Stories for June 2011


Thursday, June 30

2011 Chicks We Love Announced: Honor Them at Chick-A-BOOM Reception at JFP Chick Ball!

Every year, the Jackson Free Press honors a slate of fabulous Jackson-area women who are making a difference in our community and who are just plain lovable. Last year, the JFP and BOOM Jackson joined with the Center for Violence Prevention to start honoring them at the JFP Chick Ball every summer. The Chick-A-BOOM VIP reception at the Chick Ball gives these amazing women the spotlight they deserve and gives the people who love them, too, the opportunity to honor them while helping raise money to fight domestic abuse in and around Jackson (this year's proceeds help fund nearby rural programs and assistance).

JPD To Buy License Plate Readers

The Jackson Police Department is purchasing an automatic license plate reader for the four major police precincts this year. The Jackson City Council approved the $76,978 purchase Tuesday, after learning that a Department of Justice COPS Technology Grant is supplying the one-time money for the purchase.

Jessica Bryant

Jessica Bryant, branch supervisor at the Fannie Lou Hamer Library in the Golden Keys Activity Center, really enjoys working with kids.

‘Men of Character' Live Auction to Debut at JFP Chick Ball on July 9

Here are the "Men of Character":

In addition to the best and most chic silent auction around, the 7th Annual JFP Chick Ball will feature a live auction of Jackson "Men of Character" at the fundraising event July 9 at Hal & Mal's in downtown Jackson. Bring your checkbooks and credit cards and bid on the following fabulous men, who will in turn, uh, perform services they are best known for on behalf of the winning bidders (get your mind out of the gutter; their "services" are listed after their names!). Professional auctioneeress Christine Whitton of Clinton will auction the "Men of Character" starting at 7:55 p.m. in the Red Room, right before the other awards. All auction proceeds will benefit the Center for Violence Prevention and help stop domestic abuse in central Mississippi. This year's money is dedicated to stopping domestic abuse in rural counties around Jackson.

Edwards Signs Off

Even though the Jackson Public Schools Board has not decided on the fate of Superintendent Lonnie Edwards, Edwards said his goodbyes yesterday to the school district.

Wednesday, June 29

Eating Streets

After a brief first listen, you may think you are hearing just another punk band. The Street Eaters, though, prove to be more than a three-chord angst fest. Comprised only of drummer-vocalist Megan March and bassist-vocalist John Mink, you have to stop and ask yourself, "Wait—there's only two of them? Don't I hear a guitar?"

The Search is Over

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, June 21, the normally "reserved and nonchalant" Jason "PyInfamous" Thompson was concerned and nervous. The Jackson MC had just put the last 10 days of his life into relentlessly pursuing a specific goal with only one desired outcome: winning the Coors Light "Search for the Coldest MC" contest.

No-Meat Grilling

This year, it is my turn to host my family's annual Fourth of July cookout, and it will be different. No beef, pork or chicken will sizzle on my grill because my New Year's resolution was to cut meat from my and my kids' diets. That resolution caused me to drop 55 pounds already! So now, I am pleased and motivated to continue my vegetarian lifestyle.

Getting Kids to Eat Healthy

As a single parent, I know how easy it is to swing by a drive-through instead of preparing dinner after an exhausting day at work. We all know that kids beg for hamburgers, chicken nuggets, French fries and sodas. They can throw temper tantrums when they don't get what they want.

Keep Kids Safe in the Water

The American Red Cross says drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14. It is vital to always supervise your children while around or in water. Though swimming is fun and beneficial, it can be dangerous unless you take the proper precautions.

Swimsuit Season or Not?

Most retailers consider July to be the end of the season for swimwear. I, however, firmly believe that they are more "in" now than ever. When the temps reach 100 degrees daily, of course girls are still busting out their bikinis! Here's a tip: Take advantage of the retail swimsuit season and score a new one from the sale rack.

Street Talk

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, what does freedom mean to you?

Celebrate Independence

Looking for something festive? Then click on, dear reader, and find something to bring out your party mood.

Dancin' Fools

"Just dance." Say what you will about her, but Lady Gaga knows what she's talking about. Sometimes dancing is exactly what you need to do after a long week, and this past weekend it was what some fellow downtowners and I had on our minds. We also knew just where to go in the neighborhood Friday night to get the job done.

Why We Do It

In just the past week or so, I've become a bit obsessed with the question of "Why?"

Straight Shooter: Hudson Holliday

Pearl River County Supervisor Hudson Holliday is not the kind of guy to shy away from questions. At times, his frank opinions surprise reporters who are more accustomed to politicians versed in the art of question-dodging.

Republican Candidates Part Ways

Three Republican gubernatorial candidates took different views of taxes and education this weekend at a Mississippi Tea Party-sponsored debate at Northwest Rankin High School.

Teachers: No More Social Media

A new Mississippi ethics policy for teachers raises questions about student-teacher relationships in the digital age. The policy prevents teachers from directly communicating with students through social media websites and text messaging.

It's All Slipping From Reach

The Clarion-Ledger is hiring a human-resources professional, the Gannett Co. website announced June 1. A cynical observer might assume this is an easy H.R. job, as it calls for someone to "coordinate recruitment and retention initiatives, training opportunities and maintain effective employee relations."

Ledger: Never Say RIFs Again

Here at the Jackson Free Press, which has been blessed to grow steadily during the economic downtown, we were saddened to watch The Clarion-Ledger's latest round of layoffs. We feel bad for the demoralized and unemployed that the Gannett Corp. coldly leaves in its wake in its effort to increase "shareholder value."

[Stiggers] Need a Job?

Despite a troubled economy, rising unemployment, inflated food prices, governors eliminating school lunch programs and the continuing illegal immigration issue, people still purchase food at local supermarkets and eat at favorite restaurants.

[Pendleton] Mixed in Mississippi

In 1995, my family uprooted from my familiar New England beaches and replanted in the Deep South. My father, a Jackson native, wanted to live closer to his family and show his northern-born children his old stomping grounds.

Tease photo

Gulf Coast Syndrome

One year after the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and ensuing BP oil disaster, Gulf Coast communities blame oil exposure and dispersants for health problems they say threaten their lives.

HCR Insurance Mandate Upheld By Appeals Court

This is, of course, not the last legal challenge that Health Care Reform will face, but the law signed by President Obama in 2010 has had its insurance requirement upheld as constitutional by the Sixth U.S. Court of Appeals, according to the L.A. Times.

[Column] Real Patriots Pay Taxes

Some of our nation's biggest corporations are planning a tax holiday and they want you to pick up the tab.

JPS Admits Handcuffing Kids for Hours

Read the complaint and the JPS response. Also, read our previous story.

City Not Ready To Finalize Hotel Plans

A Mississippi Business Journal article reporting that the city of Jackson is "set to bet" $40 million from its general fund to own half of the long-proposed convention center hotel is misleading, city spokesman Chris Mims says.

Graham: Investigation is Political

Adam Lynch

Sara Murphy

Like David fighting Goliath, Sara Murphy is attempting to slay a monster: Alzheimer's disease. Murphy, 30, is the outreach coordinator for the Alzheimer's Association Mississippi Chapter, an organization working to raise awareness and help victims of the disease.

Council Approves Zoo Debt Restructuring

The Jackson City Council grudgingly approved a loan guarantee for the Jackson Zoo last night, even though some council members called for the city to take ownership of the zoo.

Vicksburg: The River and The Civil War

As I pulled into Navy Circle in Vicksburg, my passengers, two female French engineering students, spoke politely and hesitantly in English. When the Mississippi River first came into view, their speech turned to a shrill, rapid-fire French. They scrambled for cameras and attempted to open the car doors while the car was still moving. All the while, their French was getting louder and more excitable.

How young is too young for a "senior moment"?

Just now, I tried to stick my dry erase marker in the pencil sharpener. Yesterday, I went to get a partial refund on an item I had a coupon for, and I drove to the wrong store. I'm in my mid-30s, so I'm starting to wonder what's going on with this gray matter of mine. Maybe I have too much on my mind, or maybe I should focus on my organization skills. I don't know - all I know is that this is getting ridiculous. Got any tips for me out there? Also, share your stories of things you've done that made you question how "sharp" you really are.

Tuesday, June 28

City Plans Major Street Projects

Residents near Fortification Street will see construction crews breaking ground next week in preparation for a dramatic renovation.

Jayne Sargent

Last night, the Jackson Public School Board voted to name Jayne Sargent the district's interim superintendent.

McDade's Remodels Fondren Store; DJP Expands ‘Courtesy'

McDade's Market will begin a major renovation of its Fondren grocery store in July.

JPS Names New Superintendent; Approves Budget

Jackson Public Schools Board members voted to name former superintendent Jayne Sargent as the district's interim superintendent last night. The district also adopted a budget for the 2011-2010 fiscal year.

Monday, June 27

Candidates Reveal Differences at Debate

Three Republican Party gubernatorial candidates leaned heavy right on social issues, but differed slightly on some money matters at a Flowood debate sponsored by the Mississippi Tea Party.

County Attorney looks to investigate UMMC's pig use

Read our previous stories on the UMMC pig issue from Jan. 24 and Jan. 26.

Commander Jesse Robinson

With help from the community, newly appointed Jackson Police Department Precinct 1 Commander Jesse Robinson hopes to improve the quality of life for residents. Robinson, who served as Precinct 1 commander since 2009, entered his new position June 17. He replaces Donald Gater, who will now serve in the department's operations division.

Science Museum Launches Early Childhood Initiative

The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science will implement a new early child initiative over the next three years, the museum announced last week.

Community Events and Public Meetings

2 p.m., Storytelling with Autumn MorningStar, at Ridgeland Public Library (397 Highway 51, Ridgeland). MorningStar is a Native American magician and storyteller. Free; call 601-856-4536.

Friday, June 24

A Week of Layoffs

Dozens of Mississippians lost their jobs this week in layers of irony. Mississippi Department of Employment—the agency that helps people who get fired or laid off—said Wednesday that it will lay off 40 employees at the end of July. The day before, Gannett Co. Inc. laid off 10 Clarion-Ledger employees, several media blogs reported, part of the 700-plus job cuts the corporation made this week nationwide.

State Tackles Metro TB Cases

Speaking at a community forum this morning, Mississippi Department of Health nurse Ann Jackson said that the state needs help from community members to address a high number tuberculosis cases in the Jackson metro, adding that African Americans account for two thirds of all TB cases in Hinds County.

Simeyon Butler

"You can be a smart person, but if you're not able to communicate effectively, it's a waste of time," Simeyon Butler says.

It's the Weekend!

For a taste of Broadway, see Leading Ladies: A Night of Nostalgia Friday and Saturday at Brent's Diner and Soda Fountain (655 Duling Ave.) presented by Fondren Theatre Workshop. The dinner theater begins at 7 p.m. each night with a meal by Brent's and a cash bar. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. with tunes from Broadway and movie musicals performed by women who have appeared in past local theater productions. Tickets are $25 with proceeds to benefit CONTACT the Crisis Line. Seating is limited; call 601-982-2217 for information or tickets. For more things to do this weekend, check out the JFP Events Calendar or Best Bets.

Thursday, June 23

JRA Offers Civil-Rights Museum Site; Approves Capitol Green

CORRECTION: Jackson Free Press reporter Adam Lynch wrongfully stated that the Jackson Redevelopment Authority is offering a potential site for the future Mississippi Civil Rights Museum to the Department of Finance for free. While the JRA is definitely offering the property for DFA use, JRA Executive Director Jason Brookins said the quasi-government entity is only offering the property at a "fair" undisclosed price. We regret the misinformation.

Dorothy Triplett

Dorothy Triplett is driven to help people in any way she possibly can. She believes that sometimes the best assistance anyone can give is objectivity and a listening ear.

Musical Line-Up Announced for 2011 JFP Chick Ball - July 9

Chick Ball Main Stage - Red Room, 6 to midnight

The musical/performance line-up for this year's JFP Chick Ball on July 9 at Hal & Mal's will be as follows:

JSU Gets $30,000 Grant for Computer Recycling

A computer recycling program will continue for another year at Jackson State University with a $30,000 grant.

ALERT: Watch Out for This Email Scam

Since I have received this email twice already, I figure that I'd better warn others about it before someone loses a lot of money. Email accounts are being compromised so that this message can be sent:

Wednesday, June 22

Sit Down and Do It

From the moment the modern composer pulled up in his little red truck wearing jeans and tennis shoes, to the final moments of conversation in Cups Espresso Café in Clinton, James Sclater exuded approachable, down-to-earth warmth.

A Rocker's Lament

I received a Facebook message the other day from a guy I'll call Rocker99. His letter was pretty critical, citing he never sees me at any shows in Jackson, or any of his band's shows, for that matter, as well as many other expressive forms of criticism.

Mindful Spirit Expo

Intuitive Encounters, an organization whose motto is, "loving your whole self," will host the Mindful Spirit Expo in Jackson June 25.

Love and Hate

Golf is the one sport I have a love-hate relationship with. If you have never played golf, I will try to put that in perspective for you. Golf is like the ex-girlfriend that got away. You learn she is back in town, and all you can remember is the good times you had together. Those wonderful memories make you want to start the doomed relationship all over again.

Just Cookin' With Justin Cook

Justin Cook, of Jackson-based rock band Mr. Kid and the Brothers Fox, has a mean bass face on the stage. Off stage, he loves to cook great food.

Cooking With Love

When it comes to soul food, home-style and country cooking, Jackson has a corner on the market. You're never more than a stone's throw from a plate of fresh vegetables and lovingly cooked mains. Nowhere is that more true than on Terry Road. Under a faded, colorful, sign sits Collins Dream Kitchen (1439 Terry Road, 601-353-3845).

The Tribal Trend

Fashion watchers spotted Ikats and Aztecs all over the Spring/Summer 2011 runways, and Jackson has definitely caught on to this tribal trend. A little bit boho, a little bit south-of-the-border, you should certainly work these easy-to-wear pieces into your summer look.

Advice for aspiring Jackson musicians

My music isn't the kind people go to listen to at happy hour after a long day of work. I totally understand that at 5 p.m., people just want to have a good time and not listen to three hours of my songs about mean girls, sexual abuse and dysfunctional families. However, Jackson doesn't have a lot of opportunity for music that isn't as "safe" as the typical bar music. So you better learn some good covers. But learn them in a way that you would play them if you had written them yourself. And learn to play the blues. You'll always get a gig if you can play the blues.

Microcosm of an Industry

The Be-Bop sign still hangs prominently in Maywood Mart, but the shelves inside are empty. Be-Bop Record Shop was once the largest record store chain in Mississippi, but the last Be-Bop location, in Maywood Mart, closed in April.

Lyrics of the Spirit

Looking for ways to uplift your spirit and stir your soul this summer? Check out these upcoming Christian music concerts at local and nearby venues.

Artists To Watch

Mississippi has a lot of talent, especially music. With that talent, there is a broad range of music to enjoy and listen to. Here are a few new and upcoming artists that should be on your radar. Read on, and give your ears a listen.

Music Lessons

Regardless of age, skill level, playing style or instrument preference, a number of places in the Jackson area are ready and able to meet your music lesson needs.

UPDATED: Chick Ball Donations Piling Up; Here's Who Has Donated So Far ...

With the JFP Chick Ball less than three weeks away and the deadline to make the big Chick Ball gift/silent auction guide (in the July 6 issue of JFP), the donations are arriving fast and furious at the JFP offices. Here is a list of the donations and donors we have logged to date; we will update between now and Chick Ball (if you don't see your name and you've donated, email [e-mail missing] to make sure you get due credit).

Vow to the Music

Harold Camping and his followers used the gay pride movement as a sign the world was ending last month. One week later, the closing of Be-Bop Record Shop supposedly marked the end of the music industry as we know it for some other people. Apparently, there are no more places to buy local CDs and mingle with the city's other music connoisseurs.

Opportunities Aplenty

On a recent Friday afternoon at the Opportunity Center at 845 Amite St. in downtown Jackson, most of the clients were in the midst of their afternoon siesta. One gentleman in the corner meticulously folded his khaki pants, taking great pains to get the creases perfectly straight and even. All the while he hummed the tune to Ray Charles' "I've Got a Woman."

Still Waiting

Marriage might be far away from most teenagers' minds, especially as they relish freedom from teachers and textbooks this summer. But waiting until then to engage in sexual activity was the message more than 40 teenagers heard during an abstinence rally earlier this month.

Minor to Appeal Convictions

Attorneys for convicted lawyer Paul Minor are planning their next move now that U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate finally re-sentenced Minor and former judges John Whitfield and Walter "Wes" Teel. Wingate re-sentenced the three June 13, 18 months after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed some convictions in an alleged loan scheme in December 2009.

The Choice to Leave

Guatemalan native Osiel Mendez sought asylum when he entered the United States in 2005, five years before his wife and two sons were able to cross the Mexican-American border to join him. He received asylum in 2008.

To Be a Music City, Support Musicians

Who will step up in the public and private sectors to really make Jackson into the music city we should and can be? We believe; do you?

[Stiggers] ‘Beg-O-Nomics 101'

"Avoid the hassle of borrowing money, serving prison time and looking for employment. Learn the art of gaining capital through Beg-O-Nomics. If the bankers, CEOs and private corporations can do it, so can you."

[Kamikaze] The Propaganda Machine

Let me explain the difference between Eric Bolling and Jon Stewart. One guy is on a fake news show on Comedy Central. The other is on a real news network where they are supposed to deliver (ahem) real news. Deliver a well-placed joke on one network, and we laugh. Make an ill-timed one on another, and you may find yourself in hot water.

[Lee] The Musical Bridge

Hip-hop has a firm connection to all African American music forms, going back to the pre-American, African traditions.

Tease photo

Keeping The Music Alive

Even professional musicians constantly learn, adapt and experiment. Recently, the band French Camp from Brooklyn, N.Y., spent two weeks in Jackson to record at Byron Knight's private studio. Knight knew the guys in the band, and the band knew his studio offers both digital and analog recording. They came for the analog experience, which Knight said offers better sound quality.

Mojo On My Mind

Everyone is probably familiar with Mississippi's historical role in the creation of blues, rock 'n' roll and country music. Without that incredible history, "American Idol" would be limited to contestants who excel at classical music and ethereal folk songs.

Whitwell Alters Gated Proposal

Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell is scaling back his citywide gated-community proposal to a single neighborhood on County Line Road to increase its chances before the Jackson City Council and the mayor's office.

Are Bonds for Municipal Projects Bad?

Last week, Republican lieutenant governor candidate Tate Reeves (the current state treasurer) refused to pull a campaign ad that his Republican political op-ponent described as misleading.

Eric Wassilak

Eric Wassilak wears all the hats at Fondren Guitars, a business that serves as a hub for local musicians to buy, play, learn and repair their equipment. He's store manager, handles sales and repairs, schedules lessons for 150 guitar students and heads the store's eBay business. Owner Patrick Harkins calls him the "master of shipping," handling all of the store's international business.

Picking the Right Pick

John Looney bounced a synthetic Dunlop Gator Grip guitar pick on a table at Hal & Mal's. He was in between sets playing the mandolin with Anna Kline and The Grits & Soul Band, so he didn't have much time for this demonstration.

Families Speak About JPS Handcuffing

Speaking to Jackson Public Schools board members last night, Jacqueline Willis called for the district to improve conditions at its alternative school and stop handcuffing students.

Tuesday, June 21

PyInfamous Wins ‘Coldest MC' in Nation

Watch PyInfamous perform June 24 at Forever Friday at Suite 106.

Jason "PyInfamous" Thompson, 29, has won the national Coors Light's "Search for the Coldest MC" contest. He was one of four regional finalists.

Win a HUGE Trophy! Take the Chick Ball Challenge Through July 6. Here's How ...


JACKSON, MISS. – Jackson-area schools, colleges, churches, civic organizations, businesses and neighborhoods are called to unite in a friendly rivalry to put an end to domestic violence in Mississippi as part of the Chick Ball Challenge.

FBI Celebrates Civil-Rights Heroes

The federal government recognized the sacrifice of three civil-rights workers today at the naming of the new Federal Bureau of Investigation building on Echelon Parkway.

Strip Mall Nixed; Biz District Applauded

The Jackson City Council planning committee refused to approve a new strip mall in south Jackson yesterday.

Rev. Otis Moss III

Rev. Otis Moss III, senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ of Chicago, visits Tougaloo College to speak to teenage girls this week.

Deadline Nearing for Tornado Assistance

Victims of tornadoes that damaged the state April 15 through April 28 have less than a week left to register for emergency assistance.

Monday, June 20

County Approves AMR Charges

The Hinds County Board of Supervisors approved a rate increase for the county's ambulance service to perform new life-saving procedures on patients this morning.

Detaining Disabled Kids: Who Decides?

The day after the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit against a Hinds County-run youth detention center, the county denied SPLC and its clients access to the children detained there.

Henry Lee "Trey" Mangum

AIDS activist Henry "Trey" Mangum died Friday in New Orleans, leaving behind a particularly heartfelt legacy of hope.

Community Events and Public Meetings

5:30 p.m., Small Business Success Seminar, at Venture Incubator (City Centre Building, 200 S. Lamar St., South Tower, 10th floor). The program for business owners and entrepreneurs provides information on how business incubators can help grow small businesses. Please RSVP. Call 601-906-4868.

Biz District Hearing Tonight

Jackson residents will have the opportunity to weigh in on the establishment and reauthorization of downtown Jackson's Business Improvement District during a public hearing tonight.

Friday, June 17

Coast Mayor Wants State Treasurer Job

This is a corrected version of this story. Jackson Free Press reporter Lacey McLaughlin erroneously reported that Mayor Connie Moran helped secure $500 million in grants for Ocean Springs. The number should have read $50 million. We apologize for the error.

Kids Finish Police Academy Program

A room of proud parents eagerly watched their children graduate from the Youth Citizen's Police Academy this morning at the Jackson Police Training Academy on St. Charles Street.

Muriel Hollins

This is a corrected version of the story. We spelled Muriel Hollins name wrong previously. We regret making this error.

Father's Day Weekend Events

Today, EnVision Eye Care (1316 N. State St.) celebrates its fifth anniversary at 4 p.m. with giveaways and an eyeglass trunk show. It's a free event, so come by and see what's happening. If you're looking for live entertainment this evening, Zumba in the Dark Zumbathon at YMCA Fortification (800 E. River Place) kicks off at 6 p.m. $10. Restless Heart, Grupo LaMafia and Crossin' Dixon perform at the Mississippi Coliseum at 8 p.m. Shucker's has music by Hunter Gibson and the Gators. Martini Room hosts Martini Friday at 9 p.m. Sound Wagon is at Fenian's, and Lord T and Eloise perform at Martin's at 10 p.m. For more live entertainment options, check out the JFP Music Listings.

You Get What You Give—Or Don't Give

On Father's Day, I always wonder what I should get for my husband to adequately express my love and appreciation. Since Mother's Day is only a month beforehand, I try to gauge my gift giving on what he got for me. It may sound a little tit-for-tat, but it helps to keep things under control. I don't want to make him feel uncomfortable with an extravagant gift.

UMMC Names New Pediatrics Head

The University of Mississippi Medical Center has named Dr. Fredrick "Rick" Barr to serve as the professor and chair of its pediatrics department starting July 1.

Thursday, June 16

Mississippians Dying Faster than Hondurans, Study Says

Mississippi is churning out low life expectancies when compared to some developing nations, and not because of violent living.

Oakley Garden Signals Progress

As teenagers picked ripe squashes and tomatoes from the garden at Oakley Training School in Raymond yesterday, state officials championed the project as a symbol of progress since a 2003 federal investigation highlighted abuses and implorable conditions at the facility.

John R. Kelly

Gov. Haley Barbour appointed John R. Kelly to the Mississippi State Board of Education yesterday. Kelly's term begins July 1, and the state Senate must confirm him. His term expires June 30, 2020.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: You know the sports season is lame when the WNBA is your fourth sports option. Me, I'd rather watch Arena football.

Wednesday, June 15

A Bottle Opener and a Band

Although Jacksonians know the Church Keys for their fun performances and eccentric humor, their rare and custom-made instruments convey their musical depth and acute focus.

The South's Coldest MC

This week, Jackson music fans have an opportunity to propel one of our own into the national spotlight. Jason "PyInfamous" Thompson, 29, is a top-four finalist for Coors Light's "Search for the Coldest MC" contest as the winner in the South region. Fans can vote for PyInfamous through June 17 at

Cooking from the Pitiful Garden

I am not a gardener. I do not possess the proverbial green thumbs. Mine lean more towards "brown-and-dried-up" thumbs. I killed an aloe plant that had survived untended in a steaming hot classroom over the summer. When I finally gave it attention, it lasted about a month before it peacefully shriveled away.

Beware the Big C

One of the best things a man can do for his family is to care for his health.

Father's Day Gift Guide

Why is it that we default to neckties when we think of gifts for Father's Day? (Hey, I'm guilty, too!) This guide will help you shop for the things Dad really wants. I assure you that none of these items will leave him saying, "Well sweetheart, it's the thought that counts."

Cajun Adventure

If you decide to hit the road for Father's Day this year, head south to the Crescent City. It's not all bars and French Quarter. New Orleans is one of the most diverse cities in the world, especially when it comes to family-oriented activities with a few extras thrown in—in case you have a babysitter. Here are some suggestions based on specific interests.

Get Outdoors With Dad

Many Dads like to celebrate Father's Day with a backyard barbecue and a beer. Before the big meal, work up an appetite with some outdoor fun. Get the gang involved in kicking a soccer ball, hiking through the woods, or splashing in the water with Dad.

Take Dad Out to Eat

Treat dad to a meal at one of the metro area's eateries offering specials this Father's Day.

On the Front Porch

When I asked my friend Arthur Jones how exactly he went about procuring the featured meat for a cookout at his house, he responded, "Sometimes, you just say, ‘Thank you for the goat.'"

The Good Guys

Men who care about children, who stand fast to protect them, who work hard to make this world better and safer and even a little bit more fun are absolutely men we love. So many men fit that description here in Mississippi.

Politics Clash in Initiatives Battle

The Mississippi Supreme Court is setting itself up for a consistency clash if it votes in favor of a ballot initiative giving rights to microscopic human eggs.

JPD Investigating Communications Failure

Jackson Police Department Assistant Chief Lee Vance said he is looking into suspected communication failures that held a crime victim's car in impound for more than a month.

Treating Children Worse Than Dogs

Handcuffing and shackling children is despicable. Yes, children break rules and need discipline. Yes, they can be rude and annoying. Yes, they can push your limits even if you are a trained professional. None of this means you can handcuff children to a stair railing and leave them unattended for hours.

[Stiggers] Dreams Deferred

The temporary summer employees reported to work with their heads hanging low. They are depressed because of the struggling economy and the lack of employment in their field of study. The $40-thousand-dollar-a-year job is just a dream deferred. Today our scholars must settle for a minimum-wage job at a dollar store in the ghetto.

Vol. 9, No. 40

<b>Dear Editor,</b>

It would seem that the JFP sees itself as a kindred spirit of the Freedom Riders. The main lesson that I take from the story of the Riders is to make the effort to put myself in someone else's shoes. So when I attempt to do that, when I try to imagine how the Riders must have felt and then imagine what they must think when they look around at today's society, I see myself 50 years later opening the JFP and seeing a parody of my mugshot.

[Moore] Thanks Dad

It took me a while to realize it, but you taught me that every day should be Father's Day.

Guys We Love

<b>Magnus Eklund</b>

Licensed massage therapist Magnus Eklund's professional and charity-based efforts show a penchant for easing tension. A native of Sweden, Eklund grew up an avid tennis player and skier. His initial foray into massage therapy came as a consequence of his hyperactive lifestyle.

Coming to Art Late in Life

"All life comes from inside of something. Milk comes out of cows. Eggs come out of a chicken. Babies come out of a woman. If I want to produce something that's alive, it's got to come from inside of me."

Watkins Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is

After a host of leasing delays, developers of the historic Farish Street Entertainment District have decided to sweeten the deal for entertainment venues by kicking in almost $5 million in personal build-out money.

SPLC Wants Quick Resolution to School Suit

The details are too similar. A school security officer leads a student to the stairs near the gym. He closes one cuff on the child's wrist and the other on the stair railing. He leaves the student alone for hours.

Cassio Batteast

Cassio Batteast is slow to talk about himself, but his infectious smile and upbeat personality shine through as he talks about his experiences working with young men. Batteast, 31, is a case manager with Catholic Charities and the founder of Fathers Active In Their Hoods, known as FAITH Inc., a summer camp for men of color.

JFP Chick Ball Celebrates Women and Works to End Domestic Violence


On Saturday, July 9, Jacksonians from all walks of life will unite to celebrate women and support the fight against domestic violence at the seventh annual JFP Chick Ball.

Shackling Kids For Sass

The details are too similar. A school security officer leads a student to the stairs near the gym. He closes one cuff on the child's wrist and the other on the stair railing. He leaves the student alone for hours.

Tuesday, June 14

Woodrow Wilson Bridge a Hazard, Says Mayor

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge, which spans the Canadian National rail line just west of Mill Street, poses a hazard to people passing beneath it, says Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.

Affordable Housing Gets Boost; West Jackson Biz Grows

Hope Enterprise Corp., a community-development organization that finances affordable housing projects in the South, received additional support this morning when it announced its membership with national community-development network NeighborWorks.

Lewis Liddell

Lewis Liddell is certain the first wrong note he hears in band practice later this summer will get him fired up. He can't wait.

Minor Resentenced

U. S. District Judge Henry Wingate reduced former Mississippi attorney Paul Minor's federal prison sentence to three years during a hearing yesterday, WLBT reported yesterday.

Monday, June 13

Corps Demands Conflict-of-Interest Policy on Lake Plan

Read the conflict-of-interest policy (PDF)

Council to Address Bike Trail and Capitol Street

The city of Jackson is again seeking funds to create a "Museum to Market" bike trail along an old railroad bed after the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries denied a grant to fund the project last fall.

David Preziosi

A deep-rooted passion for preserving history and community involvement motivates David Preziosi, executive director of Mississippi Heritage Trust.

Community Events and Public Meetings

10 a.m., Career, College and Job Expo, at New Horizon Church International (Renaissance South) (1770 Ellis Ave.). Job seekers and those seeking educational opportunities are welcome to meet with job and college recruiters to discuss their options. Lunch provided. Free; call 601-540-5415.

Baptist Receives Accreditation for Breast Health Center

Baptist Medical Center's Breast Health Center earned a three-year accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers last week.

Friday, June 10

Allen Refutes Farish is ‘Shelved'

Downtown Jackson Partners President Ben Allen remains miffed that a local newspaper used his name and the words "on the shelf" in connection to the Farish Street Entertainment District.

Developer Looks for Rezoning

Duckworth Realty Inc. owner Ted Duckworth says redevelopment of the School for the Blind property is back on track if he can convince the city of Jackson to re-zone the area.

Teen Design Camp Needs Funding

Jackson is Art, a program of the Jackson Community Design Center, introduced 30 Jackson teens last year to architecture and urban design. Whitney Grant, co-director of JCDC, said the program showed students how to look at their city and understand how to make it better for the future.

Will Oatis

Will Oatis of Silver Creek wants to be the next governor of Mississippi. Oatis, 37, is running as an independent candidate. Education and economic development are his top political issues.

Mix It Up This Weekend

Let's kick this summer off right, and let's do it tonight. Come to Art Remix at 6 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). This free downtown event features music by Dangermuffin and Valerie June. The Jackson Free Press is a sponsor. Music, food, cool people and an arty backdrop make for a downtown party. For more live entertainment options, check out the JFP Music Listings.

More than $11.6M Approved for Tornado Survivors

<i>[Verbatim from FEMA]</i>

CLINTON, Miss. - Federal assistance approved for people in 29 Mississippi counties that were declared a major disaster area by the president because of devastating storms and tornadoes has reached $11,667,808.

Thursday, June 9

Stolen Car Sat in Impound Lot, Owner Says

A Jackson restaurant manager says the Jackson Police Department's poor interdepartmental communication cost her more than $1,000.

School Cuffs Kids for No Belt, Wrong Shoes

One morning this spring, a boy showed up at school without his belt. He forgot it at home. The 16-year-old walked up to the metal detector that all the students at Capital City Alternative School have to go through. School officials inspected their shoes and belts before the students could go to class.

Marlene Macaluso

Jackson's downtown Hilton Garden Inn, known to locals as the King Edward Hotel, has a new general manager: Marlene Macaluso.

JPS Sued over Shackling

Claiming alternative school staffers have unconstitutionally punished students over minor offenses, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a class-action lawsuit against Jackson Public Schools yesterday.

Wednesday, June 8

Community Gardens of Jackson

Community Gardens fresh produce and a sense of neighborhood improvement and togetherness. In recent years, several community gardens have sprung up in the Jackson metro area, teaching residents how to plant and harvest food of substance.

Read the Labels

Checking the expiration date on a meat package is as important as knowing whether the meat is loaded with chemicals and hormones. A constant complaint of buying organic foods is the comparatively higher prices, but the counter-argument is how important the long-term effects are compared to the instant gratification of buying cheaper food. If a consumer is able to purchase a laptop, a smartphone, a television with cable and many more luxuries, then the same consumer is able to buy foods that will not affect the body as badly as corn-fed beef or pesticide-soaked vegetables.

The Seas' Bounty

As a child, one of my fondest memories was at the Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans when I was about 8. After I complained that all the creatures were behind glass, the penguin keeper surprised me with a wobbling baby penguin to touch and marvel over. Studying the bug-eyed rainbow trout and the menacing tiger shark made me squeal with delight.

Eat Your Garden

Want to have a little garden—grow a few herbs and vegetables, and maybe some fruit to get off the grid just a tad— but don't know how to get started? Or worse, tried it already and it didn't work out, so you gave up? Slow gardening to the rescue! The relaxed, all-senses, all-seasons approach to gardening was inspired by the slow food movement, which encourages us to savor locally and sustainably produced foods.

Quinoa: The Great Grain

How do you cook quinoa if you don't even know how to say it? Quinn-wah? Quinn-noah? Kin-wah? Let's put this to bed. It's KEEN-wah and the best thing since, well, the Aztecs and Incans ate it thousands of years ago.

Healthy International Eats

Two relatively new restaurants—Babalu Tacos and Tapas (622 Duling Ave., 601-366-5757) and Mezza (1896 Main St., Madison, 601-853-0876) are breaking through the grease-encased surface of southern cuisine with international offerings.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: Mississippi State's baseball team has gone further than even the most rabid Bulldog fan expected.

Passion for Classics

"You can sing gospel, you can sing pop beautifully, and I respect those styles, but you must also respect the classical style," Phyllis Lewis-Hale says. "You must respect the hard work and dedication and scholastic work that goes into it."

To Request or Not to Request

So, here's what's on my mind: when is the right time to request songs at small concerts in an intimate setting, and is it appropriate to do so? Is it OK to do it at all, no matter the location?

Roots of Utopia

When asked how a dietitian from Biloxi met and married an electrician from Brandon, Brittany Hammons Simmons, 26, and Geoffrey Simmons, 24, answer, "Club Fire." The reactions they receive from their answer still make them giggle and share a secret smile about that night in 2008.

May Flowers Bring June Showers

If your calendar looks anything like mine, every Saturday or Sunday afternoon for the month of June is booked. It seems everyone I know is either getting hitched or expecting. So off I go shopping for the perfect gifts and shower attire. These two looks can be mixed and matched to create different outfits for each weekend. And since platform flip-flops are totally unacceptable, I'm giving you three shoe options. It's also important to remember the gift!

Support Your Local Food

When I was a child, I would wait with maddening anticipation for Friday night. That's when my dad would pick me up for the night shift at Doubles Pizza, the restaurant he owned.

Food Truck Vote Pending

The Jackson City Council may address a new ordinance making possible food vending vehicles in downtown Jackson this month.

Edwards' Days Numbered?

With less than 30 days left before Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Lonnie Edwards' contract expires, school board members must decide this month who will serve as the district's superintendent as of July 1.

Be a Smarter Voter: Demand Answers

In 2011, you can expect information about local or state elections to be piecemeal at best, or focused on the trivial at worst.

[Stiggers] Shakin' with Purpose

Welcome to Clubb Chicken Wing's first annual Pre-Juneteenth Celebration and Disco. As your DJ for this affair, my goal is to entertain and educate the masses through old-school dance music. I'd like to call it 'Booty Poppin' and Knowledge Droppin', or 'Shake What Your Ancestors Gave You.'

[Kamikaze] Yet Another Distraction

So, another politician has gotten caught with his finger on the "send" button, or in this case, the "tweet" button. We all know how this movie plays out. Politician has vice; politician gets caught; politician denies impropriety; politician denies again; politician is presented with irrefutable evidence; politician comes clean and apologizes. Repeat.

[Parkes] The Rainbow Almost Died

It turned out that the store was losing money, and board members were thinking about shutting the place down.

Intimate Fundraising for the Arts

Susan Shands Jones stood in Steven and Erin Chevalier's home in Ridgeland admiring the fabulous art collection hanging on walls of every room, even the kitchen and back hallway. The Chevaliers told their guests the story behind how they put the collection together, beginning with a single landscape painting Steven got from his father.

From Clueless to Meatless

A few years ago, I could not have told you the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan. Furthermore, I wouldn't have been able to even fathom a life without meat. Yet, as I get older, I'm starting to take notice of my less-than-stellar health status and rethinking my terrible eating habits. As a result, the idea of adopting a vegetarian diet has become more appealing.

Tease photo

Farm To Table

It sounds like such a simple concept. Farmers grow food; restaurants cook and serve food; customers eat food. If only it were that simple. Competing forces of regulation, supply and demand, transportation, reliability of source, supply-chain management and other concerns too numerous to count stand up like an endless row of sentinels blocking the way for food to get from the ground to your fork.

Voters to Question Politics Beyond Sound Bites

Jackson residents are trying to bring a Neshoba County Fair-style festival to Jackson this month in hopes of circumventing piecemeal, sound-bite political coverage of upcoming races.

Did County Know of Abuse at Detention Center?

Juvenile-justice advocates filed a lawsuit last week that raises questions about how much the Hinds County Board of Supervisors knew about alleged abuses at the county's Henley-Young Detention Center.

Peyton Johnson Collins

Peyton Johnson Collins calls herself a high-heeled hippie. A wife, mother of two young children and a part-time employee at Lakeland Yard and Garden Center, Collins operates an almost 15,000-square-foot vegetable garden on a farm just north of Clinton. She works on her garden in her spare time with her friend and gardening partner Don Maxwell. "We are the labor," she says.

Tuesday, June 7

Hinds County Pols Face Old District Maps

Micah Dutro, a Democrat running for a Hinds County Justice Court judgeship, must run in an unexpected district this year due to federal approval delays.

Wired Closes; Jackson Law Firm Ranks High

After three years in business, Wired Espresso Cafe closed its doors last weekend due to a tough economy for coffee sales.

Sara Howard

It was already hot a few hours ago at 6 a.m. when Sara Howard showed up for training at Jackson State University. As a participant in the Paul Lacoste Sports Fit 4 Teaching Challenge, she has shown up for daily circuit training since last Tuesday. In this first week, she's already lost 8 pounds. After a few minutes of running this morning, Howard didn't notice the heat any more.

Ward 4 Community Meeting Tonight

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. and city leaders will host a community meeting tonight for Ward 4 residents.

Monday, June 6

Personhood on Trial Today

Jackson Attorneys Robert McDuff and J. Cliff Johnson will stand before the full Mississippi Supreme Court today at 1:30 p.m. and explain why a ballot initiative giving rights to microscopic human eggs amounts to an illegal modification of the state constitution.

Hinds County: Sirens Update; Emergency Funding

Hinds County Director of Emergency Operations Jimmie Lewis told county supervisors today that 100 percent of the county's sirens activated during a test on June 1.

France Beard

France Beard, 17, was momentarily perplexed when she heard her name called at the Miss Mississippi Outstanding Teen competition Saturday night. She had been trying to fix a younger girl's dress on stage and didn't know why she was announced after the alternates had been named.

Community Events and Public Meetings

6 p.m., Jackson Arts Collective Monthly Meeting, at The Commons at Eudora Welty's Birthplace (719 N. Congress St.). Every first Monday, the Collective Steering Committee meets to discuss business of the previous month and listen to local artist proposals for the sponsorship of events that fall in line with their mission. Open to the public. Call 601-497-7454.

NamiWalks 2011 - Help Me Continue To Stomp Out the Stigma of Mental Illness

I am writing you today to tell you about an upcoming event that I am participating in that is both very important and very exciting to me. It is NAMIWalks for the Mind of America, NAMI's signature walkathon event that is being held in Jackson, MS at Winner's Circle Park on Lakeland Drive in Flowood on Nov. 5. Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the walk begins at 10 a.m..

Take the Chick Ball Challenge!

Take the Chick Ball Challenge! Get together a group -- as few as two and as many as 20 people -- to raise money and gather gifts and art for the 2011 JFP Chick Ball. The group with the highest total amount (money+gift value) will win the big Chick Bowl trophy this year. Be the first to take it home! Register to compete: call 601.362.6121 x. 16 TODAY!

Council to set Public Hearing on Biz District

<i>This story has been updated to reflect a correction.</i>

Tomorrow, the Jackson City Council will schedule a public hearing to give residents the opportunity to weigh in on the establishment and reauthorization of downtown Jackson's Business Improvement District.

Friday, June 3

Advocates Call for National Juneteenth Holiday

Residents gathered in the Tougaloo community this morning to push Congress to establish Juneteenth as a national holiday commemorating the abolition of slavery in the United States in 1865.

Dem Hopeful Calls for Drug Enforcement

Democratic Hinds County Sheriff candidate Tyrone Lewis says he wants more drug enforcement on the highways dividing the city of Jackson and Hinds County.

Meredith W. Sullivan

Meredith W. Sullivan regularly scours Jackson boutiques and vintage shops for hot fashion, cute clothes and good deals. Recently, she noticed Jackson had picked up the newest trends from the latest season's fashion shows in New York City.

It's the Weekend!

You can experience many different things tonight in Jackson. Watch Natalie Long and Clinton Kirby perform at Soulshine Pizza from 7-10 p.m. If you feel like singing, Philip's on the Rez has karaoke with DJ Mike, but if you feel like dancing Dreamz JXN is hosting Can't Feel My Face. Looking for more local music? Go to the JFP

Zoo Plans Dream Night

On June 4, the Jackson Zoo will host a special event in collaboration with St. Dominic Hospital called Dream Night at the Zoo. This exclusive event allows children with special needs and their families the opportunity to tour the zoo outside of the busy daytime hours. The children also enjoy a number of events customized for them in addition to touring the zoo.

Family Planning Funds are Essential

If you're an average woman, you want two children, according to various surveys. That means you'll spend about five years of your life trying to become pregnant, being pregnant or recovering from pregnancy, and 30 years trying to avoid it.

Thursday, June 2

Justice Advocates Sue Hinds Detention Center

Youth detained at Hinds County's Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center may be confined to their cells for 23 hours a day, endure verbal abuse, and many are not provided with educational and counseling services, according to juvenile justice advocates.

Jackson Jewel Thief Nabbed in Portland

Last January, a $255,000 ring disappeared from Juniker Jewelry Co. with the help of a thief who had a car waiting outside. This morning, Jackson Police Department Sgt. Ralph Lundstrom said police now have a suspect.

K. Parish Harvey

Artist K. Parish Harvey's bubbly attitude and sweet face hides well the pain she's had to deal lately, a pain that her love and passion for art has helped her cope with.

Barbour Testifies at Oil Spill Hearing

While testifying before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform this morning, Gov. Haley Barbour said that despite the impact of the 2010 oil disaster on Mississippi's beaches and economy, he opposes the federal government's moratorium on off-shore drilling.

Wednesday, June 1

Red-Headed Stranger

On June 8, Willie Nelson will step onto the stage of the Jackson Convention Complex when he makes a Mississippi stop on his tour.

Better With Age

My top-five favorite recording artists of all time are: Stevie Wonder, Wu Tang Clan, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Talking Heads. This never changes, as these are the five artists on which all of my music tastes are based. It does get a little iffy, however, when I try to make a top-10 list.

British ‘Baseball'

Two rabid sets of fans fill the stands, each side cheering loudly. A world championship is in reach, and the fate of a bitter rivalry is at stake for both teams. Clinging to a five-run lead as the game nears the end, a pitcher is about to deliver the biggest pitch of this event.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Doctor S sez: Enjoy NBA hoops while you can, folks. Your favorite hoopsters are about to be locked out by the owners, too.

Pop-up in Paradise

Jimmy Buffet sang about them. Wimpy ate 'em with abandon (and would gladly pay you Tuesday for one today), and 86 percent of Americans ordered at least one last year.

No Laughing Matter

Fat is funny, right? John Candy, John Belushi, Rodney Dangerfield, John Goodman—all funny fat guys.

Learning Early

Becoming a girl-about-town takes years of practice. Case in point: I vividly remember the pair of high heels that get credit for training me so that today, I can navigate anything in stilletos. They were purple snakeskin and lived in my neighbor's dress-up box filled with treasures from the Junior Auxillary's thrift shop. And they were fabulous. I teetered around in them at least three times a week from the ages of about 6 to 9.

Reverence and the River

I love thunderstorms. From the safety of a covered porch, a nighttime thunderstorm can be a truly awe-inspiring natural light-and-sound show on par with the best July 4 fireworks. Just watching those jagged stabs of light streaking across a dark sky can produce visceral reactions.

To Gate Or Not to Gate?

Jackson residents could vote to gate their neighborhoods around city-maintained streets under an ordinance Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell proposed this week.

Property Owners to Vote on Biz District

Now that property owners approved an expansion plan for Jackson's Businesses Improvement District May 26, Downtown Jackson Partners must obtain 70 percent majority vote from property owners to prevent the district from dissolving.

Court Stops Simon Execution

Robert Simon Jr., 47, gets to live a little bit longer on death row. The state of Mississippi planned to kill him May 24, but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stopped the execution just hours before the scheduled time.

‘Gated Pods' a Bad Idea

Sadly, Councilman Quentin Whitwell's ideas are going downhill since he pushed for a food-truck ordinance.

[Stiggers] Looking for a Brighter Day

"I'm sad and reflective today after hearing about the passing of Gil Scott-Heron, one of my favorite artists ever. His brotherly like spoken words planted a 'critical thinking' seed in my young and fertile my mind around 1975, when I heard these lyrics from his signature piece titled 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.'

[Hill] Sunday School Lessons

He somehow got the impression that spirituality and issues of human justice are somehow mutually exclusive.

Women of Substance

In 1961, Charlayne Hunter-Gault succeeded in integrating the University of Georgia alongside Hamilton Holmes. Hunter-Gault became the university's first black graduate in 1963. From there, she went on to excel in broadcast journalism, winning two Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards.

Scrubbing Tattoos

If you press your ear up against the western literary canon, you can hear a million women whispering—but for the most part, you won't be able to make out the words.

More chances to see ‘Joseph'

New Stage Theatre has added more shows for "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat " through June 12. Shows through June 5 have sold out.

Tease photo

After The Flood

Waiting To Recover

News that a flood was headed toward Vicksburg didn't come as a surprise to most residents. In late April, the Mississippi River and its tributaries began to overflow and reach record crests in Missouri. Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee. What did surprise residents, however, was the historic crest that surged into neighborhoods.

Crisler Would Expand Highway 61

Former Jackson City Councilman Marshand Crisler thinks he will have an advantage as a Mississippi Department of Transportation Commissioner for the Central District. Crisler, who is a district director for Hinds Community College's adult education program, said the priorities of the commission become obvious when viewed from the vantage point of a city leader.

Cathy Funches

Cathy Funches is driven to aid the less fortunate to find their way to a better quality of life. Funches has participated in many mission trips to developing countries. Just last year, she traveled to Bolivia to provide assistance to an orphanage. She realized, however, that her passion for helping the oppressed could be fulfilled at home.

State Revenues Down for May

Read the state's revenue report