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February 9 - 15, 2011
(WY 7EST #HOCTAW -3 s s WWWPEARLRIVERRESORTCOM 3EE 0EARL 2IVER 2EWARDS FOR DETAILS ! $EVELOPMENT OF THE -ISSISSIPPI "AND OF #HOCTAW )NDIANS
February 9-15, 2011
9 NO. 22
contents JAVRO VACEK; FILE PHOTO; SHAWANDA JACOME; FILE PHOTO
8 Commission Hell The city of Jackson wants control over how it spends its tax revenue. The Legislature has other ideas.
Cover photo of Marsh and Daphne Nabors by Daphne Nabors
THIS ISSUE: Live, Work, Love
31 31 33 34 36 37 41 42
A trio of Jackson couples who live and work together share their secrets for successful relationships.
.............. Editor’s Note ............................. Talk ...................... Editorial ...................... Opinion ....................... Hitched .................. Diversions ............................. Film ......................... 8 Days .................. JFP Events ............................. Slate ............................. Slate .......................... Music ........... Music Listings ............................ Astro ............................ Food .................. Body/Soul ... Girl About Townw
parveen kapoor An Indian man with a medium build, dressed in a mauve polo shirt, khaki pants and a black apron, carries white napkins and silverware while he serves five customers in his restaurant. His soft brown eyes wear a warm smile. Parveen Kapoor, a native of Delhi, India, owns Bombay Bistro, which opened in December in Jackson. This Jacksonian is putting a distinctive spin on traditional Indian eateries in Mississippi. “I want to make this a unique Indian restaurant where you get food, but it should be like Disneyland,” he says. Kapoor, 50, says he wants to incorporate entertainment into his restaurant, such as karaoke nights. “I want to think outside the box,” he says. A neighbor in Delhi introduced Kapoor to the restaurant business when he was a teenager and told him he could be successful. What began as a job opportunity ended up fueling Kapoor’s passion. The youngest of six took his first job as a waiter at the Maurya Sheraton Hotel in Delhi. He went on to earn a bachelor’s in hotel and restaurant management from Delhi University. After spending years working in Delhi, with a stint catering for the James Bond film “Octopussy” and a 13-year career at the Maharaja Indian Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan, life had become enjoyable
but stressed. His children‘s school tuition was expensive, and he and his wife worked tirelessly. “I realized I was turning 42, and I had to either change my job or go back to India or do something where I can see my future,” he says. He decided to come to the United States and began applying for jobs. Kapoor moved to Mississippi to work at Western Sizzlin Steak and More Restaurant in Canton in 2003. He says when he first arrived in Jackson, he wasn’t used to the slower pace, but he realized he was “missing the chirping of birds” and nature after years living in metropolitan cities. “I can walk on grass without my shoes on. I can water my flowers out here. Doing business is pretty easy out here,” he said. After working at several restaurants in the metro area, Kapoor wanted his own restaurant. He opened a Quizno’s in Brandon in 2008, but that wasn’t enough. Having his own Indian restaurant was his ultimate dream. “This was one thing I wanted to do before I (die),” Kapoor says. The married father of two has now made Jackson his home, where, he says, he loves the people, and the plates of turnip greens and cornbread. —Dorian Randall
24 Love for Sale Admit it: You’re stumped beyond roses and chocolate. The JFP Valentine’s gift guide to the rescue!
41 First, Love Thyself Don’t feel guilty. Taking the time to relax, refresh and renew yourself is a must in your busy life.
4 6 12 13 19 26 29 30 31
ShaWanda Jacome Assistant to the editor ShaWanda Jacome is learning to pray without ceasing, to trust in the Lord completley and to have hope and faith in his timing. She coordinated the Valentine’s Day and food stories.
Daphne Nabors Daphne Nabors is a freelance photographer with a home and studio in Belhaven Heights. She also plays in two local bands, bass in Overnight Lows and drums in the Party Dots. She took the cover photograph.
J. Ashley Nolen JFP editorial intern J. Ashley Nolen has studied English and print journalism. Among many identities, she’s a lover, a deep thinker, a dreamer, a traveler, a writer, a student and a teacher. She wrote Valentine’s Day stories.
Dorian Randall Editorial intern Dorian Randall is a Jackson native. She has degrees in journalism and media studies. She hopes someday to write a New York Times bestseller, win an Oscar, and marry a Dolce and Gabbana male model. Maybe. She wrote the Jacksonian and a Valentine’s story.
Katie Bonds Former editorial intern Katie Bonds has a master’s degree from the University of Memphis and a bachelor’s degree from Rhodes College. She enjoys reading everything, writing, and running the hills of Belhaven. She wrote the Hitched piece.
Garrad Lee Garrad Lee is working on his Master’s in history at Jackson State University. He grew up in south Jackson but now lives in Belhaven with his wife, dog and cat. He wrote Valentine’s Day music pieces.
Sahil Grewal Sahil Grewal, a native of New Delhi, India, is a management intern at the Jackson Marriott. When not mixing drinks or perfecting his bartending skills, you may find him sky diving, playing squash or rapping. He wrote a food feature.
February 9 - 15, 2011
Events Editor Latasha Willis is a native Jacksonian, a graduate of Tougaloo College and the proud mother of one cat. Her JFP blog is “The Bricks That Others Throw,” and she sells design pieces at zazzle.com/reasontolive.
by Lacey McLaughlin, News Editor
Facing the Truth
n Friday night, I made the road trip to my aunt and uncle’s Flowood home to finally see “Mississippi ReMixed,” a documentary by Jackson native Myra Ottewell who examines her personal beliefs about relationships between blacks and whites in Mississippi. Ottewell, who is a teacher in British Columbia, had set out to show how far the state has come in race relations since the 1960s. Her quest, however, revealed aspects of history of which she was unaware. On the way home, I was overwhelmed with emotion as I thought about my own lack of civil-rights education and the narrow perspective I once viewed the state with. While I didn’t grow up in Mississippi, my roots are here. I spent summers in Starkville and was oblivious to the rich stories and heart-breaking history that was at the tip of my fingers. I don’t remember discussions about the Civil Rights Movement in my family. The first time I became aware of the inequalities that blacks faced was in grade school when I noticed that my sister’s friend, London, who was black, used a yellow crayon to draw herself and her family because she wanted to be white. “She’s ashamed,” my mother replied without going into further details when I asked her why. When I first interviewed to work at the Jackson Free Press, Managing Editor Ronni Mott asked me a question I’ll never forget: How familiar are you with civil-rights history? I looked up at the Emmett Till poster behind her, embarrassed that I didn’t know who he was. “I don’t have as much knowledge as I’d like to have,” I said. “But I am interested in learning more.” My understanding of the civil-rights era then went something like this: Rosa Parks got tired of sitting in the back of the bus, switched her seat and got arrested; more blacks began to challenge Jim Crow laws; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against injustices and led marches, and then segregation was no more. While that is a simplified version of my personal history, it misses not only several milestones and struggles, it also demonstrates my ignorance. Now, a year and a half later, I feel like I have embarked on a journey of not only civilrights history but also a journey of ongoing self-discovery. The lens in which I view the world has dramatically changed since I learned about the Freedom Riders, the 1964 murders of three civil-rights activists—James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner—and heard the personal stories of Jackson residents who were arrested for challenging Jim Crow laws and leading protests. On a trip to the Delta last October with the Mississippi Center for Justice, I experienced what it was like to be a Freedom Rider through Hank Thomas’ personal narrative. Thomas gave a detailed account of how the Ku Klux Klan had tried to kill him during the ride from Washington, D.C., to Jackson.
He stood up on our tour bus and talked about the fear he felt as a young boy in Wadley, Ga., after he accidentally touched a white woman in a grocery store. I bit down on my bottom lip and tried to blink away the pool of tears forming in my eyes. “To you, it’s just an academic narrative,” he said, referring to Emmett Till’s murder as the bus left Money, Miss. “But to me, I just relived it.” When people say that rehashing civilrights stories is irrelevant because we have moved past that time period, it’s hard not to get angry and frustrated. Last year, I had the opportunity to interview Jackson civil-right activist Dr. Gene Young who had been arrested countless times since the age of 12 for standing up for his beliefs. He wore a T-shirt with a portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King on one side and President Barack Obama on the other. He was still in disbelief that a black man had become president. Last week, Jackson resident A.M.E. Logan, who gave Freedom Riders a safe place to stay and even cooked in her west Jackson home for Dr. Martin Luther King, passed away at age 96. I found out about her death on The Clarion-Ledger’s website—my heart aching when I discovered I would never get the chance to personally meet her and hear her stories. At the end of the article, two comments belittled Logan and her life’s work. For each step of progress our state makes, there are always a few ignorant people who get up on an anonymous podium to spew hatred. The civil-rights era is over, but the struggle is ongoing. I hope that each time someone tells their story, they have an opportunity to help end
ignorance and deepen another person’s understanding. As the Freedom Riders’ 50th anniversary nears, it’s encouraging to see plans and funding for the long-awaited civil-rights museum gain momentum. Next year, the state will also require social-studies teachers to teach the history of civil rights in Mississippi. The curriculum is meant to go beyond the basics and include the institutional and structural nature of racism. The Mississippi Development Authority is in the beginning stages of forming a commission to oversee a state civil-rights trail—like the existing blues trail—that marks significant civil-rights events with markers and historical context, drawing tourist and school trips. When interviewed for “Mississippi ReMixed,” JFP Editor in Chief Donna Ladd eloquently described why it is important to acknowledge civil-rights history and understand our past: “In order to move forward we’ve got to look backward. To me that’s the Mississippi riddle. That’s what I call it. … People always want you to pick. They always want you to say, ‘Well, you know, we need to look forward, not backward. All you want to do is look backward.’ … I mean, our young people need pride in how far we’ve come. … If you don’t understand how bad it was—you don’t know how far we’ve come.” I’m grateful for the opportunities that have given me a front-row seat to civil-rights history, but I know that not everyone is exposed to the same narrative. I hope that more people, young and old, will take the time to look beyond their own preconceived ideas and challenge themselves to seek the truth. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
news, culture & irreverence
Not Without A Fight BRYANT HAWKINS
Wednesday, Feb. 2 Senate Democrats block an attempt by Republicans to repeal President Obama’s healthcare law. ... Mississippi Treasurer Tate Reeves announces that he will run for the office of lieutenant governor this fall.
Saint Valentine is the Catholic patron of love, young people and happy marriages. History is unclear as to whether the saint is one person or several martyred priests of the early Christian church. Pope Gelasius first marked Feb. 14 as a celebration in his honor in 496 AD.
Thursday, Feb. 3 Unsealed court documents show that Bernie Madoff’s bank, JPMorgan Chase, sometimes steered clients away from him due to his suspicious activities, but it failed to alert regulators. Madoff pleaded guilty in March 2009 to 11 federal felonies regarding his wealth management business that defrauded investors of billions. ... Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says the House’s budget proposal would deplete too much of the state’s financial reserves and ultimately hinder economic development. Friday, Feb. 4 Hundreds of thousands fill Cairo’s Tahrir Square in protest of President Hosni Mubarak. Some thought the opposition movement might be waning, but the sheer number of people present put those hopes to rest. … The state Senate passes a bill that prohibits texting while driving. Saturday, Feb. 5 Sarah Palin accuses the Obama administration of withholding who will be Egypt’s next President. … Steve Simpson announces he will step down from his position as public safety commissioner Feb. 15 to run for Mississippi attorney general. Sunday, Feb. 6 The Tehran Revolutionary Court in Iran begins the trial of two American citizens it has accused of being spies. The Americans, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, maintain they were hiking and crossed into Iran inadvertently. ... Christina Aguilera botches the singing of the National Anthem at Super Bowl XLV.
February 2 - 8, 2011
Monday, Feb. 7 The Mississippi Supreme Court delays inmate Frederick Bell’s execution to determine if he is mentally fit for execution. … AOL announces that it will buy the Huffington Post for $315 million.
Tuesday, Feb. 8 The Chinese government raises interest rates again in an attempt to slow their fast economic growth and temper inflation. … New Census data reveal that Jackson has lost 10 percent of its population over the last decade, nearly 11,000 people, while neighboring counties gained residents.
Mississippi Sierra Club Director Louie Miller opposes bills to bury carbon dioxide in oil wells. p 11.
JPS Superintendent Lonnie Edwards is challenging the school board’s decision not to renew his contract.
ackson Public Schools Superintendent Lonnie Edwards won’t go quietly. Edwards announced Feb. 5 that he would appeal the JPS Board of Trustees’ decision to let his three-year contract expire with the current school year. Since disclosing its Dec. 7 vote at a Jan. 26 meeting, the board has come under fire from several City Council members and some residents who have argued
by Ward Schaefer
that Edwards’ personal charm, visibility in the community and concern for JPS students should justify his renewal. Under state law, Edwards is entitled to a hearing in front of the board or a boardappointed hearing officer within 30 days of his request, or by March 6. The board will meet this week to set a hearing date, JPS Board Attorney Dorian Turner said. Before the hearing, Edwards and the board will exchange documents detailing their respective arguments. The documents, as well as the hearing itself, will be closed to the public, unless Edwards decides to request a public hearing. That appears unlikely, however, as Edwards cited the confidentiality of personnel matters in a brief comment to The Clarion-Ledger Feb. 5. Following the hearing, the board has 30 days to render a decision on Edwards’ appeal. If it still decides to not renew Edwards’ contract, he has the option of appealing the case to chancery court, where the proceedings would become public record. Supporters of the board’s decision have pointed to JPS’ lackluster performance on a variety of statewide accountability measurements under Edwards’ tenure. Last year, 14 schools in the district received the “At Risk of Failing” rating from the Mississippi Department of Education. The state’s rating system for
schools and districts tracks performance on standardized test results, year-to-year growth in those test scores and—for high schools—graduation rates. Of the district’s 37 elementary schools, 18 did not meet state growth targets for the 2009-2010 school year. In six of those schools (Isable, Johnson, Smith, Timberlawn, Wilkins and Woodville) test scores have dropped every year, from 2008 to 2010. Only two of the district’s 10 middle schools met state growth targets, though none have seen their test scores drop for two consecutive years since MDE introduced the new accountability system in 2008. Out of eight high schools, only two met growth targets, with three showing drops in their test scores from the previous school year. There are some bright spots in the district. Forest Hill High School’s test scores have risen every year from 2008 to 2010, and this year, the school earned a “Successful” rating, with the district’s third-best high-school graduation rate. Similarly, Rowan Middle School’s scores have improved each year since 2008, as have four JPS elementary schools (Baker, Bradley, French and Green). The furor over Edwards’ contract comes during a standoff in City Council over Mayor Harvey Johnson’s nominees EDWARDS, see page 7
respon- W sible
hat was your worst date ever? Blocking that memory, are you? In honor of Valentine’s Day we asked @jxnfreepress Twitter followers to tell us about their worst date in 140 characters or less:
Double date with the guy’s wife and her boyfriend. I was 16. I had no idea he was married until that V-Day date. I fled . —@haimerlad “Wanna come back to my apartment? I only have an air mattress and a night stand, but we could make it work.” —@flipflops
“We feel like we’re being very responsible with the reserves. And to do otherwise would cut essential services even more,” House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, regarding the upcoming House version of the state budget that uses some reserve funds for education, mental health and other programs.
Had a date that talked about himself and how he got kicked out of class at Millsaps constantly for being a smartass. Sexy? No. —@sophiemcneil
Worst date was named Edith, yes Edith. Enough said. —@lstnm022 My worst date was a funfilled romp through a theme park where we ran into the wife I didn’t know he had ... and her girlfriend. —@eggvip First date with this guy: Took me to Ryan’s, sat down to eat, and he took his teeth out, set them on the side of his plate. —@Sealyme
news, culture & irreverence
EDWARDS, from page 6
for two additional seats on the JPS board. Council President Frank Bluntson has been unable to assemble a quorum to vote on Johnson’s picks: Mississippi Housing Partnership Executive Director Tim Collins and Jackson State University administrator Linda Rush. Ward 5 Councilman Charles Tillman has refused to be present for the vote because, he claims, Johnson did not consult him on Collins’ nomination. Tillman told the Jackson Free Press Feb. 7 that he favors a different candidate, but he would not divulge the name. “We work to be inclusive in government, but we’re getting back to the old ways of when we weren’t included,” Tillman said. “It’s supposed to be government of the people, to look after their welfare, and education is so important.” Tillman said that he believes that the board should give Edwards more time to turn the district around.
“It takes more than three years to get something done,” Tillman said. “You’ve got some issues that have been with the city a long, long time, and since he got here, they changed the rating system. Some of the schools that were doing well under the old rating didn’t do so well under this. You’ve got to get adjusted for the system.” Collins said that he has not spoken to the mayor or any council member about how, if confirmed by the council, he would vote on Edwards’ contract. “I certainly wouldn’t want my opinion regarding the superintendent to be swayed by one side or the other,” Collins said. “I think it would be fair to Dr. Edwards … that I give myself ample time to look at the same documents that (current) board members looked at in making their call. I have not been privy to documents right now.” Comment at www.jfp.ms.
‘She Never Met a Stranger’ by Lacey McLaughlin COURTESY WLBT
emaining fearless and determined even into her late 90s, civil-rights activist A.M.E. Logan would frequently attend community meetings and drive herself around Jackson delivering Avon products to her clients. Logan died Saturday at age 96. Logan, who many considered the “mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” turned her home into a refuge and cooked meals for civil-rights workCivil rights activist A.M.E. Logan, who ers, Freedom Riders and Dr. Martin provided a safe place for Freedom Luther King Jr. In the late 1950s, she Riders and civil rights workers in her west Jackson home, died Saturday at joined the NAACP and knocked on age 96. doors in area neighborhoods, asking others to join. Dr. Alferdteen Harrison, who retired from Jackson State University’s Margaret Walker Alexander Research Center in 2008, says Logan never showed any fear even though the work could have put her in danger. “In the late 1950s, it would have one of those things that you wouldn’t have wanted to get caught doing—selling memberships to the NAACP—because you could have lost your job,” Harrison says. “She was an independent person.” Logan was born in Myles, Miss., and her father named her A.M.E, short for African Methodist Episcopal. Harrison says Logan’s independence is symbolic to her name. In 1816, Rev. Richard Allen founded the A.M.E. church in Pennsylvania out of several black Methodist congregations that wanted independence from white Methodist churches. “That meant a lot to her. It was an independent African American church that didn’t have ties to the white Methodist churches,” Harrison says. “I think she just grew up with that sense of independence.” The Jackson Advocate reported in 2009 that Logan and her late husband, S.L. Logan, moved to Jackson in the 1940s. S.L worked for a railroad company, and A.M.E. was self-employed as a hairdresser and seamstress. She also worked as an assistant manager at the former Williams Grocery Store. She was an Avon consultant until her early 90s. “She never met a stranger,” Harrison says. “She was always smiling, always an outgoing person who was willing to help out in any way that she could.”
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February 9 - 15, 2011
The bill could still change form on the Senate floor or, if passed, in the House of Representatives. Mims said it was too early to say whether the mayor would support the sales-tax bill in its current incarnation. JARO VACEK
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ity leaders have only one major request this legislative session, but that doesn’t mean they’ll get it. Jackson lawmakers are pushing to revise a 2009 salestax bill that offered a stream of funding for public safety and improvements to the city’s flagging road, water and sewer infrastructure. The bill came with a requirement that the city establish a commission—stocked with non-city appointees—to oversee spending of the money, a mandate that Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. rejected as too onerous. The bill called for a nine-member commission: one appointee each from the governor and lieutenant governor, three mayoral appointees and another four appointees the mayor selects from a list of nominees provided by “the local chamber of commerce.” Johnson never offered the tax proposal up for the public referendum necessary to approve it. “Mayor Johnson has always maintained that the commission is not palatable,” city spokesman Chris Mims said. “People elect the mayor and (other) elected officials to oversee city funding. We don’t need another body to tell us how to spend the money.” This year, Jackson Sen. John Horhn introduced a bill that would delete the commission requirement, dedicate more of the sales-tax revenue to infrastructure, and extend the tax’s lifespan from five years to 20 years. SB 2839 changed substantially in the Senate Finance Committee, however, where committee members reinserted the oversight provision. The Finance Committee also increased the share of tax revenue going to infrastructure from 79 percent—with the remainder for public safety—to 99 percent. Horhn said that oversight by the commission was a sticking point in getting his bill out of committee. “I gathered from some informal conversations with my colleagues that that was a deal breaker,” Horhn said. “The more conservative, outside-of-Jackson, rural legislators who are in the Senate tend to favor a commission.”
The prospect of a state-mandated commission still stands between Jackson and millions needed for infrastructure.
“First of all, I think we should the let the legislative process carry on,” Mims said. “Number two, a commission is really moot until the voters of Jackson decide whether or not they want to be taxed in the first place.” An extended expiration date for the sales tax would give the city the assurance of a long-term source of revenue, as much as $15 million annually, Mims estimates. The city could use that money to float bonds to pay for infrastructure work. Those improvements will carry “a hefty price tag,” Mims said, with estimates of required upgrades on the sewer system alone around $76 million. The cost of sewer improvements could go much higher, however, when the city enters a consent decree with the federal Environmental Protection Agency this year. Mims said that the city is “negotiating” with EPA about the state of its sewer and wastewater treatment system and will likely have a federally mandated plan of action “later this year.” The city’s main legislative request isn’t the only item to get warped in the Finance Committee. Another proposal from Horhn also appears headed for a vote by the full Sen-
ate, but in a form drastically different from its original. As Horhn introduced it, SB 2950 would have allowed the state to transmit blighted properties in Jackson from its control directly to the Jackson Redevelopment Authority, bypassing city government. Currently, when an owner stops paying taxes on property in Jackson, the Hinds County Tax Collector’s office puts the property up for auction. If no one buys the property, however, ownership reverts to the state. The state typically cannot grant property directly to an urban renewal agency like JRA; it must offer the land to local county or city government first, which must accept the land and then vote separately to hand it over to an economic development agency. JRA Executive Director Jason Brookins said that the process of placing a property transfer on the City Council agenda and then obtaining council approval can take months. Brookins said that he did not know of any specific state-owned properties that JRA was interested in acquiring but that the authority would welcome the change. “It would reduce steps in the process (for) any redevelopment authority whose goal is to redevelop slum or blighted areas,” Brookins said. “It makes it easier to get that property back in the hands of taxpayers.” Nevertheless, the version of SB 2950 that the Finance Committee approved last week lacks any of the provisions about state property. Instead, it purports to offer Jackson city government the option of selling blighted property to JRA, something the city can already do. Horhn said that objections from Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Dean Kirby, R-Pearl, doomed the original language in the Senate, but the House could still restore the bill’s original intent. “The chairman said that he just felt more comfortable not involving the state in it,” Horhn said. “I don’t think that he has a real understanding of what we’re trying to do. Rather than argue with that, I made the decision to not oppose the chairman at this point and see if we can work on it in the House.” Comment at www.jfp.ms.
Legislature: Week 5
by Adam Lynch
Immigrants, Lawsuits and Juvenile Justice
The Mississippi Senate passed a bill that Attorney General Jim Hood said will curtail his ability to sue big corporations for malfeasance.
hree bills targeting the stateâ€™s immigrant population survived the Senate Judiciary A Committee last week. Senate Bill 2249, authored by Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, requires adult applicants to verify their U.S. citizenship or lawful residence to be eligible for public services from the state division of Medicaid and the Department of Human Services, the Office of Employment Security or the Mississippi Housing Authorities. Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance Executive Director Bill Chandler said undocumented residents already do not qualify for state services beyond emergency health care such as that offered in an emergency room. (The bill does not attempt to demand a citizenship requirement for emergencyroom treatment.) â€œYouâ€™re dealing with extremely ignorant legislators,â€? Chandler said. â€œThey shoot from their hip because these issues are popular among some of their constituents for that.â€? The Senate Judiciary A Committee passed another Fillingane bill, SB 2255, which would create a $5 fee on wire transfers of money sent out of the country, plus 1 percent of the amount of the transfer over $500, to assist in funding construction of a border fence be-
Lawsuits and Care Homes State employees face removal from personnel-board job protection for two years if the Legislature passes SB 2570. Currently, employees fired from state positions can appeal their firing through the state-personnel system. But SB 2570 deems all state employees as â€œnonstate service,â€? a designation that Mississippi Alliance of State Employees President Brenda Scott says â€œmeans you have no property rights to your job.â€? The designation will not apply to new employees brought on after the effective date of SB 2570 in 2011, however. Scott said she doubts the Senate bills survival in the House. Curtailing Attorney General Jim Hoodâ€™s ability to hire outside counsel to pursue civil suits against alleged corporate wrongdoers is the aim of Senate Bill 2618. The bill puts contracts worth more than $500,000 before the Personal Service Contract Review Board, which could cancel the contract. The bill also mandates that the attorney general must submit case bid proposals to at least three separate law firms or individuals where the anticipated attorney fee for the work is more than $500,000. Hood says that some of his most profitable cases against corporate malfeasance arrive via proposals from attorneys with inside knowledge of the misconduct. Hood said an attorney with knowledge of a potentially lucrative case will not likely submit their proposal if other attorneys could outbid them for the contract. The House passed HB 798, putting
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small personal-care homes under the purview of the State Department of Health. Currently, the Mississippi Department of Health oversees the minimum standards for businesses providing residents with one or more daily assistedliving services, but personal-care homes donâ€™t have to be licensed if they have three or fewer occupants, said Nancy Whitehead of the Mississippi Department of Healthâ€™s Regulation and Licensure Division. Juvenile Treatment Under Review The way the state processes and detains youth in detention centers would change under House Bill 1232, also known as the â€œJuvenile Detention Reform Act of 2011.â€? The bill requires a decision by a youth-court judge to take a juvenile into custody. It also mandates new licensing requirements for juvenile-detention centers and outlines new laws regarding detaining youth. In addition, the law establishes the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Task Force and its advisory group, which will establish which agency will be responsible for licensing the stateâ€™s detention centers on an annual basis by July 2015. Jody Owens, director and managing attorney of the Mississippi office of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said standards are necessary to avoid lawsuits like the ones making news in Mississippi over the last few years. The American Civil Liberties Union and SPLC filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Geo Group Inc., the for-profit operator of the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility last November, arguing that â€œchildren there are forced to live in barbaric and unconstitutional conditionsâ€? and that the children are â€œsubjected to excessive uses of force by prison staff.â€? The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Task Force would impose new rules upon the facilities governing everything from telephone and mail privileges to sanitation and inmate diet. Each center will have to make available a manual stating the policies and procedures for operating and maintaining the facility, which the task force will annually review and revise as needed. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
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tween the United States and Mexico, a border that does not touch the state of Mississippi. The third immigrant-related bill is an open slap to the city of Jackson, which passed an ordinance last year restricting police officers from inquiring about residency status of people with whom they interact at routine traffic stops and other public interdictions. Senate Bill 2941 prohibits local governments like Jackson from restricting law enforcement officers from enforcing federal immigration law.
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Founding Chapter, Parents for Public Schools, 1989 200 N. Congress, Suite 500, Jackson, MS 39201
February 9 - 15, 2011
by Dylan Watson
Nathan’s Law Struggling
n a cold afternoon two weeks before Christmas in 2009, Laurel resident Lori Key stood outside her home like she did every day and waited for her son, Nathan, to get off his school bus. As the bus pulled up in front of her house, several cars came to a stop behind it, as is required by state law. Then, one of the drivers behind the bus, Dominic Gebben, 23 at the time, whipped around the bus quickly and, in the process, hit Nathan. Gebben then fled the scene. Nathan Key died shortly afterward. Soon after Jones County deputies captured him, prosecutors charged Gebben with culpable negligence manslaughter. In June 2010, a jury returned with a guilty verdict and sentenced him to 22 years in prison. Until now, prosecutors have used various statutes, such as aggravated assault and manslaughter, to prosecute drivers who have defied school-bus laws and hit children. The attorneys have used these statutes with varying degrees of success. Jones County prosecutors successfully tried Gebben for culpable negligence manslaughter, a felony, but his actions were on the extreme end of the spectrum: He killed Key and fled the scene afterward. Currently, Mississippi law does not contain any language that pertains directly to the penalties for hitting a child who is disembarking a school bus. State school-bus safety law (Section 63-3-615) only states that drivers must stop behind a stopped school bus that is receiving or discharging children. The law provides fines for violators from $200 to $500; it also states that the violator may be imprisoned for no longer than one year, if at all. In the 2010 legislative session, Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, introduced Nathan’s Law. The bill created a specific felony provision for offenders who pass stopped school buses and, in doing so, hit children. The bill proposed a 15-foot buffer zone around school buses, making it illegal for bus drivers to talk on cell phones while driving and creating school-bus safety classes for students. The Senate unanimously passed the bill and transmitted it to the House. The bill went to House Judiciary A Committee, chaired by Rep. Ed Blackmon, DCanton. The committee members then made proposed changes that, according to McDaniel, would have weakened existing law. McDaniel did not agree with the House’s amendments to the bill, so he called a conference. Six legislators were in the conference, McDaniel and Blackmon among them. “Representative Blackmon was very reluctant to cooperate with us. He was just not inclined to negotiate,” McDaniel said. McDaniel said he continued to support the bill because the Key family wanted to honor their son. According to McDaniel, all that was left was for the two houses to draft their compromised, agreed-upon bills, send them to the other side of the Capitol and pass them.
COURTESY LAUREL LEADER CALL
Public schools do more than educate children. They measure a city’s pride. They reflect community. They predict the social and economic well-being of a city’s future. For 20 years, Parents for Public Schools of Jackson has worked to keep our public schools strong, to empower parents as leaders for positive change, and to engage community support of our public schools.
Nathan Key died after a driver struck him while he was getting off his school bus.
The House, however, sent the Senate the bill with changes that, if enacted, would have weakened existing state law. While the House’s version increased the maximum fine for passing a bus by $250 (up to $750), it removed the minimum fine of $200, which had been Mississippi law for almost 40 years. McDaniel said that these changes were not expected. The House bill also removed Nathan’s Law’s most important feature: the specific felony provision for offenders who hit a child while passing a bus. Under the House bill, prosecutors would have had to refer to Mississippi’s aggravated-assault statute. “That was the breaking point,” McDaniel said. “District attorneys all across the state have told me that they cannot get prosecutions under that aggravated-assault section.” Ultimately, Nathan’s Law died in the 2010 session. McDaniel re-introduced the original bill this year, and the Senate passed it. The House has also passed a version of the bill—the exact version that it sent back to the Senate last year—that, if passed, will weaken existing law. McDaniel said that bill will likely go to conference in March. In January, Rep. Earle Banks, D-Jackson, said he didn’t see a need for the Legislature to create a specific felony provision for hitting a child because of existing state law. “We already have criminal statutes to take care of all those situations. How much of a penalty do they want?” he asked. During a press conference at the Capitol last month, Nathan Key’s mother, Lori Key, spoke out against the House bill, calling it “insulting to her child.” Blackmon defended his bill in January, telling the Associated Press that regardless of a specific felony provision, a person who killed a child while passing a school bus would likely face felony charges. House Judiciary Vice Chairwoman Angela Cockerham, D-Magnolia, deferred questions about the bill to Rep. Blackmon who did not return several calls for this story. Comment at jfp.ms.com
by Adam Lynch
Mississippi a CO2 Dump?
Mississippi Sierra Club Director Louie Miller said two bills seeking to sequester carbon dioxide will invite contamination and lawsuits.
and (that) the injection well’s operator could be held liable for nuisance, trespass or another tort,” the report states. Mississippi’s twin bills, in their current form, legally hold the landowners responsible in the event of long-term groundwater contamination or other consequence. It also sets up a $2.5 million Carbon Storage Fund to finance legal damages should local well water become fizzy and undrinkable. The bills also imply that not every property owner must be a willing participant to
having a sequestration chamber under his or her home. Lines 274-278 of both bills make possible approval of reservoir storage if “a majority interest, as provided in this chapter, (has) consented to such use in writing.” That language, Miller said, means not all landowners have to be onboard with the prospect of a carbon well to have one in their backyard. The argument could generate opposition this year as eminent-domain issues command the news. The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation successfully passed a ballot initiative that, if approved by a majority of voters during the November election, would restrict government’s use of eminent domain to public projects such as road and bridge construction. Farm Bureau spokesmen Greg Gibson and Mark Morris did not return phone calls. Rep. Brandon Jones, D-Pascagoula, said the bill could generate new revenue for the state and help utility companies manage carbon output into the atmosphere. “We have anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 existing jobs that are connected with oil recovery in Mississippi, and obviously this bill is attractive from that standpoint in that is has the potential to revitalize this industry,” Jones said. “Industries … are trying to find out what to do with (carbon dioxide), and this will create a format whereby carbon can be stored.”
PA I D A DV E RT I S E M E N T
ou’re craving a burger. Not the runof-the-mill fast food kind…something different. Something you need two hands to handle. A burger with more taste and flavor to keep you satisfied well past dinnertime. When only the best will do, there’s only one, the original, Stamps Superburger. Nestled near the Jackson State campus at 1801 Dalton Street, Stamps Superburger exudes an old-school feel with no frills, just the basics, and Algernon Stamps the basics are what locals have known about for years and come from all over to experience: the Superburger. With huge portion sizes and wallet-friendly prices, Stamps offers not only an incredible value but an experience in culinary mastery. To have the “Stamps experience” is to partake in a piece of Jackson history. Algernon “Al” Stamps and his wife started the business back in the ’70s. Looking for a place to eat after church, and having a craving for a burger, the Stamps decided to create their own when no decent burger could be found around town. “They went into their test kitchen and perfected a uniquely great-tasting gourmet burger for a reasonable price,” says Tim Stamps, one of Al’s six children who now operate Stamp’s Superburger. Al Stamps instilled the hard work and honest ethic learned after 13 years in the Air Force to his children, who all spent time behind the grill. Tim Stamps and his two brothers took a special interest in the business and set to create different spices and menu items that today make Stamps such a unique experience. With lemon pepper, spicy, or Stamps secret seasoned fresh-cut Idaho fries, sweet potato fries, wings and sauces, and other sandwiches, Stamps has something for everyone. Part of what makes the “Stamps experience” so special is Mr. Al himself. A minister by trade, Stamps believed in influencing people to live their lives in a certain way. He would drive around the neighborhood and pick up kids and take them to church and keep them off the streets. Tim Stamps remembered one day when his father packed 28 kids in the family station wagon. The values of hard work, great customer service, and to love and live life exemplify Mr. Al, his sons, and his business. There may be many a burger joint in Jackson, but there is only one Stamps Superburger. Open seven days a week and located in a small house on a corner, Stamps offers made-to-order, your way, beef or turkey burgers in a size that rivals a flying saucer. Add on fries with the secret seasoned salt or lemon pepper and the best sweet tea in the State, and you have a meal fit for a king at the price for a pauper. Come visit Stamps and try the amazing food they have to offer at 1801 Dalton Street in Jackson, MS today! For more information, call 601.352.4555.
abilities. But Miller said the science behind carbon sequestration is not a proved technology, and that carbon dioxide could “bubble back up” to the surface, reversing the positive benefit of carbon removal and posing a risk to property and people. The U. S. Government Accountability Office said that the threat of lawsuits would likely stifle the field of carbon sequestration. “Stored (carbon dioxide) could migrate underground and endanger underground sources of drinking water, leading to liability under the Safe Drinking Water Act for the party responsible. According to EPA, (carbon dioxide) migration into drinking water can cause the leaching of contaminants, such as arsenic, lead and other compounds, into the water. (Carbon dioxide) migration could also result in changes in regional groundwater flow and the movement of saltier fluids into drinking water, causing its quality to degrade,” the September 2008 GAO report stated. It added that electric utilities and oil and gas company stakeholders remain leery as to who would be responsible for the resulting damage years after a carbon repository is capped. Stored carbon dioxide “could also migrate beneath adjacent lands,” and could possibly interfere with “the adjacent mineral owners’ abilities to extract (mineral) resources,
ississippi would become a reservoir for carbon-dioxide storage under Senate Bill 2723 and House Bill 1098—both of which survived their respective Oil, Gas and Other Minerals committees this month. If passed, the bills will allow oil companies to inject concentrated carbon dioxide into non-productive or exhausted oil and natural gas wells with permission from the land’s owners. In theory, the concentrated gas should fill the depleted reservoir and squeeze any remaining oil or gas to within reach of a pump. Utility companies’ coal-burning power plants would supply the carbon dioxide, which they will capture through a new reclaiming process, akin to the process planned for the coal-burning power plant in Kemper County. Mississippi Sierra Club Executive Director Louie Miller argues that the technology is untested and represents a health risk. “That’s a lot of crap to pump under the ground, and they don’t know where it’s going to go. And they’re going to let the Oil and Gas Board oversee this,” Miller said. “It’s total complete nonsense.” In 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classified carbon dioxide as a pollutant worthy of regulation, due to its heat trapping and potentially climate-changing
opining, grousing & pontificating
On Feb. 15, Vote Ice for Ward 1
he Jackson Free Press’ readership is diverse in many ways, and we get criticized from the left and right for editorial stances and endorsements. Our editorial board believes in groups of people with varying opinions getting together to debate and discuss and, thus, find a better solution due to diversity of opinion. For that reason, we rather like the idea of a City Council with varying viewpoints, much as we like the fact that President Obama has shown a willingness to compromise and reach out to the business community. To that end, we wish we could feel more comfortable with the thought of well-funded Republican Quentin Whitwell taking over Jeff Weill’s Council seat in the special election on Feb. 15. We wish we believed he would partake in a healthy dialogue with other Council members and vote independently from what his funders might want, should the situation merit it. We’d like to think he would think for himself more than Weill, who seemed to treat the seat as a Republican stepping stone to higher office, and take often-not-wellconsidered positions just because they were against the mayor. But Whitwell has a huge warning sign hanging over his head: his own resume. He is a tried-and-true corporate-conservative lobbyist—with clients from United Healthcare to U.S. Smokeless Tobacco to Ashbritt (Google it with “Katrina” and “Barbour”). His firm has lobbied the state Legislature on behalf of a national charter-school group (we understand discussing them, but lobbying is something else) and for power companies such as Entergy that want customers to pay now for possible nuclear and coal plant construction in the future. We’re also concerned about his not-subtle ties with “Two Lakes” supporters; the spokesman for that project, Dallas Quinn, is his campaign manager; vocal “Two Lakes” supporter Ben Allen is his treasurer. The Ward 1 council member should look carefully at all flood-control options—and look out for constituents who are concerned about higher property taxes to pay for expensive development, not to mention the use of eminent domain to take property. This is a complicated issue that deserves more than a lobbyist’s approach to it. Besides, we are dismayed to see Whitwell marching out the same tired Morgan-Quitno “dangerous city” rhetoric of failed local candidates to try to scare people into voting for him. This is a very bad omen. As for opponent Patricia Ice: We know her as a person, an advocate for the less fortunate and an immigrants-rights attorney. She is a smart family woman, and she cares about the residents of Jackson. We believe she will think independently, but with an ear toward the rights of people over corporations. We’re glad she decided to run, and we believe she would represent the people of Ward 1, and the entire city, better than her opponent. Please turn out and vote for Ice on Feb. 15.
‘There is a Season’
February 9 - 15, 2011
rother Hustle: “Another season is here, and it makes me reflect on the words wise ol’ King Solomon wrote thousands of years ago: ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose, under heaven: A time to gain, a time to lose; a time to rend, a time to sew.’ “I wonder what he would say in 2011? ‘A time to pay your bills, a time to be broke; a time to be unemployed, a time to hustle or train for a new career.’ “Perhaps, King Solomon would add: ‘A time to have your tax return prepared at Money Hustle’s Financial Services, and a time for your rapid refund money to pay off those overdue bills.’ “This is a shameless plug for my cousin Money Hustle’s new business. Hard times forced him to re-invent himself—after he lost his bookkeeping job at the chemical processing plant when the Environmental Protection Agency shut it down for polluting the Cootie Creek River. “Money’s new hustle is to prepare taxes and secure immediate and sufficient refund money for the financially challenged. And I’m proud to mention that my cousin hired Aunt Tee Tee, unemployed members of the Ghetto Science Community and me to do some part-time promotional work for Money Hustle’s Financial Services, Inc. “So, when driving around the ghetto and other areas, look for the Money Hustle Street Corner Team, wearing lime-green uniforms covered with fake dollar bills and carrying the Money Hustle Financial Services promotion sign.”
YOUR TURN by Carl Gibson
The Secession Bandwagon
t seems Mississippi Sen. Joey Fillingane, RSumrall, is out to prove an election-year point by appealing to the most extreme fringe of the far right. Since the start of the 2011 session, the chairman of Mississippi’s Senate Judiciary A Committee has brought forth several tea-soaked bills that reek of partisan pandering and paranoia contrived by right-wing media. Some of the more egregious ones include SB 2179, which essentially replicates Arizona’s SB 1070. Another dubiously xenophobic race-baiting measure authored by Fillingane includes SB 2255, which forces providers of international monetary wire transfers to levy a tax that goes toward financing the construction of a border wall on the U.S./Mexico line, instead of, say, the drastically underfunded Mississippi Department of Public Safety. Fillingane also attempts to reinforce the patently false narrative of Christian oppression in public schools with SB 2101, the so-called “Mississippi Student Religious Liberties Act of 2011.” Although children are free to pray in public schools whenever they please, this bill subtly implies that the civil liberties of students in an overwhelmingly Christian state are under attack. The icing is SB 2224, a bold appeal to the “tenther” vote. If passed, this legislation would effectively create a six-member House and Senate panel, called the “Restoring the Tenth Amendment Committee,” with the explicit job of pointing out any federal law or “unfunded mandate” they deem to be “unconstitutional.”
Fillingane makes no bones about which “unconstitutional” laws his proposed committee would focus on: “This definition shall specifically include legislation relating to health care, financial reform, and gun control, or any other legislation not provided for or sanctioned by the Constitution of Mississippi or the Constitution of the United States,” he writes in the bill. I’m sure Sen. Fillingane wouldn’t use the term “secession,” but states choosing to ignore federal law carry out the same intent as seceding. Besides, the mere attempt to dismiss existing federal law is unconstitutional, so says the Supremacy Clause in Article 6, section 2 of the U.S. Constitution: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made ... the supreme law of the land.” The U.S. Constitution refutes the tenthers yet again in the Privileges and Immunities clause in the 14th Amendment: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” Progressives, be warned: The tea virus is seeping into the halls of our statehouse this year. Mississippians thirsty for real solutions to hemorrhaging jobs, rapacious income inequality, declining public health and lackluster public education should focus on electing leaders that act in the interests of working families, not in the interests of Fox News viewers. Carl Gibson is a 23-year-old Methodist preacher’s son from Kentucky and a former MPB reporter. His most recent venture is the Gibson Group, a lobbying firm.
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n 2009, I spent 48 minutes on Paul Galloâ€™s SuperTalk radio show. I wanted to persuade Gallo to help me expose the mainstream resurgence of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a segregationist group patterned after the 1960s-era white Citizenâ€™s Councils that had recently received public support from a state senator; Gallo, who had put in some time on Google, thought it would be more fun to ridicule my amusingly left-wing online bio. After the first 15 minutes, as we paused for a commercial break, a friendly sounding young man piped in: â€œHave you had enough, or do you want to play some more?â€? I told him I had all morning free; he chuckled and gave me the go-ahead. I donâ€™t remember most of what Gallo said (he did eventually acknowledge, on the air, that he found the organizationâ€™s platform offensive), but the word â€œplayâ€? still sticks in my crawâ€”and what it implies about the emotionally detached way the conservative white political establishment in Mississippi tends to assess policy issues that affect women, the poor and people of color. I thought about this spirit of â€œplayfulnessâ€? last week as the Mississippi Legislature debated SB 2179, conservative legislatorsâ€™ attempt to export Arizonaâ€™s anti-immigration bill into our state. Lawmakers had obviously not written the bill with Mississippiâ€™s underfunded law-enforcement community in mind. They then patched up the bill with amendments that, in some cases, made it even less practical to implement. Some legislators, understandably, wanted to know what this increasingly messy and bizarre piece of legislation would do if enacted. But the billâ€™s principal sponsor, Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, wouldnâ€™t have any of that. â€œI donâ€™t buy this whole argument about needing more time,â€? he told detractors. â€œYou all know how youâ€™re going to vote.â€? The bill passed the Senate 34-15; a different version passed the House, and theyâ€™re being debated in committee. For its supporters, the â€œgameâ€? continuesâ€”but the question of what the bill would actually accomplish, if enacted, is not one that its legislative supporters feel any apparent need to answer. There are plenty of other examples of impractical laws in the 2011 session, and we will probably have the opportunity to vote on one in November. The proposed Personhood Amendment would establish that everyone becomes a human being at the moment of fertilization, which at first glance sounds like a fairly orthodox conservative position intended to restrict abortion. The trouble is that most anti-abortion conservatives have historically taught that life begins at conception, not fertilization, and thereâ€™s a difference: the uterus naturally rejects most fertilized eggs prior to conception. This means that, if the law were actually enforced, any woman who has unprotected sex could
potentially be charged with manslaughter. But the proponents of the Personhood Amendment, like the proponents of the equally nonsensical anti-immigration law, clearly arenâ€™t thinking about enforcement. Theyâ€™re thinking about the potential political benefits of publicly espousing opinions that they believe will be popular with their constituents, and theyâ€™re having fun cornering more intellectually honest legislators who oppose these popular legislative â€œopinion piecesâ€? for practical policy reasons. Meanwhile, they seem to have little concern for what effect their proposed laws, and the movements behind them, might have on the lives of women and Latinos. In the wake of the Tucson massacre, I have heard the word â€œcivilityâ€? ooze from every pore of our political establishment. But the danger is violenceâ€”actual harm to othersâ€”and not, strictly speaking, incivility. The civility of irresponsible lawmakers at playâ€”locking themselves into votes on half-baked legislation in an environment of collegial backslapping so that they can be seen as friendly to their constituencies and each otherâ€”is a hazardous civility. In that sort of environment, legislators should be a little less civil toward those around them and a little more concerned about the well being of people who arenâ€™t in the room. Iâ€™m not sure Iâ€™m emotionally prepared to care about civility in a country where 45,000 people die every year due to disparities in health-insurance coverage, but an effort to repeal federal health-care reform just passed the U.S. House by a landslide. Iâ€™m not sure Iâ€™m emotionally prepared to care about civility in a world where 1.6 million children die every year of preventable pneumonia, 3,000 die per day in Africa of preventable malaria, and lawmakers want to cut foreign aid. And the civility of Mississippi lawmakers who are willing to haphazardly criminalize womenâ€™s natural reproductive processes and haphazardly pass Jim Crow-style legislation directed at Latino immigrantsâ€”just because these lawmakers are so darned friendly to each other that they donâ€™t feel the need to critically analyze the bills they supportâ€”is also a dubious civility. We need to reject the prevailing whiteconservative attitude that portrays politics as a sport, and we need to clearly establish that meeting worthwhile policy goals usually means hard work, not play; complex decision making, not marketable sound bites; damaged friendships, not collegiality. We need to acknowledge that making ourselves popular with peers at the expense of targeted communities indicates gross cowardice, not maturity. Freelance writer Tom Head is a lifelong Jacksonian. He has authored or co-authored 24 nonfiction books on a wide range of topics, is a civil liberties writer for About.com, and volunteers as a grassroots progressive activist.
CORRECTION: In the Best of Jackson issue (Vol. 9, Issue 20, Jan. 26 to Feb. 1), we listed an incorrect phone number for Greenbrook Flowers (Best Flower Shop). The correct phone number is 601-957-1951. The Jackson Free Press apologizes for the error..
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Editor in Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer
Live, Work, Love
ome relationships work because both individuals have the freedom to attend to their own agendas throughout each day. What happens, though, when couples live and work together? More so than ever before, many couples now spend close to 24 hours, seven days a week togeth-
Daphne and Marsh Nabors
when she was part of another band, and agrees it is much better with him now, because they can share such rich experiences. The couple started dating in 1996 and, three years later, shared an non-traditional wedding experience. In 1999, on Daphneâ€™s birthday, Dec. 31, the eager couple eloped to a courthouse in Butler, Ala., where a judge married them and served as their only witness. Though the coupleâ€™s band entertains both local and distant audiences, they have day jobs, too. Marsh works at Pearl River Glass Studio restoring stained glass while Daphne owns a freelance photography business (the Jackson Free Press is one of her clients). They agree that they enjoy having the band as their side job instead of a full-time responsibility. The couple says that one reward of working together is having the comfortable freedom to criticize one another without wondering how the other is going to respond. They sometimes argue, but ultimately get over their frustration, and they do not hold grudges. â€œIt is great to be able to put 100 percent trust in someone else and both be able to watch over the other,â€? Marsh says. â€œShe is more like my guardian angel.â€? Daphne values trust, too. â€œI can trust what he says as the truth,â€? she says. â€œWhen he approves of something, I
COURTESY BALLET MAGNIFICAT!
Keith and Kathy Thibodeaux
Kathy and Keith Thibodeaux
&OR THE ,OVE OF 2EADING
February 9 - 15, 2011
n 1976, Keith Thibodeaux proposed to Kathy after only three months of knowing one another. Kathy, only 19 at the time, was hesitant at first, but she joined Keith to pray over their situation. In an effort to comfort Kathy, Keith urged her to open the Bible and point to a verse. Ironically, Kathy pointed
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by J. Ashley Nolen DAPHNE NABORS
aphne and Marsh Nabors know the importance of being laid back and enjoying life. The couple formed â€œThe Overnight Lows,â€? their punk-rock band, under unusual circumstances back in 2000. The bandâ€™s name has nothing to do with the weathermanâ€™s estimation of dropping temperatures in the middle of the night but, instead, refers to a challenging time in the coupleâ€™s relationship. During this stressful time, Marsh had a few sleepless nights where he felt especially burdened. â€œIt wasnâ€™t a negative time, but just captures a negative moment,â€? Marsh says. The band started up that summer. Daphne, 37, plays the bass, and Marsh, 35, the guitar; both sing original songs they write together. They write songs that they would want to hear, not for a specific fan base. The three-person band includes a drummer, Bryan Roberts, who just started. â€œThe Overnight Lowsâ€? is under record label Goner Records, based in Memphis, where they often perform. For the first 10 years, the group only played around the South, but within the last year they toured around the West Coast, featuring their new album, â€œCity of Rotten Eyes.â€? Marsh says itâ€™s great to have someone with him that heâ€™s close to when heâ€™s really far from home traveling. Daphne remembers touring without Marsh early on in their relationship
er. To some couples, such a schedule is overwhelming to even think about. For other love birds, thatâ€™s the only way they can imagine living their lives. We found three unique couples who live and work together in different capacities.
Marsh and Daphne Nabors
know itâ€™s for real.â€? Her advice is to value honesty and always be available to re-examine yourself. Marsh says that he isnâ€™t the person to come to for advice but later adds that it is important for couples to constantly be willing to improve and grow. Marsh and Daphne were friends before their romantic relationship developed, and the couple says it is their deep-rooted friendship that keeps their 11-year-old marriage strong today.
by J. Ashley Nolen
to and read aloud the story of Ruth telling Boaz to make her his wife according to Godâ€™s holy ordinances. The couple eloped on Oct. 26 that same year. Keith and Kathy are both extraordinarily talented. Keith, originally from Louisiana, was first in the spotlight, playing Little Ricky on the television sitcom â€œI Love Lucy,â€? and then Opieâ€™s friend on â€œThe Andy Griffith Show.â€? Later, he was a drummer, singer and songwriter for the Gospel Music Association Dove Award-nominated David and the Giants; he traveled with them for 10 years. In 1982, Kathy, who was born in Memphis but moved to Jackson when she was 3, won a silver medal at the USA International Ballet Competition that is held every four years in Jackson. Her final dance was to Sandi Pattyâ€™s â€œWe Shall Behold Him.â€? Her dancing and a desire to combine her career with her faith is what spurred Kathy to open Ballet Magnificat! in 1986, where the
goal is: â€œâ€Ś to restore dance as a means of worship to the church and to disciple dancers to spread the gospel to all nations.â€? As the founder and artistic director of Ballet Magnificat!, Kathy says the company started out small but has grown dramatically. Since opening, the company has performed in front of more than 12 million people. Keith is the companyâ€™s executive director, overseeing the business aspect of their dance company, handling all the paperwork and scheduling performances. â€œWe ride in to work together and leave together,â€? Keith says. In 2011, Ballet Magnificat! celebrates its 25th year in business. While the couple works in the same business every day, they say it isnâ€™t too challenging for them because they are in two different sides of the company. When the ballet company travels, the couple spends almost all day together, but it bothers neither of them. In fact, they are appreciative for the time they have
together because early on in their marriage, Keith traveled away from Kathy and their daughter, Tara, while playing in David and the Giants. Together, the couple has traveled to a variety of places including South America, Singapore, Israel and all around Europe. â€œNow we can enjoy the fact that weâ€™re traveling together,â€? Keith says. Both from broken families, Keith and Kathy recognize marriage as a covenant. Their advice is to never let anything offend you that will cause a root of bitterness. â€œIf youâ€™re wrong, be big enough to recognize it,â€? Keith says. Kathy says she can trust Keithâ€™s decisions. Laughingly, she adds that she likes him because heâ€™s cute, too. Keith adores Kathyâ€™s faith, patience and her gift of mercy. â€œI might say something is the last straw, but she demonstrates mercy,â€? Keith says. Kathy is laid back, and Keith is a â€œgo getter.â€? They will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary this year.
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by Dorian Randall She walks in unconditional love toward people. She has a way of handling stressful situations with a lot of grace. I love her loyalty and faithfulness,â€? Joseph said. He said new couples should be patient with each other and understand that â€œreality is a little bit different than the way theyâ€™ve idealized each other.â€? Alice says her husband didnâ€™t have to do much to woo her when they first met. It was his maturity that impressed her. â€œWe were in the 11th grade, and he was so far [more] advanced than all the other young men, even male friends that I knew at my school and my neighborhood. â€Ś And he had dreams,â€? she says. â€œHe had a goal in life.â€? After 39 years of marriage, Alice said she cherishes the time they spend together. She said couples who work together should respect each other, especially if one of them is in a position of leadership. â€œYou have to respect your spouse as the boss. You have to respect an individualâ€™s talent and not expect them to be perfect, but expect them to do the very best they can,â€? she said. Alice says she loves her husbandâ€™s foresight, his leadership, his caring heart and â€œhis desire to stop at nothing to take care of us.â€?
Keep The Fires Burning
by Robin Oâ€™Bryant
must explain how to operate your TV, VCR, DVD player and your microwave. This requires at least a 30-minute monologue during which your babysitterâ€™s eyes will glaze over. Leave your parenting persona at home. My husband, Zeb, and I have always been pretty good about having a regular date night. What we arenâ€™t so great about is leaving our parenting personas at home. With three children born in four years, it was hard to find a convenient time to argue, to discuss our parenting differences and to fight about the important things that really make a marriage lastâ€” like which direction toilet paper should be hung (with the roll facing forward) who took the trash out last (probably him) and who unloaded the dishwasher last. (Donâ€™t listen to a word he says; it was me.)
eing romantic once you have children can be nearly impossible. Going on a date with your spouse can require so much preparation that it may seem easier to stay at home in your sweatpants and eat frozen pizza. But if you like your spouse (and I realize you might not), you need time away from the kids to unwind and reconnect. Throughout my 13 years of marriage Iâ€™ve found two sure-fire ways to keep the home fires burning: date night and lingerie. Schedule a regular date night. Date night can be a gigantic pain in the butt because it requires so much planning. You must find a babysitter, who is hopefully a responsible(ish) adult, and explain every nuance and bedtime routine. You have to explain how to make bottles the way your baby likes them, how much toothpaste your 5year-old prefers versus how much your 3-year-old prefers. You
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Keep it simple. If you havenâ€™t been on a date with your spouse in awhile, you might want to keep things simple. My husband and I spent an expensive evening at a Charleston, S.C., restaurant, arguing through appetizers and hissing at each other as the waiter cleared away plates. We realized over dessert that it had taken us the entire meal to start acting like we liked each other, and now it was time to go home and endure another three weeks of parenting bootcamp before weâ€™d have another chance to be alone. My husband made a brilliant suggestion. He proposed that we should get a babysitter on Friday nights, go to Taco Bell, and for less than $20, we could fight like a couple of rednecks over bean burritos and fountain Mountain Dew. Then on Saturday, we could go on a nice date where we could act like the civilized adults, without scaring the wait staff.
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Joseph and Alice White
Double date. Going on a date with another couple is a great way to ensure you both stay on your best behavior. Itâ€™s hard to fight with your spouse if you have an audience, and you are less likely to keep all the conversation focused on your kids and family business. Spice it up with some lingerie. Your other option, if date night just seems too complicated, is to buy some fun, flirty new lingerie. But hereâ€™s my very best piece of advice concerning your skivvies: Hide them from your children. I was doing laundry one morning and left some of my lingerie (think several steps up from your basic maw-maw nightgown and several steps down from Frederickâ€™s of Hollywood) to lie flat on the counter to dry. Aubrey, my 5-year-old, walked into the laundry and immediately picked it up. â€œMomma! What is this? Is it your babing suit?â€? â€œNo, honey. Itâ€™s my underwear.â€? â€œWell, I want to see you try it on. It looks so fancy!â€? I was not about to have a Victoriaâ€™s Secret fashion show for my kindergartener so I blurted out the first thing that popped in my head. â€œNo, itâ€™s still wet. It needs to dry.â€? Aubrey got a mischievous look on her face, waggled her eyebrows at me and asked, â€œWant me to hang it up outside for you?â€? â€œNO! I donâ€™t!â€? I said as I snatched my unmentionables out of her hand. Iâ€™m not quite ready for all of my business to be wafting in the Mississippi breeze.
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r. Joseph White, an anti-aging specialist and general medicine physician, was once a star basketball player as a high-school junior in Missouri. His future bride, Alice, was an interested spectator who admired his maturity. Now years later, they work together at the Optimum Health Wellness Center in Jackson. The couple has been in Mississippi for 21 years and has enjoyed adding to their love story in what has become their home. The proud parents of two children and six grandchildren are still madly in love. â€œOh, I was very interested at first sight,â€? Joseph, 57, said. â€œIt didnâ€™t take long before love really kicked in, and I was experiencing something I had never experienced before,â€? he added with a laugh. â€œWe are still in love, so thatâ€™s a good thing.â€? He enjoys working with his wife, too. Alice White, 57, is vice president of their company, Optimum Health Wellness Center Inc., and oversees its finances. Joseph said that not only does it allow them to see each other more often despite their hectic schedules, but he also feels he has someone he can trust on his team. â€œThere are multiple benefits of working with my spouse.
COURTESY JOSEPH AND ALICE WHITE
Joseph and Alice White
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