Monday, February 6, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Artist, chef to lead recovery program fundraiser for Mississippi State
Two south Mississippians who have earned accolades in the respective worlds of art and fine dining are combining their talents Feb. 12 for a special fundraiser event benefitting Mississippi State University's Collegiate Recovery Community. Watercolorist Wyatt Waters and chef and author Robert St. John will headline a 100-chair, limited-seating public appeal titled "Arts and Action" at West Point's Old Waverly Golf Club. MSU's Collegiate Recovery Community is organizer of the 4-6 p.m. event. A part of the University Health Services and the health promotion and wellness department, the CRC provides programs and initiatives to support and enhance individual student addiction-recovery efforts. St. John will prepare a four-course meal, and the event will feature live and silent auctions, along with several personal accounts of successful recoveries. Blake Schneider, CRC coordinator, said the live auction of Waters' paintings will conclude the program.
 
Mississippi State hosts conference focusing on philosophy
The Mississippi Philosophical Association's annual conference started Friday afternoon. This conference is taking place at Mississippi State University through Saturday. This conference brings together scholars from around the country including from schools like University of Georgia, Tulane University, and Millsaps College. The association's members work to increase the understanding and appreciation of philosophy. The conference continues Saturday at McCain Hall on campus
 
Pascagoula native and Mississippi State grad will be taking her invention to Hollywood
A year ago, Pascagoula native Kaylie Mitchell was hustling to promote a product she invented with Hagan Walker while preparing for a December graduation as a senior in graphic design at Mississippi State University. While Mitchell is still hustling her product, Glo, which illuminates beverages, is taking off -- so much, in fact, that Mitchell is making her final plans to take her product to Los Angeles on Feb. 26. "Glo is going to be featured in a celebrity party suite for the Academy Awards," Mitchell said. "We are very excited about this." Mitchell, a graduate of Pascagoula High School, said she and Walker were approached about doing the gift suite, but needed to raise some additional funds to help support the trip.
 
Mississippi State Program Encourages Young Female Students To Pursue Computer Science
The release of acclaimed movie Hidden Figures, has helped shine more light on women working in the computer science field, and how much harder they have to work in order to be taken seriously. Saturday, a group of female middle school students had a chance to be a part of a computer science camp at Mississippi State University. "I'm part of an organization called ProjectCSGirls which has a mission of spreading love of computer science to young girls, middle schooled girls," said Sarah Darrow, the program's instructor. Dorrow worked with the girls hands on and taught them a variety of things such as mobile app development and game development.
 
The Dart: Couple moving to Starkville to cheer on Bulldogs
After living in Natchez since 1973, the Switzers are planning to move closer to their sporting mecca, Mississippi State University. When The Dart landed on Arrowhead Drive Wednesday, Carolyn Switzer was working on beautifying the house to list it for sale. Switzer said she and her husband, Dennis, own a condo in Starkville, and they want to be able to attend all of the Bulldogs' home games. "We can't wait to get back to Starkville so we can see the Lady Dogs and the men's basketball," Switzer said. "I love the excitement of basketball. I'm always on the edge of my seat and biting my fingernails --- I just really enjoy it." Switzer said she loves football equally to basketball, though one bonus for basketball is the games are not out in the Southern heat. Switzer said when the couple moves away, she will miss Natchez. "I will miss my friends and church," Switzer said.
 
Insect Control Guide app available from Mississippi State
The Mississippi State University Extension and research entomologists Angus Catchot, Jeff Gore and Don Cook have finalized an app of the 2017 Insect Control Guide for Agronomic Crops. The MSU Insect Control Guide app is now available through the iTunes App Store for use on iPhones and iPads. A version for use on Android devices will be released soon. Printed copies of the 2017 Insect Control Guide are also available through local Extension offices. The publication file can also be downloaded for printing.
 
Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi hosting workshop on food safety
If you've considered sharing your pickles or salsa with the world as a farmers market vendor, Mississippi State University is offering a workshop that will benefit you. The Feb. 24 workshop will be 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Coastal Research and Extension Center at 1815 Popp's Ferry Road, Biloxi. The focus is on food-safety basics and regulations for processing acidified foods in Mississippi. That includes pickled products, salsa and sauces such as barbecue or pasta sauce. "Whether you have a business that you wish to expand, you want to enter new market avenues or you are just in the planning stages, the acidified canned food training will be helpful to you," Courtney Crist, Extension professor of food safety and an event coordinator, said in a press release from Mississippi State University.
 
Teaching for Dixon is a 'gift from God;' planning to enroll at MSU
Ernest Dixon works to meet his students needs by adapting his teaching style to best serve the children. Teaching digital media and technology allows Dixon to cover multiple units and lets his students delve into learning about a wide variety of occupations. "Many students entered the course with fear in understanding that the course was new to the district, and the curriculum was developed at Mississippi State University. I eased my students' fear by encouraging cooperation among learners facilitating the cross-pollination of ideas and information," Dixon said. He plans to enroll in the administration leadership program at Mississippi State. "I always wanted to be a teacher, even from a young age," he said.
 
Officials say Amazon not receiving special deal to collect tax for state
Revenue Commissioner Herb Frierson says internet retail giant Amazon is not receiving any special compensation to collect for the state the 7 percent tax on retail items it sells to Mississippi e-commerce shoppers. The Department of Revenue recently announced that Amazon voluntarily started collecting the 7 percent tax and remitting the revenue back to the state. Amazon has made similar deals with numerous other states. But, according to news reports found online, some states are giving Amazon a slice of the tax revenue it collects. "They wanted 2 percent," Frierson said. "I told them I could not do that without changing the law." A recent study, though, by the Institutions of Higher Learning University Research Center estimates the state is losing between $105.6 million and $122.7 million annually on remote sales where the 7 percent tax is not collected.
 
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves defends ed funding rewrite process
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is dismissing accusations that rewrite efforts of the state's education funding formula have been concealed from the public, even as a Thursday deadline looms for the Senate to vote on a bill lacking details that would allow lawmakers to propose a plan. "Some people say that this has been some sort of secretive process. Nothing could be further than the truth," Reeves told The Clarion-Ledger Friday. The "some people" in question are likely Democrats, who have called for the process to be delayed until next session, arguing more discussion is needed on how changes might affect their districts. Other stakeholders such as the Parents' Campaign, a nonprofit education organization, have also called for extensive vetting. "Anyone in the public that is curious what an ultimate bill will look like can start with those recommendations made by EdBuild," Reeves said.
 
Lottery turning into headache for speaker
The fact that Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, has made no secret of his opposition to enacting a statewide lottery has not kept House members from trying to bring the issue to the forefront. Gunn, who presides over the House, must decide in the coming days whether an amendment offered by Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, is properly before the House. The colorful Holland offered the amendment Thursday to legislation dealing with the regulating of fantasy sports gaming. In offering the amendment, Holland said, "It is time to throw this snake into the congregation and see if it strikes." A point of order was raised immediately to the Holland amendment, saying it violated House rules to try to incorporate a state lottery in the fantasy sports legislation.
 
Mississippi micro-breweries have high hopes with legislation
Kem Coleman started 1817 Brewery two years ago in a small building, with plans to eventually expand into a bigger location where he could offer tours, tastings and beer sales on site. That third element -- beer sales at the brewery -- has not been an option, until this year. Under current law, state breweries could only sell their products to a licensed wholesaler. "You could sample a beer where they make it, but you have to go to a store or restaurant to buy it," he said. Those missed opportunities mean missed sales – but that could change soon. Bills moving through the Mississippi Legislature could make sales at breweries legal, and Coleman and other brewers across the state are excited at the possibilities.
 
Lawmakers oppose intervention on flag flap
Local critics of Mississippi's flag heard the refrain repeatedly from Tupelo's City Council last year: "Go talk to your legislators." Turns out, those flag critics aren't likely to receive the reception they might like from most state senators and representatives of Northeast Mississippi. The Daily Journal recently contacted a number of area lawmakers regarding the controversial Mississippi flag. Almost all said they would oppose any effort to change the flag through legislative action, and none indicated outright support for legislative action. "It's the citizens' flag, and it needs to be changed by the citizens," said District 17 House Rep. Shane Aguirre, R-Tupelo. Aguirre's sentiment was echoed across the region, often accompanied by reference to a 2001 referendum in which voters elected to keep the current design by a wide margin.
 
Analysis: Lawmakers love to praise the folks back home
Mississippi legislators will flail their arms and raise their voices to disagree about substantial issues like education funding and state employees' job protection. But they generally find bipartisan peace and harmony in the act of commending the folks back home. The House and Senate adopt hundreds of resolutions each year to congratulate sports teams, beauty queens, writers, actors, singers, painters, preachers, teachers and even other politicians. Most "commendatory" resolutions, in legislative-speak, are noncontroversial. Sometimes, an unexpected one will sail through with broad support.
 
Stennis salutes state with Southern-fried art
Laurin Stennis loves Mississippi. It's in her blood. After all, she is the granddaughter of the late Sen. John C. Stennis, whom she loving called "PawPaw." After living out of state for 20 years, she returned in late August 2013 when the health of her father, John Hampton Stennis, was failing. "He passed away in September of that year, and I wasn't sure how long I was going to stay," Stennis said. "I was staying with a friend and thought about renting an apartment in Fondren when someone told me about a house for sale in Belhaven. It was a small house with a fenced back yard, perfect for my dog, and the house number was the same as my birthday. I felt it was meant to be." The debate over the state flag was heated long before Stennis returned to Jackson. On April 17, 2001, voters reaffirmed the use of the flag adopted in 1894 that contains the Confederate battle cross.
 
Skeptical Mitch McConnell distances from Trump on Russia, travel ban
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has labored mightily to avoid criticizing President Trump, but two weeks into the new administration, it's getting harder to downplay their differences. On Sunday, McConnell told CNN he disagreed with Trump's view of Russian President Vladimir Putin, questioned the president's claim of massive voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election and cautioned against the administration going too far with restrictions on travel from predominantly Muslim countries. McConnell also chided Trump, albeit tacitly, for lambasting a federal judge who ruled against his executive order temporarily banning visitors from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Syria from entering the U.S. He disagreed most pointedly with Trump comparing Russia's human rights record with that of the United States.
 
'So-Called' Judge Criticized by Trump Is Known as a Mainstream Republican
The federal judge who blocked President Trump's immigration order is described by former colleagues and acquaintances as a "mainstream" Republican who went from a career as a highly respected corporate lawyer in Seattle to an appointment by President George W. Bush to the federal bench. The order on Friday by the judge, James Robart of Federal District Court in Seattle, reversed the president's executive order restricting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. It stirred the ire of Mr. Trump, who in a Twitter post on Saturday denigrated Judge Robart as a "so-called judge" and described the judge's order as "ridiculous." Lawyers in Seattle describe Judge Robart, 69, as a disciplined "judge's judge" who is unafraid of passing down unpopular rulings.
 
Trump's evangelical support is wide, but how deep?
President Trump's evangelical support is not as solid as it might seem, some scholars say. And Millennial conservatives illustrate some of the growing fissures of the decades-long political alliance between the GOP and its most reliable base of white, religiously conservative voters. "I was saying all along in the lead-up to the election last year that I thought there were cracks in the evangelical-Republican Party alliance, and I still contend that, despite the fact that 80 percent voted for him," says Carter Turner, professor of religious studies at Radford University in Virginia. There's still a deep restlessness among many Evangelicals no longer willing to make their faith so overtly tied to conservative politics, he says. On the surface, those with such concerns may seem like outliers. But there's a growing consensus among scholars, too, that most Evangelicals voted strategically.
 
Update: USM student reported missing arrested on drug charges
A 24-year-old graduate student at University of Southern Mississippi who was reported missing by his family on Friday was arrested on drug charges. Faizan Tahir, 24, had not been heard from since Wednesday night, according to the Student Printz, USM's student newspaper. The man's sister, Hiba Tahir, posted on Facebook about 1 p.m. she and her parents had reported him missing to Hattiesburg police. At 3:40 p.m., Hiba Tahir said on Facebook that Faizan had been found safe. WDAM-TV reports that Faizan Tahir was arrested Wednesday night or Thursday morning on charges of sale of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance -- ecstasy.
 
Protesting Trump's Travel Ban with Prayer at Millsaps College
A Yemeni man stood on a Millsaps College outdoor stage with two of his children and told his family's story of separation in Arabic. A translator helped the crowd understand his story. His family came to Ridgeland, Miss., a few years ago, fleeing the war in Yemen just before it began. The father had to leave his two sons, ages 9 and 11 years old, back in Yemen with their grandmother. Six months ago, the Department of Homeland Security approved the two boys for political asylum, the translator said, so they could be reunited with their family---after they received visas. The State Department granted them interviews in Djibouti in December, but the war was too intense for the boys to make it to their visa interview safely. Now, Trump's executive order directly affects the family, further stalling them for being reunited. The father spoke to more than a hundred kids, adults and college students gathered at Millsaps for a peaceful vigil Thursday evening in support of immigrants, refugees and Muslims.
 
Copiah-Lincoln Community College to build women's dorm
The construction of a new 22,000-square-foot, two-story women's residence hall has started on the Copiah-Lincoln Community College campus in Wesson. It's been 45 years since Co-Lin has built a women's dormitory. This dorm -- an honors residence hall -- will be for female students who have an ACT score of 21 or higher and maintain a 3.0 grade point average. The building will have 28 double bedrooms with space for 56 students, an apartment for a residence hall supervisor, an elevator, a study area and laundry facilities. Dean of Students Brenda Smith said the dorm would have the additional benefit of more spacious private bathrooms. Architecture South, P.A. is the architect for the $4.6 million project. Paul Jackson and Son, Inc. of Brookhaven is serving as the general contractor.
 
$28-million Jordan-Hare facility gets green light from Auburn trustees
Creation of a new $28 million game-day support facility at Jordan-Hare Stadium will move forward following approval by the Auburn University's board of trustees at Friday morning's meeting. The board unanimously approved the final project request, allowing the construction of a new 44,000-square-foot facility to move forward as early as this spring, according to Dan King, associate vice president for facilities. The new facility will be built in the southwest corner of the stadium, including club space for fans, recruiting space for football and Olympic sports and a new press box for the media. The project also includes a 16,000-square-foot renovation to the home locker rooms. "We're really tight in there," said Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs.
 
Auburn University Muslim Students Association hosts 'Meet a Muslim Pizza Party'
People of all ages and nationalities came together as one to break bread and converse with each other Saturday at the Auburn University Muslim Students Association's 'Meet a Muslim Pizza Party' at Town Creek Park in Auburn. The event was an opportunity for people to come out for a picnic and get to know the Muslims in the community, according to Thamer Al-Qurashi, president of the association. "We would like people to know the real Muslim(s)," Al-Qurashi said. Muslims have been a part of the Auburn community for half a century, according to Asim Ali, advisor of the association. "I have always known that the Auburn people are looking for opportunities to come together to strengthen bonds of our community," Ali said.
 
Legislators looking at endowments to supplement Louisiana higher ed budget cuts
During his campaign, President Donald Trump's answer to the populist demand for lower college tuition was for the universities to get up off their billions in endowments and aim some of that money towards lowering costs for students. Trump's criticism was aimed more at the nation's largest institutions -- Harvard's $34.5 billion endowment is more than this state's $27 billion annual operating budget -- but his rhetoric is being heard in Louisiana. Talk now is that higher education could lose up to $60 million during the special session that starts Feb. 13. This after Louisiana lawmakers already have whittled away at the appropriation to the point that higher education now receives about a third less money from taxpayers than it did a decade ago. Where once the state covered about two-thirds of university expenses, now students and their families pay that amount in the form of tuition and fees. The thought of tapping endowments has become more frequent.
 
U. of Tennessee's $1B endowment relatively unchanged despite poor national returns
The University of Tennessee's $1 billion endowment remains relatively unchanged over last year, despite the poor performance nationwide of endowment investment returns, according to a new national report released this week. The report shows a less than one percent decrease in UT's endowment from fiscal year 2015 to 2016. That's less than the average among 815 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada, which saw a 2.9 percent drop on average. UT's endowment dropped $7 million in fiscal year 2016 while Vanderbilt's fell from $4.1 billion in 2015 to $3.8 billion. Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor for Finance and Chief Financial Officer Brett Sweet said in an email that like many colleges and universities, Vanderbilt spent more than it earned in the 12 months ending June 30.
 
Episcopal diocese proposing private dormitory surrounded by UGA campus
The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta wants to replace its existing University of Georgia campus ministry, housed in a small chapel on South Lumpkin Street, with a multi-story mixed-use residential, retail and institutional structure on the same 1.13-acre tract. Jim Warnes, the local attorney working with church officials to get the needed rezoning for the project, said the project is designed to provide a gathering space for students, whether or not they are of the Episcopal faith. Some years ago, the Episcopal tract included living space, in a house that has since been demolished. Episcopal House's residential space will be a private dormitory, unaffiliated with UGA, whose property virtually surrounds the Episcopal property. The diocese is not looking at the project as a money-making proposition, but as an extension of its ministry, according to Warnes.
 
New free tuition plan spurs another shift for Tennessee colleges
Three years after he transformed the state's college landscape with Tennessee Promise, Gov. Bill Haslam is poised to change the game again. During his annual State of the State address last week, Haslam sent shock waves through the academic community by announcing his plan to open community colleges to millions of adult students tuition-free. It's a simple idea with an incredibly ambitious goal and far-reaching implications. College leaders are still digging into the details -- most of them heard about it on Monday, around the same time as everyone else. But in a series of interviews, leading education experts agreed it could re-frame campus life in a way similar to Tennessee Promise, which has sent more than 33,000 recent high school graduates to community college tuition-free since 2015.
 
LSU is looking for medical marijuana farmers
LSU will begin taking offers from contractors to produce marijuana for the state for medical purposes. The marijuana-growing operation is estimated to cost $10 million and will be paid for by the contractor. LSU professor Ted Gauthier tells WBRZ-TV there's been much interest from people in and out of state. He says he expects there will be about 10 finalists to choose from. The law calls for the marijuana to be grown indoors, the facility to be located off LSU's campus and for students not to be involved. When a contractor is selected, LSU will not release the facility's location, however it must be based in East Baton Rouge Parish.
 
Texas A&M joins other universities in expressing concern over travel ban
Texas A&M University president Michael K. Young joined with other higher education officials from around the country Friday to express concern over President Donald Trump's recent executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. Signed by 598 university and college presidents and on behalf of the American Council on Education, the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the letter was addressed to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, and expressed the education leaders' stance on the issue.
 
U. of Missouri System hasn't ruled out tuition increases to deal with cuts
Administrators at Missouri public colleges and universities say they are reluctant to consider raising tuition, but they might have no choice. New Republican Gov. Eric Greitens proposed on Thursday a nearly 10 percent reduction in core higher education funding in his budget proposal for the coming year. University leaders say that Greitens' proposal to slash another $22 million on top of $68 million in cuts announced in January makes higher tuition almost inevitable. Missouri public universities haven't had to increase tuition much for the past 10 years because of yearly agreements with lawmakers to keep tuition level in exchange for a steady funding stream. For students, the cap has offered stability, said Taylor Cofield, a senior at the University of Missouri's flagship campus in Columbia studying political science and psychology.
 
Universities Spoke Up in Case That Led to Ruling Halting Trump's Travel Ban
The federal court ruling that put a temporary nationwide halt to the Trump administration's executive order restricting travel into the United States resulted in part from declarations provided by the University of Washington, Washington State University, and the state's two-year college system. The colleges' statements to the court described how hundreds of their students, researchers, and faculty members were being harmed by the travel ban, which closed the borders to all visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries and to virtually all refugees worldwide. International researchers and students are "an indispensable part of who we are," Jeffrey Riedinger, vice provost for global affairs at the University of Washington, said in an interview on Saturday night. He added that it was "an important signal" that both of the state's public research universities had submitted declarations.
 
Appropriations for higher ed increased in more than three-quarters of states in 2016-17
State support for higher education is rising moderately this fiscal year, with more than three-quarters of states posting increases on the way to countrywide percentage growth in the low single digits. Support across all states rose by 3.4 percent from the 2015-16 to 2016-17 fiscal years, according to preliminary data gathered in the latest Grapevine survey, which was released today. That's an increase of approximately $2.75 billion, driving total state support to nearly $83.6 billion. Meanwhile, 10 states reported decreasing funding: Alaska, Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wyoming.
 
Study finds negative diversity experiences affect student learning
Amid all the literature about the merits of college diversity, an important trend is often overlooked, according to a new study in The Journal of Higher Education. Although more students report having positive experiences by studying and living with those from different racial, religious, political, gender and ethnic groups, negative experiences are fairly common, too -- and they can impair student learning and cognitive development, according to the study. The study, titled "Engaging With Diversity: How Positive and Negative Diversity Interactions Influence Students' Cognitive Outcomes," seeks to add to the conversation about campus diversity by examining the incidence and influence of negative diversity experiences.
 
Inflated university enrollment costs taxpayers
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian, a former member of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, writes: "With tight state budgets looming for the foreseeable future, government operations must be rationalized to higher levels of efficiency and performance. Mississippi's public universities should not be exempt from this process. In last week's column, I suggested legislators look hard at university admission standards and out-of-state tuition. IHL's current approach is to admit under-prepared students and to discount out-of-state tuition. This approach inflates enrollment, drives demand for tax dollars, and results in nonstop tuition increases and requests for new bonding authority."
 
Amazon decision will help create equitable e-commerce environment
David Rumbarger, president and CEO of the Tupelo-based Community Development Foundation, writes: "Shop local. We hear it all the time, we see it posted at the entrance of our favorite locally-owned retailer, we read it in advertisements, on Facebook and at the ends of many a tweet. But in today's marketplace, how easy is it to truly #shoplocal, especially if you can purchase those tennis shoes you've been eyeing for less, online? If you ask any of CDF's small-business-owning members, they'd tell you it gets harder each year. For 85 years, our state has operated under a sales tax law that made in-state retailers the sole collectors of sales tax. Yet, as technology becomes commonplace and with shoppers crossing the divide between traditional stores to online sellers, over time, our desire to save money is costing us much more than the few dollars you are saving by purchasing that belt you tried on at the mall from Amazon instead."
 
Can Speaker Philip Gunn thwart a lottery vote in the House?
The Clarion-Ledger's Geoff Pender writes: "With the state budget flatlined and the GOP legislative leadership hesitant to approve anything that remotely resembles a tax increase, is a state lottery becoming an irresistible force? House Speaker Philip Gunn appears to be the main holdup preventing a full-on vote on a lottery in the Legislature. But can he stop it? For many years, a lottery was a political third rail in this deeply religious state. But that appears to have changed, in large part from 25 years of legalized casino gambling here and lotteries operating in nearly every other state. Neither Baptist nor other religious groups, nor casinos appear ready to fight such a move as they have in the past. ...As of Friday, Gunn was clear that he hasn't changed his mind about a state lottery: He's against it, and he doesn't even want the House to vote on it."
 
Hypocrisy abounds in today's politics
The Clarion-Ledger's Sam R. Hall writes: "Those who supported Republicans blocking former President Obama's Supreme Court nominee but are incredulous about Democrats threatening to do the same to President Donald Trump's nominee are simply hypocrites. Those who were incredulous at Republicans blocking Obama's nominee but are now screaming for Democrats to do the same to Trump's nominee are no better. The right thing to be done is for the Senate -- any Senate -- to advise and consent on a president's -- any president's -- nominee. Mind you, there are several arguments explaining away Democrats' change of heart. I don't buy them because they all come down to one unavoidable truth -- Democrats have no desire to accept any SCOTUS nominee from Trump, either out of spite or revenge or plain ol' politics."
 
GOP, Dems both have obstructed nominees
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "Any rational debate about how the otherwise straightforward process of the nomination and confirmation of federal appellate court judges must first stipulate that it long ago became a cesspool of partisan showmanship, procrastination and character assassination. Neither the Democrat nor Republican parties can claim one solitary inch of high ground on the judicial confirmation front. Both parties do it. Slow rolling or blocking nominations disrupts the separation of powers that the Founding Fathers intended. But that reality pales in comparison to the personal damage this public spectacle does to the judicial nominees -- many of whom see their lives and careers reduced to exaggerated political caricatures."


SPORTS
 
Dominique Dillingham's career game leads No. 4 Mississippi State over Missouri
Dominique Dillingham checked out of Sunday's game with 41.2 seconds left to a standing ovation. "That," she said, "felt pretty good." It was well-deserved. In a game in which Mississippi State's senior class won its 100th game, Dillingham's performance was fitting. She scored a career-high 24 points, and the senior guard played her usual stingy defense with three steals to lead the Bulldogs over Missouri 70-53 at Humphrey Coliseum. Dillingham, who is known for her defensive prowess, pressured Missouri's best player, Sophie Cunningham, into committing five turnovers. A game like this from Dillingham, who entered the matchup averaging 6.7 points, adds another dimension for MSU.
 
No. 5 Mississippi State overwhelms Missouri
A career game from Mississippi State senior Dominique Dillingham helped the No. 5 Bulldogs continue to stay atop the SEC. Dillingham scored a career-best 24 points to help the Bulldogs beat Missouri 70-53 on Sunday. She added three steals and two blocks in 39 minutes. "On a night where they were really choking us on the inside, we had to have people step up and hit shots," Bulldogs coach Vic Schaefer said. "I asked Dominique if she needed some ice on her elbow and shoulders because she shot 17 shots. We've had a couple of weeks in a row where she hasn't shot it 17 total." Aside from Dillingham's production, the defense did the job yet again for MSU and their SEC-leading defense.
 
Mississippi State earns come-from-behind win over Tennessee
Mississippi State was again without its lone senior in point guard I.J. Ready. And the Bulldogs trailed by as many as 19 in a first half in which they went 4-for-19 from 3-point range and leading scorer Quinndary Weatherspoon was held scoreless. MSU was getting beat on the boards again. With MSU losing four of its last five heading into Saturday's game against Tennessee, you couldn't fault some for thinking, "OK, here we go again," before the start of the second half. Yet, the contest at Humphrey Coliseum was different -- and it showed what this young team is capable of for the rest of the season. Instead of relying on 3-pointers to get back in the game, MSU worked the ball inside to Schnider Herard, who had 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. It all resulted in a 64-59 come-from-behind win, perhaps the most impressive victory to date for the Bulldogs, considering MSU's ability to make adjustments against a team with an RPI of 36.
 
Mississippi State storms back to nip Tennessee
Schnider Herard had 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, Xavian Stapleton had 14 points and 11 boards and Mississippi State overcame a 19-point, first-half deficit on Saturday for a 64-59 victory over Tennessee. The Bulldogs finished the game on a 25-9 run and took the lead for good on Stapleton's 3-pointer with 4:22 left. Stapleton had his first double-double of the season. Mario Kegler led the Bulldogs (14-8, 5-5 SEC) with 17 points and his two free throws clinched the win with 6.9 seconds remaining. The Bulldogs return to the road Tuesday with a visit to Auburn.
 
Mississippi State rallies past Tennessee, 64-59
Rick Barnes made a point before practice Friday afternoon at Thompson-Boling Arena that playing with a lead is not as easy as it may seem. Once an engine starts to idle, sometimes it's hard to fire it back up. That's how Barnes chose to describe it. His Tennessee basketball team lived out the analogy a little over 24 hours later against Mississippi State. The Vols led by as many as 19 points in the first half, then watched as that lead got smaller and smaller over the course of the second half. It disappeared entirely with four minutes, 22 seconds left, when Xavian Stapleton hit a go-ahead 3-pointer, as Mississippi State rallied to stun Tennessee 64-59 in front of 7,581 at Humphrey Coliseum.
 
Xavian Stapleton's energy sparked Mississippi State's comeback vs. Tennessee
Moments after they both discussed Mississippi State's come-from-behind win against Tennessee on Saturday in a postgame on-air interview with the SEC Network, Ben Howland and Xavian Stapleton spoke with one another at halfcourt. The conversation lasted a few minutes and, among other things, Howland shared his thoughts on Stapleton's performance. "His message to me was he thought I had the best game of the season because I was being more humble," Stapleton said. "Sometimes I can get a little too competitive and a little too crazy, and he just said he thinks this was one of the games where I was humble, so I was able to focus more and it was just one of my better games of the season." It was a career night for Stapleton and without the sophomore guard, a strong argument could be made that the Bulldogs (14-8, 5-5 SEC) don't rally from being 19 points down to beat Tennessee (13-10, 5-5), which had a 36 RPI.
 
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott Named Pepsi NFL Rookie Of The Year
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year Friday morning. The Cowboys selected Prescott out of Mississippi State with a fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He went from third on the depth chart to the starter after injuries to Tony Romo and Kellen Moore. Prescott finished the year with 3,667 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. He also rushed for 282 yards and 6 touchdowns. His passer rating of 104.9 was third best in the NFL. Prescott was also named to the Pro Bowl after leading the Cowboys to a 13-3 record and the NFC's No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
 
Learn to manage for more turkeys
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks along with Mississippi State University Extension Service are offering workshops on better understanding and management of wild turkeys. One will be held on February 17 at Mitchell's Restaurant in Brookhaven and another on February 24 at Bass Pro Shops in Pearl. Wild turkey biology, beneficial habitat management practices, food plot strategies, and case studies from properties which have managed successfully for these species will be discussed. Register with the Lincoln County MSU Extension office at 601-835-3460 for the Brookhaven workshop. Register with the Rankin County MSU Extension office at 601-825-1462 for the workshop in Pearl.
 
Sources: Saints mulling training camp move back to Millsaps College
The traveling road show also known as New Orleans Saints training camp may be headed back to Mississippi. Two sources told Sporting News that the Saints are weighing a return to Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss. The Saints held training camp at their own team headquarters in Metaire, La., from 2009 to 2015 and 2003 to 2005. The franchise, though, conducted the majority of their camps at other sites. The reasons have ranged from the desire for a "camp feel," expanding the team's popularity in the Gulf Coast region and relief from the sweltering humidity that enshrouds New Orleans every summer.
 
Auburn: SEC, NCAA accepted firing of former baseball coach Sunny Golloway
Despite a letter from the NCAA sent to Sunny Golloway on Jan. 30 clearing the former Auburn baseball coach of any Level I, Level II or major infractions, Auburn says his Sept. 27, 2015, firing was accepted by both the SEC and the NCAA. "The NCAA recently closed its investigation and found four Level III violations," the university said in a statement. "Auburn's dismissal of Coach Golloway and some members of the baseball staff was accepted by the Southeastern Conference and the NCAA, which determined no further action was required. No members of the current baseball staff were associated or involved in those violations, and we look forward to the coming season under Coach Thompson." In an interview with the Opelika-Auburn News on Thursday, Golloway said the goal of the lawsuit filed against the school was less about claiming money owed and more about clearing his name so he can pursue another Division I coaching job.
 
Athletes Stand to Gain in a Settlement With the N.C.A.A.
Thousands of current and former college athletes could receive $5,000 or more from an agreement to settle part of an antitrust lawsuit against the N.C.A.A., a lawyer for the plaintiffs estimated. The N.C.A.A. and 11 conferences reached a $208.7 million settlement Friday in the case, a class-action suit brought by players over the value of an athletic scholarship. If the deal is approved by a judge, about 40,000 players from top-level football teams and from Division I men's and women's basketball programs will be eligible to receive payments. In a statement, Steve Berman, a lawyer for the players, called the settlement a "watershed" and estimated that eligible players would receive checks from $5,000 to $7,000. The settlement ended litigation begun in 2014 by Shawne Alston, a West Virginia football player.



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