Friday, August 26, 2016  SUBSCRIBE   
Healthier Southern Food Choices Featured at Mississippi State
College students are now back in school for the semester. The health and wellness department at Mississippi State University wants to make sure their students are eating healthy. On Thursday they hosted Healthier Southern Choices. They want to make the message clear that not all southern food is fried and unhealthy. "We are always looking for ways to reach out to our students, and show them healthy opportunities on campus and in the area," said registered dietitian Mandy Conrad. This is the first time the health and wellness department has hosted this event, and they were impressed with the turnout.
Mississippi State's Snyder discusses King Arthur legend, reality
A recent discovery in southwest England is making headlines for its association with King Arthur, but archaeologists are hailing it as an incredibly important find regardless of any connection with Britain's greatest legendary ruler. While some scholars are firm in their belief that King Arthur is merely a literary invention, others are more circumspect. "We don't have evidence to prove his historicity, but we certainly don't have evidence to prove he's manufactured, that he's a completely fictional character," says Christopher Snyder, dean and professor of history at Mississippi State University and author of The World of King Arthur.
Tipsy Bartender glowing over Mississippi State student's product
Pascagoula native and Mississippi State student Kaylie Mitchell said she can't believe how well her product has been received. Mitchell, along with her partner Hagan Walker, is behind the beverage lighting product Glo. The ice cube-sized product is the first lighted drink infuser. And as demand grows for the glowing product, Glo is starting to attract a lot of attention. Tipsy Bartender, the cocktail-friendly website and social media outlet, has created a video specifically designated to show the wonders of Glo, which goes through a cycle of five colors once it hits liquid. The video is featured on Tipsy Bartender's Facebook page, which has more than 15 million followers. "We are doing a launch with Tipsy Bartender on Thursday and we are so excited about it," Mitchell said. "We realistically think that about a million people will see the video." Tipsy Bartender isn't the only place that will be featuring Glo.
Mississippi Republicans meet for a night out in Starkville
Some Republicans in North Mississippi had a night out on Thursday. The Oktibbeha County Republican Party hosted a dinner in Starkville that included a couple of marquee names in state politics. The event brought out Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. "Great friends here, great support here, all these folks are going to vote for the President of the United State and that is what is really important," Hosemann said. Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump was in Mississippi on Wednesday night and was the talk at most dinner tables. "One thing I will say about Donald Trump is he is not taking Mississippi for granted," said Reeves. "He has been here numerous times, and I think it is something we should all be proud of."
Unemployment rates down statewide
Mississippi's unemployment rates are down for July, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. The state's non-seasonally adjusted rate for July came in at 6.5 percent. In June, the state reported a 6.8 percent non-adjusted unemployment rate. MDES reported Oktibbeha County had the lowest unemployment rate in the Golden Triangle for July, at 6.8 percent. The rate is down almost a full percentage point from June's revised rate of 7.7 percent. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates account for normal employment trends that occur through the year.
Tax holiday on guns, ammo starts today
or the third consecutive year, Mississippi will have its Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday. Starting today through Saturday, hunters will be able to buy guns, ammunition and certain hunting supplies without having to pay the state's 7 percent sales tax. Items that are exempt from tax are pistols, revolvers, files, shotguns, bullets, shotgun shells and archery equipment. Not all hunting-related items are tax-exempt, including clothing, hats, gloves, ATVs, boating equipment, decoys, fishing equipment, gun cabinets and knives. A complete list of items that are exempt and nonexempt from the state tax can be found on the Mississippi Department of Revenue's website.
Delta Regional Authority Announces $15 Million for Infrastructure
The Delta Regional Authority says $15 million in grants will help complete eight infrastructure projects in Mississippi. The projects range from sewer projects in Cleveland and Lexington to establishing an urgent care clinic in Belzoni. DRA co-chair Chris Masingill says infrastructure projects aren't glamorous, but they're important. "Infrastructure investments, as we all know in the business, create good-paying jobs today while, quite frankly, laying the foundation for a stronger economic future," says Masingill. The DRA says the eight projects are expected to create 1,000 new jobs.
Potential third health insurer rejected by feds
Efforts to keep three health insurers in the mix for Mississippians shopping on the federal exchange have been unsuccessful. Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has been trying to recruit a third insurer to offer policies on the exchange, which will open for 2017 enrollment Nov. 1. This spring, United Health announced it was pulling back from covering counties in Mississippi and 15 other states in the Affordable Care Act exchanges, leaving only Humana and Magnolia/Ambetter. "HHS (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) did not approve a carrier that wanted to offer exchange coverage in all 82 counties of the state, citing lack of an adequate network and specialists in each county," Chaney said in a statement.
Rep. Bennie Thompson: Political motivation is behind Hattiesburg prosecutions
The U.S. Department of Justice is looking into claims from Rep. Bennie Thompson that federal and state officials are using local prosecutions to suppress African-American voting and political participation in Hattiesburg. Thompson first contacted U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch in April to express his concerns and ask Lynch to look into the prosecutions and "other intimidation methods in furtherance of a local political agenda." The state's lone Democrat in Congress, Thompson told Lynch he "received many calls and letters from citizens and community leaders" in the Hattiesburg area, which is not in Thompson's district, "alleging that there is an organized targeting of the African-American community" for political purposes.
Donald Trump not on ballot in Mississippi -- yet
A quick trip to the Mississippi Secretary of State's website to peruse the list of candidates who have qualified to run in the Nov. 8 general election may leave some Mississippians alarmed. Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate -- considered the front runner in Mississippi -- isn't on the list. Apparently, the Trump campaign hasn't submitted the paperwork necessary to get his name on the Nov. 8 ballot in Mississippi. Anna Moak, an attorney and interim communications director for Secretary of State Delbert Hoseman's office, said the certificates and petitions needed to get on the ballot have yet to be filed with the State Board of Election Commissioners. However, the Trump campaign still has some time -- until Friday, Sept. 9 at 5 p.m. -- to get its paperwork in.
Hazlehurst native dresses Hillary Clinton, Beltway who's who
Nina McLemore doesn't dress the weak. Her clientele is a roster of the Beltway starting lineup: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, journalist Gwen Ifill, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. At least a quarter of female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies, including PepsiCo Chief Executive Indra Nooyi, have appeared publicly in McLemore's clothing, according to a 2014 story in The Wall Street Journal. Women who don't shy away from being noticed. So don't expect to see pale pink in her designs. "She's one of the best Mississippians we've exported," said her friend Aubrey Lucas. "She's just among the best. She loves Mississippi and she's not embarrassed by her state. That doesn't mean she approves everything we do. But she does remain very loyal and interested in her home state."
Hillary Clinton Says 'Radical Fringe' Is Taking Over G.O.P. Under Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton delivered a blistering denunciation Thursday of Donald J. Trump's personal and political history with race, arguing in her most forceful terms yet that a nationalist conservative fringe had engulfed the Republican Party. In a 31-minute address, building to a controlled simmer, Mrs. Clinton did everything but call Mr. Trump a racist outright -- saying he had promoted "racist lie" after "racist lie," pushed conspiracy theories with "racist undertones" and heartened racists across the country by submitting to an "emerging racist ideology known as the alt-right." "He is taking hate groups mainstream," Mrs. Clinton told supporters at a community college here, "and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party." Mrs. Clinton's remarks coincide with a conspicuous shift in strategy from Mr. Trump, who has spoken with more compassion about people in the country illegally and expressed a desire to win African-American support.
Donald Trump's Mixed Signals on Immigration Roil Campaign
Donald Trump's mixed signals about easing his plan to deport all illegal immigrants are dividing his closest allies and prompting warnings he could lose core supporters if he abandons the signature issue of his campaign. Even as some supporters said they would welcome a softer tone as a sign Mr. Trump is working to broaden his support, he said in a Thursday CNN interview both that it would be difficult to deport 11 million illegal immigrants and that he might do it anyway. The internal Republican angst emerged on the same day that Mr. Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton exchanged pointed barbs in back-to-back speeches, suggesting a bitter fight through November. Mr. Trump this week has called Mrs. Clinton a "bigot." She responded Thursday by painting her GOP rival as a friend to racists.
Trump's minority outreach carries hidden agenda, strategists say
Donald Trump is testing a novel way to fix a problem that no modern Republican presidential nominee has had. His quest this week to reach out to black and Hispanic voters has a covert agenda, Republican strategists say, of winning back college-educated whites who historically prefer Republicans but seem to be turned off by Trump's nativist appeals. Despite the campaign's statements and Trump's own direct appeals, in which he has softened his rhetoric on mass deportation and promised to bring jobs, security and housing equality to black communities, some Republicans doubt the new approach is really about attracting minorities. For Trump, who is dominating among whites without a college degree, boosting his support among college-educated whites could close the gap in Virginia, Colorado and Pennsylvania.
Bernie's revolution revs up for 2016 election and beyond
Soon enough, Bernie Sanders will go back to being just another member of the United States Senate -- albeit, the only democratic socialist in the club. But if all goes according to plan, his revolution will live on. The first step came Wednesday night, at 2,600 house parties around the country, where supporters of the Vermont senator gathered to watch his call to action, via live-stream. "Real change never, ever takes place from the top on down," Sanders said, reprising a theme from his presidential campaign. "It always takes place from the bottom on up, when millions of people come together and demand fundamental change in the country."
Alabama House narrowly approves governor's proposed lottery
The Alabama House of Representatives on Thursday night narrowly approved Gov. Robert Bentley's proposed state lottery after 10 hours of contentious debate and two vote attempts. House members voted 64-35 for the legislation, barely clearing the 63 votes required to pass the chamber. Legislators cheered and clapped as passage was announced. The bill now moves to the Alabama Senate where senators must decide whether to go along with mostly minor House changes to the legislation. The Republican governor proposed a lottery as a way to provide money to the state's perpetually cash-strapped Medicaid program. Alabama would become the 45th state with a lottery if lawmakers and voters approve the idea.
New Pell Grant program removes barriers
Jackson State University and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College are taking part in a new federal program that aims to increase low-income students' access to college. Starting this semester, about 10,000 high school students across the country can use Pell Grants for dual enrollment courses for the first time. Most students pay for dual enrollment without financial assistance, limiting participation to those who have the ability to pay out of pocket. Along with just 42 other universities and colleges, the U.S. Department of Education selected JSU and MGCCC to participate in the program. JSU was the only four-year historically black university selected.
Jeffrey Vitter to 'prioritize' input on renaming buildings, streets at UM
The Chancellor's Advisory Committee on History and Context is now accepting input from students, faculty and community members on the potential renaming of buildings, streets or monuments on campus. According to Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter, the committee has already identified three points of interest on campus: Vardaman Hall, Lamar Hall and Johnson Commons. A comprehensive report of all recommended contextualization sites should be completed by next March, Vitter said. Associated Student Body President Austin Powell is the only student on the context committee. As a representative for the student body, Powell said he is committed to ensuring that student's voices and concerns are heard by the committee.
Alumni, friends donate record $194.3 million to support UM
Strong private support, primarily directed to specific programs, enables the University of Mississippi to strengthen its faculty, increase student scholarships, contribute to research discoveries and help improve health care for all ages. In the UM Foundation's fiscal year ending June 30, private donors and foundations committed a record $194.3 million to support programs, facilities and students across all campuses. Fiscal year 2016 was bolstered by a number of major gifts. Administrators acknowledge it's unlikely that single gifts of this magnitude will be repeated in the 2017 fiscal year. Private support for UM has exceeded $100 million in each of the last five years.
USM to drum up interest in National History Day
University of Southern Mississippi officials are hoping to encourage more middle and high school participation in a national history contest that has been shown to increase students' confidence in a variety of academic skills. The National History Day Workshop, hosted by the Department of History, from 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, is for middle and high school teachers, as well as students, parents and homeschooling parents. "Our workshop is meant to help people learn about the National History Day program and what resources on USM's campus are available to make student projects a reality," said Rebecca Tuuri, assistant professor of history and coordinator of National History Day in Mississippi.
USM Marine Research Center planned at Port of Gulfport
Bids will go out in the next 30 days for a $10 million USM Marine Research Center. That educational facility will be built near a busy intersection that serves as the "front door" for the Port of Gulfport. The view of the southeast corner of 30th Ave. and Hwy. 90 in Gulfport will soon look much different. That's where USM is about to build a state of the art Marine Research Center. "University of Southern Mississippi, their school of oceanographic studies and technology. That is a new school. It's a consolidation and amalgamation of various programs within the USM curriculum," said Port of Gulfport Executive Director Jonathan Daniels. Architect Mark Lishen gave port commissioners their first look at the renderings Thursday.
Animal-rights group wants investigation of U. of South Carolina med school's use of live pigs
An animal-rights group on Thursday called for a federal investigation into the University of South Carolina's use of live pigs in emergency medicine training. The Washington, D.C.,-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says the emergency medicine residency program, run by USC School of Medicine and Palmetto Health, violates the Animal Welfare Act by operating on pigs when alternatives are available. The group, which has filed similar complaints at other schools across the country, says the use of live animals in emergency medicine training is inhumane and outdated. It has asked a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate.
Beefed-up advisor corps will boost graduation rates, reduce student debt, UGA officials say
University of Georgia officials hope a new approach to advising undergraduates helps students get their degrees more quickly, and reduce student debt. That new approach was on display at a reception in UGA's Tate Student Center Wednesday as UGA President Jere Morehead, Provost Pamela Whitten and others dedicated a new "Exploratory Center," an office in the Tate Center that will be headquarters for 13 undergraduate advisors. In the new center, advisors work with students who haven't specified a major, and also with students in two of UGA's largest groups, students majoring in journalism and business.
Records give glimpse into lawyers' work for U. of Tennessee on Title IX lawsuit
A Nashville law firm hired to defend the University of Tennessee against claims the university mishandles sexual assault cases -- especially those involving football players -- put six lawyers to work the day after a federal lawsuit alleged just that. For a trio of lawyers in that group, eight straight days of work --- including both days of a weekend -- on the case followed. Each billed at rates of $250 per hour to contribute to a more than $500,000 tab from the firm, Neal & Harwell. In February, eight unidentified women accused UT of a "hostile sexual environment" and of giving preference to student athletes when they are accused in sexual assault cases. In July, a $2.48 million settlement was announced by UT and the plaintiffs. For five months a legal team, led by attorney Bill Ramsey, crafted a defense and negotiated a settlement.
Texas A&M partnering with U. of Texas to improve solar power's reach
As renewable energy methods continue to grow in popularity, Texas A&M University is set to join a partnership aimed at improving the technology in order to reach more people. The Texas A&M University System announced Thursday a new partnership with The University of Texas to collaborate on a National Science Foundation-funded solar research initiative. As a part of the project, the National Science Foundation awarded Texas A&M University, Texas A&M University-Central Texas and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station four-year, $400,000 grants aimed at confronting the challenges that prevent the technology from being widely adopted. Robert Balog, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and co-director at the Texas A&M site, said he is excited to see the initiative tackle real-world problems.
U. of Missouri launches program to recruit, support minority journalists
A new University of Missouri recruiting initiative will seek out promising young journalists from minority communities in an effort to increase the diversity of the talent pool for media companies. The effort, a joint project of the MU School of Journalism and the Mizzou Advantage initiative, will support students pursuing careers in news and public relations, identifying talent in high school and providing mentors to support them through college and their first years in the workforce. The project was unveiled Thursday during a a session of the school's multicultural journalism class by Dean David Kurpius, Mizzou Advantage Director Jerry Frank and Provost Garnett Stokes.
U. of Missouri names Pelema Morrice as new enrollment administrator
Pelema Morrice, chief enrollment officer at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, will take over as the new vice provost for enrollment management at the University of Missouri, the MU News Bureau announced Thursday. He will oversee undergraduate admissions, international admissions, financial aid, the Missouri College Advisory Corp., Student Information Systems, the university registrar and the Veterans Center as a part of his new position. Morrice's hire comes at a time of declining enrollment for the university. But the new enrollment administrator is confident he can give MU the chance to move forward after a year of protests, resignations and administrative turnover.
College Republican Chapters Are Trying to Keep Trump From Tearing Them Apart
The national College Republicans organization has chapters on more than 1,800 campuses, according to its website. Now, with the fall semester starting and the November election fast approaching, the candidacy of Donald Trump has proved a massive elephant in the room. The nominee's unpopularity on many campuses has prompted chapters to take actions that, four years ago, would have been unthinkable: withholding endorsements, focusing on down-ballot races, and sometimes even splintering. Some chapters are trying to avoid alienating current and potential members by not only not taking a position on Mr. Trump but also refocusing their campaigning away from the presidential election.
Lawmakers want to know why U-Va. stockpiled billions but still boosted tuition
The University of Virginia has spent the past decade building an investment fund that now totals $2.2 billion, a pile of money so large that officials say it could finance the entire school and medical center for nine months. As the balance grew, the university sought to protect the annual funding it gets from Virginia taxpayers and raised its tuition significantly, with the price for in-state freshmen rising 30 percent since 2013. On Friday, lawmakers in Richmond plan to ask the school to justify stockpiling so much money, outside of its endowment, to generate discretionary revenue for selected projects. Their questions come as the state confronts a possible shortfall of about $1.5 billion in its current two-year budget. Many public universities across the country have pursued similar financial strategies, sometimes stirring controversy, as they manage pools of funds termed surpluses, "working capital" or simply "reserves." U-Va. is one of the leaders.

Mississippi State preview: Bulldogs out to prove staying power in SEC West
Mississippi State is out to prove its recent jump in Southeastern Conference status is no fluke. The Bulldogs' program has enjoyed nearly unprecedented success over the past two years, largely thanks to star quarterback Dak Prescott. But Prescott is now in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys, leaving Mississippi State to fend for itself in the difficult Western Division. Safety Brandon Bryant is among the young players who said Mississippi State will miss Prescott, but can be successful without him. "There are new faces and new names on every team in the SEC," Bryant said. "Everyone in the SEC has the talent, we're just ready to go out there for everyone to display it and start playing."
Mississippi State's Dan Mullen hopes to announce a starting quarterback Monday
Dan Mullen has less than 10 days to dissect every snap, drop back and pass taken by his three quarterbacks since the start of spring practices. Mississippi State's eighth-year head coach said he's on the verge of naming an opening day starter. The Bulldogs practiced for the final time Thursday before the start of game week on Monday. Mullen plans to return from the three-day break with a starting quarterback. "I probably feel good with knowing who is going to start by Monday. I hope," Mullen said. "And see how they handle it." It will either be Damian Williams, the veteran; Nick Fitzgerald with the rocket arm; or Nick Tiano, the leader. But Mullen made it clear, no decision is final.
Mississippi State's Dan Mullen expects to know his starting QB by Monday
With the start of the 2016 season only eight days away, the quarterback race at Mississippi State is starting to take shape. While coach Dan Mullen is still not ready to reveal which signal caller will start next Saturday's opener against South Alabama, he did provide some insight into how the battle is going. "So it's starting to sort itself out," Mullen said. "I see us playing more than one quarterback in the first game. I probably feel good with knowing who is going to start by Monday." Junior Damian Williams, sophomore Nick Fitzgerald and redshirt freshman Nick Tiano are still continuing to split snaps during practice. Each of their reps have increased since Elijah Staley announced he was transferring to Tyler Junior College in Texas over two weeks ago.
Four Bulldogs take five All-SEC spots as picked by coaches
Four Bulldogs earned five preseason All-SEC spots on Thursday as picked by the league's coaches. Brandon Holloway earned two spots on the third team as a running back and return specialist. Wide receiver Fred Ross received the highest honor being selected to the second team. Richie Brown and A.J. Jefferson joined Holloway on the third team. For Ross, Brown and Jefferson, the coaches' selections matched that of the media, who voted on All-SEC players in July.
Injuries hit Mississippi State's secondary hard
The Mississippi State football team will be without its two projected starting cornerbacks. Senior Tolando Cleveland (torn anterior cruciate ligament in left knee) will miss the season and senior Cedric Jiles (broken right arm) will be out for the first half of the season, MSU football coach Dan Mullen announced Wednesday. Mullen said Cleveland is in line for a redshirt. Mullen feels Cleveland will use his redshirt and play next season. After playing as a freshman and sophomore, Jiles was redshirted as a junior in 2014. He suffered a season-ending hamstring injury in fall camp that season. He suffered a hand and foot injury as a freshman and played in three games. Jiles can seek a medical redshirt.
High pressure creates results for Aaron Gordon, Bulldogs
Aaron Gordon could tell Mallory Eubanks wasn't convinced. Two years ago, the Mississippi State women's soccer coach was trying to explain the benefits of high pressure to his standout forward, but Eubanks didn't see the point if her efforts weren't helping the Bulldogs win possession of the ball. Eubanks appears to have changed her thinking two games into the 2016 season. That's because the junior forward no longer is one of a few players stepping to opponents to help MSU dictate the tempo. Increased depth and athleticism has the Bulldogs ready to apply the pressure Gordon wants to help them make the opposition uncomfortable and to help them generate scoring opportunities. MSU will look to employ a similar work rate this weekend when it kicks off the home portion of its 2016 schedule at 7 p.m. Friday against Lipscomb at the MSU Soccer Field. It will wrap up the weekend with a match against Tennessee-Martin at 1 p.m. Sunday.
ESPN names New Orleans native Stan Verrett as college football host
Long-time ESPN broadcaster and New Orleans native Stan Verrett has been named to replace the late John Saunders as studio host of ABC's college football coverage on Saturdays this fall. The network also announced that it has hired former Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma as a college football studio analyst. Verrett, a St. Augustine graduate, went to ESPN in 2000 after serving as a sports anchor and reporter at WDSU in New Orleans. He moved to Los Angeles in 2009 to co-host the midnight edition of "SportsCenter" with Neil Everett. The network announced in July that Verrett and Everett had signed new contracts to remain in their ESPN roles. Verrett takes over for Saunders, who died unexpectedly Aug. 10.

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