Friday, September 20, 2019   
Starkville Police Department preps for largest Bulldog Bash yet
The 20th annual Bulldog Bash starts this afternoon with the main stage opening at 6 p.m. and the local stage opening at 3 p.m. alongside the Maroon Market, Kids Zone and food vendors. The main stage lineup is Yonder Windbreakers, Cale Dodds, The Beaches and T-Pain, and the local stage line up is Wyly Bigger, The Quiet Calm, Spontaneous Generation, Ty Trehern and Conner Martin. New this year to Bulldog Bash are increased security measures. Sgt. Brandon Lovelady, the public information officer for the Starkville Police Department, said they are making every effort to ensure the safety of those at the event, starting with mandatory bag checks. "We are implementing a 100% bag and carried items check," Lovelady said. "As always, no firearms, weapons and illegal items and substances. That is where it begins and ends. Security measures like this are the norm these days." With expectations that this will be the largest Bulldog Bash on record, Lovelady said they will have designated entry and exit locations that will also serve as security check points.
City of Starkville prepares for Bulldog Bash
It may look like business as usual in downtown Starkville, but by Friday afternoon tens of thousands of people will be filling the streets for Bulldog Bash. An event like this one doesn't come together overnight; it takes months of planning. "This is a year-long planning process we've been working ever since last year's event ended. There's a student group that puts on this event, and so they start working really hard in February was selecting the artists working on the logistics," said Amelia Rogers. The star of the show is rapper T-Pain, but that's not all drawing people to the area. "This year we've actually got more maroon vendors coming down so art vendors from the Cotton District Arts Festival. Area artisans all of that coming in. There also will be a kid zone with some inflatables, and then the live music that's happening throughout the day and on Main Stage," said Rogers. The Starkville Police department expects this year's event to be the biggest they've seen. Because of that security will be the tightest it's been in years.
Data company expands tech development team in Starkville
Babel Street, a data-to-knowledge company, celebrated the opening of its new innovation center in the top two floors of 301 East Main Street in Starkville, to support the expansion of its technical development team. The company is privately held and is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area, with offices in London and Canberra. Babel Street joins the Mississippi State University Research and Technology Corporation in its newly acquired property downtown. Babel Street employs several MSU graduates, including its chief technology officer and 2019 Mississippi Top in Tech honoree, Shon Myatt. "The Babel Street innovation center is an ideal tenant for our new building," said David R. Shaw, provost and executive vice president at MSU. "The company is at the forefront of cross-lingual search and text analytics technology and data analysis, and is literally leveraging that technology to make the world a better place. We are excited to see what Babel Street creates next out of their new innovation center."
The Park Cafe opens in Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park at MSU
A coffee house and restaurant under the same ownership as Starkville Cafe and The Camphouse had its official opening on Mississippi State University's campus this week. The Park Cafe, located on Technology Boulevard in Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park at MSU, has been open for business since July and had a couple months to get on its feet before a ribbon cutting marked its formal opening Tuesday, restaurant owner John Peeples said. Though open only three hours on week days, the cafe offers catfish, sandwiches, salads and other lunch menu items as well as coffee. Peeples said Starkville Cafe will have its 75th anniversary next year, and The Camphouse has existed for almost five years. Management from both restaurants attended Tuesday's ribbon cutting, along with affiliates of MSU.
Classroom technology CampusKnot comes to West Point, possibly Columbus
Starkville-based learning management system CampusKnot received state funding earlier this year for a pilot program to implement its software in high schools throughout the state -- including West Point and, possibly, Columbus high schools. CampusKnot has primarily worked with institutions of higher education since its founding in 2013. It was started by a group of Mississippi State University students -- Rahul Gopal, Hiten Patel, Perceus Mody from India and Katja Walter from Germany -- who launched it at the university's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the College of Business. It was based in MSU's business incubator building at the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park and now operates out of an office downtown and has an office in India. MSU Assistant Professor of Management Benjamin McLarty has been using CampusKnot in his Principles of Management lecture for two years. "I've gotten a lot out of it, and I like to use it because it started here in our entrepreneurship center," McLarty said.
NCSU and partners, including Mississippi State, land $24 million grant to develop first platform linking drones, 5G wireless technology
N.C. State University and several partners, including Mississippi State University, have landed a $24 million federal grant to create the first wireless platform to link drones and emerging next-generation technology known as 5G. The National Science Foundation and U.S. ignite, an organization seeking to drive broadband availability and use across the country, announced the awarding of the grant at an event Wednesday afternoon. Officials said they expect the project will be a magnet in attracting talent. The grant is the third made to drive 5G utilization, a much-faster form of communication and data delivery than current 4G networks. 5G is seen as being the network with the capacity and speed to link the growing Internet of Things world, from smart cars to sensors on all manner of devices.
Mississippi State University hosts annual 'Clothesline Project'
Mississippi State University is hosting its annual "Clothesline Project" this week. The t-shirt colors represent different types of violent acts like sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. Organizers say the event continues to grow each year. "I think more students are becoming aware of what types of violence exists, why is it important, and it actually creates a healing space for our survivors, even here on campus. So they're able to express how they feel. We have some with positive quotes, and we have some that are really truly about their experiences. So those t-shirts are really like taken to the heart," said Santee Ezell.
Alumnus Deadric T. Williams to deliver 'Race in America' lecture at Mississippi State
Mississippi State University alumnus Deadric T. Williams will deliver the keynote lecture for the university's fifth-annual interdisciplinary lecture series, "Race in America," on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Williams' lecture, "Racial Inequality in Poverty: Towards a Critical Race Approach," will take place at 3 p.m. in the Honors Forum Room on the fourth floor of Griffis Hall. Williams earned his bachelor's degree in English from MSU in 2006 and a master's degree in sociology from MSU in 2009. In 2014, he earned a doctorate in sociology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he currently teaches in the Department of Sociology. Williams will discuss how people erroneously view family structure as a dominant cause for persistent racial inequities, a release from MSU says. Williams has reviewed studies focusing on the economic benefits of marriage, which he says fail to explain the racial gap in poverty. His research results show that race, family structure and risks all shape differing poverty outcomes for racial groups, the release says.
SUV crashes into building on Mississippi State campus
One person was taken to the hospital after an SUV hit a building on Mississippi State University's campus Thursday. The accident happened around noon when the driver of that vehicle had a medical emergency. The SUV then crashed into the Institute for the Humanities building at the corner of President's Circle and Bully Blvd. MSU Police Chief Vance Rice said the driver was taken by ambulance to OCH Regional Medical Center. He said there was no significant damage to the building.
Climate and change: As temperatures rise, so do public health challenges
Heat is the current driving the transformations of climate change. It intensifies storms above the water and alters the habitat of life below. On land, it parches corn and timber and alters their growth. And heat drives climate change's threats to human health. "The overall health burden is rather broad," said Chris Fuhrmann, an assistant professor of climatology at Mississippi State University and an assistant state climatologist for Mississippi. "It's what's causing general illness and discomfort. Those are things that are hard to track in the overall health burden." That includes mental health. For example, studies show that families that experienced flooding faced increased levels of depression and anxiety long after the event.
Bulldog Burger prepares for second location with Tupelo opening
Bulldog Burger Co., which opened three years ago in Starkville, has brought its successful concept to the All-America City, and the restaurant is set to open next week. The restaurant on South Gloster Street, located, across from McAlister's Deli and the Walmart Neighborhood Market, had an unofficial soft opening Thursday in preparation of swinging its doors wide to the publlc Bulldog Burger is in a renovated building that was built in 1947 and was home to Wigginton Machine Works for 35 years, from 1983-2018. It also was once home to a Studebaker and Plymouth dealership. The restaurant itself only occupies about half of the main building; another 3,000 square feet is available for retail/boutique space (it also can be split into 1,500-square-foot spaces).
Taiwan delegation signs letters of Intent to purchase Mississippi crops
The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, the Office of Governor Phil Bryant, the Mississippi Development Authority, and the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation hosted a trade delegation from Taiwan which resulted in letters of intent being signed for the purchase of Mississippi agricultural commodities. For the first time, the State of Mississippi was selected to participate in Taiwan's Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission, a procurement mission which has resulted in strengthened relations between Taiwan and the United States. During today's visit to Mississippi, the Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association signed a letter of intent for the purchase of soybeans from Mississippi.
Vaping: As authorities investigate Mississippi death, candidate Jim Hood calls for state ban
As authorities investigate whether the death of a 27-year-old Mississippi woman was related to vaping, Attorney General Jim Hood said Thursday he wants to ban vaping devices in the state. At the very least, Hood said, the Legislature should pass a law regulating their use. Hood held a press conference hours after the Center Disease Control and Prevention announced that "530 people have experienced lung injuries associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products," including several deaths. According to the Monroe County coroner, the death of 27-year-old woman Tuesday is believed to be vaping-related. Her autopsy was Thursday morning, and a state health official cautioned it was "premature" to say the death was related to vaping. The number of vaping-related illnesses nationally has risen dramatically in recent weeks, and Hood called it a "train wreck that we saw happen." "They call it vape rooms now instead of bathrooms," Hood said of high school students.
Democratic nominee for AG Jennifer Riley Collins publicly pushes Jim Hood on endorsement
Democratic nominee for Attorney General, Jennifer Riley Collins took to social media to ask "why" to current Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood: Why he hasn't endorsed her for the position? When asked why she made the post, Riley Collins responded, "My statement simply is a call for voters to ask the question 'why?' That is a question for Jim Hood to answer to those voters he is counting on to win his race." "Given my credentials and experience, I wonder why the Democratic nominee for Governor and current Attorney General appears to be working to get my Republican opponent elected," said Riley Collins at the start of her Facebook post. Hood has been silent when it comes to his support of who will fill his seat in 2020. Just weeks ago at the Neshoba County Fair, Hood again refused to make an endorsement in the race. He was asked by reporters after he spoke, if he would be making an endorsement in the race and he said "that he would be bipartisan in his support of candidates moving beyond the primary."
Delbert Hosemann discusses infrastructure plan during Pine Belt visit
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, who is running for Lieutenant Governor, was in the Pine Belt on Thursday visiting Dunn Road Builders in Petal. During his visit, Hosemann outlined his plans for boosting funds to repair the state's ailing infrastructure on a county by county basis. Under Hosemann's plan, funds could be raised by giving each county the option to raise user fees on the price of gas and diesel. This fee would generally be between 2 and 6 cents per gallon and would be earmarked for specific repair work in that county. The majority of county supervisors would vote to place the local option on the next general election ballot. The option would specify to voters the projects for which those funds would be used, and finally, after the projects are completed, the fee increase would end.
House Ag's bitter partisan divide laid bare in nasty trade-aid skirmish
Partisan rancor on the House Agriculture Committee has reached new heights of bitterness, personal attacks and Twitter-delivered insults. The sniping on Capitol Hill on Thursday was as nasty, and as public, as at any time during last year's farm bill debate -- and it may have been worse. A spat at a committee hearing in the morning sparked a Lone Star State skirmish in the afternoon between Texas members Mike Conaway and Filemon Vela. Vela, a Democrat, called the ranking Republican a "racist Christian pretender" and took a second verbal shot that was rooted in the 2018 farm bill debate, when Conaway ran the committee. Thursday's showdown centered on which party should get credit for preserving language in the House short-term spending bill that maintained USDA's ability to continue paying farmers for losses resulting from retaliatory tariffs brought on by President Donald Trump's trade battles.
President Trump denies 'inappropriate' remark to foreign leader that prompted whistleblower complaint
President Donald Trump denied reports that he made a promise to an unidentified foreign leader that prompted an intelligence community official to file a formal complaint with an inspector general. "Is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially 'heavily populated' call. I would only do what is right anyway, and only do good for the USA!" the president tweeted Thursday morning. Trump's denial came after The Washington Post reported a member of the intelligence community filed the complaint because the president made a "promise," as several former officials described it to the newspaper, that individual deemed highly troubling. It has yet to become public what Trump allegedly promised to deliver to the foreign leader.
Whistleblower complaint about President Trump involves Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter
A whistleblower complaint about President Trump made by an intelligence official centers on Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter, which has set off a struggle between Congress and the executive branch. The complaint involved communications with a foreign leader and a "promise" that Trump made, which was so alarming that a U.S. intelligence official who had worked at the White House went to the inspector general of the intelligence community, two former U.S. officials said. Two and a half weeks before the complaint was filed, Trump spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian and political newcomer who was elected in a landslide in May. That call is already under investigation by House Democrats who are examining whether Trump and his attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani sought to manipulate the Ukrainian government into helping Trump's reelection campaign. Lawmakers have demanded a full transcript and a list of participants on the call.
Trump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition
President Trump's judicial nominees are running into roadblocks from an unexpected group: Republican senators. GOP leaders view the president's court picks as their top priority -- smashing records for the pace of influential appeals court picks. They are also on the brink of setting the fastest confirmation pace for judicial nominees overall. But a recent string of nominees is facing skepticism from Republican senators who are either sinking their nominations or raising questions about their ability to be confirmed. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) became the latest member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to send up a warning flare that he could vote against one of Trump's picks. Kennedy said that Steven Menashi, nominated for the 2nd Circuit appeals court, could be "Oliver Wendell Scalia" but that he couldn't vote for him unless he gets a clear picture of how Menashi thinks about legal issues. Menashi is one of two appeals court nominees under the microscope with Republican senators. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has told colleagues he will oppose Judge Halil Suleyman Ozerden's nomination to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Georgians closely watching Mississippi's moves to limit abortions
Turning onto Fondren Place to go to Mississippi's only abortion clinic, drivers meet a woman holding a sign that reads "babies are murdered here." As a woman walks up to the Jackson Women's Health Organization -- known locally as the "pink house" and shielded from the sidewalk by black tarps -- the teenage "sidewalk counselor" keeps pace on the other side of the barrier. It's a scene that plays out nearly every day as abortion foes focus on the last remaining clinic in the state. And it's a situation Georgia abortion rights advocates hope to avoid in Atlanta as opponents push the state to limit, if not outlaw, the procedure. Mississippi, where lawmakers have made abortions increasingly difficult to get, has become a training ground of sorts for opponents to test the legal limits of the Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing access. Abortion rights activists in Georgia are keeping watch on states such as Mississippi.
Global Climate Strike: A Rising Generation Asserts Itself On Climate Change
Spurred by what they see as a sluggish, ineffectual response to the existential threat of global warming, student activists from around the world are skipping school Friday, for what organizers call a Global Climate Strike. The young activists are protesting as the U.N. prepares to hold its Climate Action Summit on Monday in New York City. The strike's figurehead is 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who traveled from Sweden to New York on an emissions-free sailboat. A little over a year ago, Thunberg began her school strike for the climate by herself, outside the Swedish Parliament. Support for a school climate strike has since spread across the globe. In the past year, Thunberg has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian lawmakers. In New York City, thousands of students are expected to fill the streets alongside Thunberg because, as the city's school district announced on Twitter, it is giving strikers excused absences.
Student Activities Fee: UM ASB Senate passed it unanimously. The students said no.
On Tuesday night, nearly two-thirds of participating students voted to reject the Associated Student Body's proposal to raise the Student Activities Fee from $5 to $10. The proposal was placed on the homecoming ballot after the ASB Senate voted unanimously to hold a student referendum. If it was accepted by the student body, ASB would have sent it as a proposal to the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. The raise would have doubled the budget that the ASB can use to assist in funding registered student organizations. Jordan Maupin, a sophomore elementary education major and one of the 63.9% of students who voted to reject the proposal, said she voted no because she didn't know why ASB needed to increase the fee in the first place. Other students who voted 'no' said that the cost of rising tuition affected their decision.
Pearl River Community College leads state community colleges in enrollment growth
The state's oldest community college is also the fastest growing in Mississippi. Preliminary figures show fall enrollment at Pearl River Community College is up 7.2 percent over fall of 2018 and credit hours are up 6.4 percent. The numbers are from a 10th day enrollment report from the Mississippi Community College Board. Six of Mississippi's 15 community colleges had increased enrollment this fall, but PRCC had the largest percentage increase. "I think the thing we're most proud of is we've had this growth and we have not raised tuition in three years," said Adam Breerwood, president of Pearl River Community College. "We've increased scholarship line item to try to provide more opportunities for students to get higher education in our surrounding communities."
U. of Alabama students march to express concerns with leadership
The organizers of a march by University of Alabama students to highlight free speech concerns in the wake of the abrupt departure of a black administrator say the gathering Thursday was meant to be one of many conversations. The students called on UA's senior leadership to be more proactive in the effort to create a diverse and inclusive campus community. "I would like to turn to the students and (have) the students begin to see there is power behind your voice that is the whole point of this march, and your voice matters, so begin to have these conversations, reach out to the deans of your college, your leaders, your staff your faculty and have those conversations," said Farrah Sanders, a UA student. Sanders organized the march with fellow student Desta Johnson. About 180 marchers filed out of the Ferguson Student Center and crossed the Quad in the mid-afternoon heat to stand on the steps of Rose Administration building. The crowd was met at Rose Administration building by UA President Stuart Bell, who made a brief statement, relaying a message that was similar to an email sent to the camps community on Tuesday.
UT Promise: Randy Boyd to travel state to promote scholarship program
University of Tennessee interim President Randy Boyd will spend three days next week traveling the state to spread the word about the launch of next fall's UT Promise program. Structured like the popular Tennessee Promise scholarship program, UT Promise is a last-dollar scholarship that covers tuition and fees for students with a household income of less than $50,000 a year. The application process is open to in-state students. "We will be the only university system in the country that is able to offer something like this," Boyd said in a Thursday phone interview with the USA TODAY Network-Tennessee. The goal of UT Promise is to ensure students graduate without debt and future workers can earn a living to enhance the state's economy. Boyd said UT graduates are in high demand. Across the system, he said, 46% of UT students graduate with no debt. The program launches in the fall of 2020 and does not have a cap on enrollment, Boyd said. He expects about 2,000 students to take advantage of the program in its first year.
Texas A&M's Hagler Institute inducts new faculty fellows, distinguished lecturers
Nine faculty fellows and five distinguished lecturers were formally welcomed into Texas A&M's Hagler Institute for Advanced Study during a reception on campus Thursday afternoon. This year's faculty fellows class includes distinguished professors and scientists from across the globe who specialize in a wide breadth of studies. "Building a great university faculty is not 'once and done,'" the institute's founding director John L. Junkins told guests congregated in the great hall of the JK Williams Administration Building. "It's something you have to continue by bringing in talent every year." Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp spoke briefly Thursday, and noted that more than $55 million in research grant money has been brought in by scholars with the Hagler Institute, with over $41 million from the governor's University Research Initiative. Texas A&M Vice President for Research Mark A. Barteau commended the institute for this particular class of researchers brought to the school.
Changes under consideration for U. of Missouri System retirement plan
Changes and clarifications to the retirement plan for University of Missouri System employees were forwarded Wednesday to the Board of Curators by the Compensation and Human Resources Committee. The changes correct language that governs employee payments and payouts under a revised defined contribution plan, as well as continuation of benefits if an employee leaves and then returns to work for the university. The plan also broadens the type of employee compensation eligible for a match. Changes to the defined contribution plan would be effective Oct. 1, subject to board approval. Marsha Fischer, who oversees human resources for the UM System, outlined the changes for the committee. Fischer said there was a chance under the defined contribution plan that an employee could pay more than they would recover when they cashed out. That has been addressed so it won't be an issue, she said.
Massive surge in college student voting in 2018
Turnout among college student voters more than doubled from the 2014 to 2018 midterm elections, according to a new report suggesting that a traditionally apathetic voting bloc may significantly influence next year's presidential contest and politics at large. Political researchers say efforts by colleges and universities to boost student civic engagement are paying off and that nearly 40 percent of students who were eligible to vote cast ballots in the 2018 elections, a significant upswing from 19 percent in the 2014 election. The change reflects a nationwide rise in voting participation in nearly every age demographic, but the spike among students is particularly noticeable. The report released Thursday by Tufts University's Institute for Democracy and Higher Education details the surge in college student voting. The National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement, which launched in 2013, is now widely considered to be the best gauge of student voting patterns.
Senator Lamar Alexander blocks HBCU funding bill, proposes broader package of legislation
Efforts to renew more than $255 million in annual funding for minority-serving institutions appear to be on the rocks after Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, blocked legislation Thursday that would provide a short-term extension of the money. Alexander, chairman of the Senate education committee, objected to unanimous passage of the legislation, known as the FUTURE Act, and proposed in its place a long-term extension of Title III, Part F, funding along with a package of bipartisan higher ed bills. The proposals he named included popular proposals to streamline the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and lift restrictions on Pell Grants for some incarcerated students, and more contentious ideas such as expanding Pell eligibility for short-term career education programs. He also proposed expanding Pell Grant eligibility for a quarter million new college students and boosting the value of the maximum award -- ideas that would typically be supported by Democrats. But critics said the plan falls well short of dealing with the most serious challenges in higher education, including accountability and affordability.
Report shows growth in student debt is slowing
Student loan borrowers who earned bachelor's degrees in 2018 had an average debt of $29,200, up 2 percent from their peers in the Class of 2017, the Institute for College Access & Success said in its annual student debt report Thursday. That represents a slight slowing in the rate of borrowing, as the average debt level for borrowers rose at a steady average of 4 percent a year between 1996 and 2012 and slowed after that between 2012 and 2016 before reaching the 2 percent it rests at now. The data in the annual study by TICAS, as the group is known, come from self-reporting from universities. The study looks at students who earn bachelor's degrees from four-year institutions. They are not the students most likely to struggle with student loan debt (those who do not complete a degree), but the approach allows for easy comparison across time and states, said Debbie Cochrane, executive vice president of TICAS. "There are a lot of different ways to look at debt."
Three Institutions Doing Innovative Work to Boost Degree Completion
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities has announced three finalists for its 2019 Degree Completion Award, an annual recognition program that identifies higher ed institutions that "employ innovative approaches to improve degree completion while ensuring educational quality." The finalists -- the University of Central Florida, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and the University of Rhode Island -- were selected by a panel of reviewers, with the final award winner to be announced at the APLU Annual Meeting in November. "We're thrilled to spotlight this year's APLU Degree Completion Award finalists for their exceptional work advancing degree completion," said APLU President Peter McPherson, in a statement. "Public universities are the nation's great engines of upward mobility and the finalists are at the leading edge of further expanding college access, equity and completion."
Colorado State's new president announces plan to address racism on campus in wake of blackface controversy
Joyce McConnell, the new president of Colorado State University, listened to students of color share their pain and frustrations about their treatment on campus during a Wednesday night student government meeting that stretched until 1:30 a.m. Then she spent another two hours fine-tuning the speech she would give later Thursday morning, an address she used to apologize to students "who have been a victim of racism and bias." "There are people on this campus who demean and dehumanize and threaten others because of the color of their skin, their religion, their country of origin or other aspects of their identity," McConnell said in her first Fall Address on the Fort Collins campus. "We must do better. ... To those of you who are here today who have been a victim of racism and bias ... I am deeply sorry for all the ways we have failed you." McConnell's speech, an ode to supporting underrepresented communities on campus, was met by a silent protest from CSU students.
USC President Carol Folt's daunting task: Fix a university battered by scandal
Carol L. Folt, who will be inaugurated this morning as the University of Southern California's 12th president, faces one of the most daunting assignments in American higher education -- fixing USC. An outsider who previously ran the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Folt is the first woman to hold the post. She takes the helm as the private university is trying to recover from years of scandal that scarred its national reputation, cost hundreds of millions of dollars in court settlements and lost contributions, and felled a seemingly invincible president. USC's governing board is betting that Folt, who weathered high-profile controversies in North Carolina, can change an institutional culture many have said became corrupt and money-centric as the university pursued ambitious growth. Since starting in July, Folt has moved rapidly to install key executives, including a new provost as well as administrators overseeing communications, human resources and student affairs. Her most significant decision came this month when she forced out athletic director Lynn Swann, a former sportscaster. Swann, a beloved Trojan football star of the 1970s, was regarded by many as unqualified, but had a close friendship with USC's largest donor, B. Wayne Hughes.
EPA chief Andrew Wheeler says divisive 'transparency' rule will move ahead next year
Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler told lawmakers Thursday the agency plans to implement a controversial transparency rule that critics say could limit available science. The proposed rule would force the EPA to use only scientific research and findings from which all underlying data can be reproduced and made public. Opponents argue that would prevent the EPA from using key research that is not widely available because it includes private information, like health studies. Last month, critics say, EPA staffers could not identify what would be considered allowable research or explain how to handle previously accepted data. "We don't really have any detail to react to, and so it's a real mystery as to what we might be agreeing to or not agreeing to," Janice Chambers, a science professor at Mississippi State University, told Science magazine.

Three matchups to watch as Mississippi State takes on Kentucky
There's been a palpable anxiousness within the Mississippi State football facility this week. Just days after falling short against Kansas State, MSU (2-1) enters Saturday's game in desperate need of a win. For Kentucky (2-1), the Wildcats are fresh off a near-upset of No. 9 Florida seeking their first conference win of the season. With the Bulldogs hoping to begin their SEC slate with a victory, here are three matchups to watch Saturday afternoon: MSU secondary vs. Kentucky receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. Kentucky linebackers vs. Kylin Hill. Special teams.
How Jaquarius Landrews overcame his mom's death to shine at Mississippi State
Sound asleep at his aunt's house in McComb during the summer of 2010, eighth-grader Jaquarius Landrews heard a voice in his head. The message was short, but he knew what it meant. "Take care of your family." Landrews' uncle woke him up what felt like seconds later. He and his siblings were called into the kitchen. Landrews knew what his uncle was about to say. The children's mother, Deirdre Harvey, had died after contracting HIV. She was 34. Landrews, who nine years later has become Mississippi State's starting strong safety and leading tackler through three games in 2019, is the oldest brother of five on his mother's side of the family. He has an older sister on that side as well. All of them broke into tears when the news was delivered. Except Landrews. He didn't know what to do or say. Or how to react at all. "I was just shocked," Landrews said. "Just sitting there. I didn't know how to take it in. I didn't cry until the funeral. I tried to keep my head high and stay strong for everybody else."
Wildcats embracing first road challenge
Kentucky started the season with back-to-back victories over Toledo and Eastern Michigan but could not sustain an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter and lost 29-21 to Florida last weekend. This week, the Wildcats have a new challenge on their hands as they leave the commonwealth for the first time this season to visit Mississippi State. "We've been at home for three-straight weeks and we know that there's going to be great road challenges throughout the year," said Kentucky coach Mark Stoops. "This is our first opportunity and we have to embrace that. "We respect the environment that we're going into and respect this team but there's something that's fun about the challenge of going on the road, being united and getting on that bus and heading down to Starkville. We'll be excited about that opportunity."
Terrell Buckley, Mark Stoops to rekindle Florida State days
Mississippi State cornerbacks coach Terrell Buckley says he's still awaiting an invitation. In the eight years since he and Kentucky coach Mark Stoops were assistants on Jimbo Fisher's staff at Florida State, the two have long tried to meet on a golf course. Buckley had planned to join Stoops this past summer but dates didn't match up. Stoops maintains Buckley has simply avoided the challenge. Former Miami standout Lamar Thomas -- Buckley's proclaimed best friend and a former assistant for Stoops at Kentucky -- said Buckley is sharp in his mid-iron game but struggles putting while Stoops is more erratic and quick moving through his rounds. "(Buckley) loves the game," Thomas said. "And so does Stoops." Just a piece of their persistent friendship, golf was among the initial interests Buckley and Stoops shared during their two-year overlap in Tallahassee between 2010 and 2011.
'Do the right thing': Inside Mitch Barnhart's inbox during UK's alcohol sales decision
Whatever lingering resentment may exist over Kentucky's decision not to sell alcohol in the general seating areas at its sporting venues, it was hard to spot during Saturday's football game against No. 8 Florida. The first sellout of the season included an announced crowd of 63,076, the fifth-largest attendance since Kentucky lowered capacity at Kroger Field in 2015. When Kentucky jumped out to a 21-10 lead, the crowd roared. When the Wildcats collapsed down the stretch and a last-ditch Hail Mary attempt was intercepted at the buzzer for a 29-21 loss, fans looked confused about how quickly the tide had turned, just as they had so many times before. The no-alcohol decision did nothing to dull enthusiasm at Kroger Field. That's just how UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart wanted it. In announcing in August UK's decision to keep alcohol sales to just premium suites, Barnhart cited the family atmosphere he wanted to preserve at UK games.
In Pac-12 Football: Empty Seats, TV Woes and Recruiting Gaps
When Larry Scott, the Pacific-12 Conference commissioner, began jumping through hoops for television money, he envisioned nights like Friday, a prime-time audience on national television for a compelling game: No. 10 Utah, the conference's highest-ranked team, against U.S.C., its most storied program. And yet that story line may be overtaken by a subplot -- the presence of the excommunicated Reggie Bush and the eternally angling Urban Meyer, who in their roles as Fox Sports commentators will loom over the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum like plaintive ghosts of U.S.C. football past and (perhaps) future. This is just how it goes for the Pac-12 as it fights to regain college football relevancy, swimming against a current of declining attendance and TV ratings, a bleeding of recruits, the decline of U.S.C., and -- most distressingly -- a growing TV revenue gap from the SEC and Big Ten.

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Mississippi State University  •  Mississippi State, MS 39762  •  Main Telephone: (662) 325-2323  •   Contact: The Editor  |  The Webmaster  •   Updated: September 20, 2019Facebook Twitter