Friday, June 14, 2019  SUBSCRIBE   
Placement rates high for recent Mississippi accounting graduates
Accounting graduates in Mississippi are in high demand for good-paying jobs that involve more than just figures and calculations. "It is not just crunching numbers. We do a lot of focusing on critical thinking, analytical skills, technology, technical skills and communication," said Marv Bouillon, Jerold J. Morgan Professor of Accounting and director, School of Accountancy, the University of Southern Mississippi. "Now more than 50 percent of our graduates are female," he said. "It is an area where I would say females do as well as male students, if not a little better at times. To me it is a great field for female students to be in and a great field to be able to move up in the profession." Shawn Mauldin, director of Adkerson School of Accountancy at Mississippi State University, also estimated that more than half of its students are female. Both men and women have caught on to the fact that accountancy is one of the better degrees regarding job prospects. "We have extremely high placement rates in the School of Accountancy," Mauldin said.
Mississippi AG says he'll sue Army Corps over Bonnet Carre Spillway damages as a 'last resort'
State Attorney General Jim Hood said at a news conference Thursday afternoon that he would as a last resort sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over widespread environmental damage and aquatic deaths in the Mississippi Sound caused by the longest release in history of Mississippi River water from the Bonnet Carre Spillway. The Louisiana spillway has -- for the first time since it was completed in 1931 -- been opened twice in one year and in back-to-back years. Openings in February and May have spewed more than 6 trillion gallons of river water through the spillway that empties into Lake Pontchartrain and then the Sound. "I'd rather have a conversation with them," he said. The attorney general, Hosemann and Joe Spraggins, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, will be meeting June 24 with Maj. General Richard G. Kaiser, commander of the Corps' Mississippi Valley Division.
Wicker, Palazzo express support for federal fisheries disaster request
Last week, Governor Phil Bryant submitted a federal fisheries disaster request as a result of the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. Senator Roger Wicker and Congressman Steven Palazzo have sent a follow up to Secretary of Commerce Wilber Ross in support of the Governor's request. The opening of the spillway has allowed the introduction of freshwater into the Mississippi Sound, which has had a negative impact on marine life, including oysters, crabs, and shrimp. The lawmakers expressed their concern as the spillway remains open, stating that the influx of additional freshwater into the Mississippi Sound from flooded regions upriver is devastating coastal ecosystems, which will result in losses to the Gulf Coast's seafood, sport fishing, and tourism industries. "Given this situation, we agree with Governor Phil Bryant that the Department of Commerce should assist these stressed Mississippi interests," Wicker and Palazzo wrote. "Declaring a federal fisheries disaster will help negatively impacted ecosystems and coastal communities begin recovery efforts."
Gov. Phil Bryant joins Trump, Kim Kardashian at White House for criminal justice event
Gov. Phil Bryant was at the White House on Thursday as President Donald Trump, reality TV star Kim Kardashian and others announced new efforts to connect Americans with criminal records to jobs. The employment efforts for former inmates are tied to the First Step Act, the bipartisan prison reform bill Trump signed in law last year. They included more federal assistance for inmates to find openings and more funding to back certain companies who hire former inmates. Kardashian announced an initiative to help get former inmates to job interviews via ride-sharing. "The single most important impact we can make is to help them find a really, really good job," Trump said. "So when we say, 'Hire American,' we mean, all Americans," he added. Bryant sat in the front row but did not speak. He has discussed criminal justice reform with Trump a number of times, including when the president visited Mississippi last fall.
USDA research agencies will move to Kansas City region, Perdue announces
Two scientific agencies in the Department of Agriculture will move from Washington to the greater Kansas City region, USDA announced Thursday, despite strong resistance to the plan. Nearly 550 positions at the Economic Research Service, a statistical agency, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which funds cutting-edge agricultural science, are expected to be moved before year's end. USDA estimated the savings at $300 million over 15 years from employment and rent. "The Kansas City Region has proven itself to be hub for all things agriculture and is a booming city in America's heartland," Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement. Republican senators representing Missouri and Kansas welcomed Thursday's announcement. But current employees of the two agencies, mostly Democratic lawmakers and a bipartisan coalition of former USDA leaders warned that the move, more than 900 miles from Washington, would devastate the two agencies.
Hundreds of USDA jobs headed to KC after 'united effort' by Kansas and Missouri
Hundreds of lucrative federal jobs are headed to the Kansas City area after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced plans Thursday to relocate two research agencies to the region. A two-state proposal from Kansas and Missouri beat out 135 other bids to become new headquarters of the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture, two of the USDA's principal research agencies. It's a major win for policymakers in both states who worked closely on a collaborative bid, a sign that the long-term border tensions on economic development may be easing. "It was a united effort, so that really helped," Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, the Senate Agriculture chairman, said earlier in the week before the USDA officially selected Kansas City over other finalists, North Carolina and Indiana. President Donald Trump's administration has framed the relocation to the heartland as a way for the department to work more closely with farmers, but the plan is controversial in Washington where critics say the moves will hinder collaboration with other federal agencies and force long-time employees to uproot their families.
USDA employees silently protest Trump administration's plan to move jobs to Kansas City
Federal employees turned their backs in silent protest against Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue as he addressed employees Thursday about relocating their jobs from Washington to Kansas City. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's selection of Kansas City as the new home for 550 federal research jobs has been a major victory for policymakers in Kansas and Missouri. But for USDA employees with family and professional ties to the D.C. region, the Trump's administration's plan to move their jobs from Washington to the Midwest is bitter news. Dozens of USDA staff turned their backs as Perdue touted Kansas City's food and arts scenes, praised the region's school districts and promised employees that their importance to the federal government would not be lessened by the move. Critics of the relocation plan see it as an attack on science and warn that it'll hamper the agencies' ability to communicate with Congress and other federal research agencies.
U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly opening office in Oxford City Hall
During their meeting on June 4, the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved a request to allow one of Mississippi's U.S. Representatives to use an office in City Hall. Trent Kelly, a Representative for Mississippi's 1st congressional district, will have an office in Oxford in order to better serve his constituents. Kelly sent a letter to the Board requesting approval and stated the reasons for wanting an office at City Hall. The Board also agreed to the Memorandum of Understanding that accompanied the letter. The Board did not have any reservations regarding Kelly's request, but Alderwoman Janice Antenow felt it should not be an exclusive agreement, stating the office should be available to government officials at all levels. With Kelly being the only Congressman making the request at the time, the Board approved the request as it was presented to them. It passed with a five to one vote. Antonow was the dissenting vote.
Sarah Sanders exiting White House, heading home to Arkansas; Trump urges run for gov
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is returning to Arkansas; she'll soon be running for office, if her boss has his way. President Donald Trump announced the Little Rock native's departure Thursday afternoon on Twitter. "After 3 1/2 years, our wonderful Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving the White House at the end of the month and going home to the Great State of Arkansas," the New York Republican tweeted. "She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas -- she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!" Noting her roots, Trump said, "She comes from a great state, Arkansas. That was a state I won by a lot, so I like it, right?" he said, drawing laughter. "But we love Arkansas, and she's going to be going back to Arkansas with her great family -- her husband, who's a fantastic guy, and her family." Before calling her forward to speak, Trump suggested Sanders' political career is far from over.
The Highly Dangerous 'Triton' Hackers Have Probed the US Grid
On the scale of security threats, hackers scanning potential targets for vulnerabilities seems low. But when the hackers in question executed one of the most reckless cyberattacks in history -- one that could have had easily turned destructive or even lethal -- that reconnaissance has a more foreboding edge. Especially when the target of their scanning is the US power grid. Over the last several months, power grid-focused security analysts at the Electric Information Sharing and Analysis Center. or E-ISAC, and the critical infrastructure security firm Dragos have been tracking a group of sophisticated hackers carrying out broad scans of dozens of US power grid targets, apparently looking for entry points into their networks. Scanning alone hardly represents a serious threat. But these hackers, known as Xenotime -- or sometimes as the Triton actor, after their signature malware -- have a particularly dark history.
IHL to hold 'Listening Sessions' in UM Chancellor search
The search for a new Chancellor at Ole Miss continues to move forward. Recently, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning announced the formation of a Campus Search Advisory Committee consisting of members of the Ole Miss & Oxford community. The IHL has now set the dates for Campus Listening Sessions at Ole Miss and the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. According to the IHL, the discussions will seek input from students and staff regarding the qualities and qualifications that they believe the next chancellor should possess. The University of Mississippi Medical Center Campus Listening Sessions will begin at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, on the campus located at 2500 North State Street in Jackson. The University of Mississippi-Oxford Campus Listening Sessions will begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday, September 5, 2019 at the Inn at Ole Miss on the Oxford Campus.
U. of Florida says citrus research foundation not complying with state law
The University of Florida is cracking down on the Citrus Research and Development Foundation and other support affiliates because UF officials believe they're not in compliance with Florida law. But UF officials have declined to specify why they came to that conclusion and what the foundation needs to do to get into compliance, said foundation officials on Wednesday at its board of directors meeting. The directors met on the first day of the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference in Bonita Springs, which has attracted nearly 700 citrus industry representatives and guests. "If we are not in compliance, we have been out of compliance for 10 years," said director Bobby Barben, an Avon Park-based grower. "We have not changed." The Citrus Foundation was founded in 2009 as the lead agency supporting scientific research to find solutions for the fatal bacterial disease citrus greening, which threatens the future of Florida's commercial citrus industry. It was founded as a "direct support organization" affiliated with the University of Florida.
Trump administration reviewing foreign funding at Texas A&M
The U.S. Education Department has opened investigations into foreign funding at Texas A&M University and Georgetown University as part of a broader push to monitor international money flowing to American colleges. Both universities are being ordered to disclose years of financial records amid concerns they have not fully reported their foreign gifts and contracts to the federal government, according to letters sent to the schools Thursday and obtained by The Associated Press. A Texas A&M University spokesperson said administrators are cooperating with the inquiry. "We take compliance and security very seriously at Texas A&M University. We just received the document today from the U.S. Department of Education and are reviewing it," the spokesperson said in a statement. The inquiries are part of a broader campaign to scrutinize foreign funding going to universities and to improve reporting by schools, according to a Trump administration official familiar with the effort.
Food-Delivery Robots Are the Next Big Thing for Campus Dining
David Rodriguez has a vision for the future of college dining: fleets of pixel-faced robots, each about the size of an Igloo cooler, piloted remotely by low-wage workers in Colombia, rolling around idyllic greens and quads to deliver nourishment to busy students. Rodriguez, head of business development for the tech startup Kiwi Campus, just attended the National Campus Leadership Council's annual Presidential Leadership Summit, held this week at George Washington University, where he pitched his product to college presidents and administrators from across the country. Mark Kraner, George Mason's executive director of campus retail operations, said the robots present a cost-effective way to serve student demand for food delivery, a demand that most campus dining services have yet to meet and thus, is usually left to off-campus vendors.
U. of Oklahoma Severs Ties With Former President Following Title IX Investigation
The former University of Oklahoma president David L. Boren has agreed to resign from and sever all ties with the institution following the conclusion of a Title IX investigation. Boren, who retired as president in June 2018 but continued teaching political science, has been accused of sexual harassment by university aides, news of which surfaced in March. Boren, who is also a former governor and U.S. senator, chose to resign from his teaching post after the investigation, according to a statement issued on Wednesday by the university. With that move, the statement said, Boren "relinquishes his affiliation" with the institution. The changes are effective immediately. In a written statement on Thursday, Boren, who has denied the allegations, called them a "personal attack" and said he thought it would be best to resolve the matter. In tandem with the university's investigation, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is pursuing a criminal investigation into the accusations against Boren.
What do the television shows Property Brothers, Flip or Flop, Masters of Flip and Fixer Upper have in common?
Consultant and columnist Phil Hardwick writes for the Mississippi Business Journal: What do the television shows Property Brothers, Flip or Flop, Masters of Flip and Fixer Upper have in common? Answer: They are the most watched home decorator shows of all time. Watch any of those shows, or any similar shows on television, and you're likely to hear the term "design" used quite a bit. Design, which is the process of creating something based on a plan, is becoming an in-thing. It's about time. What was once available to only those who could afford architects has now come to us mortal souls. There is no longer any doubt about it. Design, has finally become regarded as the important aspect of life that it is. I know this because CBS Sunday Morning, my favorite television program, has had an annual design show each year for the past few years. I also know this because schools of design are popping up all over the place. Good design can sometimes be so subtle it's hardly noticed.

Double duty for Mississippi State freshman Brad Cumbest
It's difficult enough for a freshman to find his way in one sport in the Southeastern Conference, much less two. But that's exactly what Brad Cumbest has done this year. Cumbest took the field at tight end for Mississippi State's football team in the fall and has also played the outfield for the Diamond Dogs this spring. "Brad's got more energy than any of our guys, he can do it all," said MSU baseball coach Chris Lemonis. "He's either going to be catching a fish or chasing a hog after practice. He just can't sit still so it's probably good that he plays two sports. He's our team's personality and all the guys love him. He's put his work in, he just has to do a little more than everybody else." The Hurley native had every intention of playing both sports when he arrived in Starkville, but still had to get the blessing of football coach Joe Moorhead since that's the sport for which he's on scholarship. The baseball staff met with Moorhead and devised a plan so Cumbest could play baseball and still practice with the football team this spring.
Three Bulldog hitters who have suffered inconsistency this season are surging into CWS
Elijah MacNamee is no longer allowed to openly admire his super regional handiwork -- at least not until his team's run in College World Series is complete. The Mississippi State baseball senior right fielder has been showered with praise and support in the past three days since his all-too-fateful three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning Sunday that helped sink Stanford in what was the series-deciding Game 2 of the Starkville Super Regional. Twitter and other varying social media sites exploded with videos and images of MacNamee's hit, bat-flip, prolonged celebration and first base umpire Frank Sylvester's disdain for it all. But that is no more. MSU coach Chris Lemonis won't allow it. "I walk in and he's watching the swing in the locker room a little while ago," Lemonis said through a grin Tuesday. "We have cut him off of watching that swing and talking about that swing. But I hope he's right back on track. If that doesn't get you going I don't know what will." This isn't to say MacNamee's seemingly scripted feat Sunday should go unnoticed. Rather, it's that a there are larger goals at stake entering this weekend's College World Series -- goals of which MacNamee and, more specifically, his bat, are squarely a part.
Mississippi State baseball adds four more All-America honors
The Mississippi State baseball trio of sophomore Justin Foscue, senior Jake Mangum and redshirt-junior Ethan Small each garnered All-America honors from D1Baseball, while freshman JT Ginn grabbed his second Freshman All-America honor from Perfect Game. Small earned his fourth first-team All-America honor from D1Baseball, while Mangum and Foscue were each tabbed second-team All-Americans by the publication. Mangum has earned second-team laurels from Baseball American and Perfect Game, while also grabbing a third-team selection from Collegiate Baseball. Foscue has grabbed second-team All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball, as well, and third-team accolades from Perfect Game and Baseball America. Ginn added his second Freshman All-America distinction from Perfect Game, just a two days after earning the publications National Freshman of the Year award. He is the first MSU baseball student-athlete to earn a national freshman of the year honor in program history.
Tigers cherish long ride to College World Series
Jack Owen says it hits him over and over. He might be lost in thought or his mind occupied, when he'll catch another reminder, and it'll become real all over again that Auburn is going to the College World Series. For Owen and his Tiger teammates, it's a dream come true. "It's every time you, like, open up Twitter or something, you see another tweet about it, and it kind of hits you again --- that you're actually going," Owen said earlier this week with a smile. That was just before the sophomore pitcher and his teammates loaded up the bus in Auburn and headed off to fly to Nebraska. The team landed in Omaha on Wednesday and practiced at a field nearby Thursday as the team gets set for its College World Series opener set for Sunday. Auburn plays Mississippi State at 6 p.m. CT on Sunday. For the players, their run out of the dugout and onto the diamond then will make for the realization of a dream that Owen said simply means everything. "You grow up watching on TV," he said. "It's always been a dream of mine, and now we're here. It's going to be awesome."
CWS: Skill a must, but luck counts, too -- witness Mississippi State in '85
Mississippi sports columnist Rick Cleveland writes: It says here Mississippi State heads into the College World Series playing as well -- if not better -- than anyone. If asked to pick the eventual winner out of the eight contenders -- with my house on the line -- I'd pick State. Vanderbilt, you ask? Vandy's really, really good, but, man, I hate that whistler. MY theory: Over the course of the season, he must even wear out Vandy's team. Besides that, I saw the Bulldogs beat Vandy two of three in last year's Nashville Super Regional with a trip to Omaha on the line. This State team is better than that State team -- better hitting, better pitching, better fielding, better across the board. ... But this is baseball, and the best team doesn't always win. Key players get hurt. The wind shifts at the wrong time. Good players lose the ball in the sun. Or, as Boo Ferriss once said, "You never know in baseball. There are too many pebbles out there on the field. Sometimes, the ball bounces the wrong way."
Mississippi State's Anderson Peters named semifinalist for track and field's highest honor
For the second straight year, Anderson Peters is a semifinalist for The Bowerman, collegiate track and field's highest honor. He joins Brandon McBride as Mississippi State's only two-time semifinalist (2014, 2016). The Bowerman was created in 2009 and is given annually to the top male and female athlete in track and field by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Peters, the USTFCCCA South Region Co-Field Athlete of the Year won consecutive SEC and NCAA championships this season while breaking his own meet record at both the conference and national level. He led his teammates to the second sweep of the NCAA men's javelin podium in history and the first since 1964. The St. Andrews, Grenada, native ranks third in NCAA history and holds six of the top 10 throws all-time.
Texas A&M approves sale of alcohol at Kyle Field
Texas A&M has approved the sale of beer and wine to the general public at football games at Kyle Field this fall, according to a release by the athletic department. A variety of domestic and imported beers as well as wine will be available, according to the athletic department. The sale of alcohol at other A&M sporting events will be decided at a later date, per the release. "This is another way we are enhancing the amenities at Kyle Field," interim athletic director R.C. Slocum said in the release. "We are extending the availability of alcohol beyond the premium areas which have had this option for many years. Fans, 21 and older, will have the option to purchase alcohol, regardless of seating area." "I think what it does is it provides flexibility," new A&M athletic director Ross Bjork said of the SEC policy. "If LSU is all in and Ole Miss wants to do something different or Texas A&M -- it gives flexibility. I think that's the key, whatever the local philosophy is should apply. We've been talking about that in the SEC for the last five years around this alcohol policy."
Paul Mainieri on LSU baseball's offseason plans: No staff changes, these players might return
Paul Mainieri dropped into his office chair. Not even a week past LSU's elimination at the hands of College World Series-bound Florida State in the Baton Rouge super regional, the Tigers baseball coach has been conducting exit interviews with his assistant coaches and players, closing out the 2019 season. "I wish I was in Omaha," said Mainieri to begin his final news conference of the season. So did the rest of his coaching staff, which Mainieri said he didn't anticipate changing this offseason. There'll be plenty of turnover on the roster: Mainieri said freshman right-handed pitcher Riggs Threadgill will transfer, joining sophomore catcher Brock Mathis and freshman right-hander Will Ripoll, who both announced their intention to transfer earlier this week.

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