Tuesday, March 7, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
Mississippi State's 'Music Makers Presents' rolls into second season
Mississippi State Television celebrated the first birthday of its show "Music Makers Presents" last week. "We started production on the series March 1 on 2016," said David Garraway, director of the University Television Center. "The first show aired the first day of June. 'Music Makers Presents' is a collaboration between the University TV Center, Music Maker Productions, and WMSV FM Radio. The goal is to highlight local and regional musicians performing original works." Each show has between four and eight MSU students involved in production, Garraway said. MSTV runs between 12 and 16 different programs in various different states of production at a time. Their programs present a large array of subjects, including multiple interview shows, workout routines, and non-NCAA sports like ice hockey, Garraway said.
Oktibbeha County eyes move to electronic poll books
Oktibbeha County voters could soon utilize digital poll books instead of their paper versions in upcoming elections. Election commissioners will approach supervisors today to purchase roughly $28,000 worth of tablets -- or about 30 machines -- that will verify where voters live and in which races they should cast their ballots, and encode the card electronic voting machines use to display ballots. Poll workers currently use large, printed voter rolls to search for a voter's address and then encode a voting machine's card to correspond with their proper elections, as many of Oktibbeha County's 21 precincts are split between multiple districts represented by different county- and state-level positions. These numerous splits create "seldom but inevitable" human errors, said District 1 Election Commissioner Greg Fulgham.
Lisa Wynn hits threshold for independent Ward 2 campaign
Ward 2 Alderman Lisa Wynn can proceed with an independent re-election campaign after City Hall certified more than 50 petitioners as qualified Starkville voters Monday. Wynn, who shed her Democratic Party affiliation before Friday's qualification deadline, needed at least 50 registered voters to support her independent bid. She submitted a petition last week of 60 names to City Clerk Lesa Hardin. Fifty-six of those signatories were certified as qualified voters who reside within Ward 2 Monday by Hardin and Election Commissioner Jim McKell. The now-independent Wynn will face Republican Jesse Carver and former Ward 2 Alderman Sandra Sistrunk, a Democrat, in June's general election. Wynn's party change came after Carver qualified to represent the GOP Friday. Sistrunk was the first Ward 2 candidate to qualify in January, and Wynn qualified last month.
Starkville Community Theatre makes national festival
For the second time in eight years, Starkville Community Theatre will represent the state at the national level. SCT took home six awards Saturday at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, for their production of "Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike." Best Costuming, Achievement in Acting, Best Ensemble and Best Actor were among the awards received, including advancement to the American Association of Community Theatre's festival in Rochester, Minnesota, in June.
Rockford University students continue tradition with Starkville Habitat for Humanity
Students at an Illinois university are in Starkville this week volunteering their time to build a home with Habitat For Humanity. The walls are going up and it's just the first day for these volunteers who traveled over 700 miles to help. "This work is being started by Rockford University," Habitat Executive Director Joel Downey said. "They've come every year. I think this is their 22nd year and they always start the Apostle's build... that's the house we build every spring." Dozens of Rockford University students are continuing a tradition but for many here, it's their first time.
House passes Rep. Andy Gipson's domestic violence divorce 'solution'
The House passed a bill Monday with an amendment that broadens the ability of domestic abuse victims to cite such abuse as grounds for divorce. The amendment was proposed by Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, who came under criticism last week for killing a separate bill that would have made domestic violence grounds for divorce. Gipson's amendment to a bill that addresses abused and neglected children added clarifying definitions of domestic abuse. "It's a problem of judicial discretion and judicial disparity, and by proposing this solution, we get down where the rubber meets the road and we provide real relief to victims of domestic abuse," Gipson said during an interview with SuperTalk radio host J.T. Williamson on Monday afternoon when he first outlined his plan for the amendment.
House passes divorce amendment on domestic violence
The House on Monday unanimously passed a measure that would allow abused spouses to more easily get a divorce. After receiving harsh blow-back from killing two divorce law reform measures without a vote in his committee, Rep. Andy Gipson said he worked with an anti-domestic violence group to come up with a measure he introduced as an amendment to another bill on Monday. "We are more than satisfied," said Sandy Middleton, director of the Center for the Prevention of Violence, which has lobbied for years for reform of divorce laws to help abused spouses. "This is a huge victory, especially for our children." Gipson, R-Braxton, chairman of House Judiciary B, said the angry and vitriolic messages he received after killing the original bills are not what's driving his action -- it's the reasoned and heartfelt pleas he received in several messages and conversations, and input from the Center for Violence Prevention.
Rivers McGraw Act has area ties
A Macon woman and New Hope High School alumna is hoping state legislators will push through a bill requiring police officers to notify parents when someone age 18 to 21 years old is arrested for driving under the influence. Lauren McGraw, who grew up in the Golden Triangle and now lives in Jackson, said the Rivers McGraw Act, named after her son, could save a life in the future. Rivers McGraw is a late Ole Miss student and Jackson Prep football standout who committed suicide last year after being released on bail after a DUI arrest in Oxford. Rivers' friends bailed him out of jail after his arrest in Oxford, Lauren said, and she didn't learn about his situation until it was too late. She said Rivers attempted unsuccessfully after his release to contact the arresting officer and two attorneys. Under the proposed Rivers McGraw Act, or House Bill 1089, bail or release from jail could not be granted for DUI or drug possession suspects between ages 18 and 21 within eight hours of their arrest unless a parent or guardian is contacted and present at the time of the suspect's release. District 41 Rep. Kabir Karriem (D-Columbus) said he supported the bill, but he wasn't sure it would survive a legal challenge.
Democrat makes no apology for voting across aisle
Angela Cockerham, a Democrat in the Mississippi House, is hard working, dedicated and intelligent, some colleagues say, but she is also criticized as frequently siding with the opposing party, including one vote that helped solidify the Republicans' supermajority. In 2005, at age 28, she was a fresh face -- her first try for political office -- when voters elected her in a special election to replace then-longtime Rep. David Green, D-Gloster, who didn't seek reelection. Green is now deceased. Cockerham is a partner in the law firm of former U.S. Rep. Wayne Dowdy, a Democrat who served the 4th District at a time when most members of the state's congressional delegation shared that party affiliation. She is one of two Democrats appointed to chair committees in the House and she serves on the powerful Appropriations Committee, often referred to as the money committee. She has drawn criticism for voting with the Republican majority on some key votes in the House, criticism she counters by saying she votes for what she believes in.
Seat belts to be required for all passengers
All passengers will be required to wear safety belts when traveling in vehicles under a bill the House gave final approval to on Monday. Senate Bill 2724 would not apply to farm vehicle drivers, rural mail carriers nor drivers of vehicles that were manufactured without seat belts. The maximum fine for violating the law would be $25. If the governor signs it, the bill would be known as Harlie's Law in memory of a Holly Springs high school student Harlie Oswalt, who was killed in car accident in November 2016 while riding in the back seat of a car.
Pelicia Hall chosen as new Mississippi corrections commissioner
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has appointed an attorney with wide experience in state government to be the new state corrections commissioner. Pelicia Hall has been interim commissioner the past few weeks, since Marshall Fisher left the top job in the prison system when Bryant chose him to lead the Department of Public Safety. Hall had been Fisher's chief of staff in the Department of Corrections. Bryant announced her appointment as commissioner Monday. She must be confirmed by the state Senate.
Mississippi flag fight moves to new battlefield
A long-running feud over the Confederate battle emblem on the Mississippi flag is moving onto a new legal battlefield. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday over reviving a 2016 lawsuit filed by an African-American attorney, Carlos Moore. He contends the flag is "state-sanctioned hate speech." In a state with a 38 percent black population, Moore says the flag sends an unconstitutional message that black residents, including his young daughter, are second-class citizens. The flag has been used since 1894, causing division for generations. Opponents say it's a reminder of slavery and segregation, while supporters say it represents history and heritage.
New Orleans Confederate monuments can come down, federal appeals court rules
New Orleans officials can begin the process of removing the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at Lee Circle and three other monuments at the center of a long-running, city-led effort, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. In the ruling, the three-judge panel with the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that the groups trying to block the removal of the monuments, Monumental Task Committee and the Louisiana Landmarks Society, failed to present a case that contained a legal argument that showed the monuments should stay up. The court wrote that the groups relied on two legal claims, "both of which wholly lack legal viability or support." The ruling comes as litigation surrounding the monuments continues to play out in U.S. District Court. Although the case is still being litigated there, Judge Carl Barbier had ruled the city could take down the monuments because there is not a strong likelihood that the groups opposing the removal will prevail. The 5th Circuit decision upheld that ruling.
Immigration crackdown: Trump plan pays with cuts to coastal, air security
The Trump administration wants to gut the Coast Guard and make deep cuts in airport and rail security to help pay for its crackdown on illegal immigration, according to internal budget documents reviewed by POLITICO -- a move that lawmakers and security experts say defies logic if the White House is serious about defending against terrorism and keeping out undocumented foreigners. On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are preparing to fight further cuts -- and those include Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran, a Republican from Mississippi, where the Coast Guard's cutters are built. "Chairman Cochran appreciates the Coast Guard's important role in protecting our national security interests," his office said in a statement. "Any proposals to reduce support for the Coast Guard will receive careful scrutiny in Congress."
How Chattanooga aims to cut poverty with superfast internet
In Chattanooga's once dilapidated downtown, Goodman Coffee Roasters serves bespoke beverages to Millennials staring at screens. The converted brick warehouse complex that it's tucked into also features a yoga studio, LuLuLemon, and a chic restaurant serving modern Southern food. Why is Chattanooga growing so hip? Entrepreneurs and global companies, including Volkswagen and Amazon, are moving here, drawn in part by the city's superfast gigabit internet, nicknamed "the Gig" by locals. The city is now one of the most connected places on earth, with one of the fastest internet speeds in the world. Yet, a few miles east of downtown, in low-income and largely minority neighborhoods, the buzz of progress peters out. A fifth of Chattanooga's African-American households and a third of its Hispanic households don't own a computer, let alone have home access to the internet, according to the latest census data. The result is a digital divide larger than the national average.
Are Mississippi's students prepared for college?
More than 42 percent of students who arrived at Mississippi's community colleges in 2014 required at least one remedial course, as did more than 17 percent of new students, including transfers, at four-year Mississippi universities according to a new analysis of data. The data, which was compiled from 44 states as part of a year-long project by The Hechinger Report's Sarah Butrymowicz, found that more than half a million public college students had to take a remedial course in 2014-15 that covers "basic math and English skills they should have learned in high school." In 2014, Mississippi State University had the lowest percentage of students enrolled in one or more remedial course during the first year of college. About 8 percent of incoming students there were enrolled in a remediation course. Alcorn State University had the highest percentage of students in a remedial course, with nearly 59 percent of new undergraduate students enrolled in 2014.
Proposed cuts to NOAA budget could be felt throughout Mississippi
The agency whose satellite photographs alert Coast residents of approaching hurricanes could see deep budget cuts, putting jobs and programs in South Mississippi in jeopardy. The Washington Post reports it obtained a four-page budget memo which shows the Trump administration is seeking to cut the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration budget by 17 percent. Even deeper cuts are proposed for fiscal year 2018, which starts Oct. 1, for NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. These programs have staff working at Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, along with the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Weather Service, which both face 5 percent cuts. Many of these cuts are for agencies that study climate change. The budget proposal would eliminate the $73 million Sea Grant program that supports coastal research through 33 university programs, among them the University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State, Jackson State and University of Mississippi.
Sea Grant: White House proposes eliminating university-based coastal research program
Matt Parker, an aquaculture business specialist at Maryland Sea Grant, describes his work as free consulting for people who want to get into aquaculture, or farming of marine wildlife like fish or shellfish. That includes disseminating the latest research on best practices in oyster-growing operations -- an industry that has grown rapidly in the Chesapeake Bay area in recent years -- from the University of Maryland Extension to local businesses. "It's the extension's job to relay the research in the university out to the industry," Parker said. "We're kind of like a conduit for research." That kind of key assistance to local businesses could be imperiled by cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sought by the Trump administration. Those who work with Sea Grant say it has fueled the growth in coastal regions of aquaculture industries that didn't exist 20 or even 10 years ago. Scientists and businessmen alike compare the impact of the program on coastal businesses to that of land-grant universities in improving agricultural production in the U.S.
Vardaman Hall to be renamed, other buildings to be contextualized, U. of Mississippi committee says
The name of Vardaman Hall will be changed and seven other sites on campus will be altered or contextualized, the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on History and Context said Monday. The committee is currently taking recommendations for the contextualization of Lamar Hall, Barnard Observatory, Longstreet Hall and George Hall, with a deadline of the semester's end to submit their final recommendations. Antebellum sites such as the Lyceum, Barnard Hall, Croft and Hilgard Cut are also being considered for contextualizing because they were each built by enslaved people. The committee was met with many questions from the 50 or so students, faculty and community members in the listening session. Several students posed questions to Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter who, after opening up the meeting and hearing the introductions led by members of the committee, left. "If the chancellor was here, (my question) would have been answered," said Jackson Lovelady, freshman business management major.
Overby Center: What statues should represent Mississippi?
The Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics will address the issue Wednesday of whether Mississippi should be represented in the U.S. Capitol's National Statuary Hall by two 19th century figures prominent in the secessionist movement. The program, "Revisiting Jefferson Davis and J.Z. George: U.S. Capitol Relics?" begins at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The Overby Center is on the Ole Miss campus. Overby Center chairman Charles Overby will be joined in the discussion by William "Brother" Rogers, president of the Mississippi Historical Society, and Marvin King, associate professor of political science and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi. Changing the figures representing states has occurred recently. For example, in 2009 Alabama replaced Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, a congressman and Confederate officer, with Helen Keller.
USM accidentally sends acceptance emails, apologizes for system glitch
The University of Southern Mississippi made a mistake over the weekend when they accidentally sent acceptance letters to several applicants of a graduate program. The email that was sent read: "Congratulations on your acceptance to graduate school at Southern Miss!" One student who received those letters was Lindsey Koski. "I was really excited and then I got another email saying I was officially accepted. Fifteen to 20 minutes after that email, I got an email saying 'sorry, you weren't accepted, we're still reviewing,'" Koski said. Koski said the initial email was disappointing, but for her, the situation just got more confusing. Koski said this entire experience has made her reconsider USM as a destination. "This whole experience makes me not want to apply to them again," she said.
Jackson State preparing for the city's water outage
Jackson State University is implementing a strategy for the City of Jackson's upcoming planned water outage. The outage will take place Friday, March 10 at 3 p.m. and will last until March 12 at 3 p.m. Contractors will fix three breaks on a 48-inch transmission line. JSU said they plan on rescheduling most weekend activities during the time frame, including graduate school exams and the annual student orientation event hosted by Greek organizations known as The Great Reveal. Student Affairs plans on delivering bottled water to all residence halls and portable toilets with be placed through campus. "The quality of life of our students, staff, and visitors will always take precedence over all else," said JSU interim President Rod Paige. "We will take all necessary measures to ensure our campus community is afforded the necessities they expect."
Olive Branch, Delta State choirs make joint appearance
Vocal music students at Olive Branch have the unique opportunity to sing with a college choir and the public is invited to hear the compilation of musical talents. The 40-member Advanced Choir of Olive Branch High School, under the direction of Claire Leeke, will join the Delta State University choir for a free concert Friday evening, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at Christ Presbyterian Church, 6860 Craft Road in Olive Branch. The performance will be the climax of a day-long visit by the Delta State choir, under the direction of Adam Potter, director of choral activities at the Cleveland, Miss. school, to Olive Branch High School. "The Delta State choir is actually spending all day with us on Friday, which will be great for my students," Leeke said. "My different classes will have the chance to sing along with them and learn from them."
Tougaloo College on Path to Be International Leader for Study of Modern Slavery
In keeping with Tougaloo College's history of involvement in the fight for human and civil rights, president Beverly Hogan says, they're ready to take on Modern Day Slavery. According to the GlobalSlaveryIndex.org, more than 45 million people are enslaved in a range of industries worldwide--profits run in the billions of dollars. Now, a grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation is helping Tougaloo establish the first ever Modern Day Slavery Institute in the nation. "Getting our students and faculty to extend their research their scholarship in this area so that we can come up with solution to eradicate this issue," said Hogan. The college is hosting a week-long conference with experts to develop curriculum and research efforts. Among the guests is Shamere McKenzie, a graduate of Loyola University, and a sex-trafficking survivor. She says more education is needed about how mind control can keep people enslaved.
Tougaloo tackles modern day slavery with week-long conference
"I am a black girl from Mississippi that plays the harp," said Dr. Lisa Beckley-Roberts, assistant professor of musicology at Jackson State University. She repeated, "I am a black girl from Mississippi that plays the harp ... and I am the daughter of activists." Roberts, also skilled in African dance, was the keynote speaker for Tougaloo College's Social Justice, Humanities and the Fine Arts program to kick-off "Unchained," the 2017 week-long conference on modern-day slavery. Roberts' presentation included ideas about the role of humanities in the creation of art activism and social equality. Last fall, Tougaloo College created an Institute for the Study of Modern Day Slavery, the first historically black college in the nation to do so. Tougaloo has earned a reputation for promoting justice through a variety of social issues, most notably during the civil rights era.
Auburn University's Canine Performances Sciences program producing top detection dogs
As a puppy, Joel was identified early as a dog with a great sniffer. Just one of the hundreds of dogs that have gone through Vapor Wake training at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine's Canine Performance Sciences program, Joel soon learned to use his sense of smell at the highest level. By March 2016, two-year-old Joel was sniffing out explosives as a member of the New York Police Department and had been renamed Paulie in honor of a fallen police officer. Joel graduated from the police department's training program with eight other Vapor Wake dogs, who are instructed to follow the moving scent of an explosive. Vapor Wake dogs, used by law enforcement and other government agencies throughout the country, are the focus of the university's Canine Performance Sciences program, which has been helping advance the breeding, development and training of detection dogs since the 1990s.
Asia Society kicks off Listening Tour at Auburn University
Alexis de Tocqueville described his travels through the early United States in 1831 and 1832 in his book "Democracy in America," which gave a portrait of the early American republic to a European audience. Last week, the Asia Society, a nonprofit organization founded to promote better understanding between the U.S. and Asia, made its first stop on its Listening Tour in the Footsteps of Alexis de Tocqueville at Auburn University. When Tocqueville traveled through East Alabama in January 1832 on a stagecoach from Montgomery to Fort Mitchell near Columbus, Georgia, he passed through land still held mainly by the Creek Nation and a few early white settlers with their African-American slaves, according to the Encyclopedia of Alabama. Today, the frontier land Tocqueville passed through in 1832 has become a key hub in the modern globalized economy, which made it a great place to begin the Asia Society's Listening Tour, said Josette Sheeran, president and CEO of the Asia Society and former director of the United Nations World Food Programme.
U. of Tennessee Title IX conference honors Pat Summitt
A two-day conference at the University of Tennessee is focused on the challenges in Title IX implementation while also honoring legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summitt and her contributions to women's sports. "Title IX: History, Legacy and Controversy," hosted by the UT College of Law, will feature discussions on athletics and Title IX, transgender and intersex students and media coverage of Title IX. The conference continues on Friday. "(Summitt) did more than just win basketball games," said Valorie Vojdik, Waller Lansden Distinguished Professor of Law at the UT College of Law and a faculty adviser to the Tennessee Journal of Race, Gender and Social Justice, who said the conference was organized as a way to honor the legacy of Summitt, who died of early onset Alzheimer's disease in June. "She was a key national player in using Title IX to expand women's sports opportunities."
Tennessee bill would expand access to guns on college campuses
State lawmakers are considering a bill that would further expand access to guns on college campuses, which one official has described as a "very disturbing" effort. The bill, which is scheduled to come up for debate Tuesday in the House Civil Justice Committee, would allow part-time employees at public colleges to carry concealed guns on campus. It is an extension of a law passed last year -- without Gov. Bill Haslam's signature -- that allowed full-time employees to carry guns. College administrators and campus police are vehemently opposed to the bill and any other efforts to expand access to guns on campus. But Republican lawmakers have repeatedly argued that allowing guns on campus would increase safety.
U. of Missouri defends $2.4 million in extra payments for top administrators after critical audit
University of Missouri officials and State Auditor Nicole Galloway offered different interpretations Monday of an audit questioning the legality of $1.2 million in incentive money paid to administrators since July 1, 2014. "These actions show a complete lack of awareness from a group of administrators who have forgotten who they serve," Galloway said during a news conference about the audit's findings in her Jefferson City office. "System leaders must work to accept responsibilities for their actions and regain the public's confidence instead of listing off excuses." In response, the university defended the incentive program and criticized Galloway for focusing on an off-payroll program that has paid out $2.4 million over the past three years after spending most of last year on an audit of all system administration activities.
State lawmakers respond to the state audit on U. of Missouri System
State lawmakers had sharp criticism of the University of Missouri System following the release of an audit that raised questions about more than $2 million in bonuses and other payments made by the system to top officials. But several lawmakers who have key roles in the budget process stopped short of saying that the UM System, which already faces a multi-million dollar budget cut for the coming year, would face additional financial hits because of the report. State Auditor Nicole Galloway released a report Monday that found the UM System had paid roughly $2.3 million in "inappropriate bonus payments" to top executives and administrators over the past three years. The payments included $1.2 million in incentives to 18 executives and administrators, according to the audit, which stated that the payments weren't tied to specific criteria and called them "hidden sources of compensation."
New Travel Ban Still Sows Chaos and Confusion
A long-anticipated executive order restricting travelers from a half-dozen predominantly Muslim countries is likely to bring little certainty to American college campuses. The new order, which replaces a measure put on hold by a federal appeals court nearly a month ago, imposes a 90-day ban on issuance of new visas, including student visas, to citizens of six countries -- Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. But it will allow free travel to those who hold current visas. While the reissued ban provides some reassurance to students and scholars already on campus that they can travel freely, it offers little guidance to those seeking to enroll for the first time this coming fall. Although the order directly affects a relatively small number of international students -- those from the six named countries make up about 15,000 out of more than one million now studying in the United States -- its impact on perceptions abroad of American openness could be much farther-reaching.
Revised travel ban excludes current visa holders but continues to raise concerns for higher ed
President Trump on Monday signed a new executive order temporarily barring nationals of six Muslim-majority countries -- Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen -- from entering the U.S. after enforcement of an earlier entry ban was halted by federal courts. The revised ban, which goes into effect March 16, does not apply to lawful permanent residents of the U.S. and individuals from the six nations who already have valid visas, including student and exchange visas. Higher education groups largely described the newly revised entry ban as an improvement from the original but still highly problematic for international educational exchange and research collaborations. "While the revised executive order is more limited in scope than the first one, the impact is significant," Peter McPherson, the president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, said in a statement. "The effect of this new order goes well beyond just the higher education community, but as a public university association, we are particularly aware of how this will impact campuses."
White Supremacists Target College Campuses With Unprecedented Effort
White supremacists have held minor campaigns on college campuses in the past, but an unprecedented amount of hate-group propaganda and a rebranding of white supremacy as "alt-right" have been especially geared to recruit and provoke college students in recent months. A recent report by the Anti-Defamation League cited at least 107 incidents of white-supremacist propaganda on college campuses since the beginning of the academic year, in September, at least 65 of which have occurred since January. Posters with messages like "Make America white again" and "Imagine a Muslim-free America" have been found in high-traffic areas on campuses in 25 states. Students have protested and denounced the presence of white-supremacist propaganda on their campuses, and administrators have responded.
Report documents white supremacist activity on campuses
White supremacist activity is seeing an upsurge on college campuses, primarily by outside groups seeking to attract attention or support among students, according to a report released Monday by the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry. As of Monday, there have been 107 incidents of white supremacist activity on campuses during the current academic year -- most commonly leaflets or posters from white nationalist groups, the report says. Of these incidents, 65 have taken place in 2017. The level of activity in the last year is "unprecedented," the report says, compared to far fewer incidents in the past such that the group added the study this year. When Inside Higher Ed and others have reported on some of these incidents, various websites have said that these incidents are hoaxes or "fake news."

Mississippi State's Victoria Vivians, UM's Sebastian Saiz hailed as state's top players
Mississippi State's Victoria Vivians took teammate Morgan William to the upstairs portion of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame on Monday afternoon, where there's a trophy case full of Vivians' high school accomplishments that is still on display. The Hall might need another exhibit for her college career soon. Vivians won the Gillom Trophy for a third straight season, extending her dominance in the Magnolia State. The 6-foot-1 junior is averaging 16.4 points per game and has helped lead the Bulldogs to a 29-4 record this season, including a 13-3 mark in the Southeastern Conference. "She just gets better and better, to be honest," Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said.
Mississippi State's Victoria Vivians wins third-straight Gillom Trophy; named to Wooden national ballot
Mississippi State junior Victoria Vivians made history Monday afternoon at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, becoming the first three-time winner of the CSpire Gillom Trophy. After becoming the first freshman to win the award, Vivians became the third repeat winner of the award last season before becoming the first player to win the award three-straight years on Monday. The state honor comes just days after she was named a semifinalist for the Naismith Player of the Year Trophy and was tabbed to the national ballot for the Wooden Award. The Carthage, Miss., has established herself as one of the nation's top players, rating in the Top 10 in the Southeastern Conference averaging 16.4 ppg this season. Vivians and her Bulldog teammates find out their NCAA Tournament destination and opponents Monday, March 13, at 6 p.m. CT.
Ole Miss' Sebastian Saiz, State's Victoria Vivians take home trophies
Sports columnist Rick Cleveland writes for Mississippi Today: "Notes, quotes and an opinion or three from the C Spire Howell and Gillom Awards luncheon Monday at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum: First thing first: They got the winners right. Sebastian Saiz won the Bailey Howell Trophy after averaging a double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds) for the season. Victoria Vivians became the first three-time Peggie Gillom Trophy winner after leading the 29-4 Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs to second place finishes in both the SEC regular season and tournament. ...Vivians said she did not expect to win her third Gillom. 'I really thought Morgan would win it, and Brittney had a great season, too,' Vivians said. 'Really, it could have gone to several players on our team. To me, it's a team award.'
Mississippi State baseball at home to face Louisiana Tech
Mississippi State returns to Dudy Noble Field after going 1-2 at Oregon over the weekend on its first road trip. The Diamond Dogs (7-5) host Louisiana Tech, coached by former MSU assistant Lane Burroughs, at 6:30 p.m. tonight. Louisiana Tech is off to the best start in program history at 11-1 after sweeping Wichita State at home last weekend. It's lone loss came at Arkansas in a midweek series split with the Razorbacks. Mississippi State and Louisiana Tech met last year in the finals of the Starkville Regional with State winning 4-0. MSU is 37-14-1 all-time in a series that dates back to 1905.
Diamond Dawgs to play in 2018 Shriners Hospital for Children College Classic at Minute Maid Park
One of the top annual regular season tournaments in college baseball will include Mississippi State in 2018. The Diamond Dawgs will travel to Houston, Texas to play in the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic, held at Minute Maid Park, the home of the Houston Astros. The tournament field includes fellow Southeastern Conference teams Vanderbilt and Kentucky, as well as Houston, Louisiana and Sam Houston State. Over the weekend of March 2-4, the Bulldogs will take on the trio of non-SEC opponents. The complete schedule for the event will be announced at a later date.
Mississippi State's Gerri Green ready for larger role this spring
Gerri Green looked around the room during an offseason workout. He then told Bulldogs strength coach Nick Savage what he noticed, and that was that the Mississippi State junior linebacker was the oldest guy in his group. Savage, as Green recalled, responded by telling Green to cast his view at the team as a whole -- Green is now one of the more experienced guys in that larger context, too, especially on defense. That is when it clicked. A.J. Jefferson isn't around anymore. Neither is Nelson Adams. And Richie Brown, MSU's leading tackler for the past two seasons? He is gone, too. "I am one of the guys now," Green said, "and I have to take that role and embrace it."
U. of Florida fires women's basketball coach Amanda Butler
Amanda Butler will not return next season as head coach of the University of Florida women's basketball team, Athletics Director Scott Stricklin announced Monday. The Gators finished the season with a 15-16 record, which culminated in a 67-48 loss to Texas A&M in the second round of the SEC Tournament last week. With a losing record, Florida was not eligible for a postseason tournament. In 10 seasons at Florida, Butler led the Gators to the NCAA tournament four times, although Florida failed to make it farther than the second round. Butler's 190 wins rank second in program history behind Carol Ross' 247, but the Gators struggled to compete in the SEC. "We will immediately begin the process of finding a new women's basketball coach," Stricklin said in the release.
U. of Missouri fires men's basketball coach Kim Anderson
When Missouri hired Kim Anderson as its men's basketball coach in 2014, it gave one of its most distinguished former players what he called his dream job. Before the book closed on his third season with Missouri, the dream ended. Athletic Director Jim Sterk fired Anderson on Sunday, ending a tenure that was more nightmare than fantasy. The Tigers are 26-67 under Anderson, and their three consecutive 20-loss seasons are a first for the program and the Southeastern Conference. Anderson will coach Missouri at the SEC Tournament this week in Nashville, Tenn. The 14th-seeded Tigers play 11th-seeded Auburn in the first round Wednesday. An MU spokesperson said the school had not yet hired a search firm to replace Anderson, though a decision on the search firm is expected to be made by Monday afternoon.

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