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vol. 16 no. 24

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Mississippi Escalates

War on Gangs Ladd, pp 14 - 17

Contract Conundrum Bragg, p 8

A Food Community Helsel, p 18

FRE$CO’s Fresh Start Smith, p 22


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JACKSONIAN LACY ELLINWOOD COURTESY LACY ELLINWOOD

L

acy Ellinwood, development director at the Mississippi Library Commission and bass guitarist for local band Kicking, says today’s librarians are not the librarians of the past. “(Librarians) look different. We are not the ‘shushing’ kind of people,” she says. “It’s the unique experiences that public library staff have that really enhance the library service.” As the development director at MLC, Ellinwood oversees consultants, who help the staff in all of Mississippi’s 53 public libraries. Her department focuses on providing developmental support and building staff relationships. “Our department gets the majority of what I like to call the fun stuff (because) we get the opportunity to travel to all corners of the state and see a variety of different communities,“ Ellinwood says. “It’s a lot of work but it’s very rewarding. (We’re) going into very rural communities … and helping public libraries better their services to meet the ... needs of their communities.” Ellinwood, who is from Caledonia, N.Y., attended the University of Buffalo in update New York and received her bachelor’s in art history in 2006 and master’s in library and information science in 2008. Prior to moving to Jackson, she worked two part-time jobs at a private judiciary

CONTENTS

library and at Canisius College in Buffalo. Though she originally wanted to move to New Orleans, she landed an interview for a library consultant position with then-Executive Director Sharman Smith and several other key staff members in August 2012. Ellinwood instantly fell in love with the environment. “They were just smart and passionate women who wanted to make public libraries the best they possibly could in Mississippi,” she says. “It was hard to not feel like this is the place you want to be to affect change on a larger level.” She started in her current position in September 2017. When she is not providing support to public libraries, she plays bass guitar with Kicking, a local “doomgaze” band. She says she is often asked about the different professions of librarian and guitarist for a local band. “It’s fun to do something that’s completely and totally different from my official work,” she says. Ellinwood, who lives in midtown, says it wasn’t hard to adapt here. “Jackson is a great place,” she says. “ … I wish more people would see the possibilities of what Mississippi could be. Your public libraries are definitely assets in your communities. I would encourage everyone to go and get their library card and check it out.” —Lashanda Phillips

Justin Tolbert, formerly a member of the Simon City Royals gang in Mississippi, rests his tattooed arm on religious crosses at Blackledge Face Center in Jackson. (Elijah Baylis/The Clarion-Ledger via AP)

6 ........................... TALKS 12 .................. EDITORIAL 13 ..................... OPINION 14 ........... COVER STORY 18 .......... FOOD & DRINK 20 ........................ 8 DAYS 21 ....................... EVENTS 21 ...................... SPORTS

6 City Decriminalizes Weed

The Jackson City Council voted to lessen penalties for marijuana possession in the city on Tuesday. Ward 4 Councilman De’Keither Stamps brought the ordinance to the council to consider.

18 A Food Community

That’s what Kreskin Torres hopes to create with his new app, navalon.

22 ......................... MUSIC 22 ....... MUSIC LISTINGS 24 ..................... PUZZLES 25 ........................ ASTRO 25 .............. CLASSIFIEDS

22 FRE$CO’s Fresh Start

“I wanted everybody to be on the same vibe, but I most definitely had to separate some things to make it flow.” —Alexander FRE$CO, “FRE$CO’s Fresh Start”

February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

4 ........... EDITOR’S NOTE

ALEXANDER FRE$CO; ALIVIA TOWNSEND; STEPHEN WILSON

FEBRUARY 14 - 20, 2018 | VOL. 16 NO. 24

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PUBLISHER’s note

by Todd Stauffer, Publisher

The Solution Isn’t Rocket Science; It’s Community

W

hen Donna Ladd goes deep on an investigative story, I tend to hear about it. Her cover story this week, with Arielle Dreher’s help, is part of a great deal of reporting she is now doing that will extend over a few different outlets—the Jackson Free Press locally and a national media outlet, for starters, along with a crimereporting fellowship project that takes her back to New York in the next few weeks. What she is focused on is what she is always focused on in one way or another: the nexus of policing, young people, evidence-based policy and race in the U.S. I’ve followed her work over a few decades now—and been privy so some of what she hasn’t yet published, or the more raw forms of ideas she has synthesized— and it is worth saying that there are some powerful patterns that emerge. The fundamental one is this: You can’t legislate away problems that actually require harder work on the part of the community. For too long now we’ve had powerful voices in the political realm telling us how much we need to hate government and how government is never the answer. The truth is, a lot of politicians love us being disengaged from our communities’ problems— or our city’s, state’s and nation’s—because then the politicians and lobbyists can decide for themselves how to divvy things up. The more hands-off we are, the more we can find other people to blame for society’s ills; the more we make selfishness a virtue, the less we actually act in our self-interest by being engaged civically and using our collective talents, intelligence and hard work to solve problems. If a “gang bill” focuses primarily on making it easier to classify a person as a

gang member—and then makes the penalties for falling into that classification more onerous—is it really solving any problems? It’s certainly not keeping people out of gangs; it is putting more people in them. It is finding ways to pin criminal charges, jail time and criminal records on people for “conspiracy” to commit crimes that they didn’t necessary actually commit. As much as “gang bill” authors are trying to tell you that it’s designed to keep

could be using to help make our country a better place to live and work. An organization I’m involved in, Dialogue Jackson, has worked with another group—the People’s Institute out of New Orleans—to offer a training called “Undoing Racism.” In that training, one of the critical components is a systems analysis of the “gatekeeper” institutions that tend to manage the periphery of impoverished and challenged communities.

It’s certainly not keeping people out of gangs. kids out of gangs, no part of the system is really designed for that. By over-criminalizing poverty and addiction, you get young people (often young men) interacting with the criminal-justice system early and often. Once that starts, three things happen—they get into situations (juvenile halls, jails and prisons) where they learn more about how to be a criminal; they get involved in and organized by the gangs that run those institutions; and their other opportunities begin to be dramatically curtailed. Once you’ve got a record, it’s harder to get housing, to get a job, to get services. Smart people study these things, and solutions exist. We just don’t implement them—certainly not in a place like Mississippi, and certainly not for everyone. Why? Because it takes a different type of thinking, and it takes effort, and we have, for some reason, decided that it’s our civic responsibility to rail against the institutions that we

What you find through that process is that the institutions that many of us rely on to make our lives better—police, hospitals, banks, government offices, nonprofits— often almost universally seem to be focused on making poor or addicted people either worse off, or feel worse about themselves. Blue lights flashing on my block feel like a “good thing” to me because it’s my belief that those police officers are responding on my behalf. But on other blocks all around Jackson, seeing the lights doesn’t ignite that same feeling in many residents’ chests; all too often, those blue lights feel like an institution that is designed to make their lives worse because trust isn’t there. You may think “don’t do bad things, and you won’t have to worry about the cops.” Then some genius writes a “gang bill” where you go to jail if your buddy does a bad thing. Now whose system is it? Solutions include better approaches

to policing. Law enforcement cannot do “community policing” from inside your car. You’ve got to get out on the beat and get to know the neighborhood, and build alliances with the good folks, so they’ll tell you what the bad folks are up to. It’s not easy, and it takes resources, training, management and directives from above. And the solution isn’t all with the police—it’s leadership. If the political leadership doesn’t exist to demand high-quality police work, offer the training and the resources, and stop bad policing when it’s identified—and tell the people it needs to be paid for—then that’s a failure of leadership. But the solution also isn’t all political leadership. It’s the people. We’ve got to be more civically engaged, telling the political leaders what we really want and letting them know we’re watching what they do, and that we see them when they sell out. We need to get involved in the nonprofits or corporate sponsorships that offer better solutions to poverty and addiction, and recognize that criminalizing those things pretty much helps nobody. And then, as a community and a culture, we must prioritize opportunity. Let’s find the real gaps in the system and fill them. Let’s invest in people—kids, preteens, teens and young adults. Let’s make it a little part of everything we do to make our community a better place to live for everyone with shared resources, infrastructure, education. Help people get training. Get people jobs and dignity and home loans and hope. Selfishness is not a virtue, and it works against the actual economic principle of self-interest. If you want a functioning democracy, you have got to take the reigns yourself, and both work on and demand solutions to problems, including crime.

February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

contributors

4

Donna Ladd

Ko Bragg

Arielle Dreher

Lashanda Phillips

Stephen Wilson

Amber Helsel

Micah Smith

Kimberly Griffin

JFP Editor-in-chief Donna Ladd is a graduate of Mississippi State and the Columbia journalism school. She has an investigative crime-reporting fellowship through the Quattrone Center at Penn Law. She wrote the cover story.

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 about contracts and marijuana laws.

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

Freelance writer Lashanda Phillips is a recent graduate of Jackson State University. She is the third oldest of seven children. She wrote the Jacksonian story.

Staff Photographer Stephen Wilson is always on the scene, bringing you views from the six. He contributed photographs in this issue.

Managing Editor Amber Helsel is a Gemini, feminist, writer, artist and otaku. She loves travelling, petting cats, hoarding craft supplies and more. Email story ideas to amber@jacksonfreepress.com. She wrote about the food app navalon.

Music Editor Micah Smith is a longtime fan of music, comedy and all things “nerd.” He is married to a great lady, has two dog-children named Kirby and Zelda, and plays in the band Empty Atlas. He wrote about rapper Alexander FRE$CO.

Associate Publisher Kimberly Griffin is a Jackson native who loves Jesus, her mama, cooking, traveling, the Callaway Chargers, chocolate, her godson, working out and locally owned restaurants, not necessarily in that order.


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Carlyn Hicks, JD Mission First Legal Aid Clinic MC School of Law

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Thea Faulkner Partners in Education Jackson Public Schools

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Dr. Rob Pearigen President Millsaps College

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Sister Dorothea Sondgeroth Former President St. Dominic’s Health Services

Mar. 15 Rev. C.J. Rhodes Pastor Mt. Helm Baptist Church Mar. 22 Rev. Chuck Poole Pastor Northminster Baptist Church

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February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

DIANE BRAVENEC, GOLDWATER SCHOLAR

5


@jxnfreepress

@jacksonfreepress

@jxnfreepress

Thursday, February 8 Rep. Charles Young, D-Meridian, pulls out his unloaded gun and concealed-carry license in the legislative chamber to speak out against House Bill 1083, which would allow people with enhanced concealed-carry licenses to sue public entities that bar firearms from their premises. Friday, February 9 Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall announces that the Delta Correctional Facility in Greenwood will reopen this spring to house people who violate the terms of their probation or parole. Saturday, February 10 Donald Trump accuses Democrats of “playing politics with classified information” a day after refusing to release their memo countering GOP allegations of FBI conduct.

February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

Sunday, February 11 New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman files a lawsuit against The Weinstein Company ahead of its imminent sale, alleging that the company failed to protect the women that owner Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed over decades. … Red Gerard, a 17-year-old snowboarder, wins the first gold medal for the U.S. in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

6

Monday, February 12 Senate Bill 2400, Sen. Kevin Blackwell’s bill to change school-board elections statewide by requiring all elected board members to run the same year, dies in the Mississippi Legislature. Tuesday, February 13 Judge Emma Arbuthnot upholds an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has spent more than five years evading the law inside Ecuador’s London embassy.

Get breaking news at jfpdaily.com.

Inside the city sludge contract conundrum p8

—Attorney General Jim Hood on marijuana laws.

Decriminalizing Pot in the City by Ko Bragg

J

ennifer Riley-Collins is a veteran of the U.S. Army, as well as the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi. She has been on both active and reserve duty for more than 30 years. At a Feb. 5 public hearing, she shared that her life would torpedo, and she would lose her hard-earned benefits if she were caught with even 30 grams or less of marijuana. “If I were impacted by being arrested for simple possession of marijuana, I may lose my veterans benefits,” Riley-Collins said. “I worked 32 years for them—that’s not something I want to lose. “Someone who went to war should not be forced to risk losing their veterans benefits because they were arrested for an ounce of marijuana.” Jackson has become the latest city in the nation to propose legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession of 30 grams or less within city limits. The Jackson City Council passed Ward 4 Councilman De’Keither Stamps’ ordinance to free up police resources to focus on other crimes and to offer relief to those who are thrown into the criminal-justice system for personal-use possession on Feb. 13. Decriminalizing simple possession within Jackson’s limits is not a panacea— possessing marijuana will still be illegal. If you are caught outside the city limits or by anyone who is not a Jackson police officer, state and federal laws can make the result

Stephen Wilson

Wednesday, February 7 Senators vote 42-9 to pass Senate Bill 2455, which would give cities a larger share of Mississippi sales tax collections and require them to spend the extra money on infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and sewer lines.

“Eventually, our young people are going to change it—they’re going to change the law in our state, probably legalize it, probably in my lifetime in the next 20 years.”

Ward 4 Councilman De’Keither Stamps proposed decriminalizing simple possession of marijuana in Jackson to free up police resources to focus on other crimes and to reduce the number who go to jail for small amounts.

more complicated. That is especially true under U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. ‘I Get It, Trust Me’ The new city ordinance says that those in possession of 30 grams of marijuana or less would pay a fine of no more than $100 and face no prison time. But, state law does not outline any jail time for the first time someone is caught with 30 grams of marijuana or less, rather a fine of $100 to $250. A second conviction for simple possession within two years yields a $250 fine, no more than 60 days in the county jail and mandatory enrollment in a drug-education

program unless a court finds the sentence inappropriate. Any subsequent conviction within two years merits a fine between $250 and $1,000 and up to six months in county jail. Stamps’ ordinance says the Jackson Police Department may implement a mandatory training on how City ordinances differ with state law, but there are still gaps. What will happen to those charged more than once with simple possession? Will the $100 maximum fine apply to each conviction for simple possession? Ward 2 Councilman Melvin Priester Jr. spoke about the importance of nuance.

Random Acts of Kindness by JFP Staff

V

alentine’s Day was on Wednesday, Feb. 14, and it may leave some people feeling grumpy and not so kind. Luckily, the official National Random Acts of Kindness day falls on Saturday, Feb. 17, so that can be an opportunity to make a bad week better for some. Here are some of the things you can do.

Put a flower lei on statues in Jackson. The bright colors could make someone happy.

Pick up trash when you see it. Take pride in where you live.

Better yet, put a flower lei on legislators (just kidding. They might have you arrested.)

Give someone a kind note or flowers or chocolate. Buy lunch for a homeless person.

Donate to local nonprofits that are working to better the community. Stewpot, CARA and the Youth Media Project are good examples.

Compliment someone and make them feel good about themselves.


“The proposed ordinance could potentially be plagued with the same selective enforcement woes as marijuana criminal laws, and those unable to pay fines could face arrest and imprisonment.”

“This amendment will reduce recidivism and allow our men and women to be with their families to be back in homes for treatment.”

—ACLU Executive Director Jennifer Riley-Collins speaking on the City of Jackson’s marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

—Rep. Cheikh Taylor, D-Starkville, told the House while presenting his amendment to the Medicaid bill.

Re-Entry Reforms Still Alive in Legislature by Arielle Dreher

Rep. Bill Kinkade, R-Byhalia, passed House Bill 1172 out of his committee. It gives MDOC the flexibility necessary to assign case plans to all parole-eligible inmates since 2014.

make the recommendation a reality. Several re-entry bills are still alive in the Legislature that have a decent chance of becoming law, however. The Oversight Task Force 2017 report recommends that the Mississippi Department of Corrections develop parole case plans for all inmates, which is carrying out an initial recommendation from the 2015 criminal-justice reform package. De Gruy told the re-entry council on Feb. 2 that House Bill 1172 contained the changes needed for MDOC to keep up with the rapid intake of case plans. MDOC cannot keep up with the current time restrictions on case plans in state law. “Basically, it’s kind of like your progress report for

of the thing—you can’t pass laws which are inconsistent with state laws.” Mullins suggests a standing order with city court judges saying that people will not go to jail for 30 grams or less regardless of how many convictions. Either way, he is sympathetic to the cause. “I get it, trust me,” Mullins said. “I get what they’re trying to do. It makes sense because a lot of times you get folks out there, and they’ve got this personal possession, personal-use crime, and you know it’s only going to be a fine, but you’re going to have to take them down to the jail….” State, Federal and Beyond In 2014, Gov. Phil Bryant signed “Harper Grace’s Law” to exempt certain uses of cannabidiol oil. The law also decriminal-

kids in school. You work with them, tell them what programming they need based on these risk assessments. It’s something that takes some work to get together, and then it takes work to monitor each offender who’s eligible as they go through the process,” he said. De Gruy said about 1,700 inmates are eligible under the bill for parole, and need case plans. House Bill 1172 passed that chamber last week, and the Senate will need to pass the bill to give MDOC the flexibility to keep up with the demand. Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Jim Kitchens asked who gets a case plan. “Any chance it could be backed up to cover people who are not new offenders?” Kitchens asked de Gruy earlier this month at the re-entry council meeting. “Ideally, I think they should, and I would hope that if they get to the point where they could do that,” de Gruy answered. Currently, case plans are for inmates who were convicted after July 1, 2014. The Senate could consider another bill that would provide income tax credits to those who hire previously incarcerated men and women. House Bill 175 provides $2,500 for four years each former prisoner is employed. De Gruy said even if the Legislature amends bill is amended, any income tax credit is better than none at all. “You have to start somewhere...” he cautioned. “Anything it does is more than we have now.” Several re-entry council proposals that died last year are in House Bill 387, which the Senate Corrections Committee will have to take up. Other reforms from the re-entry council are in Senate Bill 2841, which was dramatically amended before the Senate passed it last week.

ized marijuana for research purposes at the University of Mississippi. Attorney General Jim Hood recently spoke on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” and addressed his views on marijuana as an “old, gray-haired drug warrior” and prosecutor. “Eventually, our young people are going to change it—they’re going to change the law in our state, probably legalize it, probably in my lifetime in the next 20 years,” Hood said on Feb. 7. Currently, at the federal level simple possession with no intent to distribute is punishable by up to one year in prison, a minimum fine of $1,000 or both. On Jan. 4, Sessions sent out a memo to all U.S. attorneys reversing President Barack Obama’s policy of essentially non-interference at the federal level in states that passed

decriminalization laws. Sessions also said recently that marijuana is a gateway drug to opioid addiction, which drug researchers dispute. With differing, subjective statutes, it can be confusing to know where authorities stand. Atlanta is one recent example. Georgia state law prescribes imprisonment up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000 for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. However, the Atlanta City Council voted in October 2017 to lower fines to $75 for marijuana possession up to an ounce and eliminate jail time. “If you get arrested by anybody but a city cop, you’re toast,” Atlanta City Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean said in April 2017. Email city reporter Ko Bragg at ko@ jacksonfreepress.com

February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

“Honestly, in my opinion, this is more of a political statement—it doesn’t change the fact that this is still illegal at the state level,” Priester said. “I have some real questions about what this practically means, though I support the political gesture.” Stamps did not outline what happens if someone is caught with 30 grams or less in a motor vehicle. State law says a driver with up to 30 grams of marijuana could face a maximum fine of $1,000, up to 90 days in county jail or both if convicted. Local attorney Chuck Mullins doubts the City ordinance would stand up in court if the attorney general’s office took issue. “Forget about the marijuana,” he told the Jackson Free Press on Feb. 5. “What if it was another law that is inconsistent or in conflict with state statute? It’s the principle

Stephen Wilson

M

ississippi can begin to look at justice reinvestment, and it should be a priority, André de Gruy, the state public defender who is also on the state’s Corrections and Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force, told the re-entry council earlier this month. In 2014, the Legislature passed a criminal-justice reform package that decreased the number of men and women incarcerated in the state. De Gruy said the idea behind reducing the number of people behind bars is to reinvest those funds in re-entry efforts. “Those savings should be going into programs that will keep people out of prison, and that’s sort of (why) the re-entry council came about to kind of come up with things we can spend that money on,” he said. While several criminal-justice reform bills are dead, lawmakers could still consider several measures that would positively affect re-entry opportunities for men and women returning from prison. The state’s re-entry council met on Friday, Feb. 2, to go over some of their recommendations as well as review what legislation is still moving forward this session. One solution is to repurpose or use drug courts as re-entry courts, U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett, who sits on the re-entry council, stressed. These types of courts are common all over the country, specifically for people who leave prison with a substance-addiction problem, he said. “You don’t mix the high-risk offenders—the ones who are coming out of prison who score high on the risk assessment—with the low-risk offenders,” he said on Feb. 2. “… They have to be separated.” Legislation to open drug courts to more offenders died in House and Senate committees this year, and de Gruy said the drug-court budget would have to be increased to

7


TALK | city

City Contracting Battles: Veolia, Fisher Fight On by Ko Bragg

8

A Deeper Look Veolia and Fisher negotiated a memorandum of understanding in December 2015—a year before Veolia was awarded the project. A December 2017 memo from

Veolia’s lawyer, Bobby Owens, to the City’s EBO board says Fisher agreed to negotiate in good faith and exclusively with Veolia in exchange for awarding Fisher the subcontract if Veolia won the City bid. Veolia paid Fisher $5,000 a month for travel and “other expenses,” and they later helped him procure equipment totaling $100,000 before any work was done. In May 2016, Veolia submitted its EBO plan, a requirement in the City of Jackson that breaks down the percentages

notified the City that at least four vendors were claiming that Fisher had not paid them for work done at wastewater-treatment facilities. One of those was Bridgette Gandy, an environmental consultant who would come to the city council in January 2018 to complain about money Fisher still owed her. Listed as one of the primary legal contacts in Fisher’s contract with Veolia, Gandy’s role was to complete reports for the EPA. Those records were due Jan. 5, and Veolia’s records provided to the Jackson Stephen Wilson

February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

A

month has passed since the City held its first Equal Business Opportunity Review Committee hearing to mediate a dispute between the larger Massachusetts-based company, Veolia North America - South, LLC, and Fisher Construction of Jackson. Fisher filed a grievance against Veolia in December 2017 that escalated into a hearing in front of the City’s Equal Business Opportunity board on Jan. 12 that reveals the inner workings of a municipal contracting system where chains of contractors and subcontractors often end up fighting among themselves over taxpayer money. The Jackson City Council approved a $10,930,464 contract with Veolia in October 2016 to manage and operate Jackson’s wastewater-treatment plants to ensure compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s consent decree—the City was dumping untreated wastewater into the Pearl River. Veolia then subcontracted with Fisher, a local minority contractor, to move the sludge. Fisher then subcontracted with others to do the work, and they have accused him of not fully paying them, with him saying Veolia had not finished compensating him. The mayor recused himself from the discussion at the Jan. 30 City Council meeting because a family member received a subcontract from Veolia at some point that has since been completed. At a second EBO hearing on Feb. 2, Veolia revealed that it had terminated and replaced Fisher Construction, despite Jackson’s Equal Business Ordinance requirement that prime contractors get permission from the EBO board before swapping out minority contractors. Documents from Veolia lawyers allege that Fisher did not have the capacity to do the sludge hauling they had contracted with him to complete, so it replaced Fisher. But, Fisher’s lawyer told the Jackson Free Press that there is “no doubt” her client had the capacity to do the work, despite only being paid half of what he believes he was contracted to earn. The JFP obtained documents that clarify some of the questions. Still, the situation remains as muddied as the sludge.

Veolia North America-South, LLC, already terminated its contract with Renna Fisher (left), who is the client of Regina (Quinn) May (right) although it awaits a decision from the City’s Equal Business Opportunity Review Committee.

of minority and women-owned businesses that will help carry out contracting work. Fisher Construction had not only the largest estimate of the dollar value of the work to be performed at $1,347,942 annually, it also had the highest percentage of minority and women participation—Veolia listed that 15.13 percent of the participants would be minority-owned and womenowned businesses, with Fisher making up 11.6 percent of the total. In August 2016, the COO of Veolia wrote a letter to Fisher and his business partner Jackie Andrews stating that Andrews informed Veolia that Fisher was also working on behalf of American Water—a breach of Fisher’s contractual agreement to work exclusively with Veolia. Owens wrote to the EBO board in December 2017, that Fisher admitted to working for American Water in a publicrelations capacity, but Veolia continued working with Fisher because it had already submitted the proposal to the City. In addition, on Nov 2, 2017, Veolia

Free Press indicate that Fisher never turned them in—another breach of the contract. Owens estimated that Fisher owes more than $150,000 to vendors, and they urged him to repay them immediately to limit Veolia and City liability. One vendor took it to the courts. Partridge-Sibley Industrial Services filed a civil suit against Fisher Construction in October 2017 for unpaid fines and breach of contract. Partridge is seeking nearly $38,000 plus attorney’s fees. Fisher had entered a lease agreement effective January 2017 for land-application and transportation equipment, but this was terminated in June 2017 because Fisher allegedly failed to pay. Veolia accuses Fisher of operating as a pass-through because he “passed” work through PSI, a non-minority firm, which violates the EBO ordinances and the Fisher-Veolia contract. Due to those factors and failure to document insurance and licences, Owens said that “Veolia had no choice but to terminate Fisher, effective immediately” in a Jan. 16 memo to the EBO board.

Show Me the Money May, Fisher’s attorney, argues that Veolia wants to have it both ways: It alleges Fisher did not have the capacity to do the work, but also claims Fisher did not earn the money promised because rain last year hindered the sludge-hauling process because of toxic runoff risk in those conditions. No explicit annual dollar amounts are included in Fisher’s contract with Veolia. Rather, the company promised to pay Fisher on a per-unit basis depending on the amount of sludge he hauled and took to landfills. May said that the fact that Veolia told the City of Jackson one amount in the EBO plan and then decided to pay Fisher per-unit in their contract with him is a “bait-and-switch.” “That is what they base their proposal on to get the contract from the City of Jackson, but they’re not paying Fisher that; they’re paying a much lesser amount,” May told the Jackson Free Press. “That just doesn’t seem to be fair.” In December 2017, Veolia’s records say Fisher only hauled 59 loads, whereas in January 2017, when he was still under contract with Partridge, he hauled 233 loads monthly. Four Seasons Enterprises, the replacement minority-owned subcontractor, hauled 71 loads from Jan 18 until Feb. 1. Four days after the initial hearing in January, Veolia terminated Fisher’s contract without response from the EBO board. May said that without the EBO decision, her client is technically still bound to Veolia until they approve or deny the swap. “So they’re trying to use … the City of Jackson to kind of clean up the improper procedure that they went through,” May said. “They terminated Fisher without complying with the EBO executive order.” Fisher and May did not show up at the most recent meeting. May told the JFP it was “moot” at that point. “(T)hose (EBO) provisions deal with permissions, not forgiveness,” May said. “So, when you want to replace someone, you need to get approval. But, once you’ve already terminated the subcontractor, and you want to go back in and bless what you’ve done, that’s not what that program is designed for.” As of Feb. 9, the City of Jackson still did not have a decision from the board. Email city reporter Ko Bragg at ko@ jacksonfreepress.com. Read more about city contracting controversies at jfp.ms/contracts.


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9


TALK | state

Medicaid and Guns Bills Live, Vouchers Die by Arielle Dreher

R

ep. Cheikh Taylor, D-Starkville, stepped to the podium for his first time ever last week to offer a significant amendment to the House Medicaid legislation. Instead of offering drug treatment for opioid-addicted Medicaid beneficiaries, Taylor’s amendment would allow any Mississippian on Medicaid suffering from addiction to any drug listed in two parts of the state’s illegal drugs schedule to receive services. “This amendment will reduce recidivism and allow our men and women to be with their families to be back in homes for

Foster, R-Hernando, made a motion to table the amendment, effectively killing it. The House proposal, unlike the Senate proposal, would require the Division of Medicaid to re-bid out the three recently approved contracts for managed-care companies in the state, meaning the state could choose to not fund Molina’s contract, forcing the Division of Medicaid to re-bid them out in 2019. White said he heard from several Houses members that the most recent bidding process was not fair. Molina Healthcare is set to come on as the state’s third Stephen Wilson

Rep. Jason White, R-West, developed the House Medicaid proposal, which would require the division to re-bid out contracts for the managed-care program. The measure passed out of the House with bipartisan support.

February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

treatment,” Taylor told the House. At first, Republican Rep. Gary Staples, R-Laurel, requested a fiscal note on the amendment, which would have essentially killed the attempt. However, he withdrew his request after he saw that Republicans actually supported the measure. Rep. Jason White, R-West, who is largely responsible for writing the House’s Medicaid bill, supported the amendment and asked the House to vote for it. The move signals a bipartisan recognition that previous “War on Drugs” strategies, like penalizing crack cocaine but not powder cocaine in the 1980s and 1990s, are not effective, acknowledging that addiction exists beyond opioids, as Taylor noted. Democrats wanted the Medicaid bill to include an amendment to create a fund to direct federal Medicaid funds to certain health-care providers serving low-income 10 people throughout the state. Rep. Robert

managed-care company in October. “The cry was that the process was not fair. There’s a new director of Medicaid that I have great confidence in—there’s a breath of fresh air,” White said. “… This is this body’s will.” Drew Snyder, former deputy chief of staff for the governor, is the new director. Rep. Jarvis Dortch, D-Jackson, questioned what kind of precedent the state would set by mandating that the contracts be re-bid, noting the current litigation against the Division of Medicaid. After some debate, the House passed its technical amendment legislation by a vote of 108 to 3. The Senate Medicaid debate did not enjoy the same kind of bipartisan showmanship. Democrats decried a part of their bill, which is also partially in the House version, that allows the governor to reduce certain services, reduce reimbursement

rates or take other measures if the Medicaid division is projected to spend more than the amount of state funds appropriated to it. Senate Democrats cried foul at these provisions because the Division of Medicaid has declared a budget deficit every year since 2014. “Does that mean the governor can do anything he can with this Medicaid bill notwithstanding anything else?” Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, asked during debate. Senate Bill 2836 leaves discretion of what to reduce in terms of “unnecessary costs” up to the governor and the Medicaid director. The Senate Medicaid bill, like the House proposal, allows more doctor visits and prescriptions. Unlike the House bill, the Senate approved a measure that allows the Division of Medicaid to enter into a contract with a technology company to develop population health and data analytics. The Senate version also includes the creation of a commission to study expanding the state’s managed-care program. Senate Democrats voted against their Medicaid technical amendments legislation, citing the potential overreach the legislation gives the governor. “We are directing him to gut Medicaid and give it away,” Sen. Willie Simmons, D-Cleveland, said. Given the differences between the two versions, changes to the state’s Medicaid program will likely go to conference, and members from the Senate and House will have to compromise next month before lawmakers approve a final proposal. ‘School Choice’ Dead For Now The push for voucher expansion in Mississippi appears dead for now. After thousands of dollars from inside the state and beyond helped fund lobbying efforts and lawmaker dinners in 2017, the push to expand vouchers died on the Senate calendar. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves did not take Sen. Gray Tollison’s, R-Oxford, bill up for a vote. Reeves blamed the House for killing the bill, however. “Unfortunately, Senate Bill 2623, which expanded access to educational savings accounts to more parents and students, did not survive today’s legislative deadline because there is not enough support in the House at this time,” Reeves said in a press statement. “We need to continue to educate legislators, in both chambers and in both political parties, on the success Mississippi par-

ents have seen in the current ESA program and how ‘school choice’ will have long-term benefits to our state.” Supporters of using tax money for private-school vouchers and charter schools call those practices “school choice.” Reeves refused to expand on his sentiments to reporters on deadline day, but Tollison chalked the bill dying up to the House as well as what typically happens to a new idea in the statehouse. “There was zero evidence that the House was going to consider the bill, but we’ve been the tip of the spear on several ed-reform efforts. You know, it took how many years, six years to pass significant charter-school legislation?” Tollison told reporters last week. “I think we get this out there and get a conversation started and get people familiar with the concept, and it takes time. That’s not unusual for new, innovative legislation to go through several sessions before it’s considered or before it’s successfully passed.” When House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, learned that Reeves blamed the House without taking the measure up for the vote in his own chamber, he said, “I don’t understand that logic.” Tollison claims he had the votes in the Senate to pass the bill, but we likely will not know until 2018, unless a lawmaker figures out how to amend legislation that is still alive to include some language from Tollison’s bill. More Gun Bills Despite public colleges and universities protesting against House Bill 1083, Gipson brought forward a measure that would allow Mississippians with enhanced concealed-carry licenses, who must take a certified instructional course, to bring declarative lawsuits against public entities with policies that go against state law. The bill would also make any public agency’s policy about carrying concealed firearms “have no force and effect” for those with enhanced licenses. Some House Democrats expressed concerns about the measure, but Gipson pointed out that much of the bill is already state law and has been since 2011. The House overwhelmingly passed the bill, and it will now go to the Senate for consideration. Email state reporter Arielle Dreher at arielle@jacksonfreepress.com and follow her on Twitter for updates from the Capitol at @arielle_amara.


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11


Not a Heritage to Celebrate

A

t the National Sheriffs’ Association winter conference in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 12, Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered what should have been a puff piece. Instead, we heard his thoughts on both the twisted history of law enforcement in America and his own priorities. During the course of his speech, Sessions went off script and declared that “the office of the sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement.” As the Marshall Project noted, “Anglo-American” was entirely absent from the pre-written speech journalists in attendance received. What heritage is Sessions extolling here? Slavery. Many of the original organized lawenforcement agencies were southern slave patrols and “slave catchers.” The “Anglo-American” heritage is the heritage of Jim Crow. Who was the primary enforcer of the segregation of African Americans? The sheriff. Who was it that enabled twisted men like Bull Connor and Ross Barnett to lead the fight against civil rights? Anglo-American law enforcement. Who protected the Ku Klux Klan, a murderous band of monsters hiding in white bedsheets? The local sheriffs. When protestors in Alabama dared to rally to proclaim that they were equal, who was it that led the vile, brutal attack on the march? Sheriff Jim Clark. He was so dedicated to the Anglo-American law-enforcement ideals that he issued an order calling all white males over 21 to be deputized for the purpose of beating black marchers. But surely times have changed; isn’t Jim Crow a thing of the past? As Ecclesiastes said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” “Anglo-American law enforcement” has helped create the world’s largest prison state—a racist, classist, violent assault upon humanity. The United States has the world’s largest prison population with the highest incarceration rate. People are locked up, used for legal slavery to profit the capitalist system and spit back out into a society that has rejected them. Who stands at the gate of this monstrous and bloody system? The sheriff and his offshoots. Each day we are now privy to the reality that black and poor people experience with law enforcement. Pre-textual stops, harassment and violence are more commonplace than anyone wants to realize. Who is on the front lines of the brutal encounters with these disenfranchised and occupied communities? The “Anglo-American law enforcement heritage”-honoring officers. Let’s be clear: There are many individual sheriffs and deputies who try their best to help society and enforce the law fairly. They are to be commended. However, these individuals alone cannot correct the sins of the system itself. It is a fallacy of liberal idealism to think the problem arises from and can be solved by individuals. Jeff Sessions insists that this heritage is a benefit to the country. The white sheriff is the “people’s protector who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to the people,” by which he means Anglo-Americans, aka white people. Under his leadership, the Department of Justice has begun rolling back the meager reforms his predecessor had put in place. Sessions wants to escalate the drug war, which is an entirely failed endeavor. He wants to arrest his way out of the opioid crisis while oblivious to the people’s suffering. Some have been surprised that he would lead the DOJ in this manner. His speech should put their bewilderment to rest. The “Anglo-American law enforcement heritage” is one of violence, racism and exploitation. This is a heritage to be scorned, a dark mark to be expunged. This is not, contrary to what Attorney General Sessions thinks, a heritage to be celebrated. Criminal defense attorney and armchair philosopher Andrew J. Williams Esq. lives and practices in Mississippi. 12 February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

“There is nothing new under the sun.”

Time to Implement Criminal Justice Reforms

F

our years ago, the Legislature patted itself on the back for reforming Mississippi’s criminal-justice system with sweeping legislation that was arguably one of the most impactful pieces of public policy passed in recent years. And they should have. Bipartisan efforts to empty prisons of nonviolent offenders are worthy of celebration. But passing House Bill 585 was only the beginning. Now it’s time to implement those changes. A huge part of criminal-justice reform requires paying particular attention to recidivism and re-entry programming around the state. How easy is it for former inmates to get housing, transportation, identification and jobs? In Mississippi, not easy at all. That is part of why the 2014 criminal-justice reform legislation created different task forces and committees of people who get together and work on these ideas. Three years later, those committees have reports, ideas and plans to implement several reforms statewide. Now it is time for lawmakers and the governor to listen and implement those plans. “While agreeing that several recommendations from earlier reports should be republished, the task force believed the report should emphasize the need for reinvestment in programs for persons post release,” the 2017 report from the Corrections and Criminal Justice Task Force says.

Legislation to open up drug courts as re-entry courts died this session already, despite the task force recommending them. Alternatively, lawmakers are considering creating an additional penalty for criminal gang activity, as a proposed deterrent to gang involvement across the state, a proposal that will likely have the opposite effect on the state’s prison population than House Bill 585 had. Criminal-justice reforms must be considered cohesively and comprehensively, and technically lawmakers have a lot left to implement from House Bill 585, with little appetite or even awareness that they need to. The Legislature has figured out the solution to most of its problems is to sic a committee on them. Lottery? Education funding formula? Religious exemptions for vaccines? A committee can fix that. This does not mean we disapprove of studying topics and getting clear evidence-based data to base policy off on—in fact, we encourage that. But once the committee has done its hard work and presented data and recommendations, why on earth would you cherry-pick the results, or worse yet, have to be lobbied to legislate recommendations you asked for as lawmakers in the first place? It is time for lawmakers to actually use the data and research they have asked for to implement criminal-justice reforms in the state.

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


Adofo Minka

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 letters@jacksonfreepress.com Editorial editor@jacksonfreepress.com Queries submissions@jacksonfreepress.com Listings events@jacksonfreepress.com Advertising ads@jacksonfreepress.com Publisher todd@jacksonfreepress.com News tips news@jacksonfreepress.com Fashion style@jacksonfreepress.com Jackson Free Press 125 South Congress Street, Suite 1324 Jackson, Mississippi 39201 Editorial (601) 362-6121 Sales (601) 362-6121 Fax (601) 510-9019 Daily updates at jacksonfreepress.com 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. jacksonfreepress.com. 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

I

t has been more than two weeks since two Jackson Police Department officers extra-judicially killed beloved daughter, mother and Jackson State University student Crystaline Barnes. The community waits in suspense for some facts on what happened on Jan. 27, 2018. JPD has been less than forthcoming regarding basic information concerning this shooting. Instead, Interim Police Chief Anthony Moore, a man whom Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba lauded for being familiar with the national trends in criminal justice, has employed a tightlipped approach eerily similar to those used in cases involving the extra-judicial killings of unarmed black men, women and children nationally. Instead of offering transparency, Moore refuses to identify the officers or discuss whether they have histories of misconduct. This basic information should not be a mystery to residents. Barnes’ killing by a hail of bullets while driving makes clear the importance of knowing the types of officers we have occupying our communities. The stray bullets and Barnes’ car, which went out of control after the officers shot her, placed the lives and property of others in direct danger. JPD ought to know better. It is unacceptable that while Barnes’ family mourns her killing, officers get a paid vacation free of any public scrutiny or ridicule, both of which are warranted. Moore refuses to discuss JPD’s use-offorce policy in any detail. This is a policy that the general public should know about. Further, residents of Jackson should have had the right to discuss and critique this policy publicly before it went into effect, as it directly impacts all residents. This is a basic issue of transparency. There is no excuse for Moore’s refusal to provide such information to the public. There is no excuse why JPD has failed to do so in the past. What is in that policy that the department feels it has to hide? Does such a policy even exist? A failure to provide such basic information is a breach of the public trust. It appears that JPD is in line with the national trend of engaging in character assassinations of victims of extra-judicial killings. Great emphasis has been placed on allegations that Barnes attempted to run someone off the road before her deadly encounter with officers. These allegations

have yet to be substantiated in any concrete manner. JPD should have answered questions the allegations before releasing any statements regarding Barnes’ alleged criminal behavior prior to her death, as well as a blurry mugshot of her. Moore should extend the same respect to Barnes and her family that has been afforded to the officers who killed her. This is JPD’s attempt to control the narrative around her death. The Clarion-Ledger reported that she had been in a Pre-Trial Diversion program and had outstanding traffic fines. But Barnes’ prior criminal history has nothing to do with her extra-judicial killing. This is further character assassination and serves no other purpose other than to replace her cloak of innocence with a cloak of guilt. A quick Internet search reveals that there have been seven JPD-officer-involved shootings that local media reported since November 2017. Two of these resulted in extra-judicial killings. Two resulted in officers wounding people. Luckily no one was harmed in the others. The number of officer-involved shootings in such a short period of time proves that there needs be closer scrutiny placed on JPD officers’ use of force. Barnes’ killing should serve as a call to demand more transparency and accountability. The fact that JPD is investigating itself is unacceptable. It is akin to expecting the fox to investigate what happened in the hen house after he has ravaged it. The Hinds County District Attorney’s Office investigating the matter to determine whether any charges will be brought against the officers is also unacceptable. The office depends on JPD to aid in its prosecution of cases, so it is biased and should recuse itself. Residents need to demand that the city require a true independent investigation. Moore needs to release the names of the officers involved in all of the officer-involved shootings since November. JPD needs to release a clear statement outlining its policies concerning officerinvolved shootings. The City of Jackson must establish a human-rights charter and a commission that gives an independent elected body with subpoena and investigative powers to address humanrights abuses in the city. Adofo Minka is a human defense lawyer who lives in West Jackson. This column does not necessarily reflect the views of the JFP.

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More Transparency from JPD Needed

13


Never Back Down:

Mississippi Escalates War on Gangs F by Donna Ladd

February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

are a gang even if they’re not part of a larger “Again, only if the elements are there, and criminal enterprise with a hierarchy and it’s proven for criminal gang activity. ... If criminal connections beyond whomever it’s just drugs, I would hope they wouldn’t they got the pot from. Under Mississippi’s be charged if there’s no probable cause for proposed gang-law expansion, Senate Bill criminal gang activity,” Wiggins said. “… I 2868, police and prosecutors would have know what you’re asking, but I don’t think the flexibility to call them a “gang” and a it works that way, to be quite honest.” decent shot of proving it in a court of law, “But there’s nothing in the bill that and then require that the judge order con- would prohibit or stop law enforcement secutive sentencing. That could be another or a prosecutor from charging them,” five, 10, 15 years for each of the boys on top Simmons pointed out to Wiggins. of the three years for the pot charge. “No, but that’s why they hire people The bill allows a judge to suspend a like you or excellent criminal defense atmandatory or enhanced punishment and torneys to get that addressed in a court of impose alternative punishment “only in an unusual case where the interests of justice would be best served,” and only if the judge enters the specific reasons into the court minutes. Mississippi Sen. Derrick Simmons, a Democratic black lawmaker from Greenville, used a variation of that hypothetical on the Senate floor last week to challenge the gang bill and Sen. Brice Wiggins, its biggest cheerleader in the Legislature. Wiggins is a Republican from Pascagoula and a former prosecutor who has been pushing for an expanded gang law in recent years. He saw a similar law, which he added into a Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, questioned who exactly would be considered a gang member under Senate Bill 2868, asking about business executives such as those from WorldCom amendment to another bill, fail and Enron breaking the law, when the Senate debated the measure last week. last session. After Simmons presented the four-guys-in-a-hoodie scenario— law,” Wiggins responded, raising eyebrows would extend to corporate executives inwithout placing them in Rankin County, among those present who know that not all volved in a scandal similar to the Worldthough—Simmons looked at Wiggins and young people on a street corner can afford Com or Enron scams, and if they could asked, “You understand my concern?” the same defense attorneys that legislators qualify as a gang under the bill. Wiggins responded that he did not think so. Wiggins equivocated in response. might hire should they get in trouble.

Imani Khayyam / File Photo

our 16-year-olds are standing on a street corner in Richland, Miss., all wearing identical hoodies. One of them has a little more than 30 grams of marijuana on him. A police officer stops the young men, believing they are a gang because they’re dressed alike, and finds the pot. Under normal circumstances, the young man with the pot would face a possible three-year sentence under state law. But the officer is not done. He takes all of them to jail, charging each with gang activity because they are dressed alike and have similar tattoos. That means each of them can go to prison for both the pot charge, plus an additional sentence of five to 15 years, if prosecutors can convince a jury they are part of a Mississippi gang. The gang may not exactly be the Black Gangster Disciples, the Vice Lords or the Simon City Royals, the state’s three biggest criminal street gangs. Maybe the four young men met at school, and they all needed money so they decided to sell pot. Maybe they’ve never lifted a finger against anyone else. Maybe it’s their first pot sale. Maybe their families do not or cannot do enough to keep them off the corner. Maybe one or both parents are already in prison for a drug charge and cannot provide for them. Maybe they or their parents, or both, are addicted to a substance. Maybe the boys call themselves something like “Rankin $$ Boyz 39073” for fun and bravado. Maybe they are future doctors, lawyers and legislators if they don’t end up in prison for years because they were stupid enough to wear matching sweatshirts and not stay away from weed. Either way, Mississippi law enforcement may soon be able to decide the boys 14

The Discretion Conundrum The ongoing problem of “discretion” and how much to give law enforcement and prosecutors is an age-old criminal-justice dilemma. On the one hand, discretion can allow a police officer not to arrest someone she does not believe is a hardened criminal. On the other, it can enable law enforcement to act on either implicit or explicit biases to punish certain young people—say those of a particular race—the officers do not like. In today’s America, it’s not a secret that not all police officers are ethical—see the new corruption conviction of the Baltimore, Md., officers for planting evidence or the cops in Los Angeles who helped white supremacists, neither of which Mississippi has ever been immune to. It is also undeniable that the people caught up in bad policing are often powerless young men of color who are assumed to be criminals and who probably cannot afford those great attorneys Wiggins recommends. The same bias could flow from black officers toward the white Simon City Royals, of course, but the Senate debate, and a previous one over the House’s version of the gang bill, revealed that black lawmakers were far more likely to voice concerns about what overly broad police discretion can result in than even the white Democrats in the same room. Sen. John Horhn, a black Jackson Democrat who pushed the Legislature to fund a $500,000 Botec Analysis study on crime in the capital city (which few other legislators seem to have read) challenged Wiggins’ definition of what comprises a criminal group. He asked him if his bill


couraging another to commit a felony, but send them away to prison, preferably for a use of a statewide Grand Jury.” The grand it also includes committing various other long time. Founded in 2008, the nonprofit jury is likely a way to prosecute alleged gang crimes, indicating that the bill is not only association welcome people associated with members outside jurisdictions that would about “preying on our youth.” the criminal system “whose interest or pri- likely be more skeptical, such as majority But Wiggins fell back to assuring the mary investigative responsibilities include black areas like Jackson or Greenville. lawmakers that Mississippi police would the identification and prosecution of crimes “(The new gang law) would further not possibly apply the law unfairly . related to gang activity.” mandate statutory minimums for criminal “Profiling is wrong,” he said. “The law At its Nov. 5-8, 2017, state conference gang activity and require the penalty for the enforcement I know don’t do that. You al- at the Golden Nugget in Biloxi—theme crime to run consecutive to the underlying ways have a bad person here or there, and “Never Backing Down”—MAGI gave felony,” the fusion center’s assessment statthe law takes care of that, and I can assure out questionnaires to 71 law-enforcement ed. That can mean long terms in prisons— you the folks I talked to about this bill, that agencies around the state about what gangs with tough prison gangs—for anyone “asis not what they want to do.” and how many members they’re identify- sociated” with a group that MAGI mem Ron Noblet, a lead inbers decide to call a gang. vestigator on the Legislature Sen. Barbara Blackfunded 2016 BOTEC analymon, D-Canton, asked Wigsis study of Jackson gangs gins on the Senate floor to tell and crime, read the bill last her more about MAGI and week, as did his attorneys, his meetings with them. He and agreed with the black said he went to one of their legislators that it gives potrainings on the Coast. lice far too much discretion “Was it a diverse to make bad decisions. “It group?” Blackmon asked. is either consciously or un “Diverse in agencies?” consciously written in a way Wiggins asked. that’s extraordinarily broad,” “No, diverse in hue.” he said in a phone interview. “Hue? As in color? … “We see it as just anoth- The Mississippi Association of Gang Investigators, a nonprofit Yeah, as far as I can recall: association of law enforcement officers and prosecutors, has er pitiful way to keep people this logo on their website. MAGI is pushing lawmakers to pass white, black, everybody unof color in prison, and to not the expanded gang legislation this session. der the sun.” deal with the fundamental MAGI does have raproblems that cause gangs in cial diversity in its ranks. And the first place,” he added. ing in their jurisdictions. The roster seems the gang assessment makes it clear that a The gang bill, Noblet said, just focuses to be loosely defined to include any possible white gang, the Simon City Royals, is one on more arrests rather than evidence-based criminal group with a gang-esque name, of the state’s top challenges, especially on solutions that can lower violence. no matter how large or small—from the the Coast now. The organization even told “If I say you’re a gangster and that Chicago-born Black Gangster Disciples to The Clarion-Ledger that the most verified you’re talking to gangsters, then you’re a what they called “neighborhood cliques.” gang members in the state are now white. gangster. … It is the standard way that law MAGI gave those responses to the Those facts do not negate the risk that enforcement will try to deal with a prob- federal Department of Homeland Security such a broad law is still enforced harsher lem that cannot be dealt with with force,” “fusion center” in Pearl, which published a against people of color in neighborhoods said Noblet, who trains law enforcement Mississippi gang assessment in December. considered crime-infested than it could be around the country in effective gang inter- Now, SB 2868’s backers are using that re- against white gang suspects, several violence vention and consults with the Urban Peace port to support the bill. experts told the Jackson Free Press. Institute in Los Angeles, Calif. The report indicates that the Gang- “Using a white gang as the reason for Effective gang intervention is also not sters, the Vice Lords and the Simon City harsh and expansive anti-gang policies is about cops playing warrior, or law enforce- Royals—all gang brands that originated in undoubtedly a way to neutralize claims rement being the only ones trying to stop vio- Chicago decades ago—are the most preva- lated to racial bias and profiling,” criminal lence. “Police should be there, part of the lent gangs in the state and the ones involved law professor Babe Howell of the CUNY table. They should never be everyone at the in the most criminal activity, both inside School of Law, who specializes in gang and table,” Noblet warned. and outside correctional facilities. youth-crime enforcement, said last week. “The formation of hybrid gangs and The risk of profiling is still serious, ‘The Risk of Profiling’ neighborhood cliques has been the most Howell added: “Law enforcement tend to The organization that is lobbying for notable trend,” the assessment said. “These see criminal and group crime in any peer SB 2868 and gathering evidence to sup- non-traditional gangs welcome merging of group of black and brown kids.” Howell, port it has an intriguing logo—one that members from established gangs in order to who read the proposed Senate gang bill and looks more like gang insignia than that of a unite over a specific territory.” the now-dead House version, as well as the collection of law enforcement, prosecutors It also recommended MAGI’s “more fusion gang assessment, pointed out that and court officials from around the state. inclusive gang bill … to address the grow- the target of the coordinated effort is “not When you click to the website of the Mis- ing violent and organized gang activity.” just gangs, but cliques and crews.” sissippi Association of Gang Investigators, The report also makes it clear that the bill “(The bills) open individuals who called MAGI for short, you see a crudely goes far beyond gangs recruiting youth. grow up in crime-ridden areas to prosecudrawn combat-green box with a white skull “The draft bill creates the crime of tion and incarceration based on the condripping with either paint or blood on top criminal gang activity and addresses the duct of others,” Howell said. “The bills of two crossed AR-15-type rifles. problems associated with juvenile recruit- create ‘gang’ offenses where the actions of The site makes it clear that the goal of ment, youth gang members, the organized MAGI is to apprehend gang members and ‘money men,’ gang tactics and allows the more GANGS , see page 16 15 February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

msmagi.com

“Why not?” Horhn asked. “Because that’s not what the bill is aimed at. It’s aiming at the criminals and the gangs that are in our communities,” Wiggins said, skating past the fact that the WorldCom hustlers were right here in the Jackson metro, ripping off people they knew. “… We’re talking about gangs. We could sit here and hypothetical all day long.” He then added that a black House member had “said how bad the gangs were, so we’re trying to solve an issue.” “It’s not a Republican, Democrat(ic), black or white (issue),” Wiggins added. Black legislators weren’t buying it. “You mentioned the issue of people being preyed upon,” Horhn said to Wiggins. “And in a lot of communities, not the Enron strata of communities but down to the poor, less powerful aspects of our communities, it’s a matter of self-protection to join a gang. In the course of trying to survive their community, where there may be a gang presence, are we going to penalize those folks forced into gangs as a matter of self-protection?” With that question, Horhn was drawing upon current criminal-justice research that shows that many young people of color actually carry weapons to protect themselves, just like many older white men, probably including legislators, in the state. The “self-protection” question drew another virtual shrug from Wiggins, however. “No, I’m not concerned about that because this bill …, if it becomes law, is aimed at those who are bringing youth into, and as I said, preying on our youth to join these gangs. No,” he answered. Except that the bill redefines “gang” as “an association of three or more persons whose members are involved in criminal gang activity”—who could be standing on the Richland corner selling that pot— “and who collectively identify themselves by adopting a group identity.” That can be done in myriad ways: with a common name, slogan, sign, symbol, tattoo or other physical marking; style or color of clothing or hairstyle; a hand sign or gesture, or a finger position; or graffiti. The bill specifically exempts a sports team, a legal business or charity unless it was created as a “pretext for criminal gang activity,” rather than becoming a criminal conspiracy like happened at Enron and WorldCom. The logic is circular: Prosecutors could then use the expanded definition to widen the net to catch more gang members and then be able to charge more of them with criminal gang activity. So if one of the hoodie guys on the Richland corner commit a crime that is deemed “criminal gang activity,” then all of them are automatically considered to be gang members if one of the shared elements is in place. The bill does target coercing or en-


War on Gangs others are relevant to prove that there is a gang and that the gang is engaged in criminal activity. The criminal trial becomes a circus in which an individual can easily be prosecuted based on association.” Noblet laughed out loud at the idea that the new gang law would not be used to racially profile because it targets a large white street gang, too. “ I laugh. It has nothing to do with reality of what happens,” he said. Brad Rowe, who was the CEO of Botec Analysis when it studied Jackson’s crime and now runs RPM Policy and Media, agreed in an interview from Los Angeles. “That’s equal opportunity suppression. … (Law enforcement) can use the color of law to take down white kids as well,” he said. But that does not mean they will not use it to profile people of color, he warned. It can be an overly broad and harsh law for a wide variety of people and still be worse for targets of color.

from page 15 gangs to belong to something, or because they are growing up in miserable situations, often raised (or not raised) by parents caught in generational poverty, addiction or crime themselves. They want a “family.”

February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

courtesy Senator Brice Wiggins

aims to dissuade the general population from engaging in particular criminal behaviors by increasing the severity, certainty and swiftness of punishments associated with said crime, focused deterrence posits that crime reduction is best achieved by concenPrevention Beyond Policing trating deterrence efforts on those groups or Sociologist and crime expert Andrew individuals involved directly in the targeted V. Papachristos, now of Northwestern Uni- type of crime,” the report stated. versity in Chicago and previously with Yale, “Rather than enact broad-sweeping authored a research report analyzing Chica- policies that indiscriminately apply across go’s version of “Operation Ceasefire,” a “fo- populations and places, focused deterrence cused deterrence” strategy that the BOTEC efforts honor traditional deterrence prinreport also recommended because it incor- ciples while leveraging existing policies and porates outreach and services for identified practices in innovative ways directly toward gang and crew members. It also specifically small offending populations.” targets violence over gang membership, at The report emphasizes that those violeast when done according to plan. lent offenders are a very small percentage of the people identifying in some way with a gang, crew or other group, so the emphasis on gang membership can be a waste of time and resources. Such gang enforcement can also increase crime and violence, Targeting Violence studies show. A major reason, Regardless of race, though, Noblet said, is that rounding up language in the gang bill means suspects who are merely associsomeone might get additional ated with a gang but not involved sentencing for a crime just because in crime creates massive distrust they are associated with a gang or among the very people police crew on MAGI’s list—even if the need to help them with intellicrime itself was not related to gang gence gathering. He using military activity. In the 2017 session, Sen. strategy to train cops and critique Wiggins even used high-profile SB 2868: The proposed gang bill murders of Jessica Chambers and is more of an “anti-terrorism” apSen. Brice Wiggins, R-Pascagoula, is a former prosecutor who has taken the lead on Mercedes Williamson allegedly by proach, he said. “You go in and introducing and pushing Senate Bill 2868, which would expand the definition of a “gang” in state law as well as create an additional penalty for “criminal gang activity.” men who were in gangs to argue go after the assholes.” Innocent for the bill, even though prosecupeople may be caught up, but at tors in both cases say the murders least you found the bomb. Mississippi’s SB 2868 makes no men- were not gang-ordered or sanctioned. Street violence, though, requires more ship over the criminal acts themselves is The narrative of MAGI members is “15 years behind” the times, Noblet said. tion of crime prevention beyond policing, sophisticated counter-intelligence, he said, that someone who is in a gang and com- He pointed to attempts to push such laws and the fusion gang assessment only asks which “targets good guys to protect.” mits a crime, even if it is not related, is in cities such as Los Angeles that have now two questions related to prevention at the “One of the basic ways to protect committing a “gang crime”—which es- turned to different approaches. “Violence is very end that still focus on gang member- them is to start treating the good guys as sentially criminalizes being in a gang. The not a gang problem, which is why we’re not ship: “What prevention programs are in human. … It takes a long time to develop elementary and/or middle schools to offset trust. You get the good population to sepaClarion-Ledger reported in August 2017 anti-gang. We are anti-violence,” he said. that MAGI embraces the most broad— That shift in criminal-justice approach the recruitment of youths into gangs?” and rate themselves to separate themselves from and confusing—definition possible. “But to both gangs and violence is widespread “What methods do mental health facilities embedded bad guys.” Then it’s easier to a gang crime, according to the Mississippi today, in no small part because only a small have in place for monitoring the gang pres- spot the shooters, and the good ones might Association of Gang Members, is defined as percentage of gang and crew members ac- ence in their facilities?” help you find them. “That’s targeted sup In a 2015 report published by the pression,” he said. any crime in which the victim or perpetra- tually commit the violent crime. tor is a member of a gang. It can be gang-re- Focusing on the violence itself has a “Ninety percent of the time they can American Society of Criminology, Papach- lated, in which there’s just someone who is be changed, or changed to allies,” Noblet ristos along with David S. Kirk of Oxford better chance of working, the experts say, affiliated, or gang-motivated, in which the said. “Ten percent of the time, they need to University discussed the importance of fo- especially since young people have formed crime is ordered or caused by gang activity,” have asses locked up or killed. If the other cusing enforcement on the violence itself and hung out with gangs throughout histhe Ledger reporter stated. tory with many of the early gangs, whether 90 percent are wasting away in jail, they’re and who specifically is committing it. “The underlying principle is to reach Italians and Irish fighting in New York City SB 2868 language is not even that not there to help families, and they give broad, but it is disturbing enough, law up and sit on corners doing nothing. It’s a those factions that are involved in shoot- in the 1800s or the Gangsters, Latin Kings ings, rather than simply reaching out to and Simon City Royals starting up decades professor Howell said. “The bills designate waste of human potential.” conduct which is largely already criminal— ago in Chicago to rumble over racial turf. That is consistent across the country, gang members writ large,” they wrote. “Unlike general deterrence, which committing felonies, intimidating witnessToday, though, most gang violence is intracrime experts say. Many young people join 16 es, obstructing justice—as ‘criminal gang activity.’ … The bills then enhance sentences and facilitate accessorial liability based on association. They tack on five to 15 years consecutive not for the criminal conduct itself but because of association. They prohibit association with any member of a gang post-release,” Howell said. “Because the bills criminalize already criminal behavior, they would be symbolic but for the costly sentence enhancements. … Gang arrests and allegations create situations in which it is impossible to get a fair trial, and the innocent will be swept up with the guilty, and the kitchen sink of all bad conduct is admissible as evidence.” The Mississippi Legislature’s attempt to focus prosecution on gang member-


they come back to their communities. Ironically, both the harsh gang enforcement and the lack of re-entry may prevent one of the top ways to reduce both gang activity and violence in communities, Babe Howell of CUNY Law said. “Harsh penalties and gang suppression have strengthened gangs because it disrupts the normal process of maturing out of gangs and moving on to work and family,” she said. “Chicago and California have long histories of gang suppression and MS-13

Rep. Chris Bell, D-Jackson, pushed back on Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, who attempted to bring out the House version of the gang bill out for a vote. Bell asked about the legislation being used to profile people of color.

cursor for committing adult crime is dropping out of school. The populations of most prisons, including in Mississippi, are organized into gangs—for protection. Many gang members are “blessed in”—or “beat in”—in prison, and come out far worse criminals. This is why smart re-entry preparation needs to be in place for those leaving prison. Many former gangsters say they came out of prison and had nothing to do on the streets— no job, no transportation—and returned to crime as a result. And many experienced violence inside prison and then bring the habit, and the trauma, back home. Still, “most of the time, re-entry is ignored,” Noblet said. The Mississippi Legislature has grappled with legislation that would increase re-entry options and resources in the state, but it stalled last session. And the backers of the gang bill are so focused on sending gangsters to prison for longer periods that they talk little about what happens when

crackdowns; these experiences suggest that gang suppression by law enforcement is not a means of eliminating or even weakening gangs.” Howell suggests setting up systems of “violence interrupters”—former criminals and gang members who want to help young people choose better options than they did, as happens in an organized way now in many American cities. “Cure Violence models that focus on working with at-risk kids using credible messengers (often former gang members or convicts who have lost years of their lives and loved ones to violence) seem to have robust impact without reliance on expensive incarceration which merely delays problems rather than resolving them,” she said. “The bills being proposed in Mississippi would prevent former gang members from doing violence-interruption work or returning to communities and working with at-risk youth,” Howell said. She added that the gang bill can also

be costly if lawmakers do not take into account the cost of imprisoning many more people based on guilt by association. “I don’t see a budget analysis, but the cost to taxpayers is likely to be great,” Howell warned about the proposed gang bill. “An individual might sell drugs or be involved in an assault that is related to their group affiliation, and the sentence for the assault might be two years, but a gang enhancement could elevate it by five to 15 years.” Then taxpayers foot the bill. Costs of Suppression Lawmakers in both the Mississippi House and Senate asked about a fiscal note for the legislation due to presumed extra costs for the Department of Corrections to incarcerate more convicted gang members. In 2014, the Legislature passed a massive criminal-justice reform measure, House Bill 585, which was supposed to save the state money and decrease the number of men and women in custody. The plan worked in the first year after HB 585 became law, with the number of inmates dropping by 11 percent. In the second year, however, the prison population began to climb again. In 2013, MDOC had nearly 23,000 men and women behind bars, but hit a low point around summer 2015, with about 17,000 inmates. Since then, that number has edged up again. Currently, there are 18,946 inmates in custody in Mississippi; with inmates in community corrections and other programs, that number is up to 20,738. Another 32,796 Mississippians are on probation or parole. Black inmates make up 62 percent of the total number of offenders, while white inmates make up only 36 percent of the total population. More than 40 percent of men and women are behind bars in Mississippi are incarcerated for drug or property crimes. Sen. Wiggins, though, does not believe his gang bill will increase costs. “It’s more about intensity than volume, and as you know, I’ve been a staunch defender of the criminal justice reform that this body and this Legislature passed… So, no, I don’t think it will negligibly affect that,” Wiggins said. Simmons asked Wiggins to join him to request a fiscal note on the bill, citing reforms lawmakers passed previously that ended up “stacking the population” instead of lowering costs. At press time, no fiscal note was attached to Senate Bill 2868. Additional reporting by Arielle Dreher. Read more at jfp.ms/preventingviolence. 17 February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

deter the ones most likely to commit violence. “There is nothing that law enforcement can do to them that has not already been done to them by their relatives,” Noblet said of the young people prone to committing the worst crimes. Not to mention, sending them to prison can turn them into worse criminals as the BOTEC analysis reports pointed out. And the younger they are when they’re arrested, the more likely they will commit worse crime as an adult. The other top pre-

Stephen WIlson

gang, Papachristos and Kirk say—meaning over beefs, rules or women rather than the inter-gang turf wars of old. Communities must come together in a systemic way that goes far beyond policing to target the violence, such as that embraced by the Urban Peace Institute and recommended in the BOTEC report on Jackson gangs, Noblet said. That means intervention, prevention, targeted policing and re-entry all at once. “When you approach it that way, you start dealing with the real causes of violence,” Noblet said. “It starts in the womb: poor education, too many drugs, lack of good transportation, lack of a way to afford clothes and food.” To reverse those violent cycles—and perhaps the desire to join a gang in the first place—Noblet emphasized that police should be at the table, but not at the head of it. He prefers to see a municipal authority take the lead, bringing nonprofit groups, exgang members and people willing to work with them, as well as law enforcement, to the table to plan a long-term strategy to reverse violence. “There’s nothing wrong with police as police,” he said. “They are trained to take charge. Civilians are trained to back off when police are present.” In addition, Noblet said, “good and effective policing requires a series of questions and answers based upon understanding human nature and understanding the facts. Threats and fear are counter-productive 90 percent of the time.” Costs of Suppression The backers of SB 2868—and media friendly to their approach—seem to spend more time trying to convince the public that “gangs are a problem!” in Mississippi rather than focusing on the causes and potential solutions that go far beyond—or come before—gang enforcement. Noblet started his interview saying that communities need to accept that they have gangs; he is not even fond of dividing them into groups, crews and cliques. And he is cynical about why people deny that their communities have gangs: “People are afraid tourists won’t visit and spend money,” he said. The bottom line is that gangs of some kind are in every community and county in Mississippi—whether street gang, white supremacist or a neighborhood group harassing other kids. A small proportion of their members can be violent, especially ones who have been through hell and have no strong role models or hope for the future. But criminalizing being in the gang itself will not stop that violence, Noblet and other experts emphasize, nor is it likely to


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(From top left to bottom right) While in Jackson, Navalon app creator Kreskin Torres met with Glenda Barner of Sugar’s Place, John Tierre of Johnny T’s Bistro & Blues, Geno Lee of Big Apple Inn, chef Mike Mosley of 1693 Red Zone Grill, Thuong Hoang of Pho Huong, chef Nick Wallace and Tyrone Bully of Bully’s Restaurant.

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reskin Torres pulls up a photo of a dish at 1693 Red Zone Grill on his phone: grilled fish and shrimp in a crawfish sauce on a bed of Cajun rice. “You see what I had to deal with?â€? Torres jokes. Red Zone chef Mike Mosley made the dish during a Tri-County Foodies Facebook group meetup that Torres attended with local chef Alivia Townsend on Sunday, Feb. 11. Torres, who lives in Baltimore, has been in the Jackson metro area since Thursday, Feb. 8, as part of a long trek from his home city to California. The trip both allows him to promote his social app, Navalon, and experience the food scenes of cities around the country. As an Ăœber and Lyft driver, Torres says that he noticed that people who would travel to Baltimore would immediately go to tourist areas such as the harbor. “They don’t venture out,â€? he says. “Especially if they don’t know it, they’re not going to venture outside. ‌ I (was) like, ‘I’ve got to do something.’â€? That thought turned into an app idea during a trip to London in March 2017. “The best thing you can have is somebody who lives in the area, especially if you want to get shown around,â€? he says. Torres wanted to give people that experience with the help of an app that not only allowed users to post reviews about restaurants and entertainment options, but also to chat directly with locals to find the best places to go. Navalon also allows users to connect with people who have similar interests for suggestions. Townsend, who owns Washington’s Catering, met Torres through a cooking

group on Facebook. Since she is a chef, he consulted with her when he began developing the app, and during his stay in Jackson, Townsend has been his tour guide. The two have met with chefs across the metro area and have eaten at restaurants such as Sugar’s Place, 1693 Red Zone, Pho Huong and Big Apple Inn. While at the Big Apple Inn, Torres said he was amazed to learn about the restaurant’s history as a meeting place for activists during the Civil Rights Movement, and that Medgar Evers’ office was upstairs. “These are things people don’t know,â€? Townsend says. â€œâ€Ś If you would have just been walking through the area and asked somebody, ‘Hey, where can I eat at?’, they would never holler Big Apple Inn.â€? For Torres, it was important to focus Navalon on mom-and-pop shops, as well as local food trucks and vendors. “They care more about their food and things like that,â€? he says. He released the app on the Google Play store a couple of weeks ago and hopes to release it on the Apple app store by the summer. The ultimate goal with the app, Torres says, is to not only have people figure out the best places to eat in a given city, but to also learn why locals love those places, the history behind businesses and more. “I want people to feel like they are a part of the community or a part of the area,â€? Torres says. “Even though they’ve never been there, they can find out history, and the back story behind different places, historical elements, different things you don’t know about.â€? For more information about Navalon, find the app on Facebook or visit navalon.us.


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Offer for new and qualifying former customers only. All offers require credit qualification, 2 year commitment with early termination fee and eAutoPay. Hopper, Hopper w/Sling or Hopper 3 $5/mo. more. Upfront fees may apply based on credit qualification. Fees apply for additional TV’s.: Hopper $15/mo. Joey $5/mo. Super Joey $10/mo. Important Terms and Conditions: Qualification: Advertised price requires credit qualification and eAutoPay. Upfront activation and/or receiver upgrade fees may apply based on credit qualification. Offer ends 4/19/18 . 2-Year Commitment: Early termination fee of $20/mo. remaining applies if you cancel early. Included in 2-year price guarantee at $59.99 advertised price: America's Top 120 programming package, Local channels HD service fees, and Hopper Duo for 1 TV. Included in 2-year price guarantee for additional cost: Programming package upgrades ($69.99 for AT120+, $79.99 for AT200, $89.99 for AT250), monthly fees for additional receivers ($5-$7 per additional TV, receivers with additional functionality may be $10-$15). NOT included in 2-year price guarantee or advertised price (and subject to change): Taxes & surcharges, add-on programming (including premium channels), DISH Protect, and transactional fees. Premium Channels: 3 Months Free: After 3 mos., you will be billed $55/mo. for HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz and DISH Movie Pack unless you call to cancel. Other: All packages, programming, features, and functionality and all prices and fees not included in price lock are subject to change without notice. After 6 mos., if selected you will be billed $8.99/mo. for DISH Protect Silver unless you call to cancel. After 2 years, then-current everyday prices for all services apply. For business customers, additional monthly fees may apply. Free standard professional installation only. HBOŽ, CinemaxŽ and related channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc. SHOWTIME is a registered trademark of Showtime Networks Inc., a CBS Company. STARZ and related channels and service marks are property of Starz Entertainment, LLC. All offers require credit qualification, 2-Year commitment with early termination fee and eAutoPay. $59.99 price includes Hopper Duao for qualifying customers. Hopper, Hopper w/Sling or Hopper 3 $5/mo. more. Internet not provided by DISH and will be billed separately. All new customers subject to one-time processing fee.

February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

Lunch specials, pub appetizers or order from the full menu

Prices include Hopper Duo for qualifying customers. Hopper, Hopper w/ Sling or Hopper 3 $5/mo. more. Upfront fees may apply based on credit qualification. Fees apply for additional TV’s: Hopper $15/mo., Joey $5/mo., Super Joey $10/mo.

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WEDNESDAY 2/14

THURSDAY 2/15

SATURDAY 2/17

Devery Anderson is the speaker for “History Is Lunch” at the Two Mississippi Museums.

The “I Called Him Morgan” film screening is at AND Gallery

“Ignite the Night: Mississippi Music” is at the Mississippi Children’s Museum.

BEST BETS Feb. 14 - 21, 2018

Valentine’s Day Quickie Speed Dating is from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Fondren Public (2765 Old Canton Road). Charlie Townsend is the host. The holiday speed-dating event features two free drinks for each participant. Participants can reregister at the bar to enter a raffle. Free admission; find it on Facebook.

The fourth annual Chinese Spring Festival Extravaganza is Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Mississippi Museum of Art.

courtesy Chinese Spring Festival

WEDNESDAY 2/14

THURSDAY 2/15

Imani Khayyam / File Photo

“Museum After Hours: JXNStands” is at 5 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). The pop-up exhibition features selected portraits from JXNStands, an ongoing project of the Center for Art & Public Exchange and OurGlass Media Group. Includes live entertainment, food and drinks for sale, a film screening and more. Free admission; call 601-960-1515; email info@ msmuseumart.org; msmuseumart.org

explores women’s place in society in a time of immense scientific discoveries. Additional dates: Feb. 14-17, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 18, 2 p.m., Feb. 20-21, 7:30 p.m. $30 for adults, $25 for seniors, students and military; newstagetheatre.com.

SATURDAY 2/17

The Chinese Spring Festival Extravaganza is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.) in the Art Garden. The fourth annual festival in celebration of Chinese culture includes live music, chilby Rebecca Hester dren’s activities, food and drink vendors, a dog parade and contests in honor of the year of the dog, jacksonfreepress.com the celebration parade and more. Fax: 601-510-9019 Free; find it on Facebook. … The Daily updates at “Welcome to Mississippi, Amerijfpevents.com ca” Release Party is from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at The Flamingo (3011 N. State St.). The party celebrates the new vinyl compilation, which features a variety of Jackson musicians and comedians. Includes performances from Clouds & Crayons, Passing Parade, Sika and more. Proceeds from sales benefit Planned Parenthood and the Mississippi NAACP. Free admission, $25 record; find it on Facebook.

magic performances from magician Joe Presto throughout the night. $55 per person; eventbrite.com.

MONDAY 2/19

The Slowboat Brewing Company Beer Dinner is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Barrelhouse Southern Gastropub (3009 N. State St.). Chef Stephen Kruger creates a four-course meal, pairing Slowboat Brewing Company beers with each course. $40 per person; call 769-2163167; eventbrite.com.

February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

events@ TUESDAY 2/20

Clouds & Crayons performs for the “Welcome to Mississippi, America” release party on Saturday, Feb. 17, at The Flamingo.

FRIDAY 2/16

Roxy Roca performs at 7:30 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). The Austin, Texas-based soul band’s most recent album is titled “Ain’t Nothin’ Fancy.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. $10; ardenland.net. … “Silent Sky” is at 7:30 p.m. at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). The 20 play tells the true story of astronomer Henrietta Leavitt and

SUNDAY 2/18

The Dinner & Magic Show is from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Char Restaurant (4500 Highway 55 N. Frontage Road). The three-course prix fixe meal includes

Eric L. Motley signs copies of “Madison Park: A Place of Hope” at 5 p.m. at Lemuria Books (Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). Reading at 5:30 p.m. $24.99 book; lemuriabooks.com. … Dave Curley performs at 7 p.m. at Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St.). The multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and step dancer hails from Galway, Ireland. Doors open at 6 p.m. $20 admission, $15 for CHS members; celticfestms.org.

WEDNESDAY 2/21

The Something Blue Soirée Wedding Expo is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St.). The expo features local vendors for all areas of wedding planning, including flowers, photographers, catering, transportation, hair and makeup artists, and more. Includes cocktails, food tastings, a prize giveaway and more. Free admission; call 601-948-3429; find it on Facebook.


Dialogue Jackson February Luncheon Feb. 14, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). The guest speakers are local Mississippians who will be featured in Gallery Eight at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Includes lunch from Broad Street Bakery. Must preregister. $12 per person, $10 for members; email todd@jacksonfreepress.com; jackson2000.org. Ignite the Night: Mississippi Music Feb. 17, 7-11 p.m., at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Museum Blvd.). The adult-only fundraising event includes music, food, cocktails and special activities. $100; mschildrensmuseum.org.

COMMUNITY “Bringing Forward the Past” Symposium Feb. 16, 5:30-8 p.m., Feb. 17, 9-7 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). The two-day event includes guest speakers and panels made up of artist, curators, scholars, and the public exploring issues related to identity, race, indignity, trauma and memory of Mississippi. Must preregister. Free admission; msmuseumart.org. Events at Two Mississippi Museums (222 North St.) • History Is Lunch Feb. 14, noon-1 p.m. In Neilsen Auditorium. Devery Anderson presents on the topic “The Boy Who Never Died: The Saga of the Emmett Till Murder.” Free admission; mdah.ms.gov. • History Is Lunch Feb. 21, noon-1 p.m. In Neilsen Auditorium. Max Grivno presents on the topic “The Last Slave: Sylvester Magee in History and Memory.” Free; mdah.ms.gov. Welcome to Wakanda Feb. 15, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., at Offbeat (151 Wesley Ave.). The celebration of Marvel’s “Black Panther” includes music from DJ Young Venom, a pop-up shop featuring Black Panther merchandise and Xcessory Freex jewelry, and more. Free admission; find it on Facebook. Chinese Spring Festival Extravaganza Feb. 17, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). In the Art Garden. The festival features music, kids’ activities, food and drink vendors, a dog parade and contest in honor of the year of the dog, a celebration parade and more. Free admission; find it on Facebook. Ideas on Tap: “Emerging Mississippi” in Business & Enterprise Feb. 20, 5:30-7 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 Commerce St.). The topics will focus on young people in business and enterprise. Panelists include Candie Simmons of Regions, Lauren Rhoades of Sweet & Sauer, and Mary Claire Parrish of C Spire. Kim Burke is the moderator. Free; find it on Facebook.

KIDS Significant Saturdays Feb. 17, 10 a.m.-noon, at Offbeat (151 Wesley Ave.). Lesley Collins leads the family-friendly art activity for participants of all ages. Includes music from dj cereal milk. Free admission; find it on Facebook. Kid’s Club Feb. 17, 10-11 a.m., at Northpark Mall (1200 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland). Representatives from the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science teach participants about reptiles including snakes, lizards and other cold-blooded

animals through interacting with them. Canned food donation for Good Samaritan Center; find it on Facebook.

FOOD & DRINK BBQ & Blues Feb. 17, 1-7 p.m., at Cathead Distillery (422 S. Farish St.). The family- and pet-friendly event features barbecue for sale, live music from Big A and the Allstars, distillery tours, tastings, beer, games and more. Free admission; find it on Facebook.

SLATE

SouthGroup Make-A-Difference 5K Run/Walk Feb. 17, 8:30 a.m., at Woodlands Office Park (795 Woodlands Pkwy., Ridgeland). Features a 5K, a one-mile fun run, kids’ activities and more. Proceeds go to Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital. $20 in advance, $25 day of; southgroup.net.

STAGE & SCREEN “Silent Sky” Feb. 14-17, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 18, 2 p.m., Feb. 20-21, 7:30 p.m., at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). The dramatic play

the best in sports over the next seven days

by Bryan Flynn, follow at jfpsports.com, @jfpsports

Thanks to the Olympics, there are plenty of sports to watch post-football, and college basketball is heating up, with March Madness quickly approaching. THURSDAY, FEB. 15

College basketball (7-9 p.m., SECN+): The UM Rebels women’s team will try to move from the bottom of the standings in a road game against LSU. … College basketball (7:30-9:30 p.m., SECN): The MSU women will try to stay undefeated on a trip to Vanderbilt. FRIDAY, FEB. 16

Olympics (7-11 p.m., NBC): The Winter Olympics continues with men’s figure skating, men’s skeleton, women’s snowboard cross, women’s cross-country skiing and women’s aerials in freestyle skiing. SATURDAY, FEB. 17

College basketball (7:30-9:30 p.m., SECN): The MSU men’s team looks to avenge a loss to UM while hosting their second meeting of the season. SUNDAY, FEB. 18

College basketball (4-6 p.m., ESPN2): The MSU women host No. 14 Texas A&M, which will try to be the first team to defeat the Bulldogs this season. Slowboat Brewing Company Beer Dinner Feb. 19, 6-9 p.m., at Barrelhouse Southern Gastropub (3009 N. State St.). Chef Stephen Kruger creates a four-course meal with beer pairings. $40 per person; call 769-216-3167; eventbrite.com. Chef’s Counter Tasting Feb. 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Estelle Wine Bar & Bistro (407 S. Congress St.). Executive Chef Matthew Kajdan presents a five-course menu with wine pairings. Limited to eight people. Must register in advance. $80 per person ($50 deposit required); call 769-2358400; find it on Facebook.

SPORTS & WELLNESS Dixie National Rodeo Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m., at Mississippi Coliseum (1207 Mississippi St.). The rodeo and livestock show also features live music from Brett Young. $20-$35; mdac.ms.gov.

MONDAY, FEB. 19

College basketball (6-8 p.m., SECN): The UM Rebels women’s team hosts top-25-ranked Georgia. … College basketball (8-10 p.m., ESPNU): The Alcorn State men’s team tries to get into the SWAC race on the road against Alabama State. TUESDAY, FEB. 20

College basketball (6-8 p.m., SECN): The MSU men’s team pays a visit to Texas A&M before the start of the conference tournament. WEDNESDAY, FEB. 21

Olympics (7-10 p.m., NBC): Tune into the Winter Olympics for women’s bobsled, women’s downhill skiing, men’s big air snowboarding and women’s figure skating. The Mississippi State women’s basketball team is nearing a perfect regular season. The Bulldogs took down their nemesis, South Carolina, on Feb. 5 to avenge a national championship loss to the Gamecocks last season.

tells the true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt and explores women’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries. $30 for adults, $25 for seniors, students and military; call 601-948-3533; newstagetheatre.com. Peter Pan Jr. Feb. 15-17, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 18, 2 p.m., at Black Rose Theatre (103 Black St.). The children’s musical is an adaptation of the Disney classic and J.M. Barrie’s book series, and puts a modern twist on the tale of a boy who doesn’t want to grow up. $15 for adult, $10 for students and seniors; blackrosetheatre.org. “I Called Him Morgan” Film Screening Feb. 15, 8 p.m., at AND Gallery (133 Millsaps Ave.). The Kasper Collin-directed documentary screens as part of the Black History Documentary Film Series. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. $5 at door, free for members; andgallery.org.

CONCERTS & FESTIVALS Big Daddy Weave Feb. 15, 6-10 p.m., at First Baptist Church of Madison (2100 Main St., Madison). The Mobile, Ala.-native contemporary Christian band performs. Brandon Heath also performs. $20-$75; bigdaddyweave.com. Events at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.) • Roxy Roca Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m. The Austin, Texas, soul band’s most recent album is titled “Ain’t Nothin’ Fancy.” $10; ardenland.net. • Brent Cobb & Them Feb. 17, 8 p.m. The Georgia-native county artist performs. Savannah Conley also performs. Doors open at 7 p.m. $12 in advance, $15 at the door; call 877987-6487; ardenland.net. “Love’s Folly” Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra performs a concert featuring romantic music from Satie, Wagner and Stravinsky. Timothy Coker leads a free pre-concert lecture at 6:45 p.m. $23-$65; msorchestra.com. Dave Curley Feb. 20, 7 p.m., at Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St.). The multi-instrumentalist hails from Galway, Ireland. Doors open at 6 p.m. $20 admission, $15 for Celtic Heritage Society members; call 662-285-2011; celticfestms.org.

LITERARY SIGNINGS Events at Lemuria Books (Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202) • “Cooking with Spices” Feb. 16, 5 p.m. Mark C. Stevens signs copies. $19.99 book; call 601366-7619; lemuriabooks.com. • “Madison Park: A Place of Hope” Feb. 20, 5 p.m. Eric L. Motley signs copies. Reading at 5:30 p.m. $24.99 book; lemuriabooks.com.

CREATIVE CLASSES Brew School Feb. 17, 11 a.m.-noon, at Cups Espresso Café (2757 Old Canton Road). Participants learn techniques for making coffee and espresso beverages. Topics include aeropress and French press on Feb. 17, Chemex and Beehouse on Feb. 24, and home espresso basics on March 10. $25 per class; cupsespressocafe.com.

EXHIBIT OPENINGS Events at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.) • 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 Free admission; call 601-960-1515; msmuseumart.org. • Museum After Hours: “JXNStands” Feb. 15, 5 p.m. The pop-up exhibition features selected portraits from JXNStands, an ongoing project of the Center for Art & Public Exchange and OurGlass Media Group. Includes live entertainment, food for sale, a film screening and more. Free admission; msmuseumart.org. Check jfpevents.com for updates and more listings, or to add your own events online. You can also email event details to events@jacksonfreepress.com to be added to the calendar. The deadline is noon the Wednesday prior to the week of publication.

February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

JFP-SPONSORED

21


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

FEB. 14 - Wednesday

Feb. 15 - Thursday 1908 Provisions - Bill Ellison 6:30 p.m. Bonny Blair’s - Larry Brewer & Doug Hurd 7-11 p.m. Cerami’s - Jeff Reynolds & Linda Blackwell 6:30-9:30 p.m. Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Drago’s - Johnny Barranco 6-9 p.m. F. Jones Corner - Raul Valinti & the Challenge Band 10 p.m. $5 Fenian’s - Kat Johnson 9 p.m. free First Baptist Madison - Big Daddy Weave w/ Brandon Heath 7-10 p.m. $20-$75 Georgia Blue, Flowood - Phil & Trace Georgia Blue, Madison - Zach Bridges Hal & Mal’s - Thomas Lovett 7-10 p.m. free Iron Horse - Pam Confer 6 p.m. Kathryn’s - Chad Perry Band 6:30-9:30 p.m. Livingston Mercantile - Rodney Moore & Tim Avalon 6 p.m. Pelican Cove - Chris Gill 6-10 p.m. Shucker’s - Lovin Ledbetter 7:30 p.m. free Table 100 - Andrew Pates 6 p.m. Underground 119 - Fred T & the Band 7-10:30 p.m.

February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

Feb. 16 - Friday

22

1908 Provisions - Andrew Pates 7 p.m. Bonny Blair’s - The McGees 7:30-11:30 p.m. Castlewoods Country Club - Jason Turner 7 p.m. Char - Ronnie Brown 6 p.m. Cooperation Jackson - “A Tribute to the Tuff Gong” feat. DJ Kali “Dada” Akuno 8 p.m. $5 Drago’s - Greenfish 7-10 p.m. Duling Hall - Roxy Roca 7:30 p.m. $10 F. Jones Corner - Jamell Richardson midnight $10 Georgia Blue, Flowood - Shaun Patterson Hal & Mal’s - Barry Leach 6-9 p.m. free Iron Horse - Joe Carroll & Cooper Miles 9 p.m.

Feb. 17 - Saturday Anjou - Stevie Cain 6 p.m. Bonny Blair’s - Jason Stogner & Band 7:30-11:30 p.m. Cathead Distillery - BBQ & Blues feat. Big A & the Allstars 1-7 p.m. free Char - Bill Clark 6 p.m. College Hill M.B. Church - MS Sickle Cell Foundation Gospel Benefit Concert 6-8 p.m. free

Pop’s Saloon - Pop Fiction 9 p.m. Shucker’s - Steele Heart 3:30 p.m.; Snazz 8 p.m. $5; Chad Perry 10 p.m. Soulshine, Flowood - Barry Leach 7 p.m. free Table 100 - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Thalia Mara Hall - MS Symphony Orchestra’s “Love’s Folly” 7:30 p.m. $23-$65 Underground 119 - Dexter Allen & Tatum Jackson 9 p.m. WonderLust - Drag Performance & Dance Party feat. DJ Taboo 8 p.m.-3 a.m. free before 10 p.m.

Feb. 18 - Sunday Anjou - David Keary 3 p.m. Char - Big Easy Three 11 a.m.; Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Fondren Presbyterian - Dan Kyzer 3 p.m. $20 suggested donation The Hideaway - Sunday Jam 4-8 p.m. free Kathryn’s - The Slingers 6-9 p.m. Pelican Cove - Robin Blakeney noon-4 p.m.; Stace & Cassie 5-9 p.m. Shucker’s - Greenfish 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. 19 - Monday

Rhiannon Giddens Duling Hall - Brent Cobb & Them w/ Savannah Conley 8 p.m. $12 advance $15 door F. Jones Corner - Big Money Mel & Small Change Wayne 10 p.m. $1; Jamell Richardson midnight $10 The Flamingo - “Welcome to MS, America” Release Party feat. Clouds & Crayons, Passing Parade & Sika 7-11 p.m. Georgia Blue, Flowood - Andy Tanas Georgia Blue, Madison - Brandon Greer Hal & Mal’s - Jason Turner 7-10 p.m. Iron Horse - Chris Gill & the Sole Shakers 9 p.m. Jose’s, Pearl - Blake Edward Thomas 6 p.m. Kathryn’s - Travelin’ Jane 7-10:30 p.m. Lynch Street CME Church - Male Choir Extravaganza 3 p.m. Martin’s - New Orleans Suspects 10 p.m. MS Museum of Art - Rhiannon Giddens 7-10 p.m. free Offbeat - Significant Saturdays feat. dj cereal milk 10 a.m.-noon free Pelican Cove - Keys vs. Strings 6-10 p.m.

Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Fitzgerald’s - Doug Hurd 7-11 p.m. Hal & Mal’s - Central MS Blues Society (rest) 7 p.m. $5 Kathryn’s - Joseph LaSalla 6:30-9:30 p.m. Pelican Cove - Acoustic Crossroads Duo 6-10 p.m. Table 100 - Andrew Pates 6 p.m.

Feb. 20 - Tuesday Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Drago’s - Johnny Barranco 6-9 p.m. Fairview Inn - Celtic Heritage Society Concert feat. Dave Curley 7 p.m. $20 admission $15 CHS members Fenian’s - Open Mic 9 p.m. Fitzgerald’s - Brandon Greer 7-11 p.m. Hal & Mal’s - Raphael Semmes & Friends 6-9 p.m. free Kathryn’s - Andrew Pates, Jay Wadsworth & James Jenkins 6:30-9:30 p.m. Pelican Cove - Open Jam 6:30-9:30 p.m. Table 100 - Chalmers Davis 6 p.m.

Feb. 21 - Wednesday 1908 Provisions - Bill Ellison 6:30 p.m. Alumni House - Pearl Jamz 5:30-7:30 p.m. Drago’s - Johnny Barranco 6-9 p.m. Kathryn’s - Gator Trio 6:30-9:30 p.m. Pelican Cove - Chad Perry 6-10 p.m. Shucker’s - Sonny Brooks 7:30 p.m. free Table 100 - Andy Henderson 6 p.m.

music

FRE$CO’s Fresh Start by Micah Smith

S

omething was not sitting right for “It’s really going to depend on the James Villes. In 2017, after work- people, how they react it and what they ing on a new recording project for want to hear,” he says, “because at the about a year and a half, the hip-hop same time, I’m still performing in different artist and Jackson native, whom fans know places, so it’s whatever people want to hear as Alexander FRE$CO, says the music just or whatever the mood calls for. … I’m not did not seem to flow right to him. one to try to limit myself because it can be “When I was coming up with the a show over here where they’re like, ‘Hey, project, which I was supposed to drop last they don’t do rappers.’ Well, guess what? I year, I listened to it a couple times, and also do R&B.” I was like, ‘This is not working. It’s up While Villes chose to focus on a and down, up and down,’” Villes, 26, says. He already had about 17 completed songs at the time, some that fell into the more straightforward rap arena and some that highlighted more R&B elements, including his singing vocals. While Villes felt confident in all the songs, he says that he wanted all of them to have a cohesive feel, both as a collection of recordings and as material for live shows. “As far as me working on performance sets, I can’t be all turned up at the beginning and then slow at the end,” he says. “I didn’t want it to feel like a rollercoaster. I wanted everybody to be on Alexander FRE$CO, a hip-hop artist and Jackson the same vibe, but I most defnative, released his new R&B-infused project, “Neon Nights,” on Jan. 26. initely had to separate some things to make it flow.” That separation ultimately resulted new, more atmospheric sound for “Neon in his latest release, “Neon Nights,” an Nights,” fans will not have to wait long to R&B-influenced hip-hop project that hear a return to his rap roots. he put out on Jan. 26. Villes says that he While preparing for this release, designed “Neon Nights,” which features he continued perfecting the unreleased producers Santalus Beats, The Cratez, J- hip-hop songs and writing new material. Louis, Pyrmdplaza, Ric & Thadeus and Knowing that his next rap project is already MJ Nichols, for fans to simply press play finished took off some of the pressure off and let it ride from start to finish. The of taking greater risks stylistically on “Neon music also contains a meta-narrative tell- Nights,” he says. ing the story of a relationship. “I just put it all as part of the plan The decision to split the project into because (a rap project) is going to come separate releases also provided Villes, who soon,” he says. “I’m not even worried about began seriously pursuing his music career it. If this is what’s going to go for now, I’m in 2015, with an opportunity to start fresh, going to have those in the stash. They’re gorebrand himself and broaden his creative ing to always be ready so I ain’t got to be output as an artist. like, ‘Well, I’ve still got to record this, and Before releasing “Neon Nights,” Villes I’ve still got to record that.’ It’s like, ‘No, it’s removed his previous releases and music already ready to go!’” videos as Alexander FRE$CO from online Alexander FRE$CO’s “Neon Nights” for a clean slate. Going forward, he says is available now on iTunes, Spotify and that he also plans on alternating between SoundCloud. For more information or rap and R&B releases while gaining feed- to purchase a physical copy of the release, back to inform what comes next. visit alexanderfresco.com.

Courtesy Alexander FRE$CO

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 Pelican Cove - Johnnie B. & Ms. Iretta 6-10 p.m. Shucker’s - Sonny Brooks 7:30 p.m. free Table 100 - Andy Henderson 6 p.m.

Kathryn’s - Bill & Temperance 7-10:30 p.m. Martin’s - Tesheva 10 p.m. The Med - Cooper Deniro 8 p.m.midnight $10 advance $15 door Pelican Cove - Phil & Trace 6-10 p.m. Pop’s Saloon - Dylan Moss Band 9 p.m. Shucker’s - Sonny Duo 5:30 p.m.; Snazz 8 p.m. $5; Todd Smith 10 p.m. Soulshine, Flowood - Chad Wesley 7 p.m. free Soulshine, Ridgeland - Stevie Cain 7 p.m. free Table 100 - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Underground 119 - Dexter Allen & Tatum Jackson 8:30 p.m. WonderLust - DJ Taboo 8 p.m.-2 a.m.

David McClister

MUSIC | live


Presents

SILENT SKY

By Lauren Gunderson Directed by

Fr ancine Thomas Reynolds Sponsored by

Community Foundation

FOR MISSISSIPPI MEYER AND GENEVIEVE FALK ENDOWMENT FOR CULTURE & ARTS

February 13-25, 2018 tickets: 601-948-3531 or newstagetheatre.com

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MISSISSIPPI MUSEUM of ART | 380 SOUTH LAMAR STREET | JACKSON, MS 39201 | 601.960.1515

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CURRENTLY ON VIEW The Mississippi Museum of Art and its programs are sponsored in part by the city of Jackson and Visit Jackson. Support is also provided in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Picturing Mississippi is supported by the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation and

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MISSISSIPPI MuseuM of Natural Science OPEN NOW- APRIL 29, 2018 â&#x20AC;¢ Find ways to save with light bulbs, electricity, and recycling

â&#x20AC;¢ Take the interactive green challenge

â&#x20AC;¢ Explore solar, wind, and hydropower

â&#x20AC;¢ Check out the latest energy-saving inventions and learn about the future of energy

â&#x20AC;¢ Connect circuits to power up lights, radios, and fans

â&#x20AC;¢ See how much electricity you use

learn more at MDWFP.com/museum Conservation Quest ® was created by Stepping Stones Museum for Children

February 14 - 20, 2018 â&#x20AC;¢ jfp.ms

New Stage Theatre

Noah Saterstrom (born 1974), Road to Shubuta, 2016. oil on canvas. © Courtesy of the artist.

The women who opened our eyes to the cosmos.

23


“No Two Ways About It” —words and phrases that are *almost* palindromes.

BY MATT JONES

49 Talk incessantly 51 ___-Caps (Nestle candy) 52 It’s really a light crime 54 Van Gogh painting that set an auction record 57 Superfood seen in seed form 59 “I’m not lying!” 60 Place with polar bears, perhaps 61 Some car cleaners, slangily 65 Census info, in part 66 Give quick attention to (almost, except for letters 5 and 7) 69 Flock formation shape 70 Fictitious cookie guy Spunkmeyer 71 Plaza Hotel girl of kid-lit 72 Mess up 73 “Star Wars” universe character Boba ___ 74 Word before date or jacket

32 Drink in a mug 36 Leather shade 37 Rapa ___ (Easter Island) 39 As well 40 “Twin Peaks” actress Sherilyn 43 ___ B’rith 46 Facility 50 Words in some greatest hits album titles 53 One of Buddy Holly’s last hits 54 “___ my doubts” 55 “Copy that”

56 What a star may stand for 58 Held expectations (for) 60 Lemon peel 62 Similar (to) 63 “Deal or No Deal” container 64 Hip or quip ending 67 Box full of model components 68 Peyton’s brother ©2018 Jonesin’ Crosswords (editor@ jonesincrosswords.com)

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 #864.

BY MATT JONES

Down

Across

1 Anthony of the Red Hot Chili Peppers 7 Beethoven and the like 11 Maple tree output 14 Part of ACTH 15 Up to it 16 “In Treatment” actress Wasikowska 17 Period that doesn’t involve levies or charges (almost, except for letters 3 and 9) 19 Shapiro of NPR 20 Tissue additive, sometimes 21 Greek vowel 22 FBI agent Kurt of “Blindspot” 24 Poet Sandburg 26 Chews out

27 Wayne’s “Wayne’s World” cohost 30 “___ du lieber!” 33 Muscles that are crunched 34 It may be shaved or crushed 35 When duels may occur, in westerns 38 His “Frozen Adventure” appeared before “Coco” in theaters 41 “And ___ Was” (1985 Talking Heads hit) 42 Place for a soak (almost, except for letters 2 and 6) 44 Heady brew 45 Daly of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” 47 Vitamin B3 48 Web portal with a butterfly logo

1 Japanese syllabic writing 2 Matinee figure 3 Puzzle cube creator Rubik 4 Pick up on 5 Needle ___ haystack 6 Bobby-___ (1940s teen) 7 Numbers to crunch 8 ___-Wan Kenobi 9 Luminesces 10 Iroquois Confederacy tribe 11 Some trick-taking feats, in bridge (almost, except for letters 5 and 6) 12 Broadcast 13 Some poker hands 18 Legendary sunken island 23 Southwestern wolf 25 Moby-Dick’s pursuer 27 Central idea 28 Hurting and sore 29 Design again from scratch (almost, except for letters 5 and 6) 31 Broadway composer George M. ___

Last Week’s Answers

“Kaidoku”

Each of the 26 letters of the alphabet is represented in this grid by a number between 1 and 26. Using letter frequency, word-pattern recognition and the numbers as your guides, fill in the grid with well-known English words (HINT: since a Q is always followed by a U, try hunting down the Q first). Only lowercase, unhyphenated words are allowed in kaidoku, so you won’t see anything like STOCKHOLM or LONG-LOST in here (but you might see AFGHAN, since it has an uncapitalized meaning, too). Now stop wasting my precious time and SOLVE! psychosudoku@gmail.com

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February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

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Monday-Wednesday Nights at Eslava’s Grille Dinner Hours: 5pm-10pm 730 Lakeland Dr. Jackson, MS | 601-366-6033 | Sun-Thurs: 11am - 10pm, Fri-Sat: 11am - 11pm W E D ELIVER F OR C ATERING O RDERS Fondren / Belhaven / UMC area

Last Week’s Answers

2481 Lakeland Drive Flowood | 601.932.4070


The posh magazine Tatler came up with a list of fashionable new names for parents who want to ensure their babies get a swanky start in life. Since you Aquarians are in a phase when you can generate good fortune by rebranding yourself or remaking your image, I figure you might be interested in using one of these monikers as a nickname or alias. At the very least, hearing them could whet your imagination to come up with your own ideas. Here are Tatler’s chic avant-garde names for girls: Czar-Czar; Debonaire; Estonia; Figgy; Gethsemane; Power; Queenie. Here are some boys’ names: Barclay; Euripides; Gustav; Innsbruck; Ra; Uxorious; Wigbert; Zebedee.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):

Now that you have finally paid off one of your debts to the past, you can start window-shopping for the future’s best offers. The coming days will be a transition time as you vacate the power spot you’ve outgrown and ramble out to reconnoiter potential new power spots. So bid your crisp farewells to waning traditions, lost causes, ghostly temptations and the deadweight of people’s expectations. Then start preparing a vigorous first impression to present to promising allies out there in the frontier.

you’re likely to feel blessed by longing rather than afflicted by it. The foreseeable future will also be prime time for you to increase your motivation and capacity to form durable attachments. Take full advantage of this fertile grace period!

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

At 12,388 feet, Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest peak. If you’re in good shape, you can reach the top in seven hours. The return trip can be done in half the time—if you’re cautious. The loose rocks on the steep trail are more likely to knock you off your feet on the way down than on the way up. I suspect this is an apt metaphor for you in the coming weeks, Aries. Your necessary descent may be deceptively challenging. So make haste slowly! Your power animals are the rabbit and the snail.

In 2004, a man named Jerry Lynn tied a battery-operated alarm clock to a string and dangled it down a vent in his house. He was hoping that when the alarm sounded, he would get a sense of the best place to drill a hole in his wall to run a wire for his TV. But the knot he’d made wasn’t perfect, and the clock slipped off and plunged into an inaccessible spot behind the wall. Then, every night for 13 years, the alarm rang for a minute. The battery was unusually strong! A few months ago, Lynn decided to end the mild but constant irritation. Calling on the help of duct specialists, he retrieved the persistent clock. With this story as your inspiration, and in accordance with astrological omens, I urge you Virgos to finally put an end to your equivalent of the maddening alarm clock. (Read the story: tinyurl.com/ alarmclockmadness.)

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

ARIES (March 21-April 19):

In 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made a few short jaunts through the air in a flying machine they called the Flyer. It was a germinal step in a process that ultimately led to your ability to travel 600 miles per hour while sitting in a chair 30,000 feet above the earth. Less than 66 years after the Wright brothers’ breakthrough, American astronauts landed a space capsule on the moon. They had with them a patch of fabric from the left wing of the Flyer. I expect that during the coming weeks, you will be climaxing a long-running process that deserves a comparable ritual. Revisit the early stages of the work that enabled you to be where you are now.

Was Napoléon Bonaparte an oppressor or liberator? The answer is both. His work in the world hurt a lot of people and helped a lot of people. One of his more magnanimous escapades transpired in June 1798, when he and his naval forces invaded the island of Malta. During his six-day stay, he released political prisoners, abolished slavery, granted religious freedom to Jews, opened 15 schools, established the right to free speech and shut down the Inquisition. What do his heroics have to do with you? I don’t want to exaggerate, but I expect that you, too, now have the power to unleash a blizzard of benevolence in your sphere. Do it in your own style, of course—not Napoléon’s.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

In 2006, 5 percent of the world’s astronomers gathered at an international conference and voted to demote Pluto from a planet to a “dwarf planet.” Much of the world agreed to honor their declaration. Since then, though, there has arisen a campaign by equally authoritative astronomers to restore Pluto to full planet status. The crux of the issue is this: How shall we define the nature of a planet? But for the people of New Mexico, the question has been resolved. State legislators there formally voted to regard Pluto as a planet. They didn’t accept the demotion. I encourage you to be inspired by their example, Gemini. Whenever there are good arguments from opposing sides about important matters, trust your gut feelings. Stand up for your preferred version of the story.

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

Ray Bradbury’s dystopian bestseller, “Fahrenheit 451,” was among the most successful of the 27 novels he wrote. It won numerous awards and has been adopted into films, plays and graphic novels. Bradbury wrote the original version of the story in nine days, using a typewriter he rented for 20 cents per hour. When his publisher urged him to double the manuscript’s length, he spent another nine days doing so. According to my reading of the planetary configurations, you Cancerians now have a similar potential to be surprisingly efficient and economical as you work on an interesting creation or breakthrough—especially if you mix a lot of play and delight into your labors.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):

Poet Louise Glück has characterized herself as “afflicted with longing yet incapable of forming durable attachments.” If there is anything in you that even partially fits that description, I have good news: In the coming weeks,

“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit,” said French playwright Molière. I’m going to make that your motto for now, Scorpio. You have pursued a gradual, steady approach to ripening, and soon it will pay off in the form of big bright blooms. Congratulations on having the faith to keep plugging away in the dark! I applaud your determination to be dogged and persistent about following your intuition even though few people have appreciated what you were doing.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

The growth you can and should foster in the coming weeks will be stimulated by quirky and unexpected prods. To get you started, here are a few such prods. 1. What’s your hidden or dormant talent, and what could you do to awaken and mobilize it? 2. What’s something you’re afraid of but might be able to turn into a resource? 3. If you were a different gender for a week, what would you do and what would your life be like? 4. Visualize a dream you’d like to have while you’re asleep tonight. 5. If you could transform anything about yourself, what would it be? 6. Imagine you’ve won a free vacation to anywhere you want. Where would you go?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

You may think you have uncovered the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But according to my analysis of the astrological omens, you’re just a bit more than halfway there. In order to get the rest of the goods, you’ll have to ignore your itch to be done with the search. You’ll have to be unattached to being right and smart and authoritative. So please cultivate patience. Be expansive and magnanimous as you dig deeper. For best results, align yourself with poet Richard Siken’s definition: “The truth is complicated. It’s two-toned, multi-vocal, bittersweet.”

Homework: Confess, brag, and expostulate about what inspires you to love. Got to freewillastrology.com and click on “Email Rob.”

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SERVICES

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TO PLACE A CLASSIFIED AD:

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

Murphy S Martin, M.D., PLLC located at 1600 N. State St., Suite 200, Jackson MS 39202 seeks Nephrologist to diagnose and treat illnesses and diseases of the kidneys at 1600 N. State St., Suite 200, Jackson MS and 1225 N. State St., Jackson MS, and attends patients at various dialysis locations. Travel required within thirty-five (35) mile radius from worksites. Applicant must have Medical Degree, completed an Internal Medicine Residency and Nephrology Fellowship, and must be eligible to obtain a Mississippi Medical License. Send resume to Dr. Murphy Martin, 1600 N. State St., Suite 200, Jackson MS 39202.

February 14 - 20, 2018 • jfp.ms

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

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

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JASON TURNER MONDAY 2/19

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TUESDAY 2/20

MS HUMANITIES COUNCIL PRESENTS

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Let’s face it, it’s never THAT cold in Mississippi but on those days when’s it nippy order your Pig & Pint favorites from Waitr.

Thursday, February 22 Friday, February 23

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southern rock legends

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word of advice; get your tickets now.

Tuesday, February 27

MARTIN SEXTON

one of the most prolific songwriters with a voice from the heavens

Friday, March 2

GRAYSON CAPPS

grayson & band return to debut his new cd release

Saturday, March 3

THE WOODLAND mississippi night with jsco and seth power

Tuesday, March 20

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V16n24 - War on Gangs  
V16n24 - War on Gangs  

Never Back Down: Mississippi Escalates War on Gangs, pp 14 - 17 • Contract Conundrum, p 8 • A Food Community, p 18 • FRE$CO’s Fresh Start,...