Amber Helsel | Staff | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Amber Helsel

Managing Editor Amber Helsel is a Gemini, feminist, writer, artist and otaku. She loves travelling, petting cats, hoarding craft supplies and more. Email story ideas to amber@jacksonfreepress.com. She attended Hinds Community College and the University of Mississippi.

Recent Commentary

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Fighting the Good Fight for Jackson

Jackson is filled with locally owned businesses and restaurants. A lot of people in outer counties want to see the city fail. They want to move the capital away from ...

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Grow Roots, Wings Where You’re Planted

Once upon a time, I was one of the young people who wanted to get out of this place. In early high school, I imagined that after college, I would ...

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Shop, Give, Live Local

Shopping local isn't something I necessarily thought about until I came to work at the Jackson Free Press, which puts great emphasis on helping locally owned businesses.

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Local Adventurers Wanted

As I've gotten older, I've realized the importance of home—and also how expensive it is to move and travel all the time.

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Oh, The Places I May Go

It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat from south Jackson or a Republican from Rankin County. We can all agree that the city needs help.

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Beer: If It Looks Good, Drink It

I've always loved this particular phrase from "Bizarre Foods" host Andrew Zimmern: "If it looks good, eat it."

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Don’t Cut the Creative Industries

A ton of art mediums can provide a different point of view, from painting something in an unfamiliar style, to getting low to the ground and capturing that perfect photo, ...

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Jackson Needs More Camaraderie

It's great to have a sense of pride in your neighborhood, but it's also important to remember that we're all part of one city.

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‘Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor’

I've talked about this before, but we are a nation of many immigrants. Unless you're Native American, you can likely trace your roots back somewhere across the seas or down ...

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Standing and Fighting Together

These days, everyone is speaking out, and as Donald Trump's tweets and speeches become more and more erratic, and his politics become even more insane and exclusionary, it's necessary.

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Recent Stories

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Stephen Johnston

Making movies was not necessarily part of the planned career trajectory for "Same Kind of Different as Me" Executive Producer Stephen Johnston.

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From the Kitchen to the Dining Room

While the competitive atmosphere of the restaurant scene in New York City may intimidate some, Lou's Full-Serv Chef de Cuisine Hunter Evans did not shy away from it.

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Kristy Johnson

For Kristy Johnson, the current Miss Black Mississippi U.S.A., pageants are an opportunity to inspire change.

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Warm Up This Fall

If you're looking for a good way to warm up and caffeinate yourself, turn to this year's Best of Jackson winners for Best Place to Get Coffee.

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Journeying to Executive Chef

Estelle Wine Bar & Bistro Executive Chef Matthew Kajdan says that his favorite dish to make at the bistro is the grilled redfish.

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Beth Poff

Beth Poff may be the executive director at the Jackson Zoo, but she says that she is a zookeeper at heart.

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Crystal Kelly

"When people see my cake jars, and they see purple towels or purple spoons, they already know that’s Cakes by Crystal."

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Jackson's Creative Pulse: What Has Changed Since 2002, What Is Still Ahead

When this newspaper started 15 years ago this week, promising a rising creative class in Jackson on its cover, the capital city was a different place that nearly everyone said ...

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Pete Halverson

For Pete Halverson, the phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" holds special meaning because, in a sense, that is part of his job description as a senior book ...

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Making Afterschool Programs Work

Operation Shoestring Program Director Amber May says that an equitable education is a basic right for everyone.

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