Tuesday, February 14, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
Haley Barbour heads lecture series at Mississippi State
Leadership, cooperation and the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina came up when former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour spoke on the Mississippi State University campus Monday. Barbour said willingness to change decisions and be humble when things don't go as planned is crucial for a leader. "You've got to be willing to make bad decisions and change them," Barbour said. "I can't tell you how many times we changed decisions after we saw we weren't getting a result that the people needed, or that this wasn't the best outcome that we could have gotten." He cited his administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina as an example.
Haley Barbour speaks to Mississippi State students about leadership
Former Governor Haley Barbour was in Northeast Mississippi Monday afternoon. Barbour spoke to students at Mississippi State University about leadership. Barbour spoke about the leadership skills he learned as the chair of the Republican National Committee and as governor at a time when much of the southern part of the state was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. "Building a good team and trusting your team, delegating authority as well as responsibility, being willing to share the credit when things go well and taking the blame when things go badly, making decisions, the kinds of things a governor learns particularly if you have to deal with something like Katrina," Barbour said. This speech was part of the university's Lamar Conerly Governance Lecture Series.
A Mississippi Leader Speaks To Local College Students
A Mississippi leader speaks to local college students on Monday. Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour focuses on leadership with Mississippi State students. It's all apart of the Lamar Conerly Governance Lecture Series. Barbour says it's an important topic for college students to learn about for their future careers. "I'm really flattered to be here for the Lamar Conerly Program at Mississippi State. It's a leadership program for students here, who are interested in public affairs, interested in government, but really interested in making a contribution when they get out of college, and make their careers that will be something that's also good for the state," says Barbour.
Mississippi State study: Deer deaths could provide new insight
A study designed to shed light on the life of a white-tailed buck is beginning to provide the opposite as well; how they die. Since October, a total of 58 bucks were captured, tagged and fitted with monitoring collars as a part of a study being conducted by Mississippi State University. The study is taking place on private lands in Madison and Yazoo counties and is designed to track the bucks' movements. The GPS collars will collect data on the movement of the deer throughout the year, but during hunting seasons, it will collect data more frequently. At the same time, many of the landowners and hunting clubs have agreed to provide information about when and where they hunt through the MSU Deer Lab Deer Hunt app.
Accreditation assessment begins for Mississippi State police
An independent assessment has begun on the police department at Mississippi State University. The assessors arrived on campus Monday from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. The university goes through the re-accreditation process every three years. They also want to hear from students and staff about what they think in a meeting scheduled for Tuesday night. "We can receive interaction from the public and the university community just telling how well the agency is working or if there is anything negative about the agency, just share with the accreditation commission the community outreach the police department is doing," Assistant Police Chief Kenneth Spencer said.
Four SHS seniors in running for Mississippi State scholarship
For the second time in four years, four Starkville High School seniors are finalists for the Mississippi State University Presidential and Provost's Scholarship. James Travis, Georgiana "Georgie" Swan, Shanika Musser and Nancy Zhang have completed the application process and will interview for the scholarship later this month. According to Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Public Information Officer Nicole Thomas, the SHS group is among the largest groups of potential presidential scholars at any high school, both in and out of state. Zhang plans to study biomedical engineering. Musser plans to study environmental and civil engineering. Swan plans to study political science, and James Travis plans to double major in English and economics.
Mississippi Furniture Academy hosts intro webinar
The Mississippi Furniture Academy will present a webinar designed to introduce the new program and curriculum to the industry on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 1:30 p.m. CT. The webinar will detail the 28-hour certificate training program. The Mississippi Furniture Academy, launched in January, is a job training program delivered by Northeast Mississippi Community College and Itawamba Community College. The certification program was developed by the Franklin Furniture Institute at Mississippi State University. Bill Martin, director of the Franklin Furniture Institute at MSU, said the Northeast Mississippi Community College completed a class on Feb. 10, and graduates have already contacted companies interested in utilizing this industry asset.
Poultry processor to open plant in Carthage
Pearl River Foods will open a poultry processing plant in Carthage, investing more than $2 million and creating 150 jobs. The Mississippi Development Authority also will contribute a $1.5 million grant and Leake County provided $175,000 for infrastructure upgrades. Pearl River Foods' Carthage location will allow the company to better serve the local poultry industry. The company will lease the Leake County spec building, according to a release from the governor's office.
Mississippi businesses headed to the Middle East
Mississippi businesses are finding opportunities abroad as part of the Mississippi Development Authority's trade missions. For the next trip -- March 26-30 -- at least 15 Mississippi companies are heading to Dubai and Jordan. It marks MDA's first foray into both regions. Citing Dubai's expansive and continual growth, MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough Jr. said the region was ripe with opportunity for partnership with Mississippi companies. In 2016, over 100 Mississippi companies, large and small, went on trade missions hosted by MDA. McCullough said the small businesses alone saw $6 million immediate sales with another $56 million in projected sales over the trade missions conducted in 2016. MDA has 10 international trade missions planned for 2017.
Private prison firms deny wrongdoing in Chris Epps kickback scheme
Several of the companies being sued by Mississippi's top prosecutor deny allegations they participated in a bribery scheme that brought down the state's corrections commissioner. Last week, Attorney General Jim Hood said his office had filed lawsuits against 25 companies and individuals he says illegally profited from a plot former corrections Commissioner Chris Epps orchestrated while leading the agency. In all, Hood has filed 11 civil RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) lawsuits against entities that he says "defrauded" Mississippians "through a pattern of bribery, kickbacks, misrepresentations, fraud, concealment, money laundering and other wrongful conduct." Hood wants those involved to pay back the value of the contracts plus attorneys and other fees because, he contends, the companies would not have been awarded state business if not for participating in the bribery scheme.
Governor loses, wins Monday
Gov. Phil Bryant won one and lost one Monday in the Mississippi Legislature in efforts to expand his power. The House reversed course again and sent on to the Senate by a 63-55 margin legislation that essentially would give Bryant authority of more than 60 boards that oversee and regulate various occupations, ranging from accountants, to barbers, to veterinarians. But a short while after the House approved that measure, the Senate refused to table a motion to reconsider a bill that would have given him the authority over the Department of Mental Health. That measure originally passed last week, but on Monday, only 24 members voted to send the bill to the House, while 27 voted against it.
Governor veto expansion heads to Senate
The governor is a step closer to having veto power over dozens of state boards and commissions. The House voted 63-56 to send a bill -- sponsored by Rep. Cory Wilson, R-Madison, and backed by Gov. Phil Bryant -- that would require the governor to sign off on regulations of any state "occupational licensing board" controlled by "active market participants." These boards regulate who gets into the respective professions and what that person can do once a member of the profession. Rep. Mac Huddleston, R-Pontotoc, who is a veterinarian, spoke against the bill. "I think occupation boards need an opportunity for a place at the table. I think they need to be asking questions," Huddleston told his colleagues.
Senate kills mental health consolidation bill
A Senate bill that would have given the governor control of the Department of Mental Health died on the floor Monday afternoon on a procedural vote. Senate Bill 2567 died in a 24-27 vote on a procedural motion that would have allowed it to be sent to the House for consideration. The bill had passed Friday 25-24, but was held on a motion to reconsider that vote, a procedural move that any senator can enter after a bill is voted on. Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, urged his colleagues to hold the bill in the Senate, saying the potential consequences of the bill were too important for it to be voted on "in the spur of the moment."
Senate kills bill giving Mental Health authority to governor
The Senate on Monday killed a bill that would have given the governor authority over the Department of Mental Health, while the House approved another measure to give him authority over many of the state's occupational licensing boards. Both bills had been passed by the full chambers last week but then held on motions to reconsider amid debate on whether Mississippi's constitutionally weak governor's office should be granted such increased control. Monday was the deadline to either remove the holding motions, or kill the bills. The House voted 63-55 to send House Bill 1425 to the Senate Monday. On Friday, an attempt to remove the holding motion and send the bill on to the Senate had failed 85-31. The motion to reconsider the House bill was entered by several lawmakers including Rep. Toby Barker, R-Hattiesburg. Barker warned Monday that the bill would put the Legislature's current oversight responsibility to regulate the boards in peril.
Michael Flynn resigns as national security adviser
Michael Flynn resigned as President Donald Trump's national security adviser Monday night, amid a growing scandal over his contacts with Russian officials. The White House announced the resignation after days of uncertainty about Flynn's fate after reports that he'd obfuscated the details of his conversations with Russian officials to Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials. Flynn, long a controversial figure in the national security establishment, was widely disliked by Trump's more establishment aides, who said he fueled Trump's conspiracy theories and distrust of the intelligence community. But he had maintained Trump's support, as the president believed he was loyal and had insight into military affairs. He was also particularly close to Stephen Bannon, the president's top strategist and a philosophical and strategic adviser with a vast sway on the presidency.
Bill Gates: New nationalism could put global health in danger
The evolution of Bill Gates has seen the Microsoft cofounder master both technology and philanthropy. Now he just may need to conquer diplomacy. For the first time since creating the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, the billionaire and his foundation co-chair wife find themselves in the role of convincing governments that funding global health initiatives is in the national interest. In interviews with USA TODAY, both expressed deep concern over the inward-looking nature of the newly elected governments in the U.S. and Great Britain. "If you interpret America First (the stated doctrine of President Trump) in certain ways, it would suggest not prioritizing the stability of Africa and American leadership" on African issues, Gates, 61, told USA TODAY during a visit to Silicon Valley, just weeks after arguing that very point in a private meeting with the then president-elect.
Ole Miss launches doctoral program in social welfare
The University of Mississippi Department of Social Work begins its new Ph.D. program in social welfare this fall, and prospective students are encouraged to apply before the March 1 deadline. "The University of Mississippi has been training social workers for over four decades," said Javier Boyas, associate professor of social work and director of the program. "This new program will provide the most rigorous social work academic training and prepare the next wave of researchers and advanced practitioners. The Board of Trustees of Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning approved the curriculum for the doctoral program during in November. Professors with research interests ranging from child welfare to social work technology will lead the new doctoral program.
Ole Miss student who head-butted police officer bonds out of jail
An Ole Miss student from Brandon, who is accused of robbing a North Mississippi store then assaulting an officer has bonded out of jail. According to WTVA in Tupelo, Daniel Stewart Berry was heading to court Thursday morning when he shouted and headbutted a nearby deputy. He was quickly detained. WTVA says that Berry was belligerent, combative, and likely under the influence. It is unknown exactly what substance Berry had taken. Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said it was almost impossible to communicate with him to get this information. Berry's family lives in Tupelo and he is currently enrolled at Ole Miss as a business major.
USM mourns student; few details released
As the Southern Miss community mourns the loss of a student, few details have been released about the sophomore's death. Southern Miss confirmed Cole Whaley's death in a statement that was posted on the university's website Saturday. The university also confirmed Whaley, a Mobile, Alabama, native and member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, was in New Orleans at the time of his death early Saturday. One fraternity member told the Hattiesburg American Whaley died as a result of a "freak accident" while in New Orleans for a Pi Kappa Phi-related formal event. Neither Southern Miss nor the Orleans Parish Coroner's Office have responded to requests by the Hattiesburg American for further details.
USM's Moffitt Health Center Achieves AAAHC Accreditation
Moffitt Health Center, a full service primary care clinic at The University of Southern Mississippi, has achieved reaccreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). Accreditation distinguishes this primary care facility from many other outpatient facilities by providing the highest quality of care to its patients as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation. The University of Southern Mississippi Student Health Services, known since 2015 as Moffitt Health Center, was first established in the 1950s. In March 2015, Student Health Services moved into its current location on the Hattiesburg campus. Found on the first floor of Scott Residence Hall, the new, state-of-the-art medical facility provides more space for patient care, including larger pharmacy, lab, and x-ray areas.
Delta State cuts ribbon on unique outdoor lab
A ribbon cutting ceremony and social was held Saturday at Forest E. Wyatt's Gymnasium in honor of the new Dave Heflin's Outdoor Recreation Education Laboratory. During the ceremony, many DSU faculty and staff spoke about their experiences with outdoor recreations and the experiences they have shared with Dave Heflin. "All of these people are here in the presence of what you did are here to celebrate you and your legacy, and that is what this program is about," said DSU Provost Charles McAdams. The Dave Heflin's Outdoor Recreation Program consists of the Outback and Kayak Club at DSU. DSU President William LaForge talked about his experiences he has shared with Heflin on a kayaking trip. LaForge said, "I remember getting ready to go kayaking, and instead of Dave wearing a regular kayak helmet, he had a Delta State football helmet."
Two U. of Alabama sorority houses being demolished
Two sorority houses at the University of Alabama are being demolished to make way for larger chapter houses, while construction continues on a third. The 40,000-square-foot Pi Beta Phi chapter house currently under construction on Magnolia Drive will include bedroom capacity for around 63, and meeting and dining space for about 250-300. The budget for the project, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, is $15 million. The three projects are the latest in an overhaul of sorority housing along Magnolia and Colonial drives where chapters, with financing from UA, have knocked down older houses to make way for larger buildings to accommodate growing membership. The projects are part of the sorority expansion master plan, which is part of the 2012 campus master plan.
Auburn to replace trees at Toomer's Corner this weekend
The oak trees at Toomer's Corner are once again being replaced. Auburn University will replace both the Magnolia Ave. tree, which was burned by Jochen Wiest on Sept. 25 following Auburn's win over LSU, as well as the College St. tree, which has not been thriving as hoped, beginning 6 a.m. Saturday. "The fire in September severely damaged the Magnolia Avenue tree," Auburn University professor of horticulture Gary Keever said in a statement. "The appearance of the tree is unacceptable, and we don't believe it will recover within a reasonable time period. The College Street tree has failed to become established as you can see by dead branches at the top. If it had not been for the fire, though, we would have pruned those branches and continued nurturing both trees."
Auburn University Dance Marathon raises more than $540,000
Auburn University Dance Marathon announced its had surpassed its goal in raising $541,832.06 as a result of its event Saturday night on campus to raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospital. The dance marathon is a year-long fundraising effort that culminates in a 14- hour dance marathon to celebrate the money raised. During the marathon, dancers pledge not to sit for the duration of the 14 hours. Auburn University Dance Marathon set their goal as $500,000 in its sixth year. Dance Marathon is a nationwide organization that involves high school and college students in more than 150 schools.
Vanderbilt urges court to rule against Trump travel ban
Vanderbilt University and many other top universities on Monday urged federal judges to continue to halt the implementation of President Donald Trump's travel ban barring the arrival of immigrants or refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries. In a joint amicus brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, which is considering the legality of the ban, Vanderbilt and 16 other universities said Trump's executive order, which has already been put on a temporary hold by federal judges, would hurt campus business, including ongoing education and research that relies on people from all over the world. In the brief, the universities said they got "immeasurable benefit from the contributions of diverse students, faculty and scholars from around the world." Vanderbilt leaders and professors have taken several public steps to criticize Trump's travel ban since it was announced.
'March for Science' Organizer Says It's About the Public, Not the Scientists
Scientists are no strangers to having their work questioned by lawmakers, and now they are fighting back. On April 22, scientists and their supporters will hold a March for Science to advocate for science and evidence-based research in policies. The main march will be held in Washington, D.C., and satellite marches will be held in other cities, as they were with the Women's March the day after the inauguration. And the march's organizers say they aren't just fighting for more funding for science, or more influence in policy, but also to raise awareness about the type of research they're doing.
Disinvitation season begins: Juan Williams out as commencement speaker at Ursinus
Ursinus College hasn't yet named its 2017 commencement speaker, but one thing is clear: it won't be Juan Williams. The journalist and longtime Fox News contributor and co-host was approached by the college's president to possibly address graduates and receive an honorary degree but was eliminated as a candidate after faculty members objected. Tom Yencho, a college spokesman, confirmed that Williams was approached but will not be speaking. Planned commencement speakers have been disinvited from or backed out of various talks in recent years amid pressure from campus groups -- usually students. Robert Birgeneau, former chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley, canceled his speech at Haverford College in 2014, for example, after some 40 students and instructors asked him to apologize for a 2011 incident in which police injured protesters on his campus.
Appeals court rules marijuana legalization group can use Iowa State logo
Iowa State University cannot bar a student group from using the university's logo and mascot on T-shirts advocating the legalization of marijuana, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. The lawsuit, sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education as part of its Stand Up for Free Speech Litigation Project, was filed by two former Iowa State students in 2014. At the time, the students were officers with the university's chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. They had repeatedly sought permission to use the Iowa State logo alongside a cannabis leaf on their shirts, but their requests were denied, with the university saying it did not want to appear to be endorsing the group's agenda. But the court's opinion noted that the university allows 800 other student groups to use the logo, including organizations with differing political viewpoints.

Bulldogs move up to No. 3 in AP poll
As UConn continues its run at No. 1 in The Associated Press women's basketball poll, Mississippi State has moved up another spot. The Bulldogs are now the No. 3 team in the country, the highest-ever ranking for the program. They went up a spot thanks to Baylor's loss to Texas last week. And MSU (25-1) has remained dominant, earning blowout wins over Vanderbilt on Thursday (86-41) and rival Ole Miss on Sunday (66-44). Coach Vic Schaefer's squad has won five in a row since suffering its only loss of the season, to South Carolina on Jan. 23.
SEC batting champ Jake Mangum will also pitch for Mississippi State
Jake Mangum is the returning leadoff hitter and center fielder for Mississippi State, the reigning SEC batting champion from last season as a freshman, the C Spire Ferriss Trophy winner and now ... a left-handed pitcher? That's right. After he emerged as one of the nation's best outfielders in 2016, the expectation is that Mangum will see some time as a reliever this season. "One of the things about Jake Mangum that not a lot of people know," coach Andy Cannizaro said, "is he is going to help our team on the mound this year as well." It's OK to be surprised by that bit of information. After all, Cannizaro, who was hired in November, learned about Mangum's pitching talents just before a fall scrimmage. That's when pitching coach Gary Henderson informed Cannizaro that "Jake would be throwing today."
Two Mississippi State relievers on Stopper of the Year watch list
Two Mississippi State relievers were named to the preseason watch list for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award. Senior Blake Smith and junior Ryan Rigby, both right-handers, were placed on the 59 man watch list for the award which is presented annually to the top Division I relief pitcher. Smith went 2-2 with five saves in 20 relief appearances last season. The Fort Payne, Alabama hurler sported a 2.93 earned run average with 31 strikeouts and 15 walks in 27 2/3 innings of work. Rigby was 5-1 with a 2.25 ERA and one save in 20 outings last spring. The Kosciusko native struck out 43 and walked 13 in 48 frames.
Young Bulldogs visit Georgia
Although Mississippi State is the nation's youngest basketball team, the Bulldogs have proved they can play with the best the Southeastern Conference has to offer. MSU might only be 5-7 in SEC play, but it has taken two of the league's top three teams down to the wire. The Bulldogs lost 87-81 to No. 13 Kentucky and also 77-73 to No. 21 South Carolina in their last outing. "It can be frustrating to lose ...knowing you were right there," said MSU guard Xavian Stapleton. "Against South Carolina, we were up one with five minutes to go so we know we can play with those teams. To be right there hurts but it also motivates us to work harder to come back and gets some wins." Mississippi State hopes to snap its recent two-game skid tonight as it travels to Georgia for an 8 p.m. tip on ESPNU.
Three things to watch when Mississippi State plays Georgia
After losing to South Carolina on Saturday, Mississippi State has now dropped six of its last eight games and needs to start securing victories to stay in the hunt for an NIT appearance. There were some positive signs in the Bulldogs' latest loss, and while that bodes well for the future of the young team, it doesn't help in the current standings. MSU will look to snap a two-game skid when it travels to Athens on Tuesday (8 p.m., ESPNU). While the two teams have identical conference records and are separated by one loss in overall play, Georgia, a veteran and efficient team, is ranked as the No. 50 team in the country by Kenpom while MSU is No. 95. Here are three things to watch for when the Bulldogs (14-10, 5-7, SEC) take on Georgia (14-11, 5-7).
Mississippi State's Ben Howland previews Georgia
Mississippi State coach Ben Howland previews the Bulldogs' upcoming game against Georgia and the match-up issues Yante Maten and J.J. Frazier present. Howland also updates the status of Lamar Peters and I.J. Ready and talks about the improvement he's seen from his freshmen.
Fred Ross, Justin Senior invited to NFL Combine
Receiver Fred Ross and offensive tackle Justin Senior will represent Mississippi State at the NFL Combine later this month in Indianapolis. Senior will arrive with the offensive linemen on Feb. 28 for the first day of the event at Lucas Oil Stadium. He will be measured on Day 2, bench press on Day 3 and have his on-field workout on March 3. Ross will register on March 1 with the wide receivers and follow the same path as Senior before his on-field workout on March 4. Ross and Senior both participated in the Senior Bowl last month. Ross is rated the No. 32 wide receiver (245th overall) by CBS Sports while Senior is the 17th best tackle (213th overall).

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