

Carmen Cristo

Tommy Burton

Julie Skipper

Kimberly Griffin

Bryan Flynn is a husband and stay-at-home father to a baby girl. He constantly wonders, “If it didn’t happen on ESPN or Disney Jr., did it really happen?” He wrote the cover package.

Investigative Reporter Anna Wolfe, a Tacoma, Wash., native, studied at Mississippi State. Email her at anna@ She wrote about the lingering U.S. Senate race controversy.

News Editor R.L. Nave’s grandmother lives in Ferguson, Mo. A St. Louis native, he enjoys Red Hot Riplets, Imo’s pizza and long walks through the U. City Loop. These days, his hometown is heavy in his thoughts. Email

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

Feature Writer and Tishomingo County native Carmen Cristo studied journalism at Mississippi State University and wrote for the Starkville Free Press. She likes Food Network, ’90s music and her husband. She wrote a food 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 compiled the music listings. Send gig info to music@

Girl About Town columnist and lawyer Julie Skipper lives, works and plays downtown. Ask her about it if you want an earful. She hopes to learn to cook one day, but mostly thinks of the kitchen as additional closet space.

Sales Director 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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Wednesday, August 13 A federal appeals court’s refusal to delay its ruling that struck down Virginia’s gay marriage ban means same-sex couples could begin marrying as early as the following week. ... In a symbolic move, same-sex couples in seven Mississippi counties are allowed to file outof-state marriage licenses into chancery court land records.

Friday, August 15 Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson alleges that Michael Brown had stolen a $48.99 box of cigars from a convenience store and “strong-armed a man on his way out.� He also identified the officer who shot Brown as 28-year-old Darren Wilson, saying the officer did not know about the shoplifting accusation. Saturday, August 16 NASCAR bars its drivers from approaching the track or moving cars in the event of incidents during a race. Sunday, August 17 The Ukrainian government announces that army troops have penetrated deep inside the rebel-controlled city of Kiev in eastern Ukraine.

August 20 - 26, 2014

Monday, August 18 Missouri’s governor orders the National Guard to Ferguson after a night in which police used tear gas to clear protesters off the streets well ahead of a curfew. ‌ U.S. airstrikes help Kurdish and Iraqi forces recapture Iraq’s largest dam in Mosul from Islamic State militants.


Tuesday, August 19 Small Arms Survey, a Switzerlandbased research organization that analyzes the global flow of weapons, reports that armed groups in Syria have an estimated several hundred portable anti-aircraft missiles that could easily be diverted to extremists and used to destroy low-flying

by R.L. Nave


ackson will have a new police chief by the end of the week. In preparation for the announcement, which Mayor Tony Yarber said he expects to make in a matter of days, the city is holding a series of forums to allow citizens to weigh in on the two candidates for the job.

Vance, who served as second-in-command to Chiefs Rebecca Coleman and, recently, Lindsey Horton, said he wanted to tackle quality-of-life issues. “I’m tired of seeing people on County Line Road holding signs (asking for money),� Vance said. Vance said he is wary of the pan-

Either Juan Cloy and Lee Vance will lead the Jackson Police Department and its crime-fighting and –prevention efforts.

Lee Vance, a longtime assistant chief who currently serves as acting chief, appeared with Juan Cloy, the assistant police chief in Canton. Cloy is the former head of the police union at JPD. On Monday, at Westside Community Center on Wiggins Road, the men talked about their approaches to crime prevention and policing. Cloy emphasized building relationships with other government agencies, including the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office as well as Jackson Public Schools, which has its own police force, and the city’s parks and recreation department.


Thursday, August 14 Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon orders the Missouri Highway Patrol to seize control of Ferguson, stripping local police of their law-enforcement authority after four days of clashes between officers and protesters over the shooting of Michael Brown by a yet-unnamed officer. ‌ President Obama says the U.S. has broken Islamic militants’ siege on Iraq’s Sinjar Mountain, allowing thousands of civilians to flee but adds that airstrikes will continue.

Jackson’s Next Top Cop Is‌

handlers because his sister travels County Line frequently and might be called a bad word if she is asked for money and declines. Vance said he has spoken with Mayor Yarber about developing a housing program for homeless people to get them off the streets. Otherwise, Vance said he would support sending panhandlers to the Hinds County jail for up to 60 days. “I’m as big into community policing as anyone, but some folks need to be locked up,� he said. Cloy, the former police union president, said the chief should have a good working relationship with the depart-

ment’s rank and file. Vance agreed and pointed out that he and other members of the command staff recently went on ride-alongs with patrol officers, where he learned valuable information. Vance also said that as chief, he would keep a close eye on spending and end the practice of securing grants for unnecessary equipment. Once, when he was a precinct commander, Vance said that he received 30 laptop computers that were never used. Neither Cloy nor Vance was available for media interviews. Jackson completes its search for a new chief amid the early stages of a crime prevention initiative called BRAVE that calls for a longterm police presence. So far, the program has been implemented in west Jackson. Meanwhile, police in Ferguson, Mo., have come under heavy criticism for their officer’s role in the death of 18-year-old Mike Brown and the department’s response to protests, which has included deploying tear gas and flash grenades and shooting protesters with rubber bullets. Asked whether the situation in Ferguson colored his thinking on Jackson’s next top cop, Yarber said Ferguson came down to lack of police training. “In the city of Jackson, we want a police chief who can be resourceful. And not only that, but someone who can connect with the community. We don’t want a situation in Jackson where our police officers are untrained, not following protocol, and they aren’t able to make the best kinds decisions in a situation like that,� Yarber told the Jackson Free Press.

Mascot Madness by JFP Staff


he world of football has some pretty cool mascots, from USM’s Golden Eagle to Georgia Tech’s Rambling Wreck. Football also has some pretty strange mascots: Stanford University’s unofficial mascot, the Stanford Tree; University of Toledo’s Rocky the cool-but-not-really robot; and, of course, Delta State University’s Fighting Okra. Here are some mascots we’d like to see.

The Mississippi State Fair Fightin’ Funnelcakes The Thalia Mara Hall Plus-Sized Singers The Farish Street Unfinished Facades The Clarion-Ledger Empty Desks

The Capitol Street Roundabouts The JRA Executive Sessioners The Jackson Convention Center Hoteliers (forfeited every game last season) The Thad Cochran Pastors

The Secretary of State Voter IDers (although fans just call them “Hosemen�) The JSU Dome Patrol The Tea Party Disruptors The JFP Black Bears

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TALK | nation

One Night in Ferguson by R.L. Nave

August 20 - 26, 2014


A Shrine and Anchor Ferguson has drawn people from all over the country. A handful of people also reportedly flew in from overseas. I traveled to Ferguson with three activists from Jackson. Brittany Gray is a 28-year-old Greenwood native and doctoral student concentrating on the role of women in politics. Gray has a reputation for jumping in her car at a moment’s notice to join a protest just about anywhere east of the Mississippi River as evidenced by the more than 87,000 miles displayed the odometer of her late-model car. Tyson Jackson, 33, grew up in Champaign, Ill. Jackson served as a military policeman and lived in St. Louis, where he has family, before coming to Jackson in 2009. C.J. Lawrence, 33, is an attorney and social-media wiz who formerly worked for



ERGUSON, Mo.—The half-mile stretch of West Florissant Avenue, between Dellwood and Ferguson, Mo., is jammed with cars that are jammed with teenagers. It’s the end of the summer, just before midnight on Saturday, Aug. 16, and for the kids who have not already started back to school, this is their final weekend to have a good time before classes start on Monday. And they are having a good time under the circumstances. Many of the vehicles cruising the popular strip a few miles north of the St. Louis City-St. Louis County dividing line are brimming with young, black bodies. They’re positioned on car doors, atop roofs and trunks, and in the beds of pickup trunks. Every horn is honking, and every other car is blaring the music of Lil Boosie, the Baton Rouge-based rapper released from prison earlier this year after serving a five-year sentence in a Louisiana state prison on drug charges. For this generation of black teenagers, Boosie is their Tupac Shakur. One week has passed since a boy named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer here. New information about the shooting has come out every day, none of which has done much to help us understand why Mike Brown is dead or what is being done so that it doesn’t happen to someone else. Thus, every night since the shooting, people have sojourned to Ferguson—many in cars, some on foot—in a ritual that is equal parts revelry and rebellion.

Brittany Gray and Tyson Jackson, Jackson-area community activists, joined attorney C.J. Lawrence (not pictured) on a trip to Ferguson, Mo., over the weekend. They participated in a number of demonstrations in the case of unarmed black teenager Mike Brown, whom Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed on Aug. 9.

the city and handled social media for the mayoral campaigns of both Chokwe Lumumba and his son, Chokwe Antar Lumumba. He made the trip after attracting international media attention for starting #iftheygunnedmedown, a Twitter hashtag that rebukes the media’s frequent mishandling of stories involving the deaths of unarmed black teenagers. Gray, Jackson and Lawrence all consider themselves acolytes of the late Mayor Lumumba, but each has a different way of thinking about their activism and varied reasons for going to Ferguson. Jackson, the former MP, thought of the trip as partly reconnaissance, an opportunity to assess and report back to social-justice activists in Jackson and come up with organizing strategies. “Ninety per percent of me was going to help support the people of Ferguson. Ten percent of me believed it was a moment in history,” Jackson told me. Perhaps it was Jackson’s military discipline or his training as an organizer—he has also been involved with

workers’ rights issues with the NAACP and United Auto Workers, but he was taken aback at the lack of organization of people protesting in Ferguson. We made our way up West Florissant Avenue, parked and got out to look around and see for ourselves what was going on the ground, what we had been seeing on the news for several days. The QuikTrip gas station, one that I’ve visited a hundred times, was a burned-out shell. In its former life, the station was a kind of hub for the neighborhood. The gas was relatively cheap, and relatively safe. Because of its location on West Florissant, one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, it was a frequent stop for police officers from municipalities around north St. Louis County. Now it stands as a shrine and anchor for Mike Brown-related demonstrations. Some have started calling it Ferguson’s Ground Zero. On the first night of protests, the day after Mike Brown was shot and killed and the night the QuikTrip burned, early news reports suggested that

a peaceful vigil inexplicably devolved into violence, mayhem and looting. But peaceful people don’t become violent for no reason. We started to understand what happened a little better not long after we arrived. Our group pushed past the crowds of demonstrators—some wearing bandanas over their faces and hooded sweatshirts, some walking with children on their shoulders—as they chanted “Hands up! Don’t shoot” and made our way to a front. There, a group of maybe 300 faced off with police dressed in riot gear and holding guns with bright orange butts to denote that these guns are not designed to be lethal. Men from the Nation of Islam stood at the front for crowd control. They kept the protesters away from the police. There was the occasional chant of “F*ck 12,” dispatcher code for police, but the demonstration was peaceful. The crowd cheered as police backed away and loaded into their vehicles, which protestors interpreted as retreat. Just then, for unknown reasons, whizzing canisters shooting

TALK | nation of sorting out everything that happened after Brown was stopped while walking in the street and before Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot Brown six times, including twice in the head. Young Ferguson residents report that tensions with police are always high, especially in the three apartment complexes situated just off West Florissant and just out of public view. News outlets have pointed out that the apartment complex where Mike Brown was killed represents St. Louis’ decades-long history of racial segregation that ‘A Complicated Story’ divides the city into a Members of the St. Louis Police Department stand by on the first night of a a curfew that Missouri Gov. Jay The truth is, Ferguson is a compli- majority-white south St. Nixon ordered. Approximately 15 law-enforcement agencies were called to assist during protests. cated story to tell, and it’s a complicated Louis city and county and story to understand. a majority-black north Part of what is fueling protests is the city and north county. Ferguson from west St. Louis City. interests of the community at heart. understanding of local people, especially After the city’s all-black downtown But even though Ferguson became There is the argument that looting young people, that the police, the most housing projects were torn down, many more diverse, the power structure in and destroying business is not an approvisible representation of local govern- of their African American inhabitants the city has remained all white. And no priate way to express outrage or political ment, often treat people there badly. settled in north St. Louis County, in- one really noticed until the Mike Brown discontent. Another school of thought is Mike Brown was an extreme, but not cluding Ferguson. shooting. I talked to my grandmother that what is happening in Ferguson is an an altogether unexpected, example of that As Ferguson grew, it became one of about that the next morning. In the 20 understandable and perhaps even necesmistreatment. the most racially diverse little cities in the years she has lived in her house, where sary reaction to human oppression. Brown, 18, and a friend were coming St Louis metro. Many people consider my father’s side of the family gathers for Many believe Ferguson is completely back from shopping at a local store—like Ferguson a nice place to live. It’s the kind holidays and other important celebra- lacking in leadership, discipline and orTrayvon Martin and Jordan Davis before of place that many black families aspire to tions, my grandmother has been troubled ganization, while others say there are too each of their deaths—when the police ap- move to when they build up. In the early enough to call the police only once, to re- many leaders with dubious agendas (it is proached them. Now, the FBI is in charge 1990s, my own grandmother moved to port a neighbor playing music too loudly an election year in Missouri). on a Sunday morning. On Saturday, the Rev. Jessie Jack“I didn’t have no need to go to city son led a march from the Canfield Green hall,” she told me over breakfast. Apartments, where Mike Brown was killed, to a local church. Jackson drew On Looting and Destroying criticism at the end of the march for sendEven that is only part of the story. ing around the collection plate to gather More evidence of nuance came later Sat- donations for the church. urday morning. I met up with Brittany The Rev. Al Sharpton has been in at a McDonald’s that a few days earlier and out of St. Louis as well; so has Malik had been the scene of the high-profile Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party arrests of two journalists, one white and and a frequent guest on cable news talk one African American. We headed across show. the street to Family Dollar to pick up rain Adofo Minka, founding attorney of gear. Outside, we talked to an African the Law Center for Human Rights and JusAmerican woman who manages a beauty- tice in Jackson, grew up close to Ferguson supply store that was looted overnight for in nearby Jennings. Minka acknowledges a Korean family. that protesters may lack clear political diThe manager, a Mississippi native, rection or even political education, but he spoke affectionately of the store’s owner believes that, even in the absence of defined who she said is a good person with a kind purpose, people have made a point. heart who loves the neighborhoods and “Who could really say how these didn’t deserve to be targeted by thieves. things are supposed to be organized? This Ferguson is full of those kinds contradic- is a very chaotic situation. It seems like tions. people are doing the best they can on the Some people say that the protest- fly,” Minka said. A man holds his hands up in the street after a standoff with police Monday, Aug. 18, during a protest for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson, ers are destroying their own community. See Part II in next week’s issue. ComMo. Brown’s shooting has sparked more than a week of protests, riots and looting in the Other people see many of the business ment at Email R.L. Nave at St. Louis suburb. owners as outsiders who do not have the



white smoke clinked up the pavement toward the protesters. Several explosions sent people running in every direction and taking cover. For those who have never been in a war zone or on the front line of a protest, it wasn’t clear if the smoke was tear gas or if the police had opened fire on us. As it turned out, it wasn’t tear gas nor were we being shot at. Still, people were pissed off. The consensus was that it was a shady thing to do to citizens peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights of free assembly and speech. Later that morning, after 2 a.m., people looted some of the stores on West Florissant, some of which had been boarded up since the first night of protest. The report on local TV news stations was that the protests had erupted into mayhem, but I and everyone else who was there knew there was more to the story.



Tyner explains irregular vote:

McDaniel lawyer listed in challenge by Anna Wolfe



ast week the Internet poked fun at of irregular votesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;for both McDaniel and were also problems with how the partyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s poll state Sen. Chris McDanielâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chal- his opponent Thad Cochranâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;factor into books, which the parties are supposed to lenge to the election results of the McDanielâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s challenge. He said the law does swap to determine who voted in the DemoU.S. Senate race due to one piece of not require all the irregular votes that are cratic primary, were used, he said. evidence included in the amended filings: counted to be for Cochran. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In that Democrat poll book it shows His campaign lawyerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name was listed as an â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not what the law is geared to me and my wife as voting on the runoff irregular vote. determine,â&#x20AC;? Tyner said. That he is listed on the 24th,â&#x20AC;? Tyner said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now, obviously Political enthusiasts on both sides as an irregular vote does not discredit his that would be for the Republican runoff alspeculated about why his name was list- claims of a compromised election, he says, though itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s noted in the Democrat poll book ed, but McDaniel lawyer Mitch Tyner but is actually â&#x20AC;&#x153;just another example of no because of the poll-book swap. It addition to has confirmed that being marked as voted on he voted, or at least the 24th; out in the margin tried to vote, for the there is another notation of Tea Party candidate. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;votedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; both by my name â&#x20AC;&#x153;His bannerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on my and by my wifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name,â&#x20AC;? building; of course, I Tyner said. voted for Chris McIn fact, Tyner said Daniel,â&#x20AC;? Tyner said. nearly every voter in the Comedic blogs Ridgeland precinct where used the seemingly he voted was marked twice hypocritical element as voting. This potentially of the challenge to tainted the entire election mock the McDaniel results of that area. campaign, but rightâ&#x20AC;&#x153;You look at that poll wing blogger Charles book, you cannot discern C. Johnson claims the what occurred on the 24th,â&#x20AC;? addition was unfiltered Tyner said. data. On Wednesday Mitch Tyner was listed as an irregular voter in his own election challenge The solution to the filed on behalf of Sen. Chris McDaniel. He said this was because field workers he tweeted: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The en- determined the entire precinct in which he voted was problematic. problem of a large numtire Madison precinct ber of irregular votes is not is in question, and Mcsimply to â&#x20AC;&#x153;ask every single Daniel volunteers reported the data without uniformity starting from the top down on person how they voted,â&#x20AC;? Tyner said, but to filtering it so it can be properly examined in trying to have an election with integrity.â&#x20AC;? hold a new election. But thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not what the the appropriate venue.â&#x20AC;? The challenge only must prove that the McDaniel camp wants. Instead, Tyner beBut Tyner told the Jackson Free Press number of problematic votes, no matter for lieves McDaniel should be named victor. that he was listed as an irregular vote be- which candidate, exceed the margin of vicTyner said he bases his claim that Mccause he was listed as voting twice. He said tory. When this happens, Tyner said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the Daniel won the election by 25,000 votes off he knew his name was on the list all along. will of the people cannot be discerned from the regression analysis and Chism poll results â&#x20AC;&#x153;It would be dishonest of me to remove the vote.â&#x20AC;? cited in the challenge, not by the number of something that the field folks found as an irField workers who examined the poll irregular votes found by poll inspections. In regularity,â&#x20AC;? Tyner said. books in Ridgeland, where Tyner voted, other words, the campaign is attempting to Tyner acknowledges that many people determined that his vote was irregular be- prove two separate thingsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;that the whole have been confused about how the numbers cause he was marked as voting twice. There election was compromised by irregular votes

and that McDaniel would have won the nomination if Democrats had not improperly voted in the Republican runoff. Chism Strategies, a Democratic polling firm, conducted a survey on behalf of the McDaniel campaign of â&#x20AC;&#x153;self-identified Democrats who voted in the June 24th US Senate GOP Runoff in Mississippi.â&#x20AC;? The results showed that 71 percent of those voters, of which 463 were polled, intend to vote for someone other than Cochran in November. That intent, Tyner and the McDaniel camp claim, is why their votes can be challenged. In the 2008 election, a federal court found that a challenge could only be made, in this case, against Democratic votes cast in a Republican primary if the voter â&#x20AC;&#x153;openly declares that he or she does not intend to support the nominees of the party.â&#x20AC;? The McDaniel camp believes the Chism poll constitutes an open declaration, making those â&#x20AC;&#x153;Democraticâ&#x20AC;? votes challengeable under their interpretation of the 2008 ruling. They filed their petition for emergency hearing for their election challenge Thursday. It will be up to the courts to decide whether their interpretation of Mississippi election law holds. Tynerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name has come up in past years as a possible crossover candidate. He ran against Haley Barbour in the 2003 Republican gubernatorial primaryâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a move many believed was a political trick by the Democrats so that Tyner could wage a tougher campaign against Barbour than incumbent Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove could. During the campaign, the Barbour camp sent out a missive calling his opponent the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Liberal Trial Lawyer and Democrat-Lover Mitch Tyner.â&#x20AC;? Still, records show that he donated $300 to the Republican Party in 2012.

August 20 - 26, 2014

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Mississippi Primaries: Open or Not? by Anna Wolfe

McDanielâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s challenge to election results includes Chism Strategies polls that suggest 71 percent of Democrats

voter to submit a statement of intent in order to vote, nor can after-the-fact polls determine the intent of a person at the TRIP BURNS

State Sen. Chris McDaniel claims the integrity of the election was compromised by voters who voted for U.S. Sen.Thad Cochran but who intend to vote for Democratic candidate Travis Childers in November. He says closed primaries would prevent such crossover.

who voted in the Republican runoff intend to vote for someone other than the Republican nominee in the general election. Polling robocalls gathered this data from anonymous voters. As constitutional law expert and Mississippi College professor Matt Steffey points out, the law cannot require a

time they cast a vote. Essentially, a challenger can never gather the evidence to prove a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intent that is necessary to get the courts to throw out votes under the statute. People, after all, change their minds. McDaniel he said last week that believes Mississippi should have closed

primariesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;ones in which only Republicans can vote in the Republican primary and the same for Democrats. There is no question: McDaniel believes he would have won had the primary been closed. As chairman of the Mississippi Senate Elections Committee, he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t complain about the open primary system prior to the election. Hasen said this makes for a weak claim on McDanielâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s end. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The problem is you have this long-standing practice, and you had the rules announced before the election, and McDaniel didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do anything to challenge that. Everybody went in with the rules that we had. To claim that they were wrong, it comes a little late,â&#x20AC;? Hasen said. Now, McDaniel is calling for a more restrictive election process. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we have to move toward some sort of closed primary system at some point,â&#x20AC;? McDaniel said at a press conference in Jackson Friday. Hasen said that McDanielâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s desire for a closed election is not sound evidence that his challenge is sensible. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What the ideal form of the primary is, is a different question from what happens in an election thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s already been run under rules that have already been set,â&#x20AC;? Hasen said. Still, McDaniel contends the election was not run with integrity due to the current open-primary system. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have parties based on ideals and principles and ideologies. When those ideals, principles and ideologies are watered down or diluted based on someone else coming in to choose the nominee, it violates the freedom of association protected in the First Amendment of the Constitution,â&#x20AC;? McDaniel said Friday. Comment at Email Anna Wolfe at






man walks into his polling precinct to vote in a Republican primary. As he arrives as the tables, he brags that he will not be supporting the Republican candidate in the general election. A poll worker notices this, documents the incident and marks his vote â&#x20AC;&#x153;challengedâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;rejected.â&#x20AC;? In Mississippi, this is the only situation in which a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vote could be thrown out for crossing party lines to vote in a primaryâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;with the exception of those who voted in a primary and then crossed over to vote in the opposite partyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s runoff. Party primaries in Mississippi are considered â&#x20AC;&#x153;openâ&#x20AC;? in this way, even though the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s election code states that â&#x20AC;&#x153;no person shall be eligible to participate in any primary election unless he intends to support the nominations made in the primary in which he participates.â&#x20AC;? That â&#x20AC;&#x153;intentâ&#x20AC;? statute is virtually unenforceable, unless, for some reason, a voter outs themselves at the polls and a poll worker documents the incident. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Unless you came into the polling place and said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not going to support the nominee,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; then you were allowed to vote. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what essentially gave the open primary to Mississippi,â&#x20AC;? University of California Irvine law professor and election-law expert Rick Hasen said. The attorney generalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and secretary of stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offices confirmed this interpretation of the statute just weeks before Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most recent U.S. Senate primary election. That hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stopped State Sen. Chris McDanielâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s campaign and his supporters from being outraged at the influence that Democratic voters have had on the primary. McDaniel claims the integrity of the election was compromised by voters who voted for U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran but who intend to vote for Democratic candidate Travis Childers in November.


I Hold My Son Close


n the day in 2002 that I welcomed my only son into the world, I felt joy worthy of a Stevie Wonder song. When Ajani Andrew Michael made his debut at a little over 5 pounds, my heart skipped a beat, and the heavens seemed to open for just a moment before the dark clouds of worry rolled in. My worry started immediately since my son was born just a little early. So like a disproportionate number of black children, he would have to fight a bit harder due to prematurity. As my handsome boy lay on my chest, skin-to-skin, struggling for every labored breath, my mind was already thinking about how hard life for him would be. I worried if I had made a mistake by giving him an African name that means â&#x20AC;&#x153;he who is victorious in struggle.â&#x20AC;? I thought about the odds of him being tracked into special education before the fourth grade. I felt guilty for looking at him and hoping that while I loved the deep richness of his fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dark skin, his likely lighter complexion would insulate him from some of the profiling that comes from being a black male in America. As a community health worker, I knew that he had to beat the first-year infant-mortality odds for black babies. I sat thinking all of this as I told him how perfect and beautiful he was, before he was whisked away to the neonatal intensive-care unit. Since Michael Brownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s killing in Ferguson, Mo., some have highlighted that the killing of young black men is a reproductive-justice issue. Reproductive justice is the right to have children, to not have children, and to parent children in safe and healthy environments. It is based in human rights, just like the right not to live in fear for your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life due to the effects of racism and oppression. Black mothers do not have reproductive justice. If we choose to parent, we have a long list of things to protect our children from. We fight to keep them safe from health disparities, educational inequality and the school-to-prison pipelineâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the list goes on. Racism and oppression donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take holiday breaks, and neither do â&#x20AC;&#x153;normalâ&#x20AC;? parenting worries like first steps, colds and grades. Add to the list the impossible task of protecting our children from racial profilingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a danger that could lead to police gunning them down one day. Ask my kids who mommyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favorite is, and they will all say â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ajani.â&#x20AC;? Truth is, there are no favorites, but I do hold my son close. I know he faces a world that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t actually see him when they look at him. They see a threat, a thug, a problem or a stereotype. Imagine what would have happened if the officer had, instead, seen Michael Brown that day. He might still be alive.


August 20 - 26, 2014



Why it stinks: Vanceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rationale for being angry about people holding signs is just bizarre. He described a hypothetical situation in which a jilted panhandler might call his sister the b-word. Besides, Jackson has an aggressive panhandling ordinance on the books. Several attempts at toughening the law have failed over the years, partly because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to get around the constitutional issues of limiting peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s free speech to ask for money. A top police official, who is bound to respect and honor the laws of the city, state and nation should know better.

Next JPD Chief Can Learn From Ferguson


atching the response of the roughly 50-member-strong Ferguson Police Department to protests sparked after a Ferguson officer killed 18-year-old Mike Brown, Missouriâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;All of us were thunderstruck by the pictures we saw, I mean, the over-militarization, the MRAPs rolling in, the guns pointed at kids in the street. All of that I think instead of ratcheting down, brought emotion up.â&#x20AC;? Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s absolutely right. In the past week, which has seen protests every night, the Ferguson Police Department has clashed with demonstrators. In some cases, the Ferguson police said they were responding to violent threats that required tear gas and rubber bullets. In other cases, the copsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; actions have been more confounding. Certainly, cooler headsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;among the police and protesters alikeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;could prevail. As Nixon points out, police provoke the protesters who become more determined to provoke the police until something bad happens. Jackson is no Ferguson. Like Ferguson, we are a majority-black city, but unlike Ferguson, the capital cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leadership and police force more closely reflects the rest of Jackson (though we would point out that opportunities exist for JPD to further diversify its ranks). Despite this, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a feeling that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not

inconceivable that something similar to Ferguson could happen here. Crimeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;real and perceivedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;has long been a complaint of local residents. In recent months, after several highprofile murders in the city, Jackson has launched a new crime-prevention program, and city leaders have vowed to be tougher on crime. All too often, â&#x20AC;&#x153;tough on crimeâ&#x20AC;? translates into to being tough on people who run afoul of laws out of desperation or myriad other reasons. And too often, political officials think that the harder you come down on criminals, the more you care about stopping crime. The seeds of a Ferguson-type situation are firmly in place in Jackson. The search for a new police chief, however, presents an excellent opportunity for conversations about how to best train police. Mayor Tony Yarber, who has said he wants to have a new chief in place by the end of this week, has said that the next man to lead JPDâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;either interim Chief Lee Vance or former JPD officer and union head Juan Cloyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;will have strong ties to Jackson and emphasize training and professionalism. Right now, Ferguson is a case study in how not to run a police department, much less a city. We hope that Mayor Yarber and the candidates for police chief are watching the situation closely, taking notes from Ferguson and learning what not to do.

Email letters to, fax to 601-510-9019 or mail to 125 South Congress Street, Suite 1324, Jackson, Mississippi 39201. Include daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for wlength and clarity. Or write a 300-600-word â&#x20AC;&#x153;Your Turnâ&#x20AC;? and send it by email, fax or mail above with a daytime phone number. All submissions are subject to fact checks.


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t was powerful: Hundreds of young black Americans across the country juxtaposed two images of themselves after Jackson lawyer C.J. Lawrence started the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown (what picture would they use?) to protest the way white-owned media often negatively portray black victims. A young man was blowing smoke in one of his photos while dressed in a military uniform in the other. Black Twitter didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think it was appropriate for some media outlets to use a picture of Michael Brown looking as if he were displaying a gang sign to accompany a story about Ferguson cop Darren Wilson gunning down the unarmed 18-year-old who was visiting his grandmother in a St. Louis suburb a few weeks before he was to start college. Some media outlets used a picture of Brown as a happy graduate in a cap and gown. Black Twitter did what it does. Poignantly. And Brilliantly. The gang-sign photograph of Brown was taken down. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know Black Twitter? Get to. The virtual cultural community is a force to be reckoned with, wielding its substantial power to effect social, political and cultural change. Speaking in cultural tongues, 140 often ingenious, humorous or sarcastic characters at a time, these mostly young black folk have become a social media phenomenonâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;engaging academia, interrogating the status quo, shaming intolerance, dictating musical trends, finding folks jobs, looking for missing children and shrewdly and fiercely disputing the unrelenting negative images of black folks. Black Twitter is driving the conversation about issues important to black folks, broadcasting its own images and reflecting its needs, desires and concerns on its own terms. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The understanding is that we are going to speak unabashedly about our experiences and we are going to assert ourselves, our humanity, our culture,â&#x20AC;? Kimberly Ellis, a social media specialist who is working on a book about Black Twitter, told NPR. A primary strength is Black Twitterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sheer numbers. The PEW Research Center reports that 22 percent of black folk use Twitter compared to 16 percent of whites, and they â&#x20AC;&#x153;access it at a higher level.â&#x20AC;? Overall, 73 percent of black folk on the Internet use Twitter compared to 72 percent of whites. Part watchdog, part avenger, part human-rights fighter, part culture critic, part guerilla journalist, Black Twitter can organize in a heartbeat. Traditional protests can take days to coordinate. Black Twitterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s response is immediate and international. It brought the Trayvon Martin story to the public when the mainstream media had not picked it up.

Martinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s killer George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder, but when unidentified juror B37 announced that she was going to write a book, Black Twitter targeted her agent, Sharlene Martin, with tweets like Cocky McSwagsalotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hey, @sharlenemartin, please drop juror B37. Do not help the person who let a murderer get away profit from this tragedy.â&#x20AC;? Martin dropped her. Black Twitter has let lose its wrath on publishers, networks and major media outlets. Its reach is stunning and growing. It smacked AP after the news organization used a ridiculous headline for the story announcing that Theodore Wafer had been convicted of second-degree murder for shooting Renisha McBride in the face as she looked for help at his Detroit home late one night last November. The headline called McBride, who is black, a â&#x20AC;&#x153;drunkâ&#x20AC;? woman. Black Twitter hit hard with sarcastic tweets like: â&#x20AC;&#x153;#APHeadlines millions of Africans complain after free cruise to the Americas; slave traders find them â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ungrateful,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? below a picture of slaves sardined into the slave hold of a ship. And â&#x20AC;&#x153;BREAKING: Police Officer Shoves Black Woman To The Ground; Ground Survives. #APHeadlines.â&#x20AC;? As a result, AP dropped â&#x20AC;&#x153;drunkâ&#x20AC;? from their headline. In 2009, when the CW cancelled â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Game,â&#x20AC;? a sit-com about football players and the women in their lives, Black Twitter kicked off a campaign to bring it back, complaining that there were too few good shows on television that accurately portray black life. BET relaunched the program to 7.7 million viewers compared to NBCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;30 Rockâ&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 5.28 million viewers the same week. Black Twitter helped raise the profile of ABCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hit, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Scandal,â&#x20AC;? the only program on a major network with a blactress as its anchor, and tweeted the BET dramedy, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Being Mary Jane,â&#x20AC;? into a top spot among cable network shows with 2 million plus viewers. Black Twitter helped tank the career of southern cuisine queen Paula Deen after she admitted in a deposition to saying n*gger. The Food Network dropped her show, sponsors kicked her to the curb and many businesses pulled her products. Black Twitter is insular, indolent, irreverent and does not tolerate ignorance graciously; but it does engage with those from all backgroundsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;as long as they are down with its mission of making the world see black folks for who we really are. Carole Cannon is a graduate of Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who writes to fight. She also cooks up communication strategies and coaches writing.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know Black Twitter? Get to.

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ackson State University, Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Big Fourâ&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;have one common goal this seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;reaching new heights. Returning starters on both offense and defense for Mississippi State and UM will attempt to break


,ASTSEASONRECAP 2013 was a season of streaks for the University of Mississippi. The Rebels began with a thrilling victory over Vanderbilt, going on to trounce Southeast Missouri State and send Mack Brown into retirement from Texas to start the season 3-0. The tide turned for UM against Alabama with a 25-0 loss, followed by loses to Auburn and Texas A&M to extend its losing streak to three straight games. Mississippi bounced back in a big way with a 27-24 win over LSU. The Rebels reached bowl eligibility in early November and had seven wins by the middle of the month. The regular season ended with two losses. First, Missouri beat Mississippi. But the toughest loss had to be in the Egg Bowl when quarterback Bo Wallace fumbled as he was headed into the end zone. The Rebels were about to tie the game and force a second overtime. That loss allowed the Rebelsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hated rival to earn a bowl berth. Mississippi, to its credit, rallied after the loss to take care of business in the Music City Bowl with a 25-17 victory over Georgia Tech. 4HISSEASONOVERVIEW When you talk about quick turnarounds in college football, the job Freeze did

in Oxford has to come to mind. He brought els schedule, they have a chance. the Rebels back into the conversation in the The Rebelsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; season begins with a chance SEC West with his ability to recruit. to win four straight games. The team opens The Rebels are one of the dark-horse the season against a dangerous but beatable favorites to win the SEC West. One reason Boise State before heading to Vanderbilt, and to like Mississippi is Bo Wallace at quarter- then two home games, first against a Louisiback. Wallace is the most experienced quar- ana-Lafayette team that will be no cake walk terback in the SEC this season, but he must (but winnable) and, finally, a rebuilding cut down on his turnovers if he is going to take this team on an amazing ride in 2014. Laquon Treadwell Wallace will have Laquon Treadwell as his primary receiver after Donte Moncrief left early for the NFL. While the offense returns just six starters, the defense will return nine starters and plenty of depth. Just about everywhere on the defense, the Rebels have a star or a potential star in the making. Some names to know on the Mississippi defense are defensive end C.J. Johnson, safety Cody Prewitt, defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche and his brother, linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche. OUTLOOK Freeze will now try to do what recent Mississippi coaches have been unable to do: make the Rebels a consistent player in the SEC. Several coaches looked like they were on the doorstep, but things fell apart. The University of Mississippi has the chance to take the first big step to becoming an SEC power. If there was a year to make that step, this is that year, and with the Reb-

Memphis squad. Things get tricky with a home game against Alabama followed by a road trip to Texas A&M. The Rebels stay at home for a winnable game against Tennessee and then a tough road test against LSU. November starts with a home game against Auburn and finishes with Presbyterian, Arkansas and Mississippi State with only the Razorbacks on the road. The time is now for the Rebels to make their jump.

PREDICTION The toughest road games of the season for Mississippi comes against LSU and Texas A&M. UM gets Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State at home. If the Rebels find a way to win at home (a big if), a berth in the new playoff might be possible with a split against the Tigers or Aggies. Beating Alabama at home or away is a tough job, and Auburn was in the title game last season. This season would be a success with 10 wins but would be special if the Rebels find a way to get to 11 wins or run the table. On paper, every game looks winnable for Mississippi. The season wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be a disappointment if this team reaches nine wins, but anything less than nine would be underachieving with an SEC schedule this good. I badly want to give the Rebels 10 or more wins, but I feel like they will lose at least one game that they have the potential to win, so Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going with nine. COURTESY OLE MISS ATHLETICS

August 20 - 26, 2014



through the SEC West, arguably the toughest division in all of college football. Southern Miss hopes to bounce back from last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one-win season. Jackson State will focus on recruiting the top local talent and finally winning the elusive SWAC championship game that the Tigers have lost the last two years.

SCHEDULE Aug. 28 Boise State (neutral site); Sept. 6 @ Vanderbilt; Sept. 13 Louisiana-Lafayette; Sept. 27 Memphis; Oct. 4 Alabama; Oct. 11 @ Texas A&M; Oct. 18 Tennessee; Oct. 25 @ LSU; Nov. 1 Auburn; Nov. 8 Presbyterian; Nov. 22 @ Arkansas; Nov. 29 Mississippi State



,ASTSEASONRECAP It was a wild, successful and disappointing season last year for Jackson State. The season started with a loss to Tulane in which quarterback LaMontiez Ivy broke his leg in the third quarter and was lost for a second season in a row. Clayton Moore replaced Ivy the next week in a win against Alabama State. The Tigers lost their next game against Tennessee State to fall to 1-2 on the season. Jackson State had four straight wins af-

make plays on the ground and through the air. He will have one of the deepest receiving groups to work with, including Jameon Lewis who had 64 receptions for 923 yards and five scores but needs to be more consistent. The biggest question on offense is how to rebuild the line after the loss of guard Gabe Jackson. If the Bulldogs can get the offensive line right, this team should be able to score against anyone on their schedule. 4HISSEASONOVERVIEW Mississippi State also returns with a Since hiring Dan Mullen in 2008, strong core and plenty of depth on defense. MSU hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t had a losing season. The Bull- The star of the defense is, without question, dogs havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t had the flashy recruiting classes linebacker Benardrick McKinney, who can as other SEC teams, but they have coached do just about everything in the front seven. McKinney will be the glue that holds this defense together, and he will be the Head Coach Dan Mullen quarterback of the defense.

and developed players during their careers. This season, Mississippi State is one of the favorite picks for dark horse in the SEC (one of the other favorites is Ole Miss). And why not? MSU returns eight starters on offense and eight starters on defense with a ton of depth on both sides of the ball. MSUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hopes will live and die with quarterback Dak Prescott and his ability to

OUTLOOK Mississippi State has a ton of potential to make noise in the always-tough SEC West. Nearly every team in the rest of the division is doing some rebuilding, and the Bulldogs might have just this season as a window of opportunity to break through and build the program even higher. The schedule sets up nicely for MSU with three games that should be wins right off against Southern Miss, UAB and South Alabama. We will see the real Mississippi State in the next three games against LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn. Three more games that should be wins are up next with Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee-Martin, which leads to finishing the season against

ter the loss to Tennessee State. JSU rolled over Texas Southern, escaped Southern and took care of business against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Mississippi Valley State. Things got wild when Grambling State, the Tigersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; next opponent, didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t show up in Jackson to face JSU due to a player revolt. The SWAC awarded Jackson State the win due to forfeit but JSU lost their homecoming game because the Tigers didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have an opponent. The Tigers stayed focused even after the strange homecoming game that wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t played. JSU won their next two games against Prairie View A&M and Alabama A&M to clinch their spot in a second-straight SWAC Championship Game. Jackson State was shocked at home by Alcorn State in a 48-33 loss that broke the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eight-game winning streak (including

Alabama, Vanderbilt and the Rebels. MSU plays Auburn and Texas A&M in Starkville but must play LSU, Alabama and Mississippi on the road. If the Bulldogs want to make the next level, they should take advantage of Auburn and A&M at home this season and find a way to pull off an on-the-road upset or two. PREDICTION Last season, the Bulldogs overachieved, if you consider most people thought guard Gabe Jackson was the best player on the team. Not many teams reach a bowl game in the SEC when a guard is the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best player on the field. This season will be a success if MSU wins the eight winnable games on their schedule. But for it to be a major success, the Bulldogs would need to win 10 to 11 games and that looks like they will need some Auburn 2013 luck for that to happen. Expectations are high for Mississippi State fans, and anything less than seven wins will cause a riot in the fan base. Unless MSU gets hit with the 2013 Georgia injury bug, the worst this team does is six wins. A fifth straight winning season and a bowl berth should be a lock. I figure at the low end the Bulldogs get seven wins, and high end, they get nine. I will take the middle and go with eight wins. SCHEDULE Aug. 30 Southern Miss; Sept. 6 UAB; Sept. 13 @ South Alabama; Sept. 20 @ LSU; Oct. 4 Texas A&M; Oct. 11 Auburn; Oct. 25 @ Kentucky; Nov. 1 Arkansas; Nov. 8 UT-Martin; Nov. 15 @ Alabama; Nov. 22 Vanderbilt; Nov. 29 @ Mississippi

It got even stranger in the offseason when JSU parted ways with long-time coach Rick Comegy for reasons that never were truly clear. Jackson State reached into its past and hired former great Harold Jackson to take over the program.

Head Coach Harold Jackson

the Grambling forfeit). The Tigers lost the SWAC Championship Game for the second year as Southern won the rematch, 34-27.

OUTLOOK Under Comegy, Jackson State was the model of stability. The Tigers only posted one losing season in the eight seasons Comegy was at the helm. The program is under a little uncertainty with Jackson at the helm. That doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean Jackson wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do a great job, but he has never been given the chance as the head man. JSU must replace leading rusher Tommy Gooden and the job will fall to SEE MORE ON PAGE 17


,ASTSEASONRECAP Mississippi State struggled last season. The Bulldogs once again beat the teams they expected to beat, even if the victories werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always trouble-free. For example, the team scraped by with a 21-20 win over the Bowling Green Falcons. MSU started the season with a loss to Oklahoma State University but came back with a win over Alcorn State University, followed by a close loss to Auburn. The Bulldogs also won big over Troy University before being spanked by Louisiana State University. Mississippi State won two straight games against Bowling Green and Kentucky State to get to four wins, needing only two to reach bowl eligibility. The Bulldogs lost their next three games against ranked teamsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the University of South Carolina, Texas A&M University and the University of Alabama. MSU escaped 24-17 over the Razorbacks in Arkansas in overtime, setting up a huge showdown at the Egg Bowl. MSU needed the opposite of its 2012 season when Ole Miss needed to win the Egg Bowl

to reach bowl eligibility. The Bulldogs got it with a win in overtime once again, thanks to a fumble by UM quarterback Bo Wallace, which sealed the Bulldogsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 17-10 win and a bowl berth. Mississippi State would completely control Rice in the Liberty Bowl. The Bulldogs reached a programrecord fourth-straight bowl and a fourthstraight winning season.





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August 20 - 26, 2014

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whomever wins the battle between Rakeem Sims, Jarius Moore, Alexander Montgomery or freshman Derrick Wilkerson. At wide receiver, Tobias Singleton needs to be a star and leader. Singleton will get help from a widereceiver and tight-end group with plenty of depth. Overall, the defense should be solid once again this season. SWAC Freshman of the Year last season linebacker Javancy Jones will lead the defense. The strength of the defense will be at linebacker with Ariane McCree, Ryan Griffin and Tedderick Terrell all returning. Senior defensive back Antonio Sutton will be the leader of the secondary. PREDICTION Two of Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first hires were former Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang as offensive coordinator and former Buffalo Bills cornerback Derrick Burroughs as defensive




,ASTSEASONRECAP You knew it was going to be a tough season for Southern Mississippi when the team dropped the opening game to Texas. Things didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get much better for the Golden Eagles. In fact, they got worse. USM then dropped games to Nebraska, Arkansas and Boise State that werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even close. Another low point came in a loss to Florida International by one point. Southern Miss kept right on losing against East Carolina, North Texas, Marshall, Louisiana Tech, Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee. USM had one game left, against UAB, for a chance to avoid a second straight winless season. Things didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t look great at the half with UAB leading 21-13 at half-time, but then something magical happened. Everything came together for the Golden Eagles in the second half. USM dished out nearly two years of frustration on the Blazers in the form of a seven-touchdown outburst to make a close

coordinator. This is Changâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first time as an offensive coordinator after being a graduate assistant as SMU last season, but Burroughs is a seasoned coach. My guess is that under Chang, the Tigers will run some type of run-andshoot/spread-offense hybrid. Chang played for June Jones, who is the master of the run-and-shoot, and you have to figure he will incorporate some of that offensive philosophy. Jackson State faces Florida A&M and Tennessee State as their toughest out-of-conference tests but a split is more than possible. JSUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last non-conference game is against Virginia University of Lynchburg and should be an easy win. JSU plays Grambling State in an expected win, and we will find out about the Tigersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; chances in SWAC play the next two weeks against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Prairie View A&M, both of whom should be challengers in the west division. The Tigers get an improving Mississippi

Valley State team next and will face Southern after that in a rematch of the SWAC Championship Game. JSU gets the bottom of the East the next week in Alabama A&M. Jackson State then faces the team picked first in the East, in Alabama State, and is followed by the team picked next to last in the West, Texas Southern. The SWAC schedule goes easy to hard the whole season, going off the predictions from SWAC media day and my best gut guess. The Tigers finish the season on the road against arch-rival Alcorn State. ASU is picked to finish second in the East, and many think they could win the division. JSU should be in the mix and could play spoiler in the final game of the season. It is never easy picking the SWAC because it is a wild conference. There is nothing that says JSU canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t repeat as East champion, but you may expect a step back with all the changes. Seven wins looks easy just glancing at

the Tigers schedule, and of course, there is room for more. This season will be successful if JSU wins those seven games and will be great if the Tigers can three-peat. Six wins wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the fan base longing for the days of Comegy, but a losing season could have them wondering if a change was even needed. A 2012 USM-type year would really get the fans to question the change. I think Jackson and JSU will do just fine, unless he his hit with massive injuries. I think the Tigers get seven to eight wins with ease.

Mullens didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get any help from his rushing attack, one of the worst in FBS last season. USM will need more from returning running backs Jalen Richardson and George Payne if they are going to take some pressure off Mullens. The wide receivers are an interestOUTLOOK ing group with a leader of slot receiver Southern Miss was once the model of Tyreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;oune Holmes, who led the team with consistency with 18 straight winning sea- 53 grabs for 410 yards and two scores. Holsons. The last two seasons were filled with mes will be a playmaker, but the rest of the unit must grow with him to make an impact. USMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hopes hinge on finding an offensive line. Part of Southern Missâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; problems on offense are due to the offensive line not being able to keep defenders out of the backfield on passing and running plays. Defense is where the Golden Eagles could shine. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Nasty Bunchâ&#x20AC;? returns with three leaders with linebacker Alan Howze, defensive tackle Rakeem NunezRoches and safety Jacorius Nick Mullens Cotton all back on the field this season. USM has depth all over bad luck, injuries, a bad coaching hire, a the field on defense, and those blowouts of coach leaving, and just about every other bad the last few years should start to come to an break that a team can have. end. USM returns eight starters on offense Against UAB, it finally looked like USM and seven on defense this season. found its man in freshman Nick Mullens, who had a career high with five touchdown PREDICTION passes. Mullens started midway through last Southern Miss fans have had all winter season, and he showed the growing pains of and summer to enjoy the UAB win. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a young quarterback. look for the Golden Eagles to win its open-

ing game against Mississippi State. Alcorn State comes to Hattiesburg in what should be a win against one of the best teams in the SWAC. Next up is a trip to Alabama that should be another loss, but then itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a home game against Appalachian State. If USM can get to 2-2 with a win over Appalachian State then there will be proof the program is starting to take the next step. C-USA play starts against defending champion Rice that will be tough to win, followed by another top conference foe in Middle Tennessee. Next up will be another tough game that could be a loss against North Texas. That would leave the Golden Eagles at 2-5 with winnable games against Louisiana Tech and UTEP up next. Southern Miss finishes the season with Marshall, another top C-USA team, before finishing with UTSA and UABâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;both winnable. There is no margin for error, but as many as six wins are possible. If the football gods finally give the Golden Eagles some breaks after two tough years, maybe an Auburn turnaround is possible. On the other hand, USM could not move forward at all and win just one game again. While it would be a feel good story for the Golden Eagles to get six wins, it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem likely. A more realist goal would be three to five wins. I will split the difference and go with four.

game into a Golden Eagles rout. The 62-27 victory broke a 23 game losing streak for Southern Miss. It didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t erase all the pain of 2012 and 2013, but it did give USM hope that brighter days were ahead.

SCHEDULE Aug. 30 Florida A&M; Sept. 6 Virginia University of Lynchburg; Sept. 13 Tennessee State (neutral site); Sept. 20 Grambling State; Sept. 27 @ Arkansas-Pine Bluff; Oct. 4 Prairie View A&M; Oct. 11 Mississippi Valley State; Oct. 25 Southern; Nov. 1 Alabama A&M; Nov. 8 Alabama State; Nov. 15 Texas Southern; Nov. 22 Alcorn State


SCHEDULE Aug. 30 @ Mississippi State; Sept. 6 Alcorn State; Sept. 13 @ Alabama; Sept. 20 Appalachian State; Sept. 27 Rice; Oct. 4 @ Middle Tennessee; Oct. 18 @ North Texas; Oct. 25 Louisiana Tech; Nov. 1 @ UTEP; Nov. 8 Marshall; Nov. 13 @ UTSA; Nov 29 UAB 17

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Dak Prescott, quarterback, Mississippi State University This offseason, the legend of Dak has grown as Bulldog fans have recounted his heroic Egg Bowl performance, and he is on several watch lists for awards. There was even a Dak for Heisman campaign. The Heisman is a stretch unless Prescott has a historic season, but the Conerly is very possible. Prescott might be the best quarterback that head coach Dan Mullen has led since Tim Tebow. Prescott completed 156 of 267 pass attempts for 1,940 yards and 10 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. He also rushed for 829 yards on 134 carries with 13 touchdowns. Other MSU hopefuls: wide receiver Jameon Lewis, linebacker Benardrick McKinney, defensive tackle Chris Jones.

Bo Wallace

LaMontiez Ivy, quarterback, Jackson State University Ivy had trouble staying healthy over the past two seasons, but he was highly recruited coming out of high school. If he can keep his good health and put up numbers and wins, he will be in the mix. Jackson State hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t won the Conerly Trophy, but it is only a matter of time before the Tigers break through and win. There is

Lamontiez Ivy

no reason Ivy canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be that guy. Past stats donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really make the case for Ivy because he has been unable to stay on the field. He should have plenty of chances to put up stats in the new Tigers offense under Timmy Chang. John Gibbs, Jr., quarterback, Alcorn State University Alcorn State hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t had a Conerly winner, but Gibbs could change that this season. The Braves will be a contender in the SWAC this season, and wins get players noticed. As long as Gibbs is leading the Braves to victories and gets help from the faltering players at the FBS schools, he will be

an option. Anything can happen when an offensive lineman takes home the award. Last season, Gibbs threw for 2,567 yards while completing 201 of 354 passes and throwing for 21 touchdowns. He also added 455 yards on 100 carries and adding four touchdowns.







)011:)063 1. Nick Mullens


-&0.03&*3" (Restaurant) 45&7&%&"50/  (Red Room) Nick Mullens, quarterback, University of Southern Mississippi It might sound crazy to add Mullens to this list, but think about this: If USM turns things around this season, it will be in large part due to the quarterback. Southern Miss wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a true contender for the trophy if they keep losing. Mullens has no chance if Southern Miss canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t start winning games. That is, unless he puts up historically great numbers that are impossible to gloss over even if he isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t on a winner. While only playing in nine games last season, Mullens threw for 1,776 yards but only completed 136 of 276 passes with 13 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. In his first season, Mullens was a pocket passer not adding much threat of running. Mike Barthelemy, running back, Millsaps College Five schools have had players win the Conerly Trophy. While it wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t surprise anyone to know that USM, MSU or UM had won the award, did you know Delta State has two winners? Did you also know that while no SWAC schools has received the Conerly Trophy, a Millsaps Major has won it? In 2008, Millsaps quarterback Juan Joseph took home the award. The Majors could have their second Conerly winner if running back Mike Barthelemy is able to repeat or better his performance during last season. Barthelemy ran for 1,400 yards on 268 carries with 21 touchdowns. The Southern Athletic Association named him the Offensive Player of the Year. Other Millsaps hopeful: defensive end Zach Bell.



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Dak Prescott

Bo Wallace, quarterback, University of Mississippi Wallace was injured for several parts of last season, but he battled through those injuries and kept playing. The final regular-season game also ended with him fumbling to give Mississippi State the Egg Bowl win. The Rebels will benefit from a healthy Wallace to start this season, but Mississippi will go only as far as a healthy Wallace can take them in 2014. Last season, Wallace threw for 3,346 yards while completing 283 out of 437 attempts but also had 10 interceptions. He ran for 355 yards on 131 carries and six touchdowns. Other Mississippi hopefuls: wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche.



his year could be one of the wildest in the history of the Conerly Trophy, which goes to the best college football player in the state. There are plenty of hopefuls, and a number could come from the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State. But plenty of players around the state will be in the mix this season and could take home the trophy. There will not be a repeat winner. Last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s winner, Mississippi State guard Gabe Jackson, has moved on to the NFL. Jackson was the first offensive lineman to win the award. These are my preseason favorites, all in contention for the Conerly Trophy.

200 S. Commerce St. Downtown Jackson, Mississippi 19


August 20 - 26, 2014

'!-%34/7!4#( very year that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done the Jackson Free Press Football Preview, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve shared the games I was excited to see. As always, this list features plenty of face-offs from Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best teams. Here are a few of the most pulse-pounding matches to watch this season.




























!""#$%&&'()*+ AUG. 30

Florida A&M JACKSON, MS | 6pm | W.C. Gordon Classic

Sept. 6

Virginia University of Lynchburg JACKSON, MS | 6pm

SEPT. 13

@Tennessee State

SEPT. 20

Grambling State

MEMPHIS, TN | 6pm | Southern Heritage Classic

JACKSON, MS | 6pm | High School/Transfer Day

SEPT. 27

@Arkansas-Pine Bluff PINE BLUFF, AR | 6pm

OCT. 4

Prairie View A&M

OCT. 11

Mississippi Valley State



OCT. 25


NOV. 1

Alabama A&M

NOV. 8

@Alabama State

NOV. 15

@Texas Southern

NOV. 22

@Alcorn State


JACKSON, MS | 6pm | Senior Day


HOUSTON, TX | 5:30 pm

LORMAN, MS | 2pm

Schedule and times are subject to change. All home games in blue are held at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.



by Bryan Flynn


by Bryan Flynn


very season, I make predictions that never seem to pan out, but that doesn’t stop me from pulling predictions from my cloudy crystal ball. Maybe I need to fix the reception in this thing. This could be the year I nail it. I have a great feeling about this season. It’s either that or I’m just trying to convince myself at this point. Anyway, here are three things I think could happen in the 2014 football season.

The Rebels become an FBS playoff team in the first year of the playoff.

August 20 - 26, 2014

It might sound crazy, but the University of Mississippi could get into the playoff if things break its way. The Rebels certainly have the talent to make a run, and several of the big boys are in rebuilding mode because they are busy breaking in new quarterbacks. The good news is that UM gets Alabama and Auburn at home. Bad news: The Rebels must travel to LSU and Texas A&M. There is little room for error, and two losses could mean an abrupt end of UM’s post-season hopes. That means the Rebels can afford to lose only one game against Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M. If UM can stay perfect at home and then break even on its two biggest road games, which is possible, it would make the playoffs. Things get better for UM if it wins the SEC title game (if it makes it that far) because the winner of the SEC title game, most years, is going to get in the playoff. If the Rebels


tie but don’t make the playoff, then they should get in the SEC title game no matter what happens. You could also make the case for Mississippi State in this spot. I think the Bulldogs are a year or two away, but, like the University of Mississippi, if the ball always bounces the right way, anything can happen. I believe the Rebels are poised for a breakthrough season. They will continue to be the dark horse as long as they don’t lose to a team they should beat like they did to Mississippi State last season.

Alcorn State will win the SWAC championship. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to Alcorn State fans after last season, especially with their schedule and the players they have returning this season. Alcorn State gets the top SWAC teams—Southern, Alabama State, Arkansas Pine-Bluff and Jackson State—at home. A road trip to Prairie View A&M and potential trap game at Mississippi Valley State look like the biggest danger on the conference slate. The team can’t overlook some weaker teams on the schedule if it wants to win the title. Alcorn must stay focused against Alabama A&M and Grambling State, two teams picked to struggle this year in the SWAC, if it is going to win a championship. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Alcorn needs to beat main rival Jackson State in back-to-back seasons to punch its title-

game ticket. Keep a close eye on Alcorn State this season because I think we’re in for something special.

Delta State and Millsaps make the playoff. This is a gut-feeling more than anything. I really think Delta State makes the Division II playoffs and Millsaps will make the Division III. Millsaps has been knocking on the door to the playoffs for the last two seasons. The Southern Athletic Association finally gets an automatic bid into the D-III playoffs this season so the Majors won’t need an at-large bid. The Majors have the ability to make the playoffs and go undefeated this season. A loss wouldn’t surprise me, but more than two would be shocking. Delta State hit a rough patch but looks to be trending back upward. The Statesmen have been one of the toughest Division II teams historically. This season could be another year to “Fear the Okra” in Cleveland. The Statesmen play in the very competitive Gulf South Conference, but they have enough returning talent to get through the minefield. Delta State looks ready to build on last year’s rebound record. If I am badly wrong, I will have to remember next year that some gut-feelings are just indigestion. Comment with your wild predictions at or tweet @jfpsports.












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MSU debuts at No.


ast season ended with Florida State at the top of the poll. While there are no free trips to Disney World for the team, it does land the top spot in the first poll of this season. While FSU might have brought a title to the ACC, the conference had just one other team in the poll. Both the Big 10 and Big 12 bring three teams in to the opening poll. The Pac-12 has the second most teams in the poll with six. Notre Dame is the only independent in the poll. Finally, the biggest winner is the SEC. The top conference in America places 10 teams in this

first poll. Two of those 10 include the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State. Eight teams that were not ranked at the end of last season enter the poll. Teams dropping out of the poll are UFC Knights, Louisville Cardinals, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Duke Blue Devils, Northern Illinois Huskies, Fresno State Bulldogs and Vanderbilt Commodores. It is always hard to round out the Top 25 and instead of adding Texas, North Carolina and underachieving Nebraska, I added Missouri, Florida and MSU. There are no wrong answers when filling out a Top 25 when you get past the Top 15 teams.



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,AST3EASON2ECAP Alcorn State Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last season began with a 63-12 win over Edwards Waters. Mississippi State University demolished Alcorn 51-7 in the next game, but ASU knocked off both MSVU and Arkansas Pine Bluff. Alabama State then beat ASU by 19 points. Alcorn State returned with a four-win streak against Warner University, Grambling State, Texas Southern and University of Southern Mississippi. A one-point defeat at the hands of Alabama A&M ended the Bravesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hopes of an East title, though ASU finished the season with wins over Prairie View A&M and Jackson State. /UTLOOK Alcorn State has high expectations for 2014, with nine starters returning on offense, including all five linemen and quarterback John Gibbs. Alcorn State also returns a strong receiving crop that includes last seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading wide receiver Tollette George and tight end Jordan Payne. The team might rely more heavily on pass offense this season since Alcornâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s career rushing-leader, Arnold Walker, graduated. 0REDICTION Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to see why Alcorn State fans think this season will bring the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first SWAC Championship since sharing the title with Grambling in 1994. Alcorn was the second preseason pick in the East behind only Alabama State, and with all the returning starters and a nice schedule, playing for the title isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t beyond the realm of possibilities. I could see Alcorn State beating every opponent but Southern Miss, but depending on how rebuilding is going the best in sports over the next seven days

SLATE by Bryan Flynn

THURSDAY, AUG 21 NFL (6:30-10 p.m., NFL Network): Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the battle for Pennsylvania as the Pittsburgh Steelers clash with the Philadelphia Eagles for state bragging rights.

August 20 - 26, 2014

FRIDAY, AUG 22 NFL (7-10 p.m., CBS): The rebuilding Oakland Raiders travel east to face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers â&#x20AC;Ś NFL (9 p.m.-12 a.m., NFL Network): Defending Super Bowl champions the Seattle Seahawks host the Chicago Bears.


SATURDAY, AUG 23 NFL (3:30-7 p.m., NFL Network): Two teams hopeful to make the playoffs this season collide when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Buffalo Bills â&#x20AC;Ś NFL (7-10 p.m. CBS): Drew Brees returns for the New Orleans Saints as they take on Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. SUNDAY, AUG 24 NFL (3-6 p.m., Fox): See the San Diego Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers in a battle of playoff teams from last

Football that counts is so close that I can taste it. How close is it? It is closer than you think if you read the Slate. season â&#x20AC;Ś NFL (7-10p.m. NBC) Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals host Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals. MONDAY, AUG 25 Tennis (6-10 p.m., ESPN2): Watch night coverage of the opening day of the 2014 US Open as the top stars of the tennis world descend on New York for the right to win this major. TUESDAY, AUG 26 Football (9-10 p.m., ESPNU): Get ready for the college football season with this special as ESPNU presents this 2014 SEC Football Preview. WEDNESDAY, AUG 27 College football (6-9 p.m., ESPNU): The first college football game of the season kicks off with FCS team Abilene Christian against FBS team Georgia State. In next weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Slate, expect plenty of college football for your viewing pleasure. Follow Bryan Flynn at, @jfpsports and at

for USM, ASU could give them a scare. The two key games will be Southern and Alabama State. Jackson State will also be lurking at the seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s end. Anything less than eight wins will feel like a letdown, though 11-1 would be a dream season. 3CHEDULEAug. 30 Virginia University at Lynchburg; Sept. 6 @ Southern Miss; Sept. 13 Louisiana College; Sept. 20 @ Mississippi Valley State; Sept. 27 Southern; Oct. 2 Alabama A&M; Oct. 11 @ Grambling State; Oct. 18 Texas Southern; Oct. 25 @ Prairie View A&M; Nov. 8 @ Alabama A&M; Nov. 15 Arkansas Pine-Bluff; Nov. 22 Jackson State



,AST3EASON2ECAP The Delta Devils managed two wins last season, far below their 5-6 prediction. They had two four-game losing streaks. MVSU broke one streak with a 28-9 win over Alabama A&M, but they lost four more games before a narrow win against Texas Southern. They ended the season with a loss to Alabama State. /UTLOOK Hopes are high at Mississippi Valley State. Head coach Rick Comegy has been a winner wherever he has gone. Comegy was the smart hire for MVSU, and the results should start to show this season. Quarterback Patrick Ivy returns after starting nine games last season, joining wide receiver Julian Stafford and tight end Natron Brooks. The Delta Devils will need more offensive production from Ivy, Stafford and Brooks, but running back Cortez Frizell needs to produce more than the 268 yards on the ground that he garnered last season. Frizell only finished eight yards ahead of Ivy as the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading rusher. Defense has been MVSUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s calling card for the last few seasons, and the unit should be solid this year. Defensive back Avery Boykin was first-team AllSWAC and will need to be a leader for the unit. 0REDICTION Comegy has a major rebuilding project on his hands, and this season will lay the foundation for good things in the future. It would be unfair to expect a major turnaround this season for Mississippi Valley State, but there should be improvements. MVSU will open the season with a win against University of Faith. MSVU will have a hard time beating Illinois State out of the Missouri Valley Conference, so a 1-1 record heading into SWAC-play should be expected. I think this season will be a success if the Delta Devils can double their win-total over last season. Anything less than matching those two wins would be a disappointment. 3CHEDULE Aug. 30 University of Faith; Sept. 6 @ Illinois State; Sept. 13 @ Alabama State; Sept. 20 Alcorn State; Sept. 27; Alabama A&M, Oct 4 @ Texas Southern; Oct. 11 @ Jackson State; Oct. 18 Prairie View A&M; Nov. 1 @ Arkansas Pine-Bluff; Nov. 6 Grambling State; Nov. 15 @ Southern University



,AST3EASON2ECAP Head coach Todd Cooley had a successful first season at Delta State, starting with a 10point win over Mississippi Valley State, though the team immediately suffered a loss to Texas A&M University-Commerce. The Statesmen beat North Alabama, the eventual Gulf South Conference champions last season, and Florida Institute of Technology, but fell in their first conference game against West Alabama, who tied with North Alabama in the final standings. DSU won against Tarleton State, Shorter University, Valdosta State and Concordia College, and ended with a loss to the University of West Georgia. SEE MORE ON PAGE 28

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/UTLOOK Delta State has 17 returning starters this season, including 2013 GSC Offensive Freshman of the Year quarterback Tyler Sullivan and wide receivers Ricky Hunt and Casey Osborne. In 2013 Sullivan threw 15 touchdowns with only four interceptions. 0REDICTION Delta State begins the season on the road with tough games against Fort Valley State University and Valdosta State. The Statesmen wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t return home until late September, hosting Central State University before an away game with Florida Institute of Technology, both of which should be winnable. DSU returns home to play Shorter University before two potential wins on the road against University of West Georgia and University of West Alabama. Delta State ends the season with three home games against North Alabama, Concordia College and Mississippi College. A GSC win would be a major success. 3CHEDULESept. 6 @ Fort Valley State University; Sept. 20 @ Valdosta State University; Sept. 27 Central State University; Oct. 2 @ Florida Institute of Technology; Oct. 9 Shorter University (Ga.); Oct. 18 @ University of West Georgia; Oct. 25 University of West Alabama; Nov. 1 University of North Alabama; Nov. 8 Concordia College (Ala.); Nov. 15 Mississippi College



,AST3EASON2ECAP Mississippi College lost its first three 2013 games to Millsaps, Huntingdon and Webber International before righting the ship with victories against Hardin-Simmons, Sul Ross State and Howard Payne. Mississippi College lost 32-35 to Texas Lutheran, then won its next game against East Texas Baptist. MCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s final Division III season ended with losses to Louisiana College and Mary Hardin-Baylor. /UTLOOK Mississippi College moves from the Division III American Southwest Conference to the Division II Gulf South Conference this season. MC won three GSC conference titles (1979, 1988, and 1990) before moving to Division III after the 1994 season. Luckily, two of MCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s returning starters are quarterback Jonathon Redd and wide receiver Jaime Harris. Things would be easier for MC with some solid offensive-line play and better handling by Redd. 0REDICTION The schedule kicks off with a challenging games at Belhaven University and at home against North Alabama. Things donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get easier with trips to Lamar and Shorter, but the latter seems a more achievable victory. MCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home game against University of Faith could result in a win, but the next home game is against Valdosta State. Mississippi College face Florida Technology in a potentially victorious road game and then comes home to a tough West Georgia team. Two wins is an achievable goal, though four or five would be optimistic. 3CHEDULESept. 6 @ Belhaven; Sept. 13 North Alabama; Sept. 20 @ Lamar; Oct. 2 @ Shorter; Oct. 11 University of Faith; Oct. 18 Valdosta State; Oct. 25 @ Florida Technology; Nov. 1 @ West Georgia; Nov. 8 West Alabama; Nov. 15 @ Delta State

August 20 - 26, 2014




,AST3EASON2ECAP Last season, Millsaps started on a nine-game winning streak. The Majors began the season with a 52-19 win against Mississippi College and three home games against LaGrange, Point University and Hendrix. Next came three road wins by the Majors over Trinity, Birmingham Southern and Sewanee. The Majors returned home for two wins over Berry and Centre, but lost their final game of the season on the road against Rhodes. SEE MORE ON PAGE 30


6 ,


5:00 p.m. ­ Annual Board Meeting 6:00 p.m. ­ Registration and Cocktails 7:00 p.m. ­ Dinner is served. Festivities end at 10:00 p.m. Tickets: $50







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From page 28

2014 Outlook: Millsaps is the team to beat in the Southern Athletic Association, but will have extra incentive to win this season. For the first time, the SAA winner gets an immediate invite to the Division III playoffs. Big play-makers like running back Mike Barthelemy and defensive end Zach Bell return, so the Majors have plenty of heavy hitters. 2014 Prediction: Millsaps opens the season against their toughest opponent, Mary Hardin-Baylor, at home, and rounds out the nonconference slate with trips to Mt. St. Joseph and East Texas Baptist. They face Birmingham Southern, Sewanee and Rhodes at home and Hendrix, Berry and Centre during away games. If Millsaps beats UMHB, a perfect season is in their reach. Schedule: Sept. 6 Mary Hardin-Baylor; Sept. 13 @ Mt. St. Joseph; Sept. 27 @ East Texas Baptist; Oct. 4 @ Hendrix; Oct 18 Birmingham Southern; Oct. 25 Sewanee; Oct. 31 @ Berry; Nov. 8 @ Centre; Nov. 15 Rhodes

Head Coach: Hal Mumme (0-0 1st season at Belhaven, 135-119-1 overall record) 2013-14 record: 3-8, 1-4 MSC, season ended with a 55-45 win over Bethel University (TN) Stadium: H. T. Newell Field Radio: Online at Belhaven site

Last Season Recap: Last season, the Blazers beat Texas College but lost their next four games to Louisiana College, University of the Cumberlands, Cumberland University and Campbellsville University. The Blazers beat Bluefield College, took four losses from Reinhardt University, Lindsey Wilson College, Faulkner University and University of Pikeville, and beat Bethel University. 2014 Outlook: Belhaven hired head coach Hal Mumme, known for his high-scoring pass offense, which will require an adjustment as Mumme brings players into the program to fit his scheme.

bryan’s rant

Too Many Flags

August 20 - 26, 2014



riday night’s game between the New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans became a flag fest. It seemed like neither team could run a play without a yellow flag littering the field. Because of all the flags, the game took forever to finish. Both teams finished with over 100 penalty yards. I began to wonder if this week had more flags than week one of the preseason. There were 283 total accepted penalties over 16 games. Denver and Seattle led the way with 25 total penalties, and Green Bay and Tennessee were the lowest with 10 total penalties. Not counting Monday night’s game, there were 311 total accepted penalties this week. Of course, the Saints and the Titans had the most penalties with 32 total penalties. The Seahawks (eight) and the Chargers (seven) joined the Cowboys (nine) and Ravens (seven) as the only two games in which both teams had single-digit penalties. In week one, both teams had singledigit penalties over six games. Seattle was the most penalized team last season with eight penalties per

2014 Prediction: Belhaven faces a particularly tough season, one that will take adjustment. For one, the Blazers struggle with a back-and-forth slate that jumps in and out of conference games, which can be tough to handle. Another three-win campaign could be on the horizon. Schedule: Aug. 30 @ Texas College; Sept. 6 Mississippi College; Sept 13 @ University of the Cumberlands (Ky.); Sept. 20 @ Cumberlands University (Tenn.); Sept. 27 Campbellsville University (Ky.); Oct. 11 Bluefield College (Va.); Oct. 18 Reinhardt University; Oct. 25 @ Lindsey Wilson College (Ky.); Nov. 1 @ Faulkner University (Ala.); Nov. 8 University of Pikeville; Nov. 15 Bethel University (Tenn.)

Head Coach: Gene Murphy (133-41-5, entering 28th season at Hinds, 159-61-5 overall record) 2013-14 Record: 7-3, season ended with 34-27 loss to Navarro College in the Brazos Valley Bowl Stadium: Joe Renfroe Stadium Radio: 87.7 WJMF FM

Last Season Recap: Hinds opened the season with two victories over Delta and Coahoma, losing suffered their next two games with Gulf Coast and Copiah-Lincoln. The Eagles one five consecutive games against East Central, Southwest, Jones, Holmes and Pearl River. Hinds lost the Brazos Valley Bowl to Navarro College. 2014 Outlook: Hinds should be in great shape in the always-competitive Mississippi Association of Colleges and Junior Colleges. The Eagles return with six starters on offense, including quarterback James Summers and running back Tommy McCalpin. On defense, the Eagles have seven returning starters, including linemen Darrel Davis, Sky Logan, Eric Brown and Peter Bailey. 2014 Prediction: The Eagles face three teams ranked in the “Top 20” poll this season. Hinds will encounter third-ranked Co-Lin, ninth-ranked Gulf Coast and 10th-ranked Jones, all on the road. Hinds received votes, but the team didn’t put a dent in the poll. The rest of the Eagles games will be tough but are manageable. This season will be a major success if the Eagles can finish with seven or more wins. Schedule: Aug. 28 @ Holmes; Sept. 4 @ Northeast; Sept. 11 Pearl River; Sept. 18 @ Gulf Coast; Sept. 25 Northwest; Oct. 2 East Central; Oct. 11 @ Co-Lin; Oct. 18 @ Jones; Oct. 23 Southwest

game. Indianapolis was the least penalized team with four penalties per game. The average was 6.08 penalties per game last season, which would be just 12 per game for both teams. As the numbers show, penalties are up over last season for both weeks of the preseason. So is this a trend or a preseason anomaly? Preseason games tend to get sloppy and are often filled with penalties. Players must adjust to new rules and the teams have a lot of new members in camp, which doesn’t always translate to clean play. Officials also tend to call games much tighter in the preseason than the regular season. I tend to think penalties will go down when the regular season starts. Pace of play is the biggest problem with all the penalties. The more penalties called, the longer games tend to stretch. Football games are already nearing three and half hours. Players could help things out by not committing as many penalties as well. Penalties are something to watch as the preseason goes to the final two weeks and the regular season starts.

Head Coach: Jeff Koonz (10-17 overall record entering 4th season) 2013-14 Record: 3-6, season ended with a 48-21 win over Coahoma Stadium: Ras Branch Stadium Radio: 103.9 WYAB FM

Last Season Recap: Holmes began last season with four losses against Jones, Mississippi Gulf Coast, Northeast and Itawamba. The first win of the season came against Mississippi Delta in a 58-6 bout, followed by a 55-0 loss to East Mississippi. The Bulldogs’ final games ended in a win against Northwest, a loss to Hinds and a final win against Coahoma. 2014 Outlook: Only one offensive starter and one defensive starter return, along with back-up quarterback Jamario Benson, who split time with several players last season. Players to watch are Tyree Holmes and Lyndon Johnson on the defensive line, Antreon Bennett at linebacker and Ryhean McMorris in the secondary. 2014 Prediction: The Bulldogs face two “Top 20” teams—Itawamba and defending national champion East Mississippi. It looks like three wins are very possible, though another two are attainable. A successful season would be five wins, and three or less would be disappointing. Schedule: Aug. 28 Hinds; Sept. 4 @ Pearl River; Sept. 11 @ Itawamba; Sept. 18 @ East Central; Sept. 25 Mississippi Delta; Oct. 2 Northwest; Oct. 9 @ East Mississippi; Oct. 18 Coahoma; Oct. 23 @ Northeast

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Williamson Family Farms owner/operator Mike Williamson, located at 536 CR 95, Yalobusha County, Water Valley, Mississippi is seeking twenty temporary farm workers and laborers for potato crops; two days of training will be provided. Hours are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at $9.87 an hour, beginning September 5, 2014 and ending November 15, 2014. Employer will provided housing, cooking facilities and transportation to stores to purchase groceries for workers located in areas where it will not be feasible to return to at the end of the working day. After workers have completed 50% of the work contract period, employer will reimburse worker for the cost of transportation and subsistence from which the worker came to work for the employer to the place of employment. The type of work contemplated will be performed in all weather conditions including extreme heat, will include labor performed by hand, extensive walking, bending, stooping, and lifting crates of potato slips, use of hand tools such as shovels and hoes will be required. Required tools will be provided by employer at no cost to worker. Interested workers may contact Mike Williamson at 662-473-6088 or by mail at: Williamson Family Farms, 536 CR 95, Water Valley, MS 38965, in order to schedule an interview, or your nearest State Workforce Agency. The Oxford WIN Job Center, 204 Colonnade Cove, Suite 1 Oxford, MS 38655. The job order number for this job is MS102416. If selected, you will be guaranteed three fourths of the work hours between the start date and the end date of the job as listed above.

Nathan S. McHardy Owner & Sommelier

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Apar tment Herbs by Carmen Cristo

Growing herbs isn’t rocket science.

August 20 - 26, 2014



nyone who cooks regularly knows that herbs bought at a local store can be expensive. The good news is that, for the most part, they’re incredibly easy to grow, and some even multiply for years of harvesting. All it takes is a little water, sunshine and patience. Even an apartment dweller with a less-than-green thumb can be successful at producing an herb spot on his or her balcony. Most herbs require little attention and can withstand periods of drought and rain. It is no coincidence that the herbs that are the easiest to grow are the most popular, too. Any novice can grow oregano, thyme, cilantro (coriander), rosemary and basil. Chives, which grow back each time they’re cut, are another good starter plant. The first step is visiting a local garden center and picking herbs to grow. Once you’ve decided what plants you will get the most use out of, peruse the already-potted plants, smelling each variety to pick which one suits your need. The specific type of herb you buy is of the utmost importance. For instance, if you buy apple mint instead of spearmint, anticipate very weak mojitos. And if you buy Mexican oregano instead of Mediterranean oregano, don’t expect your tomato sauce to taste like marinara. Some plants can be grown easily from seed, but I recommend starting with potted plants if you’re a beginner. There are a lot of different options for containers. You can leave the plants in the containers they are purchased in, carefully transport them to a bed on a sill or even get more creative with a refurbished palette with soil trays in the openings. It is imperative that most of the herbs stay separated from the others. Some herbs, like mint, will take over a container, choking out all other forms of vegetation, if given the opportunity. Alternative containers come in a variety of sizes, materials and prices. You can use just about anything

that will hold soil and has some sort of drainage system (i.e. holes in the bottom). Some of my favorite alternative containers are paint buckets, wagons, tires and even hang-over-the-door shoe holders for the smaller balcony. If you go the creative route, take special care with plants like coriander that form a taproot and are much more difficult to transplant. You also must pay attention to the growing season of the herb. Blake Hutto of Hutto’s Home and Garden Center says that it isn’t too late to have a balcony herb spot this year. “Parsley, cilantro and sage are more cold weather and thrive in the chilly season. Those are three that can be planted at this point in the year,” he says. For the more experienced container gardener, it’s the ideal time to start planning for radishes, carrots, lettuce and other leafy greens that are difficult to protect from bugs in the hot Mississippi summer. While it’s possible to grow plants during the winter months, not all will fare well. The best herbs to grow indoors are chives, mint, rosemary, oregano, basil and thyme. You can easily put these in sunny windowsills, but if you have dimmer windows, it’s best to install a growing light. The Christian Science Monitor rec-

ommends leaving the light on for 14 to 16 hours and using a timer to turn them off and on. Not every herb garden is successful—don’t expect to become the Barefoot Contessa overnight. The most common mistakes stem from inexperience and can be corrected. Planting too early is a sure way to lose all signs of life in your herb spot, especially here in Mississippi where the weather is as unpredictable as the Republican runoff. If you plant too early, frost could undo all your hard work. It’s also important to remember that herbs are not houseplants. Daily watering is essential, but only a moderate amount. They also need to be tended to diligently. If they begin getting a little overgrown or start producing flowers, the plants need to be pruned. This is the only way to produce full, healthy leaves without the plant staying on the natural course, which ends with the plant blossoming out and turning to seed in the hot southern sun. If you are a regular houseplant murderer and this all seems overwhelming, start with basil. Its life stages are so exaggerated that when you over—or under—water, it will be obvious. It will also spring back to life quickly if given the proper amount of nutrients. Speaking of nutrients, soil is about as important as any other piece of the puzzle. If your soil is dry and tired, it will have no energy to lend to a budding life. The darker the soil is, the better the conditions are most likely. Soil that is rich and moist is ideal, but too moist is a problem, too. Gardening, like most things in life, is about maintaining a delicate balance. When you get that balance just right and are ready to take off the training wheels, by next summer you can try cucumbers and maybe even a tomato plant.

LIFE&STYLE | girl about town by Julie Skipper



lthough this column is referred don’t worry: The cellar’s 1,000-label wine to as “Girl About Town,” I feel selection, more than 120 beers, and a host compelled to address something of other spirits and craft cocktails provide typically considered “manly” that plenty of options.) seems to be all the rage these days: whisFor those wanting to stock your home key. I know there are ladies who enjoy the bar with some brown stuff, look to the guidbrown liquor. And I’m aware that Knob Creek’s “When I see a man drinking bourbon” ads (which premiered during “Mad Men,” a show that itself harkens back to times with strictly defined gender roles and expectations) bore the brunt of criticism for being supposedly sexist and defining “manhood” in a certain, stereotypical way. Nonetheless, I am a gal With the recent advent of “whiskey libraries,” the who does not drink bourbon. manly elixir is experiencing a revival. Or whiskey. Or Scotch. Or anything brown. I’m evidently not woman enough to handle it, and I’m OK with that. ance of the guys at Fondren Cellars (633 So, in my mind, whiskey remains a Duling Ave., 769-216-2323, fondrencelmanly drink. It makes me think about my I occasionally procure a bottle grandfather, a fascinatingly interesting man of something brown for the fellow, and the and big fan of Manhattans and Old Fash- staff here always do a great job of helping ioneds as well as gourmet food who built me find something he enjoys. Fondren Celthings with his hands, cussed like a sailor lars carries a great selection of bottles you’ll and was tough as nails. recognize as well—as small-batch producers As it so happens, my manfriend also you may not—and the guys can guide you enjoys whiskey and recently had a birthday. according to your tastes and price point. While thinking about what to do for the On a recent visit, I asked Casey Haroccasion, I thought about our local restau- digree for some recommendations, as rants and bars that have joined the ranks of well as a refresher on what exactly makes “whiskey libraries.” I decided this might be a brown liquor bourbon as opposed to an occasion to test out the offerings. rye or whiskey. The answer is the perThe Manship (1200 N. State St., centage of corn from which the alcohol 601-398-4562, is made—bourbon has to be at least 51 boasts quite the selection—more than 300 percent corn (the source of its sweetness). whiskeys. Such a collection needs a curator, While some hardliners maintain that to so I turned to co-owner and manager Ste- truly be “bourbon,” a spirit of that perven O’Neill and asked him to select a few. centage must also come from Kentucky, He graciously obliged and over the course it’s technically just the corn content that of dinner presented two flights (“flights” is the determining factor. are a sampling. In this case, each flight Hardigree suggested bottles of Elmer consisted of four different spirits). It was T. Lee (produced by Buffalo Trace) and a great way to get to try a number of fine Willett, a special-order bottle that can be spirits—some of which were from bottles hard to find. He also pointed out a few prohard to come by—and much appreciated. ducers that only recently began selling in And manly, I suppose. Mississippi, including Koval, from Chicago, For those wanting a road trip—and who produces not only bourbon, but also who have a place to stay or a designated millet, rye and four-grain. driver—another Mississippi bar with quite To go along with these offerings, the the selection of whiskeys is Robert St. John’s shop stocks all the accompaniments to enBranch (3810 Hardy St., Hattiesburg, 601- sure you can mix up some good cocktails if 264-0657, I’ve you don’t want to just drink it straight—its only been once, after dinner at the adjacent selection of bitters is always tempting. Purple Parrot, but this newest addition to So, here’s to all the men (and women) St. John’s restaurant family is a cool spot. who want to raise a glass of whiskey. It With more than 150 whiskeys, there’s a seems we’re in the midst of a renaissance of lot to work your way through if that’s your your drink. So get out there and drink local spirit of choice. (If, like me, it’s not yours, (and responsibly)!

We Won’t Tell Who Really Made the Chicken

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DaVita Dialysis is hosting a Career Open House in Jackson MS for healthcare professionals (RNs & Patient Care Technicians). We will be conducting on-the-spot interviews for current positions in facilities in Jackson, Canton and Brandon. Light refreshments served. Jackson North Dialysis facility 571 Beasley Rd. Jackson MS Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, 3-7 pm August 20 - 26, 2014

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AMERICAN/SOUTHERN CUISINE Basil’s (2906 N State St #104, Jackson, 601-982-2100) Paninis pizza, pasta, soups and salads. They’ve got it all on the menu. Broad Street Bakery (4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-362-2900) Hot breakfast, coffee drinks, fresh breads & pastries, gourmet deli sandwiches. 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! Rooster’s (2906 N State St, Jackson, 601-982-2001) You haven’t had a burger until you’ve had a Rooster’s burger. Pair it with their seasoned fries and you’re in heaven. Two Sisters Kitchen (707 N. Congress St. 601-353-1180) Lunch. Mon-Fri, Sun. 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 La Finestra (120 N Congress St #3, Jackson, 601-345-8735) The brainchild of award-winning Chef Tom Ramsey, this downtown Jackson hot-spot offers authentic Italian cuisine in cozy, inviting environment. 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. 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 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. BARBEQUE Pig and Pint (3139 N State St, Jackson, 601-326-6070) Serving up competition style barbecue along with one of the of best beer selections in metro. 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, 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. 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. ASIAN AND INDIAN 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 from one of jackson’s most well-known japanese restaurants. 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.

8 DAYS p 36 | MUSIC p 38



ason “Twiggy” Lott’s grandfather, Anton Edgar Lott, built the house Jason’s father, Winston Lott, grew up in with his own hands. His father was an accountant by trade, but a handy man by nature. Twiggy Lott, 34, is an artist, working with his hands like his father and grandfather before him, but in a more creative context. Each person in his family taught him skills that influence his work today. “I always knew I was an artist,” he says. “Most people don’t know what the hell they want to be when they grow up, even when they’re in college. I feel very lucky and blessed that I’ve always known what I wanted to do, and I’m actually doing it.” 555 Custom Designs is the obscure moniker attached to the functional art of Lott and fellow Jacksonian Josh Bishop. They recently dropped the “salvage” that was in their original name in response to the ever-increasing breadth of their work. While not all their materials are recycled or one-of-a-kind, they maintain their signature style that Lott describes as “worn, lived-in and wellloved.” Lott’s artistic touch and Bishop’s construction skills meet to create furniture pieces like lamps and tables that are carefully crafted to be as interesting to look at as any painting or photograph. Inspired by “an internal drive to make,” Lott and Bishop focus on the quality and craftsmanship of their projects. Lott, in particular, enjoys the troubleshooting aspect of building things as practical as they are aesthetically pleasing. “I’ve always, for whatever reason, compared it to writing a sonnet,” Lott says. “It’s one thing to sort of free-flow and do your own thing, but when you have really specific guidelines and you can make something beautiful out of it, that’s pretty cool.” The pair’s work will be on display for a pop-up show at the Mississippi

Museum of Art on Aug. 21. Julian Rankin, director of media and public relations at the museum, says that the event is part of the revamping of Museum After Hours that started back up last month. “The idea is that each month, the event will have its own spirit and character and reflect what the artists are like,” Rankin says. “It’s a rough template so that when we meet each artist, they have control of how they represent themselves.” Lott roped in Ginger Williams-Cook for the event, whose art he considers complementary to his own. Williams-Cook and Lott’s pieces will be displayed along with pieces from 555’s workshop, creating more of an environment for people to dwell in rather than an exhibit for them to view. Creating a welcoming atmosphere will promote 555’s products by giving them a context to be observed in and encourage attendees to hang out and enjoy the cash bar and company of fellow museum goers. Lott says that the goal of the pop-up event series is to promote community and give exposure to local artists like himself, Williams-Cook and Bishop. 555 hopes to make another appearance at MMA that will display solely their furniture pieces when they have more notice to prepare. Also in the works is a studio space in Belhaven Heights that will house 555, serving as living quarters and studio space. Other artists are already on board to share the building, with ideas for creating more openings for potential tenants. 555 Custom Designs’ pop-up show is at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St., 601-960-1515) Aug. 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.. The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the event or the Mississippi Museum of Art, visit For more information about 555 Custom Designs, visit

by Carmen Cristo





Syfy’s “Sharknado 2” plays at the Malco Theater.

The 5K Race Against Hunger is at Stewpot.

The Bak 2 Skool Concert is at Jackson State University.

BEST BETS AUGUST 20 - 27, 2014


Tony Yarber hosts this forum to share ideas and solutions regarding west Jackson and the Jackson Zoo. Free; call 601960-1084; … The Messiah’s Mansion Exhibit is open from 1-7 p.m. at College Drive Church (110 College Drive, Pearl). The exhibit features a full-scale model of the ancient Hebrew tabernacle that was created during the times of Moses. Includes tours, and group tours are available in the mornings by appointment. Free; call 601-506-9750; email;


The Pedroncelli Wine Tasting is from 6-8 p.m. at Amerigo Italian Restaurant (6592 Old Canton Road). Taste four selections from the Pedroncelli Winery paired with bruschetta and tiramisu. RSVP. $20 per person; call 601-977-0563;

Folk band All Sons & Daughters performs at Christ United Methodist Church on Aug. 20.

All Sons & Daughters performs from 6-9:30 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church (6000 Old Canton Road). The acoustic folk duo plays songs from its new selftitled album. Doors open at 6 p.m. $12 in advance, $15 at the door; call 956-6974;


The Storytellers Ball is at 6:30 p.m. at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). The Greater Jackson Arts BY MICAH SMITH Council hosts this event, which includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, an JACKSONFREEPRESS.COM open bar, a silent auction and live music. The theme is “Red Hot FAX: 601-510-9019 from the Cotton Club.” HonDAILY UPDATES AT orary chairs include Attorneys JFPEVENTS.COM Robert and Debra Gibbs and U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran. $60 per person; call 601-960-1557, ext. 224 or 800-595-4TIX; August 20 - 26, 2014



Dance with the Stars is at 7 p.m. at the Country Club of Jackson (345 St. Andrews Drive). The competition pairs local celebrities with dance instructors. Includes dinner, a silent auction, and music from the Jackson Allstars Band, Rebecca Sorenson and Tyler Kemp. Attire is formal. Benefits the Mississippi Opera Foundation. $150, $1,200 table of eight, 36 $1,500 table of 10; call 601-960-2300;


CARA’s Dog Days of Summer is from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Pelahatchie Shore Park (Lakeshore Drive, Brandon). The event includes $5 plate lunches, a children’s carnival, dogs for adoption, arts and crafts vendors, a silent auction, $35 microchipping, a pet parade and music from Steve Deaton and Jason McIlwaine. Benefits Community Animal Rescue and Adoption. Dog food donations serve as admission, $5 children’s carnival; call 601-842-4404; email denise.cantrell@; … The “Power of the Mic” Comedy Show starts at 8 p.m. at Mediterranean Fish and Grill (6550 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland). Local comedian Rita B. is the hosts a night of comedy including Reggie Jr. and LaVar Walker (Comic View, Shaq’s All Star Comedy Jam). DJ Sean Mac provides music. $15; call 646-801-1275; find Power of the Mic on Facebook.


History Is Lunch is at noon at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). COURTESY CARA



The Mississippi Craft Show is from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.). Shop for handmade crafts from Mississippi artisans such as pottery, jewelry, home accessories and more. A portion of the proceeds benefits organizations such as Shaw Pit Bull Rescue, Cedarhill Animal Sanctuary and TEAAM. Pet adoption drive Aug. 23. $6 in advance, $7 at the door, children under 12 free; call 354-7051;


The “We Are Jackson” Listening Tour is from 6-7 p.m. at the Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). Jackson Mayor

CARA’s “Dog Days of Summer” offers music, art and pet adoptions at Pelahatchie Shore Park on Aug. 23.

Glass artist Elizabeth Robinson, owner of Spirit House Glass, displays some of her award-winning art. Free; call 601-576-6998;

Dance with the Stars Aug. 22, 7 p.m., at Country Club of Jackson (345 St. Andrews Drive). The competition pairs local celebs with dance instructors. Includes dinner, a silent auction, music from Jackson Allstars Band, Rebecca Sorenson and Tyler Kemp. Attire formal. Benefits Mississippi Opera Foundation. JFP Publisher Todd Stauffer is a judge. $150, $1,200 table of 8, $1,500 table of 10; call 601-960-2300; CARA’s Dog Days of Summer Aug. 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Pelahatchie Shore Park (Lakeshore Drive, Brandon). Includes $5 plate lunches, a children’s carnival, dogs for adoption, arts and crafts vendors, a silent auction, $35 microchipping, music from Steve Deaton and Jason McIlwaine, a pet parade and more. Benefits Community Animal Rescue and Adoption. Dog food donations serve as admission, $5 children’s carnival; call 601-842-4404; email;

#/--5.)49 Storytellers Ball Aug. 21, 6:30 p.m., at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). The theme of the Greater Jackson Arts Council’s event is “Red Hot from the Cotton Club.” $60 per person; call 601-960-1557, ext. 224 or 800-595-4TIX; Events at Mississippi Center for Nonprofits (201 W. Capitol St., Suite 700) • Basic Grant Proposal Strategies Aug. 22, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Prepare strong proposals to get support for your agency. Learn how to do research, develop need statements, create a budget and more. Registration required. $199, $139 members; call 601-968-0061; • Lunch and Learn Series: Risk Management Tips Aug. 27, noon-1 p.m. Show leaders how to identify and appreciate risks and to take actions to minimize these risks. Lunch provided. Registration required. $15, $5 members; call 601-968-0061; Events at Union Station (300 W. Capitol St.) • The Artisan Mixer Aug. 22, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Shop for paintings, jewelry, clothing, accessories, home decor and more from local artisans. Vendors welcome. RSVP online. For ages 18 and up. Free tickets; email theartisanmixer@; • Old School Benefit Dance Aug. 23, 7 p.m.11 p.m. The event is a fundraiser for Agape Community Development Corporation’s youth programs. $10; call 601-850-9838;

Mississippi Craft Show Aug. 23, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Aug. 24, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., at Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.). A portion of the proceeds benefits organizations such as Shaw Pit Bull Rescue, Cedarhill Animal Sanctuary and TEAAM. Pet adoption drive Aug. 23. $6 in advance, $7 at the door, children under 12 free; call 354-7051; Business & Family Matters Legal & Financial Education Series Aug. 23, 9 a.m.-12 p.m., at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Dr.). In Community Meeting Room. $40; call 601-201-1957; email History Is Lunch Aug. 27, noon, at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Glass artist Elizabeth Robinson, owner of Spirit House Glass, shows her award-winning art. Free; call 601-576-6998;

"%4(%#(!.'% Saving Grace: A Concert Evening for Grace House Aug. 21, 6 p.m., at St. James Episcopal Church (3921 Oakridge Drive). At Fowler Hall. Enjoy tapas-style refreshments and music from Fred Knobloch, the Jarekus Singleton Band, James Martin and the Barry Leach Group. Proceeds benefit Grace House, a home for people living with HIV and AIDS. $45 in advance (sold at Grace House, Beemon Drugs and Fondren Cellars), $50 at the door; call 601-353-1038;

&//$$2).+ Tiki Bar and Cocktail Party Aug. 23, 3 p.m., at BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar (Highland Village, 4500 Interstate 55 N.). Learn to make tiki cocktails and and the history behind them. Seating limited. RSVP. $35 per person; call 601-982-8111; email; TNT: Tacos & Tecate Aug. 26, 4 p.m.-9 p.m., at Sombra Mexican Kitchen (Township at Colony Park, 140 Township Ave, Suite 100, Ridgeland). Enjoy a flight of three tequilas, three tacos and a Tecate beer. $16 per person; call 601-707-7950; Pedroncelli Wine Tasting Aug. 26, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., at Amerigo Italian Restaurant (6592 Old Canton Road). Taste four selections from the Pedroncelli

winery paired with bruschetta and tiramisu. RSVP. $20 per person; call 601-977-0563;

30/2437%,,.%33 When Your Heart Skips a Beat Aug. 21, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., at Baptist Medical Center (1225 N. State St.). In the Baptist for Women Conference Room. Dr. J. Michael Bensler explains what atrial fibrillation is, what causes it, how it is diagnosed and the latest treatments. Registration required. Free, $7 optional lunch; call 601-948-6262; Gator Bait Triathlon Aug. 23, 7 a.m., at Eagle Lake (Highway 465, Vicksburg). Advance registration required. $60 triathlon ($980 relay team), $30 swim, additional one-day memberships required for USA Triathlon Association, USA Swimming or U.S. Masters Swimming; call 601-279-6571; email mixonmathew@; Stewpot’s 5K Race Against Hunger Aug. 23, 7:30 a.m., at Stewpot Community Services (1100 W. Capitol St.). Proceeds go toward Stewpot’s efforts to fight hunger in the community. Registration required. $20, $5 kids’ fun run; call 601-353-2759; email;

34!'%3#2%%. “Rumors” Auditions Aug. 20, 6:30 p.m., at Actor’s Playhouse (121 Paul Truitt Lane, Pearl). Men ages 17-60 and women ages 02-70 may audition. Includes a cold read from the script. Production dates are Sept. 25-28. Free; call 601-664-0930; Power of the Mic Comedy Show: Pro Series Aug. 23, 8 p.m., at Mediterranean Fish and Grill (The Med) (6550 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland). Local comedian Rita B. is the host. Performers include Reggie Jr. and LaVar Walker (Comic View, Shaq’s All Star Comedy Jam). Includes music from DJ Sean Mac. $15; call 646-801-1275; find Power of the Mic on Facebook.

#/.#%243&%34)6!,3 Events at Christ United Methodist Church (6000 Old Canton Road) • All Sons & Daughters in Concert Aug. 20, 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. The contemporary Christian acoustic duo performs songs from its self-titled album. Doors open at 6 p.m. $12 in advance, $15 at the door; call 956-6974;

• Mississippi Community Symphonic Band's 11th Season Opener Aug. 23, 7 p.m.-8 p.m. The band plays music from several genres. The Mississippi Swing also performs. Free; call 769218-0828; Casting Crowns Aug. 21, 7 p.m., at First Baptist Church of Jackson (431 N. State St.). The contemporary Christian band performs to promote their latest album, “Thrive.” Doors open at 6 p.m. $5 discount for groups of 10 or more. $25-$40; call 601-949-1921; Bak 2 Skool Concert Aug. 24, 6 p.m., at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.). At McCoy Auditorium. Performers include Jason Gibson and Destiny Project, and P. Lo Jetson. Includes a school supply giveaway. Free, school supply donations welcome; call 9792121; email or

,)4%2!293)'.).'3 “Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor” Aug. 21, 4 p.m., at Square Books Jr. (111 Courthouse Square, Oxford). Jon Scieszka signs books. $13.95 book; call 662-236-2207; “Etta Mae’s Worst Bad-Luck Day” Aug. 27, 5 p.m., at Off Square Books (129 Courthouse Square, Oxford). Ann B. Ross signs books. $26.95 book; call 662-236-2262; email;

%8()")4/0%.).'3 Museum After Hours Pop-Up Exhibition Aug. 21, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Enjoy a cash bar and a pop-up exhibition featuring local artists, musicians and other organizations. This month’s artists are Jason “Twiggy” Lott, Ginger Williams-Cook and 555 Custom Salvage Designs. Free; call 601-9601515; Messiah’s Mansion Exhibit Aug. 23, 1 p.m.-7 p.m., Aug. 24, 1 p.m.-7 p.m., Aug. 25, 1 p.m.-7 p.m., Aug. 26, 1 p.m.-7 p.m., Aug. 27, 1 p.m.7 p.m., at College Drive Church (110 College Drive, Pearl). See a full-scale model of the ancient Hebrew tabernacle that was created during the times of Moses. Free; call 601-506-9750; email; Check for updates and more listings, or to add your own events online. You can also email event details to to be added to the calendar. The deadline is noon the Wednesday prior to the week of publication.

On our Benches Every Fan Is Welcome Sunday Services 10:30 am & 6:00pm 650 E.South Street • Jackson • 601.944.0415 Sunday Services: 10:30am & 6:00pm

St. Alexis

Episcopal Church

*&0 30/.3/2%$%6%.43



Chasing Edom Grows ‘High Cotton’ by Micah Smith


f Chasing Edom’s debut full-length “High Cotton,” tells us one thing, it’s that the Brandon, Miss., natives know their strong suits and how to use them. Despite brief bouts of rougher terrain, “High Cotton” proves that waiting can be a great thing. The recording process for “High Cotton” was a perfect storm of hardship and hard work, though you wouldn’t know that from the album’s general optimism. In previous years, Chasing Edom recorded two EPs without success, shelving both outings. As the original band members finished their senior years at Northwest Rankin High School, they planned to embark on a reluctant third attempt at recording, until guitarist-vocalist Brennan White, 19, received a surprise graduation gift. White’s grandmother, Robby Poirier, gave him $5,000 worth of recording equipment, and suddenly “High Cotton” became a possibility. She knew that her grandson had been toying with recording techniques and that the band couldn’t afford the typical studio route. Sadly, she passed away before White completed production of the album, but her support delivered the most faithful representation of Chasing Edom to date. One positive observation of the album is that it doesn’t betray its budget. While the band handed mastering duties to Nashville’s Sage Audio, White, bassist-vocalist Aaron Thomas, 19, drummer Will Jacob, 19, guitarist Heath Walt, 18, and synth-percussionist Hunter Walt, 18, handled all mixing and engineering in-house. Naturally, this leaves room for a few teething troubles, with some flawed vocal choices on “I’ll Be Your Sea” and “Open Space,” but these are rare.

Chasing Edom shows its true colors in the band’s first full-length release “High Cotton.”

When the songwriting is at its best, “High Cotton” exhibits the group’s most commendable qualities: strong choruses and strong southern influence. The two factors often go hand-in-hand, such as in “Shoot Fire in the Morning” and the bouncy, twang-tinged single “Build a House.” The group excels at writing singable songs that, while not overly familiar, invite comparisons to forebears John Mayer and the Dave Matthews Band. Like Chasing Edom, these artists have dabbled in the southern sound and benefit from a healthy dose of pop sensibility. Unfortunately, they also bring their own brand of musical baggage to the table, habits which Chasing Edom has adopted. Eccentricities can be vital in building a band’s persona, but these elements can be easily overused or used poorly. Chasing Edom incorporates Dave Matthews’ rapid-fire lyrics, but that can be a turn-off for some listeners. Likewise, the rap segment of “To Be So Much” and the introductory shout in “Build a House” and “Woman Named Summer” will likely turn more listeners away than keep them.

This is where Chasing Edom most profits from its dual lead vocalists White and Thomas. The shifts keep “High Cotton” fresh and prevent one component from returning too frequently. Thomas’ breathier delivery is best suited for singer-songwriter-style tracks such as “Matches” and “To Be So Much,” and White’s punchier pop vocals shine when applied to memorably melodic fare like “Figure It Out” and “Starkville.” With all of the pieces at play, “High Cotton” is a Jenga tower taken to its last potential move, one that could easily have toppled. The reason that major labels shell out major amounts of cash to experienced producers is that recording, in many ways, is more difficult than writing music. Sure, it makes sense that no one could envision Chasing Edom’s music as well as it could, but actually making that vision a reality is another story. Like the album’s cash-crop namesake, I expect Chasing Edom will get better with age. Chasing Edom performs at the Ole Tavern on George Street (416 George St., 601-960-2700) at 10 p.m., Aug. 22. “High Cotton” is available now through all major digital retailers.

Vacationer Sighs with ‘Relief’ by Micah Smith

August 14 - 20, 2013


it’s still a surprise to hear Vasoli’s signature sound applied to a more tranquil type of COURTESY DOWNTOWN RECORDS


any music listeners like myself came into their own during what I refer to as “The Drive-Thru Era”— the period in which California record label Drive-Thru Records pumped out a steady stream of pop-punk, emo and indie artists such as Something Corporate, Hellogoodbye and The Starting Line. It’s the latter of those bands that came to mind as I worked my way through “Relief,” the newest full-length album from Brooklyn, N.Y., and Philadelphia, Pa.based island-wave band Vacationer. Both The Starting Line and Vacationer share a vocalist and bassist in frontman Kenny Vasoli, but where The Starting Line began early in the singer’s high-school years and featured oft-sappy love songs and tales of teen angst, Vacationer sees a now-adult Vasoli indulge in dreamy electronic layering and beach-party drum beats. Even after achieving a level of success with Vacationer’s 2012 album “Gone,”

In the band’s newest release,Vacationer perfects its signature sound with music that some will find tranquil and others dull.

music. But allowing his sound and image to mature with age is possibly the smartest thing he could do. I first became aware of Vacationer through the web program Audiotree Live, which introduces viewers to new artists through in-studio performances and intermittent interviews with one of Audiotree’s hosts. The band’s live set was impressive,

as members employed three-part harmonies and an impeccable sense of dynamic. Thankfully, these elements from the live show cross over into “Relief.” While hardcore fans of Vasoli’s earlier offerings will likely feel cold toward the settling rhythms found in “Relief,” the album is nonetheless a nice turn for Vacationer, one that manages to differentiate every song in its 12-track runtime, a difficult feat when the music falls into such a specific category. At the same time, it’s worth noting that there’s a time and a place for the permanently peaceful songwriting that Vacationer has to offer and, thus, “Relief” lacks some of the longevity one might want in a music purchase. Several tracks stand high above the matte dreamscape that is characteristic of the genre, all for varying yet equally good reasons. The opener, “Stay,” feels like waking up late on a Saturday morning, complete with layers of chipper xylophone and rise-and-shine flute for texture. In contrast, “Fresh” bears

an atmosphere that begs for insertion into a sunset in a surf movie, with a bass line that flows freely underneath a peppy, rhythmic guitar riff. And in an accidental completion of the band’s dawn-to-dusk composition, the song “Parallel” is the shuffling anthem of evening that “Relief” demanded, slathered in the sweet wistfulness that appears lightly throughout the album. Vacationer occupies a niche, one that won’t please every listener. While, in my eyes, the band crafts a great set of party music that combines both fun and relaxing energy, I can easily see it falling on the other side of the fence for some. Its regular use of synths certainly does not equate to “dance music.” It is also far less frenetic than Vasoli’s fans might anticipate, even more than Vacationer’s last record. For those in need of a calming musical alternative after a hectic workday, however, Vacationer is certain to offer just that. Vacationer’s “Relief is now available through all online music retailers. For more information, check out


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1046 Warrenton Road â&#x20AC;˘ Vicksburg, MS 39180 â&#x20AC;˘ 601-634-0100 Must be 21 or older to enter casino. Management reserves all rights to alter or cancel promotion at any time without notice. Gambling problem? Call 1-888-777-9696. Š2014 Riverwalk Casino â&#x20AC;˘ Hotel. All rights reserved.

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As low as $20! HELP WANTED







Post an ad at






call 601-3626121, ext. 11 or fax to 601-5109019. Deadline: Mondays at noon.


Mangie Bene Catering, Walkers Drive-In & Local 463 Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association Capital City Beverages, Chef Nick Wallace Musician James Martin, and many more

August 20 - 26, 2014

ALL HAVE IN COMMON? They use the


service for their web and mobile sites! To learn more, visit, call 601-362-6121 x17 or write to learn how you can get started NOW on a customer-focused, affordable, revenue-generating, easy-to-update Web and Mobile website!

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Pub Quiz


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with Comic Commander


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with Matt Collette

Open Mic with Jason Bailey


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Happy Hour!

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


Enjoy Our New




advertise here starting at $75 a week


getting it daily?

+ • events • sports • music


3139 N State St, Jackson, MS 39216 WWW.PIGANDPINT.COM







605 Duling Ave. Jackson, MS




$12 A MONTH!

Valarie German

(601)613-8100 FREE ONLINE QUOTES!

Kickboxing Fitness Class

Every Monday at 6:30 $30 for 8 Weeks OR $5 Drop In


Landlords don’t cover your personal property!

news as it occurs

601.362.6121 x11

Mini Bottles for Every Taste

open u n t i l 10

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/223%)4,506-/1 ;<!6=>;6?@<@





• Full Service • Financing on Major Repairs Available • Windshield Repair • $30 Oil Change for New Customers




2603 N. State Street Across from UMC

Not just useful to the police. !"#$%&%'&(#%&)*%$+,-..%/&01%2+%3,4/%5,)6%(7%2/+,.*%81%&%4#(319:


v12n50 -JFP 2014 College Football Preview  

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