Monday, May 22, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
Montgomery's legacy continues at MSU-Meridian
Eleven years after his death, the legacy of G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery continues to live on in Meridian. A new advisement and career services center bearing Montgomery's name was dedicated during a ceremony at the Mississippi State University-Meridian campus Friday. The center, which was funded largely in part by the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Foundation, strives to continue Montgomery's legacy of impacting the lives of Mississippians, especially in the Meridian area. "The G.V. 'Sonny' Montgomery Advisement and Career Services Center is really the hub of what we do best at MSU-Meridian, and that is connecting students and their talents to meaningful academic courses of study, and then helping them get a job after they leave here," said Terry Dale Cruse, Administrative Director and Head of Campus at MSU-Meridian.
Mississippi State offers free online cyberbullying training
Educators planning for next year can participate in a free, online train-the-trainer course that will help them teach children and adults how to recognize and combat cyberbullying. The Mississippi State University Extension Service partnered with the Mississippi Attorney General's Office and the Mississippi Department of Education's Office of Healthy Schools to develop the program. Law enforcement officers, school resource officers and other interested adults can also participate. To register, visit the MSU Extension Center for Technology Outreach website at For more information, contact Extension instructor Jamie Varner at
College Bound: Mississippi State and Ole Miss top picks for Northside graduates
The numbers are in and it seems students are tied when it comes to choosing between Rebels and Bulldogs. In August, 237 students from the Northside are going to Mississippi State University in Starkville to be Bulldogs. Two hundred and thirty-six Northside students will be Rebels in Oxford at the University of Mississippi. The next most popular choices among graduating seniors were Hinds Community College and Holmes Community College, with 93 students and 86 students attending each school, respectively. Among other notables, 84 students will attend the University of Southern Mississippi; 45 students will attend Jackson State University; and 37 students will be attending Mississippi College this fall.
MSU Farm Open House
Mississippi dairy farmers looking to improve their cattle management skills got the opportunity to see how Mississippi State University researchers handle their herd. MSU's Department of Animal and Dairy sciences hosted a dairy open house. Attendees toured the MSU farm and had the chance to see up close the latest in dairy producing technology. Professors hope participants learn more effective pasture management techniques gained from the professors' experience and research with MSU's dairy herd. MSU's dairy farm in located in Sessums in Oktibbeha County.
Scottish instrument connects with recent Mississippi State alumnus
Ask a simple question, get a simple answer: "Partly childhood dream, partly opportunity, partly chicks dig it." That was Michael P. Keating, a recent Mississippi State University alumnus, talking about his appreciation for the bagpipes. Keating is a native born American with Irish heritage, not Scottish, but the pipes have intrigued him since he saw the movie "Braveheart." When he was an undergraduate student in Maryland, one of his professors offered a free lesson. "I became friends with him and his family and got to learn more," the 28-year-old said. After he transferred to MSU, he got the maroon-and-white fan experience at The Junction. "I ended up on the Dog Walk just a few minutes before the team arrived on the buses," he said.
City Clerk to OK Johnny Moore's ballot box examination request
Democratic mayoral candidate Johnny Moore on Friday formally requested a full examination of all returns and contents of the ballot boxes from the May 16 Democratic Primary Runoff that ultimately saw him defeated by six votes. Moore's legal counsel Williams Starks of the Starks Law Firm signed the request to City Clerk Lesa Hardin, which comes after the results were certified on Thursday. Hardin said her office is in the process of negotiating the date now, but she said the request will be approved. The ballot boxes are currently in the custody of the Municipal Clerk per state law. The Mississippi Secretary of State's Office has also specified that the media will not be allowed to sit in on the ballot box examination.
District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard to call for OCH referendum
District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard said he will call upon fellow supervisors to call for a referendum on the fate of OCH Regional Medical Center at the county's June 5 board meeting. Now that the county has received a petition of 1,500 vetted residents calling for an up-or-down vote on whether or not to explore a potential hospital transaction, Howard said supervisors should honor the will of the taxpayers and hold an election as soon as possible. A previous opinion issued by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's office stated Oktibbeha County could hold a referendum question in tandem with November's special election to fill the chancery clerk's seat, but Howard said such an election could be held at an earlier date. Howard did not specify when exactly he thought the referendum should be held.
Mississippi jobless rate lowest since 1976
Mississippi unemployment stayed low in April, tying the record low of 5 percent since current surveys began in 1976. March's jobless rate was revised up slightly to 5.1 percent. A year ago, Mississippi recorded 6 percent unemployment. More people entered the labor force and more reported having jobs. It's the 10th month Mississippi has dipped to 5 percent, including six months in 1999 and three in 2000.
Health Department ponders what programs to scuttle, layoffs
State Health Department leaders are considering what services to scuttle or scale back and which employees to lay off in a massive overhaul of the agency prompted by continuing state budget cuts. Potentially on the chopping block are services including early childhood health screening and treatment, childhood immunizations, family planning, case management for high-risk pregnancies and a program for developmentally delayed toddlers. State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier in a video statement said, "Pretty much everything is on the table." Agency officials, dealing with a 32 percent cut in state funding, say there is less demand for direct, clinical services from the Health Department. Childhood immunizations by the department, for example, have dropped from 207,418 in 2009 to 96,266 in 2015. This is in large part because more Mississippians have insurance coverage and are receiving primary care elsewhere through the federal Affordable Care Act.
Can Mississippi lawmakers ignore the law?
Few political observers think former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove has much chance of winning his lawsuit trying to force the Legislature to spend the full amount demanded by Mississippi's school funding formula. It's a heavy lift to persuade a generally conservative state Supreme Court to order lawmakers to spend hundreds of millions more. But when the attorney general's office stands up in front of justices and says legislators aren't bound to obey laws that they themselves passed, maybe Musgrove's chances get a little better. That's one takeaway from last week's oral argument before the high court on the lawsuit brought by 21 school districts.
SoS Delbert Hosemann talks DeSoto County business growth
Mississippi's Secretary of State talked economic development and touched on recent primary elections as he visited DeSoto County on Wednesday. Delbert Hosemann appeared at the Quarterly Luncheon for the Southaven Chamber of Commerce, which was held at the Landers Center and after a brief visit with county municipal leaders and DeSoto County Republican Women at Latimer Lakes Park in Horn Lake. In his Southaven address, Hosemann was quick to point out the growth of business in DeSoto County. "DeSoto County is an awesome place," Hosemann said. "It has continued to expand. We have formed almost 7,000 Limited Liability Companies, or LLC's, in the state in the first quarter of 2017. Of those, about 400-plus are in DeSoto County." Hosemann told business leaders attending the luncheon that small business is the future of Mississippi and DeSoto County has three factors needed for continued growth: an educated workforce, financial backing and community support.
Mississippi lawmaker says Louisiana leaders should be 'lynched'
State Rep. Karl Oliver, R-Winona, in a Facebook post wrote that Louisiana leaders removing Confederate monuments should be "lynched" and compared their actions to Nazis. The last of four Confederate-era monuments in New Orleans was removed late Thursday and early Friday. The 16-foot-tall bronze statue of Robert E. Lee in New Orleans was removed from its perch high above St. Charles Avenue where the Confederate general had stood watch for 133 years. Oliver, a first-term representative who's mostly been a quiet, back-bencher in the Legislature, is receiving blowback and national attention from his statements. "Rep. Oliver's language is unacceptable and has no place in civil discourse," Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement. House Speaker Philip Gunn said, "I condemn the comments recently posted on Facebook by Rep. Karl Oliver. They do not reflect the views of the Republican Party, the leadership of the House of Representatives or the House as a whole. Using the word lynched is inappropriate and offensive. We call on Rep. Oliver to apologize."
Beauvoir continues pursuit of controversial monuments
As the statue of Robert E. Lee came down from its pedestal Friday, the battle to remove Confederate era monuments from New Orleans came to a close. Now the question remains, what will become of those monuments? Beauvoir Executive Director Dr. Tom Payne is hopeful that Mayor Mitch Landrieu will listen to the museum's request to bring the monuments, or at least just the Jefferson Davis monument, to South Mississippi. "Beauvoir has indicated on numerous occasions, through the press and we've made direct contact, or left a message with the mayor's office in New Orleans that we're very much interested in getting any or all of those statues because of their iconic value and the historical value of those statues and they would fit here in our museum," said Payne. Landrieu's office has announced a bidding process will be put into place to move the monuments.
Prospect of NAFTA rewrite worries US farmers
A sizable majority of rural Americans backed Donald Trump's presidential bid, drawn to his calls to slash environmental rules, strengthen law enforcement and replace the federal health care law. But many farmers are nervous about another plank in Trump's agenda: His vow to overhaul U.S. trade policy, including his intent announced Thursday to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. Trump's message that NAFTA was a job-killing disaster had never resonated much in rural America. NAFTA had widened access to Mexican and Canadian markets, boosting U.S. farm exports and benefiting many farmers.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell steps into Obamacare firing line
Mitch McConnell has sidestepped the Russia controversy that's dogged Donald Trump all year and eluded the wrath rained down on Paul Ryan over the GOP's Obamacare repeal effort. But the health care reform battle is now squarely in McConnell's court: He will decide the contents of the Senate's plan, most likely behind closed doors. And he is on the hook for getting something through a sharply divided Senate Republican Conference in the midst of an increasingly imperiled presidency. McConnell's role will come into sharp relief this week, with Trump out of the country and the Russia spotlight shifting somewhat away from Congress after the naming of a special prosecutor. "We're not subject to cajolery very much. So people are going to genuinely feel comfortable, not just that we're doing something that the president wants," said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). McConnell will focus "in the field of persuasion rather than coercion. His job is to bring us to a comfort level."
Memorial service set for Carolyn Ellis Staton, first female provost at Ole Miss
Carolyn Ellis Staton, the first female provost at the University of Mississippi, died at her home in Oxford on Friday. She was 71. The Vicksburg native became the provost in 1999, serving as chief academic officer and second highest ranking university official until she retired in 2008. Staton also was appointed to two federal committees during the administration of President Bill Clinton. Much of the academic infrastructure on the Ole Miss campus can be credited to Staton. As provost, she developed the idea for the Croft Institute for International Studies, contributed significantly to the creation of the university's residential colleges and helped build several programs at the Sally M. Barksdale Honors College.
Chucky Mullins roundabout construction gets underway at UM
Roundabout construction will begin Thursday, May 18 where Hill Drive and Hathorn Road meet. The University of Mississippi campus entrance at Chucky Mullins Drive will close so a roundabout can be built where Hill Drive and Hathorn Road meet. The work there to install a roundabout will lead to improved traffic flow on the south side of campus, but until the work is complete in August, the entrance will be closed. Drivers will need to use other entrances to campus in the meantime. "The four-way stop at Chucky Mullins Drive, Hill Drive and Hathorn Road has seen increasing congestion over the past few years," said Ian Banner, director of facilities planner and university architect. "The new roundabout will allow traffic to flow more freely at this intersection." UM police chief Tim Potts encourages carpooling and also advises using parking on the outskirts of campus, especially along Old Taylor Road, this summer while the work is ongoing.
Tougaloo College and Art Museum Partner in Civil Rights Initiative
Tougaloo College and the Mississippi Museum of Art are teaming up to launch the Art and Civil Rights Initiative. The program will include exhibits from Tougaloo's art collection as well as work from the museum. It will also include lectures and workshops geared to discussing civil rights issues. Tougaloo President Beverly Wade Hogan says art and civil rights go hand in hand. "People don't always think about art having any bearings on civil and human rights but it really touches us. It touches our soul and it really speaks to our own humanity and particularly during the Civil Rights Movement when everybody was under a lot of frustrations and dissatisfaction about the state of world affairs and the turbulence that was going on among the races," she said. The initiative is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation and will provide scholarships and internships for students.
95 graduate from 4th med school class at William Carey University
Ninety-five students graduated Saturday morning during the 2017 commencement for the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine. The ceremony was held at Hattiesburg's Temple Baptist Church, because of damage the WCU campus sustained during the January tornado. It was the medical school's fourth graduating class. "It was long days, but a very fast four years, but it's amazing to be here at this point," said Rebecca Browning, a graduate from Petal. School officials said the graduates will be doing their residencies in 33 different states. They also said 77 percent of the students are going into the field of primary care.
Celebration for Auburn University President Jay Gogue set for Tuesday
Auburn University will celebrate the career of President Jay Gogue at a public reception on Tuesday in the Auburn Arena. The event will recognize Gogue and his wife, Susie, for their 10 years of service to the university beginning at 2 p.m. with a short program. Light refreshments will be offered after the program. James Goldstein, chair of the Auburn University Senate, commended Gogue for his service to the university and said he is leaving it in "a much stronger position than when he arrived." "I had high hopes that Dr. Gogue, who was an experienced president at a major university before coming back to Auburn, would be a strong leader who would develop good relations with the faculty after an extended period of turmoil," said Goldstein, who began at the university in 1991. "I think he has been an excellent president."
Auburn professor develops cost-effective, staph-resistant bandage
Staph infections affect thousands of people each year, often occurring as a person recovers from surgery or a wound. But an Auburn University professor has developed a better bandage that could keep people from becoming infected. Professor Emeritus Dave Worley of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Sciences and Mathematics is applying his patented N-halamine chemistry to gauze bandages to kill any bacteria that might contact a wound. "A 2-inch-square bandage would cost only 3-4 cents more than a regular bandage," Worley said. "We tested it on Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It kills them before they can infect the wound. Once a person becomes infected, the bacteria are hard to kill, especially if they are resistant to antibiotics."
New data science program at U. of Tennessee aims to fill growing need
A new doctoral program at the University of Tennessee Knoxville will look at data, the way it's collected and how it can be used to make advancements in other disciplines. The data science and engineering, or "Big Data," Ph.D. program comes in the midst of an increase in data being made possible through the advent of the digital age and will be the third program of its type across the nation, according to experts at UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which will partner with UT on the program. "All kinds of systems are collecting lots of data," said Russell Zaretzki, an associate professor at UT's Haslam College of Business who will head the new program. "It's more than ever and it's being stored. So now is the time where you could actually attempt to take that data and find meaningful aspects or get a better understanding of the world through that data."
'Trump effect' causes drop in international applications at U. of South Carolina, Clemson
Not long ago, three of Mostafa Mobli's former Iranian classmates were thinking of following him to the United States to work toward their doctoral degrees. After the election of President Donald Trump and the Republican's January U.S. travel ban against citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, those plans changed. One of Mobli's friends is staying home. The other two are headed to Europe for school. "It was really disappointing for Iranian students," said Mobli, a 28-year-old Iranian working toward his doctorate in mechanical engineering at the University of South Carolina. That so-called "Trump effect" is taking its toll on South Carolina's three research universities. And it is affecting more than prospective Iranian students. Nearly half of the nation's 25 largest public colleges have seen undergraduate applications from abroad stall or drop since last year, according to The Associated Press.
Work to begin today on Russell Hall renovation at UGA
Work begins today on a $44.5 million renovation of Russell Hall, one of University of Georgia's high-rise dormitories on Baxter Street, the university announced. The project schedule calls for the work to be finished in time to reopen the 230,000-square-foot building by the beginning of the 2018 fall semester. At 970 beds, Russell has the highest occupancy capacity of any of UGA's residential units. The work plan calls for minimal loss of capacity, and the building should have 961 or more beds at the end of the project, said UGA spokesman Greg Trevor, executive director for media communications. The 10-story building housed its first students in 1967.
Texas A&M unveils 'master plan' for campus
Texas A&M University could see its era of expansive growth continue over the next two decades and beyond, according to the university's recently released 2017 Campus Master Plan. Over the coming years, more than 20 million gross square feet for facilities could be added to the College Station campus if the 460-page plan's suggestions are followed. The effort, which began in 2015 with the hiring of planning firm Ayres Saint Gross, included input from around the campus, giving student leaders, faculty and administrators the chance to participate. Altogether, more than 30 members of the Texas A&M community were formally involved in the development of the plan. The proposed addition of several parking structures around campus, along with the renovation and addition of numerous open spaces and walkways across the university, are part of the administration's efforts to provide a revitalized environment.
U. of Missouri budget proposal calls for nearly $60 million in cuts
The University of Missouri plans to eliminate 328 full-time positions at its flagship Columbia campus as part of nearly $60 million in cuts to the fiscal year 2018 budget as it seeks to alleviate a massive budget shortfall caused by a drop in enrollment and a decrease in state funding. Of the reductions, $40.6 million is slated to be cut in recurring costs and $18.9 million in one-time costs, according to a budget proposal MU interim Chancellor Garnett Stokes sent to UM System President Mun Choi and was published on the system's website Friday night. There will be 84 layoffs of the 181 occupied positions that are slated for elimination; the rest of those cut will be positions that won't be filled when they are vacated, which total 43 retirements, 38 contract non-renewals and 16 voluntary separations. The plan calls for 147 full-time vacant positions to be eliminated.
U. of Missouri names new interim dean for College of Veterinary Medicine
Carolyn Henry will become the interim dean of the University of Missouri's College of Veterinary Medicine on Aug. 1. She will succeed Dean Neil Olson, who said earlier this week that he would step down. MU Provost and Interim Chancellor Garnett Stokes announced Henry's appointment on Friday. She said a national search will begin in the fall. Olson is leaving MU for a position at St. George's University in Grenada, he said Wednesday. He became the fifth dean within the last 14 months to announce a departure, according to previous Missourian reporting. Henry said Friday that she is "very honored" to accept the interim role. Henry serves as associate dean for research and graduate studies at the College of Veterinary Medicine and as associate director of research at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center.
Attempt to Get Trump's Tax Returns May Have Alerted IRS to Data Tool's Vulnerability
Do the security concerns that caused the Internal Revenue Service to shut down an online tool that's key to applying for student aid stem from a private investigator's attempt to use the tool to get President Trump's tax records? That question is raised in an article by the newsmagazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, which reports that it has obtained court records that identify a Louisiana-based private investigator who is accused of using the data-retrieval tool for that purpose in September of last year. Diverse: Issues in Higher Education said the records it obtained indicate that FBI agents interviewed the Louisiana investigator in October, several weeks after he allegedly tried to obtain tax information for Mr. Trump, then a presidential candidate, on September 13.
Dozens walk out at Notre Dame to protest VP Mike Pence, who criticizes political correctness
Dozens of students about to graduate from the University of Notre Dame walked out of the commencement ceremony Sunday morning to protest the decision to have the main address delivered by Vice President Pence. A statement from those who organized the protest said that, as governor of Indiana and vice president of the United States, Pence has "targeted the civil rights protections of members of the LGBT+ community, rejected the Syrian refugee settlement program, supported an unconstitutional ban of religious minorities and fought against sanctuary cities. All of these policies have marginalized our vulnerable sisters and brothers for their religion, skin color and sexual orientation." The students who walked out did so quietly and did not disrupt Pence's talk. The audience at the commencement greeted Pence warmly, and the boos appeared directed at those walking out, not the vice president.
Against all odds
Angela Farmer, an assistant professor of educational leadership at Mississippi State, writes: "Life is a series of experiences which shape children into the adults they become; however, not all of these interactions can be construed as positive. Unfortunately, sometimes things happen which negatively impact a child beyond his ability to effectively cope. It is during these times of adversity when a strong, supportive, and reliable adult caregiver is critical. Based on research from Harvard University's Bari Walsh in his article, 'The Science of Resilience,' he attests to the fact that there are a few key facets to a child's ability to go forward after paramount adversity strikes."
Freddy Joe should not pay taxes until Donny Joe does
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "It's time for Mississippi taxpayers to stand up to tax dodgers. It's time to revolt against the State's unfair and discriminatory behavior in the collection of taxes on retail sales. You see, Mississippi law requires residents to pay taxes on all retail sales, except those specifically exempt. But, the State's arbitrary and selective enforcement of tax collections provides a big loophole for tax dodgers. Taxation of retail sales takes two forms. 'Sales taxes' apply to retail sales of tangible personal property made by vendors within the state. 'Use' taxes apply to retail sales of personal property by vendors outside the state for use within the state. Use and sales tax rates are the same. Here's how that works correctly."
Has Chris McDaniel's star faded?
The Clarion-Ledger's Geoff Pender writes: "Has state Sen. Chris McDaniel's political star faded, or was it just a tea party-fueled supernova that intensively burned out after he very nearly toppled long, long, long-time U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in 2014? A poll conducted for, and released by U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker's campaign -- obviously a reaction to McDaniel testing the water for a run against him in 2018 -- might indicate such. The poll, first reported by Politico, shows Wicker leading McDaniel 55 percent to 30 percent, with 14 percent undecided among likely GOP primary voters in Mississippi. But more astoundingly, Wicker led McDaniel by 10 points -- 47 percent to 37 percent -- among 'strong Republicans favorable to the tea party,' who were previously McDaniel's bedrock base."

Mississippi State's Brent Rooker odds-on favorite to win Ferriss award
Time will tell if the rest of college baseball agrees with what Mississippi State baseball coach Andy Cannizaro has been saying for months: Brent Rooker is the best player in college baseball. Neither will have to wait that long for the same question within the state of Mississippi. Rooker and Cannizaro will be at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Jackson Monday for the awarding of the Ferriss Trophy, given annually to the state's best college baseball player. Rooker was named a finalist earlier this month alongside Delta State's Zach Shannon and a trio from Southern Mississippi: Taylor Braley, Matt Wallner and Dylan Burdeaux."I'm excited about it," Rooker said.
Why the SEC Tournament matters to Mississippi State
In an unusual scene after suffering a sweep, Andy Cannizaro followed his players and walked the length of the outfield wall to embrace and speak with the remaining Mississippi State fans at Dudy Noble Field Saturday night. Despite LSU celebrating a share of the SEC title, fans -- especially those in the Left Field Lounge -- stuck around to soak in their final moments at the current Dudy Noble Field. Their chants of "An-dy! An-dy! An-dy!" however, suggested they were satisfied with the way the regular season went. As one fan later told The Clarion-Ledger, "We played better than anyone here expected we would when the season started and when we started 0-3 in the SEC." While the idea of hosting, though the chances are likely very slim, provides an incentive this week in the SEC Tournament, the Bulldogs view their first round game at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Hoover against Georgia (25-31, 11-19) as vital regardless. "It's really important," Cannizaro said.
SEC Baseball Tournament 2017: Matchups, bracket, times, TV
The SEC baseball tournament begins on Tuesday at the Hoover Met. Here are the matchups. All games are streamed on WatchESPN. Tuesday is single elimination. The double elimination tournament begins Wednesday and on Saturday, it reverts back to single elimination. All times are central. The second game of each session will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.
IRS files list rises, drops in U. of Arkansas gifts
The foundation supporting athletics at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville saw a surge in contributions the same year a different foundation that manages academic program donations reported an annual decline of $12 million, according to IRS returns for the 12-month period that ended June 30. For the Razorback Foundation Inc., Internal Revenue Service returns reaching back to 2010 show that fiscal 2016's $48.9 million in contributions are the most this decade and up about 25 percent from the previous year's $39.2 million. Meanwhile, the University of Arkansas Foundation Inc., which manages funds supporting UA and other parts of the UA System, received contributions of $61.1 million in fiscal 2016, down about 17 percent from $73.2 million a year earlier.
U. of South Carolina baseball's longtime media relations director headed back home
South Carolina's regular season finale Saturday afternoon against Georgia also marked the final game for USC Sports Information Director Andrew Kitick at Founders Park. It was announced Friday night that this will be Kitick's final season with the Gamecocks. He is in his 16th year working at South Carolina. Kitick is making the move to return to his home state of Illinois. "I wanted to be closer to my family," he said. "My father and brother are back up there in Chicago, and I just want to have the opportunity to see them more and spend some more time with them." Kitick made trips with the Gamecocks to the College World Series in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2010, 2011 and 2012, with South Carolina winning the national title in 2010 and 2011. He considers the two national titles to be the highlight of his memorable time at USC.
Georgia falls to South Carolina, turns attention to SEC Tournament
Georgia saw its five-game winning streak snap Saturday as No. 30 South Carolina avoided an SEC sweep by posting a 10-0 victory at Founder's Park. The Gamecocks (32-23, 13-17 SEC) scored three runs on three hits in the third to chase freshman right-hander Tony Locey. Georgia will enter the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala., as the 12th seed and face the fifth seed Mississippi State on Tuesday night. It is single elimination on Tuesday, and the winner will advance to the double-elimination part of the event when the field is reduced to eight teams. Last weekend, Georgia beat then sixth-ranked Mississippi State two out of three in Athens.
From Hockey 101 to a Ph.D. in Nashville
In the beginning, before the Nashville Predators sank their fangs into a city that adored hockey but just didn't know it yet, there was a kiosk. Nat Harden perched there, outside the food court of the CoolSprings mall in suburban Brentwood, eight hours a day, five days a week during the 1997 holiday season and tried to sell a sport that he had never seen in person and a team that had no players. One television at the booth showed hockey highlights, while another ran a loop of Shania Twain's music videos. Harden, who had recently graduated from Mississippi State, followed instructions to promote the game's speed, but it did not impress him much back then. Harden's entry-level position with the Predators paid $7 an hour, and he would have earned 1 percent commission on season-ticket packages had he, in fact, sold any. Harden, 44, is now the senior vice president for ticket sales and youth hockey for the Predators, who reign supreme in a market that was long the impenetrable domain of football and Nascar.

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