Page 1

vol. 16 no. 23

FREE FEBRUARY 7 - 13, 2018

Abortion Ban Moves Forward

The Love Issue


r is at


pp 6 - 8

‘School Choice’: How It’s Funded p 10

Under a ‘Silent Sky’ p 23

Jackson’s First Couple Bragg, p 14-15

Valentine’s Day Roundup Cardon, p 16

Your Metro Events Calendar is at



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JACKSONIAN Ashlee Kelly Stepehen Wilson


shlee Kelly wants to bring beneficial new housing options to Jackson in the form of tiny houses. “It’s a more affordable housing option for low-income people,” she says. The New Orleans native moved to Jackson in 2003 to further her education at Jackson State University. She received a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2008, a master’s degree in urban and regional planning in 2010, and a doctorate degree in public administration in 2017, all from Jackson State. She has worked for the City of Jackson in various capacities, with her most recent position as a policy analyst. She will leave that position next week. Kelly, 32, first found an interest in the idea of tiny-home living through her husband, Akili Kelly. “(Me) being a planner and my husband is an architect, when we heard about ‘Start(-Up) Weekend’ hosted by Innovate Mississippi, I told him we should pitch tiny homes,” she says. “(We) always knew we wanted to combine our skills, and do some type of planning and development in Jackson.” The couple founded the business nearly two weeks after Innovate’s StartUp Weekend in 2016.


Ashlee Kelly says tiny homes can help people such as millennials who are coming out of school in debt, lowincome individuals, those who are looking to downsize and even Jackson’s homeless population. Kelly does not just want to innovate Jackson’s housing development. She also has a passion for helping entrepreneurs. In May 2017, she started a website called Jxnpreneur, which lists agencies in Jackson that provide resources to entrepreneurs and small business, including events and webinars. Kelly also posts articles for small businesses and entrepreneurs on the website. Kelly says she is thankful for the support she receives from Akili. “We’re pretty good partners. …I do have a good support system in my husband,” she says. “She is one of the most driven (people) I know,” Akili says. “… When she thinks about something, it’s usually followed up with an action plan as to how to get it done.” For more information on Ashlee Kelly’s business ventures, visit and or find TinyJXN on Facebook. —Brynn Corbello

cover photo of Ebony and Chokwe Lumumba by Stephen Wilson

6 ............................ Talks 12 ................... editorial 13 ...................... opinion 14 ............ Cover Story 16 ........... food & Drink 20 ......................... 8 Days 21 ........................ Events 21 ....................... sports 22 .......................... music 22 ........ music listings 23 ............................ Arts 24 ...................... Puzzles 25 ......................... astro 25 ............... Classifieds

10 Inside the ‘School Choice’ Lobby Who is funding the campaign for vouchers and charter schools in Mississippi?

22 Jukebox Duo

Read about Shovels & Rope before the band comes to Jackson on Feb. 10.

23 Under a ‘Silent Sky’

“It’s heartbreaking in that the great work that Henrietta (Leavitt) was doing, she was told (by men) in the play, ‘Alright, we’ll take it from here. Good work.’” —Francine Thomas Reynolds, “Under a ‘Silent Sky’”

February 7 - 13, 2018 •

4 ............ Editor’s Note

James Patterson; Leslie Ryan McKellar; Imani Khayyam / File Photo

February 7 - 13, 2018 | Vol. 16 No. 23


editor’s note

by Micah Smith, Music Editor

Show Love for the Local


alentine’s Day is a weird holiday. For starters, there is the “reason for the season,” Saint Valentine, whom we know pretty much nothing about to the point that he might even be a conflation of two people. Of course, for most of us, Valentine’s Day is more a celebration of significant others than third-century Roman dudes. Each year, on the week of Feb. 14, we party like it’s every couple’s wedding or dating anniversary on the exact same day. Before February even rolled around, I started getting emails from Amazon and all other manner of online market touting sales on a special something for my special someone. You and your better half may be like my wife, Jeana, and me, though. We’re more experiencers, for lack of a better word, than consumers. Instead of buying gifts, we like to check out new places or go eat at restaurants we haven’t tried yet, and the lovely thing about this approach is that we can often do that within the metro area. We try really hard to stay active in the Jackson community and not be homebodies all year round. There aren’t many weeks where we skip absolutely everything and just hang out at our house. If you don’t see us at least once a week a local restaurant or an event in Jackson, we are either out of town, or you should alert Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones of a possible alien abduction. Is that reference too old? Sure is. This Valentine’s Day is going to be different on purpose. Life has been a lot busier for us over the past couple months. Jeana has taken on big projects at work and at home, like learning to screen-print T-shirts, and designing logos and merchandise for some musician friends. Meanwhile, I’m trying to do the “secret rock star” thing,

playing a lot more out-of-town shows on weekends, writing and recording new music, and doing my best to learn about sound engineering to help out at our church. We’ll still go out and celebrate at some point this week, but after all that, the idea of trying to fight the crowds on Valentine’s Day sounds extra exhausting. We definitely don’t knock anyone who is planning on going all out this year—in fact, more power to you—but to be frank,

This Valentine’s Day, look for ways to show love for the local. we are both tired. Instead, Jeana and I decided on a quiet night in, hanging out with our dogs, cooking dinner together and playing video games. She’s also doing her darnedest to track down matching pajamas for reasons that are beyond me. I think people sometimes undervalue a quiet night at home, especially at a time of the year when others expect us to be out and about, but when we get busy with life, it is easy to confuse needing a night in with having nothing to go out for. There is a funny, paradoxical quality in Jackson that I’m sure happens all over the world: On any week, someone can say the phrase, “There’s nothing to do here,” while also having so many options available that they end up doing nothing at all.

We can be bizarrely down on Jackson when we shouldn’t be. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people go to bat for Jackson, saying how awesome it is, just to have someone else knock them down instantly. “Well, what about Memphis? What about New Orleans?” The response usually shifts to, “Yeah, it’s not that cool.” Jackson has problems and things that we’re working on, but those problems don’t negate the great things about the capital. Jeana, my band mates and I recently spent some time in Hot Springs, Ark., which was already gearing up for Valentine’s Day in the first week of February with tons of couples coming up for visits. I will admit that one of the first things I thought when we entered the town was how cool it was and how I wished Jackson had enough to attract people in the same way. But the more time that I spent there, the more that I began to wonder why that arguably smaller town is more successful at drawing people. I’m sure that at one point the eponymous hot springs played some pivotal role in that, but in 2018, hot water kind of falls short of the Eighth Wonder of the World. There are some obvious things that we don’t have, such as bathhouses and more kitschy entertainment options like wax museums, but there are plenty of things that we have in common, including cool local restaurants, architecture and nature attractions. A fair number of tourists may come to Hot Springs for overpriced crystals and mineral water, but there are far more visitors in the town for the arts and food. Both of those scenes are thriving here in Jackson and have been for quite some time. I’m convinced that the biggest differences between our two towns are confidence and support.

At all the cool businesses that we visited in Hot Springs, it wasn’t tourists but residents filling tables and bar stools. I wouldn’t claim to know much about running a small business, but I do know that if locals stand behind their favorite local spots, then those shops stand a much better chance. A couple years ago, Phillip Rollins, who owns one of my favorite Jackson businesses, Offbeat, told me that if every customer even bought a soda from him each week, then he would never have to worry about whether his store would stay open. As I said, I’m not much of a consumer. Whenever TV news anchors blame the millennial for inadvertently bringing down an industry, I’m that guy. However, I always try to buy something when I’m in Offbeat. On my most recent visit, I decided to combine that support for the store with Valentine’s and bought a Gundam model kit as a small pre-V-Day present for my wife. Similarly, whenever we do go out to celebrate properly, you can bet we’ll be dining locally. Instead of taking to the Internet for gift ideas, why not use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to show love for your city, too? You can stop by your favorite local store to pick up a thoughtful gift or take your significant other to one of the countless local restaurants hosting special dinners. There are also tons of concerts and activities right here in Jackson if you and your loved one are looking for something fun to do together this week. You can find plenty of those on our events calendar (see page 21) and even more at Even if you’re one of the couples like Jeana and me who plan on sticking to home base like we’re on house arrest on Feb. 14, look for little ways that you can use Valentine’s Day to also show love for the local.

February 7 - 13, 2018 •



Ko Bragg

Arielle Dreher

Stephen Wilson

Brynn Corbello

Dustin Cardon

Andrea Wright Dilworth

Todd Stauffer

Kimberly Griffin

City Reporter Ko Bragg is a Philadelphia, Miss., transplant who recently completed her master’s in journalism. She loves traveling and has been to 25 countries to date. She wrote the cover story about the mayor and first lady.

News Reporter Arielle Dreher is working on finding some new hobbies and adopting an otter from the Jackson Zoo. Email her story ideas at She wrote about the abortion ban.

Staff Photographer Stephen Wilson is always on the scene, bringing you views from the six. He contributed some of the photographs in this issue, including the cover photo of the Lumumbas.

Brynn Corbello is a freelance musician, occupational therapist, writer, photographer and born-and-raised Fondrenite whom you just may “spot” walking her Dalmatian. She wrote the Jacksonian story.

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 the Week in Review and edits (subscribe free).

Andrea Wright Dilworth is a journalism professor with at least five novels floating around in her head, waiting to be set free. She lives in Jackson with her husband and three children. She wrote about New Stage Theatre’s “Silent Sky.”

Publisher Todd Stauffer is the author of more than 40 books on Macs, HTML, blogging and digital video. He is a Texas A&M graduate. Write him if you need a new website and digital marketing strategy:

Associate Publisher Kimberly Griffin is a Jackson native who loves Jesus, her mama, cooking, traveling, the Callaway Chargers, chocolate, her godson, working out, Mississippi University for Women and locally owned restaurants.









5:30 - 8:30 PM cash bar 6 - 7:30 PM program and concert Until 8:30 PM galleries open late

What do you stand for? This month at Museum After Hours, we mount an exhibition of selected portraits from #JXNStands, an ongoing project of the Center for Art & Public Exchange (CAPE) and OurGlass Media Group. Participating photographers include: Carolyne Cole, Mark Geil, Talamieka Brice, Melanie Thortis, Sky Miles, T.J. Legler, and Imani Khayyam.


About JXNSTANDS: JXNSTANDS invites residents of and visitors to Mississippi’s capital city to assume the role of monument; to stand proudly for whatever value, belief, or idea they believe belongs in the public square. CAPE at the Mississippi Museum of Art and Ourglass Media partner with area photographers to produce a visual record of what individuals choose to stand for at this moment in the state’s and city’s history, giving voice and a platform to a diversity of Mississippi people and imagination. Presented in conversation with Birmingham Stands.


This event is free and open to the public.

artwork. art play. 380 South Lamar St. | Jackson MS 39201 | 601.960.1515



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Mon. - Sat., 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Maywood Mart Shopping Center 1220 E. Northside Dr. 601-366-5676 Please Drink Responsibly

February 7 - 13, 2018 •





”We’re introducing this to decriminalize user level amounts of marijuana because for far too long we have made a practice of turning users into criminals.”



— Ward 4 Councilman De’Keither Stamps at a Jackson City Council meeting on Jan. 30.


Thursday, February 1 Leaders of the Mississippi House of Representatives announce a plan to reduce income taxes in exchange for higher fuel taxes to raise money for roads and bridges. Friday, February 2 The Mississippi House passes a bill that would make the state the only one to ban all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Saturday, February 3 Donald Trump claims “complete vindication” from a congressional memo that alleges the FBI abused its surveillance powers during the investigation into his campaign’s possible Russia ties, calling Robert Meuller’s probe a “witch hunt” and claiming there is “no collusion or obstruction.”

February 7 - 13, 2018 •

Sunday, February 4 Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers say Donald Trump was wrong to assert that a GOP-produced classified memo on FBI surveillance powers clears him in the Russia investigation, and California Rep. Adam Schiff questions whether memo author Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., had coordinated with the White House in drafting the document. … The Philadelphia Eagles defeat the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII.


Monday, February 5 Data from the Mississippi Department of Education shows that more than 70,000 students were chronically absent in the 2016-2017 school year. … The Jackson City Council hosts a public hearing about marijuana decriminalization in City Hall. Tuesday, February 6 The Mississippi House of Representatives passes House Bill 1241, with an equal pay amendment embedded. Get breaking news at

15-Week Abortion Ban Moves Ahead by Arielle Dreher


bortion would be illegal after 15 weeks in Mississippi if a bill the House of Representatives passed late Friday becomes law. Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, introduced House Bill 1510, and Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, brought what he called a “prolife bill” out of his committee to the House floor, where it passed by a vote of 79-31. Currently, abortion is prohibited in Mississippi after 20 weeks, the legally accepted point where a fetus might become “viable” and live outside the womb. Currie said the measure was about abortion—not maternal health care. “Once that mother decides she’s going to carry that child past 15 weeks, she has access to health care, 100-percent good health care,” Currie said. Rep. Adrienne Wooten, D-Jackson, had lots of questions for Currie. “Why would you force a woman to have a child who has decided that she does not want to have that child? Tell me what right the state has to force a woman to do something like that?” Wooten said. Currie said she believed life and children are precious. “I think that if you have a child, and you don’t want it, that there’s somebody else that does want it and will love it,” Currie answered. Wooten pushed back, pointing to the 6,000 children in foster care. (There are 5,683 kids currently in the state’s custody.)

Imani Khayyam File Photo

Wednesday, January 31 Ward 4 Councilman De’Keither Stamps proposes a change to Jackson’s ordinances that would decriminalize possession of user-level amounts of marijuana in the capital city.

Blight Partners have three years to make some progress. p7

Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, introduced the “Gestational Age Act,” which would ban abortions in the state before 15 weeks. The measure passed the House by a vote of 79-31, with some Democrats supporting it.

Currie said the State helps contribute to the health of those children. “If there’s a child that doesn’t have a home, they are taken under the custody of DHS, if they don’t have food, we supply them food,” Currie said. “… This is not a third-world country—” “It’s a third-world state,” Wooten finished, ending debate on the bill, as Currie yielded the floor. Gipson did draw a sideways compliment during the floor debate, however. “This is the first time since you have been

chairman I’ve actually seen you allow a female to participate in debate about this subject, and this is very interesting to me,” Rep. John Hines, D-Greenville, told Gipson during the discussion. The Viability Debate Mississippi lawmakers have restricted abortion access in the state to great lengths already. The state has one abortion clinic in Jackson, and current state law does not allow women to have abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy. Doctors at the Jackson

Political Couples

by JFP Staff In honor of Valentine’s Day, the Jackson Free Press decided to come up with some … interesting political couples. Chris McDaniel + literally any seat he can get in the U.S. Congress Sen. Roger Wicker + Trump’s voter base More than half the State Legislature + the state flag Democrats + MAEP Tate Reeves + the dollar bills in his campaign-finance account Phil Bryant + Nigel Farage Rep. David Nunes + memos Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba + people’s assemblies

“Expanding eligibility for the state’s successful ESA program could have more impact on long-term economic progress than any other bill debated in the Legislature.”

“Why would you force a woman to have a child who has decided that she does not want to have that child? Tell me what right the state has to force a woman to do something like that?”

— Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves in a press release on his support for expanding vouchers this session.

— Rep. Adrienne Wooten, D-Jackson, debating the 15-week abortion ban bill on the House floor last week.

Tackling Jackson’s Blight, More or Less by Ko Bragg

Women’s Health Organization are required to go through health department materials with women wanting an abortion, as laid out in state law, and she must wait 24 hours between her initial consultation and actually getting an abortion. The Jackson Free Press obtained a copy of the “Informed Consent” guide from the Mississippi Department of Health in November 2017. It says that a fetus has “no chance of survival outside the womb” up to 18 weeks and notes that “survival outside the womb is not probable” from 18 to 20 weeks. State law leaves “probable gestational age of the unborn child” to the judgment of the attending physician. Viability of a pregnancy is different for each woman, but generally speaking, a pregnancy is usually viable around the 20-

“I pay taxes just like everybody else,” Alexis told the Jackson Free Press. “[P]eople in Jackson help who they want to help.” Alexis says she feels overwhelmed and discouraged, and the more she talks about her home situation, the closer she gets to tears. “Stress will kill you,” she said. I’m tired of being stressed. ... I have to look out for my children.”

Wood rats from next door have started eating their way into her home. 4,000 Blighted Properties As of late 2017, Jackson had more than 4,000 dilapidated, blighted properties. The house next door to Alexis’ is not strikingly rundown, especially compared to some of the other properties in the City with sunken roofs that look like a collapsed house of cards. Her neighbor’s house is not listed in the tax-forfeited property directory on the secretary of state’s website. For now, it hangs in the balance, still causing a nuisance to Alexis and her family. The Community Improvement Unit within the Jackson Police Department handles blighted and aban-

week mark. That is the standard the U.S. courts have recognized since the Gonzalez v. Carhart U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which allowed Nebraska to implement a late-term abortion law, which the procedure’s opponents call “partial birth,” despite both lower courts ruling against the measure. A wave of 20-week abortion bans hit state legislatures afterward, including in Mississippi. Currie said lawmakers have precedence under the Gonzalez v. Carhart ruling to pass the legislation. “[T]he (Supreme) Court upheld a federal prohibition  on ‘partial-birth’ abortion even as applied to abortions performed before viability, therefore, any prohibition on pre-viability abortions including at 15week gestational limitation must be carefully evaluated to determine if it serves as

doned property. The City placed the CIU under police jurisdiction in October 2014. Residents can report properties directly to CIU, or council members can do so on behalf of constituents. The CIU sends notice to the property owner, who then has to attend either administrative court and/or environmental court in the City. CIU officers inspect the property and determine if it needs to be demolished or boarded up if it is structurally sound enough. Either action has to get city-council approval to authorize a contract to do the demolition or put boards on the windows and doors. Jaye Coleman, commander of support services in CIU, said the process can take a couple months waiting for property owners’ responses and council approval. In the meantime, the homes, like the one next door to Alexis, can be hazardous. “We board it up so kids can’t get in it and get hurt, and transients can’t get in there overnight and possibly burn the house up,” Coleman told the Jackson Free Press. “We have a lot of that where people go into a vacant property to warm up and some kind of way the house catches on fire.” Community members like Alexis are right to be concerned about blighted and abandoned properties. “Neighborhood blight is part of the vicious cycle in Jackson,” the 2016 BOTEC Analysis report on local crime warns. “Crime causes blight, and blight fosters crime. Abandoned houses, called ‘bandos,’ shelter runaway youth and provide a haven for drug use or headquarters

compelling state interest and imposes undue burden on women, so we have precedence,” Currie said, while explaining her proposed legislation. Hillary Schneller, a staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, disagrees. She said that states cannot ban abortion prior to viability, which she said is generally around the 24-week mark of a pregnancy. “A fetus is not viable at 15 weeks— there’s no scientific or legal basis for that,” Schneller told the Jackson Free Press. Constitutional Bill? At least two other states have attempted to ban abortion with limits before 20 weeks: North Dakota and Arkansas. The Center for Reproductive Rights challenged both those bans in court and won

more BLIGHT, see page 8

both times. North Dakota attempted to ban abortion as early as six weeks in 2013, but the Center challenged the measure, and a federal court struck the law down, followed by an unsuccessful appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Arkansas tried to ban abortion after 12 weeks in 2013 and failed after the Center and the ACLU asked the court to strike down the measure. Schneller reiterated that the bedrock principle of abortions-rights cases is that states cannot ban abortion prior to viability. She said the Center for Reproductive Rights is watching House Bill 1510 “very, very closely.” Some Democrats raised concerns about the measure’s legality during debate. more ABORTION, see page 8

February 7 - 13, 2018 •


lexis has been a homeowner in southwest Jackson since 1999. Her neighbors left more than five years ago, and the house next door has been abandoned ever since. As her neighbors’ yard collected trash, she picked it up and did other work on the house so that her own property did not get overrun with weeds or the snakes that naturally appear in and around abandoned properties. Her other neighbors call her crazy for all the work she puts into a home that is not hers, she says. As a mother of six, three of whom are school-aged, Alexis says she does it for her kids. In the last couple of months, Alexis’ family has been terrified and paranoid because wood rats from next door have started eating their way into her home. She had to put cement around her toilet when she found out that they had carved out an entryway underneath her commode. Now, vagrants have started coming into the empty house next door at night and starting fires. She goes to sleep terrified of waking up to blazes. Alexis asked that she remain anonymous because she does not want people drawing conclusions about her because of what is happening to her house—she does her best to maintain her home. “I like to be clean,” she said. She has spoken to several people working for the City of Jackson, including at public city council meetings, but considering that she has been back and forth to local hardware stores so often in the last two months that she says the managers know her by name, not much has changed with the house next door.


TALK | state

ABORTION from page 7

Email state reporter Arielle Dreher at and follow her on Twitter @arielle_amara. Read more coverage of the abortion debate in Mississippi at

February 7 - 13, 2018 •

Most viral stories at


1. “Good Faith, Bad Faith: City Contract Controversies Explode … Again” by Ko Bragg 2. Entrepreneur Quarterly at Sal & Mookie’s, Metrocenter Closing and Shipley Do-Nuts by Dustin Cardon 3. “Jackson May Decriminalize Pot Possession of 30 Grams or Less” by Ko Bragg 4. “The Poverty-Crime Connection” by Lacey McLaughlin 5. “What Legislation Is Still Alive; What’s Dead at the Capitol” by Arielle Dreher

Most viral events at

1. The Power of Story: Women Owning Their Voices, Feb. 8 2. Kommunity Builder’s Mardi Gras Ball 2018, Feb. 9 3. Bacchus Ball, Feb. 10 4. “Silent Sky,” Feb. 13-25 5. Valentine’s Day at the Zoo, Feb. 14 Find more events at


riday is yet another deadline day for legislation introduced in the House to make it out of the House and in the Senate out of the Senate. Lawmakers have a lot of work to do before then, and here are some of the controversial bills to watch for this week.

House Bills

Mississippi “Anti-Gang” Act (House Bill 541 and Senate Bill 2868) This legislation has the full support of prosecutors in the state and the Department of Public Safety. It would revise the definition of a gang member as well as make “criminal gang activity” a separate offense from any underlying misdemeanor or felony a person is accused of if prosecutors can prove they are

BLIGHT from page 7

gang members under the new definition that makes it easier to prove. Children’s Cabinet (House Bill 985) This bill would abolish several statewide councils and task forces in favor of one cabinet that reports to the governor. Several family organizations do not approve of the limited parent involvement included in the bill’s language. Sexting Delinquency (House Bill 1467 and Senate Bill 2803) Two bills are alive in both the House and the Senate that make sexting—texting, transmitting or sending indecent images—a delinquent act if minors are caught. Youth court would have jurisdiction over all matters

relating to minors caught sexting, and those charged with sexting as minors would not be required to register as sex offenders.

Senate Bills

Voucher Expansion (Senate Bill 2623) This bill would expand vouchers to any student who was enrolled in a public school during the previous academic year or is eligible to enroll in public kindergarten or first grade. A voucher allows a student to use taxpayer funds in a private school. Additionally, children of active-duty Armed Forces members or in foster care, as well siblings of students that already have ESAs, would be eligible under Sen. Gray Tollison’s, R-Oxford, legislation.

Re-entry Council Recommendations (Senate Bill 2848 and House Bill 387) These bills resurrect some suggestions from the state’s Re-entry Council, which Gov. Phil Bryant vetoed last year. The House already passed its version of this bill. Medicaid Technical Amendments Bill (Senate Bill 2836 and House Bill 898) The Senate and House will have to agree about technical changes to the state’s Medicaid program. Senate Bill 2836 would allow more doctor visits and prescriptions and add additional services for those Mississippians with insurance through the state’s managedcare companies.

“I think it’s going to have a real, significant impact on being able to see the work that’s being done to improve the neighborhoods and areas in which we work,” McKewen told the Jackson Free Press. “It’s going to be beautiful new house, beautiful new house, empty lot, empty lot instead of beautiful house, beautiful house, derelict and abandoned house, derelict and abandoned house.”

for gang activity.” Not to mention, they help sink property values in the neighborhood, meaning that more blight is likely. In its most recent efforts to deal with forgotten homes, the City of Jackson announced that it had identified partners required Blight Elimination Grant to secure funding from the Missis When City Council authosippi Home Corporation’s “Blight rized the blight elimination partners Elimination Program”: Habitat for on Jan. 30, Ward 3 Councilman Humanity Mississippi Capital Area, Kenneth Stokes said he hopes more Jackson Housing Authority and of the city will benefit. Chicago-based Karry L. Young De Director of Planning and Development, LLC. velopment Mukesh Kumar expects The program draws funds from eight total rounds of applications to the U.S. Department of Treasury happen over the next few years, as set aside under the “Hardest Hit cities are allowed to apply for mulFund Program,” designed to protiple rounds of funding with differvide financial assistance to families ent blight partners until the money in states where the housing-market runs out. The “Hardest Hit” funds crash had the greatest impact. The go away in 2020. blight partners will use funds to ob Lisa Coleman, the vice presitain the title to properties in a desdent of federal grants for the Misignated area prior to demolition. In sissippi Home Corporation, told addition, Habitat for Humanity will the Jackson Free Press in November Merrill McKewen, executive director of schedule demolition for some of the Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital 2017 that the ideal qualifying neighproperties it already owns. borhood would be thriving with Area, said Mississippi Home Corporation’s For the next three years after “Blight Elimination Program” will have real, one or two blighted or abandoned demolition, the partners are respon- significant impact in neighborhoods. homes on the street that bring down sible for maintaining the lot. Should the value of those around them. they decide to build before the three “It’s really not to go into an years are up, they have to repay some of the grant money. all-blighted area and tear down blighted homes,” Coleman Habitat for Humanity will work on Greenview Drive and said. in the Virden Addition where it has already concentrated its ef- Maybe Alexis’ neighborhood will qualify, maybe it won’t. forts. Merrill McKewen, executive director of Habitat for Hu- The house next door has been flagged by CIU to get boarded manity in Jackson, is excited about that three-year period be- up to keep vagrants out—and allow her to get some sleep cause it takes the pressure off her organization to immediately *Name has been changed. put up houses, and it gives instant relief to the neighborhood. Email city reporter Ko Bragg at courtesy Merrill McKwewen

Rep. Kabir Karriem, D-Columbus, asked if it was unconstitutional. “I hear the chairman behind me saying yes, it is. But trust and believe, I believe that there will be some constitutional challenges to this bill,” Wooten said. Some Democrats supported the measure, but Wooten and Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes, D-Gulfport, spoke against the legislation. Williams-Barnes challenged her colleagues to care for the welfare of children in all aspects of policy, pointing to child-care subsidy bills and other health-care votes that hurt women’s health care in the state. Ultimately, several Democrats voted for the bill, including Rep. Tommy Reynolds, D-Charleston, who spoke in its favor. Planned Parenthood, which has one Mississippi clinic, in Hattiesburg, that offers contraception and family-planning services but not abortion, warned that the measure is unconstitutional. “This bill is not only unspeakably dangerous for the women of Mississippi, but it’s a waste of time and taxpayer money that we can’t afford to lose,” Felicia BrownWilliams, Mississippi state director for Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates, said in a press statement. “Mississippi voters have made it clear that we do not want the government meddling in personal health-care decisions.”

Bills to Watch at #MsLeg This Week


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February 7 - 13, 2018 •



TALK | state

Funding the ‘School Choice’ Lobby by Arielle Dreher


February 7 - 13, 2018 •

Walmart & DeVos Influence Few organizations have more influence on “school choice” policy and lawmakers than Empower Mississippi, the brainchild of Grant Callen, who founded the nonprofit. Callen previously worked as the director of development at the Mississippi Center for Public Policy. Empower Mississippi also has a foundation and a registered PAC, established in July 2014. “We support all types of school choice, and we want to see a world-class public, private- and charter-school system,” Callen told the Jackson Free Press. Empower PAC began with the two top donors giving $25,000 each: then-businessman Joel Bomgar (now a state representative) and Francis Lee, listed as a manager of Liberty Springs LLC with an address attached to Tower Loan in Flowood where he is the CEO, campaign-finance records show. It was not long before national “school choice” organizations swooped in to help. The Mississippi Federation for Children PAC, a political arm of the American Federation for Children, formed in March 2015. AFC is a national “school choice” organization, which the U.S. Education Sec10 retary Betsy DeVos once chaired. The Mis-

sissippi FC PAC began with two donations in 2015. Jim Walton, Walmart founder and billionaire, and Bomgar each gave $200,000 to the new PAC. The Mississippi Federation for Children PAC, in turn, gave those funds to Empower PAC. That pattern continued into recent years. Empower PAC is the primary funnel through which AFC funds flow to candidates. Callen said there is no affiliation between Empower and the American Federation for Children beyond their contributions to the Empower PAC. Empower PAC paid tens of thousands of dollars to the Improve Mississippi

firmed a sexual-harassment investigation into the longtime lawmaker. Callen, lobbying on behalf of his organization, spent nearly $3,000 on meals for lawmakers, his annual lobbyist’s report shows. Callen paid for more than one lunch with Sen. Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, and Moore in 2017. Notably, House Education Chairman Rep. Richard Bennett, R-Long Beach, is not one of the more than 50 lawmakers listed who attended a lunch or dinner with Callen. No voucher bills survived Bennett’s committee deadline. Tollison, however, passed out a vast expansion of the state’s Imani Khayyam File Photo

n just one year, the Mississippi Legislature has gone from slightly tweaking its voucher program for students with dyslexia to a push to allow any publicschool student to apply for a taxpayer-funded voucher to use at a private school. Republican leaders are supportive of the “school choice” push, with Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn all attending the large national “school choice” rally inside the Capitol in January, donning yellow scarves with private- and charter-school students standing behind them. The governor even mentioned expanding “school choice” in his “State of the State” address. “I continue to believe that parents should have the freedom to have their tax dollars send their children to the school of their choice, not one decided by the government,” Bryant said in his address in January. But what organizations and people are behind the push for “school choice” in Mississippi and the transfer of public funds to private schools? Where did the most recent push for voucher expansion come from? Campaign-finance and lobbyist reports offer several clues.

Grant Callen and his organization Empower Mississippi are arguably the epicenter of “school choice” policy and influence in the Mississippi Legislature, but the web of funders for the movement stretches far beyond state lines.

Political Improvement Committee, which sprang up overnight when Initiative 42—to force legislators to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program—went on the ballot. Beyond campaigning to defeat Initiative 42, Empower PAC funds candidates and occasionally challengers as well, Callen said. The PAC helped fund four northern Mississippi candidates who were “anti-charter school” in the 2015 elections. Three of the four Empower-supported candidates won their elections: Dan Eubanks, Dana Criswell and Ashley Henley. \ Most recently, Empower PAC donated $10,000 to Lt. Gov. Reeves and $1,000 each to both the House and Senate Education chairmen at the time. Empower Mississippi invested a lot of lobbying time and effort into thenHouse Education Chairman John Moore, R-Brandon, who abruptly retired before the session started before the House con-

education scholarship vouchers, enabling any student who has attends public school now to use them, giving priority to students with special needs and those below the poverty line. Even Lt. Gov. Reeves admitted that the voucher bill may not have the support it needs in the House. “We have a long way to go to secure enough votes in the House of Representatives, but today’s action moves us one step closer to making this a reality,” Reeves said in a press release. Callen is optimistic, however. “I think you will see the Senate pass the bill this week, and I am optimistic that it will pass (the House) and be signed into law by the governor,” he said. Enter Jeb Bush, Koch Brothers The 2017 annual lobbyist’s report also shows Callen taking five representatives out to dinner in Nashville on Nov. 29, 2017.

Excel in Ed—Jeb Bush’s nonprofit organization that pushes “school choice,” vouchers and charter schools—held its annual summit starting that day in Nashville. Callen said several lawmakers attended the event and that his organization spread the word about the summit. He said the summit attracts not only lawmakers but school-board members as well as Department of Education officials. Excel in Ed, much like AFC, has state lobbying efforts as well. In 2017, it paid more than $17,000 for lobbyists and communication efforts in the state, the lobbyist’s client report shows. The nonprofit does not have a specific PAC registered in the state. Bush’s nonprofit is not the only organization lobbying here for “school choice.” Americans for Prosperity, a Kochbrothers funded organization, has a prominent lobbying presence in the Legislature too. Recently, AFP Mississippi sponsored a social-media ad campaign on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, in support of ESA vouchers this year. Russell Latino, the AFP Mississippi director, said that the group is not only focused on “school choice” but also on other issues at the Capitol, like tax policy. In 2016 AFP Mississippi spent $36,000 on advertising, its lobbyist’s client report shows. In 2017, that number nearly doubled to more than $70,000 spent on advertising and direct mail. “A large part of what we do as an organization is to try to raise awareness around the issues that we’re focused on, and one of the ways we do that is by communicating directly with citizens,” Latino said. The organization did not file its 2017 report on time, but after the Jackson Free Press inquired about its status last week, the lobbyist’s client annual report appeared online early this week. In 2017, AFP spent $491 on taking specific lawmakers out to eat and $1,190 on a reception. The Koch brothers, conservative businessman bolstered by family oil money, are busy in Arizona at the moment after teachers’ unions launched a ballot initiative to prohibit a new voucher bill in the state from becoming law. The Koch brothers are expected to team up with the Libre Institute and spend an estimated six-figure amount to educate and support Arizona’s voucher law and thwart the ballot initiative, the Washington Examiner reported. “School choice” lobby is strong and deep in the state, expanding to billionaire funding far beyond state borders to fund the push for vouchers and charters here.

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February 7 - 13, 2018 •



Medical Marijuana: Solution to Opioid Crisis?


February 7 - 13, 2018 •

iven the current crisis associated with widespread opioid abuse, dependence and deaths, Mississippi’s leaders must find an effective and safer alternative to prescribing narcotics. Reducing dependence on opioids for pain management is a difficult challenge, but other states have provided their residents with another option: medical marijuana. In response to a growing demand, 30 states, including Louisiana and Arkansas, have passed laws that allow physicians to issue medical marijuana prescriptions or certifications for patients with debilitating disorders. Studies have found that because of those laws, those states experience lower rates of opioid prescriptions, and recreational addictions and deaths. A study from researchers at Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of Pennsylvania and Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine showed that states with medical marijuana laws experienced an annual 25-percent-lower-than-average opioid-overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical marijuana laws. Furthermore, there is significant evidence of opioid cessation among individuals who consume marijuana to treat chronic pain. A study from University of Michigan researchers showed that medical marijuana patients reported a 64-percent decrease in opioid use, as well as a reduction in the side effects that opioid medications cause, and 45 percent experienced an improved quality of life. In a program in New Mexico, middle-aged participants who had habitually used opioids to treat back pain were able to significantly stop using opioids or reduce daily dosage of opioid use. They reported experiencing less pain, a higher quality of life, physical activity and concentration, and few adverse side effects. Researchers at Bastyr University Research Institute showed that of the 2,700 participants—primarily women—using marijuana, most substituted it for prescription drugs (narcotics, opioids, anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants). Evidence supports the use of marijuana to manage chronic pain and debilitating diseases. Marijuana could potentially help with issues such as inflammation, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Although glaucoma, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, marijuana post-traumatic stress disorder and more. The Centers for Disease Control and Prehas some vention reports that overdoses associated with side effects, prescription opioids are a leading factor in the inits benefits crease of deaths caused by opioid overdose. Last year, Mississippi lost nearly 200 residents due to far outweigh related deaths, data from the Mississippi Bureau its risks. of Narcotics show. Although marijuana has some side effects, its benefits far outweigh its risks, and it is not associated with death and severe side effects like many prescription drugs. Moreover, older Americans are likely using it to treat conditions for which they have received no relief from drug medications and invasive therapies. This may explain the steady increase of marijuana use among the American public. In 2015, an estimated 22 million Americans reported having used marijuana in the past month, data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration show. This session, lawmakers introduced legislation, House Bill 391 and Senate Bill 2261, to legalize medical marijuana; however, at this point in the session, both of those bills have died. This year, Mississippi was poised to become the next state to give its residents the legal right to use medical marijuana, but the poor leadership of our state legislators proved once again that they are not qualified to address Mississippi’s dire public-health issues. Getty Israel, who has a master’s degree in public health, is a health consultant and author. The column does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the JFP. 12

Legislators, Kill the Flawed Voucher Bill


he notion of “school choice” is deeply embedded in the Capitol this session. Senate Education Chairman Gray Tollison, ROxford, wants to expand the state’s voucher program drastically, allowing any child in public school to use a voucher next year. Low-income students, and those with special-education needs, would get first choice, but the proposal is flawed. First, vouchers are not a solution for students with special-education needs. The Mississippi Department of Education just announced a lottery for 90 unused Education Scholarship Account vouchers for the current school year, meaning Mississippians are not fully using the ESA vouchers. Secondly, the notion of “school choice” in a state as rural as Mississippi is short-sighted. Outside the state’s urban pockets, the number of options significantly drops for parents looking for a different “choice.” While vouchers can be used on other expenses like travel or tutoring, few parents want to drive their child miles out of county or the district for school and services every day that they could get locally. Then there’s the question of what services these private schools can offer that public schools cannot. MDE has a list of schools it has reimbursed for students using ESA vouchers, but it has no record of what academic offerings or success those students who leave public schools with a voucher receive. No statewide data show that private schools offer better special-education services or better education, period. MDE only accredits some private schools, so

even the data it has does not reflect the whole state. A current ESA voucher is worth $6,494, higher than the base student cost for attending a public school. Most private tuition is well above that amount. A fifth grader at Fondren Presbyterian Day School pays $7,990 a year. A fifth grader at St. Andrew’s pays $16,920. Is financial aid available? Of course. But, the burden rests on a parent to make up the additional costs beyond the voucher. Tollison’s legislation attempts to address this equity issue by giving preference to low-income students. But if the voucher miraculously covers the cost of private tuition after a scholarship, how will a student get to and from school, especially from a rural area and without public-school buses? Not acknowledging how poverty affects families is lazy—but not unexpected. In a state where many private schools were set up as a way to avoid integrating public schools as late as 1970, the vague promise of “school choice” is troubling. In the 1950s, Mississippi lawmakers gave public dollars to white families as “tuition grants” at segregation academies instead of having their children attend public, soon-to-be integrated, schools. While the modern “school choice” movement is not openly segregationist, driving students away from the schools the same lawmakers refuse to fully fund is telling. Vouchers are another way to under-fund public education, while using your tax dollars for a handful of the state’s children who can likely already afford to attend a private school. The bill must die.

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

Funmi “Queen” Franklin

EDITORIAL Managing Editor Amber Helsel State Reporter Arielle Dreher City Reporter Ko Bragg JFP Daily Editor Dustin Cardon Music Editor Micah Smith Events Editor Rebecca Hester Features and Social Media Intern ShaCamree Gowdy Writers Brynn Corbello, Richard Coupe, Bryan Flynn,William Kelly III, Mike McDonald, Greg Pigott, Julie Skipper, Abigail Walker Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Art Director Kristin Brenemen Advertising Designer Zilpha Young Staff Photographer Stephen Wilson ADVERTISING SALES Digital Marketing Specialist Meghan Garner Sales and Marketing Consultant Stephen Wright Sales Assistant Cassandra Acker BUSINESS AND OPERATIONS Distribution Manager Richard Laswell Distribution Raymond Carmeans, Clint Dear, Ruby Parks,Tommy Smith Assistant to the CEO Inga-Lill Sjostrom ONLINE Web Editor Dustin Cardon Web Designer Montroe Headd CONTACT US: Letters Editorial Queries Listings Advertising Publisher News tips Fashion Jackson Free Press 125 South Congress Street, Suite 1324 Jackson, Mississippi 39201 Editorial (601) 362-6121 Sales (601) 362-6121 Fax (601) 510-9019 Daily updates at The Jackson Free Press is the city’s awardwinning, locally owned newsweekly, reaching over 35,000 readers per week via more than 600 distribution locations in the Jackson metro area—and an average of over 35,000 visitors per week at www. The Jackson Free Press is free for pick-up by readers; one copy per person, please. First-class subscriptions are available for $100 per year for postage and handling. The Jackson Free Press welcomes thoughtful opinions. The views expressed in this newspaper are not necessarily those of the publisher or management of Jackson Free Press Inc. © Copyright 2017-2018 Jackson Free Press Inc. All Rights Reserved


arriage is a never-ending compromise. People like to think that as long as you love each other, it is a breeze. Lies! In fact, at the end of the day, love is only a tool that can be used to get you through rough times. If you’re lucky, you may be able to pull from the depth of your love to keep you from walking out or cutting your loved one when everything is about to fall apart. Often memories of better times, when love was new and fresh, can re-ignite the flames when it seems like the crash-and-burn is eminent. Marriage doesn’t start and stop with the two people who take the vows. It’s about families, too, and not just your children. It’s also about each individual’s families and how they’ve prepared each spouse for life with another human being. In my household, my father was clearly the dominant one. He wasn’t the sweetest person to us, and that includes my mother. He was stern, and he provided. Their roles were clearly defined. He did the “man stuff,” and Mama did the “woman stuff.” He brought in the food for the family; Mama cooked it. He paid the bills, and Mama took care of the children. Without realizing it, their relationship taught me that this is what marriage was supposed to look like. She nurtured us, and he protected us. My husband grew up in a household where there was a 50/50 split of almost everything, from cooking to seeing about the needs of the children. He was able to watch his mother go to work, and his father did the same. He learned early on that there were no specific roles and that marriage is an equal partnership.  Our very first conversation about expectation when we decided to be husband and wife was sort of strange for me. He said to me that he expected me to follow my dreams, and he’d support me in doing that. I hadn’t really given any thought to what my dreams meant since I was a young girl dreaming of one day being a lawyer and a professional singer. I wasn’t one of those focused people who had a clear idea of what the future looked like. I was just going with the flow. He, however, knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life, and he aimed to see it happen. So guess what I did. I

latched on to his dream and tried to find a cozy place to exist in so that when we had children I could just do what my mother did. That’s what I knew, and I was comfortable with that. “Baby, I don’t want a submissive wife. I don’t want you just sitting around waiting on me to do something. I want you to have a life and a dream, and I want you to have a voice. You don’t have to be silent. You don’t have to be a maid for me. You deserve to take life by the balls just as much as I do.” I toyed over his sentiments for a while not knowing what to do with what he’d said to me. He never pressured me, but he was clear and direct with what he wanted. I realized if I wanted to be his wife, I’d have to release the me I’d decided to shelter, and it wasn’t as hard as I thought. After finally accepting that I wasn’t my mother, and he wasn’t my father, I realized that I wanted to cultivate my own lane in this journey. I didn’t have to be one or the other—career woman or wife. I could be, and would be, both (plus some). He was relieved. Deep down, so was I. It’s an ongoing conversation nine years later, though. We find ourselves somewhere in the middle of where our parents were. I need him to be “the man” from time to time, and he usually steps in without reluctance. But I also have to do some things that I was under the impression I wouldn’t be doing when I got married, like taking my own car to get an oil change. I actually had to redefine my role as a woman and a wife, and his as a husband and man. My idea of having a marital relationship that looked more like James and Florida Evans than Cliff and Claire Huxtable wasn’t going to cut it. Marriage is simply about finding the balance that works for the two people who took the vows. The rest will work itself out. It’s not an easy road, but the bumps and curves are there to simply make the foundation stronger. We’ll be traveling this road forever; I’d rather have some twists and turns than a straight shot anyway. How boring would that be? Funmi “Queen” Franklin is a word lover, poet, a truth yeller and community activist. She is the founder of an organization that promotes self love, awareness and sisterhood. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the JFP.

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February 7 - 13, 2018 •

Editor-in-Chief and CEO Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer Associate Publisher Kimberly Griffin

Marriage: Not Just About the Vows


The Love Issue

Jackson’s First Couple:



How the Lumumbas Met Why They Love Jackson

by Ko Bragg

January 3 - 9, 2018 •

Imani Khyyam / File Photo

ackson’s first couple’s story begins in a After a speech in front of all of her friends, Chokwe ships passing in the night. Despite life’s challenges, losses, kindergarten classroom at North Jackson fumbled for the ring that he had forgotten was in his back hectic work schedules and the demands of parenthood, the Elementary School. They both remember pocket, and ultimately popped the question. As the cur- self-proclaimed best friends credit their loving foundation walking to school together with other kids rently pregnant Ebony puts it, one-and-a-half babies and that began as a friendship here in Jackson as the source of in the neighborhood and playing together six years later, here they are. their determination to invest in the capital city for their in their cul-de-sac after school. In the time since that proposal in 2011, they have daughters and the community that nurtured them both. “You say I was your first friend,” been through highs and lows—many unfolding publicly. first lady Ebony Lumumba said to her They lost the late Chokwe Lumumba in February 2014, Planets in Orbit husband and now-mayor of Jackson, Chokwe Antar Lu- and Chokwe and Ebony’s first child, Alaké Maryama, was Growing up, Chokwe and Ebony were not nearly as mumba, in an interview with the Jackson Free Press. born three weeks after that. Then Chokwe entered the spe- close as they are now, but they recall always reappearing in “She was my first friend,” he said. cial election for his father’s seat and ultimately lost. Three each other’s lives. In that kindergarten classroom, they read the Dr. years later, he would run again and win with his daughter “Our story is that we always knew each other, but we Seuss book “Green Eggs and Ham” like most 5-year-olds and wife by his side the whole time. still were kept at a distance from each other,” Chokwe said. do. Their teacher cooked green eggs and ham for the class, “We were like orbiting in each other’s atmospheres,” Ebony is the chair of the English department at Tou- and Chokwe remembers his teacher getting in trouble for galoo College and a doctoral candidate at the University of Ebony added. Although, the mayor does admit to having a letting him eat pork. A year or so later, Ebony celebrated Mississippi. The two refer to their day-to-day interaction as crush on Ebony when he was a kid. her 7th birthday at Chuck E. Cheese’s, “I thought boys were disgusting at the and although she invited the whole class, time I was 5,” she said. “But he was nice.” Chokwe didn’t show up. A few years after that birthday party “Now obviously I’m 6, and I don’t 6-year-old Chokwe did not attend, they make many decisions on where I go and both moved out of north Jackson, and where I don’t go,” the mayor told the Jackthey would see each other in passing durson Free Press. “But, she’s been holding ing city-wide field trips. They were both this against me our whole relationship.” briefly enrolled in Murrah High School’s “I have these awesome pictures of freshman class, and Ebony would see friends that we know now, but he’s not in Chokwe when she rode the bus home with them,” Ebony said. “How amazing would her best friend—this is when Ebony had a that have been?” crush on someone else, Chokwe recalls. More than 20 years later, Chokwe “No, go ahead and tell them about would surprise Ebony at a brunch she your crush on somebody else,” Chokwe was having in Atlanta during homecomtold the JFP at Surin at Thailand. ing weekend at her alma mater, Spelman “You don’t want to hear about my College. Chokwe had coordinated with crush,” Ebony said. “He rode the bus, too, her friends to show up without her knowlthough—no, I’m kidding.” edge. Ebony sat at the table waiting for Chokwe transferred to their rival high her food as everyone else’s orders came out school—Callaway High School. But, he of the kitchen, wondering why she was still made excuses to see Ebony at her job the only one without her meal. Then, in at Buckle in the Northpark Mall. She said comes Chokwe with a plate of green eggs he used to show up with his cousin, never and ham in hand, and an engagement ring buying anything, which did not exactly in his back pocket. help because she worked on commission. “It looked so gross,” Ebony said. “She claimed I never tried to talk to Chokwe also had two Chuck E. her, and I told her I actually gave her my Cheese’s medallions representative of that number,” Chokwe said. party he missed decades before. Ebony They both went to HBCUs—hiswas trying to hold back emotions in case torically black colleges and universities— he had just come as an early birthday surafter graduating high school. Ebony chose prise and not to propose—her birthday Spelman, and Chokwe went to Tuskegee tends to fall around homecoming. University in Alabama. While the schools “I was trying to keep my cool until are not directly rivals, Morehouse College, Chokwe, Ebony and Alaké Lumumba (front) at the 2017 Jackson I saw an actual ring and bended knee,” which is across the street from Spelman mayoral inauguration. Ebony said. and intertwined with it in many ways, has 14

Chokwe’s handwritten phone number on it. “We always look for signs and that sort of thing, but I thought, ‘Wow,’” Ebony said. “This is amazing that I kept it. I never used it, but I did keep it, which has to mean something.” Chokwe finished law school in 2008 and moved back to Jackson to work for his father’s firm. Ebony applied to doctoral programs, including two Mississippi schools, con-

During their frequent visits between Jackson and Oxford, Chokwe decided he wanted to propose, and set forth his plan to surprise Ebony with green eggs and ham. Circle of Life The couple has a lot of obvious, outward adoration for one another, and they managed to throw in corrections and charming asides into the retelling of their love story without interrupting one another. “[W]hen you’re best friends, it feels more reassuring just about in every aspect of life,” Ebony said. “... I tell him all the time he doesn’t make me feel like I have to be anything but Ebony. And I don’t know another person in my life that makes me feel that way…. That means a lot. When things are falling apart, and you feel a mess, I don’t ever feel judged.” The Lumumbas have been married since 2012, and they are less than a year into Chokwe’s first term as mayor. After a day of teaching at Tougaloo or seeking answers to Jackson’s problems, the couple comes home to their 3-year-old daughter, Alaké, whose Yoruba name means “one to be made much of.” She came into the world in the midst of Chokwe’s special-election campaign after his father, and former mayor of Jackson, died unexpectedly. Despite their collective grief and new addition to the family, Ebony believes everything happened in perfect timing. “Whatever was happening in our world, we needed each other, we needed our families in those moments, and our daughter followed suit,” Ebony said. “She came into our life at the exact moment that we needed a reminder of God’s grace and mercy and hope.” Ebony says that Alaké gives perspective without realizing it. “She is a refreshing reminder of what life is really about when you get home,” Lumumba said of his daughter. The Lumumbas are expecting a second daughter in March to be named Nubia Ngozi after Chokwe’s late mother. To make up for time he feels like he lost campaigning during Alaké’s infancy, he is hoping to take paternity leave—Ebony, who relishes sleep, says she is looking forward to taking naps. “Ebony has been a real trooper ever since Alaké was born,” Chokwe said. Keeping their daughters in mind, they work to uplift the community that is the source of some of their best memories and nostalgia. “We don’t often realize how much place and space become part of our identities,” Ebony said. “And so I’m grateful for the aspect of my identity that is Jackson, and I want my daughters to be able to ... have a similar experience where they’re very proud of where they come from. And despite whatever challenges, that those challenges simply reflect resilience.” Ebony is excited to raise her daughters in the very place that nurtured her, her siblings and her man, she said. Her best friend seems to feel the same way. “The best decision my parents ever made was to move us to Jackson,” Chokwe said. “When I really look at it, Jackson has given me the best parts of my life. I met my first friend, who’s now my wife, in Jackson. Jackson is where my little girl was born. Jackson is the place that my parents are laid to rest. So I literally have seen my cycle of life and development in so many ways here. Email city reporter Ko Bragg at 15 Courtesy Ebony Lumumba Courtesy Ebony Lumumba

The Lumumbas got married in 2012, and are now less than one year into Chokwe’s mayorship.

sidering her relationship with Chokwe had been getting more serious. She got the best offer from the University of Mississippi, so she moved to Oxford. This was her second sign. “I thought, ‘OK, God, I’ll do this if this is what you’re opening the door of my destiny to do,’” she said.

January 3 - 9, 2018 •

Courtesy Ebony Lumumba

a sports rivalry with Tuskegee. During Ebony’s junior year, she and some cousins and sorority sisters made the hourand-a-half drive for a game. “And out of all the people, as huge as Tuskegee’s campus is, we’re in the line waiting to get in the game, and I bump into Chokwe. And I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s my friend from home, guys. Hey, what’s up?’ He had a strange hairdo at the time,” she said. “I had twists in my hair—I was trying to lock them,” Chokwe said. “My locks were dope; everybody liked them.” Though he looked different from how she remembered him, Ebony said this was another instance that punctuated this planetary spin they were doing around each other throughout the years. “That’s what we mean by being in each other’s orbit, sort of,” she said. “But, not connecting until the right time. Because it was a very cordial hi-andbye-good-to-see-you-moment. And we kind of kept going.” They wouldn’t see each other for years after that game until Chokwe was nearly finished with his law degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston. Going into his second year of law school, he recalled seeing Ebony on Facebook and sending her a message because she was still in Atlanta, and he wanted to connect with her at a friend’s upcoming wedding there. But, he never called, and doesn’t remember why he failed to follow through. Ebony said she changed her number at that point anyway. That summer, however, they rekindled their Facebook thread, and that communication evolved into daily phone chats. “(I) would wait for his phone call and have things to tell him and want to tell him about my day,” Ebony said. “Six weeks, two months in, I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, do I like him?’” She knew the answer was yes when he called early one morning, and she was glad. “I am not yet a morning person,” she said. “I have not yet matured in that fashion.” In August 2007, Chokwe had a long layover in Atlanta where Ebony was living at the time. He suggested they meet at the airport to see each other for the first time since the Tuskegee game. He called the airline to get permission for Ebony to come to the gate—a special privilege that is reserved for family members and spouses post-9/11. He told the airline Ebony is his fiancée or wife—he can’t remember which—and she got the approval. “As I get off the plane, I don’t see her—she’s hiding behind a pole,” Chokwe said. “Of course!” Ebony said. “I need to see him first because I can jet or pretend like I didn’t show up if I didn’t like the way he looks. (But) I saw him get off the plane, and I was very happy to see him.” Then began a more formal dating relationship that meant back and forth trips to Houston and Atlanta. They remember talking about Chokwe visiting Ebony when she worked in the mall. He reminded her that he gave her his number even back then, but she thought he was joking. “I’m thinking, this is game,” she said. “You know, trying to solidify this relationship.” Ebony went home to Jackson one weekend and stayed with her parents in her old room. She went through a drawer and found the receipt paper from the store with

food&drink BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 244, 601-9828111, BRAVO! will offer a special three-course dinner menu with two entrees to choose from the weekend before Valentine’s Day from Friday, Feb. 9, to Sunday, Feb. 11, and on Valentine’s Day itself. The appetizer will be Murder Point oysters with strawberry chili mignonette. The first entree is ribeye steak with a lobster and blue cheese crust, topped with asparagus, black truffle compound butter and bowfin caviar, with a side of Lyonnaise potatoes (pan-fried potatoes and onions). The second entree is Louisiana crawfish and green onion agnolotti in Satsuma oyster broth, topped with house-smoked bacon, cherry heirloom tomatoes, arugula and grilled ciabatta. Dessert is devil’s food cake with strawberry rhubarb gelato, Nutella ganache, pecan brittle and Kahlua whipped cream. courtesy Char Restaurant


Cantina Laredo (200 District Blvd., 601-982-7061) Cantina Laredo will offer a $35 threecourse prix fixe menu from Friday, Feb. 9, through Wednesday, Feb. 14. The first course is ensalada de mango, or field greens with mango, mint, jicama, red grapes, spicy pepitas, queso fresco and honey vinaigrette, or sopa de pollo con vegetals (vegetable soup with chicken) topped with tortilla strips and queso fresco. Entrée selections include camarons con pasina mango mole, or sautéed shrimp with spicy mango mole sauce, rice and whipped sweet potatoes; pollo asado, or roasted half chicken with grilled street corn and black beans; and more. Desserts are fresh mixed berries with Don Julio tequila cream, or churros with raspberry-chocolate sauce and a mango dipping sauce. Cocktail pairings are also available. Cantina Laredo’s regular dinner, lunch and brunch menus will also be available. Table 100 (100 Ridge Way, Flowood, 601-4204202, Table 100 will offer a three-course menu including oysters, steak, crab or lobster, and more. The restaurant plans to run the dinner special from Wednesday, Feb. 14, to Saturday, Feb. 17, to accommodate people who may not

by Dustin Cardon

be able to have a Valentine’s Day dinner during the work week. Further menu details and pricing are to be determined. 1908 Provisions (734 Fairview St., 601-9483429, 1908 Provisions will have a three-course and a four-course meal. First-course options include seared sea scallops, mushroom flatbread and smoked wild boar sausage. The second course includes choices such as French onion soup. The main courses include braised short ribs, andouille crusted grouper, petite filet and crab cake, and seafood linguini. For dessert, visitors can choose dishes such as s’mores tarts, maple-butter crème brûlée, and peaches and cream upside-down cake. Vegetarian options will also be available. The Strawberry Cafe (107 Depot Drive, Madison, 601-856-3822) For Valentine’s Day, Strawberry Cafe is offering a four-course dinner, featuring one appetizer, soup or salad each, two entrees and one dessert. Individual courses will also be available, along with wine pairings for $20 per person. The starter is salmon cake with royal red shrimp and roasted red pepper sauce, and the soup or salad course is asparagus and lobster bisque, or palm heart and honey salad. For the main course, customers can choose between sautéed grouper with lump crab meat, roasted peppers, gouda grits and seafood broth; or a 6-ounce steak filet with grilled shrimp with red-wine demi glace, and stewed mushrooms and carrots. Dessert is almond cream sponge cake with fresh strawberries and chocolate sauce.

pickled tomato and corn salad over a garlic crouton, paired with Abita Brewing Company 30° 90° gold lager. The main course is a chili garlic sirloin served with lobster gratin and broccolini, paired with Josh Cellars cabernet sauvignon. Dessert is cinnamon-raisin bread pudding with whipped cream and caramel sauce, paired with Plantation Rums three-star white rum, Don Q coconut rum, grenadine and creme de cocoa. Saltine is accepting walk-ins only for the Valentine’s dinner.

Broad Street Baking Company (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 101, 601-362-2900, For Valentine’s Day, Broad Street will have chocolate-covered strawberry king cake for two. The cake is available Friday, Feb. 9 through Feb. 14 and must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance. Broad Street will also offer Valentine’s Day sugar cookies, brownies, Rice Krispies treats with heart sprinkles and other themed desserts.

CAET Wine Bar (3100 N. State St., Suite 102, 601-321-9169, CAET will offer a four-course set menu with optional wine pairings. The first course includes dishes such as oysters on the half shell, smoked salmon flatbread and Granny Smith apples with prosciutto; the second course includes ones like steamed mussels, pork belly and short rib gnocchi; the third course features dishes like a 6-ounce Hereford filet au poivre, seared scallops, red fish Anna with lump crab meat and lamb porterhouse. Dessert includes vanilla bean crème brulee, chocolate hazelnut tarts and lemon cake. Nandy’s Candy (1220 E. Northside Dr., Suite 380, 601-362-9553, This Valentine’s Day, Nandy’s will have white-, milk- or dark-chocolate-dipped strawberries by the dozen in an edible chocolate courtesy1908 Provisions

February 7 - 13, 2018 •

For Valentine’s Day this year, Char Restaurant will have a steak dinner special for two people.

Sweetheart Specials

Johnny T’s Bistro & Blues (538 N. Farish St., 601-954-1323) On Tuesday, Feb. 13, Johnny T’s will have a pre-Valentine’s day date night featuring The Detectives Comedy Dinner Theatre. Cocktails will be served at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. The event will feature a three-course menu from chef Brian Myrick.

Campbell’s Bakery (3013 N. State St., 601362-4628; 123 Jones St., Madison, 769-3002790; Campbell’s Valentine’s Day treats include heart-shaped teacakes and petit fours, chocolate-dipped strawberries and more. La Brioche (2906 N. State St., 601-988-2299) For Valentine’s Day La Brioche will have an exclusive cake called the Eve, which is a chocolate cake dipped in Grand Marnier with buttercream icing, and layered with strawberries, macarons, chocolate pieces and gold dust. La Brioche also has white- and darkchocolate strawberries by the dozen, macarons by the tube or box, chocolate truffles in seven flavors, an entremet with Valentine-themed marbled glazing; a raspberry cheesecake latte; and more. Primos Cafe (515 Lake Harbour Drive, Ridgeland, 601-8983600; 2323 Lakeland Drive, Suite A, Flowood, 601-936-3398; This Valentine’s Day, Primos will have cakes in flavors such as strawberry and caramel, decorated petit fours and more.

Char Restaurant (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 142, 601-956-9562, Char is currently taking reservations for a steak dinner for two. The restaurant’s regular menu will be available along with chef specials including lobster scampi over grilled redfish and roasted asparagus; surf and turf skewers with rice pilaf and horseradish cream; and crab meat quesadillas with avocado cream and a honey-chipotle drizzle. Saltine Oyster Bar (622 Duling Ave., 601-982-2899) For Valentine’s Day, Saltine will offer its full dinner menu in addition to an optional four-course prix fixe menu optional wine and cocktail pairings for an additional charge per course. The first course includes ginger carrot soup with mango topping, paired with a “Valentini” cocktail consisting of Cathead Distillery Honeysuckle vodka with St. Germaine, grenadine, lime, St. Elizabeth All Spice and mint. The second course is

Meme’s Brick Street Bakery (104 W. Leake St., Clinton, 601-278-0635) This Valentine’s Day, Meme’s will have chocolate-covered strawberries, petit fours, truffles, themed iced cookies, Valentine’s Day pacakges and more.

Local restaurants such as 1908 Provisions will have decadent specials this Valentine’s Day.

basket; handmade chocolates in heart-shaped boxes; chocolate-covered cherries; Valentine caramel apples drizzled in white or dark chocolate with sprinkles; heart-shaped suckers; customized chocolate hearts with a person’s name; handmade marshmallow hearts; truffles; chocolate nut clusters; Valentine’s Day balloons and more.

Eslava’s Grille (2481 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-932-4070) Each Monday through Wednesday night from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Eslava’s has a Date Night special that includes an appetizer, two entrees and a dessert to share. Seafood R’evolution (1000 Highland Colony Pkwy., Suite 9015, For Valentine’s Day, Seafood R’evolution will have a four-course prix fixe menu with dishes such as Maine lobster bisque and seared filet of Gulf red fish. To make reservations, call 601-853-3474. This is not a complete list. See and add more at



Patty Peck Honda, Hotel and Restaurant Supply, Capital City Beverages, New Horizon Event Center and Mrs. Jaqueline Vann, Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence, La Terre Wines, McDade’s Wine and Spirits, Stephens Printing, Cathead Vodka, Stephen Barnette and Davaine Lighting, Ronnie Crudup Jr.

Volunteers and Staff

Inga Sjostrom, Hakan Andersson, Tereza Nevosadova, Lea Gunter, Gara Gunter, Amber Helsel, Arielle Dreher, Stephen Wilson, Zilpha Young, Ko Bragg, Micah Smith, Jeana Smith, ShaCamree Gowdy, Kristin Brenemen, Stephen Wright, Arielle Wright, Meghan Garner, Jon Garner, Imani Khayyam, Mitch Davis


Mike McDonald, Malcolm Morrow, Brynn Corbello, Lashanda Phillips, Seth Reeks, Richard Coupe, Jan Richardson, Shameka Hayes, Brinda Willis


Barrelhouse, Seafood R’evolution, BRAVO, Broad Street, Sal and Mookie’s, Walker’s, Parlor Market, Shapley’s, Saltine, E&L, The Pig & Pint, Gumbo Girl, Babalu, Aladdin, Primos, Hickory Pit, Amerigo, Saltine, Drago’s, Bacchus


DJ Phingaprint, Merc B. Williams


February 7 - 13, 2018 •

Justin Ransburg, Will Brooks


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


Eddie & Ruby’s Snack Bar is one of the original fish houses that still serve their original homemade batter recipe.

Gumbo Girl )XZ8 +BDLTPOt The best Gumbo and Cajun specialties in town for your events, special occasions or just lunch and dinner.

The Iron Horse Grill 81FBSM4U +BDLTPOt The smell of charcoal greets you, the music carries you inside.

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The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen /4UBUF4U +BDLTPOt




The Manship transforms the essence of Mediterranean food while maintaining a southern flair.

Mother’s Kitchen /FBM4U$MJOUPOt Just like Mom’s cooking. Visit Clinton’s newest home style restaurant with various options daily.


The Pizza Shack &'PSUJmDBUJPO4U +BDLTPO .4t

The Pizza Shack, serving new inventive pizzas and the classics. Apps, sandwiches, salads, and beer options awaits you too!


E & L Barbeque #BJMFZ"WF +BDLTPOt

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Hickory Pit $BOUPO.BSU3E +BDLTPOt The “Best Butts in Townâ€? features BBQ chicken, beef and pork along with burgers and po’boys.

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Aladdin Mediterranean Grill -BLFMBOE%S +BDLTPOt Delicious authentic dishes including lamb dishes, hummus, falafel, kababs, shwarma.

STEAK & SEAFOOD February 7 - 13, 2018 •

Drago’s Seafood Restaurant &$PVOUZ-JOF3PBE +BDLTPOt


Drago’s offers authentic New Orleans-themed seafood dishes, including their famous Charbroiled Oysters and fresh live Maine lobsters.

Eslava’s Grille -BLFMBOE%S 'MPXPPEt

Eslava’s Grille Seafood, Steaks and Pasta

Seafood, steaks and pastas with a Latin influence.


Freshii .BD,FO[JF-O 'MPXPPEt Eat. Energize. That’s our motto. Serving up made to-order burritos, soups, fresh salads and much more.

Eat. Stay. Love. Surprise your Valentine with an evening out! ENJOY DELUXE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR TWO AT THE HILTON JACKSON

Attend the

Grand Celebration and Gala at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Feb. 23-24

Honoring Rita Schwerner Bender, Rep. Robert Clark, Ruby Bridges Hall, Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Bennie Thompson

Info, tickets, how to donate: Twitter: @civilrights_MS Presented by Friends of Mississippi Civil Rights Inc. Group and event not affiliated with the Two Mississippi Museums


$1 per couple (Taxes and Gratuities Included) 3DFNDJH$YDLODEOH)HEUXDU\

For Hotel Reservations Please visit or call 601.957.2800

ŕś?ŕś‘ŕś”ŕśœŕś—ŕś–ŕś’ŕś‰ŕś‹ŕś“ŕś›ŕś—ŕś–ŕś?ŕś—ŕśœŕś?ŕś”ŕś‰ŕś–ŕśŒŕś‹ŕś—ŕś–ŕśžŕś?ŕś–ŕśœŕś‘ŕś—ŕś–ŕś‹ŕś?ŕś–ŕśœŕś?ŕśš I-55ŕś–ŕś‰ŕś–ŕśŒŕś‹ŕś—ŕś?ŕś–ŕśœŕśĄŕś”ŕś‘ŕś–ŕś?ŕśšŕś—ŕś‰ŕśŒ Paid advertising section. Call 601-362-6121 x11 to list your restaurant



Classic Irish pub featuring a menu of traditional food, pub sandwiches & Irish beers on tap.

Green Room #PVOET4U +BDLTPOt We’re still #1! Best Place to Play Pool - Best of Jackson 2016

Hal and Mal’s 4$PNNFSDF4U +BDLTPOt Pub favorites meet Gulf Coast and Cajun specialties like red beans and rice, the Oyster Platter or daily specials.

Martin’s Restaurant and Lounge 4PVUI4UBUF4U +BDLTPOt Lunch specials, pub appetizers or order from the full menu of po-boys and entrees. Full bar, beer selection.

Brandon’s new dine in and carry out Japanese & Thai Express.

Fusion Japanese and Thai Cuisine 5SFFUPQT#MWE 'MPXPPEt ")XZ .BEJTPOt Specializing in fresh Japanese and Thai cuisine, our extensive menu features everything from curries to fresh sushi.

Surin of Thailand 0ME$BOUPO3E +BDLTPOt Jackson’s Newest Authentic Thai & Sushi Bar with 26 signature martini’s and extensive wine list.

February 7 - 13, 2018 •


Bonfire Grill 4FSWJDF%S #SBOEPOt





“S.T.E.M., Leaves & Trees” is at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.

The Bacchus Ball is at the Country Club of Jackson.

“Mississippi: the River, the People, the State” is at Millsaps College.

BEST BETS Feb. 7 - 14, 2018 Joshua Black Wilkins


“The Wizard of Oz” is at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The musical is an adaptation of the classic 1939 film and tells the story of Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. This event is part of the “Broadway in Jackson” series. $60-$100; call 800-745-3000;


“Detroit 67” is at 7 p.m. at Jackson State University (1400 J. R. Lynch St.) in Rose E. McCoy Auditorium. The play tells the story of Detroit siblings who make ends meet by turning their basement into an after-hours joint and get caught in the middle of the 1967 riots. This play includes occasional strong language. Additional dates: Feb. 9-10, 12, 7-9:30 p.m., Feb. 11, 3-5:30 p.m. $10 admission, $5 for seniors and students with ID; call 601-979-5956; email;

Anderson East, a singer-songwriter from Alabama, performs at Duling Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

South American classical composers. Includes Latin food and beverages. $45 admission, $25 for students; call 601594-2902; email;

courtesy Vitamin Cea


“Dinner & a Dive” is from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). Guest enjoy a four-course dinner from Saltine Oyster Bar while watching a SCUBA dive. Includes live music and a cocktail reception. $75 admission; call 601-576-6000; by Rebecca Hester find it on Facebook. … The Sweetheart Gala is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Jackson State University Mississippi e-Center Fax: 601-510-9019 (1230 Raymond Road). The Daily updates at event celebrates the victory of the same-sex marriage law and honors married couples who have been committed for eight or more years. $20 in advance, $25 at the door; call 601-316-1152;

February 7 - 13, 2018 •


Jackson hip-hop artist Vitamin Cea performs for “Issa Love Thang: A V-Day Show” at The Flamingo on Tuesday, Feb. 13.


“All Things Latin” is from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church (3921 Oakridge Drive) in Fowler Hall. The Mississippi Chambre Music Guild con20 cert features the Dali String Quartet performing works by


The Dixie National Rodeo is at 7:30 p.m. at the Mississippi Coliseum (1207 Mississippi St.). The rodeo and livestock show also features music from Josh Turner on Feb. 8, Frank Foster on Feb. 9, the Bellamy Brothers on Feb. 10, John Michael Montgomery on Feb. 11, Riley Green on Feb. 12, Corey Smith on Feb. 13, and Brett Young on Feb. 14. Feb. 8-14, 7:30 p.m. $20-$35;


“Cabaret at Duling Hall—Musically Ever After” is at 7:30 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). The Mississippi Opera concert features Nick Perna and Mandy Spivak telling the story of two artists sharing love, children and art through show tunes and 21st-century music. $25 admission; call 601-960-2300;


“Issa Love Thang: A V-Day Show” is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Flamingo (3011 N. State St.). Amanda Furdge is the host. Performers include Clouds & Crayons, Yung Jewelz and Vitamin Cea. $5 admission; find it on Facebook. … Anderson East performs at 7:30 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). The singer-songwriter from Alabama performs. J.S. Ondara also performs. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. $20 in advance, $25 at the door; call 877-9876487;


“Silent Sky” is at 7:30 p.m. at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). The play tells the true story of 20thcentury astronomer Henrietta Leavitt and explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries. Recommended for ages 11 and older. Additional dates: Feb. 13-17, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 18, 2 p.m., Feb. 20-24, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 25, 2 p.m. $30 for adults, $25 for seniors, students and military; call 601-948-3533; email mail@;

Junior League Jumble Feb. 9, 7-10 p.m., Feb. 10, 6 a.m.-4 p.m., at 6510 Old Canton Road (Ridgeland). The fundraiser sale includes new and gently used items including furniture, clothing, electronics, books and more. $50 Reveal Party; $10 Peek & Purchase; $5 admission; call 601-948-2357;

HOLIDAY S.T.E.M., Leaves & Trees: A Science Celebration of Mississippi Arbor Day Feb. 9, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). The familyfriendly event includes hands-on activities, an Arbor Day ceremony and live animal program, a tree giveaway and more. $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for ages 3-18; Krewe de Cardinal Carnival Ball Feb. 9, 7-11 p.m., at The Railroad District (824 S. State St.). The fifth annual event includes Creole cuisine and cocktails, live music from the Southern Komfort Brass Band and DJ David Steele, live and silent auctions, and more. Proceeds benefit St. Richard Catholic School. $100 per couple; call 601-212-9870; email emily.mggroup@gmail. com; Kommunity Builder’s Mardi Gras Ball 2018 Feb. 9, 7-11 p.m., at 201Capitol (201 W. Capitol St.). The formal event honors three women who have contributed to the Jackson metro area. Includes music from Ambee Jewel, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. $30 in advance, $40 at the door; call 601-664-8520; email; Bacchus Ball Feb. 10, 6:30-11:30 p.m., at Country Club of Jackson (345 St. Andrew’s Drive). The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi gala includes music from 14 Karat Gold, cocktails, Cajun cuisine, live and silent auctions, and more. $125 per person; call 601-957-7878; email; Valentine’s Day at the Zoo Feb. 14, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W Capitol St.). Guests receive two-for-one admission all day in honor of Valentine’s Day. $8 adults, $7 seniors, $5 ages 2-12;

COMMUNITY Events at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.) • Unburied Treasures: John James Audubon’s View of Natchez Feb. 13, 5:30-6:30 p.m. The program will focus on the artist and ornithologist’s work while exploring the visual, musical and literary traditions of the 19th-century American Southwest. Free admission; call 601960-1515; • Gallery Talk: “Civil Rights Close-Up: Mississippi’s Freedom Struggle” Feb. 14, 11:30 a.m.-noon. Museum curator La Tanya S. Autry guides guest in a discussion of prints from Bruce Davidson and Danny Lyon, two artists who were influential in shaping the Civil Rights Movement. Free admission; call 601960-1515; “Mississippi: the River, the People, the State” Feb. 13, 7 p.m., at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.). In the Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex Recital Hall. Jim Giesen, James Bar-

nett and John Ruskey discuss the history and cultural relevance of the Mississippi River. This event is part of the Millsaps Arts & Lecture Series. $10 person; call 601-974-1130; email; History Is Lunch Feb. 14, noon-1 p.m., at Two Mississippi Museums (222 North St.). In Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium. Guest speaker Devery Anderson speaks on the topic “The Boy Who Never Died: The Saga of the Emmett Till Murder.” Free admission; call 601-576-6998; email;


Josh Turner, Frank Foster, the Bellamy Brothers, John Michael Montgomery, Riley Green, Corey Smith and Brett Young. $20-$35;

STAGE & SCREEN Events at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.) • “The Wizard of Oz” Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m. The musical adaptation of the 1939 film tells the story of Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. $60-$100;

the best in sports over the next seven days

by Bryan Flynn, follow at, @jfpsports

Congratulations to former Jackson State star Robert Brazile for finally being elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The former Tiger played for the Houston Oilers for 10 years, never missing a game. THURSDAY, FEB. 8

Olympics (7-10:30 p.m., NBC): NBC kicks off its coverage of the Winter Olympics with men’s and pairs’ short figure skating programs. … College basketball (6-8 p.m., SECN+): The MSU women’s basketball team hits the road to face Florida after beating the 2017 national champ, South Carolina. FRIDAY, FEB. 9

Olympics (7-10 p.m., NBC): Watch the parade of nations and the rest of the events planned for the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. SATURDAY, FEB. 10

College basketball (1-3 p.m., ESPN2): The MSU men’s basketball team hits the road to face Missouri. … College basketball (3-5 p.m., ESPNU): The UM Rebels men’s team travels to face its rival, the LSU Tigers. SUNDAY, FEB. 11

College basketball (1-3 p.m., ESPNU): The MSU women’s team returns home

to battle Kentucky, as the Bulldogs work toward a strong regular-season finish and a conference title. MONDAY, FEB. 12

College basketball (8-10 p.m., ESPNU): The JSU men’s team work to stay in the conference-title race on the road against Prairie View A&M. TUESDAY, FEB. 13

College basketball (6-8 p.m., SECN): The UM Rebels men’s team gets to play postseason spoiler in the SEC while hosting Arkansas. WEDNESDAY, FEB. 14

College basketball (6-8 p.m., SECN): Spend Valentine’s Day watching MSU men’s basketball as the Bulldogs make a postseason push against the Vanderbilt Commodores. Brazile, whom fans know as “Dr. Doom,” will be the fourth former JSU player enshrined in the Hall of Fame. That is more than any other football program in Mississippi.

story of two artists sharing love, children and art through show tunes and 21st-century music. $25 admission; call 601-960-2300; “Silent Sky” Feb. 13-17, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 18, 2 p.m., Feb. 20-24, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 25, 2 p.m., at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). The play tells the true story of 20th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt. $30 for adults, $25 for seniors, students and military;

CONCERTS & FESTIVALS Events at St. James Episcopal Church (3921 Oakridge Drive) • “All Things Latin” Feb. 9, 6:30-9 p.m. In Fowler Hall. The Mississippi Chambre Music Guild concert features the Dali String Quartet performing works by South American classical composers. Includes Latin food and beverages. $45 admission, $25 for students; • “European & American Quartets” Feb. 10, 7-9 p.m. In Fowler Hall. The Mississippi Chambre Music Guild concert features the Dali String Quartet performing traditional quartet pieces from composers such as Debussy, Piazzolla and Crisostomo de Arriaga. $25 admission, $5 for students; Events at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.) • Shovels & Rope Feb. 10, 8 p.m. The folk-rock duo from Charleston, S.C., performs. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. $30 in advance, $35 at the door; call 877-987-6487; • Anderson East Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m. The Alabama-native singer-songwriter performs. J.S. Ondara also performs. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. $20 in advance, $25 at the door; call 877-987-6487; Issa Love Thang: A V-Day Show Feb. 13, 7-10 p.m., at The Flamingo (3011 N. State St.). Amanda Furdge is the host. Performers include Clouds & Crayons, Yung Jewelz and Vitamin Cea. $5 admission; find it on Facebook.

LITERARY SIGNINGS “Mississippi” Feb. 9, 5 p.m., at Lemuria Books (4465 Highway 55 N.). Ann Fisher-Wirth and Maude Schuyler Clay sign copies. Reading at 5:30 p.m. $34.95 book;

BE THE CHANGE FOOD & DRINK “Chocolate & Grapes” Dinner Feb. 9, 6:30 p.m., at Livingston Mercantile (116 Livingston Church Road, Flora). Includes a five-course prix fixe menu with wine pairings. Reservation required. $55; Dinner & a Dive Feb. 10, 6-8:30 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). Guests enjoy a four-course meal from Saltine Oyster Bar while watching a SCUBA dive. Includes live music and a cocktail reception. $75; find it on Facebook.

SPORTS & WELLNESS Dixie National Rodeo Feb. 8-14, 7:30 p.m., at Mississippi Coliseum (1207 Mississippi St.). The rodeo and livestock show features music from

• “The Dance of Egypt” Feb. 9, 7 p.m. The production tells the story of Moses through dance and music. $7 admission; call 601-9600471; find it on Facebook. “Detroit 67” Feb. 8-10, 7-9:30 p.m., Feb. 11, 3-5:30 p.m., Feb. 12, 7-9:30 p.m., at Jackson State University (1400 J. R. Lynch St.). In Rose E. McCoy Auditorium. The play tells the story of siblings who get caught in the middle of the 1967 riots. $10; call 601-979-5956; “Selma the Musical: The Untold Stories” Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m., at Pilgrim Rest Life Center (897 Trickhambridge Road, Brandon). The musical explores the life of an African American household during the Civil Rights Movement in 1965. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Free; Cabaret at Duling Hall—Musically Ever After Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). The Mississippi Opera concert tells the

National Black HIV/Aids Awareness Day Lunch & Learn Feb. 7, noon-1 p.m., at BOL by Eme’s (550 High St.). A panel of advocates, experts and people whom HIV has impacted discuss myths surrounding the illness, the challenges of living with HIV in Jackson and solutions. Registration required. Free; Find it on Facebook. Sweetheart Gala Feb. 10, 6-10 p.m., at Jackson State University Mississippi e-Center (1230 Raymond Road). The event celebrates the victory of the same-sex marriage law and honors married couples who have been committed for eight or more years. $20 in advance, $25 at the door; call 601-316-1152; Check for updates and more listings, or to add your own events online. You can also email event details to to be added to the calendar. The deadline is noon the Wednesday prior to the week of publication.

February 7 - 13, 2018 •



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

FEB. 7 - Wednesday 1908 Provisions - Andrew Pates 7 p.m. Alumni House - Pearl Jamz 5:30-7:30 p.m. Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Drago’s - Johnny Barranco 5:30-8:30 p.m. Fitzgerald’s - Robin Blakeney 7-11 p.m. Kathryn’s - Gator Trio 6:30 p.m. Pelican Cove - Acoustic Kitchen 6-10 p.m. Shucker’s - Sonny Brooks 7:30 p.m. free

Feb. 8 - Thursday

February 7 - 13, 2018 •

Feb. 9 - Friday


1908 Provisions - Ronnie McGee 7 p.m. Castlewoods Country Club - Brian Jones 6:30-9:30 p.m. Center Stage - Gerald Richardson 8 p.m.-midnight $15 Cerami’s - James Bailey & Doug Bishop 6:30-9:30 p.m. Char - Ronnie Brown 6 p.m. Drago’s - Jason Turner Band 7-10 p.m. Duling Hall - Whitey Morgan w/ Shannon McNally & Channing Wilson 8 p.m. $20 F. Jones Corner - Stevie J Blues midnight $10 Fenian’s - Joe Carroll 10 p.m. Georgia Blue, Flowood - May Day Georgia Blue, Madison - Shaun Patterson Hal & Mal’s - Johnnie B. & Ms. Iretta 7-10 p.m. free Iron Horse Grill - Bernard Jenkins 9 p.m. Kathryn’s - Amanda Jones 7-10:30 p.m. free Martin’s - Futurebirds w/ Neighbor Lady 10 p.m.

Feb. 10 - Saturday Char - Bill Clark 6 p.m. CS’s - Stonewalls, Jason Daniels Band and Dad & Co. 6-11 p.m. $5 Duling Hall - Shovels & Rope 8 p.m. $30 advance $35 door

Anjou - David Keary 3 p.m. Char - Big Easy Three 11 a.m.; Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Kathryn’s - Xtremez 6-9 p.m. free MS Coliseum - Dixie National Rodeo feat. John Michael Montgomery 3 p.m. $20-$35 Pelican Cove - Larry Brewer & Doug Hurd noon-4 p.m. Shucker’s - Acoustic Crossroads 3:30 p.m. Table 100 - Raphael Semmes Trio 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Ronnie Brown 6-9 p.m. Wellington’s - Andy Hardwick 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Feb. 12 - Monday Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Duling Hall - MS Opera’s “Cabaret at Duling Hall: Musically Ever After” 7:30 p.m. $25 Hal & Mal’s - Central MS Blues Society (rest) 7 p.m. $5 Kathryn’s - Stevie Cain 6:30-9:30 p.m. free MS Coliseum - Dixie National Rodeo feat. Riley Green 7:30 p.m. $20-$35 Table 100 - Andrew Pates 6 p.m.

Feb. 13 - Tuesday

Dolla Black F. Jones Corner - Big Money Mel & Small Change Wayne 10 p.m. $1; Sorrento Ussery midnight $10 Fenian’s - AXL JXN 10 p.m. Hal & Mal’s - Wolftrap Trio 7-10 p.m. free Iron Horse Grill - Taylor Made Blues Band 9 p.m. Kathryn’s - Acoustic Crossroads 7-10:30 p.m. free Lucky Town - Dolla Black & John Causey 11 a.m.-8 p.m. free Martin’s - Mungion 10 p.m. MS Coliseum - Dixie National Rodeo feat. Bellamy Brothers 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. $20-$35 Pelican Cove - Simpatico 6-9 p.m. Pop’s Saloon - Nashville South 9 p.m. Shucker’s - 4 on the Floor 3:30 p.m.; Roadhouse Atlanta 8 p.m. $5; Josh Journeay 10 p.m. Soulshine, Flowood - James Bailey & Doug Bishop 7 p.m. St. James’ Episcopal Church - “European & American Quartets” feat. Dali String Quartet 7:30 p.m. $25 Underground 119 - Good Paper of Rev. Robert Mortimer 9 p.m.

Feb. 11 - Sunday 1908 Provisions - Knight Bruce 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

1908 Provisions - Chris Gill & David Battaglia 6:30 p.m. Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Drago’s - Mardi Gras Celebration feat. Sofa Kings 5:30-9:30 p.m. Duling Hall - Anderson East w/ J.S. Ondara 7:30 p.m. $20 advance $25 door Fenian’s - Open Mic 9 p.m. free The Flamingo - Clouds & Crayons, Yung Jewelz & Vitamin Cea 7-10 p.m. $5 Hal & Mal’s - Dinner, Drinks & Jazz feat. Raphael Semmes & Friends 6-9 p.m. free Kathryn’s - Keys vs. Strings 6:30-9:30 p.m. free MS Coliseum - Dixie National Rodeo feat. Corey Smith 7:30 p.m. $20-$35 Shucker’s - Larry Brewer & Hunter Gibson 6-10 p.m.; Acoustic Crossroads 7-11:30 p.m. Table 100 - Chalmers Davis 6 p.m.

Feb. 14 - Wednesday 1908 Provisions - Hunter Gibson 6 p.m. Alumni House - Big Earl from Pearl 5:30-7:30 p.m. Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Drago’s - Johnny Barranco 6-9 p.m. Hal & Mal’s - New Bourbon Street Jazz Band 6-9 p.m. free Jackson Yacht Club - Gena Steele & Buzz Pickens 6 p.m. Jose’s, Pearl - Blake Edward Thomas 6-9 p.m. Kathryn’s - Larry Brewer & Doug Hurd 6:30-9:30 p.m. free MS Coliseum - Dixie National Rodeo feat. Brett Young 7:30 p.m. $20-$35 Shucker’s - Sonny Brooks 7:30 p.m. free Table 100 - Andy Henderson 6 p.m.


Shovels & Rope Breaks Down Jukebox’ by Micah Smith


any fans were shocked when Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, husband-and-wife folkrock duo Shovels & Rope, announced their second cover album, “Busted Jukebox, Vol. 2,” just a week before its release on Dec. 8, 2017. The timeline, not the record itself, was the surprising point, of course. The musicians marked their first collection of covers as “Vol. 1” back in 2015, assuring future installments for fans and for themselves. “Once we put that on the cover, we knew we basically had to make Volume 2,” Hearst says. “We knew that these records would give us the opportunity to experiment in a recording studio and experiment with friends and people we admire, in kind of like a musical companionship situation outside of the Shovels & Rope restrictions.” On “Vol. 2,” listeners will hear Shovels & Rope take on songs from acts such as Sigur Rós, Concrete Blonde, The Clash and The Hollies, while also collaborating with artists such as Brandi Carlile, Hayes Carll, Rhett Miller and John Fullbright. Rather than performing modern hits or well-worn classics, Hearst says that she and Trent focused on recording songs that hold special meaning to them. They set out to bring all the songs to life in new and interesting ways, so it won’t matter if listeners already know the originals, she says. In the case of the opening track, “Cleanup Hitter,” many people likely won’t be familiar with the song, as it was a co-write between Trent and Bill Carson, a friend and fellow South Carolina singer-songwriter. “He’s a teacher in Charleston, he’s one of our favorite musicians, he’s an arranger, he organizes some of the coolest musical events that have ever happened in Charleston, but he’s not a famous songwriter,” Hearst says. “He’s not a rock star, has no interest in that, but to get (Brandi Carlile)’s voice sharing his song—it’s such a cool thing to be able to do that.” The cover series serves as both a way to keep putting out material between Shovels & Rope records and as a boundary-pushing creative exercise, Trent says. He and Hearst released their fourth studio album, “Little Seeds,” in October 2016, applying some of the recording techniques from “Broken Jukebox, Vol. 1,” but more importantly, its experimental attitude.

“I feel like on ‘Little Seeds,’ we just learned how to take some risks,” he says. “We might have offended a cowboy by having too much feedback and fuzz guitar, and we may have a offended a rock-androller by having too much mandolin. You can’t win them all, but we’re doing the best we can, and we’re making stuff the way that we want to make it.” Leslie Ryan McKellar

Anjou - Brian Smith 5:30-8:30 p.m. Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Drago’s - Johnny Barranco 6-9 p.m. F. Jones Corner - Raul Valinti & the F. Jones Challenge Band 10 p.m. $5 Fenian’s - Katie & Doc 9 p.m. The Flamingo - Kerry Thomas 7 p.m. free Georgia Blue, Flowood - Chad Wesley Georgia Blue, Madison - Brandon Greer Hal & Mal’s - D’lo Trio 6-9 p.m. Iron Horse Grill - James Travis 6 p.m. Kathryn’s - Scott Turner Trio 6:30-9:30 p.m. free Livingston Mercantile - Joe Carroll 6 p.m. MS Coliseum - Dixie National Rodeo feat. Josh Turner 7:30 p.m. $20-$35 Pelican Cove - Hunter Gibson 6 p.m. Quisenberry Library, Clinton Hungrytown 6-7 p.m. free Shucker’s - Acoustic Crossroads 7:30 p.m. free Table 100 - Andrew Pates 6 p.m. Underground 119 - Fred T & the Band 7-10:30 p.m.

The Med - Bridget Shield & Jonté Mayon 9 p.m. $10 MS Coliseum - Dixie National Rodeo feat. Frank Foster 7:30 p.m. $20-$35 Pelican Cove - Acoustic Crossroads 6 p.m. Pop’s Saloon - Burnham Road 9 p.m. Shucker’s - Barry Leach 5:30 p.m.; Roadhouse Atlanta 8 p.m. $5; Billy Maudlin 10 p.m. Soulshine, Flowood - Brian Smith 7 p.m. Soulshine, Ridgeland - Ben Payton 7 p.m. St. James’ Episcopal Church “All Things Latin” feat. Dali String Quartet 6:30 p.m. $45 admission $25 students Underground 119 - Lucky Hand Blues Band 8:30 p.m. Wasabi - “The Crush” 9 p.m. $10

Courtesy Black Dolla

MUSIC | live

(Left to right) Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels & Rope perform at Duling Hall on Feb. 10.

Making music however they want to has always been part of the band’s makeup. As Trent, Hearst and now their young daughter, Louisiana Jean, are on the road for most of the year, Shovels & Rope has always recorded in a home studio or in various locations while on tour, from hotel rooms to university basements. “It’s funny now: We’re settled,” Hearst says. “We’re actually going to be (making) a record in our new, outside-of-our-home recording studio. All the microphones are going to probably, like, stay where they are for the whole time we’re recording, and we’re going to be able to make it at our leisure because nobody’s got a clock where they’re counting.” “But we won’t ever be here so we’ll probably end up recording on the road, anyway,” Trent says with a laugh. Shovels & Rope performs at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 10, at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance at or $35 at the door. Visit

arts by Andrea Wright Dilworth at home,” she says. “It’s heartbreaking in that the great work that Henrietta was doing, she was told (by men) in the play, ‘Alright, we’ll take it from here. Good work.’ And had she lived, she might have won the Nobel Prize.” The cast stars Annie Cleveland as Henrietta, Kerri Courtney Sanders as Margaret, Evan McCarley as Henrietta’s love interest Peter Shaw, Wendy Miklovic as Annie and Jo Ann Robinson as Williamina. Unlike most real characters, little was known about the nearly deaf Henrietta, Cleveland says. “I think the only personal thing we know about her was written in her obituary, which is that she imbued everyone around her with sunshine,” she says. “When I first heard about the script, I was like, ‘Oh, it’s a play about science.’ I didn’t think I was going to like it very much. But it’s really surprising and fun.” Making sense of the science of astronomy was the biggest challenge, cast members say. Reynolds says that if the actors do



n the opening scene of “Silent Sky,” two sisters, Henrietta and Margaret Leavitt, gaze at the wonder of the night sky and playfully banter about their two divergent passions. For one, it’s a career in astronomy. For the younger, it’s marriage. The idea that one could have both—a career and a family—is inconceivable at the time. Set in the early 1900s, the play, which Lauren Gunderson wrote, depicts the story of astronomers Henrietta Leavitt, Annie Cannon and Williamina Fleming, who pioneered the science of classifying and categorizing stars at the Harvard Observatory during an era when women received little credit for their work and earned half the pay. New Stage Artistic Director Francine Thomas Reynolds, who is directing the production at New Stage Theatre, was looking for a story about women when she came across the script. The play has a sense of wonder, she says. “It’s lovely and timely—the intersection between women in the workplace and

Annie Cleveland portrays astronomer Henrietta Leavitt in New Stage Theatre’s production of “Silent Sky.”

Robinson describes Williamina, a more seasoned mentor, as a maverick who curses and likes going to Harvard football games. “When you get to play real people and learn about things that you didn’t have a lot

of knowledge about before, that’s just one of the coolest things about being an actor,” she says. The lone male in the cast, McCarley, portrays Shaw, the only fictional character. Henrietta and Peter add a romance to the play that feels contemporary. However, when Peter asks her to accompany him to Europe, she expresses an unwillingness to compromise her career. The magnitude of that sacrifice was not lost on McCarley. “The main takeaway for me is it’s an opportunity to immerse myself in the emotional aspect of what it was like for a woman to live in those times,” he says, “the emotional turmoil of knowing that no matter what you did, you would never get beyond a certain point, and doing it anyway, though, persevering and knowing that even if you couldn’t achieve something for yourself, maybe you could do something that would benefit others.” Hence, the other theme of the play: standing on the shoulders of giants, which is a common line in the play. New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.) recommends “Silent Sky” for ages 11 and up. The play runs Feb. 13-17 and 20-24 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $30 each. For more information, visit




Purchase tickets today! •

February 7 - 13, 2018 •

Under a ‘Silent Sky’

not understand what they’re talking about in those scenes, neither will the audience. “I need somebody else to explain (astronomy) to me like I’m a 2-year-old,” Miklovic jokes during a rehearsal. Her character, who serves as Henrietta’s mentor, teaches her how to designate stars and measure their brightness.


43 Magna ___ (1215 document) (var.) 44 Field docs 46 “Annie” star Quinn 47 Low digit? 49 Stamp pad stuff 50 Montana hrs. 51 Like some wines 52 One of the Coen brothers 54 Overdid the acting 57 Footfall 58 Dwelling with a skeleton of timbers 62 Type of year 2020 will be? 63 Letterman’s rival, once 64 Earliest stage 65 What turns STEM to STEAM? 66 See 3-Down 67 Cold weather range


37 John Irving’s “A Prayer for Owen ___” 39 Holy fish? 40 Glowing brightly 42 Coal receptacle 43 Rigid social system 45 “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga ___!”: Kipling 47 Elon Musk’s company 48 Sleek river swimmer 50 Jason of “Game of Thrones” 53 Smartphone programs

55 Michael who directed “Miami Vice” 56 Over it 58 Reason for a shot 59 Expend 60 Title for Doug Jones of Ala. 61 Aliens, for short ©2018 Jonesin’ Crosswords (editor@

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 #862.


“Not That Exciting” —no wait, the puzzle’s exciting, I promise! Across

1 Actor Oscar of “Ex Machina” 6 Like some potato salads 10 Rating unit 14 “That Girl” actress ___ Thomas 15 Felt bad about 16 It works in the wind 17 Carrie Underwood’s 2005 debut album 19 Apple that turns 20 in 2018 20 The next U.S. one will be in 2020 21 Donizetti work, e.g. 22 “___ you serious?” 25 66, for one (abbr.)

26 Uncooked 28 Where pagers were worn 29 Showtime series about a killer of killers 31 Cash, slangily 33 Figure at the pump 34 Slippery, as winter roads 35 “One” on some coins 38 Go pop 39 Word that I guess is hidden in the theme answers, but whatever 40 Scribbled down 41 Picked-over substances 42 Animal in the Bacardi logo

1 Contacts via Skype, maybe 2 ___ Tomè and Prìncipe 3 66-Across’ location 4 Current “Match Game” host Baldwin 5 Making sense 6 Get rid of 7 Spiritual advisor of sorts 8 Makes a lot of dough 9 Fabric measures (abbr.) 10 Leave out 11 Long-standing, like many traditions 12 Pong creator 13 Sum up 18 ___ nous (confidentially) 21 Be indebted 22 Marinade in some Spanish cuisine 23 Make a comeback 24 Health problem on some summer days 27 Random quantity 30 Cafè au lait container 31 Regimens that may be faddish 32 Out in the country 36 Say

Last Week’s Answers

BY MATT JONES Last Week’s Answers

“Greater-Than Sudoku”

For this ‘Greater-Than Sudoku,’ I’m not giving you ANY numbers to start off with! Adjoining squares in the grid’s 3x3 boxes have a greater-than sign (>) telling you which of the two numbers in those squares is larger. Fill in every square with a number from 1-9 using the greater-than signs as a guide. When you’re done, as in a normal Sudoku, every row, column and 3x3 box will contain the numbers 1-9 exactly one time. (Solving hint: try to look for the 1s and 9s in each box first, then move on to the 2s and 8s, and so on).


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February 7 - 13, 2018 •



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AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

Charles Nelson Reilly was a famous American actor, director and drama teacher. He appeared in or directed numerous films, plays and TV shows. But in the 1970s, when he was in his 40s, he also spent quality time impersonating a banana in a series of commercials for Bic Banana Ink Crayons. So apparently he wasn’t overly attached to his dignity. Pride didn’t interfere with his ability to experiment. In his pursuit of creative expression, he valued the arts of playing and having fun. I encourage you to be inspired by his example during the coming weeks, Aquarius.

According to ancient Greek writer Herodotus, Persians didn’t hesitate to deliberate about important matters while drunk. However, they wouldn’t finalize any intoxicated decision until they had a chance to re-evaluate it while sober. The reverse was also true. Choices they made while sober had to be reassessed while they were under the influence of alcohol. I bring this to your attention not because I think you should adhere to similar guidelines in the coming weeks. I would never give you an oracle that required you to be buzzed. But I do think you’ll be wise to consider key decisions from not just a coolly rational mindset, but also from a frisky, intuitive perspective. To arrive at a wise verdict, you need both.

ARIES (March 21-April 19):

British athlete Liam Collins is an accomplished hurdler. In 2017, he won two medals at the World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships in South Korea. Collins is also a stuntman and street performer who does shows in which he hurtles over barriers made of chainsaws and leaps blindfolded through flaming hoops. For the foreseeable future, you may have a dual capacity with some resemblances to his. You could reach a high point in expressing your skills in your chosen field, and also branch out into extraordinary or flamboyant variations on your specialty.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):

When he was 32, the man who would later be known as Dr. Seuss wrote his first kid’s book, “And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.� His efforts to find a readership went badly at first. Twenty-seven publishers rejected his manuscript. On the verge of abandoning his quest, he ran into an old college classmate on the street. The friend, who had recently begun working at Vanguard Press, expressed interest in the book. Voila! “Mulberry Street� got published. Dr. Seuss later said that if, on that lucky day, he had been strolling on the other side of the street, his career as an author of children’s books might never have happened. I’m telling you this tale, Taurus, because I suspect your chances at experiencing a comparable stroke of luck in the coming weeks will be extra high. Be alert!

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

A survey of British Christians found that most are loyal to just six of the Ten Commandments. While they still think it’s bad to, say, steal and kill and lie, they don’t regard it as a sin to revere idols, work on the Sabbath, worship other gods or use the Lord’s name in a curse. In accordance with the astrological omens, I encourage you to be inspired by their rebellion. The coming weeks will be a favorable time to re-evaluate your old traditions and belief systems, and then discard anything that no longer suits the new person you’ve become.

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

While serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Don Karkos lost the sight in his right eye after being hit by shrapnel. Sixty-four years later, he regained his vision when he got butted in the head by a horse he was grooming. Based on the upcoming astrological omens, I’m wondering if you’ll soon experience a metaphorically comparable restoration. My analysis suggests that you’ll undergo a healing in which something you lost will return or be returned.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):

The candy cap mushroom, whose scientific name is Lactarius rubidus, is a burnt orange color. It’s small- to medium-sized and has a convex cap. But there its resemblance to other mushrooms ends. When dried out, it tastes and smells like maple syrup. You can grind it into a powder

and use it to sweeten cakes and cookies and custards. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, this unusual member of the fungus family can serve as an apt metaphor for you right now. You, too, have access to a resource or influence that is deceptive, but in a good way: offering a charm and good flavor different from what its outer appearance might indicate.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

A grandfather from New Jersey decided to check the pockets of an old shirt he didn’t wear very often. There, Jimmie Smith found a lottery ticket he had stashed away months previously. When he realized it had a winning number, he cashed it in for $24.1 million—just two days before it was set to expire. I suspect there may be a comparable development in your near future, although the reward would be more modest. Is there any potential valuable that you have forgotten about or neglected? It’s not too late to claim it.


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LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

The U.S. Geological Survey recently announced that it had come up with improved maps of the planet’s agricultural regions. Better satellite imagery helped, as did more thorough analysis of the imagery. The new data show that the Earth is covered with 618 million more acres of croplands than had previously been thought. That’s 15 percent higher than earlier assessments! In the coming months, Libra, I’m predicting a comparable expansion in your awareness of how many resources you have available. I bet you will also discover that you’re more fertile than you have imagined.


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

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

In 1939, Scorpio comic book writer Bob Kane co-created the fictional science-fiction superhero Batman. The “Caped Crusader� eventually went on to become an icon, appearing in blockbuster movies as well as TV shows and comic books. Kane said one of his inspirations for Batman was a flying machine envisioned by Leonardo da Vinci in the early 16th century. The Italian artist and inventor drew an image of a winged glider that he proposed to build for a human being to wear. I bring this up, Scorpio, because I think you’re in a phase when you, like Kane, can draw inspiration from the past. Go scavenging through history for good ideas!

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

I was watching a four-player poker game on TV. The folksy commentator said that the assortment of cards belonging to the player named Mike was “like Anna Kournikova,� because “it looks great but it never wins.� He was referring to the fact that during her career as a professional tennis player, Anna Kournikova was feted for her physical beauty but never actually won a singles title. This remark happens to be a useful admonishment for you Sagittarians in the coming weeks. You should avoid relying on anything that looks good but never wins. Put your trust in influences that are a bit homely or unassuming but far more apt to contribute to your success.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

A Chinese man named Wang Kaiyu bought two black-furred puppies from a stranger and took them home to his farm. As the months passed by, Wang noticed that his pets seemed unusually hungry and aggressive. They would sometimes eat his chickens. When they were 2 years old, he finally figured out that they weren’t dogs, but rather Asian black bears. He turned them over to a local animal rescue center. I bring this to your attention, Capricorn, because I suspect it may have a resemblance to your experience. A case of mistaken identity? A surprise revealed in the course of a ripening process? A misunderstanding about what you’re taking care of? Now is a good time to make adjustments and corrections.

Homework: Describe how you plan to shake off some of your tame and overly civilized behavior. Testify at


February 7 - 13, 2018 â&#x20AC;˘

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):

BULLE TIN BOARD: Classifieds As low as $25!



Visit today!

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries at every store!


Flowers, candy and cards available now!

And everything you need for valentines dinner.

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February 7 - 13, 2018 •

#&8:7E42C5 7@C$18.75


Woodland Hills

Shopping Center Fondren • 601-366-5273

Maywood Mart

1220 E. Northside Dr • 601-366-8486

Westland Plaza

2526 Robinson Rd • 601-353-0089

English Village

904 E. Fortification St. • 601-355-9668

#&8:7E42C5 7@C$20

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– NEW STOCK – The Slant Collection

#&8:7E42C5 7@C$18.75

#&8:7E42C5 7@C$20 601-790-0486

Blue plate lunch specials served Monday - Friday 11a-3p




OPEN AS USUAL _________________________ THURSDAY 2/8

D’LO TRIO Dining Room - 7-10pm - Free



JOHNNIE B & MRS. IRETTA SANDERS Dining Room - 7-10pm - Free _________________________




Dining Room - 7-10pm - Free _________________________



Live Music Every Thurs, Fri & Sat Night!




-Pool Is CoolThank you for voting The Green Room “Best Place to Play Pool” once again, extending our run of a Best of Jackson winner since 2006!


POOL LEAGUE Mon - Fri Night


444 Bounds St. Jackson MS


BLUE MONDAY Dining Room - 7 - 11pm $3 Members $5 Non-Members





Dining Room - 6-9pm - Free _________________________

UPCOMING: _________________________

Thurs Feb 8 - Fred T & the Band

Fri Feb 9 - Lucky Hand Blues Band

2/14 New Bourbon Street Jazz Band 2/15 Thomas Lovett of Young Valley 2/17 Jason Turner 2/19 Blue Monday 2/20 MS Humanities Council Presents Ideas on Tap 2/20 Dinner, Drinks & Jazz with Raphael Semmes & Friends 2/26 Blue Monday 2/28 New Bourbon Street Jazz Band _________________________ OFFICIAL


Sat Feb 10 - Good Paper of the Reverend Robert Mortimer 119 S. President St. Jackson

Visit for a full menu and event schedule

601.948.0888 200 S. Commerce St. Downtown Jackson, MS

Friday, February 9

WHITEY MORGAN outlaw country to his core!

do we need to say anymore? be there.

Saturday, February 10


Tuesday, February 13


Friday, February 16


austin's premier funk /soul band bringing it to duling!

Saturday, February 17


supporting 36 chris stapleton dates qualified!

Thursday, February 22

SOUTHERN AVENUE straight out of memphis and full of soul!

Friday, February 23

DRIVIN' N' CRYIN' southern rock legends

Saturday, February 24


americana songwriter straight out of tupelo!

Tuesday, February 27 MARTIN SEXTON

one of our favorite songwriters, soon to become one of yours


February 7 - 13, 2018 •

Stop by and see us for lunch!


Pre Order For Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day


Order online or call 601-362-9553 to order.




ESSENTIALOILS SALTLAMPS BEAUTIFULTHINGS Mention this ad for 50% off your first salt cave session and 1-month unlimited yoga $49!

5490 Castlewoods Ct. Suite D, Flowood, MS 39232 601-992-7721 â&#x20AC;˘

Baby Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cold Outside

Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face it, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never THAT cold in Mississippi but on those days whenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s it nippy order your Pig & Pint favorites from Waitr.

Security Cameras â&#x20AC;˘ Attendant On Duty Drop Off Service â&#x20AC;˘ Free Wi-Fi

1046 Greymont Ave. (behind La Cazuela) M-F 8am-9pm â&#x20AC;˘ Sat & Sun 7am-7pm CALL US AT 601-397-6223!

Thank you all for voting The Pizza Shack a winner in Best of Jackson 2018 for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Place for Pizza.â&#x20AC;?

Happy Anniversary 601-352-2001 925 East Fortification St., Jackson, Mississippi 39202

Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to thank

Meghan Garner for one year of dedicated service!

Want to Join the Team? Visit

V16n23 - The Love Issue  
V16n23 - The Love Issue  

Jackson’s First Couple, p 14-15 • Valentine’s Day Roundup, p 16 • Abortion Ban Moves Forward, pp 6 - 8 • ‘School Choice’: How It’s Funded,...