Official 2018 Mississippi Book Festival Art Revealed

On Tuesday, June 19, the Mississippi Book Festival revealed this year’s official art, an oil painting from Mississippi native artist Baxter Knowlton that features bestselling Mississippi author Jesmyn Ward. “Both artist and subject represent the best of our state,” festival director Holly Lange said in a release. “The works of these remarkably talented Mississippians reveal an intense love of their craft. We are grateful for their support of the festival.”

For more information about the festival, visit msbookfestival.com.   Continue Reading

Symphony Orchestra Holds ‘Ransom’ Fundraiser

The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra is known for many things, from elaborate themed concerts to outdoor events, but now, it is adding kidnapping to that rap sheet. A recent post on the orchestra’s website features the tell-tale sign of a kidnapping—a hodgepodge of cutout letters—asking supporters to send in funds for the return of Crafton Beck, the MSO’s music director and conductor. Of course, in actuality, the “ransom” is just the orchestra’s latest fundraising effort, and Beck is likely busy preparing his troupe of musicians for the very season that his ransom funds will help produce. As the MSO website states, the organization wanted to ask Mississippians for donations while “sparing you yet another gala event.” The donation drive will end tomorrow, Thursday, June 7, and features five comedic tiers: $1,000 (“I love Beck and would do anything to get him back”); $500 (“The show cannot go on without Beck”); $250 (“At least you didn’t take our Concertmaster Marta”); $100 (“Couldn’t you have taken a horn player instead?”); and $50 (“He’s just a conductor”). Continue Reading

2018 Crossroads Film Festival Winners

On Sunday, April 16, Crossroads Film Society announced the winners of the 2018 festival. Congratulations to all of the filmmakers! Here is the list:

Award for Best Feature Narrative—”Chasing the Blues”
Award for Best Short Narrative—”Recall”
Award for Best Feature Documentary—”Mississippi Madam: The Life of Nellie Jackson”
Award for Best Short Documentary—”Holt Collier”
Award for Best Experimental Film—”Reconstructing Reality”
Award for Best Animated Film—”Basket (Tokri)”
Award for Best Student Film—”Citizen”
Adam Ford Youth Filmmaking Award—”Minor Setback, Major Comeback: Supporting Black Dollars and Businesses in Jackson, Mississippi”
Award for Best Music Video— “Manna” by King Woman
Award for Most Transformative Film—”The Real Thing”
Programmers’ Choice Award—”Retaliation (Vindicte)”
The Ruma Award for Most Promising Mississippi Filmmaker—Mississippi Youth Media Project
Audience Choice Award—”How They Got Over”
Audience Choice Award (Music Video)—”Till I Cross Your Mind” by Young Valley 

“Lagniappe Awards” (Honorable Mention)

The Lagniappe Award is an Honorable Mention for filmmaking achievement, for content, and/or for sheer fun. The only criteria are that a programmer must nominate the film, and it must not have won in another category. Lagniappe Award winning films receive a certificate of merit and special Crossroads laurels. Continue Reading

Sewer Cave-in

The City of Jackson announced on Friday, April 13, that the sewer caved in at Northside Drive and Ridgewood Road. Here is a press release, verbatim:

The City of Jackson is aware of the sewer cave-in located at Northside Drive and
Ridgewood Road. Motorist are asked to be careful while traveling this area. The cave-in is due to a sewer line collapsing. We anticipate that the area will be down to two lanes for the next seven to 10 days while crews make repairs. Continue Reading

Jackson Zoo Board Votes to Move Zoo Out of West Jackson

Today, the Jackson Zoo Board voted to begin looking for a “more optimal location” for the zoo within the city of Jackson, a press release from the zoo says. The board acted on recommendations from a task force, comprised of zoo board members, business and city leaders, that spent months reviewing several feasibility studies. The task force recommended that the zoo “investigate the adaptation of 25 acres at the LeFleur’s Bluff State Park into a new zoological and family attraction.” The zoo has its challenges, and rumors of a potential move circulated last fall. Zoo Executive Director Beth Poff had a master plan to renovate and fix the west Jackson location where the zoo is now, but that plan would cost $100 million. Continue Reading

Mississippi House Declares ‘Paul Thorn Day’

The Mississippi House of Representatives will vote to pass Resolution 66 this Tuesday morning. Unlike most house resolutions, however, this one comes with a pretty stellar soundtrack. The resolution honors the accomplishments of musician Paul Thorn by naming today, March 27, as “Paul Thorn Day.” After the ceremony at 10 a.m. at the State Capitol, he will also perform acoustic renditions of a few songs. The singer-songwriter, who was born in Wisconsin and raised in Tupelo, Miss., is a former middle-weight boxer and National Guard serviceman whom a record-label executive discovered while performing at a local pizza place in 1997. Continue Reading

Ruth’s Chris to Close

Cooper Restaurants Inc., which owns Ruth’s Chris Steak House at Renaissance at Highland Colony Park, announced on Monday, March 26, that the restaurant will close. Here is a press release, verbatim:
RIDGELAND, MS, March 26, 2018 —Cooper Restaurants Inc. announced today the closure of the Ridgeland, Mississippi Ruth’s Chris Steak House location. The restaurant, located at 1000 Highland Colony Parkway was one of two Ruth’s Chris Steak House franchises operated by Cooper Restaurants. The restaurant opened its doors in July of 2008 and has been a cornerstone of the Renaissance Center at Colony Park. “We are honored by the support that we have received in Ridgeland, Mississippi over the past 10 years. Continue Reading