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September 7 - 13, 2011

September 7 - 13, 2011



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6 Suing Hate The family of James Craig Anderson sues the teens they say murdered him because he was black. COURTESY COLONEL REB PAC

Cover illustration by Kristin Brenemen



Mississippi ballot initiatives have ranged from serious—football —to simply not feasible. COURTESY DR. LARKIN CARTER

ronnie agnew encouraged Agnew to go into print journalism. Agnew calls Norton “my mentor.” Before he graduated from Ole Miss in 1984, Agnew started working at The Greenwood Commonwealth. At The Cincinnati Enquirer, a Gannett newspaper, he got a huge opportunity in 1986. “They trained me at 27 to be assistant city editor,” he says. Agnew returned to Mississippi as managing editor of The Hattiesburg American, another Gannett paper, in 1993. Four years later, Agnew was editor of The Dothan (Ala.) Eagle. In 2001, he came to The Clarion-Ledger as managing editor, and in 2002, he became executive editor, the first African American to head that news operation. Agnew says he doesn’t have a lot of plans for MPB, yet. He has a lot of “self-imposed” homework. “I inflict a little too much pressure on myself,” he says. After his first week at MPB, his wife of 25 years, Cynthia, 47, noticed an immediate change when he wasn’t carrying a laptop. The Agnews have three children: Rachel, 16; Victoria, 18; and Christopher, 20. The MPB staff impresses Agnew. He’d like to continue and expand programs such as Job Hunters and the high-school football games. “We have a responsibility to be smart with all our finances,” Agnew says. “The more money we can raise, we can tell Mississippi stories.” —Valerie Wells

35 Iron Doc Meet the first Mississippian to qualify for the Ironman triathlon championships in Las Vegas and Kona.

42 Spoil Yourself Sometimes you just have to take time out to thoroughly pamper yourself from head to toe.

On Sundays, Ronnie Agnew and his eight brothers and sisters piled into his father’s 1967 Buick LeSabre and headed to church. “My mom and dad were very religious,” he says. They didn’t let the kids watch a lot of TV, but they watched “Sesame Street” when it hit Mississippi Educational Television in 1970. “If you grew up in the country without cable, ETV was big,” Agnew says. “Kermit and Big Bird were family members.” As a child in Saltillo, Miss., Agnew shared a bedroom with his brothers. It made them close as adults, said Agnew, now 48. “We are crazy about each other,” he says. Most of his siblings have moved out of state, but Agnew remains. “Jackson is home,” he says. “I’ve turned down a lot of money to stay in Mississippi. Somebody has to stay. Somebody has to make a difference.” In August, Agnew became executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting after more than nine years as the executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger. His last official act for the Gannett Co. Inc. newspaper was a presentation at the National Association of Black Journalists in early August in Philadelphia, Pa. Back in Saltillo, a teenaged Agnew saw sportscaster Bryant Gumbel on TV. “That’s what I want to be,” he says. He went to the University of Mississippi majoring in radio and television. One of his professors, Will Norton,


4 ........ Publisher’s Note 4 ................... Slowpoke 6 .......................... Talks 12 ................... Editorial 12 .................... Stiggers 13 .................. Opinion 26 ............... Diversions 27 ....................... Books 28 ..................... 8 Days 30 .............. JFP Events 32 ....................... Music 33 ......... Music Listings 35 ...................... Sports 36 ................. Astrology 37 ........................ Food 41 ............... Body/Soul 42 .... Girl About Town

Coulda’ Beens


Valerie Wells Valerie Wells is assistant editor of the JFP and BOOM Jackson. She also covers the media in Mississippi on a quest to figure out who controls the news. Email ideas to Valerie@ She wrote the cover story.

Kristin Brenemen Art Director Kristin Brenemen is an otaku with penchant for dystopianism. Her Zombie Survival Kit has been upgraded with three sonic screwdrivers. She designed the cover and many pages in this issue. House Hufflepuff represent!

Sadaaf Mamoon Editorial intern Sadaaf Mamoon is a senior at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. She loves film scores, Greek mythology and naming inanimate objects. Her spirit animal is a Pink Fairy Armadillo. She wrote the Jacksonian.

Mike Day At the “Hindsonian” at Hinds Community College, cartoonist Mike Day won top awards from the Mississippi Press Association and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. He was also a cartoonist for The Hattiesburg American. He drew the cartoon.

Rebecca Wright Rebecca Wright is a Mississippi transplant from Michigan. She loves hanging out with family and friends, reading, and home projects. She has a passion for both human and animal rights. She wrote a music piece.

Walter Biggins Walter Biggins is a Dallas native and an editor at University Press of Mississippi. He blogs at He wrote a book review.

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 food piece.

September 7-13, 2011

Jason Huang


Former editorial intern Jason Huang loves life’s banter and welcomes all adventures. Nothing can compare to stumbling on an unexpected adventure, living it, and then walking away with a strut. He wrote the Body Soul story.


by Todd Stauffer, Publisher

‘Newspaper Bites Self’


oincidentally, today’s Editor & Publisher e-blast featured a story about USA Today’s long-standing habit of padding their official “paid” subscriber numbers with the “freebie” newspapers they distribute through hotel chains. (If you’ve done much business travel, you may have seen a copy outside your door or in the lobby.) They do this by offering a low price to the hotels for those copies, and then convincing the hotels to put a disclaimer in small print, saying that the guest can request a 75 cent refund from the hotel if you don’t want the paper. If you don’t complain, USA Today interprets that to mean you “bought” the paper and counts it. Turns out a guy in California got peeved enough to sue Hilton over the 75 cents. And, because that probably seems like too small an amount for invoking the federal courts, his lawyer decided it was an excuse for a class-action lawsuit. So they’re trying one. In the E&P story, writer Jay Schiller says he’s spoken with lawyers who wonder why it isn’t the advertisers (instead of a reader) suing Gannett Co., owners of USA Today, for the way it props up circulation, and thus advertising rates, with this dumb scheme. This week’s cover story is about another of Gannett’s properties, The Clarion-Ledger. In it, JFP assistant editor and media writer Valerie Wells takes a long look at Jackson’s “statewide” paper, noting the heights that the paper reached in the early 1980s—and how far it appears to have fallen since that time. Some of The Clarion-Ledger’s woes are, no doubt, due to the incredible disruption that the entire news business has been subject to over the past decade courtesy of the Internet. The rise of Craigslist, eBay and a variety of real-estate websites have put a strong dent in the revenues that daily papers came to rely on. To counter, Gannett had the foresight to partner with other newspaper chains on, for instance, and uses it to entice car dealers to advertise in print with packages that include the desirable online service. Smart stuff. But the “dumb stuff” are games such as the USA Today distribution scheme. You know—where they try to get around the basics of writing interesting stories and selling local advertising based on loyal readership. It’s dumb stuff when they try to use their deep pockets to bully other media or to try and change the playing field so that it benefits their bottom line as their journalistic quality suffers. And, bless their hearts, Gannett seems to excel at the dumb stuff. One May morning back in 2006, I got a call from the distribution manager of The Clarion-Ledger, asking if I’d be willing to meet at Cups in Fondren. This was easily my first call ever from a Clarion-Ledger employee in an official capacity. When I got there, he presented me with my “opportunity”—Total Distribution Network, or TDN. The idea was that The Clarion-Ledger was going to place big green plastic boxes all over town, and I could pay them to

allow me to place my publications in their plastic boxes. This was, I was told, a service. I was also shown a spreadsheet filled with names of locations where TDN already had exclusive contracts. Meaning I could pay them to distribute there. And, oh, if I already had a box or a rack there—well, I needed to pick that up or they would pick it up for me. It was no longer allowed. Contractually. As you might imagine, I found this disconcerting. When I got back to the office, I told Donna Ladd and co-founder Stephen Barnette, and we all hit the phones. Stephen called his advertisers who had their names on the list; I called mine, and we all called some fellow publishers listed on the “Accepted Publications” list. Within 24 hours we figured out that (a) a number of locations were disputing the “official” story we’d gotten from the C-L representatives and (b) a number of local publishers had had a very similar meeting, and were very concerned. Within 72 hours, a number of us local publishers had met to discuss and vent (the JFP brought a bottle of wine); within a few weeks, we had a plan that involved a lot of shoe leather and some luck. It took a while, but, today, TDN is gone, and MIPA, or the Mississippi Independent Publishers Alliance, has more than 100 shared distribution locations. It’s a great group of folks working to make sure that local, free publications in the metro can remain local and free. The C-L’s scheme not only backfired, but it strengthened the relationships among their local competition. Just think, all that time they could have been focused on the news. If you’re the sort of person that thinks a business’ only purpose in the world should

be to make money for its shareholders, then Gannett is your sort of company. They’ve slashed and burned their way to continued profitability, and at margins that make other newspaper companies blush—even while their newspaper business is shrinking. Smaller staffs, smaller papers, smaller readerships. But if you’re the sort of person who thinks a newspaper’s purpose should be something in addition to making money, you’re not alone. Perhaps the lament I hear more often than almost anything else (now that Melton is no longer mayor) is how under-served people feel by The Clarion-Ledger, and how little they feel they can trust the “paper of record.” Yet, there is the rub. As a publicly traded multinational corporation, Gannett acts like it, too often opting to try “dumb stuff” to prop up shareholder value in the short-term instead of doing the smart stuff (and hard stuff) of investing in their newsroom and bringing quality journalism to readers. (These days, they even give their dumb stuff handy, dumb-sounding names: Deal Chicken, anyone?) What can we all do? Shop local. (Sorry, wrong phrase; that’s perilously close to the name of a trademarked Gannett website designed to prop-up their waning circular business from Walmart and Best Buy. Too bad it thinks I’m in Memphis. Dumb site.) Spend local. Support local media, local restaurants, local retail, and the people who invest their time, energy and money in their community. Thank our over-worked and passionate reporting staff when you see them running from meeting to meeting. Oh, and keep reading the JFP and telling our advertisers— we’re growing revenues, slightly profitable and, next week, we start our 10th year in business. Thanks for your help!


news, culture & irreverence

Family Files Wrongful Death Suit JERRICK SMITH

Wednesday, Aug. 31 August comes to a close as the first full month with no American casualties in Iraq since the beginning of the war in March 2003. In Afghanistan, however, August was the deadliest month since the invasion, with 66 American soldiers killed. ‌ A Greenville man pleads guilty to threatening to kill President Obama and blow up a hospital that refused to do surgery on his wife.

Gannett Co. Inc. owns 82 daily newspapers in the United States, including USA Today and The Clarion-Ledger.

Brad Oberhousen’s win in the District 73 Democratic primary is facing a challenge. p 11

Thursday, Sept. 1 WikiLeaks admits it lost control of hundreds of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables. The cables were unedited and reportedly contained the names of confidential informants. ‌ Authorities say a warrant has been issued for a suspect in the hit-and-run death of a Jim Hill High School student last month.

Saturday, Sept. 3 Sarah Palin unveils a five-step plan to a better America at a Tea Party rally in Iowa, but does not reveal whether her plan involves a run for president. ‌ College football fans celebrate the season’s opening weekend. Sunday, Sept. 4 Wildfires in Texas kill two people and destroy almost 400 homes. ‌ Tropical Storm Lee spawns tornadoes and floods in Mississippi, killing at least one person.

September 7 - 13 , 2011

Monday, Sept. 5 Armed forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi cross from Libya into Niger. Niger’s foreign minister says Gadhafi is still in Libya. ‌ Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. declares a State of Emergency for Jackson as the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee wash over the state, raising river, creek and stream levels.


Tuesday, Sept. 6 The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians holds elections for their chief again after the Tribal Council threw out an earlier election. ‌ The family of James Anderson files a wrongful death suit against seven teens. Anderson was killed in June in an alleged hate crime. Get news updates at

Jackson Attorney Winston Thompson III and Southern Poverty Law Center Chief Trial Counsel Morris Dees announced a civil lawsuit against Rankin County teenagers for the wrongful death of James Craig Anderson.


orris Dees is not singling out Mississippi in his organization’s efforts to seek justice for an alleged hate murder of James Craig Anderson because he was black. Speaking to reporters on Monday at the Hinds County Courthouse, Dees, chief trial counsel with the Southern Poverty Law Center, said his organization has filed similar lawsuits in Long Island, N.Y., and

Linden, Texas. In 2008, a group of teenagers in Long Island, N.Y., beat Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero, and one teen, Jeffery Convoy, stabbed him to death. A judge sentenced Convoy to 25 years in prison for manslaughter as a hate crime, but acquitted him of the hate-crime charge for murder. In Texas, the organization helped Billy Ray Johnson, a disabled black man, receive

$9 million in damages after four white men beat him in 2003. “I think in Mississippi, this isn’t something that happens every day,â€? Dees said. “Obviously there is systemic racism built into this state. We want to make sure that you know we aren’t picking on Mississippi. ‌ But we want to make sure the whole story gets out.â€? Jackson attorney Winston Thompson III of the Cochran Law Firm and the Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Montgomery, Ala., filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of Anderson’s family, against Deryl Dedmon, John Aaron Rice, Sarah Graves, Shelbie Richards, William Kirk Montgomery and Dylan Butler, all of whom are 18 or 19. One 17-year-old defendant is included as well. The lawsuit states that on June 26 the group of teens took turns beating Anderson in the parking lot of the Metro Inn hotel in Jackson. Thompson said the family is still grieving and decided that they were not ready for public interviews on Monday. The lawsuit accuses the white teenagers of intentionally setting out June 26 in two vehicles to “go f--k with some n----rsâ€? in Jackson. Anderson was in the Metro Inn motel parking lot in Jackson when he was first beaten. During the attack, one of his LAWSUIT, see page 7





“I’ve seen a lot of projects come through here, and every one of them goes to other communities. I have constituents that need jobs and want to buy homes and want to send their kids to college just like other folks in Mississippi.� —Mississippi House Rep. Willie Perkins (D-Greenwood) during the Legislature’s special session about the need for more state-funded projects to come to the Delta.


Friday, Sept. 2 The federal government files a lawsuit against 17 financial institutions, claiming they sold bad securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. ‌ Mississippi lawmakers approve a $175-million bill to fund tax rebates and incentives for two companies to open facilities in Mississippi.

by Lacey McLaughlin


news, culture & irreverence

LAWSUIT, from page 6

attackers shouted, “White power!” according to the lawsuit. Defense attorneys claim that the teens came to Jackson with the intention of buying alcohol and that Rice was trying to help Anderson who was locked out of his car. When Dedmon arrived, they claim that’s when an altercation took place. The family is seeking to recover “all damages arising of out the personal injuries sustained by Anderson,” including but not limited to funeral costs, loss of career, future earnings, cash value for the life of the decedent, and pain and suffering. In the Hinds County District Attorney’s criminal prosecution, Hinds County Judge Houston Patton rescheduled Dedmon’s pre-trial hearing for Sept. 26. Only two of the teens face charges in the county’s prosecution. “On the civil side, all we can get is money damages. On the criminal side, we are looking at potential incarceration,” Thompson said.

Thompson added that the investigation is ongoing and could not answer questions about why Anderson was the parking lot of the Metro Inn at 5 a.m. June 26. He also could not say if the teens had a prior history of violence against blacks. The lawsuit, filed today, accuses all the teens of battery. It accuses five of them of negligence by failing to intervene, alert law enforcement, provide medical aid or transport Anderson after the beating. “In this complaint, it’s important to note that the legal liability and responsibility of those involved in this doesn’t mean that they even had to have gotten out of their vehicle,” Dees said. “They had the duty once they saw what was taking place to call the police, to get out and aid Mr. Anderson or prevent him from staggering around helplessly after he had been beaten.” Dedmon’s attorney, Lee Agnew, and Rice’s attorney, Samuel Martin, were not immediately available to comment on this story. Comment at

Remembrances and Roads by Elizabeth Waibel



ayor Harvey Johnson Jr. issued a Farmers Market at the Mississippi State proclamation at the Sept. 6 Jack- Fairgrounds. son City Council meeting, calling Sept. 11 a “day of solemn commemora- Facelift for Fortification tion” in remembrance of the 2001 terThe council also voted Sept. 6 to rorist attacks. He asked people to observe approve $4 million in funding from the a minute of silence and Mississippi Developchurches to ring their ment Authority for bells at noon Sept. 11 the Fortification Street to mark the 10th anniImprovement Project. versary of the attacks. The project will bring The U.S. Senate new pavement, sidehas asked all Americans walks and lighting to to cease their work and Fortification Street. observe a moment of City spokesman silence at that time. Chris Mims said the The mayor’s proclamaproject will slow down tion states that nearly traffic and make the 3,000 civilians were street more pedestrian killed in the attacks The Jackson City Council is friendly. and 90,000 people applying for grant money to today are suffering or build a bike trail through the Resurrecting the are at risk of suffering Belhaven neighborhood. Sun King negative health effects The council did from the attack. not vote on where to put a massive equestrian statue from Belhaven Bike Trail France of Louis XIV. The statue was The mayor’s office will submit an displayed at the Splendors of Versailles application for a $1.2 million grant from exhibit at the Mississippi Arts Pavilion the Mississippi Department of Transpor- in 1998. Johnson proposed that the tation to build a “Museum to Market” statue, which has been in storage since bike trail. If the city gets the grant, it has the exhibit, be moved to the east side of agreed to match 20 percent of the award, Thalia Mara Hall. Ward 1 Councilman or $318,000. The trail will run from the Quentin Whitwell expressed concerns Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Mu- that the statue, which has been appraised seum along Riverside Drive and behind at $500,000, might be vandalized. The the water treatment plant. Part of the council voted for the planning committrail will follow a dirt path that formerly tee to discuss the statue’s placement. held a railroad track. It will end at the Get daily news at



by Elizabeth Waibel

Not for Lack of Initiative

Intern at the JFP Hone your skills, gain valuable experience and college credit* by interning with the Jackson Free Press. You set your hours, and attend free training workshops.

“Instead of waiting for a pro-Colonel administration to come around in the future, we decided we needed to take this to the voters whose tax revenue contributes to the university,” he said. Randallson said he is extremely optimistic that he will get enough signatures, and once Colonel Reb is on the ballot, he anticipates him winning by a landslide. Butch “The Colonel” Harris of the Colonel Reb Political Of course, people Action Committee poses with Gov. Haley Barbour at the have also used ballot ini- Neshoba County Fair in July. tiatives to address other issues more traditionally associated with the constitution, such as the Carl Zimmerman of Pontotoc filed an inirole of government. In 2009, Michael Wor- tiative to suspend the Legislature and conley of Florence proposed an amendment vene a constitutional convention to rewrite stating that Mississippi and its residents are Mississippi’s constitution. not bound to obey any government order The initiative would have reinstated that “violates the U.S. Constitution or is the 1991-1992 budget and require the state extra-constitutional in its origin or in its to hold elections every 40 years to consider makeup.” In 2010, shortly after President whether to convene another constitutional Obama signed the Affordable Care Act convention. What would this new coninto law, Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Missis- stitution cost? Zimmerman put the price sippi, and Rep. Alex Monsour, R-Vicks- of the measure at an admirably specific burg, expressed their disapproval via ballot $23,640,492. initiative. Their initiative would amend the Some topics have come up more than constitution to prohibit any laws compel- once. The secretary of state’s website lists six ling a person or employer to participate in a past initiatives that involve capping damhealth-care system or plan. ages or regulating attorney’s fees in lawsuits. The Affordable Care Act was not the Four initiatives relating to abortion were first health-related issue that spurred people filed in quick succession between 2005 and to look to the constitution for help. In 1995 2010, when Les Riley filed the current “perand 1996, people submitted initiatives to sonhood amendment.” Elizabeth Stoner of institute a Board of Denturity that would Caledonia tried three times to get gambling issue licenses to fit, make and sell dentures. outlawed; three times a judge ruled the iniThe board would have consisted of five tiative invalid or unconstitutional. members, appointed by the governor, and Colonel Reb’s cheering section hasn’t all persons who purchased dentures fur- given up hope. The PAC has a website at nished by denturists would receive a con-, where it is taking dostitutionally mandated 90-day, 100-percent nations, and hopes to get the Colonel on money-back warranty. the November 2012 ballot along with the The state constitution itself has come presidential election. under fire via ballot initiatives. In 1993, Comment at



hile some voters worry about abortion, voter ID and eminent domain, others are passionate about gambling, federal meddling in health care and—that hallowed Mississippi tradition—football. Mississippi law allows voters to submit ballot initiatives for things they think should be added to the state constitution. A person may submit a ballot initiative to the secretary of state’s office and then has one year to circulate petitions and gather enough signatures—17,857, to be exact— to put the initiative on the ballot in the next election. Here’s a look at some ballot initiatives that didn’t make it to the ballot, or haven’t made it, yet. The Colonel Reb Political Action Committee wants to restore the old University of Mississippi mascot by enshrining him in constitutional writ. Initiative No. 37, filed with the secretary of state’s office in May, seeks to “amend the Mississippi constitution to require ‘Colonel Reb,’ in his traditional costumed appearance, to be visible as an active mascot on the sidelines of University of Mississippi athletic events. ‘Colonel Reb’ would be required to be included on every University of Mississippi logo, university athletic uniform and helmet, on every university Internet page, on every university yearbook cover and title page, on every university letterhead and on other specified university publications.” The initiative offers further specifics that spell out “traditional costumed and logo appearance,” as well as how he should be honored during “Dixie Week” in April. Ole Miss removed Colonel Reb as its mascot in 2003 and replaced him with a new mascot, Rebel Black Bear in 2010. During this year’s legislative session, Rep. Mark DuVall, D-Mantachie, introduced a bill to reinstate the former mascot, but it died in committee. Arthur Randallson, president of the political action committee, said he wrote and submitted the initiative after university administrators ignored student petitions.


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by Lacey McLaughlin


to bring two companies to Mississippi, which left out the study, in a 109 to 3 vote. Barbour called the special session Aug. 30 and two days later released scant details about the companies. The incentive packages would bring California-based Calisolar, a silicon manufacturing plant, to Columbus and HCL CleanTech to Olive Willie Perkins, D-Greenwood, wants more state funds to create jobs directed to the Delta. Branch. CleanTech would also open a commercial facility and research and ercy Watson knew that getting the development center in Grenada and three Mississippi Legislature to fund a large-scale commercial plants in Boonevdisparity study was a long shot, but ille, Hattiesburg and Natchez. CleanTech he had hoped it would somehow converts biomass materials such as woodmake it through the Republican-major- chips to biofuels. ity Senate last week. The House Ways and Members of the Senate had few conMeans Chairman’s measure, however, ul- cerns or complaints over the incentive timately failed, with Gov. Haley Barbour package. But several House Democrats, indicating that he would veto the bill if it especially those from the Delta, expressed came to his desk with the disparity study, concerns that minorities would not get Watson said. a fair shake in the deal. Rep. Willie Per“I’ve been around here a long time, kins, D-Greenwood, said that he was tired and I know the political realities of this of voting for state funds to go to projects body, and you have to live to push that is- destined for areas other than the Delta. sue another day,” the representative of 32 “African Americans and minorities years said moments after the Legislature are not getting money or contracts from adjourned from special session Sept. 2. this state,” Perkins said during a Ways and In 2000, the Legislature passed a bill Means Committee meeting. “... I’ve seen a establishing the Advantage Jobs Incentive lot of projects come through here, and evProgram, a tax-rebate program for com- ery one of them goes to other communities. panies and new jobs that the Mississippi I have constituents that need jobs and want Development Authority manages. The bill to buy homes and want to send their kids to also required MDA to conduct a dispar- college just like other folks in Mississippi.” ity study, to evaluate how well the state is Several House members advocated doing in hiring minorities, but did not ap- for the bill to include stronger language to propriate funds for the study at the time. ensure that minorities would be included As time ran out, the debate over in- in the 1,800 jobs that the companies are cluding a disparity study, priced at up to expected to bring to the state. After a mid$2 million, in a jobs incentive bill died morning House Ways and Means Comwith a whimper. The House approved the mittee meeting during the special session, Senate’s version of the $175 million bill lawmakers inserted the disparity study


into the bill. Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, said that he has pushed for the state to fund a disparity study since 1991. The state has no data on the percentage of non-white workers being hired, or how minority contractors are faring compared to nonminority hiring or contractors in the state, or to other, comparable states. At 5:30 p.m. Friday, the House Ways and Means Committee met to consider the Senate Bill—which did not contain the study—and faced the reality that the disparity study was on the verge of death. At that point, the committee would have prolonged the process by amending the bill, adding the study for the Senate to approve. At a cost of $59,000 a day, extending the special session would have negatively reflected the House leadership, Watson said. “We had the choice of not passing the whole bill or passing the bill without the disparity study,” Watson said. “So I hate that, but that’s the way it went down.” In addition to the disparity study, other members expressed concerns that they did not have enough information about the viability of the companies to make an educated decision. Barbour was short on details about the companies, and MDA officials, who serve under his leadership, were the main source of information about the projects. Last month, three U.S. solar-power companies went bankrupt, and The New York Times reported last week that solarpanel prices have decreased by 30 to 42 percent per kilowatt-hour in the last year because manufacturers, especially in China, have increased their ability to make panels. “I still have a lot of questions that haven’t been answered,” Brown said. “The public gets mad at us for saying that we don’t know what’s in a bill, yet we are given a bill at 10 a.m. in the morning and expected to vote on it by the end of the day.” Comment at








Linda Pleasants & Jon Miller September 9 | 9:00pm | $5.00 Cover

September 16

Lucken Bach September 23

Raymond Longoria & Forest Parker September 16

Acoustic Crossroads HAPPY HOUR

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$1.00 off Well Drinks 2 for 1 Well Drinks Weekdays 4pm - 7pm Every Wed. 8pm - Close


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September 9-11

CelticFest Mississippi

Performances and workshops; for information, see

___________________________ October 15

Northeast Louisiana Celtic Festival Performances & workshops, Monroe, LA; for information.

___________________________ October 23 and November 20

Mostly Monthly Céilí Series

Fenian’s Irish Pub, 2-5 p.m. Learn an Irish dance or two. Beginners are welcome. Food & drink available for purchase, non-smoking, family-friendly, and free (donations welcome).


Join Us On The Dance Floor! JID is a member of the Mississippi Artist Roster, and is grateful for support from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

The JFP is searching for an editorial cartoonist who can translate local and state politics and events into edgy cartoons that make people say, “Now that’s funny!” If this sounds like something you can do, let’s talk.

To join our e-mail list or for more information:

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‘Disparity’ Study Call Disrupts Session



by Elizabeth Waibel


Council Mulls JATRAN Cuts

JATRAN has proposed shortening some bus routes in an effort to cut costs.

September 7-13, 2011



ackson’s bus service could face cuts to deal with a tight budget and low ridership. JATRAN has proposed shortening some bus routes and combining others in areas with few riders. One of the proposed changes would combine Route 3, which runs between downtown and Lake Hico, and Route 6, which runs between John R. Lynch Street and Northside Drive. Another would reduce service along Route 7 near Terry Road to midday only. Route 5, which travels to the Jackson Medical Mall, would not run during the midday period, and Route 4 in the Belhaven neighborhood would be adjusted to provide service to the Medical Mall during that time. Other changes would include reducing the number of buses in certain areas or shortening routes. In December, Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. proposed cutting bus routes and laying off drivers to fund back-pay and other costs to JATRAN employees. The city reached an agreement with Amalgamated Transit Union, the bus workers’ union, that required the city to pay $984,000 in back wages and $560,000 more per year in raises. One proposal called for eliminating 21 jobs, cutting Saturday service and slashing under-used routes. Another would have eliminated nine jobs and kept the Saturday routes. The City Council Planning Committee did not pass either of those proposals. The newest proposal drew anger from some at a public hearing Aug. 30, but relief from others who said the cuts are much less drastic than those proposed in December. Sheila Adams, who rides the bus regularly, said the city should be adding buses

and hours instead of reducing them. She worried that fewer buses on the roads will lead to people missing connections. “Won’t nothing connect up downtown on time,” she insisted. Others said the route changes will lead to overcrowding on some buses and long wait times. Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba is chairman of the Special Committee on JATRAN. He said he still has questions about the proposals, such as whether the new routes will be able to run on time and whether JATRAN will review the routes every six months to check for problems. Despite the questions, Lumumba told people at the hearing that “we’re going to make JATRAN work.” Lumumba told the Jackson Free Press that the plan needs a lot more work, but most of his committee does not feel that improvements can be made between now and Sept. 8, when the council will vote on the budget. Scott Crawford is the chairman of the Handi-Lift Advisory Committee, which meets monthly to deal with service and policy issues regarding JATRAN’s wheelchairlift service. He is also a regular attendee at other JATRAN committee meetings. “(This plan) is a far cry from what we were dealing with last December,” Crawford said. “... I back this proposal as the best of all possible outcomes.” Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber also said JATRAN’s plan was an improvement over the December plan. “JATRAN has been on life support for quite some time,” he said. “... Now, I think this crisis has gotten our attention.” Yarber added that it is no secret that JATRAN is flawed, but the city has to figure out how to make it work as well as possible. “I am nowhere close to being satisfied, but I understand the process of change,” he said. Sarah Asmus rides the bus from south Jackson to her job downtown every day, as she has for more than three years. She said JATRAN needs to “look into the future so we don’t have to have this conversation every year.” Asmus suggested better marketing campaigns to make the benefits of JATRAN clear as well as better maps and websites so those who are not regular riders can understand them. She also suggested extending hours in the evening, so people dependent on the bus for transportation can visit businesses downtown later. JATRAN has 33 vehicles and makes 520,000 passenger trips annually. The council still has to vote JATRAN’s budget before the proposed changes take effect. Dewayne Cheatham, director of operations at JATRAN, did not return requests for comment. Comment at


by Lacey McLaughlin

Polk Wants Do Over don’t see why it should cost so much money to challenge something that is a right for all Americans—and that is the right to vote.” Oberhousen, 33, is an attorney who owns Oberhousen Law Firm in Jackson. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University in 2000 and his law degree from Mississippi College in 2002. The Terry resident said he will continue Brad Oberhausen won the Mississippi House of to campaign for the Representatives District 73 primary race by 90 votes. His opponent, Gay Polk, is challenging the election. Nov. 8 election. Polk said split precincts are a result of the Legislature and counwith each different precinct, but these disty’s redistricting battle this year. If elected, tricts are based on population, and I don’t she wants to eliminate all split precincts. know if it’s possible to not have split preOberhousen agreed that split precincts cincts,” Oberhousen said. are confusing but doubted much could be “They are all over the state. But it done to change them. would definitely be easier if you could cut “It would be helpful if you could re- out split precincts.” draw all the legislative lines to coincide Comment at



ho says you can’t get good food fast and at a reasonable price? The best-kept secret for lunch in town is an unlimited buffet with daily specials that include soups Wellington’s at the Hilton and tea for under $12. Where can you get this mountain of offerings, made fresh daily? Make your way to Hilton Jackson and enjoy lunch at Wellingtons. The luncheon buffet at Wellingtons is truly one of Jackson’s best-kept secrets, all thanks to Chef Brenda. For over 15 years, Chef Brenda has been preparing her Southern home cooking for both Jacksonians and visitors alike at the Hilton. Each weekday Chef Brenda and her team create true Southern staples, with healthy options sure to please even the pickiest eater. Monday serves up fried Gulf Shrimp and Louisiana-style jambalaya, which is served with garden-fresh vegetables, the soup du jour, hot rolls, corn muffins, and iced tea. Tuesday is a choice of Turkey and dressing or good oldfashioned smothered pork chops, all with the same great sides and all for under $12.What Chef Brenda is truly known for is her Southern fried chicken. Catch that on the buffet menu on Thursdays. Do you need a reason to party? How about Chef Brenda’s cooking to go? Chef Brenda and her amazing crew can provide all of her famous, hearty dishes for just about any gathering. From a Thanksgiving feast to a touchdown party, she’s got you covered. Need a place to hold your next breakfast meeting? Wellingtons is ready to serve you. If you’re looking for a way to stay healthy, look no further than Wellingtons “Dare to Be Fit” options. From edamame salad with grilled salmon to rotisserie chicken panini, who knew eating healthy could taste this good? Busy week? Let Chef Brenda handle dinner. You don’t have to tell anyone where you got it! So if you find yourself near County Line road and want a real tasty way to beat the traffic, stop into Wellingtons at the Hilton Jackson for breakfast or lunch.

ceived the wrong ballots at the Dry Grove and Wynndale precincts. “It’s up to the party to give these voters the opportunity to vote,” Polk said. “If the party does not call for a re-vote in Dry Grove, … I have no other avenues then seek a court opinion.” She added later, “The only way to take care of the mess is to at least have these 162 people re-vote in the proper district. That’s the logical thing.” That decision is now up the Hinds County Election Commission. “It’s in process, and we can’t comment on what could be pending legislation, but the process is working,” Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Claude McInnis said last week. Polk, 61, has lived in Terry for 25 years and worked as an administrator and nurse at her husband Dr. James D. Polk’s primary family-care clinic in Richland. Four years ago, the couple sold the clinic, and Gay Polk started a second career as a real estate agent. Polk said that she is worried about the cost of challenging the election if she decides to take the issue to court. “This is going to cost me a lot of money to challenge this,” Polk said. “I



inds County residents who voted in Terry’s Dry Grove precinct Aug. 2 may need to return to the polls to vote again for a Democratic candidate for the District 73 Mississippi House of Representatives seat. Gay Polk ran for the seat, but official totals show that she lost to her opponent Brad Oberhousen by just 90 votes. The Democratic Executive Committee certified the final results showing Oberhousen received 2,103 votes, or 51.09 percent, to Polk’s 2,013, or 48.91 percent. Polk filed a formal election challenge last month after reports surfaced that she had been left off the ballot at the Wynndale and Dry Grove precincts. Polk hopes that a letter she and the Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee received from Hinds County Election Commissioner Connie Cochran will move her case forward. Cochran wrote Sept. 1 that voters had received the wrong ballots at the Dry Grove precinct. Dry Grove, like Wynndale, is a split precinct where two different legislators represent its residents. Cochran estimated that 162 voters received the wrong ballot at the Dry Grove precinct. Polk says that more than 200 voters re-


jfp op/ed

opining, grousing & pontificating


Journalism and Ethics


f you take one point away from Valerie Wells’ cover story this week, let it be this: Mainstream media have agendas that don’t always serve the needs of the citizens who rely on it. As more and more news outlets fall under the control of media giants and entertainment networks, the need to seek out and tell hard truths often falls by the wayside in favor of double-digit profits. We’ve never been big believers in false objectivity. There are not always two equal sides to a story, and sometimes there are more than two. Often, people are wrong and act badly, and no amount of countering opinions changes that. Every reporter has opinions, and even when they attempt to present a completely “objective picture,” their opinions will come through. As news consumers, however, our need to ferret out why certain stories are promoted over others, or why stories are spun the way they are becomes imperative. To simply take one report and believe it with no further investigation does our democracy a grave injustice. When a media source operates under the mandate of greater shareholder profits, something’s got to give. Too often, it’s the hard stuff: investigative and ethical journalism. Profit-driven journalism leans toward the lowest common denominator, often leaving readers short-changed on context and details. If a story leaves you confused and feeling patronized the blame lies in the story, not you. Corporate news allows for lapses of good judgment, such as letting rabid and ugly commentaries stand because it drives page views. It uses one set of words to describe some groups, and another set for a favored demographic—thugs and gangs, for example, instead of teens and students. And it favors the voices that make the most noise over the voices of reason, often passing off bombastic press releases as news stories without a second thought. It’s the little ethical slides that break reader’s trust. Lapses such as allowing a story written by an advertiser to appear without labeling it as “advertising,” or allowing reporters to do email interviews, or not fact-checking stories (or publicly retracting and apologizing for errors)—steadily creep into a readers’ subconscious until they’re not sure where news stops and fiction begins. Worse, they begin to believe that it’s OK and that there’s nothing they can do about it. Lapses in ethics are not OK. We can demand better, and we can strive for media literacy. Media has never been above subterfuge; imperfect human beings populate newspapers and TV stations. But we live in an unprecedented time when “news” is ubiquitous. It’s too easy to find a dozen stories that agree with our biased viewpoints, but when we begin to believe that only stories that agree with our bias are “good” and everything else is wrong, that’s a problem. It takes work to understand our complex world, just as it takes work to maintain a democracy. Government “of the people” takes people to fully participate. The fourth estate demands discerning readers. Neither is a spectator sport.


The Invisible Man


cooby “Angry Black Man” Rastus: “This poem titled ‘Return of the Invisible Man: Observations of an Unemployed Poet’ is my personal expression about black men, like me, experiencing the highest unemployment rate of all gender/race categories.”

September 7-13, 2011

Once upon a time, I had a good job. Life seemed secure and worry free. Then came the surprise layoff. Seems like everyone has a job except me.


I sat alone in my apartment in the dark and in shock, Wondering to myself how could this be. Then came along a negative thought. Seems like everyone has a job except me. I cried in anguish and anger. I asked myself, “Why didn’t I see The signs of corporate restructuring.” Seems like everyone has a job except me.

I realize that I’m not the one and only one. I know many other folk are in the same predicament indeed. I wallow in shame as I claim unemployment. I feel useless and unnecessary. Nevertheless, I’m desperate, broke, but filled with great hope In this selfish world and bad economy, Waiting, and anticipating for an employer to make that call. I need to have faith and believe. And then came another negative thought. Seems like everyone has a job except me. And as I spend my last dollar at the grocery store, The cashier smiles very nicely. And the bagger says, “Have a nice day.” Seems like everyone has a job except me.

Monuments of Hope



have long admired Martin Luther King Jr. and the movement that made him a global leader. I remember seeing a framed portrait of him while visiting a poor village in Brazil and being amazed by how global this southern black man was and is. The collective courage of ordinary southern people, embodied by this Baptist pastor and ecumenical theologian, helped to radically transform America’s democratic experiment and change the world. I am the humble recipient of their stride toward freedom, and I owe much to King’s audacious global vocation. As a preacher, I’ve been discipled by King’s ministerial vision, and I pray daily that I possess a modicum of his moral courage and conviction. He was by no means a perfect man or a saint, but his priestly and prophetic leadership during the movement models the kind of Christian leadership we need to see more of. King engaged his intellectual and spiritual powers to prophesy against America’s failures to live out the meaning of its founding creed, and helped us all to dream of a more excellent, more human way to live together. The world was King’s parish and the public square was his pulpit. Never shy of his black, southern Christian background, he stretched our consciousnesses by his radical inclusion of the Other. Jew and gentile, Protestant and Catholic, and myriad others were welcome in his congregation of liberty and justice for all. What is often forgotten, or purposely ignored, is his love for poor people, the folks that mystic Howard Thurman called “the disinherited.” King died preparing another March on Washington, a Poor People’s Campaign that sought to incite a war against poverty. His antagonism toward racism, classism and militarism put him at odds with presidents and legislators who were seen as allies for black progress. Those of us who remember King must never forget about the least, lost and left out.

On the stormy eve of his assassination, he stood in the pulpit of Mason Temple Church of God in Christ. Though weary and under the shadow of death, he made time in that Pentecostal church for sanitation workers, for he knew that they too were children of God. His vision of human dignity, equity and solidarity—across colors, cultures and creeds—made him extremely unpopular toward his death, even among progressive whites and blacks. He dared to be more than a black leader, a civil rights leader. He was a prisoner of consciousness. Now, a monument stands on the National Mall in his honor. The 30-foot tall granite structure is 11 feet taller than the other monuments nearby. Maybe it’s symbolic of how tall faith erects us when we’re on the right side of history. But I humbly submit that King would want us, in this generation, to be living stones of hope. Medgar, Malcolm, Fannie Lou, Mary McCleod and countless others would want us to be rocks of righteousness. As we ponder the times and seasons in which we live, may we hope to have their kind of intelligent, courageous and moral leadership. May we prophetically and articulately call Americans to love mercy, seek justice and walk humbly before God. Even now, in the great state of Mississippi and throughout our beloved country, we must imagine again what it means to be architects of the beloved community. We, too, can change the world. Rev. CJ Rhodes, a Hazelhurst native, attended Ole Miss and Duke Divinity School in North Carolina, where he earned his master’s of divinity. He worked as an administrative assistant to Dolphus Weary at Mission Mississippi, a Christian organization that works to bring people together. Rhodes is the pastor at Mount Helm Baptist Church, the youngest in the church’s history.

Email letters to, 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.


Reaching for Greatness EDITORIAL Managing Editor Ronni Mott News Editor Lacey McLaughlin Assistant Editor Valerie Wells Events Editor Latasha Willis Editorial Assistant LaShanda Phillips Cub Reporter Elizabeth Waibel Deputy Editor Briana Robinson Music Listings Editor Natalie Long Fashion Stylist Meredith Sullivan Writers Quita Bride, Marika Cackett, Scott Dennis, Bryan Flynn, Brandi Herrera, Garrad Lee, Natalie Long, Larry Morrisey, Robin O’Bryant,Tom Ramsey, Doctor S, Julie Skipper, Ken Stiggers Editorial Interns Dustin Cardon, Brittany Kilgore, Sadaaf Mamoon, Hannah Vick Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris

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Jackson Free Press P.O. Box 5067, Jackson, Miss., 39296 Editorial (601) 362-6121 Sales (601) 362-6121 Fax (601) 510-9019 Daily updates at The Jackson Free Press is the city’s award-winning, locally owned newsweekly, with 17,000 copies distributed in and around the Jackson metropolitan area every Wednesday. The Jackson Free Press is free for pick-up by readers; one copy per person, please. Firstclass subscriptions are available for $100 per year for postage and handling. The Jackson Free Press welcomes thoughtful opinions. The views expressed in this newspaper are not necessarily those of the publisher or management of Jackson Free Press Inc. Š Copyright 2011 Jackson Free Press Inc. All Rights Reserved



couple of weeks ago, I started on a journey to self-discovery. It began with the realization that my everyday 9-to-5 wasn’t affording me the opportunity to reach out to the people whose lives I work so hard to improve every day. I had the feeling of being up in a tower pushing buttons that affect lives, but never seeing those who are touched, never hearing from them until I was responsible for assessing their wrongdoing in some fashion. I didn’t know what was missing—just that something definitely wasn’t satisfactory. I began to evaluate my duties as a training coordinator in the healthcare industry, and I wondered why, after many years, I suddenly began to notice a heaviness I’d been ignoring. As thankful as I am for my job, the opportunity I long for is to get in the clinches with people’s lives outside of my office. That’s where I need to be. My mother taught me to take great pride in who I am regardless of what I do, whom I marry or what my children accomplish. The pride she embedded in me was to celebrate just being me, just being born. My father, however, took the pride that I’d learned from my mother and showed me how to use it to empower others in their life journeys. I’ve never secondguessed the notion that my parents expected great things from me. The problem was that I didn’t know how I was supposed to make it happen. I didn’t understand how to be great. I struggled with this for years. I didn’t realize that I had already begun to touch lives. Through friendships and other associations, I was leading people and didn’t know it. It didn’t take any organization or any major focus, I simply embraced those who embraced me, and I spoke from my heart, sharing my inner thoughts, my imperfections, my desires and ambitions. All the while, I encouraged others to do the same. This didn’t seem like a special walk in greatness because these people were my friends, my family. Then I met my husband, and without knowing it, he has taught me the final piece to this puzzle that I’ve been working on since my pre-teen years. He taught me that my life is the lesson. He helped me see that with a degree or without it, with a “good job� or without it, with him or without him, I can bring forth power in those who need it. I don’t have to seek it. I don’t have to follow the road of those who are successful. I have to find my own success.

The reason I haven’t been able to measure the success I’ve already accomplished is because I didn’t recognize its greatness. Greatness is what we are all born for; we just have to figure out what our stamp will be. As much emphasis as my parents put on preparing me for greatness, I thought I was supposed to be the next Oprah Winfrey. I felt a little let down when I hit 35 and was nowhere close to Oprah’s vicinity. I have to laugh at that now. Oprah’s greatness is her own. My greatness is my own, and today, I own it. It doesn’t matter whether you go to work every day in a nursing home to empty bedpans, or you wear three-piece suits and stand in front of a judge. It doesn’t matter if you are the mother of three with no husband, or you are longing for a relationship and the right person hasn’t appeared. It doesn’t matter if you sign the letter you created, or you hand it off to someone else to take the credit. It doesn’t matter how many curves the road has before you, how long it took to get here or where you started. Your greatness starts with you. No one else can have it; it was created specifically for you. Its existence was birthed with your first breath. If you don’t tap into your greatness and make it your reality, it will wither and die—or transfer to another person who has an open heart and feet ready to move. Don’t look for someone else to validate your purpose or tell you what it is. You must reach into yourself, and find that purpose on your own. Besides, how would anyone else know what makes your heart beat faster and your spirit smile? It’s impossible. Only you can know. I don’t know where this journey will lead me, but I know that I am further along today than I was yesterday, and tomorrow will take me further still. Whether I’m sitting in this tower or not, it is my charge to reach those who make my spirit smile. I suggest that you, too, find the smile within. It’s been there all this time, and it waits on you to allow it to shine through. Join me in receiving and owning greatness—your greatness and my greatness. Keep Shining! Funmi Franklin, aka Queen, is a word lover and poet. She’s a reality show fanatic and is awaiting an opportunity to star in her own show to be titled, “The Queen & I�.

‘It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.’ —Oprah Winfrey



















Editor in Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer




September 7 - 13, 2011

‘Black Day of Tragedy’ The Clarion-Ledger has a complicated 14 past. As its hyphenated name indicates, today’s

publication is the merger of several papers. It was already a hybrid in 1920 when brothers Thomas and Robert Hederman bought The Daily Clarion-Ledger from their cousins. During the Great Depression, the Hedermans made a deal with the competing Jackson Daily News, and in 1937, the two newspapers

and its business manager, Walter Johnson, told employees they had sold out under pressure of heavy losses of television station WJTV, owned jointly by the papers, and high court costs of a bitter legal battle that began a year ago,” The New York Times reported. Fred Sullens stayed on as editor of the Jackson Daily News. From 1954 until 1982, the Hedermans owned both newspapers in town, the Jackson Daily News, the “afternoon paper,” and The Clarion-Ledger, the “morning paper.” Since at least the 1940s, The ClarionLedger has marketed itself as a statewide paper. The older Hedermans left a mark for publishing newspapers that openly promoted white supremacy, even as white residents considered it an important community news organ. “In a very racist state, they were the standouts,” said Hodding Carter III, who worked with his father Hodding Jr., owner of the Delta Democrat-Times, in Greenville during the 1950s and 1960s. “The Clarion-Ledger was not a newspaper. It was an organ for the white segregationist establishment.” In 1957, The ClarionJackson native Charles Overby was editor of The ClarionLedger when it won the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 1983. Ledger publicly identified blacks with connections to incorporated as Mississippi Publishers Corp. the National Association for the Advancement to sell joint advertising. In 1954, the Jackson of Colored People, considered by segregationDaily News sold out to The Clarion-Ledger ists to be a group of communist “agitators.” for $2.25 million. The New York Times re- Printing those names endangered the safety of ported the deal happened despite a court rul- many Mississippi residents. ing that blocked the Hederman family from Julius E. Thompson, in “Percy Greene controlling both papers. Time magazine wrote and the Jackson Advocate” (McFarland and in November 1954 that the Hedermans were Co., 1994), identified the leading white Misbuying up Jackson Daily News stock. When sissippi press segregationists of the decade as Fred Sullens and other owners of the Jackson Bob Hederman Jr. and Tom Hederman Jr. Daily News found out, they tried to block a of The Clarion-Ledger/Jackson Daily News; buyout in court. The judge sided with them, Fred Sullens, editor of the Jackson Daily News; but the expense of a legal fight forced a sale. and James M. Ward, who succeeded Sullens as “The News’ editor, Frederick Sullens, Daily News editor in 1957.



rley Hood and Walter Philbin lugged their laundry bags into the laundromat near the Jitney 14 on Fortification Street. They sorted their clothes, put their coins in the slots and waited for the first wash cycle to begin. Then Philbin pulled out a stack of old Associated Press wire stories he’d been saving. It was 1971. Hood was 21, finishing his degree in sports information at Belhaven College and working at the Jackson Daily News as a sports reporter. Philbin was a cub reporter at The Clarion-Ledger covering what he could. As they waited for the spin cycle, Philbin read part of one story out loud to Hood, then stopped and wrote something in the margin. “How do you think he got that source to say that?” Philbin asked Hood. “I don’t know,” Hood said. He then offered a couple of theories. The young men put their clothes in the dryer, then deconstructed the story, trying to figure how to be great. The conversation turned to journalism and their future in it. Philbin left Jackson a couple of years later and became a crime reporter for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. He stayed with that job until he retired this summer. He developed a reputation over the years for wearing a certain hat to crime scenes. Younger reporters referred to him as “Columbo.” After his year at the Jackson Daily News, Hood got a dream job when The Commerical Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., hired him. He had grown up believing The Commercial Appeal was the best newspaper in the South. Getting that job made his family proud and his daddy cry, Hood said. In 1976, Hood returned to the Jackson Daily News and The Clarion-Ledger and stayed 32 years as a loyal newspaperman. From 1983 to 2008, he was the preeminent columnist at The Clarion-Ledger, a popular local personality who won awards and developed a strong following. Then, on Dec. 3, 2008, The Clarion-Ledger laid him off.

by Valerie Wells

The newspaper family loudly supported the Citizens’ Council, a group of white businessmen and leaders founded in 1953 to maintain segregation, especially in schools. Both The Clarion-Ledger and the Jackson Daily News reported on meetings of the Citizens’ Council and gave the organization free advertising. When the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that black and white children should attend the same schools, an editorial in the May 18, 1954, Clarion-Ledger called it “a black day of tragedy for the South, and for both races.” Orley Hood, meanwhile, was growing up in Vicksburg enamored with the treasures inside his daily newspapers. Every day when he was 6, he stood at the end of his driveway and waited for the delivery guy to throw a rolledup paper at his house. The little boy learned to read in 1956, studying the Yankees’ box scores in the sports section of the paper. When he was a couple of years older, he went to the public library after school got out at 2:30 p.m. to wait for his dad to get off work from his job with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Young Orley read newspapers from New York City before heading home with his dad. “You had to fight for information,” Hood said. Over in Jackson, though, the Hedermans were not interested in a free flow of information. The publishers often worked hand-inhand with the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, an official part of state government that spied on Mississippi residents and others who supported integration in any way. The commission kept extensive files that included “intelligence reports” on “race mixing invaders” and “racial zealots,” as well as letters and memos from commission leaders showing that they could and did ask “Bob” (the publisher) and “Tom” (the editor) to publish or not publish information that the white establishment believed would help or hurt their cause. In 1954, the day after the Supreme Court handed down Brown v. Board, an editorial on the front page of the Jackson Daily News declared “Bloodstains on White Marble Steps.” Editor Fred Sullens wrote: “Human blood may stain Southern soil in many places because of this decision, but the dark red stains of that blood will be on the marble steps of the United States Supreme Court building.”

Rea of Sunshine The Clarion-Ledger’s racism started to cool down into the 1970s as state-enforced segregation began to crumble. The Civil


Rights Act of 1964 passed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed, and the U.S. Supreme Court forced schools to integrate in 1970. Gradually, at a snail’s pace, attitudes began to shift. Then, something unexpected happened. The third generation of Hedermans took charge of the newspapers. One of them—Rea Hederman—had studied journalism at University of Missouri, one of the best journalism schools in the nation. He came back to Jackson to run The ClarionLedger in 1973. Rea Hederman hired journalists from the best schools and implemented new professional practices. He motivated his newsroom to be great. The ClarionLedger hired African Americans as professionals and increased its coverage of the black community, including The Clarion-Ledger building is at least 30 percent emptier. historic wrongs. Hood recalls those golden years under in the 1970s wasn’t aggressively racist anymore, Rea Hederman in the late 1970s and early Minor said it was “bland” until Rea Hederman 1980s. “The Clarion-Ledger had several peo- got rid of the separate “colored news” section ple on an investigative unit,” he said. “If you and started covering the black community. didn’t see them around for a couple of weeks, “He was the first Hederman to actually you knew someone was in big trouble.” write. The others never wrote a line,” Minor During those years, journalist Curtis told the Jackson Free Press for this story. “He Wilkie met Rea Hederman. He writes about revolutionized the coverage. They didn’t know it in his 2002 book “Dixie: A Personal Odys- what they had turned loose.” sey Through Events That Shaped the Modern Minor wrote for The Times-Picayune South.” He wanted to ask Rea Hederman from 1947 until the 1970s when he began edhow he revolutionized The Clarion-Ledger. iting and publishing The Capital Reporter, an “But the subject seemed awkward because any alternative newspaper in Jackson competing praise of Rea’s work implied disapproval of his with The Clarion-Ledger. His focus shifted father, Bob Hederman, and other members of more toward investigative reporting. the family,” Wilkie wrote. Hodding Carter III, who was assistant Bill Minor, political columnist and long- secretary of state for public affairs in Presitime Mississippi journalist, told PBS NewHour dent Jimmy Carter’s administration and now in 2002 about the evolution of The Clarion- teaches journalism at the University of North Ledger from a mouthpiece of a racist system to Carolina, said he would come home to Missisa respectable news outlet. Minor credited Rea sippi during the late 1970s, read The ClarionHederman. While the paper’s editorial policy Ledger, and its quality journalism knocked

him out. Carter saw Rea Hederman as the wayward son returned home to repudiate the entire family record. Carter told the JFP that the Hederman family couldn’t stand the coverage of all the wrongs the paper had either ignored or supported for the two previous generations. He said the family jerked the paper away from the golden boy, then sold its cash cow for a big payday—selling both dailies to Gannett, as well as the Hederman-owned Hattiesburg American, in 1982. Rea Hederman moved north, bought The New York Review of Books in 1984 and became publisher of that prestigious periodical, a position he still holds today. Bill Minor says it’s more complicated, though. Rea Hederman, who was then married, had an affair with a style editor and photographer at the paper, whom he later married. This upset the Hederman family. “The Hedermans were pious, amenpewed Baptists,” Minor told the JFP. They couldn’t deal with the shame of a divorce. Minor said that’s ultimately why Rea Hederman left town with his share of the Gannett sale and bought The New York Review of Books. Carter doubts it was that simple—he suggests the family ran him off because of his hard, honest look at Mississippi. “The story of the Hederman family and The Clarion-Ledger newspaper should have been written by Faulkner,” Kathy Lally wrote in 1997 in The Baltimore Sun. “It is a tale of a man burdened by ancestry. Familial loyalty and duty are stained by revulsion toward the past. The corrosive effects of racism are deeply felt, the scent of decay is strong.” Lally’s article says after Rea Hederman told his family in 1981 that he was getting a divorce, the family couldn’t work together anymore. Bill Minor told the JFP that there wasn’t another young Hederman poised to run the newspaper. The family sold out to Gannett. In 1982, the year USA Today began, Gannett bought the Hedermans’ regional publishing company in Mississippi for $110 million. One evening earlier this month, a New York Review of Books staff member put a JFP phone call through to Rea Hederman. He was CLARION-LEDGER, see page 18

When Gov. Ross Barnett took a public stand in 1962 against James Meredith, the first black student admitted to the University of Mississippi, The Clarion-Ledger called the governor “courageous” and ran front-page editorials heralding him. The paper editorialized against the newly passed Civil Rights Act of 1964, warning it would hurt business and cause a spike in crime. The same year, the Jackson Daily News referred to Martin Luther King Jr. as “the Reverend Dr. Extremist Agitator Martin Luther King junior.” Daily News editor Jimmy Ward often wrote against desegregating schools. “As the event came to pass, this city becomes a little bit pregnant with integration but the condition came about not voluntarily but with Federalized rape,” he wrote in 1964. One of The Clarion-Ledger’s most famous headlines announced that authorities had arrested Byron de la Beckwith for the murder of Medgar Evers. Beckwith, a 43-yearold Greenwood resident at the time and a Citizens’ Council member, was born in California and lived there until he was 5; The ClarionLedger’s headline was “Californian Is Charged With Evers Murder.” Dudley Lehew, an Associated Press reporter who wrote the story, was shocked when he saw the headline the next morning. “My God, I didn’t even know (Beckwith) was from California,” Lehew said in a phone interview from his home in Denham Springs, La. He’s retired now, but from 1962 to 1964, Lehew worked for the AP as a Jackson-based reporter. He sai that, in those days, the two papers relied on AP to cover civil-rights news, so their staffs didn’t have to get involved. “It was a strange situation,” he said. “The best-kept secret in Jackson was that the Jackson Daily News also had an editor who would stay late and put a Negro News page together,” Lehew said without identifying the editor. A skeleton crew would quietly print the special section delivered only to African Americans and kept away from white eyes. It was done to generate advertising revenue.




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Service, one of the highest honors any U.S. paper could nab. Overby, 65, grew up in Jackson. When he was a boy, he delivered The Clarion-Ledger to homes. He wrote for the Jackson Daily News in the 1960s when he was in high school and in college. He studied journalism at Ole Miss, where a $5 million grant from the Freedom Forum created the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics in 2007. After he left Ole Miss in 1968, Overby went to Washington to work for Sen. John Stennis of Mississippi. Later, he was Washington correspondent for the Nashville Banner. When Gannett bought the Nashville Banner, Overby met Gannett owner Al Neuharth. By 1989, Overby became president and CEO of the Gannett Foundation, later called the Freedom Forum. In 1991, Overby became chairman of the Freedom Forum. He still holds these titles today as well as CEO of the Newseum, Gannett’s interactive news museum that opened in 2008 in Washington, D.C. The highlight of Overby’s career, though, was winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 and popping that cork. If it’s the only thing ever mentioned in his obituary, he’d be pleased, he told the JFP. It wasn’t just a high point in his career, it was The Clarion-Ledger’s best moment. After decades of racist action and inaction, the newspaper had climbed to a moral high ground and journalistic excellence.

Reporter Dudley Lehew was shocked to read the headline on his own story.

still at the office working on his latest issue and wasn’t expecting a request to talk about the paper he remade all those years ago. He sighed heavily. “I haven’t talked about The Clarion-Ledger in years,” he said. He needed to think about what he might say. He hasn’t called back.

September 7 - 13, 2011

The High Point Almost every reporter and editor watched Charles Overby carry a case of Champagne into the newsroom. It was Monday, April 18, 1983, the day the Pulitzer Prize committee was set to announce winners. Overby, the executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger at the time, knew its nominated series on education reform had a shot at winning the biggest award in print journalism. It was still early in the day. “Do you know?” a reporter asked him. “I don’t know,” Overby said. “I just know it deserves to win.” “Will we drink it if we don’t win?” “We’ll have to wait,” Overby told them. They didn’t have to wait too long. At 18 2:30 p.m., Overby popped the cork on the

first bottle to celebrate the win. The party in the newsroom continued all the way into the night and traveled to George Street Grocery. “It was great,” Overby told the JFP. “But what was important was that education reform passed. We didn’t have any idea about entering (the Pulitzer competition) when we started.” Gannett Co. Inc. had bought The Clarion-Ledger in April 1982, just one year earlier, and made Overby its editor. The news staff, many recruited under Rea Hederman, continued coverage supporting then-Gov. William Winter’s push to lift Mississippi’s public education system out of its separate-but-unequal status—which the paper itself had helped keep in place not so many years before. The paper reported what Overby calls the “shenanigans” of the Legislature in its special session in December 1982, when members opposing kindergarten and other basics, such as required science classes in high school. Overby wrote an editorial placing, by name, specific legislators in the “Hall of Shame.” The series of stories and editorials won The Clarion-Ledger the 1983 Pulitzer for Public

‘We Had So Much Fun’ In 1976, Hood returned to Jackson to work at The Clarion-Ledger and the Jackson Daily News. He was sports editor of the Jackson Daily News from 1978 to 1983. “In sports, we had so much fun. We would come in (the newsroom) our days off just to hang around,” Hood said. “Writing 800 words on deadline at a night football game … in 30 minutes—there’s nothing like it.” The peak of the golden period was 1983, the year the Pulitzer came to Jackson. During those heady days, Hood attended a national Associated Press gathering. The Washington Post sports editor acknowledged that other newspapers did a better job than his, referring to St. Petersburg, Fla., and Jackson, Miss., as two cities with top-notch daily newspapers. In 1983, The Natchez Democrat wanted a guest columnist to write about the city’s annual pilgrimage events. They asked for Hood. Charles Overby, editor at the time, thought writing a column was a great idea for Hood. “It won awards,” Hood said. After that, he started writing a regular column “Charles didn’t have to ask permission (to make me a columnist),” Hood said. Hood’s column was positive, human and folksy. He wrote about everyday heroes, people who overcame the odds and the little triumphs that made his fans smile. He often wrote about his family with humor and sentiment. When his Aunt Kitty died, he wrote a column in 2008 about going to the funeral and expecting to see a coffin. “Aunt Kitty had gone and gotten herself cremated,” he wrote.

The Era of Big Brother Frank Gannett and partners bought the Elmira Gazette, a New York newspaper, in 1906. He started buying up local papers and merging them to increase advertising revenue. By 1923, he bought out his partners and founded Gannett Co. Inc. His new company started looking regionally for more newspapers to acquire in the northeast. Gannett died in 1957, but the company thrived. It started its own wire service, Gannett News Service. It started a new statewide paper in Florida in 1966 with no pretense of covering local news. Florida Today was the prototype for USA Today, which launched in 1982, with its short, punchy, often superficial news coverage. Gannett Co. Inc. went public in 1967 with investors expecting big profits. In the 1970s, Gannett took a bold step forward as a corporation. The New York-based publishing company pushed to become a national media conglomerate by buying up other regional publishing companies. It increased its number of television stations, too. Its next big thing was starting USA Today in 1982, a national newspaper with lots of color, graphics and shorter news items. Critics called it “McNews.” But many of those same news outlets began copying the use of graphics and short tidbits in a pre-Twitter universe. USA Today didn’t make an annual profit in its first 10 years. Gannett continued to invest in it, inflating its circulation numbers by giving away the newspaper at hotels, counting each room as a subscriber, a criticism the company has faced over the years and most recently reported in Forbes. It got lots of big advertising deals and did post some profitable quarters, but it was the 86 regional newspapers that carried the financial load. In 1982, the bold, brash media company bought The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson Daily News and The Hattiesburg American. (The Daily News merged completely with The Clarion-Ledger and ceased printing in 1989.) Gannett implemented policies that encouraged women and minorities to take management positions in the newsroom and in all aspects of the publishing business. “Those were Gannett’s goals, but those goals were more universally shared. We had an egalitarian staff under Rea Hederman,” Hood recalls. Rea Hederman not only brought in talented journalists from good schools—he wanted a diverse staff. The trend in journalism schools postWatergate and 1960s race strife was teaching diversity in coverage and hiring as a best practice in the newspaper industry. After Gannett bought The Clarion-Ledger, the staff was upbeat at first. “For a year or two, they were still great. Some good things happened. Salaries went up,” Hood said. “Then every year, we’d lose a person here and there.” Those people weren’t replaced. Gannett Co., now based in Tyson’s Corner, Va., became a public company in 1967. Its mission is, first and foremost, is to keep stock prices high. Employees are an expense that can get in the way of high profit margins.


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Sometime in the 1980s, after Gannett bought The Clarion-Ledger, motivational posters went up around the building. Hood remembers one labeled “Creativity.” He and others who worked at The Clarion-Ledger and The Hattiesburg American at the time describe the numerous posters as “creepy” in a Big-Brother-is-watching-you kind of way. In the 1990s, Gannett went after larger acquisitions, such as South Carolina-based Multimedia Inc., which came with cable TV subscribers. Although Gannett would sell Multimedia by 1999, the corporation continued other aggressive acquisitions including NewsQuest in the United Kingdom. Gannett now had an international empire. Then, the Fall Hood, who admires many people who still work at The Clarion-Ledger, doesn’t think the Gannett newspaper is great any more. “It hasn’t been for a long time,” Hood said. “It wasn’t that long ago The Clarion-Ledger controlled more than 50 percent of advertising in the whole area—that’s including TV and radio. It wasn’t that long ago you could buy The Clarion-Ledger in 79 out of 82 counties.” He thinks it started going downhill about 1990, soon after Gannett closed the Daily News, when the focus on good daily journalism started to wane. “A critical factor—even more than cutting positions—is this: Corporate sent a lot of people here who were inept. They sent publishers who didn’t understand the newsroom. One time, we had a publisher submit a budget to corporate that was so thin, they sent it back because the budget didn’t leave room to actually print the paper.” Over the years—especially since the early 1990s—Gannett sent publishers and editors to Jackson who seemed to give scant thought to the quality of the product, Hood said. Since 2003, The Clarion-Ledger has had five publishers. “This happened at a lot of levels for a

lot of years,” he said. “You got a lot of people running newspapers who aren’t newspaper people. We had a managing editor one time who told me he had never read a book in his entire life. And Gannett sent this guy here.” He didn’t name the editor who had never read a book. “There are economic forces, obviously. This is not a good time for newspapers. But bad decisions by Gannett exacerbated (the present situation),” he said. Examples Hood gives include promoting the wrong people and then not nurturing or training those same people to do their jobs well. After daily planning meetings where editors discussed the status of stories going to press, Hood would walk out and just stare at a friend who had sat through the same session. “I don’t know what’s going in the paper,” he would say. Neither did the other guy. Hood found himself in meetings that didn’t have anything to do with stories going in the newspaper. Gannett had different national efforts and committees that changed all the time, sometimes contradicting each other. One effort Hood recalls well is Advance. Advance was an early 1990s promotion Gannett execs thought up to sell advertising. These special sections to the paper—heavy with ads—would require everyone’s hard work, including the editorial staff. Hood headed the committee on medicine. “I was supposed to come up with ideas of increasing our revenue with medicine,” he said. This was despite the fact that Gannett newsrooms supposedly follow the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics policy that calls for news and features not to be disguised as advertising, stories not to be given away because someone advertises and for news staff to remain uninvolved in pursuing revenue. In the journalism business, it’s called “the CLARION-LEDGER, see page 20

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Orley Hood wrote a popular column for The Clarion-Ledger until he was laid off in 2008.



slapped in the required quotes. Sometimes they had relevance and context. Other times, they came off as disjointed comments—an empty effort to be diverse. Also in the 1990s, Gannett rolled out News 2000. The idea was to help newspapers prepare for the technological changes everyone knew were coming someday, although no one knew exactly what those changes USA Today in Arlington,Va., is the flagship publication of Gannett. Many people refer to it as “McNews.” were. Part of the program was a formula of eight items. Reporters wall between church and state”—the pubwrote stories as if they were factory lisher runs the advertising side, and the editor orders. Editors required reporters to identify oversees editorial independent of advertising each of the eight elements in each story. The influence. Ads and purchased “advertorial” paperwork could sometimes take longer than should always be clearly separate from edito- writing the story. rial in order to earn public trust. Hood remembers that when a corporate Still, Hood worked hard at the project, executive visited The Clarion-Ledger a few compiling data and making pie charts. He years ago to talk about the company’s initialearned odd tidbits like University of Missis- tives and future plans, one of the reporters sippi Medical Center had the largest laundry challenged him. “The next week, they tried to in the state and the fifth largest police force. get him fired,” Hood said. He talked to cardiologists and took notes. He Another time, a few guys from the news and his committee met on Saturday mornings department were in the break room when the in each others’ houses, essentially on their own managing editor came in to get a cup of coftime. They turned their report in on time. fee. One of them started talking to him about The executives above Hood started a sep- operation changes and rumors. The managing arate section, but it showed little resemblance editor didn’t say a word but started beating a to what the committee suggested. “It wasn’t a vending machine in response. real editorial product,” Hood said. The contacts he had in the medical field, such as the The Empire Strikes Back public relations directors at area hospitals, told Gannett is known for trying out unfair him they were not impressed. “We’ll advertise practices to eliminate competition. For one, in anything serious,” they told him. the company has drawn criticism for allowing “They weren’t interested in the weak, salespeople to undercut small, local publicaadvertorial separate section,” Hood said. “It tions by constantly offering lower ad rates—a lasted about a year and went away.” controversial practice in the advertising busiThe company had gotten so big, Hood ness that violates antitrust laws in some states. said, it was improbable for people at corporate The mammoth company could absorb this headquarters to make responsible decisions. expense in efforts to eliminate competition. Managers and executives constantly demandIn his 1996 book “The Chain Gang,” ed to know why the newspaper didn’t have Richard McCord recounts his experiences certain kinds of stories. When the workers with Gannett aggressively targeting small comexplained the limitations of deadlines, budgets munity publications for elimination. He cites and realities of only 24 hours in each day, it unfair practices at a Gannett daily newspaper seemed to fall on deaf ears. If the subjects of in Salem, Ore., that essentially shut down a stories didn’t like what a reporter wrote, they local publication. McCord found court testicalled the publisher to gripe, instead of the mony from advertisers who said Gannett repeditor. Enterprise journalism suffered from resentatives threatened to not do business with the fear of potentially upsetting advertisers and them unless they exclusively advertised with prominent readers. the Gannett paper. “If someone complained, you had to McCord also details similar schemes in march down to the publisher’s office or the New Mexico and Wisconsin where Gannett editor’s office,” Hood said. “We wanted to ask, made secret deals with advertisers and circula‘Are you ever going to stand up for us?’” tion departments wrote fraudulent reports and Starting in the early 1990s, Gannett in- told staffers the competition would be gone in troduced policies on how editors and reporters 12 months, McCord reported. should write the news. Some of it was sound One of many examples McCord refers to advice with good ideas. An example was is Hartford (Conn.) Times managers creating “mainstreaming” stories, which meant includ- a fake firm in 1971 to conduct marketing suring a person of color in every story possible. veys. The Times would pay the fake company “That was a good thing. It was a good $142,000 for its “services” never performed, idea, but often poorly executed,” Hood said. then later reclassify the money as payments for Inexperienced reporters would call a minority subscriptions. Doing that increased the circusource and tack one quote at the end of a story, lation of the Times from 105,000 readers to even if it was weak, to make sure they met a 113,000 readers. The paper then used the inquota. Reporters had to track how many sto- flated circulation to sell more advertising and ries they mainstreamed, how many minority undercut the competition. contacts they made and how many times they A judge found Gannett guilty of fraud,


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but only ordered $1 million in restitution, although the Hartford Times lost $17 million in Gannett’s campaign to destroy it. McCord includes in his book an excerpt from a 1988 article printed in the Mississippi Journal of Business. Rebecca Pittman wrote “The Gannettization of the Daily Press in Mississippi (Or How a Parent Company Milks a ‘Local Cash Cow’).” Pittman described the executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger, John Johnson, going on a radio show at WJNT and getting bombarded with complaints about the paper. Pittman listed her own complaints with the Gannett paper, including less actual news, fewer pages and a growing resemblance to USA Today, Gannett’s flagship newspaper. Despite the limited space for news, Pittman marveled at the space allowed for animal stories. “In the past year, Jackson readers have been served up page-one pieces on such matters as deer residing at the city pound, an Ocean Springs couple who annoyed neighbors by keeping ducks, and a four-legged chicken in Pearl,” Pittman wrote. She said The Clarion-Ledger and the Jackson Daily News had a reputation for raking in the advertising dollars ever since the Hederman days, making it a cash cow for Gannett. Pittman, who now works as an investigator with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office, noted the contrast from Rea Hederman’s newspaper and The ClarionLedger under Gannett since 1983. “Look at a front page from 1980. It looks like The New York Times,” she told the Jackson Free Press. “The newshole, the type of coverage, the investigative stories—it was incredible.” She said she doesn’t read The ClarionLedger anymore and doesn’t know who does.

stairs office that Wednesday morning. About 9 a.m., the phone rang. The office manager, who worked for Executive Editor Ronnie Agnew, was calling. “Ronnie wants you to come in as soon as possible,” she said. Hood knew immediately what was happening. “I’m gone, huh?” he said. “I’ve got to finish this column first.” He hung up and finished the column for Sunday’s paper, sent it in as he said he would and then got ready to drive to the paper. In his car on the way to the office, he got another call from the office manager. “Ronnie wants you in here right now,” she said. When Hood got to the newsroom, he went to Agnew’s office, but the editor was walking out. “I’ve got to get coffee first,” Hood said Agnew told him. Hood stood outside the door with all the eyes of the newsroom on him. Everyone knew. He waited for Agnew to return. “I was standing there like a bump on a log,” he said. “It pissed me off.” When Agnew came back, they went over the paperwork, had a witness present and talked about final paychecks. Agnew even gave Hood a reason for the layoff. “I was told I made too much money,” Hood said. “Hey, have I ever asked you for a raise?” he said he responded. The conversation fell flat, and the paperwork was done. Hood’s 32-year career at The Clarion-Ledger was over. Archie Manning called Hood at home the next day. “What happened?” the famed quarterback asked. “They said I made too much money,” Hood said. There was a long pause. “No, really, what was the real reason?” Manning insisted. Hood said he’s more upset that other journalists were laid off then and at other times. “They were far better newspaper people than those guys laying them off,” he said. “Sure, I’m bitter. I’m still bitter. I gave the best of my professional life to The Clarion-Ledger.” His friends in advertising told him that, after he left, businesses dropped ads and readers stopped subscriptions. He heard something similar happened when editorial cartoonist Marshall Ramsey’s position was slashed to part-time status. “I hate what happened to people who got laid off. They laid off some real quality people. It’s not just salaries. It’s no way to run a railroad.”


‘Look at a front page from 1980. It looks like The New York Times.’ – Rebecca Pittman

Falling Apart Although Gannett has laid off thousands of employees in recent years, the business itself is not failing. Historically, Gannett has maintained double-digit profit margins. In 2008, CLARION-LEDGER, see page 22

Just Another FTE Gannett and other corporate media companies have pushed the bottom line over community journalism, even when the companies are profitable and could afford journalistic investment. Because they’re traded publicly, though, higher profit margins mean higher stock value. In recent years, that’s meant laying off full-time journalists in newsrooms as well as other full-time employees. Gannett managers call them “full-time equivalents,” or FTEs. “FTEs—(the managers) used to talk about them like they are brooms in the closet, like they are all the same,” Hood said. Even though he had won awards and had a loyal readership, Hood was just another FTE. He was laid off in 2008 with 32 others a couple of weeks before Christmas. “I didn’t see it coming,” he said. “We had two new reporters in the newsroom who just moved to Jackson and were newlyweds. I was worried they would get laid off.” Hood was working at home in his up-

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Gannett’s profit margin was 25 percent while and numbers from across the nation. other media companies, such as The New “Gannett Reporters Cover Their Own York Times, hovered under 10 percent. Still, Layoffs,” observed, the website despite its overall profits, Gannett newspapers of Florida-based Poynter Institute, a respected have suffered losses in subscriptions and ad- journalism think tank. vertisements just like other newspapers. The Clarion-Ledger has laid off at least The transition from cash cow to endan- 30 percent of its staff in the last several years, gered species happened, and that does not inin part, with the transiclude positions that tion from print to onweren’t filled after emline. People could post ployees resigned. But classified ads for free on even as Gannett laid services like Craigslist. off more staff, its exThey could find news ecutives continued to and alternatives to the cash in huge bonuses local daily within secfor making the stockonds. This new reality holders a profit. Ganslowly chipped away at nett paid its president, subscriptions and adCraig Dubrow, $9.4 vertising revenue, even million last year. as daily newspapers had The industry conmoved much of their tinues to suffer during focus away from the the present recession. in-depth and local jourTraditional newspaper nalism that help make companies didn’t do readers loyal. Although too well in the first newspapers had a pres- In 1996 Author Richard McCord half of 2011, The Wall detailed unfair practices Gannett ence online, they hadn’t employed to ruin competitors in “The Street Journal reported figured out in time how Chain Gang: One Newspaper Versus Aug. 21. Its analysis to make money being the Gannett Empire.” predicted more job there. cuts are coming, simiCorporate newslar to the huge layoffs papers have laid off thousands of journalists in publishing of two years ago. since 2007, leaving many newspapers, includSteadily, every year, The Clarion-Ledger ing The Clarion-Ledger, a shell of its former has lost staffers to layoffs and resignations, self. with a number showing up in local public-reSome historic publications ceased to ex- lations jobs, including for the governor. Ganist or became online-only news outlets. Gan- nett laid off 700 people this June—10 at The nett is focused on making its online presence Clarion-Ledger. dominant while letting the quality of its print The Wall Street Journal also reported products slip. Without experienced and pas- that at the end of last year, Gannett had about sionate writers and editors, websites tend 32,600 employees, down from 49,675 emto have short stories that are amended with ployees at the end of 2006. mostly uncensored and often vitriolic and racIt’s not just the work force that’s getting ist comments from anonymous posters. smaller. Circulation has dropped dramatically MomsLikeMe, a Gannett newspaper in recent years. site, paid people to post at many newspapers. In 1991, the paper enjoyed a 107,787 The Hattiesburg American in 2008 paid four statewide circulation; by 2001, it had dropped women who were not journalists $100 each a to 101,866; this year, the Audit Bureau of Cirmonth to post comments on its MomsLikeMe culation indicates 62,248 circulation, averagsite, pretending to be casual participants. ing daily and Sunday readership—a number This writer, who worked as an editor and that now includes the paper’s online readers as reporter at The Hattiesburg American from well due to a recent ABC rule change. 2007 to 2009, was told in late 2008 to interIn 2006, The Clarion-Ledger admitted act with the paid posters online and pretend to the city, during a controversy over legal noto have spontaneous online conversations. tices, that it had “about 22,000” circulation One of the ironies of the Gannett push inside the city limits of Jackson. for online news is that an independent online Gannett papers, including The Clarionblog reports on the corporation from several Ledger, also changed to a narrower cut of paangles and uses the crowdsourcing of thou- per and reduced the number of pages. Next to sands of former and current Gannett employ- employees, newsprint has been a huge expense ees, often anonymously. for newspapers that can fluctuate year to year. Jim Hopkins, a former business editor As the staff and the actual paper get thinner, for USA Today, started GannettBlog in 2007, not much is left to cut. after he took a buyout from the company. “It’s just a thin throwaway,” Bill Minor During early December 2008, when Gannett said. “They to have to fill it up with boilerlaid off more 3,000 employees—the same plate from USA Today.” time Orley Hood was laid off—thousands of “Gannettoids” relied on Hopkins’ blog to find CLARION-LEDGER, see page 24 out the truth by comparing memos, anecdotes COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI PRESS

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Faking Diversity Gannett has long made a big deal about mandating diversity in its staffing and in its coverage, and each newsroom has the spreadsheets to prove it. In 2002, Ronnie Agnew became the first African American executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger. It was a historic move, considering the paper’s past. “Agnew wants the Gannett-owned paper to help readers understand changes under way in Jackson—which has experienced major demographic and economic shifts as more people move to the suburbs—while being a leader on statewide issues,” the American Journalism Review wrote in 2002. Even so, The Clarion-Ledger bought a freely distributed publication called VIP Jackson in 2006 that runs glossy photographs of partygoers at society functions and fundraisers. Although Gannett claims to be strict about diversity and mainstreaming, VIP Jackson is consistently a publication predominately about whites even as crime stories in the statewide Clarion-Ledger are mostly about blacks in Jackson. The 2010 U.S. Census reports 79 percent of people living in Jackson are African American. The magazine name includes Jackson, and its website states that its free distribution is to “affluent neighborhoods throughout the Metro.” The site also shows that VIP only goes to northeast and downtown Jackson, as well as the suburbs, and not to wealthier black neighborhoods such as those in northwest Jackson. Donna Ladd, editor in chief of the Jackson Free Press, wrote an award-winning editor’s note in 2010 about the lack of diversity in VIP Jackson’s stories, party pictures and ads, despite Gannett’s public promise to mandate diversity throughout its publications. Richard Prince, who writes about media diversity on his Journal-isms blog for the Maynard Institute, wrote about the column, drawing a response from Agnew, a Madison resident who at the time was also the diversity chairman of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. The Clarion-Ledger’s first African American executive editor wrote to Prince that he wasn’t responsible for the content in VIP Jackson, which he indicated is yet another Gannett advertorial product. “The magazine is an advertising publication and is totally separate from the newsroom,” Agnew told Prince. The Clarion-Ledger management tends to play to the suburbs and is known for sensationalizing crime in the city of Jackson, such as lifting dangerous “rankings” such as those published by Morgan Quitno (later called CQ Press) out of necessary context. Even the FBI warned that those rankings compiled to sell books are not reliable—but that hasn’t stopped the paper from making the rankings front-page and editorial fodder, especially when they seemed especially bad. The paper did not bother to explain the larger context of the rankings or how they were assembled, just using them for easy headlines. The Clarion-Ledger also led the way in 24 2005 in complaining about former JPD Chief

from page 22



Ronnie Agnew left his job at the end of July as executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger to become executive director at Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Robert Moore supposedly saying that Jackson crime is only a “perception”—which he did not actually say. He had spoken to a press briefing, which the JFP attended, about the media creating “perceptions” that crime was out of control, a valid criminal-justice concern. The Clarion-Ledger and others used the “perception” meme as a way to bolster support for Frank Melton, whom the paper endorsed for mayor in 2005. The newspaper and some of its editors had a long, cozy relationship with Frank Melton—which fully emerged in court depositions after he took office. The Jackson Free Press learned and reported that The ClarionLedger was included in a lawsuit by Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agents against Melton for defamation (accusing him of feeding false information to Clarion-Ledger editors) prior to his election—a fact the paper never disclosed during his campaign, in its endorsement of him or prior to the JFP report. Then, in 2005, Clarion-Ledger journalists told the JFP that the metro desk there heard about Melton’s notorious attack on a duplex, but weren’t allowed to report it. They reported it after the JFP broke the story, which later became the basis of state and federal indictments against Melton. Agnew left The Clarion-Ledger in August to become the executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting. “I’ll tell you anything you want to know about Gannett,” Agnew said in his new office at MPB in an interview for a JFP “Jacksonian” profile (see page 3). Agnew said Gannett was a great company that gave him many opportunities. When he left, he said, the head of the newspaper division sent him a letter welcoming him back anytime. Agnew is aware of general criticisms, but didn’t want to talk about any negative aspects of Gannett or his time at The Clarion-Ledger. “People remember bad news. We did a lot of good news—kids doing well in the classroom,

people winning awards,” he said. “We did what a paper should do, which is to shed a light on wrongdoing.” As far as laying people off and other decisions, Agnew didn’t want to go into details. “Until you sit in that seat, you don’t know the pressures,” he said. . Shrinking, Lazy Coverage Former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz thinks The Clarion-Ledger sensationalized its coverage of his 2003 bribery indictment, of which he was later acquitted. “I don’t know that it was personal, but it wasn’t balanced,” he told the JFP. Diaz stresses that he doesn’t think anyone at the newspaper had it in for him. He just thinks lazy reporting led to press releases from U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton’s office running as news stories. “They would run with that as a story instead of investigating it. They would run anything out of the U.S. attorney’s office,” Diaz said this month. Diaz said he told reporters at The Clarion-Ledger they had their facts wrong, but nothing ever showed up about that in the paper. Diaz gives the example of paying rent for his apartment. In his indictment, one of the accusations listed was that Diaz lived in an apartment rent-free that lawyer Paul Minor (son of Bill Minor) owned. “Not true,” Diaz said. He paid rent and has the cancelled checks to prove it. “The U.S. attorney dropped that from the indictment. But it still shows up in press reports that I was living in the apartment rent-free.” His impression of the coverage was that each new story was set up to present facts as The Clarion-Ledger saw them, then merely recap what was reported before. Diaz said it seemed two-thirds of a story would be a recap, often including earlier inaccurate information. Despite Diaz’s experience, he continued

for a while to get the daily newspaper and read it. “The Clarion-Ledger used to be the paper of record with great investigative journalists. It seems there are no investigative journalists left there anymore except Jerry Mitchell,” he said. Mitchell wrote many stories about the Diaz indictment and is known for using unnamed official sources as a basis for his stories. The former justice then began to notice he wasn’t finding much to read in the daily paper any more, though. “I cancelled my subscription this year,” Diaz said. The Clarion-Ledger, and many in the community, are proud of Mitchell’s wellknown past reporting of civil-rights cold cases—which has helped the paper atone for its own racist past and send Klansmen to prison. But Mitchell’s coverage on issues such as tort reform perhaps laid the groundwork for state policy based on incomplete information. The Clarion-Ledger took a strong stance in the early 2000s promoting tort reform, and its news reporting was routinely slanted against what it called “jackpot justice” (a favorite label of the tort-reform lobby) in news coverage, headlines and editorials. Medical malpractice premiums were so high, doctors would have to leave the state and no new ones would locate in Mississippi unless tort reform passed, Mitchell supposedly proved in his series of stories. But the paper repeatedly left out a vital piece of the puzzle, even as other Gannett papers in other states presented more complete, balanced coverage. The Clarion-Ledger used California’s caps of lawsuit damages as a protort reform example repeatedly in editorials calling for non-economic caps, but without bringing in California’s insurance-reform component, which helped control premiums in that state and provide a balance to the damage caps. That omission, and the pro-tort-reform tone of the coverage overall, likely helped Gov. Haley Barbour get tort reform passed in the Legislature. For instance, an Aug. 12, 2002, ClarionLedger article by Jerry Mitchell, “Calif. Held Up As Tort Model,” simply left the pivotal insurance-reform point out. Starting out saying that Mississippi’s medical malpractice premiums were “skyrocketing 400 percent,” Mitchell wrote, “It’s also what took place three decades ago in California.” In fact, it was only part of what took place. The Government Accounting Office of Congress did an analysis of the way media covered the tort-reform battle in five so-called “crisis” states including Mississippi and put heavy blame on media for not reporting the entire story and helping the U.S. Chamber overstate the need for dramatic tort reforms. The GAO found, for instance, that the dramatic reports of doctors leaving due to malpractice rates just did not prove out. “[M]any of the reported provider actions were not substantiated or did not affect access to health care on a widespread basis,” it stated, adding that “actual numbers of physician departures were sometimes inaccurate or

coupon models. It hasn’t come to Jackson, yet, but Gannett staffers in other cities are already getting pressure to give email addresses of friends and family to feed the Deal Chicken marketing software. Reporters at the Louisville (Ky.) Courier are competing for a cash prize for the journalist who can supply the most emails for the new advertising experiment. The Clarion-Ledger also throws full-page advertisements for Deal Chicken in some metro yards. The plastic bags often contain two copies of the ad-only publication, as well as some advertising flyers from other businesses. Too Little, Too Late? Orley Hood, now 61, said the main point about Gannett is this: There are repercussions to bad decisions. “I’m way, far way from talking about just me. If The Clarion-Ledger is going to understand Jackson, understand Mississippi, it needs to get back to making friends with people who get up for breakfast everyday,” Hood said. “They don’t have any idea who reads the paper.” He bemoans the lack of Gannett managers who grew up loving newspapers. “I love newspapers— I love good newspapers. I love Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman,” he says of two current Pulitzer Prizewinning New York Times columnists. He loves those columnists almost as much as he loved being one. Hood has read a little and written a little every day for the past two and a half years since he got laid off. He’s working on a book, playing golf and spending lots of time with family and friends. He said he is fond of many people still working for The Clarion-Ledger. “Many quality people are still there: Rick Cleveland, Billy Watkins, Gary Pettus, Sherry Lucas,” he said. “When Billy writes a line, he knows what the reaction is going to be.” Hood isn’t sure Gannett executives understand that connection writers have with readers and how it builds trust for the paper as an institution. “There’s no telling what people are getting away with that we’ll never know,” Hood said. “A newspaper can make government better, make sure that your tax money is spent right. A newspaper with moral authority—as much as a governor or a speaker of the House—sets the agenda for a state or a community. Who’s going to stand up? Who’s going to take care of these people? It’s life and death. “Who is going to raise hell?” Valerie Wells was a reporter and editor at The Hattiesburg American from 2007 to 2009. Her mother, Mary Ann Wells, was a photojournalist at that paper from 1977 to 1981. Comment on this story at

‘There’s no telling what people are getting away with that we’ll never know.’ – Orley Hood



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involved relatively few physicians.” A Gannett News Service investigation, in fact, found that high medical malpractice rates in “crisis” states could not be blamed on high jury payouts, but that reporting context never made its way to Gannett’s coverage here. Likewise, several practices at Gannett are counter to what most idealistic journalism students learn in college—from its often-bizarre overuse of the passive voice to framing stories before reporting them. Gannett reporters and editors sometimes write the “lede”—the first paragraph of a news story—before they talk to a source or attend an event. The idea is to focus on what’s important, but the reality is editors commit to proving the lede is true rather than discovering what is true and then writing the lede. The corporate culture at Gannett stresses “localizing” stories, which means taking a national story or trend and finding the local angle on it. In theory it sounds good, but if the topic is about a food craze in the northeast that no one in Jackson is eating, the reporter has to scramble to find some far-stretched connection rather than doing a story about real local trends and habits. Gannett papers also “repurpose” stories, reusing stories already written in other special publications or slightly rewriting them to fill space. It’s not an uncommon practice at other papers, but Gannett uses it as a way to cut costs, treating the news like a “content” product instead of real stories about people. The company allows email interviews, including question-and-answer features with prominent leaders with the very real possibility that a press agent could write the resulting responses—and eliminating any possibility for important follow-up questions or a revealing conversational interview. Over the years, Gannett has come up with new ideas, promotions, programs, campaigns and experiments. The latest effort, being pushed in Gannett papers this year, involves figuring out readers’ “passion topics”—a basic news-sense skill that was a given and a requirement in preGannettization newsrooms. These “passion topics” will supposedly help Gannett’s papers and websites start to better cover stories readers really care about. Critics are skeptical and see the new effort as a too-little-too-late attempt to find more ways to use fewer reporters and editors to turn out products while ignoring important reporting that readers cannot know they would be passionate about without getting the information. On the advertising side of the house, Gannett is heavily promoting its Deal Chicken, a mimic of the Groupon and Living Social


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Easy Being Green



uch has been written lately about the friendship between Jackson natives Kathryn Stockett and Tate Taylor, the author and director, respectively, of “The Help.” But a third Jackson native served as producer of the hit movie. Brunson Green, 43, will talk about the journey from best-selling novel to No. 1 movie when he speaks at Millsaps College at 7 p.m. Sept. 13. Green, a graduate of Jackson Academy and Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, formed Harbinger Pictures in 1996, and he and Taylor collaborated on the short film “Chicken Party,” and the feature “Pretty Ugly People.” “The Help” stars Oscar winners Sissy Spacek (Missus Walters), Cicely Tyson (Constantine Jefferson), Mary Steenburgen (Elain Stein), Oscar nominee Viola Davis (Aibileen Clark), and Emma Stone (Skeeter), and was filmed in Greenwood and Jackson. Green recently spoke to the Jackson Free Press about taking the beloved but controversial story about African American maids in 1960s Jackson from page to screen.

How did you meet Kathryn Stockett and Tate Taylor and become part of “The Help”? In that typical southern tradition, Tate and I had a mutual friend, Mary Preston Hays Dubberly, who wanted to introduce us, since Tate was interested in working in the film industry, and I already was. So, she invited us both to the Medgar Evers Homecoming Blues Festival (1994), and we hit it off. I advised him to work on “A Time to Kill,” which was where he really launched his career, and also met Octavia Spencer, who plays Minny in “The Help.” I then moved out to L.A., and Octavia and Tate moved out to L.A. a few months after that. I even convinced Tate to lug my mother’s rug out to L.A. for me. We all hung out most of the time and basically grew into adults in Los Angeles. Of course, Tate had known Kathryn since they were 5, and while I grew up only a couple of streets away, I didn’t meet them until later.

September 7 - 13, 2011

Would you make more movies in Mississippi? Mississippi proved our hunch right. It’s a great place to shoot a movie. DreamWorks took a leap of faith when we told them that the best place to shoot “The Help” was in Mississippi. As you know, the people are super friendly and hospitable. I’ve been spreading the word to other filmmakers in Austin and Los Angeles to come scout in Mississippi. If I have a project that’s appropriate to shoot in the state, I’m there. Anything else you want to add? I’d love for guys to give the film a chance. Though the majority of the cast are women, it’s not a “chick flick.” It’s an engaging story that will transport you to another time, suck you in and take you on a great, emotional ride. Haven’t you seen enough fake robots flying around all summer? The Millsaps Arts and Lecture Series presents “The Help: Movie-Making in Mississippi” 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the Ford Academic Complex Recital Hall. Brunson Green will talk about the 26 trip from the book to the screen. Tickets are $10. Call 601-974-1130.

Producer Brunson Green, right, visits on set with “The Help” stars. COURTESY BOY

The movie is racially charged, and the story is somewhat controversial. Did that make you hesitant to tackle it? Even though the novel is complete fiction, it uses Mississippi’s racially charged environment of the ‘60s as a backdrop for this story about the struggles the characters are going through. It’s a difficult period to revisit for a lot of people, but it provides a striking canvas to tell the story about these specific characters and allows folks to reflect, see and discuss how far we’ve come over the past 50 years, and how much further we need to go toward complete equality.


How did you get your start in films? After completing an economics degree in the middle of a recession, and no job offer, I had the opportunity to try my hand at working in the entertainment industry as an intern in Austin, Texas, which was starting to become an independent-film mecca. With the recommendation of fellow Jacksonian John Gibson, I was able to secure a job in the props department on a western filmed on Willie Nelson’s ranch. Over the following 10 years, I worked in various departments trying to learn how films are made, and in the process, I learned an efficient way to produce films. While working freelance, I would produce short films with my friends in Austin. I was working as an assistant director on MTV’s “Austin Stories,” when a fellow crew member recommended me to director Jeff Janger to co-produce his feature “Fools Gold” (1998) which premiered at Sundance. That was my first feature as a producer.

BOY is Back in Town


e left Mississippi as men,” the invitation teases. “We return as BOY.” BOY is a musical group from Austin, Texas, that includes former Jackson residents. Members are Joshua Clark, Jakob Clark (former JFP graphic designer), Misha Hercules and Derek Stuart. They describe the band as glam, indie rock and psychedelic. The Austin band performs at 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at Martin’s Lounge (214 S. State St., 601-354-9712). Also performing is Gray Things, a band from Oxford, Miss., that calls itself “warped electro-psych sensation.”

To hear demos of BOY’s song “Silent Prayer” and “White Tigers,” go to the site

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Cracking a Marriage



ny marriage, good or bad, looks easier from the outside than it ever does when you’re inside it. They’re like fragile statues, marriages. The slightest crack can cause shattering, even if it takes years for the crack to spread and multiply. In Robert Olen Butler’s short novel, “A Small Hotel” (Grove Press, 2011, $24), the author details how one marriage cracks open, falls apart, and maybe, just maybe, glues itself together again. We meet Michael and Kelly Hays, an affluent Pensacola couple, on the day their divorce is to be finalized. Michael thinks he’s already moved on to a younger lover (Laurie Pruitt), and is speeding an hour west of New Orleans to an antebellum-themed dress ball. Kelly, though, doesn’t show up to the courthouse to sign papers. Instead, she heads to the Olivier House Hotel in the French Quarter—where she and Michael first made love. She’s armed only with her best little black dress, a fifth of scotch and a bottle full of Percocet. Over the course of a single day and night, Butler alternates between Michael and Kelly’s memories of the marriage and how it lost its passion over 24 years. Butler gives vivid detail. Here he is, introducing us to Kelly: “She was moved to put on her favorite prêt-à-porter Chanel she’d had for years, put it on slowly in the muffled silence of her walk-in closet, listening to the Chanel’s faint rustle going over her, letting the silk lick her down the thighs.” Butler’s language tends to become flat when discussing things from Michael’s perspective: “He should start dressing for Laurie, but he is putting on a tuxedo now for Kelly. He steps from the master bedroom cedar closet in their Craftsman house on the Bayou Texar. They’ve moved in at last. The muted pitch to its gabled roof, the exposed but rounded and polished rafters, the redwood shingles: all this feels like him, and he appreciates that Kelly has let the house be him in these things, without his having to persuade her.” The diction is just as detailed as in Michael’s section but somehow less sensuous. This fits. Michael is so emotionally cut off that he’s never told his wife, daughter or lover that he loves them. He shows the least emotion than he can get away with, and his distance poisons his marriage. Kelly, starved for attention and a show of emotion from her husband, has an affair. The marriage splits apart.

Butler writes the novel in the present tense, but constantly weaves in past history with the present day. As it moves forward, Butler gives the reader fewer signposts indicating when this time switch has taken place. It’s a disorienting effect but it pays off, making it plain that, for Michael and Kelly, past wounds feel just as fresh and raw as anything actually happening now. Their memories affect their present actions and feelings. Butler’s tricks with time can make the reader woozy. In one sense, “A Small Hotel” progresses briskly. It jumps around chronologically and geographically, with small gestures and objects serving as triggers for flashbacks. At the same time, though, Butler often concentrates so acutely on a single moment—with long paragraphs and run-on sentences—that it feels like he’s holding the moment up to a light forever. He writes certain sequences—Kelly revealing her affair to Michael, a tense moment on the family boat, a pre-wedding meeting in the bridal chambers—from the points-of-view of both partners, offering different perspectives and tones on the events. Sometimes, Butler lingers on events; sometimes, big events get skipped on the way to something else. The author’s challenging technique and stylized imagery are so assured that I wish his characters were more engaging and the plot were richer. As it happens, both are fairly generic. I know that Kelly worked throughout the marriage, but it’s unclear what her job was or how she felt about it. Butler tries to create a rationale for why Michael’s such a cold fish, but the effect feels trite. The final 40 pages, in which Kelly’s potential use of Scotch and Percocet becomes apparent, and Michael tries to rush to her side, seems like forced suspense. Even the locale is cliché—the novel’s vision of New Orleans is limited mostly to Bourbon Street, and the couple even meets cute during Mardi Gras. Beyond their emotional conflicts, Michael and Kelly are oddly blank. It’s not completely clear what drew them to each other in the first place. By the end of “A Small Hotel,” their marriage’s emotional fragility is clear but the participants within the marriage are not. Robert Olen Butler signs and reads from “A Small Hotel” on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N., 601-366-7619).

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BEST BETS September 7 - 14, 2011 by Latasha Willis Fax: 601-510-9019 Daily updates at



The Parents for Public Schools Lunch Bunch is at 11:45 a.m. at the Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.) in the Community Meeting Room. $5 lunch; call 601-969-6015, ext. 320 to RSVP. … Mississippi Sen. Hillman Frazier speaks during History Is Lunch at noon at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Bring lunch; call 601-576-6998. … Philip’s on the Rez has karaoke with DJ Mike. … See the film “Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton Play the Blues” at 7:30 p.m.,at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). $11.50, $10.50 seniors and students, $9.50 children; call 601936-5856. … Fitzgerald’s has music from Jazz Beautiful with Pam Confer. … Dreamz JXN hosts Wasted Wednesday.


Fire & Feast begins today at the Yazoo County Fairgrounds (203 Hugh McGraw Drive, Yazoo) with a concert at 5 p.m. The fun zone is open from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 10. $15 concert; call 662-746-1815. … CelticFest kicks off with a whiskey tasting at 7:30 p.m. in Sparkman Auditorium at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum (1150 Lakeland Drive). Limited tickets. $50; call 601-366-6644. Additional events run through Sept. 11. $12, $8 seniors and students, $5 ages 5-17, $1 ages 4 and under; visit … Reed Smith performs at Irish Frog from 6-10 p.m. … See the musical “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” at 7:30 p.m. at Parkside Playhouse (101 Iowa Blvd., Vicksburg); runs through Sept. 18. $12, $10 seniors, $7 students, $5 children 12 and under; call 601-636-0471. … Bill and Temperance are at Hal & Mal’s. … Jason Bailey performs at F. Jones Corner


Olde Towne Market is at 9 a.m. in downtown Clinton. Free admission; call 601-924-5472. … See Civil War re-enactors at Muster at the Museum at 10 a.m. at the Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Free; call 601-576-6920. … The Muscadine Jubilee is at 10 a.m. at the Muscadine Pavilion (716 Second St., Pelahatchie). Country legend Marty Stuart performs at 3 p.m. $3, children 5 and under free; call 601854-5224. … Brady’s has karaoke. … Martini Room hosts Soulful Saturdays at 6 p.m. … The Brain Injury Association of Mississippi’s Salute to Our Heroes Gala is at 6 p.m at the Country Club of Jackson (345 Saint Andrews Drive). $100; call 601-982-1021. … BOY performs at Martin’s at 10 p.m.


Sept. 11 anniversary events include memorial services at 7 a.m. at Trustmark Park (1 Braves Way, Pearl; call 601-9821021) and at the Mississippi Fire Academy (Fire Academy Road, Pearl; call 601-932-2444). … The ACLU of Mississippi hosts a 9/11 panel discussion at 4 p.m. at the Mississippi College School of Law (151 E. Griffith St.; call 601-355-6464). Jesse Robinson (pictured) and Friends perform at 6 p.m. Sept. 13 at Underground 119.

September 7 - 13, 2011

The Story Pirates present “Theodore Boone and the Thrill of Rights” at 4 p.m. at Eudora Welty Library (300 N. State St.). Free; call Lemuria Books at 601-366-7619. … The Mississippi Oil Painters Association Art Show is at 5 p.m. at Brown’s Fine Art (630 Fondren Place). Free; call 601-982-4844. … The “Outdoor Splendor” art show opening reception is at 5:30 p.m. at The Cedars Historic Home (4145 Old Canton Road); show hangs through Sept. 30. Free; call 601-981-9606. … Hunter Runnels performs at AJ’s on the Lake (361 Township Ave., Ridgeland). … House of Cards performs at Centric Thursday at Dreamz JXN. … Ladies Night at Martin’s and Ole Tavern. … Hot Shots has karaoke. … The Amazin’ Lazy 28 Boi Band performs at F. Jones Corner at 11 p.m.


See the “FROGS! Beyond Green” exhibit at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive) through Jan. 9. $6, $5 seniors, $4 children ages 3-18, members and babies free; call 601-354-7303. … The Central Mississippi Blues Society Jam is at 7 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s. $5. … Martin’s hosts an open-mic free jam.


The Margaret Walker Center unveils exhibits at 4 p.m. at Jackson State University, Ayer Hall (1400 John R. Lynch St.). Free; call 601-979-3935. … “The Help” producer Brunson Green speaks at 7 p.m. at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.). $10; call 601-974-1130. … Jesse Robinson and Friends are at Underground 119 at 6 p.m. $5. … The play “Driving Miss Daisy” opens at 7:30 p.m. at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.); runs through Sept. 24. $25, $22 seniors and students; call 601-948-3533, ext. 222.


Larry Morrisey of the Mississippi Arts Commission speaks during History Is Lunch at noon at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Bring lunch; call 601-576-6998. … The play “Divorce Southern Style” opens at 7:30 p.m. at Black Rose Community Theatre (103 Black St., Brandon); runs through Sept. 18. $15, $10 seniors and students; call 601-825-1293. More events and details at

Téada performs at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 and 3:30 p.m. Sept. 11 at CelticFest at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum. COURTESY COMPASS RECORDS


… Grandparents get free admission to the Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.) with a paying grandchild. Call 601-352-2580. … The Generation NXT Indie Concert Series at Dreamz JXN features performances from Dem Boyz, Lady C, and Savvy & Gutta. … The “When the Toga Meets the Lehenga” Global Fashion Extravaganza is at 6 p.m. at Smith Park (302 Amite St.). Free, donations welcome; call 601-706-9273.


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jfpevents JFP-SPONSORED EVENTS Radio JFP on WLEZ, at WLEZ 100.1 FM and Join Donna Ladd and Todd Stauffer every Thursday from noon-1 p.m., where they discuss vital issues and play local music. This week’s guest is gubernatorial candidate Johnny DuPree and Jamie Holcomb of the Women’s Fund of Mississippi. JFP sports writer Bryan Flynn gives commentary at 12:45 p.m. Listen to podcasts at Free; call 601-362-6121, ext. 17. CelticFest Mississippi Sept. 9-11, at Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum (1150 Lakeland Drive). The state’s annual celebration of Celtic heritage returns for its 20th year. Enjoy three days of film screenings, whiskey and scotch tastings, music, dance and more. The signature whisky tasting is at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9 in Sparkman Auditorium ($50, limited tickets; call 601-366-6644). Visit celticfest. org for a schedule; prices may vary for some events. $12, $8 seniors and students, $5 ages 5-17, $1 ages 4 and under; visit Mississippi Happening. Guaqueta Productions hosts the monthly broadcast, which features a special musical guest. Download free podcasts at

COMMUNITY Sports League Registrations at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). The Department of Parks and Recreation is conducting registration for the upcoming season from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. Call 601-960-0471. • Adult Fall Softball League Registration through Sept. 9. The league consists of co-ed teams with a limit of 20 players per team. $250 per team. • NFL Punt, Pass and Kick Competition Registration through Sept. 14. The competition for youth ages 6-15 is at 10 a.m. Sept. 17 at Battlefield Park (953 Porter St.). Free. Events at Jackson Medical Mall, Community Meeting Room (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). • Census Workshop Sept. 8, 8:30 a.m. Registration is at 8 a.m. Jackson State University’s Mississippi Urban Research Center is the host. Learn about the results of the 2010 Census and how to find information online. Free; call 601-979-1400. • MississippiCAN Beneficiary Workshop Sept. 9, 8 a.m. The Division of Medicaid explains how beneficiaries can get additional benefits through the Mississippi Coordinated Access Network. Call 601-359-3789 or 800-421-2408. Home Repair Grant Call for Applicants Sept. 7-8, at Jackson Police Training Academy (3000 St. Charles St.). Apply between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Bring valid ID, a deed or warranty deed, proof of income, homeowner’s insurance and a Social Security card. Call 601-982-8467, ext. 21. New Vibrations Network Gathering Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., at Unitarian Universalist Church (4866 N. State St.). The mixer is every second Thursday. Bring business cards and brochures to share with others. Email

September 7 - 13, 2011

“History Is Lunch” Sept. 7, noon, at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Senator Hillman Frazier presents “My Long Journey Home.” Bring lunch; coffee and water provided. Free; call 601-576-6998.


2011 Energy Forum Sept. 8, 8 a.m., at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.), in the Trustmark Meeting Room on the second floor. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. Speakers include Michelle Bloodworth of American Natural Gas Alliance and Ken Nicholson of Clean Energy Fuels. $65, $35 for economic development officials and government employees; free admission for elected officials; email Teachers’ Back to School Night Sept. 8, 4 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). Get resource materials,

program ideas, and activities that can be used to bring environmental and natural resource education into the classroom. $4-$6, children under 3 and museum members free; call 601-354-7303. Precinct 2 COPS Meeting Sept. 8, 6 p.m., at Jackson Police Department, Precinct 2 (711 W. Capitol St.). These monthly forums are designed to help resolve community issues or problems, from crime to potholes. Call 601-960-0002. Fire & Feast Sept. 9-10, at Yazoo County Fairgrounds (203 Hugh McGraw Drive, Yazoo). The barbecue competition and festival includes arts and crafts vendors, and children’s activities. The concert at 5 p.m. Sept. 9 includes performances from Jackie Bell, D’Mar and Gill, and Calvin Richardson. The fun zone is open from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 10. The Mississippi Firefighters Memorial Burn Association receives a portion of the proceeds. $15 concert, barbecue competitor and vendor fees vary; call 662-746-1815. Moving Meditations and Physical Prayer Workshop Sept. 10, 9 a.m., at Covenant Presbyterian Church (4000 Ridgewood Road). For high-school aged women and older. $15; call 601-981-7236. Save Our African American Treasures: A National Collections Initiative of Discovery and Preservation Sept. 10-11, at B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center (400 Second St., Indianola). The event features presentations, hands-on activities and preservation tips for items of historical and cultural significance. Reserve in advance to bring up to three personal items for a one-on-one consultation. Sessions are from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 10 and 1-4 p.m. Sept. 11. Participants receive free museum tickets. Free; call 662-887-9539, ext. 229; call 877733-9599 to RSVP for consultation. Muscadine Jubilee Sept. 10, 10 a.m., at Muscadine Pavilion (716 Second St., Pelahatchie). Enjoy food, shopping and family activities. Country and bluegrass legend Marty Stuart performs at 3 p.m. $3, children 5 and under free; call 601-854-5224. Grandparents Appreciation Day Sept. 11, 9 a.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). Grandparents receive free admission to the zoo. Free with paying grandchild; call 601-352-2580. 9/11 Memorial Service Sept. 11, 9 a.m., at Mississippi Fire Academy, Pearl (Fire Academy Road, Pearl). The event marks the 10 anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Also see a 100pound salvaged piece of steel from the World Trade Center. Call 601-932-2444. Sept. 11 10th Anniversary Observation and Discussion Sept. 11, 4 p.m., at Mississippi College School of Law (151 E. Griffith St.). The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi is the host. The program pays respect to lives lost and examines the impact of post 9/11 governmental policies on civil liberties. The event includes a screening of the POV/PBS film “Better This World” and an expert panel discussion featuring Dr. Stephen Rozman, Dr. Michelle Deardorff and Okolo Rashid. Free; call 601-355-6464. Immigration Forum Sept. 11, 4 p.m., at Broadmeadow United Methodist Church (4419 Broadmeadow Drive), in the fellowship Hall. Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance attorney Patricia Ice is the speaker. A question-and-answer session follows. Free; call 601-366-1403. Fondren Association of Businesses Annual Membership Meeting Sept. 12, 5:30 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). The organization discusses its business agenda, elects officers and gives leadership awards. Light refreshments served. Call 601960-6520 or 601-981-1658, ext. 20. Millsaps Arts and Lecture Series Sept. 13, 7 p.m., at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.), in the recital hall. Jackson native Brunson Green, producer of “The Help,” talks about developing the film from Kathryn Stockett’s novel. $10; call 601-974-1130.

BE THE CHANGE Mississippi Spay and Neuter Clinic Fundraiser Sept. 1-30, at Strictly Dancing (953 North St.). Bring a donation and attend classes in September at no cost. $10 donation; call 601-944-1315. Community Project Sept. 10, 9 a.m., at Farish Street Park (Farish St.). Join the Farish Street Community of Shalom in cleaning up vacant lawns. Bring lawn care tools. Call 601-291-7381. 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. In observance of the anniversary of 9/11, join Mississippi AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, and the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service in volunteering or doing charity work. Visit to find volunteer opportunities or start your own project. Call 888-353-1793. “When the Toga Meets the Lehenga” Global Fashion Extravaganza Sept. 11, 6 p.m., at Smith Park (302 Amite St.). The event showcases togas, kilts, lungis, lehengas, kangas, Bohemian skirts and other international articles of clothing. Refreshments served. Proceeds benefit the Cure Sickle Cell Foundation and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Free, donations welcome; call 601-706-9273. Parent/Guardian Education Advocacy Trainings, at Lumpkin’s BBQ (182 Raymond Road). Sessions are held the second Saturday of each month at 11 a.m., and the topic varies. Lunch provided. Please RSVP. Free; call 877-892-2577.

WELLNESS Blood Pressure Checks for Seniors. The city of Jackson and St. Dominic Health Services provides blood pressure checks and cholesterol information to qualifying individuals ages 55 or older living in the Jackson city limits. Free; call 601-960-0335. • Sept. 8, 10:30 a.m., at Golden Key Multi-purpose Senior Center (3450 Albermarle Road). • Sept. 12, 11 a.m., at Sykes Park Multi-Purpose Senior Center (520 Sykes Road). • Sept. 14, noon, at Smith Robertson Senior Citizens Center (505 John Hart St.). Events at Baptist Medical Center (1225 N. State St.). Call 800-948-6262 or 601-948-6262 • The Big News on Prostate Health 11:45 a.m. Sept. 8, Urologist Dr. Patrick Daily gives prostate health tips and treatment options. Registration required. $5 optional lunch. • Free Prostate Screening Sept. 13, 5 p.m., at Hederman Cancer Center. The screening includes a PSA test and a digital rectal exam. Screenings are available for men ages 50-75; ages 40-75 whose father or brother had prostate cancer; and ages 45-75 for African-Americans. Pre-register by Sept. 9. Free. • Online Girl Talk with an OB/GYN Sept. 13, 8 p.m., at Post questions ahead of time or ask questions during the chat. Free. Know the Score for Heart Disease Sept. 14, 11:45 a.m., at Baptist Health Systems, Madison Campus (401 Baptist Drive, Madison) Community Room. Join cardiologist Dr. Douglas Harkins to learn about cardiac calcium scoring. $5 optional lunch; call 601-948-6262 or 800-948-6262. Spiritual Healing Lecture Sept. 10, 1:30 p.m., at Quisenberry Library (605 E. Northside Drive, Clinton). The introductory lecture is on spiritual help and healing through the teachings of Bruno Groening, a German healer. Community hour follows the lecture from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Free, donations welcome; call 225-570-8170.

STAGE AND SCREEN “Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton Play the Blues” Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m., at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). The screening of the concert at Lincoln Center in New York City includes performances and behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage. $11.50, $10.50 seniors and students, $9.50 children; call 601-936-5856. “Theodore Boone and the Thrill of Rights” Sept. 8, 4 p.m., at Eudora Welty Library (300 N. State St.). The Story Pirates present an interactive show that teaches basic concepts of the American judicial system. The group bases the show on John Grisham’s “Theodore Boone” novels. Free; call Lemuria Books at 601-366-7619. One Enchanted Evening Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Southern Cultural Heritage Center (1302 Adams St.,

Vicksburg), in the SCH Auditorium. Joe M. Turner presents an evening of magic, mentalism and music. Hors d’oeuvres and cash bar included. Limited seating; advance ticket purchase suggested. $30, $25 members, $225 table; call 601-631-2997. “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” Sept. 9-18, at Parkside Playhouse (101 Iowa Blvd., Vicksburg). The Neil Sedaka musical is about two friends from Brooklyn in search of fun and romance. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Reception held after the Sept. 9 show. $12, $10 seniors, $7 students, $5 children 12 and under; call 601-636-0471. “Charleston Olio” Sept. 10, 7 p.m., at B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center (400 Second St., Indianola). The dramatic reading and musical performance is based on the novel “Some Sing, Some Cry” by Ntozake Shange and Ifa Bayeza. Performers include Phylicia Rashad (“The Cosby Show”) and Hattie Winston (“Becker”). Reservations suggested. Free; call 662-887-9539. “Driving Miss Daisy” Sept. 13-25, at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). The play about the relationship between a Southern matriarch and her chauffeur. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13-17 and Sept. 21-24, and 2 p.m. Sept 18 and Sept. 25. $25, $22 seniors and students; call 601-948-3533, ext. 222. “Divorce Southern Style” Sept. 14-18, at Black Rose Community Theatre (103 Black St., Brandon). The play is about a woman who plots to win back her ex-husband for financial gain. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. $15, $10 seniors and students; call 601825-1293.

MUSIC Mississippi Chorus Events. Call 601-278-3351. • Open House Meet and Greet Sept. 10, 2 p.m., at Jackson Municipal Art Gallery (839 N. State St.). Meet chorus members, and learn how to become a member. Free. • Registration and Rehearsal Sept. 12, 6 p.m., at Wesley Biblical Seminary (Wesley Chapel, 787 E. Northside Drive). The meeting is in preparation for the Dec. 17 performance of Handel’s “Messiah,” and future rehearsals are on Mondays from 7-9 p.m. Registration continues for the first three weeks of rehearsals. PRIYDE Holiday Concert Call for Participants, at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). PRIYDE is looking for 12 youth choirs made up of youth ages 12-19 to learn Quincy Jones’ adaptation of Handel’s “Messiah” and perform Dec. 11. Youth will be eligible for a savings account matched dollar for dollar (up to $1,000) that can be used for college tuition or a computer purchase. Call 769-251-1408. Kingdom Come Camp Meeting Sept. 11, 10:30 a.m., at Broadmeadow United Methodist Church (4419 Broadmeadow Drive). Sing old




Southern-Style Laughs

Drum Off 2011 Preliminary Competitions Sept. 13-27, at Guitar Center (1189 E. County Line Road, Suite 4). Competitions are on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. Qualifiers move to district competitions in October. Grand prize includes $25,000, gear, endorsements and studio time. Call 601-956-8053.

LITERARY AND SIGNINGS Events at Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N.). Call 601-366-7619. • “Otis and the Tornado” Sept. 7, 4 p.m. Loren Long signs copies of the book. $17.99 book. • “Ashes” Sept. 8, 4 p.m. Ilsa J. Pick signs copies of her book. $17.99 book. • “A Small Hotel” Sept. 13, 5 p.m. Robert Olen Butler signs copies of the book; reading at 5:30 p.m. $24 book.

CREATIVE CLASSES Events at Easely Amused, Flowood (2315 Lakeland Drive, Suite C, Flowood). Call 769-251-5574. • “Groovy Groove/Jumpin’ Junction” Painting Class Sept. 8, 7 p.m., Paint your favorite tailgate spot. $26.75. • “Home Tweet Home” Painting Class Sept. 9, 7 p.m. Paint a bird perched on a birdhouse with local artist Henry Muse. $32.10. • “The Great Pumpkins” Painting Class Sept. 12, 7 p.m. Learn to paint pumpkins just in time for autumn. $26.75. Events at Viking Cooking School (Township at Colony Park, 1107 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). Call 601-898-8345. • Pickling, Canning and Preserving Sept. 11, 1 p.m. Learn the basics for preserving fruits and vegetables. Recipes include strawberry preserves, quick pickles and salsa. $89. • Superfoods Workshop Sept. 14, 9 a.m. Learn how to incorporate high-nutrient foods into your daily meals. Topics include creating a classic emulsified sauce, working with avocados, making sushi hand rolls and preparing leafy greens. $69. “Location Scouting for the Film Industry” Seminar Sept. 9-10, at Hinds Community College, Rankin Campus (3805 Highway 80 E., Pearl). The class includes an overview of architectural styles, script analysis, how to organize and present locations to producers, directors and production designers, and terminology. Bring a digital still camera, and wear comfortable clothes and shoes for outdoor photography. Sessions are from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 9 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 10. $50; call 601-359-3297.

Fall Figure Drawing Class Sept. 12-Nov. 14, at Nunnery’s at Gallery 119—Fine Art & Framing (119 S. President St.). Jerrod Partridge teaches the class from 6-9 p.m. Mondays. The focus is on developing observational drawing skills through a traditional study of the human figure. Space is limited. $275; call 601-668-5408. Worship Dance For Adult Women, at Covenant Presbyterian Church (4000 Ridgewood Road). Women in high school and older may participate on Tuesdays from 5:30-7 p.m. Must be capable of jumping. $30 per month; call 601-981-7236.



Thursday - September 8 Ladies Night: Ladies Drink Free 9-11 & Karaoke

Friday - September 9

Brian BarfooT Saturday - September 10

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Tuesday - September 13 2 for 1 Domestics Free Pool from 7-10 2636 S. Gallatin Jackson, MS 39204


Spy Kids: All the Time In the World (non 3-D) PG

30 Minutes Or Less


3-D Final Destination 5


Final Destination 5 (non 3-D) R Rise of the Planet of the Apes PG13 Crazy, Stupid, Love PG13 The Smurfs (non 3-D) PG Captain America: The First Avenger (non 3-D) PG13 Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star


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Mississippi Oil Painters Association Art Show Sept. 8, 5 p.m., at Brown’s Fine Art (630 Fondren Place). Exhibitors include Peyton Hutchinson, Ann Seale, Angelika Robinson, Sharon Richardson, Charles Guess and newcomer David Race. Free; call 601-982-4844. “Outdoor Splendor” Art Show Sept. 8-30, at The Cedars Historic Home (4145 Old Canton Road). See works by the Plein Air Artists of Mississippi, Susan Clark and Terri Dalriva. Hours are 9 a.m.4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. The opening reception is from 5:30-8 p.m. Sept. 8. Free; call 601-981-9606. A Sankofa Excursion Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at the home of Isaac Byrd (14 East Hill Drive). Enjoy jazz music and Brazilian, Cuban, and African food. Proceeds benefit the Mississippi Museum of Art. Limit of 50 guests; reservation required. $50; call 601-960-1515. Muster at the Museum Sept. 10, 10 a.m., at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Learn what it was like to serve in the military during the Civil War. Re-enactors demonstrate drills, tent set-up and other skills. Free; call 601-576-6920. Grandparents Day Sept. 10, 10 a.m., at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive). Bring your grandparents to make crafts and participate in special activities. $8, children 12 months and under free; call 601-981-5469 or 877-793-5437. Ayer Hall Open House Sept. 13, 4 p.m., at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.). The Margaret Walker Center unveils the exhibit “Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Freedom Riders” and the Rabbi Philip Posner Manuscript Collection. Free; call 601-979-3935. Check for updates and more listings. To add an event, email all details (phone number, start and end date, and time, street address, cost, URL, etc.) to 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 for instructions.

favorites, and enjoy music from Bill and Temperance. Dinner follows. Free; call 601-366-1403.

tion—when the truth is that the daughter is merely engaged again (for the fifth time) to her long-standing fiancé. The ex-husband, Walter, not only arrives, but brings along his current flame, a former classmate who was Eleanor’s competition from high school. The cast includes Lynn Allegrezza, Paula Conn, Tabitha Miller, Tonya Blough, Eric Hambrick, Kris Vick and Bob Perry. Shows are 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14-17 and 2 p.m. Sept. 18. Tickets are $15. Seniors and students can buy tickets for $10. For information, call 601-825-1293. COURTESY BLACK ROSE THEATRE


lack Rose Community Theatre (103 Black St., Brandon) presents the comedy “Divorce Southern Style” Sept. 14-18. Dani Baisden directs the play about a woman who plots to win back her ex-husband for financial reasons. Divorced for 15 years and running low on cash, the character Eleanor Bander decides reconciliation with her ex-husband (whose second wife died the year before) is her best hope. To lure him within striking range, she tells him that their daughter is about to be married—hinting that it is a forced situa-

South of Walmart in Madison

by Valerie Wells



Down-Home Recipe

The Key of G by Garrad Lee

September 7 - 13, 2011


Anna Kline and the Grits & Soul Band includes, from left, John Looney, Anna Kline,Travis Pinkston and Scott Anderson.

from the band, visit You can also find the band at and gritsandsoul.

The Full Circle tion was made up of Charles’ additions over the years, which reflected his varying tastes and love of jazz, folk, more classical and Gladys Knight and the Pips. Cut to about a year ago. Charles Moore had just passed away on July 11, 2010. Catherine and I were sitting in the old man’s office, looking through his record and book collections, trying to sort things out. After 12 years, I finally had an opportunity to sift through the records, putting my hands on every one of them as we decided which ones to take with us and which ones to let go. Charles’ collection would live on by our collection doubling in size. It’s interesting how music can unite us over time and planes of existence. I’ve heard it said that women often marry men that in some way remind them of their fathers. Luckily, this held true for me. Catherine, who remembers fondly packing and hauling books and records during every family move, witnessed her life coming Charles Moore’s collection of vinyl records, including many from full circle when she married me and my col- Gladys Knight and the Pips, was impressive. lections that need constant attention, especially during moving times. Together, we have amassed a collection that will always equal Charles’ in tion rounding off into ours; and the circle that was comspirit, but probably never in immensity. pleted when the family donated rest of his collection to the As I sit here and watch a Coltrane record that we music department at Sewanee to stock the school’s brand brought home from Charles’ collection revolve on the new media room. It’s comforting how much happiness can turntable, I think about music and full circles: the full come out of the sorrow of death when we stop and apprecircle of Catherine’s life; the full circle of Charles’ collec- ciate the music that emanates from spinning circles.



t was the late ’90s, and I walked to the front door of a home in northeast Jackson, a part of the city this south Jacksoner did not even know existed until that very moment. I went to pick up Catherine, who would eventually become my wife, from her parents’ home for our first date. I looked and dressed almost the same as I do now, with my LRG T-shirt and Dickies shorts replaced with a Wu-Wear T-shirt and wide-legged jeans. The infamous beard was still a few years away. As I walked in, I met Catherine’s father, Charles Moore. He was a tall, kind of goofy-bumbling-professor type who was nice to me, even though I was there to whisk his daughter away. We did not get much time to talk and get to know each other on this first meeting, as is to be expected given the circumstances. I learned a lot about Charles that day, however, when Catherine took me to the den saying, “You’ve got to check this out.” In the back of the house, an entire wall of thousands of vinyl records stared back at me, taunting me to cancel the date and get my fingers dusty. I went through with the date, knowing the records would be there for me later. I set up a second date with Catherine before we got in the car to go to the movies. As the years passed, and I got closer to Charles, I learned a lot about his collection. Charles inherited a good chunk of the collection from his uncle, “Big” Charles Harrison, who taught at Sewanee: the University of the South. Included in this lot was a classical music collection as immense as anything I have ever seen. The rest of the collec-

band members contributed to the arrangement and flow of the song. The experience solidified Grits and Soul as a band. “‘Flood Waters’ belongs to all of us,” Kline says. The intro to the song evokes the feeling of water building slowly to a flood state. Kline leads with swooping vocals, and the thundering string bass soon accompanies her. A slow trickling of the mandolin and guitar follows the vocals. All the sounds come together to form a flood of music in keeping with the song’s theme. “One thing I like is that the narrative of the song could be from the 1800s or it could be from today—it’s the same experience,” Looney says. While “Flood Waters” has a traditional folk vibe to it, Kline refers to their sound as “Americana” and “rootsbased.” The band tries to remain open to anything that inspires them. When performing, the group’s passion, energy and different personalities help them connect with their audience. “It’s all about the listeners and the crowd. It’s a big responsibility—we have your mind and your ears and your feelings,” Anderson said. Anna Kline and Grits & Soul have recently had their first recording session and released an EP this summer called “Flood Waters,” which will be available locally. Catch Grits and Soul starting at 8 p.m., Sept. 7, at Underground 119 (119 S. President St., 601-352-2322). For more information and to sample a tasty bit



lend tangy, honey-infused mandolin with a simmering string bass, and then add a double-layer of hot, finger-licking guitars. Jackson-based Anna Kline and the Grits and Soul Band satisfy a hunger for some good old-fashioned down-home music. Every tempting offering from Grits and Soul is seasoned with authentic southern spice and smothered in warm velvety vocals. Anna Kline, 35, is a longtime singer-songwriter originally from Hernando. She contributes most of the vocals for Grits and Soul and also plays guitar. She wrote all of the original songs that the band plays, although the group hopes to begin writing songs together in the near future. “It’s the thing that I’ve been doing the longest and that I genuinely enjoy, and I know that I’m me when I’m doing that,” Kline says of her songwriting. Jackson native Scott Anderson, 31, plays lead guitar for the group. He met Kline at a songwriters’ night at Hal & Mal’s last September, and the two have been performing together ever since. John Looney, 29, from Mt. Sterling, Ky., plays the mandolin and sings as well. Travis Pinkston, 26, rounds out the group’s sound with his string bass. He is the newest member of the band and hails from Alabama. The group recently received a lot of attention for their new song, “Flood Waters.” The flooding of the Mississippi River this spring inspired the song, and while Kline wrote both the song and the melody, all the

by Rebecca Wright


















The Amazinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Lazy Boi Band






Open for dinner Sat. 4-10pm Thursday

September 8




Friday September 9

Jack Oblivian

w/ Harlan T Bobo and The Limes Saturday

September 10

Old Warhorse

w/ Dim Locator Monday the band named boy MONDAY












Weekly Lunch Specials



214 S. STATE ST. â&#x20AC;¢ 601.354.9712



September 12

PUB QUIZ 2-for-1 Drafts Tuesday

September 13

Live Music 2-for-1 Beer Specials Highlife, Highlife Lite, PBR, Schlitz, Fatty Natty


September 14


Open Mon-Sat, Kitchen open Mon-Fri 11 am-10 pm & Sat 4-10 pm








Restaurant open as usual

THURSDAY 9/8 Restaurant Open As Usual


Wednesday, September 7th (Bluegrass) 8-11, No Cover Thursday, September 8th


Bell & Temperance (restaurant)

(Blues) 8-11, No Cover


Friday, September 9th

Vagabond Swing (red room) / Rhonda Richmond (restaurant)


DUFF DORROUGH & THE MOONBEAMS (Blues) 9-1, $10 Cover

Restaurant Open As Usual

Saturday, September 10th


(Funk) 9-1, $10 Cover

PUB QUIZ w/ Laura and Donovan (restaurant)


Tuesday, September 13th MS OPERA GOES UNDERGROUND!

Coming Soon SAT9.17: Dax Riggs (rr) TUE9.27: Ten out of Tenn (big)* SAT9.30:The 484 South Band (rr) FRI10.14: JJ Grey and MOFRO (big)* FRI10.21: Stagolee w/ JTran (rr)


Blue Plate Lunch with cornbread and tea or coffee



As well as the usual favorites! Seafood Gumbo, Reb Beans and Rice, Burgers, Fried Pickles, Onion Rings and Homemade Soups made daily.

$4.00 Happy Hour Well Drinks! September 7-13, 2011

visit for a full menu and concert schedule


MARYANN KYLE IN SONDHEIM IN THE CITY starts at 7:30pm, $15 Cover Tickets must be purchased at MS Opera Office

Wednesday, September 14th


(Acoustic Blues) 8-11, No Cover Thursday, September 15th


(Blues) 8-11, No Cover Friday, September 16th

JAREKUS SINGLETON (Blues) 9-1, $10 Cover


Saturday, September 17th

* Tickets available at

(Blues) 9-1, $10 Cover

200 S. Commerce St. Downtown Jackson, Mississippi


119 S. President Street 601.352.2322























Iron Doc Heads to Kona

THURSDAY, SEPT. 8 NFL Football, (NBC 7:3010:30 p.m.) the last two Super Bowl winners kick off the season as the New Orleans Saints (2010) travel to Lambeau Field to take on the defending champion Green Bay Packers. (Watch for tweets @jfpsports) FRIDAY, SEPT. 9 College Football, (ESPN 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.) conference realignment is the talk of college football and word is Missouri wants to join the SEC with Texas A&M. Check out the Tigers as they travel to Arizona State on a Friday night matchup. SATURDAY, SEPT. 10 College football, (WJTV 11 a.m.2:30 p.m.) Mississippi State travels to Auburn to take on the defending national champions. Auburn escaped Utah State while MSU rolled over Memphis. (Live chat all day long at SUNDAY, SEPT. 11 NFL Football, (NBC 7:1510:30 p.m.) twin brothers Rob and Rex Ryan face off for the second year in a row as the Dallas Cowboys open on the road against the New York Jets. MONDAY, SEPT. 12 NFL Football, (ESPN 6 p.m.12:30 a.m.) hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a doubleheader to start off your week. First up, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the New England Patriots at the Miami Dolphins, followed by the Oakland Raiders at the Denver Broncos. TUESDAY, SEPT. 13 Major League Baseball, (Fox Sports South 6-9 p.m.) Atlanta hosts Florida as the baseball season slowly comes to an end. WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 14 Major League Baseball, (FSS 11 a.m.-2 p.m.) Braves and Marlins tangle again in mid-day action. FUN FACT Teams profiled in the Jackson Free Press college football issue went 4-6 on opening weekend. Winning teams were Mississippi College, Mississippi State, Southern Miss and Jackson State. Follow Bryan Flynn at and @jfpsports.

Dr. Larkin Carter, shown in New Orleans, will be the first Mississippian to compete in both the Las Vegas and Kona Ironman Championship races.


merging from the water in the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas last May, Dr. Larkin Carter found himself 10 minutes off his normal pace. The 49-year-old, originally from Meridian, had struggled in his 2.4-mile swim. Carter, a radiologist at the Baptist Breast Health Center in Jackson, was competing against 325 athletes in his age group, all racing for one of seven spots in the Ironman World Championship triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, in October. Competing in his two best disciplines, the 112-mile bike ride and the 26.2-mile marathon, Carter slowly made up time and worked his way into contention. He ended finishing in eighth place for his age group, and due to an Iron Man rule that allows those already qualified for the world championship to pass their spot to the next entrant, his finishing time earned him a spot in Kona. In April 2011, Carter finished first in his age group at the Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans. That finish qualified him for the Iron Man 70.3 World Championship in Las Vegas in September 2011. No athlete from Mississippi had ever qualified for both the Las Vegas and Kona Iron Man events. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is exciting to be the first athlete from Mississippi to qualify for both the Las Vegas and Kona event,â&#x20AC;? Carter says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Only a few athletes (in the state) have qualified for Kona and none have qualified for Vegas.â&#x20AC;? A typical weekday begins at 5 a.m. so that Carter can get in an hour-and-a-half of workout time before he begins his regular job each day. From 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Carter works at his Baptist clinic trying to save lives. Carter has spent the last 18 years reading x-rays in mammography screenings. After work, he gets in another 40-minute workout. Weekends involve more workouts for Carter. He gets in about 100 miles on his bike and a two and half mile run. Carter also

frequents Courthouse Racquet and Fitness on Lakeland Drive to work on his swimming for Iron Man events. To bring attention to breast cancer awareness, the Baptist Breast Health Center sponsors him in his events, which is why he races with bright pink wheels. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is good for our state, and it is a chance to get young people involved in racingâ&#x20AC;? Carter says about getting the word out about the races. Since he started running and biking 10 years ago, Carter says he discovered he had a â&#x20AC;&#x153;talent for running and just did not know it.â&#x20AC;? Carter enjoyed the exercise and began training for Iron Man competitions three years ago. He gives credit to his older sisters Sara Ford and Beverly Grant, along with his wife, Cynthia, 48, and their childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;daughters Frances, 18, and Katie, 15, and son Drew, 20â&#x20AC;&#x201D;for helping him reach his goals. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This sport takes up a lot of time, and with 15 to 20 hours a week for training, you need a good support system,â&#x20AC;? he says. Carterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goals for the two big events are finishing in the top quarter of his age group in Vegas and in the top half of his group in Kona. He also hopes to break the 10.5-hour mark, his personal best to date, in Kona. More than winning, though, Carter says he hopes to enjoy the experience. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My most important goal is my hope to make Mississippi proud,â&#x20AC;? Carter says. More than 2,000 athletes will start the Kona race. Anyone who cannot make it to Nevada or Hawaii to cheer Carter on personally can follow his progress at for both the September race in Vegas and the October race in Kona.

JFP Top 25: Week 2



saturday Sept 10

Amazinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Lazy Boi Band 9:00pm | Live Band Inside Live DJ outside on the patio

saturday Sept 17

Mayweather vs. Ortiz PayPerView Boxing Fight Live DJ Heat

Sept 24 |Calico Panache

Happy hour

Mon - Sat | 2pm - 7pm 2 for 1 All Mixed Drinks


including Patron & all Top Shelf Liquors

$1 Off Draft & Wine and 50¢ Boneless Wings

1428 Old Square Road in Jackson 601.713.2700










































The NFL live chat starts this Sunday. Post your thoughts and read our in-depth break down of the action at jfpsports. com.


by Bryan Flynn

by Bryan Flynn


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September 7 - 13, 2011













by Pamela Hosey

Eslava’s Grille Seafood, Steaks and Pasta


ast summer was a season of new experiences for me. One experience that I now revisit almost every week is my encounter with Greek and Mediterranean foods. I had my first taste at the now-closed Jerusalem Café. I recall a friend asking me, “Are you bold?” and me saying, “Yeah, bring it on!” I had doubts, but I enjoyed every single bite, especially falafel. Since last summer, I have cut meat out of my diet and have embraced a vegetarian way of life. Luckily all my favorite Greek and Mediterranean spots have excellent options for us non-meaters. Aladdin Mediterranean Grill (730 Lakeland Drive, 601-366-6033; 163 Ridgeway, Suite E, Flowood, 601-992-7340). What I love about Aladdin is the cozy atmosphere, but don’t let that fool you; this place is lively. The signature vegetarian delight includes generous portions of hummus, falafel, dolmas (grape leaves filled with a mixture of rice, onions, currants, pine nuts, mint and spices, and then gently steamed) and baba ghanouj (a dip that is similar to hummus, but made with eggplant instead of chickpeas). While at Aladdin, I recommend indulging in their tiramisu. I don’t know if Aladdin’s coffee is stronger, or if its recipe is like no other, but its tiramisu is the best I have ever had. Wraps Restaurant (1220 E. Northside Drive, 601-366-2006). When I first walked in, the photos from Greece, catchy phrases on the walls, drawings and signs all mesmer-

Falafel, deep-fried patties made with chickpeas or garbanzo beans, are a Mediterrean veggie staple.

ized me. They even had a map of Greece. For a quick, delicious meal, try the vegetable gyro. The vegetables are diced and seasoned to perfection and served with Wraps signature tzatziki sauce. Did I mention that this gyro is priced under $5? Wraps sells its tzatziki sauce (made with yogurt and cucumbers—and not over garlicky) and any other fixings you may need to create your own feast at home. Keifer’s (705 Poplar Blvd., 601-3556825; 120 N. Congress St., 601-353-4976). I recommend the vegetarian option and a side of cottage fries with feta dip. I also liked Keifer’s Belhaven location and atmosphere. My son Chase, who came along, asked if it was Shrek’s house because of the hardwood flooring and the faux medieval windows and doors resembling the interior of the ogre’s swamp house. “Of course it is,” I told him. Chase kept looking for Shrek to walk in serving hummus. Mediterranean Fish and Grill (6550 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland, 601-9560082). The first thing I noticed was how cozy and romantic this restaurant is. With lace drapery, low lighting and smaller tables that mostly seat two, it’s ideal for a quiet lunch or date. If you eat fish (not me, I’m allergic) or if you’re dining with a fish-eater, this may be your best choice. The restaurant offers a huge selection of fish: grouper, mahi mahi, tilapia, tuna, salmon, and about six others. The unique thing is that you can have your choice of fish seared and added into a salad. I ordered

By popular demand, we have added Shrimp Scampi to our menu!

the falafel, hummus, and the Greek salad. The falafel were very large and served with extrathick tzatziki sauce. Vasilios Greek Cuisine (828 Highway 51, Madison, 601-853-0028). Vasilios offers the normal non-meat options on their menu, and they pride themselves on having the freshest produce. I have to agree. With many Jackson area restaurants being “bring your own (adult) beverages,” finding wine on the Vasilios menu was a nice treat. The kids’ menu is one of the best among the other Greek restaurants I tried. Along with a unique Greek pizza, Vasilios offer several non-Greek fares like hot dogs, hamburger and chicken strips for the youngsters. Kristos Greek Dining (971 Madison Ave., Madison, 601-605-2266). Meat eaters flock to the newest Greek restaurant in the area for its famous Greek meatballs. For my fellow vegetarians, I suggest the cran-chicken salad, without the chicken, of course. The salad is made with fresh lettuce, dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, glazed walnuts and feta cheese. Yum! Kristos also has wine and live entertainment. Petra Café (2741 Old Canton Road, 601-366-0161; 2902 Hardy Street, Suite 50, Hattiesburg, 601-268-8850). Petra has several choices for vegetarians. I recommend the breaded eggplant served with Grecian sauce. The falafel here is amazing, as is the vegetarian delight (sautéed zucchini, squash, onions and mushrooms on top of rice with feta cheese), and the spinach pie (spinach and cheese stuffed in a filo shell). I recommend visiting this restaurant Friday nights for live belly dancers during the Arabian Dance and Dinner Party. While I was there, I heard several guests rave about how great the hookah was (available on the patio) with its assortment of 32 tobacco flavors. Petra is the first Mediterranean restaurant in the Jackson metro area to offer a lunch buffet. The buffet is Monday through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. Petra Café also has a grocery store at their Hattiesburg location where you can purchase everything needed to prepare a Mediterranean dinner at home.

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

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

live music september 7 - 14

wed | sep 7 Jesse “Guitar” Smith 5:30-9:30p

thur | sept 8 Will & Linda 5:30-9:30p

fri | sept 9 DBL Shots

6:30 -10:30p

sat | sept 10 Chris Gill & the Soul Shakers 6:30-10:30p

sun | sept 11 Jason Turner 5:30-9:30p

mon | sept 12 Karaoke tue | sept 13 Jesse “Guitar“ Smith 5:30-9:30p

1060 E County Line Rd. in Ridgeland 601-899-0038 | Open Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-Midnight



voted best coffeeshop in jackson 2003-2010


My Mediterranean Veggie Life



%*/&+BDLTPO Paid listyour yourrestaurant.r restaurant.r Paid advertising advertising section. section. Call Call 601-362-6121 601-362-6121 x11 x1 totolist



11 a.m. - 2 p.m. A Metro-Area Tradition Since 1977

2003-2011, Best of Jackson

Lunch: Fri. & Sun. | 11am-2pm Dinner: Tues. -Sat. | 5pm-9pm

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

Thursday, Sept 8

Ladies Night

Ladies drink free until midnight well drinks only Guys drink 2-4-1 well drinks and domestic beer until 10:00

Friday & Saturday, Sept 9 & 10

707 N Congress St., Jackson | 601-353-1180 Open 11am-2pm, Sunday thru Friday

Now Open Early

Wed.-Sat | 8:00 | Full Kitchen Two Shows Fri & Sat

This Weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Music September 7

Doug Frankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Blues Jam

BRAVO! (4500 Interstate 55 N., Jackson, 601-982-8111) Wood-fired pizzas, vegetarian fare, plus creative pastas, beef, and seafood specials. Award-winning wine list, Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s see-and-be-seen casual/upscale dining. Ceramiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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! Fratesiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (910 Lake Harbour, Ridgeland, 601-956-2929) â&#x20AC;&#x153;Authentic, homey, unpretentiousâ&#x20AC;? thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how the regulars describe Fratesiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, a staple in Jackson for years, offering great Italian favorites with loving care. The tiramisu is a must-have! Crabâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (6954 Old Canton Rd., Ridgeland, 601-956-5040) Crabâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Seafood Shack offers a wide variety of southern favorites such as fried catfish and boiled shrimp. Full bar complete with multiple televisions for all of your favorite sporting events. Eslavaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Grille (2481 Lakeland Drive, 601-932-4070) Danny Eslavaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s namesake feature Latin-influenced dishes like ceviche in addition to pastas, steaks, salads and other signature seafood dishes. Rockyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (1046 Warrington Road, Vicksburg 601-634-0100) Enjoy choice steaks, fresh seafood, great salads, hearty sandwiches and much more in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;polished casualâ&#x20AC;? dining room. Open 24/7 in the Riverwalk Casino.

5:00-10:00 pm

Amazinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Lazy Boi Band

The Bailey Bros 11:00 - until

September 10 Norman Clark 8:00 - 11:00pm

Norman Clark & Smokestack Lightning 11:00pm

Live Music During Lunchâ&#x20AC;˘OPEN LATE - SECURITY PROVIDEDâ&#x20AC;˘NO COVER UNTIL Midnight $10 Cover after midnight



September 7 - 13, 2011


September 8 Jujuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Drum Circle

8:00 - 11:00pm


The Pizza Shack (1220 N State St. 601-352-2001) 2009 and 2010 and 2011â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s winner of Best Pizza offers the perfect pizza-and-a-beer joint. Creative pizza options abound along with sandwiches, wings, salads and even BBQ. Sal & Mookieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (565 Taylor St. 601-368-1919) Pizzas of all kinds plus pasta, eggplant parmesan and the fried ravioli. Best Kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Menu & Best Ice Cream in the 2011 Best of Jackson. Plus, Pi(e) Lounge in front offers great drinks..


September 9 Jason Bailey

6107 Ridgewood Rd Jackson, Ms




Hip Kitty

Hickory Pit Barbeque (1491 Canton Mart Rd. 601-956-7079) The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Butts in Townâ&#x20AC;? features BBQ chicken, beef and pork sandwiches along with burgers and poâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;boys. Haute Pig (1856 Main Street, 601-853-8538) A â&#x20AC;&#x153;very high class pig stand,â&#x20AC;? Haute Pig offers Madison diners BBQ plates, sandwiches, po-boys, salads, and their famous Hershey bar pie. Lumpkins BBQ (182 Raymond Rd. Jackson 866-906-0942) Specializing in smoked barbeque, Lumpkinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offers all your favorites for on-site family dining or for catered events, including reunions, office events, annivesaries, weddings and more.





Petra CafĂŠ (2741 Old Canton Road, 601-925-0016) Mediterranean and Lebanese Cuisine. Everything from Stuffed Grape Leaves, to Spinach Pie, Shrimp Kabobs, Greek Salads, Hummus and more. Now Open in Fondren! 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. Vasilios (828 Hwy 51 in Madison 601-853-0028) 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.


Cups Espresso CafĂŠ (Multiple Locations, Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s local group of coffeehouses offer high-end Arabica beans, a wide variety of espresso drinks. Wi-fi.


Hal and Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blackboard special. Best of Jackson winner for Live Music Venue for multiple years running. Burgers and Blues (1060 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland 601-899-0038) Al Stamps (of Cool Alâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fame) does it again with his signature approach to burgers, chicken, wraps, seasoned fries and so much more. Plus live music and entertainment!

Paid advertising section.


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 Best of Jackson fixture, Cool Al’s signature stacked, messy, decadent, creative burgers defy adjectives. And don’t forget the fries! 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. Stamps Superburgers (1801 Dalton Street 601-352-4555) Huge burgers will keep you full until the next day! The homestyle fries are always fresh. Last Call (3716 I-55 N. Frontage Road 601-713-2700) Burgers, sandwiches and po-boys, plus sports-bar appetizers and specialities. 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! 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. 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, Wing Stop wings are made with care and served up piping hot. Every order is made fresh to order; check out the fresh cut seasoned fries! Wing Station (5038 Parkway Drive Suite 8, 888-769-9464) Home of the famous Janky Wings. Wing Station has an array of wings including Lemon Pepper, Honey BBQ and Blazin Bird Atomic. Delivery is available.


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. Fusion Japanese and Thai Cuisine (1002 Treetop Blvd, Flowood 601-664-7588) Specializing in fresh Japanese and Thai cuisine, Fusion has an extensive menu featuring everything from curries to fresh sushi.

Daily Lunch Specials - $9

5A44 FX5X

$9 Daily Lunch Specials Happy Hour Everyday 4p-7p

Late Night Happy Hour Sun - Thur, 10p - 12a

Mu s i c L i s t i n g s SEP 7 | Daniel Tate 9:30p SEP 8 | Shaun Patterson 9:30p SEP 9 | LuckenBach 9:30p SEP 10 | Storage 24 9:30p SEP 13 | Open Mic w/ Kenny Davis & Brandon Latham 9p


6270 Old Canton Rd. Jackson, MS 39211


Super Card 4654 McWillie Dr., Jackson|Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 10AM-9PM Friday & Saturday 10AM-12AM, Sunday 11AM-5PM

Voted One of the Best Italian Restaurants Best of Jackson 2011

910 Lake Harbour Dr. Ridgeland 601-956-2929 Monday - Saturday 5 - until

6954 Old Canton Rd. Ridgeland, MS

601-956-5040 Open daily 11 am-2 pm and 5-10 pm for dinner

All You Can Eat

CRAB LEGS DINNER 5p.m.-Close Tues-Thurs


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 four homemade desserts. Lunch only. Mon-Friday, Sun.


Try The

(a very high-class pig stand)


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.

Come Try the Best Bar-B-Que In Madison 856 Main Street • Madison, MS • 601.853.8538

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 and dessert. Primos Cafe (2323 Lakeland 601-936-3398/ 515 Lake Harbour 601-898-3400) A Jackson institution featuring a full breakfast, 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. Beagle Bagel (4500 I-55 North, Suite 145, Highland Village 769-251-1892) Fresh bagels in tons of different styles with a variety of toppings including cream cheese, lox, eggs, cheese, meats and or as full sandwiches for lunch. Paninis, wraps and much more!



September 7-13, 2011


read more Body&Soul stories and the blog at


by Jason Huang • Fresh Seafood Daily

The Aging Brain


n aging brain can be frightening. Many of us fear succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease or yielding to dementia. Dr. Alexander P. Auchus sheds some light on the matter. Auchus, 52, is the McCafty Chair of Neurology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He was elected to the American Neurological Association in July. Not only is he an expert neurologist, but he is also the only certified physician with his specialty, geriatric neurology, in the South. Is there anything a person can do to not be affected by a loss of brain function? Well, the easiest is don’t get older, but most people don’t want to hear that answer. Aging in a healthy fashion is kind of your question as opposed to having the brain age in a fashion susceptible to various diseases. Two biggest diseases that are important to take away from cognitive function are Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. Alzheimer’s for sure is related to aging. Most people will not show any signs of Alzheimer’s. Most cases of

What are some ways of maintaining good mental health? Exercise, normal body weight, management of those risk factors and then engaging the brain. Especially during your middle-age years, doing mentally challenging things, whether it’s your occupation, whether it’s your hobby, reading, another language, discussions of current events, social interactions—all of those things that keep us from being couch po-

Jesse Gallagher Griff Howard Lori Carpenter Scroggins Ginger Rankin Brock Freeman NOW A PAUL MITCHELL SIGNATURE SALON.

775 Lake Harbour Drive #H in Ridgeland 601.856.4330 | fax: 601.856.4505

tatoes and instead engage us in the world and in one another are important for normal brain function. You can help reinforce the brain’s connections and normal functions through these kind of activities so that if something like Alzheimer’s disease happens when you’re 70 or if something like stroke happens, your brain will be in a better state to absorb that insult. ... A weaker brain might default and fail and the patient (will) become demented quicker than a stronger brain. What are some alternative ways of doing regular things that can boost brain power? Engaging socially and reading (and) music—playing and listening. Remember, heart healthy is brain healthy. Not too much red meat and a variety of food groups. Eat a rainbow. That applies to brain health, meaning you like to see colors on your plate. Some green items, some blue items, some red items and not just southern-fried brown. Brown’s not in the rainbow. All those kind of things that seem like what your mother would tell you are actually true. What are some ways those with dementia or brain disease can cope with it? Once dementia is present, it is difficult to reverse. Prevention of dementia is probably a better public-health strategy than to reverse dementia. Very few dementias can actually be completely turned around, but it can still be managed and improved in certain respects. In Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to simplify the environment. Keeping a relatively consistent environment and daily routine helps (patients) to cope, and it doesn’t challenge them with new information and new environment and changes that would be tricky. … There are medicines to help Alzheimer’s disease, too. They don’t cure the illness, but they help change the brain’s chemistry to help it be closer to normal. The patient can often remember better and function better when they’re taking the medicines.

M-F -, - S - C A

.. |  H M

Revealing Heaven On Earth 8:30 a.m. A Service of Word and Table 9:30 a.m. Sunday School for all ages 11:00 a.m. Worship Service Live Streaming at Televised on WAPT Children’s Church Ages 4-Kindegarten Nursery Available Ages 6 weeks-3 years

305 North Congress Street Jackson, MS 601-353-9691 English 601-362-3464 Spanish


Dr. Alexander P. Auchus is the only certified geriatric neurologist in the south.

Alzheimer’s are over the age of 65. There are very few that are under age of 65, although it is possible. About every five years past the age of 65, the incidence starts to double. So it doesn’t linearly increase with age, but exponentially increases with age, doubling every five year period after the age of 65. By the time you’re in the 85-year-old category, close to half of people will start showing signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. … Think you’re not as quick as you used to be? That’s not necessarily abnormal, that’s just part of the aging brain. But when you do start having an inability to function in the real world, needing other people to help you with basic functions, and you can’t really be independent anymore because your thinking has gotten bad—now we start calling that dementia. ... Stroke is an area of injury to the brain usually because one of the arteries feeding the brain got blocked. The blood to that portion of the brain is stopped because of blockage, that’s called an ischemic stroke. There’s also a hemorrhage stroke where the brain vessel actually breaks and bleeding occurs. … If you’ve got high blood pressure, there are very effective ways of lowering high blood pressure: diet, exercise and weight loss and medications. If you follow through with your treatments of high blood pressure, you will reduce your chance of stroke greatly. And you will reduce your chance of dementia as an after-affect of multiple strokes. Other risk factors are controlling diabetes, cigarette use— give up tobacco—and high cholesterol.



! by Julie Skipper


In Weekly

398 Hwy. 51 • Ridgeland, MS (601) 853-3299 •



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September 7 - 13, 2011



601-607-7741 •

215 West Jackson Street • Ridgeland, MS


ometimes it’s nice to get away and indulge yourself. I tend to joke that living and working downtown, where I walk everywhere, makes driving to the suburbs feel like a trip to a whole other country. I decided to make an excursion of sorts out of the experience and do some pampering to get ready for fall. You can’t pamper yourself without a spa, and nestled on Jackson Street in Ridgeland is just the spot—Body Anew Medical Spa (113 W. Jackson St., Suite 1-A, Ridgeland, 601-605-0452). The facility offers a range of treatments ranging from facials, peels, microdermabrasion and injectables, to laser hair removal, waxing and weight management. As my friend Eddie Outlaw frequently declares, finding oneself a Youth Fairy is important—and after a visit, I think I’ve found mine. Aesthetician Ryan Hodges started with a deep cleansing and detox treatment Maggie Middleton finds the perfect jeans, facial, including steam with aromatherapy. boots and a colorful top for fall at Red Square. She followed that with a fruit-enzyme treatment and lactic-acid peel. Finally, she the perfect jean, and expertly suggest tops applied a soy mask, rejuvenating cucumber you’ll love so you leave with pieces you’ll and caffeine eye treatment, and some vita- wear again and again. min serums (all comped for this column). For instance, while Jill quickly deterHodges really knows what she’s do- mined that preppy Maggie needed jeans, ing and loves making people feel good printed tops and belted dresses for Grovabout themselves, and it shows. My skin ing (Ole Miss tailgating), she knew just felt awesome afterward, and I can’t wait to the poncho, skinny jeans and sequined go back for more. The lactic-acid peel was pants (yes, that’s a solid investment in my genius—really gentle (I could wear make- world) for me. They keep the experience up right away), and I’m pretty sure that laid-back and honest, never pushing anydone regularly, it may stave off the Bo- thing on the customer. As a result, phrases tox until I reach full-blown like “I want to marry these cougar age. boots” and “I’m obsessed With my skin glowing, with this top” kept falling the next step was wardrobe. from Maggie’s and my lips. Enlisting my friend Maggie The best part? If you call Middleton as an accomplice, and make an appointment I headed to Red Square to shop (not required, but I Clothing (1000 Highland do suggest it), you’ll get wine Colony Parkway, Suite 9004, and a gift card in addition Ridgeland, 601-853-8960). to their mad styling skills. This locally owned shop is What’s better? one of my new favorites. An afternoon of shopOriginally a men’s clothing ping works up an appetite, store, it recently expanded its so to wrap things up, Maggie offerings to women. It stays and I headed to Ruth’s true to its focus—denim and Did I need to try on Chris Steak House (1000 things that look good with the sequin pants? Of Highland Colony Parkway, denim—and whether you’re course I did! Ridgeland, 601-853-2734). a guy or a gal, it’s definitely The bartender guided us worth checking out. through the wine list and Someone once said that clothes make recommended something that was perfect the man, but at Red Square, the staff for each of us. And the crab cakes were makes the clothes even better. Owner pretty perfect, too. Miles Harris and associate Jill Matheny As you anticipate that first crisp note make shopping an absolute pleasure. They of fall in the air, I hope you take time to will quickly pinpoint your style, find you take care of yourself, inside and out. JULIE SKIPPER


Pampering the Self JULIE SKIPPER

Plato’s Closet in Ridgeland has tons of gently used brand name jeans, tees, tanks, hoodies and shoes to fill your closet at up 70% off regular retail. Don’t forget - we pay $$$ on the spot for your gently used apparel and accessories - Check us out today!

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