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vol. 15 no. 2


September 14 - 20, 2016 | daily news at jfp.ms

DA GOING TOO FAR? Summers Jr, p 8

PRIDE, POST 9/11 McLemore, p 13

CLOUDS & CRAYONS Smith, p 27





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September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms


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JACKSONIAN Elaine Maisel


rom crafting matching outfits for her Barbie dolls as a child to painting gnomes for her garden as an adult, Elaine Maisel’s fascination with the miniature world has manifested itself in some way or another throughout her life. It is not surprising, then, that she left her job at Mississippi State University as a music professor to pursue art and music full-time. Her most-known works are her painted feathers, which she does under the name “Feathermore.” After purchasing the material or receiving donated feathers, Maisel paints small, detailed images on them. Some of her pieces include “Mississippi Magnolia,” a painting of a magnolia on a peacock wing feather; “It Came from the Deep,” a painting of a large pink octopus preparing to sink a ship on a parrot feather; and “The Man in the Moon,” an homage to the 1902 film “Le Voyage Dans La Lune.” She also puts her feather paintings in ornaments or on cards. Maisel, who grew up near Toledo, Ohio, spent her childhood summers in and around the South. After receiving her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in bassoon performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2004, Maisel moved to Mississippi, accepting a job at Mississippi State University. In April 2013, Maisel married her south Jackson native husband Ty Maisel, who, like his wife, plays with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. Maisel is also the statewide Carnegie Hall


Link Up Coordinator for the Mississippi Arts Commission. Link Up pairs students in grades three through five with orchestras to explore orchestral repertoire. While Maisel is not the first or only artist to paint on feathers, the art is uncommon enough that she only know of one other Mississippi artist who dabbles in the craft. “There’s a woman in Noxubee County who (paints on feathers), but she does turkeys and deer on turkey feathers,” Maisel says. In addition to feather painting, Maisel has several pursuits—each of which is artistic in nature. For example, she and her brother, Grant Gooding, are working on a book in which Maisel illustrates her brother’s poems. Maisel also takes photos of her miniature donkey figure, Honcho Poncho, and his best friend, Eleanor Rigby, a miniature dog figure, in various situations—like the dog posed next to a bassoon standing on “Eleanor Rigby” sheet music called, “They’re playing my song”; Honcho Poncho painting a Van Gogh-esque portrait of a donkey entitled “self-portrait”; or the donkey laying in a bed of roses, captioned “American Beauty.” (Use Instagram hashtag #honcho poncho to see more.) On art, Maisel says, “... One of the best pieces of advice I got was it takes you five years to figure out your style and logistics. I’m still trying to figure out my style,” she says. For more information about Elaine Maisel, visit elainemaisel.com. —Adria Walker

cover photo of Latasha Coleman and family by James Trimarco

10 Private v. Public Prisons

With the feds now phasing out private prisons, Mississippi is set to close one of its own in September.

22 What’s New in Jackson’s Restaurant Scene?

Fratesi’s has a new chef; Deep South Pops is opening a new location.

27 A ‘Love Soliloquy’ of Two Souls “It was kind of this awkward proposal where all that was missing was getting on one knee,” she says. “I was like, ‘Do you want to kind of be a band?’ And his answer was perfect. He said, ‘Only if we have weekly, consistent, rigorous practice.’” —Astin Sullivan, “A Two-Soul ‘Soliloquy’”

September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms

4 ........................publisher’s Note 6 ............................................ Talks 12 ................................. editorial 13 ..................................... opinion 14 ............................. Cover Story 22 ........................... food & Drink 24 ........................................ 8 Days 25 ....................................... Events 25 ...................................... sports 27 ........................................ music 27 ........................ music listings 29 ..................................... Puzzles 31 ........................................ astro 31 ............................... Classifieds

courtesy CLouds & Cryaons; Emmi Sprayberry; Zeakky Kvng

September 14 - 20, 2016 | Vol. 15 No. 2



by Todd Stauffer, Publisher

Looking for Leaders, Equitable Thinking


or years, I figured I’d like to go through Leadership Greater Jackson, but it “wasn’t the year” for me—not enough time to commit or money or both— but this year, when I learned someone was willing to nominate me, I asked around and got good feedback from former participants, so I took the plunge. LGJ is something I’ve been hearing about for the 15 years I’ve been in Jackson. The program is designed to expand the horizon of business professionals, business owners, attorneys, lobbyists, and a few present or future political types by building camaraderie within the class. It exposes class members to leadership training and then educates them on different aspects of public life in metro Jackson, from the economy to race relations to criminal justice and entrepreneurship. So, I’m in Leadership for 2016-17. And as part of that, I hopped on a bus with 40 fellow classmates this past Friday and, once loaded up, we headed for Memphis and our opening retreat. I waited long enough to try LGJ that I imagine I’m now one of the older members of the group, which is populated mostly by 20- and 30-something professionals from throughout the metro. Over the course of our retreat, we had opportunities to get to know one another— the “ice breakers” on the bus, some communications sessions in the retreat conference space, fun times at the Itta Bena restaurant and the hotel’s roof-top bar—and I already stand in awe of some of the folks I got to meet and have conversations with. Many of these people are engaged and committed to serious work both in the metro and on their own improvement—I’ve probably encountered more MBA-seekers and multi-organization office-holders in the past two days than I have in any 48-hour period previous to it. One part of the retreat included a struc-

tured “sharing” exercise about the hardships and privileges that each of us felt had gotten us to the place we are today. While those stories are confidential (and were shared in a “safe place”—a place that more people should spend time in around metro Jackson to discuss race, privilege, communication and to address conflict), I can say that, broadly speaking, it was really surprising to realize how many people have faced and are overcoming immense hardship. Likewise, it was liberating for some

privilege in my education. As I was finishing third grade, I was invited to attend an academic magnet school for fourth through sixth grade. I’d been pegged as “bright” (a fortunate thing for me) and “restless” (accurate), and the solution was stronger academics. I would be bussed to K.B. Polk, an elementary school about 20 minutes away over in northwest Dallas, seemingly far, far from my neighborhood school and most of my friends. Polk, in a majority-African

I never personally worried about the roof over my head or the food on the table. others to recognize the privileges they’ve had in life and, once acknowledged, realize that others are deserving of similar opportunities. Something that the Leadership Greater Jackson retreat brought home for me personally is to realize that—regardless of the things that I worry over as a business owner like the state of the bank accounts, the happiness of the team, struggles with sales, or revenue or product launches—I’ve been very privileged in my life and career. Yes, my parents divorced when I was at a young age, and there was some strife and struggle and insecurity. But I never personally worried about the roof over my head or the food on the table—in some ways I grew up too quickly, but in most respects I got to be a kid. When it was my turn to talk during Leadership (I can violate my own confidence, right?), I told the story of something I’ve come to realize was an extraordinary

American neighborhood near Love Field, surprised me when I rode up to in the bus that first day. Coming from well-manicured north Dallas, I can still remember seeing my first shotgun house, not to mention houses with boards up or cars in the yard. To the extent that a 10-year-old can wonder about such things, I was a little apprehensive about where this bus was headed. Looking back, there are many things I treasure about the experience—and a few fights, slights and other mistakes I still regret. But the thing that I most appreciate from the experience was the privilege I had in experiencing leadership from people of different backgrounds, ethnicities and experiences. The administration of K.B. Polk was largely black, the librarians I remember were black, the hall proctors and coaches and kitchen staff were largely black or Latino. I had black and Latino teachers, as well as white teachers, and they worked together to

craft a challenging curriculum that kept me busy and engaged. I still think back on that education and thank them for it. Why? Aside from exciting academics and the opportunity to work creatively on projects and papers at an early age, my experience in grade school fundamentally taught me that people who didn’t look exactly like me could be tremendous leaders. It was reinforced to me at an early age that it really was about the character and capacity of the individual that you’re dealing with, and not the color of their skin or their ethnic or national background, or the area where they grew up. But then there was that drive through Polk’s neighborhood every day. That’s where I came viscerally to understand that, for some of us, privilege gives us access to a playing field—level or not—that some folks can’t even get up onto. And that equity of access is a critical issue in today’s America and a direct product of our history. Yes, success and leadership are about individual grit and character—but equity is about making sure that historical impediments to success are overcome as a community so that everyone with that grit, determination and character gets their chance on the dance floor. We need both an equity focus and better leadership in Jackson, something I have a feeling we’ll be exploring throughout the year in our 30th Anniversary Leadership Greater Jackson class. Through our public events and by supporting individual members of the class, I encourage you to participate and, if we’re lucky, we’ll all get some better leadership— and equitable thinking—for metro Jackson in the near future. Todd Stauffer is the president and publisher of the Jackson Free Press. Email him at todd@jacksonfreepress.com.

September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms



Adria Walker

Arielle Dreher

Tim Summers Jr.

Imani Khayyam

Micah Smith

Dustin Cardon

Tyler Edwards

Mary Osborne

Former Editorial Assistant Adria Walker likes existentialism and astrophysics. She enjoys debating about “Star Wars,” reading Camus, Kafka and Kundera, and learning about people’s belief systems. She wrote about Elaine Maisel.

News Reporter Arielle Dreher is working on finding some new hobbies and adopting an otter from the Jackson Zoo. Email her story ideas at arielle@jacksonfreepress.com. She wrote about the private versus public prisons debate.

City Reporter Tim Summers Jr. enjoys loud live music, teaching his cat to fetch, long city council meetings and FOIA requests. Send him story ideas at tim@ jacksonfreepress.com. He wrote about Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith

Staff Photographer Imani Khayyam is an art lover and a native of Jackson. He loves to be behind the camera and capture the true essence of his subjects. He took photos for the issue.

Music Editor Micah Smith is married to a great lady, has two dog-children named Kirby and Zelda, and plays in the band Empty Atlas. Send gig info to music@jacksonfreepress. com. He wrote about Clouds & Crayons.

Web Editor Dustin Cardon is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. He enjoys reading fantasy novels and wants to write them himself one day. He wrote about restaurant news in Jackson.

New Events Editor Tyler loves film, TV and all things pop culture. He’s a Jackson native and will gladly debate the social politics of comic books. He compiled event listings. Send him listings at events@ jacksonfreepress.com.

Sales Assistant Mary Osborne is a Lanier Bulldog by birthright and a JSU Tiger by choice. She is the mother of Lindon “Joc” Dixon. Her hobbies include hosting and producing “The Freeda Love Show,” which airs on PEG 18.







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September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms

NU CORP October 28


“I am frustrated that I can’t trust that if we did this option of a higher tax increase that it would result in the money being properly managed and spent to better the city.” — Ward 2 Councilman Melvin Priester Jr.

Friday, September 9 Donald Trump appears on a Russiafunded television network to say that “it’s probably unlikely” that Russia is trying to influence the U.S. election days after Trump complimented Putin for having “great control over his country” in a televised forum on national security. Saturday, September 10 More than 100 people gather in Fondren for the 2016 Improving Birth Rally and Family Expo to advocate for access to vaginal birth after cesarean for Mississippi women.

September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms

Sunday, September 11 A combination of pneumonia and overheating results in Hillary Clinton fainting and being taken away from a Sept. 11 memorial event by aides.


Monday, September 12 An arsonist sets fire to the mosque once attended by Omar Mateen, the man who carried out the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, a day after the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. ... Special Judge Larry Roberts orders all the documents related to the case against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith unsealed. Tuesday, September 13 A runoff in a special election for the District 72 House seat is held between Debra Gibbs and Synarus Green for Rep. Kimberly Campbell’s seat. Get breaking news at jfpdaily.com.

by Tim Summers Jr.


eborah Williams, a 911 dispatcher with the City of Jackson, spoke before the Jackson City Council on Sept. 2, admonishing the administration for freezing 11 vacant positions in her department. “We are the first responders. We are the first to provide assistance to the citizens when they need help,” Williams said. “Being adequately staffed should lower the potential for mishaps, and the quality of service would not be compromised for the citizen or the officers in the field.” These freezes across the City administration, she said, with only five vacant dispatch positions to be filled, increases the chances for accidents and—in this trying economic time for the municipality—makes Jackson woefully at risk for more lawsuits. “Understaffing is a risky business,” Williams said. Raising Taxes The council decided on Sept. 2 to raise the millage rate for Jackson taxpayers by 3 mills and that the dispatch positions will stay frozen, the latest indicator of the poor health of the City’s finances. “One mill,” a resource sheet from the state’s department of revenue explains, “is equal to 1/1,000 of a dollar,” so $1 in taxes is levied for every $1,000 of value. The county tax assessor’s office uses state-outlined rules to determine the “true value” of the property, from which they calculate the “assessed value,” usually 15 percent of the true value. “For instance,” the state’s resource ex-

AP/Denis Poroy; courtesy Bob Ross; Aaron Robert Kathman; Michael Vadon; Imani Khayyam; US Senate; courtesy Patriots

Thursday, September 8 SchoolDigger.com, a popular school-ranking website, rates Davis Magnet International Baccalaureate Elementary School the best elementary school in the state of Mississippi. … U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves dismisses Grenadabased attorney Carlos Moore’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Mississippi state flag, but leaves the door open for similar lawsuits in the future.

Where Did the City Tax Revenue Go? plains, “if the millage rate for your area is 100 mills, you would pay $100 for every $1,000 of assessed value. If your property’s

to 61.03 mills, an increase over which council members expressed displeasure. “In every instance where we have falImani Khayyam

Wednesday, September 7 Gov. Phil Bryant announces he is cutting $56.8 million from the $5.8-billion budget to make up for an accounting error. … Attorney General Jim Hood announces that a Hinds County grand jury has indicted District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith on two felony charges of conspiring with an assistant DA to hinder prosecution of a defendant.

The federal government is pulling back use of private prisons. pg 10

Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon said during the Sept. 2 meeting that the citizens and employees of the City of Jackson bear the consequences when the city “falters” and that taxpayers and employees have to “pick it up.”

true value was $10,000, and the assessment ratio was 15 percent, your tax would be calculated as $10,000 x 15 percent = $1,500 of assessed value. $1,500 x 100 mills (100 mills = 100/1000 = 10 percent) = $150.” So then, in the case of a property with a true value of $100,000, meaning the assessed value would be $15,000, the 3-mill increase would result in an additional $45 a year. This brings the City’s millage rate for next year up

tered, the taxpayers have had to pick it up, and our employees have to pick it up,” Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon said during the Sept. 2 meeting. Ward 2 Councilman Melvin Priester Jr. warned that the City would still have to manage the funds from the higher taxes better than they have in the past. more REVENUE, see page 9

While San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is making headlines with his protest of the National Anthem, he’s also attracting nods of approval of his powerful afro. Bob Ross, the TV artist famous for his “happy trees,” had a curly afro for years, but his hair was actually naturally straight, believe it or not.

Colin Kaepernick to Tom Brady by JFP Staff

Former president of NAACP in Spokane, Wash., and alleged black woman Rachel Dolezal (she’s actually white) has had every style from a kinky-curl fro to dreads to braids and was recently asked to speak at a natural hair rally in Dallas. It is widely believed that she also darkened her skin. Donald Trump, however, has had the same red-blonde comb-over for years—and is no stranger to a fake tan himself, even if it’s more on the orange end of the scale. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s thick, longish hair might be what Trump actually aspires to, even if Hood is one of his hated Democrats. Also a Democrat, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s hair is kind of Hood’s hair, perhaps with less product. Twitter recently accused Patriots quarterback Tom Brady of talking to the press with a new “Elizabeth Warren” ‘do.

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TALK | courts

The DA’s Role in Freeing Defendants by Tim Summers Jr.


‘Serious Violations’ The grand jury included one of Smith’s assistant district attorneys, Jamie McBride, in its Sept. 7 indictment. The two are charged with conspiring to free Butler, resulting in the two felony counts of Hindering the Prosecution in the First Degree, a charge punishable with up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 for each count. They also each face the misdemeanor

charge of consulting and aiding a defendant, which could cost Smith his position. Attorney General Jim Hood’s office presented its case against Smith and McBride before the grand jury last week. “As a former district attorney, I have the utmost respect for the work our district attorneys do every day to make Mississippi a safer place to live. They are my colleagues in the fight against crime,” Attorney General Hood said in an emailed statement. “So it brings me no pleasure to prosecute one of our own. But a Hinds County grand jury has indicted Mr. Smith for serious violations of the law that hamper the ability of our criminal justice system to do its job.” McBride’s name popped up last in the ongoing DA saga in an Aug. 18, 2016, affidavit he had penned at the request of Jim Waide, Smith’s defense attorney. Waide then used McBride’s letter in an Aug. 19, 2016, court filing to support his claim that the attorney general’s office had only charged Smith out of fear that he would subpoena and indict two assistant attorneys general, Patrick Beasley and Shaun Yurtkuran, who were at that time in the process of prosecuting Butler for mail fraud and embezzlement at Mega Mattress in west Jackson. Yurtkuran has since left the attorney general’s office and now works as an attorney in the Holmes County DA’s office, and has declined comment. Beasley did not return calls for comment by press time. In the affidavit, McBride states that Beasley and Yurtkuran had called him in June 2016 because they had heard a rumor that the DA was going to try to indict them in the upcoming grand-jury convening, and

‘Stay Tuned’: Judge Unseals Mystery Documents

September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms



he saga around District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith may get a bit less mysterious this week. On Monday, Sept. 12, Special Judge Larry Roberts ordered all the documents related to the case against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith unsealed, and set hearing dates to settle motions with a tentative trial date of Dec. 19, 2016. The DA’s attorney, Jim Waide, promises that the unsealed files will prove that “Smith has not, in fact, committed any inappropriate actions with respect to criminal defendants, and indicates the nature of matters that Smith was lawfully investigating, to include matters involving charges of misconduct by state officials.” “Stay tuned,” Smith told television cameras and the public in response to the information contained within the documents. Roberts held a hearing the afternoon of Monday, Sept. 12, to decide the merit of the several motions The Clarion-Ledger filed to unseal documents related to the charges against Smith. The judge determined that his authority, handed to him from the Mississippi Supreme Court, allowed him to also rule on the sealing of other related cases, including the especially mysterious case, No. 16-120. In the end, seven total files are set to be released to the public, pending the judge’s signature on the actual order to unseal, which The Clarion-Ledger’s attorneys had still yet to pen by press time. The Jackson Free Press will obtain and publish copies as they are released at jfp. ms/documents and jfp.ms/DAFiles. –Tim Summers Jr.

McBride said he had not heard that. His affidavit did not say whether either party had an idea why Smith would try to indict them. “I told Patrick (Beasley) that I had participated in a meeting earlier that day, that I believed I was aware of Robert (Smith)’s concerns regarding the Butler case and that to

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith is accused of illegal actions in trying to help free a man accused of various charges. Is he going too far?

my knowledge none of those concerns had anything to do with him,” McBride wrote. McBride said that Smith, Assistant District Attorney Ivon Johnson, another ADA and an investigator were also at that meeting. Later, on July 15, federal authorities charged Johnson  with taking bribes to influence a case and later arrested Rev. Robert Henderson  for offering Johnson a bribe. Johnson soon turned over recordings of conversations with Smith to the attorney general about trying to help Butler. Waide said in a Sept. 9 interview that he believed the inclusion of McBride in the indictment to be in response to that affidavit. “In my opinion, it’s to retaliate. In my opinion, that’s why (McBride) is a part of it, in retaliation for the affidavit,” Waide said. Role of the DA Waide differentiates what his client has allegedly done to help Butler from the actions of a regular attorney. “District attorneys or prosecutors are not under the same standards as defense or criminal lawyers,” Waide said. “A district attorney has a duty not to pursue a case, for example, if he thinks there’s been some governmental or state misconduct.” “It’s not like you have to be on the side of prosecutors or the side of law enforcement. That’s not the way it is supposed to work,” he added. One of the problems, though, is that this type of situation has little or no precedent, Waide said. “I don’t see in cases in Mis-

sissippi where that statute has ever been used, about advising criminals by a DA, nor do I see a similar statute in any state,” he said. “There would be some question about the constitutional validity of that statute, and Robert will have to decide if we are going to challenge that or try to go to trial as quickly Imani Khayyam

ast week, a Hinds County grand jury indicted District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, along with one of his assistant district attorneys, for felony charges for hindering the prosecution of Christopher Butler, essentially replacing the State’s earlier misdemeanor charges against the DA, which were dropped earlier the same week. The 39-year-old Butler is in jail for recent wire fraud and embezzlement charges, with years-old drug charges still pending. So far, Smith has alleged that he is working to expose possible misconduct by public officials when it came to the prosecution of Butler. The State of Mississippi claims that Smith has tried to help Butler by violating rules against visiting defendants outside the presence of his counsel, seeking and conferring with defense attorneys, and by putting public and private pressure on judges in cases related to Butler—accusations that brought him a reprimand from the Mississippi Bar after three judges reported his actions. The question remains: Can a district attorney be justified of stepping outside the letter of the law and standard, ethical practice in his pursuit of what he alleges is justice for who he believes is an innocent man?

as possible,” Waide added in the interview. Benjamin Cooper, a law professor who specializes in legal studies and professionalism in the University of Mississippi law school, said the role of the prosecutor differs greatly from that of the typical lawyer. “In essence, the core of our system is an adversarial process, where each side presents their evidence to the best of their ability, and that gets up the best outcome,” Cooper told the Jackson Free Press. “It is the role of the attorney to be an adversary in the system and represent their client.” “But the prosecutor plays a special role in our system, and the prosecutor’s role is slightly different, because the prosecutor’s concern is not ‘winning,’” Cooper explained. “The prosecutor’s role is to make sure that the right person goes to jail.” Still, the question of just how far a Mississippi district attorney can go to free someone he claims is innocent is still fuzzy and may ultimately depend on the outcome of the case against Smith. Attorney General Jim Hood declined comment, citing rules that disallow the State from responding to defense arguments before a case goes to trial. Email city reporter Tim Summers Jr. at tim@jacksonfreepress.com. Read more about the DA saga at jfp.ms/DAFiles and see all documents at jfp.ms/documents. Follow tims_alive on Twitter for breaking news in the case.

TALK | state

When State Agencies Lose Their People by Arielle Dreher

REVENUE from page 6 “I think one of the temptations would be to raise the tax rate higher, but we haven’t seen anything from the management end to make us believe that if we raise the tax rate even higher on people that it would actually go to the right places,” he said during the meeting before the increase was passed. “I am frustrated that I can’t trust that if we did this option of a higher tax increase that it would result in the money being properly managed and spent to better the city.” Priester’s comments were met with applause from the gallery and even some of the council members themselves. “No more of this back and forth,” Priester continued. “Just get us the numbers so that we can start to truly end the furlough and get to a 7.5-percent reserve. We’ve got no choice.”


A ‘Revolving Door’ Other agencies share the Department of Health’s struggle. At the Mississippi Department of Transportation, employees in their first five years have a tendency to leave at exponentially higher rates than those who make it past the five-year mark. The maintenance staff—entry-level workers in the agency who mow the lawns, fix the guardrails and keep the roadways safe—make up 57 percent of the agency’s resignations in the past five years. Melinda McGrath, the executive director of the department, told lawmakers last week that hiring those maintenance workers is like the department has “a revolving door.” “We hire these people and train them with a skill set, and we help them get their commercial driver’s license, but because pay is not commiserate with what they can get with other (companies) in the private sector or counties, or cities or whatever—they leave,” McGrath said. Maintenance Tech 1 salaries start at $19,345 annually. A 2016 Stennis Institute study found this salary to be grossly below the industry standard. The study surveyed several southern states’ transportation departments as well as mu-

nicipalities and counties throughout the state that employed maintenance workers MDOT would want to hire. The study looked at maintenance and equipment operator roles only. “MDOT salaries were found to be well below the survey

Mississippi Department of Transportation Executive Director Melinda McGrath told lawmakers that maintenance workers are leaving her department for better pay with cities, counties and the private sector.

mean in all positions, throughout all scenarios,” the study’s researchers said. House Transportation Committee Chairman Charles Busby, R-Pascagoula, asked McGrath last week if it was pos-

However, Jackson’s city millage isn’t the full rate that Jackson property owners pay. Hinds County Tax Assessor Charles Stokes explained on Sept. 7 that the total millage rate is added up from several different tax rates: the city rate, the county rate and the school-district rate. As of press time, and pending any changes by the county, the total millage for a Jackson property owner is 183.95 mills, Stokes said, which includes the county’s 38.33 mills, the city’s 61.03 and the school district’s 84.59 mills. Using the earlier example of a $100,000 true value and a 15-percent assessed value, the current total taxes would be $2,759.25. Where’s the Money? But where did the tax revenue go and did the City have to make up for the $500,000 shortfall? Stokes told the Jackson Free Press that tax revenue is dropping mostly due to property coming off the tax rolls,

sible for her department to use the same amount of dollars, giving them to fewer employees by raising salaries and still complete the work that needed to be done. McGrath said that could be a possibility in the maintenance tech department, especially if the department could avoid the compliance language the State Personnel Board sets for agencies. Lawmakers asked all state agency heads about the State Personnel Board—and if being removed from the board would help their agency raise salaries or hire the quality of workers that they needed. The State Personnel Board, or MSPB, functions like a human-resources agency for state departments, recruiting and reviewing applicants for state jobs and ensuring that federally required standards are met. The board also makes annual salary realignment recommendations to the Legislature. A representative from the board was not available to speak with the Jackson Free Press by press time and opted to email a statement regarding the process for salary scales. The Legislature set current salaries and ranges in 2007 when lawmakers approved the board’s recommendations for salary realignment. “If the Legislature funds MSPB’s recommendations, the salary ranges are updated. If the Legislature does not fund MSPB’s recommendations, an agency with a critical need to realign a certain job class can currently make a request to MSPB to correct the salary range,” the emailed statement from MSPB says. “However, MSPB’s ability to authorize correcting the range is contingent upon the agency having sufficient funding from the Legislature to actually pay for the increase.” ‘Fast-food’ Wages The lowest-paid state workers often work more than one job. In the Department of Mental Health, the entry-level “boots on the ground” direct-care workers have a 48-percent turnover rate in the agency.

which can happen for a variety of reasons. “Either the businesses are leaving or closing,” Stokes said, explaining that some classes of property are exempt from taxes, including churches. “If you drive around Jackson, you see a lot of abandoned buildings and churches.” Stokes said that out of the 71,350 parcels within Jackson, 7,475 are not on the land roll, for a number of reasons. That includes state property, churches and abandoned property. The number, he said, might seem low but that together the value could be quite large. Total property tax revenue collected from Jackson dropped between September 2015 and September 2016 by almost $5 million, down to $54,317,424.65, although it is important to understand that the City does not receive all the collected monies. Some goes to the county, some to the state and some of it pays for the schools.

more AGENCIES, see page 11

Hinds County Tax Collector Eddie Fair said the same about the property issue but expanded the problem into the larger context of what is happening in Jackson. “The reason the taxes are dropping off in the City of Jackson is that many of the businesses you have in and around the city have left or closed down,” Fair said. “So when those big businesses leave, all of your taxes are gone,” Fair said, adding during a separate interview that while he didn’t have the exact percentage, he estimated the contribution from businesses to be significant. “What the City of Jackson needs to do is make sure that the businesses we have, we need to keep them, and the businesses out there, we need to recruit them.” “If we don’t do that kind of stuff, then the City of Jackson is going to continue to hurt,” Fair said. “Crime is high, education is low.” See more local news at jfp.ms/localnews.

September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms


he Mississippi Department of Health can have a hard time keeping nurses because they can earn more if they go to work for other hospitals, an attrition problem that afflicts many state agencies and, ultimately, Mississippi taxpayers. Dr. Mary Currier, the state health officer, told lawmakers Sept. 7 that her department’s turnover problem results from the salary scale the State Personnel Board sets and how much funding the department receives in the first place. “It hurts us to have nurses who come to work for us who then leave a year later because they found a job with a better salary,” Currier told a legislative working group last week. “Then you end up with a new employee you have to train all over again—and that’s expensive, so if we keep our employees longer, I think it would benefit everyone.”


TALK | state

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Narrowing the Private vs. Public Prison Debate by Arielle Dreher


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n May 2012, a correctional officer at the Adams County Correctional Center in Natchez died in a 250-inmate riot at the facility. Prisoners at the facility were upset with the low-quality food and medical care, as well as correctional officers they considered disrespectful. Prisoners held several staff members at the facility hostage, targeting some for beatings. Authorities blamed gangs for the uprising, but prisoners claimed all they wanted was respect, better food and amenities. A woman whose family member was in the facility told the Jackson Free Press in 2012 that not even animals were treated the way her family member had described the conditions there to her. Now, four years later, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has found that private prisons have higher rates of incident reports, contraband cellphone use, lockdowns and assaults in private prisons. That finding helped lead to the August announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice that the federal government will phase out contracts and eventually stop using private prisons. The announcement was significant, but not too substantial. Only 12 percent of the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate population is housed in 13 private prisons, including the Adams County Correctional Center in Mississippi, which the new mandate will affect. “[Private prisons] simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain

the same level of safety and security,” U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates wrote in an Aug. 18 letter to the acting director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The report comparing private and public prisons found that the latter have higher incidents of positive drug tests and sexual misconduct, however. Three corporations—Corrections Corporation of America, GEO Group, and the Management and Training Corporation— run the majority of federal- and state-level private prisons. The CCA runs the Adams County Correctional Center, while the Management and Training Corporation runs all private prisons in the state that hold Mississippians. The Management and Training Corporation disagreed with the DOJ’s findings. “If the DOJ’s decision to end the use of contract prisons were based solely on declining inmate populations, there may be some justification, but to base this decision on cost, safety and security, and programming is wrong. The facts don’t support the allegations as demonstrated below,” the corporation’s formal response on its website states. CCA did not respond to requests for comment by press time. Privates in Mississippi Even before the U.S. Department of Justice’s announcement, Mississippi’s private prison population was set to shrink. One of four private prisons in the state, the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility in Leake County, will close by the end of September. Walnut Grove and the East Mis-

sissippi Correctional Facility are both subjects of class-action lawsuits brought against the Mississippi Department of Corrections for alleged safety and security issues that have negatively affected inmates. MDOC Commissioner Marshall Fisher told lawmakers in late August that most inmates housed at MTC’s East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian have mental-health issues. The ACLU’s National Prison Project and the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit in May 2013 that alleges “barbaric and horrific conditions” there, including mice and rats in prison cells and violence among prisoners. MDOC has denied these allegations, and the case is still in the discovery phase. Fisher did not address the lawsuit specifically with lawmakers but did say that inmate mental health is “a serious problem” for his department. He estimated that around 17 percent of inmates in the State’s custody suffer from a mental illness. He said this is a problem for those who receive medical care when they’re in the facility, but then get off their medications after they are discharged. “So they’re getting out, and let’s say a person is bi-polar, and they hit the streets without their meds, and 30 days later, they can’t help it—they’re going to be right back in the system,” the MDOC commissioner told lawmakers in August. Walnut Grove had housed minors who were tried as adults for years until another SPLC lawsuit led to a settlement agreement to remove them from the facility. A Little Cheaper? Bureau of Prisons data show that private facilities are cheaper to operate and save taxpayer dollars. The same is true for Mississippi’s private prisons. At an August budget working-group meeting, MDOC’s Fisher told lawmakers that private prisons cost less per prisoner per day than state facilities—but not by much. He estimated that it costs about $49 per day to house an inmate at a state facility versus about $42 per day at a private facility, but

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because the state doesn’t pay for that private facility bed, that cost is almost a wash. Critics of private prisons say they are able to offer cheaper services to states and the Bureau of Prisons alike, because they’re bottom-line driven. Blake Feldman, advocacy coordinator at the ACLU of Mississippi, says private prisons save money because they provide as little as possible to inmates. “When one of these three private-prison corporations comes in and says they’ll do it for cheaper, they’re cutting corners that just cannot be cut,” Feldman said. Cutting back on costs can lead to problems with inmate safety and health like the higher rates of assault and contraband cellphone use in private prisons, as the BOP report found. Feldman said, ideally, the state-run system would focus on rehabilitation and

MDOC will not finish paying off bonds on the state’s private facilities until 2028. preparation for re-entry, but corporations ultimately must please their shareholders. To fund the state’s private prisons, the Mississippi Legislature enacted the Correctional Facilities Emergency Construction Fund in 1994 to authorize the building of private prisons in the state to deal with overcrowding issues. State law says that contracts for the construction, purchase or lease of a facility were not to exceed 20 years. Senate President Pro Tempore Terry Burton, R-Newton, who has been in the Legislature since 1992, asked about the state’s debt for private prisons. “(Back in 1994,) we had to do something; there was no choice,” Burton said at the work-group meeting in late August. “We

AGENCIES from page 9 The agency has about 2,900 direct-care workers, and Wendy Bailey, a bureau director at the department, told lawmakers they were the “heart of the agency.” The high turnover rate, Kelly Breland, another bureau director, said is likely from pay and conditions. Direct-care workers make $8.37 an hour, or an annual salary of $17,408. After the salary realignment, which will be implemented in the coming fiscal year, they would make $20,020. These employees work closely with patients in the state’s hospitals, a job Bailey says is difficult, with intense training and a stressful work environment. “You may have someone do this job temporarily and then go to work at a fast-food restaurant and make pretty much that (wage) if not more with a

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decided to do the private prisons, bonded them over 20 years, paid them off, and then they become state property. … How many of these bonds have we paid off?” “We still have a debt service,” Fisher responded. In fact, MDOC will not finish paying off bonds on the state’s private facilities until 2028. Mississippi’s four private prisons— including Walnut Grove—will cost the state $328.4 million by the time the state pays off those bonds. Despite its closure, MDOC will continue to put up bond payments for Walnut Grove; it will end up being the most expensive private prison in the state, costing $153.9 million once the bond is completely paid off. Not a Dime More Sen. Sean Tindell, R-Gulfport, asked Commissioner Fisher at the Aug. 23 working-group meeting about how much money the state saves by using private prisons. “Have you done any sort of breakdown on recidivism rates in private prisons, as far as how many of them (prisoners) are coming back there, compared to ones coming back to state-run facilities?” Tindell asked Fisher. Fisher did not have the breakdown in recidivism rates between public and private prisons, but the state’s total recidivism rate is around 31 percent, he said. About 18 percent of Mississippi prisoners are housed in private prisons, and that number will drop lower with the closure of Walnut Grove, which MDOC said had to close due to the state’s decreasing prison population and tight budget. “MDOC’s budget is lower than what we anticipated,” Fisher said in a June press release when he made the announcement.

less stressful job,” Bailey said about potential turnover. Breland said the pay for direct-care workers in the state is comparable to other states, but the high turnover rate can also come from the nature of the job. Bailey said it was not uncommon for direct-care workers to have another job, sometimes even two more. Other agencies, instead of looking to raise wages or salaries, have privatized entire sectors. Representatives from the Mississippi Department of Human Services recently privatized its entire child-support division, they told lawmakers last week. With the governor cutting most agencies’ budgets by 1.6 percent last week, agencies will have to consider where to take those cuts. Some agencies might be able to make the same amount of money work by hiring fewer people with higher expertise. While that may be possible at some agencies for some posi-

Most viral events at jfpevents.com: 1. CelticFest Mississippi, Sept. 9-11 2. Taste of West Jackson, Sept. 10 3. Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival, Sept. 17 4. Mississippi State Fair, Oct. 5-16 5. Dance Party, WonderLust, Saturdays Find more events at jfpevents.com.

“Pursuant to an intensive budget review and evaluation, we have determined this is the most prudent action. We have the space in our state-run prisons to house the 900 inmates at Walnut Grove.” Mississippi had the fifth-highest rate of incarceration in the country, based on 2014 Bureau of Justice statistics. But in that same year, lawmakers also passed House Bill 585, which dramatically changed the landscape for criminal justice in the state by allowing corrections resources to be used to help redirect prisoners to drug- and alcohol-treatment programs. Perhaps consequently, Mississippi’s prison population numbers dropped significantly in 2015. On Aug. 1, 2014, 20,632 prisoners were in MDOC’s custody—only a month after the bill became law. A year later, that number dropped to 18,780 prisoners. The trend has not continued into 2016, however. As of Aug. 1, 2016, 19,474 prisoners were in the state’s custody. “The more our population drops, we do have to consider lowering the amount of money that we’re spending on corrections,” Fisher told lawmakers last month. “But I think at the same time, we have to realize that just because we put someone on parole, there’s still a cost fixed to that.” Fisher told lawmakers that his department is working to increase the number of re-entry and rehabilitation programs, including partnerships with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. The commissioner mentioned Hattiesburg’s mental-health court, and recommended an increase in those programs. And as for budget concerns? “We’re not asking for a dime more,” Fisher said. Email state reporter Arielle Dreher at arielle@jacksonfreepress.com.

tions, like maintenance workers at MDOT, it is not replicable everywhere. On the other side of the agency spectrum, the new Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services is able to offer competitive salaries to its new social workers, largely because of the Legislature’s extra appropriation to comply with the “Olivia Y” lawsuit, originally filed in 2004 to force Mississippi’s foster-care system to adequately protect children in its custody and provide necessary services. David Chandler, executive director of the child protection agency, told lawmakers last week that he felt the pay was fair, and that hiring was actually ahead of schedule. The new department has hired 237 new social workers, as of last week, and only has to hire 48 more to meet its December target. For more state news visit jfp.ms/state. Email state reporter 11 Arielle Dreher at arielle@jacksonfreepress.com. September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms

TALK | state

Normalizing White Supremacy


pon reading an article that author David Edwards wrote about an interview on CNN where host Soledad O’Brien had a few things to say about the network “profiting off the hate speech that has fueled Donald Trump’s political rise,” I began to think. The article talks much about how Mr. Trump is allowing space for those who believe in white supremacy to discuss their beliefs and their political views. Now, as an woman of African descent, you would think that this would make me angry. It doesn’t, and here’s why. America is sick and has been for quite some time. It started with how we first acquired this land we call our great nation, and secondly, how we built upon it. In my opinion, this idea of “normalizing white supremacy” is a farce. Being an African American raised in Mississippi, white people have always seemed to have it better. Is that not the normal experience of anyone not white in America? But here’s the thing: As time has gone on, groups of women and men of various backgrounds have seen the need to push beyond those walls. For African Americans: the right to do things like eat and sleep where everyone else does. For women: the right to vote, to masturbate, to have an abortion. For the LGBT community: the right to marry and dilly whomever’s dally we choose and not have to dress a certain way to do it. With all these leaps and bounds we made cross-culturally, there’s always been something else to fix. But with any problem or with any group, we had to listen to each group in order to find an effective solution. Now, when discussing and referring to white supremacy, I believe many of you are watching for the parallels between Mr. Trump and one Adolf Hitler. There may be quite a few. I am not alarmed by this. “Why?” you ask. Everything is not always as it seems. I am unclear as to the foresight or the trajectory in which this train is heading, but in reading this article with an open mind, I thought that with healing this nation, the United States of America, it’s bound to get nasty. Just think of those disgusting videos of irrigating ear canals or popping one of those gnarly back zits. I view a lot of what is happening as simply bringing the infection to the surface so that we can actually clean the wound. Yes, this process must be monitored closely, as things could go in an even unhealthier direction, causing more damage than healing, but it needs to happen either way. I suggest removing some of the emotional attachment and fears we have about the proverbial “state of things” and ask ourselves, “What can we do to help?” Invariably, the unfounded beliefs that have created much of this problem will have to come to the surface. If they do not come to light, how else are we to fix it? What we presently have is what we’ve gotten thus far, with just relegating people with those beliefs as lesser. This has to get worse before it gets better, and I say that only because there are a lot of hurt feelings and misunderstandings that must be side-stepped in order to get this done (the healing of our country, not just this election). The article complained about “these people” being brought to the table, but honestly, it’s the first time I’ve seen us all here. It may be the last supper, but at least everyone is in attendance. Katherine E. Day, an author, filmmaker and designer, is native to Mississippi. She loves traveling, adventures and gardening.

September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms

It may be the last supper, but at least everyone is in attendance.


Don’t Let Up on the State Flag: It Must Change


ississippians have attempted to change the state flag in several venues: ballot initiatives, lawsuits and petitioning lawmakers to pass legislation. So far, nothing has worked. In the most recent state-flag news, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves dismissed a lawsuit filed by Grenada-based attorney Carlos Moore, who attempted to challenge the state flag based on his constitutional rights. We applaud his efforts, and while Moore’s case did not have standing in Reeves’ eyes, the veteran judge minced no words, giving perhaps one of the most eloquentyet-succinct accounts of the state and Confederate battle flag’s tainted, racist past. “To millions of people, particularly AfricanAmericans, the Confederate battle emblem is a symbol of the Old Mississippi—the Mississippi of slavery, lynchings, pain, and white supremacy,” Reeves writes in his opinion. “As Justice Fred Banks noted, the Confederate battle emblem ‘takes no back seat to the Nazi Swastika’ in its ability to provoke a visceral reaction. The emblem offends more than just African-Americans. Mississippians of all creeds and colors regard it as ‘one of the most repulsive symbols of the past.’” By press time, all but one public Mississippi university has officially decided to not fly the state flag, much to our governor’s chagrin. After opening Donald J. Trump’s Jackson campaign headquarters, Gov. Phil Bryant said he had a problem with Mississippi universities not observing the state law that demands similar respect for the state flag as for the

flag of the United States. (Note: the law doesn’t demand any public building to fly the state banner). In fact, several sectors, from public universities to religious organizations, choose not to fly the state flag. We are only embarrassing ourselves at this point—and running out of time. If Mississippi is to have a less embarrassing state banner by the Bicentennial celebration, which is only a little more than a year away, something needs to happen quickly—whether through legislative action, a ballot initiative or another lawsuit. Judge Reeves did not shut the door on the judiciary avenue to change the flag, despite denying Moore’s case. “The Confederate battle emblem has no place in shaping a New Mississippi, and is better left retired to history. For that change to happen through the judiciary, however, the Confederate battle emblem must have caused a cognizable legal injury,” Reeves writes. “In this case no such injury has been articulated. Whether that could be shown in a future case, or whether ‘the people themselves’ will act to change the state flag, remains to be seen.” As Reeves notes in his opinion, Mississippi was the second state to secede from the union— right behind South Carolina. It is long past the time for the state to follow South Carolina’s lead yet again and bring down that flag. Our delays are only cementing our image on the wrong side of history for years to come. We do not want to see the current state flag raised over the new Civil Rights Museum next year, and to prevent that from happening, change needs to come quickly.

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

Leslie McLemore II On Post-9/11 Unity

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ntering my junior year at St. Joseph Catholic High School, I thought I had life figured out. My goals included losing my virginity, convincing my parents to purchase a car for their son to assist in the loss of said virginity, and maintaining decent grades so I could get accepted to a four-year university. Unfortunately, my junior year was riddled with failure, as my virginity was still alive and well, and I continued hitching rides with friends whose parents clearly supported the death of their son’s virginity. However, my junior year shouldn’t be classified as a complete failure. I may have entered my senior year a car-less virgin, but I did obtain some semblance of patriotism. Like previous generations witnessing Pearl Harbor or the Kennedy assassination, my generation’s “A date that will live in infamy” event occurred during my junior year on September 11, 2001. When people recall the events of 9/11, they generally view it as a day of immense tragedy. Yes, heroic actions took place that no billiondollar comic-book movie will ever be able to emulate, but 9/11 is judged as a day rife with death, paranoia and fear. However, the days following 9/11 will always be looked upon as days of unity—as long as you were not “A-RAB,” “Muzzlim” or displayed “foreign” features, of course. Those were days that made me proud to be an American and wave the American flag, and they made me forget my skin was black. When suffering from shortterm amnesia that short-term patriotism caused, I grew comfortable. I quickly forgot the civil-rights books my pro-virgin parents encouraged (more like forced) me to read growing up, or the subtle racism I personally endured growing up in 1990s- and early 2000s-era Mississippi, or the fact that the very high school I was attending arguably chose to conduct a white-flight initiative by relocating from Jackson to Madison. Fifteen years ago, my deaf-tone singing voice was loud with American pride, as I recited the words to “America the Beautiful” or “God Bless America” on command, wondering to myself, “Wow, is this what white people feel like every day?!” The feeling of unity was like finally being accepted into a club I never thought I would be able to get into. Post-9/11 patriotism foolishly led me to believe that this short-term American unity was here to stay, and it would march us down a red, white and blue road to a post-racial utopia, filled with equity and

tiny American flags. Fifteen years later, the euphoria of short-term patriotism seems impossible to duplicate. Presently, many argue that a faction of American citizens around the country are sabotaging patriotism birthed from American propaganda by screaming “black lives matter,” kneeling during the national anthem, attacking nationalism by protesting xenophobia and challenging the male-privilege status quo that has occupied the highest office in our land since America’s inception. However, said faction can counterargue that the actions of those fighting for inclusivity and equality are not sabotaging patriotism, but attempting to promote it by proudly exercising constitutional liberties that were promised to them at birth. Therefore, if the criterion of American patriotism includes loving America blindly without challenging her faults, then post-9/11 patriotism may have not been applicable to all American citizens, including 16-year-old black virgins from Mississippi. Now that the post9/11 patriotism has worn off, hindsight allows some of us to view the unity of Sept. 12, 2001, as an ad hoc hypothesis or illusion. Years of American propaganda, including reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance” every morning and reading textbooks in history class that promoted America’s valor but hardly ever got around to explaining the country’s injustices, created this illusion. Many may argue that post-9/11 unity was the single greatest moment in American history; however, some may contend that it made a faction of us forget our true place in American society, while simultaneously viewing those who were “Middle Eastern-lookin’” with disdain and paranoia. Simply put, we forgot where we came from. In 2016, American ad hoc patriotism, like my 2001 virginity status, is alive and well. People still give “A-RABs” and “Muzzlims” the side eye in airports, Mexicans are rapist-murders who are stealing our jobs— hence why a great wall funded by Mexico must be built—and All Lives Matter was created in response to groups protesting that black lives matter. This is the America post9/11 patriotism was attempting to promote. Not the America full of unity and equality I foolishly thought it was promoting. What caused such foolish thinking? The virginity, of course. Leslie McLemore II is a Jackson native, now in Washington, D.C. He is a proud graduate of Jackson State, North Carolina Central University School of Law (J.D.) and American University Washington College of Law.

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Simply put, we forgot where we came from.

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The Delta region was one of the richest cotton-producing areas in the nation and entirely dependent on the labor of slaves, who comprised the vast majority of the population in these counties before the Civil War.

BANKING ON JUSTICE Climbing Out of Poverty in the Mississippi Delta Story and photos by James Trimarco


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atie Alexander’s one-story home in the little Mississippi town of Rolling Fork sits at the corner of Magnolia and Sidney Alexander streets. It is not a coincidence that her street shares her name. It used to be called Poplar Street, but it was renamed in 1989 to honor Katie’s father, a civil-rights organizer who had been registering African Americans to vote at the time of his murder in September 1970. He was a casualty in Mississippi’s notoriously bloody civil-rights struggle, shot to death in his home, just around the corner from where his daughter lives now. Alexander had seven brothers and sisters, most of whom eventually left Mis14 sissippi. But Katie never really considered

leaving. She says she needed to take care of her mother, and was too involved in her church to pull up stakes. So she stayed on in Rolling Fork, having a daughter, whom she raised as a single mom after her partner’s death from a heart attack. She took an office job with the municipal government and rented an apartment from a cousin. Now 59, Alexander says she has dreamed of buying a home for years. But, with an income of only $28,000 a year, her credit was a problem. She thought she would be rejected if she applied for a home loan, so she never tried. A couple of years ago, Alexander heard about financial literacy classes at the Bank of Anguilla. She’d dealt in the past with this particular bank, and it didn’t go well. About

30 years earlier, she had applied for a small loan there and was told she needed a cosigner, despite her savings. She withdrew all her money in anger. “I saw it as a farmers’ bank at that time,” she says—and not one particularly welcoming to African Americans. But the bank “changed its demeanor” over the years, Alexander says, and became a stronger ally to the black community. So she signed up for the five-week class. At first, the students gathered at a building owned by the county, then at a library, and finally at a church. Most of the students were black women in their 40s and 50s. They told the instructors horror stories about payday loans and debt collectors. Alexander’s problems were never that

bad. But she felt she was spending too much money and needed to establish credit. She says the class changed her habits, and she now saves $100 each month. The class also gave Alexander new relationships with bankers, some of whom attended each of the five class sessions. They decided that she qualified for a loan after getting to know her, despite her limited credit history. She had her eye on a house in town, so she sat down with Elise Cook, a loan officer, and worked out the details. In July 2015, her $39,000 loan was approved. Forty-five years after her father’s death, she owned a piece of the street named after him. A History of Unfairness In the Mississippi Delta, one of the poorest regions in the United States, buying a home is often out of reach. And lenders have a history of unfairness to African Americans. As a result, it’s been difficult for Delta residents to build any assets. But stories like Alexander’s are standing that history on its head. In a region where foundations are scarce and nonprofits lack resources, local banks and credit unions are increasingly helping poor residents escape poverty by providing credit, teaching the dangers of payday lending, and encouraging development of worker-owned cooperatives. Unless you live in the Delta, you probably won’t recognize the names of the financial institutions doing this work. That’s because America’s largest—banks like Citibank, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase—tend to avoid low-income customers, and rarely provide

September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms

service in rural areas. These banks exist to than any other state. Its financial ecosystem cial literacy class that led to Katie Alexan- “I was in the red zone all the way,” maximize profit for shareholders, and the is a unique place, where bankers and resi- der’s home loan, for example, was the result Coleman says of the months just before she small loans that Delta residents want are dents are coming to see one another as allies of a partnership between Guaranty Bank & signed up for Williams’ class. She tells of not particularly profitable. despite a difficult history. taking out a loan to pay a medical bill, then Trust and the Bank of Anguilla. To understand why, it helps to think It’s a window into what the United Back in 2012, Guaranty hired Clifton taking a second one to pay off the first one. like a banker. States might look like if the government Williams, a savvy Delta native who had She estimates that she was spending about All loans have overhead costs, in- actively recruited banks and credit unions worked for the Federal Deposit Insurance $2,000 a year on interest. cluding the salaries of the employees who as allies in the fight against poverty. After she finished the class, Coleman Corporation as a bank regulator for 34 process the loan. These costs are about the years, to handle community outreach. Wil- pledged to stay away from payday loans. same whether the loan is for $5 million or Unlikely Allies liams spent six months researching the lo- But she fell off the wagon. She decided to $50,000. Because the bank makes money If we don’t help our community, the cal situation and learned that about half of take the class over again. Now, she says she on the interest, the larger loan makes the community’s going to die,” says Huey Delta households had either spotty access hasn’t taken a payday loan in two years. bank much more money. It doesn’t help Townsend, the president and CEO of to banking services or none at all. That’s This education program isn’t the that loans to low-income people need cus- Guaranty Bank & Trust. His bank, estab- about double the national rate. only thing Guaranty has done to address tomization and planning to make sure they lished in 1943 to serve the credit needs of Low-income residents often needed its neighbors’ financial problems. A YES! don’t end up in default—the autoMagazine analysis of 2014 data remated systems that large banks rely ported under the Home Mortgage on won’t cut it. Disclosure Act reveals that Guar So bankers tend to turn down anty was among the top providers of loan applications from low-income home loans in the 13 Delta counties people. While they argue they’re just where poverty is a persistent probmaking good business decisions, the lem. Local CDFIs together made result is that it’s difficult for the poor fully a third of housing loans here, to accumulate wealth. while the large national banks that “In order to get from poverty to dominate home lending in most arthe middle class, you need a home eas made only a handful. and an education,” says Mehrsa Ba `What’s remarkable about the radaran, a law professor at the Uniloans community banks are makversity of Georgia and author of a ing here isn’t necessarily low interest book on the history of banking. “To rates—the rates are mostly standard. get those, you need credit.” Instead, it’s that the loans were ap The banks and credit unions proved at all, and that they don’t profiled here still need to make a tend to go into default. profit, but it’s not their only rea For example, Guaranty Bank & son for existence. Like a nonprofit Trust approved about 50 percent of organization, they’re driven by a loan applications it received from mission—to promote economic opDelta residents making less than portunity in their region and among $30,000 a year. That’s substantially Larry Russell, 58, is a fourth-generation farmer who works the same 80 acres of land in the the poor. Technically, they’re known better than the 30 percent of apMississippi Delta that his great-grandfather did before him. as Community Development Fiplications from similar residents apnancial Institutions, or CDFIs, certiproved by Regions Bank, which has fied members in a program the U.S. nearly 200 times greater assets, but is local planters, is located in Belzoni. The money they didn’t have, and ended up go- Treasury Department operates. not a CDFI. These organizations have to prove to poverty rate in surrounding Humphreys ing to a payday lender. That started a cycle Oases in the Desert the government that they’re mission-driven, County is more than 40 percent, almost of debt that damaged thousands of lives. Commercial banks are crucial to antiand that at least 50 percent of their assets three times the national average. Williams thought local people would Inequality here is stark. Belzoni has do better if someone warned them about poverty finance in Mississippi, but they’re are invested in low-income areas. Once they’re certified, they’re eligible neighborhoods of stately red-brick build- the dangers of payday loans and told them not the whole story. One of the most crefor various types of monetary awards that ings with meticulously maintained lawns, about alternatives. Guaranty Bank & Trust, ative voices in the sector belongs to Bill Byencourage local investment and help to off- while others resemble developing world which needed a local customer base with num, who in 1994 helped found a group that later became Hope Enterprise Develset the fact that banking for the poor isn’t slums. Rickety wooden shacks are collaps- decent credit, would benefit, too. ing around their owners, with roofs cav- always profitable. So Williams built a financial literacy opment Corporation. Hope is a loan fund—a nonprofit or Though tiny by Washington, D.C., ing in and siding peeling off. It’s a level of class modeled on an FDIC program called standards, the program has grown dramati- poverty some would be surprised to see in Money Smart, but adapted for the Delta. ganization that specializes in lending and cally in the more than 20 years since it was the United States. Many choose to flee, and Once the classes were rolling, he was per- investing money. Like Guaranty Bank & passed into law as the Riegle Community the county lost more than 16 percent of its fectly positioned to bring other banks in Trust, Hope is a CDFI, and has received Development and Regulatory Improve- population between 2000 and 2010. as partners, since their employees all knew nearly $90 million in awards. Bank CEO Townsend doesn’t exactly him from his time as a bank examiner. Free from the pressures of bank regument Act. Congress allocated $50 million look like a fighter for the dispossessed. His to the program in 1997. By the end of 2015, Williams had 16 lation, Bynum is able to put money into By 2015, that figure had increased to appearance is about what you would expect banks teaching the courses, and 1,585 certi- projects not even the best-intentioned bank from a former chairman of the Mississippi fied graduates. would touch. For example, after Hurricane about $234 million. Today, there are more than 1,000 Bankers’ Association. He is a silver-haired Latasha Coleman is one of them. She’s Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, Hope certified CDFIs around the United States. white man in his mid-60s, with a wide face a bright-eyed single mom who lives in Roll- built its own think tank to craft a socially Researcher Steve Dubb of the Democracy and a skeptical gaze. ing Fork with her parents and four kids. inclusive policy response. The result was a But, powered by nearly $2.5 million Her house looks out on a little public play- federally funded program that provided Collaborative estimates that they control about 0.4 percent of all U.S. banking as- in awards from the CDFI Fund, his institu- ground; across the street is a vast cornfield. financial counseling to more than 10,000 sets—again a miniscule amount, but a vital tion has emerged as a leader in providing She works full-time as a nurse’s assistant in financial services to the poor, along with a the nearby town of Vicksburg, but makes resource in a place like the Delta. more BANKING, see page 18 15 Mississippi has more CDFIs per capita handful of others in the region. The finan- only about $18,000 a year.







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BANKING from page 15 homeowners. On its website, Hope says the program brought in more than $600 million in repair funds. Meanwhile, the development corporation runs a credit union that pays attention to quieter catastrophes. Take the little town of Moorhead, Miss. George Holland has been its mayor since 2009. He grew up just a few miles east, helping his parents farm a White landowner’s property for a share of the crop. When Holland was a teenager, live

though. They donated it, along with some of the equipment inside, to Hope Federal Credit Union. On Oct. 13, 2015, the bank reopened under new management. Hope rehired the branch’s two employees, but at higher salaries and with expanded responsibilities. Pamela Anderson, 46, is one of them. She says she likes her job better now because she can open new accounts and make loans. Previously, she could only cash checks and take deposits. As of December, her branch

about the change. Regions had long refused to install an ATM in its Moorhead branch, saying it was too expensive to do so. That left residents with no way to withdraw money after banking hours without paying a fee. Hope Credit Union addressed the problem immediately, and Holland believes it will be a stronger ally in the economic development he has in mind for the town.

People in Mississippi are among the poorest in the nation, and the Delta region leads the country in the number of predatory lenders. Some banks, however, are trying to help reverse the cycle of poverty there.

September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms

blues poured from the doorways of two downtown clubs. These days, one is closed down and the other plays only recorded music. Holland is a minister now, and says he no longer listens to the blues. But his sorrow at the loss of his town’s culture comes through in his voice. It’s not just blues that went away. Holland remembers a thriving downtown strip with three groceries, two shops selling clothing, two drugstores and a pool hall. Today, every downtown storefront is boarded up, except for a thrift store run by the mayor’s older brother, James. Then, in the summer of 2015, residents learned that they were also going to lose their only bank. It was a branch of Regions, housed in a proud old building with the words “Bank of Moorhead” carved into the transom over the door. The company decided to close the branch after weighing factors including profitability, a spokesperson said. Luckily for the residents of Moorhead, 18 Regions didn’t just board it up and leave,

had opened 458 accounts and made 47 small loans totaling about $165,000. “It’s inspiring to me because a lot of the people that I have made the loans to … would not have qualified for a loan with Regions at all,” Anderson says, shaking her head. “They just would not have.” Moorhead is not the only place in the Delta where Regions has closed a branch and donated the building to Hope Federal. The same thing happened in three other nearby towns: Itta Bena, Drew and Shaw. All are high-poverty rural communities with little to offer a profit-oriented bank. If not for Hope Federal’s new branches, the area could have become a “banking desert” served mostly by payday lenders. “Traditional banks don’t see the communities we work with as a viable market,” Hope founder Bynum says. “But those people certainly don’t deserve to be preyed upon. There’s a market there. There’s a need.” Meanwhile, Moorhead Mayor Holland says he couldn’t have been happier

The Power of Listening Helen Godfrey-Smith is the CEO of Shreveport Federal Credit Union, which has assets of about $110 million and is based in northern Louisiana. But on the morning of Nov. 19, she was stooped over a plot of collard greens on a Mississippi farm with her senior vice president, picking the broad, green leaves with one hand while clutching her smartphone and sunglasses in the other. The land belongs to Frank Wilbourn, a farmer in his seventies who was raised on this property when it belonged to his parents. They sold the place, but Wilbourn bought it back when he returned to the Mississippi Delta to farm. Wilbourn had been in Milwaukee, Wis., where he worked in the steel mills for more than 30 years. Clad in a jean jacket, sunglasses, and a driving cap, Wilbourn is obviously proud of what he’s built here. He gestured to the tall pecan trees growing nearby. “Everything out here you see I set

out,” Wilbourn says, with a deep accent. “All these trees.” “He planted all of it,” says GodfreySmith. Shreveport Federal doesn’t make as many home loans as Guaranty Bank & Trust does, and Hope Federal has more branches in the Delta. But Shreveport stands out in another way: Godfrey-Smith, who is African American, is committed to understanding the needs of local Black farmers, and her credit union’s work is guided by the things they’ve told her they want. The results are unlike anything else in Mississippi’s banking world, and Godfrey-Smith says that they wouldn’t have happened without the CDFI Fund, which has assisted the credit union with $4.5 million. “It was the CDFI awards that allowed us to cross the state line into Mississippi,” she says. The centerpiece is the Delta Regional Mule Train Farmers Market, a 30,000square-foot converted textile factory at the south end of Marks, Miss. This cavernous, concrete-floored space still belongs to the county, which rents it to a worker-owned cooperative of local farmers and community leaders for a dollar a year. The building houses a farmers market during the growing season, a rare place to pick up fruits and vegetables. But the market has also changed the lives of local farmers, many of whom used to sell their vegetables from the backs of pickup trucks. Larry Russell, 58, is a fourth-generation farmer who works the same 80 acres his great-grandfather did. While most of that land is in cotton and soybeans, the Delta’s most prominent row crops, 10 acres are in vegetables. Russell says having a consistent market that customers know how to find has increased his farm’s annual revenue from about $16,000 to $20,000. He has put some of that new income into buying a second crop sprayer, so he doesn’t have to wash out the tank every time he switches from pesticide to herbicide. “It saves me time,” he says. The creation of the Delta Mule Train Farmers Market took plenty of work. After local farmers told GodfreySmith they needed a place to sell vegetables, she helped Frank Wilbourn build a tiny wooden store right in front of his farm, which opened in June 2013. That meant Wilbourn didn’t have to sell out of the back of his truck anymore. But Godfrey-Smith wanted to see the same thing happen on a bigger scale. She recalls coming out of a meeting in Marks and noticing a huge, empty building across the street. “I asked what it was, and it took a momore BANKING, see page 20

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BANKING from page 18 ment for them to even know what I was pointing to,” Godfrey-Smith says. “But with my fresh eyes I saw it. I said, ‘What are y’all gonna do with it?’” No one had any plans for the building, which had been abandoned for more than 20 years. Godfrey-Smith told the farmers about it, and they started to get excited. In February 2015, the farmers officially incorporated as a cooperative business called the Delta Regional Market Cooperative. Shreveport’s board voted to donate about $100,000 to renovate the building, pulling out the old industrial infrastructure and installing an air-conditioning system. Meanwhile, the National Cooperative Business Association put in about a quarter of a million dollars—half of it through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture—to provide the co-op with training and other services. In October 2015, the farmers market opened for business. About a month later, the place was already a hub of activity. At least a hundred local people—nearly all of them African American—stopped by to buy produce and participate in a food giveaway organized by Shreveport Federal Credit Union. “We see this as a community empowerment project,” Godfrey-Smith told the crowd, standing in front of cardboard boxes full of food. “We don’t look at it as a project to help the needy or anything like that. It’s to help our friends, and the people who’ve helped us be who we are.”

September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms

A Piece of the Puzzle The longstanding poverty that afflicted the rural South after the Civil War has evaporated in many places over the last 50 years. But in the Mississippi Delta, it remains. Yet, in some Delta counties, poverty has started to decline. In 1990, an astounding 45 percent of Coahoma County residents lived below the poverty line. Twenty years later, that number was down to 36 percent. About half of the Delta’s poor counties saw similar reductions over the same period. Chris Masingill is the federal cochairman of the Delta Regional Authority, a federal-state partnership that focuses on economic development. He says that CDFIs have been an important part of those reductions in poverty. “Residents don’t have access to the resources they need to build their community,” he says. “Getting them a checking account so they can buy their first home and build their assets, that’s a critical part of how we continue to tackle poverty in rural America and in the Delta region.” Bill Bynum adds that the CDFI program is especially important in the Delta because the region lacks large foundations 20 and businesses. “The CDFI fund has been

one of the few resources available in this part of the country,” he says. “Mississippi would be in really bad shape were it not for the CDFI fund.” That’s not to say the program is a silver bullet. The unemployed, the homeless, and the formerly incarcerated, for example, may not be in a position to benefit from a loan. It is a limitation that Mark Pinsky knows well. He is the former president and CEO of the Opportunity Finance Network,

is they lend money but charge interest and handling costs,” she points out. “So if they were going to help the poor, ideally they shouldn’t be charging interest.” Nembhard says she would like to see a tier of CDFI-like organizations that specializes in making no-interest loans. She would also like to see more programs that directly fund the creation of worker-owned cooperatives, which she says are among the most effective ways to build wealth in low-

credit unions in the program generates $8 to $9 in local lending. “Without a doubt,” he says, “greater government funding means more financing available to businesses, homeowners, affordable housing, and community facilities that wouldn’t get financing from mainstream banks.” Helen Godfrey-Smith can remember a time when that claim would have left her cold. When she first heard about the

A mural in Rolling Fork, Miss., honors the Delta’s rich history of sending blues and jazz musicians to stardom in Memphis.

an association of CDFIs that advocates for the sector’s interests. He is currently writing a book about the CDFI movement, which he was involved with since the early 1990s. The way Pinsky thinks about it, traditional banks serve a relatively privileged sector of society. By specializing in risk management, practicing relational banking, and looking beyond credit scores, CDFIs have extended service to include low-income people with steady jobs. But they are not a solution for the many Delta residents who primarily need employment or a wage increase. Most people familiar with the problem favor one of two solutions. The first is to strengthen the sector by creating new kinds of lenders that can go further than CDFIs in serving low-wealth people. The University of Georgia’s Mehrsa Baradaran, for example, wants to see every post office in the nation offer basic banking services. And Jessica Gordon Nembhard, an economist who has for decades studied how African Americans build wealth, wants to see the program expanded so that it can do more for the people she calls “the truly dispossessed.” “The way that these institutions work

income communities of color. A second solution is to better fund the existing CDFI program. Many of the bank and credit union leaders interviewed for this article said they would like to lend and invest more widely and affordably—to do what it takes to meet their community’s needs. But with the level of support they currently receive from the Treasury Department, they say it’s simply not possible. Since its inception, the CDFI program has made $2.3 billion in awards. To put that in perspective, Bank of America alone received $45 billion from the federal government during the bailouts of 2008 to 2009. That money was paid back, but the disparity in support is one reason why, even after 20 years of growth, CDFIs still hold a tiny fraction of banking assets. “The CDFI program is small,” Bill Bynum says. “There’s a lot more demand than we have the capacity to address.” Eric Hangen, a researcher at the University of New Hampshire who studies the impact of community development finance, would like to see that capacity grow. “You couldn’t ask for a better investment opportunity for the government than helping to capitalize CDFIs,” he says, pointing out that every $1 awarded to banks and

CDFI program, years ago, she says she wasn’t interested. Her father, a logger who struggled to get loans from White bankers, had raised her to value self-sufficiency and avoid government aid. Decades later, she didn’t want her credit union to be dependent on anyone. “For many years, I would not consider handouts,” she says. Today, she is glad she changed her mind. Without the CDFI awards her credit union has received, she says, there would be no farmers market in Marks. Frank Wilbourn would still be selling vegetables out of the back of his truck. Local farmers would have no worker-owned cooperative. And Shreveport Federal would not be in the Mississippi Delta at all. So Godfrey-Smith agrees that the program needs more money—despite what her father would think. “We need more resources allocated,” she says. “We’ve developed a model that really works, and I think it could work anywhere in the country. But it costs money to do what we do.” James Trimarco wrote this article originally for YES! Magazine where he is a senior editor. He is on Twitter @jamestrimarco. Additional reporting by Marcus Green.

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Chimneyville Smoke House )JHI4U +BDLTPOt

Family style barbecue restaurant and catering service in the heart of downtown Jackson.

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Winner of Best of Jackson 2016 “Best BBQ.� Serving up competition-style barbecue along with one of the of best beer selections in metro.

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LIFE&STYLE | food&drink

New Chef at Fratesi’s; Deep South Pops Multiplies by Dustin Cardon A couple of weeks ago, Pam Fratesi, owner of Fratesi’s restaurant (910 Lake Harbour Drive, Ridgeland), brought in her son-in-law, Nick Secoy, as the restaurant’s new head chef. “I brought Nick in to help synergize operations as we start training new staff and shift our focus to classic Fratesi family recipes,” Fratesi told the Jackson Free Press. Secoy, 35, has 13 years of experience as a chef and specializes in steak, sauces and seafood. He is the former executive chef at the Cedar Grove Inn in Vicksburg and worked with the Viking Cooking School from 2000 to 2003. He has also worked at Amerigo Italian Restaurant and Giardina’s at the Alluvian Hotel in Greenwood. Secoy apprenticed under Chef John Kellogg from 2003 to 2007. He also restored the Four Pillars Inn in Rolling Fork in 2005, which he still operates as a bed and breakfast together with his wife, Krystal Secoy. Secoy’s cooking has been featured in magazines such as Eat Drink Mississippi, Mississippi Magazine and Garden & Gun magazine. “In the days to come, we’re going to be focusing heavily on original family recipes at Fratesi’s,” Secoy said. “We’re going to be updating some existing menu items and bringing in some new family recipes that we’ve been wanting to try out at the restaurant as well. We’re also going to feature new chef ’s specials that will change from week to week.” For more information, call 601-956-2929 or visit fratesis.com. Emmi Sprayberry

September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms

Deep South Pops will soon open a second location in Highland Village.


Deep South Pops Gets Second Location Deep South Pops (1800 N. State St.), an artisanal shop that sells organic ice pops made with local ingredients, in addition to coffee, gelato, baked goods and more, will open a new location at Highland Village in two weeks. The new location will offer the same menu as the original, including Mississippi Coffee Company coffee and nitro coffee and kombucha tea from Cascade on Tap, ice cream and sorbet from Sweet Magnolia Ice Cream Company, and pastries from La Brioche bakery in Fondren. The new Deep South Pops, which is about 700 square feet and includes outdoor seating, will be located in Suite 173 at Highland Village. Owners Jake and Kristy Franklin will host a bingo night for the grand opening of the new location, with plans to make bingo nights a monthly event. The Highland Village location will also periodically feature live music in the courtyard. For more information, contact Deep South Pops at 601-573-5645 or visit deepsouthpops.com.

Newk’s Eatery

Fabulous salads, signature soups and flavorful sandwiches, with an eye toward healthy choices and happy living. Plus grab-and-go, catering options and much more! 4450 I-55 North, Old Canton Road, Jackson 601-709-4990

to find out more about Newk’s Eatery, visit






WRITE ABOUT IT! The Jackson Free Press is seeking freelance writers to write insightful, informative and creative food and dining articles. Please send your resume, writing samples and specific story ideas to:


September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms

730 Lakeland Dr. Jackson, MS | 601-366-6033 | Sun-Thurs: 11am - 10pm, Fri-Sat: 11am - 11pm W E D ELIVER F OR C ATERING O RDERS Fondren / Belhaven / UMC area





Bombshell Burlesque presents New Orleans burlesque performers at MikeTown Comedy Club.

Fenian’s Pub hosts Paint & Pint Nite.

Nathan Hill signs copies of “The Nix” at Lemuria Books

BEST BETS Sept. 14 - 21, 2016

Lawrence Raybon


“Steel Magnolias” is at 7:30 p.m. at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). Set in a beauty shop in the 1980s, the Robert Harling play is about the struggles of five Louisiana women. Additional dates: Sept. 13-18, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 20-24, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 25, 2 p.m. $28, $22 seniors and students; call 948-3533; newstagetheatre.com. … The Jackson 2000 luncheon features former Gov. William Winter from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). He will discuss Mississippi politics, history and race. $10-$12; call 960-1500.


Shawn Lee

Chase Rice performs at 7 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s (200 Commerce St.) as part of his “Everybody We Know Does” tour. Gates open at 6 p.m. $27 for the first 500 guests in advance, then $31; $3 surcharge for patrons under 21; call

(Left to right) Viola Dacus as Ouiser, Laurie Pascale as Clairee, Wendy Miklovic as M’Lynn, Annie Cleveland as Shelby, Taylor Galvin as Annelle and Jessica Wilkinson as Truvy star in the Robert Harling play “Steel Magnolias” at New Stage Theatre starting Sept. 13.


Roxy Roca, an Austin-based southern soul band, performs at 7:30 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). Doors open at 8 p.m. $8 in advance, $10 at the door, $3 surcharge for patrons under 21; call 292-7121; email arden@ardenland.net; ardenby TYLER EDWARDS land.net… 50th Anniversary of “Jubilee”: Symposium and Rejacksonfreepress.com ception is at 2 p.m., at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Fax: 601-510-9019 Lynch St.). The event celebrates Daily updates at the 50th anniversary of Margajfpevents.com ret Walker’s novel with a special symposium featuring guest speakers and a reception. Free; call 979-3935; jsums.edu.


September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms

SATURDAY 9/17 Criminal-justice advocate Shaka Senghor is the guest speaker at the ACLU of Mississippi Jazz Brunch on Saturday, Sept. 17, at the King Edward Hotel in downtown Jackson.

662-234-5333. … Poets in Autumn Tour is at 7:30 p.m. at Redeemer Church (640 E. Northside Drive). Includes spoken word performances from Ezekiel, Preston Perry, Jackie Hill Perry, Janette, IKZ and special guest Chris Web. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. $20 in advance, $30 VIP; call or text 40724 490-2547.

ACLU of Mississippi Jazz Brunch is at 11 a.m. at the King Edward Hotel (235 W. Capitol St.). This year’s speaker is criminal-justice advocate Shaka Senghor. The event includes a VIP and book signing. Tawanna Shaunte performs. RSVP by Sept. 2. $75 (includes VIP reception and book signing Sept. 16 from 5:30-7 p.m at Parlor Market); call 601-354-3408; email office@aclu-ms.org; aclu-ms.org.


Magnolia Classic AKC All-breed Dog Show is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.). The Greenville Mississippi Kennel Club and the Mississippi State Kennel Club host the annual event.

Includes talks with breeders, handlers and vendor booths. Additional dates: Sept. 15-17, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free; call 601-937-3161; email myscpp5@gmail.com or msstatekc@ yahoo.com for more information.


Mississippi Opera hosts the cabaret“Well, Did You Evah! An Evening of Cole Porter’s Finest” at Duling Hall: at 7:30 p.m. Soprano Amy Pfrimmer and pianist Dreux Montegut perform. Doors open at 6 p.m. $20; call 9602300; email arden@ardenland.net; msopera.org.


WellsFest Art Night is from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). Includes a preview party and buy-now section from 5:30 to 7 p.m., a live auction from 7 to 9 p.m., and live music and refreshments. Artist Wyatt Waters will paint a still-life on site. Proceeds benefit the Center for Violence Prevention. Free admission, artwork for sale; call 601-353-0658; email arden@arden land.net or visit wellschurch.org.


2GETHER 4EVER is from 9 a.m. to noon at Hinds Behavioral Health Services (3450 Highway 80 West). The program is in recognition of National Recovery Month. Guest speakers include former NFL player Glen Collins, Capt. Jimmie Nichols of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and Jackie Foster with the Mississippi Department of Health. Free; call 601-3212400; hbhs9.com.

Jackson 2000 Luncheon: Gov. William Winter Sept. 14, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Former Gov. William Winter addresses the group on Mississippi politics, history and race. $10-$12; call 960-1500. WellsFest Golf Tournament Sept. 15, 1 p.m., at Live Oaks Golf Club (11200 Highway 49 N.). The format is a four-person scramble. Includes prizes. Proceeds benefit the Center for Violence Prevention. Register by Sept. 12. $400 per team; call 601-353-0658; email johnbrashier@ wellschurch.org; wellschurch.org. WellsFest Art Night Sept. 20, 5:30-9 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). Includes a preview party and buy-now section from 5:30 p.m.7 p.m., a live auction from 7-9 p.m., live music and refreshments. Wyatt Waters also paints a stilllife on site. Proceeds benefit the Center for Violence Prevention. Free admission, artwork for sale; call 353-0658; wellschurch.org. ACLU of Mississippi Jazz Brunch Sept. 17, 11 a.m., at the King Edward Hotel (235 W. Capitol St.). This year’s speaker is criminal-justice advocate Shaka Senghor. The event includes a VIP and book signing. Tawanna Shaunte performs. RSVP by Sept. 2. $75; call 354-3408; email office@aclu-ms.org; aclu-ms.org.

COMMUNITY History Is Lunch: Freda Spell Sept. 21, noon, at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Spell presents “Louis Millet: Journey in Glass - Paris to Chicago to Jackson.” Free; call 576-6998. “More Days of Sharing” Forum and Cohea Street Community Festival Sept. 17, 10-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-4:30 p.m., at the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center (528 Bloom St.). Scott Ford House hosts the events to honor the contributions of black midwives in Mississippi. The forum is from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., and the festival is from 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. in the Cohea Street area. Free; call 953-4060. Millsaps Arts and Lecture Series: An Evening of Old-time String-band Music Sept. 20, 7 p.m., at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.) in the recital hall. Enjoy music from Ken Waldman, Harry Bolick, Jack Magee and Shelley Gendusa, Edwin McAllister, and Richard and Anya Burgess. $10; call 974-1130; millsaps.edu.

FOOD & DRINK ’sipp Sourced with Chef Nick Wallace Sept. 15, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Sept. 16-17, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Order from a pop-up menu featuring products from Mississippi sources. Food prices vary; call 601-960-1515; msmuseumart.org.

KIDS Southern Showcase Sept. 17, 7-9 p.m., at The Hideaway (Deville Plaza, 5100 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road). Pro Wrestling EGO presents the match. Competitors include “Son of JYD” Mike Carter, Big Ramp Enterprises, Brandon Kristopher and more. Doors open at 6 p.m. $10, $6 ages 5-12; call 601-291-4759. Benjamin Morris: The Power of Words Sept. 18, 1:30-5:30 p.m., at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive). Discover the power of words in his poetry workshop that incorporates

literacy and the arts. ($10, children under 12 months free); mschildrens museum.org.

SPORTS & WELLNESS Race to None Sept. 17, 9-11 a.m., at Naval Reserve Building (181 N. Jefferson St.). The 5K walk/run raises awareness and support for veteran suicide prevention. All proceeds benefit One’s Too Many. $20 registration fee; chronotrack.com. W.C. Gorden Classic Sept. 17, 6 p.m., at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium (2531 N. State St.). The Jackson State University Tigers take on Grambling State University at the annual football game. $25-$45; call 979-2420; jstatetigers.com.


NFL player Glen Collins, Capt. Jimmie Nichols of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and Jackie Foster with the Mississippi Department of Health. Free; call 601-321-2400; hbhs9.com.

STAGE & SCREEN “When Cletus met Elizabeth” Dinner Theater Sept. 14, 7-9 p.m., at Char (Highland Village, 4500 Interstate 55 N.). A four-act comedy whodunit and three-course dinner. $49; call 601-9371752; thedetectives.biz. Screen on the Green Sept. 15, 5:30 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). In the Art Garden. Includes a cash bar, concessions and a screening of “Friday Night Lights” at dusk. Free; call 601-960-1515; msmuseumart.org.

the best in sports over the next seven days by Bryan Flynn

It was a great day for NFL football on Sunday, unless you had a fantasy team on ESPN. The sports network‘s fantasy football site and app crashed before the noon games started. Thursday, Sept. 15 College football (6:30-9:30 p.m., ESPNU): Alcorn State looks to stay undefeated in SWAC play as it hosts winless Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Monday, Sept. 19 NFL (7-11 p.m., ESPN): Former MSU star Fletcher Cox looks to cause havoc for the Philadelphia Eagles on the road against the Chicago Bears.

Friday, Sept. 16 Olympics (7-11 p.m., NBCSN): If you’re not going to a high-school football game, check out the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, which feature archery, swimming and more.

Tuesday, Sept. 20 Hockey (7-9:30 p.m., ESPN): Two teams look to advance beyond pool play clash when the USA battles Canada in the World Cup of Hockey.

Saturday, Sept. 17 College football (2:30-6 p.m., CBS): The Rebels look to make three straight wins over Alabama. … College football (6-10 p.m., ESPN2): MSU looks to upset LSU on the road. … College football (6-10 p.m., ESPN3): JSU battles against Grambling State at home. Sunday, Sept. 18 NFL (12-3:30 p.m., Fox): The Saints look to rebound from a last-second loss in the season opener against the New York Giants. Southern Showcase 4 Sept. 17, 7-9 p.m., at The Hideaway (Deville Plaza, 5100 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road). Pro Wrestling EGO presents the match. Competitors include “Son of JYD” Mike Carter, Big Ramp Enterprises, Brandon Kristopher and more. Doors open at 6 p.m. $10, $6 ages 5-12; call 601-291-4759. Madison County Chamber of Commerce Fall Classic Sept. 20, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m., at Lake Caroline Golf Course (118 Caroline Club Circle, Madison). The chamber’s annual golf tournament and networking event is a four-man scramble, and includes a raffle and awards. Registration required. $125, $500 team of four, add-ons available; call 601-605-2554; madisoncountychamber.com. 2GETHER 4EVER Sept. 21, 9 a.m.-noon, at Hinds Behavioral Health Services (3450 Highway 80 W.). The program is in recognition of National Recovery Month. Guest speakers include former

Wednesday, Sept. 21 WNBA (7:30-11pm ESPNEWS): Watch a doubleheader of WNBA playoff action as the league looks to crown a champion in its 20th season. When the ESPN Fantasy went down, it caused a meltdown on the Internet. Service was restored later in the day as players could finally see how their teams were performing. Follow Bryan Flynn at jfpsports.com, @jfpsports and at facebook.com/jfpsports.

Poets in Autumn Tour Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m., at Redeemer Church (640 E. Northside Drive). Includes performances from Ezekiel, Preston Perry, Jackie Hill Perry, Janette, IKZ and special guest Chris Web. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. $20 in advance, $30 VIP; call text 407-490-2547 . JJ Williamson’s B-Day Comedy Laughapalooza Sept. 16, 8 p.m., at The Hideaway (Deville Plaza, 5100 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road). Performers include Nick Lewis, Shaddy Feelgood, Skip da Comic and Nardo Blackmon. $20 in advance, $25 at the door; call 601-941-2423.

CONCERTS & FESTIVALS Symphony at Sunset Sept. 15, 7 p.m., at The Cedars Historic Home (4145 Old Canton Road). The Fondren Renaissance Foundation hosts an evening of music from the Mississippi Symphony

Orchestra. Reserved seating with dinner available for sponsors. Free; call 601-981-9606; fondren.org. Farish Street Heritage Festival Sept. 17, 3-12:30 p.m., at Historic Farish Street District (Farish Street). On the corner of Farish and Griffith streets. Includes food vendors, children’s activities and music; call 601-948-5667; farishstreet heritagefestival.com. Events at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.) •Radney Foster Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m. The country singer-songwriter has been performing for three decades. Shannon McNally also performs. $15 in advance, $20 at the door, $3 surcharge for patrons under 21; call 601-2927121; email arden@ardenland.net; ardenland.net. •Cabaret at Duling Hall: Well, Did You Evah! An Evening of Cole Porter’s Finest Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m. The Mississippi Opera is the host. Soprano Amy Pfrimmer and pianist Dreux Montegut perform. Doors open at 6 p.m. $20; call 601-960-2300; email arden@ardenland.net; msopera.org.

LITERARY & SIGNINGS 50th Anniversary of “Jubilee”: Symposium and Reception Sept. 16, 2 p.m., at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.). The event celebrates the 50th anniversary of Margaret Walker’s novel with a special symposium featuring guest speakers and a reception. Free; call 601-979-3935; jsums.edu.

CREATIVE CLASSES Paint Nite at El Sombrero Sept. 15, 7-9 p.m., at El Sombrero (278 Dogwood Blvd., Flowood) . Paint Nite hosts the event featuring painting and cocktails. Early arrival suggested. For ages 21 and up. $45 (use coupon code JFPLove for $20 off); paintnite.com.

EXHIBIT OPENINGS September Art Show Sept. 15, 5 p.m., at Brown’s Fine Art and Framing (630 Fondren Place). See works from Martha Rea Baker. Free; call 601-982-4844; brownsfineart.com. Events at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.) •Cross-examining the Avant-Garde: Americans in Dialogue with European Modernism Sept. 15, 6-7 p.m. In the Yates Community Room. Dr. Melissa M. Thorson discusses works from the exhibit When Modern Was Contemporary that were created before World War I. Free; call 960-1515; msmuseumart.org. •Museum After Hours: Gridiron Game Day Sept. 15, 5:30 p.m. Includes a pop-up exhibition of sports art and photography, dining, games, live music and more. Free with cash bar and food for sale; call 960-1515; msmuseumart.org. •An Artist’s Look with Sanders McNeal Sept. 20, 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. In the Barksdale Galleries. The artist discusses select artwork in the exhibit When Modern Was Contemporary. $20, $8 members; call 960-1515; msmuseumart.org. Check jfpevents.com for updates and more listings, or to add your own events online. You can also email event details to events@jacksonfreepress.com to be added to the calendar. The deadline is noon the Wednesday prior to the week of publication.

September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms






September 13 & 14

INDIGO GIRLS minton sparks

NEW BOURBON STREET JAZZ BAND Free! _________________________ THURSDAY 9/15

Thursday, September 15

RADNEY FOSTER shannon mcnally

texas singer-songwriter, musician and music producer

Friday, September 16

CHASE RICE! Doors- 6 PM tickets available at tickety.com and at Hal and Mal’s (cash only $27) 18 and up _________________________


texas infused, powerhouse-southern soul and funk

Monday, September 26

SARAH JAROSZ PARKER MILLSAP contemporary folk, americana, and roots music

captivating live performances, soulful sound, character-driven narratives

Wednesday, September 28

EMI SUNSHINE Friday, November 4 d’lo trio

12-year old east tennesse prodigy

Friday, September 30

July 31 THESunday, MULLIGAN BROTHERS Wednesday, October 5 September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms

americana, folk, bluegrass, songwriter group




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A Two-Soul ‘Soliloquy’

Music listings are due noon Monday to be included in print and online listings: music@jacksonfreepress.com.

Sep. 14 - Wednesday

by Micah Smith Courtesy Clouds & Crayons

Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Fitzgerald’s - Johnny Crocker 7:30 p.m. Hal & Mal’s - New Bourbon Street Jazz free Kathryn’s - Larry Brewer & Doug Hurd 6:30 p.m. free McB’s - Ladie’s Night w/Travelin’ Jane 8 p.m. Pelican Cove - Jonathan Alexander 6:30 p.m. Shucker’s - Silverado 7:30 p.m. free Table 100 - Charles Scott 5-9 p.m.

SEPT. 15 - Thursday

(Left to right) Tre Pepper and Astin Sullivan of Jackson soul duo Clouds & Crayons perform for the release of their debut album, “Love Soliloquy,” on Friday, Sept. 16, at Offbeat in midtown Jackson.


s objects, clouds and crayons aren’t exactly an obvious combination—a few miles do separate the two, after all. For Jackson music duo Clouds & Crayons, on the other hand, collaborating just made sense. Over the past year, Clouds & Crayons has worked to blend singer and lyricist Astin Sullivan’s soulful vocals and spoken-word poetry with guitarist, keyboardist and producer Tre Pepper’s smooth mix of electronic and physical instrumentation. The result is a three-pronged project that has the pair performing live for audiences, recording a seven-song album and shooting a tie-in film. Sullivan first approached Pepper, who performs under the pseudonym Loki Antiphony, last year after completing her short film, “Letters from a Transient,” which was a series of four spoken-word poems set to music and visuals. She had already planned a follow-up project titled “Love Soliloquy,” which would present a few of her poems and songs on the theme of the relationship with oneself and how that translates into relationships with others. “I basically came to Tre, or Loki, looking for a producer because he had the sound I was looking for,” she says. “I wanted something that was funky, I wanted something that was hip-hop, and I wanted something that was space age. I just wanted something cool.” After the pair began developing the recorded-music aspect of “Love Soliloquy” in January 2016, they quickly realized how well they worked together. Two months later, Sullivan asked if Pepper would consider joining her and making Clouds & Crayons a live act. “It was kind of this awkward proposal where all that was missing was getting on one knee,” she says. “I was like, ‘Do you want to kind of be a band?’ And his answer was perfect. He said, ‘Only if we have week-

ly, consistent, rigorous practice.’” After deciding to officially join, Pepper, who has played in several local bands over the years, began the process of readying the material for live performances and determining what they could pull off with just two people. “Given that we use a lot of electronic and computer-based elements, that was a bit of a challenge and something to take into consideration while we were working on the record,” he says, “but so far, we haven’t had an issue of pulling off the quality of what’s on the record in a live performance.” Clouds & Crayons is now in the final stages of rolling out its album on Friday, Sept. 16, but the duo’s work on “Love Soliloquy” is far from over. The two musicians recently began shooting the accompanying film for the project. They anticipate that the film, which will pair the album tracks with dream-like, avant-garde visuals, will be ready to screen for audiences in late January 2017. At the same time, Sullivan and Pepper plan to continue performing live in the midst of shooting and editing, with the goal of heading out on tour by next fall. “It’s a lot to manage when you don’t have a whole team of people, you know?” Pepper says. “You’re writing treatments and coming up with budgets and finding actors and actresses—a film production. “Then, on top of that, we still have deadlines to meet for the record, and we have to book shows, which means we have to create art for posters and all that stuff. It’s a little hectic, but it’s really rewarding when it all comes to fruition.” Clouds & Crayons’ album release celebration is at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16, at Offbeat (151 Wesley Ave.). Physics for Poets also performs. Admission is $5. “Love Soliloquy” will be available for purchase at Offbeat and on most digital retailers. For more information, find the band on Facebook.

Ameristar, Vicksburg - The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra 8 p.m. Burgers & Blues - Jonathan Alexander 5:30 p.m. The Cedars - Symphony at Sunset 7 p.m. free Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Duling Hall - Radney Foster & Shannon McNally 7:30 p.m. Fenian’s - Spirits of the House Fitzgerald’s - Chris Gill and Scotty Turner 7:30 p.m. Georgia Blue, Flowood Mike & Skip Georgia Blue, Madison Aaron Coker Hal & Mal’s - Brotherly Love (rest); Chase Rice w/ Ryan Hurd & Lacy Cavalier 7 p.m. $27 Iron Horse Grill - Patti Parks 6 p.m. Kathryn’s - Greenfish 6:30 p.m. free Martin’s - Liquid Stranger, Bleep Bloop, PerkulatOr & Shlump 9 p.m. Pelican Cove - Steele Heart 6:30 p.m. Reedemer Church PCA - Poets in Autumn 7:30-9:30 p.m. Shucker’s - Acoustic Crossroads 7:30 p.m. free Soulshine Pizza Factory, Flowood Barry Leach -7 p.m. Sylvia’s - The Blues Man & Sunshine McGhee 9 p.m. free

SEPT. 16 - Friday Ameristar Bottleneck Blues Bar, Vicksburg - Mr. Sipp 8 p.m. $10 Big Sleepy’s - Water Spaniel, Kway & Mic Hargrove 8 p.m. $5 Burgers & Blues - Acoustic Crossroads 6 p.m. Char - Ronnie Brown 6 p.m. Duling Hall - Roxy Roca 7:30 p.m. F. Jones Corner - Sherman Lee Dillon & the MS Sound midnight Fenian’s - Vibe Doctors Fitzgerald’s - Hunter Gibson 7:30 p.m. Georgia Blue, Flowood Shaun Patterson Georgia Blue, Madison Ryan Phillips Hal & Mal’s - String Theory free

The Hideaway - Splendid Chaos Iron Horse Grill - Chancellor Cain and Friends 9 p.m. Kathryn’s - The Scott Turner Trio with Jeff Reynolds 7 p.m. free M Bar - Flirt Fridays feat. DJ T. Lewis free Martin’s - Lightnin’ Malcolm 10 p.m. McB’s - Chasin’ Dixie 8 p.m. Offbeat - Clouds & Crayons Album Release Celebration w/ Physics for Poets 8 p.m. $5 Ole Tavern - Todd Thompson 9 p.m. free Pelican Cove - Road Hogs 7 p.m. Reed Pierce’s - The Strays Shucker’s - Larry Brewer & Doug Hurd 5:30 p.m. free; Hairicane 8 p.m. $5; Jason Turner (deck) 10 p.m. free Soulshine, Flowood - Stace & Cassie - 7 p.m. free Soulshine, Ridgeland - Stevie Cain 8 p.m. free WonderLust - DJ Taboo 8 p.m.

Reed Pierce’s, Byram - Guilty Pleasure 9 p.m. free Shucker’s - Acoustic Crossroads (deck) 3:30 p.m. free; Hairicane 8 p.m. $5; Ron Etheridge (deck) 10 p.m. free WonderLust - Drag Performance & Dance Party feat. DJ Taboo 8 p.m.-3 a.m. free before 10 p.m.

SEPT. 18 - Sunday Char - Big Easy Three 11 a.m.; Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Fenian’s - Jason Daniels The Hideaway - Mike & Marty’s Jam Session Kathryn’s - Travelin’ Jane 6 p.m. free Pelican Cove - Carole & the Coolhands 5 p.m. Shucker’s - Greenfish (deck) 3:30 p.m. free Sombra Mexican Kitchen - John Mora 11 a.m. Table 100 - Raphael Semmes Jazz Trio 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Dan Michael Colbert 6-9 p.m. Wellington’s - Andy Hardwick 11 a.m.

SEPT. 19 - Monday

Stace & Cassie

SEPT. 17 - Saturday Big Sleepy’s - Illiterate Light, The Renders & Codetta South 8 p.m. $5 Burgers & Blues - Three Hour Tour 6 p.m. F. Jones Corner - Sherman Lee Dillon & the MS Sound midnight $10 Fenian’s - Scott Albert Johnson Georgia Blue, Flowood - Brandon Greer Georgia Blue, Madison - Thomas Jackson Hal & Mal’s - Crooked Creek free The Hideaway - Miles Flatt 9 p.m. Iron Horse Grill - Shy Perry & Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry 9 p.m. Kathryn’s - Fade2Blue 7 p.m. free M Bar - Saturday Night Live feat. DJ Shanomak free M7 Coffee House - Coffee & Vibes feat. Standard Issues 5-8 p.m. Martin’s - Big Freedia & SilaS 10 p.m. McB’s - Josh Journeay - 8 p.m. One Block East - Birthday Bash Block Party feat. Andrew Pates, Ron Etheridge, Travelin’ Jane & Jason Miller Band 1 p.m.-2 a.m. Pelican Cove - Barry Leach Trio 2 p.m.; Sid Thompson & DoubleShotz 7 p.m. Pop’s Saloon - Burnham Road

Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Fitzgerald’s - Hunter Gibson 7:30 p.m. Hal & Mal’s - Central MS Blues Society (rest) 7 p.m. Kathryn’s - Joseph LaSalla 7 p.m. free Pelican Cove - Jason Turner 6:30 p.m. Table 100 - Andrew Pates 6-9 p.m.

SEPT. 20 - Tuesday Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Fitzgerald’s - Hunter Gibson and Larry Brewer 7:30 p.m. Kathryn’s - Steele Heart 6:30 p.m. free Last Call Sports Grill - Top-Shelf Tuesdays feat. DJ Spoon 9 p.m. Margarita’s - John Mora 6 p.m. Pelican Cove - Shaun Patterson 6:30 p.m. Table 100 - Chalmers Davis 6-9 p.m.

Sept. 21 - Wednesday Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Fitzgerald’s - Barry Leach 7:30 p.m. Hal & Mal’s - Eric Stracener 5:30-8:30 p.m. free Kathryn’s - Dylan Moss Band 6:30 p.m. free Pelican Cove - Doug Hurd 6:30 p.m. Shucker’s - Acoustic Crossroads 7:30 p.m. free

9/14 - 2016 Essence Music Festival - Hilton New Orleans Riverside, New Orleans 9/15 - George Bell and Friends - Manship Theatre, Baton Rouge 9/15 - Beck - Saenger Theatre, New Orleans 9/16 - Better Than Ezra - L’Auberge Casino Resort, Baton Rouge 9/18 - R. Kelly: The Buffet Tour 2016 - FedExForum, Memphis 9/18 - Needtobreathe - Landers Center, Southaven 9/21 - 3 Doors Down - The Orpheum, Memphis

September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms

MUSIC | live

JB Lawrence



September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms





52 Cuban coin 53 7 1/2-foot Ming 54 Wise crowd 56 Texas city 60 Converse, e.g. 64 Woodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ex 65 Long-running TV science show that hints at the other long entries 68 Business letters? 69 Caesar salad base 70 Treasure hunterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s need 71 Kickoff need 72 Pick-up area 73 Toilet paper layer

34 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chicagoâ&#x20AC;? actress Zellweger 38 Growing planes? 40 â&#x20AC;&#x153;I remember well ...â&#x20AC;? 42 ___ 500 45 French connections? 47 AKA, before a company name 50 â&#x20AC;&#x153;___ doinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;?â&#x20AC;? (Joey Tribbiani greeting) 51 Got the highest score, in golf 54 Leave out 55 Jacobâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Creek product 57 Fast money sources 58 â&#x20AC;&#x153;The New Yorkerâ&#x20AC;? cartoonist Addams, for short

59 â&#x20AC;&#x153;In memoriamâ&#x20AC;? bio 61 Burlap material 62 Administered by spoon 63 Catch sight of 65 What Elmo calls Dagwood in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blondieâ&#x20AC;? 66 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wooly Bullyâ&#x20AC;? opening number? 67 Sapphireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mo. Š2016 Jonesinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Crosswords (editor@ jonesincrosswords.com)

Last Weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Answers

For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900-226-2800, 99 cents per minute. Must be 18+. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800 655-6548. Reference puzzle #789.


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Breaking Storyâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D;putting the details back together. Across

1 It may be dank 4 Civics ďŹ eld, for short 11 It gets laid down 14 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now I get it!â&#x20AC;? 15 Surname on the sitar 16 Decorate with frosting 17 1967 hit by The Doors 19 Unpaid bill 20 Just meh 21 A bit of 22 â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Change is Gonna Comeâ&#x20AC;? singer Redding 23 Possesses 26 Hammer or sickle, e.g.

28 Part of one of the Ten Commandments 35 He followed Peyton as Super Bowl MVP 36 Boutros Boutros-Ghaliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s birthplace 37 â&#x20AC;&#x153;TMZâ&#x20AC;? subject 39 Milhouseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s teacher 41 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Three Coins in the Fountainâ&#x20AC;? fountain 43 Frank Herbert book series 44 River of forgetfulness in Hades 46 Three of ___ 48 Made the ďŹ rst play 49 T-Bone Walkerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s genre

1 Buds 2 Athens is there 3 Makes it? 4 L.A. clock setting 5 Bit of resistance? 6 Places down, as carpeting 7 Dope 8 Take money off the top 9 â&#x20AC;&#x153;___ comment?â&#x20AC;? 10 Acrimony 11 Comic-strip girl who debuted in the 1930s 12 Berry for the health-conscious 13 Halloween decorations 18 Swiss Roll lookalike 22 Expressed admiration 24 Compass tracing 25 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chop-chop!â&#x20AC;? 27 Available without a prescription, for short 28 Achillesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; vulnerable spot 29 With more â&#x20AC;&#x153;years youngâ&#x20AC;? 30 Well out of medal contention 31 Distiller ___ Walker 32 Northern California town that once had a palindromic bakery 33 â&#x20AC;&#x153;___ Outâ&#x20AC;? (musical based on Billy Joel songs)

BY MATT JONES Last Weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Answers


Each of the 26 letters of the alphabet is represented in this grid by a number between 1 and 26. Using letter frequency, word-pattern recognition, and the numbers as your guides, ďŹ ll in the grid with well-known English words (HINT: since a Q is always followed by a U, try hunting down the Q ďŹ rst). Only lowercase, unhyphenated words are allowed in kaidoku, so you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see anything like STOCKHOLM or LONG-LOST in here (but you might see AFGHAN, since it has an uncapitalized meaning, too). Now stop wasting my precious time and SOLVE! psychosudoku@gmail.com


Hone your skills, gain valuable experience and college credit*. Set your hours, and attend free training workshops.


"55)&+'1 *OUFSFTUFE


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

September 14 - 20, 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ jfp.ms





--------------- H E A LT H C A R E / W E L L N E S S ---------------The Headache Center

Who is Jim Kitchens? • Jim Kitchens, from Crystal Springs, Miss., is currently serving his first term as Justice on the Mississippi Supreme Court from the Central District.

• He spent 32 years in Private Practice helping Mississippi families, and on the Supreme Court has worked each day to do what is right for all Mississippians.

• As a former District Attorney, Justice Kitchens is the only candidate for Supreme Court who has prosecuted and helped put dangerous criminals behind bars.

• Justice Kitchens and his wife Mary live in Crystal Springs with their five children, their spouses, 11 grandchildren (one on the way), and his mother, age 102.

VOTE November 8 For Jim Kitchens. www.kitchensforjustice2016.com

Renaissance at Colony Park, Suite #7205, Ridgeland, (601)366-0855 Accurately diagnoses headache syndromes and tailors an individualized treatment plan for you that includes lifestyle modification and FDA-approved medical treatments.

---------------------- HOME SERVICES ---------------------Buford Plumbing

5625 Hwy 18 W. Jackson, (601)372-7676 Over 50+ years of experience, specializing in air conditioning & heating installation and repair. Area-wide service!

Kazery’s Lawn Care

(601)213-6896, Kazery601@gmail.com Lawn services include: mowing, trimming, edging, blowing, hedge trimming, landscaping, limb and debris removal.

Solar Control

291 US-51 E4, Ridgeland, MS 39157 (601)707-5596 Mississippi’s only full-service 3M Authorized window film dealer. Services include, residential, graffiti shield and automotive tinting.

Tri-county Tree Service

Jackson, MS (601)940-5499 Personalized and courteous services to valued customers in Madison, Hinds, Rankin or Jackson County. Contact us today for a FREE NO HASSLE ESTIMATE.

------------------------AUTOMOTIVE -----------------------J & J Wholesale Service & Repair

3246 Hwy 80 W., Jackson, MS (601) 360-2444 Certified Technician, David Rucker, has 40+ years of experience. Mr. Rucker specializes in a/c, front end, part replacement, brakes, elect services and repairs. Appointments only.

-------------------- BANKS/FINANCIAL ------------------Members Exchange

107 Marketridge Dr. Ridgeland, 5640 I-55 South Frontage Rd. Byram 101 MetroPlex Blvd. Pearl, (601)922-3250 Members Exchange takes the bank out of banking. You will know right away that you are not just a customer, you are a member.

Guaranty Trust

2 Professional Parkway, Ste A Ridgeland, (601)307-5008 Your friendly source for mortgage advice and service in FHA, USDA, VA, Jumbo and conventional mortgages.

Not Notjust justanother anothernight nightout.... out....

------------------- FOOD/DRINK/GIFTS -------------------

Come ComeExperience ExperienceEverything EverythingWe’re We’reDishing DishingUp! Up!

Beckham Jewelry

4800 N Hwy 55 #35, Jackson, (601)665-4642 With over 20 years experience Beckham Jewelry, manufactures, repairs and services all types of jewelry. Many repairs can be done the same day! They also offer full-service watch and clock repair.

Fondren Cellars

Nightly Happy Hour 5-7pm

633 Duling Ave, Jackson, (769)216-2323 Quality wines and spirits in a relaxed environment. Voted Best Wine and Liquor store by Jackson Free Press readers.

A Seasonal Menu

Introducing Our New Executive Chef: Corey Ellison

Nandy’s Candy

Maywood Mart, 1220 E Northside Dr #380, Jackson, (601)362-9553 Small batch confections do more than satisfy a sweet tooth, they foster fond traditions and strong relationships. Plus, enjoy sno-balls, gifts for any occasion and more!

McDade’s Wine

Maywood Mart, 1220 E Northside Dr #320, Jackson, (601)366-5676 McDade’s Wine and Spirits offers Northeast Jackson’s largest showroom of fine wine and spirits. Visit to learn about the latest offerings and get professional tips from the friendly staff!

September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms

Playtime Entertainment

Thriving Customer Service

New Martini Bar

Pre-Show Dinner Before your night at the theatre

30 601.948..3429 ext. 305 www.fairviewinn.com/1908provisions

1009 Hampstead Blvd, Clinton, (601)926-1511 Clinton’s newest high energy video gaming and sports grille destination.

---------------------- TOURISM/ARTS ----------------------Mississippi Museum of Art

380 South Lamar St. Jackson, (601) 960-1515 MMA strives to be a fountainhead attracting people from all walks to discuss the issues and glories of the past and present, while continuing to inspire progress in the future.


2906 North State St. Suite 207, Jackson, (601) 292-7121 Jackson’s premiere music promoter with concerts around the Metro including at Duling Hall in Fondren. www.ardenland.net

Natural Science Museum

2148 Riverside Dr, Jackson, (601) 576-6000 Stop by the museum and enjoy their 300-acre natural landscape, an open-air amphitheater, along with 2.5 miles of nature trails. Inside, meet over 200 living species in the 100,000 gallon aquarium network.

Mississippi Children's Museum

2145 Museum Boulevard, Jackson, (601) 981-5469 The Mississippi Children’s Museum provides unparalleled experiences that ignite a thirst for discovery, knowledge and learning in all children through hands-on and engaging exhibits and programs focusing on literacy, the arts, science, health and nutrition.

Caution: You may soon be exposed to outbreaks of peace, intelligence and mutual admiration. Sweet satisfactions might erupt unexpectedly. Rousing connections could become almost routine, and useful revelations may proliferate. Are you prepared to fully accept this surge of grace? Or will you be suspicious of the chance to feel soulfully successful? I hope you can find a way to at least temporarily adopt an almost comically expansive optimism. That might be a good way to ensure you’re not blindsided by delight.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

“Brainwashing” is a word with negative connotations. It refers to an intensive indoctrination that scours away a person’s convictions and replaces them with a new set of rigid beliefs. But I’d like to propose an alternative definition for your use in the coming days. According to my astrological analysis, you now have an extraordinary power to thoroughly wash your own brain—thereby flushing away toxic thoughts and trashy attitudes that might have collected there. I invite you to have maximum fun as you make your inner landscape clean and sparkly.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

My astrological divinations suggest that a lightning storm is headed your way, metaphorically speaking. But it shouldn’t inconvenience you much—unless you do the equivalent of getting drunk, stumbling out into the wasteland and screaming curses toward heaven. (I don’t recommend that.) For best results, consider this advice: Take shelter from the storm, preferably in your favorite sanctuary. Treat yourself to more silence and serenity than you usually do. Meditate with the relaxed ferocity of a Zen monk high on Sublime Emptiness. Got all that? Now here’s the best part: Compose a playfully edgy message to God, telling Her about all the situations you want Her to help you transform during the next 12 months.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Novelist Tom Robbins said this about my work: “I’ve seen the future of American literature, and its name is Rob Brezsny.” Oscar-winning actress Marisa Tomei testified, “Rob Brezsny gets my nomination for best prophet in a starring role. He’s a script doctor for the soul.” Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz declared, “Rob Brezsny writes everybody’s favorite astrology column. I dig him for his powerful yet playful insights, his poetry and his humor.” Are you fed up with my boasts yet, Sagittarius? I will spare you from further displays of egomania under one condition: You have to brag about yourself a lot in the coming days—and not just with understated little chirps and peeps. Your expressions of self-appreciation must be lush, flamboyant, exultant, witty and sincere.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

By normal standards, your progress should be vigorous in the coming weeks. You may score a new privilege, increase your influence or forge a connection that boosts your ability to attract desirable resources. But accomplishments like those will be secondary to an even more crucial benchmark: Will you understand yourself better? Will you cultivate a more robust awareness of your strengths and weaknesses, your needs and your duties? Will you get clear about what you have to learn and what you have to jettison?

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

I’m confident that you would never try to sneak through customs with cocaine-laced goat meat or a hundred live tarantulas or some equally prohibited contraband. Please use similar caution as you gear up for your rite of passage or metaphorical border crossing. Your intentions should be pure and your conscience clear. Any baggage you take with you should be free of nonsense and delusions. To ensure the best possible outcome, arm yourself with the highest version of brave love that you can imagine.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):

Should you be worried if you have fantasies of seducing a deity, angel or superhero? Will it be weird if some night soon, you dream of an erotic rendezvous with a mermaid, satyr or centaur? I say no. In fact, I’d regard events like these as healthy signs. They would suggest that you’re

ready to tap into mythic and majestic yearnings that have been buried deep in your psyche. They might mean your imagination wants to steer you toward experiences that will energize the smart animal within you. And this would be in accordance with the most exalted cosmic tendencies. Try saying this affirmation: “I am brilliantly primal. I am wildly wise. I am divinely surprising.”

ARIES (March 21-April 19):

What should you do if your allies get bogged down by excess caution or lazy procrastination? Here’s what I advise: Don’t confront them or berate them. Instead, cheerfully do what must be done without their help. And what action should you take if mediocrity begins to creep into collaborative projects? Try this: Figure out how to restore excellence, and cheerfully make it happen. And how should you proceed if the world around you seems to have fallen prey to fear-induced apathy or courage-shrinking numbness? My suggestion: Cheerfully kick the world’s but—with gentle but firm good humor.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):

For the foreseeable future, your main duty is to be in love. Rowdily and innocently in love. Meticulously and shrewdly in love. In love with whom or what? Everyone and everything—or at least with as much of everyone and everything as you can manage. I realize this is a breathtaking assignment that will require you to push beyond some of your limitations and conjure up almost superhuman levels of generosity. But that’s exactly what the cosmic omens suggest is necessary if you want to break through to the next major chapter of your life story.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

What do you hope to be when you are all grown up, Gemini? An irresistible charmer who is beloved by many and owned by none? A master multi-tasker who’s paid well for the art of never being bored? A versatile virtuoso who is skilled at brokering truces and making matches and tinkering with unique blends? The coming weeks will be a favorable time to entertain fantasies like these—to dream about your future success and happiness. You are likely to generate good fortune for yourself as you brainstorm and play with the pleasurable possibilities. I invite you to be as creative as you dare.

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

“Dear Soul Doctor: I have been trying my best to body-surf the flood of feelings that swept me away a few weeks ago. So far I haven’t drowned! That’s good news, right? But I don’t know how much longer I can stay afloat. It’s hard to maintain so much concentration. The power and volume of the surge doesn’t seem to be abating. Are there any signs that I won’t have to do this forever? Will I eventually reach dry land? —Careening Crab.” Dear Careening: Five or six more days, at the most: You won’t have to hold out longer than that. During this last stretch, see if you can enjoy the ride more. Re-imagine your journey as a rambunctious adventure rather than a harrowing ordeal. And remember to feel grateful: Not many people have your capacity to feel so deeply.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):

If there can be such a thing as a triumphant loss, you will achieve it sometime soon. If anyone can slink in through the back door but make it look like a grand entrance, it’s you. I am in awe of your potential to achieve auspicious reversals and medicinal redefinitions. Plain old simple justice may not be available, but I bet you’ll be able to conjure up some unruly justice that’s just as valuable. To assist you in your cagey maneuvers, I offer this advice: Don’t let your prowess make you overconfident, and always look for ways to use your so-called liabilities to your advantage.

Homework: Read my response to the periodic Internet rumors that astrology is based on wrong assumptions, and that there’s a 13th sign: http://bit.ly/13thsignhoax


Help Wanted

Tree Service Tri-County Tree Service. Tree Removal, Tree Trimming, Stump Grinding. 20 Plus Years of Experience, Licensed and Insured. Call 601-940-5499 DirectTV NFL Offer DIRECTV. NFL Sunday Ticket (FREE!) w/Choice All-Included Package. $60/mo for 24 months. No upfront costs or equipment to buy. Ask about next day installation! 1- 800-374-1943 Meet Singles! Meet singles right now! No paid operators, just real people like you. Browse greetings, exchange messages and connect live. Try it free. Call now: 800-513-9842

VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations Currently hiring a part-time seasonal bike trip leader for our Natchez Trace tour. For more information please visit: http://www.vbt.com/careers/.

REAL ESTATE Place Your Ad Here Reach over 37,500 with an ad place here and get your place rented or sold! JFP’s core readership is 25-45 year old professionals with better than market incomes and education! http://jfpclassifieds.com

CLASSES/AUDITIONS Like To Sing? Join the Metro Male Chorus of Jackson. Rehearsals beginning soon. For questions and interest call Dr. Royce Boyer 601 594-2902

Drivers Needed Local company is looking for drivers to transport railroad crews up to a 200 mile radius from Jackson. Must live within 20 miles of Jackson, be 21 years or older, valid driver’s license and a pre-employment drug screen is required. A company vehicle is provided, paid training, and benefits. Compensation is $8.50 per hour. Apply online at www.renzenberger.com. Print and Digital Marketing Representative We’re looking to add a special new member to the JFP/BOOM Jackson sales team. You should have sales or customer service (retail, restaurant) experience, along with a drive to build your career while helping local businesses get ahead in the Jackson Metro. You must be personable, outgoing, persistent, and willing to learn. Commission-driven position with a paid training period and access to benefits; potential $3,000-$5,000/mo and beyond! Write todd@jacksonfreepress.com with cover letter and resume.


Post an ad, call 601-362-6121, ext. 11 or fax to 601-510-9019. Deadline: Mondays at Noon.


99 temporary farm-workers needed for field farm labor hand- harvesting sweet potatoes in the vicinity of Belzoni and Vardaman MS, for Rodrigo Gutierrez- Tapia, dba 5 G Harvesting LLC. work will be beginning on or about 09/24/2016 and ending on or about 11/11/2016. this job offer is for a hand harvester and requires 1 month verifiable work experience in the crop activities listed above. the minimum offered wage rate that workers will be paid is $10.69 per hour or piece rate may be offered depending on the crop activity. workers must commit to work the entire contract period. workers are guaranteed work for 3/4 of the contract period, beginning with the first day the worker arrives at the place of employment. All work tools are provided at no cost to the worker. Housing will be provided to those workers who cannot reasonably return to their permanent residence at the end of each working day. Transportation and subsistence will be provided by the employer upon completion of 50% of the work contract, or earlier, to workers who are recruited outside the area of intended employment.

Applicants should report or send resumes to:

Indianola WIN Job Center 226 N Martin Luther King Jr Ave, Indianola, MS 38751 (662)887-2502 In reference of job order number 180426 Job service agents should contact Agricultural services at (601)321-6030 EoE H-300-16223-687832.

September 14 - 20, 2016 • jfp.ms

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

BULLE TIN BOARD: Classifieds As low as $25!



Absolut Vodka 1.75 L bottles are $5.50 OFF the entire month of September!



775 Lake Harbour Dr. Ste F Ridgeland, MS 39157 601-594-3334 Sunday 12-6pm Monday-Closed Tuesday-Friday 12-7pm Saturday 10-5

Clothes, Accessories, Shoes, Furniture, Records, and more!

Woodland Hills Shopping Center 633 Dulling Avenue 769.216.2323 fondrencellars.com

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BURGERMANIA $5 Burgers after 5 p.m.

Behind the McDonalds in Madison Station


1009 Hampstead Blvd Clinton, MS

1002 Treetops Blvd • Flowood

(601) 926-1511

Behind the Applebee’s on Lakeland


Mention this ad and receive 10% OFF your total purchase!


Do You Get the JFP Daily? - Exclusive Invite to the Best of Jackson Party! - Headlines - Events and Music - Special Offers - Ticket Giveaways

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INSIDE HIDEAWAY Beside Planet Fitness 5100 I-55N Jackson,MS | 7692088283 www.4thgoal.com / the4thandgoal

TRS Inc. offers medical, dental, vision, prescription, 401k plan, short & long-term disability, AD&D, life insurance, education assistance, dependent scholarship program, etc. Interested in Traveling? We truly believe our greatest assets Learning a new skillset in an are the employees and we have an Excellent Benefit and Compensation environmentally friendly program to show it!

field of work? Have a Class A All you have to have is…. CDL w/ Tanker? Class A CDL • 21 years old Tanker Endorsement If you are qualified and Terra Renewal Services interested, please Call Eddie @ Inc. is searching for a CDL 479.699.5596, Email bthomas@ darlingii.com or fax resume to A Truck Driver to join the 479.229.3734 company. EOE/M/F/Vet/Disabled

Profile for Jackson Free Press Magazine

V15n02 - Banking on Justice  

Banking On Justice; Climbing Out of Poverty in the Mississippi Delta pp 14 - 20 • DA Going Too Far? p 8 • Pride, Post 9/11 p 13 • Clouds & C...

V15n02 - Banking on Justice  

Banking On Justice; Climbing Out of Poverty in the Mississippi Delta pp 14 - 20 • DA Going Too Far? p 8 • Pride, Post 9/11 p 13 • Clouds & C...