Wednesday, April 19, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
ACCESS Program celebrates milestone at Mississippi State
A unique Mississippi State University program celebrated a big milestone Monday. The ACCESS (Academics Campus life Community involvement Employment opportunities Socialization Self-awareness) Program for students with intellectual disabilities has been recognized as a comprehensive transition program, a designation given only to around a fourth of like programs. It is the only such program in the state of Mississippi. Mississippi State Director of Student Support Services Julie Capella said the designation, which is given by the U.S. Department of Education will make it easier for qualified students to afford the program's $17,500 per semester price tag, and hopefully attract more students. "The biggest thing is that a student can receive federal aid," Capella said. "That helps us with students who couldn't afford to come in the past."
Poll: Bulldogs among Top 5 TV weather forecasters in NYC, N.J.
Nearly 10,000 votes were cast in the first round of our NJ Advance media weather poll, and readers have selected five TV weather forecasters as their personal favorites. Now it's time to decide which of the five finalists gets the top spot -- and bragging rights in the local New York City/northern New Jersey TV market. The winners of the five highest vote totals were, in alphabetical order: Dave Curren of News 12 New Jersey; Bill Evans and Amy Freeze, both of ABC7 New York and former Mississippi State students; Lonnie Quinn of CBS2 New York, and Mike Woods of FOX 5 New York. Now, it's time to pick the winner.
Regions picked to finance $14.5M Oktibbeha County road bond
Oktibbeha County is close to finalizing a 15-year, $14.5 million-maximum road bond for Blackjack Road and other countywide infrastructure projects and should have the funding in about 30 days. Supervisors picked Regions Bank Monday as the bond's financier after it submitted the lowest interest rate -- 2.4 percent -- and beat Trustmark Bank's 2.99 percent offer. Butler Snow attorney Sam Keyes, who advises the county on bond packages, said it will take about 30 days for his firm and the county to get through the validation process -- a procedural time period of paperwork and other document filings -- and the county will receive the funding shortly after. Approximately $4.5 million of the bond will go toward improving Blackjack Road, while the remaining $10 million will be divided between the five districts based on road mileage.
City tenders sanitation worker's case to DA, suspends director
Following a lengthy closed-door executive session at Tuesday's Starkville Board of Aldermen meeting, one city employee could soon face criminal prosecution and another was temporarily suspended without pay. The board voted 5-2 to tender the case of city sanitation worker Courtney Ross to District Attorney Scott Colom's office for consideration for criminal prosecution. Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver and Ward 3 Alderman David Little voted against. A motion was also given to reject Ross' resignation dated April 10, 2017, and immediately terminate his employment with the city. The motion passed unanimously. In addition to Ross potentially facing criminal charges, the board also voted 5-2 to suspend Director of Sanitation and Environmental Services Emma Gandy without pay for five business days -- from April 19 through April 25, effective immediately.
Mayor: Change order won't delay Starkville Police Department opening
A requested 23-day extension to the Starkville Police Department renovation contract for contractors to install information technology (IT) cabling and furniture will push the project's date of substantial completion to June 12, but Mayor Parker Wiseman says the proposed change order will not significantly delay the project. City officials previously forecasted a late May completion date for the $4.48 million project and planned to open the facility in June after spending a short amount of time furnishing the building, Wiseman said. If the project's fifth change order is approved Tuesday, work will continue as the building is outfitted with furnishings, he said. "The contractor has been very accommodating with us. Our hope is that the building will be ready for occupation at about the same time it would have been otherwise," Wiseman said. "This will keep us on track for a June opening."
50 jobs coming with steel company expansion in Golden Triangle
A new facility at the Steel Dynamics, Inc. campus will be an expansion of New Process Steel, Board of Supervisors President Harry Sanders confirmed during Monday's board meeting. The board on Monday approved two loan resolutions for the project, which the Golden Triangle Development LINK dubbed "Project Garage." In early March, supervisors approved about $1.7 million in grants and loans for the $7.5 million steel processing facility, which is set to be located on part of the Steel Dynamics, Inc. site at the industrial park west of Columbus. New Process Steel operates a facility at 280 Industrial Park Road that employs 45 people, according to the LINK. The new facility is expected to add 50 jobs. The expansion will need $750,000 in Development Infrastructure Program grants from the Mississippi Development Authority for road improvements, and up to $1 million in a state loan to pay for a rail spur.
Riverboat visitors could top 40,000 in 2017
Last year, more than 30,000 visitors made their way to Vicksburg by way of a variety of riverboats. They stepped off on the city's waterfront and made their way in and around the sights and shops in Vicksburg, bringing with them a significant economic impact. This year that impact is expected to be even bigger, as more than 40,000 are expected to visit. It is that growth and the economic impact that has city leaders and tourism officials particularly excited. Bill Serrat, executive director of the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, says that the increase and the economic impact places more importance on improvements needed to the arrival experience. "It has to be perfection," Serrat said of the arrival area and the initial impression for visitors. "We have had discussions with the Carl Small Town Center at Mississippi State to look at plans to improve that experience and what enhancements can be made."
John Grisham doing first extensive book tour in 25 years
John Grisham fans will get a double treat in June -- a new book and a 12-city tour, his first such extensive tour in a quarter century. On June 6, fans will be able to get their hands on his new thriller, "Camino Island," the first book he has done involving rare books and bookstores. "I'm just astonished at how fun it is," said John Evans, owner of Lemuria Bookstore in Jackson, one of the 12 stops. "It's a love letter to the real analog experience of what books mean, what bookstores mean and what writers mean to bookstores, what bookstores mean to writers and what reading means to a community." Grisham came up with the idea with his wife, Renee, during a long drive to Florida. "Camino Island" begins with thieves stealing five handwritten F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts from Princeton University's Firestone Library and selling them in the rare books black market.
Most Mississippi agencies banned from car purchases for year
Most Mississippi government agencies will be banned from buying vehicles for a year, as a way to save money in a tight budget. The vehicle moratorium is in House Bill 938 . Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill April 6, and it becomes law July 1. A few exceptions will be allowed. Any agency can use grants to buy vehicles, as long as the money doesn't come from state government. The new law also requires agencies to determine the most cost-effective routes for government employees who are reimbursed for travel in vehicles that are not owned or leased by the state.
Rep. Becky Currie says resort status bill vetoed; will likely come up again in special session
Gov. Phil Bryant vetoed a bill shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday that would have given resort status to Brookhaven County Club and, in effect, allowed the property to serve alcohol. Authored by Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, House Bill 144 would have allowed the club's owners to offer alcoholic beverages for sale in the clubhouse, restaurant and golf course. The service would be available for dining and events such as weddings and receptions. According to Currie, the governor assured her that his veto had nothing to do with the language of the bill, nor the intent of it to bring resort status to the country club. "He loves Brookhaven," Currie said, "and he assured me he wants to help us in special session to find a place to put it." Currie said once a bill goes to Ways and Means, other legislators can attach items to it -- a method nicknamed "Christmas-treeing" because odds and ends are added to the main bill.
Rep. Trent Kelly addresses issues at town hall forum in Noxapater
They came from across north Mississippi, packed a tiny town hall to capacity and spilled out beyond into the parking lot, all to hear U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly talk policy and take questions. Kelly began Tuesday morning early, meeting with conservative groups in DeSoto County but by the afternoon, he rolled into the tiny Winston County town of Noxapater, population 419. There, he hosted a public town hall forum in a municipal building perched atop a small hill near a water tower. "This is about as close to home as I can get in my district," said Kelly, noting that he grew up in the nearby community of Neshoba, located in the 3rd Congressional District. The event attracted constituents from across the 1st Congressional District, with license plates visible from Lee County, Lafayette County and DeSoto County. A heavy law enforcement presence patrolled the parking lot.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey moves U.S. Senate election to this year
Gov. Kay Ivey has changed the date for the election to fill the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Jeff Sessions. Ivey scheduled the election for this year. Former Gov. Robert Bentley had scheduled it for next year. Under a proclamation Ivey signed Tuesday, the primary will be August 15, the runoff, if necessary, will be Sept. 26 and the general election will be Dec. 12. Sessions vacated the seat to become U.S. Attorney General. In February, Bentley appointed then-Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to fill the seat on a temporary basis until a special election. Bentley later scheduled the special election to coincide with the regular election cycle next year, with the primary in June and general election in November.
Senior BFA Exhibition opens in MUW's Summer Hall Gallery Wednesday
Mississippi University for Women's Department of Art and Design presents the work of five 2017 graduating seniors April 19-28 in the first of two scheduled Bachelor of Fine Arts spring shows in the Eugenia Summer Gallery. The exhibition is free to the public, as is a reception April 28 from 6-8 p.m. Normally there is one BFA exhibition for each semester, but with 10 Department of Art and Design graduating seniors, the students chose to divide their work into two shorter shows in order to give the seniors a better opportunity to display their portfolio. The exhibitions are both name "Refined" -- REFINED 1 and REFINED 2. Senior Arlesia Rambus suggested the logo concept of using a Roman numeral I and II in the titles.
Police arrest U. of Mississippi student in election sign vandalism
University of Mississippi police arrested a student Monday in connection with the vandalism of an Associate Student Body candidate's sign earlier this year. Freshman accounting major Taia McAfee was escorted to Lafayette County Detention Center Monday in connection with the vandalism, according to University Police Department Chief Tim Potts. McAfee was notified of the warrant for her arrest Friday, turned herself in voluntarily Monday and left the detention center immediately after paying bond. "I don't regret painting over the flag because it's something that was taken off campus because it is hateful and harmful to people of my identity," McAfee said. "I felt like as a student activist, as a student who speaks up for other students, it was within my responsibility to cover it up. I do want to say I regret not coming forward earlier, before things blew up." The Mississippi state flag has been controversial on campus for some time now.
Ole Miss' pharmacy school begins clinical study of antimalarial drug
The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy Research Clinic is looking for students and residents in the Oxford and Lafayette County area to participate in a clinical study for the antimalarial drug primaquine. The World Health Organization lists primaquine as one of the safest and most essential medications in the world. The study begins later this month. "We are eager to begin this research in hopes of getting closer to the very real possibility of one-day eradicating malaria worldwide," said David D. Allen, dean of the School of Pharmacy. Researchers in the school are continuing research on primaquine that has been ongoing there for 25 years in hopes of improving the drug and broadening its use.
U. of Southern Mississippi offers course in economic development, defense sector
Hattiesburg, Oklahoma City, Corpus Christi -- all communities with military bases in their midst. And all places where economic developers might want to take advantage of the financial opportunities afforded by the defense sector. Now those economic developers can learn how best to access the defense industry in a new course offered at the University of Southern Mississippi -- "Economic Development for Defense Communities." Chad Miller, College of Business associate professor, said the class will help economic developers answer questions about the defense economy. "How do you take advantage of a military base or defense contractor in your area?" he said. "How do you adjust for fluctuations in military spending or different priorities in military spending?"
USM hosts 2nd annual Community Engagement Summit
About 150 people from non-profit organizations, businesses and civic groups gathered at the University of Southern Mississippi Tuesday to discuss new ways of working together to improve the community. It was all part of the second annual President's Summit on Community Engagement. It was held at the Thad Cochran Center. The United Way, Volunteer Mississippi, the Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation, Extra Table and Magnolia State Bank participated. Breakout sessions focused on topics such as effective use of social media, how businesses and non-profits can form partnerships and fundamentals of effective board membership. "Maybe we'll have some working groups that can come out of the event of things that can go on after we leave here to really work together and compare notes and try to combine impact," said Christy Arrazattee, director of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement at USM.
Tornado takes William Carey University's art collection off the walls
Rick Wilemon stands in a nondescript storeroom, surveying dozens of slim, cardboard containers. "What you're seeing is 1,200 pieces of the Carey art collection in boxes," the William Carey University graduate assistant says. Until recently, the artwork was hanging on the walls or stored safely away in the vaults of Carey's Sarah Gillespie Museum and Lucile Parker Gallery. That all changed on Jan. 21, when the tornado that hit Forrest and Lamar counties struck the museum and gallery. Wilemon was one of the first on the scene at both locations. At the Gillespie Museum, he couldn't believe his eyes. "In the tornado, the front doors were compromised and wind and rain came in and there was standing water in the gallery and in the vault," he said. Curator Pam Shearer said it was unbelievable that the doors would be damaged.
At Mississippi College, Former Secretary of Defense Speaks on US Military Affairs
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is speaking out on U.S. military involvement in the Middle East. It's been nearly two weeks since a U.S. air strike in Syria. Hagel disagrees with the decision to use military intervention in the Syrian civil war at this time. He says military involvement should not be the first solution. He agrees ISIS is a global threat. He says because of technology, terrorists now have access to information and capabilities that previously only nations could have: "Cyber for example is as big a threat to our institutions as any one things. Cyber can paralyze financial systems and grids and political power grids and they can knock out satellites and the non-state actors who have tremendous capability use that and ISIS uses it very effectively." He made his remarks while visiting Mississippi College in Clinton.
Booneville student to graduate high school, NEMCC at same time
High school senior Abby Pitts has a busy month ahead of her. Pitts will graduate from Booneville High School and Northeast Mississippi Community College in May, receiving both her high school diploma and associate's degree in the span of seven days. Pitts has been taking dual enrollment classes through NEMCC since her sophomore year of high school. Dual enrollment courses allow students to earn college and high school credit simultaneously by taking college-level courses while in high school. These courses are often offered in partnership with local community colleges, like Northeast. Pitts continued to take dual enrollment courses through her junior year, and by senior year, she was close to earning enough college credit hours for a degree. As a senior, Pitts is enrolled as a full-time student at NEMCC, taking classes at the community college on top of her classes at Booneville High. She will have earned 74 credit hours total by the time she graduates.
EC-HealthNet aims to draw physicians to rural areas
Years ago, Dr. Lee Valentine, D.O., and other area family physicians saw a looming crisis. Area doctors were aging and nearing retirement but Meridian didn't have a program to bring residents into the area to replace the retirees. In response, Valentine, and others, began the EC-HealthNet Family Medicine Residency program to lure residents into the rural communities of East Mississippi and West Alabama and train them on the challenges of rural healthcare. "If we don't do something, we're going to have a huge vacuum in Primary Care," Valentine, the program director, said. "It was really born out of conversations over the last 5 to 10 years about how we have no training programs in East Mississippi." This June, the first class of residents will graduate from the program and at least two of the four will be staying in the Meridian area. One has accepted an Emergency Department fellowship and another has signed a contract with Rush Health Systems. The last two third-year students remain undecided.
Ex-U.S. attorney to join U. of Alabama law school
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance will join the University of Alabama School of Law as a visiting lecturer in August. As a distinguished visiting lecturer in law, Vance will teach in the areas of criminal justice reform, criminal procedure and civil rights. "I am delighted that Joyce Vance will be joining the School of Law," said Mark E. Brandon, the law school's dean. "Her knowledge and experience -- both as U.S. attorney and in private practice -- will make her a valuable presence in the classroom and a tremendous resource for our students. She will also be a splendid colleague." Vance retired as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama in January. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to the post in 2009.
White nationalist, backed by court order, appears at Auburn
White nationalist Richard Spencer addressed Auburn University Tuesday night, making a typically inflammatory speech, which the university had tried to block. Some attendees interrupted his talk, and a large group protested outside, chanting, "No fascists, no KKK, no fascist U.S.A." Earlier Tuesday, U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins ruled that Auburn, as a public institution covered by the First Amendment, had to allow Spencer to speak. The university previously said that doing so would create unsafe conditions. Before a crowd that alternated between cheers and jeers, Spencer spun a narrative: white identity has been ripped away from people, and people are no longer comfortable celebrating "European" heritage and its place in history. Spencer vowed in November to take his message to college campuses. He spoke at Texas A&M University in December.
Full house, diverse crowd turns out to greet/rebuff controversial speaker on Auburn campus
Auburn University wanted a peaceful night, and for the most part got it. Alt-right leader Richard Spencer wanted attention, and for the most part got it. A capacity crowd of more than 400 filled Auburn's Foy Hall, with fire marshals and university workers cutting off the entrance to control the number as hundreds more waited outside. They came to see Spencer and the buzz surrounding him and his alt-right movement, which claims white supremacy and preaches against cultural diversity, calling it an evil that should go away. Various groups representing both pro-racist and anti-racist beliefs claimed to be present, but the vast majority of the crowd appeared to be Auburn students simply curious about all the commotion surrounding the controversial Spencer appearing on their campus. Police presence was evident everywhere on campus, as the university and law enforcement had barricades set up with an outer perimeter to help control access.
Rep. Cedric Glover blasts LSU president for criticizing bill to ban universities' 'official' beers
A state representative responded in a letter Tuesday to criticism over his proposed bill to ban public universities from licensing "official" alcoholic beverages. In the letter, Rep. Cedric Glover, D-Shreveport, specifically mentioned LSU President F. King Alexander, who told The Advocate last week that House Bill 610 was "nonsense" and that Glover "likes to throw stones." Both LSU and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette have joined a growing trend of allowing brewers to pay them for making "official beers." Bayou Bengal Lager supports LSU and Ragin' Cajuns Genuine Louisiana Ale is the official beer for UL-Lafayette. In Glover's letter, he said it was "certainly disappointing to see LSU President Dr. King Alexander respond in such a personal and petty way" to the proposed bill.
Regents bump up college tuition in Georgia, including UGA
University of Georgia undergraduate students will see a 2 percent increase in their tuition bills in the 2017-2018 school year, while graduate students will pay 2.5 percent more. The state Board of Regents approved the hikes Tuesday in the group's monthly meeting at the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick. The Board of Regents, appointed by Georgia governors, oversees policy and finance for UGA and the state's other 27 public colleges and universities. One year's undergraduate tuition at UGA this year (fall and spring semesters) is $9,364; 2 percent of that is $187.28. Tuition for graduate students is slightly less at $8,492 for two semesters, according to UGA's Office of Student Financial Aid website; next year it will be $8,704. The 2 percent and 2.5 percent increases apply to other public colleges in Georgia as well as UGA.
University System of Georgia announces new administrative review
After gaining recognition for repeatedly pulling off mergers between its colleges and universities in recent years, the University System of Georgia is turning its scrutiny toward the administrative setup at its campuses and system office. System Chancellor Steve Wrigley announced a new comprehensive administrative review process Tuesday that will have the 28-institution, 321,551-student system searching for efficiencies and improved processes. The move marks a major initiative for a new chancellor who took over in January for the retiring Hank Huckaby, who drew widespread attention for consolidating 14 of Georgia's colleges and universities into seven since 2011. Georgia is far from the only state to seek administrative efficiencies. But given how aggressive the system has been in consolidating campuses, its efforts are likely to be closely watched to see how the latest effort fits with its still-unfolding consolidations.
Former governor, astronaut will speak at U. of Tennessee graduation
An Apollo 17 astronaut, Tennessee's 48th governor and the founder of HGTV will receive honorary degrees from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville during a dozen commencement ceremonies next month, according to the university. All three will be among honorary degree recipients that will speak to graduates during ceremonies May 11 through 13. Phil Bredesen is the former governor of Tennessee and will speak at the graduate hooding at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 11. He served as Tennessee's governor from 2003 to 2011. Harrison Schmitt is a former U.S. senator and astronaut who flew in space as Apollo 17's lunar module pilot, landing on the moon on December 11, 1972. Ken Lowe is chairman of the board, president and CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive. He founded and launched HGTV and was also responsible for relocating the Scripps Network Interactive corporate headquarters from Cincinnati to Knoxville.
Tennessee college work sets a national example, report says
Tennessee's campaign to boost college success has made it a national education leader, according to a new report from Ivy League researchers, but the researchers warned that several problems stood in the way of unqualified success. The report released Tuesday by the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education tracked the progress made by Republican and Democratic governors who collaborated with college and business leaders to boost college enrollment and graduation over the last several years. Lead author Joni E. Finney said that collaboration, combined with the rapid-fire launch of support programs like the Tennessee Promise scholarship under Gov. Bill Haslam, has established a model other states should follow. "Tennessee is a big experiment, and I think everybody in the country is watching," Finney said, noting the constellation of forces that had aligned behind a singular goal.
At U. of Missouri staff forum, officials offer no specifics on layoffs
Questions posed during an open forum between University of Missouri staff and some top administrators focused on the potential for layoffs as the university faces budget constraints. The first question explicitly about layoffs came about 20 minutes into the forum, following questions about cutting administrators' pay, trimming down expenses and the number of employees expected to retire this year. The university's Staff Advisory Council hosts the forum every fall and spring. The UM System's uncertain state funding for the coming fiscal year combined with declining enrollment means the Columbia campus faces a possible shortfall of $50 million or more. The university's division of operations will lay off 20 employees by July 1. Patty Haberberger, vice chancellor for human resources, said university leaders are working on decisions regarding layoffs.
Trump's New Order on Visas Could Make American Colleges Less Appealing Overseas
Yet again a Trump-administration executive order has the potential to roil American campuses and their recruitment of international students. President Trump on Tuesday signed a measure that would target fraud and abuse in overseas guest-worker programs and increase federal oversight of the H-1B visa program for highly skilled foreigners. Higher education ranks third behind technology-related occupations as the largest industry sponsor of recipients of H-1B visas. But colleges' chief concern is not likely to be the visa holders -- typically, professors, researchers, and postdocs -- on their payrolls. Rather, the order could have an impact on American colleges' recruitment of students from abroad. For many international students, the opportunity to stay in the United States, even temporarily, after graduation and gain work experience is almost as valuable as an American degree itself. Any policy that might erect hurdles on the pathway from college to work could depress international enrollments.
How black college students could benefit from Trump's order on foreign workers
Science and technology students at the nation's historically black colleges could get a boost from President Donald Trump's executive order aimed at altering a visa program that brings highly skilled workers to the United States. Leaders and advocates for historically black colleges and universities have been monitoring the immigration and jobs debate, telling the Trump administration and congressional lawmakers that so-called science, technology, engineering and math graduates from HBCU schools are readily available to fill high-tech jobs that are currently going to foreign workers. Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., who hosted a gathering of black college presidents in Washington, said Trump's order "as a byproduct could help some of the HBCU graduates."
Report finds unsettled pathways to the college presidency
Everything about the college presidency today seems to be unsettled, including the career pathways new presidents take on the way to the top job on campus. Current presidents face a slew of new challenges as demographics drive colleges and universities to enroll increasingly diverse student bodies with new sets of needs, as financial constraints impose harsh realities on institutions, and as technology threatens to upend the campus and the workplace. At the same time, the professional ladders leaders climb on the way to becoming presidents is changing -- just as a large number of long-serving presidents are expected to soon retire. Yet presidents too often find themselves running from crisis to crisis or falling into short-term thinking. As the job pressures mount, and as presidential tenures shorten, leaders are looking for quick wins. It all adds up to a college presidency that lacks cohesion, according to a new report released today titled "Pathways to the University Presidency."
Baylor University's Pick as New President Will Be First Woman at Its Helm
Linda A. Livingstone, dean and professor of management at the George Washington University School of Business, will be the new president of Baylor University, it announced on Tuesday in a news release. She will be the first woman to serve as president of the Texas institution, the world's largest Baptist university, and will take office on June 1. Ms. Livingstone's appointment will serve as a clean slate for Baylor after an investigation last year revealed that the university had failed to take sexual-assault complaints seriously. The scandal toppled several university leaders, including the president, Kenneth W. Starr, and the head football coach, Art Briles, and the fallout continues in the courts.
People are sadly out of step with the Legislature
Longtime Mississippi journalist Charlie Mitchell writes: "he press and the public are out of step. We keep thinking the Legislature deals with big picture topics such as budgets and taxation, education, highways, crime and punishment, health care, economic development. We seem not to notice the priorities have shifted to firing squads, who can refuse baking a cake for whom, being armed in church and resolving the looming crisis of people using the wrong restrooms. That being the case, some topics for the 2018 session..."

Mississippi State unable to mount rally at South Alabama
No. 15 Mississippi State got the offense going late but could not score enough during a 5-2 loss to South Alabama in college baseball action Tuesday night at Eddie Stanky Field. South Alabama (22-15) scored three times in the fifth inning and added insurance scores in the seventh and eighth innings. MSU (25-14) scored its only runs during a two-run eighth inning. "We played uninspired baseball," head coach Andy Cannizaro said. "We are going to play hard every game. That is why we had some position players pitch and some pitchers hit. That message had to be sent. We are going to have players play hard. We will head back to Starkville, get a good practice in Wednesday and get ready to go this weekend." State will now return home to continue Southeastern Conference play with a three-game series vs. Alabama at Dudy Noble Field. The series will open with a nationally-televised contest on Thursday at 6 p.m. on SEC Network.
Bulldog softball downs Alcorn State, 6-0
In the final non-conference game of the 2017 regular season, the Mississippi State Bulldogs (32-14) dominated the Alcorn State Lady Braves (15-25) for a 6-0 victory Tuesday night at the Alcorn Softball Complex. The Bulldogs struck early, getting a run in the opening frame thanks to the play of Bevia Robinson and Amanda Ivy. Robinson led off with a single to left field. She would then steal second base and advance to third on an Alcorn State error. From there, Ivy stepped to the plate and brought her home with sac fly to left field. Caroline Seitz, who today became the second player in school history to earn SEC, NFCA and USA Softball Player of the Week awards in the same week, came out to the circle to open the game for the Bulldogs.
Bulldogs hand out awards to cap historic season
Mississippi State capped a historic women's basketball season by handing out team awards Tuesday night in front of a capacity crowd of over 500 at The Mill Conference Center. In addition to reflecting on the 34-win season and handing out awards, the Bulldogs also honored seniors Ketara Chapel, Dominique Dillingham, Chinwe Okorie and Breanna Richardson as they capped their careers the winningest class in program history with 111 victories. "It was a great night and great celebration of a tremendous season," Bulldog head coach Vic Schaefer said. "It is bittersweet to say goodbye to our seniors. They have done so much for our program and our university, and they have established a winning culture in the four years they have been here. I am appreciative of the trust and confidence they placed in us four years ago when they decided that they were going to become Bulldogs."
Bulldogs hand out awards to cap historic season
Mississippi State capped a historic women's basketball season by handing out team awards Tuesday night in front of a capacity crowd of over 500 at The Mill Conference Center. Junior Morgan William was named Most Outstanding Player for the 2016-17 season after averaging 10.9 points and an SEC third-most 4.6 assists per contest this season. William set the school's single-season assists record with 181, and she also became MSU's career leader in the category with 480 through her first three seasons in Starkville. The Second Team All-SEC selection and Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention also tied for second in season free-throw percentage, knocking down an SEC third-best 84.2 percent.
Mississippi State will kick off Road Dawgs Tour in Biloxi
Mississippi State fans living along the Gulf Coast won't have to wait long to see their favorite Bulldog coaches up close. MSU announced Monday that its annual Road Dawgs Tour will kick off April 26 in Biloxi at the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum. The event starts at 6 p.m. with a social and buffet, while the actual program begins at 7 p.m. This year's guest speakers will include new athletic director John Cohen, men's basketball coach Ben Howland and football coach Dan Mullen. Fresh off of his run to the NCAA Tournament Championship Game, MSU will also bring women's basketball coach Vic Schaefer. The Golden Egg trophy and the NCAA Final Four regional championship trophy will also be swinging by South Mississippi. Schaefer's Bulldogs also boast some Coast flavor with Jazzmun Holmes from HCHS and West Harrison's Ameshya Williams playing reserve roles this season.
Hall of fame opens at U. of Alabama's Sewell-Thomas Stadium
The new "Joe" has a new attraction for fans to check out. Sewell-Thomas Stadium's Hall of Fame opened over the weekend for the University of Alabama's weekend baseball series against Texas A&M. The "Legends of the Joe" exhibition is located on the main concourse behind home plate, adjacent to the team store. It includes displays from every era of Alabama baseball history. "There's multiple levels, for fans, former players, even recruits," associate athletic director Chris Besanceney said. "All of those elements are part of it." Another display honor's the stadium's namesake. Joe Sewell starred on the Alabama baseball team in the late 1910s before going on to play in the majors. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977 and the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. Sewell returned to Alabama to coach the baseball program from 1964-69, winning the SEC in 1968.
South Carolina backs out of 2019 nonconference game
South Carolina and East Carolina are familiar foes on the football field, but one future game has been scratched from the schedule, the Pirates' athletics director said Tuesday. East Carolina athletics director Jeff Compher, in an interview with Pirate Radio 1250 and 930 AM, said the Gamecocks won't make the trip to Greenville, N.C., in 2019 as scheduled. The decision means the Gamecocks will look to fill a nonconference schedule that includes North Carolina (in Charlotte) and home games against Clemson and Charleston Southern. The change means a $1 million payment for cancellation, according to Compher. Compher called USC Athletics Director Ray Tanner a good friend and said the change won't affect future scheduling between the two teams. "I never want to rule out the possibilities for the future," Compher told Pirate Radio.
NCAA men's basketball tournament coming back to Rupp Arena
The NCAA Tournament will return to Rupp Arena and the KFC Yum Center, the NCAA announced on Tuesday as it released its plans for postseason locations for a number of sports through 2022. Rupp will get first- and second-round men's basketball tournament games in 2021. The Yum Center in Louisville gets a men's basketball regional round (Sweet 16 and Elite Eight) in 2019. Kentucky will be the host of a Division I cross country regional at Masterson Station Park in 2021. UK also will host the NCAA outdoor track and field preliminaries in 2020. Rupp Arena last hosted an NCAA Tournament men's basketball round in 2013. KFC Yum Center was the site of a 2016 NCAA men's regional.
Auburn awarded three NCAA championship events
Auburn University will host three NCAA championship events within the 2018-2022 championship bid cycle in the sports of women's golf, men's golf and gymnastics, the NCAA announced Tuesday. The Auburn University Club will host a pair of NCAA regionals with the first coming in 2019. The women's golf program will be one of three hosts for the NCAA Women's Golf Regional Championships, May 6-8. It will be the second time the program has held the regional event at the AU Club with the last coming in 2013. The Tigers also hosted a regional in 1996 at the Grand National Lakes Course. The 2020 NCAA Men's Golf Regional will take place at the AU Club as Auburn will serve as one of six sites. The selection is the men's golf team's third with the first two coming in 2003 and 2014. Auburn Arena and the Auburn gymnastics program will host one of six NCAA Women's Gymnastics Regional Championships, April 4, 2020.
N.C.A.A. Restores Championship Events to North Carolina
The N.C.A.A. on Tuesday included several cities in North Carolina among numerous future sites of its championship events through 2022, in sports from basketball to field hockey and in all three competitive divisions, solidifying the association's decision this month to return to the state after its government repealed a law many viewed as anti-gay. The Division I men's basketball tournament will return to Greensboro, a stalwart for March play, in 2020. Other future host cities in the Tar Heel State include Raleigh (Division I men's basketball games in 2021), Winston-Salem (Division I field hockey games in 2019) and Cary (the next five Division II baseball championships and the men's soccer final fours in 2019 and 2021). The N.C.A.A., college sports' national governing body, also restored first- and second-round games in next year's men's basketball tournament to Charlotte.

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