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

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Amber Helsel

Stories by Amber

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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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'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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Ice Cream Truckers

Chunky Dunks Sweets Truck is an ice-cream food truck, and the only one of its kind in the state of Mississippi.

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Learning From a Curious Monkey

In the special exhibit room at the Mississippi Children's Museum, which currently houses the "Curious George: Let's Get Curious" visiting exhibit, the sound of children playing fills the space.

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Jordan Alexis Holley

Jordan Alexis Holley traces what inspired her to get into the culinary world to one meal she had wile visiting friends in France. Her friend made leek soup, and Holley ...

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Eat Healthier, Shop Local

Businesses such as Sweet & Sauer, which specializes in fermented foods, give Jacksonians healthier food choices.

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Running a 5K in Your Shoes

Races are a thing in Jackson; here's a list of the 5Ks and other races coming up.

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Hannah Lawrence

Hannah Lawrence says she had a normal childhood up until the age of 13. She made good grades and loved to play sports such as soccer. Then, a bout with ...

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Picnicking for ‘Jubilee’

Margaret Walker Center Director Robert Luckett says that it is remarkable that author and poet Margaret Walker, who was an African American woman, chose to live her life in Jackson, ...

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On the Road Again

Summer is the ideal time to hit the road and explore little-known spots in our fascinating state. Here are a few places that make for great and quick road trips. ...

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You Are Invited ...

Alicia Stapleton, who also goes by Cookie, says she likes to use real embellishments for the wedding invitations she designs such as a small starfish for a destination wedding, or ...

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Celebrate Moms Locally

Your mom may sometimes tell you, "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it." But this Mother's Day, why not take your mom out ...

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The Sweet and the Sauer

The day before the grand opening of Sweet & Sauer's fermentation kitchen at The Hatch in midtown Jackson, Lauren Rhoades was in her kitchen, preparing ingredients for her fermented mustard.

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Robbie Fisher

Recently, Jackson-area filmmaker Robbie Fisher's film, "A Mississippi Love Story," which follows the journey of couple Eddie and Justin Outlaw, won Best Direction at the New York Premiere Film Festival.

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Downtown's Sweet Restoration

The JFP recently talked to Elizabeth Augustine over the phone about her journey to Sugar Ray's, the business itself and its place in the landscape of a changing downtown Jackson.

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Hopping Down the Local Food Trail

If you don't want to cook Easter lunch or dinner this year (or if you need treats), why not eat and shop local? Here is your guide to Easter Sunday ...

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Legacy of a Blues Legend

While blues music has a lot of better-known legends, musicians such as Mississippi Fred McDowell quietly helped to shape the genre into what know today.

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A Timely Tale

At a time when issues such as law enforcement's treatment of people of color are at the forefront of social discussions, films such as "On Time" can play a crucial ...

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Digital JXN

Jackson and Mississippi are synonymous with blues music and comeback sauce and authors such as Eudora Welty and Richard Wright. But sometime soon, Jackson could be known for its technology ...

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Life in Code: Nader Dabit

The Jackson Free Press recently talked to Nader Dabit on the phone about his experience in coding, the importance of data in education, and the coding scene in Mississippi and ...

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Creating a Sandbox

On March 31 and April 1, both Fondren and Mantle. will be bustling with more activity as Mantle. gears up for its first annual Sandbox Live, which is an event ...

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Local and Lucky

If you haven't heard, the Hal's St. Paddy's Day Parade & Festival is this weekend. Here is your guide to what you can do before and after.

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What Do You Know About Being Green?

It's time for the annual Hal's St. Paddy's Parade & Festival. To make sure you get where you want to be, when you want to be there, the Jackson Free ...

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Keith Tonkel

Keith Tonkel, who was the pastor of Wells United Methodist Church, died Wednesday, March 8, from throat cancer complications.

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Being the 'Best of Enemies'

"Right now, we’re in a time in our history where we’re so polarized as groups of people. We need to remember that people can come together and find common ground.”

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