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

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Amber Helsel

Stories by Amber

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Sampling Jackson

Kreskin Torres pulls up a photo of a dish at 1693 Red Zone Grill on his phone: grilled fish and shrimp in a crawfish sauce on a bed of Cajun ...

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Jenni Smith

For local activist and filmmaker Jenni Smith, the rights of women and members of the LGBT community are close to her heart.

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Mississippi Blues Marathon Comes Back

The sound of blues music and sneakers hitting the pavement will fill the streets of Jackson on Saturday, Jan. 27, during the Mississippi Blues Marathon.

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Shonte Hailes

The University of Southern Mississippi women's basketball team is hoping to make its second consecutive appearance in the postseason, and sophomore guard Shonte Hailes is helping lead the way.

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Monique Ealey

Mississippi Children's Museum Outreach Coordinator Monique Ealey sees the facility as a resource for families and educators around the state, so for her, it's important that the museum has outreach ...

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Fannye Cook

Mississippians may often hear Fannye Cook's name in discussions of the state's history. Those who are not involved in the natural-science community may not know as much about her, however, ...

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Meeko the Moon Bear

The Jackson Zoo announced on Dec. 18, 2017, that a new animal had recently arrived: Meeko the moon bear.

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Starry Skies and Sneakers

If you know me, you probably know that Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers are one of my most favorite things in the world. I have probably about 10 to 15 pairs. ...

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Ring in the New Year

Ring in 2018 with help from local businesses. Find more New Year’s Event happenings at jfpevents.com.

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Ann Rogers-Brigham

Ann Rogers-Brigham says that she believes church should be about inclusivity and sharing God's love with others.

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Tackling Poverty this Holiday Season

For families and individuals who are struggling, especially financially, the holidays can be a tough time. That's where nonprofits come in, for both immediate and systemic help. You can donate ...

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Stocking Stuffers

Filling stockings with local gifts can make it way more fun, and you can fill them with almost anything. Candy, jewelry, food, socks ... a bottle of bloody Mary mix ...

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Local Ho-Ho Holidays

This holiday season, many local restaurants and businesses can help any Jacksonians who are looking for help with preparations.

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Pam Confer

When Pam Confer writes songs, she says the lyrics just come to her, and she starts singing them. So one evening in spring 2016, Confer was walking her dog, Jazzie, ...

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Teresa Haygood

The Mississippi Arts Commission chose mosaic artist Teresa Haygood to represent the state in the National Christmas Tree Lighting display.

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Best of Jackson: Holiday

We're just about into December now, with Thanksgiving over and the holidays just getting started. This is a time to plan for future gatherings.

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Jingle Bells and Local Celebration

Mississippi Children's Museum will host Santa Saturdays every week from Nov. 25 to Dec. 23.

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Your Thanksgiving Guide

This year, celebrate Thanksgiving with family—and through buying locally.

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Meeya Thomas

Meeya Thomas stands 5 feet and 2 inches tall—about three inches short of the national average for women. She says that because of her height, she loves to wear heels, ...

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Best of Jackson: Beauty & Style

It's time once again to nominate people for the 2018 Best of Jackson ballot (bestofjackson.com). While in this season, take a look at some of the 2017 winners in categories ...

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Eat and Play Locally

A good way to get connected to Jackson's foodie scene is to participate in local food events, and luckily, Jackson has a few in the next couple of weeks. Here ...

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Matthew Kajdan

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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Popular Costumes

This year, Google News Lab created Freighgeist, which pulls the top 500 Halloween costume searches in the U.S. With location input, it even lets users search for the top costumes ...

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Spooky and Local

There's plenty of spooky Halloween events going on in the Jackson Metro this year. Here are just a few of them.

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Hunter Evans

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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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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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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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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'Long Live Wonder' (and Robots) at Upcoming Mississippi Science Fest

The LeFleur Museum District—the Mississippi Children's Museum, Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum, Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum—are collaborating on the Mississippi ...

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Where to Find What You Need

School can be fun to shop for, and luckily, Jackson has great local businesses where you can find them while avoiding chains. Try these for staples.

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Jackson’s Best Music Venues

Going to watch a local band can be a fun way to occupy your time, and with Jackson's roots in music, it's no surprise that we have many venues, including ...

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Eating Out on a Student Budget

Eating out on a college budget or even just a small one can be difficult, but this year's Best of Jackson winners and finalists for Meal Under $10 are good, ...

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Ronnie the Rhino

On Friday, Aug. 4, the Jackson Zoo announced that its almost-45-year-old rhino, Ronnie, passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 2.

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School Supply Lists

It's that time again. Here are the school supplies for Jackson Public Schools' grades kindergarten through fifth.

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JPS Need to Know

Jackson Public Schools start back on Aug. 8. JPS has compiled a handy back-to-school guide on its website, Jackson.k12.ms.us. Here are some of the things parents and students should know ...

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Learning Outside the Classroom

Education is important to a child's well-being. While classrooms provide a great setting for learning, Jackson has a lot of opportunities for kids to learn outside of a classroom. Here ...

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On the Road Again

Road trips can be fun, but they can also be a hassle. After traveling a bunch over the last few months, I've picked up on some tips that make road ...

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