Tuesday, August 15, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
 
A New 'Old Main' Opens at Mississippi State
Along with Davis Wade Stadium and the Drill Field, a common site on Mississippi State's campus is construction. After Monday, however, students will be seeing a little less of that construction. The ribbon was cut for the new Old Main Academic Center earlier Monday afternoon. It was about an hour long ceremony, celebrating the origins and the history of the original Old Main dormitory, here on campus. After months on months of construction, faculty, staff, and especially students are glad to finally see this building opened." "I got the idea about bringing a classroom building to Mississippi State on a trip I made several years ago to the University of Georgia," said Dr. Mark Keenum, president of Mississippi State. "We are growing in enrollment, and that's a great thing. We know to grow and to meet the needs of our students, we have to have the best facilities possible to meet their needs, and we feel like the state of the art classroom facility will help meet our students needs for generations to come. We are truly excited to have this new addition to our campus."
 
A new 'Old Main' reopens at Mississippi State as academic center
The ribbon was cut Monday afternoon at the $41 million Old Main Academic Center at Mississippi State University. The Old Main dormitories burned to the ground in 1959. This new building has state-of-the-art technology and resembles the old structure. It has 90,000 square feet of classroom space and a parking garage. "We're really excited about it," Dean of Libraries Frances Coleman said. "It has a lot of outstanding technology, you can see how spacious it is and we know it's going to really be an outstanding contribution to teaching and learning" University leaders expect to have 11,000 students there on some of the busiest class days.
 
Day of service: Mississippi State students, volunteers assist community
Over 600 Mississippi State University students and volunteers assisted with community service efforts in Starkville and the surrounding area on Monday as part of Service DAWGS Day. The day began with a welcome address from MSU President Mark Keenum. Soon after, volunteers dispersed to do a variety of community service projects.
 
Sen. Cochran: Miss. State gets $3.11 million to continue cybersecurity scholarship program
U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss) on Monday announced that the National Science Foundation will provide $3.11 million to Mississippi State University to continue and expand its participation in a program to train cybersecurity professionals. The grant for MSU involvement in the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program supports students studying cybersecurity in order to strengthen the government's cybersecurity workforce. The MSU project also involves supporting East Mississippi Community College students before they transfer and join the university's program. "Cybersecurity is an increasingly important component of our national security. Mississippi State has established itself by preparing students to be well-trained cybersecurity professionals," Cochran said.
 
Cochran: Mississippi State receives funding for cybersecurity scholarship program
More than $3 million worth of funding will help Mississippi State University (MSU) continue to educate the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) says the National Science Foundation will provide $3.11 million to the university. The grant for MSU's involvement in the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program supports students studying cybersecurity in order to strengthen the government's cybersecurity workforce. MSU is one of 16 National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations. In addition to EMCC, the MSU cybersecurity program includes partnerships with several historically-black colleges and universities including Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University and Tuskegee University.
 
Mississippi State gets grant to continue cybersecurity program
The National Science Foundation will provide $3.11 million to Mississippi State University to continue and expand its participation in a program to train cybersecurity professionals, Sen. Thad Cochran announced Monday. The MSU project also involves supporting East Mississippi Community College students before they transfer and join the university's program. "Cybersecurity is an increasingly important component of our national security. Mississippi State has established itself by preparing students to be well-trained cybersecurity professionals," Cochran said.
 
Partnership solidifies state's work with unmanned systems
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., writes in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal: "Mississippi's leadership in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) is reaching new heights, thanks to a recent partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Our state was chosen in April to host the department's UAS demonstration range facility for testing small unmanned aircraft systems, or drones. DHS plans to use these systems to help U.S. Border Patrol agents perform their monitoring, detection and search-and-rescue operations. Camp Shelby, which is home to a UAS training center for the Army National Guard, is kicking off its role in the DHS partnership with an opening day celebration this month. ...Mississippi State University, which has been on the front lines of UAS technology for years, is leading the partnership with DHS."
 
Mississippi State, Starkville gear up for historic eclipse
On Aug. 21, the United States will see its first national solar eclipse in almost a century. As the moon passes directly in front of the sun, the sky will darken until 89 percent of the sun's light is blocked out. The partial eclipse will begin at 11:56 a.m. and reach maximum at 1:27 p.m. The partial eclipse will end at 2:54 p.m. The nearest major city to receive a total eclipse will be Nashville. "They're rare in any one spot," said Mississippi State University Assistant Professor of Astrophysics Angelle Tanner. "The last time we had one like this in the contiguous 48 states was about 99 years ago." She and associate professor of astrophysics Donna Pierce will host a viewing on the Drill Field from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. This viewing will be open to the public, and several safe methods of viewing the eclipse will be available, including eclipse glasses, solar telescopes and pinhole viewers. Tanner also said shade 14 welding glasses would be suitable for safe eclipse viewing.
 
DNCE to headline Mississippi State's Bulldog Bash 2017 in downtown Starkville
Multi-platinum dance-rock group DNCE will headline the Mississippi State University Student Association's 18th annual Bulldog Bash. Taking place Sept. 15 -- the day prior to MSU's Southeastern Conference home football game against Louisiana State University -- the state's largest, free outdoor concert will be held at the intersection of Jackson and Main streets in downtown Starkville. Local musicians will perform throughout the afternoon. A Maroon Market also will take place from 2-6 p.m. Interested local artists and food vendors may email bulldogbash@sa.msstate.edu for more information and to reserve a booth. Proceeds from Bulldog Bash 2017 will benefit the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District's Emerson Family Resource Center.
 
Classes start soon at MSU-Meridian
Photo: Rachel Clay of Lake signs in at the Sonny Montgomery Advising and Career Services Center at MSU-Meridian. Clay, a transfer student from the University of Southern Mississippi, is majoring in Special Education. It's not too late to register for the fall semester. Classes begin Wednesday, August 16. For more information stop by the College Park Campus or call (601) 484-0229.
 
Unity vigil for Charlottesville to be held on Mississippi State campus
After the violent events in Charlottesvile, Virginia, over the past weekend, a vigil has been organized on the Mississippi State University campus to encourage the community to stand together against racism and bigotry. The Unity Vigil for Charlottesville will be held Wednesday from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Junction in front of the Leo Seal M-Club. One person was killed and many more injured in violent clashes over the weekend as protestors and hate groups gathered in Charlottesville to speak out against the removal of a statue depicting Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
 
Mississippi Book Festival develops into power player in publishing
While thousands of literary fans listen to acclaimed authors, line up for book signings and enjoy outdoor food and music at Saturday's Mississippi Book Festival, executive director Holly Lange already will have her sights on next year's event. "We will take about a week off, maybe, not much," Lange said. "Right now we are already designing our fundraising packet and our panelist packet for 2018." In its third year, the Mississippi Book Festival will include appearances by more than 150 authors, including Greg Iles (Mississippi Blood), Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give) and Richard Ford (Between Them: Remembering My Parents) as well as a display of writer and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats' original works. Most of the festival's funding comes from private individuals, because "everybody loves to read," Lange said.
 
Secrets revealed behind Ingalls-built submarine's Cold War spy missions
Picture a nuclear submarine listening in on Cold War communications by tapping into deep, underwater cables near Soviet territory in 1979. Later the sub would go back and send divers down to retrieve the recordings that were to be sorted out by federal agents on board. The submarine, USS Parche, was built extra-sturdy for navigating under ice caps. It managed the Sea of Okhotsk near the Soviet Union. Local historian Dr. Chris Wiggins' new book, "Ingalls' Cold War Nuclear Submarines," starts off with the spy tale of the USS Parche, the most decorated warship in the U.S. Navy and built at Ingalls. Wiggins' book tells how the Mississippi shipyard, known for building cargo ships, came to build and overhaul nuclear subs, "the world's most technologically advanced craft at the time, rivaling the manned space program in complexity" during the yard's heyday of the 1960s and 70s.
 
Metro Jackson receiving most special education vouchers
The bulk of the students participating in the special needs scholarship program, the state's largest school choice effort, continues to come from the three-county metro Jackson area. According to information provided by the state Department of Education, 156 of the 435 vouchers awarded for the current school year, over one-third, came from the Metro Jackson counties of Hinds, Rankin and Madison. In addition, another 34 of the students receiving the $6,494 in state funds to attend the private schools are from DeSoto County and 228 of the participants come from eight school districts. The state Department of Education did not provide exact numbers of students participating in the voucher program from any district that had less than 10 participants. No Northeast Mississippi school distinct had 10 participants for the current school year.
 
Attorney: Medicaid contract winner offered director a job
Two years before winning a billion-dollar Medicaid contract, Molina Healthcare offered the agency's director a job. At least that's what attorneys said they could prove in court Monday before never getting the chance. The Mississippi Division of Medicaid awarded Molina Healthcare of Mississippi a contract to run MississippiCAN, the state's managed care program, in June alongside incumbent companies UnitedHealthcare and Magnolia Health. The attorney for Mississippi True -- a nonprofit, hospital-backed Provider Sponsored Health Plan that came in seventh out of seven during the evaluation of proposals -- said he has emails from January 2015 and August 2016 that show Molina offered Medicaid Director David Dzielak a job. But it only looks that way, according to the agency and the company in question. "That statement is false," said Carl Gardner, a Molina legal representative. "We did not offer Dr. Dzielak a job or anyone else at the division."
 
Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, speaks to Republicans in Tupelo
State Senator Chris McDaniel was in Tupelo Monday evening speaking to the Republican faithful and fielding questions about his future political aspirations. McDaniel was guest speaker at a Lee County Republican Club meeting at a restaurant. McDaniel had this to say when asked whether he was looking to move forward politically: "Well, you know, I'm a state senator now. I'm very pleased with that. But likewise, I'm always looking to do the right thing for the people of Mississippi, the right thing for the conservative movement. We're unashamed about that," McDaniel replied.
 
Mississippi officials condemn white nationalist violence
Some Mississippi officials are denouncing white nationalist violence that killed one person and injured several others during the weekend in Virginia. "Those who practice the extremist ideals of neo-Nazism or white supremacy have no place in Mississippi. I condemn these groups in the strongest possible terms," Republican Gov. Phil Bryant said Monday on Facebook. Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi called the violence "an outrage." "I condemn the white supremacists and the neo-Nazis that engaged in violence," Sen. Roger Wicker told reporters Monday in Jackson before speaking at a chamber of commerce breakfast. In a statement Monday, Republican Sen. Thad Cochran said the violence is "intolerable." "The beliefs of white supremacists and extremists of all ilk run counter to what our nation requires as a free and civil society," Cochran said.
 
'There's no place for racism in the US,' Mississippi senator says
Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker was among the lawmakers, including President Donald Trump, to speak out Monday against last weekend's events in Charlottesville, Virginia. "It's a tragedy, it's an outrage. This white supremacist who rode into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators has committed a criminal act and I doubt if he'll ever be out of jail. He's ruined his life and he's ruined the lives of other families," Wicker said. "I think we need to condemn in the strongest of terms white supremacy groups and neo-Nazis, and we're doing that." Wicker said his daughter, Margaret, attended the University of Virginia, and his family still feels part of the community there. "There's no place for racism in the United States. White supremacy is un-American," Wicker said.
 
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker Renews Call to Remove Confederate Emblem From Mississippi Flag
Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker renewed his call on Monday to remove the Confederate emblem from the state's flag. The Republican senator advocated the change in light of the fact that white supremacists were displaying an altered version of the state flag during the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson reported. Speaking at the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership, Wicker said he did not like using tragedy to advance policy, but said it would be best to remove the emblem from the state flag. "But certainly they have no right to be using our state flag as a symbol of white supremacy," he said. "It would be more unifying if we put this Mississippi flag in a museum and replaced it with something that was more unifying. That is still my position."
 
Mississippi leaders sound off on state flag after racism rally in Virginia
U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker on Monday condemned "the white supremacists and neo-Nazis that engaged in violence" in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend and reiterated his position that the Confederate battle emblem on the state flag needs to go. At Charlottesville during Saturday's violence, an altered version of the Mississippi flag with a Ku Klux Klan message on it was waved in the streets, prompting renewed calls for changing the state's banner. But some state leaders say changing the flag is up to Mississippi voters, who chose to keep the banner in 2001. "I hate to use a tragedy like this, a criminal act of murder, to advance policy," Republican Wicker said Monday before he spoke to the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership. "But certainly they have no right to be using our state flag as a symbol of white supremacy ... It would be more unifying if we put this Mississippi flag in a museum and replaced it with something that was more unifying. That is still my position."
 
Confederate statue removal plans accelerate nationwide after Charlottesville rally
In Gainesville, Florida, workers hired by the Daughters of the Confederacy chipped away at a Confederate soldier's statue, loaded it quietly on a truck and drove away with little fanfare. In Baltimore, Mayor Catherine Pugh said she's ready to tear down all of her city's Confederate statues, and the city council voted to have them destroyed. San Antonio lawmakers are looking ahead to removing a statue that many people wrongly assumed represented a famed Texas leader who died at the Alamo. Some people refused to wait. Protesters in Durham, North Carolina, toppled a nearly century-old statue of a Confederate soldier Monday at a rally against racism. The deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, is fueling another re-evaluation of Confederate statues in cities across the nation, accelerating their removal in much the same way that a 2015 mass shooting by a white supremacist renewed pressure to take down the Confederate flag from public property.
 
Far Right Plans Its Next Moves With a New Energy
The white supremacists and right-wing extremists who came together over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va., are now headed home, many of them ready and energized, they said, to set their sights on bigger prizes. Some were making arrangements to appear at future marches. Some were planning to run for public office. Others, taking a cue from the Charlottesville event -- a protest, nominally, of the removal of a Confederate-era statue -- were organizing efforts to preserve white heritage symbols in their home regions. The far right, which has returned to prominence in the past year or so, has always been an amalgam of factions and causes, some with pro-Confederate or neo-Nazi leanings, some opposed to political correctness or feminism. But the Charlottesville event, the largest of its kind in recent years, exposed the pre-existing fault lines in the movement.
 
UMMC toxicology lab helping identify opioid epidemic street drugs
The University of Mississippi Medical Center's analytical toxicology laboratory is often called upon when a state law enforcement agency is stumped about what deadly substances are laced into a street drug they have confiscated. It is the only hospital lab in the state that has the tools to figure out the most puzzling cases. Their work helps identify what dangerous street drugs are making the rounds in the state and what trends to expect in the future. "You may have no clue what you're buying on the street," said Lee Spencer, lead technician in the toxicology lab. "That's why there's so much attention on opioids now. People are buying alphabet soup, and they don't know what's in it." Up to 8,000 samples a month are analyzed at the lab.
 
DeSoto County Delta State alums renew connections
More than 200 Delta State alumni were nattily attired in their best green, white, along with shades of khaki and cotton during the annual Delta State alumni gathering in the BankPlus Training Center in Southaven this past Saturday. "Delta State alumni are very close," said Dru Howarth, an alumnus who eagerly looks forward to rekindling old relationships each year. "Even when you get out in the professional world, you still bleed green and white. We have older and younger alumni who come to this event. To me, it's very important that we give back. You can be any age, any demographic. It's very nice to see every one. When I was there, Delta State was like a small town." Delta State Alumni President Bobby Spears agreed. "I was in the Class of '03. I enjoy this event every year. People who attend enjoy experiencing those old feelings of being with your college classmates again. There are a ton of Delta State people up here. That sense of family comes through." Spears estimated there are more than 1,200 alumni living in the greater Delta and Mid-South region.
 
East Mississippi Community College fills marketing, public information director positions
Tony Boutwell, a computer animation and marketing specialist, has been hired as East Mississippi Community College's director of Marketing, Digital Media and Web, while veteran journalist Rocky Higginbotham has been named director of the college's Public Information Department. "Tony and Rocky bring a wealth of knowledge to our efforts to promote the school," EMCC Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement Leia Hill said. Boutwell, who resides in Collinsville with his wife, Amy, and their two daughters, Jenna, 5, and Lauren, 12, is a Meridian native who graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in art, with an emphasis in computer animation. Higginbotham, 44, has worked at EMCC since 2012 when he was initially hired as a marketing and public information associate. He brings 22 years of experience in the newspaper industry to the position, with a better part of 14 years spent in a variety of roles at The Meridian Star. Prior to his hire at EMCC, Higginbotham worked for Prince Newspaper Holdings, Inc., where he was a publisher and editor for the group which owns the Madison County Journal, Neshoba Democrat and Kemper County Messenger newspapers.
 
Workforce development training on the rise
Well over 3,000 students are enrolled in traditional academic classes at Meridian Community College. But a much greater number are participating in programs at MCC's Workforce Development Center. And the enrollment is only expected to grow. Seven thousand people have enrolled in at least one class for the past four years. "In the year of 2020 we're expecting 60% of all jobs to require some type of post-secondary education, and that's those middle skilled jobs," said Joseph Knight, MCC's dean of community & business development. Knight says the middle-skilled jobs can range from occupations in the healthcare industry to industrial fields. "That is the most critical issue in recruiting new industry, which is, 'who is going to come work for me? Who's going to make my business successful?', said Dr. Scott Elliott, MCC president. "And you've got to make a case that you've got a well-trained workforce."
 
Kady Pietz named MGCCC dean of Business Services at Jefferson Davis Campus
Kady Pietz has been approved as dean of Business Services at the Jefferson Davis Campus by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Board of Trustees. Before joining Gulf Coast, Pietz, of Pass Christian, served as the director of Operations and Outreach at The University of Southern Mississippi on the Gulf Park Campus. She holds a master of science in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Administration and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Human Capital Development, both from USM. She previously served as the executive director of Hancock County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program and as chief administrative officer of the Mississippi Automated Systems Project with USM.
 
Peer interest in science leads students to STEM jobs
Students in Mississippi are more likely to choose a career in STEM if their peers are interested in classes like Biology, Physics and Chemistry, according to a new study published in the journal Science Advances. Germain McConnell is the executive director for the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science. He says students may give into positive peer pressure. "You see everybody doing something and you want to do it as well. If it looks fun to one person, 'Wow, I may enjoy doing that as well,' and so I think that when something is popular or fun, which I really think science is fun, then it becomes contagious as well." Creating student interest in STEM -- science, technology, engineering or math -- fields may still need work. The Alliance for Science and Technology reports, nearly 45 percent of boys who graduated from a Mississippi high school in 2017 expressed interest in a STEM career. Only about 11 percent of girls said the same.
 
U. of Alabama begins Week of Welcome activities
The University of Alabama marks the start of the academic semester with a series of events for incoming and returning students, the Week of Welcome. The activities are designed to promote unity and strength through friendship, according to a UA news release.
 
U. of Tennessee making biggest changes to its student code of conduct since '70s
The University of Tennessee's flagship campus in Knoxville is poised to make significant changes to its student code of conduct for the first time since the 1970s. Several elements of the code have been rewritten, added or removed during a years-long process that began in 2013. If the new code goes in to effect, it would reshape the way the university handles its most serious student conduct violations starting this fall. In broad strokes, the changes represent an attempt to move away from a "very adversarial" and "legalistic" approach of the existing code of conduct to a more constructive, educational model, University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro said in an interview. DiPietro said the new code would allow "young people to learn from their mistakes" and could lead to "an overall better environment on campus."
 
Campus bustles as UGA classes begin
The University of Georgia campus was a study in motion Monday as classes got underway for the state's flagship campus. More than 36,000 students began classes, including nearly 6,000 first-year students, who jammed buses, sidewalks and corridors as they made their way to their next classes, or to cool refuge from the heat in the Science Learning Center, the Miller Learning Center, or the newest addition to the Terry College of Business complex at the intersection of Lumpkin and Baxter streets. The new building, Amos Hall, opened Monday, said UGA President Jere Morehead. Morehead and other top administrators braved the midday heat to greet students, pass out cookies and ice cream, and pose for photos in the Tate Student Center plaza in the heart of the campus, just across the street from Sanford Stadium.
 
TOPS task force members say long-term funding for program needs to be No. 1 goal
Ensuring the long-term financial stability of TOPS should be the key aim of a Louisiana House and Senate panel about to tackle the issue, newly-named members of the committee said. "I am hoping we come out with several comprehensive reform measures to keep the program both financially strong and make sure it survives in the future," said state Rep. Franklin Foil, R-Baton Rouge and a member of the task force. TOPS, which stands for Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, has been paying tuition and other costs for students who qualify since 1998. The assistance is designed to make sure students take a challenging high school curriculum, have a way to pay for college and keep some of Louisiana's brightest students in the state. But rising costs, like other services, and ongoing state budget problems have put the program's long-term finances in doubt.
 
U. of Kentucky wins lawsuit to keep documents secret from Attorney General
The Kentucky attorney general doesn't have the authority to confidentially examine documents in open records disputes if they are protected under federal student privacy laws, a Fayette Circuit Judge has ruled. The ruling is a victory for the University of Kentucky, which would not let Attorney General Andy Beshear review documents in a sexual harassment case to see if they should be released to the independent student newspaper at UK. The Kentucky Kernel had requested the documents under the Kentucky Open Records Act. Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Travis found that federal student privacy laws take precedence over the attorney general's role in adjudicating open records disputes. UK spokesman Jay Blanton said the ruling upheld the university's opinion that it must protect the privacy of students.
 
U. of South Carolina generates $5.5 billion impact on state's economy, study finds
The University of South Carolina system has a $5.5 billion-a-year impact on the S.C. economy, supports one in 35 jobs statewide and produces nearly $220 million in taxes for state government, according to a new study. The study, released Monday by USC's Darla Moore School of Business, says the 50,000-student system is "returning tangible economic benefits to graduates, businesses and communities throughout South Carolina." Expect to hear those numbers again. USC likely will use the findings as ammunition in its effort to lobby S.C. lawmakers for more state money for higher education next year. "This study once again demonstrates that higher education is unquestionably a worthy investment," USC president Harris Pastides said in a statement.
 
Texas A&M withdraws permission for white-power rally
Citing safety concerns, Texas A&M officials said Monday that a white supremacist group will not be permitted to host a rally on campus next month -- a decision the event organizer said would be met with legal action. The move follows pleas made Monday by state legislators and former Texas A&M students to university officials to prevent the group from staging the demonstration in the free speech area of campus outside Rudder Tower. The event -- which had been planned for Sept. 11 -- was announced Saturday, within hours of a white supremacist rally called Unite the Right in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned violent, leaving dozens injured and one counter-protester dead after a driver plowed into the crowd.
 
U. of Arkansas Responds to Individual Photographed at Nationalist Rally
University of Arkansas Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz responded via Twitter after a man was photographed wearing an "Arkansas Engineering" shirt at a white supremacist rally in Virginia. He writes, "Diversity & inclusion are @Uarkansas values. Not this. We value free speech but condemn hatred, violence & white supremacy. #Charlottesville" "Fostering an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion is a top priority at the University of Arkansas and this image is not a reflection of our university's values," a statement from Steve Voorhies, with the university's media relations department. The photo was originally posted inside an article tweeted from the Wall Street Journal. University officials have not released information regarding the identity of the individual in the photograph.
 
When Your Students Attend White Supremacist Rallies
The "Unite the Right" rally held in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend drew white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis and members of the so-called alt-right -- a radical far-right political movement that embraces white nationalism and racism. Some attendees were college students, and photos of them circulating the internet are raising questions on their home campuses. Many of those appalled by the rally and its participants have been circulating photographs of participants in an attempt to identify those who attended, calling on employers -- and, in some cases, universities -- to take action. While any disciplinary action is unlikely at public institutions, that doesn't mean issues related to race and free speech will go away. Kirk H. Schulz, WSU's president, put out a statement on Twitter -- part of which Allsup retweeted -- denouncing "racism and Nazism of any kind," condemning the violence in Charlottesville.
 
Charlottesville Violence Sparks New Worries About Safety During Campus Protests
The torch-bearing white nationalists who walked across the University of Virginia's Lawn illuminated this much: How unprepared such institutions are to deal with the threat of sudden political violence. In the wake of an ensuing melee on Virginia's campus on Friday night, as well as the following day's violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters in downtown Charlottesville, Va., experts on campus security say colleges need to rethink how they can keep public demonstrations and appearances by controversial figures from leading to tragedy. How uneasy colleges have been left by the Charlottesville violence became clear Monday. Texas A&M University announced late in the day that it had canceled an outsider's plans to hold a "White Lives Matter" event featuring the white-supremacist leader Richard Spencer at the College Station campus on September 11.
 
Did Confederate flag stand for heritage or hate in Charlottesville?
The Clarion-Ledger's Sam R. Hall writes: "I get it. Really, I do. Some politicians are afraid to call out white supremacists because they feel like they might lose some votes among older, white people -- and older, white people vote at a high percentage. I don't agree with it. I think politicians who do this are either a) racist themselves or b) spineless cowards undeserving of the office they hold. But, in an ugly, twisted, base, cowardice-filled political way, I 'get' it. But can't we all agree that Nazis are bad? Can't we all agree that anyone who drives a car into a crowd of people out of anger (or hate or meanness) is bad? Can't we all agree on that? And while we're on the topic of things with which we should all be able to agree, how about this one: Can't we all agree that we should stand up and call out people who would take a symbol of peace and love and appropriate it as a symbol of hate? Can't we all agree that we should decry such people and such misappropriations?"
 
An ode to the little-loved resealable plastic bag
Longtime Mississippi journalist Charlie Mitchell writes: "Learning to text, to ask our phones for information and to instruct our cars to give us directions (and scold us for wrong turns) have been manageable. Throwing a perfectly good plastic storage bag into the garbage has been more challenging. People my age have had to learn a lot and deal with a lot. Photocopiers may have been the first modern marvel we encountered. Most still don't understand them or faxing or how CDs and DVDs work, but that's OK. Pop top cans came along for soda, later for soup. We've taken it in stride. Pre-peeled 'baby' carrots were a novelty at one time. Now a generation doesn't know what a carrot-peeler looks like. Still, that's nothing to sit around the coffee shop and whine about. Nobody likes a whiner."


SPORTS
 
Bulldog linebackers have different demeanor this year
Mississippi State is sticking to the 3-4 defensive alignment it had last year under the now-departed Peter Sirmon but has made plenty of changes to its scheme. Todd Grantham was hired as the Bulldogs' new defensive coordinator in January and has molded the linebackers in his image. "Coach Grantham has been a blessing and has brought a different demeanor and style to the practice field," said MSU senior linebacker Dez Harris. Harris is taking over the inside "Mike" linebacker position held by Richie Brown the past two seasons. Harris has two freshmen working behind him in Erroll Thompson (redshirt) and Tyler Dunning (true freshman). Lining up beside Harris inside will be Leo Lewis. Lewis was a Freshman All-SEC selection last season and is the team's returning tackler, having made 79 stops. "Leo has done a good job and is competing and working," Grantham said.
 
Is linebacker the strength of Mississippi State's defense?
Will the strength of Mississippi State's defense this season be at linebacker? With former Mississippi State linebacker Richie Brown, the Bulldogs' leading tackler the last two seasons now lobbying for a job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL preseason, it's understandable for that question to raise some eyebrows. But despite the graduation of Brown, Mississippi State has experience, depth and, most importantly, talent at the linebacker position on the inside and outside. New defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is also the linebackers' coach, so there is added pressure for him to make sure this is an area of strength, if not the Bulldogs' best asset defensively. For Grantham's defense to work, linebackers need to be blitzers with speed. Simply put, it's their job to make plays while someone like Jeffery Simmons occupies a double team -- and that's especially true for the guys on the outside.
 
Mississippi State boasts plenty of running back depth
The known commodities in Mississippi State's running back corps begin with Aeris Williams. After leading a running back corps containing two seniors in all notable statistical categories as a sophomore, he's not stopped at entering the season as the unquestioned starter: he's been publicly establishing high expectations for himself since the spring. Williams is also where the known commodities end. While it lacks a solidified answer, MSU has no shortage of players trying to be that answer. It has morphed into one of the MSU offense's biggest questions of preseason camp: MSU has only allowed a single running back to take more than a third of the team's carries once since 2010, so who will take the load off of Williams? "Behind (Williams), it's really the knowledge," MSU coach Dan Mullen said. "Do you know what you're doing? Not can you run the ball, but do you know what you're doing? That's going to be the biggest point: who can figure that out the fastest."
 
Robot developer brings versatility to Southern Miss football team
Duncan Sparks spent the past year focused on academics alone. So, with one season of eligibility remaining, Sparks has decided to concentrate almost solely on football this fall. Throughout the former Lafayette College Leopard's career, much of his time was dedicated to academic pursuits. Sparks, who earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in the spring, had to maintain a strict division between football and his studies, devoting large blocks of time to studying and the like. It paid off. Sparks already boasts a decorated resumè, having twice interned at Bright Plastics where one of the highlights was his presentation of a cost analysis that resulted in $50,000 worth of savings. Just last year, Sparks was part of a team that invented a biomimetic archerfish for the purposes of aiding research on social cognition.
 
Former U. of Arkansas Athletic Director Frank Broyles Dead at 92
Frank Broyles, who guided the University of Arkansas to its lone national football championship and later molded the overall program as its athletic director, died Monday at the age of 92. Broyles died from complications of Alzheimer's disease, according to a statement from his family. "He passed peacefully in his home surrounded by his loved ones," the statement said. As athletic director, Broyles led an overhaul and upgrade of Arkansas' facilities -- as well as leading the school in its move to the Southeastern Conference. While his coaching record of 144-48-5 defined the first part of his career, Broyles' legacy at Arkansas is every bit equaled by his work as athletic director.
 
U. of Tennessee, other colleges react to NCAA sexual violence prevention rule
A new rule, adopted by the NCAA Board of Governors last week, requires campus leaders to report annually that their coaches, athletes and athletics administrators were educated in sexual violence prevention. The requirements, announced by the NCAA in a news release last week, reinforce the work some Tennessee colleges and universities already have in place, though one Division III school said this week it's still awaiting more information to see if it might need to make changes. At the University of Tennessee, Title IX Coordinator Ashley Blamey said the new rule will not mean a lot of change as the university already has sexual violence prevention plans in place that include participation by the athletics department. Similarly, officials at Vanderbilt University, which is also Division I, said they support the new NCAA policy but did not mention any changes that will immediately arise.
 
Former Alabama coach Gene Stallings suffers stroke
Former Alabama football coach Gene Stallings suffered a stroke Monday morning at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Stallings was headed to Huntsville to speak with former Auburn coach Pat Dye at an event organized by The Legendary Coaches. Both coaches were scheduled to participate in an event organized by the company. The Legendary Coaches confirmed the news on its Facebook page and said Stallings' speaking events in Alabama would be rescheduled. "This morning, awaiting his flight to Huntsville, Coach Gene Stallings suffered a minor stroke at DFW airport and has been taken to the hospital," the post said. "He is in good spirits." Stallings became an active member in the Tuscaloosa community during his coaching tenure, working as a prominent supporter of the Rise School at UA. Stallings' son, Johnny, was born with Down Syndrome. Rise serves young children with disabilities. Its facility on campus is named The Stallings Center.



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