Tuesday, July 16, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
MSU Alumni Association names board of directors
New members of the Mississippi State University Alumni Association's national board of directors are beginning one-year terms after being appointed in February. Officially taking office July 1, the team includes President Tommy R. Roberson of Memphis, Tenn., Ronald E. Black of Meridian, first vice president; Jackson resident Brad M. Reeves, second vice president; and Jodi White Turner of Montgomery, Ala., will continue her role as treasurer. Camille Scales Young, of Madison, continues on the board as immediate former national president. The Alumni Association was founded June 17, 1885, by the first three graduating classes of what then was Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College.
Grammy Winning Artist Kim Carnes to Perform at MSU Riley Center
She may not have Bette Davis eyes, but the Grammy Award-winning Kim Carnes will always be known for that number one hit she recorded in 1981. She tells WTOK the "Heart Behind the Music Concert" will be something special. The concert is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the MSU Riley Center in Meridian.
Castle doctrine in Mississippi: Legal ramifications of deadly outcomes hard to predict
A Jackson homeowner will face no criminal charges after firing five shots into a car burglary suspect last week because police said the state's castle doctrine law allows use of deadly force in the face of imminent danger in one's home, vehicle or business. Almost five years earlier, Jackson police charged a Jackson store owner with murder when he killed a shoplifter he was trying to stop from taking off with a $15 case of beer and said he feared the suspect was reaching for a gun. They said the castle doctrine didn't apply because he wasn't in imminent danger. Since the castle doctrine law went into effect July 1, 2006, there has been very little consistency in how law enforcement and the courts have applied it.
Mississippi among nation's best at beer drinking
It's often noted that Mississippi finishes at or near the bottom of many national rankings -- education, poverty, obesity, just to name a few. But here's one poll in which the Magnolia State is near the top: beer drinking. According to a study by Bloomberg, Mississippi tied with Louisiana for 11th in beer consumption per capita. The two neighboring states were the highest-ranking southern states in the poll. Using data from the Beer Institute, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, and U.S. Census Bureau, Bloomberg estimates that Mississippi residents drink 33.9 gallons of beer a year per person. The Mississippi average equates to just over 15 cases of 12 ounce beer or just under one 12 ounce beer a day for each Mississippi resident.
Was Kemper power plant spending prudent? Answer will affect ratepayers
The next battle over a Kemper County power plant will hinge on whether Mississippi Power Co.'s spending on the project was prudent -- and that decision may come months later than a July 24 date that state regulators had agreed to earlier this year. The utility recently asked the state Public Service Commission to determine if spending on the project has been prudent. It's a key step in the company collecting money from its 186,000 ratepayers to pay for the plant. If regulators decide Mississippi Power wasted money, they can throw out certain costs and bar the company from charging ratepayers for them.
Senate pushes House to begin farm bill conference
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow called on House Republican leaders Monday to begin talks promptly on their pared-back farm bill rather than wait for the House to act on a separate nutrition and food stamp package later this month or in September. "I'm calling on [Speaker John Boehner] to send us what was passed on Thursday so that we can begin to go to conference," the Michigan Democrat said. Stabenow described herself as "pretty stunned" last week by comments by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) suggesting talks might have to wait until after the nutrition bill is voted on.
Stabenow Says Food Programs Will Remain in Final Farm Bill
The chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee said Monday that she is worried lawmakers could run out of time to produce a final farm bill if House leaders do not quickly send their chamber's agriculture-only version to the Senate. "I'm calling on the speaker to send us what was passed on Thursday so we can begin to go to conference," Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow told reporters in a conference call. House Republican leaders have said they may hang on to their measure until they can revise a nutrition title they removed from the bill -- thus stalling conference negotiations. In addition, Stabenow dispelled any notion that nutrition programs would be left out of the final product of a Senate-House conference.
Bennie Thompson dismisses rumors about Homeland Security secretary's job
Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson said he's not interested in heading the Department of Homeland Security and instead is calling for the administration to quickly replace Janet Napolitano in the job. Napolitano announced plans last week to step down as Homeland Security secretary to head the University of California system next fall. Thompson, top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, has been mentioned by some news outlets, including Politico, as a potential replacement. Thompson, who once chaired the powerful committee, dismissed such rumors.
Bennie Thompson denies interest in Homeland Security's top job
There's plenty of talk in political circles U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., could be on the list of possible replacements for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. But Thompson says he has no interest in the job. "I have no interest in serving as secretary of Homeland Security, nor have I received any communication from the administration regarding my nomination," Thompson said Monday in a statement to the Sun Herald. "I remain fully committed to serving the people of the Second District as their representative in Congress." Back in April, Thompson, who is black, was critical of Obama for a lack of diversity among his top level posts in the administration, according to USA Today.
Icon James Meredith to make historic return
Civil rights icon James Meredith, one of the pivotal people in American history, will make a historic return to the town where he was shot and wounded 47 years ago. This time, Meredith is hoping for a much more hospitable welcome as a featured author who is promoting his book, "A Mission From God: A Memoir and Challenge for America." Meredith will appear at the Hernando Public Library at noon. Meredith's presence looms large in the city of nearly 16,000, nestled on the cusp of the Mississippi Delta and the red clay hills. When one visits the Historic DeSoto Museum in Hernando it's not hard to miss the larger-than-life Associated Press photo that shows Meredith crumpled in pain on U.S. Highway 51, just south of Hernando. The event of that hot summer day in June of 1966 would foreshadow the later assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and the killings at Jackson State University in 1970.
Racial subtext in Zimmerman reaction offers reminder of 'politics that divide'
The "true genius of America," Barack Obama said the night America elected its first black president in 2008, is "that American can change." The uproar over the George Zimmerman verdict is a vivid, somber reminder of how that change comes slowly, even haltingly at times, and how much race still courses through American politics. While the days of legal segregation and institutional discrimination are now a generations-old memory, major policy disputes roiling Washington continue to have racial subtexts. "Different groups have different views of what government policy should be, and that doesn't seem to be going away at all," said Merle Black, a Southern politics expert at Emory University in Atlanta.
Speakers discuss cyber security, protecting critical U.S. infrastructure at Rocket City TakeDownCon
The U.S. intelligence community is forecasting a future in which cyber technology is developed and implemented before the proper security measures are in place, according to (Ret) Lt. Gen. Ron Burgess, the former director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. That means the risk of cyber attacks is real and will continue to grow in the coming years, Burgess said Monday. Burgess, who is now senior counsel for national security and cyber programs and military affairs at Auburn University, was among speakers Monday at the Rocket City TakeDownCon held at Dynetics' corporate headquarters in Huntsville. Burgess opened the two-day hacking conference with a discussion entitled "Exploring the Cyber Landscape."
Cost of tuition rising at Co-Lin Natchez
Local college students may need to save a few extra dollars this summer to cover the cost of rising tuition. Copiah-Lincoln Community College, along with several other universities and colleges in the state, is raising tuition for the coming school year. Co-Lin President Ronnie Nettles said tuition at the college has not been raised in four years. "As you know, it's been a very difficult four or five years, and we resisted raising tuition," he said. Enrollment numbers are on the way down, Nettles said, which impacts tuition.
Auburn University scrubs plan to eliminate state's only 4-year flight major, but tuition hike possible
Officials at Auburn University have reversed course on a plan to eliminate the state's only four-year aviation program for would-be commercial pilots. But further tuition hikes are on the table to help pay for the program's cost. In a letter to the university's aviation students, parents and alumni, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Timothy Boosinger said Monday the university plans to keep its aviation-management major and its professional-flight major. The announcement comes after College of Business Dean Bill Hardgrave recommended in May that the university eliminate the professional flight major, citing waning enrollment.
Auburn University to maintain both aviation programs
The professional flight management program at Auburn University now has the university's support, according to Provost Timothy Boosinger. Bill Hardgrave, dean of the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, announced plans to eliminate the professional flight management degree program in May. Hardgrave said it was the college's intention to put more emphasis on its other aviation major, aviation management. The professional flight major includes flight training and evaluations, while the aviation management major prepares students for careers in airport or airline management. Since his announcement, Hardgrave, Boosinger and Auburn President Jay Gogue have received countless complaints from Auburn aviation alumni, students and future students, according to Jason Mohrman, pilot with United Airlines and Auburn aviation alumnus.
Agency to conduct hearing on U. of Georgia air pollution permit
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division will conduct a public meeting this month to discuss the University of Georgia's request for a renewal of a state-issued air quality permit, required of businesses and agencies whose operations result in air pollution. The renewal application is routine, said Eric Cornwell, program manager for the EPD's stationary source permitting program. EPD officials will make a presentation about the permit and then take questions. For several years, a student group has been trying to bring pressure on UGA officials to shut down the boiler and replace it with something that produces less pollution.
U. of Tennessee, city to study possible theater at World's Fair Park
Planning officials at the University of Tennessee will meet with their counterparts at the city of Knoxville to determine whether a building large enough for the school's theater department will fit on the very limited lawn space at World's Fair Park. A boxed culvert containing both Second Creek and the sewage for most of North Knoxville runs below the bottom half of the performance lawn, and the Public Building Authority estimated only 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of ground space would be available for a building. UT, meanwhile, points out that the facility would have to be large enough to contain not only the Clarence Brown Theatre, but also the academic department attached to it. Given the obstacles, a working group made up of city, university and community representatives pondering a possible cultural center at the site agreed Monday at its second meeting to request a report from planning officials.
R. Bowen Loftin says he decided to resign to spend more time with Texas A&M students
Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin said he resigned to spend more time with students, and he made the announcement last week to give administrators ample time to find a replacement. Loftin, 64, spoke to three reporters Monday morning in 10-minute, one-on-one phone interviews. It was Loftin's first time answering questions publicly since his Friday announcement, which did not explicitly state why the university's top administrator was resigning.
Texas A&M Health Science Center moving under the university
The Texas A&M Health Science Center has transitioned from the system's control to the university's. "Today marks the culmination of nearly one year of careful planning and coordination aimed at placing Texas A&M in a unique collaborative and competitive position that realizes the extensive academic and scientific opportunities made possible through the merging of two leaders in biomedical education and discoveries," A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said in a press release. "Together as one, we are now poised to offer a new model for education and research in the health sciences for the State of Texas."
U. of Missouri farm event's popularity flourishes
Blue skies and mild weather welcomed about 180 agriculture industry professionals to the University of Missouri's Pest Management Field Day last week in an event that has burgeoned in popularity in recent years. The annual event, held Thursday at Bradford Research and Extension Center on Rangeline Road, featured presentations by MU faculty members on topics relevant to agrichemical dealers and industry representatives. The featured topics included chemical resistance, herbicide programs and new crop technology.
U. of Missouri snags worldwide nuclear fusion conference
In 1991, Mark Prelas, a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Missouri, was forced to stop his research on low-energy nuclear reactions, also referred to as "cold fusion," after the scientific community deemed the discovery of the tabletop nuclear reaction was a fluke. Today, not only is Prelas revisiting the potential of low-energy nuclear reactions -- or LENR -- but next week, MU will host the 18th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Fusion. Founded with a $5.5 million donation last year from apparel tycoon and Jones Group founder Sidney Kimmel, MU's new Sidney Kimmel Institute for Nuclear Renaissance has allowed Prelas and a team of researchers to revisit tabletop fusion and try to understand the mechanics of the science.
Despite Wariness, Outsourcing Pays Off for Universities
Colleges have moved far beyond hiring private companies just to run their dining services or manage the campus bookstore. In June 2012, for example, Ohio State University signed a $483-million deal to lease its parking facilities to an Australian company for 50 years. Although there was an outcry from some faculty members, the money added about 20 percent to the value of Ohio State's endowment, said Michael Papadakis, the university's vice president for financial services. Mr. Papadakis spoke on Sunday in a session in Indianapolis at the annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers. With the extra cash, the university set aside more than $150-million to improve its environmental sustainability and $83-million for student scholarships. Ohio State is one of the latest examples of colleges looking beyond traditional revenue sources as uncertainty continues about the future of state and federal dollars.
Business officer survey predicts major turnover in CFOs
Just like their bosses in the president's office, many of whom are slated to leave office in the next few years, a large number of college and university chief business officers appear to be on the verge of retirement or departure, a sectorwide shift that could usher a lot of new blood into senior administration at a time of major financial change for higher education. The survey is a follow-up to one conducted in 2010. Many of the findings, such as CFOs' educational and professional backgrounds and their professional responsibilities, have changed little since the original survey. There have been some demographic shifts, notably that CFOs are now older, have been in their jobs longer, and are more likely to be thinking about retiring.
Protesters Call for Stricter Sanctions on Colleges That Mishandle Sexual Assault
Several dozen students and recent graduates---in T-shirts bearing their colleges' names---rallied in front of the U.S. Department of Education on Monday to demand tighter enforcement of federal antidiscrimination law, with stricter sanctions when institutions fail to support victims of sexual assault. "The Department of Education needs to be more punitive and hold schools accountable," said Andrea L. Pino, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill whose federal complaint in January helped to galvanize students around the country. The activists here on Monday, many of whom identified themselves as survivors of rape, have formed a movement that is quickly gaining momentum.
USC announces changes to its journalism master's degree program
Shelling out thousands of dollars for a master's degree in journalism may seem illogical in 2013, as newsrooms continue to shrink at alarming rates. There are now less than 40,000 full-time professional employees working in newspaper newsrooms nationwide, compared to a peak of 56,900 in 1989, according to Pew's 2013 State of the Media report. It's the lowest number since 1978. In one attempt to respond, the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism will do away with its two-year M.A. degree in journalism and replace it with a nine-month M.S. program beginning in 2014, the university announced this month. USC's journalism school is not the only one feeling the pressure to adjust.
How Scholastic Sells Literacy To Generations Of New Readers
Chances are you have had contact with Scholastic Publishing at some point in your life: You might have read their magazines in school, or bought a book at one of their book fairs, or perhaps you've read Harry Potter or The Hunger Games? From its humble beginning as publisher of a magazine for high schoolers, Scholastic has become a $2 billion business and one of the biggest children's book publishers in the world. Scholastic is a leader in the school book fair business -- which is in keeping with the company's origins. Nearly 100 years ago, the company started out by building its business in schools. "If you think of Scholastic, it's a relationship company with teachers and parent and kids," says Dick Robinson, Scholastic's chairman and CEO. "And it succeeded by going on from generation to generation."

Oklahoma State already on mind of Bulldogs
For the first time since 2007, Mississippi State University will open up its college football season with a Bowl Championship series opponent. Normally, the opener for the Bulldogs has involved either a Football Championship Series opponent, a struggling University of Memphis opponent and Louisiana Tech University. After MSU finished the 2012 season with five losses in six games, the players have known it's 46 days until the Bulldogs arrive at Reliant Stadium to face Oklahoma State University.
5 big questions for Dan Mullen
In anticipation of this week's SEC Media Days, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal has five questions for Mississippi State's Dan Mullen.
Several Bulldogs players make watch lists
There are going to be several Mississippi State Bulldogs worth keeping an eye on for the upcoming football season. On Monday, MSU had its total of players making preseason watch lists increased to eight. Bulldog linebackers Deontae Skinner and Benardrick McKinney were selected to the Butkus Award watch list, while offensive guard Gabe Jackson made the Rotary Lombardi Award watch list.
Perkins may return punts for Mississippi State
LaDarius Perkins has been an all-purpose type of player for Mississippi State in his career. This season, the senior running back may be used in punt returns. "I talked to Coach (Dan) Mullen about that and he told me to just get with Coach (Billy) Gonzales to get me prepared to do that," Perkins said. The Greenville native also returned kickoffs last season. Whether he will do that again this year is still in the air. "I might still do kick return," Perkins said. "I really don't know yet. Right now, I really want to do punt return also."
Mississippi State's Russell enjoys time at Manning Academy
Tyler Russell is no stranger to the Manning Passing Academy. The Mississippi State senior quarterback spent two years as a camper at the Manning Passing Academy. He returned this summer. This time the Meridian native was a counselor and not a camper. "It was a very big deal when Archie Manning called me," Russell said. "Just to get the invite to go do it and just having the opportunity to give back to the community is a blessing. I came through as a two-year camper down there. I know some things that some college quarterbacks did that helped me out and some things I wish they would have said to me. I just try to do those things."
Former Bulldog Parks to coach baseball at EMCC
Former Mississippi State University infielder Jarrod Parks has been hired as an assistant baseball coach at East Mississippi Community College, EMCC head baseball coach Chris Rose recently announced. Used primarily at third base during his Mississippi State playing days, Parks' primary coaching responsibilities will be with the Lions' infielders in addition to the daily instruction of EMCC's hitters.
Ferriss enjoyed an All-Star year in 1945 when there was no all-star game
Syndicated columnist Rick Cleveland writes: " We baseball followers are at All-Star break 2013. It's time to reflect on what we've seen thus far, time to anticipate the pennant races that will follow. Or, in the case of today's offering, it is time to reflect on a time 68 years ago this week when baseball decided to forgo its All-Star Game. This was 1945. World War II still raged. Many of the game's greatest stars were at war. Travel restrictions made it impractical to bring the standouts who remained to one city for one game. Had there been an all-star game, rookie sensation Boo Ferriss, fresh out of the Mississippi Delta town of Shaw, would surely have been the star of the stars."
'He's a Man of the People, and Wants to Party With Them': Barrett Talks About Marshall Henderson at Ole Miss
The chaotic, hooky garage rock John Barrett makes as Bass Drum of Death can sound like a reaction to his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi, more than a reflection of it. After all, the Ole Miss college town is widely known as a genteel, artsy, and Faulkner-approved enclave in the Magnolia State, a place everyone with bookish, hermetic, and alcoholic sensibilities threatens to move to at some point. It appeals to culture hounds who love everything about college football except the actual sport, aspiring connoisseurs of Southern literature and/or booze, and people who think Athens, Georgia, is played out and overexposed.
Vanderbilt identifies four football players booted from team
DNA and other forensic evidence will play a key part in a sex crimes investigation into an incident at a Vanderbilt University dormitory, police said Monday. The news came as the university, forced by the publication of its upcoming SEC football guide, revealed the identities of the four football players it had kicked off the team, suspended from the university and banned from campus in connection with the police investigation. The four identified were: Cory Lamont Batey, 19, from Nashville; Brandon Vandenburg, 20, from California; Brandon Eric Banks, 19, from Maryland; and JaBorian "Tip" McKenzie, 18 from Mississippi. Neither police nor the university has indicated what the players' connection is to the sex crimes investigation and no arrests have been made.
Finebaum compares Manziel to Sharknado, train wreck, calls story 'compelling,' 'disturbing'
If radio personality Paul Finebaum thought Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was "trending toward becoming a punch line" last month after a tweet he sent out, who knows what he thinks of him now. Oh wait, we do know. The ESPN radio host joined SportsCenter to give his latest take on the Heisman Trophy winner after Manziel left the Manning Passing Academy over the weekend, citing sickness. "I feel like it's Thursday night again and I'm watching Sharknado," he said on SportsCenter. "You can't take your eyes off the screen. It's a train wreck, but it is very compelling, and it's also very disturbing for many reasons."

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