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KING FREAK

THE LIFE AND ART OF

PATRICK GROGAN MCLAUGHLIN, PP 27-26

2011 LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW MORE THAN JUST MONEY LYNCH & SCHAEFER, PP 16-22

12-BAR BLUES YENTZ, P 33

I ♥ LASAGNA BYNUM, P 38

RING IN THE NEW YEAR P 42


Holiday-Infused Incense On December 14, 2010, Jackson Free Press hosted a holiday shopping event at Incense Salon & Boutique. Beauty specialists from Incense were on-hand to demonstrate the delicate art of eyebrow threading while guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres from Eslava’s Grille, cookies from Candy’s Confections, and hot apple chaider from Cups. Guests who spent $100 received a special gift from Incense.

January 5 - 11, 2011

For more information: 601.957.1050 • www.thepremierbridalshow.com

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January 5 - 11, 2011


January 5 - 11, 2011

jacksonian

VOL.

9 NO. 17

contents

Musical Malls The city wants to move offices from the Medical Mall into empty Metrocenter Mall space.

WARD SCHAEFER; WARD SCHAEFER; JARO VACEK; COURTESY MON CITY PRESS

AMILE WILSON

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Cover photo of Patrick Grogan by Aaron Phillips George Flaggs by Amile Wilson

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THIS ISSUE: Sisters Mania

30 33 34 36 36 37 38 42

The story of the Scott sisters’ suspended sentence goes viral, and major media outlets flub it.

.............. Editor’s Note ............................. Talk ...................... Editorial ........................ Stiggers ............................ Zuga ...................... Opinion .................. Diversions .......................... Books ......................... 8 Days .................. JFP Events .......................... Music ........... Music Listings ............................ Astro ......................... Puzzles ............................ Food ............................. STF ............. Fly Shopping

sarah welker Sarah Welker understands the importance of a strong social network and role models within a community. A well-founded support structure brought the enthusiastic 23-year-old to Mississippi in March 2010 to become a policy analyst for the Mississippi Economic Policy Center. While the Winston-Salem, N.C., native moved to Mississippi primarily for her profession, her ties here also are personal. “There are a lot of layers to my transition to Jackson,“ Welker says. While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned her bachelor’s in public policy and economics, she met Jackson native (and former JFP intern) Tom Allin, and they formed a relationship. Two years ago, when Welker visited Jackson to meet Allin’s family, she saw that his family members were strong role models and mentors in the Jackson community. Allin’s grandfather was the bishop of the Episcopal Church of Mississippi and several family members work in the nonprofit sector for organizations such as the Barksdale Reading Institute and the Good Samaritan Center. “I came in with a built-in network of Tom’s family and friends,” she says. She developed her own social network within the non-profit and advocacy community through her work at MEPC. Formed in 2006 in response to Hurricane Katrina recovery needs, the Mississippi Economic Policy

Center deals in three issue areas: fiscal policy, responsible lending and aid to low-income and working families. Since 2007, Mississippi has lost approximately 70,000 jobs. In response, Welker conducts research and articulates best practices to aid adults who need greater income and more educational opportunities. In her recently published report, “Building Pathways to Credentials and Careers,” Welker suggests the state provide travel vouchers, counseling services and child care for lowincome adults struggling to make ends meet while they attend classes. Welker sees the parallel between her personal success and her research. At UNC, professors mentored Welker and personally invested in her success, making her well equipped for her current position. “There are supports you need outside the classroom,” she says. “Whether that’s in the form of a mentor, in my case, who exposed me to research experiences and a team environment, or someone ... at a community college who can connect you to financial supports.” Welker anticipates the upcoming legislative session. State Legislators often rely on MEPC to provide data about state-wide issues so they can be better informed when voting. Welker feels great purpose in her work, knowing it affects Mississippians’ futures. “I’ve finally learned enough to be dangerous,” she says. —Katie Stewart

16 Legal Mayhem Lawmakers converge once more on Mississippi’s capital city, girded for battle on budgets and bills.

28 War and More Two recent novels take you to the heart of war and the hearts of families reconciling conflicts.

jacksonfreepress.com

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Adam Lynch Award-winning senior reporter Adam Lynch is a graduate of Jackson State. He and his family live in North Jackson. E-mail tips to adam@jacksonfreepress.com, or call him at 601-362-6121, ext. 13. He co-wrote the legislative preview and wrote Talks.

Ward Schaefer JFP reporter Ward Schaefer came to Mississippi to teach middle school and is now a journalist. His hometown of Chevy Chase, Md., was not named for the actor. He is slowly learning to play banjo. He co-wrote the legislative preview and wrote Talks.

Lacey McLaughlin News editor Lacey McLaughlin is a Florida native who enjoys riding her bike around Jackson. She is always on the hunt for news tips. E-mail Lacey@jacksonfreepress. com or call 601.362.6121 x. 22. She wrote the Arts feature.

Lisa Fontaine Bynum Lisa Fontaine Bynum is a native of Grenada and a graduate of Delta State. She lives in Brandon with her husband, her cat Zorro, and a boxer puppy named Otis. She maintains a food and cooking blog at www.cookingbride.wordpress. com. She wrote a food feature.

Pamela Hosey Pamela Hosey is originally from West Point, Miss. She loves to write, read James Patterson novels and spend time with her family. She wrote a book review.

Bret Kenyon Pittsburgh, Pa., native Bret Kenyon is a Belhaven College theater graduate who enjoys working in the community, theater, music and writing. He wrote a book review.

Natalie A. Collier Associate editor Natalie A. Collier is originally from Starkville and is a graduate of Millsaps College. She lived in Chicago for a while but is now back in Jackson. She’s not easy to impress. Try. She wrote the FLY feature.

January 5 - 11, 2011

Adam Perry

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Account Executive Adam Perry is a local musician and author who lives in Flowood where he, his wife and daughter are herded through life by two supreme beings posing as unruly housecats. He manages JFP distribution and sales accounts.

editor’snote

by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief

The Hard Stuff Evelyn Rasco believed in the power of story when no one else did. After her daughters, Jamie and Gladys Scott, went to prison for life for a 1993 robbery with details so confusing that no one really knows how much money was taken, Ms. Rasco did not give up. She told their story over and over again, hoping, praying someone would listen and help get them go free some day. For a long time, she didn’t get a huge audience: mostly African American press outlets. She didn’t even get the ear of the NAACP until 2010. The national media didn’t pick up on it for years; it took us months to do a real story. Last week, Rasco’s story and determination yielded results. When I saw the e-mail statement from Gov. Haley Barbour. I yelled out that he was freeing the Scott sisters. Reporter Ward Schaefer grabbed his phone and called Rasco, who had helped him do a vivid cover story about her daughters last fall. Rasco was driving to the grocery story. She hadn’t heard, yet. “Oh my God. You’re kidding me,” Rasco exclaimed to Ward, as she pulled over to the side of the road. “Oh, please—oh my God.” Both the fact that Rasco’s prayer was answered and that Ward got to tell her has made me giddy for days. It’s also made me think a whole lot about why we do what we do here: why we’re willing to anger supporters, why we fact-check even the statements of apparent good guys, why most people in our office look pretty damn happy every day, even as they are paid too little and work harder than about anyone imaginable in a “white collar” job. It’s because of moments like these—when we know our work helped make a difference. Allow me to embarrass Ward a bit. Like our managing editor and art director, Ward started here as an intern. He was a Williams College graduate from Chevy Chase, Md., who had come south as part of the Mississippi Teacher Corps to teach public school. Once here, though, he decided he’d like to be a journalist, even though he hadn’t trained as one. So he started showing up here every day after school; he took my writing classes and intern workshops. He already had the passion for truth, but he started learning the craft. To be a good journalist, you also have to develop a tough skin. You must learn quickly that criticism and probing editors are good. We push our reporters to ask the bigger questions, to place their stories into a larger context. Sometimes, people ask why we don’t cover the crime of the day like other media love to—the simple answer is that we’re not here to obsess about daily crime. We are here to explore, ask, investigate and then explain if possible, or, at the least, raise questions we all should ask. And even though we consider ourselves a “progressive” media outlet, that is not a partisan or a deaf-and-dumb stance. We criticize “both” sides as needed, even to the point of angering people who like us a lot. If we weren’t willing to do that, we would dishonor the profession, our readers and our mission to tell the

truth and let the truth fall where it may. After the Scott sisters story broke, Ward and other staff members kept talking about the inaccuracies that quickly wound up in the national media cycle and got passed along as truth. How many headlines in the last week had “$11” in them? As in, the Scott Sisters went to prison “for an $11 robbery.” The truth is, as Ward points out in his follow-up story this week, no one knows for sure how much was stolen. It might have been more than $200. And the amount isn’t relevant. In addition, many anti-Barbour folks— admittedly, we tend to fall into that category—keep repeating that he suspended their sentences to save his presidential campaign after his disgusting praise of the Citizens Councils of the 1960s. That’s not true, either. He started working on this case last fall in response to the growing movement to free the sisters. Was it good timing for him? No doubt. Would he have done it anyway? We believe so. (Especially after we, The New York Times and others have pointedly compared the case to those brutal wife and girlfriend murderers he pardoned in 1998, a story former interns Ronni Mott and Sophie McNeil took the time to dig out here.) The truth matters. Even when it makes a governor we don’t want to see in the White House look good for a minute or two. My partner Todd Stauffer likes to say that it is our job to do the hard work; in today’s world, bloggers and pundits who try to capitalize off (or twist the truth out of) other people’s work are a dime a dozen. Some cower behind fake names. Many, such as The Clarion-Ledger in comments and reader’s forums, allow the most horrible bigotry and personal attacks to appear without serious moderation.

We take this idea of doing the hard work seriously. It is easy to throw someone’s mugshot on a screen and then allow long strings of nasty veiled and not-so-veiled comments to appear next to anonymous names (like: blackholocaust), and call it “reporting.” It is easy to Google something or copy a page from a folder in the courthouse and post it without calling the sources or the accused to find out if there are vital details missing. It is simple to feed the public’s dark need for crime sensationalism without bothering to read the research on practices like mandatory sentencing and trying kids as adults, or pay heed to the statistics about disparate sentencing of people of color for lesser crimes. It takes no time to just quote someone like Phil Bryant on dreaded immigrants without taking the time to sort out the truth behind his politicking. It is also easy to pander to people you assume would be uncomfortable if your publication actually looks like the people it supposedly covers (looking at you, VIP Jackson; unlike you, we believe local wealthy white people are cool with more than a page or two of black people in a 100-page party-pics magazine). And sometimes, it is tough to bear the brunt of personal attacks from people who don’t want us pointing out any of these things or anything else that challenges their fearful world view or their small comfort zones. But we are not here to comfort the comfortable. We are here to do the hard work of finding and sharing the truth, of giving voice to the voiceless. Our dirty little wonderful secret is how many more people and business owners thank us for that than whine about it. And then there are the times when you get to tell a mama that her girls are coming home. It doesn’t get much better than that.


Mississippi was the 20th state to join the United States on Dec. 10, 1817. The state seceded from the Union Jan. 9, 1861, the second state to do so after South Carolina. news, culture & irreverence

TOP 13

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Wednesday, Dec. 29 Mississippi conservative Democrats Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Brookhaven and Rep. Bobby Shows of Ellisville announce they will convene in the state Legislature as newly minted Republicans. Thursday, Dec. 30 The loser of Delaware’s Senate campaign, Republican Christine O’Donnell, calls an FBI investigation into her alleged misuse of campaign funds a politically motivated attack by Democrats. … Mississippi’s December tax collections are 1.29 percent above projections.

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. says moving city agencies into the Metrocenter will spark new growth at the failing mall as happened at the Jackson Medical Mall.

tenants in the Jackson Medical Mall 15 years ago, and the mall has since done very well,” Mims said, adding that the first few tenants in the newly refurbished Medical Mall set a critical pace for its future development. Jackson employees at the Water and Sewer Division join other health-based employees—and their various patrons—in providing a customer base for other Medical Mall businesses, including Piccadilly Cafeteria, which has managed to weather decades of economic ups and downs thanks to stable patronage.

In addition to a steady stream of clientele, the city invests heavily in its department headquarters at the mall. The city pays $400,000 in rent at the Medical Mall and an additional $217,000 a year in utilities. These numbers could conceivably resemble the amount the city will pay to Jackson developer David Watkins, who offers the Belk department store space for rent. The developer said the Medical Mall had plans for the space currently occupied METROCENTER, see page 8

REASONS TO JUMP PARTIES TO THE GOP

n honor of the recent spate of Mississippi politicians and public servants who decided to abandon the Democratic Party in favor of the Republican Party, the JFP staff has come up with its own list of why one would make the switch. • For the sake of conformity. • You’re tired of saying “yes.” • Because rich people need love, too. • ‘Cause Nixon said so. • To blend in better in snowstorms. • You may win the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. • You actually like khaki pants and blue blazers. • For the Maker’s Mark. • Outdated gender norms are hhhaaaawt! • You can dispense with your gay-dar. • For the VIP invites to the C Street orgies. • Much easier to get a date at the Neshoba County Fair. • Let’s face it: Too many black people.

faith

“Most importantly, we must always stand up for our conservative values of faith and family, the right to life, protecting our Second Amendment rights and fighting illegal immigration.” - Lt. Gov. Bryant speaking at a Gulfport press conference Monday, Jan. 3, where he announced his campaign for the governor’s office.

Friday, Dec. 31 Dangerous floods in Queensland, Australia, affect more than 200,000 homes; town mayors urge evacuations. … Thousands of red-winged blackbirds fall out of the sky dead in Beebe, Ark., victims of “acute physical trauma” possibly caused by New Year’s Eve fireworks. … Dangerous thunderstorms and tornadoes rip across the state, causing severe property damage. Saturday, Jan. 1 North Korea calls for dialogue with South Korea and a relaxation of tensions “as soon as possible.” … President Barack Obama enjoys a vacation in Oahu, Hawaii, the state of his birth. … The Mississippi State Bulldogs trounce Michigan in the Gator Bowl, 52 to 14. Sunday, Jan. 2 A 7.1 magnitude earthquake rocks southern Chile, prompting tens of thousands to flee. … President Obama signs into law a measure covering medical-care costs for rescue workers at the 9-11 World Trade Center terrorist attack site. … The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the New Orleans Saints 23 to 13. Monday, Jan. 3 House Republican leaders specify the federal programs that would escape deep cuts in their proposed budget: the military, domestic security and veterans. … Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant and Democrat Bill Luckett make their 2011 runs for the governor’s office official. Tuesday, Jan. 4 An elite police guard assassinates Salman Taseer, governor of Pakistan’s most important and populous province, further destabilizing the precarious national government. … Mississippi lawmakers convene on Jackson for the first day of the 2011 legislative session.

jacksonfreepress.com

J

ackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. says moving city facilities directly into the largely under-used Metrocenter Mall on Highway 80 will give the mall a much-needed economic boost. Johnson proposed to the Jackson City Council last month a plan to relocate the city’s water and sewer business offices and its personnel department, as well as police Precinct 2 and the city’s Public Education & Government television network, into 60,000 square feet of space on the first floor of the former Belk department store. The mayor told the Council that he anticipated the move to be a shot in the arm to the failing mall, which is a remnant of 1970s growth along the Highway 80 corridor that began to decline rapidly in the 1990s with the rise of suburban development. “We helped the (Jackson) Medical Mall by moving city agencies into that, and we think it will give the same boost to the Metrocenter,” Johnson said. The Jackson Police Department’s Precinct 2, PEG and the city’s personnel offices are currently in the Atmos Building on West Capitol Street, while the Water and Sewer Division’s administrative offices have leased space at the Medical Mall for 15 years. City spokesman Chris Mims said the mayor bases his prediction of an economic benefit to the state’s largest shopping mall on an earlier move to the Medical Mall. “The city of Jackson was one of the first

by Adam Lynch

AMILE WILSON

City to Spur Development at Metrocenter

Marcus Ward wants a seat on the Jackson City Council. p 12

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talk

news, culture & irreverence

METROCENTER, from page 7

LUNCH BUNCH AFTER DARK (Please note: Lunch Bunch will not be lunch on Wednesday as usual, but we will have a special presentation in collaboration with Jackson 2000 on the evening of Thursday, January 13th)

Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 6:30 pm MS Department of Education Auditorium Call to Action: Beyond the Bricks Produced by Washington Koen Media and supported by The Ford Foundation (NY), Beyond the Bricks is a documentary film project and national community engagement campaign created to promote solutions for one of America’s critical problems in education: the consistently low performance of black males in school. This 30-minute film explores the stories of two young black students who are both struggling in public schools. The film also features commentary from nationally renowned education voices such as Dr. Pedro Noguera, urban sociologist, and John Jackson, president of the Schott Foundation. The film will be followed by a panel and audience discussion about the issues we face in our city and state, but we will focus on the solutions we have at hand.

Contact Linda Cockrell at 601-969-6015 ext 320 or e-mail lcockrell@parents4publicschools.org

Founding Chapter, Parents for Public Schools, 1989 200 N. Congress, Suite 500, Jackson, MS 39201

KEN LUND

www.ppsjackson.org

by the city. Jackson Medical Mall Development Director Kelli Sharpe, however, would not comment. Watkins, who is behind the recent renovation and re-opening of the King Edward Hotel and the Standard Life Building, had earlier proposed the Belk space to Jackson Public Schools as a future location for its administration at a cost of about $1 million a year for lease and renovation. At the time, Watkins proposed to eventually renovate the entirety of the mall, including the mall core. One design plan proposed breaking the facility into two different buildings, and surrounding the mall with entertainment venues and residential property, including apartment buildings. The developer now offers a less ambitious plan, which involves limiting mall renovation to the Belk property to fit the needs of the city. Watkins said the deal he is offering the city is less expensive than the deal he proffered JPS. “It’s a totally different plan,” Watkins told the JFP last week. “It’s completely different. There’s no connection whatsoever.” Watkins would not say what impact his deal with the city would have on his more ambitious long-term development plan for the mall. Johnson told the Council last week that he has not finalized the annual cost, but as-

sured Council members that the arrangement would “cost less than what the city is paying now for lease space combined with utility costs and the $3 million it will cost to renovate the Atmos Building.” The mayor said the Atmos Building requires considerable renovation to handle the requirements of the city’s television station, and that the inadequate facilities on Capitol Street are one of the main reasons PEG has not been producing many programs over the last few months. Johnson added that the city stands to save money by combining utility costs for all the agencies. In addition to the $217,000 utility costs at the Medical Mall, the city is also paying $138,415 in utility costs at the Atmos Building. The City of Jackson already owns the former Dillard’s department store space, which it bought in December 2009 for $39,500. That section of the mall, which has been vacant since 2004, contains 172,000 square feet of space, more than enough to house the 60,000 square feet the city seeks from Watkins. However, Mims said the city has other plans for the Dillard’s space. “We’re marketing the (Dillard’s) building, and ultimately our goal is to have a private developer come in and take that over,” said Mims, who added that the larger square footage offered by the Dillard’s space presents a more palatable sale to a would-be investor. Comment at www.jfp.ms.

Online Resources for the 2011 Legislative Session

January 5 - 11, 2011

The website for the Mississippi Legislature is http://billstatus.ls.state. ms.us/. Find current and past bills and a wealth of other information on the site.

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For a detailed look at the legislative timetable for bill processing, visit: http://tinyurl.com/363j5xr. The Legislature’s Daily Action Reports provide a daily schedule of bills as well

as a brief description of the bills. Go here and click on a date to read them: http://tinyurl.com/39lto45 The Mississippi Secretary of State’s website provides a search engine for campaign-finance reports filed after December 2008. The reports include a list of donors and the amount they gave to a candidate. The website also has a directory of registered state lobbyists. Visit www.sos.ms.gov.


policetalk

by Adam Lynch

Former Chief Questions Shooting KENYA HUDSON

Former Jackson Police Chief Robert Johnson says a police officer’s shooting of a Jackson resident made no logical sense.

What were they being stopped and questioned for? I don’t think there had been any reports of a felony being committed, or at least no felony that would cause the use of deadly force, but caution should certainly be used.” Jackson Police Department spokeswoman Colendula Green said the department would not release police reports filed over the Jan. 1 incident. Sen. David Blount said the state Legislature had recently passed laws making available to the public police “incident reports,” but Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information attorney Leonard Van Slyke said incident reports do not contain the same details as the reports written by police involved in the confrontation. “They are required to give you an incident report, but it only says what, when and where,” Van Slyke said. “It’s a limited information kind of deal.” The police department claims the officer “believed that the suspect had a weapon on his person,” due to the nature of the call, which involved gunfire. Johnson said he does not see the logic of the incident: “If you get a call about a guy who had shot anybody, then you can expect that kind of reaction, but that wasn’t the case there, so there wasn’t any need for the threat and use of deadly force in that situation. When an officer pulls his gun and orders someone to do something, that’s the threatened use of deadly force. It’s the same thing as pulling your gun on a guy who refuses to put his hands on the wheel,” Johnson said. Jackson received treatment at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Doctors immediately released him after treatment. He could not be reached for comment. Comment at www.jfp.ms.

jacksonfreepress.com

F

ormer Jackson Police Chief Robert Johnson says two Jackson police officers should not have been in a position to shoot a Jackson resident on New Year’s morning. Police shot Jackson resident Sherman Jackson, 27, in the arm about 1 a.m. on Jan. 1, after Jackson refused to remove his hands from his pockets at police requests. The Jackson Police Department would not name the two officers involved in the non-lethal shooting. The officers arrived on Santa Rosa Street, behind Hughes Field and Hardy Middle School, after receiving reports of gunfire in the area, according to a Jan. 1 JPD press statement. Police approached Jackson and an unnamed companion, and demanded that Jackson remove his hands from his pockets and put them in view. JPD claims Jackson fled the scene with his hands still in his pockets, and an officer pursued him on foot. When the police officer caught up with Jackson, JPD says the officer removed his gun from his holster and accidentally fired the weapon into the ground. Hearing the gunshot, the policeman’s unnamed partner believed Jackson had fired on his partner, and responded by shooting Jackson in the arm. JPD reports that Jackson had been attempting to conceal marijuana. Police charged him with possession, a misdemeanor and with disobeying a police officer. Johnson, who served as Jackson’s chief of police in 1994 under then-Mayor Kane Ditto until 1997 during Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.’s first term, said the event—as described by JPD—does not make clear why the officer dealing directly with Jackson drew his weapon. “I think with the proper training and proper precautions, it could have been prevented, if indeed it was an accident,” Johnson said. He explained that the situation appeared to call for one officer to stand apart from the interaction—to be at the ready and in a position to draw a weapon if needed—and another officer to physically grapple with the suspect. The officer interacting with the suspect, however, would not normally draw his weapon for a number of reasons. Drawing a weapon while close to the suspect, for example, puts the weapon within the suspect’s reach. Also, holding a weapon in the middle of the scuffle means having only one hand to deal with the suspect when both hands should be available. “Two officers drawing their weapons for a guy not removing his hand from his pocket is a little outside normal procedure,” Johnson said. “There should be one cover officer—if you have reason to suspect the suspect is armed—but you have to look at the totality of the circumstances.

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justicetalk

by Ward Schaefer

Scott Sisters Story Goes Viral

1935 Lakeland Dr. 601.906.2253

JFP on WLEZ

live every Thursday at noon on WLEZ 100.1 and wlezfm.com

Hosts: Todd Stauffer, publisher Donna Ladd, editor-in-chief podcasts available at jfpradio.com

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fter languishing in obscurity for 16 years, the story of imprisoned sisters Jamie and Gladys Scott received its 15 minutes on the national stage last week after Gov. Haley Barbour ordered their life sentences indefinitely suspended. In a Dec. 30 press release, Barbour announced his decision to suspend the sentences, effectively granting the Scott sisters parole for the 1993 armed robbery they allegedly masterminded. As news of the sistersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; release spread, speculation focused on the timing of Barbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s announcement. Did Barbour hope the news would dispel memory of the recent outcry over comments he made praising the all-white Citizens Councils? While Barbour is universally acknowledged as a savvy political animal, his involvement in the sistersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; case predates the flap over his remarks by months. The governor sent investigators to interview the sisters in prison in September, one week after supporters submitted the pardon petition and held a rally outside the state Capitol. Advocates for the sisters were already expecting a decision on the petition by the end of the year. On Nov. 24, after delivering an NAACP petition in support of the Scott sisters to Barbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office, the sistersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; attorney, Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba, told the Jackson Free Press he expected the governor to render a decision soon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It appears that the governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the governor and the Parole Boardâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;have taken some affirmative steps to at least investigate our position,â&#x20AC;? Lumumba said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We expect an answer in the near future. â&#x20AC;Ś Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve heard that the Parole Board would deal with their recommendation by the end of the year.â&#x20AC;? National NAACP President Ben Jealous said that, despite the timing of Barbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s announcement, he believed the controversy did not affect the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What I know is that it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t affect his level of interest in the case,â&#x20AC;? Jealous said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The fact that the governor got engaged right awayâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and his office and my office were going back and forth for months, setting up this meeting, going through the factsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;tells me that he was going to do this regardless.â&#x20AC;? Reporting also focused on the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stipulation, in his announcement of the suspension order, that Gladysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; release was dependent on her donating a kidney to Jamie, who suffers from total kidney failure. In the hands of national media outlets, this requirement became a macabre extortion: paying an organ for oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s freedom. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jailed Miss. sisters freed but must trade a kidney,â&#x20AC;? read a Dec. 31 Washington Post headline. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sistersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Prison Release Is Tied to Donation of Kidney,â&#x20AC;? The New York Times announced Dec. 30. The governor had only his own press release to blame for these headlines, but it

Attorney Chokwe Lumumba, national NAACP President Ben Jealous and state NAACP President Derrick Johnson hailed the Scott sistersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; release Dec. 30.

was also clear, almost immediately, that he wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t planning to hold Gladys Scott ransom for one of her kidneys. While lab tests have confirmed that Gladysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; blood type matches her sisterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, further tests are necessary to confirm that she can actually serve as a kidney donor. At a hastily assembled press conference hours after Barbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s initial announcement, Lumumba said he expects Gladys to remain free, even if she is unable to donate her kidney. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been assured by the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office that thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not going to be a problem,â&#x20AC;? Lumumba said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll just come back and work that out later on if she is not compatible. They made it pretty clear to us that they intend for them to be out.â&#x20AC;? The next morning, Barbour spokesman Dan Turner was somewhat less direct but ultimately confirmed that Gladys Scott could remain free on a suspended sentence, even if tests find she is not a suitable donor. Her release from prison is not solely dependent on her donating a kidney, Turner told the Jackson Free Press. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think there would be some other factors involved,â&#x20AC;? Turner said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Is she living within the law? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be the first prerequisite for her remaining free.â&#x20AC;? In a further indication that Barbour does not plan to revoke Gladysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; suspended sentence, Turner added that any later decision on her release â&#x20AC;&#x153;may be up to the next administration as well.â&#x20AC;? Barbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second term as governor ends in December. Turner also pointed out that Gladys offered the donation in the petition for pardon filed Sept. 14 on their behalf. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is not something that the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office came up with,â&#x20AC;? Turner said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With that offer, they placed that in the conditions of the parole.â&#x20AC;? The sistersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; pardon petition stated that Gladys Scott has volunteered to donate a

kidney, but it argued for their release on grounds that their life sentencesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;for a 1993 armed robberyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;were excessive. The sistersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; three alleged co-conspirators all served less than four years in prison. The media frenzy that followed Barbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s statement also allowed inaccuracies about the sistersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; case to spread. USA Today and Slate both overstated the duration of the NAACPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s involvement in the case. In a Dec. 30 post on USA Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website, Catalina Camia said that Scott sisters case â&#x20AC;&#x153;had long been championed by the NAACP,â&#x20AC;? while Slateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dave Weigel called it a cause â&#x20AC;&#x153;the NAACP had publicized for years.â&#x20AC;? In fact, the NAACP, like most other national advocacy groups and media outletsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the Jackson Free Press includedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;only directed attention to the sisters in 2010, after Jamie was diagnosed with kidney failure. For years, publicity for the sistersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; plight has mostly been limited to the activist blogosphere and black media outlets. National reporting has also codified the claim by advocates that the 1993 robbery for which the sisters were convicted only netted $11. Court records do not provide an official figure for the robberyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s take: the sistersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; indictment only mentions a robbery of more than $10, while trial testimony put the figure anywhere from $11 to more than $200. Turner said that the state has made no commitment to pay for a kidney transplant procedure and that funds would likely come from Medicare. At a press conference Dec. 30 at the Capitol, Jealous said his organization will continue to support the sisters as they re-enter society. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We will stick with them,â&#x20AC;? Jealous said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re focused on ensuring that they get the health care they need and that they can back to rebuilding their lives.â&#x20AC;? Comment at www.jfp.ms.


by Ward Schaefer

Sunrise in Hattiesburg On Tuesday, for the second year in a row, Gov. Haley Barbour unveiled an economic development project just in time for the opening of the state legislative session. Stion, a California solar panel company, plans to build a new production facility in Hattiesburg, Barbour announced. The company produces high-efficiency thin-film solar panels at its headquarters in San Diego. Barbour called on the Mississippi Legislature to pass a $75 million loan, along with other tax and workforce-training incentives, to facilitate the project. STION

energy companies to locate and expand,” in a statement, “Together, the state of Mississippi, Forrest County and the city of Hattiesburg offer a business-friendly location with a strong resource base for manufacturing,” Stion CEO Chet Farris said in a statement. “In partnering with them, we are pleased to help address this country’s energy needs with clean technology, and support the region’s and the nation’s economy.” Among Stion’s backers is Khosla Ventures, the venture-capital firm of Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla. In August, Barbour announced that another Khosla-backed company, Houston-based KiOR, had plans to locate three production facilities in Mississippi to convert wood chips into a crudeoil substitute. Legislators approved a $45 million bond issue to support a state loan to KiOR. The project has stalled, State lawmakers will consider a $75 million loan to bring solar- though, as KiOR can only panel startup Stion to Hattiesburg. access the loan money after securing an agreement from a major oil refinery The Legislature acted quickly, passing to process its synthetic crude oil. House Bill 403, which adds $75 million to the state’s Industry Incentive Financing Re- Steam Room Moves Downtown volving Loan Fund to fund the plant’s conDevotees of the recently closed Steam struction. Stion has up to 10 years to repay Room Grille have cause for celebration: The the loan. Last year, lawmakers approved a restaurant’s former general manager, Aubrey similar, $35 million incentives package to Norman, is opening a new restaurant downlure a German pipe-manufacturer to Tunica town. Norman’s new venture, dubbed the County. Steam Room Grille Downtown Café, will In a press release, Stion said that its Mis- serve breakfast and lunch for the downtown sissippi production plant would create more working crowd. than 1,000 jobs over six years. The project’s The Downtown Café will emphasize first phase would represent a $100 million convenience, with ready-made lunch specials. investment and directly create 200 jobs in Its homemade biscuits will be made according the next two years. Stion has already selected to a recipe handed down by Norman’s greatan existing facility, a former manufacturing grandmother. Norman enlisted local interior plant for the Sunbeam appliances company, to designer J. Bolin to design the restaurant’s wi-fi house the assembly line for its 100-megawatt lounge, displaying photographs by Will Stersolar panels. ling. Barbour called the news “further proof The Steam Room Grille on Interstate that Mississippi is an ideal location for clean 55 closed June 5, and Norman looked at sev-

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Marathon Money Jackson can expect an economic impact of $400,000 from this year’s Mississippi Blues Marathon. In 2009, with an attendance of 3,976 and 1,443 runners, the marathon contributed $389,648 to the economy of the city, according to the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau. This year’s marathon, scheduled for Jan. 8, has more than 2,000 registered participants, and its economic impact could be even greater, said John Sewell, director of corporate communications for race sponsor Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi. “We’ve got (participants) from 44 states, Australia, Canada, Germany, England, Kenya and Ethiopia,” Sewell said. “We are the first people to recognize that people aren’t coming here because Jackson is on everybody’s bucket list for a place to run, but this race and this city have rapidly developed a reputation for being a really quality event.” Subscribe to JFPDaily.com (free) for breaking business news.

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Merchants Tops in Growth Food distributor Merchants Foodservice, which has a distribution facility in Jackson, posted the largest growth in sales of the nation’s top food distributors, according to statistics from Institutional Distribution Magazine. The Hattiesburg-based company is expanding its Jackson distribution center, located at 870 Boling Street, by 32,000 square feet. “The new addition to our Jackson facility significantly increases our inventory capacity and allows us to better serve our current customers as well as giving us the opportunity to grow as our customers grow,” Hal Hiatt, general manager of Merchants Foodservice Jackson, said in a statement.

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eral locations around the city before settling on downtown. Norman said that he expects to open as early as January 10 in the Capitol Street location formerly occupied by Taste Lounge. The Steam Room Grille Downtown Café is located at 105 E. Capitol St. Hours of operation will be Monday through Friday, from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 769-251-1681 for more information.

11


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by Ward Schaefer

AMILE WILSON

A More Collegial Council

A staffer in the administration of former Mayor Frank Melton, Marcus Ward is weighing a run for the Ward 1 City Council seat vacated by Jeff Weill.

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t 33, Marcus Ward is already a veteran of Jackson city politics. From 2005 to 2009, he served as chief of staff and director of intergovernmental relations under former Mayor Frank Melton. Now he is considering a run for the Ward 1 City Council seat, which Jeff Weill is vacating to become a Hinds County Circuit judge. The West Point native earned a bachelor’s from Alcorn State University and a master’s in public administration from Syracuse University. He is currently Alcorn’s associate vice president for development and alumni relations. Ward has an easy command of statistics from the Melton administration: grant dollars received, policies rewritten, miles of road repaved. Jackson needs his experience, he argues, to keep moving forward. You just got out of the city. Why would you come back and run for Council? I believe in Jackson. I think I am the most qualified, experienced and dedicated person to do this job for northeast Jackson. … I t ’ s two things. Crime and infrastructure.

January 5 - 11, 2011

Crime and infrastructure—are those the needs of Ward 1 specifically?

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Does that ward have different needs from the rest of the city? The difference between Ward 1 and the rest of Jackson is that Ward 1 contributes a good percentage of the tax base to the city. That’s not to discount other areas of the city, … but there’s no question that there is a preponderance of wealth in northeast Jackson. When you look at the crime issue, it touches every family in the city. … My sister was coming to my house one morning, and three guys got out and robbed her at gunpoint. In order to get businesses back to Jackson, in order to improve the infrastructure, in order to create a better quality of life … we’ve got to focus on those basic, fundamental things. What specific things could the city be doing to address crime? Chief Coleman is doing an excellent job as police chief, and the mayor is leading the city in the right direction on the crime issue. I think one of the things they’re proposing is a new fifth precinct. … I think we do need smaller precincts so that beat officers can … get out and walk and talk with the folks on the street that they’re serving. How do you think the city should address its budget issues? Austerity. The mayor took a very good, common-sense approach to the austerity issue by first cutting the budget 12 percent. I think there’s a lot of areas where we can make this city a whole lot leaner and really cut some things down to the bone. … We need some serious-minded folks that are going to … know where the, quote-unquote, “dead bodies are buried,” to fix some of that fraud, waste (or) abuse that may be taking place in government. What about specific places that need to get cut or scrutinized? Vehicle inventory—the city has thousands of vehicles. Jackson is a city that, when you look at where we were in 1990 compared to where we are in 2010, we’ve definitely lost

a lot of residents. We’re still operating as if we’re that city of 215,000 people. We’ve got to right-size ourselves to where we are now. What was your working relationship with the council during the Melton administration? I think, all in all, it was a fairly good relationship. … They were concerned when I first got there that I couldn’t do the job. But I think we brought the money home—as they say, “brought home the bacon”—and there’s proof in records down at the city. Weill has had an opposition and watchdog role for much of his time on Council. How do you envision your role with that body? With the experience I bring to the table, I think it changes the dynamic of council relations. … I think it brings more comity to the council—brings collegiality to the council. When a vote comes up on a tax issue, it won’t be, “We don’t have to work with him, because we know how he’s going to vote on that.” It’ll be, “We need to make sure we’ve got him involved, because he may have someone else we’ve traditionally counted on on his side.” What are the first things the council needs to tackle in the new year? We need to look at regionalization of JATRAN. Everybody shoots me down when I talk about this, but it’s a real issue. We can’t afford the JATRAN system we have now. We’ve lost population and tax base. … When you’ve got a contract that requires you to pay drivers $1.5 million in back pay in addition to what they’re supposed to get going forward, how can you get that with the ridership we have? I think we need to go to the state Legislature and come up with a bill that regionalizes the system. We need to first go to our neighboring communities to make sure we have a system that’s vibrant and serving their people well. There are people in Madison that want to come to downtown Jackson for things. There are some that don’t want to drive. There are some that can’t afford to drive.


un, funky, happy, yummy: just a few ingredients that hey, cupcake! incorporates into each cupcake for the “perfect piece of happy” made at this Jackson sweet shop at 1491 Canton Mart Road. Every customer receives a fun, unique product delivered with genuine customer service; they can simply come in, sit down and take a bite of heaven. “We bake in small batches once a day in our store,” says Owner Nancy Smith. “We are an individually-owned, family-only-run business, from hey, cupcake! me personally baking each cupcake and preparing the frosting to Gary (my husband) creating decorative toppers for the cupcakes for special occasion orders.” From Turtle Power, chocolate and caramel cake covered in chocolate frosting and topped with pecans, to Key Limelicious, tart lime cake with smooth buttercream frosting, each cupcake has its very own personality and design. Cookie Monster promises an Oreo cookie bottom with yellow cake covered in chocolate Oreo buttercream. The King of Rock and Roll has his own cupcake: The Elvis cupcake is fresh banana cake with peanut butter buttercream frosting and an extra dollop of fudgy chocolate. There really isn’t one cupcake flavor that takes the cake. Cupcake popularity is spread across the board. However, hey, cupcake! is always searching for the next great cupcake, so customers can look for new and seasonal flavors every month. You can even create your perfect cupcake (in advance though!); just choose the cake and frosting of your choice (selections vary daily). Nancy Smith’s attributes hey, cupcake!’s existence to her involvement as a very eager and involved “room mother” to her two children, Braeden & Carruth, from their preschool years. “The adventures through their school events allowed me to become more creative and experimental with treats. Now that those days are fleeting,” says Smith, “I began baking for friends, and cupcakes are the perfect piece of happy because they allow the freedom to create something new every day. I figured I could still be somebody’s room mother by continuing to make yummy, fun cupcakes.” From her daughter, Braeden, 20, to her 14-year-old son Carruth, the whole family contributes to the everyday operations of hey, cupcake!. They each bring their unique set of skills to the business. So if you are looking for a special homeroom treat or just your own “perfect piece of happy,” visit hey, cupcake! For more information, call 601-956-1199 or find them on Facebook under “hey, cupcake!”. So if you are looking for a special homeroom treat or just your own “perfect piece of happy,” visit hey, cupcake! For more information, call 601-956-1199 or find them on Facebook under “hey, cupcake!”.

jacksonfreepress.com

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PA I D A DV E RT I S E M E N T

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jfp op/ed

opining, grousing & pontificating

EDITORIAL

Building A Future that Works

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eginning a brand-new clean calendar at the turn of the year provides all of us the perfect opportunity to take stock of the past and make changes for a better future, especially those things we may have been procrastinating about. It is also a new legislative session for Mississippi lawmakers, joining the new 112th Congress in Washington to search for and find solutions for the myriad of issues facing our country in the decade ahead. The first 10 years of the 21st century were perhaps one of the most contentious in memory, what with terrorists attacking the United States, the world’s freefalling economy, the rise of the ultra-conservative tea party and hysteria toward America’s first African American president. The decade saw our involvement in two of our longest-running foreign wars, international economic instability and a handful of major environmental disasters including a tsunami, a few devastating hurricanes, earthquakes and a disastrous oil geyser in the Gulf of Mexico. Given the turmoil we find ourselves in at the dawning of the second decade of the century, it’s easy to forget that the previous decade began in relative peace. Our biggest worries New Year’s Eve 1999 may have been whether our computer systems were ready for the millennial change, or whether the doomsday prophets were right in saying the world was going to end at the stroke of midnight. Which of us in January 2000 would have foretold the World Trade Center attacks of September 2001, or the near-collapse of the international economy less than eight years later? The events of the decade have been a boon for fear mongerers and sensationalists, and that’s a real shame, because fear is not useful. Fearful people are likely to make illogical snap judgments instead of calm, clear, rational decisions. Our two- to four-year political system makes it difficult to engage in long-term decision-making, yet that is the mandate for every new Legislature and every new Congress. As Tom Head so eloquently states in his opinion column this week, this legislative session, perhaps more than any other recent convening of our elected leadership, gives ordinary citizens the opportunity to shape what kind of future we want—in our state and for our country. We must demand that our leaders tone down their rhetoric on divisive wedge issues and keep their eyes on what is important to all of us: quality education, health and wellness, businesses responsible not just for profits and to their stockholders, but to the environment, their workforce and to the consumers of their products as well. Democracy and the freedoms we hold dear in this country come to us hard won with blood and tears. It is up to each of us to fully wake up and watch our leaders with eagle eyes, ever vigilant for divisive speech and ineffectual knee-jerk policy. It’s up to us to bring them back to crafting a future that works for us all.

KEN STIGGERS

Funky Finances

January 5-11, 2010

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iss Doodle Mae: “2010 proved to be a stable year for the staff and management of Jojo’s Discount Dollar Store. Despite the recessive economy, loyal customers continued to spend their hard earned dollars at Jojo’s. Also, the Ghetto Science Community Financial Stimulus Grant helped Jojo retain his staff and expand consumer goods and services. And he didn’t give himself a pay raise, either. “Today, Jojo’s business and financial advisers are proud to report the sweet aroma of economic stability—no funky finances or stinky accounts. It looks like Jojo’s Discount Dollar store came out of 2010 smelling like a rose. “Being the kind and friendly business man he is, Jojo wants to share his success with the community with the ‘Smelling like a Rose and Pre-Martin Luther King Holiday Sale.’ Jojo noticed that financially challenged individuals enjoy the fun and convenience of computers and electronic gadgets. So he teamed up with Aunt Tee Tee, the Ghetto Science Team’s A-plus certified IT guru, to sell affordable, refurbished laptops, computer towers and flat-screen monitors. And look out for those inexpensive Wii hybrids and used Xbox games. Yes, Jojo’s Discount Dollar Store has gone high tech. “And to celebrate the King holiday, Jojo’s has recycled copies of Martin Luther King Jr.’s book ‘Why We Can’t Wait.’ In 1963, Dr. King wrote about the ‘Negro Revolution.’ In 2011, Jojo wants to start a Reading and Thinking Revolution. “So, come shop at Jojo’s, and invest in developing your mind and computer skills.”

KAMIKAZE

A Fresh Start

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010 could be described as “the best of times and the worst of times” for the Franklin family and me. We always have high hopes and expectations, but sometimes life throws you a few curve balls. It’s those surprise occurrences that test your mettle. Last year ran the gamut of great highs and crushing lows. In March, we celebrated the birth of our daughter, Bralynn Jamila. And let me tell you: After several attempts and several prayers, you can understand why we call her our “little miracle.” In September, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Marriages are hard work, and making it through your first year is an achievement. Family stood front and center in our lives in 2010, but with great joy comes great sorrow. This winter indeed became one “of our discontent.” Within the span of only a few weeks, I lost my maternal grandmother, and my bride lost her mother. Both women were the matriarchs of huge families. My “Big Mama” left us only a little over a year after my mother passed. It quickly re-opened a wound that hadn’t fully healed. Queen’s mother had become my mother after my mom passed. Her sudden passing was something you can never be prepared for. Just as we figured things couldn’t get any worse, the wife went under the knife for a nagging back ailment that had slowed her considerably since our baby was born. At Christmas we were confined to the home, and your friendly neighborhood rabble-rouser was doing mommy and daddy duties solo while the Queen recovered. Needless to say, our year didn’t end

with a bang. 2011 couldn’t get here soon enough. New years bring new beginnings. And this year hopefully can help heal those memories left from last year. Corporate America and I are taking an extended break from one another—it’s no place for a free spirit. Much like politics in this town, our business leaders aren’t ready to turn the page and think outside the box. I’m no yes-man. So, box: This is me, leaving. I made money for a lot of other people in 2010, and I figure it’s time I put in some of that work for my family’s benefit. It was either now or never, and with the family’s blessing I’m stepping out on faith and going back to being my own boss. So say hello to OurGlass Media Group. That’s me putting my public relations and management experience to use. Already, I have been contracted to host TV23’s “Direct Line.” My radio show, “A Closer Look,” is returning to MPB radio this spring, and the video show my company is executive producing, “The Edge,” will debut in February. Things are indeed looking up, yes? Add to that, the little one has started walking at 9 months. Next stop for her: the governor’s mansion. Jackson, it’s a fresh start. This year, let’s pledge to make “revolutions” and not just “resolutions.” There is no better time than the present to begin that change. Make this the year to do what you’ve always dreamed of doing. Right above the lowest valley is the highest peak, and you are the only thing stopping you from reaching it. Have a happy new year, everyone.

E-mail letters to letters@jacksonfreepress.com, fax to 601-510-9019, or mail to P.O. Box 5067, Jackson, Miss., 39296. Include daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Or write a 300-600-word “Your Turn” and send it by e-mail, fax or mail above with a daytime phone number. All submissions are subject to fact checks.

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And the Good News Is… Editor in Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer

EDITORIAL Managing Editor Ronni Mott News Editor Lacey McLaughlin Associate Editor Natalie A. Collier Senior Reporter Adam Lynch Reporter Ward Schaefer Events Editor Latasha Willis Music Listings Editor Natalie Long Assistant to the Editor ShaWanda Jacome Writers Quita Bride, Lisa Fontaine Bynum, David Dennis Jr., Scott Dennis, Bryan Flynn, Carl Gibson, Garrad Lee, Lance Lomax, Anita Modak-Truran, Larry Morrisey, Chris Nolen, Robin O’Bryant, Brandi Herrera, Casey Purvis, Tom Ramsey, Doctor S, Ken Stiggers, Jackie Warren Tatum, Valerie Wells, Byron Wilkes Editorial Interns Julia Hulitt, Holly Perkins Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris

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he 2011 legislative session begins Jan. 4, and it’s likely to be exceptionally loud, complicated and messy. Mississippi faces an unusual alignment of unfavorable omens: a budget crisis, a national climate favoring anti-immigrant sentiment, a contentious statewide election year and an inexplicably influential teaparty movement with which conservative elements in both parties have fallen madly in love. Let’s start with the tea-party movement. When the 112th U.S. Congress convenes, Mississippi will shift from a 75 percent Democratic House delegation to a 75 percent Republican House delegation due to the defeats of District 1’s Rep. Travis Childers and District 4’s Rep. Gene Taylor. The only Democrat representing Mississippi in Congress will be District 2’s Rep. Bennie Thompson, whose influence in the House has been substantially reduced by the election of a Republican majority. These kinds of party shifts are not uncommon during the first term of a new presidential administration, and they usually favor the party that opposes the president, but in this case the broadcast-media punditry, for whatever reason, has decided to attribute these ordinary midterm opposition-party gains to the influence of national conservative organizations that use the phrase “tea party”—the Tea Party Coalition, the Tea Party Express, the Tea Party Nation, and so forth. These organizations came about in protest against the Bush-Obama recessionary bailouts and, later, united against Democratic health-care reform policies. In Mississippi, the tea-party movement has taken on a more Confederate tone. While the Mississippi Tea Party’s mission statement somewhat less-than-reassuringly states that the organization does not seek a “war within the states,” the phrase “state’s rights” has been brought back into the Mississippi political mainstream in some innovative and bizarre ways. Tea party representatives met with Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant in October, for example, to suggest that the state establish a commission to defend Mississippi’s sovereignty. While tea-party leaders described this as an “Un-American Activities Committee” in the tradition of 1950s communism-obsessed Sen. Joe McCarthy, the last state agency created under this mandate—the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission—was even worse, investigating the Civil Rights Movement and secretly punishing those associated with it. While the impact of the tea-party movement on the legislative session is difficult to predict, sanity and restraint are unlikely to be among its priorities. For his part, Phil Bryant has made little secret of the fact that he plans to run for governor in November when Haley Barbour is term-limited out. Those of you who remember the 2007 statewide-election cycle may recall that while Barbour mostly

steered clear of hotbutton social issues, Bryant made them his campaign’s bread and butter. Since he’s the de-facto leader of the Mississippi State Senate right now, and may face a difficult Republican primary process, he’s well situated to grandstand on any number of frightening policy proposals in an effort to demonize progressives in the Mississippi State House and increase his own profile. Bryant has certainly made an effort to do so with respect to the anti-birth control Personhood Amendment and the Voter ID Amendment, both of which are scheduled to be on the ballot in November. And if there’s one issue where Bryant excels at pandering, it’s immigration. In a political climate where Arizona’s SB 1070 brazenly makes racial profiling the law of the land, Bryant—who rose in Republican ranks largely on the basis of a blistering 2006 state auditor’s piece in which he (inaccurately) speculated that undocumented immigrants were to blame for budget losses—has promised to back legislation that would similarly profile Latinos in Mississippi. Competing groups of conservative legislators have vowed to bring Arizona-style legislation to a vote. Statewide elections can have different effects on legislators—sometimes they inspire grandstanding, at other times timidity—but it’s clear that anti-immigrant legislation will be part of the 2011 session. The issue of the budget will lurk in the background of this legislative session. Last year, it almost inspired a proposal to eliminate the Mississippi University for Women and all but one of the state’s historically black public colleges and universities. Similar draconian proposals could easily resurface this year, most of them likely targeting public education, public health and other constituent services that primarily benefit low-income Mississippians. That’s the bad news. The good news is that in statewide politics, and especially in an election year, the voices of constituents carry a great deal of weight. The reason last year’s university merger proposal failed, for example, was almost certainly the public outrage it provoked. The success or failure of the legislative horrors I’ve described will depend, to a great extent, on us—our willingness to call our legislators, attend lobby days, and take other measures when we’re called on to make our voices heard. The 2011 legislative session may, more than any other legislative session of modern times, give us the opportunity to decide what kind of state we’re going to live in. That’s an opportunity none of us should turn down. Freelance writer Tom Head is a lifelong Jackson native. He has authored or co-authored 24 nonfiction books on a wide range of topics, writes about civil liberties for About. com and is a grassroots progressive activist.

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FILE PHOTO

2011 Mississippi Legislative Preview:

Not All About Money by Adam Lynch and Ward Schaefer

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January 5 - 11, 2011

he Mississippi Legislature returned Jan. 4, and many legislators are not looking forward to the kind of cuts facing state departments. The Mississippi Department of Mental Health is looking at a shortfall of more than $30 million this year, which could easily mean the closing of some mental-health institutions in the state, delivering more mental-health patients into county jails and state prisons. The Mississippi Parents’ Campaign claims the state’s Mississippi Adequate Education Program, which offers state money to under-funded school districts with low sales tax revenue, is likely to be underfunded by $243 million. MAEP reductions could mean cuts in advanced placement classes and intervention programs for struggling students, among other programs. Money issues will invariably generate considerable news over the next 90 days as the session wears on and legislators fight to come to terms with plummeting state sales16 tax revenue. But while money will factor as

heavily as it has every year for the last decade, controversial bills will also attract plenty of media attention this year.

Mexican’t, GOP says One of the more notorious issues sure to come out of the Legislature this year will target one of the state’s smallest populations. Republican legislators are promising to submit a bill mimicking a problematic Arizona law that the federal government is challenging in the courts. The Arizona law forces local and state law enforcement to detain people suspected of being undocumented residents for the purpose of requesting verification of residential status. The law, called the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, requires immigrants to have in their possession at all times documents identifying them as legal residents or citizens. The Arizona law makes it a misdemeanor crime for a temporary resident to not carry the registration documents. The NAACP and Latino advocates say the Arizona law provides little on which to

base the suspicion of dubious residential status, other than a suspect’s physical appearance. The federal government is seeking to halt the Arizona law, arguing that immigration enforcement is the exclusive role of the federal government, not state or local authorities. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked the more controversial aspects of the Arizona law. Still Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, said he will file a bill this year in the Judiciary A Committee, despite the fact that the Arizona bill has hit that state hard in the pocketbook, costing the state $141 million in tourism revenue as a result of a subsequent economic boycott by critics. The bill, he added, will not be an easy sell, even though he is Judiciary A chairman. “The immigration reform bill will take a lot of time and energy on my part in the Judiciary Committee,” Fillingane said. The Mississippi Legislature already passed a bill punishing undocumented residents for holding jobs in the state. The Mississippi Employment Protection Act, Senate Bill 2988, went into effect July 1, 2008. The

law, which resembles a 2007 Arizona law that punishes employers who hire undocumented residents by potentially pulling business licenses, requires employers to authenticate the resident status of all employees through the federal database known as E-Verify. The law pointedly targets all Mississippi agencies and government subdivisions, seeking to discourage the use of contractors employing undocumented workers. The law began applying to private employers with 250 or more employees in July 2008 and private employers with 100 or more employees in July 2009. It encompassed private employers with 30 or more employees by 2010 and will apply to all employers by July 2011. The penalties are stiff, if you’re a nondocumented worker. For employers, the consequences of non-compliance include the cancellation of state contracts and ineligibility for future contracts for up to three years and the possibility of the revocation of the employer’s business license for up to one year. Undocumented workers, however, can receive a felony conviction on their record for accepting or performing work for compensa-


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LEGISLATURE, from page 17 groups demanding that he let the exemption expire because he said it would kill the payday-lending industry in the state. “I’m not in the business of putting people out of business when unemployment in this state is at 10 percent,” Flaggs said in November. “How much more fair could I be than to bring the bill out into committee for a vote? The other option is to kill the bill. Is that fair? That’s what (payday-lending critics) want. I want everybody to vote on it. It has to go through my committee, go to the (House) floor and get through the Senate.” Flaggs went on to say that payday lenders’ $21.95 fee compares favorably to late fees for utility, credit cards and phone services. “Do you think $21.95 on a $100 loan for two weeks is very much? You can walk out of that office and go right back in there the next day and pay it off, and it’s still $21.95,” Flaggs said. “Take that same bill and don’t pay it for a whole year, it’s still just a $21.95 fee. They can’t take that bill to the DA’s office. They have to collect it for themselves. They don’t have a lot of power like credit-card companies.” Flaggs said he has asked the Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance Commissioner John Allison to give him a bill addressing the exemption extension. Allison told the Jackson Free Press that the bill would tweak the exemption, while Flaggs said he would hold hearings during the session where “both sides” could debate a bill scribed. Payday lenders are making sure they have a voice in that debate. Short-term lenders donated $4,900 out of Flaggs’ $64,950 total contributions from short-term lenders in 2008 and $5,100 out of his $43,675 total contributions in 2009. Short-term lenders also comprised 10 of 21 donations to Senate Business and Financial Institutions Committee Chairman Gary Jackson, R-French Camp. In 2008, Jackson reported a total of $5,100 from payday lenders, out of a total of $14,700 for that period. Lenders are also peppering senators and representatives who have no discernable connection to the banking industry, such as Fillingane, who received $250 from Advance America in 2009.

Redistricting Round Republicans and Democrats this year will hammer out new districts in response to population changes across the state. Politicos like Mississippi State University’s John C. Stennis Institute of Government Director Marty Wiseman and Jackson Sen. Hillman Frazier say the population in areas like the Delta, Hinds County and the northeast portion of the state shrank and will face the possibility of their district shrinking in relation to their population. Traditionally, the House and the Senate each assemble a redistricting plan, which either shrinks or expands district territory based upon population counts and the political opportunity of the dominant party. Both chambers must submit their respective plans to the other chamber for approval, and that

Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance Executive Director Bill Chandler says MIRA will scour the state Legislature for bills it interprets as anti-immigrant this year.

approval has rarely been difficult. Not so this year, Wiseman said. The legislative redistricting is done by resolution, not bill, so Barbour can’t veto it, however, Wiseman believes Barbour will coax the Senate into fighting the House plan if it proposes to allow centrist Democrats to retain their slight dominance in the House. “Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant’s already said he is not going to just allow the Senate to blindly accept the House plan. Well, that threw down the gauntlet,” Wiseman said. The House, with Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Reinzi, has a 23-seat Democrat majority. But for the House to shift in favor of a Republican agenda, it will only have to switch 11 seats, Wiseman said, because of an abundance of conservative Democrats who commonly vote with Republicans. Republicans almost succeeded in removing McCoy two years ago, when they formed a near-majority with conservative-leaning white Democrats. McCoy retained his seat in a 2008 election with only a handful of votes over conservative Democrat Jeff Smith of Columbus, thanks to support from black legislators. (McCoy later showed his gratitude by assigning more black legislators to committee chairmanships). Wiseman said Gov. Haley Barbour will likely back up Bryant’s promise to fight a plan that helps centrist Democrats keep an edge, especially after McCoy proved the only strong voice of opposition to many of Barbour’s plans to slash budgets for health care, education and other state programs. “Remember Barbour’s (Republican Governor’s Association) campaign for 37 republican governors this past year? On top of his list was to win your race, get in and get a handle on redistricting in your state, because 630 odd new Republican legislators will put the GOP in good position to handle redistricting and build a nationwide push toward

what Republicans dream to be a Democratproof House of Representatives nationally,” Wiseman said. “I can’t believe he’d call for that in 37 states, and then tell his own state to just do what you want to.” If the Senate, under Barbour’s command, opposes a centrist House redistricting plan, the House could retaliate by refusing a Senate plan that would keep conservatives in a dominant position. Political author Jere Nash told the Jackson Free Press that if the chambers butt heads for too long, the issue could go before a threejudge panel consisting of a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge and two districtcourt judges chosen by the chief judge of the 5th Circuit—conservative Ronald Reagan appointee Edith Jones. A comparable issue sprang from the Legislature’s inability to agree on a redistricting plan after the 2000 Census, which erased a federal district and eventually allowed a three-judge panel to redraw the state’s congressional districts. Democrats argued that the panel’s decision fit perfectly with Republican desires and appealed it to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court blessed the panel’s plan, however. Nash said the southern U.S. district courts that could decide the plan, should the House and Senate disagree, contains a majority of judges who are Republican appointees.

Money Talks State lawmakers foresee a 2011 legislative session focused on holding steady, despite the fever for political hijinks that infects an election year. Most legislators will be preoccupied with legislative redistricting, which takes place this LEGISLATURE, see page 21

jacksonfreepress.com

ics are calling upon legislators to let the exemption expire. “The NAACP opposes predatory lending, and payday lending represents that,” Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson said. “The fees they charge amount to usury, which should be illegal. Mississippi policy makers should require all financial industries to abide by the same standards on interest caps.” Letting the exemption expire means capping loans at 36 percent, but Jamie Fulmer, vice president of public affairs for Advance America, which offers short-term loans, said the 36 percent APR cap makes offering $100 loans impossible, because the maximum a company could charge, in that case, would be $1.38 per every $100 loaned. “Seven-and-a-half cents a day is what an APR cap breaks down to per $100 charged,” Fulmer said. “There’s no way we can conduct business under those circumstances.” To get a short-term payday loan, a borrower hands a payday lender a personal check for the total amount of his or her loan, which the lender holds until the loan’s due date, which generally coincides with the borrower’s next pay check in two to four weeks. In exchange, the borrower receives cash from the lender, less $21.95 per $100 interest. Companies like Advance America, a public corporation with numerous offices in the Jackson metro area, offer a $300 maximum payday loan, requiring a fee of about $66. The practice puts the borrower at risk of bank overdraft charges, as well as a lender’s insufficient funds fee of up to $30, if they don’t have the money in the bank to cover the draft. Under state law, borrowers may not extend the same loan, but Mississippi Center for Justice Advocacy Director Beth Orlansky says that many payday borrowers begin a cycle of taking out subsequent loans with different payday lending companies to fund previous loans. Borrowing eight $300 loans a year means amassing $526.80 in fees. Johnson said the type of borrower who must resort to $100 loans is not the type of borrower that has $526, or even $65, and notes that payday lenders are pointedly targeting poorer sections of the state, including sections of Jackson. “As with any other predatory industry, payday lenders prey upon the poor and senior citizens. Part of our jobs, as policy-makers and advocacy groups, we protect our senior citizens and the poor against industries that would exploit them,” Johnson said. Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber said he wants payday lenders restricted in his ward, claiming that the city is suffering from saturation by the short-term loan industry. “If you look around the city of Jackson, you can find these kinds of businesses flooding the market in the poorer areas,” Yarber told the Jackson Free Press in November. The Center for Responsible Lending reports that Hinds County contains a total of 71 businesses licensed as short-term lenders. House Banking Committee Chairman George Flaggs, D-Vicksburg, said he opposes

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LEGISLATURE, from page 19

Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson advocates killing any bill allowing payday lenders to charge up to 500 percent annual percentage rate on short-term loans.

year, also an election year for the vast majority of state lawmakers, Rep. Dirk Dedeaux, DPerkinston, said. The rest of the Legislature’s energy will probably go to budget negotiations for the upcoming 2012 fiscal year, as the state’s difficult economic straits make other proposals nearly impossible to fund, he added. “There’s not a lot to get excited about because there’s no money, and what money there is, everyone’s going to be fighting over,” Dedeaux said. “Everybody’s staying real quiet because if you draw too much attention to something you’re interested in, people will say, ‘Aha! We’ll get the money out of that, and put it into this.’” Budget fights tend to focus on the two biggest chunks of state spending: education and Medicaid. True to form, last year’s budget negotiations stalled repeatedly as legislators waited for Congress to pass a funding bill to extend the higher levels of federal Medicaid funding from the 2008 stimulus bill. When Congress’ own dawdling pushed state budget negotiations into April, the Legislature passed a contingency plan that assigned higher funding to K-12 education if the additional federal dollars ever arrived. Congress finally extended the Medicaid funds in August along with a federal educa-

tion jobs bill that funneled $97 million directly to Mississippi school districts. In his budget recommendation for 2012, Gov. Haley Barbour assumed that school districts would have $65 million of the education jobs money remaining for next year. The assumption allowed him to claim that his plan would keep K-12 education funding level with the 2011 fiscal year (which corresponds to the current school year). House Education Committee Chairman Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, says that Barbour’s boast of level funding is misleading. “I know what he’s claiming, but he’s not telling the truth,” Brown said. “He’s counting $65 million of that as though he was giving it to them himself, or as though the state was giving it to them. … That (federal) money goes directly to the schools. We have no control over that money, so we don’t know (how much they have). They can spend that money this year and it would not be available next year.” Dedeaux, the House Medicaid Committee Chairman, says that the big question for Medicaid is how to compensate for the lost federal match enhancement. “All through this recession, the federal government has come to the aid of the

states with a stimulus enhancement that has helped us with our Medicaid budget,” Dedeaux said. “In other words, the federal government gave us an enhancement on our match rate. But that match rate is going away. That money will have to be replaced with more state dollars.” Dedeaux’s desire to make up for the lost federal money with state funds runs counter to Barbour’s proposal to raid Medicaid for $100 million in the 2012 fiscal year. While acknowledging the potential conflict, Dedeaux reserved judgment on Barbour’s plan. “The governor’s budget proposal for Medicaid was a half a page in his executive budget (recommendation),” Dedeaux said. “(The plan to cut $100 million) is a couple sentences in a half a page document; it’s not a very detailed proposal. He’s making some suggestions, but he hasn’t put any details out there.” Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, has said that he is considering introducing a bill to eliminate the requirement that those reapplying for Medicaid eligibility meet face-toface with a state Medicaid official. Barbour touted the requirement as a way to reduce fraud, and its passage was a key legislative victory for him in 2005. Critics, including the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a non-partisan think tank, maintain that it does not reduce fraud but does block eligible families from receiving coverage if they cannot make the annual meetings. Barbour’s budget plan is especially uncharitable to agencies whose missions he declared “outside the core function of government.” Those include the Mississippi Library Commission, the Mississippi Arts Commission and the Educational Television Authority, the official name for Mississippi Public Broadcasting. Each would receive a 20 percent cut under the governor’s budget plan. The legislative budget recommendation, by contrast, only recommends a 2.9 percent cut to the Arts Commission and a 1.15 percent reduction for the Library Commission. Barbour recommended slashing the MPB budget by 20 percent permanently, saying that the agency needed to generate more

of its own funding from non-state sources. “Mississippi taxpayers should not continue subsidizing a television and radio network,” Barbour said in the statement accompanying his budget proposal. “This decrease should begin a drawdown in funding for MPB that will ultimately result in its operating entirely on private donations and advertising revenues, except for educational programming used by and prepared for MDE.” The Legislature’s version only calls for an 8 percent cut, saving the state $605,214.

Leaving Schools Alone The Legislature may handle fewer education bills not directly related to funding this year, Brown said. Over the past four years, lawmakers have overhauled the state’s standardized testing system, given the Mississippi Department of Education more control over failing schools. It also transformed the annual report card for schools and school districts, and introduced an option for failing schools to morph into something resembling charter schools. “We need to give some of these bills we’ve passed already a chance to work,” Brown said. “We’ve done a lot the last three or four years, and we need to give schools a little breather here and assimilate what we’ve done.” That said, Brown said that he expects to introduce a full-scale charter school bill this year. Traditionally, charter schools are privately operated institutions that receive a “charter” from a state education agency allowing them to receive public funds on a per-student basis. Charter schools represent a deal between the state and the operator: In return for increased flexibility in curriculum, school schedules and administration, the charter operator pledges that its students will perform at a required level on state assessments. Charters in that traditional mode have met with stiff opposition from much of the Legislative Black Caucus. The bill that passed last year was a watered-down version of the a charter law, creating a path for schools to become “New Start” schools with a board made up of parents. A bill promoting comprehensive sex education—as opposed to abstinenceLEGISLATURE, see page 22

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Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said that he hopes to see the Legislature pass a bill relaxing the standard for inmates receiving medical releases. Currently, state law requires an inmate to be significantly ill with no hope of recovery before becoming eligible for a medical release. Opinions from the attorney general’s office have interpreted that requirement as limiting medical release to terminally ill prisoners only. Health care for seriously ill inmates is a major drain on the state’s budget, Epps said. The state has placed 86 people on medical release, but many more could be eligible under a lower standard, he said. “Prison, to me, is for people that we’re afraid of,” Epps said. “Prison is for people that are dangerous or violent. … If you’re full grown, your medication is $3,000 a month and you’re unable to work, you might not be terminal, but you’re not going to hurt anybody.” “Instead of spending money out of state coffers on those types of inmates, then the federal government would pick them up on Medicare or Medicaid and at the same time let this person die with dignity,” Epps added. Epps said that he expects House Corrections Committee Chairman Bennett Malone, D-Carthage, to introduce the legislation. For the fifth year, the Mississippi ACLU will make a push to restore voting rights to people convicted of felonies, Executive Director Nsombi Lambright said. In 2009, the ACLU supported a bill that would have re-

AMILE WILSON

MONDAY

only—in schools is also likely pop up again, as it has the past few years. Last year, Rep. Alyce Clarke, D-Jackson, sponsored a bill to establish a pilot sex-education program in public schools, but the measure died in committee. The Mississippi ACLU expects Clarke to submit a similar measure again this year. Currently, Mississippi school districts adopt their own sex-education policies. None have formally adopted a nonabstinence-only program, despite evidence from a 2007 federally commissioned study by Mathematica Policy Research Center that students in abstinence-only programs are no more likely to abstain from sex than peers not in such a program. The House and Senate education committees may see more ambitious legislation come from conservative lawmakers. The Mississippi Tea Party’s 2011 legislative platform includes a plank for restoring control of schools to local districts, effectively doing away with oversight by MDE. Brown scoffed at the idea. “If local school districts were doing a good job now, we’d have better schools,” Brown said. “Can you imagine what they would do without any oversight? We’ve already got 20-something school districts that are in trouble. In the first place, you’d lose all the federal money that comes down, which is a huge amount. It’s just crazy. They’re certainly welcome to introduce it, but it’s not going to go anywhere in my committee.”

House Education Committee Chairman Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, says Gov. Haley Barbour’s proposed budget gives short shrift to education.

enfranchised people with felony convictions in 2011, after the terms of most state legislators had expired. The bill passed the House but stalled in the Senate. Reform bills are also planned for juvenile justice. Rep. Earle Banks, D-Jackson, who chairs the House Juvenile Justice Committee, is planning to introduce a bill aimed at preventing the automatic diversion of juveniles with disciplinary problems to alternative schools. “Right now, in some school districts, kids who have gone through a rehabilitative program (at a youth detention center or the state’s Oakley Training School) are then punished by being placed immediately in the alternative school without any sort of individual review,” Southern Poverty Law Center Deputy Legal Director Sheila Bedi said. “The alternative schools are a punitive environment, so the child’s getting doubly punished.” The Mississippi Youth Justice Project, a watchdog group under the SPLC, is also pushing for a bill to address a quasi-military training program for juveniles incarcerated at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility. The privately operated prison, which houses juveniles tried and convicted as adults, is the subject of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation and a class-action lawsuit filed by MYJP. Bedi said that the program is ripe for the kinds of physical abuse alleged in the lawsuit. “They’re forced to exercise and march and do all the boot-camp-like exercises, but it’s not done with folks with any real military training,” Bedi said. “It’s done on an ad-hoc basis, and as a result it creates a lot of opportunities for abuses.” Bedi said that she expects Banks to introduce the Walnut Grove bill as well. While looking out for the big issues likely to dominate the news industry over the length of the session, home-grown politicos may also want to entertain themselves with individual bills filed this year. The chances

of a bill actually surviving both chambers, their respective committees, and getting a signature from the governor are slim to nonexistent, but that doesn’t mean the bills can’t inspire some form of constituent reaction prior to their death rattle. The House already has plenty of unlikely survivors to choose from, such as Jackson Democrat Rep. Cecil Brown’s House Bill 1, which would move the elections for state officers to Saturday instead of Tuesday, offering, perhaps, the possibly of more voter access to the polls. Other bills will seek to inoculate businesses from lawsuits, such as Chism’s House 36, which makes the plaintiff liable for a defendant’s court costs if the defendant prevails. Other bills aim to please religious constituents, such as Picayune Republican Rep. Mark Formby’s House Bill 60, which prohibits schools from discriminating against religious students seeking a forum in which to share their religion, or who choose to write about their religious convictions in homework or in class work. Several bills are looking to restrict the use of electronic devices while driving. Look for at least five of those this year. There will also be plenty of bills of a more progressive bent, such as bills looking to open the field for renewable energy development, either through state tax incentives or through some other means, as well as bills attacking the Mississippi Division of Medicaid’s “faceto-face” requirement for determining Medicaid eligibility. Monticello Democrat Rep. Bob Evans is attacking “face-to-face” personally with House Bill 110, which removes the requirement for a personal visit with a state agent to qualify for benefits. The legislative session looks to be an active one this year, so expect to actively participate if you want to get the most out of it or maybe even influence it. Follow Mississippi legislative news with the JFP Daily. Sign up free at jfpdaily.com.


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‘I Feel Grotesque’ It’s not hard to see why this Jackson artist’s presence often leaves people uncomfortable or intrigued. Often roaming the streets with paint on his face and body, wearing yellow sunglasses or a gray flannel hunter’s hat, he walks up to strangers and tells them to pray, think about the planet’s depleting natural resources, or suggests they smash their cell phone on the ground and breathe. People are often scared of him. “They sell me their serenity for a 50-cent trick, and then I go: ‘How serene are you if I f*ck with you that bad?” he says. “I heard in church one time that the job of the Holy Spirit is to agitate the comfortable and comfort the agitated.” Grogan’s duality is a constant force in his artwork and personality. People often gawk and stare at his mural at his former apartment at 1014 Fortification St. The mural focuses on the natural world with portraits of animals and Native Americans, and includes small, often-overlooked symbols. He painted the mural in 2001, and it took more than 1,000 hours to complete. It has since become a Jackson landmark, bearing a stark contrast to its historically preserved Belhaven neighborhood. The artist spends a majority of his time befriending recovering addicts at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and giving homeless men and women portraits he has painted of them on brown paper bags. Forty-three-year-old Grogan likens himself to a bright candle that attracts moths. “Some people have a bright aura around them. Sometimes it attracts people who need help; sometimes people want to take advantage in some kind of capacity. Sometimes it’s people who are just misguided and are looking for the mother and father that they never had,” he says. It may be that Grogan identifies more with the agitated. He has battled bipolar disorder, homelessness and addiction, and two years ago, he lost his 16-year-old son to suicide. He doesn’t mind being labeled a freak, however, and admits that at times he milks it for everything its worth. “I feel grotesque because people treat me like I am a monster or a freak,” he says. “People fear what they don’t understand. No matter how genuine or saintly or benevolent or whatever … I try to be, they are suspicious. … I have to use

their fear as an opportunity rather than a problem.” He could leave and move somewhere like New Orleans where eccentricity is a way of life, but Grogan prefers to live in the fray and rebel against the ordinary. “It’s so easy to be king freak in this town,” he says. “It’s safe to fit in, it’s safe to assimilate and to conform and belong and get it line. … If I move away to another place where there are more freaks, then I’ll just be another freak, and I won’t feel as special. Here I just feel like godd*mn Godzilla.”

After two years of crippling depression, Grogan, who uses cigarette butts as earplugs when he wants to block out surrounding noise, is in the midst of a creative awakening. The Arts Center of Mississppi and Northpark Mall commissioned him to create a 40-foot-by-16-foot mural to hang in the mall’s food court. The mural is a tribute to Mississippi artists. It includes ballet dancers, Elvis, Eudora Welty, B.B. King and others on pieces of masonite-wood panels. This is the biggest project he has had in a while, and it has amped up his creative output.

Artist Patrick Grogan’s most recent work is a mural of Mississippi notables in the food court at Northpark Mall in Ridgeland.The Arts Center of Mississippi commissioned the piece.

Seeing in the Shadows On a Friday evening in December, Grogan answers the door to his Belhaven apartment wearing a red robe with white snowman over his clothes. Traces of orange paint and glitter cover his face from the night before when he performed with his band, God Cops, at Josh Hailey’s “I Love Mississippi” art show at the Arts Center of Mississippi. He is high on caffeine and cigarettes, and he walks up a stairwell covered with neon green and red graffiti. It’s difficult to find an inch of space in Grogan’s apartment that he hasn’t painted. The coffee pot, fridge, bathroom sink, light switches and dining-room hutch are coated with layers of paint that produce a greenish tint. A mobile made of straw, an antique doll and metal tools hangs from the living-room ceiling fan. Canvas and art materials litter the floor, and a red-andgreen patterned quilt he bought from a homeless man hangs on the wall. He says the handmade quilt is his most prized possession. That’s saying a lot for a guy who loathes materialism. Like a child who has consumed too much sugar, Grogan ecstatically bounces from one idea to the next and can’t seem to stop himself from scribbling on books and paper.

Grogan rarely plans out his pieces. He sees shapes and figures in the most obscure forms and turns them into people, animals or objects. To demonstrate this, he holds a piece of paper under the shadow of a lamp and traces the patterns it makes. “This is the X-ray of a spinal column, here’s a woodstain, and now this looks like a big-headed alien baby, with big hands and feet. It makes us wonder if none of us have a clue as to what the truth is,” he says. The muralist then picks up a self-portrait from the floor. The charcoal drawing depicts a man with bulging eyes and sinister grin who resembles Frankenstein. He takes a sponge, dips it in blue paint and begins to make prints over the face. Without reservation, he vandalizes his work. “What does that look like to you?” he asks. Grogan thinks humans have gotten too far from the natural world. We are consumed with technology; we prefer fleeting pleasures to perseverance; and we rarely stop to take in our surroundings because we are living predictable and rigid lives. The introspective artist’s long-winded stream of consciousness is punctuated with enlightening realizations but also reveals the inner demons he struggles with.

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O

n a Sunday evening in fall 2009, Patrick Grogan painted his face and arms black and walked into a service at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans. Earlier that day, he had noticed that the congregation was mostly white, and wanted church members to think about why God’s temple lacked people of various races and colors. As the pastor preached about the Bible’s description of the “lawless one” who acts in accordance with the devil and performs counterfeit miracles, Grogan absorbed the uncomfortable silence while parishioners tried to pretend like he didn’t exist. What happened next is difficult to verify: Grogan says that when the preacher asked the congregation to close their eyes and bow their heads for a prayer, a couple of ushers escorted him outside, forced him on the ground, and kicked and punched him. And while church leaders acknowledge that Grogan did, indeed, attend the service with a dark paint coating his body that night, they claim he left “without incident.” Regardless, on his walk home, Grogan felt like a hero. He believed he’d had a taste of what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Buddha felt in the face of persecution.

AARON PHILLIPS

King Freak

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from page 25

DAVE CARNEY

DIVERSIONS|arts

Often misunderstood, Patrick Grogan isn’t shy about his differences and is a rebel with a cause: to help people reconsider their understanding of truth and conventional concepts.

January 5 - 11, 2011

When he read a biography of Vincent van Gogh in grade school, it was the first time he really identified with someone. He knew then, he says, that he was a “real deal” artist. But his constant drawing on walls, objects and surfaces became the source of punishment from teachers, against whom he was always rebelling. He was working as a waiter at Amerigo in the early 1990s when he decided he no longer wanted any of his material possessions and wanted to live as an artist. Shortly after, he quit his job and started painting. “I was trying to be normal. I guess I started feeling like I was gifted instead of tainted, blessed instead of cursed,” he says. “I’d rather be happy than try to fit in. My heart told me I was miserable, and I had to follow it.” Paintings that Scream When the time came to move the mural from the Arts Center to Northpark Mall on Dec. 4, Grogan was nowhere in sight. He doesn’t believe in carrying a cell phone or own-

ment to the Fortification Street mural on a chilly Saturday afternoon, Grogan points to a faint carving on a concrete wall in front of the Shell Station that reads “god.” He carved it, making the “g” lowercase to make people think. Grogan is constantly picking up items from the ground. He sees a piece of metal with two prongs. “Look, it’s a heart,” he says, as he eats an apple fritter. By the time he gets to the mural, he is carrying an old tire, a wooden stick and a pair of tweezers—all found on the road. The mural is deeply biographical to Grogan and includes several references to Jesus and Native Americans. He believes that in a past life, he was a Native American, and a few years ago, he spent time at the Hopi Indian Reservation in Arizona. He also attended his first sweat lodge on an Indian reservation in Reno, Nev., on his birthday. The mural features a large face: The eyes are two birds representing Native American shamanism; the nose is a horse’s head; the cheeks are two antelopes, and a lemur, jack rabbit and monkey extend from the head. The mural has another bird with Jesus hidden in its face and two alligators as its eyebrows. A band of raccoons represents his friends as fierce protectors of each other. It also includes men and women copulating, a turtle with a mediating Jesus in its shell, a cat he once owned named Athena, his friend José reincarnated as a giraffe, and a portrait of a Native American child he dreamed of adopting. Grogan is the first to admit that he causes all his own problems and that his ego craves attention. He sees himself as a modern-day Walter Anderson, the famous Ocean Springs artist who also suffered from mental illness. “He was genius and tormented by society,” Grogan says. Grogan has suffered consequences of making people uncomfortable. Last year, Belhaven University—where he earned his finearts degree—banned him from the campus

JULIAN RANKIN

“The only way to have peace and freedom is through a passive Martin Luther King revolution,” he says. “If we all go back to kindergarten, we can realize that we learned everything we needed to know then. You don’t need to listen to the b*tch who said you have to paint trees green and skies blue. You say, f*ck you, it’s purple and brown.” Grogan, who suffered various drug additions, got sober about 20 years ago when he hit bottom. He attended AA meetings for several years before he really started working the 12 steps. Grogan says he has had an addictive personality as far back as he can remember. At age 2, he would spin around in circles, intoxicated by the feeling it left him with. At 12, his older friends introduced him to marijuana and alcohol, and he loved the roller coaster-like sensations they provided. As a college student at the University of Southern Mississippi, his drug use escalated to include LSD and heroin. Finally, Grogan reached a point where he had to be high all his waking hours just to function. He decided one night that he would kill himself by overdosing on heroin; he was miserable from the power and control it had over his life. But before he had the chance, his father forced him to go to an AA meeting where the speaker talked about procrastination. The speaker’s message prompted Grogan to stand up and say: “I’m an alcoholic, and I’ve been procrastinating in taking the first step.” He attributes AA to helping him get in tune with his spirituality. Grogan doesn’t subscribe to one religion. Instead, he says he seeks truth from all religions and believes in a divine power that guides him. “We make sh*tty gods. We get on a self-will run-riot trip: If it feels good, we get addicted to it,” he says about what he learned from AA. “The spiritual experience gives you contact with this mystery, this secret garden, the still voice within—instead of the chatter in our heads. “Your brain is a palace or a prison depending on what you do with it. … We tend to forget everything we knew, because we’ve learned to put a giant soul in a tiny schedule.” Grogan says he always knew he was an artist and different. His mom, who worked as a social worker, was a light healer—advocat26 ing shamanistic practices and spiritual healing.

“He has so many layers—as a man, as an individual,” she says. “His artwork comes across very spiritual, and I am a very spiritual person. So when a piece of art can connect with me on that level, I felt like this was bigger than the both of us.” While he worked on the mural, Jacobs often had to refocus Grogan’s short attention span. On days that he was up, Grogan would try to paint all over the walls and objects of the arts center. On days he was down, he wouldn’t talk to anyone and communicated only by writing down words. “It’s been a nerve-wracking, painstaking process to get it done. It’s been emotional,” she says. “Patrick has made us laugh, cry and scared, but I love him. … What he wants from people is their undivided attention—for them to listen to his art. His paintings scream at you.” At first glance, the mural, which Grogan has worked on for more than a month now, looks like a seeing-eye poster with various shapes and patterns connected. But on closer inspection, it’s almost dizzying with its many subjects and themes. The mural includes Mississippi wildlife, blues artists, a pyramid, Native Americans, butterflies, instruments and various other figures. It’s larger than life and overpowering. Grogan isn’t satisfied with the mural, yet, and plans to add more details and fill in several white spaces that still exist. “I want to hide so much erotic stuff that eventually it gets discovered by old ladies with opera glasses,” he says about the final additions he wants to add. “I really kind of painted it for Manhattan, not Mississippi. I want to push the envelope with what I can get away with.” The mural draws a sharp contrast to its surroundings, and this is exactly what Grogan envisioned. “I want people to look at the mural and see what all those people are doing other than walking around the mall, looking for a shirt. It’s designed to help people open

There is no mistaking that Patrick Grogran’s older model Acura, with his signature artistry, belongs to him.

ing a computer because that would interfere with his solitude. Because he doesn’t carry the same sense of obligation most people have, he has little reservation about following any unexpected muses that come his way. Arts Center of Mississippi Gallery Director Kimberly Jacobs, who commissioned Grogan for the project after meeting him at the Wellsfest Art Night and Auction, assembled the various wood pieces herself when Grogan didn’t show up to move the mural. Jacobs knew Grogan came with a unique set of idiosyncrasies and wasn’t sure how stable he would be to work with, but when he brought her a sketch of the proposed mural in October, it brought her to tears.

their minds. I want people to look at it and say: ‘I want to create something,’” he says. A few days later, Grogan calls. His voice is slow and methodic. It is the anniversary of his son’s suicide, and he’s encountered several obstacles to finishing his mural. The mall won’t let him use the scaffolding because he doesn’t have insurance in case of a fall. He tried to use a ladder to paint on the mural but found it difficult to maneuver and keep it steady while he painted. Since he doesn’t have insurance, he plans to stay home and create a piece of work that memorializes his son. Your Weakness is Your Spirituality Walking from his North Street apart-

after several students complained about his tendency to disturb them as they worked. He is often asked to leave public events and has been arrested several times. Despite this, he sees himself as a visionary. “I think everyone who is creative and conflicted turns their pain into beauty,” he says. “[Y]our weakness is your strongest part when you share it with someone else. Your flaw, your wound, your most visible imperfection is your spirituality. If we all had black stretch limos and top-of-the line cell phones … and sparkly blue eyes, the world would be ridiculously boring.” Patrick Grogan’s mural is on permanent display at Northpark Mall’s food court.


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DIVERSIONS|books

Affected by War

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Coming Home

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efore I read “Uptown” by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant (Touchstone, 2010, $14.99), I assumed the book would be about the dramas that normally unfold in big cities and corporate America. I guessed an office affair gone wrong or perhaps a grand scheme gone sour. Fortunately, “Uptown” wasn’t that predictable. DeBerry and Grant offer a fresh story that teaches lessons about greed, the importance of family and forgiveness. “Uptown” is the story of a family painfully divided by troubling past events, power and money. Avery Braithwaite has little time for family or friends. She seems to enjoy her self-imposed exile from her family, but her distance from everything and everyone she grew up with has instilled a distance in her personality that makes it hard for anyone to discover who she really is. After being away from Harlem for more than 20 years, Avery is forced to revisit her hometown due to a terrible tragedy. But once her plane lands, Avery’s life is changed forever. As soon as she returns to New York City, she discovers that coming home is a process

by Pamela Hosey more than a simple task. Avery struggles to re-adjust to the life that she abandoned years ago. Her cousin, budding real-estate entrepreneur Dwight Dixon, won’t get off her back about selling a property that “needs” to be sold and requires Avery’s permission to do so. Dwight is the reason why Avery fled her home, vowing to never return. Their impromptu reunion surfaces years of anguish and unsettled issues from the past. DeBerry and Grant exquisitely guide you through the lives of Avery and Dwight and skillfully allow you to enter their minds to understand the emotions and feelings behind their actions. The plot twists and turns, but you can always understand why the characters act and feel the way they do. The authors keep interest levels piqued, as the plot progresses to its climax. You will become consumed with the characters due to the extensive level of detail; they’ll actually seem to become real. Reading “Uptown” will help you understand your relationship with that unique place each of us calls “home,” making this book an experience—not just a novel. COURTESY TOUCHSTONE

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While heroes and rogues of the war make occasional appearances, the story doesn’t focus on them. Those fighting the war are merely a dynamic part of the bloody scenery that surrounds the true focus of the tale—the Missourians simply trying to live their lives. This approach should strike a poignant note and serve as a reminder that although our wars are now fought thousands of miles away, it does not mean that they don’t alter lives and livelihoods daily—and rarely for the better. In a metaphor for our country, Leighton becomes a man through his war experiences—a strong and honorable man—but loses his innocence and zest in the process. Yates knows the business of rock quarrying and weaves extensive details within the narrative. As the pages turn, one almost expects to stir up a cloud of lime dust. A native of Springfield, Mo., his descriptions of the majestic Ozarks were a bonus that made the story feel all the more real. While the story is 100 percent fiction (as the author reminds us), one has a hard time reading the book without being tempted to think of the tale as history. Be it the descriptions, the faithful depiction of 19th-century Ozark life, or even the classic layout and style of the book, “Morkan’s Quarry” delivers an exciting and thought-provoking read. COURTESY MON CITY PRESS

Jesse Gallagher Sarah J Griff Howard Lori Carpenter Scroggins Ginger Rankin Brock Freeman

s he watches Confederate soldiers march into his war-torn town, quarry owner Michael Morkan turns to his son, Leighton, and says wearily “One doesn’t have to fight in a war to be a part of it.” That statement sums up the spirit of Steve Yates’ novel “Morkan’s Quarry” (Moon City Press, 2010, $27.95). The story doesn’t focus on presenting one army as right and the other wrong. Instead it tells the history of those whose lives were affected by the war—regardless of their involvement. All soldiers (save the few mercenaries) are Americans, any of whom could be a neighbor, family member or friend. The plot follows two protagonists: Michael, a wizened quarry owner who wants nothing more than to protect his son and his business, and Leighton, his teenage son who has yet to fill the man-sized boots of his father’s expectations. Living in Missouri, the two have enjoyed the advantage of being in a neutral state, but war has a way of finding those who want only peace. When a corrupt officer forces the elder Morkan into selling supplies to the Confederate army, the Union brands Morkan a traitor and imprisons him. Most of his story involves his experience in custody, while Leighton strikes out on a quest to rescue his father and save the family business.

by Bret Kenyon


BEST BETS Jan. 5-12, 2011 by Latasha Willis events@jacksonfreepress.com Fax: 601-510-9019 Daily updates at jfpevents.com

COURTESY DEBI LEWIS

Andy Anderson talks about his new book, “Memoirs of the Original Rolling Stones,” during History Is Lunch at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Bring a lunch; call 601-576-6850. … Exhibits on display at the Mississippi Museum of Art (280 S. Lamar St.) through Jan. 16 include “Cabbagetown: Photos by Oraien Catledge,” “River and Reverie: Paintings by Rolland Golden” and the Mississippi Watercolor Society Exhibition. $3-$5, children under 5 and museum members free; call 601-960-1515. … Shaun Patterson performs at Burgers and Blues. … Enjoy Wasted Wednesday with The Supakidz at Dreamz Jxn. … Karaoke with DJ Stache is at Ole Tavern. … Snazz performs at Regency Hotel.

FRIDAY 1/7

The Power APAC exhibit at Jackson-Evers International Airport (100 International Drive) closes today. Free; call 601-960-5387. … Downtown at Dusk: Marathon Edition at Old Capitol Green (S. State St.) is from 5-8 p.m. and includes music by the Taylor Hildebrand Trio and Elvis impersonator Brandon Bennett. Free admission and parking, $12 T-shirts; call 601-353-9800 or 601-960-1891. … Riverdance at Thalia Mara Hall is at 8 p.m.; encore performances on Jan. 8. $27.50-$57.50; call 800-745-3000. … J.P. Harris & the Tough Choices and Iron Feathers play at Ole Tavern at 9 p.m. … Grady Champion performs at Underground 119. $10. … Rooster Blues plays at Martin’s at 10 p.m. Visit myspace.com/theroosterblues.

SATURDAY 1/8

The Mississippi Blues Marathon and Half-Marathon in downtown Jackson kicks off at 7 a.m. $20-$105 registration fee; call 601-664-5726. … The BankPlus Racing Vehicle Extravaganza at the Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.) is from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Jan. 8-9. $12, $5 children 6-12, children under 6 free; call 601-832-3020. … Natchez Day at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.) is at 10:30 a.m. Free for Natchez residents; call 601-960-1515. … Joyflow Yoga (Trace Harbour Village, 7048 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland) hosts Inner Fire Yoga from 3-5 p.m. ($35 in advance, $45 at the door) and an evening of kirtan from 7-9 p.m. ($18 in advance, $20 at the door). Call 601-613-4317. … Gospoetry is at Cultural Expressions. … The Bailey Brothers and Scott Albert Johnson perform at the Blues Marathon Show at Martin’s.

SUNDAY 1/9

The Megalodon exhibit at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive) closes today. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. $3-$5, free for members and children David Newman and Mira lead an evening of kirtan at Joyflow Yoga Jan. 8 at 7 p.m.

The exhibit “Welty Snapshots: At Home and Away” at Eudora Welty House (1119 Pinehurst Place) is up through Jan. 17. Free; call 601-353-7762. … Fondren After 5 is from 5-8 p.m. Free; call 601-981-9606. … Dreamz Jxn hosts Centric Thursday with music from Akami Graham and DJ Finesse. Happy hour begins at 5 p.m. For ages 21 and older. … Jason Bailey performs at Burgers and Blues from 5:30-9:30 p.m. … Wooden Finger, Stone Jack Jones and Hands Off Cuba perform at Blaylock Photography (3017 N. State St.). $5. … The play “Unshelved” at The Commons is at 7:30 p.m. and runs through Jan. 9. $10; call 601-982-2217. … Emma Wynters performs at Georgia Blue.

MONDAY 1/10

The Lego Jackson exhibit at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.) is on display through Jan. 31. Free; call 601-960-1557. … James Martin and Rachel Heard perform in the faculty artist concert at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.) at 7:30 p.m. Free; call 601-974-1422. … The Central Mississippi Blues Society Jam at Hal & Mal’s is at 8 p.m. $5.

TUESDAY 1/11

Music in the City at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.) is at 5:15 p.m. Free, donations welcome; call 601-354-1533. … Oral historian Amy Evans Streeter speaks as part of the Millsaps Arts and Lecture Series at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.) at 7:30 p.m. $10; call 601-974-1130.

WEDNESDAY 1/12

Historic preservationist Jennifer Baugh speaks during History Is Lunch at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Bring a lunch; call 601576-6850. … Swing d’ Paris performs at Underground 119. … Poets II has music with DJ Phingaprint. … The comedic Intellectual Bulimics perform at Fenian’s. More events and details at jfpevents.com.

Race cars will be on display at the BankPlus Racing Vehicle Extravaganza at the Mississippi Trade Mart Jan. 8-9. COURTESY BILL BISSELL

THURSDAY 1/6

under 3; call 601-354-7303. … The Premier Bridal Show at the Jackson Convention Complex is at noon. $22 in advance, $25 at the door; call 601-957-1050. … Mike and Marty’s jam session at ToMara’s is from 4-9 p.m. Free. … The Millsaps Chamber Singers perform at Galloway United Methodist Church (305 N. Congress St.) at 6 p.m. Free; call 601-974-1422. … Sherman Lee Dillon performs at Burgers and Blues from 6-9 p.m.

jacksonfreepress.com

WEDNESDAY 1/5

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6A0=3E84F A M A LC O T H E AT R E

South of Walmart in Madison

ALL STADIUM SEATING Listings for Friday, Dec. 31st - Thursday, Jan. 6th Season Of The Witch PG13 Country Strong PG13 True Grit

PG13

Little Fockers PG13 Black Swan

R

3-D Gullivers Travels

PG

Gullivers Travels (non 3-D) PG 3-D Tron Legacy PG Tron Legacy (non 3-D) PG

The Fighter

R

3-D Yogi Bear PG Yogi Bear (non 3-D)

PG

How Do You Know? PG13 Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader 3-D PG Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (non 3-D) PG Tangled (non 3-D) PG

GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE

jfpevents JFP-SPONSORED EVENTS Radio JFP on WLEZ ongoing, at WLEZ 100.1 FM and wlezfm.com. Join Donna Ladd and Todd Stauffer every Thursday from noon-1 p.m., where they discuss vital issues and play local music. Listen to podcasts of all shows at jfpradio. com. Free; call 601-362-6121, ext. 17. Fondren After 5 Jan. 6, 5 p.m. The monthly event showcases the local shops, galleries and restaurants of the Fondren neighborhood. Free; call 601-981-9606. Valentine’s Date Night Feb. 4, at circa. (2771 Old Canton Road). Artist Christy Henderson debuts her exhibit of intriguing abstracts and love-themed works. With artisan-made gifts and a scent bar, you’re sure to find a perfect Valentine’s gift for someone special and yourself. Free admission; e-mail shannon@ jacksonfreepress.com. Mississippi HeARTS Against AIDS Feb. 12, 6 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 Commerce St.). The benefit is a huge live and silent auction of Mississippi’s best-known artists with live entertainment headlined by Scott Albert Johnson and cuisine catered by dozens of local restaurants. $35, $25 students with ID; call 601-668-6648. Mississippi Happening ongoing. The monthly broadcast is hosted by Guaqueta Productions and features a special musical guest. Download free podcasts at mississippihappening.com.

DAILY BARGAINS UNTIL 6PM

COMMUNITY

Online Tickets, Birthday Parties, Group & Corporate Events @ www.malco.com

Events at Baptist Medical Center (1225 N. State St.). Registration is required. Call 601-9486262 or 800-948-6262. • Pelvic Organ Prolapse: What’s Going on Down There? Jan. 6, 11:45 a.m., in the Baptist for Women Conference Center. If childbirth left you with a very unpleasant rearrangement of your pelvic organs, help is possible. Urogynecologists Dr. Robert Harris and Dr. Steven Speights explain how minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery can correct this condition. $5 optional lunch. • Marvelous Multiples Childbirth Classes Jan. 11-Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m., in the Baptist for Women Conference Room on Tuesdays. The four-week prenatal education class offers instruction on pregnancy, nutritional needs, relaxation techniques, birth and emotional aspects of having multiples. Registration is required. $15 for materials ($100 if not delivering at Baptist); call 601948-6262 or 800-948-6262.

Movieline: 355-9311

“History Is Lunch” Jan. 5, noon, at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Vintage rocker Andy Anderson talks about his new book, “Memoirs of the Original Rolling Stones.” Bring a lunch; coffee/water provided. Free; call 601-576-6850. Precinct 1 COPS Meeting Jan. 6, 6 p.m., at Jackson Police Department, Precinct 1 (810 Cooper Road). These monthly forums are designed to help resolve community issues or problems, from crime to potholes. Call 601960-0001.

January 5 - 11, 2010

Friday Forum Jan 7, 9 a.m., at Koinonia Coffee House (136 S. Adams St., Suite C). The presenter is Jackson city councilman and president Frank Blunston. Free; e-mail nmcnamee@ greaterjacksonpartnership.com.

30

Marathon, the event includes food and drinks from local vendors and performances by the Taylor Hildebrand Trio at 5 p.m. and nationally acclaimed Elvis impersonator Brandon Bennett at 6 p.m. A free trolley ride from the Blues Marathon Expo at the Jackson Convention Complex to the event will be provided. Free admission and parking, $12 T-shirts; call 601-353-9800 or 601-960-1891. Roll Off Dumpster Day Jan. 8, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., at City of Jackson (various locations). The City of Jackson’s Solid Waste Division is encouraging citizens of Jackson to participate by taking tree limbs, other yard debris, and household items to one of their designated locations. Residents may bring all household furniture and appliances for disposal. However, tires, chemicals and gas tanks are not accepted. Free; call 601-960-0000. Parent/Guardian Education Advocacy Trainings, Jan. 8, 11 a.m., at Lumpkin’s BBQ (182 Raymond Road). Sessions are held the second Saturday of each month, and the topic varies. Lunch provided. Please RSVP. Free; call 877892-2577. Women’s Voices in 2011 Jan. 8, 2 p.m., at Masonic Temple (1072 John R. Lynch St.). Jackson Area NOW is the sponsor of the forum. Open to the public. E-mail tom@nowms.org. Magnolia Ballroom Dancers Association Dance Jan. 8, 8 p.m., at Madison Square Center for the Arts (2103 Main St., Madison). A deejay will provide ballroom and Latin music for dancing, and mixers will be held. Water and soft drinks provided. The dress code is hard-soled shoes and no blue jeans. $10 members, $15 guests; call 601-506-4591. Arenacross Tour 2011 Jan. 8, 7 p.m., at Mississippi Coliseum (1207 Mississippi St.). The event is an eight-round professional indoor motocross tour and AX Tour amateur championship. Professional motocross and quad racers compete for $40,000 in cash prizes. Amateurs race for trophies and series awards. $17 in advance, $20 at the door, $12 children ages 2-11; call 601353-0603. The Premier Bridal Show: Weddings & Celebrations Jan. 9, noon, at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). Mississippi’s top wedding professionals will be available for consultations. The event includes door prizes, a New York-style fashion show and samples. $22 in advance, $25 at the door; call 601-957-1050. Monday Night Football Mixer Jan. 10, 7 p.m., at Dreamz Jxn (426 W. Capitol St.). Each week, come to watch football on the big screen television and enjoy burgers, wings and drinks. Wrestling fans can watch WWE matches in the VIP Lounge. Free admission; call 601-979-3994. The Stories Behind Southern Food Jan. 11, 7 p.m., at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.). Amy Evans Streeter, the oral historian for Southern Foodways Alliance, will show two short documentaries: “Smokes and Ears” about Jackson’s Big Apple Inn on Farish Street, and “Rolling Tamales on M.L.K.,” and talk about her trips to pig lots in Cajun Country and oyster skiffs in Apalachicola Bay. The program is part of the Millsaps Arts and Lecture Series. $10; call 601-974-1130.

Secession Revisited Jan. 7, 10 a.m., at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Historians Tim Smith and George Rable analyze the 150th anniversary of Mississippi’s decision to leave the Union, setting the state toward civil war. Free; call 601-576-6934.

Mississippi Health Awareness Day Call for Host Sites through Jan. 19, at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.). The Coalition for a Healthier Mississippi is actively recruiting host sites and vendors to perform free health screenings during Mississippi Health Awareness Day on , Jan. 20. Call 601-487-8269 or 601-487-8275.

Downtown at Dusk: Marathon Edition Jan. 7, 5 p.m., at Old Capitol Green (S. State St.). In conjunction with the Mississippi Blues

“Snow Happy for our Patrons!” Contest through Jan. 31, at Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road, Pearl). Guess the number of


STAGE AND SCREEN “M for Mississippi: A Road Trip through the Birthplace of the Blues” Jan. 6, 6:30 p.m., at B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center (400 Second St., Indianola). The movie explores the roots of the blues in Mississippi. Filmmakers Jeff Konkel, Kari Jones and Roger Stolle will give a brief introduction before the screening and conduct a question-and-answer session afterward. $3 donation; call 662-887-9539, ext. 228. “Unshelved” Jan. 6-9, at The Commons at Eudora Welty’s Birthplace (719 N. Congress St.). The play by Beth Kander about a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is presented by Fondren Theatre Workshop. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6-8 and 2 p.m. Jan. 9. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Mississippi Alzheimer’s Association. $10; call 601-982-2217. Riverdance Jan. 7-8, at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The internationally-acclaimed Irish dance troupe will perform live. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday. $27.50-$57.50; call 800-745-3000. Crossroads Music Video Showcase Call for Entries through Feb. 1. Musicians or filmmakers in or near Mississippi are eligible to participate. All music videos are due by 11:59 p.m. Feb. 1. Each music video selected for inclusion by the screening committee in the Crossroads Film Festival in April will receive tickets to the Music Video Showcase – one for the director and one for each band member. Please submit a separate entry form for each video. Free entry; visit crossroadsfilmfestival. com. Jackson Comedy Night ongoing, at Dreamz Jxn (426 W. Capitol St.). Stand-up comedians perform every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. $7; call 601-317-0769.

MUSIC Chamber Singers Homecoming Concert Jan. 9, 6 p.m., at Galloway United Methodist Church (305 N. Congress St.). Millsaps College’s 20-voice auditioned touring choir presents a concert of a cappella and accompanied choral music from motets and anthems to American folk hymns and spirituals. Free; call 601-974-1422. Faculty Artist Concert Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m., at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.). In the recital hall. James Martin, baritone, and Rachel Heard, fortepiano, collaborate to present Franz Schubert’s “Die Winterreise” song cycle. Free; call 601-974-1422. Music in the City Jan. 11, 5:15 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.), in Trustmark Grand Hall. In partnership with St. Andrew’s Cathedral, the museum brings a series of free concerts one Tuesday a month. Hors d’oeuvres will be served first, and the performance is at 5:45 p.m. Free, donations welcome; call 601-354-1533. Cotton District Arts Festival Songwriters Competition through Feb. 1. The Starkville Area Arts Council invites amateur and professional songwriters to submit an original, lyrical song into the festival competition. Songs will be judged on melody, composition, structure and lyrics. All genres of music are accepted. Open to all ages. Applications are available online at starkvillearts.org. The deadline for entries is Feb. 1 at 4:30 p.m. First, second, and third place prizes will be $250, $100 and $75 cash, respectively. All winners get to perform their song on one of the Cotton District Arts Festival main stages on April 23. $15 per song; call 662325-3070.

LITERARY AND SIGNINGS “The d’Ohrs of Ohr” Jan. 7-14, at Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art (386 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi). Doors creatively painted by 48 artists are featured in a new coffee table book on sale at the museum. An open house and bidding takes place Jan. 8-9 from 1-4 p.m. at the Knight Nonprofit Center (11975 Seaway Road, Gulfport). The artists’ book signing is on Jan. 13 from 6-8 p.m. at the museum. The painted doors will be sold in an auction Jan. 14 from 6-8 p.m. at the Knight Nonprofit Center. $50 book; call 228-374-5547.

Team Loyalty Contests and Sports Trivia! All games for the NFL Sunday Ticket, ESPN Game Plan and NFL Channel showing here! 20+ TVs and a Projector Screen!

University of New Orleans’ Seventh Annual Writing Contest for Study Abroad through Jan. 31. Three prizes to attend the University of New Orleans’ writing workshops in Edinburgh, Scotland, will be given to a poet, a fiction writer and a creative nonfiction writer. Writers who have not published a book of 45 pages or more in the genre in which they are applying are eligible. The award includes full tuition and lodging, and the winning works are published in The Pinch. The editors of The Pinch will judge. Submit up to three poems totaling no more than five pages or up to 4,500 words of prose by January 31. $25 entry fee; visit unopress.org/writingcontest.

Daily Lunch Specials - $9

Happy Hour Everyday 4-7 LATE NIGHT HAPPY HOUR

Sunday - Thursday 10pm - 12am

Story Time ongoing, at Borders (100 Dogwood Blvd., Flowood). A story will be read to children every Friday at 10 a.m. Free; call 601-919-0462.

2-FOR-1, YOU CALL IT!

CREATIVE CLASSES Four-Day Calligraphy Workshop Jan. 6-27, at Southern Cultural Heritage Center (1302 Adams St., Vicksburg). Classes are on Thursdays from 5:30-7 p.m. The workshop is designed around a stroke-by-stroke, easy-to-learn method that gives the basic skills needed to become proficient in the calligraphic artform. Supplies are included. $115, $95 members; call 601-631-2997. Free Beginner Clogging Lesson Jan. 6, 5:30 p.m., at Dance Unlimited Studio (6787 S. Siwell Rd, Byram). Learn to clog and perform with Mississippi Explosion Clogging Crew all over the state. For ages 3 to adult. Free; call 769-610-4304. Baby Cakes Jan. 8, 9 a.m., at Viking Cooking School (Township at Colony Park, 1107 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). Learn skills such as cutting out, glazing and decorating petit fours, using a piping bag, making and baking miniature cakes, cooking in canning jars, making frosting, baking in a water bath and making a coulis. $89; call 601-898-8345. Shut Up and Write! Sign up for the workshop series of JFP Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd’s popular non-fiction and creative writing classes. Gift certificates are available. Students are currently being accepted for the April session. $150 (including materials), $75 non-refundable deposit required; call 601-362-6121, ext. 16; e-mail class@ jacksonfreepress.com. Inner Fire Yoga Class and Evening Kirtan Jan. 8, at Joyflow Yoga (Trace Harbour Village, 7048 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland). Inner Fire Yoga will be taught by David Newman (Durga Das) from 3-5 p.m. and includes kirtan chanting, asana practice and a chakra-opening meditation. The kirtan is from 7-9 p.m., and David Newman performs with devotional vocalist and percussionist Mira. $35, $45 at the door for class; $18, $20 at the door for kirtan; call 601-613-4317. Salsa Mississippi Dance Classes through Dec. 31, at La Salsa Dance Club and Studio (303 Mitchell Ave.). Zumba class is held Mondays at 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays, take the bachata class at 6 p.m. or the mild salsa class at 7 p.m. Wednesdays, beginners salsa is taught at 6 p.m., and intermediate salsa is taught at 7 p.m. Advanced salsa class is on Thurs-

More EVENTS, see page 32

601.978.1839

6270 Old Canton Rd. Jackson, MS 39211

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snowflakes on display in the library. The person who guesses the exact number or comes the closest wins a prize. Call 601-932-2562.

31


jfpevents

from page 31

days at 6 p.m. A beginners salsa class is also taught at the Chapatoula Building (115 Cynthia St., Clinton). $10 per class; call 601-213-6355. Fitness Center ongoing, at Jackson Roadmap to Health Equity Projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Market (2548 Livingston Road). Options include aerobics and Zumba classes, equipment for resistance training and toning, and access to a personal trainer. No joining fee or long-term commitment is required. Hours are 8 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays. $20 per month; call 601-987-6783.

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Looking for band mates? Wanting to sell your gear? Advertise here for free! Visit JFP Classifieds.com. If you are interested in sponsoring the Musicians Exchange call JFP Sales at 601-362-6121 ext. 11. 32

Jewelry Making Class ongoing, at Dream Beads (605 Duling Ave.). This class is offered every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Free; call 601664-0411. Adult Hip-Hop Dance Classes ongoing, at Courthouse Racquet and Fitness Club, Northeast (46 Northtown Drive). Learn authentic hip-hop dance techniques and choreography. Open to all ages 16 and older. Classes are offered Mondays from 7:308:30 p.m. and Fridays from 5:30-6:30 pm. $10; call 601-853-7480.

EXHIBITS AND OPENINGS Power APAC Exhibit through Jan. 7, at JacksonEvers International Airport (100 International Drive). Artwork by visual arts students is on display in the Jackson Public Schools display case. Free; call 601-960-5387. Four Seasons at The Cedars Winter Art Exhibit through Jan. 7, at The Cedars Historic Home (4145 Old Canton Rd.). Artwork by Sara Jane Alston, Cleta Ellington, Patti Henson and Diane Jacobs will be on display, including a special showing during Fondren After 5 on Dec. 2. Free; call 601-981-9606. BankPlus Racing Vehicle Extravaganza Jan. 89, at Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.). See a display of vintage and modern cars by World of Show & Go Radical Customs, and meet Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer and three-time NHRA racing champion Angelle Sampey. Free childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tickets are available at all BankPlus locations. $12, $5 children 6-12, children under 6 free; call 601-832-3020. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Livedâ&#x20AC;? through Jan. 9, at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). The 60-foot, 2-million-year-old Megalodon looms life-size in this mega-exhibit of modern and fossil sharks. Museum hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. $3$5, free for members and children under 3; call 601-354-7303. Events at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from noon-5 p.m. $3$5, children under 5 and museum members free; call 601-960-1515. â&#x20AC;˘ Natchez Day Jan. 8, 10:30 a.m. In association with the Historic Natchez Foundation, the event is geared toward Natchez residents and includes brunch, a conversation with artist Rolland Golden and curator Daniel Piersol, a walkthrough of Goldenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exhibition â&#x20AC;&#x153;River and Reverie: Painting of the Mississippi,â&#x20AC;? featured works by Natchez artists in The Museum Store with book signings and greetings by Natchez artists and writers, afternoon tours of Jackson attractions, and a cocktail reception and celebration for former and current Natchezians. Free for Natchez residents. â&#x20AC;˘ River and Reverie: Paintings of the Mississippi by Rolland Golden through Jan. 16. Goldenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s evocative riverscapes depict the iconic body of water at various times of day, and from many vantage points along its long, winding banks. â&#x20AC;˘ Cabbagetown: Photographs by Oraien Catledge through Jan. 16. Beginning in 1980, and for more than 20 years, Oraien Catledge captured in his black and white photographs the inhabit-

ants and surroundings of the neglected industrial area near downtown Atlanta known as Cabbagetown. â&#x20AC;˘ Mississippi Watercolor Society Grand National Watercolor Exhibition, in the public corridor. This annual presentation includes works from across the country in various water-based mediums, organized in conjunction with the Mississippi Watercolor Society. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Welty Snapshots: At Home and Awayâ&#x20AC;? through Jan. 17, at Eudora Welty House (1119 Pinehurst Place), in the Education and Visitor Center next door. The exhibit of photographs taken by author Eudora Welty features eight images from New York City and two from Mississippi during the Great Depression. Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free; call 601-353-7762. Holiday Group Exhibit through Jan. 10, at Southside Gallery (150 Courthouse Square, Oxford). See paintings, ceramics, sculptures, furniture and photographs by many local and regional artists such as Kevin Waddell, Bonnie Renfroe, Glennray Tutor and Wendy Olson. Free, artwork for sale; call 662-234-9090. Lego Jackson through Jan. 31, at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). See Scott Crawfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s model of the city of Jackson made of Lego blocks. Free; call 601-960-1557. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Attention to Detailâ&#x20AC;? through Jan. 31, at Cups in Fondren (2757 Old Canton Road). See drawings and paintings by Scott Penman, and graphic designs by Jesse Stribling. Works are on display through Jan. 31. Free; call 601-362-7422. Art Exhibit through Jan. 25, at Fitness Lady (331 Sunnybrook Road, Ridgeland). See works by Jeanette Jarmon. Free admission; call 601-906-3458. Check jfpevents.com for updates and more listings. To add an event, e-mail all details (phone number, start/end date and time, street address, cost, URL, etc.) to events@jacksonfreepress.com or fax to 601510-9019. The deadline is noon the Thursday prior to the week of publication. Or add the event online yourself; check out jfpevents.com for instructions.

BE THE CHANGE Mississippi Blues Marathon and Half-Marathon Jan. 8, 7 a.m., in downtown Jackson. The race will take place on Elvis Presleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 76th birthday. The event includes a full marathon and a half-marathon, a one-mile kids marathon, a wheelchair division and relay teams. The Matthew Davidson Band will also perform. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Mississippi Blues Commission. Registration prior to the race is required for all runners. $20-$105 registration fee; call 601-664-5726. Super Bowl Raffle through Jan. 10. Raffle tickets are being sold for a Super Bowl trip package for two to Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6. The deadline is Jan. 10. Proceeds benefit Jobs for Mississippi Graduates (JMG), a dropout prevention program operating in all eight JPS high schools. $100; call 601-978-1711. Civic Engagement Day Jan. 12, 10 a.m., at Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance (MIRA) (612 N. State St.). The day includes training, lunch at noon and a trip to the state capitol for legislative meetings and observations. Call if you live outside of the Jackson area and need transportation. Call 601-968-5182. Jackson Public Schools Call for Volunteers ongoing. Jackson Public Schools is seeking volunteers from the community to be mentors for seniors enrolled in the Advanced Seminar: Employability Skills course. Call 601-960-8310.


DIVERSIONS|music

by Natalie Long

Musical Field Trips

H

appy New Year to you music lovers, you! If perfecting your musical craft is on your New Year’s resolution list, Jackson has several opportunities for you to do so. The Enrichment Class series at Millsaps should be on your list of considerations. Jimmy Turner is teaching guitar; David Womack is teaching beginning songwriting; and Nash Noble is teaching pop classics. Check around with the kick-ass music stores around the Jackson metro area for their music-lesson schedules. This month, Dreamtime Productions in Jackson hosts Nashville sound engineer Chris Mara and his “Tape Camp” for recording enthusiasts. Feel free to go to www. dreamtimeproductionsllc.com or e-mail Chris at cym@ mindspring.com to learn more information about prices and schedules. The 2011 Cotton District Arts Festival in Starkville is hosting a Songwriter’s Competition and accepting all

RANDY BERGERON

Natalie’s Notes

genres of music. All ages are welcome to apply. The deadline is Feb. 1. For more information, visit www.starkvillearts.org. Kick 2011 off right by checking out DJ Phingaprint every Wednesday night at Poets II. Things start up around 9 p.m. The cover’s on them, drinks are on you. On Jan. 4, Reed Pierce’s hosts The Rainmakers at 9 p.m., no cover. Jan. 5, expect to see Swing d’ Paris at Underground 119 at 9 p.m., and Fenian’s hosts Doug Frank. Thursday is ladies night at Ole Tavern; Dreamz JXN hosts Centric Thursdays. Blaylock Photography in Fondren has Wooden Finger with Stone Jack Jones and Hands Off Cuba jamming out Jan. 6. The performance starts at 6:30 p.m., and there’s a $5 suggested donation at the door. Friday, Jan. 7, kick your weekend off right by getting your blues groove on during Downtown at Dusk at the Old Capital Green with Elvis impersonator Brandon Bennett. Local favorites The Taylor Hildebrand Trio, among others, also perform. Mill around from 5-8 p.m. for that (it’s free), then check out brothers Judson and Joel Vance’s band Rooster Blues at Martin’s at 10 p.m. If you want to check them out prior to the show, visit their MySpace page, myspace.com/theroosterblues.com. When you’re finished rooting on the marathon runners for the Mississippi Blues Marathon Saturday, Martin’s hosts the Blues Marathon Show with The Bailey Brothers and Scott Albert Johnson at 7 p.m.

Brandon Bennett, who has worked as an Elvis Presley impersonator since he was a teenager, will get Jackson “All Shook Up” at Downtown at Dusk, Friday, Jan. 7.

Jimbo Mathus croons at Ole Tavern. Chillax Sunday, Jan. 9, listening to the musical stylings of Howard Jones at The King Edward jazz brunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; or catch Knight Bruce at Sophia’s in the Fairview Inn for brunch. You can also head over to Mike and Marty’s weekly jam session at ToMara’s. Have a great week and remember, kids, send your music listings to music@jacksonfreepress.com. Keep on rocking in the free world, Jackson!

B

A few of those are Honeyboy Edwards (95), T-Model Ford (90) and B.B. King (85); the senior member of the group is Pinetop Perkins (97). Joseph William “Pinetop” Perkins was born July 7, 1913, in Belzoni. After permanently injuring his left arm tendons during a fight with a choir girl in Helena, Ark., he JEFFREY YENTZ

orn and reared in Wisconsin, I grew up believing Chicago was the birthplace of the blues. Since then, I’ve lived all over—London, Edinburgh, Phoenix, Dallas, Boston, Roanoke and Lynchburg—and no one challenged my false precept. In 2008, I debated: Should I remain a regional health-care system’s corporate architect or make a difference designing hospitals elsewhere? I opted for the latter, and in January 2009, my Mississippi adventure began. After arriving in the Deep South, I heard people referencing blues musicians and wondered how Mississippians knew them. One day, I spied a Mississippi Blues Trail marker identifying the spot in Greenwood where Robert Johnson was reputedly laid to rest. (Three Mississippi towns claim to be Robert Johnson’s burial site: Greenwood, Quito and Morgan City, but everyone agrees he was born in Hazelhurst.). At this historic respite near the Tallahatchie River, I had an epiphany: Maybe the blues wasn’t born in Chicago. B.B. King was born in Itta Bena; Albert King born in Indianola; John Lee Hooker in Clarksdale; Howlin’ Wolf in West Point; Muddy Waters in Rolling Forks. The list goes on. My move to Mississippi proved I’d only scratched the surface and had to re-learn the blues. Awaiting me was a cornucopia of blues artists and an understanding of the Delta, cotton plantations, Parchman Farm, juke joints, Trumpet Records, Farish Street, segregation and the Chicago migration. I invite you to take this Mississippi blues journey with me. Specific chord progressions characterize the blues form of music (found in jazz, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll). The 12-bar blues, or “blues change,” is the most common. You can play the blues in any key; however, mastering the blues means mastering the 12-bar blues structure. Mississippi has a select list of elder blues statesmen performing and mentoring the next generation of artists. These icons are the storytellers and patriarchs who continue on.

Pinetop Perkins is one of the oldest living bluesmen of a long line of Mississippi-born blues musicians.

switched from playing guitar to piano. The legendary Clarence “Pinetop” Smith (who acquired his nickname because of his penchant for tree climbing) mentored Perkins when he was in his early teens. Smith was one of the earliest pianists to record a boogie-woogie piano solo and wrote the lyrics to “Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie,” which he recorded in December 1928 before a gunshot killed him during a dancehall fight in Chicago. Perkins had composed the signature tune. In the 1950s, Perkins toured with Earl Hooker, stopping briefly to record “Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie” at Sam Phillips’ Memphis studio. “They used to call me Pinetop because I played that song,” Perkins recalls in the fall, talking to me.

With performances few and far between and not paying the bills, Pinetop stopped touring for a time and settled in Chicago. That is, until Hooker convinced Perkins to record again in 1968. A year later, when Otis Spann left Muddy Waters’ band, band members chose Perkins to replace him. He remained with Muddy for 12 years, and it was during this time the common misconception that Perkins (not Smith) had penned “Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie” surfaced. In 1980, Perkins had a cameo role in “The Blues Brothers.” In the film, he stood outside Aretha’s Soul Food Café arguing with John Lee Hooker about who wrote “Boom Boom.” That same year, he left Muddy, joining several other musicians to form The Legendary Blues Band with Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. The group performed and recorded from the late 1970s through the early 1990s. In 1987, Perkins also made an appearance in “Angel Heart” as a member of guitarist Toots Sweet’s band. In La Porte, Ind., in 2004, a train hit the car Perkins was driving. The car was totaled but, fortunately, 91-year old Pinetop was not seriously injured. A few months later, Junior Lockwood (89, at the time), Mule Townsend (95) and Honeyboy Edwards (then 89) joined Perkins for a concert in Dallas. The subsequent “Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live in Dallas” CD, released three years later, received a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album. In October 2010, I had the opportunity to present a framed pen and ink drawing of Pinetop to the spry 97year-old musician at the Pinetop Perkins Blues Museum & Cultural Heritage Center (17150 Highway 49, Belzoni). The museum is a labor of love for Helen Sims, who toiled to make her vision for a museum a reality. That fall afternoon, Pinetop, who currently lives in Austin, Texas, sat next to the museum’s piano, played one note and said, “I won’t play anything that’s out of tune.” I guess it’s true: Blues isn’t the music, it’s the emotion.

jacksonfreepress.com

Treetops and Bluesmen

33


livemusic JAN. 5 - WEDNESDAY

LIVE MUSIC CALENDAR

Weekly Lunch Specials

ALL SHOWS 10PM UNLESS NOTED

WEDNESDAY

1/5

LADIES NIGHT

LADIES PAY $5, DRINK FREE FRIDAY

1/7

ROOSTER BLUES

JUDSON & JOEL VANCE OF CHANCE FISHER BAND SATURDAY

1/8

Open for dinner Sat. 4-10pm thursday

JANUARY 6

LADIES NIGHT LADIES DRINK FREE

WELLS & PONIES 9PM-2AM

friday

JANUARY 7

JP Harris & the

Tough Choices

w/ Iron Feathers saturday

JANUARY 8

JIMBO MATHUS PART OF THE BLUES CRAWL tuesday

The Bailey Bros. with Scott Albert Johnson Blues Marathon Show

SUNDAY

1/9

KARAOKE MONDAY

1/10

OPEN MIC JAM TUESDAY

1/11

MATTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S LATE NIGHT KARAOKE

$2 MARGARITAS $1 HIGHLIFE & PBR

January 5 - 11, 2011

WEDNESDAY

34

1/12

LADIES NIGHT

LADIES PAY $5, DRINK FREE 214 S. STATE ST. â&#x20AC;¢ 601.354.9712 DOWNTOWN JACKSON WWW.MARTINSLOUNGE.NET

JANUARY 11

OPEN MIC with Cody Cox

*DOLLAR BEER* wednesday

JANUARY 12

KARAOKE w/ KJ STACHE

thursday

JANUARY 13

LADIES NIGHT LADIES DRINK FREE

WELLS & PONIES 9PM-2AM

friday

JANUARY 14

Goddamn Gallows w/ Jayke Orvis & James Hunnicutt FREE WiFi Open Mon-Sat, Kitchen open Mon-Fri 11 am-10 pm & Sat 4-10 pm

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HAPPY HOUR

Monday - Saturday 2pm - 7pm

2 for 1 All Mixed Drinks, $1 Off Draft & Wine and 59 Cent Wings Wednesday, January 5th

SWING DE PARIS

(Gypsy Jazz) 8-11, No Cover Thursday, January 6th

HOWARD JONES

(Dixieland Jazz) 8-11, No Cover Friday, January 7th

GRADY CHAMPION (Blues) $10 Cover

$1.50 Miller Highlife & 59 cent Boneless wings during All College Football Games

1428 Old Square Road in Jackson 601.713.2700 lastcallsportsgrill.com

Saturday, January 8th

LOUIS “GEARSHIFTER” YOUNGBLOOD (Blues) 9-1, $10 Cover

Wednesday, January 12th

SWING DE PARIS

(Gypsy Jazz) 8-11, No Cover

THURSDAY - JANUARY 6 LADIES NIGHT: DRINK FREE 9-11PM FRIDAY - JANUARY 7

GHOST TOWN

SATURDAY - JANUARY 8

Thursday, January 13th

SCOTT ALBERT JOHNSON (Blues) 8-11, No Cover Friday, January 14th

PAPA GROWS FUNK (Funk) $10 Cover

119 S. President Street 601.352.2322 www.Underground119.com

HILLBILLY DELUXE SUNDAY - JANUARY 9 8 BALL TOURNAMENT MONDAY - JANUARY 10 MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL Free Hot Wings, $3 Pitchers during game

TUESDAY - JANUARY 11

2636 S. Gallatin Jackson, MS 39204

jacksonfreepress.com

venuelist

www.myspace.com/popsaroundthecorner

35

POOL LEAGUE NIGHT

WEDNESDAY - JANUARY 12 MIKE MOTT KARAOKE 601-961-4747


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Just the Flax, Ma’am by Amanda Kittrell

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have never been one for modern medicine. I do not enjoy doctor visits ood lasagna is meaty, drips with rich tomato sauce and oozes stirring (and tasting) the pot of Bolognese sauce, he quickly changed his or prescription medication. When I with gooey cheese. It’s a meal where you can really stretch your mind. He went back for seconds. get a cold, I eat chicken soup. When dollar. I have yet to come across a lasagna recipe that doesn’t This is not something you are going to be able to throw together I have a cough, a tablespoon of honey make at least three or four meals for two people. Lasagna is in a few minutes and pop in the oven. The sauce really does need to cures it every time. When I burn myself, filling and comforting at the same time. simmer slowly for two hours to bring out all the flavors. The good news I always turn to my aloe vera plant. I have spent the last few years in search of a totally awesome la- is you can make the sauce a few days ahead of time, and store it in the When I started feeling a little runsagna recipe. Not a mediocre lasagna recipe; not a forgettable lasagna fridge until you are ready to assemble. down recently, I turned to holistic medirecipe; not one that makes you shrug your shoulders and say, “Eh.” I You can try to save a few dollars by using the rubbery pre-shredcine to find a cure. After much research, wanted a lasagna recipe that will one day make my now 4-month-old ded mozzarella, but you know that gooey trail of melted cheese you get all signs started pointing to omega-3 fatty child want to come home from college for regular visits. when you lift a slice of hot, homemade lasagna onto your plate? That acids, usually found in high concentraThe first time I made this lasagna, my carnivore husband had de- only comes from real, fresh mozzarella. tions in salmon and walnuts. However, cided he wanted steak for dinner. I agreed but went ahead with the laThis recipe makes enough to feed a crowd, and it’s perfect for the one source with the highest concensagna anyway, because I planned on freezing the remainder for the up- freezing: follow the recipe, but don’t bake the lasagna before freezing. tration of all is flax seed. coming weeks. I managed to recruit him as my sous chef, and as he was Thaw it in the refrigerator for 24 hours before baking as described. Best when eaten in milled (or ground) form, flax seed has the most naturally occurring saturation of various vitamins and minerals, and it’s abundant in fiber. Two 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage 2 bay leaves 1 1/2 pounds lean ground sirloin 1 teaspoon fennel seeds tablespoons of milled flax 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning seed has an average 2,600 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 2 teaspoons salt, divided milligrams of omega-3 fatty 8 cloves garlic, crushed 1 tablespoon ground black pepper acids per serving. 1 8-ounce package of sliced mushrooms 6 tablespoons fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, What does this mean to 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes chopped and divided you? Potential health benefits 3 6-ounce cans tomato paste 12 lasagna noodles include decreasing your risk 2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce 32 ounces ricotta cheese (part-skim or regular) POWERHOUSE BREAKFAST for cancer, diabetes and heart 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 2 eggs disease, all while combating 2 tablespoons white sugar 3 pounds fresh, soft, “buffalo” mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup “old fashioned” oats 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves sliced inflammation from arthritis 1 cup water 2 teaspoons dried oregano 3 cups grated Parmesan cheese and even easing hot flashes in 2 tablespoons milled flaxseed 2 teaspoons dried thyme menopausal women, where 1 tablespoon organic butter In a Dutch oven or large skillet with lid, half the ricotta-cheese mixture. Place a third of noticeable differences occur 2 tablespoons brown or raw sugar cook sausage, ground sirloin, onion, mushrooms the mozzarella-cheese slices on top of the ricotwithin just a few days of be1/4 cup whole or almond milk and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until well ta. Spoon about a cup and a half of meat sauce ginning a flaxseed regimen. Maple syrup browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, over mozzarella, and sprinkle each pan with a Milled flax can be tomato sauce and balsamic vinegar. Season with quarter cup Parmesan cheese and a quarter cup found at most major retailBoil the water in a small saucepan sugar, basil, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, fennel Romano cheese. ers (usually sitting modestly over medium heat. Add oats. Boil for seeds, Italian seasoning, one-and-a-half teaspoons Repeat layers (noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, next to other milled flours) five minutes or until most of the water salt, pepper and two tablespoons parsley. Simmer meat) and top with remaining mozzarella, Parmeand is a staple at any healthis absorbed and the liquid is thickened. on low, covered, for at least one-and-a-half to two san and Romano cheese. food store. Working it into While oats are boiling, combine hours, stirring occasionally. Cover pans with foil. To prevent sticking, everyday meals is easy; it the flaxseed, butter and brown sugar in Preheat oven to 375 degrees. spray the under side of foil with cooking spray. blends fantastically into a bowl. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Resmoothies and mixes effortPour the cooked oats into the bowl eggs, remaining parsley and half teaspoon salt. move foil, and bake an additional 25-30 minutes lessly into cereals. If breakand stir until mixed. To assemble, spread enough meat sauce or until the cheese on top is nice and golden. Cool fast isn’t your thing, try it in Drizzle with maple syrup and to cover the bottom of two 9-by-13-inch bak- for 15 minutes before serving. bread or treat someone spemilk. ing dishes. Arrange three raw lasagna noodles Makes two 9-by-13-inch pans; serves apcial to a salad topped with Serve with coffee or juice and lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread noodles with proximately 10 to 16. flaxseed-oil vinaigrette. fruit.

jacksonfreepress.com

LASAGNA FOR A CROWD

MOLLY ELLIOTT

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37


Curses, Foiled Again

Mensa Reject of the Week

A man who tried to hold up a doughnut shop with a knife stabbed himself while committing the crime, according to Vancouver police. Constable Jana McGuinness said the 22-year-old suspect man was so drunk that he fell down, landing on the butcher knife he was wielding and stabbing himself in the abdomen. Officers found the suspect slumped on the floor, took him to the hospital to treat his wound and then arrested him. (CBC News) Darrell Fudge, 54, relied on his global positioning system to get him from British Columbia to his home in Newfoundland, but the GPS’s shortest route led through northern Maine. When he arrived at a remote U.S. border crossing, agents searched his car and found a half-kilogram of marijuana in a cooler. (Lewiston, Maine’s The Sun Journal)

German authorities reported that a 64year-old man in Gumperda tried to seal off the entrance to his cellar with bricks but trapped himself inside. He didn’t realize his mistake until he’d finished the work, then waited a few days to see if anyone would rescue him before deciding to free himself by knocking down a wall. Neighbors who heard drilling noise called police, who were waiting for the man. A police official noted that instead of escaping through the wall he’d just built, the senior citizen demolished a neighbor’s wall. (Reuters)

Make and Break Oklahoma Rep. Terry Harrison was so proud of killing a piebald, white-tailed deer that he summoned the media to boast about his feat. When game warden Shane Fields read about the hunt, he called his friend Harrison and suggested the lawmaker research hunting regulations. Harrison said his heart “just sunk” when he realized he had shot the animal illegally because he didn’t have a permit. Facing a $296 fine, Harrison admitted he should have known better because he helped write some of the state’s hunting laws. (The McAlester News-Capital)

Prepositional Justice John G. Mendez, 45, beat the charge of passing a stopped school bus in Fairfax, Va., because of a missing, two-letter word in the state law. The statute states that a driver is guilty of reckless driving “who fails to stop, approaching from any direction, any school bus which is stopped on any highway,” omitting “at” before “any school bus.” Lawmakers removed the preposition when they amended the law in 1970. “He can only be guilty if he failed to stop any school bus,” Judge Marcus D. Williams said when pronouncing Mendez not guilty. Mendez gave extra credit for finding the loophole to his lawyer, Eric E. Clingan, who said he took a look at the law, and “it just sort of jumped off the page at me.” (The Washington Post) Compiled from mainstream media sources by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.

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(828 Hwy 51 in Madison 601-853-0028) Vasilios offers authentic Greek dining featuring fresh seafood daily along with gyros, greek salads, appetizers and signature Mediterranean desserts. Their Redfish is a standout, earning rave reviews up and down the Internet. Mon - Fri lunch:11:00 am - 2:00 pm and dinner: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm. Sat dinner: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm.

BARBEQUE Hickory Pit Barbeque (1491 Canton Mart Rd. 601-956-7079) The “Best Butts in Town” features BBQ chicken, beef and pork sandwiches along with burgers and po’boys. Wet or dry pork ribs, chopped pork or beef, and all the sides. Lumpkins BBQ (182 Raymond Rd. Jackson 866-906-0942) Specializing in smoked barbeque, Lumpkin’s offers all your favorites for on-site family dining or for catered events, including reunions, office events, annivesaries, weddings and more.

COFFEE HOUSES Cups Espresso Café (Multiple Locations, www.cupsespressocafe.com) Jackson’s local group of coffeehouses offer high-end Arabica beans, a wide variety of espresso drinks, fresh brewed coffee and a selection of pastries and baked goods. Free wi-fi. Wired Espresso Café (115 N State St 601-500-7800) This downtown coffeehouse across from the Old Capitol focuses on being a true gathering place, featuring great coffee and a selection of breakfast, lunch and pastry items. Free wi-fi.

BAKERY Broad Street Bakery (4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-362-2900) Hot breakfast,coffee espresso drinks, fresh breads and pastries, gourmet deli sandwiches, quiches, soups, pizzas, pastas and dessert. A “see and be seen” Jackson institution! Campbell’s Bakery (3013 N State Street 601-362-4628) Breakfast, lunch and bakery. Cookies, cakes and cupcakes are accompanied by good coffee and a full-cooked Southern breakfast on weekdays in this charming bakery in Fondren. Primos Cafe (2323 Lakeland 601-936-3398/ 515 Lake Harbour 601-898-3400) A Jackson institution featuring a full breakfast (with grits and biscuits), blue-plate specials, catfish, burgers, prime rib, oysters, po-boys and wraps. Save room for something from their famous bakery! For Heaven’s Cakes (4950 Old Canton Road 601-991-2253) Cakes and cupcakes for all occasions including weddings, parties, catered events. Owner Dani Mitchell Turk was features on the Food Network’s ultimate recipe showdown. Beagle Bagel (4500 I-55 North, Suite 145, Highland Village 769-251-1892) Fresh bagels in tons of different styles available with a variety of toppings including cream cheese, lox, eggs, cheese, meats and or as full sandwiches for lunch. Plus paninis, wraps, soup & salad, gourmet coffee, muffins, cakes, pies and much more!

January 5 - 11, 2011

BARS, PUBS & BURGERS

38

Cherokee Inn (960 Briarfield Rd. 601-362-6388) Jackson’s “Best Hole in the Wall,” has a great jukebox, great bar and a great burger. Plate lunches, cheesy fries and tons more, including a full bar and friendly favorites. Cool Al’s (4654 McWillie, 601-713-3020) A standard in Best of Jackson, Cool Al’s signature stacked, messy, decadent, creative burgers defy adjectives. Or try pineapple chicken, smoked sausage...or the nationally recognized veggie burger. And don’t forget the fries, from curly to sweet potato with a choice of salts and toppings. Fenian’s Pub (901 E. Fortification St. 601-948-0055) Classic Irish pub featuring a menu of traditional food, pub sandwiches and beers such as Guinness and Harp on tap. Free live music most nights; Irish/Celtic bands on Thursdays. Stamps Superburgers (1801 Dalton Street 601-352-4555) Huge burgers will keep you full until the next day! The homestyle fries are always fresh, cut by hand using white potatoes with traditional, lemon pepper, seasoning salt or Cajun seasoning. Fitzgeralds at the Hilton (1001 East County Line Road, 601-957-2800) Top-shelf bar food with a Gulf Coast twist like Gumbo Ya Ya, Pelahatchie artisan sausage and cheese antipasto. Grilled oysters; fried stuff—oysters, catfish, shrimp, seafood or chicken!


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(Next door to McDadeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Market Extra) Mon. - Sat., 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. â&#x20AC;˘ Maywood Mart Shopping Center 1220 E. Northside Dr. â&#x20AC;˘ 601-366-5676 â&#x20AC;˘ www.mcdadeswineandspirits.com

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39


A True Taste

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/08 01&/ 0/ 46/%": 4654 McWillie Dr., Jackson|Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 10AM-9PM Friday & Saturday 10AM-12AM, Sunday 11AM-5PM

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January 5 - 11, 2011

Downtown Jackson • (601) 353-1180 Open 11am-2pm, Sunday thru Friday

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1410 Old Square Road • Jackson

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Hal and Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St. 601-948-0888) Pub favorites meet Gulf Coast and Cajun specialties like red beans and rice, the Oyster Platter or each day’s blackboard special. Plus sandwiches, burgers, nachos and other staples. Repeat winner of Best of Jackson’s “Best Place for Live Music.” Last Call (3716 I-55 N. Frontage Road 601-713-2700) Burgers, sandwiches and po-boys, plus sports-bar appetizers and specialities. Try chili cheese fries, chicken nachos or the shrimp & pork eggrolls. Pay-per-view sporting events, live bands. Martin’s Restaurant and Lounge (214 South State Street 601-354-9712) Lunch specials, pub appetizers (jalapeno poppers, cheezsticks, fried pickles) or order from the full menu of po-boys and entrees. Full bar, massive beer selection and live music most nights. Time Out Sports Café (6720 Old Canton Road 601-978-1839) 14 TVs, 1 projector and two big-screens. Daily $9 lunch specials, pub-style appetizers, burgers, seafood and catfish po-boys, salads, and hot entrees including fish, steak and pasta. Ole Tavern on George Street (416 George St. 601-960-2700) Pub food with a southern flair: beer-battered onion rings, chicken & sausage gumbo, salads, sandwiches and weekly lunch specials. Plus, happy hour 4-7pm Monday through Friday. Poets Two (1855 Lakeland Drive, Suite H-10, 601-364-9411) Pub fare at its finest. Crabcake minis, fried dills, wings, poppers, ultimate fries, sandwiches, po-boys, pasta entrees and steak. The signature burgers come in bison, kobe, beef or turkey! Happy hour everyday til 7 p.m. Sportsman’s Lodge (1120 E Northside Dr. in Maywood Mart) 601-366-5441 Voted Best Sports Bar in 2010, Sportman’s doesn’t disappoint with plenty of gut-pleasing sandwiches, fried seafood baskets, sandwiches and specialty appetizers. Try the award-winning wings in Buffalo, Thai or Jerk sauces! Underground 119 (119 South President St. 601-352-2322) Jumbo lump crabcakes, crab quesadillas, beef tenderloin parfaits, orange-garlic shrimp, even “lollipop” lamb chops. Add a full bar and mix in great music. Opens 4 p.m.-until, Wed-Sat. Wing Stop (952 North State Street, 601-969-6400) Saucing and tossing wings in a choice of nine flavors, Wingstop wings are made with care and served up piping hot. Every order is made fresh to order; check out the fresh cut seasoned fries!

ITALIAN BRAVO! (4500 Interstate 55 N., Jackson, 601-982-8111) Wood-fired pizzas, vegetarian fare, plus creative pastas, beef, and seafood specials. Wonderful atmosphere, service and award-winning wine list. Bravo! walks away with tons of Best of Jackson awards every year. Cerami’s (5417 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-919-28298) Southern-style Italian cuisine features their signature Shrimp Cerami (white wine sauce, capers artichokes) along with veal, tilapia, crawfish, chicken and pasta dishes. Now with liquor license! Fratesi’s (910 Lake Harbour, Ridgeland, 601-956-2929) “Authentic, homey, unpretentious” that’s how the regulars describe Fratesi’s, a staple in Jackson for years, offering great Italian favorites with loving care. The tiramisu is a must-have!

SOUTHERN CUISINE Mimi’s Family and Friends (3139 North State Street, Fondren) 601-366-6111 Funky local art decorates this new offering in Fondren, where the cheese grits, red beans & rice, pork tacos and pimento cheese are signature offerings. Breakfast and lunch, new days are Tuesday-Sunday. Sugar’s Place (168 W Griffith St 601-352-2364) Hot breakfast and week-day lunch: catfish, pantrout, fried chicken wings, blue plates, red beans & rice, pork chops, chicken & dumplings, burgers, po-boys...does your grandma cook like this? Located downtown near MC Law School. The Strawberry Café (107 Depot Drive, Madison, 601-856-3822) Full table service, lunch and dinner. Crab and crawfish appetizers, salads, fresh seafood, pastas, “surf and turf” and more. Veggie options. Desserts: cheesecake, Madison Mud and strawberry shortcake. Two Sisters Kitchen (707 N. Congress St. 601-353-1180) 2010 Best of Jackson winner for fried chicken offers a sumptious buffet of your choice of veggies, a salad bar, iced tea & one of three homemade desserts. Lunch only. Mon-Friday 11-2, Sun. 10:30-2.

STEAK, SEAFOOD & FINE DINING Eslava’s Grille (2481 Lakeland Drive, 601-932-4070) Danny Eslava’s namesake feature Latin-influenced dishes like ceviche in addition to pastas, steaks, salads and other signature seafood dishes.


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Rocky’s (1046 Warrington Road, Vicksburg 601-634-0100) Enjoy choice steaks, fresh seafood, great salads, hearty sandwiches and much more in the “polished casual” dining room. Open 24/7 in the Riverwalk Casino. Parker House (104 South East Madison Drive, Ridgeland 601-856-0043) European and Creole take on traditional Southern ingredients in Olde Town Ridgeland. Crawfish, oysters, crab and steaks dominate, with creative option like Crab Mac ‘n Cheese, Oysters Rockefeller and Duck Jezebel. Or enjoy lighter fare (and a plate lunch special) during lunch hours! Huntington’s Grille (1001 East County Line Road, 601-957-3191) Huntington Grille has received Wine Spectators Award of Excellence and Americas Top Restaurant Award from Wine Enthusiast magazine for four years. Menu offers fine Southern food and Gulf Coast choices with a “big game” twist.

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ASIAN STIX (109 Marketplace Lane off Lakeland Dr Flowood 601-420-4058) Enjoy the quick-handed, knife-wielding chefs at the flaming teppanyaki grill; artful presentations of sushi; the pungent seasonings and spicy flavors of regional Chinese cuisines. Nagoya (6351 I-55 North #131 @ Target Shopping Ctr. 601-977-8881) Nagoya gets high marks for its delicious-and-affordable sushi offerings, tasty lunch specials and high-flying hibachi room with satisfying flavors for the whole family. Ichiban (153 Ridge Drive, Ste 105F 601-919-0097 & 359 Ridgeway 601-919-8879) Voted “Best Chinese” in 2010, cuisine styles at Ichiban actually range from Chinese to Japanese, including hibachi, sushi made fresh with seafood, and a crowd-pleasing buffet. Pan Asia (720 Harbor Pines Dr, Ridgeland 601-956-2958) Beautiful ambiance in this popular Ridgeland eatery accompanies signature asian fusion dishes and build-your-own stir-frys using fresh ingredients and great sauces.

601-919-2829 5417 Lakeland Drive ~ Flowood, MS 39232

Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

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Aladdin Mediterranean Grill (730 Lakeland Drive 601-366-6033) Delicious authentic dishes including lamb dishes, hummus, falafel, kababs, shwarma and much more. Consistent award winner, great for takeout or for long evenings with friends. Kristos (971 Madison Ave @ Hwy 51, Madison, 601-605-2266) Home of the famous Greek meatball! Hummus, falafel, dolmas, pita sandwiches, salads, plus seasoned curly fries (or sweet potato fries) and amazing desserts. Mezza (1896 Main St., Suite A, Madison 601-853-0876) Mediterranean cuisine and wood fired brick oven pizzas. Come experience the beautiful patio, Hookahs, and delicious food. Beer is offered and you are welcome to bring your own wine.

11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

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Tortas • Tacos • Antojitos • Burritos • Bebidas Quesadillas • Empanadas... And MORE! 1290 E County Line Rd (next to Northpark Mall) Ridgeland, MS 39157 | 601-983-1253

Eslava’s Grille Seafood, Steaks and Pasta

PIZZA

VEGETARIAN High Noon Café (2807 Old Canton Road in Rainbow Plaza 601-366-1513) Fresh, gourmet, tasty and healthy defines the lunch options at Jackson’s own strict vegetarian (and very-vegan-friendly) restaurant. Daily lunch specials -- like Mexican day and the seaside cakes on Fridays -- push the envelope on creative and healthy; wonderful desserts!

K ET I N JAC

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Every Thursday Performing Live:

Danilo Eslava Caceres, Executive Chef/GM 2481 Lakeland Drive Flowood, MS 39232

601-932-4070 tel 601-933-1077 fax

JESSE ROBINSON SUNDAY

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Tues. - Fri. 11am - 3pm, Closed Sat. 182 Raymond Rd. in Jackson, MS Telephone: 601-373-7707 E-mail: lumpkinsbbq@comcast.net

jacksonfreepress.com

Fuego Mexican Cantina (318 South State Street,601-592-1000) Next to Club Fire in downtown, Fuego is Jackson’s all-new Mexican restaurant—complete with the monster menu! Nachos, fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, chimichangas, combo plates, even veggie options,are offered right alongside the margarita pitchers you expect. Arriba! King Tortas International Deli (1290 E. County Line Rd, Ridgeland, 601-983-1253) Bakery and taqueria; try the fried plantains!

SK

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MEXICAN/LATIN AMERICAN

BR

Mellow Mushroom (275 Dogwood Blvd, Flowood, 601-992-7499) Pizzas of all kinds, munchies, calzones, grilled hoagies, salads and more make up the extensive and “eclectic” menu at Mellow Mushroom. Award-winning beer selection. Dine in or carry out. The Pizza Shack (1220 N State St. 601-352-2001) 2009 and 2010’s winner of Best Pizza offers the perfect pizza-and-a-beer joint. Creative pizza options abound (“Cajun Joe, anyone?”), along with sandwiches, wings, salads and even BBQ. Great beer specials! Sal & Mookie’s (565 Taylor St. 601-368-1919) Pizzas of all kinds plus pasta, eggplant parmesan and the local favorite: fried ravioli. Voted Best Chef, Best Dessert, Best Kid’s Menu and Best Ice Cream in the 2010 Best of Jackson reader poll.

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41


Ring in the New Year! by Natalie A. Collier

Quartz ring by Cecile,

Rhinestone heartshaped rings with stretch band, $13.95,

$295, Shoe Bar at Pieces

Beemon Drugs

F Rhinestone butterfly ring with flower accent, $20,

ew things will make your heart flutter like the perfect cocktail ring. It will add a boost to any outfit, from jeans and a sweater to a little black dress adorned with sequins. If you want to attract attention to your perfectly manicured nails, put a piece of jewelry on your finger that demands it. From inexpensive to a skosh more costly, stores across the city have offerings that will help you start your year of accessorizing off right.

Where2Shop

Beemon Drugs, 1220 E. Northside Drive, 601-3669431; Lipstick Lounge, 304 Mitchell Ave. 601-366-4000; Posh Boutique, 4312 N. State St., 601-364-2244; Shoe Bar at Pieces, 425 Mitchell Ave., 601-939-5203

Posh Boutique

Sterling and bluequartz ring by Souixante Enuf, $190, Shoe Bar at Pieces

Lucite stone with stretch band ring,

Black ring with metal studs, $20, Posh Boutique

$13.95, Beemon Drugs

Blue by Chan Luu, $170, Shoe Bar at Pieces

SHOPPING SPECIALS Wine & Spirits in the Quarter (1855 Lakeland Drive, 601-3666644) Seagram’s Gin (half-gallon) on sale for $17.99 and Jim Beam (half-gallon) for $24.99.

Beemon Drugs (Maywood Mart, 1220 E. Northside Drive, Suite 315, 601-366-9431) All Christmas-themed merchandise items in the store is 50 percent off.

Brock’s Gift Center: A Touch of Mississippi (Maywood Mart, 1220 E. Northside Drive, Suite 300, 601-366-9343) 10 percent off cases (six bottles) of Captain Rodney’s Boucan Glaze. Regular price is $59.98.

Rainbow Green Services and Fair Trade Handicrafts (2807 Old Canton Road, 601-987-0002) Take it indoors with a hot cup of tea and a hearty meal. Find a fresh array of cookbooks and infuser tea cups to help.

January 5 - 11, 2011

The Pilates Studio (Locations in Jackson and Ridgeland, www. pilatesofjackson.com) Offering a three-month special: twice-a-week sessions for $315, three times a week $425 and unlimited $450.

Send sale info to fly@jacksonfreepress.com.

42

Check out flyjfp.com for information about other sales around the city, trends and various things fly people should know.


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v9n17 - JFP Legislative Issue