C e l e b r at i n g 1 5 Y e a r s o f t h e J F P
LOCAL HAPPY HOURS
Helsel, p 18 March 7 - 13, 2018
vol. 16 no. 27 FREE
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Mutiny at the Senate: Bi-partisan
Death of New Ed Formula Dreher, pp 14 - 16
The Scoop Inside JPD-Involved Shootings: A List Bragg, pp 6-7
Trump-less in Jackson Lynch, p 13
Your Metro Events Calendar is
Fleet Foxes in The city Smith, p 22
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JACKSONIAN Sergio Lugo II Stephen Wilson
ergio Lugo II’s day job is as a realtime operations supervisor for Comcast, but when he is not managing scheduling or performing other tasks for work, he hosts popular local podcast “Reality Breached.” Lugo got involved with podcasting when his friend, Carl Minor, who was a contributor on podcast and web community “Techpedition,” wanted to go to video-game expo E3. “I was like, ‘OK, cool, I want to do that,’” Lugo says. “He said, ‘If you write for this website and get on the podcast, we can try to finagle our way to get there.’” They ended up going to E3, and afterward, Lugo became a mainstay on “Techpedition,” eventually transitioning to host. In 2011, Lugo decided to launch his own podcast, “Reality Breached.” When coming up with a plan for it, he and his then-co-hosts, Reid Walker and Josh Alcaraz, decided to make it a videogame podcast. To keep the content fresh, their idea was to talk about specific topics, such as used games or female protagonists in games, on each episode. “(We wanted to have) very focused conversations, so we’re not just idiots who record themselves,” he says. Lugo says the biggest challenge in podcasting is finding an audience.
“Podcasts are so easy to produce and easy to put out there for people to hear, and they’re free because (most people don’t) charge for their podcasts,” he says. “So everyone wants to do one, and everyone thinks theirs is better than everyone else’s. In a sea of three million podcasts, how do you get attention? … You want to have a focused enough podcast that people come and find you, but you don’t want to be boxed in.” Since its early days, “Reality Breached” has expanded to feature a rotating lineup of co-hosts talking about multiple facets of nerd culture. Lugo has started partnering with other local podcasts, such as “Techpedition,” and about a year ago, he started doing a monthly “Local Spotlight.” “It’s been really what has pushed us through into the next level,” he says. “… ... We don’t always focus on exclusively Jackson stuff, but there’s stuff to do in this town. There are places to go; there are interesting people. There’s a culture here that I don’t think gets enough attention outside of the clique that is Jackson. If you’re in the Jackson culture, you know about the Jackson culture. Outside of that, this is just that place with potholes.” Lugo is married to local musician Ariel Blackwell, and they two kids. —Amber Helsel
cover photos of Tate Reeves and Hob Bryan by Stephen Wilson
6 ............................ Talks 12 ................... editorial 13 ...................... opinion 14 ............ Cover Story 18 ........... food & Drink 20 ......................... 8 Days 21 ........................ Events 21 ....................... sports 22 .......................... music 23 ........ music listings 24 ...................... Puzzles 25 ......................... astro 25 ............... Classifieds
6 Addressing OfficerInvolved Shootings
What is JPD doing (or not) about its officers who are shooting civilians?
18The Happiest Hours
If you’re struggling to find affordable food and drinks, this list gives you a good headstart.
22 The Future of Fleet Foxes
“I remember, when I was a teenager, thinking, ‘You only need to do one thing for 10 years to get as good at it as you’re going to be, and then, you can move on to something different.” —Robin Pecknold, “The Future of Fleet Foxes”
March 7 - 13, 2018 • jfp.ms
4 ............ Editor’s Note
Shawn Brackbill; File Photo; Stephen Wilson
March 7 - 13, 2018 | Vol. 16 No. 27
by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief
Parkland Teens Lead by Talking Back, Listening
he Parkland, Fla., teenagers who became activists against gun violence while locked in closets on Valentine’s Day are giving many of us life during a dark period in our country. I’m following every Stoneman Douglas High School student on Twitter as I run across them, and I cheer at their fortitude that so many adults cannot muster to stand up for what’s right and against what’s so clearly wrong, such as proliferating assaultstyle guns that rip children’s bodies apart. They counter the timidity that is so rampant here in Mississippi—with many progressive thinkers refusing to speak up, offend a frat brother or lose financial support from a buddy over political disagreement. I’ve been told many times, often by Democrats who really wish I’d toe their every line, to shut up and be more polite even as I’m a woman who expresses informed opinions in my home state and in a newspaper I own. Too often to count I’ve been ordered to focus on one or another issue and not another I feel passionately about. Insipid gentility doesn’t serve any of us. I probably don’t have to point out that Dems haven’t won much statewide lately after all the years of equivocating to conservative ideals and politicians, including sometimes using—or pulling punches on—anti-immigrant, homophobic, sexist and racist and NRA-approved “tough-oncrime” rhetoric. I’ve even been instructed to not talk about what the Confederate emblem in the state flag actually stands for—a war to maintain and extend slavery. (Many prefer to say the KKK later co-opted it.) Fearful adults, while often well-meaning, turn off potential new voters, often limiting the voting appeal to fully funding public education—which I want, no
doubt, and we’ve done the deepest reporting on it—and maybe funding roads and bridges. I exaggerate, but not by much. I’m fully with the Parkland teenagers who are willing to loudly question anything they believe needs to be changed. They are calling out the charlatans and the hypocrites. They are identifying the various and assorted naked emperors in the room. They don’t fear the inevitable trolls, scolds and finger-waggers who say they are too rude, vulgar or whatever. You might say they have
They don’t fear the inevitable trolls, scolds and finger-waggers. less to lose than adults who need to maintain their wealth and jobs, or whatever, but they don’t. Teenagers are on the front lines of gun violence in America. I’m fine with them tossing an F-bomb at the NRA. But young Parklanders are not only being loud and in the faces of those who have gotten a pass from adults for far too long. They are being quiet and listening, too, to others who have experiences they haven’t had. And this is the part I admire the most because, you know, most adults aren’t all that great at this part, either. I noticed it soon after the tragedy at their school. Some #neveragain students, white ones included, tweeted about race equity and unhealthy school discipline in their tweets. Yes, they were going to a public
school in a wealthy suburb—with extracurricular and civic activities that taught them to be confident, informed debaters—but they weren’t only interested in gun violence by and against white people. This weekend, I saw a tweet with four pictures from the awe-inspiring Emma González. She and other Parkland activists had gone to Chicago to meet with young people of color about the gun violence their community experiences and were sitting around a pool listening to each other. “‘Florida’s safest city’ and one of the cities in America most affected by gun violence came together to share stories, ideologies and pizza,” González tweeted. This right here is what America needs and so often lacks: people crossing lines and listening and learning from each other, then working together to solve problems. “Those who face gun violence on a level that we have only just glimpsed from our gated communities have never had their voices heard in their entire lives the way that we have in these few weeks alone,” González said in the tweet under it. Then she wrote: “People of color in inner-cities and everywhere have been dealing with this for a despicably long time, and the media cycles just don’t cover the violence the way they did here.” All victims of gun violence, González added, must make the change together. Imagine this kind of conversation here in our state. I work with teenagers in the Mississippi Youth Media Project (jxnpulse. com) who are trying to jumpstart such dialogues, but the wealthier kids (or adults) don’t always show up for shared conversations, including one held at a private academy here recently. Maybe they’re fearful; maybe they’re busy; maybe both.
Bad policies result when these shared discussions do not happen. Yes, we dodged the bullet, so to speak, on the awful gang bill (that would have targeted lower-income residents with no assistance or rehab baked in) before the Legislature. But right here in “radical” Jackson, police are part of a federal “Project Eject” effort that sends those arrested across the country to federal prisons, far from family and any sense of stability. I thought of “Project Eject” last night when I attended a Koch Industries-funded talk in favor of criminal-justice reform and re-entry programs to help those returning from prison became productive citizens and workers again. The speaker, John Koufos, was a New Jersey felon who went to prison for driving drunk and seriously injuring someone. He now advocates for intelligent criminal policy instead of all the tough-oncrime junk many candidates run on. During the Q&A at the Old Capitol Inn, Koufos mentioned federal arrests that send prisoners far from home. “Many times … you’ve got people locked up all over the country. How are you supposed to reintegrate these folks back into the community when they’re in Kansas?” Koufos, the national director of reentry initiatives for Right on Crime, said to the room packed with mostly conservative white men. I’m glad I showed up and listened to people I’m supposed to disagree with constantly. Public safety isn’t about red-blue gamesmanship and staying in one’s perceived lane. We don’t have to agree on everything to listen and speak up. As González tweeted, “hand in hand, side by side, We Will Make This Change Together.” All are welcome at a Youth Media Project Youth Crime Dialogue at Jim Hill High School on March 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
March 7 - 13, 2018 • jfp.ms
News Reporter Arielle Dreher is trying to read more than 52 books this year and wants to foster an otter from the Jackson Zoo. Email her tips and story ideas at arielle@ jacksonfreepress.com. She wrote the cover story.
City Reporter Ko Bragg is a Philadelphia, Miss., transplant who recently completed her master’s in journalism. She has traveled to 25 countries to date. She wrote about policeinvolved shootings and kids sitting in juvenile detention.
Staff Photographer Stephen Wilson is always on the scene, bringing you views from the six. He contributed some of the photographs in this issue, including cover photos.
Managing Editor Amber Helsel is a feminist, writer, artist and otaku. She loves cats, food, music, anime and storytelling, and often runs sound for CityHeart Church. Email story ideas to email@example.com. She wrote about Jacksonian Sergio Lugo II.
Music Editor Micah Smith is married to a great lady, has two dog-children named Kirby and Zelda, and plays in the band Empty Atlas. Send gig info to firstname.lastname@example.org. He interviewed Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes.
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.
Art Director Kristin Brenemen is a meganekko with a penchant for dystopianism. She’s just trying to get her house in working order. She designed much of the issue.
Publisher Todd Stauffer is the author of 40+ books on Macs, HTML, blogging and digital video. He grew up in Dallas and is a Texas A&M graduate. Email him about your business’ digital needs: todd@ jacksonfreepress.com.
5 5 3 3 T T A A E V E I L V I A L Y L L U Y F L T L R A U F T AR FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2018
5:00pm - HAL’s Marching MALfunction & Second Line Stomp
at Cathead Distillery on S. Farish Street
SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018
After Parade at Hal & Mal’s
begins at the corner of Court Sreet and State Street
HAL’S ST. PADDY’S FESTIVAL
8:00am - Fleet Feet St. Paddy’s 5k
begins at Pascagoula Street in front of the Jackson Convention Complex
9:00am - The Clarion Ledger Hal’s St. Paddy’s Children’s Festival on Pascagoula Street in front of Thalia Mara Hall
10:00am - The Hollywood Feed & St. Paddy’s Pet Parade at West Street and Pascagoula Street
11:00am - Hal’s St. Paddy’s Children’s Parade at West Street and Pascagoula Street
1:00pm - Hal’s St. Paddy’s Parade
begins at Corner of Court Street and State Street
(no coolers or pets)
The Molly Ringwalds, Bishop Gunn, The Bluz Boys, Southern Komfort Brass Band!
Tickets are $10. Must be 18 or older to attend.
Tickets available at Hal & Mal’s or online at ardenland.net Produced by
March 7 - 13, 2018 • jfp.ms
7:00am - Float Lineup Begins
“I’m asking y’all to trust leadership. We’re not going to bring you something that stinks; we’re not going to bring you something that’s a lie.”
Wednesday, February 28 The Mississippi Legislature passes an expansion of the year-old “go cup” law, which allows patrons in certain districts to leave a restaurant or bar with an open container of alcohol. Thursday, March 1 Mississippi senators reject an attempt to rewrite the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, the state’s public-school funding formula, by a vote of 27-21. Friday, March 2 Members of the U.S. House and Senate attend a wreath-laying at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis to mark the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago as part of a three-day congressional civil rights pilgrimage through the south. Saturday, March 3 Florida Senate agrees to advance a bill that would restrict gun purchases in the wake of last month’s Parkland school shootings, but not ban AR-15s.
March 7 - 13, 2018 • jfp.ms
Sunday, March 4 Director Guillermo del Toro’s film “The Shape of Water” is named best picture at the 90th annual Academy Awards, receiving 13 nominations and four Oscars.
Monday, March 5 Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announces that he will resign April 1 because of health problems. … Inmates at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, backed by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU National Prison Project, go to trial against the Mississippi Department of Corrections, alleging squalid conditions, solitary confinement practices, rats, and a lack of medical and mental health care. Tuesday, March 6 Gov. Phil Bryant says he will not appoint himself to the U.S. Senate seat Thad Cochran is vacating. Instead, he will choose a temporary successor after the senator’s April 1 resignation. Get breaking news at jfpdaily.com.
Half the youth at Henley-Young are charged as adults. p8
— Rep. Jeff Smith, on the ‘One Lake’ bond bill, before the Mississippi House voted to pass it.
After 7 Shootings, JPD Still Shields Officers by Ko Bragg
ee Edward Bonner, 37, died after a Jackson police officer shot him on Feb. 21 in west Jackson. His family says it was “an overkill,” while the City released scant information painting Bonner as the instigator of a shoot-out during a drug investigation gone awry. “We’re not saying he was right. We’re not saying he was perfect, but we want justice, and we want to find out what happened by legal standards,” Tetrina Blalock, Bonner’s cousin, told Jackson City Council on Feb. 27. They also do not know who shot him, yet. JPD spokesman Sgt. Roderick Holmes said two detectives in plain clothes were conducting a narcotics investigation, and started chasing Bonner and another man they may not have ever found. Police said Bonner displayed a weapon and fired at police, and officers returned fire. Bonner later died of injuries sustained in the altercation. All the public can know for sure is that the two officers involved in Bonner’s shooting are on paid leave pending investigation, which the mayor said the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations will assist. Despite repeated requests, JPD has not released names of officers in the Bonner shooting or any linked to the other six officer-involved shootings since Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba took office in July 2017. Interim Police Chief Anthony
Moore, whom the mayor called a man of few words when he took over the position in January, has been true to that description. He has offered little information during press conferences and public
“Who is to police the police?” meetings as to JPD’s use-of-force policy or investigation status, saying only that the department will not release identities of officers who shot civilians in order to protect the cops’ safety. At a government affairs committee meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, Moore brought hard copies of the use-of-force policy. Asked for a copy, a city clerk told the Jackson Free Press to file a public-records request and then a copy would be uploaded to the record system. The JFP had filed the records request the day before, and still did not receive the policy by press time for this article. Improving policing has been a na-
tional conversation since a Ferguson, Mo., police officer killed Michael Brown in August 2014. Citizens and government entities have demanded more transparency from police departments, including the use of body cameras. However, even when wearing cameras, officers can lie or departments refuse to release the videos, and studies and reports point to their questionable effectiveness. Either way, Moore said JPD cannot afford body cameras. Vagueness paired with local leaders hinting that Jackson is not one of those cities with the policing issues of yonder mean families like those of Bonner and concerned citizens are left both unaware and potentially unsafe due to the lack of transparency about police shootings. Policing the Police Blalock, Bonner’s cousin, was one of four people to take the microphone at a crowded Feb. 27 city council meeting to air out concerns about Jackson’s policing. She spoke for the Bonner family with clear demands: an independent investigation and autopsy. “Who is to police the police?” she asked in chambers, alluding to a conundrum many communities face as they try to penetrate many departments’ codes of silence and protection for officers. BuzzFeed News published an investigation titled “Blue Lies Matter”
Six things more transparent than Jackson’s public-records procedure by JFP Staff
1. Lake Hico—in reference to both H20 quality and access. 2. Your third-grade teacher’s transparency film for the overhead projector after an interactive math class. 3. “Go cups” filled with Guinness beer, soon to be allowed outside at the District of Eastover. 4. Cloud technology—nobody really knows how it’s up there, but here we are. 5. The state budget. Ouch. 6. The deepest pothole on Mill Street after a flash flood.
“There’s no reason to go back on women’s health care in the state of Mississippi. This time limit is unnecessary, and it’s dangerous.”
— Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba on the Mississippi Justice Institute filing an ethics complaint against JPD over immigration detainer requests that, he says, the City doesn’t have.
— Sen. Debbie Dawkins, D-Pass Christian, speaking against the 15-week abortion ban bill, which passed the Senate Tuesday.
Most viral stories at jfp.ms:
1. “Mayor: No More Mugshots Released of Juveniles, People Shot by Police” by Ko Bragg 2. “‘One Lake’ Bond Bill Passes House by Slim Margin After Questions” by Arielle Dreher 3. “The Poverty-Crime Connection” by Lacey McLaughlin 4. “Sen. Cochran to Resign April 1 Citing Health Concerns, McDaniel May Switch from Wicker Race,” The Associated Press 5. “Number of JPD Officer-Involved Shootings Keeps Growing” by Ko Bragg
long these officers have been employed. Holmes, JPD’s spokesman, told the Jackson Free Press last week that there have been five officer-involved shootings since July 2017, but this newspaper has counted seven JPD’s Twitter feed and media reports. The mayor said he has not decided his position on identifying cops involved in shootings, yet. Meantime, Chief Moore is choos-
to duty pending a psychological investigation, Moore said. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice advised police departments to release names of officers involved in critical events, including shootings, within 72 hours of the incident. Some cities release them as soon as 48 hours after the shooting. The DOJ report said that departments can take steps to ensure officer Stephen Wilson
in January 2017 after reviewing 62 incidents of video footage nationally since 2008, with more than 60 percent taking place since 2014. All contradicted an officer’s statement in a police report or testimony. The report says that although police are often considered to be the “most reliable narrators in a courtroom,” video footage erodes that “bedrock of the justice system” and proves that officers lie “with increasing frequency.” “Cameras prove cops lie, and there are more cameras out in the world today than ever before,” BuzzFeed reporter Albert Samaha wrote in the article. “... Officers lie in high-profile cases and little-known cases, and lie by fabrication, omission and exaggeration.” The nation saw broader demand for body cameras following the Michael Brown shooting as an unbiased intermediary to reveal the facts of a case. A 2017 report on body-worn cameras points to the benefit of transparency, but also a potential slippery slope. “(C)ameras could be used to intensify disproportionate surveillance and enforcement in heavily policed communities of color,” The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights & Upturn report reads. “Without carefully crafted policy safeguards in place, there is a real risk that these new devices could become instruments of injustice, rather than tools for accountability.” Many of Jackson’s officer-involved cases would be considered “little-known cases” broadly speaking, but even locals a know little details about them. Without the funds for body-cam videos, things are even less open here. Jackson residents have no way of knowing pivotal information about officer-involved shootings in a timely fashion, including which ones have been involved in multiple incidents or even how
Tetrina Blalock came to the Feb. 27 Jackson City Council meeting on behalf of her cousin, Lee Edward Bonner, who died from a Jackson police officerinvolved shooting on Feb. 21 in west Jackson. She called the incident “overkill.”
ing to hide the identities over public transparency. Both Holmes and Moore confirmed that they will not name officers who shoot civilians until a decision comes back from a grand jury—a process that could take a year or more given backlog in the district attorney’s office. It is a relatively new JPD policy, as Moore told the Council on Feb. 27, that an officer is not to return to duty if a suspect dies during an officer-involved shooting until a grand jury clears them. Prior to Moore, officers were returning
Most viral events at jfpevents.com:
1. Tales with Tails, March 8 1. Legacy of Nina Simone, March 8 3. Food Truck Friday: Return of the Food Trucks, March 9 4. Mississippi Anime Fest, March 10 5. NASA Day, March 10 Find more events at jfpevents.com.
safety during those brief delays. ‘Overkill Is Overkill’ At the council podium, Blalock fired off two landmark Supreme Court decisions from the 1980s about use-offorce: Tennessee v. Garner and Graham v. Connor. The former involved an unarmed 15-year-old boy named Edward Garner whom a police officer shot with a hollow-tip bullet in the back of the head to keep him from escaping over a fence. Garner was a suspect in a nearby house robbery, and he later died. The Supreme Court in 1985 decided that deadly force to prevent an unarmed fleeing felon’s escape was unconstitutional. Dethorne Graham was having an insulin reaction at home in 1984 and a friend took him to the store to get orange juice to fix it. An officer nearby named M.S. Connor thought Graham seemed suspicious for quickly entering and leaving the store, and pulled Graham and his friend over. Graham’s foot was broken
during the traffic stop among other injuries, although the officer determined that Graham had not committed a crime. In Graham v. Connor, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 1989 that Graham’s claims had to be evaluated under the Fourth Amendment’s “objective reasonableness” through an officer on the scene, rather than a generalized “excessive force standard.” Lower courts had accepted that good-faith efforts can measure the degree of force. “If it fell into those two standards, I will accept that—that’s the law,” Blalock told the city council. “But, overkill is overkill. I don’t know what’s on the books as far as what Jackson Police Department is to do (with a suspect), but it wasn’t a violent situation. If (the officer) was shooting him, why was (Bonner’s) leg not an option?” In terms of an intermediary use-offorce, Moore told the council that not every officer has a Taser nor are they all Taser-certified, although he did characterize them as an option for when suspects resist or are aggressive. The chief said JPD officers do not use a Taser on suspects that are running away because they could fall. On Nov. 15, 2017, JPD shot an unidentified black man in the leg when he was running away from police and allegedly pointed a black object at officers, after which they heard a shot. The mayor has suggested that Jackson does not mirror other instances of officer-involved shootings around the nation. During a press conference on Feb. 26 to announce that JPD will no longer releases mugshots of people police shoot, Lumumba acknowledged the complexities communities of color have always had with law enforcement. With Jackson’s majority-black police force, Lumumba said, the national trends around violence do not reflect what happens here—implying that our demographics make our city immune to over-policing as occurred in Ferguson, Mo., for instance. The information JFP keeps in the shadows might suggest otherwise. Email city reporter Ko Bragg at ko@jacksonfree press.com. Read more at jfp. ms/preventingviolence.
March 7 - 13, 2018 • jfp.ms
“This is a meritless, baseless, senseless, waste of time, and this is an out-and-out lie. It is alternative facts, if you will. This administration has not destroyed anything.”
TALK | justice
Ringing the Bell on Kids Charged as Adults by Ko Bragg
ohnnie McDaniels, executive director of HenleyYoung Juvenile Justice Center, often repeats a Frederick Douglass quote. “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,” Douglas wrote in 1855. “And I’ll add women to that,” McDaniels said in an interview at the youth detention center on Feb. 28. McDaniels’ job requires him to repair broken children, especially those who have been charged as adults. Many of them sit in his facility for the better part of a year awaiting court dates, convictions and indictments. Meanwhile, those exclusively in the youth system tend to be in and out in a maximum 21-day window, as a consent decree between Hinds County and plaintiffs in a 2011 lawsuit over the conditions at the center mandates. Mississippi law and youth-court rules allow 90 days for the initial delinquency youth-court hearing process after the
stays do to the youth there, but also whether what is happening as a potential result of political pressure, case mismanagement and finger-pointing violates juvenile rights. “It is constitutionally suspect to me that a 16-year-old or a 14-year-old charged with a serious offense, which they could get life in jail for, will sit un-indicted for 178 days,” McDaniels told the Jackson Free Press.
March 7 - 13, 2018 • jfp.ms
Johnnie McDaniels, executive director of the Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center, wants law enforcement and the Hinds County district attorney’s office to stop the “finger pointing.” He says youth charged as adults are sitting in his detention facility for more than 100 days.
youth-court prosecutor files the petition in a child’s case. In reality, at least half the kids currently in the Henley-Young detention center are presumably innocent. Their inability to post bail or a judge revoking it at their initial hearing forces them to stay detained until they either find the money or the district attorney’s office assigns their case to the docket, which takes time. Of the 23 juveniles in the facility as of Feb. 28, a dozen are charged as adults—11 boys and one girl. Of that dozen, nine have been at Henley-Young for more than 90 days, and only two of them have been indicted in Hinds County. Overall, McDaniels has seven juveniles who have been there from 102 to 178 days without an indictment. Juveniles charged as adults get all the protections and services those under 18 receive—regular school schedules and mental-health counseling—but they suffer all the backlog embedded in the adult system as their childhoods tick away. McDaniels is worried about what long-term
Juveniles Get Due Process, Too A 15-year-old Arizona boy named Gerald “Jerry” Gault helped change the juvenile-justice system in the 1960s. A friend made an obscene call to a woman while at Gault’s house, and when the woman filed a complaint, police arrested Jerry without notifying his parents nor mentioning his legal right to an attorney. Gault’s mother could not bring him home, and a week later he was sentenced to nearly six years in a juvenile-detention facility. Three years later, in May 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in Gault’s favor, establishing juveniles’ right to delinquency proceedings under the same due-process rights adults have in criminal trials. That includes the right to counsel, timely notification of charges, the right to appeal and the right to avoid self-incrimination. “Under our Constitution, the condition of being a boy does not justify a kangaroo court,” Justice Abe Fortas wrote in the 1967 opinion. The justice added that in the “traditional ideas” of juvenile court procedure, authorities should have considered whether it was a prank that parents could have dealt with at home. Fortas also pointed out that Gault received much harsher punishments as a juvenile than he would have if he were 18 at the time—the maximum punishment would have been a fine of $5 to $50, or imprisonment in jail for not more than two months, he wrote. More than 50 years after that landmark decision, Mississippi juveniles get placed into the adult system at the law-enforcement level when he or she is still presumably innocent—often with media publishing mugshots and asking for “perp” walks for video of the accused children. Patrick Webb, an associate professor of criminal justice at St. Augustine’s University, a historically black college in Raleigh, N.C., has done research on the relationship between media coverage and juvenile proceedings. “Exposing children to ‘hey, look this is what can happen to you, look at this perp walk, look at this kid behind these bars,’ it may frighten him and it may expose him, but it’s not going to change his thinking,” Webb said in an November 2017 interview. “It will only frighten him and shock him and entertain him and leave an impression, but that impression will not be permanent, and it will not lead to a change of behavior.” In other jurisdictions in the U.S., youth under 18 go before a youth-court judge who decides on the level of the charges and if the juvenile at hand will be treated as an adult before being subjected to the potential damage of a media circus. McDaniels says Mississippi should adopt the latter practice, but for now, at least, he wants law enforcement and the district attorney’s office to take ownership over moving juvenile cases through the system swiftly.
Henley-Young stats as of Wednesday, Feb. 28. Total juveniles at Henley-Young: 23 Juveniles charged as adults: 12
11 males 1 female. Nine of the 12 charged as adults have been detained there for more than 90 days.
Of that nine at Henley-Young for 90+ days, only two have been indicted in Hinds County. The other seven have been there from 102 to 178 days without indictments.
As it currently goes, McDaniels says the district attorney’s office blames the initial investigation the police do for delays—often telling McDaniels they have to re-investigate. When he speaks to law enforcement officers, they blame backlog in the district attorney’s office. “It just kind of depends on who I’m talking to in terms of what answer I get,” McDaniels said, “which is frustrating in a sense that someone should say at that point the court should be involved in this process.” Regardless of fault, juveniles sit awaiting justice in cases that might not have necessary evidence to move their charges forward. Many young people are detained after their bond hearings, so even if a judge decides to kick their cases into youth court, they have to wait to get onto the docket to do so. The longer the juveniles are away from their community, schools and family, the more frustrated they get, McDaniels said. ‘That’s Not Fair’ Having spent a decade as a city prosecutor, McDaniels said he often puts his “old attorney hat on” to explain where kids charged as adults are in the process, especially when they do not understand why they have not gotten bond or why their stint is so long this time versus other times they may have been to the facility. “But for the most part ... some of them understand more YOUTH, see page 10
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Jacksonians Value JPS and Teachers, Poll Finds by Arielle Dreher
he local community supports both tants explained the results of polling and Both polls and the listening sessions Jackson Public Schools and the listening sessions at the group’s meeting revealed that Jacksonians have concerns teachers in a stronger way than in last week. about discipline in schools as well. Thompmany communities, a poll of 500 The LJR poll found that 82 percent son said community members question local residents in January found. of respondents said they care a great deal how students are being disciplined as well LJR Custom Strategies conducted about what is happening inside the schools as how discipline practices affect teachers’ the telephone survey of Jacksonians about in Jackson. ability to manage classrooms. their knowledge and impres The Better Together Comsions of the public schools, Jenmission has authorized the nifer Johnson of LJR said last Insight Education Group to week. More than 60 percent begin its work in JPS, while a could identify something posiColorado-based firm will start tive about the district and 27 an ambitious canvassing effort percent about the teachers— across Jackson. Black Diamond which is high. Outreach will hire local people “I’ve been doing similar part-time and full-time to conpolling New Orleans, Baton duct door-to-door surveys, with Rouge and Indianapolis about an ambitious goal of knocking the public schools. In all of on 60,000 household doors. He those cities, teachers tend to said there will a follow-up survey Jennifer Johnson presented polling data from LJR shoulder a lot of the blame, so Custom Strategies to the Better Together Commission. and attention to making sure that to see a full quarter of respon- It showed that Jackson adults believe teachers are one families of the more than 4,000 dents here say that they are one of the best parts of Jackson Public Schools. homeless students in the district are included in the survey. of the best things about the schools, is a very notable change,” Johnson The commission hosted several lis- “We want to be able to make sure explained about the survey. tening sessions last year in all seven city that the needs of those families are repre JPS is and will be under the micro- wards, and Jason Thompson, with the sented,” Thompson told the commission scope for the next year as the Better To- Fahrenheit Creative Group, said the data last week. gether Commission continues its work from those sessions were very similar to Insight Education Group will begin soliciting community input and feedback Johnson’s findings. its work in JPS this month. The conon how to make the school system better. “The concern we heard most is (the sultants plan to visit three elementary Simultaneously, the Insight Educa- need for) professional development and schools, three middle schools and three tion Group is researching and developing support for teachers,” Thompson told the high schools over the course of their time a needs analysis of the district, including a commission last week. in the district, as well as conduct listening review of classroom and curriculum man- JPS, like districts in much of the sessions with various stakeholder groups, agement and a look into the administra- state, is suffering a teacher shortage, and is including teachers. They are expected to tion and financial state of JPS. struggling with the accreditation standard release their report in November. The commission has started the requiring it to have fully licensed staff in Michael Moody, one of Insight’s copublic participation process, and consul- place. founders, said his group will first look at
YOUTH from page 8
March 7 - 13, 2018 • jfp.ms
the seriousness of it, and that (they) may leave here, and the next stop may be Parchman,” McDaniels said of the notorious prison in the Mississippi Delta. McDaniels said other kids tell him: “I’m not guilty of what they’re accusing me of, but I’ve been in here for 170 days. Mr. McDaniels, that’s not fair.” McDaniels is particularly sensitive to how juveniles are treated in the media before they get there. On Feb. 26, the mayor issued an executive order banning the police from sending out mugshots of civilians that officers shoot, and said at the press conference that he would also have JPD stop giving out mugshots of juveniles, even if they’re being charged as adults. 10 Before that, JPD sent out and tweeted mugshots
of kids as young as 13—the minimum age one can be charged as an adult in this state. Weeks ago, JPD disseminated one of a 14-year-old girl charged with capital murder and already in custody. In a 2008 study, Webb presented a theory that suggested public embarrassment from the media and other tactics could teach children to abstain from criminal behavior to avoid public embarrassment to themselves and their families and to keep from jeopardizing their futures. But, Webb says, these fear-backed, short-term measures like “Scared Straight” tough talks and media “dogand-pony” shows only create temporary behavior changes. He says the best way to discourage anti-social behavior is not to intimidate or shame the person. Backed by research, McDaniels fears that some of the same juveniles “castigated” on local TV news may have difficulties going back into school, classroom settings and
classroom effectiveness. The group plans to take the findings of the Mississippi Department of Education’s investigative audit report as well as the Council of Great City Schools’ report into consideration as well. An important piece of Insight’s work is ensuring the district has the tools to act on whatever problems and solutions Insight finds and recommends. “In our experience, implementation is always where it falls apart,” Moody told the Jackson Free Press. Kathleen England, an Insight consultant, called into the Better Together Commission meeting last week. She said the report will cover five main areas: communication and assessment; special education and struggling students; general education; central office staff; and financial analysis and review. The final report will also include ways for JPS to implement no-cost, lowcost and high-cost strategies to address the district’s needs. Insight consultants will give weekly reports and updates to commissioners, who will meet monthly on the last Thursday of each month at the Margaret Walker Alexander Library from 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for March 29. Moody said JPS will likely not improve overnight and said meaningful change will take time. “[In] districts that grow student achievement and maintain it, you don’t see the spike, you see steady gains,” he said. Email state reporter Arielle Dreher at email@example.com. Read more at jfp.ms/jpstakeover.
the community because of the coverage, even if nearly a year passes before they are indicted. “There’s always political pressure on a case that has been highlighted in the news, and the community has a bunch of perspective on what they think has occurred, but the facts may not be what they suggest,” McDaniels said. McDaniels wants law enforcement and the Hinds County district attorney’s office to stop the “finger pointing” at each other and work together for a solution. “That’s not a mean-spirited criticism of any of the other parties that are involved in this process, whether it’s law enforcement, district attorney’s office, or whomever,” McDaniels said in the interview. “But, I think we have to ring the bell at this point and say that the current system is simply not working, and we’ve got to do some things different in Hinds County.” Email Ko Bragg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Take Down the Flag
o often opponents of the Mississippi flag are accused of being outside agitators: northerners, Democrats, liberals who don’t understand the South. But I was born and raised in the South. It’s my home. I want it to live up to its potential. I am not a Democrat, nor am I a liberal. I am a white man born here, and I say take the flag down. The flag is a symbol of a heritage of racism, hate, violence and capitalist exploitation at its most explicit. It is the symbol of the Mississippi plantation class so committed to the riches from the chattel slavery of Africans that they led a secessionist movement to protect it. We know these were their reasons because they explicitly stated them in the Mississippi Declaration of Secession: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—the greatest material interest in the world […] these products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun.” The declaration is clear: Secession is first and foremost about the brutal enslavement of the Africans ripped from their homes and families. It is impossible for the secessionists to have been more explicit in their reasons. Note the connection between slavery and capitalist profit as well. Slavery produced massive material interests for the world, which led to massive material profit for the plantation owners as the South’s ruling class. In the declaration, Mississippi angrily alleged that the United States had a “hostility” that “denies the right of property in slaves” and “advocates negro equality, socially and politically.” Only in bad faith can there be any more debate. The leaders of Mississippi, the plantation bourgeoisie, named the defense of white supremacy as their chief motivation: to fight for the violent subjugation of human beings. This is the heritage of the Confederacy. This is what the Confederate battle flag stands for. This is the flag that the Klan, a murderous band of cowards in white hoods, flies. This is the heritage of the flag flying above our state. To argue otherwise is intellectually dishonest. So why is it still flying? When I was young and immature, I had a rebel flag hanging in my room. I told myself it was about southern pride, a different heritage. What a joke. Every explanation of “it’s about honor and defending your rights” fell flat when I was confronted with the clear unequivocal heritage that the original flyers of the flag, our ancestors—my ancestors—established. I get it. I get the knee-jerk reaction to defend it. I am a southerner. Our area of the country is the butt of joke after joke, some deserved, many undeserved, but we cannot defend the South by defending any and all symbols identified as “southern.” It is no excuse to defend and justify such an explicitly racist and violent heritage of slavery. So again, why does Mississippi still fly a flag bearing the Confederate battle flag? Why do politicians and its supporters defend it? Do they support the true heritage of the flag? Do they want to continue the violent subjugation of African Americans for profit? Do they desire to expand the incarceration state and enslave more people day by day? I truly hope that they, like my younger self, are merely having a kneejerk reaction in defense of their home. It’s time to grow up and see our history for what it is and move on. Take down the flag of the exploiter, the slaver and the racist. Take it down and burn it. Mississippi deserves so much better. Criminal defense attorney and armchair philosopher Andrew J. Williams, Esq., lives and practices in his adopted home of Mississippi.
March 7 - 13, 2018 • jfp.ms
Mississippi deserves so much better.
This column does not necessarily reflect the views of the JFP.
Cheers to Senate, But More Ed Attacks Ahead
ravo to the Mississippi Senate for actually listening to their constituents and killing the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula proposal. Last week, in a surprise bipartisan “screw you” to the Republican leaders, 27 senators voted with their constituents—a breath of fresh air in the supermajority sausage factory it’s become. Whether lawmakers voted to kill UPS due to confusion or to avoid the logical outcome of this formula (fewer funds for public schools than under the Mississippi Adequate Education Program) is up in the air, but the bipartisan work to kill House Bill 957 echos 1997, when it took lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to pass MAEP in the first place over Republican Gov. Kirk Fordice’s veto. After the Senate killed the EdBuild-inspired formula last week, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves blamed the media, and the other party. “Kids across Mississippi lost today because the Democrats blocked voting because they are more interested in saving a political tool than they are in doing what’s best for their school districts,” Reeves told reporters last week. But since when has fully funding MAEP been just a “political tool” for Democrats? Only in the most recent iteration of the Mississippi GOP has such distaste for public education grown so rancid. Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn began the plan to dismantle MAEP two years ago after they barely avoided the Initiative 42 tidal wave of Mississippians demanding full funding of public education. Gunn and Reeves probably wanted a repeat of
the thwarted Initiative 42 when they doubled down on tossing a formula that predicts how much funds districts need to operate each year. They have claimed MAEP is “antiquated” or “unrealistic,” but the reality is they would not know if it’s realistic or not because they have not really attempted to fully fund it during their time in Jackson. Post-recession, Gunn and Reeves have focused on tax cuts and economic development, diverting hundreds of millions in tax dollars to corporations (some existent and some yet to materialize). In fairness, the Republican leaders ran on cutting taxes. Gov. Phil Bryant eats tax cuts for lunch and brags about them constantly even as the state’s infrastructure crumbles. Mississippians voted them into office overwhelmingly in 2015. But the mutiny over HB 957 might raise eyebrows across the state, as taxpayers begin to realize just what the State will do to fund those tax cuts. They can’t cut all the cake and eat it, too. Tax cuts mean fewer funds for everything else—including education. Reeves and Gunn had a slick plan to make less funding for education look nice and equitable. And while we believe districts should not receive funds for students they do not teach, we also believe that districts have yet to know just how full funding of MAEP could help learning outcomes. Mississippians won last week in the Senate, but taxpayers must wake up to how much danger public education faces here, especially as the “choice”/voucher brigade circles hungrily. This fight is just beginning.
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Adam Lynch Civil Rights Museum Enjoys ‘Trump-less’ Grand Opening
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 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial email@example.com Queries firstname.lastname@example.org Listings email@example.com Advertising firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher email@example.com News tips firstname.lastname@example.org Fashion email@example.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
t was a scene that should have made Cedric Richmond, D-La., and civil-rights President Donald Trump proud. colossus U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., Hundreds of people, including some all seemed to be trying to exorcise Trump members of Congress who had unpa- from the premises, like a malicious spirit or triotically boycotted his State of the Union an unexplained fish smell. and generally did their best to perfidiously Richmond, for example, did everyavoid their own president, all seemingly re- thing in his power to build a box labeled claimed their nationalism and stood along- “BACKWARDS” and pile everything side civil-rights titans. They rose, hands on Trump-related into it. The administration, their chests, eyes forward, proudly reciting he said, was on the wrong end of the very the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the struggle the museum represents and proof national anthem. No smile looked forced, that the champions of civil rights’ battle and everybody seemed to be loving their was not yet won. nation that day. “The fights they fought we unfortu This was the Feb. 24 symposium at nately have to fight again,” Richmond said, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum—an and then ticked off a multi-point countintentionally “Trump-less” second grand down of every backward step the adminopening—presented by the Friends of istration staggered through this past year. Mississippi Civil Rights Inc. and the Mis- This included rolling back voting rights, sissippi Legislative Black Caucus, with help and enabling or supporting vote suppresfrom the Mississippi-Branch NAACP and sion efforts, and eroding money slated to the national NAACP. Plenty help police restore trust in were involved, and none deminority communities. nied Trump’s contribution. Other speakers called They were “I recall when we got the out Trump for appointing seemingly word that (Gov. Phil Bryant) unqualified and racially biin delightful was going to invite a person ased judges to the bench, and from D.C.—who shall not defunding education and harmony be named—to come and affordable-housing efforts. with it all. celebrate the opening of Many scoffed at his claim this museum, Congressman of African American unem(Bennie) Thompson and I ployment as the “lowest rate … decided that this was not appropriate. ever recorded,” when black unemployment This was not supposed to be the time for a is still almost double that of whites. photo op. This was not an opportunity for The symposium was undoubtedly (Trump) to leverage our sacrifice and our a call to arms, but the overall mood was history for his political use,” said NAACP still light and upbeat, and with good reaPresident and CEO Derrick Johnson. son. On the way in, attendees filed past a Bryant hit a nerve with his invite last throng of optimistic and engaged young December after the racially tone-deaf pres- visitors, many socially aware and politically ident failed to disavow white nationalists driven. This is a group with an interest in during recent neo-Nazi demonstrations. the museum and its message that could Trump’s dismantling of the civil-rights even help the facility surpass attendance office at the Department of Justice also expectations. Before symposium attendees doesn’t help. Additionally, somehow, the knew it, this new, mobilized generation of governor had missed the fact that one of laughing youth had piled in around them, the biggest names attending the museum’s crushing them—and they were seemingly Dec. 9 opening was the wife of slain civil- in delightful harmony with it all. rights activist Medgar Evers, whose sacri- Naturally, this contributed to an amfice is recognized in museum exhibits. A bient sense of hope and renewal. Lewis, Ku Klux Klan member shot Myrlie Evers- himself, clearly felt it. Williams’ husband in the back in 1963 “I wasn’t here the last time,” said Lewis and left him to die in his driveway, sur- (who had made a point not to be), “but I rounded by his wailing family. have the sense that this time there is some Setting the widow up to join a presi- thing a little more spiritual here, and a little dent endorsed by the Klan was a poten- freer, more inclusive.” tially devastating exercise in awkwardness. Adam Lynch is a glorified secretary Nobody seemed ready to move on who argues about politics and a former news from that event. Event speakers, including reporter for the Jackson Free Press. Battle with U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., U.S. Rep. him on twitter at @A_damn_Lynch. This column does not necessarily reflect the views of the JFP.
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March 7 - 13, 2018 • jfp.ms
Editor-in-Chief and CEO Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer Associate Publisher Kimberly Griffin
Mutiny at the Senate:
Bi-partisan Death of New Ed Formula by Arielle Dreher
March 7 - 13, 2018 • jfp.ms
said. “… If they can produce a piece of legislation which addresses all the concerns folks have, ... there are ways to get that legislation passed. … But we don’t need to be making this decision now.”
language learners they have because they get “zero” state dollars. “If we put a weight in there for state money, guess what? They are going to start reporting it. Let me be clear about this,
What Happened? Kelly Riley, executive director of the Association of Mississippi Professional Educators, thinks lawmakers were listening to their constituents back home. Arielle Dreher
ou should be happy,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said, clapping veteran Daily Journal reporter Bobby Harrison on the back as he descended testily from the Senate dais. It was just after the effort to replace the Mississippi Adequate Education Program with a new formula failed, and the Senate buzzed in astonishment. Reporters were stunned. Reeves, a Republican from Flowood who hopes to be the next governor, seemed to be laughing, likely in reaction to one of the first times in recent Senate history that the leader allowed senators to consider a major bill without having enough votes secured to pass it. Twenty-six senators joined Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, to kill the Republicandriven proposal to scrap MAEP, which would have replaced it with a weights-based student funding formula, which EdBuild developed and GOP leaders cherry-picked. Eight Republicans broke with leadership and voted with all the Senate Democrats (also a rare block vote) to kill the measure. Sen. Gray Tollison, an Oxford Republican who flipped from the Democratic Party after winning re-election in 2011, thought the vote would be close but that he had enough support to pass House Bill 957. Senate leadership was clearly confident about their impending victory because it went to the floor for a vote nearly a week before the deadline to pass legislation. Bryan was not confident about his vote count to stop it, however. “I think there were about 10 votes that could have gone either way,” he told the Jackson Free Press later. “I think the more people that looked at it and the more people that kept coming to us and saying, ‘it’s got problems,’ the better we felt.” The debate had lasted an hour. Tollison outlined the legislation and took a few questions from Republican senators. Then the chamber got oddly quiet. Bryan stood to raise a motion to recommit the bill to committee. His motion took precedence over Tollison explaining the proposed amended version of the House proposal to rewrite the education funding formula. “I would suggest to you that the appropriate thing for us to do is recommit the 14 bill to the education committee,” Bryan
Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, (center) spoke against the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula proposal in the Senate Education Committee in February, debunking the idea that the bill has been available to the public for a year.
Bryan, a long-time senator and original author of MAEP, did not get loud or excited and kept his voice steady as he explained his reasoning for wanting to kill the measure. He pointed to discrepancies in data. It was difficult to find someone who could explain exactly why the numbers seemed to be off, specifically with special education and vocational and technical education and English language learners, Bryan told the Senate. Twice, senators agreed through a voice vote to allow Bryan to continue explaining his motion, the first sign that perhaps not all Republican senators were ready to bend to Reeves’ will. Tollison responded with fire in his voice. He clarified for senators that Bryan’s motion would kill the bill and sought to address some questions about the legislation, including why certain weights were included for certain students, like English language learners, gifted and special education students. Tollison said some school districts are not reporting how many English
EdBuild doesn’t determine how much money goes to our school districts, the state Department of Education will do that,” Tollison warned fellow senators. Bryan came forward once more to defend his motion, getting to the larger issue most Democrats had with the bill. “I have shown you and passed out what MAEP would be six years from now, and what this formula does six years from now. Accepting what the chairman is saying, one-quarter of the districts will get less state money six years from now than they are getting right now, assuming enrollment is constant,” he said. “… Do you think one quarter of the school districts in this state are getting too much money?” The Senate clerk took a roll-call vote on Bryan’s motion to kill the bill. Several Republicans voted “yea” with all Democrats. Reeves read off the final tally. “By a vote of 27 yeas, 21 nays, the motion passes,” he announced. Someone in the chamber let out a “Woo!” while onlookers buzzed in shock.
“Today was an affirmation of the democratic process,” Riley said last week. Sen. Chad McMahan, a Republican from Guntown, said that while he supported a simpler funding formula, he had an obligation to vote the way his district wanted him to. “Literally, I had not one phone call for me to support this particular bill because it was a large bill that was misunderstood … in my district,” McMahan said after the vote. “… Ultimately, I’m here to support what my district asks of me, so I did what my district asked me to do.” Thirty-five school districts would lose funding under the new proposed funding formula, and some senators and representatives voted accordingly. Sen. Briggs Hopson, R-Vicksburg, for example, voted to kill the measure. The Vicksburg-Warren School District, for which he serves as board attorney, would lose more than $1 million comparing the new formula at full funding to MAEP funding from last year. Riley said a majority of her members
On Equity and ‘27 Percent’ While the UPS formula is dead this session, it is far from gone. “I think this is part of that puzzle of education reform in our state,” Sen. Tollison said last week. He said that in order to put more funding into education going forward, lawmakers will need to adopt the new formula. The Senate leadership advocated for the new formula because it increases funding for low-income students. The EdBuild proposal directs more than $100 million to low-income students than MAEP does currently, but it significantly changes how those students are defined in state law. Currently, a district is allocated at-risk funds in MAEP for students who receive free-and-reduced lunch from the federal government, but in poor Mississippi, that number is high, with 70 percent of students receiving additional financial assistance from the state, valued at about $268 per student, EdBuild estimated in their report. The EdBuild proposal instead tried to target the most-needy students in the state, which would have shifted funds to fewer districts for low-income students at about $1,000 per low-income student— ideally to have a greater impact. EdBuild suggested using U.S. Census Bureau small area income poverty estimates to determine a district’s low-income weight. “If you look at it, what is one of the biggest issues we’re faced with in this state? Closing the achievement gap,” Tollison said. “There’s a correlation between low achievement and student poverty. We’re doubling the money; I don’t know why anybody is opposed to that; that’s what the irony is. The people you would think would favor that, I think, voted against this.” Several Democrats on the House side
Sen. Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, could not say whether or not the Republican funding formula proposal would be back next year, which is an election year for all state lawmakers.
UPS vs. MAEP Several educators and superintendents had legitimate concerns about the proposed the Mississippi Uniform Per Student Funding Formula, especially how the new formula would change the mechanics and ultimate results of MAEP. MAEP re-calculates the base student cost every four years. The base student cost calculation is based on an evaluation of expenditures needed to operate at “C”-rated districts throughout the state. MAEP uses the base student cost, which is adjusted for inflation, in its formula to determine the total amount of funds school districts need to operate as defined by “adequate” districts in the state. The Mississippi Department of Education requests this number each year in its budget but rarely gets that total. Joyce Helmick, the president of the Mississippi Association of Educators, explains that MAEP is the total amount of funds needed to operate “adequate” schools, not pay to create excellent ones. “This is not funding for schools to be top-of-the-line; this is funding for average schools,” she told the Jackson Free Press. “But if you underfund for average schools, you’re expecting lower-than-average schools; yet they want the schools to all be “A” (and) “B” schools. That is totally illogical thinking. If I want my team to be winners, I have to provide them with the equipment and the space and time they need and everything they need to be winners.” Districts currently get MAEP funds as one big check that they can use on whatever they need. The proposed UPS formula would not have changed this practice, especially in light of the Mississippi Supreme Court’s ruling that the Legislature is not required to fully fund MAEP. Lt. Gov. Reeves said last week that MAEP is just “a way to distribute funds.” “When the Supreme Court ruled that the Legislature will decide on a year-to-year basis how to appropriate funds and how much money is going to go to schools, they basically threw out this whole funding formula except for the fact that it’s a way to distribute funds,” Reeves said. “What was voted on today was a different way to distribute funds—I would argue a significantly better way.” The weighted formula would enable lawmakers to apply a base student cost in order to fit the budget available or the budget they want to spend on education in
any year. Riley said Rep. Rob Roberson, RStarkville, told teachers at a conference in Jackson last month that the new formula would enable lawmakers to fund education according to the budget lawmakers had available. This is a shift away from MAEP, which produces a number based on what schools need—not what lawmakers want to or can afford to fund. The UPS formula is largely the brainchild of House Speaker Philip Gunn, RClinton, who worked to put EdBuild’s 80 pages of recommendations into a bill form. House Education Chairman Rep. Richard Bennett, R-Long Beach, told reporters in January that MAEP is not a realistic formula, noting that the Legislature has only fully funded it twice since passing it in 1997. Democrats counter that if Republicans had not cut taxes, the funds would be much closer to meeting full funding. Or as Harrison wrote in an opinion piece in late February in the Daily Journal, likely to Reeves’ chagrin, “If not for the more than $300 million in tax cuts that have gone into effect during the past six years and the more than $400 million in tax cuts that will be enacted in the next eight years, the state could afford the full funding of the Adequate Education Program.” Overall, the UPS formula calls for more than $200 million less than MAEP calls for at full funding. Both formulas include measures that mean fewer students or losing students means losing funds. Reeves told reporters that Democrats want to hold on to a “political tool” with MAEP, but several teachers and publiceducation workers see it differently. “Our position has been more on the Legislature’s unwillingness to fully fund the formula. We have consistently supported full funding,” Riley said.
voted against this change because using Census data could mean using seriously under-reported numbers of students from low-income homes. Additionally, using census data would not discount all the students in the school district who attend private schools. This measure lowers some districts’ poverty rates despite their high number of low-income students. Reeves, too, emphasized how lowincome students “lost” when senators voted down the measure last week. “There are a lot of kids (that) come from backgrounds, and have (come) from lower-socioeconomic backgrounds that were going to be funded at a higher level than they are currently getting funded right here in the central Mississippi area,” Reeves told reporters after the vote. Reeves said Madison and Rankin Counties would see more funds under UPS. “Jackson Public Schools would have received millions of dollars in more money, had this bill passed,” he added. Republicans left the “27 Percent Rule,” a current part of MAEP, in their new formula proposal. EdBuild Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Sibilia told lawmakers on both ends of the Capitol that the rule is one of the most inequitable parts of how schools are funded in the state. The 27 Percent Rule allows districts to only pay 27 percent of the total cost of funding their schools—even if they can afford to pay much more after they levy the minimum of 28 mills in local property taxes. “As a result, the state is, in essence, providing a subsidy of almost $120 million to districts that could otherwise generate more funding from local sources to support their schools if expected to contribute at the same tax rate as the rest of the state,” the EdBuild report, published a year ago, says. The 27 Percent Rule provides a subsidy to 53 school districts statewide, but Pascagoula, Madison County and Lowndes County Schools make up nearly $40 million of the $120 million. For larger districts, the rule has much less of an impact for total district funding. In Madison County, the 27 Percent Rule leaves $1,115 extra funding per pupil, EdBuild’s report estimates, while in Jackson Public Schools, the rule means just $23 more per pupil. The rule does not help the majority of districts throughout the state at all. The authors of the EdBuild report insisted that eliminating the 27 Percent Rule was important to ensuring equity in the new formula, and House Democrats introduced several amendments to phase the rule out—all to no avail. Speaker Gunn committed to looking at the rule during the proposed two-year phase-in period, but the actual legislation
March 7 - 13, 2018 • jfp.ms
did not support the proposal and called their elected officials to tell them so. Mississippi Professional Educators has more than 10,000 teachers, administrative staff, superintendents and school support staff like program managers and bus drivers throughout the state, as members.
more MUTINY, see page 16 15
Mutiny at the Senate: kept the 27 percent rule inside. Tollison admits that the rule is an issue—but addressing it he said is like doing a Rubik’s Cube. “We’ve got to stop it because it’s going to continue to get worse as the Madisons and the Pascagoulas grow their tax base,” Tollison said at the Capitol last week. “This is happening all over the country…. The wealthier communities are getting wealthier, and the rural areas are getting smaller, and you see that in the loss of student population, but their tax base is not growing as fast as Madison and Pascagoula.” Bryan, one of MAEP’s authors, ac-
March 7 - 13, 2018 • jfp.ms
Days No Payment!
from page 15
is,” Bryan said. Educators throughout the state want to see a more transparent process moving forward with more public meetings than EdBuild staff and Republican leaders held on the new funding formula proposal. EdBuild staff went to a handful of districts in 2016 and also met with several groups, including Mississippi Professional Educators. “Let me stress, we appreciated being in those meetings, but there needed to be more of those meetings with more groups and town-hall meetings throughout the state,” Riley told the Jackson Free Press. “The local citizens were not involved in this review as much as they were in MAEP.” Bryan estimates that lawmakers took about three years to get MAEP right before it passed by a bipartisan vote over Fordice’s veto. Riley said many MPE members expressed concerns over how the legislation was rushed through the process. “The fact that they are dropped at the last moment which minimizes the opportunity for vetting or analysis, they don’t like that,” Riley Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, introduced the “killing said. “As one member said, motion” on House Bill 957, ending debate of a ‘What are they trying to new education funding formula in 2018. hide?’ It just creates the appearance of impropriety.” knowledges that the 27 Percent Rule does The State will continue to use MAEP need to be looked at and adjusted—but for now, and Reeves said school districts, esnot in isolation. pecially ones that lose enrollment next year, “It’s playing a much greater role today, will likely see less funding. and at least a part of that because of failure “Since the plan didn’t pass, the likelito fund the formula,” Bryan said. hood they will see less money next year even than they are seeing this year, is pretty What’s Ahead for Funding? high,” Reeves said. “Maybe when the su If lawmakers in the majority wanted perintendents see that is ultimately the case, to rewrite the funding formula, 2018 was they are probably not going to like the fact likely the ideal year, because in 2019 all that they lobbied so hard against a bill that state legislators are up for re-election. benefited them or their school districts.” Tollison could not say whether the The UPS formula would have frozen measure was dead until after 2019 or not. enrollment numbers for school districts los“I don’t know the answer to that question; ing students for two years. This would have it will take some time to answer that,” he kept those districts from losing funding, told reporters last week. while allowing districts that added students Despite Bryan’s successful charge to their rolls to receive more funds. Tollison to kill the proposal this year, he does not said he was unsure if those additional funds even sit on the Senate Education Commit- will still go to MAEP. tee. He said he would like to sit down and “I think that will be decided in conferstudy exactly what is going on with special ence,” Reeves said. education and vocational-technical educa- Lawmakers will vote on a budget bill tion funding currently under MAEP. for public schools this month, but a new “The first step is to find out if anything formula plan will likely have to wait. is wrong. The proponents of this piece of Email state reporter Arielle Dreher at legislation say ‘you’ve got a problem,’ but firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more at they never sit and try to figure out what it jfp.ms/edbuild.
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he Belhaven University RN-BSN Program is excited to announce that our fast growing program is nationally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. To assist the students seeking enrollment in our program, we are launching a special RN-BSN Prep track which will allow RN’s to complete any missing prerequisites at Belhaven! And because we recognize the critical need to expand the number of BSN’s in Mississippi we are also funding a special Belhaven Mississippi RN-BSN Scholarship Program to assist students that qualify afford the RN-BSN program or the RN-BSN Prep track.
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Paid advertising section. Call 601-362-6121 x11 to list your restaurant
AMERICAN/SOUTHERN CUISINE Eddie & Rubyâ€™s Snack Bar 7BMMFZ4U +BDLTPOt
Eddie & Rubyâ€™s Snack Bar is one of the original fish houses that still serve their original homemade batter recipe.
Gumbo Girl )XZ8 +BDLTPOt The best Gumbo and Cajun specialties in town for your events, special occasions or just lunch and dinner.
The Iron Horse Grill 81FBSM4U +BDLTPOt The smell of charcoal greets you, the music carries you inside.
Happiest Hours by Amber Helsel
eing an adult is hard sometimes. You have to pay bills, clean, go to work, etc. Happy hours are always one of the best ways to wind down from a busy week, and luckily, Jackson has some great choices. If youâ€™re looking for a good place to wind down, look no further than this yearâ€™s winner and finalists for Best Happy Hour. Winner Babalu Tapas & Tacos (622 Duling Ave., Suite 106, 601-366-5757, eatbabalu.com) When: Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. What: $5 well drinks; specials on lime margaritas and wine from William Hill Estate Winery; $1 off draft beers; $2 tacos; $4 sangrias (red, white and rose)
Lillieâ€™s Restaurant )XZ&$MJOUPOt .FUSPDFOUFS.BMM'PPE$PVSU+BDLTPOt Home cooking for lunch and dinner in two locations at an outstanding price.
The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen /4UBUF4U +BDLTPOt Motherâ€™s Kitchen /FBM4U$MJOUPOt Just like Momâ€™s cooking. Visit Clintonâ€™s newest home style restaurant with various options daily.
The Manship transforms the essence of Mediterranean food while maintaining a southern flair.
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An â€œold fashionedâ€? at Barrelhouse
E & L Barbeque #BJMFZ"WF +BDLTPOt
Serving BBQ to Jackson for over 25 years, we smoke every rib, tip and link and top it with our award winning BBQ sauce!
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courtesy CAET Wine Bar
The Pizza Shack, serving new inventive pizzas and the classics. Apps, sandwiches, salads, and beer options awaits you too!
The â€œBest Butts in Townâ€? features BBQ chicken, beef and pork along with burgers and poâ€™boys.
The Pig and Pint /4UBUF4U +BDLTPOt
Winner of Best of Jackson 2016 â€œBest BBQ.â€? Serving competition-style BBQ and a great beer selection.
Friesling at CAET
Aladdin Mediterranean Grill -BLFMBOE%S +BDLTPOt Delicious authentic dishes including lamb dishes, hummus, falafel, kababs, shwarma.
STEAK & SEAFOOD
The Manshipâ€™s Headless Horseman
Dragoâ€™s offers authentic New Orleans-themed seafood dishes, including their famous Charbroiled Oysters and fresh live Maine lobsters.
Eslavaâ€™s Grille -BLFMBOE%S 'MPXPPEt
Eslavaâ€™s Grille Seafood, Steaks and Pasta
March 7 - 13, 2018 â€˘ jfp.ms
Dragoâ€™s Seafood Restaurant &$PVOUZ-JOF3PBE +BDLTPOt
Seafood, steaks and pastas with a Latin influence.
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Margaritas at Saltine
Finalists Barrelhouse (3009 N. State St., 769-216-3167, barrelhousems.com) When: Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. What: $1 off all draft beer; $2 domestic beers; $3 off select glasses of wine such as Meiomi chardonnay and Badenhorst Secateurs red blend; $4 well drinks with liquors such as Cathead vodka and Plantation rum; $5 meatballs; and a daily cocktail special CAET Wine Bar (3100 N. State St., Suite 102, 601321-9169, caetwinebar.com) When: Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. What: $5.50 menu with dishes such as stuffed mushrooms with bacon and cream cheese, and crispy Brussels sprouts with parmesan and sriracha aioli; wines such as The Wishing Tree chardonnay and Comoloco monastrell; cocktails such as blackberry sangria with Comoloco, triple sec, Raynal brandy and fresh blackberries, and house spirits with mixers; and beers such as Lil Miss Sour from Chandeleur Island Brewing Company, and Jack the Sipper from Southern Prohibition Brewing. The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen (1200 N. State St., Suite 100, 601-398-4562, themanshipjackson.com) When: Monday through Friday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the bar and patio areas What: half-price pizzas; $2 off all craft and import beers; 25 percent off large-format bombers, $5 glasses of house wine, $5 barrel picks; $7 frozen, â€œBest Damn G&Tâ€? and Vieux CarrĂŠ, and $8 Patron margarita Saltine Restaurant (622 Duling Ave., Suite 201, 601982-2899, saltinerestaurant.com) When: Monday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. What: $1 Gulf oysters; half-priced draft beer, wines and cocktails; daily punch starting at 4 p.m. See more at bestofjackson.com.
l! l A
To The Annual
Sal & Mookieâ€™s Childrenâ€™s Carnival for Batson Childrenâ€™s Hospital
Where: The Sal & Mookieâ€™s Parking Lot Date: Saturday, April 21st, 2018 Time: 10 AM - 2 PM
jump zones ï¿½ games & prizes ï¿½ eating contests ï¿½ fun for everyone!
JFPmenus.com Paid advertising section. Call 601-362-6121 x11 to list your restaurant
BARS, PUBS & BURGERS
Fenianâ€™s Pub &'PSUJmDBUJPO4U +BDLTPOt
Classic Irish pub featuring a menu of traditional food, pub sandwiches & Irish beers on tap.
Green Room #PVOET4U +BDLTPOt Weâ€™re still #1! Best Place to Play Pool - Best of Jackson 2016
Hal and Malâ€™s 4$PNNFSDF4U +BDLTPOt Pub favorites meet Gulf Coast and Cajun specialties like red beans and rice, the Oyster Platter or daily specials.
Martinâ€™s Restaurant and Lounge 4PVUI4UBUF4U +BDLTPOt Lunch specials, pub appetizers or order from the full menu of po-boys and entrees. Full bar, beer selection.
LIVE IN THE BACKROOM
Brandonâ€™s new dine in and carry out Japanese & Thai Express.
Fusion Japanese and Thai Cuisine 5SFFUPQT#MWE 'MPXPPEt ")XZ .BEJTPOt
March 9th 7-10 p.m.
Specializing in fresh Japanese and Thai cuisine, our extensive menu features everything from curries to fresh sushi.
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1005 E. County Line Road, Jackson, MS Call For Reservations: (601) 957-1515
Mon. â€“ Sat. 11 am - 10 pm | Sun. 11 am - 8 pm
March 7 - 13, 2018 â€¢ jfp.ms
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The Mississippi Gathering Showcase is at Cathead Distillery.
Food Truck Friday is at Smith Park.
NASA Day is at the Mississippi Children’s Museum.
BEST BETS MArch 7 - 14, 2018 Lex Vasquez
Joe Lee signs copies of “40 Days” at 5 p.m. at Lemuria Books (Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). Reading at 5:30 p.m. $24.95 book; lemuriabooks.com. … “Motown the Musical” is at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The musical tells the story of Berry Gordy’s rise from featherweight boxer to legendary music mogul. $70-$80; ticketmaster.com.
courtesy Anjali Bhimani0
The fourth annual Bettye Jolly Lecture is at 4 p.m. at the Eudora Welty House and Garden (1119 Pinehurst St.). Guest speaker Alice McDermott is a National Book Award winner and three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist whose latest novel is titled “The Ninth Hour.” In case of rain, the event will move to the Millsaps College Ford Academic Complex, room 215. Free admission; mdah.ms.gov.
Chicago hip-hop artist Nnamdi Ogbonnaya performs at Spacecamp on Friday, March 9.
Ogbonnaya performs at 8 p.m. at Spacecamp (3002 N. Mill St.). The Chicago hip-hop artist’s latest release is titled “Drool.” Flywalker also performs. $7; find it on Facebook.
for home improvement, décor and more. Additional dates: March 9-10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $7 admission; call 601-3626501; homeshowjackson.com.
Mississippi Anime Fest is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.). The festival includes vendors, panels, cosplay, artists and guests such as Anjali Bhimani, J. Michael Tatum, Tara Jayne Sands and more. $15 in advance, $20 at gate, $5 for ages 2-8; msanimefest.com. by Rebecca Hester … Sippin’ Saturday Concert Series with Crawfish is from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lucky Town Brewjacksonfreepress.com ing Company (1710 N. Mill St.). Fax: 601-510-9019 The family-friendly event features Daily updates at crawfish from Sal & Phil’s, tours jfpevents.com and beer for sale, with music from Brother Oliver, and more. Free admission; find it on Facebook. … The “Don’t You Do This to Me” Comedy Special is at 8 p.m. at The Hideaway (5100 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road). The show features comedians Kerwin Claiborne, Poundcake, Ms. Keisha and Uncle Leroy. Doors open at 7 p.m. $15 in advance, $20 at the door; eventbrite.com.
The Kommunity Builder’s Zumba Party is from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kundi Compound (256 E. Fortification St.). Instructor Shenetha Siddiq leads the Zumba event for all ages, genders and skill levels. Proceeds go to the Queen for a Day Conference. $10; find it on Facebook.
March 7 - 13, 2018 • jfp.ms
events@ TUESDAY 3/13
Anjali Bhimani, an actress who has appeared on shows such as “Modern Family” and voice-acted for games including “Overwatch,” is one of the guests at Mississippi Anime Fest on Saturday, March 10, at the Mississippi Trade Mart.
Fleet Foxes perform at 8 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The indie-folk band’s latest album is titled “Crack-Up.” Natalie Prass also performs. Doors 20 open at 7 p.m. $30.50-$42.50; ardenland.net. … Nnamdi
The Home Show of Jackson is from noon to 5 p.m. at the Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.). The show includes more than 200 exhibitors with new products
“Unburied Treasures: FSA Photos” is from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). The program includes a discussion of photographs that artists such as Marion Post Wolcott, Ben Shahn and Dorothea Lange took in 1930s Mississippi for the Farm Security Administration. Free; msmuseumart.org.
History Is Lunch is at noon at the Two Mississippi Museums (222 North St.) in the Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium. Charlie Spillers presents on his book, “Confessions of an Undercover Agent: Adventures Close Calls, and the Toll of a Double Live.” Free; mdah.ms.gov. … Malcolm White and illustrator Ginger Williams Cook sign copies of “The Artful Evolution of Hal & Mal’s” at 5 p.m. at Lemuria Books (Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). $40 book; call 601-366-7619; lemuriabooks.com.
Mississippi Gathering Workshop March 8, 9:30-11 a.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Features presenters discussing how artists and arts organizations educate the community on the impact of arts in Mississippi. Preregister. Free; presentmississippi.org. Mississippi Gathering Showcase March 8, 7-9 p.m., at Cathead Distillery (422 S. Farish St.). Features music, tamales from Hal & Mal’s, a free cocktail from Cathead Vodka and more. Preregister. Free admission; presentmississippi.org. Mississippi Anime Fest March 10, 10 a.m.6 p.m., at Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.). The festival includes vendors, panels, games, cosplay contests, artists and special guests. $15 in advance, $20 at gate, $5 for ages 2-8; msanimefest.com. Woman to Woman: The Second Annual Mississippi Legends Ball March 9, 7-9 p.m., at Smith Robertson Museum & Cultural Center (528 Bloom St.). The event honors women who fought during the Civil Rights Movement and impacted their community. Formal attire. $20; email email@example.com.
KIDS Zoo Camp March 12-16, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). Children ages 6-12 learn about being a zookeeper while
keeping daily logs, performing exercises around daily care, learning about conservation and more. $150 for non-members, $135 for members; call 601-352-2580, ext. 240; jacksonzoo.org. Science Makers March 9, 9 a.m.-noon, at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). The event celebrates the women and minorities changing the fields of science. Includes interactive S.T.E.M. activities and discussions about career opportunities. $6 for adults, $4 for ages 3-18, $5 for seniors; mdwfp.com. NASA Day March 10, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Museum Blvd.). Guests learn what it is like to live and work in space. Includes robot demonstrations, astronaut ice-cream tasting and more. $10 admission; mschildrensmuseum.com.
FOOD & DRINK Food Truck Friday: Return of the Food Trucks March 9, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at Smith Park (Amite St.). The event features different food trucks each month and includes live music, vendors and more. Free admission, food prices vary; find it on Facebook. Sippin’ Saturday Concert Series with Crawfish March 10, 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m., at Lucky Town Brewing Company (1710 N. Mill St.). The family-friendly event features crawfish from Sal & Phil’s, brewery tours, music from Brother Oliver, and more. Free admission; find it on Facebook.
the best in sports over the next seven days
by Bryan Flynn, follow at jfpsports.com, @jfpsports
The MSU women’s basketball team losing isn’t the worst thing. True, they didn’t win the SEC Tournament, but the pressure of an undefeated season is off now. THURSDAY, MARCH 8
College basketball (6-8 p.m., SECN): The MSU men take on LSU in the second round of the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament as they try to play their way to the NCAA Tournament. FRIDAY, MARCH 9
College basketball (6-8 p.m., SECN): If MSU gets past LSU, a date with the Tennessee Volunteers awaits in the SEC Men’s Tournament quarterfinals. SATURDAY, MARCH 10
College basketball (noon-4:30 p.m., ESPN): Tune in for an SEC Men’s Tournament semifinals doubleheader featuring MSU if the Bulldogs can beat Tennessee. SUNDAY, MARCH 11
College basketball (noon-2 p.m., ESPN): The SEC Men’s Tournament championship will see the winner get a spot in the Big Dance. MONDAY, MARCH 12
College basketball (6-9 p.m., ESPN/ ESPNU): Find out where the MSU
women land and whom they will face with the NCAA Women’s Tournament Selection Show on ESPN, with extended coverage switching to ESPNU at 7 p.m. TUESDAY, MARCH 13
College basketball (6-10:30 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU): If the Mississippi State men don’t get a spot in the Big Dance, they should land in the National Invitation Tournament, which has first-round action on multiple channels simultaneously. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14
College basketball (6-10 p.m., ESPN2): The NIT first round continues with many of the top teams who fell short of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. MSU women’s head coach, Vic Schaefer, can use the loss in the SEC Tournament to motivate his team. He can impress upon them that a second loss in the NCAA Tournament means their season is over. No pressure.
Shucker’s Annual Crawfish Boil March 10-11, noon-2 a.m., at Shucker’s Oyster Bar (116 Conestoga Road, Ridgeland). The crawfish boil features music from Ian Faith, Bucktown All-Stars, The Chill, Velcro Pygmies and more. $15 per day; shuckersontherez.com.
SPORTS & WELLNESS Legal Beagle 5K Walk/Run March 10, 8-11 a.m., at Old Canton Road. The 5K run/ walk also includes a one-mile fun run. Registration at 7 a.m. at Regions Plaza at Jacksonian Plaza. $21 per individual, $75 team of five or fewer; call 601-960-6852; jacksonyounglawyers.com.
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STAGE & SCREEN Darren Knight “Southern Momma an’ Em” Comedy Tour March 10, 7:30 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The Alabama-native comedian performs with Red Squirrel and Gary Cargal. Ginger Billy is the host. $26-$29; ticketmaster.com.
CONCERTS & FESTIVALS Fleet Foxes March 9, 8 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The Seattle indie-folk band’s latest album is titled “Crack-Up.” Natalie Prass also performs. Doors open at 7 p.m. $30.50-$42.50; ardenland.net. Events at Martin’s Restaurant & Bar (214 S. State St.) • Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires with 5th Child March 9, 10 p.m. The Alabama rock band performs with Jackson rapper 5th Child. Proceeds benefit the ACLU of Mississippi. Admission TBA; martinslounge.net. • The Vamps 20th Anniversary Show March 10, 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m. The jazz ensemble performs in celebration of its 20th year of playing together. Admission TBA; martinslounge.net. Liza Anne & Sun Seeker March 10, 8 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 Commerce St.). Liza Anne’s debut album is titled “Fine But Dying,” and Sun Seeker’s debut EP is titled “Biddeford.” Lo Noom also performs. $10; ardenland.net.
EXHIBIT OPENINGS “Peaceable Kingdoms” Opening Reception March 8, 5-7 p.m., at Fischer Galleries (736 S. President St.). The exhibition features a collection of new works from artist Noah Saterstorm. Free admission; fischergalleries.com. “Elements of Nature” March 8, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at Pearl River Glass Studio (142 Millsaps Ave.). The exhibition features oil and watercolor paintings from artist Kath Brombacher. Free admission; find it on Facebook. “I Love Everything” Opening Reception March 9, 7-10 p.m., at AND Gallery (133 Millsaps Ave.). Rachel Livedalen’s exhibition combines Grecco-Roman-style sculpture with pop-culture motifs. Free admission; find it on Facebook. Check jfpevents.com for updates and more listings, or to add your own events online. You can also email event details to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the calendar. The deadline is noon the Wednesday prior to the week of publication.
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hen a band ends a six-year hiatus, there are bound to be high expectations for the new music that breaks the silence. For Robin Pecknold, principal songwriter of Seattle indie-folk group Fleet Foxes, that expectation came from himself for the most part. â€œI think part of the reason it took so long to make was because it felt like it needed to do a lot of things at once, or I thought it did, you know?â€? Pecknold says. â€œBecause it had been so long of a gap, I didnâ€™t want to come back with something completely different.â€? Working on Fleet Foxesâ€™ latest fulllength, â€œCrack-Up,â€? certainly felt like making a third record, he says. The songs had to touch on places that the band went on its previous two albumsâ€”the 2008 self-titled and its Grammy Award-nominated followup, 2011â€™s â€œHelplessness Blues.â€? More importantly, Pecknold says, it had to do that in a fresh way. This was a revitalized Fleet Foxes, after all. â€œCrack-Upâ€? hit shelves in June 2017, more than six years after â€œHelplessness Blues.â€? For fans, it felt like he simply disappeared, but Pecknold says he continued writing and playing music outside the Fleet Foxes realm, including touring solo and writing the score for the off-Broadway play â€œWyoming.â€? During that span, he also attended the Columbia University School of General Studies in New York City. â€œI worked on music the whole time, but I had all this other stuff I wanted to do,â€? he says. â€œ... It seemed like everyone else involved was kind of in the right spot to be working on (a new Fleet Foxes record), or had done their own projects and were ready to do this again. It just seemed like the timing was right. In a way, it hadnâ€™t been for a while. â€Ś Had it happened sooner, I wouldâ€™ve wanted to go for it a little sooner,
you know? Looking back, I wish it hadnâ€™t been such a long gap.â€? A lot of good came from that six-year space for the bandâ€™s other musicians, though. Skyler Skjelset toured as the supporting act for dream-pop band Beach House; Christian Wargo put out music under the name Poor Moon and revived his previous band,
The Future of Fleet Foxes by Micah Smith
Crystal Skulls; Casey Wescott served as a studio musician on many projects; and Morgan Henderson joined folk band The Cave Singers. The bandâ€™s former drummer, Josh Tillman, quit shortly after the â€œHelplessness Bluesâ€? tour and established his solo career as Father John Misty. Donâ€™t expect as long of a wait for the next entry in Fleet Foxesâ€™ catalog, though. â€œNow, itâ€™s been six or eight months or whatever, and weâ€™re working on songs for another album,â€? Pecknold says. â€œItâ€™s fun to be working on something that feels different even from (â€˜Crack-Upâ€™). It feels more like a debut album or something.â€? One of the differences on the next album may not be as obvious to listeners. Whereas he focused mainly on chords and melody for the bandâ€™s other releases, Pecknold says that, on â€œCrack-Up,â€? he put more thought into what those chords and melodies represented, as well as the visual images they could create.
â€œThat mostly grew out of listening to the songs so much and having visual pictures come to mind or having seen something and thinking, â€˜Well, what would that sound like?â€™â€”just having a different way of thinking about what music is doing,â€? he says. â€œBut itâ€™s tough because those things donâ€™t always translate. Unless you get the opportunity to explain it, itâ€™s very hard to kind of (communicate). Itâ€™s the same thing like layers of meaning in a painting or like a movie. There are certain things where, if theyâ€™re not explained to you, then theyâ€™re not totally obvious.â€? With the upcoming music, the lyrics tend to speak more clearly and in terms of what things are on the surface, which is a challenge in itself, he says. â€œCrack-Upâ€? may be his favorite Fleet Foxes album because of how personal it became to him, but he doesnâ€™t expect to imbue other projects with as much hidden meaning again. â€œItâ€™s like if you have to explain a joke, then itâ€™s no longer funny, you know?â€? Pecknold says. Fleet Foxes will stop in Jackson on March 9 as part of their international tour, which lines up with the 10th anniversary of the bandâ€™s self-titled debut. Itâ€™s a milestone that Pecknold says feels a long time coming and like no time has passed at all. â€œI remember, when I was a teenager, thinking, â€˜You only need to do one thing for 10 years to get as good at it as youâ€™re going to be, and then you can move on to something different,â€™â€? he says. â€œI think thatâ€™s part of why Iâ€™m working on the (next) album, even though itâ€™s a Fleet Foxes album, as kind of like a debut. Itâ€™s going to feel pretty different.â€? Fleet Foxes perform at 8 p.m., March 9, at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). Natalie Prass also performs. Ticket prices range from $30.50 to $42.50, and the doors open at 7 p.m. Visit fleetfoxes.com.
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