Thursday, June 29, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
MSU-Meridian carves partnership with Jones County Junior College
Mississippi State University and Jones County Junior College leaders have carved a partnership designed to make it easier for students to complete baccalaureate programs. Officials from both institutions signed an agreement Wednesday creating a Partnership Pathways program designed to ease the transition to a bachelor's degree for JCJC students. The partnership allows students to enroll concurrently at JCJC and MSU. Additionally, MSU will place academic advisers at JCJC to assist students and ensure efficient degree completion and maximum transfer of credits. "Our innovative partnerships with Mississippi community colleges enhance accessibility to higher education and help students earn a degree in the most efficient way," MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner said.
Mississippi State, Jones County Junior College announce new partnership
Mississippi State University and Jones County Junior College leaders are making it easier for students to complete baccalaureate programs. Officials from both institutions signed an agreement Wednesday creating a Partnership Pathways program that will ease the transition to a bachelor's degree for JCJC students. The partnership allows students to enroll concurrently at JCJC and MSU. Additionally, MSU will place academic advisers at JCJC to assist students and ensure efficient degree completion and maximum transfer of credits. MSU-Meridian Administrative Director and Head of Campus Terry Dale Cruse said partnership pathways "take the guesswork" out of transitioning from a strong community college to a leading research university. MSU has similar agreements with Meridian Community College, East Mississippi Community College and East Central Community College.
Bomb threat prompts evacuation on Mississippi State campus
Students at Mississippi State University were evacuated from Mitchell Memorial Library Wednesday afternoon after what the university is referring to as a "time-specific bomb threat." A Maroon Alert was issued at 4:05 p.m. saying the university was investigating a bomb threat. MSU said in a statement that nothing suspicious had been found as of late Wednesday afternoon. "Safety is our first priority, and we always will err on the side of caution," said MSU Vice President of Student Affairs Regina Hyatt, who also serves as incident commander for the university's Crisis Action Team.
UPDATE: Mississippi State returns to normal operations
Mississippi State University has returned to normal operations, as MSU Police continue to investigate a Wednesday bomb threat. The affected buildings and the surrounding area have been searched by police, who were on the scene within two minutes of receiving the threat by phone call just after 3:30 p.m. Bomb-sensing dogs also were dispatched immediately, and nothing suspicious was found. Mitchell Memorial Library will re-open for normal operations Thursday morning. All other affected buildings have reopened.
Mississippi State's Camp Jigsaw Takes to the Water
Campers from across the country enjoy a day of fun and food at Lake Tiak O'Khata Mississippi State's Camp Jigsaw took the action outdoors as participants got in a little swimming and hanging out on the beach by the lake. The camp is geared toward young people with autism spectrum disorders, and works to help them build confidence and cope with the world around them.
You can smell the fresh tomatoes in the Exhibit Hall at the Fair
Mack and Rose Gilmer got involved with the exhibit hall at the Neshoba County Fair in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a way to help support their kids who were in 4-H. They then found out that adults could compete, too, and have been entering exhibits ever since that time. For over 300 youth and adults it will be time once again to show off the many items and vegetables that they have made or grown throughout the year at the exhibit hall. Registration is underway now through July 19 at the Mississippi State University Extension office in the Neshoba County Coliseum. Extension employee Elsie Cumberland said the event is part of the character of the Fair. "The exhibit hall has been in existence as long as the Fair," Cumberland said. "They have the exhibit hall, which encompasses all your agriculture activities, as well as the livestock shows. All of that stuff is what makes our Fair an agricultural fair. Without those things, it would not have the character of an agricultural fair."
Highway 12 project remains on schedule
The Highway 12 Safety Project may be impacting traffic on one of the Golden Triangle's busiest routes, but the construction effort is going as planned. The Mississippi Department of Transportation project aims to improve the safety of the thoroughfare by updating traffic signals, removing the center turn lane and adding median. Asphalt removal will begin at New Light Road, with crews working east down Highway 12. Work will also begin on a new concrete island, curb and gutter at the intersection of Stark Road and Airport Road in front of Wing Stop. Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert said crews were working on the project at intersections along Highway 12, including Louisville Street, Stark Road and Industrial Park Road. "Everything is on target at this moment for an October completion date," Tagert said.
SPD dedication postponed after flooding issues surface
Friday's unveiling of Starkville Police Department's newly renovated headquarters was postponed Wednesday after issues of flooding in the building's basement came to light this week. The city cited unforeseen circumstances in a press release and has not yet scheduled a new date for the event. "The opening of a new landmark public facility should provide an opportunity to celebrate unity and civic pride," said Mayor Parker Wiseman. "It is now appropriate to wait for a moment when everyone can properly celebrate the gravity of the occasion that the opening of our new police headquarters represents." Contractors believe ground water is penetrating the basement through a crack in its floor.
Starkville school board member Anne Stricklin steps down
A board member for the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District is stepping down to join her family in Florida. Anne Stricklin announced her resignation from the board on Wednesday. She has served on the school board since September 2015. She will move to Florida where her husband, Scott Stricklin, is the current athletic director for the University of Florida in Gainesville. Scott Stricklin previously served as the athletic director for Mississippi State University. "I truly appreciate the opportunity to serve my city, county, and my alma mater in this way," Anne Stricklin stated in a letter to the city of Starkville and school district leaders.
Mississippi utility will stop efforts to complete coal plant
One of the nation's largest utilities, faced with an ultimatum from Mississippi regulators, said Wednesday that it will suspend efforts to complete a first-of-its-kind coal-fueled power plant. The move is a blow in efforts to develop coal plants that emit less carbon dioxide, which could be key to improving the health of the nation's coal industry. Mississippi Power Co., a unit of Southern Co., announced it was stopping efforts at its plant in Kemper County, near the Alabama state line. The Atlanta-based utility giant said Wednesday that it could lose another $3.4 billion from the Kemper County plant if it can't reach a more favorable settlement with regulators. Wednesday, the company acknowledged that Kemper might never be economically competitive with power generated from cheap natural gas.
The who, what and how much of Mississippi Medicaid
Each morning, Samantha Manning rushes to get her family ready for the day. Her eldest, 13-year-old Kennedy, is involved in a number of sports. Combine that with twin 8-year-old boys, and each day is different. Kennedy is a type 1 diabetic and goes to a small school that doesn't have a nurse on staff. Because of the teen's diabetes, the school's policy demands one parent is present at all of her games. Like 78 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries nationally, Kennedy is in a family with at least one member who works. In addition to Manning's part-time employment, her husband works full time. The family has private insurance, but to meet the financial demands of keeping their daughter alive, Kennedy is enrolled in the state's Children's Health Insurance Program. The family is one of 48,102 Mississippians with children enrolled in CHIP, a branch of Mississippi Medicaid. Chairman Sen. Brice Wiggins, R-Pascagoula, chairman of the Senate Medicaid Committee, acknowledges misconceptions about Medicaid beneficiaries exist.
Lawsuit: Mississippi Political Scandal Pushed Man to Suicide
Relatives of a Mississippi man who killed himself are suing a mayor, police officers and a law firm, saying they are part of a political network that pushed him to suicide during a bitterly-fought U.S. Senate race. The widow and sons of Mark Mayfield say in a federal suit filed Tuesday that his life was ruined in 2014 when he was charged with conspiracy to exploit a vulnerable adult. Mayfield, an attorney with his own firm, was prominent in the Mississippi tea party movement and supported state lawmaker Chris McDaniel, who lost to Sen. Thad Cochran in a 2014 Republican primary.
Mississippi man takes Confederate flag fight to high court
A black Mississippi citizen is taking his case against the state's Confederate-themed flag to the U.S. Supreme Court. In papers filed Wednesday, attorneys for Carlos Moore said lower courts were wrong to reject his argument that the flag is a symbol of white supremacy that harms him and his young daughter by violating the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection to all citizens. It will be October, at the earliest, before the Supreme Court will say whether it will take the case. The Mississippi attorney general's office, which has defended the state, declined to comment Wednesday, spokeswoman Margaret Ann Morgan said.
Auditors: Thousands of fake or dead people enrolled in government phone program
One in three people enrolled in a government-subsidized phone program might not qualify for the service, with thousands of accounts belonging to either fake or dead people, according to a government audit released Thursday. The oversight is costing taxpayers more than $100 million worth of improper payments per year, according to the audit by the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan federal watchdog. Created in the 1980s, the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline program helps low-income people pay for phone and Internet service. "A complete lack of oversight is causing this program to fail the American taxpayer --- everything that could go wrong is going wrong," said Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Missouri Democrat who requested the GAO investigation.
Hacks Raise Fear Over N.S.A.'s Hold on Cyberweapons
Twice in the past month, National Security Agency cyberweapons stolen from its arsenal have been turned against two very different partners of the United States -- Britain and Ukraine. The N.S.A. has kept quiet, not acknowledging its role in developing the weapons. White House officials have deflected many questions, and responded to others by arguing that the focus should be on the attackers themselves, not the manufacturer of their weapons. But the silence is wearing thin for victims of the assaults, as a series of escalating attacks using N.S.A. cyberweapons have hit hospitals, a nuclear site and American businesses. Now there is growing concern that United States intelligence agencies have rushed to create digital weapons that they cannot keep safe from adversaries or disable once they fall into the wrong hands.
iPhone Turns 10: How It Became the Everything Machine
Happy birthday, iPhone! Today, Cupertino's most famous device turns 10 years old. From its original release, the story of the iPhone has always been one about pushing the boundaries of what you could do with the power of a tiny computer in your pocket. But the story of the iPhone decade isn't really one story at all. Instead, it's a tangle of narratives about how this device would forever change the way people make and use technology. Few people could have predicted these stories 10 years ago today, when Steve Jobs introduced the OG iPhone to the world. Even Jobs seemed to have a relatively narrow view of what the iPhone could do: Back then, it was presented as a mash-up of a phone, an iPod, and the internet. Amazing, sure, but it would be a stretch to have called it revolutionary.
UGA showcases agricultural research with 'corn boil'
How much water does a peanut need? How can reducing fertilizer use effect climate change? Researchers at the University of Georgia's J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center answered those questions when they showed off recent research Tuesday in the center's annual "Corn Boil" at the farm near Watkinsville. UGA took over management of the farm about four years ago after the federal government's Agricultural Research Service determined it no longer needed the spread of more than 1,000 acres where federal agricultural scientists had conducted research for decades. Under federal law, the federal government has to transfer such lands to another government unit, explained Nick Hill as he led a tour that highlighted UGA research on the farm.
Sting nets dozens of underage drinkers, police say, spurs investigations of Tigerland bar
A sting Monday night at Reggie's Bar in Tigerland netted dozens of underage drinkers inside, according to the Baton Rouge Police Department, and triggered investigations of the watering hole by local and state alcohol regulators. High school-age bar patrons were among those swept up in the raid about 11 p.m. Monday, with police finding at least seven 16-year-old kids inside, said Sgt. L'Jean McKneely, a spokesman for Baton Rouge police. In total, authorities raiding the popular hangout near LSU's campus issued citations to 37 underage revelers, McKneely said, issuing citations for offenses ranging from using a fake ID to assaulting a police officer. Reggie's Bar, 1176 Bob Pettit Blvd., is well-known as a hangout for LSU undergraduates and is something of a landmark in the strip of bars in Tigerland.
Texas A&M's Easterwood Airport to get $6.5M upgrade
After more than 70 years without a major change to its hangar, the noncommercial area at Easterwood Airport is poised for an upgrade as it prepares for the construction of a new fixed-base operations terminal and hangar. The Texas A&M University System had a ceremonial ground breaking at the construction site Wednesday morning, taking the opportunity to share their hopes for the effects the $6.5 million public-private project will have once it is complete. The yet-to-be-named facility is planned to provide an 8,500-square-foot terminal and an adjacent 40,000 square-foot hanger. Chancellor John Sharp said at the event he was surprised when he began his leadership of the A&M System nearly six years ago by how little the airport had changed in the decades since he was a freshman at Texas A&M University in the late 1960s.
Study Finds Pay for Public College Presidents Up 5.3 Percent
Presidents of U.S. public colleges and universities saw their earnings climb by 5.3 percent last year, with several of them topping $1 million, according to an annual survey. The Chronicle of Higher Education's study of more than 150 college presidents found that their average annual pay increased in fiscal year 2016 to $501,000. Among the top earners were eight public university presidents whose total compensation exceeded $1 million, up from five the year before, the study found. Most of them come from the nation's largest schools and university systems. Topping the Chronicle's salary ranking was Arizona State University's president, Michael Crow, who received almost $1.6 million last year.
Fund-raisers express concerns about their own effectiveness
Ask most college and university presidents for their top strategies for keeping their institutions financially viable in the years ahead, and the answer (along with recruiting more international students) is almost certain to include more ambitious fund-raising. Given that goal, colleges and universities will need efficient fund-raising teams and effective strategies. A new study suggests they have some work to do, as the fund-raisers themselves tell it. The survey of 270 major and planned giving officers at a range of colleges and universities, which was produced by Ruffalo Noel Levitz, suggests that the fund-raisers don't spend time on the activities they believe are most important, aren't armed with the most helpful information and are judged more on activity than on success. "The bottom line is that they're not spending enough time meeting with the people most likely to give," said Brian Gawor, vice president of research in Ruffalo Noel Levitz's fund-raising management division and an author of the study.
Gas leak explosion rocks Murray State University
An explosion because of a gas leak at 4:53 Wednesday afternoon badly damaged a residence hall on Murray State University's campus, the university said on its Facebook page. The explosion was at Richmond Hall, which can house 268 students on four floors, according to the university's website. Dakota L. Fields, 26, was the only person injured in the explosion. He was in stable condition after being taken to Murray-Calloway County Hospital, Kentucky State Trooper Jody Cash said. Murray State's website lists Dakota L. Fields as Richmond Hall's residence hall director. All participants who were on campus for the Governor's Scholars Program, Commonwealth Honors Academy and Adventures in Math and Science have been relocated, the university said.
U. of Texas at Dallas Re-Opens Campus After Bomb Threat
The University of Texas at Dallas briefly evacuated its campus on Tuesday afternoon after receiving a bomb threat but police later determined it was a hoax and reopened the campus. Campus police received the bomb threat around 2 p.m. local time from an anonymous caller who demanded a large amount of money, the Dallas Morning News quoted University of Texas at Dallas Police Department Lieutenant Ken MacKenzie as saying. Less than an hour later, university officials tweeted that campus police had determined the bomb threat was a hoax.

Learn more about deer at Mississippi State's Deer University
No, you can't earn a degree at Mississippi State University's Deer University, but you can learn more about deer and become a better hunter. Hosted by MSU Deer Lab professors Steve Demarais and Bronson Strickland, Deer University is a series of podcasts which dig deep into topics like selective harvest, dealing with predators, and nutrition. "It really mimics a lecture, so we call it Deer University," Strickland said. "It's all about how things work. The typical length is about 45 minutes." Most deer hunting podcasts, articles and television shows center around just that -- hunting. Based on the latest science and research, Deer University is unique. "With Deer University, we did not want to create a hunting podcast," Strickland said. "We wanted a podcast on deer management and biology."
SEC triple crown winner: Mississippi State's Brent Rooker
Brent Rooker has officially gone where only one other man before him has been. Rooker, Mississippi State's now-former first baseman, locked down the Southeastern Conference's triple crown on Tuesday night with the conclusion of the 2017 college baseball season. Rooker led the league in batting average (.387), home runs (23) and RBI (82). Rooker joined former Bulldog great Rafael Palmeiro as the only two players to ever win the SEC's triple crown. Palmeiro accomplished the feat in 1984. Rooker's bat garnered headlines for MSU all season long this past year. He became the first SEC player ever to surpass 20 homers, 30 doubles and 75 RBI in a single season. Rooker's 30 doubles were an MSU record.
Mississippi State's Brent Rooker wins SEC baseball triple crown
Even after turning pro, Mississippi State's Brent Rooker continues to make news in college baseball. With the season ending Tuesday night, Rooker wrapped up history's second SEC batting triple crown -- joining former Bulldogs All-American Rafael Palmeiro, who led the league in batting average, home runs and RBIs in 1984. Rooker hit .387 this season with 23 home runs and 82 RBIs in 67 games. He's the first Southeastern Conference player to ever surpass 20 home runs, 30 doubles and 75 RBIs in a single season and the first college player to hit those marks since Clemson's Khali Green in 2002. Rooker was a first-round selection by the Minnesota Twins in the 2017 MLB Draft on May 12. Through Tuesday, he was hitting .317 for the Elizabethton (Tenn.) Twins in the rookie-level Appalachian League.
Mississippi State's Brent Rooker clinches SEC's triple crown
Brent Rooker is in pretty good company. With the conclusion of the all-SEC College World Series on Wednesday, the Mississippi State Bulldog clinched the conference's triple crown. He's only the second player to achieve the feat, joining former MLB veteran and fellow Bulldog Rafael Palmeiro. In clinching the triple crown, Rooker became the first SEC player ever to surpass 20 homers, 30 doubles, 75 RBIs. He finished with a .387 average, 23 homers and 82 RBIs. Rooker has racked up plenty of honors. The Germantown, Tennessee, native is a first-team All-America selection, SEC Player of the Year and the National Player of the Year, per Collegiate Baseball. Rooker may not want to lock up his award case just yet as he's a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, which will be presented to the nation's top amateur baseball player at 6 p.m. Thursday on ESPN.
Mississippi State's Cody Brown lands first Yankees assignment
Cody Brown finally has his orders. After officially signing with the New York Yankees as an undrafted free agent on June 17, the former Mississippi State super utility player and Hattiesburg Regional Most Outstanding Player has been assigned to the Staten Island Yankees. The Class-A short-season affiliate is already seven games into its New York-Penn League season and boasts a 6-1 record. After going unselected in this month's MLB Draft, Brown said he had considered pursuing physical therapy as a career before MSU coach Andy Cannizaro helped out the former Biloxi Indian and set him up with the Yankees.
Green thumb: AD Jim Sterk's first 10 months lead to biggest fundraising year ever at Mizzou
Taking time to learn about Missouri's 114 counties can be a lengthy project, but MU athletic director Jim Sterk has spent his first 10 months in Columbia multitasking. Sterk said he's been on a "a quest of learning" since he got to MU, researching everything from the state's counties to what makes the athletic department tick. The period also has been met with a highly successful quest for funds. Missouri's Tiger Scholarship Fund raised $50.4 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year, setting the school record by more than $4.7 million, according to a news release from the department Wednesday. The fiscal year ends Friday. "The last 10 months have flown by," Sterk said in a small gathering with reporters Wednesday. "We have made some good momentum, and I'm excited about what happened this past year. We've made progress in a lot of areas, but I think the great thing is we haven't hit any kind of ceiling."
Three LSU basketball players accused of shooting paintballs at pedestrians on campus
Three LSU basketball players received summons on June 16 for allegedly shooting paintballs at pedestrians on campus, according to reports. The LSU newspaper, The Reveille, reported summons were issued to Galen Ishan Alexander, 18, of Lafayette; Mayan Keer Kiir, 19, of Bradenton, Florida; and Wayde Kenneth Sims, 19, of Baton Rouge. The three students were released after the summons were issued. Police responded to a report that a person walking along Dalrymple Drive was hit by paintballs. On Wednesday night, LSU basketball coach Will Wade released a statement.
Steve Spurrier, South Carolina discussing recognition at Williams-Brice in 2017 season
University of South Carolina officials have had "preliminary discussions" about recognizing former football coach Steve Spurrier at a game in Williams-Brice Stadium this season, a school spokesman told The State on Wednesday. "There is nothing set, but if something happens that they want to do that, it would be fine with me, probably," Spurrier told The State. Spurrier, who is the winningest football coach in history at both South Carolina and Florida, now serves as a consultant and ambassador for the Gators athletic program. Florida will play the Gamecocks in Williams-Brice Stadium on Nov. 11. "I'm not aware that any specific dates have been discussed," assistant athletic director for media relations Steve Fink told The State via email.
Vanderbilt suspends 3 football players indefinitely after shooting at Nashville Target
Vanderbilt football coach Derek Mason has indefinitely suspended three players who were involved in Monday night's shooting at a Target store in Nashville, which occurred when they tried to recover one of the player's stolen cell phone. Sophomore wide receiver Donaven Tennyson, redshirt freshman cornerback Frank Coppet and freshman safety Tae Daley have been suspended from all football activities, according to a statement from Vanderbilt University on Wednesday. The team is currently in summer workouts, and its preseason practice begins in the first week of August. Daley was shot in the leg, and Coppet suffered birdshot wounds to his arms in the shooting, which happened shortly before 9 p.m. Monday at the Target store on White Bridge Pike. No charges have been filed against the players.
NCAA could look at altering rules regarding transfers, scholarship releases
The days of coaches placing extreme restrictions to keep their athletes from transferring to schools of their choosing could be coming to an end in the near future. According to the NCAA, the Division I Council Transfer Working Group is considering changes to the rules regarding transfers. The proposed changes are merely in the idea stage, and would need to go through several more levels before becoming NCAA legislation. "I am thrilled with the great progress made this week, and I'm confident we can move forward with some initial concepts for consideration in this year's legislative cycle," said Justin Sell, working group chair and athletics director at South Dakota State. "We are working toward academics-based, data-driven decisions that benefit student-athletes, teams and schools."

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