Friday, May 12, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
Mississippi State's College of Business earns national reaccreditation by AACSB
The Mississippi State University College of Business has been reaccredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, also known as AACSB International, for another five years -- maintaining a distinction held by only five percent of business schools in the world. AASCB accreditation is the highest marker of excellence in business education. The accreditation standards require quality in management, innovation, learning, teaching and professional engagement. To achieve accreditation, each institution must undergo an improvement review process in addition to developing and implementing a plan that meets the AASCB accreditation standards. Organized in 1915, the MSU College of Business is the oldest in the state and one of the oldest in the South.
Brett Favre speaks at On My Honor Luncheon for Scouting in Starkville
Quarterback Brett Favre made things look easy throughout most of his collegiate and professional career. After starring at Southern Mississippi, Favre embarked on a record-breaking NFL career, which included three MVP awards, success in the Super Bowl, and enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Still, not everything came naturally for Favre. In middle school, Favre was kicked out of cub scouts. "(We were horsing around in a meeting) and the next thing I know (the den mother) made me run home," Favre said. "I think I would have made a great boy scout had they given me more time." Favre was in Starkville on Wednesday to address a crowd of more than 500 at the Mississippi State University Mill at the fourth-annual On My Honor Luncheon for Scouting. Favre took questions from the audience, including one from former MSU tight end and NFL standout Donald Lee. Lee and Favre played together with the Green Bay Packers.
The True History Behind the Legend of King Arthur: Mississippi State scholar weighs in
When the movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword hits theaters Friday, it will add the latest twist to a legend that's been evolving for nearly a millennium. This version of the legend (starring Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law) pits King Arthur against his uncle, who seizes the crown until the famous episode in which young Arthur pulls the sword from the stone and proves he is the rightful king. It's a fanciful tale and one that's been told many times, but where does it come from? The first full "biographies" of Arthur don't appear until the 12th century. Though they were sometimes styled as being based on a true story, they came out of a time when romance writing was all the rage, inspired by the rise of courtly love and chivalry. "There were powerful women in the courts of England and France who were patronizing poets and writers, and they may have wanted certain type of stories" about courtly love, says Chris Snyder, an expert on Arthurian legend and dean of the Shackouls Honors College at Mississippi State University.
OCH trustees balk at due diligence request
OCH Regional Medical Center trustees and Chief Executive Officer Richard Hilton say the hospital cannot produce a wealth of public and protected financial information about the organization by June 12 -- the date set by Oktibbeha County's request for proposals for questions from potential bidders -- and opening up the books could put OCH at a disadvantage with competitors before a potential sale is likely decided at the polls this year. After reviewing the county's recent RFP and a due diligence request to provide potential suitors with a virtual data room comprised of three years of hospital information, the OCH Board of Trustees and Hilton issued District 2 President Orlando Trainer a letter saying such a due diligence request would, at minimum, take 60-90 days to complete.
OCH petition gaining momentum
The Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk's office is vetting more than 2,000 signatures from local residents seeking a referendum on a potential sale of OCH Regional Medical Center. Hospital supporter and petition organizer Frank Davis submitted the signatures to the clerk's office Monday and said he would continue to deliver petitions as they come in this week. Deputy Elections Clerk Cheryl Elmore confirmed she was processing those documents Wednesday but said a timetable for the project's completion is not yet known. If the clerk's office deems at least 1,500 signatures came from qualified county electors, a potential sale or lease of the hospital will be put to a countywide vote later this year. Davis' pro-OCH petition effort began last year after supervisors tasked Stroudwater and Associates with reviewing the hospital's financial and market positions -- the first task required by state statute before a public body can move forward with exploring a transaction.
Rick Stansbury, SOCSD reach deal to develop lake property
A pending 16th section lease between former Mississippi State University men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury and the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District could bring about new housing developments at Oktibbeha County Lake. The SOCSD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a developmental lease Tuesday that will allow for "the construction and operation of a residential complex" and allow Stansbury to lease properties for residential and commercial uses through at least 2027 in return for a $31,290 annual payment to the district. Provisions in the deal task the school board with final approval of site plans, designate Stansbury with maintenance responsibilities and give the current Western Kentucky University coach one year to begin developing the property.
Lauren Black named president of Starkville Business Network
Lauren Black, MBA, a certified financial planner at Phillips Financial in Starkville, was recently named President of the Starkville Business Network. The Starkville Business Network was founded in the summer of 2015. Black is among the founding members, along with Cory Lucius (Shelter Insurance), Kass Green (Tom Smith Land & Homes), Christina Lucas (Tom Smith Land & Homes), Cole Brazil (Bancorp South), and Tyler Anderson (Mississippi Land Bank). Black has nine years of experience in the financial services industry. She holds the Series 7 and 63 securities licenses, as well as a license in life, disability, and long-term care insurance. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University.
Master Gardeners plan morning of learning in Tupelo
Gardeners of all ages are invited to expand their horizons Saturday at the Celebration of Gardens on Spring Street in Tupelo. The Lee County Master Gardeners have put together a program from 9 a.m. to noon at the community garden that will feature presentations, demonstrations and a butterfly release. "This is for anybody who wants to learn how to garden -- kids, adults, seniors," said Cameron Tate, a Master Gardener and chairman of the event who also works in horticulture research at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in Verona. "Everybody's got to eat, so it's good to learn how to grow your own food."
Infrastructure, tax cuts dominate discussion at legislative luncheon
For many of the six local legislators who attended the Columbus Lowndes Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon, sagging revenue and the state budgetary cuts seemed to be the most obvious challenge facing the state. How to fix that challenge, on the other hand, seemed less clear. Every state legislator representing Lowndes County -- senators Chuck Younger (R-Columbus) and Angela Ford (D-West Point), along with representatives Jeff Smith (R-Columbus), Tyrone Ellis (D-Starkville), Kabir Karriem (D-Columbus) and Gary Chism (R-Columbus) -- attended the chamber's Wednesday luncheon at the Lion Hills Center. Wednesday's luncheon was a relaxed, often jovial affair, despite the gravity of the topics legislators discussed.
Gov. Phil Bryant seeks federal tornado aid for people, governments
Residents of Holmes and Montgomery counties could get federal help following April 30 tornadoes, if Gov. Phil Bryant gets his way. Bryant on Thursday officially asked that President Donald Trump declare a disaster. The Republican governor also asks Trump to approve assistance to governments and nonprofit utilities in Adams, Calhoun, Carroll, Claiborne, Holmes, Jefferson, Montgomery, Webster and Yazoo counties. That could pay to repair government property, remove debris, and cover emergency worker overtime. Other counties could be added later if Trump approves.
Mississippi Court: Judges Booted for Misconduct Gone Forever
The Mississippi Supreme Court says that once a judge has been ordered from office because of misconduct, that person can never again hold the same judicial post. The 6-2 ruling came Thursday in the case of Rickey Thompson, a former Lee County Justice Court judge booted from office by justices in 2015. That decision cited multiple instances of wrongdoing and ordered Thompson removed in part because the high court had reprimanded him twice earlier in 2008 and 2012.
'Camelot' uncovers tactics Kennedy brought to presidential politics
The Road to Camelot ran through Turnrow Book Co. in Greenwood Thursday evening as veteran political journalists Thomas Oliphant and Curtis Wilkie discussed their deeply reported look at the long campaign waged by John F. Kennedy to win the presidency in 1960. Kennedy "invented modern presidential politics ...on the fly," Oliphant said. The two, colleagues on the political trail for decades as reporters for the Boston Globe, recounted techniques first used by the Kennedy team and now practiced by most successful campaigns. Among them: an early start to campaigning, use of polls to define issues and help shape where to campaign, working with the rank-and-file party members rather than relying on the endorsements of party bosses and working the arcane world of caucuses to gain grassroots support for their effort. Their book, The Road to Camelot: Inside JFK's Five-Year Campaign, was published this week by Simon and Schuster.
Trump warns Comey: Better hope there are no tapes of our meeting
President Trump on Friday issued a cryptic threat to James Comey, saying the fired FBI director should hope there are no recordings of their conversations. "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" Trump tweeted. A number of reports late Thursday showed current and former FBI officials contradict Trump's account of a meeting he had with Comey earlier this year. Trump said in an NBC interview on Thursday that Comey had requested a dinner with him during which he asked to stay on as the FBI head. Trump also said Comey told him three times -- twice over the phone and once at their dinner meeting -- that he was not the subject of any FBI investigations. FBI officials contradicted Trump's claims.
Trump threatens to cancel press briefings because not possible to have 'perfect accuracy'
President Trump threatened Friday morning to end White House press briefings, arguing that "it is not possible" for his staff to speak with "perfect accuracy" to the American public. Trump's comments come after his description of his decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey in an NBC News interview Thursday flatly contradicted the accounts provided earlier by White House officials, including Vice President Pence, exposing their explanations as misleading and in some cases false. In a pair of tweets sent Friday, Trump suggested he might do away with the daily press briefings at the White House and instead have his spokespeople communicate to the public only via "written responses."
Europe braces for possible laptop, tablet ban on flights to U.S.
Europe braced for an in-cabin laptop and tablet ban on flights to the United States as officials prepared for talks Friday about expanding a March ban for airlines flying out of some Middle East and African airports that would affect millions of passengers. Officials from France, Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy will later Friday take part in a conference call with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Anna-Kaisa Itkonen, a transport spokeswoman for the European Commission, the 28-nation political bloc's executive branch, confirmed the talks. No decision has been made and it was not clear when one would be taken. Itkonen said the EU had no new information about a specific security concern that would have prompted the talks or required additional safety measures.
Northeast Mississippi Community College hosts commencement ceremonies
Northeast Mississippi Community College hosted the first of its two-night commencement exercises on Thursday. Northeast honored candidates for degrees and certifications from the college's Division of Health Sciences in front of a near-capacity crowd on Thursday. The college will conclude its 2017 commencement exercises on Friday. Cecilia Cook of New Albany, the 2017 Most Outstanding student of the college's Division of Health Sciences, delivered the student response at Thursday night's ceremony. Northeast's 2016-17 Student Government Association president Madison Phillips of Olive Branch is scheduled to give the student response on Friday night.
Three generations of an Ocean Springs family will graduate college together
Diane Robinson's life has made an impression on her daughter and grandson. For one thing, they know it's never too late to go to college. "College really doesn't have an age," said grandson Thomas Loll, 20. "A lot of people get stressed out early, trying to find out what they want to do. I know I can decide way later, because I have two examples in my life." They are Robinson, 61, and his mother, Esther Faye Clay-Arant, 37. All three will be graduating from college this week -- two with degrees in the helping professions of nursing and social work. Loll is toying with the idea of going into teaching or perhaps computer science. Loll will get an associate's degree from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Clay-Arant and Robinson with bachelor's degrees from University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University, respectively.
East Mississippi Community College holds spring 2017 graduation
East Mississippi Community College held spring 2017 graduation ceremonies May 5-6 at its Golden Triangle and Scooba campuses. The ceremonies included about 600 academic and career-technical students who graduated from the Scooba, Golden Triangle, Columbus Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Meridian, Lion Hills, West Point Center and online/eLearning campuses. During the graduation ceremonies, EMCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner spoke about University of Pennsylvania researcher Angela Duckworth, whose works include a New York Times bestselling book titled "GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance." Huebner asked the students if they had overcome setbacks and challenges, worked hard to achieve a long-term goal and finished what they started.
U. of Tennessee professor wins $100,000 award for poetry
A University of Tennessee Knoxville professor has been awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a $100,000 award that annually recognizes the work of a living American poet for outstanding lifetime accomplishments. Joy Harjo, a professor in the UT Department of English, will be presented with the award from the Poetry Foundation in a June 12 ceremony, according to announcements from the foundation and UT Thursday. "I am deeply honored to be the recipient of such a recognition," Harjo said in the UT announcement. "There are so many who are a part of me making it to where I am on this poetry road. I've had so many teachers. Some were formal educators, others artists, family members, elements, animals, plants and others. The process of becoming never ends. Thank you." Harjo also holds the Chair of Excellence in the UT Department of English, a title reserved for scholars and writers of the highest distinction.
Texas A&M President Calls Professor's Remarks 'Disturbing'
The president of Texas A&M University at College Station has rebuked a professor after a conservative commentator drew attention to four-year-old remarks in which the scholar referred to the killing of white people. In a column in The American Conservative titled "When Is It OK to Kill Whites?," Rod Dreher describes comments by Tommy Curry, an associate professor of philosophy at A&M, as "racist bilge." In a second post Mr. Dreher doubled down on his interpretation. The columns focus on a phrase uttered by Mr. Curry: "In order to be equal, in order to be liberated, some white people might have to die." But the Daily Nous reports that that statement was taken out of context, and was part of a wider discussion of comments by the actor Jamie Foxx about interracial violence and its history. On Wednesday the university's president, Michael K. Young, commented on an unnamed professor -- thought to be Mr. Curry -- whose remarks on race and violence had recently resurfaced on social media.
Texas A&M unveils master plan for campus development
Texas A&M University unveiled the latest update to its campus master plan this week, giving the community a look at what the future could hold. The 460-page document includes a detailed vision outlining how campus leaders plan to develop the university's more than 5,500 acres. The plan specifically lists the campus development plan, mobility and safety, sustainability and wellness, heritage conservation, campus guidelines, and wayfinding and signage as six key areas of focus. It includes several new housing developments and parking structures, the demolition and reconstruction of Beutel Health Center and the construction of a new facility for student services. Officials said the process began in 2015 with the help of planning firm Ayres Saint Gross.
U. of Missouri's budget proposal breaks with system president's guidelines
The University of Missouri's budget proposal for the coming year calls for 12 percent cuts from each division on campus, contradicting University of Missouri System President Mun Choi's call for no across-the-board cuts. The proposal, announced in an email Wednesday by Interim Chancellor Garnett Stokes, distributes the burden of cuts across all MU divisions. That differs from the budget planning principles laid out by Choi in April. He proposed preserving funding for "programs of excellence" and cutting or even eliminating programs that aren't measuring up. MU might not have had enough time to figure out which programs to prioritize, MU Faculty Council Chair Ben Trachtenberg said. Eliminating a program isn't easy to do, he said. "It is almost impossible to eliminate an academic program on a couple of months notice," Trachtenberg said. "You've got students who go there. You've got students signed up to come next year."
Campus police forces start to adopt body cameras
When Ray Tensing, a University of Cincinnati police officer, pulled his gun during a traffic stop and fatally shot Samuel DuBose, an unarmed black man, the moment was captured on camera. Fewer than 15 days later, in July 2015, Tensing was indicted on murder and manslaughter charges -- in part because of footage from the camera slung on his chest, technology that campus police forces nationwide have rapidly embraced. The university agreed to pay DuBose's family nearly $5 million, and Tensing awaits a retrial this month after a jury deadlocked last year. College and university police and safety heads gave similar answers for wanting their forces to adopt body-worn cameras. They promote a sense of accountability and transparency that appeals to members of the public, especially to people of color, some of whom distrust law enforcement. And as in the DuBose case, such documentation can prove invaluable in court proceedings. Filming police interactions comes with complex considerations.

Mississippi State looks to stay at the top of SEC baseball standings
Because of rain in the forecast for the area tonight, Mississippi State announced its series at Georgia will begin Friday at noon instead of 6 p.m. That just means No. 6 MSU is six hours closer to starting yet another key set as the maroon and white Bulldogs seek to stay at the top the Southeastern Conference standings.
 It's a weekend that features teams at opposite ends of the SEC landscape. While Mississippi State (32-17, 16-8) is tied for the league lead, Georgia (20-29, 7-17) sits at last place in the Eastern Division and is next to last overall. That doesn't mean MSU can afford to overlook Georgia however. "You can't ever get ahead of yourself in this league," Mississippi State first-year head coach Andy Cannizaro said.
Andy Cannizaro's moves paying off for Mississippi State
Six months into the job, there still are boxes Inside Andy Cannizaro's office. Awards, mementos and personal belongings have yet to be hung on the walls. He is just now getting that stuff in order, he said. It's hard to blame him for the decorative delay. After all, being the Mississippi State baseball coach makes Cannizaro a busy guy -- especially this season. The No. 9 Bulldogs (32-17, 16-8 SEC) are in first place in the SEC and are in position to host a regional with two SEC series remaining, including a three-game set this weekend at Georgia (20-29, 11-17). What has made this season so compelling is that Mississippi State, which won the SEC last year but had 10 players sign MLB contracts, wasn't expected to be this good.
Mississippi State vying for another road series victory
No. 7 Mississippi State hopes the road continues to be kind as it travels to Georgia for the final away series of the regular season. MSU has won its last three SEC road series, including taking two games at Texas A&M last weekend. State maintains its lead atop the conference standings at 16-8 and 32-17 overall. "Georgia beat Kentucky two out of three at Kentucky and beat Georgia Tech in a really big midweek ballgame," said MSU coach Andy Cannizaro. "They're a really good, talented team that's playing really well right now. "We certainly have a challenge cut out for us. It's going to be a really big task for us this weekend to go there and play well in all three ballgames and do everything we can to come out victorious and win a series." Today's opener has been bumped up to noon CT due to expected bad weather. Saturday's game is still scheduled for 3 p.m. on SEC Network and Sunday's finale is at noon.
Women's tennis team leads Mississippi State teams in APR
Each of Mississippi State's varsity sports have excelled in the NCAA's annual report of Academic Progress Rates (APR), the association announced Wednesday afternoon. In the latest multi-year rate, the women's tennis team led the way with a perfect 1,000 APR. The men's golf paced all men's teams with a mark of 988. In addition, five MSU teams produced a perfect 1,000 APR for the past academic year -- men's golf, men's tennis, women's basketball, women's tennis, and volleyball. "We are proud that our programs continue to raise the standard of excellence in NCAA academic progress rates," MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen said. Football tied its highest APR ever with a score of 974, eight points above the national average. That score also ranked fifth-best among Southeastern Conference football programs.
USM athletes dispel stereotype, score high in classroom
Golden Eagle athlete Picasso Nelson Jr. is a star on the football field who also excels academically. The defensive back, who picked off two passes in the Southern Miss season finale, maintains a 3.688 grade-point average while majoring in banking and finance. "Athletes are thought of as not being smart, but I've never been a person to let people put boundaries on my life," Nelson said. "I want to stay on track and not lose myself in sports because it can end at any moment." G.W. Kelly, chairman of the Department of Finance, Real Estate and Business Law, recently brought Nelson and four other athletes majoring in banking and finance to the attention of Southern Miss officials when he realized the athletes were outstanding in the demanding major while dedicating themselves to their sports. In fact, they had five of the 10 highest GPAs of majors in the subject.
Auburn baseball drops opener at LSU for 5th straight loss
Being a pitching expert, Auburn coach Butch Thompson is a fairly good judge of what a well-pitched game looks like. When Auburn and LSU collided in the opening game of an SEC series between two of the league's frontrunners to begin a crucial final two weekends of the regular season, Thompson and everybody else at Alex Box Stadium got a double dose of stout pitching. The difference was that LSU's Alex Lange had a few innings head start on AU reliever Game Klobosits, as well an early cushion. Buoyed by a three-run first inning, LSU pounced in front for Lange and cruised to a 4-0 triumph. Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, although there are some weather concerns in the Baton Rouge area.
Governor turns to LSU coach Ed Orgeron to spread the word about flood aid
To get the word out about assistance that's available to people affected by last year's historic floods, Gov. John Bel Edwards has turned to someone who has no trouble getting people's attention. LSU's newly-minted head football coach, Ed Orgeron, has recorded a series of television and radio public service announcements that will soon be hitting the airwaves. "(Orgeron) told the governor if there was anything he could do then he wanted to help," Edwards spokesman Richard Carbo said. Orgeron, who grew up in Larose and went from defensive line coach at LSU to replacing Les Miles in the head coaching role, has previously noted that some of his own players were personally affected by the floods. The state has received nearly $1.7 billion from the federal government to aid the recovery. The bulk of that will go toward homeowner rebuilding programs.
Gamecock Club gets final victory in lawsuit over football fans' prized parking spaces
The S.C. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 5-0 in favor of the University of South Carolina's Gamecock Club in a five-year legal contest involving prized football fan parking spaces and three longstanding Gamecock Club members. Basically, the unanimous decision, written by Associate Justice John Kittredge, means that the three Gamecock Club members -- George Lee III, Mena Gardiner and John Love -- may have to settle for less than the best parking spaces near to the football stadium. It was a complicated case. For years, Lee, Gardiner and Love enjoyed being able to park in a single choice parking space each on the concrete apron around the football stadium, which on fall Saturday home games becomes a sacred sports pilgrimage site for thousands of Gamecock fans. The Gamecock Club, a high-profile, fund-raising fan club for USC sports, has about 17,000 members who last year contributed some $15.2 million to be members.
UGA men's basketball's APR score in top third in SEC, football near bottom
Georgia is seeking more success in reaching NCAA tournaments under men's basketball coach Mark Fox, but his program continues to hit academic benchmarks. It recorded a 985 for the second year in a row in the latest multi-year NCAA Academic Progress Rate, which tied for fourth best in the sport in the 14-team SEC. Fox gets a $50,000 bonus for his team finishing in the top third in the SEC in both the APR and the Graduation Success Rate or GSR, according to his contract. The team tied for first with Alabama in the SEC with a 1,000 in the NCAA's GSR. That measures students who graduate within six years but does not count those who leave school while academically eligible and includes those who transfer into a school. Georgia football dropped from ninth to 12th in the APR among SEC teams with a 961, the same score it recorded a year ago.
U. of Missouri football's multi-year APR ranks in tie for 5th in the SEC
Missouri's single-year Academic Progress Rate for football registered a 978 for 2015-16, scoring in the 70th to 80th percentile nationally within the sport. The Tigers have a multi-year football APR of 974, which ties with Mississippi St. for fifth in the Southeastern Conference behind Vanderbilt (992), Auburn (980), Alabama (980) and Florida (980). A year ago, MU matched its single-year high for football APR, registering a 987 for the single-year cycle of 2014-15. Missouri men's basketball is the only Tiger program in danger of dipping below that 930 threshold. The men's basketball program scored a 930 in single-year APR for 2015-16 and has a multi-year APR of 934. Every other Missouri program has a multi-year APR above 970.
GPA watch: How did U. of Kentucky athletes perform this spring?
University of Kentucky athletes posted an overall GPA above a 3.0 for the 10th consecutive semester, but its two highest profile sports, men's basketball and football, ranked at the bottom of the spring list. Football's scholarship grade-point average of 2.568 was the worst among the 20 sports at UK. Adding in non-scholarship players boosted the average to 2.680. The men's basketball team posted a 2.615 for scholarship athletes and a 2.728 when adding in non-scholarship players. That is an improvement over the 2.418 and 2.547 averages, respectively, turned in last fall. "Our students have worked incredibly hard to reach this sustained level of achievement in the classroom," Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. "They have recognized the opportunity to pursue a world-class education at this university and embraced our commitment to education as a central component of our mission."
Texas A&M offering recent graduates season-ticket deal for football
Aggies who have graduated from Texas A&M within the last three years are eligible for a football season-ticket offer at $293 per ticket, the school announced Thursday. The regular price is $490 plus a $25 donation per seat. Recent graduates must be enrolled in the 12th Man Foundation's "New Grad Program." All tickets will be located in the upper south end zone.

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