Dr. Viola Dacus vividly recalls one of the teaching moments that affirm her career choice of helping others develop their vocal performance.
In her hometown of Pocahontas, Miss., Latongya Garner developed her affinity for music at Baker's Grove Missionary Baptist Church, where she currently serves as music minister.
Jamie Shines' friends call her the "queen of the off-guard," for her love of taking spontaneous pictures of them when they least expect it. "I take the best off-guards ever," she emphatically claims.
Shower Power founder Teresa Renkenberger came up with the idea of converting a food truck into showers for the homeless while she was having a conversation with a homeless friend.
A passion for music may have led Dawn Dixon across the Atlantic Ocean for a time, but her love for her family brought her back to her southern roots.
While Jon Lansdale never had formal culinary training, his appreciation for cooking provided the drive he needed to make his restaurant, Crazy Cat Eat Up, a staple in the Jackson area.
Ira Murray made Jackson his home for a second time after accepting the position of president and CEO with the United Way of the Capital Area.
Jackson lost a favored son on Sunday May 3 in the death of Christopher “Chris” Kochtitzky in Atlanta. “Chris was always interested in—and promoting—Jackson. He was our ‘ambassador’ so-to-speak at the CDC,” says Scott Crawford of Jackson, a longtime friend.
A veteran to the Jackson music scene, Sid Thompson has been strumming a guitar since the early 1960s.
Larry Voss and Dylan Broome opened LD's BeerRun in December 2014 in northeast Jackson initially as a craft-beer retail store to serve the needs of local beer lovers.
Sandra Shelson has served the Jackson area, and Mississippi at large, in her position as executive director of The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi for the last 16 years. However, the road to finding her passion was not a direct one.
"I like to work with the mantra of positivity and doing the best we can every day to give our community the gift of music," says Patrick Harkins, owner of Fondren Guitars.
Pearl native and resident Casey Spell has never felt too busy to take on another activity or responsibility, as he is presently working his way through medical school while also co-owning and managing H&S Roofing and Home Repair alongside his high-school friend Chris Hare.
Jackson resident James Kenyon says he has a heart for "telling stories that might not otherwise be heard," which he has had the chance to do since co-founding the Hearth and Mantel Theatre in 2017.
"I've done everything from teaching Dalits how to tell stories to running a workshop in Malaysia with kids who are deaf but want to tell their stories," filmmaker Chandler Griffin says about his career to date.
Columnist Richard Coupe had a merry romp, and kind help from a connected Austrian, to get to Vienna on time.
Michael "Mike" P. Cashion Sr., who has lived in Clinton for 23 years with his wife, Debbie, recently retired as the executive director of the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association after 21 years of service.
"Over the 25 years that we have lived in Mississippi, we have taken quite a ribbing. Whenever we told them of our children's successes, they always scoffed and said 'but it's Mississippi' as if that lessened the accomplishment."
Elephant Wrecking Ball brings its woven concoction of experimental jazz, hip hop and electronic music genres to Jackson on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Martin's Downtown as part of the group's tour supporting its latest album release, "Joy Front."
William H. Kelly III, known as Willy to some, has been drawn toward photography since an early age, as evidenced by baby photos he has seen of himself that show him holding a toy camera.
Grammy-nominated country music singer-songwriter and producer Will Hoge is making his way to Jackson to share the stage with Stephen Kellogg at Duling Hall as part of the "Gentlemen on the Road" tour.
The Jackson City Council honored Amber Johnson during an Aug. 6, 2019, meeting at city hall after she became the first African American woman to receive a Ph.D. from Purdue University's computer-science department.
In 2019, Visit Jackson invited Eric and Allison Bieller to visit the city. They spent several days in June seeing the attractions and going to various restaurants and trying the food here. They also created two YouTube videos of their time in Jackson.
Kenneth Vance acknowledges the value of serving others. As an outreach worker for Grace House, a nonprofit organization that focuses on housing those in need, he is able to do just that.
For M. Cade Smith, the assistant vice chancellor for community engagement at the University of Mississippi, his time in the WKKF Community Leadership Network program were three of the most productive years of personal and professional development, he says.
Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics President Lydia West's strong memories of her family spending time in the kitchen and eating together with friends started a life-long interest in food, nutrition, dietetics and serving others, she says.
The stuff of legends! There are many books and movies about the six days of hell the Lost Battalion endured.
The Mississippi River Basin Model, a National Civil Engineering Landmark, is in bad shape; however, compared to the last time I wrote about it for the Jackson Free Press, it has improved, thanks to the Friends of the Mississippi River Basin Model organization.
As a child, local artist Kit Fields says she recalls loving to paint and draw, but it wasn’t until age 45 that she started taking painting lessons. Her first class was with renowned watercolor artist Ann Barron.
For the fourth time, the Mississippi Puppetry Guild will do a production of "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells."
Though "The Parchman Ordeal: The Untold Story" is not a feel-good film, it is a must-see film. It will leave you horrified and slightly sick to your stomach.
"Tinker" is a somewhat sappy film told on two levels, as the protagonist Lenny Hale (Todd Barnett) looks for happiness and purpose in his life.
The U.S. has had many important presidents, but one that doesn't always come up in the conversation is Ulysses S. Grant. The student film "The Legacy of Ulysses S. Grant" explores Grant's importance in the history of the U.S., including his years in the Civil War, his presidential tenure and life after his presidency.
The aggressive militaristic posture Trump and those he surrounds himself with suggests the prospect of sending American troops into harm's way again, and they are discussing it as if it were an answer to the world's problems.
I huddled in the doorway trying, without much success to get some relief from the blowing snow and the cold. The bowling alley had closed many hours before, and it was a lonely and dark place now.
Myron McGowan is many things. He is a native Mississippian from rural Foxworth, Miss., who takes style influence from the '70s (no gold chains, though, he says).
Anik Kurkjian, who is the director of outreach and special projects for the Mississippi Museum of Art, clearly remembers the first time she met her husband, Drew Young.
My heart skipped a beat and then pounded so hard that I thought it was coming out of my chest. What had the pretty little French store clerk said? My worst nightmare!
Beginning June 30, the Grammy Museum Mississippi began hosting an exhibit that pays tribute to late blues and rock guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, which runs through Oct. 16.
"She's going down," whispered my wife, and I glanced in alarm at the bride. Chaos reigns when a member of the wedding party faints; we have seen it.
Bonjour, monsieur," she said sweetly, as she mopped around my feet. "Oh this is so uncomfortable," I thought to myself as I stood at the urinal and replied, "Bonjour, madam." I love France, but one thing that I will not miss when I leave is having women in the men's restroom.
My oldest daughter spent her last year of high school living with a family in a rural town in Ecuador, and it became a family joke to serve her dinner without telling her what it was until after she ate it.
"Was moechten Sie?" the server asked. I stared at him rather stupidly; I knew that he was asking what kind of turkey I wanted, but he said it in German, and I was expecting English or French.
If we chose to live in fear and base our decisions on our own safety instead of the needs of others, the terrorists win.
Sadly, I feel physically safer in France, with its baguette-eating, cigarette-smoking, non-church-going, slightly rude and less social population than with gun-toting, Bible-thumping Americans.
As I waited for my wife and contemplated the seemingly unending horrors that man can perpetrate on other men, I realized that standing here answered the question that I had asked myself just a couple of weeks before. Then, I had been standing on a bluff overlooking the D-Day beaches and wondering why in the world it had been necessary.
Carbonara has been a staple at my house for many years now, the go-to meal when nothing else will do. It's simple to make, always delicious, and often a requested meal for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary.
Norma Ruth's is a small establishment tucked tight into a little plaza between a clothing store and a barbershop on Ellis Avenue.
Are you feeling uninspired? No challenges left? Did you read another depressing statistic about Mississippi? I have a cure for that. Read Polly Dement's "Mississippi Entrepreneurs."
In 2011, author Greg Iles was just a week away from the deadline for his next novel, a follow-up to the best-seller "The Devil's Punchbowl," when he was involved in a horrific car accident near his hometown of Natchez.